One of the key differences I have always appreciated is the differences between Star Wars and Star Trek that make both franchises great. Star Wars was more rounded in science fantasy and Star Trek in science fiction, the difference primarily being thw eighting of the world building between magic and technological explanations. It may be that is the reason that the omniscient race of Qs rubbed me wrong in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Star Trek was always better staying away from magic or religion, a leaning and preference of creator Gene Roddenberry himself. Q’s silly jumping in and out of crises, and even causing them, often made Picard, our hero, look baffled and sometimes petty and annoyed, which I think detracted more than it added to the series. So I’m a bit surprised that I am not bothered at all at a union of similarly omniscient Doctor Who and Captain Picard’s crew in the May mini-series Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation².
What’s more fun than taking the two franchises’ greatest borgs, Cybermen and The Borg, and throwing them together? A conversation between Rory and Data? Commander Riker hitting on Amy Pond? Is Q a long-lost Doctor? Is the Doctor a long-lost Q?
Billed as the “two of the greatest science-fiction properties of all time come together in a comic book for the first time” that’s mainly true, although fans of the now-defunct Wizard Magazine and artist Mike Mayhew may recall seeing this stellar image created for one of Wizard’s last issues, bringing together for the first time the crew of the original Star Trek and Matt Smith’s Doctor Who with companion Amy Pond, chock full of Romulans and Klingons and Daleks and Cybermen:
I contacted the artist of the above artwork Mike Mayhew (www.mikemayhewstudio.com) to get his reaction to the new Star Trek/Doctor Who team-up: “It’s about time! IDW has set the stage for the sci-fi crossover folks have been waiting for.”
Mike explained the background for the Wizard project, too: “I was contacted by Wizard magazine for art to accompany an article called “Last Man Standing” that debated who would win: Vader vs. Agent Smith, Ripley vs. Sarah Connor, Alien vs. Skrulls, etc. Wizard gave me all the characters they wanted and I researched the weapons and ships.”
I for one love it when obvious fans of genre series get to dive into the creative process like this. borg.com readers will know Mike from his past work on Green Arrow. He is currently finishing up the successful Marvel series FEAR ITSELF: THE HOMEFRONT and is currently working on a creator-owned book.
As a rabid fan of both Star Trek and Doctor Who, I couldn’t be happier that CBS and IDW Publishing finally realized what a good idea they had from the Wizard Magazine reference.
From the CBS/IDW announcement: “By joining these two sci-fi powerhouses, fans will be taken on the ultimate adventure through time and space,” said Liz Kalodner, executive vice president and general manager of CBS Consumer Products. “We are excited about this new adventure for the Doctor and the fact that he will be travelling with Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his iconic crew. This is a perfect partnership for not only Doctor Who’s incredible fans, but also for the brand. We have just celebrated our most successful year yet. Doctor Who’s latest season delivered record ratings for BBC AMERICA and it was most downloaded full TV seasons of 2011 in the U.S. on the iTunes Store,” says Soumya Sriraman, executive vice president Home Entertainment and Licensing.
The eight-issue limited series will be written by Scott and David Tipton, who have written for Star Trek before in Star Trek: Infestation. Doctor Who writer Tony Lee is also expected to contribute to writing duties for the series. A key feature of the series will be painted covers and interior art by James K. Woodward (Star Trek: Captain’s Log: Jellico, Star Trek: New Frontier, Star Trek: The Last Generation, Star Trek: Alien Spotlight).
One photo circulating the Web shows the 11th Doctor taking companions Amy Pond and hubby Rory to Star Trek’s past–the bridge of Picard’s Enterprise-D:
If this is truly from the series (sometimes blogs release their own Photoshop fantasies as reflecting a new release so it is anyone’s guess) this may indicate the future time period for this mash-up, or that there may be some time travel within Picard’s tenure in Starfleet. I know what you’re thinking: Will the Enterprise-D be harder to steer than the Tardis?
Here’s a nice 2012 convention sketch by Woodward merging Doctor Who with Batman:
And here is some of Woodward’s past work on the Star Trek franchise:
Woodward is pretty creative, too. Check out this great take on a classic Justice League of America cover (#195).
And yet another great Woodward cover, proving yet again, the coolest Klingons wear eyepatches:
Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation² is scheduled for release May 2012.