Doctor Who/Star Trek: The Next Generation: Assimilation Squared
May 11, 2015
This comic isn't for your eyes!
Linkara: (wearing a Starfleet uniform) Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. But today, we're not looking at a bad comic... (hesitates slightly) although it's one of those times where it very well could have been: a crossover between two of my favorite science-fiction franchises: Star Trek and Doctor Who.
(Footage of an episode of the original 1960s Doctor Who is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Although, admittedly, this is a weird combination. Even when Doctor Who had a scientific advisor on the show back in the '60s, its understanding of science and technology has always been more in the realm of science fantasy than science fiction...
(Cut to footage of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Linkara (v/o): ...whereas Star Trek has always, more or less, attempted to operate by realistic scientific principles, even when they had to make up science for faster-than-light travel or the like.
Linkara: That being said, both series have the common ground of technobabble.
(Cut to a clip of another episode of Star Trek: TNG)
Data: Using multimodal reflection sorting...
(Cut to a clip of another episode (in color) of Doctor Who)
Third Doctor: I've reversed the polarity of the neutron flow so the TARDIS should be free of the force field now.
(Cut to a shot of the cover of the Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover comic)
Linkara (v/o): Like I've said before, I would love to see a proper Star Trek and Star Wars crossover, given the rivalry of the fandoms, but seeing this actually get to print is pretty damn awesome. There are certainly more ridiculous premises for crossovers out there. I mean, it'd be like Star Trek and Planet of the Apes crossing over.
(Cut to a shot of the cover of a comic showing just that: a Star Trek/Planet of the Apes comic)
Linkara (v/o): Oh... Or, uh... Star Trek and the X-Men...
Linkara (v/o): Oh, yeah, I reviewed those. Uh... Okay, how about Planet of the Apes and Alien Nation? No crossover there–
(Nope, there's a crossover comic there, too: "Ape Nation")
Linkara (v/o): WHAT THE HELL?!
Linkara: Comic books are weird, people.
(Cut to a montage of shots of other Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comics)
Linkara (v/o): What's weirder for me personally is the particulars of this crossover. Both series are long-running, with multiple incarnations of the franchise in various forms, so obviously, choices had to be made about what was crossing over with what. In this case, the choice for Star Trek is for The Next Generation. It's an odd choice to me, since at the time this comic was published, the 2009 Trek film had been the basis for most of IDW's Star Trek comic output. Sure, they had done stuff for other series before; it's just strange that they chose to go with The Next Generation as opposed to the 2009 film's crew. By that same token, they had a choice for what Doctor to use. Since it was 2012, Nat Smith's Eleventh Doctor was tapped. While Smith is popular in his own right, it's again an odd choice, seeing as I would've thought they'd have gone with a Doctor who was more popular, in particular David Tennant's Tenth Doctor.
Linkara: Oh, and since we're now between seasons again, I'm sure these questions will pop up: (points to his index finger) I like Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor, (points to his middle finger) Series 8 was hit-or-miss, (points to his ring finger) the first part of the finale was fantastic; the second part squandered its potential and was just awful.
Linkara (v/o): But that's both franchises for you right there. Sometimes, they're utterly glorious and fine pieces of drama and science fiction... aaand other times, they make you bang your head against the walls and cry about why you're still watching this garbage.
Linkara: So let's dig into "Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation Squared #1" through "8" (holds up two comics of the series, one in each hand) and see if bowties are still cool when on spandex uniforms. (beat) Yeah, they really aren't.
(AT4W title sequence plays, and the title card has the title theme from Star Trek: TNG playing in the background. Cut to a closeup of the first comic's cover)
Linkara (v/o): Seeing as we're reviewing eight comics today, there's probably gonna be a lot of summarization and less of the detailed stuff, sorry to say. In addition, there's very little time to go over all the covers.
(A montage of covers is shown)
Linkara (v/o): Hell, it's hard enough doing that, since not only am I reading from the trades, but IDW loves itself all its alternate covers. That being said, the covers do range in quality from kinda boring, like this cover of Counselor Troi, Amy Pond and Dr. Crusher just standing around, to awesome homage, in particular this alternate cover to Issue 3 that resembles Star Trek: First Contact, just with the Doctor and his companions. There's also the final issue's cover, which seems to want to be an homage to old-school comic covers and movie posters... for no real reason. And yeah, as you may have noticed, our enemies this time are the Borg... and the Cybermen. I've talked about the Borg before in a few episodes...
Linkara: And if you don't recall that, maybe pause this episode and take a look back at some of those...
(Cut to footage of the Cybermen from Doctor Who)
Linkara (v/o): ...but I should probably explain the Cybermen in case you're not familiar with Doctor Who. While some have suggested that the Borg are a ripoff of the Cybermen, that's not really fair, considering the production history of the Borg. However, there are similarities. As the name suggests, they are cybernetic beings, composed of living people with mechanical components.
Linkara: And occasionally, they have adorable little worm guys like these! (holds up a Cybermat) ...Although, mine are completely robotic.
Linkara (v/o): They come from the solar system's lost tenth planet, Mondas, which was hurled away from our little corner of the universe years ago. There were human beings there, too, because shut up, and they managed to survive despite moving further and further away from the sun. In their quest for survival, they upgraded themselves with cybernetic components, sacrificing their emotions in the process. Eventually, they returned, and their mission of survival was subsumed with a need for conquest to prlong their race. The other way to prolong their species is through cyber conversion, taking other beings, particularly humans, and upgrading them to cyber form. The Cybermen have evolved a lot over the course of Doctor Who's history, originally looking like dudes who stretched some pantyhose over their heads into more and more robotic-like form. My personal favorite form is the Earthshock-era Cybermen. This era was when they had the most... personality, for a lack of a better term. Sure, the Cybermen were supposed to have rejected emotion, but I like the idea of them actively suppressing their emotions through choice, with occasional flashes of emotion when they're frustrated or succeeding. While the idea of the more machine-like Cybermen is scarier, I just prefer these Cybermen since they're not just robots. Also, David Banks as Cyber Leader had the best voice ever!
(A montage of clips featuring the Cyber Leader is shown)
Cyber Leader: Betrayal will be fatal. / (?) / There is... logic... in what he says. / More power! / We are invincible... to your weapons.
(Cut to the beginning of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): But anyway, let's get on with the story. We open on Delta IV, home of that bald lady from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Unfortunately, their oaths of celibacy won't help them now, as energy beams start raining from their purple sky... along with Borg drones on the surface and a lot of descending Cybermen.
Linkara: (deep voice) And now the weather. Today's forecast: cloudy with a chance of the end of the world.
Linkara (v/o): The world's Prime Minister has beamed to a secure bunker and meets with her advisors, along with a bunch of Starfleet representatives. It's pretty grim. Most of their command and control centers are destroyed and the two Starfleet vessels that were engaging the Borg have been annihilated. However, the Prime Minister notes that the Borg's behavior is odd. They don't really do sneak attacks; they issue a warning and call for surrender on the vain hope that you will surrender, since, well, it's the Borg. "Resistance is futile" isn't a catchphrase to them; it's alerting their opponents that it is futile; you will eventually be taken and assimilated, so stop making us waste our time and energy. The footage of the attack also reveals this blurry purple photo of a Cyberman.
Prime Minister: Those aren't Borg.
Linkara: (as the Prime Minister) And I think they're taking the term "handlebar mustache" a little too literally.
Linkara (v/o): A Starfleet task force is on its way, but it's obvious they won't get there in time, so their only hope for survival is complete evacuation of the planet. It gets underway, even as both Cybermen and Borg beam right into the bunker. And props to this panel right here: great angle, great lighting, and it's just chilling seeing the Cybermen saying, "Resistance is futile!"
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Doctor Who, showing a Cyberman's head lying on the ground, with wires flailing around)
Cyberman: You will be assimilated!
Linkara (v/o): That moment in Doctor Who, however, was stupid and contributed to my theory at the time that this was all supposed to be a dream. Thanks for being derivative.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, they get the Prime Minister away, along with several other evacuating ships, and we cut to... ANCIENT EGYPT!
(Cut to a shot of the Egyptian pyramids with John Williams' "Imperial March" playing in the background)
Linkara: An alliance between the Borg and the Cybermen?! (clenches fist and gnashes teeth) Ooh! Of course ancient Egypt is behind this!
Linkara (v/o): The Eleventh Doctor is being accompanied by his two companions, Amy and Rory Pond, a husband and wife who have literally died a few times while alongside the Doctor, because he's that kind of a hero. They're in the middle of a chariot chase with some Egyptian authorities. After evading them, they enter into the Pharaoh's palace and manage to get to the Pharaoh himself, who is just about to start playing a children's card game with his vizir. The Doctor reveals that the Vizir is an alien, scaring him off by mentioning he's a Time Lord. Utilizing a Chaos Emerald, the Doctor is able to such the alien inside of it and save the Earth, because he's also that kind of hero. Later, back inside the TARDIS, the Doctor touches the Chaos Emerald and suddenly has a vision of the Cybermen alongside the Borg. The TARDIS suddenly shifts course, materializing in what appears to be San Francisco in 1941. After Amy and Rory change clothes to match the period, the three exit and begin walking around, eventually finding themselves in a bar... where Data, Commander Riker, and Dr. Crusher are hanging out.
(Cut to the second issue)
Linkara (v/o): And as we move into issue 2, let's back up a bit to see things from the Enterprise's point of view. Specifically, we start off with Geordi performing some diagnostics on Data, and their conversation turns to the subject of upgrades. Data was built almost thirty years previously, and technology has advanced significantly since his construction.
Linkara: I don't know. If anything, it's gone backwards. These days, we have cell phones with cameras, (points to comic) which not even the future's communicators have.
Linkara (v/o): Data explains that he has decided against upgrading himself as a philosophical matter.
Data: If I start replacing my components with improved ones, where would that process end?
Linkara: You say that now, Data, but then you try to play the next AAA game on your hardware and then we'll talk.
Linakra (v/o): Geordi's visor is also brought up, and the subject is really a subtle allusion to the Cybermen and how people normally wouldn't be okay with replacing other parts of their body unless they had to. In the meantime, the Enterprise is hanging out over a planet where there's a massive mining operation going on for the Federation, which is trying to get looots of rare material from the world to help replace ships lost to the Borg during the battle of Wolf 359. After they sort out that mess, the characters head to the holodeck to test out some upgrades to it, where we join the Doctor and company. The Doctor, being a rude sort, immediately goes up to Data and starts pawing his head.
Doctor: What do you have in here, a positronic brain? Those can be tricky to untangle, need lots of artificial synapse jumping. Looks like you've got it running very smoothly.
Linkara: And guess who's not gonna run smoothly in a second if you don't (scowls) knock it off, Doc!
Linkara (v/o): Riker ends the program, thinking that the three are just signs of a malfunctioning holodeck, but of course, they're all still there when the simulation stops. Worf is called in to escort the three to the observation lounge and have a chat.
Doctor: Well, you're a big fellow, aren't you? A Klingon, if I'm not mistaken! Relax, we're all extremely friendly!
Linkara: You know, what's funny is that this really isn't any different than the normal situations the Doctor finds himself in.
Linkara (v/o): The Doctor explains to Amy and Rory that the situation is changing rapidly, and they are not where they should be.
Doctor: I seem to be remembering things that have never happened to me.
Doctor: Well, until I got a glimpse of our tall friend there... I had never heard the word "Klingon" before...
Linkara: Ah! So the Doctor is more of a Star Wars fan.
Linkara (v/o): The three arrive at the observation lounge.
Capt. Picard: We very seldom receive unannounced visitors in the holodeck, much less park their telephone boxes there.
Linkara: (as Picard) The last time that happened was about a year ago with those Bill and Ted fellows.
Linkara (v/o): Introductions are made, Riker asking Troi quietly if she senses anything from the three, like deception or the like. In particular, she talks about the Doctor.
Troi: It's like nothing I've ever sensed before. There's a wisdom, much beyond his years. And a sadness. Great sadness.
Linkara: (as Troi) It's like he really, really wanted to keep poking at Data's head.
Linkara (v/o): The Doctor has begun having suspicions about what's going on, asking if the Enterprise has encountered anyone else recently that would be classified as "unexplained". But the meeting is interrupted by the distress call from Delta 4. Picard orders them to head that way, while someone spills water on the pages and makes the paints of these panels start to run and blotch up. Upon arrival, they see a joint fleet of Borg and Cyber ships in orbit to end issue 2. On a side note, one of the nicest things of the Doctor Who series is that they actually bothered to give alien races a consistent design with their ships. The classic series was on a budget, so they had to throw together whatever they had available to make ships for Daleks and Cybermen or the like, so it was never the same from episode to episode. So, as we enter issue 3, let's get a sense of scale in just how small the Enterprise is compared to the Borg ships, shall we? And considering one Borg Cube nearly wiped out the Federation, seeing all of this is certainly a pants-to-be-darkened moment. Anyway, the Enterprise is quickly hailed, revealing a partially assimilated Cyberman sitting in a chair and flanked on either side by a single Cyberman and a drone.
Cyberman: You have no means of stopping us.
Linkara (v/o): Aaand then the communication is over.
Linkara: (confused) Really? You just called to let us know that? That wasn't even "Resistance is futile," it was "Just FYI – You're boned. LOL. Sucks to be you." (shrugs)
Linkara (v/o): They haul ass out of there, but the fleet is in pursuit, forcing our heroes to hide in a nebula for a bit while they compare notes. However, more surprising to them is that they check the Enterprise's database about the Cybermen, and there is a record of them being encountered before, back in the 23rd Century with the original Enterprise. When the Doctor looks at the record, he's suddenly bombarded with memories of the event, and we see a flashback of things with a different art style. And a different Doctor. What happened was that the original Enterprise was sent to an archaeological team that was studying an ancient but advanced relay station and they haven't been talking for a while. The crew finds the Fourth Doctor there, also investigating.
Fourth Doctor: Who would like a Jelly Baby? Hmm?
Spock: Fascinating. Gelatin confectionary, dusted with starch, and molded into the shape of a small child.
Linkara: (as Dr. McCoy) Dammimt, Spock! You'll eat that crap, but when I make candy, you say it's not logical to eat something that'll hurt your teeth!
Linkara (v/o): They find the research team acting like zombies, thanks to implants in their ears. They can be easily removed, but it seems some old-school Cybermen are responsible. We see Kirk try to get into a fistfight with the Cyber Leader, but as you can see, this doesn't go well for Kirk. The Doctor uses a gold plating on a communicator to kill the Cyber Leader, although not before Kirk does a Liu Kang bicycle kick to its face. The Cybermen are defeated and the Doctor slips away, the relay station activating something without anyone noticing. Back in the 24th century, the Eleventh Doctor relays this information to the others, that he remembers those events... but he also remembers not remembering them, so something weird is going on. Issue 3 ends with Picard deciding to bring the Doctor to Guinan.
Linkara: Because, really, this story already required copious amounts of booze in order for it to be conceived.
Linkara (v/o): As I explained back in the "Star Trek: Generations" review, Guinan can sense when things have gone haywire in time, so she knows that something has been altered, and what's more, she knows who the Doctor is. They piece things together fairly quickly. The Cybermen and Borg have found a way to merge two parallel world together, the Doctor's and the Enterprise's, and time is being altered as they merge together. They're called back to the bridge, as something has changed, but Guinan tells Picard in private they can indeed trust the Doctor.
Linkara: That's not exactly the best attitude to take when one of the catchphrases associated with Eleven was (makes "air quotes") "The Doctor lies."
Linkara (v/o): So, how has the situation changed? The joint Borg-Cyberman fleet was on a flight path that would have put them towards Earth, but now the fleet has turned around. What's more, there's a planet that was in their path they were assimilating, but they just stopped and left. Upon investigating the world, they find corpses of Cybermen and Borg. Examination of the corpses, as well as some visual records of the planet, reveal that the Cybermen suddenly attacked the Borg.
Linkara: (now dressed as Doctor Who) You know, I know this is issue 4 of the crossover, but in story time, this terrifying alliance of theirs has lasted about ten minutes.
Linkara (v/o): After finding some wreckage of Borg vessels, they're able to track the warp signatures of the retreating Cyberman vessels to indicate that they're back on their way to the Delta Quadrant. In case you don't know, in Star Trek, the Milky Way galaxy is divided into four quadrants: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. The Federation inhabits mostly the Alpha and, to a lesser degree, the Beta quadrant.
Linkara: And since space is really big and warp drive can only get you so far... well, I'm sure the Borg will really be in trouble... in about seventy years.
Linkara (v/o): I mean, yeah, they could be using a faster mode of propulsion, but Data explicitly says it's their "warp signature", meaning they're traveling at warp speed. The entire premise of Star Trek: Voyager is predicated on them being stranded in the Delta Quadrant and that many decades away from home. But anyway, Picard and Riker are perfectly happy to hear that the Borg are gonna get their asses kicked by the Cybermen, but the Doctor is aghast at the suggestion that the Cybermen would be any better than the Borg. Subsequently, a surviving Borg vessel hails the Enterprise and offers an alliance with them, but Picard of course won't hear any of it, ending issue 4. From there, the Doctor continues to argue with Picard, even into his ready room, and trying to convince him that they should at least hear the Borg out so they can get some information, but Picard isn't budging. He is smudiging, though. He looks like a tiny, miniature figure in this panel.
Linkara: I know I keep harping on the artwork, but honestly, nine times out of ten, it's perfectly fine, if not great, capturing the actors' likenesses perfectly. It's just the occasional bit where it looks rough and unfinished that makes me kind of scratch my head.
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Guinan's plot senses were tingling, so she goes down to talk to Picard and the Doctor, explaining to him about the events of "Best of Both Worlds" and Picard's assimilation. She also apparently read the script, since she now knows pretty much everything they need to know. Yeah, this is a big hiccup for the story, that Guinan just knows this stuff and it's never explained how she does. Even when Guinan had special awareness, it wasn't like she was a walking Wikipedia.
(Cut to a clip of the Star Trek: TNG episode Yesterday's Enterprise)
Yar: (to Guinan) What happens to me in the other timeline?
Guinan: I don't have alternate biographies of the crew.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): It was just an awareness that something was wrong. Maybe some vague details, but that's it. In any case, she says that the Cybermen haven't limited themselves to wanting to conquer a single universe, but all parallel universes, to the point where they were scouting new universes to invade and came across the Borg.
Linkara: And here's where I have to stop the story, because clearly, the writers are a bit confused, which is easy to get when it comes to the fast and loose Doctor Who continuity. (holds up index finger) But I have to put my foot down here. It's time for us to once again play (shouting dramatically) "I... AM... A... COLOSSAL... NERD!" (looks down at his Doctor Who outfit) Although, that was... probably obvious.
(Footage of the Cybermen in the Doctor Who series is shown)
Linkara (v/o): When the Cybermen were reintroduced in the modern series, for some bizarre reason, they decided they should be from a parallel universe, where they were created on Earth. Later, these alternate universe Cybermen tried to invade the main universe, but not under their own power.
Eighth Doctor (Richard Griffiths): But I don't understand, the Cybermen don't have the technology to build a Void ship, that's way beyond you!
Cyber Leader: The Sphere broke down the barriers between worlds. We only followed. Its origin is unknown.
Linkara (v/o): The ending of that story sent all of the alternate universe Cybermen back into the space between universes and closed the book on them. Later, however, when the Cybermen were encountered again, they looked like the alternate universe Cybermen, but with spaceships and more advanced technology. This confused a lot of people, but it's honestly not that complicated. These are the Cybermen from the main universe. We've seen that the Cybermen update their look as they get more advanced anyway. But the thing is that the main universe Cybermen aren't interested in conquering other universes. How the hell would they be able to? They didn't even have time-travel technology! The one time they did have it, it was from a Time Ship they had stolen, and clearly, they were incapable of reverse-engineering the technology. But otherwise, they've never expressed any interest in conquering other universes. That was the ones from the other universe who didn't even have the technology to build spaceships, let alone the ability to pierce dimensions on a whim.
(Cut back to the Star Trek/Doctor Who comic, showing the flashback to Kirk's battle with the Cybermen)
Linkara (v/o): It wouldn't even make sense to be those Cybermen, since the flashback to Kirk's Enterprise showed an earlier version of the main universe Cybermen!
Linkara: And assuming any of you are still around after that long, dorky rant, it still doesn't explain how the two universes are merging to the point where the Doctor's own memories are being rewritten!
Linkara (v/o): The Doctor realizes that the Cybermen are hoping to convert all of the Borg collective, all of their resources and knowledge, and thus be pretty much unstoppable. Picard says that their talk is all conjecture and that for all they know, the Borg could be preoccupied fighting the Cybermen for centuries. But on the bridge, they've received reports of the Cyber fleet engaging the Borg on several more occasions... with the Borg summarily getting their asses kicked in every encounter.
Linkara: And people say Voyager ruined the Borg. They're getting beaten by guys who were once confounded by jazz music.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Doctor Who showing the Cyber Leader listening to jazz music)
Cyber Leader: This is meaningless!
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Even with this knowledge, Picard still won't engage, saying that the Enterprise won't do a damn bit of good against that kind of firepower. Amy and Rory, in the meantime, have been doing some character development with Crusher and Troi, with Rory impressed by the advanced medical technology of the future, since he's a nurse. The Doctor comes in and explains what's up to them and how they'll have to deal with the Cybermen themselves. He wants the help of the resources of the Enterprise to deal with the threat, but Troi thinks that Picard can be swayed with a different voice. As such, Amy is sent down to talk to him.
Linkara: Not a bad plan, actually, given Picard's affection for another hot redhead.
Linkara (v/o): After Amy explains her backstory to Picard, she asks him to come with her to the TARDIS. From there, the Doctor shows off his happy little time machine and brings him decades into the future, just a little at a time, to show Picard the Cybermen eventually conquering and converting the Klingons, the (?), Vulcans, the (?), and yes, eventually Earth and all of the Federation.
Linkara: The worst part is that you have even less options with your Internet service provider after the Cybermen take over.
Linkara (v/o): And thus the issue ends as Picard agrees to form an alliance with the Borg. Issue 6 begins with the Enterprise crew meeting with a party of Borg on a desolate planet. The Borg have picked a single representative that they refer to as "The Conduit" to speak for them and provide data they require. Worf objects to even a single Borg aboard the Enterprise, but the Borg agree to remove all components the Conduit would normally have within it to assimilate other beings and technology. That being said, Riker recognizes that the Conduit is actually an old friend of his, Captain Betrand of the USS Potemkin, assimilated over Delta 4.
Bertrand: It was believed that utilizing one you were familiar with would more easily facilitate our partnership.
Linkara: (as Bertrand) We thought a living reminder of our intention to strip you of your free will and individuality would make us feel more like friends.
Linkara (v/o): I do love that kind of twisted sort of logic with the Borg, believing they understand the positive emotional reactions, but not the negative ones. In a kind of weird way, the Borg are actually optimists, just trying to better themselves and all species. It's just that they are logic and efficiency untempered by conscience and morality. Anyway, the Conduit explains how the alliance went down and how things seem to be going fine. Their technologies were mostly compatible, and they created a new Collective with both sides. However, both sides soon realized the ambitions of the other, that they'd never be harmonious together and that one would try to completely overtake the other. The Cybermen, thanks to the communal link, were able to access the Collective's "executive library routines" and overwrote them, basically killing most of their higher functions and leaving them all on permanent blue screen of death. That's why the Cybermen are having such an easy time killing off the Borg on their way to their space. The Conduit and his group of Borg only survived by splintering off from the Collective and using their remaining resources to form limited decision-making and initiative routines, but their resources are dwindling and they'll die soon without the proper executive library. Even their protected backups were corrupted by the Cybermen.
Linkara: (holds up index finger) And this is what happens when you don't have proper antivirus software or portable hard drives as backup, Borg Collective.
Linkara (v/o): They need a new copy of the library routines to put back into their system, and the Doctor hits upon the idea of using the TARDIS to go back in time to a specific point where they know a Borg ship is and getting the files from that. Riker has a suggestion.
Riker: The Battle of Wolf 359. The place where the Federation lost 39 starships.
Doctor: Bad Wolf. Yet again...
Linkara: (points to his left) Battle of Wolf 359... (points to his right) Bad Wolf... (ponders what he reads) Okay, that was cute. Stupid, but cute.
Linkara (v/o): The Conduit will work with Geordi to upgrade the Enterprise's weapons and engines to deal with the Borg technology the Cybermen have, while they also return to the subplot with the mining planet to get gold in gigantic quantities, since the replicators wouldn't be able to make enough to deal with the Cybermen themselves. The Doctor, Amy and Rory head into the TARDIS to go to the Battle of Wolf 359. Riker and Picard want to go with them, but the Doctor refuses. And they accept that.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Doctor Who)
Man: I'm coming with you, Dad!
Doctor: No, you're not, son!
Man: Fair enough.
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): The Doctor's reasoning is that he doesn't want them to accidentally cross their own timestream.
Linkara: Honestly, though, with how often tie-in media goes back to Wolf 359, I wouldn't be surprised if they just happened to run into some other time travelers there.
Linkara (v/o): Issue 6 ends with the TARDIS crew arriving on the Borg Cube of that era and walking around, navigating with a tricorder Data provided them. The Borg ignore them since they're considered beneath their notice.
Doctor: On some level, I think they may know that we are here, but they consider us to be inconsequential and not worth their time.
Linkara: (as one Borg) Hey, 3-of-7, what's with the dork in the bowtie? (as another Borg) Ugh, I do not know, 2-of-8. I've had a really crappy day, and I don't feel like assimilating that chin.
Linkara (v/o): They also spot Locutus in the middle of the battle.
Doctor: When Enterprise eventually destroys this Borg Cube, putting an end to this Borg invasion, Data will help Captain Picard free himself from the Borg Collective.
Linkara: (as a Borg) Hey, just because we're ignoring you doesn't mean we didn't hear that! (calls out) Guys! He's saying something about destroying the Cube! Maybe we should– (moves hand around suddenly) Aw, dammit, I broke the egg whisk thingy at the end of my arm! This is like the third time this week!
Linkara (v/o): They succeed in downloading the library routines from the Borg computer and head back to the future... present... whatever. Anyway, there's still some bad news: even with the improvements of the Conduit, the Cybership just too much of a lead on them. They'll arrive at the Borg home world long before the Enterprise can catch up with them. The Doctor, however, suggests taking the TARDIS in along with a security team. There's also a brief bit where talks to Dr. Crusher about whether or not Captain Bertrand can be freed from the Collective, but it's not really all that important, since it's a guy we've never seen or met before, so he's Captain Deadmeat as far as I'm concern. And so, everyone is brought to the TARDIS and Data figures out how the TARDIS works instantly, dimensionally shifting the interior so it can be bigger on the inside.
Doctor: Spot-on, Commander Data. A genuine pleasure to have someone aboard who's so quick on the uptake!
Linkara: I figured out the Doctor's real name. It's "Dickhead".
Linkara (v/o): The TARDIS rematerializes aboard a Cybership, but apparently, with their enhanced sensors, they're able to detect his presence, and an intruder alert is sounded. Picard, the Doctor, Data and Conduit head off in one direction, while Worf, Amy, Rory and the security team head off in another. Worf and company will head to engineering and slow down the ship, while the rest head for the bridge. After Rory almost gets killed by a group of Cybermen, Worf insists that he and Amy are armed, despite the Doctor's earlier objection to their guns.
Worf: The Doctor isn't here. And stupidity is an empty hand. I have no problem continuing to protect you. But would you rather not protect yourselves?
Linkara: (as Rory) Well, yeah, but we've seen the show. Guns are useless in Star Trek. On the other hand, though, your track record indicates we would be better off protecting ourselves.
Linkara (v/o): Issue 7 ends with Worf's party arriving in engineering, while Picard's group encounters an army of half-assimilated Cybermen. And thus, we reach the final issue, beginning with Worf explaining that they have to disable this ship's engines, regardless of what happens with them. However, he also explains a pretty decent plan for what to do: giving positions and strategy that reminds us that even though Worf was knocked around and called "Microbrain" on TNG, he was still a tactical officer and knew his stuff... except when it comes to taking out tractor beams when specifically ordered to fire on them, like when they first encountered the Borg.
(Cut to a clip of the episode in question)
Picard: (to Data) ...the exact sort of that tractor beam. Lock on phasers.
Worf: Phasers locked on target.
(The Enterprise fires phasers at a Borg Cube, but only do some slight damage to it. Then cut back to the comic)
Rory: Lieutenant, you realize that with all the weapons fire in an engine room, we could hit the wrong thing and blow this whole ship up... very easily.
Worf: Yes, I have considered this.
Linkara: (as Worf) If that happens, feel free to file a complaint against me.
Linkara (v/o): The plan works, although several goldshirts are killed in the firefight.
Linkara: (saluting) Godspeed, Ensign Expendable, Lieutenant No-Name, and Ensign Meat-Shield.
Linkara (v/o): Picard's group, however, is quickly captured by the Cybermen – until the Enterprise arrives to save them, firing a gold-infused particle beam at the ship. It permeates...
Geordi: ...every open space in that hull with a fine gold mist.
Linkara: Pretty impressive that you were able to put gold inside of their air systems with that, since, you know, spaceships are supposed to be airtight. Whoops.
Linkara (v/o): Fortunately, the Enterprise crew are equipped with gas masks to protect them since gold dust isn't exactly something humans should be breathing in either. The Doctor protects his own lungs with... uh, a hanky.
(Cut to the obligatory shot of the Hitler Clones from "Superman At Earth's End")
Hitler Clone: Of course. Don't you know anything about science?
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): The Doctor warns them that the Cybermen have been able to strengthen their resistances against gold before, so they should still work quickly. They arrive at the chamber of the Cyber Controller, who is partially assimilated, naturally, and is sitting in a chair with tubes hooked up to him. Unfortunately, for some reason, they decided that the Cyber Controller should be the one with all the personality. And the personality they've gone for is, "ranting supervillain who talks about how they're totally going to win and there's nothing they can do, blah, blah, blah".
Cyber Controller: Our countless defeats at your hands are finally over. There's nothing you can do this time. You've walked right into my hands.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Doctor Who, showing a Cybermen with its hand holding the Fourth Doctor by his throat)
Doctor: The trouble with Cybermen is they've got hydraulic muscles, and of course hydraulic brains to go with them.
(Cut back to the comic)
Cyber Controller: I will do what my predecessors could not: I will put an end to you and the Cybermen will never be troubled by the Doctor again.
Linkara: Big talk for a dude who put a big transparent window into the most vulnerable and squishy part of his body, as if to say, (points to his head) "Aim here!"
Linkara (v/o): The Controller gets out of his chair, leaping at the Doctor so it can personally kill him. Fortunately, Data jumps in and tackles it, restraining it alongside the Conduit.
Cyber Controller: Release me! I will kill the Time Lord! I will kill you all!
(Cut to a clip of Dune)
Feyd-Rautha (Sting): (confronting Paul) I will kill him!
(Back to the comic again)
Linkara (v/o): The Doctor takes off the Spencer's Gifts Pop-O-Matic on the Controller and hooks up the Conduit to it, allowing them to restore the Borg's library routines. He goes one step further: since he's hooked up to all the Cybermen at this point as well, he sets their ships to self-destruct to ensure that no Cyberman can survive to threaten them.
Doctor: What?! You can't! That's genocide!
Linkara: Oh! (sarcastically) Yeah, you're right, Doctor. We'll just go right ahead and use that surefire way to reverse cyber conversion and restore everyone to normal. (becomes upset) Oh, wait, that doesn't exist! Get back in your box!
Linkara (v/o): Everyone retreats to the TARDIS and dematerializes in the nick of time, but naturally, the Conduit decides to betray them and interfaces himself with the TARDIS, trying to assimilate its programming and therefore give the Borg the knowledge to time-travel.
Linkara: Uh, actually, you guys already know how to time travel. You assimilated Picard, who has discussed once before the method used in Star Trek IV to slingshot around the sun and–
(Suddenly, he is interrupted as the Continuity Alarm suddenly goes off. Linkara stops in confusion)
Linkara: Huh. Didn't realize you were still around. Although, maybe at this point, I should rename it "Nerd Alarm".
Linkara (v/o): Anyway, Data tries to force the Conduit to disconnect, but since the TARDIS is alive, its own form of consciousness flows into the only receptacle that can house it: Data, who in turn rips the Conduit from the controls. Rory opens the TARDIS door and Worf tosses the Conduit out into the Time Vortex, where he no doubt bumps into Salamander before being eaten by a Vortisaur. Later, everyone's returned to the Enterprise, Riker lamenting his lost friend that we've never met before. The Doctor explains that it's likely that with the Cybermen's destruction, all of the changes they made to their history have been undone.
Linkara: Okay, even by Doctor Who's flimsy science, that doesn't make any damn sense, but whatever. We need to wrap up the crossover.
Linkara (v/o): However, he does feel that those with direct confrontations like them are likely to remember everything that happened. And so, our comic ends with everyone saying farewell, with the universes apparently separating so the Doctor will have no difficulty returning them to their own universe. However, in the Borg Collective, they reach a conclusion that they should begin investigating time travel for their own ends, no doubt leading into the events of First Contact.
Linkara: (holding up comics) This comic... is actually pretty good.
Linkara (v/o): It does have its issues in both art and writing, and I've discussed them throughout this review. At times, the painted style creates... these kinds of faces (...such as a weird expression on the Doctor's face), while others look like they'd be still frames from the show if you looked at them from a distance. The plot holes are numerous, sadly, particularly about the nature of their universes merging together, and the Cyber Controller suddenly going all monologue-y and somewhat emotional is pretty damn iffy. However, what strengthens it is that the overall premise is fairly sound for a crossover; there's plenty of time for character moments, even if the Riker stuff is a bit forced; and the different crews interact a lot and have plenty of chances to show their strengths. The action is exciting, and the scope of it is pretty damn big, even if there are a ton of pitfalls in the logic and science.
Linkara: So yeah, I actually recommend this one, and I wouldn't be against more crossovers in the future. (voice suddenly sours) But seriously, though, when are we gonna get that Star Wars and Star Trek crossover? (puts down comic gently, gets up and leaves)
(End credits roll)
Before anyone mentions "The Next Doctor," yes, the alternate universe Cybermen technically ceased to be in THAT story, but I was trying to be succinct.
Be sure to follow the continuing adventures of "3 of 7: the Disgruntled Drone" on CBS this summer.
To be fair to that clip of Worf firing on the Borg cube, I did edit out him firing on a spot we couldn't see, but why would he suddenly FORGET where the beam was emitting from in the next shot?
(Stinger: A clip of an episode of Doctor Who is shown)
Craig Owens: A teleport? A tele... A teleport, like a... like a beam-me-up teleport, like you see in Star Trek?
Eleventh Doctor: Exactly! Someone's been using a beam-me-up Star Trek teleport.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise)
Malcolm: I see it.
Trip: Huh. I don't know what I'm seeing. How could a ship be bigger on the inside than on the outside?