"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The Orville 3.5: Topa

Well, The Orville episode 3.5 moved into Emmy-worthy territory, with an episode on a sensitive, important issue, presented in a plot with letter-perfect detail and twists.

You may recall that in a prior season, Topa, Moclan child of Bortus and his husband, was obliged to undergo "corrective" surgery that changed Topa biologically from female to male, because females were not allowed in Moclan culture.  Now, in the present, a young teenaged Topa is feeling confused and unhappy.  Commander Grayson figures out why.  The solution is an easy surgery which would restore Topa to womanhood.

Except, Bortus's husband goes ballistic at the prospect, and the Union doesn't want to antagonize Moclus given the Kaylon threat and the need to have Moclus as an ally.   The Orville leadership applies all of its wisdom and energy towards finding a way to do the surgery, and --

Well, I won't tell you anymore, because if you've read this far and haven't seen this episode, you need to see it.  

[Well, ok, here's a general spoiler.]

I will tell you the solution is brilliantly logical, and serves all kinds of purposes.  Plus, it will tug on your heart strings and get you to see The Orville in a new light.  It has always been far more than mere satire of Star Trek.  But now it can justifiably claim the status of being right up there among the best episodes in any Star Trek series.

See also The Orville 3.1: Life and Death ... 3.2: "Come and Get Me ..." ... 3.3: What Do Bill Barr and Ed Mercer Have in Common? ... 3.4: The Captain's Daughter

And 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 ...  The Orville 2.8: Recalling Čapek, Part 1  ... The Orville 2.9: Recalling Čapek, Part 2 ... The Orville: 2.10: Exploding Blood ... The Orville 2.11: Time Capsule, Space Station, and Harmony ... The Orville 2.12: Hello Dolly! ... The Orville 2.13: Time Travel! ... The Orville Season 2 Finale: Alternate History!

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

Joel McKinnon and I discuss Star Trek, The Orville and much more

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