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Star Trek: Voyager – Threshold (Review)

This February and March, we’re taking a look at the 1995 to 1996 season of Star Trek, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. Check back daily Tuesday through Friday for the latest review.

Threshold is hated by fandom.

Veteran reviewer Jamahl Epsicokhan described it as “one of the all-time worst episodes of Star Trek ever filmed.” He is far from the only voice raised in protest. Winston O’Boogie remarked that, watching the episode, “you can’t help but think that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong with the world that allowed this to happen.” Assessing writer Brannon Braga’s contributions to the larger franchise, Jim Wright reflected, “Whatever else he may accomplish, he’s as forever shackled to Threshold as George Lucas to Jar-Jar.”

It's not even the worst episode of the season...

It’s not even the worst episode of the season…

Threshold is terrible. There is no way around that. It is a very stupid episode that is never entirely sure what it is trying to say from one moment to the next. More than that, positioning it as an important Tom Paris arc in the middle of the second season serves to sabotage the already confused character arc running between Alliances and Investigations. There is absolutely no context in which Threshold could be described as a “good” (or even “competent”) hour of television.

At the same time, it is not one of the worst episodes of the franchise ever produced; it is not even one of the worst episodes of the series. Surrounded by episodes like Tattoo or Alliances, the episode cannot even make a particularly confident claim to being the worst instalment of the season. None of this should be confused as an endorsement of Threshold. It is condemnation of everything that exists around Threshold.

The great mutato!

The great mutato!

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