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SYFY WIRE Star Trek: Prodigy

Star Trek: Prodigy & holographic Janeway hold world premiere, reveal new secrets at NYCC

By Brian Silliman

The USS Protostar is ready to boldly go. Star Trek: Prodigy is almost here, and fans got an advance screening of the premiere episode at New York Comic Con 2021. The new animated Star Trek series is a joint venture between Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation, and it features the (holographic) return of Trek legend Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew). There's coffee in that nebula! 

The show is set in the Delta Quadrant, and finds six outcasts flying off on a Starfleet vessel; none of them even know what Starfleet is. Through their adventures on the USS Protostar (and lessons from the holographic Janeway), they will come to learn all about it. Co-creators Dan Hageman and Kevin Hageman (both of Trollhunters fame), and premiere director and co-executive producer, Ben Hibon, hit the stage first to let the NYCC audience know that they would be the very first to see the premiere. 

Following the viewing, a panel was held, moderated by Dawnn Lewis, who plays Captain Freeman on Star Trek: Lower Decks. The panel included Mulgrew, Brett Gray (Dal), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), and Dee Bradley Baker (Murf). Also on the deck were the brothers Hageman, Hibon, and Ramsey Naito (President of Animation and Development, Nickelodeon Animation, and Paramount Animation). 

“Why wouldn’t I want to return to this magnificent franchise?” Mulgrew said after ordering an additional clip of the animated Janeway (seen below) to be shown. She also noted that the Trek franchise has somewhat neglected the younger demographic, and that was part of what attracted her to this series.

Dal is more or less the series lead, and Gray described him as "super scrappy and funny… and sometimes overzealous." He noted Dal's mix of over-confidence and leadership, and added, "I have those qualities myself.” 

Rok-Tahk is more than she appears, and Alazraqui said, “She wants to be loved, and wants others to see her as she truly is. All I have to do is be myself to be Rok Tahk.”

Baker treated the audience to many of Murf's noises, and said that he intended Murf's  personality to be "helpful, friendly, and sunny." 

As to the reason for the show being done in CG, Naito remarked that they all "really thought that was the most immersive approach." 

The series may be geared towards young audiences, but the Hagemans were sure to mention that they think it's a show for everyone, even people who have never seen a Trek show or movie before. "There's a lot of Star Trek out there, where do we start? " they said. "This is the show that's going to help. This will guide them right into the franchise."

They also announced some other big-name actors who will be joining the series: Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), and Jameela Jamil (The Good Place). Oh, and Voyager veteran Robert Beltran will also appear as "Captain Chakotay." (Lewis pointed out that she once had a bit of a thing of him.)

Mulgrew likely said it best, describing Trek as something that will reverberate forever: "Especially after this bloody pandemic, to have something to look forward to... and that's Star Trek." When asked about her prior history with the franchise, she said, "I came into it knowing nothing, and now I wouldn't dream of being without it." 

Star Trek: Prodigy will launch on Paramount+ on Oct. 28. 

Click here for more of SYFY WIRE's continuing coverage of New York Comic Con 2021.