"Look, Admiral, ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to serve on an exploratory vessel. And for you to put me in the captain's chair... yes, I'm ready." ― Ed Mercer to Admiral Halsey[source]
Ed Mercer is the Human captain of the USS Orville. He is portrayed by Seth MacFarlane.


Very little of Ed's early life has been revealed but he appears to have a good albeit somewhat irksome relationship with his parents who are very nurturing and friendly but a bit quirky and lacking in personal boundaries. Ed apparently dreamed of being a Star-Ship Captain from a very young age and took every opportunity to learn and prepare for it, eventually enrolling in the premier PU university Union Point, during which time he met Kelly Grayson, a beautiful, fiery and like-minded young woman who he would eventually marry.

While in college, Ed was at the top of his class at Union Point, surpassing all his peers by a wide margin. Upon his graduation into the Union Fleet, Ed worked tirelessly day and night on multiple ships to advance up the ranks and secure both a ship of his own and with it a stable future for himself and his new wife Kelly who like him had also graduated into the Union Fleet. Ed's obsessive work-ethic evidently put considerable strain on his marriage to Kelly, who claimed she tried on numerous occasions to talk about it but that Ed would simply shut her out, while Ed claimed that she never showed any appreciation for his supporting them and working for their future. Tensions finally came to a head when one fateful day Ed came home only to find Kelly cheating on him with the alien Darulio. Dumbstruck and at a loss for words, Ed simply turned and walked out, refusing to listen to Kelly as she begged for a chance to explain. Ed subsequently filed for divorce and moved in with his best friend Gordon Malloy, refusing all contact with Kelly from that point onward.

Season 1 Edit



Ed's career in the Union Fleet went into a tailspin as a result of his divorce; he became jaded, cynical, disrespectful and was cited at least six times for coming into work hungover. Despite this, Grand Admiral Halsey decided to give Mercer one last chance by promoting him to Captain and giving him command of a mid-class exploratory vessel called The Orville, delighting Ed and restoring his spirits. He enlisted Gordon to serve as Helmsman while awaiting a First Officer to become available. After meeting with his new crew and senior officers, he and his new ship set out on his first mission; bringing supplies to a scientific R&D outpost. On the journey there, Ed is horrified when he is informed that his assigned XO is Kelly. Though she tries to apologise for her past and reason with him, Ed refuses to acknowledge her appointment and demands she reassign herself as soon as possible.

At the outpost, Ed is forced to deal first with the oddball scientists, then with the Krill who invade the outpost to steal a time-acceleration device from the scientists and being shot while moving it back to the Orville. Back on board, Ed and Kelly devise a cunning plan to distract the Krill long enough to use a redwood seed and the device to destroy both itself and the Krill ship. Following this, Ed finally acknowledge's Kelly's contributions and asks her to remain as his First Officer, promising to work through their issues.


  • According to Admiral Halsey, Ed was not only top of his class at Union Point but was so highly regarded by his professors that they believed he would be captaining a heavy cruiser before 40, a feat practically unheard of in the Union Fleet.
  • Ed seems to be a fan of The Muppets judging by a Kermit plush found on his desk, whom he also claims to admire as a leader.
  • In Season 1, he is in his 40's, meaning that he was born in the 2370's.
  • According to Kelly Grayson, when he's really in pain he gives straight answers with no cursing.
  • It seems as though Ed Mercer knows about tv shows from the 20th and 21st century judging by his continuous references to pop culture from those eras.
  • He is from Boxford, Massachusetts.
  • When he was ten, his mother took him to the Salem history museum, which "Scared the crap out of him", due to the holographic recreation of the origation, which caused him to have nightmares for a month afterwards.
  • He has arachnophobia (a fear of spiders).


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