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‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ is ‘Picard’ Season 3 But Better

4 Minute Read
Jul 4 2024

Star Trek: Prodigy season 2, like Picard‘s third season, features a real cast reunion. And yet, it never sacrifices quality for nostalgia.

People love Star Trek: Picard season 3 almost as much as they hate the previous two seasons. A LOT. But to be honest, for all the adoration it receives, that show’s third and final season suffers from a fatal flaw — an over-reliance on the past. And not just the nostalgic past of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but on the fans of the past.

If you haven’t seen Picard season 3, it’s a reunion tour. The crew of the USS Enterprise D get back in the saddle for a mission fighting their greatest nemesis: the Borg. But more than that it’s a season where the plot involves anyone under a certain age being controlled by what can only be described by the Borg’s mind virus. And only the old people in their old ship can save the day.

Leaving aside the peak boomerism of the concept, the larger issue is that it introduces all these new, younger characters and says, “yeah, but who cares?” Look! It’s Picard, Riker, Troi, Geordi, Data, Crusher, and Worf on the Enterprise! They’re saying the classic lines and referencing old TNG episodes! It’s an endeavor whose design is to appeal to old fans first. And that’s a mistake.

Star Trek has loads of problems—one is that it struggles to capture new fans while retaining the old ones. Fortunately, there’s this one show—Star Trek: Prodigy. And Prodigy both reunites fans with old characters while maintaining a focus on the new ones. Here’s how:

Courtesy of Netflix

Star Trek: Prodigy is the Bluey of Trek

Quick recap. Star Trek: Prodigy features a cast of aliens who escape from prison on a lost Federation starship. Aboard is a holographic version of Katherine Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) who helps the crew of misfits save themselves, save the Federation, and then become members of Starfleet. It’s fun! It’s animated and all ages. And it introduces us to a host of likeable, new characters whose alien species we rarely see in Star Trek.

But more than anything, it’s for new and young viewers. Plus, it has Janeway (in two forms) for that kick of nostalgia for older fans. I’m not sure it’s a perfect analogy, but Prodigy is kind of the Bluey of Star Trek. It’s wholesome and teaches lessons in ways that never feel dumbed down. And sometimes it sneaks in emotional gut punches that make grown ups cry.

Courtesy of Netflix

Season Two and You

(Some minor spoilers for Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 follow.)

Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 ends with our young heroes in Starfleet. Season 2 begins with their recruitment onto the newly minted USS Voyager-A. Bringing them aboard is Star Trek: Voyager alum The Doctor (Robert Picardo).


It’s a welcome hit of nostalgia seeing a new Voyager with both Admiral Janeway and the Doctor aboard. However, while their mission involves recovering another former Voyager crewmember, Chakotay (Robert Beltran), the focus is never on those characters. Instead, we remain almost exclusively with who we should be with: the characters from Prodigy.

More than that, Prodigy allows both characters new and old to teach one another. Yes, Janeway et. al. are there in part to guide the Prodigy crew in how to be Starfleet officers (and people in general). But just as importantly, our young heroes consistently remind the legacy characters what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Everyone has new lessons to learn.

And coolest of all (without giving it away), Star Trek: Prodigy brings in a very unexpected character who people expected out of Star Trek: Picard, but works so much better on Prodigy.

Courtesy of Netflix

Star Trek: Prodigy Needs Viewers

This is not an ad (promise) but it is a plea from one Star Trek fan to another. Star Trek: Prodigy has a challenging road ahead. It’s the only new Trek series to be removed from Paramount Plus. Financial struggles landed the series at its new home, Netflix.

Part of why this is such an easy acquisition for Netflix is that season two was already done with its production by the time it was licensed. In other words, the cost to Netflix for the second season is minimal. However, the cost of a third season is a different story. And while animation isn’t as expensive as building a live action sci-fi series from the ground up, it still ain’t cheap.


In other words, Star Trek: Prodigy needs eyeballs. So if you have Netflix and you haven’t given Prodigy a shot yet, now is the time. If you’re an old fan, you’re going to love seeing how legacy characters return. If you have kids, it’s even better. This is the show to get them into Star Trek precisely because it’s made for them first.

Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 does the things Star Trek: Picard season 3 does and more. If it gets a third season, there’s so much more story left to tell.

Lina Morgan
Author: Lina Morgan
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