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Living Witness--700 years after Voyager or simply activation of the Doctor from secondary source

jbe333

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Report this Feb. 09 2011, 8:47 pm

In the episode Living Witness in season 4 the Doctor finds out that he has been deactivated for 700 years on a planet with two waring races--both of whom have a negative view of the Voyager crew...


1. 


A.  Is this episode set in a parallel universe in which the Doctor is abandoned by Voyager and left on this planet not to be re-activated for centuries?  It cannot be in the Voyager universe, since the Doctor is in fact still to be found aboard Voyager and not left in the Delta Quadrant--as per the show's finale.


OR


B.  Is this episode merely demonstrating among other things how the doctor's program can be activaed from this secondary source once taken off the ship and that his memory would continue at the moment of re-activation from the time-frame in which the device left the ship?


2.  What is the device called?  I just watched and cannot remeber.  It is in other episodes.  It includes the phrase, "secondary".


3.  Which of the above in number 1 do you prefer and why?


4.  Were one of the races in the episode more at fault: Vascans OR Kirians?  Which was more obstinate, the stronger, dismissive Vascans or the paranoid and blaming Kirians.  (This is not meant to brink up political discussions on immigration or the like.  So just don't go there.  We can debate that elsewhere.)

jbe333

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Report this Feb. 09 2011, 8:51 pm

I like the idea of a re-activation from a secondary source, such that the Doctor can practice bi (or tri)-location like San Padre Pio d'Italia, but
a parallel universe certainly makes for a more interesting story line as a part of the overall character of the series. Though parallel universes have been overdone.

willowtree

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 5:17 am

What we saw activated 700 years later wasn't actually the Doctor. It was a backup copy of him. Presumably one they made after Message in a Bottle. It's not a paralel universe, it's the same one, just later on

I've always wondered what happened to him, if he made it back to Earth, if he learned about the fate of voyager and such

Matthias Russell

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 5:28 am

It was clearly not a parallel universe, the story was about how our historical records aren't entirely accurate and important details are often forgotten. It is also one of the best voy episodes. You ever backup your hard drive on a USB backup? Imagine someone stole it and aliens find it 700 years from now. That's what happened.

willowtree

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 6:20 am

Exactly! I also loved how they got so much wrong about Voyager. Asside from it simply being amusing to see the Doctor as an android, and Chakotay with that big as tattoo on his face, I thought it was an interesting commentary on history and how it's shaped by whomever writes it.

jamesspock1

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 8:35 am

I wonder how accurate our own history is with stories like Ceasar, Napoleon etc... This show clearly made one think

jbe333

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 9:10 am

I agree that their is no explicit basis for anything other than a copy doctor. My point was very implicit. The doctor was just as real and personal when activated from this backup as he was when activated anywhere else. Thus, the doctor could have been activated from two systems on Voyager itself, but this is never hinted at in the series. Why don't they have him running around helping more patients. He clearly would not need a nurse. You would simply put the doctor that had been activated first in charge. My point is that choice b makes the most sense according the storyline of the episode and what actually happpened, BUT IT DESTROYS THE CONTINUITY OF THE ENTIRE SHOW:


 Can anyone explain why they wouldn't want two Doctors. This clearly wasn't due to energy, since the backup activation unit was Voyager's and had its own power source--correct? We should have least seen the second doctor activated in Caretaker when there would have been a need with over 100 crew in triage and noone knew that the Doctor would be/should be treated as an individual; unless, this second activation source was not around to this very episode and got somehow miraculously stolen. But I think it has appeared in multiple episodes when other systems were down.


Can anyone give a possible explanation this time that doesn't dismiss the entire point and go straight to explaining how I'm moronic to think that it could be anything but choice B, a backup.


I hope that I have been much more explicit in laying out the problem this time.

willowtree

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 9:37 am

How does it destroy the continuity of the whole show? Explain that please


I would imagine that such a complex program as the doctor took up a lot of memory and the computers wouldn't be able to handle running two of them at a time. Just like your own computer at home can't handle running two extremely large programs at the same time

Also, there was no indication that the backup doctor was a full version. Yes he had the same personality, but did he have all the medical knowledge? We didn't see that. It might be likely that he in fact didn't have nearly as much of the medical knowledge of the real EMH, thus saving a lot of space.


And there is no way that your first choice is what happened in the episode, it is quite clear that is not what happened

KelisThePoet

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 11:11 am

I think willowtree's answer (as I understand it) is right. A computer can have the capacity to store two versions of the program without necessarily having the capacity to run both simultaneously.

To me, it's just a much more interesting story if the writers found a reasonably plausible way to make an alternate character without recourse to the already-used device of an alternate universe.

In response to the question about which group was at fault, Vascans or Kirians, the version of events narrated by the doctor certainly makes the Kirians the more guilty party between the two, with Voyager coming across (predictably) squeaky clean. This was initially a complaint I had about the episode. It's all about how history is subjective and one side should not villify the other. And yet, viewers know the doctor's version of the story is the "right" one, because Voyager looks the way it does in other episodes of the show, so the dynamic between the two groups just gets flipped, the Kirians become the villains in place of the Voyager crew, and history proves to be recoverable after all. That's what I thought, but my sister pointed out something crucial I neglected, which is that at the end of the episode, the drama we've been watching unfold between the doctor and the historian is itself framed as another recreation in another historical museum. So we don't really know what story the doctor's backup told, exactly what the Kirians' older museum was like, or how triumphant and teleological the doctor's intervention truly was for Kirian and Vascan society.

One more point. I think the writers of this episode were unusually clever to make a story about recovering historical truth based around the sci-fi device of the doctor as recovered data, hightlighting the similarities and differences between kinds of information recovery and re-creation.

Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness: Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea/ To reach the clouded shores of Raal/ Where old T’Para offered truth./ He traveled through the windswept hills/ And crossed the barren Fire Plains/ To find the silent monks of Kir./ Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home/ Told stories of the lessons learned/ And gained true wisdom by the giving. – Falor’s Journey, “Innocence”

Matthias Russell

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 11:26 am

Memory and running capacity are 2 different requirements. If the back up was in a separate external drive, problem solved also.

Matthias Russell

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 11:30 am

You want a real life example of this episode, read "A journey long and strange" by tony horwitz. Even much of what is taught about american history is cultural myth and disproved by historical records.

jbe333

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 11:35 am

Willowtree,

You are absolutely right if the backup holomatrix device did not have its own power source; though I thought that they had used that same device outside of the ship in other episodes without the need for connecting to a power source. It seems portable and self-powered. If the device needed a secondary power supply then everything makes sense. The ship couldn't handle two programs; though the EMH maintenace diagnostic hologram in another episode is used without an apparent power drain. If somehow, the power supply would have been an issue, then there wouldn't be the option of a Doctor's assistant hologram, which in fact was not in place throughout the series even though it would have been critical if it had been available (the issue of continuity).

You are also correct in saying that he might not have had the full medical knowledge of the EMH in his files, but he certainly had multiple less significant interactive memories. Though again, it is possible that these memories and all the other qualities of his program took much less space in the backup's matrix than would the full medical database.

willowtree

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Report this Feb. 10 2011, 11:40 am

Quote: jbe333 @ Feb. 10 2011, 11:35 am

Willowtree, You are absolutely right if the backup holomatrix device did not have its own power source; though I thought that they had used that same device outside of the ship in other episodes without the need for connecting to a power source. It seems portable and self-powered. If the device needed a secondary power supply then everything makes sense. The ship couldn't handle two programs; though the EMH maintenace diagnostic hologram in another episode is used without an apparent power drain. If somehow, the power supply would have been an issue, then there wouldn't be the option of a Doctor's assistant hologram, which in fact was not in place throughout the series even though it would have been critical if it had been available (the issue of continuity). You are also correct in saying that he might not have had the full medical knowledge of the EMH in his files, but he certainly had multiple less significant interactive memories. Though again, it is possible that these memories and all the other qualities of his program took much less space in the backup's matrix than would the full medical database.


NO, that device was not used in any other episodes. It was not stated in the episode that the storage device had it's own powersource. It was sipmly a storage device. Like a usb device we use today. The Doctor was activated because the museum had holoemitters. He was tied into that power system, not anything from the storage device

janewayjunkie74656

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Report this Feb. 13 2011, 8:50 am

I didn't like this episode much because it ruined the continuity. They did a good job with Voyager like the series was like one big story, trying to get back to Earth. And it would take a while, but you could tell the story of Voyager. First they get stranded. Then all this stuff happens and they fight Kazon, they fight Hirogen, then Borg, then they lose Kes, and they get Seven, and so forth. And then finally they get home. It's like one big story.

But this episode wouldn't fit anywhere in the story of Voyager. The episode before it's in the right timeline, and so is the episode after, and it's never mentioned again. That's confusing to me, and suggests lazy writing. I guess they just wanted you to make up something. But I'M the lazy one. (:

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willowtree

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Report this Feb. 14 2011, 5:49 am

Quote: janewayjunkie74656 @ Feb. 13 2011, 8:50 am

I didn't like this episode much because it ruined the continuity. They did a good job with Voyager like the series was like one big story, trying to get back to Earth. And it would take a while, but you could tell the story of Voyager. First they get stranded. Then all this stuff happens and they fight Kazon, they fight Hirogen, then Borg, then they lose Kes, and they get Seven, and so forth. And then finally they get home. It's like one big story. But this episode wouldn't fit anywhere in the story of Voyager. The episode before it's in the right timeline, and so is the episode after, and it's never mentioned again. That's confusing to me, and suggests lazy writing. I guess they just wanted you to make up something. But I'M the lazy one. (:


how does it ruin the continuity? I just don't think you understood what happened. Let me try to explain it to you

There's the regular voyager timeline, they're going along and someone comes aboard and steals the doctor's backup program. It's this BACKUP PROGRAM that was activated 700 years later.

It was not lazy writing, you just misunderstood what was happening

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