Here's Why [SPOILER] Is Back In Star Trek Canon

Guess who’s back?

'Star Trek: Next Generation,' Season 7 "Journey's End."
Star Trek

The timeline of Star Trek is in chaos. That is, if you’re midway through a Season 2 binge of Star Trek: Prodigy on Netflix, you’re aware that a certain paradox is threatening the entire timeline. And when timey-wimey problems occur in the Final Frontier, who does Star Trek call upon to help? The space god Q? Time-traveling Old Spock from the J.J. Abrams movies? it the Trek version of a Time Lord from Doctor Who?

If you guessed the latter, you’re correct. Starting with Episode 9 of Prodigy Season 2, “The Devourer of All Things Part 1,” the Time Lord of Star Trek has returned. In some ways, for the very first time.

Major spoilers ahead! You’ve been warned!

The Return of the Travelers

In Star Trek Prodigy Season 2 Episode 9, our heroes Gwyn, Rok, Dal, Jankom, Zero, and Murf finally take the Infinity to the coordinates they’ve been searching for. There, they find none other than... Wesley Crusher!

This is a version of Wesley who has been traveling the multiverse with the power of pure thought since the end of 1994 The Next Generation episode “Journey’s End.” In that episode, Wesley left our plane of existence to learn about the cosmos from the Traveler. Chronologically, Wesley appeared briefly in 2002’s Star Trek Nemesis at Riker and Trio’s wedding, and, most recently in the 2022 Picard Season 2 finale, in which he recruited Kore Soong (Isa Briones) into a group of “Travelers” who help oversee all of reality and keep things stable.

Wesley is back!


In 2022, Wesley actor Wil Wheaton told Inverse that this leap was something he’d always wanted to have happen: “For years, I have thought space and time and thought are not disconnected the way people think they are. I mean, that’s just a Time Lord [from Doctor Who] with more steps.”

Now, it turns out the low-key introduction of Wesley as a traveler at the end of Picard Season 2 was part of a larger piece of world-building coordinated between Picard and Prodigy. In fact, showrunners Kevin and Dan Hageman have been planning this Wesley Crusher reveal for a very long time.

“He was already recording for us [on Prodigy] before he did Picard,” Kevin Hageman tells Inverse. “They reached out saying, ‘Hey, we heard you're using Wesley. We are hoping to do a little thing with him.’ And so we were all talking and sharing to make sure we were all in sync.”

Wesley’s role in Prodigy isn’t just a cameo in one episode. It spans several more episodes throughout Season 2. And the entire time, his role is clearly more like the Doctor from Doctor Who than any Star Trek character before. That said, there is some canon that’s been connected in Prodigy that was previously a little vague.

Star Trek’s Time Lords

Gary Seven (Robert Lansing) a “Supervisor” from The Original Series.


In “The Devourer of All Things,” Wesley keeps the Infinity crew safe in a room that looks like an apartment from 1968. This is a reference to Gary Seven’s apartment from the classic episode “Assignment: Earth,” in which Kirk and Spock met a “Supervisor” who looked after time travel incursions on 20th-century Earth. Initially created as a backdoor pilot to a Star Trek spin-off series, “Assignment: Earth” focused on Gary Seven (Robert Lansing) and his slick technology that scanned as a mash-up of the Doctor from Doctor Who and James Bond. The concept of the “Supervisors” didn’t appear again in onscreen canon until Picard Season 2 with the introduction of Tallinn.

In Prodigy, Wesley makes the connection between the Travelers and the Supervisors slightly clearer than it was in Picard. In “The Devourer of All Things,” he says of the faux 1968 room: “This is where the Travelers train our field agents, the Supervisors.”

But in the context of Prodigy, Wesley has lost the support of the rest of the Travelers, who have vowed not to interfere in the dying timeline, which is very much like the Time Lords from Doctor Who. Part of the Doctor’s motivation to help various worlds was in opposition to the Time Lords having a hands-off policy. Wesley then, is very much channeling various versions of the Doctor at once, an influence that the Hageman brothers readily acknowledge.

“It’s also just good storytelling though,” Kevin Hageman says. “Bringing in a mentor character that you’re a little unsure of. I think that makes things more interesting.”

Dan Hageman adds that Wesley is “not all-powerful,” and that part of the way the character functions in the new seasons is almost in opposition to his wiz-kid-who-saves-the-day reputation from The Next Generation. “What’s cool about Wesley in our show, is that he can make mistakes.”

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 is streaming on Netflix.

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