Review: ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Sets Its Own Course In “Starstruck”

“Starstruck”

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1, Episode 3 – Debuted Thursday, November 4, 2021
Written by Chad Quandt
Directed by Alan Wan

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

With a solid follow-up to a strong series premiere, Star Trek: Prodigy set the stage for the show to come, featuring key dynamics within the characters and setting the baseline for their arcs for the season.

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“It’s our ship”

Picking up immediately after the premiere, the new “crew” of the USS Protostar gets briefed by Hologram Janeway, who makes it clear she is “only here to offer advice,” leaving self-appointed captain Dal to make the big decisions. Janeway accepts the alien kids who just found the ship, believing them to be Starfleet cadets, a convenient—yet plausible—conceit that will prove to be the foundation of the show. After Janeway gives a powerful sales pitch on the wonders of the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet, a defiant Dal—much to everyone’s chagrin—dismisses her as a “holo-nanny” and orders the ship to a random red dot on the star chart, away from Federation space and what he sees as just more lying authority figures. “It’s just another name for someone else in charge,” he says.

As the ship heads towards the red dot (haven’t they learned red means “bad”?) the kids have some time to check out their new home. Jankom Pog reveals his porcine nature when he finds out the mess hall replicator will make anything in any quantity he wants, and heartbreakingly, Rok-Tahk orders the prison “nutrigoop” because that’s all she knows. Dal calls dibs on the luxurious captain’s quarters, with Zero telepathically fact-checking kid captain’s bluffs and bravado, revealing Dal is actually “reeling with pure terror” over The Diviner. In the brig awaiting rescue from her father, Gwyn finally shows some remorse for the role she played helping imprison all of the kids on Tars Lamora, with Rok-Tahk’s “the only crime we ever committed was getting caught” cutting deep. Zero also reminds us it is “quite the mystery” as to why The Diviner is so obsessed with the ship, but they also may have a clue in the engine room, which comes with two warp cores and a third mysterious engine core glowing with energy that has engineer Jankom Pog scratching his head.

“We’ve only just begun”

The calm of the ship tour is interrupted by a red alert when the red dot is revealed to be a dying star pulling the ship in. Zero is intrigued: “What a rare and exciting way to meet our doom.” Decreeing the Protostar “my ship” (eye rolls all around), Dal continues to ignore Janeway’s warnings and diverts all power to the engines, not realizing this cuts power to everything else—including shields and brig forcefields, freeing Gwyn. Oops. Dal orders an unhappy Rok-Tahk (deemed “the muscle”) to track down Gwyn, leading to an emotional conflict in the cool “vehicle replicator.” With all the anger a little girl can muster, Rok hits Gwyn with “You never helped us. You are a bad lady!” countered with Gwyn’s lame “I was only doing what I was told. Just like you are doing now.” No excuse, but a good point about how Rok is following the orders of someone who maybe shouldn’t be giving them. Facing almost certain death, Dal finally relents and asks Janeway for help. After deploying critical holographic coffee, she helps guide them but leaves it to Zero to come up with the final solution to “ride the shockwave” out, leading to another beautiful hero moment for the ship. Lesson learned, Dal and the crew are ready for Janeway to begin teaching them how to use the ship. For her part, Janeway sees potential in this ragtag alien crew, reminiscent of a young Federation struggling through their differences with a common purpose.

But they’d better learn quickly because The Diviner has been busy. Back on Tars Lamora, he and Drednok have put down a rebellion, revealing “the Unwanted” were inspired by the season premiere escape. The prisoners are being worked harder than ever, including the Caitian kitten out on the dangerous surface. Oh no! Out of his tank, the big bad reveals that his mining operation was actually a gigantic ship (the “REV-12”) that launches from the asteroid, and they have the Protostar’s location. “I am coming for you, my progeny!” Uh oh.

ANALYSIS

Setting the stage

The second episode (technically third because the premiere was a two-parter) was a bit of a utility player for the show. It was good but didn’t really hit it out of the park like the series opener, which is to be expected. “Starstruck” did get a lot of exposition and setup out of the way, especially with the full introduction of Hologram Janeway. While Kate Mulgrew’s return to the role is a delight, it’s now been made clear she is not in command of this ship. However, Hologram Janeway is not just a fancy piece of education software, as she demonstrated some personality, a bit of sass, and even some empathy and compassion for this crew of cadets under her watchful eye. And while it isn’t entirely clear how much of a leash she will give to this crew to endanger themselves and the ship, it seems to be a pretty long one. The tour of the ship was fun but also served the function of giving us a better sense of the USS Protostar, which will be the main home for this show as well as the driving mystery for the first season.

One highlight of the episode is the real science driving the crisis of the week when the ship fell into a binary star system with a white dwarf tearing apart a red giant. Prodigy is not dumbing down the science, demonstrating how this show can inspire and educate at the same time. This is a great opportunity for a show aimed at younger audiences and something you don’t see on other shows like the often-compared Star Wars animated series; it leans into a core competency and differentiator of Star Trek. This is a real future based on (mostly) real science. The solution to push through instead of fight the gravity may have felt a bit familiar, but likely not with the target audience. The key here was again letting the kids come up with the solution instead of relying on Hologram Janeway to solve all their problems—even problems they created themselves.

Speaking of creating problems, “Starstruck” took some risks with lead character Dal. His inspirational optimism from the opener can now be seen as an obstinate, selfish, and even reckless attitude that quite frankly almost got them all killed. While he learned how to ask for help by the end, there is clearly a long way to go for Dal to get the respect as the captain he has declared himself to be, and hopefully, the audience will stick around for that ride. Gwyn also has a long way to go, seen here trying the old “I was only taking orders” routine to explain her participation in the exploitation of the prisoners on Tars Lamora; it’s a bit hard to buy that she didn’t know the kids forced into child labor were innocent of any crimes. The scenes with Gwyn and Rok-Tahk were surprisingly nuanced, helped by some strong acting by Ella Purnell and Rylee Alazraqui. And Rok-Tahk is clearly not happy being used as security “muscle” and being bossed around in general by Dal, so she is going to have to work on that. The episode featured good character development but mostly set a starting point for all of the character arcs of the season to come.

Let’s learn about the Frederation

With so much emphasis on the introduction of Janeway and setup of character arcs, there wasn’t much carrying on of the season’s big story. Janeway’s summary of the Federation was a clever way to start introducing Star Trek elements to the show, as well as showing how far away all those things are. The exposition also deepened some mysteries. How is it that Jankom Pog is aware of the kind of food you can get outside of the prison, but had never heard of the Federation and didn’t even have questions when shown it included Tellarites? It was clear neither he, nor anyone else, had ever seen a “smooth head” human before the Janeway hologram. If they had all been isolated on Tars Lamora as it appears Rok-Tahk was, it would make sense. But there are clear indications that Dal, Zero, and Jankom are aware of elements of life outside of the prison.

That new glowing core also gave us a clue as to the special nature of the USS Protostar. Another clue comes from Janeway’s casual suggestion to chart a course to the Federation, with no mention that it would take them decades to get there, unlike the USS Voyager when it found itself lost in the Delta Quadrant. This all adds up to some kind of unique drive that can move the ship at incredible speed. It also helps to explain why The Diviner is set to pursue them, although he and Drednok still come off as one-dimensional villains.

The kids have some thoughts on Dal and Janeway

Prodigy continues to be a fun shared viewing experience with younger viewers. Niece Ani (12) and nephew David (9) continue to enjoy the show, comparing it favorably to the Trollhunters series, without knowing many of the writers/producers also worked on that series. Both had thoughts about Dal: While David thought he was really cool in the series opener, in this episode he had was a concern he was being “selfish” and “taking all the credit,” but still praised Dal for learning to ask for Janeway’s help, even if it was “at the last second when they were about to die.” Ani diagnosed Dal’s problems, saying “he has trust issues,” which is why he was reluctant to seek help from Janeway.

As for the hologram, both were a bit surprised how far Janeway let the kids go and thought she should’ve intervened more “because they’re going to get killed.” Ani and David are aware of the stakes of the show and see how it has been set up so the kids are driving it forward, with the “adult” Janeway not in command. Ani quipped that even if this freedom allows them to learn lessons, “how would they learn from their mistakes if they’re dead?” Ani was also particularly drawn into the stories of Rok-Tahk and Gwyn, feeling like Rok needs to work on “not letting people push her around.” And Gwyn needs to start thinking for herself and “not following in her dad’s footsteps.” As for Zero, Murf, and Jankom, since they all seem happy, she thinks they are “fine how they are.”

Final thoughts

“Starstruck” was an entertaining outing, but a bit long on the exposition and setup side for a show aimed at younger audiences. The character development and emotional beats, especially with Rok-Tahk and Gwyn, were a highlight, all driven home by the stellar production and music. Together with the pilot, we can now get a sense of the show Prodigy can be, combining action, adventure, heart, and even some education. Can’t wait to learn more.

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND CANON CONNECTIONS

  • Janeway’s introduction to the Federation showed images of founding members: Vulcan, Human, Tellarite, and Andorian. Symbols for each society were also shown.
  • For the first time, Kate Mulgrew as Janeway gave a version of the classic Star Trek “to boldly go” narration as she outlined the mission of Starfleet.
  • After saying Gwyn has “space flu,” Dal says she has “space madness,” a disease once described by Spock, and Ren & Stimpy.
  • Janeway’s presentation also showed the main ships (or ship classes) from each of the live-action Star Trek series (set before Prodigy): USS Enterprise (Star Trek), USS Enterprise-D (The Next Generation), USS Defiant (Deep Space Nine), USS Voyager (Voyager), Enterprise NX-01 (Enterprise), and USS Discovery (Discovery).
  • Gwyn trying to find an escape pod as each is being launched was reminiscent of President Skroob doing the same in Spaceballs.
  • Frustrated over no escape pods, Gwyn uses the Klingon expletive “Qu’vatlh.”
  • The vehicle replicator feels like a nod to the large number of shuttles seen on the USS Voyager, even though the ship was lost in the Delta Quadrant and had no way of getting new ones.
  • The Protostar’s escape by diving towards the dying star paid homage to the opening sequence of Star Trek: Voyager and possibly the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home slingshot-around-the-sun maneuver.
  • The Diviner deployed a “chimerium cloak” around the entire Tars Lamora asteroid, indicating why the chimerium being mined there is so valuable. It isn’t clear if the REV-12 also has a cloak.

More to come

Every Friday, the TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.


New episodes of Prodigy premiere on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. It is available on  Paramount+ in Latin American, the Nordic Countries, and Australia. Amazon Prime Video internationally on Fridays. It will debut in 2022 in parts of Europe with the launch of the Paramouint+ Sky partnership.

Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.

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This was definitely a big step up from last week, and I am now among the ranks of those enjoying the show. But Dal is an extremely annoying character and I am not sure I will ever enjoy how he’s written or voiced. The show, in my opinion, would work a lot better without him. He’s an overused cliche in kids’ programming–the cocky teenager who gets his friends in trouble, played with an over-the-top, entirely non-subtle :::wink, wink, nudge, nudge::: approach to acting. There is nothing interesting about that.

Yes Dal was very annoying and he is very much over acted. I know the actor from a show on Netflix called On my block and that’s all I can think of when I hear his voice, it’s very distinct and over the top. I’m assuming when they mention the USS Discovery it may have just been a picture of ant Crossfield class Statship seeing as the USS Discovery had all its info set as classified

I imagine his character will eventually calm down. The writers are obviously setting him up to have a fall from grace in a sense, wherein he realized his cockiness will get his “crew” killed and he needs to learn to trust others and work together. Let’s just hope this happens sooner rather than later, because yeah, he’s really annoying and I’m surprised everyone else hasn’t just mutinied on him.

I also want to point out about Dal, is that it is early days for him. Captains, even self appointed ones eventually have to deal with the reality of their decisions. And that is not unprecedented.

Going chronologically in universe:

Archer had to admit that he should have waited until the Enterprise was ready with it’s full complement of tactical capabilities. He also had to admit that there was a reason for Vulcan pragmatism he so often chafed under. And he and his crew got 2-3 bloody noses before he figured it out.

Burnham decided to take over because she wanted to avoid a war so badly that she was willing to sacrifice her ideals to get there. She had to learn that her ideals were the most important thing. Obviously she is still learning, but hopefully her time in the center chair, will help her.

Kirk openly admitted that he did not face death. He lost 60+ crewman the first 5 year mission. And yet he felt he cheated. You think Start Trek 2 Kirk would have a thing or two to teach TOS Kirk? (Kelvin kirk is kirk in name only. He is his own thing.)

Picard took command of the Enterprise D thinking he was some form of space bureaucrat. But even he learned he had to connect to his crew in TNG. Movie Picard was so much more well rounded and connected.

Sisko took over DS9 as basically a flaming ball of rage over unspeakable trauma he suffered. But he found higher purpose, and held the line when it came time to defend the federation’s ideals and existence.

Janeway made a conscious choice to bring her crew home “as a starfleet” crew. She did just that, but the price was 30+ of her crew. And along the way she learned to trust her starfleet crew and ship to Maquis enginuity once in a while.

Even Freeman, the 2 seasons we had her has grown.

The point is that Captains grow. They develop and they change. Even the most experienced commanders like Picard and Movie Kirk with decades of experience in the chair learned.

At this moment, all Tal knows is he found a ship and it is his ticket out of a really bad decision. But by bringing Rock along, he is going to have to grow up because it is not just him. Rock doesn’t want to be disappointed anymore. If she gets put in danger, I think Dal steps up.

impressive post! nice comparison of captains

Fantastic post about all the captains.

(Kelvin kirk is kirk in name only. He is his own thing.) I disagree. Kirk is my 2nd Character, (the first being the Refit Enterprise), and Pine’s Kirk, while different, still feels like Kirk. I’d his probably feels the most like a continuation with the Kelvin’s Scotty being the least.

I’m not trying to throw shade at Simon Peg or any of the JJ verse actors. I have NOTHING against them at all.

Terry, excellent breakdown of all the Captains and their limits. I agree completely. They are all solid captains IMO but they all made mistakes, needed to grow, etc. And yes lost people no matter how experienced many of them were.

Dal is a bit more than that. He like the whole crew are victims of capital A abuse. Even Gwen has had to deal with adults using her for their own purposes. These are not kids from the Federation who have had a just and fair upbringing.

I know this because I have been a child abuse victim for many decades. If I got my ticket out of abuse at 17 on a strange starship, I would have taken it, and run form any form of authority. I probably would have run my new ship into a dying star the first day too. Now, of course after decades, I have learned responsibility to be better. But it took awareness and forethought, which is gained through experience. It is something that you grow from, and it will dominate you if you let it. The trick to survival and prospering is to understand that your experiences make you, but they do not have to define you,

I think Janeway knows this. She is not fooled for a minute that they are cadets, and she is helping them gently and with patience. Her holo program knows the price that a Captain has to pay to take care of their crew. She helped Dal in the only way Dal would accept it. Janeway for all intents and purposes IS the Protostar, and the Ship is getting to know them as well.

At this point, the issue you have to remember is that Captain, Helmsman, Ops, engineering and so on are roles, not ranks for them. They have to understand and grow into it. Dal and Gwen, being the oldest (outside of possibly Zero, who has no real humanoid skills) are going to have to grow into that role. I suspect that when they realize how much Rock needs them, they will mature because the Diviner is coming for them and they have too.

Yes, in this episode he was heading in a Mariner direction. I just hope it’s not a path they choose to go down. He was interesting in the opener. It’s one episode and the other was good so I still want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Even though Secret Hideout hasn’t earned one.

This was great because the characters actually seemed like kids,wondrous one minute and the next petty squabbling . Plus I like how these kids don’t hold back from each other. The conflict between Gwyn and Rok was great, they did not try to make Gwyn ‘good’ and Rok tried to make her account for it. Even when Gwyn was saying ‘I was just following orders’ she realizes how hollow she sounds. Plus this show does make me go back to my own childhood when I created stories of people on spaceships ,this is a really great show for both kids and adults

The visuals of this show just blow me away. It is like real space but it shows space and other worlds in all their majesty. The live shows maybe a let down after seeing such great visuals.

“We’ve only just begun”… Now I can’t get the Carpenters song out of my head…

Even her intonation followed the melody line of the intro to the Carpenters song.

The kids and younger adults will be oblivious, but it kid of took me out of the things right from the first time I heard it in the trailer.

So, like, you’re saying I’m old? :)

Damn it. Haven’t even seen the episode yet, and I’m humming the tune.

Hello. Well, that tune was originally recorded by Smokey Roberds. Don’t believe me? Belive this page.

Wasn’t it a tune from a bank TV commercial?

Kirsten Beyer, as a Trek-lit author, leaned into the idea that starships have “industrial replicators” for fabrication of large components, and engineering specialist ships like the Archimedes would need to be very large and have multiple industrial sized fabricators.

So, now I tend to think that any explorer class ship has to have one industrial replicator for emergencies even if they are energy pigs.

There’s a train of thought out there that Trek tech is devoid of moving parts. Kinda ridiculous, even then if the saucer section could separate there would have to be clamps and such holding everything together, but that would lend itself that replicators were countertop appliances, not industrial sized fabrications. I’d imagine any starship would have a machine shop, though we’ve never seen one.

Devoid of moving parts? What about Sulu’s visor?

Thanks for the info TG47 and this was something Beyer did in her Voyager novels.

I completely forgot about that scene in my review. Yeah vehicle replicators may feel a bit too advanced for this era, but that’s why going forward is great, nothing really says its NOT possible in this time period either. But the Protostar now seems more advanced than the Discovery. I’m always impressed when we find a ship more advanced than that one. ;D

And its a nice way for the kids to come up with any piece of transportation on the fly depending on the planet. People slammed the Argo hard when it was first introduced in Nemesis but it was actually the first time we ever got a terrain vehicle in Star Trek which just makes sense. We always see a landing party beam to one spot for research and stay in that spot. It would make sense to have vehicles where you can really explore the area; especially barren planets. And an industrial replicator can make transport to fit your specific needs and taken apart again when the mission is done for more space. Imagine if you need a mini-submarine for sea faring planets? Now you can build one in real time. This is why Star Trek is cool because the tech is so much fun!

I think as long as they put a huge power cost on it and require lots of dilithium I’m okay with it if it allows for cool vehicles. Maybe they end up with some fighters or something.
I think the important thing is that it doesn’t end up like Voyager where the ship has unlimited resources and is always able to be fixed eliminating any conflict and drama concerning being able to fix the ship, requiring resources, losses of shuttles, etc.
Avoid nonsensical TNG perpetual motion machines, ensure you need a power input. Let’s make sure there is too much exploration and hardships on the frontier that these kids don’t end up playing games all day in the holodeck.

Wow. Just loved it.

Absolutely brilliant. Three straight episodes better than any Trek series that’s come before it.

I liked all three a lot, but I can’t take that claim seriously for even a split second.

As Professor Farnsworth might say….. WHAAAA——?!

lol absolutely not.

Wow, you REALLY like it! I can’t nearly get onboard with that, but am enjoying it thus far at least.

Talking about hyperbole!!! :))

ugh – they had to shoehorn Discovery in there, even though it was supposed to have been officially off-the record and never spoken of again: |

There were, supposedly, other Crossfield Class ships. The study model for the design was used in Trek 3 in Spacedock and later in the Qualor 2 scrapyard.

We’ve also saw the USS Glenn until Lorca had it destroyed.

And that test-promo animation where they first announced the series’ existence. I choose to believe that was the original configuration of the Crossfield class ships before yard refits of any kind, let along top-secret “spore drive” projects.

Hey could’ve been worse: They could’ve somehow squeezed in the Enterprise from the Kelvin universe and watch angry fans lose their minds over it ;)

They kinda did. That brig looked very much like the brig in STID.

I meant if the ship itself was included with the other hero ships Janeway showed off. But yeah you’re right, that brig did look similar to the one in STID.

The 32nd century Federation knew about Discovery, they just didn’t know about the spore drive or what really happened to the ship. Starfleet also tends to name their starship classes after a pathfinder “NX” ship. Excelsior Class after the Excelsior NX ship, Defiant Class after the USS Defiant NX, etc. So it would stand to reason that there was also a USS Crossfield NX, the pathfinder of Starfleet’s mid-23rd century science vessel class. Only Discovery and Glenn were subject to coverups.

It was okay. All except that Dal character.
Manipulative, self-serving, know-it-all. I’m sure they have a predictable character arc of making him less annoying and more co-operative. I’d prefer a better character arc (e.g. naïve to confidence and willing to learn)

I would suggest you read the comment further up from someone who experienced childhood abuse and neglect. Sincerely.

Suggesting that a child raised in a hostile unsupportive environment would be a psychologically healthy and pleasant kid really goes against Trek ideals. As Rok has pointed out, none of the kids “deserved” the horrific outcome of being forced labourers instead of being nurtured and educated.

Where the ideals come in is in that societies shouldn’t give up on difficult people but help, nutrient and motivate them to be better.

How would it be better if the kids were portrayed completely unrealistically for kids who had suffered incarceration, lack of nurturing, forced labour and isolation from communication with anyone but their captors?

Dal is the kind of resilient survivor kid who doesn’t give up. His strengths that gave him resilience are now being shown to also be weaknesses in other circumstances where he now has power to influence his environment.

Rok-Tank had given up hope and become compliant and uninterested in trying new things. The scene of her choosing the same flip she had in the asteroid is heartbreakingly consistent with the behaviour of children brought out of Soviet era orphanages and other institutional care. Likewise is her reversing the bullying on Gwen, and revealing the deep rage under that compliant innocence.

One last observation for Laurie based on real life scientific evidence. Kids and teens who experience complex trauma without the support of adults who nurture them often have significant memory issues. The kids may have had experiences that they don’t recall. It doesn’t require a mind overwrite of the kind that Seven of Nine experienced with the Borg. So, we may find that the kids begin to recall more about their families and communities of origin as they feel safer on Protostar and have experiences and lessons that trigger recall.

I love seeing flawed characters that need to learn and have flaws but value their freedom. Leads to real identifiable drama.
Way better than having programmed hologram type perfect characters who end up all generic clones thinking they are always perfect, everyone should be like them, everyone should learn from them.
Hopefully teaches kids that they don’t know it all and they should try to take risks and learn while still valuing their freedom and critical thought.

Obviously the extra drives are part of the mystery of the ship, some sort of Transwarp, Quantum Slipstream or space mushroom drive (joking). Since Slipstream was a thing in Voyager and then in the novels and Star Trek Online, that’s going to be my bet.

The helm last week had a Transwarp button

Really want it to be a slipstream ship too.

No reason not to have both.

Transwarp is an established Borg technology, but there are likely old corridors around. More the title sequence shows the ship travelling in a tube that evokes a Borg Transwarp corridor.

I know this is going to sound like a really sad question for a Str Trek nerd, but is there a difference between the transwarp the Excelsior supposedly had in TSFS and the transwarp the Borg uses now? Was Starfleet back in the 23rd century already experimenting with something like the Borg has? Or is it a completely different thing?

And if there is a difference, which one is the Protostar using? I’m sorry I’m this clueless lol. I realized I didn’t even know what dilithium actually was used for until season 3 of Discovery. :(

Yes there is a difference.

The Borg used a physical network of corridors for Transwarp, and Voyager made use of the corridors. Voyager needed some additional tech to take advantage of the corridors but it wasn’t a different drive altogether.

Presumably, the remnants of the Borg corridor network still exist in the Delta Quadrant. It would make sense to have the controls to use those built in any prototype ship .

The prototype in the movie didn’t have corridors to use.

Slipstream technology is a drive and creates a transitory slipstream corridor in front of the ship.

Thank you TG47, that makes sense.

The TOS and TNG have different warp scales, I had assumed the transwarp of the excelsior was the first ship running the new warp scale

Never thought of that, but yeah could be. It’s strange now to see the Enterprise go up to warp 13 on TOS.

So refreshing to have characters wanting freedom and adventure on the frontier! Really love how they are out there and happy to explore themselves and in doing so talking logistics, etc. Also a crew that doesn’t have all the answers, can make mistakes and learn from them – it’s exciting!!!
I was worried Janeway hologram was going to boss them around, get them to report back to be just another one of 1000 Starfleet ships / just another holodeck playing TNG crew vs teach them, glad to see she is just the library computer!!
So far so good – go for transwarp drive!!!
I was just thinking Protostar can never get home since Starfleet never builds transwarp ships all the way to the burn and then goes magic mushroom drive!
Maybe the Prodigy crew can build a delta Fédération more in line with TOS in exploration and diversity that survives the burn!

Another good episode overall even if there wasn’t a lot of story. But it was nice to see your basic classic Star Trek trope of a ship trying to override a space phenomenon (something Voyager did a lot lol). I liked that they made it clear just how inexperienced this group is because they nearly got themselves killed until Dal finally let his pride get out of the way and let Janeway help him. But a great learning moment.

I was such a fanboy when Janeway displayed all the hero ships from the shows! And it was nice to see just how wide ranging Star Trek has become in its universe. This is why I’m so happy we are going forward again, to see how big the scope of both the show and the Federation has become over the years. And as Janeway said, they only just begun…until the Burn crashes the party but we still have 700 years to worry about that. ;)

And loved hearing the Voyager music as Janeway talked. Brings back so much nostalgia!

One of my favorite moments in this episode was the replicator scene with Rok and Jankom Pog. I thought back to when I was a kid and how I reacted when I heard those two great amazing words for any situation “It’s free’. If I was a kid in the Star Trek universe, I would park myself next to a replicator and eat every crazy thing I could think of. That is the kind of stuff that makes living in the Federation really really cool. ;)

Overall a lot of good moments in the show. I’m loving the ship the more we see of her and the characters are really fun to watch. I agree with others Dal was a bit too selfish (like Anthony’s nephew thought) but we know it’s all a learning moment.

It’s great to see Star Trek in this mode again! You know, actually feeling like Star Trek! ;)

and possibly the Star Trek IV: The Voyager Home

I’ve written that mistake lots of times myself!

Voyager was evidently able to just build Shuttles the old-fashioned way. We know they built two Delta Flyers. It would have been nice of them to drop a line or two of dialogue about it.

Enterprise had the same issue. Shuttlepod 1 got beaten up a lot and looked to be mostly destroyed in Shuttlepod 1 (the whole engine section went kablooey) but was back a couple of episodes later and then crashed in Cease Fire.

I am enjoying this show it has the right (positive) attitude towards exploration and development of children. So how long until they find the holodeck? I am sure there is one on board The Protostar (still don’t like that name) Also if they find the medical bay, wouldn’t it make sense to have a version of the EMH there instead of Janeways Hologram?

Yes I was thinking that too that the ship probably has one holodeck somewhere. But it is a smaller ship so maybe not. I hope they do though.

And honestly having an EMH on this show would obviously make total sense. And yes I know this is a fanboy answer but I still would love to see The Doctor himself back. He’s a character fans have been wanting to see again for years. And you don’t have to worry about the aging issues.

And I would give anything to hear Robert Picardo’s singing voice on this show. ;)

Agreed about the ship’s name. Protostar seems pretty bland and dry to me – I much prefer more ‘regal’ historical names like Constitution, Farragut, etc. It lends the vessel character, imo. Anyway, at least the ship design is pleasing – much, much better than what we’ve seen so far with DSC and PIC, again imo.

Absolutely agree about the ship designs. Its got that Trek elegance back. I am kind of over the boxy ship designs of Discovery and Picard. The name on the other hand sounds like a second or third tier X-men character.

Ha! Right, like one who would appear in a Deadpool movie.

I suspect that the name was chosen for how well it resonates with its target age group.

The show may appeal to adults, but many elements (like the colours) were chosen with kids’ preferences at the forefront.

Agreed. Also encourages kids to learn some history. I am pretty sure I learned everything there is to know about the US Navy in the Pacific and the cold war because of some CVs named Enterprise that I just HAD to learn about post TAS.

I thought it was a beautiful piece of Federation science-y eye-candy. Even better than last week’s two-parter. The ship is amazing.

Just wanna say I love that you have kids contributing their thoughts to this review. Great perspective to have and enjoyable to read. Youth voice matters!

At the risk of reiterating all the aesthetic gripes re: the Abrams-prise (2009) and Discovery (2017) — the interior design of the Protostar does not follow Starfleet precedent, which impedes any “yes, this part of the same franchise” goal. Stairs onto the bridge, the multi-segment hatchway, a bunkroom (haven’t seen that since ST6; even the Defiant had more privacy), lack of corridors.

I’m still trying to get a feel for the ship’s scale, based on “Dal clinging to the hull” and “size of the mess” clues. The central not-a-corridor node below the bridge, and the brig, seem wastefully large for a small ship. This might be a very stripped-down design, something like the Defiant or short-range scout Nova classes, with no science labs, no private quarters, and minimal cargo space.

There’s also a shortage of color (apart from the bunkroom coverlets). I’m guessing that’s intentional, to let the brightly-colored cast “pop” against the background. (In the live-action shows, vis-a-vis costume design with Starfleet uniforms, the balance of black vs. color was designed to frame the actor’s face — but no uniforms here.)

Here here, don’t like the bridge (and don’t like the name Protostar). As a “starter Trek” why wouldn’t you want to have the resonating identifable bridge with lots of colors and displays. I am pretty sure that’s what drew me in at five to TAS on CBC.
Also make sure you have the sick-bay, engineering, etc.
Especially for the younger kids who you want hooked on capital starships versus fighters of some other unnamed franchise. Now you are left wondering if the Protostar is a fighter.
The only reason I can see behind it is producers trying to save face on their generic large bridge being bested as just a Chair in front of a door by smaller, command centre type bridges such as the Discovery 1701.

I thought the dive towards the star was reminiscent of the Voyager episode “Scientific Method” when they went into the binary pulsars.

Not as fun as the opener. It get’s a “meh” score from me. Must one must remember compared to the rest of what Secret Hideout gives us “meh” is like a gold medal. The episode felt mainly like filler. Like it did what it needed to do for the rest of the season to do what it does. So in that respect, I’ll give it a pass.

Zero is fast becoming the breakout character. And I did get a kick out of holographic Janeway having a holographic cup of coffee appear for no real reason except to add.a personal Janeway touch. Seems like something extra to program for a hologram but…. OK. But I don’t really know how holo-Janeway can NOT know this group aren’t cadets. Seems TNG era holograms are more acute than that. Wouldn’t the computer wonder why the cadets aren’t in uniform? Or is program just accepting the group and waiting to see what happens for some reason?

Anyone else notice the brig looked like the KU Enterprise brig?

I still don’t think this show is specifically aimed at kids. I’d say it’s aimed at everyone over 10. And is accessible to youngsters. It bothers me a bit when it is said the show is “aimed” at kids. I’m just not seeing that. So far it has been smarter than anything on Lower Decks.

And since the episode brought it up, still not a fan of the Bremen decision to remove currency from TNG onward. Even TOS had some sort of currency with “credits” and “you’ve earned your pay for the week” comments. It just doesn’t make any sense for a society to not have some sort of currency.

I’d go with their being no “paper” money but electronic Federation credits still exist.
Credits to Navy Beans they are there in TOS, TNG is just… ugh.
Hopefully the aliens are allowed to be more functional and entertaining.

Janeway drinking her coffee was hilarious. I loved it! And people are saying Janeway does know they aren’t cadets but playing along for now. Cadets usually wear uniforms and she would obviously know that. But we’ll see.

But the producers have said the show is aimed as adults as much as for kids. They are only saying its more suitable for them as well. Think of Pixar movies, the same idea.

The money thing has been discussed over and over again but as I have brought up MANY times, they STILL use money, it just sounds like Earth itself is not fully required but there have even been examples of some currency being used like Sisko earning enough credits for transporters use. So it hasn’t disappeared totally. We saw Picard paying Rios money to fly him around on that show. There are still credits used. Every show a character has mentioned buying something or using credits of some kind. It just sounds like its used in certain cases and not for wealth. But your basic living needs are free like healthcare, clothes, housing, etc. If you want something like a boat like Scotty did however then money is required, etc.

But I remember reading an article where Ron Moore was told by Roddenberry money no longer exists in the Federation period but he thought he was nuts lol. Clearly they ignored that creed.

And its Star Trek, lots of things don’t make sense lol.

By and large, I’m having fun watching this. Keeping in mind that I’m not the primary intended audience for this series, as well. Perhaps not so weirdly, I’m finding this series more to my taste than Lower Decks…but again: not every series has to appeal to every Trek fan. Especially not nowadays. That’s okay.

Fear not. This show is definitely smarter than Lower Decks. It aims higher than Lower Decks. So it’s not surprising an adult would find it more to their taste than Lower Decks.

Exactly. Not every show has to appeal to everyone. If you hate one (or two ;)), hopefully some of the others will be more interesting for you. I generally like them all but LDS is the only one I truly love so far. But understand if others don’t like it. Star Trek fans are a fickle bunch. But with so many shows on, there has to be 1 or 2 you can tolerate at least.

I do kind of agree with you in fact the closest comparison I can of think of in terms of being a clever animation is that this show gives me a more taste of Futurama while Lower Decks is giving me a taste of Family Guy.

It’s decent for what they are trying to do. Definitely a mix of Star Wars Rebels and Clone Wars (especially the bad lieutenant robot. General Grievous’ lawyers getting their copyright pens ready…)
I’m not a fan of calling Pog a Tellarite and then him looking nothing like the species. Voice characterization is among the best in the show, but with that look, I’d rather they just call him another species altogether. He looks nothing like a Tellarite to me

Interesting to note… While the Discovery (or at least the Crossfield-class) is shown, the version of the Constitution-class Enterprise that’s shown is NOT the “Discovery” version of the ship. It’s the original “TOS” version of the Enterprise.

Could that possibly indicate that “Strange New Worlds” might lean more towards going back to the original Matt Jefferies design?

i dought it going by the displays of the ship on the consouls in the meet the character trailers and some of the items cbs made for the cast and crew all still shows the same visually updated design seen in dsc and picard

the thing i noticed is the nacelles on the nx-01 hologram they were shown had different nacelle design then what the ship had in enterprise they were way closer to the tos style nacelles

Characters are very much similar to Star Wars “The Clone Wars” series. I will give it a chance. No praise yet for originality.