Mary Wiseman Really Doesn’t Want To Talk About Tilly Returning On ‘Star Trek: Starfleet Academy’

The next Trek series coming to Paramount+ is Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, a YA-focused show now confirmed to be set in the 32nd century established by Star Trek: Discovery. One big question about the new show is will anyone crossover from Discovery? The most likely member of the cast to make the move really doesn’t want to answer that question.

Don’t ask Mary about Academy

In season 4 of Star Trek: Discovery Mary Wiseman’s Tilly exited the USS Discovery to take up a position at the new Starfleet Academy, and exited the show as a series regular for over half a season. For season 5 she is back on the show as a regular and she’s on board the USS Discovery again, but it has been made clear that Tilly is only on temporary loan from the Academy. Since the Academy show was first announced last year there has been wide speculation that Wiseman would be part of the show, and this thinking has only increased since executive producer and co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman confirmed the new show would share the same time setting as Discovery.

As part of the Discovery season 5 publicity tour Cinemblend’s Mick Joest attempted to get Wiseman on the record about Academy, reporting:

I tried to get a response about her involvement by presenting a hypothetical about returning to Trek. After a short pause, Wiseman said the following: “Man, don’t try to get me. Don’t you try to get me. We can be friends or we can be enemies [laughs].”

Mary Wiseman (R) with Academy cadets in the season 4 episode “All is Possible” (Michael Gibson/Paramount+)

As Cinemablend noted, this does not confirm or deny if Tilly is part of Starfleet Academy. The actress appears to not want to answer the question, which it could be due to having signed an NDA.

Wiseman’s comment stands in contrast to her Discovery co-stars who have been open about their desire to make appearances in the Starfleet Academy show. During the same media tour TrekMovie talked to stars Sonequa Martin-Green (Burnham), Doug Jones (Saru), Blu del Barrio (Adira), and Wilson Cruz (Culber), and every single one of them made it clear they hoped there was a chance to reprise their Discovery roles.

Many of those same actors also made it clear they know nothing about the Academy show, which makes sense as the series is still being written, with filming set to start in the late summer. However, any current Discovery actor set to be a series regular or in a major recurring role would likely have already signed on for Academy. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman recently revealed he has not started casting the young actors who will be playing the cadets, but he did indicate to Collider that “some of the adult roles have already been filled.”

Mary Wiseman as Tilly in season 5 episode “Under the Twin Moons” (Marni Grossman /Paramount+)

If Wiseman has signed on for Starfleet Academy it makes sense that Kurtzman and Paramount don’t want her talking about it during a Discovery publicity tour. Kurtzman has warned the new series may not arrive until 2026. It’s likely there is a plan on how to roll out announcements on the show and the new cast, possibly using San Diego Comic-Con this July or another big event. But the smart latinum is on seeing Professor Tilly on Star Trek: Starfleet Academy.

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That’s a very odd comment. 🤷

If you look at how a Non-Insignificant Part of the Fandom is treating her, I’d be wary to talk about any further involvement as well…

Curious, how are they treating her and how do you know do you know it’s non-insignificant? I’ve been trying to stay out of the loop on “fandom” as I find that most of the people that are vocal on Twitter and Reddit are very vocal, very polarizing and my gut is that they are in the very small minority.

My read is that Mary Wiseman is salty as she was probably supposed to be a big part of that show and now maybe not so much. That would certainly explain her reaction. If there is a vocal minority of the fandom that is treating her crappy, that sucks. Not sure if it’s her acting, her weight, or whatever but it does come with being an actor/actress. Even if it is shitty.

I will say that I think she is a very good actress, I just think that the writing for her character is horrendous and has gotten worse each season. While she wasn’t my favorite character in season 1, I did find her a fun change of pace and believable…..she was a young cadet and her immaturity and lack of self assuredness made sense.

As Discovery continued, the writing for Tilly got worse and worse. She became a caricature of herself and while she was still great at playing the part, the character stopped making any sense. No matter how smart or talented or full of “heart”, it makes no sense that somebody so young, immature and lacking in self-control would be promoted so quickly and given so much responsibility. As Disco has gone on, the character is so unbelievable that it takes me out of the show.

How are people treating her? I hadn’t heard about that.

God I hope she’s not a part of the show.

I hope she’s in every scene just to *iss you off.

Hmmm, ummm

I’ve always liked Tilly. She can be annoying but I’ve always gotten the impression that if push comes to shove, she would be right there shoving back, and she’s always going to have your back.

No no no no no no! Please no. Horrible character, total cringe. A blubbering child like Tilly is supposed to be a teacher? We had 5 seasons of her too much, don’t make us suffer through her for 5 more!

I like Tilly well enough, especially as the character has grown, with more confidence to offset and compliment the goofy. That said, nothing attached to Discovery holds much must-see appeal. I would much rather seen it set in the era between TUC and TNG. There are a lot of stories to be told (When did the Cardassians show up? How did the Klingons almost kinda-sorta join the Federation?), and with “deepfakes” getting scary good (and just plain scary), there are a ton of opportunities for cameos where likenesses have been bought. The explicit YA emphasis is likewise uninspiring. Always chasing that 18-34 demographic in ways that fail to capture the spirit of Star Trek, at least prior to 2009, when the hunt for young eyes became obsessional. Stop trying so hard, Paramount—tell a good story and the rest will follow.

I hope she is in the show as i really like her character and it makes sense for her character to take up a more teacher role.

I hope she continues to ignore the Trek haters that attack Discovery and more importantly the ‘Trekkies’ on twitter and other social media/websites that attack her because of her appearance/weight.
I’ve seen them post messages on twitter/facebook that she should never be allowed on another trek show as they want to only see thin women in Trek.

They are also the same group of ‘Trekkies’ that post racist comments regarding Sonequa Martin-Green because she is a black women and lead of a Trek show. They also attacked Anthony rapp and Wilson Cruz for being gay.

Sadly racism/bigotry is alive in the Trek community/fandom and it’s disappointing that even the Trek fandom isn’t safe from racist fans and i really dislike that part of the fandom.

First mistake is reading anything on Facebook or Twitter. Delete the bookmarks, delete the apps. You’ll be happier for it. I though Stamets/Culber made a cute couple. My problem with Burnham is that every season, she turns out to be the Messiah, somehow at the center of a universe-ending apocalypse that only she, personally, can avert. There is no character in 60 years of Trek that I can take that from. Even Kirk needed a team, and then sometimes the stakes were a bad day. The only social boundary-pushing that rubbed me the wrong way was Adira’s non-binary identity. That was way too forced. The way to work that in, and get people thinking without putting them on the defensive, is have that with a human-like non-human species (remember Jadzia Dax kissing a woman?), and make the pronoun discussion an aside, not a confrontation. Or don’t mention it at all, and treat it like the most natural thing in the world. The fact that Uhura was a black woman and an officer was never commented on. But people got the message, and it probably was better received for not being hamfisted and shoehorned in. It’s that thoughtful subtlety that I think Trek has lost.

I am a Trekkie from a pretty conservative Muslim country and I tend to look at this issue from a more broader and different cultural perspective. What you are talking about I think doesn’t apply to just Trek but the wider entertainment and social culture in the US for about the last 10-15 years. Everything seems to be hamfisted or shoehorned or hit on over the head with it. The idea of “subtlety” of messaging seems to be disappearing because everyone is thinking that the other side is not subtle anymore so therefore I shouldn’t be subtle in my messaging. And unfortunately I think this makes most of the modern stuff unwatchable in my eyes. I think everyone just needs to take a breather, just relax and see if they can approach important social issues in different ways. I think for example you guys need to put more emphasis on these in your education system. Having said all of these I also admit that conservative countries like mine to tend to oppress the “different” people out there so there is still lots of work to be done by everyone to achieve any form of full social equality or justice. I personally think confrontational is not the best way to go about it because this automatically makes the other person feel defensive. A more radical, educational aspect, something that can have long term results can be a better approach.

Well said! I think the issue that people have is the way that issues are presented. There is no nuance, no subtlety and no elegance, which is due to bad writing.

TNG & DS9 were so effective at presenting social issues because of the nuance and subtlety that was used.

I’m not saying that this doesn’t exist, but does it represent a very vocal, incredibly small minority of fans? Or do you really believe that this is a real problem?

I’ve been reading this website since they created it back in 2006 or 2007. I don’t read all the comments, but from what I have seem, things are fairly measured and reasonable.

Reddit, FB and Twitter are all dumpster fires, in general. Most reasonable people recognize this bull$h!t doesn’t represent the real world.

It’s big and determined enough to do things like review bomb the show at IMDb and rotten tomatoes. I personally think seasons 3 or 4 were a step down in quality, but not to that extent. The ratings averages they’ve amassed aren’t reflective of any real objectivity.

I agree that it is absolutely 100% wrong to attack any of the actors based on race, sexuality, or appearance. My problem with the show is the writing and the execution. The cast is terrific.

I don’t really want to talk about it either. I like Tilly fine but I’m so disinterested in this 32nd century interpretation of this world.

I honestly think that the idea of this academy show is ridiculous when you consider the lukewarm reaction fans have had toward Discovery and the 32nd century plot device. Season 1 was okay and Season 2 was saved By Anson Mount and Ethan Peck. Since 3 it has been downhill. I think they should have developed Legacy. Terry Matalas saved Picard. Can we be intellectually honest about how rough the first two seasons were. If the next gen cast had not been announced for season 3, I would not have watched. Showrunners make a difference. Especially showrunners who understand the legacy, nuance, and complexity of the Star Trek universe.

The day the Picard season 3 DVDs dropped on Amazon, they were sold out. That says a lot. So you are going to create a show based on the most polarizing show in Trek history? It makes zero sense. If it were an academy show set during the SNW era, that would make way more sense to me than this. There is a tone deafness with these franchises that I don’t understand. Rogue One should have been the template on how to proceed with Star Wars and Picard should be the template on how to handle Trek.

It is hard to talk the conspiracy theorists down when you make product that is inconsistent with the brand you are developing. After 58 years, it should not be hard to get. My issues with DISCO have nothing to do with race, gender or sexuality. My issue has always been the storytelling. Burnham is basically more Martin-Green than Burnham. Just my opinion.

*Excellent* post, THESISKO. I feel Exactly…the same way. You just saved me a lot of writing.

Well said.

Weirdly after the release of Rogue One, I had heard about plans on developing a show about Darth Vader, but now that seems to be put on hold as well. I guess they just didn’t think people should be too fond of a very “evil” character. I think a Vader show would have been awesome.

Thesisko, you make many good points. S2 of Discovery is my favourite era of Discovery for the reasons you outline. I also agree with your Rouge One comments. That movie was a critical and commercial success (taking a +$500 domestic box-office) and I for one thought Disney were on to something.

If I were her, I’d advise she not talk about the show, and to avoid the fan base. The usual suspects are going to take a s**t on her regardless of what she does, so why subject yourself to that abuse.

Just look at some of the comments here. I rest my case.

What comments on this post are talking $h!t? ST has become so polarizing that expressing dislike for a character is “taking a Sh!t” on an actor?!?!?

Sending Saru to teach at Starfleet Academy is much more believable. I enjoyed Tilly in Season 1, but have grown less fond of the character over time. Saru on the other hand is the best thing about Discovery. They really scored big with Doug Jones. On the other hand, the actor’s probably ready to move on to bigger and better things.

Saru/Doug Jones really is a gem, but a shame he’s connected with this (Discovery) series. It will limit what can be done with the Saru character unless future series are set in the 32nd century Discoverse. Basically, without this Starfleet Academy series, you’d never see him again.

Sad but true.

Unfortunately Saru is the only contemporary Star Trek character that is really great, well apart from Shaw who is a Star Trek legend.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the character was brought back for SFA but yeah like how others feel she’s more annoying to me than endearing. It was a little cute when she first showed up and it was nice to have SOME comedy relief in a season that came off ultra serious and dark but it’s out worn it’s welcome for me seasons ago.

I liked Tilly but I agree someone like her should never make captain. She is more of a Reg Barkley type character with a lot of neurotic tendencies but with proper guidance by senior officers can be used effectively on a team. Again, like Barkley, Tilly has great skills, but I am not sure why she would be placed as a mentor/captain/instructor – like role.

I have been teaching at a college and high school level for 25 years and I have seen instructors like Tilly before, but they never make it long. Even in a 1000 years it doesn’t make sense to have Tilly as an instructor at the academy.

She doesn’t do too bad with at group of non-cohesive cadets on the shuttle mission, to be fair.

You hit the nail on the head.

Can we keep Dadmiral Vance around? Oded Fehr has done a great job, and it’s nice to have a recurring Admiral again, similar to Admiral Ross on DS9.

FYI, The Mummy is getting a US 25th anniversary rerelease in a couple weeks.

Tilly Trek is going to be awesome

If any DSC actors are involved in ACA (or whatever the abbreviation will be), I’m sure they have very strict NDAs in place.

Obviously Paramount is in much flux right now, but one wonders if Wiseman’s role will be limited in ACADEMY, to leave the door open for a STAR TREK: TILLY show …

Another great reason to avoid like the Tarellian plague.