The Orville

"Sanctuary"

3.5 stars

Air date: 4/11/2019
Written by Joe Menosky
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

The issues surrounding Moclan culture have been slowly and steadily building since "About a Girl" last season, and have continued to magnify ("Primal Urges," "Deflectors") throughout this season. They reach a boiling point with "Sanctuary," which is an effective and involving drama that falls back on a number of classic Trekkian elements, including the impassioned public hearing and the tense diplomatic crisis.

While one could argue that we've perhaps seen too much of the Moclans over these first two seasons, I would instead argue that what the writers have done is build a solid arc across a series using an episodic format. I'm reminded of the way Worf's discommendation arc and the Klingon civil war played out in the middle seasons of TNG.

This episode effectively builds on all that past Moclan history and delivers a satisfying hour of old-school TV-Trek morality-play drama. It does this while also supplying a clear example of what might now be termed an "Orvillian moment" — which is something that grows specifically from this series' creators' sensibilities (specifically Seth MacFarlane's) and is unique to this show in a way that signifies a personal stamp. As in many previous cases, it's a piece of 20th-century pop culture that's fused with the 25th-century setting to create an irreverent anachronism amid an otherwise serious affair. But we'll get to that shortly.

Two Moclans come aboard the Orville with a large case that glows mysteriously when opened, much like the MacGuffin suitcase in Pulp Fiction. We later learn it contains an infant Moclan girl who is being smuggled to a Moclan sanctuary colony where she can be raised along with other Moclan females. This colony, the two tell Bortus when he discovers their subterfuge, is a place where females are not subject to the forced gender reassignment and persecution they would face on Moclus. Bortus allows them to proceed — after first showing his son Topa what a Moclan girl is. Bortus is trying to teach Topa more enlightened values. (Topa has been misbehaving in school — his teacher is played by Marina Sirtis, one of several Trek-notable guest stars — in part because he has been learning from Klyden the traditional and backward Moclan values that females are inferior.)

After Bortus receives a reprimand from Mercer, Grayson, and Finn that provides an interesting depiction of prudence considering a scope beyond the word of the two Moclans, the Orville tracks down the secret colony of women (and the men who live among them), which reveals a program that functions as a sort of Moclan Underground Railroad for Moclan parents of girls seeking to flee their children's state-ordered fate.

The colony is led by Haveena, who proves to be an interesting character as portrayed by Rena Owen. She prompts the aforementioned Orvillian pop-culture moment when she hears Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" played back during a ride in Mercer's shuttle and instantly declares this is the song that will be the anthem for her people's struggle.

If I have my doubts that this song, of all songs, should be The One, my doubts are at least echoed by Mercer in a whimsical moment. (Besides, given what song clearances cost, there's no way of knowing if this was the song the writers wanted anyway. They might have picked from what they were able to afford.) Still, it's one of those things that kind of takes you out of the moment because it seems to sacrifice the integrity of the character for the Pop-Culture Bright Idea. At the very least, the Bright Idea later pays off when the music is played again — which we'll get to shortly.

I was certain "About a Girl" would reveal the truth about Moclan females — namely, that there were far more born than Moclan society widely acknowledges. (After all, how else to explain a once-in-a-million occurrence happening to both Klyden and his child?) We didn't get that reveal then, but we get it here, and it makes for a good payoff to what we can now see as a patient long game. Nice work here.

Haveena, with Mercer as her counsel, engages in an emergency hearing in front of the Union council to request if the colony can be recognized as an independent state. The Moclan government is furious, and orders the Union to turn over the women for extradition, which creates a political crisis because the Union is so heavily dependent on the Moclans for weapons — especially now, given the urgency of the Kaylon threat. (We also finally learn that the Moclans are indeed members of the Union, which wasn't clear up to this point. They threaten to pull out if they don't get their way.)

In a wise casting move, the episode enlists Tony Todd as the Moclan representative arguing the case against Haveena and Mercer. If you're going to do a sci-fi courtroom drama with a fiery verbal antagonist, Todd is your guy. His character presents the Moclan perspective, and he puts forward the political argument that internal Moclan society is not the Union's concern. (The idea that placing human values on an alien culture is discussed by the Union admirals, although one wonders what the criteria for admission into the Union includes if core values aren't among them.)

The ensuing political maneuvering is a compelling example of efficient, episodic TV storytelling. In a scene with the Union admirals, we see how the very real consequences of taking a moral stand are considered, and what the consequences of doing so could mean. The issue of political idealism is weighed against the potential real-world costs of losing the Moclans as allies. And what's especially interesting is how the episode lands on a compromised middle ground (the colony's survival is assured, but the secret program that allows Moclan girls to be smuggled from Moclus is shuttered) that probably wouldn't live up to the Trekkian moral ideal, but plays here as prudent diplomacy.

Meanwhile, back at the colony, the Orville has been tasked with safeguarding the population from a Moclan ship while the hearing is ongoing. This eventually leads to a skirmish, both in orbit and on the ground, and we get a space battle as well as an infantry shootout. When the fight breaks out, it's scored to "9 to 5." To my surprise, this proves extremely effective. It manages to bring a unique, madcap energy to what could've been routine, even implausible, action; it feels simultaneously ironic, refreshing, inventive, and fun. It's the payoff done as an "Orvillian moment." And by the time it happens, this weirdly counter-intuitive release of tension has been earned thanks to the sincerity and stakes borne out by the rest of the episode's polemics. It's a tonal incongruity that speaks to what this show has established itself to be — and so therefore completely consistent.

One thing this episode does not resolve, which continues to be an ongoing issue, is the question of Bortus' and Klyden's shaky marriage. Here you have a couple holding ideologically incompatible views, and it seems increasingly unworkable. The idea of a Moclan divorce was already (and wrong-headedly) explored in "Primal Urges," stemming from issues of sex and pornography. Here we see a more fundamental problem that indicates a possibly unsolvable divide. For now, the episode does not hint at an inevitable breakup. But eventually the series may have to go there, because the Bortus/Klyden status quo seems more untenable with every episode.

If "Lasting Impressions" was one of the best examples of this show being completely laid-back, then "Sanctuary" is perhaps the best example of this series seriously employing traditional Trekkian staples. It's well-written (by Trek alum Joe Meonsky), well-acted, and well-executed (directed by Trek alum Jonathan Frakes). This ticks a lot of good old-school Trek boxes, and ticks them well.

Previous episode: Lasting Impressions
Next episode: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

◄ Season Index

130 comments on this review

Dave in MN
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:12pm (UTC -6)
I'm at a friend's house at the moment so I don't have a bunch of time for a thorough review, but this was a fantastic episode that finally addressed that nitpick from About A Girl. It was great to see Haveena again .... plus, it was nice to see how the Union Council functions.

A more thorough review to come, but extremely Trekkish episode! 3.5 stars

PS I'm encouraged by how the promo said the "season finale" in 2 weeks, not the "finale". That's the first Ive heard FOX officially use industry phrasing implying there might be a renewal.
John Dark
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:13pm (UTC -6)
Marina -- Still hot!
Mertov
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:16pm (UTC -6)
Thoroughly entertaining outing !

The Dolly speech is the pinnacle of Season 2. Hahahaha :))

Last 10 minutes the coherence of the plot falls apart a bit, but still, one of the best hours of The Orville.

And Bortus, divorce Klyden! Now!
Dave in MN
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:23pm (UTC -6)
@ Mertov

Amen to that!

Klyden is seriously getting on my nerves at this point.
Mertov
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:28pm (UTC -6)
Yeah Dave, and he might be getting on the crew's nerves too by now, let alone his husband!!
Dave in MN
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:34pm (UTC -6)
It was so great when Bortus chewed out Klyden in front of Kelly for his bigotry. I literally shouted "Finally!!!" at the screen. Very cathartic, haha.
SlackerInc
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:54pm (UTC -6)
I liked that too. Of course, if he divorces him, it should hopefully be in more of a "Union" way.

I generally enjoyed the episode, which had elements reminiscient of "Captain Marvel", but I didn't think they showed us what was behind Topa's change of heart regarding his female classmates.
mosley
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 11:49pm (UTC -6)
they did. that undoubtedly was the scene where topa was shown the baby girl. it was just a bit too distant in the plot to make the connection as clear as it could have been.

another very entertaining episode. what can i say. i like the orville. all of jammers complaints about it never quite being able to decide how serious it wants to take itself (or not) are absolutely spot on, but at the end of the day, im entertained, i like the characters, its a fun universe and theres lots of stories to tell.

what more to ask.
Alan Roi
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 11:54pm (UTC -6)
Above average episode. Orville certainly has improved in the second half of season 2. Marina was a nice addition, but also good to see less adored Trek Alumni like Tony Todd and F. Murray Abraham making an appearance.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:45am (UTC -6)
@mosely

I think the show has benefitted from Seth recognizing his writing limitations and has taken less of a front seat regarding everything to do with the show. He's goode enough at writing scripts which play to his strengths (A Happy Refrain, Lasting Impressions for example) and should learn to keep out of the way for those that expose to many of his weaknesses (The World is a Birthday Cake, Blood of Patriots and most of Season 1, IMO). I do hope, however, that it isn't too late, as the my biggest annoyance related to this show has finally started to fade for the most part.
Hardy
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 1:29am (UTC -6)
This episode was long overdue. In Moclan society that practice genocide on females via gender surgery, a clandestine, resistance clan would be logical. When Frakes directed the similar peripheral plot Insurrection 20 years ago, he made that film a comedy. It didn't have these enormous, serious stakes presented to the Union. Are we defined by our values, or do we compromise them to suit our interests? And like Rush's "Free Will", the Union choosing not to decide is still making a choice for THEIR society. What makes this episode great is the Union and Moclans NEED this bandaid solution knowing this "Islands in the Stream" alliance is destined to fail. This episode is simply the best of Orville. "Two Takes" Frakes' pacing, CGI battle scenes, and expert direction of his All-Star cast had me stunned. My only nitpick is not knowing which Moclan society will first decide to break their non-aggression pact. 4/4.
SlackerInc
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 1:54am (UTC -6)
@Alan Roi: I still think "Birthday Cake" is the best episode of the series to date.
Tomalak
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 6:05am (UTC -6)
I really liked how they tied this in to Mercer's prophetic comment about how Moclan society is so different that he wonders how much they can really get along. At the time I thought "Hmm well as long as they keep their strange laws to their own planet it shouldn't become a diplomatic issue". This episode answered that.

On Sirtis, she was heavily billed on social media - and then barely got a line this episode. Disappointing, really. Why bother promoting that? I hope she is back again.
Tim C
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 7:29am (UTC -6)
A few episodes ago, I said that I thought The Orville had hit its ceiling rank. I was wrong. This was a perfect episode that didn't feel like it hit any wrong notes. This feels like what the show has wanted to be all along. I'm really impressed and hope they can maintain this level of quality through to the end of the season.
Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:05am (UTC -6)
Not a bad episode at all. I think I heard Marina Sirtis was doing a cameo this episode, but Tony Todd was a nice surprise. That man always deserved more work. More broadly, this was another episode with heart, and managed to perform the Trek "issue episode" dance much better than some of The Orville's other outings.

That said, I had a few issues with it. First, I am feeling a bit Moclan-ed out. This is the third full-on Moclan episode this season - arguably the fourth if you include the whole urination ritual thing in the season premier (which was I think more a framing device). The biggest issue with the episode, however, was I felt like the ending was - at least on a global sense - kinda a reset button. Rather than have to make a harsh choice between realpolitik and ideals, The Union splits things down the middle, and any sort of wider ramifications are kinda scuttled. The only lasting change may be that Bortus's relationship with Klyven is even more disfunctional than it already was.

Oh, and another random aside - although Isaac is seen in this episode, I don't think he had any lines. One wonders why they went to the trouble of keeping him if he isn't going to play any role in the show beyond an extra? They must still be hoping for a third season I suppose.
Perry
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:40am (UTC -6)
Impressive episode. It was cool to see many new alien characters sitting down at the Global Council. 4/4 rating - what a week it makes that lead character goes from Lt. Gordon to Lt. Cmdr. Bortus.

https://tv.avclub.com/a-smart-and-kinetic-the-orville-makes-the-case-for-inde-1833991191/amp
Zifnab
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:55am (UTC -6)
The uprising of the Moclan colonists when Kelly and Bortus got there with Dolly Parton in the background reminded me of the Narn uprising against the Centauri in B5 Season 3.

Anyone know who the actor playing the Moclan ambassador was? He seemed very familiar, something about his voice I think.
Dave in MN
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 9:03am (UTC -6)
^

I'm pretty sure that was Tony Todd (Candyman/ Worf's brother Kurn/ the coroner from the Final Destination films/ "old" Jake Sisko).
Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 9:04am (UTC -6)
@ Zifnab

The Moclan ambassador was played by Tony Todd, a well-known Trek alumnus who (among other roles) played Worf's brother Kurn and the grown-up Jake Sisko in The Visitor.
Chris
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 9:05am (UTC -6)
"When Frakes directed the similar peripheral plot Insurrection 20 years ago, he made that film a comedy."

Huh? Don't understand this comment at all. It had a few comedic scenes but it was a straight drama for the most part. And the stakes were pretty high.

I have had major problems with the Orville from episode one and was continually asking myself why I continued to watch a show that annoyed me. I am glad I stuck with it. The 2nd half of season 2 has finally hit it's stride and I am actually looking forward to each episode.

This was another well written episode with very little distracting "humor." It presented the issues with some nuance and had a fairly realistic ending (there is no simple resolution to social problems).

3.5 for me.
Gil
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 11:12am (UTC -6)
Overall, another enjoyable, well told episode that expanded the boundaries of the Orville universe and its characters with surprising nuance. Only a couple missteps for me: the first would be that Heveena was that over-familiar morality play fixture: the walking talking polemic, and the second, would be that the stakes involved in the violent drama that played out planetside and in orbit were undercut by juxtaposing it with Parton’s upbeat anthem, which had already been employed twice earlier and in more dramatically appropriate situations. A case of going to the well one too many times to justify the licensing cost, me thinks.

*** outa ****
Yanks
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:00pm (UTC -6)
OK, how many were grinnin ear to ear and laughing out loud when the battle started in orbit and on the planet surface?

"Workin nine to five".... HAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!!

The camera work in sink with the fighting and the song was phenominal!

That had to be one of the most enjoyable couple minutes in TV history for me! I immediately rewound and rewatched.

This was as TNG Star Trek as one could get with out being on the Enterprise D with a French Captain with a British accent.

I glad they have gone back to the Moclan female thing. Not that it was left dangling, but because I think it could be the basis for a great episode. .... which by all accounts this was.

Speaking of dangling... I don't feel they addressed the "Issac" thing... he just sort of not been there and all of a sudden all is OK and he's contributing on the bridge.

Lots of Trek alumn in this one....

Frakes (directing)
Marina Sirtus
Tony Todd
Ron Canada (one of my favorites)

I like the solution here... a realistic compromise achieved in the midst of some realistic polictical drama.

The Moclan battle cruiser was pretty darn cool.

This is a 4-star Orville episode to me.
Gerontius
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:11pm (UTC -6)
I was pleased they didn't see it as necessary to put in many jokey bits along the way.
I'd have sooner they'd managed without the rather unconvincing skirmish at the end, and kept the standoff between the two ships teetering on the edge of conflict rather than going over the edge. It didn't seem too plausible that the Maclons would have jumped the gun in that way in the middle of tense negotiations.

But that's rather nitpicking. It was a pretty good episode, well up to Star Trek standards (and better than a lot of Star Trek episodes).

One thing that has always struck me as strange is the way that, in spite of being a single sex species (or at least presented as being that), the Maclons think very much in terms of there being two sexes, with one being superior to another one, which doesn't actually exist. Surely they wouldn't even think in terms of "this child is a female", they'd just see it as a child with a kind of birth defect, like a human infant born with six fingers or with a tail. They might have hang-ups about it, but they wouldn't be the same kind of hang-ups we have.
Perry
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:16pm (UTC -6)
This is not what the Orville wants to hear: https://tvline.com/2019/04/12/orville-ratings-season-2-episode-11/ I don't think it covered all the viewers, I bet some watch it on videos and reruns.

I guess we need a perfect score from the Jammer's review to help Orville win a season renewal.
Brian
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
@Perry

Well at least The Orville beat out a Gotham rerun. That’s good news, right? ...right? :(
Another Michael
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 3:00pm (UTC -6)
I loved this episode almost from start to finish. It’s about a compelling moral issue, has great peformances, and explores the politics of the union in an interesting way. I could have done without the skirmishing... but hey, it’s crowdpleasing, it’s meaningful within the context of the narrative, especially for Bortas, and it’s pretty short, so it gets a pass. I admit the Dolly Parton thing also kind of threw me at first, but it’s both fun and adorable, and I love the Orville for it’s eagerness.

Overall, this episode and the last have proven the concept of the Orville as show in my mind. Season two has been a dramatic improvement in basically every way. The Orville is now a smart, thoughtful show that engages with substantive issues both large and small, while painting the picture of a better world. At it’s best, it manages to be funny, compelling, exciting and often very touching. It is, as Seth described it, aspirational. I love it.

5/5
Jason R
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 3:27pm (UTC -6)
Seth McFarlane has done it again. I was mesmerized from the teaser on. Marina Sirtis is lightning up the stage just like she did in TNG! I’d award this 6 stars but since Jammer’s system doesn’t let me I’ll content myself with 5. Onward!
90s Rerunner
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 4:24pm (UTC -6)
Count me also among the Moclan'd out, but wow did I get sucked in once this got rolling. Highly enjoyable. The Reddit boards referred to the battle scenes as very Trek-does-Deadpool, which is a great observation. It's amazing how much the Orville has been able to do with only half the episode-count per season of 90s series. More please!
Lynos
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 6:15pm (UTC -6)
I could've done without the Rambo action scene where Bortus and Kelly singlehandedly take on an army of Moclans (admittedly with a little help from the colonists), but this was a very good episode, played mostly straight.

- Klyden and Bortus need to call it quits. Obviously this relationship isn't working.
- I liked the different cutaways to the different aliens in the council. Anything that resembles world-building is welcome.
- For some reason many of the actors playing admirals are very stiff, especially Ted Danson. The scene where they are discussing their options in the boardroom along with Mercer is not very good.
- Best scene: Haveena getting her first exposure to the poet Dolly Parton. The series has done some very creative use this season with pop music. For once Mercer actually has to check who the singer is, instead of knowing it by heart as if he was not a 24th century man.
- Marina Sirtis!

It may have wrapped up perhaps too neatly towards the end but I thought it was solid and one of the best episodes of the season for sure. An interesting conflict and some great character development for Bortus. We missed you, Orville!
navamske
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
That was a halfway decent episode, but I don't find the Moclans all that interesting and would prefer that the writers not use them so much. Also, Klyden is a dick.

Topa referred to Klyden as "Papa," then called Worf "Papa." Wireless telecommunications facility?

The Dolly Parton thing was funny, but they pushed it too far.

The Marina Sirtis appearance was a complete waste. Anybody could have played that part. I don't think her character even had a name.

Nice to see Ru'afo from "Insurrection."

With each episode, I dislike Alara 2.0 even more.

I like the character of Haveena, and I guess by extension the actress who plays her.
Trent
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 8:15pm (UTC -6)
I found this to be an excellent episode. Like many Orville episodes, its first act is very quiet, very banal, very familiar, until it begins to ratchet up the tension and leap off in a series of surprising tangents.

This episode also makes explicit the Saudi Arabia/Moclan symbolism. In our world, the United States and Great Britain are the chief allies of Saudi Arabia, a repressive monarchy which receives funding and arms (and even training in the art of squashing democratic movements) from the western superpowers. In return for weapons contracts and oil/business deals, a blind eye is turned to three facts: SA and its brand of Wahhabism (a form of hyper-conservative, far-right Islam) is the chief sponsor of regional terrorism (9/11 itself had numerous links to the Saudis), SA is a monarchy which crushes democratic movements yet is propped up by western democracies, and SA represses women and other minority groups in the name of its wacky traditions. More then any other SF show, Orville points out the hypocrisy and duplicity of supposed enlightened organizations (the Union, contemporary "secular democratic superpowers" etc).

With its Dolly Parton anthems, revolutionary women, alien lady armies and Kelly kicking ass like John Rambo, the episode is also one big hymn to third world women's rights movements (it's interesting how nobody complains about Kelly and Alara kicking butt in Orville, but Michael catches so much flak for being a superwoman in Discovery; there seems to be a likeable giddiness to Orville's Girl Power).

The episode also highlights a number of things which the Orville has done well this season: lots of patient beauty shots (lingering glamor shots of ships, of planets, of cities, of nebulae etc), good ensemble work, good world building (the Krill, Kaylon, Xelayan and Moclans especially), a cool use of music, cool architecture, lots of planet exploring, a willingness to be weird and alien (Xelayan beach horses!), a remarkable ability to ratchet up the tension, and lots of decent little space battles (the swooping camera shots which director Jonathan Frakes uses during the little space battle in this episode, are a rush).

Yes, the episode has some little flaws. Its last act is rushed, things are too neatly resolved, and several "dramatic fade outs" feel like overcooked scenes from TNG or Voyager. But these are minor. This has ultimately been an extremely good and fun season. And I think the show's comedy angle has allowed it to do Trek stuff which no longer works when told with a straight face. TOS and TNG worked well as abstract little theater plays, and the comedy here brings that level of abstraction back (notice how tonally off the "planet of the week" episodes of Discovery feel).

IMO modern Trek now can't compete with Orville for old-school space opera, and lark-like camaraderie. It should compensate by going the opposite direction: be more realistic, mundane, intellectual and politically radical. Something like an updated Star Trek the Motion Picture, with entire episodes about xenobiologists doing dull science stuff like gathering fungi and collecting regolith.
Gerontius
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 9:01pm (UTC -6)
"Klyden and Bortus need to call it quits. Obviously this relationship isn't working."

The problem with that is that it appears the Maclon only have a single rather drastic way of ending a marriage. Klydon tried it... I think we can probably assume that they now both accept that their marriage is only an empty formality, apart from their shared responsibility for their child. Plenty of marriages like that.

Maclon children do seem to grow up remarkably quickly. No doubt if The Orville gets another season we can expect teenage angst and him falling for some non-Maclon girl, or possibly boy. It really does deserve to be allowed to continue. It's hitting its stride.
Del_Duio
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 9:53pm (UTC -6)
Flat. Flat. Flat. All season the scriptwriters have been trying to make us feel things. And in this episode those attempts are so unrelenting, so into overdrive, that it sours most of the scenes. The weakest acting by McFarlane so far, too many speeches, Claire is out of left field, and can we stop with the window shining lensflares already?

For the record, I had been thinking S2 was an improvement over S1. But a lot of this felt like filler.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 11:12pm (UTC -6)
@Trent

Saying modern Trek can't compte with Orville is like saying a 4K 60" 2019 screen can't compete with a 20" 80s color TV.
Alan Roi
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 11:15pm (UTC -6)
@Jason R

Actually, you can thank Joe Menosky for this episode.
The Gorn
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 2:06am (UTC -6)
I don't get sucked in easily these days, but this weeks episode had my full attention from start to finish. Bravo! I never thought I'd live to see the day when I actually like The Orville. Those last two episodes make me wish we'd get another five seasons.
Perhaps I enjoy seeing so many familiar faces from past Trek shows, I don't know, but this really felt like Star Trek to me, finally, after a very long time.
I can only hope that this wasn't too little, too late for FOX to renew it.

(And yes, Captain McFarlane was a miscast...)
Gerontius
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 4:53am (UTC -6)
I disagree with the comment a number of people about Seth as the captain. A key element of the series is that The captain is not a grand heroic leader, he's an ordinary decent enough man doing his best in a responsible job. And that's what he comes across as. He doesn't have the dignity or presence of Picard or Cisko or the gung-ho swagger of Kirk. He's not meant to. And I like that aspect of the series. I hope that if there are more seasons they won't be trapped into making him bigger than life.
Trent
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 5:22am (UTC -6)
Alan said: "Saying modern Trek can't compte with Orville is like saying a 4K 60" 2019 screen can't compete with a 20" 80s color TV."

I said can't compete at "old school space opera". There's more decent Trekian holodeck episodes, planetary explorations, space battles, morality plays and wacky alien negotiations in these 2 seasons of Orville, than Disco, Enterprise and nu-Trek combined.

A straight, serious, po-faced Trek series can't tackle this material. The material needs an element of knowing cheese. This was actually something JJ Trek got right; it knew it was all a goofy lark. To do the opposite - to be modern "serious" Trek - you have to be smarter and more serious than TNG/DS9 at its best, and you have to be up there with the best of print SF. And few writers are up to that task.
Trent
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 5:30am (UTC -6)
Gerotinus said: "He doesn't have the dignity or presence of Picard or Cisko or the gung-ho swagger of Kirk. He's not meant to. "

I agree with your overall point, but I still feel like Ed's an amalgamation of Kirk and Picard. He's got Kirk's boyish, just-one-of-the-guys likeability. And he's used by Seth to indulge in some Picard fantasies as well, especially when Ed drops his little utopian/political/philosophical speeches.

IMO the key difference is that Ed's also a "comedic loser" archetype (especially when it comes to love and romance), and a kind of post-feminist hero, unashamedly willing to let his female sidekicks kick butt. And as you say, Seth's resisted making him "bigger than life" or the "star".
Cynic
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 6:34am (UTC -6)
@Zinfab

I also got the B5 vibe from that uprising scene. There was a shot of several women beating down a Moclan soldier on the ground that seemed to be a deliberate homage to the Narn beatdown of Lord Refa, which also featured an uplifting soundtrack (a scene well-remembered because it was shown weekly in Season 4's opening credits).
SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 8:46am (UTC -6)
It's an undeniable fact that this whole enterprise (no pun intended) exists basically because Seth McFarlane wanted to spare no expense to make himself a Star Trek captain, almost like the Jesse Plemons character on the Black Mirror episode "U.S.S. Callister". So it would be easy to imagine that being the weak point of the show, just the way many people are describing it.

Notwithstanding all that, I actually do really like him in the role. I don't know who they would have cast to play the character if he had been forced to stay behind the scenes as creator and showrunner. But it's hard for me to imagine someone doing it as well.
Dave in MN
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 9:40am (UTC -6)
I can't imagine anyone else as Captain Mercer. Seth does a great job!
Alan Roi
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 11:51am (UTC -6)
@SlackerInc

Actually I don't mind him in the role as Mercer either. However, the roles of showrunner, head writer, casting director, chief bottle & cook washer etc. (does anyone know if he wrote lyrics for the theme for extra royalties like Gened did?) might not have been the best idea for the show.
Gerontius
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:32pm (UTC -6)
A classical series that, it seems to me, has some interesting parallels with how the Orville works, is one that is way outside the scifi genre. I'm thinking of Mash - there's the way it swings between comedy, often farcical comedy, and serious themes, and real issues, the way that the commanding officer is just one of the cast of characters. There's a war going on all right, but it's mostly background. And there is much the same sense of ethics in both Mash and The Orville, which is pretty well absent from so many series.

It doesn't measure up to Mash, but Mash had a lot longer to work itself in. Touch wood for The Orville.
SC
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 5:39pm (UTC -6)
@Perry They take the show off the air for three weeks and wonder why the ratings drop. Stupid networks.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 12:18am (UTC -6)
@SC

Lots of shows go off for as long as 3 weeks during the season and their ratings don't dive.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 12:30am (UTC -6)
@Alan Roi
"Saying modern Trek can't compte with Orville is like saying a 4K 60" 2019 screen can't compete with a 20" 80s color TV."

An ironically fitting analogy.

NuTrek is all about flairs over substance and quantity over quality. It's bigger, flashier, faster and more bombastic. Just like a teenage jock who blasts his car radio with the biggest bass-heavy speakers he could find, and thinks that makes him a somebody.

Sorry, but "fancier" and "better" are two completely different things.

You know what's the most ironic thing here is? That the stories in the Orville, with all their cheese and occasional low-bow humor, still makes for a more coherent universe than the train-wreck called ST:Discovery.

As Jammer so aptly wrote yesterday:

"This series is a seriously dedicated piece of bananas, with a poker-faced tone that dares you to laugh at the lunacy of the plot."

Let's see if you guess what series he was referring to: The dead-serious current Star Trek prequel that deals with Spock and Captain Pike, or McFarlane's tongue-in-cheek show that has Seth himself as captain and fight scenes to the tune of Dolly Parton?
Trashbarg
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 2:31am (UTC -6)
Man, this show. I guess it was okay? With Orville it's always the same for me, whatever originality it has and whatever a really good ensemble tries to do it sort of always crumbles for me with it's slavish following of TNG/VOY/DS9 formulas. I loved each of those, but after 500+ eps of the same schtick I know all the beats by heart. Hell most of the VOY run I was really pissed off at the production for just faxing it in, then ENT killed me inside right out of the gate. IMO Orville needs liberation from these chains to truly become a great show, it's being dragged down by all the baggage.

Does anyone else find Union a bit opportunistic? It's one of the more interesting aspects to me. They seem real quick to admit peoples or try to ally with them for immediate gain, be it tech or ships. Perhaps this Moclan thing will be the engine of change for their foreign policy. Less Machiavellism, more idealism. I hope they continue to run with this theme.

P.S. First time poster, long time reader, yadda yadda, nice to meet you all. Wish all the boring Disco vs. Orville flames would stop, because they are boring and not very well argumented, and life is not a zero sum game.
Trent
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 7:43am (UTC -6)
Trashbarg said: "Does anyone else find Union a bit opportunistic?"

That's certainly what this episode is about. And characters have been bashing the Union's opportunistic relationship with the Moclans for some time now; they've turned a blind eye because they need Moclan technology.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 8:32am (UTC -6)
@Trashbrag

"Wish all the boring Disco vs. Orville flames would stop, because they are boring and not very well argumented, and life is not a zero sum game."

Flames are indeed silly, but why shouldn't we be allowed to compare the two shows? Especially when one of them perfectly captures the spirit of the classic Trek shows, and it *isn't* the official Star Trek show that's doing that?

You are perfectly right that this isn't a zero sum game. But it's not my fault that the Orville is doing precisely the kind of Trek-like morality tales that I've been waiting for in the last 15 years, while DSC feels to me like a punch to the face. It's not my fault that the Orville is doing so many things right (in my view) while DSC is doing so many things wrong.

I agree, though, that anybody who tries to turn this into some kind of war (or worse: into personal attacks against those who think differently) has a problem. These are just TV shows, for God's sake. And people should feel free to voice their opinions on these TV shows without it turning into some stupid bloody feud.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 8:59am (UTC -6)
@OmiconThetaDeltaPhi

You many have been waiting 15 years to pull out your 87 Zenith 20" to recapter 30 year old TV scifi the way it was made, 30 years ago for that antique. I've been waiting 30+ years to be able to see Star Trek in long form format like I imagined it would be if novels like Strangers From The Sky would actually be filmed and it looks like both of us have been rewarded for our patience. And yet for some reason you can't stop complaining. Go figure.
SlackerInc
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 9:45am (UTC -6)
@Gerontius, I love the parallel with M*A*S*H! Good call.

I've been arguing with someone on Twitter (who has never seen the show) about whether "The Orville" is a Star Trek parody. My contention is that it is not. It could be accused of being a Star Trek *ripoff*, but not a parody. It is a dramedy, or what used to be called comedy-drama. But it doesn't hold up Trek tropes for exaggeration or ridicule. The jokes are of a different nature than caricature of typical Trek characters or situations.

@SC: I don't think it was that dumb to put up a repeat of the big whiz-bang space battle episode last week. They probably could have played this one a week earlier, but it's good to give people multiple chances to get hooked in by that one.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 10:07am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"Let's see if you guess what series he was referring to: The dead-serious current Star Trek prequel that deals with Spock and Captain Pike, or McFarlane's tongue-in-cheek show that has Seth himself as captain and fight scenes to the tune of Dolly Parton?"

Obviously your notion of where absurdity should be allowed and where it shouldn't is rather limited. i will offer the example of the Film Altered States, which I consider one of the best science fiction films ever made. It could fit Jammer's description of Discovery, as internally treats itself seriously. It is also tremendously mind-expanding in many ways. It offers new ways of looking at the subjects it tackles. It takes us to places we've never been. And it is utterly bananas, for sure. It crack the mold, as Discovery does, offering something new, if occasionally uncomforatable for the veiwer who is expected to find some way of interpreting what's being presented to him or her.

Now lets look at The Orville. Presenting new ways of looking at things is not its bailiwick. It's about reinforcing values the viewer already holds, just as Berman era Star Trek was about. Slapping a 40 year old song on an episode about women's rights is what The Orville is about. Its not offering anything new. Its offering the comfort of the traditional. No interpretation is needed. Its offering something the viewer already accepts. But is that really what you think science fiction in general and Star Trek in particular should be about?
trashbarg
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 11:01am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

By no means I'm against measuring the two shows against each other, what I'm against is entrenched war of attrition which persists, with sides rarely conceding anything. It's like World War 1 with all the fun sucked out of it. You see, for me both shows cut both ways, with stuff that I find really well executed and stuff that I rather dislike.

Discovery, I appreciate it moving away from what by the mid run of Voyager became corporate exploitation and filling in some blanks along the way, however it suffers from myriad of problems in execution, with the the biggest problem for me being the direction and editing which take after modern Marvel stuff which I hate. I mean I could go on and on, but I'll reserve that for Disco threads :D

Orville on the other hand gives me comforting format that I grew up with and a very capable ensemble, but it follows the old playbook rather too closely and it seems to me like a lot of the old Trek crew there on the production/writing side of things just fell into their old habits. I grew up with TNG, watched all the shows while they aired, then in countless reruns, know everything by heart and I know I want some of that "same old same old" but not quite the same "same old" if you catch my drift? I guess that's why I like that whole Klyden/Bortus thing so much, how many strained alien marriages we had the chance to observe at length? Not many!

In the end, I tune in every week for both shows, because potential is there and occasionally it shines through. I'm pretty interested in what will they become and wish them long runs to realise that potential. Also, both shows running in parallel offers a nice possibility to sort of revise and discuss a lot of aspects of Trek, without getting the knives out :D
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 11:38am (UTC -6)
@Trashbag

There's nothing alien about Bortus' and Klyden's marraige. And that is the point.
Gerontius
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 11:53am (UTC -6)
I can't see that it makes too important a difference if I see a good story on a tablet or a monster screen. Maybe with some narrative which was a bit ropy it might make a difference, what with flashy special effects to make up for things which would look flashier on a big screen.

Trashberg comments about the way that the Union is a bit more "opportunistic" than in the Federation was in the real Star Trek times. To an extent that's true enough (though there were episodes when we saw another side to the Federation), and I think that's part of the Orville's concept - to take a bit of shine off Star Trek's vision, but preserve it's ethical stance, if just a little dented. (The essential point is, just because things are never going to be perfect that doesn't mean they couldn't be a great deal better.)
Trent
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 11:55am (UTC -6)
Alan said: "Its not offering anything new. Its offering the comfort of the traditional."

I don't think anybody would argue Orville is radically new and/or edgy SF. It's 90s Trek meets TOS meets a more prominent vein of Hollywood leftism. But as these types of tales are rare, not only in their own zeitgeist, but our own, this nevertheless makes it quite novel.

The idea that Discovery is "cutting edge" and "new" and "challenging values" is meanwhile laughable. This is bog-standard, bad, contemporary SF/fantasy TV writing, perfectly mimicking everything else on TV and film over the past decade or so. And its messages ("Racist Klingons are bad!") and values are a step below even 1960s Trek, all mostly unexplored and cynically tacked on as a obligation to the franchise.

Discovery is challenging absolutely nothing. Aesthetically, it kowtows to TV trends. Politically, it is several steps behind even Orville. Philosophically, it is inept. Narrative-wise, it is worse than what one would consider poor contemporary TV writing. Format-wise, its Victoria-era serialization is even more dated than the modernism of TOS.

More crucially, Disco learns the worst lessons from past Trek. If past Trek steadily degenerated into convoluted action spectacle, Disco pushes this logic to the extreme. Be honest. What is Disco but the last 2 seasons of Enterprise, with twice the budget? It's the same "mind-bending", time-hopping, serialized, genocide thwarting, action Trek as the last 2 seasons of Enterprise. Or a Voyager two-parter action episode stretched for 14 episodes.

So people don't bash Discovery because "it's too new and edgy and too advanced", they bash it because they romanticize Trek as a highbrow, iconoclastic, unique, countercultural thing, and what they got with this installment was yet another lowbrow, conformist, trashy and pandering thing. It is Michael Bay Trek, and you can feel the writers' souls dying every time they're made to obey the mandates of the producers above them ("Write me a plot that gets us to the future! And make it lead into our two new spin-offs!").

Who can honestly look at S1 of Discovery and say "MAN, THIS IS CUTTING EDGE STUFF! THESE KLINGONS offer SUCH A DEEP LOOK INTO THE SOCIO-ECONO-HISTORICAL CAUSES OF ALT-RIGHT, RACIST, WARMONGERS! THIS IS HOW YOU DO SERIALIZATION! WHAT A GRIPPING, NUANCED, DRAMATIC USE OF THE FORMAT! DISCOVERY TRULY IS THE VOICE OF OUR GENERATION!"

That's laughable.
Booming
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 12:56pm (UTC -6)
@ Trent
" Narrative-wise, it is worse than what one would consider poor contemporary TV writing"
Hahaha come on. Have you watched TV lately and with that I mean during the last 60 years. :D
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
@Trent

That's hysterical. Idiotically pretentious and suggests that you can't be bothered to watch a minute of it. But still very funny. You are definitely laughable.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:21pm (UTC -6)
@Trent

That you apparently were only capable of receiving messages like this: "Racist Klingons are bad" demonstrates that you'd best be sticking to the simplistic 30 year old Star Trek for kiddies scifi.

Your posts are the Dunning-Kruger effect to a tee.
Trashbarg
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:40pm (UTC -6)
Weren't Klingons droning about cultural preservation in face of Federation since like forever? From Kruge to Chang and onwards, forever dreading that moment when they'll feel the urge to settle down on some nice farm world with Federation flag waving in the wind above them.
1~
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:44pm (UTC -6)
"They might have hang-ups about it, but they wouldn't be the same kind of hang-ups we have."

I actually didn't like Sanctuary, for that reason--the way the Moclans have been portrayed as one-dimensional misogynists this season seems like a retcon.

(Klyden in particular seems to geting exponentially more bigoted as the season progresses. Klyden had never displayed any overt hostility towards non-Moclan females until this episode, and how is Bortus's denunciation of him as an inverterate xenophobe supposed to square with him eating Rocky Road ice cream while swooning over "The Sound of Music"? And it makes Bortus's initial determination to stand by Klyden despite their differences just seem foolhardy.)

The analogy with misogynistic human cultures seems really strained, Moclan women aren't being denied a voice or standing, they're being forced to become men.

The writer's Bortus-y reaction to Parton was supposed to be funny I guess (I just found it corny) but it just seemed to cheapen the character. She's the greatest writer in the ENTIRE HISTORY OF HER PLANET. She not merely talented, she's a towering genius without equal. She's also a born iconoclast who was raised outside of Moclan society by her iconoclastic parents. How could she possibly be so parochial and incurious that she would have had never sought out another planet's artworks even once?

(Bortus's Rankin-Bass-inspired epiphany in About A Girl worked so because it was such a cleverly constructed multilayer gag--on it's face the idea that Bortus could be turned by a cartoon aimed at six-year-olds is ridiculous, so naturally only the comic-relief doofuses would even consider attempting it. But it works--becuase the ideas in the story are such common currency in Earth culture than only a child would be unfamiliar with them, but Bortus had had little exposure to Earth culture and had never encountered them before--and he suddenly understood that his crewmates ire wasn't just anti-Moclan prejudice but might have a serious philisophical justification.

And as an outsider to Earth culture, he could articulate that philosophy with a clarity and eloquence the Earthlings couldn't have themselves--they were so deeply embedded in their own assumptions that they had never even thought of stating their objections in those terms, the Moclan stance was just wrong and bad and that's all there was to it.)

I'm not sure how granting the colony autonomy is supposed to solve the problem--unless doing so nullifies the colonists' Moclan citizenship in the process then in effect it would just be one more Union planet that could offer them asylum, and it wouldn't stop the Moclan government from shutting down the "underground railroad", which was run by Moclans. So why not just offer the colonists asylum instead of gambling that the Union council will take a highly risky stand in the middle of fighting a war with a bunch of genocidal AIs?

About A Girl was a civil case between two parents, there was never any real question about asylum being granted if Bortus and Klyden had jointly asked for it. The colony was obviously far away from Moclan space so presumably the Moclans couldn't claim jurisdiction there, and if they tried to use force they'd be breaching the very Union charter thet were trying to claim protection under.

What is the future of the colony now that it has autonomy? Do Moclan females need males to procreate? If they do will the offspring have the usual Moclan sex ratio? (That could cause a few problems, to put it mildly.) If they don't, are we going to end up with a Moclan society split between two mutually hostile one-gender planets a la Vandread?
SC
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 2:38pm (UTC -6)
@Alan Roi.

It would make more sense to air the show on the same day, in the same time slot, every week until all the episodes have aired. Like they do in the UK. Or they used to do, because many of the shows are on US time now (like The Orville.) However, some shows like Magnum P.I. are held back until there's enough episodes to air them without a break.
Gerontius
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 6:27pm (UTC -6)
I've never understood the way "edgy" is seen as something to aim for, as if it was the same thing as battling the system.

If you're fighting the system you'd want to stand on solid ground, not show off balancing on the edge of a precipice where a gust could send you to ver. That kind of thing is just showing off.

Speculating about how Moclan procreation might work out would be liable to give you a headache. To start with, are there actually any differences between the "male" and "female" Moclans, other than the fact that the females look a little less thuggish and evidently prefer to wear skirts?

Ursula LeGuin put a more interesting variation on these things in The Left Hand of Darkness, with a planet where the people changed sex from time to time - the same idea crops up in James White's Sector General series.. ( And it actually occurs in some species on Earth.)

I noted 1-'s comment "The analogy with misogynistic human cultures seems really strained, Moclan women aren't being denied a voice or standing, they're being forced to become men." It occurred to me that's perhaps actually more relevant to some tendencies in Earth cultured that aspire to be non-misogynist.
Alan Roi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 6:27pm (UTC -6)
@SC

Sure it would be easier, but this isn't like the old days when if a show went on haitus we wouldn't know when the next new ep would appear unless we bought TV guide, and we'd only know that week. There are several sites which track release dates weeks and months ahead of time now.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 6:41pm (UTC -6)
@Trent
"What is Disco but the last 2 seasons of Enterprise, with twice the budget?"

Enterprise, for all it's flaws, was - at the very least - a good Trekverse history lesson. It has the huge advantage of being set in one of the most interesting time periods of Trek history, and the writers (contrary to popular belief) made an actual effort to make it work as a prequel.

Could it have been better? Sure. It could have been much better, both as a TV show and as a prequel.

Was the level of storytelling down a notch from TOS/TNG/DS9? Perhaps.

Should they dropped all the rubbish "Temporal Cold War" plotline that cumulated with red-eyed alien Nazis? Definitely.

But I still maintain that Enterprise is a worthy addition to Trek lore. In fact, in some ways, it is my favorite Trek show.

I also maintain that the Xindi arc is a good 9/11 analogy. It wouldn't have worked as a 24th century story, but it was a perfect fit for the 22nd. In many ways, the Xindi arc serves as a "coming of age arc" for humanity itself, which I very much appreciated.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 7:40pm (UTC -6)
@Alan Roi
"Obviously your notion of where absurdity should be allowed and where it shouldn't is rather limited. i will offer the example of the Film Altered States, which I consider one of the best science fiction films ever made. It could fit Jammer's description of Discovery, as internally treats itself seriously."

Well, it has been said that the dividing line between genius and crackpottery is often a thin one.

The problem is that this kind of reasoning can also be used to justify bad writing. Another problem is that Discovery is claiming to be a plot-oriented serial, not to mention a prequel to an established setting. Yes, with this type of show, I expect the plots to (a) make internal sense and (b) be respectful to the source material.

In short, it's not the kind of show that can afford going completely bananas.

"It crack the mold, as Discovery does, offering something new, if occasionally uncomforatable for the veiwer who is expected to find some way of interpreting what's being presented to him or her."

Name one way in which Discovery is "cracking the mold". Name one way in which that show is doing *anything* different, when compared to a typical current mainstream sci fi offering.

"Now lets look at The Orville. Presenting new ways of looking at things is not its bailiwick. It's about reinforcing values the viewer already holds, just as Berman era Star Trek was about."

Are you claiming that Berman Era Trek never caused people to question their prejudices? Because that's demonstrably false. The funny thing is, an episode doesn't even have to be particularly good to have this effect.

Take TNG's "The Outcast" for example. It's a pretty bad episode, but I've heard from more than one person that they're view of LGBT people have changed for the better after viewing it.

I'm willing to bet that Orville's "About a Girl" (a far better episode than "The Outcast") had the same kind of effect on many people. Or take, for example, "Majority Rule". I'm sure that at least some viewers stopped to think about the way they're judging others.

And yes, you are right that none of these things is ground-breakingly new. So? Are you saying that this cry for humanity and compassion should have an expiration date? Or that present day humanity is already so enlightened that we don't need these reminders anymore?

Of-course, if the Orville didn't tell compellingly fresh *stories* to accompany these time-tested themes, none of the above would have mattered. But the story-telling on the Orville is (usually) innovative and fresh.

"No interpretation is needed."

If that's what you think then you aren't a very attentive viewer of the show (or an attentive reader of the show's comments sections here).
Gerontius
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 7:47pm (UTC -6)
I've never understood the way "edgy" is seen as something to aim for, as if it was the same thing as battling the system.

If you're fighting the system you'd want to stand on solid ground, not show off balancing on the edge of a precipice where a gust could send you to ver. That kind of thing is just showing off.

Speculating about how Moclan procreation might work out would be liable to give you a headache. To start with, are there actually any differences between the "male" and "female" Moclans, other than the fact that the females look a little less thuggish and evidently prefer to wear skirts?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 7:55pm (UTC -6)
@Alan Roi
"You many have been waiting 15 years to pull out your 87 Zenith 20" to recapter 30 year old TV scifi the way it was made, 30 years ago for that antique. I've been waiting 30+ years to be able to see Star Trek in long form format like I imagined it would be if novels like Strangers From The Sky would actually be filmed and it looks like both of us have been rewarded for our patience. And yet for some reason you can't stop complaining. Go figure."

Do you see me endlessly complaining about Discovery?

No.

The only thing I can't "stop complaining" about is this silly insistence of some people to turn a discussion into a war zone.

BTW having a discussion and giving my opinion on a show is not "complaining". Would you have liked it, if the people here told you to "stop complaining" just because your view of the Orville isn't favorable? Didn't think so. So please don't do this to others. Thank you.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 8:29pm (UTC -6)
Oh... and one more thing, Alan Roi.

Your constant attempts at ridiculing the Orville by comparing it to an antique TV set are kinda funny, considering how great the Orville actually looks and sounds on a top-notch modern TV set.

It's an absolute treat, seeing this classic kind of stories rendered so beautifully with modern production technology.
vbfbdfgfd
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 1:04am (UTC -6)
Alan Roi, how much does CBS pay you anyway? Good god, keep it in the STD comment sections at least.
Mitty
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 5:31am (UTC -6)
It's enough to drive you, crazy if you let it...

So much fun. God I love this show. It makes me feel young again.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 6:46am (UTC -6)
@Omicron

What ridiculing? It is the intention of the producers of Orville to recapture the exact look of an 80s scifi show with minimal updates in the VFX. The fact that its shot in HD doesn't change that intention. When cititscapes look like matte paintings that only drives that point home.

I do think that, at some point, likely far earlier in the show that TNG was, someone would have asked at some point a particular question that Orville so far has refused to ask about the Moclans. And that is: Why have the engaged in the social engineering they have such as Trek has with many of its alien species, most notably Vulcans which I personally compare the Moclans more to, as they too excercise supression as a tool of control. And this is where I think the Orville in general and this episode in particular falls down hard.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:05am (UTC -6)
@Alan Roi
"It is the intention of the producers of Orville to recapture the exact look of an 80s scifi show with minimal updates in the VFX... When cititscapes look like matte paintings that only drives that point home."

Since you *have* seen the show, I conclude that you are just trolling at this point.

"I do think that, at some point, likely far earlier in the show that TNG was, someone would have asked at some point a particular question that Orville so far has refused to ask about the Moclans. And that is: Why have the engaged in the social engineering they have such as Trek has with many of its alien species, most notably Vulcans which I personally compare the Moclans more to, as they too excercise supression as a tool of control. And this is where I think the Orville in general and this episode in particular falls down hard."

Another non sequitur.

Please come back when you are willing to have an actual honest discussion.
Gerontius
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:12am (UTC -6)
I can't understand that last bit, Alan. I mean I can't understand what the question is.
One way or another, "suppression" is a pretty common element in pretty well all societies in the real world. So is social engineering of one kind or another.
Alan Roi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:14am (UTC -6)
@Omicron

Here's a question for you: Why doyou think no one one one the show ever wondered why Moclans society is the way it is? Do you ever wonder why they are the way they are?
SlackerInc
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 7:58am (UTC -6)
I was initially going to say I vigorously cosigned Trent's virtuosic post. But I share OTDP's disagreement about "Enterprise". OTDP made some other great points as well.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:06am (UTC -6)
Yes, I sometimes wonder about it.

As of this time, there is no canonical answer to this question. How is this a problem? Do you always expect shows to provide a complete historical background about everything depicted in them, during their first two seasons?
Gerontius
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:48am (UTC -6)
Why do kangaroos have pouches? Why don't rabbits eat meat? No doubt there are reasons you could postulate, but you don't generally ask those questions.
Trent
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Alan said: "Why do you think no one one one the show ever wondered why Moclans society is the way it is? Do you ever wonder why they are the way they are? "

Several episodes have implied that the harsh conditions on the Moclan home world led to evolutionary and social changes. Their bodies became stronger, their digestive system less finicky, and they began to glorify strength and hyper-masculinity, traits which helped them survive. In one episode, one character outright says that humans would behave as Moclans do, if it facilitated survival on a harsh, desert world.

There's an interesting branch of anthropology that believes that gender roles and societies are shaped by their agricultural past and tools, which are themselves shaped by climate (cultures which used smaller tools, rather than animal driven ploughs, for example, have greater gender equality, as more women participated in manual work). Like human desert societies influenced various cultures, I'd imagine Moclan's brutal landscape similarly led to its norms.

Omicron said: "But I still maintain that Enterprise is a worthy addition to Trek lore. In fact, in some ways, it is my favorite Trek show. I also maintain that the Xindi arc is a good 9/11 analogy."

I think you've actually inspired me to re-watch S3 and 4 starting tonight. It's been a long time since I last watched. I hold you accountable for any distress that may befall.

Omicron said: "Take TNG's "The Outcast" for example. It's a pretty bad episode"

You don't even like the tone and direction of the episode? I can understand bashing it on thematic grounds, but I thought the muted, subdued tone was great. It's all such gripping, quiet conversation.

Gerontius said: "To start with, are there actually any differences between the "male" and [...] "

I always assumed the Moclans were some kind of hermaphrodite race, where the males can fertilize one another. This would (I assume) require each male to have "male" and "female" stuff (sperm and ovaries?).

Maybe they even started off with biparental reproduction, but the harsh conditions on their planet made them change over time. Like frogs change sex to survive harsh conditions (sequential hermaphrodites, born one sex but shifting to another as need be), evolutionary pressures maybe selected for mutable males, or males with both sex organs.

I'd assume that females could reproduce as well. If its a hermaphrodite race, you'd think everyone would possess the same sex organs. Or - more interestingly - maybe the females are a byproduct of a evolutionary dead end. The males literally have no use for weak females*, because the males are so altered, so evolved, that their junk is now only compatible with other males and...oh god, I can't believe I'm typing this stuff.

*I don't mean to imply that women are weak, but in many species, pregnancy and carrying young takes a toll on the body. Females are more physically vulnerable when carrying a child/egg. On the Moclan homeworld, this may have been deemed a hindrance.
Gerontius
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 12:03pm (UTC -6)
The real anomaly with the Moclans is the way that they are described as being male. The crucial factor for defining the females in a species is the ability to give birth. If you lay an egg, you are a female by definition. It doesn't make any difference that Bortus is big and tough and bad tempered and generally blokish, "he" is biologically female.

Maybe Maclons are hermaphrodite, being both male and female, which does occur in some species on Earth, and most of them have what are regarded as male secondary characteristics, and a few have what are regarded as female secondary characteristics.

It all doesn't stand up too well to examination - but it makes for interesting stories.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:14pm (UTC -6)
@Trent
"I hold you accountable for any distress that may befall."

I see you haven't read the small print: "Omicron will not be held accountable for any distress that may befall you while watching Enterprise". ;-)

Proceed at your own risk.

Also, if you're rewatching season 3, you should start with the season 2 finale "The Expanse" which sets the whole Xindi thing up.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
@Trent
"I don't mean to imply that women are weak, but in many species, pregnancy and carrying young takes a toll on the body. Females are more physically vulnerable when carrying a child/egg. On the Moclan homeworld, this may have been deemed a hindrance."

I've heard the theory that the main difference between the "male" and "female" Moclans is that a female would give birth the usual (human) way, while the male would lay eggs.

I like this theory very much, because it resolves most of the apparent inconsistencies of Moclan biology.

To this I'll add my own observation that the egg-laying thing was probably a later development. The combination of the dangers of pregnancy and the harsh Moclan environment (the last bit established in canon) could have lead to this safer alternative path for reproduction.

This could have happened either as product of natural evolution, or as a product of a deliberate effort by the Moclans to re-engineer their species.
Dave in MN
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:28pm (UTC -6)
I was reading the Orville wiki and apparently Moclans born biologically female have centered spots, males have them on the sides (a detail I never noticed before now).

I'm going up have to rewatch the episodes with crowd scenes with Moclans at some point.... it'd be interesting to see the if there's a detectable minority in the population (vs it being a very rare genetic trait).
Booming
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 12:58am (UTC -6)
I want to chime in here and say that under harsh conditions especially desert like enviroements species normally become smaller and physically weaker to conserve energy.
And the desire to control women by men in ancient societies is really hard to pinpoint because human societies are extremely divers. The desire to control female sexuality has often to do with inheritance. That is why a woman with an active sexlife is often disrespected by society even to this day.
But there is no way to falsify theories because we cannot ask people from the lets say ancient greece: Hey, why did you treat women like slaves?" so everything is possible.
There is an audiobook about normal people on audible: something like "the life on the other side of history". It is a lecture done by a professor. really interesting
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 2:52am (UTC -6)
@Gerontious

Actually I do ask why Kangaroo's have pouches (they do to protect and feed their young who are born at a much earlier state of growth than other mammals) and find it interesting that rabbits do practice cannibalism at times.

Does the fact that Kangaroos have pouches create political divisions in a greater political union? Does the fact that rabbits generally are herbivores do the same thing.

Does the Union have no zeno-anthropologists who might be able to help out in crises like this instead of relying on a bunch of admirals and our Captain of a midrange ship who is for some reason inserting himself in a situation which is well above his paygrade and known skillset again?
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 2:55am (UTC -6)
@Booming

Interesting enough, one of my theories is that Moclans got rid of females to reduce the competition, violence and overall resource cost of the competition for pure females among their society through genetic engineering and/or selective breeding laws. I do wish that The Orville would throw in some science here, but that's not what the show is interested in regarding their biology or culture.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 3:20am (UTC -6)
@Alan Roi

Not sure what your point of criticism here is.

Are you seriously suggesting that an anthropologist would better at dealing with the crisis that was presented in the episode? When there's a conflict between nations/factions on earth, do we send for an anthropologist or for a mediator?

I also find it funny that you're giving these non-issues as serious points-of-failure for the Orville, yet you maintain that Discovery's complete mess is somehow super-smart and super-demanding of the audience. Double standard, much?
Alan Roi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 5:03am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

By all means, send for a mediator. So, why didn't they do that in this situation? And by mediator, I mean, someone who knows anything about Moclan culture, not just a captain of a middling star ship who can't offer much other than snide asides when in council.

A failure to try to figure out anything to do with the Moclan's other than complain is a failure, IMO, by the TNG standards many praise this show for upholding. But sure, if you can't defend your show's shortcomings, attack a different one.
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 10:47am (UTC -6)
No one in the fandom had a problem with Trek captains/officers arbitrating legal proceedings that would have galactic ramifications. In a Federation with trillions of citizens, Picard/Riker and Janeway/Tuvok obviously would not be the most qualified to debate AI rights ... despite that, those episodes are praised highly by most fans (rightly so, IMHO).

That'd part of the trade-off when you're watching episodic TV.

I'm willing to grant this show the same latitude, but I can only speak for myself, of course.

PS- I also don't see how this episode would've worked out logistically or dramatically if they also would have introduced and fleshed out a mediator character (while sidelining Mercer from the plot).
Gerontius
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 2:49pm (UTC -6)
Drastically simplifying events is an inevitable and necessary part of narratives about wars and political events. That's obviously the case when it comes to TV dramas, but it's true of massive epics with hundreds of characters. We ffocus on a few people to guide us through a story.

The president doesn't interact with hundreds of people, but with a handful who are around long enough for us to get to know them. The world changing scientific invention doesn't come from hundreds of people working all over the place, it's a single genius with a couple of helpers. And so on.

It's possible to have stories which are just about a few people, and even have them happen to play a bit part in a big event once in their lifetime. But that's a different sort of thing, and it wouldn't make a very good TV series.
Yair
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 3:13pm (UTC -6)
@Omicron,

The Xindi arc isn't just a 9/11 analogy. The Xindi Council is a dark mirror of the Federation created by an enemy, making it one of the more interesting villains. Several entirely different races coming together, sounds like the Federation, right? But the members are led almost entirely by fear and distrust (not always unjustified). Fear of mutual annihilation leads them to create the Council, fear of destruction leads them to attack Earth preemptively and prematurely, fear and distrust leads them to break the Council.

The Council is how the Federation would be like if it were constructed solely to solve the security dilemma - preventing a war between the Andorians and Vulcans, stopping either from fearing Earth's rise, and keeping the Romulans out - without having any higher purpose to go along with that. Eventually the members realize the biggest threats left are each other and nature does its course, especially if there's some manipulation "helping" from outside.

Perhaps the Sphere Builders did not understand the Federation. Or maybe they did and decided not to risk creating a possible rival to themselves in the Xindi.

ENT S3 had the possibility to become a classic season if only the writers took more care rather than treating it almost as a sidestory. *Sigh*
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 8:24pm (UTC -6)
@Dave

"Picard/Riker and Janeway/Tuvok obviously would not be the most qualified to debate AI rights ... despite that, those episodes are praised highly by most fans (rightly so, IMHO)"

The Picard/Riker thing is especially ludicrous, given that they have a personal relationship with the person whose status was being decided. The excuse that it's a new JAG office and "procedure" requires the two highest-ranking officers to serve as defense and prosecution attorneys respectively, does not make it any more credible.

I mean, "Measure of a Man" is indeed rightly praised for being a great episode, but that part of the story makes no f***-ing sense what-so-ever.

@Alan Roi
"By all means, send for a mediator. And by mediator, I mean, someone who knows anything about Moclan culture, not just a captain of a middling star ship who can't offer much other than snide asides when in council."

I don't recall Captain Mercer being sent as to serve as a mediator. He was just invited to the council's proceedings, probably because he was the officer that sent the request for that meeting.

The episode also explicitly stated that the council had to vote on whether to accept the captain's request for a hearing. The procedure here seems quite straight-forward:

(1) Any captain may recommend accepting a new planet to the Union.
(2) The PU Council holds a quick preliminary vote to decides whether this recommendation is worthy of consideration (with over 3000 captains in the fleet, I'm guessing that the vast majority of these recommendations are denied at this stage).
(3) If they voted "yes" on #2, the extensive deliberations we've seen in the episode begin. Among the people who are invited as guests to these deliberations are the highest ranking admirals and the captain who made the original recommendation.
(4) Neither the admirals nor said captain has ANY power in making the final decision. The episode explicitly told us that the council was "still deliberating" at the time that Mercer and the Admirals had their chat.

Simple enough.

"But sure, if you can't defend your show's shortcomings, attack a different one."

I actually wasn't attacking Discovery in that post. I was simply objecting to your double standard. You're nitpicking one show to death (even at points where such nitpicking is factually wrong), yet you accept without question another show's glaring holes in plot logic with the excuse that they have some ingenious master plan.

I also find it interesting that you're objecting to Captain's Mercer relatively minor participation in an episode where many different things are happening in many different places (most of which have nothing to do with Mercer), yet you have no problem with Burnham being the center of the entire universe on Discovery.

Again, this is not an attack on Discovery itself. I'm simply pointing out your inconsistency.

BTW notice that the people here are very open in their responses to your points. You don't see anybody here resorting to bombastic claims about the Orville having some hidden ingenious master plan and then adamantly refuse to tell you what that master plan actually *is*. Both the show's strengths and the show's flaws are out there in the open where we can discuss them.

@Yair
"ENT S3 had the possibility to become a classic season if only the writers took more care rather than treating it almost as a sidestory. *Sigh* "

This could really be said about the entire show.

I mean, I like Enterprise very much, but the show *is* one huge missed opportunity. It could have been have been a great Trek show. But it ended up just being an okay Trek show set in a great time period.

Season 4, though, is classic Trek (awful finale not withstanding).
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 8:26pm (UTC -6)
(sorry, but I forgot to add this to my previous post)

@Dave

When you refered to Janeway and Tuvok debating AI rights, what episode did you have in mind?
Dave in MN
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 9:01pm (UTC -6)
@ Omicron

Author, Author.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 9:08pm (UTC -6)
Thanks.
Jack
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, 11:45pm (UTC -6)
I’m hoping Klyden is more complex than he seems, beyond just self-righteous closet case. I just wish he was a bit more layered and likeable.
SlackerInc
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 12:30am (UTC -6)
@Jack: Fair point, but I don't think we're going to get any more than that. Some people are like that! We see them on the news every day.

@Alan Roi: I agree with OTDP that it's a glaring double standard.
Booming
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 12:51am (UTC -6)
@ Yair
Sorry you triggered me. :D
If you are a realist (in political science) then you believe that it is impossible to solve the security dilemma and even allied people will sooner or later start fighting each other because of it. realists believe that the world is a zero sum game and to advance your own position somebody else has to lose. A Federation like in Star Trek would be impossible. That is also the reason why the EU makes realists go crazy because it shouldn't exist.

If you believe that a Federation is possible then you are a Liberal (in the political sciences, I don't mean the American party)
If you are a liberal (intergovermentalist) the other big school of international relations then you believe that through the creation of shared institutions you (very simply put) solve the security dilemma. Neoliberals (or liberal intergovermentalists) believe in absolute gains. I'm a liberal intergovermentalist. ;)
Why? The world economy is growing as a whole every year which is another way of saying: the world is producing absolute gains. Or a company like airbus could not be maintained by just one country like Germany or France. It could only become what it is through European cooperation.

For example Obama was an liberal intergovermentalist (gaining lasting peace through institutions, an important term in the international relations) while Trump is a very inconsistent classical realist. (classical realism is the earliest form of that school of thought).

Sorry for boring you guys but I'm sitting at home waiting for the cable guy... I'm using a handy hotspot to write this. :(
Yair
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 1:36am (UTC -6)
@Booming,

Wouldn't a defensive realist also be fine theoretically with a Federation existing indefinitely? And even offensive realists could expect Federations to survive for some time.

Me, I'm just an inconsistent "whatever works" regarding IR. 'Realists' ignore entire dynamics by focusing too much on states and power while constructivists (IIRC that's the IR term) often assume norms that don't really exist or have much less power than they assume. A Federation can survive and function, but it needs a bit of "something else" to hold its members together or it eventually dissolves (eventually possibly taking quiet some time). "something else" being a bit hard to elucidate - maybe a shared unique ideal, maybe some special asabiyyah, but I'm sure it's not just raw power balance alone.

I actually had the EU half-in-mind as an entity which doesn't have that "something else", at least not *yet*, but didn't want to open that can of worms. Then you happily dropped by... When it comes down to it, quiet a lot of its internal messaging is 'we have to come together so those other big players don't decide everything for us' (external threat + will to power), and there's a level of internal selfish behaviour which would be a lot harder in a true Federation. It could go either way.

As for the US, you describe Trump accurately, but I'm unsure whether Obama was a 'liberal intergovermentalist' (as you put it) or used institutions as another carrot/stick. Constructivism requires shared norms and it's unclear how much they affected his administration.
Yair
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 1:50am (UTC -6)
When I write "it [the EU] could go either way" maybe I should have also detailed that some institutions do seem to try to create something beyond simple cooperation or even "just" pooling of sovereignty. But the general direction is still unclear to me.
Gerontius
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 6:38am (UTC -6)
In spite of its name it seems clear that the Federation is not imagined as being a federation so much as a Confederation. The same definitely appears to be the case with The Union in The Orville universe, and the same is true of the EU. In fact it seems likely that it would be truer to talk of the Orville's Union more as an Alliance, closer to something like Nato than to Federal states like the USA or Germany.
Booming
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 6:49am (UTC -6)
@Yair
If you mean the IR school of thought that Wendt created then that is one of the smaller schools, like idealism (very old) or marxist theory. It is also a little hard to grasp what constructivists want to say. As you pointed out. It is kind of the hippie theory ;)
I'm mostly familiar with the main branches of realism classical and Neorealism.
Realists, and that is one of the main problems with them, see the state as a black box. They completely ignore the inner workings of a country.

In liberal intergovermentalism or neoliberalism created in huge parts by Keohane Important are so called spillover effects and the three forms of institutions.
But this starts to sound like a seminar.

About the EU. Sure could go either way because something like it never existed before. I also kind of disagree with your opinion that the EU was created as a purely utalitarian construct. It certainly had more to do with ww2 and the wish to avoid that in the future.

Yeah Trump has really revived classical realism. Obama is for all intents and purposes a liberal intergovermentalist. He tried to create insitutions and sometimes succeeded. Even though Trump has undone most of it (Iran deal, TPP).
Strangely enough he made this new nafta deal which is almost identical to the old one.
The Republicans are a radical bunch these days and now the Democrats are starting to heat up, too...
Maybe it will all be allright. :)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 8:06am (UTC -6)
Why are we having a political discussion that has absolutely nothing to do with the episode?
Yair
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 8:06am (UTC -6)
@Booming,

Well, all these terms do shift a lot. I still don't quiet understand what 'neoliberal' means. Everyone seem to be using it with a different meaning. At the moment, my working assumption is that 'neoliberal' means just about everything ever, simultaneously describing every country on the planet that exists or ever was. Also all of the entities ever described in Star Trek, including sentient nanobots and non-corporeal energy being. But we seem to understand one another and that's enough.

As for the EU, I described how it's sold to its own people, based on my readings of its proponents arguments (e.g. Habermas). I did neglect to mention the 'avoid WW2' argument which is also quiet common but yet another form of a security dilemma which in my opinion is not enough to hold by itself.

As for Trump and Obama - IMHO, the revival of classical realism has as much to do with China's increasing power and Russian aggressiveness as with Trump. Obama's the TPP was meant to contain another state (China) and could just as easily be interpreted as a realist play. The Iran Deal was more of a special exception for Iran, but going into details would derail the conversation here ever more than this post. The Paris deal was started by others and isn't binding enough (I'd have loved a carbon tax, national or international, the trade schemes are too complicated and too prone to bad incentives).
Yair
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 8:07am (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi,

Ouch you're right (didn't see your post before I hit submit). I'll cut it out.
Gerontius
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 12:37pm (UTC -6)
"Why are we having a political discussion that has absolutely nothing to do with the episode?"

Thread drift, waiting for Jammer to chip in with his review - and of course, the next episode.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 8:50pm (UTC -6)
Oh, you mean like that 100+ comments debate on religion that I too participated in a few months ago?

Got it. ;-)
Jammer
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 4:53pm (UTC -6)
Review now posted.
Greg M
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:32pm (UTC -6)
So we get 2 4.5 star reviews in a row. Is Jammer turning around his feelings about Orville as a whole? I'm a little surprised and a little impressed.
Perry Plotkin
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:41pm (UTC -6)
It's hard to know Jammer's final score even if he says that the episode was well excuted. I bet he put 3.8 score and yet it's 3 1/2 stars.

He pointed out the dyfuctional marriage with Bortus and Klyden. I thought that was brilliantly executed and that helps writers to carry on that drama. I expect more of that and shakeups in the fleet.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:57pm (UTC -6)
@Greg M.
("Greg M"? Are you Gordon Malloy's ancestor and Laura's boyfriend, by any chance?)

"So we get 2 3.5 star reviews in a row. Is Jammer turning around his feelings about Orville as a whole?"

I think it's more of Jammer believing the Orville is improving. I don't think his view of the previous episodes has changed.

Anyway, I'm not really surprised he gave this one a high score. It wasn't just a good episode. It was an episode that was good in exactly the ways that Jammer tends to appreciate.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:10pm (UTC -6)
Funny think I've just thought about:

This the second time this season Kelly and Bortus are on a planet together playing Rambo. See, that's what happens when you give weapons to Gilliac trash.
Greg M
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 11:14pm (UTC -6)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

No, but I like the thought.
SC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:10am (UTC -6)
The last two episodes have earned a 3.5 from Jammer! I know it's like comparing apples and oranges, but in comparison, Discovery has received 2/4.

Yet, The Orville hasn't been renewed yet.
Gerontius
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:23am (UTC -6)
I rather doubt that the people at Fox give much thought to any considerations about the quality of shows they put out. I assume it's just about numbers. I'll be very agreeably surprised if they go for continuing after this season. It'll be a crying shame if they don't.
Dave in MN
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:40am (UTC -6)
@ Gerontius

You forget the power Seth has. The Cleveland Show shouldn't have lasted past it's first season, but it survived in a comfy time slot for 4 years. FOX (pre-Disney) gives Seth a lot of latitude.

If I were Seth, I'd say either renew the Orville/ let me shop it around to Netflix/etc OR I'm not doing Family Guy or Cosmos or anything else with you anymore.
Artymiss
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 8:43am (UTC -6)
I loved this episode.

But I think Bortus needs to buy Klyden a one way ticket back to Moclan. (The problem here is who gets custody of Topa...)
SlackerInc
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 9:17am (UTC -6)
Good review, Jammer.

@OTDP: "See, that's what happens when you give weapons to Gilliac trash."

LMAO! Good one.
Black winter day
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 11:12am (UTC -6)
Hi, Jammer. The 2 moclans smuggling the baby initially lied to Bortus, claiming that they are taking her to Retepsia, hiding the fact that the female colony exists.
4Q2
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:34pm (UTC -6)
Trekkiest episode yet.

Directed by Riker
Troi is a teacher
Klingon lawyer from DS9 (Rules of Engagement) as a Union admiral
Evil fresh-stretching Son'A from Insurrection as the council leader
Fukkin KURN!!!!!!!!

Geek ahoy!
Gq1
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:14pm (UTC -6)
"Well, all these terms do shift a lot. I still don't quiet understand what 'neoliberal' means. Everyone seem to be using it with a different meaning."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism
Booming
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
@Gq1
In international relations (a field of political science) neoliberalism is about how and why states interact the way they do. It has no connection to the economic theory.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism_(international_relations)
Leif
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 12:21am (UTC -6)
Dpesnt anyone else wish this show was more serious sci fi with more strange new worlds and aliens like Discovery is sometimes or TNG instead of Trek Parody or Commentary Goofy Lite?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 3:14am (UTC -6)
@Leif

I'm fine with the Orville the way it is.

I *do* wish, though, for a harder sci fi show which incorporates the Classic Trek spirit. A show that would show us a universe full of wonders, while also giving us the feel of a realistic vessel in a realistic future.

In short, it would be cool to combine the Trek spirit of the Orville with the realistic feel of the Expanse. :-)
Yanks
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 6:40pm (UTC -6)
"When the fight breaks out, it's scored to "9 to 5." To my surprise, this proves extremely effective. It manages to bring a unique, madcap energy to what could've been routine, even implausible, action; it feels simultaneously ironic, refreshing, inventive, and fun. It's the payoff done as an "Orvillian moment." And by the time it happens, this weirdly counter-intuitive release of tension has been earned thanks to the sincerity and stakes borne out by the rest of the episode's polemics. It's a tonal incongruity that speaks to what this show has established itself to be — and so therefore completely consistent."

Wow Jammer, that's a bit of poetry right there bud. I couldn't dream of illuminating something like that. Bravo.

Great review.
Gerontius
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 3:45pm (UTC -6)
I hope that, if The Orville is able to continue after this season, it will steer well clear of getting more like The Expanse.

Any greater realism in The Expanse lies in the fact that it's technology and the human environment involved is a lot more plausible than that of The Orville which is a lot closer to magic people are a lot nastier than they generally are in The Orville or classic Star Trek. Too, but I don't accept that that is necessarily more realistic.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 7:06am (UTC -6)
@Gerontius

I was referring to the science/tech and the world building.

As you said yourself, people being nasty is not necessarily a mark of realism, so I'm not sure how you got to that from my comment. The Orville actually does an excellent job showing us realistic social dynamics in a post-scarcity world. I wouldn't change a thing on that front.

I just wish we had a similarly themed show that lies on the harder end of the Sci Fi Hardness scale. That's what I've meant, when I mentioned the Expanse. It would have been nice to have a show that has the best of both worlds.
Eastwest101
Tue, May 21, 2019, 7:02am (UTC -6)
I loved The Orville and it's whacky indulgent and slightly unbalanced workplace comedy feel right from the start, and it looks like Jammer and some other people are coming around.

Some of the comments re comparisons with MASH are surprisingly illuminating, although I"m not a MASH fan or expert myself.

It's Seth's "love letter" to the Trek universe but still quite surprising how much heart shines through, the juxtaposition of Dolly Parton music over a routine hand to hand combat scene was inspired.

Thank God for Seth showing us that Sci Fi can be "fun" - something that only a few Trek episodes and Red Dwarf and maybe some Dr Who have pulled off,
SJU
Mon, Jun 3, 2019, 2:00pm (UTC -6)
Love the Moclans and the song.

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