Jeri Ryan returned to Star Trek: Picard in episode nine, marking her fourth appearance for the new series as Seven of Nine. In a new podcast the actress and executive producer/director Akiva Goldsman discuss the episode and Seven’s arc: past, present and maybe even future.
Ryan on Seven’s ‘badass’ return and how ‘Picard’ is different than ‘Voyager’
On the official Star Trek: Picard Podcast the actress started off talking broadly about her return to the role of Seven of Nine:
This character was never one I thought about revisiting. I thought I was completely done, that was it. So, just the idea of what they were going to do with this character was interesting and exciting to me, and a big enough miracle. The fact that they lived up to all the promises is almost unheard of and amazing to me as an actor. She has been so much fun to revisit and so much fun to play. She has been through hell – I love how resilient she is. I love that storyline.
Ryan also contrasted how different the character and the work is from her time on Star Trek: Voyager:
Seven of Nine was a gift as an actor for those four years of Voyager as well. The arc of not even starting out human and having to learn about humanity, that was a great thing to get to play as an actor for those four years. I love that she is so much more free [on Star Trek: Picard]. I love that I can bring more of myself to her. Honestly, the hardest part of playing Seven back in the Voyager years was because she couldn’t really express emotion and I am very emotional and very expressive! I am an easy laugh and easy to cry. So, holding that in and keeping all of that underneath was the biggest challenge of playing her. So, I love that I can bring more of myself to her and playing her. She is just cool. She is a badass! I love it.
Seven’s shared Borg history with Picard as ‘dark mirrors’ of each other
Ryan also talked about how it has been working with Patrick Stewart for the first time for the series, and how they shared a backstory as both of their characters had been Borg in the past:
I have known the Next Gen cast so well but had only met Patrick once over the years, which is kind of bizarre. But these are two characters that are very unique in that way. For the last two twenty years I have heard fans say: “If we ever see Picard and Seven together, can you imagine how cool that would be?” Because they do have that shared history and been through the war together and survived.
Goldsman expounded on how he sees their shared Borg history:
Jeri brings some kind of deep internalized understanding of that relationship. In episode nine when they say goodbye and he leaves the Borg cube…it is really moving, like in that scene in the transporter room, they have together earlier in the season.
Goldsman also confirmed that even though there had been changes made during the development of the series, they had always planned on having Ryan as a recurring character through the season:
Jeri’s stuff, that arc is pretty much intact. I think there might have been a slightly longer Borg Queen moment in the more original structure of the object. It has always been these two dark mirrors of each other.
Seven back for season two?
As for the future, Goldsman dropped a somewhat cryptic hint when talking about Seven’s appearance in the two-part finale (she will also be in episode ten):
This is where legacy characters and new characters become the same. This is where—as you will see by the end of the season—you start to see what the palette will look like moving forward.
When pressed, both Goldsman and Ryan deflected the direct question about if Seven is returning for season two.