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Recap / Star Trek: Voyager S2 E1: "The 37's"

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Now here's something you don't see every day.
In the meantime, I suggest we all brush up on ancient Earth.

Voyager encounters a planet where humans who have been abducted just before World War II were taken to, one of them being a famous figure — aviator Amelia Earhart.


This episode provides examples of:

  • Alien Abduction: The Briori kidnapped humans because We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future.
  • All Hail the Great God Mickey!: The descendants of the 37's regard their cryostasis tubes as a shrine, and even maintain power to the SOS signal. They're surprised when Janeway informs them the occupants are Not Quite Dead.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: The planet is Class L with an oxygen/argon atmosphere. After a big fuss is made about having to land Voyager due to the hostile weather conditions, the away team walks about unprotected under sunny skies.
  • Anachronism Stew: It's a 1936 Ford pickup truck IN SPACE!. Later they find a fusion generator hooked up to the radio of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The episode is set on a planet with an oxygen-argon atmosphere, but all the humans can breathe fine there with no protective equipment because of... something.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
  • BBC Quarry: Voyager lands in the US version (CBS Quarry?).
  • Birds of a Feather: Janeway bonds with another female pioneer.
  • Book Dumb: Torres identifies the scientific names of the dirt in the pickup truck, but can't piece together that it's manure.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Everyone ducks for cover when the truck backfires, and Tuvok draws his phaser (though you'd think he'd be unfamiliar with gunshots).
    • Noonan holds the away team hostage and demands that Chakotay contact J. Edgar Hoover.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Averted thankfully when Neelix prepares meals for the 37's that they're familiar with.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: The episode proves that the legend of Amelia Earhart being abducted by aliens was right after all. And she was also on a spy mission when she disappeared.
  • Dated History: It was determined in 2018 that Earhart's remains were found on a Pacific island.
  • Distress Call: Tom finds an SOS on the truck's radio, so Voyager tracks it to the source.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: When the 37s are discovered, Fred Noonan (Amelia Earhart's navigator) gets shot in the chest and taken to Sickbay. Thinking he will die, he confesses his love to Earhart. However, he is then healed by the Doctor and embarrassed, tries to take back his confession.
  • Faceless Goons: Only they turn out to be human on making a Dramatic Unmask.
  • Fan of the Past: Paris identifies the chemicals that make up gasoline, and the year and model of the truck. Janeway is quite a fan of one of the first female aviators.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: The 37s. Earhart takes some convincing that the Rubber-Forehead Aliens aren't just humans with body modifications.
  • Future Imperfect: Harry wants to know if the Ford is an early hovercar. Tom tells him he's a century too early.
  • Hidden Weapons: The away team remove the pistol from the Japanese soldier, but Noonan produces a revolver from under his suit. Cue Dramatic Gun Cock.
  • Humans Are Superior: The Briori kidnapped over 300 humans from Earth in 1937 to use as slaves, but they successfully revolted, appropriating the alien weapons and technology for themselves (no starships though, which is why they assume Voyager is a Briori vessel).
  • Human Popsicle: Amelia Earhart and some others that were frozen with her.
  • I Choose to Stay
    • Voyager has found a colony of abducted humans, who made their own city at that planet. What now? Continue the journey to Earth, or stay behind at this new planet? All the crew were allowed to decide individually. No one abandoned the ship.
    • Conversely, it seemed like Amelia Earhart wanted to fly on Voyager, but decided that she was going to stay along with the other 37's that were awakened.
  • I Got You Covered: Janeway has Chakotay's away team lay down covering fire, while she works around behind those shooting at them.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The away team is walking along in a nice tight cluster and gets missed completely by their ambushers, who only manage to hit Noonan.
  • Follow That Car: A Stealth Pun version; Janeway has Voyager follow the trail of rust, and finds a car.
  • Layman's Terms: Inverted
    Janeway: Rust?
    Kim: That's correct, Captain. High levels of ferrous oxide. Corroded iron particles.
    • Played straight when Tom explains to Earhart that Warp 9.9 is about four billion miles per second.
  • "Leave Your Quest" Test: Now that it's obvious that Voyager is not going to get home quickly, the crew is faced with the decision on whether they should just settle down on a habitable planet that already has a flourishing human colony.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Sinister figures in Briori stealth gear that covers them from head-to-foot attack the away team.
  • Politically Correct History: The 37's get along better than such a diverse group from the 1930's should.
  • Quick Nip: Noonan keeps drinking from his hip flask.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: There's still fuel and water in the engine, so Tom is able to start the truck. Such liquids would have boiled off in a vacuum, and certainly wouldn't last 400 years.
  • Red Alert: Tuvok has the ship go to Blue Alert when they decide to land on the planet.
  • Red Shirt: Janeway stuns one of the humans. The other two introduce themselves, leaving their colleague unnamed and groaning on the ground.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Think about it. Really think about it. Aliens that can go at practical speeds across the galaxy to enslave humans, despite the many stronger aliens that were right in the Delta Quadrant. On top of that, no one else has ever heard of these aliens?
  • Sherlock Scan: Janeway determines a lot about the owner of the Ford pickup from its appearance, all the while Torres can't even identify manure with a tricorder.
  • SNL Did It First: The ship encountering a car in space is straight from a 1976 SNL parody.
  • Spoiler Opening: "Sharon Lawrence as Amelia Earhart".
  • Status Quo Is God: All the crew decide to stay on Voyager, while all the 37's decide to stay on the planet.
  • Take Our Word for It: The characters talk about the cities on the planet that Voyager visited, but none of them are ever shown.
  • Technology Porn: Captain Janeway decides to show off Voyager's ability to land on a planet, boldly going where no Federation starship has gone before.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: The Malevolent Masked Men who fire on our heroes remove their hoods and introduce themselves as John Evansville and Karen Berlin.
  • Translator Microbes: The 37's are puzzled because the others are all speaking their language.
  • Transplanted Humans: The 37's and their descendants.
  • Unusual Ears: Janeway tries to convince Fred Noonan he's not on Earth by showing him Kes' Pointed Ears. Noonan isn't convinced, as he's seen people do strange things to their ears on Earth too.
  • We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: A conflict breaks out because the 37's descendants assume the Briori have come back. Janeway is able to reason with them at phaser point.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Tom apparently does unit conversions by naming random large numbers. If maximum warp is as fast as he claims, then Voyager should be able to make the journey home in about 3 and a half years, invalidating the entire premise of the show (but see Headscratchers).
  • You Have to Believe Me!
    Amelia: Put yourself in my shoes, Captain. If you were me, would you believe your story?
  • You Keep Using That Word: VOY excessively uses the word "ancient" in this episode to describe the 20th Century. Also, Torres says that SOS is an "ancient Earth distress call." TNG once referred to SOS by name, without calling it "ancient." Although they do refer to 19th Century Westerns as having taken place in the "Ancient West".


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