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TrekToday - Billingsley Is Happy To Be Phlox

Billingsley Is Happy To Be Phlox

By Michelle
July 29, 2003 - 9:53 PM

Like Voyager's Doctor, Enterprise's Dr. Phlox has become one of the show's most popular characters, though he's often confined to sickbay for weeks on end in his appearances. Actor John Billingsley said in a recent interview that he has plenty of ideas for Phlox's development and is hoping for a long run for the series.

"I certainly would like more to do," he told Ian Spelling in an interview for Starburst's T3-Star Trek Special (via Sci-Fi Pulse). The producers "seem to like" him, Billingsley added, but "I can't tell whether or not there are thoughts of developing me further or if they have their hands full developing the other characters."

Billingsley stated that he had talked to Trek's last doctor, Robert Picardo, who advised him to wait a year before approaching the producers with ideas. "Bob essentially suggested that...I put my ideas on paper in a cogent fashion, then knock on the door in a gentle way and say, 'Hey, I've got some thoughts about how the character might be developed in relation with some other characters'. And I'm thinking along those lines."

A self-confessed genre fan who said he "used to read a hell of a lot of SF", Billingsley said, "The value of SF is that writers find a way, through metaphor, to make you look at what our contemporary problems are."

Though slightly concerned about typecasting, the actor said that after Enterprise he might return to the theatre without having to worry about income or take time to travel. "Enterprise is like winning the sweepstakes as an actor," he noted. "If over the years the work is not a personally fulfilling as I might like it to be, I will probably find a way to augment it by doing theatre during our hiatuses."

The complete interview may be found in the Starburst special available now. More brief excerpts are available at Sci-Fi Pulse.

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