Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane turns his gaze to science-fiction for a new series that puts a distinctive spin on the formula laid out by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek.
The Orville stars MacFarlane as Ed Mercer, who captains the eponymous spacecraft as it ventures into outer space, encountering galactic threats as well as amusingly mundane problems.
Although the first season had a decidedly mixed response from critics, the show really found its footing in season two and has gone on to become a real fan favourite.
With a third season set for blast off later this year, here’s how you can get caught up with The Orville…
How to watch The Orville online
How many seasons of The Orville are there?
Two seasons of the show have been released so far, comprised of 12 and 14 episodes respectively.
When is The Orville back?
No specific release date has been announced for season three just yet, but it is expected to arrive in the later half of 2020. The season began filming in October 2019, before the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic.
What is The Orville about?
The series is set 400 years in the future aboard a functional — but not especially fancy — spaceship called the USS Orville. The vessel’s captain, Ed Mercer, was once a promising leader but a messy divorce led to problems at work. As a result, he is assigned responsibility for the mid-level Orville rather than the prestige cruiser he expected.
The downgrade is just the beginning of Ed’s problems. As it turns out, Ed’s first officer is none other than his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson, who cheated on him with an alien. They are joined on board by a crew of quirky characters including Ed’s best friend, dim-witted helmsman Gordon Malloy, young chief of security Alara Kitan and hyper-intelligent lieutenant John LaMarr.
Together, the crew carry out intergalactic exploratory and diplomatic missions—all while learning to live and work together aboard The Orville.
Why is the show called The Orville?
The ship — and the series — was named after flight pioneer Orville Wright, one half of the famous Wright Brothers. Seth MacFarlane said he was reading a Wright Brothers autobiography while he was writing the pilot and the name seemed fitting.
Who is in the cast of The Orville?
Series writer and creator Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) stars as Orville captain Ed Mercer, who ends up commanding the spaceship alongside his first officer (and ex-wife) Kelly Grayson, played by Friday Night Lights’ Adrianne Palicki.
Penny Johnson Jerald (24) plays chief medical officer and lieutenant commander Doctor Claire Finn. Band of Brothers’ Scott Grimes plays prankster helmsman Lieutenant Gordon Malloy. Halston Sage plays Lieutenant Alara Kitan, who possesses superhuman strength.
Intelligent navigator John LaMarr is played by frequent MacFarlane collaborator J Lee. A number of other big names, including Victor Garber, Rob Lowe, Ted Danson and Liam Neeson have also appeared on the show.
Where is The Orville filmed?
The series is filmed in and around Los Angeles, including the Rancho Deluxe studios, Baxter Healthcare Corporation, and the Northridge campus of California State University.