'The Last Ship's' Adam Baldwin: Death, destruction and the Navy

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There's a lot of death coming in "The Last Ship." A huge percentage of the Earth's population has been infected by a killer virus, and only one U.S. Navy ship has the key to a vaccine that could save the world. Adam Baldwin ("Chuck," "Firefly") plays the executive officer of that ship, Mike Slattery.

How can one ship save the world? Why is something like this so very engrossing? What is Baldwin's take on a possible catastrophe like this? Find out in Zap2it's interview with Baldwin.

With the stakes so high -- literally the fate of the human race -- how are a bunch of normal military sailors supposed to cope? Baldwin attributes their success to training and the structure of the Navy.

"The cool thing is that the structure within the Navy is such that there are rules and protocols in place that you have civil order maintained just by training," Baldwin says. "So how do you not let that break down with the crew onboard the ship, wanting to get back home, wanting to save their families, but also realizing that there is a higher purpose. Which is saving the world."

As the executive officer, Slattery is the near-equal of Captain Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) and is in-charge of much on the ship. But that doesn't mean he trusts everyone onboard. A big exception is Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra), a scientist working to create the much-needed vaccine.

"Can Slattery trust her? And how do we go about that? How does that relationship develop? That's a very interesting relationship too, how that goes forward," Baldwin explains.

Baldwin and the other actors didn't just use their imaginations in creating their Navy characters -- the pilot episode was actually filmed on an active Navy vessel. In describing that experience, Baldwin is almost overwhelmed at how impressive it was. "Those ships are -- let me just say, I'm glad they're on our side," he concludes.

While giving credit to the military characters of "The Last Ship," Baldwin thinks he might try to emulate them if this science-fiction were to become fact. "I guess I'm bit of a fatalist. I have faith in God, so I think that it's in his hands. But I would maintain the charge and the mission of the people that were directly under me at that time," the actor says. "So I would stay aboard to save the world. That's what I would do. Sorry honey! Sorry kids! That's my call. Don't tell my wife ..."

Hopefully she is OK with saving the world. Either way, world-saving is what happens when "The Last Ship" premieres Sunday, June 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT.

Photo/Video credit: TNT