Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

While Enterprise rescues three Denobulan scientists from a planet under a new xenophobic government, Dr. Phlox must treat a patient with racist views against his people.


Phlox and Hoshi with a tribble

Phlox introduces Hoshi to a creature called a "tribble"

While Ensign Hoshi Sato is visiting Doctor Phlox in sickbay, he hands a tribble to her to hold for a moment, then takes it away from her and feeds the tribble, much to Hoshi's dismay, to one of his other animals, though Phlox is oblivious to her distress. Sato leaves him a PADD she brought with her, an urgent transmission from the Denobulan Science Academy, which she intended to deliver to him. Once she leaves, Phlox reads the message and his facial expression grows grave.


Phlox, Captain Archer, Commander Trip Tucker, Lieutenant Malcolm Reed and Ensign Travis Mayweather discuss the news in the situation room aboard Enterprise NX-01; the Denobulan Science Academy has asked Enterprise to find three of their geologists in the caves of Xantoras, as that planet has a new government which has just declared that all off-worlders must leave the planet within three days. Captain Archer sends Tucker, Reed and Mayweather on the mission to retrieve the Denobulan scientists.

While the three Starfleet officers are in the caves searching for the scientists, Enterprise assists an alien transport ship which has problems with a reactor leak. One of the wounded individuals happens to be an Antaran, the traditional enemy of the Denobulans. Even if Phlox is able to overcome his first impression, the Antaran, Hudak, refuses to receive medical care from him, even at the expense of his life.

The Denobulan-Antaran wars set the two species apart 300 years ago and neither side has tried to reconcile since that time. At the time, Denobula's military tactics resulted in 20 million Antaran casualties and, for that reason, Antarans are raised to fear and hate the Denobulans. Symmetrically, the Denobulans are raised to believe that Antarans are evil.

Back on Xantoras, the away team seems to be making progress when finding some Denobulan rock samples, but then Mayweather breaks his leg and they have to leave him behind. Tucker and Reed eventually find the scientists, but the three Denobulans refuse to leave, saying that the government changes often and that is not enough to interrupt their current research. Tucker has to threaten to tie them up and drag them before they finally decide to go.

Back on the Enterprise, in the mess hall, Phlox has a discussion with T'Pol about his situation. From what he says, she understands that he did everything possible to prevent his children from having the education he had about Antarrans, to make them embrace other cultures. It becomes clearer why he is so upset by the irrational behavior of his patient.

On the following discussion with the Antaran, Phlox tells him about his children. He also says that he created a rift with his youngest son, Mettus, about these beliefs. He concludes, saying that Hudak should do the same and accept the treatment to set an example for his children and Hudak finally does, after some reflection.

Hudak returns home on the same transport as the three geologists, clear progress in his perception of the Denobulans. On his side, Phlox realizes that indifference to hatred also had its part to play in the continuation of the myths about the Antarrans and decides to try once more to bring his son to a more tolerant position by writing him a letter.

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Memorable quotesEdit

"All it's capable of doing, really, is eating and breeding. The problem is they breed quite prodigiously."

- Phlox on a tribble he shows to Hoshi Sato right before feeding it to one of his pets

"The last cave I was in had handrails... a gift shop, and a snack bar."

- Tucker

"All here."
"Ration packs?"
"A week's worth."
"Flex cable?"
"Hmm. Five hundred meters."
"Waste disposal units."
"What are these for?"
"We take out everything we bring in."

- Mayweather, Tucker and Reed before heading down to the caves on Xantoras

"What have you got?"
"Nothing but three Humans, one of which is not entirely convinced we're going in the right direction."
"Ah, make that two."

- Tucker, with Reed and Mayweather begin to enter the cave to find the Denobulans

"Isn't there a beginners' cliff we can start on?"

- Tucker

"We're already behind schedule, ensign. We can't have you slowing us down. Thanks for getting us this far."
"You'll be alright."
"Respectfully, sir, it's not me that I'm worried about!"

- Reed, then Tucker, to Mayweather

"I have tried to treat you with respect, but I refuse to listen to these insults. You're the reason we haven't been able to put the past behind us. You've kept this hatred alive. No Denobulan would want to be in the same room as you."

- a heated Phlox, to the Antaran Hudak

"If you don't start moving in five seconds, I'm gonna take my phase-pistol and shoot you in the ass!"

- Trip Tucker to Yolen

Background informationEdit

  • The style of backpack used by the Enterprise crew members in the caves was the Boblbee Megalopolis backpack.
  • The containers carrying the Denobulans' rock samples were actually spacemaker pencil cases used by children for school.
  • Phlox actor John Billingsley had mixed feelings about this episode. He noted that, while Phlox was created with a "Zen-like placidity", it was understandable that the writers would try to find some more conflict. However, he argued, "I think coming up with an episode where Denobulans were once war criminals, there was still this credible anger that had not been resolved, it seemed to me at least – and maybe some of the fans too – a little too jarring, a little too difficult to jive with what we knew about Phlox. A little bit had been alluded to in the first seasons, hearing in one episode that he'd been a medic in the Denobulan infantry. But there were aspects of that script that didn't quite work for me." Nonetheless, Billingsley believed the episode enabled himself and guest star Henry Stram to "find some good stuff." [1]
  • John Billingsley additionally praised Director Robert Duncan McNeill, stating, "[He] did a terrific job in that episode keeping all from us getting overly mawkish." [2]
  • The first and only appearance of a tribble in Star Trek: Enterprise takes place during the teaser of this episode.

Links and referencesEdit

Starring Edit

Guest star Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit


ankle; Antaran; aragonite; bedside manner; botyroidal flowstone; calcite; childhood; Denobulan; Denobulan-Antaran wars; Denobulan Science Academy; Denobula; dermalin gel; Earth; flex-cable; gift shop; governor; handrail; hemostatic scan; Hippocrates; imaging chamber; inaprovaline; intra-cellular regeneration; Iota Geminorum IV; irons; kilometer; ligament; medical book; medical ethics; Mettus; osmotic eel; outlawed; pitons; propaganda; ration packs; rock climbing; scalpel; Shuttlepod 1; Shuttlepod 2; snack bar; speaker; speleothems; spelunking; tractosites; tribble; warp reactor; waste disposal units; Xantoras; Xantoras (planet); Xantoras military; Xantoras patrol ship; xenomythology

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Star Trek: Enterprise
Season 2
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