The Orville Versus Star Trek

Seth MacFarlane in his Orville costume next to a camera.

Seth MacFarlane, in costume as Capt. Ed Mercer, behind the scenes of The Orville‘s third season.
Picture, Greg Gayne/Hulu

When The Orville premiered again in 2017, its arrival coincided virtually precisely with Star Trek: Discoverythe primary new Trek TV present in over a decade. Comparisons between the 2 sequence have been inevitable, with even io9 calling The Orville a “Star Trek spoof” in our earliest protection of the sequence.

However as anybody who’s watched the Seth MacFarlane-created (and -starring) present is aware of, that is by no means what The Orville was aiming for originally, and over two seasons—with a 3rdtitled The Orville: New Horizons, arriving subsequent week on Hulu—it has set itself aside from Trek in some ways, though Gene Roddenberry’s franchise stays a transparent affect. There’s additionally the small indisputable fact that presently, there’s now extra Star Trek on TV than ever earlier than,

“I feel it is protected to say that we’re nonetheless occupying our personal area this 12 months,” MacFarlane advised io9 over video chat at a current orville press occasion. “Actually, the extra that is on the market, you do begin to develop into a little bit involved that, you realize, is it oversaturation? Is there a pocket the place our present and solely our present exists? And I feel that’s nonetheless very a lot the case.”

Not eager to spoil what’s in retailer, MacFarlane did not get too into element about what particularly units The Orville aside from Star Trek this season. In additional common phrases, “It is this style that emerged within the Nineteen Thirties of a ship in area, captained and crewed very a lot the identical method {that a} crusing ship was,” he mentioned. “It is one thing that dates again a variety of many years. Star Trek was actually the primary to take it and switch it into one thing that basically mattered and was a severe type of storytelling. You recognize, for us… sci-fi proper now may be very darkish. It’s totally dystopian. It’s totally grim in a variety of methods. It’s totally cautionary. And the optimistic, uplifting a part of that style is one thing we’ve not actually seen shortly. So there was a reasonably apparent open pocket for us to form of slip into after we began. How we slot in now’s—it is actually as much as the viewers, I feel—what we’re bringing to the desk in tone, in construction, in scope is in a category of its personal. However that is still [to be seen]as a result of the decision [on season three] has not are available but.”

As govt producer David Goodman identified, the similarities between the sequence that followers have seen aren’t precisely coincidental. “We have got a variety of fairly well-known Star Trek veterans engaged on the present,” he mentioned. “However I feel the distinction for us is that our characters are flawed, actual folks. To not say that they don’t seem to be making an attempt to do this on the opposite reveals, however that is the place orville began. We wish our reveals to come back out of the humorous, awkward, severe interactions of characters that really feel like they might exist in our world—it is simply that they are strolling on the bridge of a spaceship. That is the place our drama comes from and can be the place our comedy comes from, from the creation of these characters that really feel a little bit extra flawed, a little bit extra grounded. They don’t seem to be area heroes.”

Image for article titled The Orville's Seth MacFarlane on Those Star Trek Comparisons

Picture, Michael Desmond/Hulu

Added fellow exec producer Jon Cassar, “I feel additionally we do not have the anchor of what Star Trek was that these different reveals which have… from what I’ve learn, and I’ve a variety of pals that work on the reveals, it has been troublesome on them making an attempt to stay as much as that commonplace, making an attempt to maintain that commonplace alive, making an attempt to maintain the canon alive. All of that. From our viewpoint, we’re who we’re. We’re simply The Orville, We get to type of make up the foundations ourselves and comply with our personal guidelines. So I feel that is a little bit of a bonus for us.”

There’s additionally the truth that Star Trek has been on the air on and off because the Sixties. “When the brand new incarnations of Star Trek got here alongside, there had [already] has been a thousand episodes,” co-executive producer Brannon Braga mentioned. “So [the current creators] have so much to concentrate to, as a result of the followers undoubtedly know each element of the present. So there may be, I agree with Jon, a sure clean slate that is been enjoyable.”

The Orville: New Horizons arrives June 2 on Hulu; we’ll have extra from the solid and crew quickly.


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