In hindsight, we can say that Star Trek: Voyager absolutely got away with some crazy s**t.
Think "splicing Vulcan Tuvox and Talaxian Neelix into Tuvix" crazy. Or a scene in the pilot, which aired 25 years ago this week, where cocky helmsman Tom Paris — trapped in a cave — asks his Native American colleague "Isn't there some Indian trick, where you can turn yourself into a bird?" They even had an empathic serial killer aboard.
But the craziest thing to air on Voyager — and from Star Trek in general — has to be Season 2's "Threshold." The one where Paris breaks the impossible Warp 10 speed barrier, devolves into a lizard, has sex, and makes babies with Captain Janeway… who is also a slug lizard.
Yup. You can practically smell the crazy on this one.
What the ship's doctor, an Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH), calls a "future stage in human development" looks like rejected concept art from the original V miniseries, as Paris escapes from Voyager's sickbay and hunts down Captain Janeway. Outside a turbo-lift, Paris gets the drop on Janeway and abducts her. Why? So he can smuggle her aboard a special shuttle refitted to go Warp 10, turn her into a lizard thing, too (off-screen), and then mate and procreate with her and have tiny lizard babies.
(I mean, who among us has not set out to break the laws of physics so we could impregnate a superior officer with our space iguana spawn?)
Eventually, members of the Voyager crew find Paris' shuttle on a jungle planet. They soon discover he, their captain, and their offspring in the form of palm-sized lizards. Back on the ship, the EMH is able to eradicate this mutation from both Paris and Janeway's genome (because science!) and restore them to their human forms.
Janeway confronts Paris for what he submitted her to. She had never had children before, and now the ones she did have — she was forced to leave them behind on a planet 75 light years from Earth. From there, an ashamed Paris resigns his commission and waits for Janeway to forgive him and — nope! Sadly, none of this happened... minus the leaving the kids behind bit.
Instead, "Threshold" ends on the emotionally dishonest note of Janeway and Paris having the briefest conversations about their de-evolution. With a smirk, Janeway remarks, "I thought about having children, but I never considered having them with you." And then, as a joke, Braga has Janeway flippantly dismiss what happened to her, without her consent, with the line "sometimes it is the female of the species who initiates mating." *forehead, desk*
"It's a terrible episode," Braga says on the 2003 DVD set for Season 2, nine years removed from the making of what fans consider to be among the worst hours of Trek ever produced.
24 years after it aired, he and the fans are not wrong.