Seth MacFarlane as Ed, Penny Johnson Jerald as Claire, Mark Jackson as Isaac and guest star Max Burkholder as Tomilin
Ed (Seth MacFarlane), Claire (Penny Johnson Jerald), Isaac (Mark Jackson) and new character Tomilin (Max Burkholder) explore a bioship in Season 1, episode 4 of Fox’s “The Orville.” Fox/Michael Becker

Ed and his crew come across a bioship in Season 1, episode 4 of Fox’s “The Orville.”

As previously reported, the Orville crew encounters a massive space vessel at the beginning of the hour. When they discover that the vessel is in danger of colliding with a star, Ed (Seth MacFarlane), Kelly (Adrianne Palicki), Alara (Halston Sage), Claire (Penny Johnson Jerald) and Isaac (Mark Jackson) set out of the Orville to help the vessel’s inhabitants.

In a sneak peek from the episode, the quartet safely boards the vessel and is surprised to find out that it’s actually a bioship. “Oh man, our ship looks like junk now,” says Ed as he gazes at the vessel’s vast mountains and quaint field.

“It’s a bioship,” says Claire. “Biggest bioship anyone’s ever seen.”

Kelly asks Isaac to scan the vessel for life forms, and he says that the ship has millions of passengers.

While Alara wonders who the passengers are and what are they doing in space, Ed is having a hard time figuring out why the people in command of the bioship is not transmitting a distress signal when their engines are dead and they are about to collide with a star.

“Maybe it’s not functioning,” Claire says. “I mean, if the ship is that old.”

Since the Orville crew doesn’t know who to talk to, Ed decides to split the group. Kelly teams up with Alara while Ed and Claire head to the portside. Isaac, meanwhile, is instructed by Ed to head back to the shuttle and contact the Orville to inform them that they’re going to take a look around the bioship for a while.

Apparently, Kelly has been separated from Alara and has been taken hostage by Hamelac (Robert Knepper) — the person who seems to be in charge of the bioship.

In a promo clip teasing the first few episodes of the series, Kelly is seen tied down to a chair. “Where are your friends?” Hamelac asks Kelly. When she refuses to disclose her teammates’ whereabouts, Hamelac appears to have started hitting her, which explains the bruises on her face.

Despite the physical torment she has suffered, Kelly remains tight-lipped about her group’s location. “You’re more resilient than you look,” Hamelac comments.

“I’ve been through a divorce. This is nothing,” Kelly replies.

Fortunately for the Orville’s first officer, Ed, Alara and Claire soon arrive at Hamelac’s office to rescue her.

“The Orville” Season 1, episode 4, titled “If the Stars Should Appear,” airs on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox. Watch the sneak peek from the episode below: