John Billingsley Talks Playing Phlox Again & Critiques Enterprise Finale

John Billingsley spent four years aboard the NX-01 as Dr. Phlox in Star Trek: Enterprise. And in a new fan Q&A, the actor says he is ready to play Phlox again, as well as weighs in on the controversial finale for the series. Excerpts below


Billingsley on returning to Trek & Enterprise Finale

The actor is open to it, but doesn’t expect he will ever play the Enterprise doctor again, saying:

I’d be delighted. But is there any chance that one could make a wager on the odds of it happening? I’d bet my house it won’t happen, but if it did, sure, I’d want to be involved. I enjoyed playing Phlox.

John Billingsley doesn’t expect to return to the role of Dr. Phlox

Billingsley also weighed in on the controversial final episode for Star Trek Enterprise "These are the Voyages" noting that he understood why Rick Berman and Brannon Braga wanted to write something that wrapped up the era from Next Gen to Enterprise, but he felt it didn’t work with the work being done by Manny Coto (showrunner for the 4th season), noting:

It was as if suddenly somebody from another cosmos dropped in and wrote the script, above and beyond the fact that the Enterprise’s story was swallowed up by the framing device. I think people had just gotten used to Manny’s voice. I missed it in the final episode. Frankly, it should have been a two-parter. Our storyline needed to wind up…

I’m all over the map on this one because I have a lot of different feelings about it. My problem with the final episode, ultimately, was that by jumping ahead however many years we jumped ahead, it was as if anything we did in the third and fourth seasons had no real weight. It seemed like the third and fourth seasons were being dismissed, which I’m sure was not the intention, but that was one of the things that bothered me.

Billingsley with Jolene Blalock and Scott Bakula in one of last scenes of "These are the Voyages" – actor critical of how series ended

For more fan Q&A with Billingsley, check out Part 1 & Part 2 at


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These Are the Voyages… was terrible.

me first!
i wonder if true Enterprise season 5 coming back?

Note to boborci… Dr. Phlox is one Star Trek: Enterprise character that makes sense in 2258. Denobulans can be long-lived, Billingsley was great in the role, the priced tags of special effects of the smile, and the puffer face tie in nicely with the price tags on the CGI you did on the Kelvin doctor. Easily written in any number of situations… with McCoy at a medical conference, called in to assist, doing psychological studies of Kirk’s crew, treating his former patient Porthos upon Mr. Scott recovering said beagle!

Also, with Vulcan wiped out… Denobulans could play a larger role in this version of the UFP, as they could be postulated reasonably as a whole world of scientists and medicos, a la Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).

That is all.

What I would love to see is for Enterprise to be brought back and go into season 5 but make it more about the Romulan Wars and the founding of the Federation. Either Get Manny Cotto to do it and or have J.J Abrams jump onto this project and make it a great Trek Series. As far as These are the Voyages go. Well. I see it just like the Shower Scene in Dallas. It did not happen.

Phlox was terrific… in all honesty if I think about it, there isnt a Cheif Medical Officer whom I dislike in any Star Trek

Save Dr Pulaski… she was awful, which was no fault of Diane Muldur dont get me wrong :-)

The Ent. Finale was just a bummer! I cannot and will not accept tucker’s death! It was plain wrong! But again we saw the holideck version of said mission which realy cannot be totaly truth so tospeak and again there are always possibilities…a very wise Shat pointed out. Trip @ T’Pol probebly lived out their lives on some lovely planet in voluntary obscurity…and I’m. Sticking to this story!!

Like I said in another thread a while back, If i had the magic Hollywood card, Enterprise would be the show i’d pick to come back from TV heaven.

It would start with a disclaimer, explaining that TATV was all a horrible dream Porthos had after eating too much cheese.

#3 – That’s a great idea to get Phlox into the new era of TREK.

I liked Phlox, his undying optimism even in the face of certain defeat encapsulated what STAR TREK is all about.

Oh, my god.

Is boborci listening to #3??


Meanwhile, I loved Enterprise in general and Phlox in particular. Man, I miss that show…

John Billingsley has been a real hoot on True Blood, but with all respect to #3, that’s where he should stay.

If the show is brought back, the last episode needs to be counted as uncannon.

John did a great job on the Eps In a Mirrior Darkly. His line to the Tholien Would you please just Die was just great. I hope that J.J and Bob orci and the Court would find a way to bring back Enterprise.

Phlox would be an ideal character to have appear in ST XII. But ideally I (and a ridiculous number of other people Paramount) would like an Enterprise miniseries/TV movie to properly conclude it.

Tripp’s death was so completely unnecessary and pointless. It turned the episode from having our faces jammed into horseshit to having to eat it too.

Somebody tell me…. how is it a valentine to the fans when you kill off one of the more popular characters – and for no reason other than the writers saying “hey, lets kill Trip for the hell of it!”.

I will never understand it. Stupid.

11, the show could be brought back and everything in the final episode kept as cannon, the thing to remember is every Enterprise scene in the final episode is a Holodeck historical document !
and we all know history can be full of errors, or intentinally rewritten.
in the old saying goes, the rumors of Trips death may be mistaken.
I have not read them but I understand that in the books Trip joined a secret service and his death was faked.
to sum up, the final episode of Enterprise was in fact an episode of Next Generation and every Enterprise scene may be a historically inacurate Holodeck simulation.

Plolox, Nelix done right. Much the same way Decker and Ilia were transmogrified into Riker and Troi.
Bilingsley was one of the few consistent high points in ENT, which eventually caught up to his caliber in season 4…

5. I agree. ‘Trek always had a way of having strong doctor characters! Though I personally liked Pulaski (possibly even more than Crusher, though I like how they developed her character – stupid Scottish episode notwithstanding – in the latter years of the TNG series). She was chalk to Crusher’s cheese. Abbrasive, opinionated and still with a heart of gold. She was, for all intents and purposes, a reincarnation of McCoy.

Billingsley’s Phlox was another great character I though, probably one of the stronger ones in Enterprise. Even by Star Trek standards he seemed alien (at least, culturally). And I like the idea #3 had of introducing the Denobulans as the next-best thing to Vulcans. A lot of the groundwork has been laid.

As for Billingsley’s portrayal – he always made it seem so effortless. Despite being alien, he had a very natural way about him, and seemed like a very warm and personable character. An old country doctor type, I suppose. And different from the previous mold of Star Trek doctors (McCoy/Pulaski, who I discussed, Crusher, who was very clean-cut, Bashir, who started young and naïve and developed into a hot-shot frontier, front-line doctor, and the holographic Doctor, who kinda took up the Data mantle).

The real last episode of Enterprise was the two part story Demons&Terra prime.

I too loved Enterprise, I just felt they got screwed in their finale being basically the B-side of the story, the main part being Riker & Troi. It should have been a two parter that mentioned the Romulan War & how difficult that was to them. It should have also showed the speech Archer gave.

The best part of the Episode was the end when we got to see beauty shots of the three ships.

As for Phlox I wish we had been able to see Denobula & the rest of his wives.

I liked polaski, She had lot of dr. mcoy in her character..loathing of transporters, outwardly skeptical of command decisions, Her getting to know data was fun. “It does know how do do this right?” “mr. data knows exactly what he is doing.”

Even though I didnt really like enterprise, I loved phlox in “a mirror darkly” as well as the rest of the alternate universe counterparts. I wish upon wish that “Enterprise” would have stayed in the mirror universe. This situation would have drawn non- enterprise fans to the me.

In another place at another time (and with another actor) I probably would’ve hated Phlox, but I loved the guy.

“The smile” creeps me out though. :-))

Unfortunately at this point in time reviving enterprise is unlikely. Its just been too long. There is a possibility that I can think of. They could bring it back as a mini series. Hopefully the final episode of which would undo some of the damage to “these are the voyages”. Since that episode was filmed far in the future from the actual events, there is no reason why the truth could have been classified or twisted or something. Either way I would love to see the show again. Can’t wait for the blu-rays to come out.

Bob Orci,

If you happen to read this, I’d like to mention that I loved the Archer reference in Trek ’09. You’ve done your bit to make nods to the past, but if you guys are considering throwing either Phlox or T’Pol in for a cameo in the next movie, DO IT. A lot of people weren’t keen on Enterprise, but a lot of people were — and recently, as the years have passed since the finale, it seems like more and more folks are discovering that there were, in fact, some good elements to that series.

I had a thought just last night that T’Pol shows up briefly as one of the Vulcans who have established a leadership position in a new colony world. These things are easy to work into scripts from what my amateur studies can ascertain: “This is T’Pol. She has been orchestrating much of the rebuilding of our way of life.” “Please, Spock, you flatter me. I am merely following the most logical course in these dark times.”

damn damn damn damn I want Enterprise to continue… depression is now kicking in.

Come on syfi…how about a season five

how about this, the new calander has a good start on the next generation NX ship, why not a new series based after the NX enterprise with a nearly new crew, but keep Phlox and T’Pol

I would love a Season 5, it was really starting to get somewhere under Coto and then boom it died and had to end with the ever awful TATV. Though the book that retold it was awesome.

if they ever bring it back, PLEASE no time travel
and Orci, please stick to your statments about no time travel in future new trek movies

#23 — I AGREE: and have Archer (ADMIRAL) on hand to witness Scotty’s attempt to bring his latest incarnation of PORTHOS back from the transporter’s great beyond….

And yeah, let them have AT LEAST a Season Five — maybe this time they’ll have a good enought viewership to generate seasons beyond, to show the Earth-Romulan war era….

Hey Bob Orci. Here is a great project for you and the court. Bring Back Star Trek Enterprise.

I assume all of these actors realize that they’re never going to play these roles again.

#15 that’s just about what I said holodecks can be fabricated. Or error. I read a fan site that trip did section 31 a stint of some sort . And had to be legaly dead. So syfy. Clean up your act and do season 5 like everyone else saysaid. And in regard to phlox was wonderful. I loved his warm wit and charm. I good bedside manner. Wish my Dr. Had those qualities. Phlox are you taking any new patience!

What they should have done is had the Enterprise finale be a two part episode for Enterprise. Then, sometime during the summer/christmas done a big minieries ala Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars that would combine all the crews similar to what happened with Destiny. In fact, maybe they could have done a similar story that would finally take care of the Borg, pick up after Voyager, etc. That would have been so much better and would have been a REAL valentine to the fans. Either way, I felt that Star Trek 2009 was more of a valentine than the pos Enterprise finale.

how about a new angle?
Phlox as captain of a medical ship travelig around and dealig with unusual medical problems.
Admiral archer can make cameo aperiances and other members of the crew can be crew members of the new ship


Largely great while it lasted.

I deliberately stopped watching reruns of Enterprise these past six months or so. I was borderline obsessed with it. Then caught myself randomly watching a late night repeat on some obscure channel. There was literally nothing else on worth watching! It was even mid-Season 2 show.

Damn it! I weakened… I’m only human.

the series really should have been about the romulan wars leading up to star trek TOS
be a bit more difficult but it could even have been done without eather side ever seeing the other just like they said in the TOS


@Bob Orci-

Regarding Enterprise. I too would love to see an Enterprise Mini series to properly wrap up the show. Seasons 3 and 4 were excellent, some of the best Trek in years.

Since Enterprise occurs before the prime universe is split off into your new universe, there would be no conflicts.

Surely, if anyone could put a word in to make it happen…I trust you and your team could do it. :) I really want to see the NX-01 get her refit on screen.

As someone already mentioned, a T’Pol cameo would work in the next movie as well…

@4: Capt Mike – that’s a wonderful idea! maybe they could adapt and film ‘The Good That Men Do’ as a mini-series or something, and continue onward from there! that would REALLY send the Season 4 finale through a loop, as well as actually make it relevant. also, to see some DS9 characters again would be sweet!

Romulan war mini series with the nx01 crew and other ships, politics, civilian and media perspectives (like the book) would be awesome.

It was good as a TNG episode, but rather lacking as a finale for ENT.

If The Powers That Be finally decided to bring Trek back to weekly TV, you seriously think they’d pick the least successful of the series as the vehicle? You know… the first one since 1969 to be cancelled because of low ratings.

Don’t think so.

7. Hey I’m from Wisconsin don’t blame it on cheese!

Re: 38 url 1

Looks like the Enterprise got stranded on Planet Woody.

I wish I had Phlox as my real doctor. I seriously need some osmotic eel treatments.

McCoy and Phlox are the top Chief Medical Officers in Trek history, IMHO. The others just didn’t stand out like these two have. I’d love to see Phlox in the new JJ Trek movie.

Billingsley as Harry Mudd!

I’d love to see a new Trek series, a continuation or otherwise but I cannot see it happening in the near future.

There is money in movies and the success of the most recent film, i fear, has left a TV series in limbo for the time being.

The finale of Enterprise sucked balls. An insult to everyone that worked hard to be the foundation of legends and still be original and even exciting at times!

On Billingsley, I thought he inhabited a truly unique character and was one of the quirkier Trek actors. Phlox and T’pol’s relationship always carried a hint of The Doctor and Seven for me but it never got tiresome, and I think that was down to the actors.

Rehash old plots/arcs= fine if you have the staff!

The last episode of Enterprise wasn’t an Enterprise episode, it was a TNG episode. The whole “Enterprise” part of it took place on the holodeck of the Enterprise D. I was very dissappointed in this Episode. No offense to the TNG crew, but they should not have been in this Episode. It should have been strictly an Enterprise episode.

Yeah I wouldn’t bet my house on that…