'Last Resort': Interview with Creators Shawn Ryan and Karl Gadjusek
'Last Resort': Interview with Creators Shawn Ryan and Karl Gadjusek
Carla Day
Carla Day
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Last Resort's creators and executive producers, Karl Gadjusek and Shawn Ryan, spoke with reporters last week about their new fall show. Last Resort premieres on Thursday, September 27th at 8 pm ET on ABC.

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The show is unlike anything else on your television screen. It revolves around the USS Colorado submarine crew that disobeys an order to nuke Pakistan and the aftermath of that decision. While on the surface, it appears to be a military and political show, the creators explain that it is much more than that.

More than a Military Intrigue

Gadjusek: We think of it as a large dramatic epic adventure, if you will. Although the military intrigue and the political intrigue is a huge sort of juicy part of our show. Hopefully, it will lead to some great mysteries and some great thriller tension moments. But the question of who've done [it], is not nearly as big as, what will these people do with the situation there in?

Power Struggle

Ryan: ... power, yes, that's a big theme that runs through the entire season, not just the first episode. Power, who has it? How do they use it? How do they abuse it? How do you resist it? How do you take someone's power away from them? What do you do when you have power?

These are all themes that touch on everyone of the episodes that we're doing. And I think it's something that I think applies and is relevant to almost anyone that, people who watch the show might not be dealing with the same global stakes as our show, but I think they understand the idea of, having a boss that they have to answer to that they may not agree with about everything. And so, yes, that's something that gets played throughout.

Political, yet Non-Partisan 

Ryan: I would say that one thing we did is we're really focusing on the characters in the situation. We're not focusing on a political agenda. You know, we're not naming political parties in this show -- the president who seems to be going off the rails in our pilot, we're not identifying as one side or the other. And really, this isn't a show that's about Democrat versus Republican. It's more a show about, power versus the less powerful in investigating those dynamics. 

Post-Apocalyptic Story?

Gadjusek: You know, several people have asked us if we're post-apocalyptic. And we think, no, god no, we're nowhere close. We have some terrible things happen in our pilot. But they are all, you know, just in a ratcheting up in a terrible way of the geopolitical situation.
Now, is it pre-apocalyptic? Could it be heading that way with that? You know, we'll see.

Military Aspect

Ryan: I have a great respect for the U.S. Navy and for the military in general, and we write about a fictional situation that leads to this event. You know, to be clear, the Navy has nothing to do with this show. They don't endorse it or denounce it as far as I know. We're on our own in that regard. So,  we're dealing with a vessel that is very top secret. Not easy, nor should it be, to get photographs inside the nuclear submarine and all the stuff.

So in many ways, we have to use our imagination. We're never going to be 100% authentic because so much of this stuff is classified and yet we try to find the whole freedom in that to make sure that we can tell the stories that we tell.

Dangers the Characters will be Facing

Ryan: I would say that they boiled down to three different types. One is dangers from the outside. People who feel threatened by their actions when the pilot feels threatened by the power of this nuclear sub who are looking for ways to neutralize the sub or neutralize them. So that's one.

Another kind of threat is the population on the island, the people who are on the island when they arrived. There can be people there who are not thrilled with the presence of these people who view them a little bit as an occupying force endangering them. And as a result, they're going to look for relief in dangerous ways that will provide some stories.

And then finally, I would say the third one is people on the ship itself. You have the crew when the pilot starts with approximately 150 crew members. Not everyone could be down with this program, not everyone is going to love what Marcus and Sam have done in a situation that they find themselves in. And so, they'll be dealing with some internal descents and some dangerous post from that.

Are you excited about the show? What aspect are you most looking forward to seeing?

(Photo courtesy of ABC)

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