“Star Trek: Prodigy Has Doubled Down On Being The Voyager Sequel You’ve Always Wanted “


The first season of “Star Trek: Prodigy” was tantalizing for fans of “Star Trek: Voyager.” The central cast of teen characters — led by the plucky and overconfident Dal R’El (Brett Gray) — discovered a lost and abandoned Starfleet vessel called the U.S.S. Protostar, a ship that was equipped with a holographic version of the Voyager’s Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew). It would be up to Janeway and the teens to return the Protostar to Federation space.

“Prodigy” marked Mulgrew’s first return to canonical “Star Trek” in 19 years, her last appearance being a cameo in 2002’s “Star Trek: Nemesis.” Later in “Prodigy,” Mulgrew would also appear as the real-life Admiral Janeway, letting the actress pull double duty.

Hologram Janeway was quite a bit different from the flesh-and-blood version, however. The artificial Janeway was a gentle, teacher-like figure who came to embrace the younger characters in a near-matronly way. Admiral Janeway was bitter and curmudgeonly, angry that she was medically forced to switch from her beloved coffee to tea. The Admiral was on a quest to rescue the Protostar from its very distant location, knowing that her old colleague, Captain Chakotay (Robert Beltran) was on board when it disappeared.

This wasn’t quite the grand “Voyager” reunion that many Trekkies might have wanted, but “Voyager” was clearly the most immediate predecessor to “Prodigy.” In both cases, Janeway served as a central authority figure, serving with what she considered to be an ersatz family.

But “Voyager” fans might want to note that they’re closer than ever to a follow-up series. The second and final season of “Prodigy” dropped on Netflix on July 1, 2024, and the new season not only incorporates two additional “Voyager” characters into the mix, but also the new-and-improved Voyager-A as one of the show’s central starships.

The Voyager-A

At the end of the first season of “Prodigy,” Dal and his friends managed to return to Federation space, and meet the real Admiral Janeway face-to-face. This was after a time-travel-based crisis had been averted, a battle was fought, and the Protostar destroyed. Janeway, however, was impressed that a ragtag group of teenagers, instructed only by a hologram, could not only learn to fly the ship, but operate it with responsibility. They were offered a chance to join Starfleet Academy, and Janeway was gearing up to take command of a brand new ship, the Voyager-A.

The Voyager-A will serve as a central setting in the second season of “Prodigy.” Indeed, although Janeway is an admiral, she’s still permitted to take command and lead the new ship on its first mission. She quips, “I promised Admiral Picard I wouldn’t get this one lost in the Delta Quadrant.”

The Voyager-A is a science vessel just like its original namesake, has a cetacean ops department, as well as two full-functional schools. It’s a much larger ship than the original “Voyager” as well, sporting 29 decks (the original only had 15) and a crew complement of over 800 (the Voyager only had 141), and can travel much faster. We also see that there are many Starfleet cadets on board — including the notorious Nova Squadron — implying that the Voyager-A is meant to be an educational vessel.

This is the kind of legacy stuff that Trekkies love. We’re not back on board the old-fashioned U.S.S. Voyager, but the next step in its evolution. As explained in both “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and “Star Trek: Picard,” the original Voyager is mothballed in a museum. The adventures of a new Voyager is exciting to ponder. This is progress, and not (wholly) nostalgia.

The crew

(A brief aside: the idea of a high-tech school in space is a cooler “Star Trek” premise than both the pitches for “Star Trek: Legacy” and “Starfleet Academy” shows)


Not only are Trekkies treated to a U.S.S. Voyager with Janeway in the captain’s chair, but her chief medical officer appears to be the Doctor (Robert Picardo), the emergency medical hologram that served as the head doctor on board the original Voyager. Because he is a hologram, the Doctor has not aged (even though Picardo, now 70, does sound older than he did in 1995). His uniform has been updated, but he’s the same Doctor. He even still wears the same mobile holographic emitter on his arm, allowing him, as a hologram, to go anywhere he pleases. The Doctor will be the one to show Dal and his friends around the Voyager-A. Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui) was excited to work in cetacean ops (whales and dolphins are intelligent members of the crew, and live in the underwater cetacean tanks). Zero (Angus Imrie) will work in the medical department. Jankom Pog (Jason Mantzoukas) will be an engineer. Dal will merely study.

The Doctor will also be on the bridge of the Voyager-A often, giving Admiral Janeway advice. The current mission of the Voyager-A is to locate Chakotay. It seems that Chakotay, while testing out the Protostar last season, accidentally flew into a wormhole that threw him 52 years into the future. Janeway has located the hole, and is secretly planning a mission through it using a specialized time-proof runabout called the Infinity.

We have the ship and three crew members already. We’re well on our way to a proper “Voyager” reunion.

Where are the other Voyager crew members?

“Star Trek: Prodigy” takes place before the events of “Star Trek: Picard,” and we learned from the latter show that Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) was still working as a violent bounty hunter. She would later rejoin Starfleet (at Janeway’s encouragement), and even become the captain of the Titan-A, rechristened the Enterprise-G, but at this point, she was still murdering people for money. It’s possible, however, that Janeway and Seven were still in contact at this time.

Janeway would certainly be in touch with Tuvok (Tim Russ), her old Vulcan security officer. In “Picard,” we learned that Tuvok had attained a high position at Starfleet Command.

Kes (Jennifer Lien) would sadly have died of old age by the events of “Prodigy” (her species only lives nine years), and no one has bothered to catch up with the Tallaxian Neelix (Ethan Phillips). Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) and his wife B’Elanna Torres (Roxann Dawson) had just had a daughter named Miral at the end of “Voyager,” but we never learned their fates. Give Tom’s gadabout nature, it’s unlikely he stayed in Starfleet. Their daughter would be grown by now.

Given that poor Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) was never given a promotion on the U.S.S. Voyager, it would be edifying to see him as a Fleet Admiral, or even the Commander in Chief of Starfleet Command. That would make him Janeway’s boss, which is wholly possible.

The second season of “Prodigy” is embroiled in a time travel plot more closely related to its own main characters of course, but there’s no reason the new series couldn’t have reached out to a few old friends. As it stands, it’s as close to a “Voyager” sequel as we may ever see.