So far I have to confess that I have been severely underwhelmed by this season of The Orville. The humour seems more miss than hit and the writers seem to be working their way through a checklist of topical moral and social problems which are tackled without originality.
Don’t get me wrong the show is still solid and is a worthy imitation of Star Trek The Next Generation and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but I was starting to feel that the novelty of the format had worn off and the show had much work ahead of it.
This changed this week with Identity Part 1. This show gripped me from start to finish. They managed to up the drama whilst still maintaining the feel of the show. We got a glimpse of more than just the bottle show of the Orville, they had encountered a real threat one with hidden menace and a genuine, how do they get out of that? cliffhanger.
This episode has the mark of The Next Generations Season 3 cliffhanger ‘Best of Both Worlds’. This was the point where TNG went from strength to strength and here is hopin Orville will do the same. We have seen enough of the individual characters to get to know them and actually care about what will happen to them. This is a delicate process given the humorous slant the Orville places on the genre. Too much humour and the drama is lost to farce and too little and suddenly the Orville is a a very different animal and not what it set out to be. Only time will tell.