Star Trek: Prodigy is coming soon, but despite production having begun on season two we still don’t know when it’ll premiere or even what it’ll look like. It’ll debut on Nickelodeon, is aimed at younger viewers and will follow the adventures of a group of teenagers who steal an abandoned starship. In addition, Star Trek: Voyager fans have been delighted by the news that Kate Mulgrew will reprise the role of Captain Janeway for the first time since her brief appearances in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis and 2006 video game Star Trek: Legacy.
But now it seems another figure from Star Trek‘s past will be returning for the show – and it’s a someone nobody could have predicted would reappear. I’m talking the star of second season The Next Generation episode ‘The Outrageous Okona’. This saw the Enterprise encounter flamboyant “space rogue” Thadiun Okona (as played by William O. Campbell).
The episode is commonly considered one of the worst episodes of Star Trek ever, revolving around a bad Han Solo wannabe who was described by a Trek fan as “on the International Jar Jar Binks level of irritating”. Campbell will be reprising the role, casually mentioning that he was appearing in Prodigy during an interview on the Comic Book Central podcast. After discussing his longtime love of Trek, he said:
“The fun thing is that I recently signed on … I think it’s on Nickelodeon. They’re doing something called Star Trek: Prodigy and it’s an animated series and they’re bringing back some characters from the Star Trek universe – like heritage characters – and my guy is coming back and it’s hilarious. … I’m kinda schleppy and roguish but disgusting in a way and whoever the female character is just goes over the moon for me, much to the chagrin of the leading male character.”
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Mulgrew is now recording the second season, so if Campbell has work to do soon it’s safe to assume Okona will show up in that.
Campbell went on to discuss his performance on TNG, saying:
“The thing about the Outrageous Okona is that if I could eradicate that performance I would. The dialogue was so bad and to be honest I was not experienced enough to make bad dialogue good. I was a bad actor. I’m terribly self-conscious and Patrick [Stewart] tried to help but I think I was beyond redemption.”
Stewart did give some good advice (and the podcast is well worth listening to), but though sadly it was not enough to save the character of Thadiun Okona. But hey, maybe this fresh appearance will make amends.
But what’s particularly intriguing is the hint that further obscure guest stars will play a part in Star Trek: Prodigy. If Okona can come back basically any guest star from TNG, Voyager and Deep Space Nine can feasibly return. Let’s hope we get more hints soon – as well as when the show is going to air!