Watch: Kate Mulgrew Explains The Classic Star Trek Lesson Of “Kobayashi” From ‘Prodigy’


Star Trek: Prodigy returned from hiatus with a crossover episode that brought in some classic Star Trek characters and introduced some new Star Trek technology to new viewers. Paramount+ has released a couple of videos featuring stars of the show to discuss what we can learn from “Kobayashi.”

Mulgrew on “the needs of the many”

In this video, Kate Mulgrew discusses the Vulcan adage “the needs of the many,” which was spoken by the hologram of Spock in the Kobayashi Maru simulation run by Dal.

Mulgrew pays tribute

After the episode debuted, Kate Mulgrew took to Twitter talk about the episode, calling it a “love letter To Starfleet” and to those actors who have passed away including Leonard Nimoy, René Auberjonois, James Doohan, and Aron Eisenberg.

She also had a bit of fun with Sir Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, and Marina Sirtis, joking about not being able to identify the bridge featured in “Kobayashi.”

August Imrie explains Holodecks

Star Trek: Prodigy introduced the holodeck in episode 106. In another video, Angus Imrie (Zero) explains this iconic piece of Trek tech.

Classic characters side by side

“Kobayashi” featured a number of classic characters from Star Trek history using their original dialog from the TV series and films. In his TrekMovie interview, writer Aaron J. Waltke described the painstaking process of putting it all together:

I basically had to create some algorithms with every Star Trek script ever written in order to search the databases for relevant lines. I also wound up reading probably 80 or 90 scripts, and rewatching about 40 or 50 episodes top to bottom. Knowing the shape of the story I wanted to tell, which, of course, is the Kobayashi Maru scenario and how Dal would interpret that, I then proceeded to go through find the lines to try to line them up to make sure they sounded like they’re all in the same room talking to each other. Then I went to the Star Trek archives where they thankfully have the remastered audio from all the DVD sets and the movies and such. And I would give them the time code and the episode and say, “Please give me the cleanest, just dialogue track of this line.” And then our team at Audio Circus, they had a specialist who was able to clean up the audio as much as they could using modern technology. Obviously, there’s still some of the stuff that was recorded in the ‘60s and it still has a little bit of a guttural quality to it.

The fan podcast Strange New Pod did the work to match each classic Star Trek moment with its use in “Kobayashi” for a great side-by-side comparison.


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, and Amazon Prime Video internationally on Fridays. It will debut later in 2022 in parts of Europe with the launch of the Paramouint+ Sky partnership.

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Wow, Mulgrew confuses Star Trek with Starfleet. By now you would think she knows the difference.

Where did she confuse it?

Quite confused by your response here to the video…. I just rewatched the clip and couldn’t find a spot where Mulgrew “confuses Star Trek with Starfleet.” Care to educate us?

Upfront I have not seen the video nor any episode of Prodigy, but I was referring to the tweet by Mulgrew:

“An amazing episode and a true love letter to Starfleet – especially to those we’ve lost. A Trek salute to Leonard, James, and René (and the departed Aron Eisenberg, whose birthday is today) for embodying Starfleet’s finest”

For me the sentence only makes sense if you use Star Trek instead of Starfleet. Mulgrew speaks of Nimoy, Auberjonois, Doohan and Eisenberg so it is a tribute to the real world Star Trek show and not to a fictious organisation. You can be a Star Trek fan without being in love with Starfleet. A love letter to a fictious military organisation seems a little odd to me. Especially if a children’s show glorifies the military. In my oppinion Star Trek rather celebrates individuals than organisations.

Thank you for explaining your comment. I can see how you’d be confused if you hadn’t seen the clip we are all discussing, or the episode it features. If you had spent the 60 seconds to watch the clip, you’d have seen a sample of the “love letter” Mulgrew Tweeted about; a love letter to the finest officers to ever serve Starfleet, either through the service itself (Uhura, Scotty, Beverly Crusher, Spock) or through treaties with other space services (Odo and the Bajoran Militia).

The clip is geoblocked which may explain why some people are commenting here without having seen the clip (or Prodigy for that matter which hasn’t been released in most international markets).

Sure, my bad. Thanks for filling me in. But don’t judge me to harsh for not seeing the clip out of lazyness, it might excuse me a little that I”m geoblocked.

No judgments…. I came off as a bit harsh, I know. I just get miffed when people critique things without watching them. All’s good. LLAP!

peace and long life :-)

Ugh, the bridge of the Galaxy class hotel is just a horrid design. It took all the functionality of the TOS bridge that had even the military and Rand Corporation talking about it – the commander in a 360 turn being able to access all information stations and crew and replaced it with carpet and blinking hard drive lights. Just horrid. No wonder the Captain needed his shrink beside him at all times.
That being said, the lesson of Kobayashi was great. Still occasionally have someone come in and say they have a Kobayashi Maru! Also helps lighten up some pretty challenging situations.

Well, it may not be a great design in function, but I love the TNG bridge. It’s definitely the most unique bridge in all of Star Trek. And it’s warm colors and horseshoe wrap-around feels like a warm hug.

I agree with your assessment of the “practicality” of the TOS bridge vs. TNG. However I’ll go with “VZX” and says I do love that bridge anyway.

And the TNG bridge was the only one I actually got to walk onto (the Las Vegas “Trek Experience” in the 90’s) so forgive me. My logic is uncertain where the TNG bridge is concerned.

In my humble opinion the bridges in TNG and 32nd century Discovery should be big holodeck rooms that look like a cross between the stellar cartography set in Generations and Star Trek V. The door should appear and disappear with the projection (valuable space). I’d even argue the top should be planetarium like where you look up or down and can see whatever you want displayed.
Each crew member would be sitting with consoles around the screen with their own panel and maybe a pop up holo display they can personally control as well. All the panels should be flat screen displays that can be used to both input commands and display information.
This would also look cool from a visual perspective as when orbiting a planet you could “see” the planet in the background.
The projection should have a bunch of tactical heads up display type info, ship status, shields, scanner reports, etc.
You call engineering and some pop up window will show you the chief engineer in engineering on the side complaining about how she can’t take much more of this while a bunch of graphs appear
If anyone uses this at Rand Corporation or something like that please hire me because I’d love to work on a project that wants a ultra-functional command centre (or a TV show lol)

I grew up with TNG, so the bridge of the ENT-D will always hold a special place for me, even if the aesthetic looks a little dated over 30 years later. I imagine the older generation that came up on TOS feels the same way about the original Enterprise bridge notwithstanding the fact that our technology in 2022 makes the buttons and screens on the original bridge look archaic by comparison.

Star Trek Strange New Worlds for the win on the bridge with it’s big view screen and functional displays?
Why Prodigy / Discovery /etc did not go that route is beyond me. I also don’t get the Protostar bridge. Who thinks looking at a door or silver wall is visually attractive?? At least TNG you had someone standing up that it can match a hotel lobby in terms of catching the eye.

This comment feels like an appropriate time to restate that a good friend of mine in 1987 upon first seeing the E-D said “this should be the USS Hilton.” And I’ve used that line to describe the E-D from time to time since.

Yeah, it does look like a hotel lobby, not the bridge of a working ship.

When I went to Ticonderoga and got to walk through an exact copy of the TOS bridge, I was struck by how very well designed it was. Nothing was very far away from anything else, so Kirk could leap forward and press a button on the helm if Sulu passed out, or Uhura could take over the science station practically instantly if something happened to Spock. But there was space enough to move around, too; it wasn’t crowded. Just beautifully laid out.

If Worf passes out, and Picard needs to take over his station, it’ll take him a LONG time go get there, what with that weird high wall in the way.

there was usually a crew member at the back to step in just in case worf passed out.

because gene wanted a less military inspired design, less of the OS movie ethos.
and that the D would be travelling at a time of less ‘pew pew’ and more exploration.

and it looks even better in ‘generations’ lit for movie photography.

Yes he wanted a completely non functional hotel complete with kids to crash with the warp drive incapable saucer section. That’s pretty much why in retrospect TNG sucked day one outside the episode Picard kills a bunch of civilian loaded Starships.

Except if you want to bring back your dead best friend. Then the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

Also want to add that the video of where the lines were picked up from was awesome.