"The Orville's only mid-size. You should see the heavy cruisers." ― Lieutenant Alara Kitan to Lysella[source]
The USS Orville, or ECV-197, is a mid-level exploratory vessel in Planetary Union service in the early 25th century, capable of speeds up to 10 light years per hour. Currently, the ship is commanded by Captain Ed Mercer and Commander Kelly Grayson serves as First Officer. There are 300 crewmembers on board.[1]

Description Edit

The Orville is one of 3,000 ships in the Planetary Union. It is classified as exploratory, a spacecraft within the Union's military wing with the purpose of exploring and charting the outer reaches of the Union's home quadrant of the galaxy. The ship has a compliment of 300 crewmembers.

Schematics Edit

As a mid-level ship, the Orville is considerably smaller than a Union heavy cruiser. Like other Union vessels, it is directed by a captain and first officer from the bridge, and complimented by a medical bay, brig, engineering floors, residential quarters, a docking bay, and a mess hall.

Additionally, the vessel houses shuttlecraft within a docking bay. There are at least two shuttles: ECV-197-1, six-seat shuttle, and ECV-197-2, a back-up shuttle.

Systems Edit

The craft's propulsion system, the quantum drive, is based on dysonium-powered quantum engines.[2] The drive configuration on the Orville provides the ship with speeds in excess of 10 light years per hour - over 87,660 times the speed of light. Space travel is navigated through spacial manifolds located in engineering, or by traditional star charts.


The Orville uses its tractor beam to capture the Calavon buoy.

The ship also features a tractor beam that can be reversed to push objects away from the ship. The walls of the ship are made of a synthetic fiber that is an artificial sort of plant system,(citation needed) taking in carbon dioxide breathed out by the crew, and expelling oxygen. In addition to this the ship also has a water recycling system that is completely self-sustaining.

Armament Edit

Tasked with the exploration of space, the Orville is not built for combat or warfare, though she does have respectable armaments to deal with unexpected dangers.

  • Deflector Screens (deflectors): The Orville boasts a high capacity shield grid to protect itself from impacts and hostile weaponry. The ship was able to withstand a considerable beating from larger vessels, albeit not for very long before severe damage ensues. These shields can be optimized to deal with specific threats such as plasma storms, radiation, etc.
  • Plasma Cannons: Pulses of high energy plasma particles. More precise than the torpedoes, able to make precision strikes against strategic points on an enemy ship, but not powerful enough to immediately penetrate the deflectors of a capital ship.
  • Plasma Torpedoes: The Orville has six torpedo tubes, two are near its shuttle bay and four on its main hull. Capable of rapid fire, the Orville can also launch its entire torpedo inventory in a single volley if necessary. Torpedoes are more powerful than the energy pulse cannons, more effective against more powerful deflectors, but not as precise.
  • Cutter beam: The Orville possesses a cutting beam capable of slicing a multi-kilometer long asteroid in a matter of seconds. The nature of the beam has not been established though given its power it is likely some kind of heavy particle beam as pure directed energy would not be able to affect an asteroid as shown.


The Orville enters service some time before 2419 under the command of an unknown series of captains. By September, 2419, Ed Mercer is appointed Captain. At the close of Season 1 of the show, slightly after March of 2420, the Orville remains in commission with Mercer as its commanding officer.

Old WoundsEdit

See also: Old Wounds
When the Captain of the Orville retires, Admiral Halsey offers Ed Mercer command. Mercer accepts and brings his friend and colleague, Lieutenant Gordon Malloy, as its helmsman. The Orville continues its old posts of Lieutenant John LaMarr as the ship's navigator and backup helmsman, Lieutenant Commander Bortus as Second Officer, Lieutenant Alara Kitan as the Head of Security, Isaac as the Head of Science & Engineering, and Doctor Claire Finn as the ship's physician.
ORV101 PROMO STILLS 2017-05-10 002

The senior and junior staff gather for first roll call under their new captain, Ed Mercer, in the episode Old Wounds.

The Orville embarks from Union Dockyard, orbiting Earth. Their first mission under Captain Mercer is to deliver supplies to the Epsilon Science Station on Epsilon 2. A short diversion to another space station allows the new executive officer and ex-wife of Captain Mercer, Kelly Grayson, to join the crew.

At Epsilon 2, station chief Doctor Aronov reveals that the request for supplies was a ruse to bring a Union vessel in order to protect the scientists from the Krill. Fortunately, the Orville's crew is able to repel a subsequent Krill attack on the laboratory as expected. During the encounter, the Orville defeats a Krill destroyer, but suffers damage to two of three propulsion rings. It subsequently undergoes repairs in dock on Earth.

Command PerformanceEdit

See also: Command Performance

The Orville rendezvouses with the USS Blériot. Mercer and Grayson take shuttle ECV-197-1 to the ship but, once "aboard," the Blériot and the two vanish. The Blériot was in fact a holographic projection from a Calavon buoy. As acting captain, Kitan directs helm control to rein in the buoy using a tractor beam. However, the buoy was loaded with explosives and the Orville is seriously damaged and several crewmembers hurt. Repairs are made over the course of the episode.

About a GirlEdit

See also: About a Girl

The crew takes shuttle ECV-197-1 to the planet Moclus for a trial between Bortus and his spouse and resident aboard the Orville, Klyden, regarding the sex of their child.

Later, LaMarr pilots the shuttle across the surface of Moclus to search for female Moclans, exceedingly rare in Moclan society.


The Orville's quantum engines allow it to travel through space at faster-than-light speeds.

If the Stars Should AppearEdit

See also: If the Stars Should Appear

A ground team takes shuttle ECV-197-1 to the Dorahl bioship. Meanwhile, Bortus as acting captain easily defeats a Krill warship attacking the USS Druyan with little damage incurred.


See also: Pria

LaMarr uses the ship's tractor beam to rescue a stranded miner from the gravitation pull of a nearby star.

Later, the Orville finds itself in an extremely rare dark matter storm. With 25th century technology, the crew has no way to detect the dark matter much less navigate through it. However, Pria Lavesque directs Isaac to flood the area with neutralized axion particles through the ship's weapons array, which enables the Orville's sensors to detect dark matter. Lavesque then utilizes a device on her wrist to guide the ship through the storm. The Orville is nearly destroyed but survives.

Using the same wrist device, Lavesque overrides all control of the ship's computers and forces the Orville through a wormhole to the 29th century. The crew manages to wrest control from her by brute force and takes the ship back through the wormhole to the present day.


See also: Krill

The Orville survives a difficult battle with a heavier Krill destroyer. The destroyer nearly destroys the Orville but Mercer directs Malloy to pilot the ship through a nearby planet's atmosphere at very high speeds. The tremendous friction damages the Orville but also creates a smokescreen that blinds the destroyer's sensor. Mercer's gambit pays off and he is able to attack the destroyer from above.

Into the Fold Edit

See also: Into the Fold
Shuttle ECV-197-2 is seriously damaged by a spatial anomaly and crashes on the surface of an unnamed moon. After several repairs to the shuttle's systems Isaac determines that damage to the store of dysonium renders the craft inoperable. Isaac, Finn, and her sons Ty and Marcus, scout the planet and find a deposit of dysonium crystals with enough energy to re-power the shuttle back to the Orville.

As a mid-level exploratory vessel, the Orville is dwarfed by larger Planetary Union ships like this heavy cruiser.


See also: Firestorm

After an ion storm causes an explosion in Engineering, the Orville receives major structural damage and loses a member of its crew, Lieutenant Harrison Payne. The damage is repaired off-screen over the course of the episode.

New DimensionsEdit

See also: New Dimensions

The Orville experiences minor structural damage and damage to the quantum drive from a spacial anomaly that turns out to be a pocket of space that exists only in two dimensions.

With the quantum drive offline for repairs, LaMarr successfully devises a plan to take the Orville through the aperture of two-dimensional space by creating a quantum bubble around the ship that preserves three dimensions within two-dimensional space. Once back through the anomaly, the crew returns the Orville to a Union station for repairs.

Mad IdolatryEdit

See also: Mad Idolatry.

Shuttle ECV-197-1 is damaged when a multiphasic planet suddenly appears. The damage is functionally repaired by Malloy on the planet's surface and returned to the Orville.


  Position Rank Name Species / Type Service period Notes
Commanding Officer Captain N/A N/A Unknown-2419 At the start of episode 1, a commanding officer is sought for the ship.
Ed Mercer Human male 2419-Present Joins in episode 1
Executive Officer Commander N/A N/A Unknown-2419 At the start of episode 1, an executive officer is sought for the ship.
Kelly Grayson Human female 2419-Present Joins in episode 1
Second Officer Lieutenant Commander Bortus Moclan male Unknown-Present
Chief Security Officer Lieutenant Alara Kitan Xelayan female Unknown-Present
Chief Medical Officer Lieutenant Comander N/A


Claire Finn Human female 2419-Present Requests assignment to the Orville.
Chief Science Officer Isaac Kaylon individual Unknown-Present
Helmsman Lieutenant N/A N/A Unkown-2419 At episode 1, a helmsman is sought for the ship.
Lieutenant Gordon Malloy Human male 2419-Present Joins in episode 1
Navigator Lieutenant John LaMarr Human male Unknown-2420 Promoted to Chief Engineer in episode 11.
Unfilled 2420-Present
Chief Engineer Lieutenant Commander Steve Newton Human male Unknown-2420 Accepts new position aboard a space station in episode 11.
John LaMarr Human male 2420-Present Promoted in episode 11.
  Position Rank Person Species / Type Observed Service Years[3] Notes
Director of Operations - Laura Lamour N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
Technician Ensign Reed Human male 2419 [5]
Technician Ensign Jennings Human male 2419 [5]
Engineer Lieutenant Yaphit Gelatin 2419-Present Second-ranked in Engineering.
Chief of Repairs - Kit Stolen N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
Repairs - Gary Rake N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
Repairs - Sabrina Plaice N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
Repairs - Tony Lattanzio N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
N/A Lieutenant Palovis N/A 2419-Present [6]
Medical Officer - Matt Chase N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
Medical Officer N/A Parley N/A Late 2419 or Early 2420 [7]
Assistant Medical Officer - Alex Maynard N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
Shuttle Bay Operator Ensign Brooks Human male 2420 [8]
Engineer Lieutenant Dann N/A Late 2419 or Early 2420-Present [2][8]
Medical Officer Nurse Henry Park Human male 2420 [9]
Medical - Linda Herrera N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
Engineer Lieutenant Harrison Payne Human male 2420 Died from damage incurred by an ion storm.[9]
Assistant Science Officer - Jack Lineweaver N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
Chief - Josh Pierce N/A 2419 Civilian.[4]
N/A Ensign Parker Human male 2419 [10]
N/A Ensign Turco Human female 2420 [6]
Unnamed Crewmembers
  Position Rank Credited Title Species / Type Observed Service Years[3] Notes
N/A Ensign Crewman #1 Human male 2419-Present Recurring extra.[5][11]
Engineer Ensign Engineer #1 Human male 2420 [2]

Passengers Edit

Production Edit

The idea of the Orville was birthed by the show's creator Seth MacFarlane, who oversaw most creative developments of the ship. Supervising Producer and Science Consultant André Bormanis tweaked the details of the ship for scientific plausibility, and to keep the futuristic ship believable for general audiences. A group of artists led by production designer Stephen J. Lineweaver went through over 140 different concept designs of the ship before landing upon the final version.[12]

Building the set Edit

The Orville interior was built over a period of 40 days, consuming 25,000 square feet of set space.[13]

To create an authenticate atmosphere, Fox financed the construction of a two-story studio set of the Orville. "I don't think you get an idea of how much money and how impressive the actual Orville spaceship sets are until you actually walk around on them," Jeff Bond, author of The World of the Orville, later noted in an interview. "Because they literally built the first two . . . decks of the ship; and it's all one structure, and you can walk up that spiral staircase onto the Bridge."[14]

The decision to build a two-story studio was mostly due to space and budget constraints. The Orville could afford to construct additional sets, but the high cost of additional studio space was prohibitive. "We knew we needed multiple sets, but we didn't have the floor space" executive produce Jason Clark recounted in Bond's book. "So we said, 'What if we had a two-story set? What if we built the second floor on a platform that already exists?' So that made it affordable."[13]

Designing the Orville Edit

The Orville was designed as a self-contained world: to television audiences, it functions as the ground of most plot developments of the show; and within the universe of The Orville, as the home to a crew of 300 people. Bormanis later reflected:

This is a starship that can travel for months at a time and sustain a crew of 300 people. So we have to have a space for them that is not just necessary for survival, but is comfortable, that has the feeling of a place that you would want to live. So there's a psychological dimension: How do you keep a crew not only physically safe and alive, but how do you keep them psychologically fit?[1]
Therefore, the show's creative team designed the ship to be spacious and welcoming. Living quarters were drawn to resemble futuristic apartments. A mess hall was added as a cafeteria and social space.

The science behind living on a ship for long periods of time posed a challenge to the show's producers. Bormanis wanted a self-sustaining ecosystem integrated into the ship in order to account for the vast quantities of water, breathable air, and supplies needed to sustain a crew. Bormanis decided that the walls of the ship would be synthetic fiber, the intent being that in the future, the fibers are an artificial means to recycle air, much like plants.

Construction and filming Edit

For the majority of scenes involving the Orville, a highly-detailed 5 ft. (1.5 m) scale model was built by Rob Legato and Glenn Derry in collaboration with Jon Favreau (who directed the pilot Old Wounds) and The Orville visual effects team. Most footage for the entire season was filmed before a blue screen in a single shoot, the same strategy used by Star Trek: The Next Generation.[15]

Space battles and other high-speed action sequences were accomplished by CGI. The physical model was imaged and transitioned to a 3D model by the previs company Halon. Over a period of nine months, team of 10 modeled and rendered video of the ship in space battles, around wormholes or explosions.[16]

Halon developed large point-of-view video to be displayed on the set of the bridge so that actors on the bridge of the Orville could get a sense of what their characters see.[16] The technique was highly effective:

[W]hen the effects team played the full rolling pitching video on the giant screen in the Orville bridge set, the crew standing inside immediately fell over - thrown by the optical illusion of the ship rolling when the set was actually static. Basically, one's brain either causes you to lean over, and thus topple over or you suffer massive motion sickness.[15]
Visual effects company Crafty Apes designed a number of additional effects for the ship, such as hugging the donkey, a battle tactic used by Lieuteant Gordon Malloy in the episode Old Wounds.[15][17]


  • Captain Mercer mentions that the ship can go ten light years per hour. Since the International Astronomical Union defines the light year as the distance light travels in one Julian year (365.25 days), that translates to 87,660 times light speed.
  • The items listed on the future releases section of the Fantastic Plastics Models includes a 1/1400 scale resin model kit of the Orville.[2]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Science Of THE ORVILLE: The Reality Of Space Travel | Season 1 | THE ORVILLE". The Orville Official YouTube. Sept. 25, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Episode Eleven: New Dimensions.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Listed is the year a character is seen. However, recurring characters (those appearing across multiple episodes) are assumed to be static members of the Orville, and are given the year of first observation and listed until the present.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Listed on crew manifest. Episode 1: Old Wounds.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Episode Three: About a Girl.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Episode Twelve: Mad Idolatry.
  7. Episode Eight: Into the Fold.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Episode Nine: Cupid's Dagger.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Episode Ten: Firestorm.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Episode Two: Command Performance.
  11. Episode Four: If the Stars Should Appear.
  12. Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 11.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 14.
  14. "The Orville Fan Podcast w/ Jeff Bond (15)". Planetary Union Podcast. Jan. 22, 2018.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Seymore, Mike. "Orville, a new Seth MacFarlane enterprise." fxguide. Sept. 14, 2017.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "The Orville". Halon Entertainment. Online. Last accessed Dec. 27, 2017.
  17. "The Orville (season 1)". Crafty Apes. Online. Last accessed Dec. 27, 2017.