Episode Behind the Scenes

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The original pitch for this episode came from James Swallow, who was given the opportunity to pitch for Star Trek: Voyager after having submitted numerous unsuccessful story ideas to Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. James Swallow's work on this installment was rooted in an idea by John Devins.
The pitch that eventually became this episode had the working title "Perchance to Dream" and primarily featured The Doctor. It was jokingly compared, by staff writer Bryan Fuller, to the horror film The Shining. Fuller was actually the person who bought the pitch.

He recalled, "Some responses [to the plot idea] were 'Uhhh... Okay', until I said 'But! You can do this....! We can have scenes with creepy corridors, spooky hallucinations!'" Co-executive producer Brannon Braga was another writing staffer who instantly recognized that the story had potential.

At the end of January 1998, James Swallow received a telephone call from pre-production coordinator Lolita Fatjo, who notified him of the purchase of one of his pitches. "Just like that, the words I had been waiting to hear for years came beaming across the world to me from California," Swallow reminisced. "The dulcet tones of Lolita Fatjo [...] told me, 'Congratulations, Jim! We want to buy your story!' [....] I, after almost a decade of dogged struggle, had finally achieved a personal goal to help create a little piece of the Star Trek universe." Also, Swallow was the first British writer to sell a story to Star Trek, a fact that Fatjo later informed him of.
oyager's writing staff decided to do a different take on the story and chose to alter the episode's protagonist to Seven of Nine. Bryan Fuller related, "We saw how much more interesting it would be to have somebody who was part of a collective with millions of voices in her head every day, taken down to abruptly having no voices in her head and surrounded by a hundred-odd crewmen, and then to only be with one other crewman, and then finally to be on her own. How frightening would that be?" The writers additionally came up with the idea of Seven having fearsome hallucinations due to her mental state in such isolation.

The change of lead character to being Seven had taken place by two months after the pitch's conception. Another development that occurred by the same time was that the submitted plot idea had become the basis of a story entitled "One", assigned to be scripted by executive producer Jeri Taylor.

Robert Picardo contributed some dialogue that his character of The Doctor says to Seven of Nine in one of their arguments here. "I asked to add the lines, 'What you need is some editorial skill in your self-expression,'" remembered Picardo. "'Between impulse and action, there is a realm of good taste begging for your acquaintance' [....] They put that in, because the lines that I had, I wasn't enjoying." Another reason why Picardo suggested the dialogue was because he imagined that, while The Doctor was criticizing Seven for lacking certain social graces, the holographic character would probably use a selection of well-chosen words to demonstrate what he was trying to communicate to her.
Seven of Nine actress Jeri Ryan enjoyed performing in this installment, despite being sick during the episode's production. She was also attracted to its plot, later referring to it as "an interesting story." Concerning Seven's plight of aloneness here, Ryan stated, "It was a neat concept for an episode."
Director Kenneth Biller was pleased to collaborate on this installment with Jeri Ryan, who Biller described as "great to work with." He recognized, however, that the episode was challenging for Ryan. Biller commented, "It was basically her all day, every day [...] [with] grueling hours. She was very present and very there the whole time. This was a very difficult show emotionally for her, where she has to slowly come unraveled."
Bryan Fuller was highly satisfied with Jeri Ryan's work here, referring to it as "amazing."
Ken Biller observed that, by this point in the series, Torres actress Roxann Dawson had more-or-less recovered from having been pregnant, earlier in the fourth season. "By the time I was directing ['One'], she'd already had the baby, and she was raring to go and ready to get back to work," noted Biller. "So as a director I really didn't have the problem of having to shoot around her belly."
Robert Picardo was delighted with the dialogue that he himself added to the episode. "I thought [it] was a pretty funny Doctor dress-down," he enthused.
In the morning of 3 February 1998, a production meeting for this installment was held, attended by Ken Biller. By the time the lunch interval ended on that day, Biller had departed from the meeting and was ready to join the other members of the series' writing staff in a story break session that resumed after lunch, concerning the season finale, ultimately entitled "Hope and Fear".
One of the sets for this episode was under construction on 9 February 1998, on Paramount Stage 16 (which simultaneously housed Star Trek's permanent cave set as well as a set used for both the Museum of Kyrian Heritage in the earlier fourth season episode "Living Witness" and the Son'a surgical facility in the film Star Trek: Insurrection).
The episode was in production on several stages of the Paramount Pictures lot by 16 February 1998.

Ken Biller specified that the scenes of this episode involving Jeri Ryan were filmed over a period of seven days.

While the episode was in production, Robert Picardo took some time to be interviewed for Cinefantastique, sitting in the Voyager engineering set.
Ken Biller found that the duration in which he directed this episode was "great."

He said further, "It was a really good episode to direct because it had some fantasy sequences, and some scary, atmospheric stuff [....] There are significant portions of the episode that don't really have any dialogue, which is always fun for a director, because you try to tell the story through the pictures. That was really a challenge." Some difficulties of the episode's making concerned Biller's direction of Jeri Ryan. "There were moments when we had to make a decision about exactly how vulnerable she was going to be and how much fear she would show," Biller said. "There were times when maybe she wanted to go a little further than I did, and I would have to remind her that we still have to give ourselves some place to go, so that you don't reach your most unraveled state until the end of the picture."

he production of the shot in which a regenerating Seven of Nine dreams of being alone in a frozen wasteland involved the use of bluescreen. "We shot Jeri Ryan on a bluescreen stage," visual effects supervisor Mitch Suskin recalled, "and did a dolly-back and a crane-up to pull back and away from her."
On the night of 26 February 1998, filming on this episode was ended shortly before midnight. On the following day (which was scheduled to be the last day of production on the installment), some second unit photography for the episode was filmed on the Voyager bridge set (on Stage 8). This involved some hand-held camera work, usage of bluescreen, low level lighting and special effect smoke, as well as heavy burn make-up for several of the regular cast (specifically, Kate Mulgrew, Robert Duncan McNeill, Robert Beltran, Tim Russ and Garrett Wang).

The footage filmed was both the scene in which Seven is tormented by illusory members of the senior staff on Voyager's bridge and part of the scene before that, with Seven in a turbolift. In the knowledge that "One" had filmed late on the previous night, Winrich Kolbe who was assigned to direct "Hope and Fear" was waiting patiently, at 9 a.m., for a break in the filming of this episode. At 11:30 a.m., such a break began (as was scheduled), allowing Kolbe a twenty-five-minute meeting with his key department heads. Filming of this installment continued soon thereafter, initiated by a crew call at noon.

Even though unit production manager Brad Yacobian made a "guess-timate" that the season finale would begin shooting at 3:30 p.m., the production of this installment continued past that point and finally wrapped at 4:30 p.m..The performers who had donned make-up to look incinerated visited the make-up trailer before the next installment entered production.

The Borg interior that Seven sees through a pair of turbolift doors was a single frame of a visual effect sequence from Star Trek: First Contact.
To complete the shot of Seven apparently standing alone in an icy wilderness, the appropriate bluescreen footage of Jeri Ryan was, in Mitch Suskin's words, "match-moved into a 3-D painting element" specifically, a matte painting done by Eric Chauvin. Snow that covers Seven's feet, in the shot, was actually part of this painted environment.
27 April 1998 was the eighth day in a row in which visual effects supervisor Ronald B. Moore was situated in the compositing bay at visual effects house Digital Magic and was also a day on which he was completing his work on the visual effects shots of this episode. Moore had hopes of completing his work on this installment by the day's end despite repeatedly being interrupted from that work, such as by a ringing telephone.
Mitch Suskin was happy that the visual effects work of this episode was somewhat unusual for the series. "Even though the effects we are doing on 'One' are a little bit out of the ordinary," he commented, "it's nice for us to have the difference."