Review: Star Trek - The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation2 #6 / Writer: Scott and David Tipton / Artist: Gordon Purcell, JK Woodward Brothers / Publisher: IDW / Release Date: Out Now
Whilst it’d be a bit of an exaggeration to suggest that the sixth issue of the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comics series is exciting and action-packed, the story does hitch up its skirts a bit this month and make a bit of progress. Not much progress, mind - there’s still a lot of very earnest talking going on - but there are signs that the writers have suddenly realised they’ve only got a couple of issues left to play with and they really need to get this beast moving now if it’s going to end up having been worth anyone’s valuable time.
Issue six sees the TARDIS crew and a bunch of the Enterprise’s finest beaming down to a desolate planetoid for a bit of a pow-wow with a Borg delegation. Just what we need - more talking. So it begins; after travelling back up to the Enterprise the Borg tell the Doctor and his new chums about their alliance with the Cybermen and why it broke down before an attempt is made to secure a decent supply of gold with which to attack the Cybermen from a group of Federation-friendly fish people. Back on the Enterprise (again) the Doctor, Amy and Rory set off to cross the Star Trek timeline and materialise aboard a Borg cube at a time when Picard himself was slave to the Borg collective. Fancy that. And still no sign of a Cyberman in real-time.
This is an improvement on the dead-stop issue five but there’s still the inescapable sense that this epic story really isn’t going anywhere especially interesting, particularly now that issue six seems to be setting us up for a very simple, handy resolution to the as-yet-unseen Cyberman problem. The art remains variable at best - some panels are horribly shoddy and unfinished - and it’s curious how the script only seems to be able to characterise the Doctor and his chums in the style of their TV show when they’re away from the deathly, poker-faced, make-it-so presence of Picard and his stiff-backed Enterprise cronies. The Doctor even says "what say you?" at one point and that’s just a Star Trek-ism too far. A bit of judicious editing could also have saved us the pain of a line as clunky as "They’ve masked their steps so well that I have been all along a step behind them." Sorry, Doctor, but with the best will in the world, dialogue like that just ain’t cool.