The Orville - Seth MacFarlane takes on Star Trek


The episode was up on Fox’s website when I checked again this morning.

Great episode. The only thing that kind of passed over my head was because of Rudolph. I’ve never seen that. Can someone fill me in? How did Rudolph’s red nose help Santa?


D: Not sure if serious… but…

Rudolph’s “defect” was actually an attribute when a foggy night almost ruined Santa’s travel plans on Christmas Eve.


Just listen to the lyrics of this song, it tells The Whole Story


Yeah the song explains it all!

Also sad to see viewership dropped 50% on the move to Thursday night.


This is what’s so exasperating about Fox. What other show was so all-fired important that they HAD to move the show by the THIRD freaking episode?


I did find it! Sunday Sept 24th.
8-10 PM Who shot Biggie and Tupac?

Then back to normal schedule…

SUNDAY, Oct. 1
8-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS (Season 29 Premiere)
8:30-9 PM GHOSTED (Series Premiere)


Yeah, I did learn that after I looked her up. I guess indigenous-sounding Kiwi English has some really different sounds (vowels, particularly) compared to colonial Kiwi English, because I never would have known.


McFarlane and Charlize are friends. She was in his Western movie (Million Days to Die in the West) and they’re often seen having dinner together.


They must be good friends, if she was willing to appear in that turd of a movie!


They’re seen together enough that it sparks dating rumors.

McFarlane is a lucky cat. He also dated Emilia Clarke.


Ah, so Rachael MacFarlane isn’t his wife but his sister. I wasn’t clear about that till now.


So we just got caught up with the second and third episode and WOW, the jump in quality in episodes two and three was really off the charts.


I know, right? Its like two different shows, almost. My guess is the plot for the third episode was one of the earliest they did and backtracked the setup in writing their way there. I really liked the peek we got into the judicial system of another world, I always like that. There were some great episodes of TNG based around courtroom dramas, like Measure of a Man and the one with the Devil that appeared on the planet. I love that episode, its exactly the kind of shit Malcolm from Firefly would try.


So, since I can’t argue with the author of this piece directly, I came here to argue. Feel free to ignore me if you’d rather just dismiss crappy review articles. Glad to see that others here liked the episode (as I did!). Spoilers below, if you haven’t watched it yet (hopefully mild ones).

I think this is the main point I want to argue about, actually. The author seems to completely miss how this episode tackles the issue.

It’s entirely clear that the conversation is about fundamental natures vs. a societal oppression of those natures. The author gets really hung up on the idea that a sex change operation is involved (and then snarkily points out that “sex change” is not on the Approved Terms list, despite the fact that it’s the more accurate term for an operation performed without knowledge or reference to the identity of the person undergoing the operation - this isn’t surgery to correct a gender mismatch, it’s pure and simple changing of all females to males). The point, though, isn’t about whether people should be allowed (or tolerated, or supported) to transition, or whether gender confirmation surgery is ok / good / immoral / whatever. The point is a much more subtle take, approaching the question the other way around. Basically, what he’s saying is, “Do you agree that it would be wrong to force people to live as different sex and pretend to be a gender they aren’t?” The setup at least, assuming he follows through, allows for some robust storylines about the way in which this enforced sex change impacts the child, and how those are reflected in Klyden.

There’s also a completely unrelated concept woven in, that is equally important: how much leeway should a culture have to be afforded it’s own views on basic rights? Is it ok to enforce this surgery because that’s the culture’s beliefs / tradition? Everyone would likely agree that a human culture aborting all female fetuses would be wrong to an unacceptable degree. But what about if females were incredibly rare? What if males could reproduce with other males, and females could be changed into males that can also reproduce? Are those important hypotheticals to discuss? Maybe not, but a little bit of trolleyology is what we want out of Start Trek, right?

The show is providing an opportunity to explore ethics without politics, with an upbeat cast and some whiz-bang technology and action. The plotline about the alien zoo, and especially the punchline, were well-done, I thought. It’s an old idea (the Martian Chronicles had almost exactly the same concept), but it’s not like everyone agrees with the premise that capturing and imprisoning creatures for your own amusement is ethically shady, no matter how well you treat them. I’d much rather have an SNG-style show that brings up these issues, bats them around from multiple angles, and leaves the viewer to continue to think about it, rather than trying to push an answer on you. For what it’s worth, my initial reaction to this episode was to want to support Bortus’s right to make decisions that align with his culture, but I eventually came around to viewing it and the society as wrong (a position the crew held immediately).

It was the third episode, and a good one. Most new series show their first three episodes to critics. The network didn’t grab some random episode it was proud of to show here, and there’s no need to assume that anyone saw this one as particularly more daring than the alien zoo one. Anyway, the article annoyed me, the episode was fun. I’m not convinced this show is great, and I certainly don’t think it’s SNG reborn (yet), but it’s got a lot more potential than I initially thought.


I agree 100%. I was pretty baffled while reading that article this morning. The writer seems to have made up some assumptions about what that episode was about and then judged it based on those assumptions instead of actually paying attention to the episode.


No offense to that critic, but I think they watched the initial setup and then started tweeting on their phone or something while watching it in the background, without actually following what was going on. The story and plot, as already argued, was the exact opposite of what they thought. The matter of choice being important is the main point they were dealing with.


The latest episode was a turning point for me. I like it. A little heavy handed, but hey, MacFarlane.


ST: Discovery was way better. And that’s after watching one episode of it.


The production values were better… but… the writing? Sheesh. A light beacon that is instantly visible across the galaxy instead of in a bubble a few light hours wide? I usually reserve that amount of twitching in existential scientific pain for Dr Who episodes.

Its a bit early to tell which show ends up better. I really hope they both do well and prosper, in their own respective niches.


Don’t you mean be fruitful and multiply their episodes?