Published Dec 15, 2023
Celebrating One of Star Trek: Voyager's Great Friendships
Let’s explore the friendship between Harry Kim and Tom Paris with some of the best moments over the years!
As we celebrate Garrett Wang's birthday, we're spotlighting our favorite instances when our dynamic duo had each other's back, altered history, or taught one another something.
Work Hard, Relax Harder
I think you're working from an old rule book, Paris.
Harry Kim, "The Cloud"
Highlighted in Voyager's "The Cloud," the crew comes across a mysterious nebula, which Captain Janeway believes may contain a resource that could be used for their benefit while also hoping it boosts the ship's morale.
In the mess hall, Harry Kim suggests to Tom Paris they should have invited the captain to join them. Paris, however, believes ensigns don't invite captains to sit down; captains want respect, not courtesy, and they most certainly don't want to get chummy with lower ranks. Harry thinks that line of thinking is a touch outdated.
Meanwhile, the crew begins to encounter various challenges while exploring the "nebula" and its nucleogenic cloud. With their ship depleted of their energy reserve, Tom takes an opportunity to show Harry one of his holoprograms, "Paris 3," which is based on a pool hall he would hang around during his Academy days, in an effort to get his friend to loosen up and relax a bit.
Once their crisis is averted, Harry invites Janeway to join the crew on the holodeck for Tom's holoprogram, helping her to not only to relax, but also interact more with her crew.
This man is my friend. Nobody touches him!
Harry Kim, "The Chute"
In the third-season episode "The Chute," during a Shore Leave gone awry, Harry and Kim are incarcerated together in a dangerous penal colony prison on false charges related to a terrorist bombing. They both work together to face vicious conditions, including violence brought on by other inmates and other challenges that must be over come to survive. Their friendship pushes them through and they are able to collaborate an escape plan.
Before they can put their plan in motion, Tom is stabbed by a brutal inmate. Unable to secure medical assistance, Harry begins to work some deals with another inmate in order to keep their plan in motion as well as garner supplies to clean up Tom's wound. As Tom nears closer to death, Harry tries desperately to instigate a prison break, but fails to get everyone's cooperation. For all of Harry's efforts, Tom nearly ruins everything when in a delirium, he disables the tool that Harry had fashioned to neutralize the prison's forcefield. Harry comes close to killing his friend, but regains his senses just in time. After all, who hasn't wanted to kill their best friend?
Once rescued by Janeway and Tuvok, Tom is treated by The Doctor, who reveals to the duo, that the "clamp" enforced on all prisoners affected the wearer's nervous system by encouraging aggression and violence. As the friends seek out a hearty and much dreamt about meal, Harry apologizes to Tom for almost killing him. However, he reassures his friend, "You want to know what I remember? Someone saying, 'This man is my friend. Nobody touches him.' I'll remember that for a long time." The trials of this episode is a huge turning point for their friendship.
Not-So-Perfect Reality Check
What about Danny Byrd? He isn't so lucky. And Tom Paris? Fate wasn't so kind to him. No, it isn't supposed to be this way. I'm supposed to be on Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. And that's where I have to go.
Harry Kim, "Non Sequitur"
In the second-season "Non Sequitur," Harry Kim wakes up in an alternate timeline, in 24th Century San Francisco, where he never served aboard Voyager. Instead, he seemingly has a perfect life as a design specialist at Starfleet Headquarters and a fiancée who loves him dearly. His friend Danny Byrd takes his spot aboard Voyager when it disappeared in the Badlands. Not only that, he discovers that Tom Paris wasn't on the crew manifest either; he's been paroled and currently resides in Marseilles, France.
Harry learns how his reality has been altered; his shuttlecraft intersected with a species' timestream, scrambling his timeline and sending him back to the life he would have known if he hadn't joined Voyager's crew. Unwilling to take advantage of his fortunate circumstance and condemn his two friends Danny and Tom to this fate, Harry convinces Cosimo, a member of that species sent to Earth to watch over him, to help him restore his reality.
Despite the possibility of losing both his original reality and his current timeline, and landing somewhere else in the space-time continuum, Harry is determined to return to where he belongs. With Cosimo and the alt-Tom Paris' help, they manage to recreate his shuttle accident in a timestream, including a core breach.
Harry finds himself back in his correct reality in the midst of an emergency transport onto Voyager before his shuttle explodes. Relieved to see his best friend at the helm and grateful for his sacrifice, Harry tells Tom he owes him one.
Sometimes I wish I could be more bold, more confident with women, more like you."
"Like me? You might want to reconsider that, Harry. There may be prison time involved.
Harry Kim and Tom Paris, "Favorite Son"
In this third-season adventure, Harry Kim starts to question his identity following Voyager's encounter with a Nasari ship. Aided by a Taresian ship, they inform the crew that Harry is one of their own, welcoming him "home." They explain that he was conceived on Taresia before they used a human on Earth as a surrogate, to bring an infusion of new genetic material back to their race. Harry decides he wants to stay with the Taresians to learn more about their species and himself.
The Doctor discovers that Harry isn't actually Taresian; they deliberately infused him with their DNA during an away mission. As it turns out, Taresian women went out of their way to make him feel like he belonged on their world so he would leave Voyager. Soon, Kim uncovers that Taresian men aren't able to voluntarily leave; they're killed after the women harvest and extract enough genetic material to conceive children.
Surviving the ordeal and saved by Voyager, Harry admits embarrassment from being conned by these sirens; but not just that, it was his desire to be someone other than himself. He wishes he was more like Tom when it comes to women. Tom reassures him that he's been trying to be more like Harry since he's been on Voyager. After all, Harry's his role model; he's "reliable, hard working, extremely punctual." Not only that, he's also "polite."
During difficult situations it is easier to persevere with friends by your side and the companionship of Harry Kim and Tom Paris during their voyage on the Voyager is a wonderful example of how friendship can strengthen someone and make them a better person.