There’s rarely anything that Star Trek fans like to do more than talk (and argue) about Star Trek, but there’s one thing that an increasing number of them do agree on: Seth MacFarlane’s love letter to Trek, The Orville, has turned out to be surprisingly great.
Family Guy creator MacFarlane first debuted his sci-fi comedy series to a dubious audience back in 2017, and after a wobbly start it gained a faithful fan base. MacFarlane had written himself a plum lead role as the 25th century captain an exploratory space vessel with a diverse crew, and the series has often played with ‘story of the week’ standalone episodes that are more akin to The Next Generation’s glory days than the likes of Star Trek: Discovery, which seemed more interested in sticking with season-long arcs.
Indeed, both shows have their merits but they’re very different, and while Discovery has launched a third season on CBS in recent weeks, The Orville has been missing from our screens since April 2019 for several reasons. First, the series was snapped up by Hulu after Fox was acquired by Disney, allowing MacFarlane and his team to plough more time and energy into future storytelling – but having finally begun production on Season 3 in October of last year, filming was halted as the industry shut down in the early months of 2020, with Season 3 around halfway to completion.
Due to enhanced safety guidelines, finishing Season 3 is likely to take the cast and crew around five months, and its new batch of eleven extended episodes may not even begin streaming until the end of 2021. The reliable TrekMovie says that filming is set to resume in December, however, all being well.
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