First Impressions of "The Orville"



I'd not really been plugged in to the fact that Seth MacFarlane had created a science fiction show until I started seeing people on my Facebook feed talking about The Orville - some people claiming it was the "real" Star Trek show as opposed to Star Trek Discovery. 

The Orville is a comedy-drama science fiction show strongly inspired by the original Star Trek. That's not surprising given MacFalane's well known love of that show. I'm not a huge MacFarlane fan - I've probably only caught an episode or two of Family Guy though I will acknowledge Ted as a guilty pleasure. I'm sure Mila Kunis starring in that had nothing to do with it...

As of this writing, The Orville has aired four episodes, so it's still a little early in the run. It is about the crew of the exploration ship Orville - no big surprise there. Her captain is Ed Mercer, a once up and coming officer whose career stalled after his divorce. The only first officer available to him is his ex-wife, Commander Kelly Grayson.

The humor on the show is hit or miss for me. I occasionally get a chuckle out of the tension between Ed and Kelly but it is often quite groan-inducing. I seem to recall someone describing The Orville as being like a goofy gaming group playing a Star Trek RPG.

While the humor has been hit or miss for me, I've greatly enjoyed some of the issues the show has covered. For example, it has aired episodes dealing with sexual identity and clinging to religious beliefs even in the face of contradictory scientific evidence. 

From a gaming perspective, The Orville shows the way to do a game inspire by Star Trek but is not Star Trek.  Venger Satanis has written that Orville is a Retro-Clone and I think that's a great way to look at it. Love a lot of aspects of Star Trek but hate the transporter and trying to squeeze into the timeline? Make your ow setting inspire by it.

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