There’s so much Star Trek on the air right now, that we Trekkies are almost spoiled for choice. And that was exactly the case with me and Star Trek: Prodigy season 1. Despite the trailers and all the buzz for the show, it wasn’t on my list of Trek priorities, given its marketing. The entire show’s concept was that the show was Star Trek for kids. Which is great! Any way to get a new generation of fans into one of the best sci-fi franchises of all time is always a good idea. Even more so, considering that the series did something that no other Trek show has done since the original series premiered. Read on to find out how I discovered a new Trek among all the new Trek out there right now.
Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Takes A While To Get Going
With all the Star Trek shows currently in production and on the air, like Discovery, Picard, Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks, Prodigy seemed like a show I could skip. It’s Star Trek for kids, after all. But that premise is more of an expression that I feel conveyed that the show is accessible to all; not just long-time Star Trek fans. Similar to how Andor was accessible for a Star Wars show. Which is absolutely true. While every other Star Trek show on the air has a cornerstone of nostalgia, preexisting fanbase and familiarity to it, Prodigy does not. For the first few episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy season 1, it doesn’t even feel like a Star Trek show. At least to me. New alien races, an un-seen setting, names and mentions of things that never sound familiar.
The show eases fresh audiences into the Star Trek universe. Star Trek: Prodigy works wonderfully given that it strips down what Trek is to its core, and then introduces it to a new cast of characters, from the ground up. As the new characters learn about Star Trek, Starfleet and the Federation, so does an uninitiated audience. It’s a great way to get new fans into the franchise.
Getting Back To The Basics Of Star Trek, For Kids
Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 begins with a group of characters working as labourers in a mining colony. Dal (Brett Gray) is a determined young go-getter always looking to escape. While The Diviner (John Noble) and his daughter Gwynn (Ella Purnell) rule over the colony. The Diviner is using the labourers to find something. When Dal finds a buried starship, he sees it as his chance to escape. He assembles a ragtag crew of other miners, along with a non-linear entity named Zero (Angus Imrie) and escapes. Unknowingly even bringing Gwynn along for the ride. It’s this ship, however, a prototype Starfleet ship called the Protostar, that the Diviner has been looking for. Thus begins a chase across the galaxy as this inexperienced crew finds themselves on a Starfleet ship, with an enemy stowaway and a powerful being on their heels.
Oh, and there’s also a holographic Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) who thinks these kids are actually Starfleet cadets, guiding them on this journey. This narrative plot device allows the audience and the characters to learn of Starfleet’s core values from Janeway. Their adventures together turn them from individual survivors looking out for themselves only, to becoming a united crew of friends and found family. It’s really the core values with which Gene Roddenberry created the Star Trek universe. One that is inclusive, diverse and united despite their differences and problems.
How Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Plays In A New Part Of The Universe
Similar to Star Trek: Discovery, which took its story well into the future to avoid messing with any canonical stories set in the Star Trek universe, Prodigy does something similar. Taking place way on the other side of the galaxy, Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 seemingly removes itself from the major universe, for most of the season. Season 1 explores an unknown part of the galaxy while bringing the crew towards the more familiar. The Janeway hologram is seemingly our only connection to the known Trek franchise in the beginning, but the story barrels towards a larger threat, that affects the entire Federation.
Taking Star Trek For Granted And Reintroducing It For a New World
When Roddenberry created Star Trek, it was during a time of turmoil and strife in the world. The intention was to envision a better future, one that was, for all intents and purposes, a utopia without the problems that existed in the real world at that time. Since then, the stories took over; exciting new adventures, characters, futuristic ideas and concepts— all things that made Star Trek what it is today. However, every new Star Trek content we’re getting now pushes those ideas of science fiction further. More compelling drama, newer and interesting characters and overall adding to the existing mythos of Star Trek.
But Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 introduces characters who are less fortunate, survivors in need of a better life. Characters who were oppressed, alone and dealing with their own personal traumas. This ensemble cast is how the Prodigy characters are able to remind existing and new fans what Star Trek is meant to be; hope for a better future. And it’s this reasoning with which our Prodigy crew are seeking out Starfleet, hoping to be part of a cause and get a better life from the ones they left behind. It’s a beautiful way to remind audiences of what the promise of a bright future means to those who are without that hope. And at the end of the day, that is ultimately what Roddenberry intended.
Star Trek: Prodigy Will Return— On Netflix!
Despite finding an immense fan following, Paramount ended up cancelling Prodigy. Not only that but, the studio seemingly removed any mention of Prodigy from all of Paramount’s Star Trek marketing, promos and everything else. This provoked a huge backlash from fans and the creators who worked on the series. After a massive, and wholesome fan campaign to bring the series back, the show was finally picked up by Netflix. It’s one of the first times a Star Trek returned from cancellation by a fan campaign, since the original letter-writing campaign that saved the Star Trek Original Series as well.
While season 1 will be available for streaming on Netflix, season 2 will premiere sometime in 2024.
What did you think of Star Trek: Prodigy season 1? Let me know in the comments below or follow me on X (Twitter) at @theshahshahid to talk about any Star Trek. Anytime!
How Star Trek: Prodigy Is The Purest Trek Of The Modern Era, And Not Just ‘For Kids’
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Cinematography/Visual Effects - 10/1010/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 9/109/10
- Setting/Theme - 9/109/10
- Watchability - 8/108/10
- Rewatchability - 8/108/10