Crossovers are one of the more entertaining (and sometimes “combative”) topics discussed by fans of a particular franchise. Mixing up characters and other elements of one “universe” with those of another make for good discussion fodder, and it’s been a staple of fan fiction for…let’s see…forever, now. For example, theories about what might happen should Federation starships ever happen across Star Destroyers of the Galactic Empire has been fuel for debate for decades.
Such crossovers occur every so often on television and film, but are a regular thing in comics, particularly when a company has licensed rights to two or more properties and they’re able to convince the respective owners that a crossover event is a good idea. Star Trek’s gotten in on this action, but only on rare occasions.
Back in the 1990s, Trek mixed it up with the X-Men, and more recently Captain Kirk and his crew have teamed up with the Legion of Super-Heroes while Captain Picard encountered the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor from the long-running BBC series Doctor Who.
While I tend to think that Star Trek is a property that’s not well-served by frequent crossovers with other franchises, I don’t see a problem with the occasional team up, provided the story does right by both the Star Trek characters and whoever or whatever they’re “crossing over” with. That said, I’m not above the idea of introducing something really odd or weird, just to see what happens.
To that end and for no other reason than to generate a bit of harmless fun, I present in no particular order ten suggestions for connecting our favorite Starfleet heroes with those from other popular comics or science fiction franchises:
Green Lantern – As we said above, Star Trek’s already crossed paths with the likes of the X-Men and the Legion of Super-Heroes. So far as comics properties go, the Green Lantern Corps and its neo-Lensman setup seems like a good match. We’d have to decide which iteration of the Corps went to what era of the Final Frontier, though. Otherwise, we might have a situation where Hal Jordan’s power ring is nullified by Captain Kirk’s short, torn or not. Whoops.
Doctor Who – Yes, this has been done once already, but the one idea I’ve always wanted to try out is partnering Star Trek’s Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln (“Assignment: Earth”) with the third incarnation of the Doctor. It was this generation who was exiled to Earth for a brief period, during which he spent most of that time assisting UNIT, the military organization tasked with defending the planet against extraterrestrial threats. Given this setup and the timeframe in which it happened (the early 1970s), a partnership between Seven and the Third Doctor to battle an alien invasion or some such thing seems like a no-brainer. Shameless plug: Yeah, I’d write it.
The Day the Earth Stood Still – The original 1951 classic is still one of my very favorite films of all time, and the idea of one of the captains and their crew encountering the group of planets Klaatu and Gort represent is one that’s intrigued me for years. To hear Klaatu describe the history of his people, and the “atomic wars” they fought thousands of years ago before advancing technologically and socially into a “nonviolent” civilization, they don’t sound all that different from the Federation. Of course, they’ve got their all-powerful robots keeping the peace, and they don’t seem to have a problem torching planets and civilizations who step out of line, so there are shades of classic Trek episodes like “The Return of the Archons” and “A Taste of Armageddon” to be found. So, I have to wonder what would happen if Klaatu’s people came across a familiar Trek foe like the Klingons, or the Borg. Come to think of it, this sort of setup could work with something like Forbidden Planet, too, particularly since Planet is something of a spiritual predecessor to the original Star Trek, anyway.
Predator – Four Words: Worf fighting a Predator. Yes, we’ve already gotten something along these lines, with the Hirogen from Star Trek: Voyager, but the idea of everyone’s favorite Klingon going up against one of the classic alien hunters is too good to ignore. Comics are where a story like this would thrive, but what about a tease? In the next Predator movie (and you know there will be one, some day), just have a Klingon bat’leth hanging on the wall with the skulls and other trophies. That’ll drive hardcore fans nuts.
Space: 1999 – I can’t be the only one who has a soft spot for this 1970s show, right? Not since the pages of Cracked magazine has the crew of Moonbase Alpha crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise, but it’s not a completely left-field idea. Given 1999’s premise that the Moon might well have travelled on occasion into other dimensions as it careened through space, finding its way to a reality playing host to the Star Trek universe isn’t completely ludicrous. Plus, I can’t get the image out of my head of an Eagle transport sitting in the Enterprise’s shuttle bay. Sulu would probably jump at the chance to fly one of those.
The X-Files – Like the Doctor Who idea, I think any meeting between FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully and Star Trek characters should take place here on Earth, during the time of the series. There are plenty of people wandering around here, already. Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln would still be here, and then there’s Mestral, the Vulcan who chose to stay behind after the events of the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Carbon Creek.” And let’s not forget the immortal Mister Flint from The Original Series (“Requiem for Methuselah”) or even Guinan. Of course, if one of the captains and their ship ends up back here due to some temporal shenanigans, I won’t complain.
Battlestar Galactica – While the original 1970s series showed us the occasional alien species, such things are distinctly absent from the rebooted version. So, we’ll just have to imagine the look on Bill Adama’s face when the Galactica makes a frantic FTL jump to escape a Cylon attack and finds itself facing off against the Enterprise or some other ship. Otherwise, the original series and its characters seem better suited to such a crossing of the franchise streams.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers – The second of my nods to classic 1950s science fiction films. Though Jack Finney’s original novel and its various film versions all take place on “modern day” Earth, the obvious way for this to work as a crossover with Trek is simply to have one of the ships and its crew stumble across a derelict drifting in space, or a dead city on some planet or moon, and unwittingly begin falling prey to the parasitic aliens and their “pods” that create duplicates of captured crew members. Hilarity ensues, right? Of course, it’s a basic setup like this that also would let Trek mix it up with the likes of the Alien xenomorphs, or Predators, or even something like the film Event Horizon. Hmm…..
Farscape – The cult favorite series with its rich, diverse cast of characters and numerous alien races is just the sort of situation the U.S.S. Voyager might’ve stumbled across during its journey home across the Delta Quadrant. Since a wormhole was responsible for sending astronaut John Crichton into Peacekeeper space to begin with, it seems only natural that such a phenomenon might bring him and the rest of Moya’s crew into contact with a Federation starship. Or, have it arrive at Deep Space Nine. That would be some party.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – That’s right; I said it. Why? Because for nearly twenty years, I’ve been dying to read (or write!) the story to explain this: Live long and cowabunga, dude.
Okay, that’s my list. I’ve got more ideas, but the column’s name is “Ten for Ward.” Still, that doesn’t stop you from chiming in down in the comments and offering your own suggestions. What do you think would make a good crossover with Trek?
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Dayton Ward is the New York Times bestselling author or co-author of numerous novels and short stories, including a whole bunch of stuff set in the Star Trek universe, and often working with friend and co-writer Kevin Dilmore. He’s also written (or co-written) for Star Trek Communicator, Star Trek Magazine, Syfy.com, and Tor.com, and is a monthly contributor to the Novel Spaces writers blog. As he is still a big ol’ geek at heart, Dayton is known to wax nostalgic about all manner of Star Trek topics over on his own blog, The Fog of Ward.