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Just about any new science fiction series that's set in outer space is going to be the center of some fan-heavy conversations, so it was inevitable that The Orville would face a seemingly endless amount of Star Trek comparisons. It was one thing back when The Orville first started, but the Fox drama now has two full seasons under its (Kuiper) belt, proving its worth as a standalone project.
David A. Goodman's approach to The Orville's storytelling isn't so much different from what lots of TV creatives do out there: they take a central idea and morph it to fit the parameters of the show they're making. Just think of how many times The Simpsons has tackled a famous movie or TV show in some respect. So for any modern sci-fi show, it's only natural to hit upon familiar genre elements, if only to own them with signature flair.
Few would deny that The Orville has showcased some narratives that hit a little too close to storylines from Star Trek's multi-series canon, but the fact that the Seth MacFarlane series doesn't function like a Star Trek series is one of its saving graces. It's hard to consider any of the show's main characters being a lead in a Trek project. Except for maybe Bortus, and only for his more humorless nature.
Here, David A. Goodman talks with TrekMovie.com specifically about the differences in characters.
Now, fans might see Picard doing all kinds of unexpected things whenever Patrick Stewart's captain gets his own series on CBS All Access. However, I can accept Goodman's thoughts as they're intended, because again, The Orville's characters are a little too modern-day to wholly fit in with any iteration of the Enterprise's crew.
Some of them are a little too "Ted Danson."
All that isn't to say that The Orville only changes things up in ways that make these characters look more positive and/or enjoyable to viewers. According to David A. Goodman:
Indeed, Bortus' pornographic hologram sessions were not exactly a weekly affair on The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine. But if they were...that would have been extremely interesting to see.
Fans can expect to see more space-faring chaos when The Orville returns to Fox for Season 3. Unfortunately, given all the new NFL and WWE coverage Fox is promoting for the fall, The Orville's third season got pushed back to debut in the 2020 midseason. Now the question is, what'll happen with Halston Sage?