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Laren Farmer
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 7:12am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Absolutely Star Trek.  Loved it. 

Also glad to see that each episode has been better than the previous one.  Hope this trend continues. 

It's funny to me to read Greg's TNG thread and remember how awful that show started out.  The Orville is light years better. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 9:54am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

It was so Trek, it almost made me think this thread now belongs in Star Trek.  (Not really). 

McFarlane has been credited with writing all three episodes thus far aired but this was the first where he really tackled a subject as the old Trek might have, playing it mostly straight, and he pretty much pulled it off.  There were still throwaway "bits" (Palicki showing the idiocy of the helmsman was a funny one) but this episode upped the ante considerably.  I'm also impressed that McFarlane gave most of the funny and the meaty, serious dialogue to others. 
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John Byrne

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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 10:06am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I was a little concerned when the "deus ex machina" was brought in, somewhat out of left field, but the ending balanced that nicely.

It's not a word I am inclined to use with something as light and fluffy as TV entertainment, but this was quite a courageous episode. Kudos to all involved.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 10:07am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

It's funny to me to read Greg's TNG thread and remember how awful that show started out.  The Orville is light years better.
++++++++

This latest episode felt very TNG, particularly in terms of the editing and music.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe TNG is MacFarlane's preferred flavor of TREK.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 10:20am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

This latest episode felt very TNG, particularly in terms of the editing and music.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe TNG is MacFarlane's preferred flavor of TREK.

••

Since it seems to be most people's, I would not be surprised if that was true.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 11:19am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

TV Ratings: ‘Orville’ Suffers Heavy Drop in Move to Thursdays

Ugh.  A 50% drop in the key demographic, 39% in total viewers.  It needs to shore up those numbers quickly.  I kind of blame Fox, who really promoted this show as anything but the more serious attempt it actually appears to want to be.


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Doug Centers
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 12:15pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I can't say I didn't expect the ratings plummet.

Orville might start paring it's viewers down to a niche demographic.
That's not good news. The good news is niche shows can survive for years outside the big 4.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 12:32pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

This latest episode felt very TNG, particularly in terms of the editing and music.

----

It probably helped that the episode was directed by Brannon Braga. 
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Karl Wiebe
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 12:42pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

That third episode with the gender identity was the best one yet.  I thought the writing was as good as any average Star Trek TNG episodes (which is a high compliment).

How strange that a show like Ozark can plop all its episodes at once on Netflix and not really worry about ratings (at least I've never heard ratings being a concern on Netflix).  Meanwile, a bunch of us are all waiting and hoping each week that the Orville ratings will allow the show to survive one whole season.  I wish the Orville was on Netflix, and they could push through 15 or so episodes all at once without all this time slot / ratings headache.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 12:43pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

One of the things that impressed me was that the most dramatic episode so far also had the most laugh out loud jokes for me. 
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John Byrne

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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 1:52pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I wish the Orville was on Netflix.

•••

I don't have Netflix.

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John Byrne

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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 1:57pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

A drop in ratings is to be expected. Some sci-fi fans may have tune in and not found what they expected. Ditto some STAR TREK fans. Ditto some MacFarlane fans. And, of course, some who are none of the above may have tuned in just because it was a new show.

Of greater consideration is the weeks ahead.

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Eric Smearman
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 4:13pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Wouldn't surprise me if the bulk of disappointed viewers were people
expecting something more FAMILY GUY-flavored. I think a lot of curious
Trekkies would be pleasantly surprised.

Edited by Eric Smearman on 22 September 2017 at 4:16pm
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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 8:29pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I liked the third episode a lot more than the first two.

The production has been great for all three, but the humor just hasn;t worked for me and McFarlane, well, let's just say he's a good voice actor and leave it at that.

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Matt Reed
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Posted: 22 September 2017 at 11:11pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Sci-fi is a tough sell on network TV.  It has been for a very long time.  It's not a genre that lends itself to success in the current landscape.  I'm hard pressed to remember a sci-fi series that lasted longer than a season on network television in the last ten or twenty years.  THE ORVILLE faces a tough climb to be sure, but you have to judge it by what has come before.

The good thing?  McFarland has a history of television series not working for the mainstream networks and repositioning/selling them to cable networks.  All is not lost. 
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 1:16am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

2 episodes in to it so far. Glad I gave it a chance (baed on comments here). 

Interesting that the Orville has to drop out of warp to change course.

Oh.....and I totally did not see the dog............... the first time.

Nice plot twist to end EP2.


Edited by Robert Shepherd on 23 September 2017 at 1:21am
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 2:35am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Sci fi has never fared particularly well on Fox, which is a shame as the Orville seems to be doing Star Trek better than I feel the new Star Trek series will. Although I guess that remains to be seen. I have enjoyed every episode of the Orville so far, and this latest, the most serious episode yet, is my favorite episode of the three.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 8:13am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Third episode was great.  

 A little more traditional Star Trek in structure and a good demonstration of what The Orville is capable of when it has good direction and vision, yet still being funny.  There were still the occasional cutaways to unprofessional off-colour jokes but they are starting to integrate better with the surrounding material.  I think once The Orville has enough time to build up it's own universe it will start riffing off of it's own lore and rely less on this sort of thing.

I agree with the direction and music resembling 90's Star Trek.  Certain shots of the ship are deliberately constructed to ape Voyager -- and it's pretty obvious the Orville's 'womens-shoe in space' look is a jab at Voyager's 'upside down teaspoon in space' appearance (in fact, that's exactly what critics on usenet were calling it back in the day).   

Something else I noticed are the uniforms -- people actually unzip them when they are off duty and go to have a drink.  It always looked odd when TNG characters 'relaxed' in either their duty uniforms or they totally change out of them into generic utillity clothes -- like those bland martial arts uniforms.

Oh, and they called the holodeck out for what it is -- a game.   No one pretends it has some higher meaning, is using it for research or shitty Jane Austin-esque infotainment -- and I applaud that. Also glad it's not malfunctioning every episode it's in.  I'm sure when The Orville does it's obligatory future technology gone awry episode we'll get a good jab or two at how stilly most holodeck-centric TNG episodes were.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 8:51am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I hope THE ORVILLE doesn't come to rely too heavily on its "holodeck". When the concept was first introduced on TNG, it struck me as WAY too much like the fantasy episodes of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, where dreams and the like allowed the castaways to escape the boundaries of their situation.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 9:52am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Oh, and they called the holodeck out for what it is -- a game.   No one pretends it has some higher meaning, is using it for research or shitty Jane Austin-esque infotainment -- and I applaud that. Also glad it's not malfunctioning every episode it's in.  I'm sure when The Orville does it's obligatory future technology gone awry episode we'll get a good jab or two at how stilly most holodeck-centric TNG episodes were.
++++++++

In my rewatch of TNG (and research into the show's background), I've noticed that the holodeck is said to be used for training, an idea which is given lip-service maybe twice in the first few episodes. That concept very quickly fell by the wayside (apart from the occasional phaser shooting-range scenes, in later episodes) in favor of Sherlock Holmes and Western-themed episodes.

THE STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA very subtly and non-explicitly makes mention of what the holodeck would come down to, in "reality": crewmen becoming addicted to the holodeck's ability to generate simulations of real people for their sexual gratification. So, Ensign Ricky struck out with the real Counselor Troi? Okay, then, off to the holodeck.

This is never brought up in the episodes concerning La Forge's holodeck recreation of Dr. Leah Brahms, but it's sort of an unspoken truth of that technology.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 23 September 2017 at 9:53am
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 10:04am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

THE STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA very subtly and non-explicitly makes mention of what the holodeck would come down to, in "reality": crewmen becoming addicted to the holodeck's ability to generate simulations of real people for their sexual gratification. So, Ensign Ricky struck out with the real Counselor Troi? Okay, then, off to the holodeck.

------

There was the gag in "The Perfect Mate" where Riker goes off to Holodeck 4 after Famke Janssen's character hits on him. 
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 10:26am | IP Logged | 22 post reply


THE STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA very subtly and non-explicitly makes mention of what the holodeck would come down to, in "reality": crewmen becoming addicted to the holodeck's ability to generate simulations of real people for their sexual gratification.

I wonder if that encyclopedia entry was written before they created the character of Reg Barklay.  In a way, he's the 'everyman' the stick-up-their-ass TNG bridge crew sorely needed to round out their little clique**.  THE ORVILLE puts Reg Barklay in charge of the ship, which kind of takes the polar opposite tack.

**and then they turned him into Super-Barklay, which really misses the point of why the character was needed in the first place.
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 10:41am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

<Chief, hide your eyes if you are still watching through VOYAGER>
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VOYAGER seemed to be toying with the idea of an increasingly depressed and demoralized Janeway becoming addicted to the holodeck.   The early seasons sort of positioned Chakotay and Janeway as an unlikely couple but nothing ever came of it.  The later seasons push Chakotay further away (and ultimately into a relationship with 7 of 9) and have Janeway intimate with Tom Paris (accidentally, in lizard form).  Not many other prospects on board, and one-night stands on the alien planet of the week don't seem her style.  The holodeck is a fairly logical choice from a writers perspective.  Shame they didn't pursue it.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 10:45am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I wonder if that encyclopedia entry was written before they created the character of Reg Barklay.  In a way, he's the 'everyman' the stick-up-their-ass TNG bridge crew sorely needed to round out their little clique**.  THE ORVILLE puts Reg Barklay in charge of the ship, which kind of takes the polar opposite tack.
+++++++

It was written after Barclay was introduced. The bit I cited is in the italicized (behind-the-scenes notes) portion of the "holodeck" entry, in which it's stated that there could be questions regarding what constitutes fair and/or objectionable use of the holodeck by adults.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 23 September 2017 at 10:46am
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 23 September 2017 at 11:17am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

This is never brought up in the episodes concerning La Forge's holodeck recreation of Dr. Leah Brahms, but it's sort of an unspoken truth of that technology.
----------------------------------------
It was sort of brought up in the episode where Geordi met the real Brahms, and she discovered her simulated counterpart, and assumed that Geordi had been using it as a sex doll.

And once it jumped over to DS9 in the form of Quark's Holosuites, it was pretty clearly a virtual brothel.
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