Robert Picardo Returning To ‘The Orville’ + More Season 2 Tidbits Gleaned From Social Media

The second season of The Orville started production a few weeks ago and social media has allowed cast and crew a chance to tease the public with their progress. They haven’t dropped any major spoilers, but we have found out a few things about what is coming.

Robert Picardo returns to The Orville

Star Trek: Voyager veteran Robert Picardo, who plays security chief Alara Kitan’s father Ildis Kitan, is back shooting scenes for season 2. This was revealed in a tweet by creator Seth MacFarlane yesterday, thanking the cast and crew.

From an Instagram video by star J. Lee we saw that episode 2 of the season is titled “Home” and is written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, who also wrote “Firestorm” in season 1, which introduced us to Alara’s parents. So it seems likely that “Home” will feature Alara’s parents, given the episode title, we assume the crew of the Orville will be visiting Alara’s home planet of Xelaya.

Alara’s father and mother as seen in the season 1 episode “Firestorm”

Jessica Szohr’s character is probably an alien

As we covered last month, actress Jessica Szohr was added to the cast for season 2. So far, no details of her character have been announced, not even her name. However, thanks to an Instagram Story video, we can see Szohr getting the full green goo lifecast treatment, so the makeup artists can create a custom fit alien makeup appliance.

Neil deGrasse Tyson visits set

Well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson recently stopped by The Orville set. He was likely on the Fox lot working on the upcoming season of Cosmos, titled Cosmos: Possible Worlds. Seth MacFarlane was instrumental in getting Cosmos revived and is an executive producer, along with Brannon Braga. Actor Mike Henry (Dann) shared a picture of himself with the Tyson on the bridge set.

When you get to hang on a spaceship with @neildegrassetyson #cosmos @theorville @foxtv

A post shared by Mike Henry (@mikehenrypreesh) on

Tyson also shared a video of Henry as Dann, showing off his Cleveland Brown voice.

Mysterious “legendary” guest alien teased

Once again an Instagram Story video from cast member J. Lee gives us a tease of someone in horned alien make up. The caption floating by says the mystery person is a “legend.” We’re not sure what that means, it could be someone from the comedy or sci-fi realm of entertainment.

New costumes and props

In yet another video posted on Instagram (and shared on Twitter) shows Scott Grimes (Gordon) wearing a different kind of jacket. It’s not clear if this is just for an episode, or possibly a Planetary Union uniform variant, possibly a dress uniform given the fancy bling on it.

And in a different post from J. Lee on Instagram, we can see Scott Grimes showing off a new rifle:

More behind-the-scenes tidbits from social media

Praise from the boss:

Real shuttles have wheels, and a fresh paint job:

Cast fun:

A running gag in season 1 was that Bortus liked to sing, but we never heard him, something always happened to interrupt him. Bortus’ husband Klyden is played by actor Chad Coleman, who has taken to Instagram to serenade folks, we still don’t know about Bortus, but it sure seems like Klyden has the pipes for a USS Orville karaoke night.

Ain't #love grand? @theorville #TheOrville #klyden #romance

A post shared by Chad Coleman (@chadlcoleman) on

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

Keep up with all of The Orville news at

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Ah, let the comparisonal acrimony begin! Again!

Myself, I’m excited to see them filming and having fun. And a visit from NDT is high praise indeed.

“Discovery is trash, The Orville is real Trek”
“Let me post a long winded attack on Discovery, a show I have judged but never watched properly”

Etc etc


Watched all of Discovery. Some good episodes in there, but not great overall, imo. I love Orville, but it’s not real Trek. It’s Orville.

I get that it’s something of a spiritual successor, but it doesn’t really matter.

Hey, I actually DID wind up watching DSC a couple weeks back when I could binge the whole thing for free, all the way through. It wasn’t as 100% horrible as I expected (I actually liked parts of a couple early eps), but the whole thing was largely a waste of time that I have zero interest in revisiting. That’s my takeaway, based on the wonky storytelling, largely uninteresting characters (despite a character-based premise that sounds like it should be great, which brings it back to awful execution) and usually miserably cartoonish exterior spaceship VFX. And the dialog is very nearly as anachronistic as ORVILLE, but without the latter’s odd charm, which for me goes a long way toward assuaging the annoying contemporary stuff.

Kmart, be honest what was the last Trek show that you actually enjoyed?

Honestly I just don’t get it, I come here and listening to some of you people sound like you haven’t liked a Trek show since TNG went off the air (and some people even hated that show) and yet you are still here.

I’m not saying you have to LIKE any of them but it just sounds like you haven’t been happy with Star Trek in a looooooooong time. And yet you’re still here, weekly.

Unless you really liked the Kelvin films.

I’m currently rewatching DS9 again, about half of which I really like. Except for TOS, it is the only TREK series I have really strong positive feelings for.

LOL that really says it all man. So you liked two shows out of six. And the last show you liked came on 25 years ago.

You made it clear how you feel about Discovery. I can’t remember your thoughts on the Kelvin films but my guess you’re not a big fan of those either. If so maybe Star Trek is just no longer for you then.

I despise the Abrams-directed films, especially the 09, but found the first viewing of BEYOND to be a lot of fun, even moving at times. It didn’t hold up at all 2nd time through though. I can still envision/imagine really good new TREK (a part of me still thinks that I should be writing these damned shows), and there is some TREK fiction — written in the 1980s — that I love and revisit regularly, probably with greater affection than I do the Fleming Bond books, which is saying a lot.

And on that subject, I haven’t liked a new Bond movie since 1989, and absolutely HATE Craig as Bond (ugly short guy who was a very good character actor tries and fails to channel Timothy Dalton is my takeaway from the Craig era) but I still am a big devotee, having rewatched FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE nearly as often as I have KHAN and TMP — the latter being something I initially felt was a disaster but then settled into a comfortable love/hate thing.

I don’t think necessarily that something is no longer for me when it still gives me such joy, just because the current incarnations are somewhere between abomination and horse dung caught in my sneakers.

OK fine, but I think its OK to admit the newer stuff is probably for a different generation. I clearly don’t love it all either but I love it more than I hate even if I’m still on the fence with some of it like I am with the Kelvin films and Discovery. But its nothing wrong to hope you get a show or a film you like to see.


Re: horse dung caught in my sneakers.

One has to wonder where you’ve been treading that that’s been a likely occurrence to your athletics?

Don’t get me wrong. I grew up in a wooded zone right smack dab next to rural regions fencing your mammal of note. I’ve seen the dung of horses — I’ve just never managed to actually sink my PF Flyers into it which is why I’m curious?

I actually changed it from dog____ to horse dung just because I didn’t want to have to leave dashes in the phrase. While we have an occasional deer or moose trot through our neighborhood (god knows where from or to, it is very suburban commercial and next to two highways), there isn’t substantial ‘wild’ wildlife around.

But now that you bring it up, I do remember than in August 1970, I spent a week at the Pocket guest ranch, and that a horse I was on dropped some doodoo, then did a kind of half-turn as I dismounted, so I wound up with one foot landing right in the fresh dropping. I don’t know how often that happens in normal life, but it was a lousy end to the day. (I know the general time-period because while we were driving back from there, the incident in nearby Marin occurred when prisoners killed a judge.)


You ride horses with heelless sneakers in the stirrups? You are a better man than I, Mr. Martin.

BFWIW, my observations when skipping around in my sneakers near corralled horses were that their dung, unlike the smaller canine’s, is rather large and it takes some some doing on my part to not notice it and land my sneaker shod foot in it by failing to scan it prior to footfall.

But to make this clear I’m not telling you to stop watching or stop commenting. I have been told these things myself here when I’m critical of something. I’m just curious why do you even still bother at this point? Its pretty obvious nothing in Star Trek will make you happy at this point if DS9 was the last thing you liked outside of TOS and you said you don’t even love that show completely.

Its never going to be TOS again, nor should it IMO but thats just my opinion.

There are stories I want to see that, to be honest, are not likely to be told except within the TREK universe, though ORVILLE might also be able to. (FIREFLY certainly was able to go into this zone, too, but I have little expectation that the STAR WARS live-action series will, or LOST IN SPACE either.)

I too find a lot of the vfx for Discovery to be cartoonist. The series itself looks visually good, modern. But why the constant weird space shots of colourful nebulae? Is this really needed? TNG vfx holds up better because they are simple and actually somewhat ‘real’ to the eye.

I’ve been rewatching DS9 lately and I’m still always amused by this faint nebula veil (probably a piece of mylar) that has slight red and blue hues that the Runabout flies past in a lot of early episodes (has camera panning a bit.) It is actually pretty subtle, a great departure from the cloud tank nebula seen in a lot of of TNG and the CG Badlands, but I was always thinking it was cool that they could be subtle about differentiating space backgrounds on DS9, instead of always going to showy ‘weird stuff’ backgrounds.


“Orville is REAL trek. Disco is a wanabe”
“No, Orville is just Dick jokes. Disco is awesome and anyone who disagrees is ignorant or dumb.”

And it just goes back and forth from that.

It’s a permutation of a dynamic this site has always had. I’ve been visiting most days since the beginning, and after details emerged about the ’09 movie, it split into rival camps–“TOS (or whatever) is dated and campy,” “Nu-Trek isn’t real Trek”, etc. With each addition to the franchise, you get further factionalisms. Plus ca change, whether talking about Discovery or Orville, it’s the same old dynamic. A visitor has to wade through a dozen or two dozen “grrr!!!” posts to read anything thoughtful or nuanced.

But then I keep visiting, so who’s the big dummy, really?

Yes it gets annoying. Of course people can hate what they hate but I think its bizarre you click on an article about a show you said you don’t even like or want to watch and comment anyway? We get it, you’re not a fan and never will be. Then why are you here wasting everyone’s time including your own?

It does seem odd to deliberately and repeatedly annoy oneself. Maybe it’s a form of masochism, not unlike fussing over a hangnail or mosquito bite. I have said under another article here that I think “hate-watching” is part of the business model for TV these days. “Love it or hate it, we know you’ll tune in anyway!” Or at least generate free publicity by whining about it all over the internet. Deviously clever, but unfortunately one more stressor in our already fractious society.

Exactly, Tiger. For example, why would I click on an article I had no interest in and then just whined and moaned about what a terrible article it was in the ensuing thread? And do it every time a thread on that subject appeared? It really makes no sense to me…

Wow a blast from the past! Welcome back ML31. So did you actually watch Discovery after all? What was your verdict if you did.

Thanks! Had to take time off. Partly to avoid episode talk. It was easy to avoid people talking about the show because no one I know apart from the two friends I talked into sharing an account with watched it. And apart from this site there seemed to be very very little internet buzz. We watched it at our own leisure about two weeks ago. I was actually intrigued with it the first part. Felt it was setting things up quite nicely. But I felt it hit speed bumps in the MU. And it just went seriously downhill after that. And I share the opinion of most when it comes to the way the show resolved things. Monumentally poor. It was so bad in fact that neither of my two buds who went in with me have any intention to pay for season 2. So if I do see the next season it will have to be 100% on my own dime. And there were two episodes where I had HUGE streaming issues. Otherwise, streaming has come a long way since I last used it a few years ago.

OK I gotcha! You didn’t want to be spoiled. And yes it was very easy to do here lol.

And we don’t disagree too much about the show. I definitely like it more than you but I been pretty critical of a lot of it although the MU is what I actually liked. Thats when I became very invested in the story arc but I guess because it had so many crazy twists and revealed a lot of the bigger arcs. The Klingon arc just never gelled for me and yet that was the entire push of the season not counting Lorca of course.

And yes HOW they wrapped things up were pretty bad like the Tyler/Voq plot line (which was COMPLETELY idiotic from the beginning) and yes the Klingon war arc. So I can get why people are disappointed. But I guess for me I still manage to enjoy more than I didn’t and still excited for season two, but with caution. But I will admit even though I liked the season overall, outside of 3-4 episodes, I don’t have any interest to rewatch the season. Its been off for over a month and I been rewatching tons of TNG, DS9 and VOY but not anything of Discovery. I even rewatched all the Kelvin films last few weeks. But maybe when time passes I will want to rewatch it. Sadly, I have no interest at the moment however.

Finally, to show I’m fair I too had BIG issues with AA last season as well. I doubt you saw any of those posts but I been front and center with the issues I had with AA. I’m a supporter but I can admit when its not perfect, both the show and the site. And it was very frustrating although it was only 3-4 episodes tops but when you’re paying money and thats the ONLY way you can actually see the show then yeah I can’t blame people for being upset about it. I never got on your case for not wanting AA, I simply acknowledge this is the future and I accept that. But you’re right, its still not perfect and I can understand why people were not happy with watching Discovery on it if they were having major issues. I just didn’t look at it as if the sky was falling because they decided to go this direction. Still don’t. I’m glad you did give it a chance at least.

Can’t wait for it to come back. Delightful show.

I found myself smiling while reading this story. ORVILLE has definitely charmed me, and won me into reversing my early negative view. I’ve actually seen most of the episodes twice!

I do kind of wish they had Wendy Schaal playing Picardo’s wife. Nothing against Molly, she was a good actress on DS9 and HERMAN’S HEAD and even SEINFELD, but Schall and Picardo have a long history (with Joe Dante going back to INNERSPACE) apart from VOYAGER, and I still think Schaal is one of the great undeveloped comic talents of the 80s. I mean, Julie Brown at least got to write herself a decent supporting role in EARTH GIRLS, but Schaal hasn’t really ever gotten that kind of chance to shine.

I thought that shuttle was a miniature at first – relative to that bit of truck in the shot, it looks very small.

It’d be cute if Tyson played himself in a holodeck thing or turned up on an old broadcast of COSMOS 2020. In keeping with Hawking’s TNG cameo.

Wow, I didn’t even know she did voice work!

I think you pretty much nailed it. It’s a charming show. It’s fun, easy to watch and they all seem to be having a great time

I’m guessing that’s Michael Dorn with J Lee.

Meh, for all the critism of Discovery I still prefer their glorified TOS fan film series over Seth’s glorified TNG fan film series.

If only Discovery was the way you described it…

Yeah it’s not like they hamfisted Mikey to be Spock’s sister, used Sarek as a pseudo main character, used Harry Mudd for a multi episode run, used the TOS fanfare not only in the opening music but in the finale, went to the mirror universe trying to find information on a TOS ship (how’d they know about an event that wouldn’t occur until over a decade later anyway?), or CLOSED THEIR FIRST SEASON WITH A SHOT OF THE BLOODY ENTERPRISE! Other than that, and a bunch of other stuff I’m probably missing, you’re right.

@Robo — I’m not gonna parse all the things I disagree with you on in that run-on sentence. But I will point out that they very clearly explained how they knew about the Defiant — they discovered a data core that contained stolen classified Empire information in the debris they encountered after their jump into the MU.

Curious Cadet,

Correct me if I am wrong, but at best from that intel all they could possibly have gotten is that there exist multiple universes and that the TERRANS think the Defiant came from their Prime universe. There’s no definitive proof available to them that it actually did or will come from Prime over any other possible multiverse source for its existence; only that, wherever it came from, that universe’s history closely parallels theirs.

@Disinvited — true, but I don’t think I implied that, and it’s irrelevant to @Robo’s point, and as I re-read it, I see he must not have even watched the episode since they did not go to the MU “trying to find information on a TOS ship”.

However, you do raise an interesting point with respect to another argument about whether they even need to warn the Defiant of anything.

Discovery doesn’t feel anything remotely like TOS though. And thats a GOOD thing btw. I like TOS of course, I’m just glad its doing its own thing and not trying to copy that show.

See above. It’s what a TOS fan film would look like if made by MSNBC.

I don’t remotely get that at all. Yeah they threw in TOS characters but they threw in TOS characters in TNG and DS9 as well, very little about those actual shows still felt like TOS. What’s funny is every Trek spin-off show has showed the TOS bridge at least once except Voyager. Sure Discovery tries to do a few references because its the closest to the TOS timeline any show has ever been but if you got rid of those TOS characters you would probably think the show took place post-Voyager since it looks nothing like the others and easily the most advanced show so far, outside of no holodecks.

But hey its all subjective, I just don’t see it personally.

As far as how they knew about the Defiant in the MU, you’re forgetting that ship had been in the MU for nearly a century. Yes in the PU it didn’t disappear for another decade but they found out about it after they got in the MU. Also you seem to be forgetting Lorca was actually from the MU, so he had known about it long ago, but just pretended he got the information later.

But yes I have stated how ridiculous it is that the Discovery crew now has information the Defiant will disappear in a decade but no one warns anyone. Again, one of the problems when you are making a prequel and working backwards, you get story problems like that. ;)


Re: Discovery crew now has information the Defiant will disappear

Give them a break. They just discovered that there are multiple universes. At best, they could have gotten that the TERRANS believe the Defiant came from their Prime universe. There’s no way they came out of that adventure with definitive proof that it had or will; only that possibly wherever it came from’s history parallels theirs somewhat more than the MU’s, and all that only if they believe the Empire’s histories aren’t flush with mendacities that prop up its shaky political structure that Mirror Spock predicts will eventually fall.

@Disinvited — Nice point. Further — we don’t even know if the Defiant we see in ENT, is even the same one Kirk was trapped on. And for that matter we don’t know that the Defiant in DISC is the same as either that from TOS or ENT. Just as there are potentially unlimited parallel universes, there are theoretically just as many potential Mirror Universes. Indeed, if we apply Orci’s non-canon rules for the Kelvin Universe, then every trip back and forth between the MU results in another alternate parallel universe, however closely related to the original.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say these are TOS rules, and there’s just two universes. There’s still the issue of all of this being classified top secret. And the ramifications of this information in which they know that the Defiant has not yet gone to the MU. They know, now that the specter of time travel has been raised, that if the Defiant does not cross over into the MU at some point in time, that it might not be there in order for the MU to exist as it does; and thus, preventing the Defiant from crossing over in the future, potentially means jeopardizing the Discovery team, and therefore the Federation’s ability to end the war with the Klingons. And that’s a very big deal considering how close they were to losing.

how come we dont cover other sci fi here, like Star Wars which has a Trek connection? As awful as Orville is, its still mystifying it gets so much here. lol


Star Wars is a completely different sci fi series. Orville is clearly paralleling the stories and tone of Trek not to mention all the ex Trek vets working in front of and behind the camera to help capture that tone.

And if you don’t like the show, fine, but why are you clicking on the articles then? Just avoid them.

I didn’t think I would like Orville at all and it turned out to be a really good show even if does have flaws. But so does most Trek shows including Discovery obviously. I just like that its a show thats about exploration and paralleling modern day issues. One I hope Discovery does more in season two.


While I wouldn’t call him a vet as he’s apparently still producing Trek, wouldn’t that JJ Abrams is, in fact, still doing both be an even more compelling reason for this site to cover STAR WARS?

Very much looking forward to Season Two, excellent. Really enjoyed Season One.

Looking forward to season 2. Hoping they have a larger episode total.

And again, the two shows are vastly different in tone and I liked Orville better than STD because I thought Orville was more successful at what they were trying to do than STD was at what they were trying to do. But I’ll still watch both and hope STD gets better.

I think Discovery is a better show overall but you do make a great point and I thought Orville did accomplish its goal a lot more than Discovery did which was mostly about the Klingon war and yet it was the least interesting aspect of the show and at times boring. I loved it when they were in the MU and wish they stayed there longer.

Watched 5 minutes and saw some crass joke about “gloryholes”.

Instant puke-a-thon!

No thanks!

Jokes on you. Those are places Roddenberry hung out at.

He might well of done. I’m sure he took a dump every day too. That doesn’t mean Star Trek should have incorporated constant turd jokes.

It’s all Star Trek, it’s all good, may 100 Star Treks bloom.

YEah but its not Star Trek lol. It takes its premise and concepts from that show(s) but its something else.

More than the paltry 13 we got
in season on, right? Right?

@RW — not likely. The standard these days is 8-13 episodes. Given that they are going into production in the Spring, presumably to make MacFarlane available for other projects later in the year, it’s almost certainly not going to be more than 13 episodes again. Most series today with a full season order start shooting in July, and shoot around 11-12 ep. before the Winter hiatus, with only about 9-10 ep. ready for air by that time. Then they continue shooting through April. If MacFarane were to shoot a full season, that would keep him working on one project straight through to January, with little time to write and prepare for another season, much less do anything else during that time.

Correction. The standard for cable and streaming seems to be 10-13 episodes. Over the air TV still have tend to have 22-24 episodes seasons. Fox seems to be the only outlier on that front, having a handful of short season shows.

@ML31 — nah it’s becoming more an more common for network TV. Mid-season shows have been pretty common for a while now, and there are more starting to fill the space before Spring as there’s so much event programming now after the holidays. Even short Summer series have also become the norm. And since we’re talking about FOX, their model applies more than the big 3 to this conversation. The CW has a number of short seasons series.

In a certain sense it is becoming more common. But it is still an outlier for over the air networks. Like I said, Fox is the only one who even does it. Mid season shows have always been a thing. It is where networks burn off shows that got past the pilot stage, had a number of episodes ordered but never made the schedule for one reason or another. It seems most of the CW shows are full 20+ episode seasons as well.

I’m watching Outlander at the moment, which is made by Ron Moore and Ira Behr. It has intensity, intelligence, poise and is told with the confidence you’d expect from expert story tellers at the top of their game. Let’s be honest, The Orville by comparison is a clown show being produced by the dregs of past shows back room staff. Bluffers and shills like Braga and Goodman. The combination of them plus the classroom level toilet humour of McFarlane always meant a washout was on the cards.

I like the 4-fer — tidbits on The Orville, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Family Guy and Cosmos.