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“Upgrade/Assimilate!” – The TARDIS and the Enterprise vs. the Cybermen and the Borg
I was very keen to get this graphic novel!
I wanted to have all the eight issues of this comic book story to be in one graphic novel so that I could read it all in one go! I’m so glad I waited patiently for it all to come out in one complete book. ‘Assimilation2‘ has got to be one of the best and amazing things that IDW Publishing has ever done.
Here we have two famous sci-fi shows united for the first time in their biggest crossover ever in comic book form. The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and the Eleventh Doctor TARDIS team of ‘Doctor Who’ team up to battle against the Borg and the Cybermen.
I’m a massive fan of ‘Doctor Who’, but before that I was a massive fan of ‘Star Trek’. I’ve enjoyed both TV shows so much that I wanted there to be a cross-over between ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Star Trek’. I didn’t know what form that would have been in, but I was keen that there should be some meeting.
I wondered how the ‘Doctor Who’ universe would have interconnected with the ‘Star Trek’ universe. I’m keen on the idea of the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy from my ‘Fifth Doctor’ fan-fiction stories meeting the ‘Deep Space Nine’ team and fighting the Daleks, the Dwaxi and the Dominion in a story.
In 2012, IDW Publishing came up with a comic story that spread across eight issues where the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory cross into the ‘Star Trek’ universe and meet the crew of the Enterprise-D led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Reading the story and seeing the artwork was amazing!
In this story, the Doctor, Amy and Rory take 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 where they discover Commander Riker and Mr. Data.
The Doctor spots the clues that he, Amy and Rory are not in San Francisco when he realises that Data is an android. Soon discovered, the Doctor, Amy and Rory are taken to meet Captain Picard of the Enterprise. Picard questions their arrival aboard the Enterprise, before the ship comes under attack.
In space, the Enterprise comes face to face with both the Borg and the Cybermen in space fleets galore. The Doctor and Picard are horrified by what they see, as it soon transpires that the Borg and the Cybermen are in an alliance with each other. Will the Doctor assist Captain Picard with the crisis?
The artwork for this comic story is amazing! I’m pleased with how the artists have come up with spectacular battle sequences featuring the Borg and the Cybermen spaceships. I also like the likenesses of the characters in the story, such as the Doctor, Picard, Amy, Rory, Riker, Data and Worf.
Whilst reading the comic strips in the graphic novel, I could easily hear the characters talking as they would have done in their own TV shows. I could hear what the Doctor, Picard, Amy or Riker were saying, although it is a shame that this isn’t a TV special or a movie as that would have been heaven.
There’s also a mini-adventure in this comic-book novel featuring the original ‘Star Trek’ team of Captain Kirk, Mr Spock, Dr McCoy and Scotty as they have an adventure meeting the Fourth Doctor. That mini-adventure also has classic Cybermen from ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’, which was so great!
The artwork for that mini-adventure is really 60s/70s style compared to the artwork of the main story. It was a nice diversion to have a little story with Tom Baker’s Doctor and Captain Kirk doing battle with the Cybermen and helps to add to the story, as it was exciting to read and look through.
Now you may be wondering how the two TV universes of ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Star Trek’ were combined together, as they’re so distinctively different in story terms. The answer is that the TARDIS entered the ‘Star Trek’ universe. This makes it a parallel universe compared to the ‘Doctor Who’ one.
This is a clever idea and it makes sense, helping to avoid explaining too much detail in terms of the continuity. The only two people that are aware of what is going on and that the two universes have combined with each other are the Doctor and Guinan, who is the bartender of Ten Forward in ‘TNG’.
I greatly enjoyed the Doctor’s relationship with Captain Picard in this story. There’s friction between the two as Picard doesn’t seem to be able to trust the Doctor entirely. There’s also an element of the Doctor/Brigadier relationship, especially when the Doctor is persuading Picard to hear the Borg out.
But Picard refuses to negotiate with the Borg. I really liked how the connection is made to Picard’s traumatic experiences with the Borg in ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ two-part story, since he still has a grudge against them for what they did to him. This makes the Doctor frustrated with Captain Picard.
Eventually it is Amy who wins Picard round in persuading him to listen to the Doctor. She shares with Picard about her experiences and memories of her first meeting with the Doctor when he came to her as a little girl in ‘The Eleventh Hour’. This was a very sweet ‘Doctor Who’ connection in the story.
Eventually Picard listens and hears the Doctor out, as he gets to see inside his TARDIS. I liked it when the Doctor shows Picard the Federation’s future, when he tries to persuades him to see what will happen when the Cybermen will upgrade species like the Klingons and Vulcans as well as Starfleet.
I equally love the artwork for both the Cybermen and the Borg in this graphic novel. The Cybermen look splendid in their retro 2006 design from ‘Rise of the Cybermen’/’The Age of Steel’. The Borg also look scary, with their creepy zombie mechanical look and they match well with the Cybermen in this.
For me, this is the best alliance between two cybernetic races since they both have similar ideals with wanting to turn everyone into one of them. I liked it with Cybermen wanting to upgrade and the Borg wanting to assimilate. I found it very cool when the Cybermen have Borg implants in them.
The graphic novel extras are as follows. There’s an art gallery of a series of images, covers and posters for the eight issues of the Doctor, Amy, Rory and the Enterprise team fighting the Borg and the Cybermen. I do like the ‘Star Trek: First Contact’ poster with the Doctor, Amy, Rory, the Cybermen and the Borg.
‘Assmiliation2‘ is a comic book adventure that works well in uniting two famous sci-fi TV shows that I know and love. This is probably the most enjoyable comic book story that I’ve read and it is great to see ‘The Next Generation’ team working with the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory in this adventure.
If you’re a fan of both ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Star Trek’, I highly recommend this graphic novel. The plot may seem at times to be absurd and rather rushed. But the artwork is worth enjoying, as there are great likenesses of the characters and amazing space battles with both the Borg and the Cybermen.
Go on! Go for it! Make it so…and GERONIMO!!!
‘Assmiliation2‘ rating – 9/10
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