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5.0 out of 5 stars 'You will be upgraded!/assimilated!' - The TARDIS and the Enterprise vs. the Cybermen and the Borg!, 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation 2: The Complete Series (Star Trek / Doctor Who) (Hardcover)
I was really keen to get this. I wanted all the eight issues to be in one graphic novel so I can read it in one go. And I'm glad I waited patiently for it all to come out.

This has got to be one of the most amazing things IDW publishing have ever done. They have united two famous sci-fi shows in their biggest crossover ever in comic book form. The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D from `Star Trek: The Next Generation' and the Eleventh Doctor TARDIS team featuring the Doctor, Amy and Rory from `Doctor Who' meet up to fight against two terrifying monsters - the Cybermen and the Borg who have come together to upgrade and assimilate everyone.

I'm a huge fan of `Doctor Who', but before that I was a huge fan of `Star Trek'. I enjoy both shows so much that I wanted there to be a sort of cross-over meeting between the two shows. I don't know what form that would have been, but I was keen that there should be some meeting between two universes since I wondered whether the `Doctor Who' universe interconnected with the `Star Trek' one. I've always liked the idea for example of the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa meeting up the `Deep Space Nine' team where they're fighting the Daleks and the Dominion (Jem'Hadar, Vorta and the Founders) in some sort of alliance like that.

In 2012, just for this once, IDW came up with a comic story spreading over eight issues where the Doctor, Amy and Rory crossover into the Star Trek universe and meet up with the crew of the Enterprise led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Reading through it and seeing all the artwork done for the strips was truly spectacular and amazing to look at.

The artwork's amazing! I really am impressed with how the artists have come up with spectacular battle sequences with Borg and Cybermen ships in space against the TARDIS and the Enterprise. I really like the likenesses of the characters including the Doctor, Picard, Amy, Rory, Riker, Data, Worf, etc as they've really captured what Matt Smith looks like and what Patrick Stewart looks like incredibly well. When reading through the comic strips, I can really imagine them talking and moving as they would do on their own shows. Even when reading the dialogue in the bubbles from the characters talking, I could hear what either the Doctor, Picard, Amy or Riker were saying. It's a shame this can't be a TV special or a movie-like spectacular as that would be heaven.

There's also a mini-adventure in this comic-book adventure featuring the original Star Trek team with Captain Kirk, Mr Spock, Dr McCoy and Scotty having an adventure meeting the Fourth Doctor and facing classic Cybermen. The artwork's really 60s/70s style compared to the difference of the main story, and it's a really nice diversion to have a little story with Tom Baker's Doctor and Captain Kirk doing battle with the Cybermen. It helps to add more to the story and was really exciting to read and look through.

The story is about the Doctor, Amy and Rory taking a trip to San Francisco in the 1940s after dealing with an adventure in Ancient Egypt. They soon discover that they're not in San Francisco at all as the TARDIS has landed in the holodeck of the Enterprise-D. They spot the clues when they notice Riker and Data, and the Doctor knows that Data is an android. Soon discovered, they're taken to meet Captain Picard who questions their arrival and why they are on the Enterprise. Very soon, the Enterprise is under attack as it comes face to face with the Borg and the Cybermen in space fleets galore. The Doctor and Picard are horrified as they see the space fleets in alliance with each other.

Now you may think how can they combine two universes together when they're so distinctively different to each other in story terms. The answer is that the TARDIS entered the Star Trek universe when the Cybermen crossed through to make an alliance with the Borg, as it turns out that Star Trek is a parallel universe compared to the Doctor Who one. It's a clever idea and helps to avoid explaining into too much detail with continuity problems. The only people that are aware of what's going on and that two universes have combined with each other is the Doctor and Guinan (the bartender in Ten Forward played by Whoopi Goldberg). There is a telepathic connection between the Doctor and Guinan as they know what's going on and know that the Cybermen and Borg have to be stopped.

I really like the Doctor's relationship with Picard in this story as there's friction between them and Picard doesn't seem to be able to trust the Doctor entirely on who he is and his willingness to help. There's an element of the Doctor/Brigadier relationship between these two I think, especially when the Doctor persuades Picard to hear the Borg out on what they have to say about the Cybermen and Picard refuses to negotiate with them. I really like how the connection is made to Picard's traumatic experiences with the Borg in 'The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1' and 'Part 2' and he's still having a grudge against the Borg for what they did to him. The Doctor's frustrated with Picard not listening to him, and eventually it's Amy who wins Picard round in persuading to listen to the Doctor by sharing her experiences with him and memories of her first meeting when he came to him as a little girl in Matt Smith's first story 'The Eleventh Hour'.

Eventually Picard hears him out and the Doctor gets to show him the TARDIS, to which Picard is amazed. I really like it when the Doctor shows Picard the future of the Federation and showing him images of Cybermen upgrading various species such as the Klingons, Vulcans and Starfleet as well as the Slitheen and Judoon. It prompts Picard to take the Doctor's advice and hear the Borg on helping them fight against the Cybermen when they break up their alliance with each other.

I equally love the artwork they've done on both Cybermen and Borg monsters. The Cybermen look splendid as ever in their retro 2006 design from 'Rise of the Cybermen'/'The Age of Steel' and the Borg look scary as ever with their creepy zombie mechanical look. For me this is the best alliance between two cybernetic races as they both have similar ideas in wanting to turn everyone into one of them with Cybermen upgrading and Borg assimilating. I thought it was really cool when Cybermen had Borg implants on them to keep in their alliance with the Borg. It all gets interesting as we also get to uncover the differences between the Borg and Cybermen races as they break alliances with each other.

In terms of continuity, in 'Doctor Who' I would place this after 'The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe' and in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' during Season 5.

Also added to this comic book graphic novel is an art gallery containing a series of images, covers and posters (possibly front covers of each of the eight issues) depicting the Doctor, Amy, Rory and Enterprise team fighting against the Borg and Cybermen. I really liked seeing these images, displaying what could be and what it would look like to have these two shows in unity with one another. I especially like the 'First Contact' poster with the Doctor, Amy and Rory's face blazed in the centre and the Cybermen and Borg marching underneath them.

So for me, this is comic book adventure that works and a good story that works uniting two well-known shows that I know and love. I really have enjoyed this. This is probably the most enjoyable Matt Smith story I've had the pleasure of experiencing compared to the TV series and it's great to see the Next Generation team working alongside the Matt Smith Doctor, Amy and Rory. If you're a fan of both `Who' and `Trek', I highly recommend this. The plot may seem at times absurd and rather rushed, but the artwork's worth enjoying with great character likenesses and images of both shows.

Go on! Go for it! Make it so...and GERONIMO!!!

The next story with the Doctor, Amy and Rory is 'Asylum of the Daleks'.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Jan 2014 17:31:35 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jan 2014 17:33:16 GMT
Timelord-007 says:
Tim after reading this I've purchased it so my bank account loves you lol.

Great synopsis that explains the set up but doesn't spoil the story for the the purchaser.

Startrek ripped off the Cybermen with the Borg but having the two enemies together I'm looking forward to seeing how this work's.

I thought you wrote this superbly Tim & convinced me to purchase the novel.

Great review.

I've added Nightmare Fair to my lost Stories review's.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2014 19:09:17 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jan 2014 19:10:05 GMT
Tim Bradley says:
Glad my review pursuaded you to purchase this. It is a good read.

Yes Star Trek did copy the Borg from the Cybermen, but I somehow enjoy that and it's great that it's acknowledged in this comic book novel.

Glad you enjoyed my review. Hope you enjoy the story! Tim.
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