Production is now well under way with the first few episodes of the second season of The Orville. Here’s a round-up of what we’ve gleaned from articles, interviews, and social media posts in the last couple of weeks.
Voyager’s McNeill helms episode shooting at familiar Trek location
The Orville cast and crew went on location to nearby California State University Northridge this week, the campus has the kind of retro-futuristic buildings from the ’70s that are popular with sci-fi productions. Thanks to the shoot being on an active university campus, lots of folks recognized The Orville shuttle prop on the lawn and of course saw the cast walking around, students took to social media to share with the world.
Thanks to an Instagram video, we spotted director, and Star Trek: Voyager alumnus, Robert Duncan McNeill on location with Seth MacFarlane. McNeill also directed an episode for season 1 of The Orville. His return to direct was later confirmed on Twitter by MacFarlane, saying “Great to have Robert Duncan McNeill back in the director’s chair this week.”
The location shooting was very much done in the open on the CSUN campus, with no apparent attempts to maintain secrecy. Members of the cast even took time out to take selfies with students.
— TheaterJunkie (@EstherNMartinez) April 5, 2018
The Orville was shooting in front of CSUN’s main library building, the Delmar T. Oviatt Library. Trek fans will recognize it as it was used in both Star Trek: Voyager, and most recognizably as part of the Starfleet Academy grounds in Star Trek (2009).
Jessica Szohr’s character revealed
Thanks to all the photos being posted on social media from the location shooting on the CSU Northridge campus, we also caught a glimpse of Jessica Szohr’s character in costume, with makeup. She appears to be a Xelayan, the same species as security chief Alara Kitan. She was also seen wearing a red security division uniform, like the one worn by Alara.
And similar to how we found out about Chris Johnson’s character name of Cassius, we can make out Jessica Szohr’s character name from an image of a table read shared on Instagram by producer Jon Cassar.
The character’s full name isn’t shown, due to a stack of paper partially obscuring her name card, but it is something like “___la Keyali.”
Robert Picardo in the house
Speaking of the Kitan family, as we previously reported, Star Trek Voyager’s Robert Picardo was back to reprise his role as Alara’s father, Ildis Kitan. Producer Jon Cassar tweeted out a photo of himself with Picardo in Xelayan makeup and Seth MacFarlane.
— Jon Cassar (@joncassar) March 24, 2018
More clues on Season 2
While details about Season 2 are generally being kept under wraps, TV Guide rounded up all the bits and pieces it could including new comments from the cast.
Penny Johnson Jerald (Dr. Claire Finn), told TV Guide:
“Well in season two you’re going to see more expansion of the characters, because in season one I think you got the groundwork, but in season two we’re elevating to different levels, we’re understanding relationships, we’re understanding inner workings of individuals, how they react to things and situations. And surprises, surprises, surprises.”
That 13th episode from season 1 which was held over for Season 2 will continue the story of Bortus and Klyden’s child. Peter Macon (Cmdr. Bortus) spoke to TV Guide about the episode, saying:
“It will be worth the wait, we did some stuff and changed some things with our child, so they had to retool it. It will still hold up. I was a little, ‘Oh no, they’re not going to see it!’ but it will bookend nicely once we come back to it. Also we’ll let you know that some time has passed, so that tells you that the issue [around the gender assignment] has not resolved. So rather than it being a closed chapter in Season 1, it’s going to extend itself to Season 2.”
As we covered in our last update, an Instagram story by J.Lee (Lt. Cmdr. LaMarr) teased a “legendary” actor hidden in alien make up for Season 2.
Mark Jackson (Isaac) also hinted at this person to TV Guide. TV Guide says he “was thrilled to share the stage with one famous guest star,” naturally Jackson wouldn’t divulge the identity, but he remarked:
“To be honest, he was so done up as an alien I couldn’t even tell who he was.”
More behind-the-scenes tidbits from social media
Here are a few interesting shares from cast and crew since our last update.
— Tom Costantino (@TomCostantino) March 23, 2018
— Mike Henry (@mikehenrybro) March 28, 2018
— Kai Wener (@KaiWener) March 29, 2018
— Penny Johnson Jerald (@PennyJJerald) April 6, 2018
— Tom Costantino (@TomCostantino) April 6, 2018
The Orville will return for Season 2 this Fall on Fox.
Keep up with all of The Orville news at TrekMovie.com.