The Orville
Season 1
Promotional poster
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes12
Original networkFox
Original releaseSeptember 10 (2017-09-10) –
December 7, 2017 (2017-12-07)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of episodes

The first season of the comedy-drama science fiction television series The Orville was broadcast on Fox from September 10 to December 7, 2017. The series was created and written by Seth MacFarlane who stars as Captain Ed Mercer, who commands the Orville. The series also stars Adrianne Palicki as Commander Kelly Grayson, Mercer's ex-wife. The Orville is set about 400 years in the future and follows the crew of the titular spaceship who face the dangers and wonders of outer space, while dealing with the familiar problems of everyday life.


Storylines include Ed and Kelly repairing their relationship, Alara facing challenges as a Union officer, Bortus questioning his people's culture following the birth of his child and the crew's conflict with the Krill.





The Orville was written by Seth MacFarlane as a spec script.[1] Fox ordered thirteen episodes for the first season, but only twelve were broadcast due to a gap in broadcast dates caused by the broadcaster's lengthy Christmas programming.[2][3] The leftover episode, "Primal Urges", aired during season 2, which was ordered by Fox on November 2, 2017.[4]


The Orville's season 1 episodes
No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
11"Old Wounds"Jon FavreauSeth MacFarlaneSeptember 10, 2017 (2017-09-10)1LAB018.56[5]
Twenty-fifth-century Union command officer Ed Mercer divorces his wife, Kelly Grayson, after catching her cheating on him, prompting an emotional crisis that severely affects his career. A year later, he accepts a position as captain of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. To his dismay, his ex-wife has been assigned as his first officer. During the Orville's first mission, the hostile alien Krill captain (Joel Swetow) attempts to steal a device that accelerates time, which has both beneficial and dangerous applications. Mercer and Grayson rig the device to destroy itself and the Krill vessel.
22"Command Performance"Robert Duncan McNeillSeth MacFarlaneSeptember 17, 2017 (2017-09-17)1LAB036.63[6]
The technologically advanced Calivon capture and imprison Mercer and Grayson for a new exhibit in a zoo filled with humanoid species from throughout the galaxy. Alara is left in command of the Orville, as Bortus has laid an egg and must incubate it. Alara is unsure of herself, but gains confidence with Claire's mentoring. Mercer and Grayson speculate whether they could have made their relationship work, but conclude they were incompatible for a long-term romantic relationship, despite their strong camaraderie. Admiral Tucker orders Alara to return the Orville to Earth rather than approach the powerful Calivon in a rescue attempt; Alara disobeys orders and retrieves Mercer and Grayson, along with a kidnapped alien child, by trading an archive of Earth's 21st-century reality television for them. Mercer presents Alara with a medal of honor, and he and Grayson are certain she will not be disciplined for disobeying a direct order. A rare female offspring hatches from Bortus's egg, stunning him and Klyden.
33"About a Girl"Brannon BragaSeth MacFarlaneSeptember 21, 2017 (2017-09-21)1LAB044.05[7]
When Doctor Finn refuses Bortus and Klyden's request for her to perform sex reassignment surgery on their daughter, a standard Moclan practice on the rare occasion a female is born, they petition Mercer to order the procedure. Mercer refuses, as he (and the rest of the crew) object to performing such a procedure on a healthy infant. Bortus and Klyden then arrange to have the procedure performed on a Moclan vessel. Bortus changes his mind after watching the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special; Klyden wants to proceed, revealing that he was born female. The case is arbitrated on Moclus, where Grayson represents Bortus; Grayson disputes male superiority by demonstrating Alara's immense physical strength and Gordon's lesser intelligence. Mercer locates Heveena, an elderly female Moclan who testifies that she has lived a secluded but happy and fulfilling life. Under the male pseudonym "Gondus Elden," she became an esteemed novelist on Moclus. Klyden and the tribunal are unconvinced, and the infant undergoes the surgery. Despite their disagreement, Bortus and Klyden are committed to one another and to giving their son, Topa, a good life.
44"If the Stars Should Appear"James L. ConwaySeth MacFarlaneSeptember 28, 2017 (2017-09-28)1LAB023.70[8]
The Orville encounters an immense, 2,000-year-old derelict ship drifting into a star. Mercer, Grayson, Kitan, Finn, and Isaac enter, discovering an artificial biosphere and a civilization of three million who worship an entity called Dorahl. They are unaware they are on a ship. Grayson is held prisoner by their theocratic dictator, Hamelac, who imposes a death penalty on "Reformers" who believe anything exists beyond their known world. While Bortus takes the Orville to save the colony ship DrieAnn from a Krill attack, Grayson's crewmates rescue her and lead a group of Reformers to the alien ship's bridge. An ancient video recording from Captain Jahavus Dorahl (played by Liam Neeson) reveals that it is a generation ship disabled by an ion storm. Isaac initiates repairs and opens the hull's window, enabling the populace to see stars for the first time, moving even Hamelac. Mercer arranges for Union staff to train the inhabitants to operate their ship. Meanwhile, Klyden grows frustrated that Bortus's duties leave him little time for family.
55"Pria"Jonathan FrakesSeth MacFarlaneOctober 5, 2017 (2017-10-05)1LAB053.43[9]
The Orville rescues Captain Pria Levesque (played by Charlize Theron) from her imperiled mining ship. The beautiful Pria charms the crew and romances Mercer. Grayson grows suspicious of Pria, and enlists Kitan to investigate. They discover a mysterious device hidden in Pria's quarters. Using the device that she integrated into the ship's systems, Pria hijacks the Orville, navigating it out of a dark matter storm. Pria is a time-traveling 29th-century artifact dealer. History records that the storm destroyed the Orville, which Pria transports to the future via a wormhole to sell it to a collector; the crew is to live out their lives in the 29th century. Isaac transfers his consciousness to the ship's computer and regains control, enabling Malloy to return the Orville to its own time. Mercer orders the wormhole's destruction causing Pria to vanish as if she had never existed. Meanwhile, Malloy pranks Isaac by sticking Mr. Potato Head pieces on his head and encourages him to retaliate with his own practical joke, a concept unfamiliar to Isaac, who responds by cutting off Malloy's leg (which is subsequently quickly regrown).
66"Krill"Jon CassarDavid A. GoodmanOctober 12, 2017 (2017-10-12)1LAB063.37[10]
After recovering an intact Krill shuttle, Mercer and Malloy are ordered to pose as Krill soldiers to board one of their vessels and obtain a copy of the Ankhana, a sacred religious text ("the Krill Bible" as it's described) via which the Krill believe by divine right they are superior to all other species in the universe. Mercer and Malloy are forced to change priorities after learning the Krill plan to detonate a powerful bomb over a remote Union colony. Rather than destroy the bomb, and therefore the ship, they exploit the Krill's natural weakness to sunlight to eliminate the crew while sparing a classroom of children and their teacher, a female Krill named Teleya. She warns Mercer that his actions will only reinforce the Krill's hatred for the Union.
77"Majority Rule"Tucker GatesSeth MacFarlaneOctober 26, 2017 (2017-10-26)1LAB074.18[11]
Grayson and an undercover team land on Sargas 4, a planet with a culture similar to 21st-century Earth, to search for two missing anthropologists. They find that the people of Sargas 4 practice Absolute democracy, where everything is decided by a majority vote among the populace, even what information is accepted as truth. LaMarr is arrested after what is considered inappropriate public behavior and receives more than a million "down" votes by viewers watching a televised clip of the film footage. LaMarr must persuade the public to pardon him or else be subjected to "treatment" for his actions. Meanwhile, Alara and Claire locate one of the missing anthropologists who is in an irreversible lobotomized state, having been sentenced by public opinion because he didn't offer his seat on a subway train to a pregnant woman who he probably didn't notice. With LaMarr facing a final vote to determine his guilt, Mercer brings one of the planet's inhabitants, Lysella, aboard the Orville after she witnesses Alara's true appearance. She explains that the "Master Feed" works by the public watching the film footage and then mass voting on it. Isaac is able to hack into the planet's system and upload doctored sympathetic images of LaMarr that narrowly swings the vote in his favor. LaMarr and the crew return to the ship and depart. Lysella decides against taking part in a public vote, contemplating the advice the Orville crew gave her about the difference between opinion and knowledge.
88"Into the Fold"Brannon BragaBrannon Braga & Andre BormanisNovember 2, 2017 (2017-11-02)1LAB083.83[12]
While traveling to a recreational planet in a shuttle, Isaac, Finn, and her sons, Marcus and Ty, fall into a spatial fold, and crash land on a planet a thousand light-years away from their original location. The planet, devastated by famine and disease, is populated by cannibals. During the landing, the shuttle breaks in half, separating Finn from the others. She is captured by a survivalist named Drogen. While she works to escape, Isaac, unfamiliar with the care of human children, is forced to protect Ty and Marcus while simultaneously attempting to repair the shuttle's communication systems and send a distress signal. Ty becomes ill with the planet's indigenous disease. After Finn kills Drogen and reunites with the others, Isaac and Marcus hold off a cannibal attack long enough for the Orville to rescue them. After Finn cures Ty's infection, Isaac tells her that, for all the children's faults, he still thinks of them fondly.
99"Cupid's Dagger"Jamie BabbitLiz HeldensNovember 9, 2017 (2017-11-09)1LAB093.69[13]
The Orville is dispatched to mediate talks between the Navarians and the Bruidians, two alien species at a centuries-old stalemate over which race lays proper claim over the planet Lapovius. Also assigned to the matter is Darulio (Rob Lowe), the Retepsian whose affair with Grayson a year prior ended her marriage to Mercer. He will scan an ancient artifact from the planet for DNA to reveal which species was the original inhabitant. Unbeknownst to the crew, Darulio secretes a powerful sex pheromone during his mating cycle which affects the crew, resulting in trysts between Darulio and Grayson, Darulio and Mercer, and Finn and Yaphit. The affected officers are incapacitated, causing the Navarian and Bruidian delegates to cancel the mediation, and a full-scale battle in orbit around the planet ensues. To avert the crisis, Darulio and Alara expose the ambassadors to a modified version of the pheromone, causing a temporary mutual infatuation that prompts a ceasefire. DNA test results reveal that the planet's inhabitants were common ancestors to both species, legitimizing a mutual claim to the planet. When Grayson asks Darulio if he was in heat when they had their tryst, he says, "maybe".
1010"Firestorm"Brannon BragaCherry ChevapravatdumrongNovember 16, 2017 (2017-11-16)1LAB103.32[14]
When Lt. Payne is trapped beneath debris during a plasma storm, Alara's pyrophobia causes her to hesitate, resulting in his death. Blaming herself, she tenders her resignation, which Mercer declines. He suggests she discover the source of her fear. Her parents (Robert Picardo and Molly Hagan) tell her that when she was an infant, her mother fell asleep while cradling her when a kitchen fire broke out. Alara's cries awoke her mother in time. Soon, the Orville encounters strange phenomena, including a scary clown, a giant spider that devours Malloy, and murderous versions of Finn and Isaac. It is revealed that Alara is in the holographic simulator. She ordered Isaac to create a program to simulate all her potential fears. Finn erased her short-term memory to ensure an authentic reaction to the program. She completes the program, but Mercer threatens to court martial her for invoking Directive 38 (allowing the chief of security to override the captain's clearance) to prevent anyone from prematurely aborting the simulation. He decides to be lenient, impressed by Alara's ability to overcome every obstacle.
1111"New Dimensions"Kelly CroninSeth MacFarlaneNovember 30, 2017 (2017-11-30)1LAB113.63[15]
With Lt. Newton leaving the Orville, Mercer must find a new chief engineer. Although Yaphit is next in line for the position, Cmdr. Grayson discovers that LaMarr has been concealing his intellectual gifts, stemming from his wanting to be accepted by his childhood peers while growing up. Grayson convinces Mercer to assign LaMarr to lead an engineering team assignment in order to evaluate him as a candidate. When Mercer learns that Grayson similarly advocated for Admiral Halsey to consider him for the Orville's captaincy, he becomes wracked with doubt and resentment. Grayson insists that he received the position on merit alone. Halsey confirms that Mercer's performance has borne this out. Meanwhile, the Orville encounters a thief with a cache of plasma rifles stolen from the Krill. He is killed when he passes into a region of two-dimensional space. To elude the Krill pursuers, the Orville takes refuge in that region. When the protective quantum bubble around the ship begins to fail, LaMarr rises to the occasion, and he and Yaphit help the ship escape the realm. LaMarr is made chief engineer and promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander.
1212"Mad Idolatry"Brannon BragaSeth MacFarlaneDecember 7, 2017 (2017-12-07)1LAB133.54[16]
Grayson leads a shuttle team that crashes on a suddenly appearing planet with a Bronze Age society. After leaving, the crew discovers that the planet phases in to the universe for a short period every 11 days as 700 years passes on the planet. They discover that their first visit has resulted in a religion that worships Kelly Grayson and has since grown into a theocracy resembling Earth's middle ages. Admiral Ozawa reprimands Mercer for omitting mention of the contamination, and orders no further contact with the planet. Mercer and Grayson defy this order by returning to the planet to reveal the truth to the society's religious leader, but a subordinate assassinates him. By the planet's next appearance, its society is comparable to early-21st-century Earth, with religious bickering and strife. Resolving to end the suffering, Isaac stays on the planet when it phases out, spending 700 years with them. When the planet reemerges, it has progressed to interstellar space travel, and two of its representatives return Isaac to the Orville where they inform the crew that despite the tumultuous effect his arrival created, its society evolved away from worshiping Cmdr. Grayson. They suggest that as they progress over millennia ahead, they may study the Union.


Critical response

The first season of The Orville was met with a negative response from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a 30% approval rating from critics, with an average rating of 5.2/10 based on 53 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "An odd jumble of campiness and sincerity, homage, and satire, The Orville never quite achieves liftoff."[17] On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, it has a score of 36 out of 100, based on 21 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[18]


Viewership and ratings per episode of The Orville
No. Title Air date Rating/share
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Old Wounds" September 10, 2017 2.7/9 8.56[5]
2 "Command Performance" September 17, 2017 2.2/8 6.63[6] 0.9 2.42 3.1 9.05[19]
3 "About a Girl" September 21, 2017 1.1/4 4.05[7]
4 "If the Stars Should Appear" September 28, 2017 1.1/4 3.70[8] 1.0 3.11 2.1 6.81[20]
5 "Pria" October 5, 2017 0.9/3 3.43[9] 1.2 3.35 2.1 6.79[21]
6 "Krill" October 12, 2017 1.0/4 3.37[10] 1.1 3.32 2.1 6.69[22]
7 "Majority Rule" October 26, 2017 1.2/5 4.18[11] 1.1 3.11 2.3 7.29[23]
8 "Into the Fold" November 2, 2017 1.0/4 3.83[12] 1.0 2.89 2.0 6.72[24]
9 "Cupid's Dagger" November 9, 2017 1.0/4 3.69[13] 1.1 3.01 2.1 6.70[25]
10 "Firestorm" November 16, 2017 0.9/3 3.32[14] 1.0 2.83 1.9 6.13[26]
11 "New Dimensions" November 30, 2017 0.9/3 3.63[15] 1.0 2.86 1.9 6.49[27]
12 "Mad Idolatry" December 7, 2017 0.9/4 3.54[16] 1.0 2.97 1.9 6.53[28]

Awards and nominations

Award nominations for The Orville, season 1
Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 International Film Music Critics Association Awards Best Original Score for Television Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, Andrew Cottee Won [29]
Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards Best Special Make-Up Effects – Television and New Media Series Howard Berger, Tami Lane, Garrett Immel Nominated [30]
ICG Publicists Awards Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Television Award Erin Moody Nominated [31]
Saturn Awards (44th) Best Science Fiction Television Series The Orville Won [32]
Best Actor on Television Seth MacFarlane Nominated
Best Actress on Television Adrianne Palicki Nominated

Home media release

The season was released on DVD on December 11, 2018.[33]


The soundtrack album for season 1 was released by La-La Land Records on January 22, 2019.[34]

Disc 1
1."The Orville Main Title"Bruce Broughton 1:04
2."Shuttle to the Ship"Bruce BroughtonOld Wounds (1LAB01)1:54
3."She Requested It / Departing for Landing"Bruce BroughtonOld Wounds (1LAB01)1:09
4."Krill Attack / Shuttle Escape"Bruce BroughtonOld Wounds (1LAB01)4:14
5."Emergency Docking"Bruce BroughtonOld Wounds (1LAB01)2:27
6."Kelly Has a Plan / Asking Kelly to Stay"Bruce BroughtonOld Wounds (1LAB01)3:51
7."The Bio-Ship / Exploring the Hull"Joel McNeelyIf the Stars Should Appear (1LAB02)2:22
8."Exploring the Bio-Ship"Joel McNeelyIf the Stars Should Appear (1LAB02)2:45
9."Finding Alara / Space Battle"Joel McNeelyIf the Stars Should Appear (1LAB02)2:53
10."Dorahl / The Roof Opens"Joel McNeelyIf the Stars Should Appear (1LAB02)4:05
11."Distress Signal Received / Alara Freaks Out / Explosion"John DebneyCommand Performance (1LAB03)5:54
12."Alara Gets the Cold Shoulder / Approaching Calivon"John DebneyCommand Performance (1LAB03)3:52
13."Extermination Process Continues / Bortus Hatches His Egg"John DebneyCommand Performance (1LAB03)2:39
14."Western Simulation"Joel McNeelyAbout a Girl (1LAB04)1:01
15."Asteroid Destroyed / Relieved of Duty"Joel McNeelyAbout a Girl (1LAB04)1:07
16."Arriving on Moclus"Joel McNeelyAbout a Girl (1LAB04)1:42
17."Trip to the Mountains"Joel McNeelyAbout a Girl (1LAB04)2:15
18."Tribunal Adjourned / Epilogue"Joel McNeelyAbout a Girl (1LAB04)3:27
19."Rescuing Pria"John DebneyPria (1LAB05)3:51
20."Searching Pria's Room / Dark Matter Storm / Navigating the Storm"John DebneyPria (1LAB05)4:06
21."Approaching the Coordinates / Isaac Saves the Crew"John DebneyPria (1LAB05)3:19
22."Pria's Theme"John DebneyPria (1LAB05)1:41
23."Distress Call"Joel McNeelyKrill (1LAB06)1:29
24."Krill Attack the Orville"Joel McNeelyKrill (1LAB06)2:49
25."Bomb Found"Joel McNeelyKrill (1LAB06)4:54
26."Intruder Alert / Preparing the Weapon"Joel McNeelyKrill (1LAB06)2:59
27."Turning on the Lights / New Enemies"Joel McNeelyKrill (1LAB06)2:29
Total length:76:59
Disc 2
1."Lysella Wakes Up / Looks Like Earth / Rescue Mission"John DebneyMajority Rule (1LAB07)1:39
2."John Gets Arrested / Alara Seems Suspicious"John DebneyMajority Rule (1LAB07)2:05
3."Ed Has a Plan"John DebneyMajority Rule (1LAB07)1:33
4."Bringing Lysella Aboard / Casting the Votes / Their World Can Do Better"John DebneyMajority Rule (1LAB07)6:06
5."Sucked In"Joel McNeelyInto the Fold (1LAB08)2:44
6."Claire Breaks Out"Joel McNeelyInto the Fold (1LAB08)1:26
7."The Fight"Joel McNeelyInto the Fold (1LAB08)1:21
8."Claire Returns to the Wreck"Joel McNeelyInto the Fold (1LAB08)2:11
9."The Attack"Joel McNeelyInto the Fold (1LAB08)1:55
10."Claire Thanks Isaac"Joel McNeelyInto the Fold (1LAB08)1:21
11."Archaeologist Arrives / Claire Visits Yaphit / Claire Kisses Yaphit"John DebneyCupid's Dagger (1LAB09)3:12
12."Fleets Approach / War Before Peace / Cleared for Duty / Darulio Departs"John DebneyCupid's Dagger (1LAB09)4:38
13."Plasma Storm / It Was Late Evening"John DebneyFirestorm (1LAB10)3:08
14."Alara Blows off Steam / There Was a Clown"John DebneyFirestorm (1LAB10)3:04
15."Alara Hallucinates / Deserted Ship"John DebneyFirestorm (1LAB10)6:55
16."Cannot End Simulation / Back to Normal"John DebneyFirestorm (1LAB10)4:03
17."Damage Report / What Happened to the Plants?"Andrew CotteeNew Dimensions (1LAB11)2:00
18."Krill Ships Approaching"Andrew CotteeNew Dimensions (1LAB11)2:30
19."Within the Anomaly / Time to Reflect / Quantum Bubble Is Deteriorating"Andrew CotteeNew Dimensions (1LAB11)2:25
20."Engaging Tractor Beam"Andrew CotteeNew Dimensions (1LAB11)2:17
21."Mission Complete / Commander Lamarr"Andrew CotteeNew Dimensions (1LAB11)2:48
22."Investigating an Anomaly"Joel McNeelyMad Idolatry (1LAB13)1:09
23."Emergency Landing"Joel McNeelyMad Idolatry (1LAB13)3:41
24."Searching the Planet"Joel McNeelyMad Idolatry (1LAB13)2:38
25."Walking Through Town"Joel McNeelyMad Idolatry (1LAB13)2:21
26."Spread the Word"Joel McNeelyMad Idolatry (1LAB13)1:17
27."Isaac Steps Up / Civilization Restored"Joel McNeelyMad Idolatry (1LAB13)3:14
28."The Orville End Titles"Bruce Broughton 0:34
Total length:74:58


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