Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Star Trek: Prodigy | Cast & Crew Interviews | Nickelodeon & Paramount Plus

Kate Mulgrew on STAR TREK PRODIGY's Animated Janeway Character Design | TrekCore

STAR TREK: PRODIGY's Kate Mulgrew tells us about working with the show's creators, Kevin and Dan Hageman on creating an animated version of Captain Janeway.

Star Trek: Prodigy premieres October 28 on Paramount+ in the United States (and CTV Sci Fi Channel in Canada), with a one-hour opening episode to kick of the show’s first season; it will also be available on Paramount+ in Latin America, the Nordics and Australia. The series will also air on Nickelodeon following its streaming launch. Click HERE for more information!

Additional international premiere dates have not yet been announced, although the series is expected to debut on Paramount+ in the U.K. when the service launches next year.

Kate Mulgrew on Returning to Janeway for STAR TREK: PRODIGY | TrekCore

In a group interview setting, STAR TREK: PRODIGY's Kate Mulgrew talks about revisiting her character - Captain Kathryn Janeway - for the new animated series.

Envisioning a Brighter Animated Future in ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’

***This article originally appeared in the November ’21 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 314)***

It’s been 55 years now since the original Star Trek series started its journey to boldly go where no one has gone before. And after hundreds of hours of seeking out new life and new civilizations across nine TV series (with more on the way), and more than a dozen movies, Gene Roddenberry’s creation is still boldly going — this time, into CG animation with Star Trek: Prodigy, the first TV series in the franchise aimed at younger audiences.

Developed by Kevin and Dan Hageman, Star Trek: Prodigy follows a crew of young aliens who come together aboard an abandoned Federation starship to search for a better future. Guiding their voyage and exposing them to the ideals of Starfleet is an emergency training hologram with the likeness and voice of the legendary Captain Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager.

Kate Mulgrew voices a hologram mentor version of her Star Trek: Voyager character Kathryn Janeway in the new animated series Star Trek: Prodigy.

Kate Mulgrew reprises her role as Janeway, joined by a cast of young talent playing aliens both familiar and new. Among them: Rylee Alazraqui as Rok-Tahk, a bright but shy eight-year-old female Brikar whose hulking body resembles a pile of rocks; Brett Gray as Dal, a hopeful, 17-year-old maverick from an unknown species; Angus Imrie as Zero, a formless Medusan who wears a containment suit to keep others from going mad at the sight of its true self; Jason Mantzoukas as an argumentative, 16-year-old Tellarite named Jankom Pog; Ella Purnell as a 17-year-old Vau N’Akat named Gwen, who’s always dreamed of exploring the stars; and animation veteran Dee Bradley Baker as Murf, a blob-like alien who likes to eat ship parts.

Produced by the Nickelodeon Animation Studio and CBS’s Eye Animation Productions, Star Trek: Prodigy is animated by Technicolor and its first season is set to premiere this month on Paramount+ in the U.S., followed by a linear TV run next year on Nickelodeon.

Embracing Optimism

The approach had immediate appeal for Nickelodeon, says Claudia Spinelli, Nick’s senior VP of animation development. “It was just immediately apparent that this is a story we needed to tell and needed to have become part of our library,” she says. “It captures so many of the things that are just inherent in kids today, and also those qualities that are always about what it is to be a kid.”

Director, co-executive producer and creative lead Ben Hibon says Star Trek: Prodigy was a great chance to reconnect with the ever-present and overarching themes Roddenberry established for the series.

“It’s a story of the many rather than the story of a few, or the one,” he says, paraphrasing a classic line from Mr. Spock. “That’s something that always really connected with me. There’s also that positivity of Trek … this idea of finding that better version of yourself by empathy, by connecting, by integration, by trying to understand others.”

Hibon says much of the first season was already written when he beamed aboard. “There was a great sense of the arc of the characters and how they were fleshed out, and the arcs of the story — but there was no visuals whatsoever,” he says. “I came on board as a storyteller, but also to start visualizing what the show and that world would look like.”

Building the look of the show required using his storyboarding skills to find visual narrative ways to express concepts and figure out what was the right amount of newness required to extend the look of Star Trek without making it unrecognizable. He also, as director, worked on the tone of the show.

“The cinematic style was very important for the show,” he says. “It needed to have a grand sense of adventure, humor and honest emotion.” In establishing the look, Hibon says his approach to camera work, lighting and blocking incorporated live-action techniques.

That follows the original approach of Star Trek, which set out to tell believable and realistic science-fiction tales. “We really paid attention to keeping things within the realm of reality, of realism, in terms of action,” Hibon says. “We really love the idea of never breaking that glass ceiling. We never go into the fantastical for the sake of it, or for the action’s sake of it.”

Art director Alessandro Taini comes to Star Trek: Prodigy from the videogame world. “I always wanted to work in animation because it’s all about storytelling,” he says.

A show like Star Trek: Prodigy presents a lot of opportunities. “You need to, first of all, respect the history of the show,” Taini says. “You need to make sure anything you do, even if it is something new, you need it to still be related to the style of Star Trek, without going too crazy.” That gave Taini an opportunity to create new alien planets and explore variations on the look of Star Trek’s foundational design for things like starships, via elements such as signage. Colors also were pushed in ways that suited CG animation, shooting for the right mixture of stylization while still being grounded.

While the potential of animation to create a universe with depth is unlimited, CG animation has to work within the limits of budget, schedules and technology.

Star Trek character design also has its tradition, and Prodigy adds elements of classic Trek with Jangkom Pog, an alien known as a Tellarite that dates back to the original live-action series; as well as the holographic version of Janeway. Even though she is the only human-looking member of the Prodigy team, Janeway is an iconic live-action character whose design had to look like part of the same world as alien characters designed for animation.

“We’ve been trying to find a real balance between realistic and stylized,” Taini says, adding that he is pleased that Mulgrew was happy with the final design.

The ship is a major element in any iteration of Star Trek. A focus on details over a slightly stylized but still recognizable version of the classic starship architecture produced the right results, Taini says.

Most of Taini’s team worked remotely, with a group in Los Angeles and matte painters, concept artists, 3D artists and others working from all over the world.

Voicing the Future

Hibon says many factors play a role in creating the final characters. There are the initial designs on the page and the script, but the actors played a big role in interpreting them for this show.

For example, Gray brought a lot of energy to his role and helped give Dal a lot of enthusiasm and hope. “He fancies himself a bit of a maverick,” Hibon says of Dal. “At the end of the day, a lot of his great plans fall very often very short, but his heart is big and … his belief in himself is contagious.”

Similarly, Alazraqui’s young voice for the oversized body of Rok-Tahk brought out nuances that were reflected in the animation. “The character is so large that we had to turn down a lot of her animation and the movement,” Hibon says. They worked out what Hibon describes as “very, very small micro animation” to capture the character’s mix of fragility and innocence.

Introducing Roddenberry’s ideas to a younger audience was really exciting, Hibon says, as Prodigy takes for the first time a young and inexperienced crew of characters on a journey of growth and exploration through the Star Trek lens.

“They have questions,” he says. “They’re trying to do things for the right reasons, but everything is challenging. Those challenges help the characters learn who they are, but also test them to use their minds and think through problems with logic. I think there’s something that is right about it, as a message for a younger audience,” Hibon concludes.

Star Trek: Prodigy premieres on Paramount+ on October 28.


Set Phasers to Fun! ‘Star Trek: Prodigy' Puts a Young Crew at the Helm

“Star Trek: Prodigy” is the first “Star Trek” series aimed at younger audiences.

[Click HERE for video interview]

Almost exactly 55 years ago, the original “Star Trek” series starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy took viewers across the galaxy, to explore brave new worlds. Now the legacy of what Gene Roddenberry created continues in the new Nickelodeon Animation Studios series, “Star Trek: Prodigy.”

Rather than adults at the helm as we’ve seen in so many “Star Trek” projects, “Prodigy” focuses on what would happen if a group of young misfits discovered a Starfleet ship and set off on their own adventures. Brothers Dan and Kevin Hageman created the series with the goal of appealing to a younger audience in mind.

“You think about ‘Star Trek’ and it’s always about fully formed adults on a bridge, weighing massive consequences,” Dan Hageman said. “And we thought it would just be really interesting if you had a bunch of kids who knew nothing about Gene Roddenberry and Starfleet and they get introduced to it.”

Brett Gray (“On My Block”) plays Dal, a young teenager who escapes the hard life of a mining colony and discovers the U.S.S. Protostar. Along the way he meets Rok-Tahk played by Rylee Alazraqui (“Stillwater”), Jakom Pog played by Jason Mantzoukas (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Zero played by Angus Imrie (“The Crown”) who all try to figure out what the U.S.S. Protostar can do. 

But they aren’t completely without help. Many fans will be delighted to see the return of Kate Mulgrew as a holographic Captain Janeway from “Voyager.” And the Hageman brothers are quick to point out this is not a continuation of the “Voyager” story even though the events take place during the same time period and in the Delta quadrant.

“We also wanted, not just Janeway, but those other Trek elements that we can’t talk about yet but you will see later on,” Kevin Hageman explained. “We did not want our show to be the little sibling to the live action show. We were like, how can we write this so we get kids and adult fans. And that our show is going to sit up there on the mantle with the best of them.”

Over the course of their adventures together, this motley crew will each be introduced to Starfleet and the ideals it represents. And the Hagemans say that’s ultimately what they want the audience to experience as well.

“We want to honor the old as much as we want to honor the new,” Dan Hageman said.

“For me it’s what the Federation is all about,” Kevin Hageman said. “The coalition of different species all coming together and dreaming of becoming better. That’s what I hope kids take from this show.”

You can boldly go along with the kids of “Star Trek: Prodigy” when it premieres Oct. 28 on Paramount+. The series stars Kate Mulgrew, Brett Gray, Ella Purnell, Rylee Alazraqui, Jason Mantzoukas, and Angus Imrie. It was produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio; Secret Hideout; and Roddenberry Entertainment.


'Star Trek: Prodigy' sends the franchise back into the animation universe

"Star Trek" has had its younger fans, but rarely has the direct appeal of "Star Trek: Prodigy" been made to them.

The enduring sci-fi franchise goes where it hasn't often gone before with the debut of the animated series Thursday, Oct. 28, on Paramount+. Produced by the animation arms of Nickelodeon (which will run the program later) and CBS Studios, the saga brings back Kate Mulgrew to voice a hologram version of her "Star Trek: Voyager" character Capt. Kathryn Janeway. However, the show centers around her new trainees, six young aliens who learn about working together -- and the workings of Starfleet -- while traveling aboard an abandoned ship.

"Janeway defined an era for me and, as it turns out, the rest of my life," Mulgrew reflects. "To play a hologram is probably the most clever way to introduce this character to children. To introduce 'Hologram Janeway' to 10-year-olds, 15-year-olds is an exciting approach, and very smart. From there, of course, the sky is the limit ... but I am delighted to be back playing her. I love her. When a character defines a part of your life, you are in turn deeply grateful, which I am. And she has never left me."

"Star Trek: Prodigy" executive producer Alex Kurtman has been a major keeper of the flame, having co-created and overseen the Paramount+ series "Star Trek: Discovery" and "Star Trek: Picard," and also having a hand in the streaming service's animated but more-adult "Star Trek: Lower Decks." He maintains "Star Trek" has "always been a family show, the show that parents watched with their children -- and those children become parents, and they pass it on to their children. I think that legacy is important."

"Star Trek" also yielded a 1973-74 Saturday-morning NBC cartoon show (with the voices of the original series' cast), but Kurtzman credits sibling "Star Trek: Prodigy" creators Dan and Kevin Hageman with bringing "such a wonderful objectivity, just based on their own experience doing kids' shows ('Trollhunters,' etc.), about an area in 'Star Trek' that felt like a really wonderful place to look at. It was great. And obviously, having Kate back to play Janeway is everything, because that blessing allowed us to tell this story in a way that I think we otherwise would not have been able to tell."

With a second season already ordered, "Star Trek: Prodigy" also features in its voice cast Brett Gray, Jason Mantzoukas, Ella Purnell and -- as the tyrannical Diviner and his enforcer Drednok -- John Noble ("Fringe") and Jimmi Simpson ("Westworld").

"The 'Star Trek' world has been pervasive for a lot of my life, and I'm 73," Noble notes. "I'm really thrilled to do (this)."


From Heavy:

Everything You Need to Know About the Newest ‘Star Trek’ Series

This Thursday will mark a bunch of firsts for the “Star Trek” franchise. October 28, 2021, will be the first time fans will get to stream “Star Trek: Prodigy,” which is the first show of the franchise to be geared toward children. Below are some of these firsts, along with everything you’ll need to know to watch “Prodigy.”

Fans who want to watch “Prodigy” must be a subscriber to Paramount+, where the series will stream. Eventually, the show will air on cable TV, courtesy of Nickelodeon. These entities — Paramount, Nickelodeon, and “Star Trek” — are owned by media conglomerate Viacom. 

The first episode will stream this Thursday, and the entire first season of the series will be 10 episodes, according to IMDB.

Who Is on the Show?

For most Trek fans, the big draw will be the return of Captain Janeway, played by Kate Mulgrew. As the star of “Star Trek: Voyager,” fans are familiar with her no-nonsense style. Still, Janeway will be a hands-off character on “Prodigy” since she will be a hologram. 

The rest of the characters on the show are a group of teenage aliens. Heavy spoke with three of the show’s stars — Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), and Brett Gray (Dal). Rounding out the rest of the team are Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), and Angus Imrie (Zero). 

In addition, Paramount announced recently that actress Jameela Jamil will be on the show as well, as a Trill Ensign. Multi-talented actor/singer Daveed Diggs, best known for his role in “Hamilton,” will also be on the show as an Andorian named Commander Tysess. 

Returning to “Star Trek” will be Jason Alexander as Dr. Noum. Alexander is known the world over as George Costanza from “Seinfeld” and appeared on the “Voyager” episode “Think Tank.”

The most significant announcement from that release was the news that Chakotay (Robert Beltran) would also be reprising his role on “Prodigy.” The bad guys on the show will be John Noble and Jimmi Simpson. 

What is Janeway’s role?

Heavy’s own Robin Zabiegalski asked Mulgrew this question recently. Zabiegalski assumed that Janeway would be more of a mentor “Prodigy” compared to her commander role on “Voyager.” Mulgrew had an interesting response. 

“Captain Janeway was a mentor to get crew… to most of her crew,” said Mulgrew. ”Certainly, to characters like Seven of Nine. So that’s an innate part of her character.”

“I don’t think that Hologram Janeway or Captain Janeway would be very pleased to see the way Dal sprawls himself in the captain’s chair. But I will teach him in short order to sit up straight and fly right.”

Who Are the Show’s Creators?

The creative team that produced “Prodigy” is Dan and Kevin Hageman, and the show’s director is Ben Hibon. Heavy was able to ask them about the show’s tone at the New York Comic-Con, which you can check out here. The show’s writers include Aaron Waltke, Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, and a few others. Check out the complete list of “Prodigy” writers and producers available from IMDB.

Without question, the Hagemans and Hibon owe a great debt to the franchise’s creator, Gene Roddenberry. 

How is “Prodigy” different from “The Animated Series” or “Lower Decks?”
The most significant difference between “Prodigy” and the two other Trek animated series is that ST:P was created using 3D-style animation. “The Animated Series,” which aired in the mid-1970s, was hand-drawn, cell animation, while “Lower Decks” uses Adobe Animate and is still considered 2D animation, according to the shows’ director, Barry Kelly.

Is the show Canon?
While this might be up for debate in some circles — as is the case with “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” — director Ben Hibon says that “Prodigy” is canon. That means what happens on “Prodigy” could have real-life effects on what goes on with other Trek shows. It also takes place in the Prime Timeline, and not the Kelvin-verse (or Mirror Timeline). 

When does “Prodigy” take place in the Trek timeline?
While this question might be answered by watching the show, some have speculated that “Prodigy” takes place in the same era as “Star Trek: Discovery.” That would put “Prodigy” in the 31st or 32nd Century. ScreenRant’s Dana Hanson suggests that the group of teens who finds the U.S.S. Protostar could have discovered it after the fall of the Federation. This would align with the story from Season 3 of “Discovery,” where both The Burn and poor communications made the Federation a relic from the past.

What Kind of Ship Is the Protostar?

Fans might see the Protostar and immediately think of the U.S.S. Prometheus, which appeared on “Voyager.” But the Prometheus is a class of its own, as its NX-76884 designation reveals. This new kind of ship might explain how a small and inexperienced crew could operate a starship. 


From TrekMovie:

Interview: ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Producers Talk Legacy Characters, Canon, And Not Dumbing Down Trek

In addition to speaking to Kate Mulgrew, TrekMovie also participated in an NYCC group interview with Star Trek: Prodigy executive producers/co-creators Kevin and Dan Hageman and executive producer/director Ben Hibon. The producers talked to us and a handful of other outlets about how the animated show isn’t just for kids, how it fits in with other Trek, and even about the likelihood that we’ll see some legacy characters on the show.

This interview has been edited for clarity.  

Was Prodigy an idea you brought to CBS Paramount and Nickelodeon or were you asked to develop a Star Trek show for kids by them, and Prodigy came from that?

Dan Hageman: The latter. Secret Hideout came to us and said, ‘We would love to figure out an entry point for the Star Trek universe for a younger audience.’ And then Kevin and I kind of went away and then we came back and said we’d like to make this show, and they were enthusiastic about it, and the rest is on the screen.

Kevin Hageman: At first we were really nervous about doing a Trek show because I don’t think I could write an episode of, let’s say, Voyager. But when we left that meeting, we’re like, ‘Well, what would we do?’ And we decided, ‘Wait a minute, if these main characters are outside of everything Starfleet and they start to discover it and learn it and stuff like that.’ That’s really relatable and it’s a wonderful jumping-off point for kids, right? For most shows, it’s always these fully formed officers who just know everything. The best of the best. What kid is the best of the best?

Dan Hageman: I think the first thing we would say very early on is: ‘We don’t want to work on little Kirk and little Spock.’

Kevin Hageman: That sounds like it sounds like a terrible show.

Dan Hageman: I’m sure it has an audience, but we don’t want to write that.

What was the most difficult thing to adapt from Star Trek for a kids’ show?

Dan Hageman: Well we always try to blur the line. We never really view it as a kid show. We view it as a show for people who don’t know Star Trek,  which could be young or old. And so we always had that perspective of the outsider and that freed us up. We wanted to keep the stakes real for an older audience. We never want to dumb things down for kids. Kids are really smart. They may have a learning curve in the show, but they’ll get there.

Kevin Hageman: I think the hardest part is the balancing of the tone. It’s really hard as a writer to get that tone that will hit everyone. The comedy needs to be smart. The storytelling needs to be really clever. It’s got to work for both kids and adults. That’s always the challenge

Dan Hageman: A lot of Star Trek is already is great for all ages. But there’s always a few episodes that might not be appropriate for kids and for our show I’m sure we’ll all avoid those episodes.

What were some of the challenges of translating the live-action world of Star Trek into your 3D animation style?

Ben Hibon: I don’t I don’t think we necessarily try to carry through a certain or specific style from something else as much as trying to create something new that would capture all the elements that we’re looking for. So it’s kind of looking at the page, looking at the intentions of the character and the ambition of the show as a character-driven story. And then how do we best capture this with animation. Therefore, we decided to go very cinematic in terms of the scale of the adventure.

We wanted to have something that would fit really nicely within other Trek shows because we’re canon. It is a continuation. So we wanted that realism of the world itself to feel as realized as other Trek shows. That also dictated how we would design the world itself, the background, how lived-in it is, how tangible in texture it is. Those are the different pieces that we’ve been looking at doing.

For character design, we wanted to have something that had a sufficient amount of facial detail, being able to emote very much so we could really focus on close-ups and emotion as much as the danger, the stakes, the fun, the adventure, all of these elements. We wanted to be able to shoot it at any distance for it to look good.

For Ben, how does directing for Star Trek compare with your other work like Heavenly Sword and Harry Potter?

Ben Hibon: Thanks to Kevin and Dan and Nickelodeon and Paramount, there was a lot of excitement, enthusiasm, and freedom in terms of really creating something that did not necessarily need to mirror anything prior to it. Aside from tone, respecting rules in terms of what was established. But in terms of visually creating imageries, it was very flexible, very organic, and therefore very creative.

I can say the same for the Harry Potter animation; for example, where we made an animated version of a fantastical world. But that piece of content did not exist in that mythology yet. And I think it’s the same here. We’re adding a piece of the puzzle without duplicating it. We’re just creating an addition to it. And by doing that, and using a different medium, it just gives us a lot of lateral movement. We can go back to the known, we can explore the unknown, and hopefully just marry the two in an interesting way.

Is Captain Janeway the only hologram that you guys actually considered?

Kevin Hageman: One hundred percent we knew it was Kate right away.

Dan Hageman: We knew it right after it was like, ‘In case you don’t know anything about Star Trek.’ And then Kate Mulgrew. It went in that order.

Kevin Hageman: She’s loving but disciplined. She just fit that perfect mentor for a bunch of wayward kids. ‘

And are there going to be other appearances of other hologram characters from Star Trek?

Kevin Hageman: Let’s just say yes, there will be other holograms. But I don’t want to make it sound like legacy characters who might show up in our show are going to be holograms. Our kids are starting in the Delta Quadrant and they’re venturing into Federation space, the Federation space of all the other shows at that time period. So we might see real characters coming in, not as holograms.

Since the USS Protostar is an NX experimental ship with a cadet training program, are there going to be new surprises for Trek fans?

Dan Hageman: There’s some big secrets about the ship that will be explored. And the season revolves around some of those secrets.

Kevin Hageman: Even though you guys have seen the ads and you knew Janeway would show up, when we first wrote the pilot, no one had any idea until you get to that last page and all of a sudden Janeway shows up and it was really, really shocking. We love mystery. We love moments like that. And there will be many more.

You just announced four new characters including Captain Chakotay, which sounds like the crew of a starship. Can you say anything more about them, and are they the original crew of the Protostar?

Kevin Hageman: [Laughs] Nice question, but we can’t tell you anything, except you are wrong on [them being former Protostar crew].

Dan Hageman: We have to keep our details tight on that one.

Prodigy arrives next week

The Prodigy debut will be available to stream on Paramount+ in the United States on October 28. The series is also coming to Paramount+ in Latin America, the Nordics, and Australia, and  CTV Sci-Fi in Canada. It will debut in 2022 in parts of Europe with the launch of the Paramouint+ Sky partnership.


From TrekMovie:

Interview: ‘Prodigy’ Cast On Learning Lessons From Star Trek… And Hologram Janeway

At New York Comic Con, TrekMovie participated in a series of group interviews with members of the cast and crew of Star Trek: Prodigy. In addition to speaking to Kate Mulgrew and the executive producers, we also spoke to voice actors Brett Gray (Dal), Ella Purnell (Gwyn), and Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk). They told us and a handful of other outlets about their views on Star Trek and offered some insights into their characters through their relationships with Hologram Janeway.

This interview has been edited for clarity.  

Being part of this show, what have you learned about the message of Star Trek and how do you feel it will resonate with other kids?

Brett Gray: It’s awesome. I feel like today I got a crash course in the Prime Directive from Kate Mulgrew herself. Just that ideal of the world being a place that all of us belong to together no matter what species or race or generation or any of those sort of things that we use to place people in boxes. No matter what, we all belong and we all have a spot on the team, and have strengths and weaknesses that we can use to lean on each other to help take us all forward.

Rylee Alazraqui: I think that it’s going to teach people to work together and to realize people for who they really are, and to look at the qualities in people and appreciate them more, and work together and have cooperation with other people.

Ella Purnell: I would agree with what Brett and Rylee have said. What is cool is that we are new to the world as the characters. And we’re learning about it as the episodes go on. We come in with each character caring more about themselves than the collective. I think what they learn—and what I’m gathering as the greater message for Star Trek—is it’s about team building. It’s about being a family and a collective. And I think that extends into the fan base as well.

Can you sum up what Hologram Janeway teaches your characters, without spoilers?

Ella Purnell: It’s a really good question… Each character obviously has their own arc and their own lessons that they have to learn and [Janeway] facilitates almost every single one… I think for my character, she teaches her a softer, more vulnerable side of leadership. Gwyn has learned leadership from the Diviner only. And that is not the kindest way to lead. I think she learns from Janeway that it is okay to be vulnerable. And that kindness and love and respect are a greater asset when it comes to that.

Gwyn (Ella Purnell)

Brett Gray: “Think first” is my answer for Dal, because he has the tendency to jump into things without knowing what’s going to happen or have a plan, which is great. The gumption is incredible. But I think Janeway teaches him to think first and how does this affect the people around you. And how are you utilizing the members of your team so that this can be one mission and executed in a way that is strategic and not just audacious.

Dal (Brett Gray)

Rylee Alazraqui: I think Janeway teaches Rok-Tahk to stand up for herself more and be more confident. Because she kind of gets bossed around by Dal sometimes. And I think that she just needs to stand up for herself and she’s learning how to take on more challenges by herself instead of leaning against everyone else. She has to learn how to be responsible.

Rok-Tahk (Rylee Alazraqui)

How familiar were you with Star Trek when you got cast? Did you watch any to prepare and what did you like most if you did?

Brett Gray: Unfortunately, I didn’t do any sort of preparation at all. I didn’t watch anything. The only memory I have of Star Trek is at my grandma’s house. She loves sci-fi in general and she would always have, at nighttime, Star Trek. I remember there being this interesting cast of people and they were very respectful and poised. It was admirable to watch, definitely. It was something that I was interested in but I was so young I didn’t really have a way in for myself. So it’s awesome to bring this one through because I feel like it’s the perfect thing for first-time Trek people to come in and start with this new group of kids and learn as it goes.

I know the big characters. It’s funny, I actually did my first Captain’s Log, and it was completely wrong. The Captain’s Logs were supposed to be super poised and like [adopts formal speech], ‘Hello, today this is what happened.’ And my Captain’s Log is like [adopts energetic voice] ‘So let me tell you how…’ Which they ended up keeping and really liking. So I feel like not having the pressure of living up to something has also come in our performances.

Ella Purnell: I have to agree with that. My stepdad always used to watch it and I would come downstairs and he’d be sitting watching the reruns, I couldn’t tell you which… but it was must have been the very first couple ones because my teenage self would be like, ‘The graphics are terrible.’ It’s just different from what I grew up watching. And that was my first experience with the Star Trek.

I actually like the idea that none of us really have any experience or have married ourselves too closely to the original ones, because I think that’s what’s going to modernize it—not that it needs modernizing—but it’s going to carry the sense to the next generation and make it more relatable and attractive for them.

Rylee Alazraqui: When I got [cast] I didn’t know what it was. So we watched a [Star Trek] movie. I don’t know which one… And I didn’t really learn that much from it because either it was too confusing or it was inappropriate for my eyes to watch. I don’t know, there are many reasons and I was confused and I was focused on the marshmallows and my hot chocolate. I think that I’m learning a lot from just doing these recording sessions and reading the scripts. And it’s going to be really exciting for me to learn more and for everyone who’s watching the show to learn about the Prodigy of Star Trek.


Prodigy arrives in 2 days

The Prodigy debut will be available to stream on Paramount+ in the United States on October 28. The series is also coming to Paramount+ in Latin America, the Nordics, and Australia, and  CTV Sci-Fi in Canada. It will debut in 2022 in parts of Europe with the launch of the Paramouint+ Sky partnership.


From TrekMovie:

The All Access Podcast Tunes In Interviews With ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’ Creators And Cast

Interview: Kate Mulgrew On How Hologram Janeway Is “Fully Alive” In ‘Star Trek: Prodigy’

The series premiere of the animated kids series Star Trek: Prodigy arrives next week, which will include the return of Star Trek: Voyager’s Kate Mulgrew, voicing Hologram Kathryn Janeway. Speaking to TrekMovie and a handful of other outlets in a group interview during New York Comic Con, Mulgrew talked about returning to the character and gave us some insights into what’s different and what’s not so different about Hologram Janeway.

This interview has been edited for clarity.  

Ella Purnell [Gwyn] has said each of the characters learns something in their arc from Hologram Janeway, but does Hologram Janeway have her own arc?

Very good question, thank you. Initially, she’s there for purposes of mentorship and guidance. But you soon come to understand that she is leading them in an unexpected way. I don’t think I am allowed to tell you how that is, that is a spoiler. Suffice it to say that the hologram is very much like Captain Janeway and has many of her traits, and all of her sort of better qualities. And the kids respond to those qualities accordingly. So it’s not as if they’re responding to some sort of machine.

It’s very much a collaboration. And it’s a very felt relationship she has with these kids. Otherwise, they wouldn’t listen, right? What kid listens to an adult who’s shouting at them, or sternly reprimanding them or simply telling them what to do? A kid listens when the adult is interested in the kid. And that’s what Hologram Janeway is with all of these kids.

How much of Captain Janeway’s personality will we see with Hologram Janeway? Or is she just like educational software?

As I said a moment ago, that would be futile. To use a good Star Trek expression: she must be fully alive. She must be endowed with vitality, with heart, and with a capacity for great warmth and affection. Also discernment. She likes some better than she likes others. She responds to some more positively than she does to others, and vice versa. So there’s nothing clinical about this hologram, nor would it work if it were. It has to be alive. And she is very, very alive. It wouldn’t be interesting to me as a voice actor. Why would I do it? It has to resonate. It has to have all of our human qualities, of course.

How different will Janeway be on Prodigy, given she is a hologram?

Well, she’s animated [laughs]. It’s a distinct difference. I’m not REAL in this one. But all of the characteristics, and all of the virtues, and some of the flaws are much in evidence. The essential Janeway is there. That’s the whole point. That’s what’s so provocative, and what will prove to be so evocative about this Janeway. She embodies what was real, and she’s giving this demographic something through a genre that is not real. So it’s kind of an extraordinary sleight of hand, If you will.

You have done animation voice work before, but what is it like performing a character that you previously played in live-action?

Easy. Delightfully and refreshing easy. Which is a wonderful gift after having worked so hard for seven years to create the real Captain Janeway. To have her in my pocket like that and to have her spring out with such alacrity and such vivacity, pleases me very much. It’s a pleasure. And at this point in time—26 years later—it should be nothing short of a pleasure.

Did you have any input on the animated design of Hologram Janeway?

A wonderful question. We were in VERY close collaboration because it’s important to me that my physical features be exaggerated in just the right way. It’s easy to get that wrong. But these animators did it beautifully. So that the eyes are a little enhanced, the face itself is a little shortened, a little square, the mouth is more facile. Children need to respond to the eyes, the mouth. Every inch and step of the way, from the hair, which you know, was diabolically difficult for real Janeway. And these guys–Kevin and Dan Hageman–are just terrific to work with.

There is a genius to animation that I hadn’t given enough thought to, myself. And being a part of this is teaching me that it’s a very rare and very excellent form of art. It’s  craftsmanship that I have to stand back and sort of say, “Wow.” These are men who are not only incredibly smart and very, very gifted, but who can somehow enter into the imagination of a six-year-old kid and produce the dialogue that would be in accordance to that personality. It’s wonderful to be a part of it. I’m learning.

How did it feel when they approached you about returning to the role?  

I gave it a minute, even though the phone call came directly from Alex Kurtzman. And he is someone I admire very much. I like his intelligence. I like the way he thinks. I love his love of Star Trek. Because often in a producer/creator, those two things are not necessarily compatible. In him they are, very much so. But I had to sit on it for a minute because my creation of Kathryn Janeway was not only wholly invested, but I have to tell you, very defining. That was a decade of my life that never ended. It just keeps going on and on. So the significance of Janeway is very apparent to me. If I’m going to step into some recording booth and bring her to life again, I’d better understand that. So after considering that for about two days, I said, “I’d love to do it.” And it’s been great.

With Star Trek: Prodigy Captain Janeway is going to be the captain and an inspiration for a whole new young generation of fans. What does that mean to you personally?

It means the world to me, which is why I agreed to do it. And especially because it is children. In my experience with Star Trek, the targeted audience has always been sort of twenty to whatever [laughs]. To go into the minds of the young will be thrilling. And I’m so surprised Star Trek didn’t do this earlier. And I’m absolutely delighted and honored to be the one to take it in. Because who would absorb this more readily than a young mind? This kind of philosophy. The idea of Prime Directive is Kid Stuff 101. Let me be noble. Let me be fine. Let me be happy at being great. That’s what children aspire to. And that’s what we’re going to give them.

How do you feel kids are going to react to the episodes following the two-part premiere?  

I think it’s only going to get better and better. It’s one thing in the booth, I don’t see all of the animatics. I watched the entire thing today for the first time–the first two episodes. And I could see distinctly the development of it. As the characters are introduced, you’ve got to hang in. You’ve got to really pay attention. That requires a certain concentration. This is this character, this is what this character will represent. And then Janeway appears at the end, suddenly, and you know that something terrific is going to happen. And indeed it does, because she is going to help them motivate that starship into life and into its proper direction. Thrilling!

(L-R) Dee Bradley Baker, Kevin Hageman, Ben Hibon, Kate Mulgrew, Dan Hageman, Brett Gray and Rylee Alazraqui at New York Comic Con 2021 (Paramount+)


The Prodigy debut will be available to stream on Paramount+ in the United States on October 28. The series is also coming to Paramount+ in Latin America, the Nordics, and Australia, and  CTV Sci-Fi in Canada. It will debut in 2022 in parts of Europe with the launch of the Paramouint+ Sky partnership.


From Heavy:

Prodigy: A Kid’s Show Worthy of the Name ‘Star Trek’

One of the reasons that the “Star Trek” franchise is unique and stands alone from most all other science fiction and adventure stories is the focus on optimism. Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a positive future stands in stark contrast to what fans see in “The Terminator” or “Blade Runner.” Trek certainly is different from the endless war and fighting seen in “Star Wars.”

It was to this high standard that Roddenberry created the franchise’s first cartoon show — “Star Trek: The Animated Series.” Written as if it were the continuation of the show, which was canceled in 1969, TAS did not fall into the familiar Saturday morning cartoon tropes that most shows geared toward children do. In fact, TAS even won a Daytime Emmy Award for one of its episodes. 

“The Animated Series”

So this legacy for taking storytelling seriously is absolutely a focus of the creative team behind the franchise’s newest addition, “Star Trek: Prodigy.” This show is breaking new ground in quite a few ways. First, it will be the first Trek ever to be made entirely with 3D-style computer animation. Secondly, it’s the first Trek show to be geared specifically toward children. The show will air on Paramount+ first, then later it will be shown on Nickelodeon. 

The show will star a team of youngsters who find the U.S.S. Protostar, an abandoned Starfleet vessel. An emergency hologram, in the form of Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), will guide the team through their adventures. “Prodigy” begins airing on Paramount+ next Thursday.

Heavy’s own Robin Zabeigalski got a chance to ask some questions to the show’s director and showrunners. Her questions and their answers revealed quite a bit behind what fans can expect from this new show. And for those afraid that “Prodigy” will be just for kids, the answers might change minds.

Star Trek: Prodigy | Hologram Kathryn Janeway | Paramount+Watch an exclusive clip from the new animated series Star Trek: Prodigy premiering October 28th, exclusively on Paramount+. Developed by Emmy Award-winners Kevin and Dan Hageman ("Trollhunters" and "Ninjago") the CG-animated Nickelodeon series STAR TREK: PRODIGY is the first "Star Trek" series aimed at younger audiences and will follow a motley crew of young aliens…2021-10-10T20:10:40Z

Zabeigalski asked director Ben Hibon and its co-showrunners, Dan and Kevin Hageman, how they planned to create a show that treats the audience as intelligent and intuitive. Hibon was the first to answer.

“We’re taking our time to set the stage to examine how one’s feeling in a situation prior to going into stakes, prior into going into challenges,” said Hibon. “We’re taking the time to let the kids really connect with the characters and the scenarios that we establish. And that time is very hard to get when you make a show like this. It’s really hard to spend all that … adding layers to all the personalities that you may encounter and the dynamics of the group before we start out opening up to the rest of the adventure.” 

“I hope that is what the story does well for kids,” said Hibon. “It is not telling them to go ‘we need to go really fast through it, so we don’t lose your attention.’ We want them to go with us and take the time to really understand the facets and aspects of that story.”

The Tale of the Three Brothers (HD)The Tale of the Three Brothers is a fairy tale told to wizard children. Supposedly written by Beedle the Bard, it is published as part of a series of works that collectively are called The Tales of Beedle the Bard. While most wizards view this story as one that teaches children morals (e.g. humility, wisdom,…2011-04-03T14:14:29Z

Before joining “Prodigy,” Hibon was best known for the “Tale of the Three Brothers” sequence in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I.” The Hagemans, Dan and Kevin, are known for quite a few projects geared toward children, including the LEGO Ninjago series.

“I would say that kids like what adults like,” said co-showrunner Dan Hageman. “If you look at the books that we grew up on like Shel Silverstein or even Dr. Seuss, these are amazing pieces of work.”

“And I think that oftentimes, you can look at kids’ entertainment as like throwing sausage,” said Hageman. “The kids will eat it! Just give ’em some gags and give ’em some whatever it is … you give them a character to connect to, and it’ll stick to their bones for their lives. And that’s the hope.”

“What you guys will find with this show… you’re going to laugh,” added co-showrunner Kevin Hageman. “You’re going to be thrilled. There are going to be really powerful moments that will make you cry. They made me cry many times.”

“We’re challenging kids because kids should be challenged,” said Dan Hageman.


How Captain Janeway Came Back for a New Star Trek With Prodigy | IGN

The new animated series Star Trek: Prodigy features the return of Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway... or more specifically, Hologram Kathryn Janeway, the guiding force aboard the show's starship, the USS Protostar. But how exactly did Mulgrew wind up coming back to the Star Trek world to reprise her most famous character?

We spoke to the Star Trek: Prodigy cast about their new characters, including Mulgrew and her co-stars Brett Gray (Dal), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk), and Ella Purnell (Gwyn), plus executive producers Kevin and Dan Hageman and director and co-executive producer Ben Hibon.

And of course the biggest question we had about Prodigy, the newest of the many Star Trek shows, was how exactly did Trek mega-producer Alex Kurtzman manage to lure Mulgrew back? And what does it mean for the world of Star Trek: Prodigy and its younger characters. After all, this isn't reqlly Captain Janeway who Mulgrew is playing, but rather a Hologram Janeway based on her Star Trek: Voyager character!

The one-hour Star Trek: Prodigy premiere hits on Thursday, Oct. 28, on Paramount+ in the U.S. Prodigy will also be available on Paramount+ in international territories including Latin America, the Nordics, and Australia.


Originally published: October 22, 2021.

H/T: We Got This Covered, Anime Superhero Forum /@RoyalRubble.

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Legends of The Hidden Temple | Season 1 Episode 4 | The Nyanga Legend Of Mwindo Promo | The CW

Legends of The Hidden Temple | Season 1 Episode 4 | The Nyanga Legend Of Mwindo Promo | The CW

Tensions run high as the teams tackle a scandalous new legend to win the temple run and chance at the grand prize.

Featuring Against The Current's Chrissy Costanza and her partner Andrew (aka Sigils).

Stream new episodes of Legends of The Hidden Temple free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/LHTgenyt

Based on the original game show, this supersized adult version, hosted by Cristela Alonzo, is taken out of the studio and into a "jungle," and scaled up with tougher challenges and much bigger prizes on the line.

Stream all your favorite Nickelodeon shows old and new on Paramount+! Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com!

Originally published: October 25, 2021.

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That Girl Lay Lay | Cast & Crew Interviews | Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon will be premiering That Girl Lay Lay, a brand new live-action comedy starring teen sensation and hip-hop artist Alaya “That Girl Lay Lay” High on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT), and to celebrate, below is a hand-picked selection of interviews with the cast and crew of Nick's all new sitcom! To find out more about That Girl Lay Lay, click here!

November 2021 on Nickelodeon USA | Premiere Highlights

Below are Nickelodeon USA's currently announced November 2021 premiere highlights for Nick, Nicktoons, Nick Jr., Nick at Nite, TeenNick and Paramount+:

Latest Update: N/A (Check back regularly for the latest updates!)

Nickelodeon to Premiere 'Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years' in Iberia, the Nordics and Wallonia on Nov. 8

The Nickelodeon Commercial Light feed will premiere Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years, the brand new spin-off from the network's iconic animated series SpongeBob SquarePants in Spain (España), Portugal (Portuguesa), Sweden (Sverige), Norway (Norge), Denmark (Danmark) and Wallonia (Wallonie) on Monday 8th November 2021 at 15:30 CET! Following launch, the series will air weekdays at 15:30 and 18:30 CET on Nick. Please see local listings for local airtimes.

SpongeBob mergulha ao passado em Kamp Koral

Já imaginaste como era o mundo de SpongeBob aos 10 anos? O Nickelodeon sim e por isso apresenta Kamp Koral! Vem conhecer as personagens desta animação.

Um spin-off da popular série de “SpongeBob SquarePants”, Kamp Koral é um exclusivo Nickelodeon e estreia em Portugal no dia 8 de novembro às 14h30*. Uma das novidades da temporada, esta prequela animada em CG leva os fãs até Kamp Koral, o mundo de SpongeBob quando este e os seus amigos tinham apenas 10 anos.

Durante 13 episódios, os habitantes de Bikini Bottom vão passar o verão a fazer fogueiras subaquáticas, a caçar medusas selvagens e a nadar no Lago Yuckymuck. Tudo isto no acampamento mais louco da floresta de algas, o Kamp Koral. Vem descobrir quem acompanha SpongeBob nestas novas aventuras debaixo de água!

*A série será transmitida de segunda a sexta-feira, às 14h30 e às 17h30

SpongeBob SquarePants (10 anos)

"De olhos arregalados e a absorver experiência, como a esponja que é, SpongeBob está muito entusiasmado por estar no Kamp Koral com os seus amigos Patrick e Sandy. Mais pateta, maluco e um pouco mais ingénuo do que a sua versão adulta, SpongeBob está determinado em fazer amizade com todos neste campo de férias e na floresta circundante (até mesmo com os ursos marinhos pardos)! Este é um jovem muito educado e feliz, mas não tem noção dos limites e, muitas vezes, simplesmente surpreende alguém que está a dormir ou a utilizar a casa-de-banho exterior, esquecendo que não está em casa. E, como só tem dez anos, não é muito bom em coisas que gostaria de ser – como atar os cordões e caçar medusas. Mas leva tudo na desportiva com muito humor, tal como a esponja amarela adulta que conhecemos e amamos!"

Patrick Star (10 anos)

É do conhecimento geral que o adulto Patrick tem um cérebro pequeno. Mas, o jovem Patrick tem um cérebro ainda menor, o que o torna extremamente desmiolado (nesta fase, ainda não é o Patrick sábio e mundano que todos conhecemos). Está super empolgado por fazer parte do acampamento com o SpongeBob e os restantes campistas e acaba por exagerar em tudo de forma divertida e doce e, ao mesmo tempo, desleixada. Patrick adora comer mas ainda não tem total certeza sobre o que não é comida, pelo que pode “provar” qualquer coisa (como árvores, pedras e livros). Desenvolveu um amor por gelado, embora seja intolerante à lactose. E, claro, é o amigo mais leal de SpongeBob e espera um dia ser um génio da programação informática, mas apenas se isso não interferir com a sua atividade favorita: não fazer nada.

Sandy Cheeks (11 anos)

Uma esquila altamente competitiva e resistente, Sandy ainda está a aprender sobre ciência e natureza. Graças à sua formação no Texas, tem capacidades de sobrevivência ao ar livre que nenhum dos outros campistas tem… E como trouxe o seu próprio fato de respiração subaquática para todos os fins, pode participar em todas as atividades do acampamento! Por se mais jovem do que estamos habituadas, Sandy nem sempre é tão segura de si e costuma recorrer a SpongeBob (ou pior, a Patrick) em busca de conforto e conhecimento.

Squidward Tentacles (14 anos)

É o primeiro ano de Squidward enquanto monitor do campo e quer fazer um ótimo trabalho. Infelizmente, foi designado para a cabana de SpongeBob e Patrick – e eles deixam-no louco. No entanto, este jovem Squidward ainda não é a versão rabugente e amarga que conhecemos e amamos – ele tenta ser enérgico, pensar de forma positiva e colocar de lado as suas dúvidas adolescentes para fazer da sua cabana a melhor do acampamento. Squidward é também responsável pelos departamentos de artes, artesanato e música do acampamento e conseguiu conquistar o seu lugar tocando Raveille (mal) todas as manhãs com o seu clarinete.

Narlene & Nobby (14 & 8 anos)

Narwhals Narlene e o seu irmão mais novo Nobby moram nas colinas próximas de Kamp Koral. Nobby fala apenas numa língua confusa e os dois são crianças selvagens, o que os leva a vaguear pelo acampamento como se fossem donos do lugar. Estes dois jovens algo problemáticos correm à volta dos campistas para se divertirem! Narlene acha que SpongeBob é hilariante e tornam-se amigos rapidamente. Já Squidward tem uma queda por ela que nem ele entende bem.

Mr. Krabs (30 anos)

Antes de abrir o Krusty Krab, Mr. Krabs era o dono da Kamp Koral, pensando que seria uma forma fácil de ganhar dinheiro, tendo apenas que trabalhar no verão. Mal sabia ele a dor de cabeça que seria. As coisas no campo estão sempre a estragar-se, tudo é caro e as crianças chamam-lhe Velho Krabs, embora ele tenha apenas 30 anos! Quando está frustrado, corre para as profundezas da floresta, onde pode gritar à vontade. E, ao verdadeiro estilo do Mr. Krabs, cobra mais caros aos campistas na loja do acampamento e ainda conseguir mão-de-obra gratuita ao “pagar” pelas tarefas das crianças com medalhas de mérito em vez de dinheiro.

Plankton (Idade desconhecida)

A única razão pela qual Plankton aceitou o emprego enquanto cozinheiro do acampamento foi para economizar dinheiro para ir para a faculdade. Odeia o campo e os seus campistas mas, principalmente, odeia os Old Skinflint Krabs e está sempre a ameaçar com um vago “espere até eu ir para a faculdade, Mr. Krabs, vai-se arrepender!”. Plankton recebe críticas muito negativas por parte dos campistas pelo lixo que cozinha (sendo que todos os pratos se chamam “surpresa”) e prefere que a sua própria comida seja encomendada do restaurante chinês local. As únicas coisas que o reconfortam são os esquemas malignos, o seu covil subterrâneo e a sua namoradora calculadora portátil, a Karen.

Mrs. Puff (Idade desconhecida)

Algumas pessoas dizem que a Mrs. Puff, antes de se tornar instrutora de condução em Bikini Bottom, teve um passado criminoso. Outros afirmam que aceitou o trabalho em Kamp Koral como uma forma de proteger do calor e que esconde amontoados de coisas roubadas por todo o acampamento. Mas são apenas rumores. Enquanto diretora do acampamento, ela é a assistente do Mr. Krabs e está encarregada dos desportos e atividades do acampamento de forma a manter os jovens longe dos cabelos de Mr. Krab. Quer dizer, concha.

Costumas acompanhar as aventuras de SpongeBob aí por casa? Qual a personagem favorita?


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