Robert Picardo is returning for Season 2 of “The Orville.”
Picardo’s comeback on the Fox space dramedy was revealed by series creator Seth MacFarlane on Twitter. In a tweet he shared on Wednesday, MacFarlane commended Picardo, Halston Sage, director Jon Cassar, and the rest of the cast and crew for a job well done on the set of the show that day.
Picardo appeared as Alara Kitan’s (Sage) father Ildis Kitan in Season 1, episode 10, titled “Firestorm.” In the hour, Alara froze in place when confronted by open flame en route to rescue a crew member in the titular ship’s engineering department. When the officer died, Alara quickly blamed herself. In an attempt to understand why she reacted to the fire the way she did, Alara called her parents back home on Xelaya.
Picardo played the fan-favorite Emergency Medical Hologram, aka The Doctor, on UPN’s “Star Trek: Voyager” — one of the series that inspired “The Orville.”
“I miss the aspirational place ‘Star Trek’ used to occupy,” MacFarlane said (via Deadline) at the Television Critics Association summer press tour last August, noting that the beloved franchise has chosen to go dystopian. While the “Star Trek’s” change of direction worked well for the franchise, MacFarlane said that space dramas “can’t all be ‘Hunger Games.’” “There is some space for aspirational,” MacFarlane said, before adding that “The Orville” is “an attempt to fill that void.”
Plot details about Season 2 of “The Orville” are being kept under wraps, but MacFarlane promised at the Television Critics Association winter press tour last January that the new season would lean more into the science fiction.
“The show was experimental in a lot of ways,” MacFarlane said (via /FILM) at the time. “Tone was the biggest experimental part of it. What we found was that we can lean a little more, heavier into the science fiction and not have to worry so much about knocking out a joke every page. The show is an hour and really can and wants to service its storytelling in a way that makes it a priority. The jokes come as they come, the comedy comes as it comes.”
Aside from Sage and MacFarlane, who plays Capt. Ed Mercer, other series regulars returning for Season 2 are Adrianne Palicki as Commander Kelly Grayson; Penny Johnson Jerald as Dr. Claire Finn; Scott Grimes as Lt. Gordon Malloy; Peter Macon as Lt. Commander Bortus; J. Lee as Lt. John LaMarr; and Mark Jackson as Isaac.
“The Orville” Season 2 is set to premiere on Fox later this year.