Star Trek Fans Celebrate The Franchise’s Worst Story

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

In-universe, Star Trek has some pretty fun fictional holidays, with our favorite being “Captain Picard Day.” Outside of the shows themselves, fans have created some of their own special holidays, including one that unironically celebrates what is arguably the worst Star Trek episode ever made. On January 29 each year, certain Star Trek fans celebrate Threshold Day in order to honor the Voyager episode “Threshold,” otherwise known as the episode where Tom Paris and Kathryn Janeway achieve Warp 10, turn into lizard people, and have some freaky amphibian sex before turning human once again.

This Was A Real Episode That Aired On Television

If you’ve never seen this particular Star Trek episode before, reading the description above likely feels like a fever dream. Heck, even those of us who saw “Threshold” when it first debuted over 28 years ago can barely process just how strange it was even by the bonkers standards of Voyager. Before we dive into how Star Trek fans regularly celebrate this stinker of an episode, let’s dive into a few more “Threshold” details.

Tom Paris Achieves The Impossible And Dooms Everyone

Ever since the franchise revised the warp factor scale, achieving Warp 10 was supposed to be impossible, which is why no matter how much of a hurry he is in, Captain Picard could never travel any faster than Warp 9.9 (before you pedants come at us, we aren’t counting the times godlike beings such as Q moved the ship faster than that). In “Threshold,” helmsman Tom Paris utilizes a shuttle and a special form of dlithium to finally travel Warp 10, but it doesn’t take long before he evolves into a kind of lizard humanoid. 

Still Crazy After All These Years

He ends up abducting Janeway and taking her Warp 10 in the shuttle, causing both of them to evolve into space salamanders who end up having three scaly children before returning to human form. At the end of the episode, and possibly to this day, those salamander kids are out there, and that’s a shame. After all, Tom Paris has so many personal issues already, and we hate to add “deadbeat dad” to the list.

Threshold Day

Now that you’re up to speed on this insane Star Trek episode, what is Threshold Day? While some fans actually get together to watch the episode and generally celebrate its bizarre storytelling, most fans gather in online spaces to share fan art and swap the best memes related to “Threshold.” For those who use Facebook, the fan group Star Trek Sh*tposting is arguably the best place to celebrate Threshold Day and everything else about this long-running franchise that is so bad that it’s good. 

The Best Worst Episode Of Star Trek

In that way, you could say that Star Trek fans have a better sense of humor than members of other fandoms: instead of continually piling onto the writers, producers, and actors who gave us the most bizarre hour the franchise has ever seen, fans instead choose to embrace and enjoy the craziness. Tom Paris may be driving that shuttle, but when it comes to the Star Trek franchise, all of us are a bit like the abducted Captain Janeway: along for the ride and hoping to make the best of it.