What is T56j aka Blue in Voyagers, Explained

Voyagers,’ directed by Neil Burger, is a sci-fi film where danger looms for humanity with the advent of global climate rise and drought. Their only hope is to colonize a distant Earth-like planet. To achieve this, scientists produce genetically modified IVF offspring and train them to be accustomed to confined spaces for long periods of time. As the children get older, they are launched on an expedition destined to reach this Earth-like planet 86 years later.

As the children grow up, crewmates Christopher and Zac figure out that they’re being drugged and coerced into ingesting a blue chemical liquid that suppresses their pleasure response. The duo stops taking it and begins to unlock various emotions and effects that were previously unknown to them. After convincing others to cease using the chemical, the ship plunges into adolescent chaos. The film explores themes of hierarchy, primal urges, and a lust for power as the multi-generational crew journeys far to colonize the next Earth. SPOILERS AHEAD!

T56j, aka Blue, Makes the Crew Members More Controllable

While on duty, Christopher notices that one of the filtration processes for some plants isn’t functioning correctly. He asks Richard for help, to which Richard responds with a directive to simply change the filter. Christopher, though, is still curious about the toxin he has found in the filter, which he claims has originated from the urine of the crew. After a bit of sleuthing, Christopher finds a denied access file to something named T56j. He asks for Zac’s help, and the duo sneaks out of their room one night to find the truth.

Unaware of what the implications of this T56j truly are, the duo stumbles upon a fascinating yet alarming find. Upon hacking a computer, they discover that T56j is actually a toxin that suppresses human senses. It is found in daily beverage A.02, which they realize is the blue liquid they are required to ingest along with their meal. The same blue liquid all crew members, except for the senior-most, Richard, are to consume. T56j is combined with a blue alkaline liquid to prevent stomach irritation. This gives it its distinct blue color.

On the hacked computer screen, we can notice that a clear description of the chemical has been revealed, which reveals that T56j is a form of medication that prevents androgens or the sex hormones that give men their male characteristics, DHT or Dihydrotestosterone which also plays a vital role in the sexual development, along with other corresponding steroids from performing its primary functions.

It also halts the development of libido, which is the sex drive or sexual desire that an individual could have. It is said to reach peak potency in the body within 2 to 3 hours with a dose of 100 mg and has an elimination half-life of one and half days. When consumed with food, its effects are found to be better.

Enraged by their find, Christopher and Zac stop taking the drug. Christopher confronts Richard about the drug, to which Richard admits that it is given to them only as a means to dull their senses, acting against any form of rebellion, and for them not to get distracted.

T56j is also used to suppress the pleasure hormone, as mentioned earlier, serving as a form of temporary chemical castration. While, in reality, any form of chemical castration has adverse side effects, the film’s blue chemical appears to be engineered to have none. The drug is so potent that the young crew members have not even properly experienced human touch.

The mission additionally has other reasons for the crew to consume this liquid. In the film, it is revealed that the mission doesn’t intend for the crewmates to conceive children naturally. Just as they were born via IVF or artificial insemination, they are meant to reproduce through the same procedure.

Hence, T56j serves the purpose of negating any need for sexual interactions between crewmates, as well as keeping the population onboard at an optimal level. An imbalance in population would spell trouble for resources onboard the ship, especially the most basic needs: air, water, and food. The number of children each crewmate will produce is already pre-determined by mission control.

As the story goes, once Christopher, Zac, and the rest of the crew stop taking the liquid, they unlock previous unchecked emotions and responses, which usually correspond with hormonal changes in the body during adolescence and adulthood. Bursts of adrenaline make them run around the ship, the proper introduction of human touch and its true feeling is sensed, unhinged riveting conversations between crewmates are experienced, friendships are made, crewmates bond, and the growing need to partake in sexual activities and relations also arises. However, along with that comes the lust for power, the desire to lead in a hierarchy, greed, violence, anger, jealousy, vengeance, and all its subsidiaries.

In other words, T56j had regulated their most primal senses and turned them into a manageable crowd, one that could be organized and prompted to follow orders.

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