Doctor Who Teases Possible Star Trek Crossover In Season Premiere

Forget 'Space Babies'! Could Whovians be going on some kind of Star Trek soon?

Spock Doctor Ruby Dr Who Star Trek Strange New Worlds Crossover
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Warning! This article contains spoilers for Space Babies! For the episode of Doctor Who, not for the space babies in it. You know what I mean!

What is it they say, never work with animals or babies with flamethrowers? Snot very funny if someone gets hurt, and I think Ellen Ripley might want a word about what goes out the airlock! Star Trek's already done the one with the bogeys, too, so there goes that crossover. Ohhh, the mavity!

Nevertheless, in this week's episode of Doctor WhoSpace Babies (lots of them) — as the titular Time Lord and assistant perambulated their way onto the pram-filled space station, Ruby Sunday said to the Doctor, "We got through walls. Is that like a matter transporter, like in Star Trek?" The Doctor laughed, and then replied, "We've got to visit them one day".

"Great big whopping up for all the Trekkies out there," as Ellie put it in her Ups & Downs for Space Babies over at WhoCulture. "Not only did we get a Star Trek name-drop, but did we just get confirmation that the Star Trek universe and the Whoniverse are one and the same?" My mind was equally blown, Ellie! Plus, was it just me or did Ruby's phrasing also imply that Star Trek exists in the Whoniverse as a TV programme and in reality? As Ellie also pointed out in her review, the uniforms worn by the crew who abandoned the bogey-fied space station (and the babies) were very Star Trek. Does Seán have one already? (Editor's note: he's working on it)

These weren't just random timey-wimey nods to a fellow sci-fi behemoth with similar longevity. Russell T. Davies, the man back as Doctor Who showrunner just so happens to be a Trekkie. In a recent interview with Inverse, Davies noted, "I love that show… I wish we could [cross over with Trek]. I'm a huge fan of the new franchise". For Davies, then, the Trek reference in Space Babies was a "deliberate shift". Interestingly, and somewhat cryptically, he added,

The Doctor actually now talks about Star Trek as real. Maybe when the [14th] Doctor cast that salt at the edge of the universe, maybe some things became real that were never real before.

I'm pretty sure that's exactly how Gene Roddenberry did it!

If you do want space babies in the actual Star Trek, whatever universe you're in, you can always (re-)watch The Animated Series episode The Counter-Clock Incident, and in a different sense, The Next Generation's Rascals, not to forget the OG 'space babies,' Molly, Kirayoshi, and Noami.

As for the crossover, the Inverse article also rightly points out that one already exists in beta canon. The Assimilation² Star Trek: The Next Generation—Doctor Who 2012 comic book mini-series featured the crew of the Enterprise-D, the Doctor, Amy Pond, and Rory Williams battling an unholy alliance between the Borg and the Cybermen! There was also that one time The Next Generation listed a whole bunch of Doctor Who actors as an 'in-joke' on Troi's desktop display in the non-remastered version of The Neutral Zone.

Whether we will get any kind of proper on-screen crossover between the franchises, well, who knows! Sources close to TrekCulture did confirm that attempts were made to put the Doctor on the bridge of the Enterprise, but they couldn't make the logistics work.

This week, you can also join hosts Seán Ferrick and Tom Roberts-Finn, with special guest CinemaBlend's Mick Joest, on the TrekCulture Podcast (14th May) as they discuss their thoughts on Doctor Who's Star Trek name-drop, how they'd like to see a Who-Trek crossover happen, and the one Trek-Who crossover that might have been!

New episodes of Doctor Who air on BBC One every Saturday and are available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Disney+. New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery are available to stream every Thursday on Paramount+. And don't forget to catch the Ups & Downs from WhoCulture and TrekCulture shortly after!

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Jack Kiely is a writer with a PhD in French and almost certainly an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek.