9 Names For Star Trek: Voyager’s EMH (& Why He Stayed "The Doctor")

  • Star Trek: Voyager's Doctor, despite trying out multiple names, ultimately stuck with just "Doctor." His journey to find a name was a subplot in the show's early seasons, but later became less important.
  • Some of the names the Doctor considered were Schweitzer, Shmullus, Van Gogh, Mozart, Kenneth, and Joe. Each name was associated with significant events or people in his life.
  • While the Doctor was often referred to as "Doc" or "Voyager's Doctor," he never chose a specific name for himself. The lack of a name became less significant as the show progressed, and it no longer seemed to be a priority for the character.
Star Trek: Voyager's Doctor (Robert Picardo) tried out a variety of names during the show's run, but it was the right choice for him to stick with just "Doctor." As a sentient hologram, the Doctor fulfilled the role that many other Star Trek characters had before him, that of the newcomer to humanity whose journey to becoming more human encompassed almost the entirety of his character arc. Most of this journey featured the Doctor coming into his own by discovering various interesting and developing a fuller personality, but one aspect of the Doctor's humanity that was never fully realized was a proper name.
The Doctor requested to be able to pick a name early on in Voyager's run, at the end of season 1, episode 7, "Eye of the Needle." He made his initial request to Kes (Jennifer Lien) after she advocated for him to be treated like a more respected member of the crew. From there, the Doctor's journey to finding a name was a subplot during multiple episodes in Voyager's first three seasons, although it dropped off somewhat later on. Overall, the Doctor had nine names that he either chose or were used for him during the show.
8 Schweitzer (Heroes And Demons) Schweitzer was the very first name the Doctor tried out in Voyager season 1, episode 11 "Heroes and Demons." During the episode, an energy lifeform began abducting members of the crew from the holodeck after Voyager unknowingly captured one of its species while taking samples from a nebula. For his first "away mission," the Doctor was sent onto the holodeck, which was stuck running a program based on Beowulf, to determine what was going on. He chose the name Schweitzer for the mission after the German physician. While the Doctor decided to retire the name at the end of the episode, it remained significant to him because of his experiences.
7 Shmullus (Lifesigns, Resolutions) The next time the Doctor considered a particular name was in Voyager season 2, episode 19, "Lifesigns." Voyager rescued a Vidiian doctor named Danara Pel (Susan Diol), and the Doctor transferred her brain patterns into a holographic body while he worked to treat her worsening condition caused by the Phage. During her time on Voyager, the Doctor and Danara fell in love, but by the end, she chose to leave the ship and return to her people.
Shmullus was the name of Danara's uncle, which she gave to the Doctor when she found out he didn't have one. Danara returned briefly in season 2, episode 25, "Resolutions" in order to help the crew find a cure for a rare disease that Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and Chakotay (Robert Beltran) were suffering from. During her brief appearance, Danara called the Doctor Shmullus once again, but he did not continue using the name after she had left, likely because it reminded him too much of losing her.
6 Van Gogh And Mozart (Before And After) Voyager season 3, episode 21, "Before and After" followed Kes (Jennifer Lien) as she time-traveled through different points in her life. The crew was eventually able to help get her back in sync with normal time, but Kes started the episode in an alternate future where a lot was different, including the fact that the Doctor had finally chosen a name. In the episode, the Doctor discussed the fact that he considered Mozart as a name for a while before eventually settling on Van Gogh. However, in Voyager's subsequent future, the Doctor did not end up choosing the name Van Gogh or even considering it.
5 Kenneth (Real Life) Kenneth was the name the Doctor used in Voyager season 3, episode 22, "Real Life." In the episode, the Doctor created a holographic family on the holodeck, but after initially programming them to be too perfect, he introduced a random element into the program so that he could get a more real-life experience. Because of the nature of the program, the Doctor decided to pick a name for his family to call him. Like the other names before it, the Doctor abandoned Kenneth due to its association with his holographic family, since the program ended on an emotionally painful note with the death of his daughter, Belle (Lindsey Haun).


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