In The Orville, Lt. Janel Tyler is introduced as a new member of the ship. In 2x04 "Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes", it is revealed that

she is actually a Krill soldier who underwent genetic manipulation to appear human so she could be implanted on board the Orville, and is seeking to revenge in response to their comrades being killed by the humans

This seems to have a lot of similarity to Star Trek: Discovery and the storyline of Lt. Ash Tyler. In 1x11 "The Wolf Inside" (which aired a year and three days earlier), it is revealed that

he is actually a Klingon soldier who underwent genetic manipulation to appear human so he could be implanted on board the Discovery, and is seeking to revenge in response to their comrades being killed by the humans

The fact that these two characters are both Lt. Tyler and that they have a virtually identical story arc suggests that this was more than coincidental.

Was Lt. Tyler's story arc in The Orville a deliberate reference to the story arc for Star Trek: Discovery's Lt. Tyler? And if so, has Seth MacFarlane or anybody else commented on why they did this?

  • 3
    Note that there were no end of people impersonating other races in TNG
    – Valorum
    Jan 31, 2019 at 7:13
  • "which aired a year and three days earlier" - is that enough time to produce a show? MTV.SE would've been a better place to ask IMO.
    – Mazura
    Feb 2, 2019 at 2:58

1 Answer 1


There's a problem with your premise.

First, Voq wasn't infiltrated in order to "get revenge" on the main character; it wasn't known that Burnham was even aboard Discovery outside of the crew of the ship and some people at Starfleet Command, with everyone else who knew of her thinking she was still serving a life sentence. He wasn't seeking revenge against the Federation at all; he was going to infiltrate Starfleet's secret superweapon in order to gain prestige to use as revenge not against the Federation but against his Klingon rival, Kol.

This is especially true as he knew that T'Kuvma was intending to go to war against the Federation. He couldn't seek revenge on them for fighting and killing the people he was serving with since that's an expected outcome of war.

So immediately, there's a difference between the two storylines.

Also, on The Orville, the two episodes in that arc are essentially mirror images: Mercer disguised as a Krill infiltrates their ship, a Krill falls for him, and she feels personally betrayed. She disguises herself as a human, infiltrates his ship, gets him to fall for her, and then betrays him. They fit together more closely that a whole plot reference to Discovery.

The name might have been chosen as a shout-out to a rough similarity, but the two plotlines are sufficiently different that that's all there was.

  • My post text was ambiguous. I wrote that the characters were "seeking revenge for the main character killing the Krill with whom s/he served", referring to the main character's actions, not the main character themselves. I've clarified that ambiguity. Ultimately though, this doesn't answer my question about if The Orville's Lt. Tyler was intended to copy the Lt. Tyler of Star Trek: Discovery. Jan 31, 2019 at 19:40

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