A Planetary Step is a fan film by J1 Studios released on YouTube on April 7, 2020.
A Planetary Step was written by Eric Moran, Brian Terranova, and Justin Poole and directed by Jason Richardson. Justin Poole of Egotastic FunTime joined as David's friend Alex and as the narrator.
Lorraine Emmett greets David Gerald in his office, elated to be be promoted to captain of the USS Starlight. The Planetary Union's admiralty has offered David a similar promotion four times, but he turned them down each time. David is riddled with self-doubt, worried that the offers were extended merely because his powerful father pulled strings behind the scenes on his behalf. Lorraine cautions that if he continues to decline command, Planetary Union Central will stop offering the job.
David calls his friend Alex. Alex is excited to hear that Admiral Perry offered him captaincy of the USS Eisenberg. David begins to speak about his self-doubt again, but Alex cuts him off and emphasizes that he is more than qualified for command.
David calls Perry and accepts command of the Eisenberg.
A mini-documentary The Making of 'A Planetary Step' was released on April 10, 2020 featuring interviews with the actors and the director Jason Richardson.
According to writer Eric Moran, the purpose of A Planetary Step was to encourage others to make fan films of The Orville.
- The movie is dedicated to Aron Eisenberg and Rene Auberjonois, two Star Trek: Deep Space Nine actors who died shortly before the film's release.
- The USS Eisenberg is named after Aron Eisenberg, an old friend of writer Eric Moran.
- The movie is set after the Kaylon conflict, which began in January 2421.
- It is not clear whether the Admiral Perry seen on screen is meant to be the same Admiral Perry in the television show played by Ted Danson.
- The story bears similarities to the episode New Dimensions; David is hesitant to accept a promotion as John LaMarr was, while his self-doubt is similar to that which Ed Mercer experienced following the revelation that Admiral Halsey offered him command of the USS Orville only after Kelly Grayson put in a good word for him.
- The title, A Planetary Step, refers to the new step in David Gerald's career in the Planetary Union as captain.
- Eric Moran as David Gerald
- Joe Colton as Lorraine Emmett
- Justin Poole as Alex
- Justin Poole as Narrator
- John Royster as Admiral Perry