Review: Star Trek – the Next Generation/Doctor Who – Assimilation2 #7 / Writer: Scott Tipton, David Tipton / Artist: Gordon Purcell, J.K. Woodward / Publishers: IDW Publishing / Release Date: Out Now
Inevitably, our last hopes that the Doctor Who/Next Generation comics crossover would pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat in its last couple of issues and turn a stodgy, talky and rather dull story into something clever, exciting and, most importantly, worthy of all the hype, disappear slowly down the plughole in another issue of earnest over-talking, but with a hint of action - and some Cybermen at last! - in the final couple of pages. But in all honesty it’s just far too little, far too late.
Assimilation2 has, quite simply, run out of story. When we last saw the Doctor, he and his chums had travelled back into Star Trek: The Next Generation's timeline and they were treading carefully around a Borg Cube and gazing in awe at Captain Picard is his Locutus days. Unfortunately for anybody expecting any real action, it appears that the Doctor and co are too inconsequential to register as a threat (er...the Doctor is a Time Lord, what bigger threat could a hostile alien force expect to meet?) so they return to the TARDIS, nip back to the Enterprise, chat to Picard and co for a bit before deciding the best thing they can do is pop over to one of the Cybermen's ships and use the Borg executive code just recovered from the Borg cube to reverse the programming used to subjugate the Borg. So it's all aboard the TARDIS to the middle of the Cyber Armada where, thankfully, the Cybermen are slightly more alert than the Borg and as soon as the party step out of the TARDIS alarms are sounding and the Cybermen are on the march.
Familiar criticisms apply to #7 of Assimilation2. Despite the bit of action which perks up the last few pages and a final panel which promises some decent Cyberaction in the finale, there's still far too much talking going on, the writers still unable to resist filling the comic with panel after panel of talking heads just to show off how well they've grasped the characterisations of the TARDIS and Enterprise crews. But unfortunately we stopped being impressed by that in #3 because in reality, it was the very least we expected. We certainly hoped for a more dynamic and inventive story and not one which looks set to fizzle out next month with some pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo which will see the Borg turn on the Cybermen again and the Doctor and co waving a cheery bye-bye to Picard and his starchy Star Trek chums. If IDW are tempted to cross-pollinate these two sci-fi giants again, they might want to take a bit more time to come up with a story which makes the writing, drawing and reading of it worth the effort, because this just has the stink of a lazy vanity project about it, and fans of both franchises were undoubtedly expecting and deserving quite a bit more.