Star Trek: Prodigy's Cast Reveals the Secret to Mastering Techno-Babble

Star Trek: Prodigy, the new all-ages Star Trek series on Paramount+, is getting a lot of attention for bringing back Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager. But the series also introduces a brand new cast of alien characters that take over the USS Protostar as they make their way through the Delta Quadrant. It isn't easy stepping into a franchise as big and as revered as the Star Trek Universe for any actor, especially the young stars of Star Trek: Prodigy. Speaking to following Star Trek: Prodigy's premiere at New York Comic Con, some members of the show's voice cast explained how the reality of being part of Star Trek compared to their expectations.

"Everything is much bigger than I thought," says Brett Gray, who voices Dal. "Every single aspect. Like maybe a month ago or a month and a half ago, I went to a Star Trek Day and my mind, I'm like oh this is going to be great, it's gonna be a nice event in like a ballroom at a hotel and it's going to be beautiful and great and we're going to all celebrate Star Trek. No, it was at an outdoor convention center and there was an 18 piece orchestra. I've never been to Comic Con even so I'm like, oh I know that's a big thing too, that's going to be crazy, we're going to go to that and it's going to be fine, we're just going to talk to a little a boardroom or something of fans and reporters and things and no, there were about thousands of people watching a giant movie screen premiere of Star Trek. So it's all way much bigger than I thought, way, much bigger. Even that sentence is not helping me to describe adequately the size of what's happening. It's crazy."

Rylee Alazraqui, who plays Rok-Tahk, adds, "I think that once I got it, I was really excited but I didn't quite know what it was yet. Nowadays, as soon as I stepped on stage for Comic Con, I saw the audience and I saw how big this was, and as soon as I stepped on the stage I realized how grateful I was for this opportunity and to really just be there. It makes you think totally different about everything that makes you feel even more lucky to be in this and I'm so grateful that I'm in it and even just with Kevin and Dan, they're incredibly nice, the producer, the director, everyone is so kind and it's gonna be a blast and I think that I totally imagined it as this little show we're doing and now, I just realize that it's way bigger than just that."

Ella Purnell plays Gwyn on the show. She says, "I thought it was going to be so very serious, which it is. We take our show seriously. But I don't know, I was very intimidated coming in and I was very painfully self conscious and very aware that I knew nothing about the world. I wasn't a diehard Trek head and I came in very serious and it wasn't at all. It was really fun. It was just a bunch of people playing around enjoying a genre in a world that they are very grateful and fortunate to be a part, and it was silly. It's not just a kids show, it's a space show, it's a sci-fi show. Your magination is the limit and it's been really fun, really enjoyable."

Especially tricky for a young voice actor is managing Star Trek's signature techno-babble, the mostly made-up sci-fi-sounding stuff that explains whatever weirdness is happening to the crew this week. Techno-babble has tripped up some of the best Star Trek actors, but Alazraqui revealed a "tongue trick" the show's voice coach taught her to get around it. As for Purnell, she has a different kind of challenge.

"I didn't have much techno-babble, but I had to speak different languages and I found that really challenging," she says. "But most of all it was challenging is the self consciousness of it. It's not the thing. First of all, I'm not bilingual. I don't speak any other languages and putting the feeling behind it as well as the strange words that are new to your mouth."

As for Gray, "My character kind of is like, 'Can you say that again, but as if I'm Dal?'" he says. "He doesn't understand it or say it, so I've been lucky, but now I want to do the tongue trick."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: Prodigy's first episode is streaming now on Paramount+. New episodes will debut Thursdays on Paramount+.