Star Trek: Enterprise: 4 Reasons why Dr. Phlox made the Enterprise better

Though Star Trek: Enterprise only aired four seasons, it was long enough for characters like Dr. Phlox to leave a lasting impression

Dr. Phlox was a Denobulan who participated in the Interspecies Medical Exchange and served aboard the Enterprise as its chief medical officer in Star Trek: Enterprise. He was the first alien doctor to serve aboard the best ship in Starfleet, and while he was in charge of Sick Bay, the Enterprise was a better place to be, no matter what ailed any member of the crew. Not only was he a medical doctor, he had a plethora of other invaluable abilities that enabled him to take care of every one who needed him.

Fortunately for Porthos, he was also a veterinarian

When Captain Archer’s dog gets sick and comes close to dying in “A Night in Sick Bay“, Dr. Phlox reveals that he has six degrees in Interspecies Medicine which enables him to treat various animals. His ministrations manages to pull the captain’s beagle through a long night, but his treatment of the pathogen in the dog’s body destroys his pituitary gland.  Dr. Phlox transplants a gland from his Clarissian chameleon into Porthos, and the beagle recovers. Service above and beyond the call of duty.

And a psychiatrist

Also in “A Night in Sick Bay,” Dr. Phlox manages to suss out what’s really bothering Captain Archer when he’s at odds with T’Pol. Unsurprisingly, when asked if he was a psychiatrist, the doctor acknowledges that he is. In fact, he has several degrees, including dentistry, hematology, and botanical pharmacology.  Even though many of the crew might not have known about his degrees in psychiatry, they often sought him out for his advice.

His bluntness enabled him to get to the heart of matters quickly

He used that same bluntness when confronting the captain about his attraction to T’Pol. Even though Archer didn’t appreciate the doctor’s input at first, he came to realize that acknowledging what was there was better than trying to ignore it.

He could be depended upon no matter the circumstances

Dr. Phlox didn’t require a lot of sleep, but he did require hibernation once a year. But that didn’t stop him from reporting for duty when a member of the crew was injured. In the episode “Two Days and Two Nights” from the first season. Dr. Phlox is awakened from hibernation to treat Ensign Mayweather. His sleep was so deep that he’s disoriented and staggers around for several minutes while trying to find his footing. Even then, he falls on his face, misuses words and phrases, and barely manages to stay alert. Still, he saves Mayweather’s life before promptly collapsing on a bed in sick bay.

With his wit, his sense of humor, and strong sense of right and wrong, Dr. Phlox was a breath of fresh air aboard the Enterprise. He kept the crew safe and well, and in spite of the differences in their species, he understood them, sometimes better than they understood themselves.  That made him a remarkable doctor and an asset to the Enterprise as well as making Star Trek: Enterprise a better show.

Next: Throwback Thursday: Star Trek: Enterprise's Carbon Creek

What was your favorite episode with Dr. Phlox? Share your thoughts in the comments below.