The Orville's second season is currently in the middle of production, and it looks like they're bringing a familiar face along for the ride.
According to Seth MacFarlane, Star Trek: Voyager alum Robert Duncan McNeill will be returning to direct an episode of The Orville's second season. You can check out MacFarlane's tweet below.
Great to have Robert Duncan McNeill back in the director’s chair this week on #theorville!— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) April 4, 2018
For the uninitiated, McNeill previously played Lieutenant Tom Paris throughout the tenure of Voyager, and earned a bit of fan love in the process. McNeill then made the jump to The Orville last year, directing the show's second episode, "Command Performance".
“I directed one [episode of The Orville],” McNeill said during a convention last summer. “Everybody’s very cautious of the legalities of a spaceship that looks a lot like other spaceships…”
And as it turns out, McNeill almost played a role in directing the first season of Star Trek: Discovery, but ultimately turned it down due to scheduling conflicts.
“I don’t know anything about Discovery, to be honest,” McNeill explained. “A couple of friends of mine have directed, like [Jonathan] Frakes. I hope it is successful. They did ask me for some dates [to direct] but I just wasn’t available. I would love to do it. I hope it is a huge success. It is good for the fans, it is good for the franchise. It is good for the future of Star Trek.”
McNeill isn't the only Trek alum to have that unique experience with The Orville, with the aforementioned Jonathan Frakes previously addressing how both series carry on the Trek legacy.
“The Star Trek that we have has really found its voice, and Discovery has really found its voice." Frakes explained earlier this year. "And The Orville has filled in a void. For a lot of people The Orville is their new Star Trek because it does tell stories like [The Next Generation], and it’s got wild humor in it."1comments
"[Seth MacFarlane] clearly wanted [The Orville] to look like [The Next Generation]." Frakes added. "So, he hired the cinematographer [Marvin Rush] and the camera operator, and Brannon Braga, who wrote First Contact among other things that are fabulous. Robbie Duncan McNeill, one of our wonderful directors from Voyager, James Conway, who directed a bunch of great Next Gen episodes; he hired me. He filled the room with Next Gen people so that the show would look and feel like it. I think he did it."
The Orville is expected to return in fall of 2018.