How Star Trek: Prodigy, kids show, charmed adults
by Jaskiran Kaur | Thu, 10 Feb 2022 19:06:50 GMT
Image Source: Collider

Star Trek: Prodigy, starring Dal (Brett Gray) and his shipmates Gwyn (Ella Purnell), Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui), Jankom Pog (Jason Mantazoukas), Zero (Angus Imrie), and Murf (Dee Bradley Baker), is a tale of children trying their hands at saving the world. Though previously meant for children, the series quickly appealed to adults, too.

The series has already aired about 10 episodes and the pair of series producers, David, and Kevin Hageman, shared with Collider that they are writing episodes 39 and 40 and are working on bringing them along. Yet, the creators are extremely conscious of what they want to do with their series. 

"It's paramount to know your ending. Whether it was our initial pitch for our first 20 episodes or our next 20 episodes, we always have to know the ending and that's what we're writing toward," shared Hageman. "And that's why... I mean, hopefully, episode 10 was really fulfilling and satisfying for you because how we mentally break it out in our heads, it's like, "Okay, just ten episodes at a time."

The series recently got done with a Big Bad character and is on the way to building on the next one. Explaining what that specific new character could be like, Kevin Hageman said, "In the next 10 episodes, and you'll see it in this end tag, we were inspired by the movie The Fugitive. In The Fugitive, we love Harrison Ford, but you also love Tommy Lee Jones who's hunting down Harrison Ford. He's not a bad guy. He's just doing his job."

"So we fell in love with this idea that the real Vice Admiral Janeway is going to be hunting them down," continued the creator. "But she doesn't know. It's a mystery. The Protostar, the ship that used to belong to Chakotay, and who's behind the wheel now."

The series strongly takes after Star Trek: Voyager, and also employs Kate Mulgrew and Robert Beltran to reprise their voice acting roles. Revealing that the creators did not think of adding in so many Voyagers even if the OG cast would come back for their roles. 

Explaining why the series is the way it is, Dan Hageman explained, "Once you have Janeway there, you look into what are Janeway's wants and needs, so to speak. She wants to find that personal relationship between her and Chakotay. It's so powerful. So that's what her motivation is, is she's trying to get answers just like everybody else about what happened to Chakotay."

The character arc and the story slowly built in momentum as the episodes picked pace. "I love how at the beginning of our show, we're outside of Federation space. We're far out. And so some people are like, "Oh, how is this Star Trek?" I'm like, "Just wait. Just wait. This is the concept," gushed Hageman. "They're going to get closer and closer." And now, what's so fun is you get this end tag, and you're like, "Oh yeah. This is canon. There are existing living Star Trek legacy characters who will be in this show."

The creators also made sure that viewers of all ages could get to understand where the story is headed. "I think if you were to look at the show through kids' eyes, do you think they care who Chakotay is? We probably don't. We do as adults," he said. "But what the kids now care for is Hologram Janeway, which means they're going to care for Admiral Janeway, and Admiral Janeway cares about Chakotay. So now, they're going to care about Chakotay. So that's why we have to take our time to get to this place."

The creators also ensure that they do not get carried away by the love that they received from their adult viewers who are already familiar with the story. They made sure to take it slow so that everyone was on the same page and that the kids could also enjoy what was going on. Most importantly, the creators said they ensured the series did not turn into fanfiction as viewers added their thoughts about the show on social media. 

"That's something that we don't feel comfortable just coming on in writing our own fan fiction and having it be filmed. We're talking to people. We're talking to Kate. We're talking to Robert,' said Dan. "We're holding onto the rollercoaster, and we're just crossing our fingers and hoping that people like this because it's not like live-action where you can kind of maneuver a little bit more," added Kevin. 

The writers also poured heart and soul into creating the uniforms of the characters and how they evolved with time. At times the creators themselves are overwhelmed by the sheer brilliance and marvel of what they get to create with Star Trek. "I mean, we've had a bunch of those moments where we're like, "Here we are. We're going to design what the Protostar looks like," shared Dan.

Explaining the hard work that goes behind it all, he said, "And in every single one it's like we have sometimes 10 people all looking at this, talking about, coming up with the decisions. It's a great honor. It makes us... We have to pinch ourselves all the time."

The creators also shared that the uniforms do not have any insignia for rank distinction. "We want them to earn that," said Kevin. "You have got like karate belts. Like, you got your white belt, and you're going to get your yellow belt," added Dan.

The show is also open to bringing in more new characters but only as many as the viewers can keep track of. "We don't want to make our show unmanageable where we have too many characters to follow." However, there will be a lot of fun as the prodigy crew of the ship meets new people. "But I definitely can say... You know? Like every show, they're going to be meeting allies, they're going to be meeting friendlies and not so friendlies. And we'll see who makes it onto the bridge."