Threshold

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Your journey into darkness is about to begin.
Tom is enjoying the ride a little too much.
Behold the future of human evolution

"Threshold" is an episode of Star Trek: Voyager that is almost universally regarded as the worst Star Trek episode ever. It was written by Brannon Braga, who will never be allowed to forget about it. Only one other episode can call itself a contender for this lowly spot, and that is the Enterprise episode "A Night in Sickbay" (co-written by Berman and Braga).

Why It Sucks

  • The characters keep contriving reasons to say "threshold" over and over and OVER.
  • The story is scientifically stupid on many levels.
    • They actually call Neelix a genius. In fact it's one of his stupid stories that solves the problem for them.
    • They describe Warp 10 as an "infinite speed", but they expect to achieve it by using a special form of dilithium in their warp drive. No amount of funky dilithium will allow the ship to generate the infinite amount of energy that would be needed to propel the ship to infinite speed.
    • Travelling at Warp 10 causes Tom Paris to start mutating, a process that the Doctor describes as Tom undergoing millions of years of "evolution" in a matter of hours. This is utterly absurd, because not only does evolution occur over generations instead of in individual organisms, Tom's mutations should at least be adaptations to his local environmental conditions, which they clearly aren't.
    • Eventually Tom kidnaps Janeway and escapes with her at Warp 10, only for them to be found on a planet a short distance away, where they've mutated into giant newts, mated, and produced some smaller newt-things. The Doctor is able to completely reverse their mutations off-screen, with no side effects.
  • The test shuttle flies away from Voyager at Warp 10 at least twice, but both times it ends up just a short distance from Voyager.
  • Technically, the experiment is a success: they can achieve Warp 10 and use it to get home, they just need someone to use the Doctor's medical procedure at the destination to reverse the mutations they develop. Nonetheless, the whole Warp 10 idea is completely dropped without further comment, and it is never mentioned again (admittedly an understandable choice).
  • The plot can be interpreted as a horribly mangled sexual initiation story.
    • Excited talk about getting over the "threshold" -- CHECK
    • Oddly ecstatic behavior from Tom as he goes over the "threshold" -- CHECK
    • Bizarre allegory to getting STDs from going over the "threshold" -- CHECK
    • Unplanned pregnancy as a result of going over the "threshold" -- CHECK
    • No actual lasting repercussions from the Unplanned Pregnancy -- CHECK

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