Blast off into dramedy space with The Orville

(image courtesy Noah Schutz/Fox)


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 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).

As the new commander, Ed assembles a qualified, but eccentric crew, including his best friend, Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes), who has problems with authority, but is the best helmsman in the fleet; Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), one of the Union’s most accomplished physicians; Bortus (Peter Macon), an alien from a single-sex species; Isaac (Mark Jackson), an artificial life-form from a machine society that thinks biological life-forms are inferior; navigator John Lamarr (J. Lee), whose casual humor cuts through even the most dire situations; Alara Kitan (Halston Sage), 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. 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. (synopsis via Coming Soon)

Having treated us to a wholly dysfunctional animated family (Family Guy) and a bawdy but endearing friendship between a man and a wisecracking teddy bear (Ted) in the current day, Seth MacFarlane is now sending us 400 years into a galatic future with Fox’s new dramedy The Orville.

Owing more than a little debt of gratitude to Galaxy Quest (but not a derivative copy by any means), The Orville is a Star Trek-like sci-fi series that combines MarFarlane’s trademark edgy wit with what we’re assured are some reasonably serious moments.



It sounds like an entertaining mix, and we can only hope that the show survives what could be a fairly competitive timeslot on Thursdays at 9pm when it’s up against watercooler hit and ratings juggernaut This Is Us.

In a year that is blessing us with Luc Besson’s latest sci-fi masterpiece Valerian, the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi and the return of Star Trek to the small screen via CBS All Access (Star Trek: Discovery), it will be good to have a show that adds some comedy into the mix, rounding out what will likely be a very satisfying year of heading out into the great galactic beyond.

The Orville premieres this US autumn on Fox at 9pm Thursdays.

Posted In TV

Related Post