The EMH Mark I was a computer program with a holographic interface, designed by Doctor Lewis Zimmerman and with his own form, whose role was to act as an emergency doctor should the medical personnel of a starship or facility become disabled. In normal circumstances, the EMH would be used in the short-term until the real doctors could be treated, or replacement medical personnel arrived. However in the Doctor's case, Voyager was sent over 70,000 light years into the Delta Quadrant, and there were no replacement medical personnel.
Life Aboard Voyager
Activation and Early Years
The Doctor was first activated aboard Voyager on stardate 48308.2, shortly after Voyager had been flung into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker. Upon his activation he learned that the entire medical staff had been killed during the journey to the Delta Quadrant and that he was the only medical officer aboard. (VOY episodes: "Caretaker").
The Doctor's early days aboard Voyager were difficult for him. With the Doctor only being a hologram in the eyes of the crew, they often treated him as a piece of technology, and because of the Doctor's programming his bedside manner was seen as rude by the majority of the crew. The general attitude shown to him made the Doctor believe he was unimportant to the crew and that he was often left out when it came to important information, such as the arrival of Kes and Neelix aboard Voyager, and the repair of his holographic imaging matrix after Voyager encountered a quantum singularity. (VOY episodes: "Parallax" and "Time and Again").
However, the Doctor soon made a friend in Kes, who as well as having an interest in studying medicine, served as a champion for the Doctor's rights to Captain Janeway, which meant that he was treated with respect by the crew, and had control over his own activation sub-routines. Kes also began to tutor the Doctor in the social graces to improve his bedside manner and overall attitude. She also suggested that the Doctor find a real name so that he could feel more like a member of the crew. (VOY episodes: "Eye of the Needle" and "Heroes and Demons"). Around the time Tutopan pirates robbed Voyager of its main computer, the Doctor had taken the name, Dr. Zimmerman, after his creator, but must have decided against it soon thereafter, returning to simply "the Doctor" (VOY novel: Violations).
A few months into Voyager's journey home, the Doctor participated in his first away mission to the holodeck after several officers had been taken from the Beowulf holoprogram. He discovered that they were being held by a being of photonic energy after Voyager took aboard some photonic energy. The crewmembers were released, when the Doctor returned the other being. (VOY episode: "Heroes and Demons").
A few weeks later, an accident aboard Voyager while the Doctor was in the holodeck, led him to confuse illusion and reality. He was visited by Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, one of the engineers that worked on his programming, who told him that he was in fact Dr. Zimmerman and was trapped in a holodeck simulation of Voyager at the Jupiter Station. He was convinced by Barclay that the only way to escape was to destroy the holographic Voyager by firing a phaser at the warp core. Thankfully, Chakotay managed to convince the Doctor that he was about to destroy his own matrix, and the Doctor was freed from the holodeck. (VOY episode: "Projections").
In mid-2372, Voyager received a Vidiian scientist named Dr. Denara Pel, who was near death due to the phage. The Doctor was determined to find a cure for her and placed her body in stasis while he worked on it. Before doing so, he transmitted Dr. Pel's synaptic pathways into a hologram that depicted her as she would look without the phage.
Based on experiments conducted on Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres the previous year, the Doctor took samples of her Klingon DNA as a starting point for his research. As the two worked together on the project, the Doctor became enamored with Dr. Pel and made several additions to his program in order to gain her romantic interest. Unfortunately, the Doctor was unable to develop a cure for the phage, but was able to prolong Dr. Pel's life so that she could return home. (VOY episode: "Lifesigns").
The Doctor and Dr. Pel contacted each other a few months later, after Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay were infected by a parasite on an uninhabited Class M planet. Lieutenant Tuvok, while temporarily in command of Voyager, gave in to the crew's demands to contact the Vidiians and discover if they had a cure that would allow Janeway and Chakotay to leave the planet. The Vidiians used the incident as an excuse to attack Voyager, but Dr. Pel contacted the Doctor and beamed the cure aboard. (VOY episode: "Resolutions").
In early 2373, the Doctor played an part in the defeat of the Kazon-Nistrim. After Voyager was captured by the Kazon and the crew marooned on Hanon IV, the Doctor along with Lon Suder helped sabotage the backup phaser couplings. This allowed Tom Paris and a small Talaxian fleet to retake the ship and save the crew, after Paris disabled the main phaser couplings and Voyager was damaged when the Kazon attempted to use the backups. The Doctor was briefly disabled when Seska locked out Starfleet voice commands after turning him off, preventing Suder from reactivating him, but the Doctor left a message for Suder, assuring the former killer that the Doctor had confidence in his abilities to retake the ship. Suder was successful in doing so, but was killed by a Kazon soldier. (VOY episodes: "Basics").
A few weeks later, the Doctor had reached the limits of his storage capacity due to all the modifications he had been making to his program. He began experiencing amnesia, and during a medical procedure on Tom Paris, he forgot all of his medical skills, and diagnostics revealed that his program was in danger of disintegrating completely. After consulting the holographic Diagnostic Program Alpha-11, it was decided that the only option was to overlay the Doctor's program with the diagnostic program. While this was successful, the Doctor returned to a state similar to that when he was first activated. However, over time memories began to resurface. (VOY episode: "The Swarm").
Around stardate 50312, Voyager was pulled in orbit around Earth in the year 1996 by the Federation timeship UTS Aeon. Shortly after arrival the crew of Voyager learned that a local businessman named Henry Starling had stolen the Aeon and had used its technology to create the computer age on Earth, and that he intended to use the Aeon to travel to the 29th century.
While trying to stop Starling, the businessman was able to download the Doctor's program from Voyager's database. Starling was able to alter the Doctor's program using advanced 29th century techniques, so that he could torture him for information. He also gave the Doctor a mobile emitter which would enable him to travel anywhere. When the Doctor was later recovered by Voyager he retained the emitter and a whole new lease of life opened up for him. (VOY episodes: "Future's End, Parts I & II").
With his new found abilities to feel pain and move freely around the ship, the Doctor worked on other ways to improve his program and quality of life. He experimented with downloading personality subroutines from many historical figures including Lord Byron, Mahatma Gandhi, Socrates, Marie Curie and T'Pau. Unfortunately, this experiment proved a failure when he experienced personality disorder which resulted in a darkly emotional doctor. On an away mission, the dark doctor became jealous when Kes befriended a local named Zahir, and nearly led to the deaths of both Kes and Zahir. (VOY episode: "Darkling").
In late 2373, the Doctor decided to create a "perfect" holographic family, Doctor's Family Program Beta-Rho and chose the name Kenneth for himself. For several weeks the Doctor lived a seemingly blissfully life, until Lt. Torres visited for dinner and suggested adding randomness and "realism" to the program. As a result, his teenage son Jeffrey became rebellious, he had arguments with his wife Charlene, and lost the formerly close bond he had possessed with his daughter Belle. The family bonded together better shortly after, as a result of Belle's death from a mortal Parrises squares injury. Despite wanting to delete the program, The Doctor was persuaded to continue to run the program by Tom Paris. (VOY episode: "Real Life").
A Long Eighteen Minutes
Life in the Alpha Quadrant
When Voyager finally returned to the Alpha Quadrant, the Doctor's rights as a sentient were placed in jeopardy by the "holo-strike" orchestrated by Oliver Baines. After being arrested by Starfleet, he was released, and allowed to join a "think tank" with Seven of Nine. (VOY novels Homecoming, The Farther Shore)
Having previously been declared a 'person', in 2380 he testified at a hearing to determine the rights of the Soong-type android prototype B-4. The Doctor's experience as an early version of the Emergency Medical Hologram utility who had grown past his original design parameters was deemed relevant to the case. (novel Articles of the Federation).
He had been working at the Federation Research Institute along with Seven of Nine and a variety of other very intelligent individuals on various projects for the Federation. The Doctor then took up a project with Lewis Zimmerman and Reginald Barclay at Jupiter Station to program and develop the Emergency Medical Vessel, a ship part of Project Full Circle, equipped with quantum slipstream drive and a variety of advanced holograms, with The Doctor serving as Chief Medical Officer, and began exploring the Delta Quadrant (VOY novel Full Circle)
In 2382, Starfleet ordered The Doctor's mobile emitter be transferred for research purposes to Galor IV. The Doctor filed a lawsuit to prevent this from happening; the JAG office issued an injunction until further research could be done and a final ruling made. By 2389, The Doctor had still not been declared a 'person'. In 2395, The Doctor accepted a commission in Starfleet, gaining the rank of lieutenant commander and an assignment at Galor IV. The Doctor believes that his fight over the mobile emitter was because he, "needed Starfleet to respect me." This was confirmed in an interview he had with the Federation News Service. (ST website: The Path to 2409)
|USS Voyager medical personnel|
|Hugh Cambridge • The Doctor • Fitzgerald • Jarem Kaz • Kes • Tom Paris • Sharak • T'Prena|
|see also: engineering personnel • operations personnel • pilots & flight control personnel • security & tactical personnel • sciences personnel • senior staff • miscellaneous|
|USS Galen personnel|
|Clarissa Glenn • Reginald Barclay • Cress Benoit • Ranson Velth • The Doctor • Michael Drur • Lynne Selah • Benjamin Lawry|