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WARP FIVE: Prodigy Showrunners Are a New Generation of Star Trek Fans' Caretakers

Dan and Kevin Hageman dive into Season 2's story, new characters, and more!

SPOILER WARNING: This interview contains story details and plot points for the second season of Star Trek: Prodigy.

Graphic illustration of Dan and Kevin Hageman along with character stills from Season 2 of Star Trek: Prodigy

Getty Images /

Welcome to Warp Five,'s five question post-mortem with your favorite featured talent from the latest Star Trek episodes.

The highly anticipated second season of Star Trek: Prodigy has arrived, and with that, thrilling adventures for our Starfleet hopefuls — Dal, Gwyn, Rok-Tahk, Jankom Pog, Zero, and Murf!

This season, these six young outcasts who make up the Prodigy crew are assigned a new mission aboard the U.S.S. Voyager-A to rescue Captain Chakotay and bring peace to Gwyn's home world. However, when their plan goes astray, it creates a time paradox that jeopardizes both their future and past.

Ahead of its release, had the opportunity to speak to series' creators, executive producers, and showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman about the action-packed second season. For the first part of our discussion, we dive into new characters this season, including the return of some of Janeway's Voyager crew, and more!

The Heart of Season 2

On a sandy surface of , Maj'El, Rok-Tahk, Gwyn, Dal, Murf, Rok-Tahk look out ahead of them in awe in 'The Devourer of All Things, Part II'

"The Devourer of All Things, Part II"

When it came to approaching the second season, the Hagemans knew exactly where they wanted to begin the story when it came to the Prodigy crew.

"The way we started with the characters was, 'What would they be like being Starfleet hopefuls?'" explains Dan Hageman. "We started where they were. If you think about Rok, well, she's a smarty-pants, she's going to excel. But at the same time, she's not old enough, so that could be something that could keep her back."

"Dal is struggling in the classroom," adds Kevin Hageman. "Jankom's got his hair combed. He's buttoned up. He's trying so hard to fit in. He's going against his nature."

Elaborating further, Dan states, "Dal doesn't want to read books; he wants to be on the ship. And Jankom wants [to fit in] so bad, he feels like he has to bottle up himself in order to be passable. And Zero just wants to feel."

Close-up of Dal looking out ahead on the viewscreen with Zero, Holo-Janeway, Murf, Rok-Tahk, Gwyn, and Jankom Pog behind him on the bridge of Star Trek: Prodigy's 'Supernova, Part 2'

"Supernova, Part 2"

"At the beginning of Season 2, they're on a big new ship, but they're nobodies now," states Kevin. "Dal's right in thinking, 'We used to have our own ship. We used to go on our own adventures. We used to be the heroes.' There's something really bittersweet, which we wanted to hit. We didn't want Season 2 to be them as lower deckers; there's already a show about that. We need to get back to that wish fulfillment, getting them away and onto another ship, and onto another adventure."

Gwyn doesn't start the second season with her friends; she parted ways with them at the end of Season 1 following the death of her father, The Diviner. She intends to travel to her home world of Solum in hopes of uniting her people and preventing the civil war that destroys them. As she reaches present-day Solum, she gets to know a younger version of her father when he was just Ilthuran, a Vau N'Akat astronomer, who hadn't been hardened by the Federation's arrival and impact on his people.

When it comes to Gwyn's story, Kevin reveals, "We wanted a little bit of a Back to the Future sort of feeling with Gwyn and her father, which was absolutely fun and moving for us."

The Addition of Maj'el

A concerned Dal looks down as Maj'El looks at him with Zero behind them in 'Temporal Mechanics 101'

"Temporal Mechanics 101"

Season 2 sees the addition of another cadet aboard U.S.S. Voyager-A, a Vulcan member of Nova Squadron — Maj'el — who isn't initially welcoming to the Prodigy crew.

The creative team behind Star Trek: Prodigy has always been vocal about how much the series is a love letter to the franchise. The character Maj'el serves as a tribute to the late Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who has played Number One in the original Star Trek pilot, Nurse Chapel, Lwaxana Troi, the voice of Federation computer, and more.

"Our show is an on-ramp into Star Trek for new viewers, whether you're young or old," Kevin explains. "In Season 1, we never really delved into the Vulcan so we thought, 'Let's make Maj'el a Vulcan.' We also wanted to make her Nova Squadron. This is like Top Gun. She's the best of the best, and she's suddenly forced in with the misfit gang. We just thought there was great humor and conflict there."

Speaking to her less-than-friendly reception of our Prodigy crew, Dan reveals, "She's the face of 'Who are the spots they would be taking in Starfleet Academy.' Just because they got hearts of gold, do they deserve to be here? Here are people who studied their whole lives, are very adept, and should be in Starfleet. We're not just putting a face to that, but giving them the ability to rise to that challenge. The shenanigans have got to go. There are people that are very serious about what this institution represents. We got to be better."

"She's the skeptic," adds Kevin. "It's less about what she brings [to the dynamic]. It's what the kids bring to her and how she changes."

Highlighting a favorite Easter egg involving Maj'el, Dan details, "In Episode 3 ['Who Saves the Saviors'], Maj'el has to hide her Vulcan so she has to wear a headband, which is very much Star Trek IV when Spock had to wear a white headband. It has a very curious look."

The Continuing Adventures of Star Trek: Voyager?

On Solum, Admiral Janeway is flanked by two Vau N'Akat guards in 'Touch of Grey'

"Touch of Grey"

When footage of the second season was released last summer, fans were excited about the inclusion of the fan-favorite Emergency Medical Hologram. Between Admiral Janeway, The Doctor, Voyager-A, and the search for Chakotay, fans were saw Prodigy as a continuation of the adventures of Star Trek: Voyager.

The team is clear that Star Trek: Prodigy is "not a straightforward sequel of Voyager," but understand the fandom's embrace due to Janeway's presence at the center of this universe.

In the series' first season, Admiral Janeway's pursuit of the Prodigy crew and the U.S.S. Protostar was due to her mission of finding out what happened to her friend and the Protostar's captain — Chakotay.

"We felt so bad in Season 1 dangling this carrot of Chakotay that we didn't really get to," says Kevin. "People were, 'Where's our Chakotay?' We wanted to make sure there was a lot of Chakotay here. The Doctor ended up being a very comedic addition. Our kids don't have Hologram Janeway anymore. Who would be the worst replacement for Hologram Janeway? It's The Doctor," with Dan quickly retorting, "Neelix could have been worse."

"We just thought that great comedy could come out of [The Doctor's inclusion]," Kevin continues. "We're celebrating every Star Trek show."

A bearded Chakotay sits in the driver's seat of a Runaway vehicle with Gwyn strapped in beside him in 'Last Flight of the Protostar, Part 1'

"Last Flight of the Protostar, Part I"

With the release of the Official Season 2 trailer, fans were thrilled with Chakotay's new look. "We love the idea of really grizzling him up," notes Dan. "Somebody even said, 'This is Castaway Chakotay,' and he very much is Castaway Chakotay."

"He's spent a lot of years alone and so he's a hermit," says Kevin. "We thought the beauty of the kids trying to rescue him, and what if he doesn't want to be rescued? He doesn't want to be saved. Then to see these kids change this old hermit's life, to remind him of Starfleet again, to remind him of the ideals, to see him at some point, get rid of the beard and get back into the uniform, it's a beautiful story."

"Thinking about Voyager, to us, Chakotay's always been the maverick," Dan elaborates. "He's been the cowboy. He's been that guy, and if you take off the Starfleet uniform, he's going to be more of that character. That's what we had the opportunity to do."

The Need for More Kathyrn Janeway

Holo-Janeway meets Vice Admiral Janeway in front of the Living Construct on Star Trek: Prodigy


In the first season of Prodigy, our young crew's primary interaction with Starfleet and its ideals was with Holo-Janeway, with brief run-ins with Admiral Janeway. However, Janeway would play a bigger presence in their development when she spoke in their defense in front of Starfleet's tribunal, took them on as warrant officers-in-training, and then invited them to join her on a mission aboard the U.S.S. Voyager-A at the start of the second season.

On getting to continue Janeway's story, Dan remarks, "To me, the more we have her, the more it tells me how much more Janeway we need in the Star Trek universe," even if it's all the different iterations of Janeway we come across this season.

For the Hagemans, what makes Star Trek: Prodigy special was getting to play in the universe's sandbox while also getting to craft this new story. "There is so much love for all these legacy characters,' shares Kevin. "It was such a delight, not only for us to do this next chapter for her, but also show where Chakotay's been, or [another surprise character]. I think the actors all really enjoyed it. It's quite the departure from when they were last seen in Voyager or Next Gen, so everyone was having a blast."

A New Generation's Caretakers

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 header - Murf, Rok-Tahk, Dal, Gwyn, Jankom Pog, Maj'El, and Zero stand together in front of Starfleet Academy

"Ouroboros, Part 2"

Like Janeway, the creative team behind Star Trek: Prodigy serve as the Caretakers for a new generation of Star Trek fans. As the first Star Trek series aimed towards younger audiences, they're helping a new crop of fans find a place where they belong, just like our Prodigy crew this season.

On navigating this terrain, Kevin shares, "It's a really hard balance to try to write for the young and old. It's just so rewarding. A reviewer told us he had an ice-cold heart, and he came into this show not really expecting anything, but now, he's like, 'My god, I love it.' He got misty-eyed, and that's what this is for."

With Prodigy's new home on Netflix, Kevin adds, "The noise in the Star Trek community, it's spreading. People have found it and love it. It's our hope to get those kids who don't know Star Trek and to introduce them to Trek this way... to see our kids out there, to be that guiding light of optimism and what Trek is."

"It's a really special time for us to be able to have the opportunity to tell these stories that can stick to the bones of a younger audience," concludes Dan.

Stay tuned on and be on the lookout for Part 2 of our discussion with Dan and Kevin Hageman where we dive into Season 2's biggest spoilers!