Star Trek: Picard will not only bring back Patrick Stewart and a few of his Star Trek: The Next Generation co-stars but also Star Trek: Voyager star Jeri Ryan as the former Borg drone Seven of Nine. This isn’t the first time Ryan has been approached about bringing Seven into Jean-Luc Picard’s orbit. Paramount Pictures offered her a role in Stewart’s final Star Trek movie, Star Trek: Nemesis, a role that Ryan passed on. ComicBook.com asked Ryan at the Star Trek: Picard press junket why she said yes to returning as Seven of Nine in Picard after saying no to Nemesis.
“This was very different,” Ryan says. “I mean, initially, yes, when it was first brought up I kind of laughed it off and said, ‘Yeah, that’s hilarious.’”
But then the Picard producers revealed more about what they had planned for Seven of Nine. “It was pretty intriguing,” Ryan says. “This is a very different situation than the movie when I just had finished working on Voyager and they wanted to put her in that movie with the crew just out of the blue, which made no sense. There’s a legitimate story reason and a legitimate character reason for this character to encounter these people and to be in this world and the former Borg connection with the three characters – Picard and Hugh and Seven – that really makes sense for her to come back in this world. So it was an easier transition that made a lot more sense.”
Jonathan Del Arco is also returning to a former Borg drone character, Hugh from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes “I, Borg” and “Descent." For him, agreeing to return was the easy part.
“Saying yes was super easy,” Del Arco says. “Actually playing the part required some figuring out where he was now, realizing he was much closer to who I am than before, using myself more. It was a great actual acting lesson for me to know that who we are is enough.”
Ryan and Del Arco’s opportunity to return almost didn’t happen. Stewart was at first against going back to the Borg after exploring the cyborg species thoroughly in The Next Generation and the film Star Trek: First Contact. The writing team behind Picard had to come up with a very different Borg story to get Stewart interested, as series co-creator Alex Kurtzman explained in a previous interview.
“He was like, ‘I did that story. I don't want to do that story.’ And we couldn't just say, ‘Yeah, but we loved you in it so much, we just want to do that again.’ And what ended up emerging was actually as a result of that back and forth, a very unique and very different Borg story,” Kurtzman said. “Definitely not one that you could have told in Next Generation. And certainly not what I think anyone's expecting.”
Star Trek: Picard debuts on CBS All Access on January 23rd.
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