What is the origin of The Orville's registry number, ECV-197? It can be seen on the side of the ship in the opening animations. What does "ECV" stand for in-universe, and why was this particular number chosen?

Address both in and out-of-universe reasons for the name, if possible. (for example does "197" have some meaning to the writers of the show)

As a side note, I noticed that the shuttlecraft carry the same registry number with a suffix. We've seen at least ECV-197-1 and ECV-197-2 so far.


2 Answers 2


It would appear that the prefix ECV stands for Exploratory-Class Vessel.

In Season 1, Episode 6 we encounter the USS Olympia. Its prefix is LCV-529 and is described by Seth Macfarlane as a "Leviathan class"

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And in the Orville comic New Beginnings, Pt. 1 we encounter the BCV Burton. It's described as a battleship.

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In the opening episode the Orville is described as an "exploratory vessel".

"The USS Orville. It's not exactly a heavy cruiser, but it is an exploratory vessel."

Which gives us L for Leviathan, B for Battleship, E for Exploratory, C for Class and V for Vessel.

There are no indications what the numbers refer to, but it can be surmised that it's a build number, 001 potentially being the first in its class.

  • 9
    Note to self: Never board a vessel with build #001...
    – JRaef
    Nov 20, 2017 at 23:22
  • 4
    I imagine #013 (or #004 for Eastern cultures) would also be considered trouble. Nov 21, 2017 at 1:27
  • 5
    Always wait for at least 001-SP1.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 1, 2022 at 11:24
  • 1
    @JRaef - The prototype model always has the best features, like the Sony camera with the x-ray specs
    – Valorum
    Jul 1, 2022 at 11:41
  • 1
    @JRaef There's the old joke about never buying a car made on a Friday or a Monday.
    – Spencer
    Jul 1, 2022 at 13:51

As with many things Orville, it can trace back to Star Trek.

There NCC-1701 was arbitrary. Matt Jefferies was an Aviation designer and N is the typical prefix for aircraft registries. The CC1701 was just a choice. Some sorces retcon NCC to mean "Navigation Contact Code" but they are non-canonical.

ECV probably is Exploration Class Vessel, but I don't recall it being explicitly stated.

As to a shuttle being ECV-197-1 that calls back to Enterprise's Shuttles on Star Trek being NCC-1701/1 or, the assigned ships registry followed by a / and a number.

I'd expect that the lowest ECV or any other registry in the Orvilleverse to be 100.

  • 4
    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Please note how the existing answer has given a slightly different interpretation that is backed up by quotes and sources from the show; if you want to suggest that answer is incorrect you should provide equivalent evidence for your hypothesis. A lot of this is supposition or not really relevant; please concentrate on answering the question that was asked. You might want to read How to Answer and take the tour.
    – DavidW
    Aug 24, 2022 at 22:51

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