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One of the most provocative episodes in Star Trek history, "Tuvix" takes a left-field approach to the subject of an individual's right to life. No, we're not talking about the unborn here, but rather the odd-looking individual who emerges from a transporter accident fusing the DNA of Commander Tuvok (Tim Russ) with that of morale officer/head chef Neelix (Ethan Phillips). The hybrid fellow born of this unlikely union between a disciplined but humorless Vulcan and the irrepressible, intuitive ship's cook calls himself Tuvix (Tom Wright), and presents a perfect blend of each man's best qualities. He also proves an able Starfleet officer and a warm, mature presence on the ship, well liked by everyone. But he is neither Tuvok or Neelix in actuality, and a strange sort of repulsion builds among Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her officers as it becomes clear that their beloved friends have been replaced, perhaps permanently, by this third person. Tuvix--his very life on the line should Janeway insist he be sacrificed to separate his DNA "parents" again--pleads for the right to live. A tough story built around a terrible moral dilemma, with no clear right-or-wrong solutions, "Tuvix" allows Voyager's regular characters to be less than noble for a change, and for no greater reason than their own flawed, self-interested humanity. Not surprisingly, everything hinges on the key performance of Wright, who is extraordinarily convincing both as a composite of familiar people and as a sovereign individual. Not to be missed. --Tom Keogh
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