Star Trek: Prodigy

"Lost and Found"

3 stars

Air date: 10/28/2021 (Parts 1 and 2)
Written by Kevin & Dan Hageman
Directed by Ben Hibon

Cast: Brett Gray (Dal R'El), Ella Purnell (Gwyndala), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Angus Imrie (Zero), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), Jimmi Simpson (Drednok), John Noble (The Diviner), Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway)

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

On a far-away mining colony, a teenage boy named Dal (Brett Gray) is drawn into the mysterious plot of the colony's evil overlord, the Diviner (John Noble), and the Diviner's robotic henchman Drednok (Jimmi Simpson). This is accomplished through the Diviner's not-evil but order-following daughter Gwyn (Ella Purnell), who enlists Dal to track down a missing prisoner named Zero, who is one of the keys to the Diviner's grip on his prisoners, which he's using as slave labor in this mine for ... some reason.

Under duress, Dal agrees to this plan with the hope he may one day possibly get off this rock (the lively opening minutes depict an ambitious failed escape plan). He ventures deep into the mine, tethered to a fellow prisoner named Rok (Rylee Alazraqui), where they accidentally find a Federation starship that has been entombed in the mine and is the very object the Diviner has been seeking.

Dal decides this starship is his ticket outta here, and quietly attempts to recruit a crew to help him launch the ship. This includes engineer Pog (Jason Mantzoukas), a Tellarite who really likes to argue, as well as the now-found missing prisoner Zero (Angus Imrie), who is a genderless Medusan encased inside a robotic body. (The Diviner wanted Zero because he could use Zero to gain dominion over his subjects' minds.) Also along for the ride is Murf, who's a creature with an amorphous slime/snail appearance that doesn't speak in words and kind of takes on the role of a puppy.

"Lost and Found" does a good job of assembling a motley crew of alien characters and getting them connected to this mysterious starship, which they successfully, against all odds, steal out from under the Diviner and escape. Along the way, there's a series of action sequences, close scrapes, tenuous alliances, and other complications (Gwyn ends up aboard the starship and taken along for this crew's ride as an inadvertent prisoner), amid some issues of core character identity (Dal has no idea what species he even is, and never knew his parents; Gwyn and the Diviner, meanwhile, are the last two of their kind).

It also sets up the mystery around the technologically advanced USS Protostar: Why does the Diviner want it so badly, and how did it end up inside this far-away alien mine? What happened to its crew? And where is the Federation amid all of this? There are no Federation characters on the show, which is the series' most intriguing and distinctive trait: This is a crew of outsiders who don't even know what the Federation is (although the Diviner does), and this gives the show a unique perspective. Correction — there is one Starfleet representative: Hologram Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), the Protostar's training program assistant based on the famous captain, who will presumably guide these kids in how to take control of a Starfleet vessel and perhaps provide tutelage in the ways of the Federation.

Star Trek: Prodigy in its initial two-part opener has the overall vibe and visual temperament of the Clone Wars animated series. Gwyn in particular looks like she could've stepped straight off the animated sets of that show, with her alien features merged with a very human-like overall appearance and a gritty outfit that shouts "action." The animation style is also very similar: bright, colorful, sleek, stylized, and visually cool to look at, but with that sort of cut-rate approach to the finer details and motion that make it clearly TV rather than feature-film quality. It's a solid and entertaining start, and my kids enjoyed it (this is their entry point into Star Trek, so I guess you could say mission accomplished to the CBS/Paramount media empire). But what most sets it apart from other Treks is the outsider's perspective.

Next episode: Starstruck

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51 comments on this post

Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 9:26am (UTC -6)
Discussion thread open.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 9:34am (UTC -6)
I thought the pilot was a good episode. Honestly probably the best pilot episode of Kurtzman Trek. Three stars.

The purpose of a pilot episode after all is to introduce the viewers to the characters and the setting. This did that in spades, while Discovery and Picard waited until much further into the season to introduce us to everyone. I got an idea about the basic characterization of all of the main characters, Gwyn in particular impressed me as a somewhat deeper, more complicated character than the rest of them, with her conflict between loyalty to her father and her basic inclination for goodness.

I love the animation style, which is somewhat stylized without being actively distracting. There was good unobtrusive use of music. The action scenes were well directed, easy to follow, and not so overly long as to be boring. The focus on dark themes, including slavery, torture, and (implied) murder, was also a bit heavier than I expected - and well appreciated.

The one downfall of the episode is it became obvious in the back half the show is going to treat its antagonists like the typical kiddie show. From little examples like the drones who can't shoot, to bigger ones like the mysterious failure of the cyborg to defeat Dal in combat, I worry this will fall into the typical kids show trope of bad guys who are - no matter how menacing they seem - basically bumbling idiots who cannot outsmart a bunch of children. But that was a relatively small complaint.

Also, some people will likely complain that it doesn't really "feel Trek." Since our POV characters are from outside the Federation, we really don't get any hint of the "Trek feel" until the end of the episode. They seem to be going for the Clone Wars vibe here hardcore, TBH.

Still, it succeeds in what it set out to do, and executes it competently.
Joseph B
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 11:39am (UTC -6)
Just viewed the first episode of "Star Trek: Prodigy", "Lost and Found - Parts 1 and 2".

This show doesn't look or feel like a "kids show". The aspect ratio is 2.35:1 which is typical of theatrical productions, and the quality of the CGI animation is outstanding. This first episode runs 45 minutes without commercials.

While it doesn't look or feel like a "kids show", it definitely is -- but its very well done and any adult can enjoy it. (Especially adult Star Trek fans.)

The first 20 minutes seemed more like "Star Wars" than "Star Trek" to me; and, in fact, we don't get any "Star Trek elements" until about that point in the episode. By the time we get to the end this is very recognizable Star Trek.

*** Mild Spoiler ***
This first episode help my interest throughout. The only issue for me was that we don't get "hologram Janeway" until the final moments. I mean, we knew she would be there from the trailers, but for awhile there I was beginning to think we wouldn't see her until the second episode!

I give this first episode a B+.
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
Not bad, but pretty much what I expected: it's like 'Star Wars Rebels' and Voyager had a baby. It was fun, and visually interesting.

Feels like they took several small cues from Orville, oddly, but it's not at all distracting. I'm thinking along the lines of the stairs on the Protostar, the largely blue LCARS-similar-but-not-quite bridge interface, an amorphous, blobby crewmate [RIP Norm].

But yeah, looking forward to the next episode to really get us going into the story now that we're mostly past the trailer content.

One small thing that bugged me, and it's super trivial: she refers to herself simply as "Hologram Janeway", like she's reading her name off her own Funko Pop box. Not something like, say, "Starship Operations Training Hologram" or something like that? Kinda weird. Hardly a deal breaker, though.
Eric Cheung
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 12:49pm (UTC -6)
It's actually the Trek show I've been most excited for. I've wanted a civilian Trek series for years. The premise I've been mulling over in my mind has been about an historian that's hired as a consultant to the newly formed United Federation of Planets, who uses the history of the unification of Earth as a model. We could see parallel stories about the mistakes and lessons of those governments and economies forming, as well as the effects of those decisions on regular people.

But I've thought about lots of other ideas for how they could do a civilian show. Maybe a show about journalists or a traveling troupe of actors or a colony. When I first heard the premise, it reminded me a bit of fan-film series Star Trek: Aurora, in that both involve young people hijacking a derelict Starfleet vessel.

I liked the first episode. The characters are likeable and there are plenty of interesting mysteries set up in the premiere. Plus, I always say Star Trek is about seemingly implacable foes learning to communicate in order to solve problems. If so, this show is definitely Star Trek.
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 1:22pm (UTC -6)
I think that Prodigy, although atypical (more like "Star Wars: Rebels" or "Farscape"-for-kids), is good (or, at last, promising) series, worth reviewing. I like it most from all new Trek series.
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 1:39pm (UTC -6)
Overall, not bad. "3/4"

I came into this with low expectations, I haven't been super big on most Kurtzman era Trek with the exception of Lower Decks, and this show is oriented towards a younger audience. Still, its got Star Trek on the tin so I figured it would be wrong not to at least give it a chance, after all the Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoon was fantastic and had plenty of fairly serious themes despite also having been made with a similar premise.

Anyways, all that being said, this Pilot had my interest, and that comparison to Star Wars couldn't be any more true, because that's largely what this felt like, but I say all that with immense caution, because this pilot wasn't enough to convice me to committ to this show - which is fine I guess, two or three more episodes and I'll know for sure.

Plot wise it had a lot going for it, plenty of mysterious elements surrounding the prison planetoid and the Protostar. The main story (kids escape a prison planet and slavery) was played pretty straight and formulaic, but it had enough threat and danger to keep it going, even if it made some pretty big concessions like:

> Why is there absolutely no security on that Federation starship? Trek weapons have been shown to be this hypertech which can melt the surface of a planet, and like six kids can freely walk aboard and take full control?

> How does the univeral translator even work anyhow? It's really one of those elements best left unmentioned.

> There was also a VERY "Star Wars" moment where some of our heroes fled into the Protostar chased by a hail of laser fire that all missed.

If this was more adult oriented then these would be glaring issues, but again the format is different here so as long as stuff like this is the exception, and not the norm then I can live with it.

Characters wise, this was an introductory episode. There's a lot they can do and work with considering how diverse our cast of friendly, monster mash aliens are, but that really depends on if their quirks turn out more interesting and less "Jar Jar" like. From this pilot alone, the Villain's daughter character is a good example of what I wouldn't mind seeing, but the Tellarite character is what I'm worried we'll get. It's a kids show on the tin so it could really go either way, again, more data needed.

The presentation was a bit iffy. The score was great, no problems with it. The visual style was... servicable. It had a few janky moments that took me out of it but it worked well enough otherwise, and it definitely had some real pretty shots. Pacing wise, man some of those transitions were REALLY jarring, could've used at least a few seconds to breathe from one scene to the next. I'm hopeful that's more early in the show syndrome and that it'll be improved.

Anyways, overall this was a solid pilot but I'll need a lot more to work off of from here still before I'm ready to stick by this show.
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
"There was also a VERY "Star Wars" moment"

VERY Star Wars are villains TOO. The Diviner is Palpatine-like, and Drednok, although a robot, not a cyborg, has Vader-Grievous' vibe.
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 4:47pm (UTC -6)
I am 43 and I loved every minute of the Prodigy premiere. The issue of whom a given Star Trek show is, should be, or is not being made for generates considerable discussion on this site all by itself, @Jammer; I’m not sure how you have gauged faithful site visitors’ (Jammerians?) interest in Prodigy reviews. Not that I am saying you in particular listen to the loudest voices, but if, for arguments’ sake, the loudest voices on this site are not showing an interest in Prodigy reviews, that is not necessarily evidence of disinterest. Pauline Kael once criticized “The Graduate” by saying that the director, Mike Nichols, was”letting the audience direct HIM.” This, she said, was demagoguery in the arts. Pardon the cliche, but maybe, when it comes to deciding whether to review the show, follow your heart? Thanks
Jeffery's Tube
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 4:49pm (UTC -6)
Not bad, but not much Star Trek. Not yet, anyway. I kept expecting everyone to pull out lightsabers, especially the villain's daughter. And then she did pull a lightsaber-replacement sword thing, so yeah.

They could have at least used more Star Trek sound effects. The phaser fire didn't sound like phaser fire. The shield were red instead of blue. I know, I know, it's little details. But don't the little details make it or break it, or not? A Kazon reference and a Medusan and a Tellarite and a Morn-type alien are little details they included, sure, but things like that don't automatically make it feel like Star Trek. The only thing that felt like Star Trek is the design of the ship (which they should have just named Voyager, but I guess they'd have to put a letter after that name and they don't want to give away when in the timeline this is happening yet).

They just left catkid behind? Harsh.

Hope it's not always them against the same villains. That would get boring. Go explore & see new things. That's what Star Trek is about, and definitely what kids would respond to best I would think. (Because yeah, I'm totally an expert on what kids would respond to, haha.)
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 5:16pm (UTC -6)
FWIW guys, I watched an interview with the Hageman brothers, and they strongly implied the show was constructed to not be very Trek-like at the beginning, and then get progressively more Trek. Basically, they wrote the show with kids who have no Trek background, as an introduction into the franchise. The main characters are from outside the Federation because their own inexperience with the ideas and concepts is meant to mirror the viewers. Over the course of the season, they will get progressively introduced to more and more elements of the Trekverse, which (it is hoped) will be the gateway to get younger viewers interested in checking out other Trek media.

They absolutely said we will see Klingons this season, for example.
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 5:40pm (UTC -6)
My gauge of interest was completely unscientific, based on the sense that almost no one has so much as mentioned the show anywhere in the comments in recent days/weeks. I had considered posting some sort of poll, but figured this comment thread could serve a similar purpose.
Peter G.
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 5:47pm (UTC -6)
@ Jammer,

If it makes you feel better I didn't even know there was such a thing as ST: Prodigy until someone asked you to make the thread.
Louis Brantmeyer
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 6:38pm (UTC -6)
Jeffery's Tube
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
@ Karl.

That seems entirely unnecessary to me. What's not exciting to kids and not to love about the Star Trek formula right off the bat? Why do they think kids need to be enticed into it? Strange.

I mean . . . Ship. Space. GO!

( +optimism, +morality, +fantastic technology, + aliens, +duty to your shipmates/friends & all that, sure.)

But they did also need to come up with a way that puts kids in charge of a Federation starship without it straining credulity, for the sake of the rest of the franchise. They accomplished that. Maybe this was just the easiest way.

Star Trek has amazing iconography in sound effects, art direction, fictional technologies (transporters!!!) and they employed practically none of that. Why? I would just like to understand why they thought they needed to, IF they thought they needed to. If they didn't think they NEEDED to, but just did it as a deliberate creative choice, I can understand that. Not the way I would have gone, but I respect it.

Anyway, I'll definitely be watching unless subsequent episodes become significantly unbearable, which could always happen but which is not indicated by these opening episodes, which were just fine. I'd appreciate a place to discuss them and I can't think of anywhere I'd rather than right here. Just my $.02, Jammer, to do with as you please. ;)
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 8:20pm (UTC -6)
Overall better than what I expected for animated Trek targeted at kids. Thought there was a decent story here although the product didn't really feel like Trek -- felt like a mix of Indiana Jones and Star Wars. The Trek was just like name-dropping and the hologram Janeway appearance at the end.

At least the hour held my interest and didn't totally piss me off like Lower Decks did. Of course there's the tremendous suspension of disbelief required for the escape but so far the story seems decent in the exposition phase.

If I was to rate this episode "Lost and Found" in comparison to an episode of non-animated Trek, I'd evaluate it at 2 stars. I'll check out next week's episode. I don't have much confidence or liking for the show's direction (some of the same gang that does nu-Trek).
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 11:03pm (UTC -6)
Was what I was expecting and that’s totally fine. To me it was sorta star trek that felt more like Wall-E than TNG.
Like others said it felt like the more kid-oriented Star Wars animated series (Rebels?)
Wouldn’t watch this regularly - found it kind of boring - but hopefully it passes ST to the next generation (waka waka.). 1.5 stars for adult me, maybe like 3 stars if I was 30 years younger.
Thu, Oct 28, 2021, 11:05pm (UTC -6)
I thought this episode was great. Of all of the new Star Trek shows, I think this one definitely had the best first episode. The animation is gorgeous and I love the music. I also like that it's a much more adventure driven show. Really reminds me of the Star Wars cartoons in the best way. I like that it's target audience is kids age 10-13, but it's something I feel like adults can sit down and watch as well. More of a family show than a kids show. I'm very excited to see where they go with it.

I'm definitely down for some reviews if you're up to it, Jammer.
Tim C
Fri, Oct 29, 2021, 7:20am (UTC -6)
I came into it with zero expectations - it's not aimed at my demographic, after all - and ended actually a little surprised at how much I enjoyed it! The characters are all likeable enough, and even with just a few short sentences of expository dialogue Mulgrew left the impression that she won't be phoning this one in. Whilst the animation wasn't spectacular, the environments themselves were cool to look at and I dig the look of the Protostar (as well as finding out more about the history of the ship and how it wound up abandoned and dug into a cave).

I'll stick around for another few episodes at least. And I reckon it's worth maybe some capsule reviews from yourself, Jammer, if you have the time - for the sake of keeping this site as the definitive repository of Trek reviews if nothing else. Part of me thinks it's not fair to level the same unflinching eye on an all-ages animated series as it is on something aimed higher, but then again, if Pixar has taught us anything it's that a well-told story can be enjoyed by anyone.
Eric Cheung
Fri, Oct 29, 2021, 9:46am (UTC -6)
I strongly believe that Star Trek isn't its sound effects, ships, effects, or even Starfleet. One of the things that's been great about the current crop of shows is that it's finally breaking free from Starfleet, or at least the senior staffs, in these shows to explore the rest of the Star Trek world. Starfleet is just a tiny corner of this setting. And beyond the fact that Star Trek has a vast setting in which to place its shows, its themes are present in all these shows. DSC and Picard have been about redemption, grief, reconnection. Lower Decks has been about class and hierarchy, and the balance between pragmatic rule breaking and the value of experience. And the most Star Trek theme of all is hammered home from the very first lines of the Prodigy premiere, when we learn that universal translators are confiscated by the wardens to prevent communication.
Greg M
Fri, Oct 29, 2021, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
I had mixed feelings about Prodigy. I loved the music and the visuals, but I can understand why this show is targeted towards a younger demographic because some of the dialogue wasn't all that great. It's also the reason I'm hoping Jammer doesn't review the show, because you can't put a show like this on the same level as the other Treks or a Battlestar. You kind of have to look at this show through the prism of a 7 year old, or at least in the that graphic. I mean can you imagine having a show get all 2.5 or lower stars because you are really looking at it critically? I'm not sure if this is that kind of show. Of course if Jammer said outright that he will be generous with the show other the others because it's targeted to kids, then that might be fair, or have his daughter/son (If he has one of course) write the reviews.
Fri, Oct 29, 2021, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this, although I went in with no set expectations.

Maybe Jammer should let his kids do the reviews on this one haha
Sat, Oct 30, 2021, 10:56am (UTC -6)
As far as ST episodes go, I found it about average. But the pilot did pique my interest for where the show might go and I'm excited to keep watching. It is geared toward an older kid audience - my 2 & 4 year old were interested in parts, but overall too complex for them.

I would vote for reviews - but I'll take episode discussions :)
Sat, Oct 30, 2021, 12:30pm (UTC -6)
I thought it was fine.

I much preferred the pilots of LDS, PIC and DIS but I’m not really the target market.

A bit dull I thought (not visually - the plot) and felt very claustrophobic. My daughter who is 10 didn’t really say much at all.

When I asked her she said “it was okay”

Will keep watching but needs to be a bit more Star Trekky for me.
Sat, Oct 30, 2021, 12:53pm (UTC -6)
I was bored. If you asked me beforehand what Star Trek would look like if you stripped away everything I find interesting about Star Trek, this is close to what I'd have envisaged.
Andrew Taylor-Cairns
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 6:36am (UTC -6)
I was genuinely surprised by this. I was giving it a courtesy watch (mostly for Mulgrew), yet found myself really drawn into it all.

I like most of the characters and laughed a couple of times as well. It started better than Lower Decks, I think.
Andrew Taylor-Cairns
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 7:24am (UTC -6)
I think this flew under the radar for a lot of people being as its purpose as kids' entertainment, but that's such a generalization anyway. Any piece of work from any genre of work, or even within Star Trek as we're seeing these days, only matters if it's well done.

The slightly more adult tone surprised me, and it seems a few here, so perhaps Prodigy would have legs as its own section here.
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 11:28am (UTC -6)
"I'm Hologram Janeway". Seriously? I realize it's a kids show but you couldn't come up with a better name? Other than that I liked it. It had a Star Wars look to it (particularly the droids), which I don't really have a problem with. Overall I thought it was a good episode.

Jammer, you might find it interesting to review a kids show, assuming you have never done it before?
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 11:53am (UTC -6)
I attempted to watch this with my kids Friday night, but the piece of garbage Paramount+ Android app refused to stream the show to my TV's Chromecast. Just spun and spun and would never start. So we watched Clone Wars on Disney+ instead (we're about a third of the way into season 2).

I've never had as many issues with any of the streaming services as I have with Paramount+, and CBS All Access before that. Tip to streaming services: Offer a product that works and you would have a better chance of people watching your shows.
Andrew Taylor-Cairns
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 3:14pm (UTC -6)
You have to cast your phone to the TV? I can't believe they aren't able to have to app available somewhere other than a phone!

I used to do the same when I had free BT sport on my phone, but the lag was pretty bad, and the quality wasn't ever the same day to day.
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 6:41pm (UTC -6)
@Jammer Do you only have problems when casting, or do you have problems watching directly on the app as well? I've been using the app since All Access launched and I've never had a technical hiccup using it before.
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 7:44pm (UTC -6)
Chromecast connects directly to your network via wifi, but you use a device like a phone with a compatible app (or a web browser on the network) to initiate the connection. There is generally no lag because it is a direct streaming connection. But the streaming service has to be able to interface properly with the Chromecast. This would not work at all for me on Friday. Other streamers, no problem.

I never have issues with just the Paramount app itself running on a device. The direct website also generally works fine. But streaming via Chromecast has always been more problematic on Paramount+/CBSAA, for whatever reason. Hulu, Disney+, no problem. This indicates to me their support for the platform is lower tier. But it is how I want to watch the shows (on a TV in a room with people) and it is a frustration.
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 10:17pm (UTC -6)
Anyone remember that interview on like,a DVD extra where Berman was talking about how protective Gene was of the franchise that when some studio exec pitched the idea of a show centered on a crew of cadets manning a spaceship he, according to Berman, told them to f*** off? Nice that we can throw that attitude out the window and disregard authorial intent now that the creator's dead.

Or how about DS9's Valiant, all about how a ship crewed by young, inexperienced kids, despite their brilliance, is doomed to fail because kids have terrible judgement and think they're invincible? No? Okay.

People can talk about Star Trek's "new-found amazing success," due to the quantity of shows, but that doesn't mean they aren't all shoddy cynical corporate driven cash-grabs designed to take an IP and twist it to mimic what's hot and successful right now rather than innovate it's own identity as it had done in the past, content only to Frankenstein itself a persona out of discarded carcasses instead of bringing true vitality back to a long thought dead vision. Nope, that's just discarded flesh to be turned into soylent green to feed the cash cow corporate empire. The guys heading this Treknaissance don't give a frak about the product they're shovelling out, they don't CARE L, not as long as they can mimic the success of others like Star Wars and Marvel and laugh as they count the cash they suck up from the undiscerning. And who's more undiscerning than kids and clueless parents. Its all. About. The. Money. And that is why for me, as resussitated and zombifiedly re-animated as Trek is right now, I still see it as dead rotting flesh, bumping into bulkheads like Keevan on Empok Nor. He and Trek are merely serving their purpose. No passion, only paycheques. Blurg.
Sun, Oct 31, 2021, 10:47pm (UTC -6)
@Jammer Oh, I see what you mean. Just having problems via Chromecast. Yes, that is very frustrating. And that's very strange that they still haven't fixed it because All Access/Paramount+ has been around for something like 4 years, if I'm not mistaken. They could have made a lot of improvements to the service in that time, but they really haven't done much.
Mon, Nov 1, 2021, 9:24am (UTC -6)
I watched this not expecting to come back and watch it every week because of the age group it's aimed at.

I was more than pleasantly surprised at how well it held my interest.

The animation is just incredible. I'm interested in all the characters.

I like the tone.

I like that they chose Janeway and the Delta Quadrant.

Well done and I'll be back next week.

Pretty darn great opener. 3.5 stars from me.
Mon, Nov 1, 2021, 5:23pm (UTC -6)

I purchase Paramount+ through Amazon Prime Video. Same price and you get all the Amazon goodness.

Worth taking a look.
Mon, Nov 1, 2021, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
@ Jammer. My old TV wouldn't let me download more streaming apps so I plugged an HDMI cable from my laptop and watched it that way until I got my new TV.
Mon, Nov 1, 2021, 7:59pm (UTC -6)
Sure, but the point is, I shouldn't have to do any of that. Chromecast is a widely supported, mainstream device that works effectively and seamlessly on most streaming services -- and works better with all of them except Paramount+.
Mon, Nov 1, 2021, 10:37pm (UTC -6)
@Nolan with respect, the only re-animation I see taking place here is your attempt to swallow the hagiographic account of Gene Roddenberry as a a purist and as a Great Writer unmotivated by financial or any other humdrum concerns. If you don’t like today’s Star Trek, sure, no problem, but the explanation that today’s Trek “violates what Roddenberry said about this or that” comes off as an attempt to give someone fake authority as an “expert.” Roddenberry was a tv producer. He wasn’t above greed (see, Nimoy, Leonard, having to wear an IDIC medallion that was a Roddenberry piece of merchandise) or pettiness (see Ellison, Harlan, and how Roddenberry openly and publicly and repeatedly lied in saying Ellison’s script for City on the Edge of Forever “had my Scotty selling drugs.” Or see how petty he acted in the making of Star Trek The Motion Picture in an attempt to credit-hog and rewrite others out of spite. Roddenberry was human, no more, no less. Whether the new shows reflect Roddenberry’s own revisionist (his revisionism)of Star Trek as a world where there was no interpersonal conflict does not make them good or bad. What makes them good or bad is whether they tell good stories (a point open for debate), not whether they honor some nebulous, ill and retro-defined legacy of someone who left this Earth 30 years ago, while TNG was still on the air and DS9 had not even aired and Voyager was not even at the drawing stage.
Mon, Nov 1, 2021, 10:46pm (UTC -6)
It is pointless to talk about authorial
Intent without taking the full view of what the author both said and actually did with regard to his own creation. Teasing out an author’s intent is usually a fruitless exercise when the author has made internally inconsistent comments about his or her own creation. In any event, claiming one knows Roddenberry’s intent, beyond gleaning it from that which he said and did on ln public, is arrogance posing as humility, not that I am accusing you of arrogance. The mentality of presuming to speak for the dead or to know what they “really” meant or felt in the absence of a record, is problematic. Does any one person here claim Roddenberry whispered his innermost thoughts into their ear?
Tue, Nov 2, 2021, 1:29am (UTC -6)

Interesting take focused on my introductary paragraph and final lines and nothing in between. But sure, as a cursory look through my most recent post history, while highlighting how aggravating I find this whole situation to be, I've also not balanced it out recently with discussions of how much Star Trek wasn't just Gene Roddenberry, but D.C. Fontana, Robert H. Justman and many others who contributed to that vision. Nor have I spoke of late how bonkers and sex crazed the man was. Mudd's Woman was the episode he wanted to kick the series of with for goodness sakes. Indeed, it's good there were others around to restrain his more out there ideas. Sometimes artistic restraint is good. It can force creative thinking that can lead to deeper thematic moments. Certainly it'd have been quite a departure if Ira Steven Behr had been allowed to do what Gene suggested and turned Risa into an orgy planet. Can you imagine what a left field atonal turn that would've been for the franchise?

So yes, I'm well aware of what a chauvanistic, financially focused, sloppy writer The Great Bird of the Galaxy was. But I don't see why his bad traits should take away from the good ideas he DID contribute to the final vision. Nor do I think that makes it any less of a slap in the face that something there is at least second-hand record of him rejecting as an idea is going ahead now that he, or those that had at least some idea of what he DIDN'T want, are no longer in the picture. It's one thing to tell a person that their ideas might not be great, it's another to disregard the lead creators own rejection of an idea, from a studio no less, now that person isn't around to reject it any longer.

It reads very much like a "Well, now that no one is enforcing any rules and restrictions on this property, we can go and use, abuse and do whatever we want with it, as long as it earns us some money!" situation. Which as a creative person myself, I find a bit digusting and disheartening. To think that whatever creative idea I put out there, eventually, at some point when I can no longer advocate for it's integrity, someone can come along and twist it for their own ends. Eventually Bob Gale and Robert Zemekis will die, and with them the stipulation that no more Back to the Future movies be made, and then we'll all have to endure a hollywoodized, corporate mandated cobbled together action sequel or reboot that will then be some new generations jumping on point, introducing a bias to it's definitive quality measured against the original films and then that fandom can repeat this whole fracturing process. What unstoppable artistic nihlism.
Tue, Nov 2, 2021, 2:48am (UTC -6)
When I read the comments about the new shows (not Disc and Pic) for some reason I see the scene before my inner eye where Leo di Caprio crawls into that horse carcass. When people say: oh there was this reference or that, and babyboomer proclaim to really like kids shows. Is that what Star Trek is now? A comfort carcass? Or a ruin in which less capable people have set up shop as long as people are buying?

And as an adage to what Nolan said, it is kind of sad. I don't consider all this Star Trek anymore which is just my personal opinion, of course. Without the Tolkien people overlooking lord of the rings so rigidly I doubt that the movies would have been that good and the far less rigid (because of a giant pile of cash) approach with the hobbit probably lead to these movies being so mediocre.

Here is the rulebook for TNG. If somebody is interested.
Eric Cheung
Tue, Nov 2, 2021, 10:54am (UTC -6)
Yeah, I've complained to Paramount+ about Chromecast. It seems like it's been a problem for the past couple of months. They said they've "escalated" this, so I guess they're working on it, but my other apps work fine for Chromecast, so I really don't want to have to upgrade. But, I hope you get a chance to check out Prodigy, anyway.
Tue, Nov 2, 2021, 11:14am (UTC -6)
My reaction to Prodigy:

(Reaches for bottle)
(Puts on DS9 “Improbable Cause”/“Die is Cast” two-parter from a time when Trek was smart and mature instead of obsessed with flashy cartoonish antics and using Trek canon as a launchpad for dumb jokes)
Eric Cheung
Tue, Nov 2, 2021, 12:21pm (UTC -6)
Nolan, the crew of the Valiant weren't wrong because they were kids. They were wrong because they bought into the hype of their exclusive organization. Also, the pitch that Roddenberry rejected for TAS was one where the crew all had child couterparts that they'd each mentor. But, again, he balked at much of Star Trek VI, which is maybe the best of the TOS films. And two of the other TOS films also featured skeleton crews (III and IV).

It's been 30 years. It's time for Trek to move beyond senior officers on Starfleet postings. I'm glad the new shows are focusing on lower decks characters, characters who left Starfleet, and characters on redemption paths. Each of these new series have started out that way and been about reconnection in the face of grief, which is something we could use about now.
David Staum
Tue, Nov 2, 2021, 3:50pm (UTC -6)
Jammer, when I subscribed to CBS All Access (gave it up because I hated DSC and had finished Picard S1), I had my subscription via the Amazon Video portal. Worked great that way.
Captain Jon
Wed, Nov 3, 2021, 2:02am (UTC -6)
I watched this with my kids who loved it and can’t wait for Thursday’s! I enjoyed it both as a parent and as a fan who grew up with TNG. My biggest gripe about modern Trek is it’s not very family friendly so I can’t share that experience with my young children. This gives me that opportunity.

I also found it to be very sophisticated for a kids show. More than feeling like a kids show it felt like a show that was geared towards kids yet kept the entire family in mind. The animation was incredible and I loved the music! Honestly I wish they would make more animated Trek like this, something I thought they should’ve done years ago.

I’d love to see reviews by Jammer! I think it’s worthy of his time and effort! I didn’t finish Lower Decks season 2, having stopped after that TOS alien episode with all the sex gags (ugh) but may revisit after seeing his reviews for the latter half of the season. So though I don’t always agree with Jammer I think highly of his opinion.
Johnathan Hancock
Wed, Nov 3, 2021, 8:35pm (UTC -6)
Did anyone get the General Grievous vibe? It was like watching Star Wars meets BIG 6.

Sadly it was way better than Discovery. God I hate Kurtzman Trek.
Wed, Nov 3, 2021, 9:38pm (UTC -6)
@Jeffrey's Tube

Cool name. Well done.
Fri, Mar 11, 2022, 8:43pm (UTC -6)
Reviews are now posted for Prodigy, Season 1, Episodes 1-10.

That makes for an insanely busy first 11 days of March here at the site as we celebrate its 27th anniversary, with plenty more to go in this year of Tons of Trek. But it is GREAT to be totally caught up on all the current Trek.

If you wish to tip your host for his hard work, he sure wouldn't mind some coffee to help him through burning the midnight oil. :)
Bok R'Mor
Sun, May 8, 2022, 3:18pm (UTC -6)
Finally saw this. I'm obviously not the target demographic, but I think it works quite well - better than expected, even. It's obviously very beholden to the Star Wars animated series in style and storytelling.

There's definitely room for this kind of series in the Trek universe and I'm happy that it seems to be successful on its own terms.

I like that it's set in the Delta Quadrant and is sort of a reverse VOY. And yes: I got a huge kick out of seeing Janeway again, if only in holographic form.

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