The Doctor (Star Trek)

From Academic Kids

This entry is specifically about the fictional Star Trek character. For the lead character of the British science fiction television series, see The Doctor (Doctor Who).
For general information on the fictional technology behind this character, see Emergency Medical Hologram

Template:ST Character The Doctor is a character on the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager. He was played by Robert Picardo.

The Doctor started his service on the USS Voyager as an Emergency Medical Hologram built into the starship's sickbays as a stop-gap measure for use if the ship's doctor should be temporarily unable to perform his duties. In the first episode, Voyager's entire medical department was destroyed and all medical personnel killed, and the EMH was called into duty.

Over the course of Voyager's seven seasons, the Doctor's program evolved to become more lifelike, with emotions and ambitions, and developed meaningful and complex relationships with many members of the ship's crew. These developments are at first dismissed by the characters as impossible, then marvelled at, and finally accepted as a side effect of the Doctor remaining active for much longer than he had been programmed for. The Doctor also developed talents as a playwright and artist, and became a connoisseur of the opera. A recurring theme in the series was the set of ethical questions surrounding an artificial, but apparently sentient being. The Voyager crew overcame their initial attitudes towards his artificial form of life, eventually treating the Doctor as a full equal. However, both Starfleet and beings encountered by the Voyager crew did not always accept the Doctor as a sentient being with all the rights afforded to a living person.

In the earlier episodes the Doctor always says "Please state the nature of the medical emergency" when he is activated.

The Doctor also acquired a "mobile emitter" (see "Future's End, Part 2") which allowed him to move freely, unbound by fixed holographic projectors; previous to this development, he had been confined to Sickbay and the Holodeck. He has been decorated for valor in combat, and has saved the ship many times from disaster. Later, an addition was made to his program, the Emergency Command Hologram, or ECH.

One recurring theme in the Doctor's life was his lack of a name. Starfleet did not give him a name, and for a long time the Doctor maintained that he did not want to have a name. Later, over the years, he adopted such names as Schmullus, Schweitzer (after Albert Schweitzer; "Heroes and Demons"), Van Gogh ("Before and After"), and others, before finally, in one potential future, settling on Joe ("Endgame"). For the holographic family he created for himself in the episode "Real Life", he went by the name Kenneth. The captioned dialog of very early episodes refer to him by the last name Zimmerman, after his creator.

In the episode "Blink of an Eye", the Voyager became trapped in the orbit of a planet where time passed much faster than the rest of the galaxy. The Doctor went down to the planet, where he lived for three "years" and somehow fathered a child named Jason Tabreez.

The Doctor's programming evolved to the point where he fell in love with Seven of Nine, though she did not reciprocate those feelings. In an alternate future shown in the episode, "Endgame", the future in which he adopts the name Joe, The Doctor eventually marries a human female, Lana (played by Amy Lindsay), who at first glance resembles Seven of Nine.

Robert Picardo also had a cameo in the movie Star Trek: First Contact, where he played the emergency medical hologram of the USS Enterprise-E. Doctor Beverly Crusher activated him as a means of distracting the Borg as they escaped. He replied, "I'm a doctor, not a doorstop", a homage to Doctor McCoy's famous line "I'm a doctor, not a...". (The Voyager EMH also made this reference: when Neelix became an unwitting organ donor to the Vidiians in the first-season episode "The Phage", he was placed in Sickbay while the crew pursued the organ thieves. Neelix made a disparaging remark about the infirmary's decor, to which the Doctor responded, "I'm a doctor, not a decorator.")

Later on in the Series the Doctor took on a hobby that many doctors today play: golf.

External links

it:Dottore (Star Trek) nl:De dokter (Star Trek)


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