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HERC Reviews 13th ENTERPRISE!!

Enterprise 1.13 FAQ

What’s it called?

“Dear Doctor.”

Who’s responsible?

Teleplay is credited to syndicated action-hour vets Maria & Andre Jacquemetton (who also authored the excellent Vulcan-centric installment “Breaking the Ice”).

What does TV Guide say?

“The fascination with human behavior and culture expressed by Dr. Phlox in his letter to a peer is contrasted by his dissenting view of the crew's treatment of a dying alien race.”

What is TV Guide not telling us?

This is another of those good “Enterprise” episodes we’ve been hearing about.

What did Herc say about this episode in his Nov. 23 spoilers?

In “Dear Doctor,” an “Enterprise” episode set to air Jan. 30 [sic], Archer’s crew will pick up a ship from a pre-warp civilization, the Valakians, that years before encountered a warp-utilizing culture called “the Ferengi.” (T’Pol indicates she’s not not familiar with the folks from Ferenginar.) The Valakian astronauts have been traveling more than a year at sub-warp in hopes of encountering another warp-drive culture that might be able to help them conquer the disease that’s wiping out their planet (theirs was one of four Valakian ships on the same mission, and the only one to return).

When the Enterprise crew returns the astronauts to Valakis, they discover the planet is unusual in that it is home to two separate sentient species. When the Valakians ask Archer to share warp technology, Archer finds himself in the ironic position of denying the Valakians the same thing the Vulcans had long denied humans. The story is told in large part from the point of view of Dr. Phlox, who in this episode seems to launch a romance with Elizabeth Cutler (the hot ensign introduced in “Brave New World”).

Does Phlox actually launch that romance with Ensign Cutler?

Cutler clearly would like to, but first the alien doctor has to tell her a few surprising things about his personal life.

Any other surprises?

In this era before holodecks, the motion picture remains popular. (A crewman very familiar to us all is spotted bawling into his popcorn during a screening of Paramount’s 1943 production of “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”) And, oh, we learn Phlox also serves as the ship’s dentist and veterinarian.

Is it true UPN may have altered the ending of this episode?

The network appears to have had some influence. You can find more details in this spoiler-happy interview with Phlox alter-ego John Billingsly just posted by our friends over at

What’s good?

Thought-provoking, fast-paced and wholly devoid of action sequences, “Dear Doctor” provides powerful clues as to how humans, so late to the game, will come to play such a prominent role in the political landscape of the Alpha Quadrant. (Phlox fleetingly reminds one, in a good way, of that kid in the bedsheet who congratulated Kirk on not staking the helpless Gorn.) Also? Hottie, er, Hoshi Sato has a lot to do this week, and nobody’s going to mind seeing more of the actress who plays Cutler – by far the best thing about last autumn’s transporter-mishap episode and here a very worthy potential romantic interest. And T’Pol continues to be about 85 times more fun than Tuvok.

What’s not so good?

I'm not certain I'm totally on board with this proto-prime-directive business. And though one understands the storytellers’ need for those magical universal translators, Herc will never be able to wrap his tiny brain around how they enable aliens to speak English in this fashion.

Herc’s rating for “Enterprise” 1.13?


The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

  • ***** better than we deserve
  • **** better than most motion pictures
  • *** actually worth your valuable time
  • ** as horrible as most stuff on TV
  • * makes you quietly pray for bulletins

I am – Hercules!!

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