Star Trek Voyager writer “lost his mind” over Lower Decks tribute

Star Trek Lower Decks riffed on one of the most controversial Voyager episodes, and the writer of the original story loved the homage.

Tuvix in Star Trek Voyager, with Twovix from Lower Decks, and Captain Janeway

Remember when Captain Janeway brutally murdered the very strange yet very sentient Tuvix in Star Trek Voyager? We find it hard to forget, frankly. The infamous episode was brought to the fore once again thanks to Lower Decks season 4 earlier this year, and it put a smile on the face of the original writer.

While most of the stories in Star Trek are fun, space-faring adventures, there are moments in the Star Trek timeline that really get you thinking about morality and mortality. Few Star Trek characters embody this side of the franchise better than Tuvix, the unwitting result of a transporter accident that merged Tuvok and Neelix into one being.

It’s a wild story, with broad-reaching repercussions, so naturally, Lower Decks put its own playful spin on things. Writer and voice actor, Tawny Newsome, told CinemaBlend what Mark Gaberman, the writer of the Voyager episode, thought of the tribute: “When our episode came out, I think [Discovery writer] Carlos Cisco sent it to [Gaberman], and he lost his mind and he messaged me, and he’s like, ‘Oh my God, I feel so honored! I can’t believe that you guys resurrected this.”

Turns out, writing Tuvix was Gaberman’s first job in the industry (what a way to make your mark) and seeing his idea revisited in the Star Trek series was obviously a big deal for the writer. And, getting to share that excitement with Gaberman helped Newsome re-evaluate the Voyager story.

“It was such a beautiful piece of weird Trek writer history that it made me re-love that episode all over again, which I have mixed feelings about. But it’s a perfect Star Trek moral quandary, and I got to meet the guy that came up with it,” she added.

The quandary in question is the fact that Janeway makes the bold decision to split Tuvix back into two people, essentially bringing Tuvok and Neelix back to life. On the surface, that sounds like the right thing to do, right? Well, you have to take into account that Tuvix was a conscious being at this point and someone who had done nothing wrong. He didn’t ask to exist as an amalgamation of two people, but he did ask not to have his life taken away.

Janeway ignored this plea and went ahead with reversing the process despite the protests of her crew. Sometimes, the best Star Trek captains have to make very tough decisions, but my word, this is a messy one. The Voyager crew was essentially dealing with a lose-lose situation, but if push comes to shove, I’d say Janeway made the wrong call. Yes, it’s horrible to have lost not one but two of your friends, but playing god with another life to try and bring them back is a step too far.

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That’s why I’m far warmer to the approach Lower Decks took to course-correct this issue. As George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” but you can never accuse the Cerritos crew of this. In Twovix, the Lower Decks team is well aware of Janeway’s actions and goes right the other way by trying to create even more of these genetic anomalies. It’s a celebration of the bizarre nature of life and a very funny, yet thought-provoking examination of one of Trek’s darkest moments.

And that is why Lower Decks is one of the best sci-fi series to come from the franchise. If you want more Trek, here’s what we know about the Star Trek Legacy release date and the Star Trek Discovery season 5 release date. If all this talk of moral quandaries has got you wanting something lighter, though, maybe you’d be more keen to look ahead to new movies like Deadpool 3.