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In the Star Trek: Voyager episode, "Threshold", they discover a "new kind of dilithium" which allows them travel at infinite speed (Warp 10). There are hopes that this would allow them to return home in an instant.

But then for some reason it turns you into a lizard.

But then, the Doctor comes up with a way of turning you back into a human - and Paris and Janeway (the two who underwent these transformations), in the subsequent years in the Delta Quadrant suffer no ill effects of having been a lizard (at least none worth mentioning in any episode), not counting a few abandoned baby lizards - which would seem to be an avoidable consequence.

So why didn't they just use the technology to instantly transwarp home? Then have the doctor turn them all back into their correct races?

I know there's kind of informal talk about "decanonising" this episode and regret by the writers about it (Is the Voyager episode "Threshold" considered canon?), but this doesn't seem to be official and it's hard to believe that this was the main reason why it was never used, because in the episodes soon following (e.g. in the same season) I don't think they would have held such a low opinion of it. Is this the only reason?

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  • If that had gotten them home, the series would have ended then and there.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jun 15, 2022 at 14:05
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    @ZeissIkon - Yes but I'm assuming that getting the crew home was somewhat higher on Janeway's list of priorities than entertaining any potential audience that might have been watching summaries of their weekly brushes with death...
    – komodosp
    Jun 15, 2022 at 14:45
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    I think the idea is to get the crew home safely.
    – Valorum
    Jun 15, 2022 at 14:51
  • @komodosp Sure, but Janeway's priority list wasn't at all the same as that of the producers and writers...
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jun 15, 2022 at 15:01
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    @ZeissIkon You say that like…
    – Lexible
    Jun 15, 2022 at 15:29

1 Answer 1

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Per The Star Trek Book.

The discovery of a new form of dilithium in the Delta Quadrant led Tom Paris of the U.S.S. Voyager to attempt to cut short the 70-year journey home the crew faced, by trying to cross the warp 10 threshold. He succeeded, but the transwarp effect caused a bizarre “evolution” of human cells, making such travel untenable.

and

Tom Paris crosses warp 10 threshold in Delta Quadrant on shuttlecraft Cochrane; transwarp effect proven harmful to living beings.

Presumably the risk of having potentially the entire crew die as well as the ship popping out of transwarp in the wrong place (right in the middle of Borg Space, for example) was simply too big of a chance to take.

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  • "the transwarp effect caused a bizarre “evolution” of human cells, making such travel untenable." - but the Doctor could reverse the effect!
    – komodosp
    Jun 20, 2022 at 8:19
  • @komodosp - He could, with the entire crew supporting him
    – Valorum
    Jun 20, 2022 at 11:37
  • @Valorum We know from 7x16 - Prophecy that Voyager's transporters are capable of saving an entire crew (that is larger in number than their own according to Tuvok) of an old Klingon D7 within seconds - and en bloc. We also know people can be stored in transport buffers (Scotty did it for over half a century in Relics, Dr. M'Benga did that with his daughter in the 2250s - Scotty's feat was miraculous because of the length of time). All they had to do is put the entire crew in buffer, put Tom at the helm, jump and have the computer rematierialise everyone. Doc and crew cure Paris again and done.
    – BMWurm
    Jul 28, 2022 at 13:32
  • @BMWurm - Oh sure. But if they hit a snag while they're in transit, everyone dies. Don't forget how incredibly wary they were of putting everyone into stasis when crossing the void, and that's a techology that (for them) is older than we've had internal combustion
    – Valorum
    Jul 28, 2022 at 15:35

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