“The Orville,” Seth MacFarlane’s new “Star Trek”-inspired dramedy, isn’t just about the laughs. The show tackles some serious social issues, and executive producers David A. Goodman and Brandon Braga told International Business Times that a few more timely topics will come up later in Season 1.

“It’s part of the DNA of the show. We’re going to run into some strange situations that might be reminiscent of things today,” Braga told reporters at New York Comic Con.

In the third episode of Fox’s “The Orville,” titled “About A Girl,” Bortus (Peter Macon), an alien called a Moclan, gave birth to a little girl — a shocking discrepancy for the all-male race. Bortus’ partner is anxious to get their daughter an operation that will make her a male. However, when Bortus and his partner disagree over whether their child should have the surgery, they go to Moclan court to sort it out.

“The Orville”
“The Orville” will tackle serious topics throughout the series. Fox

The episode was clearly commentary on transgender issues as well as the circumcision debate. Goodman told IBT about a few of the other social topics that will come up in “The Orville” Season 1.

“We’ve got a show dealing with the negative effects of social media,” he added. “Religious fanaticism is a big issue in actually two shows, I think, and [there are] a couple of other issues that we’re playing around with.”

Braga, who directed the Moclan baby episode, noted that the decision on when social issues are incorporated is a pretty natural one. “We don’t necessarily come up with an episode to tackle an issue. They usually manifest themselves, but there are more [in future episodes],” he said.

The serious episode may have thrown some viewers. After all, Fox’s marketing campaign made many audience members think they were tuning in for a straight comedy. While the producers acknowledge that the ads were a bit misleading, they argue that ratings prove the campaign worked.

“I think the marketing, honestly, they ended up doing a great job because we got a good number and then they came back and we moved to a harder timeslot and did really well and they came back,” Goodman reasoned. “So I have to give a lot of credit because even though you’re right that they emphasized the comedy, it got people to show up.”

Orville guest stars
Charlize Theron is just one of the many award-winning guest stars on “The Orville.” Fox

It also helps that “The Orville” has some A-list guest stars. Jeffrey Tambor and Holland Taylor play MacFarlane’s parents, Rob Lowe briefly played Adrianne Palicki’s alien lover while Liam Neeson made a cameo as a captain. Charlize Theron even had a big role as a manipulative captain who needs a lift. The executive producers say that MacFarlane is the reason the new show is attracting such big names.

“Seth has an amazing working relationship with Liam and Charlize from his western [2014’s ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’]. They love working with him,” Goodman said. “And Seth has done years of ‘Family Guy’ and has worked with just amazing actors coming through the door of that show. Actors love working with Seth so that allows a wide range of people that you might not see on network television.”

A-listers certainly pull in viewers, but with so many nods to “Star Trek,” will any alums be visiting MacFarlane’s ship? The writers were very tight-lipped about that. “Watch and see. Very possible,” Braga teased.

“The Orville” Season 1 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox.