With the debut of Star Trek: Prodigy on Paramount+ this fall getting closer, the creative team behind the series revealed a lot of new tidbits at the show’s Television Critics Association virtual press day, including the show’s new theme scored by Academy Award winner Michael Giacchino and a first look at the recently announced series villains, The Diviner (voiced by John Noble) and Drednok (voiced by Jimmi Simpson).
The CGI animated series is the first new Trek series specifically created for kids, and was developed by executive producers Kevin and Dan Hageman (Trollhunters). It revolves around a group of six young alien outcasts who commandeer a ship and are mentored by a hologram of Captain Janeway (voiced by Kate Mulgrew).
Watch: The Star Trek: Prodigy opening theme:
During the panel, the series creatives were joined by some of the voice cast including Mulgrew, Simpson, Noble and Brett Gray, who voices Dal and Ella Purnell as Gwyn. Asked to clarify how Star Trek: Voyager, the series where Janeway originated, would be woven into Prodigy, Dan Hageman said the two series weren’t directly in terms of narrative, but more connected through the young alien’s charting a course through the Delta quadrant.
"The kids needed a hologram advisor and there’s no one better than Janeway,” Kevin Hageman said. “She’s traveled through the Delta quadrant so she has the perfect tough love these kids need.”
Having retired her role as Janeway when Voyager the series ended in 2001, Mulgrew said Star Trek has never been far from her in the interim 20-years. “Janeway defined an era for me. And as it turns out, the rest of my life,” she said. “Having Janeway as a hologram is the cleverest way to introduce this character to children. Because from there, the sky’s the limit. I’m delighted to be back playing her. I love her. She has never left me and I’m thrilled to be back.”
Functioning in her role as a hologram advisor to the kids, Mulgrew said the virtual version of Janeway is the same as the flesh and blood one Voyager fans know and love. “This Janeway is full of life, humanity and levity. She’s delighted and little taken aback that the kids are struggling with this situation. And she has the same deep sense of self, command and great fun. She’s going to love [the kids] whether they like it or not,” she laughed ominously.
Who the kids are running from is personified in the adversarial characters of The Diviner and Drednok. Announced last week that they would be voiced by Noble and Simpson, respectively, Kevin Hageman teased that the entire series is based around this mysterious ship the kids have commandeered and why The Diviner wants it. “That’s the whole crux of the season,” he emphasized. He also teased that the character’s passion was heavily influenced by Ricardo Montalban’s classic Trek character, Khan.
In newly released photos of the two characters, director/co-executive producer Ben Hibon explained that The Diviner (in the photo directly above) is being kept alive within the tank by Drednok (seen in the header photo at the top of the story). “You see the faint silhouette of him within the tank but there’s a lot more to be revealed.”
With his robotic companion Drednok, Hibon said they wanted a towering and ominous figure. “There’s a great contrast between his imposing look and Jimmi’s very subtle and measured voice delivery. He’s an enigmatic character.” Simpson added, “He’s there to serve. He’s like a mix between Maximilian in The Black Hole and HAL [from 2001: A Space Odyssey]. He has one goal in his robot life and that’s to serve the Diviner.”