Seth McFarlane has been described as a fan of Star Trek, particularly The Next Generation. It’s hard to miss in The Orville, the Fox show he’s created and in which he stars. The series has just completed its second season. It was entertaining from the start, though it required some time to get its feet on the ground. But it’s gotten consistently stronger.
The final two episodes, linked together into a time travel what-if narrative, blew me away. The earlier show, “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” had come to a working conclusion, but I’ll confess that it felt as if more was coming. But I couldn’t see any way to manage it.
Nevertheless, they pulled it off. The second episode was “The Road Not Taken.” The fate of the human race depends on a date request that Ed Mercer, now the captain of the Orville, made seven years ago to Kelly Grayson, a young woman he’d just met but whom he’d eventually married.
They have a strong cast, solid writing, and a show in which, I suspect, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes would have felt perfectly at home.
The Orville has reached a critical point: Fox will shortly be making a decision whether to bring it back for a third season. If it helps, I should add that, at its current stage, I’ve never seen more intriguing shows centering on a starship.