Book Review – Star Trek The Next Generation – Doctor Who Assimilation 2 vol. 2

  • Title: Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who Assimilation² vol. 2
  • Author: Scott Tipton, David Tipton
  • Artists: J.K. Woodward, Gordon Purcell, Shawn Lee, Tom B. Long
  • Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Amy, Rory, ST:TNG Crew, the Borg, the Cybermen
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Publisher: IDW Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 5/25/2017

**spoiler alert** Star Trek: the Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation² vol. 2 picks up where the previous volume left off, with the Borg asking Picard to help them against the Cybermen. Picard’s answer is “no, absolutely not,” The Doctor and even Amy try to change Picard’s mind, to no avail. Finally, the Doctor takes Picard in the TARDIS to a tour of his (and the galaxy’s) future if he doesn’t stop the Cybermen. After this encounter, Picard agrees to try it his way. Picard and company, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory beam down to a planet to meet the Borg. They are introduced to The Conduit, a Borg incapable of assimilating other species, who becomes an ambassador. The Conduit explains how the Borg were approached by the Cybermen, their alliance, and how the alliance broke down. He explains that the Cybermen have destroyed the Borg’s executive library, thus most Borg are now inert.

The Doctor lets Picard know that gold (especially gold dust) is deadly to Cybermen. Picard goes to get gold from the mining planet that’s home to fish people as seen at the beginning of the first volume (the Doctor does tag along on the trip and shows off his negotiating skills with the natives). Then the Doctor, Amy, and Rory return in the TARDIS to the battle of Wolf 359 – they materialize the TARDIS on a Borg ship and manage to acquire a copy of the executive library, then return to the Enterprise.

The Doctor then leads Worf, an Enterprise Security Strike Team, Amy, Rory, Picard, Data, and the Conduit on a mission to install the Executive Library back in to the Borg aboard a Cyber Armada ship. Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, Geordie works to increase the Enterprise speed, and as we find out later, to develop a gold-based weapon that will work in space. Despite difficulties and an encounter with the Cyber Controller – the Doctor’s mission to restore the Borg is successful. However, they return to the TARDIS to discover the Conduit has merged with the alien intelligence of the TARDIS herself and is attempting to control it. Data stops this by briefly merging with the TARDIS and the Conduit is thrown out the TARDIS doors and into outer space. Data recovers. The TARDIS returns the Enterprise crew to their ship. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory leave the Enterprise.

I enjoyed this graphic novel. The art is beautiful, and has a painted quality. Everyone is in character, though with so many characters, some of them only get one good scene. I thought Rory was underused in this novel for example, though I liked the scene between him and Dr. Crusher where they discuss Rory being a nurse. One good point about this novel is that, although their are a lot of action scenes, they aren’t solved by fisticuffs. The security strike team does shoot at the Cybermen with specially adapted phasers, but cleverness is more highly valued throughout the story than mere violence. For example, Data helps Picard and company escape at one point by forcing open a door and holding it while everyone goes through then jumping through himself – it’s a fit of strength that reminds one of Data’s abilities. But everyone – Amy, Rory, the Doctor, Worf, Geordie, Dr. Crusher, Deanna Troi, Commander Riker, and especially Picard all get to use their talents in service to the story. Some only briefly, but they are there – which is important in a crossover.

Recommended.

Book Review – Star Trek: The Next Generation – Doctor Who Assimilation 2 vol. 1

  • Title: Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who Assimilation² vol. 1
  • Author: Scott Tipton, David Tipton, Tony Lee
  • Artists: J.K. Woodward, the Sharp Bros., Gordon Purcell, Shawn Lee, Robbie Robbins
  • Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Amy, Rory, ST:TNG Crew, Classic Trek Crew, Fourth Doctor, the Borg, the Cybermen
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Publisher: IDW Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 5/25/2017

Star Trek: The Next Generation crossed over with Doctor Who? Well, why not? I enjoyed this two-part crossover event graphic novel when I originally read it, and I just re-read part 1 and really enjoyed it. the ST:TNG portion of this novel starts with an attack on Delta IV by Cybermen and Borg. Meanwhile, The Eleventh Doctor, Amy, and Rory are in Ancient Rome, in the midst of a chariot race. They survive that and return to the TARDIS, where the Doctor promises to take the young couple to San Francisco. However, it turns out the three are not in San Francisco, but in the Holodeck of the Enterprise. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory are taken by Worf and Cmdr. Riker to Capt. Picard, and are only just starting to talk when the Enterprise receives an audio-only distress call. When the ship arrives, they are in the midst of a combined Cybermen/Borg attack. The Enterprise escapes.

The Doctor starts to have strange memory flashes, and when the Enterprise crew researches the “Cybermen” that Picard has never heard of – they find one entry from the original Enterprise, under the command of James T. Kirk. The resulting flashback features the original Star Trek crew, the Fourth Doctor, and Cybermen on a research station.

Back on Picard’s Enterprise, the Doctor, Amy, and Rory are taken to Guinan. The Doctor and Guinan seem to have some sort of relationship – even though they both know they have never met, previously. And both the Doctor and Guinan are time-sensitives who seem to know something is very wrong.

In the midst of the Doctor, Guinan, and Picard’s conversation they are again called to the bridge. Data explains they had thought the combined Borg/Cybermen fleet was heading towards Earth, but it seems they are now heading in the opposite direction, having changed their minds in the middle of assimilating a planet. Sending a away party to said planet, which includes the Doctor, Rory and Amy, they find a battlefield where the Cybermen and the Borg have turned on each other. The Borg contact the Enterprise, offering a truce against their common enemy, the Cybermen. The Doctor warns against this, and Picard agrees.

To Be Continued in volume 2

The artwork in Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who Assimilation (2) is wonderful. It has a wonderful painted look, that, though not often photo-realistic, has at times an impressionistic quality – while at other times is more realistic-looking. It’s beautiful, and engaging. In short, I loved the art style.

Book Review – Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By

  • Title: The Silent Stars Go By
  • Series: BBC Books New Series Doctor Who Adventures (new series)
  • Author: Dan Abnett
  • Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Amy, Rory
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 05/05/2017

The Silent Stars Go By is part of the BBC Books New Who series of original tie-in novels. The story opens with Amy and Rory in the TARDIS with the Doctor. Amy demands the Doctor take her home for Christmas, and Rory backs her up. The TARDIS lands on a snowy world, that definitely isn’t England on Earth. Outside for just a few minutes in the cold, Rory decides to go back to the TARDIS for his coat – and thus is separated from the Doctor and Amy for half the book, because when he comes back they are missing.

The world the Doctor, Amy and Rory have landed on is Hereafter, a colony world, that is undergoing terraforming. The Morphans eek out an existence as farmers and raising sheep, but the last three years have brought mysterious winters – and “the white” is getting colder and longer. The terraforming is going wrong, but after generations on the colony world, the Morphans no longer remember why they are there, much less understand the machinery they tend by rote, custom, and by a type of religion in a sense.

Amy and the Doctor discover that the Ice Warriors have also landed on the colony world and sabotaged the terraforming to make the world colder and more suitable for Ice Warrior colonization, though this would kill off the Morphans. However, though the Doctor and Amy as well as two Morphans that they run into, are chased and even attacked by the Ice Warriors – the Doctor is able to talk to them.

Meanwhile, Rory’s also chased and attacked by an Ice Warrior. He runs into a Morphan girl – the girl that had gone missing at the beginning of the book that everyone is looking for – the other farmers, her sister (who meets Amy and the Doctor instead) etc. Rory and the Morphan girl make it back to her village – but completely fail to convince the Elders that there’s an invasion going on. One of the Elders even decides that if anything is going wrong it must be Rory’s fault since he’s a stranger and tries to have him convicted of “conjury”.

The Doctor, Amy, and the two Morphans (one of whom is the sister of the girl Rory met) discover a communications room and reach Rory, the sister, and a few Morphans in the assembly. The Doctor starts to explain things, but they are attacked by ice Warriors and communication is broken off.

Amy and the Morphans escape and lock the door – leaving the Doctor in with the Ice Warriors.

The Doctor refers to himself as, “Cold Blue Star” a name given to him by an Ice Lord. Yet the Ice Lord he speaks to hasn’t heard of the Ice Lord the Doctor mentions – even though they are of the same clan, because it hasn’t happened yet. The Doctor tries to convince the Ice Warriors to leave and pick a different planet to Terraform – since the Morphans got there first, and as farmers and herders they aren’t equipped to go anywhere.

This argument isn’t working until there’s an attack by the other group that is attacking everyone on the planet. Turns out the Ice Warriors have been attacked. The attacks on the Morphans sheep weren’t by Ice Warriors but by this third force. And the reality of who and what the third force is – is horrifying. With the arrival of this other force, though, the Doctor is able to convince the Ice Warriors to leave the Morphans alone and to go to another planet orbiting a cold, blue star instead. The Ice Warriors help defeat the other force and the Doctor helps set them back on their path.

I enjoyed this story. The third force is a surprise, and quite horrifying. I liked that, in the end, the Ice Warriors weren’t evil, but simply trying to survive like the Morphans. The story moves at a good clip and is largely split between the Doctor, Amy, and the Morphans running around inside the Terraformer – and Rory who is chased by an Ice Warrior, falls in a river of warm water, gets out, makes it to an out-building, and meets the sister of the Morphan that Amy met. It’s also Rory who first meets the Morphans in the village. It was enjoyable to see Rory’s thought process and how his own compassion helps him in an unusual situation. Note that all the chapter titles are taken from lines in Christmas carols for the most part – though the story isn’t really Christmas-themed.

Recommended.

Quote – Amy and Rory – Doctor Who

uppity-minx:

The whole thing was staged beautifully, and I particularly loved the lighting they used for a ‘Vincent and the Doctor’ piece.

There was many a love letter to Amy Pond over the course of the night, but you’ll not believe – they managed to make her and Rory’s departure even more devastating. In the graveyard as Rory disappeared and Amy decided to follow, they inserted scenes from their love story over the course of the show. You’d think Tumblr would have desensitised me BUT YOU’D BE WRONG.