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Phlox

Name : Phlox1
Species : Denobulans
Associated with : Enterprise

Phlox is one of the few alien members of Enterprise's crew. A jovial figure, he is delighted at the opportunity to study both Humans and the alien species they are encountering as they explore space.2

Early Life

As a young man, Phlox served as a medic in the Denobulan infantry. He would later comment that his most valuable lesson from the experience was that battlefields are unpredictable even under a flag of truce.3

Like many Denobulans, Phlox was raised to hate the Antarans with whom his people had fought several brutal wars. As a child Phlox's grandmother refused to allow him to visit a nearby planet because Antarans had once lived there - she believed it had 'tainted' the planet permanently. Phlox tried to raise his own five children without such prejudice. He was successful with four of the five but the fifth, Mettus, rejected his father's beliefs and the two were estranged after 2143 because of this difference.4

Career

Phlox was extremely highly qualified. He had degrees in dentistry, hematology, botanical pharmacology and psychiatry as well as six degrees in interspecies veterinary medicine.5

He joined the interspecies medical exchange in order to gain experience of alien biology and medicine, and came to work on Earth at some point prior to 2151. Whent he Klingon, Klaang, was injured escaping from the Suliban, Phlox served as his doctor at Starfleet medical. Captain Archer asked him to stay with Klaang as they returned him to his people; this circumstance led to his being made Chief Medical Officer of the NX-01.1 Phlox was a keen user of many different medical practices and techniques, and often used alien animals in his work; sickbay on the NX-01 was something of an alien zoo.2

Phlox was involved in many firsts aboard Enterprise. Commadner Tucker was his patient when he became pregnant as a result of contact with a Xyrillian female, the first male Human to experience pregnancy. When it was suggested the the pregnancy be aborted Phlox refused on the grounds that he did not know enough about the gestation process.6

Phlox sometimes faced what he considered to be difficult moral dilemmas. Perhaps the most controversial came early in the ship's mission when they visited the planet Valakis, a planet which was home to the Valakians, an advanced but still pre-warp civilisation, and the more primitive Menk. A terrible disease was affecting the Valakians; their technology was unable to find any cure, but Phlox was able to determine that it was a genetic mutation spreading through the species. He judged that the Valakians were undergoing a natural extinction which was a part of the pattern of normal evolution on the planet. Although Captain Archer was initially hostile to the idea he finally agreed that "playing god" with which species lived and died was not within his purview. Archer did provide some palliative medicine for the Valakians, but refused to provide them with a cure, or with technology like warp drive to better seek a cure.7

On other occasions Phlox was more willing to intervene. When Enterprise discovered a rogue planet being used as a hunting reserve by a species known as the Eska, Phlox was able to prove that their main prey was both a shapeshifter and a sentient species. He was able to come up with a way to mask the chemical signature of these "Wraiths" so that the Eska's equipment would no longer track them; this rendered the planet largely useless to the Eska.8

Phlox again took a moral stand when the NX-01 was infested by a creature composed of interlocking tentacles; a sample taken of the creature proved to be still alive and capable of sensing it's surroundings. Although the lives of several crewmembers trapped by the creature were at stake, Phlox refused to perform experiments on the sample which may cause it to feel pain. Despite this the crew were ultimately able to release their comrades and return the creature.9

Phlox was not above a little bedside humour; when Archer's dog fell sick as the result of an infection Phlox replaced it's pituitary gland with one from a Calrissian Chameleon. When Archer asked about possible side effects, Phlox casually noted that he might have trouble finding Porthos as he would be able to change colour to blend into the background.5

When the Enterprise encountered a group of Borg, Phlox was one of those injected by nanoprobes. His Denobulan immune system strongly resisted the infection, and he was able to destroy the remaining nanoprobes with a large radiation dose. Phlox is thus the only known person who has been able to resist Borg assimilation. During the time the nanoprobes were in his body Phlox was able to sense some of the Borg's thoughts, and realised that they had transmitted a signal to the far off Delta quadrant informing their comrades of Earth's location. Archer mused that such a signal would probably not arrive until the 24th century.10

Relationships

In 2151 Phlox became aware that Crewman Cutler wanted to initiate a romantic relationship with him. He was uncertain whether to persue the relationship and the two eventually decided to spend some time together and see where the relationship went.7 Phlox had three wives, each of whom had three husbands - a common situation for his people.7 Denobulans are very patient when it comes to romantic relationships - despite not seeing his 4th wife, Feezal, between 2148 and 2152, Phlox was in no great hurry to renew their relationship when they finally did meet. This was not an indication that their feelings had cooled, however, as it would be for a Human couple. Denobulan marriages are rather open by Human standards, and when Feezal expressed a romantic interest in Commander Tucker Phlox urged him to pursue the relationship.11


Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

Played by
ActorSeriesSeasonTitle
John BillingsleyENT1,2,3,4

References
# Series Season Source Comment
1 ENT 1 Broken Bow
2 Various Enterprise episodes
3 ENT 2 Cease Fire
4 ENT 2 The Breach
5 ENT 2 A Night In Sickbay
6 ENT 1 Unexpected
7 ENT 1 Dear Doctor
8 ENT 1 Rogue Planet
9 ENT 1 Vox Sola
10 ENT 2 Regeneration
11 ENT 2 Stigma
Series: ENT Season 1 (Disc 1)
Source: Broken Bow
Series: ENT Season (Disc )
Source: Various Enterprise episodes
Series: ENT Season 2 (Disc 4)
Source: Cease Fire
Series: ENT Season 2 (Disc 5)
Source: The Breach
Series: ENT Season 2 (Disc 2)
Source: A Night In Sickbay
Series: ENT Season 1 (Disc 2)
Source: Unexpected
Series: ENT Season 1 (Disc 3)
Source: Dear Doctor
Series: ENT Season 1 (Disc 4)
Source: Rogue Planet
Series: ENT Season 1 (Disc 5)
Source: Vox Sola
Series: ENT Season 2 (Disc 5)
Source: Regeneration
Series: ENT Season 2 (Disc 3)
Source: Stigma


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 2,945 Last updated : 2 Apr 2014