Star Trek: Voyager

Season 2 Episode 15


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Jan 29, 1996 on UPN

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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  • An embarassment

    In the 1990s, Michael De Luca was a pop culture visionary. Be it, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, or Austin Powers, De Luca, as president of production at New Line Cinema, was the guy behind the scenes who made them happen and the guy who turned TV stars Jim Carrey and Mike Myers into box office commodities. New Line producer Mark Ordesky once told me, "At New Line, we couldn't make traditional star-driven films. We were not a company that was going to get access to Tom Cruise. The star-driven vehicles were going to go to Paramount, or Warner or one of the more traditional studios before us. So Mike De Luca, who was president of production during the time of nearly all the hits you're describing, realized that what you needed to do if you didn't have giant movie stars to create opening weekends was to be right on the leading edge of pop culture. You needed to know what motivated audiences apart from just the traditional elements. He used to say, 'We can't afford stars. We need to create stars'. And the way you did that was you take a new or distinctive idea and give it to talented people so that it becomes greater than the sum of its parts"

    Yet alongside all his homeruns, De Luca also had his share of strikeouts. In 2001 he was fired from New Line for flushing away millions on projects that never bore fruit.

    Stepping back a few years, in 1995 De Luca contributed to Star Trek with disastrous results. It's not all his fault. The VOY writing staff added some poorly thought out additions of their own. Basically, "Threshold" is a jumble of ideas tossed into one pot. There's Star Trek's version of the breaking of the sound barrier, the plot of "The Fly", and bits from TOS's "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and TNG's "Identity Crisis" all thrown together. The end result makes "Spock's Brain" look like intelligent science fiction.

    It's a Tom Paris episode, and teleplay writer Braga tries to develop it around the notion of Paris searching for redemption, though the point is largely lost in the shuffle (or mess). The real thrust of the plot is an effort to illustrate the idea that evolution isn't really about the development of more intelligent or socially savvy species but is instead about survival of the fittest (with the fittest being those who are able to have the most offspring live to reproduce). Unfortunately, as Star Trek is prone to do, the episode attempts to distill the idea down to an individual, taking all the sense out of it. Some other episodes (like TNG's "Genesis") get away with it because they use the junk science as a conceit to tell an interesting story; but here, it is the story, and thus results in some very confusing explanations and an ending that's too implausible for even science fiction.

    Ironically, "Threshold" won an Emmy for make-up (beating out DS9's "The Visitor") and was even commemorated by Playmates Toys with a mutant Tom Paris action figure. As an episode, however, it's probably the worst of the series... and arguably the franchise.

  • SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF TO MAXIMUM, CAPTAIN ! Forget everything you know about Star Trek, science, and common sense, and this might not be so bad.

    "I'm sorry". - Brannon Braga

    It's ok, Mr. Braga, we forgive you.

    This episode wasn't even that bad as I watched it (until the very end, anyway...). It wasn't until a few minutes later I realized that this episodes violated the continuity of most of the rest of Star Trek in general. I mean, the warp 10 thing makes no sense at all - what makes warp 10 so different from warp 9 or 11 ? It's 1X the speed of light that's the big deal. Plus, don't the Borg go faster than Warp 10 all the time ? Is that why they're all so ugly ? Didn't the Enterprise do it a bunch of times, including in ST4, 'The Voyage Home' ? And aren't we talking about occupying space, not time ? What's with the whole mega-evolution thing ? Are we all destined to become really gross looking and eventually turn into lizards (What the hell, Braga?) ? That really doesn't seem like the final rung on the evolutionary ladder. And then the solution, oh lord, the solution. "The DNA will just rewrite... itself". Even Picardo had trouble making that one sound believable. Ok, that's enough, I'm getting mad again.
  • Threshold


    Threshold was a fair episode of Star Trek: Voyager and I enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of intriguing science and the story was pretty good. Tom Paris succeeded in breaking the Transwarp Threshold though it had consequences for him. The concept was amazing as going Warp 10 or beyond is basically like being God because you are at infinite velocity and you are everywhere all at the same time in the entire Time SpaceContinuum and beyond. It was cool that Paris was able to earn honor for his name. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!!

  • Spock's Brain in the Delta Quadrant...

    I have been a fan on all the "Trek" series, In the past couple of months, I have been buying Voyager, I already have all DS9 seasons. In my opinion, each and every Star Trek series has it's own version of "Spocks Brain" Which is considered to be about the worst episode of any Star Trek ever.

    However, consider how hard it must be to put out a even just a good episode week in and week out. Not to put to fine of a point on it, however, this episode is the Spocks Brain of Voyager.

    All that aside, I since I have been watching more Voyager in the past few weeks, I have a new affection for the series and the crew that I did not have even during it run from 1995-2001. So besides, this one example of shoddy writing...VOYAGER ROCKS !!!!!!!
  • Paris and the engineering team are conducting holodeck simulations to study the theory on passing Warp 10. Paris will be using a modified shuttlecraft with a transwarp drive. It takes two attempts and then Paris is successful.

    Paris and the engineering team are conducting holodeck simulations to study the theory on passing Warp 10. Paris will be using a modified shuttlecraft with a transwarp drive. It takes two attempts and then Paris is successful. Now for the real test, Paris will use the Shuttlecraft Cochrane to break Warp 10. The test commences. The “Voyager” is not able to keep up with Paris. Paris does break Warp 10 threshold , but disappears. Now where is he? He reappears minutes later. For the record Tom Eugene Paris is the first person ever to break the warp threshold.
  • I agree with the other reviews for this episode. It is very, very bad indeed.

    I agree with the other reviews for this episode. It is very, very bad indeed. Nothing seems to tie up with accepted ST continuity or even everyday common sense. How could Janeway evolve, mate, gestate and then give birth within the space of just three days? And Chakotay's decision to simply abandon fledgling human genetic material on a pre-warp planet must rank as the most grotesque violation of the prime directive ever - and this is right after Janeway lectured him about the absolute importance of that same directive in the previous episode ('Alliances' season 2 episode 14).
    Season 2 of Voyager features absolute classic episodes such as 'The 37's', 'Projections' and my favourite Voyager episode of all 'Non Sequitur' but there were also moments in the first two seasons of Voyager that are disturbingly reminiscent of 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' at its worst. 'Threshold' is like a an episode of VttBotSea but with a bit of reproduction added in for good measure. Normally it was Kowalski who turned into a monster, only to shake his head at the end of the episode - quite miraculously back to his old self (with no lingering side effects, of course). Here, Paris and Janeway are channeling the spirit of Kowalski!
  • The infamous salamander episode. Run, do not walk away from it. Hopefully, they'll pull it from the DVD and syndication and hope for collective amnesia.

    Voyager's second season saw extreme declines in their scripting and episodes. Fortunately, they'd correct this going into the third season and they'd go on for a total of seven seasons.

    This clunker of an episode sets up a new "physical law" where no one can travel past warp 10. All this time, we thought that star ship design and structure were the constraints.

    Paris and Torres are working for a way around this and Paris takes off on a successful journey. However soon after he returns, he begins mutating. Actually, evolving into a future human. Suffice it that his evolved appearance is downright ugly. When we evolve, can't we become more attractive rather than looking like "The Fly?"

    At any rate, for some strange reason, he kidnaps Janeway and takes her off on another "ultra warp" adventure with him. The crew eventually finds them on a planet where they have de-evolved (or is it still evolved) into a pair of salamanders. And, they've had babies together!!! They're returned to the ship where Janeway makes a comment about wanting to have babies but never expected them with Paris. Now, I'm quite certain, that leaving your genetic material on any pre-warp planet HAS to be some kind of a violation of the prime directive not to interfere with such planet's natural evolution. Who knows? Maybe that planet's evolution path won't create such ugly future descendants.
  • Voyager's engineers conduct a shuttle experiment in an effort to reach Warp 10, hoping this will facilitate their return to the Alpha Quadrant. However, attempting to cross the warp threshold results in unforeseen consequences for Lt. Paris and the crew.

    I hardly ever write reviews on shows, but after watching this episode recently, I felt compelled to review it. Rarely have I seen an episode of any Star Trek series that I felt was a complete waste of my time, but this one's it. When the episode ended, I literally said to myself, "That's the worst Star Trek episode I have ever seen." Apparently from reading about it afterward, most of the ST community agrees with that assessment.

    The only redeeming quality of this episode is that the makeup artists did a great job making Tom Paris as disgusting as possible after his transformation. Unfortunately, beyond that there is nothing good to report.

    The episode does nothing to expand upon character development or the plot of the show that isn't done in a much better fashion in a different episode. The plot makes very little sense and, in fact, introduces many elements that are flat-out contradictions to accepted aspects of the ST universe.

    The acting is flat (probably reflecting the cast's level of excitement after reading the script), the dialogue is poor, and the conclusion of the episode is quick, ridiculous, and unsatisfying... Although, you might get a kick out of the inference that the next step in human evolution is to become a giant salamander. (Wouldn't that be more like a step back a few million years?)

    Anyway, suspending your disbelief won't be enough to swallow this pill. There are alot of great Voyager episodes, but this isn't one of them. If you're new to the show, don't judge the body of work on this mistake.
  • Why did this accident take place? because for example the Borg and the Voth use Transwarp and a accident like this never took place why is that?.

    I think they should never have created this episode because it just puts out a question "why"?. Michael Jonas probably sabotaged the shuttle. So this episode was 50% boring 50% exciting but not the best and not the worst but in between those two. I got one statement; The docter should have offered protection somehow to the whole crew and put Voyager in transwarp and then they would be home. I'm a star trek fanatic but this episode is not good. The storyline is poorly made and the Storyboard is also poorly made in my opinion. I'll fall asleep if I watch this episode again.
  • It's bad, but not THAT bad.

    This is not a bad episode of Star Trek. However I do understand why so many people don't care for it. The first 3/4 's of the show are enjoyable I think, it's fun, exciting, it keeps you on the edge of your seat for the most part, and it really does a good job of coming off as a real Star Trek episode.

    It's the ending that really left me with a bitter taste in my mouth so to speak. I thought it was very poorly written and an extremely unecessary plot development. Also, the explanation of what is happening to Paris is a little forced I feel. Most people have serious issues with the whole 'evolution' concept of this episode, it's not believeable, it's impossible etc etc. Well, that's Star Trek, get over it. But that's not what bothered me, it just didn't feel like a natural conclusion to this story, like I said, it felt forced.

    All in all it's not a bad episode, hardly 'the worst ever'. But it really does go over the top with the ending, and the writing in some scenes, writing that will really have you reeling in disgust. But check it out anyway, you might like it.. Ya never know.

  • Is this really the 'worst episode ever'?

    Paris becomes the first person to ever reach warp 10, and then suffers the concequences. I must be a cynic, because this episode doesn't seem much worse than any other Voyager episode. It follows a similar plot structure of most other Voyager episodes - A scene is set, something bad happens, the crew is able to fix it, and then they just move on to the next thing. I found the 'explanations' for what happened to Paris after his warp 10 flight uncreative and uninteresting, but as for the idea of warp 10 itself, Voyager had to try it at some point, after all, the whole point of the show is for them to get home. This is not the worst this series has to offer, as far as I'm concerned, this is just another mediocre episode of Voyager, and no worse than the rest. In fact, DNA shifting subplot and uncreative explanations aside, this episode was probably better than more than one up to this point in the series.
  • The Worst Star Trek Episode Ever!!!

    To quote writer Brannon Braga, "I'm sorry." Threshold holds the dubious distinction of being the worst Star Trek episode ever written. This episode, which Braga calls "garbage" was too much even for science fiction. It was just a horrible show and should be forgotten. The sheer prospect that human can evolve into salamanders, mate, have children, leave the children on a jungle planet, and become humans again is not good television. Its just stupid!!!