Star Trek: Seven of Nine's Tragic Picard Story Deserves Its Own Spinoff
Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard season 1, episode 5
Seven of Nine's (Jeri Ryan) tragic backstory in Star Trek: Picard deserves to be fleshed out - by the former Borg getting her own spinoff. Arguably the most popular character from Star Trek: Voyager, Trekkers rejoiced when it was announced Seven would appear in Star Trek: Picard and meet Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) for the first time. Their inaugural encounter was indeed a thrill, but Star Trek: Picard episode 5, "Stardust City Rag," also revealed that Seven's years since the U.S.S. Voyager returned to Earth have been laced with heartbreak, misery, and death. This sordid state of affairs means Seven of Nine's story demands to be told in full.Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now
Introduced in the "Scorpion" two-parter that transitioned Star Trek: Voyager's seasons 3 and 4, Seven of Nine instantly became the face of the Star Trek series. Seven arguably supplanted Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) as Voyager's signature character and her sleek, catsuit-clad image adorned numerous magazine covers, elevating Star Trek: Voyager's mainstream popularity until the series ended in 2001. While Admiral Janeway made a cameo in 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis, Seven was not seen again in Star Trek canon until she beamed aboard Jean-Luc's new starship, La Sirena, at the end of Star Trek: Picard episode 4, "Absolute Candor". However, as the next episode revealed, Seven is now a changed woman after her grim experiences over the last 20+ years.
After the attack on Mars by rogue synthetics in 2385, the United Federation of Planets banned all artificial lifeforms in the Alpha Quadrant. As a reclaimed Borg from the Delta Quadrant whose body still harbored countless cybernetic implants from her time in the Collective, this sweeping policy change directly affected Seven of Nine, and it's quite possible the ban forced her to leave Federation space. When the Beta Quadrant was plunged into chaos after the supernova and the Federation's withdrawal from their planned mission to rescue the Romulan people - which Picard was to lead - Seven traveled to the Romulans' space sector. There, the ex-Borg joined the Fenris Rangers, a vigilante outfit that protected helpless Romulans from being victimized by the pirates and warlords taking advantage of the fall of the Romulan Star Empire. By the time Seven meets Picard, she's been a Ranger (essentially a space sheriff) for 13 years - a life she finds "hopeless, pointless, and exhausting," but necessary to save those in need.
However, Seven suffered a tragic loss in 2386 when Icheb (Casey King), a former Borg from Star Trek: Voyager whom Seven loved as her surrogate child, was captured by a criminal consortium led by Bjayzl (Necar Zadegan), who violently harvested Icheb's cybernetic implants. Icheb had joined Starfleet, but that wasn't enough to save him from Bjayzl; Seven tragically had to perform a mercy killing on her "son." This was just the tip of the iceberg of Seven's sad and shocking exploits as a Fenris Ranger - where she acts as "judge, jury, and executioner" - that Star Trek: Picard has merely hinted at. While Picard himself frowns on the Rangers' activities, others, like Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd), admire the thankless job Seven and the Rangers perform.
What Seven of Nine's stunning appearance in "Stardust City Rag" made clear is that she needs her own Star Trek spinoff to properly portray Seven's adventures. Not only does Jeri Ryan still possess the "It" factor and boundless charisma, Seven of Nine is one of the few marquee Star Trek characters from the 1990s who could (and should) headline their own series. In fact, Seven's climactic phaser battle in "Stardust City Rag," where she executed Bjayzl and took on her soldiers while hefting double phaser rifles, shows that she has transformed into a truly badass action hero - whom a Star Trek series could easily be built around. The ragtag heroes of the Fenris Rangers could also be a fascinating counterpoint to the darker Starfleet of Star Trek: Picard's era. And, since "Stardust City Rag" also established that Quark (Armin Shimerman) is on Freecloud, a Seven of Nine spinoff could also incorporate other characters from Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, making fans dreams come trueas itexplores Seven's place in the Romulans' tumultuous and dangerous galaxy.
As the Star Trek franchise expands on CBS All-Access, it's been reported that there are other spinoffs in development to join Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and Star Trek: Picard. One of them should be a full-on action-adventure series about Seven of Nine and the Fenris Rangers that would take Trekkers to an all-new, exciting and dangerous frontier.
Star Trek: Picard streams Thursdays on CBS All-Access and Fridays internationally on Amazon Prime Video.
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