Tag Archive: Cybermen

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



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



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