In his new FOX series The Orville, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane finally gets to fully scratch an itch he’s had for years — and one that he has frequently demonstrated in his animated shows. I’m talking, of course, about his obsession with and love for sci-fi and Star Trek in particular. While his animated series characters have time travelled, recreated the Star Wars films, met the cast of Star Trek, and much more, with The Orville MacFarlane is now essentially making his own Star Trek in everything but name. For better or worse.
The series premiere of The Orville, “Old Wounds,” quickly establishes a world that isn’t just an homage to Star Trek, and more specifically Star Trek: The Next Generation, but is very clearly an attempt to mimic the feel and look of that show. While The Orville is a comedy, it is not a parody of Star Trek and it does not lean as heavily into the humor as some may expect from a MacFarlane project. Indeed, the show can be as earnest, in its way, as TNG itself, and in fact former Star Trek producer Brannon Braga is an executive producer on The Orville. (David A. Goodman, who has written and/or produced for Family Guy, Futurama, and Star Trek: Enterprise, is also an EP.)