I've never been to a "Star Trek" convention, can't remember a single episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and don't know a word of Klingon.
So I'm certainly not the intended audience for "Star Trek: Prodigy."
Not that the new animated series, now streaming on Paramount Plus, needs my support.
The original journey may have been canceled in 1969 after only 79 episodes, but it went on to spawn 10 TV spinoffs and 13 movies. It even got original star William Shatner a free ride on Jeff Bezos' rocket.
The latest series appears to be set long after the Federation has fallen apart. A group of teenage fugitives from a prison mining camp steal an abandoned spaceship and head off on adventures of their own. It's aimed at turning the next generation into Trekkies.
"This is my first introduction to it," said Brett Gray, the 25-year-old actor voicing the part of Dal, the ship's presumptive captain who keeps getting his new colleagues into jams. That's appropriate since the character looks like he bathed in grape jelly.
"Part of the fun for me is that I'm slowly being sucked into this vortex of becoming a 'Star Trek' fan, which is awesome," Gray said.
Executive producer Alex Kurtzman, who joined the cast in a virtual news conference this past summer, confirms "Prodigy's" primary mission.
"'Star Trek' is about so many things that are formative," said Kurtzman, who co-wrote two of the franchise movies. "The idea that our best selves will emerge in the future. The idea that our better angels will lead us to an optimistic place where all the things that divide us now are gone. We feel this is the particular moment in time to bring that message to young kids who are not only the ones who inherit 'Star Trek,' but who inherit our planet and the choices that we're making going forward."
That may be the eventual intent, but it's not apparent in the first two episodes. They seem to be inspired by everything but the original series. The opening scene, in which Dal tries to get away from prison, has the pace of a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" sequence. Dal's colleagues, who include a sidekick with the build of The Thing and the voice of Betty Boop, come across like "Guardians of the Galaxy." The villain chasing them through space could be Darth Vader's brother.
Only a late appearance from Capt. Kathryn Janeway — Kate Mulgrew reprising her "Voyager" role — reminds older viewers that they're still in the Trekkie world. And she's just a hologram that occasionally pops up to coach the newbies.
Each new "Star Trek" offering seems to drift farther away from the 1960s series, in which telling morality tales was more important than phaser shootouts. The most faithful adaptation to creator Gene Roddenberry's original vision has been Seth MacFarlane's "The Orville," and that's not even part of the official brand.
But there's hope for the future. "Orville" just wrapped up filming its third season and is expected to return to Fox in March. A feature film, scheduled for release in 2023, will be directed by Matt Shakman, who did such a splendid job with "WandaVision." "Strange New Worlds," a TV series set to premiere next year, will focus on the early days of the U.S.S Enterprise.
Let's hope these next efforts boldly go where "Star Trek" has gone before.