Today’s Star Trek panel at the all-virtual 2020 edition of New York ComicCon was filled with a galaxy’s worth of exciting – and unexpected – announcements. Fans got to see a sneak preview of the upcoming third season of Star Trek: Discovery, as well as hear a discussion regarding the season finale of the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, including feedback from showrunner Mike McMahan (Rick and Morty) and actor Jonathan Frakes (who played William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation and reprised the role on an episode of Lower Decks.)
However, the most surprising announcement of them all came from an actress who many thought had ended her Star Trek journey for good several years ago. The panel concluded with the reveal that Kate Mulgrew would be reprising her role as Captain Kathryn Janeway, which she originated in Star Trek: Voyager, in the upcoming animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, which will air on Nickelodeon in 2021.
Prodigy, which is planned to be a more “kid-focused” entry in the Star Trek franchise, will focus on a group of teenage protagonists described as “lawless,” who commandeer an abandoned spaceship and set off on a galaxy-spanning adventure. Janeway will be tasked with pursuing and rescuing the cast, a role Mulgrew said she was thrilled to take on. “To be at the helm again,” she stated during the panel, “is going to be deeply gratifying in a new way for me.”
Alex Kurtzman, who has co-produced the Star Trek revival films and will serve as the executive producer of Prodigy, took the time to explain the production team’s choice of Janeway to reappear in this series. “Captain Janeway was held to a different standard than her predecessors. She was asked to embody an inhuman level of perfection in order to be ‘good enough’.” Kurtzman felt that these qualities made Janeway the perfect choice to ultimately guide and instruct the show’s teenage protagonists.
Star Trek: Discovery and Lower Decks can be watched via the CBS All Access streaming service, while Prodigy will be a Nickelodeon exclusive.