Jeffrey Combs reveals a surprising reason why he likely won’t re-join Star Trek.
The Canadians are taking all the best Starfleet jobs apparently. Since the production of Star Trek moved from the Paramount lot in the early 2000s, to Canada for Star Trek: Discovery and beyond, a lot of things have changed for the brand. Not all good, not all bad. It’s different and different can be hard to get past. Just ask Jeffrey Combs.
Combs, to many people, is an icon in Star Trek. He played the Weyouns in Deep Space Nine and Shran in Enterprise. He’s a fixture in Star Trek. A legitimate fan favorite and icon. He was someone that fans had hoped would land the role of Dr. Phil Boyce in Strange New Worlds. Something that may still happen but just hasn’t happened yet.
The character hasn’t appeared in any announcements so far, but it doesn’t seem like Combs would land the role, even if the character is brought into the series.
Why? Because Canadians took our jobs.
While Combs did voice work on Star Trek: Lower Decks (which his lines were likely recorded in Los Angeles), it’s unlikely he pops up anywhere in live-action due to the new shows shooting in Canada.
Heavy asked Combs if he’s been approached to return to Star Trek, and his response was not encouraging.
"“Zippo. There’s a little bit of logistics involved. ‘Discovery’ and ‘Strange New Worlds’ are shot in Canada. [Paramount] gets benefits for doing that, but there’s trade-offs. One of them is, ‘Please use Canadian actors. We’d prefer that.’So it kind of hinders a lot of us American actors in California from being able to play in that sandbox."
Star Trek is not winning fans over with these decisions
It’s easy enough to get John de Lancie, Kate Mulgrew, Robert Duncan McNeill, and all sorts of people to pop up and do voice work. They’re just audio files you can send over in a file. It’s another thing to send a person in an e-mail. Star Trek transporters aren’t real, so it’s hard to send an actor from LA to Canada, especially during the pandemic, and make it make sense to the accounting department.
It’s one thing to get Sonequa Martin-Green or Patrick Stewart to do it, they’re the stars of the show. They will obviously spend more on them. Yet, there’s a reason most shows that shoot in Canada uses a lot of the same Canadian actors.
It’s utterly disappointing but it’s not completely surprising. It’s a business and Paramount has proven a lot over the last six or seven years, that they’re not worried about the feelings of the fans.