Star Trek is headed back into the world of animation with its upcoming Kate Mulgrew-starring series Prodigy, and from the looks of the first footage, this isn't your grandfather's animated series. (Assuming your grandfather doesn't work on the spinoff.) Ahead of its Paramount+ debut, Star Trek: Prodigy debuted its first teaser trailer, proving itself to be way more gorgeous than I ever expected.
In hindsight, I guess it should've been a given that Star Trek: Prodigy would be on the same level as the most expensive children's programming currently out there, on screens both big and small. Modern Star Trek shows emphasize visual effects in ways that prior decades' series could never have dreamed, and the result has been some of the most aesthetically captivating science-fiction imagery that TV has to offer. But even knowing all of that, the vast color spectrum and crisp lushness on display just in this small peek at Star Trek: Prodigy both have me hooked already, and I'm not even entirely the intended demographic for this adorable piece of heaven.
As we'd learned ahead of this first footage debuting at [email protected] 2021, Star Trek: Prodigy will be a show deliberately aimed at younger audiences, and was initially set up as Nickelodeon before being shifted over to the streaming service Paramount+. Those who tune in will see six youngsters commandeering a ship in hopes of escaping their seemingly bleak situation, even though they know nothing about piloting it or the ideals of Starfleet. Luckily, an emergency hologram A.I., fashioned after the legendary Captain Kathryn Janeway, will be there to guide them and teach these wayward kids about the ideals that Starfleet represents.
Unfortunately for those hoping to see anything resembling the fan-favorite Trek character, the Janeway hologram did not make an appearance in this first footage for Star Trek: Prodigy, though her voice can be heard within the trailer. Janeway will be voiced by none other than actress Kate Mulgrew, naturally, with the actress finally making a return to the Star Trek universe after her time as a lead on Star Trek: Voyager.
Kate Mulgrew previously hinted she wouldn't be a part of the new wave of Star Trek shows, but later changed her mind when she heard about Star Trek: Prodigy. Mulgrew explained the idea that a child could be watching the new series with a parent who grew up watching her own Trek history, which intrigued her and played a part in why she decided to join this animated adventure. And if the producers happened to have some test footage that looked anything like the teaser trailer, that probably also helped.
It would appear the "prime directive" of Star Trek: Prodigy is to inspire a new generation to become fans of Star Trek, which is certainly something other major franchises like Star Wars and Marvel have done via Disney's streaming service. Now Star Trek will take a shot at more family-friendly fare with Prodigy, and that promo makes me optimistic that parents will be just as interested to check it out as kids will be. Hell, I wouldn't blame anyone without children for tuning in. The visuals alone look breathtaking, and whether it's aimed at children or not, Star Trek has always been a good franchise for quality storytelling.