Warp 10

Story: Threshold
Written By: Brannon Braga
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Year: 1996

Just before the 20-minute mark, Star Trek: Voyager enters a realm of idiocy and fantasy that Trek previously had ever seen before. Tom Paris begins to turn into a salamander. That is a sentence no Trek fan should have to face, but Brannon Braga does not understand genetics, DNA, evolution, or biology…so there you go.
Basically this episode is about trying to break the Warp 10 barrier. It has never been done, but it is theorized that when you reach this velocity you would be at every point in the Universe. Whatever. So Paris, Torres, and Kim are running simulations to see if it could be done, after all it could be a potential avenue home. Once they finally have a successful simulation, they attempt the real deal. It is seemingly a success when Paris returns safely…but soon he has medical issues, and he even dies at one point…but he comes back to life and his body continues to change and he slowly turns into a salamander. Jesus Christ.

The Doctor has a plan to return him to original state, but Paris escapes while they attempt the plan…and he kidnaps Janeway, and makes another flight. When Voyager finally finds the shuttle and them, they are BOTH salamanders and have babies. They let the babies stay and take the two parents home to turn back into our regular characters. Holy fricken cow.

“Threshold” is without a doubt the worst thing to ever happen in Star Trek. You watch this episode, and Season 3 of TOS seems brilliant, Season 1 of TNG is like Shakespeare…this is complete and utter garbage.

Brannon Braga admits the episode didn’t work, and thinks that it is odd that out of all the 100 odd episodes of Trek he wrote this one always gets brought up. But here is the fact: this is the final straw of his terrible evolution stories. He tried bringing in evolution in episodes like “Identity Crisis” and “Genesis” to TNG…but it is startlingly clear that while the guy does seem interested in the subject of evolution, he insults us all with his complete lack of understanding. It really, really aggravates me that the guy never once even tried to look some of this shit up. I’ve read what he was thinking about evolution on this one, but it is gibberish. He never read up on the subject, he never learned one goddamned fact about evolution, where we come from or where we could theoretically go. He just got some myths and half-truths and just ran with it. With this he took it to a new level of stupidity, and I think that is really insulting to his audience. He is a fucking lazy writer. He may have written over a hundred episodes in the Star Trek franchise, but from what I’ve witnessed, most of them are mediocre to bad…his best work was with the great writer Ronald D. Moore (makes you wonder who was carrying most of the weight there…or more likely who was shooting down all the bullshit insane ideas). I’ve never felt the need to ridicule a writer before now, but Braga submitted enough bad episodes, and the single worse thing in the whole Trek Universe…I think that justifies the rant.

Oh and that former Maquis that was trying to contact Seska and co in the previous episode sends the Kazons some info on the Warp test made by Paris as well. Maybe we’ll see salamander Kazons later.