Star Trek-A-Day (Day 8) April 28th, 2013. Enterprise: Dear Doctor

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The prime directive is such an interesting idea. I know a lot of people are on different sides when it comes to the prime directive, but I personally am all for it. Let’s face it, in the Star Trek universe, which is HUGE, so many different species/beings have the opportunity to play God to much less advanced civilizations. Well, Starfleet and humans want no part of that. Now when I say Starfleet, I mean the crew of the Enterprise since at the time of this series this is the only ship and crew of humans out exploring the universe.
Now, Captain Archer and the rest of his crew are all learning as they go since they are the first humans out there. So the actual prime directive is not yet an actual Starfleet rule, but rather just an idea that’s slowly being born. The seeds continue to be planted here as we see that Captain Archer and Doctor Phlox actually have a chance at curing a disease that will most likely wipe out an entire civilization. Now, this race has not yet developed warp speed and thus are a less developed civilization than humans and most races out there exploring the universe.
Archer and Phlox come to the conclusion that they must let evolution take its place and they choose not to share the cure. It’s a pretty powerful thought when you really think about. Archer decides that he’s not out there going from planet to planet to play God. While human beings can’t help themselves when it comes to actually helping, this is a whole different story. I love the speech that ends the episode when Archer is letting Phlox know how he has chosen not to share the cure. You see the prime directive being born right in front of our eyes, and you realize that you are also watching something very special in both the show Enterprise, and in Captain Archer.
Archer and his crew really are explorers, the type not seen since men starting roaming the then unknown seas and oceans. They have nothing to learn from and instead are just learning as they go. There’s so much to love about this episode. It really is Phlox’s episode since he starts and ends the episode, narrates most of the episode while recording a message for a fellow doctor and we get to see that character finally grow into something more than just that weird looking doctor who smiles all the time. This would seem like one of those episodes that you can show to non-Star Trek fans and they would be fully engaged, entertained and probably wouldn’t even know it was an episode of Star Trek. This is Enterprise at its best, when all of its potential is fully realized.

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