On Star Trek Day, TrekMovie had a chance to speak exclusively with Star Trek: Prodigy executive producers Kevin and Dan Hageman and co-executive producer/director Ben Hibon about what to expect for the upcoming animated kids show.
Paramount Plus promotes Prodigy as the first Trek show made specifically for kids. Who do you see as the ideal audience, who is the real target?
Kevin Hageman: People who are new to Trek. That is what we’re trying to do. While these are kids in our show, they’re in the adult world of Trek. And they’re gonna slowly discover it, and have their falls, and their and their victories and stuff. It really is a show for people who have not experienced Trek before. And it’s an entry point in, and hopefully, people find the wonder and the magic of it all.
Can you give a status update on where you are with prepping the show for launch?
Dan Hageman: It’s coming out on October 28th. The pilot will be the first two episodes.
Kevin Hageman: It’s like a 44-minute pilot. Ben and the team have done spectacularly with it.
What kind of tone are you looking for? What’s the balance? Is all the humor coming from Jason Mantzoukas?
Dan Hageman: We’ve always kind of looked at screenwriting as a balance of action, comedy, and heart. And, and I think every character should have nuances of that. While there are some characters that are funnier than others, they’re all going through an experience that’s a fish out of water. And I think there’s inherent comedy in that. And there’s also inherent heart in that.
Ben, regarding the visual style of the show, can you talk about your influences? How much of Star Trek did you know before starting? And how did you go about creating the look?
Ben Hibon: Star Trek is in the Zeitgeist. I’ve always known and always had exposure to Trek. I’ve never had a specific go-to series, but I’ve always been interested and intrigued about the overall aesthetic, the UI, the ship design, the creatures, and the species. So all of that has always been in the conversation that I had as a sci-fi fan. So being able to kind re-approach it and figuring out a fresh direction to take in considering animation and breaking some of those limitations potentially other shows had and just really go with the imagination and having a slightly different perspective on that because of the tools that we’re using.
Trek has gone through many different aesthetic eras, from The Original Series and movies to the TNG era, to the Abrams era ,to now the Kurtzman era. So, do you draw more from any one of those?
Dan Hageman: I think a little bit of all of them.
Ben Hibon: It’s kind of a blender.
Dan Hageman: I don’t think these kids are going on an adventure through one era. These kids are going to go through an adventure with dabs of a lot of it.
In the Prime Universe…
Kevin Hageman: Yes, in the Prime Universe. When we started, we wanted to have a very big cinematic scope. And part of that was for Dan and I, our introduction to Star Trek was through the movies. Wrath of Khan was our first way in. And so I think you’ll see big drama, big scope in our animated series. I would say it’s very influenced by the movies, if anything.
Ben Hibon: With the kids, it’s really a rediscovery of Trek. They’re discovering Trek, so we’re discovering Trek with them, or doing it again. And so we wanted to start from a place where we could imagine a mysterious corner of the universe and then just drawback and travel back to Trek.
So they start in the Delta Quadrant on the mining asteroid, and they immediately make a beeline to the Alpha Quadrant. That sounds familiar. Are we traveling the same route as Voyager?
Dan Hageman: We won’t be traveling the same route as Voyager. But obviously, they’re going to get a lot of help from the Emergency Training Hologram Janeway. So she has some ideas of where to where to go.
Kevin Hageman: And I think in the Delta Quadrant, they might come across some familiar faces that maybe Voyager came across. Or, as they get closer to the Alpha and Beta quadrant, there might be other familiar faces.
Ben Hibon: And it’s never a straight line, right?
Kevin Hageman: It’s never a straight line now with a bunch of kids behind the wheel, come on.
So does Hologram Janeway have all the knowledge of the Janeway that arrived back on Earth in “Endgame?”
Kevin Hageman: She’s based off the historical records and personality records.
Dan Hageman: But I don’t think every little detail would be in her logs.
But the Protostar was launched after or before Voyager returned home?
Dan Hageman: Oh, it would be after Voyager returned home, I can say that. I can’t get much more detailed about
Kevin Hageman: Because it’s a big secret.
There is something special about this ship, right?
Dan Hageman: Yes, there’s something mysterious about the ship of why it’s there on [the mining asteroid] Tars Lamora. We’ve seen some fan theories out there, but no one’s really got it.
Kevin Hageman: She’s a part of the ship, right?
Does this tie into why there are so many Alpha Quadrant species on Tars Lamora?
Dan Hageman: Not related to the ship, no.
Kevin Hageman: But there are well thought out reasons why they are in our show, and why they’re in the Delta Quadrant.
ICYMI – Star Trek Day trailer
Star Trek: Prodigy arrives on Paramount+ October 28, 2021. In Canada it will air on CTV Sci-Fi and stream on Crave. It will be made available in parts of Europe in 2022 via the new Paramount+/Sky partnership.
More to come
There is still a bit more from Star Trek Day, including more red carpet interviews and another trailer analysis. So keep reading TrekMovie for our full Star Trek Day coverage.
Find more Star Trek: Prodigy news and analysis.