Season 1 first aired on September 10, 2017, with 8.56 million viewers, the most-watched debut on Fox since Empire in 2015.[1] It was renewed for a second season on November 2 of that year.[2] Because of the show's elaborate production costs, The Orville was intended for a limited 13-episode run. However, on November 14, Fox confirmed that it would change the original Season 1 finale to a Season 2 premiere.[3] While Fox did not comment on its decision, the move is not unusual for the company.

Summary Edit

The first season opens in the fall of 2018 with Ed Mercer discovering his wife, Kelly Grayson, in bed with Darulio, which sets off the events of The Orville. In September, 2419, Ed is promoted to Captain of the USS Orville and Kelly is assigned as his First Officer. Aided by a crew of talented, if surprisingly normal, officers, they receive missions from the Planetary Union; explore space, planets and other civilizations; and battle the Krill. The season concludes some time around April or May, 2420.

Interpretations and themes Edit

Writing and production staff developed the show's storylines episodically. Episodes were constructed to examine fundamental moral themes or character development, or to encourage the audience to re-evaluate certain aspects of culture. Every episode touches on many themes, and some episodes can fit multiple interpretive categories.

  • The episodes Command Performance, Firestorm, and New Dimensions focus on themes of self-doubt, leadership, and trust in oneself or in others.
  • Krill and Mad Idolatry look at the confluence and clash of religion and moral progress. The technologically developed Krill are also extremely religious, which motivates them to commit atrocities in the name of Avis, their supreme deity. The people of the multiphasic planet construct a religion around Kelly, but lose faith in gods "naturally" as they evolve as a society. The Krill society is often contrasted against the multiphasic planet species as responding to similar circumstances in radically different ways.
  • If the Stars Should Appear shows the rise of religion and a slide towards tyranny as technology breaks down. An extreme form of religion is enforced on the Dorahl bioship to maintain power in Hamelac's government. The Church of Kelly in Mad Idolatry violently imposes belief in order to maintain control.
  • About a Girl evaluates sexual and gender mores of contemporary society, especially American society, through the eyes of an alien, all-male Moclan society imposing its will on Topa.
  • Majority Rule examines the harms of social media and an emotional, "facts-less" society that punishes anyone who is unlucky enough to fall into its sights.
  • The episodes Into the Fold and Cupid's Dagger are primarily character-developing: the former shows the strength of Doctor Claire Finn, the maturation of Marcus and Ty Finn, and the humanization of an artificial being; the latter fleshes out details of Ed and Kelly's past.

However, the pilot, Old Wounds, is considered "ground-laying," in that the world of the Orville is established for audiences for the first time, and therefore focuses less on metaphorical or ethical themes.


On April, 2016, creator Seth MacFarlane successfully pitched the pilot to Fox, which ordered 13 episodes to air in the Fall and the possibility of a backorder of 13 more episodes for Spring.[4]

The season order during early production was very different from what aired. Originally, About a Girl was second, If the Stars Should Appear third, and Command Performance fourth, and the twelfth episode was Primal Urges.[5] If the Stars Should Appear performed poorly with test audiences and was moved to the fourth slot.[5] A plot point where Bortus leaves to brood his egg was added to Command Performance, which segued neatly to About a Girl's story. New scenes were added to adjust for continuity, such as Bortus and Klyden arguing in their bedroom at the start of If the Stars Should Appear. However, some incongruous scenes remained. For example, Doctor Claire Finn mentions that Lieutenant Yaphit has wooed her for some time in About a Girl but seems unfamiliar with his motives in If the Stars Should Appear. Fox moved Primal Urges to the second season in November, 2017 for unknown reasons.

The visual and digital effects teams allotted twelve days for each episode for post-production editing, a schedule they discovered was too tight. The second season was broken into thirds, with a month-long hiatus in between to grant the teams more editing time.[6]

Some episodes were edited even as late as the same day they aired.[6]

List of episodesEdit

Count Season Episode ID Code Title Airdate Rating[7] Notes
001 01 01 S01E01 1LAB01 Old Wounds Sept. 10, 2017 2.73/8.56 Pilot.
Commander Ed Mercer gets promoted to captain of a ship, the USS Orville. Mercer's ex-wife is assigned as his First Officer. The Krill attempt to steal powerful Union technology.
002 01 02 S01E02 1LAB04 Command Performance Sept. 14, 2017 2.17/6.63 Third series production, fourth-produced episode overall.
When Mercer and Grayson are trapped in a replica of their old apartment, inexperienced Alara Kitan is placed in the captain's chair.
003 01 03 S01E03 1LAB02 About a Girl Sept. 21, 2017 1.1/4.05 First series production.
The Orville visits Bortus's planet. Bortus and Klyden make a controversial request that sends the crew into a tailspin.
004 01 04 S01E04 1LAB03 If the Stars Should Appear Sept. 28, 2017 1.05/3.7 Second series production.
The crew intercept a bioship about to drift into a star.
005 01 05 S01E05 1LAB05 Pria Oct. 5, 2017 0.91/3.43
The Orville saves the attractive Pria Lavesque, but Kelly Grayson is suspicious of her motives.
006 01 06 S01E06 1LAB06 Krill Oct. 12, 2017 0.99/3.37
Gordon Malloy and Mercer infiltrate a Krill destroyer to obtain a copy of the Krill holy text.
007 01 07 S01E07 1LAB07 Majority Rule Oct. 26, 2017 1.21/4.18
A landing party explore a parallel Earth at the dawn of the 21st-century level of culture and technology, which exercises an extreme form of democracy.
008 01 08 S01E08 1LAB08 Into the Fold Nov. 2, 2017 1/3.83
The Finns and Isaac are stranded on an unknown moon.
009 01 09 S01E09 1LAB09 Cupid's Dagger Nov. 9, 2017 1.04/3.69
Darulio returns to cause havok during tense war negotiations
010 01 10 S01E10 1LAB10 Firestorm Nov. 16, 2017 0.93/3.32
A crew member dies, forcing Alara Kitan to question whether she is fit for command.
011 01 11 S01E11 1LAB11 New Dimensions Nov. 30, 2017 0.9/3.63
The ship is crippled by a spatial anomaly. Meanwhile, Mercer must decide who to promote to Chief Engineer.
012 01 12 S01E12 1LAB12 Mad Idolatry Dec. 7, 2017 1.2/4.2 Season 1 finale.
The crew discovers a planet from another universe. Ed and Kelly consider getting back together.

Credits Edit

Main Cast Edit

Crew Edit

Executive Producers Edit

Co-executive Producers Edit

Co-producers Edit

Supervising Producer Edit

Associate Producer Edit

Line Producer Edit

Consultant Edit

Science Consultant Edit

Cinematographers Edit

Editors Edit

  • Tom Costantino (Old Wounds, If the Stars Should Appear through Into the Fold, New Dimensions, Mad Idolatry)
  • Shonnard Hedges (About a Girl, If the Stars Should Appear, Majority Rule, Firestorm through Mad Idolatry)
  • Scott Powell (Command Performance, Krill, Cupid's Dagger through Mad Idolatry)
  • Bart Rachmill (Cupid's Dagger)

Casting by Edit

Production Designer Edit

Art Directors Edit

Set Decorators Edit

Costume Designer Edit

Makeup Department Edit

Makeup and Special Make-up effects Edit
Hair Department Edit
Concept Artist Edit
Contact Lens Painter Edit

Production Management Edit

Unit Production Managers Edit
Production Supervisor Edit
Post-production Supervisor Edit

First Assistant Directors Edit

Second Assistant Directors Edit

Second Second Assistant Directors Edit

See also Edit


  1. "The Orville: Season One Ratings". Online. (Last accessed Dec. 6, 2017).
  2. Nellie Andreeva. "'The Orville' Renewed For Season 2 By Fox". Deadline. Nov. 2, 2017. Online.
  3. Tim Surette. "The Orville's Season Will be Cut Short". TVGuide. Nov. 14, 2017. Online.
  4. "SDCC2017 The Orville, EP's David. A Goodman, Jason Clark, & Brannon Braga Interview". FanboyNation. July 25, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Orville Fan Podcast w/ Jason Roberts (The Orville Unit Production Manager)". Planetary Union Network. April 19, 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "The Orville Fan Podcast w/ The Visual Effects Team". Planetary Union Network. May 23, 2018.
  7. "The Orville: Season One Ratings". Online. (Last accessed Dec. 6, 2017). (First figure is the 18-49 demographic; second is the overall number of viewers.)