Every Star Trek: Voyager Reference In Lower Decks Explained

By Michileen Martin | Updated

star trek: voyager
The USS Voyager in the Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 4 premiere

Star Trek: Voyager‘s eponymous ship just returned in a big way on Paramount+ in “Twovix,” the first half of Star Trek: Lower Decks‘ two episode Season 4 premiere. As usual, the sci-fi comedy series is chock full of classic references. We thought we’d go through every Voyager reference in “Twovix,” just to make sure you caught everything.

Twovix Vs. Tuvix

The name of the Lower Decks Season 4 premiere, as well as the B story involving the Cerritos crew fusing into combined characters (e.g. T’Ana and Billups become T’Illups) is a callback to “Tuvix,” which remains one of the most controversial episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. The story finds the Talaxian morale officer Neelix and the Vulcan security chief Tuvok combined to become Tuvix.

Eventually, a way is found to restore Neelix and Tuvok into their separate bodies and minds. But before that can happen, Tuvix argues that he has become a fully realized individual and that restoring Tuvok and Neelix means murdering him.

Michael Sullivan

star trek: voyager

Of the three holographic characters summoned to harass the Cerritos crew, the most pleasant is Michael Sullivan. Michael is a bartender from the holographic town of Fair Haven, which proves to be a favorite spot for the Star Trek: Voyager crew.

In fact, Captain Janeway falls in love with the handsome bartender, though in her case he hadn’t teamed up with a homicidal clown and a pulp magazine bad guy.

The Macrovirus

star trek: voyager

The exceptionally gross macrovirus that causes the Lower Decks heroes so much trouble hails from the Star Trek: Voyager Season 3 episode “Macrocosm.” The Doctor unintentionally brings the virus aboard the ship.

Janeway proves to be the ship’s only hope. The captain and Neelix are away on a diplomatic mission when the virus hits the rest of the crew. Neelix gets infected upon their return, but with The Doctor’s help Janeway manages to wipe out (most of, it turns out) the virus with an antigen bomb.

The Neelix Cheese

The same cheese Rutherford uses to stop the chaos on Voyager is from the Star Trek: Voyager Season 1 episode “Learning Curve.” After the ship’s bio-neural gel packs begin failing, we eventually learn the fault is with Neelix’s cooking.

Hoping to craft something like Earth’s macaroni and cheese, the Talaxian morale officer attempts to make cheese using milk he obtained on the planet Napinne. Unfortunately, the bacterial cultures he uses to make the cheese infect the ship’s gel packs.

The Clown

Star Trek: Voyager‘s second season delivers perhaps the closest the franchise could ever get to replicating Stephen King‘s It. The crew finds a world upon which the sole survivors have plugged themselves into a computer program designed to keep their minds occupied while their planet heals.

Unfortunately, the A.I. running the program turns on them in the form of a sadistic clown that feeds on their terror.

That clown is one of the three holographic characters who shows up in “Twovix,” and was without a doubt the most dangerous.

Harry’s Clarinet

star trek: voyager

Just like Riker had his trombone, in Star Trek: Voyager, Harry Kim had his clarinet. Just before one of the troublesome macroviruses gets tagged by a Borg nanite, you can see it’s been speared somehow with Harry’s instrument.

The good news is that Harry isn’t playing it.

The Lizards

Star Trek: Voyager‘s “Threshold” is one of the most infamous episodes in the franchise. Tom Paris succeeds in breaking the Warp 10 speed barrier, but as a result he begins evolving into a reptile (no, we don’t see the connection either). Toward the end of the episode, he breaks the barrier again with Janeway in tow.

The Voyager crew eventually finds the pair as lizards on a nearby planet, as well as learning that in the interim Lizard Paris and Lizard Janeway have mated and had little lizard babies.

This is what is referenced by the robot lizards in the Lower Decks season 4 premiere. The funniest thing about it is — considering it’s part of a display meant for public consumption — it means that after Voyager returns to Earth, at some point it becomes common knowledge in the Federation that Janeway and Paris were turned into lizards and screwed.

Doctor Chaotica

Like TNG, Star Trek: Voyager had its share of holodeck-gone-wrong episodes and the most beloved is Season 5’s “Bride of Chaotica!” In the episode, which is mostly black and white, the heroes are forced to deal with Doctor Chaotica, the villain of Tom Paris’ Captain Proton holodeck program.

This, of course, is the Ming-the-Merciless-esque bad guy who causes trouble for the Cerritos crew in “Twovix.”

The Borg Nanites

star trek: voyager

The Borg nanites who begin assimilating the macroviruses and even the robot lizards are a callback to the game changing two parter “Scorpion” which introduced Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine to the show.

The Doctor develops the technology for use against Species 8472, the only species seemingly able to hurt the Borg. They start off as a bargaining chip Janeway uses to safely cross Borg space, but their uses evolve over time.

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