Mary Wiseman Talks Tilly’s Future On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

The fourth episode of the new season of Star Trek: Discovery (“All is Possible“) arrived this morning and it has fans buzzing about Lt. Sylvia Tilly. Actress Mary Wiseman did a series of media interviews talking about the episode and the future of the character to fill fans in.



A tearful goodbye

One of the storylines this season has been how Tilly has been feeling out of place. Today “All Is Possible” gave Tilly a new path as she was seen at the end of the episode leaving the USS Discovery to take up a teaching post at the newly reopened Starfleet Academy.  The actress spoke to a number of outlets about this major pivot point. Speaking to TV Insider, Wiseman described working on that final scene between Tilly and Burnham:

It was really emotional and really tender. When we read it the first time at our read through, it was really teary. I love Sonequa very, very much as a person. She’s a dear friend. And I also adore Tilly and Burnham’s friendship as it exists in the story and they have had all these nice, quiet, intimate moments with each other kind of sprinkled throughout the series. And so to return to that sort of home base felt organic and just really special. I hope it came out well because it felt very good as we were doing it, and I love to work with Sonequa. She’s such a good actor.

Speaking to Slashfilm the actress said she related to Tilly’s arc this season:

Oh, it’s so interesting. I mean, so much of it was pretty accessible because —and I think I can speak for a lot of us — we were all living through a period when we shot it, of personal upheaval. We had to recalibrate things because we shot through COVID, and I was really grateful to have a storyline that was so synchronous with my own experience, of having to take a new look at things and reassess, and then decide what you want to do from there.

And Wiseman told Forbes this change for Tilly feels right:

It just felt like an organic outgrowth of the story, that she was in this sweet place of questioning, both her past and her motivations for the path that she was currently on. That’s kind of what this character needed, some time to grow, on her own, as an adult. So it’s kind of a natural extension of that.

Tilly leaves the USS Discovery

Tilly will be back

As for Tilly’s future, Wiseman offered some assurance to fans that today’s episode wasn’t the end of the road, telling Inverse:

You will see Tilly again before the end of the season. Don’t worry.

While Wiseman spoke broadly about the character’s arc through the show and into season four, when it came to more questions about Tilly’s future she stuck to the script, telling Slashfilm:

What I’ve been told I can say is that you will see Tilly later in the season.

She also joked how “they have a sniper on me right now” to keep her from saying anything more. Various versions of the same statement were given in each interview which also matched what Paramount+ has confirmed with TrekMovie. However, she did offer a little bit of detail to TV Insider on how Tilly will be different when she returns to the show:

I’ll say that her hair is slightly different and she’s wearing a different outfit.

Of course, that all makes sense with Tilly taking up a post at the Academy, so it feels like, at least for season four, this is not a temporary assignment.

Tilly at the opening ceremony for the new 32nd century Starfleet Academy

Watch Wiseman on The Ready Room

The actress was also the sole guest on this week’s The Ready Room, where she had a conversation with host Wil Wheaton that got emotional (especially for Wheaton). As for the big question about if we will see Tilly again, with a big smile, Wiseman told Wheaton: “she’s coming back.”


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Tilly has become my favorite character. I do hope she doesn’t leave permanently at some point.

I’ve never much liked Tilly at all. (Which is to say nothing bad about Wiseman, who is reliably good and sometimes better.) I liked her a lot in this episode, though.

Funny, I had stopped watching Disco in the middle of season 2, and missed a lot of the episodes in S1… Then recently decided to give it a 2nd chance. I have learned to appreciate this show, and although I too had previously not been Tilly’s biggest fan, I now appreciate her a lot. She’s real. And she’s the classic demonstration that true character comes in many forms… I still can’t stand Gray though. The character is useless. Really the only reason he’s there is because they needed a Trans character. This is blatantly fake and forced and disrespectful to the actor.

So Tilly is going to the Academy and it is rumored we have an Academy show coming? Hmmm…..

This would be my bet too

Oh God I hope not. Quality not quantity. It will be good for DSC to go out on a high maybe with the next season and then concentrate on doing SNW well.

So far, any flaws in DSC, PIC, or LD — of which there are quite a few — are not the result of quantity, but poor decision making. Which again, is not the result of quantity.

I have my hopes up for SNW, even if perhaps I shouldn’t. It will be the first time Trek returns to episodic TV in quite some time. *fingers crossed*

Ah! I hadn’t put that together. Interesting!

To play devils advocate against myself, I’m not sure how much of a show they could make, considering how tiny the academy is right now. But still, anything could happen.

Shoot! That sucks that Tilly left as a regular. I hope this doesn’t mean that they’re doing that Starfleet Academy series. I just don’t see that taking off. Also, I get that Star Trek was episodic in the past and the Pike series will return to that, but I actually prefer the serialized seasons. If they had released all the season 4 episodes at once, I would have fast forwarded or skipped episodes 2 through 4 altogether.

With complete and total respect to Mary Wiseman, I hate the character. I don’t think it’s her fault, I think it’s simply down to the way Tilly is written. So frankly, I’m fine with seeing a LOT less of her. I’m not loving this new season so far, but it does seem to be a step up from the last season which, in my opinion, totally jumped the shark. I think putting Discovery in this new time period was very bold and inspired. But I think that the opportunity has been squandered.

Yeah. I honestly have a tough time blaming the actors. I feel like the casting on Star Trek Discovery has been a failure along with the writing and producing. Most actors just aren’t the right fit for those parts. This was always a very bad role for her. I haven’t seen her in anything else but she has always felt out of place in that part. I have no doubt she could be a good fit for the right role. It’s just not Tilly.

The frustrating thing is (and this is not a diss on Sonequa Martin-Green, it’s praise for the other actor and his casting) that they had, in my view, one piece of superb casting in Doug Jones’ Captain Saru.

Then they did the bizarre flip and made him the XO instead.

Doug Jones was indeed good casting. An obvious requirement for the part was that he be tall and lanky. But Jones was able to provide that AND bring acting skill to the part. Not all the actors are badly cast. The guy playing Booker seems to be the right fit thus far for example. But the majority of them aren’t well cast.

I totally agree. Her charakter is on the same level as Wes Crusher (poor Wil Wheaton, I like him). I wouldn’t miss her. Even Neelix wasn’t that anoying. Her charakter is over the top.

Why is Wil Wheaton channeling Duff Man?

I know Adira is supposed to be this season’s eager and bright young officer, but I loved Tilly, and I really hate having her shoved aside to make room for Adira.

+1. That’s what this is about.

I think Tilly might be getting her own show. I think it’s a win-win for the character and actress. All this is just a guess though.

I hope you’re right!

How is she being shoved aside? It’s pretty obvious she’s being given her own show.

I think it’s pretty obvious what’s going on–she will be the star of Starfleet Academy.

Please no.

I’m not a huge fan of a Starfleet Academy show but it could be decent of done right. One of the right things is to set it back in a known era like the TOS or just post Voyager era. Or somewhere in between. I really REALLY hope Trek NEVER does another 32nd century set show. It’s just not working.

It just doesn’t feel futuristic enough to me, except for pointless engines not attached to the ship for some unfathomable reason beyond looking cool. The 32nd century should have been as different and alien as the 21st century would be to 12th century.

That has been a big argument from me ever since it was known the 32nd century was where they were going to be. And honestly the tech in that show feels like they were stagnant for over 500 years. I would think they wouldn’t even need starships by then. At the very least SOMEONE would have come up with the spore drive by then. And even advanced past it! Literally the tech should make zero sense to us. It needs to essentially be magic. But that’s a double edge sword. They make the tech look like what it might be extrapolated to for that time frame would most likely turn off a number of viewers. So they really can only go so far with the tech. But that is why I feel they went way too far. They might have gotten away with going to the 27th century. Even that might have been too far but it might make a little more sense.

And I don’t want to hear “that would not jive with what we saw of the far future from other Trek shows.” My response to that would be, “so what?” The future isn’t written. They can always do what they want in the future beyond what eras the shows of the past were set in.

Yeah, I agree with all that. :-)

This exactly. What really has changed technology wise? They still rely on dilithium? I mean we very nearly had a solution for warp without warp drive back in the 24th century. And at this point we should be exploring different galaxies.

Personal transporters? Had that in Nemesis. Programmable matter? How is that different than what a holodeck or transporter does?

Where is all the cool tech we saw from Daniels in Enterprise? Ships that are bigger on the inside than the outside? Travelling through time as easily as walking through a door? Walking through walls? What gives?

Exactly. Especially the dilithium thing. If I could nag on ONE thing they did in their 32nd century environment that was really really REALLY dumb… It’s that ships still rely on dilithium for warp. They should at least have personal spore drives for every individual by then especially considering the original idea was 900 years old and it WORKS. Having them still reliant on dilithium is like us today still being reliant on wind for transportation.

Agreed. The 32nd century doesn’t feel right. I was NEVER a fan of the Federation nearly being obliterated. None of the tech feels all that futuristic like it did with Daniels in ENT. I don’t know why a ship from the 23rd century seems like the only one that can save the 32nd. None of this is working.

…yet another show from Secret Hideout I will not tune in for. I thought the idea for an Academy show was bad way back when Harve Bennett suggested it. Teens In Space, no thanks.

Well, if they sing the Beaver Song…

Star Trek 90210

You will see Tilly again before the end of the season. Don’t worry.

I was NEVER worried about that. In fact, it was something I knew was coming and am unhappy about.

Sorry Tilly fans. She was a pretty divisive character. You either loved her or hated her.

The latter. From the first episode I asked myself, ‘what is this person doing on a starship?’ And by the way, is all these people do is cry, on-set and off?

Perfect time to bring in Tom Hanks “ There’s No Crying in Star-fleet !”

I like this episode for Tilly. Since Tal joined the crew, Tilly has felt like her spot was taken over and that she the writers tumbled her around but had trouble finding a suitable space for her. This season, they made it a part of her character arc. I was afraid they were going to kill her to write her out, but they found a way to write her out and still able to use her in the future..

Bye Tilly. :)

You were supposed to be DSC’s Reg Barclay but instead you were just incredibly annoying from Day 1.

Barclay was an awful character, too. Anytime he showed up you knew the episode was going to be crap.

“Ship in a Bottle” was one of TNG’s best episodes, and “The Nth Degree” was above average.

Sorry. Ship in a Bottle was terrible. All the shows centered on the holodeck were garbage. The Nth Degree was better. But that fact that it was happening to Barclay just ruined the episode. It should have happened to Data or Geordi. Perhaps even Riker. It’s just that anytime Barclay appears it’s a major letdown.

Stop being a bullying troll. You don’t like Barclay, fine. Stop gatekeeping whether others can like him or not.

On the contrary. You are the one who is bullying by telling me I’m not allowed to share my opinion of various episodes.

Stop telling people what they can think.

You are lying about what I said. You are attacking people for having opinions different than your own. I said nothing about what you think, or are allowed to think, or however it is that you are distorting what I said.

?? You have GOT to be joking…. You said, and I quote, “Stop being a bullying troll.”

I never attacked anyone. You did the attacking and you attacked me because I had a different opinion. You accused me of gatekeeping which I most certainly was not, nor have I ever.

Geez… Some people.

I found Barclay delightful after the mortifying moments of his first holoaddiction.

More, so did many of the nerdy folks I was in grad school with.

He came across as they oddball no one really wanted to be around but were forcing themselves to be nice to. Honestly, given my youth I can relate but that doesn’t make for a good Trek character.

The thing about Barclay is that he refreshingly showed that not everyone in StarFleet or especially on board the Enterprise was perfect. Even in the 24th century, people can still have major flaws.

There is something to be said for that. Flawed characters are generally more interesting. But this guy seemed to have a very hard time just functioning in society. It kinda went too far in the other direction of the 7 perfect main characters.

Tilly has always been such a ray of light on the show, and played with a real open hearted sweetness by Mary Wiseman.I really hope she doesn’t leave for good. I still miss Michelle Yeoh; Discovery needs these larger than life characters.

I was NOT a fan of Tilly but it WOULD be a shame if Mary Wiseman decided to leave because of internet bullies. I just don’t like the CHARACTER.

Where has it been alleged that she is leaving because of “internet bullies”? Few actors are going to give up a starring role in a popular franchise because of criticism online.

I think it’s pretty clear she’s being written out (or at least having her role significantly changed) because most of her character traits overlap with Adira.

She definitely said in the interviews that this came from the writers.

She also said that she is coming back.

so is this tasha/sela where she shows up once a season moving forward? or starbuck where its a fake out and she 100% returns next season

Ok…So, she’ll be the core of Starfleet Academy new series… So I think (What if?)

Um… what?

This show stinks. It surprises me just how unsophisticated Star Trek has become. We are basically given 50+ minutes of everyone telling each other how valued, precious, acceptable, loving, encouraging, needed, etc. But what can you really expect from Michelle Paradise and Heather Kadin but adolescent soap-opera in Hillary Clinton-esque pantsuits. Let’s just say there won’t be any of the dreaded ‘Male Gaze’ when it comes to the crew of the Discovery.They have 30 year old women dressing like they are 60 years old. Again and finally, this show sucks. Funny Silvia Tilly was to be promoted to Lieutenant for consistently failing and being an emotional wreck.

You are toxic and who the hell do you think you are criticizing women’s costumes? Discovery isn’t your cup of tea. Why bother being nasty about it? I’m sure you have better uses of your time than commenting vile nonsense on a page about a show you don’t even like.

final warning for trolling

So glad to hear Mary Wiseman isn’t leaving the show! She’s my favorite!! :)