Sunday, February 20, 2022

Prodigy, Season 1: Terror Firma

Prodigy, Season 1
Terror Firma
Airdate: November 18, 2021

4 of 20 produced
4 of 20 aired


The crew is stranded on that living planet that they've lovingly dubbed "Murder Planet," and they must figure out how to work together to return to the USS Protostar. Can Hologram Janeway still manage to kick ass and take names?

"There's coffee in that nebula!"

Matthew's Thoughts

This episode presents a strong argument for just changing the show format to 46 minute episodes. It's a second part that really doesn't function on its own. As far as character arcs go, this is a chance for Gwyn to redeem herself a bit by helping the crew escape after her vacillation in favor of the Diviner served to strand them on the planet. I enjoyed the process of Dal and the crew deciding whether to trust her again, with Dal being the most skeptical. Their reactions were all in character and served to build character.

Outside of the character interactions, the plot progresses in a pretty standard action-movie sort of manner. Dreadnok confronts them, they surmount various obstacles to return to the ship, they rescue Gwyn in the nick of time, after she learns that the Diviner does not consider her his top priority. The Diviner getting tripped up by the planet's psychological lures was a nice touch. It's all fine enough, the emotional stories work, it just isn't particularly intellectually engaging. 

Overall I give it a 3. It was exciting while it was on the screen, but it doesn't give me anything in terms of big ideas to really chew on afterward.

Beth's Thoughts

I do agree with Matthew's statement that this would have worked better as a 46 minute episode, rather than the second part of a two-parter. He is correct that it just doesn't stand well on its own.

I think this does quite a bit to grow Gwyn's character. She begins to realize that her father hasn't ever really shown her love, empathy, or care - outside of referring to her as his progeny. It was a nice psychological visual to have him quite literally demonstrate that the Prodigy ship is more important to him than his own daughter. This episode showed great growth for Gwyn. I disagree slightly about it not being particularly intellectually engaging, because I do find the psychology behind the illusions to be engaging.

There were also several very satisfying Hologram Janeway moments. Particularly, the hologram asking itself, "What would the real Janeway do? She would clean house." This is definitely fan service to those (like myself) who would say, "There is the wrong way, and then there is the Jane-way." It was a little moment that I really enjoyed.

While there are certainly some nice science fiction touches with the living planet and the movement toward an explanation of the protostar engine, it isn't otherwise particularly heavy on the science.

Due to the fact that this doesn't stand well on its own, despite it being a satisfying conclusion of the story line, I find myself having to grudgingly agree with Matthew's scoring of a 3. That brings us to a combined 6.

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