Published Sep 24, 2021
Below Deck with Lower Decks: Jeffrey Combs
The veteran Star Trek actor makes his animated debut!
By Dayton Ward
Just transport a malevolent artificial intelligence back to the Daystrom Institute on Earth, to be studied by some of the Federation’s brightest minds. Contained within its own ruggedized transport case, the AI’s been severed from any other computer systems or external connections. This should be a piece of cake for Ensigns Mariner and Boimler. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
If you’ve been watching Star Trek: Lower Decks, then you already know the answer to that question.
In this week’s episode, the Cerritos crew journeys to the planet Deltore V, where the aforementioned malignant supercomputer, Agimus, was responsible for plunging that planet into a century of war. While Captain Freeman and the rest of the crew head off to answer a distress call from Queen Billups, mother of Chief Engineer Billups, Mariner and Boimler are indeed assigned to transport Agimus via shuttlecraft to Earth.
The shuttle hits a gravitational anomaly, resulting in a crash landing on a desolate planet where Mariner and Boimler find a veritable graveyard of wrecked spaceships. As the ensigns go into survival mode while awaiting rescue, all the while Agimus is relentless as he begs for them to just let him plug into the shuttle’s computer. He’ll make everything better. He promises!
Star Trek fans with keen ears will quickly recognize veteran actor Jeffery Combs providing the voice for Agimus. No stranger to the final frontier, Combs previously appeared in more than fifty episodes across three different Star Trek series, bringing to life eight different characters. He’s perhaps best known for portraying five different incarnations of Weyoun, a cloned Vorta who served the shapeshifting Founders, in 26 episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
His other DS9 credits include playing Tiron, a member of an unnamed species in “Meridian,” eight appearances as Brunt, a liquidator for the Ferengi Commerce Authority, as well as a 1950s human police detective in “Far Beyond the Stars,” along with an uncredited appearance as one of the guests populating the Vic Fontaine holosuite program in the series finale, “What You Leave Behind.”
Beyond DS9, Combs appeared as Penk, the shady coordinator of the gladiator-like games, in which Seven of Nine finds herself trapped in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Tsunkatsae.” After showing up as yet another Ferengi, Krem, in the first-season Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Acquisition,” Combs gave us another series of memorable performances across ten more episodes of that series with his portrayal of Thy’lek Shran, an Andorian commander who begins as an adversary of Jonathan Archer before becoming one of the Enterprise captain’s closest allies.
Will we see – or hear – Jeffrey Combs in some future Star Trek production? Only time will tell, but if there’s one constant about Star Trek, it’s that you never say, “Never.”