Queer Star Trek fans were angered by the death of one of the franchise’s only LGBT characters on Star Trek: Discovery last season, but producers are balancing the scales by adding out comedian Tig Notaro, who has signed on for a guest role for the show’s second season.
Notaro will play Chief Engineer Denise Reno of the U.S.S. Hiawatha on the series, which begins production again later this month.It’s not known how many episodes Reno will appear in, though, or what role she’ll play in the season’s story arc.
Notaro has previously appeared on Fresh Off the Boat and Transparent, and starred in the semi-autobiographical Amazon series One Mississippi, which she wrote, produced and directed. She’ll also appear in the upcoming comedy Instant Family alongside Octavia Spencer, Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne.
Also joining the Discovery cast is Anson Mount, as Christopher Pike, the original captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise before Captain Kirk.
“We are very interested in tackling themes of science versus faith,” said show runner Aaron Harberts. “We’ll be nine years before [Star Trek: The Original Series] and there are things from TOS that we want to do some nods to.”
At the start of Enterprise’s first season, Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz portrayed Paul Stamets and Hugh Culber, the first same-sex couple in a Star Trek TV series. Culber’s death in Episode 10 angered LGBT viewers, who felt it was yet another example of the “kill the gays” trope that is all too prevalent on TV.