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Paramount+ Star Trek: Prodigy (Paramount+) (1 Viewer)

Nelson Au

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I hard time watching Kobayashi as I was getting sleepy. But when I saw and heard the cast and voice of the legacy characters it woke me up! I was wondering what the heck is going on?!

I also heard the audio quality difference from the different sources. But I could forgive that given what they were trying to do. What I was more struck by was the rather mechanical way the dialogue was inserted. Almost like a ransom note made up of letters cut and pasted from magazines. Cutting and pasting lines from each show to fit the intent of the scene. But it was ok, it was kind of fun seeing that. Agreed that Scotty should have been in his TOS uniform for consistency. Oh yeah, it was a nice little cameo too that Gate McFadden recorded new dialogue for this episode. So it was fun they are getting more Star Trek actors coming back to act in the new series.

What a great feasibility study for how they could remaster Star Trek TOS TAS!
 

Adam Lenhardt

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With this week's episode, we're starting to see Hologram Janeway exist as more of a character and less of a ship component, as she tries to piece together what the hell happened to the original Protostar crew and her own memories.

The kids using the teleporter for totally frivolous purposes is something that would never happen on the other Trek shows (even "Lower Decks", where transporters aren't a novelty) but something that I could totally see a group at their maturity level doing without meaningful adult supervision.

I had to revisit the previous episode, because I was a bit confused about the stellar geography involved; I had thought they had jumped from the Delta Quadrant halfway across the galaxy to the Gamma Quadrant, but it actually "only" 4,000 lightyears. Still way further and way faster than anything we've seen aside from Discovery's spore drive. But "only" two and a half years or so at Warp 9. It would have been years since the Ferengi sold Dal to the Diviner, so it's plausible that she could have made it that far by the time the Protostar encountered her. It's less plausible that she would have been able to connect with the Diviner in any meaningful way.
 

Greg.K

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I really enjoyed this episode. i suppose I shouldn’t laugh but it was really funny when following the success of the test, the Enterprise was accidentally destroyed because of the feet on the desk.
Would have been perfect for Lower Decks. The thing I hated about it was that but for that one mistake, the Kobayashi Maru test WAS beatable, and by a kid.


I'll go with Spock as first officer (again, like Adam said, the sound quality from one line to the next was very noticeable...it was off putting for me).
It reminded me of the Carrie Fisher dialog inserted into Rise of Skywalker.
 
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joshEH

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With this week's episode, we're starting to see Hologram Janeway exist as more of a character and less of a ship component, as she tries to piece together what the hell happened to the original Protostar crew and her own memories.

The kids using the teleporter for totally frivolous purposes is something that would never happen on the other Trek shows (even "Lower Decks", where transporters aren't a novelty) but something that I could totally see a group at their maturity level doing without meaningful adult supervision.

I had to revisit the previous episode, because I was a bit confused about the stellar geography involved; I had thought they had jumped from the Delta Quadrant halfway across the galaxy to the Gamma Quadrant, but it actually "only" 4,000 lightyears. Still way further and way faster than anything we've seen aside from Discovery's spore drive. But "only" two and a half years or so at Warp 9. It would have been years since the Ferengi sold Dal to the Diviner, so it's plausible that she could have made it that far by the time the Protostar encountered her. It's less plausible that she would have been able to connect with the Diviner in any meaningful way.

Also, as we saw on Star Trek: Picard, by this time-period, ships know how to access Borg transwarp-conduits, so this could've been another means by which DaiMon Nandi was able to travel to the Gamma Quadrant. (I also love the idea of Nandi being a pre-Rom Ferengi who slipped through the Barzan wormhole over two decades ago and never looked back. A whole quadrant to do her thing in without the FCA breathing down her neck for earning profit.)

I thought this was a good episode, which served as an introduction of sorts to kiddos of several aspects of the wider Trek-universe, from transporters to the Prime Directive to the Ferengi. I have to say that while it's a bit weird to see a Ferengi so far afield, they do make perfect antagonists for a kids' show, as they're irksome without being genuinely threatening. The writers did their homework quoting Behr and Wolfe's Rules of Acquisition, as well.

The episode wasn't just memberberries for Trek-fans, however. This episode was solid when it came to developing Dal's character into something more compelling. Not only do we see some of Dal's backstory, we also get to see him make a big mistake, own up to it, yet continue to suffer consequences from it (the loss of respect of Holo-Janeway), and hopefully grow more as a person. Gwyn's empathy for his situation was well played, too.

If there was any fault here, it's just that the supporting characters really had no role this week -- the episode could have run exactly the same if Jankom Pog, Rok-Tahk, and Zero had stayed onboard the ship.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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This week's episode was a good exploration of the importance of teamwork, as each member of the crew contributed something to the ultimate solution.

I was a bit unclear how they various timeframes interacted with each other. It was clear that Hologram Janeway could reorient between the various timeframes, and retain her knowledge and experiences. But I wasn't really sure if things that happened in one timeframe would affect the other, faster timeframes. For example, when Dal built the warp matrix, did the finished product appear in some of the other timeframes? Or did each timeframe have to rebuild from scratch, with only the knowledge passed along by Hologram Janeway?

When Drednok deleted Hologram Janeway's program, for instance, it was also erased in the other timeframes. But because Rok's timeframe was so slow, the Hologram Janeway program was still in the RAM and could be copied back to longer term storage.

Also, as we saw on Star Trek: Picard, by this time-period, ships know how to access Borg transwarp-conduits, so this could've been another means by which DaiMon Nandi was able to travel to the Gamma Quadrant.
I appreciated that this week's episode answered the question; at top speed, the Diviner is still months away from the Protostar after its jump. So that suggests a top warp speed faster than Warp 9, but still far, far slower than the protostar engine.

It's also interesting that Hologram Janeway just rolled with the fact that these kids aren't actually Starfleet Academy cadets, which I suspect she had long ago realized. That furthers my thought that Starfleet had planned for others taking possession of this ship, and perhaps even intended for them to do so.
 

Greg.K

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It's also interesting that Hologram Janeway just rolled with the fact that these kids aren't actually Starfleet Academy cadets, which I suspect she had long ago realized. That furthers my thought that Starfleet had planned for others taking possession of this ship, and perhaps even intended for them to do so.
I think Zero's offscreen explanation of the circumstances went a long way towards Janeway's acceptance.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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It seems clear after watching today's episode that next week's episode was designed to lead into the mid-season hiatus. The fact that there was already a mid-season hiatus, after episode 5, screws up the flow a little bit.

It was nice to see the crew really function as a cohesive whole this week. Dal is finally taking the responsibilities of captain more seriously.

I still don't have a really great handle on scale when it comes to these characters, given that they're all aliens and adolescents or younger, but this episode presented them together side by side more than previous episodes. Rok is clearly the biggest, even though she's the youngest. Then Gwyn is the next tallest, almost a full head taller than Dal. Dal in turn is about a head taller than Jankom, who only comes up to Gwyn's waist. Zero is about the same size as Jankom, but that's really just his/its containment unit rather than any sort of genuine physiology. Jankom is the most useful for making any conclusions, since the Tellarites are the species we've seen the most of in prior Trek. If I recall correctly, they were usually about a head shorter than a human male. If that's the case, and if Jankom is fully grown, Dal's species is roughly human-sized and Gwynn's species is quite a bit taller. It's hard to say without seeing any of them standing next to Janeway on level footing.

The Starfleet uniforms they adopted this week appear to be the same style that Chakotay was wearing in the hologram recording from when he was captain of the Protostar. I definitely don't recognize them, which might mean that the timeline is murkier than we thought. Episode six established that 2366 was 17 years prior, which supports the show's "present day" being 2383. But if the uniforms we saw this week aren't some sort of specialized variant, then the most likely explanation is that they're a uniform that comes after the "Picard"-era uniforms. Last week, the Janeway hologram gave the stardate as 607125.6, which would put the date sometime in the mid-26th century according to the Gregorian calendar -- well after "Picard" but well before the current season of "Discovery". However, there were all sorts of temporal anomalies going on last week, so there's no reason to believe that the stardate she listed was accurate. Aaron J. Waltke has promised that we'll get the actual stardate in next week's midseason finale:
 

Josh Steinberg

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The fact that there was already a mid-season hiatus, after episode 5, screws up the flow a little bit.

That’s the understatement of the year!

I don’t see how running five episodes, then taking a two month break, then running five more episodes, and then taking an eight month break, is conducive to building an audience, let along being respectful of an audience paying a premium price for a premium service.

I’m happy to forgive any pandemic-induced delays (on one hand it’s amazing any new content is happening at all), but since P+ isn’t being transparent about the cause of delay and instead promoting these breaks as if they’re a positive for the audience, it’s difficult to give them that benefit. Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. :)
 

Adam Lenhardt

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While today's episode is officially the "mid-season finale", these first ten episodes sure felt like a complete season. I'm guessing the twenty-episode order was less about telling a twenty-episode season and more about the economics of children's programming, which is always geared toward fewer orders with more episodes in each order. There are a couple cliffhangers, but the storylines established in the series premiere are pretty much wrapped up by the end of this episode.

The backstory of the Vau N'Akat felt like a cross between two previous episodes: The Voyager episode "Distant Origin", in which Voth society is built around racial superiority rooted in the doctrine that the Voth evolved first and were therefore entitled to lead, and the early TNG episode "Too Short a Season", where Admiral Jameson inadvertantly triggered decades of cataclysmic civil war through technological contamination.

In this case, though, it sounds like the Vau N'Akat were basically a society reminiscent of what Earth would have been like had the Nazis succeeded in conquering the world, and it was ultimately that ideology that was their undoing. At some point in the coming decades, the Vau N'Akat would breach the warp barrier, and the Federation would establish first contact. The Federation's ideals of universal rights, multiculturalism, and many species working together to achieve common goals would have been an extreme shock to their system. And the mere fact that the Federation was so much more advanced than the Vau N'Akat would have fundamentally undermined the Vau N'Akat ideology that they were superior to all others. In this case, mere exposure to the Federation's ideas was enough to light the match: the Vau N'Akat were the architects of their own destruction, the clash between those who clung fiercely to the old ways and those who recognized the promise and possibilities of what the Federation had to offer.

It's an open question whether the Diviner had always been intended to destroy the Federation, or if he was exceeding his mandate. The dilemma posed by his species and their fate pits the Prime Directive against the Temporal Prime Directive. On one hand, it should have been easy enough to simply explain to the Federation the disaster that would arise from first contact, and seek their help in averting it -- certainly by avoiding contact, but perhaps even by covertly sabotaging efforts to leave their own solar system. On the other hand, the Federation might not agree to rewrite history in such a significant way, even for such a noble reason. In the past, when the Federation has benefited from changes to the timeline, it's always been on the "better to ask forgiveness than permission" principle.

We also finally have a canonical stardate in this series: 61103.1. IIRC, the "Lower Decks" Stardates are in the 57000s, so 61103.1 would make sense for a few years later.

The final scene, introducing the real Janeway for the first time on this series, raised more questions than it answered. It's yet another Starfleet uniform we've never seen before. Of the canical uniforms, it's the most similar to the "Lower Decks" uniforms, with the fold over jacket -- but without the white stripe separating the black shoulders from the division colors, and without the "V" cut at the waist line. However, it's arguably the most similar to the uniforms used in the alternate futures seen in "All Good Things...", "The Visitor", "Timeless", and "Endgame", with only a few key differences: the shoulders are black like the TNG era uniforms, and the foldover top goes over the pants rather than tucked awkwardly into them. The combadges are also a match for the future uniforms from those episodes, only with the colors inverted: A gold outline of the Starfleet insignia over a silver background, instead of a silver outline of the Starfleet insignia over a gold background. All of which raises the question: Is this the Admiral Janeway from 2384 in the main timeline, or is she another future Janeway from an alternate timeline, whose actions in the past will erase her from existence?
 

Jason_V

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While today's episode is officially the "mid-season finale", these first ten episodes sure felt like a complete season. I'm guessing the twenty-episode order was less about telling a twenty-episode season and more about the economics of children's programming, which is always geared toward fewer orders with more episodes in each order. There are a couple cliffhangers, but the storylines established in the series premiere are pretty much wrapped up by the end of this episode.

Absolutely 100%. The earlier forced break felt that way: forced. Having this two parter be the actual mid-season finale felt like it was more thought out in terms of pacing than what came before it. I would have even gone the extra route of putting an extra episode in the mix and then making Part 1 the actual finale. It had all the hallmarks of a classic Trek finale: stakes, action, the crew in an impossible situation, moral quandary, the bad guy winning, etc. But, I'm also a realist: the intended audience for this show likely won't hang on long enough for Prodigy to come back and finish the story, so it had to be complete.

This was a emotional two parter for any number of reasons and I enjoyed every second of both shows immensely (watched them back to back over the weekend). There was the big, overarching plot of whether the crew puts the needs of the many (the enslaved) over the needs of the few (the crew). There was the actual motivation behind the Diviner and his reasons for doing what he's doing. There were battles, there were character moments, there were great visuals, each character had their moment to shine, there was a beheading, stakes got raised, an undercurrent of something the audience knows but the characters don't...and then the pit in your stomach when things don't go the way you want them to for our characters.

Which leads to what Adam was talking about: if first contact with the Federation destroys (in the long run) Vau N'Akat, okay, I can buy into that. The Diviner's plan seems to say that an eye for an eye is the way to go...you destroy my world and I destroy all of Starfleet, or the Federation? That's the definition of an Evil Person Plan. The disaster hasn't happened yet, so why not talk to the Federation before simply trying to destroy them? I mean, the Diviner has been looking for the Protostar for EVER to get to Starfleet, right? I guess he has so much animosity and anger that he's blinded by all of it...which makes sense.

Really great stuff here, I think, hitting on all the hallmarks of great Trek.
 

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