Seth MacFarlane Wants 'The Orville' to be Optimistic Like Old 'Star Trek'

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 - 9:32PM
Star Trek
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 - 9:32PM
Seth MacFarlane Wants 'The Orville' to be Optimistic Like Old 'Star Trek'
Fox
If you haven't heard, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane is working on a new sci-fi show for this fall called The Orville, which (like nearly everything MacFarlane does) will see him both writing and starring in it.

But unlike the half-hour animated comedies he built his career on, The Orville will be a live action, hour-long comedy-drama. It still won't go too heavy on the drama, and there's still very many jokes in what we've seen so far, but MacFarlane sees it as a legitimate sci-fi show instead of just a simple Star Trek parody (to be fair, it looks a lot like a simple Star Trek parody at first glance).

Speaking to a Television Critics Association press tour, MacFarlane said that he sees his show as filling a gap in modern television that's missing the optimistic fun of older sci-fi like the original Star Trek shows, and that the show will have legitimate, upbeat stories instead of being purely a collection of jokes. Essentially he thinks modern sci-fi is too obsessed with dystopian futures, and that's really depressing, so he wants to fix that: 

Opening quote
"I miss the forward thinking, optimistic, aspirational space that Star Trek used to offer. It's a space waiting to be filled in this day and age when we are getting a lot of dystopian fiction."
Closing quote


He has a point: while Star Trek: Discovery looks good so far, it also looks really gritty in a way that Star Trek didn't used to be, and its creators even went as far as citing Game of Thrones as a major influence on their show filled with major character deaths and tough moral choices with no right answers. The original Star Trek killed its fair share of redshirts to be sure, but as a whole, Gene Roddenberry created a future where humanity was much better off.

Hell, ever since Deep Space Nine plunged the Federation into war, and Voyager launched a starship into a hopelessly far corner of space, Star Trek has been less about peaceful humans exploring the cosmos and more about how life can be just as unfair in the future as it is now. And while that can still absolutely make for great television, and indeed it has, it eventually starts making you really depressed about the future we're heading toward. A little variety wouldn't hurt. 


MacFarlane continues:

Opening quote
"But it can't all be Hunger Games, it can't all be the nightmare scenario. I think there's some space for the aspirational blueprint of what we could do if we got our sh*t together, and that's been something that's been missing for a while. And it's something that meant a lot to me as a kid."
Closing quote


Of course, even if it's technically billed as an hour-long drama and not a full-out comedy, it's far from a serious, uptight sci-fi show. Like we said earlier, the trailers have been full of jokes, and one of the central plot lines follows Captain Ed Mercer (played by MacFarlane) dealing with the fact that his new first officer is also his ex-wife (played by Adrianne Palicki).

That all sounds pretty "Seth MacFarlane" to us. Just don't expect any cutaway gags this time around, not that they'd be missed much anyway.



The Orville premieres September 10, 2017 on Fox.
Science Fiction
Sci-Fi TV Shows
Star Trek
No