Star Trek: Prodigy: Terror Firma
November 18, 2021 8:41 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

yo dawg I heard you like protostar

Memory Alpha voted for "Larry":

- This episode marked the end of the first part of Season One. It was the first mid-season finale for a Star Trek series since DIS: "Into the Forest I Go".

- This episode was released at the same time as DIS: "Kobayashi Maru". It was the first time two episodes were released simultaneously since 12 December 2019, when ST: "The Girl Who Made the Stars" and ST: "Ephraim and Dot" premiered. It was also the first time two episodes of separate Star Trek series were released at the same time since 26 May 1999, when DS9: "The Dogs of War" was premiering in syndication the same week UPN aired VOY: "Equinox".

- "Protostar" isn't just the name of the ship; it's the heart of the mysterious "Omega 13"-ish McGuffin that may be what the Diviner has been going after, and seems to be able to drive the ship to transwarp speeds. Also, a protostar is an actual thing.

- Murder Planet is accurate but boring; I vote for Larry.

- The Klingon ship appears to be a Bird of Prey.

- Maybe the point at which Gwyn breaks with the Diviner?
posted by Halloween Jack (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So the Protostar is, all by itself, a Kardashev type II civilization. Strictly speaking, a protostar isn't actually a star, it's a nebula that is collapsing under the force of its own gravity and will become a star sometime in the next million years or so. It's not even undergoing nuclear fusion yet, it's getting hot as gasses collect and become compressed by gravity, but any light and energy released by that compression isn't visible past the dust and gas cloud surrounding it. Presumably, that is not what The Protostar (the ship) has, but rather a literal main-sequence star undergoing nuclear fusion that is being "Gravimetrically contained" which I guess means it's being contained in a pocket of spacetime that's bigger on the inside. This would provide an unthinkable amount of energy that would last for millions of years, and presumably the mass of the star could be utilized to generate a warp field far stronger than anything that normal Starfleet tech could provide.

Presumably, turning off the containment for the protostar would probably be... an extremely bad idea. Honestly, the whole thing seems like a terrible idea. Hopefully the containment system is highly redundant and powered directly from the star itself because the idea of a starship that can abruptly release the energy of an entire star seems like a phenomenally bad idea.

Alternately, maybe the "protostar" is more of a metaphorical, but I hope this isn't true because if so what differentiates it from a very powerful but compact fusion reactor?

One thing that's struck me in this show is an almost complete lack of transporters. I'm kind of surprised The Diviner "beamed down" to the planet instead of landing in a shuttle, because unless I'm mistaken this is the first time anyone's so much as mentioned transporter technology on this show. The Protostar certainly doesn't seem to have transporters, since the gang had to hoof it back to the ship without even the hint that they could just beam directly there. Maybe I missed them mentioning why that's not an option last episode? I'd accept that the gang doesn't realize they have transporters, but you'd think Hologram Janeway would be wise to them and willing to fire them up to get her crew back. And the fact The Diviner didn't have trouble beaming down or up means the planet itself isn't interfering with them.

I just thought of something: You know what would have made this whole thing sit better with me? If they were in the Gamma quadrant instead of the Delta quadrant. The Bajoran wormhole means plenty of reasons for Alpha Quadrant stuff to end up scattered around, like Tellarites and derelict Klingon Birds-of-Prey, while still allowing for new alien species and folks who don't really know what The Federation is. They way they made it seem like Janeway and The Diviner were about to come face to face really makes me think there's a reason why they set it in the Delta Quadrant, but it was just a fake-out.

Also, this is the second new Star Trek show that gives the eponymous ship a special super-fast drive that allows it to travel far more freely than ships in previous Star Trek series. Seems weird to focus on making travel between the stars trivial when your show is literally named Star Trek. I wonder if they're going to end up in Federation space, which is where Captain Chakotay will come in. Did they trade The Diviner for a new antagonist hunting them?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:18 PM on November 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Does the Protostar not have transporters, or just another plot-necessary oversight? Then again it seemed weird taking a starship down rather than a purpose built shuttle (or, again, transporter).

Edit: On preview, oh, snap.
posted by Marticus at 1:19 PM on November 18, 2021

One thing that I didn't realize until I looked at the front page of Memory Alpha: the season doesn't resume until January 6, 2022.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:29 PM on November 18, 2021

Huh--apparently PRO is going to have yet another break for S1... because the full season is 20 episodes.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:32 PM on November 18, 2021

Also: Giant robot that might also just be vines, impervious to phasers. Gwyn's idea: Attach strip of cloth to stick, light it on fire with a phaser, throw fire at monster. Somehow, flaming cloth far more effective against monster than directed energy beam that literally just started a fire.

My justification is Gwyn was the only one smart enough to set her phaser to "light fires" but not smart enough to realize she could skip making a torch and go directly to blasting the enemy with a heat beam.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:52 PM on November 18, 2021

Monsters ill like fire! But they are less naturally scared of lasers and whatever a phaser is. Kidding aside, the planet seemed suspiciously safe if it was trying to kill or eat anyone. I'd buy it feeds off them psychically than I would it's carnivorous.
posted by GoblinHoney at 12:13 AM on November 19, 2021

You see what happens, Larry?! Do you SEE what happens, Larry, when you TRAP a STARSHIP in the GRASS?!

Glad to see this crew starting to actually come together. And I never thought I'd say this, but it turns out I missed Kate Mulgrew's voice!
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:41 AM on November 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

She's got a fantastic voice and I feel a lot of sci-fi over the years missed many opportunities to get her to voice a character, computer, anything.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:01 AM on November 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

One thing that's struck me in this show is an almost complete lack of transporters

I'm just starting a VOY rewatch after pretty much not touching the show outside original release (with the occasional exception to rewatch the best parts, like "Year of Hell"). My recollection, confirmed by the first few episodes, is that transporter technology was outside the grasp of most Delta Quadrant species.
posted by hanov3r at 4:14 PM on January 13, 2022

« Older Supernatural: Mother's Little ...   |  Star Trek: Discovery: Kobayash... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments