When Star Trek announced the arrival of their new addition, Discovery, a new player in the game appeared, The Orville. Let’s recap.
The Original Orville Summary
The Orville 3 soon let’s recap!
The crew of a spaceship embarks on an adventurous journey in outer space, four hundred years into the future, where they encounter various dangerous situations.
An exploratory ship from Earth faces intergalactic challenges 400 years in the future.
It is impossible to talk about The Orville without mentioning its creator, main character, and probably one of its writers. McFarlane achieved great success with its multiple animated cartoon series aimed for adults.
He voiced quite a few characters, made a few movies, and if my memory serves me right—most of the time it doesn’t, ahem, one of his teachers told him he wouldn’t achieve success in his life or something along the same lines, that nerd proved that teacher wrong many times over.
It is no secret, McFarlane is a nerd and proved it through his cartoons and references in movies. The universe of Star Trek though, seemed to be a source of great inspiration to him.
He reached a point in his career where I believe he thought he obtained enough notoriety to bring his touch to a sci-fi series: The Orville.
Stick with me, Trekkers! You can do this!
The universe of Star Trek is a vast one, spread through six series including DISCO, and took over a few online gamers with their Star Trek Online. It is a universe science-fiction fans call their own, and some of them, instead, stay untouched.
Star Trek is a “Utopian” idea that Gene Roddenberry shared with the world. He showed that in his mind, the idealistic world where peace is most valued, and money isn’t worth a thing can be an achievement if humankind gives it a chance.
Often, the series would take place without paying too much attention to the private lives of its crewmembers or would brush it once in a while.
Now, The Orville. If we compare McFarlane’s series to Star Trek, there are so many similitudes that it isn’t worth counting them. A few, I even asked myself, “Wow! How did he get the right to use that!”
However, and yes, I am a huge Trekker, yet as I can enjoy DISCO, I can enjoy The Orville, just as much and have a good laugh and tell you why!
Come on, The Orville 3 soon let’s recap from the first season!
The Realistic Sarcastic
The Orville captures the essence of Star Trek, i.e., its overall form with the Union equalling the Federation, the Krill species reminiscent of the old battle between the Klingons and the Federation, among other references.
Even the look of the ship is quite similar to Star Trek TNG. Moreover, the uniforms and colors are a reminder. I don’t think McFarlane aimed for subtlety when creating his science-fiction series.
However, what set his series apart is the “update” he gave to his Star Trek doppelganger. The characters have a more realistic personal life.
The captain who’s divorced because his wife cheated on him ends up having her as his first officer: the nerd pilot never gets the girl, the smooth engineer who has thousands of one-night stand.
Then you have the married alien with a kid and the doctor who’s a single mother with two young sons and the android who tries to understand human behavior.
To me, it’s like “The Office” but in space. Everyone has a family or personal life. It is part of the job because what else would one talk about?
Yes, there are rumors, gossips, and people talking behind people’s backs. That is life. However, at the end of the day on The Orville, everyone has each other’s back.
The bottom line, The Orville is using its crew’s personal lives to advance stories without cutting out too much of each adventure they endeavor. The focus is different than Star Trek but quite adequate for the humor and lightness of the show.
Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover!
Can you believe it? I liked McFarlane and his nerdiness, I have great respect for his artistic skills, but I couldn’t stand his cartoon, and that made me fear his vision for The Orville.
This anecdote aside, I took it quite seriously when reviewing DISCO. I thought I would dislike it because I was hoping the show would happen in the future, not before The Original Series yet after Enterprise.
However, I watched it with an open mind and enjoyed the first season. The show’s cutting-edge look updated the overall look of Star Trek attracting new fans to the already vast existing fandom.
The audacity the creative team tested with the Klingons was impressive, and people complained.
The Orville Is A Tribute
Meanwhile, The Orville arrived on television. When my article published on TGI, I read a few comments from my peers about both shows.
People who watched the two-hour premiere of Star Trek Discovery spat on the show and said The Orville at least kept the essence of Star Trek.
Others harshly critiqued McFarlane’s attempt at bringing a mirror version of most likely one of his favorite series.
I guess many fans are quick to judge when people try to bring their touch to a beloved series or franchise.
However, I find both deserve a watch, and both deserve to be appreciated. Yes, DISCO went more action, more drama direction while The Orville kept it more straightforward and lighter.
Both are part of my schedule, and I enjoy the artistic input of both shows. We’re nerds, let’s not bully anyone and experience where the journey takes us.
The Orville 3 soon let’s recap season 2 next!