The Emergency Command Hologram
Ha! Didn’t see it coming, did you? Ok, maybe some of you did. Whatever the case may be, the Emergency Command Hologram is literally one of the best moments of Star Trek: Voyager that the series has ever concocted.
It starts as joke of sorts, with the Doctor (played by Robert Picardo) creating a fantasy program where he is in fact forced to take over the ship after the crew becomes incapacitated. It serves as a power fantasy where’s a beloved and respected captain and has Seven of Nine going to new, never before discovered areas to seduce the new Doctor-Captain. Captain-Doctor?
In the episode, entitled Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy“, aliens hijack the holodeck and view The Doctor’s fantasies, and presume them to be real. This sets up a great climax at the end of the episode where the Doctor activates the EMC (Emergency Command Hologram) and convinces the aliens to leave the space ever firing on them.
The EMC returns the next season, in the seventh season’s two-part event Workforce and Workforce, Part II. While it sounds like a silly plot at first, it pays off with the entirety of the Doctor’s story arc throughout the show’s history. A computer program who learns to live through his code, the Doctor’s entire goal is to become more human. To relate better to his crew compadres. It’s a perfect reflection of what it means to be human, even if you feel anything but.
Picardo, another Chuck alum by the way, and his portrayal of a Doctor who can do anything but feel was arguably the best character and character arc and growth throughout the entirety of the series. His evolution really did a great service in making the show fantastic, and his ability to bring the smallest and most minor of moments to the screen by making them more profound than they had any right to be is just one of a hundred or so reasons to love The Doctor and Picardo.