For many Star Trek fans, the name “Jeffrey Combs” is whispered with the same reverence typically reserved for actors like Patrick Stewart or William Shatner. But while those two each played iconic captains in this long-running Paramount franchise, Combs has the singular distinction of having played eight characters and counting.
He might very well be playing another Star Trek character any minute now, but until then, here is our breakdown of the many colorful characters Jeffrey Combs has played throughout Star Trek history.
On Deep Space Nine, Jeffrey Combs played what many considered his most iconic role: Weyoun, a Vorta servant of the Dominion. As an empire, the Dominion had a strict hierarchy in which the shapeshifting Founders were at the top, and the fearsome Jem’Hadar warriors enforced their rule.
Above the Jem’Hadar and below the Founders, Vorta like Weyoun often served as diplomats who helped the Dominion expand their territory.
As the Dominion war with Starfleet intensified, Jeffrey Combs’ Weyoun character played an increasingly prominent role. He ended up being the perfect foil to both his enemy Captain Sisko and his ostensible ally Gul Dukat, and his chemistry with each of these actors never failed to impress.
Despite the show insisting that Damar killed the last Weyoun clone, we can’t help but hope this charismatic character someday returns to the franchise.
Aside from Weyoun, Jeffrey Combs’ most memorable and long-running role in Star Trek history was playing the Andorian commander Shran in Enterprise. He was a welcome addition to both the show and to Trek canon because he gave us more insight into Andorian culture than we had gotten before or since.
Ironically enough, he also managed to seem that much more relatable because he shares the same distrust against the Vulcans that Captain Archer does (not that Shran trusts human “pink skins” much more, though).
Shran was easy enough for audiences to love because he was a charismatic badass– the kind of guy that would likely star in whatever the Andorian equivalent of a Western movie is. But what really made him a fan-favorite character was Jeffrey Combs’ perfect chemistry with Scott Bakula.
Because of that chemistry, these two had a wonderful frenemy relationship that transformed most of their scenes into something out of our favorite buddy cop films.
The main reason that fans remember Jeffrey Combs most for playing Weyoun and Shran isn’t simply because those characters had so much screen time. Those were also roles where it was relatively easy to recognize the actor’s handsome face.
But the veteran actor also knows how to perfectly immerse himself into makeup-heavy roles where he is virtually unrecognizable, and the best example of this is the Ferengi character Brunt, who often served as a major antagonist of Armin Shimerman’s bartender Quark.
In Deep Space Nine, this Jeffrey Combs character is a liquidator for the Ferengi Commerce Authority (more or less their version of the SEC). Because of Quark’s constant illegal antics, Brunt was often on the bartender’s back, trying to bust him for his crimes.
Those interactions were hilarious to watch, and Brunt often managed to do the impossible when he was onscreen: make Quark look like a sympathetic victim.
In the excellent animated comedy series Star Trek: Lower Decks, Jeffrey Combs could have popped up as almost any character. However, we were surprised to see the franchise legend voice someone who wasn’t truly alive in the traditional sense.
In the episode “Where Pleasant Fountains Lie,” Combs voiced an evil supercomputer named AGIMUS who pretended to be god on a planet in order to keep its inhabitants fighting.
Obviously, the character is a nod to the evil supercomputers that have popped up in the franchise since The Original Series. We thought we’d seen the last of him, but this Jeffrey Combs character popped up again in “A Mathematically Perfect Redemption,” where he promised the rogue exocomp Peanut Hamper that they “could do awful things together.” Since it means more Combs, we can’t wait to see this character return!
All of the Jeffrey Combs roles above have been recurring ones, but he made just as many one-off appearances throughout Star Trek. For example, he played the Ferengi Krem in the Enterprise episode “Acquistion,” and all that time playing Brunt helped Combs turn in a very memorable performance.
He also played an alien in the Voyager episode “Tsunkatse” who forces Seven of Nine to fight others, which is how she memorably squared off against Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (no, really).
In addition to killing it as Weyoun and Brunt on Deep Space Nine, Jeffrey Combs also played two one-off characters on our favorite Star Trek spinoff. One such character was “Tiron,” a super-creepy alien whose dialogue (unlike most Combs roles) is likelier to make you shift uncomfortably rather than smile.
And speaking of uncomfortable, he also played racist Officer Mulkahey in “Far Beyond the Stars,” the episode that suggests that the entire show may be a creation of prolific 1950s writer Benny Russell (played in a career-best performance by Avery Brooks).