Orville Update: New Regular Cast Member Added As Season Two Production Start Approaches

While there is still a lot to talk about with regard to Star Trek: Discovery which just wrapped up its first season, there is also some news to catch up on with TrekMovie’s adopted show, The Orville. Seth MacFarlane’s homage to Trek is gearing up to start production on its second season, which will include a new character. We also have some interesting behind the scenes details and videos on the making of the first season.

The Orville adds a new cast member

Earlier this week Deadline reported that The Orville has added Jessica Szohr to the cast for Season 2 as a new crew member. Szohr was mostly recently on Showtime’s Shameless. She’s also appeared on the recent Twin Peaks revival, and was part of the CW’s hit show Gossip Girl. Her casting in The Orville likely comes by way of being cast in MacFarlane’s 2015 movie Ted 2.

Seth MacFarlane confirmed her casting on Twitter on Tuesday.

Cast and crew confirm season 2 production is ramping up

The second season of The Orville is expected to arrive later this year and production should be starting soon. In recent weeks we have seen members of the cast and crew sharing glimpses into their preparations to return to the Planetary Union.

Producer Jon Cassar

Mark Jackson (Isaac)

Mike Henry (Dann, “the elevator alien”)

Costume designer Ivy Thaide

A look at the visual effects of The Orville

TrekMovie community member Kevin Martin interviewed The Orville‘s visual effects supervisor Luke McDonald about the work on season 1 for Studio Daily.

As we’ve covered previously, Seth MacFarlane likes physical models, so he went to TNG-era veteran Rob Legato to resurrect the art of filming physical models.

Of course for complex ship shots CGI is still used. By having the real model as a reference they were able to refine the CGI version so it looked nearly the same as the physical model:

The human eye and brain are very complex devices. Even if people can’t put a finger on what bothers them about a VFX shot, they will still decide something is off, which is the ‘CG-itis’ of a shot. Using those model shots as reference to get our CG close to that reality was so beneficial in offsetting that feel. The pilot actually used six or seven of these model shots, but now we’re moving away from that, using perhaps only one per episode, because we can replicate the model and lighting so well via digital means.

The final shooting model for the U.S.S. Orville

Another well known name in the visual effects industry is Tippet Studios, started by Phil Tippet, a founding member of ILM, he pioneered the stop-motion and creature animation for the original Star Wars trilogy. Tippet Studios was brought in to manage Yaphit.

We started out knowing there’d be a practical approach with makeup for most aliens, but we have an ongoing exception with our gelatinous crewmember Yaphit [voiced by Norm McDonald], who is handled in CG by Tippett Studio. That was a natural given their work on Seth’s Ted movies.

The gelatinous crew-member Yaphit

There’s even more behind the scenes information in the article, it’s a good quick read.

Behind-the-scenes videos


The Orville will return for Season 2 this Fall on Fox.

Keep up with all of our The Orville news at TrekMovie.com.

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TNG is still on the air?? Zzzzzzzz.

We’re still reading about this non-Trek show here? meh

Yes, because it’s entirely relevant. Feel free not to read the site.

How is The Orville relevant to this site? Just because it has several Trek alumni working on it does not make it a Star Trek show. TUP, as usual, made a valid point.

There is no need to be so rude to people, Dana.

It’s relevant because those who run the side say it is. If an article pops up that someone thinks doesn’t belong there is nothing compelling that someone from clicking the link and reading the article. Let alone commenting on it. People have said a ton worse here than what Dana has said. Might want to be a little more consistent when you rip folks for being “rude”. Just a thought.

I wasn’t being rude- but hey, you do you Kirok.

Reread the comment. I wasn’t accusing you of being rude. You were doing that to someone else. Just saying you might want to take a little more time to consider the comment when you opt to accuse people of being “rude”.

It’s relevant to the site because the admins like it. Nothing more, nothing less, and the reasoning doesn’t have to make sense, either.

‪The Orville lucked out, they came out the same time as DSC and that allowed Trekkie “purists” to point to it as some great beacon of Trek hope and crap all over DSC. Any other time of release the reaction would have been “meh” at best. ‬I watched a couple of episodes and I gotta tell you, I’d take REAL Trek, even if it’s a little messy at times, over the Trek Play-At-Home Version anytime.

Awesome news, love The Orville. And Jessica Szohr is quite the looker!

@Dr Beckett — surprise, surprise, MacFarlane has hired another hot female to flesh out (pun intended) his fawning harem, with good old fashioned misogynistic eye-candy. Guess the TNG fans really did miss the character development, riveting cerebral stories, and the parade of female cast members is skin tight costumes whose only attributes as a character were to make pointless observations and fill out the costumes designed for the well-endowed.

shut up wesley

lol that was funny

Yeah I laughed too.

Are you high, junior? There’s 3 regular female cast members. They all wear bulky uniforms that are actually less tight than TNG outfits. One of them is Penny Johnson Jerald, who is 56 years old.

Exactly. Ignore Curious Cadet’s trolling. He/she has clearly not even seen the show.

Unlike the Orion Slave Girls wearing thongs the other night on Discovery? Not to mention the naked Klingon.

The uniforms on The Orville are far from tight and ae much closer in fit to the dress uniforms featured on Battlestar Galactica.

In other words, Curious Cadet has never watched THE ORVILLE and thus has no idea what the casting and uniforms are like.

Not to mention that Jessica Szohr is not hot.

I’d like to see a picture of you so we can all judge.

@Meeeee — yup this is exactly the level of discourse I’d expect in a blog about a Seth MacFarlane production …

Dana, Curious has made it clear many times over in the previous Orville episode threads that he is no fan of the show or MacFarlane. Yet watched every episode. Go figure.

@CuriousCadet, if you are indeed a male, your balls are in your wife’s purse.

It’s a fun show and my daughter absolutely loves it. Looking forward to season 2.

TBD….in drawer 1, (sort of) funny script. Drawer 2, serious script. Drawer 3, Sci-Fi script.

Good luck with season two.

Nothing in drawer 4?

For those who had questions about why in the ORVILLE’s episode, “KRILL”, a spaceship would have the ability to flood its compartments with strong UV light that could harm its crew:


“We’ve known for a century that UV light is extremely efficient at killing microbes, bacteria, and viruses. So up until now, they’re only really practical when people aren’t around. You can sterilize a hospital room, but not when anyone’s inside.” — David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

“For that reason, UV devices are often used for sterilization — for medical equipment in hospitals, for example, or drinking water for backcountry campers.

But conventional germicidal lamps aren’t safe for humans to be around. With prolonged exposure, they can cause skin cancer and cataracts in the eyes.” — ‘This UV Lamp Could Prevent the Flu Virus From Spreading in Public Places’ By Amanda MacMillan February 9, 2018 | TIME

@Disinvited — and the opening sentence of that linked article is my rebuttal:

“Researchers have developed an ultraviolet (UV) lamp that kills the influenza virus but isn’t harmful to human skin or eyes”

My contention is a species sensitive to light, which could potentially kill them, would not have such a lighting system, regardless of its ability to disinfect the ship. Just like the Time article says, hospitals would use UV light, but they can’t in some situations; therefore, hospitals don’t just go unsterilized, they simply use different, safer, methods.

The whole point of this article is that they’ve developed a form of sterilizing UV which can be used safely around humans. And this is exactly the solution the Krill, or any species with their obvious technological achievements would develop if they were to use any form of light that might cause damage to them, even accidentally.

Curious Cadet,

And my argument has never been that they never would eventually develop safer means, only that all sorts of dangerous technology that’s a clear threat to life is used to get into space. The Krill just weren’t there yet with UV lamp sterilization.

My point is we humans since the beginning of the space program till the human trials of this device pan out as actually being safe, are using the deadly skin cancer inducing form to sterilize spaceships, etc. now and didn’t bother to wait for this development to get into space with dangerous sterilizing lamps used.

To me your contention boils down to that no sentient beings would use dangerous life-threatening technology to get into space, but that’s exactly the opposite legacy of what Earth’s Astronauts and Cosmonauts who died in their space vehicles from the launchpad to space testify to.

@Disinvited — and I contend your entire argument relies on us believing that the Krill in their warp capable ships are “just getting into space” using technology that could kill them if someone hits the wrongs button when they most likely have other safer methods to disinfect the ship, just as Earth hospitals do today. Since you want to believe something to facilitate your position, which I find unbelievable, I believe we are done here.

Curious Cadet,

If you believe the two human agents in the episode “just pushed a button” then you weren’t paying attention.

I’ve worked in hospitals. Why do you keep asserting “…when they most likely have other safer methods…” when the article’s author notes right off the bat, “For that reason, UV devices are often used for sterilization — for medical equipment in hospitals, for example, …”

You claim the article says it isn’t being used but the author says quite the opposite: that it’s OFTEN being used for sterilization, in hospitals.

@Disinvited — I’m not going to parse the article with you, since you basically buried the headline to make your case. It very clearly says they’d use UV sterilization in the rooms if it didn’t pose a risk to human health, which was my point — NOT that they didn’t use UV sterilization in hospitals. Since they have other satisfactory means to sterilize rooms, it’s not necessary to put an inherently unsafe method into that room. Is it as effective? Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, the risk of using it is greater than the risk of going with a potentially less effective method. The risk to the Krill is much worse than even to a patient accidentally exposed to a UV sterilization light in a hospital, therefore, it’s reasonable to assume no species would knowingly put themselves in harms way if there were a safer alternative, even if it wasn’t as effective. So unless your assertion is now that the Krill failed to invent anti-bacterial cleaning products, or even basic disinfecting ones, and even, then this debate is effectively moot.

Curious Cadet,

Re: buried the headline

You ARE aware that HEADLINES have nothing to do with the authors of the articles or their work’s prose as they are determined by the publication that choose to carry authors’ works and NOT the authors themselves?

Re: anti-bacterial cleaning products

Which are useless against MRSA and other hospital based infectious agents because they were, despite your claims to the contrary, DANGEROUSLY and indiscriminately used, which you are calling for to be continued in space no less, leading to the creation of super infectious organisms which makes the UV-light replacing panacea that you claim existed prior a fantasy, and the argument moot to the contrary of what you contend. Also note, antibacterial cleaning products are totally useless against viruses, the focus of the article, as well. The various flu viruses leading to our current epidemic are rampant precisely because the basic disinfecting cleaning products which you claim are adequate: AREN’T.

Wow. She is hot, hot, hot. Nevertheless, I won’t be losing sleep anticipating season two of The Orville. And after last Sunday’s fizzle of a finale, that’s equally true of Discovery. Since Netflix’s Altered Carbon doesn’t appear to be living up to expectations, this sure isn’t shaping up to be as good a time for genre TV as it promised to be. Maybe the third season of The Expanse will pull it out.

I wonder is she is there to do something like that “The Norville” storyline I came up with late last summer … kind of a Shelby that doesn’t go away after 2 shows.

“Since Netflix’s Altered Carbon doesn’t appear to be living up to expectations”

Are you watching it? It’s pretty good. The solution to the mystery is a bit of a letdown — possibly by design, since the mystery isn’t really the point.

I’ve seen the pilot. Not all that impressed so far, but I’ll keep at it.

Seen a few episodes and I am somewhat happy with what I saw. It has a real chance to succeed if the writers, and the actors too, find the characters and the show finds a nice identity.

Looking forward to season two!

I liked Orville’s first season a hell of a lot more than Discovery’s. I found myself with more anticipation for the next Orville Episode than Discovery. And upon completion of the season I find myself with more anticipation for Orville’s 2nd season than Disco’s, too. (Note, that does not mean I am not wanting to see Disco Season 2. Just that I’m a little more interested in Orville) It was far from perfect. They are still trying to work out some kinks, obviously. But as a regular over-the-air program, it is not unreasonable to expect it to be fantastic right off the bat. I mean, it’s not like any viewers are paying for a service specifically to watch The Orville! According to IMDB there are 14 episodes scheduled for next season. 2 more than season 1. While I would prefer a full 22-24 episode season I guess that is about all we are going to get each year. FOX seems to be embracing the short season more so than the other major networks.

I don’t think either show ended up being all that memorable, other than as a cautionary tale about what a large budget can’t buy you.

Michael Hall,

Re: … what a large budget can’t buy you.

In honor of the day which has been overusing the Beatles recording of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE as its soundtrack, that other Beatles love tune that expresses the same sentiment:

“Can’t buy me love-ove. Can’t buy me love-ove. Can’t buy me love-ove-ove…”

Interesting-looking and/or sustained space exteriors might be another thing that money can’t buy in the CBSverse …

I’ve figured ORVILLE is not some giant budget thing, but in terms of what it really costs relative to DSC, I haven’t a clue.

Well, put me down as someone who thought DSC looked fantastic, and on a pretty consistent basis. That turned out not to be enough to make it exceptional or memorable, alas.

I agree, Michael. STD sure LOOKED great. But good production values do not mean good plot. As STD provided yet another example of.

From what I’ve read, Fox isn’t going cheap on Orville. Not sure that will continue based on the ratings, or if the show gets a third season – time will tell.

It’s only 14 because they didn’t air one of the 13 that were produced during the first season, so it’s being added on to the standard 13 episode order for the second season.

Ok Matt. But I still long for a full season rather than a half one.

She looks like a brunette clone of the current female lead. They could be sisters! Nah, that won’t cause any confusion!

@HB — you can bet she’s involved in a MacFarlane originated plot-line where she makes his ex-wife jealous, so he has two women fighting for his affection the entire season (not including any “hot” guest stars he writes into a script to fawn over him as well).

Hey, if it’s good enough for Woody Allen…

The two actors look NOTHING alike.

Ok, I gave The Orville a chance early on back in Sept and it reminded me a little of an old 1970s series, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century – mildly amusing but not much substance. I was told it had gotten way better so I watched an episode back in Dec and it was even worse. I understand that was apparently the worst of the season and that I should give it another shot. Should I just wait until next season or can someone suggest an episode “worthy of my attention”??!!

I would have to agree.

Thanks so much. Now that Disco is over for the year, I will make sure to check out one or more of the episodes above.

Thank you for the tip! :)

I watched the pilot which was absolutely dreadful and I gave it a second chance some weeks later- only to find Penny Johnson-Gerald desperately trying to sleep with a gelatinous member of the crew and Seth McFarlane sleeping with Rob Lowe.

Dean, if you found the show “not worth of your attention“ then skip it. I thought “Cupid’s Dagger” was a standout episode, myself. Because it was the most humor filled episode. I’ve always said the show works best when it is leans more towards funny than serious. That said I enjoyed more episodes than I didn’t. It works for me. It doesn’t for you. Maybe give it another shot but if you didn’t like it before I doubt you will Ike it now.

Personally, I’ll be much more likely to rewatch Orville over this winter, because I’ve already cancelled CBSAA, and because at least I’ll get a few laughs again. Discovery season 1 was ok, but I’m finding no reason to revisit it. Maybe right before season two starts I’ll re-sign and binge season one, but more than likely not, at this point. Decent sci-fi, but to me, in an alt-universe to Prime.

Agreed Dan. While the Lorca reveal was dumb dumb dumb no matter how you slice it, STD works better for me if I just consider it some sort of alt time line or as a Trek reboot.

Gave the first season a chance. Didn’t find it compelling or funny or even that good. Won’t be tuning in for season 2. Good luck to the cast and crew. I’ll stick to Discovery.

Well one thing that the The Orville has over Discovery, for me, is that I can watch it. Can’t stream video where I live.

And the trolls complain about this being discussed her in 3…2…1…

I’m looking forward to season two as well but not overly excited about it. I still haven’t even watched all of season one yet but did watch the last episodes of the season. Its a fun show though and I felt bad I misjudged it early on when I thought it was just going to make fun of Star Trek when it actually has exported Trek’s heart and humanity in a way I didn’t see coming. And sadly I think a bit more than Discovery has managed to do.

But I’m glad they are both coming back.

I’m still trying to figure out why The Orville fans don’t have their own websites, forums, and communities, and instead pullulate on Star Trek sites.

It is a disservice to the show. Unless they drop the Trek crutch, it will never be more than expensive Trek fanfic, but with lots of dick jokes.

@Victorinox — fair point. I think there is an ORVILLE wiki, I stumbled across looking for some background on a character.

But, even looking at the tweets and Instas, you’ve got a producer watching TOS for “inspiration” (which must have made the FOX lawyers cringe), and an actor who seems to be making a dig on DISC?: “Finding out what’s in store for Isaac this year. What are your suggestions? I’m thinking copper and roller skates.”

@Matt Wright — haha, good to know. I tried to forget a lot of SPACEBALLS. But you have to admit, those boots on DISC do look a little like rollerskates …

Except for “I’m on a shipful of … ” and ‘going to plaid’ and the John Hurt ending, I’m happy to not remember any of the ‘humor’ in SPACEBALLS, which for me is like the longest bad SNL skit imaginable, but without the charm.

But except for a couple of really unconvincing matte paintings, there are a lot of surprisingly good visual effects in the movie. Have a feeling if Apogee had done ST 5 VFX, the mainstream response to it would have been (slightly) better.

Rewatched about half the season of ORVILLE last week, and I found it definitely plays better once you don’t spend your time cursing them again for yet another old trope being run out (people don’t know they’re on a vessel, etc.) I don’t think I’ll look at any of them a third time ever, but I’d welcome some edited highlights on youtube, especially a Bortus reel, as I find pretty much every moment with him to be worthwhile.

I think they really missed the boat dramatically with not having an antagonistic dislikeable character on the ship. Was really hoping that Isaac would decide all organics absolutely suck and turn on them at some point, so they wouldn’t have him as such a convenient solution prop. Failing that, I’m figuring at some point his race will make that call about humans, and he’ll have to choose which side he is going to support (Orville folk side, I’m sure, but if they can create some tension a la Data in FC, it will be welcome, assuming the show lasts long enough to tackle this storyline.)

wonder if they have considered Stewart to play a Q. or anti-Q type?

Waiting for Season 2. Hoping for a PS cameo.