'Dear Doctor' Gets The Thumbs-Up From Critics

By Caillan
January 27, 2002 - 10:07 AM

See Also: 'Dear Doctor' Episode Guide

'Dear Doctor' has received extremely positive reviews from the majority of critics, despite some finding fault with the episode's ending.

A round-up of the latest online analyses can be found below:

  • "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," wrote 'Hercules' over at Ain't It Cool News. Go here to read the full review, in which the episode was awarded a score of 3.5 out of 5.

  • Section31's 'Q' thoroughly enjoyed 'Dear Doctor,' writing that a Phlox episode was "long overdue." Here's an extract from her review:

    The plot itself may not be as unique as I would've liked, but it played out in a way that could have only been accomplished in Enterprise, and for that it gets original marks. To me, this is another real winner...the best so far this season.

    In the complete analysis, the episode was awarded a score of 9.5 out of 10.

  • Reviewer monkee also heaped praise upon the episode, calling it one of the season's best. She particularly liked the reappearance of Crewman Cutler. "Since she's an exobiologist, it even makes a lot of sense that she might develop a bit of a crush on Phlox," she wrote. "Yet she wasn't portrayed as a giggly, two-dimensional love interest at all. She's an intelligent, reasonable person, with a likable personality. When she finds out that Phlox is married, she maintains her dignity, and offers her friendship, along with whatever else might develop as they learn more about each other's cultures." The full review, in which the episode was given a score of 9 out of 10, can be found here.

  • O. Deus at TrekWeb compared 'Dear Doctor' with 'Data's Day,' but noted that it failed to live up to its Next Generation predecessor. "The problem is that the show lacked the confidence to simply do what Data's Day did and showcase a period of time on the Enterprise and show how the crew lives in deep space," he wrote, adding that "the result leaves us with an episode that tries to merge Data's Day with Tuvix and does both poorly." The complete analysis can be found here at TrekWeb.

  • While he thought the episode had an "excellent theme," Michael Hinman at SyFy Portal was not a fan of the ending. "My most serious problem with this episode is the whole Archer speech at the end. [...] We no longer need these type of preachy endings, because it simply doesn't seem real, and it seems more evident that the writers are trying to slam a theme down our throats." To read more, head over to SyFy Portal.

  • On the other hand, Tim Lynch at Psi Phi thought the episode avoided preaching at the audience, and awarded it a perfect 10 out of 10. Here's an extract from his review:

    No bad guys, no one-sided preaching, no hiding behind rules and regs, no magic-tech solutions. Just a nasty dilemma which puts no one in the absolute right or absolute wrong, and which gives us a hint about why the Prime Directive was eventually put in place. This particular show is one that really couldn't have been done on another Trek series, and it's to the series' credit that it made an episode like this... and just as importantly, did it right.

    The full analysis is available to read here.

  • "Great story, great acting, music, effects," wrote 'Captain Mac' at Trek5.com, giving the episode 5 out of 5. "This episode is a cut above its predecessors." Go here to read more.

  • Richard Whettestone at First TV Drama thought Phlox was acting out of character. "Interfering with the natural evolution of a culture is apparently a bad thing to Phlox, who just ten episodes earlier decided to drop Hoshi's slug on an abandoned alien world. Even Phlox would tell you that something like that could evolve into an intelligent lifeform. Now he wants to play god with already existing ones." The full review can be found here.

  • But over at the Starfleet Library, C.A. Voigts appreciated the extra character development for the Denobulan doctor. Here's an excerpt from the analysis:

    On the lighter side, it was great to see the doctor become a more well rounded character. So often he has been the source of some great wry humor and has been shown in only a humorous light. This episode shows more of his interaction with the crew outside of Sick Bay, and we learn more about his culture, his language, and his people. Yes, there is quite a serious side to this man.

    In the complete review the episode was given a score of 4 out of 5.

TrekToday visitors also rated the episode highly, with 'Dear Doctor' scoring an average of 8.6 out of 10 in our poll. This is the joint highest rating so far, equal with last year's 'Cold Front'. The full results are available here.

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Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.