Not magic... science!
Dr. Viktor Frankenstein is a supporting character on Once Upon a Time. Dr. Frankenstein was brought to the fairytale land by Jefferson to meet with Queen Regina and assist her with a difficult task: bringing back the deceased. Viktor ventured into this mission after the loss of his brother, and was ultimately able to bring him back to life with the use of an enchanted heart. Following the Dark Curse, the sophisticated Frankenstein became trapped in Storybrooke, Maine as Dr. Whale, a less-than-reputable physician with an eye for the ladies.
Before the Curse
I know the man who can do what you want... bring back the dead.
Viktor does a little grave robbing. ("In the Name of the Brother")
Viktor is celebrating with his father and brother as they celebrate the latter's achievement. Their father, Alphonse, gives Garhardt their mother's pocket watch which is normally given to the oldest son of the family, Viktor in this case. Instead Alphonse gives Viktor a different present; he purchased Viktor a commission to work as an army doctor. Viktor is reluctant as he believes he is making important progress in his research, however, his father tells him that he will no longer be providing him with financial support. Later, Viktor is tidying away his lab with Igor when he is met by Rumplestiltskin who is interested in Frankenstein's work. Viktor tells him that if he is there to bring a loved one back from the dead, he should leave. Rumple tells the doctor that he merely wants to see how he does what he does, giving him a pile of gold before disappearing, Viktor tells Igor to fetch the equipment as they need a body. Viktor goes grave robbing but is met by Gerhardt, his brother, as well as a soldier who begin to shoot at them. They make it into the carriage but Gerhardt dies due to a bullet wound he gained in the chase. Viktor attempts his research on his brother and his father discovers the body. Viktor professes that he merely wanted his father to have two sons again but Alphonse tells Viktor that thanks to him, he now has none. Rumplestiltskin appears to Victor again with an offer, he wants him to fool a girl into believing that his procedure has failed and in exchange, he will give him a magic heart for his brother. Frankenstein asks the name of this girl and Rumple reveals it to be Regina. ("In the Name of the Brother")
Frankenstein "attempts" to resurrect Daniel. ("The Doctor")
Viktor Frankenstein is visited by Queen Regina and Jefferson who request something from him, that he bring Daniel, Regina's love, back to life. Frankenstein explains his procedure, saying that it's merely experimental, this worries Regina but she still obliges to let him do it. The doctor requests a heart, a strong heart, in order for the procedure to work properly, Regina offers him a magic heart that is ripped from the body, one so magic that it glows. Frankenstein and Jefferson are taken by Regina down to Cora's vault where Regina takes one of the hearts from her many victims from a drawer. Viktor is given the heart as well as Daniel's preserved body and plans to perform the procedure in his medical tent, however, he tells Regina that it must be done alone and so her and Jefferson stand afar and watch. Later, Frankenstein emerges and he tells Regina that, sadly, the procedure failed, she is deeply upset. It is soon revealed that the failure was orchestrated by Rumplestiltskin so that Regina may become a better student, Viktor aided by Rumple during this so that he may lay his hands upon a magical heart, which Rumple gives him. Frankenstein returns to his world via Jefferson's hat. In his lab, Viktor is greeted by his assistant and continues work on his brother, he places the heart into the beast and brings him to life with electricity. Viktor is thrilled at his monster's existence. His assistant says it's like magic but Viktor assures him that it was something stronger than magic... science. ("The Doctor")
Viktor prepares to execute his monster. ("In the Name of the Brother")
Viktor excitedly tells his father that he has indeed risen the dead by presenting the resurrected Gerhardt to him, however, he is shown to be a speechless monster. Alphonse is completely disgusted by his resurrected son and scolds Viktor for actually letting him believe that he had Gerhardt back. He begins to yell at him, calling Gerhardt a monster and the latter attacks Alphonse, savagely beating him until he dies, Viktor tells his brother that he just killed their father. Later, Gerhardt is seen being kept in a cell and Viktor walks in with a loaded revolver in tow. He points it towards his brother's neck but his brother, wanting this to happen, re-aims the gun at his forehead. Viktor hesitates at this and ends up not shooting his brother, insisting that there must be another way to bring him back and that he will find it, before leaving. Gerhardt is disappointed that he is kept alive. ("In the Name of the Brother")
After the Curse
I could prescribe you something: ten CCs of maternal love.
Whale gives a rather judgmental verdict. ("Save Henry")
When the Evil Queen's Dark Curse is cast, Frankenstein, although not present in the Enchanted Forest, is consumed by it and becomes trapped in the town of Storybrooke, Maine with the new identity of Dr. Whale, a local physician at Storybrooke General Hospital. One day, after Mayor Mills - previously known as the Evil Queen Regina - brings her newly adopted son Henry to see Dr. Whale, upset and worried as the baby won't stop crying. Quickly examining the child, Whale notes that he seems perfectly healthy, and that all he needs is love and care from his mother. Regina is insulted, and persists that something is wrong with the child, and Whale digresses that there could be something genetically wrong with Henry, but it's a long-shot, and the birth mother's medical details would be needed for this to be found out. Regina attempts recovering these, finding it difficult as she underwent a closed adoption, but soon must face the fact that Henry's "illness" may be down to her poor parenting. ("Save Henry")
Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone when you don't give a crap what they think.
Mary Margaret's date with Dr. Whale is less than satisfactory. ("Snow Falls")
Dr. Whale is on a date with Mary Margaret Blanchard but, as she is talking about herself, he is too busy staring at Ruby, who's cleaning tables, Mary Margaret notices this and hastily asks for the check, cutting the date short. Mary Margaret is volunteering at the hospital reading to John Doe, while this is happening, David grabs Mary Margaret's hand and she immediately alerts Dr. Whale to this. Whale looks at the monitor but assures her that nothing happened, telling her that it must have been in her head, she refuses to believe this. Soon, Dr. Whale calls Regina on his cell phone and tells her that John Doe was responsive to Miss Blanchard, revealing he was lying and that Regina doesn't want those two together. Later, David goes missing from the hospital, however, he is returned by Mary Margaret, Emma, Henry and Sheriff Graham. Dr. Whale is there when David's (John Doe's) wife, Kathryn, is revealed. ("Snow Falls")
Dr. Whale takes advantage of a broken-hearted Mary Margaret. ("The Shepherd")
Dr. Whale runs into Mary Margaret by a chance encounter in Granny's Diner, he sits with her and she asks him if he's ever been in a situation where he knows how it's going to turn out but ended up doing it anyway because he's that kind of person and then, when it all blows up in his face, he's kicking himself for letting him do it in the first place. Dr. Whale becomes confused and denies it, she is expectant of that and Dr. Whale buys her a drink and begins to take advantage of her broken heart. ("The Shepherd") Mary Margaret is sent flowers the next day, Emma sees them and wonders who they're from, Mary Margaret says that they're from Dr. Whale, whom she had a one night stand with. ("The Heart is a Lonely Hunter")
Ruby can't seem to shake Dr. Whale. ("Red-Handed")
Mary Margaret and Emma run into Ruby who is leaving town, at the time, Ruby is chatting to Dr. Whale who is trying to hit on her, Ruby tries to brush him off and get a ride out of town, but he does not seem to be getting the message. However, once the two other girls arrive, Whale leaves and Ruby gets and offer to live with Mary Margaret and Emma. When David is returned to the hospital after an episode of intense memory loss, Dr. Whale's diagnosis is that he had a similar episode to the one that he had when he went missing during his coma. This is what causes David to believe that he killed Kathryn. ("Red-Handed")
Dr. Whale treats a recently kidnapped Kathryn. ("The Return")
Emma walks in to Storybrooke's local hospital to see Dr. Whale treating Kathryn who's sitting up in a sick-bed. Dr. Whale points out that she's awake and Emma apologizes for taking up Kathryn's time but asks her if she knows what happened to her whilst she was gone. Kathryn says that she doesn't know much, telling Emma that she was in a car accident and remembers the airbag going off and that the next thing she knew, she was in the dark in some basement and didn't see anyone, but there was food and water and then she was drugged. Whale confirms this, saying that they're still trying to flush the drugs out of her system. Kathryn goes on to say that she then woke up in a field on the edge of town and started walking, and that was it. Emma asks her if she saw anyone or noticed any sign of another person, Kathryn answers negatively, apologizing for being so little help. "Especially since... when I was gone, did people think I was dead?" Kathryn asks. Emma explains that her DNA matched the heart they found and Whale tells her that they're grilling everybody down at the lab to see who faked the DNA results. Kathryn wonders why anyone would do that and Emma voiced that she thinks someone was trying to frame Mary Margaret. Kathryn is still confused, asking who would do something like that. Emma nor Dr. Whale provide an answer. ("The Return")
Whale treats Henry. ("A Land Without Magic")
Dr. Whale treats Henry when he is brought into the hospital after taking a bite out of Regina's poisoned apple turnover. Emma keeps trying to convince Whale that he was poisoned and that the turnover did it, Whale refuses to believe this as he's shown no sign of having being poisoned. Later, when Mary Margaret is reading to Henry, he flat-lines and multiple doctors rush to his aid, later declaring the boy deceased. However, he is saved when Emma gives him a true love's kiss, and Dr. Whale is one to witness it. This kiss releases a burst of true love across Storybrooke, breaking the curse and restoring everyone's memories, including Whale's. ("A Land Without Magic")
I need magic...
"That's my business..." ("Broken")
Dr. Whale rallies the town up into a frenzy mob who goes after Regina to kill her for putting them under the curse, Whale leads the mob. However, Snow, Charming, Emma, and others are warned by Jiminy that the mob will kill her, and Henry doesn't want this to happen. Dr. Whale knocks on Regina's door and forces her out, telling her she will suffer, she tells him that listening to him has been suffering enough. She then attempts to use magic against the mob but she is powerless. Just as all hope is lost for Regina, the others show up and stop the mob, Charming tells Whale to back off and asks him who he is, Dr. Whale makes it explicit that that's his business, Charming makes the guy back off. ("Broken")
Whale asks Charming if he could date a nun. ("We Are Both")
Dr. Whale is part of the complaining crowd that come to yell at Prince Charming, after they learn what happens when you leave Storybrooke (that you lose all memories of your fairytale self), they begin to gather around him, however, Charming puts them in their place. Whale is later at the town meeting which Regina crashes, scaring the townspeople with her new found magic. Dr. Whale is then seen with those who decide to flee town, scared of their queen, however, they are stopped by Charming who tries to assure them that their two selves is a blessing, not a curse. They stay. ("We Are Both")
"He's a monster..." ("The Doctor")
Dr. Whale visits Prince Charming who punches him in the face, Whale asks what that was for and Charming says it's for sleeping with Snow whilst in curse. Whale asks the prince if it's true that he's trying to find a way back to the Enchanted Forest and Charming says that it is true, Whale wonders if this means all of the worlds still exist, Charming is unsure. Whale bursts in to Archie's office during Regina's session to ask for a way back to the former land, saying that it only transported living things and he needs something dead, Regina refuses, saying it's out of her depth and Whale is asked to leave by Archie who finds this all highly unethical. Whale then steals Daniel's body from his tomb as well as one of Regina's hearts, when Regina discovers this, she goes to find Dr. Whale only to find that he has had one of his arms ripped off, she asks him if he brought Daniel back and he says he did, but that he isn't alive – "He's a monster.". Whale is placed in the hospital's care as he recovers and Charming wonders how it happened, Regina explains the situation with Daniel and the two of the go and find him and stop the beast (Regina is forced to kill him with magic). Dr. Whale, or rather, Viktor Frankenstein, visits Mr. Gold with his arm, he asks the man if he can restore it and he says he can, however, he won't. Rumple says that he will under one condition, that Viktor says what he wants to hear. Viktor admits that he needs magic and Rumple uses magic to bring the arm back onto Viktor's body, happy that he admitted that magic is better than science. Viktor plans to retrieve his brother and continue his work. ("The Doctor")
Whale prepares to jump. ("In the Name of the Brother")
Dr. Whale is seen drinking as he is called to the ER, however, he ignores this call. He eventually emerges to the townspeople and is needed to treat the outsider who crashed into town. They notice he is drunk but don't say anything. Later, it is suggested that they let Greg, the outsider, die so that he doesn't tell anyone of magic. Whale reveals that letting him die would be easy and that he can do that, but the Charmings decide that they will worry about the safety of the town after saving a life. Mary Margaret later asks if the surgery is over yet but they are shocked to discover that it hasn't even started yet as Whale has fled the scene, leaving his pager behind. He is seen running across town and Ruby takes his white coat, using her wolf abilities to sniff him out. Whale is seen standing on the edge of a bridge, ready to jump, as Ruby catches up to him. He exclaims for her not to come near him and he jumps, however, Ruby speeds over to him and manages to catch him before he falls, lifting him up and saving his life. The wolf and the doctor discuss the land that was and Whale says that he wanted his name to stand for something but that when people hear Frankenstein they always think of a monster. Ruby points out that Regina thought she was punishing them by taking away who they were but that she underestimated how much crap they wanted to forget, after divulging that she ate her boyfriend, and Dr. Whale agrees. He soon returns to the hospital and is ready to perform surgery on Greg. He does this and the outsider is okay, ready for Emma to step in and question him. ("In the Name of the Brother")
Whale gets the boot. ("Second Star to the Right")
When Mr. Gold and his new/old girlfriend, Lacey, walk on by, Dr. Whale stares at the latter, something which Gold sees, before attacking the doctor, much to Lacey's glee. Dr. Whale wonders what he did and Gold states that he "knows how he thinks", meaning he was looking at Lacey with lust. Gold, who has Whale on the floor, puts his foot over the doctor's mouth and tries to get him to kiss it. The sound of this struggle alerts Neal, who's sleeping at Granny's Bed & Breakfast, and he comes outside to see what's going on. When Whale refuses to kiss Rumple's boot, Gold prepares to stomp on his face, however, Neal quickly restrains his father and stops the attack. As Gold begs to be unhanded, Dr. Whale stands up and runs away. Neal then lets go and Gold give Lacey the keys to his pawn shop so that she can wait in there as he and his son have a little chat. ("Second Star to the Right")
After the Second Curse
I'm a doctor, not a vet.
Whale tries to treat Little John. ("Witch Hunt")
Dr. Whale heads to town hall along with everyone else after Storybrooke is re-cursed, with the curse having been earlier undone. Here, Emma tries to calm everybody down and assure her that she'll get to the bottom of things, but everyone remains adamant that Regina is to blame, including Whale. He is later present when Little John is brought into hospital for the bite he received from a flying monkey. The Merry Man soon goes into shock and grows a tail, using it to swipe everyone away from him. He then makes then full transformation into a monkey with wings, and flies out the window. The people around to witness this event turn to Dr. Whale for his opinion, at which he reminds them he is a doctor and not a vet. ("Witch Hunt")
Dr. Whale delivers Snow White's baby. ("Kansas")
With the pregnant Mary Margaret having gone into labor, she is driven to hospital by David where Dr. Whale fetches her a wheelchair and hurries her into a delivery room whilst everyone else works hard to try and secure the premises against Zelena, who wants to take the child. This fails, however, and the Wicked Witch enters. David tries to warn Whale, but the doctor says that it no longer matters, for the baby is coming now. He delivers Snow White's son, passing it to David, and Charming then passes it to Mary Margaret, who wraps it up in a blanket. However, this happy little moment doesn't stay happy for long because Zelena then bursts in, knocks Whale out, freezes Snow and Charming and leaves with their baby. Ultimately, her plan goes unsuccessful and the baby is returned, much to the joy of the newborn boy's family. ("Kansas")
After the Third Curse
Didn't I kill you the last time I was here?!
Dr. Dye Job prepares to deliver another baby. ("Birth")
When Zelena's pregnancy suddenly speeds up by seven months and she goes into labor, she is rushed upstairs into hospital where Dr. Whale greets her, ready to deliver the baby. He recalls that last time he did so, Zelena tried to steal it, then wondering why one would want to steal a baby when making one is so much more fun. He tries shaking the expectant parents' hands but they refuse, and Regina wonders if there aren't any more doctors in her town. She then asks about Whale's dye job and he wonders why Emma is able to change her hair without a fuss while he gets ridiculed. Annoyed by his constant tomfoolery, Zelena, in great pain, wonders if she didn't kill him the last time she was in Storybrooke; however, he reveals that she merely threw him across the room, which he hopes doesn't happen again. As she dilates further, Whale successfully delivers the baby, announcing that it's a healthy baby girl before handing her to her father. The Dark Swan then arrives and uses her magic to throw him across the room, knocking him out while she kidnaps Zelena for the advancement of her evil plot. ("Birth")
Two great doctors, collaborating. ("The Other Shoe")
Dr. Jekyll, one of the town's new arrivals, has some trouble replicating an important serum which could be used to understand how to defeat the newest villain on the scene, and Snow gains an idea of how to help him. She takes the doctor, along with Regina, over to the garage of Dr. Whale, which has been pimped out to look like a lab. Regina is surprised that Whale is going to be helping them, only for him to then assure that Whale is merely his cursed name and that he did some of his best work as Dr. Viktor Frankenstein. He also warns them not to look in his fridge, for there isn't food in it. Jekyll knows of Frankenstein and finds it an honor to meet him, and the two of them then begin to collaborate scientifically on this formula together. Snow asks Regina what she thinks Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Frankenstein sounds like, aside from the world's scariest pediatrician's office, and goes on to point out that they would make a really great high school science faculty. Since the princess wants to go back to teaching, she thinks it would be a good idea to move the lab equipment to the school once it's no longer in use and put the two doctors to work teaching as well, all as part of her plan to help shift Storybrooke back to normality. ("The Other Shoe") When Captain Nemo is rushed into hospital with a nasty stab wound, Dr. Whale remains optimistic and is eventually successful in saving his life. ("Dark Waters")
- The name "Whale", given to Frankenstein's alter-ego, derives from the name of the director of two major Frankenstein films, Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.