Phlox (Star Trek)

Phlox /ˈflɒks/ is a fictional character in the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, played by John Billingsley. Set in the 2100s in the science fiction Star Trek universe, Phlox is a major character aboard the first Warp 5 starship commanded by Captain Archer, and makes his debut in the premier episode, "Broken Bow," in 2001. Phlox marked the introduction of the Denobulan aliens, which were a new alien species to the franchise.

Dr. Phlox
Star Trek character
Phlox (Star Trek).jpg
John Billingsley as Dr. Phlox
First appearance"Broken Bow" (2001)
Last appearance"These Are the Voyages..." (2005)
Created by
Portrayed byJohn Billingsley
In-universe information
PostingChief medical officer,
Enterprise (NX-01)

Dr. Phlox is the chief medical officer aboard the starship Enterprise (NX-01).


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 his youngest son Metus is estranged from him. Phlox sent a message attempting to reconcile at the end of episode 21, season 2.

The doctor is portrayed as having an open mind to other species and cultures, even the Antarans, a race that once warred 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 who 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", "A Night in Sickbay", "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.

Mirror UniverseEdit

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. Phlox was able to nearly complete his sabotage, as the Terrans trusted Denobulans more so than their other alien subordinates. According to Mirror Archer, they were not prone to rebellion or defiance.


In 2015, Den of Geek in a review of important show characters, noted him as "funny, quirky Phlox" and pointing out the character introduced audience to the Denobulan species.[1] They recommended the episodes "Dear Doctor", “Stigma”, "The Breach”, and “Doctor’s Orders” for the Phlox character.[1]

In 2016, SyFy ranked Phlox 1st of the 6 main-cast space doctor's of the Star Trek Franchise.[2] They elaborate that Phlox has very good bed-side manner, a relaxing demeanor, and has noted success in curing patients including getting partially Borged.[2]

In 2018, The Wrap placed Phlox as 27th out 39 in a ranking of main cast characters of the Star Trek franchise prior to Star Trek: Discovery.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Star Trek: Enterprise and the Importance of Its Characters". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  2. ^ a b Roth, Dany (2016-06-29). "Every major Star Trek doctor, ranked". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
  3. ^ "All 39 'Star Trek' Main Characters Ranked". TheWrap. 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2019-06-22.[verification needed]

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