Last week, I was approached by Odin himself who assigned me at all costs to discover who the top five recurring Star Trek characters are. Last week, we found out No. 5 was Lwaxana Troi. Who took the fourth spot?
(Find out after the jump)
Jeffrey Combs (DS9, VOY, ENT)
OK, I am fully aware that I am totally cheating here. Jeffrey Combs is an actor, not a character. But he has played so many fantastic characters with such a unique style of performing that I just can’t choose. So deal with it: No. 4 is Jeffrey Combs, aka, Weyoun, aka, Brunt FCA, aka, General Shran.
Jeffrey Combs actually auditioned for the role of Commander Riker on TNG. Obviously he didn’t get it. But Johnathan Frakes remembered him years later and cast him as Tiron, a one-off role in a DS9 (Season 3) episode called “Meridian.” The audience responded to Combs so well that he was brought back as Ferengi Commerce Authority Liquidator Brunt in a later episode of the same season, “Family Business.” Brunt became a recurring character who would always return to DS9 with a new scheme to ruin Quark. Brunt’s machinations often acted as a catalyst for Quark’s character development.
Brunt wasn’t his only prevalent character on DS9. Combs also appeared in season four’s “To the Death” as the sycophantic Weyoun, an amazing character that would become another recurring role for him. Weyoun was the evil Dominion’s liaison to DS9. One of the most entertaining aspects of Weyoun was that there was so many Weyouns. His species, the Vorta, procreated via cloning, so any time they died they would be reborn as another version of themselves. But unlike the Time Lords, every new Weyoun was just like his predecessor.
Combs appeared as both Weyoun and Brunt in season seven’s “Dogs of War,” making him the only actor to appear in an episode of Star Trek as two completely unrelated characters. And that’s not the only distinction Jeffrey Combs holds. There are a slew of others I’ll let you discover on your own by going to IMDB or something. He’s played multiple Ferengi, an Andorian, a Vorta and a few other random species; but each time he makes an appearance, it’s a memorable one.
Weyoun (Combs’ personal favorite), Brunt and Shran are definitely his most popular characters, and for good reason. They’re antagonistic characters with strong motivations and complicated relationship with the main characters. They were each markedly different from each other. Weyoun was an unrepentant villain, Shran was a slightly overzealous patriot and Brunt was a greedy government agent. What they did have in common was that each of them brought major elements of conflict with a dash of comic relief to their respective series. So raise your bat’leth’s and cry Qapla’ to Jeffrey Combs for being RNR’s No. 4!