Horror and science fiction are such kindred genres that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. So it should be a surprise to no one that this is my second Orville Dark Deviation

Shadow Realms is the second episode of Orville, New Horizons. This is the much-anticipated reboot after the show switched ownership. Like many episodes of The Orville, this one bears more than a passing resemblance to a Start Trek episode, specifically Genesis. This is not coincidental, as Brannon Braga worked on both scripts.

We start with the crew of the Orville excited to explore a part of space they haven’t had access to before, thanks to their shiny new peace treaty with the Krill. This is such an exciting opportunity that the crew is joined by Admiral Christie (played by James Reed). 

James Reed as Admiral Christi on The Orville, Shadow Realms

When Captain Mercer tells their new Krill friends what part of space they’re excited to explore, the response is one of fear. The Krill explain that none who venture into that part of space return alive. 

But of course, we know from previous episodes that the Krill are overly religious and crazy superstitious. So it makes sense that Mercer doesn’t take their warnings seriously.

After that, though, he and the rest of his crew show a level of stupidity that they’re not normally prone to. 

It starts when they find a ship sending out a distress signal. For some inane reason, they decide to go onto this ship without any PPE to speak of. To continue with the stupidity, they let Admiral Christie go with the very first team to check it out himself. 

His senior in both age and rank self.

So of course the first thing he does is put his face in front of some weird plant growing out of the wall. Within hours he was a slobbering monster, attacking the rest of the crew. 

Seth McFarland, Peter Macon and Jessica Szohr in The Orville, Shadow Realms

The intensity of this episode is good. There’s a lot of focus on the two kids, Ty and Marcus, trying to stay safe on a ship full of these creatures. And I think this episode only works if we do focus on their points of view. The rest of the cast are seasoned space officers. They’ve seen some shit. But when we see these monsters from the view of children, it’s far more intense. 

This episode of The Orville managed to hit all the horror buttons. If you’re a fan of sci-fi, this episode might frustrate you since most of the characters are acting dumb in ways that are, well, out of character. But if you’ve got a soft spot for horror in space, this episode should fit you just right.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

The Orville: The Complete First Season (DVD)

List Price: $14.95
New From: $14.95 In Stock
Used from: $13.99 In Stock
buy now