The best Star Trek on television over the past few years hasn’t been Star Trek at all; it’s been Seth MacFarlane’s rapidly evolving love letter to classic Trek, The Orville. Crammed full of the optimism and the episodic, yet powerful storytelling of The Next Generation, the show has hit its stride. Season 3 of the show is set to premiere on Hulu later this year, and it appears that, in a rare move, the entire season will be directed by show creator MacFarlane and producing director John Cassar.
The news comes from Jonathan Frakes, who directed an episode in each of the first two seasons but lamented that he would not be invited back for the third. “I’m not involved with the third season,” Frakes told ComicBook.com. “They made a decision to have Seth and John Cassar, who’s the producing director, direct all the episodes of the third season of that show, much to my chagrin, but that’s the way it goes.”
Usually, show creators direct the initial episodes of a season if any at all, but MacFarlane and Cassar taking full control shows that the series is embracing its new streaming home, where single or limited directors for an entire season are far more common, especially since season lengths are usually shorter. This may also clue into the direction of the series as the second season shifted into a far more serious tone from the first with a deeper season-long story arc. Having only two directors who are heavily involved in the show’s direction means the series will most likely continue down the same road.
Although not directing, Frakes says he hopes he’ll get to cameo at some point on the series as multiple Star Trek alums already have.
The Orville will arrive on Hulu sometime near the end of the year.