“Star Trek” offers a glimpse of a utopian future where humanity is constantly seeking to improve itself. Starfleet’s mission is to go “where no one has gone before,” after all, so it’s only natural that people will want to keep pushing the limits of medical science, engineering, and warp propulsion technology.
Unfortunately, as the infamous “Star Trek: Voyager” Season 2 episode “Threshold” revealed, there are some areas even the bold should avoid at all costs. Just ask Lieutenant Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill) who successfully broke the Warp 10 barrier — only to start suffering some very strange symptoms as a result of his history-making flight.
As it turned out, Tom contracted a rare medical condition that causes its unlucky recipients to become allergic to water and unable to breathe oxygen. Hair falls out, skin becomes scaly, and eventually the patient mutates/evolves into a large salamander-like amphibian. In the case of Lt. Paris, this drove him to kidnap Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), take her on a Warp 10 joyride and then mate with her on an alien planet after she transformed into a salamander, causing her to have three salamander kids before Voyager rescued them and reversed the process.
Considered one of the worst Star Trek episodes by both the creators and the fans, “Threshold” actually inspired some toymakers to create a mutated Tom Paris action figure, complete with three salamander kids. Suffice it to say, it won’t be appearing on shelves in your local Target toy department anytime soon.