The Doctor As The Living Witness

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Any Star Trek : Voyager fan (or even if you have just seen a few episodes) will surely also be a fan of the character of ‘the Doctor’ played so abley by Robert Picardo. The Doctor is a hologram Emergency Medical Hologram, to be used only for certain periods when the crew of a spaceship needs it. However, for the crew of the Voyager, he is the main doctor, their human doctor having been killed during the adventure that left the ship stranded in the Delta Quadrent. He had to adapt as a curt, computer program that had little patience with his patients to a compassionate, caring & complex individual who became an irreplaceble member of the Voyager crew. By doing so he goes way beyong the boundaries of his original progamming and more ‘human’ – always trying to develop himself.

In the 23rd episode of the 4th season, a backup of the Doctor’s programming (essentially the Doctor himself but his memories halted at a particular point) is activated 700 years in the future on an alien planet. Voyager had gotten themselves in between a conflict between two warring alien worlds. However, one of the alien races believes that Voyager was a warship & that the crew forcefully helped the other race to subjugate them. So essentially, they created their own version of the events that took place centuries ago. The Doctor is appalled at the fabricated events and pleads innocence.

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He has to go up against 700 years of belief that Voyager were an aggressive, murderous force and is able to make the aliens see the actual facts. So now, although his crew is long dead, the Doctor makes a home for himself in the alien planet for a few years until unrest makes him find his way back to Earth on a shuttle. It’s a wonderful episode that no Trekkie should miss.

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