Jeri Ryan Discusses Finding Seven of Nine’s Voice Again in Star Trek: Picard

Jonathan Frakes, Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco at Star Trek Las Vegas 2019

Jonathan Frakes, Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco at Star Trek Las Vegas 2019

In this weekend’s Star Trek: Picard panel with Jonathan Frakes, Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco, these three focussed on the role of the Borg in the upcoming series.

Jeri Ryan told the story of how she and Jonathan Del Arco joined Picard. She said, “We were at the Hollywood Bowl actually. [...] One of the creators of the show, James Duff, who's another dear friend of ours, after about four glasses of champagne, he was like, ‘well this might be a time to bring this up. So here's what I'm thinking…’ And he pitched an idea [...] and I thought, yeah, that sounds fun, but whatever. [...] And then cut to about a year ago at the Creative Arts Emmy's [...] and Alex Kurtzman was there and I met him and he mentioned it as well. I was like, ‘Oh, this might actually happen.’ And it did. And um, it's pretty cool.”

Ryan also talked about finding her voice again as Seven of Nine, nearly twenty years after the end of Voyager. She acknowledged that Seven’s voice has always been stilted and formal, the byproduct of having been machine and learning to be human. But in the Picard script, her “voice” was different; she said “When I got the initial script, and I knew from the initial pitch [...] that she's not the same Seven, she's much more human [...] She's been on Earth for a long time and she's been through a lot. [...] You know, it's a very different voice. And that was what was freaking me out.”

But she said that some advice from Del Arco helped her understand her character, and she revealed a little bit about Seven’s motivation in the new series. She said, “The Borg has always been hated. [...] But there's other elements in this world with the Borg. And what if she had to make the choice to be as human as possible to survive, to sound as human, to act as human as you possibly can. Because she clearly is always going to look like a former Borg because she's still got these implants that can't go away. So what if she had to make that choice, a conscious choice to sound and be as human as possible?”

The other big reveal in the panel was that Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco will be joining Star Trek: The Cruise in 2020, setting sail next March. Sadly, tickets are sold out, but you can join the waitlist at startrekthecruise.com.

Alison Pitt