This vessel was constructed by my people as a first attempt to visit another planet. Our world is remote, and we knew that a journey to even the nearest habitable world would take over a century. Three generations would live out their lives on board this bio-vessel. The third would be the one to reach our destination.🔈ℹ︎— Jahavus Dorahl[1]
The Dorahl bioship (The World of the Orville: Bio-ship) (The Orville: Original Television Soundtrack - Season 1: Bio-ship) is a 2,000 year old vessel encountered by the USS Orville at the frontier of the quadrant. The spaceship supports a large, interior ecosystem capable of sustaining its crew indefinitely.

The ship was originally colony ship, intended to deliver inhabitants of a dying unnamed planet to a new world. The ship was meant to last only three generations. To sustain them, the ship hosts a large, artificial ecosystem. The only named captain of the bioship is Jahavus Dorahl.

Description Edit

For information on the people of the bioship, see: Dorahlian.
The bioship is an extremely large spaceship, by Planetary Union standards, about 790 square kilometers by cross-section. From the outside, the ship is dark grey, and roughly ovoid-shaped. Most of the space of the ship hosts its vast, self-sustaining ecosystem. Separating the ecosystem from outer space is a "shell" of the technology and mechanics necessary to travel space and sustain its inhabitants. Additionally, a sky-light may be raised or lowered to allow those in the ecosystem to view the stars.

Bridge Edit

The Bridge of the bioship is a forbidden area, off limits to the vessel's inhabitants, but its entry door is known to the Reformers. (The Reformers are unable to open the door as the ancient access codes are lost.) The Bridge functions as the ship's nerve center. Control panels allow the crew to regulate the ship's systems, navigate the craft, or open the artificial sky dome to reveal the stars. Additionally, the Bridge preserves a 2,000 year old recording of the ship's last captain, Jahavus Dorahl.

Capital city Edit

The bioship's capital city is never named. It is large and somewhat toward the center of the ecosystem. The capital building is the seat of the ship's dictatorial theocracy, a government led by the First Guardian, Hamelac.


We are marooned in space and drifting. Unless we can repair the damage, this ship is now our home.— Jahavus Dorahl[1]

Hamelac Chamber

Hamelac's chambers.

During Dorahl's captaincy, the ship's engines were irreperably damaged by an ion storm. Unable to contact other civilizations for help, Dorahl decides to retreat to the bioship's ecosystem and hope a species capable of repairing the damage discovers their craft. The ship drifted for over two thousand years. In that time, the inhabitants forgot their mission and their dormant technology. They adopted a rustic, simple lifestyle and deified Dorahl, and exiting the ecosystem to the ship's infrastructure became a crime worthy of execution.[2]

The USS Orville makes contact with the bioship when the crew discovers it is on course to collide with star J-2837 in about six months.[2]

Production Edit

In designing the Dorahl bioship model, the creative team turned to the 1979 science fiction thriller Alien and its vessel, the Nostromo. "That ship is 100% based off the Nostromo," said Visual Effects Supervisor Luke McDonald. "It feels like that kind of Nostromo, hardcore, little bits and pieces as opposed to the sleek, vacu-formed look of the Orville."[3] According to McDonald and digital effects supervisor Brandon Fayette, the bioship looks exactly like the Nostromo from underneath and the back, though neither sides are seen in the episode.[4]

The capital city was filmed at the Disney Ranch in Santa Clarita, California.


  • The Dorahl bioship is so large that the Orville's bridge crew is unable to view the entire ship. Isaac is forced to reduce its scale on the monitor by a factor of 10,000.[2]
  • The artificial sun of the ecosystem moves across the sky, simulating the revolution of the Dorahlian home world.[2]


References Edit

  1. ↑ If the Stars Should Appear
  2. ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
  3. ↑ Bond, Jeff. The World of the Orville. Titan Books. 2018.
  4. ↑ "The Orville Fan Podcast w/ The Visual Effects Team". Planetary Union Network. May 23, 2018.