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

Jason_V

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I'm not even talking billboards. I'm talking the stuff you're talking about: trailers, teasers...

I mean, let's be real: Strange New Worlds doesn't have a soundtrack release yet. Picard S2's home video release was just plopped into October, half a year away from the new season (generally, but not always, the prior season is used to promote the new one). It all just feels extremely slipshod to me. Basic things I'm talking about.

I really do wish there was a "Next Time on..." trailer played right before the end credits of all the shows, just like they did for all the classic shows. They are making the trailers...they're just sending them to YouTube.

But I disgress. This is about Prodigy. I have been listening to the soundtrack quite a bit and really dig the music. I look forward to (hopefully) seeing this new episode before a really long and goo week starts tomorrow.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The release schedule is weird.

The new episodes that started last night are still considered part of season 1 - the same season 1 that began over a year ago. They had a quarter-season finale after five episodes taking a several month break, and then a mid-season finale after the tenth episode and have been off the air for about ten months.

The upcoming disc will be those first ten episodes from last year rather than a complete first season.

It really doesn’t make any sense to me.
It's because it's a Nickelodeon production. Nickelodeon's business model has long favored large season orders that can then be spread out as the network sees fit for airing.
 

Josh Steinberg

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It's because it's a Nickelodeon production. Nickelodeon's business model has long favored large season orders that can then be spread out as the network sees fit for airing.

That’s what I figured out too after doing some digging - this may be the first Nick show I’ve seen in three decades :D

I got a chance to watch the new episode last night and while this was still my least favorite of the new Trek shows, I found myself more into it than I had any of the prior episodes. I’m looking forward to seeing more.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I enjoyed it too. It helps that the kids are now at least trying to do the right thing. And the idea of the Protostar as a Trojan Horse is an interesting one, as is the potential for the real Janeway to be led down the wrong path by Gwyn's father.
 

TonyD

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I had no idea this was back either.

The release schedule for this show is nuts.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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A bit surprised they did the Borg on a kids' show. I'm thinking the cube's (initially) dormant state may be due to an encounter with Vice Admiral Janeway, since she has a history of using neurolytic pathogens to disrupt Borg collectives.

It bugs me when shows say things like "the device is impossible to destroy, and impossible to turn off". They wouldn't have any way to know that conclusively. Instead, just say "the Borg didn't have any information on how to destroy the device or turn it off."
 

Josh Steinberg

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A bit surprised they did the Borg on a kids' show.

I guess if your children’s show’s first episode is slavery and child abuse, the Borg are rosy by comparison?

My kids are 3 so we’re a ways off from this kind of TV for them anyway, but at this point, I’d honestly feel more comfortable cherry-picking TOS and TNG episodes for their intro to Trek than Prodigy. I think it would be easier for me to find a TOS episode that I’d feel comfortable showing a 5 or 6 year old than most of what’s been on Prodigy.

Visually and stylistically, Prodigy seems to be emulating Clone Wars but I’m not sure that Star Trek lends itself to that approach story-wise as well as Star Wars does. And while I personally find it thrilling to spend more time with Janeway, that feels like something that would be completely lost on the age group Prodigy is targeting.

But I’ll also be the first to admit that I don’t know what is considered appropriate for age 7 anymore. Maybe I’m being an old fuddy-duddy. It’s a much different landscape out there than when I was 7!
 

Adam Lenhardt

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There was a lot of exciting goings-on in this week's episode, with the real Janeway playing her most prominent role yet. I also thought that the episode made better use of Okona as a shitty, low-rent Han Solo than the infamous episode "The Outrageous Okona" did.

But I'm always frustrated when the conflict in a story could be resolved if the characters just talked with one another and explained themselves. I can understand why they couldn't answer the hail when the Dauntless was chasing them, but back in the spaceport, they could have just turned themselves in and explained what was going on. Yes, the attendant of that remote outpost was a lying turd, but Admiral Janeway clearly didn't believe his BS entirely. If the kids had just told the truth, a lot of what happened (including a potential war with the Romulans) could have been averted.

I did think it was interesting that Tellarites are apparently actually two closely related races: The human-sized (or even a bit taller) Tellarites with the prominent cheek tusks seen in "Enterprise" and the smaller "pog" Tellarites who don't have the cheek tusks and are on average about a head shorter than humans and Vulcans seen in the original series.
 

Jason_V

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I'm weeks behind in Prodigy, but I'm trying to catch up a little at a time. I've gotten through "Crossroads" and "Masquerade" (Episodes 14 and 15). This show, finally, is starting to ramp up and feel like something I can get behind every week. There are real stakes, the main characters have settled into themselves and there is a real continuing story.

There is one thing I cringe at, though, when it happens: there are entirely too many callbacks to prior Trek for a sub-half hour show. Xindi, orbital skydiving, Okona (a rather big call back, to be sure), a Klingon who looks like he's straight out of ST: TMP or ST III, Admiral Jelico (sure, nice for longtime fans but who was clamoring for more Jelico?). I'm probably just being over critical...but believe me, there two episodes are pretty darn good and propel the story forward.
 

Jason_V

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Watched "Preludes" last night (1x16, if anyone is counting). There's something about this episode which is hitting me weird. On the one hand, it gives great background to most of the main characters by showing their backstories. It's a believable way of doing this-waiting for the Protostar to power up-and gave me a few "huh, okay" moments. But then it also feels like a filler episode because the writers had no idea what else to do.

The main story of getting to Starfleet and then running from Janeway is serviced pretty well here, so there is movement forward on the season/series arc. We get to know our characters on a different level. But I'm still frustrated by this episode for some reason and I don't know why. Maybe it feels like filler to me but then I can't quite bring myself to say either the real Janeway story or the background information on the crew are the filler?

One thing I did note for the first time: the opening credits of the Protostar zipping around the screen show the ship zipping around some of our main characters...Zero, Gwynn, Janeway and Rok-Tahk. I literally just noticed that this week. 🤯
 

Josh Steinberg

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Jason: I haven’t had a chance to watch that episode yet but if anything hits me weird I’ll let you know. We often have similar sensibilities here :)
 

Josh Steinberg

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Since I’m on a little bit of a roll with official new Trek reviews for HTF, I put in a request for the upcoming Blu-ray of episodes 1-10. I look forward to watching them closer together and seeing if my reaction to the show’s content is any different in those circumstances. Rewatching season 2 of Picard and season 4 of Discovery made some of their flaws more apparent to me than they had felt on first airing; I wonder if the opposite will happen here.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Watched "Preludes" last night (1x16, if anyone is counting). There's something about this episode which is hitting me weird. On the one hand, it gives great background to most of the main characters by showing their backstories. It's a believable way of doing this-waiting for the Protostar to power up-and gave me a few "huh, okay" moments. But then it also feels like a filler episode because the writers had no idea what else to do.

The main story of getting to Starfleet and then running from Janeway is serviced pretty well here, so there is movement forward on the season/series arc. We get to know our characters on a different level. But I'm still frustrated by this episode for some reason and I don't know why. Maybe it feels like filler to me but then I can't quite bring myself to say either the real Janeway story or the background information on the crew are the filler?

One thing I did note for the first time: the opening credits of the Protostar zipping around the screen show the ship zipping around some of our main characters...Zero, Gwynn, Janeway and Rok-Tahk. I literally just noticed that this week. 🤯

Ok, so I’m not sure I have the right words to explain this, but I think the thing is… it feels hollow. When I watch most of the other Trek shows, I can just feel that the characters have lives offscreen from what we see - that they were real people with full lives before we met them and do other stuff between episodes. I’m not sure that this show has made it to that level with me - the characters seem more like constructs and don’t present as having rich inner lives. They feel like chess pieces for the writers more than people.

We learn some backstory but it often seems like stuff of no consequence - I’m not sure that our understanding of any of the characters really changes, or that we learn anything that takes us by surprise. It’s almost like the thing you’d want to learn about a character happens before the thing they actually show us.

Now this next thing is probably on me but I’ll admit it anyway: I find this show hard to follow. Now that’s something I can’t explain. I mean, Twin Peaks makes perfect logical sense to me! I don’t find Christopher Nolan films to be even the slightest bit confusing! When a Marvel movie or show does a callback to something that happened for five seconds like twenty movies earlier, I instantly remember it! But with this show…I don’t get why I don’t get it. Nothing sticks in my head.

Nothing in this episode helped me with that problem I’m having. None of the characters seemed more real to me as a result of their disclosures. I don’t know what outcome I’m supposed to be expecting or rooting for.

I remain hopeful that starting over at the beginning might fix some of this for me.

I’m sorry I can’t better put my finger on it, Jason, but I’m in agreement that instead of being a fulfilling backstory episode, it felt a bit like “here’s some information that doesn’t really change anything to hold you over while we pause the main storyline”.
 

TJPC

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As I mentioned before, I am a Star Trek “completest” and as such, I am making myself watch this juvenile show, and will buy the Blu rays. Although I’ll admit it has improved a bit since returning, I still find it very heavy going. Right now I am 3 behind. I basically can’t “get into” it at all. I have fallen asleep while plowing through it many times.
 

Jason_V

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Ok, so I’m not sure I have the right words to explain this, but I think the thing is… it feels hollow. When I watch most of the other Trek shows, I can just feel that the characters have lives offscreen from what we see - that they were real people with full lives before we met them and do other stuff between episodes. I’m not sure that this show has made it to that level with me - the characters seem more like constructs and don’t present as having rich inner lives. They feel like chess pieces for the writers more than people.

We learn some backstory but it often seems like stuff of no consequence - I’m not sure that our understanding of any of the characters really changes, or that we learn anything that takes us by surprise. It’s almost like the thing you’d want to learn about a character happens before the thing they actually show us.

Now this next thing is probably on me but I’ll admit it anyway: I find this show hard to follow. Now that’s something I can’t explain. I mean, Twin Peaks makes perfect logical sense to me! I don’t find Christopher Nolan films to be even the slightest bit confusing! When a Marvel movie or show does a callback to something that happened for five seconds like twenty movies earlier, I instantly remember it! But with this show…I don’t get why I don’t get it. Nothing sticks in my head.

Nothing in this episode helped me with that problem I’m having. None of the characters seemed more real to me as a result of their disclosures. I don’t know what outcome I’m supposed to be expecting or rooting for.

I remain hopeful that starting over at the beginning might fix some of this for me.

I’m sorry I can’t better put my finger on it, Jason, but I’m in agreement that instead of being a fulfilling backstory episode, it felt a bit like “here’s some information that doesn’t really change anything to hold you over while we pause the main storyline”.

Josh, Please take this in the spirit it is intended: I am glad you see the same thing I do and the issues are not just "in my head." :) That episode is super important to the entire series and the characters...but falls flat. It feels like filler...but isn't. I can admire the individual episodes and enjoy (no, love) the music and the look, but nothing is sticking with me, either.

Granted, we are less than 20 episodes into the series...a series which split the first 10 episodes into 5 episode chunks and has let the last ten episodes actually play in a continuous string. I don't know if I knew how to spell and pronounce any character names from TNG or DS9 this early in the series (I suspect I did, though); when Tasha died in "Skin of Evil," I was bawling my eyes out on the couch even though I knew it was coming.

I'm not connecting the way I should be with Prodigy. Ask me what happened in any episode and I'm going to say "uh, um, well, isn't that the one with the Xindi...or Okona...or this thing that calls back to prior Trek?" My answer isn't "that's the one where Dal learns it's about the team and not himself...or that's the one where real Janeway picks up the Diviner."

I did commit to catching up over the weekend. Good plotlines, a twist with holo Janeway, but again, two different episodes using classic Trek tropes: mind swapping and holodeck gone bananas. Can we get something new, please? Anyone? It's almost like Prodigy was trying too hard to bring in the Nickelodeon audience at first and now it's swung WAY to the other way to bring in the Trek audience. It has to settle down into being what it wants to be if it's going to be successful.
 

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Josh, Please take this in the spirit it is intended: I am glad you see the same thing I do and the issues are not just "in my head." :) That episode is super important to the entire series and the characters...but falls flat. It feels like filler...but isn't. I can admire the individual episodes and enjoy (no, love) the music and the look, but nothing is sticking with me, either.

Yeah, it’s a little bit of a head scratcher. Usually I’m able to more clearly tell if the issue is with me or if the issue is with the show but this leaves me a little flummoxed. Maybe it’s both - I’m not the target audience nor am I overly familiar with contemporary programming for this age group, and there are times where the show falls flat.

I keep coming back to the notion that someone higher up said “Get me a Star Trek cartoon that’s like the Star Wars (Clone Wars) cartoon” and that’s what we got. And yet, I love Clone Wars. I think it works for the age group it’s targeted at and it works for this longtime Star Wars viewer.

I also have this pet peeve with plotting when an entire story depends on smart characters being misled by lies from characters they shouldn’t be fooled by, which isn’t helped when the audience is aware of the deception. Janeway has never been portrayed as being stupid. The Diviner (goodness, I hate that name) is an untrustworthy, mustache-twirling, obviously full of it villain. That he’s pulling the wool over Janeway’s eyes is something I can’t quite buy - if that lasted for half an episode, sure, but not for as long as this has been going on. It’s one of those things where we just know that she’s gonna figure it out and that he’s going to lose, so drawing it out this long just feels like wasting time. It’s almost like a meaner version of “Lost in Space” villainy.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I’m not sure that this show has made it to that level with me - the characters seem more like constructs and don’t present as having rich inner lives. They feel like chess pieces for the writers more than people.
I think that is mainly due to the constraints of children's television. The characters need to be broad and colorful, but they also need to be surrogates for the kids watching. Too much development or backstory impedes the characters imagining themselves as the characters.

We learn some backstory but it often seems like stuff of no consequence - I’m not sure that our understanding of any of the characters really changes, or that we learn anything that takes us by surprise.
I thought Gwynn's backstory has been really well-handled, accompanied as its been by a moral awakening. The other backstories have been less effective.

Augments have such a particular weight and import to the Star Trek mythology that they shouldn't be brought into a story lightly. It seems like they wanted to have an obstacle between Dal and joining Starfleet, so they grabbed onto that. But Dal doesn't have any of the traits that make Augments so feared and so shunned.

Rok's backstory was more or less what we expected it to be; sad, but not surprising.

Did we know that Medusans were non-corporal before this series? I knew they were non-humanoid, and insanity-inducing, but before Zero I had always pictured some sort of Lovecraftian nightmare rather than energy and light.

Of the one-off backstories, my favorite was Jankom Pog's. We got to learn that he ended up sold into slavery after doing something genuinely heroic, and we learned why he so often refers to himself in the third person.

As I mentioned before, I am a Star Trek “completest” and as such, I am making myself watch this juvenile show, and will buy the Blu rays. Although I’ll admit it has improved a bit since returning, I still find it very heavy going. Right now I am 3 behind. I basically can’t “get into” it at all. I have fallen asleep while plowing through it many times.
This stretch of episodes started out slow for me, but once they encountered the real Janeway, I got a lot more invested. I'm really enjoying having such an extended story arc set in the TNG post-Nemesis era.

I did commit to catching up over the weekend. Good plotlines, a twist with holo Janeway, but again, two different episodes using classic Trek tropes: mind swapping and holodeck gone bananas. Can we get something new, please? Anyone? It's almost like Prodigy was trying too hard to bring in the Nickelodeon audience at first and now it's swung WAY to the other way to bring in the Trek audience. It has to settle down into being what it wants to be if it's going to be successful.
While those are both definitely overused tropes, I liked how they were deployed here. The holodeck episode gave them insights into one another, and forced them to leverage their new insight to work as a team and figure out the cause of their quandary.

The mind swap episode, on the other hand, was just a blast from beginning to end for me. Brett Gray was surprisingly adept at channeling Janeway; even though it was his voice the whole way through, I quickly forgot it was Gray and just accepted that it was Janeway in Dal's body. And Kate Mulgrew was genuinely hilarious as Dal in Janeway's body. For an actress who is so dignified normally, it was a ton of fun to hear her completely abandon that dignity and commit to the bit.

I also have this pet peeve with plotting when an entire story depends on smart characters being misled by lies from characters they shouldn’t be fooled by, which isn’t helped when the audience is aware of the deception.
I agree, but I don't think that's the case here. With the exception of not being able to figure out a means to communicate with the Dauntless without using comms, I don't think the show depended on either Janeway nor the kids being stupid to execute the plot.

Janeway has never been portrayed as being stupid. The Diviner (goodness, I hate that name) is an untrustworthy, mustache-twirling, obviously full of it villain. That he’s pulling the wool over Janeway’s eyes is something I can’t quite buy - if that lasted for half an episode, sure, but not for as long as this has been going on.
Except he's not pulling the wool over Janeway's eyes; when he's rescued by Starfleet, he doesn't even remember his mission. It isn't until the Vindicator restores his memories that he remembers what his goals were.

From there, a series of unfortunately timed events impede a successful resolution:
  • Janeway discovers that Ensign Ascencia is actually a Vau N'Akat agent, but before she can act on that discovery, she's knocked unconscious.
  • When her body regains consciousness, it's occupied by Dal's mind. He doesn't know that Ensign Ascencia is a Vau N'Akat spy, and nor does he know how to behave so that Janeway isn't found unfit for duty.
  • After the stunt to swap consciousnesses back, Janeway finds herself relieved of duty and in the brig under some sort of psychiatric hold. She is able to convince her guard to let her out, but not fast enough.
It’s one of those things where we just know that she’s gonna figure it out and that he’s going to lose, so drawing it out this long just feels like wasting time. It’s almost like a meaner version of “Lost in Space” villainy.
While we know that Starfleet doesn't cease to exist in 2384, it's not looking good going into next week's finale.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Mostly strong finale, I thought, that sets up a third season that has the potential to be a lot more interesting than the first two.

My main issue with the finale is how the main crisis was resolved:
The finale suffers from the Phantom Menace conceit of taking out the central control taking out everything else. I get that the weapon was on board the Protostar, but its method of attack was presented as a virus than transmits over any communications method. The Diviner's people would have wanted the destruction to spread as far as possible, so it makes no sense that the infections would be reliant on the weapon to be sustained.

I do wonder if:
Gwyndala is gone for good. She was one of my favorite characters during the first two seasons.

With regard to the Protostar technology:
There has to be some reason why the technology isn't commonplace by the "Picard" era, given that it would seem to eliminate the need for a jump drive.
 

Josh Steinberg

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that sets up a third season

Gentle note: the next season will be the second season, assuming that this is indeed the official end of the first season and not simply another year long break before more season one episodes.
 

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