"I'm a big fan of sci-fi anyway. So, I'm probably blinded to any possibilities of [The Orville] not doing well. Because this is exactly the kind of show that I'd watch, even if I wasn't in it." ― Mark Jackson[[source]]
Mark Jackson is an English writer and actor who plays the Kaylon Science Officer Isaac in The Orville.


Mark Jackson is an English actor who has performed in British Television such as That Peter Kay Thing and The Royal Today. He has also performed in short projects Peppermint as well as the The Kissing Booth.

He describes himself as a "huge fan" of science fiction growing up, having read it since he was a child,[1] and always wanted to perform in Star Trek: The Next Generation.[2]

The OrvilleEdit

"I must admit I worked my arse off for the audition." ― Mark Jackson[[source]]
Jackson was cast in The Orville December 8, 2016 after a "fairly straightforward audition process"[3] in the casting director's apartment in the Streatham district of London, England[4] where he read Isaac's lines on camera.[3] He received word of an audition for a "robot" from his agent.[5] Unlike other roles that were filled in America, Fox held auditions for Isaac in America, Canada, England, and Australia.[2] Creator Seth MacFarlane greatly enjoyed Jackson's taped performance,[6] and Fox twice tried to bring him to Los Angeles, California for screen tests, but both attempts fell through for unknown reason.[7]

Regardless, Jackson was hired anyway on the basis of the single audition tape six weeks later, receiving the good news while stepping on a plane for a vacation in Barcelona, Spain.[2] "I got offered the part after six weeks of suspense," he recalled in an interview. Then quipped, "There was much sangria that night."[8] He moved to Los Angeles shortly after receiving the part,[1] and co-star Scott Grimes helped him move into his new apartment.[7]

Meanwhile, Jackson began preparing for his new role as Isaac. MacFarlane began talking to him over the phone, preparing the English actor for the role of Isaac and bonding over Star Trek[2] and science fiction authors.[4] Howard Berger met with him to explain how an intricate Kaylon costume would work, especially how to move the limbs.[6]

As a United Kingdom citizen, the producers had to write lengthy, extensive petitions to the State Department for Jackson's entry into the United States.[7] Jackson later recollected the first time he met the director of the first episode, Jon Favreau, who said, "You're Mark? You would not believe the letter I had to write for you, so don't be shit." After filming of Old Wounds concluded, Favreau approached Jackson anew to tell him, "You weren't shit."[7]

During the first table read of the show Jackson felt overwhelmed once he realized that he was one of the only actors not to know MacFarlane personally.[7] He calls the experience of playing Isaac "immensely liberating" because he can set his ego aside while portraying a character behind a mask.[9]


  • Mark Jackson is the only member of the main cast to have not yet had his likeness portrayed in the series. Always wearing a full body suit to mimic Isaac's Kaylon form.

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References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "THE ORVILLE Exclusive Seth MacFarlane & Cast Interviews - #SDCC 2017". JoBlo TV Show Trailers. July 23, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Collinson, Gary. "Exclusive Interview: Mark Jackson on The Orville, working with Seth MacFarlane and Jon Favreau, and more". Oct. 31, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Description of the audition from "Episode123 - LIVE from the Paley Fest Blue Carpet feat. The Orville & Mom casts". On the Mic with Tim Drake. March 27, 2018. Location citation from "THE ORVILLE Exclusive Seth MacFarlane & Cast Interviews - #SDCC 2017". JoBlo TV Show Trailers. July 23, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Crookes, Adam. "Interview: Mark Jackson from FOX’s ‘The Orville’ talks about playing an artificial lifeform machine | CROOKES MAGAZINE". Medium. Sept. 22, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "The Orville Fan Podcast w/ Mark Jackson (09)". Planetary Union Network. Nov. 12, 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Mark Jackson Interview | AfterBuzz TV's Spotlight On". AfterBuzz TV. Sept. 13, 2017.
  8. Broadbent, Steven. "Interview with THE ORVILLE star MARK JACKSON". Telly Binge. Dec. 20, 2017.
  9. "Episode123 - LIVE from the Paley Fest Blue Carpet feat. The Orville & Mom casts". On the Mic with Tim Drake. March 27, 2018.