Julien Neaves, Sci Fi Head Writer
Are you a parent and a Star Trek fan? Having trouble getting your kids interested in the franchise? Well then Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 may be just what the doctor ordered.
Now I will be the first to admit I was somewhat skeptical when the new Paramount+/Nickelodeon animated series was announced and the first images were released. But I will say overall I have enjoyed the show. With the first half of the first season ending on February 3 (the other 10 episodes will be dropping sometime later this year) it’s a good time for the whole review treatment. And I already took a look at the first two episodes (I’ll link that below) so this review will focus on Episodes 3-10. With a Delta Quadrant-sized SPOILER ALERT let’s break it down in three blasts:
Blast #1 Ep 3-5: Starstruck, Dream Catcher & Terror Firma
Starstruck really drove the point home that this motley crew was no crew at all and completely unprepared for the dangers of space travel. Dal is a bit annoying as the self-appointed captain and almost gets everyone killed but at least he learns his lesson (mostly). A decent episode but nothing all that special.
The Dream Catcher/Terror Firma two-parter was much better and a highlight of the show so far. A sentient planet that presents your greatest desires as a trap before consuming you? It felt very The Original Series, but the animated format allowed for some awesome set pieces and thrilling action. And we also got some insight into the characters by seeing some of their innermost desires. Very good stuff.
Blast #2 Ep 6-8: Kobayashi, First Con-tact & Time Amok
While most episodes feel like they are catering more to young, new fans Kobayashi was full fan service for diehard Trekkies. It was pretty cool seeing holographic representations of iconic Trek characters like Spock, Uhura, Odo, Dr Crusher and Scotty and their animated likenesses looked good. The use of recorded voices did sound kinda off but it’s on a holodeck so it can be forgiven.
First Con-tact gave us a new antagonist with Nandi, the tricky Ferengi that raised Dal. She’s wearing clothes so we know she’s an unconventional Ferengi and her betrayal of the crew surprised absolutely no one. A delightfully devious character and a welcome addition. I also liked the design of the alien species; non-humanoids are always a welcome change.
Time Amok, a cute play on Amok Time, has the crew dealing with both a temporal anomaly and the return of secondary antagonist, the Terminator-like Drednok. The solution of Rok-Tahk figuring things out over and an extended time period was an inspired one, though I hope to see more of the emotional impact of her long isolation at some point. Hopefully it can make her slightly less cutesy, as it does wear thin very quickly.
Blast #3 Ep 9-10 A Moral Star Part I & II
So much happened in this two-parter I thought it was the season finale (and not the mid-season finale). Let’s unpack it all. The new sleek costumes look good though I would have liked some way to distinguish divisions (Command, Science/Medical, Security/Tactical). I liked the twist and hiding the proto-warp engine in the adorable Murf and that Holo-Janeway was faking being taken over by the Diviner. And speaking of the show’s big bad, we have some great scenes with him and Gwyn and we learn what happened to his species and what he wants with the Protostar. And of course he wants to destroy the Federation. Typical.
I did not expect that we would not only be returning to Tars Lamora so soon but always liberating the slave labour. Seeing the cute cat alien decapitating Drednok was definitely a highlight. Also a highlight was Zero (my favourite character) unleashing its Medusan form and driving the Diviner mad. A wonderful moment and a beautiful callback to the TOS episode Is There in Truth No Beauty? which introduced the non-corporeal species.
And can we talk about that cliffhanger? The Protostar crew headed to the Federation unwittingly carrying something that could destroy them and we get a glimpse of real Janeway aboard the USS Dauntless! That was so awesome. And we learn that she is on a mission to rescue her former first officer and former Protostar captain Chakotay. We should have suspected the show would act as a semi-sequel to Voyager but this confirms it and I am fully on board. And I’m also fully on board with this show, with its light, bright action focus for younger fans but a heart and soul that is fully Trek. I look forward to seeing the remainder of Season 1 whenever it drops.
So that’s my review. What are your thoughts on Star Trek: Prodigy so far? And you can check out more Trek animated content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.