Star Trek: Voyager's Weirdest Episode Answered What Happens If You Hit Warp 10

Star Trek: Voyager's "Threshold" stands as one of the weirdest entries in the whole franchise, but it found a strange way to answer a big question.

Star Trek: Voyager had a habit of swinging for the fences with its more high-concept episodes. When they succeeded, they created some of the series’ high points and helped put its own unique stamp in the Star Trek franchise. These included episodes like Season 2, Episode 24, “Tuvix,” which posed serious ethical questions in unique and fascinating ways. However, not every episode could hit the delicate balance required for that, and when they failed, the Voyager  got weird, such as when answering what happens when hitting warp 10.

Season 2, Episode 15, “Threshold,” explores that question. Presented as a mystery, it builds to a reveal involving giant salamanders and easy sex jokes. It’s particularly odd considering it surrounds one of the staples of Star Trek ’s lexicon: warp speed . The moment could have defined one of Star Trek ’s key pieces of technology. Instead, it’s become a shining example of the franchise at its goofiest.

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According to the franchise’s rules, warp factors exponentially increase speed. For instance, a ship traveling at warp 6 moves more than twice as fast as it would at warp 5, which is more than twice as fast as warp 4 and so on. The barrier to that is warp 10, a point where, as Harry Kim explains, an object touches all points in the universe simultaneously. After the ship discovers refined dilithium on a new planet, Tom Paris thinks he can use it to hit warp 10 and bring Voyager home to Earth in an instant.

The episode makes an obvious nod to Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier. Tom’s increasingly fixated efforts to cross the barrier reflect a disregard for the potential safety problems. “Threshold's” early scenes play that tension well, as Tom, Harry and B’Elanna first test their theories in the holodeck before Tom ventures out in a shuttle to break the barrier himself. The science is shaky, even for Star Trek, but the suspense admirably builds, and the dialogue plants just enough hints about some kind of Frankensteinian consequences should Paris succeed. That helps the episode skirt around its omnipresent Gilligan’s Island question: the audience knows that Tom will fail since Voyager can’t return home just yet. The tension comes in what his flight will do to him.

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Positing the question isn’t the episode’s problem. That comes with the answer, which “Threshold” at first seeks to defer in favor of more suspense. Tom’s flight succeeds, but it has untold effects on him, resulting in a slow transformation into a seemingly amphibious humanoid with a good deal of body horror included to keep the tension high. The word “quantum” floats around the entire episode, another term Star Trek often uses as a catch-all explanation for whatever concept it wants to explore, but the change still comes out of left field. It lacks any causal connections to Paris’s flight and turns its intriguing mystery into an utterly ridiculous one.

But it gets worse. As the physiological changes take hold, Paris abducts Captain Janeway and returns to the shuttle to repeat his warp 10 feat. The crew finds them three days later on an uninhabited jungle planet, transformed into six-foot-long salamanders. Moreover, they have bred, and their spawns are found nearby. Chakotay stuns them and returns them to the ship -- leaving their offspring behind -- while the Doctor restores them to their human forms. They simply remark how little of the experience they remember, and the ship flies on to the next Voyager  episode.

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The disposable nature of the entire affair is the last touch for a concept that had gone wildly astray long before. The salamanders' nature and their connection to Paris’ flight are never mentioned, nor is the fact that they simply abandoned their genetic offspring to the wild without a second thought. Considering the way “Threshold” builds up the monumental achievement of breaking warp 10 -- Paris is compared to Zefram Cochrane and the Wright Brothers -- the nonchalance with which it tosses aside Tom’s success and his subsequent transformation are stunning. That extends to the elephant in the room: the fact that Paris and Janeway mated and conceived of children as giant salamanders, which the crew accepts without a second thought.

Terms like “best” and “worst” don’t really apply to episodes like “Threshold.” From an objective standpoint, it’s terrible. However, its terrible qualities come in such a freakish and unanticipated way that they become selling points in and of themselves. It’s ridiculous but lovable in its own way, no different than any of the other occasions that the franchise’s sillier side came out. Although, that doesn’t save it from its sheer head-scratching quality, leaving it the “ Spock’s Brain ” of Voyager and a contender for one of Star Trek ’s all-time weirdest episodes.

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  • Cast & crew
  • User reviews
  • Episode aired Jan 29, 1996

Robert Duncan McNeill and Kate Mulgrew in Star Trek: Voyager (1995)

Tom's attempt to cross the time warp threshold and make a name for himself results in rapid physical mutation. Tom's attempt to cross the time warp threshold and make a name for himself results in rapid physical mutation. Tom's attempt to cross the time warp threshold and make a name for himself results in rapid physical mutation.

  • Alexander Singer
  • Gene Roddenberry
  • Rick Berman
  • Michael Piller
  • Kate Mulgrew
  • Robert Beltran
  • Roxann Dawson
  • 38 User reviews
  • 6 Critic reviews

Robert Duncan McNeill and Kate Mulgrew in Star Trek: Voyager (1995)

  • Capt. Kathryn Janeway

Robert Beltran

  • Cmdr. Chakotay

Roxann Dawson

  • Lt. B'Elanna Torres
  • (as Roxann Biggs-Dawson)

Jennifer Lien

  • Lt. Tom Paris

Ethan Phillips

  • Ensign Harry Kim

Raphael Sbarge

  • Michael Jonas

Mirron E. Willis

  • Voyager Computer
  • Operations Division Officer
  • (uncredited)

Tarik Ergin

  • Ensign Culhane
  • Hyper-evolved Reptile

Richard Sarstedt

  • William McKenzie
  • Michael Piller (showrunner)
  • All cast & crew
  • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

Did you know

  • Trivia Robert Duncan McNeill helped refine the episode's conclusion. "I helped them rewrite the episode's final scene. I did not feel the original story ended very well. I was pleased because I got to have some input into how to resolve the story."
  • Goofs Tom and Harry try to break the Warp 10 barrier. In the process they say it's a theoretical impossibility and that no one has gone that fast. In That Which Survives (1969) (#3.17) and Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) the warp 10 barrier is apparently broken.

The Doctor : [examining the unconscious Paris] From what I can tell, he's just... asleep.

The Doctor : Can you wake him?

The Doctor : I don't see why not.

[bends down to Paris]


  • Connections Featured in The Toys That Made Us: Star Trek (2018)
  • Soundtracks Star Trek: Voyager - Main Title (uncredited) Written by Jerry Goldsmith Performed by Jay Chattaway

User reviews 38

  • Aug 9, 2020
  • January 29, 1996 (United States)
  • United States
  • Official Site
  • Paramount Studios - 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA (Studio)
  • Paramount Television
  • See more company credits at IMDbPro

Technical specs

  • Runtime 46 minutes
  • Dolby Digital

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Why Star Trek: Voyager's Threshold Episode Ignited An Army Of Outraged Fans

Star Trek: Voyager Threshold

In the "Star Trek: Voyager" episode "Threshold" (January 9, 1996), the U.S.S. Voyager discovers a rare, extra-powerful version of dilithium, the crystal that is required to run starship engines. Using this new dilithium, the Voyager crew figure they can build an engine capable of passing the mythic warp-10 barrier, essentially allowing them to reach infinite velocity, passing through every point in the universe simultaneously. Such a breakthrough would allow the Voyager to return to Earth in a moment. 

When testing their new engine, however, something goes awry. Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) returns from a test flight ... altered. He begins to mutate and change, losing skin and spitting out his tongue. It seems that the infinite velocity flight somehow triggered his body's evolutionary genes and he is rapidly transforming into whatever creatures humans will evolve into in the next hundred million years. When Paris becomes an amphibian-like frog man, he kidnaps Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and forces her to take the infinite warp flight while unconscious. 

The episode ends with the Voyager crew locating Paris and Janeway, and discovering that they had evolved into fleshy, outsize newts. Also, they mated, spawning several efts. This was the apex of evolution. Big, weird newts. The Voyager's doctor (Robert Picardo) transforms them back into humans. 

It seems the newts weren't well-received by fans. In the 1996 book "Captains' Logs Supplemental: The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages" by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, "Voyager" producer Jeri Taylor talked about the negative fan mail the show received for "Threshold," and how awful those newts were. Fans were also angry at some of the technical details, feeling that "Voyager" crossed a line. 

The Warp 10 Barrier

Taylor, firstly, remembered the backlash over the warp-10 barrier, and it's easy to see why. While the ships on "Star Trek" can travel at tremendous speeds, even their fictional warp engines have to contend with the real-life enormity of space. Even the U.S.S. Voyager, one of the fastest ships ever built, requires 70 straight years of traveling at its top speed just to cross the Milky Way. The idea of a ship breaking that barrier and reaching infinite velocity would remove all the trekking from "Star Trek." It would be as if a starship could teleport, and what dummy would think to write a "Star Trek" series about a ship that can teleport?  

Taylor recalled hearing from angry Trekkies on the matter, saying:

"We're taking a lot of flak for that [...] There's been a real lashing out. I recognize that people who are on the Internet and who write us letters are a tiny portion of our audience, but when it is as overwhelming as it was on this episode, you begin to take notice. Some of this anger was misplaced, I thought. A lot of the ire seemed to be caused by the fact that we stated that no one had ever gone warp ten before, and people flooded us with letters saying. That's not true, in the original series they went warp twelve and warp thirteen." 

Taylor, of course, knew all about the history of Trek, and calmly pointed out the recalibration done with the franchise's lore. Ultimately, she was more concerned with the story than with explaining the history of Trek tech. Indeed, Trekkies would know about the recalibration anyway. Fans were just being snotty, it seems.

Staying away from big heads

She continued: 

"[I]t really was a recalibration of warp speed. Gene [Roddenberry] made the determination at the beginning of 'Next Gen' that warp ten would be the limit, and at that point you would occupy all portions of the universe simultaneously, which always seemed like a wonderfully provocative notion. Then the question is 'What happens if you do go to warp ten, how does that affect you?'"

That focus on the story led to some fun postulations about evolution. In many sci-fi stories, when humans find themselves suddenly evolving — at least to Taylor's recollection — they suddenly have larger heads and spindly bodies. Taylor and the show's writers wanted something different and unexpected. Hence the newts. Taylor said: 

"[We] came up with this idea of evolution and thought that it would be far more interesting and less expected that instead of it being the large-brained, glowing person, it would be full circle, back to our origins in the water. Not saying that we have become less than we are, because those creatures may experience consciousness on such an advanced plane that we couldn't conceive of it. It just seemed like a more interesting image. But it is not one that took with the audience."

A fine idea, but in execution, it seems that Trekkies were put off. At the end of the day, one is pointing a camera a giant newt puppets. Trekkies weren't happy with that. "The fact that we were turning people into salamanders," Taylor said, "was offensive to a lot of people and just plain stupid to others."

Braga's opacity

"Threshold" was credited to longtime "Star Trek" veteran Brannon Braga, notorious for writing the headier, more psychedelic episodes. Braga recalled the scientific notions behind the newts, but that he didn't bother to explain them with clarity. In an episode that was already hefty with technobabble and scientific dialogue about velocity and evolution, Braga felt he needed to pare things down a little bit. Sadly, in so doing, he chopped out something that would have made ultra-evolved space-newts more acceptable. He said: 

"['Threshold' is] very much a classic 'Star Trek' story. But in the rewrite process, I took out the explanation, the idea behind the ending; that we evolve into these little lizards because maybe evolution is not always progressive. Maybe it's a cycle where we revert to something more rudimentary. That whole conversation was taken out for various reasons, and that was a disaster because without it the episode doesn't even have a point. I think it suffered greatly. I got the note that it wasn't necessary, but in fact, it really had a lot to do with what the episode was about. Big mistake taking it out."

Indeed, evolution is a long-term transformation wherein organisms adapt to a changing environment. It is not necessarily a gradual movement toward a type of pre-determined complexity. "Threshold" possesses that idea, but it's not part of the dialogue. Not having a character speak it aloud leaves the episode's themes murky. Instead, audiences simply have to accept the absurd notion that two main cast members turned into amphibians. 

Fun trivia: "Threshold" was initially pitched by longtime Trekkie Michael De Luca, who, at the time, was best known for writing the screenplays for "Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare" and John Carpenter's "In the Mouth of Madness."  

Memory Alpha

Warp factor

  • View history

Warp field dynamics monitor

A warp field dynamics monitor displayed the warp factors of the warp 5 engine and their relative faster-than-light speed equivalents

USS Enterprise at warp

The USS Enterprise at warp 1 in 2259

USS Enterprise viewscreen, alternate reality

In the alternate reality, the main viewscreen of USS Enterprise depicted the sublight and faster-than-light speed of the ship in warp factors at a three decimal place accuracy

USS Titan-A at Warp

The USS Titan -A at Warp 9.99 in 2401.

Time-Warp factor , better known as warp factor , was the primary means of measuring speeds attained using warp drive . ( TOS : " The Cage ") The term was often shortened to warp when followed by its value, so that saying "warp six" was the same as saying "warp factor six." Light speed travel began at warp one, whereas lower fractional values sometimes measured sublight speeds or sublight factors . ( Star Trek: The Motion Picture ; Star Trek ; ENT : " First Flight " display graphic )

By the mid- 24th century , warp ten became infinite velocity and thus unattainable by conventional means. ( VOY : " Threshold ") Because of this, extremely high warp speeds mapped to decimal values between nine and ten, such as warp 9.975. ( TNG : " Encounter at Farpoint "; VOY : " Caretaker ") By the early 25th century , warp 9.99 became the max warp speed Starfleet vessels could achieve. ( PIC : " The Next Generation ")

Warp factor was one of the vocabulary words listed on the chart "A Tunnel in the Sky". This chart was seen in the schoolroom aboard Deep Space 9 in 2369 . ( DS9 : " In the Hands of the Prophets ")

  • 1 Warp factor vs. average speed
  • 2.1 23rd century
  • 2.2 Infinite velocity
  • 2.3 Alternate timelines
  • 3.1 Related topics
  • 3.2.1 Variations in relative speed
  • 3.2.2 Star Trek: The Original Series
  • 3.2.3 Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • 3.2.4 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • 3.2.5 Star Trek: Voyager
  • 3.2.6 Star Trek: Enterprise
  • 3.2.7 Alternate reality
  • 3.2.8 Apocrypha
  • 3.3 External links

Warp factor vs. average speed [ ]

  • ↑ Although Tom Paris clearly articulates the distance and time, it is unclear if he was engaging in hyperbole since these parameters indicate that, at warp factor 9.9 as specified, 75,000 light years can be traversed in less than 3.5 years.
  • ↑ The Kelvans modified the USS Enterprise to travel at warp eleven through the galactic barrier . They did not clarify whether the same warp factor would have been used for intergalactic travel also.

Warp ten and above [ ]

23rd century [ ].

Orion scout ship, remastered

An Orion scout ship at warp 10

In the 23rd century , warp factors of 10 and higher were known as generally unsafe velocities. ( TOS : " Journey to Babel ") Speeds on the order of warp 15 were called multiwarp speeds. ( TOS : " The Changeling ")

  • Warp factor 10 . In 2267 , the USS Enterprise engaged an Orion scout ship capable of warp 10, if not higher speeds, since crew safety was of no concern to them, prompting Spock to remark that it was " interesting. " The ship was too fast for the Enterprise to hit it with phasers or photon torpedoes . ( TOS : " Journey to Babel ") In 2268 , Bele , upon commandeering the engine and directional controls of the Enterprise , propelled the starship faster than warp 10 towards Cheron . ( TOS : " Let That Be Your Last Battlefield ")
  • Warp factor 11 . In 2267, the Nomad probe improved efficiency in the antimatter input valve and energy release controls on the Enterprise , allowing the ship to achieve at least warp 11. When this happened, Montgomery Scott was in disbelief. Captain James T. Kirk ordered Nomad to reverse the modifications though, as the structure of the Enterprise was not designed to handle the stress of that much power output. ( TOS : " The Changeling ") In 2268, the Kelvans who commandeered the ship made similar modification. At that time the ship could maintain warp 11 without danger. ( TOS : " By Any Other Name ")
  • Warp factor 14 . In 2268, the Enterprise achieved a speed of warp 14.1 when the engine of the ship was sabotaged to overload by a Kalandan planetary defense system . At that velocity the ship came within moments of destroying itself. ( TOS : " That Which Survives ")
  • Warp factor 15 . In 2267, the Nomad probe was armed with a weapon system capable of firing energy bolts that traveled at the speed of warp 15. ( TOS : " The Changeling ")

Karla fives vessel-pos

Karla Five's vessel capable of warp 36

  • Warp factor 22 . In 2270 , the Enterprise was accelerated to speeds in the excess of warp 22, while being linked to Karla Five's vessel with a tractor beam . ( TAS : " The Counter-Clock Incident ")
  • Warp factor 36 . In 2270, the Enterprise encountered Karla Five's vessel, that was about to enter the Beta Niobe nova. At maximum speed, the ship was traveling at approximately warp 36. ( TAS : " The Counter-Clock Incident ")

Infinite velocity [ ]

USS Enterprise going to warp in full profile

USS Enterprise -D accelerated to incredible warp speeds by the Traveler

Cochrane, transwarp

Shuttlecraft Cochrane accelerating to warp 10

In 24th century warp theory , warp factor 10 had been redesignated to correspond with infinite velocity. A vessel traveling at warp 10 occupied all points in the universe simultaneously. Warp 10 was also known as the transwarp threshold . ( VOY : " Threshold ") Warp 10 had also become a slang term referring to anything extremely fast. Kathryn Janeway made the observation in 2376 that rumors traveled fast on the USS Voyager . Chakotay agreed with Janeway, quipping at "warp 10." ( VOY : " The Voyager Conspiracy ")

  • Warp factor 10- . In 2364 , the Traveler used the energy of his thoughts to move the USS Enterprise -D through space at a speed that registered on instruments as exceeding warp factor 10 and going off the warp scale. ( TNG : " Where No One Has Gone Before ")
  • Warp factor 10 . Although considered a theoretical impossibility at the time, Tom Paris of the USS Voyager reached the warp 10 threshold in 2372 , using shuttlecraft Cochrane , which was equipped with a transwarp drive and an extraordinarily rare form of dilithium discovered earlier that year. After it was discovered that such travel induced hyper-evolution , this technology was discontinued after the initial test. ( VOY : " Threshold ")
  • Warp factor 10+ . It was possible to travel backwards in time by surpassing warp 10. In 2365 , Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Commander William T. Riker speculated on what phenomenon could have thrown the El-Baz back through time. While Riker knew the shuttlepod didn't have warp drive , he still suggested the theory that it could have somehow accelerated beyond warp 10. Picard suggested this could have been achieved by a warp-powered slingshot using the gravitational pull of a star. ( TNG : " Time Squared ")

Alternate timelines [ ]

USS Enterprise-D, anti-time future

An alternative future Enterprise -D refitted for warp 13

In the original future , which was changed by Jean-Luc Picard, around the turning point of the 24th century , warp factor values beyond warp 10 were again used to describe extremely fast speeds. ( TNG : " All Good Things... ")

  • Warp factor 13 . The Medical Spaceship Pasteur under Captain Beverly Crusher's command traveled at warp 13 in the incident concerning the anti-time eruption in the Devron system . ( TNG : " All Good Things... ")

Appendices [ ]

Related topics [ ].

  • Bessel function
  • Cochrane equation
  • Cruising speed
  • Emergency warp
  • Maximum warp
  • Slingshot effect
  • Warp equation
  • Time barrier
  • Transwarp threshold
  • Warp 2 barrier
  • Warp theory

Background information [ ]

Variations in relative speed [ ].

Although formulas to calculate a relative speed from a warp factor have existed in the writer's guides, these were rarely used for reference in the episodes and films. To explain the apparent discontinuities of relative speed equivalents for warp factor speeds, reference sources have given several explanations:

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual (p. 55) states the actual speed values of a warp factor are dependent upon interstellar conditions, for example gas density, electric and magnetic fields in different regions of the galaxy, and fluctuations of the subspace domain. Also quantum drag forces and motive power oscillation cause energy penalties to a ship using warp drive.
  • Star Trek Maps (p. 6) introduced a similar concept as the Cochrane factor, that influences the actual speed by multiplying it. It can be as high as a multiplication of 1,500 to the relative speed within the curvature of space caused by the interstellar dust and gas of a galaxy, and as little as 1 in the empty intergalactic void. In the vicinity of massive objects it is so high that disproportionately high speeds are created when approaching them, and they tend to result in the slingshot effect . Between the galaxies there is only the empty void, so the speed follows only the basic cubic formula. ( see below ) Within the interstellar medium of Federation space the average value for the Cochrane factor has been calculated to be 1292.7238. This value explains, for example, the ball park of the fast relative speed equivalent for warp factor 8.4 from TOS : " That Which Survives ": 8.4 3 × 1,292.7238 = 766,202.57 times the speed of light.

The slowing down effect of moving away from a source of gravity to the relative speed has been well established in canon. For example in Star Trek , the Enterprise is at maximum warp but is not moving in space at all, due to the gravity of a black hole behind it. Similarly, in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home , the HMS Bounty engages warp speed while in the atmosphere of Earth , and it takes over two minutes in the film for the ship to achieve and break out of Earth's orbit, but reaches the Sun's event horizon only a few minutes later. In TOS : " Elaan of Troyius ", a D7-class starship moving away from a star system at a speed better than warp 6 is moving slower than the speed of light. In some areas of space with unstable or disrupted subspace, it is impossible to use warp drive at all, as was established in such episodes as VOY : " Bride of Chaotica! " and " The Omega Directive ".

Many examples of more subtle variations exist. For example, in "By Any Other Name", the Kelvans modified the USS Enterprise to accelerate to a speed of warp 11 in order to safely cross the galactic barrier . If this was also meant to represent the velocity of travel to the Andromeda Galaxy , a travel time of three hundred years would indicate a far greater speed than can be derived from the basic cubic scale from the writer's guide. Warp 8.4 was stated to be much faster in "That Which Survives" than warp 9.9 in "The 37's". In TNG : " Allegiance ", warp 7 was stated to be about 55 times faster than warp factor 2, again confirming that fluctuations in the relative speeds exist that are not covered by the basic formula.

Star Trek: The Original Series [ ]

In his initial draft proposal, Star Trek is... (p. 9), Gene Roddenberry established the maximum velocity of the starship as ".73 of one light year per hour". This would translate to a top speed of 6394.8 c (approximately equivalent to TOS warp 18.56, or somewhere between warp 9.975 and 9.99 as given in the Star Trek: Voyager Technical Manual (p. 13)).

The original warp scale was described in the writer's guide, The Star Trek Guide , (third revision, p. 8) as a set of warp factors and multiples of light speed that can be obtained by raising a warp factor to the third power. [3] This information appeared in widespread print in The Making of Star Trek (1968, p. 191). The book also states a shift in relative time occurs while traveling at warp, an hour might equal to three hours experienced outside the ship. (p. 198) In 1975, the warp scale given a more technical gloss in Franz Joseph 's Star Fleet Technical Manual , now extended to include warp factors below 1. In 1977 Roddenberry again adopted the scale for the aborted Star Trek: Phase II series, but abandoned it for Star Trek: The Next Generation . It was not until the 2003 episode " First Flight " of Star Trek: Enterprise , that the warp factor scale made an official on screen debut. Warp factors from 1 to 5 were depicted with their corresponding relative speed values on a large computer graphic.

The scale used by Starfleet in the 22nd and 23rd century is based on a geometric progression, where the speed of a vessel (measured in multiples of c , the speed of light ) is equal to the cube of the given warp factor. The warp factor was calculated as follows:

{\displaystyle wf={\sqrt[{3}]{\frac {v}{c}}}}

  • v being the speed of the signal or starship
  • c being the speed of light (3.0 × 10 8 m/s) and
  • wf being the resulting warp factor

Or, to calculate speed ( v ) in terms of c , the formula would be:

{\displaystyle v=wf^{3}c}

At warp 1, a starship would reach c ; at warp 6, it would reach 216 c . This is a much slower velocity than initially proposed by Roddenberry.

Using this scale:

Star Trek: The Next Generation [ ]

A document dated May 14, 1986 and attributed to Gene Roddenberry places warp 10 at the top of the scale: "Beyond that time-space continuity is disoperative." The corresponding velocity is given as "the speed of light multiplied by the speed of light ten times" , whereas warp 2 is now "the speed of light squared" , implying a general rule of the speed of light to the power of the warp factor. Aside from warp 1 mapping to the speed of light, it is unclear how this was to be applied in practice. There is, however, a clue in the statement that only 34% of the galaxy has been explored as opposed to 18% in TOS, suggesting improvements without major breakthroughs. [4]

The Writers'/Directors' Guide revision of March 23, 1987 confirms that warp 1 remains the speed of light and accepts warp 10 as " the physical limit of the universe – beyond that normal time-space relationships do not exist and a ship at that velocity may simply cease to exist . " As in the classic series, warp 6 is the highest cruising speed, though the stated equivalent of a light year per hour is more in keeping with .73 in the format of 1964 than the 41-hour light year by the cubed scale, or the 22 hours it would take to traverse the distance in the final revision. At this early version of warp 6, however, the Enterprise would need 308 years to travel the 2,700,000 light years it covered in TNG : " Where No One Has Gone Before ", consistent with Geordi La Forge's "over three hundred years" in the episode.

By the creation of Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual , the warp factor scale used by Starfleet in the 24th century was based on a recalibration of the scale used in the Original Series . Rather than a simple geometric progression based on relative speed, warp factors were established to be based upon the amount of power required to transition from one warp plateau to another. For example, the power to initially get to warp factor 1 was much more than the power required to maintain it; likewise warp 2, 3, 4, and so on. Those transitional power points rather than observed speed were then assigned the integer warp factors. These transitional points were established to apply to the original warp scale as well in the canonical warp chart presented in "First Flight".

According to an article in Star Trek: The Magazine  Volume 1, Issue 6 , p. 44 by André Bormanis , this scale change occurred in 2312 . A term was added to the above equation that caused the speed to rise slightly at lower warp factor, but to become infinite at warp 10. The ratio v / c at a given warp factor is equal to the corresponding cochrane value that describes the subspace distortion.

Gene Roddenberry stated that he wanted to avoid the ever-increasing warp factors used in the original series to force added tension to the story, and so imposed the limit of warp 10 as infinite speed.

For warp factors up to 9, the revised formula became:

{\displaystyle wf={\sqrt[{\frac {10}{3}}]{\frac {v}{c}}}}

Or, to calculate speed in terms of c (up to warp 9), the formula would be:

{\displaystyle speed=wf^{\frac {10}{3}}c}

In this case, warp 1 is equivalent to c (as it was in the 23rd century scale), but above warp 9 the speed increases exponentially, approaching infinity as the warp factor approaches 10.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine [ ]

According to DS9 : " Emissary " and " Battle Lines ", the Bajoran Wormhole connected the Bajoran system to a region in the Gamma Quadrant 70,000 light years away. In "Battle Lines", Sisko stated that it would take Starfleet's fastest ship over sixty-seven years to cross the distance, suggesting the fastest ship in 2369 could travel at approximately 1,044 times the speed of light on a flight of that duration. The figure was further explained in the series bible, that it is more specifically a sixty-year journey at warp 9, [5] suggesting warp 9 would be about 1,167 times the speed of light.

In " The Sound of Her Voice ", the USS Defiant , traveling at warp 9, is three days away from a planet. Increasing speed to warp 9.5 took almost a full day away from the travel time. This indicates that warp 9.5 is almost 50% faster than warp 9.

Star Trek: Voyager [ ]

In Star Trek: Voyager Technical Manual (pp. 12 & 13) several other speed equivalents are established: Warp 9.6 is 1,909 times the speed of light. Warp 9.99 is 7,912 times the speed of light, which in turn is nearly three times the speed of warp 9.9. Subspace communication signals travel at warp 9.9999, a hundred times faster than warp 9.6, 199,516 times the speed of light.

In the pilot episode of the series, VOY : " Caretaker ", it is established that "at maximum speeds" it would take seventy-five years for Voyager to reach Earth, which was at that time approximated to be 75,000 light years away. This would mean that the maximum speeds of the Voyager were around approximately 933-1,000 times the speed of light. According to the Star Trek: Voyager Technical Manual , this calculation was meant to be based on an unrealistic non-stop direct journey at the speed of warp 9.6 (p. 14) or at warp 9.99 (p. 36). A realistic estimate, according to the manual, was that the journey would last somewhere between two and four hundred years when taking into account the required engine cooling time needed on such an extended journey.

According to Star Trek: Voyager Technical Manual (pp. 4 & 27), a sector (about twenty light years) took four days to cross at warp 9.6, five days at warp 9 and about nineteen days at warp 6. However, in VOY : " The Voyager Conspiracy ", the ship cuts three years off its journey by crossing thirty sectors, implying that they expected to travel more than a month (or approximately 36.5 days) to cross a sector.

In the episode VOY : " Flashback ", Captain Kathryn Janeway stated that the current Starfleet starships in 2373 were twice as fast to what the USS Enterprise -A and the USS Excelsior were in the 2290s . According to Star Trek: Voyager Technical Manual , (p. 13) the maximum rated speed of the ship was warp 9.975 or 3,053 times the speed of light. According to the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology (p. 180) and Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise (p. 14), the maximum speed of ships like the Enterprise -A was warp 12 in the old scale, or 1,728 times the speed of light.

Star Trek: Enterprise [ ]

Officially and according to the large warp chart featured in " First Flight ", the warp drive of Enterprise NX-01 used the TOS scale. Speeds in ENT : " Broken Bow ", which were mentioned as traveling at 30,000,000 kilometers per second and going to "Neptune and back in six minutes", fit well into the ballpark of cubic warp factors between 4 and 5. In ENT : " Regeneration ", Trip Tucker states that warp 4.8 (approximately 111 times the speed of light in the TOS scale) is double the speed of warp 3.9 (approximately 59), which is also a close enough margin of error considering it is an offhand comment made without navigational implications.

In the episode ENT : " The Expanse ", a location was given to Jonathan Archer as to where to look for the Xindi inside the Delphic Expanse. The location was stated to be a three-month trip away from Earth at warp 5. In the next episode, ENT : " The Xindi ", when Enterprise had arrived to look for the Xindi in that region, it was said they were fifty light years away from Earth. This indicates warp 5 would equal to a speed of approximately two hundred times the speed of light. This would fall closer to the TNG scale figure for warp 5 instead of the TOS scale figure of 125 times the speed of light estimated in the canonical chart.

There are, however, instances in "Broken Bow" that do not appear to be compatible with any of the basic scales. Zefram Cochrane notes in his recorded speech that the warp five engine would allow a ship to travel a hundred times faster than what they could in 2119 . Warp 2 was later on established to be the maximum warp ships in the early 22nd century had achieved in ENT : " Horizon " and " First Flight ". Warp 5, however, was only sixteen or twenty-one times faster than warp 2 in the scales. The journey from Earth to Qo'noS in four days was another instance. In either scale, Enterprise wouldn't even reach the closest star to Earth in four days.

In ENT : " Fortunate Son ", it is stated that a warp three engine would allow a ship to travel ten times faster than warp factor 1.8. This doesn't work out in either of the basic formulas, unless we interpret the statement to indicate that a warp three engine would allow a speed of warp factor 3.9 in the TOS scale or 3.6 in the TNG scale. Warp factor 3 would be only around five times faster in either scale.

Alternate reality [ ]

USS Enterprise (alternate reality) at warp

The alternate USS Enterprise at warp in Star Trek

In the alternate reality seen in Star Trek , the USS Enterprise traveled from Earth to Vulcan at maximum warp. According to ENT : " Daedalus ", Vulcan is located slightly over sixteen light years away from Earth. According to background sources maximum warp of the ship was Warp factor 8. [6] Directly after the ship had accelerated to and attained maximum warp, Captain Christopher Pike ordered Pavel Chekov to give an announcement of the mission to the crew. At the end of the broadcast, Chekov stated that the ship would arrive within three minutes.

However, there was an unknown amount of time the ship spent accelerating to maximum velocity, so there is no accurate way to ascertain the total travel time of the Enterprise from Earth to Vulcan beyond the obvious implication that it was not an especially lengthy trip. By comparison to the prime reality, in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home , when the crew was returning to Earth from Vulcan on board the HMS Bounty , Sulu reported they would arrive in 1.6 hours.

In Star Trek Into Darkness , the Enterprise and the three-times-faster USS Vengeance were capable of traveling from the Sol system through the Neutral Zone to the edge of Klingon space and back in less than a day. Co-writer Roberto Orci acknowledged Montgomery Scott 's line about his time away from the Enterprise should have been something like "one week" rather than "one day". [7] As a comparison, in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country , the internal clock of the USS Enterprise -A read 08:27 as the ship left Spacedock One and 16:12 when it arrived to the edge of Klingon space to meet up with Kronos One , for a trip of a little under eight hours.

Apocrypha [ ]

In the 25th-century timeline of the video game Star Trek Online , the warp speed scale appears to have been re-calibrated yet again to allow for the spread of new technologies such as a transwarp conduit network and quantum slipstream drive systems. Warp factors higher than 10 appear in the game, but only when a ship is using a quantum slipstream drive or exotic equipment such as Borg-enhanced "Assimilated Subtranswarp Engines". Speeds higher than warp 10 are classified as "transwarp factors", with higher numbers equating to faster speed. Borg subtranswarp engines allow ships to travel at an average speed of "warp 15", while activating quantum slipstream gives a temporary speed boost of up to warp 35.

The relation between warp factor and speed is s(F) = (F/20) light-years per second, F being the warp factor.

External links [ ]

  • Warp factor at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • Warp 10 at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • Warp Speed Anomalies at DITL
  • 3 Marlys Burdette

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Star Trek: Voyager


Air date: 1/29/1996 Teleplay by Brannon Braga Story by Michael DeLuca Directed by Alexander Singer

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Here lies Thomas Eugene Paris: beloved mutant." — Tom's epitaph to himself

Review Text

Nutshell: If you looked "Threshold" up in the dictionary, it would say "A filmed mistake."

I'll admit I was too nice when I originally reviewed this episode. I held back my cynicism and gave the show the benefit of the doubt, and I even gave it a higher rating than what now appears above this review. But now, months after the original airing of the show, I have had the wonderfully excruciating experience of seeing it again. And to put something mildly for probably the last time in this review, I'll just say that repeat viewings of "Threshold" do not do the show any justice. It actually gets worse with each viewing, and multiple viewings—make that any viewing—should be avoided if at all possible.

"Threshold" is one of the all-time worst episodes of Star Trek ever filmed, as far as I'm concerned. It's an absurd, technobabble disaster that practically deserves to be put up for scrutiny just so it can be torn apart. Non-Trekkers are bound to have a field day with it. If I were a person who had never seen Star Trek before and had the unfortunate experience of tuning into "Threshold," I would probably never tune into Star Trek again.

The plot? Do you care? In an attempt to break the threshold of the warp speed barrier, Lt. Paris tries to perform a theoretical impossibility: attain a velocity of warp ten in a jerry-rigged shuttlecraft. Unfortunately, breaking this barrier has some mysterious (nah—too favorable a word for this story) consequences which begin mutating Paris' DNA and putting his life in danger.

The show progresses from "positively implausible" to "positively laborious" to "positively repetitive." And just when it looks like it's going to end with a "positively predictable" revelation, something else happens instead—the episode supplies an ending that has to go down as one of the most absurdly unbelievable, stupendously outrageous, dumb, and utterly pointless ideas Star Trek has ever done. It's definitely the weirdest thing I've seen on Voyager . You gotta hand it to Brannon Braga, though; it took him a lot of guts to try something this strange and offbeat—and I sure didn't see it coming. (I'll have to admit, however, that this looks more like something Joe Menosky would come up with.) It's too bad this strange ending was so uncompromisingly bad.

In the beginning, the show looked like it might possibly have some value. The idea that Paris, Torres, and Kim have apparently figured out what could be a historic turning point in technology use is something that could have been put to reasonable dramatic use. Janeway puts it best when she says this kind of travel could change the very nature of human existence (in addition to getting Voyager back home). This also gives Paris a potentially good show (which he hasn't gotten many of since he often fades into the background as a supporting character); the idea of pioneering new flight is something that suits his character rather well.

It's about here, however, that the show completely derails and the "positively implausible" side shows up. According to theory, warp ten means "infinite speed," in which one would occupy every bit of space in the universe simultaneously. Fine and dandy, but if this theory is true, where is Paris going to end up when he hits warp ten? How will he stop? How will he survive? Are we supposed to believe his computer will be able to navigate a course at infinite speed?

Paris' flight is successful, and when he returns, he speaks of a magnificent, indescribable experience ("I was everywhere at once; here on Voyager , back home on Earth..."). The episode claims that Paris' trip proves the theory is true, which brings up even more questions. How does his brain perceive everything, everywhere at once? Why isn't his shuttle destroyed? Why is it this warp ten theory completely contradicts what we were led to believe in TNG 's " All Good Things ," where ships in the future could all go warp 13? Why has the word "transwarp" completely changed meanings since we heard it in Star Trek III ? Why does this episode prompt so much nitpicking from me, a person who generally considers nitpicking a waste of time?

Frankly, I don't find the warp theory arguments in this episode believable or interesting, because the episode contradicts its own logic on more than one occasion. The only reason we as 20th century science-educated Star Trek viewers can comprehend acceleration beyond the speed of light—an impossibility according to Einstein—is because Trek never actually tries to explain how it's done, short of acknowledging the existence of some "warp field" theories that bend the contemporary rules of physics. On the other hand, the difference between "extremely fast" and "infinite speed" requires a big leap in logical thinking—and the logic in this episode is full of holes and mired in typical technobabble.

While highly implausible, the show may have still been salvageable for dramatic or entertainment purposes, but instead we get to the "positively laborious and repetitive" portion. Paris begins turning into a mutant, and, as a result, nearly all of acts three and four are played out in sickbay, where the Doctor explains what's happening to Paris with the usual, unexciting, medical mumbo-jumbo. There are some pointless gags here used merely to pad out the scenes, like Paris actually dying for a few hours, and then coming back to life; and the "revelation" that he has two hearts. It seems Paris' acceleration beyond the threshold is causing his "DNA to evolve at an accelerated rate," turning him into a human form that would presumably appear eons from now.

Really, aside from a decent performance by Robert McNeill as a scared, grotesque-looking Paris-mutant, and a few bizarre sights like Paris spitting his own tongue out of his mouth, there's nothing in these two acts to keep one's interest. A few character-driven scenes try to sneak their way to the surface, but take second place to a series of drearily uninteresting instances where the Doctor babbles on about DNA mutations, and so forth.

This all leads to the final act where Doc tries to reverse the mutation process by subjecting Paris to antiproton radiation (or something) in engineering. Paris breaks free, kidnaps Captain Janeway, steals a shuttle, and escapes at warp ten. Three days later, Voyager finally locates the shuttle, which has landed on some obscure planet. Here's the outrageous part: When Chakotay locates Paris and Janeway, he discovers that both have mutated into amphibian-like creatures, which have mated and produced offspring. Does this strike only me as insanely silly? Where did this notion come from? Is this supposed to be comedy? I'm not sure, but it is effective in one sense—it manages to recapture my interest (which, however, turned out not to be a good thing).

Returning Janeway and Paris to their normal state is, naturally, a piece of cake, thanks to the Doctor's antiproton radiation "sci-fi" theory, which again treats DNA like a magical substance that can be manipulated at will—mind you, only when stories require a contrived solution to a problem (a la TNG 's "Genesis") that can't be solved any other way. Aside from Janeway's admittedly funny one-liner ("I've thought about having children; but I must say I never considered having them with you."), there's nothing to indicate that Janeway and Paris having "children" will have any consequences, characteristically speaking or otherwise. The episode sports the all-too-familiar attitude of "Well, it doesn't really mean anything, so just forget about it." So why do it, then? Paris and Janeway having offspring has no apparent rationale—except that maybe the writers thought it would be a great gag.

Aside from being downright dumb, the ending also brings up so many unresolved inconsistencies. Was this amphibian creature supposed to be an evolutionary human or not? The Doctor initially calls it natural human evolution, although it seems more like devolution to me; I would hope that eons of natural evolution wouldn't reduce us to walking on four legs and living in water, while mating on instinct. But by the end of the show, for some reason, everyone begins referring to it as an "alien." Which is it? If it is a new form of human intelligence, is it really wise for Chakotay to leave the offspring in their new habitat? Put these oversights alongside the fact that Janeway and Paris are able to have offspring in a mere matter of days, and the unanswerable question of why going infinite speed only puts the shuttle three days away from Voyager , and it amounts to little more than a collection of appallingly idiotic half-baked ideas, none of which has anything to say.

But who cares? The conclusion is crazy, yet so arbitrary and meaningless that, like most of "Threshold," it may as well not even exist in the confines of the Star Trek universe. Hell, why not use this transwarp theory to get home? Sure, everyone may turn into amphibians shortly thereafter, but just put them all in engineering and irradiate them with antiprotons and everyone would be fine... and back home in the Alpha Quadrant. Hey, it would work using this episode's logic.

What went wrong here? It's a mystery to me. Brannon Braga isn't a bad writer—" Projections " is proof of that. Alexander Singer has been successfully directing Trek for years. How did the checks and balances of Star Trek: Voyager fail so miserably?

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Comment Section

209 comments on this post.

At least "Genesis" was watchable(the sequence with Worf hunting Picard had me on the edge of my seat) with an ending that didn't make me feel insulting. "Threshold," on the other hand, is nothng but a gag-inducing mess that even Uwe Boll would hate.

If they had removed the whole ending with Janeway, and the Doctor calling being turned into a lizard for evolution the show would have atleast been acceptable

Jakob M. Mokoru

The german reviewer Thomas Höhl once wrote: "Treshold could have been one of the best episodes of the second season, if..., yes, if Tom Paris would have died." I tend to agree with this. It would have added a lot of depth and tragedy to the Tom Paris-character: The guy who always tried to do great things (especially to please his father) and always failed. Here he had sucess in breaking the Warp 10-barrier - how tragic if he had died doing so.

One of the special features on the Voyager DVD set includes Braga admitting he messed up badly on this one and calling it a "royal steaming stinker".

Three words: "Infinite Improbability Drive"... only that little invention was written about in a satiric context. Wonder if Douglas Adams ever saw Threshold's use of his idea.

Dirk Hartmann

The best way to live with this stupid episode is to interpret it as a weird dream of Tom Paris ...

When my brother told me about this episode before I'd seen it, I first thought he was joking, then that he seriously misunderstood what he was watching. Then I watched and it was even more ridiculous than it sounded. 99% of the worlds populace could write a better episode than this.

The Emmys made me think of this episode again. Emmy winner that it was. Beating out DS9's Emmy-nominated 'The Vistor' in its category. For best make-up, admittedly, but still. 'Threshold' won an Emmy. Let's all take a moment to reflect on that.

Pearl Harbor won the Oscar for Sound Effects Editing a few years later, so crap winning awards like that is not necessarily unusual.

Well, "Threshold" at least encourages discussion, which is more than can be said about most Enterprise episodes!

This is the worst episode I've ever seen of Star Trek. It's almost like it was written by a 5 year old in a sci-fi story contest.

The very worst thing about this episode is something that I don't think anyone mentioned here; these writers seem to have no idea how evolution works. A single individual cannot evolve new traits like Paris did in this episode. The traits of a species change as they are passed from one generation to another. An individual fish did not suddenly grow legs. This might sound like a silly thing for me to be making a big deal about, but the thing is, a lot of people actually don't know the basics of how evolution works. (Someone on the internet once wrote sarcastically, "So it only takes a few million years for a monkey to evolve into a person. Oh that's right, monkeys don't live millions of years!")What's next, an episode where the crew goes back in time and sees cavemen coexisting with dinosaurs? The only good thing about "Threshold" is that it was a season 2 episode, so at least it has an excuse to be terrible.

I agree with rachel, it really annoys me when shows just mess about with evolution as an excuse for anything. Even stargate has made a mess of evolution once or twice, using it as a technobabble excuse. I also agree that the first two seasons of any star trek series (bar TOS) are usually a load of shit. Argh a show about science (a la scifi) should respect science, its its basis and used properly can be an escape route for ridiculous plot contrivances. Perhaps Tom should of died, it would have increased the drama level and given voyager that edge, as the first star trek series to kill a main character..removing the whole "safe" zone.

Chris H, NextGen killed Tasha Yar in the first season so killing Tom Paris wouldn't have been a Trek first.

Alexey Bogatiryov

I must admit that this episode is good comedy if you pretend that this is a MADTv or SNL parody of Star Trek rather than the real thing...

I don't know what the hell everyone's problem is - this episode is one of the best out of Star Trek ever. Period. Wait...what? "Threshold"? I'm on the wrong review?'re telling me they actually aired this crap? It wasn't just a nightmare? Seriously though this should never have aired. The idea itself for the story is ludicrous at best. Yah right a few people on Voyager after everything they've been through up to this point all of a sudden come up with a way to reach Warp 10 (infinite velocity) - yet somehow hundreds of Federation engineers and scientists in the Alpha Quadrant can't figure it out let alone things like trans-warp. It's episodes like this that make me shudder to think someone tuning in to ST for the first time in forever would have to sit through this sh*t. By the way my favorite all time ST episode is, of course, Spock's Brain... o.O

I rewatched this last night for the first time since an initial viewing a decade ago (thanks, kind of, youtube.) I only got through it by continually chanting to myself that "this can't be canon, this can't be canon, this can't be canon, this can't be canon..." Please, someone do whatever it takes for Kate Mulgrew, Patrick Stewart, Brannon Braga, William Shatner, and whatever Roddenberry's are available to disown it forever and admit it was a parody or one of Paris' dreams. Please!

Voyager is like Ed Wood's filmography & Threshold is its Plan 9 From Outer Space.

There should be at least half a star awarded for sheer gonzo insanity on this one. I personally think Genesis was worse.

Many Star Trek episodes have been misguided. Many Star Trek episodes have been ridiculous. But this one stands alone as being simply inexcusable. And good point about Federation medicine's ability to heal DNA problems being story-related and nothing more. The genetic alterations (restorations, just as here) in Season 6's Ashes to Ashes should have been child's play compared to this (especially since that episode took place AFTER this one, so Doc should have thought of antiprotons immediately), but all the Doctor could do was effect cosmetic changes for Ensign Ballard there. Like I said, inexcusable. This is one of, and probably foremost, among the handful of Star Trek episodes that simply didn't happen as far as I'm concerned.

I don't know why anyone didn't say to the writer of this episode: "How is infinity a barrier?" "Threshold of what exactly?" It is an episode that wants to be about evolution and infinity, but is written by someone who does not actually know what the words "evolution" and "infinity" mean. I am reminded of the Enterprise episode "Marauders," which contains the line "Deuterium can burn almost as hot as plasma, when it's ignited." This line could only have been written by someone who does not know the meanings of the words "deuterium" or "plasma" (and possibly "ignited").

Matt: "Voyager is like Ed Wood's filmography & Threshold is its Plan 9 From Outer Space." Joe: No, YOU'RE like Ed Wood's filmography and your penis is YOUR Plan 9 From Outer Space. I love Voyager!

D@mn, Joe! That's a bitter post. Having man trouble?

I don't mind this episode.After reading the review, I admit the episode was misguided. I remember Tuvok saying " I look forward to hearing it," after Chakotey noted he would be reporting something of this in the log after seeing Janeway and Paris's offspring. I think that was a highlight.

Third me up for being annoyed the most by the ludicrous accounts of how "evolution" supposedly works. I'm all for a good measure of fiction in my sci-fi, but not when they arbitrarily replace the sci with yet more fi.

What am I saying? I'M Ed Wood's filmography & my puny penis is its "Plan 9" since I'm stupid enough to love Voyager

@Josh Indeed I forgot about Tasha Yar, but since she was one of the most contrived characters ever...meh. Perhaps they could have had Tom break the Warp 10 barrier, but an accident affected his DNA caused by instabilities in the warp field. We watch him slowly degrade (they could have even kept the make up. Then he dies. We watch the crews reaction, and we see B'leanna crying her eyes out. But Voyager followed in the wake of the shuttle (think timeless) and got home. 25 years later we have warp 13, and Crusher has her own warp ship. Voyager actually affected canon! woooowwwwww :) If that had of been the ending of Voyager, Threshold would have still won an emmy, and we would all be commenting as to how good it was.

Zero stars is a little harsh for this episode. I liked it. Even though is is very improbable I like the idea of someone evolving into a future human. I find it much more realistic than TNG's 'Genesis'. But why did they let the final outcome be a giant amphibious embryo? Paris and Janeway looked exactly how early embryo's look like:

Here's another episode that actually sort of had promise, but the sequence of events and how everything unfolds is just one disaster after another. When Paris died... I just find it hard to believe the crew did or said nothing. I mean, in "Alliances", they had an entire memorial for some useless Maquis crew member we've never heard of... but when Tom Paris dies, we get nothing?! Yes, Kes had a small scene... but you'd think if Tom died Harry would have a reaction, no? What about the captain? This is completely not believable that several hours go by after Tom's "death" and we get nothing. Everything goes downhill from here. What could have been an exciting premise is totally squandered.

There's just so many problems with the episode. I wasn't even aware of the warp limitation problems - I just took it for granted as "made up science" and went along with it. I don't understand how they found the shuttle in just 3 days. How did they know which direction to go? Isn't it possible that after 3 days they would be anywhere in the galaxy. Why only 3 days away? Seems highly implausible. And here's another whopper: Now that they know how to reverse the effects of breaking this "threshold", why not take Voyager to warp 10 and have the doctor cure everyone once they get back to earth? Isn't that the most logical way to get home? Seems pretty simple to me. That's a pretty massive flaw. If I were the captain or on this ship, I'd do that instantly.

The "barrier" is a mathematical impossibility. You can't measure infinity, so it's not something you can achieve. How do you get to infinity if you have no way to know if you're there? Warp speed is on a graph curve where warp 10 can't be reached. Infinite speed requires infinite energy. Now if he went warp 9.999999999 then that would be believable, and in fact when they go warp 13 in All Good Things they simply readjusted the scale so that another number represents infinity. The Voyager writers made the same mistake in another episode when they had to "break through" the event horizon of a black hole as if it was a physical barrier and not an arbitrary point in space. It was bad enough that Torres and Paris were allegedly able to do something Starfleet engineers haven't done with unlimited resources, but they completely dropped this idea and never revisited the issue. They developed an engine that goes to infinite. Why couldn't they dial it back a notch and be home in a week?

I agree with Travis. Infinity is only possible conceptually - it is not an absolute - i.e. it does not exist. I also agree that it makes no sense that they could develop a warp engine in 1 episode faster than all the engineers and scientists in the whole Federation could during the period of DS9. You'd think they would have a motivation against the Dominion to increase the speed of their ships - yet it did not happen. And even if they couldn't "dial it down", I still say they should have used it to get home. The doctor could have cured everyone on the ship with the warp engine after they got back to earth. I mean, they know how to cure it now, don't they? It took paris days for the effects to become fatal/complicated... so he could fix everyone on the ship in no time.

I won't add any more criticisms except to say I've never bought the idea of warp 10 barrier. TOS showed the Enterprise exceeding that speed a few times. To me a 1931 car going 30 mph and a 2011 car going 30 mph is going the same speed. I don't buy the recalibrated warp speeds that TNG, DS9 and VOY tried to convince us of.

The ending just has to be seen to be believed. The utterly bizarre and random nature of it is at least good for a laugh, although "good" is not really a word that could be used to describe this episode in any way.


Well, since this episode already has so many comments, I'll try to keep this short. 1. As others have stated, evolution does not work this way. 2. Ditto to what @Travis said about infinity 3. Lol @Sarah M. I can't believe this episode won an Emmy! And it beat out "the visitor", no less! It beat out what is easily one of the best hours of Trek ever filmed! Unbelievable! 4. Does anyone remember that TNG episode in the seventh season where they had to impose speed limits on warp travel because the warp fields were tearing apart subspace or some other such nonsense? Whatever happened to that? Wouldn't a ship that could be everywhere at once pretty much destroy subspace using that logic? Whatever. 5. As has been mentioned before, ships have been shown going faster than warp 10 plenty of times before in Trek history. Considering that Brannon Braga loves to get up on his high horse and talk about how he eats, sleeps and breathes Star Trek and can therefore never be questioned about his script choices (see his explanation of that awful ferengi episode on Enterprise for an example), you would really think he would know better than to base a plot around something that so obviously contradicts canon. 6. They left the offspring on the planet? Really? Leaving a new life form (that can apparently reproduce incredibly quickly) alone on a planet they are not native to doesn't violate the prime directive in some way? REALLY? 7. Wouldn't a ship going that fast run the risk of slamming into planets or other large objects that could potentially destroy the shuttle? Is the computer supposed to be making course corrections fast enough to deal with that issue? REALLY?!? Ok, I'm done. I could keep complaining about this one for a long time. But, I'm just going to quit before my head explodes from thinking about the sheer stupidity of what I just saw. ZERO STARS from me too!

Jeff O'Connor

I watched this on first-airing as an eight-year-old eager for all things Trek. No matter how bad an episode actually was, I dutifully tuned in and thought it was spectacular. I thought then, at eight years old, that this episode was horrible. That's... there's no worse criticism as far as I'm concerned.

Ha, Jeff! I just watched this episode with my Trek-obsessed 5yr old. She said the same thing. Just... terrible! One random nitpick to add to the many (dare I say, infinite?! lol) criticisms this episode garners: hair length is not part of the DNA code. Soooo, when Doc is successful at "reprogramming their DNA" shouldn't Janeway and Paris be baldish for a little while until their hair grows back?

Ok, let's everybody calm down... This is a bad episode without a doubt--for all the reasons mentioned, but there are so many good things going on here, I have a hard time accepting a 0 stars it to DS9's "Let He Who is Without Sin"--also a terrible episode with a 0 star rating on this site. Dorn and Ferrell are really, really lousy actors, but MacNeil and frankly, the entire cast here put in really stellar performances. There is also something quite moving about the emotional wrestling of Paris' character and his desire to better himself and distance himself from his past--quickly. It is a theme in his character which fits into the show's premise (the real premise of dramatic work is not the plot setup, it's the philosophical idea). It's not a good episode, it's pretty darn bad, but there's just so much that is worth something pivotal to the character of Paris, I can't excuse giving it 0 stars. I think 1 or 1.5 is about right for this one.

What does it say about the Star Trek fan community that this episode has 38 (now 39) comments, while most of Voyager's outstanding episodes have maybe 5-10 at the most?

@David H. Because it's fun to point out how dumb the writers were when creating these episodes. I honestly can't imagine what goes through the writer's minds when they write their draft, talk about the episode with their colleges, get it checked over by the fact-checkers and the executive producers, run it by the actors... and it goes all the way to production. It just seems so odd that any rational person who doesn't have any expertise in writing/producing shows for television can point out tons of flaws with the episode that should have been incredibly obvious to everyone that was looking over the script. Yet it got produced anyway. So what does that say? Either they are not very smart... or they didn't think their audience was very smart and that they wouldn't notice... or that they just didn't care anymore. With this series, it's almost a bit religious though to point out problems since they happen so frequently. TNG almost never had huge plot problems... especially in the season 3-7. Sure it had some, but they are so minor compared to how well most of the series stands up. The same goes with DS9. Contrast this with Voyager... and it's just a wreck. At least Enterprise was redeemed in season 4, but Voyager honestly never made much of an effort, except for a few key shows. Voyager has some great shows too. Just not nearly as many as episodes like this, and that's a shame. I just think the premise for this series was destined to fail though. Even in the first season, the whole thing got off track, and it really never found its stride in 7 years. Sure, it had some good moments... and even some good sequences... but none of it was terribly important to the premise of the show.

One more point about the premise of the show: The premise is to get home yes? Even Janeway says, "By any means necessary" - more or less. It seems that in this episode, they develop the means to get home, and a way to reverse it's negative effects. If the characters were true to their convictions, the series would have ended this episode. I thought of this immediately upon watching the show - even the first time I saw it many, many years ago. I am shocked the writers didn't realize they were painting themselves into a huge hole. I mean this is HUGE. They develop a way to get home instantaneously, and at the end of the show figure out a way to avoid it's effects. They could and should have got home. Isn't that the whole point of the show? But that's the whole problem with the series - they need to stretch the trip home to 7 seasons. So instead, they just make every excuse and exhaust every predictable cliche and path to prevent them from finally getting home. Also, the characters act and do completely opposite things from one show to the next. Their convictions change even more often than Mitt Romney changes positions. Ultimately, these problems are just too frustrating to ignore. Because people are extremely invested in Star Trek in general, and have enjoyed 14+ seasons of the previous material, it does begin to make sense why they might feel compelled to point out these problems on a forum such as this one.

@Ken : I'm plagiarising from myself here: this was originally posted on the season 3 recap board, but it's easier to copy/paste than hash out afresh: Webster's dictionary : "Premise : a proposition antecedently supposed or proved; a basis of argument. A proposition stated or assumed as leading to a conclusion." You repeatedly complain about Voyager failing to utilise its premise without seeming to possess and understanding of what a premise is. Your version : " Two separate crews (Federation and Maquis) are stranded alone in the Delta Quadrant (an area presumably full of wonder and amazement) and, alone, must work together in an extreme environment to overcome new problems and find a way home. " This is not a premise, this is a list of character traits for the series which were initially established to prove the premise. They rank in importance with ideas like "Chakotay's tatto is on his right cheek" or "Janeway has red hair and grew up in Indiana." It's not irrelevant and helps to create a bone structure upon which stories can be built, but it is NOT the series' premise. There is nothing to prove or argue here; it's simply a series of character traits. Voyager's premise is "a person (or society) is defined most crucially by his (or its) intrinsic altruism. That altruism can, at times, allow one to achieve the seemingly impossible, but these achievements are irrelevant. What IS relevant is the nobility which defines a human being possessed of such altruism." This premise was frequently refuted, attempted and argued over and over again and in a fashion which evolved from show to show until it was finally proved in the finale. THAT is the compelling nature of Voyager as a series. I won't pretend that the more superficial aspects of the show weren't flawed--even severely so--but to attack its premise is unwarranted. You simply don't know what a premise is.

If that was the premise for this series (as opposed to Star Trek in general), then I'm mistaken and I apologize. However, this could have fooled me though (and I think fooled most viewers - including Jamahl). I don't think the character traits you listed though are just character traits. A show like Battlestar Galactica actually did fulfill this kind of premise quite well. In almost all ways, it achieved what Voyager never managed to do. It established a narrative that took its premise to its natural conclusion. Even through most of the first season, the conflict between Star Fleet and the Maquis was very minimal, and was resolved way too quickly (and most of it was done off-screen - a shame). By the time the second season was over, Voyager had become as family-oriented as any of the other crews - thus not really distinguishing it from any of the others and just offering up more of the same (despite their unique predicament of being 70,000 light years away from earth). To me though, this predictable is hardly a character trait. From the first episode, the series was trying to establish this as the premise and mission for the show.

You missed my point : "getting home" just like "exploring space" or "being on a spacestation" is not a premise--it cannot be. A premise MUST be an argument. There are a limited number of premises that any drama can build itself upon. What distinguishes a drama is HOW that premise is proved. Voyager's situation is the how and it offered a perfect means to the end of proving its premise. You are not wrong that this is a premise (or a version of premise) for star trek in general, but because of DS9, the relevance of creating a new show to prove the premise became quite prescient. DS9 tried to create a premise about 3 times, each time an insidious (albeit doomed) attempt to undermine TNG's premise. But that is exactly why we say these shows are all star trek, not because they share the same sets and aliens and customs and histories, but because they share a common ancestor premise. Is the fictional "mission" of a fictional ship in a fictional universe really compelling to anyone? If so, I would find it sad. Interest and connection with drama, with good drama, does not depend on such superficial details--a premise which is fundamentally true, and can be proven so, unites audience to creator through the medium of plot and stage and acting--all of which provide an architecture upon which the dialogue which proves the premise may rest.

Perhaps then this is a definition problem. When Jamahl uses the word premise, he's talking about the same thing I'm talking about. What you're talking about is something different. So I'll say the word "mission" instead of premise. DS9 had several missions (or even premises using your definition), and it changed from season to season - one of the reasons why I enjoyed the series so much. It never got stale. It often challenged the overall premise of Star Trek as a series in many ways, and I can see why that's why some don't like it compared to Voyager. So for those people, perhaps Voyager is a welcome return to form. Regardless, Voyager did a terrible job at setting up its premise (to point where so many people have confused it with what you are saying), and it did a horrible job setting up the overall mission and story arc. The consistency and continuity just isn't there. At least TNG never set itself up to be anything other than what it was - and I think that was a strength to the series. The audience was allowed to take every episode on its own merits, and the writers could explore a deep topic in a single story without really having to think about the show as a serial. Voyager failed in this regard, as most episodes had nothing to do with the overall mission of the crew... and some of them even indicate the crew as being wasteful and doing things that work against their ultimate goal. If the show wanted to show that humans were intrinsically altruists (a claim I know not to be true, but we'll let the show set out to prove whatever it wants), the scripts certainly worked against this premise on many occasions. So in that regard, it's also a failure.

Uhuh. Just realised who you are and I'm not eager to get into another endless and hopeless debate on this site with you. Have a nice day.

Look, the points I was raising initially had nothing to do with the altruism or the lack of altruism in the show in the first place, so I really have no desire to even debate it in the first place. The original points were about the show's plot holes, glaring inconsistencies and the character's constant desire to service the needs for the plot at all cost to their integrity rather than being true to their character - all of which Voyager has committed numerous times over. My other point is that it's hard to take a show seriously when it establishes that its mission is to return back to the alpha quadrant at any cost, and when they actually discover a way to do it, they don't take it - mostly due to writer problems. The actual characters would have probably done as I suggested.

@Elliot: This is actually kind of funny. I just watched a small conversation with Kenneth Biller, one of the executive producers on voyager... and he said that the show's "premise" was that the ship was lost in space and that they were trying to find a way him. Straight from the horses mouth. I just think it's funny because I read several other spots on this site where you have been arguing about this "premise" definition, yet myself, Jamahl, many others and even the executive producers are using one definition... and you seem to be the only person using an entirely different one. I just find this funny. I just wanted to share.

So, I really like this episode. I think it's a pretty fun ride and always enjoy watching it.Robert Duncan McNeill's acting through out this was pretty good and I seem to always forget that he and his character were always my favourite part about Voyager and he has a number of really good scenes. Tom trying to convince Janeway to let him go on the mission early on gives some more hints about his life and how he doesn't just want but needs to do this, but once he starts to mutate there's some good dialogue where he talks about how he always remembers crying when he was younger and locking himself in his room. That sort of background always made Tom feel more like a real person, and I kind of wish we'd never met his father later on in the series and just had him as this sort of force in the background. And then there's the mutation scenes which really stuck with me over the years, as his body does things he's got no control over, so the scenes where he becomes allergic to water and his lungs can't process air always freaked me out. But there's that pretty crazy scene as he pulls out his own tongue which was worth the episode on it's own as McNeill gives that creepy bloody mouth look at the Doctor and Kes. And then Paris eventually abducts Janeway and she mutates and they have kids offscreen. Having them turn into salamander like weird creature's as the future of the human race makes me laugh now after shows like Babylon 5 or Stargate have showed us evolving into beings of light/energy. And even the "evolution" behind it never bothered me because even as a kid I understood the intention behind it. Through out the episode it's described as a mutation but it's only in the final coda with the Doctor that the word evolution is used, and I think if they'd left the scene out or reworded it would have improved it, but it doesn't really bother me. Same with the rearranging DNA and then everything's back to normal. It happens all the time in tv and films, like when people get viruses that have some ticking clock type time limit before death and then 5 seconds before the virus is about to go off they get the cure and suddenly their fine, never mind the damage to internal organs. And Star Trek especially where they pull out Worf's cranial ridges in Homeward and then shove them back in or whatever happened in Genesis to everyone, it's just something this universe can do. And the warp 10 infinite speed might sound retarded but i just look at as another barrier they're passing, more like giving access to some kind of transwarp field where distance becomes meaningless because it is occupying all points in the universe simultaneously, and that is the infinite speed they are describing, not the speed needed to reach there. Janeway and Paris probably should have brought their kids home though and un-mutated them. De-mutated them? Could have made things interesting for a while! I hate giving stars because it doesn't really mean much to me but I give it a thumbs up.

Gawd! This episode is so bad, that it's not even worthy of ridicule. At least "Spock's Brain" has its place in pop culture as a classic example of '60s sci-fi camp. "Threshold" is just really horrible writing. The acting was decent. The direction was good. The special effects were fine. Hell, the make-up even won an Emmy and "Mutant Tom Paris" got his own action figure complete with mutant babies. All of which makes the episode that much more unfortunate. Robert McNeil put it best when he said (paraphrasing), "When you try to tell the story in a sentence - he breaks warp ten, starts shedding skin, kidnaps the captain, becomes one with the universe, then they turn into salamanders and have babies - it sounds ridiculous." Ridiculous, yes. But not worthy of ridicule. Only worth being nitpicked to death...

I wonder if this was supposed to be a Hitchhiker's Guide ripoff. "As soon as the ship's drive reaches Infinite Improbability it passes through every point in the Universe." And they turn into penguins and stuff.

Latex Zebra

Only ever seen about 5 minutes of this with these little amphibian creatures plopping through a swamp. Have I missed a good episode?

A couple months ago, I lost a bet with a friend (don't ask!) and he forced me to watch this ep as part of the agreement. What else is there to say? This is a piece of garbage. It could have gone down as simply another forgettable, mediocre ep, but no, the ending is so dumb that it instantly makes the ep notorious as the worst Trek ep since TOS's "Spocks Brain". (Although I consider TNG's "Justice" to be slightly worse.) Just read the review and comments or google this ep, everyone else has already thrashed this ep to death so there's really nothing more I can say to thrash it further. It's a shame too, because the Tom Paris actor does a pretty good job acting, and the beginning minutes are acceptable and seem to be taking us somewhere worthwhile. But it rapidly derails fast, and it's all wasted on that stupid ending. Too bad, though, because the basic plot had quite a lot of potential. There's a reason why Agony Booth did a recap on this episode (recommended reading for anyone who thinks this ep deserves zero stars or less, like myself). No wonder why Brannon Braga is so loathed. He does deserve credit, though, for acknowledging that he screwed up this time around. This ep deserves to be decanonized. And some people are saying that ENT's "A Night In Sickbay" was much worse... NEGATIVE ONE MILLION STARS!!!!!

"Zero stars"? This one is going on my "must watch" list! >:D

This episode is a bit hilarious on a number of levels. Star Trek always flirts with the idea of "evolutionary levels" (e.g. that evolution has a direction and things always getter objectively better from it). We see and hear of other races becoming energy beings. Humans though? We become stupid amphibians. It's hard not to laugh at least a little at that. Of course, this episode is one of many that drives home that Star Trek at this point had moved well away from consulting with experts, which is probably why the series has a ton of technobabble. TNG largely succeeded at avoiding technobabble outside of the technologies that were required for the premise of the show. The idea in this episode that evolution has levels, that one being can evolve on its own (how Lamarckian!), or that you'd evolve to not be able to survive in the fixed environment you are living in are all absurd. This is also another "they could have gotten home here" episode. Even avoiding traveling at Warp 10, they could have gone just below it to have gotten home in seconds or minutes. Anyhow, it is sadly not in the territory of So Bad It's Good. It's just bad.

Ten years after watching Voyager for the first time the only episode I remember is this one:( The worst ST episode, but surely a memorable one :)

Man I just watched this episode for the first time since I saw it originally broadcast. What a steaming pile of poop that was. So bad it's funny. Just pretend you're on MST3K and enjoy!

Joe Joe Maestro

Long term reader and first time commenter here. I seen Threshold for the very first time today and I must say...I don't have the same loathing for Threshold as the majority! It's obviously far from a successful episode and deeply flawed on quite a few levels, but it's not without it's merits (at least IMHO). When you turn a blind eye to the logical failings of the premise, I found Tom Paris and his plight to be pretty gripping. His slow mutation and degeneration was not without its emotional impact, especailly given the on-the-money performances all round. There's some channelling of the movie The Fly, which is one of my favourite films. Body horror and loosing yourself amongst a grotesque mutation is something I find disturbing, morbidly fascinating and generally just great character study. Whilst this episode botches many things up, for me it didn't botch up this body horror/drama aspect of the story (I never cared much for how scientifically valid my TV shows are). And the sheer boldness and stupidity of the out-there climax is delightful in a Ed Woods/David-Lynch-wierdness kinda way! I'm never bored with Threshold, a good chunk of the episode I found genuinely strong (ignoring science/logic for 2 seconds) and to top off all this wierd and wonderful fun is perhaps the most outrageous endings in Star Trek history (except for perhaps the last episode Enterprise *ahem*). Just don't take it too seriously and along the way embrace the fun you can have with Threshold, spiced up with the genuinely strong stuff that does exist in there somewhere if you can accept it on its own outlandish terms. In my book, this gets 2 stars out of 4. I'd much rather take this over stale and sterile by-the-numbers Trek episodes and in the future, if I ever do a re-watch on Voyager I wouldn't feel the need to skip the infamous Threshold. Excellent website by the way! I just had to comment since I thought much differently about this episode compared to most, it would appear.

Jo Jo Maestro

Sorry, slight typo in my original comment. I meant to say "the most except for the last episode OF Enterprise" (I missed out the "of"). While I'm here I might as well add that I pretty much concur with what Matrix said.

Yes, this episode is just silly and one to skip - but the arguments concerning mathematical impossibilities and evolutionary falsehoods are equally silly..... because almost EVERYTHING in Star Trek is mathematically impossible and scientifically invalid. You guys act as though one outlandish impossibility is less valid than another. It's Science "Fiction" folks - in case you've forgotten. It's simply not a very well written or interesting episode - so leave it at that.

Eh, no worse than 97.5% of Voyager episodes.

I'll be one of the few voices of dissent and state that -- on third viewing -- this was not the worst Voyager episode out there. The technological premise is very intriguing. Can the imaginary Warp 10 be reached and exceeded, and what happens if so? What I don't get is WHY OH WHY they would send a senior officer, and a pretty indispensable one at that, to perform such a risky and dangerous endeavor! They could not have sent an empty shuttle first?! If today we have airplanes that can take off, cruise, and land by themselves, then surely a shuttle could've been programmed to conduct the inaugural Warp 10+ flight! But then I guess they'd have had to devote a half hour to elaborating on the technical and technological points of transwarp rather than have Paris make an idiot of himself wearing silly makeup and prosthetics. I could have done with fewer scenes of him self-pitying, in particular. I was going to say the show deserved a star or two after all, but then I saw the last five minutes again... Ayayay... What WERE they thinking!?!?! *facepalm* One last thought, concerning "technobabble," which appears to have become a swearword on these pages. Star Trek is a SCIENCE FICTION show. It's supposed to be replete with science, but since it's of a necessity a fictional show, some of that "science" is bound to not make sense. If it did, it would be a documentary not a sci-fi series. Without "technobabble" this becomes Harry Potter set in a spaceship environment.

@Michael: I agree. "Threshold" is not the worst episode of VOY. It's definitely the most ridiculous, but it sort of belongs up there with "Spock's Brain". Both episodes are stupid and goofy, but they're better than the more boring episodes like "And the Children Shall Lead" or "Spirit Folk". Part of being a Star Trek fan is enjoying the bad/campy stuff.

This is my first comment for any of the reviews for any of the shows. But, thought I'd put in my two cents. This is one of the few Voyager shows that intrigued me to see it to the very end. This is what Sci Fi is about. I agree that it was silly, but it kept me interested! I believe they did the right things, but not necessarily for the Trek Universe, nor for the premise/mission of the show, but for sci fi in general. Why do I say this. Because I think they stole the 'plot' twist at the end from one of the best science fiction writers of all time, Kurt Vonnegut. In the book Galapagos Vonnegut has the people 'evolving' to seals (but it was a product of their environment, which is what evolution is all about). So if you are in space you will evolve into a slug. Why? Because slugs travel through space more easily.

They should have made this a 2-parter as it just was too short ending to cure it all in 5 minutes! Abandoning their offspring, not using the technology / giving it more study again later to help getting home, the "infinite" velocity and warp 10 canon issues clearly more or less destroyed the story, but I was impressed with the acting and I generally only watch SciFi show for the entertainment and the story, not to debate is it technically possible to do this or that. I found many Voyager episodes exciting due to the risk factor i.e that they were willing to risk it and try things like "Twisted", "Tuvix" or "Threshold". While by no easy means realistic or believable these shows do offer something others don't!

2 out of 4 and if it would have been a 2-hour show with no canon mistakes, a real chance of 4 of 4!!

I agree this episode is bad. If they take out the business about evolution and just said it was some warp mutation, it would have eliminated a lot of the nitpicks But at least this episode was true to the characters. I still think the worst episode of Voyager is Fury. Because they turned a gentle, compassionate friend of everybody info some vengeful psychopath. Whose only motivation was that she blamed Voyagers crew for fer falling in love with exploration. Unforgivable !!!

So the dialogue said that when Paris shut down the engines it returned him back to Voyager where he started. SO if they made this tech work on Voyager, and Voyager zipped to Earth, wouldn't turning the engines off zoom them right back to the point they engaged the engines at?

And human evolution leads us to revert back to instinct-driven creatures that look like crawling catfish (but dialogue also suggested that their brain capacity increased - sentient intelligent beings being trapped in this lifestyle must be a fate worse than hell...I guess that's the only way they could get away with leaving the offspring behind.

Thanks to all above for making these comments more entertaining than this episode! You guys got Ds9 up there, Hitchhiker, TOS, TNG, Stargate, ENT, but I get to say... This episode should have been called "Ludicrous Speed"!

If it weren't for episodes like this, Voyager could have been a MUCH better series.


It was mental and senseless, I loved it. So there.

WRITER "Okay, so here's my idea...Tom Paris is going to find out a way to make a shuttle go really fast." PRODUCER "All right." WRITER "I mean, really really fast." PRODUCER "Okay..." WRITER "I mean so INCREDIBLY, REALLY SUPER-DUPER FAST that he's like everywhere at once and can see the whole universe! He knows everything." PRODUCER "Hold on. So he ends up going so fast that he's...God, or something?" WRITER "Yeah! Well, until he becomes allergic to water." PRODUCER "What?" WRITER "Bear with me. See, he went so fast that the trip accelerated the evolution of his DNA. So he starts mutating and his tongue falls out and his skin turns extra crispy while the Doctor technobabbles about it for 20 minutes--" PRODUCER "You lost me. Are we still talking about the same episode?" WRITER "Wait, wait, let me finish. He also goes insane." PRODUCER "...From the mutations? Or from being God?" WRITER "I don't know! Both? Whatever. And THEN Paris kidnaps Janeway and escapes from Voyager. You know, because he's crazy. And he's still evolving, so he wants to jump her bones." PRODUCER "So he's God, he's a mutant, AND he's hot for Janeway." WRITER "Sort of. He's also a lizard. Well, more of a salamander really--" PRODUCER "He's a ****ing LIZARD?" WRITER "It gets better. See, he and Janeway end up on a jungle planet and SHE turns into a lizard too." PRODUCER "How?!" WRITER "I don't know, we'll leave it up to the editors. And by the time Voyager catches up with them, they've done the deed." PRODUCER "You don't mean..." WRITER "That's right. Lizard lovin'! They have kids, too. Three small lizards. But Tuvok and Chakotay let them go. They just shoot Lizard-Paris and Lizard-Janeway." PRODUCER "They SHOOT them?!" WRITER "Just so they can bring them back on board!" PRODUCER "Let me get this straight. Your idea is to have Paris set a speed record, become God, get allergic to water, lose his mind, evolve into a salamander, knock up the Captain AND get shot while plunging the audience neck-deep in Technobabble(TM) and Fun With DNA(TM). How the hell are we going to get away with that?" WRITER *shrugs* "It's Voyager, man! The Reset Button(TM). It's bold, it's unexpected, it's never been done before on Star Trek...that MUST mean it's good! What do you think?" PRODUCER "........I love it!! You've got a bright future here, son." WRITER "Good choice, sir! We're going to make history with this episode." PRODUCER "Don't you mean...HISS-tory?" *BOTH LAUGH*

Not that I want to defend this stinkbomb of an episode, but people who use words like 'devolution' in a biological sense are generally operating under the misapprehension that evolution means progression towards a more advanced form. The episode was probably trying to say that it would be a mistake to assume that humanity will necessarily evolve towards a more advanced form, when it may in fact evolve towards a more primitive form. Unfortunately, they got so many other things about evolution wrong, that any such message was lost amongst all the drivel.

pretty awful episode but the thing about the warp speeds is that the scale has changed sometimes between different shows and presumably will change in the "future" sometime. When future episodes talk about warp 13 it's not on the same scale as when the "present" talks about warp 10. it's like comparing mph to kph, it's a completely different set of numbers. i found a pic that demonstrates it well. not sure on the accuracy but it gets the point across anyways

Star Trek never really dealt with what Warp 10 was. At times, Warp 10 was the "speed limit of the universe", which implies that it was a finite speed - if the speed limit is infinity, that is having no speed limit. At other times, Warp 10 is infinite speed. Here, they use both definitions, and it just doesn't work. First of all, if you were at every point in the universe at once, it means you are crashing into everything. Warp 9.999999999999999 may seem like it is very close to Warp 10, but it is not. Take a look at a graph of y = 1/x. As x gets closer to zero, the value of y gets very large, but no finite number, no matter how large, is anywhere close to infinity. So what do these Warp numbers mean? Think of it like a stickshift on a car. If you have your car in 3rd gear and keep accelerating, you're engine is going to rev to fast. When you reach a certain speed, you shift to 4th gear. Similarly, you don't want to run your starship at Warp 3.999, you're better off running at warp 4. When you get to Warp 9, there's no next gear, all you can do is keep driving the warp engine harder. That's why the future Enterprise could go at a speed greater than Warp 10, it's not that it is necessarily going faster, it's like a three-speed transmission vs. five-speed transmission. Of course, that still won't get you to infinite speed. Paris's transformation seems to be lifted from "The Fly". Evolution doesn't have a direction, you can't speed it up. You can't predict from the current state of Homo Sapiens where we will be in millions of years. But even if we could, it doesn't make sense that the end would be... salamanders? What would have been next, crawl back into the water and become fish? And why didn't they bring the children back? If they could turn Janeway and Paris back to being human, they could revert the offspring to human. Of course, they completely forget about this. So, it mutates humans. Send a Warp 10 probe to Earth. Since they now know how to restore people, install this on Voyager's engines, set course for Earth, and fix the mutations when you get there.

Oh boy, this was really terrrible! Fortunatelly Jammer did a detailed enough review for us to rationally orgnanize in our minds the so many horrible things that appeared here. The absurdity comes close to hateful in this episode. Warp 10 when we have already heard of warp 13? Guys, come on, a little research before writting scripts would not harm. Common simples small ships that come back from infinity velocity? Lizards? Lizards??? Captain's lizard offspring and...grtetysery? But of course, nothing can be more offensive than the way this piece of junk treats the theory of evolution. A mutational evolution that goes to a single possible future point of the species regardless of staying exposed to the environmental constrains. A theory of evolution that disregards the survival of the more adapted, in the best style of Lamarck... Acting was good? Certainly. Make-up effects, also. Some moments were sort of deep? Yes. But in the end, I was almost throwing my TV into the misterious land of inifinte velocitiy. Fortunatelly, I didn't. But unfortunally, after that I came here and when I read Elliot's first sentence "Ok, let's everybody calm down...", them my computer didn't have the same luck as my TV. Horrible episode, really bad.

While I don't expect them to be very good, I've been watching Enterprise and Voyager for the first time, just for completion. (I'm very late to the party.) I thought that no matter what people said, this episode couldn't be that bad. Often the "bad" episodes are just silly or campy, and I can at least laugh and shake my head after watching some moronic, mindless entertainment. This episode was creepy, though. Definitely an icky feeling to it, and boring besides. I agree with others' comments over the years--throw it out the airlock and space it.

Pete - Mon, May 6, 2013 - 7:11pm (USA Central) Yes, this episode is just silly and one to skip - but the arguments concerning mathematical impossibilities and evolutionary falsehoods are equally silly..... because almost EVERYTHING in Star Trek is mathematically impossible and scientifically invalid. You guys act as though one outlandish impossibility is less valid than another. It's Science "Fiction" folks - in case you've forgotten. It's simply not a very well written or interesting episode - so leave it at that. ---------------------- Oh, look, everyone. Another person who plays apologist for some of the worst writing ever. Being a fiction (set in our universe, btw) does not give it free reign to redefine the laws of KNOWN physics. A fictional show can only get away with so much. There is a limit. If you think that "anything goes", then you completely do not understand fiction and good writing in any way, shape, or form.

Also,a lot of things in Trek are bogus, but a fair few are at least plausible. This episode was completely bogus in every way.

@Jakob M. Mokoru : I realise your comment is 7 years old now, but I wanted to thank you for indirectly introducing me to the commentary of Thomas Höhl. It is amongst the most intelligent, honest and fair set of Trek criticisms I have ever read, including Jammers' site and SFDebris. Nothing like a German to bring a cool head to these emotional debates :)

@Dusty: That. So very much that. Was awesome. Thank you.


To his credit, even Braga thinks the episode was bad.

@dlpb. Yeah it's amazing how the slingshot around the the sun for time travel is based on real physics. Or those parallel Earth planets that Kirk stumbled on every other week. Or the dopey space probe that collides with another probe and becomes a deathray. Or the terraforming device that's intended to work on moons and planets, and yet turns a nebula into a planet. Star Trek has routinely taken liberties with depictions of science, as well it should because it's not trying to be science-fact, it's science fiction.

The problem with the science in this episode isn't just that it's not science. Of course Trek makes up science as it goes along, and Voyager is the master of it. The technobabble in this series goes above and beyond the absurd, stringing random techy words together and pretending it fits. But frankly, I'm used to it. No, the problem with this episode is that it constantly contradicts itself. If Wrath of Khan had started with Chekov asking Dr Marcus if they can just use the device on a nebula, and Carol saying no, then yes, the ending would be bad. The fact that the genesis device does apparently work on a nebula is strange, but we can live with it. Yet Threshold fails on both halves of the episode, constantly telling us one thing and showing us another. The episode states, flat out, that warp 10 is theoretically impossible. Not just "beyond our technology", but impossible. As in mathematically impossible. In modern times, traveling at relativistic speeds is beyond our technology. Building a functional fusion reactor is beyond our technology. But both are theoretically possible; we just don't know how to do it yet. But traveling at the speed of light? Building a reactor that combusts carbon dioxide? Both are theoretically IMpossible; the math simply does not work no matter what you assume. And that is what Trek claims that warp 10 is. So, naturally, they approach it as a typical engineering problem. We just need to improve things a little bit and it will totally work. That's completely absurd! Likewise, they say, flat out, that Warp 10 is infinite speed. So, then, why are they acting like they just need to speed up a bit from warp 9.99? Infinite doesn't work that way! You don't start counting numbers and end up at infinity! Yet that's how they suggest it works. And then they say it's infinite speed and consists of being in every location at once. Yet we keep hearing "what's your flight plan?" "The shuttle's no longer on sensors!" "Look at all this data we got from the local area!" None of that is consistent with infinite speed. In brief, the episode kept claiming the threshold was like breaking the speed of light, but kept acting like it was simply breaking the speed of sound. Now, let's move on to the "evolve into a salamander" part. OK, yes, evolution doesn't work that way. I get it. But Trek has always had a bit of reckless fun with DNA approach, and I accept it. Genesis is a guilty pleasure of mine. But once again, they say one thing but show another. The Doctor says that Paris is proceeding with the arrow of evolution or something like that. Let's ignore the fact that evolution doesn't have a direction for the moment, and pretend it does. If the Doctor's right, then that means that Paris should continue moving in a direction similar to the changes in traits from earlier hominids. Which means he should be getting more thin, larger head, more hairless, more nimble fingers, etc. So how is that consistent with becoming an amphibian? It doesn't. But anywho, even the "science" part of the show isn't the worst aspect. Tell me, what was the point of this episode? What was it's purpose? What was its theme? I don't have a clue. I have two possibilities. Either it's an homage to 2001 (man goes on fantastic voyage and evolves into higher life form) or it's a throwback to the old 40s and 50s sci-fi declaring the dangers of technology (You can read stories back then of people going into space and becoming mad, because naturally humans can't be in space or something). If it's the latter, it fails miserably because the voyage and evolution of David Bowman had a purpose. If it's the latter, it's positively anti-Trek, which usually posits technology is a good thing. It would also completely fail to account for the maturation of sci-fi. This episode posits that technology is bad because of a deus ex machina; there was no way to rationally conclude that reaching warp 10 turns you into a lizard. However, good anti-technology sci-fi is anti-technology by extrapolating negative societal results from the technology, or comment on a hubris that people will end up relying on too much technology. This says nothing of the sort, but rather "don't explore, because it will kill you in completely random ways". That's a lame message. And what other message is there? It's a collection of random scenes, not anything worthwhile. What was the point of having Janeway kidnapped too, other than to put in a little juvenile joke at the end? What was the point of anything at all? It was a complete waste of time. Well, not a complete waste. Tom's dying eulogy was nice. But that's about it. Also, Janeway can now, with full sincerity, point to Tom and say "He turned me into a newt! ...I got better..."

I'm not going to restate all the reasons that this episode is a mess. Everyone here has articulated that clearly. What I will say is that recently watching it again (courtesy of Netflix) after all of these years was extremely entertaining. I decided to binge watch episodes of TNG, DS9 and VOY over the holidays. When I got to Threshold, I couldn't stop laughing, especially when Tom spit out his tongue and preceded to talk for 5 minutes with a speech impediment. He looked just liked Jeff Goldblum in The Fly. In spite of the lame plot, dubious science and serious continuity issues this episode posed, RDM did a good job with what he was given.

Hal Berstram

OK - I'll probably be certified and locked up for saying this but for sheer flat-out gonzo entertainment value this is one of the best episodes of Voyager, maybe one of the best episodes of any of the Trek franchises. I'd give it 3.5 stars, docking half a star for implausibility. But if we're going to start knocking points off for implausibility maybe we have to just score EVERY episode at zero stars because the way the ship gets knocked about and roughed up pretty much every episode and is then back to a pristine brand-new state next week is actually just as implausible as anything on offer here. Some good performances and a plot that definitely isn't run of the mill "spatial anomalies" or the usual techy plots. For me this was a winner. Supplemental note:Note the warp factors used in TOS and in TNG are not comparable. When TNG started Roddenberry apparently decided that Warp 10 should be the absolute maximum speed and so the warp factor would asymptotically approach 10 for faster and faster velocities. Hence we hear in "Caretaker" that Voyager's max speed is Warp 9.975 or some such. I have to say this asymptotic warp scale strikes me as ludicrous - presumably by the year 3000 they are all travelling at warp 9.9999999 or some nonsense - but that's the way it is. The idea of the warp 10 shuttle being everywhere in physical space in the universe at the same time is obviously ludicrous - for one thing it would annihilate all other matter. It makes more sense if it is somehow outside space entirely (as is supposed to be the case with standard warp speeds) - perhaps in another dimension. But in terms of basic entertainment "Threshold" delivers. Where I do agree with Jammer is that there's no obvious reason they couldn't have used warp 10 and modified the Voyager engines to get home instantaneously if the doctor's antiproton treatment works. So it would have been best if this had been the series finale and then the end was Voyager turning up in the Alpha Quadrant, a search and rescue ship being sent to intercept them, the rescue team beaming onto Voyager and finding 150 giant slugs with only the Doc able to explain what happened. What a way to end it!

LOL ... this episode certainly takes it's lumps and deservedly so, but is it really worse than 'Spock's Brain', or 'And the Children Who Lead', or 'The Naked Now', or 'Code Of Honour', or 'If Wishes Were Horses', or 'The Emperor's New Cloak', or 'Precious Cargo' or TATV? (just to spread the wealth here :-)) I don't think so. I always thought this was a pretty good episode until the ending happened. Hell, moving any mass faster than the speed of light (WARP) is a pipedream, along with replicators, transporters .... insert your accepted Trek-tech/science. Great episode for Paris, and I thought that trying to accomplish something that wasn't possible was pretty interesting. Janeway's support along with B'Elanna and Harry... it was an interesting episode. Just thought they could have ended it better. .....MUCH better..... :-) This one actually won an award! 2.5 star from me.

Robbie McNeil, if you are out there you should know we don't blame you for this. It's not your fault you were handed this...pile of...whatever it is. You did a good job with what you were given and some of your individual scenes are quite good. I can manage to watch up to the part where Paris 'dies' and gets a good by kiss from Kes. After that....I can't. I just can't go on but it's not because of bad acting. Its bad everything else.

I have to say that it's even more horrible the second time but I also have to defend it somewhat. It's about Warp 10 so to speak or at least about being everywhere at once. I think they took it from how travelling at light speed would be perceived at least from a relativistic point of view, we know that time moves slower and slower as you reach higher speeds. Now as you approach the speed of light you would also approach a standstill of time and when reaching the speed of light, time would cease to progress (at least for you that is). This would mean that if time is not moving for you and you're moving at the fastest speed possible you would perceive yourself as being everywhere because from your standpoint you are everywhere. At least I think this is where they got the idea from but how it relates to warp I don't understand.

To be fair to this episode (which I think is absolutely terrible), I have never had trouble understanding what they are talking about with the "everywhere at once" thing. Actually, the biggest problem with their "everywhere at once" thing, and with warp speed in general, is that it causes problems when one attempts to incorporate relativistic effects -- wherein, for example, two events which are simultaneous in one reference frame will not be simultaneous in another. But the general idea here is that if one takes a given reference frame, if someone had "infinite speed," then the time to get from point A to any other point would be zero, thus it would be possible to travel to every point in the universe in zero time. That this creates various absurdities is mostly useful as a way of demonstrating that infinite speed is not possible -- "if you go at infinite speed, it would be possible for you to occupy every point in the universe simultaneously" is a logical inference, which indeed is a kind of reducto ad absurdum that points the flaw in the "infinite speed" thinking.

"At least I think this is where they got the idea from but how it relates to warp I don't understand." Who cares, that wasn't the problem. The problem was the lizard sex.

William B & Robert... Robert. Exactly. I guess we have to assume that the method the Voth and the Borg use is different than what Harry attempted. William. I think the basis for the infinite places at once theory comes from the string/multi-universe thinking that was popular at the time?

I feel that Threshhold was a rip-off of an Outer Limits show called The Sixth Finger starring David McCallum with a little of the short story on which it is based thrown in.

Fortunately for us all, Tom himself actually decanonizes this whole sorry episode in a later episode (Dark Frontier I think) by telling Seven "I've never navigated in transwarp". Yes you could interpret that as meaning Borg transwarp and not the three-guys-knocked-up-in-shed-over-the-weekend version used here, but I take it as "Threshold never happened". The only good thing to come out of this episode was the sexy Type-9 shuttle, though why shuttles always have to resemble their mother ship in a lot of places I don't get, but its a nice design anyway. Shame it wasn't any more durable than the 6 and 8s they'd be using until now.

This episode kept getting referenced by people so I wanted to check it out. Although it's absolutely horrible, the make-up does look objectively very real, even though I don't enjoy the grotesque product. There are hundreds of problems with this episode, so I'll just throw out one. If Paris and co. were able to reach warp 10 but then Janeway decided warp 10 wasn't safe because THRESHOLD, why didn't Voyager at least get refit to travel at warp 9.99? It appears in this episode that Voyager's safest traveling speed was warp 9.5. The least they could do is adapt some of Paris and co.'s findings and increase their warp a bit. It could have cut anywhere from a few months to a year off their trip! It also could help them evade enemies who lack THRESHOLD technology.

Diamond Dave

Well that was... different. Not often we get a body horror episode in Trek - Paris spitting out his own tongue counts as a unique moment - and it's embraced with such abandon that it does have a certain crazy appeal. It does get pretty out there, that's for sure - the "it's loose" scene in engineering heard only over the monitors being a wonderful example. That said, the warp 10 and salamander evolution premises are just risible, and you have to wonder why anyone thought the conclusion was a good idea. But whatever you have to say about Threshold, it's not boring. 1.5 stars.

Big LOL that the writers should have just saved this concept/plot for the finale, what a way that would have been to conclude.

Also, how was Janeway OK with leaving a new generation of fast breeding, weird evolved lizard humans on a planet in the Delta quadrant? Talk about "upsetting the balance".

Stop discussing this like it really happened. This was an alternate reality.

@Robert Lol... Let our denial bring us comfort. This is my first run through of Voyager but I was aware of this episode's existence for a while. I always wished one of the writers would have disowned it from canon. Or even written a later episode in any series that referred back to this one and somehow invalidated it in universe. But no. Really, though, I think we can at least take some comfort in knowing that the only *real* long term damage this episode did outside of Voyager was complicate the already inconsistent definitions of warp speeds. Even without Threshold, it was still pretty much nonsense.

Ponto Hardbottle

I watched it today, for some reason the TV station is repeating ST-Voyager. I never seen it before or most of the early episodes. Look at it this way: We are watching a TV show about humans, and other intelligent, sentient humanoids in a space ship hundreds of years in the future where the occupants speak understandable though American English of the 20th century while travelling in a quarter of the Milky Way galaxy at speeds totally unachievable. The premise of the show is ridiculous, so I cannot see how seeing Tom Paris looking like a leper complete with pulling out his tongue or Salamander species devolved from two H. sapiens can be more ridiculous. I just look to be entertained not convinced of the plausibility of any of the show's offerings of humankind's achievements in the future or whether the episode makes sense in any way.

@Ponto "The premise of the show is ridiculous, so I cannot see how seeing Tom Paris looking like a leper complete with pulling out his tongue or Salamander species devolved from two H. sapiens can be more ridiculous." You're speaking as if those two things are the same. We've already accepted the show's premise. We get that there's weird sci-fi. But it's the writer's job to at least make the fictional science believable and/or clever. Threshold is neither.

Sgt. Lincoln Osiris

They went Full Retard. Never go Full Retard.

Yeah, I'm kind of torn here. Really, the pseudo science involved with writing warp drive isn't really any more contrived here than how it was in TNG "Force of Nature;" I like it when Trek has plausible science, but that doesn't mean it will make a good story. I guess it's really a death by a thousand stings situation. The evolutionary nonsense, the ease of getting to warp 10 (which can be explained away with the special dilithium crystals they found), and also the fact that Federation scientists has never managed it either (which might also be explained away if Starfleet's secret Skunk Works equivalent team actually did achieve warp 10, but after the debilitating mutations never attempted it again and never published the data). Even with my hand-wavy explanations, which in any case went in the show, it's just a little too much. But zero stars? MacNeil's acting is great! So is everyone else's. The pacing and direction are good. If we did indeed do as we all would like, and excise Threshold from the ST cannon, then we have a less horrible continuity, but we also have a single sci-fi show called "Threshold," which stands on its own as being passable. Then we might judge it as a modern 2001 meets The Fly. High concept and bizarre, but not all together terrible. The only truly damning aspect of this episode is in one of the first scenes, they don't list the most obvious aviation/space hero of all time! Chuck freaking Yeager! How could they miss that one?!

@Skywalker One of the main issues people have with this episode is that the Voyager crew invents a way to get home by going Warp 10, however it has horrendous side-effects. Which the Doctor then cures. So why aren't they home next week? Sure the crew'll turn into lizards (because of evolution that shouldn't work that way) but then the Doctor could just cure the crew once in the Alpha Quadrant.

I am surprised. Most of the Star Trek episodes don't make any sense when analyzing them, especially ones with time travel. So when watching, I just try to get fun and completely turn off my brain. This episode was fun, it was very original and not boring at all. Yes, it's full of mistakes and inconsistencies, but e.g. "Timeless" (you gave 4 stars to this one) in my view has as many inconsistencies.

This is a late response to Rachel's post, but I couldn't help myself. In the real world, "cavemen" and dinosaurs did coexist. Of course, in the fictional Star Trek universe, such an idea is laughable.

Nicholas Ryan

If/when they make a blu ray release for Voyage, they need to add a scene at the end where Paris wakes up and says "what a crazy dream"

Oh look, a get off the island episode. Let me guess, it fails right?


So, I watched this episode after being repeatedly warned to skip it. Those handy "binge watch" and "skip it/watch it" guides always list this one as a skipper. I saw the zero star review and was almost tempted to skip the episode. I skimmed the comments and realized that Tom would transform into a lizard creature, which piqued my interest enough to watch it. I imagine if I were watching this episode during the original run where you had to wait a week in between new episodes I would have been pissed off by this episode. Tom Paris breaks the warp threshold, ok, whatever. Then he starts morphing into a lizard creature, kidnaps and subjects Janeway to the same fate, the two of them happen to find an ideal planet...where they can have lizard babies (!), the Voyager crew catches up to them, does some reversal magic and returns both characters to their normal state, and everything is fine. Wow. And none of this was revealed to be a dream, fantasy, or holosuite glitch?! Rather than piling on the negatives, which have been stated by others, I'll say there were actually some strong positives. When Tom Paris is asleep on the Doctor's table and Janeway asks if he can be awakened, The Doctor leans foreward and yells "WAKE UP" at Tom, lol. I don't usually find The Doctor as charming as others do, but this was funny. Also, the grotesque changes Paris goes through - the writers actually thought it through (to a degree) in terms of slowly morphing him into a lizard over the course of the episode. When Paris is behind a forcefield sans tongue and starts pleading to be released, it was actually kind of sad. Especially when he started banging into the barrier. I wonder what happened to the Janeway and Paris' lizard babies. *shudders* That was so bizarre.

Thanks sgt Lincoln Osiris. I'm still laughing 6 months later. I don't think this episode deserves this much hate. Yes the salamanders were a (very) bad idea. I actually thought Paris' 2nd last form would have been a good place to stop (still humanoid at least). And the babies... Definitely full retard there. Of course the miracle cure as well... That's at least 8.5 retard (out of 8.6). But with those things aside I was quite entertained. I much preferred this episode (and found it more plausible) to "Tattoo" a few episodes ago. Seriously, whenever Chakotay sits down and those funking pan pipes start playing I want to throw the remote. Indians in the delta quadrant... That's full funking retard!

I want to not hate this episode because the first 2/3 of it are actually ok. Good premise, good character work, good makeup (it won an award). etc. But going off the rails at the end as hard as it did ruins the build up. IMHO.

Was going to post exactly what Mikey posted. This is a stinker of an episode for being just plain stupid, but I find it more watchable than stuff like Tattoo. I'm doing a rerun now and I skipped Tattoo. Bloody vision quests do my head in (and I'm sure are an insult to Native Americans) and pan pipes every time, worse with flashbacks of no relevance and then the spirits are actually aliens, yeah right. I can't bring myself to watch that. Threshold I struggle with but I can watch it for a laugh. I get no laughs from Tattoo, just irritation.

Just out of curiosity, what was the original rating for this episode and how much time passed until the review was rewritten?

The original rating for this I believe was one star, at the time right after the original airing, and then changed to zero at the end of the season. So it wasn't like a huge change.

dave johnson

Went back and watched this for fun tonight... haven't seen it in years...... It really is best to just consider this an alternate timeline or something and not part of any Trek history. The whole trans warp thing was a mess and never was going to be dealt with again. To me, the best theme in the show was Tom wanting to do something special with his life; to show is dad he was not a screw up, that kind of thing. His talk with Janeway about going on the flight was moving. (PS - her not wanting to send him due to a 2% chance of medical problems was dumb... she sends him on away missions all the time that are very heavy odds against him returning). I wish they had of went on that theme and didn't cloud it with all this other bullshit, because that is a theme that has substance to it. They made a mess with legitimate science (evolution), and fake science (warp speeds and so forth), and with Trek history. Seems to me this was a long road just to have the punchline of Janeway having babies with Tom and delivering her line about wanting children. When I first watched it way back in the day, I thought "Hm... these creatures produce babies in 3 days or less and they evolve fast... perhaps 5 years from now they will be a space faring species of millions who track voyager down". Thankfully the writers didn't go that far.


Heya Everyone I did something I rarely do while on my current re-watch, I skipped parts of it. Well, mostly everything past the 18 minute mark, when he says the new 'coffee' is undrinkable and Torres likes it. Now the first 18 minutes, I watched that intently, to see if there were redeeming qualities that could have been a good starting point for, well, nearly anything. And I liked that first 18 minutes. Heh, "Wake UP!". And Neelix helping to change their train of thought when they were trying to figure out why the shuttle would keep losing it's engines. Yep, that first 18 minutes had promise, I think. While I did peek in at certain moments, I mostly skipped the rest. I am almost embarrassed to say that, but I think I'd have wanted that 27 minutes or so of my life back. Your mileage may vary... Take care, gentle sentients... RT

Let us take a moment to give a tip of the hat to the ST writers who are tasked with creating a 40-(or so) minute script which must: Always leave the ST universe just as it found it; Properly utilize the diverse 8 member crew/cast; Provide cliff hanging moments for opening credits and commercial breaks Operate within the confines of the ST universe as defined by previous ST series, films, etc ; Endure sickness or absences among cast causing last-minute script alterations; And be subjected to rewriting due to the various directors, producers, casting personnel, production designers, budgeting, etc. Therefore if on the rare occasion, the stress causes the writers to isolate themselves in a room and smoke something for medicinal relief which results in an episode like this, who am I to judge?


Yep. Terrible. From the warp stuff to the DNA stuff. All bad. But. Some of the dialog for the win. "Can you wake him? " " Of course. WAKE UP, MR PARIS! " "... Neelix's coffee." " It's a wonder he's survived. " " Here lies Thomas Eugene Paris, beloved mutant... Beloved radioactive mutant. " Gold. Picard and McNeill nailed it. It's too bad the story was poo. We shall never speak of it again. Also, I wish Hollywood would stop trivializing head injuries--Janeway being knocked out that easily and that long really indicates some neural issues.

I think it should have had at least one star. I thought it was hilarious. The 'beloved mutant' line stood out. Neelix accidentally solving the problem (this is why no one has ever solved the threshold problem before... No Neelix!) And the ending was ridiculous enough to be very funny. Despite the technobabble and the warp threshold not quite making sense, Tom's desire to get his name in the history books played out well. Of course breaking the threshold would have bizarre consequences. At one point Paris has two hearts and (after an infinite time and space experience) and I thought he'd "evolved" into a Timelord! Whether the writers call what happens to Tom evolution or something else, DNA is very elastic all through Star Trek. As for Voyager finding the shuttlecraft in three days. I can only assume Janeway did something sensible and dropped the shuttle out of warp before turning into a randy lizard. Jammer didn't mention the hint at consequences from this episode because Tom's experience results in Voyager getting detailed star maps. And the traitor in engineering sends them to the Kazon. Can't remember if this comes up in future episodes but it would be good if it did.

Fictional TV is supposed to be entertaining. The worst crime of any such show is to be boring. On that basis I just can't see how this can be considered amongst the very worst of Trek nor can a I see how it deserves a zero rating. To be clear, this episode is utterly risible, nonsensical and the second half is relentlessly shite. But it isn't boring.

Disgusting. Not the episode (it's a solid 3 stars) but the fact Jammer downgraded his original score to zero because the majority of Star Trek fans believe this is the worst episode of any Trek yet. Since when are we pandering to the majority? People who say "how did this get written?" - it's a damn good script. If you had this come across your desk you'd read it in one sitting. Sure the ending is a bit rushed and there's a couple of unanswered questions (it should have been a two parter with recovery slow and painstaking) but it deserves 3 stars because the premise is interesting, the execution well done and not one of you ever wanted to "skip ahead" in it (ie. not boring). I think a lot of people are giving this zero stars because they're the exact people South Park parodied in "Go God Go" - self righteous know it alls who cry "humph - that's not how quantum physics and evolution works!" Honestly what do YOU know? You know NOTHING about either independent of each other let alone what effects may result from the two together. It's a sick symptom of 21st century cynicism - you're all unhappy because society has turned you into powerless consumers so the only way you can feel better about yourselves is to criticise others based on a passing knowledge of something you think you understand but in reality know nothing about. Can any of you cynics even tell me what DNA stands for without googling it? All of you will say yes but put on the spot hardly anyone could type it out without errors in spelling (which shows you don't know). The saddest part is that Trek is about expanding our horizons and dreaming big. It's about encouraging us to reach for something like this and yet because the Trek community deems Threshold to be the worst episode, you all fall in line. Disgusting - if you don't have the courage to independently evaluate this and keep an open mind then you don't deserve to ever get off this rock. 3 stars, would've been 4 if the ending wasn't rushed - one of Voyager's strongest season 2 episodes and definitely not the worst Trek episode ever.

@Ric - Sorry, you're just wrong and the fact that I disagree with you does not make me an unhappy 21st century cynic or a Trek geek that is mad that it's more science fantasy that fiction. The problem with the episode (though I will admit, it has a fairly solid first half, especially RDM's acting) is that it got sillier as it went on, until the ending was such a mess it erased everything else. But the biggest problem isn't that it breaks OUR physics, it's that it breaks Trek's physics and damages other episodes. Other episodes use transwarp. But nobody else ever turns into a lizard. That might not be a problem for you, but it sure as hell is for me. And from a character PoV everything after he started mutating just felt like they were throwing the kitchen sink at the wall to see what would stick. Everything up until that point was a fairly solid episode though.

Anyone notice how Janeway tells Paris that he should be proud of what he is doing, and then a few minutes later she berates him for taking a personal stake in the mission?

@Zakalwe I don't get entertained by crap writing or stories I can't believe in the slightest - and that's where your logic fails you.

I agree with DLPB here, I mean a train wreck has some shock value, but that doesn't mean we should praise train wrecks.

Chrome, with respect if you're going to respond to me you should read what I wrote, because if you think any of my post, which included the line "utterly risible, nonsensical and...relentlessly shite" constitutes "praise" then I'm struggling. It's a very, very poor show. I just don't think it's worth zero stars. I'm not sure that saying something is bad but not the worst ever is terribly controversial, even in the binary world of the Internet.

@Zakalwe I read your comment, it's a very brief one after all. You're saying that an episode deserves credit for being entertaining despite it being utter tripe. I get that, a lot of people like Jerry Springer for the same reason. Jerry Springer-like debauchery has its place, but not in my Trek. No thanks! I do agree this isn't the worst show Trek's done, though. :)

I'll try to comment on the intervening episodes, but, wow, what a mess. Probably anything I say will be redundant, but still: 1. As people pointed out above, the episode seems to suggest that the difference between "really fast" and "infinite speed" is a matter of finding some better dilithium. 2. Better dilithium allows this dinky ship, battered by Kazon weekly, to accomplish what no one else in the Alpha Quadrant ever did, huh? 3. As people pointed out above, what the hell is this "threshold" they are talking about? If the threshold is infinite speed, Paris approaches it and maybe reaches it, but how does he cross it? I guess it does work as sex-foreshadowing (Paris eventually "crosses the threshold" with Janeway, I guess....) 4. Janeway actually lets Paris go on the mission with a 2% chance of death because of his sob story? Look, I get it, Paris has issues and he's willing to die to be a pioneer. Maybe under "normal" circumstances that might be enough -- he's consenting to put himself on the line, whatever -- but c'mon. Delta Quadrant. We were told that three people died in Kazon attacks in the previous episode. 5. I don't even know where to start with the portrayal of Infinite Speed, but let's take this seriously for a second. Humans and computers have finite reaction time, ability to execute commands, etc. How exactly would you control a ship going infinitely fast to come to its original position? How exactly would sensors, which, sure, can get signals faster than light speed in this universe because of subspace but still take finite time to make readings, get instantaneous readings of everywhere in one region of spacetime and suddenly have a higher data receiving rate -- an infinitely fast, zero-time receiving rate, apparently? We can maybe assume Paris just hallucinated this "I felt that I was everywhere" bit, but if we take it seriously, how exactly would Paris' *finite-time-based* senses process being in various locations for literally zero seconds? 6. OK, sure, so DNA/evolution doesn't work like that, etc., but even if we suspend that, and also suspend the craziness of the idea that going really fast changes one's DNA or whatever, why did Braga even *think* of mutating into some sort of giant newt as some sort of "end stage of human evolution"? 7. Somehow going from the bonkers, clearly-couldn't-have-happened plot to the boring, rote "there's a traitor plot" is incredibly funny. Even the Kazon is like, "Dude, this doesn't make sense, and clearly didn't happen." 8. Every episode: JANEWAY: We can't leave our tech behind. We can't infect this quadrant. This episode: CHAKOTAY: We've decided to leave the million-years-evolved hyper-human newts behind. 9. PARIS: Captain, I'm sorry. I, I don't know what to say, except I don't remember very much about, er, you know... JANEWAY: What makes you think it was your idea? Sometimes it's the female of the species that initiates mating. But apology accepted, nonetheless. You may be interested to know I'm putting you in for a commendation. 10. Paris' "you know, I thought going warp 10 would solve my emotional problems, but now I've discovered that the real threshold...was in my heart all along" or whatever "I've decided to work on my personal problems" is totally unjustified dramatically and ridiculous. 11. And yes of course they can just go home and then have the Doctor cure them with antiprotons, with very little muss or fuss, but of course they won't do that because reasons. Jeez. For those who say that it's nitpicking to tear apart this episode's "science," the problem is there is *virtually nothing else to this episode* but weird non-science; if there's a metaphor here or narrative arc, it's almost entirely inscrutable, at least to me. OK, OK, not ENTIRELY inscrutable: I think the episode's emotional core was that Paris needs to escape his past, tries to go infinitely fast to escape it, and ends up being some sort of lizard because you can't change too fast, hence the sappy ending. And MacNeill isn't bad in some of those weird scenes. I get it. So the episode isn't worthless, it's just ill-conceived in almost every way. I think 0.5 stars is about where I'll land on this one.

@William B Awesome review, keep them coming! Don't try to go too fast or you'll become a lizard? Lessons to live by!

Actually this episode reminds me of high school where we got these big lists of "DOs" and "Do NOTs" when drafting essays. I think the script for this would've violated every rule on the "Do NOTs" lists, so it's remarkable in that way. Let's see, Does this episode have a thesis? (No) Does the script stick to the thesis? (N/A) Is there a character arc that shows growth? (Maybe? Evolution? I don't know...) Does the conclusion tie up the earlier points of the script? (No)

I liked this episode. I get the criticisms - that it's not proper science, that it's not consistent with Trek lore. None of that matters to me. It's entertaining, it's not dull like a lot of VOY episodes. It explores possibilities. And isn't that what the show is about?

Didn't the Enterprise go Warp 10 and then some in Where No One Has Gone Before, and perhaps in The Nth Degree too? Why didn't the Enterprise turn into salamanders then?

I'm a lifelong Trek watcher. I enjoy all the highly rated episodes from all the shows, just like everyone else. Threshold was not the best episode but my god the criticism on this site is completely over the top. I enjoyed it. Paris did a good job with a weird script, and by the final scene with the amphibians, I was actually invested. This episode ended up being mostly about friendship and a shared experience between Paris and Janeway, and with the closing credits I was left simply with the feeling that they shared something nobody else would ever share, something they could always look back on and say "remember that insane thing that happened to us?" and just laugh. Kind of like kids who are best friends do years later. You all take yourselves way too seriously!

@Brian Right, I'm sure Janeway was thrilled to share this experience with !LizardParis. @Dave No, it's a stupid continuity error. It's funny if you ever watch ST: III, because they're all matter-of-factly saying the record for warp speed is 14.1, with the possibility of the USS Excelsior breaking that record.

Also the warp scale has changed from TOS->TNG. According to Star Trek: Starship Spotter, the redesignation of warp 10 as infinite speed occurred in 2312. The warp factor specifications prior to 2312 were rated by Starfleet using the Original Cochrane Unit warp scale, abbreviated as the OCU. Warp factors after 2312 use the Modified Cochrane Unit warp scale, abbreviated as the MCU. Basically it used to go up closer to linearly and then they made warp 10 infinite speed and now it goes up exponentially as you approach warp 10.

Robert beat me to it. What's more interesting to me isn't that they changed the numbering system, but that in ST III Starfleet was on the brink of creating a functional transwarp system. I know this technobabble term probably meant nothing specific at the time, but in lieu of TNG having adopted the term for what the Borg use I find it funny to think that the Excelsior was using an experimental technology that would apparently prove to be too difficult to use but that the Borg already have. It would have made for a nice bit of continuity for someone to point out that the Borg had that fabled transwarp drive.

@Robert Sorry, I forgot they changed the scales, though Dave is right that they did pass warp 10 in TNG's "Where No One Has Gone Before". So either way, it's a continuity error. They could've fixed it by calling it something else besides warp 10, but I think they figured Voyager's viewers don't pay that much attention (or they totally forgot).

@Peter G. It's possible the Borg assimilated the transwarp technology from the Federation at some point. It's not that transwarp couldn't work in the TOS-era, it's that Scotty sabotaged the premiere transwarp ship which inadvertently discredited the tech. The Excelsior and TW were basically made into a laughing stock because of the events of ST:III.

I don't think a ship went over warp 10 under its own power before Threshold. Weren't they under alien/foreign influence when it happened? I believe Q flung them all over the place in TNG.

"I don't think a ship went over warp 10 under its own power before Threshold. Weren't they under alien/foreign influence when it happened? I believe Q flung them all over the place in TNG." In "Where No One Has Gone Before", The Traveler used the Enterprise to pass the "warp barrier" and specifically exceeded warp 10. In other words, the premise of this episode has been done (better), just with a different method than what Tom used.

Gross. "Billions of years from now we will rip out our tongues and become slugs. Woohoo!" I was eating dinner. Sheesh. On the up side: "WAKE UP, LIEUTENANT!"

Go home Voyager, you are drunk. zero stars

@Real Ric: "Disgusting. "Not the episode.... Since when are we pandering to the majority?......" etc. etc. I bumped into this review after watching part of THRESHOLD last night (I skipped the ending, having heard it's a stinker and wanting to make dinner). I've enjoyed many of these comments, a lively conversation here. The only self-righteousness I found amidst this multitude of comments is yours. What a hubris-ridden, disdainful, self-satisfied cynical smug diatribe condemning a straw-man of a group of "going-with-the-crowd" "know-nothing powerless consumers" 'falling in line'. First of all, I do not see this multitude of post-ers "falling in line" here; some people, with or without sheepish apology, are saying this episode was fun and not worthless; some are saying it stank but had some redeeming value in that it wasn't boring or had other good points; and the ones who say it stank up to high heaven and was one of the worst episodes ever are clearly sincere, many offering well-thought-out commentary. And by the way, Supercilious Self-Righteous-Boy, my reaction to your contemptuous, condescending indictment of all us mouth-breathing ignoramuses not knowing what DNA stands for, my knee-jerk reaction was "deoxyribonucleic acid, asshole." (And I'm not boasting, and yep I had one letter wrong, I thought of it as "dioxy-" instead of "deoxy-', it's been many years since I've spelled it, I'm a musician not a scientist)— again, not boasting at knowing [with 95% on spelling, oops] what DNA stands for, just irritated at your 'superior' attitude of how all the folks here except yourself are unhappy cynical know-it-alls etc. etc., as well as closed-minded courage-lacking so-and-so's who "don't deserve to ever get off this rock". I mean, sheesh.). And you should do something about your "building yourself up by cutting others down" issues. Talk about projection. Sorry everyone for feeding the troll, but I enjoyed the rest of this discussion so much that I just felt like putting in my two cents. PS to @Dusty: Your fly-on-the-wall (or lizard-on-the-?) BehindTheScenes of the Producer-and-Writer convo was 4☆. 👍

Can any of you cynics even tell me what DNA stands for without googling it? All of you will say yes but put on the spot hardly anyone could type it out without errors in spelling (which shows you don't know). ------ I would also add to the above that "Real Ric" also seems to believe spelling something means you understand it. Real Ric has a lot to learn about the Real World. Look up Richard Feynman and his view on names v understanding.

Go home Real Ric, you are drunk.

Neely Fan Forever

I agree, this was awful. However, I must credit poor Robbie McNeil for having to plod through this garbage with utter professionalism. Well done, Mate. And yes I'm afraid 0 stars is perfectly justfied and not at all harsh. Even minus one would be too generous.

About that scene where he develops two hearts- is that where he briefly became a TimeLord....

George Monet

The problem with this episode is that it is stupid and puerile in every place. For one thing, warp does not produce velocity so warp 10 could not provide infinite velocity. From the ship's perspective, it remains still while space moves around it. So a ship could never have infinite velocity because a ship traveling by warping space doesn't move. That is how the ship is able to change locations faster than if it were traveling at the speed of light. Second, the attempt to create a connection between traveling and warp speed and having your DNA get frazzled is stupid in the extreme because there clearly cannot be a connection. Especially since, as I said earlier, the ship isn't moving. The writers clearly demonstrated that the understand neither the pseudo science of Star Trek nor how that pseudo science functions or would logically function. If we look at the conversations the writers had then we see exactly why this episode was stupid and puerile. "Gene [Roddenberry] made the determination at the beginning of Next Gen that warp ten would be the limit, and at that point you would occupy all portions of the universe simultaneously, which always seemed like a wonderfully provocative notion. Then the question is 'What happens if you do go warp ten, how does that affect you?' So we all sat in a room and kicked it around and came up with this idea of evolution and thought that it would be far more interesting and less expected that instead of it being the large-brained, glowing person, it would be full circle, back to our origins in the water." As we can see, the writers were on a ship without a rudder. And this ALWAYS happens when you have artsy fartsy types who want to deconstruct conventions. They always ruin everything and make something completely illogical and unnecessarily stupid. The technology in Star Trek works the way it works for a reason. The use of the technology and its results should always work the same and work as should be expected. Trying to make something completely unexpected simply to make something completely unexpected shows you are a failure as a science fiction writer. If there was a problem with warp 10, this problem should have been a problem with subspace because in Star Trek there is a very close connection between warping space and subspace. When subspace is damaged too much it is impossible to warp normal space. Conversely warping normal space damages subspace. Since warp 10 is the ultimate threshold then warp 10 should have produced irreparable damage to subspace so extreme that it stranded Voyager and Paris inside a part of space where the subspace had been damaged by the warp 10 flight. That is how you properly write a science fiction story based on necessary cause and necessary effect. The technology works a specific way, should work that way all the time, and the result of that technology should produce the results necessitated by the explanation of its function. By completely failing to grasp how the technology works, failing to try making the result of that technology a necessary result of that technology, the writers showed that they are failures when it comes to sci fi writing. The writers failed to write a Star Trek episode because they weren't trying to write a Star Trek episode. They were trying to write a M Night Shyamalan movie with a plot twist.

I've just watched this episode for the third time. I have to say I like it. It's camp and ridiculous, but please keep in mind that some people think that describes all of Star Trek! I think it makes most sense as a dream of Paris. I know that's normally a cheap and stupid explanation/ending, but here it does make sense. The entire thing is so totally focused on him. Even the subtle parts, like B'Elanna, the best engineer, not being the one to help with the final idea - just Tom and his best friend Harry, with the help of Neelix, who only a few episodes ago he came to a better understanding with. You could also say it moves from father issues, which are a long term thing with him, to issues with his (and almost everyone on Voyager's) mother figure, Janeway. She wants to protect him. Does she believe in him? She does! But, is Harry her favourite son? And then he has teenage tantrums at her when his body is going through scary changes. And after, when his scary transformation is complete, he has sex with her and they have children, but the children don't matter because they aren't real... it really seems like a bad dream. But like a dream, you can see the themes and the ideas. (And I have had recurring bad dreams about spitting out my teeth - maybe his version is spitting out his tongue!) I think the real idea is what he briefly discusses at the end, what's the worth and cost of proving himself. Janeway says people respect him and that's the end, because that was the answer to the real beginning question, not the matter of crossing the threshold. It was always about his self worth. Also, I will always love the doctor waking him in sickbay. That's a classic.

@Gretchen "At least 'Genesis' was watchable" "Genesis" allowed is not -- is episode forbidden!

Paulus Marius

Hilarious - both the episode, and the reviews, some of which are so entertainingly biting. My two cents: I'm always fascinated by how expectations alter one's viewing experience. I didn't see this episode the first time round (or perhaps I blocked the memory, lol, although I don't think it's a 0-star episode i'f I'm honest). Now that I'm re-watching the first couple of seasons on my way to finally watching Voyager, I ended up watching this episode loaded with the expectation that it would be terrible, the worst, beyond awful. Had I watched it without those expectations, I might have actually hated it. But I found myself bracing for something much worse. As others have pointed out, the first couple of acts have a fair amount of merit. By the time it started to get weird, I was entertained enough to appreciate it as camp - especially the (yes, wonderfully ridiculous) ending, which gave me hope that perhaps Star Trek doesn't always have to take itself seriously, and that that's OK. As I watched, all I could think of was its reputation. I was watching it through that filter, and that probably made me feel a little...sympathetic to its flaws. I was thinking, yeah, it's not a great episode, sure, yes, lots of inconsistencies, yes, lots to criticize here, but it's not *the worst ever* Funny how expectations change things. Unfortunately it works the other way too, sometimes. When you hear something is "the best ever", and then it disappoints. Not because it wasn't great, but because it couldn't possibly live up to the expectations.

Wow, what a steaming pile of shit this episode was. It's so utterly stupid and full of holes and ridiculous nonsense. It's not even sci-fi. It's make-believe with no regard for consequences or any kind of logic. Now, I understand warp 10 is supposed to be infinite speed - so there is no way in hell anything mechanical (or anything at all) should be able to go that fast. To assume it does just simply cannot be explained: Once you hit warp 10, where exactly are you if you are flying in a certain direction?? So the start of the episode with Kim/Torres/Paris trying to figure out a way to go that fast should have stopped with going say 9.99999999x such that it would take say a few hours to reach the AQ. But actually thinking they can reach warp 10 in a shuttle?? Those 3 should know better and so should the writers of the show. The one redeeming quality of this episode is Paris' performance of wanting desperately to prove his worth and even when he's mutating. And what's the reason for his devolution even though Doc said it was evolution?? I won't even comment on how dumb the part where he and Janeway turn into salamanders and have kids. What is that supposed to contribute to the episode? And then magically Janeway and Paris are restored due to Doc's anti-proton treatment after actually being found not too far away from Voyager. Just more implausibility here. The episode spent way too much time with Paris devolving and had to wrap up way too quickly -- poorly conceived, poorly written. Barely 0.5 stars -- yes, the checks and balances weren't followed on this episode. An absolute insult to the intelligence of Trek fans (or anybody with a half a brain). While I was shaking my head from the start of the episode, I didn't mind it as much until the ending really ruined everything. Sometimes you can watch Trek with a heavy dose of suspension of disbelief, but even the early acts of this episode (which weren't outrageously awful) just violated the basic principles of infinity (as somebody with 2 math degrees, this was hard to stomach). On the bright side, it's not zero stars -- I do honestly believe that there are worse Trek episodes!

Someone just got a phony scientific paper published about the consequences of reaching warp 10

@mark *One eyebrow raised...* "Astonishing..." Thanks for the information. Wow... Just... wow. :D RT

I like Voyager. But this is one of the worst - no, the worst - Star Trek episode in all the series. It is a horror. I kept trying to imagine the writers ever doing such a thing to Jean Luc Picard. An episode where Picard turns into a lizard and mates with fellow lizard Ro Laren? There's just so much wrong here that the only way to move forward is to pretend it never happened. -1,000 stars.

The tv guide is saying this episode is on in 3 hours! Just think, some bored person out there is about to see an episode of Star Trek for the first time having been skeptical about it all these years. Will they ever watch another episode again after this?

Here....weee......goooooooo! Teaser : ***, 5% Okay. Tom Paris is in a shuttle, and engaging the “transwarp.” He's being attacked by jargon, with the lights flashing and hull buckling or whatever. Torres' and Kim's voices are on the comm, giving him techno-instructions. And the shuttle explodes. Tom's not dead—yet—because the three of them on are on the holodeck, with the nerds looking dour and Tom amusingly left on the floor. I hope I've made it clear in my Voyager reviews up till now that, despite a reputation for loving this show and hating DS9 (both of which are only half true), I have not treated the series with kids' gloves. I have rated most episodes of BOTH series lower than Jammer has, and only in some cases higher (again, on both series). I am fully prepared to hate everything about this episode, as its reputation suggests I should. In 1.5 seasons of Voyager, I have given terrible to horrendous scores to 6 episodes so far (“Tattoo,” “Learning Curve,” “Time and Again,” “Elogium,” “Cathexis,” and the worst so far, “Twisted”). In 3.5 seasons of DS9, I have given terrible scores to 7 episodes so far (“Sanctuary,” “Destiny,” “Through the Looking Glass,” “Meridian,” “If Wishes Were Horses,” “Move Along Home” and “Fascination”). I hope I've demonstrated that after doing full write-ups for 112 episodes and one film, I am not a fawning fanboy. All of that out of the way...this teaser is pretty good. There's a genuine mystery, a decent fake-out and some amusing delivery. There have been many episodes of every Trek series that started out worse than this. Act 1 : *.5, 17% The trio discuss their holo-failure in the mess hall with Neelix circling about with his coffee pot and desire to be loved. There's a lot of impenetrable technobabble thrown about. “Multi-spectral subspace engine design” is probably my favourite, suggesting the warp drive is powered by unicorn ghosts. Neelix offers his “expertise” and is going to offer it whether anyone wants it or not. So they fill him in. They are trying to break the warp barrier, which is warp 10. Now, some might say, “hey, didn't they go warp 13 on 'All Good Things', which Braga also wrote?” while others might say, “hey, didn't the Excelsior use transwarp like 100 years ago?” while still others would say, “oh, see those were different warp speed calculations. If you check my multi-spectral chart...” I, on the other hand, say, “who the actual fuck cares?” What substantive difference in terms of what Star Trek is and means does it make for this techno-nonsense speed barrier to suddenly exist? Is it an ass-pull? Absolutely. But unlike several other changes to continuity on other series, this change doesn't *say* anything. It's just jargon. It's just a plot device. Is it stupid? Yes. Very stupid. But it's not meaningful. And those kinds of stupid don't bother me terribly much. Anyway, Kim describes warp 10—beyond the warp “threshold” (take a drink)—as “infinite velocity.” PARIS: It means that you would occupy every point in the universe simultaneously. In theory, you could go any place in the wink of an eye. Time and distance would have no meaning. Basically, this new form of dilithium they found enables them to defy physics and achieve this marvel, but the bolts on the shuttle's (and the Voyager's) nacelles aren't quite strong enough to survive the jump. Or something. I mean...I've seen people get so bent out of shape over this nonsense, going on endless nerd rampages over the bullshit science and maths being described here. (and of course, there's more to come) You won't get any quibbling for me over whether it makes any sense in that regard but, this is Star Trek. It's a big fancy engine that can do marvellous things, hardly different from the soliton wave from “New Ground.” Now, soliton waves are real (theoretical) physics, true, but the way in which they were used in the show has almost nothing to do with the real-life science involved. The same goes for the Dyson Sphere/shell from “Relics,” or the proto-Universe from “Playing God.” These are just plot devices. Is any of this jargon impressive? No. Is it the worst thing put out by the Trek writers? Please. Anyway, Neelix makes a stray observation, which leads to an analogy and just like that, we're right back in “Parallax,” with the idiot inspiring a clichéd bit, and the boys have hit on a solution to their tech problems. Badda-bing! Next thing you know, the team is presenting their successful simulation to the remaining senior staff at a briefing. Again, it's important not to get too bogged down by the jargon. Braga wants a big engine that might get the Voyager home, represents an achievement in engineering and theoretical physics, and provides a trippy means for people to travel, in order to enable the sci-fi weirdness later. So, Janeway wants to know their flight-plan for the little trip at infinite velocity. I say this because her sentiment, JANEWAY: In the last couple of centuries, we've always managed to use new technologies wisely. I'm confident this time won't be any different. Besides, there's no way to put the genie back in the bottle. All we can do now is keep moving forward, carefully. a good one for the show, expressing exactly the kind of optimism Trek is all about. Then she lists a group of elite pilots (all dead white dudes) whom ace white dude, Tom Paris, is about to join in the history books, highlighting one area where Trek has not always been so great. I guess Amelia Earhart's new life as a farmer/religious leader takes her off the list. Later on, Janeway pops by Tom's quarters to deliver some news. The EMH has recommended that Harry make the flight instead of Paris. I guess Tom has a minor medical condition that makes defying physics slightly dangerous for him. Either that or they simply realise that Harry is better at dying than the rest of the crew. Paris is incensed. Per the backstory we explored a little bit in “Caretaker,” and more recently, “Non Sequitur,” he feels that after a childhood full a promise and a young adulthood full of disappointment, this flight offers him the opportunity to redeem himself to a degree. Janeway thinks personal redemption is a piss poor reason to risk his life. PARIS: Captain, this is the first time in ten years I feel I have a life to risk. This is a fine sentiment, but the change of heart is WAY too easy for Janeway who, after 20 seconds of conversation is wishing him luck. I don't think so. What follows is a very dramatic (or dramatic-lite) launch of the shuttle and initiation of the magic engines. After a few seconds of being at ludicrous speed, his signal is lost, surprising the bridge crew for some reason. Well. This was a little reckless, no? Maybe we should have stopped at warp 9.9995? Gotten home in like 2 weeks or whatever instead of trying to break spacetime? Act 2 : *.5, 17% Since they can't scan the entire universe, Janeway orders a “multi-spectral” sweep. Maybe they angered the space unicorns. But after a few seconds, the shuttle re-appears and an unconscious Paris is sent to the sickbay. This gives us another couple of patented Robert Picardo moments, which are always worth the price of admission. Paris describes his latest acid trip, I mean the “flight,” which enabled him to see and be everywhere at once. Or something. Apparently, once Paris shut the engines down—which he could somehow do despite being everywhere at once—the shuttle went right back to where it crossed the threshold. Ah well. Again, I'm not trying to be an apologist here. The whole business with the shuttle flight is dumb as hell, but the character stuff is...not bad. The EMH is funny, Paris shows a genuine sense of wonder about his experience. I think back to “Cathexis,” and, while the premise was just as absurd and pointless, the character work was nearly non-existent. This is a lot less painful. Anyway, Janeway and Torres discuss the implications of their breakthrough. TORRES: It's just a matter of navigation. If we could figure out how to come out of transwarp at a specific point, this could get us home. JANEWAY: It could do more than that. It could change the very nature of our existence. Think of it. There would be nothing beyond our reach. Oh, cool. Kind of a short-lived series, but this tech is going to be really useful back in the AQ. Jonas is hanging out in the background again, eavesdropping so he can let Seska know she had better turn herself in to Janeway before they go back home tomorrow. We jump to the mess hall where patented genius Neelix has concocted a new coffee blend in Paris' honour. Ah, but the beverage doesn't sit too well with him as he starts gurgling and wincing, and eventually collapses. I hate Mondays. Act 3 : **, 17% The EMH does his scans and discovers that Paris' biochemistry is changing rapidly, causing an allergy to water, and inability to breathe oxygen, and lots of sweating and engorged veins. Kes is brought in to frantically push buttons while the EMH tries to keep Tom from dying. While the medical staff jargon at one another, Paris has a bit of a Mrs Maisel-style breakdown, lamenting the sorry state of his life as he prepares to leave it behind. PARIS: Big funeral with lots of pretty girls all crying. Except Torres. Torres doesn't cry. Did you ever notice that? I don't trust people who don't cry. Of course, my father, he'd say crying is a sign of weakness. I never believed that. Do you cry? EMH: It's not in my programme. PARIS: Shame. You know, it's funny. What I remember most about being a kid are the times I spent in my room crying. I liked my room, though. It was quiet in there. People would leave me alone. I'd keep the door locked, read, play games. I lost my virginity in that room. Seventeen. Parents were away for the weekend. EMH: I'll note that in your medical file. This adequately ties into the material from Act 1. Tom's reputation as a hound and criminal are the result of his acting out. He feels the need to impress people with his piloting and his womanising because, as we saw briefly in “Persistence of Vision,” his father never saw fit to validate Tom's feelings. None of this is riveting in the least, but MacNeal does a good job of making it feel sincere, and Picardo is utilised for his particular skill in carrying the comedy. At one point, Tom begs Kes to kiss him (not before we get a #nohomo joke in of course), and then, just like that, he's Tasha Yar-ed. That night, the Doctor is in his office—it's “nighttime” so the lights are off of course. He hears a crinkling sound and it looks like Tom was only mostly dead or whatever as he is happily scratching away at his body-bag. Awkward. Act 4 : .5 stars, 17% We get our standard-issue Michael Jonas insert as he contacts his Kazon handler to inform him about the breakthrough. For some reason, he seems to think that sharing this information will entitle him to speak to Seska. forced. Whatever. The EMH explains to Janeway about how Tom's DNA is rewriting his body into the lovely mutant thing on his biobed. You know. Science. EMH: The mutations are unlike anything in Starfleet medical records. I'm guessing Beverly had the incidents of “Genesis” purged from the record for revealing how terrible she was at her job in that episode. Anyway, the Doctor warns Janeway that Paris' behaviour is rather unpredictable at the moment. Her exchange with Paris is...interesting. The makeup is really impressive at making him look completely disgusting and there are moments that touch on the character material that sort of work but...what the actual hell is Janeway trying to accomplish right now? “Hmm. Lt Paris is turing into a monster and we can't stop it. He was briefly dead and has become somewhat deranged. You know what should help? Fucking with his head for no reason!” This stochastic scene culminates with Tom pulling his own tongue out of his mouth. Voyager definitely has the body horror down. So then, we cut to “later” and Tom is huddled on the floor trying to explain the nature of the universe and the Great Pumpkin—with no tongue. I have a hard time believing this wasn't conceived intentionally to be hilarious. LISHEN TO ME! PLEEESHHH! So then we cut to the briefing room where the Doctor, over the comm, reports to Janeway and co. about a treatment he's devised. Ah, drama. So, they're going to irradiate Paris with the warp core or whatever. At least we can get out of the god damned sickbay for a moment. Well, you've done it now guys. I guess Tom has super powers, because he breaks out of his restraint and incapacitates the entire engineering staff. I guess—we just see phaser beams hit the EMH's monitor and hear Tuvok call a security alert. Act 5 : .5 stars, 17% Mutant Tom has also shut down the internal sensors or whatever. I don't know why as it was already established his magic DNA was impervious to them. But it's okay, Janeway finds him, or rather he assaults her and drags her to their magical shuttlecraft. He rests her head directly on the warp 10 gizmos. That's probably healthy. He has no trouble stealing the shuttle and engaging the transwarp. My favourite in all this has to be Chakotay, whose “WHAT?!!??” belies an attempt from Beltran to take this bullshit seriously. More comedy! So, it took three days to find the shuttle, and...huh? Doesn't the transwarp bring you right back to where you started when you turn it off? Did Tom's magic brain give him the ability to navigate the drive properly or something. Before they beam down to retrieve the pair, the EMH drops the bombshell, that Tom is “evolving” due to his acid trip. I don't need to repeat all of the idiocy in this scene. It's completely insane, makes the “science” in the first acts seem plausible by comparison and for good measure, reveals that the Doctor can undo the changes without a problem. Just needs a stronger dosage. Sure. then Chakotay and co. beam down and discover Paris and Janeway, who have “evolved” into catfish-newt-gekko things, AND given birth to CGI babies, who merrily swim away. Yeah. Tuvok's one-liners certainly help with brazenness of this crap, but there can be no debate—this is truly the apex of stupid. There's a coda where Janeway and Paris muse about their forced-evolution mating and make no mention of trying to use the transwarp again. The scrip even makes the mistake of having Paris list the ludicrous sequence of events for us in case we forgot. We get a rather clichéd conclusion to Paris' little character arc that I can't bring myself to repeat. It's over. Episode as Functionary : .5 stars, 10% Let's be perfectly clear: Braga threw a lot of crap into this script without thinking it through, which accounts for 90% of the WTF “science” for which this episode is infamous. It's bad. Really bad. But it's not the worst thing Trek or Voyager has or had produced. There are some decent character moments early on, some memorable comedy, intentional or otherwise, and a good performance from MacNeal, who hasn't been featured much this season. While the arc for Paris isn't all that great, it does fit in with what has come before and certainly doesn't detract from the character. Ignoring the context, it works alright. I don't know...part of me actually respects the ending to this episode, which doubles down on its own absurdities. It's like...there was no way to end such an implausible mess with the Apollo-13 stuff and the Seska subplot and the Neelix is a genius and the tongueless monologue...and yet, they managed to close with something so outlandish that it actually feels like a climax, somehow. I was entertained. Final Score : *

Janeway's rapid change of heart could be because a chance encounter with the Orb Of Time told her what was coming and she finds Kim is a bit young for her to mate with.

@Elliott- Honestly, I think there are definitely worse episodes than "Threshold". Though its ending certainly sinks it into the bottom tier of Voyager, it doesn't do any lasting damage to the series, unlike "Investigations" later this season. It's just a really dull hour of television with a laughably atrocious ending. I certainly don't hate it as much as "Endgame".

Didn't this episode prove transwarp was worthless? Everytime it was used, they ended up pretty much back where they started.

Sleeper Agent

4 things that were quite enjoyable in this episode. -"I don't know how I'm going to enter this into the log." "I look forward to reading it." "Can you wake him? " " Of course. WAKE UP, LIEUTENANT! " "Here lies Thomas Eugene Paris, beloved mutant... Beloved radioactive mutant. " "... Neelix's coffee." " It's a wonder he's survived. "

Richard Splett rates this episode as tied for the third best of the season, lol:

I always assumed that ships travelling at warp were still propelling themselves conventionally *within warp* so warp 10 would be like achieving light speed within a warp field. That is kind of what I think they were going for in this episode since if you actually reached true light speed in or out of warp you could basically go anywhere in the universe in an arbitrarily short period of time (from your own point of view) even if eons passed for those not in your ship. Kind of sort of like being everywhere at once? On second thought, no actually not. God this was a stupid episode.

@ Jason R., Not to belabor a point you've already abandoned, but matter traveling at light speed in 'real space' would get places only as far as the speed of light permits, therefore in that inertial frame no advantage at all. From observing inertial frames those at light speed would indeed be seen at a different rate. In fact if I'm not mistaken the time dilatation becomes infinite for those in a light-speed gravity well (like a black hole's event horizon), which is the same for those accelerating to the speed of light. There is no "infinite magic" except in the plagued dreams of the writers.

OK so I’m clearly in a tiny tiny minority, but I just watched this episode and yeah, it’s not great and it’s full of technobabble nonsense, but it’s amusing and presents interesting ideas and certainly held my attention, unlike the episode immediately following, “Meld,” which I’m finding unutterably boring. At least “Threshold” wasn’t boring.

@Evan I must agree that Threshold is not boring, a condition that many an ST ep does suffer from. For me, the ep starts out fine, descends slowly into the average category as Tom starts to fall apart, but then . . . but then, the pooch is completely, astoundingly screwed by the horrible ending. It is an ending so unmatched in the history of bad ST endings, that it will live in my brain a long as a neuron still fires there.

Wouldn’t they have at least genetically sampled the troutfish? The EMH never gave up a chance for gene manipulation, you’d think he’d be all over this.

What? There's no episode called "Threshold"

This episode points out a problem with rankings. Personally I would only give zero stars to something unwatchable. Something so boring it’s torture to sit through. This episode had a bad story but still had some entertainment. Even if it’s laughing at how bad parts of it are that still makes it watchable. And besides that I think the first half was actually quite good. It dealt with Paris personal struggles and reminded me of the ds9 episode where Sisko and Jake go “sailing” to prove that the ancients didn’t need high tech to get to new parts of the galaxy. But then the second half of the episode started and Paris turned into a cartoon frog. And had tadpoles with Janeway. Yeah the ball was dropped. I’d give this episode 1.5

Sarjenka's Brother

Worse episode? Not for me. In fact, I rather liked it until Tom knocked out Janeway and took her with him on the shuttle. It went downhill fast from there, I must admit. I think the most appalling part of the episode was the lighthearted way they treated the fact that they mated, had offspring and left them on the planet. The ick factor on that -- along with the cavalier attitude they took over it -- is what really sunk this thing. It could have been so much better if this had been a more straightforward storyline -- Torres, Kim and Paris all vie for the chance to pilot the shuttle on the first transwarp test. Janeway eventually goes with Paris -- AND Kim. Torres too valuable in engineering. Now we get a buddy adventure. Instead of the bizarre DNA progression into salamanders thing, it just become a navigation gone very wrong thing plus a cellular decomposition thing. And you can send Paris and Kim ANYWHERE where they have to quickly figure out a way to get back FAST before their cellular structure starts to break down. All kinds of options: -- To the Gamma Quadrant, deep in Dominion space. (By this time on DS9, the Dominion storyline line was kicking in). That could have been a fun tie-in -- To another galaxy entirely. Maybe they even find "nice" and advanced alien species to help them back before it's too late. -- They could have been thrown outside the galactic barrier and encountered the whale probe. Or the Doomsday Machine. -- They could have had the Kacinski/Traveler experience. -- They could have ended up in the Mirror Universe. -- Gosh, they could have ended up in any number of hostile environments: Tholian, Gorn, Romulan, or something entirely new. Anyway, they barely make it back with bad news: Transwarp navigation is a different animal and needs to be figured out -- and it's hell on biological matter. AND if they land in the Gamma Quadrant (my favorite scenario), they can come back with the news the Federation is in some serious trouble.

This is the episode that turned me off to Voyager as a series, back in the day. I remember thinking when it first aired just how bad it was. I didn't stop watching the show entirely, but I had lost any enthusiasm I may have had and it was no longer something I made the time to watch every week, and it wasn't long before I had in fact given up on Voyager. This was the show-killing episode for me. Re-watching over the weekend as part of a start to finish re-watch of Voyager, "Threshold" has not improved. I talked it up a bit to my kids as "the worst episode ever" so they were interested, but in the end much of it lacks the entertainment value even to make the "so bad it's good" category. There are episodes that I've re-evaluated and found that I enjoy quite a bit, but not this one. Even the small character moments that can partially salvage otherwise poor episodes like "Twisted" do not really work for "Threshold". I do think the first half of the episode sets up a great premise. The idea that warp ten is "infinite speed" and Tom Paris is the first human to break this barrier is a compelling idea, worth further exploration. Now Star Trek cannot turn the protagonists into Q, able to go anywhere in the Universe instantly. It's obvious Voyager has to fail to harness this power, but perhaps something like TNG's "Where No One Has Gone Before" would have been a good direction to take the episode. But that's not what we get. The episode takes this inexplicable left turn towards body horror and mutation as Tom Paris "evolves" through a series of bizarre physical mutations, ultimately turning into a newt and kidnapping and having baby newts with Janeway, before both are miraculously restored to their previous physical state. The transformation is unpleasant to watch and impossible to believe, and a waste of an interesting setup and premise. Robert McNeill gives the performance his all, but it's good acting wasted in a schizophrenic storyline. I don't know what order these episodes were written and produced in, but watching Tom rant at Janeway from behind the forcefield is exactly like watching Tuvok rant at Janeway from behind the same forcefield in the very next episode. How did we get two such similar scenes in consecutive episodes? Probably the same way we got two "B'Elanna has to correct her own engineering mistake" episodes so close together. I can see why I found season two of Voyager so uncompelling on first viewing. There is a definite sense that the writers are struggling to create compelling stories from scratch without the crutch of the familiar Federation backdrop to draw from. Threshold: nice setup, sound premise, but it's all wasted by the frankly bizarre second half of the episode that strains credibility well beyond the breaking point. The passage of time, good character moments and the knowledge that better episodes are ahead has made me look more kindly on other episodes that I formerly disliked, but sadly there's no saving "Threshold".

@Andersonh1 Great comment! I don't think I will show this one to my kids when they're old enough. :-) "There is a definite sense that the writers are struggling to create compelling stories from scratch without the crutch of the familiar Federation backdrop to draw from." That's what always confused me about Voyager. It's one thing to have a frontier setting like DS9, but having a show so removed from the Trek universe we know seems like a nutty idea. For such a premise to work, they would need to have extremely competent storytelling, to the extent that the viewers fall in love with a brand new galaxy with completely different alien races. It just didn't pan out that way though (perhaps because many of the writers left), and I think this show ironically gets better the more they deal with matters in the Alpha Quadrant.

This episode wasn't THAT bad. The concept of breaking the Warp 10 barrier was cool as was the concept of occupying all points in space at once. What hurt the episode were the middle acts where the focus is on Tom suffering from his transformation. It's too simplistic and also seemed like a horror cliche. Had the transformation to a lizard man happened much faster, it would have been a much better episode. We don't need to see Tom spit out his tongue... The show missed a big opportunity not to keep Tom/Janeway's lizard kids on board. They could have been pets and the source of many interesting future stories. TNG had spot...Voyager could have had lizard kids.

wow LOL that was sure something else!! Even seeing the zero star rating didn't quite prepare me for this one! Was expecting something like Profit and Lace bad, although this was at least surprising!! I am kind of noticing that a lot of Voyager when its bad, it seems like they often start from a good, if slightly generic premise, Tom breaks the warp barrier and becomes a super creature (something right out of TOS premier), but then they take a bunch of left turns just out of..... sheer boredom? Trying to be "different" form other Trek but not having any clear idea as to how or why they want to be different? Or just sheer incompetence??? Theres a kernel of an idea here about Tom dealing with his daddy issues. I wish they stuck with that! Maybe they felt boxed in since if this was TOS then his dad would have showed up at the beggining of the ep and added to the arc of the story. But being stuck outside of Federation space they can't guest star easily. They could have gone the flashback route like they successfully did with Chakotay a few eps back, but maybe they felt that would have become rote? I guess they didnt' have Lost to rip off of yet. Anyway. Yeah. Thats quite a left turn for the end. I also love how Captain Janeway spends almost every episode fretting about the Prime Directive to the point of absolute insanity and in this ep with the future-human-salamnder-children run off into the river Tukov just shrugs his shoulders and is like.. eh whatever.

Tuvok's Brain

There are many holes in this one, but I did find it kept you entertained and didn't think it merited zero stars. Many of commented that it was a riff on The Fly and that aspect worked OK for me.

Watching this now, I give it two stars for making me laugh, knock off half a star for abandoning the salamander babies!

I recently watched this back to back with “Where No Man Has Gone” from TOS. Threshold definitely seemed to me like a troll take on that particular episode. I appreciated (maybe even enjoyed?) Threshold’s absurdity more because of how fresh the TOS episode was in my mind.

Shawn Davis

This is the worst episode in the history of Star Trek let alone Star Trek Voyager. And I loved every bit of it. It’s similar to watching some of Ed Woods movies. It’s so bad that it’s funny. Lol 😂


Star Trek Voyager, What you have just said is the most insanely idiotic thing I have ever heard. At no time during your rambling, incoherent episode did you even come close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone who saw this episode is now dumber for having watched it. I award you no points, And may God have mercy on your soul.

I generally hate Adam Sandler movies, but I love this quote.

I agree with Ruth that this should have been a dream. This is quite possibly the only episode in the history of television about which one can say ‘it actually would have worked much better if it were all a dream’. Anyway, I think the Daddy Issues thing is also key here, maybe fear of being an inadequate dad himself, so if the writers really really had to have Paris turn into a salamander and mate with Janeway, at least lean into the surreal and kick it up a notch at the end and make the end a dream. Something like this. Voyager leaves the planet. But the camera stays on the planet. After some time fades we hear voices and a bunch of people come back to where the salamander family is. It’s Chakotay, Kim and Torres, with two kids that are obviously theirs in tow and Admiral Paris for some reason. Chakotay is busy praising the Admiral, staying he should have known Tom was wasting his time, and it was a good thing StarFleet was busy inventing MegaWarp that they could use to come find them. ‘We should have never listened to Tom’, he says, and Admiral Paris says ‘I’m afraid the Paris name may have given you too high of hopes for him. But sadly, I have to own up to my one failure in life, having a son like Tom. It seems the only thing he can do is disappoint people.’ At this point, Torres pulls out some device and says “okay, time to active the transmogrifier!” and pushes a button, and then Janeway and the two kids turn back into humans. Janeway rushes into Chakotay’s arms. “Children, I’d like you to meet your new father, Chakotay! He’ll be a better dad for you in every way than Tom Paris ever could.” “Yay!” the children cheer and appear quite happy with this. Admiral Paris smiles at Janeway and the kids. “Between you and Chakotay, maybe these kids will have the chance to be StarFleet material afterall.” Only Harry Kim looks a little perturbed. “Wait a minute, why isn’t Tom changing back?” Torres grimaces. “I’m sorry Harry, but this device can only work on people who were evolved enough to be human in the first place. I’m afraid Tom was always too devolved for this device to be able to help him.” Admiral Paris puts his hand on Harry’s shoulder. “I know you had a soft spot for him Harry, but the truth was, my son was never on the same level as the rest of us. His life was always an embarrassing mess. Trust me, he’ll be much happier as a lizard. It’s the one thing he might be good at!” The three men plus Janeway all share a laugh. “If you’re really his friend Harry,” Chakotay says, “You’ll let him go peacefully, to live out the rest of his life, alone on this planet, eating bugs, with no one else to disappoint.” “You’re probably right,” Harry sighs. “Now who wants to go back to the alpha quadrant and get some ice cream!” Janeway says to the kids, who all raise their hand. Everyone smiles and laughs and walks away from the salamander. Then the shot abruptly cuts to Tom jolting awake in bed, sweating. Then we cut to a scene of him eating in the mess hall with Harry, who says to him seriously “okay, but you better never tell the Captain or Lt. Torres about that.” “Never tell me what?” says Torres, who is approaching the table from behind Kim with a tray. “It’s just a dream he had…a really weird one.” Kim says, looking flustered. “Okay, you’re probably right, the captain should never know, but I think Harry’s talking about the part where I dreamed you and he were married and had kids, which isn’t that bad.” “….that’s weird but not offensive,” Torres says as she sits down. “Yeah, but he also dreamed he turned into some kind of lizard, and then he kidnapped the captain, and turned her into a lizard, and took her to a planet, where they had lizard babies together,” Kim says. “It was a salamander Harry, not a lizard.” Tom replies, somewhat acerbically, but he’s not seriously put out. “Whatever, it just sounds creepy, like the kind of thing that would creep out any woman, or person…if they heard someone dreamed that about them.” “Yeah, I agree with Harry, Tom. Neelix’s cooking can bring on some pretty weird dreams, but no one wants to hear about how you kidnapped and impregnated them in your dreams.” Torres says. “Look, I’m not responsible for the contents of my dreams, okay?” Tom says defensively. “I swear I’m not harboring any kind of latent attraction to her, and I don’t actually remember any salamander sex, or even how I turned her into a salamander, she just kind of did, and then the babies showed up for some reason? I don’t know. That whole part was just a detail though, most of this was a Daddy Issues special, where I was trying to break the warp 10 barrier threshold so I could get us all home and impress him, and somehow I managed to warp 13, but then I was everywhere in the universe at once, and for a moment I knew everything, but then I became allergic to water and my tongue fell out, and I started to turn into some kind of giant salamander for some reason, there was a lot of body horror. And then at the end of it all, when I’m on the planet with the captain and the salamander babies, my dad shows up with the rest of you because StarFleet invented Megawarp to retrieve Voyager, and he sat around smack talking me, and you,” he points to Torres “made a device to turn the others back but it didn’t work on me because I wasn’t evolved enough, so then you all left me behind to go to the alpha quadrant and eat ice cream.” Torres snorts. “To eat ice cream?” “Look I already said I’m not responsible for the contents of my dreams.” THE END And that would somehow be less worse than what actually happened.

Because of Jammer's site, the travesty that is "Threshold" assumed epic proportions in my mind long before I reached it in my round of viewing. As a few have noted, it started out acceptibly, even maybe good. Here's what I think happened: the 'ungainly prosthesis syndicate' had damaging photos of the writing staff and the latter were compelled to find a place in the script for no less than 95 kg. of readi-mix latex rubbish to be used to mercilessly wreck Paris' appearance. I also suspect that the cadet branch of the 'glass-eye bootleggers union' were in on the scheme. Once the make-up department took over, the tongue fell out of the episode and the remaining minutes were just a waste. George Monet (nov 3, 2017) foynd the perfect description of the final result: "puerile". FX-artistry so-called, will never, I repeat never, make up for some decent writing. Latex and silicone moulage has been the un-doing of many worthy sci-fi projects through the years.

Michael Miller

They went Warp 14 in that episode of the original srs where Scott was crawling in that Jeffery tube trying to stabilize the magnetic flow. They went 13 in the last next generation episode on dr crushers ship. Nomad robot increased the engine efficiency to warp 11 in the changeling. In the Mudd episode They were going warp 10 in a what is this BS that they can't cross Warp 10? And if Warp 10 is infinite how could they have any warp speeds higher in the first place? Episode started interesting, ended very stupid LOL

Oh and weren't those energy bolts Nomad was firing at them going warp 15 by themselves? What a nonsense episode this was, and since when are shuttlecrafts more powerful and faster than a starship?

@Michael in TOS the warp system did not have any kind of upper limit so they could go Warp 10 or 15 and it didn't mean much except "really fast". By contrast, by TNG it's clear that Warp 10 is unattainable, that it's sone kind of upper speed limit of the universe - so it's all warp 9.7, warp 9.9, warp 9.95. But then in All Good Things they are claiming to go Warp 13 again. The best explanation is that the system for describing warp speed changed between TOS and TNG and then again in the alternate future timeline. My head canon is that Warp 10 is like reaching the speed of light (which is physically impossible according to Einsteinuan physics) *while at warp*.

If I'm not mistaken, the Warp 10 = infinite speed thing was introduced in The Star Trek TNG Technical Manual in 1991: See the footnote on page 55.

Jeffrey Jakucyk

I just like to think that if they actually achieved warp 10 (not that they could accelerate to that speed, which is impossible, they either do it or don't), then since the shuttle by definition occupies every point in the universe at the same time, it would necessarily destroy the entire universe as well. Maybe if the shuttle became the equivalent of a bag of neutrinos it could pass through all matter in the galaxy without interacting with it. But even neutrinos bounce off matter from time to time, and if you travel at infinite speed and occupy everywhere at the same time, then there would be an infinite number of those interactions as well. Boom.

You would have thought at very least it would destroy the shuttle. The shuttle is flying into every wall in the universe at very high speeds.

One thing this review seems to miss is that Paris's ramblings foreshadow the fact that their final trip at warp 10 loops their evolution so far forward that they end up de-evolved. That's why they're primitive amphibians and not super-beings.

This would be at least a 3-star episode if it were Discovery. Mushroom drive takes the cake on absurdity.

Wouldn't the prospect of being "everywhere at once" mean that the shuttlecraft was at the singularity of a black hole, inside the core of stars, in that radioactive nebula..etc so Wouldn't it be destroyed. And how would Tom be able to make out any individual images if everything in the universe was jumbled into the shuttlecraft? And what are the odds that he would end up right back where he started after disengaging the engines? And Wouldn't "where he started" be where he hit warp 10 and not where he started at ordinary warp speeds next to the ship? And even if they couldn't get to warp 10, since the warp scale is exponential, warp 9.999 is much faster than warp 9.975, so if they really floored it they could still get home in a few weeks instead of 75+ years. In my opinion the thirty days episode is still worse than this one in terms of stupidity.

@ Michael Miller, "Wouldn't the prospect of being "everywhere at once" mean that the shuttlecraft was at the singularity of a black hole, inside the core of stars, in that radioactive nebula..etc so Wouldn't it be destroyed." Hahaha, it's not just a plot hole, it renders the entire story so insanely stupid that I can't even imagine writing a Trek story that is more ludicrous. The writing is so wrong on so many levels that it's nigh impossible to begin at any one issue to deconstruct it.

The fact that Janeway had to look like a Lizard to be attractive to horny Tom boy was the most laughable aspect to me. I'm glad to see that I wasn't the crazy one when I first watched this and was like "that made no sense unlike every voyager episode". At least Tom broke the history books 3 times over, going infinite speed, turning into a Lizard, and mating with a star fleet captain and having kids on a planet 60,000 light years away, yep galactic record books. The icing on the cake would have been if the doctor reverse-salermanderized their offspring and made them crew members.

Yes, Harry's choice of women are borg, holograms, dead people, the wrong twin, but Tom's preferences are a Lizard (this episode), half- Kling-on, a shuttlecraft, and a backward time traveling Kes, so who is he to really judge LOL

Zero stars? This is four stars! It's insane beyond insane, and what makes it great is how insanely serious the whole thing takes itself. Tom spits out his tongue then tries to explain how the future is the past, etc.

Tequila Gunner

Yeah, I agree with Silly above, though maybe not to the same extent. This is not nearly as bad as people say it is. It's still pretty bad and I'm not surprised that people generally hate it, but there are so many more Voyager episodes that are just frightfully boring and forgettable, and this definitely isn't either of those things. It's probably not even in my bottom 10. Tom turning into a lizardman and freaking out is fun to watch, as is the beginning where everyone reiterates again and again how Warp 10 is impossible, only for Tom to reach it like 15 minutes later. Finally, there is the masterstroke that is Tom and Janeway's Elopement. Massive balls on the writer to think Tom having lizard children with the captain is something that could be laughed off (which literally happens in the last scene.) Janeway cracks some jokes about always having wanted children, and then says "I'M PUTTING YOU IN FOR A COMMENDATION." This could not be a more awkward situation. Imagine your boss telling you "Thanks for putting three babies in me yesterday, totally WACKY adventure but seriously, I'm deeply proud of you." Tom then does a title drop, which is unbelievably gratuitous. "Breaking the threshold... It was incredible." Yeah. People come back from some pretty serious medical conditions on the regular in Star Trek, but morphing and unmorphing from a creature of a totally different size and shape has got to leave you with some pretty nasty phantom pain or something. Nog's complaints about his leg should pale in comparison to Tom missing his tail, and the rest of his lizardy body. He even says he remembers (some of) it, so they don't even do the obvious reset button thing were the Doctor could say "you won't remember any of the events, fortunately." Does he remember his tongue falling out? I'm pretty sure I would vomit just from recalling that sensation. I also love when Tuvok and Chakotay beam down to the planet to find Tom and Janeway. They beam down right next to them despite seemingly being unaware of what exactly they are looking for. When the lizards notice them, they start loudly croaking and gesticulating, and Chakotay wordlessly blasts them with a phaser. Only after does he walk up and confirm "yeah it's them." It's so awkwardly blocked and comes off as straight up comedy. Also, close to no reaction to the baby revelation. There's also the scene where the traitorous crewman transfers the warp 10 data to the Kazon for no appreciable reason. He says it will prove his loyalty, which makes no sense at all. Does he expect him to review this esoteric data and go, yeah, this looks legitimate? He also already knows that the trip has taken a heavy toll on Tom's body, so if the Kazon decided to try it themselves they'd accuse him of sabotage. Either way it's completely irrelevant to the Kazon and their designs on Voyager. I like to think the data got passed around to other Kazon anyway and there's a whole sect of lizardkazon left in Voyager's wake. All in all, very enjoyable episode. Very stupid episode, as well. Unfortunately most of the enjoyment comes from thinking about the myriad implications that could come from the stupid elements, but you can tell by the end of the episode that it will never be spoken of again. Definitely on par with Genesis from TNG, which is another dumb episode that's pretty great. That one also has something like a weird sexual encounter between main cast members who have turned into strange creatures. I think Braga has a fetish.

Andrew Lloyd

Wow! "Zero" stars? That is a bit over the top. Star Trek plays fast and loose with science all the time. It seems arbitrary to pick this episode for a thorough nit-picking re: Warp 10 and genetics. This wasn't a great episode, probably not even a good one. But the derision it gets here requires a better explanation than "really bad science." Is it a reaction to tom Paris? I dunno... I've noticed that I am in agreement with most of your reviews but tend to differ on your more extreme reviews (the 4 star and 1/zero-star reviews). For example, I find the Projections episode dull, pointless, and unnecessarily convoluted and would only give it 1 star. I would give this episode 2 stars but could understand a 1-star review.

@Andrew Lloyd IMO, this episode is bad because it solves the central premise of the series, that they cannot get home, posits a second problem to prevent it being viable, but then solve that problem to wrap up the episode's plot, thereby solving the series' central premise. Why DON'T they just warp 10 to Earth, leave the immune holographic doctor who can cure evolution of all things turned on so he can cure enough people to start rounding up the rest of the crew to cure them and bang-boom, series over. That the episode ALSO contains outlandish science and contrived coincedences that had the narrative not been so poorly concieved, may have gotten more of a pass, just make it all seem worse in retrospect.

They also had two of the main cast getting into a sexual relationship. That's like a desperate last season soapy AWKWARD episode. Let's not even talk about Janris/Pariway (powercouple name options) leaving their horrifying slug offspring on an alien planet, potentially seriously impacting the fauna there. FY Prime Directive. This episode is really wrong in any sense of the word.

And here is what Braga had to say: Brannon Braga said, "It's a terrible episode. People are very unforgiving about that episode. I've written well over a hundred episodes of Star Trek, yet it seems to be the only episode anyone brings up, you know? 'Brannon Braga, who wrote 'Threshold'!' Out of a hundred and some episodes, you're gonna have some stinkers! Unfortunately, that was a royal, steaming stinker." :D

My headcanon says this episode was the feverish dream of a sex-deprived Cardassian vole that had stowed away aboard the ship and which, the night before, had drunk some of Nelix's "better-than-coffee" sludge.

Aside from all the crocodile offspring lunacy and devolving from going at hyperwarp speed, the whole warp 10 theme was also pure lunacy in itself. Since when do shuttlecrafts go just as fast or faster than a galaxy class starship! And yeah, of all the possible points in the Universe, of course the shuttle just ends up back where it started after turning the engines off...RIGHT. Why should it even re-enter our universe at all. And again when Janeway came along for the ride the 2nd time around, they once again only end up 3 days away and not in the Andromeda Galaxy or any of the trillions of quadrillions of billions of cubic light years anywhere in between. They always bitch about the strain on Galaxy Class SHIP engines of suddenly reversing from warp 9 or whatever, yet a tiny shuttlecraft can cut power at transuniversal infinite warp speed or whatever and come back perfectly fine (and of course to exactly where it started out of pure chance) RIGHT.

And yet… here I am watching it for (probably) the fourth time.

Andrew Eastman

What do we clothe ourselves with? And to what end? I understand this episode did win an award for make up, which would be part of the efforts that showed the transformation of Paris to a reptile/amphibian like creature. As Tequila Gunner said a “strange creature.” The Doctor in the episode in the Doctor Who episode Ghost Light said to an “unbeliever” in evolution- DOCTOR: Why don't you just read Darwin... Darwin made some comments about whether living creatures, including humans, are designed or not: “On the one hand it grates against one’s common sense to look at the world with all its inhabitants especially man as originating without express design. On the other hand I cannot believe that any one structure is expressly designed, in the common meaning of the word.” Darwin did correspond with a minister and biologist in America, Asa Gray, (a Fisher Professor of natural history at Harvard University in the USA) who had written back to Darwin (commenting on a French lady’s commentary on the Origin) that we may admire collision and destruction as a means to a new, improved result of being... “there is design in nature or there is not. The no-design view, if one can bring himself to entertain it may well enough lead to all she says, and we may very much admire how collision, and destruction of least favoured brings about apparently orderly results ... " Such destruction through collision that brings, as Darwin wrote, brought the “the consequent extinction of the less-favoured forms”. In other words: “Death to the less, is what is best for the rest.” How that is good, is the supremacist’s guess. In the Picard episode Et in Arcadia Ego Part 1, extinction of one species is linked to the evolution of another: ADMONITION: Your evolution will be their extinction. In the Star Trek episode The Enemy Within, Spock commented to McCoy that he believed the “negative side” of a person makes them a strong leader, that is, having a power of command over others. This negative side of Kirk was portrayed as very destructive towards others in the episode. SPOCK: Yes, and what is it that makes one man an exceptional leader? Jesus did not advocate for exercising power and influence over others for one’s own base, selfish desires. Jesus spoke against those using power to “lord it over” others. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave of everyone else.” Jesus Himself lived by this: “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.” The needs of the many, the common good. Jesus died for the sins of the many, our common good. The theme of the apparent “order of Creation” and the “no design” view, and time, is raised in Doctor Who episodes, ironically seen as chaotic in one episode- Time and the Rani: DOCTOR: A time manipulator. You're going to change this planet into a time manipulator. RANI: A cerebral mass capable of dominating and controlling time anywhere in the cosmos. DOCTOR: I don't believe it. A time manip. This monstrosity will give you the ability to change the order of creation. RANI: Creation's chaotic. I shall introduce order. Wherever evolution has taken the wrong route, I shall redirect it. Rani said “creation” is chaotic, and in effect needed correction, through the introduction of order. Doctor Who here actually states creation has order. This theme of creating a new order was in the episode Ghost Light, which looked at evolution as a means to an ends, where the character Josiah wanted to assassinate a rival. But the Doctor, who says, “that’s life” to evolution, sees the folly of it: JOSIAH: I can provide a new order. Wealth, prosperity. DOCTOR: Confusion, wastage, tyranny, burnt toast, till all the atlas is pink. This theme of bloodshed, contrasting the way, or creed of love, is picked up in the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson (who was Poet Laureate in AD 1850), call In Memorium A.H.H.: “Who trusted God was love indeed And love Creation's final law Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw With ravine, shriek'd against his creed” A new order can be made by those in authority giving orders, who have the power to make things happen. DORIS: Back in your soldier days you just had to give an order and stand back. BRIGADIER: Of course. (Battlefield, (Doctor Who episode) © BBC, written by Ben Aaronovitch, starring Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor, Sophie Aldred as Ace, Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, first aired 6th September, AD 1989) Jesus showed his power and authority to give order, by issuing orders, to the seemingly chaotic power of sickness, pain and death. When a centurion, Roman officer’s servant was in pain and laying paralysed, the centurion went to Jesus to get help. Jesus said he would come and heal the servant, but the centurion responded: “Lord, I am not worthy to have You come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, “Go,” and they go, or “Come,” and they come. And if I say to my slaves, “Do this,” they do it.... Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.” Jesus introduced order. His method was not collision and destruction. Although His actions and words did collide with many of the established leaders of the day ideas of who the Messiah would be, and who Jesus presented Himself as. According to Darwin, we should admire the natural ordering of living things through “collision and destruction”, as it (the process of collision and destruction, which includes killing others, “till all the atlas is pink” – a reference to blood being shed across the whole world) is a life maker- that is, brings about “orderly results”, including he would say, of us humans. DOCTOR: Is it really? How time passes. So what are you doing here? TANCREDI: Surviving. The prime motive of all species. We were not all destroyed. In the episode called Prototype from Star Trek:Voyager season 2, Captain Janeway comments to Torres about the end result for some who “do not survive” who she says were designed: TORRES: To correct a flaw. JANEWAY: You can't call it a flaw. This is the way they were designed. TORRES: I'm trying to save them from extinction. JANEWAY: Unfortunately extinction is often the natural end of evolution. Even though Janeway was talking about robots, she used the idea of survival being part and parcel of and also the extinction of a species, the end result of evolution. Extermination and destruction leading to extinction, are intrinsic of what Darwin deemed necessary for new creatures: “each new variety, and ultimately each new species, is produced and maintained by having some advantage over those with which it comes into competition; and the consequent extinction of the less-favoured forms almost inevitably follows......Hence the improved and modified descendants of a species will generally cause the extermination of the parent-species; and if many new forms have been developed from any one species, the nearest allies of that species, i.e. the species of the same genus, will be the most liable to extermination.” The idea of extinction, through so called breeding diluting the genetic heritage, is brought up in Star Trek:Eneterprise episode Terra Prime : T'POL: She's not a threat. PAXTON: That child is a cross-breed freak. How many generations before our genome is so diluted that the word human is nothing more than a footnote in some medical text? The same thing could happen to your people, or don't you care about that? T'POL: Neither of our species is what it was a million years ago, nor what it'll become in the future. Life is change. PAXTON: Change in this case means extinction, and I, for one, will not let that baby bring humanity to that point. The concept of humans becoming extinct through evolution is also raised in the Star Trek Voyager this episode Threshold, in which Paris and Captain Janeway are depicted as evolving into salamander like creatures as a result of “an accelerated evolutionary process” . The Doctor comments on the product of the so called process as being to the effect as not pretty: THE DOCTOR: It's possible that Mister Paris represents a future stage in human development, I can't say it's very attractive. Later The Doctor said as a solution to the problem, he will need to wind back the DNA changes to the original of Paris and Janeway: THE DOCTOR: I'll need to intensify the treatment to restore his original DNA. He contrasted “human” DNA to “mutant” DNA: THE DOCTOR: We destroy all of the new DNA in his body. His cells will have to use the original coding as a blueprint. But the only way to destroy the mutant DNA is with highly focused antiproton radiation. Kate Mulgrew, the actress for Captain Janeway, commented years later in AD 2009 at a Star Trek convention in New Jersey that this episode is the one she was most uncomfortable with, and that she “didn’t like the thought of mating with Paris as a lizard.” Humans have had an original DNA or heritage. All humans have the same genetic heritage, so there is no chance of humanity changing into something non human, such as a salamander, and the concept “life is change” is a belief only that “modern” humans came from non humans through very long generational mating habits. However recent science feature stories speculate about the so called salamander type ancestors of humans, such as the article- “Croco-salamander bones offer clues how early animals emerged from water.” This article stated: “Humans share a very old, stocky, and likely slimy ancestor, one that Stephanie E. Pierce, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, describes as a “short, chunky, croco-salamander.” The articles stated that such “croco-salamanders” were taking their first “steps” in “the general direction of humanity.” The episode Threshold was not popular for many fans here on JR or critics, such as one who described the concepts in the episode, which may include its depiction of the process and product of evolution, (seemingly reversed) and reversal of DNA, as “misguided” , “ridiculous” and “simply inexcusable” Another fan said “I like the idea of someone evolving into a future human.” Wendy Lower who wrote about German and Austrian women on the eastern front in World War 2, commented on the Nazi ideology which had “super humans” as a goal. “Racism, like nationalism, was viewed positively. Progress, imagined in German ideals of beauty and conduct, could be achieved only by removing humanity’s blights. In the hands of revolutionary zealots, Nazi men and women of action, this science of human inequality had to be taken as far as it could go.” This taking things “as far as it could go” meant attempting to exterminate to extinction, that is the genocide, of others. The extinction of a species is a part of the idea promulgated by Darwin for all biological creatures including humans. Nazis believed they could exterminate people they thought they were better than genetically- as a follow on from what they speciously understood to be a biological advantage. The Nazis had a picture of “future humans” of the “homeland” that did not include those they considered inferior. They failed to understand each person is born in the image of their creator, in which no one is better. They believed if current humans were “moulded” by evolution from “previous humans’ or even non humans, future humans also could be directed as they saw fit. In “exterminating” others, from observation, for humans today, “some advantage,” is who has the bigger gun or weapon. That is not creation of new species at all. Natural selection, selects out certain genetic traits, but does not make ones not already there. Professor John Endler wrote in his book, Natural Selection in the Wild, “natural selection does not explain the origin of new variants, only the process of changes in their frequency.” From Darwin’s statements, the implication that some people are an improved variety compared to others, such as Europeans to Australian Aborigines, is not true. “New forms” of humans have not arisen from war, or from the destruction of each other. VICTORIA: Look, Doctor, can't we go back to the Tardis? DOCTOR: No, we'd never make it. There's not much cover here. VICTORIA: Perhaps we've landed in a world of mad men. DOCTOR: They're human beings, if that's what you mean, indulging their favourite past time. Trying to destroy each other. Stephen J Gould claimed: “Humans arose, rather, as a fortuitous and contingent outcome of thousands of linked events” Such “linked events” of “fortune” in Darwin’s paradigm is the destruction of others ...which is not fortuitous. The destruction of others is mostly intentional when humans use their power to “overcome” to survive. No improvements to humans has occurred. We are all still humans. So for the evolution argument for survival, destruction brings creation; chaos from the carnage, means life for others. DOCTOR: This carnage isn't necessary. LEADER: It's survival, Doctor. Just as these primitives kill lesser species to protect themselves, so I kill them. DOCTOR: That's hardly an argument. LEADER: It's not supposed to be an argument. It's a statement! The Doctor says “that’s hardly an argument” concerning the action of killing off others in the “competition for survival”, but it is a fundamental argument of evolution. The doctrine of evolution via collision and destruction when practiced brings death, genocide and exterminations of peoples and other creatures. Consequent extinction or extermination, as Darwin wrote, means the wiping out for good of living creatures. Consequent extinction is a statement and argument foundational to the idea of evolution. LEADER: War is honourable, Doctor. Even on this planet it is considered so. DOCTOR: Oh, I know, but by your admission these people are still primitive. What's your excuse? It is as though war or fighting is looked down upon by Doctor Who, but death or destruction and annihilation of so called more primitive creatures is the way of evolution, which the Doctor gives credit for how humans arrived on the scene. It is like saying “praise the maker of all things – evolution,” but don’t (ironically) join in the process of collision and destruction as a “way forward”, as that is bad. It could be said the Doctor preached: “Man, you can rise above the practices of evolution..” But the rising above in evolution requires “big, better, best” outcomes, to the de destruction of others. JANO: Doctor, do you realise that with our knowledge, we can make the brave man braver, the wise man wiser, the strong man stronger. We can make the beautiful girl more beautiful still. You will see the advantages of that in the perfection of our race. The idea of perfecting people, and perfecting organic life is an evolutionary idea, as explored in season 1 of Picard, which explores the so called threat of synthetic life to organic life: ADMONITION: Organic life evolves, yearns for perfection. Also in the motion picture Star Trek: First Contact: BORG QUEEN: We too are on a quest to better ourselves. Evolving toward a state of perfection. And: BORG QUEEN: Human! We used to be exactly like them. Flawed, weak, organic, but we evolved to include the synthetic. Now we use both to attain perfection. Your goal should be the same as ours. DATA: Believing oneself to be perfect is often the sign of a delusional mind. The so called ideal of the “perfection of race” is explored in Star:Trek Enterprise in the episode, Demons, the Demons being the “unpure” people polluting the so called “pure” in society: GREEN [on screen]: Unless we act decisively, we will pass on the scars of mutation and decay to future generations. GREAVES: Colonel Green. PAXTON: Colonel Green. One of many men history has misunderstood. GREEN [on screen]: For the sake of our children, and our children's children, we must reject the impure and cast it out! interviewed the actor Peter Weller, who played the character, John Frederick Paxton: “Weller, whose character is named John Frederick Paxton, added that he saw relevance in his xenophobic character's separatist behaviour. "The great thing about the whole Star Trek legacy is that they ... metaphorize, they allegorize and they narrate what's going on the planet today," Weller said. "There's a lot of xenophobes walking around today who say, 'Only us, not them.'” The idea of the so called “purity” of race is again used in the series Star Trek:Discovery season 1, which first aired in AD 2017, as a motivation of the Klingons who use the “might is right” method to not mix with others: T’KUVMA: Our purity is a threat to them. They wish to drag us into the muck, where humans, Vulcans, Tellarites, and filthy Andorians mix. In the original series Star Trek during an episode call Plato’s Stepchildren, the crew of Enterprise encounter a people who had idolised the ancient Greek civilization on Earth during the time of Socrates and Plato. In the plot of this episode, the idea of perfecting through “paring down” a people, by leaders who were “determined to form a utopian brotherhood”, is raised: PHILANA: We instituted a mass eugenics programme. We're the result. Pared down to a population of thirty eight, we're perfect for our utopia. We're bred for contemplation and self-reliance. And longevity. Adolf Eichman was a notorious, murderous Nazi who architected Hitler’s Final Solution to “pare down” the population by destroying (“cast out” by death) the Jewish people from Europe. The SS lieutenant colonel helped create the Nazi system of concentration death camps (such as Auschwitz in Poland), which killed 6 million Jews. He later hid out in Argentina after World War 2, and then was caught, tried and punished by hanging for his war crimes. A “metaphorisation” that was in an original Star Trek episode The Conscience of the King, in which Captain Kirk uncovers the truth about an actor in a travelling drama group. This actor had been using a different identity to cover his tracks from his previous actions which caused the death of many. His name was Kodos. Spock related to McCoy what had Kodos had done, which was based on a belief about eugenics. SPOCK: You may not have heard it all. Kodos began to separate the colonists. Some would live, be rationed whatever food was left. The remainder would be immediately put to death. Apparently he had his own theories of eugenics. MCCOY: Unfortunately, he wasn't the first. SPOCK: Perhaps not. But he was certainly among the most ruthless, to decide arbitrarily who would survive and who would not, using his own personal standards, and then to implement his decision without mercy. Children watching their parents die. Whole families destroyed. Over four thousand people. They died quickly, without pain, but they died. Relief arrived, but too late to prevent the executions. In the AD 2013 movie Star Trek Into Darkness, the idea of a so called superior race is raised in the plot surrounding genetically engineered character Khan, and seventy two others. KIRK: Who the hell are you? KHAN: A remnant of a time long past. Genetically engineered to be superior. Later in the movie, after Khan has shown his true colours, Spock confronts Khan: KHAN: Mr. Spock, give me my crew. SPOCK: And what will you do when you get them? KHAN: Continue the work we were doing before we were banished. SPOCK: Which as I understand it involves the mass genocide of any being you find to be less than superior. In an early episode of the original series of Star Trek, called Space Seed, the fictional Eugenics War of the late twentieth century is raised, in which so called “superior” humans were bred, and seized power by force on forty countries on Earth. Kirk discusses the leader, the character called Khan Noonien Singh who is first introduced. Khan had survived a deep sleep aboard another Earth space ship (known as the Botany Bay) from two hundred years before: KIRK: Would you estimate him to be a product of selective breeding? SPOCK: There is that possibility, Captain. His age would be correct. In 1993, a group of these young supermen did seize power simultaneously in over forty nations. In a later scene, Khan goes on to put himself above Captain Kirk: KIRK: I'd like those answers now. First, the purpose of your star flight. KHAN: A new life, a chance to build a world. Other things I doubt you would understand. KIRK: Why? Because I'm not a product of controlled genetics? KHAN: Captain, although your abilities intrigue me, you are quite honestly inferior. Mentally, physically. In fact, I am surprised how little improvement there has been in human evolution. Oh, there has been technical advancement, but, how little man himself has changed. Yes, it appears we will do well in your century. An elderly Spock played by Leonard Nimoy, told a younger Spock played by Zachary Quinto in the movie Star Trek Into Darkness of the dangers of this killer called Khan: SPOCK: Khan Noonien Singh is the most dangerous adversary The Enterprise ever faced. He is brilliant, ruthless, and he will not hesitate to kill every single one of you. The 20th century was marred by a regime that falsely saw “advantages” of trying to “perfect” or “improve” a so called superior race, with the concept of “only us, not them.” It was led by a person, also not hesitant to kill every one of those he considered inferior. The term Ubermensch was used by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime from AD 1932. Ubermensch, translated from German, means superior, or super human, and was used by the philosopher Friederich Nietzsche in AD 1883 in his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra to describe an “ideal” man or “overman” who’s values affect and dominate others and who changes the order of things and the course of history, by having a “free spirit,” not bound by any nationalistic or religious conformity. Hitler appropriated this term for his own malicious use after meeting with Nietzche’s sister Elisabeth, (who was anti-semitic), after Friederich had died. Elisabeth had joined the Nazi Party, and had previously tried to set up with her husband, a “pure” Aryan colony in the South American country of Paraguay in the late 1880s. (which failed) In AD 1932, the Nazi war system tried to change the course of history by attempting to create a “biological superior” form or “orderly results” of an “improved and modified” group of humans through a “breeding program” called Lebensborn (translated “well of life”) based on the idea of a master race, and “inferior humans”. This program saw S.S soldiers impregnate so called Aryan women which were recruited to make “racially pure” ideal babies. For the Nazi system, the inferior humans included Jewish people, gypsies and the disabled. Hitler posited that anyone who was not of the Aryan descent was sub “ideal” human, or Untermensch in German. This practice has striking similarities to Darwin’s view that the “weak” should be stopped or checked from having babies. Darwin wrote: “there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected , by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.” Hitler agreed with this Darwinian idea: “The favourable preliminary to this improvement is not to mate individuals of higher and lower orders of being but rather to allow the complete triumph of the higher order. The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all.” In the context of the above quote from Darwin, he talked about also about the “instinct of sympathy” impelling humans to institute “poor-laws” and medical men to “exert their utmost skill” to save every life to the “last moment”. However it is obvious from Hitler’s written words, he lacked such sympathy, and used the idea of the process of “higher development of organic life” he understood as evolution, to exact monstrous miseries on his extermination program to wipe our Jews and others. Hitler’s invalid idea of racial inferiority and weakness, was a wrong “excuse” for hatred and murder. The beating down of others due to perceived “weakness” is explored in Star Trek:Voyager in the episode Scorpian. The character Kes on the USS Voyager understands the motivation of so called Species 8472. KES: I feel malevolence, a cold hatred. The weak will perish. The character Seven of Nine described Species 8472 thus: SEVEN: They are the apex of biological evolution. Their assimilation would have greatly added to our own perfection. In another episode, Seven tells Captain Janeway of the attraction of becoming “perfect” as a species: SEVEN: The lure of perfection is powerful, Captain. In the original series episode of Star Tre called The Changeling, the once space probe from Earth called “Nomad” that had been launched in the early 2000s, had undergone change from merging with an alien space probe called Tan Ru. It’s new mission or goal became one to destroy any biological life (it considered all biological life inferior). In a Vulcan mind meld with Nomad, Spock discovers its ultimate goal: SPOCK: (channelling Nomad): Our purpose is clear. Sterilise imperfections. Kirk understood what this sterilisation meant: KIRK: So, it is to sterilise, and for sterilise read kill. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Part 2, the Borg character, Hugh, spoke of the idea of becoming a “superior race” through the directional leadership of another. HUGH: Lore promised clarity and purpose. In the beginning, he seemed like a saviour. The promise of becoming a superior race. Before Lebensborn was put in practice for the Nazis, Darwin had written in favouring the idea of government enacting law to make a breeding program that “weeded out undesirables by easy method”: “When the principles of breeding and of inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining by an easy method whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man.” So for Darwin, the ruling government should enact a plan to legislate against marriages that are “injurious to man.” To be against such laws according to Darwin is to be “ignorant.” Darwin thought that if the “principles of breeding and inheritance” are to understood correctly, then the so called “undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind” could be planned against. That is, he believed we should make “breeding” plans to effect the extermination of the weak. Hitler did enact plans against those he thought should not “breed.” Evil actions were born from an ideology, and lack of love and “humanitarian sentiment”. As the Doctor said, you should read Darwin. Hitler wrote some very similar things to Darwin. Instead of saying “principles of breeding and inheritance”, he wrote “laws of race” concerning “human progress”: “Whoever ignores or despises the laws of race really deprives himself of the happiness to which he believes he can attain. For he places an obstacle in the victorious path of the superior race and, by so doing, he interferes with a prerequisite condition of all human progress. Loaded with the burden of humanitarian sentiment, he falls back to the level of those who are unable to raise themselves in the scale of being.” Hitler thought Jews were injurious to Germany. His hatred of Jews, and their so called “Scale of being” shone through. He wrote concerning the Jewish person: “He poisons the blood of others but preserves his own blood unadulterated. Thus a part of the higher nobility in particular became completely degenerate.” Darwin thought the “most able” should have the most babies: “There should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring.” Hitler wanted so called purity, from what he thought were the most able: “Those who do not wish that the earth should fall into such a condition must realize that it is the task of the German State in particular to see to it that the process of bastardization is brought to a stop. Our contemporary generation of weaklings will naturally decry such a policy and whine and complain about it as an encroachment on the most sacred of human rights. But there is only one right that is sacrosanct and this right is at the same time a most sacred duty. This right and obligation are: that the purity of the racial blood should be guarded, so that the best types of human beings may be preserved and that thus we should render possible a more noble development of humanity itself.” Darwin and Hitler used similar words. Darwin said “the most able”. Hitler said “the best types.” Hitler put into practice his idea of what is “survival of the fittest”: “If we are to free the German people from all those failings and ways of acting which do not spring from their original character, we must first get rid of those foreign germs in the national body which are the cause of its failings and false ways.” This perverted view of other people as a germ or disease, was picked up in an original Star Trek episode called Patterns of Force, in which Nazis sought to destroy a “race” of people known as Zeons, based on an ideology of racial hierarchy: MELAKON: But despite our best efforts, they remain like a cancer, eating away at our state. And also elsewhere, Melakon commented on Spock: DARAS: The Deputy Fuhrer's an authority on the genetics of racial purity. How would you classify this one? MELAKON: Very difficult. Note the sinister eyes and the malformed ears. Definitely an inferior race. For the Nazis, the Jews and gypsies were definitely not considered the “most able”. They were “inferiors” or “foreign germs” to be wiped out through genocide. Their program of Lebensborn and death camps, (the method of “getting rid of”) was a warped attempt to “succeed” at what is “best” as Darwin would say. We can easily see that Adolf’s plans and methods were evil, involving the destruction of others. For the Doctor, (Who) evolution is not evil: DOCTOR: People get the Cybermen wrong. There's no evil plan, no evil genius. Just parallel evolution. The idea of wiping out so called inferiors, for the so called “preservation” and “development” of others, is implicit in evolution. STYGGRON: In a moment, Doctor, the knowledge and experience of your entire life will be transposed into our data bank. DOCTOR: That's stealing. STYGGRON: While you are making your small contribution to Kraal culture, I shall be on my way to destroy the humans that you have so often defended. This time, you will be powerless to help them. DOCTOR: So you do intend genocide. STYGGRON: Earth's resources are limited. They cannot be wasted supporting an inferior species. The Nazi ideology bore the fruits of the genocide attempts in the Holocaust in World War 2 of the Jewish people and other minorities, such as gypsies, not deemed fit for the future German state. It was an attempt to procure “the harvest of evolution”, as Haeckel had described years earlier. The gas chambers were a result of a doctrine that classified some people as sub humans or inferior, in Hitler’s hierarchy of people. Six million Jewish people died, by murder, as a result of an ideology and war machine based on exterminating those deemed as unfit. Hitler used collision and destruction, like Darwin said how “evolution works”, to attempt to further his vision of wiping out, conquering and killing so called sub humans to create an imaginary super human, Ubermensch, race. Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf: (My Struggle) “I do not see why man should not be as cruel as nature.” In the episode Storm Front Part 1 of Star Trek:Enterprise™, the ideology of wiping others out in the belief of so called racial purity, for the so called purpose of survival, is mentioned by characters who play Nazis: VOSK: Imagine a plague targeting non-Aryans. No need for extermination camps. Just a few grams of a pathogen introduced into the water supply. GENERAL: You make promises. All we ever see are films! VOSK: There's far too much at stake for us to argue. We have far too much in common. We both embrace the ideals of purity and perfection, and we both face enemies that would destroy us. Now is not the time to end an association that is vital to our mutual survival. In real life, Hitler put his cruel ideology into practice. Hitler was more cruel “than nature.” He practiced attempted genocide. For the Jewish people, the practice of such a doctrine, of the so called “final solution” was the way of death. They were deemed the weaker, or lesser and inferior members of society to be exterminated. Hitler wanted to “clear up” Germany from those he deemed unfit. He thought wrongly that he would “improve” the genetic make- up of the German nation through “modification” by genocide. Some Doctor Who episodes do reflect such ideology of killing to exterminate to clear or make way, for the so called dominant and supreme. One episode was made less that 20 years after the Nazis were defeated: BLACK: Every error must be corrected. The penetration explosive must strike the fissure correctly if we are to extract the molten core. Have all work tasks been completed? DALEK 3: They have. BLACK: Then arrange for the extermination of all human beings. DALEK 4: Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill! DALEK 5: The final solution! Clear up this planet! Hitler and the Nazis wanted to kill anyone in the way of their so called progress and murderous path they were taking in an attempt to bring about their final solution ... The writers of Star Trek also named and shamed the idea of a so called Final Solution in the episode of Patterns of Force, first airing in AD 1968: ISAK: I'm afraid it will be a formal declaration of war against Zeon. Their Final Solution. In another Doctor Who episode also released in AD 1968: BENNETT: Well, what are these Cybermen then? DOCTOR: They were once men, human beings like yourself, from the planet Mondas, but now they're more robot then man. BENNETT: You mean half and half? DOCTOR: Oh no, more than that. Their entire bodies are mechanical and their brains have been treated neuro-surgically to remove all human emotions, all sense of pain. They're ruthless, inhuman killers! BENNETT: You really expect me to believe that rubbish! DOCTOR: It's not rubbish! They'll kill anyone who stands in their path. You've got to believe me. You've just got to! In an episode made nearly fifty years later, The Doctor Falls, the Doctor gives a speech about how he stands up for the humans in the face of death because it is the right and kind thing to do: DOCTOR: Winning? Is that what you think it's about? I'm not trying to win. I'm not doing this because I want to beat someone, or because I hate someone, or because, because I want to blame someone. It's not because it's fun and God knows it's not because it's easy. It's not even because it works, because it hardly ever does. I do what I do, because it's right! Because it's decent! And above all, it's kind. It's just that. Just kind. If I run away today, good people will die. If I stand and fight, some of them might live. Hitler wanted to kill anyone who stood in his path, those he hated that stood in the way of him “winning”. ISAK: If we adopt the ways of the Nazis, we're as bad as the Nazis. Hitler was like the evil person David spoke about in Psalm 109, such an evil person who cursed: “Let someone else take his position… may his children become fatherless…may strangers take all he has earned… may all his offspring die, may his family name be blotted out in a single generation.” Psalm 109: 8, 9, 11, 13. Like this evil man David spoke about, for Hitler cursing was as natural to him as his clothing. In the episode of Plato’s Stepchildren, Spock spoke of controlling his actions by “mastering” his feeling or emotion of hatred: SPOCK: Do you still feel anger toward Parmen? KIRK: Great anger. SPOCK: And you, Doctor? MCCOY: Yes, Spock. And hatred. SPOCK: Then you must release it, gentlemen, as I must master mine. I might have seriously injured you, Captain, even killed you. They have evoked such great hatred in me, I cannot allow it to go further. I must master it. I must control. The Gospel has the power to transform and act against the flow of hatred that may surge through even a whole nation. Andre and Magda Trocme, were Christians living in Le Chambon, France, during the holocaust in World War 2. Andre was a Christian pastor who helped organise his church and villagers, to act to save the wave of fleeing Jewish refugees. They opposed the so called final solution, and through their organising a network of safe houses, they were able to help save many Jewish people from being killed by the Nazi murderers. They stood in the path of the Nazis. Andre and his community helped Jews also to escape to Switzerland via an underground rail network. Andre’ said that “We do not know what a Jew is. We only know men”, when anti -Jewish Vichy authorities, who had collaborated with Nazi Germany, wanted him to produce a list of Jews living in the area. Andre’ also had spoken to others of the importance of creating a safe haven, like in the passage from Deuteronomy, where Moses passed on God’s instructions to create cities of refuge so that; “You will prevent the death of innocent people in the land.” Yad Vashem, the memorial centre in Israel, recognised André and Magda as “Righteous among the Nations.” André preached against the prevailing evil which sought to exterminate the Jewish people and other minorities. He said in a sermon the day after the German invasion of France: “We shall resist whenever our adversaries demand of us obedience contrary to the orders of the gospel.” He used non violence as a method of resistance to evil, as Christ did. Savitri Hensmen wrote an article on what André practised, and not just preached. She quoted him: "The duty of Christians is to use the weapons of the Spirit to oppose the violence that they will try to put on our consciences," and "The church that announces God's jubilee, and puts it into practice as the Spirit blows, will show practical solutions to the problems of exploitation, oppression, inequality, and a whole host of other human evils. When this happens, the church will once again find its place in the world." “Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker, But helping the poor honours Him.” André lived out Christ’s teaching. “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender hearted mercy, kindness, humility , gentleness and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. An always be thankful.” Colossians 3:12- 15 NLT translation,

How can anyone dislike this episode thus much, expect they are breaking the Warp 10 barrier? I think this is perfect ultimate scifi? not? Tom Paris was there, everywhere at the same time? Nobody can even faintly grasp what he was going trough? So, ultimately he is evolving/devolving in an alternated time frame....... the make up is really good and this is surely one of the highest points of Tom Paris centered episode to make him shine with some acting It's just pure scifi

...The only real downpoint is how his "wife/girlfriend" B'ellena Torres seems absolutely unfazed by Tom's transformation and of course the ultimate RESET button

Threshold has one good moment in it. "From what I can tell he's just... asleep." "Can you wake him?" "I don't see why not." "WAKE UP LIEUTENANT!" The rest of it? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeh.

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The Companion

Star Trek | Voyager’s ‘Threshold’ and Why Janeway Can’t Evolve into a Newt

Star Trek: Discovery science consultant Mohamed Noor and biologist Dr. Charles Foster help us to understand the Star Trek: Voyager episode ‘Threshold’.

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Say “Threshold” to any Star Trek fan, and you’re bound to get a reaction—a laugh, an eye roll, a scream, an exasperated sigh so loud you could hear it from the outer edges of the Alpha Quadrant.

Fans celebrate its anniversary on social media—#ThresholdDay is on January 29—and have had tattoos honoring it. When I asked people I know their opinions, I heard the whole gamut, from “oh, it’s fun” to “it’s annoying”, “it’s the worst kind of Star Trek ,” and “You can never truly recover after seeing it,” and “I remember yelling.”

For the uninitiated, ‘Threshold’ (S2, Ep15) is the name of a Star Trek: Voyager episode that’s bonkers, divisive, and appears on almost every ‘the worst episodes of Star Trek ’ list I’ve read.

Transwarp Speed and Infinite Velocity

In ‘Threshold’, Lieutenant Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) takes an experimental shuttle for a spin. He hits Warp 10, a speed so mind-bogglingly fast that it breaks the ‘transwarp barrier.’

Transwarp is discussed several times throughout Star Trek ’s history, but the meaning changes a bit each time. If we dissect the word, it simply means the other side of warp—but what’s there?

Going by the explanation in ‘Threshold’, Ensign Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) says that achieving transwarp speeds would mean you’ve reached “infinite velocity”.

Tom Paris lies in Medbay with his eyes closed whilst the Doctor leans over and inspects him intently  in the Star Trek: Voyager episode ‘Threshold’.

Paris further explains—or confuses—things by saying: “It means that you would occupy every point in the universe simultaneously. In theory, you could go any place in the wink of an eye. Time and distance would have no meaning.”

As you might expect, smashing the laws of Star Trek physics to pieces with your shiny ship has some unexpected consequences.

Upon returning to Voyager, Paris begins to change—he can’t drink water or process oxygen, dies briefly, comes back to life, has two hearts, loses his hair, his skin is peeling, vomits out his tongue, and becomes really aggressive.

A horrified looking Tom Paris, his eyes rimmed red and blue-black veins creeping over his face, pulls a tuft of hair from his head,  in the Star Trek: Voyager episode ‘Threshold’.

Paris breaks free, attacks Janeway, and takes her with him back onto the shuttle before whizzing off again at Warp 10.

A little while later, the crew finds the shuttle abandoned on a planet with no sign of Paris or Janeway. All they see are two huge space newts. Yep, you guessed it. That’s what they’ve turned into. And, if that wasn’t daft and deranged enough, they’re surrounded by what appears to be their offspring. (The Vagina Museum in London once published a fantastic Twitter thread about the details of space newt mating.)

On 29th January 1996, "Threshold", the Star Trek: Voyager episode where Captain Janeway and Tom Paris turned into giant space newts and had babies first aired. In advance of #ThresholdDay we aim to answer a burning question: did Paris and Janeway fuck? If so, how did they fuck? — Vagina Museum (@vagina_museum) January 28, 2022

I know what you’re thinking. Was it a mutating disease laying dormant in the shuttle’s environmental systems activated by transwarp travel? Or maybe aliens lurk in the bits between space and time, waiting to replace the two Voyager crew members?

Nope, it’s revealed that all of the transwarp adventurings accelerated the natural course of evolution—those giant amphibious creatures Paris and Janeway become are all of us in the future.

“The mutations we observed are natural,” The Doctor (Robert Picardo) explains. “The changes within his DNA are consistent with the evolutionary development of the human genotype observed over the past four million years.”

I’m confident I could write a whole book unpicking this one episode’s many confusing and nonsensical threads and still wouldn’t get anywhere. Asking questions like, why did they evolve into space newts? Isn’t the delicate balance of life on the planet that big space newt Janeway and big space newt Paris were found on fundamentally destroyed? And, crucially, what about their damn kids?

Before my blood pressure hits Warp 10, let’s bring things back down to a more manageable Warp 3 and find out the answer to the question at the core of ‘Threshold’. Is it really possible to speed up our evolution?

The Speed of Evolution

I spoke to Mohamed A. F. Noor, the Professor of Biology and Dean of Natural Sciences at Duke Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, author of Live Long and Evolve: What Star Trek Can Teach Us about Evolution, Genetics, and Life on Other Worlds , and a consultant on Star Trek: Discovery Seasons 3 and 4, who told me that first, we need to clear up a few things about evolution. “Evolution does not occur in an individual,” he explains. “So I didn’t ‘evolve’ from a baby into an adult – that’s just development.”

So what we see in ‘Threshold’ isn’t really evolution. But, fascinatingly, evolution, which is the spread of new inherited forms throughout a population, can happen pretty quickly—well, pretty quickly by real-world standards.

“Many people are aware of the classic example of the peppered moth in England,” Noor tells us. “In the early 1800s, all the moths were white-peppered colors, but following the blackening of trees and lichens on which they hid, fully black forms became much more common by 1900.

“The opposite then happened after the passage of the clean air acts in the 1950s and 1960s—now, the white-peppered form is by far the most common,” he explains.

Granted, the moths didn’t evolve to become a different color as quickly as Paris evolved to become a different species, but the changes happened within human lifetimes. By Trek terms, that’s slower than one-quarter impulse. In real-world terms, it’s remarkably fast.

When evolution happens rapidly, it’s often due to an external factor—in this case, the color of the trees. I spoke to Dr. Charles Foster , a Bioinformatics Research Associate in the Virology Research Lab at the University of New South Wales and Prince of Wales Hospital. He explains that evolution occurs more ‘neutrally’ in a stable and safe environment—changes are not good or bad for the species, they just happen.

“But if strong external pressures are applied to a population—or experienced by a population—one would expect there to be ‘sped up’ evolution,” he says. As well as the moths, Dr. Foster points to examples of domestication, where species of animals have changed over time based on human intervention.

Other examples of rapid evolution here on Earth tend to be problematic. “Some of the best examples come from pathogenic bacteria and viruses,” Dr. Foster says.

“When these organisms are treated with antibacterials and antivirals, it’s possible for ‘superbugs’ to emerge because of acquired immunity and resistance to the treatments,” he explains. “This process can also arise when treatments are applied at a suboptimal dose, so the ‘bugs’ are not all killed.” Individual organisms then develop beneficial mutations, and that’s how we get antibiotic-resistant bugs.

Evolution vs Mutation

‘Mutation’ and ‘evolution’ are words often used interchangeably in movies and TV shows. But Noor urges us to be cautious when mapping science fiction onto real-world science.

“Yes, it is true that new mutations are the raw materials for adaptive evolution across generations,” Noor explains. “But the fraction that allows this is extremely low, and any process just accelerating mutations overall in an individual is far, far more likely to be bad than good.”

He also tells us that mutations wouldn’t be “coordinated” among all of the cells in your body. “So, if Dr. Crusher or the EMH or whoever says ‘they’re experiencing a high rate of mutation’, best not to expect any superpowers or transformation to alien form,” Noor says, bringing our hopes of developing X-Men -like mutations crashing back down to our boring old Earth.

“If someone suddenly has a high rate of mutation in their body, it’s FAR more likely they’ll die or have terrible cancers than acquire any fantastic ability,” he says.

But Why Space Newts, Though?

Those incredibly stressed out by ‘Threshold’ might be comforted to learn that the creators knew they were doing something unconventional with this episode—but claim it was intentional.

In Captains’ Logs Supplemental: The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages , Jeri Taylor, a Star Trek scriptwriter and producer, explains that the inspiration for ‘Threshold’ was breaking the Warp laws and asking: “What happens if you do go Warp 10, how does that affect you?”

“So we all sat in a room and kicked it around and came up with this idea of evolution and thought that it would be far more interesting and less expected that instead of it being the large-brained, glowing person, it would be full circle, back to our origins in the water,” Taylor explains. “Not saying that we have become less than we are because those creatures may experience consciousness on such an advanced plane that we couldn’t conceive of it. It just seemed like a more interesting image.”

Three baby ‘space newts’ emerge from the nest alongside the hyper-evolved Janeway and Paris  in the Star Trek: Voyager episode ‘Threshold’.

I hear you if you still fundamentally hate this episode and everything it stands for. But it did show us a kind of evolution we’ve not seen much of before—there were no large-brained, glowing people with superpowers, that’s for sure.

And Taylor’s right. Who’s to say space newts don’t have some inconceivable, advanced consciousness beyond our wildest dreams? And who knows how we’d evolve if we were simultaneously at all points in space—talk about external pressure.

After all, some theories suggest that our futures won’t be filled with super-advanced creatures, space newts, or humans with superpowers and big brains, but due to a process called carcinization, everything on the planet might one day become a crab.

This reminds me of a scene in The Time Machine (the book, not the movie) when H.G. Wells’ traveler takes a trip tens of millions of years into the future. What does he find at the outer limits of time? Crabs, loads of them.

Although ‘Threshold’ might not rate highly for what we know about evolution today—or, for many, enjoyment—I don’t think we can knock this fresh and creative approach to evolution too hard.

This article was first published on June 29th, 2022 on the original Companion website.

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Kate Mulgrew, Robert McNeill, And Garrett Wang Revisit “Threshold,” That Infamous ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ Episode

Threshold revisited - TrekMovie

| November 25, 2020 | By: Laurie Ulster 33 comments so far

Ask a fan to name one of the worst episodes in Star Trek history, and Voyager ’s “Threshold” is bound to come up almost immediately. This much-maligned second-season episode, later described by its writer Brannon Braga as “ a royal, steaming stinker ,” is famous for what happens after Tom Paris crosses the Warp 10 threshold: He transforms into a monstrous creature, then kidnaps Captain Janeway and takes her to a planet where they turn into salamanders and have babies before they’re rescued and restored. There was even an action figure from Playmates , complete with three lizard babies, described on the package as “mutant offspring.”

Garrett Wang and Robert Duncan McNeill finally got to “Threshold” in the latest episode of their weekly podcast The Delta Flyers , where they are making their way through the entire series in chronological order. Earlier this year McNeill told TrekMovie that while he was happy with his work on “Threshold,” it was the only episode he wasn’t looking forward to discussing, but Wang rightly pointed out that fans likely felt the opposite.

Kate Mulgrew joined the pair with some extra commentary in the Patreon-only section of the podcast to reminisce about filming her scenes and speculate on how salamanders might copulate. Here are some of the highlights of their lively discussion, including the audio from the non-Patreon part of Robbie and Garrett’s discussion.

The award-winning makeup had its challenges

Mulgrew asked (sincerely) if the episode had won “a lot of awards,” and while McNeill joked that it won the award for “maybe the worst episode of Star Trek: Voyager ever made,” it did, in fact, win an Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Series—and the episode deserved it.

From McNeill’s description of filming his scenes as Tom Paris mutated, it sounds like he should’ve shared in that award along with Michael Westmore and his team. None of it was easy, starting with the menthol that was blown into his eyes to irritate them so they’d be bloodshot.

McNeill reported that when he filmed the scenes where he was losing his ability to breathe in Voyager’s atmosphere, it triggered his sense memories of having asthma attacks. He imitated them as a way to get into the scene, but his body picked up on what he was doing and he started to have the anxiety and tightness in his chest that always accompanied his attacks, so severely that rewatching it brought back all those feelings vividly. (In fact, he had once had an attack so severe during a different episode that they had to delay filming so he could go to the hospital.)

He also said it was difficult to act once the makeup reached its peak.

They had tubes that went down my legs, and they were sitting on the floor, like three feet away from me, literally they were going (blows), blowing these bladder balloons. So all I could hear inside of the rubber, I could barely hear the actors, I looked at their lips moving.

As for the horror movie-type scene where Paris’ tongue fell off:

That tongue was made of silicone. But then they put some other jelly, red, like Jell-O, so that it looked like it was sort of just collapsing or falling apart. So I did have some red Jell-O, and I had that silicone tongue, rubber tongue, had to get in my mouth… it was a lot of stuff for that tongue coming out.

And then for the final touch, he used an inky black mouthwash right before they filmed, so the inside of his mouth would appear black—and his real tongue would be harder to see.

Not just character mutation, but character evolution

Despite the episode’s bad reputation, Robbie and Garrett had some positive opinions on it. Wang thoughtfully pointed out that there was more to the changes in Paris than what was seen on the outside as they discussed how Tom changed over the course of the series. McNeill said he “came into the series embodying a lot of toxic masculinity” and Wang said this was embodied in the scene where Paris monologues from his sickbay bed. “You see the vestiges of the toxic masculinity even in this scene,” he said, bringing up Paris’ memories of crying alone as a kid and being told crying was a weakness by his father. ‘This is definitely a transitional phase for Paris to become more of a complete human being,” Wang summed up.

McNeill agreed, and admitted he relished the opportunity to stretch his acting chops.

My memory of making the episode, because I got to play the Elephant Man in a way, I got to play this transformation, this larger-than-life operatic story of the entire character changing, and dying, and coming back to life, and seeing things, having this acid-trip kind of revelations, my memory was, it was a lot of fun to act in. SO it was really satisfying for me as an actor.

Kate Mulgrew talks salamander copulation

Kate Mulgrew made her Delta Flyers debut (on Patreon only) and started off joking over their choice of episodes to discuss.

I was thinking about this last night as I put my little head on the pillow. Of ALL the episodes you could ask me to join you in conversation about, of everything we did together, every conceivable adventure, confrontation, peril, right? You choose “Threshold.” The story of Lt. Paris and Captain Janeway having lizards.

After their enthusiastic YES, she went on.

I didn’t think it was our finest moment, Robbie, but since we’re going to be talking about it, let’s extoll its virtues, okay? Locked in a turbolift with Robbie McNeill is something akin to delightful alcoholism, I should think. Because no aspect of it was based in reality of any kind.

She says she had fun–not always the case for her, given the grueling schedule–and confessed that her makeup had to be reapplied many times because McNeill kept making her laugh, reporting that it was his entire modus operandi as she was “..trying desperately to give birth to 25 lizards.”

While they made fun of the episode, they all acknowledged their admiration and respect for writer Brannon Braga and director Alexander Singer. Mulgrew’s theory is that the team had had so much pressure on them for the first season and a half that they needed a break of sorts, and that’s what they were trying to do with “Threshold,” but “…in so doing everybody lost their mind.”

Mulgrew asked where Harry was during all of this, since Ensign Kim wasn’t, as McNeill thought he should be, “sobbing inconsolably” in Sickbay as Paris suffered and died; she told Wang he must have been “off on your shuttlecraft, looking for the lizards that had escaped.”

Amidst all their laughter, McNeill said that he thought there was a “grain of a really interesting science fiction idea” in there, about becoming one with the universe simultaneously, describing it as “ kind of like an acid trip, in a way, I would imagine.”

“I think if we’re going to be very frank, I would’ve preferred an acid trip,” Kate replied, cracking up her co-stars. “That’s very lofty thinking.”

Star Trek: Voyager - "Threshold"

Who says romance is dead?

Wang pointed out “Threshold” was significant for being the only episode where Captain Janeway has sex, albeit as a salamander.

This is the first time and probably the only time that she has that. And also later, when you guys are back to human form… you’re both in Sickbay, and he looks at you very sheepishly, and he’s like, “Um, yeah, I’m sorry.” ‘Cause he still has knowledge that he had the intercourse with you. And then you, Kate, you look back at Robbie, you say, “Well you know, it’s  all right, Mister Paris, but you do know that in a lot of different species, it’s the female that initiates the intercourse.” … It was almost, to me, a flirtation.

“That’s exactly right,” said Mulgrew. “Janeway did have a sense of humor, Garrett. And she often expressed it with Lieutenant Paris.”

“But,” she added, “ it does beg the question: I know that scientists will answer this… has anybody actually seen salamanders copulating? Have you guys ever actually witnessed it?”

McNeill chimed in, amidst their laughter, with “I will admit I did not do that research, Kate.”

Mulgrew doubled up.

I don’t think they copulate in any kind of way that could be confused with sexual intercourse. I don’t think there’s a great deal of, shall we say, foreplay.

“Tenderness, no,” posited McNeill, as Mulgrew ran with it:

Romantic pep talk? Erotic suggestions? I think they just slither on, and slither off.

Star Trek: Voyager - "Threshold"

Janeway and Paris, slithering

Listen to The Delta Flyers on “Threshold”

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TOS : Spocks Brain TNG : Shades of Gray DS9 : Fascination VOY : Threshold DSC : * no comment *

ENT: “A Night in Sickbay”

But “Threshold” really isn’t the worst episode of Voyager by far, I’d but quite a few others in its place.

Oh i forgot ENT definitely Storm Front 1 and 2 !

I’d have to say “Once Upon a Time” is the worst.

Agreed on DSC. DSC has been very good so far.

For Enterprise, the Klingon Retrovirus eps were just horrible — the fan service was so obvious and forced.

TNG — Encounter at Farpoint and Unification — not that they were the worst, but given they were hyped so much, they were just such a disappointing letdown that it bothers me to this day.

TOS: Spocks Brain – yeah, that’s really a no brainer! :-D

TNG: why does everyone have issues with Shades of Gray? I loved all the flashbacks when I first saw it. Sure, it’s not the most creative kind of money-saving show, but I didn’t realize it at the time, and so I still like it. I’d probably pick Code Of Honor instead, though even that isn’t totally bad. In fact I’m rewatching season 1 right now, and I don’t find it nearly as bad as I thought it was…

DS9: haven’t watched alle episodes yet, so I don’t know about Fascination right now, but probably something from the first two seasons. Or anything with Sisko without the beard and with hair ;-)

VOY: agreed, there are a lot of episodes that are worse than Threshold. Sure, the salamander stuff is goofy, but the warp 10 concept was interesting, and overall it was done very well, I would say.

ENT: hmm, yeah, probably A Night in Sickbay, though that’s a nice Phlox story. Storm Front was hilarious, though, so probably that.

DSC: almost every episode, sorry.

I’d imagine Shades of Grey works better on the first run through the series but afterthat its utterly pointless and totally skipable. The thing is, a bottle show could have been done in far more original ways without any need for any SFX. Something maybe like a courtroom drama episode or a an episode where Picard sits in his quarters and talks about his life for 40 minutes to Wesley or something lol…

TOS: Spock’s Brain TNG: Code of Honor DS9: Move Along Home VOY: Threshold ENT: A Night in Sickbay DSC: *jury still out*

There, fixed your list “Tim”

Trek Worst List…

TOS: And the Children Shall Lead TNG: Sub Rosa DS9: Profit and Lace VOY: Threshold ENT: Unexpected DSC: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum PIC: The End is the Beginning LDS: Moist Vessel

Agree with And the Children Shall Lead. Spocks Brain is stupid, but it’s kind of silly good.

But Threshold is the worst

For me, the worst Voyager episode was Tsunkatse. The network was using the show as a blatant promo for The Rock.

So, Warp 9.99 is still the speed limit in the 32nd century, or are anti-mutation shields standard issue?

It looks like they use quantum slipstream technology now.

For me personally, the episode would have been do much better off what they were apparently trying to discuss, really occured. I mean for all these astonishing situations (crossing warp 10, unifying with Universe, dying, resurrection, turning info something completely different) informed character growth. I’m often saying that Star Trek isn’t a soap opera, it shouldn’t rely so hard on characters backstory, romances (like Discovery did on the first season or two), because no matter how good the characters are they shouldn’t be overshadowing what the franchise is (should) be about – you know – STAR TREK. By the way – DS9 is for me not an exception, because I consider it to be a great seria, my beloved one amongst those under ST name, but still – not a good Star Trek. With all that said – if you are having an episode od sci-fi where a single character goes through all those great SF situations, you need some context for them to work to make viewers think about how that could be transitioned to human condition. Threshold doesn’t give you enough of this on this almost Kafka’esque story and this is, in my opinion, why it gets what it deserves on the discussion boards.

This episode was awkward but I liked it.

If Tom Paris’ insubordinations are so-called “male toxicity”, maybe someone can enlighten me what to call Michael Burnham’s far more consequential insubordinations (not to forget her stereotypical inability to keep her emotions in-check, as behooves a professional officer and scientist)? At least Tom Paris didn’t start a mutiny that resulted in an interstellar war…

Um… not his insubordinations. More his constant hitting on women, which started in the very first episode. I recommend you listen to the Delta Flyers podcast, Garrett and Robbie have a great conversation about it.

Other than Thirty Days when was Paris insubordinate? That whole Season 2 arc was all a subterfuge, he wasn’t really being insubordinate.

I love Voyager and her crew to death but Threshold makes Spock’s Brain look like an Emmy winning episode. It’s just SO bad! I’ve only seen it twice to this day.

But these guys, Mulgrew especially, seem to have a good laugh about it. It’s nice they can just reminisce about the more awful stuff and not sound bitter about it.

Well, I’ve never got that hatred for “Threshold”. It was a mediocre, paint-by-numbers episode, forgettable and bland, but it’s not nearly as bad as some people want into to be. The worst episode was “Course: Oblivion”. I simply couldn’t stand the bleak, depressive resolution.

As for TOS: “Spock’s Brain” is campy fun but also by far not the worst of them. I really disliked “The Omega Glory” and “Plato’s Stepchildren”, though that kiss made TV history. But actually I liked “And the Children Shall Lead”. It has a certain “Children of the Corn” feeling, decades before those movies were made.

TNG… I don’t know. “Shades of Grey” was a filler with flashbacks that came for too early to be effective. I would have loved to see this in Year 7 with all of the series being covered. But again, it wasn’t bad at all. There are hardly any superbad TNG episodes. I like “Sub Rosa”. It’s not great but not bad either. I wasn’t a big fan of “Lessons”, but it wasn’t a stinker, just not particularly interesting.

ENT… Sickbay is okay with me. The worst disappointment was “These Are the Voyages” but only because they made it the series finale. As a standalone entry, it would have been quite neat.

DSC… Not a big fan of the rushed S1 finale but again, not a total loss. I have no DSC episode I totally dislike though I take issues with some scenes, especially the excessively bloody ones.

PIC… That’s why I hate “Stardust City Rag” for it’s Icheb opener.

Wow. I think Course: Oblivion is excellent. Especially on first watch, when we didn’t know what was going on. Parallel universe? Bad dream? I never saw the link to Demon coming.

Am I the only one who actually really liked this episode? I remember I watched it several times.

Very possibly, yes. I’ve never seen a “worst episode ever” list where Threshold was not near the top.

I loved A Night in Sickbay on ENT, thought it was a fun episode!

It was okay. I never understood the hate for it, either. It is just kinda there, neither good nor bad IMHO.

It’s not completely true that this is the only episode where Janeway has sex. In Fair Haven she most likely has sex with one of the holodeck characters, Sullivan. Chakotay even admits to having sex on the holodeck himself! And now that I’m thinking about this there’s another epispode… Janeway and some of the crew are abducted and brainwashed in two parter Workforce. Janeway meets a co-worker, Jaffen (love that name!), and decides to move in with him. I mean, c’mon! Either way, she has her fun more than once on the show. While sexuality is not required to make a show good, I think it’s good for her character and the show.

Definitely in Workforce! But that hadn’t happened yet, so I guess this is the FIRST time on the show? (I love Workforce.)

As it happens, Salamander “foreplay”, which in this case means things the male does to get the female ready to mate, is much longer than typical human foreplay. But it’s instinctive in nature, we can’t really say it’s “fun” for them.

The dumbest part is that because the condition was reversible, they could have adapted the ship, went home, and reversed it.

Don’t know why Voyager got a bad rep in Trek social circles. Was the best out the lot of them. I even thought there would be a spin off series when she meets the Federation Timeship of the future. Not just boldly going in space but also in time. I would’ve watched that. Big up all the cast and Crew of the USS Voyager.. Cmon guys. Enuf reminiscing. As old as they are now, I’d still watch new episodes any day. 😉

For me, the worst episode of Voyager is “The Fight”. It was the only episode that was such a struggle to get through. Interesting idea, but the execution was just awful. I felt embarrassed for the actors, especially Chakotay

I think I agree with you! I hated “The Fight” and “False Profits.” Those were the weakest ones in my book. “Threshold” is still entertaining, and Robert Duncan McNeill did a great job with it.

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Published Jan 27, 2023

Threshold and the Overlooked Message of Reaching for Success

How Tom Paris demonstrates a vital lesson with the infamous Voyager episode.

Illustrated banner featuring Tom Paris and Star Trek: Voyager / Rob DeHart

January 29 marks the 27th anniversary of the airing of the Star Trek: Voyager episode “ Threshold .” Just saying the title conjures up images of Captain Janeway and Lt. Tom Paris morphing into salamanders and the babies they leave behind after they are rescued by the crew. Many fans focus on what they consider the absurd aspect of the script, and honestly, I did too at first. After a couple of more viewings, though, I began to see more.

Janeway and Tom Paris appear as salamanders on Star Trek: Voyager's Threshold

Perhaps this isn’t what Michael de Luca, the story’s creator, had in mind when he wrote "Threshold." Maybe he wanted an outlandish episode, or perhaps Brannon Braga, who wrote the teleplay, thought it would be good for the crew to have a rather odd and uncomfortable encounter with their captain and the helmsman of Voyager . But I can no longer overlook the bigger aspect of the episode.

"Threshold" starts with the crew’s discovery of dilithium, which could enable the ship’s warp drive to reach warp 10 capabilities, thus propelling the ship through the Alpha Quadrant almost instantaneously. But someone has to test the possibility; and though Lt. Paris will risk severe side effects in his attempt to travel at infinite velocity, he convinces the captain to let him go. And, surprising everyone, he is successful. Yes, there are disastrous consequences to his success; nevertheless, he breaks the barrier, and that shouldn’t be negated by what follows.

The Voyager crew sit around the table and analyze the simulation of Tom Paris hitting Warp 10 on Star Trek: Voyager

Throughout the years of Star Trek , there have been successes and failures, but it was the ultimate achievements that stood up under the scrutiny. Yet, with "Threshold," all eyes remain on the aftermath of Lt. Paris’ success. That’s unfortunate considering Star Trek has always been about exploration, taking chances, and reaching beyond the stars.

Episodes like "Threshold" encourage viewers to take risks even though there may be less than desirable effects as the result. Jumping into the deep end when we aren’t sure of the outcome is better than sitting on the sidelines wondering if we could have achieved something.

Following hitting warp 10, Tom Paris begins mutating into a salamander on Star Trek: Voyager

Another example is the two-parter “ Scorpion ,” which included far-reaching repercussions when Captain Janeway made a deal with the Borg to assist them in their fight against Species 8472. Of course the Borg proved they could not be trusted, but the end result of the alliance included Seven of Nine’s termination from the Hive mind, her ability to regain her individuality, as well as the retreat of Species 8472.

While there were crew members who disagreed with the decision, Captain Janeway forged ahead just as Lt. Paris did when he took the mission to break the maximum warp barrier. Not everyone was sure it was theoretically possible, but he accepted the risk. Maybe it was to prove to himself he could do it, especially as Paris thought his father didn’t believe he was capable of any success. Or maybe it was to prove everyone else wrong. Whatever the reason, Paris didn’t back down.

Seven of Nine's link to the Borg Collective is severed on Star Trek: Voyager

We all face decisions in our lives that could lead to success or failure, though probably not as disastrous as being turned into salamanders. Any journey or action we take could have both positive and negative results, but that doesn’t mean the reward isn’t worth the risk. Some of our biggest achievements happen when we know there is a high risk of failure, and we plunge in anyway.

Star Trek metes out successes and failures with equal measure, but there is always a positive in each of the scenarios. And that’s the same way with our lives. We shouldn’t forget our successes when we encounter obstacles that feel like failures.

Aboard the Cochrane shuttle, Tom Paris achieves maxium warp 10 barrier on Star Trek: Voyager

Lt. Paris had every right to feel jubilant about his achievement even after his foray into the world of amphibians. Even though we didn’t get to see much of what happened after he and Captain Janeway were cured and returned to their human bodies, I’d like to think he still felt a measure of pride in what he accomplished.

I’ve personally experienced large successes that were dimmed by consequences that threatened to overshadow those moments of glory. And it wasn’t always easy to focus on the successes but knowing that we all go through similar situations made taking that next step a little less difficult.

Tom Paris smiles in Sickbay after he's reverted back into his human form on Star Trek: Voyager

I encourage you to rewatch "Threshold," focusing on Lt. Paris’ achievement rather than the unfortunate side effect of his mission. He had no control over the toll breaking the barrier took on his body, but he did have control over whether or not he chose to accept the mission. And despite the horrific side effects, he still won in the end. As we all can.

Rachel Carrington is a freelance writer and author whose work can be found a, The New York Times, The Writer, and Short-Edition as well as many others. Find her on Twitter @rcarrington2004.

Stay tuned to for more details! And be sure to follow @StarTrek on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram .

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Recap / Star Trek: Voyager S2E15 "Threshold"

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Here lies Thomas Eugene Paris. Beloved mutant.

This episode provides examples of

  • Aliens Made Them Do It : Paris and Janeway are accidentally transformed into nonsapient animals, mate and produce a litter of offspring. Probably the most bizarre way of getting two main characters to make out in sci-fi history!
  • Artistic License – Biology : The episode features a notoriously bad depiction of evolution . According to the script, not only can individual beings evolve into a completely different form, but the path of that evolution is laid out by fate.
  • The Atoner : Tom thinks that being the first to breach the Warp 10 barrier will make up for his being a failure in life.
  • Big "NO!" : Tom shouts one as he begins his transformation.
  • Body Horror : Paris's mutation causes his DNA to break down, gradually making him look less human and more alien. At one point, he spits out his tongue , thus making talking difficult for him. Unsurprisingly, the episode won the Emmy for Best Makeup Effects.
  • Contrived Coincidence : Warp 10, according to this episode, makes you somehow everywhere in the universe at once. So how convenient that Tom rematerializes right back near the ship! And on mutant!Tom's second attempt with Janeway, they just wind up on a nearby planet, makin' salamander babies.
  • Cool Ship : The squat Type 6 shuttlecraft is replaced by the sleek Class 2, dubbed the 'Speedboat Shuttle' by the production staff and fans.
  • Creator Provincialism : Janeway says Tom will be joining the likes of Orville Wright, Neil Armstrong, and Zephram Cochrane. Many viewers noted the oddity of her not mentioning the actual first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. Not to mention that all of these are Humans.
  • Danger Room Cold Open : The episode opens with Tom in a shuttlecraft that breaks up as he hits the Threshold. We then cut to Tom sitting on the floor of the holodeck . B'Elanna: You're dead.
  • Death Is Cheap : Tom dies, his cells so damaged the Doctor doesn't try to revive him past the first attempt . Then he comes back to life again. He and Janeway mutate into lower lifeforms and are brought back to perfect health.

voyager warp 10

  • Easily Forgiven : Tom Paris because he was literally Not Himself at the time, what with being a catfish and all. As for the kids, Janeway jokes that it might have been her idea.

voyager warp 10

  • Famous, Famous, Fictional : Janeway tells Tom that by being the first man to breach the Warp 10 barrier, he'll be joining the ranks of Orville Wright, Neil Armstrong, and Zefram Cochrane. This case differs from the usual trope in that Cochrane is from already established Trek canon (he invented the warp drive on Earth, and thus the Vulcans decided it was time for First Contact ), rather than a completely made-up name.
  • Foreshadowing : Janeway says that the ability to fly at warp 10 will change the nature of humanity's existence. Yeah, turning into a catfish will do that...
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum : Even ignoring the lizard-fication, it's mentioned that the experimental shuttle's computers were jam-packed with helpful navigation aids and maps — which are never mentioned again.
  • Formerly Sapient Species : Tom Paris's "accelerated evolution" into a non-sapient salamander-like creature. The writer of this episode has stated that his idea was that in the distant future, humanity would evolve beyond the need for sapience due to technology providing for all our material needs.
  • FTL Test Blunder : Paris figures out transwarp traveling, which might get the ship back to the Alpha Quadrant. After a seemingly successful test, he has an allergic reaction to water and starts de-evolving into a salamander/lizard/catfish creature. And then things get very weird.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong : Just for starters, Tom, upon returning to the ship, becomes allergic to water. Somehow, it goes downhill from there.
  • If I Do Not Return : Tom's last words before he (temporarily) dies. Tom: Do me a favor. When I'm gone, call Starfleet Headquarters and tell Dad that I did it. Tell him...
  • I Just Want to Be Special : What drives Tom into this whole mess.
  • Impossible Genius : Quite a few reviewers wondered why the crew didn't just transwarp back to the Alpha Quadrant regardless , given the Doctor's miraculous ability to restore them from an amphibious state. Though given the stress the transwarp flight put on the shuttle, it's possible Voyager wouldn't have survived.
  • The Infinite : Tom Paris designs and builds an engine to go To Infinity And Beyond!! As a drive the infinite turns out to be improbable though.
  • Just Think of the Potential! : Why, they could get home instantaneously, change space travel forever, but most of all, let Tom work out his daddy issues!
  • Last Kiss : Tom asks for a last kiss from Kes, but she points out that he'll die if they let down the medical forcefield. After Tom dies anyway, a distraught Kes kisses him on the cheek.
  • "Lesson of the Day" Speech : At the end of the episode, Tom realises that doing something famous is not going to solve his issues.
  • Subverted when we find the reason Tom found Neelix's special blend so disgusting is that he's allergic to the water due to the changes in his body.
  • Ludicrous Speed : Doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • Men Don't Cry : According to Admiral Paris, apparently. Tom doesn't buy it.
  • Mistaken for Gay Tom: Kiss me! Doctor: What?! Tom: (indicating Kes) Not you! Her!
  • The Mole : Judas...err Jonas transmits details of the Warp 10 experiments to the Kazon. Unfortunately they didn't turn themselves into catfish trying it out.
  • Tom is shouting "I'm breaking up!" accompanied by Explosive Instrumentation , then we Smash Cut to B'Elanna and Harry looking bored on the holodeck, with Tom sitting on the floor.
  • Tom himself is this In-Universe ; he goes from afraid to angry, to meek and pleading then back to belligerent again, sometimes mid-sentence.
  • Mundane Solution : After the Doctor confirms Tom is only unconscious, Janeway says to wake him up. Instead of the expected hypospray of stimulant, Doc leans down to his ear and shouts, "Wake up, Lieutenant!"
  • Not Himself : Mutant!Tom lashes out verbally at Captain Janeway, accusing her of wanting him dead as he's an embarrassing failure.
  • Ominous Hair Loss : Right after coming back from the dead, Tom finds himself losing clumps of hair, the prelude to the next stage of his mutation.
  • Our Dark Matter Is Mysterious : One of Neelix's anecdotes about losing a nacelle passing through a dark matter nebula gives Tom and Harry inspiration to finish their transwarp drive.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here : Chakotay, having retrieved Janeway and Paris, apparently decides this about the lizard babies.
  • Ship Tease : This episode marks the first time its hinted that B'Elanna may be starting to consider Tom more than a crewmate.
  • Passing through all points of the universe simultaneously, causing ridiculous things to happen, sounds a lot like the Infinite Improbability Drive . Well, it did turn Ford into a penguin... but he got better.
  • Tom comes back to life with a changed face and two hearts .
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat Paris: You're losing me, aren't you? I'm going to die. Doctor: You're too stubborn to die, Mr Paris. Paris: Here lies Thomas Eugene Paris. Beloved mutant. Doctor: A fitting epitaph, but I don't intend to let you use it just yet.
  • Snowy Screen of Death : Mutant!Tom's escape is only shown by Doc and Kes watching it on the viewscreen . Phaser beams can be seen cutting across Engineering until one knocks out the screen.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security : Tom is able to break out of his chamber, take out the security officers guarding him, screw up the internal sensors, abduct Captain Janeway and steal the Warp 10 modified shuttle without any problems. And all this after Tuvok promised Janeway there wouldn't be any more shuttle-stealing incidents in " Maneuvers ".
  • Tainted Veins : When Tom first collapses in the canteen.
  • Take Our Word for It : The mutated Tom breaks out of his restraints and starts a huge fight with the security team. None of this event makes it on-screen. Instead we have Torres telling the Doctor what is happening.
  • Techno Babble : When Tom and Harry have their "Eureka!" Moment . Neelix: I have no idea what they just said.
  • That Didn't Happen : Chakotay wonders how the hell he's going to explain in the log that a Starfleet officer abducted the captain, evolved into a lower lifeform and had babies with her. Captain Janeway however takes the matter in stride, suggesting the sex might have been her idea.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball : Implied with Tom's incoherent explanations. "The present, the past, they're both in the future. The future is in the past."
  • Title Drop : "I'm approaching the Threshold!"
  • Too Much Information : Tom discusses how he lost his virginity at 17 while his parents were out of the house. Doctor: I'll...note that in your medical log.
  • Too Strange to Show : What Past-Warp-10 looks like. We only see Tom's face when he does it the first time, and the second time, we only see the multi-colored streaks of hundreds and thousands of stars streaking by at super-warp, before the screen fades entirely to white.
  • Touch of the Monster : Mutant!Tom carrying Janeway in his arms as he places her in the shuttle.
  • Unable to Cry : Tom says that B'Elanna won't be crying at his funeral as she never cries.
  • Weaksauce Weakness : Super-evolved catfish things get put down pretty quickly by basic phaser fire.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy : Tom's last words before he dies are to let his father know he crossed the Threshold.
  • What Happened to the Mouse? : We see the mutant children of Tom and Janeway enter the slimy pool and...they're never mentioned again.
  • Whole-Plot Reference : Brannon Braga wrote the episode as a homage to David Cronenberg 's The Fly .
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form : Tom finds it difficult to explain what traveling through every point in the universe is like.
  • You Talk Too Much! : Not imminent death, mutation, or even the loss of a tongue stops Tom from rambling away. Tom: Doctor, I need to talk! Doctor: So I've noticed.

Chakotay: I... don't know how I'm going to enter this into the log. Tuvok: I look forward to reading it.

  • Star Trek Voyager S 2 E 14 "Alliances"
  • Recap/Star Trek: Voyager
  • Star Trek Voyager S 2 E 16 "Meld"

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voyager warp 10

A specially-outfitted warp-capable shuttlecraft piloted by Tom Paris successfully reaches Warp 10, breaking the transwarp barrier. But the side effects of breaking the barrier may cost the crew of Voyager their best helmsman.

In this episode of the podcast, Wes and Clay discuss “Threshold” and violating canon. Plus! The guys chat about infamous Star Trek episodes, Lynch versus Cronenberg, and hard outs.

  • Post author By Wes
  • Post date 10/11/2022

voyager warp 10

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Ah, that sacred rule of Star Trek: the “Threshold” of Warp 10. A barrier that cannot be broken. A foundational rule that grounds the universe and franchise in hard science and Newtonian physics. Or… space salamanders. It’s one of those two options.

voyager warp 10

The Wikipedia plot summary for “Threshold”:

Voyager ‘s crew discovers a rare, more stable form of  dilithium  that they postulate could power a warp drive beyond  Warp 10 . This would allow  Voyager  to reach the  Alpha Quadrant  near instantaneously. Although holodeck simulations prove disastrous,  Lieutenant Paris  ( Robert Duncan McNeill ) comes up with an idea after an off-the-cuff discussion with  Neelix  ( Ethan Phillips ). The next simulation is successful and a  shuttlecraft , dubbed the  Cochrane , is prepared for a full test flight.  The Doctor  ( Robert Picardo ) identifies a rare medical condition in Lieutenant Paris indicating a 2% chance that he will suffer lethal effects from the test-flight and recommends assigning  Ensign Kim  ( Garrett Wang ) as test-pilot. Paris convinces  Captain Janeway  ( Kate Mulgrew ) to allow him to fly the shuttle despite the small risk.

voyager warp 10

Paris successfully breaks the Warp 10 barrier with the  Cochrane , rapidly disappearing from  Voyager ‘s sensors. The crew begins to try to track the shuttle, but soon the  Cochrane  reappears, Paris unconscious at the controls. Once awake, Paris explains that he had already seen everything at every point in space, and the shuttle’s database similarly contains a massive amount of information about the  Delta Quadrant . However, Paris starts to suffer allergic reactions, and he is raced to  Sickbay , where the Doctor determines that Paris is now allergic to common water. Paris’s body soon changes again, and no longer can process oxygen, forcing the Doctor to create a special environment that Paris can exist in.

Paris’s body continues its strange transformations, the Doctor postulates that he is becoming a new form of life. Before the Doctor can use an “anti-proton” treatment to return Paris to his human form, Paris escapes, disrupts  Voyager ‘s internal systems, and kidnaps Janeway on the  Cochrane . After the crew repairs Paris’ damage, the  Cochrane  has taken off to Warp 10. As  Voyager  follows the shuttle’s trail, they come to a planet covered in swamps. The Doctor explains that  mutation ‘s in Paris’ DNA are consistent with those of evolution. Near the shuttle, they discover two amphibian beings, with trace DNA of Paris and Janeway. The two mated and had three offspring. The crew members recover a transformed Janeway and Paris. The Doctor returns them to their human forms. The offspring are left behind.

voyager warp 10

voyager warp 10

  • The Inventory

Happy 'Threshold' Day, Star Trek Sickos

Star trek voyager dropped one of its most infamous episodes 28 years ago, but its legacy has been embraced by fans, like the tender arms of amphibian lovers..

Image for article titled Happy 'Threshold' Day, Star Trek Sickos

Twenty-eight years ago, Star Trek asked a daring question , one fitting of a franchise that triumphs boldly going and facing the unknown: should experimental FTL travel culminate in a captain and her helmsman turning into amphibians and doing the scaly deed? The answer is unequivocally no , but it has given us a reminder that even the worst moments of a franchise as long-lived as Star Trek are occasionally worth re-evaluating.

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It takes a lot to be a bad episode of Star Trek , and “Threshold” is an easy target when evaluating the many highs and lows of Star Trek Voyager. But the entire episode isn’t without merit, even if we remember it for its insane climax where Captain Janeway and Tom Paris have completely transformed into four-legged space-amphibians and procreated together before the crew can retrieve and un-amphibian them—creating what seems like the mother of all ethical workplace nightmare scenarios. But it’s a nightmare scenario that  Voyager moves on from sharpishly, because, well, that’s just what Star Trek Voyager does , even with the good ideas.

Image for article titled Happy 'Threshold' Day, Star Trek Sickos

“Threshold” largely deals with the titular threshold pertaining to Star Trek ’s warp travel , and the challenge of putting into practice what would happen if a starship traveled beyond the seeming max speed of Warp 10. It’s a fascinating idea, one that tackles a fundamental pillar of Star Trek worldbuilding—the Warp 10 threshold had existed since the original Star Trek —and plays to the unique context Voyager found itself in. In Robert Duncan McNeill’s Tom Paris, the show had a daring pilot—discharged from Starfleet covering up a piloting error, jailed for joining the guerrilla Maquis group, and now eager to re-prove himself—willing to push boundaries. Voyager had a premise where this kind of specific boundary was begging to be pushed: stranded in the Delta Quadrant hundreds of thousands of lightyears away from home, the crew was desperate to find new ways to shave years off their decades-long journey back. The problems in “Threshold” were never to do with its ideas.

And for the most part it wasn’t to do with the execution, either. After breaking past Warp 10 in trials to find a way to get home quicker, Paris begins slowly but inevitably transforming—at first seemingly mutating, but instead according to Voyager ’s holographic doctor, apparently evolving at a highly accelerated rate. It’s fascinatingly grotesque, as we see Paris slowly melt into this strange, increasingly broken being. The body horror is some of the best Trek has ever done; the scene where a mutilated Paris vomits out his tongue after lambasting Janeway for both taking pity on his grotesque form and accusing her of being jealous of his achievement, regardless of the cost, is remarkably haunting. Once again, all great ideas: effectively creepy, yes, but also a compelling bit of character work for Paris, putting him at the crucible of another accident caused by his own hubris, and seeing how, as the filters that had created the man he’d started to become on Voyager get stripped away, he deals with that scenario again.

Image for article titled Happy 'Threshold' Day, Star Trek Sickos

Alas, the answer is “extremely not well,” of course, but before it can really dive into that in a meaningful way “Threshold” gets into the moment that sinks it—the rapidly transforming Paris capturing Janeway, forcing her to undergo transformation herself, and then, yes, the amphibian horizontal tango. There’s a lot of weaknesses here, even putting the unhinged idea that the show’s captain and a senior officer have space-amphibian sex aside. Voyager ’s premise being that it’s so radically far away from the rest of Star Trek , physically speaking, dooms pretty much every episode early on in its run that tackles a premise where the crew get their hopes up about a potential method that could get them back home; every time, you’re inevitably waiting for the other shoe to drop well before it drops on any of its characters.

There’s also the issue of its serialization, where very little actually carries over from one episode of the series to the next—neither Paris nor Janeway ever bring up the events of “Threshold” ever again, to each other or anyone. No one addresses the ethical or moral compromise made, nor the insane implications and ramifications that amphibian Janeway and Paris leave a clutch of purportedly highly evolved human-amphibian-celerity-induced babies to disrupt the ecosystem of a planet they just happened to be passing by. Paris’ arc as a man eager to see himself redeemed by the chance he’s got on Voyager is something that persists over the rest of the show, yes, but no one ever goes into the mask that falls off here ever again.

Image for article titled Happy 'Threshold' Day, Star Trek Sickos

So yes, “Threshold” is a failure of an episode in a lot of ways. And yet, the sheer outlandish goofiness of its climax has led to a softening of that failure nearly three decades later. The amphibians are the source of fan art , of jokes and memes, an earnest embrace that Star Trek can fail but still have a sense of humor about it. It may never truly shake its reputation as one of the worsts of the series, and of the franchise—but the embrace of its camp and its absurdity means that we’ve slowly come around to at least admiring the potential of “Threshold” and its better ideas. And that makes celebrating its anniversary just as fun all these years later, almost as much as taking the piss out of one of the weirdest sex scenes in Trek history is.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel , Star Wars , and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV , and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who .

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A friendly reminder regarding spoilers ! At present the expanded Trek universe is in a period of major upheaval with the continuations of Discovery and Prodigy , the advent of new eras in gaming with the Star Trek Adventures RPG , Star Trek: Infinite and Star Trek Online , as well as other post-57th Anniversary publications such as the ongoing IDW Star Trek comic and spin-off Star Trek: Defiant . Therefore, please be courteous to other users who may not be aware of current developments by using the {{ spoiler }}, {{ spoilers }} OR {{ majorspoiler }} tags when adding new information from sources less than six months old (even if it is minor info). Also, please do not include details in the summary bar when editing pages and do not anticipate making additions relating to sources not yet in release. THANK YOU

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The warp 10 barrier is a theoretical barrier for a starship with warp drive . Warp 10 is regarded as infinite velocity, so theoretically any vessel travelling at warp 10 would exist at all points in the universe at once, the scale is asymptotic, so Warp 9.99999 is many times faster than just Warp 9.9

  • 1.1 Alternate reality
  • 2 Background
  • 3 External link

History [ ]

In 2267 , the USS Enterprise exceeded warp 10 (old scale) during its encounter with the Nomad probe . Upon hearing that the ship was traveling at over warp 10, Montgomery Scott stated that it was impossible. ( TOS episode : " The Changeling ")

Later that year, the Enterprise was attacked by an Orion scout ship that was traveling at close to warp 10. ( TOS episode : " Journey to Babel ")

In 2268 , the Enterprise once again approached warp 10, after being commandeered by Bele . ( TOS episode : " Let That Be Your Last Battlefield ")

The Daystrom Institute 's transwarp project was designed to break the warp ten barrier. Torias Dax was critically injured during a test of the technology aboard the shuttlecraft Infinity . ( DS9 - The Lives of Dax short story : " Infinity ")

In 2364 , the USS Enterprise -D travelled at speeds nearing warp 10 when it was caught in a gravimetric wave . It was only able to break free by using the slingshot effect . ( TNG - The Space Between comic : " History Lesson "). It also appeared to travel in excess of Warp 9.99999 repeating during the Kosinski experiments ( TNG - " Where No One Has Gone Before ")

In 2372 , the warp 10 barrier was broken by Lieutenant Tom Paris using the shuttlecraft Cochrane and a rare form of dilithium that was discovered in the Delta Quadrant by the USS Voyager . While Paris successfully broke the barrier, it was later discovered that the effect caused hyper-evolution in the humanoid body, and later tests were abandoned. ( VOY episode : " Threshold ")

Alternate reality [ ]

In the Kelvin timeline created by Nero , Section 31 agent, Lieutenant John Harrison was able to revamp the USS Vengeance 's warp drive to give it unprecedented capability. Lieutenant Yuki Sulu estimated that Harrison's work made it possible for Vengeance to get close to warp 10. ( TOS - Khan comic : " Issue 4 ")

Background [ ]

The Enterprise 's rate of speed on stardate 5630.7, estimated at the "old scale" of warp factor eleven, is approximately warp 8 by 24th century standards. ( TOS episode : " Is There in Truth No Beauty? ", ST reference : The Star Trek Encyclopedia )

By the 25th century , in an alternate universe warp (or transwarp ) engines have the capability to reach factors in excess of Warp 9.99999. Other drives such as a Transwarp Drive and Quantum Slipstream drive use a different scale. ( TNG episode : " All Good Things... ")

External link [ ]

  • Warp 10 article at Memory Alpha , the wiki for canon Star Trek .
  • 1 Ferengi Rules of Acquisition
  • 2 Jadzia (mirror)

voyager warp 10

8 Star Trek Warp Drives (& Which Is The Fastest)

  • Warp drive is the standard FTL engine in Star Trek, reaching up to Warp 10 cap, but may harm subspace.
  • Starfleet explores Transwarp options, like Borg conduits & Quantum Slipstream, for faster travel.
  • Proto-Drive & Spore Drive offer instant travel, each with unique pros & cons, pushing Starfleet ahead in FTL tech.

In order to seek out new life and new civilizations, Star Trek starships generally use warp drive to achieve faster-than-light (FTL) travel, because sub-light impulse engines would not have reached any alien civilizations within a human lifespan. Zefram Cochrane's (James Cromwell) 2063 flight of the Phoenix, Earth's first warp-capable vessel, in Star Trek: First Contact attracts the attention of the Vulcans, who initiate First Contact with Earth after witnessing the achievement. In Star Trek 's 24th century, warp drive is common on spacefaring vessels, with the USS Enterprise-D able to maintain a cruising speed of Warp 9.2 in Star Trek: The Next Generation .

Warp drive became the reliable means of propulsion used in the majority of Starfleet vessels, as well as the metric by which civilizations are deemed mature enough to be brought into the galactic neighborhood, according to General Order One, Starfleet's Prime Directive of non-interference with developing societies. As Starfleet explores further into the galaxy, more efficient warp engines can achieve higher warp factors to reach longer distances in shorter amounts of time. Like many other technologies, Star Trek 's warp drive continues to evolve, and newer propulsion systems that are variations on standard warp drive can take Star Trek starships further -- and faster -- than before.

Star Trek: First Contact Mystery Of How First Warp Ship Landed Is Solved

Zefram Cochrane became the first human to achieve warp flight in Star Trek: First Contact, but how did his ship, the Phoenix, make it back to Earth?

Standard Warp Drive

The standard faster-than-light engine throughout star trek.

Standard warp drive covers a range of propulsion technology in Star Trek that operates on essentially the same principle of warping space to achieve FTL travel. In Starfleet vessels, warp drive operates by combining matter and anti-matter in the warp core reactor, where the output is mitigated by dilithium crystals and becomes plasma. Warp plasma powers all systems aboard a starship, in addition to being routed to the warp nacelles to generate the warp field that propels the starship. Warp is also achievable via other means, such as Romulan warp technology being powered by an artificial quantum singularity.

Between the 23rd and 24th centuries, the warp scale was reconfigured to accommodate the increasing capabilities of standard warp drive engines, with a cap of Warp 10. The technology that powered the warp drive remained the same. In an alternate future ( TNG season 7, episodes 25 & 26, "All Good Things") the warp scale was again reconfigured, but as of Star Trek: Picard , no such reconfiguration has occurred.

Standard warp drive can refer to the warp capabilities utilized by Starfleet's vessels, the starships operated by United Federation of Planets member worlds , and starships belonging to non-Federation species. While warp drive was invented on Earth by Zefram Cochrane in the 21st century, other Star Trek species invented warp drive much earlier than Earth did . Vulcans and Klingons, for example, had their own versions of warp drive centuries before Earth did. Starfleet continued to improve upon standard warp drive, reaching higher warp factors in far less time than their warp-capable predecessors did, and even began studies into transwarp technology.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Release Date September 28, 1987

Cast Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Brent Spiner, Wil Wheaton, Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart, Marina Sirtis, Gates McFadden

Writers Jeri Taylor, Michael Piller, Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, Ronald D. Moore

Directors David Carson

Streaming Service(s) Paramount+

Starfleet Transwarp Drive

Star trek iii's failed experimental transwarp drive.

Transwarp drive is an umbrella term for any advanced warp drive that exceeds the normal cap of Warp 10. Starfleet has conducted two notable experiments with transwarp drives, both of which were unsuccessful. The first was in 2285, when the USS Excelsior was outfitted with an experimental Starfleet transwarp drive in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock . The experiment failed due to dilithium becoming unstable at speeds above warp 10, and the Excelsior was refitted with a standard warp drive after 2 years.

The Warp 10 Threshold Experiment

Star trek: voyager's infinite velocity in infinite mutations.

Starfleet's second attempt to achieve transwarp was an independent project conducted by Lt. Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) in Star Trek: Voyager season 2, episode 15 , "Threshold". The Cochrane, a Class 2 shuttle outfitted with an experimental warp drive using a new type of dilithium found in the Delta Quadrant, did achieve infinite velocity, but the experiment had the troubling side effect of mutating humans into amphibians. This was enough to shelve the project, despite the potential it held for returning the USS Voyager to the Alpha Quadrant sooner.

Borg Transwarp Drive

The borg use transwarp conduits through subspace.

The Borg Collective had a better handle on transwarp technology than Starfleet did, having assimilated the technological distinctiveness of several civilizations into their own in their quest for perfection. To achieve velocity beyond warp 10, the Borg utilize a system of transwarp conduits within subspace, which converge at a central transwarp conduit hub. New transwarp conduits can be generated by vessels with a deflector dish modified to emit tachyon bursts at the resonant transwarp frequency within a subspace field.

Borg transwarp conduits are characterized by a green color in Star Trek: Voyager season 5, episodes 15 & 16 "Dark Frontier", but become blue by Star Trek: Voyager season 7, episodes 25 & 26, "Endgame", due to the Borg assimilating quantum slipstream technology.

Any vessel equipped with Borg transwarp coils can use Borg transwarp conduits. While getting that technology is usually prohibitively difficult, Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) successfully scavenges a perfectly functioning transwarp coil from a damaged Borg ship in Star Trek: Voyager season 5, episodes 15 & 16 "Dark Frontier". The transwarp coil is later installed on the USS Voyager after tests on the Delta Flyer provide proof of concept, but Voyager isn't able to sustain the coil's operation.

Everyone In Star Trek Who Beat The Borg

The Borg were the deadliest enemy to face Starfleet and the Federation in a century, but many Star Trek heroes have defeated them to save the universe

Quantum Slipstream Drive

Star trek: voyager's flawed fast track home.

Unlike a traditional warp drive or transwarp drive, the quantum slipstream drive requires no anti-matter to achieve propulsion. Similar to Borg transwarp technology, the quantum slipstream drive redirects energy through the main deflector to penetrate the quantum barrier and open a slipstream, which carries the vessel through subspace like a current. Navigating through a quantum slipstream is difficult, and requires constant adjustment to match the slipstream's phase variance, much like navigating a raging river.

In Star Trek: Prodigy , a new USS Dauntless commanded by Admiral Kathryn Janeway is outfitted with a quantum slipstream drive capable of being used for brief amounts of time.

The USS Voyager crew learns about the existence of the quantum slipstream drive in Star Trek: Voyager season 4, episode 26, "Hope & Fear", when Starfleet seems to send the USS Dauntless to the Delta Quadrant, outfitted with a quantum slipstream drive. While this Dauntless is a Trojan horse, Lt. B'Elanna Torres spearheads the development of a quantum slipstream drive installed on the USS Voyager in Star Trek: Voyager season 5, episode 6, "Timeless". This quantum slipstream drive takes the USS Voyager only 300 light-years before a warning from the future prevents Voyager's destruction.

Star Trek: Voyager

Release Date May 23, 1995

Cast Jennifer Lien, Garrett Wang, Tim Russ, Robert Duncan McNeill, Roxann Dawson, Robert Beltran, Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo

Writers Kenneth Biller, Jeri Taylor, Michael Piller, Brannon Braga


Powering starfleet's delta quadrant return in star trek: prodigy.

Starfleet's 2380s return to the Delta Quadrant requires the development of a new kind of faster-than-light travel. Enter the proto-drive, a propulsion system powered by a protostar within a containment field. When activated, the proto-drive engages in "proto-jumps" that traverse several thousand light-years in mere minutes, making travel between quadrants relatively easy. The proto-drive is designed for brief jumps only, with the expectation that only one jump at a time is required to carry out a mission on the opposite side of the galaxy, with another jump providing the return trip. To that end, standard warp drive is still the primary propulsion system on starships with a proto-drive.

The USS Protostar, Starfleet's experimental starship equipped with a proto-drive, is lost in time during its first mission back to the Delta Quadrant, which is commanded by Captain Chakotay (Robert Beltran). In Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 , the Protostar itself is recovered in the present by a group of Delta Quadrant adolescents who use the proto-drive to seek out the Federation in the Alpha Quadrant, but Chakotay and the original Protostar crew remain stranded in the future. The proto-drive's success, however, prompts the construction of Starfleet's Protostar-class starships, each outfitted with a proto-drive.

Star Trek: Prodigy

Release Date October 28, 2021

Cast Robert Beltran, Kate Mulgrew, John Noble, Jason Mantzoukas, Brett Gray, Angus Imrie, Jameela Jamil, Robert Picardo, Jimmi Simpson, Ella Purnell, Dee Bradley Baker

Writers Kevin Hageman, Dan Hageman

Streaming Service(s) Netflix

Spore Drive

The displacement-activated spore hub drive in star trek: discovery.

With its instantaneous travel, Star Trek: Discovery 's spore drive is the clear winner as the fastest warp drive alternative in Star Trek . The USS Discovery was one of two Starfleet vessels outfitted with an experimental spore drive, designed by Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) and Straal (Saad Siddiqui). Unlike standard warp drive, which warps space around the starship, Star Trek: Discovery 's spore drive physically displaces the USS Discovery into the mycelial plane, where it can jump instantaneously to any point in space along the sprawling mycelial network. After the destruction of the USS Glenn, the USS Discovery remained the only Starfleet ship to have a spore drive.

Spore drive presents an obvious tactical advantage in that it allows the USS Discovery to go where starships normally would not be able to go, and provides the element of surprise in both its arrival and departure. The spore drive is useless, however, without a sentient navigator who has a connection to the mycelial network. Stamets achieved this by injecting himself with tardigrade DNA, and Cleveland Booker's (David Ajala) Kwejian empathy also suffices, but these are unsustainable stopgap solutions to a long-term problem.

Star Trek: Discovery

Release Date September 24, 2017

Cast Blu del Barrio, Oded Fehr, Anthony Rapp, Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Wilson Cruz, Eve Harlow, Mary Wiseman, Callum Keith Rennie

Writers Alex Kurtzman

Directors Jonathan Frakes, Olatunde Osunsanmi

Where To Watch Paramount+

Pathway Drive

Star trek: discovery's post-burn warp alternative.

As Starfleet's newest faster-than-light engine in Star Trek: Discovery 's 32nd century, the Pathway Drive was designed to operate without the use of dilithium crystals to mediate the matter/anti-matter reaction that powers warp drive. The 31st century Burn rendered most of the galaxy's dilithium inert, making travel by standard warp drive difficult and inconvenient. A new source of active dilithium was found at the end of Star Trek: Discovery season 3, but dilithium remained a rare, non-renewable resource, necessitating the development of an alternative faster-than-light engine for Starfleet vessels.

Commander Stamets' spore drive was one such option, but the spore drive's reliance on a sentient navigator made it unsustainable as a long-term solution for Starfleet's warp drive alternative. Instead, Starfleet leaned into developing the Pathway Drive as Star Trek: Discovery 's spore drive replacement , which was successfully installed on the USS Voyager-J. Besides its independence from dilithium, not much is known about how Star Trek 's Pathway drive operates. The Pathway Drive represents a new era for Star Trek , with a shrinking galaxy that new forms of FTL travel and warp drive alternatives will no doubt provide access to, as Star Trek boldly goes into its own future.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Discovery are streaming on Paramount+.

Star Trek: Prodigy is streaming on Netflix.

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek: First Contact are streaming on Max.

8 Star Trek Warp Drives (& Which Is The Fastest)

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abstract light in a tunnel

A Groundbreaking Scientific Discovery Just Created the Instruction Manual for Light-Speed Travel

In a first for warp drives, this research actually obeys the laws of physics.

If a superluminal—meaning faster than the speed of light—warp drive like Alcubierre’s worked, it would revolutionize humanity’s endeavors across the universe , allowing us, perhaps, to reach Alpha Centauri, our closest star system, in days or weeks even though it’s four light years away.

The clip above from the 2016 film Star Trek Beyond showcases the effect of a starship zipping through space inside a faster-than-light warp bubble. You can see the imagined but hypothetically accurate warping of spacetime.

However, the Alcubierre drive has a glaring problem: the force behind its operation, called “negative energy,” involves exotic particles—hypothetical matter that, as far as we know, doesn’t exist in our universe. Described only in mathematical terms, exotic particles act in unexpected ways, like having negative mass and working in opposition to gravity (in fact, it has “anti-gravity”). For the past 30 years, scientists have been publishing research that chips away at the inherent hurdles to light speed revealed in Alcubierre’s foundational 1994 article published in the peer-reviewed journal Classical and Quantum Gravity .

Now, researchers at the New York City-based think tank Applied Physics believe they’ve found a creative new approach to solving the warp drive’s fundamental roadblock. Along with colleagues from other institutions, the team envisioned a “positive energy” system that doesn’t violate the known laws of physics . It’s a game-changer, say two of the study’s authors: Gianni Martire, CEO of Applied Physics, and Jared Fuchs, Ph.D., a senior scientist there. Their work, also published in Classical and Quantum Gravity in late April, could be the first chapter in the manual for interstellar spaceflight.

Positive energy makes all the difference. Imagine you are an astronaut in space, pushing a tennis ball away from you. Instead of moving away, the ball pushes back, to the point that it would “take your hand off” if you applied enough pushing force, Martire tells Popular Mechanics . That’s a sign of negative energy, and, though the Alcubierre drive design requires it, there’s no way to harness it.

Instead, regular old positive energy is more feasible for constructing the “ warp bubble .” As its name suggests, it’s a spherical structure that surrounds and encloses space for a passenger ship using a shell of regular—but incredibly dense—matter. The bubble propels the spaceship using the powerful gravity of the shell, but without causing the passengers to feel any acceleration. “An elevator ride would be more eventful,” Martire says.

That’s because the density of the shell, as well as the pressure it exerts on the interior, is controlled carefully, Fuchs tells Popular Mechanics . Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, according to the gravity-bound principles of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity . So the bubble is designed such that observers within their local spacetime environment—inside the bubble—experience normal movement in time. Simultaneously, the bubble itself compresses the spacetime in front of the ship and expands it behind the ship, ferrying itself and the contained craft incredibly fast. The walls of the bubble generate the necessary momentum, akin to the momentum of balls rolling, Fuchs explains. “It’s the movement of the matter in the walls that actually creates the effect for passengers on the inside.”

alcubierre drive model

Building on its 2021 paper published in Classical and Quantum Gravity —which details the same researchers’ earlier work on physical warp drives—the team was able to model the complexity of the system using its own computational program, Warp Factory. This toolkit for modeling warp drive spacetimes allows researchers to evaluate Einstein’s field equations and compute the energy conditions required for various warp drive geometries. Anyone can download and use it for free . These experiments led to what Fuchs calls a mini model, the first general model of a positive-energy warp drive. Their past work also demonstrated that the amount of energy a warp bubble requires depends on the shape of the bubble; for example, the flatter the bubble in the direction of travel, the less energy it needs.

☄️ DID YOU KNOW? People have been imagining traveling as fast as light for nearly a century, if not longer. The 1931 novel Islands of Space by John W. Campbell mentions a “warp” method in the context of superluminal space travel.

This latest advancement suggests fresh possibilities for studying warp travel design, Erik Lentz, Ph.D., tells Popular Mechanics . In his current position as a staff physicist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, Lentz contributes to research on dark matter detection and quantum information science research. His independent research in warp drive theory also aims to be grounded in conventional physics while reimagining the shape of warped space. The topic needs to overcome many practical hurdles, he says.

Controlling warp bubbles requires a great deal of coordination because they involve enormous amounts of matter and energy to keep the passengers safe and with a similar passage of time as the destination. “We could just as well engineer spacetime where time passes much differently inside [the passenger compartment] than outside. We could miss our appointment at Proxima Centauri if we aren’t careful,” Lentz says. “That is still a risk if we are traveling less than the speed of light.” Communication between people inside the bubble and outside could also become distorted as it passes through the curvature of warped space, he adds.

While Applied Physics’ current solution requires a warp drive that travels below the speed of light, the model still needs to plug in a mass equivalent to about two Jupiters. Otherwise, it will never achieve the gravitational force and momentum high enough to cause a meaningful warp effect. But no one knows what the source of this mass could be—not yet, at least. Some research suggests that if we could somehow harness dark matter , we could use it for light-speed travel, but Fuchs and Martire are doubtful, since it’s currently a big mystery (and an exotic particle).

Despite the many problems scientists still need to solve to build a working warp drive, the Applied Physics team claims its model should eventually get closer to light speed. And even if a feasible model remains below the speed of light, it’s a vast improvement over today’s technology. For example, traveling at even half the speed of light to Alpha Centauri would take nine years. In stark contrast, our fastest spacecraft, Voyager 1—currently traveling at 38,000 miles per hour—would take 75,000 years to reach our closest neighboring star system.

Of course, as you approach the actual speed of light, things get truly weird, according to the principles of Einstein’s special relativity . The mass of an object moving faster and faster would increase infinitely, eventually requiring an infinite amount of energy to maintain its speed.

“That’s the chief limitation and key challenge we have to overcome—how can we have all this matter in our [bubble], but not at such a scale that we can never even put it together?” Martire says. It’s possible the answer lies in condensed matter physics, he adds. This branch of physics deals particularly with the forces between atoms and electrons in matter. It has already proven fundamental to several of our current technologies, such as transistors, solid-state lasers, and magnetic storage media.

The other big issue is that current models allow a stable warp bubble, but only for a constant velocity. Scientists still need to figure out how to design an initial acceleration. On the other end of the journey, how will the ship slow down and stop? “It’s like trying to grasp the automobile for the first time,” Martire says. “We don’t have an engine just yet, but we see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Warp drive technology is at the stage of 1882 car technology, he says: when automobile travel was possible, but it still looked like a hard, hard problem.

The Applied Physics team believes future innovations in warp travel are inevitable. The general positive energy model is a first step. Besides, you don’t need to zoom at light speed to achieve distances that today are just a dream, Martire says. “Humanity is officially, mathematically, on an interstellar track.”

Headshot of Manasee Wagh

Before joining Popular Mechanics , Manasee Wagh worked as a newspaper reporter, a science journalist, a tech writer, and a computer engineer. She’s always looking for ways to combine the three greatest joys in her life: science, travel, and food.

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Model suggests subluminal warp drives may be possible

by Bob Yirka ,

Model suggests subluminal warp drives may be possible

A team of physicists from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the Advanced Propulsion Laboratory at Applied Physics, in New York, has developed a model that shows it might be possible to create a subluminal warp drive.

In their paper published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity , the group describes the physics behind their approach and why they believe it shows that warp drives may not have to be relegated to science fiction stories.

Warp drives, made famous by the television series "Star Trek," are imagined engines that could push vehicles through space at speeds that are currently impossible—perhaps even at the speed of light.

Such speeds are attainable in the science fiction realm, due to compression of the space in front of a spaceship, the ship passing through, and then expanding the space behind it back to its natural state.

According to current theory, it would not be possible to construct warp drives in the real world. But current theories may have to be amended if the work by the team on this new effort pans out.

The work builds on work done by Miguel Alcubierre, who, back in 1994, published a paper that used physics to describe how a warp drive might work—unfortunately, the paper included the need for negative energy, which may or may not exist.

In this new study, the team has built a model that draws similar conclusions, but without the need for negative, or any other types of exotic energy.

The team blends both new and traditional physics techniques based on gravity to describe the creation of a warp bubble around an object, allowing it to travel at speeds that are far beyond those that have been proposed to date—though, not at or above the speed of light.

The engine behind the technology, the researchers suggest, would involve combining a shell made of stable matter with a "shift vector distribution" similar in design to that described by Alcubierre.

They further suggest such an engine could allow for speeds near the speed of light. But they also note that building such an engine is still far beyond current technology capabilities, which means if such an engine can be built, it will not happen for a very long time.

Journal information: arXiv

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Gagarin Cup Preview: Atlant vs. Salavat Yulaev

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Gagarin cup (khl) finals:  atlant moscow oblast vs. salavat yulaev ufa.

Much like the Elitserien Finals, we have a bit of an offense vs. defense match-up in this league Final.  While Ufa let their star top line of Alexander Radulov, Patrick Thoresen and Igor Grigorenko loose on the KHL's Western Conference, Mytischi played a more conservative style, relying on veterans such as former NHLers Jan Bulis, Oleg Petrov, and Jaroslav Obsut.  Just reaching the Finals is a testament to Atlant's disciplined style of play, as they had to knock off much more high profile teams from Yaroslavl and St. Petersburg to do so.  But while they did finish 8th in the league in points, they haven't seen the likes of Ufa, who finished 2nd. 

This series will be a challenge for the underdog, because unlike some of the other KHL teams, Ufa's top players are generally younger and in their prime.  Only Proshkin amongst regular blueliners is over 30, with the work being shared by Kirill Koltsov (28), Andrei Kuteikin (26), Miroslav Blatak (28), Maxim Kondratiev (28) and Dmitri Kalinin (30).  Oleg Tverdovsky hasn't played a lot in the playoffs to date.  Up front, while led by a fairly young top line (24-27), Ufa does have a lot of veterans in support roles:  Vyacheslav Kozlov , Viktor Kozlov , Vladimir Antipov, Sergei Zinovyev and Petr Schastlivy are all over 30.  In fact, the names of all their forwards are familiar to international and NHL fans:  Robert Nilsson , Alexander Svitov, Oleg Saprykin and Jakub Klepis round out the group, all former NHL players.

For Atlant, their veteran roster, with only one of their top six D under the age of 30 (and no top forwards under 30, either), this might be their one shot at a championship.  The team has never won either a Russian Superleague title or the Gagarin Cup, and for players like former NHLer Oleg Petrov, this is probably the last shot at the KHL's top prize.  The team got three extra days rest by winning their Conference Final in six games, and they probably needed to use it.  Atlant does have younger regulars on their roster, but they generally only play a few shifts per game, if that. 

The low event style of game for Atlant probably suits them well, but I don't know how they can manage to keep up against Ufa's speed, skill, and depth.  There is no advantage to be seen in goal, with Erik Ersberg and Konstantin Barulin posting almost identical numbers, and even in terms of recent playoff experience Ufa has them beat.  Luckily for Atlant, Ufa isn't that far away from the Moscow region, so travel shouldn't play a major role. 

I'm predicting that Ufa, winners of the last Superleague title back in 2008, will become the second team to win the Gagarin Cup, and will prevail in five games.  They have a seriously well built team that would honestly compete in the NHL.  They represent the potential of the league, while Atlant represents closer to the reality, as a team full of players who played themselves out of the NHL. 

  • Atlant @ Ufa, Friday Apr 8 (3:00 PM CET/10:00 PM EST)
  • Atlant @ Ufa, Sunday Apr 10 (1:00 PM CET/8:00 AM EST)
  • Ufa @ Atlant, Tuesday Apr 12 (5:30 PM CET/12:30 PM EST)
  • Ufa @ Atlant, Thursday Apr 14 (5:30 PM CET/12:30 PM EST)

Games 5-7 are as yet unscheduled, but every second day is the KHL standard, so expect Game 5 to be on Saturday, like an early start. 

The Unique Burial of a Child of Early Scythian Time at the Cemetery of Saryg-Bulun (Tuva)

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Pages:  379-406

In 1988, the Tuvan Archaeological Expedition (led by M. E. Kilunovskaya and V. A. Semenov) discovered a unique burial of the early Iron Age at Saryg-Bulun in Central Tuva. There are two burial mounds of the Aldy-Bel culture dated by 7th century BC. Within the barrows, which adjoined one another, forming a figure-of-eight, there were discovered 7 burials, from which a representative collection of artifacts was recovered. Burial 5 was the most unique, it was found in a coffin made of a larch trunk, with a tightly closed lid. Due to the preservative properties of larch and lack of air access, the coffin contained a well-preserved mummy of a child with an accompanying set of grave goods. The interred individual retained the skin on his face and had a leather headdress painted with red pigment and a coat, sewn from jerboa fur. The coat was belted with a leather belt with bronze ornaments and buckles. Besides that, a leather quiver with arrows with the shafts decorated with painted ornaments, fully preserved battle pick and a bow were buried in the coffin. Unexpectedly, the full-genomic analysis, showed that the individual was female. This fact opens a new aspect in the study of the social history of the Scythian society and perhaps brings us back to the myth of the Amazons, discussed by Herodotus. Of course, this discovery is unique in its preservation for the Scythian culture of Tuva and requires careful study and conservation.

Keywords: Tuva, Early Iron Age, early Scythian period, Aldy-Bel culture, barrow, burial in the coffin, mummy, full genome sequencing, aDNA

Information about authors: Marina Kilunovskaya (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail: [email protected] Vladimir Semenov (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail: [email protected] Varvara Busova  (Moscow, Russian Federation).  (Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation). Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  Dvortsovaya Emb., 18, Saint Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Kharis Mustafin  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Technical Sciences. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Irina Alborova  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Candidate of Biological Sciences. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected] Alina Matzvai  (Moscow, Russian Federation). Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.  Institutsky Lane, 9, Dolgoprudny, 141701, Moscow Oblast, Russian Federation E-mail:  [email protected]

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