1439. Assimilation2 Part 3
PUBLICATION: Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #3, IDW Comics, July 2012
CREATORS: Scott and David Tipton, with Tony Lee (writers), J.K. Woodward and the Sharp Brothers (artists)
STARDATE: Unknown (follows previous issue). The flashback to the TOS era occurs in 3368.5 (possibly between Seasons 2 and 3).
PLOT: While the Enterprise-D hides from the Borg-Cyberman fleet in a nebula, the ship's records and the Doctor's memory are updated with an adventure from Kirk's Enterprise in which Cybermen attempted to take over a colony, but were defeated with the help of the 4th Doctor.
CONTINUITY: See previous issue (the Borg, the Cybermen). The Borg-Cyberman fleet is commanded by a Cyber-Commander with Borg implants. A flashback (and a cover) features the original Star Trek cast, the 4th Doctor and the Cybermen sporting their look circa The Invasion (though the Cyber Leader has a black head piece from later stories, and their vulnerability to gold is also from a later era). The 4th Doctor has jelly babies and his sonic screwdriver, and is traveling alone (in between The Deadly Assassin and The Face of Evil?). Communicator flip-tops are made of gold, which makes sense given that the metal is by this point worthless except as decoration (Catspaw). Given the temporal shenanigans at work, Guinan makes an appearance.
PANEL OF THE DAY - I think something's loose in there.
REVIEW: What I thought was just a fun variant cover actually shows events from inside the comic! Well on the one hand, it's very cool that the book would go back to the The Original Series and Classic Doctor Who in this crossover. On the other, the 4th Doctor isn't all that well realized, being mostly a cipher aside from that bit where he offers Kirk some jelly babies. There's really very little of his eccentricity, no companion to bounce off of, and certainly none of Tom Baker's scene stealing. Bill Shatner and Tom Baker really in a scene together? I would pay to see that kind of madness. But here he could be any Doctor, or really, any guy with a TARDIS. It's too bad, because it's fun to see Kirk and crew fighting 60s Cybermen, and the clean art, despite an iffy likeness for the Doctor, is a welcome break from Woodward's murkier painted work for the TNG stuff. There too, there are highs like the mystery of the Doctor's updating memories and the inclusion of the ship's resident expert on shifting timelines, and lows, like Picard laughably asking if they've been seen when the ship is clearly in the middle of the enemy fleet. This series is proving to be a thing of two parts, not just Trek and Who, new and old, but also of good and not so good. Perhaps it's the writers' unfamiliarity with Doctor Who? The Trek bits are sound (if ordinary), but the Doctor just doesn't have the right banter going, in either incarnation.