TV Party Tonight! #120

TV Party Tonight! #120

Monday, 27 February 2023

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1
[Blu Ray]

What can I possibly say about Star Trek that hasn’t been said already. If you don’t know what it is, get a clue and get on board. I was very late to the party but have since gone very deep. Star Trek is a warm fuzzy place I don’t think I’ll ever want to leave.

For a franchise that has done so much over so many years the idea of Prodigy sounds like a breath of fresh air. Star Trek has always tried to think big in its scope and its message, but there’s only so much you can do in live action (without excessive CGI) on a budget. This is one of the reasons why the original series is so incredible: they built incredible worlds and stories on a relatively small budget. With animation, the sky is the limit, so why not take Star Trek where it was always meant to go.

Look, Star Trek has gotten weird over the years ever since Alex Kurtzman took over. There was a feeling with that show that the creator and writers have no clue what makes Star Trek so great. The show has rhythm, but no soul. Same with Star Trek Picard. And, unfortunately, Lower Decks suffers from a lot of the same pitfalls. Honestly, Prodigy feels like it’s run by a completely different team, removed from everything tainting the rest of Star Trek. That, in and of itself is a relief.

The premise of Prodigy is a little more removed from what we’ve been served so far, in the sense that it’s a bunch of teen misfits being caught up in the current of the Federation. They have no clue what it is, but in trying to escape their imprisonment, form a bond together and try to reach this Federation in order to find safe haven. Of course, its wouldn’t be Star Trek with at least something familiar to ground things, which is where Captain Janeway comes in: a hologram built to guide the captain and crew. The ideas are firmly in place and on paper all of it should work. The results are arguably the best New Trek has been so far. Let’s talk about why that might be a little more.

If it’s one thing ruining Neu Trek is its clunky dialogue, simplistic messages, overcomplicated plots, and annoying pointless characters leading the show. In its short 10 episodes, Prodigy has managed to produce likeable characters, who want to overcome their flaws, who work together, who can deliver believable lines, not to mention pay homage to its series. It’s a testament to how bad the rest of Nu Trek is when a children’s show manages to surpass everything else that’s been done. Prodigy simply stands on its own and manages to drive an interesting plot forward focusing on exploring its ideas and making their characters more complex. And that hologram episode? Just a chef’s kiss. Bravo.

Prodigy has a lot of potential and seems to be led by talented people. One can only hope that season 2 will improve on everything they’ve built, but I’ve said that before about Nu Trek only to see it all come crashing down. But I love Star Trek, and right now Prodigy is our only hope.

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