Season 1.5 of The Orville is a comic book published by Dark Horse Comics. The crew of the USS Orville explores space, encounters strange and alien worlds, and deals with their personal lives in a two-episode, four-issue comic book.

Chronologically, the season takes place around June of the year 2420, between the finale of Season 1 and the Season 2 premiere. However, Season 1.5 was released on July 17, 2019, well after the conclusion of Season 2. The comics continue in Season 2.5.

The comics were written entirely by the show's executive producer David A. Goodman. Artwork was drawn by David Cabeza and colorizing was done by Michael Atiyeh.

Dark Horse editor Dave Marshall served as an informal coordinator for the trio to work together. It was Marshall's idea to make every episode release a two-part issue make the comic-book run feel more like television episodes.[1]

According to Goodman, Season 1.5 is meant to have soft canonical value: facts introduced in the comic books establish the show's canon unless contradicted by the television episodes.[2]

In addition to the periodic release of the comics over 2019, the entire season was released in book form in 2020 as The Orville Season 1.5: New Beginnings.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Ed Mercer and Gordon Malloy crash-land on an undiscovered planet.

In New Beginnings, Pt. 1, Captain Ed Mercer and Helmsman Gordon Malloy discover a century-old buoy from a lost Planetary Union ship, the BCV Burton, but end up stranded on a mysterious planet.

On the USS Orville, First Officer Kelly Grayson tries to mediate when Second Officer Bortus insists on enrolling his very young son in school, and ends up meeting Cassius in turn. The two begin dating.

In New Beginnings, Pt. 2, Ed and Gordon investigate the fate of the Burton and learn it had been lured along with other Planetary Union battleships into a Tzel ambush. After barely surviving the ensuing battle, the Burton crash landed upon a nearby planet, extinguishing nearly all life but the friendly Chog. All paths converge when the Orville rescues Ed and Gordon, and the Chog are re-patriated to a more hospitable planet while their world is restored.

In the second episode, The Word of Avis, Pt. 1, the Orville intercepts a team of Union xenoanthropologists headed for Krill space. The scientists claim they wanted to go to Mizar 2 and faulty navigation equipment took them off course, but investigations reveal them to be worshipers of Avis. Suddenly, Helmsman Gordon Malloy realizes they uploaded a malicious program to the Orville's computer, and the Orville is now 35 light years into Krill territory.

Captain Kratok hunts for the USS Orville.

In The Word of Avis, Pt. 2, the Orville sets a course for Union space, holographically generated as a Krill destroyer. A mysterious adviser to Captain Kratok directs him to scan the Orville with neutron radiation, foiling the generator. The Orville flees to the hollow of a nearby asteroid.

The Orville's senior officers trick the xenoanthropologists into unlocking their transport's computer, and they use the holographic generator to make the transport look like the Orville. The empty transport jets out of the asteroid, hotly pursued by the Krill, and the real Orville easily returns to Union space. In the epilogue, the mysterious adviser reveals herself to be Teleya and promises "very special plans" for Ed.

Production[edit | edit source]

Executive producer David A. Goodman used Season 1.5 as a chance to develop the stories of Season 1.

Creator Seth MacFarlane gave executive producer David A. Goodman "free reign" to write for an upcoming comic series.[1] Goodman developed stories that he believed would not work as a television episode. He sought out elements of Season 1 that were left "unexplained" as material to explore.[3]

Goodman wrote a scene based on the episode Krill to test artists.[1] Dark Horse Comics evaluated applicants for a clean style and similarity with the on-screen characters[4] - probably based on comments Goodman made to Dark Horse.[1] Many artists submitted example pages based on Goodman's test scene, but creator Seth MacFarlane picked Cabeza's work.[1]

The script was written beforehand and art added after (as opposed to a Marvel approach to comics where a script is written after the panels are drawn).[1] Goodman wrote the comics not only for fans, but also to introduce comic book fans to The Orville.[3]

Cabeza remarked on drawing the comic:

You have to constantly check that everything is as similar as possible to what has already been established [on the show]. I like everything to look perfect and in place so the collaboration has been quite close with David, but his script is descriptive enough and there's the show to refer to, so I ask him only when I have some doubts.[3]

20th Century Fox provided Dark Horse Comics with reference photographs for Cabeza.[4]

Goodman reviewed Cabeza's work by e-mail, answered Cabeza's questions, and e-mailed suggestions of his own.[4]

Episodes[edit | edit source]

List of episodes
Count Season Issue Title Publication Date Notes
Summary
01 1.5 01 New Beginnings, Pt. 1 July 17, 2019 -
Ed and Gordon discover a century-old buoy from an old Union ship only to be shot down on an irradiated, war-torn planet in the hands of an unknown species. On the Orville, Kelly tries to mediate when Bortus insists on enrolling his very young son in school.
1.5 02 New Beginnings, Pt. 2 August 14, 2019 -
As Ed and Gordon uncover the truth of a century-old war, they fear that their eventual rescue may endanger all life on the entire planet.
02 1.5 03 The Word of Avis, Pt. 1 September 11, 2019 -
The Orville intercepts a team of xenoanthropologists on their way to Krill space, only to find them more dangerous than meets the eye.
1.5 04 The Word of Avis, Pt. 2 October 16, 2019 -
Dragged off course and into Krill territory, the Orville crew find themselves in a battle for their lives, with threats from both outside and within.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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