Released as part of the expanded Star Trek Universe, Paramount Plus’s new animated series “Star Trek: Prodigy” is completely different from its predecessors.
The hour-long pilot introduces us to our core characters Dal (Brett Gray, “On My Block”), the only one who speaks English as a first language; Zero (Angus Imrie, “War of the Worlds”), a fugitive on the run; Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui, “Doug Unplugs”); Jankom Pog (Jason Mantzoukas, “Big Mouth”); and an alien version of a pet dog, Murf (Dee Bradley Baker, “The Patrick Star Show”). Deeper into the episode, we realize that this diverse group of species was taken from their homes and trapped on a distant mining asteroid with Tars Lamora, overseen by The Diviner (John Noble, “Home Invasion”) and his ruthless enforcer Drednok (Jimmi Simpson, “Night of the Animated Dead”), exploiting them in search of the famous U.S.S. Protostar starship. When Dal and Rok-Tahk accidentally stumble upon the ship, the group of misfits must learn to work together in order to escape The Diviner and begin a new journey through space.
The title of the episode “Lost and Found” is very fitting with its overall theme of finding a place among those who are distinctly different from you. The episode proficiently portrays the notion of how, even though species may not speak the same language, the ability to set differences aside in order to help one another overpowers the language barrier. Even though the core characters are from their respective parts of space with their own means of communication, this doesn’t stop the group from escaping something that they are all suffering from under the tyranny of The Diviner.
At first, it appears that the language barrier would be a frustrating component of the overall trek due to Dal’s annoyance with not being able to converse with Rok-Tahk and Jankom Pog (who is desperately needed for his engineering skills). However, with Dal’s discovery of the universal translator device onboard the ship, the episode has a way of demonstrating one of life’s most valuable lessons: Don’t pass judgments too quickly. We are left thinking about how language separates species, and the ways people overcome this barrier.
It’s brilliant to have a show targeting younger audiences reminding them that, while language is a barrier between communities, life experiences across communities are not so dissimilar. As a species that relies strictly on communication, working together as a unit is required for any obstacle.
Ultimately, “Star Trek: Prodigy” illustrates a diverse group of people who start and continue on a journey toward a new life together, despite the language barrier. Because of this, the show is perfect for not only all Star Trek lovers but anyone who adores feel-good adventures.
Daily Arts Writer Jessica Curney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.