Which Series is Better? Star Trek: The Next Generation or The Orville?
Almost from the beginning, Star Trek fans have celebrated the show's concept in huge numbers. An expected 500 faithful at the first convention in 1972 ballooned to over 3,000 fans of Star Trek for a one-day event. Today, millions continue to follow the saga with firm loyalty.
Yet comparisons have emerged with a new TV show, The Orville by Seth Macfarlane. It quickly became apparent to many that the Orville TV Show took several design cues from one of the Star Trek franchise favorites.
Fans of Star Trek noted definite references to Star Trek The Next Generation. Yet, you might not know the similarities if you haven't seen the Orville TV show yet. This guide breaks down the elements that make these shows alike in several ways.
Seth MacFarlane made no attempt to hide his homage to Star Trek Next Generation. Captain Picard's crew included the best of humanity, performing elaborate tasks. Alien life forms also excelled in their chosen fields.
Picard's bridge includes a First Officer with excellent credentials. A Klingon runs ship security, and the engineer is a stalwart for efficiency. Every member of the Enterprise displays compassion for their shipmates.
On the Orville TV Show, many characters are interchangeable with Star Trek. The doctor is also a family woman, this time with two young sons.
The sentient AI life form is integral to maintaining the ship's systems. The Kaylon entity is a stripped-down version of Data from Star Trek Next Generation. Seth MacFarlane uses the robot as a conduit to explore human emotion, as did Commander Data.
Captain Ed Mercer has a first officer and security. The only apparent difference is that Orville TV show has a female Number One. The security chief is a stoic yet dedicated officer.
Rather than a ship's counselor, the Orville TV show features a bloblike creature that imparts wisdom. Yet, despite some personality clashes, the crew pulls together as one.
Each cast member experiences some life-altering experience that further develops their character. Fans of Star Trek can take heart in that most episodes are individual entities. With rare exceptions, they don't need to adhere to a timeline.
On Star Trek Next Generation, bridge officers dress in red and gold tunics. The Orville TV show crew wears blue and orange. The bridge configuration resembles the Enterprise in several ways.
Two command chairs occupy the center of the room, with science stations all around. The helms crew sits directly in front of the bridge screen.
Moving to other decks, the Orville ship seems more earthy than Enterprise. The ship has a deck for simulated fantasies like the Star Trek Next Generation holodeck. The cargo bays look identical.
Sick Bay maintains its name but looks more extensive on the Orville. Hallways are much broader than Enterprise, and crew quarters look more like they would on Earth.
There are cozy restaurants and an open concept mess. The Orville TV show does not refer to food replicators. It seems that Seth MacFarlane made a conscious effort to keep his ship relatable to spaces at home.
The shell of the TV show The Orville appears as a modified version of Enterprise. The rounded hull is similar in shape and design. However, the Star Trek nacelles are gone; the back looks like a car's wind scoop.
The Orville TV show fills a void in story style that left with the end of Star Trek Next Generation. What made this franchise successful was the episodic nature of the series. Fans of Star Trek didn't need to follow a timeline to appreciate the adventures of Captain Picard.
Instead, each episode was a self-contained tale with a moral that works its way to a conclusion. Seth MacFarlane created the Orville TV show in the same image. While developing each character during the season, MacFarlane taught life lessons.
The TV show The Orville feels familiar to many Star Trek fans because of how the characters interact. We learned more about the crew each week while the characters learned about each other. Yet that is where the similarities end between Star Trek Next Generation and The Orville TV show.
The Orville TV Show Difference
As expected from Seth MacFarlane, the Orville TV show takes a less serious look at space travel. The humans traveling the galaxy are not the best of humanity.
Instead, the Orville TV show characters have flaws and humor. We mortals can relate to the tiniest issues that arise on board. Who wouldn't want to know if they could wear shorts on the bridge?
Star Trek fans adore the excellence of the Enterprise crew. And there are episodes where humor breaks the tension on board. But on the TV show The Orville, the crew seems more ordinary, with everyday problems.
The Orville TV show makes casual sci-fi appealing by not taking itself seriously. The plots are easy to follow without investing in a subculture. The Orville TV show doesn't get caught up in maintaining timelines.
The crew's attempt at time travel is a spectacular failure. But it's something we humans have done as we advance technology. So, at least with the series, we can laugh about their mistakes.
The humor that emerges in The Orville TV show hits us like a familiar friend. We can laugh at these people because they are like us. Seth MacFarlane has created an homage to a beloved franchise while being unique.
The Orville TV show does not attempt to reinvent the future. Crew members travel to alien worlds by shuttle. There is no device like the teleportation pad on Star Trek Next Generation.
Which Show Is Better?
The Orville TV show may not have gotten produced without its predecessor. The framework ties itself to Star Trek Next Generation like a necessary accessory.
The result is a fresh look at the stars with a familiar style. Fans of Star Trek can feel the similarities and embrace them. New fans of science fiction television get a different approach to space travel.
Each show stands on its own, and both are worth the time investment. But remember, despite the utopian tones, danger always lurks.
Star Trek fans and the Orville alike know what happens to ensigns who wear red. So take care and learn more about the shows you love by joining our website today.