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Doctor's Orders (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Doctor's Orders"
ENT, Episode 3x16
Production number: 068
First aired: 18 February 2004
67th of 97 produced in ENT
67th of 97 released in ENT
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 97 released in ENT Remastered  
696th of 728 released in all
Written By
Chris Black

Directed By
Roxann Dawson
Unknown (2154)
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For the unrelated novel, please see Doctor's Orders.

In order to traverse a large region of subspace anomalies safely, Phlox must put the rest of the crew in stasis and pilot the Enterprise himself.

Summary Edit

Teaser Edit


Porthos licks his sedated master

The Enterprise is moving very slowly through a pinkish-purple cloud. The warp nacelles are inactive. Onboard, there is nobody on the bridge, in engineering, in the mess hall, or even in the corridors, apart from Porthos, who is being chased by Doctor Phlox.

Porthos stops, but only because he's got to where he wants to be: he paws at one of the crew-quarter doors. Phlox suddenly understands, and lets him in. In the cabin, Porthos jumps up onto the bed to look at Captain Archer who is lying there unconscious, with a silver disc attached to his head.

Act One Edit

Phlox and Porthos are in Phlox's cabin, discussing why Porthos keeps trying to go back to see the Captain. Phlox discovers on his PADD that dogs are very territorial, and that a dog called 'Scruffers' once traveled 3,000 km to get back to see his master. Phlox tells Porthos that he heard of a Pycan space moth that traveled half a light year, but that it probably didn't have a name.

Phlox and Porthos go for a walk, while he dictates a letter to Dr. Jeremy Lucas. They arrive at the galley, where Phlox gets some leeches to eat, and gives one to Porthos, claiming that he probably won't like it, but his intestinal tract will be thoroughly cleansed. Phlox then continues his letter, concerning his assignment to the Enterprise.

Two days earlier, the Enterprise encountered a transdimensional disturbance, similar to the one they encountered a few weeks ago. However, this one is different, because it has only just started forming. It is also on a direct path between the ship and Azati Prime. To avoid several weeks of a detour, T'Pol suggested going through the disturbance. Dr. Phlox said that he will need to put all the crew members into a coma, to which Commander Tucker objected strongly. Despite Trip's objections, the Captain agreed to Phlox's plan, and Phlox got basic training in the running of the ship, including helm and engineering operations. Also, Trip suggested that they should cross the disturbance at impulse, rather than risk the unpredictable effects of warp drive in the disturbance.

Act Two Edit

Visiting Travis Mayweather, who is also in a coma, Phlox continues his letter, saying that he managed to convince the Captain, and that his physiology was sufficiently different from the Humans that he wouldn't be affected by the disturbance. Still, he had his doubts about his ability to control the ship by himself. In engineering, he hears something odd, but finds nothing. He continues his letter, saying he'll be relieved when he can wake the crew, in another 2 days 16 hours and 43 minutes.

Act Three Edit

Phlox is jogging through the corridors of Enterprise singing a song in Denobulan:

Phlox eating popcorn

Phlox enjoys a bowl of popcorn on a solitary "movie night"

He walks into sickbay, appearing naked, and apologizes to his animals because he's late for their feedings. He then watches The Court Jester, a 1956 movie, with some popcorn.

Suddenly, Phlox hears something odd, looks at Porthos as if to check to see if he heard it, then goes to see if he can find out what it was he heard.

Act Four Edit

Walking through the deserted corridors, Phlox tells Porthos that he shouldn't have let Trip force him to watch The Exorcist last week. Then, he hears a sound again, and tracks it to one of the shuttlebays. Phlox looks up and sees a small gas leak, which is rattling a chain.

Phlox wonders if this a starship, or a haunted house.

Suddenly, T'Pol appears behind Phlox, and startles him. He then invites her to dinner later on.

Back in engineering, Phlox is running one of the routine operations that Trip showed him, when he hears, and this time sees, a shadowy figure running away on one of the upper platforms. Angry, Phlox calls T'Pol on the intercom, presuming it must have been her, and compares her to a Draxxan cloud viper. However, she claims to have been on the bridge all the time.

They meet in the galley, where Phlox prepares a meal that his fifth grandmother made for each of his weddings. Apparently, the chef on the Enterprise could never get it right, and was lacking in his Plomeek broth skills as well. Phlox talks to T'Pol about how crowded his homeworld is, not by necessity but by choice, because Denobulans enjoy living in groups. For him, being alone on the Enterprise has been unsettling, but T'Pol has found it to be a welcome respite. T'Pol doesn't eat or drink anything during the meeting.

Act Five Edit

Back in sickbay again, Phlox continues his letter to Dr. Lucas, talking about how much he misses Denobula. He visits Captain Archer for a check-up, and is startled by a shadowy form that he sees outside the Enterprise window. Frightened, he calls T'Pol.

On the bridge, they discuss the Enterprise sensors, and find no other lifeforms. Not convinced, Phlox continues with his rounds, only to find a Xindi-Insectoid in Ensign Sato's quarters. He is chased by the Xindi through the corridors, until he gets to an airlock, in which he traps himself until the Xindi gives up and moves away.

Phlox arms himself with a phase pistol and, starting on G-deck, searches the ship for alien lifeforms. T'Pol comes with him. Phlox uses a scanner to look for other lifeforms, but almost shoots Porthos by mistake. After wasting two hours of T'Pol's time, she starts to get angry with him. Later, Phlox believes that he can hear Hoshi calling him over the com system. When he reaches her quarters she is in a steaming shower. As she emerges, she appears grossly disfigured, blaming him for her condition, and reminding him that the crew were under his care. Stumbling from her bathroom, Phlox looks back and then sees Hoshi lying peacefully in her cot. Phlox asks T'Pol to meet him in sickbay, where Phlox does a scan of himself, which shows that he's been subtly affected by the disturbance as well, and has in fact been hallucinating. Phlox considers handing over control of the ship to T'Pol, but she refuses after she admits she's been having trouble controlling her emotions in the disturbance, and she could become irrational.

On the bridge, they discover that they're still over a quarter of a light year from the edge of the disturbance, although they should have been out of it by now. The disturbance has expanded at an accelerated rate, and it would take them another 10 weeks to get out of it at full impulse. T'Pol insists that they engage the warp drive.

In engineering, T'Pol is exceptionally unhelpful, because she can't concentrate on anything. Although Phlox has a dozen scientific degrees, none of them are in warp field propulsion. Since T'Pol can't help, Phlox has to "read the manual" about how to engage the warp drive. Phlox is distracted by another hallucination, this time of Trip reminding him about his warning not to engage the warp drive inside the disturbance. After a few minor problems, he manages to take the ship to warp 2.

Once they are out of the anomaly, Phlox starts waking the crew, the senior officers first. He walks T'Pol back to her quarters, where he finds that she too has been unconscious in her quarters the whole time, and realizes that he had actually hallucinated her presence during most of the journey through the disturbance. The rest of the crew is awakened, and the Enterprise continues on towards Azati Prime.

This episode or film summary is incomplete

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Memorable quotes Edit

"I'd be better off talking to my Pyrithian bat."

- Phlox, to Porthos

"Bangs, squeaks, rattling chains... is this a starship or a haunted house?"
"Are you alright, Doctor? You seem somewhat agitated."

- Phlox and T'Pol, as he was investigating a noise in the shuttlebay

"Would you mind not creeping around the ship like a Draxxan cloud viper?"

- Phlox, to T'Pol

"My fifth grandmother made this for each of my weddings. Chef's tried to prepare it, but he never gets it quite right."
"Yes, his plomeek broth leaves something to be desired as well."
"I always thought so, but, uh, I was afraid to mention it."

- Phlox and T'Pol, while sharing a meal in the galley

"Being alone on Enterprise – just the two of us – has proven more stressful than I imagined. Two people aren't even enough for a Denobulan marriage – a proper one, anyway."
"I'm sorry I haven't been better company."

- Phlox and T'Pol

"Get away from her!"

- Phlox, to the Xindi-Insectoid in Hoshi's quarters

"I'm not delusional!"
"Are you certain? As I recall, you once told Ensign Sato that it's considered healthy for Denobulans to hallucinate. It's how you release stress."

- Phlox and T'Pol

"I'm fine!"
"You nearly shot the captain's dog!"

- Phlox and T'Pol

"I'm a physician, not an engineer!"

- Phlox, to T'Pol, as he begins his attempt to start the warp reactor

"How are you feeling?"
"A little woozy."
"I'm not surprised, you haven't eaten anything in four days. Get to the mess hall!"
"Aye, aye, Doc."

- Phlox and Trip

"I'll assist you in waking the others."
"Oh, that won't be necessary. I appreciate the offer, but, uh, you need some rest. Let me walk you to your quarters."
"Doctor's orders?"

- T'Pol and Phlox

"Commander Tucker was complaining that it will take him days to realign the warp coils."
"Yes, he gave me quite a talking to."
"He also said, and I quote, 'Phlox did one hell of a job.' "
"You must have enjoyed having the ship to yourself."
"It wasn't nearly as empty as I anticipated."

- T'Pol and Phlox

Background Information Edit

  • Because only existing sets of Enterprise were used, this episode qualifies as a true bottle show. [X]wbm
  • It is also one of the very few episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise (or any Star Trek series) to credit no guest stars.
  • It is the only episode of Star Trek: Enterprise with the I'm a doctor, not a... snowclone. Phlox says the line "I'm a physician, not an engineer."
  • John Billingsley was pleased with the opportunity for a leading role in the episode, particularly due to its "action and adventure quality". However, he noted that when makeup was factored in, his time spent working on the episode was close to 16 hours for each shooting day. [1]
  • Billingsley was only lukewarm regarding the finished episode. "For my tastes – and for what I think I'm best utilised to do – the episodes that are more reflective, philosophical and meditative – that deal with issues such as cultural conflict – I think those are the things that I am probably best equipped to do." [2]
  • This is the fourth time anyone in Star Trek has spoken Denobulan. The other three episodes were "Dear Doctor", "Stigma" and "A Night in Sickbay". Denobulan was also spoken in a deleted scene from the episode "Minefield".
  • John Carradine, one of the actors seen in "The Court Jester", is the father of Enterprise guest star Keith Carradine.
  • This episode has a striking resemblance to the Star Trek: Voyager episode "One", where Seven of Nine must navigate the ship through a hazard region of space and the crew is in a comatose state. She begins to hallucinate, too.

Links and references Edit

Main cast Edit

Uncredited Co-Stars Edit

Archive footage Edit

References Edit

antimatter constrictor coil; Azati Prime; Beagle; canine; class C gravimetric field distortion; coma; The Court Jester; Delphic Expanse; Denobula; deuterium; dilithium matrix; Draxxan cloud viper; Earth; The Exorcist; Galley; hand scanner; haunted house; hull plating; impulse manifold; intestinal tract; ion storm; Kaybin District; Klingon, ancient; leech; Lucas, Jeremy; magnetic constriction coil; millicochrane; neocortex; neurochemistry; parsec; particle confinement; pestle; physiology; plasma relay; plomeek broth; popcorn; Pycan space moth; Pyrithian bat; San Francisco; scientific degree; Scruffers; spatial-compression index; Starfleet training; theta waves; T'Pol (illusory); trans-dimensional disturbance; Vulcans; warp coil; warp field; Xindi attack; Xindi-Insectoid;

Previous episode:
Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 3
Next episode:

cs:Doctor's Orders (epizoda) de:Auf ärztliche Anweisung es:Doctor's Orders fr:Doctor's Orders ja:ENT:フロックス船長の孤独 nl:Doctor's Orders

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