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S02.E05: All the World Is Birthday Cake

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The Orville makes First Contact and a new crew member joins the ship.

Airdate: Thursday, January 24, 2019

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Why do they still measure a day as 24 hours? This is SPACE. 

I love it when the people of a planet refer to their  Planet by a number.  That’s like we Earthlings calling our world “Sol Three”. Maybe some of us do.

I really liked Kelly in this episode. She is starship captain material.

Was that Admiral Ted Danson?

Both STD and The Orville dealt with First Contact this week. Huh.

Good solution, but I don’t think a society would change that quickly due to to one star showing up. They would find some other reason to keep so many people in prison, prejudice doesn’t go away that quickly. 

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On 1/24/2019 at 8:03 PM, marinw said:

Why do they still measure a day as 24 hours? This is SPACE. 

Because the majority of the crew are Terrans (and I imagine that Earth was one of the founding members of the Union), and that's the standard length of a day that they would be the most familiar with.  Circadian rhythms still exist in 2419.

Edited by legaleagle53
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I really liked this episode. Nice showcase for Kelly, she kicked ass. Good intro of the new Xelayan and I like her. She’s no Alara but she’ll do.

I think that was Jennifer Landon playing the pregnant girl. As in daughter of Michael Landon. But she looks completely different than I remember her from As the World Turns.

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The people on that planet are able to build telescopes, but they can't understand that from a different star system (e.g. those that Kelly and Bortus come from), different constellations etc. would be visible?

Edited by Driad
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6 minutes ago, Driad said:

The people on that planet are able to build telescopes, but they can't understand that from a different star system (e.g. those that Kelly and Bortus come from), different constellations etc. would be visible?

I don’t think that would’ve mattered, Kelly and Bortus were born at the same time as that sign on their planet, it didn’t seem to matter where they were at the time.

I found it interesting that they had the technology to determine someone’s exact age from a tooth sample (like a tree?) but couldn’t detect a big sail orbiting their planet.

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1 minute ago, kariyaki said:

I found it interesting that they had the technology to determine someone’s exact age from a tooth sample (like a tree?) but couldn’t detect a big sail orbiting their planet.

Because birth dates are important to them, and until just now they never had to think about outer space ruses?

Jessica Szohr is a fine replacement. Her voice is terrific.

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2 minutes ago, Starchild said:

I love this show but:

1) Why would you keep two undesirable extraterrestrials in your prison camp, rather than kicking them off the planet with the rest of their people?

2) If the Union is saying it's unacceptable to interfere with this world's laws, how is a fake star that transforms their entire society and culture not resulting in court martial for Mercer?

3) Speaking of court martial, Kelly and Bortus: their lives were not in immediate danger when they attempted their escape. In a sensitive first contact situation, how do they get away with killing all of these people and not even undergoing an inquiry, never mind actual charges?

Well, it's The Orville, not Nova.

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1 minute ago, fauntleroy said:

Because birth dates are important to them, and until just now they never had to think about outer space ruses?

Fair point. Technology advances in the areas people concentrate on. And I think The Orville crew did say that the planets’ telemetry focused on star positioning and not much else.

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3 minutes ago, fauntleroy said:
8 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

I found it interesting that they had the technology to determine someone’s exact age from a tooth sample (like a tree?) but couldn’t detect a big sail orbiting their planet.

Because birth dates are important to them, and until just now they never had to think about outer space ruses?

Technological progress is never consistent, it depends on the priorities of the society. We 21st Century Earthlings can carry a tiny computer in our pockets but fossil fuels are still our main power source.

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I enjoyed the episode, but there are a lot of "science" and "logic" issues to ignore here. 

Edited by Superclam
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These have always been the kinds of episodes i liked on Star Trek.  "The oh hi new planet....did we break your sucky laws now we have to find some way to get around it and save our crew man, or Wesley Crusher"    I really liked that this whole thing went to hell because Kelly made a comment that it was her birthday.   Which by the way is why I don't tell anyone when it is my birthday.  Nothing good can come of it.    I liked the idea of an entire society run on astrology and being born under a bad sign was all it took to ruin your life.  

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It's fun to see this show embrace first contact like this.  On Star Trek, the Prime Directive stated that you didn't make official contact with a civilization until they developed warp drive technology.  So it's fun to see how eagerly they embrace it...although this episode shows you why Star Trek's Prime Directive and First Contact rules are a hell of a lot smarter.  Doesn't Union policy suggest anywhere that you might want to do some, I don't know, RESEARCH before you make contact with an unknown and primitive (by Union standards) people?  Though from what I've seen of the Union, I wouldn't count on it.  They will literally let their people rot when they can easily resolve the situation, hiding behind the whole "first contact" protocol.  As the new security chief pointed out, this planet was the one who initiated the contact and should have also realized there would be consequences of that.  And don't get me started with The Orville fully embracing Star Trek's ridiculously unrealistic socialist utopia where no one uses money.

Now that being said, I really did enjoy this episode.  The first contact was fun for the most part, some terrific FX (I liked those satellite dishes a lot) and the music was GREAT, particularly during that first contact scene and the end with the solar sailer  (more great FX).  A strong episode for Kelly and Bortus got a lot of great lines.  It's fun the actors that Seth has gotten to do the show and Ted Danson is another example.

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1 hour ago, Starchild said:

 

3) Speaking of court martial, Kelly and Bortus: their lives were not in immediate danger when they attempted their escape. In a sensitive first contact situation, how do they get away with killing all of these people and not even undergoing an inquiry, never mind actual charges?

Well, they were just what the local culture expected them to do.

Seriously, though, you'd think that killing multiple guards would still get you executed under local law, unless the new Star got interpreted as wiping away all past sins.

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1 hour ago, fauntleroy said:

Because birth dates are important to them, and until just now they never had to think about outer space ruses?

Jessica Szohr is a fine replacement. Her voice is terrific.

I actually was going to post the opposite. I don’t know if her people smoke, but she sounds like she has a several-pack-a-day habit. It’s off putting. 

I liked this episode. But I don’t know exactly what it was about. I thought it was going to be a metaphor for religion IRL, but it wasn’t that tight. I did like the respect for local laws. Though i don’t know why the people of Reger 2 think Gilliacs are violent when the camp was pretty quiet. 

More 80s crap at the end, with technology that should have been long forgotten. 

Edited by Ottis
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The opening scene with the people of Reger 2 gave me ruh-roh flashbacks to the people on several planets on Stargate SG1 who appeared nice enough at first but turned out to be Nazis from another star system (can't think of their names offhand), so it was no surprise that they were (in Ed's words) "nutty."

So. "Chad" and "Maxine," huh? I wonder if Seth wishes he was named Chad.

The large proportion of screen time devoted to violence was tiresome. If Gelliacs really were prone to violence, maybe they should be hidden from the rest of society so they don't bore them to death.

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So Kelly and Bortus were in the prison camp for a month before the Union decided to send out diplomats to negotiate? Yikes. Kelly and Bortus are definitely two people I'd want on my side in an emergency, though. Talla, as well. 

I can't believe that guy would hand over his daughter to the government that put him and his wife in a camp. I hope that after they were freed and she had her daughter returned to her, that the woman divorced her husband, or whatever the equivalent is on that planet. It's really sweet that she named her daughter after Kelly. Loved Bortus during the birth scene: "Will there be an egg?" 

Using a satellite to mimic a star was a good idea, and as Kelly said, hopefully by the time the planet figures out the truth, they'll have moved beyond putting people in camps because of when they were born.

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25 minutes ago, phalange said:

I can't believe that guy would hand over his daughter to the government that put him and his wife in a camp.

He wanted to give her a better life. I wouldn't want my daughter to grow up under the floorboards in a prison camp. And it seemed that all or most of the people in that camp actually believed that the government was justified to lock them up for their starsign. So they didn't hate the government for locking them up. He wouldn't have handed his daughter over if he believed that the government was evil and would treat her badly. But she was born under a positive starsign and would be treated very well in their society.

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See, this is why I couldn't be a starship captain in the Union or Star Trek's Federation. If some primitive culture took two of my people hostage, I'm going in hot. I don't give a damn what the admirals say. We're coming down in force with as many armed shuttles or transporters as we can manage, we're breaking out the top of the line weapons and armor, and we're showing these screwheads why they don't pick a fight with an advanced species, first contact protocol be damned. I'd be the guy who stood before the admirals over the smoking ruins of those camps (or maybe the capitol) and dare the motherfuckers to court-martial me for rescuing my people.

 

That all being said, the solar sail was a clever idea. 

 

Good for Kelly and Bortus trying to fight their way out. Too bad they couldn't kill that sadistic Warden on their way out.

 

It occurs to me that Union leadership is about as useful as an asshole on the elbow. They never back their people and only exist to throw obstacles in the Orville's path when they need to rescue their own.

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1 hour ago, shapeshifter said:

The opening scene with the people of Reger 2 gave me ruh-roh flashbacks to the people on several planets on Stargate SG1 who appeared nice enough at first but turned out to be Nazis from another star system (can't think of their names offhand), so it was no surprise that they were (in Ed's words) "nutty."

 

I think it might be the Genii of Stargate Atlantis

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2 hours ago, marinw said:

Why do they still measure a day as 24 hours? This is SPACE.

One of the many things I loved about Deep Space 9 is that the station was actually on a Bajoran 26 hour day cycle. It didn't come up that often and the writers sometimes forgot that, but I liked that they even thought of it.

2 hours ago, marinw said:

I love it when the people of a planet refer to their  Planet by a number.  That’s like we Earthlings calling our world “Sol Three”. Maybe some of us do.

It is a little weird, but these shows never spend enough time in these cultures to figure out if there's a solid reason for that name. Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury are visible with the naked eye. The Romans named them after their gods thousands of years ago. Perhaps in their mythology, Reger 1 is where their version of the titanomachy happened. The losing gods are imprisoned on Reger 1; the winning gods went to Reger 2 with all of the mortals to eventually become the civilization we saw.

1 hour ago, benteen said:

It's fun to see this show embrace first contact like this.  On Star Trek, the Prime Directive stated that you didn't make official contact with a civilization until they developed warp drive technology.  So it's fun to see how eagerly they embrace it...although this episode shows you why Star Trek's Prime Directive and First Contact rules are a hell of a lot smarter.  Doesn't Union policy suggest anywhere that you might want to do some, I don't know, RESEARCH before you make contact with an unknown and primitive (by Union standards) people?  Though from what I've seen of the Union, I wouldn't count on it.  They will literally let their people rot when they can easily resolve the situation, hiding behind the whole "first contact" protocol.  As the new security chief pointed out, this planet was the one who initiated the contact and should have also realized there would be consequences of that.

As much as parts of the Prime Directive make a bunch sense, it was great to actually see characters jazzed to meet a new civilization and explore a new planet. As annoying as Gordon is, he was correct that it would be a large part of why you'd join the Union. If you just wanted to fly ships, you'd be a freighter pilot or something like that. If you were simply interested in astronomical phenomenon, you'd be a researcher. 

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15 minutes ago, HunterHunted said:

One of the many things I loved about Deep Space 9 is that the station was actually on a Bajoran 26 hour day cycle. It didn't come up that often and the writers sometimes forgot that, but I liked that they even thought of it.

It is a little weird, but these shows never spend enough time in these cultures to figure out if there's a solid reason for that name. Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus and Mercury are visible with the naked eye. The Romans named them after their gods thousands of years ago. Perhaps in their mythology, Reger 1 is where their version of the titanomachy happened. The losing gods are imprisoned on Reger 1; the winning gods went to Reger 2 with all of the mortals to eventually become the civilization we saw.

As much as parts of the Prime Directive make a bunch sense, it was great to actually see characters jazzed to meet a new civilization and explore a new planet. As annoying as Gordon is, he was correct that it would be a large part of why you'd join the Union. If you just wanted to fly ships, you'd be a freighter pilot or something like that. If you were simply interested in astronomical phenomenon, you'd be a researcher. 

Yes, I LOVED how excited and happy all the crew were.

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: I adore Bortus.

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I didn't like that Kelly and Bortus killed all those Reger 2fers. That should have been something that the Planet and the Planetary/Galactic Union would not have hand waved away.

To get Kelly and Bortus back, I would have offered to take all the Gilliacs off of the planet to save Reger 2fers the trouble of guarding, housing, and feeding them. The Gilliacs could be distributed as laboratory test subjects to learn about Reger 2 physiology, to go with all the literature that was collected.

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2 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

 

To get Kelly and Bortus back, I would have offered to take all the Gilliacs off of the planet to save Reger 2fers the trouble of guarding, housing, and feeding them. The Gilliacs could be distributed as laboratory test subjects to learn about Reger 2 physiology, to go with all the literature that was collected.

I'm confused. Did you mean Ed would lie to the rulers of Reger 2 (pretend the Union was going to use the Gilliacs as Guinea pigs) to get the Gilliacs released and taken off the planet to be resettled? They'd have to get massive amounts of therapy; how would that work? And then what about future Gilliacs born on the planet?

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5 hours ago, HunterHunted said:
9 hours ago, marinw said:

Why do they still measure a day as 24 hours? This is SPACE.

One of the many things I loved about Deep Space 9 is that the station was actually on a Bajoran 26 hour day cycle. It didn't come up that often and the writers sometimes forgot that, but I liked that they even thought of it.

The original Battlestar Galactica used their own way of measureing time. Star Trek uses "Stardates" as a sort of universal calander.

This always takes me out of the story.

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22 hours ago, kariyaki said:

The Orville makes First Contact and a new crew member joins the ship.

Great ep, but there were a couple plot holes.

  1. If the aliens truly believed in astrology, the belief that stars and objects affected one at birth, how could someone be affected by the same bodies from several lightyears away? TBH, I figured that was how they were going to resolve it.
  2. When they researched why being a Gilliac was bad, they said no one on the Reger-2 seemed to know, so why would replacing the missing star (that no one knows used to be there) change their minds?

I liked how enthused everyone was about having a "first contact" situation.

 

9 hours ago, marinw said:

Was that Admiral Ted Danson?

Yes, it was!

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It’s interesting that no actual research is done on first contact.  Say what you want about Star Trek and all their protecall a lot of their first contact strategy makes sense. A lot of this could have been avoided by a small amount of research.

But where is the fun in that? 

The fun was the wide eyed enthusiasm followed by the deep  horror and then having the crew try to figure a way around a society’s deep laws and bigotry

Edited by Chaos Theory
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7 hours ago, Mysteris said:

See, this is why I couldn't be a starship captain in the Union or Star Trek's Federation. If some primitive culture took two of my people hostage, I'm going in hot. I don't give a damn what the admirals say. We're coming down in force with as many armed shuttles or transporters as we can manage, we're breaking out the top of the line weapons and armor, and we're showing these screwheads why they don't pick a fight with an advanced species, first contact protocol be damned. I'd be the guy who stood before the admirals over the smoking ruins of those camps (or maybe the capitol) and dare the motherfuckers to court-martial me for rescuing my people.

 

That all being said, the solar sail was a clever idea. 

 

Good for Kelly and Bortus trying to fight their way out. Too bad they couldn't kill that sadistic Warden on their way out.

 

It occurs to me that Union leadership is about as useful as an asshole on the elbow. They never back their people and only exist to throw obstacles in the Orville's path when they need to rescue their own.

Great post.  I agree with it completely.

While The Orville crew loses serious points for not doing ANY research on this planet at all, Talla rightly pointed out that the Regarans were the ones who initiated this first contact before sending out a signal through space so they must suffer the consequences of their actions.

Hopefully their is a "rebellion" against the Union admiralty soon.

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I love it when the people of a planet refer to their  Planet by a number.  That’s like we Earthlings calling our world “Sol Three”. Maybe some of us do.

LOL.  Likewise.  It's a "take you out of the show" moment.

Edited by benteen
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9 hours ago, Starchild said:

I love this show but:

1) Why would you keep two undesirable extraterrestrials in your prison camp, rather than kicking them off the planet with the rest of their people?

2) If the Union is saying it's unacceptable to interfere with this world's laws, how is a fake star that transforms their entire society and culture not resulting in court martial for Mercer?

3) Speaking of court martial, Kelly and Bortus: their lives were not in immediate danger when they attempted their escape. In a sensitive first contact situation, how do they get away with killing all of these people and not even undergoing an inquiry, never mind actual charges?

I figure the initial reaction of interning Kelly and Bortus might have been force of habit -- everyone knows Giliacs get sent to internment camps. Once they are there, as said in the episode, the powers that be did not want to release them because it would be politically unpopular.

The Union is saying it would be unacceptable to use the Orville's superior brute force to rescue people, but apparently any other way is acceptable. For instance, if Kelly and Bortus had broken out of camp and gotten to a safe spot to be picked up, presumably the Union leadership would not have an issue. 

The Regorians(?) apparently considered the rebirth of a star such an omen that they were forgiving of Kelly and Bortus killing, what, a dozen soldiers?

6 hours ago, Mysteris said:

It occurs to me that Union leadership is about as useful as an asshole on the elbow. They never back their people and only exist to throw obstacles in the Orville's path when they need to rescue their own.

Pretty much like Federation leadership. 

32 minutes ago, Ubiquitous said:

Great ep, but there were a couple plot holes.

  1. If the aliens truly believed in astrology, the belief that stars and objects affected one at birth, how could someone be affected by the same bodies from several lightyears away? TBH, I figured that was how they were going to resolve it.
  2. When they researched why being a Gilliac was bad, they said no one on the Reger-2 seemed to know, so why would replacing the missing star (that no one knows used to be there) change their minds?

Real people believe in astrology, so it doesn't come as a surprise that fake people wouldn't consider the scientific and logical holes that might apply. Take it from this Sagittarius!

They pieced together the appearance of the black hole with the first belief that Gilliac=bad, assumed/deduced that they were connected, and jumped to  the conclusion that reversing the black hole might give the Regorians a different outlook.

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I was utterly charmed by the entire crew's reaction to getting a First Contact experience. Even Gordon. 

I was happy to see Robbie McNeal directing this episode. Brannon Braga always Tweets about episodes Jonathan Frakes directs, but I didn't see anything about Robbie. Voyager never gets any love. 

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I really loved how excited the crew were to make a real first contact, though I guess they have made unexpected ones before on the show. But yes some research before hand would have been good, though it seems it was difficult to get information on things from the planet's libraries etc even when they knew what they were looking for with the Gelliacs. 

New security officer was good even though Jessica Szhor is often iffy as an actress for me and I miss Alara. Their species rarely leaves the planet and rarely joins the military but when they do they seem to be attractive young women....

That was one quick noticing of a single (small) star reappearing and remembering it was Gilliac based but okay it was a creative solution to the problem. 

Admiral Ted Danson!

I think Bortus is right, eggs are much easier than live babies and you only had to sit on it for 3 weeks. 

The Union are very unhelpful on the show but I don't get the vibe that the Orville crew will go rogue on them unless for specific "to be forgiven by next week" storylines. It's useful for the writing to have obstructive administrators. 

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My take on the aliens calling their world "Reger Two" was a function of the Universal Translators.

Realistically most people's names for their actual home planets probably translate to "dirt" or "ground". That's what "Earth" means and even when we get fancy and call it "Terra" that's still just another name for dirt. Maybe a water world might break the mold by its people just calling their world whatever translates to "the Sea," but regardless, translating everything to "I come from the planet Dirt is not helpful.

So instead it probably translates relative to the listener. So while Ed and Kelly hear "Earth" and "Xelaya" a Xelayan would hear "Sol Three" and the Xelayan word for "dirt" or "ground."

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49 minutes ago, aquarian1 said:

Who played the Prefect?  His voice was so familiar, but I couldn't figure it out.

John Rubinstein, one of the character actors who everybody knows from their show and has no breakout role of his own.

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1 hour ago, Ubiquitous said:

Great ep, but there were a couple plot holes.

"A couple." Heh.  Virtually every Orville ep has so many plot holes that you can drive the Orville through them. It's one of the frustrating things about this show. It is *this close* to actually being pretty damn good, and it can't quite get there. Based on how serious season 2 is vs. season 1, it seems like Seth wants this to be ST. But the writers don't make good enough connections.

8 hours ago, paulvdb said:

He wanted to give her a better life. I wouldn't want my daughter to grow up under the floorboards in a prison camp. And it seemed that all or most of the people in that camp actually believed that the government was justified to lock them up for their starsign. So they didn't hate the government for locking them up. He wouldn't have handed his daughter over if he believed that the government was evil and would treat her badly. But she was born under a positive starsign and would be treated very well in their society.

Like right there. PAULVDB has a good idea ... what if this episode was a metaphor for people who come to the US for a better life, and the sacrifices they sometimes must make so their children can succeed? It could have gone full S. American caravan or stuck with traditional Ellis Island. But nope.

6 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I didn't like that Kelly and Bortus killed all those Reger 2fers. That should have been something that the Planet and the Planetary/Galactic Union would not have hand waved away.

Agree, this was jarring. If the whole point is that you need to find a diplomatic solution out of this, then shooting up camp and people won't make it better. I really thought they were going to have Kelly and Bortus figure out an argument to win their freedom, and get the society to reconsider their camps. Probably by having K and B compare their own cultures to align on a solution while also getting to know each other better. But again, nope.

1 hour ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

The Regorians(?) apparently considered the rebirth of a star such an omen that they were forgiving of Kelly and Bortus killing, what, a dozen soldiers?

Another weak point. The only way they make that work is if they also portrayed the Regerians as somehow cowed by their astronomy. Like on TOS when the natives worshipped Vaal. More religious or devoted than Miss Cleo. But you have instead a society about as advanced as our real life society, and the simple fact a star winks makes them question one of their basic tenets?

54 minutes ago, Vandy10 said:

I was utterly charmed by the entire crew's reaction to getting a First Contact experience. Even Gordon. 

This irked me at first as almost unprofessional. but as it continued, I, too, was charmed by it. Pretty sloppy first contact procedure, though. Do you really need to fly your ship down to the middle of the capital with your entire senior team on board? Might want to think about something less ostentatious, in case it goes wrong.

Edited by Ottis
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I miss Alara too,  her vulnerability made her empathetic. This new security chief seems a little cocky.

Is a captain allowed to request an officer of a certain race? Apparently so.

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20 minutes ago, marinw said:

I miss Alara too,  her vulnerability made her empathetic. This new security chief seems a little cocky.

Is a captain allowed to request an officer of a certain race? Apparently so.

Species, I think. I would ask for all green Orion women! Just kidding. Mostly.

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9 minutes ago, Ottis said:

Species, I think. I would ask for all green Orion women! Just kidding. Mostly.

Star Trek Orion slaves or the Enterprise reboot of the Orion woman being the master?

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1 minute ago, Raja said:

Star Trek Orion slaves or the Enterprise reboot of the Orion woman being the master?

Ha. Why not both? It's the final frontier ...

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  • Why is the crew excited about going down to the planet? Do they not remember how badly things went  the  every time before? 
  • Why would Bortus, born on different planet in a different solar system, be marking his birthday on a calendar system from Earth? Surely his planet would not also have anniversaries every 365.4 days.
  • Why is the Orville crew not freaked out that every planet they find has perfect gravity with human-type beings who speak English? (A universal translator would not explain why their lips were forming English words.) 
  • Why would a leader on Reger 2 think he could make prisoners of people with advanced technology, with a starship with advanced weapons in orbit above his planet and part of an entire union of planets? It was not as if the crew had gone undercover and did not want be exposed as aliens. 
  • Commander Ted Danson said it had been a month and they were not even sure they were alive.  Come on. Ed and Gordon infiltrated a hostile Krill ship, but now no one can figure out how to sneak Kelly and Bortus off the planet? 
  • The camp guards were bad, but they were not shown to be killing people. But Kelly and Bortus sure did.  Why they were released after that was completely ignored.
  • Of all the scientists and robots on the Orville, why would the new security officer be the one to figure out that a star had disappeared? 

This list could go on for pages, but there is really no point, because the writers are not interested in consistency or logic.
If Orville was better written as a comedy, most of these things could be hand-waved as being ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous. But the Orville is not doing a good job of being a comedy - and it is not doing a good job of being a drama or action show. 

Edited by shrewd.buddha
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Considering how obsessed this planet's society is with observing stars and the resources and technology they are devoting to it, how long before the deception is discovered, especially once they venture in space themselves?

In the meantime, it is very probable that in a society founded on a superstition like astrology there will be factions popping up saying that only Gilliacs born after the star's reappearance are tolerable and all others are still horrible creatures that deserve to be ostracized and parked in camps. Accusations of heresy and ideological battles would abound. We have seen it on our planet with all the religious wars and battles that are still going on.

In other words, that planet can probably expect chaos in some form or another. Good work Orville crew!

Edited by Florinaldo
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Yeah, I'm not a fan of this episode for all the plot and logistical issues.  It required too much suspension of disbelief.  Why didn't the Orville crew explain to the leaders of the planet that people born in a different star system would not have been ruled by the same stars and planets so they didn't come out with so-called violent tendencies?  And even if they couldn't convince them of that, why wouldn't Mercer try to convince them that ridding themselves of the two of them was better than keeping them?  As long as they're gone they won't be a threat to them, so why should they care to keep them on the planet?  Obviously there would be more people on the Orville born under that sign so he could say what's the difference?  He could have said, "If we all get out of here it won't be an issue".  I find it hard to believe that this species would be that obtuse as to not realize that other planets have different star systems that are governed by different astrology.   Knowing that there may be other life out there sort of makes it necessary to accept that they could come from very different circumstances.  The crew could have researched ancient astrology on Earth and Bortus' planet and shown that the sign they were born under in their respective homes did not give them any violent tendencies.  Surely a society as advanced as they were would understand that much. 

Also, after all the killing Kelly and Bortus did it was not believable that they would not have been shot upon breaking out of that compound by the horde of armed guards.

There is so much more I can't even go into that much, like giving their planet the number 2.  Is there a #1 and what is their culture like?  Does it have life?  Why is it number 2 if you have never gone that far beyond your own planet?  Seems a little strange, plus it wasn't explained.  Usually when a number is assigned the audience finds out why.  Like in the ST episodes where one planet's culture is the opposite of the other and there are difficulties between them.

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10 hours ago, benteen said:

On Star Trek, the Prime Directive stated that you didn't make official contact with a civilization until they developed warp drive technology.  So it's fun to see how eagerly they embrace it...although this episode shows you why Star Trek's Prime Directive and First Contact rules are a hell of a lot smarter.  Doesn't Union policy suggest anywhere that you might want to do some, I don't know, RESEARCH before you make contact with an unknown and primitive (by Union standards) people?

Yes this. In the superb TNG episode “First Contact” (Not to be confused with the film of the same name) it was established that the Federation would send undercover people in to observe the culture before introducing themselves. All societies are going to have issues.

Perhaps part of the show’s premise is that First Contact protocol is something the Union is still trying to work out. They will learn from this experience, and do better next time. Like other posters here, I was charmed by the excitement of the Crew.

Edited by marinw
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12 hours ago, kariyaki said:
12 hours ago, Driad said:

The people on that planet are able to build telescopes, but they can't understand that from a different star system (e.g. those that Kelly and Bortus come from), different constellations etc. would be visible?

I don’t think that would’ve mattered, Kelly and Bortus were born at the same time as that sign on their planet, it didn’t seem to matter where they were at the time.

But they assumed that Ed and co, being civilized people, must also stigmatize Giliacs. I assumed from that that while the star becoming a black hole was the original reason for the superstition, their society had forgotten about the particulars; hence why they would think Giliacs would be pariahs everywhere, even places with different constellations.

But since the 'reappearing star' trick worked, that idea doesn't hold. So...no clue.

Agreed that it would've been simpler to argue for the expulsion of Kelly and Bortus from the planet rather than try to reform the entire sign's public image. After all, keeping them incarcerated means that the Orville - with its crew comprised of roughly 1/12th Giliacs, most of them having access to highly advanced weaponry - would stay in orbit longer (with more diplomats promised to arrive). I'd think the planetary leadership would consider that alone a sufficient threat to say 'Fine, you can have your people back, so long as the Union stays out of this system from now on'.

It's interesting to think about what this means for the psychology of the people in the camps. Will the prevailing belief come to be that Giliacs were violent, and the reappearance of the star 'cured' them? Or that the stigma was wrong to begin with?

Also, unless there's a shit-ton of restitution, from what we saw of the camps, those released are now going to be penniless, homeless, and with little in the way of education, career training, or positive socialization. Sadly, there may well be an uptick in crimes committed by them. Which, in turn, could cause the leadership to think they were right all along.

Edited by Emma9
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I just thought of one more thing - I'm no expert in astrology as I've never believed in it, but it's usually accepted among astrologers that the specific position of the stars and planets at your birth is what determines your character.  The position of the planets and stars as they change over the months and years of your life usually only determines your feelings and fate while your original character doesn't change.  So introducing a new star in the constellation to fill in the gap where the old one was wouldn't change the character of the people born when the star wasn't there.  That's another inconsistency in this episode.  If the people on this planet believe that the stars at your birth determine your character why would your character suddenly be able to change just by virtue of a new star introduced into the constellation?  It makes no sense.

Edited by Yeah No
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If a society is so into astrology than it is just a different religious system. That it was so ingrained means negotiations with them would be like trying to negotiate with the Krill. It also explains naming their home in relation to its star and not as the center of all.

So I am left to believe that everyone in the concentration camps were the actual premature babies as all parents by plan may have aimed at the next group with a birth date that put their child on the leadership track. Otherwise you would think that some sort of  sexual fasting tradition, not medically induced births, would have been ingrained to prevent a bad birthday 

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30 minutes ago, shrewd.buddha said:
  • Why is the Orville crew not freaked out that every planet they find has perfect gravity with human-type beings who speak English? (A universal translator would not explain why their lips were forming English words.) 

If Orville was better written as a comedy, most of these things could be hand-waved as being ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous. But the Orville is not doing a good job of being a comedy - and it is not doing a good job of being a drama or action show. 

  • Well, this is a standard trope for all TV or movie shows. The characters are supposed to speak whatever language but it will always come out as English. Never mind Star Trek and its universal translator, characters in Vikings supposedly speak with different languages even at the same time. They all speak English that in sync with their mouths.
  • This I agree. Watching Star Trek: Discovery right before this, the difference is quite jarring. What does The Orville want? Funny? Not very funny. Sci-fi action adventure? Star Trek is much better.
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