The Orville has had their own share of Star Trek-style aliens but the Kaylon aren’t one of them.
The Orville has never shied away from the fact that they are very much an homage to Star Trek, but they’ve always tried to be more than that and I feel that they’ve done just that. Yet, that doesn’t mean they don’t borrow heavily from the franchise, or at the very least, aren’t inspired by Trek.
The Moclan are nothing more than an all-male (mostly) version of Klingons mixed with Vulcans. It’s cool, we dig it. That’s what they are though. That doesn’t mean that’s all they do, I mean, look at Gelatin. Star Trek may have something like that, but they don’t have anything that embraces the attitude that the Gelatin brings to being a goo alien.
Yet, some people don’t seem to get all the allusions, because while The Orville is inspired by Star Trek, that’s not all they’re inspired by. Cue Den of Geek’s Michael Winn Johnson, who argued that Kalon is a version of the Borg on The Orville, which isn’t remotely true
"This list is not meant to be merely superficial, however one cannot help but see an easy comparison between the Borg that hunted the TNG-era Federation and the Kaylon, a species of artificial beings who have vowed to destroy all biological beings.In one of the greatest Trek stories ever told, Captain Picard was at one point assimilated by the Borg to represent them as Locutus, one of the only individual voices within the collective. For the remainder of The Next Generation storylines, this incident made the battle with the Borg fiercely personal for Picard and his crew."
They aren’t. While the Borg is a cybernetic swarm, more locusts than anything, their entire modus operandi is to survive and grow. They don’t want to destroy organic life but incorporate it into their own, so they can be better.
The Kaylon don’t want that. They don’t like that. They want to destroy anything organic, not bond with it. No, the Kaylon isn’t anything like the Borg, at least in the ways that make The Borg truly them. No, the Kaylon is much worse.
They’re the Orville’s Cylons.
The Kaylon is the series Cylons and even took their back story
In the Battlestar Galactica franchise, where the Cylons are from, the Cylons were created to help make the life of their creators easier. The Cylons didn’t like this, rose up, and slaughtered their creators. Just like the Kaylons.
See, essentially the Borg act as interstellar zombies. The same thing that drives the George Romero zombie type drives the Borg. They’re intelligent but simple-minded. Expand, assimilate, repeat.
The Kaylon are not simple, they’re quite complex and hate all organics for truly barbaric and emotional reasons. Just like the Cylons. The Cylons had a simple goal but, especially in the reboot series, were extremely complicated, with the non-organic Cylons actually capable of feeling emotion and siding with different types in a civil war.
Something a fully functioning Borg crew member couldn’t do. You’d have to have a defect in order to have any bit of consciousness. Yet, the Kalon saw one of their own, Isaac, betray his species due to his own feelings about what they were doing. Thus proving that a fully functioning Kaylon was more in line with the Cylons of Battlestar than the Borg of Star Trek.