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Star Trek Prodigy: Lost & Found (Pilot)

"I've seen worse."

Star Trek: Prodigy, now airing weekly on Paramount+, is the first Star Trek show officially intended for kids. Which means I'm totally the wrong person to review it, since I don't relate well to animation or kid shows. With that caveat in mind, though, quite honestly, the show seems to be fine for what it is.

The lead character, Dal R'El, is a young, skinny purple guy who talks too much and doesn't know his own origins. Like many other criminals and unwanted children, Dal labors at Tars Lamora Prison Colony, where no one speaks his language, which is probably why he talks too much, since he has no one with whom to do dialogue. While trying to escape or something, Dal and another prisoner, a large rock creature named Rok-Tahk, find the wreck of a Starfleet ship called the USS Protostar. Everything changes when Dal and Rok accidentally turn on the universal translator and can finally communicate.

This series felt a lot more like Star Wars than Star Trek, at least at first. I kept wondering when and where it took place. By the end of the episode, I still didn't know, but fortunately, there is the internet and a helpful Den of Geek article answers this question – Prodigy takes place in the Delta Quadrant five years after the end of Star Trek: Voyager, and around the same time period as the new series Star Trek: Picard.

Zero, Jankom Pog, Gwyn, Dal, Murf and Rok

I felt more grounded in Star Trek as we got to know the characters, starting with Fugitive Zero, a cloudy thing in a robot body that turned out to be Medusan, an intriguing alien introduced in the original series Star Trek episode, "Is There in Truth No Beauty." Zero reads minds, making him a valuable member of the gang, and he stays in that robot body so that he won't drive other beings insane when they see him. I thought Zero was the most interesting character, but that might be the old Trekkie in me.

There's also a Tellarite engineer named Jankom Pog, and a purple blob called Murf that eats things and burps. This pilot episode also features already introduced Star Trek species the Kazons and the Caitians. I wanted more of the cat-like Caitians, but no dice, at least this time.

Near the end of the episode, as the alien "kids" are fixing up the Protostar, we meet a very important character – a training hologram of Captain Janeway, voiced by the Captain herself, Kate Mulgrew. I can easily see how the hologram could be an invaluable plot device as the kids are coping with the ins and outs of flying an unfamiliar starship.

Joining Mulgrew is another acting heavyweight, John Noble, who voices the bad guy. "Our Diviner" runs the prison colony, has evil robot minions, and was searching for the starship, most certainly for his own evil ends. He is also the hostile bad daddy of Gwyn, a young woman who works at the colony. Gwyn, who looks a bit like Ahsoka Junior, is quietly friendly with Dal and initially keeps him from being tortured. Later, Gwyn is "taken hostage" by Dal and the gang as they escape the prison colony in the Protostar.

So as the ship takes off, let me bring this in for a landing. This show is intended for kids and feels like it, much more so, in my opinion, than The Animated Series or Lower Decks. The animation is beautiful, very detailed and colorful, with aliens and robots and sweeping starscapes and landscapes. But even with the legacy aliens and a hologram of a famous starship captain, it just doesn't feel like Star Trek to me. I'm not sure I'm interested in trying a second episode.

What did you guys think?

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

1 comment:

  1. I too agree that this series seems more part of the Star Wars Universe.

    So far I like it. Not truly meant for the very young in my opinion, but it is a way to keep ST alive for the next generation and have them watch all of the specific series...TOS, NG, etc.


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