The best relationship on Star Trek: Voyager almost didn't happen

Star Trek: Voyager nearly didn't have its best coupling.
11th Annual Official Star Trek Convention
11th Annual Official Star Trek Convention / Albert L. Ortega/GettyImages

Star Trek: Voyager has remained one of the better examples of what a Star Trek property should be for decades. It's cast, the characters, the plots, and storylines. The whole thing is as near to perfect as a show can be. It has had its flaws, no surprise there, it's not perfect. That doesn't mean it wasn't great.

One of the things that made it great was how the relationship between Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres. For many seasons the show avoided putting most of its primary characters into a relationship. The only two that were in any sort of romantic situation were Neelix and Kes, but due to the writer's weirdly making Kes just two years old, a lot of people were bothered by the pairing.

Yes, she was the Ocumpan equivalent of being in her 20s, but still, weird. So they ended that pairing and tried out some short-term couplings, mostly involving The Doctor, but eventually, they settled on pairing B'Elanna and Tom together, to great effect.

The pair not only brought out the best in one another, like B'Elanna agreeing to watch bad 1950s B-movies on a replicated television set in their quarters, but they also allowed one another to express their deepest concerns. Like when the couple had issues around the idea of being parents. Tom was excited over the possibility, but B'Elanna had abandonment issues.

As a half-human, half-Klingon, she was a bit of a handful, and so her father left due to being overwhelmed by the Klingon-of-it-all. He would eventually make amends with her, but the scars ran deep. So when she found out she had a child on the way, she wasn't exactly the most optimistic, afraid what she went through would repeat itself with her child.

Thankfully, despite Tom Paris being a bit prickly, he was always a good husband and we're sure an even better father because he was able to calm her and get her excited about the prospect of being a parent.

That was just one example of many that highlights just how effective they could be as a couple, and it's a bit surprising to hear, that despite being a big pairing in the second half of the show's life, they almost didn't end up getting together.

ScreenRant pulled up an old quote from an issue of Star Trek Monthly (issue #28), where Robert Duncan McNeill (the man who played Tom Paris) revealed that Paris and B'Elanna nearly didn't end up together. The episode where the relationship was all but cemented was called "Blood Fever", and apparently Paris was thrown in by chance with McNeill, saying;

""Originally that episode was written for B'Elanna to go into Pon Farr and to be trapped in the caves with Tuvok, who would help her go through this and deal with it because he's Vulcan and he's been through it. At the very last minute, literally like the day before we started shooting that episode, they thought, 'Why don't we make it Tom Paris and B'Elanna trapped, and let's see what happens with that.' So they made this change.""

For those who don't know the episode, B'Elanna Torres is essentially "infected" with Pon Farr, the urge for Vulcans to mate. Having been attacked by Vulcan crewmate Ensign Vorik, who is going through Pon Farr himself, he accidentally transfers the same lust to B'Elanna.

So B'Elanna needs to undergo her own Pon Farr ritual to rid herself of the infliction. Thus, Tom Paris volunteers.

We'll talk more about Tuvok down the road, but as this is essentially a mating ritual, and Tuvok was famously known to take his vows of marriage seriously, it was the right call to keep him out of the ordeal.