The Final Countdown: Steven Kane whets our appetites for what promises to be the best season yet.

Ever since filming began for season five of THE LAST SHIP, showrunner Steven Kane has been promising us the best season yet. If the promos we’ve been treated to are anything to go by, he’s not wrong! Cyber warfare, explosions, and more action than you can shake a stick at seem to indicate that season five is definitely indicating that the show is determined to go out with a bang, not a whimper.

Steve recently took the time to answer a few questions for us, and here’s a little taster of what’s to come in season five (spoiler free).

TheLastShip.TV: So you’ve been promising fans that season five is the best season yet. What do fans have in store for them on your final tour of duty?

Steven Kane: “Season 5 brings together everything the crew of Nathan James has been dealing with and tests them like never before. It’s a culmination and shows the growth, and the damage, in each of our characters’ lives. They started out as just a regular navy crew. Then suddenly they were thrust into the most important mission — saving the world. With no time to enjoy their success, they found themselves at the center of every major disaster that came after the Red Flu. In a way, they were the most qualified to handle it, but it takes its toll on each of them, especially Chandler, who wants to leave warfighting behind.”

TLSTV: The crew of the Nathan James have been on quite a journey in the last few years. Was war always going to be the final chapter, or has the plot changed course along the way?

SK: “We always planned on 5 seasons, and even at the outset, I didn’t want to spend those five years looking for a cure. I wanted to explore life during the pandemic, and also life AFTER the pandemic. To explore how societies react to cataclysms and how they step up (or don’t step up) during the rebuilding phase, how they organize themselves, how they regain their humanity after having been forced to fight for it. The plot itself was always fluid and not programmed from the start. But the themes were planned in advance, and they were our guide.”

TLSTV: Some of the behind the scenes photos we’ve seen on social media have been incredible! Can you tell us about some of the amazing practical effects we’re going to be seeing?

SK: “The audience has gotten used to big splashy action sequences. In the pilot episode, we set the bar high by having Michael Bay direct the action sequence in the Arctic. And we never stop trying to top ourselves. Season 5 is about a world war, so the stakes and the scale are larger than ever. We really pushed ourselves to show the realities of war, but we also went small in some episodes, showing the “war at home” and the “war inside ourselves”. So it’s a nice balance between giant war epic and small chamber pieces. Ultimately, you can blow everything up and make it look cool, but if it’s not about the characters, then it’s just fireworks. We never forgot that.”

TLSTV: The promos have shown us war on two fronts – cyber warfare and what looks like a more “traditional” war raging. What inspired you to create this two-pronged approach?

SK: “Actually, it was a note from the network that inspired us. They wanted somehow to keep the idea of the ‘virus’ alive in Season 5. And we said, ‘how about a computer virus?’ These days, with all the hacking and talk of cyber warfare, it’s a pretty timely idea. But it really came from wanting to honor the show’s origins – viruses. We consulted with a cyber security expert who gave us a realistic and scary scenario for how to get hacked. But the cyber virus was also crucial to helping us achieve another goal: I wanted to tell a world war story, but without all the fancy high-tech weapons and technology we have today. I wanted it to feel like we were fighting World War II. No satellites or guided missiles, no easy communications and advanced war jets. The virus sends the country back to the 1940s, using push pins and paper maps, shortwave radio and primitive codes, etc. And that idea permeates the show. You’ll hear it in some of the soundtrack we use, and in the film the crew watches on a very intense night, and you’ll see it in the way the high tech war room is transformed into something Churchill and Eisenhower would have recognized.”

TLSTV: This season, we see the Marines in action for the first time. Was the collaboration with the USMC as close as the relationship you’ve enjoyed with the US Navy?

SK: “We were fortunate to have the USMC come aboard this season. And it was an amazing partnership. I learned a lot about their culture and am proud to call a few of them my friends. They pulled out all the stops, giving us access to live training exercises, as well as access to their facilities and equipment, and their personnel. I think we had over a hundred marines on camera in our season finale.”

TLSTV: What was it like working at Camp Pendleton? How did it compare to working on the ships in San Diego?

SK: “We always love working on the Navy ships, but Camp Pendleton was an amazing experience. We spent a day shooting a live exercise. And I got the chance to take an LCAC – a giant hovercraft – from the beach and into the back of a giant amphibious carrier, where I spent more time with Marines and sailors, watching flight operations, etc, before hovercrafting back to the beach. Much of that footage is in the show. Then five months later, I directed our finale at Camp Pendleton, where we recreated much of what we’d seen before, this time with our cast and a host of real Marines serving as background and technical advisors. It was an amazing experience.”

Last day of filming on Season 5 – From Steven Kane’s twitter: @MrStevenKane

TLSTV: Can you tell us about the experience of both writing and directing the show’s finale?

SK: “Having a show run for five seasons, and being able to craft the proper ending was a great fortune for me. And directing the finale made it even more special. I was able to be with each member of the cast as they filmed their final scenes, and I was able to finish the story that we started when we first pitched it in January of 2011. On the very last take, I had trouble yelling ‘cut’ because I didn’t want it to end. There were a lot of tears.”

TLSTV: How did it feel to be saying goodbye to what has effectively been your baby for the last seven years?

SK: “I’m still adjusting. We finished the final mixes in February and it’s taken me a while just getting used to not being at the studio with all my friends and colleagues. This show was a huge part of my life and my development as an artist. Leaving it was hard, but it’s always with me as I move forward, so I have nothing but gratitude.”

We’ll be bringing you more exclusive content from THE LAST SHIP throughout the season – don’t miss it!