I spent some time watching Star Trek last night (Thanks, Netflix!)
What should come across the screen but Star Trek: Voyager: Season 2: Episode 24: Tuvix.
The one-off episode continues none of the current story lines (those darn Kazon!), but is instead a self-contained exploration of yet another transporter accident. You would think I would be sick of poorly-functioning transporters (much like poorly-functioning holodeck safety protocols) but the writing and acting exhibited in this episode blow away the cynicism I might exhibit in other instances.
Exhibit A: Neelix
Bilbo Baggins. I think his feet are even furry, although he does usually wear shoes. Except for the holodeck episodes featuring swim attire (shudder).
Exhibit B: Tuvok
What happens when both of these bizarre personalities get pushed together Yet Another Transporter Malfunction?
Exhibit A+B: Tuvix
A lazier episode of Voyager would have probably made Tuvix into some kind of animal, or emotionally driven slob, or evil doppleganger. A madman who comes unhinged and decides to blow up the ship or kidnap Kes.
What they did was use actor Tom Wright, who already looks kinda like a cross between Ethan Phillips and Tim Russ, and he proceeded to play an almost perfect combination of both characters. He was a more logical Neelix, and a more fun-loving, friendlier Tuvok. The normal median between the two weirdos. The best of both worlds!
Instead of finding a monster, the Voyager crew actually begin to like Tuvix better than either Neelix or Tuvok. He can cook better. He's organized. He can make jokes. He can run calculations in his head and run the tactical console like a pro. There is nothing Tuvix can't do better, as far as I can tell.
When they finally find a way to separate the two organisms, the entire crew feels the loss. Especially Tuvix, who has come to enjoy his new abilities and sees the transporter reversal as a form of death for his new personhood. They actually have to drag him kicking and screaming back to the transporter pod.
Much in the same way S:TNG writers found ways to bring Tasha Yar back using inter-dimensional time paradoxes, I wish Voyager had found a way to fit Tuvix into a few more episodes. You see the guy, and your mind automatically wonders how he would have handled the different plot complications the show threw up over the rest of the seasons.
Definitely worth repeated watchings.