Review: ‘The Orville’ Deftly Balances Humor And Morality In “Krill”

Review: “Krill”

The Orville Season 1, Episode 6 – Aired Thursday, Oct. 12
Written by David A. Goodman
Directed by Jon Cassar

In “Krill”, Captain Ed Mercer and the crew of the Orville stumble upon a Krill ship attacking a defenseless colony. The Orville manages to destroy the ship, discovering a shuttlecraft floating in the remains of the vessel. Union Admiral Ozawa (Kelly Hu) then commands Mercer and Gordon Malloy to infiltrate a Krill ship to steal the “Anhkana” – the Krill Bible – in an effort to understand them better. Mercer and Gordon go undercover as Krill officers and end up finding their mission more complicated than originally anticipated.

Following the lead of last week’s strong episode, “Krill” is yet another example of how effortlessly The Orville handles comedyWith each episode, the show more deftly juxtaposes comedy and social commentary. “Krill” handles the balance with aplomb as opposed to earlier, clunkier efforts such as “About A Girl.” That surely comes as a result of MacFarlane sitting this one out as writer. David A. Goodman, veteran writer of Star Trek: Enterprise, Family Guy and Futurama, wrote “Krill”, making this the first episode not written by MacFarlane.

Even though The Orville is episodic, the Krill have already shown themselves to be an over-arching big bad for the series, with appearances or mentions in all the previous episodes.  This episode pays that off with a good amount of world-building, delving into the who the Krill are and making them less one-dimensional bad guys. 

The whole “adopting alien personas to infiltrate” certainly feels like a classic episode of The Original Series, notably “The Enterprise Incident”, which had Kirk physically transform into a Romulan officer. This time, Mercer and Malloy have visual emitters which are able to transform them into Krill soldiers. Goodman takes full advantage of the hilarious possibilities here, as they witness the Krill paying respects to their lord Avis, making plentiful references to the car rental company of the same name. There are several laugh-out-loud moments here, including some great visual gags involving the Krill Bible.

“Krill” demonstrates that the show is becoming more adept at portraying the moral dilemma. When Mercer and Malloy discover the Krill plan on destroying yet another colony – this time with 100,000 humans, including children – with a dangerous bomb-like weapon, they hatch a plan to destroy the inhabitants of the Krill ship. However, Mercer realizes the Krill have children too, thus making their plan far more complicated than before. I had some issues with the way this plot point is resolved – I’m not sure how Trek it is to kill the ship’s inhabitants even if the children remain unharmed – but the last scene is done very well.

Some of the best episodes of Star Trek explored the moral ambiguity of dealing with enemy alien species. Mercer may have won at the end of the episode – he saved the colony and the Krill children – but as the Krill school teacher warns Mercer, he’s also made future enemies out of the children. It seems like a really socially relevant topic, given how we’re currently struggling to reach bipartisan solutions to important issues.

Overall, the VFX and the make-up are standouts this episode. It’s impressive that MacFarlane and Scott Grimes could still portray a sizable array of emotions underneath all of that make-up. Jon Cassar’s capable direction delivered an exciting and tense cold open featuring the Orville and a Krill vessel that was a great way to get us into the thick of the episode’s story.

“Krill” successfully demonstrates that learning to understand the enemy is not easy. There are no uncomplicated solutions and every victory comes at great cost. “Krill” also provides better balance with some truly hilarious moments and less heavy-handed social commentary. With some genuinely funny gags, a socially and culturally relevant storyline, “Krill” is one of the more successful episodes of The Orville yet.

Random thoughts:

  • The scene (featured in the clips below) with Mercer and Malloy listening to Midnight Special” was a homage to The Twilight Zone film, which opened with Dan Ackroyd and Albert Brooks driving and listening to the song
  • The episode hilariously subverted some classic tropes of the genre, first with Mercer speaking before Alara could open a channel and when Mercer struggles to come up with sufficient alien names while undercover.
  • Even though The Orville is set hundreds of years into the future, Union officers still have to take a picture of every single page of something if they want to copy it. What, no cool scanning technology in the future?
  • Malloy’s “new leg” from “Pria” was referenced in this episode when a Krill soldier stabs it. Nice bit of continuity there.
  • “Krill” was also the first episode in a while to see another Union vessel – a heavy cruiser of sorts – which made the Orville look a tad more quaint comparatively speaking.
  • We also see more of the Union as well. “Krill” saw the introduction of another Union admiral in the fleet besides Victor Garber’s Admiral Halsey with Kelly Hu’s firm Admiral Ozawa.
  • As shown below, Bortus’s advanced digestive system was one of the funnier bits of the episode. Something tells me his ability to practically eat anything will come up again in future episodes.

5 clips from “Krill”

‘Orville’ Update: MacFarlane confident of second season + NYCC panel

Last week’s episode of The Orville dropped 0.2 in the ratings to 0.9, which puts it into bubble territory. Regardless, at a NYCC panel last weekend Seth MacFarlane (who Skyped in) said he was “confident” the show would get picked up for a second season. You can watch the full panel below.

Behind-the-scenes on “Krill”

Fox has also released another behind the scenes video, this time featuring writer and science advisor Andre Bormanis talking about how the the quantum drive works.

Preview for next week’s episode “Majority Rule”

Keep up with all the The Orville news, reviews and interviews at

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I loved this episode!

The drama was definitely amped up to warp factor eight with this episode. The religious service aboard the Krill ship was, quite frankly, horrifying. And I am with the reviewer regarding the dénouement; I am still not quite sure what to make of Ed sunburning the Krill crew to death, even if they were about to murder a hundred thousand human beings. But the unsettling ending was chilling, and pure Star Trek.

I’m frustrated that the show continues to leak audience, just as it’s really hitting its stride. “Pria” and “Krill” were the strongest episodes yet. All of my friends agree that “The Orville” is shaping up to be a worthy inheritor of the TNG legacy. I just hope it gets a chance to succeed.

@Scott Gammans — it’s horrifying they depicted the Krill that way at all. It’s clear the Krill are supposed to be Muslims. Imagine if they stripped off the makeup and depicted Muslims in this kind of stereotypical way. There was absolutely no attempt to offer a look at the Krill as sentient beings, in their own environment, and from their perspective, to explain them as anything other than an evil race of bad guys. Yet this show is offering episodes like this in an obvious attempt to be taken seriously. It was frankly embarrassing.

That’s what I was thinking but then I started wondering if I was over analyzing. I’m glad it wasn’t just me.

I don’t believe the show was saying that the Krill were bad guys as they emphasized that according to their religion they weren’t doing anything wrong. Its the religion that’s the problem not the people. Look at how, before they were discovered as human infiltrators, Ed and Gordon were treated. No one was doing anything “evil” aboard the ship. It was a regular functioning ship with the only difference being the religious practice. Also you’re acting like this is the only episode we will ever get on the Krill. Until this series is over you can’t completely take that stance against it.

@Zor — I see, so it’s OK to kill people over their religious beliefs? What I’m objecting to is the way this race, which clearly addresses an analogous culture in our world is being depicted on their own ship. Instead of spending valuable episode time presenting the other side’s viewpoint, we got a silly skit about a crewmember who can eat anything. The producer’s made choices here, and I’m saying they were not appropriate given the context of the episode. Clearly your milage varies.

You did see the party where the Krill were going to kill 100000 people? As Union officers it would be there job to stop the Krill, that could involve destroying the krill ship.

I didn’t tie the Krill to Muslims or even the head thing, I’m assuming you’re US citizen? It’s probably an American thing that you think like that.

@Andrew D — well it is produced and written by US citizens. Not that US citizens are the only ones who might see this analogy. Out of curiosity, as a non-US citizen, what analogy with current sociopolitical issues do you think the producers are drawing a parallel with using the Krill? Or do you think they are just telling a sad story, applicable to anyone anywhere, with no particular relevance to anything happening in the world today?

The fact that you attack a scene involving one of the few gay characters, coupled with your zealously coveted persecution complex regarding Islam – an anti gay ideology – and your conspicuous silence about STD’s regular announcements of a black alert, suggests that you are a fundamentalist, homophobic, racist bigot.

“Its the religion that’s the problem not the people.”

…which is a pretty stupid message, given how closely religion is intertwined with culture (i.e., “the people”).

@ Curious Cadet: It’s clear that the Krill are supposed to be Muslims? They don’t look like Muslims and they don’t talk like Muslims. That so many people are somehow relating the Krill to Muslims show their prejudices, unless you’re suggesting that Muslim behavior is analogous to the Krill..

@JohnCT — and Klingons didn’t look like Russians, nor drink Vodka, yet it was clear who they were supposed to represent. What conflict in the world right now most closely resembles the situation this episode dealt with? A culture built around holy scripture which commits violent acts in the name of their religion and seeks to strike out and kill their perceived enemy without any regard for their innocence?

Perhaps parallels are drawn by the viewers, not the writers, but drawing easy parallels can certainly be dangerous. Were the Klingons supposed to be Commies or Nazis? Nazis certainly were strong in the memories of the TOS team. Many served in WWII.

I hope “The Orville” goes further into this issue of the Krill and their religion — that perhaps there’s a group of Krill star fleet who believe in a different interpretation of their Bible. The Orville production team could go really deep here, without becoming preachy or boring.

Religious sects abound — just look in the Yellow Pages under “Churches.”

The TOS Klingons were a metaphor for the bipolar nature of the Cold War world: USA versus USSR. (Throw in the Romulans as a metaphor for the PRC for good measure.) The TNG Klingons were a metaphor for the disintegration of the former Soviet Union.

There was nothing to indicate *cultural* similarity to Russians, though. TOS Klingons didn’t have much of a developed culture; the films and TNG seemed to be a blend of samurai and Vikings.

Well, culturally the Federation seems to show socialist and democratic aspects, so if you had a seriously socialist/communist opposition force in TREK, how would it differ? And moreover, wouldn’t that have not flown, since there’s always that kneejerk NOWAY/NOTEVER! response to anything socialist/communist from some factions in the US?

Curious Cadet,

I get that the beheaded head strongly points in the direction that you took, but Muslims don’t have a monopoly on decapitations

During WW II the Japanese regularly resorted to beheadings and there’s a reason that “guillotine” is a French word.

@Disinvited — yes, but Western countries are not in conflict with the Japanese currently. In fact there’s only one culture much of the Western world is currently at war with, which has led to decades of conflict, and malicious death and destruction in the name of religion.

Actually more like 500 years. Suleiman (sp) the Great nearly sacked Vienna in the 1600s.Coulda been mosques instead of cathedrals in Europe. Different particulars, but similar themes in terms of clashing civilizations/cultures. I’m not wading into value judgments… just making an observation.

Curious Cadet,

Re: Western countries are not in conflict with the Japanese currently.

I suppose that depends on what you regard as “conflict.” Both Koreas are still struggling to get a denying Japan to admit the dishonorable behaviors of their armies while occupying them. You may recall that Japan thought their military actions were justified because they where the the only nation that had “honor” (See MacFarlane’s soul).

True but I wouldn’t call either of the Koreas, or Japan “the West”

“In fact there’s only one culture much of the Western world is currently at war with…”

The West is not at “war” with Islam. That is a point that the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations have all made. Even Trump has not formally repudiated it, whatever he may really think. No European leader has said that the West is at “war” with Islam, either.

And if you think that Islam is the only focal point for conflict these days: did you sleep through the rise of China? The Crimea conflict?

“A culture built around holy scripture which commits violent acts in the name of their religion and seeks to strike out and kill their perceived enemy without any regard for their innocence?”

Cut the fucking Islamophobia.

Your knowledge of Islam seems to be limited to kharijites/jihadist-salafists. These groups exist and need to be dealt with, yes, but they are a tiny portion of the diversity of Islamic thought. How would you feel if someone judged the entirety of Catholicism on, say, Junipero Serra’s treatment of California’s native population?

I’m curious whether you even *know* that sunni Islam has four mainstream madhahib (“schools of law”). I assure you that Muslims have written volumes about ethics and war over the centuries, just like Thomas Aquinas.

And the moral dilemma faced by personnel engaged with said culture. Kill them all or protect the innocent, while still doing our duty. A duty that will at minimum require killing some.

Two premises interest me here:
– That killing parents is okay, but children will be spared their lives [to become future enemies] — think about the US’s dubious use of drones that are aimed at military strongholds and end up bombing schools
– That stealing the Krills’ Bible [I hope that’s just metaphorical, not actual … what a transgression on a group’s religious beliefs!] would lead to any meaningful understanding of their society, given all the interpretations and excuses and outright amnesia on the part of Judeo-Christian peoples today about what’s actually in their Bible … and that the Q’uran is likewise interpreted and misinterpreted on a similar wide spectrum by its adherents and self-proclaimed adherents [who actually seem to base their principles on tribal customs and practices].

It would be fascinating to see, in future episodes, how the Union’s misunderstanding of Krill religion will play out in the “real world.”


Your suggestion really does sound like an excellent thing to exploit in future eps. You could have Mercer on a followup mission acting on the advice and orders of those misinterpreting the Krill doctrines and being all gung-ho about it, too, till he gets a demonstration of just how the words and intentions got spun by his masters. And whatever goes down, it oughta HURT.

Actually, it’d be very funny if we found after all the skulking about in this ep that there are Krill equivalents to The Gideons, and if they’d just bothered to look at worlds the Krill had hit, that they’d have found all the bibles they needed, in hotel room nightstands.

It would be fascinating to see, in future episodes, how the Union’s misunderstanding of Krill religion will play out in the “real world.”

Definitely a fertile premise for the series going forward. This latest episode has made the Krill as compelling a villain for The Orville as the Klingons were for TOS. As for Mercer and Malloy sneaking onto the Krill ship to steal their bible, that plot point requires a hefty suspension of disbelief.


I really think you and some others are diving way too deep into something that is very light and intentionally simplistic. This is not serious drama. Hence the many gags that appear all over it. When it does get a little serious that is all it is. A LITTLE serious.

Absolutly agree.

I think the Krill were represented as any religious extremist, whether it be Christian or Muslim. And frankly, I have no problem killing a crew of extremist in order to save a 100 thousand innocent people.

“It’s clear the Krill are supposed to be Muslims.”

How is this “clear”? First off, Islam is “radical monotheism.” Was it even established that “Avis” was the Krill’s only deity? Second, the Krill worship looked a lot more to me like Protestantism than Islam (pews, altar, etc.; I didn’t see anything that remotely looked like a mihrab). Third, sunni Islam doesn’t have clergy, but here we see a cleric who seems to be outrank the ship’s captain in a way similar to a Soviet “political officer.”

The Krill religion seemed to be a generic religion, a mishmash of stereotypical ideas about religion in general. I agree it did nothing to humanize the Krill; quite the contrary, it made them look like monsters.

It’s because the Krill are the bad guys, their bad guy-ism is based on faith, and they had a severed head.

Thanks to the media coverage in the United States and around the world I’d assume a lot of people will make that connection.

However we should all be aware by now that extremist religious beliefs are not a great representation of the religion as a whole. To me the set up was to combine aspects from all sorts of extremist beliefs.

I read someplace that DSC and ORVILLE are among the three shows (I can’t remember the other one) that folks watch regardless of political affiliation, which suggests that if The Right is really watching this show, The Right will always read the baddies as being equivalents to Baddie of the Month/Year/Century/Epoch, even if the show’s makers were intending them to reflect Judeo/Christian fundamentalism. The latter was my take on the Krill, but I’m hoping they do more to embellish and texture that as time goes on.

This does reinforce a line of dialog in the excellent film THE STUNTMAN, when Peter O’Toole explains over dinner that another director made a good antiwar film — and enlistment went up 600% afterward. Folks are going to take what they will from a show, even if it means utterly subverting the intent of said show. Else you wouldn’t have Reagan co-opting ‘star wars, or the wholesale misappropriation of BORN IN THE USA.

@Kmart — right, because radical Judeo/Christian fundamentalist extremists tend to decapitate their victims, and commit acts of violence on them as part of their religion, and currently rule as religion-based nation states, which are being attacked by their enemies, with parents killed in front of children who grow up with even more hatred of their enemies? Sure? Why not? I guess that makes me “The Right” then?

Like tarring and feathering and other excesses practiced ‘over here’ aren’t as bad as the decaps and such? C’mon, we’re talking about bad stuff here and the folks who rationalize it as a defense against their freedoms. Quit making it about the other side and start looking at it as the bad stuff on ALL sides, and what you can suggest doing about that!

@kmart — ah. Right. How foolish of me to believe Hollywood would not be presenting a fair and balanced view of the world. Looks like Trump’s “many sides” message is taking root though. It still doesn’t excuse them from presenting the “bad guys” as two dimensional characters without any insight as to their beliefs or motives.

I’m taking the long view that greater insight will come in time. That’s benefit-of-the-doubt the show hasn’t earned in many eyes, but it has for me.

And I wasn’t talking Hollywood presenting or taking sides, I was talking about the discussion here, where it seem that the default thinking of many was that this would be a Muslim allegory, which I resist.

Christian extremists did just that and worse right up until the 18th century.

Judging by the furniture in the chapel, minus kneelers or hassocks, I thought fundamentalist Protestant. Muslims of course don’t have seating in their services.

@Praetor Tal,

I think that the Krill were stand-in for American right-wing fundamentalist groups.

When the Krill High Priest was chanting at the end of the prayer “Hail Avis! Hail victory!”, that reminded me of the White Nationalist Richard Spencer’s similar chanting “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!”

Absolutely. I had the same thought at those same lines.

@G Martin
Episcopalions are the cyborgs from Battlestar Britannica.

@Praetor Tal — it would cease to be an alagory if the stand-ins representing the intended parallel worshiped on mats, facing the home world, wore robes, required their women to cover their faces with veils, chanting “death to the infidels”, etc. … The point was made in general terms. When fundamentalist Protestants begin decapitating their enemies, in accordance with their laws, as part of their religious observances, and wage all out war, dropping bombs on innocent people in order to drive out their soulless enemies, combined with their enemies surgically taking them out such that their innocent families are left behind to be motivated into further violence, then maybe your observation will make sense as an analogy for similar events currently happening in the world.

Don’t be silly. They’re obviously representations of Episcopalions.

This discussion’s sorta interesting but yeah, I suspect there’s way too much philosophical debate about a show that thinks a joke about car rental companies is funny. Orville doesn’t work for me on any level, sadly. The show sabotages itself by jolting from one tone to the other. Any attempts to be funny are negated by the “moral” conundrum and ending, which attempts to take the previous 44 minutes of nonsense and put a serious and thoughtful spin on it. I get what the show is attempting to do, but it’s nowhere near solid ground yet. I’m trying hard here. I’ve watched them all knowing some people like it and every week I’ve been hoping something will click. Honestly, if this is the best episode yet, I guess this isn’t the show for me. Found it absolute torture to finish.

@Kirk Arse — they’re not going to do themselves any favors by skipping a week next week where they could continue to correct their course, and instead re-airing the pilot which was the most FAMILY GUY episode thus far. For any viewers just tuning in from good WOM based on recent episodes, they will be greeted with the worst example of what this show can be, thus compiled in the mistake of skipping a week even further.

I guess. I’m not really seeing much of an improvement from the pilot. There’s no character development, all the modern-day references are lazy, the pace is stilted, some of the acting is bargain-basement, the tone is confused, the comedy isn’t funny, the drama has no weight, the sci-fi ideas are all second-hand TNG. Dang. Sounds harsh. Sorry. Nice fx work though! Glad there are people enjoying it but I’m struggling hard to see what they’re seeing. Methinks this just isn’t going to be my show.

It’s not as bad as STD’s black alert – omg how racist is that.

I love this show, liking it more than STD.

Seth clearly did his homework, it sets the right mood and balance in today’s post Trek world. Lets face it Gene’s vision is gone lost in the void, much like how the new Star Wars just isn’t like the Star Wars some of us grew up with.

The Orville roots itself in what made TNG great but establishes a new vision rather than another Trek down memory lane. It’s careful stitching and exploration of a new diverse universe and nonsensical humor leaves a mouthful.

This was the first episode I watched since the pilot. A big improvement since then. Looking forward to the next one.

Listening to Midnight Special 400 years from now is like listening to classical music today. True?


I think of it as more like a sort of Renaissance. That is, hundreds of years after, the art and science of 21st century get rediscovered after being long forgotten and become a popular form of future kitsch.

That’s a good attempt at reconciling things. ‘Future Kitsch’ is very catchy, too.

Nah. I don’t really think popular culture is as long lasting. I hear songs from my youth and remember they were supposed to be tomorrow’s classics. There are very few standouts, unless you break it down to Blues, Jazz, pop/rock, pop/soul, and others. Some defy classification.

“Midnight Special” is certainly a Blues classic, starting with Leadbelly. Will it still be heard 400 years from now? Will the cultural references in the song be confusing? Who knows.

I love Baroque music, and young musicians are still taking up the instruments to play it. How much will survive beyond the next world war is open to question. If musicians survive, perhaps it will. And if recordings and the devices to play them survive, perhaps Tom Paris on “Voyager” can listen to his ’60s music. Personally I think it’d be funnier if they got all the pop references wrong, but they never seem to, except for that classic moment in “The Voyage Home” when Kirk calls Harold Robbins and Jacqueline Susann “the classics” — hee!

@Marja — I agree, I’d be happier if they get it wrong. Heck we do — think how we watch Shakespeare and classical music today … It’s revered, we get dressed up for it, not quite the people’s entertainment it once was. Heck Mozart was basically writing cocktail party music most of his career. Then again, there are standouts, Shakespeare is really one of the only types of “ancient” theatre we still regularly produce, watch and enjoy. I’m certainly inclined to believe the Beatles similarly transcended the centuries. I’m less inclined to believe FRIENDS did.

Gotta be honest, I never thought this show would be funny but I actually find myself laughing out loud at most of the jokes. The way the humour contrasts with the show’s star trek-style extreme seriousness, really makes me LOL.

Yet, I hate every instance of Trek that tries too hard to by funny, like ST:Insurrection and ST’09. Just completely kills the Star Trek Gravitas for me.

@Spectre-7 — there was humor in this episode? Just a lot of groaning at my house. The Bortus-eats-anything scene was beyond stupid and wasted valuable screen time that could have been used to better handle a very serious storyline. Hate the continued inappropriate squabbles between Macfarlane and his ex. The “humor” in this show simply throws me out of what is otherwise a serious effort, if however somewhat bland. It’s simply not believable to me when it occurs and the level of stupidity undermined the entire message attempted with the Krill story. Oh well, at least no dick jokes this time.

No argument from me that TNG and ST09 were full of cringeworthy humor. Then again, TNG and ORVILLE have a major contributor to that in common with show runner Brannon Braga. so no surprise there …

It doesn’t matter what environment you are in, if it’s the military, police or whatever, eventually people joke around in their free time and they bond. I like to see that in the Orville, people acting like people. Otherwise it’s just like The Phantom Menace, everybody is serious and no one has a personality apart from Jar Jar Binks.

They are SO going to pay off that eat-anything thing down the line. It’ll be like the Horta serving aboard the Enterprise in the Diane Duane Trek novels. He has to ‘eat’ his way through a neutronium door — I think the line is, ‘that’s pretty rich. ‘

That was pretty rich and, admirer of Duane’s Trek novels though I am, pretty dumb.

I only really like Duane’s first two (DR’s ORDERS is only okay and I was monumentally disappointed by the Vulcan books and the mirror uni TNG she did, at which point I retired from reading them), and while I utterly love WOUNDED SKY and MY ENEMY MY ALLY, the future seems WAY too advanced for TOS in them.

I really DO think ORVILLE will use this later; maybe the chick who opens the pickle jars will get exposed to colored kryptonite or something and so they’ll have to take unisex guy along on a mission instead, and he can bite off some exotic alien doorknob.

Either that, or this is a setup for a weird joke where you find that while he can chew neutronium, he is still enough like humans to find he just is unable to swallow down asparagus to save his life. I could relate to that.

I more thought of the Bortus eating segment to be an homage to the second season episode of TNG where Riker cooks and the only one who likes it is Worf

Control panel catches on fire
Captain Mercer: “What happened to automatic fire suppression??”
Lt. Alara Kitan “That’s the panel that caught fire…”

I lol’d.

I’m watching “Voyager” …

It would be hilarious to have the XO say, “re-calibrate the phase inhibitor” or some other Treknobabble and have the respondent officer say, “what’s that?”

@Alf in pof form,

Or when Captain Mercer asked Alara to open communication with the Krill ship and started addressing them immediately before Alara interrupting him and informing him that she hasn’t done it yet!

That’s a pretty obvious lift from DR STRANGELOVE, when the US almost manages to shoot down Slim Pickens’ bomber. One of the crew reports that the auto-destruct mechanism was hit and blew itself up.

That was pretty funny.

How incredibly offensive it was to create a so called evil species, the Krill and then use 21st century corporate advertising one liners… “we try harder, or the earthling god Hertz”. This review reads as an apologist review for the show. If Macfarlane et al can get back on track by making the humor not about current earth company names… and do things like they did with Bortus and just make fun of the genre or the technologies. …. That is how this show could have a chance of getting a season 2. I am getting sick of Brian the Dog cosplaying a starship captain. And again how offensive to a species to make fun of their gods.

We have to take into account that MacFarlane is an atheist, and thinks all religion is hooey. It can be quite offensive to those who believe.

I wouldn’t describe myself as particularly religious, and I found the Krill “service” to be extremely offensive. If the Krill simply think that other species are theirs to use as they please (“God gave man nature in usufruct”), which is an interesting idea, they’re not going to waive severed heads around as dogma.

I think this episode was a vast improvement over the first two, and I’m glad that the pointless and unfunny humor was toned down. But it also showed what’s so frustrating about the Orville: (1) if light is so deadly to the Krill, why do they, um, put LIGHT BULBS in their ship? (2) if this was supposed to make the Krill more realistic or textured, it backfired. The Krill religion was a Flash Gordon-level caricature. (3) the humor is taking time away from building a complex story.

Obviously their light bulb don’t produce any ultra violet light like our florescences do.

They are not evil, their doctrine is evil. You can see the kids are innocent. Maybe in the future the Union and the Krill are able to reach peace like The federation and the Klingon in Star Trek.

I think Seth’s acting is much improved. What really struck me is how terrific his expressions work beneath the alien mask — most actors can’t do the ‘ten times the effort to get 1/10 the expression to read’ thing and do it to the proper scale right out of the gate, but I could read his performance even in medium shots, and in wider ones owing to body language.

His unLatexed Mercer is still a work-in-progress for me, but if he is doing a modest character arc in terms of letting the guy build his confidence over the season (and hopefully putting a little more of the effortless command snap that 1st season Kirk had), then this is going to be something I have to watch.

They’ve already got the downer ending aspect right, twice already, and I absolutely LOVE that aspect.

@kmart — Saw that ending coming from a parsec away … A downer ending usually works better if the audience hasn’t already guessed it halfway through the show. And if you’re referring to the Pria ending, it usually helps if the audiences believes and/or cares about the relationship in the first place.

@Curious Cadet
Dude, don’t be such a hater xD
I’m also a fan of Star Trek, both series can exist at the same time and you can like them the same way…
Brannon Braga, Jonathan Frakes and Patrick Stewart are in on this project, if they are open to it why shouldn’t the fans?

Walder Frey,

The ops of the veterans don’t hold a lot of weight for me.

Nimoy openly supported the Abrams films, yet for me those were utter failures, with 09 being my most-despised Trek film. (I’m good with BEYOND, probably cuz Abrams wasn’t around to track doo-doo all over it from start to finish.)

Whether Nimoy did so out of honest belief or because of enormous paychecks doesn’t change my view that his stated take on the material was WAY off the mark (just as his call on SFS to change Saavik into a straight Vulcan from her original rom/vulc basis was an ill-considered one that really hampered Robin Curtis’ otherwise solid work … while I’m not big on Kirstie’s nervous-cheerleader take on Saavik, at least her material allowed for some texture, whereas Nimoy straightjackedted Curtis into some of the most unplayable stuff imaginable, like ‘Admiral … David is dead.’)

Nimoy’s one line premise for TUC was a good one, though the execution (which he admittedly wasn’t impressed with, feeling they missed the op to really go deep into the Klingon psyche) wasn’t. But I just don’t see his opinions on the show (or any other) as having lasting value, though certainly his work in front of the camera was of great merit (not a fan of Nimoy as director at all – very little good use of camera, and a serious overreliance on ILM to save — or burn — his bacon, even letting them do design work on props used in live-action.)

My personal conjecture–and that’s all that it is–is that Nimoy ultimately gave his endorsement to Trek 2009 because it was his to give. Abrams and the writers were very deferential and if anything played up the reality that without Nimoy’s participation this very expensive project with a hot young director would be dead in the water. This was a huge contrast to the realities of the late Berman era, when Nimoy considered himself pretty much persona non grata at Paramount. So his ego was flattered, which is no great sin. He was only human, after all.

(And I pretty much agree with you about his talents as a director, particularly with regards to how visually uninspired his two Trek films are aside from ILM’s work. Which in its way is a real puzzle, because he was an excellent still photographer.)

MH, Definitely agree with you about LN’s skills as a photog (not so big on his poetry efforts, however, but then again, except for some Rilke and Cummings, I don’t think I like ANYbody’s poetry.)

And you may well be right about his participation on the 09. But I’ve seen other indications that he was not always as perceptive as he seemed. Certainly he seems to have been conned to some degree by the guy who put out that very successful unauthorized and often wildly inaccurate trek book series I used to rail about here and elsewhere for so long. Those THESE ARE THE VOYAGES books. The fact LN endorsed that piece of crap suggests his issues with COPD (and I’m not being mean here, I’ve been diagnosed with a very mild case of it myself already) may have affected how oxygenated he was and his functionality.

I know the guy was about representing the facts and not standing for putting up with crap most of his career (the way he went after a retraction for John Chambers claming credit for Spock’s ears when it was all Fred Phillips, with Chambers just running the molds, speaks volumes for this, as do his commendable and somewhat ahead-of-his-time political progressiveness, at least so far as some issues), so I can only assume he did get conned into that endorsement, which is something I remember being trotted out by the author’s mini-fleet of defenders (some of whom I believe are in the Alex Peters camp, but don’t hold me to that) everytime somebody who knew there stuff about Trek history tried holding the author accountable for his seemingly-made up parts and blatantly inaccurage parts of Trek history.

(I wasn’t even gone go here with this, I was just going to chime in about the still photos, but then I thought about it for a minute and all this stuff came flooding back.)

Back on track about LN and filmmaking, I’d say there were a few minutes of SFS that work cinematically (the self destruct is only slightly undermined by the lame insert shots of 80s era graphics between the various destruct commands being issued, and the sustained close shot on Kirk when Morrow is talking is also a nice bit of restraint, though it would help if he’d show a contrast and cut loose with the camera once or twice.)

No, the other good downer ending was the thing with the singlesex family. The Pria thing was them trying to be clever, and just confusing things.

Just remember “you were nobody’s first choice” which in itself packs a lot of humor into the situation that makes an opening for Captain Mercer to become a “Woody Allen”-type of unlikely hero. I love this show, and it doesn’t have to carry 50 years-worth of baggage along with it (envision a caravan of hundreds of elephants, carrying all of that baggage).

“You were nobody’s first choice” should be their motto…hilarious.

I thought it was the best episode yet and really latched on to that “underneath it all” quality that the best Trek episodes had. And a great example of the “no-win scenario,” reflecting our present day dilemmas. Nicely done, I say!

@P Technobabble — well, if it were a no-win scenario, it’s simply because that’s how the writers presented it. I’m still scratching my head about how a race with an aversion to light would design a lighting system that was capable of outputting high amounts of UV light such that a surge would kill them all. And given the ingenuity of the technical solution (how would a pilot with a previously established low IQ know how to do that?), it also suggests the TREK answer to this dilemma — disabling the weapon, even sacrificing their own lives to do it (how could that be harder than doing what they did?), or even disabling the ship, or sending a message to warn the Union. It’s clear to me, between the lighting surge, and the holo-emitter that they aren’t really trying very hard to come up with plausible solutions to their problems. Evidently they’ve taken the same approach to technology as they have with the humor — it doesn’t matter because this is a comedy not meant to Kobe taken seriously — at least that’s how it seems to me.

…boy CC…you really dont like that show….

Having a low iq doesn’t mean much in the time in which the Orville takes place. He may have a low iq compared to other people of his time but he would still be smarter than most in what would be our time in the Orville universe. Not to mention that just because someone isn’t a genius doesn’t mean that they don’t have skills in other areas beyond academic. You can suspend your disbelief that someone who is in a military with vehicle experience can have some know-how to make the lights on a vehicle brighter. Its not like he went and defused the bomb with a toothpick and piece of gum. Furthermore about the light design, your criticism is the same as me saying “Why would a race that has an aversion to inhaling gas design a system where gas can flow through their homes? Its no wonder they died of a gas leak when someone sabotaged the pipe.”

@Zor — if they had killed them with gas, then I wouldn’t have made this comment. Show me any standard illumination grid that can be turned up to output UV light, for a space otherwise intended for dimly lit operation. That kind of functionality has to be designed into the system, and why would a species adverse to light do that? They wouldn’t. So no, I can’t suspend my disbelief for a show that doesn’t seem to be working even as hard as I would have to in order to do so. Feel free to reward them and do so yourself, however.

JJ’s Enterprise bridge? /jk

It’s not even that funny, it is so outrageous. As much as I’d crave a set visit to just about any Trek show, I have no interest in that 09 bridge, owing to the ridiculous crazy glare of having lights aimed at your face while you pretend to be able to read the display. I’ve found that an epic Epic miss from the first trailer onward. I always liken the 09 bridge to being in the cosmetics aisle of a TARGET store — only you’re trying to do important work there while drowning in a blaze of light.

I wrote it off after seeing the first still. I hate SF sets that feature lighting in the floor, as if the soles of your feet would benefit from all that illumination.

Plus it only is helpful when reading if you have your feet up on the chair’s headrest and your face on the deck while holding your pad or book just as upside down as you are. There’s a ceiling mounted light in Kirk’s quarters in TUC that is nearly as bad — it seems to point exactly at the spot Kirk’s face is when he goes to bed. Not seeing the advantage of having a spotlight directed in such a fashion, it’s akin to working graveshift and then trying to sleep directly under the sun.

My father was on a troopship to Korea and spoke of a light that shined all night in his face like that one. If course you’d think the captain could do better, but Nick Meyer was indefatigable in his desire to show us that starships are not very comfortable places at all.

Makes you wish he could show that uncomfortable aspect in the way that was storyboarded for the can-opener attack on the torp bay in TWOK. According to Mike Minor, who did something like 1000 storyboards for three versions of the film, instead of just catching fire, the folks down there were supposed to be rigged on wires to fly out through the ripped open hull into space, something akin to what you see in the 09 film. I assume losing that was a casualty of the budget.

Curious Cadet,

Knowing of your work in the entertainment industry, I’m surprised that you seem to be oblivious to the fact that the first practical electrical illumination developed was the carbon arc lamp which CAN be overloaded with out of spec electrical energy to the point so as those enjoying its illumination can be given a severe UV burn (Think arc welding.)

As for why the Krill would use a dangerous light source, its simply a matter of that being the only type their civilization had managed to invent at this point in their development. The same reason our ancestors could use their dangerous candles and gaslight light sources to rig the destruction of a building and its inhabitants in flames.

@Disinvited — touche. Good thing they knew all about the mechanics of the Krill ship then in order to take advantage of that. And good thing their guesswork about the Krill’s sensitivity to light was actually correct. Probably would have been safer to disable the weapon like Kirk and Spock would have done, thus preventing the murder of the kids parents and buying them time to escape and warn the Federation … uh, I mean “Union”.

Curious Cadet,

Re: …disable the weapon like Kirk and Spock…

Has it been that long since you’ve watch TOS? Spock would have seduced the Krill Teacher-commander while playing Schoolhouse Rock to the kids on his Vulcan lyre and Kirk stole both the book and bomb, which he would have Scotty hook to the Warp engines for that extra boost to get across the neutral zone before they would be in violation of the Neutral Zone Treaty.

“As for why the Krill would use a dangerous light source, its simply a matter of that being the only type their civilization had managed to invent at this point in their development.”

1. That’s a plastic-man sized stretch. A spacefaring civilization, whose technology surpasses Earth’s 300 years from now, and they do have incandescent light bulbs?

2. The Krill ship wasn’t blackout dark; there was low-level illumination. So the Krill are capable of manufacturing light bulbs that suit their biology. But for some reason they added a setting that amps up the UV exposure, just ‘cuz. Do human ships have a couple of brewery vats of mustard gas tied into their life support system?

Political scientist,

Re: That’s a plastic-man sized stretch.

No more than the same one you are attempting to use to invalidate Vernian founding SF, which dreamt up travel to the moon prior to the invention of a practical incandescent bulb, and the modern Steampunk which it inspired.

Contrary to popular belief, the incandescent bulb doesn’t have to exist so that one can have an imoge for having a bright idea.

And arc lamps evolved, but even if their source brightness couldn’t somehow be dimmed somewhat it’s not as if anyone that’s used a welder’s mask to watch an eclipse believes there aren’t alternate means of using such glass to achieve desired lighting levels.

And I point out that in my observation of the Krill ship they seem to have extremely high ceilings compared to the Orville’s which would be consistent with their recourse to arc lighting. And as I recall, Newton discovered the foundation for our fiber optics which is all that would be necessary to pipe light to various consoles etc. as needed in such a spaceship.

Jules Verne “dreamt up travel to the moon prior to the invention of a practical incandescent bulb.”

Speculating about travel to the moon in the mid-1800s is one thing. Actually *travelling* there without having invented incandescent light bulbs is entirely different.

Lookit, you can speculate about whether Krill use incandescents or LEDs or whatever until the cows come home. The point is that they’ve deliberately designed an illumination system that, if cranked up, kills everyone on board within seconds. (Again, do human ships feature an option to switch life support to mustard gas instead of nitrogen/oxygen?)

From a safety perspective, that’s idiotic design — and certainly doesn’t scream “adversary crafty enough to be an existential threat to the Federation (er, Union).

Curious, “auto-fill” is funny

“not meant to Kobe taken seriously”
“not meant to beef taken seriously”

Perhaps my comment wasn’t as clear as it could have/should have been. The “no-win scenario” I was referring to was Mercer’s act of saving children that would one day be his enemies. On the surface it looked like he was doing the right thing but, ultimately, he won nothing. I think that is not far removed from the predicaments we face on earth today. And we don’t have any writers making up our dilemmas (if only it were that easy!). Just my take on it. I hear what you’re saying, though.
As for the show, itself, I am enjoying it quite a bit and just taking it for what it is. I have no preconceptions or expectations of Seth & Co. doing anything that I think they should do. No one is giving me the keys to any cars anyway! I dig the Trek/Quest vibe that’s going on and I give them credit for trying to use the format to say something interesting. I believe they have yet to hit their stride but I also believe there is enormous potential here.

With this episode I can now say I find the Krill more interesting than the current incarnation of the Klingons. MacFarlane’s performance was very good in this episode. I’m not a hater like some so I think he’s great in the other, too, but this along with Pria shows his growth when it comes to playing it straight. There’s also a telling moment where Mercer tells Molloy to cool it with the jokes – that’s the show itself acknowledging there’s a time and place. Which is why in the final act all the joking stops.

“we try harder” i loled

And fitting, Orville is the Avis to DSC’s Hertz

Oh, nice observation, Phik!

I think the better analogy would be Rent-a-Wreck to DSC’s Hertz.

DSC has proved that Star Trek has evolved to where it can compete with the best of modern television, like BREAKING BAD and THE AMERICANS.

We’ve seen other sci-fish series resurrected from the 1980s that stick to an episodic format: Bionic Woman and Knight Rider, both of which crashed and burned horribly, and MacGyver, which (like the Orville) has its moments but is largely mediocre.

DSC isn’t quite pitch-perfect, but it has absolutely taken the right approach.

I’ve watched THE AMERICANS (the entire run during the last few months in fact), and I can say that there weren’t any 30 minutes in the whole run as bad as those minutes I spent watching DISCOVERY last month. Compete with modern TV? Naah. Self consciously TRYING to compete with best of modern TV, yeah, I’d allow that.

Sorry, but I’d still easily take those 30 minutes over anything The Orville has produced thus far, though “Krill” was indeed more than a modest step forward. But that’s mostly relative, alas. I just caught up with the generation ship show, and it was just dreadful. Amazingly, Seth MacFarlane made the shipboard cult of Yonada seem almost reasonable and sympathetic by comparison.

That said, I do agree that it’s really premature to compare Discovery with the best of prestige television at this point. (I have no idea what your ‘self consciously’ dig is supposed to signify, though, since all attempts at excellence are such by definition.) But at least they’re trying, and it’s my considered opinion that we’re most likely not going to get there by way of warmed-over TNG tropes combined with dick jokes.

I guess I mean that the intent to make this feel like a GoT must-see epic seems very heavy-handed and shoehorned in (again based on my limited exposure to it), and that maybe that approach in itself may be weighing DSC down. Maybe DSC should have just tried getting it to feel like TREK to begin with, and then started arc/serializing the thing for season 2 once they’d already gotten the TREK part down.

But if they’re shooting for the moon right out of the gate, then they’ve got to please an awful lot of audiences ASAP, which means go lowest-common-denominator and/or risk alienating/turning off some of your base. The latter is okay if you’ve got the talent to deliver some genuine goods, but if you can’t really bring it and then keep on bringing it … well, then Houston there may be a problem.

ORVILLE is certainly aiming a lot lower, no question, but I don’t think it is playing particularly safe either. I don’t think the dick jokes will keep folks coming back who feel their fundamental(ist) beliefs are getting trod on, but then again, I could be totally wrong and maybe the parallels to their own beliefs will go right over their heads, and they’ll stay to see the ship battles and UNMARRIED W/O CHILDREN humor (certainly the lighting makes me think of past Fox sitcoms.)

I’m very surprised that Enterprise hasn’t entered this equation yet. I’m talking the rental car agency, not the starship or the series.

I have the last two episodes on the PVR but havent found time to watch them yet. I did, however, see that their ratings are essentially hemorrhaging but its believed they will get a second season. Perhaps with some re-jigging.

Get thee to thine DVR! “The Orville” is becoming must-see-TV.

I love that “Orville” is on Thursdays and “Discovery” on Sundays. I’m never more than 2-3 days away from an increasingly authentic trip down TNG memory lane or a brash new adventure in 21st (23rd) century Star Trek. We live in wondrous times, my friends. :D

Im not sure I’d describe a show with plummeting ratings as “must see TV” lol but to each their own!

Ratings are almost never been an indicator of a show’s quality.

almost never? Sure, some great shows sadly never found an audience, but this seems a bit overstated.

Yeah maybe that was a bit of hyperoble but the point remains that many really good TV shows over the years always struggled with how TV ratings are measured and were overlooked.

Yep, just think of TOS and the Nielsen ratings ….

Although third season TOS sucked for the most part.

But their time slot being changed from Thursday prime time to Friday out of time did a lot to sound the death knell too.

But they’re not *not* indicative, either. At best, there’s *no* correlation between ratings and quality, but you’re positing an inverse correlation.

Plenty of bad shows have crashed and burned. Some good shows have, too. Plenty of good shows (BREAKING BAD) have found an audience; then there’s BAYWATCH.

Are you serious? You’d have to be nuts to believe there’s any positive correlation between show quality and viewership numbers. Most popular show on TV, Big Bang Theory? That garbage? This is why CBS’s median age is 61. Meanwhile shows that by all accounts are brilliant go unwatched and unrenewed because by definition they’re too smart to appeal to a mass audience. Sure, there’s great, popular television out there. But there’s just as much great unwatched television too.

Or a better time slot?

We did drop when we moved to Thursday, but since then with the L+3 ratings (that is, the live airing plus the first three days of people watching on their DVR’s) The Orville has maintained 100% of its audience.

@David A. Goodman — too bad the advertisers don’t really care. Though, there’s been a huge drop in Live+3 from those Sunday night numbers too, as well as Live+7, so I’m not sure how that works? Fortunately FOX owes a lot to MacFarlane and even a 1.0 rating and 3.3 million viewers should get you a back nine pickup.

I am really getting into this show. I think it is finally finding its direction. It is not Star Trek and it doesn’t have to be.

That’s how I viewed it, and wish it was promoted that way, Star Trek’s cousin or…brother-law. The diet coke of Star Trek? You see what I’m getting at. It allows me to enjoy it for what it is instead of doing what 2017 seems to do with everything (pit two good things against each other for the sake of a fight).

@PEB — yup. Again, Macfarlane seems to be squarely to blame for that. Fox certainly did not, if anything trying to promote it more as FAMILY GUY in space.

Yes! The brother-in-law! Sometimes obnoxious, yet sometimes lovable, and, when not drunk, comes out with some good thinking.

Noted Star Trek guest star James Horan was the Krill in Red in this episode. He’s a good character actor.

I though he sounded familiar! thanks

I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. They seem to be getting incrementally better. It had a truly ‘Trek’ story, and the humor seemed more thought out, with not a single fart or dick joke in sight. I quite enjoyed it.

I liked it. The show has a way of making you forget that it’s also a comedy. And I don’t feel depressed at the end of every show…like so much TV these days.

@ bassmaster22 — perhaps because there’s nothing funny about it?

I’m confused how you didn’t find this episode depressing, after macfarlane BBQ’d a ship full of people and parents of children he spared to experience the horror of their loss and develop greater resentment and hatred toward the Union for whom they already shared a deep enmity …

Was it the pithy joke about needing huge amounts of aloe Vera to overcome a severe sunburn after slaughtering a ship full of people and parents of kids they orphaned?

Yeah, what a hoot! How appropriate. That’s just what that moment called for! Makes a person forget all about the depressing issues presented in the episode. /s

@Curious cadet,

Give it a rest, dude.

Curious’s points are perfectly valid. The Orville’s tonal schizophrenia makes for an unpleasant overall viewing experience.

+1. “Tonal schizoprenia” is a great way of putting it.

Tonal schizophrenia was my takeaway from most early TNG, but with a distinctly unpleasant aftertaste.

ORVILLE, on the other hand, for the last 4 shows has managed to ‘entertain’ while delivering that same mass of conflicting impulses. That’s no small accomplishment given that I can hold up FIREFLY as an example of nailing most things (the non-science aspects) right out of the gate and use that to denigrate pretty much every post-TOS TREK … and yet here, after the first two really shaky/bad weeks, I don’t feel that need with ORVILLE. It seems to be making progress toward being a good show, but doing it in a way that SHOULD alienate hell out of me … instead I’m looking past the flaws, which is a trick BermanTrek very rarely ever managed to pull off.

If ORVILLE lasts long enough to start really pushing back against its source inspiration, it could turn into a terrific program. I can envision a whole season arc (I know, they’re not about arcs, but even so), where the Union enacts a Prime Directive kind of thing, and you see them have to suffer with it for several eps, only to find out it is the OPPOSITE of what you think a PD would be for, and it is there mainly to give a public face of non-interference, but actually allows everybody ELSE, those in the private sector, to exploit these less-developed races … which is what I keep thinking happens on TREK all the time, since Starfleet doesn’t seem to have picket ships protecting all these systems, so there’s nothing to stop the Harry Mudds of our race or any other from going in after we warp out, playing the god game with the locals or doing an Olly North with them.

Well, aren’t you a hypocrite, ahmed. You spew negativity constantly about Discovery yet when someone talks negative about orville, you tell them to give it a rest.

@Captain Ransom,

False equivalence much?

I shouldn’t bother explaining to someone like you but will try for the last time.

Regarding ‘Discovery’ I generally post what I think of the new episode or info (positive or negative) and respond to one or two comments by other people. I don’t go around asking people “How could find the show exciting? There is nothing exciting about the show?”

Your pal “Curious cadet”, who has an ax to grind with Brannon Braga & Seth MacFarlane, is spamming every freaking Orville article with non-stop posts trashing the show, the producers & commentators who express positive opinions about The Orville. Almost the half the comments in this thread are made by him.

Between fake outrages at pop culture references in The Orville, while showing no problem when that happens on ‘Discovery’, and going around questioning fans’ personal tastes when they express their enjoyment of the show.

This week’s new fake outrage was at the depiction of the Krill as religious fanatics who behead their enemy, while having no problem with ‘Discovery’ showing the Klingon as religious fanatics who eat their enemies.

The guy has nothing to say but to spam Orville threads with the same nonsense over and over.

Continue with your false equivalence by all means, and don’t bother with a response.

A little defensive much ahmed?
Funny thing is… you do the same thing on the Discovery articles dude. Pot. Kettle. Black…

And I’ll bother with a response if I damn well please.

Curious cadet,

Re: …BBQ’d a ship full of people…

You mean like the way the US BBQed two entire cities, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and then had the gsll to celebrate VJ-Day with champagne and hoopla immediately after? I remind you the Protectorate is at WAR with the Krill who are shown to be organized into military units that execute military strikes with military type goals quite unlike the radical extremist religionists tactics that you believe MacFarlane’s targeting.

The Krill, with their very clear belief in their NAZIesque genetic endowment making them the only beings with a soul the possession of which, they believe, entitles them to behave barbarically toward any other “lesser” life that isn’t in possession of one, clearly aren’t radical extremist Muslims as those have a solely faith-based litmus test which holds that their enemies have souls, which is why there are US and other world citizens in their radical ranks.

And I’ve got a newsflash for you, German civilian non-combatants which included men, women and CHILDREN were killed in the Allied bombings of Berlin and other German cities. And while it wasn’t the goal at the time because they didn’t know what atrocities the Nazis believed they were entitled to perform upon non-combatant men, women, and CHILDREN they tagged as non-Aryan defectives, it nevertheless put a halt to those atrocities.

MacFarlane clearly was exploring how far we could go with “the ends justify the means” warfare tactics and still walk away believing we are somehow more “humane”, good, and just than our foes. And the possible price of indulging in that luxury for generations to come.

What might have been more interesting was if Mercer hadn’t been able to shepherd that wayward kid (Kova?) back into the schoolroom, and was forced to chose between roasting him and letting the colony be destroyed.

@the river temarc — agreed, but that would have required thought and effort … Of course Kirk and Spock would have found another way to deal with it that didn’t result in the sacrifice of the kids or their parents … And made more sense than turning up the lights to 11 ;-)

You mean the same way Kirk and Spock figured out another way out of the incident on Neural? Where their “brilliant” plan was to arm the Hill People with weaponry identical to that which the Klingons were presenting to the other side, thereby plunging the planet into a brutal civil war that would probably range on for decades?

Seems to me their “brilliant plan” for Neural was going to lead to years of sacrifice, slaughter, and death… all while watching his formerly pacifist friend become an angry, revenge-bent radical.

“Serpents… serpents, for the Garden of Eden”.

I can understand your opinion that there may have been better options, but let’s not put Kirk and Spock up as if they were perfect, and always had the right solution. I think this one example above illustrates an epic failure on their part that far exceeds frying the crew of a single ship to save 100,000 lives. The repercussions of the war on Neural would probably lead to far more deaths and suffering than those lost on one ship.


Neural is a great example for lots of reasons, but my takeaway for the episode has always been that at the very end, when Kirk says, ‘serpents,’ he is coming to his senses belatedly and abruptly, and at that point he just up and quit the planet, not continuing with the balance of power approach. (I realize that is a minority viewpoint, but the way they cut the thing with the ship just up and leaving with the sad CHARLIE X music has always made me read it this way.)

The thing is, things are already wrecked there, so you’re going to either have a one-sided massacre or a two-sided one — there isn’t going to be a ‘good’ resolution without deus ex machina (time travel or some glowing guy in a robe snapping fingers to make the guns — and the material needed to make them — all go away.)

With ERRAND OF MERCY and A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR, you get the idea that these guys don’t always win the day or even always have the right impulses, let alone answers, but if you didn’t have those eps, they’d be too perfect to watch.

Going kind of off topic to TNG for a rant here … The perfect angle is part of my issue with Picard & co … I found them to be just as flawed, but delusional about how much better they were than most of those they encountered. I still love Q WHO best for the fact it was the one time Picard really learned some humility, and if you’ve read the CFQ interview with director Rob Bowman, it was apparently an amazingly tough sell to get Patrick Stewart to play that scene, as he apparently found it offensive. I really do think that for all the ‘enlightened’ aspects of Picard and 24th century living and all the seemingly democratic conferences aboardship, that Picard comes off as positively imperial in his command posturing, and I mean that in the most unflattering and negative way possible. All that stuff about Stewart not letting visitors sit in the captain’s chair seems to fit into it too, and is about as far from enlightened and progressive as I’d care to consider. And that’s not as meta a conclusion as you might think, given that the attitudes of the lead actors do color the performances. It kind of makes you wonder if Stewart knew about the original material for THE HIGH GROUND, and if he did, was he responsible along with Piller for scuttling it in favor of the IRA feel. If so, he shares the blame in throwing away what could have been among TREK’s best allegories in favor of a trite retread. Here endeth the rant.


I can buy that up to a point, and that last musical chord definitely reinforced the notion that this was not a happy ending. But I can think of a dozen potential remedies beyond Kirk’s binary one, and the Vietnam analogy, which lest we forget is the episode’s entire raison d’etre anyway, is in every way ahistorical, offensive, and just downright awful.

I’ve never heard this point addressed, but I wonder if this episode is one of the other breaking points so far as the GR/Coon relationship. Apparently GR rewrote the original teleplay, one of the few times he took an active hand in doing so 2nd season (I think BREAD & CIRCUSES and maybe ASSIGNMENT EARTH are the only others), and it seems the whole defending US involvement aspect doesn’t really jive with much of what I’ve seen in Coon’s storytelling, except perhaps as a point-of-departure. In ERRAND OF MERCY and ARENA, which are Coon’s, you have Kirk starting off with some hawk tendencies, but these are tempered by the conclusions of the episodes, giving him some arc. It could be that the tension between Coon and GR over how much humor the show needed and its tone made for a push-me/pull-you that benefited in some ways, but it probably made for schizophrenic storytelling as well.

GR agreeing to scrap HE WALKED AMONG US, apparently at the behest of Norman Spinrad, seems pretty odd to me. You have Coon again rewriting Spinrad, which he did very successfully on THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE, and yet GR chooses to take the freelancer’s recommendation and trash your producer’s rewrite entirely, presumably writing off all the costs of writing the thing? One that would have had *some* crossover potential since it was to star Milton Berle?

I remember hearing somebody was writing a Coon bio, but don’t recall if it got published or not, or if there is anything of value there. But I do think that there must have been some rivalry here. Perhaps not on the level of TMP, you have GR and HL rewriting each other practically on the quarter-hour, but when the show is getting Emmy noms for the guy who succeeded you on your creation, it might just rankle GR a bit.

@Disinvited — you’re preaching to the choir. I wasn’t addressing that point at all, but rather the characterization that the episode wasn’t depressing like other TV shows today. But preach on brother …

Eh. By and large the humor was less grating in this episode than in previous one, largely because they got rid of the blob-creature (Yaphet?). And the “we try harder” prayer actually worked. It was the kind of thing Jack O’Neill might have said in STARGATE.

The opening humor was much less successful. Bortas eating wasabi might have worked, had they stopped there, instead of proceeding to napkins and glasses and such. The jokes about the communication system are getting tired and weren’t particularly belly laugh-quality to begin with. This ain’t CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM.

I think Orville would to well to jettison most of the humor and look to the sarcasm of Jack O’Neill and Teal’c on STARGATE as a model. (By the looks of things, that may be they route they’re eyeing. My guess is that Yaphet is gone after the Harvey Weinstein scandal.) Combined that with more serialized storytelling and you might — might — end up with something worth keeping.

Certainly the series has been improving enough for me, at least, to keep watching, which isn’t something I would have said after the pilot.

Sorry, but the Weinstein scandal hadn’t burst out when this episode was filmed. Unless there were rumblings of imminent public charges months ago.

While I like Norm McDonald, I’m not crazy about the horny character Yaphet. Yaphet could definitely be re-scripted. I mean, what does he even do on the ship, other than hit on the doctor? [I haven’t seen all the episodes yet.]

What I meant is that after Weinstein, Yaphet is likely to be written out of the series, or at least his schtick (pun intended?) changed.

I really liked the episode. The one thing that bothered me was Gordon seemed completely idiotic when they ended up with the Krill – even Chris was bothered by the way Devin wouldn’t shut up.

Yeah but Gordon has the best line in the episode “That’s a brand new leg! ” and he saved the colony as well.

I really like the fact that they had to deal with two no win scenario in the end. Because this often happens in real life and politics. The episode was the funniest by far…and they didn’t fall into easy stuff in terms of story. The religious aspect is something to look forward I guess…The Krills totally reminds me of the Wraith in Stargate Atlantis. that said, it’s not a bad thing.

@andrew tremblay — Interesting. I pretty much get a Krall vibe from Star Trek BEYOND. Krall/Krill … just a coincidence?×800/landscape-1460733709-movies-krall-star-trek.jpg

I don’t see the Wraith at all.

Well, when they said vampire from space, I though about that…but comes to think of it, Wraith weren’t that badder with sunlight. They were just vital energy leeches. Yah, somehow I completely forgot about the Krall…you are 100% right. Even the prosthetic is kind of looking alike.

When I first saw the Krill, my thought was “Jem’Hadar.” Then the name, sounding like Krall … yep. Tribute, maybe.

I was thinking more the Orai from SG1

@Steve — now you are, but that’s strictly the religious zeal … they certainly don’t look like the Ori. And they don’t seem to be interested in spreading the word of Avis, just killing anybody who isn’t Krill. It’ll be interesting to see how they develop the Krill, and especially this religion that seems to be at the center of their culture.

Curious Cadet,

Re: It’ll be interesting to see how they develop the Krill…

It IS interesting that apparently you intend to keep watching to feed that interest despite your MacFarlane repulsion.

@Disinvited — your inference. I never stated I’d be watching to find out.

Separately: I don’t like a lot of individual elements of things, but usually don’t let that influence my overall opinion of them, or solely influence whether I choose to experience something. Case in point: I don’t care for Jeff Russo, nor how he works, nor what he contributes, but I’m not going to let that ruin everything else about DISCOVERY I do like.

Curious Cadet,

Re: your inference.

Perhaps, but I am absolutely certain that you’ll never discover for sure for yourself if the assessment was correct unless you do. And on top of that, it will be a win-win for you if you so choose to.

If you discover MacFarlane failed to develop the Krill in any sort of an interesting manner you have another saber to rattle about his lacking competence. And, on the other hand, if he somehow manages to develop the Krill interestingly, you get to pat yourself on the back for being right.

Watching this show is like watching my son play baseball when he was 8. You get excited when they just don’t screw up. The best part of the show is the homage to TNG and I always give them a half smile and a head nod. The rest of the time I am either saying WTF or cringing and shaking my head.

TV By the Numbers: “The Orville” (1.0) rose a tenth for FOX

ORVILLE seems to be stabilizing around the 1.0 ratings mark (18-49) and around 3.3 million viewers. But that’s another drop in viewers down from 3.4 million viewers last week, though not as great as before.

As long as ORVILLE maintains a 1.0 rating they’ll probably get an order for the back 9 considering MacFarlane’s relationship. A second season is more questionable at this point, but definitely still a possibility.

Far too many modern day references that people 400 years in the future would know nothing about — car rental companies Avis and Hertz, tramp stamp, listening to Midnight Special, watching an episode of Seinfeld on the viewscreen.

@Mike WIllimans — yup. It’s clear they’re making no attempt at all to make this believable, from the current pop references to the half-baked technology and solutions to their dilemmas. Trek often had some pretty far fetched techno-babble remedies, but it was clear they were trying; as well as annoying 20th Century references, but generally not pop culture, and peppered lightly throughout a season of episodes.

Curious, I have three words for you: “Bride of Chaotica!”

Oh yes, and “retro Tom Paris”

@Marja — right! At least that was an original creation explained to the audience, and not a direct reference to current pop knowledge required to get the joke. But who knows — maybe Hertz and Avis survived the next 400 years and are the top vehicle rental company to the entire Union!

“Bride of Chaotica!” wasn’t exactly a high-point of what is arguably the only failed Trek series, though. There are relatively few TNG episodes I refuse to rewatch, but a lot of VOY ones, and crap like Chaotica and the Flotter episodes are prime examples.

@Curious Cadet,

John Lennon
Alice in Wonderland
Elon Musk

I think it’s fairly clear that the first three will be remembered in 200 years. (Bob Dylan, too, although I personally think he’s overrated.) Elon Musk will be remembered as a modern-day Thomas Edison if at least some of his projects pan out, and while the jury’s still out, I think that’s a reasonable bet.

A much better comparison would be the Beastie Boys in ST09 and Beyond.

Some people really believe that there’s every bit as much of a chance that “Friends” and Frankenberry cereal will be remembered centuries from now as John Lennon. Nothing seen on The Orville So far is as funny as that idea.

I enjoyed the episode except for Gordon. Other than him it was pretty great.

Got to say this episode seems more deep and exciting than TNG, which isn’t saying much.

I Hope UK gets Orville soon. Only seen pilot. Does it improve?

I suspect that if the pilot didn’t interest you, you won’t care for the others. I think they’re improving but then again I enjoyed the pilot..

The pilot was Ok. I did not hate it. Didnt love it.
I do want to see more.


“I Hope UK gets Orville soon.”

It will be on Fox UK, according to The Telegraph.

“[The Orville] which debuted in the US last month and is due to shortly air on Fox UK (a precise date yet to be announced).”

Those aliens look like the Jen Hadar

Or Krall from STAR TREK BEYOND. Krill/Krall, just a coincidence?

From what I’ve read Orville lifts rather liberally from Trek. Not surprised at all by the similarities presented in print…

As someone who can’t stand McFarlane and believe him to be a total tool, I remained stunned that of the two Trekish shows debuting this season, it’s The Orville that is the superior show. It’s not even close. Done with Discovery.

@JohnCT — nice. You have a very low bar for what constitutes acceptable Trek. Enjoy.

I find myself on the opposite end of the spectrum, done with The Orville.

Have not been able to bring myself to watch Orville. Discovery has been a pleasant surprise, and continues to improve.

How can so many of you be upset at the ending. Its tragic, but they were going to kill 100,00 humans. Given the circumstances, they have to fry. How is this even a choice?

Interesting. Sounds similar to Americas position at end of WW2. Kill several thousand people with Fire and Fury, or allow the enermy to build back strength to fight back again..

Not a bad comparison, especially with a dedicated enemy that has no interest in ending hostilities. The end of WWII was tragic as well but effective.

Actually, that’s a very bad comparison. If you think it isn’t, you really need to go back and study the history.

I agree that the political background is not black and white with Japan. I know that Japan was actually an incredibly isolated and closed nation in the 19th Century. It refused to do trade with America, for one!

Then it was dragged into world politics beyond its will, and it became a very aggressive and threatening nation.

Michael Hall,

If you are talking about the justifications for BBQing Nagasaki and Hiroshima, I agree. However, it is not lost on me that warring WW2 Japan believing its foes were without honor (Re:soul) and thought it justified all sorts of atrocious behavior completely lacking in their own code of honor against them. So much so, that, even now, Japan is still in complete denial on how dishonorable their soldiers’ faith in their absolute honorableness allowed them to become.

It is what THE ORVILLE has been exploring with the Krill and the Kaylons. One believes its inherent superiority entitles it to be self-indulgent to the extreme at the expense of all inferiors whereas the other seems to take a more benevolent studious approach toward what it regards as its inferior lifeforms.


Yes, I agree with you re the history. As to the episode itself I managed to catch it last night and will chime in with my own thoughts today or tomorrow.

FYI – The first stage of Operation Olympic (the invasion of Japan’s southern island) projected 500,000 casualties. The second stage (the battle for Tokyo) projected 5 million. Which would have been better, wiping out a couple of cities to end the war or continued fighting for the next two years that would have destroyed the entire country?

Only that binary choice was not the only option available to the United States and its allies at the time, nor does the historical record show that the cost of a land invasion the only rationale given by those involved for the use of the bomb. You really need to do some research on the whole history behind Truman’s decision, and not just the easy justifications.

@Myrth — well thank goodness this episode presented the Krill as 2-dimensional bad guys, with a barbaric religious practice, so as to enure that viewpoint.

FYI, there are actually some people that can’t be reasoned with. It’s the sad truth. If you have a person / persons like that intent on hurting you, your options are limited.

This episode left me with a couple nagging questions. Do the Krill know where Earth is? And if not, do they now?

Bet they’ll start looking

While I understand why some people think this episode is anti-Muslim, upon further reflection I actually think it’s the inverse. The vast majority of Muslims do not think that non-Muslims are inferior as people and should die so Muslims can live well, which is how the Krill are depicted. So those who are assuming the Krill represent Muslims, because both groups are so murderous and prejudiced- are actually the ones demonstrating an anti Muslim prejudice. The Krill are murderous fantatics as a race; Muslims, except for the extreme fringe groups, are not.

@Gary Seven — we know that to be true, but that’s not the message being generally presented to non-Muslim nations, nor does MacFaralane do anything to distance the similarities between the Krill’s actions and those of the negative stereotypes understood to be true about the Islamic religion and Muslims in general. In fact this episode does nothing to help us understand who the Krill are and why they do these things, yet it’s pretty clear were they fit in with the analogy to the present day narrative, just as the Klingons were the stand-ins for the Soviets in the 1960s.

A little oversimplified though you are right for the vast majority of Muslims. Muslim fundamentalists (extremists?) generally DO see themselves as superior and indeed think you should be paying a jizya tax out of your interiority or face death. Depends on how literally one believes Qu’ran 9:29 (the root of terrorism in some ways) – “Fight against those who do believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the people of the Scripture until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

“that’s not the message being generally presented to non-Muslim nations”

Actually, it largely is. You’re choosing to ignore the message, because it doesn’t jibe with your worldview.

I find “The Orville” to be a strange balancing act. One minute you see horribly juvenile, frat-house humor and the next minute it’s PG-level violence/gore with some half-hearted attempts at genuine drama sandwiched in between. It’s like being on a carnival ride. I’d like the show a lot more if it would “calm down” a little and show a little more finesse with both humor and drama.

@Joy- I know what you mean, and it’s a very reasonable reaction. At first I felt the same way. But then I realized that this show is not going to fit into any pre-existing category but is going to jump between serious themes and juvenile humor- and that’s what it is. The Orville is its own unique mixture. I decided to accept that, and the show on its own terms. In a way I even admire its boldness in doing its own thing. To coin a phrase, going where no show has gone before. So now I sit down to watch the show each week expecting to feel moments of serious drama and moments of silliness, and I go along and enjoy the ride. Since I decided to “go with it,” I’m having more fun. But I do understand why you feel the way you do. It is a bunch of disparate pieces in one show. But that IS the show.

“The Orville is its own unique mixture.”

That doesn’t mean the mixture is working, though. And I suspect we’ll see a lot less of the horny blob creature and its dick jokes after Harvey Weinstein.

@TRT — maybe. That’s also an expensive character, requiring not only hiring an actor to voice it, but also CGI. Whether we see the character or not, likely has less to do with Weinstein than cost, but you may be right and the sexual harassment may be toned down if we do. On the other hand MacFarlane likely sees himself as a progressive liberal, but his misogyny is evident in everything he does. He’s likely blind to it, and his inner circle is likely not to press the issue, assuming they even see it themselves. The problem in Hollywood is that it’s hard to prove harassment of any sort in an industry that can claim such behavior is purely in reference to a character in a show, which is the currency of the business — I’ve actually heard managers say, “if the production offends you, I suggest you work somewhere else” and be fully supported by the employer.

MacFarlane likely sees himself as a progressive liberal, but his misogyny is evident in everything he does.
Curious, I agree; unfortunately this attitude seems prevalent in Hollywood.

I like MacFarlane’s respect for science [producer of “Cosmos”] and a lot of his other positions, but man I hate his misogyny. I hope he can grow up and drop it. I’m not optimistic because “Family Guy” has a lot of that “humor” and it’s enormously popular.

A common mistake is when someone writes in an overtly strong woman and then thinks that’s just god’s gift to feminism so he must not be a misogynist. And just having Alara around and giving Kelly Hu 2 minutes of dialogue doesn’t excuse how Adrianne Palicki’s character (can’t even remember he damned name) is almost entirely defined by her marriage to Mercer. When I strain to think what else she’s done, unfortunately I’m stuck with the embarrassing lawyering she was saddled with in episode 3, and the “Friends” joke no actor could have saved in episode 4, which she delivered in the middle of having her face beaten to a pulp.
Add in the blob, and I have very little confidence this show will gain any sort of self-awareness.

I don’t think so. They have pretty much wrapped up shooting the first season. It will have to wait till the next and by then the Harvey thing will probably have blown over.

@cdr Cody — unless they get a pick up for the back 9 which fox will have to order soon before production shuts down. That said, they probably still have about 3-4 episodes to shoot, during which they could shoot pick-ups for earlier episodes to eliminate scenes with the blob, and more than enough time to remove him from the remaining episodes — IF they want to …

I enjoyed this episode but the humor doesn’t fit in with the drama most of the time for me anyway.

Give them a break – years of lousy tv (TNG, VOY); at at least here some of the humour is on purpose. Whatever helps lock TNG as a bland pseudo-comedy-drama the faster the better

‘Krill’ was an excellent episode with interesting premise & resolution.

We found more about the Krill, their religion and society. Like humans, they have family structures, care about their children. And like some humans, they have religion.

The way they killed the crew was ingenious. I like what the female Krill told Captain Mercer at the end of the episode that regardless of his intentions to save the children, his actions will turn the children into the enemy of the Union.

Gordon screaming: That’s a brand new leg! lol

Now, have to wait for two weeks for a new episode.

And yet the entire affair is steeped in disingenuous silliness.

I thought it was a good episode and definitely had to do with religious fanaticism that we see today. This was also a true “no win scenario that played out on screen with Mercer all happy he saved the kids and the colonists while the teacher explains he’s just made more enemies as the children now will hold their families deaths against Humans and Mercer in particular. Also, dues to their openness – those children now know the approximate location of Earth and will undoubtedly tell the adults . As an aside, Now that we’ve met Admiral Ozawa, we know the names of two admirals who faced off against eachother in the Pacific in WW2

I think the Priest is “future guy” from Enterprise. I know his voice!

Looking at the ratings Macfarlane’s traditional fan base seems to have abandoned the show. At this stage it’s the aging TNG purist relics from the 80’s that’s tuning in on a weekly basis.
By the time season 2 rolls up I think the only ones watching the show will be the staff at trekmovie lol.
Looking at the pics the Krill/whoever look like a poor man’s version of the Jem’hadar. Wish Braga would stick to aping things from his own nondescript creations like the “Vaadwaur”, (remember those guys?!) instead of something great like DS9

@Amulius Victor — yup. The ratings have been in steady decline, including the time-shifted numbers:

Ep. 1, L+SD — 2.7, 8.6 million/L+3 — 3.5, 11.3 million (30% gain)
Ep. 2, L+SD — 2.2, 6.6 million/L+3 — 2.8, 8.4 million (27% gain)
Ep. 3, L+SD — 1.1, 4.0 million/L+3 — ?
Ep. 4, L+SD — 1.1, 3.7 million/L+3 — 1.8, 6.1 million (65% gain)
Ep. 5, L+SD — 0.9, 3.4 million/L+3 — ?/L+7 — 2.1,6.8 million (91% gain)
Ep. 6, L+SD — 1.0, 3.3 million/L+3 — ?

Still never quite seen what good the L+3-7 numbers do for advertisers. Very few of the timeshifted viewers won’t bother to skip all the commercials. If I was an advertiser not named “Avis” last week, I would just skip the L+7 entirely and ask, “Who the hell cares?”
Maybe there’s some silver lining in numbers from FoxNow and Hulu, but this show can’t be making much money. Thursday does not have any easy time slots to program though, and that might be the show’s saving grace.

@Ian — L+3-7 don’t matter at all to advertisers. Only the L+3 numbers matter in that advertisers have reluctantly agreed to allow them to affect the ad sales prices — but they’re weighted such that regardless of how much they boost The Demo, they don’t affect the ad fees significantly. L+7 don’t matter at all.

However, they can influence a producer to continue backing a show. FAMILY GUY’s rating has fallen significantly over the years, but FOX keeps programming it because it’s a vertically integrated property that is earning top dollar in syndication. While I doubt Hulu is dramatically altering the landscape as far as advertisers and financing for ORVILLE since it is a pay service which customers can opt out of ads, my guess is FOX Now may be seeing some significant numbers, where viewers can’t opt out of ads. This of course is where much of MacFarlanes audience lives (online) — TNG fans, less so.

So those factors will likely keep ORVILLE going on FOX for a full season order. After that, if the live ratings don’t improve, it could easily shift to FX or Hulu as an exclusive, especially after it’s built an audience, and CBS has led the way for the older TNG crowd in terms of adapting to modern tech options like streaming (which seems to be a huge impediment to some based on the responses to TM’s preparing for DISC articles). A huge advertising push could get a lot of sign ups for FX or Hulu. Syndication sales outside the US to Amazon, Netflix or Hulu could also go a long way to financing the new season too, as CBS has with DISC.

This show will definitely lower your IQ by 500 points. That’s last episode was moronic at best. Cancel this now before it causes permanent brain damage .

I think you meant to post this on a Discovery review.

Nope. He meant orville. It’s a really dumb show.

Can’t they both be disappointing?

Pro: This episode had a focused, cohesive narrative, like the previous one. This suggests that the production is resolving issues of storytelling mechanics that made the first three episodes “clunky.”

Pro: This episode had a fair amount of humor that worked. I got some good laughs out of it.

Pro: This episode’s thematic resolution was, by far, the most cogent and satisfying yet. Where Episode 4 lets you down with an ending that makes no sense, the ending of Episode 5 is the strongest point of the whole story.

Con: After the great improvements in setting-logic (i.e. Mercer et al. having reasons for behaving so differently than one would expect of people in their occupation and circumstances that we saw in Episode 4, “Krill” is back to making no sense in terms of the protagonists’ behavior. Mercer and Malloy continually behave in goofy ways, and make ridiculous comments to the Krill, and none of it causes the Krill to so much as bat an eyelash.

Con: The plot points and technical issues are totally devoid of logic. Why would the Krill have lights on their own ship capable of killing them when turned up to 11? And who has lighting that emits UV rays? Not even humans have that. And then there’s Malloy, who figures out how to work the controls on the Krill ship in two seconds flat well enough to shoot down a missile.

Conclusions: All in all, I enjoyed this episode, and I’m looking forward to the next one. I’m glad that the storytelling has become more focused and cohesive. And, I’m hoping that the producers draw lessons from Episode 4, and account for the protagonists’ behavior going forward in ways that allow the audience to suspend disbelief, rather than be taken out of the story by the sheer ludicrousness of it.

The lights getting turned up isn’t a problem for me – every nuclear powered vessel has the same potential for killing its own crew if systems don’t work as intended.

Furthermore, my own wife has had a seemingly undiagnosable immune disorder for the last decade that pretty much means we need to avoid any kind of light outside of old style incandescents, due to how she reacts to the UV in them. Put my wife in a store with conventional unshielded fluorescent lights and she’ll go into tachycardia in a half-hour, which makes trips to hospital when she is ill the last place you want to be. A walk in the park is a thing of the past now. Add to that the fact full-spectrum sunscreen (not talking broad spec, which is common but only does a little to protect her) is vanishingly rare to find, especially the effective kinds that are titanium and zinc, and you have the modern advances of our times like LED lighting actually seeming to be aimed at killing her.

I figured the lighting answer was something Seth or somebody cribbed from David Gerrold’s original rejected TOMORROW WAS YESTERDAY outline for TOS … either that or from OPERATION ANNIHILATE.

@Kmart — right, because lighting systems are as inherently dangerous as a nuclear powered energy supply? I can’t believe the lengthy apology you are giving this episode. Your wife, with all sympathies, is the perfect example here — if all humans had this sort of problem, then there would not be a lighting system designed anywhere in the world capable of producing UV rays. And I’m not sure I understand your comment about LEDs. The UV output of the average LED is negligible to nonexistent. Museums use them in sensitive displays for this very reason.

Our testing of LED is based on exposure to a single bulb with lampshade. While not as severe as fluroescent, her skin got something that looked like porphyria reaction (another part of her flare I hadn’t mentioned, one which she tests negative for despite all the manifestations — ditto for lupus.)

The lighting and the nukes are not apples and oranges, because, as indicated here, both can be deadly.

@kmart — I see. Nevertheless, if all humans suffered from your wife’s unfortunate condition, we would have never developed ubiquitous lighting that could harm us. And that is the difference between lighting and nukes. This isn’t the 19th century. We have the technology to chose between potentially deadly light sources and safe ones. It’s hard to take you seriously when you suggest that 400 years in the future, technology would make lighting become more dangerous. If we were talking about the 19th century you might have a point, with natural gas, candles, and kerosene as ubiquitous lighting sources. But we’re not.

Coal, oil, gas, nuclear all have lethal potential. In general, that’s why there are significant safeguards surrounding their use. It’s not like everyone has a nuclear generator in their homes, whereas they’re likely to have dozens of lighting sources. There’s never been a greater case of Apples and Oranges. And that’s where you and I diverge in our opinions. If MacFarlane had flooded the ship with toxic gas, or overloaded the reactor and disabled the majority of the crew, that would have been far more realistic than suggesting they have a lethal lighting system for some reason.

Heck, MacFarlane could have given the class a tour of his shuttle when the gas leak or reactor breach was set to happen, and likewise saved them. But then it wouldn’t have been as shockingly dramatic would it? Bottom line is, if this is the kind of science they intend to inject into their fiction, it’s just one more reason not to watch.

And yet some of us are still watching. I’ve reversed my op on this show by about 75% since the first couple of disastrous weeks.

Curious Cadet,

Re: the suffered

I think you are making a fundamental mistake in this analysis because you are approaching this from the pov of a human and NOT the monolithic culture of the alien Krill. It is quite conceivable the Krill didn’t regard the use of arc lighting as dangerous in the regards that Mercer exploited because it was simply inconceivable to them that any Krill would operate it in such an insane non-Avis manner. I mean, recall these same beings can’t conceive of the possibility of any other sentient having a soul or value equal to their own.

Their light was operating perfectly safe. Mercer and buddy didn’t induce a deadly accident just waiting to happen by tipping over some domino but actually reconfigured it in a manner that simply might have been inconceivable as a dangerous possibility coming from any Krill operator.

And if we are going to hang around the human take on this, many viewers are going to find it perfectly sensible that if the Krill are insanely traipsing around the universe as if they are God’s gift, then they are just as capable as irrationally basing their light sources on arc lighting for some equally nonsensical religious reason such as it being the purest holiest form of light.

Curious Cadet,

Re: class tour

I’m not sure where you are going with this? Are you saying that if they had rigged the ship to blow while they took the children and teacher on a shuttle educational jaunt deceiving them into believing that it was just some tragic random accident that somehow that would have been a morally superior act for the Unionists?

Maybe, it’s because kmart and I have just enjoyed too much classic MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and MACGYVER that we find it plausible that something that you regard as too innocuous to be deadly can be made so with a simple adjustment from a paperclip?


While I have fond memories of early and mid M:I eps (starting with the amazing Eric Braeden-starring ep with Bain and ‘climaxing’ with Lesley Warren’s clothing choices when she is distracting Robert Conrad in season 4 or 5), I’m afraid I’ve never seen a MACGYVER.

However, to my shame, I have seen tons of A-TEAM episodes, so you’re not completely off-point.

Furthermore, I utterly adore the novels of Trevanian (that’s actually the username I employ most places outside of here and and his lead character in SHIBUMI can do amazing things with the edge of a credit card and if he were still around, could drive modern TSAs nutso just with some decorative material and a pair of kid’s scissors, so yeah, I always see the ‘wrong’ or ‘different’ use for an item.

However, to my shame, I have seen tons of A-TEAM episodes…

“The A-Team” was my favorite TV show when I was 11.Then, one day in middle school, one of my teachers made a derisive comment about the show: “Pshh…All that shooting, and nobody ever gets killed?”

The “A-Team” was never the same for me after that. I started to see problems in the plot that would take me out of the story. This all culminated in the episode where the A-Team are sent to prison, and they escape——up, up and away——over the prison fence, by using hair-dryers, plugged into the prison AC outlets with super long extension cords, to inflate garbage bags that are duct-taped to barber chairs. I think I stopped watching the show after that episode.


My Dad was always pointing out stuff like that. Oddly, we never seem to let it impinge on our shared enjoyment of Westerns and Wars flicks. It was more an added form of amusement to catch when someone on screen did something like get 25 shots off a six-shooter without reloading. I suppose if I had been older we’d have made a fine drinking game of it?

I too enjoyed the A-Team. But perhaps not as much as my sister who bought it all in her devotion. Used to irk her so when I would point out about how many rounds were spent and NOT one single bullet found a spot to land that drew a single drop of blood. What can I say? I suppose in that, I was, in some small way, my Father’s son?


I would say so.

Curious Cadet,

Re: Nevertheless, if all humans suffered from your wife’s unfortunate condition, we would have never developed ubiquitous lighting that could harm us.

How can you possibly think such a statement credulous when the very first source of light we developed, fire, burns us and it WAS used ubiquitously and even still sees use in the home to this day, if less so for illumination? And, again, the first source of electrical light, the carbon arc lamp, was never abandoned upon Edison’s incandsecant’s invention and even was used in the home right along with incandescent lamps and fire:

Curious Cadet,

I don’t know why, but It just shocks me how unfamiliar you are with lighting.

The first practical electrical light, the carbon arc lamp, we already know can be a source of UV light.

The fluorescent lamp works by using an ultraviolet light source arising from high voltage discharged into a UV emitting gas that excites phosphors coated on an inner surface of a glass tube with the UV light causing them to fluoresce in the visible light spectrum.

The first white LEDs used the same fluorescing phosphors trick with the exciting light source being nearUV and UV LEDs and are still the least expensive white LEDs to produce.

So, as you can see, quite a few non-incandescent lamps are sources of UV light pollution as well.

@Disinvited — I’m fully familiar with all the lighting types you mention. What does that have to do with what a race susceptible to death from UV light, and capable of FTL travel, 400 years into our future, on par with our technology, installing a lighting grid that can kill them, when even the wide variety of lighting systems we’ve developed on this planet in the last century, without the critical need to shield our selves from UV light, let alone in the next 400 years, offer any number of options developed, that wouldn’t be lethal to the Krill?

Curious Cadet,

Well, my main objection is that you are just anthropomorphizing all advanced alien civilizations by insisting that everything we’ve invented they’d all have invented too just because they are 400 years older and interstellar.

Also, again, just because the Krill are using a light source that can be configured in a dangerous way doesn’t mean that that is how they use it.

To me, you could just as well be asserting that it is totally absurd that starships would use fusion reactors to power impulse engines when they can be easily turned into Doomsday Machine destroying H-bombs.

If you are going to insist that I give you some human equivalency for having such a light source on a spaceship, well, we humans find intense uv light sources useful in apparatus sterilization. In fact, I seem to recall a TNG episode where Picard’s ship underwent some sort of sterilization beam deadly to Picard while docked with him trapped on board. And Doctor McCoy found it useful in freeing Spock from the alien mind-control infection in OPERATION-ANNIHILATE!

So would you buy that the Krill use a shipwide light sources capable of high UV output to disinfect various parts of the ship evacuated for scheduled sterilization rotations?


Sorry you’re wife is having such a hard time.

I just did a quick Google search on fluorescent lights emitting UV, and all I could find were some articles from 2012 discussing it. Scientific American is a reputable source, so I’ll link that one. In a nutshell, it says that compact fluorescent bulbs do emit an extremely small amount of UV light, which is emitted by the heated Mercury in the bulb. There’s also a Wikipedia article on the issue, but it looks pretty scant and possibly out of date. It does likewise say that UV bulbs emit an extremely low level of UV (if you put a UV bulb 30 cm or less from you for an hour or more, you “can” exceed recommended levels of UV radiation). But, it stands to reason that even extremely low levels of UV can be a problem for people with extreme sensitivity to it. However. . .


(cont.) One would expect that the Krill, being so innately sensitive to light, would use lighting systems that emit no UV. Surely, by the 24th Century, a species capable of inventing warp drive could also invent artificial lighting that doesn’t emit UV. There’s no reason why the Krill would be using human lighting when their biology and needs are so different from humans’. Regarding the suicide pill hypothesis, if the Krill were to install such a mechanism on their ships to kill the crew en masse in the event of certain death (or capture), why wouldn’t they simply do it like most everybody else does, via auto-destruct? Why kill the crew but leave the ship perfectly intact and adrift in space? I suppose we could think of some unlikely scenarios for wanting to kill the crew but not destroy the ship. But, in such cases, a less painful method of mass suicide would reasonably be employed——anesthetizing deadly gas, for example, as opposed to burn-you-alive lights.


(cont.) Interesting point about UV and CFL bulbs, though. Here’s the aforementioned Scientific American article that I turned up from 2012:


And here’s a WIRED article that reveals why the transition away from incandescent lamps leaves modern homes with increased potential sources of UV light pollution,

How to Make UV Light Out of Your Phone’s LED Flash:


Re: auto-destruct

Oh come on, Cygnus, for the same reason we invented the neutron bomb. Because it leaves the ship, a valuable piece of military hardware, unharmed to be recovered and reused in service of a new crew once a mutinous one’s disintegrated. They can still have your auto-destruct for when non-Krill enemies capture the ship, i.e. one does not preclude the other as the ship can have both.


OK, so as a precaution against mutiny, the Krill would install aboard their ships a needlessly painful method of mass suicide?


Re: Mutiny

Suicidal??? No, more suicidal than Admiral Kirk’s patented remote override code which is exactly how it would be activated, remotely.


Whatever you want to call it.

Call it “crew extermination” if you like. Whether it’s suicide or murder is obviously not the point.


Re: Whatever you want to call it.

OK, I call it Starfleet’s 23rd century LoJack done right. Khan in Mercer’s 25th century timeline is toast. Mercer’s Khan movie will be Mercerfully (sic) short.

Cygnus-X1 and Curious Cadet,

You do realize that when Verne first dreamed up space travel that none of these “safety” light sources, that you find absolutely essential to spaceflight, existed? A gaslight spaceship does present a rather unique set of problems but I can’t imagine it being one more explosive than the fuel currently used to boost our spaceships into space today. And if THAT can be dealt with, then so can other non-filament based sources of light.

And having an incandescent electrical source of light isn’t the safety panacea that you seem to think that it is. It just confines the energy distribution danger problem to electrical wiring which might not be able to be overloaded to the point of melting you with uv radiation but definitely can be fed excess out of spec electrical power to the point of melting you with flames, which nearly every exploding console filled with blinking lights in STAR TREK seems to attest to.

But to be fair, I’m not absolutely certain having an internal source of light is absolutely necessary for spaceflight. I think I recall during Apollo 13 that the Command and Service Modules lights were totally powered off to maximize their available electrical power once they returned to Earth orbit, and they still rummaged around in it in prep on the way back. And in STAR TREK the Medusans, while experts in space navigation, don’t seem to have need of it.

You do realize that when Verne first dreamed up space travel that none of these “safety” light sources, that you find absolutely essential to spaceflight, existed?

So, you’re saying that lack of detail, oversights and other logic problems in past science fiction should be maintained in all science fiction made after that point. And that spaceships designed for humans in past science fiction should be the models for the spaceships of different species in science fiction made after that point. These are your arguments?


Re: Verne

No, I’m saying Verne’s 18th century solutions were so well thought out that even 20th century technology using NASA applied them in getting to the moon even though incandescent lamps weren’t involved.

I’m also saying its anthropomorphizing aliens to say that their technologies must orderly jump over the hurdles of each and every human technological achievement before they can invent their own unique solutions to using their interstellar rocket engine they’ve just developed that leaps our space engines by 400 years.

And I AM saying that if Verne’s SF tales were credible enough to launch the whole genre and still have callbacks in future Earth cinematic SF with 21st century tech appearing, like the 20th century’s BACK TO THE FUTURE franchise, then the appearance of a Steam Punk interstellar alien civilization popping up shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand cavalierly.


I’m not seeing how the writings of Jules Verne are related to my point about the lights on the Krill ship seeming implausible within the context of the story, but OK…food for thought.


Re: my point about the lights

I thought that boiled down to you couldn’t see why a spaceship needed a light source that could produce dangerous amounts of UV light? I point out that spaceships run the risks of being contaminated by alien microorganisms and need regular cycles of sterilization. Even our primitive civilization realized almost immediately the convenience of using carbon arc lamps’ strong UV output to decontaminate medical apparatuses and rooms.

So there are a number of possible reasons why it would be convenient and practical for such a potential source of strong UV light to be on a 25th century interstellar spaceship.


So, you’re saying now that the Krill would have lights that can burn the crew to death for two applications: to kill the crew in case of mutiny, and to kill microorganisms that might infest the ship. Both of those purposes would be better addressed by other means, and there’s no indication that either of your suggestions is actually the case. To exterminate the crew while leaving the ship intact in case of mutiny, a painless deadly gas would be more likely. There’s no reason why the loyal Krill should want to burn themselves alive along with the mutineers. And a sterilizing gas that is not also deadly to the Krill would be a more likely means of exterminating a pest infestation. When humans exterminate pests, they typically don’t do it by means that would also kill themselves. And there’s no reason to think that the Krill wouldn’t do likewise. First mutiny, then Jules Verne, and now microorganisms——I think it’s fair to say that you’re reaching on this one. ;-)


To sum up, I’m not buying the suggestion that of all the plausible ways of addressing the issues that you raised (mutiny, pests, Jules Verne)—— of all the plausible solutions that are not deadly precarious——that the Krill would instead choose to go to work every day under lights that can kill them if they get turned up too high. That’s really the beginning and the end of it for me. I think what we have here is a simple case of the writers rushing to resolve the climax of their story, and not thinking it all through. We’re not meant to ask about the lights, just as we’re not meant to ask how Malloy can figure out, in no time flat, how to work the Krill ship’s controls well enough to shoot down the missile. I suppose we’re meant to assume that, because Malloy can pilot the Krill shuttle, he therefore knows how to operate all of the controls on the large Krill ship. Is it nitpicking? Perhaps. But, all of these little oversights add up to an overall effect on the viewing experience, as other people have noted with regard to the protagonists’ non-sensical behavior.


Re: …go to work every day under lights that can kill them

No one expects nor chooses the inquisition, either.

But I remind you, that in STAR TREK, all Starfleet crews go to work everyday in a starship wired stem to stern with self-destruct explosives that can kill them too.


Re: …would be better addressed by other means ,,.

Which you have no way of evaluating as being such without anthropomorphizing the thick-skinned alien Krill’s biology which is extremely sensitve to UV precisely because it is alien to that familiar undersized round hole into which you are trying hammer the Krill square-peg. I remind you that the Krill have already demonstrated a preference and willingness to employ extermination tactics in the service of their believed religious mandate. Arc-lighting is not expensive, and due to the Krill’s extreme lack of one iota of UV resistant biochemistry, they would not require the power levels that such a source of light would require to disintegrate, or even blind, one of us.

But if you insist, we humans find UV sterilization quite cost effective. It was so ubiquitous that in the 23rd century Dr. McCoy was able to temporarily blind Spock with it in “OPERATION-ANNIHILATE!” where, oddly enough, this was all first explored half a century ago on our video screens.

And speaking of which, why are Trek fans here only now finding Mercer’s alien life sterilizing UV light solution preposterous when it was their own “OPERATION-ANNIHILATE!” episode that’s the seminal foundation of the sf that MacFarlane employs in his episode? If the starship Enterprise can generate alien destroying UV light on a planetary scale, why are you begrudging the Krill a mere few seconds of internal ship-wide emission for heretic control?

And why is everybody obsessing about that damnable book that Mercer and his helmsman retrieved when the two of them just made the most significant weapons advancement in their entire Krill War?

Tune the lasers to UV!


I don;t know if there’s anything of use to your wife in this:

but at the very least it can convince doubting Thomases.

I”ll have her check it out, many thanks, to you and the others participating in this weird digression.

I’m enjoying The Orville sooo much more than Discovery and that makes me sad in some ways I can’t quite pin down.


Didn’t mean to come off like I was trolling this thread, but everything I read on it this morning really seemed to set me thinking about stuff, so I’ve responded to all sorts of posts here for the last full hour. It’s rare that I get this fired up about so many aspects of a show, but I’m taking it as a ‘good’ thing. Not intending to derail discussions though, not at all.


Not at all. Interesting comments.

A Trek-link that I haven’t seen mentioned here…

The name of the planet being attacked by the Krill in this episode is Rana III, clearly an homage to the planet Rana IV in TNG’s “The Survivors,” the plot of which involves a species (the Husnock) wiping out all life on that planet, just as the Krill intend to do on Rana III.

I enjoyed the vignette with Andre Bormanis explaining the Quantum Drive.

If you want something even more mind-blowing (because it’s real, here and now), there’s a clip (part of a series) on YouTube of Alan Guth (inventor of Cosmic Inflation, the leading theory explaining the creation of our universe) explaining in fairly simple terms why gravity actually has negative energy. If you take that physical fact, and combine it with the fact that energy and matter are different forms of the same stuff (E=MC^2), the “negative mass” that Bormanis is talking about is an easy corollary.

The link that I just posted (waiting in mod queue) is an informal recording of Guth giving a small lecture somewhere. If you want something better produced and more formal, YouTube is replete with formal lectures by Alan Guth (he’s one of the top cosmologists in the world).

If you’re of the persuasion to be able to buy into The Orville‘s blending of lowbrow humor and Trek-style morality plays, it’s fairly likely you’ll regard “Krill” as quite a success. And the credit for that has pretty much has to go to David Goodman, who has previously worked both sides of the street Seth MacFarland is trying to play in, writing serious Trek fiction and non-fiction as well as FUTURAMA’s “Where No Fan Has Gone Before,” the loving-yet-funniest spoof of Trek and dorky fandom that can probably exist under current physical law. (If you haven’t already seen it, what are you still doing here? Get thee to Netflix and try not to die laughing.)

But–there’s that ‘if’ qualifier I started out with, that had to go and spoil things, right? Because while I could buy into a lot of this episode’s humor (the shuttle conversation between Mercer and his pilot about possible Krill names actually compared favorably with a similar scene in the new season of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM in terms of its sharp comic timing, and that’s high praise indeed), and found the conclusion to be as compelling, even chilling, as TNG could be in its best middle seasons, for me the net effect of both approaches in the same show is still to cancel each other out. Because MacFarlane and his writers don’t really treat the people on the Orville seriously, I can’t accept them as a plausible starship crew. By extension I can’t take the Union seriously, or their mission seriously, or their opponents seriously. And even though the final lines in “Krill” mirror my own dark thoughts about blowback from drone attacks and other actions American civilians may well ultimately pay a terrible price for, they almost feel like they were spoken in another series altogether.

So no, I’m still not sold on The Orville, alas. It’s good to see an episode that at least had some fitfully good writing, even if the whole thing didn’t add up to much. (To be fair, I felt similarly about last week’s Discovery episode, albeit for different reasons.) But it sure beat the hell out of that generation ship show, which I just caught up with and was frankly pretty awful. So if they keep getting better at this rate, who knows? I guess if even kmart can make such a turnaround on his feelings about this series, anything’s possible.

yeah, but I reserve the right to re-reverse course and opinion at the first sign of Bermanitis on this series!

My wife has actually called me out on ORVILLE (she has only gotten all the way through the gender episode), saying I’m trying too hard to like it and that it doesn’t hold a candle to FIREFLY. Can’t argue the 2nd part yet, but the fact it can charm me into watching has to count for something. Whether that something is a temporary absence of sanity (or judgement being disrupted by proximity to an unknown hypermass) on my part remains to be determined.

Michael Hall

You make fair points about the schismatic nature of this dramady. Reconciling its humor with its drama is The Orville’s fundamental problem. And, yet, The Orville’s strange, innate duality gives it a certain je ne sais quoi that keeps us coming back to see what happens the next time. There’s no doubt in my mind however that The Orville will be a more satisfying show if it can reconcile its internal logic with regard to its humor. They need to stop making their jokes at the expense of the story logic. As I’ve mentioned previously, there are ways to do it without sacrificing either. The previous episode managed it pretty well; the producers should draw lessons therefrom.

Well, thanks. But in the end it’s just using words to clothe a feeling. I might not even be correct in assessing my own attitudes towards this show, let alone its actual quality.

Really enjoyed this episode. Nice balance of heavy theme and some needed levity. I hope Fox gives this a second season and doesn’t give it the Firefly treatment. I love what MacFarlane is doing here.

The script would’ve avoided some controversy if the heist-target was called “the Krill holy book” instead of “their Bible.” And a fat illustrated codex-style volume, read left-to-right, is a failure of design imagination. (For that matter, I’m still bothered by the name “Krill.” I keep thinking of tiny crustaceans eaten by whales; also Krall, Kroll, Krull, and Skrill.)

Gee, it sure is convenient the Krill are human-sized and -shaped. And speak English. And don’t recognize each other by scent or require pass codes. Also, their food isn’t toxic and, so one presumes, their quarters have en-suite toilets. (As noted earlier, this ep is a sorta-retread of TOS’s “The Enterprise Incident” in which Kirk infiltrates a Romulan ship, where the same objections apply.) There are *so* many ways the caper should’ve failed that might be used in a “How It Should’ve Ended” video.

That pair *really* aren’t a good choice to infiltrate. The ep hung a lantern on this at the meeting with the admiral, then powered straight past.

Gordon Malloy can’t stop being a wiseacre, even in this kind of peril; possibly he’s nervous, or he’s just a jerk. It was painful to watch, and it’ll be very satisfying IMHO if somebody in the crew eventually calls him on it. (He himself admitted it in the first ep.) OTOH, he has a Starfleet-like ability to instantly subvert any alien technology — convenient that the entire ship’s lighting grid can be controlled from one junction box.

I thought the “turn up the lights” plan would be “incapacitate the crew, then escape while they’re hiding under chairs.” The pairing of “ooh, they’re space vampires!” and crisping skin was too on-the-nose. If they were *that* photosensitive, the interiors should’ve been lit with more obviously hey-it’s-dark-here shadows.

Phillip Thorne


I really want to like this show. I am disappointed though by the so-called comedy. So far I am not impressed. “Pria” was enjoyable up to a point. Overall, I don’t appreciate the foul language and the weak humor. I’ve only seen the first half of “Krill” and it’s not too bad so far. We’ll see about part 2.

This was easily the best episode of the show so far. And good to see after the worst show thus far, “Pria”. This was everything the promos were presenting the show to be. A LOT of gags and a little bit of drama thrown in. Again, because of the light nature of the show nothing should be taken all that seriously. Even the dramatic bits. I was, however, wondering why they felt compelled to save the children as when it was over they would all leave the room to a ship full of char-broiled adults. But upon further reflection by the time those kids grow to fighting age (assuming Krill adhere to human growth rates) the political situation between the two cultures could be drastically different. So I suppose it’s a pretty safe gamble to save some Krill younglings.

Anyhow, this show, in spite of the jokes and 21st century pop culture references still feels more like your traditional Star Trek than Discovery does. And I think the humor is a very welcome add indeed. Hope FOX gives this show a chance like they did X-Files. (I was never a fan of that show but it was a ratings disaster the entire first season and did not pick up steam until the old reruns days of summer but FOX picked up season 2 before all that).

The Orville is still going strong, despite the bad jokes (although I smiled after “it’s a brand new leg” :D). It’s the first sci-fi I remember where they’ve shown how life flows on enemy’s ship and that by pushing the “fire” button actual people (humanoids) die and not just the ship. This episode was darker than anything in TNG or Babylon 5 AFAIR. It’s interesting that kids onboard made such a huge difference, they should have just killed them since they were brain washed and after seeing that humans fried their parents they would hate them even more. Also, they’ve probably killed the kids before when they’ve destroyed the other ship, it’s on Krill that they take kids to war. It’s also on Krill that they’ve started this war.

Anyway, so far the captain was only an incompetent clown but in this episode not only he brought the holy Krill book, he also brought an actual warship (not just a shuttle) with POW on top. For that alone they should have made him admiral if you ask me. Now compare it to STD where only Mary Sue takes all the glory while in TO every character has a moment to shine and it’s only been 6 episodes (it was like that in proper Star Treks too).


Not to mention discovering the singular weapons advance (switching to Earth norm full spectrum illumination in general as a defense field against the Krill and their spies (see STAR TREK’s OPERATION:ANNIHILATE!), and UV laser weapons in particular, that is going to turn the tide in the war heavily in the Union’s favor.

ORVILLE ratings on the pilot re-run dropped to a 0.6 and 2.2 million viewers.

So it seems like they have a pretty predictable audience fall-off knowing this was a repeat. I’ll be curious to see if any of the 2.2 million viewers were new to the show, and if so, whether last night’s return to the classic FAMILY GUY-in-space formula attracts or repels them after what seems to be good word of mouth coming out of the regular audience after a progression of episodes which seem to take a more serious tone.

The Orville is the best direction that Star Trek could of ever had!! I like Star Trek Discovery but I LOVE The Orville! They must just Dan Aykroyd as a guest star, that would be awesome and right up Dan’s alley too.