The Last Ship’s Final Season Will Leave Fans Stunned, Says Travis Van Winkle
The USS Nathan James has set sail for the final time in the fifth season of ‘The Last Ship‘. TNT in the US launched the concluding episodes of the post-apocalypse military drama earlier this month, having confirmed in May that the show would end after Season 5.
Over the past four years the crew of the Nathan James has saved the world from the Red Flu virus that decimated the human population, and the Red Rust, which threatened to condemn survivors to starvation. Season 5, which is expected to air in the UK later this year, finally sees them getting a break from devastating diseases. Instead they will be dealing with a different kind of virus that brings with it the biggest threat they have faced to world peace.
“I think Season 5 is our grittiest and most raw,” GeekTown is told by series regular Travis Van Winkle, who plays Navy SEAL Danny Green. “It really pushes us to our limits and tests us like we’ve never been tested before, and I think fans will be really stunned by it and be satisfied with how we wrap it up.”
Van Winkle has been in all five seasons of The Last Ship. His character has seen plenty of suffering and death as the Nathan James has sailed around a world plunged into chaos by the collapse of social order. At the beginning of Season 5 it seems like America, at least, is getting back on its feet. Yet, Danny and his crewmates don’t have long to enjoy this as they face a new conflict that could lead to World War Three.
“I feel like Season 5 is a meditation on war and why wars start,” Van Winkle explains. “This season you’ll see a lot of character-driven moments where a lot of our humanity has been taken away by war. You really see how each member of the surviving crew has evolved and changed and been deeply upset by all of the horrors that we have experienced. We are all tired of war and looking for peace, but destiny has other plans.”
The first episode of Season 5, ‘Casus Belli’, finds Danny as part of a team on an undercover mission. When events take an unexpected turn, though, the team members find themselves on the run. This leads to some dramatic escapes and at least one spectacular action scene for Danny that Van Winkle is particularly excited about.
“This was the coolest day I’ve ever had on set in my life,” he recalls. “I was really sore. I had a lot of bruises. I threw my body around. I was sliding almost on gravel. But at the end of the day I felt so content, like, wow, I get to do this for a living. Through these stories I get to do what real men and woman do in real life to protect our country and I get to do it in a way where I am not really going to get hurt. I was left feeling happy and proud that I was part of something special.”
Along with the thrills the actors experienced in Season 5, however, there was a sense of nostalgia, especially in the last week of filming as everyone knew they wouldn’t be re-enlisting for another season, Van Winkle explains.
“We were on location in San Diego, and we had to do some really epic battle scenes. The last episode of the series is big and that gave us a feeling of, ‘Wow, we’re getting to do this, and we’ve gotten to do this for five seasons’. There was a lot of love going around, a lot of appreciation, but also a lot of focus, like, ‘Hey, lets really end this series with a bang for our fans’.”
‘The Last Ship‘ airs on TNT in America on Sundays at 9/8 Central and comes to Sky One, Wednesday, 26 September 2018 at 9pm.
Mike Simpson is a British expat contributor based near Vancouver, Canada. He has a background as a professional scientist and is now an entertainment and technology journalist gleefully writing about sci-fi and other geek stuff.