Jeri Ryan played one of the most popular Star Trek characters of all time, Seven of Nine. Seven’s story in Star Trek: Voyager saw her trying to reclaim her humanity after spending years as a Borg drone, and then in the new Star Trek series Picard we saw her grappling with her own sense of belonging in a galaxy that decided it loathed Ex-Borg.
Basically, there’s a reason Seven ranks so highly on the various ‘Best Star Trek character‘ lists you can find online (including ours), and when she became a fully-fledged captain at the end of Picard season 3, fans were delighted (Speaking of which when are we going to hear about the Star Trek Legacy release date, Paramount?).
Still, did you know that Seven could have returned much sooner than Picard? According to Ryan herself, there was talk of putting the character in one of the Next Generation Star Trek movies, specifically, the worst one, Nemesis.
“When I got off [Voyager], I was very, very lucky to step right into a David Kelley show [Boston Public],” she told Star Trek.Com. “That was when they were shooting [Star Trek: Nemesis]. Paramount called Rick Berman and said, ‘Put Jeri Ryan in the movie,’ which is very nice and flattering, and Rick called and said, ‘Do you want to be in the movie?'”
“I was like, ‘Hmm’. I just did four years in a catsuit, and I just got on a David Kelley show, which was my one chance to break out of Star Trek, which was still frankly a fear that I wasn’t going to be able to escape that and do something else,” she continued. “You have very little outs in a TV series contract, so I didn’t want my first step once David Kelley made this role for me to be, ‘Hey, could you let off for a couple months to do Star Trek.'”
It was more than just the fear of losing her job on Kelley’s show, though. Specifically, Ryan couldn’t work out why Seven would interact with The Next Generation cast when she’d never met them before.
“I told them if there was a reason for this character to appear in the story, then absolutely. If there was a good story reason, then absolutely, but she never interacted with any of the characters on [Star Trek: The Next Generation]. She’s never met them,” she continued. “Why would she be there?”
“They would be plugging her in just to plug her in,” she finished. “It was just odd. So it wasn’t the right thing to do. They understood, but then he was like, ‘Do you want to do a cameo at the wedding?’ And I was like, ‘No, if I don’t want to be in the movie, why would I want to do a cameo.'”
Let’s be honest, Ryan was right to give Nemesis a swerve. The film was a disaster. Like so many of the TNG movies, it was too much of an action movie that betrayed Next Generation’s core conceit. Similarly, even for a TNG film, Nemesis was rubbish.
You had Data dying, a weird car chase in a universe that features the ability to teleport anywhere, and don’t get me started on Shinzon, who’ll go down as one of the worst Star Trek villains this side of the Duras Sisters.
If you’re a big fan of Star Trek, you’ll want to check out some of our Strange New Worlds season 2 coverage, including what the Illyrians are and what Ad Astra Per Aspera means. We’ve also got guides breaking down everything we know about the Lower Decks season 4 release date, the Star Trek Discovery season 5 release date, and the Section 31 release date.