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Adam Holmes

I Asked Star Trek’s Tawny Newsome About The Lower Decks And Strange New Worlds Crossover, And She Revealed Why One ‘Mariner-ism’ Wasn’t Possible To Do In Live-Action

Mariner and Boimler in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

On July 22, 2023, the Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds crossover aired to Paramount+ subscribers, with Bradward Boimler and Beckett Mariner from the former show traveling back in time and meeting the crew of the USS Enterprise from the latter in “Those Old Scientists.” Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome reprised their characters in live-action, but during her time on Strange New Worlds, Newsome learned that there was one ‘Mariner-ism’ from Lower Decks that she wouldn’t be able to do on camera.

Following the conclusion of Lower Decks Season 4, I spoke with Tawny Newsome on behalf of CinemaBlend about the animated show’s latest batch of episodes, which include the season premiere “Twovix” (which poked fun at the Voyager episode “Tuvix”) and the return of The Next Generation’s Nick Locarno, whom Newsome compared to Khan Noonien Singh. Naturally I had to bring up the Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds crossover during our conversation too, as I was specifically interested to learn if there were any of Mariner’s animated characteristics she made a deliberate effort to include while physically playing her. Here’s what the actress had to say:

The biggest one I did, I tried to do a lot of hand on one hip while the other hand is gesticulating. People are reading this, so imagine that my right hand is serving a platter of drinks. She does a lot of talking like that. So that was one I tried to employ a lot. But the main thing that Mariner does a lot is you get a lot of crossed arms on her in animation, and I very quickly realized I could not do that in the uniform because our lav microphones were inside the com badge, and crossing your arm over it made it muffled. So I had really planned a lot of motions where I was going to cross those arms because it felt so Mariner to me. Instantly the sound department was lie, ‘Hey, you can’t do that.’ So it’s kind of like, ‘Oh shit, I need to come up with another Mariner-ism.’

Animated Beckett Mariner can cross her arms all she wants on Star Trek: Lower Decks, but that was no-go for live-action Mariner on Strange New Worlds thanks to a discreetly-hidden microphone on Tawny Newsome’s Starfleet uniform. I admire her drive to try to replicate this Mariner-ism, but it’s definitely important that one’s dialogue isn’t muffled while performing a scene. We’ll just have to pretend that Mariner was crossing her arms a lot off camera during her and Boimler’s time with Christopher Pike and his crew over 100 years in their past. 

The good news is that along with the classic hand on hip, Tawny Newsome found other Mariner-isms to squeeze within the runtime of “Those Old Scientists,” as well got to pull off a certain “maneuver” that Star Trek: The Next Generation fans know quite well. As she recalled:

One of them was definitely the sitting on the little ottoman in Uhura’s room. Mariner always kind of sits with her knees up and her arms around her knees. So that one was an easy one to pull out. And I even got a Picard maneuver in that scene when I stood up and did a little tug on the shirt.

Boimler and Mariner ended up in the Strange New Worlds time period thanks to an ancient portal powered by horonium, and while this time travel incident caused a temporary kerfuffle with an Orion ship, eventually all was resolved and those two made it back to their home time. It’s hard to say whether the worlds of Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds will become entangled again in the future, but if the opportunity comes for Newsome to play Mariner again in live-action, whether it’s in a “Those Old Scientists” follow-up or a crossover with a different corner of the Star Trek franchise, at least she knows to avoid the arm crossing.

In addition to Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 5 set to hit Paramount+ sometime next year, fans should also know that Tawny Newsome is one of the writers attached to the upcoming Star Trek TV show Starfleet Academy, and she talked about how different it is being a writer for the Trek franchise during the interview. As for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, its third season filming schedule has allegedly been revealed, but it remains to be seen when those episodes will start airing.

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