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The Star Trek Scriptbooks Book Two:
Becoming Human: The Seven of Nine Saga

Brannon Braga, Joe Menosky, Bryan Fuller, Jeri Taylor, et al.
Pocket Books, 464 pages

The Star Trek Scriptbooks Book Two: Becoming Human: The Seven of Nine Saga
Jeri Ryan
Jeri Ryan was born Jeri Lynn Zimmerman in 1968 in Munich, Germany. She grew up as a army "brat" being raised on military bases in Kansas, Maryland, Georgia, Texas, and Hawaii before settling in Paduch, Kentucky. Her acting career started in the 4th grade acting in community theater. Jeri Ryan attended Northwestern University as a National Merit Scholar and earned a BS in theater. Her professional career started with her being an extra on the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles but did not make the final cut. She got her first guest-starring role in a series on Who's the Boss? Her feature film credits include the independent films The Last Man and Men Cry Bullets. She was a series regular on NBC's Dark Skies as a mysterious government agent with foreign ties who helps in the secret war against hostile extraterrestrials just prior to starting work on Voyager.

Jeri Ryan Fan Site

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jonathan Fesmire

Science fiction fans, and I think people in general, love to look behind the scenes of movie magic, which explains why programs about special effects are such fun. Watching them is a little like knowing a magician's secrets; only with special effects, this never seems to spoil the illusion.

Besides the filming tricks, there is something more critical, more "behind," any good television program or film: a script. Reading The Star Trek Scriptbooks, Book Two: Becoming Human: The Seven of Nine Saga, (let's just call it The Seven of Nine Saga) was like peeking behind a the proverbial curtain to see how those Star Trek folks make an episode. At times, I found myself reading lines aloud as though I were a member of the Voyager cast.

The Seven of Nine Saga opens with little preamble; its introduction is a two paragraph disclaimer that the scripts may differ slightly from the finished program. I really liked this, as it allowed me to get directly to the stories.

If you missed these Voyager episodes, you will want to see them after reading this book. The basic story line goes like this: The Voyager crew liberates a Borg drone from the collective, and over time she learns about her individuality, her humanity. Seven of Nine is still "becoming human," but reading the scripts selected for this book, we see strong character growth. On the program, Jeri Ryan portrays Seven's nature beautifully. The ex-drone is cold, controlled, highly intelligent, and yet her feelings peek through. This is also evident in the scripts.

While reading The Seven of Nine Saga, I felt a deep power in these stories, in part because a script is the core of a film. Reading these brought me to the heart of the stories. Also, the book shows how action and setting are shown to those who create the episodes. Reading, rather than watching, alters the perspective just enough to make some things clearer, such as exact character motivations. The actors portray these well on Voyager, but the difference between seeing a emotion portrayed and reading about it is the difference between guessing and knowing.

The book covers six episodes: Scorpion, Part One, Scorpion, Part Two, The Raven, The Omega Directive, One, and Hope and Fear. Some Seven-focussed episodes, such The Gift, in which most of her Borg implants are removed, and Revulsion, in which Harry Kim pursues a romance with Seven, were left out. I think those episodes should have been included, but still the selected scripts achieve their purpose effectively. Seven would appreciate that.

For those of you who want pictures, especially ones of the lovely Jeri Ryan who plays Seven, turn to the book's center for sixteen pages of high-quality photographs from the six episodes. They start with Seven as a Borg drone and progress through some of her key experiences.

Concerning Seven's character development, I especially enjoyed the script The Raven, in which Seven, who was assimilated as a child, finds her family's crashed ship and remembers when the Borg took her and her parents. One brings Seven to the height of panic, as she winds up alone on Voyager. If you think it's hard for an ordinary human to be alone for a long time, imagine how it would be on a former Borg drone who's still learning to be an individual.

Better yet, buy The Seven of Nine Saga and read the script. This book would make a fine addition to any Trekker's bookshelf.

Copyright © 1999 by Jonathan Fesmire
Jonathan Fesmire has travelled to France, Germany, Estonia, Finland, and Ireland. He enjoys speaking French and learning bits of other foreign languages, but most of all, he loves writing, and has sold fiction to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, SpaceWays Weekly, Jackhammer, and others.

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