Will "Last Resort" outlast the visual fireworks?

Andre Braugher, right, and other cast members in a scene from "Last Resort." ABC Photo

(CBS News) Aimed at viewers who cut their teeth on the "Bourne" and "Mission Impossible" movie franchises, ABC's "Last Resort" delivered an hour's worth of thrills to TV audiences Wednesday night.

But the question remains: Can this level of excitement be sustained through an entire TV season and beyond?

In the premiere, Andre Braugher plays Captain Marcus Chaplin, commander of a submarine that has been ordered to launch nuclear weapons at Pakistan. While the order appears to be legitimate, it comes through a secondary channel supposedly used only when the primary channel has been destroyed.

When Chaplin seeks confirmation, he is relieved of command and his deputy, Executive Officer Sam Kendal (played by Scott Speedman), is put in charge. When Kendal also questions the order, the submarine becomes the target of friendly fire. Scenes of mayhem ensue as the crew seeks refuge at an abandoned NATO station on a Pacific island.

When two bombers appear headed toward them, Chaplin launches a missile toward Washington and demands that the bombers be turned back. They are, and as the episode ends, the missile is detonated harmlessly in the middle of the ocean.

The heart of the story, of course, is Braugher and the way his character commands the crew and stands up to Washington. The generally favorable reviews for this show all mention the skill and intensity Braugher brings to his military character.

Braugher's background is impressive, starting with his Emmy-winning breakout role on "Homicide: Life in the Streets" and continuing through stints on "Gideon's Crossing" (an Emmy nomination), the miniseries "Thief" (another Emmy), and the just-ended "Men of a Certain Age" (an Emmy nomination).

If anyone can keep audiences watching, even when the fireworks disappear, it's Braugher.

Tell us: Did you watch the "Last Resort" premiere? What did you think of it?

  • Mary-Jayne McKay

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