This recap was originally published on October 29, 2021.
Don't forget to read Part One here!
In the first half of the premiere of Star Trek: Prodigy, we met the main characters of the show and uncovered the secret of the Tars Lamora prison camp: a buried Federation starship called the U.S.S. Protostar. It’s what the colony’s overseer, The Diviner, has been searching for, and Dal and Rok-Tahk just stumbled upon it.
Rok-Tahk activates the ship, which powers everything on — including the universal translator. All of a sudden, she and Dal can communicate via language for the first time, and Dal quickly learns Rok-Tahk isn’t as intimidating as she looks. Just then Zero, the fugitive everyone has been searching for, shows up. Zero is an energy-based lifeform contained within a containment suit. A Medusan in their true form is enough to drive any corporeal being mad, which is why The Diviner was so interested in them — as a weapon. But Zero escaped and has been on the run ever since. Curiously, though they are a telepath, they can’t read The Diviner’s thoughts — but they can read Dal’s. That’s why Zero reached out to Dal telepathically when he was in his cell.
Zero points out that with the ship, Dal and Rok-Tahk have found a way off the planet, but Dal points out that they need to limit the number of people they tell about it if they have any hope of escaping. Zero points out they need, at minimum, an engineer — and Dal knows just the person: Jankom Pog. Finally, rounding out our misfit crew is Murf.
Gwyn and Drednok realize that Dal isn’t where he’s supposed to be and go looking for him. Dal recognizes he needs to protect the ship while Jankom Pog makes repairs, so he goes out to distract them — and gets sent to the deadly surface of the planet, the Outer Rim, by Drednok. They lay a trap for Dal, hoping he’ll lead them to Zero. It’s clear that Gwyn regrets this course of action, and considers Dal a friend, but she also believes there’s nothing she can do to help him.
Dal makes his way back to the Protostar, where he discovers the ship is ready to fly but has no shields. Dal heads outside to replace a shield generator and finds Gwyn waiting for him. He asks Gwyn to join them, but her response is to reveal that Drednok and his army of robots are right behind her. The entire crew, besides Murf, is captured, and Dal has the brilliant plan to fight back and take Gwyn hostage aboard the ship.
It turns out Gwyn is a pretty incredible fighter — her arm tattoos turn into a sword, and she is more than capable of defending herself. The question is how will she fit in with this crew, considering she’s an unwilling participant?
As the U.S.S. Protostar takes off (after falling a whole lot), Dal is still outside with the shield generator, which still needs to be replaced — and of course, Drednok comes after him. As the crew tries to escape through the caverns and tunnels underneath the planet’s surface, Dal sends Zero a telepathic message to turn the ship, which knocks Dreadnok down. Dal is able to replace the generator, activate the shields, and return to the bridge.
After an edge-of-your-seat escape (in which Murf manages to find the phaser button at the last second), the young crew of the Protostar is headed out into space, with no idea where they’re headed, what to do, or really how to operate the ship. On this last point, though, they’re in luck because Rok-Tahk manages to activate a training advisor hologram — Captain Kathryn Janeway, voiced by the singular Kate Mulgrew.
There are a few overarching questions coming out of the premiere: Where did the U.S.S. Protostar come from? Why was it under the surface of the planet? How did it get to the Delta Quadrant, and with a Janeway hologram? How did The Diviner know it was there and what does he want with it? And what’s next for the motley crew of the Protostar?
That last question, at least, we know we’ll get an answer to in the coming weeks. This was a delightful and beautiful premiere, and a fresh take on the Star Trek Universe. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for us.
Swapna (she/her) writes about space, technology, and pop culture at outlets such as Wired, NPR, Engadget, and more. You can find her on Twitter @skrishna.
Star Trek: Prodigy currently streams exclusively on Paramount+ in U.S. and Australia, and is coming soon to Paramount+ in Latin America and the Nordics as well as to Nickelodeon international channels, which are available in 180 countries globally. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave. Prodigy is distributed by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.