Star Trek: Prodigy: Dreamcatcher
November 11, 2021 8:13 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The kids land on a planet that grants their innermost desires. What could possibly go wrong?

Memory Alpha stranded us all:

- This episode ends on a cliffhanger.

- Gwyn's sword/spear thing looks a lot like one of DS9's Founders when it's changing shape. She can also control it from within a brig cell.

- The Hirogen system? I'd think that Hongry Planet is the least of their worries, potentially.

- Gwyn's full name is Gwyndala.

- The Runaway is equipped with accelerated ion propulsion, tritanium chassis, holosteering, and Holo-Janeway's favorite, hold-on-to-your-butts grab handles.
posted by Halloween Jack (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Nice take on the classic Trek trope of a phenomenon that makes you see and experience whatever you most desire.
posted by SansPoint at 12:07 PM on November 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

This kind of episode is probably necessary at the beginning of a run, but I hope they don’t spend too long showing the characters going off on their own before they start to gel as a team.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:44 PM on November 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

So Dal wants his family, Jakom wants the food he grew up with, Zero wants an intellectual mystery, and Rok wants bunnies? And Gwyn wants her father's approval.

And only two of them figured out the problem.

I think Janeway needs 2-factor authentication...
posted by suelac at 10:37 PM on November 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Hirogen system? I'd think that Hongry Planet is the least of their worries, potentially.

No kidding. My theory about halfway through, before we saw the vines, was that this planet was all-holograms—a consequence of the Voyager crew teaching the Hirogen to hunt virtually.

Instead it turned out to basically be the pitcher plant from "Bliss"…maybe even a related species?

I suppose we may yet meet some Hirogen in the next one, but OTOH, they very much seem like the kind to abandon their home system and live nomadic lifestyles. Maybe Holo-Janeway knows that, which is why she let them go there in the first place.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:22 AM on November 12, 2021

and Rok wants bunnies?

Rok wants companionship I think. Consider how put out she was when everyone split off to do their own thing right away. Cue a pile of purple bunnyporgs to glomp her.

I think Janeway needs 2-factor authentication

Starfleet's historically bad at access control, going back to Wrath of Khan when Kirk could lower the Reliant's shields with just a 5 digit prefix code (a concept that crops up again in the TNG episode The Wounded). Now both those examples were command-level Starfleet officers attempting remote access to another ship's systems, whereas Gwyn merely has the extensive training her father gave her.

However, she also had the advantages of:
  • Direct access to bridge consoles
  • Including the interfaces at the Captain's Chair (which may have more privileges by default no matter who's sitting in it — remember how uptight everyone got when Wesley sat in the Enterprise-D's big chair for the first time and he reflexively reacted to an incoming alert, punching a few buttons on the armrest?)
  • Being described to Holo Janeway / the ship's computer as another member of the crew, and not a hostile prisoner. The stay in the brig had been explained away as needed due to delusions from "space flu".
  • She was also the first to claim to Janeway to be the captain, even though this was denied by the others.
  • The Protostar seems to have started the series in some kind of open slate mode, wanting to accept any collection of sentient beings as its training crew like a a newly hatched duckling imprinting motherhood status on the first thing it sees. (Compare Janeway & the Protostar in this series to "Zora" & the Discovery from the Short Trek Calypso — Janeway seemed downright eager to hand the ship over to the kids, where as Zora merely treated Craft as a guest, but didn't let him take any control over the ship until she gave him a shuttlecraft.)
  • If the Protostar is intended as a training vessel, it may be more flexible in what it allows the crew to do the computer and systems, to allow for various training scenarios. For example, last week when they diverted "all power" to the impulse engines, which resulted in shutting down the brig forcefield. That feels like something that shouldn't happen without confirmation first. (Though in fairness, Janeway did try to caution them about something and they cut her off to tell her to just do it, that may have been the missing confirmation. Or maybe a forcefield on a brig cell detaining someone for medical reasons like "space flu" is considered divertible power, whereas containment of an actual prisoner wouldn't be.)
As for the rest of the episode, in addition to the similarities to the Voyager episode Bliss mentioned above, this also strongly reminded me of TOS's episode Shore Leave, with a dash of the plant spores from This Side of Paradise. My household talked a little about this, and we're ok with them going back to the well for classic episode tropes, because as a gateway series intended to bring young audiences into the Trek fandom it's good to establish the kinds of things you can find elsewhere in the franchise.

Having the mind influence be spore based does raise the question of how they got to Jankom; unlike the crew in Ridley Scott's Prometheus, Pog didn't trust that just because the atmosphere was breathable, it would also be safe. But since they also got to Zero, I'm guessing that the spores were only part of the process.

Also, this series continues to be the most Star Wars installment of Star Trek. I don't mind the cross pollination, but it's funny that I can be watching the episode with the rest of my household and our commentary is like:
"Porg mixed with the tribbles from TAS that were pink because the head of the animation studio was colorblind."
"MSE droid?"
"MSE droid crossed with an exocomp."

Continuing from what I said for last week's episode, I still think the Protostar is displaced from some future timeline. The Tricorders and Type 1 phasers that got handed out this week do not look like something you'd see just a few years after Nemesis / the end of Voyager / Lower Decks. I will grant that with an NX registry, that means a prototype ship and potentially advanced experimental technology, but I don't think that's what's going on here. The tricorders look even more advanced than the ones shown on Star Trek: Picard.

Finally, no kitten in this episode, so I can only assume she's doing ok.
posted by radwolf76 at 4:22 AM on November 12, 2021 [4 favorites]

Having the mind influence be spore based does raise the question of how they got to Jankom

I *think* this is possibly explained away by a line the planet uses on Dal saying that the planet is able to read his mind. So (handwaves) if it can read his mind, maybe fair do's on effectorizing it.
posted by danhon at 10:48 AM on November 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed that in a previous episode there was only one food Jankom could remember, but now he had a vague memory of the smell of other food.

I assume the cilia(?) were doing fMRI stuff to the people, but idk.

Out of "4" episodes, we've now had a total of 1 that was stand alone. The premiere was double length and now we have this two-parter. I wonder if multi-part episodes will be the norm.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 5:58 AM on November 13, 2021

Tiny but significant moment I forgot about: Jankom mentioning being on a "sleeper ship." That explains a Tellarite being way out there. It does, though, leave unanswered why Jankom doesn't know anything about the Federation—his species being among its four founding members—unless he's from a remote colony, and/or the sleeper ship was in no way a UFP endeavor, and/or he was too young when on the sleeper ship to be at all aware of astropolitics.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 3:47 AM on November 15, 2021

Rok specifically said that what was important to her about the bunnies was that they weren't afraid of her, not even when they first saw her. When we first meet her, she sounds bitter about noting that she's "big, not stupid." Even as the crew starts treating her like a person she's not happy about always being relegated to the role of muscle as if that's her only defining trait. The planet was seducing her with the desire to be allowed to be a child after spending her whole life being treated like a cross between a pack mule and a monster.

I'm sorry we didn't get the baby Caitian (kittian?) as a regular cast member.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:25 AM on November 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

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