STARFLEET AFFILIATE PERSONNEL FILE: Phlox
Assignment: Chief Medical Officer, Enterprise NX-01
Previous Assignment: Starfleet Medical, via Interspecies Medical Exchange
Full Name: Phlox
Marital status: Three wives on home planet
Children: Five (youngest is a son named Mettus)
Office: Enterprise NX-01 Sickbay, E-Deck
Profile: Report of Starfleet Diplomatic Relations Office
Dr. Phlox is a congenial fellow who balances an oblique sense of humor and a happy disposition, along with a natural scientific curiosity that retains a sense of humanity. His Sickbay is home to a growing collection of "stuff" — some alive, some not — gathered from various sources. At Captain Archer's request, Phlox agreed to join the new Enterprise as Chief Medical Officer. Phlox's background in intergalactic medicine is indispensable, though his approach to the healing arts is sometimes startling.
Though Dr. Phlox claimed that he found it somewhat daunting to socialize with the Enterprise crew, he soon proved quite adept at it, striking up friendships with Ensign Elizabeth Cutler, Ensign Hoshi Sato and fellow non-human Sub-Commander T'Pol. In fact, Phlox was initially worried that Cutler had a romantic interest in him. Though his suspicions eventually proved true, Cutler only wanted to be friends, and she and Phlox enjoy taking in the occasional movie together. Phlox was also key in helping the initially jittery Hoshi realize that she belonged on Enterprise. He assisted her in caring for a sickly slug creature, and is currently teaching her Denobulan. The aloof T'Pol has been something of a challenge, even for the genial doctor, but she and Phlox have shared several meals together, and she doesn't even seem to mind when Phlox picks errant food off of her plate. Phlox has another human friend in regular correspondent Dr. Lucas, a human colleague from the Interspecies Medical Exchange. Lucas is the first human serving on Phlox's homeworld of Denobula, and as he helped Phlox get settled in San Francisco, Phlox is now returning the favor.
Like all Denobulans, Phlox only requires six days of sleep every year. He claims, however, that two days can be sufficient. Phlox is grumpy and disoriented if his hibernation is interrupted, as he demonstrated when Cutler and T'Pol woke him up, seeking assistance in treating Ensign Mayweather. As a child, Phlox, like many young Denobulans, was regaled with tales of the "evil Antarans," which caused him to have nightmares. The Antarans and the Denobulans have been to war on several occasions, and much animosity and hatred still exists between the two species. In fact, young Phlox's grandmother wouldn't allow him to go on a trip to a nearby arboreal planet because it has been "tainted" by Antarans. The adult Phlox is determined not to raise his children as he was raised, and has taught them to embrace other cultures.
Phlox gets more mail than anyone on Enterprise, and has three wives back home (in turn, they each have two other husbands). This is the norm for his people, who apparently have very complex mating rituals. Though Phlox's work keeps him from seeing his family very often, he did get the opportunity to see one of his wives, Feezal, when she came onboard Enterprise to assist in installing a neutron microscope. Phlox has five children, and his two daughters have followed in his footsteps — one is a surgeon, the other a biochemist. His eldest son is a potter. Phlox is somewhat estranged from his two younger sons — Mettas, the youngest, holds archaic, anti-Antaran beliefs.
Though Denobulans do not like to be touched, Phlox has done his best to overcome his cultural inhibitions. In fact, Phlox is fascinated with human culture, and is particularly enamored of Earth cuisine — egg drop soup, blueberry pancakes and potatoes are a few of the dishes he enjoys. His menagerie of creatures includes an Altarian marsupial, an osmotic eel, Regulan blood worms and a Pyrithian bat. Though he finds Archer's relationship with lesser creature Porthos amusing, Phlox admits that he occasionally speaks to his bat. Other odd rituals include cleaning his extra-long tongue and using his toenail clippings as food for his creatures.
Though the doctor has proved his value as a physician and crewmember numerous times, Phlox was not always such an assured medical professional. Not long after he became a physician, he was part of a medical team sent to a cargo ship orbiting his homeworld. An explosion had occurred on the ship, and there were seventeen bodies on the bridge. The sight of so many dead people left Phlox shaken and disturbed. He also claims that he was once nearly overwhelmed by 50 patients in a refugee camp on Matalas. Phlox's skills as a physician were also put to the test when he was infected by nanoprobes from some mysterious cybernetic beings. Luckily, he managed to find a cure before he was completely assimilated.
Still, he continues to welcome adventure, and is especially intrigued by alien cultures. He jumped at the chance to observe a culture other than humanity when he spent the night with the alien pilgrims who were following the Great Plume of Agosoria. In true Phlox fashion, he found his visit with the pilgrims, which included four hours of ritual prayer and a string of body-purifying exercises, "mesmerizing." Despite his genial nature, Phlox always stands up for what he believes in, even if it brings him into conflict with other officers. He refused to let Reed experiment on the strange, symbiotic creature that took over Enterprise's Cargo Bay Two, saying that it exhibited all the signs of being an intelligent lifeform. He also nearly withheld his findings on the Menk/Valakian situation from Captain Archer, fearing that the captain would interfere with the natural cycle of evolution. Luckily, Phlox trusted Archer to make the right decision, and gained a new respect for his captain. When Enterprise received its assignment to venture into the Delphic Expanse, Phlox opted to stay onboard, citing his loyalty to Archer.
Though Phlox finds humans fairly simplistic anatomically, he likes their "charming optimism," and has said of his time on Enterprise, "Every moment's been an adventure for me. Humans are so unpredictable."