This Star Trek: Prodigy article contains spoilers through Episode 6.
For its first five episodes, Star Trek: Prodigy has mostly established its own identity, free and separate from the rest of the Trek franchise. Yes, a holographic Captain Janeway is an essential part of the crew, and yes, several episodes have touched on themes we’ve seen before. But, in terms of making nitty-gritty references to the larger canon of Trek, Prodigy has kept things pretty low-key. Until now…
After taking a brief hiatus, Prodigy Season 1 is back with episode 6 titled just “Kobayashi.” In it, Dal (Brett Gray) takes a 24th-century version of the famous Kobayashi Maru test, and in doing so, brings along some classic Trek characters for the ride. And, if some of these lines of the dialogue sounded familiar, they should have. With one exception, all the dialogue spoken by Dal’s greatest-hits holodeck crew comes from existing Star Trek episodes and films. Here’s where every single line was pulled from.
When Dal decides to run the Kobayashi Maru test, the computer gives him the option of choosing his crew. He opts for the computer to give him a random selection of “the best,” which means he gets
- Dr. Crusher
- And, later, Scotty
Representatives for Paramount+ have confirmed that Gates McFadden did record brand new dialogue as Dr. Crusher for this episode, meaning, all of Crusher’s lines here are brand new. But, since Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan and René Auberjonois are sadly no longer alive, all of their dialogue as Spock, Scotty, and Odo is archival. Ditto Uhura. Although Nichelle Nichols is alive, she is, for the most part, retired.
So, that means most of this classic Trek dialogue is reappropriated for existing episodes and films. But which ones? In the order in which the characters speak in the episode, here are their lines and which episodes those lines were first spoken, along with several ironies along the way…
Uhura: “All Decks Standing by sir.”
This comes from Star Trek: The Original Series, specifically the episode “Balance of Terror.” This is one of the first big starship combat episodes for Trek, and as we’ll see, a lot of these quotes were pulled from “Balance of Terror.”
Spock: “Request permission to come aboard.”
Spock says this in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, after his shuttle docks with the Enterprise.
Spock: “Outpost 2 coming into sensor range, Captain…Have a blip on the motion sensor”
These are two pieces of Spock dialogue stitched together from “Balance of Terror,” which, notably, did not involve combat with the Klingons, but instead, the Romulans.
Uhura: “Captain, I’m getting something on the distress channel”
Appropriately this line comes from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Uhura speaks it at the start of the film, during the Kobayashi Maru test.
Kobayashi Maru distress call
This is straight from the opening of The Wrath of Khan. It should be noted that although the Kobayashi Maru has been referenced heavily since The Wrath of Khan, we’ve only seen characters taking the actual test twice before this episode of Prodigy. The first time was in The Wrath, and the second time was in the 2009 reboot film. Prodigy marsk the first time we see a 24th century version of the test.
Spock: “The neutral zone.”
This quote seems to be taken out-of-context from “Balance of Terror,” in which Spock says: “Steady on one eleven mark fourteen. Back on their original course, Captain, toward the Neutral Zone.” It should be noted however, that the Neutral Zone Spock refers to in the original line was the Romulan Neutral Zone, not the Klingon Neutral Zone.
Spock: “Entry into which by either side, would constitute an act of war”
Again,this comes from “Balance of Terror,” and again, Spock was talking about the other Neutral Zone.
Odo: “What does it matter?
Some of Odo’s exact lines are harder to pin-down, including his initial “harumph.” The first part of this line, in which he says “Excuse me,” is also hard to track down, but it is stitched up with the line “What does it matter” which is taken from the Deep Space Nine episode, “Shadowplay.” In the context of that episode, Odo originally said: “If she’s not real, what does it matter?” This referenced a holographic person, which is ironic in this situation, considering the Odo speaking the line this time is a hologram.
Spock: “Or on what this vessel fails to do—”
Once again, you guessed it, it’s “Balance of Terror!” And the original line, which has been snipped here was “Or on what this vessel fails to do, Doctor.”
Uhura: “I don’t care whether it’s allowed or not. I will not do it.”
This line comes from The Original Series episode “The Gamesters of Triskelion.” In context, Uhura is “refusing a training exercise.” The “it” she’s referring to is that idea, refusal.
Odo: “You can order me all you want, as of now, I’m resigning my commission”
Odo actually threatens to resign a lot in the course of Deep Space Nine, making this one a little tricky to pin down. He tells Sisko he’s ready to resign in both “The Passenger” and “The Search.” But this line does not come from either of those episodes. Instead, it comes from “Heart of Stone,” and Odo was speaking to Kira, not Sisko. The original dialogue goes like this:
KIRA: Constable, I gave you a direct order.
ODO: You can order me all you want. As of now, I’m resigning my commission.
Odo: “That’s not good enough…it may well start a war”
When Odo says “That’s not good enough, it may well start a war,” there’s two lines being combined here from two different episodes. In the DS9 episode “The Way of the Warrior,” Odo says “That’s not good enough. If one of my people were loose on the station for that long, there’s no telling how much damage they could do.” And in “Call to Arms,” he says, “If we try to stop those convoys, it may very well start a war.”
Odo: “Two Klingon ships closing aft of us…bearing one three six mark four.”
This one is TRICKY. Odo never actually says this exact line in Deep Space Nine. Instead, in “What You Leave Behind,” he says “We have two Jem’Hadar ships coming aft of us, bearing one three six mark four.” So, it looks like the Prodigy folks have swapped “Jem’Hadar” for “Klingon.” But, the bearing, “one three six mark four,” gives it away.
Uhura: “Battlestations, all hands battle stations”
This is from the TOS episode “The Enterprise Incident.” Which, again, did not deal with Klingons, but instead, Romulans.
Spock: “We are surrounded”
This is also from “The Enterprise Incident,” and in the context of that episode, Spock is talking about three Romulan ships surrounding the Enterprise after they crossed into the Romulan Neutral Zone.
Spock: “Photon torpedoes locking on target”
This line comes from the TOS episode ““The Ultimate Computer.” In it, the full line was: “Captain, photon torpedoes locking on target. Full power.” But, interestingly Spock is referring to the automated M-5 computer performing this function against the will of the crew. This is the second time the M-5 has been referenced indirectly in a new Star Trek episode in the span of just two weeks. In the Discovery mid-season finale, “…But to Connect,” Dr. Kovich (David Cronenberg) referenced the M-5 obliguqiely when he said, “there’s a proscription against a fully sentient AI being fully integrated into Starfleet systems.” A rule that could only exist because of “The Ultimate Computer.”
Spock: “Captain, are you quite all right?”
This comes from the TOS episode “Journey to Babel.” The thing Spock was concerned about in the original episode was the idea that Kirk had recently been stabbed and was suddenly back on duty.
Odo: “I’m not going to let this happen again..not again!
This line is from the DS9 episode “Things Past,” and in it, Odo was reliving a memory of having sentenced innocent people to death.
Spock: “I believe he has lost the capacity for rational decision”
This one also comes from the TOS episode “The Enterprise Incident.” Spock was referring to Kirk’s ability to make decisions, which was later revealed to be a hoax.
Uhura: “Yes, he’s infuriating sir, how can you stand it?”
This one is a deep cut. It comes from the TOS episode, “The Mark of Gideon.” The character Uhura was calling “infuriating” was a councilman named Hodin.
Scotty: “Thank you sir! And call me Scotty”
The version of Scotty who appears in this simulation is rocking the monster maroon uniform from the classic feature films, making him an older version of a TOS character, which is an interesting contrast with Uhura and Spock, who appear in their TOS uniforms. However, Scotty’s line “Thank you sir! And call me Scotty” comes from The Next Generation episode “Relics,” in which Scotty was talking to Captain Picard.
This fact is funny for a few reasons: The simulation in Prodigy takes place on the Enterprise-D, and other than Crusher, the only character there who actually set foot on the D was Scotty! On top of that, there’s another odd Discovery coincidence. In the recent Season 4 episode “Stormy Weather,” the entire crew of Discovery beamed themselves into the pattern buffers of the ship, which was a direct reference to Scotty’s comeback in the episode…”Relics!”
Uhura: “All channels are totally jammed, captain!”
This one is a great reference because the line is connected to Khan but not from The Wrath of Khan. Instead, this Uhura quote is lifted from “Space Seed,” the first TOS episode with Khan ever. In the context of “Space Seed,” Khan had cut off air and communication to the bridge.
Scotty: “The plasma intercooler’s gone…The engines are overheating.”
You’d think these classic Scotty-ish lines would come from TOS or one of the films, but again, these back-to-back quotes are taken from The Next Generation episode “Relics.” Scotty is talking to Geordi about the scout ship, the Jenolan which has been wedged into some giant doors of the Dyson’s Sphere, allowing the Enterprise to escape.
Fun fact: James Doohan has more lines in “Relics” than he has in any one episode of TOS.
Odo: “Frankly, I fail to see any point at all..”
Funnily enough, this Odo quote also comes from that hologram DS9 episode, “Shadowplay.” In context he was originally talking to Dax, saying, “ Frankly, Lieutenant, I fail to see any point in your story at all, except perhaps to illustrate the foolish humanoid preoccupation with romantic coupling.”
Scotty: “You’ve got it, captain.”
This comes from the TOS classic “The Doomsday Machine,” in which Kirk asks for more power to make the USS Constellation move. Scotty’s original line was: “you’ve got it, Captain. Just enough to move us. I can’t do better.”
Spock: “Sweeping the area of outpost 2…sensor reading..indefinite”
Outpost 2? Spock talking about things the sensors can’t pick up? Oh, you know it’s another line from “Balance of Terror.” The reason why the sensor reading is indefinite is because of the Romulan cloaking device.
Uhura: “Sensors are picking up a Klingon battlecruiser rapidly closing on the station..”
This comes from the mega-famous TOS episode, “The Trouble With Tribbles.” The giveaway here is that Uhura says “closing on the station,” which, in the original context, referred to Deep Space Station K-7, better known to some of us as Tribble Town.
Spock: “Transporter operational, Captain.”
This line also comes from the TOS episode “The Doomsday Machine.” In that context, Spock was trying to get Kirk to beam off of a ship that was doomed, the USS Constellation.
Spock: “My congratulations, Captain”
This one comes from the TOS episode, “The Changeling,” in which Kirk talks a rogue space probe into destroying itself. The full original line is: “My congratulations, Captain. A dazzling display of logic.”
Spock: “Am I correct in my assumption that you are disturbed by what you consider to be a failure on your part?”
This quote comes from a super-underrated TOS episode called “Obsession,” and Spock wasn’t talking to Kirk. Instead, Spock was speaking to Ensign Garrovick, and in his own Spock way, was trying to make the younger officer feel better.
Spock: “And what is it that makes one man an exceptional leader?”
This is a partial quote from the TOS episode “The Enemy Within,” in which Spock points out that Kirk’s negative side is what helps make him good at being a decisive person. The full quote is: “Yes, and what is it that makes one man an exceptional leader? We see indications that it’s his negative side which makes him strong, that his evil side, if you will, properly controlled and disciplined, is vital to his strength.”
Spock: “Captain, no disrespect intended, but you must surely realize you can’t announce the full truth to the crew. You’re the Captain of this ship. You haven’t the right to be vulnerable in the eyes of the crew. You can’t afford the luxury of being anything less than perfect. If you do, they lose faith, and you lose command.”
This quote also comes from “The Enemy Within.” But, the context Spock was referring to was very specific. In that episode, Kirk was going to reveal to the crew he’d been split into two people, one good and evil. And Spock was like, no, don’t do that, it’s gonna freak everyone out.
Spock: “The needs of the many…”
This one is easy. Spock says this to Kirk in The Wrath of Khan.
Spock: “It is the only logical conclusion.”
During this last part, we get Spock from several eras. This line comes from The Next Generation episode “Unification II,” in which Spock was telling a Romulan named Pardek that he had figured out exactly how Pardek had betrayed him.
Spock: “In your own way, you are as stubborn as another Captain of the Enterprise I once knew.”
Back-to-back “Unification II!” This line was spoken by Spock in the same TNG episode and it was aimed directly at Jean-Luc Picard. This line is very good, but everyone always forgets Picard’s mic drop retort, “Then I’m in good company, sir.” And the way he says sir is just so badass. It’s not sir like a rank, but sir like “up yours.” It’s amazing. Did we mention Patrick Stewart is a good actor?
Spock: “Live long and prosper”
This one is kind of hard to pin down, but after some checking it sounds like this is Spock from the 2009 Star Trek saying “Live long and prosper” to Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk. We’re not 100 percent sure about this. Spock does say “live long and prosper” in four TOS episodes, in one TAS episode, in TNG’s “Unification,” and in three of the classic films. This sounds like an older Spock saying it, but it’s not 100 percent clear.
Interestingly enough, when Prodigy takes place Spock is totally living long and prospering. As of 2383, Spock is alive, and likely still living on Romulus. Presumably, Scotty is still alive at this point in the timeline, too. What are the chances he took his shuttlecraft to Romulus and visited Spock? Now that’s an animated Short Treks we’d pay to see.
Star Trek: Prodigy airs new episodes on Paramount+.