Orville star Ann Winters reacts to her character’s dramatic death. Created by Seth MacFarlane, Orville follows Captain Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) and the crew of the spaceship USS Orville, who embark on interstellar adventures in a sci-fi series clearly inspired by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek. Originally part of the Fox lineup for the first two seasons, Season 3 marks the show’s first appearance on the Hulu streaming service.
After the war with the Kylons, a non-biological race of robots, the Planetary Alliance has developed a special weapon that can destroy any Kylons in the immediate vicinity. However, Captain Mercer views the planned deployment of such weapons throughout the galaxy as an act of genocide. After Admiral Perry steals the weapon to hand it over to the Moklans and Krill, Kaylon emissary Isaac (Mark Jackson) and Ensign Charlie Burke (Winters) must deactivate it to save the Kaylons from destruction. However, to complete the mission, Ensign Burke destroys the device, killing himself in the process.
In an interview with TVLine, Winters discusses the dramatic death of Ensign Burke. When asked if she knew she was going to die in the series before she got the role, Winters replied that she did, and that her death was one of the main reasons she was attracted to the role. However, delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that her work on the series took longer than she expected. Read what the Orville actor says below:
Yes. Yes. I won’t lie, that’s actually a big reason why I liked it. At that time, before COVID, I liked dying on the show because it gave me the opportunity to do something new and different, have a really great storyline, and then be ready for the next one coming and keep doing different things. But this impending death with COVID [production delays] and everything else has been waiting for me for a long time! [Laughs] Who knew that this one season of the show would take as long as maybe two seasons of the show?
At the beginning of season 3, Orvilla Burke, as well as the Planetary Alliance, were still reeling from a major Season 2 battle with the Kylons. She says that she lost one of her best friends, Amanda, in battle. Because of Isaac’s proximity to her on the bridge of the aircraft carrier Orville, Burke blames him for the actions of the Caylons, because of which Isaac kills himself, although Burke is forced to resurrect him by order.
However, over the course of the season, Burke’s perception of Isaac is questioned, and she learns to trust him. This is fully realized when she gives her life so that the Kylons can live. Thanks to her actions, the Caylons abandon the war and join the alliance. Winters’ decision to take on a role like Burke was the right one, as he eventually became one of the most influential characters in all three seasons of “Orville.”