After the death of his brother Gerhardt, Viktor uses his extensive scientific research - funded by a mysterious man named Rumplestiltskin - and an enchanted heart from the Enchanted Forest in order to resurrect him. However, Gerhardt is not the same man he used to be, and becomes a monster, beating their father to death. Viktor considers killing Gerhardt and putting him out of his misery, but ultimately decides to spare his brother.
In Storybrooke, Dr. Whale goes on a date with Mary Margaret Blanchard, but the date takes a turn for the worse when she catches Dr. Whale staring at Ruby, while she is cleaning the tables. On another occasion, Whale and Mary Margaret have a one-night-stand. The next day, Whale sends her flowers. He is later seen insisting that he can help Ruby out at a bus stop by driving her somewhere. When Mary Margaret and Emma arrive, he eventually leaves. When Emma's son, Henry, arrives at hospital in a deathlike state after eating an apple turnover, Dr. Whale is puzzled as to what is wrong with Henry, as he is certain that Henry hasn't been poisoned. When it is announced that Henry has died, a distaught Emma kisses him on the forehead, which breaks both the sleeping curse over Henry and the first Dark Curse, returning everyone's memories of their former lives.
Whale manages to lead an angry mob to Regina's house but Emma, Mary Margaret and David arrive at Regina's house as well and convince them not to kill her, instead Regina is put in the police station. When everyone is asking David questions, Whale asks if nuns are still nuns, or if they can date. When Regina regains her magic, Whale is one of the many residents who attempt to leave town, but is convinced not to by David. He eventually confronts David about whether the Enchanted Forest still exists. David punches him in the face for having a one-night-stand with Snow, but then tells him that it is a possibility. Whale wants to return to his realm so he can continue trying to fix his brother. In order to get Regina to send him back, Whale tries to please her by genuinely performing his procedure on Daniel's preserved corpse, resurrecting him. However, like Gerhardt, Daniel becomes a monster and rips Dr. Whale's arm off. This causes Whale to asks Rumplestiltskin to return his arm to his body. Rumplestiltskin agrees to do this, but makes him admit that he needs magic before he does so.
When Belle and an outsider named Greg Mendell are rushed to hospital, Dr. Whale manages to calm Rumplestiltskin down, who is frantically getting anxious and agitated over the fact that Belle has crossed the town line and lost her memories. Having been drinking earlier, Snow notices that he is "drunk off his ass". Whale says that he can let Greg die of his injuries if that's what they want, because it could put them in less danger of being discovered by the outside world. However, the group decide that Greg should save the life-saving surgery. However, Whale eventually leaves the hospital and almost commits suicide at the dock. As he jumps however, Ruby arrives just in time and uses her werewolf speed to catch him. Whale and Ruby have a deep and meaningful conversation about all the bad things that happened in their past lives. Ruby tells Dr. Whale that it isn't too late for him to do something good, and so Whale returns to the hospital and manages to save Greg's life with the successful surgery. Later, Rumplestiltskin catches Whale staring at Belle, and threatens him. He tells Dr. Whale to kiss his boot, until Rumplestiltskin's son Baelfire intervenes. Whale manages to flee the scene.
During the third Dark Curse, Whale resumes his job as a doctor at the Storybrooke Hospital. One day, Little John is rushed to the hospital after being attacked by a creature in the woods. Whale and the other medical professionals arrive and when Little John begins violently convulsing, he tries to sedate him, only to be knocked back by Little John, who then transforms into a flying monkey and flies out of the window, much to everyone's shock. When Snow goes into labour, she is rushed to hospital where Whale helps her deliver the baby. Zelena shortly arrives and knocks him unconscious, before taking the baby away.
Whale eventually decides to dye his hair blonde. Some time later, a pregnant Zelena goes into labor and Whale delivers the baby. However, Emma arrives and knocks him unconscious, before taking Zelena away.
Viktor allows Dr. Jekyll to use his laboratory, but warns Jekyll that the refrigerator does not contain food.
- He is based on Doctor Frankenstein from the story Frankenstein.
- Viktor's Storybrooke alias is a reference to James Whale, the director of the Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein films.
- Just after the first Dark Curse is broken, Whale leads an angry mob to Regina's house, which is similar to most Frankenstein stories, in which there is an angry mob featured.
- As shown in Good Morning Storybrooke, Whale dishes out dating advice to viewers.
- Since Viktor lived in another world, it can only be assumed that he was brought to Storybrooke by the first Dark Curse because Regina chose to bring him, presumably out of revenge. During the second curse, he was either sent back to his homeworld or the Enchanted Forest. Snow needed someone with high medical expertise, so she chose for Viktor to return to Storybrooke, as she was heavily pregnant.
- S1, E03: "Snow Falls"
- S1, E06: "The Shepherd"
- S1, E15: "Red-Handed"
- S1, E19: "The Return"
- S1, E22: "A Land Without Magic"
- S2, E01: "Broken"
- S2, E02: "We Are Both"
- S2, E05: "The Doctor"
- S2, E12: "In the Name of the Brother"
- S2, E21: "Second Star to the Right"
- S3, E09: "Save Henry" (flashback)
- S3, E13: "Witch Hunt"
- S3, E20: "Kansas"
- S5, E08: "Birth"
- S6, E03: "The Other Shoe"
- Bk 1: "Reawakened"