Netflix Gets The Best Modern Star Trek Series

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

star trek prodigy

Attention Trekkies, young and old: as of December 25, Star Trek: Prodigy, the tenth installment in the Star Trek franchise, is available on the streaming giant. The animated series ushers in a new era with its distinctive approach and pursuit of a new target audience: young adults and children. Developed by Kevin and Dan Hageman for Paramount+ and Nickelodeon, the series debuted in 2021 on Paramount+ (before being scooped up by Netflix). 

The Young Crew Of The USS Protostar

Despite focusing on a noticeably younger demographic, the series occurs in the same beloved Star Trek universe. It revolves around a group of youthful extraterrestrials who chance upon an abandoned Starfleet—the USS Protostar. As the crew on Star Trek: Prodigy embarks on an epic voyage across the cosmos, each new character contributes unique backgrounds. Together, they learn to navigate the challenges of space, all while embodying timeless values like teamwork and exploration.

The USS Protostar’s main characters include Dal R’El (voiced by Brett Gray), a daring 17-year-old hailing from an unknown species who assumes command of the USS Protostar. Alongside him is Gwyndala (Gwyn), voiced by Ella Purnell, a visionary 17-year-old Vau N’Akat harboring a lifelong dream to explore the stars. Jankom Pog rounds out the cast—a technically skilled (yet argumentative) 16-year-old Tellarite, voiced by Jason Mantzoukas.

An Award-Winning Show For All Generations

Star Trek: Prodigy isn’t considered the most compelling newer Star Trek universe installment for nothing. After all, the sci-fi series has enjoyed much critical praise. It even earned a Children’s and Family Emmy Award. Fans were sad to see its cancellation on Paramount+ but were equally enthused when Netflix acquired the show, which will air new episodes sometime in 2024.

By catering to a younger audience through its animated format and relatable characters, the series upholds Star Trek’s legacy and expands its reach to new horizons.

Where Prodigy Left Off

prodigy netflix

Those who tuned into Star Trek: Prodigy on its original home, Paramount+, will recall the story commencing with the cast of intergalactic teens escaping from the Tars Lamora prison in the Delta Quadrant, a location previously featured in Star Trek: Voyager. Aboard the abandoned (and discovered) Protostar, the young crew embarks on a mission to establish communication with Starfleet. All while being pursued by the menacing Diviner.

Familiar Voyager Faces

Robert Picardo star trek

Interestingly, the kid-friendly Star Trek series connects with the larger Trekkie storyline, specifically that of Voyager. For instance, it revives Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway; she serves as both a holographic advisor on board the Protostar in Star Trek: Prodigy—in addition to her original role within Starfleet. The show also intriguingly hints at the destiny of Chakotay’s—a Voyager character voiced by Robert Beltran. Moreover, in a preview for the second season, Robert Picardo returns as the Doctor, excitingly introducing a new Voyager ship.

Prodigy Comes From The Talented Hageman Brothers

prodigy netflix

The Hageman brothers are veterans of children’s content. In 2014, Guillermo del Toro and DreamWorks Animation brought them on board as writers and co executive producers for the animated series Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia. Their exceptional work on the show earned them a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program (their Emmy for Star Trek: Prodigy would be their second).

Impressed, del Toro personally selected the Hagemans to write the screenplay for the horror film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. DreamWorks also tasked them with revising the script for The Croods: A New Age.

Star Trek Through The Decades

star trek movies

Streamers slightly older than Prodigy’s targeted demographics will know, of course, that Star Trek is a legendary, groundbreaking icon of science fiction. An integral part of modern pop culture, the franchise debuted in 1966 with the mythic TV show Star Trek: The Original Series. Star Trek is renowned for its innovative storytelling, rich lore, and exploration of complex social and ethical issues. Star Trek: Prodigy continues that tradition.

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