STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Pays Homage to Controversial VOYAGER Episode

Spoiler Alert

One of the most infamous episodes of Star Trek: Voyager got a sequel in the season four premiere of Star Trek: Lower Decks. The episode, entitled “ Twovix,” is a play on the Voyager season two episode “Tuvix,” which first aired in 1996. Both the Voyager and Lower Decks episodes focus on a storyline where a transporter accident fuses two crew members into one being. That new being wants to live its life, while the respective Captain tries to forcibly separate them to get their friends back. On Voyager, those characters were Tuvok (Tim Russ) and Neelix (Ethan Phillips), who became Tuvix. On Lower Decks, it was Dr. T’Ana (Gillian Vigman) and Andy Billups (Paul Scheer) who fused into T’illups.

Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and Tuvix (Tom Wright) from the 1996 Star Trek Voyager episode Tuvix, and promo art for Star Trek: Lower Decks season four.

So why was the classic Voyager episode controversial? Well, it still divides the fans over whether Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) was an actual murderer. When the characters of Tuvok and Neelix fuse into Tuvix, thanks to alien orchid mucking up the transporter, this new Vulcan/Talaxian hybrid wants to live. Then, a method of extracting both the original DNA patterns of Tuvok and Neelix emerges. Janeway chooses to restore her crew members even if though it means death for Tuvix. And Tuvix pleaded for his life. This was a great example of Star Trek using sci-fi metaphors to shed light on ethical dilemmas. But many fans continue to believe that Janeway forcing Tuvix into two people again was an execution.

Besides the reference to the Tuvix plot, the episode had a lot of other fun Easter eggs for longtime Voyager fans. First off, we briefly hear Jerry Goldsmith’s Voyager theme. Also, the U.S.S. Cerritos got to tow Voyager to Earth, where they said it would be “on display before permanently going into orbit.” This was a reference to Picard season three, where we learned that in the early 25th century, the U.S.S. Voyager was in orbit in the Starfleet Museum. And Mariner and Boimler even reference “the Pike thing” from the recent Strange New Worlds crossover episode. We guess the events of that episode took place right before the start of Lower Decks’ fourth season.

Star Trek Voyager's holodeck character Michael Sullivan (Fintan McKeown), the Doctor (Robert Picardo) fighting alien parasites, the pulp villain Dr. Chaotica (Martin Rayner) and the evil clown from The Thaw (Michael McKean).
Paramount Television

Other surprises for Voyager fans include the Borg alcoves for the freed drones from Voyager season six. Also, the giant microorganisms from the third season episode “Macrocosm” are seen flying about. We even saw replicas of the amphibian creatures that Janeway and Tom Paris devolved into. That is, of course, from what many consider the worst episode of Voyager ever, “Threshold.” The Holodeck also brings back characters from Voyager’s past, like the villainous Dr. Chaotica, from the episode “Bride of Chaotica.” Also, the evil Clown from season two’s “The Thaw”, and Michael Sullivan, Janeway’s 19th century holographic love interest from many episodes. With all the Star Trek: Next Generation references on Lower Decks, we’re just happy Voyager got a similar amount of love at last.

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