Star Trek: Tawny Newsome Confirms Her Lower Decks Status While Writing for Starfleet Academy (Exclusive)

Star Trek: Lower Decks fans shouldn't worry. Beckett Mariner isn't going anywhere.

Star Trek: Lower Decks star Tawny Newsome isn't leaving the USS Cerritos anytime soon. Newsome has played Beckett Mariner through four seasons of Star Trek's first animated comedy and is currently recording lines for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 5. Amid that, she's also joined the writers' room of Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, the upcoming live-action Star Trek series focusing on a young adult audience. spoke to Newsome recently and asked about how her work voicing Mariner in Lower Decks might influence her contributions to Starfleet Academy. Newsome took the opportunity to address some speculation she's seen about her commitment to Lower Decks now she's writing for Starfleet Academy.

"One thing I do want to say because I have seen fans speculate that I'm not going to be as available for Lower Decks: full cards on the table, Lower Decks takes priority," Newsome says. "That was my job first. That's my priority, and everyone involved with both shows is understanding of that. I'm not going anywhere on Lower Decks is what I want to say."

(Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage via Getty Images)

Tawny Newsome is bringing her lifelong Star Trek fandom to Starfleet Academy

Newsome went on to to say that she doesn't necessarily feel like her time working on Star Trek: Lower Decks is having a particular influence on what she's bringing to Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Rather, it's her lifelong love of Star Trek that's coloring her work.

"I don't know that Lower Decks itself is influencing my work [on Starfleet Academy], but just my lifelong fandom and my tendency to always gravitate towards a lot of the fun and funny in a lot of these storylines, that influences all of my work," she explained. "I'm always just pushing for fun and funny and silly and with a little bit of pathos that sneaks up on you and gives you some meaning where you didn't expect it."

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy's Writers' Room

Newsome sounds as if she's enjoying her time in the Starfleet Academy writers' room. She went on to praise showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau for the team they've assembled.

"I'm always just pushing for fun and fast and funny, and really holding onto canon," she says. "I love this world for a reason, so the canon's super important to me, and we've got a room full of people also doing that. We've got a room full of the loveliest people in the world. I keep shouting this: Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau, our two showrunners, really did a no-assholes rule for this room, and everyone is delightful. I think that the rest of Hollywood should take note because I don't know how the f*** they did that. It's great."

What is Star Trek: Starfleet Academy?

In early 2023, Paramount+ greenlit Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, which had been rumored since at least 2018, with plans to enter production in 2024 (though those plans were made before the strikes and may have since changed). Kurtzman and Landau are showrunners of the series, which will follow the coming of age of Starfleet cadets attending Starfleet Academy in San Francisco. They have not yet specified in what era of Star Trek the show is set. Star Trek: Starfleet Academy is expected to debut on Paramount+ in 2025. Here's the synopsis for Starfleet Academy from Paramount+:

"Star Trek: Starfleet Academy will introduce us to a young group of cadets who come together to pursue a common dream of hope and optimism. Under the watchful and demanding eyes of their instructors, they will discover what it takes to become Starfleet officers as they navigate blossoming friendships, explosive rivalries, first loves and a new enemy that threatens both the Academy and the Federation itself."

Star Trek: Lower Decks is streaming now on Paramount+. Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 5 is currently in production.