SEASON 4 LOCATIONS – EPISODES 401 & 402

Our regular locations feature is back for Season 4! Believe it or not, every location you see on screen is filmed in or around Los Angeles.

One of the things we love about THE LAST SHIP is the show’s ability to take us to far flung reaches of the world. In season one, we were transported to the Arctic, Cuba, and Nicaragua, before circling back to Baltimore, MD. Season two saw the Nathan James and her crew visiting a variety of ports in the USA. Season three gave us the most ambitious setting yet, switching between various locations in South East Asia – China, Japan, an island pirate hideout – and the USA.

Season four appears to be building on what season three started, with a far reaching journey half a world away from home, the story beginning at the western fringes of the Mediterranean Sea, taking in Morocco and southern Spain, before travelling through the Strait of Gibraltar, and into the Mediterranean proper. Chandler’s story, so far separate from that of the Nathan James, takes us to the eastern Mediterranean, where he is living a quiet life in a Greek fishing village.

The incredible scenery is enough to make you believe that everything was filmed in the Med, giving the cast and crew a working vacation they will never forget. However, the entire season was filmed in and around Los Angeles, taking advantage of the semi-arid climate to recreate the hot, sun-parched landscape of the Mediterranean.

MOROCCAN SOUK

The first scene is set in a souk in Morocco, where we see Sasha and newcomer Fletcher attempting to buy the primitive palm seed they believe is needed to create a cure for the Red Rust. Richly detailed, this souk was created in the mausoleum of the Angeles Abbey Memorial Park, a cemetery in Compton, Los Angeles. This Middle Eastern style structure is packed with history, having been built in 1923 by George Clegg, who had sent architects over to India and the Middle East for inspiration, instructing them to design something along the lines of the Taj Mahal for his mausoleum.

Its striking hybrid design, incorporating Moorish, Spanish and Byzantine architecture, is in stark contrast to the urban sprawl surrounding it, and it offers an oasis of calm in the heart of Compton.

It’s not the first time that the mausoleum has been used on screen, and not even the first time it has been used as a souk. JJ Abrams’ ALIAS used it on at least two occasions, using its exterior as an airport, and the interior as a souk. JAG has also utilised the Angeles Abbey Memorial Park as a prison and its courtroom.

GALLERY

The Angeles Abbey Memorial Park is situated at 1515 East Compton Ave, Compton, Los Angeles, CA 90221-3499. It is open to the public, but if you wish to visit, check the opening hours.

NAVAL BASE ROTA, SPAIN

Staying with the Nathan James and her crew for now, we next see them making a stop off at Base Naval de Rota, in southern Spain. The actual base in Rota is a sprawling community, built largely in a typical Spanish style: mostly single storey, whitewashed walls, red tile. Finding somewhere in the 30 Mile Zone to suit, given the area’s Spanish influence, didn’t appear to pose a problem for the show’s location scouts.

King Gillette Ranch, out on Mulholland Highway in Calabasas, made an admirable stand in for the naval base, with its low rise white structures with red tiled roofing being the perfect replacement for the base itself. The buildings were designed by renowned California architect Wallace Neff, for the razor magnate King C. Gillette. Sold after his death to Clarence Brown, the MGM film director, it then passed to Bob Hope, who donated it to the Claretion Order of the Catholic Church, which opened a seminary in the grounds. The Ranch passed through various hands in the 1970s and 1980s, before being jointly purchased by Β the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, National Park Service, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and California State Parks who then made it available for public use. As well as doubling for Rota, the mansion is also seen on screen as the mansion on The Biggest Loser. The Ranch is a designated area of parkland, having its own visitor center, and as such, is open to the public.

King Gillette Ranch is found at 26800 West Mulholland Highway.

GIBRALTAR

From there, the Nathan James journeys east through the Strait of Gibraltar, where they are fired upon, and Vulture Team heads ashore to try to find the source of the attack. We see two specific scenarios here: firstly, Danny Green, Eric Miller and Sasha Cooper rise up out of the water in a cave in the Rock of Gibraltar. This was actually filmed in an infinity pool at Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyard. With some careful lighting, it served well as a cave. More of that location later, however.

INSIDE THE ROCK

The second scenario sees Vulture and Cobra Teams, including Green, Miller, Sasha, Wolf, Carlton Burk and Azima Kandie, stalking through caves in the Rock of Gibraltar, trying to find and disable the weapon that was firing on the ship. Think these caves look familiar? Well, that’s hardly surprising, given that these scenes were filmed at Bronson Canyon and Caves in Griffith Park. These man made caves are iconic, and best known for being used as the Batcave in the original 1960s BATMAN series, starring Adam West. Other notable movies and TV shows to have filmed in the canyon, if not the caves themselves, are STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY, ARMY OF DARKNESS, TWIN PEAKS and all of the STAR TREK franchise series.

BTS of filming – regram @ClaireWeisss

Griffith Park is open to the public, and the entrance nearest the caves is found at 3200 Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068.

ALEX’S BOAT

While the Nathan James has been travelling the western Mediterranean, Tom Chandler has made himself a home away from home on a little Greek island, and is quietly living out his days with his partner, Cali, and his children. When we first see Chandler, he is landing fish with Alex, who appears to be something of a father figure to him. The boat used is an actual commercial fishing vessel built in 1958, and based in San Pedro. It is not accessible to the public.

GREEK FISHING VILLAGE

The little beachside village is, in fact, a custom built set that was created on Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, just a stone’s throw from where the crew made their base camp. None of the set remains in situ, although the beach itself is publicly accessible. This is also where we see Giorgio greet Chandler for the first time in “Pillars of Hercules”.

ALEX’S RESTAURANT

As well as the scenes in the village and on the beach, we also see Chandler and his children sharing a meal with Alex, Yaya, and Cali, Chandler’s partner. This rustic haven is the epitome of simple Greek life, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth! The luxurious Cielo Farms in Malibu, a vineyard founded in 1998, plays host to this location, with their barn taking centre stage, and providing the perfect rustic look. The entire property was built in a traditional Tuscan style, and it looks so authentic that you would believe you were in the Mediterranean. While Cielo Farms isn’t open to the public, you can book it for weddings and special events. You can even join its wine club!

GIORGIO’S MANSION

Last but not least, we see Chandler taken to the home of Giorgio, the region’s playboy turned gangster, who holds fights for the entertainment of the masses. Chandler agrees to consider fighting for him, in order for his family to be fed. This opulent mansion is actually Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards, and is known as the “Rockstar Estate”. Complete with its own infinity pool, which we saw used as the underwater cave earlier in the episode, the vineyard was founded in 2003. The main house is Tuscan in style, and has breathtaking views over the Santa Monica Mountains. With its own helicopter pad, private driveway, and 37 acres of land, this flourishing winery has to be one of the most luxurious properties ever used for filming by THE LAST SHIP. The property has featured in a number of other productions, perhaps most notoriously in KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS.

Visits to the vineyard are by appointment only, although the venue is available for weddings and special events.

GALLERY

So there we have it, all the important locations from the season four premiere episodes. Look out for more location pieces as the season unfolds.


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