‘Prodigy’ is a kid-friendly Star Trek show taking the right lessons from Star Wars


This submit retains spoilers to the naked minimal since the show won’t air till October twenty eighth.

While Star Trek definitely has its share of younger followers, it’s by no means been particularly for the youngsters. Sure, there was the animated show again in the ‘70s, however that was principally a continuation of the authentic 1966 collection. The latest program, Prodigy, is designed with youngsters in thoughts — particularly those that may know nothing about Star Trek.

Though the show gained’t show up on Paramount+ till the finish of the month, followers acquired a sneak peek at the first episode, “Lost & Found,” throughout this previous weekend’s New York Comic Con. It introduces to our core cast of characters, a numerous group of aliens trapped on a distant mining colony and compelled to dig seeking a mysterious prize. It’s a fairly grim situation for a child’s show, however one which gained’t stick for lengthy — this is Star Trek, in spite of everything, and a part of the franchise’s ethos is exploration.

To maintain the collection as newbie-friendly as doable, the connections to the wider Trek universe are stored to a minimal. We don’t even know what species our protagonist, Dal, is. The remainder of the cast is stuffed out by aliens which are both new to us or haven’t gotten a lot of display time in the previous. And the Federation is largely unknown right here. Not that it isn’t talked about a few occasions, however that our group of former prisoners do not know what meaning. Long-time followers shall be excited to look at them study all about it, whereas new followers will get to take that journey of discovery with them.

It’s that sense of marvel that may maintain the show firmly in tone with the franchise, whilst its new setting and animation model evoke prior science fiction packages like Star Wars: Rebels and Farscape. Star Wars: Rebels was additionally meant as a child’s show, however its function in filling in particulars about the rise of the Rebel Alliance and sense of pathos additionally made it an fulfilling look ahead to adults. While older Trekkies will in all probability wish to sustain with Prodigy for these ties to the better continuity, the motion sequences are stable and the preliminary plot line is critical sufficient to maintain newcomer adults engaged. It’s a good introduction to the franchise for each youngsters and grownups alike, one thing sorely wanted when there’s over 800 episodes to trawl by.


Prodigy is computer-animated by Eye Animation Productions, a part of CBS Television Studios. According to Nickelodeon and Paramount Animation president Ramsey Naito, CG was chosen for being the “most immersive approach,” and that director Ben Hibon’s imaginative and prescient for it had a lot of soul. The show adopts a blocky angular model much like Rebels however the edges are smoother and the colour palette is extra expansive. Even when issues are grim, it’s nonetheless a visible deal with by way of how issues are shaded. The planet is a full spectrum of browns and reds, whereas house isn’t simply black and white; it’s purple and blue and pink with an array of glittering stars. It’s a cinematic place you wish to discover.


And, after all, our software for exploration is the USS Protostar, a lost Starfleet vessel that the characters unearth of their digging. What precisely is the ship, and the way did it find yourself on this miserable mining colony? Those are questions for the lengthy haul. Some might nevertheless be answered by the vessel’s “help desk,” a hologram of Kathryn Janeway. She doesn’t have a large half to play in the collection premiere, which is good as a result of it means she will’t draw consideration away from the introduction of the fundamental cast. Paramount+ did, at the least, launch a quick clip starring Janeway to quench your thirst for the coffee-swilling captain.

During the New York Comic Con panel govt producers Dan and Kevin Hageman did share a few casting bulletins. Voyager followers shall be happy to listen to that Robert Beltran shall be reprising Chakotay. It’s unknown if he’ll seem in the flesh or as one other hologram, however we do know that he’s been promoted to captain in the time since his final look. Kids will in all probability be extra excited by a few of the different visitor voices, like Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs as Tysess and The Good Place’s Jameela Jamil as Ascensia. These further bulletins additionally really feel like a tip of the hat to Voyager followers, a show that noticed its share of visitor stars like The Rock. Prodigy will even carry again Jason Alexander, an actor who additionally appeared on Voyager, however will now seem in the new function of Doctor Noum.


There’s a lot about the show to be enthusiastic about, and what’s been revealed about Prodigy to date is extraordinarily promising. But as a middle-aged and long-time Star Trek fan, what acquired me the most on this premiere was once you get to see the Protostar lastly fly. Its ascent from the planet was thrilling, however watching the characters react to seeing the stars for the first time… I might need shed a few tears. Star Trek is about exploring unusual new worlds, looking for out new life and new civilizations. Now we get to look at a entire new cast, one which had beforehand been abused and downtrodden, stay out that dream. Even if we’ve left the confines of the Federation, the show’s coronary heart is nonetheless firmly in place with its previous.

All merchandise really useful by Engadget are chosen by our editorial crew, unbiased of our mum or dad company. Some of our tales embody affiliate hyperlinks. If you purchase one thing by one in all these hyperlinks, we might earn an affiliate fee.