Star Trek: Voyager’s Best Character Should Show Up In Discovery, Here’s How

By Michileen Martin | Published

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The premiere of Star Trek: Discovery‘s fifth and final season is on the way, and I’ve got an idea that could not only bring Robert Picardo’s The Doctor into the series, but could do it by paying tribute to one of the most beloved episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. The Doctor — or at least a version of The Doctor — could very easily fit into the final season of Discovery because of the events of the season 4 Voyager episode “Living Witness.” And guys, the math on this is just too perfect.

A Darker Voyager

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We never got to see a canonical Mirror Universe version of the crew of Star Trek: Voyager. The closest we get comes on the screen from what’s meant to be a historical reenactment in “Living Witness.” Set 700 years after the events of Voyager, the episode introduces us to the Kyrians and Vaskans — two races who were once at war, and believe that Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her crew were much more bloodthirsty than the heroes we know.

Every last member of the Voyager crew is considered a war criminal, including The Doctor who the Kyrians and Vaskans believed was an android rather than a hologram.

A Rude Awakening

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Quarren (Henry Woronicz), the curator of the Museum of Kyrian Heritage, unintentionally revives a backup copy of Star Trek: Voyager‘s The Doctor from some of the ship’s discarded wreckage. Stuck 700 years in the future, The Doctor soon learns just how wrong Kyrian and Vaskan history is about Voyager. He also finds out that he could be put on trial for war crimes and potentially face deletion/death.

Setting The Record Straight

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The Doctor fashions his own holographic recreation of Star Trek: Voyager‘s crew’s encounter with the Kyrians and Vaskar, presenting it to Quarren and a number of officials in hopes of clearing his old friends’ names. The new version of events at first causes violent controversy, with the Museum coming under attack by rioters. However, the episode ends an untold number of years in the future, when we learn eventually The Doctor’s version of events was accepted as historical fact.

The Backup Doctor’s Journey

It’s this final scene of the “Living Witness” that reveals how The Doctor could — and arguably, should — show up in the final season of Star Trek: Discovery.

The new Kyrian curator in the final scene tells the museum visitors that while Quarren died 6 years after The Doctor’s awakening, the hologram remained as a “surgical chancellor for many years” until he gave in to his “longing for home,” got himself a small ship, and headed to the Alpha Quadrant.

The Math Is Too Perfect

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If you’ve been keeping up on the events of Star Trek: Discovery, then you know that what begins as a prequel series eventually becomes the Trek show set the farthest in the future. Season 2 ends with the crew jumping forward to the year 3188, where (or rather, when) they have remained. Season 5 will presumably unfold somewhere around the year 3190 or 3191, and when you remember the years in which Voyager is meant to take place, you begin to see why it would make perfect sense for The Doctor to show up.

The events of Star Trek: Voyager are set between the years 2371 and 2378. Add 700 years to that — because “Living Witness” takes place 700 years after the events of Voyager — and we know Quarren activated the backup version of The Doctor somewhere in the neighborhood of 3070 and 3080, a little over a century before the crew of Discovery Season 3-5.

We don’t know how long the final scene of “Living Witness” takes place after the rest of the episode, nor do we know how long The Doctor stays with the Kyrians and Vaskans. But when you factor in things like the fact we don’t know if the Kyrians and Vaskans might be more technologically advanced than the Federation, the effects of The Burn, and whatever unknown anomalies The Doctor might encounter on his trip back to Earth, and it seems probable he could be pulling up to Federation territory just in time to meet Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her stalwart crew.

Should It Happen Just Because It Could?

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Short answer: yes. Longer answer: yes, because it would be awesome.

The biggest argument against it I could imagine is that, of course, holograms aren’t supposed to age while Robert Picardo clearly has. There is always the digital de-aging option. You could also skip the digital wizardry that, like both Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan and John De Lancie’s Q in Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, The Doctor simply chose to age and re-worked his program to make it possible.

Either way, imagine if for an episode or two of Star Trek: Discovery Stamets (Anthony Rapp) had a challenger for the most obnoxious Discovery crew member? That would make it all worth it right there!