Resistance is futile to the charms of The Orville
Trekkies with a flair for the comedic need look no further than The Orville, Seth MacFarlane’s sci-fi show that goes where no comedy series has gone before.
The Orville has landed on Showmax, with Seasons 1 and 2 of the hit sci-fi series now available to stream from the comfort of your cockpit.
It’s 400 years in the future, and Ed Mercer (Oscar nominee Seth MacFarlane) is nobody’s first choice for the captaincy of exploratory space vessel The Orville. But with 3 000 ships needing staff, he finally has a shot at his dream job. Along with his best friend and helmsman Lt. Gordon Malloy and the senior officers of The Orville, he’s raring to go.
The only thing he hasn’t banked on is Commander Kelly Grayson, his ex-wife (who cheated on him – with an alien), being appointed as his Executive Officer.
Fortunately, he won’t have long to sulk, because that‘s just the first curveball in a series of intergalactic and interpersonal challenges Ed and his crew of human, alien and non-biological lifeforms will face as they boldly go where sci-fi fans have been praying someone would since Star Trek: The Next Generation.
“It’s a real departure from all other science fiction that you’re seeing right now.”Seth MacFarlane
Adrianne Palicki (Bobbi from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) plays Kelly, while Scott Grimes (ER’s Archie Morris) is Gordon. The cast also includes Emmy winner Peter Macon (Shameless), Penny Johnson Jerald (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and Chad L. Coleman (The Walking Dead), as well as Emmy nominee Victor Garber (Jack Bristow in Alias) and Golden Globe winner Ted Danson in guest roles.
Look out for cameos from Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus), Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Golden Globe nominees Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) and Rob Lowe (Californication), Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl’s Blair), and Emmy nominee and Star Trek alumnus Robert Picardo, along with A-listers like Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson and Bruce Willis.
One for the fans
An unabashed homage to the early Star Trek series, this irreverent space adventure was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects last year. It also won the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Television Series in 2018 and was nominated for a further five Saturn Awards, including Best Actor and Best Actress.
Directed by the likes of Emmy nominee Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Emmy winner Jon Cassar (24) and MacFarlane himself, The Orville has a rating of 8/10 on IMDb and a 100% critics score for Season 2 on Rotten Tomatoes, where the consensus is, “Fun, focused, and surprisingly thoughtful, The Orville’s second season makes good use of its talented crew.”
For fans who grew up on the brightly-lit, optimistic sci-fi of the last century, before used futures, dystopian space operas and conflicted superheroes came to define the genre, The Orville may satisfy a longing for a world where “you can go wherever you want in the known galaxy, and there’s a sense of wonder, awe and adventure.” So says IMDb user Dmega-64163, who also says The Orville is “More Star Trek than Discovery”.
Other users on the site (especially those disappointed by recent instalments of Star Trek) feel the same way. “This gem of a show,” says rocnathan, “takes everything fun, positive, and enjoyable from Trek and runs with it … the spiritual successor of TNG.” (The Next Generation)
Jenouttacompton calls The Orville, “Timely, relevant, thought-provoking science fiction with a great dose of humor … bringing a sense of optimism about our future that we’re desperately in need of. Besides, quite frankly, who needs another anti-hero right now? Why not some actual heroes?”
The fans get it. This is exactly what the show set out to do.
More shows for sci-fi superfans
“When I was a kid, we had utopian science fiction,” Seth says. “We had shows and movies that were hopeful and aspirational and presented a model for what we could do, as opposed to a warning about what’s going to happen if we don’t get our act together. It’s a real departure from all other science fiction that you’re seeing right now. That was really one of the big mission statements of this show: it’s got to be fun. It has to be dramatic, but it also has to be aspirational. It has to be something that sets out to solve some problems and be a place that you want to live in.”