I already miss The Orville. I know it’s only been gone for a week, but I just faced a Thursday night without that curious combination of sci-fi, quirkiness, high production values, and low-brow humor. It’ll be nine long months until I see Bortus and Yaphit again…three-quarters of a year before I find out what new practical jokes Gordon and John play on Isaac, whether Alara has to open another “jar of pickles,” and what else Ed and Kelly can find to argue about. I feel totally invested in these characters, and I can’t wait to watch more of their adventures together.
And then there’s Star Trek: Discovery.
It’s been on hiatus for nearly a month, and as I lament my now-Orvilless Thursday nights, I realize that I haven’t really thought much about Discovery in the past five weeks. I honestly don’t miss it.
It’s not that Discovery is a bad show. As I’ve said many times, I enjoy the series and appreciate the work and attention to detail that has gone into it. I’ll still be watching the final six episodes of season one when the series returns on January 7, but it’s mainly because I want to learn if I’m right about Lorca being from the Mirror Universe and whether Ash Tyler is really a genetically-altered Voq the Klingon. And frankly, I don’t much care who wins the Federation/Klingon war because—I’m sorry to say—I just don’t feel invested in the whole storyline or the characters.
Why is that?
I mean, I’m a Trekkie! Why wouldn’t I care about who wins a war with the Klingons that could destroy the United Federation of Planets??? Sure, you can say it’s because they don’t look like “real” Klingons or those don’t really look like Starfleet vessels or 23rd century uniforms. But it’s still a war. If there were a war in the Orville universe, you’d better believe I’d be rooting for the Planetary Union over the Krill. And I’ve only known this Orville universe for three and a half months, nearly as long as I’ve known the Disco-verse (whether or not I consider it canon).
So why do I just not care about what happens on Discovery? Why am I not invested in the characters and their fates the way I am for The Orville?