Comedian Tig Notaro Cast In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ As Engineer

Today brings another bit of casting news for the second season of Star Trek: Discovery which will begin production soon. Variety and ET are reporting that actress and comedian Tig Notaro will have a guest star role for the second season for an unknown number of episodes. CBS has not made an official announcement, but the official Discovery Twitter account retweeted the ET story, and a quick confirmation of her casting is now up on

According to Variety, Notaro’s character is named Denise Reno, who is Chief Engineer of the U.S.S. Hiawatha. There is no more info on the role. The Hiawatha appears to be a new ship, with no mention of it on Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki.

Notaro, 47, is best known for her comedy career of the last two decades, with a signature dark style. She has released a number of comedy albums and had her own HBO comedy special in 2015, Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted. In the last decade she has appeared in supporting roles in a number of TV shows and films. More recently she created and starred in the semi-autobiographical comedy One Mississippi, which ran on Amazon for two seasons.

Will the Discovery get a Chief Engineer?

Star Trek: Discovery never introduced or even mentioned a Chief Engineer for the USS Discovery during the first season. Paul Stamets is a scientist, specializing in the fungal spores that powered the spore drive used in season one. As actor Anthony Rapp told TrekMovie last year:

[Stamets] is a science officer with a very specific application of the science. It is always first and foremost about the science. Stamets wouldn’t be able to go fix the drive himself, but Stamets could do the research that could lead and understand the science that goes into what makes the drive work. But, Scotty or O’Brien could go fix whatever, that’s not Stamets.

This point was also confirmed by c0-executive producer Ted Sullivan in a Twitter Q&A with fans last year, saying “Stamets is NOT The [Chief Engineer]. I wonder who he or she is…?” And while Stamets’ lab was a key location throughout the first season, it is important to note it is not the actual engine room for the ship. In that same Q&A Sullivan noted the set where Stamets navigated the spore drive during season one “is an engineering lab. It’s not main engineering. We’ll definitely see more of engineering in [season two]. What we’ve seen is his personal work space”

Stamets’ engineering lab in episode 13

So, it stands to reason that elsewhere on the ship is a whole engineering crew maintaining the standard warp drive, computer systems, life support systems, etc. Notaro is known for her dry, deadpan style of comedy. Chief engineer’s in Trek often need a coping mechanism for being called upon to perform near impossible feats of engineering prowess, so this could be her character’s trademark style for dealing with crazy requests from the captain.

The reports today say her character, Denise Reno, is Chief Engineer of the U.S.S. Hiawatha, but could she be transferring over to the USS Discovery during a crisis? Perhaps it is a part of whatever situation that caused the USS Enterprise to send out a Priority 1 distress call at the closing moments of the season one finale.

The incoming distress call from the USS Enterprise from the season 1 finale

Second season production starts next week

Notaro is the third actor confirmed to be joining Discovery for season two. CBS announced that Anson Mount had been cast as Captain Christopher Pike on Monday. And, at WonderCon CBS revealed a bonus scene from the season one finale, which introduced the character of Leland, head of Section 31, played by Alan Van Sprang, who says he will have a “massive” role in season 2.

The second season of Discovery begins shooting shortly. Showrunner Aaron Harberts revealed to TrekMovie the season will have 13 episodes. No date has yet been set for the premiere.

Cast and crew are currently assembling in Toronto as production nears. This morning Anthony Rapp (Lt. Stamets) tweeted out a photo of himself, along with Mary Wiseman (Ensign Tilly) and Emily Coutts (Keyla Detmer).

UPDATE: Cast and crew reactions to Notaro casting

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on the Space Channel and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.


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Looking on IMDB, she has a pretty extensive resume, nearly all in comedy. Hopefully some of that levity will spill over into her character.

I love the diversity we’re seeing so far in this show. However I feel the only straight, caucasian character ended up being a villain and was killed off. How about a straight, caucasian character for all the, straight caucasians to identify with. I’m not trying to troll the thread, just wondering???

Good news! Almost every other show on TV have you covered!

And so does every season of every Star Trek show, including this one.

Oh my god can we have one story without someone talking about diversity. And the second comment! This actress was deemed most suitable for the role, that’s the most important thing.

Yeah, you are trolling the thread. Find MeTV, they specialize in broadcasting fifty years of straight white male TV for you to identify with.

no he isn’t. he made a factual statement. He doesn’t want to watch MeTV. He wants to watch Star Trek

The answer is, he isn’t owed a straight white male to identify with. People aren’t represented on TV all the time. Perhaps it’s time for him to feel what it’s like. Maybe that will lead to some understanding as to why it’s so important that Disco IS so diverse. Why diversity in media is hotter than ever, and for good reason. No one is entitled to representation, not even straight white men. But people respond to it when they get it. So it’s time to give someone else the spotlight. White men have held it for, idk, all of Western civilization.

Great comment Alba.

“Perhaps it’s time for him to feel what it’s like.” Boom! There it is! It’s not about equality, it’s about straight white males “feeling what it’s like”. You, know because it leads to understanding. Love the honesty of your comment and spectacle of the prevailing zeitgeist. Are you not entertained?!

No, see you’re misrepresenting what I’m saying. The point isn’t to exclude straight white males. The point is to INCLUDE everyone else. And if including said groups of people comes at the expense of straight white men, then that’s totally okay. They aren’t owed anything.

“The point is to INCLUDE everyone else”
That is just completely idiotic. It’s not diversity, it’s not representative it’s just stupid.

How is that idiotic or stupid? Albatrosity was talking originally about the importance of empathy, of seeing the world through someone else’s point of view. I don’t see the problem with fighting for inclusion . . . unless you’re only defending your privilege. But anyway calling someone a stupid idiot isn’t a convincing argument either way.

because that double neg would probably imply you’re smart anyhow :) nice one Holden.

No you’re stupid! (throws lego toy, drinks from sippy cup…)

Factual? Where in the article does it say that Mrs Notaro is Gay? Looking boyish doesn’t make her a lesbian.

I mean, she has a wife. It’s public knowledge. It’s not mentioned in the article because it’s not relevant.

MeTV shows Star Trek reruns around these parts. And if the OP is not so fortunate, the entire catalog of what constitutes Star Trek exists in other forms of media. Those are also factual statements.

Aside from Arathorn’s answer, there are also plenty of white, straight, and cis-male human characters on the show, even if they aren’t all three represented in one person. If this doesn’t feel like enough, then it is a good illustration of why people want to promote intersectionality – it is tough enough being gay without gay characters in your fiction, or a person of color with only white characters in your fiction, but if being both at the same time leaves you with very little representation.

Note that I’m not trying to frame you as against representation in the slightest. It is just good to see what it is like on the other side of the privilege divide, even if it is in such a minor and contained way.


Odd comment. Im a straight white male and yet I dont feel like Im not represented. Im human. I see representation in all the characters. And certainly the “plight” of straight white males doesnt need saving by increased representation on TV.

Exactly. This.
Thank you.

I’m a straight white male and I feel plenty represented, because there are characters who I identify with: Stamets’ intelligence and irreverence, Burnham’s tenacity, Saru’s self-doubt, and Tilly’s social awkwardness.

I think people should really stop defining themselves and others by their race, gender, and sexuality.

Great comment. I’m a straight white male and I also identify with Stamets. His sexual preference has nothing to do with it.

I’m a straight white man and have been for 43 years.

I have no trouble identifying with characters who aren’t straight white men. I used to. You know how I got over that? I finally experienced a sufficient amount of stories in which there were prominent characters who aren’t straight white men. And as I was watching one of them I realized that I had a lot in common with some of these people who I allegedly had nothing in common with.

This stuff matters. It matters big-time.

Are you only able to identify on TV with “straight caucasians”??.

As someone who is NOT caucasian, my empathy for a character is not limited to those who look like me ( hence many of my fictional heroes HAVE been straight and white – as well as others too ).

I don’t think he’s trolling. As others have already stated, though, its a problematic statement that’s oblivious to its own sense of privilege. That said, what also upsets me is how this statement will be used to make broad and unfair generalizations about older Trek fans who’ve been generally supportive of DSC.

Is Captain Pike not straight or caucasian enough for you?

Shhh . . . he’s actually bi!

Well Kirk was bi so that’s nothing new

It was his “lifelong ambition”!

Yeah, he sleeps with females and is in love with a starship. :-)

Who, by Kirk’s own words, “is a beautiful lady and we love her.” (of course the ‘we’ does sound a little too inclusive when it comes to love, doesn’t it? Brings us back to the, “it’s okay to love your dog, just don’t LOVE your dog.” And the dirty minded corollary, as follows: Guy tells friend, “oh man, I drank so much last night, I blew chunks.” Other guy responds with, “Oh yeah, man, I’ve been there before too.” First guy looks him straight in the eye and says, “No, man you don’t understand, Chunks is my dog.”)

You should read the slash fic on Kirk and Spock lol

Isn’t it funny that the people who have issues with women, gays, non-whites seem to have forgotten the straight white make role that was just announced a few days ago? Lol

Sort of makes their complaints sadly transparent.

It’s a legit question, but the answer really is just that you can’t expect to be catered to, or require it for you to engage with the material. If you feel entitled to representation because you’re straight and white [not saying you do feel that way, just saying if], then you gotta remember, you’re a straight white male and you’ve been catered to all your life. Let someone else have a turn.

Welcome to our world, Kyle. Now imagine every movie and TV show being like that for your whole life (and society telling you that real life was like that too — the only stars were white males), and you might get a sense why representation matters to people.

But at the same time, some of us watched Star Trek for years and still identified with characters who didn’t look like us physically.

*btw, there are several white, presumably straight characters on the show (Tilly, Detmer, Cornwall, Pike, Sarek, Amanda, others), although a couple are women.

Yeah!Detmer is Rhinelander.I fpr sure identify with her. Representation at last 😊
#homegirl #Rheinland

There are plenty of straight characters, and plenty of caucasian characters. Why do we need that exact combination?

I go one step further: there are a lot of HUMAN characters although the show should include way more non-human characters.

If I only watched TV shows that featured half-Chinese half-Italian/Austrian/British characters, I’d die of television starvation. A large percentage of shows I watched over the years didn’t even have non-whites.

You’ll be okay.

Hey if she’s good, she’s good. No argument here. Oh and Kyle, you’ve got Tilly and other members of the cast who are exactly what you’re saying they don’t have on the show… So, yeah

As a gay male, I’m actually tired of the whole ‘diversity’ BS. It all stems from the fact that society has become outrageously P.C. over the last few decades. It’s rather sad, really, because it takes the enjoyment out of a program for me because so much attention is focused on the diversity and P.C. of it all. Can we simply not focus on good stories, good casting (regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, species, blood type, hair color, areola size, etc.), and good production values? Some programs I watch are so I can escape the reality in which we live, not to dive right back into it. Can we please stop shoving this sh*t down everyone’s throat?

How are gay characters, a black woman sh*t and a white female guest star sh*t, exactly? Was Roddenberry shoving anything down your throat by casting Nichols and Takei?

Jack, my comment is related to the overwhelming response of diversity related to the current casting. My comment has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual casting. I speak to the current world climate and those who find it necessary to continuously point out when a minority entertainer has been hired (or not). Re-read my post and you may see that which I refer.

Its not PC. You’re missing the entire point of diversity.

Now you know how the rest of us feel watching everything else ever

We need Lorca back.

I wonder if the show runners will continue to shove the Star Trek universe into the shredder going into season 2.

Bad day?

How does her casting “shove the Star Trek universe into the shredder”?

Can only imagine the OP doesnt like women.

Ya. I guess I don’t understand demographics and who watches shows.

There seems to be a whole lot of, “If I wish it and repeat it often enough then it’s real” going around these days.

That’s due to an emerging trickle-down worldview, coming from seeing too many high government officials using it as their Twitter mantra while in denial of everything actually going down.

If viewers want pure representation, a third of the crew should be either Indian or Chinese. Odd they’re not, given those nations’ burgeoning space programs in this century.

Random communication guy appears to have a whole ship to choose from

Mount and Notaro look like solid casting choices. (Hopefully they will be given good sentences to say.) Note: if the show wanted to be really woke, they would’ve named the ship the USS Jikonhsaseh, Jikonhsaseh being the woman not given her due for being instrumental in the founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.

*scratches chin confusedly* right right of course, the Haudiewhatsit, mmhm good point

You might more readily recognize it by the name Iroquois Confederacy, the representative governmental organization uniting six (originally five) Native American nations in the North American northeast. The Haudenosuanee were united by Hiawatha, Jikonhsaseh, and a figure known as the Great Peacemaker in the 1400’s-1600’s (pre-Columbian dates are notoriously difficult to establish). They were a matrilineal society where women held important political power. There is substantial historical debate over the influence of the Confederacy on the federal structure of the U. S. Constitution.

Here’s your mic. Please feel to drop it at your leisure.

I could imagine McCoy saying ‘Haudiewhatsit who?’, leading into a lengthy Spock speech about past human historical misdeeds, all while Kirk bemusedly looks on. I guess DSC look askance at including any genuine TOS ‘feel’ but man, it sure needs something like that. Rewatching second season TOS last night, the character dynamics were always at least as engaging as the plotting.

EDIT ADDON: I just scrolled down and saw that Hutch and Denny C already delivered Spock’s and Kirk’s role in the exchange I outlined above.

Rapp brings up a pressing point- for a streamer all about diversity, there are too many gingers in the Disco cast. This is even more concerning because all my data projections show there being a considerably LOWER proportion of gingers in the 23rd century. I’m afraid, by season’s end, one of the gingers must die.

Since this season has something to do with faith maybe they’ll realize one of their gingers has no soul? You’re right though there is an abundance of ginger representation. But hey they need it too!

Chief Engineer Denise Reno – named in honor of Attorney General Janet Reno?

If this was during the Berman era, I’d guess Reno was named for Clancy Brown’s character in BUCKAROO BANZAI, since the Okudas had a way of slipping in references to that all the time. For DSC, the name might be them just trying once again to appear to be clever — Reno is “oner” backwards, as in this is a token appearance by a particular type, a one-r.

Writing staffs do try slipping stuff by producers. Ellison wrote about a series that was being retooled in 68 or 69 to conform with emerging trends plus demands made of networks by VP Agnew, and mentions part of this included adding a new youthful Caucasian character as flunky for one of the shows with its typical middle-aged leading man. David P. Harmon (author of the MUDD episodes of TREK and A PIECE OF THE ACTION) was supposed to develop the character, and actually named him Christian White, which I guess got close to actually being shot and aired before somebody caught on.

One of the effects guys on ROBOCOP 2 tried to slip the words “avoid Orion meeting” into Robo’s screwed-up ascii code that appears after his corporate reprogramming, but somehow the Orion studio people actually caught it and made them take it out.


I recall Ellison’s story about “Christian White” (reprinted in the paperback collection of his Free Press columns entitled THE GLASS TEAT), which I believe referenced the series The Young Lawyers, which he wrote a not-so-good teleplay for. Do you happen to remember his piece about Spiro Agnew and his alleged peculiar habit with regards to the Reader’s Digest?

Oh yes indeed! In fact, the last couple of chapters of the first TEAT book are among my faves, with that whole thing with him speaking at a school. I actually did a treatment for it as a film when I was in my 20s, but don’t still have it.

Great choice! As others have noted, I hope this means season 2 has more of a sense of humor with itself.

Love the female engineer approach, never seen her but I can see her being great for the part. I just hope this season is more sprightly than last, which took itself way too seriously. There wasn’t a lot of fun in it, and the fun that was supposed to be in it was sometimes really awkward. I’d love for Trek to outgrow its awkwardness and give us some really fun, witty dialogue like in GOT, characterization that makes us want to hang out with these people after work. Sounds like Notaro could play a character like that if the writers can do it right.

One of TNG’s chief engineers in season one (they had a few, apparently more than one at once, before settling on Geordi) was a woman. Voyager’s chief engineer was female. According to the novels, so was Pike’s.

Of course, that’s not at all representative of the reality today, but still.

Of course there have been female engineers before. I didn’t mean to say it was groundbreaking. I just appreciate that the writers made that choice. It could’ve been just another dude, which Disco has plenty of already.

I hadn’t read that properly —just read it again and realized she’s not joining the Discovery crew. I’d gotten excited.(Still cool, though).

And another woman to the cast representing a male dominated field. So lets take a count so far. Woman Commander, Woman Captian dead but now alive, both Women Helmswomen, now a woman doctor, woman ensign, woman android, woman security officer (although dead now), Woman Klingon leader and on the other side Evil Captin man & dead, Human/Klingon infiltrator man & dead, Doctor man & dead and a couple of other men who barely speak. Perhaps the First Officer is Male but do we really know? Men are almost always the oppressors with the exception of evil Georgiou but then they had to make sure that even in the mirror universe a woman was in charge. Naaa there’s no agenda. Now just to remind the childish people who will immediately hurl insults at me, Janeway is my second favorite Captian behind Kirk (I must be sexist) and I have had no problem with any cast member from any of the other shows expcept in some episodes when they were just annoying or stupid (both sexes for the people who assume I am referring to female characters). Now of course a woman can be portrayed in any role on the ship and that isn’t a problem but it is clear the people in charge of the show have an agenda to portray as many woman as possible in positions or fields that they would naturally be less likely to go into just to force their wishes on society in place of reality. And this is in lieu of good storytelling. Can’t wait for a female character that constantly physically overpowers men. Oh yea they had Tasha and she was a bad charcater until she came back after leavig the show and she was a great character in all the episodes as Sela.


Why do you have an issue with women in these roles? Do you keep a count of male roles on other shows you watch? I don’t understand your point.

They JUST announced a male actor hired for a major role. No one says anything about his gender. Two days later they cast a female and suddenly it’s a problem?

Except that you clearly DO have problem. You have critised the show for its female representation. That tells me that you DO have a problem on some level. Its 2018, not 1968.

And again another HUMAN to the cast representing a HUMAN dominated field although the show is supposed to take place in a federation of different species.

A Federation with a Starfleet that is decidedly human-centric in its staffing at this point, which is borne out throughout TOS (the only Vulcans I remember serving were about ISS ENT in MIRROR MIRROR, which I rewatched alongside ULTIMATE COMPUTER last night.)

Why would there even be male-dominated fields in the 23rd century? What’s a field that someone’s naturally less likely to go into? I can’t even think of a single occupation in the show so far that’s inherently tied to a gender, certainly not in the 23rd century.

One again everyone totally misses the point. Every time someone has an opinion they don’t agree with they spew all their bent up hatred. G66 said he likes the female characters. G66 doesn’t have any issues with the female characters. The point he is making is that there is an obvious agenda on the part of the producers to overpopulate the show with female roles. If you can’t agree with that comment than you are blind.

Closing thread, Warning for trolling

– The management

So everyone is black, dark brown, or if not are homosexual.

What about the rest of us?

Maybe it is true that white male heterosexual Christians are the most hated human beings on planet earth.

tate roberts,

Re: white male heterosexual Christians are the most hated human beings

Well, not all, but most definitely the notorious most infamous subset of what could be designated as such that used their Christian bibles to justify all sorts of vile evil atrocities, i.e. Nazis, White Supremacists, Salem Witch Hunters, Inquisitors, etc.

To paraphrase the comic book writers, “When white men dared to lust after and acquire great power, they also acquired greater responsibilities.”


the Nazis were no Christians Who told you that garbadge. Christians were in the resistance: Bonhoeffer Niemöller, Hans and Sophie Scholl etc. all motivated by christian moral values and Nächstenliebe. The Nazis persecuted Jews for race not religion.


Adolph Hitler was a lapsed Catholic and as opportunistically Christian as most of that lot were and are wont to be, i.e. when it suits them, re: Catholics who only attend Sunday mass on Easter Sunday.

The Nazi designations of inferiors that needed to be purged and exterminated were not arrived at through Nazi funded race science research. There is no such thing as a Communist or Homosexual race, for example. They arrived at their conclusions by accepting the historical record reported in the Christian Bible as unerringly accurate, something only a fundamentally believing on some level Christian is wont to do, i.e. the Nazis started their Social Darwinism experiment with fundamental preconceived notions of inferiority derived from the Christian Bible and not Darwin’s science research papers.

Being what my congregation regards as a lapsed Catholic myself, I well know the Catholic Church persecuted non-catholic Christians and their churches but that didn’t, somehow, make Catholics non-Christians, just unchristian.

“…by defending myself against the Jews, I am fighting the Lord’s Work.” — MEIN KAMPF, Adolph Hitler

“The Party as such stands for a positive Christianity, without binding itself denomina­tionally to a particular confession.” — National Socialist German Worker’s Party, “Programme of the NSDAP”, Adolph Hitler, 1920

Well, in all fairness, quite a lot of human progress can be attributed to white males.

I refer you all to Orson Welles’ superb and darkly funny speech from atop the wheel in THE THIRD MAN, where he contrasted all the great stuff done in sections of the world beset by madmen and war with the relatively limited accomplishments in more peace-loving zones. It is troubling just how valid it still seems, making you have to think that perhaps to achieve the greatness you have to strive through the strife, which is actually the gist of a Marshak/Culbreath TREK novel called THE PROMETHEUS DESIGN. Parts of it read like a college thesis, but I have always really liked it, myself, as the Kirk speeches, when read aloud with Shatner’s cadences, sound completely like a 2nd season Coon-rewritten Kirk monolog.

.. relatively limited accomplishments in more peace-loving zones. It is troubling just how valid it still seems..

Are you sure this statement is correct?
I only say three words: Theorie of relativity

Wer hat’s erfunden?


Re: Theory of Relativity

Which was proven practical by the detonation of two atomic bombs, built at its author’s insistence, destroying two cities and killing millions who, no doubt, would take issue with your contention about how peaceful it all was, if they could still speak?

…human beings on PLANET EARTH…
what should members of other planets say, since humans are over-represented?

I’d love to reply to that. But I’d likely get in trouble.

I feel sad for humanity.

Get off your soapbox, you bigot. White, male heterosexuals have been represented in every other television show in the world. They try their best to dominate the world. Its about time others had their time to shine.

Whoever leaves the biggest footprint all through any given history probably garners that title by default (and by their own fault.) The stuff in SPACE SEED about superior folk having superior ambition also applies to superior-MINDED folk … probably more so, given the power that be in our current domestic lack-of-bliss.

That’s because many of them feel their power and control over everything slipping away. I’m a white male heterosexual (non-christian) and I don’t feel the least bit threatened.

I fit your descrip as well, and I do feel threatened — but by the abuses of those in power, not by any perceived encroachment of races. Pretty much every lead story on the news has me running song lyrics from GOLDENEYE through my head (practically on a loop these days) … see them move through smoke and mirrors …

If not being well-represented in a show is evidence for being a hated people, does that mean that when you watch a show with an all-straight-white cast you hate all non-Christian, secular, Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, and LGBTQ people?

As I said above, if I had to wait for shows that only featured people that looked like me then I would wait a long time. And it would mean I wouldn’t have much room for empathy.

Non-white, non-straight, and non-Christian people have no choice but to open themselves up to watching shows about people unlike them.

Im a white male heterosexual Christian and no one hates me. Then again I’m not racist, sexist or homophobic.

Closing, warning for trolling

looking forward to excellent episodes and glad to see them cast whoever they want for xyz roles, if it sucks we will all let you know 😁

I wanted more of the homosexual couple. Still sad they killed off Stamet’s partner. Now we have a lesbian engineer. Great. But we did lesbians in other Trek series already. I’d like them to whiten Stamet’s teeth because they look brown. I’d also like them to stop bathing everything in blue. The updated Enterprise looked blue. Everything looks blue. Oh, and the Klingons, show us some established-look Klingons along with the new cone head ones. There’s just so much wrong with Discovery. A good sci-fi series… but doesn’t feel like it belongs in the franchise. Just wish they’d stop trying to change the wheel and invest their energies into improving on what came before.

So by your logic because Jazdia kissed one of Dax’s wives, lesbians should never be seen in the franchise again?


That might be the stupidest, most idiotic and reductive statement that I have ever seen on this site which is really saying something. Not to mention extremely homophobic. This kind of moronic rubbish is why I maintain that this website needs moderating. This kind of backward view does not belong in Star Trek fandom.

I was about to agree with you, but then I had another thought, that Martin could be referring to MirrorKira’s constant dallying with either sex as constituting some degree of lesbianism. As for everything being too blue — Martin is dead on with that, makes you wonder why we don’t see Andorians all over the place (how’s that for a speculative alt-future racist joke?)

Not sure why, but this also makes me remember how Frakes thought THE OUTCAST would have been better if they had cast a guy as his love interest in the show. At the time I thought that was a decidedly gutsy thing for him to say.

But just because we already have female characters who have had same-sex encounters in the past does not mean we should never seen them again which is what Martin was clearly suggesting.

Well, they’ve done straight white males a lot in Trek too, should they never have a straight white male again? Come to think of it, they had a black woman in TOS so its really over-kill to have another one isnt it…

A gay male couple is a taboo Trek hadn’t yet addressed, just 1 season of exposure feels like a cop out to me. Seeing lesbians or girl on girl kissing doesn’t seem risqué since we’ve been seeing it since the 90s. Trek should show normal hard working couples who incidently happen to be gay, without killing them off after 1 season or having one of the actors not brush his teeth. Straight white males, straight black males, black woman, carry on casting I don’t think it’s overkill TUP. Gay fans waited a long time for a gay couple, shame we had to say goodbye so soon. I notice you always come in with a smart remark on people’s posts. Sad character.

Thank you, yes I agree my posts are generally very smart. Insightful too.

Im not sure what your point is though. if you’re saying have a gay couple is good, we are in agreement. For the record, if it wasnt clear, my post you replied to was sarcasm.

Just because we see a lesbian character before doesnt mean they’ve “done the lesbians” and move on. Same with the male gay characters. Perhaps Culber will continue, its been hinted at. If he doesnt, Stamets is still there and they can tell other stories with him, perhaps dating etc. Its not the end of the “gays” just because they had them in one season. It certainly shouldnt be.

warning for trolling. Closing thread

– The Management

Interesting that they mention other starfleet ships. I like that they’re involving vessels other than the “hero” ship. Maybe Notaro’s character will be elemental in the revolutionary design of the constitution-class warp nacelle support pylons that are a simple straight pylon when the ship is at impulse, but extends to a diagonal V-shaped wing with a gap in it for the ship to better regulate the warp field when she travels FTL. This innovation would later inspire new nacelles for the transwarp programme and the variable warp field geometry system that would appear on intrepid class ships a century later…

Yeah. The early Fuller and Meyer interviews about the show were about how it would be telling Star Trek stories in a different way from any other Trek show. The most obvious ways have been that it’s followed lower decks characters and showed lots of ships.

I think that does a lot for expanding the Trek universe, too. Ever since DS9’s second episode (the first one *not* to feature a starship called ‘Enterprise’), we’ve seen the universe get larger meaning that not every notable character in the galaxy is either a Skywalker or a Kenobi (to borrow an analogy to another space franchise likely familiar to many here). Personally I’d like to see them go even more mundane (I suppose) with the story-telling – let’s see people on their coffee break, etc. a bit like the replimat in DS9. There were some scenes like this in DSC’s first season (in the mess hall for instance), and we got to see the disco crew in disco mode in ‘magic’… but interactions like that make the characters (and the universe) seem more real to me. I think it’s a good sign for season 2 that they’re looking at more characters from more ships. Reminds me of later seasons of DS9 where they included a whole host of contexts: DS9 itself, the Rotarran, Cardassian Central Command, etc. So long as they remember that DS9 wasn’t as dark as everyone seems to think (c.f. ‘Dark Page’ – TNG, ‘year of hell’ – VOY, ‘season 3’ – ENT) and that the story would benefit from progressing at a *slower* pace imho.

I think for many of us we thought thats what the Shenzhen would be, ie, another ship we would see weekly on the show before we knew the story line. Obviously that didn’t quite work out but yeah I don’t mind seeing other ships pop up here and there. And they did this on Enterprise as well when the Columbia was introduced and we saw Trip working on both ships.

Like your nacelle theory as well.

To be fair I had the same thought about the shenzhou as well – was kinda disappointed that it got destroyed early on. Would have been an interesting dynamic (like in VOY “equinox” or in BSG where they have the Pegasus) to have 2 ships around a lot. It’s a shame they didn’t get chance to make more use of Columbia too – since the ships were of the same class the same sets could have been used (except those daft light shafts on the bridge that made no sense!).

And thanks – I’ve come to the conclusion that we just never saw the Enterprise extend her nacelle pylons in TOS. The TMP refit just decided that “always extended” pylon config was the way forward – kinda like the Enterprise E didn’t need raising nacelle struts as they’d fixed the variable warp field issue by then (apparently). Oh and Kirk liked to have the viewscreen window blast screen up the whole time. Man alive I’m going to serious head canon lengths for this show! The discoprise isn’t a refit – the old ship just had extendable nacelle pylons and a blast shield for the window viewsceen. Square peg, round hole springs to mind haha!

I’m not going to just assume because the actress is gay the character will be too. (you wouldn’t do with a straight actor). If it does end up being that though that’d be great. Excellent LGBT+ representation has been one of the true highlights of the new show.

Although I prefer they leave that ambiguos. I hope they casted her because she is talented and not just to appreare progressive. It feels forced already.

Wait.. casting this actress feels forced already? In what way?

Did hiring the Pike actor feel forced? I mean he DOES resemble Hunter…

Of course using Pike and the Enterprise is forced. That is pure fan service. Fan service is forced by definition.

Everything is fan service. If you mean the narrow definition of playing to fans as a priority over story (like using Khan in STID), then its simply false to equate Pike and the Enterprise with that as we havent seen the story.

Never heard of her. Guess I’m “out of the loop”, which is fine by me. Prediction. Her character will be a bisexual/lesbian because we have to have a female couple to go with our male couple. I think the new captain should be a bisexual polygamist xenofile with thirty different partners that accompany him wherever he goes. That would keep the writers busy.

You may be sarcastic, but I tend to think that last line is true. It will keep the writers busy, because I tend to think that the more diversity, the more possibilities in the storytelling.

Interestingly, I haven’t heard a single complaint about Bortus and his husband on The Orville.

Or about when Ed and Kelly both slept with Rob Lowe, separately, because he was in heat.

I’m a 52 year old white heterosexual male and have no problem at all with all races, creeds, religions and sexual preferences being properly represented on DISC and on TV in general these days. I agree “my” type of person has been waaay over-represented on the small and large screen pretty much since such entertainment began. What I DO want, though, is for the quality of writing, the Story, to come first, though. Give us a great story, and we’ll watch, despite the color or gender-preference of the leads. Inclusion just for the sake of inclusion alone does not make a good story make, though – and there’s a lot of that out there now, too, I’m afraid. Imo.

The more diversity, the more possibilities in storytelling, so I tend to think that when they cast like this, they do put the story first.

That’s all fine and good, Eric. But does addressing/spotlighting the diversity itself sometimes get in the way of, or even in some cases take the place of, putting a quality story out there? There’s only so much time to spin a good yarn on shows like these. That’s my concern, and sometimes that’s what I see. Not only in DISC, but elsewhere too.

To be honest, if the people making Discovery were solely content with making a good TV show, so be it.

If they, while making a good TV show, want to use their power and platform to push the cause of diversity and acceptance while also creating more roles for women, people of colour and gays, then why the heck not?

My point exactly, TUP, the key words in your comment being “while making a good TV show.”

@Danpaine But how does that casting diversity stop them from making a good TV show? It doesn’t. They’re not connected.

It’s like blaming story problems on the paint colours on the sets (if they hadn’t been so focused on trying to get the right gray, it would have been a better show.”

It’s not like they’re writing episodes of Maude or Will & Grace here — show me a single story that was affected by the casting.

@Danpaine I really don’t see how. The casting has nothing to do with the writing.

How would stories be any different if Burnham, Tilly, Georgiou, Cornwall and Stamets were white straight dudes? (or if Stamets had a wife instead of a husband?)

What plots (or even dialogue, other than a pronoun or two) would have changed?

It’s like blaming Spock’s Brain on the decision to cast Nichelle Nichols and George Takei. Or the bumpy first two seasons of TNG on the decision to cast women doctors.

Were the story problems on those shows because they were “too focused on diversity?”

How much creative energy does it sap to write “doctor, female” instead of “doctor, male” on a casting sheet or pilot script?

I get that some of us didn’t like that they were talking about diversity during the press tours — because we think it means they were forcing it somehow — but press tours and interviews are all about pushing some angle.

Nichols was on the cover of Ebony. Is that why the third season was crappy?

I’m still really surprised by this whole complaint — Roddenberry plugged the diversity of casting (in main cast, extras and guest stars) for years. I don’t think he called it diversity, but that’s what it was.

Jack, great points. Problem is I’m on my phone and not my laptop right now and can’t dedicate the time I would like (tomorrow I will), but long story short right now – I’m suggesting the writing was better back then. Real sci-fi writers writing great stories. Any character, of any race, orientation, etc, could be installed. You just misunderstood me a little bit. I’ll be back on this, good conversation. It’s late here.

Sure, looking forward to it.

And I guess if someone is arguing that they’re trying to distract us with great hoopla over diversity (which Trek should have, by definition, anyway) to hide a total lack of substance, well, I’d listen to that argument.

Funny you say that, because that was exactly my point. We’ve been handed a very diverse cast, rightfully so. That was the big media push, the big emphasis. ‘Look how Diverse we are!’ And that whole time I said to myself, ‘great, I hope they can deliver a great story along with that.’ So far, at least, this very diverse cast hasn’t had much to work with in terms of characterization, story, plot. For me, there’s very little feeling of comradery amongst the crew, of chemistry overall, imo. That’s due to weak writing. Which is something I hope improves greatly as we move into season two. A diverse cast wouldn’t put handcuffs on a great sci-fi writer, but quite the reverse. It makes a great sandbox to play in creatively, which is where TOS thrived much of the time.

The critics of the casting are having a midlife crisis. I don’t know why they are making this casting a crisis too. It’s simply a shame to all of us that there are MILLIONS of Tig Nataro fans, my sister-in-law included. I forwarded this link to her early this morning, not thinking about how she would feel when she reads some of the more despicable comments I forgot would show up.

I am appalled at some of the disgusting comments that have shown up on this website in regards to this latest news.

It never fails to shock me at just how many racist, homophobic and generally bigoted fans Star Trek has accumulated. And I am disgusted at how this site has become a forum to air their reductive views.

To be honest Star Trek has a very racist concept to beginn with. All those monocultures that pretended that stereotypes are always true. Some tried to break with it like the writers of Ds9. But most of the time star trek’s World viel is awful two dimensional.

The concept is not racist – that we advance enough to fly around in spaceships and meet people who live on different worlds– that’s the basic concept. But the execution has problems with representation and story. Perhaps you are saying that humans solving every problem is itself racist.

Thinking about it, I belive it is more nationalistic than racist. Starfleet is America,it does not represent the world but only the US. The aliens are the rest of the world, either barbaric or pretentious heartless jerks.


It begs the question why its allowed here. There is more action taken against people who rightfully push back against the sexist, racist and homophobic remarks here than the people making those remarks in the first place.

@TUP I’m glad it’s here — it’s useful to see that people think this stuff.

I’m hoping we can talk about it here — because in the larger societal context, calling people bigots and dinosaurs has only made them cling harder to their views (views which might make sense to them because of what they have — and haven’t— been exposed to).

I still remember reading a story around the 2008 election about a (white, conservative, lower-midsle class) woman who was terrified when Obama talked about “hope and change,” because her to her that meant people wanted to take things away from her.

@Jack – Disagree. I like the idea of having a nuanced discussion about these issues and once in awhile, it happens here but again, we’re talking about the majority of these remarks being on their face trolling/bigotry.

Your example doesnt speak to me as legitimate concerns. It simply uses a paranoid idiot as an example.

There should be no place for bigotry on a Star Trek discussion board. And when there is, the people who angrily reject it and push back should not be the ones in trouble.

Well, one conversation with a “ paranoid idiot” might lead to some small change.

I’ve realized that a lot of people deeply believe that they’re under attack.

Awww, did someone get triggered? We better shut down all this free speech and debate because it’s not nice to offend anyone. How dare you! It’s not like your a website run by private citizens who are protected by The Constitution or anything.

Yes, I have been triggered by some of the blatant sexism, homophobia and trolling. Not to mention stupid, snarky comments such as yours. You have got people like Martin who have suggested that we shouldn’t see lesbian characters because it’s been done before, Mirror Galt who is obsessed with demeaning female production staff in his nonsense trolling and now you attempting to insult and belittle people who are speaking up about the fact that this kind of behaviour goes unchecked on this site.

So excuse me for having an opinion- but I’m allowed to voice it without getting a snarky, stupid response from people like you. Have a blessed day.

The First Amendment protects you from government interference in your freedom of speech as long as that speech does not pose a clear and present danger to others. It does a *not* protect speech in a private capacity as you imply. Sorry Ed. Ain’t nothing in the rules about you getting your intertube nonsense banned if it crosses an acceptable line to the site moderators.

Another example of someone confusing freedom of expression with freedom from consequence.

Of course, your point about Trekmovie is correct – the owners can allow anything they want. But as users, we can object or not, participate or not, move on or not.

Some people are using THEIR freedom of expression to express dissatisfaction with some of the obvious trolling/offensive perspectives being expressed.

Having a bigoted opinion is your right. But that right doesnt make it less bigoted.

…while there are some viewpoints I certainly don’t agree with on this thread, I haven’t seen anything I would necessarily call ‘despicable’ or ‘disgusting.’ They’re just different points of view. People have opinions. They’re allowed to.

@Danpaine – where is the line between “allowed to have an opinion” and clearly expressing a sexist, racist or homophobic stance? Freedom of expression is not freedom from consequence.

This site admin is free to set the terms but many people here are clearly reacting to what appears to be a permissive attitude when it comes to offensive “opinions”.

Personally, in life, I am a free speech absolutist. So I respect the speech. But the need to speak negatively about gender and sexual orientation decisions in casting over and over again is extremely disappointing because it probably hurts the feelings of many people who love or could love Star Trek.

Well put, Café.

TUP, honestly I much prefer talking about Star Trek here as opposed to the current hotbed social issues we’re beaten over the head with everyplace else on the web, but all I’ll say to your question is I think what someone considers ‘sexist,’ ‘racist,’ or ‘homophobic’ is dependent upon that person’s own view. The very terms themselves, of course in my opinion only, are so overused these days they’ve been rendered useless. Labeling gone awry.

Anyway, as I said to start this thread, I hope Ms. Notaro, with her comedic background, brings some much-needed levity to DISC.

@Danpaine I can agree there can certainly be “nuanced” discussions about those topics. But far too often the offending posts are pretty obvious in their trolling or are representative of a bigoted perspective.

If someone things being gay is a choice or a sickness, that’s their opinion but it has no place in polite discussion. Allowing that nonsense to perpetrate by letting it stand as a relevant opinion is simply wrong.

If the posts (and posters) that were clearly trolls on their face were eliminated (deleted posts, banned emails and IP’s), that would be an easy start. The remaining “nuances” would be relatively harmless in the big picture.

Yep. And if we push those people out, even here — they see it as being censored and persecuted.

Actual hate speech (calling for harm) has no business here, but I think it’s imoortant to debate ideas.

@Jack – again, if someone wants to debate being gay, that isnt someone with a different opinion, its an ignorant person with no facts. You’re not going to change their mind. Its bigotry and should not be allowed.

Bigotry should be pushed out. You can’t change whats in someone’s heart but you can relegate them to the darkest corners of society where, in time, their views and people who hold them will decrease.

And they all gang up and vote for Donald Trump, or anyone else who sees an opportunity in their alienation and percoeved persecution.

Or they do worse.

A black teen in Michigan was shot at this werk because he knocked on a neighbour’s door for directions (a woman screamed that she was being robbed and her husband came down with a shotgun and started shooting, luckily with the safety on).

She believed she was under attack.

The trouble is, we’ve split into two realities — at least a third of the population sees a world defined by Fox/Breitbart etc. And they see themselves as victims of the “other side.”

But they believe this stuff. They believe they are under attack.

They believe that David Hogg is a threat to their families, safety and freedom.

And a lot of it’s because of a lack of experience and understanding — on both sides.

Exclusion hasn’t worked for either side.

Interesting choice. I seen her before but know her mostly through comedy. But pretty interested to see her role.

OK, I laughed. ;)

Tig Notaro!!! Wow! :D