Ed and the crew race to save a small group of survivors on a planet about to be destroyed by its sun. Bortus and Klyden start marriage counseling when Bortus' obsession with the ship's simulation room gets out of hand.
Down on his luck after a bitter divorce, Planetary Union officer Ed Mercer finally gets his chance to command his own ship, the Orville, a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship in Earth's interstellar Fleet.
Determined to prove his worth and start a new chapter, Ed discovers the first wrinkle in his plan when the First Officer assigned to his ship is his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson. As the new commander, Ed assembles a qualified - but eccentric - crew, including his best friend, Gordon, who has problems with authority but is the best helmsman in the fleet; Dr. Claire Finn; Bortus, an alien from a single-sex species; Isaac, an artificial life-form from a machine society; navigator John Lamarr; Alara Kitan, a young, inexperienced security officer; and Yaphit, a gelatinous creature.
Facing cosmic challenges from without and within, this motley crew of space explorers will boldly go where no comedic drama has gone before.