With Star Trek: Prodigy launching on Paramount+ with a one-hour episode on October 28th, I recently spoke to Kate Mulgrew about voicing a hologram version of Captain Janeway on the new animated series. Aimed at a much younger audience, Star Trek: Prodigy will follow a group of children and teenagers who try to escape the hard life of a mining colony after discovering the U.S.S Protostar. The Federation ship might be their ticket to a better life, but the ragtag team will first have to learn to act as a real crew as they’re guided by a hologram of Captain Janeway.
While some Star Trek fans might be wondering why Paramount is launching a series aimed at kids and teens, I think it’s a really smart idea. If you want an IP like Star Trek to attract new viewers and keep growing year after year, you can’t rely on the same people to tune in. You need to appeal to a new generation of fans.
Think about what Lucasfilm and Disney have been doing with all the Star Wars animated series. Not only did they give some children their first exposure to Star Wars, they sold a lot of toys and merchandise, and adults also tuned in. Star Trek: Prodigy has the chance to do the same thing for Paramount. I think if you’re a fan of Star Trek, you want kids getting excited when an adult talks about the Federation, or who their favorite captain is.
Anyway, during the interview, Kate Mulgrew talked about her favorite part about making Prodigy, what it’s been like collaborating with the writers, what she missed about playing Captain Janeway on a daily basis, if she was hesitant to return to the role after so many years, what it means being the first female Star Trek captain on a series, why she loves voice recording, and more. In addition, I jokingly pointed out when she made Star Trek: Voyager she dealt with a hologram and now she is the hologram.
The voice cast of Star Trek: Prodigy also includes Brett Gray (Dal, 17 years old and an unknown species who fancies himself a maverick and holds strong onto his unwavering hope), Ella Purnell (Gwyn, a 17-year-old Vau N’Akat who was raised on her father’s bleak mining planet and grew up dreaming to explore the stars), Angus Imrie (Zero, a Medusan: a noncorporeal, genderless, energy-based lifeform who wears a containment suit to protect others from viewing their true face), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk, a Brikar and a shy, but unusually bright eight-year-old girl), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf, an endearing, indestructible blob with curiously good timing and an insatiable appetite for ship parts), and Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog, a 16-year-old Tellarite who will always play devil’s advocate for the sake of hearing all sides).
Kevin and Dan Hageman serve as executive producers, as well as Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin, and Ben Hibon is director/co-executive producer and creative lead on Prodigy. The new children’s animated series joins the impressive Trek catalog on Paramount+, including new seasons of Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard, the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks, and the upcoming spinoff Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Watch what Kate Mulgrew had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis.
- How the series is aimed at a younger generation.
- How when she made Star Trek: Voyager she dealt with a hologram and now she is the hologram.
- What has been her favorite part about making Prodigy?
- Why she loves doing the voice recording.
- Since she played the character for so many years, what has it been like collaborating with the writers and directors on the dialogue?
- What does it mean to her being the first female Star Trek captain on a series?
- Was she hesitant to play Captain Janeway again when they offered her this role?
- What does she miss about playing Captain Janeway on a daily basis?
Here’s the official synopsis for Star Trek: Prodigy:
The CG-animated series STAR TREK: PRODIGY is the first “Star Trek” series aimed at younger audiences and will follow a motley crew of young aliens who must figure out how to work together while navigating a greater galaxy, in search for a better future. These six young outcasts know nothing about the ship they have commandeered – a first in the history of the Star Trek franchise – but over the course of their adventures together, they will each be introduced to Starfleet and the ideals it represents.
The animated series premieres this fall on Paramount+.
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