The Orville’s third season has been announced, and given what fans have seen of the show so far, there are a few things they want to see next.
Seth MacFarlane’s love letter to Star Trek has come a long way from being initially derided as “Family Guy… in space!” After a very strong second season which saw greater character development, a more expanded universe, and some compelling storylines, The Orville earned a third season after coming down to the wire on renewal.
While the show won’t air until late 2020 on Hulu, assuming production resumes in time, there is plenty of time for fans to rewatch the first two seasons and muse upon what they want for the third. Here are five things fans want, and five they don’t want for Season 3 of The Orville
Season 2 saw the Planetary Union and the Krill shift from enemies to unsteady allies. This was in part because of Ed Mercer’s relationship with Teleya, a Krill spy. Seth MacFarlane and Michaela McManus’s chemistry on screen really gave fans a reason to believe that there could be more possibilities to explore that relationship.
Ed and Teleya left on friendly terms at the end of “Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes”. Reportedly, Teleya is MacFarlane’s favorite character, so there may be opportunity to feature her and have her interact with Ed. Maybe fans see the first Human/krill child, or Ed and Teleya teaming up to fight the Kaylon threat. Ultimately, Teleya is a great and potentially complex character that should be used more to help flesh out the Krill as a whole.
Don’t Want: Ed/Kelly Teasing
Ed and Kelly work best as friends and coworkers, but not as husband and wife. In the season 1 finale “Mad Idolatry”, fans saw Ed and Kelly even admit that. However in the episodes “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” and “The Road Not Taken” Ed not only ended up sleeping with the time-displaced younger Kelly, which was very unsettling, but he also began to rekindle his relationship with the alternate Kelly in the dystopian timeline.
At this point, any more of the Will They/Won’t They will only serve as white noise when there are more characters to develop and more deserving relationships to build. This doesn’t mean it should not be addressed at all, but rather acknowledged and be done with.
Want: More Isaac As A Stepdad
While Claire and Isaac’s physical relationship is definitely something that’s going to take some time to get used to, one of the more endearingly charming relationships in the show is Isaac as a paternal figure for her kids, Marcus and Ty. Ty especially has shown to be rather fond of Isaac, and though Isaac is an artificial being, he has shown a particular fondness for both children, even going to far as to kill the Kaylon leader to protect Ty when he was ordered to execute him.
It’s almost a guarantee that there will be an episode focusing on Claire and Isaac and the kids. Perhaps this season fans see more of Isaac attempting to bond with Marcus, and more of Ty building his relationship with him as well.
Don’t Want: Bortus/Klyden/Moclans Plot Overload
Season 2 seemed to be really heavy on the Bortus/Klyden/Moclan storylines, with five of 12 episodes dedicated to Bortus, Klyden and Moclan issues to varying degrees. While “Sanctuary” definitely was a strong episode, “Primal Urges” was cringe-worthy and the remaining three had their high and low points. This isn’t to say there shouldn’t be Bortus/Klyden/Moclan episodes, but rather maybe instead of dedicating almost half the season to one alien race, spread out the episodes to the rest of the crew.
Want: More Star Trek Alums
Even with the positive reception of both Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery, fans have found that seeing Star Trek alums like Marina Sirtis, Tim Russ, and Robert Picardo all show up in The Orville really led to some major nostalgic pangs. While MacFarlane has generally stuck to TNG, Voyager and DS9 alums, maybe he could really surprise fans with a guest appearance from a TOS alum.
Imagine Nichelle Nichols as Claire’s mother coming to terms with her relationship with Isaac, or William Shatner serving as the leader of the Planetary Union. Considering they haven’t officially retired from acting and MacFarlane’s nerd currency, maybe those, or similar ideas are in the pipeline.
Don’t Want: Relationships Affecting Casting
Between Halston Sage leaving The Orville midway through Season 2 and Adrianne Palicki and Scott Grimes marrying, divorcing, and then throwing out their divorce all in the span of six months, there seems to be some degree of volatility when it comes to the cast’s off-screen personal lives. Obviously fans have no say in who loves whom, but if it causes another character to leave the show, then MacFarlane needs to set some boundaries to ensure continuity and cohesion in the cast.
Want: Establishing Secondary Characters
While The Orville has done a solid job in establishing its main cast, it may be time to start emphasizing the supporting cast members as well. Lt. Dann (Mike Henry) seems to be a popular character among the Orville fandom, and if what he says about himself is true, he seems like the type of gateway to bridge the gap between the main characters and the “lower decks” characters.
Other characters that might be worth considering expanding upon include Yaphit, the gelatinous engineer, the admirals, even the family members of the crew might be worth looking into as the possibility for a main storyline.
Don’t Want: Time Travel
Time travel is a particularly sticky trope in sci-fi, especially considering all the ramifications and mapping that needs to take place in order to eliminate continuity errors. With that being said, The Orville has ventured into time travel already with varying degrees of success. “Pria” was an example of time travel not causing continuity headaches, while “Lasting Impressions” and “The Road Not Taken” did show the logistical issues that make time travel episodes nearly unwatchable.
Given the show has shown that it can be good without delving into time travel, hopefully MacFarlane can focus on areas of the show that don’t require an inordinate amount of time on in order to make them work. As long as time travel as a story device is sidelined, the show can flourish as it is intended to.
Want: More Singing
There’s no denying that the cast of The Orville is incredibly talented, not just as actors, but in some cases, as singers. Fans have already had the opportunity to hear Adrianne Palicki sing passable karaoke, then followed that up with Scott Grimes singing Air Supply’s “Goodbye” before singing a duet with Leighton Meester. And yet surprisingly, even with Grimes’s golden pipes, they want more.
Though a musical episode is a controversial idea that seems chintzy at best, having Seth MacFarlane croon at least once this upcoming season would be a treat. Plus, fans are still waiting on Peter Macon as Bortus to sing “My Heart Will Go On”. And unlike the ship’s crew, they will not be silent about it.
Don’t Want: Hammered In Social Commentary
For as much as fans and Star Trek converts love the show for what it is, one of its biggest weaknesses is its social commentary. While Seth MacFarlane is outspoken in his political and social views, fans don’t generally watch shows to be lectured, they watch to enjoy a good story and great characters. The Orville is a great show when it focuses on its characters and its plots, but when it comes to trying to deliver a message, like it has in multiple episodes, it comes across as clumsy at best, and incredibly hamfisted at worst.
This isn’t to say that The Orville should shy away from commentary, but rather try and be more subtle. Maybe instead of showing the outcome of the message they are trying to get across, try and leave the message open for interpretation so that it doesn’t feel like it’s being pounded into fans’ heads.
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