More importantly, Prodigy essentially functions as a sequel to Voyager. The series’ first season followed a group of kids in the Delta Quadrant escaping an overlord called the Diviner. The means of their departure comes via the USS Protostar, an abandoned ship once captained by Chakotay. As the kids used the Protostar to make their way to the Alpha Quadrant, partially with the help of a training hologram in the form of Janeway, the real Admiral Janeway searched for her lost Commanding Officer.
The first clip from the second season only strengthens those sequel connections. Now cadets at Starfleet Academy, the kids (minus the Diviner’s runaway daughter Gwyn) get their first mission on a new ship, the Voyager-A. Like its predecessor, the Voyager-A will be under the command of Admiral Janeway, as many other Captains deal with the evacuation of Romulus (as seen in Picard).
However, the clip finds the kids working not with Janeway, but with “a dear friend of Katherine,” the Doctor. Immediately, we can tell that Picardo has not lost a step in portraying the Doctor. He leans into the EMH’s special blend of condescension and kindness, even making room for a wink toward the most famous Starfleet doctor, McCoy. And yet, for all of the Doctor’s conceited charm, he seems to have a hard time connecting with the kids, who take no interest in his holonovel authorship and probably won’t be impressed with his opera singing.
While, at this point, we do not know if the Doctor will be taking Janeway’s place for all of the episodes. Unlike the holographic Janeway with whom the kids bonded on the Protostar, Admiral Janeway has less time on her hands. And while Dal R’El and Jankom Pog will give him plenty of frustration, if the Doctor can handle Kes, Tom Paris, and Seven of Nine, he can certainly whip these kids into shape.
Star Trek: Prodigy begins streaming on Netflix on Dec. 25.