Phlox (Star Trek)
|Posting||Chief medical officer,
|Portrayed by||John Billingsley|
Dr. Phlox is the chief medical officer aboard the starship Enterprise.
Phlox is a Denobulan, and was on Earth as part of the Interspecies Medical Exchange when called to serve aboard the Enterprise. As part of the Exchange, he corresponds regularly with his human counterpart on Denobula Triaxa, Dr. Lucas (After the Xindi attack on Earth, Lucas was recalled from Denobula and transferred to the Earth Cryogenic Storage Facility known as Cold Station 12).
In accordance with Denobulan custom, Phlox has three wives, each of whom has two other husbands. Only one of his wives, Feezal, was seen on the show. Phlox has five children by his wives: two daughters, both of whom, like him, work in the medical field, and three sons. One is an artist but the other two are estranged from him.
The doctor is portrayed as having an open mind to other species and cultures, even the Antarans, a race that was once at war with the Denobulans. He is extremely frank about romantic and sexual matters, often to the embarrassment of other crew members, and sometimes plays the role of matchmaker. He has an interest in natural remedies, and his sickbay contains an interplanetary zoo of animals, some of them as food for other animals which are used as source for medical drugs.
Phlox is curious with a wry sense of humor, and has an affinity for Earth cuisine, particularly Chinese food (especially egg drop soup). He is also interested in religion: he once prayed with a group of monks which visited Enterprise, spent a week with monks at a Tibetan monastery, attended Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and observed the Tal-Shanar ritual at the Vulcan compound in Sausalito.
Phlox's physical abilities have been revealed gradually over time. He appears to need little sleep, instead embarking on an annual "hibernation" of sorts that lasts for six days. Phlox also has great control over his facial muscles, being able to open his mouth wider than humans, as demonstrated by the impossibly large grin he occasionally sports ("Broken Bow", "These Are the Voyages..."). When threatened, Phlox has the ability to inflate his head like a blowfish to scare off attackers ("Home").
Phlox was injected with Borg nanoprobes in the episode "Regeneration" by an assimilated Tarkalean male. The Tarkalean had been on board a freighter attacked by reanimated drones from the sphere shot down over the Arctic by the Enterprise-E after having traveled back through time just before humanity first used warp drive and made First Contact with Vulcans (approximately 90 years before Enterprise is set (see Star Trek: First Contact)). Due to his strong immune system, his assimilation proceeded slowly, giving him time to counteract the process by killing the nanoprobes with high levels of omicron radiation. The method would be lethal to humans or other non-Denobulan races.
In the Mirror Universe, Phlox is not the engaging, peaceful, and friendly character he is in the normal universe. The Mirror Phlox dresses in a severe black leather uniform, unlike the civilian clothing worn by his counterpart. He resembles Nazi scientist Josef Mengele in his utter lack of morals, in that he routinely experiments on living alien beings in a horrible fashion in his sick bay, which resembles a chamber of horrors.
When the ISS Enterprise is destroyed by the Tholians, Phlox and other survivors transfer to the USS Defiant, which has been commandeered by Commander Jonathan Archer. Eventually, Phlox is convinced by the Mirror T'Pol and Soval to join a rebellion against the Terran Empire, and attempts to sabotage the ship, but is stopped by the Mirror Charles Tucker III.