Thursday, 11 November 2021

Starstruck: Prodigy S01 E03

Episode three of Prodigy picks up right where we left off from the double-length Lost and Found.

The Janeway training hologram is active with the rag-tag bunch of aliens somehow beginning to come together as the makeshift crew of the USS Protostar. Unfortunately they happen to get entangled in the pull of a binary star system where a white dwarf star is pulling apart a red giant.

Janeway's inclusion in the episode is pretty good and for a good part of this instalment the danger in space plays second fiddle to the viewer exploring the new ship. There's the mess hall, captain's quarters and crew quarters, the brig (which Gwyn sees a lot of) as well as Engineering with its twin warp cores...and something else.

But it seems as though we're going to encounter a lot of these "something elses" as we go through the season - so expect a lot over the next 17 episodes. Starstruck is very much about the ship and the Janeway Training Hologram beginning to mould the escaping prisoners into something of a Starfleet crew.

There is an exceptionally quick potted history of Starfleet complete with some familiar ships and a map of the Alpha Quadrant and there's a good attempt to start pulling in more familiar elements and therefore tell new and younger viewers more about the expansive Star Trek universe. With Janeway "seeing" these as cadets it becomes more natural to explain everything and introduce viewers to many of the concepts of the franchise. Certainly there's the working together for a common goal, the antiquated practice of money and much more.

Gwyn and Dal's sparring looks to be one of the main relationships here in Prodigy. Is she trustworthy? Will she cash in the fugitives at the first opportunity and will she return to the side of her father, the Diviner? Maybe. Here she ha a single minded view of getting off the Protostar and back home, even leading her to 3D print a shuttlecraft in what is the episode's crowning sequence/chase.

Giving the time in this episode to the wide-eyed exploration of the ship and key areas is important to set the scene. Visually this show looks stunning especially when it comes to the attention to detail in displays and labelling of the ship. Jankom Pog and Rohk's mess hall scene does allow a little character exploration for the latter in that she has known nothing aside from life in the prison but the timing and pace of this third episode doesn't offer much chance for expansion beyond that two minute bite.

I'm hoping that as Prodigy goes forward we will get to see each of the cast get their moment to shine and explore their roles. Given that season one will be 20 episodes long (with a mid-season break), this shouldn't be too hard to achieve. A good, if very standard way to kick off the usual episode format, once more with an optimistic outlook for the future.

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

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