Star Trek Guide

Doctor Who vs. Star Trek: Which UNIVERSE Is More Dangerous?

Those who enlist in Starfleet know the Star Trek universe is filled with dangers, from the Klingon Empire to the dreaded Borg Collective. Likewise, folks who join the Doctor on his travels through time and space know the world of Doctor Who can be similarly perilous, requiring both quick thinking and quicker feet. But which fictional universe is more dangerous?

Although the Doctor’s adventures appear almost whimsical, given how his TARDIS resembles a police emergency call box and his worst enemies the Daleks appear to be giant pepper pots, the universe of Doctor Who is substantially more dangerous than the worlds of Star Trek – as the crew of the Enterprise discovered in a crossover comic book storyline!

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The miniseries, Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2, reveals that at one point in history, the Doctor’s enemies the Cybermen learned about Star Trek’s Borg collective. At first glance, the two antagonistic races seemed almost identical. Like the Borg, the Cybermen are a race of cyborgs intent on adding other alien races (including human beings) to their ranks. To do this, they remove a person’s body parts and replace them with mechanical components, a process called “cyber-conversion.”

While “cyber-conversion” appears to be similar to the Borg’s “assimilation” process where they implant Borg nanoprobes into living beings, causing their brains to be linked to the hive collective, the Cybermen soon showed they were much more technologically advanced than even the Borg. Not only were the Cybermen capable of traveling through space and time – but they could also breach other dimensions, allowing them to crossover into the Star Trek universe and propose an alliance with the Borg.

The Borg agreed – but it soon became obvious to both species that there was room for only one race of cybernetic conquers in the multiverse, and the Cybermen quickly took over the Borg collective by destroying the Borg’s central library and leaving them unable to coordinate their actions. The Borg were so terrified of the Cybermen’s superior technology that they actually turned to Starfleet for help, reasoning (correctly) that once the Cybermen were done exploiting the Borg’s resources they would turn their attentions to the Klingon, Vulcan, Andorian, and human worlds.

The Enterprise and the Doctor stopped the Cybermen – but in the process, they also showed how superior most of the Doctor’s technology is to even Starfleet’s miraculous 24th-century science. The Doctor commented that the tricorders Starfleet officers used were clunky devices – and considering how his sonic screwdriver was capable of replicating virtually all of a tricorder’s functions (and more), he was probably right.

The screwdriver was also capable of bypassing many of the Borg’s defenses – no mean feat, considering how the Borg pride themselves on being able to adapt to practically anything. As the Doctor hadn’t even met a Borg prior to this adventure, his ability to easily overpower them says a lot not only about his technology but about the kind of threats in his world that are capable of overpowering the screwdriver.

The Doctor’s own ship, the TARDIS, was also vastly superior to the Enterprise on many levels. Although not as impressive looking as a starship, the TARDIS could potentially be much bigger on the inside than the Enterprise’s entire interior, allowing it to contain far more technology and useful secrets. In addition, the TARDIS could travel through both space and time. While Starfleet ships could also travel through time, the process was considerably riskier and frequently resulted in damage to the ships. Eventually, Starfleet constructed special “timeships” to patrol the timestream, but these weren’t in use until the 26th century.

Of course, the Star Trek universe contains many other dangers aside from the Borg. During their adventures, Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Sisko, Archer, and others came in conflict with the Klingon Empire, the Dominion, the Breen, and the Suliban. While these were all formidable adversaries, they still paled in comparison to some of the more dangerous threats in the Doctor’s universe.

Take for example, one of Star Trek’s most persistent villains/anti-hero “Q.” Q belongs to a godlike race of beings that can manipulate time and space to their whims. Although he usually appeared as a trickster or a pesky antagonist to Starfleet, when the entire Q-Continuum broke out in a civil war, chaos reigned across the galaxy. Thanks to the incredible amount of power each member of the continuum wielded, supernovae, spatial disruptions, and a negative density false vacuum began appearing across the Milky Way Galaxy simply as a byproduct of the Q’s “galactic crossfire.”

Q was able to end all this destruction fairly quickly by negotiating for peace between both sides, but the same could not be said for the “Time War” that occurred in the Doctor’s home universe. A war between the Doctor’s own people the Time Lords against their greatest enemies, the mutant cyborg Daleks, the Time War had devastating and long-lasting consequences for the entire universe, including those who played no part in the war itself.

Because the Time Lords could manipulate the timestream, they attempted to prevent the Dalek’s creation by altering their past. When this failed, the Daleks retaliated and full-scale war broke out, destroying many worlds. While the Doctor refused to take part in the war at first, when others learned he was a Time Lord, they refused his help as the Time Lords were seen as just a big a threat as the Daleks. Considering that both sides were using time travel as a weapon to reverse their losses, the war threatened to tear apart reality itself and resulted in the extermination or devastation of many other alien races.

As whimsical and fun as the Doctor’s universe may appear at first glance then, it’s pretty clear that his world holds considerably more dangers than the Star Trek universe. In some ways, this is keeping in the spirit of both of the stories. The Doctor may be a moral being who seeks nonviolent solutions to his problems, but his universe contains many races that feel otherwise. Star Trek, by contrast, was founded on the idea that all races could get along – enabling former enemies such as the Klingons, Andorians, and even the Borg to eventually find a place in Starfleet. It’s still a dangerous universe (especially if you’re a redshirt), but still somewhat friendlier than the universe of Doctor Who.

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