Star Trek: Lower Decks Actor Jeffrey Combs Discusses Franchise Return

Jeffrey Combs proved time and again to be one of the most versatile actors in Star Trek. Best known for his portrayal of Weyoun and Brunt on Deep Space Nine, he portrayed a total of nine characters including the aforementioned series, Voyager, and Enterprise. Combs made his triumphant return to voice the evil computer AGIMUS in the animated Lower Decks. Speaking with Den of Geek, the actor discussed his involvement in the Paramount+ series and his past characters.

Star Trek Actor Jeffrey Combs on Return to Franchise in Lower Decks
Jeffrey Combs as Shran in Star Trek: Enterprise. Image courtesy of ViacomCBS

In the Lower Decks episode "Where Pleasant Fountains Lie," Mariner (Tawny Newsome) and Boimler (Jack Quaid) crash land on a desolate planet only to find the rogue AI with questionable intentions. "I'm constantly just trying to get someone to plug me in," Combs explains. "I cajole. I threaten. I charm. Just help me get off this planet! I'm the solution! It's just a delicious note to play. I just keep trying to get them to do it. Then I can take over the multiverse." Combs' start stemmed from his failed audition as Cmdr. William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Jonathan Frakes, who ended up cast in the role and subsequently became more active as a director, cast him as Tiron on DS9. "With Weayoun, everyone was a snarling gravelly-voiced villain," Combs said. "And I thought: 'hmm maybe I do something different and play a different note.' I always try and find that. It's not always there. Shran was a little more of a serious take. But even he can get a dark joke in there, every once in a while."

The actor admits Lower Decks took some adjusting compared to his live-action roles. "My biggest challenge was meeting the tone of the script," he says. "I hadn't seen much of 'Lower Decks', so at first, I didn't have much of a frame of reference. It was a completely different kind of tone from what I'm used to with Star Treks. It's a little sassy. A little irreverent, but it does have some honesty about it and some issues that people are dealing with. But I just kind of like the fast-paced sort of wry humor that's mixed in. I think I hit their music. I tried to keep up with the very talented pack of actors." For more on Combs' history in Star Trek, you can go to Den of Geek. New episodes of Lower Decks stream Thursdays on Paramount+.

Star Trek Actor Jeffrey Combs on Return to Franchise in Lower Decks
Jeffrey Combs as AGIMUS in Star Trek: Lower Decks. Image courtesy of Paramount+

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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