Star Trek: Voyager

Season 2 Episode 24


Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 06, 1996 on UPN

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
189 votes
  • Nice symbiogenesis story

    The first Star Trek episode to feature symbiogenesis, the idea of two organisms (in this case, people) merging to form a new one, creates one of the tougher acting jobs Star Trek has ever required. There is, of course, the inherent difficulty of performing the merging of two established personalities; but the greater issue is creating a character the audience doesn't perceive as an imposter. He needs be a guest star the audience will accept and invest in; even knowing he'll have to be separated back into the two regular characters by the end for the sake of the series. Enter Tom Wright, who creates such a convincing and compelling Tuvix, it's impossible not to feel some affection for the guy and get caught up in his "life". It's almost as if the show found a guy who's a likable cross between Tuvok and Neelix and decided to write an episode around him.

    The stunning performance gives the premise its punch, allowing the story to successfully explore some interesting questions. What does this mean for Neelix's girlfriend Kes? Is this a new lifeform with individual rights? If Tuvix doesn't want to change back, do the rights of Tuvok and Neelix trump Tuvix's own wishes? The latter becomes Janeway's dilemma, and it's a no-win situation she must resolve. In the end, the questions and answers prove more interesting than any of the issues raised by the episode's antonym, TOS's "The Enemy Within", and provide quite a dramatic and controversial finish.

  • Tuvix


    Tuvix was a good episode of Star Trek: Voyager and definitely a little different from what we have seen so far. I enjoyed watching this episode as Neelix and Tuvok were collecting flower specimens for study and merged together in a transporter accident. There were some funny scenes and interesting things to think about if some thing like this were to actually happen. What is to become of the new life created between the two? It was neat to watch how other characters handled the situation. I look forward to watching the next episode of Star Trek: Voyager!!!!

  • This story depends too much on the ole' transporter malfunction. This time Tuvok and Neelix are merged into a single hybrid - Tuvix. In this case, the sum is better than the parts, so the resolution of the story isn't very satisfying.

    Scraping the bottom of the barrel of Star Trek cliche's the writers use the transporter malfunction and, just like Tuvix, add a twist. It does offer up some possible interest, but as with all chliches, it still a rotten apple that spoils the barrel. Add to that, the extra suds Kess brings to this soapy tale, and you have a series bottom dweller. Basically, they recycled TOS episode "The Enemy Within" and ran it backward while applying some modern day morality. Tim Wright as Tuvix shows his acting chops and does do a good job of melding recognizable qualities from both Tuvok and Neelix and modulates his voice to sound like each of them very well. At this stage of the series, I wasn't a fan of Neelix and neither he nor Tuvok had been developed very well yet, so that may account for the lack of luster in my eye.
  • Tuvok and Neelix are on an away mission to find nutritional supplements. They are successful. They find an Orchid native to the planet they went to. The away team is beamed back to “Voyager”. There is a problem, only one person beams back.

    Tuvok and Neelix are on an away mission to find nutritional supplements. They are successful. They find an Orchid native to the planet they went to. The away team is beamed back to “Voyager”. There is a problem, only one person beams back. Is it Neelix? Is it Tuvok? It seems as if it is a mixture of both Neelix and Tuvok. Where did the orchid go to? It is combined with the away team. Looks like a mutant. Well, the mutant has a name, Tuvix. Now how do we get them restore to normal?
  • One of the strangest Star Trek episodes ever written.

    It's interesting that 4 different writers are credited for this episode; maybe no one wanted to take full responsibility for it ? Tuvok and Neelix are obviously very different individuals. I don't think we really needed an episode where they get merged together to drive that point home. The separation anxiety Tuvix feels towards the end of the episode is equally as baffling. I could have done without this one. My one major complaint about Voyager so far has been that it hasn't BEEN very Voyager-y (if that makes any sense). A lot of these episodes are just TNG episodes with a weaker cast; the focus needs to be on the journey home, not random transporter accidents.
  • Episode for philosophical debate.

    Like "The Thaw" that preceeded it, this episode raises interesting questions and presents the viewer with real thought provoking questions, but fails to achieve classic status due to it's flawed presentation.

    In "Tuvix" we are presented with the issue of existential morality as concerns the being Tuvix, who is a the result of the melding of the seperate DNA of Tuvok, Neelix and an alien orchid species that the two crew members encountered while conducting a survey on a planet Voyager was orbiting. Although a new physical entity is created through the joining of the DNA, the memories of both seperate crewmen remain fully intact and serve to make up part of the personality of the new being. The melding occurs during transportation up from the planet and for the remainder of the episode we get to see this new entity strive to forge a unique identity and position for himself among the crew of the Voyager. While there are a few tacky and corny moments concerning Tuvix trying to develop a relationship with Kes (with flares of the Neelix personality just below the surface), for the most part we get to genuinely see Tuvix forge new relationships with the other crew members, begin to take part in ship operations and social activities and as such actually do begin to see him as a seperate and new individual apart from the two characters that are supposed to lay at the foundation of his being. When it is then presented near the end of the episode that the Doctor might have a way of deconstructing Tuvix back into his "constitutional pieces" and also hear from Tuvix himself that he does not want to die and asserts his right to exist as an individual, the viewer genuinely feels the weight of the decision that Janeway must make in deciding whether or not to order Tuvix to undergo the treatment. It is true that Tuvix is a unique individual, but his existence comes at the expense of TWO other people who did not willingly agree to their "sacrifice" for his creation and existence. Does the fact that two will live at the expense at Tuvix's one justify his demise? Maybe the issue of number and greater good does not apply at all and the destruction of a unique life and individual of any kind (regardless of what it may generate) is an unacceptable loss and one which no one can be ordered to undergo. Maybe the life that Tuvix was lucky enough to experience for a couple of weeks should be considered a miraculous gift in and of itself by him as to have life even for a brief period of time is better to have none at all and thus he should count himself infinetly rich for having experience what he did, even if it must now come to an end. The way you answer these questions and and approach the the issues raised will influence how you view Janeway and the crew of the Voyager for making the decision that they did concerning Tuvix. I will readily admit that I myself was unable to answer these questions during the epsiode (and still unable to at this point) but nonetheless felt a marked discomfort in the way Janeway finally came to her decision and the way the remainder of the crew seemed to comfort themselves with being "unable" to act or speak out and comforted themselves in displaying uneasy regret when being pleaded at by Tuvix. Although I cannot justify or reason through any decision on the matter myself I still feel deep down that Tuvix was wronged; whether it was in being destroyed or in whether it was the decision to act at that moment before the issue could be developed further, I dont know, I just know something was wrong with the resolution. Truly deep and thought provoking issues here, but again, what keeps this episode from being a true classic and getting a higher rating is that there are some real flaws in the way it is presented. A main flaw has to do with the way Tuvix is physically manifested as it seems the designers and writers went a little too far in trying to merge all aspects of Neelix and Tuvok together. The actual blending of the living DNA matter was done well, but it is a little over the top to posit that the actual uniforms of the two officers would blend so fully with one another; right down to half the collar being a Nelix style with paisley design and the other being Starfleet. The melding brough about by the plant species was said to work on the DNA level and that explains the physical change in the living matter but clothing and would not break down into DNA and would not undergo the change. This is a scientific nit pick but one that will stick out nonetheless if any thought is givin to it. One other flaw that sticks out is the solution to the bonding itself. The Doctor says that the isotope will bond to the DNA of ONE of the people that make up Tuvix and thus will be able to be isolated from the other and allow them to seperate the two back into one through this isolation process. This seems to forget the fact that it was said earlier that THREE distinct DNA sequences were found to exist in the Tuvix entity, namely Tuvok, Kim and the Orchid's. If the isotope was to bond to only one and seperate it, there wuold still be a blending of two left even with the third seperated and it would take another simulanteous isolation to totally revert the entity back into it's component parts. These are flaws that not everyone will notice (or even care about) but they do stick out when you get to really thinking about this episode in detail; and if there is anything that this episode deserves and calls out for, it is deep thought and appreciation.
  • Interesting, thought-provoking episode.

    The premise and subsequent resolution are far fetched, although (just barely) within the realm of Star Trek-level believability. (Aside from the concept itself, just ignore that whole conservation of mass issue...)

    What makes it stand out are...

    a) The character of Tuvix, whom I found compelling and believable as a combination of Tuvok and Neelix. The actor who played him did a great job of emulating their respective mannerisms. By the end of the episode, I genuinely cared about this character.

    b) The moral dilemma of whether to "kill" the one individual so that two others could live again. Obviously the "interests of the many vs. the interests of the few" thing has been done before, but this put a new spin on it. Although he was a combination of two people, Tuvix was a distinct individual, whose very existence required that two others cease to exist. Getting back to my conservation of mass comment, what if there had been two beings who appeared as a result of the transporter accident (call them Tuvix and Neevok)? Now it's a two-for-two argument. Who's to say which pair of individuals is of greater value to the crew, and which have the greater right to live?
  • After gathering orchids on an alien planet, Neelix and Tuvok are accidentally fused together by the transporter.

    At first, this seems like a typical bottle show (you know, those episodes with few or no new sets, and barely any guest actors or visual effects), not that that's bad or anything, but in a way it seemed like a filler episode from the beginning. However, as the episode evolves, you see that at it's core it presents us with a futuristic ethical dilemma that could be applied today, which is in the great tradition of Star Trek episodes: if you can kill someone to save someone else, or even two other people, is it your moral obligation to do it? Or is it the choice of the person who is to die? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one? Unfortunately, I have to say that in this case I did not agree with Janeway's decision. I believe that it was Tuvix's choice to live or die. However, I do not believe that a fusion of Tuvok and Neelix would have refused to go through with the transfer in the first place. He would have understood that it wasn't really a death sentence. But I guess this is how the character had to act if the moral dilemma had to have any real weight. I also felt there was no real resolution to the decision Janeway made... the episode just ended abruptly. Did Neelix and Tuvok retain Tuvix's memories? Did they regret ever not wanting to be seperated? Or did they still wish to have stayed merged? Only a few of the questions that were left unanswered at the end of this episode.