The cast and crew of The Orville held a panel over the weekend at PaleyFest in Los Angeles. The focus of the panel was to talk about their successful first season, with no real spoilers for the second season, currently in production. However, Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Finn) did tease it by saying: “Season two, we are not supposed to say anything here, but we are friends here. Let me tell you. You are going to be so surprised!”
We have more highlights, photos and video of the panel below along with the latest updates on the show.
MacFarlane says he’s not out to win awards, invokes Roddenberry
Speaking about creating the series and his process for writing The Orville, creator Seth MacFarlane told PaleyFest crowd:
This was just a space in sci-fi that had been kind of neglected and there was nothing out there. Everything was serialized and everything was very dark and I kind of just missed that optimistic, hopefully sci-fi that is not necessarily a cautionary tale, but a hopeful blueprint. It just wasn’t there. So, I said “If they are not going to do it, we should just do it ourselves.” And that is where this came from. I don’t set out to do anything specific…I am not out to win awards. I just do things that I would want to watch.
When asked what was the hardest episode to write in the first season, MacFarlane turned it around by invoking Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to highlight how the The Orville’s format can actually makes things easier for the writers:
I have been comedy for years and I have never had an easier, smoother time writing than I have had on this show. It makes me thing that maybe I was in the wrong business. F—ing Gene Roddenberry once said “The basis of your series is the galaxy, there should be a lot of ideas out there.” And there are. You really don’t run out. It is what I love about it.
There is an episode in season two that actually does not contain a sci-fi plot. It is all just character pieces. That, to me, is what a good sci-fi show should be able to do. Your characters should be so strong, that if you want to do a story that is just pure drama or pure comedy, you should be able to do that.
If we go a number of seasons, it is going to get harder, but at the moment it’s not. The nice thing about that is it tells you that we have done a good job with our characters. There are no two characters who can say the same line of dialog. You can black out the name and look at the line of dialog and know who is saying it.
You can watch the full panel courtesy of The Paley Center below (via Facebook) :
Hey, The Orville fans! Have FOMO about missing out on the #PaleyFest event with the cast & creative team? Fear no more. Watch the FULL PANEL here on our Facebook page.
Posted by The Paley Center for Media on Saturday, March 17, 2018
Red carpet interviews show love for Spock
A few media outlets were on hand to do interviews on the blue carpet. When asked if they’d like to see a Star Trek or Star Wars character on The Orville both Adrianne Palicki (Kelly Grayson) and Mark Jackson (Isaac) said they’d like to meet a certain half-Vulcan science officer.
I gotta tell ya something, this is a really nerdy thing, but Spock… I just always loved him.
I think Spock would be quite nice to turn up. I think Isaac and Spock would have some interesting conversations.
Jackson also gushed about fellow actor behind the mask Doug Jones:
I think he’s phenomenal, he’s made it [acting through makeup] an art form. I take great inspiration from him.
Okudas give thumbs up to the production design
As part of an Academy of Television event, also held on Saturday, the producers and department heads of the show were on hand to talk The Orville and give a set tour. Star Trek production department alumni, and all around Treksperts Mike and Denise Okuda were there and tweeted out their approval of the bridge design and interface graphics.
Denise and I just visited the set of @TheOrville at Fox, part of a Television Academy event. We were so impressed at the design and detail of those beautiful interiors. Looking forward to seeing what @SethMacFarlane, @BrannonBraga and their team will do next season! pic.twitter.com/nBuGTE1Rzn
— Michael Okuda (@MikeOkuda) March 18, 2018
Designer shows off concept art
Concept artist Matt Tkocz put a few of his designs for The Orville on Twitter last week. In them you can see a 3D rendering of a shuttlecraft, and then a few different possibilities for the design of the USS Orville.
— Matt Tkocz (@MattTkocz) March 17, 2018
More spaceship concepts i did for the first season of The Orville modelled in modo pic.twitter.com/pwffOWGnjX
— Matt Tkocz (@MattTkocz) March 18, 2018
Cast and crew social media bits: ‘Jeopardy!’ edition
The Orville showed up on an episode of the venerable game show Jeopardy! last week, which Seth MacFarlane took as a sign the show had finally made the big time.
It’s never real until it’s on Jeopardy. pic.twitter.com/nc00QUJW7o
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) March 18, 2018
Production on the second season continues, as can be seen from this Instagram post from MacFarlane on location, on a beach in Malibu, CA last Friday.
The Orville visual effects coordinator Ashley Samour showed off her (unofficial) “Seth Trek” hoodie, from the Television Academy set visit event on Saturday.
— Ashley Samour (@AshleySamour) March 19, 2018
If you are looking for licensed The Orville apparel or coffee mugs, there are handful of selections available at the official Fox Shop.