Warning: This post contains spoilers for Star Trek: Prodigy episode 7, “First Con-Tact”
Star Trek: Prodigy is a children’s series that introduces young ones to Star Trek and its concepts. Even so, it can have dark themes that might prove a bit unsettling to some kids. The seventh episode, “First Con-Tact” introduces one that is particularly disturbing when Dal runs into DaiMon Nandi, the Ferengi who raised him. (StarTrek.com has the full recap.)
While Dal is excited to see someone he thought cared about him, it doesn’t take long for him to realize that Nandi has involved him and his crew members in a scheme that threatens life on a planet that has never encountered alien species before. Nandi claims to need a crystal to repay a debt, and Dal feels like he must help her. After all, she raised him. And despite the warnings from hologram Captain Janeway, he and his crew head to the planet to make what he thinks is a friendly, diplomatic exchange.
Star Trek: Prodigy introduces a new element to Dal that may change him
Shortly after realizing that Nandi is up to no good, Dal chases after her to try to retake the crystal she’s stolen, a crystal the planet needs to survive. The confrontation between the two has Nandi delivering some horrific news to Dal. All along he thought he was kidnapped by The Diviner’s forces and that was how he ended up working in the mines. But Nandi reveals that she actually sold him.
As mentioned, Prodigy has had some dark themes with the mines and The Diviner, but Dal being sold into servitude is a particularly heinous crime that is a bit surprising for a television show for children. Even Gwyn’s father deserting her for the Protostar wasn’t as ghastly as this new discovery.
While Gwyn is still coming to terms with her father’s deception, she has known all along that he wasn’t Andy Griffith. So her acceptance of his betrayal most likely won’t change her as much as Dal learning he had been sold. There is no way to cushion that, and I’d be very surprised if this episode doesn’t bring up more than a few questions for young ones. While “First Con-Tact” was an excellent episode, its rating for viewers as young as seven is questionable.