THE crew of a naval ship is faced with a seemingly impossible task in the new sci-fi drama The Last Ship.
The series, executive produced by action director Michael Bay, is set in a world where a global pandemic has wiped out 80 per cent of the world's population.
The crew of a lone naval destroyer, captained by Commander Tom Chandler (Eric Dane), spent four months unaware of the unfolding disaster during a secret mission in the Arctic.
The real reason for the Arctic voyage, Chandler discovers, is for virologist Rachel Scott, played by Boston Legal and Nip/Tuck star Rhona Mitra, to find the origins of the virus in the hope of developing a cure to the rapidly mutating strain.
He and his crew also come to the realisation they might not have homes to go back to.
"At the beginning of our show two very different worlds are coming together," Mitra says.
"Captain Chandler is at the helm and is daddy to this very regimented, careful, cared for environment and Rachel Scott is slightly feral, lives out in the field and doesn't really have a home.
"He's very linear and she's very 'I do things my way'.
"I don't know if it's necessarily a bad start. It's the head tweaking of this unruly force that could potentially come in and rock the boat, which she does."
Dr Scott and the crew of the USS Nathan James must make their way back to the mainland US to find a lab where she can develop a cure, but hostile rogue forces, dwindling supplies and a nuclear explosion hamper their efforts.
Mitra was impressed by the show's realistic, if dark, story. The sacrifices and efforts of Dr Scott and the crew of the James are the light of hope in the frightening scenario.
"The script doesn't feel as far-fetched as it used to when I used to watch movies about the apocalypse or post-apocalyptic terrors," she says.
"It feels like this is tangible."
"It's scary because when you're engaging with the script and the subject matter and the language it doesn't feel like melodrama; it feels like a possibility."
The series also stars Adam Baldwin, Charles Parnell, Jocko Sims and Travis Van Winkle.
The Last Ship premieres on FX on Tuesday at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm NSW.