Star Trek Finally Settles a Long-standing Voyager Debate Once and For All

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4 didn’t so much open up a can of worms with the episode “Twovix” as it did finally settle the matter in Janeway’s favor.

Star Trek: Voyager Cast
Photo: CBS via Getty Images

This post contains spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks.

Since its very first episode, Star Trek: Lower Decks has excavated the most embarrassing parts of Star Trek lore, refusing to let even tangential parts of the franchise go forgotten. The Next Generation‘s second-worst enemy race the Pakleds became major antagonists in Lower Decks, and Boimler showed unironic appreciation for a Tom Paris commemorative plate. Heck, even the Space Fun Helmet made a brief appearance.

So it’s no surprise that Lower Decks would eventually get around to one of the great debates in Star Trek history: how do you solve a problem like Tuvix? Directed by Cliff Bole, the Voyager season two episode “Tuvix” used that old Trek standby, a transporter accident, to pose a knotty moral quandary. When an exotic plant disrupts the transporter beam carrying Vulcan security chief Tuvok and Talaxian guide/cook Neelix, the two combine into one being, who calls himself Tuvix (Tom Wright).

Based on a story by Andrew Shepard Price and Mark Gaberman, “Tuvix” is a standout episode in Voyager‘s rough early seasons, and teleplay writer Kenneth Biller fills the episode with complex moral debates, as Janeway weighs the wishes of Tuvix against those of Neelix and Tuvok, who presumably did not consent to losing their lives to create this new being. Further complicating things is Wright’s outstanding and soulful performance as Tuvix, giving real heft to the scenes where he pleads for his life.


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