The Orville, S2.14: “The Road Not Taken” offers a familiar yet enjoyable ride…

****BLACK-HOLE SIZED SPOILERS!!**** The Orville continues to revisit ‘roads not taken’ with various Star Trek story elements, while executing them with enough panache, humor and entertainment value to make them well worth revisiting. Last week’s episode, “Tomorrow…” was a nearly scene-specific remake of Star Trek: The Next Gen’s “Second Chances” (both saw First Officers dealing…

The Orville, S2.13, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” is a blast from Kelly’s past…

****PLANETARY RING-SIZED SPOILERS AHEAD!!**** The Orville’s latest, “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” (a title alluding to Shakespeare’s “MacBeth”) is, in many ways, another Star Trek: The Next Generation remake. In this case, the Commander Riker-centered “Second Chances”, which saw Riker facing a transporter-created doppelgänger unknowingly left behind on an away mission. The Orville comes at…

The Orville, S2.12: “Sanctuary” tackles gender inequality…

“The Orville” continues to explore Star Trek-style allegory but with its own unique brand of humor, and this week was another quality entry that managed that delicate juggling act, delivering scathing commentary on international gender inequality with…Dolly Parton. The Story. Capt. Ed Mercer (writer/creator/producer/star Seth MacFarlane) and his first and second officers, Kelly Grayson (Adrianne…

The Orville, S2.11: “Lasting Impressions” leaves a few…

The latest episode of “The Orville” is once again focused on the previously poorly-and-underused character of Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes). Gordon was the class clown/smart-ass helmsman whose only other function besides flying used to be throwing out one-liners and bad jokes. This season he’s really coming into his own in a strong way. The…

By Grabthar’s Hammer, 1999’s “Galaxy Quest” salutes sci-fi fandom…

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the 1999 sci-fi comedy “Galaxy Quest”, written by David Howard & Ron Gordon and directed by Dean Parisot, is quite possibly the greatest Star Trek movie never made. “Galaxy Quest” really is “Star Trek,” as much as “The Orville” is also Star Trek by any other name. But unlike…

The Orville, S2.10, “The Blood Of Patriots”…

The latest episode of The Orville, “The Blood of Patriots”, is written (once again) by series’ star/producer/writer/creator Seth MacFarlane (“Captain Ed Mercer”), and is directed by Rebecca Rodriguez, a former editor from “Machete.” “Blood…” focuses on the character of Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes), the wiseass helmsman who, until season 2, was little more than a…

The Orville S2.8: “Identity, part 1″…

****PLANET SIZED SPOILERS AHEAD!!**** “Identity part 1”, the title of this week’s cliffhanger episode of “The Orville,” has a double meaning. While it primarily refers to the Kaylon android science officer Isaac’s cybernetic race, it also hints at something deeper…the identity of the series itself. After “Identity Part 1”, the amiable, lighthearted sci-fi ‘dramedy’ “Orville”…

The Orville S2.7: “Deflectors” are definitely up and running…

The Orville continues to thrive in its second season with “Deflectors”, once again taking a reused story concept from Star Trek: The Next Generation (in this case, TNG’s “The Outcast”) and reimagining it enough to be both fresh and relevant for a new age. I’m intrigued (often amazed) by the ways in which star/producer/writer/director Seth…

The Orville S2.6: “A Happy Refrain” hits a refresh button on human/cyborg relations…

The Orville continues to be a sci-fi ‘dramedy’ that quietly pushes boundaries established by its antecedent, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (to which The Orville is, in many ways, a spiritual sequel). ****UNION STARSHIP-SIZED SPOILERS!!**** “A Happy Refrain” is another of The Orville’s character-driven ‘bottle shows’ (episodes which generally take place more or less entirely…

The Orville takes on pseudoscience in S2.5’s “All the World is Birthday Cake”…

****UNION STARSHIP-SIZED SPOILERS!!**** Once again, The Orville takes a familiar Star Trek-trope, in this case the event of first contact between a sophisticated spacefaring race and a less-developed planet. Star Trek has long held to its ‘prime directive’ that forbids revealing the existence of spacefaring civilizations to such planets unless they have asked for help,…

The Orville, S2.4: “Nothing Left On Earth Excepting Fishes”…

The Orville’s latest episode, “Nothing Left On Earth Excepting Fishes” (a direct quote from “The King And I”) shines a spotlight on Captain Ed Mercer (series creator/producer/star Seth MacFarlane), while the subplot focuses on the captain’s best friend, the less-than-genius Lt. Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes). While Gordon’s subplot is primarily played for laughs (with just…