Is Dolly Parton on The Orville?

Is Dolly Parton on The Orville?
Video dolly parton in the orville

The latest episode of The Orville: New Horizons was an hour and a half long extravaganza of special effects and excellent storytelling. But this particular episode included something special even by this season’s lofty standards: a guest appearance by none other than country music legend Dolly Parton. If you weren’t sure whether it was actually Dolly Parton on The Orville, rest assured, it was really her.

Parton’s appearance was set up by the fact that the Moclan character Heveena (Rena Owen) loves her music. But it isn’t just a passing fad for Hevenna: back in season 1 of The Orville, Captain Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) used Dolly Parton’s song “9 to 5” as a way to convince Heveena to testify on behalf of a young Moclan girl named Topa. In Moclan society, females are surgically altered to become males as children; in New Horizons, Heveena runs a colony for refugee Moclan females.

As such, Parton’s music holds a special place in both the colony and Heveena’s life. Heveena has a shrine to Dolly in her house, and is still listening to “9 to 5” to help her with her writing work. But “9 to 5” isn’t the only Dolly Parton song to appear in “Midnight Blue.”

Fun fact: Dolly and her side of the cabin were filmed in Nashville, while Heveena’s side was filmed in L.A. Thanks to director @joncassar, director of photography Jeff Mygatt, prod. designer Stephen Lineweaver, and the talents of @DollyParton and @RenaOwen, you’d never know it!

Dolly Parton Orville song

Beyond “9 to 5,” a couple of other Parton songs were featured in “Midnight Blue.” The first of those is “Jolene,” which the female Moclans play a Renaissance Faire-style rendition of during their double full moon festival.

  ESL Questions About Dolly Parton

But the Dolly Parton song that steals the show is “Try,” off Parton’s 2014 album Blue Smoke. This is the song that Dolly plays when she actually appears in the episode, convincing Heveena to once more step up and do the right thing on Topa’s behalf. The 76-year-old Parton’s rendition of the song is one of the most memorable moments in The Orville: New Horizons’ entire run.

The Orville: New Horizons is airing now on Hulu, with new episodes dropping every Thursday.

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