Fall TV Pilot Preview: ABC's 'Last Resort'

Last Resort Scott Speedman Andre Braugher - H 2012

Last Resort Scott Speedman Andre Braugher - H 2012

The Shield's Shawn Ryan is back at it with an ambitious new ABC drama Last Resort after two short-lived television shows (The Chicago Code, Terriers).

The premise of the show is rather complex: Last Resort centers on the crew of a U.S. nuclear submarine (led by Andre Braugher) who, after ignoring an order to fire nuclear missiles, wind up being hunted and escape to a NATO outpost where they declare themselves to be the world's smallest nuclear nation.

But the hourlong series, which caters to the male audience moreso than, say, its lead-out Grey's Anatomy, will face an uphill climb. Its time slot -- Thursdays at 8 p.m. -- hasn't been kind to rookie fare -- Charlie's Angels and Missing were the most recent casualties.

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The Hollywood Reporter screened the pilot for the drama and as part of our Fall Preview 2012 offer the five things you need to know about the series before its fall launch.

1. There's something for everyone: government secrets, a rescue mission, an island standoff, a screw-up who has a drinking problem, family strife, tension among co-workers and a young couple in limbo. Because of that there is a good number of characters to keep track of on the show.

2. After playing Ben on the WB's Felicity from 1998-2002, Scott Speedman has steered clear of television, taking on roles in movies like the Underworld franchise, xXx: State of the Union and Barney's Version. On Last Resort, Speedman portrays Sam, described as the heart of the submarine and struggles with leaving his wife (Jessy Schram) behind (a photo is all he has). In fact, one of the most heartbreaking moments comes near the end of the episode.

3. It's not only Speedman who should be familiar to audiences. Men of a Certain Age's Braugher is going from a (darker) ensemble comedy about men in their 40s to heading up a thriller. Schram, who plays Sam's wife Christine, is juggling several gigs (Falling Skies and Once Upon a Time). For the Gleeks out there, Max Adler (aka Dave Karofsky) makes an appearance but his fate might not be so great. Being Human/Dollhouse's Dichen Lachman also stars along with Robert Patrick and Autumn Reeser.

4. The first episode doesn't waste any time, throwing viewers into the action from the first second. It's go, go, go from that moment until the end, when we find our heroes on an island and no real way to get out safely (or without getting blown up).

5. The writers have already been plotting future episodes, updating the Twitterverse on exactly what's been going on behind closed doors. As of late, Ryan, co-creator Karl Gajdusek and company met with key cast members like Braugher, Speedman, Patrick and Schram, and had lengthy discussions about their characters and storylines. (Filming begins July 30.) The most interesting tidbit came from Patrick -- and it has nothing to do with Last Resort: "His role in Terminator 2 was supposed to be played by Billy Idol until Billy had motorcycle crash."

What are you most excited about?

Watch the trailer below:

Last Resort will air 8 p.m. Thursdays.