Actor Jeffrey Combs has put on many different faces for the "Star Trek" franchise over the years. The 62-year-old California native has played blue-skinned, antennaed Commander Shran on "Star Trek: Enterprise," and big-eared Brunt and Weyoun on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," among other characters. He's also acted in myriad films ("Re-Animator," "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer") and TV series ("Justice League," "The 4400").
Combs has appeared on nearly 50 episodes of "Star Trek" TV series. On Friday and Saturday, however, Combs will "boldly go" where he hasn't gone before in his career as emcee for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic's "Star Trek: The Final Frontier" pops concert at Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts.
Combs spoke by phone to The Gazette this week about the upcoming concerts.
Gazette: Is this your first time emceeing an event like this?
Combs: It's my maiden voyage. I've never done such a thing before. I have a little bit of the jitters.
Q: What do you think makes the music of "Star Trek" so appealing?
A: It's iconic. It runs the gamut of music itself. It speaks to us. I especially like the music of "Deep Space 9" because I did most of my work on "Deep Space 9." Composer Jerry Goldsmith is one of my favorite film composers. He did five "Star Trek" movies - I didn't know that until I was reading up for this. He did the main theme for "Star Trek: Voyager." I'm looking forward to hearing that live. His music is the heart and soul of "Star Trek." I went on YouTube to listen to the pieces. Some I knew immediately, and some were "what is this?" To hear them performed live by an orchestra is really exciting.
Q: Will this be your first visit to Colorado Springs?
A: No. On two occasions I did a play at the Denver Center Theatre and took day excursions and visited beautiful Colorado Springs.
Q: Were you a "Star Trek" fan as a kid?
A: Yes. I was 12 when it debuted. Well, I turned 12 the next day. It made a deep impression on me.
Q: You are one of only five actors to play more than seven different characters in the "Star Trek" franchise. Do you have a favorite character of those you portrayed?
A: Another guy holds the record at 12 characters. But seven - I'll take seven. Some hung around longer than others. And whenever someone asks me if I have a favorite, I ask if they have children. Because how can you have a favorite? It's like they're all my babies. I love all the differences between them.
Q: Will you be in costume for the Philharmonic concerts? It is pretty close to Halloween, after all.
A: No, I'll be in a tux, which would be different unless you consider a tux a costume. To get into makeup is difficult to do. On the set I'd have to start at 3:30 or 4 in the morning, when everyone else was in REM sleep. It took usually 2½ hours.
Q: What's next for you? Any more "Star Trek" on the horizon?
A: There's nothing in the future in terms of "Star Trek" that I know of. I'm enjoying myself and traveling.
The Philharmonic's "Star Trek: The Final Frontier" is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Pikes Peak Center. Tickets are $21 and up. Info: csphilharmonic.org.