Star Trek: Voyager “Threshold” (part 2 of 7)
The episode begins with Voyager’s navigational officer, Lt. Tom Paris, cruising through space in a shuttlecraft. Or actually, it begins with him not cruising through space in a shuttlecraft. But far be it for me to spoil the very startling surprise behind this astonishing teaser. We’ll cross that threshold when we come to it.
He’s moving along at warp speed, and counting off his acceleration from warp 5 on up to warp 7. He announces to somebody on the other side of a communications link that he’s reached “critical velocity”. In response comes the voice of B’Elanna Torres, Voyager’s chief engineer, telling him to “start up the new engines”.
Paris shouts out his own mini-countdown which eventually leads to him engaging “transwarp drive”. So, I guess in the future, pilots and astronauts will have to do their own countdowns? Budget cutbacks are a bitch.
The ship accelerates dramatically, and Paris is pinned back in his seat by G-forces. He yells out that’s he’s reached “warp 9.2… 9.3…” Unfortunately, he gets a warning beep that tells him his “vector’s drifting”. Maybe a guy named Victor will be along shortly to help him out in that department. So the voice of Harry Kim, Voyager’s perennial ensign, gives Paris an assortment of technobabble instructions and advice which, I assume, get Paris back on his vector, because he’s once again continuing his count-up. He yells that he’s reached warp 9.7.
The voices of Torres and Kim warn him about problems with his “structural integrity”, but Paris soldiers on. I think we all learned early on that integrity is not really one of Tom Paris’ high priorities.
Before long, he reaches warp 9.9. At this point, his count-up tacks on an extra decimal place; He starts yelling that he’s at “9.95” and then “9.99”. And we all appreciate the deci-countup, Lieutenant. At 9.99, he shouts, “I’m approaching the threshold!!” Is this the point at which he becomes interfaaaaaaaaaaaced?!?