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Star Trek: The Voyager Character Who Should Appear In Discovery Season 4


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Star Trek: Discovery season 4 will have the opportunity to add a Voyager character to the cast – the doctor, portrayed by Robert Picardo. In the setting of the 32nd century, it seems unlikely Discovery would have any chance for cameos from established characters, as they have jumped far past the lifespans of known Star Trek crews. However, this doesn’t apply to Voyager’s doctor, the Emergency Medical Hologram, who would survive through the generations Discovery traveled past. The bold future setting for Discovery season 4 in the 32nd century provides multiple ways the EMH could appear and continue the Doctor’s adventures.

The Doctor has appeared in cameos beyond Star Trek: Voyager, making him a natural choice to carry over into Discovery. He popped up in First Contact and Deep Space Nine as different versions of the EMH. Other versions of the EMH with different faces have also regularly appeared, but given that Robert Picardo is still working as an actor, Discovery could include the EMH fans already know and love.

Discovery’s jump into the future left the show unmoored from Star Trek’s past, and the Doctor could be its solution. The first two seasons were deeply enmeshed with the well-known Kirk era, and while that caused many prequel-related issues, its cameos from Spock, Captain Pike, and Number One were some of the most well-executed elements of the first two seasons. The journey to the 32nd century fixed many of Discovery’s plot problems, but it also stymied the opportunity to continue any nods to nostalgia. The Doctor, however, could be brought in directly from Star Trek’s golden age with all of the in-universe memories and knowledge that come with it. He can be Discovery’s connective tissue to the rest of the franchise though season 4.

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The same qualities the Doctor brought to Voyager, his witty comic relief and his search for humanity, would perfectly complement Discovery. His medical expertise would bring him into contact with Culber and Stamets, who have often been put in the middle of Discovery’s most dire crises, giving them the opportunity to have more light and fun moments just as Stamets is primed to go through a dark time. As Discovery has never shied away from exploring dark plotlines, the Doctor’s lightness would help balance the show. The Doctor’s journey to become more human is one element Discovery hasn't explored in the same way as other series, so his presence on the ship expands the philosophical directions the show can take.

There are already two possible set-ups for the Doctor’s appearance. The EMH program would likely still exist in the Federation database Discovery now has access to in the 32nd century, and the crew only needs an excuse to activate him. He could also appear as the backup copy of Voyager’s own Doctor, who was activated in the Delta Quadrant centuries in the future in “Living Witness". At the end of that episode, the Doctor was returning to the Federation to find out what happened to Voyager, meaning he could be coming back into the fold or looking for a new adventure around the time of Discovery’s arrival. With Discovery lost in the future, they have few connections to Star Trek’s past, but that could change. While the series has stood strong through its third season with no legacy characters or cameos, the Doctor’s appearance can strengthen Discovery’s connection to the past of the Federation and the future the Discovery crew missed out on. Star Trek: Discovery has a wide-open new world to explore, but the Doctor can help tether the show to what it's leaving behind.

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