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Primal Urges is an unaired episode from the first season of The Orville. For most of 2017, the episode was slated to be the twelfth episode of Season 1 and to air on December 7, after New Dimensions and before Mad Idolatry. It is now scheduled to air at some point in Season 2.

The episode involves a new alien species, the Nyxians, and reveals their alien homeworld.[1]

Based on comments by the executive producers, only parts of the story have been revealed and a significant, though not sole part deals with the ramifications of Topa's sex reassignment including the emotional rift forged between his parents, Bortus and Klyden, after the procedure.[2][3]


Primal Urges is expected to deal heavily with Moclans, especially Bortus, Klyden, and their child Topa. Further, it seems that some scenes of the episode were re-shot. Said Macon:

We did some stuff and changed some things with our child, so they had to retool it. It will still hold up. I was a little, "Oh no, they're not going to see it!" but it will bookend nicely once we come back to it. Also we'll let you know that some time has passed, so that tells you that the issue [around the gender assignment] has not resolved. So rather than it being a closed chapter in Season 1, it's going to extend itself to Season 2.[3]

In November, 2017, Fox moved it to the first episode of the second season of The Orville. However, it is now believed that Primal Urges is no longer set to be the premiere, and may instead air as a different episode else in the Season 2 schedule.

A preliminary cast list credits Seth MacFarlane as the writer and Kevin Hooks as director, which has been independently confirmed by Hooks.[4] The composer of the episode's score is not known.

Plot Edit

Based on the cast list, the episode seems to involve significantly the Moclans, both real and holographic through the Environmental Simulator. The plot will involve issues between Bortus, Klyden, and the sex of their child.

[The episode] speaks directly to this whole gender reassignment deal and where [Bortus] is at with it that didn't air, is going to air this year. It's going to speak to the nature of our relationship.
There’s something we’re going to celebrate. There's something that's going to bring us closer together, but it's push and pull. There's tension that has to be resolved. [Bortus' feelings are] being suppressed in a particular behavior that I get wind of.[5]
Moclan Prison Guard

Actor Jude Lanston published this image to his Twitter as a Moclan Prison Guard from the unaired episode.

Additionally, comments by the show's cast point to a story that is markedly cruder than in other episodes. The first description of the episode was a simple comment made by creator Seth MacFarlane that the episode will feature jokes involving the Environmental Simulator and masturbation. MacFarlane pointed to producer Brannon Braga, remarking "we used to joke about, that if there are actual holodecks (Star Trek's version of the Simulator) you wouldn't be playing Robin Hood, you'd basically be going in there to masturbate. I would say the subject is not entirely ignored."[n 1][6]

Another hint about Primal Urges would not come until several months later, when Peter Macon, who plays Second Officer Bortus, has referred to the episode at least four times. Initially, he simply said something "just wrong" will happen, followed by laughter,[7] but in a later that day added, "There's things on this show that happen I cannot believe that this is what we're doing. It's so wrong; it's so wrong; it's so wrong. You'll see and remember me saying that."[8] After the show premiered, Macon grew more explicit:

[Creator Seth MacFarlane] built this world where the comedy is slap sticky and wrong. There are some things where I was saying I can’t believe that we are filming this. Specifically Episode 12. That is all I am going to say.[n 2]
His comments came at a time when Primal Urges was still slated as the twelfth episode of Season 1. The final description of the episode came in an interview with the The Orville Podcast, when he spoke of how being a father has helped him understand Bortus's role as a father and Second Officer:
There's an episode that comes up where Isaac and I get off the shuttle, and the ship is not good. We did two separate runs and I was like, 'Where would I be going right now? Maybe he's going to go check on his family 'cause his family is on the ship.[9]
In the same interview, he added, "Oh, man, I can't wait for you guys to see episode 12. Just remember I told you this, okay? I can't say anything about it but it's a doosie."[9]

Actor Scott Grimes, who plays Helmsman Gordon Malloy, said the episode's plot will focus on a character separate from the main cast. Grimes observed that the the episode is "mildly sexual" and will revolve around the Environmental Simulator.[10] On March 17, 2018, Coleman hinted that there is "some hilarious stuff going on in a particular place on the ship that absolutely floored [him]."[11]

Additionally, the episode will see appearances by Lieutenant Yaphit and Klyden, and a new alien species is introduced: the Nyxians. Art director Robert Strohmaier confirmed in June, 2018 that the episode will show the surface of the Nyxian homeworld, which was filmed in a set built in the Orville's Shuttle Bay.[1]

Finally, a description by Nana Visitor, who auditioned for a role on The Orville, may be referring to this episode: "It was a leader of people who had to get everybody off her planet because it was going to explode, and she leaves her, she stays on it and sends her wife and child off."[12] However, the episode in question might not be Primal Urges.

Continuity Edit

Prior to being moved to the second season, Primal Urges was scheduled to air after New Dimensions. Confusingly, the episode's cast list suggests that Primal Urges was originally planned to occur shortly after March, 2420 and the events of New Dimensions, but before Mad Idolatry:

  • Present in the cast list is Lieutenant Commander Steve Newton, who left the USS Orville after March at the start of New Dimensions.
  • John LaMarr is credited as Lieutenant and not by his promoted title of Lieutenant Commander, which he received several weeks after Newton's departure.

It is unclear how Primal Urges will fit in the timeline of the show, however, Macon said that scenes were either re-shot or otherwise edited in order to make them comport with the timeline.[3]

Production Edit

Moclan Other

An instagram photo of Michael James Lazar as Moclan #1.

On June 10, 2017, Fox released the title of the episode as Primal Urges; that it is directed by Kevin Hooks; and written by Seth MacFarlane.[n 3] Filming began in late July or very early August.[13] A synopsis has not been released officially by Fox to the public. A short cast list was published briefly on IMDB,[14] which has since been removed but is independently confirmed by its actors.[15][16]

Scheduling Edit

Fox renewed The Orville for a second season on November 2, 2017. On November 14, Fox announced that the first season would lose an episode, Primal Urges, and move it to Season 2 as its premiere. This schedule was cast into doubt on February 5, 2018, when Ivy Thaide, a wardrobe designer, published a photo of the Season 2 premiere script (i.e. "Episode 201") on her Instagram, noting that the script was just released.[17] As production of Primal Urges was finished back in mid-2017, it seems that Thaide's Episode 201 is not Primal Urges and that Primal Urges has been moved deeper into the second season.

Cast Edit

Main Cast Edit

Recurring Cast Edit

Guest Cast Edit

Notes Edit

  1. MacFarlane is referring to the episode "Qpid" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which the character Q forces Captain Jean-Luc Picard several other officers to play Robin Hood characters.
  2. The interview is not dated by the author. However, a different article discusses the interview that is dated September 21, 2017, and thus Macon's comment must be earlier. Eddy, Art. "PETER MACON – MY LIFE OF DAD". Life of Dad. Last accessed Feb. 13, 2018.
  3. It should be noted that the title of at least one other episode was changed between June 10, 2017, and airing: the episode Firestorm was originally titled Nightmares. Therefore, the title Primal Urges cannot be considered a finalized name.
  4. Not found in the episode cast list but included in a season-wide cast list released in the Summer of 2017. Confirmed by Jordan's Twitter page.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lineweaver, Stephen & Robert Strohmaier. "The Orville: A Chance to Design the Future". ADG Perspective. July-Aug. 2018. Pg. 101.
  2. "NYCC 2017: Brannon Braga & David A. Goodman - The Orville". WithAnAccentTV. Oct. 13, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Surette, Tim. "The Orville: Everything We Know About Season 2". TVGuide. March 19, 2018.
  4. "And a happy Friday to you sir! Btw, Marvin Rush says hello. Working with him on 'Orville'." @KevHooks. Twitter. July 21, 2017.
  6. Seth MacFarlane at The Orville panel. San Diego ComicCon, 2017. July 20-23, 2017.
  7. "SDCC 2017: The Orville - Peter Macon, Mark Jackson, Chad L Coleman". Whedonopolis Video. July 26, 2017.
  8. "SDCC2017 The Orville Interview with Peter Macon". FanboyNation. July 26, 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "THE ORVILLE PODCAST EPISODE 3 - THE PETER MACON INTERVIEW". The Orville Podcast. Sept. 22, 2017.
  10. Stuart, Alasdair. "Scott Grimes Interview: The Orville actor on going boldly the MacFarlane way". MYM Buzz. Dec. 7, 2017.
  11. Video by The Paley Center for Media. March 17, 2018.
  12. Ulster, Laurie. "Nana Visitor Says She Wanted To Be Captain Janeway, Explains Why She’s Not On ‘The Orville’". April 10, 2018.
  13. "SDCC 2017: The Orville - Adrianne Palicki, Seth McFarlane". Whedonopolis Videos. July 26, 2017.
  14. "Episode #1.12". IMDB. Archive Nov. 4, 2017. Last accessed Jan. 14, 2018.
  17. Thaide, Ivy. Instagram. Feb. 5, 2018. Online at