Octonauts is underwater, old school Star Trek with funny anthropomorphic animals but no red shirts or prime directive.
While we tried having our son watch it two, three years ago, he wasn’t really interested in it. Now that we are delving into all the potentially educational kids TV that Netflix has, Octonauts has gotten some viewing.
The show, aimed at the five to seven bracket, is about a group of animals who have undersea adventures with the mission statement of ‘Explore! Rescue! Protect!’ Each segment features a different and very specific form of marine life and includes a few interesting factoids about them.
But man, does it have a Star Trek vibe like no one’s business.
While Star Trek didn’t create the paradigms that have become synonymous with it(I keep waiting for someone to tell me The Voyage of the Space Beagle ripped off Star Trek), it did run away with them like a house on fire. And, speaking as a dedicated Doctor Who fan, I think Star Trek has done quite well by them. (To be fair, I haven’t seen a single episode of at least half the versions of Star Ttek out there)
What really screams original Star Trek to me about Octonauts is that the main characters form a aid-Ego-SuperEgo trio like McCoy-Kirk-Spock. This time, though, the medical officer is the Spock figure while the Id is a kiddie-friendly version of Wolverine.
I do wonder If the light-hearted action-adventure or the cartoonish anthropomorphism gets in the way of actual scientific facts. Still, I figure our son will at least remember the names of some sea life. And if he ends up liking Star Trek more than Doctor Whi, I’ll blame Octonauts :D