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Seth MacFarlane’s THE ORVILLE Could Be One of the Better STAR TREK Parodies

Seth MacFarlane’s THE ORVILLE Could Be One of the Better STAR TREK Parodies

Captain’s Log, Stardate April 14, 2015,

On what should prove to be a historical afternoon in the history of science fiction comedy, the true final frontier of internet streaming services, Yahoo, released four of the finest hours of Star Trek spoofery seen in generations. Though my entire crew (read: my roommates and me) breezed through all eight half-hour episodes in one fell swoop, it’s only logical to assume that such a stellar piece of parody programming should have a long life ahead of it. This won’t be the last we’ve seen of Other Space!

As you probably know, that was the last we saw of Other Space, the Yahoo original sci-fi comedy series created by Paul Feig. While the series was far from unique as a sendup of Star Trek, it did rank mine some especial clever material and goofy gags from the fruitful source. Its real winning quality, however, was its assertion to be far more than just a Star Trek parody. And it is by this same directive that Fox’s new like-themed The Orville looks like a pretty promising outing itself.

With even more apparent direct connections to Star Trek than Other Space delivered, The Orville seems eager to delight Trek fans with affectionate barbs and references. But much like Feig’s brilliant but short-lived series, The Orville isn’t relying only on parody, instead filling its bridge with what looks like plenty of organic character-based humor.

Aboard the titular ship are a captaining duo and divorced couple (Seth MacFarlane and Adrianne Palicki) whose contentious relationship packed into such close quarters looks to fuel much of The Orville‘s comedy; a few additional human crew members (Scott Grimes, Penny Johnson Jerald, and J. Lee among them), a hulking alien who seems something of a physical and psychological hybrid between Worf and Drax the Destroyer (Peter Macon), another alien with an eager demeanor and superhuman strength (Halston Sage), an ostensibly trigger-happy robot (Mark Jackson), and what appears to be a good-natured gelatinous blob (Norm MacDonald).

As MacFarlane also serves as creator of the series, the trailer is addled with his usual brand of meandering sardonic patter, some of which seems a good complement to the intrinsically dire backdrop of space adventure. This strong wit and pretty impressive production value do lend to a good deal of optimism for the comic prowess of The Orville. Though I don’t come by comparisons to Other Space lightly, I’m eager to see if The Orville can join its ranks as one of the better Star Trek send-ups in recent history.

What do you think of the trailer? Let us know!

Featured Image: Fox

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