Kelly felt that Tom Paris and Captain Janeway did not evolve into salamanders in “Threshold” but into reptiles. Regardless, it’s a strange story and one that is made all the stranger by the fact that Tom and the Captain mated while in their animal form. When the two officers are rescued by their fellow Voyager crewmates and transformed back into humans, Janeway notes that she sometimes envisioned having children … though not quite under those circumstances.
“Threshold” was weird enough that Kelly required references to it for “Twovix.” He said:
“There were some challenges in [‘Twovix’]. In ‘Star Trek: Voyager,’ there was an episode where Tom Paris and Capt. Janeway hyper-evolve into lizards and it’s just such a weird concept. And we couldn’t have a ‘Voyager’ episode without it. So, we wanted to make something like a museum exhibit that has these lizards as animatronics on display. But we wanted it to look like a specific animatronic you see at Disney or something.”
This, of course, is a sci-fi anachronism. In a future full of elaborate hologram technology and life-like intelligent machine species, is a quaint, Disneyland-style animatronic really going be to built? Probably not, but it provides for a cute gag and an amusing reference. The future anachronism can be forgiven. Kelly noted that the salamanders had to look artificial, so he made them look clunky, low-tech, and a little, in his words, “dumb”:
“We had to give it joints and make it kind of walk dumb. We tried to make it like a dumb robot, and then it gets hacked. So, we have this threat, [then] these holograms that are classic, and then ‘Voyager’ episode characters come in.”