(CBS) - Star Trek: Prodigy is set to go where no Star Trek series has gone before as the first entry in the Star Trek franchise designed for kids! This animated Paramount+ original follows a motley crew of young aliens who must figure out how to work together while navigating a greater galaxy, in search for a better future. These six young outcasts know nothing about the ship they have commandeered – a first in the history of the Star Trek Franchise – but over the course of their adventures together, they will each be introduced to Starfleet and the ideals it represents.
CBS' Matt Weiss caught up with Brett Gray and Ella Purnell, two of Prodigy's talented voice actors, to discuss their characters, becoming a part of the Star Trek universe and what it's really like in the voice actor's studio.
MW- Good morning Ella, Brett! Star Trek: Prodigy is available now on Paramount+ with a new episode dropping tonight. This is the first Star Trek series for kids, what does it mean to be part of a Star Trek first?
EP- It's incredibly honoring. It feels like a huge privilege to be able to say if this really kicks off that my brothers will love it and maybe it keeps going to my future kids; I don't know. It feels like a new moment in time and in history.
That being said, there's obviously a lot of pressure coming into something that is so well known and well loved. It's no easy feat but everyone's been really welcoming. The whole team has been lovely and here we are!
BG- I definitely echo those same sentiments. It's super, super intimidating coming into something as huge as Star Trek. I always thought it was huge but now I really understand how large and how loved this franchise is. I have even more pressure on myself now than I did at the beginning in my blissful ignorance, but it's awesome.
It's totally an honor to be able to be a part of a first and to help bridge the younger generation to Star Trek. Hopefully the younger generation can take away what's made Star Trek what so beloved for the last 50-plus years. Hopefully we can do that justice and add to it if possible.
MW- And Brett your character's name is Dal, why don't you introduce us to who he is?
BG- Yeah, Dal is a 17-year-old alien. He is wild and scrappy and sort of the leader of this crew that falls together when he discovers this giant ship in his slave labor camp. So we'll get to see his journey with doubt and his self discovery.
He has no idea what species he is or where he comes from. He's sort of searching for himself and he finds that through his team members and other people. It's an incredible arc.
MW- And Ella who is Gwyn?
EP- Yes so I play Gwyn who is a 17-year-old alien from a species called the Vau N'Akat. Gwyn is the daughter of "The Diviner" who is sort of the evil villain of the show. He's the guy who is keeping all these young children enslaved who become the crew of the ship. So she has a bit of emotional baggage to deal with, as one would imagine.
The beauty of her character arc is that we get to see her go from someone who is mildly traumatized from growing up a lot faster than she should have. She eventually gets to be herself and make friends and become part of a family, a real family.
MW- What's it like doing voice work? Is it a fun process?
EP- This is my second voiceover job so I don't have all that much to compare it to but personally I love it. There's a lot of freedom that comes with it. I think me and Brett work the same way that we're very weird and very energetic.
I'll make the weirdest, craziest faces and like jump around the room. If Gwyn is falling or getting hit I'll punch myself in the chest, things like that [laughs].
BG- Yeah, I totally go nuts in the recording booth. I do all these hand motions and if I'm running I sort of jog in place. I just do whatever it takes to sort of feel out the moment. I'm sure our executive producers think I'm a nut but it's fine. [laughs]
It's really, really fun, super freeing. This is my first voiceover job so it's been awesome to jump in and see the process of how it all works.
MW- Maybe we need to get you two some chest protectors or armor for the booth.
EP- [Laughs] Yes, please!
BG- I think that would help [Laughs]
MW- See what we can do. Last question here before I let you both go for anyone who hasn't seen the first episode and wants to get into Star Trek: Prodigy how was you describe this new adventure?
EP- Excitement, drama, talent, beauty, fun, epic storytelling.
MW- What more could you ask for? Thank you both so much and all the best moving forward!
EP- Thank you, Matt!
BG- Thanks man!
Star Trek: Prodigy is available to stream on-demand now with Paramount+.
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