This post contains spoilers from “Shadow Realms”, the second episode of the third season of The Orville: New Horizons.
The second episode of the third season of The Orville: New Horizons brought James Read on as guest star, but he wasn’t just there to serve as the new face of the week. Unfortunately, he had a much gruesome fate awaiting him as the sacrifice to DNA-changing creatures. He was the first character to morph into a hideous alien. Others followed, although, there wasn’t much mourning when those crew members couldn’t be saved. But let’s back up a minute and take a look at this episode because it seems so familiar.
Where else have we seen crew members turning into aliens or creatures? And who had a hand in those stories? Brannon Braga wrote the teleplay for Star Trek: Voyager’s “Threshold” and wrote Star Trek: The Next Generations’ “Genesis.” André Bormanis wrote Star Trek: Enterprise’s “Extinction.” Now here is a suprise no one will be shocked by. The latest episode of The Orville: New Horizons “Shadow Realms” was written by Braga and Bormanis together. (IMDB includes Seth MacFarlane as one of the writers as well. If that’s the case, we know where the good scenes came from.) Apparently, Braga and Bormanis are still trying to make this plot work. Unfortunately, it failed once again.
The Orville: New Horizons deserves better than recycled plots.
The premiere of the third season of The Orville set the bar high. It was such an excellent episode that I didn’t want it to end. I struggled to get through “Shadow Realms” where everyone walked around the ship with flashlights, without a game plan, looking for these creatures even after they knew the aliens could change them. (Why did anyone wear protective gear?) Admittedly, watching Talla toss a couple of them around was entertaining.
What wasn’t entertaining was the same contrived story. The only difference was these crew members and Admiral Paul Christie, played by James Read, didn’t return from their morphed status. Instead, they were forced off The Orville but not before Paul warned Dr. Finn that he and his fellow creatures would be back like a bad scene straight out of The Terminator.
The cast of The Orville deserve better than this. The audience deserves better than this. Let’s hope this is a one-off mistake that won’t be repeated. The Orville hasn’t been canceled, and fans would like to keep it that way.