“Evolution doesn’t care whether you believe in it or not, no more than gravity does. I want to rekindle excitement over what we’ve achieved as a species with the space program. We can’t afford to regress back to the days of superstition.” ~ Seth MacFarlane
“Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.” ~ Alan Rickman
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” ~ Oscar Wilde
I’m an eternal optimist. Even when things are going really badly, after I’ve allowed myself to feel horrible, I look for the good things that can come out of the seemingly terrible situation. During this trying year, I’ve been thinking a great deal about how change happens one small step at a time.
The other night, Barry and I watched the final episode this season of The Orville. It was created by Seth MacFarlane, one of many TV shows he’s been involved with. It’s so similar to Star Trek that Barry and I sometimes get it mixed up with the other franchise, except that the crew of the Orville are wacky and make big mistakes that somehow turn out surprisingly well. It’s a wonderful mix of funny bits and poignant themes.
In the episode we watched the other night, the Orville was on an exploratory mission and came across a planet they witness phasing into our universe. A small group goes to investigate. But the shuttle is forced to land stranding them for a time. Kelly Grayson, the second officer, goes exploring and finds people living there at an early stage in their development. The rules of the Planetary Union state they must not interfere with primitive cultures. Nevertheless Commander Grayson is accidentally revealed to a group of children and makes the mistake of using a devise to heal a cut on a little girl’s forehead. This is witnessed by a small group of adults.
The shuttle crew makes it back to the ship safely. Then they are surprised when the planet phases out of their universe. Captain Ed Mercer omits Kelly’s mistake from his official report. They were once married, and are thinking of getting back together, so he tries to protect her career. However, when the planet phases back into their universe eleven days later, the crew discovers that advances have been made. The culture is now at a stage of development several hundred years in the making. Their civilization has developed to an era comparable to our middle ages, or renaissance. However, when the crew goes down to assess the damage done, they find that the people of the planet worship Kelly as a god. Captain Mercer has to admit to their commanding general the mistake that was made and the general orders them to stay to discover just how this exposure affects the cultures on the planet. Even though the crew attempts to fix the initial mistake, the people in power have other plans.
In the end, Captain Mercer sends down an artificial life form to observe while the Orville stays until the culture on the planet is at a stage equivalent to their own. At the end of the episode, in a visit from leaders of the planet, the crew is relieved to find that all is well despite the earlier contamination. Even though the people went through some extremely difficult times, their culture thrives with not only advanced technology, but spirituality as well.
When Barry and I finished watching the episode, we agreed it was a hopeful take on how even if things look bad now, the human race is evolving. That’s one of the things I love about this kind of entertainment. It can show you how far we’ve come in spite of all the difficult times, and it helps us imagine where we might end up.
So, even though the headlines often concentrate on negative events. I’m turning toward hope instead and remembering that I’m just here planting seeds. I won’t be here to see the harvest, but the good things I do now added to other seeds will reap a harvest of wonderful things for future generations.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate your likes and comments.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2017
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, women’s novel, and is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords, and print-on-demand at Amazon and other fine book sellers. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.