The Orville—Season 1

orville season 1 poster review episode guide list
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting stories and genre blending, doesn't treat sci-fi genre as a joke

Still room for growth

orville season 1 title card review episode guide

Come aboard the Orville!

The exploratory ship the Orville has launched!  With Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) leading the crew, the ship is out to explore the unknown and uncover new worlds.  Mercer finds that being a captain isn’t always easy…especially when his ex-wife Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) is X-O.  The Orville has a mission…and the crew will complete the mission by doing whatever it takes!

The Orville—Season 1 aired from September 10, 2017 to December 7, 2017 on FOX.  The series was met with strong ratings but tepid reviews when it premiered.  The show quickly gained a loyal following.

orville season 1 cast review episode guide list

The crew of the Orville is watching over you

The Orville looked like a no-go for me when it premiered.  I’m not a Seth MacFarlane fan, and I find Family Guy tedious.  The Orville looked like it was going be a laugh-a-minute series that took the science-fiction world of Star Trek in a way that had already been done in movies like Galaxy Quest…I was wrong.

The series isn’t what you’d think.  Despite having a lot of comedic aspects to it (and yes, lots of jokes), it is a true science-fiction show.  The series has plots that resemble Star Trek and not just average Star Trek but solid Star Trek.  Like good science fiction, it has stories that are about ideas and moral decisions.  It isn’t simple and the choices the crew makes aren’t always easy.

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“Give me back my daughter!!! Sorry…wrong universe”

By making The Orville a comedy, it brings a lot of people to the table that might not have tuned in to a Star Trek show.  Like Galaxy Quest, a large range of people can enjoy The Orville, but unlike Galaxy Quest, it doesn’t treat the genre as a joke.  By “tricking” comedy fans into watching a show about sci-fi, it reaches more people.

The cast for the show also work.  MacFarlane could easy play a parody of Kirk, but he generally makes Mercer his own character.  While I like Adrianne Palicki and her character, the only tired part of the series is the cliché romance between MacFarlane and Palicki.  They have a great back-up of characters who start to develop this season (but still need some room to grow) and some big guest stars like Liam Neeson, Rob Lowe, and Charlize Theron.

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I would watch an entire series based around Isaac Mr. Potato Head

The show also doesn’t go cheap with its special effects.  Another potential idea for the series could have been to make it a retro show…and therefore bring down the cost of the effects.  Instead, the effects are up to the level of a good sci-fi series and hopefully, the Orville itself and some of the aliens of its world will become recognizable if the series gets to grow.

The Orville was a pleasant surprise.  While I thought I’d dread watching it, I looked forward to each episode and any riff that the cast might take on a storyline.  With sci-fi and comedy a largely untapped market (Futurama would be another great example of a good combination of the two), The Orville has a lot of territory to explore…and like all good Star Trek shows, you get to follow the crew as they develop and flesh out their characters.

The Orville—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

orville season 1 episode 1 ould wounds seth macfarlane halston sage brian george

“Old Wounds”

1.1       Old Wounds Airdate:  09/10/17

Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) has been given his first command of the exploratory ship the U.S.S. Orville.  Mercer finds himself assigned his ex-wife Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) as his X-O and that the new assignment could be a challenge.  An assignment discovers that Dr. Aronov (Brian George) has invented a device which alters time, and the Krill want the device.

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“Command Performance”

1.2       Command Performance Airdate:  09/17/17

Kelly and Ed are lured into a trap by the Calivon leaving Lieutenant Alara Kitan (Halston Sage) in charge of the bridge.  With Bortus (Peter Macon) tending to his egg, Lieutenant Kitan must find a way to save Kelly and Ed.  Kelly and Ed discover themselves in their old apartment and facing old problems.

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“About a Girl”

1.3       About a Girl Airdate:  09/21/17

Bortus and Klyden (Chad L. Coleman) find that their child is a female which causes a problem for an all-male race.  When Klyden and Bortus decide to change the sex of the baby, it challenges their relationship and could put the crew against the Moclan.

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“If the Stars Should Appear”

1.4       If the Stars Should Appear Airdate:  09/28/17

Bortus and Klyden find being married parents isn’t as easy as it seems.  The Orville encounters a massive drifting ship, and Mercer, Grayson, Kitan, Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), and Isaac (Mark Jackson) find that the people of the ship have a very different way of life that doesn’t involve space travel.

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1.5       Pria Airdate:  10/05/17

The Orville rescues a woman named Captain Pria (Charlize Theron) who Mercer finds an attraction to.  Lt. Gordon Mallory (Scott Grimes) attempts to teach Isaac about practical jokes with mixed results.  With Grayson not trusting her, Pria might have her own reason for being aboard the Orville.

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1.6       Krill Airdate:  10/12/17

The capture of a Krill shuttle has Mercer and Malloy on a mission to try to retrieve the Krill holy text.  When they discover that the Krill have a bigger, more dangerous plan, Mercer and Malloy must decide how to stop the Krill by any means.

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“Majority Rule”

1.7       Majority Rule Airdate:  10/26/17

In an effort to retrieve a missing anthropologist on Sargas 4, a covert team of Alara, Claire, Mercer, and Lt. John LaMarr (J. Lee) infiltrate the society, but they discover a popularity system governs the people.  When LaMarr is arrested for an indecent act, he finds himself fighting for votes and his life while a young woman named Lysella (Giorgia Whigham) could hold the key to saving LaMarr.

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“Into the Fold”

1.8       Into the Fold Airdate:  11/02/17

Finn plans a trip with her children Marcus (BJ Tanner) and Ty (Kai Wener) and discovers that Isaac has been assigned to be their shuttle pilot.  The shuttle finds itself pulled into a spatial fold that causes it to crash on a planet inhabited by cannibals.  Finn is separated from her children and captured by a man named Drogen (Brian Thompson) while Isaac discovers he has to protect the children from the dangers of the planet.

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“Cupid’s Dagger”

1.9       Cupid’s Dagger Airdate:  11/09/17

Plans for a peace agreement between the Navarians and the Bruidians of the planet Lapovius hinges on the Orville brokering a treaty through the examination of an artifact of the planet.  When Grayson and Mercer discover the anthropologist sent to study the artifact is Darulio (Rob Lowe), the wounds of Mercer’s affair are reopened.  Mercer finds herself back in love with Darulio while Grayson also discovers he has a strange attraction.  Yaphit (Norm MacDonald) learns that his dreams of Finn might finally come to fruition.  As Mercer and Grayson battle over Darulio, the war between the Navarians and Bruidians could erupt.

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1.10     Firestorm Airdate:  11/16/17

A fire on the Orville causes Alara to doubt herself.  When the Orville is plagued by everyone’s fears, Alara must overcome her past to save it.

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“New Dimensions”

1.11     New Dimensions Airdate:  11/30/17

Grayson’s discover that LaMarr is a genius leads her to push for a greater role on the ship whether he wants it or not.  The Orville’s encounter with a pocket dimension turns desperate, LaMarr might have to make the jump he never intended.  Mercer learns a secret about his assignment to the Orville which puts his whole leadership in doubt.

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“Mad Idolatry”

1.12     Mad Idolatry Airdate:  12/07/17

The Orville encounters a planet that phases in and out of existence.  Leading a team on the surface, Grayson makes a flaw that could change everything and risk her position on the ship.  With a new relationship developing, Mercer decides he has to do what is necessary to save Grayson’s appointment.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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