"...you implied that you don't think I have the balls to do this job."Doctor Claire Finn is the Human Lieutenant Commander and Chief Medical Officer aboard the USS Orville. Doctor Finn is a seasoned officer who has served aboard many Planetary Union vessels. Claire transferred to the Orville shortly before September, 2419, when she learned the ship was getting a new captain, Ed Mercer. She lives together with her two sons, Ty and Marcus Finn.
"Well, I am your doctor, sir, and if your balls are under par, I'll know." ― Captain Ed Mercer and Doctor Claire Finn[source]
Claire Finn is portrayed by Penny Johnson Jerald. According to supervising producer André Bormanis, Claire's wisdom and wit function as a literary tool to enable other characters to discover solutions to problems. Jerald later described Claire as "the Orville's conscience adult. She has a tongue sharpened with wisdom and fortitude."
Early history Edit
Claire joined the Planetary Union as a commissioned officer and worked in the Medicine wing. Before joining the Orville, she specialized in molecular surgery, DNA engineering, and psychiatry and took an interest in temporal field technology, the acceleration of time within a quantum bubble. At this time, Claire worked on an unknown project with Lewis, a civilian Union anthropologist, and the two became close friends.
Claire is a single parent. For most of her life, Claire desired children, but by her own description, she never found a man suited to be her husband. Near the year 2409, then in her mid-30s, she decided to have a child on her own through artificial impregnation, and gave birth to Marcus. Several years later, she used artificial impregnation again to bear a second child, Ty.
She requested a transfer to the Orville in 2419. By that point, Claire was already a highly experienced doctor and over-qualified for the post. She later recalled that she requested the Orville because she wanted a ship with a freshman captain: "I always request my transfers based on where I'm needed. I'm more stimulated that way."
Career under Captain Mercer Edit
Doctor Finn arrives at the Orville shortly before Captain Ed Mercer in September, 2419, and almost immediately ingratiates herself among the crew as a smart and collected senior officer. "This is your first command," she tells Ed at their first meeting. "And I think you can use my help."
When Claire arrived at the Orville, she was given an office on the ship at the front of Sick Bay, where she now leads a staff of medical officers. From the earliest days under Captain Mercer, she quickly establishes herself as a source of strength for the rest of the senior staff and frequently remains on the Bridge to stay abreast of the ship's affairs. Yet her presence both on the Bridge and in Sick Bay places her in the unique position to help the Bridge officers and to communicate the needs of the rest of the ship. Claire becomes a tough but loving therapist and adviser for the rest of the senior staff.
Claire serves as acting commander in October, 2419, when Ed and Kelly go missing, Second Officer Bortus is on a leave of absence, and Alara joins Isaac for an away mission to the Calivon system. As the highest ranking officer on the ship, Claire is placed in the Captain's chair.
Mission to Epsilon 2 EditClaire's skills would be put to the test one week into her transfer to the Orville on a resupply mission to the Epsilon Science Station on the planet Epsilon 2. Claire joins Ed, Kelly, and Alara to speak with Doctor Aronov. Aronov is adamant that enemy Krill are interested in stealing a quantum accelerator, a device which can accelerate the flow of time, for themselves. They are interrupted by Doctor Derek Ashton, a lab technician and undercover Krill operative, who takes Claire hostage. She is rescued by Chief of Security Alara Kitan, who distracts and subdues Derek.
Derek had already called for Krill support, and a cloaked Krill destroyer comes out of hiding to raid the facility. Faced with three teams of Krill soldiers, Claire and the others battle their way to their shuttle and return to the Orville. Along the way, she treats Ed for a shoulder wound. The experience solidified her place as both a valuable medic and a practiced voice of reason for the crew.
Mission to the Dorahl bioship EditThe senior officers had not yet needed Claire for her medical abilities aside from basic treatment. That would change two months after the battle at Epsilon 2, when Claire is again sent on an away mission, this time to visit a mysterious bioship adrift in space.
When the team enters the massive ship, communications with the Orville are blocked. Alara is shot by a bioship officer. With no easy way back to the Orville, a crisis erupts. Claire is able to treat the wound using her medical kit and a dermoscanner, and save Alara's life.
Search for Lewis and Tom EditIn late 2419, Claire's close friend Lewis went missing during an undercover assignment with fellow researcher Tom on Sargus 4. Union command was unable to re-establish communication with the pair. She joins a search team in the winter of 2420. Unfortunately, the team is too late. Tom was killed by a Sargun Department of Corrections guard attempting to flee Social Correction, a dramatic neurological operation similar to a frontal lobotomy. Claire is devastated when she finally finds Lewis: he was "corrected," his personality erased and mind forever altered, and the old friend as she knew him gone.
Shuttle crash and kidnapping Edit
Claire had proven her worth as a doctor and a capable fighter, but her greatest test comes six months into working on the Orville. Wanting to spend more time with her sons, Marcus and Ty, she plans a vacation to Arboreus Prime. The trio leaves the Orville in January or early February, 2420, in a shuttle piloted by Science Officer Isaac. However, en route to Arboreus, an uncharted spatial fold sends the shuttle into an unknown area of the galaxy, the shuttle crashing into a nearby moon.
Claire is separated from the others during the crash. Drogen, a survivalist, discovers her unconscious, and carries her back to his compound. The moon's nations were recently at war, and one side poisoned the water supply with poloxus. Drogen foresaw the attack and stockpiled food and weapons in his fortified compound. He refuses to allow Claire to leave, and she becomes Drogen's prisoner.
Claire injures herself in order to send Drogen to the crash site in search of antibiotics. Meanwhile, she scours the facility and finds a knife. She stabs Drogen when he returns; later shooting and killing him with his own handgun. With Drogen dead, Claire recovers her comscanner and rejoins Isaac and her children. The four sufficiently repair the shuttle to hail the Orville for rescue. Meanwhile, other inhabitants of the moon were alerted to the noise. Driven to cannibalism through sheer starvation, the inhabitants attempt to kill and eat the four. Using PM-44s set to stun, Claire and Marcus drive their attackers away.
The Orville rescues Claire and the others. The experience marks a transformative moment between Isaac and the Finn family, as Claire's relationship with Isaac grew into a friendship over their first six months together on the Orville.
Conflict and relationship with Yaphit Edit
Since Claire's arrival at the Orville, Engineer Yaphit develops a profound romantic interest in her, often singing to her with a guitar or giving her gifts. Claire, on the other hand, finds Yaphit's persistent wooing to be uncomfortable and annoying.
In November, 2419, Yaphit begins feigning illness as an excuse to meet Claire in Sick Bay and ask her out on a date, which he attempts three times over the span of a week. After she turns him down, he makes a crude, sexual pass, after which she angrily demands he leave. His persistence grates on Claire, eventually acknowledging that she hates him.
In February, 2420, Yaphit returns to romancing Claire. He brings a guitar, flowers, and refuses to leave without a date. However, Yaphit had bumped into Darulio on his way to see Claire. Unbeknownst to Yaphit and Claire, Darulio, a Retepsian, produced powerful pheromones that sparks sexual attraction between carrier and recipient. Yaphit transmitted the pheromones to Claire, creating a powerful romantic and sexual interest in Claire towards Yaphit.
Claire and Yaphit begin a sexual relationship lasting several days until the pheromones wear off. During that time, Claire grows increasingly obsessed with the Engineer. She later comments to Alara:
I just never gave him a chance. But when I finally allowed myself to take down my walls, I realized what an idiot I've been. Yaphit and I are soul mates.Her obsession grows dangerous during the Navarian-Bruidian conflict, keeping Yaphit at gunpoint from erecting a special barrier between the Navarians and Bruidian war fleets. Claire avoids punishment as she was under the overwhelming influence of alien pheromones, but Yaphit leaves Claire alone after the incident.
Doctor Finn is a strong-willed, independent mother who is career-minded. Almost immediately after meeting Captain Mercer for the first time, he puts her on the defensive by saying, "You don't think I have the balls to do this job." Claire shoots back, "Well, I am your doctor, sir, and if your balls are under par, I'll know."
As the oldest member of the senior staff, Claire often serves informally as a ship's therapist. Alara, the youngest senior officer, especially seeks out Claire for guidance. Claire consoles Bortus through a difficult time in his marriage to Klyden as well.
Claire is a woman of science. When she visits the Epsilon Science Station, she is the crewmember most fascinated by the facility's tremendous scientific advances, in particular its quantum accelerator. For all of Claire's talents as a therapist, she often struggles to understand why people choose emotionally satisfying options over factually-based ones.
Friendship with Isaac Edit
When Claire and Isaac first meet in September of 2419, Claire resents his sense of intellectual superiority. "You harbor prejudice against artificial life-forms," Isaac later remarks. She responds, "Only against life-forms that think they're better than everyone else." When Isaac affirms that he is better than everyone else, Claire sarcastically diagnoses, "Oh, and so modest." Further, she dislikes that Isaac presumes to offer parenting tips when he was artificial and incapable of parenthood.
After Isaac, Claire, and her sons are rescued in late February, 2420, Claire grows fond of Isaac. The Kaylon officer protected Marcus and Ty on the moon, and did his best to comfort them. In a private conversation between the two, Claire notes her sons now adore Isaac and says, "Welcome to the family."
Relationship with the crew Edit
Claire's relationship with Second Officer Bortus is tenser, and the two are prone to heated disagreement. In November, 2419, he requests that she perform a sex reassignment surgery on his newborn daughter, a request Claire finds reprehensible. She refuses on the grounds that to perform the operation would violate her Hippocratic Oath. Later that, she is called to testify in a subsequent trial addressing whether to order or enjoin Moclan doctors from performing the operation.
In the original pilot script, Claire is described only as a black woman in her 40s.
- In the episode If the Stars Should Appear, Claire reveals that she suffers from near-debilitating acrophobia, a fear of heights, and grabs Isaac's hand for comfort. In the episode Into the Fold, she is forced to overcome her fear when she has to escape from Drogen's compound. Later, Isaac holds her hand to comfort her.
- While she seems to enjoy giving advice, Claire does not enjoy being placed in command of the ship.
- She hates the planet Moclus because "they've completely industrialized the entire surface. It's amazing they can even breathe."
- She is able to quote the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson extensively.
- Alara fights an evil version of Claire in the Environmental Simulator. She kills a simulated Nurse Henry Park and attempts to kill Alara.
- Claire does not attend Chief Engineer Steve Newton's farewell party when he transfers to a space station because she has to work.
- Actress Penny Johnson Jerald, who portrays Claire, says that she envisions her character as a funny and wise officer with an attitude, calling her "the sage with sass." Later, she said that Claire is an extension of her personality, a level-headed adult in times of crises.
- Perhaps out of dedication to her career in medicine, Doctor Finn has a green streak of hair on her left side at the front, the color of the Medical section of the Planetary Union.
- Episode 1: Old Wounds
- Episode 2: Command Performance
- Episode 3: About a Girl
- Episode 4: If the Stars Should Appear
- Episode 5: Pria
- Episode 6: Krill
- Episode 7: Majority Rule
- Episode 8: Into the Fold
- Episode 9: Cupid's Dagger
- Episode 10: Firestorm
- Episode 11: New Dimensions
- Episode 12: Mad Idolatry
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Episode 1: Old Wounds
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 42.
- ↑ Episode 7: Majority Rule
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode 8: Into the Fold
- ↑ The year 2409 is merely a guess based on Marcus Finn's age. Episode 8: Into the Fold
- ↑ Finn can be found on the Bridge during the ship's first departure under Captain Mercer, and during a battle with a Krill destroyer outside the planet Epsilon 2. Episode 1: Old Wounds.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Episode 2: Command Performance
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Finn advises and comforts Alara Kitan, whom was acting commander at the time. Episode 2: Command Performance.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Episode 3: About a Girl
- ↑ Alara says "you hate Yaphit" to Claire. Episode 9: Cupid's Dagger
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Episode 9: Cupid's Dagger
- ↑ When Ed and Kelly are kidnapped by Calivon zookeepers in October, 2419, 23-year-old Alara is placed in the Captain's chair. However, due to a series of command missteps, the ship is badly damaged and many people hurt. Alara sees her own inexperience as inability to lead and requests Claire to remove her from command. Claire refuses. She acknowledges that Alara may have made a mistake, even one that hurt their own crew, but that Alara learned from her error and is fit to command. The Doctor agrees to advise Alara more often in the future. Later, when Alara must decide whether to follow orders from Planetary Union Central not to rescue the missing commanders, Claire refused to decide for Alara, but simply clarified the problem so that she could better choose for herself. Episode 2: Command Performance
- ↑ When the Reformers explain that, even after presented with proof that Hamelac's government is based on untruths, the Dorahlian people would refuse to accept it, Claire does not understand why people would prefer a comforting lie over the truth. Episode 4: If the Stars Should Appear.
- ↑ Claire thinks that people of Sargus 4 could fact-check manipulative posts uploaded by the Orville onto the planet's Master Feed, but Lysella says, "Don't worry. They won't." Episode 7: Majority Rule
- ↑ MacFarlane, Seth. Orville 1x01 - Pilot. Fox Broadcasting Co.
- ↑ Epsilon 4: If the Stars Should Appear
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Episode 10: Firestorm
- ↑ Episode 11: New Dimensions
- ↑ DesJardins, Jordan. "NYCC 2017: What’s Up Doc? Penny Johnson Jerald Talks ‘The Orville’". ScienceFiction.com. Oct. 13, 2017.