'The Orville' - Season 2 TV Review

Returning to the second season of "The Orville" was initially something of a chore: I didn't much like the first three or four episodes, particularly "Home" which saw the departure of one of my favourite characters (Halston Sage as their security officer). The other early episodes were sloppy and too silly, and "Home" was both too serious and staggeringly sentimental. But after that, the series started really digging in to some interesting philosophical and social questions (notably gender politics and the rights of AIs) - with an odd attenuation of the personalities involved. They've toned down the comedy and personalities of the staff to focus more on issues. The people remain imperfect, and I find their difficulties make them more human and relatable than the almost archetypal staff of "The Next Generation" (the Star Trek I'm most familiar with).

Sadly, in the second last episode, they had to tackle time travel. It's a time-honoured Star Trek tradition, a shark to be jumped. Never stupider than in Voyager (which seemed to use it every third episode), this pair of episodes saw all the crew gathering in another timeline to try to revert everything to the "right" timeline (classic ST, and a really stupid idea). I wish I thought this was a mistake they wouldn't make again, but it will be.