TNT’s “The Last Ship” features Captain Tom Chandler who exhibits all the leadership and personality traits of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk.
Leaders rise in times of crisis. Captain Kirk’s role as the galaxy’s savior is well documented in the official logs of the U.S.S. Enterprise. But in another universe, Captain Tom Chandler and the crew of the U.S.S Nathan James have a couple of saves to their credit as well.
What is The Last Ship?
The first season of the show is based on the 1988 novel of the same title by William Brinkley. The premise: A global virus devastates the human race. The US Navy has enough sailors and crew to man one ship — a fictional guided missile cruiser — the U.S.S Nathan James (Arleigh Burke class). Captained by Tom Chandler, the Nathan James must not only discover a cure for the disease, but seek out and defeat the enemies behind the global pandemic.
By series end, Chandler’s name is known around the globe as the man who drove his crew against overwhelming odds to save humanity.
5 Ways Tom Chandler is the new Captain Kirk
1. Good Looks:
Eric Dane, who plays Chandler, offers all the rugged good looks of William Shatner. Great jawline, fantastic ability to cast a tense look and unafraid to rip off his shirt and do some battle.
Chandler preps for battle in latest season of The Last Ship:
Kirk’s rumble in Gamesters of Triskelion:
2. Trusty First Officer:
Kirk has Spock. Chandler drew Slattery. The friendship, deep respect and ability to work through problems on a conjoined intellectual level fuel the relationships for both captains.
3. Gambler’s Heart:
In Corbomite Maneuver, Kirk bangs heads with the mysterious Balok (“commander of the Faserius”) and utters a great line spawning many a poker game in TNG: “Not chess, Mr. Spock, poker.”
(The conversation between Kirk and Spock prior to the poker reference. It gets Kirk thinking along the lines of game theory. BTW, the lighting here is spectacular as well as the tension and un-easy, early relationship between a newly-minted captain and his alien first officer).
In The Last Ship, Chandler doesn’t mind slim odds or unexpected tactics.
4. Hits with the Ladies:
Kirk never married. Chandler lost his wife to the plague and his children remain behind with his father. The loss of his wife fuels anger and guilt; driving Chandler to dispense justice. The anger also serves as a weakness.
But time heals all wounds and over time Chandler becomes comfortable with several love interests. Including Dr. Rachel Scott and Sasha Cooper, a bad-ass intelligence operator who speaks fluent Chinese. There’s a bunch of other woman who flit in and out of his life.
Kirk’s history of women can only compare with former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter — it’s upheld as the gold standard among space-faring sailors.
5. Get Stuff Done
In the end, results matter. Whether you’re defeating a giant space virus that devours worlds and starships or stopping one that makes you bleed out of every orifice in your body, Kirk and Chandler deliver results.
These types of characters, as corny or as improbable as the plots may be, serve as self-reflective examples for all of us.
How can we be effective in our day to day?
How can we set an example for our families, friends, co-workers?
How can we maintain a standard of excellence and quality?