Topic: Has Fox found the spiritual sequel to Sliders?
My subject is clickbaity. I don't really think that they have, but something really struck me about a show I watched on Fox this last week.
This is a show that's hard for me to really sell to anyone because it's a big of a convoluted mess of a concept. It's Seth MacFarlane doing a Star Trek cosplay that takes itself seriously. None of that seems to click - when I first saw the trailers, I thought it was supposed to be a 30-minute comedy. Seth MacFarlane does Galaxy Quest.
What I found, instead, is that it's MacFarlane doing TNG. There are moments of comedy and ridiculousness (because that's what MacFarlane knows), but the show takes itself far more seriously than I would've ever thought. The show has tackled a handful of social issues, and MacFarlane's character has ended up much more like Picard than the comedic "in over his head" character I was led to believe he'd be by watching the promos.
The most recent episode was about a small team of four scientists being sent to a world that was a true democracy. The entire system of government is voted on by the people, including the legal system. One of the scientists, unsure of the society's rules, gets caught up in the legal system and must work within the world's system to save himself.
Change a couple of words, and that could easily be an episode of Sliders. And that's really what it felt like to me. The four people on the planet are essentially stranded - the Orville is unable to help because of their version of the Prime Directive. They learn about the system, deal with some of the native people, and they (sort of?) try to understand the world they're on.
This is the first episode of the show that's felt that way - most of the show is, like I said, a modern version of TNG. But I was a bit surprised at how much it felt like Sliders as I was watching it. I could easily see Rembrandt getting in over his head on a world like this one, and Arturo/Quinn/Wade having to figure out how to get him out of it.
(Granted, Rembrandt probably would've been arrested for something different than what happens on the Orville but my point remains).
I don't know how many are watching this show, but it's way better than I imagined. And like I said in the Star Trek post, it's kinda cool that there's a show doing very Trek-like things while Discovery is doing un-Trek-like (but still good) things on its side of the universe.