Watch: Kate Mulgrew Explains The Leadership Lesson Of “First Con-tact” From ‘Prodigy’


The seventh episode of Star Trek: Prodigy featured the introduction of a new character: DaiMon Nandi, a Ferengi captain who raised Dal before (unbeknownst to him) she sold him to the Chimerium mine on Tars Lamora. Paramount+ has released some videos taking a closer look at the episode, including the lessons learned through this introduction. Plus we have more from Kate Mulgrew and the team behind the episode.

Mulgrew on trusting your gut

In this video, Kate Mulgrew discusses the importance of trusting your instincts, a lesson learned the hard way by Dal who ignored his gut feeling when it came to trusting Nandi.

Brett Grey explains Ferengi

Being that Star Trek: Prodigy is intended for audiences new to Trek, every week they release a video explaining something introduced in the latest episode. This week’s video features Brett Grey (Dal) on the Ferengi, who were introduced through the character of Nandi.

Producer explains Dal’s backstory with Nandi

Co-executive producer Aaron Waltke took to Twitter to get into some of the details of “First Con-tact,” including explaining that Dal didn’t know about the Federation despite being brought up by a Ferengi because when he was with her he was “quite young” and they were “far outside the Federation’s jurisdiction.”

Waltke also took pride in Prodigy being the first episode of Star Trek to show the full text of The Prime Directive.

Nandi will be back

Nandi was played by veteran voice actress Grey DeLisle (credited as Grey Griffin). On Twitter, she showed her excitement to join the Star Trek franchise and some pride playing the first female Ferengi DaiMon. The actress also confirmed Nandi is a recurring character.

David Mack on Chimerium

The series premiere of Prodigy introduced Chimerium, the substance being mined on the Tars Lamora asteroid. This substance was also a plot point in “First Con-tact” as it is used to fuel cloaking devices. While Prodigy made Chimerium part of the official Star Trek canon, it was originally introduced in the Starfleet Corps Of Engineers novella Invincible, written by David Mack who is also a consultant for the show. Speaking to Inverse, Mack explains how Chimerium worked its way into Prodigy:

[The Hagemans] wanted the Protostar to be hidden inside the planetoid, and for their bad guy, the Diviner, to have been searching there for the ship over a period of many years, possibly even decades. Because sensors in the Star Trek universe should easily have been able to find a starship no matter how deeply it was buried inside the planetoid, I suggested to the Hagemans that it might be a good idea if the planetoid were rich with a compound that blocks sensors. That would explain why the Diviner was forced to resort to such brute-force search methods, while also giving him a valuable resource he could trade to finance his ongoing search.

Everyone agreed that Mack’s Chimerium was just the right thing to make it all fit.

Mulgrew honors new writer

“First Con-tact” was written by Diandra Pendleton-Thompson who celebrated it as her first writing credit with a Tik Tok video (also shared on Twitter) showing her patiently waiting for it to premiere on Paramount+. Show star Kate Mulgrew shared the video with a welcoming message to the new writer, including complimenting her choice of outfit.

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 on Fridays. It will debut later in 2022 in parts of Europe with the launch of the Paramouint+ Sky partnership.

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Like the episode, though I was confused as to why no one knew what a transporter was.

I presume it’s because all of them spent their lives far away from alpha quadrant races. I presume the Tellarite was kidnapped and sold into slavery at a very young age, as well.

I always watch these Prodigy lessons Kate Mulgrew gives every episode on Youtube. They are great for kids and a great reminder of the types of values Star Trek espouses throughout its history.

And it’s great Nandi will be a recurring character. We haven’t had any real Ferengi characters since DS9. They were practically impossible to show on Enterprise (but did it anyway ;)), the Kelvin movies or early Discovery given the timelines. This is why going forward is always better for me, you have a wealth of popular species to use everywhere again. They still need to explain how she got in the Delta quadrant but I know it’s coming.

But Prodigy is really hitting all my fanboy heartstrings. Like Lower Decks, both shows have done such an amazing job of capturing everything I love about Star Trek while also maintaining the spirit and look of the 24th (and sometimes 23rd) century in their own unique ways. It’s feeling like the 90s for me again! :)

This is exactly how you give the franchise a fresh approach while still maintaining everything familiar that we love about it in the first place. Both creators should be commended.

P.S. Give us a Riker appearance on this show! The Trek gods demand it!

Am I crazy or did the title on the episode itself read “Contact,” not “Con-tact”?

I was going to ask the same thing. It did.

Yep absolutely right. It’s only titled “First Contact” in the actual episode. But everywhere else on on the site it has an hyphen. Very weird.

It’s “First Con-tact” in the main titles of the version I recorded in our PVR in Canada…

I read somewhere else that it was corrected. That actually confirms my thinking that streaming series will likely undergo a rolling set of ongoing changes if the producers or studio executives want to fix things after the initial broadcast. I would imagine this will become commonplace before anything is released to physical media.

Although you’ve listed it as available in Australia, for whatever reason they haven’t started the second half of season 1 on our Paramount+ yet, still only the first 5 episodes are available

I’d rather have them explain the timeline and geography of the show. It doesn’t make much sense so far.

Exactly. It’s not implausible that some individuals would end up far from where their species normally resides, but here it seems to be much more common than we’ve seen previously. At this rate the Federation would know about the Dominion long before the Bajoran Wormhole was discovered.

You’re the type of person to watch the first five minutes of a movie and ask “wait why is this happening?” LOLOL
I am pretty sure it will be explained. The season is 20 episodes long and this IS a kids show.
So it will be slow as they introduce a whole new generation to Star Trek