Star Trek: Discovery has been in production for its fourth season since last November. We now have a few updates on how things are going, coming from the showrunners, and Tig Notaro.
Writers wrap for season 4
We now know that writing for season four has wrapped up. Co-showrunner Michelle Paradise shared the news on Twitter, sharing a photo from a script page saying “END OF SEASON FOUR,” and adding it has been a long journey to this point.
— Michelle Paradise (@michelleparadis) May 15, 2021
Season 4 production continues with Tig Notaro happy to return as Jett Reno… as written
While the writers are done with their work, the actors are still on the job. And thanks to an interview with Stephen Colbert this week Tig Notaro confirmed she is currently in Toronto for Discovery. This is good news for fans of Tig and her acerbic engineer Jett Reno, as late last year Notaro revealed she wanted to limit her time traveling to Toronto due to health concerns during the pandemic.
Notaro – who can be seen in the new Netflix zombie heist movie Army of the Dead – has a lot of projects going on but in an interview with AV Club, she talked about she is happy to make time for Star Trek:
I love it. There is something so fun and freeing about not being the producer, not being the writer, not being the star. One of the fun parts about Star Trek: Discovery, for me, is that they let me just pop in from time to time. Often I hear like, “Oh, they don’t use you enough,” or, “How come they’re not letting you…?” I’m like, “Star Trek lets me do whatever.” I have a full career doing stand-up and other projects and the fact that they’re so flexible with making my schedule work—I’m so lucky, and it’s so fun to have other people write for me and nail it. Star Trek, whenever I get a script, I’m like, “Oh, I can’t wait to see what my character is going to say.” That was the thing with Army Of The Dead. I just really enjoyed saying those lines.
Notaro continued, explaining that even though some may think the comedy veteran is improvising some of Reno’s funny lines, she isn’t:
I really don’t improvise too much when I go on to somebody else’s project. I’m typically taking on the project because I like it and I like what they’ve done. There might be a word or a line a little bit here and there that I might adjust, but it’s typically very minimal. I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I can tell you were riffing on Star Trek,” and I’m like, “No. No, I’m not. Somebody wrote that for me and they did a really great job.” It’s not my go-to to show up on a TV show or movie and just say, “Hey, I’d like to kind of go nuts here. I’m going to riff a bit.” If it comes up organically in a scene, or the director encourages us to, or my scene partner is going off, maybe something will happen. But I typically just try to learn my lines and do what they wrote.
Season 4 is about challenging Captain Burnham
In a Variety panel from Wednesday night focusing on season three for the upcoming Emmy nomination season, co-showrunner Alex Kurtzman talked about Michael Burnham’s promotion to captain at the end of the season. He said it was always the plan for her to end up as captain on Discovery, but explained how this isn’t the end of her journey and it has dominated how they have written season four:
In some sense, it’s an ending, but it’s very much a new beginning because season four for Michelle and I has been largely defined by this question. Every time we broke story, the question is: how is this affecting Burnham as a captain? And I don’t mean affecting, I mean challenging her. Just because she has the chair doesn’t mean that she’s necessarily ready for certain things. And there are choices that she now has to make as a captain that she wouldn’t have to make as just an officer on the ship. So every story was calibrated to what new door does this open to her experience of being a captain and what new challenge does she have to face the ship to face and what new thing does she have to learn about herself and to discovery.
The executive producer also emphasized how Burnham isn’t going to start off as the perfect captain:
I’m confident that she is an extraordinary captain. But I think all the best captains have moments of doubt and fallibility and uncertainty. ‘Am I driving this ship toward its death and everybody on it.’ That’s a big weight to carry. So, Michael, Michael Burnham – who is certainly no stranger to carrying big weights – has a new one now. But she is wearing it very differently than she did before.
Star Trek: Discovery season four is expected to arrive later this year.