Star Trek’s Newest Starfleet Officer Brings Back A Popular Enterprise Alien

Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1, Episode 11 – « Asylum »A new Starfleet Officer introduced by Star Trek: Prodigy brings back a popular alien race from Star Trek: Enterprise. In Star Trek: Prodigy’s midseason 1 premiere, the ragtag alien teenage crew of the USS Protostar finally makes contact with Starfleet. Captain Dal R’El (Brett Gray), Gwyndala (Ella Purnell), and their friends dock the Protostar at CR-721, the Federation’s furthest comm relay station, and attempt to join Starfleet. Unfortunately, the secret weapon the Diviner (John Noble) hid on the Protostar activated once the super-fast starship was in proximity of Starfleet, causing the relay station to destroy itself.

But before the Diviner’s doomsday weapon went online, Star Trek: Prodigy’s young heroes met Lt. Barniss Frex (Eric Bauza), a Denobulan, who is the only person stationed in the Federation’s Delta Quadrant facility. Frex is the same species as Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) on Star Trek: Enterprise, which introduced the Denobulans and explored their culture. Indeed, the Denobulans were among the earliest allies of humanity, and it was significant that Dr. Phlox joined the historic voyage of Captain Jonathan Archer’s (Scott Bakula) NX-01 Enterprise, Earth’s first warp-five capable starship. Denobulans were spotted in Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2, but Barniss Frex is the first new and major Denobulan character in Star Trek since Dr. Phlox.

Dr. Phlox was extremely helpful and friendly to the NX-01’s mostly human crew on Star Trek: Enterprise and, at first, Barniss Frex was delighted to meet new people from the Protostar after so much isolation. The eccentric Lt. Frex invited the Protostar’s crew to be scanned so that he could determine their species, and Star Trek: Prodigy revealed that Murf (Dee Bradley Baker) is a Mellanoid slime worm, which was referenced only once in Star Trek: The Next Generation season 1. But Frex’s scanner couldn’t identify Gwyn as a Vau N’akat and Dal’s species is also a complete mystery.

Unfortunately, the Protostar kids lost their first Federation ally when the Diviner’s weapon caused the destruction of the relay station. Frex escaped, as did the teenagers, who managed to make it back onto the Protostar with the help of Hologram Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and a tractor beam. But if Barniss meets the Protostar’s crew again, he might not be so friendly considering they nearly got him killed and caused his starbase to tear itself apart. The fact that Admiral Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and the USS Dauntless are in the Delta Quadrant could mean that they pick up any distress call Frex sent, and he may be able to point Admiral Janeway to the Protostar.

Star Trek: Prodigy invented their own Denobulan, but will legacy characters from Star Trek: Enterprise ever appear in the Paramount+ and Nickelodeon animated series? Enterprise is the last Star Trek series holdout that hasn’t had any of its cast guest star in the Star Trek series on Paramount+. The fact that Enterprise is set in the 22nd century is a barrier, but in Prodigy, the USS Protostar is capable of time travel. Further, Star Trek: Prodigy already had an amazing holodeck episode where Dal faced the Kobayashi Maru with the help of Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), and Odo (Rene Auberjonois). As an animated series, Star Trek: Prodigy is particularly suited to bring back Star Trek: Enterprise’s legacy actors, so that maybe Dr. Phlox can meet Barniss Frex someday.

Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.