HBO’s new breakout hit The Last of Us featured a subtle nod to New Bedford in the most recent episode.

Since it premiered on January 15, The Last of Us has drawn in record numbers for HBO and has already been green lit for a second season.

But what does that have to do with New Bedford?

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The show, which is based on the hugely successful video game of the same name, is about an outbreak of a fungal infection that sees society fall apart. Twenty years after the outbreak, the main characters are trying to make their way from the Boston Quarantine Zone out west. We’ll hold there to avoid any spoilers.

In the third episode, the show provides a backstory for one of the characters from the video game, the survivalist Bill. Following the outbreak, viewers see how Bill fortifies his home, visiting Home Depot and looting supplies, when the power goes out.

Bill then drives to the local power plant, busts down the gate, and gets his power running again. As he starts walking into the plant, you can plainly see “New Bedford Gas” as the name of the power company on the signage on the fence.

Now, they establish later in the episode that Bill lives in the town of Lincoln, Massachusetts, about 18 miles northwest from Boston. As we here on the SouthCoast know, New Bedford is about 60 miles south of Boston, and about 72 miles south of Lincoln, so it’s doubtful that Bill’s local gas and power company would be New Bedford Gas.

A nice nod, but the geography just doesn’t work out.

There was a New Bedford Gas and Edison Light Company in New Bedford for many, many years. However, by the time the outbreak happened in The Last of Us on September 26, 2003, that company would have already been under the NSTAR name.

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media

Interestingly enough, the episode with the New Bedford reference premiered on January 29, 2023 – just a few days after the power plant that was once home to New Bedford Gas and Edison Light Company was demolished to make way for the new Foss Marine Terminal.

The main characters are headed out of Massachusetts in the fourth episode, so likely that was the last of us being referenced on The Last of Us.

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