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"One tends to worry when they're doomed to love a brilliant but reckless maniac who's willing to risk his life for glory."
– Hugh Culber to Paul Stamets, 2256 ("Choose Your Pain")

Lieutenant Commander Hugh Culber was a Human male Starfleet officer who lived during the mid-23rd century. He served as a physician aboard the USS Discovery. (DIS: "Choose Your Pain")

Early lifeEdit

At the age of 16 Culber was injured in a fall while hiking on the cliffs of Cabo Rojo on Earth. Culber was rescued by a doctor Kashkooli who stitched and closed a puncture wound on his shoulder which gave him a "very sexy scar." The experience inspired Culber to go to medical school. (DIS: "The Sound of Thunder")

CareerEdit

Federation-Klingon warEdit

By the onset of the war in 2256, he was married to Lieutenant Paul Stamets and serving aboard the USS Discovery. (DIS: "Saints of Imperfection")

In 2256, Culber treated Stamets after he was injured in an unsuccessful test of the Discovery's spore drive. (DIS: "The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry")

In December of 2256, Specialist Michael Burnham introduced Culber to "Ripper", a tardigrade, after coming to believe that Ripper was experiencing pain during the spore jumps. Culber agreed to run some tests. Scans of Ripper's frontal lobe showed significant cumulative deterioration every time Discovery went to black alert. The next time Discovery went to black alert, Ripper collapsed into a state of extreme cryptobiosis, reducing water content levels to one percent. Culber could barely detect Ripper's vital signs, and neurological tests indicated Ripper may have been sentient. Acting Captain Saru ordered Culber to re-hydrate Ripper for more spore jumps. Culber refused the order, stating the he would "not be party to murder." Saru then ordered Lieutenant Stamets to carry out the order. Unbeknownst to Commander Saru, Lieutenant Stamets injected himself with Ripper's DNA and operated the spore drive in place of Ripper. Stamets rationalized to Culber that he knew he would leave him if he allowed anything else to happen to Ripper. (DIS: "Choose Your Pain")

Following the Battle at Pahvo, when Stamets entered a state of catatonia, Culber believed his moments of lucidity were merely insane ramblings. (DIS: "Despite Yourself")

After Ash Tyler experienced nightmares of having undergone surgery following Klingon imprisonment, he asked Culber to perform an examination on him. Culber discovered that Tyler's skeletal structure and organs had been surgically altered and that the Tyler personality had been overlaid over that of someone else. This led him to try to ground Tyler, which triggered a reaction in Tyler, who broke Culber's neck, killing him. (DIS: "Despite Yourself")

It was later discovered that Culber had been correct and that Ash Tyler's personality had overlaid that of Voq, a Klingon. (DIS: "The Wolf Inside")

Post-warEdit

For his service during the Federation-Klingon War, Culber was posthumously awarded the Starfleet Medal of Honor. Paul Stamets accepted the award on Culber's behalf. (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?")

Culber, who had been trapped in the mycelial plane since his death, was resurrected by the jahSepp incarnation of May Ahearn and the jahSepp in 2257 following the mission to rescue Sylvia Tilly.

After his resurrection, Culber was subjected to extensive scans. (DIS: "Saints of Imperfection") Doctor Tracy Pollard ran every scan or test she could think of on Culber to the point that Culber thought there wasn't a scan or test that she had not performed. While the scans showed his new body was healthy, Culber's body was completely new, with even the old scar on his shoulder gone. Pollard advised Culber that it would take time for him to get used to his new body, and that while she would continue to monitor his condition he could resume a normal life. (DIS: "The Sound of Thunder")

Culber was reinstated in his post by Captain Christopher Pike, and helped in the operation on Essof IV to capture the Red Angel. (DIS: "The Red Angel")

Culber decided to transfer to the USS Enterprise, but eventually, changed his mind, when he realized that his place is with Stamets on the Discovery. He was among the crewmembers who volunteered to stay on board when Burnham took the ship forward into the 32nd century, to elude Control, with no chance of coming back. Along with the rest of the volunteering crew, Culber was presumed dead by Starfleet, based on the testimonies of the Enterprise senior officers. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow", "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2")

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

References Edit

Background information Edit

Culber is portrayed by Wilson Cruz.

External links Edit

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