Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Orville's Anne Winters Reveals How Much She Really Knew About Charly's Fate

When "The Orville" returned for its 3rd season after an approximately three-year break, the subtitle "New Horizons" was added to its title. "The Orville: New Horizons" is the same series following the existing characters, but it undoubtedly took Seth MacFarlane's space-set drama to, well, new horizons, expanding episode runtimes and tampering down the comedy a notch to focus on complex social issues, from gender identity to mental health. MacFarlane explained the new title was pitched to him, and he immediately went for it, describing the show's Season 3 episodes as more ambitious than what had come before in an interview with Collider. The new title also helped as a reintroduction for the show since it moved from the Fox airwaves to the streaming library of Hulu. 

One new storyline that took up a great deal of the season and unfortunately ended in tragedy was the storyline of Ensign Charly Burke (Anne Winters). The young navigator joins "The Orville" crew after a massive battle with the Kaylon, where she loses her close friend, Amanda. Burke is clear from the start about her feelings towards Orville's own Isaac (Mark Jackson), a Kaylon crew member many view as a traitor after the conflict. Throughout 10 episodes, the two grow to have mutual respect, and Burke even sacrifices herself to save Isaac and destroy a weapon that could wipe out the Kaylons. So how much did Winters know about her character's death beforehand? 

Winters knew Charly would die from the beginning

According to Anne Winters, she knew Charly's fate from the beginning. The actress said the full circle nature of the storyline is partly what appealed to her. "I'm not going to lie, that's actually a big reason why I liked it. At the time, pre-COVID, I liked dying on shows because it gives me an opportunity to do something new and different, have a really great storyline, and then be available for the next thing to come and keep doing different things," she told TVLine

Due to Covid-19-related production delays, however, Winters said she was filming for far longer than expected. The pandemic's effect on the production even forced Seth MacFarlane to drop an episode from the season that would have further detailed Charly Burke's arc. This episode was turned into the novella "Sympathy for the Devil." It would have aired before the Season 3 finale ("Domino"), where Burke makes her ultimate sacrifice. 

"we were all at a point where we just wanted to get this f–king thing on the air. We would all joke, 'Are we just going to be making this show for the rest of our lives and it will never go out on the air?" MacFarlane explained to TVLine. Even without the extra episode, Burke has a uniquely full journey for "The Orville: New Horizons," and her storyline was just one of the ways the series pushed itself to bigger heights in its third outing.