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Tag Archive: Cybermen


Doctor Who in 3D

Doctor Who fans get to catch 2-part finale of Doctor Who Season 8 in theaters across the country in RealD 3D plus a never-before-seen prequel to Season 9 in a special two-night event hosted by Fathom Events.  It all happens Tuesday, September 15, and Wednesday, September 16, leading up to the Season 9 premiere Saturday, September 19, 2015, on BBC America.

You can check local listings or sign up here for an email reminder or text TVRADIO to FATHOM (328466) for updates.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, July 31.

Doctor Who Fathom Events Dark water 3d 2015

Wil Wheaton will host an interview with stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman as part of the show.

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Cybermen and the 12th Doctor

As we saw with last year’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the BBC knows how to whet fans’ appetites with a week-long lead-in of episodes and documentaries leading up to benchmarks in the Doctor Who universe.  The next benchmark is of course Peter Capaldi’s first full episode as the 12th Doctor airing next Saturday night, 51 years after kids in England were first entranced by a mysterious time traveler in a ship that is bigger on the inside and looks like a phone booth.  Viewers who aren’t giving up on Doctor Who after losing Matt Smith, and are just excited to see what Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss & Co. have in store next, will see another week full of past Doctor Who episodes as well as plenty more leading up to next weekend.

The collective anticipation of a worldwide core of fans translates nicely to the title of the next episode, “Deep Breath.”  How will Capaldi’s Doctor take to captaining the TARDIS and leading his feisty young companion Clara (Jenna Coleman)–the ultimate companion who is the only companion to accompany every prior Doctor–through their next adventure together?  Plenty of new cyborgs are waiting, as revealed in the below trailer, shown after the break.

Doctor Who 12 cities showings

“Deep Breath” will premiere August 23, 2014, 7 p.m. Central on BBC America.  Last night BBC America premiered two new shows, Doctor Who: The Ultimate Companion and The Real History of Science Fiction: Time, each to be re-broadcast throughout the week.  A third special, Doctor Who: The Ultimate Time Lord premieres tomorrow, Monday, August 18, at 9 p.m. Central.

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Doctor Who Fathom logo Wings

Although we won’t see Doctor Who’s new 12th Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, until August, those who are missing their fix of Doctor Who will have once chance to see the Doctor in the theater.  Get your fix of the cybernetic borg Cybermen as tomorrow night David Tennant, the 10th Doctor, will be featured in a Fathom Event series screening at select theaters throughout the United States.

The 2006 episodes “The Rise of the Cybermen” and “The Age of Steel,” featuring companion Rose Tyler played by Billie Piper will be shown beginning at 7:30 p.m. local time, Monday, June 16, 2014.  But there’s more for Tennant fans.  Tuesday night, June 17, 2014, bring your ticket back to the theater for Tennant narrating the BBC/Discovery program Earthflight 3D, Wings 3D, presented in RealD™ 3D, the premiere of a visual odyssey of flight where viewers fly alongside birds in an aerial adventure.

Fathom Doctor Who Wings ticket ad

All the details for the two-night David Tennant fix can be found here.  The first night includes an exclusive interview with Tennant about his role in the TV series.  A huge list of participating theaters can be found here.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a look at Capaldi and his new garb as the next Doctor from a recently released BBC publicity image:

Capaldi as Doctor number 12

The Doctor in Doc Martens, eh?  Why not.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

By C.J. Bunce

Outer space looks so peaceful and tranquil from the images we have received over the years from NASA astronauts.  Yet the reality of space is that it is an unforgiving place, and impossible to survive in without adequate protective gear.  Without a space suit you would lose consciousness within seconds because there is no oxygen.  Blood boils and then freezes because of the lack of air pressure.  Extreme changes in temperature would kill you one way or the other:  In sunlight temperatures reach 248 degrees Fahrenheit and in shade temperatures drop to -148 Fahrenheit.  And you’d be exposed to radiation.  Basically, no spacesuit… and you’re done for.

Above is an image of the actual space suits used by American astronauts in the 1960s and 1970s.  I grew up with stories from my dad about being on one of the recovery ships for John Glenn’s (first!) historic space flight.  I was fortunate to have worked with a NASA spacesuit on display at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution on the Moon Landing’s 20th anniversary, and witnessed the three Apollo 11 astronauts speaking of their journey.  Since then I have met two other men who went to the moon.  On the one hand they are just people like everyone else.  On the other, they all realize they have done something incredible.

Harrison H. Schmitt, the 12th and last man to walk on the moon, at book launch with Elizabeth C. Bunce and C.J. Bunce.

I’ve also been lucky enough to see in person not only the several space capsules in Washington, DC, but something I never thought I’d see when I was a kid–Gus Grissom’s Liberty Bell 7 capsule, cleaned up after being found at the bottom of the Atlantic resulting from his controversial flight.  Real life space travel carries a special kind of magic, and to try to match it, Hollywood has its work cut out for it.

Gus Grissom’s restored Liberty Bell 7 module, now at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

More than a century of science fiction has recognized the need for some travel suit or the other for space travelers of the future.  As reflected in science fiction films, costumers in Hollywood have adapted to the cutting edge science of the day to perfect the look and feel of the future for their science fiction fan audience.  But it wasn’t until the space race that the modern real space suit look was established as the standard, when costumers realized that realistic travel in space required pressurized suits, including what is obvious today, components like gloves and airtight helmets.

Whether film producers are making TV series or movies, space suits end up as a large chunk of the production budget.  Looking right costs money.  Leading the way in the future of dress in outer space was the original Star Trek series and subsequent Star Trek series.  But because of budget constraints there was a surprising lack of actual space suits on each of these series.  Even though the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation referred to their shipwear as “space suits” on a daily basis on set, that’s not the type of gear we’re discussing here.  A chronicle of those types of suits would fill a book, from Star Trek to Babylon 5 to all the other science fiction TV series made by the Syfy Network alone.  Those typically form-fitting and more military styled suits were a much cheaper way to make a TV series that could survive financially.  Likewise, we’ll save for another day space pilot suits, like Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing fighter flight suit from Star Wars and Apollo’s Viper flight suit from Battlestar Galactica.  But even Star Trek was able to spend budget dollars on space “outer wear” over the years from time to time.

The following is a look at the change of the design of the space suit in film over the years.  Literally thousands of artists’ renderings of space suits can be found in countless covers to pulp novels, comic books, and other works, too.  Many of them influenced or mirrored the designs below, and ultimately the costume designers rarely stray from reflecting the forward looking vision of their time. Note: Please send us your updates, new images and old, suits we missed and those published since this article was written, care of editor@borg.com.

In the 1902’s A Trip to the Moon, probably the first real science fiction film, they didn’t even bother with a space suit, just the explorer’s formal dress of the day.

The dawn of sci-fi serials arrived.  In the 1950s serial Captain Video, the heroes wore basically modified football helmets and contemporary air force gear.

But Captain Video also had more futuristic garb.

In 1950’s Destination Moon, we see the first of the color-coded space walkers, a concept used as recently as in Star Trek 2009.

In 1950’s Space Patrol we begin to see a costuming theme–the multiple cuff rolls–an element that makes it to the Star Trek movies in the form of the radiological suits.

In 1951, serious science fiction comes of age with The Day the Earth Stood Still, and with it we get a peak at not what Earthlings might wear in space, but what the aliens already there wear.

In Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) we see more of the rolled armwear that would become typical of 1950s TV and film, and the glass globe found in many lesser sci-fi works.

More cuff rolls! With the comedy Have Rocket Will Travel (1959) the Three Stooges enter the Space Age.

Throughout the span of the series, The Twilight Zone featured several episodes focusing on astronauts, and made the best of a small budget, including these costumes in the episode Elegy…

… and Little People, again with the football helmet.

In 1961, no “costume” was necessary as Earth witnessed the first astronaut donning a space suit in outer space, with Yuri Gagarin’s epic flightas the first human in space.

In 1965 Lost in Space not only featured John Williams’ first sci-fi soundtrack, but cutting edge, cool space stories and characters filled the TV screen, including Dr. John Robinson’s space suit.

The TV series The Outer Limits offered up various versions of spacesuits in the early 1960s, but no performance in-suit was as memorable as that of William Shatner in the episode “Cold Hands, Warm Heart,” a realistic space suit like those worn by real astronauts.

In the 1970s one of my favorite comedic actors was Jerry Lewis. Being a kid I laughed at everything he did, and I remember not quite understanding more of the risque bits of his 1966 film with Connie Stevens about bringing both sexes together in space: Way, Way Out. It also makes me think this was the start of me thinking all space suits should be made of aluminum fabric.

My love of the silver space suits, of course, may also be because of the Mercury program space suits…

… and of the great astronaut G.I. Joe.

In 1966 the original Star Trek arrived. I’m not sure if it is truly a space suit or more of protective wear, but here is Spock sporting full gear in the episode The Naked Time.

1967 saw the first of the James Bond films addressing outer space with You Only Live Twice, with Russians in space.

In the bawdy comedy In Like Flint, James Coburn ends up in space with a silver suit… and good company

The typical bumbling Don Knotts role was even more fun in space, as seen in 1967’s The Reluctant Astronaut.

In 1968 Star Trek got real space suits instead of velour shirts, as seen here worn by the Enterprise crew in the classic episode The Tholian Web.

Upping the ante, Stanley Kubrick spared no expense to create multiple space suit variants for 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968. Here we have that color-coding concept again.

Here is David’s red-orange suit close-up.

And the yellow version of the suit.

And 1960s camp participated in the Space Race as well, as seen in 1968’s Barbarella.

But it didn’t stay on long.

In the same year, Charlton Heston & Co. soar off in space gear to a very familar planet in The Planet of the Apes.

Tons of Doctor Who shows featured often bizarre space travel outfits.  One Doctor Who special had its own take on the space suit, here in the 1968 film Doctor Who and the Wheel in Space.  (Watch out for those Cybermen!)

In 1971, Earthlings saw Heston’s character leave in a rocket and apes return in Escape from the Planet of the Apes.

Strange goings-on for Sean Connery’s James Bond in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever.

As a big John Carpenter fan, I was surprised his early film Dark Star was so hard to watch. And he used very odd space suits.

In 1975, Space: 1999 had Martin Landau and even women astronauts in these great, orange suits, similar to the Star Wars X-Wing pilot suits filmed around the same time.

I’ve heard that NASA loaned real space suits to The Six Million Dollar Man series for at least one episode. I wouldn’t be surprised, as they look perfect.

Here Jenny Agutter is shown guest starring on an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man in a great suit.

In 1977 Capricorn One showed us what conspiracy theorists thought all along, that even the real astronauts were wearing costumes. Waterston, Brolin, and Simpson.

Strangely enough there are not a lot of space suits used in the Star Wars series since, like Star Trek, they didn’t have pressurization or other environmental concerns with their vehicles. One standout is an astronaut hanging at the Mos Eisley spaceport cantina. This photo is actually from the Superbowl ad from this year, creatures created by Tom Spina Design.

The original cantina guy in space suit.

Between 1978 and 1982, Mork & Mindy catapulted Robin Williams career. He arrived in a space suit complete with strange helmet. The series had access to the Star Trek archives and was able to use original series costumes and props.

In this episode of Mork & Mindy, Mindy’s dad wears a space suit consisting of the Star Trek original series Tholian Web space helmet mismatched with The Naked Time protective suit!

Come back tomorrow and we will continue with part 2–42 more uses of space suits in TV and movies, from 1979 to today.

By C.J. Bunce

We highlight them all the time here at borg.com.  But some of them don’t naturally come to mind when you think of cybernetically enhanced organisms–cyborgs, or borgs for short.  What makes a borg?  An organism, human, alien, or animal, who has been modified by technology or uses technology as part of or in place of another biological function.  We use this broadly, encompassing not only a long-accepted group of borgs that are more metal than man, but also robots or androids modified with biology or biomatter, although taken to the extreme this would seem to include the bioneural starship USS Voyager from Star Trek Voyager.

Regardless of how you define it, meet our borg.com Hall of Fame, always ready for new honorees…

With Marvel’s big premiere of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, we’ll begin with Tony Stark’s Iron Man.  Tony Stark is not advertised as a borg, but if your power source involves techno-gadgetry via an arc reactor and you have his fully integrated armor, we think that makes you a borg.  Whedon is very familiar with borgs, having created the character Adam, the nasty, almost unstoppable foe of the Scooby Gang in Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If Iron Man is a borg, should one of the oldest creatures of science fiction be considered a borg as well–Frankenstein’s monster?  How integral are those bolts and attachments to his survival anyway?  Does an external power source make a borg?  Did he ever have to regenerate?

And if Frankenstein’s monster makes the cut, maybe this spin-off fellow should, too:

Yes, Frankenberry, the only cereal mascot borg?  Are those pressure gauges on his head?  What functions do they serve?  Before we move forward very far in time, we also think we need to at least consider Maria’s doppelganger from Fritz Lang’s sci-fi film classic Metropolis as a possible borg.com honoree–a robot admittedly, but somehow transformed into a humanoid creation with flesh, used to replace the real Maria and wreak havoc across Metropolis:

From one of the biggest science fantasy franchises, Star Wars, Darth Vader began as Anakin Skywalker, but through his own rise to evil and subsequent downfall he became more machine than man:

He even caused his son to require borg technology by slicing off his arm and hand with his lightsaber, making Luke Skywalker a borg as well:

With Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, we met an interesting new villain, General Grievous, a four-lightsaber wielding almost lobster-like biological creature made up of techno-armor and, in close-up are those reptilian eyes?  His apparent disfigurement and breathing problems hint at a back story that must be not unlike Vader’s.

In The Empire Strikes Back we also briefly met Lando Calrissian’s majordomo who possessed some type of brain adapter technology–we learn from action figures, trading cards and comics his name is Lobot:

And probably the very first cyborg to be referred to specifically as a “borg” (by Luke Skywalker, even), Valance was a cyborg bounty hunter in the early pages of Star Wars, the Marvel Comics series:

Some borgs are more cybernetic than organism, at least at first appearance.  This would include Doctor Who’s Cybermen:

and we’d learn even the Daleks were cybernetic organisms:

and the Terminators from the Terminator movie and Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series, very much more machine with a bit of organics (and even Arnold’s character called himself a “cybernetic organism”):

In Star Trek: First Contact the Borg Queen alters the android Lieutenant Commander Data in such a way so as to make Pinocchio a real boy:

giving real organic material to Data, (like Maria’s double above from Metropolis?) bringing him briefly into the realm of borg status, like Isaac Asimov’s Bicentennial Man:

and this even suggests the Tin Man from L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz may be a rudimentary variant borg being along the lines of Frankenstein’s monster:

All humanoids or aliens modified to become The Borg of the Star Trek franchise clearly are good examples of cyborg beings, the most famous of which are probably Patrick Stewart’s Locutus:

the seemingly innocent Hugh:

and Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager:

On Earth we encounter humans all the time with bodies improved by borg technology.  Because of the OSI Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers were rescued from near death with enhanced biology and appendages to become the Bionic Man and Bionic Woman:

The British agent James Bond had to take on Doctor No, an evil scientist who took on his own technological enhancements because of medical maladies, bringing James Bond into the fold of genre franchises investigating a borg character:

Featured in a 1980s movie series and soon to be the subject of a new movie, Robocop:

showed us a variant on Austin and Sommers, and a bit like Iron Man, we have the government creating technology to make super-humans, and here, a superhuman police officer.  This is taken even further, making three animals into borgs for military use in the Eisner-nominated comic book mini-series WE3:

 …a far darker take on the classic cartoon character Dynomutt from Scooby Doo:

Inspector Gadget:

and Doctor Octopus (Doc Ock) in Spider-man 2:

 

both were borgs that made it into big-screen films.

In the DC Comics universe we have a newer Justice League featured member Cyborg, a football player/student who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, when his father’s lab goes up in flames and his father uses his own research to save his son from death:

Before that, Frank Miller envisioned a disfigured future world Green Arrow who would need his own prosthetic cybernetic arm in The Dark Knight Returns:

Mr. Freeze was an early borg villain in the Batman series:

In Marvel Comics Rich Buckler created Deathlok the Demolisher, another cyborg creation, and one of the earliest borgs in comics:

Add to that Marvel characters like Ultron, the “living” automaton:

Ultron’s own creation, named Vision, the “synthezoid”–

and the borg called Cable:

In the 1990s Jim Lee created the Russian borg in the pages of X-Men called Omega Red:

Long before these Marvel characters the cyborgs Robotman and Robotdog graced the pages of DC Comics in the 1940s, and yes, they were not just robots:

The modern Cylons from the reboot Battlestar Galactica TV series are borgs in the Terminator sense, robots made to look and pass for human.  And there were a bunch, not just background, but named characters, the most famous of which was the seductive Number Six:

  

Years before, Philip K. Dick would create more than one borg character in his novels and short stories, revealed to us the best as the Replicants in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner:

Several replicants appeared in the film:

 

…all indistinguishable from humans to the naked eye.

In the horror realm we have Ash, from Evil Dead and Army of Darkness, his arm a functioning chainsaw, and at least in the comic book, like the Star Trek borgs he has an interchangeable arm like a mega Swiss Army knife:

If we include Ash do we also need to include Cherry Darling from Planet Terror, since she has a rifle as a leg like Ash’s arm attachment?

Heck, even horrific camp troller Jason became a borg eventually in Jason X:

Todd MacFarlane’s Spawn comics had both the borg assassin Overtkill:

and the cybernetic gorilla Cy-Gor:

Speaking of borg beasties, even Japanese monster movies embraced borgs, having their hero Godzilla encounter Mechagodzilla:

and Gigan:

In the world of manga and anime we have Ghost in the Machine’s own borg girl Motoko Kusanagi:

leader of a group of borgs, and the villain Cell from Dragon Ball: 

Cowboy Bebop had the borg character Jet Black, which seems influenced by the design of Seven of Nine:

Akira had Tetsuo Shima:

And we have a new one to add to the list because of the film Prometheus, the creepy borg, David 8:

But he’s certainly not the first in Ridley Scott’s Alien universe.  Don’t forget Ian Holm’s Ash in Alien:

Lance Henrikson’s Bishop from Aliens:

and Winona Ryder’s Annalee Call from Alien: Resurrection:

But these are just the biggest examples of borgs in popular genre works.  Countless books, comics and short stories have introduced other borg beings, not to mention every other new video game.   What will be the next borg to enter the mainstream, with a new TV show or movie?

Should we add an Honorable Mention list to the borg.com Borg Hall of Fame, for beings resulting from the merging of humans with cyberspace?  Think of characters like Tron and Flynn from Tron and Tron: Legacy?  Or Neo and Trinity & Co. from the Matrix movies?  You can argue some of the above in or out of the list, but we’ll be visiting most of them here now and then.

Editor note: We’ll update this list from time to time and feature it as its own page on the borg.com home page.  Just click on “Know your borg” at the top of this page now for a full update!

By C.J. Bunce

There be SPOILERS here…

Let it be known that we here at borg.com will never pass up an opportunity to talk about borgs, from wherever they may originate, be it the 1960s or 1970s or 1980s or even the 2010s, or some future century.  As filming wraps next week in San Francisco for the next Star Trek movie, the release of the new Trek/Doctor Who crossover is getting closer.  And borgs from two franchises and several time periods will finally collide.

Just as we previewed the covers for the coming Issue #1 and Issue #2 of the IDW Publishing mash-up series with the long title, Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who Assimilation,² the comic industry Previews catalog published the cover to Issue #3 this week.  And it doesn’t take much of a discerning eye to notice some cool… cosmic anomalies:

If you can get past the smirk-inducing, albeit true to the original series, belly button shot of Captain James T. Kirk (cleverly included by artist Elena Casagrande), there is something amiss here… this is a Next Generation spin-off series, right?  And isn’t that the fourth Doctor?  And isn’t that the older version of the borg Cybermen?  What’s going on here?

It turns out that the Writers Tipton have some tricks up their sleeves for us, in the realm of some time travel between the 24th century of Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s Enterprise-D and the 23rd century of Captain Kirk’s original Enterprise (“with no bloody A, B, C, or D,” as Scotty would say), including an appearance by the shuttle Galileo (currently rotting somewhere in a yard in Ohio, if recent reports are accurate).  And a visit from the Fourth Doctor, to boot.  That’s a lot to bring together, but we Trekkiewhovians (WhovaTrekians???) are up for it.

And there’s one more bit of fun–color art for an alternate cover for Issue #1 by artist Tony Lee:

And this adds one more twist to the fun, with an appearance by The Borg from Star Trek Voyager, specifically Seven of Nine before she was separated from the Collective.

This is a further variant, a retailer edition signed by artist Tony Lee, available only from UK comics retailer Forbidden Planet:

Can’t wait?  Neither can we. Issue #1 will be released May 30, 2012.

As we previewed here a few weeks ago, the franchise of Star Trek: The Next Generation has teamed up with the franchise of the current Doctor Who series in a new crossover comic book series coming in May from IDW Publishing:  Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimiliation².  Since then we’ve learned that the shot of the Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory will be an exclusive, limited gatefold cover for the first issue.  It’s quite cool:

But even better yet for fans of all things cyborg, the true Best of Both Worlds will now undoubtedly be featured as common enemies of Captain Picard and crew and the Doctor and his companions, as revealed this week in this image of Issue #2 of the new limited series:

Yes, finally fans of 2 of the 3 biggest sci-fi franchises (don’t forget about Star Wars!) will finally get a good old fashioned mash-up of epic proportions.  Will the half human, half robot Cybermen–the decades old favorite borg enemies of Doctor Who–partner with, or also confront, The Borg–the cybernetic assimilators of all species that have plagued Captain Jean-Luc Picard back to the episode “Q Who?” in the year 2365?  We last saw Captain Picard face The Borg in Star Trek: First Contact in the future year 2373 and Captain Janeway faced (or will face) the Borg Queen in 2378 in the last Star Trek Voyager episode, “Endgame.”

Will the series take place between 2365 and 2373 or will writing Team Tipton give us a future story?  The answer to that can be found at least in part in the gatefold image above–showing clearly the bridge of the Enterprise-D, which is destroyed as acting Captain Will Riker careens the saucer section across the surface of Veridian III in 2371 (Star Trek Generations).  So, unless there is some time travel, and with Doctor Who there fortunately always is time travel, at least part of the story will occur on the Enterprise-D between 2365 and 2371.  Either way, Star Trek and Doctor Who fans can hardly wait!

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg

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 GenerationStar 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:

Sketch from Woodward's website: http://www.jkwoodward.com

And here is some of Woodward’s past work on the Star Trek franchise:

Cover to Star Trek: Captain's Log: Jellico

Woodward's take on klingons and Captain Harriman in Alien Spotlight: 4000 Throats

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.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Why borg.com?

As you might already know, borg is the short version of cyborg, itself a shortened combination of the term “cybernetic organism.”  At its core a cybernetic organism is the juxtaposition between the present and the future—the evolved organic meets future technology, usually technology meant to enhance, improve or replace a biological function.  Today people with loss of limbs or other functions benefit from cybernetic improvements that didn’t exist just decades ago.  The seemingly unlimited boundaries and implications of these technologies have been pursued throughout popular fiction for years.

My first encounter with the concept of a cybernetic organism is like many peoples’—Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man.  In fact, the original working title of SMDM was “Cyborg.” Back in the 1970s one of my favorite toys and the first of many large action figures was this astronaut from the TV series.  He was the perfect archetype and a great introduction to the borg concept for kids back then. He explored both the good and the bad of mixing technology with biology, usually through the struggle he and his friend Jaime Sommers “The Bionic Woman” experienced adapting to these new enhancements.  Ultimately in science fiction a lot of time is spent focused on the pitfalls of this mix—Terminators dehumanize us.  Robocop and Darth Vader ultimately lose their human selves.  But let’s face it, the benefits can be amazing.

When I was ten years old I got my first pair of eyeglasses.  I remember reading my first comic books and thinking about the old “what if?” question:  If you could have any special power, what would it be?  The ability to fly like Superman?  The ability to move fast like the Flash?  To climb walls like Spiderman?  For me the answer was easy—I wanted perfect vision.  Steve Austin, the astronaut played by Lee Majors, crashed in a test flight, and because “we can rebuild him” because “we have the technology,” Steve got not only superior vision but superior physical strength and other powers, too.  Through my Six Million Dollar Man action figure I could literally see (through a window in the back of his head) Steve’s super vision.  But this was science fiction, right?  And who has six million bucks anyway?

 

Flash forward to the 21st century.  Science fiction meets reality, and not for six million dollars but more like six thousand dollars comes LASIK.  I found myself in an eye doctor’s laboratory with eye tests that looked like something out of 1950s sci fi TV serials—with flashing lights and lasers measuring the surface of my eye to the actual (gulp) restructuring of my eyes with a real-life laser beam.  Back in the 1970s I would have thought it possible, just not likely, that I could have my wish come true.  And the days of lesser technologies…eyeglasses and contact lenses…were a thing of the past for me.  Did I get to benefit from actual cybernetic technologies?  You bet!  Do I consider myself a bit of a borg?  I’m not telling, but I’ve been known to refer to my new sight as laser vision—a concept straight out of Stan Lee’s Marvel Comics.

I also just like “borg” over “cyborg” and “cybernetic organism”.  It’s less formal and I hope to drop all formality with this website.  My own first encounter with the word “borg” was in my favorite comic book series as a kid—the Star Wars adaptation and Marvel’s ongoing original comic series that started as a retelling of the Seven Samurai.  In issue 16 we were introduced to the menacing bounty hunter Valance, who hunts robots, only to be revealed to us in the last panel that half of his body was replaced with cybernetic parts—he was a borg.  Who knew one day I would have a website called the same thing?

I also have to mention other borg:  Doctor Who’s Cybermen and even the Daleks, General Grievous and Luke Skywalker, the human Cylons from the Battlestar Gallactica reboot series, Philip K. Dick’s replicants we saw on the big screen in Blade Runner, and last but not least the species in Star Trek that assimilates all species and cultures, “The Borg”—I hope here, too, to pull together all science fiction, fantasy, entertainment–all pop culture–in one place. 

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com