Star Trek: Voyager

Season 2 Episode 1

The 37's

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Aug 28, 1995 on UPN
out of 10
User Rating
206 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Stardate: 48975.1
After discovering a 1936 Ford truck floating in space, Voyager follows an AM-band SOS call to a nearby planet. There, they discover a series of cryo-stasis chambers containing humans abducted from Earth during the 1930s, including Amelia Earhart and her navigator.

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  • Janeway meets her hero

    Much like Kirk meeting Abraham Lincoln in "The Savage Curtain", Janeway meets her idol in a captain-based episode that is ultimately about decision making. Shot as the season finale to the first season but held back to kick off the second season instead, "The 37's" is a unique episode that lacks focus but somehow works in spite of it.

    The showpiece of the episode is the Voyager crew eschewing the transporters for technical reasons and physically landing the ship on a planet. With live action shot on location at Bronson Canyon (and a matte painting covering the Hollywood Sign), it's quite a sight itself, but the prettiest visual is on the ship itself, with the blue sky spilling in through Voyager's windows. Amidst this backdrop, Janeway contemplates what it would be like for the crew to settle down and start a new life as opposed to continuing what might be a hopeless journey. This is an idea that works better for a season finale than a season premier, but with Amelia Earhart, a '36 Ford, and an assortment of ideas scattered throughout the episode, there are enough interesting bits to hold an audience's attention either way.

    At the same time, the episode leaves quite a bit on the table, seeming like a Part 1 to a nonexistent Part 2. Earhart doesn't really contribute to the story, we never get to see some supposedly amazing colonies that make everyone homesick, and the true plot doesn't kick in until the last act. Worse yet, while Sharon Lawrence is fabulous as Earhart herself, John Rubinstein is terrible as her navigator, with a penchant for overacting.

    But seeing Janeway and Earhart meet is an iconic Star Trek moment, and though the episode takes the scenic route to get to the heart of its story, it's actually a lot of fun to try to figure out what it's all about as the adventure twists and turns along its path.

  • Amelia Earhart would be turning in her grave, if she were dead that is

    Spoiler Alert!

    Very entertaining episode, more so entertaining when I was a teen and saw it for the first time and so failed to see it flaws...

    Biggest gripe of mine is that there's no way Amelia Earhart would have stayed behind on a foreign planet, even if it's populated by humans from her century. She's not given a strong enough reason to stay behind and these humans are not even her direct blood ancestors. Not only that, but we're talking about Amelia Earhart, a woman known to seek out action and adventure via flying vessels and you expect me to believe that she would choose to stay behind on a newly developed civilization instead of jumping on voyager and learning to navigate it among the stars? No sale!

    Alright, I get that for the sake of the show she had to choose the planet, but the reasons are soooo weak.

    Also the notion that these humans created a civilization on the Delta Quadrant and every member of the crew is happy to wave them good luck and goodbye and nice to meet you. Pppffft. Gimme a break. These are the only humans in the Delta Quadrant! Some of them should have begged to come on Voyager and many of the Voyager crew would have chosen to stay.

    Another thing, oh how convenient that Tom Paris knows all about cars and the 20th century.

    I know I'm being too harsh, I am watching Star Trek and suspension of disbelief goes with the territory.moreless
  • The 37's

    The 37's was a perfect opening episode of the second season of Star Trek: Voyager which was very entertaining. I enjoyed watching this episode because the crew encountered some of earth's human history in space leading them to a planet with humans in chryostasis who were abducted in the early 1900's by a race of aliens. This episode touched upon a great subject which not only questioned but also challenged the characters which was awesome. I thought the story was awesome and unique. The planet and people voyager encountered was very similar to Earth for many of the crew members. I honestly wasn't sure how the episode would turn out. The ending scenes were very moving and emotional in a spectacular way cementing the bond of the Voyager's crew. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Season two off to a great start.

    Technically this episode is a hold over from season one, but serves quite well as starter for the next season. Worth the wait if you watched it back in 1995.

    Story wise, this episode tackles a cryogenics angle in a way that totally puts to shame "Neutral Zone" from STTNG. Where the latter drags with it's irrelevant and hollow characters and seems to go nowhere. On the other hand, "The 37's" captures your interest from the start with the ancient car and airplane being discovered, and keeps it there by using real characters from our history; in this case Ameila Earhart. The use of a real character and the fact that this character's disappearence from Earth still generates questions and speculation keeps you hooked to find out how the writers would explain the disappearence in the Star Trek universe.

    A interesting question to think about is whether people from our time would choose to stay behind on a new planet serving as a substitute Earth or whether they would consider it a streak of luck beyond counting to be able to live a lifestyle with technology and opportunities that they could have never dreamed of in their lifetimes.

    A major standout of the episode is getting to see Voyager itself actually enter the planet's atmosphere and make a landing. Definetly a first in the feat itself (besides Generations crash landing)and it is different to see daylight through the ship's windows during interior shots.moreless
  • A fantastic start to season 2.

    After my disappointment with season 1, this opening episode for season 2 was a nice touch. Voyager comes across an old Ford "flying" in space, which leads the crew to a planet not so far away. There they find humans in cryo-stasis units, apparently from 1937, one of them being Amelia Earhart. Why are they there, and who brought them there? There is a originality to the storyline and overall an enjoyable exciting episode.

    The CGI has been greatly approved, as both seen by the pickup truck in space and the landing of Voyager. That landing really was something new and exciting for the crew - and opens up a lot of possibilities in future episodes.

    There were however few downsides. [spoiler] To start with it felt like the story was simply too big for a single episode and might have played better to stretch it to two. Finding the human civilization on the planet but never showing the audience more than 3 of the thousands of people supposedly there was a bit cheap. It was also difficult to believe that Amelia didn't decide to go with the Voyager crew. A woman that always wanted to fly and was far ahead of her time, all of a sudden decided to just stay on this planet instead of exploring the galaxy. We are never told either how that pickup truck came to be in space, or why they didn't pick up on this huge civilization on the planet (some whispers about censor disruptions but not very clear). Furthermore they seem to abandon all investigation into which alien culture brought the humans to this planet 400 years ago. The moral tale here of the Captain having to give people a choice to stay behind is a good one, and something that needed be addressed. I think it might have been more believable if few people from the Maquis would have stayed behind, but at least it was made clear that people had the choice.

    Like I said - good start, and hopefully we will see more like this in this season.moreless
David Graf

David Graf

Fred Noonan

Guest Star

James Saito

James Saito


Guest Star

Mel Winkler

Mel Winkler

Jack Hayes

Guest Star

Tarik Ergin

Tarik Ergin

Lt. Ayala

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • The S.O.S. transmission received on the Ford's radio is in Morse Code. Morse Code would later be used in Season 7's "Drive" when Ensign Kim signals Lts. Paris and Torres of the Delta Flyer's sabotage.

    • Trivia: This episode sees the first ever use of a "Blue Alert", which is the signal given for a starship to land on a planet. This episode is also the first time in Star Trek history that a Federation starship lands on a planet and returns to space.

    • Trivia: It is established that warp 9.9 equals about 4 billion miles per second.

    • Trivia: Janeway states there are 152 crewmen aboard Voyager in this episode. This is the first time the crew is specifically numbered.

    • Goof: AM radio waves are susceptible to refraction by ionospheres, static interference, large structures with metal reinforcements, and has a maximum range in the thousands of miles. An AM radio would not be able to pick any sort of planetoid based signalling from the middle of space far from any solar systems like the truck in Voyager did.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • (sitting at the helm)
      Earhart: How fast?
      Paris: Warp 9.9. In your terms that's about four billion miles a second.
      Earhart: Think I could take her out for a spin?

    • Janeway: Maybe not. Let me tell you some of what happened after you disappeared over the Pacific. No trace of you or your plane was ever found in spite of a massive search. Over the years there was a lot of speculation about your flight, including the rumour that it was financed by the government and may have been part of an operation to gather information about the Japanese.
      Earhart: Where did you hear that?
      Janeway: It's somewhat common knowledge. You see, Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in 1941, drawing the United States into a massive world war. In retrospect, your journey was seen in a different light. Perhaps as part of an intelligence mission devised by a government deeply concerned about Japanese war plans.
      Earhart: No one was supposed to know about that.
      Janeway: Maybe not in 1937. Now it's part of history.

    • Earhart: I've been on expeditions all over the world and I've seen people do all kinds of strange things to their bodies. That doesn't mean that Martians have invaded Earth.
      Kim: Actually, it was the other way around. Mars was colonised by people from Earth in 2103.

    • Janeway: I doubt there are many 20th century farmers driving around the Delta Quadrant.

  • NOTES (2)