Review of The Orville

A Review By David Stegora

This past Sunday, September 10th, a new science fiction television series called The Orville premiered on Fox. We wrote about the series in the past and science fiction fans have been looking forward to it with mixed feelings. I sat down to watch the premiere not long after it aired and will present my thoughts on it to you now. If you haven’t seen it yet and spoilers bother you, turn back now.

The episode opens in the year 2418 with Ed Mercer, played by series creator Seth MacFarlane, comes home to find his wife cheating on him with an alien. That wife is Kelly Grayson, played by Adrianne Palicki. From there, the story jumps one year forward and we see Mercer in an admiral’s office being offered command of a midsize exploratory vessel called The Orville. The mention how Mercer has had a troubled past year and how this command is a sort of last chance for him. Before the scene ends, Mercer secures the job of helmsman for his best friend, who is also known.

Mercer goes to give his friend, who comes to remind me of Wash from Firefly, the news and finds him in what I can only call a holodeck. If you’d somehow made it this far into the episode without thinking of Star Trek, that should be over now.

The next scene takes place on the Orville itself. The impressive thing about this is it takes place fewer than 10 minutes into the episode and we already have a setting and two major characters introduced and defined. On the ship, Mercer gives a speech to the crew then goes through personal introductions with the senior officers, many of which are nonhuman. One of these officers is from a robot race and I expect will serve the role of the emotionally stunted character we see in every Star Trek series.

The ship, which looks great and not quite like any design I’ve seen before, then sets off on its first mission. That mission is simply delivering supplies to a scientific research outpost. While in transit, Mercer is notified an executive officer has become available for the Orville and will rendezvous with them on the way. That executive officer predictably turns out to be Mercer’s ex wife.
The Orville arrives where they are to deliver their load of supplies only to learn the supplies were just a pretense to get a ship to the outpost. It seems they have developed a technology which can speed up time within a bubble of space and seek protection from hostile aliens who may seek to steal and weapon this device and turn it into a weapon. Those hostile aliens are then brought in by a human traitor. The crew of the Orville take the device and begin to flee, bringing the director of the outpost with them, while under fire. I thought it was interesting that Mercer gets shot during this evacuation. The injury is minor but it does show us the heroes are not completely invincible on this show.

The crew is able to get back to the ship, which is now heavily damaged from a battle that has been taking place in space near the outpost and looked almost exactly like an engagement out of Star Trek. They’re unable to quickly escape and eventually pretend to surrender, only to use the time advancing device and a redwood seed acquired earlier in the episode as a weapon to destroy the hostile vessel.

Before the end of the episode, Grayson is prepared to transfer to another ship but Mercer asks her to stay instead, which everyone likely knew was going to happen from the start. She then goes to thank the admiral from the beginning for the opportunity and it’s revealed she is the one who got Mercer his command through familial connections.

One strong impression left by this first episode is it goes too far from one extreme to the other with comedy and drama and it often does so too quickly. I think for the series to really work in a long term, a balance will need to be found. Likely the comedy elements should be toned down as there are several points in this episode where it feels like too much and it almost gets annoying. The humor is mostly cheap and juvenile but we shouldn’t expect anything else from Seth MacFarlane. That said, it wasn’t as bad as I was afraid it would be. It isn’t Family Guy in space or anything that awful.

I want to say The Orville loses points for being blatantly derivative, being an obvious Star Trek knockoff, but it honestly steals from all the right places and sort of works in its own way. The show looks absolutely fantastic for television, from special effects, to costumes and sets. The set designs are sleek and very Star Trek like but the sound effects, of which there are many and they are quite loud, calls Star Wars to mind. The downside to this is it makes me think the series may be expensive to produce and that will hurt chances of it getting renewed for additional seasons, especially on Fox.
Overall, I enjoyed this first episode of The Orville. It has some kinks to work out to be good as a series but it has time to do it in the remaining 12 episodes of the first season. That aside, it’s certainly good enough for me to continue watching at this point and for me to recommend it to others.

Did you see the premiere of The Orville? What did you think? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

Star Wars IX Director Leaves

It was announced on StarWars.com earlier that Lucasfilm has parted ways with Colin Trevorrow, who was set to direct Star Wars episode 9. The official statement was the following:

Lucasfilm and Colin Trevorrow have mutually chosen to part ways on Star Wars: Episode IX. Colin has been a wonderful collaborator throughout the development process but we have all come to the conclusion that our visions for the project differ. We wish Colin the best and will be sharing more information about the film soon.

Who would you like to see take his place? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Film Reportedly Being Made

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the next Star Wars anthology films after Han Solo’s may be about Obi-Wan Kenobi. Their sources claim Stephen Daldry is in early talks with Lucasfilm to head up the project.

Ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm and announced the Star Wars anthology films series, there has been speculation about an Obi-Wan Kenobi installment. It seems an obvious idea as the actor who played the character in the prequel trilogy (Ewan McGregor) is currently about the right age to reprise the role for a story set between Star Wars 3 and Star Wars 4. McGregor has said, “it would be fun to do.”

Of course, this is little more than rumors at this point and may never happen. If it does, it will be at least a couple of years out since there is not yet a script.

Do you hope this movie gets made? What other characters or stories would you like to see in Star Wars anthology films? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

Phase 2 Magazine Omnibus I Cover Reveal

Today we are proud to reveal to you the cover for Phase 2 Magazine Omnibus I. The art, as always, was done by Jason Miller and concludes the visual narrative of the first four issues.

Phase 2 Magazine Omnibus I will include all the stories from the first four issues of Phase 2 Magazine, as well as a little extra. It will be available first as an ebook, then later in print. A firm release date has yet to be determined, but it should be well before the end of the year.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

Fallout 4 Game Of The Year Edition Announced

Yesterday, Bethesda Game Studios announced the upcoming release of Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition. This edition of the game will collect the base game as well as all downloadable content released for it but no new material.

Fallout 4 was originally released on November 10th, 2015. This new edition will be releasing just under two years later, on September 26th of this year.

Of particular interest to many fans is the Pip Boy edition of the game, which come with a life-sized replica of the Pip Boy device from the Fallout games. There was a similar limited edition of the initial release but it sold out very quickly.

Are you a fan of the Fallout series? Will you be buying this edition of the game or do you already have everything included? We’d love to hear from you on the comments or on social media.

Director Found For Neuromancer Film

A few hours ago, Deadline broke the news that Tim Miller has been named director for a film adaptation of Neuromancer currently in development. Tim Miller is possibly best known as director of 2016’s Deadpool.

This is potentially exciting news but some are quick to point out some version of a Neuromancer film has been in development off and on for nearly the past 30 years. It’s also worth noting this project does not yet even have a writer involved, so there isn’t even a script. 

Do you think Tim Miller is the correct choice for the job? Do you think the movie will even be made, or is the property cursed? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

Neuromancer is, of course, William Gibson’s 1984 debut novel and is considered by many to be the genre-defining cyberpunk novel. It was the first novel to ever win the Nebula AwardPhillip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award.

Rick and Morty Season 3 Continues Today


The second episode of the third season of the sci-fi comedy animated series Rick and Morty will air today, July 30th. This comes after the first episode of the season aired unannounced during Adult Swim on April 1st of this year.

Fans are understandably excited as it has been more than a year since the second season ended. There were even rumors season three would never happen as well as many rumored start dates that didn’t come to pass (often originating in or being spread by members of the somewhat imfamous Rick and Morty Schwiftposting Facebook group.)

Season Three, episode two airs on Cartoon Network as part of the Adult Swim block of programming at 11:30PM EST. The trailer for this season can be found below.

Are you a Rick and Morty fan? Are you looking forward to this season? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

New Stargate Series In The Works

At the Stargate 20th Anniversary Panel at San Diego Comic Con, MGM announced a new Stargate series is coming. This series will be called Stargate Origins

Not a lot of information was given during the panel but we do know a few things. First is Stargate Origins begins filming next month. Next is the lead character will be Catherine Langford. If you remember the movie, Catherine Langford was the woman who hired Daniel Jackson to look into the Stargate in the original movie and it was her father who discovered it. This brings into question where the series falls in the continuity of the franchise as Stargate SG-1 established Catherine did not travel through the Stargate until much later in life. It is possible Stargate Origins is a reboot and the previous three series will no longer be considered canon.

We will try to bring you more information as it becomes available. Until then, what are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to this new Stargate series or would you rather SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe be allowed to stand as they are?

New Trailer For Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars

Last month, we brought you news of a new animated Starship Troopers movie being released next month. Earlier this week, IGN released an all new trailer for that movie.

This trailer (included below) shows much more than the initial teaser, giving us a further look at the animation and hints of the story.

In a Twitter poll conducted after last month’s news, we found more of our followers are fans of the 1997 Starship Troopers film than not. Where do you stand? What did you think of the sequels? Are you looking forward to Traitor of Mars? Let us know in the comments or on social media.

New Blade Runner 2049 Trailer

Warner Bros has released another trailer for the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, Blade Runner 2049.

Blade Runner 2049 has a star-studded cast, led by Ryan Gosling and the returning Harrison Ford. It is due to be released on October 6th of this year.

The original Blade Runner was somewhat loosely based on the classic Phillip K Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? While there were sequels to that novel (and somewhat to the original film) written, this film is not following their path.

What do you think of the new trailer? Are you looking forward to this movie?