Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Orville to the Rescue!

I should’ve waited a few days before making the previous post to the ol’ blog. Mainly because, The Orville (Fox TV/ City-TV in Canada) has come to my rescue with a tightly-plotted and ultimately rewarding alternate universe tale.

The Orville has rapidly become my go-to show.  The reasons aren’t hard to find: well into its second season, where it has matured, the show has grown beyond its roots as an affectionate homage to Star Trek. With its emphasis on character development and episodic storytelling with positive messages within larger arcs, executive producer, and star Seth MacFarlane has created a series that stands on its own two feet.

Now with the season (and possible series) finale, The Road Not Taken, MacFarlane (who plays the Orville’s skipper Ed Mercer) takes us out on a high note to a universe that would not exist save for a decision made by Kelly Grayson (Ed’s first officer on the Orville) not do go out with him on a second date seven years ago due to a time travel accident in the previous episode.

I won’t try to recap the whole season or even the last two episodes, except to say the new reality created by Kelly’s decision is a dark place. In the last nine months, The Kaylon, a race of AI beings with a genocidal bent, have in the last nine months,  exterminated half the sentient biological life in the galaxy. In order to save the universe and reset the timeline to where it should be, a crew member must go back in time to get past Kelly to go out with past Ed. Now, it's safe to say alternate universe stories are favourites of mine. In The Road Not Taken, we do exactly that - go down a different road where people  –  and the whole universe they inhabit  –  is different. This is storytelling at its best.

I won’t say any more, except the episode ends on a hopeful, if not positive note, which is true to the series. If you don't know the show, I recommend you give it a try. As for Fox, I can only urge them to please renew The Orville.

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