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Seth MacFarlane’s Next Phase-r: The Orville Brings Back That Original Star Trek Mojo

To Boldly Go Where Some Have Gone Before

Seth MacFarlane is a man of many talents. Love him or hate him (or love him sometimes and hate him sometimes, or love him a li’l bit but with a healthy slug of hate, or love the dude but with a tiny soupçon of hate lingering at the core of the good feeling), the dude PRODUCES. Both literally and figuratively.

And he LIVES for sci-fi. Now, he’s sharing his passion with us.

CTV has the lowdown:

“The Orville” could prove doubly surprising for viewers. First, because it’s a lavish retro-futuristic sci-fi hour boasting elements of drama, comedy, adventure, even the occasional Big Thought. Not exactly your typical TV concoction. Second, because it’s the brainchild of Seth MacFarlane, who at 43 continues to be lionized (and scorned by some) as the enfant terrible behind cheeky hits like Fox’s long-running animated sitcom “Family Guy” and the two “Ted” stuffed-bear romps.


Warped Speed

And now — as creator, writer, an executive producer and leading man — he’s launching the sci-fi series he says he dreamed about even before his breakout success with “Family Guy” while still in his early 20s. A show that HE would want to watch. A show he says he sees no one else doing. (“The Orville” will premiere on Fox on Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern, then air the following Sunday before settling into its Thursday berth on Sept. 21.)

“I come out of comedy, and this is my first foray into quote-unquote drama,” MacFarlane allows. “But I do feel like I’m very, very well-versed in science fiction. I’ve been reading it and watching it my whole life.” Set 400 years in the future, the series travels with the U.S.S. Orville, described as “a mid-level exploratory spaceship,” with MacFarlane as its captain, Adrianne Palicki as his first officer (and, awkwardly, his adulterous ex-wife), plus a diverse crew of humans and aliens played by Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon and others in a sizable cast. If all that sounds a bit like the original “Star Trek,” so be it: MacFarlane speaks of watching “Star Trek” as a youngster with his dad; he took a class, “The Philosophy of ‘Star Trek,”‘ in college. And now he’s doing it himself, with a series that aims to reinstate some of that bygone sci-fi wonder to a genre that now routinely views the future with a measure of dread.

Set Phasers to Stunning

Oh, one more thing:

One difference for sure: “Discovery” will be the first “Star Trek” to be serialized, while “The Orville” episodes will each be self-contained — “a little movie each week,” MacFarlane says.

Well, this is kinda exciting, we have to admit.  Whether the show (the ship?) crashes and burns or blasts off into a successful orbit, it should be a wild ride.

Check out the trailer here:


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