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Best I can tell, the bridge crew of the Orville have the following jobs:

  • Cpt. Ed Mercer - Captain
  • Cmdr. Kelly Grayson - First officer
  • Lt. Gordon Malloy - Helmsman
  • Lt. Cmdr John LaMarr - Navigator (and weapons?), until he gets transferred to Engineering
  • Isaac - Science Officer

Bortus is the second officer, and takes command when Mercer and Grayson are not in charge. And Alara is Chief of Security. However, I'm not sure what their jobs actually are on the bridge. They spend their time staring at screens, rather than the main viewscreen like the Captain and First Officer, but it's not clear to me why.

What are the jobs of Bortus and Alara while they are on the bridge (and not in command)?

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Department Management

Alara

Alara is the Worf equivalent for The Orville and his role was also Chief of Security.

That includes not on security personnel but the security of the ship also (at least in these contexts). That would require her to be aware of any potential threats to the security of the ship as a whole.

Obviously the most logical place to do that is on the bridge with the rest of the senior staff.


Bortus

Bortus' actual responsibilities are less well defined but as Second Officer we can assume his role (in that position) is similar to that in Star Trek

The second officer of a starship assumed command of the ship when both the captain and first officer were unavailable. Typically a second officer on a Starfleet vessel held the rank of commander or lieutenant commander. It was common for a second officer to be a department head aboard the ship first, since the role of second officer was considered a nominal position. He or she was rarely involved in the day to day command of the starship or starbase the way the captain or first officer was.

Memory Alpha

Again, although not generally involved in the day to day running of the ship he is also required to be on call as it's common in the show for the Captain and First Officer to both leave the ship on away missions.


Granted it's likely that these Department heads actually have their own offices (at least I believe that this was true in Star Trek) but, out of universe, limited set availability and the requirements of keeping your actors on screen to "get your money's worth" probably dictates here.

  • 2
    Just watched an episode of The Orville and noticed that Alara is the one handling communications. So I guess she's security and comms (in Star Trek terms, Worf+Uhura)? And I vaguely recall Bortus saying how the shields were doing in one episode, but might be misremembering that. – Thunderforge Jan 5 '18 at 2:20

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