In space, no one can hear you spoof!
Since 1966 we have watched #StarTrek and the adventures of the Starship Enterprise, Voyager, and soon Discovery to make the ideas of Gene Roddenberry one of the most successful franchises ever. While seeing Kirk parade around the bridge is all well and good, the shows can at times be accused to taking themselves a little too seriously.
Chris Pine thankfully injected a little more humor into the rebooted film series from 2009 to 2016, but now Family Guy creator #SethMacfarlane is going where every fan has gone before: he spoofed the whole darn thing.
Fox is certainly going heavy on its #scifi in a lineup of The Gifted, Ghosted, and the eventual return of The X-Files. Although the network is losing Scream Queens, there is another comedy ready to hyper-jump straight into the cold, dead, grave of Ryan Murphy's horror-comedy.
All Crew To The Bridge
Titled The Orville, the latest comedy series features Macfarlane as a low-brow Captain Kirk leading his crew with boisterous testosterone and macho misogyny. As Captain Ed Mercer, Macfarlane is joined by Friday Night Lights actress Adrianne Palicki, who plays his ex-wife, Kelly. It could be Kramer vs. Kramer on the bridge of the Orville and the duo are expected to go to war. However, this won't be Palicki's first foray into the stars, she portrayed Judy Robinson in John Woo's unsold Lost in Space pilot from 2003.
Elsewhere, Macfarlane is teaming up with Scott Grimes, who plays the boozy helmsman of the Orville and Captain Mercer's best friend. Grimes is probably best known for voicing Steve Smith on Macfarlane's American Dad and has worked with Macfarlane on several projects. Peter Macon plays the stoic Bortus, part of a single-sex species who looks to be doing his best "Michael Dorn as Worf" impression and is set to become a fan-favorite of the series. Finally, Mark Jackson plays Isaac, the robot who thinks all biological life is inferior. Similarly to KS20 from Rogue One or Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, expect Isaac to get a lot of mechanical laughs as the underrated machine of the ship.
Interestingly, Macfarlane has nabbed two sci-fi alumni, with Penny Johnson Jerald and Brian George both appearing in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and other Trek titles. Let's hope that their time working for Star Trek has helped them pick up the lingo.
Set 400 years into the future, the exploratory vessel Orville sets out to enter uncharted territories and mingle with the various species that stock the galaxy. Part workplace comedy, part action-adventure, it hopes to capitalize on a team of skilled comedy writers. But wait, haven't we been here before?
It doesn't take a genius to spot the similarities between 1999's Galaxy Quest, one of the best sci-fi films out there. Many had hoped for a sequel to Galaxy Quest, or a TV outing, which had actually been on the table until Alan Rickman's death in 2016. So, is The Orville the next best thing?
Thankfully, the show looks set to steer away from Macfarlane's usual brand of toilet humor — bar one reference to Bocklins only urinating once a year — and stick to good old space spoofing a'la Spaceballs. Macfarlane's shows are often mired in controversy, while his 2014 movie A Million Ways to Die in the West was panned all around. Sure, he has had some success with Ted, but it appears that the king of the fart joke is better off taking his ideas to the small screen. Luckily, Iron Man and The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau is on hand as an executive producer and director of the pilot, meaning that the duo can dutifully steer the ship to success.
The #trailer looks to have an impressive cast of rogues and can even manage to squeeze out the odd chuckle, so here's hoping that The Orville doesn't run out of Analux batteries before the end of its 13-episode run. Marking Macfarlane's first live-action TV show and his first live-action starring role, there is surely a black hole of critics just waiting to swallow the series with glee. We could certainly still get a Galaxy Quest revival, and a show like The Orville will likely test the waters to see if there is still an appetite for outer space comedy in a time in which shows like The Big Bang Theory and Brooklyn Nine-Nine are already entertaining large audiences.
Check out the #trailer for The Orville and don't forget the poll below!