Seth MacFarlane thinks his new series The Orville is just the kind of “optimistic” sci-fi show viewers have been waiting for. In MacFarlane's first foray into live-action TV, the creator wanted to do a show that paid homage to some of the rich storytelling and positive messages he remembers from shows like Star Trek.
The Orville centers on a mid-level exploratory ship in Earth's interstellar Fleet. It's captain, Ed Mercer (MacFarlane), is pretty jazzed to be finally running his own ship, even if he finds out his ex-wife (Adrianne Palicki) has been assigned as his First Officer. No matter. Mercer and his motley crew of humans and aliens set out on the Orville to explore the wonders and dangers of space, while also dealing with their own life problems.
Speaking with Screen Rant at the SDCC 2017 a few months ago, MacFarlane and the rest of the cast were excited about viewers seeing the show, not only because of MacFarlane's hilarious pedigree, but also because The Orville really combines humor with heart. There will be some inherent drama as well, as the show delves into real-life problems, like divorce. Of course, there will also be some pretty outrageous shenanigans, so don't worry.
When talking about the show, you could see how much it means to MacFarlane, as he recalled his love for those old sci-fi shows. He said how relatable they were to current times, even if there were set in the future.
"Shows like Star Trek, The Twilight Zone – most shows of that type they sought to do a lot of the heavy lifting in their storytelling. They sought to tell allegorical stories, to be relevant in a way that sci-fi is able to, able to comment on things without directly going at them. Because it all seems so make believe."
The star added that's exactly what the The Orville strives to do, while also providing a ray of hope in the usually foreboding onscreen depictions of our future:
"At the same time, it's the aspirational, optimistic side of sci-fi that I was always drawn to. I don't think that's really existed for the past 20 years. There's been a wide open space that has yet to be filled. We are in the age of The Hunger Games, where it's very dark and dystopian. And I think it's time for another one of these shows that goes the opposite of the spectrum. Here's a blueprint for what we can do if we get things right."
The Orville premieres Sunday, Sept. 10 on FOX.