Review: ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Begins To Explore In “Dreamcatcher”

“Dreamcatcher”

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1, Episode 4 – Debuted Thursday, November 11, 2021
Written by Lisa Schultz Boyd
Directed by  Steve Ahn, Sung Shin

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

Using a classic Star Trek setup, Prodigy reveals more about its characters in a visually stunning episode.

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“We should check it out”

After their inexperience almost got them all killed in last week’s outing, the “crew” of the USS Protostar settles in for some much-needed lessons in starship operations from Hologram Janeway. As they pick up some ship basics, Janeway informs them the ship has detected an uncharted and uninhabited planet. The Training Hologram wants the “cadets” to follow Starfleet protocol and explore it, but Dal needs some arm-twisting as he is paranoid The Diviner is hiding around every star cluster. Zero precariously lands the ship on a beautiful lush planet, and the awestruck kids are introduced to the wonders of the tricorder, the phaser, and “The Runaway,” the USS Protostar’s hot rod of an exploration buggy, complete with a list of technobabble features and practical “hold-on-to-your-butts grab handles.” And of course, Dal immediately speeds off little Jimmy Kirk-style, leaving the rest of the crew to go their own ways to explore this strange new world.

Unable to leave the ship, Hologram Janeway stays behind, with Murf to keep her company. Handcuffed in the brig, Gwyn reveals a new superpower, mentally communicating with her stowed away liquid-metal bracelet/sword, sending it through the ship to break her out of her cell. On the bridge, The Diviner’s progeny has an epiphany: the lessons he’s given her have all been to prepare her for this ship, which she is able to control with ease; she effortlessly reboots Janeway into compliance after the Hologram initially tries to stop her takeover. She immediately contacts Drednok on her father’s ship and gives up their location and she preps the USS Protostar for takeoff with no signs of remorse about abandoning the four kids on this alien world—but she seems to have taken a liking to Murf, because who can resist that blob’s charms?

“We have got to get off this planet pronto”

Out on the planet, each of the kids has their own character-revealing adventure. The always inquisitive Zero finds a hedge maze only to be shocked to discover the Protostar’s mysterious engine at its center. Rok-Tahk finds a whole bunch of cute little purple creatures that shower her with the purrs and affection she craves. And even though he took the precaution of wearing an environmental suit, the always hungry Jankom Pog is lured into a structure by the familiar smell of some Tellarite stew. As for Dal, his joyride is interrupted with the sight of two aliens who appear to be adults of his own species, after which Janeway suddenly pops in to talk about his yearning for knowledge about his parents (who he doesn’t remember) and implore him to stay forever. And here is where the creepy planet vines overplay their hand: Dal remembers Janeway can’t leave the ship, so after being questioned, this fake reveals themselves to be a “representative” who can keep them all safe. Not buying the act, Dal is forced to phaser his way out after the “weird lady” goes all vine monster on him. Gwyn has a similar encounter with what she quickly susses out to be a fake version of her father once he offers to give her a hug. Ouch.

As Gwyn’s efforts to leave are hampered by powerful vines ensnaring the ship, Dal springs into action, using his tricorder to lock onto each member of the team and take each out of their fantasy traps. Zero finds the whole experience “remarkable” as they offer up exposition on how the planet organism lures in prey by showing them fantasies to entrap them in its tendrils. To eat them. Ick. Rok-Tahk is heartbroken to learn the cuddly cuties were fakes: “Where did they go? They liked me.” As for Jankom, he owns eating dirt but is peeved he was the last to get picked up. As the crew speeds towards escape, the Protostar is getting torn apart by the planet/plant creature. Gwyn takes Janeway’s advice, abandoning the crashing ship via a shuttle only to quickly crash the shuttle. The chastened prisoner is revealed to still have a heart as she is discovered at the shuttle crash site huddling with Murf, who she saved at the last minute. Together they look to the horizon where the Protostar was last seen crashing, realizing they are now stranded in a cliffhanger.

ANALYSIS

Classic

After last week’s bottle show sorted out important logistics and parameters, Prodigy now sets off with some real exploration. “Dreamcatcher” was a classic Star Trek setup of an idyllic planet with hidden dangers. The story felt familiar, picking up elements of TOS’ “Shore Leave,” DS9’s “If Wishes Were Horses,” Voyager’s “Bliss,” and others; however, it never felt like a copy. The planet’s odd and dangerous organism was beautifully realized, and the fantasy traps were a clever way to reveal more about our characters and what motivates each of them.

And although she didn’t fall victim to the planet, we learned more about hologram Janeway too, including her limitation to the ship. More importantly, we can now see more hints of her unique personality and even elements of a maternal side, all beautifully played by Kate Mulgrew. There is even a subtle hint in her performance that indicates Hologram Janeway may know these kids are not really cadets.

With a planet-side story, Prodigy had plenty of ways to bring back some of the action that made the pilot so effective. There was still a good amount of humor in the episode, although it mostly fell to Jason Mantzoukas and his Jankom Pog, who is the true comic relief of the show. And for the first time, we got an element of horror, with the planet plant becoming the show’s first monster of the week, honoring another longstanding Star Trek tradition.

Trek-by-step

With all the exploring of the planet (and our characters) going on, there wasn’t a lot of time devoted to picking up on the lore and mysteries of the show. We did get a hint as to the origin of Jankom Pog with a mention of a Tellarite sleeper ship, indicating how he ended up in the Delta Quadrant. It’s possible this sleeper ship traveled for centuries, with a launch predating the Federation, which could explain why he doesn’t know anything about it.

Janeway’s threat to contact Starfleet if Dal didn’t comply with the standard protocol was curious. Was this a bluff? If not, then it opens up the question as to why hasn’t she already contacted Starfleet, who probably want to know the fate of the Protostar. It was also a bit surprising that Janeway casually mentioned the planet was in the Hirogen system, with no mention of the very dangerous Hirogen hunters. Sure, they were nomadic when encountered by the USS Voyager, but that’s no guarantee their home system is a safe place for these kids’ first away mission.

Prodigy also continues to nicely take a step-by-step approach to introduce the lore, jargon, and technology of Starfleet and Star Trek. This week we learned about M-Class planets, with a fun joke from Dal about only wanting “A-class” planets. This episode also introduced the show’s unique take on the Starfleet tricorder and phaser, again using the humor of Jankom shooting himself to help with the introduction. It’s smart for a show aimed at new viewers to take the time to immerse itself into all of these elements of Trek; longtime fans may take them for granted, but can actually be a bit much if thrown at newbies all at once.

But perhaps the biggest to Star Trek lesson on display here is that of teamwork, or specifically a lack thereof. Things started to go bad for this group once they all decided to go their own way. Not until they are truly working together towards a common and shared goal can these characters be worthy of being called a crew. As this is a surprise two-parter episode, we can only assume this bit of character growth has been left for part two.

The kids get it

The shared viewing experience with TrekMovie’s resident kid commentators (niece Ani and nephew David) continues to be illuminating. Both continue to really like the show and are starting to also get a good handle on the characters. Ani saw this episode as a sort of new beginning, describing it as the “start to the journey that they’re having.”

Both saw some progress for Dal, who came under criticism in the previous episode. Ani acknowledged that Dal was being selfish when he took the car, but he was never mean to others characters (like in the previous episode). And he got points for going to rescue everyone from their fantasies. Ani still has hope for Gwyn’s redemption, pointing to how she saved Murf. She also sympathizes, saying, “It’s kind of sad thinking that her dad would never give her a hug… so I kind of felt bad.” Murf continues to be a big hit with the kids, with David assessing that Murf is smarter than he appears, saying, “He can talk, but he just can’t talk like them.” Both are also forming Murf theories, including Ani’s prediction at some point that they’ll find a planet with “a female Murf” and they will get married!

The duo demonstrated how kids today are sophisticated consumers of content, quickly working out the planet’s twist, with the older Ani picking up on it as soon as Rok-Tahk found all those little cute pets, noting that “everyone was getting what they wanted.” Young David also showed a good understanding of tech when he wondered how Jankom could smell the stew from inside a spacesuit, although he agreed with my theory the planet could create smell illusions too. As for if the darker moments were scary—like evil plant Janeway and even more evil plant Diviner—jaded David was definitive: “No, I’ve seen scarier.” Neither had any issues with ending on a cliffhanger, but they were not happy to learn there is going to be a hiatus after episode five.

Final thoughts

“Dreamcatcher” is a fun, spooky, revealing adventure story painted onto the breathtaking canvas of this show’s stunning CG animation. Even though it was a cliffhanger, it still felt like a complete story. With next week’s episode being a midway point for the first 10-episode arc of season one (leading to a hiatus until January) we can expect things to ramp up, hopefully with some resolutions. Can’t wait.

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND CANON CONNECTIONS

  • The onscreen title is “Dream Catcher,” however it is listed as “Dreamcatcher” on Paramount+ and in all publicity materials. The showrunners also refer to it as “Dreamcatcher.”
  • A dreamcatcher is a charm from some Native American cultures, hung in children’s rooms to capture bad dreams. A holographic version of Chakotay gave Seven of Nine a dreamcatcher in the Voyager episode “Human Error.”
  • The episode starts with classic Captain’s Log, with Dal giving the stardate as “I don’t know.”
  • Even though Janeway is training them like cadets, she hasn’t insisted (or even suggested) they wear Starfleet Academy uniforms—another hint she knows they aren’t really cadets?
  • Jankom Pog accidentally fired a photon torpedo by leaning on a console, so maybe Janeway should add a layer of protection. Haven’t we seen people like Riker frequently lean on consoles without activating them?
  • While we saw the USS Voyager land, the Protostar appears to be the first main ship for a series that was purpose-built to land.
  • We have yet to see any use or even mention of transporters on the Protostar, likely another piece of Trek tech to introduce in a future episode.
  • It was theorized the illusions were created via breathing in spores (like “This Side of Paradise”), but how then did Jankom Pog get infected as he was wearing the environment suit?
  • The planet emitted thoron radiation, which has been known to interfere with sensors and was also present in DS9 “If Wishes Were Horses,” offering a clue to the danger.
  • The USS Protostar has (or at least had) an autonomous robot that looked a little bit like an Exocomp, but did not appear to be sentient; at least we hope so, as Gwyn sliced it in half before offering it up as food to Murf.
  • Gwyn’s full name is Gwyndala.
  • The shuttle Gwyn uses is the same one she had the ship build her in the previous episode, and it included the damage done by Rok-Tahk when she broke out of it.
  • Even though The Diviner is obsessed with the USS Protostar, Janeway said she had no record of The Diviner.

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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I think Janeway is a basic Hologram but will evolve being more aware over the next few episodes. I am loving this series.

I think the hologram knows this group are not cadets. I smell a Voyager Doctor-like hologram kind of situation here.

I thought this show was good and promising based on its previous three episodes, but Dream Catcher confirmed that this show is great. The balance between serialization and episodic storytelling is artful and something I hope we see more of in Strange New Worlds. And are we can’t leave the Hirogen system without the crew actually encountering a Hirogen, right?!

however, it never felt like a copy

Oh, it definitely does. This episode was extremely derivative.

Star Trek uses Tropes. After several hundred episodes some stories will inevitably feel reminiscent. Comparing how different eras approached similar material with different characters can be part of the fun if one is willing to keep an open mind.

“Giant organism that tricks people into feeding themselves to it” is a little more specific than your garden-variety trope, but I suppose there’s something to be said for there being so many of these scattered about the Trek universe.

I agree completely

It’s worth remembering that this show is targeted at young kids and to grow a new audience. So, for most of them, this will not feel derivative and will feel fresh. It’s apparent that they are going to use specific Trek tropes repackaged for kids to introduce them to the stylings of Trek adventure. You have Episode 3, the ship in peril and the crew having to work together to avoid natural disaster. You have episode 4, away team in peril to a unforeseen and deceptive lifeform. These are classic Trek stories that have been iterated on by previous series – now we’re seeing a version for a new, kid audience. And because they are new, it won’t feel derivative the same way a Trek fan watching “Oasis” felt if they had already seen “Shadowplay.”

Lower Decks also riffs on “derivative” Trek tropes but to a different effect. Instead of it being for a fresh audience, it’s for a deeply aware audience, and it intentionally pays homage while simultaneously mining them for comedic effect. We have 700ish hours of Trek content out there, at some point iterating on previous content is to be expected…Prodigy and Lower Decks have made the most use out of it by turning them with a different intent and perspective.

What isn’t derivative? Actually this sort of planetary being has been imagined in 1969 in the”Valerian” Comic series by french authors Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières. The story is entitled “Tsirillitis l’astéroïde” and was originaly published in the ‘Super Pocket Pilot N°5’. Then it was republished in a single volume with all the other short stories from that series entitled “Par les chemins de l’espace”.
In conclusion, as long as the treament of an idea differs from the previous ones, it is always satisfactory.

Personally I consider all these as different variations and perhaps even sequels to what came before so in my mind they are technically different than the others. I think we should be more open to these kind of episodes. The problem I see is that people started using the word “trope” to describe these kind of episodes and both “trope” and “derivative” gave them an unnecessarily negative meaning. I think its best to just consider them as variations on a theme.

Loved it. Scary. Fun.

Current headcanon: Janeway knows what’s going on and is letting the kids believe she thinks they’re cadets in order to get away from the Diviner. She may not know exactly what brought the ship down so deep onto Tars Lamora, which explains why she doesn’t know who the Diviner is, but she definitely knows way more than she’s saying.

I got the same impression… Auntie Kathy isn’t THAT stupid, even when she’s a replica created out of a flicker of light.

I don’t think she knows the back story of these kids, but she know these are not cadets and is playing along.

I put forward the hypothesis that the ship and Janeway were responsive to the four youth because they were all
Federation species.

The fact that Gwynn had to hack the Protostar’s defences supports the idea that Janeway wouldn’t have accepted kids that didn’t fit within know parameters for authorized access.

No. HJ knew Gwynn had been in the brig and it knew she was leaving without everyone else, hence the defences. Gwynn’s species had nothing to do with it.

We also don’t know that Dal and Rok are “Federation species.”

Isn’t somrond from Rok’s species in the novels?

Yes, the Brikarians were created by Peter David for the YA Starfleet Academy novel series. One was Word’s first roommate as a cadet.

Later, Brikar joined the Federation in later Litverse books, and a Brikarian was a bridge officer in Peter David’s New Frontiers series.

Before Gwynn was put in the Brig, she argued that she should be the one in command and was ignored.

So, either the ship and Janeway would have given authority to whoever found Protostar first, or the fact that all of the four are Federation species is a factor.

I totally agree. It seems to me that every time she says “cadet,” she smirks a little.

Hey, is it me- or is this show good!!? Really entertaining, fast moving and beautiful to look at. The story may not be truly original sci fi, but didn’t mind it a bit. It’s a great ride.

Beautiful is too light a term. Several of the sweeping shots in Episode 4 almost took my breath away. It makes you yearn for a serious, adult, 40 minute animated Trek show.

When I see the vistas and all the different shots of the ship, I really feel the limits of the “realistic” vfx in the live action series.

I’d be happy with a made-for-streaming movie for an older audience.

This would be a great way to bring in some of the great continuity from the Litverse as its own canon continuity.

I think in a way this show reminds us how utterly limited and bland the space shots have been in the live action shows now. I mean even back in the 90s where people were using models there were much more creativity and imagination in the space shots. In Discovery and Picard we can barely see what is going on and they have in a way simplified space and took away the awe factor of space. This is one of the big reason why I didn’t really like both shows.

Really enjoying this series so far! The visuals are stunning and I often forget I’m watching an animated show. One thing that nags at me is a lack of visual continuity for Starfleet tech. I would like to have seen Tricorders and phasers look more consistent with the TNG era. As well as some more LCARS-like screens. I think the Protostar is supposed to have been built some years ago, so it being a ship from beyond the TNG era doesn’t ring true to me. Especially since Lower Decks has been so much more visually consistent. Just a nit pick and certainly not as horribly inconsistent as Discovery, ha!

NX

The Protostar is an advanced experimental ship. It’s brand new and designed differently than other ships. Think of the Defiant. That ship looked NOTHING like other starships because it was an experimental warship first. So I don’t have an issue it looks a bit different. I really love the look of the bridge. As for the tricorders and phasers, this is five years later after Voyager arrived home, so they are just updated. Lower Decks is still a few years before this show and the Cerritos is an older and more traditional Starfleet ship. I don’t think there is suppose to be anything ‘traditional’ about the Protostar.

Yup. Prototypes will not just have one new design element.

Also that type one phaser isn’t all that different from the “dolphin” style ones of the Berman era.

Also, there was a Lower Decks subplot about the ensigns wanting that fancy new Tricorder that the Cerritos doesn’t have yet.

I forget – the show is set 5 years after Voyager got back, or the ship was lost 5 years after? The former seems like an awfully short period of time for an entire mining colony of kids to realistically have been put to work trying to find a ship that has a hologram of Janeway on it, and for Gwyn to have learned how to operate it..

That’s actually a good point I didn’t think about that either. When did they start looking for the ship? I’m guessing it has to be a year or two at best but how long have the kids been there? It seems quite a long time when Rok says she’s only eaten the food from that planet which suggest she grew up there.

Soooo many questions lol. Hopefully we will get satisfying answers, but I agree it does seem like a short amount of time between the various events since Voyager arrived home.

Maybe the Diviner was responsible for the ship getting pulled off course and was playing a long game to get it. It clearly either has transwarp or some unusual incident made it travel so far so quickly. He had a mining operation already, he knew he could dig it out if he lured it there? That would explain Gwyn, I would think she’d been training for more than a couple years.

I’ve had no problem with the tech and new look on the Protostar. I feel it is a plus to move past the LCARS and the weird phasers of TNG. A good move on behalf of the artists and designers of the show.

Agreed.

While I am enjoying this show, there’s no way it fits in the Prime Universe. Everything about this show visually screams Kelvin-verse. I mean, Discovery showed us that even the Kelvin-verse would get TNG uniforms, so that covers the Janeway angle. But the ship’s design (even accounting for it being a prototype), the design of the computer interface/GUI, the design of the phasers and tricorders, even the fact that the ship lands on the surface of a planet easily just screams Kelvin-verse. And I’ll be ok if it takes place there, it’s still valid Trek, but there’s just no way visually this can take place in the Prime Universe.

But, your mileage, and headcanon, may vary.

Wears environmental suit, is able to smell through it.

Wears environmental suit, is able to get infected by “spores”.

Why even have him were the suit (from a script perspective)? There was no reason for it, it did not add anything to the story or the character. There was NO REASON for it to exist in this episode.

I do not get this…

Yes, I can’t spell…

It is not clear how the spores create the illusions, and telepathy is a thing in Star Trek…
(As of using the suit, it shows he’s technologically savvy, and cautious. It doesn’t break the story at all, so win-win. In fact, it is a very good clue it’s all illusion, even early on.)

Telepathy is definitely at work here, otherwise how would the planet know everyone’s desires. Given that, it’s probably safe to assume that the smell was telepathically generated.

Zero is also in a containment suit – it would have to be telepathic to affect them.

Not only is Zero in a containment suit, they are also non-corporeal. You wouldn’t expect normal biological agents to affect them even without the containment suit. Then again, what do we really know about non-corporeal biology? ;-)

Uh, because it’s funny. And a nice nod to years of characters ridiculously wandering around on strange new worlds with no protection whatsoever.

Like the one where Archer lets Porthos pee on a brand new alien world — with no concern for Porthos or the world.

There are no spores in this episode. There are vines that use telepathy. He was able to smell through it because, well — telepathy.

+1

Yeah that is one of the things that never made much sense about Star Trek. Even if you find planets with breathable atmosphere and radiation that won’t kill you minutes after beaming down, you’re still walking on an exotic alien planet for the first time. There are still places on Earth today you’re not advised to go without getting a malaria shot first It seems like everyone would be wearing contamination suits; especially on barren planets they are visiting for the first time. I know they have gotten around that suggesting the transporters eliminates any viruses or something they may pick up but its still ridiculous.

But its a TV show, they don’t want the characters covered up in contamination suits all the time I guess.

Loved this episode! I also love that we are getting weird trippy Star Trek again! And our first strange new world so soon! I don’t think Discovery has been to one yet sadly after three seasons. Yeah it followed a Star Trek trope that has been done on most of the classic shows, but Star Trek always recycle the greats! ;) I really liked the new tricorders and phasers. This is exactly why many of us wanted the shows to go forward again, so we can see these type of updates and advancements. Also liked how they are slowly peeling back some of the mystery with the kids. I think Gwyn is going to have the most surprising reveal. And yes Janeway seems to know they are not cadets. Not sure why she’s playing along but fun to follow. I’m just a little disappointed she can’t leave the ship. I thought they would had found a way to update the Doctor’s mobile emitter for future holograms but I think she will become more advanced in time.

I have to really say this show so far feels the closest to classic Trek out of the new shows. It’s a lot more adventure of the week than DIS and PIC which many fans have been missing but also not over the top comedy like LDS that other fans don’t like. And of course it’s suppose to capture the essence of what Star Trek is for the younger set and it’s doing a great job IMO.

Why do I feel like Janeway will eventually get some sort of mobile emitter eventually?

Agree with almost everything you said Tiger2. The only downer was the cliffhanger ending – too bad this is not a 1 hr show but kids probably like the 30 min episode.

So does this mean Prodigy is a serialized show or will it be more episodic or perhaps a hybrid of both? Time will tell.

Oh btw, up here in Canada (at least on the Sci-fi network), we do not see or hear the closing credits and theme. IMO that is short-changing the audience up here north of the border. The closing theme (Voyager-like) and graphics were great!

Yes DeanH.

I can’t figure out why CTV Sci-fi channel isn’t letting Prodigy run over the hour mark the way it always does for Discovery and Picard.

It seems like the advertising team hasn’t figured out that it’s a kids show and has less advertising minutes.

For the premiere, the show locked out with parental controls as rated 14+, and the 6:00 pm broadcast had one alcohol ad, three online gambling ads and an ad for men to see their doctors for a drug for unstated adult problems. The ads toned down the second week, but they are still showing fairly graphic ads promoting various violent shows.

However, the worst was that last week, some of the actual content was cut from the end of the 6:00 pm early broadcast as the DS9 rerun came on overtop.

I think a hybrid DeanH!

At least based on what we have so far, it’s definitely serialized but I don’t think it will be like PIC or DIS. But considering the show is baked in with a big mystery with both the characters and the ship, the story probably will build on itself every episode, just not as connected as those shows. In other words, I think the characters arc will be grow episode to episode but the major story in each episode will feel more loose like the last two.

I have a feeling SNW will be pretty similar. It’ll be ‘episodic’ but I still think there will be a main story running through the season. LDS is also doing something similar on that show with the Pakleds story line. I don’t think any of these shows will just ‘reset’ itself the way TOS, VOY and TNG did episode to episode but have a looser format to still tell whatever story they want. My guess anyway. ;)

That is very weird about the credits thing. But its also on a TV channel there, right? To be honest, if any of these shows were on a regular network in America, it would be the same deal. Most of them stopped doing that a long time now. It’s weird when I watch an old show on a streaming site and you actually hear and see the closing credits lol. It’s like listening to something from the long ago.

I noticed a possible mini-mystery in this episode. Back in the first episode, when Janeway explains about the Federation, I was surprised that Jankom Pog hadn’t heard of it since he is a Tellarite, one of the founding races. In this episode, however, he mentions the stew back on the Tellar Sleeper Ship. So, is he from a group of Tellarites that have been out of touch for roughly two centuries?

It’s possible that Jankom Pog was very young when he was sent to the mines, and so was just never taught about things like politics and the Federation. The same question could be asked about Zero, since Medusa is also a Federation world.

Enjoyed it. It would seem that Prodigy is the best Trek Secret Hideout has produced thus far. Is the show really good? Not really. It does make mistakes but it does have heart and a fairly interesting group of characters. Which again, Zero seems to be the breakout of. Dal seems to see-saw between being a decent character and a horrible Mariner kind of character. Hopefully his jaunts down Mariner Avenue will be brief.

The episode was OK. Better than last weeks. And is funnier than Lower Decks. I started to get the impression that in spite of the original description not doing it any favors later as more came out about the show made me suspect this might actually not be a big pile of trash like the other SH shows. And after 3/4 episodes I may very well have called it right. This show has everything the other SH shows don’t. Interesting characters. Humor. An engaging mystery. And most important… Heart.

Looking forward to the wrap up next week and will miss the show as it goes on an overly long break. Not happy about that move, P+. Not happy at all. Still think it was made to reduce the extra large churn the service was undoubtedly getting.

Leave it to an internet Trekkie to give a backhanded compliment to a new Trek show while also managing to voice their hatred for DIS, PIC, ST, and LD. Nothing new to see here, folks. 🥱

Right… Because it’s just not reality that a Trek fan doesn’t like most of the Secret Hideout Trek shows. (eyeroll)

I miss some of the aesthetics of the TNG shows (those phasers – meh!), at least Lower Decks preserves so many of them. But I love that they are using the old sound effects. Somehow a phaser and a tricorder sound from the 90s is so reassuring.

Visually, this was stunning, and the creepy factor worked!

Amazing!! This is what Star Trek always should have been.

The previous 800 episodes not your thing huh?

I wish there had been a cartoon of Star Trek when I was a kid in the late 80s. All I had to get me into trek when I was a kid was TNG.

Really is a very good series so far but I really think this episode could be a bit scary for kids under 10.

I don’t think the show is aiming that low.

I found TOS Shore Leave at that age, and the related TAS episode was a bit scary too.

However, modern kids are much more used to stories where what’s real vs what’s effects are unclear. I think they are likely to start wondering what’s going no later than 8 now.

I actually think it would be the cliffhanger and the wait that would be more difficult for younger kids now. Our kids were teens before they were willing to watch a cliffhanger without the following episode immediately after. They would choose to wait an extra week or weeks to see the first part to avoid the wait after the “to be continued.”

I’m very much enjoying this show. The creative DNA it shares with Trollhunters is very evident, which is not a bad thing at all. Obviously it’s tonally far, far removed from Lower Decks, but the two shows are together by far my favorite Trek productions in a long, long time. I just wish we weren’t getting that recently-announced six-week break after next week’s episode, even if I think I understand the reasoning behind it.

I fully agree Blondie. I’m not even the target audience and I’m enjoying it waaay more than poor old Discovery. As time goes by I like that show less and less. Anyway, Prodigy is a triumph in my book. I think it will be the characters we will remember most when we start to reminesce about the show years from now. They seem to have lots of potential.

Yet again a prisoner is able to hijack a Starfleet ship by reading some tech manuals. The more things change…

Another gorgeous episode, with a great planet-of-the-week feel to it. I’m hoping we’ll start to see some real growth in Dal after this episodes events, as he is still quite grating (and it’s frustrating in how the rest of the “crew” just kinda rolls over for him).

With that being said, something that has been bugging me since the first episode, wouldn’t Starfleet have some pretty advanced security to prevent random people from just taking over a starship – like what we’re seeing here. Maybe holo-Janeway allowed it to happen for reasons yet unknown – but if not, Starfleet really needs to up its theft-protection game 😜

Speculation:

The Protostar was launched in 2379, as a testbed for Starfleet’s first quantum slipstream or transwarp drive (doesn’t matter which one it is, point is it’s the first). Its engine uses a special blend of benemite crystals that are particularly difficult to create and which produce a rejuvenating form of radiation which can bring the Diviner’s homeworld. Its outer thermosphere was destroyed or some other natural catastrophe affected it, and the Diviner was the only one to survive. Gwyn was the first successful clone, based on the Diviner’s own deceased daughter, and he’s done what he can to avoid emotional entanglement because, even as successful as she’s been as a clone, he’s lost too many other clones before her to allow himself to open up to her, and he also knows that he too is affected by whatever happened to their homeworld. He knows he doesn’t have much time left and needs her to be able to focus on her mission when the time comes; since that might happen after he’s dead, he thinks she might lose focus on her mission if she’s distracted by emotional responses. He also suspects that emotions are what doomed the previous clones, so it’s best to avoid encouraging them in her if he wants her to survive.

He taught her everything he knows and also everything she’ll need to save their race. His drive to help his people has twisted him from a genial father and scientist into a monstrous dictator, kidnapping orphans from Federation space to serve as Gwyn’s crew once the time comes. He knows that the Protostar, wherever it wound up, was crewed by Federation citizens and was designed for their use, and that an actual crew would make the most sense (rather than the HelperBots he’s got managing things on Tars Lamora).

Interesting speculation.

The benanite angle would work and lines up with slipstream tech in the Litverse.

The idea of Gwynn being a clone is also reasonable but a bit of a reach fo a kids’ show, especially given the Federation ban on cloning and genetic manipulation of sentient life.

Granted, but it’s extremely likely Diviner and his people *aren’t* members of the Federation.