Comic-Con@Home: ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Announced As Part Of The Star Trek TV Family
by Erik Amaya
The long in-development Star Trek Nickelodeon animated series finally has a name — Star Trek: Prodigy.
The title was announced by overall Star Trek executive producer Alex Kurtzman at the Star Trek Comic-Con@Home panel on Thursday. In lieu of a “normal” convention or panel, the casts of Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard performed live table reads of partial episodes, answered questions, and made recalled some favorite times on set.
According to executive producer Heather Kadin, Prodigy will serve as “a way for kids [to get] into Star Trek.” As previously reported, the show will focus on a group of “rebellious teens” who take possession of a disused Starfleet vessel to find themselves and their place in the galaxy.
This is in stark contrast to the other animated Star Trek series, the more, um “mature” leaning Star Trek: Lower Decks. As executive producer and mastermind Mike McMahan explained, “people do not get chopped in the leg by a bat’leth every episode, but it always a possibility.” In a clip, lead character Ensign Beckett Mariner (Tawny Newsome) gets drunk on “Romulan Whiskey” and brandishes the aforementioned bat’leth, leading to a bloody situation. The series takes place in 2380, just after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, and focuses on a group of junior crewman who are a long way from being finally-tuned bridge officers. Then again, even the command staff of the U.S.S. Cerritos seem a out of their depth as they cross the stars to handle “second contact” situations. The series debuts on CBS All Access August 6th.
And as Star Trek continues to expand into a reality in which there is always new content, Star Trek: Discovery will return later this year. The story will take the crew of the Discovery into Star Trek‘s far-future; a time in which the Federation has faltered and Starfleet’s mission has ended. “We allow that there’s more to do in ourselves and the utopia of the Federation,” said Mary Wiseman, who plays Cadet Tilly on the program.
Sonequa Martin-Green said her character, Micheal Burnham, hopes to find salvation even in this darkest of possible futures. “We hope it works — that we defeated Control and saved the universe.” She also said there will be a continued “unveiling” of Burnham as a character.
“[Georgiou] is pissed off,” Michelle Yeoh joked of her character’s disposition at the beginning of Season 3. But she also mentioned “power is something she [inherently] has.” It was a key tease as the rest of the cast reacted to that statement in some surprise. What this means for Georgiou, and indeed the galaxy, is anyone’s guess.
On the horizon is Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, a program returning audience to the U.S.S. Enterprise commanded by Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) “It’s one of those shows everyone came in with so much love,” said Kurtzman of the writers’ room, which has already mapped out ten episodes of the program.
Recalling his time on Discovery, Ethan Peck said “Spock’s ineraction with Micheal Burnham is essential,” and that she “gave him the permission to be human.” Going into Strange New Worlds, Peck said the program will chart Spock’s journey to becoming the Leonard Nimoy version of the character seen in the original series.
For Pike, Mount said the series will confront his knowledge of his future and what he can do with the time he still has. “I hope he learns to let other people [help him],” he added. It was a sentiment championed by Rebecca Romijn, who also returns as Pike’s executive officer, Number One.
Curiously, the Star Trek: Picard cast provided the most “comic-con panel” atmosphere of the presentation as they reminisced about the first season with Marina Sirtis and Allison Pill leading the charge toward fun. And while everyone wanted to honor Patrick Stewart — or “PStew” — there was an obvious sense of camaraderie one generally sees with the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast at conventions. But with their next season a ways from production, they could tease very little about the further adventures of Jean-Luc Picard (Stewart) and the rest of his new crew.
Of course, the sci-fi adventure and sense of family contained in Star Trek can “mask” societal issues so it does not feel like “medicine,” as Kadin noted. The cast members of all the shows mentioned how important the Federation’s ideals of acceptance and diversity are, especially now. And to that end, the group and CBS All Access suggested a donation to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund.
Star Trek: Lower Decks premieres August 6th on CBS All Access.