Star Trek TNG and Doctor Who Collide In Assimilation Squared
Star Trek/Doctor Who Crossover Featuring The Two Big Bads
The 1960s introduced us to two of the biggest science fiction shows of all time that eventually developed into huge franchises that are still going on to this day in various forms of media. Doctor Who, which debuted in 1963, is a British show made by the BBC and deals with a time traveling alien known simply as The Doctor who travels through time and space in a machine, the TARDIS, that resembles an old police box alongside an ever changing cast of companions.
1966 was the year that the original Star Trek series debuted on NBC wherein the crew of the Enterprise fly through unknown areas of space to learn and meet new forms of life. Both have been able to run to this day thanks to Who’s main character being able to change his appearance and personality whenever he or she is near death, while Trek has had not only movies but also half a dozen and counting spinoffs with some dealing with exploration and others with more serious issues such as war.
You would think with the longevity and imaginative storytelling that they would frequently crossover with each other, but that did not happen until 2012. IDW Publishing, who has both original works and licensed works based on various well known forms of media, came out with an eight issue crossover between the two franchises.
Doctor Who Companions Working With Enterprise Crew
Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation Squared sees Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor and his companions, married couple Amy Pond and Rory Williams, meet and team up with the crew of the Enterprise-D to fight the combined forces of their own versions of cyborg invaders, Cybermen and Borg.
Set around the fifth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the second of Smith’s tenure as The Doctor, it starts with Delta IV, a Federation planet, being attacked and invaded by the combined forces of the Borg and the alternate reality versions of Cybermen. All the while, The Doctor and his friends save an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh from a shape shifting alien. When they get back into the TARDIS it suddenly reacts and activates on its own. Regaining the controls, the three step out and think they’ve landed in 1940s San Francisco but are actually in the Enterprise’s holodeck.
Upon meeting the the crew, The Doctor identifies Lieutenant Worf as a Klingon despite never knowing about them before. With news of Delta IV’s invasion and images of their respective enemies is shown, The Doctor and Captain Jean-Luc Picard realize that they have to work together. Wanting more information on Cybermen, Picard learns of an adventure that Captain James T. Kirk had wherein the Fourth Doctor showed up to help defeat his version of the Cybermen, though the current Doctor doesn’t remember this event until he suddenly does.
Unsure of what’s occurring, Picard and The Doctor meet with the time sensitive Guinan, a bartender on the ship, who proposes that the Cybermen’s attempt at time travel caused the universes to merge. As they think of a plan, the Borg contact the Federation as the Cybermen have betrayed them. Picard is reluctant due to his traumatic experience of having been assimilated by the Borg, but The Doctor manages to convince him by showing him a future wherein the Cybermen win. As the Enterprise-D work with the Borg, the Cybermen are all destroyed, but not before the Borg go back on their word and attempt to assimilate the TARDIS.
Star Trek/Doctor Who Crossover Near Flawless
The Doctor manages to stop them and the Enterprise escapes, with the two universes now fixed. As The Doctor and his friends leave, the Borg start to experiment with time travel so as to one day assimilate the Time Lord. As someone who loves both the Trek and Who franchises, this comic is perfect at representing what makes the two so memorable and entertaining. You have the brisk pace and sense of camaraderie that The Next Generation had, while giving us the whimsical and fantastic adventures that fit the Eleventh Doctor’s time.
The writing by Scott and David Tipton and Tony Lee does a great job at telling its story while perfectly balancing some dramatic and comedic moments. They all capture the many characters’ personalities and mannerisms perfectly as you would in an actual episode of the shows. Numerous references and easter eggs are scattered about, such as the Borg knowing about time travel connecting it to Star Trek: First Contact and the Doctor being reminded of Bad Wolf, which adds to the fun.
J.K. Woodward provides most of the artwork to the crossover, with the story set during Kirk and the Fourth Doctor’s adventure done by the Sharp Brothers. With Woodward you have a style done in a very painted and photorealistic method, while the Sharps go for a retro poppy Sixties style to fit the era in which the first Trek was made. Both are done very well, though there are times when the realistic style doesn’t always look so good due to some of the characters having moments where they look a bit jarring.
Even with some of these problems, the artwork is still very beautiful, breathtaking, and unique. While you can connect the ending to the events of First Contact, it was actually meant to lead to a sequel with The Doctor in Deep Space Nine fighting against The Dominion. Due to IDW losing the Doctor Who licence, this never happened and thus could have had a really awesome followup. Even then, this story stands on its own with a powerful and engaging story and great artwork.
You can grab your copy of Time Squared from your local comic store or via Comixology.
How did we rate Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who: Time Squared? 6 Sodas
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