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(written from a Production point of view)

Even with the guidance of their hologram advisor Janeway, the crew of the USS Protostar is tested when their ship is on a dangerous cosmic collision course.


Act I[]

On the bridge of the USS Protostar, the escaped children are confused and fascinated by the unknown hologram, which introduces herself as "Kathryn Janeway", a holographic training advisor modeled after one of the most decorated captains in Starfleet history. When the "crew" does not recognize her nor the Federation (including the Tellarite Jankom Pog, who does not recognize a Human), the holographic Janeway exasperatedly asks where the captain is. Gwyn attempts to assert herself as such, ordering Janeway to take them back to Tars Lamora, but Dal R'El interjects, saying her brain is sick with "space flu", and that he is the captain. Janeway explains that she is only there to offer advice and maintain lower-level functions and insists that there must be something else they aren't being honest with her about. Before Dal can conjure an explanation, Janeway assumes that they must be Starfleet cadets.

Alpha Beta Quadrant star chart, 2383

The location of the Federation in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants

"Reminding" the crew on Dal's behest of what the Federation does, Janeway explains that the United Federation of Planets is an interstellar union of different worlds and species, with shared principles of universal liberty, rights, and equality. She explains that Starfleet is the Federation's representatives for deep space exploration, on a mission to maintain peace and freedom, "to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new civilizations". Enamored, the crew all want Janeway to set a course for the Federation, but Dal frets, and convinces the crew that they can instead chart their own course. Referring to her as a "holo-nanny", he sets a random course in the opposite direction, over her attempted warnings. He then asks about the ship's brig.

Dal doesn't know where starboard is, but before he can work it out, Rok-Tahk asks why they are lying about being cadets. Jankom states how bad their situation is, and Zero suggests that the Federation may be able to protect them from The Diviner's tyranny. Speaking from experience, Dal explains how the galaxy "really" works: the Federation is just someone else in charge, and if something sounds too good to be true, it's because it is. Dal also explains that, while all authority lies, he only lies for them. Gwyn scoffs, and the others seem skeptical. She warns them that Dal has "a way with words". This leaves Murf to find starboard, who is then followed by Dal and Zero. Rok-Tahk and Jankom go off to explore the ship. Once Gwyn is behind the force field, Dal gloats about their change in roles, laughing at her threats, although Zero reveals Dal's true terror about The Diviner being after them.

Meanwhile, back on Tars Lamora, The Diviner asks Drednok the status of the riots as armor is affixed to his body. He replies that The Unwanted have been subdued with "minimal losses", to which The Diviner takes great insult. The loss of the prisoners, his daughter, and the Protostar is not minimal (and Drednok agrees). He orders The Unwanted to continue to extract chimerium, keeping them too exhausted to rise up again (he'll also need all the chimerium he can get to get "his" ship back). He then orders his ship, the Rev-12, prepared.

Act II[]

Back on the Protostar, Jankom and Rok-Tahk have found the mess hall. As Jankom complains about the lack of "mess" in the mess hall, Janeway appears once more, this time to explain replicators. She also explains that the Federation has moved beyond digital currency – meaning it's free. This greatly pleases the Tellarite, who is broke. He orders blood truffle biscuits and sweet radish pie, not skimping on the sour gravy. Rok-Tahk, unsure of what to eat as she's never had anything else, orders the nutri-goop from the mines.

Elsewhere, Dal and Zero have discovered the crew quarters. While Zero is settling in on one of the bottom bunks, Murf expels a gel-like blue substance onto them. As they get up and move to the opposite bed. Zero asks if Dal would like to be "bunkmates", but Zero notices Dal is gone. Not far, Dal has found the captain's quarters and is reveling in the space, view, and giant bed, but attempts to play it off as lumpy and lonely to the telepathic Zero. He then closes the door in front of them.

In the brig, Rok-Tahk delivers some nutri-goop to Gwyn. She asks why Gwyn never tried to help the prisoners, knowing what their conditions were like. Gwyn responds that she thought they were criminals, but Rok-Tahk does not let the excuse slide and asserts that their only "crime" was getting caught. She leaves the food for Gwyn.

Down in engineering, Zero finds Jankom Pog "checking under the hood", remarking that the Protostar has two warp cores. Fascinated, they ask Jankom what the odd glowing orb-like device is, to which Jankom responds that he has no idea. Before they can investigate further, they are interrupted by a red alert.

Act III[]

The crew get to the bridge, where Janeway informs them that Dal's course has brought them to a binary star system and into the gravitational pull of an orbiting white dwarf that's in the final moments of tearing apart its red giant companion. She states for the record, something she tried to warn Dal about initially, and offer her assistance in changing course. "Seeing what she is doing", he rejects her help. He orders Zero to change course, to no avail. He then erroneously orders warp drive, but Janeway reminds him that going to warp inside a gravity well may result in unpredictable and dangerous side effects. Still unwilling to ask for help, Dal then orders all power diverted to impulse engines, over Janeway's warnings about him deactivating...

USS Protostar pulled into a white dwarf

The Protostar being pulled into a white dwarf's gravity well

...the ship's shields, which Gwyn discovers includes the brig's force field. Looking at a schematic of the ship, she makes a break for it. On the bridge, the crew continues to careen into the debris and fire of the two stars. Even at full impulse, the gravity is too strong. Zero remarks that they've never been in a star before. Rok thinks they really need Janeway. Dal thinks they need to dump all non-essential cargo, or anything that's not bolted down.

The ship begins ejecting its three escape pods one by one, denying Gwyn her first means of escape. She curses in Vau N'Akat. Perhaps responding to her colorful metaphor, the computer asks if she would like to use the vehicle replicator. Gwyn hurriedly orders the replicator activated. Up on the bridge, space debris is now bombarding the hull. After realizing she is missing from the brig, Dal orders Rok after Gwyn. She doesn't want to go, but she is the strongest, with Jankom calling her the muscle. Zero sees that the vehicle replicator is draining power, preventing shields from being reestablished.

In the shuttlebay, Rok finds Gwyn at the console, who tries to reason with her. However, Rok is still furious at Gwyn's complacency at Tars Lamora, and the two begin fighting. Evenly matched between the Brikar's brawn, sturdiness, and strength; and the Vau N'Akat's weaponry and nimbleness, Rok begins to gain the upper hand, knocking away Gwyn's weapon, but the fight only ends when Gwyn disables the ship's gravity.

Artificial gravity is also disabled on the bridge. Dal is out of ideas, and everyone is panicking while Murf is attempting to eat the captain's chair. Seeing how out of control the situation has gotten, Dal finally asks for Janeway's assistance. She helps them stabilize the inertial dampeners, restoring the gravity. Zero finds the control on the operations console, with some guidance. With gravity restored, Rok falls onto Gwyn, pinning her and her weapon to the floor.

With power rerouted, Zero is able to raise the shields. However, hull integrity is weakening with every impact. Janeway suggests they use the ship's tactical array to even the odds, much to Jankom's excitement. With Gwyn back in the brig, Rok rejoins the crew on the bridge, as they approach a "river of fire". Even with the shields and weapons, the ship is still caught in the pull. Zero suggests that they instead stop fighting and ride the shockwave. Dal orders full impulse, and the ship lurches ahead, nearly grazing a solar flare, before making it to open space. Gwyn listens while the rest celebrate.

Dal thanks Janeway for her help, but she defers to Dal and his crew. He predictably takes credit, much to the other's chagrin, cutting their revelry short. Janeway steps in as the others turn sour, with a speech about the Federation's early days, drawing a parallel between the dysfunction of then and the shared desire to be better. Now that the ship and crew are safe, Dal asks Janeway to teach them other parts of running the ship.

On Tars Lamora, the Rev-12 begins to take off. The chimerium cloak shields the planet and mining camp below. The Diviner is coming for his progeny.

Memorable quotes[]

"I'm Kathryn Janeway, your training advisor. I'm a hologram based on one of the most decorated captains in Starfleet history. Programed to assist the Protostar's crew on their journey back to Federation space."

- Hologram Janeway, introducing herself to the Protostar crew

"Ugh, she's hideous. Why is her forehead so smooth? Ugh."
"You're no summer peach either, Tellarite."
"Ha ha ha ha! Jankom Pog likes her."

- Jankom Pog and Janeway

"I like to boldly go! Or at least I think I do."

- Rok-Tahk

"My father will come for me. No matter how far you try to run, he'll hunt you down and make all of you pay for taking his daughter."
"Pfft. What's a guy in a tank gonna do, swim at me? Ha ha ha ha!"
"You laugh, yet your mind is reeling in pure terror."

- Gwyn, Dal R'El, and Zero

"Gah! What sort of mess hall has no mess to eat?! I'm starving!"
"If you need sustenance, Cadets, the food replicator uses matter conversion to create any meal you dare dream up."
"Uhhh, Jankom's a little light on credit."
"As a cadet, you should know the Federation has moved past traditional currency. … It's free."

- Jankom and Janeway

"Your course has led us into a binary system where the gravitational pull of an orbiting white dwarf is in its final moments of tearing apart a red giant."
"A dying star. What a rare, and exciting way to meet our doom!"

- Janeway and Zero

"Ditch all non-essential cargo!"
"Why are you looking at me?! Jankom Pog is essential!"
"That's debatable."

- Dal and Jankom

"Murf, got any fantastic last-minute heroics?"
"I believe Murf is eating a chair."

- Dal and Zero

"Janeway! [sigh] I need your help."
"You know how to keep a lady waiting."
"How do I get my feet on the ground?"
"All you had to do was ask."

- Dal and Janeway

"The Protostar's equipped with a sufficient tactical array. Why not use it to even the odds?"
"Ooh, Jankom Pog gets to blow stuff up?"
"Technically, it's auto-targeting, but you get to push the button."

- Janeway and Jankom

"I must say, when the Federation first formed, it wasn't pretty. A collection of species, entirely unfamiliar to each other, different languages, different cultures, but with one shared aspiration: to be better. I've seen my share of wayward crews, and I can tell you this– you've got potential."

- Janeway

"I am coming for you, my progeny."

- The Diviner

Background information[]



  • Accompanying promotional material for the episode included Star Trek: Prodigy Explained: Replicators with Rylee Alazraqui [2] and Set a Course with Kate Mulgrew focused on the lesson of accepting help. [3]

Production history[]

Links and references[]



Background characters[]


air conditioning; airlock; Alpha Quadrant; Andorian; artificial gravity; auto-targeting; bed; Beta Quadrant; binary star system; bingo; blast shield; blood truffle biscuit; boss; brain; brig; Brikar; bunk mate; bunk room; button; cadet; Caitian; captain; captain's quarters; chair; chimerium cloak; coffee; containment field; credit; criminal; currency; daughter; deep space exploration; dinner; escape pod; exhaustion; father; Federation space; food replicator; fugitive; gravitational pull; gravity well; greenhorn; hologram; "Holo-nanny"; Human; IDIC; imbecile; impulse engines; inertial dampeners; interstellar union; ionized gas; Janeway, Kathryn; Klingon Empire; Klingonese; laugh; liberty; lie; matter conversion; meal; Medusan; mess; mess hall; Milky Way Galaxy; muscle; nutri-goop; operations console; oxygen; parsec; peach; pillow; "Poggy"; power; principle; red alert; red giant; REV-12; riot; river of fire; Romulan Star Empire; screen; shields; shock wave; shuttlebay; shuttlecraft; soundproof; sour gravy; space debris; space flu (aka space madness); star; starboard; Starfleet; Starfleet uniform; starving; summer; sustenance; sweet radish pie; swim; systems check; tactical array; tank; Tars Lamora; Tellarite; terror; ton; trade; training advisor; tyranny; United Federation of Planets; "Unwanted, The"; Vau N'Akat; vehicle replicator; view; Vulcan; warp; Warp 9; warp core; warp signature; white dwarf; white-hot; "Z"

Ship references[]

Class F shuttlecraft; Constitution-class; Crossfield-class; Defiant-class; Galaxy-class; Galileo (NCC-1701/7); Intrepid-class; NCC-1701; NCC-1701-D; NCC-74656; NX-class; NX-01; NX-74205; Protostar, USS; Protostar-class; Protostar-type escape pod; Protostar-type shuttlecraft; REV-12; Shuttle 06; Type 6 shuttlecraft; Type 8 shuttlecraft

Ship diagram references[]

bridge; Bussard collector; conference suite; environmental subsystems; holding cell; observation lounge; phaser array; shuttlebay; shuttlecraft fuel storage; subspace antenna; torpedo launcher; torpedo storage banks; workbee storage

Console references[]

aft; alignment target; airlock; alpha; Bussard collector; call; chargelog; communication; communications; communicator; conn; damage report; data; defense system; delta; diagnostic tool; environmental system; flight controls; flowchart; fore; fuel; gamma; holding cell; impulse speed; index; info; log editor; maintenance; manual; manual rig; omega; operations; planet tracker; radar; level; shuttlebay; shuttlecraft; shuttlecraft fuel storage; scan; status; sys alloc; tactical; targeting; torpedo; torpedo bay; torpedo launcher; torpedo storage bank; warp core; warp factor; warp speed; weapon; weapons status; wireframe mode; workbee; workbee storage; zone

Star map references[]

Actium sector; Andorian sector; Antares sector; Beta sector; Cabral sector; Delta sector; Maxia sector; Melona sector; Muratas sector; Mutara sector; Omicron sector; Orion sector; Sierra sector; Solaria sector; Tango sector; Tellarite sector; Terran sector; Vulcan sector; Yadalla sector; Zalkon sector

External links[]

Previous episode:
"Lost and Found"
Star Trek: Prodigy
Season 1
Next episode:
"Dream Catcher"