Who would win in a fight? The crew of Babylon 5 or the crew of Deep Space Nine? While often reserved for the realm of fan fiction, two established franchises crossing over does happen from time to time. Typically you’ll see this when the properties are owned by the same company, like Superman meeting Batman. While other times it’s an intentional crossover of two very different properties like Star Trek characters crossing over into the X-Men universe. Yes, you read that right.
This list is devoted to the top franchise crossovers. I’ve tried to steer clear from shows that obviously exist in the same universe, like TNG characters showing up on DS9, or Buffy appearing on Angel, and instead focus on crossovers from separate franchises. Some of them of them are winks to fans, some are eyebrow raising, and some just have to be seen to be believed…
Does Fringe share the same universe as Twin Peaks? The evidence seems to suggests so. In the episode The Firefly, Walter Bishop pulls out a pair of glasses with red and blue lenses similar to those worn by Dr. Jacoby in Twin Peaks. Walter even says, “they were sent to me by a Doctor Jacoby from Washington State.”
Though this is the only overt Twin Peaks crossover, the writers of Fringe have previously included Twin Peaks references, most significantly in the second season episode, Northwest Passage. The title itself is take from the original title for the Twin Peaks pilot. The episode even begins with pie and coffee which are two very popular Twin Peaks foods.
Castle has always sprinkled a few subtle references to Firefly, such as the “hands of blue” headnod in Fool Me Once. However, Nathan Fillion and the Castle writers kicked it up a notch when in the Halloween episode Vampire Weekend, Castle dresses up as a space cowboy, AKA Mal Reynolds. Later, in the third season episode Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind, we discover Richard Castle can speak Chinese, which he learned from “a TV show I used to love.”
Most recently, in the season five episode The Final Frontier, Castle finds himself at a comic con with guests from the failed TV show ‘Nebula 9’. The show is populated by a ragtag cast of characters such as Captain Max Reynard, Lieutenant Chloe and Commander Walsh.
Do Batman and the Green Hornet exist in the same universe? Apparently so, as the Green Hornet makes several appearances in Gotham City. First in the episode The Spell of Tut, he appears at a window while Batman and Robin are climbing a wall. Later Kato and the Green Hornet appear in the second season episodes A Piece of the Action and Batman’s Satisfaction, arriving in Gotham to bust a counterfeiting ring. Interestingly, Batman never actually appears in the Green Hornet series. Instead, Batman is a fictional character on a TV show in the Green Hornet universe.
A Eureka/Warehouse 13 crossover is perhaps not too much of a stretch since both shows are owned by Syfy. Still, I’m sure it was a surprise for some viewers when in the second season episode titled 13.1 Douglas Fargo is contacted by Mrs. Frederic to do some work on their computers. Later in the Eureka episode Crossing Over, Claudia Donovan comes to Eureka to tour Global Dynamics. Fargo returns to Warehouse 13 yet again in the virtual reality gaming episode, Don’t Hate the Player.
3rd Rock from the Sun/Twilight Zone
William Shatner appeared in several episodes of the comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun, playing the role of the Big Giant Head alongside series star John Lithgow who portrayed Dick Solomon. Both the Big Giant Head and Dick mention seeing something on the wing of their plane while flying on an aeroplane. This is a double crossover as both John Lithgow and William Shatner played the same role in The Twilight Zone. Shatner played the role the first time in the episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet while Lithgow starred in the remake used in The Twilight Zone movie.
X-Men/Star Trek: TNG
Did X-Men really cross universes with Star Trek? Yes. It’s true. In the Michael Jan Friedman novel Planet X a mysterious all-powerful entity transports the X-Men into the Star Trek universe where they must assist Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise in resolving a conflict between mutants and humans on the planet Xhaldia.
This isn’t the first time these two universes have crossed over either. In the Marvel one-shot, Second Contact the Enterprise find themselves flung back into a parallel universe version of the twentieth century in which they first encounter the X-Men. The crew of the Enterprise team up with the X-Men to help fight a time traveller named Kang the Conqueror who plans on remaking the timelines of all known universes.
X-Files/Homicide: Life on the Street/Law and Order
In the fifth season the writers of The X-Files decided to tell a flashback story featuring Mulder and the Lone Gunmen. The episode, titled Unusual Suspects, follows a raid at a Baltimore warehouse in which a naked Mulder is found, as are three familiar suspects who are taken into custody. The story is told from the perspective of a public affairs officer being interrogated by a familiar Baltimore police officer, none other than Detective John Munch from Homicide: Life on the Streets.
The Flintstones/The Jetsons
In the TV movie The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones, Elroy Jetson builds a time machine. The family decide to use it to travel to the twenty-fifth century but Astro the dog accidentally changes the settings to the past. Thus it is that the stone-age Flintstones end up running into the futuristic Jetsons family.
Power Rangers in Space/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Difficult as it is to believe, the Power Rangers and the live-action version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles actually meet up in the late nineties. In the Power Rangers in Space episode Shell Shocked, the villainous Astronema tries to brainwash the Turtles to destroy the Power Rangers. Naturally the plan fails and the Ninja Turtles team up with the Power Rangers to fight Astronema.
Hannibal/Dead Like Me
This one isn’t a literal crossover but considering the fate of cult hit Dead Like Me, it’s probably the only way we’ll be seeing these characters again. Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller proves that he wasn’t quite done with the characters of Dead Like Me when he cast Ellen Muth in the episode Buffet Froid. Muth plays the character Georgia Madchen. Already creator Bryan Fuller throws in a fun easter egg as Madchen is German for “girl” or “lass”, not dissimilar to Muth’s character’s name in Dead Like Me, Georgia Lass. However, unlike Georgia Lass who is a dead person walking around reaping the living, Georgia Madchen still has a pulse despite believing she is dead. The character is later diagnosed with Cotard’s Syndrome, a rare mental disorder which causes a person to become convinced he or she is not really alive.
If partial crossovers aren’t enough, Fuller includes an actual crossover with his show, Wonderfalls in Hannibal‘s second episode, Amuse-bouche. Gretchen Speck, played by Chelan Simmons.
Special Mention: This one didn’t make the cut because it’s not a genuine crossover. However, if you ever wanted to see the Star Trek universe cross into Babylon 5 look no further than Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, the 2005 Star Trek parody film. While it may not be an official crossover, the Kickstart (Enterprise) and Star Flurries (Starfuries) all look so good, you might actually get an answer to the question “Who would win in a fight? EarthForce or Starfleet?
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