Star Trek: Enterprise has received a second look from many fans due to the fact that they can now review all Trek shows using a Paramount+ subscription. While some may have changed their minds about certain storylines or characters, many still hold the view that the finale was a slap in the face to loyal fans. There’s a chance to fix it in this golden age of new shows. However, John Billingsley has just shared some honest thoughts on this, which are less than optimistic. All this time, he also revealed that he was almost back as Dr. Phlox.
I had the opportunity to talk to John Billingsley, who will be one of the many stars of “Star Trek” who took part in the Trek*talks 2 telethon on Saturday, January 14. At a telethon raising money for the Hollywood Food Coalition, we talked about how this modern era of Trek can give Enterprise a proper send-off that never happened many years ago. After I asked the star about the chances of a show with a true ending (or a nod through the currently running series), he listed a few obstacles that stand in the way:
I don’t see this ever happening. Of course, now that all the shows are being broadcast, the audience that didn’t find us at the time subsequently found us. But I’m afraid, just given the vicissitudes of age and the nature of the fact that there are already many iterations of Star Trek and others in the works, there is no place in the ecosystem for us to go back now.
The 62-year-old actor made the right remark, as there is a lot of content on the horizon for Star Trek. Even though Picard ends after season 3, there is a Starfleet Academy series in development that could take his place, and the Section 31 series is still on the table. And these are only the works that we know about. So unless the star of the Enterprise is mysterious about the upcoming comeback live, there’s little reason to hope for a sequel or some sort of proper series finale.
Although these ideas may not be out of the question, Star Trek fans know that certain characters can always appear in other shows, especially since alien creatures have a long lifespan. John Billingsley’s Dr. Phlox is a Denobulan, and they may live to be 280 years old. This means that the good doctor is presumably alive during many of Trek’s later shows. However, Billingsley’s theoretical return boils down to several necessary factors on his part:
I do not know if I will ever definitely want to become a regular participant in the series again, maybe in a streaming show where there were no 22 to 26 episodes just because the rubber head is burdensome. I’m not really sure I want to go through the prosthetics process again… I could be in one of the animated shows. Then you just need the voice of Dr. Phlox. Which I would be happy to do.
John Billingsley does not want to go through the prosthetics process again, a fact that may deprive him of the right to any reprisal against Dr. Phlox in real time. Fans may remember that Billingsley publicly stated that he declined an offer to appear in the critically acclaimed Strange New Worlds (via Bleeding Cool), although at the time he mentioned that this was due to being asked to audition.
But fans of “Star Trek” may be surprised to learn that the star was offered to appear in the franchise again, but she refused again. Billingsley talked about how, in his opinion, the franchise relates to the Enterprise and its legacy, and also talked about other unexpected series that he refused, and why:
I think many fans of the franchise have rediscovered Enterprise. I’m not entirely sure that the powers that be who create Star Trek have, I won’t say love for the Enterprise, but perhaps even strong memories of the Enterprise… [I was asked to appear] for two episodes on one of the animated shows, I think it was Prodigy, which I refused, because an animated show, if you don’t regularly star in TV series, to be honest, they don’t pay very much for it. So I don’t think I’m on someone’s radar screen.
I am intrigued by the idea that he will play the role of Dr. Phlox again in Star Trek: The Prodigy. The origin of Dal’s augmentation is really connected with the Enterprise storyline, so it was possible to understand how this connection could be established. I’m definitely a little disappointed to learn that the fan-favorite star wasn’t on board to reprise his role, but I understood the reasons for his departure. I also hope that one day he and his colleagues will receive a well-deserved completion.
Star Trek fans can expect more similar stories and other informative information during the Trek*talks 2 telethon. John Billingsley will participate there along with other famous actors of the franchise, such as Scott Bakula, Anson Mount and Jonathan Frakes, to name just a few. Anyone who wants to know more about the telethon or how they can help can visit the Trek Geeks website for more information.
For those who are not familiar with “Star Trek: Enterprise”, you should also get acquainted with the entire series on Paramount+. Aside from the disappointing ending, it’s definitely worth watching as it gives an intriguing look at the early years of Starfleet.