Seth MacFarlane hit the big league with his hit TV Series on Fox, ‘Family Guy’. Since then MacFarlane has gone on to prove himself as an entertainer and showman with many other successful shows and movies and such. His live action directorial debut saw him direct Mark Wahlberg and a talking bear. He has had multiple successful (quality not withstanding) ‘Family Guy’ spin-offs as well. However, quite possibly the biggest thing in his career comes in the form of ‘The Orville’, his latest live action TV Series on Fox.
‘The Orville’ is equal parts of a ‘Star Trek’ spoof, as well as an actual ‘Galaxy Quest’ TV Series.
It’s very simple. The premise of ‘The Orville’ is basically ‘Star Trek’, but envisioned as a comedy. Not just any comedy, but a down and dirty Seth MacFarlane comedy. MacFarlane has never shied away from proclaiming his love for ‘Star Trek’. Many episodes of ‘Family Guy’ has been dedicated to the legendary sci-fi series. Many of the cast members of the original franchise have also appeared as guest voices on the show as well. So ‘The Orville’ can be seen entirely as a passion project by MacFarlane, and boy does it look good!
The Trailer perfectly sets up the conventional premise of the show (mismatched crew embarking on a mission of exploration) and the conflicts that may arise from it. The crazy missions, the quirky characters, the ensemble crew and the space alien antagonists; this show’s got it all!
From a visual perspective, ‘The Orville’ looks great. The production value for a comedy show like this looks amazing! The special effects, costuming and the make-up for the various aliens look incredible and the effort and time spent on them are very clearly evident. The comedy on display, while very MacFarlane-like, is definitely more toned down that the crude vulgarity that the star is often dismissed as having. The show looks like it features a smarter brand of comedy, (using the word ‘smarter’ loosely) although the possibility for it to devolve into immature poop jokes still remains high.
MarFarlane headlines the series as it’s lead actor, and is joined by Adrienne Pallicki, (Marvel’s ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’) who plays McFarlane’s ex-wife and first officer, fuelling comedic gold between themselves. Penny Johnson Jerald is also in this show, and Trekkies can remember her as Cassidy Yates, lover and wife of Captain Sisko from ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’. Victor Garber can be seen in an appearance which is sure to be a recurring role than a regular engagement, given his prior commitment to DC’s ‘Legends Of Tomorrow’.
All in all, ‘The Orville’ looks like a pretty funny show with some great elements at play. It’s only fair that we have a spoof of one of the most iconic science fiction franchises ever becoming a regular TV Show, the same year that a new ‘Star Trek’ series is also going to be on the air. Although, ‘The Orville’s similarities don’t just end with ‘Star Trek’.
In 1999, Tim Allen, Sigrouney Weaver & Alan Rickman did their own spoof of the series with ‘Galaxy Quest’. The movie featured former stars of a cancelled television show (similar to ‘Star Trek’) be abducted by actual aliens who mistook them for actual Space Military Officers. Goes without saying that the film was a comedy, and so therefore depicted the fictional TV Show elements as over the top and extremely cheesy and funny. ‘The Orville’ seems to be doing one better, and actually creating a show that is entirely comedic in genre.
The show, created by Seth MacFarlane, sees the pilot episode be directed by none other than Jon Favreau of ‘Iron Man’ fame. But that’s not all. ‘The Orville’ has lined up for its episodes, some of the most interesting directors to ever be involved in a project like this. The individual episodes of the series sees directors such as Brannon Braga, (Producer of almost every ‘Star Trek’ series) Robert Duncan Neil, (Ensign Paris from ‘Star Trek: Voyager’) and Jonathan Frakes! (Commander William Riker from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’) And that’s just the first five episodes of a 13 episode Season 1 order.
With all these ‘Star Trek’ alumni involved in the series, cameos by any one of the many actors involved in the franchise is definitely not out of the question. Especially given that Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean Luc Picard from ‘Star Trek: TNG’) has been involved in almost every MarFarlane production.