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The future is animated: Paramount+ beams up 'Star Trek' animated universe to Comic-Con@Home 2021

By Josh Weiss
Star Trek Prodigy

Paramount+ went where no streaming platform has gone before during its "Peak Animation" panel during Comic-Con@Home 2021. The virtual event opened with an appearance from the cast and crew of Star Trek: Prodigy, a kid-friendly introduction to the long-running sci-fi mythos.

Developed and executive produced by Dan and Kevin Hageman, the show follows a group of six alien crew members aboard a starship, although these characters do not operate within the confines of Starfleet. According to director and co-executive producer Ben Hibon, Prodigy — which is a co-production between Nickelodeon Animation Studio and CBS Studios — isn't just for younger viewers.

"Yes, it has, in essence, the ambition to tell this story from a kid's perspective and focus on this entry point for a brand-new generation of Trek fans," he explained. "But it was not designed just for kids. It's just designed for lovers of animation, for lovers of sci-fi. The ambition of the show is that kids should watch it with their parents and vice versa."

"We knew that people were gonna look at our show and go, 'Oh, this is the little brother or little sister of the Star Trek universe,'" added Dan Hageman. "We wanted to be that little brother or little sister that smacks the bigger sibling and says, 'Don't underestimate us.'"

The voice cast features Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Brett Gray (Dal), Angus Imrie (Zero), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Ella Purnell (Gwyn), and Dee Bradley Baker (Murf). Kate Mulgrew is reprising the role of Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager

"I've been a part of [the franchise] for upwards of 25 years," Mulgrew said. "The Hagemans are well aware of the fact that it has changed my life. So when this was proposed to me sometime ago, after a moment's deliberation, I thought, 'What could be better than possibly handing this to the next generation? To a demographic that heretofore has not known anything about Star Trek?' The beauty of it; the philosophy of it; the depth of it; the hope and the promise of it. If there's any age group that's going to take this thing and embrace it with a whole-heartedness not seen before, it's the young kids."

Star Trek: Prodigy lands on Paramount+ later this year. Watch the teaser trailer here.

Check out the full panel right here.

Season 2 of Star Trek: Lower Decks occupied the second half of the panel.

"I think that we kind of crescendoed at the end of Season 1 in a really cool way," said creator/executive producer Mike McMahan. "We left a lot of really cool bills to pay with characters and with what was going on in the world. We just keep adding. There is a really great mix of serious Trek and silly Trek ... You'll see some familiar faces, you'll some new stuff ... I'm so excited for August because we've been living with this for so long and I just can't wait to share it with everybody. If you love Star Trek, you're gonna have 10 new Star Trek episodes that you don't see coming, no matter how hard you try to extrapolate what we did."

In terms of familiar faces, make sure to keep your ears pricked for guest appearances from mainstay Trek veterans like Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris) and Jeffrey Combs (voicing an evil computer).

Cast member Tawny Newsome (Ensign Beckett Mariner) let slip that Season 2 also features "glimpses of slightly different" Starfleet uniforms. "I'm not saying when or where, but it's so cool to me to see in animation form just different Starfleet [uniforms]. When we did some ADR the other day, I was like, 'That's what we look like?!' It's very cool."

The second season hits Paramount+ Thursday, Aug. 12. Watch the new trailer here.

A third season has already been green-lit.

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of Comic-Con@Home 2021.

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