Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Boldly Going

Last week I wrote a lengthy (of course) post on Seth MacFarlane's new sci-fi series Star Trek: The Next Generation, er, I mean The Orville. In it I said it was frankly shocking just how much MacFarlane straight up stole not borrowed, but outright swiped from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The series goes far beyond "homage" and straight to "plagiarism."

I must be taking my crazy pills again, because I'm apparently the only one who noticed this or was bothered by it. The series premiere brought in 11.6 million viewers, the highest ratings Fox has had in years. Figures.

By the way, I saw this article a couple days ago:

Ouch!!! I just rolled my eyes so hard I think I permanently injured them! Yeah, The Orville goes where no TV show has gone before. Except for Star Trek, Star Trek The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Enterprise and all fourteen theatrical movies.

Once again, just in case you think I'm imagining how much this show lifts from ST:TNG, take a look at this scene from Episode 2, Command Performance. At one point Commander Grayson is traveling in a shuttle and decides she's hungry. She walks to the back of the ship and I'll be goddamned if she doesn't order some goddamned food from a genuine goddamned ST:TNG replicator! This replicator functions exactly like the ones in ST:TNG, right down to the sound it makes as the food materializes. I honest to god did a spit take when I saw it!

Again, there's no satire or parody here. There was no attempt at making a joke or clever statement about how ST:TNG's replicators or how they work. The Orville simply has them, because this series IS ST:TNG with just a few minor name changes.

Am I missing something here? Is MacFarlane making some sort of VERY subtle joke by perfectly recreating every aspect of a pre-existing series? If so, the point's sailing far over my head.

Oh, and this week we also got a title sequence (there wasn't one at the beginning of the pilot, for some reason), and wouldn't you know it, it borrows liberally from other Trek shows. There's a shot of The Orville flying through a cloud of space gas, just like in the title sequence of Voyager.

And at one point the ship flies past a comet, much like the one in the Deep Space Nine opening (!).

And in the final scene of the title sequence, the ship's three engines power up as it prepares to go to warp, exactly like Voyager does before it zips off. It's downright incredible. I am still amazed that CBS hasn't sued the wig off Seth MacFarlane (look it up!) and Fox.

One last thing before I stop bullying this show. In the pilot episode, Lt. Alara Kitan looked like this.

In Episode 2 she suddenly looked like this. What the hell? I guess Alara was jealous of Earth girls and their luxurious eyebrows, and decided to have a couple of furry caterpillars surgically implanted on her own forehead? 

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