Four episodes in and once again, The Orville continues to justify it’s place in scifi television.
Ed finds himself in danger when he crash lands on a mysterious planet with his new Dark Matter Cartographer Lt Janel Tyler. He soon finds that there is more to her than he ever knew. Meanwhile, Gordon decides to try for the Command Test.
Is it a ‘Good’ Episode?
Once again, this is yet another that feels like a classic Star Trek the Next Generation episode. From the stranded on a dangerous planet story-line to the officer considering command, even with the bits of humor, this one comes off as a very strong entry in the series.
I am continually impressed with Seth McFarlane’s clear love of science fiction and his deep love for Star Trek. This passion shows more and more with episodes like this one without coming across as a blatant ripoff of any other series. I was particularly impressed with the surprise reveal as to who Lt Tyler really was. Many series tend to telegraph plot points like this and this one managed to keep the secret well into the episode even setting it up in the previous season.
The B story was solid as well with Gordon’s pursuit of a Command position. His reason, he wants to pick up chicks. I mean, has there ever been a more honest reason on one of these series for one of the characters to try for a higher rank? For all it’s humor, it is the honesty in that humor that makes this series a little more relatable.
One thing that stands out in this episode is the use of classic music to really drive the emotional connection to the characters. In this episode the Billy Joel tunes, Don’t ask me Why and She’s Always A Woman are used during key moments that create a really unique emotional tie to the scenes and the characters that too many scifi series tend to forget about. This, coupled with some very impressive acing by star and creator Seth McFarlane, really made Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes a truly impressive episode.
Gleanings, Questions and cool bits: (slight spoilers here)
- I find it interesting that classic movies (and even classic music) are still the primary forms of entertainment in this version of the future. I have to wonder what goes for contemporary entertainment other than the ‘holodeck’ on board.
- The Krill make their return in this one setting up something that is sure to be revisited in a future episode.
- I would like to believe that Gordon learned something from this one and we just might see him in the Command Blue one day.
- I love the subtle reference to the kobayashi maru. Well played.
Thanks for reading the SciFi TV Review I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you!
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Late To The Game 2/17/2019