Seven of Nine

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Seven of Nine (born Annika Hansen) is a fictional character on Star Trek: Voyager, portrayed by actress Jeri Ryan. Born human, she was assimilated by the Borg at the age of six. Eighteen years later, Voyager left Borg space with Seven on board, after attempts to negotiate passage through Borg space prove only semi-successful. After The Doctor had removed the majority (82%) of her cybernetic implants, her human organs began to reassert themselves, but Seven still required a cortical node to control the remainder of her cybernetic implants. Although her link to the Collective had been severed, Seven of Nine still maintained the ability to sense nearby Borg activity.

Contents

Character development

After being cast, actress Jeri Ryan acknowledged that she had hardly even seen Star Trek, and had no idea what the Borg were. To prepare her, the producers gave her a copy of Star Trek: First Contact and the Star Trek encyclopedia.[1]

Seven of Nine made her debut in the episode Scorpion: Part 2 (September 3, 1997) where she was introduced as a representative of the Borg in its alliance with the Voyager crew against the threatening Species 8472. After the resolution of the alien threat, she attempted contact with the Borg collective and also tried to assimilate the crew. During this process, she was severed from the collective and forced to adapt to being an individual. In the following years, the Voyager writers wrote several plot lines revolving around Seven's exploration of the positive and negative sides of human individuality. The cyborg nature of the character is seen as representing a challenge to "simple conceptions of connections/disconnections between bodies."[2]

Ryan maintained that the main topic about Seven was "humanity" and stated that her character was pivotal to the success of the show, because she "brought conflict to the show, which was sadly lacking. ... The Voyager crew was just one big happy family." After the addition of the former Borg drone to the starship's crew at the start of the fourth season of Voyager, the shows' weekly viewer ratings increased by more than 60%.[3] Ryan's arrival on the show was accompanied by a massive publicity campaign in TV magazines and newspaper supplements. Maintaining Star Trek tradition, "Seven of Nine was an outsider who could comment on humanity and all of its follies as well as serve as a foil for Janeway’s character."[4] She also remarked that "combining non-human qualities with an attractive human appearance," as in Seven's character, was a great move by the producers.[5] In terms of portrayal, she said that "keeping a straight face" while showing suppressed emotion was an enjoyable challenge.[6] Regarding her infamous form-fitting one-piece costume, Ryan commented that it was extremely impractical and uncomfortable, but worth the reward of portraying a character like Seven.[7]

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