Tom Chandler (The Last Ship)

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Tom Chandler
The Last Ship character
Eric Dane March 2015.jpg
Tom Chandler (Eric Dane)
First appearance"Phase Six"
June 22, 2014
Created by Hank Steinberg
Steve Kane
William Brinkley (novel)
Portrayed by Eric Dane
In-universe information
Full nameThomas William Chandler
TitleCommanding Officer, USS Nathan James (DDG-151) (Seasons 1-2)
Chief of Naval Operations (Season 3)
Fisherman (Season 4)
Navy Captain (Season 4)
Admiral/Instructor, United States Naval Academy (Season 5)
OccupationUS Navy officer
Ship captain
FamilyJed Chandler† (father)
Unnamed mother
Unnamed brother
Unnamed sister
SpouseDarien Chandler † (wife)
Significant otherSasha Cooper
ChildrenAshley Chandler
Sam Chandler
RelativesUnnamed sister-in-law†
Military career
Service/branch United States Navy
Service year(s)1990s–2014, 2015, 2018-present
Rank US Navy O10 infobox.svg Admiral
Commands heldUSS Nathan James (DDG-151) (2014–2015)
Chief of Naval Operations (2014)
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Purple Heart (2)
Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3)
Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4)

Thomas William Chandler is a fictional character and the protagonist of the cable network TNT post-apocalyptic drama TV series The Last Ship . He is portrayed by Eric Dane. [1] [2]



The son of United States Army veteran Jed Chandler (Bill Smitrovich), Tom Chandler was born on December 9 and raised in Virginia along with a brother and a sister. As a young man, Tom joined the United States Navy to spite his father, an army officer. [3] [4]

At an unknown point in time, he married a woman named Darien (Tracy Middendorf). They have a daughter, Ashley (Grace Kaufman), and a son, Sam (Aidan Sussman), and reside in Norfolk, Virginia, where his ship is homeported.

He speaks and reads fluent Russian, and has a book written by Admiral Konstantin Nikolajewitsch Ruskov (Ravil Isyanov) in his personal collection. [5]


Chandler's naval career began in the 1990s upon his graduation from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

As a lieutenant, junior grade, Chandler served on USS Pinckney after completing a tour of duty in Iraq. The Pinckney's captain promoted him to full lieutenant; years later, Chandler gave his Lieutenant's bars to Lieutenant Alisha Granderson during her promotion ceremony. [6]

By June 2013, Chandler held the rank of Commander in the United States Navy and was the Captain of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Nathan James (DDG-151). That year, he and his crew took on paleomicrobiologists Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra) and Dr. Quincy Tophet (Sam Spruell) as the Nathan James conducted operations at the Arctic. However, their mission, unknown to even them, was just a cover for Drs. Scott and Tophet, who were actually collecting samples of a deadly virus that has infected 80 percent of the human population while they have been at sea. [7]

The first season revolves around finding and creating a cure for the virus (called the Red Flu by those on land) while staying ahead of the RFS Vyerni, a Russian Navy Kirov-class battlecruiser commanded by Admiral Konstantin Ruskov, who were looking for the cure for themselves so they could become the new "owners" of the world. During a rescue operation undertaken near Jamaica, CDR Chandler and Tex Nolan (John Pyper-Ferguson), the private security/military contractor who joined the Nathan James at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, were lost at sea and then taken captive by Admiral Ruskov. [3] The two of them were rescued by the Nathan James, and upon their escape, detonated a set of explosives left by the boarding party that ultimately sunk the Vyerni with all hands (save for Niels Sørensen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), a Norwegian scientist held prisoner by Ruskov). [8]

With the Russians defeated and a cure synthesized, the Nathan James makes port in Baltimore, Maryland, where they meet up with Amy Granderson (Alfre Woodard), the Vice Chair of the President's Defense Policy Board and mother of one of Chandler's officers, who claims to be the leader of what's left of the United States government. As Chandler frantically searches for his family (who have traveled to Baltimore from Virginia to meet him), he learns that Granderson and her rogue Maryland State Troopers are killing the people infected with the virus and burning their bodies to power the city, intent that only the "proper" people survive to aid humanity. CDR Chandler finds his dad and his children and is able to cure them, but is too late to save his wife, who had succumbed to the virus just before he arrived. [9]

With the Nathan James under siege by Granderson's people, CDR Chandler and his few landlocked crewmembers take the fight to Granderson, teaming up with the underground resistance against Granderson led by Andrew Thorwald (Titus Welliver), a former Baltimore Police Department officer. Together, they were able to stop her, but Thorwald was killed in the attempt, and Granderson chose to commit suicide rather than be arrested by Chandler. [10] [11]

After liberating Baltimore, the ship returns home to Norfolk, where they cure the town and reunite with several teams of Navy pilots and SEALs and scattered remnants of other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and civilian medical and scientific experts. Although CDR Chandler planned to retire in order to take care of his family, his father convinced him that his place was on the Nathan James. [6]

CDR Chandler and the Nathan James's next opponents are a group of natural Immunes led by former Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Sean Ramsey (Brían F. O'Byrne), who have taken command of the Astute-class submarine HMS Achilles. The Immunes have also brainwashed the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Jeffrey Michener (Mark Moses), who is the sole surviving member of the Cabinet of the United States and Presidential Line of Succession.

After the defeat of the Immunes and the successful creation of the "contagious cure" by Dr. Scott, the Nathan James is put into drydock in St. Louis, Missouri, where Michener is sworn in as President of the United States by a surviving judge on December 23, 2013. One of Michener's first inaugural acts as president is to promote CDR Chandler to the position of Chief of Naval Operations. [12]

As Chief of Naval Operations, Chandler holds the rank of Captain, having turned down a promotion to Admiral, saying that "[Captain] suits him better"; it was also mentioned that as there was no current United States Secretary of Defense, CAPT Chandler serves as President Michener's de facto military commander. [4] He retook command of the Nathan James in "Shanzhai" after the capture of CAPT Mike Slattery and six members of his crew and names LT Granderson acting Executive Officer over LT Cameron Burk, a senior lieutenant who held the conn while CAPT Slattery was off-ship. [13] Upon the rescue of the prisoners of war in "Dog Day", CAPT Chandler returns command of the ship to CAPT Slattery.

Upon completing his mission to prevent Chief of Staff Allison Shaw (Elisabeth Röhm) and the regional leaders from dissolving the United States, CAPT Chandler, haunted by the loss of his crew since the outbreak of the virus, Rachel, his wife, President Michener, his father (who was killed when Shaw kidnapped his children), and Tex (who gave his life in the final showdown with Shaw), resigned his commission. [14]

16 months after leaving the Navy, Tom and his family had relocated to Greece, where he worked as a fisherman. [15] There, he crossed paths with Giorgio Vellek (Jackson Rathbone), a Greek-American crime lord, his sister Lucia (Sibylla Deen) (whom he romances for information) and eventually reunites with the crew of the Nathan James. [16] Tom decided to rejoin the Navy and help resolve the Red Rust crisis. By the episode "Casus Belli", Tom had been promoted to Admiral and was teaching at the Naval Academy instead of serving on active duty. [17]

As an admiral in the United States Navy, Chandler carries a Beretta M9 in 9×19mm as his personal sidearm; he also frequently uses the M4A1 carbine in 5.56×45mm. Over the course of the series, ADM Chandler has killed numerous times in the line of duty.

Awards and decorations

The following are the medals and service awards fictionally worn by ADM Chandler.

Personal decorations
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Defense Distinguished Service ribbon.svg
Defense Distinguished Service Medal, w/1 bronze oak leaf cluster (2nd award)
Navy Distinguished Service ribbon.svg Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg Legion of Merit
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star
1 golden star.svg
Purple Heart ribbon.svg
Purple Heart, w/1 gold award star (2nd award)
1 golden star.svg
Meritorious Service ribbon.svg
Meritorious Service Medal, w/1 gold award star (2nd award)
Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg Joint Service Commendation Medal
1 golden star.svg
1 golden star.svg
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation ribbon.svg
Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal, w/2 gold award stars (3rd award)
1 golden star.svg
1 golden star.svg
1 golden star.svg
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement ribbon.svg
Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal, w/3 gold award stars (4th award)
Unit awards
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg
Navy Unit Commendation, w/2 bronze service stars (3rd award)
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Battle Effectiveness Award ribbon, 3rd award.svg Navy “E” Ribbon w/3 “E” devices (3rd award)
Service awards
United States Navy Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg
Navy Good Conduct Medal, w/3 bronze service stars (4th award)
Navy Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg Navy Expeditionary Medal
Campaign and service medals
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
National Defense Service Medal, w/1 bronze service star (2nd award)
Iraq Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Humanitarian Service ribbon.svg Humanitarian Service Medal
Service and training awards
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.svg
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, w/4 bronze service stars (5th award)
Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon.svg
Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, w/4 bronze service stars (5th award)
Marksmanship awards
United States Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with expert device.svg Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
United States Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with expert device.svg Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
Other accoutrements
Surface Warfare Officer Insignia.png Surface Warfare insignia
Navy CaS.png Command at Sea insignia (in the post-completion position)

The Last Ship (novel)

Chandler is loosely based on the captain, "Thomas" (whose full name is never revealed), of the United States Navy guided missile destroyer USS Nathan James (DDG-80) in the 1988 post-apocalyptic fiction novel, The Last Ship, written by William Brinkley. [18]

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  1. Berkshire, Geoff (October 10, 2012). "Eric Dane's 'Grey's Anatomy' rebound: Starring in Michael Bay's TNT pilot 'The Last Ship'". Zap2it . Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  2. Ausiello, Michael (October 10, 2012). "Pilot Scoop: Grey's Anatomy's Eric Dane to Captain TNT Action Drama The Last Ship". TVLine . Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  3. 1 2 "SOS". The Last Ship. Season 1. Episode 7. August 3, 2014.
  4. 1 2 "The Scott Effect". The Last Ship. Season 3. Episode 1. June 19, 2016.
  5. "Dead Reckoning". The Last Ship. Season 1. Episode 3. July 6, 2014.
  6. 1 2 "It's Not a Rumor". The Last Ship. Season 2. Episode 3. June 28, 2015.
  7. "Phase Six". The Last Ship. Season 1. Episode 1. June 22, 2014.
  8. "Two Sailors Walk into a Bar". The Last Ship. Season 1. Episode 8. August 10, 2014.
  9. "No Place Like Home". The Last Ship. Season 1. Episode 10. August 24, 2014.
  10. "Unreal City". The Last Ship. Season 2. Episode 1. June 21, 2015.
  11. "Fight the Ship". The Last Ship. Season 2. Episode 2. June 21, 2015.
  12. "A More Perfect Union". The Last Ship. Season 2. Episode 13. September 6, 2015.
  13. "Shanzhai". The Last Ship. Season 3. Episode 3. June 26, 2016.
  14. "Don't Look Back". The Last Ship. Season 3. Episode 13. September 11, 2016.
  15. "In Medias Res". The Last Ship. Season 4. Episode 1. August 20, 2017.
  16. "Bread and Circuses". The Last Ship. Season 4. Episode 3. August 27, 2017.
  17. "Casus Belli". The Last Ship. Season 5. Episode 1. September 9, 2018.
  18. Brinkley, William (March 1988). The Last Ship. Viking Press (hardcover). ISBN   0-670-80981-0.