Star Trek: Voyager - Robert Picardo Suggested The Doctor & Seven Of Nine's Relationship

One of the greatest strengths of the Federation's Starfleet is the organization's plurality. Although Starfleet is based on Earth, many different alien species take part in all manner of roles and responsibilities. "Star Trek: Voyager" tells a unique story in the franchise of "Star Trek," mainly because the crew of the USS Voyager has been cast several decades away from any sort of familiarity. This causes the crew to make several unlikely allies as they are forced to make due with whatever is currently available.

As such, the USS Voyager doesn't actually have a medical officer, and instead must rely on a holographic projection known as the Doctor (Robert Picardo). Often defined by his arrogance and aloofness, the Doctor begins to learn humanity from Kes (Jennifer Lien), though these lessons come to an abrupt halt when Kes leaves the ship. However, it seems as if Picardo is actually responsible for his relationship with Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) in Kes' absence. 

Speaking with in October 2022, Picardo explained that he felt like his character would suffer in the wake of Kes' decision, but luckily executive producer Brannon Braga told Picardo to make a pitch involving Seven of Nine. Picardo elaborated, "I went to Brannon and suggested that we take the relationship that The Doctor had with Kes and we turn it around. So The Doctor thinks that the best person to teach Seven of Nine how to become human again is him. In other words, he's a better teacher on how to be a human being than a real human being."

Picardo believed there was inherent entertainment value between the Doctor and Seven of Nine

Robert Picardo continued, "I explained that we'd get some comic value out of his arrogance and ego. We would literally have roleplaying scenes where I would teach her appropriate behavior in different circumstances. That was the suggestion. They liked the idea, ran with it, and made it much better than I could ever have imagined. Eventually, that culminated in 'Someone to Watch Over Me,' akin to Professor Higgins falling in love with his pupil in 'My Fair Lady.' The Doctor starts teaching mostly out of arrogance, and then he ends up falling in love with her."

Picardo added that he found the entire dynamic between his character and Seven of Nine to be inherently funny, mainly because neither were exactly aficionados when it comes to personable interactions. Throughout much of the early seasons of "Star Trek: Voyager," the Doctor exemplifies the trope of a brilliant, yet socially awkward and exceptionally blunt individual. 

Likewise, Seven of Nine could also fall into this same description, mainly because she spent her early life as a forced member of the Borg. This means that Seven of Nine has even less of an idea of how a human is supposed to act, as opposed to the Doctor. For fans of "Star Trek: Voyager," this relationship between the Doctor and Seven of Nine provides not only humor, but stunning insight into the human condition and emotions, which is probably why many view the interaction between the Doctor and Seven of Nine to be both interesting and entertaining.