The TARDIS on the Enterprise? Hells to the Bells, Yes!
When the first issue came out, I enjoyed it very much. Starting with a bang, the Borg and the Cybermen, have teamed up somehow, and now they are invading the Federation. From there, it went on to be a great introduction of the Doctor, and the world of Doctor Who to Star Trek fans who may not be up to speed with the current (11th) incarnation of the Last Time Lord from Gallifrey. It ended with a great cliffhanger, with the Doctor’s time machine, the TARDIS, materializing on the Enterprise Holodeck while some of the crew are using it to experience one of Picard’s Dixon Hill detective stories.
I could hardly wait to see what would happen next. Would the Doctor and friends get caught up in the detective story, while the Enterprise crew mistook them as holographic characters? Would the Borg and Cybermen show up, trapping them all in the ship’s entertainment system?
Sadly, we didn’t get to find out right away, as the second (of eight) issue goes backward and set up a rather boring story about a Federation mining outpost on a water world. Fourteen pages go by (reading like a 5th or 6th season episode of NextGen, you know, the boring ones) filled with technobable, intergalactic diplomacy, and Data waxing poetically about the human condition before they get back to the story at hand, and the TARDIS arrives on the Holodeck (as it did already in the first issue) and we finally get the Doctor meeting Data and the rest of the crew of the Enterprise.
This story takes place soon after the events of the Battle of Wolf 359, where much of the Federation fleet was destroyed by a single Borg cube, and they are desperately trying to rebuild their forces, and need the resources, despite the risks getting them, and apparent violation of the Prime Directive. Perhaps I am rushing to judgement. The story about the dangerous Federation mining operation may prove important later on. But did we need to spend 2/3rds of the issue on it?
Things do pick up from there. It is especially fun to see how the Doctor eyes Data like he was a new toy on Christmas morning, or the way the warrior in Worf reacts to the buffoonery of the Doctor. We also still have seen little of what is going on in the Cyberman/Borg camp. How did these two similar forces from different universes meet? And how did they ever come to form such an unholy alliance? These are answers we will have to wait a little longer to find out. Despite the baddies prominent cover, they don’t actually show up until the final page of this issue.
I think the two issues are great comparison of the storytelling style of the two long running fan favorite sci-fi television series. The first issue was all action, running down corridors, bug eyed monsters, and a little bit insane. Much like recent episodes of Doctor Who. By comparison, this issue was much more like a episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It uses a very technical approach to sci-fi. The Enterprise is a finely tuned piece of equipment, and Starfleet is a very structured organization. Despite being made up of 150 worlds, the United Federation of Planets, and Starfleet have a very homogenized look. Doctor Who is much more of an adventure. There is a madness to it, and much more fantasy than sci-fi, where almost anything can happen. After such a strong first issue, I had high hopes that the writing team of the Tiptons & Lee had found a nice balance between the two series, finding a way to use each series’ strengths to tell a thrilling story. This second issue was not as successful. It still looks fantastic. Wordward’s art is spot-on in its likenesses to the characters, but with warmth to it. The whole issue is well produced, and packaged. The covers, particularly Mark Buckingham’s, all look cool.
Was this a good comic? For the most part yes, however when all is said and done, I felt more could have been done to push the story forward to what will hopefully be an exciting ride with a fulfilling finish.
My Score…… 7.5 of 10
Star Trek:The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #2
From IDW Publishing
A $3.99 comic, 32 pgs
Written by Scott & David Tipton, with Tony Lee
Art by J.K. Woodward
Cover byJ.K. Woodward
Variants by Mark Buckingham & Charlie Kirchoff, and Joe Corronery
Note: The writer of this review is a big fan of both series and is not playing favorites with one series over the other, as proof of his Trekker-ness he offers the following.
Also he doesn’t want to get too übernerdy, but does want to say he was really annoyed that Picard calls his chief engineer “Lieutenant” when it’s clear this story is taking place after the Battle of Wolf 359, and Geordi LaForge would have been a Lt. Commander for over a year and half, at least, and is depicted as such in the issue, by having two gold pips and one black pip as his rank insignia.
But he got over it.
Really, he did!