REVIEW: ‘Star Trek Prodigy’ Season 1B Warps to New Frontiers

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Star Trek Prodigy Season 2 - But Why Tho

Star Trek Prodigy Season 1B returns to Paramount+ as the young makeshift crew of the USS Protostar make their way across the galaxy seeking favor and asylum with Starfleet as they flee their old life of slavery. But when Vice admiral Janeway catches the trail of the wayward ship, the cadets must flee once more, as they carry a dangerous secret with them.

Created by brothers Dan and Kevin Hageman, Star Trek Prodigy pits a group of six youngsters together as they stumble upon an abandoned Starfleet ship after escaping capture in a mining colony. Now, Dal (Brett Gray), Gwen (Ella Purnell), Zero (Angus Imrie), Rok (Rylee Alazraqui), Jankom (Jason Mantzoukas), and Murph (Dee Bradley Baker) aided by the ships ever-present onboard holographic assistance program in the form of Star Trek fan favorite Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), learn what it means to become Starfleet crew as they journey across space.

When last we saw them, the group devised a clever plot to be free of the Diviner (John Noble) once and for all but not before he revealed his most insidious plan, that the USS Protostar was the weapon that would bring down the Federation for good. As we enter Season 1B the crew take on some of their biggest challenges to date while facing up to a number of their own personal challenges.

I have to say, I was skeptical of this series when it debuted its first season, heck I even avoided watching it for a time, but after you give it half a chance it’s hard to deny how charming it is. Not only is the story fun, but the characters are relatable in their unique ways, and the dialogue is quippy and light. The show represents the best parts of star trek and highlights that no matter where you come from, no matter your past if you try and do your part to make the world (or galaxy) a better place than you found it then you can be Starfleet too. As of late, it’s a franchise I’ve taken to heart, with Prodigy being chief among them.

While the series is aimed at an all-ages audience, it doesn’t shy away from difficult topics, or complex relationships which I truly appreciate from the showrunners. Even in the first season Gwyn struggles over the complex relationship with her father, Dal searches for meaning in knowing nothing of his species, and Rok subverts all expectations by wanting to become the ship’s science officer. There are some important and sweet messages that are deep-rooted in this show that are timeless regardless of your age. All-ages content doesn’t have to equate to watered-down messaging and let’s face it the younger demographic has lived through some intensely difficult events these past few years. Shows like this inspire hope and give voice, and emotion where some may not know how to put words to it. I was encouraged to see this trend continue into Season 1B.

As for the narrative aspect of the series, the premier episode of the season drives home the biggest plot point that provides the Kobayashi Maru moment that underscores everything. It’s a compelling puzzle that builds as the story progresses.

While the team of the USS Protostar hasn’t been too deeply immersed in the franchise thus far, Season 1B dives into the deep end of the world of star trek as they face challenges that will test them like never before. From the first five episodes, I’ve seen the writers of Prodigy have well and truly put the pedal to the medal and taken everything great about the series and dialed it up to 11. The most notable addition is the added dichotomy of Janeway. As Vice admiral Janeway crosses the galaxy in the hopes of rescuing her friend Captain Chakotay and securing the Protostar, she’s fixated that the current crew must hold the answers. Mulgrew never misses a beat in her performance, and while it was a joy to see her sign on to the series as a hologram last season, bringing back that true commanding leadership figure brought a smile to my face. I’m not sure what they give to performers who become Captains for this franchise, but the gravitas has to be admired. However, there’s so much extra here that I can’t wait for fans to see.

Star Trek Prodigy Season 1B is bigger, better, and back for more. Dal and his crew go into the deep end of Star Trek narratives as their hopes of joining the federation hit a major snag. A sci-fi series that caters to all ages but delivers on some big themes and refuses to water down its message.

Star Trek Prodigy Season 1B is a weekly series with the first episode exclusively available now on Paramount+.


Star Trek Prodigy Season 1B
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Star Trek Prodigy Season 1B is bigger, and better, and back for more. Dal and his crew go into the deep end of Star Trek narratives as their hopes of joining the federation hit a major snag. A sci-fi series that caters to all ages but delivers on some big themes and refuses to water down its message.

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