If you are a devotee of time travel...

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Orville 2.8: Recalling Čapek, Part 1

The idea of a species of AI - robots (mechanistic), androids (flesh and blood), what have you - rebelling against, overthrowing, massacring their human or biological creators is at least as old as Karel Čapek's 1922 R.U.R.   Against all odds, The Orville picked up that theme with the lovable Isaac and his polished, gleaming "people" on Kaylon in tonight's episode 2.8.

The love between Isaac and Claire - or rather, her of him, and what Isaac feels being something maybe akin to love - that began in the first episode of this season (2.1) serves as a good prelude to what happened tonight.  Hey, their relationship, or Isaac's part of it, fooled me.  I thought he was really experiencing the AI equivalent of something like love, whatever that is.   All of that made tonight's twist all the more jolting,

The episode went in quick progression to Isaac being de-activated aka dead or something like that, to Isaac and the denizens of his home world being hard to get to join the Union, to the machines revealing themselves as out to destroy all human, biologically-sentient life, just as they did earlier on their own planet, to the tune of billions murdered.

As this nod to the Borg first began to unfold in the final moments of this two-part episode (the second will be on next Thursday), I began to think of all kinds of scenarios in which Isaac could yet emerge as a good (mechanical) guy.  Maybe the machines of Kaylon were putting humanity to the final test - see how we responded to this assault on our very existence - before they accepted our generous invitation to the join the Union.  But I have a feeling that won't be how this part of The Orville's two-part narrative ends.

I'll tell you what I think of that ending next week.  But, as of now, The Orville has switched from being dramedy to sheer drama with a comic tinge.  Which makes me want to watch it even more.

 here I am talking about R.U.R. at City Tech this past November

See also The Orville 2.1: Relief and Romance ... The Orville 2.2: Porn Addiction and Planetary Disintegration ... The Orville 2.3: Alara ... The Orville 2.4: Billy Joel ... The Orville 2.5: Escape at Regor 2 ... The Orville 2.6: "Singin' in the Rain" ... The Orville 2.7: Love and Death

And see also The Orville 1.1-1.5: Star Trek's Back ... The Orville 1.6-9: Masterful ... The Orville 1.10: Bring in the Clowns ... The Orville 1.11: Eating Yaphit ... The Orville 1.12: Faith in Reason and the Prime Directive

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

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