As longtime Star Trek fans know, Jeffrey Combs is the real MVP when it comes to supporting characters: over the years, he has played a Ferengi named Brunt, a Vorta named Weyoun, an Andorian named Shran, and even an evil computer named Agimus across this Paramount franchise. It’s very difficult to pick the best, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t give it the old Starfleet Academy try.
Weyoun on Deep Space Nine is the best Star Trek character that Jeffrey Combs ever played
Tap that badge and tell the ship there’s one hot take to beam up, because we’re here to tell you that Weyoun on Deep Space Nine is the best Star Trek character that Jeffrey Combs ever played.
What makes Weyoun so great? First, we love the idea that he is a character who hides great evil behind a smile. As a Vorta, he’s part of the diplomatic arm of the Dominion and certainly appears less deadly than the intimidating Jem’Hadar. That is, until you get to see just how amoral he really is, a quality that really stands out amid the squeaky-clean utopia of Star Trek.
As an example of this, Jeffrey Combs’ Weyoun will occasionally drop ideas that horrify his colleague Gul Dukat (a colleague, we should note, who is the closest to Adolf Hitler that the franchise ever got). In “Sacrifice of Angels,” as Weyoun and Dukat ponder potential galactic resistance to the Dominion taking over, Weyoun casually throws out the idea that they simply need to eradicate the population of Earth altogether to destroy such resistance in its cradle.
Dukat pushes back against this idea, claiming that it’s far better to keep your enemies alive so they can eventually appreciate your greatness.
In addition to embodying the banality of evil in the Star Trek universe, we love Jeffrey Combs as Weyoun because he is essentially several characters rolled into one.
Because his character is a clone, it became something of a recurring gag that he would die and come back again in a new body, but not every clone was exactly the same. We later got to see a traitorous Weyoun who wished to turn against his masters, which cemented the exciting notion that, Marvel multiverse style, we never knew quite what to expect from each new variant.
While the character is amazingly scripted by the writers, Star Trek might never have brought Jeffrey Combs back as Weyoun if not for the sparkling chemistry he had with the other actors, and especially with Avery Brooks and Marc Alaimo.
Combs could expertly hide daggers behind the sparkles in his eyes when discussing the war with both his Federation foe and his reluctant Cardassian ally, and there was never any doubt that he was the most dangerous man in the room.
Weyoun was the villain waiting to replace the daggers in his eyes with ones in his hands
Sure, Dukat was the fierce threat you could easily see coming, but Weyoun was the villain waiting to replace the daggers in his eyes with ones in his hands (or, more accurately, the hands of the Jem’Hadar) at a moment’s notice. Star Trek has very rarely given us a villain with this kind of menacing range, and Jeffrey Combs thankfully had plenty of episodes to make his monstrous Vorta a fully fleshed-out threat.
Finally, the real secret sauce when it comes to Weyoun being a great villain is that he isn’t limited to a single emotional gear: for as great as this Star Trek foe is at menacing others, Jeffrey Combs always infused him with a subtle pathos that underscored his servitude to the Dominion.
He is an evil character not by choice but by genetic design, making him as much of a victim as any of the countless people he had killed. Weyoun is a character essentially cast into hell by his creators, and in the tradition of Milton’s Lucifer, Combs turns this would-be slave into a rockstar.