Star Trek’s Most Hated Enterprise Captain Is Returning

Ronny Cox is returning as the character Edward Jellico on the show Prodigy. Jellico briefly took over as captain of the Enterprise D on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

By Vic Medina | Updated

star trek enterprise

Star Trek: Prodigy made news at this weekend’s New York Comic Con, debuting a mid-season trailer and announcing the appearance of a legacy character from the Star Trek: The Next Generation series. While the upcoming season of Picard got most of the attention during Paramount’s Star Trek panel, the producers of Prodigy (Kevin and Dan Hageman) also appeared letting on that a Star Trek Enterprise captain would be returning.

They revealed that actor Ronny Cox, who played Edward Jellico (a one-time Enterprise captain), would reprise his role as a recurring character in upcoming episodes of the first season, according to a report by Trek Movie. The animated children’s series returns to Paramount+ for the second half of its first season on October 27.

Captain Edward Jellico (who will now be an Admiral in the Prodigy series) is known to fans as the Star Trek officer who appeared in two episodes of the sixth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He took command of the Enterprise and lead a conflict against the Cardassians, who have captured Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).

His hard-edged, no-nonsense style did not endear him to Star Trek’s Next Gen Enterprise crew (or to Trekkers, for that matter), and led to an outright rebellion by Commander Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes), who was relieved of command and replaced by Commander Data (Brent Spiner). The episodes (“Chain of Command, Parts I and II”) are best known to fans as the “There are four lights” episode, during which Picard is tortured until he admits to something he knows is not true.

Ronny Cox has had a long and storied career in Hollywood, appearing in some iconic films and TV series along the way, often playing characters of authority in Deliverance, Taps, Beverly Hills Cop, RoboCop (as the villainous head of OCP), Total Recall, and Stargate SG-1. His memorable appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation as the captain of the Enterprise (however briefly) made him a fan favorite, as his two episodes are among the highest-rated and critically-acclaimed of the entire series.

His other notable roles include HBO’s True Detective, Leverage, Dexter, and The Starter Wife, and the 84-year-old New Mexico native will next be seen in Demon Star, an independently-produced sci-fi film.

In 2019, Ronny Cox gave an interview with the official Star Trek website to discuss his career and the time he replaced Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) as Enterprise captain. “I loved the script…I loved doing the show,” Cox said of his experience, noting that he was one of the few non-regular actors to ever speak a captain’s log entry on The Next Generation.

Cox doesn’t do a lot of acting these days, with his last substantial role on a season of Nashville in 2018 and a small role in last year’s Amazon Prime film Being the Ricardos, as he prefers to spend his time touring while performing his folk music, his first love.

The Star Trek: Prodigy voice cast includes Kate Mulgrew (Hologram Kathryn Janeway), Brett Gray (Dal), Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Angus Imrie (Zero), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), John Noble (The Diviner) and Jimmi Simpson (Drednok), and can be viewed on Paramount+ by clicking right here.