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Last Resort: The Complete Series DVD review

The crew of the USS Colorado pick up a US Navy SEAL team off Pakistan’s coast. After the pick-up the Colorado receives an order to launch missiles at Pakistan but the Commanding Office Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) questions their authenticity when the orders come through a secondary communication channel. After refusing to action the orders, Chaplin is relieved of command and Lieutenant Commander Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) is put in charge. Kendal, like Chaplin, questions the orders and the Colorado is attacked by USS Illinois. Declared enemies of their own country, the Colorado finds refuge on an island which they commandeer but soon find their lives in threat from the locals as well as the US government.

Last Resort debuted in the US last September and was cancelled in November running for only 13 episodes in total. The show garnered critical acclaim and initially pulled in decent ratings but over the course of its run it halved its audience. Watching the 13 episodes that now make-up the complete series it’s not hard to see why the show didn’t strike a chord with audiences. As a military drama it’s quite involved and intricate which may have lost some viewers. The storylines are split into three groups; the Colorado trying to clear their names, the natives on the island adjusting to having the crew there, and Kendal’s wife in the US trying to prove her husband is innocent.

One of the things that the show suffers from is too many characters. Often the characters voice that they aren’t sure who various people are, and as the audience we felt the same. Despite strong performances from Scott Speedman and Andre Braugher, the show never manages to create a clear narrative that the audience wants to get involved with. There’s lots of mistrust and back-stabbing as the central theme is deceit but often you simply don’t really care what happens.

We found the most interesting strand of the story to be that of Christine (Jessy Schram) who the government was trying to turn against her husband. In cahoots with lobbyist Kylie (Autumn Reeser), Christine offered some of the truly best moments of the season as she played slimy government lawyer Paul Wells (Jay Hernandez) as she tried to prove that her husband was innocent of the accusations made against him.

Extras on the boxset include 13 featurettes taking you behind-the-scenes of the show and exploring the characters, visual effects and much more.

Last Resort lacked the drama, suspense and twists of other military shows such as The Unit and instead feels a little bit like 24 crossed with Lost. Perhaps had it been envisaged as a mini-series in the first place the show may have worked better. Over the 13 episodes not a great deal actually seemed to happen and by the end you feel a little relieved that it last only one season. There was great potential and the pilot was involving but we didn’t feel that the show ever truly found its footing. It’s true to say this is a show aimed more at men than women which makes the decision for ABC to have aired it one that is truly baffling.

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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