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Friday, November 17, 2017

The Orville 1.10: Bring in the Clowns

Clowns, as everyone knows, have become icons not only of slapstick comedy but cold-sweat fright.  What better a dual symbol, then, for The Orville, and its deft mix of laughs and hazardous adventure in space, then a clown that attacks Alara, then disappears, only to be the beginning of a whole series of terrifying encounters for Alara and the crew.

I must say that I'm really enjoying watching and reviewing The Orville.  It's as if the original Star Trek, which I saw in barely color in the 1960s, were shown on a format that I could stop and rewind, and blog about any time right after.  Yeah, that's definitely part of the joy of The Orville - it allows us to watch Star Trek: TOS as it might have been seen on the screen in 2017.

Alara and what turn out to be her simulated illusions are the heart of The Orville 1.10.  That's actually a nice twist and update of the original Star Trek motif, in which the illusion might have been due to some alien fungus that somehow got on to the ship - or might not have been illusions at all.  Illusions are of course the stuff of the holodeck introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the role in this episode of The Orville shows its continuing cracked fidelity to both TOS and TNG.

But significantly, I thought the single best line came from a non-illusory long-distance conversation Alara has with her snobbish parents, in which her father opines that we humans are "the hillbillies of the galaxy".  That's a line that Spock might well have thought, but never have spoken.

I have to tell you that, for whatever reason, I'm somewhat immune to scary clowns - they don't much frighten me, maybe because we have so many scary clowns who are not dressed like clowns in our 2017 reality.   Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next episode, and I gave The Orville and its Rolling Stones tongue a shout-out not far into a two hour interview Jim Freund did with me last night on his Hour of the Wolf on WBAI Radio.  Here's the video, scroll down, it's no illusion.

See also The Orville 1.1-1.5: Star Trek's Back ... The Orville 1.6-9: Masterful


1st starship to Alpha Centauri ... had only enough fuel to get there

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