3rd Rock from the Sun
'Officer' Don Orville
Don Orville.jpg
'Officer' Don Orville






Police Officer
Baker (very briefly)

First Appearance

Assault With a Deadly Dick

Final Appearance

The Thing That Wouldn't Die (Part 2)

Portrayed By

Wayne Knight

Let me lay out the cold hard facts for you, Tommy. If you are involved in something criminal, there is a one in five chance you'll be caught. If you are prosecuted, there is a 2% chance you'll be convicted. So don't play with fire

–Don Orville

Officer Donald 'Don' Leslie Orville is a Police Sergeant in the town of Rutherford, Ohio, though he is consistently referred to as "Officer" throughout the series.

Despite presenting himself as a hardened and seasoned cop, especially in the likes of Sally, Don does not deal with crime at all in the small-time town of Rutherford even though he constantly goes into detail on how dangerous and crime-ridden the town is.

Between the relationship of Sally and Don, she is the more dominative and uses her sex to get what she wants from him, and he caves into her completely, sometimes ignoring the law because she asks so, before they were in a relationship and after they broke up.

The irony of that is Sally is a decorated military officer on her home planet and only focuses on Don because of his uniform, her naivety simply makes her unaware of his incompetence.


Officer Don Orville is presented as a suburban, middle-class cop but constantly attempts to make his job, and by extension himself, appear dangerous and exciting (especially when around the likes of Sally). Adding to this, he over-glorifies the dangers of small-town Rutherford, Ohio and speaks over-dramatically with bravado, especially during dialogue and banter with Sally, akin to as if they were in an old-fashioned detective movie. In addition, Don is very representative to the stereotype of the American cop, as he has shown multiple times to be lazy and downright incompetent, such as allowing a civilian to interrogate a suspect, purposefully covering up a crime, encouraging Harry to keep a misplaced wallet, claiming filling in the report of an acted crime was "pointless", taking an early shift by ignoring a murder and misplacing equipment, such as forgetting his radio scanner (on one occasion a corpse) and claiming on an attempt to dissemble and assemble his gun (something which everyone learns at police academy) he ends up breaking his gun. He claims he was charged with police brutality, but there's only his word for this.

It is implied and shown frequently that he is cowardly, and admits so himself. Such nature was displayed twice. After learning that Sally's boyfriend was attached to the Mafia and would kill him if he saw him talking with her, proceeds to frantically run out. Secondly, when the team believes someone was murdered and the killer was still on the loose, he runs out again. In reality Sally only thought that he was a criminal due to his similar characteristics to many Godfather characters when he was in reality a butcher and it was a mystery murder weekend with the victim being an actor. This displays that he is unused to the possibility of a serious crime due to the low-crime rate of Rutherford. He outwardly admits that the main reason he joined the police was because he felt protected being surrounded by many cops, when he was discovered hiding from a convenience store robbery. Near the end of the series, though, when he attempts to quit the police force but with inspiration and training from Sally appears to have taken his job more seriously, as he finally learnt the police lingo and is on his way to becoming a very competent cop.

Don is obviously very weak-willed but this is largely due to never imagining he would achieve a relationship with a woman so far out of his league, such as Sally and surrenders easily to her manipulating and flirting out of fear she would simply leave out of cause for the smallest unhappiness, a large reason why he deals with the absurdity of her family and Sally herself. Nonetheless, Don is able to spin the relationship to his advantage as equally as Sally can, on account of her naivety and, although he will take a long time to do so, defy or point out Sally when she is in the wrong.


Although Don works as a police officer and later sergeant throughout the series, he is often shown to be somewhat incompetent, for example, in The Physics of Being Dick he lets Dick interrogate a criminal with him, despite it being highly illegal. Also, when he is paged, he never appears to know what any of the crime codes actually mean.

As well as this, he often makes a blunder of things, for example, in Stuck With Dick he thinks Mary's house has been broken into and attempts to burst in through the front door, but ends up making a mess of it and shouting "Ass right there, freezehole!", and in Dick's Big Giant Headache (Part 2), he claims to always be losing things, adding "I even lost a whole dead guy once".

As the final season draws to a close, Sally discovers him hiding in a frozen foods freezer during the robbery of a local store, and he admits that he is a coward, and only joined the police force because he thought he'd be safe around all the other officers. He subsequently retires from the Rutherford Police Department to open a muffin shop before being convinced by Sally to re-enlist, whereupon Don is rehired at the rank of Police Officer.

Relationship with Sally

Throughout the series, he maintains an on-off relationship with Sally Solomon, a coupling which sees her in the dominant position, and able to persuade him to do anything she wants.

As an ongoing gag of the show, one of the pair appears to be able to tell when the other has entered the room, and says their name, before turning round to see them (notably, in the episode Two Faced Dick, in which Dick and Sally swap bodies, Dick enters the room and Don still thinks it is Sally, before turning round to find himself shocked). Another of the pair's running gags is that the conversations held between them are somewhat dramatic, and reminiscent of an old film noir 1930s crime drama.

Alternate Universe

In the episode Dick'll Take Manhattan, Don is still dating Sally, but he is the philandering Mayor of New York City. He also admits to being married, which causes Sally to break up with him again because she couldn't take being "just the other woman". Afterwards, he asks her if he can still count on her vote. She remarks, "Of course, we still agree on all the issues".