Star Trek fans are used to watching favorite heroes like Captain Janeway save the day at the last possible minute. Those fans are so used to it, in fact, that they followed in her footsteps and, via multiple fan campaigns, managed to do what seemed impossible: save the canceled show Star Trek: Prodigy. The show has now been picked up on Netflix, and while that means we’re going to be getting to see a second season (and hopefully more), there’s a question of whether or not it will ultimately be bad for the franchise as a whole.
Star Trek: Prodigy will be streaming on Netflix, and we take a look into whether or not that’s a good thing.
The biggest change that is likely to happen when Star Trek: Prodigy moves from Paramount Plus to Netflix, is that the later has a tendency to release all the episodes of a show’s new season all at once. This has created a culture of binge-watching that helped transform Netflix into a household name.
However, the jury is out on whether that will have more of a positive or negative effect on a fandom accustomed to getting one new episode of content per week.
While the idea of Prodigy dropping all eps at once on Netflix may disappoint existing fans who would rather savor the experience, the episode drop combined with short episode lengths could just as easily attract new fans.
For example, Star Trek: Prodigy is, like its animated cousin Lower Decks, shorter than the various live-action Trek television shows. To be precise, each episode is about half as long as an episode of, say, Strange New Worlds. If Netflix released all the episodes of Prodigy’s second season in one go, then fans might breeze through the whole thing over a long weekend.
Why would it be a bad thing if fans went through Star Trek: Prodigy’s new season at “warp speed” through Netflix? Basically, the quicker fans consume the next season, the sooner they’ll want to move on to the next big thing (like the next season of Star Trek: Discovery). Releasing a new ep once per week is how Paramount and many other streamers managed to keep fan interest up and build healthy buzz from week to week.
Netflix choosing to release Prodigy all at once may, depending on fan reactions, affect how Paramount Plus releases future shows.
Of course, Star Trek is the franchise that taught us there’s no such thing as a no-win scenario. While the idea of Prodigy dropping all eps at once on Netflix may disappoint existing fans who would rather savor the experience, the episode drop combined with short episode lengths could just as easily attract new fans.
These would be fans who are interested in Trek but fear the big time commitment of watching a show for months, and it would only be appropriate for Prodigy to continue its mission of recruiting new fans to the Trek family.
Interestingly, Netflix choosing to release Prodigy all at once may, depending on fan reactions, affect how Paramount Plus releases future shows. We could start seeing all the eps of upcoming Strange New Worlds seasons, for example, drop all at once.
While we’re eager to see how Captain Pike beats back the Gorn after that cliffhanger finale, we must confess we’d miss the watercooler effect of dishing about new eps with fellow fans week after week.
As a franchise, Star Trek is all about optimism regarding the future, and in that spirit, we think that Prodigy seasons dropping all at once (or maybe split into two big chunks, like Stranger Things) on Netflix could be a good thing for the show and for the franchise as a whole.
The more fans (new and old) that get exposed to this wonderful show, the more attention they are likely to pay to the other Star Trek series. Considering that Lower Decks showrunner Mike McMahan recently confirmed the best way to keep your favorite Trek programming alive is to get more fans to check them out, then we’ve got just four more words for our favorite franchise as it hops across different platforms: stream us up, Scotty.