"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 12, 2022

The Orville 3.6: Masterpiece of Time Travel with a Missed Opportunity

Another superb, powerful, intellectually complex and morally challenging episode -- 3.6 -- of The Orville,  and it's about time travel.  This episode was so good, I think it will take its place along with "City on the Edge of Forever" and "The Inner Light" as an all-time great Star Trek (in The Orville's case, Star Trekian) time-travel episode.  But I'll be honest with you.  I didn't like the ending.

[Spoilers follow ... ]

I would have had Mercer et al take Malloy and his family back to the future, as Malloy suggested.  It would have avoided all the potential damage to the future -- no Union, etc -- that Grayson astutely outlined.  Although Mercer and Grayson were technically right that Malloy should have held on and not mixed with our 21st century populace -- let alone have a wife and two children -- come on, have a heart.  Malloy's new family, and what he learned in his 10 years in our time on Earth, would have made for even more intriguing characters aboard The Orville.

I will say that in taking the route it did, this fine episode of The Orville followed in the time travel tradition of the original Star Trek.  Kirk loses his 20th love in "City on the Edge of Forever," for the same reasons as Malloy does in The Orville.  And, even worse, Kirk initially has a memory of that love.  In The Orville, it is Mercer, Grayson, and the rest who must carry the burden of that memory with them.  They inform Malloy about what happened, but that's not the same as having a real memory from your life.

I think rather than upholding "The City on the Edge of Forever" tradition, The Orville had a chance to do something new.  But, hey, I'm just a viewer not a writer for this series, and 3.6 was nonetheless a kind of masterpiece, with the bonus of seeing Isaac in the "flesh".

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 ... 3.5: Topa

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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