Fri, 27 March 2009
The Cybermen are a fictional race of cyborgs who are amongst the most persistent enemies of the Doctor in the British science fiction television series, Doctor Who. Cybermen were originally a wholly organic species of humanoids originating on Earth's twin planet Mondas that began to implant more and more artificial parts into their bodies as a means of self-preservation. This led to the race becoming coldly logical and calculating, with emotions usually only shown when naked aggression was called for.
They were created by Dr. Kit Pedler (the unofficial scientific advisor to the programme) and Gerry Davis in 1966, first appearing in the serial, The Tenth Planet, the last 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 Steel". These Cybermen also appeared in the two-part 2006 season finale, "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday". This then carried through to the spin-off Torchwood in the episode "Cyberwoman". They would later return to the revived series in the 2008 Christmas Special "The Next Doctor", introducing two new variants of the race; the Cyber-Shades and the Cyber-King.
 Physical characteristics
While the Doctor's other old enemies the Daleks were on the whole unchanged during the original series' twenty-six season run, the Cybermen were seen to change with almost every encounter. The Cybermen are humanoid, but have been cybernetically augmented to the point where they have few remaining organic parts. In their first appearance in the series, the only portions of their bodies that still seemed human were their hands, but by their next appearance 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-fingered hands in The Invasion (1968). As they are relatively few in number, the Cybermen tend towards covert activity, scheming from hiding and using human pawns or robots to act in their place until they need to appear. They also seek to increase their numbers by converting others into Cybermen (a process known as "cyber-conversion").
It is presumed (and often implied) that there are still organic components beneath their suits, meaning they are actually cyborgs, not robots: in The Tenth Planet, a Cyberman tells a group of humans that "our brains are just like yours", although by the time of Attack of the Cybermen, their brains seem to have been replaced with electronics. Also in this same story, two human slave-prisoners of the Cybermen on the planet Telos, named Bates and Stratton, reveal that their organic arms and legs have been removed by the Cybermen, and replaced by Cyber-substitutes. In Earthshock (1982), the actors' chins were vaguely visible through a clear perspex area on the helmet to suggest some kind of organic matter. In The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967), veins and brains were visible through the domed head of the Cyberman Controller and similarly, in Attack of the Cybermen (1985) and "The Age of Steel" (2006), the Cyber-Controller's brain is visible through the dome. The first is a Mondas Cyber Controller, while the second involves alternative Earth's John Lumic. However, in Revenge of the Cybermen (1975), the Doctor says they are "total machine creatures".
The audio play Real Time implies that the converted victim's face remains beneath the Cyberman faceplate, although the audio plays, like all non-televised spin-off media, are of uncertain canonicity with regards to the television series. The Virgin New Adventures novel Iceberg by David Banks states that some Cybermen experience rare flashes of emotional memory from the time before they were converted, which are then usually suppressed. The parallel Earth Cybermen in the 2006 series are usually constructed from human brains bonded to a Cyberman exoskeletal shell with an artificially grown nervous system threaded throughout ("The Age of Steel"), although direct grafting of cyber-components is another method of conversion ("Cyberwoman").
Although the Cybermen often claim that they have done away with human emotion, they have exhibited emotions ranging from anger to smug satisfaction in their confrontations with the Doctor (although this is only clearly present during their appearances in the 1980s). Some Cybermen in the early stories were even given individual names such as "Krang". Some parallel Earth Cybermen did retain some memories of their pre-conversion lives, although their emotional response varied. In "Cyberwoman", the partial conversion led to a degree of insanity in Lisa Hallett, which was retained even after she transferred her brain into a cyberman body. In "Doomsday", Yvonne Hartman is able to retain at least some elements of her personality in order to prevent the advance of a group of other Cybermen, and is last seen weeping what appears to be either an oil-like substance or blood. In the same episode, the Cyber-Leader expresses clear frustration at the humans' refusing to surrender, although in a later scene he criticizes the Doctor for showing emotion. In "The Age of Steel", the Doctor is able to defeat the Cybermen by shutting down their emotional inhibitors, enabling them to "see" what had become of them. Their realization of what they had become led them to either simply shut down out of sheer horror, or partially explode. Lastly, when the first Cyber Leader is killed, his head explodes with some white liquid leaking down his body; there are references in that episode to a patented Cybus Industries mixture of chemicals used to preserve the brain.
The Virgin Missing Adventures novel Killing Ground by Steve Lyons suggests that some Cybermen imitate emotions to intimidate and unnerve their victims. The Big Finish Productions audio play Spare Parts (set on Mondas in the early days of cyber-conversion) suggests that the Cybermen deliberately remove their emotions as part of the conversion process to stifle the physical and emotional trauma of becoming a Cyberman. The conversion process in the parallel Earth is termed "upgrading".
This motive behind the removal of emotions is made more explicit in "The Age of Steel" where it is done by means of an emotional inhibitor. In that episode, the deactivation of their emotional inhibitors drives the converted Cybermen insane when they realise what they have become, killing them. This motive may also be applicable to Mondas Cybermen, given their forcible conversion of other lifeforms to Cybermen to maintain their numbers, despite the fact the Mondasians appear to have originally willingly converted themselves as a survival mechanism.
Cybermen have a number of weaknesses over the years. The most notable weakness is the element gold. Their aversion to gold was not mentioned until their attempt to destroy the planetoid Voga (the so-called "Planet of Gold") in Revenge of the Cybermen (1975). Initially, it was explained that, due to its non-corrodible nature, gold essentially chokes their respiratory systems. For example, the glittergun, a weapon used during the Cyber-Wars in the future, fired gold dust at its targets. However, in later serials, gold appeared to affect them rather like silver affects werewolves, with gold coins or gold-tipped bullets fired at them having the same effect. The revived series' Cybermen have no such weakness, though the tie-in website for the episode makes mention of it. Cybermen are also rather efficiently killed when shot with their own guns. Other weaknesses from early stories include solvents, gravity based technology, and excessive levels of radiation. In "The Age of Steel" an EMP grenade is shown to disable a Cyberman and shut down its emotional inhibitor. Their armour is often depicted as flexible and resistant to bullets, but can be penetrated by gold arrows and projectiles made of gold. The Parallel Earth Cybermen are bullet-proof and are very resilient, but are not indestructible — they are vulnerable to heavy explosives, electromagnetic pulses and specialised weaponry, as well as Dalek weapons.
 Costume details
The design of the Cybermen acted almost as a guide to prevailing fashion at the time of transmission. Nearly all were silver in colour and included items and material such as cloth, rubber diving suits, PVC, chest units, tubing, practice golf balls, cricketers' gloves, and silver-painted Doc Martens boots. A BBC Cyberman costume from the black & white era of TV has recently been discovered.
The 1980s design used converted flight suits painted silver. Unlike the Doctor's other foes, the Cybermen have changed substantially in appearance over the years, looking more and more modern, although retaining certain commonalities of design, the most iconic being the "handle bars" attached to Cybermen heads, that were supposed to aid with their hearing, their round eyeholes and their chest units. Completely black-coloured Cybermen were seen briefly in "Attack of the Cybermen".
Aside from these changes, variations in design between rank-and-file Cybermen and their leaders have been seen. In The Wheel in Space and The Invasion (both 1968), the Cyber Director was depicted as an immobile mechanism. In The Tomb of the Cybermen and Attack of the Cybermen, the Cyber Controller was a larger Cyberman with a high domed head instead of the "handle bar" helmet design. In Revenge of the Cybermen, the Cyber Leader had a completely black helmet except for his face. From Earthshock (1982) onwards he could be distinguished from his troops by the black handle bars on his helmet. The Cyber-Leader in "Army of Ghosts" also had black handles.
Because the Doctor is a time traveller, he meets the Cybermen at various points in their history out of sequence from the order the serials were made. This can be confusing since Cybermen from serials set in "earlier" periods of history can sometimes look more sophisticated than those from "later" periods. Lawrence Miles suggests in his reference work About Time 5 that the anachronistically designed Cybermen of Earthshock and Silver Nemesis are time travellers, like those in Attack of the Cybermen.
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 Cybermen returned in episodes 5 and 6 of the 2006 season of the new series, in a two-part story set on an alternate Earth. The new Cybermen were designed by production designer Edward Thomas's team and Neill Gorton at Millennium FX. The new Cyberman design is physically imposing, being about 6 feet 7 inches (2.0 m) tall. The general design is made to resemble modern consumer electronics, such as the iPod. To this extent, they are made from burnished steel instead of silver, feature the Cybus Corporation symbol on its chest, and have a general art deco design. The other distinct Cyberman design is that of the Cyber-Controller, which had glowing eyes, a transparent forehead revealing the brain, and sockets on its chest-plate providing connectors to other systems.
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.
Early Cybermen had an unsettling, sing-song voice, constructed by placing the inflections of words on the wrong syllables. In their first appearance, the effect of this was augmented by the special effect of having a Cyberman abruptly open his mouth wide and keep it open, without moving his tongue or lips, while the separately recorded voice would be playing, and then shut it quickly when the line was finished. Although the cloth-like masks of the first Cybermen were soon replaced by a full helmet, a similar physical effect involving the mouth "hatch" opening and then shutting when the line was finished was used until The Wheel in Space (1968).
Later, the production team used special effects from its Radiophonic Workshop by adding first a mechanical larynx, then a vocoder, to modify speech to make it sound more alien and computer-like. In later stories of the original series and in the audio plays, two copies of the voice track were sampled and pitch-shifted downwards by differing amounts and layered to produce the effect, sometimes with the addition of a small amount of flanging. From Revenge of the Cybermen to Silver Nemesis (1988) the actors provided the voices themselves, using microphones and transmitters in the chest units.
The voices for the 2006 return of the Cybermen are similar to the buzzing electronic monotone voices of the Cybermen used in The Invasion. They were provided by Nicholas Briggs (who performed the voices for the Cybermen in Big Finish audio stories as well as the Daleks in both the new series and the audio stories). As shown in the season 2 DVD special feature "Confidential Cut Downs," the timbre was created by processing Brigg's voice through a Moog moogerfooger ring modulator. Unusually, in "The Age of Steel", the Cyber-Controller (John Lumic, played by Roger Lloyd Pack) retains his voice after being upgraded, but it is still electronic. In "Doomsday", a Cyberman which contains the brain of Torchwood Institute director Yvonne Hartman retains a female-sounding though still electronic voice, as does the partially converted Lisa Hallett in "Cyberwoman" when her Cyberman personality is dominant. The reason for this is that their minds are taking control of the suit into which their brain has been placed, thus allowing the Cyber-suit's design to be exploited through sheer mental power. In an effect reminiscent of the earliest Cybermen's mouths snapping open while speaking, the new Cybermen have a blue light in their "mouths" which blinks in synchronisation with their speech.
 Cybermen variants
Some Cybermen are given titles, being credited as "Cyber Leader" (or variants thereof), "Cyber Lieutenant", "Cyber Scout" or the "Cyber Controller". The Cyber Controller in particular has appeared in multiple forms, both humanoid and as an immobile computer, and has also been referred to as the "Cyber Planner" or "Cyber Director". The Controller seen (and destroyed) in various serials also may or may not be the same consciousness in different bodies; it appears to recognize and remember the Doctor from previous encounters. In Iceberg, the first Cyber Controller is created by implanting a Cyber Director into the skull of a recently converted Cyberman.
The Cyber-Controller in "The Age of Steel" used the brain of John Lumic, the creator of the Cybermen in that parallel reality. In "Doomsday", a Cyber-Leader appears, and when he is destroyed, mention is made of downloading his data files into another Cyberman unit, which is then upgraded to Cyber-Leader.
The 2008 Christmas special, "The Next Doctor", featured a new variant called a Cybershade., The Doctor theorises that it is a more primitive version of a Cyberman, using the brain of a cat or a dog. In the same story a "Cyber-King" appears; according to the Doctor, it is a "Dreadnought-class" ship resembling a Cyberman hundreds of feet tall, and contains a Cyber-factory in its chest. It is controlled from within its mouth. Its right arm can be converted into a cannon, and its left into a laser.
Cybermen technology is almost completely oriented towards weaponry, apart from their own bodies. When originally seen in The Tenth Planet they had large energy weapons that attached to their chests. In The Moonbase, the Cybermen had two types of weaponry: an electrical discharge from their hands, which stunned the target, and a type of gun. They also made use of a large laser cannon with which they attempted to attack the base itself.
The hand discharge was also present in The Tomb of the Cybermen, which featured a smaller, hand-held cyber-weapon shaped like a pistol that was described as an X-ray laser. In The Wheel in Space the Cybermen could use the discharge to also operate machinery, and had death rays built into their chest units. They displayed the same units in The Invasion as well as carrying large rifles for medium distance combat. In Revenge of the Cybermen and Real Time their weapons were built into their helmets. Killing Ground indicates that this type of Cybermen also have more powerful hand weapons. Subsequent appearances have shown them armed almost exclusively with hand-held cyberguns.
The Cybermen have access to weapons of mass destruction known as cobalt bombs, which are also sometimes known as Cyber-bombs, which were banned by the galactic Armageddon Convention (Revenge of the Cybermen). A "Cyber-megatron bomb" was mentioned in The Invasion, supposedly powerful enough to destroy all life on Earth. In Earthshock, the Cybermen also used androids as part of their plans to invade Earth.
The parallel Earth Cybermen electrocute their victims by touching them and at first carried no other weaponry. In "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday", the Cybermen are equipped with retractable energy weapons housed within their forearms (these were actually first shown in "The Age of Steel", but only very briefly and were not used during that episode), but also use modified human weapons to battle the Daleks. The arm mounted guns prove effective against humans but are unable to penetrate Dalek shields. Two Cybermen sent to parley with Dalek Thay at the Battle of Canary Wharf shot the Dalek but were promptly exterminated. In the Torchwood episode "Cyberwoman" the partially converted Lisa Hallett used her electrical touch against the Torchwood team, as well as an energy beam fired from her arm which could only stun the part of the body at which it was aimed.
The Cybermen also use smaller, cybernetic creatures called "cybermats" as weapons of attack. In their first appearance in The Tomb of the Cybermen, they resembled oversized metallic silverfish and had segmented bodies with hair-like tactile sensor probes along the base of their heads, which were topped with crystalline eyes. The Second Doctor described them as a "form of metallic life," implying that they may be semi-organic like the Cybermen, and that they attacked by feeding off brain waves.
The second model of cybermat seen in The Wheel in Space was used for sabotage, able to tune in on human brainwaves. They were carried to the "Wheel" in small but high-density sacs that sank through the hull of the space station, causing drops in air pressure. These cybermats had solid photoreceptors for eyes instead of crystals. The Second Doctor used an audio frequency to jam them, causing them to spin, crash and disintegrate.
The third model, seen in Revenge of the Cybermen, was a much larger, snake-like cybermat that could be remotely controlled and could inject poison into its victims. It had no visible eyes or other features, and was as vulnerable to gold dust as the Cybermen were.
In Spare Parts, "mats" are cybernetically augmented creatures, sometimes kept as pets. Cybermats of a different design are used for surveillance by Mondas' Central Committee. The creatures occasionally go wild, chewing on power sources, and must be rounded up by a "mat-catcher." In the Past Doctor Adventures novel Illegal Alien by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry, set in the 1940s, the Cybermen create cybermats by cyber-converting local animals like cats or birds, possibly because of lack of technological resources.
 Conceptual history
The name "Cyberman" comes from cybernetics, a term coined in Norbert Wiener's book Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (MIT Press, 1948). Wiener used the term in reference to the control of complex systems in the animal world and in mechanical networks, in particular self-regulating control systems. By 1960, doctors were performing research into surgically or mechanically augmenting humans or animals to operate machinery in space, leading to the coining of the term "cyborg", for "cybernetic organism".
In the 1960s, "spare-part" surgery was starting out, with the first, gigantic heart-lung machines being developed. There were also serious suggestions of wiring the nerve endings of amputees directly into machines for quicker response. In 1963, Kit Pedler had a conversation with his wife (who was also a doctor) about what would happen if a person had so many prostheses that they could no longer distinguish themselves between man and machine. He got the opportunity to develop this idea when, in 1966, after an appearance on the BBC science programmes Tomorrow's World and Horizon, the BBC hired him to help on the Doctor Who serial The War Machines. That eventually led to him writing, with Gerry Davis's help, The Tenth Planet for Doctor Who.
Pedler, influenced by the logic-driven Treens from the Dan Dare comic strip, originally envisaged the Cybermen as "space monks", but was persuaded by Davis to concentrate on his fears about the direction of spare-part surgery. The original Cybermen were imagined as human, but with plastic and metal prostheses. The Cybermen of The Tenth Planet still have human hands, and their facial structures are visible beneath the masks they wear. However, over time, they evolved into metallic, more robot-like designs.
The Cybermen attracted controversy when parents complained after a scene in The Tomb of the Cybermen in which a dying Cyberman spurted white foam from its innards. Another incident was initiated by Pedler himself, who took a man in a Cyberman costume into a busy shopping area of St. Pancras. The reaction of the public was predictable, and the crowd almost blocked the street and the police were called in. Pedler said that he "wanted to know how people would react to something quite unusual," but also admitted that he "wanted to be a nuisance." Pedler wrote his last Cyberman story, The Invasion, in 1968, and left Doctor Who with Gerry Davis to develop the scientific thriller series Doomwatch.
 History within the show
Millennia ago, during prehistoric times, Mondas was knocked out of solar orbit and drifted into deep space. The Mondasians, already far in advance of Earth's technology and fearful for their race's survival, sent out spacecraft to colonise other worlds, including Telos, where they pushed the native Cryons aside and used the planet to house vast tombs where they could take refuge in suspended animation when necessary.
On Mondas, the Mondasians were dying out, and therefore, in order to survive and continue the race, they replaced most of their bodies with Cybernetic parts. Having eventually removed all emotion from their brains, to maintain their sanity, the natives installed a drive propulsion system so they could pilot the planet itself through space. As the original race was limited in numbers and were continually being depleted, the Mondasians — now Cybermen — became a race of conquerors who reproduced by taking other organic beings and forcibly changing them into Cybermen. The origins of the Cybermen were further elaborated upon in Spare Parts.
The move to "cybernise" Mondasians must have commenced on Mondas before they conquered Telos. Otherwise, there must have been some ongoing contact between Mondas and Telos after it was conquered, or the move to develop into Cybermen must have been paralleled after that point.
 The Earth invasions
The Cybermen's first attempt at invading Earth, around 1970, was chronicled in The Invasion. A group of Cybermen from "Planet 14" had allied themselves with industrialist Tobias Vaughn, who installed mind control circuits in electrical appliances manufactured by his International Electromatics company, paving the way for a ground invasion. This was uncovered by the newly formed United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, led by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who repelled the invasion with the help of the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe.
In The Tenth Planet, the First Doctor and his companions Ben and Polly, met an advance force of Cybermen that landed near an Antarctic space tracking station in the year 1986. This advance force was to prepare for the return of Mondas to the solar system. As Mondas approached, it began to drain Earth's energy for the Cybermen's use, but in the process absorbed too much energy and disintegrated. The Cybermen on Earth also fell apart as their homeworld was destroyed.
In 1988 a fleet of Cyber warships was assembled to convert Earth into a New Mondas. A scouting party was sent to Earth in search of the legendary Nemesis statue, a Time Lord artifact of immense power, made of the "living metal" validium. Due to the machinations of the Seventh Doctor and his companion Ace, however, the Nemesis destroyed the entire Cyber-fleet instead. (Silver Nemesis).
In 2012, the inert head of a Cyberman was part of the Vault, a collection of alien artefacts belonging to American billionaire Henry van Statten ("Dalek", 2005). According to its label, it was recovered from the London sewers in 1975 and presumably came from the 1970 invasion attempt, although it is of a design only seen in Revenge of the Cybermen, which took place in the late 29th century (in a metafictional sense, the label is accurate, as Revenge was broadcast in 1975).
By the mid-21st century, mankind had reached beyond its planet and set up space stations in deep space. One of these, Space Station W3, known as "The Wheel," was the site of a takeover by Cybermen who wanted to use it as a staging point for yet another invasion of Earth. The Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe prevented this in The Wheel in Space.
The Cybermen returned in The Moonbase. By the year 2070, Earth's weather was being controlled by the Gravitron installation on the Moon. The Cybermen planned to use the Gravitron to disrupt the planet's weather patterns and destroy all life on it, eliminating a threat to their survival. This attempt was also stopped by the Second Doctor, Ben, Polly, Jamie and the surviving crew of the moonbase.
 The Cyber-Wars
Five centuries after the destruction of Mondas, the Cybermen had all but passed into legend when an archaeological expedition to the planet Telos uncovered their resting place in The Tomb of the Cybermen. However, those Cybermen were not dead but merely in hibernation, and were briefly revived before the Second Doctor returned them to their eternal sleep, with help from some of the archaeologists, Jamie and Victoria.
This was short-lived, however. By the beginning of the 26th century, the Cybermen were back in force, and the galactic situation was grave enough that Earth hosted a conference in 2526 that would unite the forces of several planets in a war against the Cybermen. A force of Cybermen tried to disrupt this conference, first by trying to infiltrate Earth in a freighter and when that was discovered by the Fifth Doctor, to crash the freighter into Earth and cause an ecological disaster. Although the attempt failed, the freighter was catapulted back in time to become the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs (Earthshock). Unfortunately, the Doctor's Companion Adric was trapped aboard the freighter, and died in the crash; leaving the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa to mourn him.
The Cybermen faced complete defeat now that humanity was united against them in the Cyber-Wars. The glittergun had been developed as a weapon against them, with Voga, the legendary "Planet of Gold", being a major supplier of gold dust ammunition. Meanwhile, the native Cryons on the planet Telos rose up and sabotaged the Cybermens' hibernation tombs. Using a captured time travel machine, a group of Cybermen travelled back to Earth in 1985 to try to prevent the destruction of Mondas, but were stopped by the Sixth Doctor and his companion Peri (Attack of the Cybermen). The Cryons also finally succeeded in taking back Telos.
The Cybermen did survive, but by the late 29th century they had been reduced to small remnant groups wandering throughout space. The Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan encountered one such group during this time; and the Doctor very sarcastically pointed out their diminished state, noting that they had "no home planet, no influence, nothing!", and were "just a bunch of pathetic tin soldiers, skulking about the galaxy in an ancient spaceship." These Cybermen had discovered that Voga had drifted through space and wandered into the solar system, being pulled into orbit around Jupiter as a new moon. They planned to restore their race's power with a plan of revenge against Voga by destroying it with Cyber-bombs. They hoped that this would disrupt their enemies' supply of gold, but their plot was stopped by the Doctor. This was their last chronological appearance to date, with the Cybermen seemingly vanishing from history after this point (Revenge of the Cybermen).
A Cyberman (of the type seen in The Invasion) also appeared in the Miniscope exhibit in Carnival of Monsters (1973). Three squads of Cybermen of the Earthshock variety, each led by a Cyber-Leader, appeared in The Five Doctors (1983) in a slightly larger role.
 Parallel Earth and the Battle of Canary Wharf
In the "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel" two-part story, the Tenth Doctor, Rose Tyler, and Mickey Smith crash down into a parallel London in a parallel universe, where the Cybermen are being created on modern-day Earth. These alternate Cybermen were created as an "upgrade" to humanity and the ultimate move into cyberspace, allowing the brain to survive in an ageless steel body. These Cybermen also referred to themselves as "Human Point 2 (Human.2)" and "deleted" all those deemed incompatible with the upgrade. They could electrocute humans with a touch.
These Cybermen were created by John Lumic, a terminally ill and insane genius whose company, Cybus Industries, had advanced humanity considerably. To find a way to survive, he perfected a method to sustain the human brain indefinitely in a cradle of chemicals, bonding the synaptic impulses to a metal exoskeleton. The Cybermen "handle bars" were part of a high-tech communications device called an EarPod. Also created by Lumic, the EarPods were used extensively in the place of MP3 players and mobile phones, allowing information to be directly downloaded into people's heads.
Lumic began to trick and abduct homeless people and convert them into Cybermen, and assassinated the President of Great Britain after the President rejected his plans. Using the EarPods, Lumic took mental control of London, marching thousands to be cyber-converted. He was betrayed by an old friend who damaged his wheelchair's life-support systems. He had told the Cybermen that he would upgrade 'only with my last breath' and since that moment was at hand he was involuntarily upgraded into the Cyber-Controller, a superior model of Cyberman. However, the Doctor and his companions, having accidentally landed on the parallel Earth, managed to foil his plans. They freed London from mental control and disabled the Cybermen's emotional inhibitors, causing them to go insane and in some cases explode. Lumic himself fell to his apparent death into the burning remains of his factory. A human resistance group, the Preachers, then set about to clean up the remainder of Lumic's factories around the world.
These Cybermen reappeared in the 2006 season finale "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday". It is to be noted that these Cybermen also use energy weapons built into their right arms. However, in "The Age of Steel" after the conversion sequence, the newly created Cybermen can be seen to have the retractable weapons in place after exiting the conversion chambers. Having infiltrated that world's version of the Torchwood Institute and discovering a breach between universes caused by the passage of an interdimensional void ship, the Cybermen used it to invade the Doctor's universe. However, the void ship's users, the Daleks, also revealed themselves, leading to all-out war across London with mankind caught in the crossfire. Eventually, the Doctor re-opened the breach, causing the Cybermen and Daleks (who had been saturated with background radiation from the Void) to be sucked back into it. The breach then sealed itself, leaving the Cybermen and Daleks (except the Cult of Skaro, who used their emergency temporal shift function to escape) seemingly trapped in the Void forever.
 Torchwood Three Incident
In "Cyberwoman" it was revealed that at the height of the "Battle of Canary Wharf" the Cybermen had begun to directly convert whole bodies using regular Earth technology, rather than transplant their brains into parallel earth Cyberman shells. One of their victims, a woman called Lisa Hallett, was only partially converted when the power was shut off and she was rescued by her boyfriend, Ianto Jones.
Jones took her to Torchwood Three in Cardiff along with a cyber-conversion unit which he made into a life support system for her under her directions. He tried to find a cure for her condition, calling on cybernetics expert Dr Tanizaki. Unfortunately Hallett's Cyberman personality asserted itself, leading to her killing Tanizaki and trying to take over Torchwood Three as a staging area for a new Cyberman army. She eventually transplanted her own brain into the body of a pizza delivery girl whom she let into the base, and was shot to death by the other members of the Torchwood team.
 The CyberKing
A small handful of the Cybermen t
Fri, 13 March 2009
The Sixth Doctor and Peri encounter the mercenary Lytton, stranded on planet Earth and in the employ of the Cybermen. A plot is being hatched that aims to change the history of Earth in favour of the Cyber-race, and the Doctor finds himself on an alien planet he has visited before as he tries to defeat his enemies and work out who he can trust to help him.
In the London sewer system, a worker vanishes and another is beaten to death.
The Doctor is repairing the chameleon circuitry in the TARDIS's roundels, using his new sonic lance. He ponders why he has not worked on this before. Peri questions his new energy levels; he reassures her he is stable and would never hurt her.
Lytton is organising what he claims is a £10 million diamond heist on the Bank of England. He explains the plan: his merry band of four shall go into the sewers, and use plastic explosives to blow a hole in the wall of the vault, escaping with the diamonds, and no one (in theory) should get hurt. Down they go into the sewers, with Payne agreeing to stand on lookout by the manhole. As the others move away, no one notices the tall, black figure silently advancing behind Payne...
The Doctor says he is taking Peri somewhere nice and peaceful, to treat her after the awful time they both had on Jaconda. After a very difficult trip through the Time Vortex, he shows Halley's Comet to her, inadvertently revealing that he plans to take her to Earth. It is soon clear that being so close to the comet upsets her (as does, undoubtedly, the fact that they nearly crash into it), so he steers away from it. The TARDIS then picks up a distress signal coming from London, in 1985; they both agree that they have to investigate this.
The TARDIS lands in 76 Totter's Lane, London, a scrapyard that the Doctor finds oddly familiar. As he and Peri begin to leave the scrapyard the chameleon circuit turns the time machine into a stove with an attractive (or cloying) floral pattern (much to Peri's mirth). The Doctor, slightly defensive, says that the TARDIS is slightly out of practice when it comes to choosing new forms. (They both fail to notice two policemen, who are walking past them.) As the pair move through the streets, the Doctor scanning for this signal, Peri reveals how worried she is for him: his memory is in pieces, and he keeps calling her the names of his previous companions. He assures her he is fine. After tracing the signal to an abandoned warehouse that does not contain anyone; he remarks how foolish he was for not realising what has happened. After dashing back to the scrapyard, they eventually find a door in the TARDIS's new form and take off.
Meanwhile, Lytton's group are not faring well in the sewer: Russell has cold feet, and Griffith is doing all of the wall-demolishing single-handedly (much to his annoyance). Lytton does not seem to be noticing these things, and seems almost to be waiting for someone.
Onboard the TARDIS, the Doctor explains that the alien has put relays around the city, making it hard for them to trace his signal (and thus help him). Peri points out a vital clue: such an extraterrestrial would surely leave a time trace; the Doctor starts tracking down that very thing.
The TARDIS then lands, disguised as a pipe organ, in the garage containing the manhole Lytton's crew have descended. There, the two policemen seen earlier accost them, but the Doctor (unseen) knocks one of them out in the sewer, and Peri handcuffs the other to a railing and takes his gun. They then descend the manhole.
In the sewer, Lytton's trio discover a tall, black figure advancing towards them. Although Lytton insists that all is fine, Griffith panics and shoots his (previously unseen) gun at the tall figure; prompting Lytton to take out his own firearm and threaten Griffith, in order to stop him firing at the figure. Suddenly, the wall behind them slides open and an entire army of silver giants is revealed. Then Lytton offers their Leader his weapon, saying that he offers his life to the Cybermen. The Cyber Leader effortlessly crushes Lytton's gun, eliciting a scream from Griffith...
Lytton's two policemen comrades - as well as the two sewer workers we saw at the beginning - are being converted into Cybermen. Lytton manages to talk his way out of the same procedure, explaining that he detected the Cybermen's transmissions and deliberately contacted them, bringing along humans for them to convert as a sign of goodwill. He identifies himself as a warrior mercenary from Riften V and points out that he could easily have alerted Earth authorities to the Cybermen's presence but chose not to. The Cyber Leader accepts the logic of his argument and decides to report to the Controller on Telos.
On Telos, a work party of slaves plants explosives in the ground. Three of them make a break for it, but one is killed and the decapitated Cyber-head, which they require for the next stage of the escape, is destroyed. The two survivors, Bates and Stratton, hide nearby, but without a third pilot and a Cyber-head, they're still as good as prisoners. The other slaves' spirits have been completely crushed; nobody else has tried to escape. In Cyber Control, the Controller receives a report of the escape attempt, and decides to analyse Bates and Stratton's behaviour as they attempt to survive and escape.
The Doctor and Peri are captured by Russell, who frisks the Doctor and finds Payne's gun. The Doctor manages to surprise and overpower Russell, who eventually admits that he's an undercover policeman who infiltrated Lytton's gang to find out who he was. After a raid on an electronics warehouse -- which the Doctor and Peri realise supplied Lytton with the parts he needed for his intergalactic transmitter -- the police heard Lytton's name whispered on the streets, but could find no records of his existence at all. It was as if he'd just arrived from another planet. The Doctor warns Russell that this is exactly what he did -- and he's a ruthless, professional killer...
Bates and Stratton use their mining tools to destroy and decapitate a Cyberman sent out to recapture them. Bates intends to clean out the head so Stratton can use it as a disguise; as prisoner and escort they stand a better chance of getting into Cyber Control. But the destruction of the scout is detected, and the Controller decides that Bates and Stratton are too resourceful and must be destroyed.
Back on Earth, the Cybermen detect temporal distortion nearby, and send scouts to investigate. The Doctor, Peri and Russell encounter one, and the Doctor destroys it by plunging his sonic lance into its chest unit. The Cybermen detect this, and the Leader decides to close down this base and send the partially converted humans to their mothership. The Leader himself takes a squad out to investigate the scout's destruction, and when they find an alien artefact was responsible Lytton soon guesses who the "alien" is. He's surprised to learn that the Cybermen already know of the Doctor. The Cyber Leader decides to alter his plans and capture the Doctor and his TARDIS.
The Doctor, Peri and Russell emerge from the sewers, closely followed by the Cybermen. But the Doctor has accidentally left the TARDIS doors open and Cybermen have already entered the ship. Russell destroys one by shooting it through the weak point in its mouth panel, and shoots another with the first Cyberman's gun. But before Peri can shut the doors the Cyber Leader and his patrol arrive, and while Russell is distracted a third Cyberman emerges from the corridors and strikes him upon his neck, killing him instantly. Peri approaches Russell and the Cybermen then close in on Peri...
The Doctor threatens to destroy the TARDIS unless the Cyber Leader agrees to spare Peri's life. He does so, giving the word of the Cyber Controller that she will not be harmed -- and the Doctor realises that, by implication, not only did the Controller survive their last meeting but these Cybermen have somehow travelled through Time. He sets the coordinates for Telos, and he, Peri, Griffiths and Lytton are locked up in a nearby storeroom. Lytton returns the Doctor's sonic lance so he can sabotage the navigational controls and shift the TARDIS slightly off course, and reveals that the Cybermen haven't developed their own theories of Time travel; they simply stole a ship which was forced down on Telos for repairs. The Doctor, attempting to explain the history of the Cybermen to Griffiths and Peri, is forced to admit that their home world Mondas was destroyed while attacking Earth -- in 1986, which in their terms is next year. The Doctor assures them that Earth survived with minimal damage; the surviving Cybermen evacuated to Telos, wiped out the indigenous Cryons and transformed their refrigerated cities into cryogenic tombs in which to hibernate and recover their strength. Bates and Stratton continue to approach Cyber Control despite Stratton's conviction that the plan will never work. The reactivation of dormant Cybermen is halted when too many are found damaged or dead; some are going rogue in the tombs and destroying everything they encounter.
The Doctor is forced to switch off the distress call he'd surreptitiously activated, but thanks to his earlier sabotage the TARDIS (in the form of a set of iron gates) materialises in the tombs rather than in Cyber Control. While the Cyber Leader reports for further instructions, the Doctor notices a stench of decay in the air -- and realises that Lytton knows more about it than he's saying. A rogue Cyberman suddenly bursts out of a tomb and attacks them, and in the confusion Peri, Lytton and Griffiths escape. Peri, separated from the others, is attacked by yet another rogue Cyberman -- and is rescued by two Cryons...
Griffiths and Lytton hide in the tunnels outside the tombs, where they are contacted by a Cryon named Threst -- who welcomes Lytton by name. Lytton admits that he's been working for the Cryons all along; it was they who picked up his distress call from Earth, and on their behalf he intends to steal the Cybermen's time machine. Since the Cryons can only survive in sub-zero temperatures they will be unable to help, and Lytton thus brought Griffiths along to act as his bodyguard, in return for which the Cryons will pay him the equivalent of two million British pounds in uncut diamonds. Griffiths is reluctant to risk his life, but Lytton points out that his only two alternatives if captured are death -- or conversion into a Cyberman.
The Doctor is locked up in a storeroom with a Cryon prisoner, Flast, and upon learning that some Cryons survived the Cybermen's attempt at genocide he also realises that they must be responsible for the damage to the Cybermen in the tombs. He's less pleased by Flast's revelation of the Cybermen's plans -- since they stole their time machine they don't fully understand the principles of Time, and intend to change history by preventing Mondas from being destroyed...
Lytton and Griffiths emerge onto the surface of Telos, where Bates and Stratton confront them. Griffiths is shocked to learn that Bates and Stratton are partially cybernetic; they were sent to the work parties when the conversion process failed. Lytton points out that the time vessel requires a crew of three and suggests that they join forces. Meanwhile, Peri is held in the Cryon base by Rost and Varne, who are unable to help her rescue the Doctor, as they would perish in the heat of Cyber Control. They admit that Lytton is working for them to prevent the Cybermen from leaving Telos -- upon abandoning the planet the Cybermen intend to destroy it to observe the effect on its atmosphere.
Flast explains to the Doctor that the Cybermen intend to divert the course of Halley's Comet, causing it to collide with Earth. The Doctor suddenly realises that the Time Lords have once again manipulated him into this situation so he can clean it up for them. Flast points out a potential weapon; the storeroom contains canisters of vastial, an unstable mineral which explodes upon reaching fifteen degrees above zero, and she's managed to open one. The Doctor uses his sonic lance to pick the lock of the storeroom door, and uses a small amount of vastial to destroy the guard outside. Flast takes the sonic lance, turns it on and buries it in the open canister of vastial, hoping to spark an explosion, which will destroy Cyber Control. She is unable to leave the sub-zero storeroom but urges the Doctor to escape without her.
Lytton and his companions enter Cyber Control, but as Lytton is guarding their backs he is attacked and overpowered by Cybermen and the others have no choice but to carry on without him. Lytton is taken back to the control room and tortured, and when he refuses to speak he is taken to be converted into a Cyberman. Rost and Varne learn of Lytton's capture while taking Peri back to the TARDIS.
The Doctor returns to the TARDIS, where he finds two Cybermen on guard and is reunited with Peri. Rost and Varne help him break into a tomb, which they have already sabotaged, and the Doctor activates the distress call in the dead Cyberman inside, luring the two guards away from the TARDIS and into a trap. In the ensuing battle, Varne is killed but both Cybermen are destroyed. As the Doctor prepares to leave, Peri insists that they rescue Lytton first, and the Doctor, who was fully prepared to leave Lytton to his fate, is startled to learn that he was working for the Cryons all along. He agrees to see what he can do.
Bates, Griffiths and Stratton finally reach the landing pad, but just as they're within sight of their goal Bates is killed by an electrified door -- which opens to reveal a Cyberman who guns down Griffiths and Stratton. Meanwhile, the Cybermen detect the Doctor's escape and question Flast; when she refuses to speak they fling her into the corridor, where her body boils away in the heat. As the Cybermen begin checking the vastial stores, the Cyber Controller learns that the TARDIS has been moved and returns to the control room. The sabotaged vastial container, hidden in the back of the storeroom, has begun to steam...
The TARDIS, once again in the form of a police box, materialises in the control room. The Doctor emerges to find Lytton partially converted, and as he tries to free him from the processing machine Lytton, drugged and partially converted, begs the Doctor to kill him. The Cyber Controller arrives, having guessed that the Doctor's emotional weaknesses would draw him back to rescue his friend. As the Controller approaches, however, Lytton attacks him, puncturing his hydraulic valves with the knife the Doctor was using to pry him free from the processing machines. The Controller strikes back, snapping Lytton's neck and killing him, while the Doctor grabs the Controller's gun and shoots the Cyber Leader, who staggers back into his Lieutenant, causing him to accidentally fire his gun at point-blank range, killing them both. The Doctor then shoots the Cyber Controller, destroying him once and for all. Peri emerges from the TARDIS and practically drags the Doctor away from Lytton's body.
As the TARDIS dematerialises, the sonic lance finally heats the vastial to ignition point, and the resulting chain reaction destroys all Cyber Control and the stolen time machine as well. The Earth is safe and the web of Time has been preserved... but at a great personal cost, as the Doctor blames himself for misjudging and failing to save Lytton
Tue, 10 March 2009
Starring Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith with Andrew Sachs and Laura Solon (Duration: 60' approx)
|AUTHOR:||Alan Barnes and|
|SOUND DESIGN:||Andy Hardwick||MUSIC:||Andy Hardwick|
|COVER ART:||Simon Holub||NUMBER OF DISCS:||1 CD|
|RECORDED DATE:||2nd October 2008||RELEASE DATE:||31st March 2009|
Starring PETER DAVISON (Duration: 120' Approx)
Featuring BEN JONES and LALLA WARD
With CIARA JANSON as AMY
Peter Davison (The Doctor), Ciara Janson (Amy), Laura Doddington (Zara), Lalla Ward (Madam President), David Troughton (The Black Guardian), Ben Jones (Captain Pargrave), Toby Longworth (Commander Hectocot), Cate Hamer (The Voice)
Two different races from opposite ends of Time - so how can they co-exist?
In their search for the final segment of the Key to Time, the Doctor and Amy become caught in the crossfire. As the end of everything approaches, old friends and enemies reveal themselves and the final battle between the forces of Chaos and Order ignites…
|AUTHOR:||Peter Anghelides||DIRECTOR:||Lisa Bowerman|
|SOUND DESIGN:||Simon Robinson||MUSIC:||Jamie Robertson|
|COVER ART:||Alex Mallinson||NUMBER OF DISCS:||2|
|RECORDED DATE:||22 & 23 April 2008||RELEASE DATE:||30 March 2009|
Between Planet of Fire and The Caves of Androzani and after Key 2 Time - Destroyer of Delights
118. Doctor Who: Key 2 Time - Destroyer of Delights
Starring PETER DAVISON (Duration: 120' Approx)
Featuring DAVID TROUGHTON and JASON WATKINS
With CIARA JANSON as AMY
Peter Davison (The Doctor), Ciara Janson (Amy), David Troughton (The Black Guardian), Jason Watkins (Legate of the Caliph), Jess Robinson (Nisrin), Bryan Pilkington (Prince Omar), Paul Chahidi (Hason), Will Barton (The Djinni), David Peart (The Vizier)
The search for the Key to Time has stalled: the next segment does not appear to exist anywhere in the Universe. Forced into a temporary alliance with one of his greatest enemies, the Doctor suggests a course of action that is a validation of chaos itself.
Thrown at random across Space and Time, the Doctor and Amy arrive in 9th Century Sudan, where the greedy Lord Cassim is hoarding gold from the Legate of the Caliph. But why does Cassim look so familiar? What is the mysterious Djinni that lives out in the desert? And why does it need so much treasure?
|AUTHOR:||Jonathan Clements ||DIRECTOR: ||Lisa Bowerman|
|SOUND DESIGN: ||Simon Robinson ||MUSIC: ||Simon Robinson|
|COVER ART: ||Alex Mallinson ||NUMBER OF DISCS: ||2|
|RECORDED DATE: ||21 & 22 April 2008||RELEASE DATE: ||28 February 2009|
|PRODUCTION CODE: ||6R/B||ISBN:||978-1-84435-364-4|
Between Planet of Fire and The Caves of Androzani and after Key 2 Time - The Judgement of Isskar