THE 37's - 2x01 - 2/5
This is an episode I remember greatly and have seen quite a few times, and unfortunately, it's one that's gotten worse over time.
The things that are still enjoyable for me:
Janeway's Crisis: The difficulty of this situation is interesting for her character and with no right or wrong answer, Janeway leaves the decision up to the crew. Personally I think it's a little unrealistic that no crewmembers would want to stay, but I guess that would've lessened the emotional impact of opening the cargo bay door to find it empty.
Earhart: Her character is interestingly portrayed and I enjoy her curiosity about the future and more importantly, about Voyager. I love when she asks Tom if she can take Voyager for a spin.
The Bad Stuff.
Landing the Ship: WHY. They come up with some technobabble reason for landing the ship, which is mostly hinged upon some ion storm or something that they can't beam through or risk a shuttlecraft. Okay sure, this is fine so far. Where this goes wrong is after landing, when they are seen walking around outside the ship, the sky blue and Janeway remarks: "Nice day!" IF IT WERE SUCH A NICE DAY WHY RISK LANDING THE SHIP? If the weather was on the verge of clearing, couldn't they have just waited a short amount of time before landing?
Magnificent Cities: Where are they? Evansville talks about their wonderful cities, but all we see as an audience is this generic semi-arid landscape. I mean, I am not talking about seeing a full CG or physically modeled rendition of one of these bustling metropolises, but just a matte painting would have been nice. This might seem like a minor point, but the absence of a visual reference hurts this episode greatly, as it glosses over the achievements of these humans who have flourished over the last 400 years and doesn't sell the temptation of Voyager's crew to stay on this planet to the audience.
Overall, a Wasted Opportunity: There was so much potential for this episode to be really good and I would have liked to have seen more/better conflict between The 37's, the other humans and Voyager's crew. I mean, one of them is a Japanese pilot from the imperial army. There should have been a scene showing the difficulties this guy might have with the transition. I am also not happy with Earhart's flight being classified by this episode as espionage. I feel this detracts from Earhart's achievements by theorising that her flight was just gimmick that could be exploited by the US government.
Oh, and there's a particularly goofy moment at the start of the episode where upon bringing the Space Ford aboard, Tom Paris says: "I wonder if the battery is still charged." NO TOM. Car batteries definitely do not hold their charge for over 400 years. You're lucky if they last 12 months without being charged. I won't hold this against the episode, but I thought I would point it out as it amused me greatly.