Title: New Dimensions
Director: Kelly Cronin
Writers: created and written by Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, Cad L Coleman, Norm MacDonald
Duration: 1 hr
Once again, The Orville has proven a pretty consistent commodity with yet another enjoyable, engaging episode that was a nice blend of the stuff I am looking for in a series like this: outer space adventure, mystery, and discovery. This week’s story was quite enjoyable. This show’s light-hearted approach always seems to have an ability to make its stories fun. The episode was strongly reminiscent of Star Trek TNG like so many in this series are, and if you haven’t gotten used to the idea this show is more or less a tribute to that series by now, then maybe you should spend less time getting wasted.
Along time ago I read a book titled Flatland, and while I am fuzzy on the details, I do remember that it was a surprisingly amusing read that spent a lot of time explaining what you would experience if you were, say a two-dimensional being or a one dimensional being as compared to what we experience existing in a three dimensional reality, and did it well. It’s an eye-opening book for someone who never considered these things or who ever considered seeing things from a different point of view. Flatland apparently served as inspiration for tonight’s episode of The Orville and the narrative played around with a lot the ideas in the book, and MacFarlane’s character Ed even mentions it during the episode.
(*warning spoilers follow*)
When the need arises to look for a new chief engineer, Kelly goes through everyone’s files and discovers that Lt. John LaMarr is the smartest person onboard and suspects he would be the best person for the job. Ed is not sure it’s a good idea and wants to promote Yaphet who is next in line for a promotion. Lamar himself is hesitant to take charge and resists the idea of being in command.
When the ship encounters an anomaly that damages one of the engines, Kelly jumps at the opportunity to test Lamar out by putting him in charge of figuring out just what they encountered and getting the ship repaired. Yaphet is not happy and claims racism is why he is being passed over. It was meant to be amusing I am sure but only partially succeeds in that regard. After stumbling initially, Lamar does prove to be quite intelligent and notices things no one else does, even Isaac.
It turns out they have encountered the doorway to a two-dimensional pocket of space and soon after they detect another ship about to encounter it also. The Orville tries to warn the ship’s commander, but he is a surly and belligerent type who more or less tells them to shove it. His ship is shown entering and exiting the anomaly, and it proves to be a fatal encounter for him. It turns out his ship was smuggling weapons and its assumed the weapons owners will soon come to claim them and they don’t disappoint. Three Krill ships are soon detected on course to arrive shortly.
With the Orville still under repairs running away or fighting is not an option, Lamarr comes up with a plan to hide inside the anomaly using a protective bubble generated by the ship, and it works. They disappear inside the anomaly just as the Krill ships arrive. Inside the anomaly turns out to be an oooh moment nicely portrayed in a manner that reminded me of the original Tron.
When the entrance to the anomaly close with the Orville still in it, once again its Lamarr who figures out how to deal with it and saves the ship and the lives of the crew. While all this is going on, he displays several qualities that indicate he is a natural leader. he passes the test with flying colors and gets promoted to chief engineer Hard to believe this the same zLaMarr who caused a big fuss because he was humping a statue on a planet not long ago
The episode also included Ed finally figuring out Kelly was responsible for him getting command of the Orville. He is upset for awhile but eventually realizes she did him a favor and thanks her.