Seven of Nine has become a much-loved member of Star Trek: Voyager's crew. Sex appeal and comic relief aside, she has provided a fresh insight into the series’ take on humanity. We take a look at Sky 1’s short season of Seven-of-Nine-centric episodes…

by David Bailey

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Cult Times Special #12
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On the whole, television producers can’t really afford to tinker with their regular characters too much – it would alienate a vast percentage of their audience, who would not recognize the show as the one they saw a month before.

So now you’re waiting for me to say, ‘Seven of Nine is different. Star Trek: Voyager is to be praised for its brave approach to character development as she has adapted to cope with a world she finds utterly repugnant’. Tough luck. Seven’s the same person she was when she was flaunting slightly less attractive implants. She’s just as much Borg as when we met her. And Star Trek: Voyager is to be praised for that.

Before we get carried away with adulation for Seven, let’s just admit that she’s hardly the most original rabbit to be pulled out of Star Trek’s hat. The battle between emotional humanity and logical efficiency has been in the series since Spock first locked horns with Bones. Where Seven wins out, where she becomes the most interesting variation on this role, is in the fact that she challenges everything Star Trek has taught us to accept about the human condition.

Because it’s time we admitted something else: being human in Star Trek means being part of the United Federation of Planets and accepting everything it has to say about truth, justice and (you know it to be true) the American Way. Politically, the Borg are rather embarrassingly revealing of the Trek universe’s hypocrisy. Individuality might be accepted and encouraged in the Federation, but it’s a very particular brand of individuality and if your individuality is too individual then they don’t want to know about it.

To join the Federation, you must buy into a discrete state of mind, a definite framework of law and procedure – in short, be assimilated. So it’s rather rich of Captain Janeway to complain about how terrible it is that diversity is destroyed by the Borg.

The wonderful thing about Seven is that she has rumbled this hypocrisy, and she won’t stand for it. When she butts heads with Janeway, it’s many times more interesting than Bones and Spock’s bitching, or Geordie and Data’s quiet mulling, because Seven dares to oppose the warm, cosy view of the humanity of the future – the very core of Star Trek itself.

In Sky 1’s upcoming season of Seven-centric episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, we get the chance to see that, through her two-plus year journey with the crew of the Voyager, and despite many opportunities to do so, she has changed very little indeed. It all begins, of course, in Scorpion, Part II, with a change that was very much against Seven’s wishes and an ugly, unjustifiable decision made by that morally bankrupt Starfleet Captain, Janeway…

Go to next page for broadcast details of Scorpion, Part II and One

Excerpted from Cult Times Special #12Get the issue to be assimilated by the full range of Borg coverage!

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