Star Trek transporter accidents.
Transporter accidents, the second most common accident on Star Trek. Second to holodeck failures. It’s surprising both haven’t been banned by the federation. I’ve never particularly enjoyed either type of episode. But every now and again they would surprise me.
There nestled towards the end of Voyager Season 2 sat Tuvix.
How can I sum up an episode like Tuvix? It was the first genuinely great Star Trek episode of Voyager. How hard had Janeway held to her values prior to Tuvix being created? Only to be the first captain to sentence a man to death. You couldn’t simply say the episode had no right or wrong answers. They were all right and all wrong. Watching it again made me think about the Deep Space Nine episode “Children Of Time.” Where the crew were talking about staying behind, to save their now 8,000 children. When O’brien asked:
“We’re not really considering this are we?”
And the answer was no. Because no one had the right to him he couldn’t go home to his family.
With Tuvix, it was one life getting sacrificed for two. It makes it so much more personal. Intimate. The needs of the many outweigh… It doesn’t work does it. Not always. Not here. Tuvix was afraid to die. Like most people are. Could Janeway blame him? As Tuvix said to her, “I have the will to live of two men.”
As the episode closed and Tuvix pleads for his life, the crew watches on. Clearly uncomfortable, perhaps not yet realising. Janeway marched down to sickbay, approaching it as if her feet were pulled to the deck not by gravity plating, but her gravitas. After she killed Tuvix in there, she marched back out. Before starting to limp. She murdered a man in there.
The right way, the wrong way, and the Janeway.
The joke about that expression is “isn’t that just the wrong way, but faster?”
Here its true because it’s all wrong. There was no easy way out. Perhaps Janeway would have made a different decision if it weren’t two friends she lost. Or that Tuvix’s life can’t trump Neelix and Tuvok’s, who were essentially trapped inside him. The point is Janeway made a call. And Star Trek fans still talk about it.
Talk about a great Star Trek episode.