Comparisons To Star Trek Dominate Fox’s ‘The Orville’ TCA Panel

Last week we reported on the CBS Discovery panel at the Summer TCA Tour, and yesterday was Fox’s turn. TrekMovie has been covering Fox’s new sci-fi show The Orville because it is is a explicit homage to Star Trek (especially from the 80s and 90s) and sports a number of Trek vets behind the camera. We are not the only ones to see the connection, so when it came time for the Orville team to face the television critics, much of the discussion involved Star Trek.

MacFarlane: Star Trek going in a different direction

The TCA panel for The Orville started with a question about Star Trek, so creator MacFarlane outlined what he saw as the relationship between that and  The Orville (via Deadline):

“Star Trek itself sprang from a lot of different sci-fi tropes that came before it,” MacFarlane insisted. “The idea of a ship, in the naval sense, cruising in space did not originate with that show,” he said. He insisted he drew from “many different places”…“I miss the…aspirational place Star Trek used to occupy,” MacFarlane said. “They’ve chosen to go in a different direction,” he said, describing that direction as dystopian. The aspirational space of early Star Trek, MacFarlane maintained, now is “unoccupied.”

The Orville executive producer (and former Star Trek: Enterprise writer/producer) David Goodman struck a diplomatic note about both Discovery and The Orville launching in September:

“I think there is room for two spaceship shows,” Goodman said, noting “there’s more than one cop show.”

Seth MacFarlane and David Goodman at The Orville panel at TCA Summer Tour


Discovery producer responds to “dystopian” comment

Ted Sullivan, co-executive producer of Star Trek: Discovery, tweeted his reaction to MacFarlane’s comments the following day.

Fox not worried about being sued by CBS

Earlier in the day, critics were even more pointed about the relationship between the two shows. During an executive session with the top brass, they were asked if Fox was worried that CBS might sue. Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden said they were aware of the connections to Trek but felt safe, legally (via EW):

We’re not really concerned. We obviously have a big legal team. We vet things, so it’s not like we’re just flying by the seat of our pants out here. Seth’s intention is to do something that clearly pays homage to Star Trek, that clearly was inspired a lot by Star Trek. He talks about The Twilight Zone, a show that examines the human condition in the future and looks at the human condition through little morality plays, but I can’t imagine, especially when you see the direction that the Star Trek franchise is moving, that anyone involved would consider it anything other than a compliment. Most shows have some DNA of previous shows. There are very few shows that I’ve worked on that weren’t slight reinventions of something that’s come before it. It is a certain format of storytelling, it’s a certain act structure, there are certain limitations to what we all do in this storytelling form, so I find it to be flattering and I know Seth holds the Star Trek franchise in the highest regard.

Fox execs Rob Wade, Dana Walden, and David Madden talk Orville and Star Trek on the TCA Summer Tour 2017

New images from The Orville

Fox has released some new images from the pilot of The Orville, which premieres on Fox on Sunday, Sept. 10 .

The Orville Ship

Seth MacFarlane and Adrianne Palicki

Penny Johnson Jerald, Seth MacFarlane, and Peter Macon

MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, and guest star Brian George

Seth MacFarlane

Peter Macon and Chad Coleman

Fox has also released a new set of character images from The Orville. (Click to enlarge.)

Keep up with all of our The Orville coverage here at TrekMovie.

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Tomorrow night!!

Ahem…SEPTEMBER 10, not August 10. :)

It does seem poised to fill the void left by Star Trek, as there is no Star Trek in production once Star Trek Continues ends soon.
I’m Sad we have no New Star Trek to look forward too but kind of ok because The Orville may give the fans what they want. hope, a utopian future of morality & philosoph- I just hope the comegu elements don’t overpower it & undermine it.
It’s a pity Discovery is deliberately avoiding every aspect of what makes star Trek star Trek. A Dystopian War-Trek is offensive to any one who really cares about Star Trek, really believes in that future once portrayed in The TNG era Prime Universe (not Counting DS9)

Because there has been no war in Star Trek? I think you may have missed several episodes of all the Star Trek series, and the films.

I think CBS needs to send Fox their fan film guidelines.

I Don’t Count DS9 as Star Trek it was Anti-ST:TNG War Trek by 3rd Season.
“Remember When we Used to be Explorers?”

The history of Federation is a history of wars.
There was a war with Klingons, more than once. A war with Romulans. A war with Cardassians – fought and concluded well before DS9 times. A war with Tzenkethi. If Borg territory was any closer to Federation, there would be a war with Borg (which would, of course, be futile).

As long as there are other people, there will be a war sooner or later.

I watched very little of DS9. I didn’t make it to the third season, or even much into the first season, frankly. The new show is called Discovery. From what I’ve read, there will be exploration and getting back to the core of Star Trek. I don’t know if I’ll be interested in subscribing to Discovery yet, but I like to actually watch at least one whole episode before I decide if I like it or not.

DS9 was really a great series, especially in the later seasons. It isn’t because of the war, but, because of of the trials and relationships the characters go through during the war. It was very good Trek IMHO.

Yup. Anyone breaking DS9 down to “war” either didnt watch it or didnt get it. What made it great was not the “war”, it was the characters going through it.

Indeed, and the war didn’t begin until there was a break point, with the DS9 crew discovering the Jem’Hadar. The war resulted from a confluence of factors and became a logical part of the storyline.

I feel like DS9 began its true ascendance with Kai Winn and her grabs for power, and her intellectual and spiritual war with Kira Nerys. All the characters began to deepen in season 1.5-2, but DS9 [like TNG] really hit its stride by season 2-3.

Gosh I hope DISC is great from the start …

I agree with Dar. DS9 started out fairly weak, but once things got going and we really got more depth into the initially wooden characters it got much better. The Dominion War arc really helped with all of that, IMHO. I found it to be WAY better than TNG. More interesting characters and more interesting story lines.

>>>> DS9 was really a great series, especially in the later seasons. It isn’t because of the war, but, because of of the trials and relationships the characters go through during the war. It was very good Trek IMHO. <<< <

Niners are entitled to their opinions, but the general public doesn't agree with it. TOS and TNG are iconic and have staying power. Everyone knows who Captain Kirk and Mr. Data are, even if they don't watch Star Trek. But Nog the Ferengi? Not so much. Niners can applaud the Dominion War stuff all they want and claim all the gritty dystopian stuff "evolved" Star Trek, but the ratings don't reflect that. Gritty war-based sci-fi series are a dime a dozen, and other shows like Babylon 5 simply did it better.

I freely admit to not having watched every episode of DS9 religiously but I did follow the ark and it is, by far, my least favorite incarnation of Trek. I absolutely hated their efforts at deconstruction and how they flip-flopped characters seemingly at will. Worf’s treatment – the whole thing with him losing his honor at the beginning of the Dominion conflict, then having his brother basically brainwashed into thinking he was someone else, then getting his honor back without even a mention of Kurn – stuff like that made me gag. Beyond that, the every time I tuned in to that show I got a vibe of self-importance and characters like Sisko and Kira came across, to me at least, as being a little full of themselves. At the end of the day, I never ended up liking or caring for any of them.

lol you can count or not count anything you want but it doesnt change reality.


I Don’t Count DS9 as Star Trek it was Anti-ST:TNG War Trek by 3rd Season.

This one is complicated. DS9 was the biggest departure from TOS that there has ever been in Trek (not counting the BR Trek movies). In how they all but abandoned science in their science-fiction, DS9 was rather un-Trek. And I say this as someone who truly appreciates DS9. But, what DS9 did bring to Trek was a consistently more realistic treatment of the human condition than either TOS or TNG had. DS9 replaced the mind of TOS and TNG with a huge heart; it’s a shame that it was apparently an either-or proposition. With a bit more care and effort, DS9 could have preserved the science-mindedness and sense of adventure of TOS/TNG without sacrificing its heart. But, with respect to your main point, DS9 lost a substantial portion of TNG’s viewership, precisely because it veered so far from TNG so quickly (and because DS9 took 4 seasons to start getting really good). If Behr et al had put more effort into bringing the TNG viewership along in the new direction of DS9, I believe that they could have done so. Or, at least, done so better than they ultimately did.

P.S. And I don’t know that a dystopian or war setting is necessarily un-Trek. It all depends on how its treated, what themes are explored, and what the show strives for——what attitude and mindset is informing its values. A dystopian setting that hopes for something better could be very TOS-like. After all, TOS was produced during the height of the Cold War, which at times seemed plenty dystopian (like during the Cuban Missile Crisis). It was the hopeful attitude, that humanity could do better (than perpetual war with the Klingons and Romulans), that gave TOS its aspirational feel. But, you’re right about DSC seeming to have abandoned (or at least, it’s keeping it well hidden, for some reason) that which has made Trek definitively Trek. It’s not just about the setting, though. That’s the surface. Look deeper.


P.P.S. I’m sorry, you had it right with your observation about DSC abandoning the long-time fans in pursuit of new or “non” fans. That marketing strategy appears to be responsible for the void into which The Orville is positioning itself.

Ironically I always considered DS9 to be the most TOS friendly descendant. TOS wasn’t about particles of the week and was relatively luddite for science fiction – blowing up computers oppressing humans with Kirk speeches on a regular basis.


TOS may seem hokey to you today, but for its time it was the most sciencey dramatic show on TV. There was dramatic license taken with the science concepts, but the concepts, themselves, serving as the premises for various plots (as with the MWI of Quantum Mechanics in “The Alternative Factor) was fairly sciencey at the time. The MWI of QM had only just been invented 10 years prior to the airing of that episode. The notion of alternate universes actually existing in real life was mind-blowing for quite a lot of viewers, I imagine. Some other ana|ogous examples: the concept of AI in “Mudd’s Women,” the concept of genetic engineering (eugenics) in “Space Seed”… more mundane, but no less sciency, the chemistry of gun powder in “Arena,” cellular biology in “The Immunity Syndrome.” DS9 had very little in the way of scientific concepts driving the plots and central themes of episodes. And when they tried, as with “Explorers,” they got their own sci-fi concept (warp travel) wrong.

Dont you know? Star Trek never had conflict. There was literally ZERO conflict in TOS. It was just a series of episodes of crew flying around staring at the view screen and meeting cute aliens.

Certainly no conflict in TNG.

No conflict in DS9.

None in Voyager either.

No conflict in Enterprise.

So this conflict in Discovery is so odd.

Well, appreciating your sarcasm, but you have to admit things never got really spiky between the TNG crew. Maybe in the movies?

But no conflict in TOS, some may say? Haha, McCoy and Spock.

The thing about the friendships on DS9 that was good was when the conflicts arose out of good story writing and occurred in a natural way between characters as it does in real life. People weren’t always nicey-nice [as on most of TNG], but were always working toward understanding each other.

You have NO idea what you’re talking about. Judging Discovery already without seeing a single episode? Total arrogance.

What parts of the visuals & the Crew saying they are abandoning the format & Gene Roddenberry Rule/s because they say Star Trek can’t work so it has to be changed (thereby not being Star Trek) do you not get?

Chill. That rule was imposed in the ’80s – TOS had conflict between characters. And, frankly, so did TNG.

If the people behind Discovery are openly stating they are ignoring Gene’s rules, then bravo to them! TNG under gene sucked. And the further they got away from him, the more his power was reduced, the better it and every other iteration got.

That was around 3rd season … and thank goodness.

I love what Roddenberry gave us fans, but he did seem to start going off the deep end around TNG’s beginning time. Many of the 1st and 2nd season shows are unwatchable.

>> I love what Roddenberry gave us fans, but he did seem to start going off the deep end around TNG’s beginning time. Many of the 1st and 2nd season shows are unwatchable. <<<

Interesting. You know what episode got me "into" Star Trek to begin with? The Measure of a Man from TNG's second season. Great, classic story. The people making the Abrams movies and Discovery could learn a thing or two from it.

Maria.. That has been reported in TOS as well. Once Gene Coon took over the day to day producing role was when the show really started to gel. Once Berman did the same for TNG was when it started to improve. Like you, I appreciate that Gene came up with the concept but as far as actually running the show and making to work, he was not the best choice for that part of it.

Good God (is that legal here?),

I’m offended that you’re offended that the future may not always be your deluded fantasy utopia.

Starfleet is at its best defending the Federation!

That’s What Star Trek was- a vision of the future people Aspired to be- that was worth dreaming of, a place that was better then now & a place we we wanted to be in- if you are so limited by the “Gritty” reality of today that you see the aspiration to a utopian future as deluded then you never got Star Trek & don’t understand what people who loved it feel they have lost as each production gete further away from that Universe in pursuit of non-Trek Fan audiences (that they will never get)

What is an utopian future worth if you’re not willing to fight to protect it?

The prettier your utopia is, the higher the probability someone will try and stomp it into the ground just to ruin your day. If you’re not ready to defend it, why waste your time building it at all?

So it’s pointless for pacifists to work to improve anything, since they don’t believe in “defending” it through force of arms? Seriously, I don’t think you’ve thought this through.

M H,
I do marvel at the human imagination and how much it can negatively or positively affect humankind. Some see potential conflicts everywhere; some see potential for conflicts and their resolution. We must remember von Clausewitz, who said the LAST resort of diplomacy is war. I think a lot of people forget that “last resort” part.

DS9 was aspirational — at least among the Starfleet personnel. They worked to understand one another, even when they had disagreements. Then there were character flaws in some people like Kai Winn and Quark, who did not try to get along but only ahead, which added interest.

Sorry, Star Trek fans don’t want McFarlane toilet humor.

Yeh, I hope McFarlane keeps that and the sexist stuff down. I think he’s very witty when he doesn’t resort to that stuff.

Dude shut up! Christ, ‘fans’.


It’s a pity Discovery is deliberately avoiding every aspect of what makes star Trek star Trek.


Lets be Real- The Orville intends to steal Star Treks once large & loyal audience by promising deliver all the elements of Star Trek the fans loved that Discovery is abandoning or embarrassed to be associated with in its attempt to be cool & appeal to the general audience- Non fans.
If it works it will be incredibly embarrassing to watch Discovery go down & what is seen as a parody takes its place.

I don’t see much of anything in The Orville of the Star Trek that I grew up with and love. All the promos of The Orville show an imitation of the minor parts of ST ’09 that I didn’t care for – mostly the juvenile attempt at humor. They’ve done a good job of knocking off TNG costumes and the feel of the sets. It’s very retro in that way. Maybe this one will be good for the kiddies who haven’t made it past toilet humor, but I’ll be skipping it. I live with someone who’s not into Star Trek at all. I haven’t said one word about Discovery or The Orville. The Orville promo came on. I kept silent, and he said, “that show looks terrible,” and I agreed with him. I swear I’m not making this up. He very rarely comments on promos for new shows, unless it’s something he’s interested in. I’m looking forward to Discovery. To all who will be checking out The Orville, I sincerely hope you enjoy it – it’s just not my cup of tea.

‘Let’s be real’, Star Trek was never and will never be a comedy show. In my opinion The Orville has more in common with Galaxy Quest than it has with Star Trek. I think that if you want to see Star Trek like it used to be, just start watching all series again (TOS, TNG, DS7,Voy and Ent). Because watching The Orville is not the same as watching those series. It’s not Star Trek.

Agreed, I see more “Galaxy Quest” than Trek in “Orville.” Just wish they had an Alan Rickman.

Remember, Galaxy Quest was rated a better Trek movie than Star Trek Into Darkness so, according to fans, parody can out perform the original.

I feel so sorry for you, Trekboi89- wrapped up in your own bigotry over what Trek should be. Seriously, I pity you.

Be extremely suspicious of people who use words like “bigotry” for things that are not actually bigotry. These are people who don’t take bigotry very seriously.

Be very wary of the fact I’m a gay man who has to live with bigotry everyday.

Show yourself out.

Im going to grab a big bucket of popcorn and sit back and enjoy the handful of people watching this comedy spoof and trying to claim it’s “Star Trek”. Should be really fun!

Will be doing the same!

>> Im going to grab a big bucket of popcorn and sit back and enjoy the handful of people watching this comedy spoof and trying to claim it’s “Star Trek”. Should be really fun! <<

I haven't met a single person claim Orville is "Star Trek". Clearly, it is not. We DO, however, claim it embodies the SPIRIT of Star Trek moreso than Discovery does. The classic TOS episode 'Turnabout Intruder' (where Janice Lester possessed Kirk's body against his will) made this point well:

KIRK: You claim that, that you are Captain James T. Kirk?

JANICE: No. I am not Captain Kirk. That is very apparent. I claim that whatever it is that makes James Kirk a living being special to himself is being held here in this body.

KIRK: Oh. Well. However, as I understand it, I am Doctor Janice Lester.

JANICE: That's very clever, but I didn't say it. I said, the body of James Kirk is being used by Doctor Janice Lester.

KIRK: A subtlety that somehow escapes me. I assume that this switch was arrived at by mutual agreement.

JANICE: No. It was brought about by a violent attack by Doctor Lester and the use of equipment she discovered on Camus Two.

KIRK: Violence by the lady, perpetrated on Captain Kirk? I ask the assembled personnel to look at Doctor Janice Lester and visualise that historic moment. Can you, can you tell me why Doctor Janice Lester would agree to this ludicrous exchange?

JANICE: Yes. To get the power she craved, to attain a position she doesn't merit by temperament or training. And most of all, she wanted to murder James Kirk, a man who once loved her. But her intense hatred of her own womanhood made life with her impossible.

“Im going to grab a big bucket of popcorn and sit back and enjoy the handful of people watching this comedy spoof and trying to claim it’s “Star Trek”. Should be really fun!”


You do realize though that the whole popcorn metaphor essentially means “I will just sit and watch, I will not participate” (that’s how one usually watches a movie, hence that popcorn) and well, “you *not* participating” is not something that would have a high probability of happening.

The Orville is run by Brannon. Braga Trek (forehead of the week + preachy childish morals + technobabble solution = “Star Trek”) was the most simplistic and mundane piece of Scfi going around back in the day. It ran Trek into the ground and drove fans away – He termed it as “franchise fatigue”. It’s what got him booted by paramount/CBS in the first place and we the fans as a result, have ended up with the Kelvin verse and DSC. Now the guy is over at Fox spinning the same old formula under a different name.

So sure, if you want to watch the second coming of the “vaadwaur” (remember those guys!?! LOL) then I think Orville is the right show. What it has going for it is the awesome cast headed by Macfarlane. Even though they’re denying it, I for one will be hoping that it’s a great spoof of Trek like Galaxy quest instead of something quasi serious.

Justin Oser on Twitter wrote – ” From what I’ve seen, DSC isn’t going to be dystopian – there will be conflict, but it will all be about defending the Federation’s ideals.”
Just to add to that DSC also claims to be about seeing how those ideals came to be and why they exist in the first place through the prism of conflict and challenge – that to me is an exciting and compelling concept (especially when done as an arc), whether they can successfully execute it is another matter altogether, and I can’t wait to find out…September can’t come soon enough

Oh the Vaadwuar…STO reminded me how much I disliked them

“Just to add to that DSC also claims to be about seeing how those ideals came to be and why they exist in the first place through the prism of conflict and challenge – that to me is an exciting and compelling concept”

Enterprise tried the same thing. Just sayin’.

I’m not prepared to say Orville will be great or garbage of just mundane. But I am curious enough to give it a fair shot. If it’s bad I will stop watching. If it’s good, I will hope it garners enough viewers to warrant it to continue. If not, well, it wouldn’t be the first show I liked that didn’t stay on the air. No big deal.

So, basically they need to base it on Star Trek to get something to bring fans over. They don’t have an original idea so they need to get ideas on the TNG look. Throw in some juvenile humor the way Seth does in everything he does… mention Star Trek in every interview… bash Discovery… and he rides that wave. Even the ship looks like something with a juvenile joke in mind.

I haven’t seen the show but from what I have seen, it is clearing a spoof riding on TNG coat tails. And that part is obvious. But I will give it a chance and watch the first episode. I’m not a fan of Seth’s sense of humor. All I see with this is Family Guy in space. Remember their Star Wars episode or the many Star Trek mini clips? Yeah… That’s what comes to mind.

A very expensive 1 hour comedy show every week… they are going to need a huge audience in order for FOX to continue to pour tons of money into it.

Trek fan 67

MacFarlane said that it’s not really going to be a straight-up comedy show, but rather a sci-fi drama with some comedy. A dramady, at most.

MacFarlane produced the reboot of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” with Branon Braga prior to working with him on “The Orville.” So, there’s a history there of non-comedic, science-related content.

True Cygnus. But that is documentary. Not dramedy.

Lets be Real- The Orville intends to steal Star Treks once large & loyal audience by promising deliver all the elements of Star Trek the fans loved that Discovery is abandoning or embarrassed to be associated with in its attempt to be cool & appeal to the general audience- Non fans.

Yes! I’m glad someone else is seeing the big picture here.

Trekboi, There are plenty of folks who’ll enjoy both.

It’s like, some of us enjoy “Dark Matters” and “X-Files” and “Star Trek” and will watch them all in the same week. One’s not going to kill the other, good grief.

Yes it could be extremely embarrassing and we won’t see another Star Trek show for another 20 years (if at all). Causing a gap of 35 years or so. Discovery is taking a gamble by changing the formula that it did not and should not make.

I’ve no love for Axanar. but STD looks to be along very similar lines. The Ares is interchangeable with the Shenzou and it looks like War Trek. Both feature battle with the Klingons. Not excited about Orville as its just a cheap parody of something great.

At least the Orville is Trying to be Star Trek on some level Discovery is trying to avoid looking like Star Trek at any cost.

I would think the large “Star Trek” words would convince you otherwise.

I am excited about The Orville. I am excited, although not as much, about Star Trek Discovery. There is room for both shows as long as they develop characters. Maddie from Burn Notice is an wonderful example how you develop a character.

I am more excited for Discovery but I plan on watching Orville’s pilot at the very least. My issue with Orville so far has been some of the marketing for it. This idea that it’s suppose to be “optimistic” while Star Trek is “dystopian.” I agree with Ted Sullvan in the sense that if you haven’t seen the show it isn’t fair to categorize one show as being one way over the other. After all, optimism could be present in both shows but while one is more overt the other show prefers a covert message. One should never get caught up in just the surface details.

On a side note, I loved Maddie on Burn Notice.

“Orville” doesn’t seem too optimistic when it comes to divorced people

>> “Orville” doesn’t seem too optimistic when it comes to divorced people <<

Divorced people who have to learn to put aside their petty differences and work together as a team for the good of the entire crew and their mission. Sounds VERY Star Trekkian to me.

Wow. So much spin. Methinks thou doth protest too much …

This isn’t Star Trek!!! Why is it even in a Trek website?

It appears to be more Star Trek than Discovery from the promotion- we will see when they air (if you can afford Netflix or All Access)

Guys, if you don’t want to read about it, DON’T click on it! This isn’t the NYT, its a geek website run by fans. They can put whatever they want on it and since it has a close association with Trek even better.

Are you losing any news on other Star Trek these days over it? No? So whats the issue? Just ignore it while the rest of us can discuss it.

@Tiger – you are correct. I think the frustration is coming as a result of the incredibly odd sense that Orville is somehow more Trek than Trek.

Then again, if this site covered Game of Thrones, that would be fun to discuss too!

Orville is clearly a comedy. If Orville was produced by CBS as an official Star Trek series, it would be absolutely shredded by fans.

Well, that just reminds me of the silly fans who voted “Galaxy Quest” as “better Trek” than the KT movies. SMDH.

[and I hope potty humor and sexism will be absent, but I’m not countin’ on it]

Answer: Because it is Treked themed and uses various Trek vets in cast and crew.


Why are you deleting comments?

Are comments being deleted? I asked previously if there was a quid pro quo arrangement with Orville’s coverage here. Honestly, I have no problem with that as this is a great site and if they can sell coverage, fantastic for them. But I dont think its unreasonable to ask.

In fact, as stupid as Orville looks, I’d be MORE open to supporting it if I knew it supported this website.


Yeah, wasn’t talking about that at all. As I said before it’s their website and they’re free to publish whatever they want. If you don’t care for ‘The Orville’ then simply don’t read/comment on articles about it. I don’t comment on every article here, you should try that as well.

My OP was addressing the removal of a comment that I’ve made where I was quoting MacFarlane on the tone of the show. The comment was deleted for no apparent reason hence my question about that action, nothing more.

Oh I see. I guess you wont be commenting on Discovery anymore then. Oh well.


I don’t need to repeat what I’ve said before.

BTW, I agree with you. Its their site and they can feature anything they want. I thought I saw you ask the same question in another thread leading me to think the removal of posts was more widespread.

Considering the amount an tone of posts permitted, it would surprise me to see anything being deleted at all.

This guy is just another Alec Peters but with more money.
Gonna get cancelled real quick

I think there are some obvious differences that even you could identify…

I know Seth MacFarlane isnt everyone’s cup of tea but to suggest he is Alex Peters is hilarious.

Also for comparison , you should be mentioning EJ Pena’s Nobility Series . Picked up by Amazon , with Cas Anvar – currently in The Expanse , Doug Jones – currently in Star Trek Discovery , Christopher Judge, Adrienne Wilkinson, Torri Higginson, Walter Koenig, plus other Stars too.

Yes, because at an average of 17 minutes per episode, it should be compared to 45-minute shows.

I think it’s still worth mentioning . You needs comparisons between similar shows , to know what is worth watching , Hollyworth ?!

I tried to watch NOBILITY – lasted maybe four minutes — it had production values that were far worse than anything I or my other filmmaker friend ever had in our little super-8 films decades back. Couldn’t believe they got paid by anybody for that — this was like seeing a real Ed Wood film (only maybe worse.)

I’m sorry kmart ! I guess it’s a few sharp words with EJ and Amazon !


From the trailer ‘Nobility”s production values looks a lot more like a fan-production such as ‘Of Gods and Men’ rather than a professional one.

Thanks, I will keep an eye out for “Nobility”!

Folks who want the Orville to be ST:NG instead of its own show are going to be disappointed.

Ultimately both of these shows will succeed or fail on their own merits, regardless of how closely OT distantly they resemble some other show from decades previous.

While TNG had elements of humor Im really perplexed by people embracing Orville as more Star Trek than the Trek series. Its clearly a spoof.

I think a lot of Trek fans will be disappointed.

To be fair, its a big Television Universe and there is plenty of room for Orville and Star Trek to co-exist.

If you look at the trailer and see the costume, sets and uniforms this is obviously a comedy. Trek has nothing to worry about.

I’ve not been paying much attention to Oroville, but with more and more people who have seen the material seeing Trek’s DNA all over this, is the only real difference here that Alex Peters was bring a p**ck about his project, and MacFarlane a suck up? CBS/Paramount will have real problems defending their IP rights in the future if there isn’t some consistency in enforcement.

Edit – Orville. Alec. If CBS has signed off on this, I owe Mr. Peters an apology.

If Axenar wasn’t explicitly set in the Star Trek universe, leveraging Star Trek canon, do you think they would have been sued?

That anyone thinks the situations are similar is bizarre.

Yeah, parodies are protected anyway but there is literally no comparison between the two.

If Fox called this Star Trek: Orville then we’d have a problem…lol

Actually, MacFarlane seems to spend more time talking Star Trek when promoting his show than the show itself. Parodies are protected, but in every interview he gives, he seems to be claiming it’s not a parody, but an attempt to recapture the true nature of Star Trek, while claiming the actual Star Trek has lost its way. I know CBS would not risk negative press of a lawsuit against Fox, but I bet CBS will be monitoring. MacFarlane is really pushing the envelope when talking about it as anything other than a parody.

Might want to re-read the article. A room full of TV critics seem to think the situations are similar. The better question might be, what did Fox do to avoid being sued (so far)?

FOX has lawyers on it. I wouldn’t worry about them.

Peters was using Star Trek names, characters and copyrights to help find other the project and also to pay for a private studio that he would then rent out for money.

Macfarlane is a spoof that is using similar ideas but not directly using an Star Trek intellectual property. Like Galaxy Quest. There’s no problem with spoofs.

Unless he is using it being a “Spoof” to make his own Star Trek series CBS/Paramount wouldn’t let him Make without getting sued…

Battlestar Galactica or Babylon 5 were space based dramas, with similar concepts to Trek. They didn’t have roomfuls of people sitting around calling them Trek. The standard for infringement continues to be if there is reasonable basis for confusion, not MacFarlane reusing Family Guy jokes on Orville and insisting it’s not Trek.

The original idea for Deep Space 9 came from Michael Straczinski when he was pitching to the Producers of Star Trek . He then went on to write/produce Babylon 5 .

I wish MacFarlane well in this, but somehow I can’t see it working out. First his ego has led to him casting himself in the lead role. Nothing against the guy but a captain has to have gravitas, which he sadly certainly does not possess. Second he’s picked two people I consistently see being slated in the behind the scenes books as sub par writers – Brannon Braga and David Goodman. Both are often spoken of as total hacks. I can’t imagine either them of being capable of producing another “Inner light” or “Measure of a Man” even if their lives depended on it. And that’s the sort of standard this show would have be getting to to take over the old style Trek crown. Hope I’m proven wrong but I sense a car crash coming.

Well; he WAS nobody’s first choice for Capt. of the Orville. They have 3000 starships to staff. I thought that was pretty clever/funny.

Me too Kitbash!

Part of the humorous concept is, he doesn’t have gravitas normally expected in a captain. But I am explaining a joke, which one doesn’t need to do if someone “gets” humor.

It’s a comedy.

Yeah, and Orville (maybe a sister ship somewhere named Wilbur?) is just 1 of 3000 starships of the Planetary Union, or the big P.U….another tongue-in-cheek joke. I like this stuff.

Oh, I hope they do have a sister ship “Wilbur.” And a mother ship “Wright” …. which just leads to a bad joke about ship builders

Sorta reminds me a bit of the Film Actors Guild in Team America.

If that’s the main slant it’s going to die on its arse in no time. Once all the obvious and cute jokes have been mined (say in 6 to 12 episodes) what happens then?

Relax. If it dies it dies. They’re not trying for an Emmy anyway. I’ll enjoy the ride, however long or short.

>> Second he’s picked two people I consistently see being slated in the behind the scenes books as sub par writers – Brannon Braga and David Goodman. Both are often spoken of as total hacks. <<

I would certainly call Braga a lousy producer based on his experience on Enterprise, but this "total hack" wrote some of the most iconic TNG and VOY episodes of all time, and likely some of the Trek episodes in the history of the franchise.

I would prefer a Brannon Braga teleplay over Alex Kurtzman & Akira Goldsman (the two big shots Discovery has shaping their show) anyday.

What were “some of the most iconic TNG..episodes of all time” that Braga wrote?!? Was it “Schisms”? Or was it “sub rosa”? LOL
Braga rode on the coat tails of the legendary Ron Moore for “All Good Things” whom he co-wrote the script with. Nearly all of his solo next gen episodes were time travel or time loops on incessant repeat, that was his sole contribution. I’m not even going to comment on the “iconic Voyager episodes”, were there any?

Naah, even Lindeloff’s scraps are better than Braga’s hokey schtick

It would be nice to be wrong about All this.
But Sadly, I don’t think I am.

Are these critics retarded? Clearly this show is a parody of Star Trek. I’m pretty sure Fox is safe from any lawsuits. *rolls eyes

I haven’t seen one promo yet for “The Orville” that didn’t scream *absolutely intentional parody,” almost in the vein of “Galaxy Quest.” One promo stands out: What looks like a landing party gets approached by some alien, and someone on the landing party blows him away. Later, the “captain” tells someone else “we come in peace,” (or maybe “we mean no harm”), and another member of the landing party shoots back “well, we did kill his father.” I think McFarlane himself may end up saying something like “Oh, yeah, except for that.” Pretty hard to take that seriously.

In that vein, I’m looking forward to this more than Discovery, and perhaps that’s only because I have no intention of forking over $7/mo for it. To each their own.

As for lawsuits…please. There’s not going to be a single explicit reference to anything “Trek” in “Orville” from what I can tell.

Fox is playing up all the comedy aspects of this in their marketing, while MacFarlane himself says he has every intention of it being much more of a dramatic presentation.
We’ll see.

I would think Seth would have the stroke to influence the marketing.

My concern would be that the network has no faith in the series to stand on its own outside of drawing Seth fans to the comedy aspect.

But as you said, we shall see.


“My concern would be that the network has no faith in the series to stand on its own outside of drawing Seth fans to the comedy aspect.”

Have no fears! Fox has enough faith in ‘The Orville’ that they gave the show a straight-to-series order, an excellent two-night premiere right after NFL & they pushed Gotham’s premiere to allow ‘The Orville’ uninterrupted run in September.

Galaxy Quest.
That is what The Orville reminds me of.

Looks like snooze Trek TNG soap to me.. a parody of the awesome Wagon Train to the Stars that was ST:TOS continuing to ride off Star Trek IV. Glad TNG fans get their continued parody while TOS fans get some exciting Horatio Hornblower in space on the final frontier. It’s a win win.

Looks super. There’s certainly room for this in my schedule. There’s no need to compare it to Discovery, or even think it’s going to be any kind of competition for it. Two entirely different productions from very different angles. People need to relax. And if you don’t like it, you can always not watch it, imagine that. Bring Orville on.

@Dan – I agree. While I think this looks too silly to earn a regular spot on my PVR, the only comparison between it and Discovery is the coverage on this site. There is really no “either or” scenario here. They are different genres with a very loose connection concerning the setting (a space ship).

I definitely look more forward to The Orville than to DIS. The first just seems to be more entertaining, while DIS really goes the war, death and destruction route. It is not just the DIS trailers. They also spoke in interviews about how it will be darker and grittier than older Star Trek series. It just seems DIS will lack fun and humour.

Its a new show! It will likely grow and morph into a worthy Star Trek series. Non of the spin off shows had great first seasons, so Discovery does not have a high bar set against it!

I imagine the CBS executives will be keeping a sharp eye on DISC’s profit/loss ratio. Moonves has promised them the, er, moon. Hope they will let DISC get its spacelegs.

This series looks unbelievably stupid. But since I disagree with the whiners who rip Discovery sight unseen, Ill be sure to watch Orville before passing judgement.


You seem incapable of making a single comment on these threads without restoring to insults. Not sure why AP is allowing this type of behavior here.

@Ahmed – If you time, you should do a search for my handle and read my comments, the vast majority which are constructive and informative.

Im perplexed why you think my opinion of Orville is an insult to you? Are you “Orville”?

Fortunately, this site allows a lot of leeway for its users to discuss all manner of things. If they ever adjust the standard, Im sure you will be swept up in those changes as you’ve often been very negative and insulting from time to time.

We could all temper our opinions on occasion. However, my pinion that this comedy spoof looks stupid is a relevant opinion especially when I take the time to express that I will watch it rather then opine unreasonably.

Can you say the same about Discovery?

@ TUP: I think he was referring to “the whiners who rip Discovery sight unseen” from your post.


He knows. That was yet another deflection from him, not really surprising given the recent warning that he was given from the mods.


This series looks unbelievably stupid.

I don’t understand how you think that your opinion about how the show looks based on what you’ve seen to-date is any different than people making the exact, same type of commentary about DSC. What, in your mind, is the difference?

So great to see Penny Johnson again. She was fantastic in DS9

It will be interesting to see what Orville really will end up being. The promo materials that FOX has presented STILL presents the show as primarily comedy. Yet the articles here that present comments from MacFarlane and Goodman say it is a dramedy and even leans more to the drama direction. Dramedy is a tough balance. If the show were for sure flat out comedy, Seth could work as the lead actor. But my fear is it will need a better lead actor than Seth to pull it off.

Agreed. Every promo I’ve seen, I cringe at the line delivery and the “fighting” scene between him and his ex wife and the bridge officers slurping a softdrink….it’s all just non-Trek

Yeah reminds me too much of young Wesley and his Mom on the bridge in a hotel starship where in case of emergency they’ll evacuate all the civilians to a non warp capable saucer while telling super advanced beings that us humans are morally superior, needing a councillor to take care of everyone’s emotional needs before the Federation flagship warp core breaches after being attacked by a 100 year old bird of prey. Too much parody for me from the same writers over and over again.

I feel like CBS suing FOX over The Orville would be like CBS, which also owns the rights to The Twilight Zone suing MGM for The Outer Limits. Both are very similar types of shows and their respective remakes but not copy cat imitations. The idea of more sci-fi shows, especially set on futuristic earth stellar naval vessel is very appealing, just like there are multiple police shows. Heck, I think it would be great to see a series based off of Forbidden Planet, and I don’t that MGM will sue CBS/Paramount and the Roddenberry estate for copying that movie. Star Trek’s “The Cage” and the movie Forbidden Planet are very similar but yet different.

Is that a model of the Wright Brothers’ aircraft I see on the captain’s desk? Hee!

Now, this is newsworthy.

Once again, The Orville is stealing Discovery‘s thunder.

Look at this: “I miss the…aspirational place Star Trek used to occupy,” MacFarlane said. “They’ve chosen to go in a different direction,” he said, describing that direction as dystopian. The aspirational space of early Star Trek, MacFarlane maintained, now is “unoccupied.”

BAM! Without even trying (or seeming to try), MacFarlane here (once again) gives the long-time Trek fans a compelling reason to watch his show. This is called selling your show. I wish that the DSC marketing team would draw lessons from all of the ways that The Orville is outshining them, and step up their game. CBS has original Coke, with first-to-market advantage——they should be capitalizing on a branding edge over The Orville, and yet they’re acting like they’re RC Cola. CBS: Your show requires a subscription fee for a new service; you need to sell people on the show, if you want them to go out of their way to subscribe!

Agreed, Cygnus. I watch CBS News every night for about an hour, at dinnertime, and haven’t seen one promo for Discovery yet. Not a one. It’s premiering in about six weeks. I see very little selling of the show (and CBSAA) going on, except online. Wouldn’t you want to promote it at the time most people are arguably watching your channel?

Speaking of, I just received an email promo from CBS this morning, for a free month of CBS All Access – starting 8/18. So it ends on 9/18, BEFORE Discovery premieres. What the hell would I watch on it for that month?

Nice fishing, CBS. Not biting. Go cut bait.


Ha! That’s funny.

I actually don’t watch much cbs at all myself. But I will say my better half was watching something on cbs and one of those short promos with all the close up shots of the federation delta shield showed up. Very quick with the premier date at the tail end.

Also, playing the devils advocate for a bit, it is a web series. Perhaps cbs does not feel it worth while to promote it in their network? That said, I have seen precious little about the series outside of this website. I would hope they have some sort of plan to make the general public aware of not only Discoery’s existence but CBS All Access’. Or… maybe said promotion is still coming. Like their smart tv app… lol

…one reason that disco sucks (among many), is that supposedly, it’s being produced under the paramount (nu-trek / jj-verse) license, thanks to idiot / a-hole moonves

You’ll know when CBS starts or Discovery is tanking when the lawsuit is filed.

At last, proof that the show is (thank god) what I figured, at the very least a dramedy and not some spoof:

I’ll be watching, and hoping they get a season 2, because I think I really want to write for this show.

Stay tuned, TM was also at the recent press event, so we’ll have more about The Orville soon.

Have you guys come across a slow response from Fox to questions from the press on this series? I’ve been calling and emailing the FOX PR guy looking after THE ORVILLE about a VFX story since the beginning of June, and gotten exactly two lines of email response in all that time — and no callbacks or interviews scheduled yet, even though I provided a specific short list of potential interviewees up front. Am concerned that this suggests Fox is going to pull a FIREFLY on this one (ironically, I chased a VFX story on THAT for months too without success), but seriously hope I am wrong.