David A. Goodman Says Canon is Why Star Trek Survived

For many Star Trek fans, The Orville is swiftly becoming a Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Next Generation. And it’s no wonder, with many of Star Trek’s legacy production staff moving over to work on the hit sci-fi dramedy by Seth MacFarlane. The Orville Executive Producer David A Goodman is one such person - he was a consulting producer on Star Trek: Enterprise - and he recently sat down with TrekMovie.com to discuss the future of the series.

In the interview, Goodman addressed the episodic nature of The Orville, saying “We feel like you could start watching this show with any episode. You don’t have to go back to the beginning. If you do, you will see stuff in there as you watch all the way through. But if you just turned on an episode, our goal is to make sure people who are new aren’t confused. And that is a more traditional way to do a show and it works for us.”

He also addressed parallels with existing episodes of Star Trek saying: “For us, we are all science fiction fans. We consume it all. So, the Kelly double story [in the finale] is similar in some ways to a Next Gen episode, but it is similar to a lot of sci-fi episodes. So we are inspired by everything that we have watched and read but we definitely always see it through the lens of our own show.”

Goodman also talked about the C-word - Canon - and how it affects discussions in the writers’ room, or not. According to Goodman, the first time he used the word “canon” in the context of The Orville was when they started talking about the upcoming comic series by Dark Horse Comics. However, he does have respect for canon and says that The Orville writers do pay attention to what they have done before.

He also drew a parallel again back to Star Trek, saying: “With Star Trek, I feel the reason it survived and had such an attraction to fans, is that even though the episodes were standalone ... they were making sure each episode fit in the universe. Warp speed was consistent in every episode. The Federation and Starfleet Command were consistent. There was a way in which this world exists. That is the same thing in Buffy and Firefly and Game of Thrones and any of the shows with huge fanbases in a fantasy world, is the way that feels like this world exists and that the creators are respecting the audience’s memory.”

The Orville seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream now on Fox and Hulu.

Alison Pitt