The 37's and alternative plots for this story

Lynx

Vice Admiral
Admiral
I recently re-watched The 37's, an episode with some interesting possibilities which could have made it more interesting.

The way this planet is detected is a bit goofy. The crew on Voyager detects a car from Earth's 1930's floatiing in space. Tom paris who just happens to be an expert on antique vehicles also happens to know how to start the car.

"There should be something in here called a key. Key." :sigh:

Then he activates the AM radio where he happens to find a SOS signal!

So they search for it and find this planet. Down on the planet they find a bunch of humans in cryostasis who have been abducted from Earth. One of them is Amelia Earhardt.

Then they are fired upon of a bunch of aliens in rubber clothes who are actually humans. They become friendly when they discover that the Voyager people are humans too (at least most of them). It's revealed that those humans are descendants to humans who were abducted by the Briori in the 1930's but revolted against those Briori and chased them away from this planet to which they for some strange reason had brought those humans to use them as slaves. They invite the Voyagers to visit tmen and the three cities they have built.

From there on we have an interesting dilemma rising:

Would some Voyager crewmembers like to stay on te planet and are they so many that the ship can't manage a further journey without them?

Should the Voyager crew abandon their search for a way home and stay on the planet?

Will Ameila Earhardt join the Voyager crew?

Well, we do know what happened.

We also have that moment when Janeway and Chakotay gowes to the Cargo bay to say goodbye to those crewmembers who had decided to stay on the planet and there's no one there!

Personally, I found ithat scene to be one of Voyager's finer moments. Other might see it as evidence for how Janeway had brain-washed the crew to obey her totally. A lot to discuss there.

I actually like the episode despite a few flacs and silly things. But could it have been made better?

First of all, let us look at the planet.

It's obviously located in that small corridor between Kazon space and Vidiian space when Voyager encounters many different and interesting species. Look at Geoffrey mandel's Star Charts and the slightly remade verions of those on the kes Website (where planets encountered in the books have been included).

However, the planet and it's inhabitants seem to be rather low-tech when it comes to weapons, protection and such compared to other races in that area. As such it would be yum-yum for invading Vidiians looking for body parts or for some of the more powerful Kazon sect to take control over.

That can be one of the reasons why the Voyager crewmembers, even disgruntled Maquis members like Suder and Jonas and maybe Hogan, Jarvin, Dalby, Henley, Chell and Gerron too decided to stay on the ship under Janeway's care ;) instead of taking the chance with a planet whic can be invaded by Vidiians or Kazon.

And why were those humans dressed in rubber protection clothers when the Voyager crew first met them. Is the radiation from the sun dangerous?

And what happened to the Briori? They never returned after those humans revolted against them. Why?

And why have the inhabitants built three cities so close to each other when they have a whole planet to populate? Lack of transportation devices? And why are those three cities imossible to detect from space?

And why didn't Earhardt and maybe Noonan join the Voyager crew?

I could have imagined another scenario.

Wouldn't it have been possible to let most of season 2 and most of all the episodes with Kazon and Vidiians take place in that area during a period when the Voyager crew are helping the people on the planet?

Then we could have had two interesting issues going on for a while:
1. How many of the crew will decide to stay on the planet? I mean, some of them might have started to think about that after helping the people on the planet develope the defence for the planet and became friends with some of them during the process.

2. The question: "How much of out technology can we give them and are allowed to give them? Can we see them as Federation citizens or not?

And what if Earhardt and maybe Noonan would have decided to follow Voyager back to Earth. Wouldn't it have been interesting to have persons from the 20th centur on board and see them learn about everything new and all that has happened after the 1930's?

What if it hadn't been Earhardt but some other human pilot they found on the planet? Having a disappeader person from the 1930's as a main character for the coming 5 seasons may have been a bit over the top even for the Voyager producers.

But what if it had been the pilot Sally Brown, a former smuggler in the Pacific or secret agent for the US spying on the Japanese, played by Jeri Ryan?

Then we would have had Ryan introduced already in season 2, maybe in an even more interesting role than the one she had in seasons 4-7.
 
Personally, I found ithat scene to be one of Voyager's finer moments. Other might see it as evidence for how Janeway had brain-washed the crew to obey her totally. A lot to discuss there.
I am the Other. Had I been writing the series, I would have had a fair number of Maquis not fitting in in S1. Also, I would have had Torres subordinate to Carey, and have to learn to control her anger and work as a team. Promoting someone for assaulting a superior was beyond ludicrous. Even for Voyager.

The problem Maquis leave the crew to stay on Planet 37's, and so does Carey. By this time, B'Elanna has had a year of character growth, and is far more ready to be chief engineer. This is probably about when I'd have the Maquis go to uniforms, and they start wearing conventional rank pips a few years later.

Sadly, I can count to 38, and I know that an ensign is supposed to make lieutenant. Ergo, as a Voyager showrunner, I would be overqualified.
 
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I am the Other. Had I been writing the series, I would have had a fair number of Maquis not fitting in in S1. Also, I would have had Torres subordinate to Carey, and have to learn to control her anger and work as a team. Promoting someone for assaulting a superior was beyond ludicrous. Even for Voyager.

The problem Maquis leave the crew to stay on Planet 37's, and so does Carey. By this time, B'Elanna has had a year of character growth, and is far more ready to be chief engineer. This is probably a out when I'd have the Maquis go to uniforms, and they start wearing conventional rank pops a few years later.

Sadly, I can count to 38, and I know that an ensign is supposed to make lieutenant. Ergo, as a Voyager showrunner, I would be overqualified.
I don't know. Carey was a good character and I would have had him to stay on the ship.

The thing with B'Elanna hitting Carey should never have been written if the point was to make B'Elanna an officer. No way that she would have been given sucjh a responsibility after hitting a fellow shipmate the way she did.

I would have found a way to write a story in which B'Elanna could have become Chief Engineer without dismissing Carey the way it was done or kill him off or leave him on The 37's planet.
 
The thing with B'Elanna hitting Carey should never have been written if the point was to make B'Elanna an officer. No way that she would have been given sucjh a responsibility after hitting a fellow shipmate the way she did.
Unless Janeway thought she was running a Klingon ship. :klingon:
 
From a practical standpoint, the main reason Season 2 wasn't spent entirely on location is that Paramount wouldn't have been able to afford it. Sure, they could have built a few sets on the infamous Stage 16 (a.k.a. "Planet Hell"), but a decent amount of outdoor shooting would still be needed...and unless most of the cast agreed to take pay cuts, it would've maxed out the show's budget.
 
The idea of having Earhart or Noonan stay on Voyager is hamstrung by virtue of who they are. If you're going to stick a 20th century person on Voyager, it needs to be a relative blank slate that you can organically grow as you write stories for them. Something like those cryonics people that Picard and crew found at the end of TNG S1. (I forget the name of the episode.. was it "The Neutral Zone"?) There's too much baggage with a celebrity. You don't have descendants/relatives of real people saying "there's no way they would say that!"

As you point out, the beginning is goofy. If they were going to go for the FM radio angle, I think a much better opening would be for Tom and Harry to pick up an radio signal accidentally through the Captain Proton Holo-simulation. I could certainly buy that a simulation of a Captain Proton radio would be able to receive such a signal. The only suspension of disbelief there that requires some hand waving is how such a signal would penetrate the hull to get to the holodeck - but that feels like a much lower bar to me than starting up an old pickup truck that's been floating in space for a few hundred years, and just happening to pick up an SOS.
Of course, Captain Proton didn't yet exist... but if Tom's going to be a 20th century aficionado, put him in some kind of 20th century setting on the holodeck and there ya go.

I thought the whole episode was hokey and didn't care for it, personally.
 
The idea of having Earhart or Noonan stay on Voyager is hamstrung by virtue of who they are. If you're going to stick a 20th century person on Voyager, it needs to be a relative blank slate that you can organically grow as you write stories for them. Something like those cryonics people that Picard and crew found at the end of TNG S1. (I forget the name of the episode.. was it "The Neutral Zone"?) There's too much baggage with a celebrity. You don't have descendants/relatives of real people saying "there's no way they would say that!"

As you point out, the beginning is goofy. If they were going to go for the FM radio angle, I think a much better opening would be for Tom and Harry to pick up an radio signal accidentally through the Captain Proton Holo-simulation. I could certainly buy that a simulation of a Captain Proton radio would be able to receive such a signal. The only suspension of disbelief there that requires some hand waving is how such a signal would penetrate the hull to get to the holodeck - but that feels like a much lower bar to me than starting up an old pickup truck that's been floating in space for a few hundred years, and just happening to pick up an SOS.
Of course, Captain Proton didn't yet exist... but if Tom's going to be a 20th century aficionado, put him in some kind of 20th century setting on the holodeck and there ya go.

I thought the whole episode was hokey and didn't care for it, personally.
Which is the reason why I proposed a character called "Sally Brown" instead of Amelia Earhardt.

As for the episode itself, it was OK but could have been much better if those who came up with it had given it some thought.
 
But in the end, we never learn how that car got into space in the first place.

Though I would suspect it was dumped by the Briori after snatching those humans from Earth. Those DQ humans didn't seem to have developed (extensive) space travel of their own.
 
That's another thing that feels odd about "THE 37's"... the Briori. They snatched humans from a planet over 70,000 light years away... were humans really that good to use as slave labor when there are dozens of other races just a stone's throw away from that planet?

I agree with those who see the empty cargo bay as hokey. I know what the writers were going for, but it just didn't come across very well to me. (I blame, partly, the UPN suits for this... this episode was filmed and feels more like a season finale than a season premiere. Had UPN not held over this episode and "PROJECTIONS", "ELOGIUM", and "TWISTED", the conversation might be slightly different.)
 
We also have that moment when Janeway and Chakotay gowes to the Cargo bay to say goodbye to those crewmembers who had decided to stay on the planet and there's no one there!

Wondering now if there's some alternate universe or timeline out there where everyone was in that cargo bay.

The question: "How much of out technology can we give them and are allowed to give them? Can we see them as Federation citizens or not?

I would say no. They're be humans, but humans kidnapped centuries before the Federation came into being. They might qualify as separate members though based on the society they built. I'd think Federation membership is more a society-based thing or a planet-based thing than a species-based thing.
 
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I like the episode and the only thing I would change is the car shows up in some later episode. I would even go as far as have Tom taking it for a drive across the surface of some alien planet (that looks just like California)
 
Wondering now if there's some alternate universe or timeline out there where everyone was in that cargo bay.



I would say no. They're be humans, but humans kidnapped centuries before the Federation came into being. They might qualify as separate members though based on the society they built. I'd think Federation membership is more a society-based thing or a planet-based thing than a species-based thing.

Good point.

But I wonder what Janeway would do if a society made by humans on a far away planet were in great danger to be attacked by Vidiians and their technology were too far behind to protect them.

Personally I would like to see a Star Trek series about the humans on that planet and how they create a federation-like society and a possible "new Federation" in the Delta Quadrant with the ehlp of certain information and technology that Voyager provided.
 
Good point.

But I wonder what Janeway would do if a society made by humans on a far away planet were in great danger to be attacked by Vidiians and their technology were too far behind to protect them.

Personally I would like to see a Star Trek series about the humans on that planet and how they create a federation-like society and a possible "new Federation" in the Delta Quadrant with the ehlp of certain information and technology that Voyager provided.

I don't think protecting them would be an issue (Janeway protected the Ocampa too), just not sure they could simply share all of their technology with them (for example).

On the other hand, suppose they had opted to join that society, which was presented as a realistic choice. Would they have gone 'by the book' and destroyed all databases with knowledge more advanced than the DQ humans had and perhaps Voyager itself? I wouldn't think that, either.

Then again, this is not a prime directive situation, so perhaps there's no barrier to sharing all knowledge in the first place.
 
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As an aside, we got another episode of Star Trek (in this case Enterprise) that dealt with humans being taken from Earth to serve as slave labor by a totally different species. Was this a common thing at one time?
 
The car in space was cool and I liked Amelia Earhardt a lot.
But it's implausible that not a single crew member wanted to stay on the planet.
 
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