Seven of Nine, full name "Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One" (born Annika Hansen) is a fictional character in the television series 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 leaves Borg space with Seven on board the ship after attempts to negotiate passage through Borg space. After The Doctor has removed over 80% of her cybernetic implants, her human organs begin to reassert themselves. She still has a cortical node to control her cybernetic implants, such as her ocular implant that improves her visual acuity. Although her link to the Collective has been severed, she still maintains the ability to sense nearby Borg activity.
After being cast, actress Jeri Ryan
acknowledged that she had hardly seen Star Trek
, and had no idea what a Borg was. To prepare her, the producers gave her a copy of the First Contact
Star Trek movie and a Star Trek encyclopedia.
Seven of Nine made her debut in the Scorpion episode (May 21, 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"
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." 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. 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. In terms of portrayal, she said that "keeping a straight face" while showing suppressed emotion was an enjoyable challenge. Regarding her infamous form-fitting silver costume, Ryan commented that it was extremely impractical and uncomfortable, but worth the reward of portraying a character like Seven.
During the course of the series, Ryan portrayed Seven as a logical, matter-of-fact, extremely blunt young woman with difficulties expressing human emotion. Seven sometimes behaved condescendingly towards "human weaknesses" and "human inefficiency", but slowly grew loyal to the crew she later called her "collective." A recurring theme writers established was flashbacks of her life before her assimilation. By the end of the series (2001), Seven develops social skills and engages in a romantic relationship with Chakotay.
According to the story line, Annika Hansen
was born in Tendara Colony June 2350, to Magnus and Erin Hansen, two exobiologists
. In 2355, her parents took her on a research mission to study the mysterious race called the Borg
. Seven's parents took their ship, the USS Raven
, to great lengths to track the Borg
until they finally found a Borg
vessel and followed it through a transwarp corridor that took them to the other side of the galaxy in the Delta Quadrant
. There, they began extensively studying the Borg for two years undetected because of the Hansens' invention, multi-adaptive shielding, a type of stealth technology. Eventually the USS Raven
is temporarily damaged and becomes detected (VOY: Dark Frontier
). The Hansens are eventually caught and assimilated
on their own ship the Raven
; Annika was 6 years old by then.
During those brief years the Hansens spent studying the Borg, they found extensive information on Borg technology. The Hansens studied Borg culture and learned the different Borg designations, as well as the functions of a Borg drone. One important invention was the bio-dampeners they used to transport on board the cube without being detected. This technology was eventually adapted by Voyager's crew during the events of Dark Frontier when Captain Janeway tried to steal a Borg transwarp coil.
The Borg years
At some point after her assimilation, Annika was given the Borg designation 'Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One'. The Borg Collective was all Seven of Nine knew, and they provided her with a sense of order.
During her time as a Borg, Seven helped to assimilate millions of individuals, which would later motivate her work on board Voyager as a way to deal with her guilt.
During her time as a Borg, Seven and three other drones of her unimatrix, Two of Nine, Three of Nine, and Four of Nine, were the only survivors of a vessel crash that severed them from the Collective. While the four drones waited by the crash site for another Borg vessel to retrieve them, they slowly began remembering their lives prior to their respective assimilations. Unlike the other drones, the emotionally young Seven wanted to return to the collective, so she set up a miniature collective among the other drones. After re-assimilation, the other three drones were eventually severed from the Collective but remained mentally linked because of Seven's actions (Survival Instinct).
The journey of the starship Raven to track and observe the Borg is sometimes considered out of synch with what is known about Federation history of contact with the Borg, since 1st contact was made by the Enterprise-D, followed by the battle of Wolf 359.
The Borg first came in contact with Earth in 2063, when they tried to stop First Contact. Enterprise E destroyed a Borg-sphere. Remains were found approximately 100 years later, when a team of scientists found several Drones frozen in ice. After the Drones assimilated the scientists, they tried to return to Borg space but were destroyed by the Enterprise under the command of Captain Archer.
This explains the Hansens' knowledge of the Borg's existence.
Seven's first appearance in Voyager
was in the third season finale (Scorpion
), in which she briefly served as a representative of the Borg during an ill-fated Voyager
alliance with the Borg, and Seven is abruptly disconnected from the hive mind. Janeway was aware of Seven's plans for betrayal and devised a plan to sever Seven's connection with the Borg Collective. Commander Chakotay
and Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres
executed their plan when Seven tried to take control of the ship and assimilate the Voyager
crew. Once she was severed, the Doctor performed surgery to remove most of her Borg implants and returned her to her natural human form. In the aftermath, she was offered the opportunity to be addressed by her given human name, Annika Hansen, but chose to retain her Borg designation, 'Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01', or simply as Seven (Day of Honor
Following her disconnection, Seven found a mentor in Janeway, who continued to help her come to terms with her humanity, long-since sublimated by the Borg. The Doctor also provided valuable guidance in enabling her to develop social skills so she could blend in with the Voyager crew. The Doctor subsequently became enamored of Seven, but she did not reciprocate these feelings.
Seven sang twice in 2 episodes of Voyager. Once in Someone to Watch Over Me and the next was on The Killing Game (whose voice was not dubbed during the songs). In the two-part episode Dark Frontier, Seven reveales some resentment towards her parents for taking their 6-year-old daughter on a risky away mission. She revealed to the doctor her hostile feelings towards them "My parents underestimated the Collective. They were destroyed. Because of their arrogance I was 'raised' by Borg!"
Her character's storyline takes an unexpected turn in the final episodes of the series as she pursues a relationship with Commander Chakotay, after running simulations with a holographic Chakotay.
After Star Trek: Voyager
Although Paramount only considers the onscreen, live-action Trek
episodes and movies to be official canon, Seven has nonetheless continued as a character in the Star Trek
novels. In the 2007 Star Trek: The Next Generation
novel, Before Dishonor
, by Peter David
, which is set after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis
, Janeway is assimilated by a rogue faction of the Borg
, and becomes the new Borg Queen
. Seven of Nine
, with the aid of Geordi LaForge
, Ambassador Spock
, and the rest of the Enterprise-E
crew, manages to reactivate the Doomsday Machine (also known as the Planet Killer), the deadly device that was neutralized in the Original Series
episode "The Doomsday Machine
", and becomes its new occupant, merging with the consciousness of its other inhabitants, much like a somewhat more benign version of the Borg Collective. Now calling herself Seven of the One
, she plans to use the Planet Killer against the Borg, as it was the one weapon that was specifically designed to defeat them. The backup plan is to implement Operation: Endgame, the computer virus that had been devised to destroy the Borg in the Star Trek: The Next Generation
episode "I, Borg
", which is implanted within Seven. Seven takes the Planet Killer to Earth's star system, where the two ships do battle. The Borg manage to absorb the Planet Killer, and put up a firewall
that blocks the Endgame virus. Seven manages to communicate with Janeway's consciousness, buried deep within the Queen's mind. During a brief moment of contact, Janeway brings down the firewall, and the virus destroys the Borg cube, with all hands on board. Although Seven manages to escape, Janeway is killed. At Janeway's memorial service, Seven comforts a distraught Captain Chakotay
Despite Seven's personality seeming to be Vulcan
-like, there are differences. At times she shows paradoxical displays of arrogance, warmth, passion, wit, and vulnerability, and the customary curtness of her background as a Borg drone.
Seven's mode of speech is also subtly distinctive, with her vocabulary and word choice being reflective of her cyborg heritage. Her speech rarely contains contractions. This characteristic also served to highlight the android nature of Lt. Cmdr. Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Seven has a tendency to use highly mechanistic, strict binary (or absolutist) logic. She is largely incapable of perceiving "shades of gray" — something is strictly one way or entirely another. As a result, she never describes anything with emotional terms and separates all knowledge and actions into two categories: relevant or irrelevant.
After her recovery from the Borg, Seven initially wore a skintight silver catsuit
that heavily emphasized her shapely figure and full curves. The silver catsuit was later replaced with dark red, purple, brown and blue catsuits. One exception is the Starfleet uniform she wears in "Relativity
". She is seen in other forms of attire in episodes such as "The Killing Game
" (1940s-era civilian clothing), "Someone to Watch Over Me
" (futuristic but elegant dress), "Unimatrix Zero
" (pink shirt, grey pants), "Human Error
" (elegant dress and Starfleet uniform, both holodeck
, Part II" (sundress), and "Workforce
" (futuristic professional attire).
The character's attire was criticized by veteran Star Trek writer/producer Ronald D. Moore, who felt she should have a more Borg-like appearance. Her outfit also annoyed some who felt that it was an attempt by the show's creators to make her sexually appealing to male viewers, without any storyline purposes intended.
Seven plays a central role in the following episodes:
- Scorpion - Seven's first appearance. She acts as a Borg representative and becomes disconnected from the hive mind.
- The Raven - Seven experiences flashbacks about a raven as she unknowingly seeks out the ship from which she was assimilated.
- Retrospect - Seven believes she has been violated by a visiting alien, and she seeks revenge.
- The Killing Game - In a deadly holodeck recreation of World War II, Seven helps the Doctor win back Voyager from the hands of the Hirogen.
- The Omega Directive - Seven helps Captain Janeway destroy the volatile - but 'perfect' - Omega molecules.
- One - A dangerous nebula means that the crew - except for Seven and the Doctor - must go into stasis, and Seven struggles to cope without the company of others.
- Drone - A transporter accident causes Seven's nanoprobes to assimilate the Doctor's mobile emitter, and a new drone begins to mature. Seven acts as guide and mentor to the new drone. Even though she would not admit it, the way she acted was in its way maternal, and the drone could easily be considered her son, as it was her nanoprobes that caused his birth. The Doctor could also be considered the drone's father as he a) said the drone was like his "mother" (aka Seven) and he claimed that he would do well on Voyager because he had the Doctor's mobile emitter. He also refused to take the emitter back because it would have resulted in the drone's death.
- Infinite Regress - A range of different personalities whom Seven assimilated begin to re-emerge in her.
- Dark Frontier - The Borg Queen tries to reassimilate Seven into the collective. The episode also follows five-year-old Annika Hansen (Seven) and her parents before they were assimilated by the Borg.
- Think Tank - Seven is recruited by an alien group of deep thinkers, for her brain skills.
- Someone to Watch Over Me - The Doctor coaches Seven in the ways of human dating.
- Relativity - Seven is recruited by Captain Braxton of the Timeship Relativity to seek out and capture a temporal terrorist.
- Survival Instinct - Three Borg from Seven's past appear, who ask to be completely separated from each other.
- The Voyager Conspiracy - Seven suspects that there is a conspiracy going on aboard Voyager, and Janeway and Chakotay begin to investigate one another.
- Tsunkatse - Seven is forced to fight in a brutal martial arts contest for entertainment.
- Collective - Voyager encounters a Borg cube populated only by five children; Seven takes them under her wing and severs their link to the Borg Collective.
- Unimatrix Zero - Seven dreams about her former respite when she was a Borg.
- Imperfection - After her cortical node begins to malfunction, Seven faces her own death.
- Body and Soul - The Doctor is forced to inhabit Seven's body.
- Human Error - Seven practices her social skills on the holodeck.
- Natural Law - Seven and Chakotay are stranded on an alien planet.
- Seven of Nine appears in the Dilbert episode The Gift as an alarm clock. She wakes Dilbert up by repeating the phrase "Get out of bed. Resistance is futile. Wake up and assimilate the day." When Dilbert attempts to turn her alarm clock off she tells him not to touch her. He then asks how to turn her alarm clock off, to which she responds "Believe me, I am plenty turned off right now."
- Seven of Nine also appears in a non-speaking role in the 1999 The Simpsons Halloween episode. In the short entitled "Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl" (which features Lucy Lawless as herself), Seven can be seen in the background encased in mylar by the Collector, the supervillain alter ego of the Comic Book Guy. In a different episode, after Homer Simpson tells him that he would like a copy of Spider-Man #1, the Comic Book Guy replies, "And I would like an hour on the holodeck with Seven of Nine."