Doctor Who has been on (and off) the air since 1963, with a myriad of adventures showing the Doctor and his companions traveling to endless corners of the universe.
(Daily Doctor Who #215)
But do you know where they haven’t traveled? Into my other favorite science fiction media properties, that’s where!
But what if they had? What if somehow, this had been possible? What stories would it have been cool to see the Doctor interacting with?
In this series of posts, we’re going to make some suggestions. Thirteen suggestions, in fact…one for each Doctor. The idea is to find something for each that, even if there was no real way for to have happened, was at least remotely possible from a time-frame point of view. So, no meetings between the Third Doctor and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, for example.
We have covered the First Doctor, the Second, the Third , the Fourth, the Fifth, and the Sixth. So you know whose turn it is now, right? So, this world of complete fantasy fan-fiction is proud to present…
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation was the second and ultimately more successful live-action incarnation of Star Trek, telling the story of a new Starship Enterprise and a new crew exporing strange new worlds, seeking out new life forms, and boldly going where no one has gone before. it ran from 1987 – 1994, with seven full seasons in syndication. The central characters included Patrick Stewart as the erudite Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes as the first officer, Commander William Riker, Brent Spiner as the synthetic officer Data, LeVar Burton as Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge, Michael Dorn as security chief Worf (a Klingon), Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher, Marina Sirtis as empathic ship’s counselor Deanna Troi, and Wil Wheaton as young prodigy Wesley Crusher (Beverly’s son). And sometimes also Whoopi Goldberg as the mysterious bartender, Guinan.
Now, meanwhile over in Doctor Who, the Seventh Doctor, as played by Sylvester McCoy, had his era on the show from 1987 – 1989, finishing up shortly into Next Generation‘s third season (which is also when the show began to get consistently good). After that, Doctor Who unceremoniously disappeared from the airwaves for quite a few years.
So, for our fictional crossover, we are going to do as we did with our other Star Trek / Doctor Who crossover with the Second Doctor and the original series, and make this an episode of Star Trek with both the Doctor and Ace (his last TV companion up to that point) appearing as guest stars. Were going to set our episode in Next Generation‘s fourth season. Specifically, we’ll replace the episode Clues, which aired in February 1991, because I really could stand that one. This means that Wesley was already gone from the show by this point. I’m dividing the story into a Teaser and five “Acts”, which is the same way Clues is structured. And I didn’t bother including Guinan in the story as she didn’t really fit, and I didn’t think of her until later.
Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) orders the Enterprise into a low-level, geosynchronous orbit above a complex scientific apparatus on the planet Vindakay. Down on the planet, Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes) oversees a science-engineering team as they assist locals in conducting a large-scale scientific process which will supercharge a mineral called Balticite, which is especially abundant in a particular mountain range. The Vindakayans have recently realized the potential uses of the material, which will help solve their energy-shortage problems.
Vindakay is a non-Federation world in the early days of their own warp technology, but the Federation has permitted this because they are hoping to establish good relations. Balticite has the potential to be boon to many Federation technologies if the refining process is successful.
Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton), Lt Commander Data (Brent Spiner), and the planet’s science minister Kelvar Tal run the experiment from a special control platform suspended over a valley rich in Balticite, outside the world’s capital city. The process involves a specially ion beam being shot from the Enterprise‘s deflector dish down on to receptors set up over the valley, which is then modified distributed through the valley to charge the Balticite.
Commander Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis) and the Vindakayan governing leader, Gan Grangol, watch the operation from shielded bunker nearby. Also there is a meek and unassuming observer from another world, a merchant known only as the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), accompanied by his assistant, a young woman named Ace (Sophie Aldred).
As the super-charging process gets underway, something suddenly goes wrong, and there is an overload in the systems. This puts the Balticite at risk, and could cause a chain reaction which will cause it to become inert and useless if something isn’t done in the next few minutes…
Opening voice over: Space, the final frontier…etc
Star Trek: The Next Generation
(A boring title, but that was typical of Star Trek of the period)
Everyone is alarmed, and Picard suggests disengaging the beam, but Data says this will not help as the chain reaction is already beginning. Geordi believes he can undo the problem if the beam is maintained, although he is warned that this will take it beyond the Vindakayan’s equipment safety limits, threatening everyone on the control platform. Riker gives the go ahead for them to try–as failure will mean destruction of the Balticite. (A side note is that transporters will not work in the vicinity of the Balticite, except for in the shielded bunker).
In the bunker, the Doctor seems to grow increasingly agitated by what he is seeing. Ordering Ace to stay behind, he pushes past Riker and Troi and runs to the platform. Ace tries to follow but is stopped by Riker, to her frustration.
The Doctor arrives on the platform as Geordi and Data work furiously, but something is going wrong–the reaction is fluctuating too rapidly and the platform is in danger of exploding. The Doctor pushes in and makes some modifications that the others don’t understand. As a result, the reaction is stabilized, and both the platform and the Balticite are saved. However, the Doctor is hit by a latent energy discharge and knocked unconscious. He is beamed back up to the Enterprise to be looked after by Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden). She is astounded by his physiology–he has two hearts!
On the ground, the Away Team reports to Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart)–they don’t yet understand what happened with the original process, but the Doctor, whoever he is, just saved them all from a very nasty explosion that none of the officers feel they could have anticipated. Data, Geordi and Tal will review the planet’s sensory data to try to determine what the original problem was.
Ace meanwhile tries to find out what has happened to the Doctor. She is assured that he is receiving good care, and Dr. Crusher has reported he will recover soon. She is asked if she wants to go and see him, but Ace declines.
As Ace is leaving the area, she sees two local guys wearing something like gas masks moving through the area in an agitated manner. She quietly follows and sees them suspiciously entering the sensory control room in a nearby complex. As she watches, the two men hear someone else entering and hide. Riker, Geordi, and Data come in through the main door, and the men pull out weapons. As they take aim at the officers, Ace cries out, “Look out!”
Ace’s warning comes just in time, allowing Riker to dodge the shot, although he is still hit in the arm. Geordi and Data take cover, and the assailants keep firing back. Data picks up a table and uses it as a shield to rapidly approach the two men, finally throwing it at them. They beat a hasty retreat, and one gets away but Ace ends up tackling the other.
Local security forces arrive. Grangol says that the culprit is a well known member of a local criminal gang who are only out for stolen goods, but the criminal yells back that he is not a criminal but a freedom fighter He is taken away before he can elaborate further. Data and Tal start checking the sensory data for any indication what the criminals were after.
Troi asks Ace if she is all right but Ace becomes elusive in her answers and leaves hurriedly. Troi confides to Geordi that she is concerned about that young lady–she can sense that while the Doctor is nearly invisible to her ability to detect emotions, Ace is clearly showing signs of stress and deceit.
Riker reports to sickbay to tend to his wounds, and is visited by Picard, whom he assure he is fine. The Doctor is conscious again, so the two senior officers offer him their thanks for his help, but also express their surprise and curiosity about his abilities. The Doctor laughs it off, claiming hat he’s always had a “knack” for this sort of thing. The Doctor asks about visiting the rest of the ship when he is feeling better, and Picard assures him that will be possible, but tells him to let the security guard on duty know when he is ready for that. The Doctor realizes that he has aroused the Captain’s suspicions by his actions.
Later, the senior officers all meet for a briefing. Data and Geordi report that the near-disaster was caused when the Balticite had an unexpected reaction to the process they were using to refine it. If not for Geordi’s quick thinking, this could have caused a chain reaction in the highly conductive material which would have rendered the entire supply inert and useless. The problem, though, is correctable–with some modifications to the deflector dish, they should be able to try the process again with a minimum of risk.
Picard expresses his uncertainty about the Doctor–how did a supposed traveling merchant gain such scientific knowledge? If not for his actions, the resulting feedback from the emergency procedure would have destroyed the control platform. Troi shares her confusion about Ace’s reaction earlier as well. Picard asks the Away Team to do what it can to find out more about the Doctor’s involvement with everything on Vindakay.
The crew is also concerned about the criminals who broke into the sensory control room–they seemed to be after information related to the supercharging process, and did not really behave like the ordinary “thieves” that the Vindakayans claimed they were. Picard orders Dr. Crusher to join the Away Team to carry out a quiet investigation as to why they would claim to be freedom fighters.
Meanwhile, the Away Team has returned to the planet, to prepare for a second attempt at the refinement process, as well as carry out their investigation. While Dr. Crusher examines the injured captive, Riker speaks with Gan Grangol about the Doctor. He discovers that it was the Doctor who originally sold the technology to the Vindakayans that allowed them to detect how useful the Balticite was, and also pointed them to the Federation as having the technology that would allow them to refine it.
When he is alone in sickbay, the Doctor pulls out a device which he uses to communicate to Ace on the planet.
Geordi and Troi notice Ace communicating and then slipping away from the area. They decide to follow her, and see her entering a small shed on the edge of town. Geordi detects large amounts of unusual radiation coming from the shed. Investigating closer, they find inside a large and mysterious blue box that definitely does not come from the area…the TARDIS!
Picard meets with Troi and Riker, while Data, Dr. Crusher and Geordi are still working on the planet. Troi shares a picture of the TARDIS, as well as archive footage of the Doctor from a visit to the original Federation Starship Enterprise approximately a century earlier, which she has now discovered. Images of the Doctor from then (Patrick Troughton) seem to indicate it is not the same man, but it is speculated he could be from the same race or the same organization. Everyone is alarmed when they learn the records from the Doctor’s first visit indicate he claimed to be a time traveler.
Added to this is Riker’s news about the Doctor’s involvement with the whole situation on Vindakay. Picard orders that Ace and the so-called “TARDIS” be quietly watched by someone from security. In the meantime, Data and Geordi should complete their preparations, but he will reserve a decision on whether to go forward with the process until he knows more.
Captain Picard returns to sickbay to talk to the Doctor, and confront him with what he’s learned, but the Doctor is elusive.
Riker returns to the planet and meets up with Dr. Crusher to get her report. She reports that there definitely is something biologically distinct about the injured attacker compared to most Vindakayans, but she is not certain how to interpret what she has learned.
A security guard quietly follows Ace as she returns to the TARDIS. Suddenly, he is alarmed by the machine’s typical grinding noise. He goes in, but the room is empty.
On the Enterprise bridge, Lt. Worf (Michael Dorn) has the conn. The tactical officer on duty reports an anomalous energy signature from a certain section of the internal workings of the ship, near the deflector dish control. The reading has vanished as quickly as it appeared, so it may just be a sensor glitch–so Worf just tells the officer to continue monitoring the situation. But just then, the security guard from the surface reports to Worf the disappearance of the TARDIS.
Picard continues to question the Doctor. He is very suspicious that the Doctor is much more than he appears, and if he is right, then he is guilty of violating the Federation’s most precious principle. The Doctor points out that he is not part of the Federation, and not bound by their laws.
Mr. Worf interrupts their conversation to report to Picard that he is concerned there may be an intruder on board (aware of the potential abilities of the TARDIS). Picard returns to the Bridge and orders Worf to put the ship on high alert and investigate the situation personally.
Following the Doctor’s instructions, Ace sneaks through the Enterprise‘s infrastructure and quickly attaches a device to one of the controls. Once she is finished, she quickly runs back towards the TARDIS. Realizing she cannot return that way without being caught, she makes her way rapidly through the ship, eluding crewmen for as long as she can, before she had the misfortune to run directly into Worf, who apprehends her.
Ace and the Doctor are now both in the brig. Worf currently has people scouring the ship to find out what damage Ace might have done–so far they have not been able to discover anything. But they have found the Doctors TARDIS. They have not been able to enter but are keeping it under guard, a fact the Doctor finds upsetting.
Picard confronts the Doctor, accusing him sabotage this ship and the experiment. The Doctor rightly points out that that doesn’t make sense–he prevented the destruction of the Balticite and the control platform. But Picard sees he’s up to something more complex. The Doctor becomes highly arrogant–it is more complex, because he’s capable of that, unlike the surprisingly backwards thinking people in Starfleet. Picard is unperturbed, but Ace thinks the Doctor is going too far, and wonders if they should trust the Enterprise crew.
Geordi, who has returned to the ship, reports that they have found the component that was attached to the deflector controls, but the science is well beyond them–they don’t know what it is or how to dismantle it. Picard orders that Ace be taken there to explain what she has done. Ace is uncertain, and asks the Doctor what she should do. The Doctor, with detached smugness, tells her to let her conscience guide her. Ace, Geordi and a security officer leave.
Meanwhile, Riker, Crusher and Troi are confronting the Vindakayan government leaders, Grangol and Tal. Dr. Crusher has realized that the captured criminal is really part of a subspecies on Vindakay that the crew haven’t known about. It turns out the Vindakayans have known about the potential uses of Balticite but never tried to use it because this other group are highly vulnerable to it–it causes an allergic reaction which can be fatal. However, with the world’s energy crisis, and the information that the Doctor provided for them, the government decided to start exploiting the mineral. They kept this information secret from the Enterprise to secure it’s help, knowing Starfleet would not approve if they knew the truth. This subspecies are now organizing into a nascent rebellion, seeing the process with the Balticite as a threat to their survival.
Geordi and Worf bring Ace to the deflector controls and demand she remove the device, and ask her what it does. Ace hesitates, uncertain what to do. Worf asks Ace why she is with the Doctor at all, what is her roll? She says it’s to keep him safe, and to make sure he doesn’t go too far. Worf asks, pointedly, if this is not a situation where he is going too far?
Picard gets a report from Riker, and then turns back to the Doctor. Picard speculates that the Doctor has engineered the whole situation–the Vindakayan’s use of Balticite, the Enterprise‘s presence which will allow the mineral to be supercharged, all to help the Vindakayans–but does he realize that this will cause a whole minority subspecies to be severely impacted, possibly wiped out? The Doctor replies that he sees things from a different perspective of Picard, and that he understands what Picard doesn’t. Picard angrily says that this is precisely why they follow the Prime Directive, so that no Starfleet Officer will ever think that he or she understands everything.
The Doctor shoots back that the Prime Directive is cowardly: Starfleet already impacts the way the galaxy develops simply by exploring it–the Prime Directive merely gives them a way to wash their hands of things that are inconvenient. Picard insists the Prime Directive the only way to prevent the unwanted and unknown consequences of their visits upon less developed worlds. The Doctor retorts that with the benefit of time travel, no consequences are unknown, and the wanted consequences can be chosen. He doesn’t have to live in fear, he insists, because he knows what is going to happen and if it needs to be fixed, he can fix it. Picard replies that the Doctor cannot know every consequence of his actions–the universe is too chaotic, and there will always surprises, such as what took place with the Vindakayan experiment that the Doctor seems to have engineered to bring about. The Doctor quietly admits that yes, there were moments there that surprised him. Picard presses his point–how many times, in the Doctor’s travels and manipulations, has the universe and its people proved more complex than the Doctor expected? The Doctor does not reply, but his silence speaks volumes.
Suddenly, the truth tweaks for Picard–the Doctor wanted the experiment to fail. He wanted the Balticite to be rendered inert. The problem came when Geordi worked out a way to save it. When the Doctor saw that that would endangering Geordi and the others, he worked to save them.
Picard contacts Geordi and Worf, explaining that he believes the Doctors component is designed to negate the modifications that Geordi has made to the deflector, so that the process will still ail and render the Balticite inert. Geordi responds that they have already removed the component, because Ace explained to them how, choosing to trust them rather than try to manipulate them.
Suddenly, Picard gets an urgent call from Commander Riker on the planet. The Vindakayan government is under attack by a larger group of rebels.
The rebels have broken through to the shielded bunker and driven Riker, Troi, Crusher, Tal and Grangol out to a secondary lab. They can see that the rebels are setting up a large but crude piece of high-tech equipment outside. Tal recognizes the technology–it’s a reactor which was part of an early attempt to refine Balticite, but which leaves the mineral unstable. If it’s used, it will cause a massive explosion which will destroy the entire scientific complex, and potentially the whole capital city.
On the ship, the Doctor insists that Picard complete the original process to make the Balticite inert. That will prevent it from exploding, and will save thousands of people. But Picard is unsure because that will have long term implications on the society.
Picard orders Worf and Enterprise security forces to get down to Vindakay to help. Because of the Balticite, the transporters cannot be used except for in the shielded bunker, and the bunker is under the rebel’s control. Worf beams down a series of percussive charges that stun the rebels. Then he beams down immediately after with a strike team, and retakes the bunker. However, in the course of the battle, the receptors are damaged, meaning the original process could not have been completed.
The Doctor pleads with Picard to let him go and help–he can find a way to get the receptors to work. He also rapidly explains the truth: the Vindakayan subspecies are the result of failed genetic experiments with Balticite that were performed years ago. In the future, a hundred years from now, the Vindakayans will figure out a way to use the Balticite more effectively, totally transforming the world’s biology and technology. This leads to a Vindakayan civil war, and millions of deaths, with the victors becoming war mongers who ravage hundreds of systems. This is what the Doctor is trying to prevent, by manipulating the Vindakayans into trying to use the Balticite before they’re ready and leaving the material useless.
On the world, the battle continues at a fever pitch. Worf is able to get Riker and the government leaders to the safety of the bunker, but is unable to get to the reactor to prevent it being used.
Picard lets the Doctor go and he, Ace and Data beam down to the where the planet. They are joined by Science Minister Tal, and go to work on the reactors. The Doctor and Tal work on them, while Ace does what can have to push back attacking rebels.
Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, Geordi and Data re-modify their deflector so the ion beam will work as they want it to. They reports that this is ready to Picard, who relays the information to the Doctor, still working furiously, with only a couple of minutes before the explosion takes place.
Tal realizes what the Enterprise is going to do and grabs a phaser and stuns the Doctor before he is done. Ace returns from fighting a rebel to see this, but Tal threatens to kill the Doctor if she comes any closer. He demands to Picard to complete the process of super-charging the Balticite–this will stop the explosion just as well as making it inert. Picard refuses, saying he won’t be part of giving an advantage to one part of the Vindakayan people over another. Enraged, Tal determines to kill the Doctor (even if this means blowing up the capital city, at least some of the world’s Balticite will survive to be used in the future), but at the last second Worf arrives and stops him. He acknowledged Ace’s gratitude with the comment that he was just keeping the Doctor safe. The Doctor recovers and completes the repairs on the receptors, and Picard gives the orders to the Ion Beam to be fired. The process is successful, and the resulting chain reaction renders the Balticite inert.
In the aftermath, Gan Grangol is devastated by what has happened, and complains that Picard has destroyed their world. Picard responds that he regrets much of what has happened, but that most of it could have been avoided if the Vindakayans had not lied to them.
The Enterprise crew says farewell to the Doctor and Ace. Ace in particular says a friendly farewell to Worf. Picard and the Doctor both acknowledge that they have things to learn from each other. They agree that while they do not see eye to eye on many things, they are both glad the other is out there, doing good in their own way.
And there we go! Seven down, six to go–we’ve crossed the halfway mark. Next up is the 8th Doctor…which mid-1990’s science fiction franchise will he be meeting up with? I can hardly wait to see. Oh boy!
3 thoughts on “Doctor Who & Star Trek The Next Generation–Non-Existent Crossovers (Seventh Doctor)”
Great argument sequence between the 7th Doctor and Picard. Given the issues of interference and non-interference that both Dr. Who and Star Trek have repeatedly and variably dramatized, it’s an agreeable crossover idea to have such clashes. It’s particularly bold of course for the Doctor to call the Prime Directive cowardly in the sense that the Enterprise crew, in all their cosmic voyages, can easily impact all the worlds they visit anyway. The best drama about the Prime Directive is that all conflicting opinions equally matter, so long as their moralized enough. So thanks for this one with all its reminders of the more serious days of Star Trek and Dr. Who.
Thanks! I think the inevitable clash of philosophies about interference is the most interesting thing about the idea of a Dr. Who / Star Trek crossover. My first idea was to have the Tenth Doctor meet the Next Generation crew. Whilst the Seventh’s involvement in things is often akin to that of a puppet master, the Tenth is more of a brash crusader–just running in, seeing injustice, and announcing boldly that it was time to change things. But of course the real-life timing of such a crossover would be all wrong, and that was the rules I’d set for myself.
Those are very admirable rules.