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Jeri Ryan Says Voyager Was Unpleasant But Star Trek: Picard Grew Her Love For Seven

Not all productions of Star Trek adhere to Gene Roddenberry's view of the future. The Star Trek timeline may exist in a world without sexism, but that was unfortunately not Jeri Ryan's experience when she arrived on "Voyager" Season 4. Her Borg ambassador Seven of Nine was often sexualized due to the skin-tight catsuit she wore which only led to conflict on set. Seven of Nine went against lead Kate Mulgrew's vision for the series, who insisted that Captain Janeway not be the focus of sexual desire. Ryan confirmed to The Huffington Post that a tense working relationship had formed between the two as Mulgrew took out her frustrations against Ryan in a brutal fashion. In an ironic twist, Mulgrew was the perpetrator of the on-set sexism she had been fighting against by turning against her fellow female lead — something Mulgrew has since owned up to.

"I didn't have a great experience on 'Voyager,"' Ryan told CinemaBlend. "The working experience was not super pleasant for me. So that kind of colored my perception in a lot of ways. Because that was a tough four years, but I was always acutely aware of how good a character Seven was from an acting perspective and how rich she was." With time came clarity, and Ryan eventually agreed to reprise her role on "Star Trek: Picard." The new series was a chance to bring back a fan-favorite character with emotional depths and give Ryan the respect she deserves.

Picard gave Seven of Nine room to grow

"Voyager" had its controversy when it was on the air, but that doesn't stop Seven of Nine from being a well-developed character. After assimilating into the Borg, her journey reflects themes of humanity and how to retain individuality. Revisited in "Picard," these themes and many others gave Ryan a great opportunity.

"[T]his continuation of her story and starting out with the Fenris Rangers, I love it. I love everything about the way she's been developed," Ryan continued. "I truly do. This season especially, I think it hits all the right notes. It, it's just so true to the character, and I think that across the board for all the characters." 

Seven first appears in "Picard" after two decades of calamity. Once a utopian society, the world has devolved into darkness, and she holds the Federation responsible. Throughout the series, Seven goes from a rebellious freedom fighter to the captain of a starship in her own right. Just before the death of Captain Shaw (Todd Stashwick), he makes her the interim captain of the USS Titan. This progression has been a long time coming and Ryan couldn't be happier.

"I'm thrilled," Ryan told CinemaBlend. "I don't think I would have predicted this season's story. So that was sort of a surprise for me. I love it. I think it's phenomenal and it's perfectly fitting for the character and all of it is great, but that was sort of surprising to me."