FOX has released the first trailer for their new comedy show The Orville for the 2017-18 season.
There have been many Star Trek parodies before (Galaxy Quest, anyone?) but this one does seem to be done with affection. Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane stars in this gentle (for him) comedy set in the future much like that imagined by Gene Roddenberry. MacFarlane has managed to secure the services of Iron Man director Jon Favreau for the pilot, too.
Those of a certain age in the UK will find it hard to disassociate the name Orville with anything other that a squeaky puppet bird though…
The Orville is a one-hour science-fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace…even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship.
In the 25th century, Earth is part of the Planetary Union, a far-reaching, advanced and mostly peaceful civilization with a fleet of 3,000 ships. Down on his luck after a bitter divorce, Planetary Union officer ED MERCER (MacFarlane) finally gets his chance to command one of these ships: the U.S.S. Orville. Determined to prove his worth and write a new chapter in his life, Ed finds that task all the more difficult when the First Officer assigned to his ship is his ex-wife, KELLY GRAYSON (Adrianne Palicki, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Friday Night Lights”).
As the new commander, Ed assembles a qualified, but eccentric crew, including his best friend, GORDON MALLOY (Scott Grimes, “ER,” “Justified”), who has problems with authority, but is the best helmsman in the fleet; DR. CLAIRE FINN (Penny Johnson Jerald, “24,” “The Larry Sanders Show”), one of the Union’s most accomplished physicians; BORTUS (Peter Macon, “Shameless,” “Bosch”), an alien from a single-sex species; ISAAC (Mark Jackson, “That Royal Today”), an artificial life-form from a machine society that thinks biological life-forms are inferior; navigator JOHN LAMARR (J. Lee, FAMILY GUY, “The Cleveland Show”), whose casual humour cuts through even the most dire situations; ALARA KITAN (Halston Sage, “Neighbors,” “Goosebumps”), a young, inexperienced security officer whose home planet’s high gravity gives her superior physical strength; and YAPHIT, a gelatinous creature voiced by comedian Norm Macdonald (“The Middle,” “Saturday Night Live”).
Somehow, Ed and Kelly must put the past behind them and, with the help of the crew, navigate fascinating and sometimes dangerous adventures in outer space, as well as the tumultuous and captivating day-to-day personal relationships with their colleagues.
The 13-episode first series is due to air on Thursdays at 9 pm on FOX in autumn, around the time Star Trek itself returns with the new series Discovery on CBS.