The Harrison Ford Classic That Inspired Janeway's Star Trek Return

"Star Trek: Prodigy" has fast become one of my favorite weekly series on the streaming circuit. Not only does it boast some sleek animation, but it's also a great "Star Trek" story that appeals to both the younger audience it was designed for and longtime Trekkies — including yours truly. And it looks like the back half of the first season of "Prodigy" will present a new adversary for the young crew of the U.S.S. Protostar — an adversary who just so happens to be a classic "Star Trek" character.

Series creators/showrunners Dan and Kevin Hageman recently held an interview with SyFy Wire where they discussed the events of the "Prodigy" midseason finale "A Moral Star." The closing moments reveal that Admiral Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) is currently in pursuit of the Protostar, and that the next batch of episodes will draw from a classic action thriller — one that also happens to feature "Star Wars" alum Harrison Ford in a leading role.

Starship Run

Janeway had appeared on "Prodigy" before, albeit in holographic form as a training program that offered assistance to the crew of the Protostar. Now that the real deal is on the hunt for the Protostar, Kevin Hageman revealed how "The Fugitive" will shape the next batch of "Prodigy" episodes:

"We love the movie The Fugitive. And when you look at that movie, you love Harrison Ford. He's unjustifiably screwed over and he's on the run. And you want him to clear his name. And then you love Tommy Lee Jones, who is just trying to do his job, right? He's not a bad guy, you love seeing both stories and the characters and what's going to happen when their stories catch up to each other. And so we wanted that dynamic with Janeway and our kids."

"The Fugitive" is perhaps one of the greatest action movies ever filmed, and a large part of that is due to the game of cat and mouse between Dr. Richard Kimble (Ford) and U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones). Kimble manages to say one step ahead of Gerard, jumping off the edge of a dam and infiltrating a hospital to do so. If the Hagemans are using "The Fugitive" as a basis, then "Star Trek" fans should be in for an equally thrilling game of cat and mouse. Hopefully it won't end up like the Quibi reboot (remember when Quibi was a thing?). 

Voyage, Voyage

Dan Hageman also revealed that Janeway's return was baked into the original pitch for "Prodigy" and that she would also be searching for her missing friend — fellow 'Star Trek: Voyager' member Chakotay (Robert Beltran), who was in command of the Protostar before it was boarded by the cast of "Prodigy".

"They cannot get caught, so then it becomes a question and tension of: How do you escape Starfleet?"

But there's also another wrinkle: the malevolent Diviner, who held possession over the Protostar, also put a code into the ship's computers that will disable any Starfleet vessel it comes into contact with. And at the end of "A Moral Star," the ship is headed right for Federation space.

Not only do our heroes have to stay one step ahead of Janeway, but they are also unwittingly bringing doom upon Starfleet. Say what you will about Richard Kimble, but all he had to do was outrun Tommy Lee Jones.