"The Orville". A Seth McFarlane Space Adventure on Fox

Picard102

Sr Member
Agreed. I really liked this episode. And while, yes, it dealt with current social issues, I didn't feel like I was being preached to. That's the real problem with most shows now that try do deal with these types of issues. Everything is usually just "We're right, you're wrong and if you don't conform we will cancel you!"

I didn't get that at all from this episode. Good for the writers.

Even when they literally are telling the audience there is a right and wrong side to be on here.
 

Riceball

Master Member
Planes fly themselves here on earth today.

Pretty sure that an advanced starship that’s being flown to distant planets can probably be put on autopilot for an hour.
It's not so much as not being able to fly itself, but it would be to have people on hand in case anything unexpected happened. Realistically, there would be at minimum a watch on the bridge and a watch in engineering. The bridge watch wouldn't need to be more than 3 people; 1 at the helm, at comms, and one Officer of the Deck in charge. Then in engineering, there would probably be 1 or 2 people to keep an eye on things, making sure that the reactor doesn't do anything unexpected, and if it does, there are people there to start taking care of it until more engineering personnel can get there do help out.
 

Sluis Van Shipyards

Legendary Member
Even when they literally are telling the audience there is a right and wrong side to be on here.

There's a big difference between a show saying "You're a ---ist/----phobic and he's why, you horrible waste of oxygen!" and the way this show did by taking an issue and making you think about it in a new way. That latter is what scifi does better than other genres IMO. The former is what makes people get mad and flip the show off and then you have zero chance of bringing them around.
 

Cephus

Sr Member
There's a big difference between a show saying "You're a ---ist/----phobic and he's why, you horrible waste of oxygen!" and the way this show did by taking an issue and making you think about it in a new way. That latter is what scifi does better than other genres IMO. The former is what makes people get mad and flip the show off and then you have zero chance of bringing them around.
Plus the fact that this didn't just come out of the blue, they're revisiting something that happened in an earlier season. It didn't just crop up because it's a hot button issue. They pulled that with racism in both The Rookie and Prodigal Son, where it had never even been suggested before and suddenly, the entire show is filled with racists.
 

Riceball

Master Member
I'm not even saying that. I'm saying we should have seen someone sitting on the bridge or something, not just endless empty halls.
Agreed, there definitely would have been at least a minimal bridge watch along with an engineering watch. That's at the minimum, there might also be a sensor and weapons watch as well. But, I get why they showed the Orville all empty, I don't think that many people would have understood why there were still a few crewmen manning bridge and engineering stations.
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So you guys honestly think spaceships can’t fly themselves?

The vast majority of the things we’ve sent into space have been unmanned.

Most likely the first true LOOONG voyages in space will be done with humans in some form of stasis, while the ship is piloted by a computer.

I’d venture a guess that the “crew” of a starship as we see it in movies and television shows are vastly over exaggerated, because so many of the things they “do” will actually just be handled autonomously.
 

Riceball

Master Member
So you guys honestly think spaceships can’t fly themselves?

The vast majority of the things we’ve sent into space have been unmanned.

Most likely the first true LOOONG voyages in space will be done with humans in some form of stasis, while the ship is piloted by a computer.

I’d venture a guess that the “crew” of a starship as we see it in movies and television shows are vastly over exaggerated, because so many of the things they “do” will actually just be handled autonomously.
It's not about the ship being able to fly itself or not, it's about having someone around in case something unexpected happens. What if you receive an emergency distress call from somewhere nearby? What if some kind of freak solar system hits, a solar flare that was missed previously, or some kind of bug in the reactor software pops up and threatens to start a reactor overload? There's all kinds of things that could happen that you'd want personnel on hand to catch it early and either take care of it before it becomes a problem or warns somebody more senior before it becomes a problem,
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's not about the ship being able to fly itself or not, it's about having someone around in case something unexpected happens. What if you receive an emergency distress call from somewhere nearby? What if some kind of freak solar system hits, a solar flare that was missed previously, or some kind of bug in the reactor software pops up and threatens to start a reactor overload? There's all kinds of things that could happen that you'd want personnel on hand to catch it early and either take care of it before it becomes a problem or warns somebody more senior before it becomes a problem,
Again, that’s something a computer can EASILY do.

When we as humans first venture into the stars…and we are in stasis…the computer will handle EVERYTHING you just stated.

By the time we are ever able to achieve any type of hyper fast travel, computers will be so much better than humans at handling ANY kind of incident, that the humans will basically just be along for the ride.

Not to mention, the computer can just as easily as a human warn somebody “more senior” before something becomes a bigger problem. A computer can raise shields when an entity is detected. A computer can enable countermeasures to an attack. A computer will easily be able to outperform a human in evasive maneuvers.

You’re just applying sci-fi tropes that were dreamed up long ago when people had no clue what computers would truly be capable of.

Computers don’t fall asleep on the job. They don’t get drunk the night before and suffer diminished capabilities the next day.

100% a ship like the Orville would function perfectly fine even if it had not a single crew member even on it.

The problem, though, is that makes for really boring viewing.
 
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Riceball

Master Member
Again, that’s something a computer can EASILY do.

When we as humans first venture into the stars…and we are in stasis…the computer will handle EVERYTHING you just stated.

By the time we are ever able to achieve any type of hyper fast travel, computers will be so much better than humans at handling ANY kind of incident, that the humans will basically just be along for the ride.

Not to mention, the computer can just as easily as a human warn somebody “more senior” before something becomes a bigger problem. A computer can raise shields when an entity is detected. A computer can enable countermeasures to an attack. A computer will easily be able to outperform a human in evasive maneuvers.

You’re just applying sci-fi tropes that were dreamed up long ago when people had no clue what computers would truly be capable of.

Computers don’t fall asleep on the job. They don’t get drunk the night before and suffer diminished capabilities the next day.

100% a ship like the Orville would function perfectly fine even if it had not a single crew member even on it.

The problem, though, is that makes for really boring viewing.
Unless the computer is a full AI that's capable of taking care of anything and everything on its own, you'll still need a living, breathing, being in on the loop. You can make an argument for the computer alerting the Captain/crew of something, but what if it's time-critical? What if something catastrophic was about to happen and you only have a few seconds to react in order to prevent a disaster? By having a watch on the bridge and engineering you can react to any emergency of that sort immediately. Whereas if everybody is away and that time-critical emergency happened you're SOL because nobody is going to be able to get to the bridge and/or engineering in time.
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Unless the computer is a full AI that's capable of taking care of anything and everything on its own, you'll still need a living, breathing, being in on the loop. You can make an argument for the computer alerting the Captain/crew of something, but what if it's time-critical? What if something catastrophic was about to happen and you only have a few seconds to react in order to prevent a disaster? By having a watch on the bridge and engineering you can react to any emergency of that sort immediately. Whereas if everybody is away and that time-critical emergency happened you're SOL because nobody is going to be able to get to the bridge and/or engineering in time.
“In on the loop.”

The computer contacts the captain if it needs a human.

Everybody can be away from stations, and the computer will ask for help if it needs it…which it won’t, because it’s infinitely better at everything that a human can do.
 

Riceball

Master Member
“In on the loop.”

The computer contacts the captain if it needs a human.

Everybody can be away from stations, and the computer will ask for help if it needs it…which it won’t, because it’s infinitely better at everything that a human can do.
Yes, it can notify the Captain of something unexpected, but the problem is that there's nobody nearby to handle things if something unexpected did happen, esp. if time was of the essence. By maintaining a watch, even a minimal watch, it can buy time until the Captain/more senior personnel can take charge. With everybody in the shuttle bay that means that unless an emergency occurs in the shuttle bay no one is near their normal duty station to do anything time critical.

As far as the ship's computer goes, sure it's smart, but it's not that smart. If it was as smart as you seem to suggest it is, then why bother with a crew at all, just let the ship command, pilot, and operate the ship? While I'm sure that it can more than handle maintaining orbit around a planet and any sort of minor issue, nothing in the show suggests that it can handle anything more than that. They probably maintain shifts 24/7 for that reason too, or do you also think that they only have 1 or 2 shifts and leave the ship unmanned late at night with no graveyard shift?
 

Gimpdiggity

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
If it was as smart as you seem to suggest it is, then why bother with a crew at all, just let the ship command, pilot, and operate the ship?
Because narratively speaking, that’s boring. Nobody wants to watch a TV show where a ship just goes places in space while a computer uses sensors and such to explore and chart planets.

In REALITY, the crew that we see in TV shows and movies on starships would most likely simply not exist.

Why do you need a navigator when the computer navigates? A real world example is this: I don’t need my passenger with a map in their hands for a road trip…I just use my GPS.

Why do you need a pilot when the computer can fly? A real world example is current generation drones that have obstacle avoidance built into them.

Why do you need a “gunner” when the computer can target and attack targets on its own? A real world example is an Apache Longbow which can track 100+ targets at once and engage up to 16 at once.

Why do you need someone adjusting power to shields/weapons/propulsion when the computer would be better at that than any human? A real world example are current building climate control systems that read and adjust HVAC systems automatically.

We have real world CURRENT examples of basically everything that someone on the bridge of a starship currently does being done autonomously. And that’s in 2022. The Orville takes place in like 2420.

So you are suggesting that in the next 400 years, we won’t be able to get computers to do all of the things they do today faster, better, and more efficiently? Keep in mind a Toronto based firm just tested a quantum computer that completed the tasks a classic computer system would take 9,000 years to do in 36 microseconds. MICROSECONDS.

Literally the ONLY reason for a crew on a show like The Orville, or Star Trek, is to drive narrative points. The ship’s computers would 100% be able to operate the ship in ALL facets completely autonomously.

For the record, I am speaking in terms of “real world.” I fully understand what you are saying regarding the narrative aspect of a show necessitating a crew. I’m just saying that from a realism standpoint there would more than likely be zero issues with having no stations “manned” for a while in an advanced interstellar spacecraft.
 
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