In Season 1 Episode 4, "If The Stars Should Appear" we encounter

An alien generational ship populated by people who have been adrift for two thousands years, and are unaware they are in an enclosed environment

There are a number of signs the ship is extremely big:

- It is clearly depicted as many hundreds or thousands of times wider than the Orville
- It contains "millions of people"
- It contains "many cities"
- It contains wide open fields and mountains -- clearly it is not densely populated like NYC
- The one city depicted is not very densely populated for a city -- no skyscrapers, etc.

Yet we have the line

"It is 790 square kilometers, about the size of New York City."

This line is at odds with everything else in the episode, and was wholly unnecessary. They could have compared it to a small country or a state, but didn't.

What gives?

  • Not having seen the show, I'm confused by the last quote. What is the context of the word 'it' - what are they saying is 790km - a particular city within Yonada....er...whatever it is called or the entire hollow asteroid....er....ship? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 29, 2017 at 16:26
  • 3
    ....it's a joke. I'm saying a show that is ripping off Star Trek ripped off an episode. Just a joke
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 29, 2017 at 17:01
  • 2
    @NKCampbell Honestly, the whole show has felt to me like it's someone's bad ST fan fiction, with high production values.
    – eshier
    Sep 29, 2017 at 17:05
  • 1
    @NKCampbell - Ah, gotcha. I'm a bit literal this morning. That sailed right over my head. :)
    – JohnP
    Sep 29, 2017 at 17:17
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    @Vanguard3000, hunh? Google says NYC is 783.8 km² and Mozambique is 801,590 km². Dec 31, 2018 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


If you take a read through a transcript, the line is actually:

I would estimate a cross section of the interior to be approximately 790 square kilometers

(Emphasis mine)

So the ship is not that size, that is just a cross section.

  • Does that mean a horizontal or a vertical one? I assumed a horizontal one (i.e. the floorplan). Describing a vertical cross-section as 'the same size as NYC' (which is a horizontal cross-section or projection) would just be weird. That would be comparing different orientations of like things to each other. And even if you say they didn't know the orientations because they hadn't been inside yet, the bio-ship was close enough to spherical that it doesn't matter. Sep 29, 2017 at 18:23
  • 1
    Let me explain that by way of an example. Who in their right mind would say something like "A cross-section of that frisbee is the same area as that donut", meaning a banana-shaped section of the frisbee and a circular section of the donut. Sep 29, 2017 at 18:26

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