Watch: “Threshold” From ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ In The Style Of ‘The Animated Series’ + Creator Interview

In April a video recreating a clip from Star Trek: The Next Generation in the style of Star Trek: The Animated Series went viral, with over 400,000 views. Now the same Gazelle Automations team is back and this time they are taking on Star Trek: Voyager.

Voyager’s “Threshold” gets animated

For Voyager Gazelle took on a bigger challenge, with almost six minutes of animation, compared to just over two minutes for the TNG video. Once again it is lovingly recreated in the 1970s Filmation style of The Animated Series, including music and sounds. There are even some TAS deep cut cameos. And to add a bit of fun, they are using the notorious episode “Threshold.”

Creator interview

Gazelle Automations was Founded by Justin and Lindsay Lee. Based in Toronto, Canada, Gazelle Automations has the goal of creating entertainment with the magic of puppetry, model miniatures and animation. They work with Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds, ITV, BBC, CBC, and others. As we did with the last video, we reached out via email to Justin to talk about how they put this all together.

Why did you pick Voyager as the next challenge, and why “Threshold”?

Since Voyager comes from a similar era of Trek to TNG, I thought it’d be fun to again “translate” that world into the TAS style. As for the excerpt I chose, I went through lists of episodes over and over for ages until I decided on “Threshold”. To me, there’s something TAS-y about crew members turning into salamanders (“The Ambergris Element” comes to mind). And to address the obvious, I did choose what’s considered to be a terrible episode of Trek, just to see how it would work as a Saturday morning cartoon.

This one was way harder than TNG: TAS, but of course, I did that to myself! I wanted to do the whole chunk from Janeway in the hallway to them finding the babies, and that meant lots more backgrounds, characters, etc. Also, the original segment has lots of long holds on actors, which just doesn’t work in this style, so I ended up drawing way more stuff so I could cut away to things and keep it visually interesting.

What are your favorite deep cuts you put in this one?

My wife and fellow Gazelle Automations producer Lindsay Lee loves Em/3/Green (he’s currently her phone lock screen, no joke), so making the conn officer someone from that unnamed race was really fun. And unlike TNG:TAS which only showed a handful of regulars, I wanted to show EVERY Voyager lead actor in the Filmation style somewhere, so one, in particular, had to be snuck into a shot.

So, will there be more?

Maybe there’ll be more? I never thought I’d do a second one, so…

Behind the scenes

After the release of the original TNG video in April, Gazelle released a video showing how they put it together.


Keep up with all the Trek viral videos at TrekMovie.com.

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This is absolutely brilliant, might want to rewatch the whole series if they did this. Although pause at 2:06 and tell me who is at the helm…….?

M3-Green or ‘Em/3/green’ – take your pick.

It’s a TAS species.

I never really looked into the genesis of the whole, “Why a salamander, exactly?” aspect of that damned story. I can’t imagine Andre Bormanis sat them down with a convincing argument about how that’s where human evolution was heading. Kinda just felt like it came out of a discussion with Michael Westmore about what he could win an Emmy for. If so… mission accomplished!

The animation is exquisite. I hope they go for it with DS9 and all the spin-offs, eventually.

This episode was a complete nonsense in terms of adapting real-world science. I seem to recall that the Doctor explains essentially that the future state of a lineage is pre-encoded in its DNA, rather than a result of selection pressure from its environment.

Yeah. And treats evolution as something that can happen in an individual. It’s always a multigenerational population process.

Yeah bro Threshold is total nonsense. I can’t even watch it anymore. I just rewatched the entire series with my girlfriend a month ago who watched it all for the first time. It’s so bad it’s one of the episodes I decided to skip lol.

I suppose it’s just a recycling of Braga’s de-evolution idea from TNG’s “Genesis,” isn’t it?

And they kind of evolved backwards :D Today, that storyline could have been made borderline work with some epigenetics technobabble (same DNA, different DNA reading and translation into proteins; e.g. metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly is epigenetics driven), but 1996 was still the genetics era with the human genome project underway. But I’d say human to salamander also isn’t what epigenetics do ;)

I loved this!

It works so well as a TAS story. Brilliant choice.

Also, clearly Lower Decks needs to give us some backstory on Em/3/green’s species.

Far better as TAS than live action. Good choice.

You probably already know this, but just in case not, Lower Decks has in fact already shown a couple more members of Em/3/Green’s species (“Nasat”, according to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers books, though that name hasn’t been made screen canon – yet…). A couple are seen working at the Starbase in “An Embarrassment of Dooplers”.

Thanks!

I’m going to need to look for them on a rewatch of “An Embarrassment of Dooplers.”

It would be great to have Lower Decks give them some canonical onscreen backstory.

Even better if they use the SCOE one. I haven’t read all the Core of Engineers books, but I think that they were a great concept. They’re definitely in my list of things that Paramount+ should try out as a direct-to-streaming movie (along with the Department of Temporal Investigations, DTI).

He does such great work, this is so much fun. TNG already was unexpected and so funny, and now this one so quickly after the other really tops it. I’d love to see a discussion between Mike McMahan, someone from the Lower Decks animation team, and Justin Lee 2D animation stuff and Star Trek.

The logical conclusion(s) to a series of these could be live-action re-enactments of scenes from TAS, Lower Decks, and Prodigy.

Love every second. We need a whole anthology series from these artists. Please make it so!

Nice animated work of Voyager. What could’ve been.

I just love this. It’s love to see they get a chance to go back and pick all of star trek the animated treatment. The music and animation style is just perfect. I guess it shows how much the animated series got right: including the intro music which Lower Decks used so well.

DS9 episode with the Tribbles next, please!

Yea, that would be great!

Absolutely fantastic 👏👍! I hope we do get more of these because they’re so fun to watch. Hopefully, Paramount has seen these clips and will offer these people a job so that they can get paid for doing this. I would love to see more Star Trek shows turned into an animated format in the style of TAS and that is definitely something I’d love to watch, especially on a Saturday morning 😀, like when I was a kid back in the ’80s.

They should do the episode of Enterprise where Trip gets pregnant next. I think that would translate perfectly into the TAS format and that’s considered to be a bad episode of Star Trek too, like Threshold is. Also, I would just love to see how T’Pol looks animated. Oh, and whatever episode these guys do decide to do next, I hope we get to see Arex and M’Ress in it.

That would be awesome 💖! Live long and prosper, Trekmovie 🖖.

If the Lees had a secondary objective of drawing some attention to their animation studio, it seems that they achieved it.

There’s much more to this than just redoing scenes in the style of TAS (which they do so faithfully). The editing and splicing in of cut-away to make break up the close-up dialogue bits, is very well timed.

Yes, I agree. I think if their intention was to get Paramount’s attention, then, as I mentioned in my previous post, I hope that they have done it because they are truly talented and deserve a shot, whether it be in Star Trek or doing something else for Paramount. The Lee’s are very talented and, from what I’ve seen, give 110% to anything they do. Live long and prosper, TG47🖖.

Might not be a good thing to attract Paramount’s attention. Next thing they know, a lawsuit might knock on their door. Not that I’d want it. These are fantastic pieces of work!

One, these clips I’m pretty sure are meant to be part of a resume for the Lees’, that’s just my opinion, though. I believe that they do want to catch Paramount’s attention. Who wouldn’t want to work for Paramount in the movie and TV industry?

There’s a lot of attention to detail in these clips and they have an animation studio and naturally they want to bring attention to their studio. So what better way to do that then by posting clips or snippets of past Star Trek shows turned into the TAS style on the Internet? They’ve gotten 100,000s of views, especially the TNG one.
That one got 400,000 awhile back, I don’t know how many views it has by now because that was back in April.

That’s why I think that they’re trying to catch Paramount’s attention. If it was just the Lees’ by themselves making these for fun, then I would think differently and view them like fan films. But the Lees’ are the heads of Gazelle Automations and they probably want their company to get recognition from a major studio. This is clearly a labor of love with these clips!

Do you think it’s easy to make these clips look like TAS did 50 years later? That technology from the ’70s is long gone. If it was so easy to do, then why hasn’t it been done before? That’s why I think that they’re trying to get Paramount’s attention and that leads me to my second thing here that I want to talk about.

Paramount doesn’t just go around suing people. I don’t know where you got that idea from. If you’re talking about Axenar, that guy was set to make a lot money from that movie. Paramount stated their rules clearly to that guy and told him that he could make the movie but when he stood to gain a lot of money from it, that’s when they put a stop to it because THEY are the IP holders and owners of Star Trek so THEY can be the only ones to profit from it.

I don’t understand why people have a tough time understanding that. They’re not in the wrong there and there’s still people making fan films out there and not getting sued for them, just look on YouTube. And Paramount already knows about these clips because they have a social media team, every major studio has one, and every time Star Trek is mentioned, they know and they see why and then they check it out so they already know about these clips. I don’t consider Paramount to be the “Dark Overlord” of Star Trek who just goes around suing everyone at random, that’s just ridiculous, dude!

Live long and prosper, Kon 🖖

I love the mirrored composition at the end… like saving money by flipping other cels.

Funny that they picked possibly the worst STV episode. The incidental 🎶 in the final bit (with the babies) was hilarious and perfect.

I think that was deliberate, because this improves that ep so much by making it more Star Trek campy.

Yes! The music working well :-) Also, the “efficient” TAS animation style works well for dry humour.

This is so Aswesome. Could watch every Episode done this way. This Particulaer Episode works real well Animated. Lol

This is hilarious! 😂😂

Only seen one episode of TAS but I would watch this if they made a Voyager version for sure

Hope he does a DS9 version next!

Watch all of TAS at least once if only for the deep cuts.

There are some great episodes, (Yesteryear; More Tribbles, more Troubles), and several important firsts for the franchise – holosimilations gone amok, Uhura in command in the big chair, Kzinti!

That was amazing!

As funny as this is, honestly it just makes me want a legit Animated “the further adventures of….” TNG or Enterprise. May not work as well for DS9 or Voyager but still would take a shot. Heck do an anthology and pepper each series in. Unconnected, just purely an anthology show that is a serious take, (I do enjoy Lower Decks but it’s a different beast).

just a personal hunch but I can see the Lower Decks team doing an entire episode in this style before their run is over as both a parody and homage to TAS

I was actually just thinking about that. That would be hilarious.

I loved it! I could be picky as say the Voyagers nacelles should be bent up at warp. I wonder if that was intentional because NCC-1701 had no movement or just an omission? Loved the TNG episode too. Very smart adding in animation plate dirt and smudges that is so TAS!

Wow this was great and just as good as the TNG version! These guys obviously love classic Star Trek and how well they make it feel like TAS is so well done. If I didn’t watch TAS for the first time last year I don’t think I would’ve appreciated this at all. But now I small at every frame of it!

And yes, they must do DS9 and ENT eventually!

This is actually much better than the live action episode!

Awesome job!

This is, and I say this as someone who thinks the hate for “Threshold” is overhyped, glorious.

gadzooks these are great!

they really capture the spirit and the wackiness of the Filmation series, down to the stock footage and comm badge flipped errors…

Seven of Nine snuck in as a background engineer…

This is genius!
Threshold works perfectly reimagined as one of the sillier TAS entries!

They took the high-end frequencies out of the dialogue and it’s positively brilliant. Sounds decades old.

once again, very wel done!

Now I want them to…stay with me here…take a section of a TOS episode and do it in this style. How about “Spock’s Brain”?

Or, on the other end of the quality scale, “The Doomsday Machine.”

Definitely use the sillier episodes for these TAS remakes. In fact, if LD ever do a time travel episode, featuring a trip to the 23rd century, use these people.

Chakotay covering his mouth in shock had me rolling. Well done!

All of this confirms that if you compare TAS: TAS:TNG and VOY that TOS completely destroyed the others when you take out the production values and go on plot alone. Time for a CGI remake of TAS and them to release Secret of Vulcan Fury as a CGI movie!