Star Trek: Prodigy won’t recast as the series goes on.
The new era of Star Trek is defined by the success of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, but it started with Star Trek: Prodigy, the animated show with a focus on younger fans. The animated series sees a group of misfits who band together as a young crew aboard an experimental Starfleet ship. The crew is guided by the ship’s Emergency Command Hologram, which is modeled after former Voyager captain Kathryn Janeway.
The young group will grow as friends and crew members under this setup, all while on the run from the real Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway and the series villain, The Diviner. Throughout the adventure, the kids are expected to grow and change.
While some of the cast are voiced by industry stars like Jason Mantzoukas, Jimmi Simpson, Dee Bradley Baker, and Kathryne Janeway, the cast is also filled out with young rising stars like Ella Purnell and Brett Gray. Even still, however, some of the crew is actually voiced by children.
The youngest main cast member is Rylee Alazraqui, who voices the very large, but very young Rok-Tahk. With the show a hit, and expected to get multiple seasons across multiple years, there is a conversation on how the show would evolve the characters as time goes on.
Talking at the New York Comic Con (via TrekMovie.com), Kevin and Dan Hageman talked about the challenges of evolving the characters as time goes on;
"Question: You have already had forty episodes ordered with potentially more. How does that kind of longevity impact how you are developing the show? Is there a challenge to grow the characters from kids into adults?Kevin Hageman: Our hope is the show goes on forever. I would love for it to just keep going. We’ve told Rylee, “We’re not going to replace you.” I don’t want Rok to stay the same age season after season. If her voice changes, we’re going to continue to have her grow up and I want these characters to become young adults and someday adult crew members.Dan Hageman: But if Brett’s voice drops, he’s out! [laughs] I just love listening to his voice."
The Hageman brothers have the right idea for Prodigy
Prodigy is off to a great start, not just for their inventive storytelling and unique characters but for their use of legacy characters in different lights. They already have Kathryn Janeway as a part of the show, as well as Chakotay. They’re also bringing in Thadiun Okona, and will likely add more legacy Trek characters.
Their ability to borrow from the back catalog of Star Trek and place them in an animated universe where they can be any age and aren’t limited to the realities of aging gives Prodigy a chance to last a long time and always be part of the Trek universe.
The idea that this show could last for five or six, or 10 years is very possible, as long as the ratings and merchandise are there. So thinking long-term about what to do with a young actress like Alazraqui is really smart thinking.