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Ronny Cox talks about Jellico’s triumphant return to ‘Star Trek’ in latest season of ‘Prodigy’

We talked with Ronny Cox about his experience reprising the role of Edward Jellico 30 years after his last appearance on The Next Generation.

By Vanessa Armstrong
Star Trek: Prodigy

Star Trek: Prodigy — the franchise’s first animated show targeted to a family audience — is nearing the end of the second half of its first season, and while the crew of the USS Protostar have their own challenges to face, we also see Admiral Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) butt heads with the Star Trek captain everyone loves to hate (and make memes of): Captain Edward Jellico.

Warning: There are mild spoilers for Season 1 of Star Trek: Prodigy below. 

Jellico, played by Ronny Cox, had his first and only Star Trek appearance before Prodigy in “Chain of Command,” a 1992 two-parter on Star Trek: The Next Generation. SYFY WIRE had the chance to talk with Cox about returning to the Star Trek universe three decades after his stint on TNG. Read on for that discussion, including Cox’s take on Jellico’s place in Trek fandom and what it was like playing the Starfleet officer once again. 

STAR TREK: PRODIGY Season 1 Episode 16

There’s plenty of talk about Jellico among Trekkies, and most of the discussion revolves around whether he was a good or bad captain when he took over running the USS Enterprise from Picard in “Chain of Command.” Cox is well aware of the place his character holds in some Trekkies' hearts, and he concedes that the character is either “vilified or lionized” depending on a particular Trekkie’s point of view. 

He’s also familiar with the places on the Internet that use Jellico for humor, such as the Twitter account that pretends to be the stringent captain telling dad jokes to the Enterprise crew. “Those are sort of right in my wheelhouse of humor,” he told SYFY WIRE before adding (pun intended): “I like pun-ishing people.”

Thirty years is a long time to be away from a role, however, but Cox liked the idea of playing the character for a younger audience. Slipping into Jellico once more was also easy, because the core of the Starfleet officer hasn’t changed. “The key to Jellico is, if people would just listen to him and pay attention to what he's saying, things would be better,” he deadpanned. 

And will we see more of Jellico on Prodigy or on another show, say Lower Decks, for example? “We’ll just let it go where it goes,” Cox obliquely replied. We at least have him for this season of Prodigy, and who knows where his Starfleet responsibilities will take him from there. 

Star Trek: Prodigy’s Season 1 finale airs on Dec. 29 on Paramount+.

Looking for more space adventures? Check out SYFY's Battlestar Galactica streaming now on Peacock, and keep an eye in the sky for SYFY's new original series The Ark, coming in early 2023.