Tig Notaro Returning As Reno For ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 4, But Limiting Time Due To COVID Concerns

Comedian and actor Tig Notaro joined Star Trek: Discovery in season two and returned in season three. Her recurring role as the acerbic engineer Jett Reno has brought her unique brand of humor to the show and has proven to be popular with the fans. Notaro is planning on continuing into season four as well, but she is limiting her time to avoid taking any risks with her health.

Notaro planning to return to Discovery set in May

In November Tig Notaro was a guest on the Fitz Dog Radio podcast with fellow comedian Greg Fitzsimmons. While discussing what is keeping Tig busy in 2020 in addition to her podcasts, Notaro talked about how she has recently branched into a whole new area:

You say I am defining myself by podcasting these days? I’ll have you know I just shot an action film, also I am on the new Star Trek show… That movie is called Army of the Dead. And I am on the CBS show Star Trek: Discovery… Commander Jett Reno. They let me name myself and I named myself after Joan Jett, but it does sound like Janet Reno, I know…  I’m the comedic relief and it’s so much fun… I’m podcasting but I’m also oddly veering into action, outer space and zombie films… didn’t see it coming.

Production on the fourth season of Star Trek: Discovery started in early November in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, under new COVID protocols. When Fitzsimmons asked if she would be able to shoot the Star Trek show under quarantine, Notaro revealed that she will, but she is planning on limiting trips from her home in Los Angeles to Toronto:

Well I’m just a recurring character on Star Trek and it’s in Toronto and I didn’t feel safe flying, so I forfeited some work there. But the other chunk of work is supposed to be in May and so hopefully things will be in better shape with the pandemic in May. And if not, I’ll just just drive out there probably.

Tig Notaro as Jett Reno with Anthony Rapp as  Paul Stamets in “Die Trying”

Notaro is a survivor of breast cancer after being first diagnosed in 2012, telling Fitzsimmons she has been feeling good during quarantine, but ” I’m so healthy that I can’t even bring myself to take any risks… I’m hoping I can continue feeling good and being healthy because it’s been a long eight years.” But she is eager to return to the set of Discovery, saying:

So hopefully in May I can go back out and finish, but it was just too much for me to go two times to Toronto for one season as a guest star. But I love it. My friend [Alex Kurtzman] was a creator of this Discovery show so I’ve known him since I moved to L.A. 22 years ago and he put me on the show. So yeah, that’s where life has led me.

So, it looks like Reno will be back in season four, but possibly she will not appear as much as hoped for by the producers. However, Notaro limiting her time to only later during the season’s production does not necessarily mean Jett Reno will only appear in later episodes. It’s possible they could shot a block of “pick up” scenes with Notaro in May to be inserted in episodes shot earlier. However, there are limitations to this, especially due to location shooting, temporary sets, or other guest actors.

Other actors confirmed to be returning for season four in recurring roles include David Cronenberg as Kovich, Blu del Barrio as Adira, and Ian Alexander as Gray.

Tig Notaro as Jett Reno in “Brother”

Production during a pandemic

While most film and television shows have returned to production, filming during a pandemic adds extra hurdles and concerns. Last week TrekMovie spoke to Discovery actor Doug Jones, who talked about the impact on season four:

Well, we’re plodding along. We’re getting things shot and it’s going beautifully. It’s just going a bit slower, because of COVID protocols. There are a few more hoops to jump through to get your day done. So with that slower pace, we’re still getting it done. And they are keeping us very safe. It’s all worth it in the end.

The next Star Trek show set to start shooting is the second season of Picard. Last weekend we reported that the show is now set to start production on February 1st, pushed back from the planned January start. Star Trek: Picard is shot in Los Angeles County which is facing a new surge. This week the LA County Department of Public Health urged productions to pause productions for a few weeks, and CBS has extended the holiday hiatus of a number of shows into later in January.

New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery premiere on Thursdays on CBS All Access in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. Episodes are available on Fridays internationally on Netflix.

Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.

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love tig. she is just amazing.

Yeah, just when Discovery was getting a little too soapy for it’s own good…Enter Tig Notaro! A casting masterstroke, in my opinion.

I personally find her character’s humor a little cringy and cheesy. The actress seems like a wonderful comedian though. It’s just the humor is so forced.

People have their own definition of humor. It’s the eye of the beholder.

Totally agree with you there. A lot of Trek humor misses the mark for me. Take for example the “no candy in the engine room” bit. Just not funny in my opinion. It’s not like I watch DISCO for the laughs though.

What do you mean? The ‘no candy’ schtick was a laugh riot! A huge belly-laugh!

I found that she, by herself in her limited appearances in the first half of season 3 alone produced more laughs than were provided in all 10 episodes of Lower Decks. A show, mind you, that whose GOAL was to produce laughs.

Great point! Lower Decks produced more cringes than laughs for me.

Yep. I wanted to like Lower Decks, but other than one laugh in ep 2 it hit me in the cringe too. I stopped watching around ep 5. Feel like I’m in a vast minority here so I appreciate knowing I’m not alone. When it comes to humor I’m really an omnivore, and not easily offended either, but this just seemed so “billboarded’ ( a radio term for emphasizing something when speaking), as in, “Look at me! Look at how funny I am!” – i’m not going to tell anyone they’re wrong if they like it, but for me it’s not firing on all thrusters.

I can vouch for you not missing anything worth while by stopping after episode 5. Strangely we do seem to be in the minority here but among the general populous I think out opinions of LDX seem to fall a little more in line with the consensus.

Thanks ML31 for acknowledging that Lower Decks was a hit here.

I don’t know where you get the idea that Lower Decks wasn’t popular with the general audience.

While it was only released in North America so far, it did well. Not only did it boost CBSAA subscription enrollment in late summer / early fall, Parrot Analytics has it outperforming most other series in the “animated adult comedy” category (which is a thing).

Like most animated comedies, it’s not going to outperform live action series in the United States, but that is no reflection on the show.

You seem to have a different understanding of the language than I do. By no means did I say or even imply that it was a “hit” here. Merely that among those that frequent this site, many seem to be OK with it. The level of enthusiasm, from what I can see, would hardly make it a “hit”. Further, I did mention that “among the general populous” it was not as well received. That part seemed to get missed.

I’ve checked around to see fan opinions from Rotten Tomatoes to a couple of others. And like the other shows, it does not seem to resonate among fans. This is the only place I have found where it is perceived overall as a positive. The only source I have found that claims otherwise is yourself. So sorry, but very little buzz has been generated by any Trek show. Including Lower Decks. The only one that really created a stir was back when Picard was first announced. But once it was streamed, that interest seemed to wane.

Star Trek fans are not known for their senses of humor, so no surprise here.

Just no.

Or maybe, hey, someone has a different opinion than yours. So just yes.

LOL, whatever. Me thinks you’re upset for calling you out on your not too infrequent brain-fart (WTF is he talking about?) comments here, and others have noted them as well. :-)

Considering how stiff and stilted ST traditionally is, I’m not sure I even care to know what fans wouldn’t consider “forced.”

Agreed. This character is best in very small doses.

Covid has got a lot to answer for.

The vaccine is the executioner.

The virus is the executioner. Trump is the executioner’s facilitator. And only science-denying idiots fear vaccines.

Know anyone with polio? No. Smallpox? Again, no. Thank you vaccines and science.

I think Ninja means that the vaccine will be the executioner of the virus.

Let’s just hope that the effectiveness on the new strain from the UK will be sufficient.

Wow, really???

Trump has done his work well if Star Trek fans start buying into his anti-vaccine nonsense. This makes me very sad to read this on a Star Trek fan site.

Whatever “anti vaccine” nonsense that may or may not be out there, one thing can be for certain. None of it came from Trump. It was his program that made these vaccines possible. Everyone else was saying “years” for one. Yet here it is. But I would imagine people who erroneously think Trump is responsible for any sort of “anti-vaxers” (which is weird because it was his detractors who claimed they would not want any kind of vaccine created as a result of his “operation warp speed”) are the same folks who think he is responsible for how the State Governors have handled the covid crisis to begin with. Anyone who is unhappy with how covid has been handled need look no further than their state’s governor. They were the ones responsible. Not the US President.

Uh… you do realize the vaccine was developed by a German company who had nothing to do with Operation Warp Speed? Trump did nothing apart from refusing the option to lock down a supply of doses because he didn’t want to roll out a foreign developed vaccine.

Damnit, Covid killed Mary Ann….

That leaves only Ginger left.

This person makes Discovery worth watching.

What a thoughtful response and neutrally phrased response.

Her concern about air travel seems reasonable given a recent pilot that tested arrivals at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport found about 1% of people were Covid positive.

Hopefully, as a cancer survivor Tig will have relatively high priority for a vaccine, and will be able to lower her personal risk in travel.

Kill off Detmer and make Reno full time then please. She’s such a great character, and I don’t really feel that Detmer adds much more than her constant “getting stressed out” schtick.

They can’t. The article mentions that the producers would like more time of Tig (who plays Reno) on the show, but she cannot commit as much time due to health safety concerns. Hence, they can’t make Tig a full-time cast member

The article made it very clear that she’s limiting her availability. So how, exactly, would they do this if SHE doesn’t want to?

Reading is a good thing.

Obviously I was speaking in general terms for the future of the series.

As someone who “gets stressed out” a lot, I finder Detmer relatable and am grateful they explored her character a least that much more this season.

I hope we get a lot more from Detmer, Reno, and all the rest of the secondary cast next season.

Less Reno is disappointing, but understandable. Hopefully by season 5 she will be able to make more appearances.

Honestly I’d like her to get a full time role along with an Engineering set. Feels strange not to have it.

Really like Reno as well. She is fun comic relief. Too bad we can’t see more of her but it sounds like the actress only can be in limited episodes.

Less is most certainly more with this character. If they’d written the character as an alien, perhaps she’d be more believable as a Starfleet officer.

Maybe my memory is slipping but I thought I wrote a non response comment here where I claimed something similar. Her humor is of the kind where more of her may not be all that great. Always leave the audience wanting more rather than less.

Tig’s brand of biting humour is great on Discovery. Too bad she is limiting her appearances for S4, but clearly understandable with the pandemic. Getting through the LAX concourse and gates, boarding and then sitting on a plane for 5 hours can’t be fun for anyone least of all a cancer survivor. Toronto and Ontario may not be as bad as California and LA County, but it is definitely surging in terms of # of cases and casualites. Vaccinations have started in Toronto so things will be better come springtime, but it may be mid to late-summer before most of the people in the city are fully innoculated. If there is a S5, production and travel will hopefully be getting back to normal. We shall see if they want to delay production of SNW until mid-late spring.

While the lockdown in Ontario is a serious thing and is a response to climbing infection rates, it’s important to keep in mind that the number of cases per million in the province is less than every US State other than Hawaii. Hopefully the lockdown will break the transmission and prevent the new UK strain from taking off.

SNW is scheduled to begin production in February. Whether Ontario has bent down the curve again should be clear by the time the talent are scheduled to fly in an quarantine.

Other than the risk of getting to Toronto, the actors will likely be at less risk working in the Greater Toronto Area than wherever they are in the United States.

The weak link of the actors, and the humor (?) is rather unfunny, tedious.

Reno is one of my favorite Discovery characters! I wish she had more screen time. She’s much more amusing that anything on Lower Decks.

I’d watch Star Trek: Reno where its just dissing people per episode.

I know nothing about this actor, but her role is terrible. The character, like most of the rest of Disco, is so unpleasant.

Sorry that Discovery isn’t to your taste, perhaps one of the other new series will be.

Tig Notaro as Jett is a favourite of some, enjoyed as an occasional contrast by others, and loathed by a few. But isn’t that the point of an ensemble: to have a range of characters that appeal to different segments of the viewing audience?

One of the things that I find really odd is that even though Kurtzman has been exceedingly transparent about making a menu of Trek series with a diversity of characters to appeal to different audience niches, there seem to be so many fans that feel that each of the new shows and every character should fit their preferences.

I can criticize the new series for putting too much emphasis on a single main character (Burnham, Picard, Mariner) to the point of “Archer Syndrome” where the entire history of the Federation is anchored on a single character that may not be likeable for all.

What I can’t criticize is Discovery bringing in really unique recurring characters like Tig Notaro’s Jet Reno or David Cronenberg’s Kovich. What a delight to see the series enriched this way? It seems a leaf out of DS9’s format and it’s a real strength.

When the recurring characters are infinitely better and more interesting that main and other regulars, your show has a big problem.

Yea, your comment confirms you lack of knowledge. At least you admit it — thanks!

What does she have, 3 minutes of screen time this season?