A Few Unanswered Questions

Steven Kane solves some of THE LAST SHIP fan’s unanswered questions.

Throughout the five seasons of THE LAST SHIP, there have been a number of questions which fans have wanted answers to. Well, hang onto your asses, as Tex might say – showrunner STEVEN KANE gave us answers to just some of the more pressing questions fans have had in the last five years, and a couple of other questions, that might not have been so obvious.

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TheLastShip.TV: What happened to Slattery’s family?

Steven Kane: Officially, Slattery never found out. But it’s safe to assume that they died in the Red Flu pandemic. Slattery spoke with his wife in the pilot, and learned of his son, Lucas’s, death. It’s likely that his wife and daughters already had the virus incubating inside them at the time, and they were the next to go. But we don’t know. Slattery tried tracking them down at the safe zone, found some of their belongings (note: the sweatshirt he finds at the safe zone comes back in his Nostos-fueled dreams in season 4, worn by one of his daughters), and left them the cure and a satellite radio at the house. It’s been a long time – if they were alive, I think they would have contacted him. Slattery’s story is like the story of so many red flu survivors, who have no idea how their families disappeared- they only can imagine how much they suffered before they died. This makes their Nathan James family that much more important.

TLS.TV: Who actually created the green powder in season three, that blocked the cure?

SK: Peng’s scientists were working on a cure and instead created this chemical that blocks Rachel’s cure. Peng weaponized it to eradicate the people of Asia so he could take over the entire region.

TLS.TV: We love the all-female helo crew! What happened to Kat Nolan?

SK: I could tell you a great story about Kat Nolan’s life after season 4, but the truth is that the talented Jade Chynoweth (who plays Kat) got another series and was unavailable to us! But we love what she brought to a character who was probably not meant to go beyond season 3 (Jade was just so good that we had to write more for Kat Nolan!)

TLS.TV: …and where is Bacon?

SK: Amen Igbinosun is another brilliant actor who came in to play a character for one or two episodes in season 1 and ended up staying with the show for 4 seasons. I believe this was Amen’s first TV role after graduating from Harvard. Bacon began as a guy from the galley who played chess with Quincy, and he ended up helping save the world several times over. But as the cast for season 5 expanded, we just could not service every story and character.

TLS.TV: We had the parallels with the Odyssey in season four, and repeated references to Moby Dick throughout the show’s run. Aside from the links with the original novel in seasons one and two, are there any other literary inspirations we might have missed?

SK: Probably. We had a thousand inspirations a day in the writers room. Sometimes it was an article from Proceedings magazine (a publication of the US Naval Institute), sometimes a book one of us was reading or a story we heard from a sailor. A riff on a great movie.  Sometimes a dream or a thought in the shower would get me excited to explore something in the room. Season 4 was fun because we had not only references to the original Odyssey, but to James Joyce’s version as well. Hence naming Vellek’s kids after Joyce’s real children: Giorgio and Lucia. And even naming the captain killed at Rota after “Blazes” Boylan, another character from Ulysses. So we had all kinds of fun. We also hid some little easter eggs inside the final act of the season finale.

TLS.TV: Up until the end of season three, we saw Chandler taking a traditional “hero’s journey”, and he has been likened to Captain Kirk from “Star Trek”. However, he walked away, which is not something we see from a typical hero. Tell us about how you developed Chandler, and why you veered away from what had been compared to a stereotypical hero’s journey.

SK: I’m not sure if we veered off, or just swerved. The hero’s journey as people talk about it (thanks to Joseph Campbell) usually begins with the hero denying the call to action. In our case, Chandler immediately accepts the call. It’s later, when he sees the effect it has on his life, that he starts to question the role. He says something like “I keep saving the world, and people keep breaking it again.” By end of season 3, he’s done. But then he finds it’s his destiny (in a season all about Greek heroes), and he’s called back into action. But by season 5, he’s the retired warrior who doesn’t know how to live without a war. He’s called back into action, but this time, he feels it’s because he’s meant to die. So yes, this is different than the typical hero’s journey in some ways. But having 56 episodes to watch the character evolve allowed us this freedom to tell his complete story. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell that story!

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Although the show may be all but over, this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing from Steven Kane. We’ll bring you more from Mr Kane over the weekend, with an in-depth look at the series finale.