Hulu just unveiled a new trailer, key art, and synopsis for the long-awaited third season of “The Orville: New Horizons,” which will premiere on June 2, 2022, according to the streamer. The show was created by longtime “Star Trek” fan Seth MacFarlane, who, according to Memory Alpha, played the character Rivers in the “Star Trek: Enterprise” episodes “The Forgotten” and “Affliction.” Though “The Orville” is regarded as a science-fiction comedy, and particularly was so early on in its run, many “Star Trek” fans have recognized the show’s “Star Trek” vibes and the fact that numerous “Star Trek” actors and crew have worked on the show.
“Seth MacFarlane’s epic space adventure series ‘The Orville’ returns exclusively as a Hulu original series,” read the brief season-three synopsis sent to the media on May 12, 2022. “Set 400 years in the future, ‘The Orville: New Horizons’ finds the crew of the U.S.S. Orville continuing their mission of exploration, as they navigate both the mysteries of the universe and the complexities of their own interpersonal relationships.”
‘The Orville: New Horizons’ Trailer
More specifically, “The Orville” follows the adventures of Captain Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) and his crew aboard the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship. The cast also includes Adrianne Palicki as Commander Kelly Grayson, Mercer’s ex-wife and first officer; Scott Grimes as Lt. Gordon Malloy, the helmsman and Mercer’s wise-cracking best friend; Penny Johnson Jerald as Dr. Claire Finn, the ship’s experienced and wise medic; Peter Macon as Lt. Commander Bortus, an honorable Klingon-like alien who hails from a single-sex species; J. Lee as Lt. Cmdr. John LaMarr; Anne Winters as Charly Burke; Jessica Szohr as Talla Keyali; Chad L. Coleman as Klyden; and Mark Jackson as Isaac.
The season-three trailer suggests that Mercer and crew are riding the Orville into particularly dangerous territory, as an alien grants them passage but warns, “Do not expect us to save you.” Mercer reasons that “Exploration always carries risk. I say we risk it.” Dr. Finn points out, “Everything forbidden is sweet.” Then, rallying his crew, Mercer delivers a short speech that ends with — minor spoiler ahead — a “Star Wars” reference.
Seasons one and two of “The Orville” aired on FOX, with the first episode premiering on September 10, 2017, according to “The Orville” Fandom page. Fox renewed it for a second season on November 2, 2017, with the sophomore season launching on December 20, 2018. Fox renewed “The Orville” for a third season on May 11, 2019, though a number of factors, including the pandemic and a shift from Fox to Hulu, led to several delays. MacFarlane made the announcement on July 20, 2019, during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, that “The Orville” would shift to Hulu for its third season.
More than three dozen “Star Trek” actors and crew have been part of “The Orville,” according to the Internet Movie Database. Brannon Braga and David A. Goodman, for example, are among the latter show’s producers, with Braga also having directed four episodes, according to the Internet Movie Database. Jonathan Frakes, IMDB notes, has directed four episodes. Penny Johnson Jerald played the recurring character Kassidy Yates in 15 episodes of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” Scott Grimes guest-starred in the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode “Evolution,” although, according to Memory Alpha, most of his scenes hit the cutting room floor.
Frakes, Sirtis & MacFarlane on the Set of ‘The Orville’
Among other “Star Trek” cast and behind-the-scenes talent who have crossed over to “The Orville,” according to IMDB, are Marina Sirtis, Robert Picardo, James L. Conway, Robert Duncan McNeill, Tim Russ, Andre Bormanis, Joe Menosky, Victor Garber, Molly Hagan, Brian George, Brian Thompson, Gwen Van Dam, Ron Canada, D. Elliot Woods, J. Paul Boehmer, F. Murray Abraham, Steven Culp, Jason Alexander, John Fleck, JD Cullum, Robert Legato, Joe Bauer, Joel Swetow, James Horan, John Billingsley, Robert Knepper, Derek Mears, Tony Todd, and Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, Lamont Thompson, Loren Lester, Doug Drexler, and Marvin V. Rush, among others.
MacFarlane, in a 2019 interview with Deadline, discussed the influence of “Star Trek” on “The Orville. He said, “‘Star Trek’ was the first franchise to bring it to a point that reached the mainstream in such a massive way. In many ways, it does have ownership on this idea of a captain on a bridge of his spaceship instead of a sailing ship. But it’s become the convention. You can’t help but go there if you’re doing this type of show. … You just try to start by learning from what your predecessors have figured out and then take it off in its own direction.”