Why Jeri Ryan felt Seven of Nine's romance on Voyager failed

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:51 PM EST

If you ever felt the romance introduced during Star Trek: Voyager's final season between the kick-ass and beautiful former Borg Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and the tough first officer Chakotay (Robert Beltram) was rushed and didn't really work—so did Jeri Ryan, who now explains why it failed.

We don't know about you, but when we think about the few romances that happened during Voyager's seven-year stint, we think fondly about the love story between the headstrong Klingon chief engineer B'Elanna Torres (Roxan Dawson) and Lt. Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), or the one between the beautiful, ethereal Kes (Jennifer Lien) and her loyal Neelix (Ethan Phillips).

But, strangely—or perhaps not so strangely, come to think of it—we barely give a thought to Seven of Nine and Chakotay's "love story."

The problem can be pinned down to the fact that the whole Chakotay-Seven romance thing was some last-minute contrivance that was never properly planned and developed by the show's producers and writers, as Jeri Ryan explains:

It's not that I didn't buy it ... My problem with that relationship was that it came out of the blue. They had started the set-up of the relationship a few episodes earlier, in the episode ("Human Error") where Seven was experimenting with her humanity on the holodeck. And so she sort of fell in love with Chakotay there. They said something like her could never have these sorts of relationships because she would die, or whatever. The next episode that we shot after that ("Natural Law"), Seven and Chakotay were stranded on some planet together. We specifically asked the producers - Robert and I - "Now, are we going to play this? Is this going to go somewhere? Because, obviously, we'd need to carry something over from ... " And they said, "No, no, no, no! Absolutely not. Don't play any of that. Nothing's going to happen."

Then Ryan (whom we'll soon see in that new upcoming Mortal Kombat digital series) adds that:

So, after that one episode we never played any sort of attraction or anything between the two characters. And then, out of the blue, all of a sudden, they're dating (in "Endgame"). That was a little annoying, especially when you've specifically asked about it and they said, "No, absolutely not." Then, suddenly they're in love. That was a little ... It's one of the frustrations of network television. And it's how you learn, also. You have to try to be the babysitter and the protector of your character.

Do you agree with Jeri Ryan? And what did you think of the whole Seven and Chakotay rushed romance on Voyager?

(via Star