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New Beginnings, Pt. 1 is the premiere issue of Season 1.5 of The Orville. It is the first part of a two-part episode known as New Beginnings. On their way to a tactical conference on Outpost 23, Captain Ed Mercer and Helmsman Gordon Malloy investigate a distress signal from a century-old buoy. Meanwhile, First Officer Kelly Grayson tries to mediate when Second Officer Bortus insists on enrolling Topa into school despite him being only a few months old.

According to executive producer David A. Goodman, the comic takes place

a few weeks after the end of the first season, on a routine examination of a magnetar. The situation between Ed and Kelly is still pretty raw for Ed, and that plays a part in the comic’s storyline, which involves discovering a new race and a century-old mystery.[1]
The episode was written by Goodman, and staffed by artist David Cabeza, colorist Michael Atiyeh, and letterers Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt.

Originally released on July 17, 2019, New Beginnings, Pt. 1 was later released as the first part of the book The Orville Season 1.5: New Beginnings on February 18, 2020.[2]

Plot Edit

Tzel war

Ed Mercer recalls the devastating war between the Planetary Union and the Tzel.

Captain Ed Mercer sits alone in the Mess Hall watching the stars over a drink. First Officer Kelly Grayson enters, tells him that she no longer cares if a relationship would jeopardize his command and their friendship, and kisses him passionately. An alarm sounds and Ed wakes up alone in his room.

On the Bridge of the USS Orville, the crew monitors a nearby magnetar, a neutron star with a very powerful magnetic field. Isaac estimates his investigation of the star will take 49 more hours. Ed and Helmsman Gordon Malloy are due at Outpost 23 to brief a tactical conference the following day, so the pair depart by shuttle, leaving Kelly the acting captain.

During their trip to the conference, Ed and Gordon receive a distress signal from an old communications buoy. Gordon identifies the buoy as left by the BCV Burton, a battleship lost over a hundred years ago to the Tzel. War between the Planetary Union the Tzel cost thousands of lives. Gordon notes the buoy's log records that the Burton was damaged in battle in a nearby, uncharted star system. The two attempt to signal the Orville but the magnetar prevents communications.

In Sick Bay, Kelly tells Doctor Claire Finn that since her breakup with Ed, the captain has been acting cold. Second Officer Bortus walks in, followed by his mate Klyden and their child Topa. Even though Topa is only a eight months old, as a Moclan, he is nearly as mature as a Human eight-year-old, and Bortus wants permission to enroll the boy in school.

New Beginnings classroom

Cassius teaches class on the USS Orville.

Ed and Gordon enter the star system to find the remains of an old battlefield adrift in space. Among the ruins floating in orbit above an oxygen-rich planet, it is hard to find which wreckage belongs to the Burton. Ed figures that any survivors must have retreated to the planet's surface, but the sheer quantity of debris prevents scanning it. Suddenly, an energy burst destroys the shuttle's engines. Gordon sets a distress beacon ("though with all that debris up there, Orville will have to be pretty close to read it") and they make an emergency landing. Ed's Comscanner reading shows the energy burst was fired at the shuttle from about five kilometers away.

Kelly argues with Cassius, the ship's school teacher, to enroll Topa, but he is adamant the boy is too young. Kelly orders him to admit Topa and Cassius promises to file a complaint with the Union Board of Education.

New Beginnings plasma guns

Ed and Gordon Malloy explore a strange world.

Meanwhile, Ed and Gordon walk through the ruins of a primitive ghost town, and note that there are traces of radioactivity lingering. Gordon's comscanner picks up many life forms beyond a ridge. They find a populace of roughly 500 bird-like aliens, but are quickly surrounded. A leader named Thoz introduces himself.

Cassius enters Kelly's office to apologize. Topa did well in his first day of class; and Cassius will not send a complaint. When Cassius exits, Chief of Security Alara Kitan tells Kelly to ask him out.

The indigenous species, called Chogs, serve Ed and Gordon an evening meal. Chogs are remarkably friendly and peaceful. As Ed and Gordon examine their surroundings, they stumble upon an old particle beam cannon... atop the wreck of the Burton.

Production Edit

800px-David A. Goodman by Gage Skidmore 3

Executive producer David A. Goodman wrote the episode.

New Beginnings, Pt. 1 was written by the show's executive producer David A. Goodman. Goodman stated that several aliens in this issue would be unique to the comics because creating them for television would be too expensive.[3]

Goodman and David Cabeza, the illustrator, coordinated by e-mail and spoke far more often to create this issue than for later ones. Part of the problem was their inexperience, neither had created comics for Dark Horse before. Goodman, for example, included too many frames per page than was artistically feasible and had to modify his script.[4]

He added that part of his goal with this issue and New Beginnings, Pt. 2 was to answer questions lingering from Season 1 that were not addressed in Season 2.[3]

Excerpts from this first issue were released as a preview by Syfy Wire on April 28th, three days following the broadcast of the Season 2 finale, The Road Not Taken.[5]

Reception Edit

Critical and fan response to this issue was overall positive. "The story of [New Beginnings, Pt. 1] reads like a better than average episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation," wrote Matthew Blair of Multiversity Comics, who rated it 7.7 out of 10.[6] Beyond the Panel gave the issue 8 out of 10, concluding it was "a solid start to something that could only happen within the pages of a comic."[7]

Trivia Edit

  • Isaac says the magnetar is AXP 1E 1048-59. That is an actual anomalous X-ray pulsar, the first ever discovered to emit bursts of irregular gamma radiation and the closest to Earth.
    • AXP 1E 1048-59 is 9,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina. That means the magnetar is easily the most distant location yet reached by the Orville.
      • Given the Orville's top speed is over 10 light years per hour,[8] it would take 37.5 days to reach the star. In order to comport with the show's Timeline, the Orville must have visited the Multiphasic Planet of Mad Idolatry and traveled directly to the magnetar.
  • The comic states that the events take place "a few weeks" after Mad Idolatry
    • Topa is now eight months old; his birth took place in the closing scene of Command Performance (c. October 2419). As such, this story can be placed around June 2420.
    • This comic also takes place "about a month" before Ja'loja, as that is how long Kelly and Cassius were seeing each other before Ed was informed.
Epsilon 2 reference

Epsilon 2 on display.

  • Epsilon 2 is seen on a screen behind Isaac.
  • Part of a name of another Union ship, BCV Cons-, can be seen in the battlefield ruins.
  • The alien students in the classroom are based on those seen in the episode Ja'loja.
    • In addition, a child of the same race as Lieutenant Dann is seen. They are not necessarily related to Dann, who is established as single in Ja'loja. Two other members of this species are seen amongst the assembled crew in Old Wounds, another is seen in this very issue.
  • The scene of the "bloody" conflict, in which the bug-like Tzel use their appendages to slaughter armored Union troops, is reminiscent of of the film Starship Troopers.
  • Chief Engineer John LaMarr appears only in a non-speaking background cameo.
  • This issue gives special thanks to creator Seth MacFarlane, science adviser André Bormanis, executive producers Brannon Braga and Jason Clark, writer Gerry Duggan of Marvel Comics, digital effects supervisor Brandon Fayette, assistant to executive producer Julia Nichols Hodges, production secretary Rahne Keith, Mayumi Yokomizo, Joy Fehily (who manages MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door Productions), publicist Cassy Brewer (who works with Fehily), Sheri Conn of The Consultancy Project, and executive director Carol Roeder of 20th Century Fox.
  • Artist David Cabeza made a clay figurine of a Chog guard to help visualize how to draw the creatures.[9]

References Edit

  • The comic opens to Kelly approaching Ed in the Mess Hall and referring back to the final scene of Mad Idolatry, when she said "you and I together jeopardizes your command." Ed is sitting in the same place Kelly left him to watch the stars.
  • Gordon says that the tactical conference is to brief the attendees on their experiences on "the Krill ship," referring to their mission to infiltrate the Yakar in the episode Krill.


Alara engineer

Alara the engineer.

Cast Edit

Main Cast Edit

Special Guest Cast Edit

Recurring Cast Edit

References Edit

  2. The Orville Season 1.5: New Beginnings. Penguin Random House. Last accessed July 3, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pascale, Anthony. "Interview: David A. Goodman On How ‘The Orville’ Wrapped Up Season Two And Where It Could Go Next". TrekMovie. May 3, 2019.
  4. Mainframe Comic Con | Sunday | Part 2. Chuck Load of Comics. April 26, 2020.
  5. Exclusive: The Orville's David Goodman rockets into Dark Horse Comics' tie-in series
  6. Blair, Matthew. "“The Orville: New Beginnings” #1". Multiversity Comics. July 19, 2019.
  7. Review: The Orville #1: New Beginnings Part 1 of 2. Beyond the Panel. July 17, 2019.
  8. Episode 1x05: Pria
  9. @kashinorei. "This plasticine friend, with his strange color scheme and shabby finish (done in 5 min.), was very useful for drawing some chogs. Everything goes to do the job!😅 #TheOrville #comics @DarkHorseComics @DavidAGoodman  #SethMacFarlane". Twitter. Aug. 23, 2019.
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