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Seth MacFarlane tells Comic Con that The Orville is a dramatic scifi comedy

07.23.2017

When the trailer for FOX's upcoming series The Orville debuted, many assumed that this would be Seth MacFarlane mocking Star Trek. Some called it Family Guy meets Galaxy Quest, but when presenting new footage at Comic Con this week, MacFarlane made it clear that this is the project he came to Hollywood to make. A huge science geek and fan of the genre, MacFarlane told the packed room that his goal was to make a dramatic comedy with elements of aspirational storytelling missing from the current crop of dark and dour scifi space epics. Based on the footage shown, The Orville is a high budget attempt to tell a lighter story set in the near future with numerous homages to the classic Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek.

The Orville stars MacFarlane as the captain of the titular ship whose first officer, played by the gorgeous Adrianne Palicki, also happens to be his ex-wife. The cast also includes Seth Grimes as MacFarlane's best friend and helmsman, The Walking Dead's Chad Coleman as one of a pair of one-sex aliens, and 24 actress Penny Johnson Jerald as the medical officer. The footage shown to us included a scene set on a holodeck and the approach to the newly commissioned Orville, a mid-level exploratory ship. The special effects were solid and MacFarlane praised the practical effects used to realize aliens including aliens and animatronics. 

Now, for as much as MacFarlane and producer Brandon Braga said this was not going to be another Family Guy or TED, this is a very funny looking show. MacFarlane repeatedly answered fan questions by trying to distinguish this story as not being another crass and vulgar comedy but rather his interpretation of Star Trek. Everything from the costumes and ship design look like vintage Trek and the cast took some innocent jabs at the upcoming Star Trek Discovery in saying that this show will tackle relevant topics but also be very funny. Trademark MacFarlane humor was on display during a scene in which an alien officer reveals he laid an egg and would have a baby and MacFarlane's Captain Ed Mercer makes a joke about omelettes.

While there were rumors floating that A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST co-star Charlize Theron would reunite with Seth MacFarlane on The Orville, the question asked during the panel was whether frequent collaborator Patrick Stewart would appear. MacFarlane was cagey and said you never know, but I think that having the legendary Star Trek actor appear would be an amazing boost for this freshman series. The rest of the cast, including GOOSEBUMPS star Halston Sage, were all very excited to promote the humanity in the stories The Orville will be telling which gives the indication that this is not going to be just a non sequitir type series like MacFarlane's animated projects.

Overall, The Orville looks like a lot of fun and unlike any other shows, dramatic or comedic, that are airing on television. Being a FOX show means that there will be limits to both the language on the show, but Seth MacFarlane's long relationship with the network should bode well for the show. The first season of The Orville will only be 13 episodes so that means that the cast and crew will not have to pad the show to the typical two dozen episodes most network series last for. I anticipate good things from the series.

The Orville debuts Sunday, September 10th on FOX.

Source: JoBlo.com

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