Star Trek Prodigy Review
One of the greatest secret joys parents have is seeing something they love to be experienced for the first time through the eyes of their children. I’ll admit the Mouse has been the primary influence in our household for their childhood. I had been holding off on the joys of Trek till they were old enough to really enjoy and get all the messages behind it. Star Trek for me is more cerebral in some of its aspects than the other big universe that starts with the words Star (and I love both). My daughter had been interested in Trek for some time and liked Captain Janeway in the bits and pieces that she’d see from her Dad’s most recent Voyager rewatch binge.
Star Trek just released Star Trek Prodigy, a great animated series that the whole family can sit on the couch and watch. That it features kids is just fantastic, giving a shareable connection for my kids. They had seen trailers and were 100% ready to watch the first 3 episodes.
A quick profile of the new Trek watchers. Liam and Veronica are both 9, both have STEM career goals, and have grown up looking at the stars and planets. My heart stopped the first time I heard the squeal come from my daughter as she saw Saturn’s rings. My son was more reserved and just hugged me tightly and said “Thank you” after climbing down from the telescope. I fully recommend finding observatory groups for young kids. Hook em while they are young! Most groups are ecstatic about young ones and my kids have been viewing since they were 4.
Plopped on the couch, blankets on, Trek on, the first notes of the theme excite them.
“He’s purple?!” my daughter exclaims as she sees Dal, one of the main characters for the first time. “Cool!” My son nods. The near escape keeps questions quiet except for the occasional giggle at Dal’s funny lines. I’m told later that the bit about “remember this day” reminded them about Pirates of the Caribbean.
Dal is very stereotypical for a teen boy, and to me, it's lazier storytelling than I’d like from a new Trek series. It makes him 2 dimensional at first, so much so that he falls flat as a character at first. Compared to Gwyn, who is presented much more fleshed out, Dal just doesn’t work at first.
Gwyn, a talented linguist, and daughter of the main villain, known as the Diviner, oversees the operations of the asteroid mining prison and acquisitions of the slave population mining for them. The show hints that she is becoming more apprehensive of her role and her Father’s intentions, laying the groundwork that becomes her rejection of him later on.
A species from the original series, the Medusans are non-corporeal entities with telepathic powers. Corporeal entities that interact with them go insane. Prisoner Zero has cobbled together an encounter suit to protect corporeals from insanity. Acting as another voice of experience and authority, there’s not much else currently about them.
A walking contradiction of a cute little girl in the body of a large rock creature, Rok-Tahk, is a young Brikarian. Joining her is the gruff Jankom Pog who reminds me a little too much of Drax from Guardians, and Murf, their cute blob pet.
The Villians, known as the Diviner and Drednok are also 2 dimensional in their menace and threat. However, the mystery of the purpose of why they wanted the ship and what it contains, has not been revealed yet. Hopefully with more depth than power and vengeance for the destruction of the Diviner’s species.
Janeway being a part of things helps immensely to keep an adult interested. There’s action and adventure but the plot is sometimes weak and definitely at times completely predictable. It has a strong premise though and enough mystery and questions to answer to become a stronger series.
My kids however love it and as the intended audience, this is a good thing, as it will lead them to binge on the many shows and movies of Star Trek with us in the future.
Will we get our answers? Will the characters develop? We will just have to keep watching to see!