Stаr Trek: Voyаɡer’s Seаson 1 Finаle Wаs A Mistаke

Star Trek: Voyager’s season 1 finale was a mistake for several reasons, and should have been swapped out for a different episode from the series.

Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway and the Maquis crew from Star Trek: Voyager season 1, episode 16,


  • Voyager’s original season 1 finale, “The 37’s,” would have been a better choice to end the season.
  • “The 37’s” had a more expansive and interesting plot that introduced a famous historical figure.
  • Ending with “The 37’s” would have provided an interesting parallel between Voyager and TNG.

Star Trek: Voyager‘s season 1 finale episode was a mistake. Voyager season 1 was the shortest in the series, coming in at only 16 episodes while all other seasons were 26. Although season 1 featured some great episodes, including the show’s pilot, “Caretaker,” the season finale, season 1, episode 16, “Learning Curve” failed to hit the mark on several levels.

The main storyline of “Learning Curve” dealt with Lieutenant Commander Tuvok (Tim Russ) training a group of Voyager‘s former Maquis officers who were having trouble adjusting to Starfleet’s rules in their new positions. A separate plot featured the cascading malfunction of the USS Voyager’s systems after the bio-neural gel packs that ran the ship were exposed to a virus caused by Neelix (Ethan Phillips) attempting to make cheese. The episode was certainly amusing and revisited the Maquis/Starfleet conflict that Voyager had introduced in its pilot, but it was not originally intended to be the final episode of season 1.

Captains Janeway and Sisko in front of the wormhole from DS9
Star Trek: Voyager And DS9 Had The Same Season 1 Problem

DS9 and Voyager set out to differentiate themselves from TNG and expand the Star Trek canon, however they took a while to embrace their potential.

Voyager’s Original Season 1 Finale Was A Better Episode

Amelia Earhart looks on from Star Trek Voyager

Voyager‘s original season 1 finale episode, “The 37’s,” was a much better choice to end the season. Due to scheduling issues, “The 37’s” ended up being the premiere of season 2, and featured Voyager’s cast of characters finding a group of cryogenically frozen humans, including the legendary Amelia Earhart (Sharon Lawrence), on an alien planet. Voyager also discovered a settlement of humans living on the same planet, descended from those that had been captured by the same aliens who had abducted Earhart. The episode was action-packed, exploring a variety of interesting concepts, and the inclusion of Earhart and a solution to her disappearance was a memorable addition.

Along with an expansive and interesting plot that introduced a famous historical figure, “The 37’s” was also a more cohesive way to end Voyager season 1. It cemented the crew’s loyalty to one another and commitment to get home when they were offered the chance to stay with the human colony, reaffirming the importance of the mission established by Voyager‘s pilot. While “Learning Curve” tentatively resolved the Maquis/Starfleet issues that had cropped up sporadically in season 1, it ultimately wasn’t an effective or definitive way to end the season. “The 37’s” would have allowed Voyager to wrap up season 1 in a much more satisfying way.

“The 37’s” Would Have Mirrored TNG’s Season 1 Finale

The Romulans in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode

Additionally, if “The 37’s” had been used as Voyager‘s season 1 finale, it would have mirrored the season 1 finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The larger plot of each episode was different, with TNG season 1, episode 26, “The Neutral Zone” featuring a conflict with the Romulans. However, both “The 37’s” and “The Neutral Zone” depicted the crews of Voyager and the USS Enterprise-D finding and reviving a group of cryogenically frozen 20th-century humans. Although TNG‘s group didn’t include any significant historical figures, the idea of someone from the 20th century suddenly being thrust over 400 years into the future was explored well in both episodes.

Having Voyager‘s season 1 finale mirror TNG‘s so closely would have been an interesting parallel between the two shows. Both Voyager and TNG were part of the 1990s-era Star Trek franchise, and the two shows had already experienced a lot of similarities in terms of tone, style, and even other plotlines, with Voyager borrowing from TNG as the blueprint for its success. Ending Star Trek: Voyager season 1 with a subtle callback to TNG is another reason that “The 37’s” would have been a better choice for a finale episode over “Learning Curve.”

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