Podcast: All Access Star Trek Drinks In The Backstories From The Latest ‘Prodigy’ Episode

All Access Star Trek podcast episode 119 - TrekMovie

[Review starts at 12:46]

Anthony and Laurie start with Chris Hemsworth’s new observations about why he thinks the movie about James Kirk and his dad fizzled, then move into Terry Matalas’ comments about how Picard season 3 is a continuation of both Deep Space Nine and Voyager. They give an update on Discovery season 5, which just wrapped filming, and tease an upcoming giveaway for the release of season 4 on DVD. After that, they dig into Tony’s new interview with Ronny Cox (Jellico on TNG and Prodigy), then review the newest Prodigy episode, “Preludes.” They wrap up with a look at Starfleet’s attitude towards genetic engineering and an episode of the 7th Rule podcast with Ira Steven Behr talking about the Deep Space Nine series finale.


Chris Hemsworth Explains How His ‘Star Trek 4’ Project Fizzled Out In 2018

Plot Details Of Abandoned ‘Star Trek 4’ Project With Chris Hemsworth Revealed By Writers

‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3 Is A Continuation Of ‘Voyager’ And DS9 Too, Says Showrunner

Production Has Wrapped On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 5

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 4 Coming To Blu-ray, DVD, And Steelbook In December

Interview: Ronny Cox On Jellico’s Enduring Legacy In ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ And ‘The Next Generation’


Tony: New Star Trek Shows Take On The Federation’s Last Prejudice

Laurie: 7th Rule podcast with Ira Stephen Behr talking about the DS9 series finale

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Great episode (of the pod), as always. (Also of Prodigy, though.) Listening to these is a vital component of my Friday each week — thanks for the hard work, y’all!

Thanks so much! Glad you’re enjoying the podcast.

Prodigy is truly amazing. I now wish these guys would do a live action 24th century show as well. Both the Hageman brothers and Mike McMahan just really gets this period of Star Trek and their detail to canon is almost insane. But Prodigy is bringing all the elements of Star Trek in one big cohesive way that makes you appreciate the entire franchise. I’m really impressed with how much they have tied everything together in its first season and none of it feels convoluted or with a string of plot holes.

It also proves that serialized Star Trek can be done very well when you obviously have the right people who A. really gets Star Trek B. worked through all the season’s story and character beats before hand and C. just knows how to tell compelling stories every episode. Something I think both Picard and Discovery has had trouble doing at least 2 out of 3 of these points every season so far. Every season.

Prodigy is probably the best first season show since TOS IMO.

I’m inferring that the way animation has to be produced – with detailed story boarding and tough animation done well in advance of voice acting – means that the structure and character arcs have to be all mapped out in fine detail well in advance.

Yes, as we’ve heard with Lower Decks, there’s still a bit of scope for improvisation in dialogue in scenes, but as a whole the season is written in advance and the showrunner has the time to ensure the episodes aren’t just churned out to the season outline but crafted.

Aaron Waltke has talked about overseeing close to 30 episodes in various stages of preproduction, production and post at once. The coherence of the entire show, not just within a season or half-season shows the benefits of that.

I suspect that it would take a significant change in the way the work is structured for live action to achieve the equivalent quality.

Certainly having showrunners and EPs working on multiple other projects at once and as Kurtzman has said, having to remind themselves of an episode written a long time before and then just edit it to make sense when it comes back, is part of the problem.

Given the problems with Discovery’s showrunners in the early seasons it’s absolutely understandable why Kurtzman had to insert himself into final editing of all the live action shows, but at this point it may be more of a negative. The live action shows each need someone like Waltke or MacMahan who is focused on and dedicated to the show across its multi season arcs. Kurtzman has said as they go forward they’ve learned that each new show needs someone who’s really driving it, championing it. So, perhaps that’s what we’ll get in live action in the future. It sounds like Terry Matalas wants to be that kind of showrunner, and he has a track record from 12 Monkeys to show he can pull it off if given control.

Last thought, I had high hopes that the introduction of the AR wall and its requirements for virtual staging in preproduction would help. With the expenditures in advance to build virtual sets and use them through multiple episodes, there’s some of the same discipline required of animation.

We didn’t really get that with Discovery season four, but the impact of COVID protocols what’s severe on that show. SNW is more episodic so we can’t learn much from that about the impact of AR walls. But we’ll have to see as Discovery rolls on into season five and we get new shows being produced in Toronto.

I do think the animation forces them to really map out their storylines more carefully. I think Disco in season 4 was actually trying to do something emotionally ambitious and capture the feeling people were having when the pandemic first started, and that all became as frustrating onscreen as it was in real life. I agree that Lower Decks and Prodigy are more cohesive than the live-action shows!

Thanks for pointing me to that 7th Rule podcast about the DS9 finale. The whole discussion is about 3 hours long but it has some really interesting insights and behind-the-scenes tidbits.

It’s a really good one. There are other great, insightful episodes worth checking out.. and they’re adding Denise Crosby to talk about TNG season 1!

I see a lot of people liked the Prodigy episode but to me it felt more like a Golden Girls clip show where they ran out of money at the end of the season but still had to make an episode… but new.

I felt like the different stories were too forced together and – like Anthony – I wished they gave us their backstories organically, paired with stories that would be relevant to them.

I had a thought about the Academy series: what if that’s what Prodigy is slowly becoming?

I think you both have a good point… it did feel a little forced, even though I liked how the stories played out, and I still feel like we don’t have the whole picture (particularly for Rok). I think the Academy series was set up by Disco and will likely take place in that era!