Warp 10 and Paris becomes a lizard.  Originally broadcast on January 29, 1996 this is Threshold.

The Episode:

Captain’s Log Stardate 49373.4 Threshold.

Tom Paris builds a trans-warp capable shuttle that can go Warp 10 only the side effects are not what he expects.

The Story:

Ugh…I have been dreading this episode.  I mean really the concept is good but the execution…oh boy.  So, to spare you the details and me having to fully describe it to you I will give you the story in a nutshell.  Ready?

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  • Tom Paris builds a warp 10 capable shuttle.
  • Tom Paris is the first person to cross the Warp 10 threshold.
  • After locating the ship he indicates that he was ‘everywhere’ for a moment in time. Literally mapping out…uh everything.
  • Paris begins to experience strange strange side effects that significantly begin to alter his dna causing him to begin to change.
  • Jonas send info to the Kazon about Warp 10 because of course he does.
  • Paris mutates further becomeing a human frog person.
  • Paris kidnaps Janeway and takes the shuttle to warp 10 again.
  • Voyager finds mutated lizard things on a swamp planet. They were once Paris and Janeway and it seems they have mated with their children slipping into the swamp.
  • Paris and Janeway are returned to their human forms and joke about their ‘family’ together.  Regardless Paris made history with the first Warp 10 flight…but they can’t risk ever duplicating it again…

Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:

threshold 3

Yes and no.  I mean, like I said before it is a cool premise.  Breaking the warp 10 barrier and all.  We get a really great chance to see Tom Paris in his own story without him being accused of murder for once.  This is a Tom Paris who has finally found a purpose and wants to do something special with his life.

Once you get past this rather great character development the story just kind of falls apart.  I mean, sure the thought of ‘what happens when you cross the warp 10 barrier’ is intriguing but this took it into a really weird direction. I mean, devolving into a salamander?  Seriously?  Why?  They realize that this severely limits future series and their warp speed.  I mean, without some kind of protection entire crews would turn into horny salamanders practically decimating any species that goes that fast.

threshold 4

The other thing this show does is provide Voyager with a literal map of the entire region and I mean everything. every planet, every star, I mean they have a literal map that tells them everything they could want to know.   So do they use this information?  Not really…I mean sometimes but not really.  If they did wouldn’t they have known what to expect from here on out…like the Borg?  Clearly Stellar Cartography is sleeping on the job.

threshold 5

The other thing that bothers me is that in the previous episode they make it abundantly clear that they have limited resources and need to stay vigilant against the Kazon…but they can play around with a pet project of one of the crew?  What the what?  I mean, do they really have the resources to just let Tom test out a shuttle like this?  Sure it could be a means to get them home but still…seems a little bit of a waste of their limited resources.

All that aside, Robert Duncan McNeil (Paris) actually does a fantastic job in his role this episode.  While the episode is really dumb he really embraces the humor and seems to have a good time with it. With lines like “Here lies Thomas Eugene Paris, Beloved Mutant… Great! Now it will read beloved radioactive mutant!” he owned it. The dude has talent, it’s a shame it was wasted on such a filler episode.

Gleanings and Cool Bits:

threshold 7

  • 0 photon torpedoes fired, 34 remaining.
  • 0 shuttlecraft lost or destroyed, 5 remaining.
  • Tom Paris ‘dies’ in this episode but not really.
  • We get a hint of Torres’ feelings for Paris when she rushes in to check on him.  Notice that Harry Kim makes no attempt to do so although they are ‘best friends’.
  • There is literally a new, possibly sentient species on an alien planet that are the extreme evolved form of humans and they just leave them there…Prime Directive my ass.

Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review,  I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!  Next Review: Meld

If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.

As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!

Late To The Game 6/10/2020

threshold 6
Yes Captain, I am afraid they are indeed your kids…What shall we name them?

Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available.  Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.

Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use.  No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”

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