The Orville

The Orville


Star Trek-esque show by Seth McFarlane.

Down on his luck after a bitter divorce, Planetary Union officer Ed Mercer (McFarlane) finally gets his chance to command his own ship. Determined to prove his worth and start a new chapter, Ed discovers the first wrinkle in his plan when the First Officer assigned to his ship is his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson. As the new commander, Ed assembles a qualified — but eccentric — crew, including his best friend, Gordon, who has problems with authority but is the best helmsman in the fleet; Dr. Claire Finn; Bortus, an alien from a single-sex species; Isaac, an artificial life-form from a machine society; navigator John Lamarr; Alara Kitan, a young, inexperienced security officer; and Yaphit, a gelatinous creature.

While Bortus is called an “alien from a single-sex species” what this really means is Bortus is an alien from an all male species. This is no Ethan of Athos folks (which by the way, go read, it’s great).

The earlier seasons struggle with representation, and their treatment of Bortus is pretty divisive.

Queer Plotline Timeline

In season one and two, Bortus and his mate are our only really non-cis-male queer storyline. This improves later on, but the handling of Bouts’ child’s storyline rankled a lot of people.

Due to Topa’s gender being restored to her birth, she was removed from the site.

Notable Queer-Centric Episodes

  • "About A Girl" - Second officer Bortus gives birth to a female child. Unfortunately, Bortus belongs to a male-only species, the Moclans, so he and his mate demand that a procedure be performed to change her sex.
  • Season 3 Episode 5 "A Tale of Two Topas" -- When Topa prepares for the Union Point entrance exam, she reverts to her birth gender.


There are 2 queer characters listed for this show; 1 is dead.

Regular (1)

Recurring (1)

This page was last edited on August 8th, 2022.
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