Published Dec 28, 2022
WARP FIVE: John Noble on The Diviner's Mission and Love for Gwyndala
The Star Trek: Prodigy actor reflects on the series' first season!
By Christine Dinh
SPOILER WARNING: Discussion for Episode 19 of Star Trek: Prodigy "Supernova, Part 1" to follow!
Welcome to Warp Five, StarTrek.com's five question post-mortem with your favorite featured talent from the latest Star Trek episodes.
The penultimate episode of Star Trek: Prodigy’s first season, “Supernova, Part 1,” finds our Protostar crew unable to stop Asencia, the Vau N'Akat known as The Vindicator, from unleashing The Living Construct upon Starfleet. Despite fighting for the same cause — salvation for Solum — The Diviner did not wish to see any harm come his progeny's way. The Vindicator views Gwyn as a "mistake that shouldn't exist;" however, in protecting his daughter, The Vindicator kills The Diviner with his own heirloom before fleeing the Protostar. Gwyn watches her father die in her arms as she holds him.
StarTrek.com had the pleasure of speaking with legendary actor John Noble, who voices The Diviner, on Star Trek: Prodigy.
Star Trek: Prodigy - The Federation's Impact on Solum
The first half of the season presented The Diviner as a ruthless tyrant overseeing the Tars Lamora labor camp, and audiences have witnessed the complex layers to the character over the course of the season. "The characters are interesting, and The Diviner was written initially as the big bad," explained Noble.
When we reach episodes 17, "The Ghost in the Machine," the audience encounters a version of The Diviner in the Holodeck that allows Gwyn to speak to her father freely, before being surprised by The Diviner's release of Vice Admiral Janeway in Episode 18, "Mindwalk."
"The science we're delving into is cutting edge," noted Noble. "We're talking about transference of identity and gene crossovers. This has been done quite beautifully, and it's interesting to watch. As time settled on, we better understood and found out the interesting reasons for him to be lightyears from home, over the course of the series."
Speaking on the recording process, Noble stated, "The funny thing about doing voice work is that we go into a studio and record solo with Kevin or Dan [Hageman]. They update us as to where our characters are, fill in the gaps, and then create from that discussion the next lot of dialogue we have to do. In terms of the overarching story, it's a Star Trek story; it's fantastic."
Recalling his first contact with Star Trek, Noble shared, "See, I'm 74. I watched it once we got television. We all watched it and talked about it. The concepts were fascinating to me, even then."
"When I was a kid, we got our kicks through radio, believe it or not," continued Noble. "Everything was fantasy. We'd sit around an afternoon in rural South Australia and we'd turn on the radio and listen to our version of Superman and Batman. It was bloody brilliant. Then, television came along, and we had three channels. The kids used to crowd around the shop windows to watch. That was very interesting to a little boy like me. I'd go off and just fantasize about building road works in the sand or something."
Noble found great joy and excitement in Star Trek: Prodigy, and loves that it was created as an all-ages series. "Interesting enough, what this show is doing is stimulating the imagination, which is absolutely essential for our existence and happiness," remarked Noble.
"It's doing that for these younger people," continued Noble. "They're smart. I find the younger generations are much smarter than we ever were. This one is special. The whole of Star Trek is a bit special; they've shaped generations in over 50 years since it started.
As a father of two daughters himself, Noble shared, "His undying love for his daughter is no surprise. I understand that devotion and belief in them. No matter what, I'd still be there to help them. Parenthood is a really funny and weird thing. It's not an easy road."
Reflecting on The Diviner's mission, Noble said, "It's one of those things; if we could jump to the future and prevent the consequences we're creating, it would be pretty useful sometimes. Or to go back and erase a few things, things we're not very proud of. We can't do that, but there's that fascination. That's the making of a person in those experiences. Golly tempting, I'll tell you."
Before passing, The Diviner asks Gwyn to save the people of Solum by finding a way to unify them. Speaking on that moment, Noble understood The Diviner's belief in Gwyn. It's any parent's wish to have their children to better and do better than the parent ever could. "He loves his daughter. He sees in his daughter hope, and he encourages her," stated Noble. "He believes in her."
Noble pondered the possibility of a younger version of his character existing in a timeline that hasn't happened yet, "Golly, it'd be really bloody interesting to [encounter a younger version], with his naivety and his enthusiasm before he becomes the old grump. We see the leadership and we see the passion for his family and for his world. He's forced to act; nothing else he's trying is working."
Wrapping up the interview, Noble added, "It'd be an interesting look. I actually don't know where it goes as we kept up on an episode-by-episode basis."