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Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation

I remember seeing an ad last year for the Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who crossover from IDW. So when I found myself with a B&N gift card (courtesy of my mother-in-law — thank you!), I hopped online and ordered Assimilation 1 [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] and Assimilation 2 [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], which reprint the entire eight-issue run.

The cover tells you everything you need to know. The Doctor and his companions (Amy and Rory) hop over to the universe of the Enterprise D. There, they find that the Cybermen have forged an alliance with the Borg. Voila: instant profit story.

It’s a fun idea, right up there with “Enterprise vs. Death Star” and “Buffy & Scoobies vs. The Smurfs.” But while the story tried to go beyond that fannish “What if?” it only partially succeeded.There’s a convenient side plot about an oceanic mining operation that doesn’t really add anything. We do get a flashback to a former incarnation of the Doctor meeting up with the original Enterprise crew, which was rather fun. And we see Picard struggling to overcome his trauma with the Borg. While that’s a powerful, painful thing to watch, it’s also something we’ve seen before in the series and in First Contact.

The Borg/Cyberman vs. the Doctor/Federation is the big conflict here, but I think the conflict between Picard and the Doctor was far more interesting. Both are good, strong, stubbornly determined characters whose style couldn’t be more different. I wish we had seen more of their struggle to stop butting heads and finding a way to work together.

Also, more of Rory and Worf teaming up, please. I would read an entire comic about that duo. Guinan and the Doctor were fun too.

The artwork…okay, I’m not a comics reader, but the art did not impress me. Some of it was decent, but mostly it felt rushed.

Is this great literature? Not so much. On the other hand, I didn’t order them expecting great literature. I ordered them because it was an idea that hit me right in my inner fanboy. Could it have been better? Absolutely. But the toy inside gives you exactly what it promises on the box.

Now, when are we getting the crossover where Torchwood goes up against Q?


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)
Did we ever find out what the deal was with Guinan. She seemed friendly, but Q hated her and said she wasn't what she appeared to be. Then Whoopi Goldberg left the show and, as far as I know, the plot threads were left hanging. In these comics, does the Doctor by chance pick up that thread?
Mar. 5th, 2013 02:54 pm (UTC)
Nope. Guinan was just Guinan. I suspect there are tie-in books and comics that get into it, but this particular crossover didn't give us any new info on who or what she was.
Mar. 5th, 2013 02:55 pm (UTC)
Damn. For some strange reason, it's the only plot thread that stayed with me all this time after TNG ended. I wish Whoopi Goldberg had stuck around!
Mar. 5th, 2013 06:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, Guinan was just Guinan, but she was also... how many centuries old at the time?
Mar. 6th, 2013 04:39 am (UTC)
I thought Guinan's story had been clarified in Generations...didn't her people get caught up in the Nexus and she managed to get out somehow, facilitating both Kirk and Picard to save the day?
Mar. 5th, 2013 02:52 pm (UTC)
This was pretty much my experience with the first volume; I didn't know the second had come out so thanks for the heads-up. This project hits all my fan-girl buttons, too, but like you, I wish it had been stronger and played to character a little bit more. Ah well.
Mar. 5th, 2013 02:55 pm (UTC)
I bet you could do some really interesting things with a novelization of the story, assuming you found the right author to do it.
Mar. 5th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
I don't know about Torchwood vs. Q. Q doesn't do angst,a dn unlike Jack Harkness *in* Doctor Who, Torchwood was angst central.

OTOH, if you tuned in just after a commercial break and saw Jack Harkness lying in bed with Q*, you'd be pretty confident that yes, they did actually go there....

* This actually happened to me with TNG: I came into one episode just late enough to see Picard wake up with Q beside him in bed. I was unsurprised to learn it had been a girlfriend of Picard's there when he fell asleep. ( But also disappointed; Not because I ship Picard or anything that silly, I just would have thought the show had some real gutsiness.)
Mar. 5th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
Having some acquaintance with the fandom version of Jack only, I would immediately assume that Jack had actually seduced Q!

How close to canon this would be, I have no idea!

Mar. 5th, 2013 05:21 pm (UTC)
VERY. In Doctor Who, when Jack says hi, it's a flirtation,r egardless of gender and often species. In Torchwood, he's a bit more restrained, because it's hard to cheerfully flirt while angst, but he still sleeps with a great many people.
Mar. 5th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! I had a feeling it was pretty much second nature to him, from what I've read. But I didn't realize he's much more angsty in Torchwood versus DW. That may give me more of an idea of what to watch first!

Completely off-topic:
I nearly laughed myself out of my chair at home the other night when I realized that the man playing a murderous philanthropist in "Arrow" is Barrowman! All I could think of was "Captain Jack Harkness!"
Mar. 5th, 2013 06:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, he's actually doing quite well in Arrow portraying a totally different character, but part of me keeps wanting to see that grin and flirtation anyhow. Because hey, Barrowman. Of course, the only *other* thing I've seen him doing was a musical number.

It's not so much that Jack himself changes between shows (Though as someone noted, he does seem to do much better, and be happier, solo or following the Doctor than he is trying to lead other people) as the whole show's tone. It probably doesn't help that the first story in which he appears in Doctor Who was one of the best of the ninth Doctor's season, where Torchwood has some serious ups and downs. If you want to see the best of the series, you can look for the Episodes "Out of Time" and "Captain Jack Harkness" - in the latter, Jack gets to flirt with... Jack Harkness (But it's not what you'd think, hearing that summary). They can probably be watched out of order without messing with the main plotline too much.
Mar. 5th, 2013 06:19 pm (UTC)
Hey, thanks for the info, I'll keep it in mind!
Mar. 5th, 2013 05:48 pm (UTC)
I don't know about Torchwood vs. Q. Q doesn't do angst

Dunno, that might be what makes it work-- Q (and us) chuckling while they all take themselves so damn seriously.
Mar. 5th, 2013 05:54 pm (UTC)
I could see that. But I also prefer Jack Harkness as he appears in Doctor Who, with a lot more good humour.
Mar. 5th, 2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
I would totally read Torchwood v. Q! And I've never even SEEN an episode of Torchwood!

Heck, I haven't seen any Dr. Who in two decades (more than that, really)! I wish they still put up episodes on PBS, like they used to!
Mar. 5th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
Yech. Please don't get Torchwood in my anything. Jack maybe, Torchwood no.
Mar. 5th, 2013 05:03 pm (UTC)
Jack and Q.



Oh. My. God.
Mar. 5th, 2013 05:33 pm (UTC)
Mar. 5th, 2013 07:07 pm (UTC)
"And thus little universe-lettes are born..." (panning through the new universe, finally spinning down to a planet... and a statue. Of a man. The Barrowman Continuum)
Mar. 5th, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
That could very well mean the end of the universe!

Mar. 5th, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
Funny, we're watching the fifth season of Stargate and John de Lancie shows up as a power hungry bureaucrat. Keep expecting him to go "Q" on the Stargate cast.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 5th, 2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
The Cybermen were quite impressed with Data, actually.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 6th, 2013 01:46 pm (UTC)
That didn't come up. There was only one or two panels about that particular Cybermen/Data interaction.
Mar. 5th, 2013 10:53 pm (UTC)
Now, when are we getting the crossover where Torchwood goes up against Q?

That depends on when you write it. 3;)
Mar. 6th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
I want to see Buffy show Sam and Dean Winchester how it's really done.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines

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