Doctor, The

The Doctor (VOY-105)
The Doctor (VOY-105)

The Doctor began his life as a standard-issue Emergency Medical Hologram, or EMH, aboard the U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656. The Doctor was originally programmed to be a short-term supplement to a starship’s medical staff, and, as a hologram, could only function in areas equipped with holographic projectors. The Doctor was originally programmed with more than five million possible treatments, with contingency options and adaptive programs utilizing multitronic pathway programming. His program included information from more than three thousand medical references taken from more than two thousand cultures and the experience of forty-seven physicians.[1]

His program was first activated on Stardate 47258, while Voyager‘s construction was nearing completion at the Utopia Planitia Shipyards in Mars orbit. At the time, the Doctor’s program consisted of more than fifty million gigaquads of data.[12]

On Stardate 47316, Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant following the death of the Nacene known as the Caretaker. When the Caretaker pulled Voyager from the Badlands in the Alpha Quadrant, the ship’s entire medical staff was killed, leaving the EMH as the only source of medical care aboard.[1]

During the Doctor’s first year of life in 2371, he developed a procedure to maintain the life of Voyager crewmember Neelix after the Talaxian‘s lungs were removed by Vidiians by replacing them with holographic substitutes until replacement organs could be obtained.[2] Also during this year, the Doctor was sent on his first away mission—he was transferred to the holodeck, where he encountered a photonic being that had taken up residence there. He was successful in securing the return of three missing crewmembers, who had been absorbed by the alien.[3]

In 2372, the Doctor demonstrated his capacity for independent thought, a sign of his growing sentience, by refusing an order to separate the being known as Tuvix—who was an amalgam of Neelix and Lieutenant Tuvok created during a transporter accident—into his component entities. He reasoned that doing so would require him to take a life, a violation of the Hippocratic Oath.[6] Also during that year, the Doctor was involved in a romantic relationship with the Vidiian physician Danara Pel.[5]

The Mark I EMH programs were not designed to operate for more than 1500 hours. By 2373, this limit had been greatly exceeded, causing a Level-4 memory fragmentation, which resulted in a rapid deterioration of program function. Rather than simply re-initialize the Doctor’s program, which would cause him to revert to the state he was in when first activated, the crew of Voyager instead chose to merge his program matrix with that of the Jupiter Station EMH diagnostic program. The overlay process did maintain his program’s integrity, but not all of the EMH’s memory was restored.[4]

When Voyager was accidentally brought to Earth in 1996, the Doctor was fitted with an autonomous holoemitter, stolen from a thirtieth-century timeship by twentieth-century resident Henry Starling, who had used the adapted technology of the timeship to make himself rich.[7] When Voyager was returned to 2373, moments after having been taken to 1996, the Doctor retained the mobile emitter, which gave him the ability to leave the confines of Sickbay and the holodecks.[8]

Also in 2373, the Doctor created a personality-improvement program that incorporated several historic figures’ personalities into his subroutines. Unfortunately, this had the side-effect of making him a psychotic until chief engineer B’Elanna Torres purged the personalities from his memory. (VOY-161)

Also that year, the Doctor created a holographic family and was called Kenneth by his wife. When prompted to make the program closer to reality by Lieutenant Torres, his world was turned upside-down. His wife, Charlene, became burdened with maintaining both a professional and a family life. His son, Jeffrey, began associating with two Klingon youths and behaving belligerently. Most tragically, however, his daughter, Belle, died after suffering a fall in a game of parrisses squares. After her death, the Doctor deactivated the program and stopped using his new name.[9]

In 2374, the Doctor traveled to the Alpha Quadrant through a seemingly-abandoned alien relay system. While in the Alpha Quadrant, he and the U.S.S. Prometheus NX-74913‘s Mark II EMH managed to help retake the ship from the Romulans and also informed Starfleet Command of Voyager‘s status and of the alien network.[10]

The next year, a transporter mishap caused the Doctor’s mobile emitter to become inadvertently infused with Borg nanoprobes, which assimilated the emitter and resulted in the advanced drone One, who subsequently gave his life to protect Voyager from the Borg Collective.[11]

Portrayed by Robert Picardo.


Sunday, July 11th, 2010 Library, Personnel, Voyager

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