Andy Naylor reviews Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation² Vol. 1…
“When the Federation’s most terrifying enemy strikes an unholy alliance with one of the Doctor’s most hated antagonists, the result is devastation on a cosmic scale! Spanning the ends of space and time itself, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise find themselves joining forces with the Doctor and his companions, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance!”
The thought of a Doctor Who and Star Trek TNG crossover is, in my humble eyes, possibly the most exciting crossover in the history of Sci-fi. I was practically drooling over Assimilation². There was still a hint of trepidation as I opened the comic, there’s always that chance that the writer doesn’t fully love or understand one as much as the other. I am very happy to report that both of these stunning franchises get equal billing throughout Assimilation². I was really quite astonished that the characters from both universes maintain their individuality and shine like they do in their respected shows without any particular one taking centre stage. Amy Pond is her sassy say-what-she-thinks-self and at the same time you get the concern and warmth from Deanna Troi. It is quite an accomplishment to merge both these universes in such a way and maintain precisely what everyone loves about each. Technology, history, lore are all preserved and wonderfully interwoven into Assimilation².
The storyline as a whole is okay. There’s enough there to keep you turning the pages and the conclusion to the plot has its weak points. However, the real accomplishment is the characterisation of the assembled cast. Despite the limited word count of a comic, every single sentence is thought through and is instantly recognisable to the character that speaks it. Through some form of witchcraft, the Doctor manages to ramble like he usually does but the speech is concise and short, yet still very much like the Doctor. It is marvellous triumph of dialogue.
The art throughout is most unique. To me, it seemed like the use of photographic stills for each character had been used, then coloured and adapted for every particular pane. This might not be the case, but it’s how I can best explain it. While it looked quite splendid, at other times something seemed a little off. A facial expression wasn’t quite right, or the character wasn’t looking in just the right direction. In even rarer occasions some characters looked more than a little creepy. But the art also changes. A beautifully explained and crafted flashback has completely different traditional comic art, but is in no way less wonderful than the main story. Even more impressive is how the flashback is explained and utilises classic Doctor Who and Star Trek: The Original Series. I’ll say no more and just let you find out.
If you are a fan of either series then I plead with you to check out Assimilation². It has been put together with great admiration for both series and the interaction between the characters from each universe will more than cover the slight weakness in parts of the story. Assimilation² was a joy to read.
Andy Naylor – Follow me on Twitter