How Star Trek: Prodigy Re-Introduces The Franchise’s Most Deadly Villains For A New Generation


Star Trek: Prodigy is doing what many decades-old franchises are right now. That is, re-introducing their core concepts through a new story for new audiences. Similar to how Andor is one of the most accessible Star Wars right now, Prodigy does the same for Star Trek. The show was originally marketed as being ‘for kids’. But with the recent premiere of the second part of its first season, they are proving that they are not just for kids. The most recent episode actually sees Star Trek: Prodigy reintroduce The Borg for a brand new generation. And it’s just as scary as when we initially saw the conquering villains.

Please note: the following contains spoilers for the first eleven episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy, as well as the most recent one titled Let Sleeping Borgs Lie.

How Star Trek: Prodigy Makes The Franchise Accessible To New Audiences

Image via: Nickelodeon Animation

First of all, Star Trek: Prodigy is all about an entirely new set of characters, not established in the Star Trek universe. They’re not even a Starfleet crew, actually. The story sees a bunch of enslaved characters stumble upon an experimental Starfleet ship and use it to escape their circumstances. On the ship, the Protostar, they find an instructional hologram of the famed Starfleet captain, Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew).

Initially posing as Starfleet recruits, the crew eventually reveal themselves. Realizing that the Protostar has a unique warp drive that gets them across great distances much faster than the traditional warp, the crew decides to take it back to Starfleet. The show spends its first 10 episodes reintroducing key concepts of Star Trek, like what is the Federation, to its new characters. And through them, to new audiences who’ve never seen Star Trek. It’s a cool idea and a great way to bring in a new fanbase to the franchise.

The Deadly Re Introduction Of The Borg

Star Trek: Prodigy The Borg Janeway
Image via: Nickelodeon Animation

The first part of season 1 was focused on the villain The Diviner, a man who came from the future to prevent his world from destruction after first contact with the Federation. We learn that the Protostar itself is a weapon, that once scanned by Starfleet, will destroy them from the inside. When the crew accidentally comes across one of Star Trek’s most dangerous villains, the Borg, all hell breaks loose. While hologram Janeway wants to get the hell out of there, for good reason, the new Captain, Dal (Brett Gray), has other ideas.

Seeing how the new crew has had no experience with The Borg, they don’t realize how dangerous they are. So they want to take this chance to use Borg knowledge to rid the Protostar of the newly discovered weapon on board. When Zero (Angus Imrie), the Medusan decides to connect to the Borg hive mind, that’s when this new series shows audiences how scary the Borg really are.

Star Trek: Prodigy Uses The Borg In A Very Cool New Way

Star Trek: Prodigy The Borg Zero
Image via: Nickelodeon Animation

The best thing about how Star Trek: Prodigy uses The Borg is an approach that provides hope and optimism. Instead of the frantic fear that we usually associate with their appearance. Recently, when Season 1 of Star Trek: Picard brought back the Borg as a huge plot device, hearts fluttered. Being back in a Borg cube was scary, nerve-wracking and ominous for fans who knew exactly what the Borg threat meant.  But this time around, Star Trek: Prodigy shows The Borg as not just a physical threat, but an ideological one. When Zero interfaces with the collective, they initially overpower Zero, losing themselves in the process. However, it’s only with the help of their crew, and a reminder of the other collective they are a part of does Zero return and save their friends.

New Family For A New Generation

Star Trek: Prodigy The Borg Dal
Image via: Nickelodeon Animation

It’s the same ‘found family’ concept that many stories have, but used in this cool innovative way in the context of The Borg, that makes it really stand out here. The Prodigy writers’ room are able to give a new perspective and approach to an existing idea that so far has been very doom and gloom. And sure, the concept of overpowering the Borg with the happy feelings of family may not seem practical or scientific in a Star Trek show. But it’s definitely in line with the themes of how a sense of identity and individuality is greater than a mindless collective, that’s we’ve already seen in Star Trek. Namely through the character of Seven Of Nine (Jeri Ryan) in Star Trek: Voyager. Coincidentally, the show that featured Janeway herself.

The rest of season 1 of Star Trek: Prodigy is now airing every week.

What did you think of how Star Trek: Prodigy used The Borg in their latest episode? Let me know in the comments below.

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About Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad

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