Dr. Phlox Plus, John Billingsley continues to play the good guys and the bad smart sci-fi guys.
John Billingsley was a prolific actor long before he landed the role of Dr Phlox on Star Trek Enterprise. And it was extremely busy since the show ceased airing. But it’s as the endlessly curious and optimistic NX-01 good-natured Denobulian medical officer that Star Trek fans know him best.
In a 2019 interview with TrekToday, Billingsley expressed affection for the character (but not the “rubber head” required role). “Considering how many creeps and crumbs I’ve played in my life,” he said, “being able to portray a guy who was so dynamic and balanced, was such a treat.”
John Billingsley credits after Star Trek Enterprise are plentiful, and they include some notable forays into science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His “long road” out of the 22nd century has even led him, on a few occasions, to meet other familiar faces from the Star Trek franchise.
Here’s a quick look at John Billingsley’s resume in Speculative Stories After Enterprise.
John Billingsley plays several professors and scientists in post-Star Trek science fiction
John Billingsley’s first postBusiness genre credit is his role as Harry, professor of biology, in Earth man (2007). Harry is one of the many colleagues of the named John Oldman, who claims to be a caveman living for some 14,000 years and who has been an important person in history along the way.
In the trailer for the film, Harry speculates on how a biological quirk might allow this possibility.
It is not a coincidence Earth man may remind Star Trek fans of “Requiem for Methuselah,” which shares a similar premise. Jerome Bixby wrote both. He also wrote “Mirror, Mirror”, “By Any Other Name” and “Day of the Dove” for the original series; and the short story that has become the classic fuzzy area episode “It’s a good life.”
Earth man was Bixby’s last story, written and dictated from his deathbed. Winner of several film festival awards, he continues to be well regarded. A decade later, Billingsley reprized his role as Harry in what was to be the first of several sequels, Man from Earth: Holocene. To date, however, this franchise has not proven to be as immortal as its main character.
In 2009, Billingsley appeared as another professor, Professor West, in Roland Emmerich’s disaster film. 2012. The film capitalized on pop culture’s fascination with the ancient Mayan calendar by posing solar flares that would trigger catastrophic natural disasters on earth.
In the years that followed, most of Billingsley’s genre credits were in TV series roles, although he appeared with Star Trek alumna Denise Crosby in the 2016 Haunted House TV movie. . The watcher, and this year A boy makes a girl: Memoirs of a robot.
In the short-lived action drama Intelligence (2014), Billingsley played Dr. Shenendoah Cassidy, a neuroscientist and computer scientist who invents a microchip that allows government agent Gabriel Vaughn (Josh Holloway) to interface with any electronic device. About his character, Billingsley told Syfy Wire:
[Cassidy] is a man of science and a man who is mainly interested in the advancement of our civilization, who agreed to work for the Ministry of Defense. . . . Sometimes he feels like his innovations are being used in a morally questionable way. . . . [O]One of the underlying tensions is this struggle that Cassidy. . . is constantly undergoing.
Billingsley has joined his next sci-fi series, Staplers (2015-2017), in its second season. He had a recurring role as Mitchell Blair, an NSA executive with “icy intent and deadly ideas” on how to use the techniques of infiltration of mind and memory at the heart of the premise. from the Serie.
John Billingsley has also appeared in two projects with several fellow Trek veterans. Naturally, he has a role in the Star Trek parody of Snoop Dogg. Unbelievable! And he joined Doug Jones, Terry Farrell, the late René Auberjonois, Ethan Phillips, Robert Beltran, Armin Shimerman, Tim Russ, JG Hertzler and Robert O’Reilly in the cast of The circuit: Star Crew (2019). The Twitter account of the still unpublished film thus characterizes the project:
The “Star Crew” Circuit has landed a huge investor !! @TheCircuitMovie Is now in position 2 of matching funds & to be financed 4 production! Interested friends N invest? DM me! Part 1 “Star Crew” is a feature film, a rated “Galaxy Quest” R meets “Shaun Of The Dead”. #funny #Star Trek #movies pic.twitter.com/vtgC91bgS2
– The Circuit: Star Crew (@TheCircuitMovie) September 4, 2020
In that 2014 interview with Syfy, Billingsley said, “I’m a working character actor. . . . I think people feel that we have the luxury of choosing. I do not . . . . So we audition. And it’s concert after concert after concert. . . . “
Although John Billingsley doesn’t think he can choose, the fans who know and love him the best since Star Trek Enterprise can’t help but hope that many more of these auditions and gigs will lead him into the sci-fi and fantasy genres!