This week's episode of Star Trek: Picard brought back an iconic Star Trek character. Jeri Ryan reprised her role as Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager. If you're not familiar with Seven or need a refresher, you can learn what you need to know about the character here. But you're in good company. Two decades after signing off from Star Trek: Voyager, Ryan needed a little help finding Seven's voice again. In fact, she panicked when she read the first Star Trek: Picard script that includes Seven. Lucky for her, her friend and Picard co-star Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh) was there to help her find her way.
"Jonny saved me," Ryan says on Deadline's Star Trek: Picard podcast. "I was panicking… He saved my ass, totally, because I was panicking, totally, when I finally saw the first script. And I know, for this character specifically… I had four years of playing a character that was very specific. And she went from being full Borg to meaning mostly human, but there was a lot of transition, but she was still pretty stylized and specific at the end of that four years.
"This is 20 years later, and when I saw the first script, not knowing a lot of or really any of the backstory yet… I panicked because I couldn't find her voice. I couldn't hear her in any of this dialog because it was so different. Her voice was so specific for those four years. Partly because of the character the way it was written and developed but partly also because Brannon Braga wrote or rewrote most of Seven's dialogue over that four-year period. Not every line, but a lot of it, so it was a very specific voice. And this was so different, so much more casual and human and slangy and not Seven to me, and I panicked."
So what did Del Arco tell her that helped her find Seven's voice again? "I just said to her… just try this: pretend she's pretending to be more human just to fit in," he says. That gave Ryan her way back into Seven's psyche.
Fans got a brief taste of the new Seven of Nine at the end of this week's episode, "Absolute Candor." She'll be back next week for a more extensive adventure in the fifth episode of Star Trek: Picard, "Stardust City Rag." New episodes of Star Trek: Picard become available to stream Thursdays on CBS All Access.
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