Watch Tig Notoro Describe Scenes And Technobabble From ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 2

One of the new additions for the second season of Star Trek: Discovery is Tig Notaro, who has a recurring role playing Chief Engineer Reno of the USS Hiawatha. The actress and comedian was a guest last night on The Late Late Show with James Corden, where she revealed some more details about her character and what she is up to in season 2.

Reno, Valentine and a dead Bolian

Tig Notaro said she is having “a blast” on Star Trek: Discovery, but also lamented the “science fiction-y Star Trek” jargon is a challenge, joking she is “terrible” at it, then worrying CBS would fire her for admitting that. When asked to provide an example, she described a scene, revealing some more details about her character:

A spaceship crashed and I saved a bunch of people. This is when I find out the war is over and I turn to this creature that I have kept alive on – I don’t even know what’s happening. I turn to the creature thing and say “Hear that Valentine, the war is over, we are going home.”

And then I turn to the other people who are in space suits and I’m like “Uggh, Valentine took a piece of shrapnel to the left aortic valve and needed a donor. I couldn’t find a transplant so I piggybacked his heart on a dead Bolian to keep it ticking.”

Notaro’s comments seem to confirm our analysis of the first look trailer, that Reno is found among the wreckage USS Hiawatha.

What’s left of the USS Hiawatha?

Tig Notaro as Reno, from the first look trailer

The people in space suits she is referring to are likely Captain Pike and Commander Burnham, who can be seen encountering Reno among what appears to be the wreckage of the Hiawatha, in the trailer.

Pike and Burnham encounter Reno, from the first look trailer

Notaro also described another scene where she has to get emotional when opening up a cocoon.

Star Trek’s Sulu John Cho was also a guest on The Late Late Show, seated next to Notaro and applauded her ability to do technobabble, noting “I know how hard that is!” The pair also traded tips on how to act in a scene when you are manipulating a console. Notoro said she has a hard time keeping a straight face when she is “doing nothing.” Cho’s tip was to “just don’t make sounds” for all the dials and sliders.

Publicity photo from the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery season 2, featuring Tig Notaro as Chief Engineer Reno (CBS)

Watch the segment

Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space 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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Not much to go on, but what’s here does sound thematically interesting. Still hopeful that DSC manages to build on the things that worked in Season 1 (and yes, they were definitely there) and finally live up to its considerable potential.

I’m glad they’re addressing the lack of levity which was apparent in season one. High hopes!

Yes, less technobabble and a little more levity would be most welcome. Oh, and no further random F-bombs either thanks.

It looks like the Disco producers are saying that it is the Enterprise that is the outlier in Star Fleet with the black pants and colored shirt since officers and crew on every other ship we’ve seen including the Admiralty who aren’t assigned ships at all are all wearing the radically different look. That still doesn’t make much sense to me. If only they did a uniform update but still hearken back to the TOS feel things would have worked much better on that front.

In the pike era only constitution class ships have the TOS style uniforms as stated in the first Discovery novel. Since the Constitution is the best performing class of the era the fleet adopts their uniforms as the fleet wide issue by the time of Kirk.

Essentially the only thing Discovery has retconed is the look of the Cage and Where No Man Has Gone Before.

@Saru — right, we have not seen any other Constitution class ships. Even in the early days of TOS, thinking Charlie X here, other ships in the federation were wearing the old Cage/WNMHGB uniforms, definitely suggesting a pattern.

And though some don’t like to admit it, canon technically is not being altered here just because we see red uniforms during this period, since we never saw this era before (and even in the TOS pilots), never saw engineering, or other areas of the ship where red may have been in full use. Those who are sticklers for exacting canon, have yet to explain why Spock is wearing Blue in The Cage, Gold in WNHGB, and back to Blue. Logical, if not popular explanations, are that bridge crew for a period wore different colors depending on their dual roles (science offer/first officer). This would also explain (in-universe) why Uhura wore gold for a while too in the early episodes.

So there’s no reason to believe that command officers wore something other than their section colors during this period. Canon is full of uniforms changing suddenly, different rules for different groups, and old and new uniforms being worn simultaneously. But those who don’t like what these producers are doing, like to create false equivalents between such logical arguments being based on canon, with wild scenarios where Spock may have been putting on drag shows in the rec center in his off time. Best just not to engage.

We did see Scotty in a reddish brown in WNMHGB

@William — beige to be exact. However, that’e easily explained by the same reason that Spock was wearing gold in WNMHGB — bridge offers were required to wear uniform colors other than their specific division. Therefore, Beige was the color of Operations officers, while let’s say those actually working in Engineering wore red. So let’s say Scotty was the head of Operations stationed on the bridge, and therefore wore a beige shirt.

Right now, we don’t know whether there are going to be any beige uniforms or not in DISC, but let’s say there aren’t. Then it’s a simple matter of Starfleet introducing the new red uniforms, and then later switched back to beige when they broke Engineering out of Operations, then later changed back. We know this is possible since visual canon already has such anomalies: In addition to Spock wearing gold, the Operations emblem is switched with the Sciences emblem. There’s also a fourth division emblem seen in The Cage on blue uniforms. And Uhura originally in Gold.

So clearly Starfleet was making some changes between what we saw in The Cage, and what we saw in TOS. The reality is they were doing the best they could with a limited budget to shoot an unprecedented 2nd pilot. But since fans are turning this into a major issue, then the in-universe explanation is actually fairly simple in order to explain all of the discrepancies seen in WNMHGB.

Again, just because we have never seen something does not mean it is reasonable to say anything could be. Someone once said that because we never saw Scotty run an ice creamery in the engine room doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. Same logic.

Yeah. That was a novel trying their best to make a silly change work. I GUESS such an explanation could work. But it just doesn’t make much sense the Star Fleet would work that way. It’s just trying to reconcile a bad costume choice from pre-production of the first season.

Listening to her talk reminded me of the “GNDN” on TOS.


Referring to signs that appeared near open conduits on the Enterprise. Stands for: Goes Nowhere Does Nothing

This is what representation looks like. Take heed, Picard show. Take heed.

What, TNG had no female engineers? Sonia Gomez, say it ain’t so!

Torres on Voyager? Whatevs

But in fairness, there was that Barclay episode (the first one, I think) where Geordi convened an engineering staff meeting and there were no women. That stuck out like a sore thumb.

The E-D had a female Chief Engineer in Naked Now.

What drivel.