Netflix Just Saved The Most Underrated Star Trek Show — Creators Tease What's Next
Maybe putting all the shows from the same franchise on one service wasn’t a good idea.
When Star Trek: Prodigy was pulled from Paramount+ this summer, fans were shocked. As one of several cost-saving measures from big conglomerates, Prodigy was the victim of a numbers game. And even though the show wasn’t technically canceled, for a good part of 2023, its future was in question. But now, with the show making a huge comeback on Netflix, showrunners and creators Dan and Kevin Hageman think that it’s possibly healthier for different Star Trek shows to beam into different streamers.
“I think in terms of audience, I feel like there's more animation options on Netflix than there were on Paramount+,” Kevin Hageman says. “I think we might catch some eyes who don't know anything about Star Trek but are excited by animation. And that’s the audience we’re excited to tap into.”
The duo — who have a history with Netflix thanks to their hit animated show Trollhunters — are quick to point out that the various studios involved are not a monolith. On social media and elsewhere, fans may ball up their fists in anger at “Paramount” but Paramount Pictures, Paramount+, and CBS Studios are not the same entities. In fact, when the Hagemans learned that Prodigy would not be returning to Paramount+, the first person they contacted was Alex Kurtzman.
“Alex Kurtzman and his team. They're huge supporters,” Kevin Hageman says. “They love our show. They understand the importance of this show to the Star Trek brand. So they're the first people we turn to.”
Dan Hageman also points out that CBS Studios and Nickelodeon have both been “champions” of Prodigy since the beginning. And that early in the development of the show, they sometimes couldn’t keep track of all the cooks in the kitchen. “When the show was first picked up, it was by Nickelodeon and then Nickelodeon got taken over by Paramount+,” he explains. “I mean, even during production, there was often times of confusion of who should we be calling for certain issues.”
This detail should sink in with certain fans. The people making these kinds of shows aren’t always sure which streaming service the show will end up on. It also might be easy to assume that because the Hagemans have worked with Netflix before, they were a shoo-in for having Prodigy land there, too. But, the brothers insist it isn’t that simple or clear-cut.
“We have a lot of supporters over around Netflix, but I don't know,” Kevin Hageman says. “I mean, we don't know what is specifically said about us. I have no idea. Maybe it helped. I don’t think it hurt.”
Both the Hagemans say that as creators, there’s a “man behind the curtain” kind of Wizard of Oz logic to some of the wheelings and dealings that lead to why shows end up where they do. In short, fans should never assume they know the entire story, because even the creators don’t.
Prodigy Season 2 and Beyond
For now, the bottom line is that Prodigy Season 1 will now air on Netflix and Season 2 will hit in 2024. Since the [spoiler!] Protostar was destroyed in Season 1, what can fans expect for Season 2? A new ship? More of the same?
“It just builds off of Season 1,” Dan Hageman says. “It’s really telling a bigger story, but the pacing, the episode count, everything's the same as Season 1 That's just our writing style.”
Kevin Hageman adds that there will still be some stand-alone episodes in Prodigy Season 2, but also some two-parters, too. “Sometimes 22 minutes wasn’t enough to tell the story,” he says.
Overall, the Hagemans believe the goal of the show is to push the Star Trek franchise into new places, both in terms of what happens on the show, but also in terms of who watches the show. Yes, they tease there will be some classic, old-school shoutouts in Season 2. But, nostalgia is not the name of the game. “We’ve got to go to somewhere to get new Star Trek fans,” Kevin Hageman says. “It's all about getting new Star Trek fans.”