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Star Trek's Jeri Ryan Shares How 'Several Glasses Of Champagne' Led To Seven Of Nine's Return In Picard Season 2

Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Picard Season 1
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Most of the familiar Star Trek faces who have returned for Star Trek: Picard are, understandably, veterans of The Next Generation, with Patrick Stewart reuniting with folks like Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, John de Lancie, Whoopi Goldberg and Jonathan Del Arco. That said, Picard also stars Jeri Ryan, who played Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Voyager Seasons 4 through 7. When Picard started airing on Paramount+ (then called CBS All-Access), it had been almost two decades since Ryan had played the former Borg drone, and it turns out that alcohol played an integral part in bringing her back to the Star Trek franchise.

In an interview with ET, Jeri Ryan recalled how following her four years on Star Trek: Voyager, she thought she was saying goodbye to Seven of Nine for good. Years later, that changed when James Duff, a friend of hers who’s written for both Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery, brought up the prospect of her reprising her role in the former series as champagne was flowing. As Ryan explained:

[Writer James Duff] had mentioned it to me in passing at the Hollywood Bowl, after several glasses of champagne -- which he knew would be the appropriate moment to bring it up. I thought he was joking and then he kept bringing it up.

So initially, Jeri Ryan didn’t believe that James Duff was serious about her getting to play Seven of Nine again. That changed when Alex Kurtzman, Star Trek: Picard’s showrunner (who is also an executive producer on all of the other currently-running Star Trek shows that can be watched with a Paramount+ subscription), entered the picture. Kurtzman told Ryan that they’d “been talking a lot about Seven in the writers' room,” and that officially opened the door for the actress return as the character, and without a corset this time!

Star Trek: Picard Season 1 marked the first time that Jean-Luc Picard and Seven of Nine crossed paths, although it was made clear that they knew of each other by reputation. The events of Season 1 and what’s gone down so far in Season 2 have obviously led to them forming a connection, and in real life, Jeri Ryan described working with Patrick Stewart as being “amazing” and called him a “legend.” As for getting to reprise Seven of Nine after being away for so long, Ryan said this:

It was a rare gift to begin with to have a character that was so beautifully written and had so much growth, since she didn't even start out human. But then to be able to revisit her this many years later and continue her journey, It's been pretty astonishing.

After recurring in Star Trek: Picard Season 1, Jeri Ryan is now a main cast member in Season 2, which has brought a major change for Seven of Nine. As a result of Q altering the timeline, although Seven can remember how reality is supposed to be just like most of the other main cast members, she no longer has her Borg implants due to her alternate self never being assimilated by the cybernetic race. 

Instead, this version of Annika Hansen (Seven’s birth name) became President of the Confederation of Earth, but Seven didn’t get to spend too long in that role, as she’s now traveled back to 2024 to help revert the timeline back to normal. Besides Jean-Luc Picard, some of her allies in this quest, include Michelle Hurd’s Raffi Muskier, with whom Seven has been romantically involved, and Annie Wersching’s Borg Queen, who, despite this likely being a different Borg Queen than the ones we’ve seen before, Seven is rightly hesitant to trust.

New episodes of Star Trek: Picard Season 2 arrive Thursdays on Paramount+. The TV side of this sci-fi franchise continues to shine, with Strange New Worlds premiering in May, new seasons of other existing series on the way and several upcoming Star Trek TV shows in development. 

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.