Almost exactly 55 years ago, the original “Star Trek” series starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy took viewers across the galaxy, to explore brave new worlds. Now the legacy of what Gene Roddenberry created continues in the new Nickelodeon Animation Studios series, “Star Trek: Prodigy.”
Rather than adults at the helm as we’ve seen in so many “Star Trek” projects, “Prodigy” focuses on what would happen if a group of young misfits discovered a Starfleet ship and set off on their own adventures. Brothers Dan and Kevin Hageman created the series with the goal of appealing to a younger audience in mind.
“You think about ‘Star Trek’ and it’s always about fully formed adults on a bridge, weighing massive consequences,” Dan Hageman said. “And we thought it would just be really interesting if you had a bunch of kids who knew nothing about Gene Roddenberry and Starfleet and they get introduced to it.”
Brett Gray (“On My Block”) plays Dal, a young teenager who escapes the hard life of a mining colony and discovers the U.S.S. Protostar. Along the way he meets Rok-Tahk played by Rylee Alazraqui (“Stillwater”), Jakom Pog played by Jason Mantzoukas (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Zero played by Angus Imrie (“The Crown”) who all try to figure out what the U.S.S. Protostar can do.
But they aren’t completely without help. Many fans will be delighted to see the return of Kate Mulgrew as a holographic Captain Janeway from “Voyager.” And the Hageman brothers are quick to point out this is not a continuation of the “Voyager” story even though the events take place during the same time period and in the Delta quadrant.
“We also wanted, not just Janeway, but those other Trek elements that we can’t talk about yet but you will see later on,” Kevin Hageman explained. “We did not want our show to be the little sibling to the live action show. We were like, how can we write this so we get kids and adult fans. And that our show is going to sit up there on the mantle with the best of them.”
Over the course of their adventures together, this motley crew will each be introduced to Starfleet and the ideals it represents. And the Hagemans say that’s ultimately what they want the audience to experience as well.
“We want to honor the old as much as we want to honor the new,” Dan Hageman said.
“For me it’s what the Federation is all about,” Kevin Hageman said. “The coalition of different species all coming together and dreaming of becoming better. That’s what I hope kids take from this show.”
You can boldly go along with the kids of “Star Trek: Prodigy” when it premieres Oct. 28 on Paramount+. The series stars Kate Mulgrew, Brett Gray, Ella Purnell, Rylee Alazraqui, Jason Mantzoukas, and Angus Imrie. It was produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio; Secret Hideout; and Roddenberry Entertainment.