Seth MacFarlane's New Series 'The Orville' is 'Star Trek' Meets 'Family Guy'

Monday, 15 May 2017 - 9:15PM
Monday, 15 May 2017 - 9:15PM
Seth MacFarlane's New Series 'The Orville' is 'Star Trek' Meets 'Family Guy'
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Seth MacFarlane is continuing his takeover of the Fox network, but instead of unleashing another pop culture reference-heavy animated series, the actor/writer/producer is starring in his first live action series - and it's a parody of Star Trek.

The series, called The Orville, has just released its first trailer, and it actually looks pretty great. MacFarlane has yet to succeed in anything where he has physically appeared on camera (A Million Ways to Die in the West comes to mind), but he seems to have found a winning formula here. From the uniforms to the alien races, it all could have come straight off the Starship Enterprise, but the series' twisted sense of humor leaves no doubt that MacFarlane is calling the shots.

He clearly has a deep love for Star Trek, and he also earned lots of nerd cred for resurrecting Cosmos and convincing Fox to air it, which suggests it's at least going to be a passion project for him, however well it ends up doing. And while this obviously isn't the first Star Trek parody we've ever seen, it looks like it might be the best: the trailer features some awesome special effects, interesting characters, solid jokes, a subtle Paul McCartney & Wings reference, and even Norm MacDonald voicing a gelatinous alien blob. Oh, and the pilot was directed by Jon freakin' Favreau (Iron Man), who's also serving as an executive producer.

The show also features former Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Adrianne Palicki and a true ringer in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine alum Penny Johnson Jerald (who played Kasidy Yates). Here's the show's official synopsis: 

Opening quote
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…e ven though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship. Down on his luck after a bitter divorce, Planetary Union officer Ed Mercer (Seth 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). 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.
Closing quote

So basically, it's a workplace comedy set at Starfleet Command, which sounds pretty promising. Fox is going heavy on sci-fi comedy this fall, with their X-Files parody Ghosted also on the way, but out of what we've seen so far from the two series, we definitely have higher hopes for The Orville.
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