Rok-Tahk, Gwyn, and Dal stare in awe at something in the distance.

The colorful cast of Star Trek: Prodigy: Rylee Alazraqui voices Rok-Tahk, Ella Purnell voices Gwyn, and Brett Gray voices Dal.

Nickelodeon/Paramount+

Trekkies, newcomers, kids, and kids at heart will love this animated sci-fi series.

By Laurie Ulster

Star Trek fans are living in a new renaissance! There are five (yes, FIVE) series on Paramount+ right now, each with its own distinct identity, and at least two more in development, according to executive producer Alex Kurtzman. Out of the five, only one—Star Trek: Prodigy—was created specifically for kids.

When Prodigy premiered in October 2021, the hope was that kids would find it on their own or be introduced to it by their Trek-loving parents and then fall in love with the Star Trek universe. But does that mean the show is only for kids? Absolutely not. Here’s why.

Stream Star Trek: Prodigy on Paramount+.

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It's Real Sci-Fi

A purple and blue starry sky with galaxies and mountains with two figures sitting with their backs to us on a wrecked piece of space equipment.

Explore otherworldly environments as you travel through space and time.

Nickelodeon/Paramount+

At New York Comic Con this year, Rod Roddenberry—son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and executive producer on all the new shows—said this about Prodigy: “This is not a kids’ show, people. This is Star Trek through and through.”

He’s right. The Prodigy characters go to strange new worlds and explore, wrestle with moral challenges, wrap their heads around big ideas, and encounter much of what you’ve come to expect from good sci-fi and Star Trek: time travel, space travel, new alien species, and even in the darkest of times, hope.

It’s also gorgeous. Filmed in 3D animation and truly cinematic, both the show’s visuals and the score will make you feel like you’re watching a feature film.

The Villains Are ... Complicated

The Diviner makes a sinister expression against a background of bright yellow and red rings.

John Noble voices the villainous Diviner.

Nickelodeon/Paramount+

Back in the day, villains on kids’ shows were sometimes comical, often one-dimensional, usually fun, but not, you know… deep.

Not so The Diviner (voiced by John Noble), who runs Tars Lamora, the slave labor colony where our good guys first meet each other. Prodigy’s main villain will have you intrigued as you try to unravel the history behind his cruelty. You might even feel some empathy for his motivation, if not his methods. His henchman Drednok (Jimmi Simpson)—a relentless, menacing robot with something of a Transformer vibe—will leave you wanting to know his origin story. No word yet on whether we’ve seen the last of him.

The Characters Are Endearing and the Dialogue Snaps

The team stands in a line on the holodeck of their ship.

A hologram of Janeway stands on the holodeck with Jankom Pog, Zero, Gwyn, and Dal.

Nickelodeon/Paramount+

In addition to Kate Mulgrew’s maternal hologram version of Janeway (a huge treat for all the Voyager fans), there are six kids on the starship Protostar:

Dal (Brett Gray), who arrogantly declares himself captain of the ship as soon as they find it. He still doesn’t know where he’s from or even what his species is, and he can’t resist a joyride or a sassy comeback, but he’s doing his best to live up to the role of captain now that he has crewmates depending on him.

Zero (August Imrie), a Medusan (a species introduced on The Original Series) housed inside a robot body because their appearance can drive people mad. They find wonder in everything, often to the point of distraction, and have a bad habit of reading people’s minds (especially Dal’s) and telling everyone what they’re thinking. Oops.

Jankom Pog (Jason Mantzoukas), a Tellarite engineer who’s coarse, hilarious, and loves to refer to himself in the third person … loudly.

Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui), built like a brick house on the outside, but inside that brawn is an eight-year-old girl with a huge heart, an affinity for cute animals, and—surprise—a top-notch scientific brain.

Murf (Dee Bradley Baker), a we-still-don’t-know-what squishy, pliable, sweet pet-like character who speaks a language only Rok-Tahk comes close to understanding.

Gwyn (Elle Purnell), the daughter of The Diviner artificially created for a secret purpose, whose compassion emerges after confronting her own complicity in her father’s plans.

They all have laugh-out-loud lines, and they’re all scene-stealers who will break your heart.

They're Adding Some Exciting New Cast Members

A spaceship hurtles through space toward a bright mass.

Continue your journey on the final frontier with familiar faces—and meet some new characters.

Nickelodeon/Paramount+

When the second half of Season 1 arrives, it brings with it four new additions to the cast: Jameela Jamil (The Good Place, She-Hulk: Attorney At Law), Jason Alexander (Seinfeld, plus a memorable turn on Star Trek: Voyager), Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, The Little Mermaid), and Robert Beltran, returning as Chakotay, the character he played on Voyager.

And for all you Star Trek: The Next Generation fans, look for the appearance of two legacy characters, both voiced by the original actors: Billy Campbell as the “outrageous” Okona (last seen silently on Star Trek: Lower Decks), and Ronny Cox as Edward Jellico, now an admiral. Jellico will be a foil for the real Admiral Janeway, who’s in pursuit of the ship where her holographic doppelganger resides.

And Speaking of Star Trek Fans ...

A close-up of Janeway with a slight smile on her face, against a dark, starry background.

Come for the sci-fi adventure. Stay for the cameos, callbacks, and nostalgia.

Nickelodeon/Paramount+

If you’ve never watched a Star Trek series before, this show is still glorious, but if you have, you’re in for an extra treat: References, cameos, and callbacks are all woven into the episodes and pop up in the most delightful ways. There are little gems sprinkled throughout Prodigy. If you’re ready for a pile-on, there’s an extraordinary episode called “Kobayashi,” which somehow manages to dig into the show’s main characters and make room for a nostalgia-fest that will put a grin on your face. Producers promise there’s plenty more where that came from.

Prodigy returns for the second half of Season 1 on October 27 on Paramount+. The first 10 episodes are also available to stream on Paramount+.

Stream Star Trek: Prodigy on Paramount+.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

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