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The Orville- Seth MacFarlane's homage to Trek
Space Chopper
Caught the first episode of this last night on catch-up TV, and loved it. It's kind of like Start Trek:TNG with a few Family Guy-ish jokes, although nothing too crude. Production values are excellent, as the show looks very much like vintage Star Trek:TNG, but with much better SFX and sets, etc. Personally, I liked it, a lot. Anyone else caught this?
Vila: "I plan to live forever- or die trying..."
I have watched it sporadically. I am a Seth McFarlane fan, and the show has a certain charm, but I can't say I have been taken in by it. To me it seems a bit uncertain if it is primarily drama, spoof, or outright comedy. Perhaps these are growing pains. Minor criticisms aside, it is better than most of the series on American Television right now.

To be honest, whenever I watch an episode, instead of wanting to watch the next episode, I want to watch Red Dwarf. I suppose that is the definition of a left handed compliment.
I saw the trailer for it when I was on holiday in Hawaii back in September. Looked like a spoof of Star Trek. Looked good. Shame I left before it aired. I wanted to see it.

"We mean you no harm."
"Well we did just shoot his dad."
"Apart from shooting your dad we mean you no harm."
I saw a friend who hates all sci-fi watching this show. Forced to watch a couple minutes of it I wasn't very impressed. I did watch an officially produced youtube summary of the first half dozen episodes and I found that somewhat more promising, though the video did not feature any of the childish humor I spied in the broadcast episode I glimpsed.

Mostly my takeaway impression of this show is confirmation of what I already knew, humour and sci-fi do not usually mix well. Red Dwarf, to some, pulls it off okay. And I count myself among Red Dwarf's fandom, though less fervent than I was in previous years.

What really irks me about The Orville is that it is so obviously a rip-off of the Star Trek franchise, of this selectively sue-happy brand now held by CBS, and that while CBS allows The Orville to continue to dilute their brand with this slapstick version of Trek, they sued the pants off of Alec Peters' Axanar project until its main star died and the production had to be shuttered. Prelude to Axanar, if you watch it on Youtube or wherever you can find it now, torrent probably only, it's very high quality. A TRUE homage to Trek. But it was so good, the IP holder sued them to kill it before it was born. On the other hand we have this big network production on Fox TV that's being broadcast weekly and it's an obvious rip-off of Trek, yet takes it off in a direction no Star Trek series has ever gone off into, childish humour. That though, is okay with CBS.
Prelude to Axanar, if you watch it on Youtube or wherever you can find it now, torrent probably only, it's very high quality. A TRUE homage to Trek. But it was so good, the IP holder sued them to kill it before it was born.

Just an aside, this isn't strictly true - Alec Peters marketed it to some of the Trek stars as official Trek, and sold merchandise to fun it/him. CBS would've likely turned a blind eye as they had done in the past if it weren't for some nefarious practices involved Alec profiting from a fan film.
So not unlike this then?


While I understand Peters rubbed some the wrong way, talking about making a better Trek, The Orville recycles some writers and stars from old Trek series too. And it's not like The Orville is any stranger to merchandising. Personality issues aside, Axanar was solid, the finest fan production in the Trek universe. And no I'm not Alec Peters, I just followed the runup for two years until it got the axe. It's my understanding he's got new writer(s) on task now, chopping it up episodically and making other changes to comply with the Draconian conditions CBS's laywers set out. Yes, as an attorney, Peters should have known better. But hocking a few bags of Axanar Dark Roast likely doesn't come close to the amount of mugs and T-shirts ostensibly a competing network has made off this diluted Orville 'Trek'.
I'm not really defending the weak humour of The Orville - I don't particularly care for McFarlane and haven't even seen a full episode, but they're not wantonly infringing copyrights like Axanar did - that's the main issue, really.

Legally they're in the clear, morally... different matter depending on your viewpoint. I know of some fans who needed their TNG scratch itched and Orville suffices (don't quite understand why, but hey).
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