The Orville - 3.02: Shadow Realms

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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The Orville crew embarks on a mission to explore a dangerous region of Krill Space
 
Not just space opera, but they are actually doing a classical exploration mission in an unknown area of former enemy space. Man, I cannot remember the last time when I watched a pure exploration mission in unknown space. It is as if that part of the SF stories were completely shifted so that the audience would be endless bombarded with the war-in-space arcs.

It's true that the Krill's are former enemies and the Union should not have any fussy feelings over them, since they're still hurting from the last action. Yet, the life goes on and science gets back into the mission manifold, because it's part of the Orville's main mission package.

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The feeling when the old flame, who also happens to be a commanding officer, a top Union diplomat and a former teacher, walks into your office and asks you out for a dinner. Man, :LOL:

I thought that her resentment had something to do with the Krill space and the hostilities, since our doctor has been in the space business for a long while. So, when this happened it immediately reminded me about many ST's episodes, where similar things happens and back in the days I thought the ST:NG were a love boat.

Thing is, MacFarlane used the Love Boat concept so often. There is nothing wrong with that trope, but it is classical and there is nothing really original in it. It is a perfect and a very innocent way of making the life happen, as love with the human subjects is very universal platform and it can easily give some flair to the characters.

I approved her denial for the dinner and meeting the kids, absolutely, because in her shoes fraternizing with a commanding officer in a small ship is going to cause gossip. Then again, we are talking this in the Orville, where weird sex has already happened, and it's a common thing to have somewhat open relationships.

The admiral said, "Look, what's it worth, it maybe 25 years too late, but... I'm sorry."

I don't think Adm is a wrong man for the doctor, but 25 years later is 25 later and a lot of time has passed in between. It's the rules and norms are in their way as the Orville tries to be a professional ship and not a Love Boat.

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"I fail to understand the purpose of this gathering," Krill diplomat said. Clearly they are very pragmatic people. No frills, only business but, as a viewer, I like watching diplomatic gatherings, because they show interactions between the species.

The admiral put it as "an old Earth custom," while the captain extended the olive branch by "wanting the temporary alliance to become a permanent." Very good lines that went to deft ears. Well, man has to do what man has to do for the greater good. Even if the greater good is never achieved.

The new thing was with the doctor nicking a bottle of wine and then having a girlie talk with Kelly about the Admiral and revealing that he's not just an old flame, but actually an ex hubby.

*mind blown* Yeah, in her shoes I'd have said, "No," to the dinner as well, because rekindling ex flames never really works. It almost always ends up in the bad place.

When Kelly asked, "Why the professor?" Doctor answered with the Breaking Bad line, "Everything forbidden is sweet."

Say no more, sister. Different lifetime, different goggles. Nothing wrong with it.

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The Krill didn't allow The Orville just to enter into their space without restrictions. The flight plan was understandable, put when they pushed the tracking beacon I thought they were a-holes over the issues, for already asking to be able to mine freely in the Union space. Then they revealed that it was the Expanse was a place with demons, I burst out to laugh.

Demons, Mr Ambassador?

"The Anhkana warns of Shadow Realms. Gateways to the depths of the underworld, where demons lie in wait to possess the souls of those who dare to stray within their reach. They corrupt all that is holy. Within their grasp, even the most righteous can be forced to commit unspeakable acts of depravity."

Oh reaaally? Depravity? Oh my, Mr Ambassador. Set course towards the Expanse!

As a farewell gift the ambo claimed that the Orville was heading towards their death and not love boat activity that would totally suit this series.

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"Folks, welcome to the Naklav Sector."

"Reminds me of Vegas." :LOL:

Yeah, it's bright and a star factory. Isaac added that: "... the star cluster had 347 habitable planets, bust so far no indications of intelligent life." To which Gordon said, "Wow, it really is Vegas." :sneaky:

It didn't surprise me that they detected a distress single in the expanse. It was the distance of 16.4 light years that shocked me, because answering to it would definitely be a case of too late. At the coordinates they found out a hellish looking station.

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To my eyes that look like a gigantic probe and not a station, and in the scientific terms it's definitely not part of ordinary star factor items. The thing that surprised me was that the whole commanding crew went into the way mission, and they took the admiral with them.

Is that really the protocol that you'd when you're exploring an unknown and potentially a hostile encounter?

I liked that the interior were organic, making the vessel a biomechanoid or a living machine. I liked even more that the crew came to the same conclusion in their analysis on the vessel. That the station itself was a living being, and something that their sensors couldn't classify as a lifeform because it was in the library.

It freaked me out that the admiral was psionically attacked in the aftermath. But it also made sense, because I was also thinking was the signal really distress or a lure? Seeing that the attack cause extra eyes to pop on Admiral's forehead made me to think that the vessel was a god machine, an overseer set to overwatch the baby stars and their development. And during that time the machine had developed a malfunction that had caused all the habitable planets to remain empty, instead of going through a normal evolutionary cycle.

The episode did fail on Hard SF, when the ship lost its power, after Admiral did do a runner and like a bad patient, used his command codes to take over the ship. It only made the idea of a sick overseer probe firmer in my mind. But why is that they retained gravity?

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Wow. Seeing the transformed Admiral turning a red shirt to a member of its species in a matter of seconds put this episode firmly into the horror category, with the effect worth of being shown in the core magazines.

How could it work so fast?

The doctor explained it as a form of procreation :giggle:

Really? Well, it makes sense as an extreme form of Love Boat incident. When the doctor said, "We need to find protection as soon as possible," I couldn't help but imagine all of them dressing in giant condoms.

Luckily that didn't happen, and we got a nice action sequence with the demons chasing victims and the crew fighting back. Doctor's solution with a synthetic virus sounded very plausible, and also a nod towards Mr Well's the War of Worlds.

It surprised me positively that the monsters took the crew members and there was no way for them to save them or even reverse the process. And the thing is that they now have a "demonic species" threatening with a conflict is only a positive arc for this series.

--

Very lovely and twisty episode.
 
Nice little homages to ST: TMP, Alien and The Fly in this "haunted house in space" episode. Like Alien, it's central theme is reproduction and this is nicely introduced earlier in the script with the arrival of the doctor's ex-husband. If you're familiar with the aforementioned three (and let's face it, who isn't!) there will be no big surprises.

The new demons look like they're going to be this series' borg, complete with their own version of "you will be assimilated!"

Musically, we had a subtle use of the infamous Blaster Beam, an instrument designed by child-actor turned musician Craig Huxley, who played Kirk's nephew in an episode of Star Trek. The probe itself resembled V'ger from TMP, so it was a nice nod when it was used for the probe's music cue. Fantastic music once again.

Compared to Nu Trek and Star Wars - I think it's noticeable that the leads are more mature, in age and acting performance. This goes to the show's credit as the writer's can give them more to work with - standout is Dr Claire Finn who is doing a lot of heavy lifting in this episode and looks to be given more screen time than previous leads Macfarlane and Palicki.
 
Yikes! I don't think I've jumped that often since I watched Alien for the first time.
The personal relationships and humorous elements added to the horror made this episode especially enjoyable. Well done!
 
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Den of geek didn't like the horror aspect. But I do get it, because I too have used it. It's just I used it to descend into darkness, while this episode was an arc reaching towards greater darkness.

 
Den of geek didn't like the horror aspect. But I do get it, because I too have used it. It's just I used it to descend into darkness, while this episode was an arc reaching towards greater darkness.

I like Den of Geek, but any review is really only one writer's opinion.
 
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I liked this. Just had a problem with the introduction of the Admiral to be a rather obvious victim of something or other...
MacFarlane used the Love Boat concept so often. There is nothing wrong with that trope, but it is classical and there is nothing really original in it.
As soon as we met the Admiral, I knew he wasn't coming back from this episode. The introduction of a totally new character, a former husband, who has never been mentioned before...?
they took the admiral with them. Is that really the protocol that you'd when you're exploring an unknown and potentially a hostile encounter?
As soon as he was going, I knew he was going to die... and probably in a horrible way!

Only that he didn't. He was just changed...
Seeing the transformed Admiral turning a red shirt to a member of its species in a matter of seconds put this episode firmly into the horror category
I thought they gave up on their former crewmates a little too easily. Couldn't science and medical try a little harder to turn them back again? They obviously aren't completely changed until after 6 months. It was like, "Oh! You've caught Rabies. Bye now!" However, from the point of view of a Horror (or a Walking Dead episode) that is exactly what happens. Was that part of the problem that 'Den of Geek' had?
But why is that they retained gravity?
That happens so many times in Sci-Fi TV and Film that I barely notice it any longer, but I should!
a nod towards Mr Well's the War of Worlds.
I completely missed that reference too. Thanks!
fraternizing with a commanding officer in a small ship is going to cause gossip.
Not only his seniority, but she is getting a reputation. If there is any "weird sex" then she is usually involved.
"I fail to understand the purpose of this gathering," Krill diplomat said.
That reminded me of the ST:TNG episode 'Starship Mine' where Data tries to learn "small talk" but has an epic fail.
he new demons look like they're going to be this series' borg, complete with their own version of "you will be assimilated!"
Yes, definitely, but I'm not sold on their new catchphrase (which I had to turn on close-caption to understand). Rather than "We are Borg. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own," instead we got "We go. But not forever!" It's rather underwhelming! :giggle:
 
I thought they gave up on their former crewmates a little too easily. Couldn't science and medical try a little harder to turn them back again? They obviously aren't completely changed until after 6 months. It was like, "Oh! You've caught Rabies. Bye now!" However, from the point of view of a Horror (or a Walking Dead episode) that is exactly what happens. Was that part of the problem that 'Den of Geek' had?

Thing is, if they had tried medical and managed to reverse, it would have suspended my disbelief. Those sorts of miracles don't happen. You might get a sense, like it was with the Admiral, but it's not like he's going to be himself again.

The problem that den people had was with the change. It didn't go well into him, even though it was foreshadowed. Maybe he was expecting something funnier, since they were joking about Vegas.
 
That reminded me of the ST:TNG episode 'Starship Mine' where Data tries to learn "small talk" but has an epic fail.

Funnily enough - I've just finished watching "Identity Crisis" (TNG S04 E18) and it has the same infection leading to bodily transformation plot, except with a happier ending.
 

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