Star Trek: Prodigy’s Brett Grey and Ella Purnell Talk about The Journey They’ve Taken With Their Characters
It is laborious to consider, however Star Trek: Prodigy premiered virtually precisely a yr in the past. A co-production between Nickelodeon and Paramount+, its mission targetted a demographic Star Trek had by no means made a play for earlier than — elementary to middle-school-aged youngsters.
Regardless of that goal, Prodigy proved in its inaugural ten episodes that its narrative and journey held attraction for grownup followers of Star Trek and high quality animation.
In anticipation of the second half of Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 dropping on Thursday, October 23, TV Fanatic joined a number of different press shops to talk with Brett Grey and Ella Purnell, the voice actors who convey to life Dal R’El and Gwyndala, respectively.
Purnell was requested first concerning the emotional and psychological adjustments Gwyn has undergone. Does she get a heads-up, and the way does she put together?
She admits she’s nonetheless shocked by the scripts. “I do [get some warning] to a sure extent. On the first audition that we had, I requested some questions that exposed some stuff.
“[But] for probably the most half, the small print, the nitty gritty, we solely actually get as you get the scripts. ‘You’ve gotten a session on Wednesday; it is three scripts.’ You learn all of them and be taught the whole lot.
“The season finale was positively an enormous shock. I’ve simply as many questions because the viewers does. I solely be taught issues as we go. So I wasn’t anticipating it in any respect.
“I assumed it was extremely refined and sophisticated and deep and simply actually sensible. I am excited for everybody to see the place it goes.”
Grey’s character adjustments rather a lot from the rapscallion we meet on Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Episode 1 and grows into a frontrunner the crew can consider in.
Grey appreciates that Dal has come a good distance. “There’s so, so, a lot extra development. I like Dal’s arc since you do not at all times begin off this excellent chief, and it isn’t at all times kind of fairly at first, figuring issues out and studying learn how to be a pal to individuals and to place different individuals earlier than your self.
“Dal was on a planet the place he was trapped in slave labor and never in a position to talk with individuals round him for many of his adolescent life.
“And so, I feel, assimilating to a bunch of individuals and studying how to have the ability to empathize with different individuals of different communities and different species and ages — y’know, with regards to individuals like Rok.
“It was superior that he wasn’t the favourite for me as a result of he wasn’t my favourite both at first.
“His development is barely going to 10x as he kind of learns who he’s and what his function actually actually is and the way he can most contribute to the staff.”
On Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Episode 10, Gwyn’s father, The Diviner, reveals that his mission to destroy the Federation hinges on returning the Protostar to Starfleet, the place a secret weapon he has put in on board will infect the Federation’s programs and trigger them to destroy themselves.
How do the Protostar’s crew members really feel about this seemingly insurmountable impediment to discovering a house inside the Federation?
Grey is blunt in how disappointing it’s for Dal and his crew.
“It is form of a bummer. They have been making ready for this, and so they have been working laborious to make it possible for they have been going to have the ability to get to Federation and make it possible for individuals understood what their precise intention was behind – not solely simply the ship – however who they wish to turn into in, hopefully, Starfleet sometime.
“The shortage of communication, in addition to the precise purpose why they cannot go, is actually laborious on them as a result of, once more, it is one other impediment for individuals to misjudge what they’re doing and one thing else they’ve to determine and repair so as to obtain their targets.
“I feel it is disappointment and frustration but additionally readiness and willingness to make it possible for they’re heard within the right means.”
Of all of the adventures the Protostar has had to this point, is there one thing Grey and Purnell want to do themselves?
Grey is all about immersive experiences. “I like the holodeck and the whole lot round that. I’d like to have a holodeck in my home and take my pals on these journeys and go wherever we wish to and determine stuff out within the security of my very own digital actuality AI room.
“Hopefully, the Metaverse and all of that will get there in some unspecified time in the future in time. Yeah, I would say the holodeck, the Kobayashi Maru, something like that the place I am secure however can discover the world.”
Purnell is extra involved in enhancing her life right here and now with Trek tech. “I do know it isn’t strictly an journey, however it relies on your mindset. I’d say the meals replicator. I perceive it is probably not answering the query, however I nonetheless assume that will be my go-to alternative.”
On Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Episode 6, Grey’s character, Dal, experiences a holodeck simulation of the Kobayashi Maru train, a take a look at of a captain’s capacity to command in a no-win scenario.
The deal with for followers was that the holodeck offered Dal with a bridge crew of the best members of Star Trek canon – Spock, Crusher, Odo, Scotty, and Uhura. What was that like for Grey?
“It was actually nerve-wracking, to be sincere. [Prodigy] is my introduction to Star Trek as a world.
“I would at all times identified what it was; after all, it has an enormous drive on our planet. I bear in mind seeing some Star Trek rising up however by no means had a means in, so that is my first time.
“I bear in mind once I was studying the script and seeing who was going to be within the Kobayashi Maru with me, and I truly requested our producers, the Hagemans, ‘Are you guys positive you wish to put me subsequent to Spock and all of those individuals?
“As a result of I’m not going to have the ability to… one, stay as much as this [group] of legendary voices, but additionally, I play means an excessive amount of. It is kind of going to be … not critical.’
“And I feel they actually embraced the truth that it was my first time as a result of it was Dal’s first time.
“He’d by no means heard of the Kobayashi Maru both or Star Trek or any of these items, so we acquired to be taught – once I say ‘we,’ me and Dal – we acquired to be taught collectively, and who higher to be taught by than the individuals I acquired to be within the Kobayashi Maru with?
“I really feel form of honored that I get to have the ability to say, ‘Oh yeah, I did a scene with Spock earlier than.’ [laughs]”
As a present written expressly to encourage younger individuals experiencing Star Trek for the primary time, how do Purnell and Grey hope to encourage their viewers and followers?
Purnell thinks rigorously about her reply. “I wish to come out with one thing actually sensible right here. I feel for me Gwyn’s entire journey is about forging her personal identification outdoors of what she got here from.
“She grew up because the daughter of The Diviner, of this kind of evil oppressor, and realizing that she’s damage individuals and he is not a great individual and subsequently she has not been a great individual. She’s accomplished dangerous issues.
“However by means of that, she emancipates herself from him and from that world of Tars Lamora and turns into a child and lets her hair down and has enjoyable, learns to worth different individuals and to care about different individuals and join with different individuals and in addition simply be a child.
“That looks as if a really large and intense and sophisticated factor that we, as adults, are battling, however I do not assume it is that onerous, and I feel youngsters would get it about determining who you might be whatever the peer stress or the social stress or the household ties that you’ve got.”
Grey concurs in a fantastically succinct method. “Yeah, ditto. Discovering your home within the universe.”
New episodes of Star Trek: Prodigy start once more on Thursday, October 27, streaming on Paramount+ with ten extra episodes to look ahead to!
Are you trying ahead to the looks of Vice-Admiral Janeway and her Dauntless crew? What about Gwyn’s amnesia? Or The Diviner’s stasis captivity? There are such a lot of thrilling developments to return!
Keep tuned for extra TV Fanatic interviews with Prodigy’s forged and creators this week as we rely down the times till its return!
Diana Keng is a workers author for TV Fanatic. Comply with her on Twitter.