Who knows what’s happening with CBS’ troubled Star Trek reboot series, Star Trek Discovery, what with it losing its showrunner and being delayed a few times, and still having no release date nailed down. Fortunately Fox have stepped into the breach with The Orville.

If by “stepping into the breach” I mean a sci-fi parody that mercilessly mocks everything about Star Trek. I can’t wait to see the (stupid) holodeck episodes. From the man who never sleeps, Seth MacFarlane (American Dad!, Family Guy, and many more), comes The Orville – a show that hasn’t seen a sci-fi trope it didn’t want to flip around on the audience and play for laughs.

The show’s official and incredibly detailed synopsis is as follows:

From Emmy Award-winning executive producer and creator Seth MacFarlane (FAMILY GUY, “Ted”) and directed by Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book,” “Iron Man”), THE ORVILLE is a one-hour science fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace…even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship.

In the 25th century, Earth is part of the Planetary Union, a far-reaching, advanced and mostly peaceful civilization with a fleet of 3,000 ships. Down on his luck after a bitter divorce, Planetary Union officer ED MERCER (MacFarlane) finally gets his chance to command one of these ships: the U.S.S. Orville. Determined to prove his worth and write a new chapter in his life, Ed finds that task all the more difficult when the First Officer assigned to his ship is his ex-wife, KELLY GRAYSON (Adrianne Palicki, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Friday Night Lights”).

As the new commander, Ed assembles a qualified, but eccentric crew, including his best friend, GORDON MALLOY (Scott Grimes, “ER,” “Justified”), who has problems with authority, but is the best helmsman in the fleet; DR. CLAIRE FINN (Penny Johnson Jerald, “24,” “The Larry Sanders Show”), one of the Union’s most accomplished physicians; BORTUS (Peter Macon, “Shameless,” “Bosch”), an alien from a single-sex species; ISAAC (Mark Jackson, “That Royal Today”), an artificial life-form from a machine society that thinks biological life-forms are inferior; navigator JOHN LAMARR (J. Lee, FAMILY GUY, “The Cleveland Show”), whose casual humor cuts through even the most dire situations; ALARA KITAN (Halston Sage, “Neighbors,” “Goosebumps”), a young, inexperienced security officer whose home planet’s high gravity gives her superior physical strength; and YAPHIT, a gelatinous creature voiced by comedian Norm Macdonald (“The Middle,” “Saturday Night Live”).

Somehow, Ed and Kelly must put the past behind them and, with the help of the crew, navigate fascinating and sometimes dangerous adventures in outer space, as well as the tumultuous and captivating day-to-day personal relationships with their colleagues.

While I appreciate MacFarlane’s work, I’m not the biggest fan of his style of humour which tends to be rather unsubtle and slapstick-ish – and that’s on full display here. However I think that style works very well in this case when compared to the source it’s trying to poke fun at, which can be quite staid at times. I chuckled aloud a few times while watching the above trailer, and that’s good enough for me to give this a try.

What do you think?

While there’s no exact date as yet, The Orville is due to being airing on Fox in the Fall, or for those of us in the Southern hemisphere, Spring.

Last Updated: May 16, 2017

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  • Original Heretic

    I really hope this isn’t too slapstick. Though, as Trev said, being MacFarlane, it’s very likely going to be. I’ll check this out, most assuredly. It may well be a sci-fi version of Krod Mandoon.

    When it comes to sci-fi comedy, though, the bar was set rather high when they did Galaxy Quest.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      KROD MANDOOOOOOOOOOON! I loved that so much.

      • Original Heretic

        This series already has a similar device, in the main character having to work with his ex.

        Damn, gotta say, it was such a shame that Krod and co didn’t get another season.

    • miaau

      Really? Galaxy quest? Really?

      Nah, I thought Spaceballs did it. Spaceballs even had George Lucas’s blessing AND he found it very funny.

      • Original Heretic

        Yes, Galaxy Quest! It was brilliant! Damn, it still IS brilliant (I rewatched it near the end of last year).
        Spaceballs is a great Star Wars spoof, yes, but it had those typical “spoofy”, over the top elements to it.

        Galaxy Quest was a LOT more subtle. It was an overt spoof of Star Trek, but you could see the inspiration they took from it.
        And Alan Rickman, ah man, he was just sublime in that (no shocker there).

        • miaau

          “And Alan Rickman, ah man, he was just sublime in that (no shocker there).”

          Ok, you have me there. I found Galaxy Quest, I dunno, annoying somehow. I hated the “character growth” they put Tim Allen through. Just, somehow, rubbed me up the very wrong way.

          Also, and this does not help, ALL my friends said we must watch it because it is the best thing since sliced cheese and all that. That never helps.

          ANYway: look up a book called Bimbos of the Death Sun. I have a hard copy. It is about Sci-fi Conventions in the States. Very cool book,

          • Original Heretic

            Okay, yeah, expecting too much when watching a comedy is never great. I recall watching it on the big screen with two lady friends who weren’t the biggest sci-fi fans. I had to talk them into watching it. And they laughed harder than I did during it.
            Granted, Tim Allen in that movie was NOT my favourite character. But you could see he was totally based on Shatner.

          • miaau

            Yes, true, they were melding the real life Shatner with the Captain character from Star Trek and all that.

          • Original Heretic

            “The Captain character”?!? Dammit man, he has a name!

          • Lu

            Yes. Jean Luc Picard!

          • Original Heretic

            I see your attempt at humour. And I have noted that it is just that: an attempt.
            Success has eluded you….

          • Lu

            I read that in Shatner’s silly English and got a good lul. Successful enough

          • Original Heretic

            I hope you added a Stardate before you read it. Only then can you claim a modicum of success.

          • Lu

            No but I did toy with throwing a KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN! in there somewhere

          • Original Heretic

            YOU don’t toy with Khan, Khan toys with YOU!

          • Lu

            Bennedict Cumberbatch doesn’t scare me…….. XD

          • miaau

            No, they based him on BOTH Picard and Kirk, clearly.

          • Original Heretic

            Much more Kirk than Picard. Much, MUCH more.

          • Lu

            Ooooh thought of another one! It’s Captain Jack Sparrow!

          • Original Heretic

            You mean Michael Bolton?!

          • Lu

            I had to google who that was and I’m still lost. You win.

          • Original Heretic
          • Lu

            Firewalled. 🙁 Hopefully I remember to check tonight

          • Original Heretic

            Do a search for Jack Sparrow by The Lonely Island. Michael Bolton was the guest singer/star in the song.
            And be prepared to laugh.

          • Lu

            Oh man. Sounds good

  • Matthew Holliday

    16 years later and Malarkey still isnt in charge.
    Poor guy.

    • Skyblue

      To be fair he still looks very young ;-p

      • Matthew Holliday

        Its actually creepy, Im calling it, vampire.

  • Skyblue

    Not sure if this will come close to Galaxy Quest but I was chuckling.

    • Matthew Holliday

  • god it looks terrible

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      But it even has one of your people in it.

    • Captain JJ

      Not a fan of McFarlane’s humour myself, didn’t even manage a chuckle during that video.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Shut up, salad eater.

        • Captain JJ

          Lettuce not get nasty hey.

  • It looks so terrible I am going to HAVE to watch this

  • miaau

    “While I appreciate MacFarlane’s work, I’m not the biggest fan of his style of humour which tends to be rather unsubtle and slapstick-ish”

    Yes, that is true.

    This, just because of the SCi-fi theme, may be enjoyable, as we pick out what stereotype is being mocked now.

    Andromeda (with Kevin Sorbo), especially in the first season, I would predict the plot near the start, as it looked like somebody (Majel Roddenberry maybe?) read all the Star Trek series scripts and stole ideas from them. It made the first season more bearable, the 2nd season stood on its own and the 4th season, well, it looked like they ran out of money and had old sets from Firefly to use….

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Yeah, it was based on some of Gene’s unused ideas, and Majel helped produce it. And that fourth season was terrible. The fifth was better, but took some getting used to after the time shenanigans.

      • So you watched that kak and not the greatness of Star Trek?! They had holodecksman! HOLODECKS!

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          *stupid holodecks. Fixed it for you.

          • That was never an episode!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            It was every episode. HEYO!

        • miaau

          I enjoyed most of Andromeda, some solidy Galaxy spanning ideas there, to be honest.

          Some episodes, as with Star Trek, were seriously cringe-worthy, but the overall story TILL the time travel shite, was pretty cool.

      • miaau

        Was it the 4th of the 5th and final where they cow-boyed up the whole thing and got stuck in one start system?

        THAT was terrible.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          I don’t remember, it’s a looooooong time ago. I just remember hating the 4th season, but not actually why heh.

  • Jim of the Banana

    Dear heavens this is shit-tier. You know how we suspect that Adam Sandler has blackmail material on Netflix executives? I think Seth might have the same on Fox executives….

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      I think you may be biased because of the anti-banana ray.

      • Jim of the Banana

        Sigh, probably… but I didn’t chuckle once during the trailer and that makes me sad 🙁

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