Cybermen are a race of cyborgs who are amongst the most persistent enemies in Doctor Who. Cybermen were originally a wholly organic species of humanoids that began to implant more and more artificial parts into their bodies as a means of self-preservation, but in the process removed all emotions, believing them to be a weakness to their survival.
Cybermen were created by Dr. Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis in 1966. The Cybermen first appeared in ‘The Tenth Planet’, the last serial to feature William Hartnell as the First Doctor. They have since been featured numerous times in their extreme attempts to survive through conquest.
A parallel universe version of the Cybermen appeared in the 2006 series’ two-part story, ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ and ‘The Age of Stee’. These Cybermen also appeared in the two-part 2006 season finale, ‘Army of Ghosts’ and ‘Doomsday’.
Appearance: The Tenth Planet (1966)
The original Cybermen had human faces beneath cloth masks, visible hands and copious tubes and gadgets. Their mouths opened but their lips didn’t move and they spoken with a buzz. They arrive at the South Pole, intending to drain Earth’s energy, explode the planet with a Z-bomb and turn its population into Cybermen. But they are dependent on energy from their world – when it is destroyed they all die.
Appearances: The Moonbase (1967), The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967), Wheel in Space (1968)
In ‘The Moonbase’ (1967), their bodies were entirely covered up in their metallic suits, with their hands replaced by two finger claws, but changed back to regular five finger hands in The Invasion (1968).
Appearances: Invasion (1969), Revenge of the Cybermen (1975)
Appearances: Earthshock (1983), The Five Doctors (1973), Attack of the Cybermen (1985), Silver Nemesis (1988)
Appearances: Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel (2006), Army of Ghosts / Doomsday (2006), The Next Doctor (2008), The Pandorica Opens (2010), A Good Man Goes to War (2011), Closing Time (2011), Nightmare in Silver (2013), Dark Water / Death in Heaven (2014).
The Cybermen returned in a two-part story (episodes 5 and 6) of the 2006 season (Series 2), set on an alternate Earth. These Cybermen were designed by John Lumic.
The 2008 Christmas special ‘The Next Doctor’ featured a new variant called a Cybershade.
In ‘The Pandorica Opens’ (2010); the Cybermen formed an alliance with many of the Doctor’s recurring enemies dedicated to stopping him and arrived in Cyberships to apprehend the Doctor in 102 AD.
In ‘A Good Man Goes to War’ (2011), the Cybermen briefly next appear. They no longer bearing the Cybus ‘C’ logos on their chests. Stated as belonging to the Twelfth Cyber Legion, they are led by a Cyberman of the same design as the Cyberlord in ‘The Next Doctor’. The Doctor’s companion Rory (Arthur Darvill) confronts them about the location of a secret asteroid base because they monitor that entire quadrant of space. The Doctor destroys a large fleet of their spaceships as a message to them to indicate his seriousness.
‘Closing Time’ (2011), saw the first reappearance on present day Earth of the Mondasian Cybermen, rather than their Cybus counterparts, since Silver Nemesis. Also Cybermats are reintroduced to the new series. In ‘Closing Time’ a centuries old crashed Cybership beneath the Earth is reawakened by electrical work.
Cybermen Audio Stories:
Third Doctor: The Blue Tooth
Fifth Doctor: Spare Parts, The Gathering
Sixth Doctor: Real Time, The Reaping, The Ultimate Adventure
Seventh Doctor: The Harvest, Kingdom of Silver & Keepsake
Eighth Doctor: Sword of Orion, Human Resources, The Girl Who Never Was
Iceberg by David Banks (Virgin New Adventures)
Killing Ground by Steve Lyons (Virgin Missing Adventures)
Illegal Alien by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry (BBC Past Doctor Adventures)
Made of Steel by Terrance Dicks (Quick Reads Initiative)
Did you know?
* Cybermen have also appeared Doctor Who video game series The Adventure Games in 2010.
A Cyberman head was seen in the 2005 episode, ‘Dalek’, kept in a display case. The text on the info card states that the head was found in a sewer, suggesting that the head was from The Invasion. However, the enlarged Cyber-Handles suggest that the head is from Revenge of the Cybermen. The info card states the head was found in 1975, the year in which The Invasion was set and the year in which Revenge of the Cybermen was broadcast.
* The Torchwood episode ‘Cyberwoman’ features a partially cyber-converted woman who lacks the outer plating of a fully converted Cyberman. Her body is encased in metal structures but much of her flesh, including her face, is visible. She also has clearly visible metallic breasts, though it is not clear how much of her own flesh has been replaced and how much is merely covered. Another character speculates she could be 40-45% human and 55-60% Cyberman.
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