Tawny Newsome on Mariner’s Season 4 Arc

Star Trek: Lower Decks has been a riot since its first season, and Tawny Newsome’s Beckett Mariner is a big reason why. Over the course of the show’s four-season run, she’s gone from being a chaotic, self-destructive ensign to…well, still that, but now promoted to a junior grade lieutenant alongside the other Lower Deckers. They’ve all been through a lot this past season, and Mariner even moreso, given she and Boimler (Jack Quaid) briefly traveled back in time to rub shoulders with the Strange New Worlds crew.

Looking back on Lower Decks season four, Newsome told TVInsider that Mariner may dial back some of her worst impulses going forward. Citing the season finale, Newsome acknowledged her character was on one, saying she “ended up in a full Wrath of Khan situation without even trying.” She’ll stop intentionally looking for trouble and being self-destructive, but “that doesn’t mean to say that she is going to avoid risk.” Doing stupid stuff is “baked into her personality,” she just won’t do it to purposefully avoid confronting whatever’s getting at her.

Part of what helped her grow was realizing that Ransom is a good commanding officer and to stop seeing him as a complete obstacle. Their “will they/won’t they kill each other” dynamic was fun for Newsome, and she noted the writers made him a “really delightful character” to watch. “By Season 4, everyone’s really seeing that he’s really sweet,” she continued. “He’s a good leader, and believes in [Mariner]. He weirdly was the secret ingredient that she kind of needed to do better work.”

Going forward, viewers will see Mariner “handle the new responsibilities of her promotion. She’s not trying to give [it] back anymore.” Newsome was fairly optimistic about Mariner’s future, noting that even Tendi’s departure in the finale’s last moments didn’t completely throw her off like it would’ve a season or two ago. While her character’s been through so much, the actor’s excited to see how Mariner will “find ways to challenge Starfleet to make them better. Ultimately, that’s what she wants, is for Starfleet to be better.”

And if that also involves another jump into live-action, she’s definitely game for it. Her only request on that front would be to make sure as much of the Lower Decks cast get an opportunity to play their real-world counterparts. “Whether that’s one episode or a movie or some kind of event, I want to be able to see Noël [Wells] get to play Tendi and my dear friend Eugene Cordero [play Rutherford]. To get the chance to play with him on camera would be such a dream come true.”

Newsome’s full interview with TVInsider, which also gets into the Lower Decks/Strange New Worlds crossover, can be read here. All four seasons of Star Trek: Lower Decks can be watched on Paramount+.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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