Prodigy Season 2 is the Most Epic Star Trek Season In Years

In Prodigy Season 2, the cuts are deep, and the scope is big — but paradoxically small.

The USS Voyager-A in Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2.
Inverse Reviews
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Even among the most diehard Star Trek fans, there is bound to be some part of the vast franchise that gets missed. With 13 films, various shorts, countless novels and comics, 11 distinct TV series — and a 12th in production — not knowing about every corner of the Final Frontier is understandable. But, unlike a franchise like the MCU, Star Trek’s different facets aren’t as overtly interconnected as one might think. Despite a perceived barrier-to-entry for some iterations, most Trek is fairly easy to drop into, as long as you're okay with just catching up as you go along.

In this contradictory manner, Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 might be the most welcoming set of new Star Trek episodes since Strange New Worlds Season 1 in 2022. Although co-produced by Nickelodeon with the intention of being aimed a a younger audience, Prodigy Season 2 is as much for grown-up, longtime Star Trek fans as it is for children. With some astoundingly deep, deep cuts to canon, Prodigy Season 2 accomplishes the stated goal for the entire series: to serve as an introduction to the general world of Trek, but also, be its own thing. With all 20 episodes of Prodigy Season 2 now on Netflix, any kind of person remotely interested in Star Trek can suddenly get a crash course in pretty much every flavor that Trek has to offer, all through the lens of a quirky, warm-hearted, and epic new season.

A fresh start

A new Vulcan cadet, Ma’jel (Michaela Dietz), and Gwyn (Ella Purnell) contemplate their future in Prodigy Season 2.


Back in 2021, Prodigy launched on Paramount+ with a handful of episodes that began as a somewhat generic space adventure, featuring a crew of misfit alien tweens, who, because they need to escape from a forced-labor camp, steal a slick, abandoned Federation starship called the USS Protostar. Because those early episodes found the kids in the distant Delta Quadrant, the crew only gradually started to encounter more and more familiar Star Trek-y things. By the end of the first 20-episode run, Dal (Brett Gray), Rok (Rylee Alazraqui), Zero (Angus Imrie), Gwyn (Ella Purnell), Jankom (Jason Mantzoukas), and the adorable slime-creature Murf (Dee Bradley Baker) all end up on Earth, after saving Starfleet from near total destruction. Yes, like many Star Trek season finales of late, Prodigy Season 1 ended with a big fleet, locked in a big battle, but this one turned out all right, mostly because the kids decided to sacrifice their adopted ship to save the day.

That said, in Season 2, you mostly don’t need to know about any of that. Or, to put it another way, anything you missed in Season 1 (or forgot about) will be recapitulated anyway. In an odd meta-textual move, the primary storyline of Prodigy Season 2 is all about a time paradox that might prevent our heroes from meeting in the first place. Therefore, the stakes of Prodigy Season 2, are, on some level, about making sure that Prodigy Season 1 happens at all, which strangely matters less to your enjoyment of the new episodes than maybe it should. This all gets even more meta when you consider that Prodigy fighting for its basic existence has also happened in real life, too. The show was removed from Paramount+ last year and has only found a new life, and a home for Season 2 on Netflix, very recently.

But, if you put all of that aside — and you probably should — what you’ll find in Prodigy Season 2 is a surprising amount of variety packed into a big serialized arc.

Unapologetic Star Trek Hits

Never forget that Star Trek loves humpback whales.


Although Prodigy Season 2 has a very large and interconnected arc, the 20-episode-long run means it’s capacious enough to have several stand-alone-ish episodes, many of which employ classic Star Trek tropes. Without spoiling any details, we get a Mirror Universe episode, a Tribble episode, a doppelgänger episode, a new Vulcan character, and even talking whales (the latter of which are interestingly more than just an Easter egg).

Prodigy also features the return of one major character from The Next Generation (and Picard) in a role that is much larger than a cameo. This detail, revealed roughly midway through the season, makes perfect sense once it happens, both thematically and in terms of the story. And once you’re settled in for this ride, Prodigy Season 2 isn’t shy about getting deep into the weeds of Trekkie canon, including a coda that ties directly into events from very recent other Star Trek series set around the same time. If, while you’re watching, you’re doing the math about when exactly all of this is happening relative to some of the other shows — and thus, wondering if certain events will take place from a different point of view — you’ll find that Prodigy almost goes out of its way to accommodate all of those questions. Because Prodigy’s goal in Season 2 is to preserve its own continuity by fixing the timeline, it also seems to go the extra mile (or lightyear) and clean up other canon problems for other shows, too. For fans who are down with this kind of minutiae, and worry about uniform inconsistencies or even different Starfleet combadge usages, Prodigy oddly has your back.

Whether you’re paying very close to attention to Trekkie details, or sitting back to enjoy the ride, this season bridges the gaps between Star Trek’s two audiences with surprising ease. In the end, the show seems poised for a triumphant third season in which everything we’ve seen so far could become a kind of protracted backstory. Whether that happens or not is unclear. But for now, Prodigy has humbly delivered 20 Star Trek episodes that are more consistent and thrilling than its entire first season, and many of which give other episodes from all the other shows a run for their money.

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 is streaming on Netflix.

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