(covers information from several alternate timelines)
The son of a prominent Starfleet admiral, he was dishonorably discharged from Starfleet and later joined the Maquis before being captured and serving time at the Federation Penal Settlement in New Zealand. After joining Voyager to retrieve Chakotay's Maquis ship from the Badlands, he was transferred 70,000 light years across the galaxy, deep into the Delta Quadrant. (VOY: "Caretaker", "Non Sequitur", "Thirty Days", "Pathfinder", "Fury")
- 1 Family and Academy years
- 2 Starfleet and the Maquis
- 3 USS Voyager
- 4 Personal interests
- 5 Personal relationships
- 6 Alternate Tom Paris
- 7 Appendices
Family and Academy years
Thomas Eugene Paris was the son of a Starfleet admiral, Owen Paris. Growing up, Paris often felt inadequate, due to the pressure his father put on him to excel and feeling like a failure as a result. The alienation continued throughout his adulthood to the point where Tom would just ignore his father altogether, "tuning out" to what he referred to as yet another "sermon".
Throughout Tom's life and career at Starfleet, his father remained tough and remote, telling him, for instance, that crying was a sign of weakness. Crying, incidentally, was the one thing Tom recalled doing the most as a teenager. As a result, Paris and his father had a rather troubled relationship, and, at some point, Tom just wanted him out of his life. Despite this, Paris loved his bedroom back home, as he often locked himself away in there, not only to cry, but also to play games and listen to music. After it landed on his windowsill next to his bed, young Paris also fed a baby bird water with an eye dropper to keep it alive. Moreover, he lost his virginity in his bedroom at the age of seventeen, while his parents were away for the weekend. (VOY: "Parturition", "Time and Again", "Persistence of Vision", "Threshold")
Paris had a desire for adventure while growing up, feeling he had to climb the largest tree and scale the tallest cliff. (VOY: "Real Life") As a buff of early Human missions into space, he also memorized the recording from the Friendship 1 probe and built a model of it as a young boy. (VOY: "11:59", "One Small Step", "Friendship One")
While he considered most of his early family to be rather ordinary people, referring to them as "salt of the earth" type of people with some "farmers" and "colonists", he held great respect for one of his ancestors, a pilot who flew the first orbital glider over the lower Martian plateau. Tom himself had a passion for piloting, too, which he really discovered at the age of eight, when his father took him for a trip in an S-class shuttlecraft. He also used to take Tom up in an "old Class 1 shuttle". When he was sixteen years old, Tom took his father's shuttle out for a joyride, ending up frying all the relays and landing it at the bottom of Lake Tahoe, where it sat for years to come. (VOY: "Vis à Vis", "11:59", "Fury")
Despite this, Tom's first love was the sea. He was obsessed with stories about the ocean – e.g., Captains Courageous as well as Moby Dick – and once said that he had read Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea "at least twenty thousand times." Due to this love, Tom had planned to join the Federation Naval Patrol after high school. However, his father had other plans for him and did not understand his son's passion. As far as he was concerned, the only ship Tom ever was going to serve on had to have a Starfleet insignia on it. Eventually, Tom applied to Starfleet Academy. (VOY: "Thirty Days", "Alice")
During his first year at the Academy, Paris fell in love for the first time, with a girl named Susie Crabtree. When she broke off the relationship, he broke out in hives, unable to get out of bed for a week, and almost failed Stellar Cartography. He spent much of that year in a daze, and, even years later, he thought of her from time to time, never really being able to completely forget her. (VOY: "Lifesigns")
During his second semester at the Academy in the 2360s, Paris chose Marseille, France as the site of his physical training. There, he frequented a small bar known as Sandrine's, where he once met a girl by the name of "Ricky". (VOY: "The Cloud", "Meld", "Lifesigns") Advanced Subspace Geometry was the only class at the Academy in which he actually paid attention. (VOY: "Vis à Vis") He did hone his natural aptitude for piloting skills on craft large and small, and he proved adept at holo-engineering. (VOY: "Thirty Days", "Fair Haven", "Fury", "Body and Soul") He once told Neelix that his father was the instructor of his course on Survival Strategies and that he gave Tom a mere "B-minus". (VOY: "Parturition") Paris managed to graduate from Starfleet Academy after a stormy four years, with a major in astrophysics. (VOY: "Lifesigns", "Future's End")
Starfleet and the Maquis
Upon graduating from the Academy, Paris was assigned to the USS Exeter. His career in Starfleet was short-lived, however, and ended after he was involved in covering up his own pilot error which had led to the death of three fellow officers at Caldik Prime. Despite later telling the truth, he was discharged from Starfleet following the incident. He once sarcastically remarked that "the ghosts of those three dead officers came to me in the middle of the night and taught me the true meaning of Christmas," when asked why he had finally confessed. (VOY: "Caretaker", "Non Sequitur")
After being expelled from Starfleet, Paris wandered around, "looking for a fight," and found it in the Maquis. He was with them for a few weeks before he was captured on his first mission, convicted of treason, and sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment at the Federation Penal Settlement in New Zealand. (VOY: "Non Sequitur")
Incarceration and joining Voyager
While he was serving time at the Federation penal colony for his involvement with the Maquis, Paris received a visit from Captain Kathryn Janeway – who had served her first post out of the Academy under Owen, when he had captained the USS Al-Batani – gave him the opportunity to redeem himself by participating in a mission. His assignment was to help track down the Maquis ship Val Jean, which had disappeared in the Badlands with Janeway's security officer Tuvok, who had been undercover. After some initial hesitation, Paris decided to take this opportunity and join Captain Janeway on Voyager. He was very cynical when asked to join. He couldn't care less about the crew of that ship, and only agreed to be brought on-board as a Starfleet observer after being assured that, when it was over, he would be cut loose and Janeway would give him a favorable report at his next review. (VOY: "Caretaker")
The first year (2371)
When Captain Janeway first recruited Tom to retrieve a Maquis ship that had disappeared in the Badlands, he agreed to help, but only if there was something in it for him. Not caring much about the crew of that ship, he smugly confirmed Chakotay's assertion of him as a mercenary willing to fight for anyone who paid his bar bills.
When Paris first set foot on board Voyager, he was seen as brash and arrogant, an aimless wanderer who seemed a little too cocky and a little too sure of himself. His haunted past resulted in him receiving a rather cool reception from pretty much everyone on board, including the ship's first officer, Cavit, as well as the ship's doctor, both of whom openly expressed their dislike of him. Chakotay, who was also trapped in the Delta Quadrant with the Voyager crew, was not happy to see him either and, upon their first encounter on the bridge, angrily accused Tom of having sold them out for a meager reward.
Despite rather shaky beginnings and a crew that wondered whether he could be trusted when things got tough, Paris was nonetheless able to gradually redeem himself in the eyes of many. On Ocampa, he saved Chakotay's life, resulting in Chakotay greatly changing his sentiments toward Paris and beginning to respect him. In addition to saving Chakotay's life, he also helped rescue B'Elanna Torres and Harry Kim, who had been sent to an underground Ocampa city, and he struck a meaningful friendship with shy Harry Kim, who had just graduated from the Academy and was on his first deep space assignment.
During a battle between Voyager and a Kazon-Ogla starship, Janeway posted Paris to the conn. After the Caretaker's array was destroyed, Paris was officially designated as flight controller, with his Starfleet rank of lieutenant junior grade reinstated. (VOY: "Caretaker") He was assigned the additional job of medic for The Doctor, when an assessment for medical replacements was brought forth, as Paris had taken two semesters of biochemistry at the Academy. (VOY: "Parallax", "Phage")
Paris' reputation continued to haunt him, however, and finally caught up with him while he was on a mission to Banea, to repair a damaged collimator. On Banea, Paris was convicted of murdering Tolen Ren – an elderly scientist whose young, beautiful wife he fancied. It was believed that Tom had killed Ren when he had been caught flirting with his wife, Lidell. As punishment, the images of Ren's last moments up to his death were imprinted in Paris' brain, and he was forced to relive his alleged victim's last moments over and over again – a punishment that was slowly resulting in permanent brain damage. Uncertain of his guilt, Tuvok began an investigation and eventually managed to discover proof that Paris had been framed for the murder, even though he had gotten closer to Ren's wife. (VOY: "Ex Post Facto")
To bring a piece of home into the Delta Quadrant, Paris also created a holoprogram called Sandrine's, based on the bar he had frequented in Marseille, France. He introduced Harry Kim to several late night sessions on the holodeck running the simulation. Sandrine's quickly became a favorite spot of the crew to relax, and they even gave a surprise birthday party for Kes there. The program included the characters of Sandrine, Ricky, a pool hustler, and a gigolo. (VOY: "The Cloud", "Twisted")
Later that year, Paris, along with B'Elanna Torres, was captured by the Vidiians. While Torres was subjected to an experiment that parted her Human and Klingon halves, Paris, after working at hard labor, was going to have his organs harvested. Finally, Chakotay, disguised as a Vidiian, managed to save them. (VOY: "Faces")
The second year (2372)
The second year was an eventful one for Tom Paris, as he continued establishing himself with the Voyager crew and finding his place.
Even though that eventually changed later, at the beginning of their journey, Tom and Neelix did not get along, mainly due to Neelix's mistrust of Paris and his reputation as a bad boy that had preceded him. Paris had become attracted to and flirted with Kes over the course of the year, which left Neelix rather uneasy and nervous every time Paris was around her. (VOY: "Elogium", "Twisted", "Parturition")
Paris once saved up two weeks' worth of replicator rations to buy Kes a necklace for her birthday, a gesture that left Neelix fuming with jealousy. He also occasionally helped out Kes in the airponics bay and spent time with her, all of which prompted Neelix to give Paris the cold shoulder and regularly suspect Kes, questioning her motives and loyalty.
Tensions built up and eventually resulted in Paris and Neelix coming face-to-face with each other, with Neelix dumping a plate of hair pasta on Paris and accusing him of sneaking around behind his back with Kes. Paris did not take kindly to the insults, and, before they knew it, they were engaged in a physical fight. They were able to resolve their differences when both were assigned together on an away mission and had to depend on each other for survival. Paris admitted to having had feelings for Kes but also told Neelix that he respected him too much to ever act on those feelings. Neelix apologized for his jealous and inappropriate behavior, and the two men shook hands. The bonding experience between Neelix and Tom marked the end of Neelix's jealousy of Paris over Kes and the beginning of their friendship. (VOY: "Parturition")
Paris was also the first Starfleet officer to reach warp 10 and thus the transwarp threshold safely. However, despite success in the simulations without ill effect, the real flight experience caused him to begin to mutate into an amphibian lifeform that could no longer process oxygen. While in sickbay and in his delirious state, he revealed to The Doctor that what he remembered the most about being a kid were the times he had spent in his room crying – the same room in which he had also lost his virginity at seventeen. When his mutation was reaching near completion, he kidnapped Janeway and took her on a warp ten journey, which resulted in her mutating as well. By the time they were found, they had completely devolved into amphibians and had produced three offspring, which the crew left on the planet to which they had escaped. Back on Voyager, The Doctor managed to return them to their Human forms. (VOY: "Threshold")
That same year, Paris became instrumental in repeated struggles and challenges Voyager experienced with the Kazon, who were determined to acquire Federation technology at all costs. His participation in these incidents began when he was involved in a plot, backed by Captain Janeway and Tuvok, but unknown to Chakotay and everyone else, to act disruptively and exhibit bad behavior and tardiness. He showed up late to his duty shifts and even once pushed Chakotay to the ground when he had asked him to change his attitude. The charade went on for a while in order to maximize the plausibility of him pretending to leave Voyager to expose a traitor among the crew. Not knowing of Tom's plan, Neelix truly believed that Tom was leaving and thus, on his show "A Briefing with Neelix", delivered a rather moving speech, praising Tom Paris as a gravely misunderstood man whose bravery, courage, and friendliness were overseen by misleading first impressions and the judgment of others. Tom did end up returning to the ship after his mission was over, much to the delight of Neelix, who had thought he had lost a friend, and the dismay of Chakotay, who felt fooled and deceived once again. (VOY: "Investigations")
When Voyager was seized by Culluh and Seska, Paris was able to leave just in time, in a shuttle, to bring help. While the crew was forced to leave the ship and was marooned on a desolate planet, The Doctor and Lon Suder managed to remain on board. They sabotaged Voyager, which was now under Culluh's and Seska's control, allowing Paris to retake the ship. Paris, who led a fleet of Talaxian ships, took out the primary phaser couplings and their backups, causing an energy overload. The explosion of the phaser couplings resulted in Seska getting killed while she was sitting at the conn at the time Paris initiated the overload. After retaking the ship, Paris rescued the rest of the crew from the planet, and they resumed their journey. (VOY: "Investigations", "Basics, Part II")
While Tom was proving himself as a valuable member of the crew, he also began establishing close personal relationships with crew members, such as The Doctor, to whom he gave relationship advice when The Doctor had developed feelings for one of his patients, a Vidiian named Danara Pel, and felt rather stuck with the unfamiliar emotions he was experiencing. Tom, who – despite being a womanizer – had gone through his share of rejections and heartbreaks, told The Doctor that the first one was always the hardest to get over, although eventually the feelings would subside, even if they never completely disappeared. Even though the prospects of eternal heartbreak left The Doctor rather hopeless, Tom nonetheless advised him to give it another try with Denara and take her some place special to confess his feelings for her. (VOY: "Lifesigns")
Among all of his relationships with the crew, Tom had developed a specially close friendship with young Harry Kim. Their friendship was put to the test when they were accused of terrorist activities they did not commit and were held in an Akritirian maximum security detention facility, more than three hundred meters underground. There, they were controlled by a neural implant called a clamp, which induced paranoia and violence. Even though Captain Janeway was able to prove their innocence, the authorities refused to release them. The two men suffered horribly in the prison, and the stress of prison and the neural implants did take its toll on both of them; when Paris once, suffering from delirium, dismantled a tool Kim was going to use for an escape attempt, Kim, enraged at what Paris had done, lost control and almost killed him. Kim was able to stop himself in the last minute but realized that he had gone too far. The two men fought for each other, however, and Kim nursed Paris back to health after he was stabbed by another inmate. This incident marked an important step in their friendship, as Tom realized the kind of friend he had found in Harry, who not only saved his life but also stood by him at his worst. (VOY: "The Chute")
The third year (2373)
During the third year of their journey through the Delta Quadrant, Tom traveled back in time, to 20th-century Los Angeles on Earth – along with Tuvok, Chakotay, and Janeway – to stop Henry Starling from stealing a time ship. Tuvok and Paris were sent to locate Rain Robinson, a young astronomer in Starling's employ who had detected Voyager's arrival. The pair were also assigned to find out whatever information she had gathered and then destroy it. Spending a great deal of time together and sharing similar interests, Tom and Rain developed feelings for each other, but they were forced to part ways when Voyager's mission was over and Tom had to return to the 24th century. (VOY: "Future's End", "Future's End, Part II")
That same year also marked the first time it became apparent that Tom and B'Elanna were romantically interested in and attracted to each other. When Torres began experiencing symptoms similar to pon farr – after being attacked by Ensign Vorik, who was likewise undergoing the blood fever – she quite aggressively pursued Paris and displayed feelings of passion toward him to the point of wanting to mate with him. However, Paris refused to initiate anything with her while her judgment was impaired, and she found herself in a delirious state. This angered Torres, who had sensed all along how much Tom wanted her – pointing out his advances, the longing looks, and his jealousy every time she was with someone else. Even though it was difficult, Paris continued to resist her. After she overcame her blood fever, Torres returned to her reserved self again. Paris admitted that, even though B'Elanna was scared to show her Klingon side, he did like it and hoped to see more of it in the future. (VOY: "Blood Fever")
Later that year, Paris received permission to write an ending to the highly sought-after holoprogram Insurrection Alpha, much to the original author Tuvok's dismay, who feared that Tom's casual attitude would strongly compromise the logical organization with which the novel was crafted. While arguing over their different approaches on how to write the novel, they went to the holodeck, where they became trapped and were almost killed during the Insurrection Alpha program, which had been sabotaged by Seska during her time on Voyager. Its safety protocols were off-line, and the program about a Maquis takeover of the ship was in progress, with a holographic version of Seska programmed to target anyone who opened the narrative parameters file. Despite the odds, Tuvok and Paris managed to stay one step ahead of Seska's programming until Janeway could write an ending to the novel, culminating in the Seska hologram being "killed" when a phaser rifle malfunctioned. (VOY: "Worst Case Scenario")
The fourth year (2374)
The year 2374 was a rather eventful one for Tom Paris, mainly because he and B'Elanna Torres grew closer, finally began admitting their feelings for each other, and decided to take their relationship to the next level. They had a rather rocky start, especially because Torres kept pushing him away with her defensive and caustic attitude. On the Klingon Day of Honor, she behaved particularly intolerable towards Paris, who was trying to encourage her to embrace her Klingon side instead of running from it. When she demanded that he leave her alone and angrily snapped, Tom told her, point blank, that, if she kept pushing away those who cared about her, she would end up alone. This struck a chord with Torres, who had been angry for such a long time. They finally admitted their feelings for each other when they were near death, floating in space in EV suits after an away mission gone wrong. Right before Voyager found them and much to Paris' surprise, B'Elanna even admitted that she was in love with Tom. (VOY: "Day of Honor")
The couple kept their relationship under covers for a while, unsure as to how serious the other was about it and how to go about revealing it to their crew mates. As a result of the secrecy they were trying to maintain and which made them sneak around a few times, they were occasionally caught in rather compromising situations, such as when Tuvok walked in on them in engineering. On one occasion, they even had to be set straight by Captain Janeway, who demanded they exercise better judgment if they wanted to pursue a relationship. (VOY: "Revulsion", "Scientific Method")
During a year of confrontation with a Krenim timeship, Paris was captured and taken aboard the Krenim ship with Chakotay. He tried to sabotage the ship in order to restore the timeline, objecting to Chakotay's plan to convince the Krenim to stop on the grounds that the Krenim commander had gone mad. Paris secretly transmitted the location of the Krenmin ship to Janeway, who managed to crash Voyager into the ship, destabilizing its temporal core and causing it to erase itself, restoring the timeline. (VOY: "Year of Hell", "Year of Hell, Part II")
Even though Paris had managed to build a new life for himself on Voyager and leave behind his troubled past, it still haunted him occasionally. When Voyager received a message from Starfleet containing personal letters from the crew's family and friends, Tom once again was haunted by that life in the Alpha Quadrant that he was desperately trying to escape. While everyone was thrilled about the letters from home, Paris masked his pain behind jokes and cynical remarks, stating to Harry Kim that he should not keep his hopes up because no hopes meant no disappointments. When he eventually did end up receiving a letter from his father, he was less than enthused. He confided to B'Elanna that the more everybody was excited about the letters from home, the more he wanted no part of it, emphasizing that what he had on Voyager was better than anything he ever had back home. In the end, he reluctantly admitted that maybe he really still cared what his father thought about him. Even though the letter he received was lost in the data stream, he decided to believe that it maybe contained the kind of reassurance he had always sought from his father. (VOY: "Hunters")
In the same year, Paris' memory, along with that of the entire Voyager crew, was removed by the Hirogen, and he was placed in a simulation where he played the role of an American army officer during World War II in France. In that simulation, which the Hirogen used to hunt for "prey", he and Torres' character had had a romantic relationship before the war. (VOY: "The Killing Game", "The Killing Game, Part II")
Later that year, Paris began feeling a bit restless and somewhat trapped in his routine. He exhibited erratic behavior and was easily irritated. He spent hours on the holodeck, working on antique cars, and neglected his duties quite extensively. He and Torres also argued more than usual, with Tom accusing her of being on his case too much and always overreacting.
When Paris met an alien named Steth, whose adventurous and unbound lifestyle appeared rather attractive to him and reminded him of his own carefree past, he was yanked out of his inertia. Chakotay even granted him permission to work on the alien's ship. In the process of helping Steth, they became friends, and Steth even offered Tom to come along with him, having noticed his feelings of being trapped in a dreary settled life. When Tom reluctantly declined, Steth, a shapeshifter with the ability to steal the DNA of any humanoid form, switched places with Tom and posed as the real one on board Voyager, behaving stranger than ever, threatening crew members, and even attempting to strangle Captain Janeway, who had confronted him about his atypical behavior. Tom managed to regain his DNA with the help of the real Steth, who had also had his own DNA stolen. (VOY: "Vis à Vis")
While exploring a toxic, Demon-class planet, Paris and Kim came into contact with a silver liquid on the planet and were bioformed. The planet's metallic fluid, the Silver Blood, created duplicates of Paris and Kim because it sought consciousness and sentience. That silver blood finally released Voyager, after the crew agreed to be duplicated to populate the planet. (VOY: "Demon")
The fifth year (2375)
In 2375, Paris had to heavily lobby for and finally built the Delta Flyer, a shuttle of his own design intended for use in the increasingly hostile Delta Quadrant. Captain Janeway authorized construction in order to retrieve a multispatial probe that was lost in the atmosphere of a gas giant and in danger of being stolen by the Malon. The Malon also began working on a shuttlecraft and finished theirs before the Flyer was complete. When they sent out their shuttle, the Flyer was deployed early, despite a flaw with the vessel's structural integrity. The Flyer was successful in retrieving the probe, but a hull breach started to occur. B'Elanna Torres designed a makeshift device that deployed a temporary force field, successfully containing the breach. (VOY: "Extreme Risk")
Paris later explained that he had found a 0.42 phase variance, a major design flaw, in Voyager's new quantum slipstream drive's system, while running tests at a console. His opinion was that it was an Edsel. This warning was instrumental in staving off a catastrophe. (VOY: "Timeless")
One of the first serious setbacks for Paris, ever since he joined Voyager, was when he was demoted to the rank of ensign and sentenced to thirty days of solitary confinement in the brig. He had disobeyed orders of not interfering with a society that was threatened with the loss of their ocean, and Captain Janeway – who was very disappointed in him, after everything he had accomplished since he had come on board – disciplined him heavily. While in the brig, he began to dictate a letter to his father and took great pains to describe the circumstances that had led him to the brig, so that this time his father would know that, unlike the last, his incarceration was not for disgraceful reasons, but for noble ones. (VOY: "Thirty Days")
In the same year – as Tom was enjoying a chapter of one of his favorite holodeck programs, The Adventures of Captain Proton – photonic lifeforms on an exploratory mission from the fifth dimension became entangled in a war with the characters from that program, mistaking Voyager's holodeck and the program it was running for reality. Paris, with the help of the crew, eventually managed to convince the photonic aliens to leave the ship, but this also meant the end of his Captain Proton program. (VOY: "Bride of Chaotica!")
Later that year, Paris became trapped on a planet with Tuvok and The Doctor, and was taught survival techniques by Noss, an alien female who had fallen in love with Tuvok. Tom advised Tuvok to let Noss in and try a relationship with her, since it was unlikely he would ever see his wife again, but Tuvok had no intention of doing that. Tom later apologized for his bluntness but asked that Tuvok at least let her down easy, if he could not return her love. (VOY: "Gravity")
When the crew was being deceived by false telemetry emitted by what looked like a wormhole to the Alpha Quadrant, Tom believed he had received a letter from an old friend who had offered him a spot at a new test flight center in Australia, with a chance to pilot the newest experimental ships. The "wormhole" turned out to be a creature luring everyone into its bowels by promising them to turn into reality what they desired the most. (VOY: "Bliss")
The sixth year (2376)
In 2376, Voyager encountered another Federation starship, the USS Equinox, stranded in the Delta Quadrant, and Torres ran into an old boyfriend, Maxwell Burke, who was serving aboard the ship. Their encounter left Tom nervous and evoked certain feelings of jealousy in him, prompting him to ask questions and inquire about the nature and depth of their relationship. (VOY: "Equinox")
Later that year, Voyager encountered an interstellar junkyard and Tom, while surveying the debris, set his eyes on a small shuttle. He was instantly drawn to it, stating that the ship was a work of art that he had just fallen in love with and had to have. He advocated hard to acquire it, promising to restore it himself and on his own time. He spent hours working on it, even naming it after an old crush from the Academy who had never given him the time of day: Alice. He obsessed for hours about Alice, mainly to the detriment of his duties and personal relationships. The more time he spent working on the ship, the more detached he became from everything and everyone else around him. Noticing Tom's obsessive and erratic behavior, the crew investigated; it turned out that Alice was a ship unlike any other, equipped with a neurogenic interface that allowed it to react directly to the pilot's thoughts. The interface made Tom see a woman, the personification of the ship, who had an obsession of her own with Tom and asked him to escape with her to a particle fountain she referred to as "home". Tom was finally rescued from Alice, who had neurologically manipulated him to become one with the machine. (VOY: "Alice")
In the same year, while returning from an away mission, Paris began to have dreams that he had participated in a massacre. These were memories produced by a synaptic transmitter on a planet he and some of his shipmates had landed on, and it had been put there to keep alive the memory of the people who had been massacred. (VOY: "Memorial")
Paris also accompanied Chakotay and Seven of Nine in the investigation of a gravimetric distortion where Voyager had discovered the Ares IV, an old Earth ship sent to Mars in the early 21st century. The Ares had become trapped inside the distortion in 2032, and no-one had ever found out what had happened to its pilot, Lieutenant John Kelly. Finding a piece of Earth history out there in the Delta Quadrant meant a lot to the crew, so an away team was sent out to retrieve the ship's command module before the distortion disappeared again in subspace. In their attempts, they, too, were trapped inside it, but they managed to escape by using parts from the old ship to fix the Delta Flyer. As a Mars buff, this was a special assignment for Tom, who, similar to Chakotay, saw the Mars missions as an important step in Humanity's path to space exploration. (VOY: "One Small Step")
Later that year – during an away mission on a small planetoid in the Wyanti system, searching for a spore The Doctor wanted to grow anti-viral proteins with – Tom and Neelix ran into Dala, an alien of unknown origin, and a couple of her friends, who, like her, were con artists and were impersonating monks. Under false pretenses, the trio downloaded Voyager's database from the Delta Flyer and began posing as Janeway, Tuvok and Chakotay, to con people out of money and resources. After Paris and Neelix found out that they had been had by the so-called monks, they were rather embarrassed, commiserating about maybe having lost their edge. (VOY: "Live Fast and Prosper")
The final year (2377-78)
During the last year of Voyager's journey, Paris was reinstated to the rank of lieutenant junior grade, prior to helping the Borg drones of Unimatrix Zero escape from the Collective. (VOY: "Unimatrix Zero") Seven suggested that Paris could help Icheb study astrometrics for the Starfleet Academy entrance exam, when she believed she would no longer be around. (VOY: "Imperfection") Paris married B'Elanna Torres during the first running of the Antarian Trans-stellar Rally, proposing as the shuttle came close to suffering a warp core breach. Its destruction was averted after the warp core was ejected into a class-J nebula, containing the antimatter explosion. The two of them used the Delta Flyer for their honeymoon. (VOY: "Drive")
One of Paris' more important personal struggles that year was when he helped Torres accept her Klingon heritage and allow their baby to be born with Klingon characteristics. Ever since her father had left following an argument, B'Elanna had been convinced that she was responsible for him leaving, due to her and her mother being too Klingon for him to cope with; she feared it would happen again. Paris convinced her that he would love all their children, no matter how Klingon they were, and she agreed to not have her daughter genetically altered to only look Human. Trained by Kohlar to use the bat'leth, Tom also fought for her honor when a group of Klingons believed she was carrying the savior of the Klingon race. (VOY: "Lineage", "Prophecy")
Paris and most of the crew of Voyager were kidnapped by a race called the Quarren. They were brainwashed and drugged so they could be used in the labor force of the planet Quarra. Having no memory of himself, Paris, in this life, was looking for another job, after being fired from the local power plant by a new efficiency monitor, named "Annika Hansen". Paris got himself hired in a local tavern to wait and bus tables, where he met a single and highly pregnant B'Elanna Torres and fell for her. He and the rest of the crew were eventually rescued through the efforts of Chakotay. (VOY: "Workforce", "Workforce, Part II")
While piloting the Delta Flyer through Ledosian space, Paris was charged with reckless piloting, and he was thereafter required to attend a piloting class. He failed the course when he rescued an away team from the planet and disabled a deflector shield. (VOY: "Natural Law")
While on Voyager's first Starfleet-assigned mission in seven years, Paris was captured by a race that had been contaminated by an old Earth probe. He was rescued – and, indeed, helped make peace with the population by having an infant suffering from radiation sickness receive treatment – but his crewmate Joe Carey was killed. (VOY: "Friendship One")
The return home
During a final battle with the Borg, which enabled Voyager to return home, Paris' first child was born: a girl named "Miral". Although he was unable to be present at her birth, as he was needed at Voyager's helm while the ship was trying to get back home, he was contacted by The Doctor, who told him, "There's someone down here who would like to say 'hello.'" (VOY: "Endgame")
Tom Paris had a variety of interests, but many of them focused on 20th-century North American culture, specifically the latter half of that century's pop culture. However, his knowledge of general history was slightly more limited, to the point that he initially believed that the Soviet Union was still active in the late 1990s, whereas it had actually collapsed at the beginning of that decade. When Voyager landed in 20th-century Los Angeles on Earth, his knowledge about the existence of surveillance satellites at that time helped them remain undetected. Janeway took him on the subsequent away mission because of his knowledge of 20th-century Earth. When asked what they needed in order to pass as locals, he said, "Nice clothes, fast cars, and lots of money." (VOY: "Future's End") He also possessed considerable knowledge of the early Mars projects, from the first missions of the 1970s to the first colony. (VOY: "11:59", "One Small Step")
Additionally, Paris was fond of playing practical jokes, particularly on Tuvok. For example, he once reprogrammed, in a variety of ways, a holographic Vulcan monastery that Tuvok used, such as dressing one of the central figures in sleepwear and changing the chants to Ferengi chants about profit. He even once reprogrammed all the systems Tuvok interacted with to say, "Live long and prosper," whenever he used them. In the holographic village of Fair Haven, Paris transformed Harry Kim's date Maggie into a Holstein-Friesian cow when she was about to kiss him. (VOY: "Fair Haven", "Spirit Folk")
Among his many interests, Paris had what The Doctor once called "a flair for holographic narratives"; he enjoyed creating and participating in a range of holoprograms during his time on Voyager. When they were first stranded in the Delta Quadrant, he created the holographic version of his favorite hangout, Chez Sandrine, for use on Voyager's holodeck. Sandrine's bar was a small restaurant, with a bar and pool table, that Tom had often frequented while doing his physical training on the Starfleet base outside of Marseille. He regarded the simulation as a piece of home, right there in the Delta Quadrant. The Sandrine program was often accessed by the crew and was also the location at which Tom once ran a gambling operation that Chakotay broke up. (VOY: "The Cloud", "Twisted", "Meld", "Lifesigns", "Author, Author")
Paris was also the creator of the holoprogram Captain Proton and the protagonist of the holonovel The Adventures of Captain Proton. He often embarked on wild adventures on the holodeck with the Captain Proton program, and his sidekick on many of these adventures was Buster Kincaid, played by Harry Kim. Even though the storyline varied each time, the main theme of the Captain Proton novels was fighting the evil forces of Doctor Chaotica and Queen Arachnia. Paris even once had Seven participate in the adventures, but she did not show much enthusiasm for what she considered to be yet another frivolous activity among Humans. (VOY: "Night", "Thirty Days") Captain Proton was once mistakenly taken for real by aliens who thought they were going to be attacked by Doctor Chaotica. Janeway assumed the character of Queen Arachnia and assisted Tom, Harry, and The Doctor in defeating Chaotica. (VOY: "Bride of Chaotica!")
When he was not embarking on holo-adventures as the scourge of intergalactic evil in the Captain Proton programs, Tom also liked to devote his time to other kinds of stories. His interest in Irish culture led him to create the Fair Haven holoprogram – which was set in an early-20th-century Irish town. In the program, Paris played a joke on Harry and turned his holodate, Maggie, into a cow. When some of the villagers saw this, they, believing that Kim and Paris were evil spirits, captured them and tried to drive the spirits out of them. Due to damage to the holodeck, the characters had become self-aware and safety protocols were off-line. After Janeway explained the situation to one of the characters, Michael Sullivan, he managed to convince the villagers that the two were not possessed by spirits and the pair was released. After this incident, the Fair Haven program degraded and most of the original characters were lost. (VOY: "Fair Haven", "Spirit Folk")
Since Paris enjoyed writing creative stories and engaging in adventures on the holodeck, he was more than thrilled when he was granted permission to continue writing an ending for Tuvok's holoprogram, Insurrection Alpha, depicting a Maquis mutiny. Tuvok was not very happy when Tom took over the project, as Tom was disregarding all of his original organization and logical application by adhering to a more casual "make it up as I go along" format. He was suggesting that, in the novel, Paris and Janeway retake the ship while Janeway would decide to execute all the conspirators, an ending Tuvok believed to be a completely implausible plot development. (VOY: "Worst Case Scenario")
Tom was a car aficionado, and, thus, one of his hobbies were automobiles with internal combustion engines. He created his own holoprogram, called Grease Monkey, in which he often spent hours tinkering with old cars while listening to "surf rock" music from a radio of that era. (VOY: "Vis à Vis") When, in 2371, Voyager discovered an ancient Earth automobile – a 1936 Ford truck floating in space – Tom was the first one to take an interest and share with the rest of the crew his knowledge about cars of the 20th century. When Harry Kim asked if the Ford they had found was one of the first hover cars, he replied that this car was just one step above the horse-drawn carriage. (VOY: "The 37's")
In 2374, Voyager encountered Steth, an alien whose troubled ship was run by a coaxial warp drive. Tom suggested fixing the ship's propulsion system with something similar to a 20th-century car's carburetor. Tom also shared his Grease Monkey simulation with B'Elanna and even wanted to give her some driving lessons. (VOY: "Vis à Vis", "Someone to Watch Over Me")
Tom was also a 20th-century movie and pop culture buff. He was a big fan of old sci-fi movies and pulp sci-fi, such as Orgy of the Walking Dead and its sequel Bride of the Corpse. He liked watching television – which B'Elanna had once replicated and personally assembled for him – as well as 20th-century snacks and beverages (from that period better known as "junk food") such as hot dogs, popcorn, pizza, and beer. (VOY: "Future's End", "Bride of Chaotica!", "Memorial", "Repression", "Workforce, Part II")
During their time on Voyager, Harry Kim became Paris' best friend, and both men formed a strong and lasting friendship.
Paris took Harry, a then young, naive – or as he called it "a deep, almost fluorescent green" – ensign, fresh out of the Academy, under his wings, showing him the ropes and introducing him to his many pastimes. They first met on board Deep Space 9, where a Ferengi bartender named Quark was pressuring Kim to buy Lobi crystals. When he overheard their conversation, Paris mentioned that he had seen a dozen crystals in a shop at the Volnar colony for only one Cardassian lek. With this remark, he sank the deal the Ferengi wanted to make and prevented Kim from paying too much for the crystals. Harry took an instant liking to Tom and they became friends. (VOY: "Caretaker", "Demon", "Non Sequitur")
When Tom later reported on board Voyager, Kim noticed the rather cold and unfriendly reception Tom was receiving from the chief medical officer and others. When he asked him what that was all about, Tom avoided that subject, stating that he was tired of telling the story. Shortly after, Kim finally learned about Tom's past and asked him if it was true. Tom said that while the accident was due to a piloting error that he tried to cover up by falsifying reports, he eventually came around and confessed everything; a move that got him discharged from Starfleet. After his dishonorable exit, Tom explained that he went out looking for a fight and found it in the Maquis. Unfortunately for him, he got caught on his first assignment. Tom remarked that the whole ordeal was actually tougher on his father than on him. When he advised Kim to listen to everyone else and stay away, as he wasn't exactly a "good luck charm", Harry told him that he was capable of choosing his own friends. (VOY: "Caretaker")
As their journey through the Delta Quadrant progressed, their friendship also grew. Tom had found in Harry not only someone he could trust but also someone he could be friends with through a fresh start and thus without all the stigma of the messy past that had been haunting him for so long. Having a somewhat mischievous and adventurous streak in him, Tom often tried to get shy Harry Kim involved in his adventures, such as the time when he introduced him to the Delaney sisters and tried to get him go on a double date with them. When Kim had his reservations – as he already had a girl back home – a very cavalier Tom responded that he had five girls back home and that it didn't matter anyway because she wasn't going to wait for him. (VOY: "Time and Again")
He also introduced Harry to one of his favorite holoprograms, the Chez Sandrine simulation. Not having lived by the rules for the longest time himself, he tried to get Harry to lighten up a little bit and enjoy himself. When Harry, for example, complained that he didn't want to drink that late at night as it gave him a heartburn, Tom told him to relax as it was holographic wine. (VOY: "The Cloud")
Tom and Harry spent a lot of time together on the holodeck and in the Captain Proton adventures, Harry was Tom's sidekick, Buster Kincaid. Tom also gave Harry, who was often unsure and shy about the opposite sex, relationship advice and had his back when he got himself in trouble over a girl once. (VOY: " The Disease") Harry had a tendency to fall for the wrong girls, therefore Tom was always more than happy to remind him of his unlucky choices, such as the time when he fell in love with a hologram, or wanted the wrong Delaney sister (even though they were identical twins), or when he was infatuated with an ex Borg. (VOY: "Time and Again", "Alter Ego", "The Disease", "Ashes to Ashes")
They shared some rather amazing adventures and were very supportive of each other when it came down to it. When in 2377 Tom found out that he was going to be a father, Harry teased him that it was all over now: no more late nights on the holodeck, no more racing the Delta Flyer, tied down with family and friends dropping out of the picture. Even though Tom did feel a little nervous about the prospects of becoming a father, he told Harry that it was fatherhood and not exile. (VOY: "Lineage")
However, while the two had many interests in common and got along, they also occasionally had their disagreements. Harry, unlike Tom, was very close to his family and missed them a great deal during their journey through the Delta Quadrant. When Voyager had managed to contact Starfleet and some crew members received personal messages from loved ones at home, Tom felt uncomfortable about the prospect of reconnecting with his life back on Earth. He told B'Elanna that what he had on Voyager was better than anything he had ever known. When he told a very enthused Harry – who was hoping to receive letters from his parents soon – to not get his hopes up, as no hopes meant no disappointments, Harry bluntly responded "I am not you" and walked out. (VOY: "Hunters")
Their friendship truly strengthened when they had to rely on each other for survival in 2373: both were found guilty and detained in a prison for crimes they had not committed. There, they were controlled by a neural implant called a clamp, which induced paranoia and violence in the prisoners. When Paris was stabbed, Harry fiercely protected him from the violent inmates, but the two men suffered horribly in that prison and the stress of the neural implants did take its toll on both of them: when Paris, suffering from delirium, dismantled a tool Kim was going to use for an escape attempt, Kim almost killed him. Eventually Voyager was able to rescue them. This incident marked an important step in Tom's and Harry's friendship, as Tom realized the kind of friend he had found in Harry who not only saved his life, but also stood by him at his worst. Harry's devotion and loyalty were something Tom would remember for a long time. (VOY: "The Chute")
Captain Kathryn Janeway was a central figure in Tom Paris' personal and professional journey on board Voyager – helping him change for the better and grow into a responsible officer with integrity.
At a time where everyone had given up on Tom, Janeway was willing to give him a chance to redeem himself. She had served under Tom's father on the USS Al-Batani and was aware of Tom's situation. In 2371 she approached him on the Federation Penal Colony in New Zealand where he was serving time for his association with the Maquis. She asked him to join Voyager in an attempt to retrieve a Maquis ship, the Val Jean, which had disappeared in the Badlands with her undercover security officer Tuvok on board. She was aware of Tom's exceptional piloting skills and gave him a chance to join her on the mission as a Starfleet observer. After the Caretaker's array was destroyed and the crew permanently stranded in the Delta Quadrant, she granted Tom the field commission of lieutenant junior grade for his exceptional accomplishments during their battle with the Kazon. For the first time in his life, Tom didn't know what to say. (VOY: "Caretaker")
In a way Tom was considered Captain Janeway's personal reclamation project and when he was caught by Chakotay during his gambling operation in Sandrine's, he reminded him that the captain had put a lot of faith in him and that she would be disappointed to find out about his recent conduct. Even though Paris' insubordination and lack of discipline were part of a larger plot to expose a traitor among the crew, everyone understood the importance of the faith she had placed in him. (VOY: "Lifesigns", "Meld")
In 2375 when Paris disobeyed Janeway's warnings and then direct orders to not intervene in the affairs of the Moneans, he was demoted to the rank of ensign and sentenced to thirty days in solitary confinement in the brig. The charges were insubordination, unauthorized use of a space craft, reckless endangerment, and conduct unbecoming an officer. She told him that even though she understood his passion, passion alone didn't give him the right to take matters in his own hands. Janeway was gravely disappointed in Tom's conduct, which she believed was something he had finally grown past. She reminded him of the fresh start she had given him four years earlier. Tom admitted that even though he had never been very good at playing by the rules, it did not mean that serving under her command hadn't changed him for the better. Even though he regretted having let down Janeway, he felt proud because this time he had broken the rules for something he believed in. She promoted him back to lieutenant over a year later, commenting that his performance in the past year had been exemplary and she expected more of the same in future. (VOY: "Thirty Days", "Unimatrix Zero")
Paris was chosen as The Doctor's medical assistant soon after Voyager was thrown into the Delta Quadrant. Citing his limited academic background in biochemistry, Janeway ordered him to begin training as a field medic. (VOY: "Parallax") He remained the sole known flesh-and-blood medical assistant until The Doctor recruited Kes. (VOY: "Phage") While he presumably continued some level of medical training with The Doctor, Kes thereafter became The Doctor's primary assistant. Upon her departure, Paris increased his duty shifts in sickbay once again. Although he was initially reluctant, he proved to be highly capable at the job.
Although their relationship was often a difficult one, as The Doctor saw Paris as flaky, self-indulgent and immature, they managed to become close friends nonetheless and The Doctor's respect was always important to Tom, even though he often showed a serious lack of interest in his duties in sickbay. Tom not only shared with him many personal stories, but also helped him explore one of the most difficult aspects of being a member of the crew: relationships. When The Doctor was rejected by Danara Pel, a Vidiian who he had developed feelings for, he went to Tom who told him that women want romance and a man to make an effort. He advised The Doctor to take her some place special and create the kind of atmosphere that would make her fall for him. (VOY: "Lifesigns") When The Doctor once created a holographic family and one of his "children" faced death, it was Paris who convinced him to keep running the program regardless of how painful, because that was real life. Realizing that The Doctor needed to experience the negative aspects of family life if he wanted to develop as a person, he encouraged him to embrace life from all aspects – including the uncomfortable and even painful ones. (VOY: "Real Life") Tom also once mocked The Doctor for giving Seven dating advice, stating that it was a typical case of "the blind leading the blind". He challenged him to get Seven a date and keep it from turning into a disaster. In return, he offered to work double shifts in sickbay for a month. If she failed, he would get a month off. The Doctor agreed to the wager, but when Seven found out, she was very upset and the whole thing blew off. (VOY: "Someone to Watch Over Me")
Over time, it became clear that although he complained about the role and tried everything to avoid having to show up in sickbay, preferring to pilot the ship instead, The Doctor's opinion of him was important to Tom. This was the main reason he resented The Doctor's holonovel about abused holograms, Photons Be Free; he worried that "his" character, a womanizer called Lieutenant Marseilles, reflected how The Doctor truly saw him, even though The Doctor denied that Marseilles' character was based on Tom. In order to make The Doctor understand the extent to which his portrayal of the characters on Voyager was painting them in a bad light, Tom went ahead and wrote an alternate version of The Doctor's holonovel. In that version, which took place on the USS Voyeur, the Emergency Medical Hologram was an incompetent, sleazy character who told bad jokes, had a lousy bedside manner and drugged his female patients so he could seduce them right there in sickbay. When The Doctor found out, he was rather outraged about this false portrayal of him, but eventually got the point Tom was trying to make and asked his publisher, Ardon Broht, to not publish the novel until he revised it. Broht, however, still went ahead and published it and when The Doctor demanded that all copies be recalled, Broht refused, based on grounds that The Doctor was a mere hologram and not a person with rights who could make demands. This resulted in a near legal battle over The Doctor's standing in which Captain Janeway and the rest of the crew came to his defense. Although Tuvok briefly contemplated arguing that, since The Doctor was not a real person, according to both Broht and Federation law, he would therefore have never had the right to sell the novel in the first place, Tom immediately objected, stating that making that argument was the equivalent of admitting that The Doctor was not a real person. This prompted Janeway to approach the defense of The Doctor from a different angle and the novel was recalled. (VOY: "Author, Author")
At first, Tom and Neelix did not get along. Tom's reputation as a womanizer and his sordid past had preceded him and Neelix was weary of Tom's attraction to and subtle flirtations with Kes. Neelix did not trust him. Even though Paris never acted on it directly, his feelings towards Kes were quite obvious, such as the time when he used two weeks worth of replicator rations to get Kes a locket for her birthday. (VOY: " Twisted") Neelix was incredibly jealous, bordering at paranoia, when it came to Tom and Kes, until everything finally blew up one day when Tom was giving Kes flight lessons on the holodeck and then both were seen coming out laughing. This angered Neelix who believed that they were having a good time sneaking around behind his back. Later in the mess hall he confronted Paris, calling him a "subclass genus" for pretending he did not have any feelings for Kes. Tom reassured him that there was nothing going on but Neelix got riled up and dumped a plate full of hair pasta on Tom. Tom returned the favor and before they knew it, both were wrestling on the table, exchanging insults.
When later both were assigned to an away mission and had to work things out on their own, Neelix apologized to Tom for having dumped the pasta on him, realizing that he was wrong. Tom admitted to being attracted to Kes, but at the same time also revealed that he respected Neelix too much to ever act on his feelings. He also told Neelix that even though everything he had heard from the other crew members about his past was true, it wasn't who he was anymore because this upside-down mission to the wrong side of the galaxy had given him a second chance which he did not intend to blow. This marked the end of Tom's and Neelix' contentions for one another and the beginning of their friendship. (VOY: "Parturition")
In fact, Neelix became so fond of Tom that when Tom revealed his intentions to leave the ship, Neelix, oblivious to Tom putting on an act to catch a traitor, became quite upset and began an investigation into the motives behind Paris' departure. He told Tom that he wished he didn't leave and later in an editorial for his show "A Briefing with Neelix", he praised Tom as an honest and courageous yet misunderstood man who was misjudged by his peers, stating that he would miss his dear new friend very much if he left the ship. When the traitor was finally revealed and Tom came back to the ship, Neelix was more than happy to see his friend return. (VOY: "Investigations")
Tom's and Neelix' bond as friends grew stronger; they often played pool and other games, sat up into the late hours swapping stories, and even enjoyed kidding The Doctor every now and then. However, Tom could still not develop a palette for Neelix' cooking and complained often. (VOY: "Investigations", "Live Fast and Prosper") Neelix trusted Tom and, when in 2373 he got himself in some trouble by dealing with narcotics and then spiraled down by lying to cover up his lies, he turned to Tom, asking about his past. Paris told him that the reason he got in trouble in the first place was because instead of telling the truth, he kept lying – nearly ruining his life. Neelix did not tell Paris what he had done but the discussion helped him put things in perspective. (VOY: "Fair Trade")
When in 2377 Tom found out he was going to be a father, he said he could not imagine anyone more suited as his child's godfather than Neelix. Neelix was thrilled, even though that role eventually went to The Doctor because Neelix already had Naomi Wildman as a god-daughter. (VOY: "Lineage")
Tom and Chakotay knew each other when Tom had joined the Maquis after his disgraceful discharge from Starfleet. When Captain Janeway asked Tom to join her on Voyager's mission to retrieve Chakotay's Maquis ship, Tom confirmed Chakotay's assertion of him as an opportunist who'd be willing to sell out to anyone as long as the price was right. When Chakotay discovered him on Voyager's bridge after they were stranded in the Delta Quadrant, he was angered, wondering what he had accepted this time when he betrayed them. This sentiment changed greatly when Tom saved Chakotay's life on Ocampa and when Captain Janeway asked him to respect Tom as a member of her crew. (VOY: "Caretaker")
The tension between Tom and Chakotay was later, rather clandestinely, exploited by Janeway and Tuvok who tried to expose a traitor on Voyager. Chakotay was in charge of ship personnel so Tom, unbeknownst to Chakotay, was ordered to show insubordination, tardiness and be regularly late for his duty shifts. When Chakotay confronted Tom, asking him why he was not taking his duties seriously and exhibited such bad behavior, Tom became physically confrontational with Chakotay, telling him that he was not the only person who had a problem with the way Chakotay was doing things. Even though their plan eventually helped them catch the traitor, Chakotay was led on for the longest time to believe that he and Tom had not resolved their differences; when later the truth came out, he couldn't help but feel fooled once again – especially after Seska's and Tuvok's previous deceptions; luckily after this brief episode he and Tom finally patched things up. (VOY: "Meld", "Lifesigns", "Investigations") Chakotay frequently addressed Tom by first name, implying a measure of affection.
Over the years, Chakotay's opinion of Tom changed greatly to one of respect and when in 2374 Tom began to once again act restless and erratic, Chakotay advised him to not ruin everything he had worked for in all these years. He reminded him that he was a different man than the one who came on board four years ago and that he was glad to have seen him take charge of his life and turn himself around. Tom reassured him that he was merely needing a change of pace and promised to not compromise everything he had worked for. (VOY: "Vis à Vis")
Paris and Tuvok had very different approaches and philosophies to life. While Tuvok viewed life through the lens of typical Vulcan logic, Paris had a more carefree attitude towards things; an attribute which irritated Tuvok a great deal and which often resulted in clashes between the two – sometimes serious, often humorous. One such clash became apparent when Tom was put in charge of writing an ending to Tuvok's Insurrection Alpha holoprogram depicting a Maquis mutiny on board Voyager. Tuvok was not happy that Tom was assigned to finish the novel, especially because Tom was disregarding all of his original organization and logical application by adhering to a more casual "make it up as I go along" format. Tom was suggesting that in the novel, Paris and Janeway retake the ship while Janeway decides to execute all the conspirators; an ending Tuvok believed to be a completely implausible plot development. (VOY: "Worst Case Scenario") On another occasion, Tuvok and Paris got into a disagreement over the built and look of the Delta Flyer: Tom had added fancy decoration, such as dynametric tailfins, to the nacelles which Tuvok promptly removed, stating that they were not designing a "hot rod" and that such embellishments were unnecessary. (VOY: "Extreme Risk")
Tom also often kidded Tuvok, trying to get him to loosen up a bit and "take it easy", such as the time he tried to get him to view the generational ship the Varro had built from more than just a logical and practical angle; or when he tried to find out Tuvok's age, which at that point had remained somewhat of a mystery to many. These attempts to elicit emotional responses out of Tuvok often proved fruitless, however, as Tuvok countered every point made with a logical response, leaving Paris frustrated even having tried. (VOY: "The Disease") Tom did not always appreciate Tuvok's by-the-book and rigid methods and once believed that Tuvok, who had earlier caught him and B'Elanna kissing in engineering, had reported the matter to Captain Janeway; a suspicion that proved to be wrong as Janeway assured Paris that Tuvok had done no such thing. (VOY: "Scientific Method")
Despite occasional irritations, however, Tom and Tuvok maintained a cordial and respectful relationship with one another throughout their journey through the Delta Quadrant. Even early in their journey, Tuvok showed a surprising amount of faith in Tom, selecting Tom as the mole to identify a potential traitor who was leaking information to the Kazon when the plan would put Tom in a position where he could legitimately defect (VOY: "Investigations"), and making Tom the only other major crewmember – aside from Tuvok himself – who was unquestionably on Janeway's side during the Maquis mutiny in his Insurrection Alpha program (VOY: "Worst Case Scenario").
When Tom was charged with the murder of engineering physicist Tolen Ren in 2371, it was Tuvok's thorough investigation that lead to proving Tom's innocence in the matter. As a result, Tom felt a great sense of gratitude towards Tuvok for having saved his life. Even though Tuvok explained to him that he was merely performing his duty and would have put the same level of diligence into the investigation regardless of which crew member was charged, Tom did not care and told Tuvok that regardless of his motives, he had just made a friend that day (VOY: "Ex Post Facto").
When Tuvok was going through the pon farr while The Doctor was away and Tom the only medic available, Tom claimed to the rest of the crew that Tuvok was just suffering from Tarkalean flu, later programming a holographic replica of T'Pel to help Tuvok deal with his urges without betraying his wife (VOY: "Body and Soul").
When Tuvok, The Doctor and Paris were stranded on an inhospitable planet for a number of months, they met a young woman named Noss who began developing feelings for Tuvok. Unable to return her feelings and citing his marriage, Paris interjected – berating Tuvok for breaking Noss' heart, suggesting that he may reconsider his allegiance to his wife given that they are so far removed and may never make it back. Paris was genuinely interested in seeing Tuvok take a chance with someone new. After they were rescued, however, Paris apologized to Tuvok for what he had said, acknowledging that it was not up to him to make that call. (VOY: "Gravity")
Tom's respect for Tuvok never changed and when Tom learned of B'Elanna's pregnancy, he went to Tuvok for advice on fatherhood. Tuvok noted that Tom should expect the illogical combination of frustration and satisfaction that children could bring to a father's life (VOY: "Lineage").
Tom Paris was known as somewhat of a ladies' man and he was very cavalier when it came to women and dating. Lieutenant Stadi once asked him whether he always flew at women "at warp speed." (VOY: "Caretaker") During his time on Voyager, he programmed the women in his Chez Sandrine holoprogram to be equally permissive and the pool hustler he had created for that program lived by the motto of "treat a tramp like a lady and a lady like a tramp." (VOY: "The Cloud") When Paris first came on board the ship, he couldn't wait to get together with the Delaney sisters; he even tried to convince Harry Kim to go on a double date with him and the twins and he went so far as to lie about Harry's accomplishments so they would agree to go out with them. (VOY: "Time and Again") During their second year on board Voyager, he told Harry that he had been "chasing" Susan Nicoletti for at least six months but with no luck. (VOY: "The Thaw")
Before he became confident with women, Tom Paris had his share of heartbreaks and turn-downs. He recalled Alice Battisti from his time at the Academy, and how she wouldn't give him the time of day. (VOY: "Alice") He also once told The Doctor about his first heartbreak, Susie Crabtree, who broke up with him during his first year at the Academy. He recalled breaking out in hives, unable to get out of bed for a week while almost failing stellar cartography because of her; he eventually got over her, but "walked around in a daze" for the rest of that year and even today would think about her from time to time. He knew that the first one was always the hardest to get over. (VOY: "Lifesigns")
Trapped in the Delta Quadrant, Tom Paris' options were somewhat limited. He was attracted to Kes when she first joined the vessel's crew, but because she had a relationship with Neelix, Paris never really pursued her. As a Starfleet conn officer, he eventually became attracted to a former Maquis engineer with a fiery disposition that was tempered by a vulnerable side which he found very endearing. (VOY: "Elogium", "Parturition", "Alter Ego", "Blood Fever", "Day of Honor")
In the beginning, Tom's and B'Elanna's interactions were cordial in nature and they didn't pay much attention to each other; in fact, B'Elanna once thought Tom to be a "pig" when she discovered the kind of chauvinistic holodeck character he had programmed. (VOY: " The Cloud") Despite shaky beginnings, however – and even though aboard Voyager Tom officially represented Starfleet while B'Elanna was an ex-Maquis – in a way, they were kindred spirits: they were outlaws and misfits in their respective lives in the Alpha Quadrant and they both had rather difficult and wounding relationships with their parents. As a result, they had a hard time playing by the rules and often felt that they did not fit in. (VOY: "Caretaker", "Parallax", "Thirty Days", "Day of Honor", "Hunters", "Extreme Risk") As time went by, they began warming up to each other and Tom gradually approached her and began seeing her in a romantic light. Their first real flirtation occurred in 2373 during an away mission on a shuttlecraft when Tom asked B'Elanna if she had a "hot date" back on Voyager. When she denied any interest in the attentions of Crewman Freddy Bristow, Tom suggested that she might join him on the holodeck sometime, wondering how a Klingon could "live the life of a nun" anyway. B'Elanna, aware of Tom's reputation as a ladies' man, turned him down flat. (VOY: "The Swarm")
Their relationship began seriously heating up later that year when Vorik, struck with the pon farr, asked B'Elanna to become his mate. Even though she turned him down, in his passion, Vorik took her face in his hands and unintentionally initiated a telepathic mating bond. Later, on an away mission, when B'Elanna was trapped with Paris in a cave on a planet and heavily under the influence of the blood fever, her instincts finally took over and she began initiating a mating ritual with Tom. They finally kissed, but Paris regained his wits, realizing that her judgment was impaired and that he would hate himself if he took advantage of her while she was in such a compromised state of mind. B'Elanna confessed that she had noticed Tom's interest in her a long time ago with all those invitations to dinner, the way he would look at her when he thought she wasn't looking and get jealous when she was with someone else. Tom admitted to being attracted to her but he also knew this wasn't really her, and remained adamant that he would not misuse the situation. When Tuvok finally rescued them, he told Tom that unless he mated with B'Elanna, she would die from the pon farr-like symptoms. He was ready to accede to B'Elanna's wishes when Vorik interrupted them to claim her for himself. Ultimately, Torres and Vorik fought to end the pon farr. Later, in the turbolift, B'Elanna told Paris that they should forget the whole thing, but he insisted that even though he had seen her "big scary Klingon side", he was still interested. Her last words as she departed the turbolift were to be careful what he wishes for. (VOY: "Blood Fever")
In an alternate future, Paris and B'Elanna again appeared as a couple when Kes began to live her life backwards, although B'Elanna died in an attack shortly after Kes' appearance in that timeline. When she finally stabilized in 2373, it was obvious that Tom and B'Elanna were still just friends. (VOY: "Before and After")
When the entire crew lost Voyager to a race known as the Nyrians, they became stranded on a spacecraft with prison cells simulated to be environments suitable for the prisoners. In an attempt to escape, Paris and Torres became trapped in an "ice age" scenario and were forced to embrace each other to stimulate warmth. (VOY: "Displaced")
It became obvious that they were growing closer when they shared an illicit holoprogram that B'Elanna found depicting a Maquis mutiny on Voyager. When Tom was given the OK to write an ending for it, B'Elanna suggested adding some passion to the plot. Tom replied that he could certainly add "a steamy love scene" between the Starfleet conn officer and Maquis engineer; a suggestion which B'Elanna casually dismissed as unrealistic. (VOY: "Worst Case Scenario")
B'Elanna's insecurities and her troubled past finally got a hold of her, however, and lead her to withdraw quite a great deal when she and Tom first became close. Tom, who had begun to develop feelings for B'Elanna, often found new ways to spend time with her; he even began to work Klingon martial arts programs with her on the holodeck, even though she was not impressed by the scenarios. Despite her anger issues and strong temper, he remained supportive, patient and engaged. He often encouraged her to embrace her Klingon side such as the time when he asked her whether she had considered to go through with the rituals associated with the Klingon Day of Honor. B'Elanna remained reserved and angry, however, and even though he helped her create the holographic simulation of the ritual, she continued pushing him away, asking to be left alone. A frustrated Tom finally told her that not only was she running away from herself, but that if she kept pushing away those who cared about her, she would indeed be alone all her life. This struck a chord with B'Elanna who, for the first time, recognized the extent to which her constant anger was causing people to want to run for the nearest airlock. (VOY: "Day of Honor")
While later during an away mission they were both stranded in space, floating in their EV suits, running out of oxygen, their true feelings for each other finally surfaced and B'Elanna admitted to being in love with Tom. (VOY: "Day of Honor") A few days after the incident, they began a romantic relationship. (VOY: "Revulsion")
At the beginning of their relationship, they often sneaked around the ship to meet up. Although at that time their liaison was passionate, they were not sure if it would have a future. Paris often made up excuses to end his duty shift sooner to be with B'Elanna. He even used the transporter to get to her without being seen by other crew members. Eventually, they were caught by Tuvok when they met on the upper deck of main engineering. After that, Tom and B'Elanna were worried that their relationship would be known among the entire Voyager crew. Trying not to raise any suspicion, they once even went so far as to not enter the briefing room at the same time. Tuvok never had mentioned that he caught both of them to Captain Kathryn Janeway, but she eventually found out and reprimanded them for their childish and unprofessional behavior and warned that they were under orders to use better judgment about it as senior officers. (VOY: "Scientific Method")
Their relationship also had a somewhat volatile nature and their disagreements were often passionate. B'Elanna was certainly not the only one withholding: at one point into their relationship, Tom's restlessness caused him to cancel their dates, forget about planned get-aways, and spend lots of time on the holodeck fixing cars. When she confronted him, a short-tempered Tom replied that nothing was going on, snapping back that he didn't need to report every moment that he wasn't spending with her to her, causing B'Elanna to storm out in anger. (VOY: "Vis à Vis", "Drive")
Despite his patience and willingness to see past her shortcomings, Tom was not always immune to B'Elanna's emotional outbursts and anger and on occasion did express his frustration with her temper, such as the time when he sardonically accused her of apparently only having fun when Klingon pain sticks were involved and that she was being angry twenty-four hours a day. He was also weary of her rather direct and confrontational approach to people and had to hold her back sometime from going too far, such as the time when B'Elanna threatened to break Seven of Nine's nose when she discovered that she was spying on them for educational purposes. (VOY: "Night", "Someone to Watch Over Me") Complications in their relationship lead B'Elanna to consider ending it because she wondered if they really belonged together and realized that merely having a good time occasionally was not enough for her. Tom, however, reaffirmed his love and desire of wanting to be with her and in 2377 they were married. (VOY: "Drive") In 2378, en route a turbulent trip back to Earth, their daughter Miral was born. (VOY: "Endgame")
Kes was one of Tom's first romantic interests on board Voyager and as her role in the crew developed, so did Paris' feelings for her; in an alternate future, he admitted that he'd had a crush on her from the moment she joined the crew. (VOY: "Before and After") Neelix once said that it was typical of Kes to befriend an outsider like Tom; someone who could really use a friend. (VOY: "Parturition")
Tom's attraction to Kes was no secret and he did go out of his way to spend time with her and make her feel special. He often helped her in the airponics bay and mess hall and he even began giving her flying lessons on the holodeck. He also once sacrificed two weeks worth of replicator rations to give her a beautiful locket as a present for her birthday. He confessed to Harry that he was in love with her, wondering why with a crew full of women, he had to fall for the one he couldn't have. Kim responded that the reason he was acting this way was probably because all his life, he had been used to setting himself up for rejection. Tom's intent to stay away from Kes proved hopeless, however, and his actions left Neelix bursting with jealousy, culminating in a physical altercation between the two in the mess hall. The two were able to resolve their differences after saving an alien infant together and bonding over the experience. Tom also admitted to Neelix that while he did have feelings for Kes, he never actually intended to act on them as he respected Neelix too much. (VOY: "Twisted", "Parturition") When Paris left the ship as part of a ploy to expose a Kazon spy, Kes was one of the three people who came to say goodbye to him directly, the other two being Neelix and Harry Kim. (VOY: "Investigations")
During their third year serving together, Tom's feelings began to shift from Kes to B'Elanna. (VOY: "Blood Fever", "Alter Ego", "Displaced") Although Tom and Kes married in an alternate future during the "Year of Hell" conflict, this only occurred following B'Elanna's death in the first stage of the conflict; Kes and Paris went on to have a daughter, Linnis Paris, who married Harry Kim and had a son called Andrew Kim. This timeline was erased when exposure to temporal radiation sent Kes traveling back in time from the moment of her death until she stabilized at a point prior to B'Elanna's death (VOY: "Before and After"), and any feelings she may have developed for Paris in the course of her jumps were never fully explored before she finally departed the ship on her journey of self-discovery. (VOY: "The Gift", "Fury")
Alternate Tom Paris
Tom Paris was holographically duplicated on a number of occasions.
- Recreations of crew members from Voyager and the Jupiter Station Holoprogramming Center were seen by The Doctor during a holographic malfunction in 2371. This simulation included Tom. In the illusion, Reginald Barclay told The Doctor that he had programmed the holograms and had modeled Tom after his cousin Frank. (VOY: "Projections")
- The entire crew of Voyager was recreated by Tuvok from his Insurrection Alpha program, with Tom's character departing Voyager with Janeway on a diplomatic mission shortly before the mutiny began. (VOY: "Worst Case Scenario")
- The Kyrian Museum of Heritage in the 31st century used the program The Voyager Encounter to detail their encounter with the warship Voyager, as an aid to a history lesson. A backup of The Doctor remarked that Tom was the only crewmate of his whose portrayal in the biased and wildly inaccurate holoprogram was even slightly accurate. (VOY: "Living Witness")
- Lt. Barclay's recreated most of the crew of USS Voyager at the Communications Research Center on Earth for the Pathfinder Project in 2376. (VOY: "Pathfinder")
- In 2378, Seven recreated the crew of Voyager to perfect her social skills, including Tom. (VOY: "Human Error")
- The Doctor's holonovel, Photons Be Free, was set aboard the USS Vortex and crewed by characters based on the crew of USS Voyager, although the names were changed to protect the innocent. The character of Marseilles was based on Paris. When Tom found out about this he "revised" the story, making himself the new narrator and changing the ship to the USS Voyeur. (VOY: "Author, Author")
Alternate realities and timelines
- In an alternate timeline, for his first official away mission, Tom Paris joined Kathryn Janeway, B'Elanna Torres, and Tuvok on a planet devastated by the detonation of a polaric ion device. Due to a subspace fracture, he and Janeway were pulled back in time prior to the detonation. They were taken hostage by protesters demonstrating against the use of polaric energy. When being escorted to a polaric power plant, along with a boy named Latika, Janeway told a guard that she and Paris were hostages. One of the protesters went to shoot at Latika, but Paris took the bullet. (VOY: "Time and Again")
- When Kim mistakenly entered an alternate reality in which he was never assigned to Voyager, Paris helped him return to his own reality. In that timeline, when he arrived at Deep Space 9, Paris got into a bar fight with Quark and was sent to the brig by Constable Odo, forcing Voyager to leave without him. Having served his sentence at a penal colony, Paris moved to Marseilles where he spent his time at Sandrine's drinking and hustling pool. He did not know Kim, but nevertheless helped him return to his own timeline at the cost of his life, as the runabout they were on was destroyed while they attempted to duplicate the accident that sent Kim to this reality. (VOY: "Non Sequitur")
- In another alternate timeline experienced by Kes traveling back through time, Paris married and had a child with Kes, named Linnis Paris, following Torres' death during the "Year of Hell" conflict in 2374. Linnis went on to marry Harry Kim, and the two of them had a son called Andrew. In this timeline, Kes was experiencing time jumps that were taking her back in time, caused by her contamination from the Krenim's temporal weapons, and was subsequently erased when The Doctor cured Kes of the contamination. Any feelings Kes had for Paris as a result of the experience were never explored before her departure. (VOY: "Before and After")
- In the alternate timeline in which Voyager crashed on an L-Class world in the Alpha Quadrant after an accident with an experimental quantum slipstream drive, Paris died upon impact, along with the rest of the crew, save Harry Kim and Chakotay, who were aboard the Delta Flyer, and The Doctor, who was merely deactivated. (VOY: "Timeless")
- In an alternate timeline in which it took Voyager sixteen more years to return to Earth, Paris retired from Starfleet and became a holonovelist. He and The Doctor retained their typical bantering relationship, with Paris teasing The Doctor about the fact that it took him thirty-three years to choose the name 'Joe'. (VOY: "Endgame")
Tom Paris was played by Robert Duncan McNeill throughout the entire run of Star Trek: Voyager. In the episode "Vis à Vis", he was also played by Dan Butler, after exchanging bodies with the "Steth" impostor. The young Paris in "Thirty Days" was played by Randy Riener.
Tom Paris' character was largely based on the character of Nicholas Locarno from The Next Generation episode "The First Duty", who was also played by Robert Duncan McNeill.  Reasons for not simply bringing back the Locarno character have varied. It may have been because they would have had to pay royalties to the writers of "The First Duty" every episode, even though in interviews the producers of Voyager have said they felt Locarno's actions in that episode made him irredeemable. ("Memorable Missions Year Five" ("The First Duty"), TNG Season 5 DVD special feature) Later, a photo of McNeill as Locarno was used as a photo of young Tom Paris on Admiral Owen Paris's desk in the episode "Pathfinder".
In the script of VOY: "Caretaker", Tom Paris was initially described as "an athletic Human in his late twenties." The first draft of the "Caretaker" script also referred to him as wearing an operations division uniform, rather than a command division one.
Tom Paris was written into the first half-dozen or so Star Trek: Voyager scripts with little or no knowledge as to who would play the part. These episodes included "Ex Post Facto", which centrally features the character. (Star Trek: Voyager - A Vision of the Future, p. 174)
When the writers were trying to cast the role of Tom Paris, they couldn't find anyone that seemed to match Robert Duncan McNeill's persona, so they eventually just asked him to read for the role, and he got the part. The producers at the time wanted him to bring some of the same edginess and qualities he had brought to Nick Locarno, to the character of Tom Paris, with the difference that Paris' character would be redeemable. McNeill explained, "Locarno seemed like a nice guy, but deep down he was a bad guy. Tom Paris is an opposite premise in a way. Deep down he's a good guy. He's just made some mistakes." He went on to say, "Star Trek, in a way, is like Shakespeare. We say what we mean. One of the things that makes Tom Paris unique is that he uses plain English when everyone else is talking technobabble. He cuts to the chase. He's a red-blooded, all-American kind of guy. I like that." 
When Paris was promoted to lieutenant at the end of "Caretaker", he was described in the episode's first draft script as receiving the rank pips of a full lieutenant. He was not only shown that way in the final version of that episode but also wore the lieutenant pips for several subsequent episodes. However, as of the episode "Faces", this costume gaffe was corrected to reflect Paris' actual rank of lieutenant junior grade.
In the It's A Wrap! sale and auction, two uniforms used by McNeill in his portrayal of Tom Paris that were up for auction contained pectorals to show increased musculature. The usage of this is unknown, although a racquetball uniform used by Alexander Siddig as Julian Bashir had muscle padding as well.    
The cast of the film Star Trek Beyond includes a character named Commodore Paris, in command of Starbase Yorktown; Simon Pegg confirmed that her name is a reference to Tom Paris, suggesting that she is the alternate reality counterpart to Tom's grandmother. 
In the Star Trek: Voyager novel Pathways, Paris has two older sisters, named Kathleen and Moira. Moira is described as having dark hair and blue eyes. She was studying to be a doctor while Tom was at the Academy.
An unproduced Voyager script was to included a flashback to his time at Starfleet Academy, which would've revealed that one of his classmates was Ro Laren.
In the Voyager relaunch book series, Paris moved to Boreth with his wife and daughter to help B'Elanna find her mother. He later rejoined the crew of the USS Voyager under the command of Captain Chakotay and was promoted to Lieutenant commander. He served as Voyager's first officer after the original first officer was revealed to be a renegade Changeling. He continued to serve in that capacity after the Borg Invasion of 2381 – the same year he also got word of his father's death at Starbase 234, joining Voyager in its return to the Delta Quadrant via the new quantum slipstream drive as part of 'Project Full Circle'. In A Pocket Full of Lies, B'Elanna gives birth to her and Tom's second child, their son Michael Owen Paris.
In the alternate future of the Deep Space Nine Millennium book trilogy, Paris and the rest of the Voyager crew returned to the Alpha Quadrant at an unspecified time. He was married to B'Elanna Torres and both were later assigned to the USS Enterprise-F under Captain William T. Riker. Paris, along with the Enterprise and her crew (including Deanna Troi and Geordi La Forge), was killed during the destruction of Earth in 2388.
In the Star Trek: Stargazer series of novels written by Michael Jan Friedman, there is an officer on the USS Stargazer under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard named Cole Paris. He eventually began a "relationship" with a fellow crewmember, a non-corporeal entity, after an encounter in her quarters in her gaseous state left him with an incredible feeling; he acknowledged from the beginning that it wouldn't be easy, but he wanted to try and make it work. Cole was Owen's brother, and, hence, Tom's uncle.
An earlier Paris ancestor, Iron Mike Paris, appeared in the Star Trek: The Lost Era novel Serpents Among the Ruins by David R. George III. According to this book, Mike was the father of Owen and Cole and therefore Tom's paternal grandfather.
Tom Paris appears in Season 10 of Star Trek Online, voiced by Robert Duncan McNeill. In the game, set about 30 years after Voyager's return to Earth, Paris is still in Starfleet, serving as the captain of the USS Mercury, a fast escort ship as befitting a former helmsman. Dialogue by Fleet Admiral Jorel Quinn in a short story published on the Star Trek Online website suggests that Paris may have once been an admiral himself, but voluntarily took a demotion to captain to serve in the field (similarly to James T. Kirk accepting the same to command the Enterprise again in Star Trek: The Motion Picture). He leads a task force called "Delta Flight", made up of the best pilots from Starfleet, the Klingon Defense Force, and the Romulan Republican Forces, and aids the player in defending the Milky Way galaxy from invasion by the Iconians and their Herald servants.