Enterprise Review: “Doctor’s Orders”

Showing some male alien nudity for a change.

Doctor’s Orders

Cast & Crew

Director: Roxann Dawson
Written By: Chris Black

Starring
Scott Bakula as Captain
Jonathan Archer
Connor Trinneer as Chief
Engineer Charles "Trip" Tucker III
Jolene Blalock as Sub-commander
T’Pol
Dominic Keating as Lt.
Malcolm Reed
Anthony Montgomery
as Ensign Travis Mayweather
Linda Park as Ensign Hoshi
Sato
John Billingsley
as Dr. Phlox

Guest Cast
None

Episode Information

Originally Aired: February 18, 2004
Season: Three
Episode: Sixteen
Production: 068

What Happened

While Enterprise travels through a section of the Expanse lethal to human neurology, Dr. Phlox must put the entire crew to sleep and handle all aspects of a working starship, but even with T’Pol’s help, the doctor’s skills might not be enough to keep the crew safe when complications arise. With the ship not moving out of the area fast enough, Dr. Phlox must figure out how to start the warp engines without blowing up the ship, while realizing he may not be entirely immune to the region’s radiation himself.

Review

It’s hard to get excited about an episode when you know exactly what’s going to happen and when. Sure Billingsly makes for fun watching, but the script is so by-the-numbers, you can’t lose yourself in it. Ever.

High Point

While a bit corny, the Captain’s “I trust you” speech to Phlox was nice. After all, these guys have been through a lot in three years, it’s about time they started bonding.

Low Point

The “revelation” at the end of the episode. Was it not painfully obvious the whole time? What is great, is Phlox’s reaction to the whole thing. The sort of serene “yeah, I’ve lost it” look we can all appreciate.

The Scores

Originality: Rehash of a Voyager episode and probably more than a few Twilight Zone‘s. 2 out of 6.

Effects: The Insectoids aren’t looking as cool this week, maybe we’re getting spoiled? 4 out of 6.

Story: I like giving Phlox his own episodes, since he’s an enjoyable character, but we could have done a little better. 3 out of 6.

Acting: Billingsly is totally underused in this series. 5 out of 6.

Emotional Response: Since the “twist” is easily figured out, there’s no surprise or tension. There is some good humor though. And let’s face it, not since Austin Powers has male nudity been scarier. 3 out of 6.

Production: Same old, same old. 4 out of 6

Overall: The detour in the story arc isn’t necessary. 3 out of 6.

Total: 24 out of 42

Episode Media

From StarTrek.com

This Week on Enterprise (February 25, 2004)

Hatchery

When Enterprise stumbles upon a damaged Xindi-Insectoid ship on a barren planet, Archer and the crew search the ship and discover a cache of several dozen Insectoid eggs, but with the nursery’s bio-support failing, Archer becomes fiercely determined to help his enemy’s offspring hatch. As Mayweather and Tucker attempt to learn all they can about the alien ship, Archer becomes consumed with saving the Xindi hatchlings, causing the crew to start raising questions about Archer’s judgment.
[Video Preview]

Additional Notes and Comments

If you’re interested in what’s in TheAngryMob’s review queue, check out my What’s Coming page.

TheAngrymob

5 replies on “Enterprise Review: “Doctor’s Orders””

  1. Kaki says:

    Sucked.
    The idea that Voyager could operate fine for a while with only one person sorta made some sense, it was a much more advanced ship. Enterprise, in comparison, isn’t.

    Why oh why did they have to have him fire up the engines?

    Had he just gone nuts, had long conversations with imaginary T’Pol, and drifted through the region according to plan the suckyness of this episode could have been mitigated by some measure of realism. Instead we get the usual crappy story of how a heroic character can do anyone’s job just fine with just a few minutes to read the Cliff’s Notes.

    Oh, why do they drive right up to these things before wondering if they need to go around? A slight course change from further back could have steered them around fine.

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Sucked.
      I agree. I haven’t seen this episode but it sounds awful. Doing it once with
      Voyager was plausible and came off fairly well, but as you say there’s surely
      no way Enterprise NX-01 could be managed by one person – NCC-1701
      couldn’t be, and that was over 100 years later. But then since when did B&B
      care about continuity?

      • Kaki says:

        Re: Sucked.
        Well, there is trek continuity and then there is simple plausability. And while I have given up on trek continuity to the point of no longer give it a second thought, I still have some…. oh hell, realistically, I’ve given up on simple plausabilty too. Yet I still feel cheated by it. It shows a lack of imagination and/or writing ability.

        As for the one man awake bit. I could have handled it, if the ship was just drifting along. Running the impulse engines,… that is stretching it, but if he only ran them while watching all the readouts or something… that could have actually been nice.

        Picture Phlox, hallucinating wildly (realistic ones, not full multisense ones that look like friends), at the helm after a couple days of no sleep so he can run the impulse engines longer and get out faster, jabbering like a loon to himself about how everything else in his world can crack, fall apart, and be replaced with the chaos so long as those couple of crucial dials stay stable. Eventually he can’t trust that he is seeing the controls correctly so he has to turn off the engines. He can’t tell if the ship is out of the bad region or not, and then he finds he can’t let himself even try to wake someone up because his tools all betray him in his hands. Loosing all hope he runs through the ship in terror, fully believing that the nightmare he is in will never end… Then he wakes up a few hours later in some out of the way part of the ship, brused and still exhausted, but his brain has come down from the influence of the region and he can wake everyone up.

        That would have been cool. The complete breakdown of Phlox. Heck him waking up Trip so Trip could risk self-sacrifice would have been cooler than watching Phlox figure out stuff that is supposed to be hard for people that aren’t going insane.

        • Eldhrin says:

          Re: Sucked.
          That’d have been good. Then they could’ve killed Trip, or have him suffer
          permenant mental damage or something. I always think Trek avoids
          permenant changes too much. Voyager had all those Borg weapons installed
          at one point but did they keep them? No, they had to restore that pristine
          almost-white hull.

          And it looked soooo much prettier with a few Borg torpedo launchers on it.

  2. is says:

    Amen.
    it sucked.

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