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Interview with Last Resort Co-Creator Shawn Ryan

Shawn Ryan Andre Braugher Last Resort ABC

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#1 QueenTiye


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Posted 15 September 2012 - 09:05 AM


Opening paragraph shows Mr. Ryan to typically produce shows I don't watch...


Over the last decade, Shawn Ryan has created one of the greatest dramas in TV history with "The Shield," done strong work running "The Unit" and "Lie to Me," produced the brilliant-but-canceled "Terriers" and created the uneven but promising "The Chicago Code," which was just starting to get good when FOX canceled it.

Yikes! :)  But for all of that - "Last Resort" has my interest - besides starring Andre Brauer, who is just BRILLIANT in almost anything he's in, the show has a "world-building" feel to it, that tends to appeal to me.


"Nuclear sub": with those two words, you could basically go anywhere. How did you get from that to Marcus declaring his own sovereign nation on this small island?

Shawn Ryan: We had the ending before we had a lot of the middle, I would say. We knew we wanted to end up in that place of a George Washington/Colonel Kurtz, and then it was all in the details of how do we arrive there, what is that place and then you have all kinds of production considerations too. We didn't know for a long time where we would film it. Puerto Rico was discussed, South Africa, Australia; Hawaii [was] obviously where we ended up. So that affected things a little bit as well.

KURTZ!  OK, here on Ex Isle, we seem to be having a love affair with Kurtz, what with the rampant speculation that the next Trek movie (unfortunately titled "Star Trek Into Darkness") might be an adaptation of the Conrad novel, "Heart of Darkness."  So that one reference ought to perk up some ears! :) But, to be honest, I'm not sure I want to see Andre Braugher as Kurtz for this show.  I like the George Washington comparision, certainly.  But I'm surprised at how I've already formed an idea that Braugher is a good guy and not a Kurtz.  Maybe I'm being hard on Kurtz. :)


You have this mystery premise about who sent the order and what happened to the SEAL team that's on board the sub. How does the show continue if and when that is resolved?

Shawn Ryan: There are two mysteries in our show, but our show is not based on a mystery. I can't say ultra definitively because we're just through episode seven, but I believe that both those "mysteries" will be revealed within the first 13 episodes but this is a show about complications and the situations that they find themselves in. The complications that they find themselves in won't necessarily disappear with the revelations of those mysteries.

Oooo...  that's good, because I hate for shows to drag on a mystery just to drag on a mystery.  I am relieved to hear that the show ISN"T a whodunit but a drama - a world for our characters to play in.

There's a lot more here, AND, the full episode is at the end of the episode.  Check it out!


Een Draght Mackt Maght

#2 QueenTiye


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Posted 15 September 2012 - 10:01 AM

Oh yeah - I HAVE to include this quote from the interview:


When is the smoke monster coming?

Shawn Ryan: And that's probably a season four thing and that's when you'll know that there weren't enough stories for this show when we go the mystical route.



Een Draght Mackt Maght

#3 Cardie


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Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:53 AM

When I watched the pilot, I immediately wondered whether Chaplin (the Braugher character) might turn into a Kurtz-figure. He wants to create his own, new society that will cast off the ills besetting the US in the show. But plenty of people already live on that island, a sovereign nation. Some of his crew want to go home. So a man with a utopian plan can easily become a demagoguing colonialist.  Which is part of the point. (Chaplin reminds me of Commander Taylor in Terra Nova.)

I appreciated that the pilot doesn't have lots of exposition so that we will have to piece together exactly what's going on at home, yet it doesn't seem that things will be mysterious and inexplicable for their own sake and for the long term.
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#4 offworlder


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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:04 PM

I sure have not seen everything, movies , shows, on all the facets, I m not a widely, prolific viewer, no cashola for all the SAT and cable and stream et al- but I do enjoy the quandary issues  sometimes out there, handful of shows, movies, where the whole loyalty in autonomous case is explored, ie: Kurtz in the far bush, also Farewell King, nick Nolte, self styled king-god in the Solomon islands against Japanese; marooned ship off, lost, forgotten; do you follow some moral or follow the chief? esp if you fear or worship him?
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#5 Virgil Vox

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 04:39 PM

I'm glad to see that they are going to answer any mysteries pretty early on. I hate shows that stretch out mysteries for as long as possible because then the answers are never satisfactory.
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#6 G-man


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 09:58 AM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 18 September 2012 - 04:39 PM, said:

I'm glad to see that they are going to answer any mysteries pretty early on. I hate shows that stretch out mysteries for as long as possible because then the answers are never satisfactory.

That's probably because most show-runners don't know the answers when they first present and then flesh out the mystery.  They're pretty much making it up as they go along, and if they believe that the on-going mystery angle is what keeps viewers returning they'll continue to stretch it out to ludicrous extremes.  This of course means that more and more questions pile up, and the mystery becomes all that much more difficult to resolve satisfactorily.


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#7 BklnScott


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:20 AM

I don't think the show is considered a mystery by Ryan and Gajdusek.  It's a thriller, which relies more on suspense than surprise.  Just because we will find out how the Colorado ended up receiving an authenticated order to fire its missiles at Pakistan -- over the less secure backup network -- doesn't mean they will get to go home, or that the status quo set up at the end of the pilot will fizzle.  (Or that whatever faction in DC that gave the order will lose power.)

As I said in the other thread, I expect Marcus will have to forge some interesting alliances to keep himself and his crew (and the citizens of the island for whose lives he is now responsible) alive.  Maybe even with the Russians...


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#8 Orpheus


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Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:44 PM

I hope you're right about the alliances. That's been the core of every plausible or interesting longterm scenario I've been able to come up with since I heard the premise. I'd consider it the Only Right Direction, but TV series usually make a fool of my logic.

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