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.
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.
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.