Star Trek: Prodigy – Season 1, Volume 2
Published by Paramount Home Entertainment
Format: DVD and Blu-ray
Date: September 26, 2023
As I said in my volume 1 review, Prodigy’s writers and producers very quickly demonstrated that they understood Trek—what we all love about it, and exactly how to show both the audience and our main characters the fundamentals of what it means to be part of the Federation and Starfleet. It’s a beautifully realized animated series with a ton of heart and well-written characters who slowly grow to become better-rounded, more actualized versions of themselves. The second half of the season (comprised of episodes 11-20) reveals the ragtag group of kids/teens coming ever closer to achieving this goal.
The group of 10 episodes just released on home media properly introduces the real Admiral Janeway, who is searching for Captain Chakotay and the USS Protostar. Due to the discovery of the Living Construct (a tool for revenge on Starfleet by The Diviner) embedded into the Protostar, our crew can’t go near Federation space, as contact with anything Starfleet would be disastrous. How they all work through the problems this causes is great to watch as they move from one episode to the next. Special kudos go to Brett Gray (Dal) and Kate Mulgrew (Admiral Janeway) for both perfectly capturing each other’s character’s personas in a classic sci-fi body swap episode. The season ends with so many new places to explore, both for the characters and as new adventures in space. I’m ready to watch the second season, wherever it finally ends up (and hopefully sooner rather than later).
The Blu-ray set
The 10-episode second half of the season and special features are available on two Blu-ray discs. As we’ve come to expect for a Paramount/CBS home video release, each disc has the names of the episodes it contains printed on them, as well as a full listing for the set on the inside back of the case. The season is also available on plain old DVD as well. A little bonus inside are four character cards with more details about the show, the Federation, Starfleet, etc. on the back. For this second volume release you get Zero, Jankom Pog, Murf, and Drednok.
Prodigy is a rather unique-looking show; the obvious comparison people want to make is to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but it’s not quite like that series, and it’s certainly not like a Pixar movie. The design sensibility is unique and generally stunning. As a modern high-definition-era cartoon, everything looks sharp, the lines are crisp, and the colors of alien vistas along with the varied shades and colors of the main characters look punchy as one would expect. Now on disc, it certainly looks as good as, if not better than, what you saw on streaming.
The episodes have losslessly compressed DTS-HD MA 5.1 channel soundtracks. Prodigy sounds great—it’s got quite the cinematic soundscape for something that’s “just” a kids’ show and composer Nami Melumad’s episodic scores are a highlight of each episode.
The features included aren’t the deepest dive. Most are typical “press kit” things that we’ve read in interviews from the creators around the release of the second wave of episodes. Like with the first volume, there are disappointingly no audio commentaries. In total, there are three bonus features in the set.
The trio of features are all found on the second disc:
The Odyssey Of Prodigy (21 minutes)
This is the typical season (or half-season in this case) overview piece we’ve come to expect on Trek releases. Creators Kevin and Dan Hageman and co-producer Aaron Waltke take us through episodes 11-20, with interviews with Kate Mulgrew, Brett Grey, and Ella Purnell mixed in.
Producing Prodigy: The Planets (14 minutes)
Director Ben Hibon and senior supervising producer Patrick Krebs discuss designing the planets and planetscapes seen in season 1. We get to see a bit of concept artist, thanks to concept artists Gus Mendonca, Bastien Grivet, and Jessica Rossier. Slightly out of place, but making up for what should have been covered before, series composer Nami Melumad also talks about her musical scores for the episodes.
Producing Prodigy: The Ships (13 minutes)
As co-executive producer Aaron Waltke says in the introduction to this feature, “The 2380s are a really interesting time in Star Trek.” We get a look at designing the USS Dauntless, the new take on LCARS seen on the Protostar and the Dauntless, the dormant Borg Cube from “Let Sleeping Borg Lie,” and lastly, there’s a quick look at all the Starfleet and alien starships that showed up in the battle caused by The Living Construct in the season finale.
Buy this now. Our usual recommendation for these disc sets is for anyone who wants an offline copy of the show. For Prodigy, this is especially important because it was pulled from streaming earlier this year. Right now, the only way to see Prodigy is to purchase the season as a digital download or on disc. While digital copies have somewhat more permanence than streaming services, they’re not immutable. Getting something on physical media is the only sure way to own a beloved TV show or movie, plus the series tends to look and sound better on Blu-ray than streaming.
The producers for the series have also emphasized how the sales of the home media releases have helped to show support for Prodigy while Paramount negotiates a new home for it as they are finishing up post-production work on season 2. And even if you are one of those who may have dismissed Prodigy because it is animated or “just a kids’ show,” you really are missing out on some great Star Trek, especially as this second half of season 1 really starts to bring the show (and the characters) closer to Starfleet.
Available now in the USA on Blu-ray and DVD
And if you don’t have it already, the first volume of Prodigy with episodes 1-10 is also back in stock at Amazon: $13.99 on DVD and $17.78 on Blu-ray. If you’re really not into physical media, you can also buy all of season 1 (episodes 1-20) digitally for $9.99.
Full season available in the UK and Germany
The first volume of Prodigy season 1 wasn’t released in Europe. Instead, Nickelodeon and Paramount are releasing the complete season on disc for the UK and Germany. In the UK, the full season was released last week (25 Sept). German fans will be able to purchase the season set later this week (5 Oct).
More screenshots of Prodigy volume 2 on Blu-ray…
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