Professional and personal life
In 2151, Crewman Cutler had her first away mission experience while serving in her capacity as an exobiologist; Sub-Commander T'Pol, Enterprise's Vulcan science officer, specifically requested her presence and participation to explore and evaluate a recently discovered class M planet later known as Archer IV, as the planet had a "diverse insect population."
Cutler explored by herself for the duration of the mission, and was prompt in returning to the shuttlepod at the end of the mission. She remained on the planet at T'Pol's behest for what was to be the remainder of the day and the upcoming night, to continue her studies. Cutler was exposed to and soon fell under the effects of airborne tropolisine, as were all personnel that remained on the planet. Fortunately, unlike crewmates Ethan Novakovich and Commander Charles Tucker III, Cutler was not profoundly psychologically affected by the compound and did not endanger her own life before being successfully treated by Dr. Phlox. (ENT: "Strange New World")
Later that year, in her expanding capacity as an in-training medic, Cutler accompanied Phlox to the surface of the planet Valakis to assist in the attempted treatment of one of the planet's indigenous species, the Valakians. While planet-side, Cutler and Phlox studied the physiological differences between the Valakians and the Menk (the Valakians' co-evolvants) to discover the key to why the Valakians were susceptible to and subsequently ravaged by an apparent virulegenic pathogen, when the Menk were not. While Cutler appeared to appreciate and relish the work she was performing on Valakis, she was troubled by what she perceived to be the exploitation of the lesser-evolved Menk by the Valakians. (ENT: "Dear Doctor")
Continuing to serve in the position of an interim medic, in February 2152, Cutler assisted in the initiation of Phlox's yearly hibernation requirement while the crew partook of shore leave in orbit of Risa. She was to assume the role of Chief Medical Officer in Phlox's stead, and was entrusted this position as a result of her continued training as "a capable medic." The proceeding day, however, while attempting to treat an injured Ensign Travis Mayweather, her limited medical training was exhausted when it became evident that the Risian painkiller was inducing an anaphylactic reaction in the ensign that was beyond not only her experience, but that of T'Pol, who was the acting captain. Cutler and T'Pol were forced to wake Phlox from his hibernation to seek his counsel. After much coaxing, the doctor made his way to the sickbay to assist Cutler in treating the ever-worsening Mayweather, but Phlox was certainly not performing at his peak, having been interrupted mid-hibernation. After a few false starts and miscommunications, Cutler was able to both understand and apply the treatment that the patient required. (ENT: "Two Days and Two Nights")
In 2153, Cutler had joined the crew on the Xindi mission (cf. ENT: "The Expanse"), when some time into their journey through the Delphic Expanse, she was suffered a broken arm while working in the exobiology lab due to a manifested spatial anomaly that made contact with the ship's unprotected hull. (ENT: "Rajiin")
Cutler was extremely dedicated to her course of study, to the extent that she repeatedly studied even in her off-duty hours while consuming meals with her crewmates. Cutler exhibited some xenophilic tendencies, as evidenced by her interest in developing both congenial and personal relationships with the only aliens to serve aboard Enterprise with her: Sub-Commander T'Pol and Dr. Phlox.
In an effort to gain common interests with her Vulcan superior, Cutler sampled Vulcan cuisine (specifically, plomeek soup) as well as other aspects of Vulcan culture. However, as T'Pol was neither interested in having nor permitted to have anything other than a professional working relationship with the crewmen under her command, Cutler's friendly advances were politely rebuffed. (ENT: "Strange New World")
In mid-to-late 2151, while beginning her training under Phlox as an interim medic, Cutler began to exhibit romantic interest in her alien tutor. She frequently accompanied the doctor to movie night, inquired into his personal life, and frequently found excuses to be in close proximity to him. It was while on her mission to Valakis that Phlox confronted Cutler with the advances she had been making and made her fully aware that not only was he already married, but to several Denobulan women, each of whom was married to multiple Denobulan men, as is the custom on his world. While surprised by Phlox' admission to his culture's polyamorist nature, Cutler took this information well and surprised Phlox by her insistence that this cultural divide neither bothered her, nor did it dissuade her from pursuing her burgeoning friendship with the doctor. (ENT: "Dear Doctor")
In the first draft script of "Strange New World", Cutler was initially described simply as "a female ontomologist" and no first name was given for her, neither was her status as "crewman". In the final draft of the same episode's script, Cutler was introduced with the description, "She's an exobiologist who serves in the ship's Science Division, early 30's, curious." The final draft of the "Strange New World" script also identified her as a crewman and gave her first name as "Elizabeth".
At the time of her casting as Crewman Cutler, Kellie Waymire was not entirely certain about the specifics of the part. She later explained, "I had no idea what they wanted for the part, but I don't think they did either. I thought if they bring me back, fabulous. If not, then it still would be OK to do one." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 43)
Despite the final draft script of "Strange New World" having given her the first name "Elizabeth", the writers' first draft script of "Dear Doctor" instead gave Cutler the first name "Julie". As evidenced by both that draft as well as the final draft of the "Dear Doctor" script, Cutler was to have been consistently referred to, in that episode, as an ensign. However, her rank in the installment was clearly later changed to crewman, she having held that rank in "Strange New World".
Cutler was also referred to in the first draft script of "Shadows of P'Jem" (written while the episode had the working title "Untitled Andorians Return"). In that script, Phlox told T'Pol, prior to her being reassigned, that "Crewman Cutler was rather distraught [by T'Pol's imminent departure]... I thought I was going to have to sedate her."
Ultimately, Kellie Waymire appreciated her character's romance with Phlox. "It's easy for someone to go for the hunky guy. I think it's more fun to have a crush on the old uncle," the actress reckoned, shortly following production on Enterprise's first season. "People now ask what's going to happen between me and Phlox. Well, until I get the script, I have no idea! You know about the same time as I know [...] Never in a million years did I think I would have a crush on Phlox! But I did and I loved it." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 43)
It is not known whether the character of Crewman Cutler was to have appeared in later episodes, as she did not appear in any episodes of the series' second season, although Cutler was mentioned in an episode in Enterprise's third season. Kellie Waymire had hoped to return to the part after the first season. Shortly following that season, she commented, "I don't want her just to be the nurse that shows up in Sickbay and gets things for Phlox. I hope we get to do something kooky and interesting [....] A lot of it depends on what they write for me, but they might write to the decisions I make for the character [...] I think the writers do pay attention to what I do, and the stories they write will show my character developing." With a laugh, she concluded, "I don't think they'll kill me off, but you never say never." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 139, p. 43) The writing staff of Enterprise had, at one point, discussed acknowledging the actress' death during the third season. Noted Executive Producer Rick Berman, "We had hoped that Kellie would come back as well."
- Elizabeth Cutler at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Cutler at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
Original featured revision (99471) • Diff to current • Last featured revision (1364168) • Diff to current • Blurb