Star Trek: Prodigy
|Star Trek: Prodigy|
|Based on||Star Trek|
by Gene Roddenberry
|Directed by||Ben Hibon|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Related shows||Star Trek TV series|
Star Trek: Prodigy is an upcoming American animated television series created by Kevin and Dan Hageman for the streaming service Paramount+ and the cable channel Nickelodeon. It will launch in 2021 as part of executive producer Alex Kurtzman's expanded Star Trek Universe. Prodigy follows a group of teenagers who use an abandoned starship to search for adventure.
Kate Mulgrew reprises her role as Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager. Rylee Alazraqui, Brett Gray, Angus Imrie, Jason Mantzoukas, Ella Purnell, and Dee Bradley Baker also star. Kurtzman first mentioned the series in January 2019, and it was confirmed a month later with the Hageman brothers set as creators and showrunners. Nickelodeon ordered two seasons of Prodigy that April. The series uses computer-generated animation, differing from previous Star Trek animation, and is intended for younger audiences than the rest of the franchise. Ben Hibon was announced as director in August 2020, and in February 2021, it was revealed to be debuting on Paramount+ before airing on Nickelodeon.
Star Trek: Prodigy is set to premiere in 2021 on Paramount+ with the first 10-episode season. It will then air on Nickelodeon before the second season is released on Paramount+.
Cast and characters
- Kate Mulgrew as Kathryn Janeway: Captain of the USS Voyager who appears as the ship's Emergency Training Hologram.
- Rylee Alazraqui as Rok-Tahk: A shy, eight-year-old Brikar who loves animals.
- Brett Gray as Dal: A 17-year-old "maverick" with a lot of hope.
- Angus Imrie as Zero: A Medusan—a noncorporeal, genderless, energy-based lifeform—who wears a containment suit to stop others from going mad at the sight of them.
- Jason Mantzoukas as Jankom Pog: A 16-year-old Tellarite who always plays devil's advocate.
- Ella Purnell as Gwyn: A 17-year-old Vau N'Akat who dreamed of exploring the stars while growing up on her father's bleak mining planet.
- Dee Bradley Baker as Murf: An indestructible blob with good timing and an appetite for ship parts.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||TBA||Ben Hibon||Kevin & Dan Hageman||2021|
In June 2018, after becoming sole showrunner of the series Star Trek: Discovery, Alex Kurtzman signed a five-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios to expand the Star Trek franchise beyond Discovery to several new series, miniseries, and animated series. After the announcement of adult animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks, Kurtzman said in January 2019 that there would be at least one more animated series released as part of his expansion. This would be a "kids-focused" series that could potentially be released on a different network from the more adult-focused streaming service CBS All Access where the other Star Trek series under Kurtzman are released. Kurtzman said other animated series would be different from Lower Decks in both tone and visual style, with the latter potentially being achieved through the use of different technology.
Kevin and Dan Hageman joined the series as writers by mid-February 2019, when Nickelodeon was in talks to air the show since its viewers match the series' younger target audience. The project was expected to be a "major tentpole series" for the network under its new president Brian Robbins. A month later, Kurtzman confirmed the project and said negotiations with Nickelodeon were almost complete. He expected the series to be ready for release in 2021 or 2022. Nickelodeon officially ordered the series in late April 2019, with the Hageman brothers confirmed to be writing and executive producing the series alongside Kurtzman, Secret Hideout's Heather Kadin, Rod Roddenberry (the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry) and Trevor Roth of Roddenberry Entertainment, and CBS Television's animation executive Katie Krentz. Kadin revealed in October 2019 that the series had received a two-season order from Nickelodeon due to the animation work required for the series, and said it would feature serialized elements. She explained that the Hagemans were hired due to their work on previous children's series that were not "playing down" to the audience and were still watchable for older viewers. Kadin felt the series would be something that older Star Trek fans could watch with their children to introduce them to the franchise since "it’s such a big franchise, [it can be hard] to get into as a kid".
In an article on the Star Trek franchise in January 2020, The Wall Street Journal listed the series as Star Trek: Prodigy. This title was officially confirmed in July, along with a 2021 release date. Ramsey Naito was overseeing the series for Nickelodeon as EVP of Animation Production and Development. Ben Hibon was announced as director, co-executive producer, and creative lead for the series in August 2020. Naito described Hibon as "an incredible storyteller and a world builder with a distinct vision" for the series. In February 2021, ViacomCBS announced that Prodigy would debut on the new streaming service Paramount+ along with the rest of the Star Trek Universe. Paramount+'s EVP of development and programming, Julie McNamara, said they would have the "best of both worlds" with this move by introducing the series to fans of the other Star Trek series on the service before bringing it to new audiences on Nickelodeon. She added that viewership data from CBS All Access showed that fans of Star Trek also watched the animated series The Legend of Korra on the service, and this was another factor in deciding to add Prodigy to Paramount+. At that time, the series was revealed to have been ordered for 20 episodes, with each 10-episode season being aired on Nickelodeon after its Paramount+ debut and before the next season is released.
The Hageman brothers announced the series' writers room in July 2019, which includes Julie and Shawna Benson, Diandra Pendleton-Thompson, Chad Quandt, Aaron Waltke, Lisa Shoop Boyd, Nikhil Jayaram, Erin McNamara, and Keith Sweet. Star Trek author David Mack served as a consultant and adviser on the series. Astrophysicist Erin Macdonald also served as a consultant on the series after being hired as a general science advisor for the Star Trek franchise. Kurtzman stated in August 2020 that the writers were close to completing their work for the first two seasons of the series.
During the 2020 New York Comic Con, Kate Mulgrew was announced to be reprising her role of Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager. Further casting for the series was expected to be revealed in the following months. Kurtzman said bringing Mulgrew back for the series was part of the Hagemans' initial pitch, and he felt their reasoning was compelling enough to meet his requirements that "legacy characters" like Janeway only be brought back for a very specific reason. The production had approached Mulgrew about starring in the series a year before the official announcement, and Kurtzman was surprised that her involvement had not leaked during that time. Mulgrew had initially been reluctant to join the series, but after several months of negotiations she was convinced to reprise her role by the idea of introducing Star Trek to a new generation of fans.
The series' bridge crew features six young misfits, none of whom are human which is a first for the franchise. Billy Campbell revealed in February 2021 that he was reprising his guest role of Thadiun Okona from Star Trek: The Next Generation in the series, and said his role was one of several "legacy characters" that were returning for Prodigy. The voice cast for the series' main cast was announced in June, including Rylee Alazraqui as Rok-Tahk, Brett Gray as Dal, Angus Imrie as Zero, Jason Mantzoukas as Jankom Pog, Ella Purnell as Gwyn, and Dee Bradley Baker as Murf.
Mulgrew revealed in January 2021 that recording for the first season had been completed, and recording on the second season was about to begin.
Kurtzman expected it would take around a year for the series' animation work to be completed. In May 2019, Kurtzman said the series would be nothing like the first animated Star Trek series and was "something that has never been done before" in Star Trek, adding a month later that it also would be a "really different show" from Lower Decks. He explained that unlike the previous animated Star Trek series, this one would feature computer-generated animation and was aiming for a more cinematic style that he compared to the series Love, Death & Robots in terms of "beauty and lighting and cinema". Kadin further compared the style to the Hagemans' previous work on Ninjago and Trollhunters.
Speaking in August 2020, Kurtzman said work on the series' animation was "barreling ahead, full steam ahead" in contrast to the live-action Star Trek series which had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In February 2021, Kurtzman said the series would feature film-quality animation that could hold up if projected in cinemas.
In August 2020, Kurtzman said Nami Melumad had been hired to compose the music for a new Star Trek series after impressing with her work on the Star Trek: Short Treks short "Q&A". He did not reveal which series she had been hired for, but Melumad indicated that it was Prodigy. She was confirmed to be composing for the series in October.
The series' title and logo were officially announced at the virtual Star Trek Universe panel during the July 2020 Comic-Con@Home convention, while Mulgrew's casting was announced at another virtual Star Trek Universe panel for New York Comic Con in October 2020. In February 2021, a first look at the bridge crew of Prodigy was released during the ViacomCBS Investor Day, and a first look at the series' version of Janeway was revealed during the "First Contact Day" virtual event on April 5, 2021, celebrating the franchise on the fictional holiday marking first contact between humans and aliens in the Star Trek universe.
Star Trek: Prodigy is set to premiere in 2021 on the streaming service Paramount+ with its first 10-episode season. The season will then air on Nickelodeon before the second season is released on Paramount+. CTV Sci-Fi Channel will broadcast the series in Canada.
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