Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha

For the alternate reality counterpart, please see Phil Boyce (alternate reality).
"A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on, and licks it. Or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away."
– Phil Boyce to Christopher Pike, 2254 ("The Cage")

Dr. Phil Boyce was a male Human Starfleet officer who lived during the mid-23rd century. He served in the sciences division aboard the USS Enterprise under Captain Christopher Pike. He served as ship's Chief Medical Officer in 2254.

The uniform Boyce wore had one braid indicating an officer rank less than captain.

Boyce was an acerbic realist who did not hesitate to tell Captain Pike when he thought Pike was wrong. He was known to carry a portable martini kit with him, reasoning that, "sometimes a man will tell his bartender things he'll never tell his doctor." In this capacity, Boyce counseled Pike to remain in the service when Pike confided in him, in 2254, that he was considering retiring. Boyce realized that Pike's sentiment was stemming from a recent incident on Rigel VII in which three Enterprise crewmembers, including Pike's own yeoman, were killed, an incident on which Pike blamed his own complacency.

Shortly thereafter, Boyce was a member of a landing party which investigated the apparent existence of survivors of a crashed survey expedition on planet Talos IV. As such, he reported to Pike on the extraordinary health of the survivors, despite them having supposedly been stranded for eighteen years. Later, when it became clear that the existence of survivors was an illusion created by the Talosians for the purpose of abducting Pike, Boyce participated in a staff briefing, cautioning the crew as to the dangers posed by the Talosians' mental powers. (TOS: "The Cage")

By 2259, Boyce was superseded as chief medical officer by Dr. Joseph M'Benga. (SNW: "Strange New Worlds")

Footage of his experience aboard the Enterprise under Captain Pike during the original visit to Talos IV, from thirteen years prior, was transmitted from that planet during Spock's fictional court martial aboard the same ship in 2267. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I", "The Menagerie, Part II")

Memorable quotes

"Sometimes a man'll tell his bartender things he'll never tell his doctor."

- Boyce, offering Pike a martini. (TOS: "The Cage")

"We both get the same two kinds of customers. The living and the dying."

- Boyce to Pike, as doctor and bartender. (TOS: "The Cage")

"Eve? As in Adam?"
"As in all ship's doctors are dirty old men."

- Boyce and Pike, before the Enterprise leaves Talos IV. (TOS: "The Cage")



Background information

Phil Boyce was played by John Hoyt.

Dr. Phil Boyce, Spock, and Captain Christopher Pike are the only characters shown in the first pilot episode "The Cage" to have an alternate reality counterpart.

Boyce was the first ship's doctor conceived for Star Trek. In Gene Roddenberry's original pitch for the series, the following was written about Boyce:

Ship's Doctor – Phillip Boyce, an unlikely space traveler. At the age of fifty-one, he's worldly, humorously cynical, makes it a point to thoroughly enjoy his own weaknesses. Captain April's only real confidant, "Bones" Boyce considers himself the only realist aboard, measures each new landing in terms of relative annoyance, rather than excitement.

Some of the ideas about Dr. Boyce subsequently influenced a character biography that appears in The Making of Star Trek. Written during a time when Robert April was still being considered as the name of the Enterprise's captain, the biography stated:

Ship's Doctor. Phillip Boyce, M.D., is a highly unlikely space traveler. Well into his fifties, he's worldly, humorously cynical, makes it a point to thoroughly enjoy his own weaknesses. He's also engaged in a perpetual battle of ideas and ideals with Jose. Captain April's only real confidant, "Bones" Boyce considers himself the only realist aboard, measures each new landing in terms of the annoyances it will personally create for him.

In the script of "The Cage", a description of Dr. Boyce stated, "A highly unlikely looking space crewman, Boyce is pushing middle age, something of a worldly cynic."

At one time, David Opatoshu was considered for the role of Doctor Boyce. [1] Malachi Throne was also considered for the part. He was called into audition for it by Gene Roddenberry, as well as Herb Solow and Oscar Katz, who were running Desilu, at that point. (Starlog #190, p. 52) After Throne was turned down for the role of Spock during the meeting, the subject of conversation changed to the possibility of Throne portraying the character of the doctor. "Gene says, 'Is there anything else you want to do, because we want you to play the ship's doctor.' I said, 'No, no, no. [The doctor] is the third man through the door, and a friend of mine wrote a book called, 'Don't Be The Third Man Through The Door In Hollywood', because you will end up that way' [....] I said to Gene and the others, 'Well, I don't want to do that, either. I don't want to play Bones. It's not my idea to play a doctor in space. I mean, my mother would like it, but nonetheless, I don't want to do that...'" (Star Trek Magazine issue 180, pp. 43 & 44) Throne concluded, "I said, "No thank you, I'm late for unemployment.' So, they immediately fell on the floor laughing." (Starlog #190, p. 52) DeForest Kelley was likewise considered for the part of Boyce. Though Roddenberry was insistent that Kelley be cast in the role, Director Robert Butler opposed that idea, preferring John Hoyt, an option Roddenberry ultimately agreed with. (The Star Trek Interview Book, p. 98) After Hoyt portrayed Boyce in "The Cage", he was disappointed not to be asked back to reprise the role. (Starlog #113)

The text commentary of "The Menagerie, Part I" regarded Dr. Boyce as being the first of numerous "bartender-confidantes" throughout Star Trek history, also counting Guinan in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Vic Fontaine in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as fitting this mold.

His first name was spelled "Phillip" in the Star Trek Encyclopedia.

Starlog issue 113 mistakenly referred to Boyce's first name as "Joseph".


According to the novel Enterprise: The First Adventure, by Vonda N. McIntyre, Boyce was the CMO of Starbase 23 following his tenure aboard the Enterprise.

His mirror universe counterpart (β) appeared in the short story "The Greater Good" by Margaret Wander Bonanno, which was contained in the anthology Shards and Shadows. He was depicted as the chief medical officer of the ISS Enterprise, then under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, in 2264.

Star Trek II: Biographies incorrectly gives his first name as "Joseph".

External links