Star Trek: Prodigy’s Showrunners On Giving Fans What Live-Action Trek Shows Haven't, And Bucking 'Kid's Show' Expectations

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Prodigy episode “Crossroads.” Read at your own risk!

Star Trek: Prodigy currently stands as the "kid’s show" of the franchise, and I use quotes there because there are deservedly more than a few adult Trek fanatics out there who are quite invested in this story. Star Trek: Voyager fans in particular are tuning in for more updates on what may happen between Janeway and Chakotay, while others have quickly realized the animated series can pull off ideas that simply can’t be tackled in live-action. Audiences are impressed, yours truly clearly included, and I recently had a chance to speak to showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman about going where no show has gone before, so to speak.

I talked to Kevin and Dan Hageman about the kinds of conversations they have with Trek franchise head Alex Kurtzman, as well as other series' showrunners, when it comes to pitching ideas for what they want to do within Prodigy. When I asked if they felt they had a seat at the table when it came to making overarching decisions that impact the Star Trek lore, and Dan Hageman confirmed they’ve always felt respected by their fellow showrunners despite being more geared to youngful viewers. In his words:

I think they’ve always given us our respect. I think when they hear what the show’s about and the emotions they bring to it, I think they realize that, yes, it’s a kid’s show, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be something for everybody.

It’s not entirely surprising to hear that other Star Trek showrunners are fully respectful of what Prodigy is trying to do, and definitely cool how the series has used its beautifully animated episodes to tackle things the franchise hadn’t previously. Dan Hageman specifically pointed to the Borg representations in “Let Sleeping Borg Lie," where they showed other assimilated species beyond the typical humanoid Borgs. 

Kevin Hageman added that there’s something else Star Trek: Prodigy was able to show viewers that they haven’t previously seen. Zero willingly entered the Borg Collective in a risky gambit, which gave fans their first chance to see what it looks like inside, which was a wow moment. Hageman spoke on that, saying:

Zero going in [the Borg collective], we were discussing it and were like, Trek has never shown what it looks like on the inside. And we’re like, ‘Well, we are animated, we can do it!’ So we are taking risks, and we hope that you guys enjoy it.

Star Trek: Prodigy may have been idealized as a show for kids, but it’s taking similar risks and making similar lore contributions as the live-action shows. And while there are powers larger than Prodigy's impact that have raised the odds of a Voyager follow-up happening, it has certainly helped keep conversations about Janeway and others alive. And apparently we still haven't witnessed all of the previously unexplored fun that's still to come.

As for exactly what other goodies are on the way, readers can understand the showrunners aren’t quite willing to divulge in such secrets just yet. Dan Hageman confirmed they’re planning to show more previously unseen things in Trek, which can be frightening: 

That’s some of the scarier things that we’re doing is when we take a leap into something that has been established but not seen in Trek…there’s things [coming up] that are behind closed doors in Star Trek that we finally see behind the curtain, so to speak.

Who knows what he’s referring to specifically, especially considering one previously unseen species has been on Star Trek: Prodigy this whole time. Fans finally learned that Murf was a Mellanoid Slime Worm, which was referenced by Wil Wheaton’s Wesley Crusher in an episode of The Next Generation long ago. It sounds like more stuff like that, including some previously unseen locations are in store for Prodigy’s future, which should have everyone excited for what’s on the way. 

Star Trek: Prodigy is currently streaming new episodes (opens in new tab) on Paramount+ on Thursdays. Luckily it won’t take long after it completes Season 1 for another upcoming Trek series to premiere, so hang onto that Paramount+ subscription

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.