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The Orville blends science fiction and science fact into a winning mix

The Orville.”>

Enlarge / The crew of the USS Orville stands ready for a new season of adventures in season 2 of The Orville. (credit: Fox Broadcasting)

The Orville, Seth MacFarlane’s warm homage to the Star Trek franchise, delighted viewers with the interstellar adventures of the crew aboard the titular starship. As the series gears up for its season 2 premiere on Sunday night, Ars sat down with writer/producer and science advisor Andre Bormanis to talk about some of the science behind our favorite episodes in the first season.

(Some spoilers for season 1 below.)

The Orville had a rocky start, at least in terms of critical reception, garnering just a 19 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes when it debuted. Viewers begged to differ: they gave the freshman series a 91 percent favorable rating, won over by its skillful mix of humor and drama. That’s a tough balance to pull off, but The Orville does so more often than not. This is a smart series that combines slapstick humor and witty dialogue with cutting-edge science and the odd literary reference. (In one episode, the Orville visits a two-dimensional world, complete with an allusion to Edwin Abbot’s satirical allegory, Flatland.)

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