Gordon Malloy was a human Helmsman and Lieutenant aboard the USS Orville. Gordon was renowned in the early 25th century throughout the Planetary Union as possibly its most skillful pilot, and personally logged over 56,000 light years by October 2420.
Gordon was born and raised on Earth until he enrolled at Union Point as a cadet. Even then, Gordon was known for his brash, if reckless, flying style and juvenile sense of humor. Gordon served in the Planetary Union as a helmsman for years until he accidentally destroyed cargo performing a manual override while docking, a stunt that sent him to office work at Planetary Union Central.
In September 2419, Gordon's old friend, Ed Mercer, became captain of the Orville and chose Gordon for its helm. His expert piloting skills played important, even salvific, roles in the Battle of Epsilon 2, the Rescue of the USS Druyan, and the Battle of Kastra 4. Gordon even piloted a Krill marauder in the vicious Battle of Earth against the Kaylon.
Gordon is played by Scott Grimes.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Early career
- 3 Helmsman of the USS Orville
- 4 Infiltration of the Yakar
- 5 Battle of Earth
- 6 Orrin Channing
- 7 Alternate timeline
- 8 Personal life
- 9 Personality
- 10 Production
- 11 Trivia
- 12 Notes
- 13 Appearances
- 14 References
Early life[edit | edit source]
Gordon was born to Greg Malloy, a space station "builder", and an unnamed woman[n 1] in the late 2370s. He later stated that his family was "trash" and recalled his father had often been drunk and had abandoned him for long periods of time.[n 2]
Gordon grew up in New Jersey on Earth, noting: "People tell it like it is, right to the point, no BS. Good bagels, too." Gordon also stated that in New Jersey, "people think I'm the guy that never knows when to shut up."
While attending grade school, Gordon met Orrin Channing. The two would remain best friends for most of their early lives until Orrin disappeared around the year 2401. In his teens, Gordon worked at a children's summer camp as a camp counselor.
Even in his early days as a cadet, Gordon was known a gifted up-and-coming young pilot, respected for his dexterity and brashness, and he was able to "hug the donkey," an extremely difficult and dangerous fighting tactic.
While at Union Point, Gordon and an unidentified roommate turned a shuttle into a party bus. To hide themselves, they used a tractor beam to neutralize the shuttle's ion trail, rendering them completely invisible - only to be caught after the shuttle plowed into a tree when they had attempted to land.
Early career[edit | edit source]
Outpost 73[edit | edit source]
After serving on the Bohr, Gordon was stationed to Outpost 73 with his old friend, Orrin Channing, both of whom in their early 20s at the time. In 2401, Krill attacked the outpost and Gordon and others were trapped beneath fallen debris. While precise details are unclear, Gordon later recalled that Orrin had stopped to pull them out of the wreckage, saving their lives but getting himself captured as a prisoner by the Krill in the process. Orrin's wife Sophie and their newborn daughter Leyna were killed in the attack.
After the attack, Gordon recovered at a Union hospital until returning to active duty.
Suspension[edit | edit source]
Gordon's relaxed attitude and puerile behavior often got him into trouble. He was disciplined for drawing "a penis on the main viewing screen of Outpost T85" and on other things as well. A final straw came some time before March 2419.[n 4] Wanting to impress a girl, Gordon manually overrode shuttle docking. Although no one was hurt, a cargo bay door was sheared off and 300 crates of authentic autumn squash were sucked into space. Gordon was suspended indefinitely and placed on desk duty.
Helmsman of the USS Orville[edit | edit source]
When Ed was offered command of the USS Orville in September 2419, he immediately asked Admiral Halsey that Gordon be made its helmsman. Although Halsey was concerned about Gordon's record of churlish behavior, he deferred to Ed's judgment if Ed believed he can "keep Gordon focused". Later that same month, Gordon flew to the Orville by shuttle while drinking a beer and by afternoon piloted the ship out of the Union Dockyard on its maiden voyage.
Gordon's dismissiveness of command and authority, which got him into trouble in the past, soon re-surfaced. In October, Ed and Commander Kelly Grayson were kidnapped by Calivon zookeepers. When acting captain Alara Kitan followed Union orders to abandon the two as lost in the line of duty, Gordon was outraged. He angrily criticized Alara's decision and was removed from duty. He was reinstated only after speaking bluntly with Alara, convincing her to disobey orders and rescue Ed and Kelly:
You know what the really heinous thing is? If the Captain were in your shoes, he would've gone after you. He would've risked his career to save your life. You suck... sir.
Early missions[edit | edit source]
Gordon's renowned piloting skills were tested only a week after joining the Orville. Forced into a battle with a Krill destroyer, the Orville was outclassed and outgunned. Recognizing their ship could never win tit-for-tat against a destroyer, Gordon "hugged the donkey" to distract the Krill from capturing a shuttle holding the ground team, Doctor Aronov, and a quantum accelerator.
The destroyer's torpedoes heavily damaged the Orville, and the shuttle was clipped by wreckage broken off the Orville. The shuttle lost helm control and was unable to dock itself in the Shuttle Bay. Faced with nearly impossible odds, Gordon managed to orient the Orville so the shuttle could enter the Bay. Gordon's ingenuity and unparalleled piloting skills saved the Orville and rescued the crew.
- Gordon's skills would be required again in November. The Orville received a Priority One distress call from the USS Druyan, a colony transport under attack from the Krill. Again outgunned and heavily damaged as they were at the battle over Epsilon 2, Gordon and John worked together to attack the enemy's engines. The idea to attack the engines was a gambit; the traditional theory would have been to attack the weapons, but John argued that the enemy's engines were near collapse. John's idea worked, and the Orville lived to fight another battle.
- Several weeks later, Gordon piloted the Orville through a fight with the battle cruiser Kakov. The Orville was called to rescue the new colony planet Kastra 4. Under Ed's orders, Gordon eluded the enemy by flying through the planet's atmosphere, then dropped the entire payload at once, destroying the Kakov utterly.
- In early June 2420, Ed and Gordon took a shuttle from AXP 1E 1048-59 to Outpost 23 to speak at a tactical conference to brief officers on their mission on the Yakar. En route, they intercepted a distress beacon from the BCV Burton, which had crashed onto a nearby planet after a devastating battle with the Tzel, but they were shot down by the Burton's still-active Plasma Cannon. They crashed onto the planet's surface, discovering a population of Chogs surviving off of the Burton's Food Synthesizers. Ed and Gordon investigated the wreck of the Burton. A 100-year-old message left by its acting captain explained that after the Burton crashed, the planet's ecosystems, once verdant, were destroyed by a leaking quantum reactor. The Burton's surviving crew set the Burton up to protect the remaining Chogs. When the Orville arrived, Ed arranged for the Planetary Union to terraform the planet so that the Chogs may thrive once again.
Shipmaster Qualification Program[edit | edit source]
In September or October 2420, Gordon submitted a formal request to be considered for the Shipmaster Qualification Program and qualify for a command position, telling Kelly: "I love flying but it's all I've ever done." He averred that he wanted a promotion not only to feel more successful and respected, but perhaps also to meet women. However, after Kelly confronted him, Gordon confessed his true underlying motivation:
I guess lately I've been feeling bored with myself. Like, is this all I am a guy who drives ships from one place to another? And if I'm not enough for myself, what if that means I'm not enough for other people?
While never explicitly stated, Gordon seems to had dropped his plans to take the test after Kelly reaffirmed that he is a valuable member of the crew as he is.
Infiltration of the Yakar[edit | edit source]
Perhaps the highlight of Gordon's career came in December 2419. In the aftermath of the destruction of the Kakov, a rare Krill shuttle was recovered from the wreckage. Admiral Ozawa joined the USS Orville to give Ed and Gordon a new mission: pose as Krill survivors from the Kakov, infiltrate a Krill destroyer, and escape with a copy of the Anhkana. The Anhkana was a Krill holy text that preached the destruction of all other species believed inferior, which the Union understood motivated the Krill. Although an Anhkana sat in every destroyer, the Union had not yet procured a copy.
Advanced holographic projection technology recovered from the Calivon was adapted to fashion holographic disguises for Ed and Gordon. Posing as Krill soldiers "Chris" and "Devon," Ed and Gordon were picked up by the Yakar.
Ed and Gordon managed to make a partial copy of the book, and, later, discovered a massive bomb several decks below. The bomb was a prototype to be dropped on the Union colony planet of Rana 3. Ed noticed that Krill were extremely susceptible to UV radiation, and they devised a plan for Gordon to hack into the ship's engineering and cause the ship to emit large amounts of light, enough to kill a Krill but not enough to kill a Human.
Gordon successfully hacked into the ship's computers and set a timer for the UV blast but he is caught by High Priest Sazeron, who found his holographic generator and took Gordon to the bridge to Captain Haros. The ship arrived at Rana 3, so Haros decides that Gordon should watch its destruction before killing him. Fortunately, the Krill never realized that Gordon had hacked their lighting system. A blast UV radiation is emitted, killing most Krill life on board.
Unfortunately, deployment of the bomb was auto-scheduled by the ship's computer, and the Yakar fires on Rana 3 anyway. With the entire bridge crew decimated, Gordon is able to gain control of the ship's weapons array and fire torpedoes at the bomb, destroying it in space. Ed and Gordon guide a nearly empty Yakar back into Union space where they reunite with the Orville. The mission is a rousing success. Not only did the two successfully acquire a copy of the Anhkana, but steal an entire Krill destroyer to boot.
Battle of Earth[edit | edit source]
When the Kaylon seized the Orville around January or February 2421 and launched an attack on Earth, Gordon and Kelly escaped by shuttle and traveled into Krill space to convince them to join the Union in the Battle of Earth. Pursued by a faster Sphere, Gordon successfully employed a dangerous, theoretical approach to increase the speed of the shuttle's quantum drive: re-routing all power to the engines to give their vessel a temporary boost that will kill all systems but "leave the Kaylon in the dust."
The two entered Krill territory in moments and are quickly captured by a trio of destroyers led by Captain Dalak. Dalak was convinced after they are attacked by a sphere. In the ensuing battle, Gordon piloted a Marauder-class fighter and even destroys an Interceptor.
Orrin Channing[edit | edit source]
Around March or April 2421, the Orville was stationed by Tarazed 3 to sign a lak'vai pact with the Krill. Orrin Channing and his daughter, Leyna, suddenly returned, claiming to have escaped from a Krill prison camp six weeks prior in a stolen shuttle.
Gordon was initially elated to see his old friend alive, but the Krill accused Orrin of destroying four vessels in violation of a recent ceasefire. When the Planetary Union considered a provisional extradition agreement, Orrin asked Gordon to help him steal a Union shuttle and undermine the peace process. The woman known as Leyna was in fact an Envall using her blood to attack the Krill and Orrin planned to dive a shuttle with the blood into the Davoro'kos, which had arrived for the lak'vai.
Gordon helped Orrin steal the shuttle but attempted to dissuade his old friend. After a brief fight, Orrin activated a quantum storage cell containing Leyna's blood but Gordon destroyed the shuttle's control panel. Gordon fled in an environmental suit to the Orville and Orrin died in the subsequent explosion. The shockwave from the blast sent Gordon flying uncontrollably through space, but the Orville saved him with the use of its tractor beam. Following the signing of the lak'vai, Gordon later stated "Orrin died a long time ago in that prison" and reaffirmed his friendship with Ed.
Alternate timeline[edit | edit source]
In the original timeline, Gordon died in late 2419 when the USS Orville was destroyed in a dark matter storm. The timeline was permanently altered when Pria Lavesque saved the Orville in an attempt to steal the ship.
In an alternate timeline where Kelly Grayson declined a second date with Ed in 2413, Gordon remained Ed's best friend. However, as Ed never became Captain of the Orville, Gordon never served as its helmsman, and so the Kaylon won the Battle of Earth in early 2421. Gordon and Ed spent the next few months after the battle in the shuttlecraft ECV-342-1, scavenging for materials from lost Planetary Union outposts until they were picked up by Kelly and her scavenger ship to reset the timeline.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
For most of his life, Gordon Malloy was a bachelor who loathed the idea of settling down with a wife. When Navigator John LaMarr asked if he had ever been married, Gordon said, "Hell, no. In fact, when I imagine the person I'd fall in love with, the person who could bring me so much happiness that I'd want us to spend the rest of our lives together, God, it just makes me want to kill myself." By his own estimation, women usually rejected Gordon when he made the first move, and he only dated women who were first interested in him.
Gordon's interest in women was immature. He manually overrode shuttle docking to impress a girl, which caused an accident that led to a suspension and desk duty on Earth. During that period, he was stalked by another woman whom he started dating after she broke into his home. She eventually broke up with him after five months for being too clingy.
Interest in a romantic relationship[edit | edit source]
While aboard the Orville, Gordon increasingly desired companionship and, by August 2420, was romantically interested in the ship's new dark matter cartographer Janel Tyler. He asked Chief of Security Alara Kitan for information about Janel with the intention to ask her to Bortus' ja'loja, though Alara refused. Gordon even synthesized a new outfit and practiced approaching Janel with John in the Environmental Simulator by flirting with simulated women.
Gordon ultimately never spoke to Janel. He later told Lieutenant Dann that he was "grappling with insecurity and self-doubt" at the time. In late September or early October, Gordon learned that Ed had begun a relationship with her shortly after.
Gordon soon developed a crush on Lieutenant Dorsett. He flirted with her, discussing plans for a command position after passing the Shipmaster Qualification Program and inviting her out for a beer (which she accepted).[n 5]
Relationship with the crew[edit | edit source]
The Helmsman got along well with his bridgemate, John. The two quickly bonded the morning of their first day aboard the Orville. They were laid-back, often disregard decorum, and enjoyed pranking other members of the crew. In one notable prank, Gordon and John placed a piece of gelatinous Lieutenant Yaphit in buffet food, which Bortus unwittingly ate. Kelly formally reprimanded them for the jape.
Gordon's relationship with Kelly was rocky. Thanks to his friendship with Ed, he had known Kelly prior to the Orville and found her to be a "bitch" because of the affair. After telling the bridge crew that she is a bitch, he lies to her, saying he told them "that you're actually a pretty good person." Their relationship steadily improved while working together on the ship.
Practical jokes[edit | edit source]
On one occasion, Gordon was the victim of a prank gone awry. In late November, Gordon sticks large Mr. Potato Head pieces on Isaac's face and encourages the Science Officer to prank him back. As a Kaylon, Isaac struggles with understanding humor. He responds disproportionately by surgically removing Gordon's leg, which requires Doctor Claire Finn to regenerate his leg over the course of several days in the Mass Tissue Regenerator. Gordon is initially horrified by Isaac's macabre sense of humor, but in time forgives him, later confessing: "I was just angry 'cause you took my leg. But, when I really stopped to think about it, that was honest to God the best damn practical joke I've ever seen in my life."
Isaac's prank is woefully ill-timed. The time-travelling thief Pria Lavesque commandeered the Orville and took it into the 29th century. Ed orders Gordon to the Bridge, as only he is talented enough to pilot an escape. Though Gordon is successful, Ed forced Gordon to fly against Claire's medical recommendation, interrupting the regeneration process. Fortunately, Gordon's leg is fully restored.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Gordon is an outgoing, fun-loving officer who loves classic movies and television of t]]he 20th and 21st centuries, drinking, strip clubs,[n 6] and playing practical jokes on his fellow crewmembers. Compared against other members of the crew, he is considered a bit of a dullard. On one occasion, Kelly quizzes Gordon about information considered basic on Earth. He is unable to identify the capital of the former United States, the four chambers of the Human heart, and the scientist responsible for eradicating cancer.[n 7]
Gordon loves passing time in the Environmental Simulator. He programs a charismatic battle ogre named Justin and tweaks a pre-existing program of a shoot-out with Vásquez to make the desperado a dancer.
Occasionally Gordon's strong personality clashes with his job. He finds star-mapping and magnetars to be extremely boring and persistently requests to wear shorts at the helm. More seriously, he drinks alcohol while piloting several times. First, when flying a shuttle from Earth to the Union Dockyard. Second, he admits to being drunk while at the helm in orbit of the Multiphasic Planet.[n 8]
At some point prior to December 2420, Ed even tells Gordon to be more selective with what he says to Bortus. Gordon forgets and convinces Bortus to grow a mustache.
Production[edit | edit source]
Creator Seth MacFarlane developed the character of Gordon with actor Scott Grimes specifically in mind, and Scott accepted the role after a single phone call, having never read the script. Grimes later said Seth writes Gordon's dialogue "how he thinks I'd speak", although he also acknowledged that he and actor J. Lee (John LaMarr) improvise constantly when at the helm.
Gordon is mostly unchanged from the early drafts of the pilot script, although his original stated age of late 30s was changed in the episode Blood of Patriots to the 40s. His name in the original script was "Gordon Stevens"; Gordon Stevens was a smoker and a beer drinker who loves the song "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam, and described by Ed as "checked out half the time".
Season 1[edit | edit source]
In Season 1, Helmsman Malloy was the only member of the main cast not to have a dedicated episode where the plot revolves around him. During development, Grimes told MacFarlane not to worry about giving Gordon a feature episode,[n 9] and later criticized his own character as transparent:
Everybody in this first thirteen kind of has their own episode and Gordon just kind of flashes into everybody’s episode because he’s... I don’t think we need to delve into who Gordon is or where he came from. I think he’s pretty shallow and obvious.
Season 2[edit | edit source]
A year later, in contemplation of the upcoming second season, Grimes' view changed. "My character has been... the funny one. You're going to see a side that is a bit dramatic, and there's love involved. Obviously I can't say anything more." He continued to say that Gordon would receive a dedicated episode involving the Environmental Simulator.
Gordon as a plot device[edit | edit source]
Grimes refers to Gordon as a "utility character", meaning that the helmsman "could be thrown anywhere. He could go on shuttle, he could go down to a planet, he could stay up there and drive the ship or whatever."
More so than other characters, Gordon functions as a writing tool to root the futuristic concepts of the The Orville in terms 21st century audiences will understand. His love of period television allows him to allude to events, shows, and ideas that are famous now but would be obscure after four centuries. For example, when John is told that his potential Social Correction would be voted on by Sarguns, Gordon calls it "government by American Idol". In Command Performance, his extensive knowledge of classic television became a crucial plot point, as he suggested to Alara to trade the Union's archives of reality television shows with the Calivon Zoo Administrator in exchange for Ed and Kelly.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Gordon tells John that he was disciplined for doing a manual shuttle docking onto a ship which heavily damaged the ship. A week later, Bortus has Gordon manually position the Orville to dock the oncoming shuttle, essentially the same tactic that Gordon screwed up but in reverse.
- Gordon loves 21st century reality television, and had the idea to trade archives of the shows with Calivon Zoo administrators in exchange for Ed and Kelly.
- After Moclan weapons testing nearly destroys Gordon's shuttle, Gordon discloses that he defecated in his pants.
- He is terrified of surgery (tomophobia), even having a panic attack during the removal of a skin tag.
- Gordon's fascination with specific facets of centuries-old American culture has been compared to Star Trek: Voyager's Tom Paris, who was enamored of 1950s television and automobiles.
- Gordon taught Bortus the song "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion.
- The button sequences that Gordon and John press while at the helm are not arbitrary. Both Grimes and Lee had to learn actual button sequences.
- "I was like, 'I have got to work this out,'" Grimes later said. "Because there are people out there that will watch the show and say 'every time he goes to quantum drive you do the same thing' and I say 'you're damn right I do because there are people saying I won't.'"
- He is from New Jersey.
- He had a mohawk in his early 20s while assigned at Outpost 73.
- Scott Grimes later said of the final version of his character: "I might have a cocktail at the wrong time or make the wrong decision, but it’s always from the heart. And I can drive the ship like nobody’s business so that’s why I’m there."
- According to artist David Cabeza, who inked the official Season 1.5 comic books, says Gordon is the most difficult character to draw.
- He openly admits to masturbating in the Environmental Simulator.
- His physical appearance and personality resembles that of Joker from the Mass Effect series.
- He finds Xelaya to be the "best-looking planet in the Union."
- Despite being calm under pressure while piloting in battle, Gordon has extreme anxiety during tests and evaluations - as seen during the Shipmaster Qualification Program.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Mentioned in passing in Firestorm.
- When Bortus leaves, John says: "He just left his baby alone with two drunk dudes." Gordon replies, "Reminds me of my dad. I miss him." Episode 1x03: About a Girl
- John LaMarr: Big red 'fro. Lots of makeup. Big ol' floppy shoes. Scary as balls. Gordon Malloy: Wow, you're describing my mom. Episode 1x10: Firestorm
- Gordon states that he dated a woman during this time for five months. This means the relationship must have started at least five months before September 2419, when he joins the Orville. See Episode 2x01: Ja'loja.
- Gordon Malloy: "It was just a crush." Episode 2x04: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes
- Gordon asks if Epsilon 2 has bars or strip clubs. Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
- In another instance, Gordon tells Kelly, "I'm going to look up what 'magnanimous' means." Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
- "Can you translate that for dumb guys who might also be a little drunk?" Episode 12: Mad Idolatry
- Also Scott Grimes to reporters: "We don't need to see what makes Gordon deep, dark Gordon." "NYCC 2017: Adrianne Palicki & Scott Grimes - The Orville". WithAnAccentTV. Oct. 13, 2017.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Episode 1x06: Krill
- Episode 2x04: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes
- Episode 2x11: Lasting Impressions
- Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
- Episode 2x03: Home
- Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
- Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
- Scott Grimes in The World of the Orville by Jeff Bond. Titan Books. 2018. Pg. 72.
- Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
- Episode 2x12: Sanctuary
- Episode 2.5x01: Launch Day, Pt. 1
- Episode 2x01: Ja'loja
- Episode 1x02: Command Performance
- Episode 1x06: Krill
- Episode 1.5x01: New Beginnings, Pt. 1
- Episode 1.5x02: New Beginnings, Pt. 2
- Episode 1x06: Krill
- Gordon Malloy. Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
- Episode 1x05: Pria
- Episode 2x14: The Road Not Taken
- Episode 1x04: If the Stars Should Appear
- Episode 1x01: Old Wounds
- Episode 1x03: About a Girl
- Episode 2x06: A Happy Refrain
- "THE ORVILLE PODCAST EP 14 - THE SCOTT GRIMES INTERVIEW". The Orville Podcast. Dec. 8, 2017.
- Stuart, Alistar. "Scott Grimes Interview: The Orville actor on boldly going the MacFarlane way". MYMBuzz. Dec. 7, 2017.
- MacFarlane, Seth. Orville 1x01 - Pilot. Fox Broadcasting Co.
- Seat42F. "Scott Grimes J. Lee THE ORVILLE Comic Con 2018 Interview". YouTube. July 23, 2018.
- Snowden, Scott. "The Orville, cast interview – Scott Grimes (Lt Gordon Malloy)". MYMBuzz. Jan. 15, 2019.
- Episode 1x07: Majority Rule
- Episode 1x10: Firestorm
- Episode 1x09: Cupid's Dagger
- Bernstein, Abby. "THE ORVILLE: Scott Grimes beams up for Season 1 of new space trek – Exclusive Interview". AssignmentX. Dec. 1, 2017.
- Snowden, Scott. "'The Orville' Season 2 Launches Tonight! Here's What to Expect Straight from the Cast.". Space.com. Dec. 30, 2018.
- "The Redenbacher Ep 12- David Cabeza Interview". The Redenbacher. June 26, 2019.
- Episode 2x02: Primal Urges