4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Nothing To Write Home About,
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This review is from: Star Trek The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation Vol. 2 (Kindle Edition)
I reread Volume 1 of this story immediately before reading this one. I couldn't shake the feeling that, like "Best of Both Worlds" or "Descent" or any other TNG two-parter, the second half just wasn't going to be as good as the first--which is really saying something, considering that, in this case, the first half seemed little more than a build-up to a promise of greater excitement to come.
Yeah, this is an okay story, but there's just nothing to recommend it. The novelty of watching the main characters of two different franchises wears off fairly quickly, and then there's nothing left.
I'm trying to keep this review spoiler free, but if you don't want to know anything about the story, stop reading here.
Picard is grumpy as always whenever he runs into the Borg, and this is blinding him to the fact that the Cybermen are the greater threat. This tension works out remarkably quickly after a short hop through time and space. From then on the rest of the story is about the Enterprise, the Doctor and Ponds, and the Borg all cooperating against the Cybermen. The Borg/Cybermen dynamic is an almost pathetically badly missed opportunity; the exposition of how they first allied and why their alliance went sour feels more like a vague outline, but no, it's the whole story. And the lack of interest the writers have in considering whether the Borg or Cybermen are worse, and their lazy attempts to illustrate why the question shouldn't even be considered, are just appalling. Despite the Enterprise crew's distrust of the Borg, there are no real efforts to make a contingency plan should the Borg betray their partnership. The threat-behind-the-threat they'd hinted at in Volume 1--why the histories of two separate universes seem to be coming into synch, as witnessed by the Doctor's familiarity with Star Trek stuff and the Fourth Doctor/TOS partnership alliance against an earlier Cyberman incursion--also goes nowhere. Oh, and the planet where the Starfleet Corps of Engineers is mining for minerals in unsafe conditions and walking on eggshells around the prickly local aliens comes back, but is so boring it could have put me to sleep if it lasted more than a couple of pages. The whole thing ends with a sequel hook, but it's not at all compelling.
The only real gem in this half of the saga is watching the Doctor and Ponds sneak around the cube which attacked Starfleet in "Best of Both Worlds." They're there on a specific mission, but they watch the Battle of Wolf 359 unfold through the lens of the historical instincts of a Time Lord. There's an extremely tense encounter with Locutus that's memorialized in the gallery section at the end of the book.
Also, I should say that I did like getting one last look at the Ponds in an original adventure, even if it was a rather weak one. I really am going to miss them when the second half of Season 7 starts up on BBCA.