Star Trek: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Thy'lek Shran

A constant frenemy to the NX-01, there's more than meets the antennae under that blue skin.

Shran Star Trek Jeffery Combs Enterprise Andorian
CBS Media Ventures

Making his debut in Enterprise's first season episode The Andorian Incident, Thy'Lek Shran, Star Trek's first recurring Andorian, wasted no time in making his mark on the show, and Trek lore as a whole.

Although his first appearance would portray him as a ruthless commando with a (not unfounded) distaste for Vulcan trickery, Shran would spend the next four seasons leaping and bounding across the line of hero and villain in the eyes of Captain Archer and the Enterprise crew.

Slavishly bound to Archer by a constantly shifting debt of oneupmanship and tit-for-tat, Shran's appearances would rapidly become a fixture of Enterprise's run. As his single-minded opposition to the hated Vulcans gradually shifts to one of conciliation, he becomes emblematic of the unity disparate societies could foster and, ultimately, leads to the formation of the Federation itself.

Whilst we can learn much about Andorian culture from Shran's appearances, there's still much we don't know about the man himself. Here then are some little-known facts about the tenacious commander, that may peak the antennae of even the most ardent of Trekkies

10. Nobody Else Could Play The Part

Shran Star Trek Jeffery Combs Enterprise Andorian

When casting the role of a recurring character, Star Trek's casting directors often have entire phonebooks of reliable names they can call upon, who sit for hours on end in make-up to portray myriad characters across Star Trek's multiple series.

Of all these names, few have such regard in the fan community as Jeffrey Combs. Reoccurring to the point of being meme-worthy, Combs' Trek acting CV includes Penk in Voyager's Tsunkatse, the Ferengi Krem in earlier Enterprise episode Acquisition, and the megalomaniacal supercomputer AGIMUS in multiple episodes of Lower Decks. It's in Deep Space Nine, however, where Combs truly makes his mark, appearing as Tiron in the episode Meridian, as well as the recurring roles of Brunt (FCA) and five different versions of Weyoun.

It's unsurprising then that, when the time came to cast Shran, the team behind the camera knew exactly who to call. Combs was offered the part without even auditioning, and impressed the crew with his ability to act past the slightly silly antennae to create a character who could portray both threat and pathos with the kind of depth the role demanded.

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Hampshire based Writer who spends his time rewatching Deep Space Nine, trying to be an actor and voraciously consuming every Metal album he can find. Final Fantasy IX is the greatest game of all time and this is the hill I will die on.