Dr. Whale
Storybrooke Character
Biographical Information

Victor Frankenstein





Physical Description




Hair color

Dirty blond

Eye color


Current Allies
Current Enemies
Current enemies:
Portrayed By

David Anders

First appearance

Snow Falls

Latest appearance


Latest mention

Shattered Sight

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This article focuses on Dr. Whale's Storybrooke persona. For his Land Without Color counterpart, see Victor Frankenstein.
I wanted my name to stand for life.
      —Dr. Whale to Ruby

Dr. Whale is a character on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He débuts in the third episode of the first season. He is portrayed by guest star David Anders, and is the Storybrooke counterpart of Victor Frankenstein.


For events occurring before the casting of the first curse, see Victor Frankenstein.

During First Curse

As the head doctor of Storybrooke's hospital, he receives Regina's adoptive toddler son, Henry, as a patient. He checks on him, but can't find anything amiss with the infant's health and suggests to Regina that perhaps she needs to look at the birth mother's medical records to discern if there are any pre-existing genetic illnesses he inherited. ("Save Henry")

One evening, Dr. Whale is out on a date with Mary Margaret at the diner. He jokingly makes a comment about her wanting fifteen kids, which Mary Margaret refutes by saying she is a teacher to fifteen children. She goes on to tell him about how her desire to have everything in a relationship such as marriage and kids, but abruptly notices he is not paying the slightest attention to the conversation. Instead, he is busy ogling Ruby as she works on her waitress shift. Seeing as the date is going badly, Mary Margaret asks for the check to end the dinner.

After Henry's insistence, Mary Margaret begins to read the storybook to John Doe, telling the story of how Prince Charming and Snow White. As she comes to the end of the story, John Doe suddenly grabs her hand while still unconscious. She calls for Dr. Whale, but after checking the brain-wave readings, he lies and states nothing out of the ordinary occurred. He suggests Mary Margaret imagined things, and urges her go home to get some sleep. After she is gone, Dr. Whale calls Regina to notify her there was some minor brain-wave fluctuation in John Doe, and Mary Margaret's involvement in the whole thing. ("Snow Falls")

Dr. Whale later prescribes physical therapy sessions for David. He also tells him that walking is good to improve his recovering health. ("That Still Small Voice")

When David is released from the hospital, Dr. Whale attends his welcome home party. Though David's wife, Kathryn, tries to reintroduce him to old friends, he does not remember anyone there, which the doctor says is normal. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Whale runs into Mary Margaret at the diner and brags it was under his doctorly watch that David was able to come out of his coma. ("The Shepherd")

Taking a nightly visit to the diner, Dr. Whale comes across a saddened Mary Margaret at the counter. He is incredibly impressed with himself and boasts about how David came out of his coma under his watch. They share drinks together and later have a one night stand. The next morning, he sends her flowers. ("The Shepherd", "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter")

A few weeks later, Dr. Whale approaches Ruby at the bus stop and insists he can help her out. Ruby continually rejects his advances until Emma and Mary Margaret stumble onto the scene, and after a few cues, Dr. Whale takes the hint to leave. On another day at the hospital, Dr. Whale evaluates an injured and delirious David, who was just found collapsed in the woods without any recollection of where he has been. He concludes to Emma that this episode is similar to what David experienced shortly after coming out of his coma. To Emma's annoyance, Regina barges in demanding David's arrest for Kathryn's disappearance. Dr. Whale stresses to Emma that Regina is still David's emergency contact and discharges him from the hospital. ("Red-Handed")

On Kathryn's mysterious reappearance in town, she begins recovery at the hospital. Kathryn recalls being in the car crash, then held in a dark basement where food and drink were always available, and about possibly being drugged. Dr. Whale confirms they are trying to detoxify her body of the drugs. Emma states that everyone believed Kathryn was dead because the heart in Mary Margaret's jewelry box matched her DNA. Dr. Whale points out that there must be now an investigation as to who doctored the DNA results to frame Mary Margaret. Following Mary Margaret's release from jail, Dr. Whale attends a party to welcome her home. ("The Return")

When Henry is brought to the hospital after taking a bite of Regina's poisoned apple turnover, Dr. Whale tries to treat the aliment, but doesn't believe the boy to be poisoned, yet can't find what is causing the reaction. From this, Emma realizes Henry was right about magic's existence, and it caused him to be poisoned. ("A Land Without Magic")

After First Curse

After Emma breaks the Dark Curse, Dr. Whale leads a mob of angry townspeople to Regina's house, where he demands she come out. When she does, Regina asks if he will kill her. He responds by saying she must suffer first. He backs away when Regina attempts to cast a spell, but gets up in her face when the magic does not work. As he moves to strangle her, Emma interrupts him. When David pushes him away, Dr. Whale snarls at David that he is not his prince, but backs down. When asked by David who he is, Dr. Whale responds that is his business. ("Broken")

While David is busy looking for Mother Superior, Dr. Whale asks him, "Are the nuns still nuns, or can they, you know, date? Don't say it's me asking." Suddenly, Leroy comes bearing bad news about what happens to a person when he or she steps out of town—their Enchanted Forest memories are lost. With too much going on at once, David asks everyone to regroup for a meeting at town hall in two hours time. However, David never shows up. Instead, Dr. Whale witnesses Regina take back Henry after using magic to intimidate the townspeople. Dr. Whale is part of the group of residents who would rather take the risk of losing their Enchanted Forest memories by leaving town than continue to deal with Regina's reign of terror. As Dr. Whale drives out of town, David blocks all the line of cars while inspiring the townspeople with a speech to accept both their Storybrooke and Enchanted Forest selves. ("We Are Both")

After hearing rumors in town that the Enchanted Forest still exists, Dr. Whale approaches David for confirmation, but receives a punch to the face, as penance for sleeping with his wife, Mary Margaret. He defends himself by saying that was at a time no one had their Enchanted Forest memories back yet. David considers it a possibility that the Enchanted Forest is intact. This gives Dr. Whale hopes of returning to his own world and reuniting with his brother, so he rushes off to Archie's office to plead for Regina to send him back. When she admits it's not possible, Dr. Whale storms out of the office and decides to get revenge by bringing back to life her dead fiance, Daniel. The experiment is a success, but Daniel reawakens as a ferocious monster and rips off Dr. Whale's arm. Regina later finds him in a painful and disheveled state, and then goes after Daniel himself. He is treated at the hospital and preserves his bloodied arm in a cooler. Dr. Whale demands Mr. Gold's help in reattaching the arm and begrudgingly admits that he needs magic. To this, Mr. Gold puts Dr. Whale's arm back seamlessly. ("The Doctor")

During one night shift, Dr. Whale is having more trouble letting go of his past and begins drinking on the job while neglecting to pay attention to the incoming ambulances to the hospital. Eventually, he straightens himself up to calm down a worried and agitated Mr. Gold in the hallway and reassures him Belle, who has been admitted as a patient, will be fine. He goes to check up on Greg, who crashed his car into Storybrooke, and informs David, Emma, Leroy, Mary Margaret and Ruby that the man is bleeding into his chest cavity. Though Emma orders him to fix it, Dr. Whale is uncertain of his own abilities and implores Mr. Gold to fix Greg with magic. Mr. Gold refuses, stating he owes no favors to anyone, and since Greg saw him use magic, they should hope he dies instead of trying to save him. The group relocates to a private room to come to a decision and agree that they must save Greg's life and deal with the implications of his arrival later. While still highly intoxicated, Dr. Whale leaves the room and examines a watch found in Greg's possession, which reminds him of his brother. When David comes up to him wondering why he's not in surgery, Dr. Whale insists to not being drunk. Feeling like a failure, Dr. Whale strips himself of his hospital jacket and runs to the dock to commit suicide. As he jumps, Ruby rushes to the scene to grab hold of him in time. Dr. Whale shares the heartache of his past life with her, talking about how much he wanted the name Frankenstein to stand for life, but instead everyone associates it with a monster. While magic comes with a price, he believes that science does as well. She sympathizes with his pain, especially since her own past is just as messy as his, but they now have a chance to start anew. She persuades him that there is still time to do good, and he returns to the hospital with her to perform surgery on Greg. On his way into the operating room, he thanks Ruby for her support. After the surgery is successful, he notifies everyone about Greg's stable condition. To Emma, he says Greg is ready to talk about the accident. ("In the Name of the Brother")

On the street outside of the bar, Dr. Whale is intimidated by Mr. Gold and a changed Belle, who now goes by the name Lacey, into lying on the ground. Mr. Gold threatens him to kiss his shoe as punishment for looking at Lacey. He quivers in fright until Mr. Gold's son, Neal, stops his father from harming him. Then, Dr. Whale takes the opportunity to flee the scene. ("Second Star to the Right")

During Second Curse

A new curse is cast by none other than Snow White; returning Victor to his life in Storybrooke, although he does not originate from the Enchanted Forest. However, as a result of Wicked Witch of the West's interference, everyone's last recollection is the final day in Storybrooke when Regina stopped Pan's curse, but no one can recall anything further than that. Dr. Whale resumes work as the town's doctor. Emma returns and holds a town hall meeting to figure out who is behind the new curse. Leroy is quick to accuse Regina of wrongdoing, which Dr. Whale agrees with wholeheartedly as do the other residents. Even Emma refuses to believe Regina, who causes a building tremor out of frustration, and then magically dissipates away. Unknown to everyone, aside from Leroy—who is also in on the scheme—this is a ploy Emma and Regina set up in order to make the townspeople believe the madam mayor is guilty while the two sleuth out the real criminal. During an evening hospital shift, David, Hook, Robin Hood and some of the Merry Men bring in an unconscious Little John, who begins convulsing violently. Dr. Whale attempts to administrator a sedative, but a tail forming on Little John's body knocks him away. In shock, they watch as Little John transforms into a flying monkey right before their eyes and barges out a glass window. ("Witch Hunt")

One day, Regina tries to communicate with her dead mother Cora. When she summons the spirit, it possesses a pregnant Mary Margaret's body in order to let her see Cora's memories about her first daughter. As a result, Mary Margaret does not feel very well and seems to have been intensely affected by the ghost. Worried, Emma calls Dr. Whale to check how the baby is. He examines Mary Margaret and tells she has a tough placenta, meaning the baby is well. ("Bleeding Through")

In labor, Mary Margaret is rushed to the hospital to prepare for delivery while Emma enacts a protection barrier to keep the Wicked Witch, Zelena, away. With Dr. Whale's assistance, she pushes the baby out just as Emma's magic is drained away and the barrier fades. Birthing a healthy baby boy, Dr. Whale places him in David's arms and he passes the infant to an ecstatic Mary Margaret. Suddenly, Zelena storms in; rendering Dr. Whale unconscious as she snatches the child as the last ingredient for a time spell. In the aftermath, Regina stops the spell by defeating her sister with light magic. Rather than condemn her to death, Regina imprisons Zelena. Unseen to them, Mr. Gold later kills Zelena; accidentally triggering magic in her pendant, which activates the time spell. ("Kansas")



Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.