Watch My Show: Last Resort's Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek Answer Our Showrunner Survey
Andre Braugher and Daisy Betts
In this age of ambiguous TV heroes, it's clear in ABC's new thriller Last Resort that Submarine Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and executive officer Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) — forced into exile after demanding confirmation of orders to fire their weapons — are the good guys. The show's real intrigue comes from trying to figure out who the bad guys are. Co-creators and executive producers Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Karl Gajdusek (Dead Like Me) answered our showrunner survey to explain why we should book a trip to the Last Resort (which launches Thursday, September 27, at 8/7c).
TV Guide Magazine: I've got room in my life to watch one more show. Why should it be yours?
Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek: It will be the show that all your friends are talking about and if you don't watch it, you'll be left out of the conversation. Because the show is a giant new swing, it's nothing like you've ever seen before on TV, and you should be curious to see if we can pull it off.
TV Guide Magazine: Who is the target audience?
Ryan and Gajdusek: It's a show for everyone. It's a geopolitical thriller. It's an action-romance. It's high stakes warfare. It's love in exotic places. It's conspiracies and murder. Did we miss anything?
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch?
Ryan and Gajdusek: You'll be fine; you just won't know what everyone is talking about.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Ryan and Gajdusek: Last Resort = Tom Clancy + the bastard stepchild of 24 and Lost + party on a submarine.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about Last Resort?
Ryan and Gajdusek: They knew they would entertained but didn't expect to be moved.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing?
Ryan and Gajdusek: That we're pro-war. We are making a show about warriors and we love these characters. But the show is about a world gone awry, not a celebration of conflict.
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Ryan and Gajdusek: Someone suggested Traitors: Season One, The Rebellion, which is the worst possible title for our show. Last Resort is a really great title. It is in fact a triple entendre.
TV Guide Magazine: How much of this is really just an excuse to take regular trips to the set Hawaii?
Ryan and Gajdusek: Hawaii is incredible, stunning, amazing, beautiful and the people are wonderful. That said, working there is just that: working. And making a show is a lot of work.
TV Guide Magazine: What would you have done if given the order to launch nukes?
Ryan and Gajdusek: This is actually really important to us. We've heard a lot of people saying that the premise of questioning the launch order in our pilot is liberal Hollywood balderdash. But we've spoken to several ex-commanders of nuclear submarines, who all insist that they too would have questioned such an order. There's a reason we have human beings in command of our boomers. If we wanted, they could all be remotely controlled, but we bank on the human element. That's a long way of saying we don't think we would have either.
TV Guide Magazine: If you weren't on this show, what series would you most like to work on?
Ryan and Gajdusek: Homeland or Girls.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it out of the writers' room.
Ryan and Gajdusek: A good number of major characters have been on the "maybe we should kill them" bubble. That's seldom a good idea. There was an idea of taking the whole crew and the submarine around the world to solve an unrelated crisis, but that seemed not really our show. We suspect we'll do it in Season Four.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."
Ryan and Gajdusek: "Action, drama, sweeping romantic epics, pasta."
TV Guide Magazine: Fall is brutal. Pick a rival show, any show, to start a fight with.
Ryan and Gajdusek: This is easy. [NBC's] Revolution has enough in common with us to merit a competition.
TV Guide Magazine: What series would you like to do a crossover episode with?
Ryan and Gajdusek: Girls. Might take a few seasons to pull off. The girls finally take a vacation, terrorism ensues. Maybe some cross-reality thing with Survivor. To be serious, we probably could pull something off with Scandal.
TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?
Ryan and Gajdusek: That's not really the ambition. The ambition is to tell huge, epic, emotional, thrilling stories. Maybe we'll bring back a kind of pure happiness in scope and scale of storytelling that perhaps has gotten a little small as of late.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell us something we don't know about Andre Braugher or Scott Speedman.
Ryan and Gajdusek: Andre and Scott are a little bit like that famous, but probably apocryphal, story about Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman. If you don't know, look it up.
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