Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Dream Catcher: Prodigy S01 E04

Beginning their training under the watchful eye of the Janeway hologram, the eclectic crew of the Protostar get their first away mission.

Landing on an M-Class planet (much prefer it to be A-Class says Dal), it's evident early on that this is still an evolving collective with the group splintering to explore on their own leaving gelatinous Murf and the contained Gwyn on the ship.

The Protostar makes its first planetary landing with all the grace of a bag of potatoes off the back of a truck but the show still looks gorgeous from every angle. Everyone also has a lot more to do this week as they explore the planet.

As you would anticipate, nothing is as it seems with Jankom Pog, Rok, Zero, Gwyn and Dal all encountering their own desires courtesy of a lifeform inhabiting the planet itself - and ultimately leaving our crew in a cliffhanger situation. Each scenario delves a little into each of the crew and offers a bit of background on each person.

But there's lots more in here to look at. New tricorders, new type one phasers and most impressively the Runaway land vehicle all make first appearances in Dream Catcher.  That's all packed into a fairly short run time and the series gives it everything. It's an episode that's bursting at the seams trying to tell you as much as possible to keep new fans and existing Trekkies glued in a multiple visual ways.

The jokes aren't as plentiful this week although there's still a lighter tone to the show although it does offer a fair bite of peril and action along the way. Dal's impatience is growing a little tiresome even at this point with his impulsiveness firmly in every scene. My guess is that this will gradually be toned down as he wrestles with the teachings of the Janeway hologram and becomes more like a Starfleet cadet.

The M-Class planet's inhabitant is a nasty piece of work with the visual artistry looking absolutely stunning to create the "background" of this creature. Initially seeming benign, the infestation becomes a serious threat and not just in the subconscious when it attacks the Protostar itself.

The theory behind the episode admittedly is nothing new and fans can trace these sort of "hallucination" episodes as far back as Shore Leave from 1966 but even now there's a use for such stories. It opens up the cast here and also reveals some chinks in Gwyn's hardened exterior. Freed from her prison she makes a distinct decision that is incredibly telling about her personality. The ending places the group on a different footing to where viewers may well have expected the series to go - and so early in. It's telling that we shouldn't expect the status quo and even for a kids series there are going to be twists and turns.

Dream Catcher is an average to good episode for Prodigy that still manages to surprise even with a standard dangerous alien plot device and is further saved with those dribble-inducing vistas.

Check out our full set of season one and two reviews for Lower Decks HERE!

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