Star Trek Guide

The Orville Producer Comments on Star Trek Comparisons

FOX’s The Orville has drawn a lot of comparisons to Star Trek, and Star Trek: The Next Generation in particular. Creator Seth MacFarlane hasn’t fought against those comparisons since he’s a big Star Trek fan and The Orville is his love letter to the franchise.

David A. Goodman is an executive producer on The Orville, and formerly a writer/producer on Star Trek: Enterprise (a show that MacFarlane appeared on in a guest role). Speaking to Trek Movie, Goodman explains that the biggest difference between Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Orville, to him, is the flawed characters.

“I think our characters are more flawed than the Next Generation characters,” Goodman says. “We embrace that society has become much better, but people haven’t necessarily. They are still jealous; they still get pissed off. One of my favorite scenes is in the season premiere where Ed steals a shuttle and spies on Kelly with her new boyfriend, which was Seth’s idea. To me, that is great. This captain on this ship borrowing a shuttlecraft to spy on his ex-wife while she is making out with her boyfriend. That is not something you would ever see Captain Picard do. [laughs]”

Goodman extends that observation to the flaws in Planetary Union societies when compared to the harmony that existed in the Federation of Planets.

“And, we are really seeing Moclans being part of the Union causes difficulties for us and raises a lot of interesting issues this season especially which is really cool,” he says. “With this Moclan society, we are criticizing it. It is flawed and has some parallels to contemporary issues. So, I think the flaws in the characters really separate us out and that gives us our humor too. Gordon is a hugely talented helmsman, but he is a goof-off. Alara in season one is this strong girl who is sort of lovelorn and had this weird relationship with her family we see in season two. And we have bigotry, like Klyden in season two. And Klyden’s difficulties with his relationship with Bortus is not something we saw in Next Gen. It is the flaws in our characters that separates us.”

How do you think The Orville compares to Star Trek? Let us know in the comments.

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