Star Trek: Prodigy's Creators Dan and Kevin Hageman Promise To "Deliver the Goods"

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No one knew what to expect when Paramount+ announced its partnership with Nickelodeon to create an animated Star Trek series aimed at kids. It had literally never been done before.

And by any measure, Star Trek: Prodigy's inaugural ten episodes exceeded anything anyone could have imagined. Premiering on October 28, 2021, it impressed viewers, both young and... er, classic, with its action, artistry, and emotional depth.

Its own creators, Dan and Kevin Hageman, the writers behind the Emmy award-winning Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia, have been deservedly delighted by its success.

Hageman Lead Image - Star Trek: Prodigy

Speaking with TV Fanatic via Zoom, the Hageman Brothers talk about how the production has measured up to the goals and expectations they had set for themselves.

Kevin answers first without hesitation. "Oh, above. Above and beyond. It's such a joy because we are so ambitious.

"After doing Trollhunters, we weren't interested in doing another animated show because we were like, 'We're not going to make a better one.' It had won an award. It was stunning.

"But this, this. We had a huge ambition, but because it's Trek, you naturally get these amazing people who love [it], grew up on it. They're animators, and this is their one and only chance to do an animated Trek.

Asencia - Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Episode 10

Dan reminds him, "And people like Jameela Jamil. She's like, 'Sign me up!'"

Kevin agrees, "Or like that! She didn't know anything [about her role]. She's just like, 'I'm ready!'

"And then you get music from Nami, the art direction from Ben Hibon. These people come into our lives. When we started to see early animation, we're like, 'Holy heck. This is better than what we thought we could do.'

"The music, to have a live orchestra, we're like, 'I didn't think we could afford this.' But Michael Giacchino helped us out, and… it's Michael Giacchino!"

Clearly, the team that came together for Prodigy still astounds both men.

Star Trek: Prodigy New Key Art

When we left our heroes on Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Episode 10, they had freed the Unwanted from the slavery of Tars Lamora and left The Diviner in stasis on the planetoid, having had his mind melted by seeing Zero in their true unmasked form.

When he revives, surprisingly, the first thing The Diviner remembers is Gwyn and not the destruction of the Federation and Starfleet, the sole purpose of his mission. This is a purposeful play by the Hagemans.

Dan speaks to the implications for The Diviner, "At his core, he loves his daughter. That's the first thing that comes up, which I think would be true of any malevolent, evil dictator. When you strip them down to their core, what do they truly love?"

Kevin offers insight into where they'll take it, "In the next ten episodes, you'll see a more nuanced man who is pulled between powerful forces in his life."

He's Back - Star Trek: Prodigy

The crew of the Protostar has come together through adversity and, under Hologram Janeway's tutelage, care for each other greatly.

However, they all come to the ship as orphans, except for Gwyn. Could finding Rok-Tahk or Jankom Pog's biological family be in the cards?

Dan admits it was considered, "That was a question that we had in the writers' room. Do we want to see this series just go by and find all their families?

"We opted not to do that because we didn't want to bring the parents in. This is about [the kids] and the found family that they find with each other. It might be too tragic going to all their pasts.

"And how do you resolve that? How do you move on from a parent? How do you say hello to a parent and say, 'You're not in this show.' It's a difficult thing to do, but I don't want to close the door. I think it's a possibility in the future."

As seen in the sneak peek clip above, our lovable Murf will meta-Murf-ose into someone new.

Is his physical transformation a reflection of the crew's emotional and psychological maturing?

"Yeah, he is a walking metaphor. Now that he's bipedal," laughs Kevin. "And our goal is to continue to always push Murf. Murf is going to grow up with them and will continue to change."

While Kate Mulgrew's involvement as Hologram Janeway was known from the beginning, it wasn't until Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Episode 6 that audiences learned Robert Beltran had also signed on, reprising the role of Chakotay.

Chakotay - Star Trek: Prodigy

As seen in the midseason finale, Vice Admiral Janeway's purpose for seeking the Protostar is to discover what happened to Chakotay, who was last seen commanding the ship.

Obviously, the Hagemans could not tell us how that mission will fare, but they are tantalizingly descriptive with what they can share.

"We can tell you we want a slow plan. The return of Chakotay needs to take its time," explains Dan, "A lot of people want to see that, but we have to take our time and establish everything."

Kevin emphasizes, "We're afraid of going too deep into Chakotay too early. Like Dan said, it's a slow game that we're playing with him, but we promise that we're going to deliver the goods. We promise that he's going to become a major player in the lives of these kids."

Protostar Crew Reporting In - Star Trek: Prodigy

When TV Fanatic recently spoke with Kate Mulgrew about the upcoming series return, her enthusiasm regarding her dual roles of Hologram Janeway and Vice Admiral Janeway was infectious.

Can we hope to see the Vice Admiral and the Hologram share a scene?

The Hagemans are willing to confirm that this will happen.

Kevin hints that it'll be something epic. "We knew right away, and we were like, 'Let's make this a moment. Let's make sure we really enjoy this moment.'

Dan is equally excited about what they've created. "It was a difficult thing to do, but we figured out a way to do that. There's some movie magic in there, yeah."

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 returns TOMORROW, October 27, with an exciting and immersive midseason premiere, streaming on Paramount+.

New episodes drop every Thursday, and TV Fanatic will have all recaps and reviews of every episode, so be sure to check back here each week after watching!

In the meantime, hit our comments with what you're most looking forward to seeing as the USS Protostar lights up the Trekverse once again!

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond 'til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.

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Star Trek: Prodigy Quotes

Drednok: Prisoner Dal Ar-El. What species are you?
Dal: Wow. Getting personal, borderline inappropriate.

Sorry, didn't quite catch that. You'll have to... chirp... a little slower.