The Cybermen is a race of humanoids that cybernetically augmented themself with the aim of thriving in harsh environments.
A later generation, also referred to as Cybermen, were created in a parallel universe by Cybus Industries CEO John Lumic.
- 1 Characteristics
- 2 Technology
- 3 Culture
- 4 History
- 4.1 Early history
- 4.2 Later history
- 4.3 Later history
- 4.4 Final evolution
- 4.5 History of the Cybus Cybermen
- 5 Behind the Scenes
- 6 Notes
Though the Cybermen
varied greatly in design through time, the various versions of the Cybermen had several things in common. Nearly all were silver in colour, though, for stealth purposes, a black variety also existed in the London sewers (DW: Attack of the Cybermen). They also exhibited exposed circuitry and tubing which may contain hydraulic fluids for motion, covering a rubber or mylar-like outer skin. Cybermen frequently attempted to increase their numbers by cyber-conversion.
The Cybermen which the Doctor met on Snowcap Base in 1986 had undergone a less radical conversion and still retained biological hands. (DW: The Tenth Planet)
Cybermen encountered on the Moon's surface were entirely covered up in their metallic suits. (DW: The Moonbase)
The Snowcap Cybermen had a quavering voice which put certain inflection on certain syllables in a seemingly random, sing-song manner. (DW: The Tenth Planet) Later Cybermen spoke in more of a monotone, emphasizing their lack of emotion. (DW: The Moonbase onwards)
Mondasian Cybermen had a number of major weaknesses, of which the most notable was the element gold. Gold, having a non-corrosive nature, choked their respiratory systems, a property exploited by the glittergun weapon used during the Cyber-Wars. (DW: Revenge of the Cybermen, Earthshock, Silver Nemesis) On occasion, the mere touch of gold seemed toxic to them, with gold coins or gold-tipped arrows able to destroy them. (DW: Silver Nemesis) Gold also blocked their sensors and caused the cybermats to malfunction. (DWN: Revenge of the Cybermen)
Other weaknesses of the Cybermen included the combination of solvents known as Polly Cocktail (DW: The Moonbase) and excessive levels of radiation. (DW: The Tenth Planet)
Cybermen affected by the Cerebration Mentor, an emotion enhancing device, went "mad". (DW: The Invasion)
The Cyber Controller was defeated after he fell from a great height.
The Cybermen forces in 2526 employed the use of the Cyberlance, a powerful hand-held cutting weapon. They also made use of the Cyberscope, an observation device that allowed Cyber commanders to both view the battlefield remotely and access a computer database (containing, at least, information on their race's encounters with the Doctor). (DW: Earthshock)
Weapons (Short Range)
Cybermen have possessed a variety of short range weapons, some in-built.
During their attack on Earth in 1986 they had large hand-held energy weapons. (DW: The Tenth Planet)
On the Moon in 2070, Cybermen possessed the power to generate arcs of electricity from their hands which had the power to stun and disable. (DW: The Moonbase)
In the 21st century, the Cybermen who attacked Space Station W3 had death rays built into their chest units. (DW: The Wheel in Space)
The Cybermen encountered by UNIT in the late 20th century had displayed these same built-in weapons as well as also carrying large rifles for medium distance combat. (DW: The Invasion)
The Cybermen who attacked the Nerva Beacon had their weapons built into their helmets, activated with a touch of a hand. (DW: Revenge of the Cybermen)
Other appearances have shown them armed almost exclusively with hand-held cyber-guns. (DW: The Invasion onwards)
In 2070, the Cybermen possessed a cannon which could operate in vacuum. (DW: The Moonbase)
Cybermen in 2526 (DW: Earthshock) and the Cybermen removed by Time Scoop to the Death Zone (DW: The Five Doctors) had cyber-bombs.
Neurotrope X has acted as a means to incapacitate Humans before making an overt move. (DW: The Moonbase). On some occasions they have used a cybermat to spread the virus. (DW: Revenge of the Cybermen)
In 1851, the Cybermen from a parallel universe (known as Cybusmen) were able to create a Dreadnought-Class ship known as a Cyber-King - which would serve as the front line of an invasion. The Cyber-King looked like a giant steampunk version of a cyberman, with the control section located in the mouth and a cyber-factory located in the chest that was ready to convert millions of humans into Cybermen. For weapons, the Cyber-King possessed a Cannon on its right arm (revealed by rotating the right hand) and a laser on the left hand. The Cyber-King needed
a living being to direct it, however, otherwise it would lose control and topple over.
Judging by the fact the Doctor realised what it was when he saw it, it's implied that other Cyber-Kings have been made in the past by the 'original' Mondas Cybermen. However, it's unbeknown what those versions looked like, as the Cyber-King made by the Cybusmen was made using what they could use from 1851 - although it's possible they also included technology they stole from the Daleks prior to their arrival in the time period.
- "Cybermen do not subscribe to any theory of morality."
Cybermen made "survival" their central objective. Since they could not reproduce naturally, they needed to reproduce by other means, via cyber-conversion. At times they have tended to focus on converting the population of Earth, at other times with simply destroying it. (DW: The Tomb of the Cybermen)
Cybermen tended toward covert activity, scheming from hiding and using Human or other agents (DW: Revenge of the Cybermen, Earthshock, Attack of the Cybermen), cybermats or androids (DW: Earthshock) to act as their proxies until they appear.
Individuality and emotion
Throughout their history, Cybermen have, for the most part, lacked individuality or names.
Some Cybermen had individual names such as Krang (DW: The Tenth Planet) or Kroton. (DWM: Throwback: The Soul of a Cyberman).
- In the script and cast listings for The Tenth Planet the individual Cybermen had names. They were Krail, Talon, Shav, Krang, Jarl and Gern. (REF: Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia)
Cybermen in positions of authority have included the ground level Cyber-Leader, sometimes aided by a Cyber-Lieutenant. Immobile computer-like Cyber-Planners have sometimes made decisions (DW: The Wheel in Space, The Invasion). The Cyber-Controllers, with an enlarged cranium, had, possibly, the position of highest possible authority. (DW: The Tomb of the Cybermen, Attack of the Cybermen).
- Only one Cyber-Controller ever appeared at one time.
Origin and evolution of the Mondasian Cybermen
Cybermen were originally a wholly organic species of Near-Humans who originated on Earth's former twin planet, Mondas. Mondas drifted into the outer solar system and to survive, the natives of that world adapted by turning themselves into cyborgs. (DW: The Tenth Planet) Eventually, all of the Mondasians underwent forced cyber-conversion.(BFA: Spare Parts)
The three Cybermen sub-groups
One group, the CyberMondasians, who retained more of their organic form, and still had personal names. Another group, the CyberFaction, left Mondas and headed for Planet 14. These eventually developed into separate groups without connection with one another. (NA: Iceberg) Yet another, the CyberNomads, would eventually head out in space. (MA: Killing Ground)
Mobility of Mondas
Mondas developed a drive propulsion system in place of the planet's core to move the entire world. As the original Cybermen were limited in numbers and were continually being depleted, the Cybermen decided to invade Earth. (DW: The Tenth Planet)
History after first attempted invasion.
The Doctor and Ace fought Cybermen in 1940 London (PDA: Illegal Alien) The same team would fight them in 1950s Nevada. (DWM: The Good Soldier)
By 1970 or before, Cybermen, specifically the CyberFaction led by a Cyber-Planner (NA: Iceberg) had established a base on the dark side of Earth's Moon. The Cyber-Planner had contacted the industrialist Tobias Vaughn, the head of the International Electromatics corporation. The Cybermen had him install mind control circuits in electrical appliances manufactured by his company, paving the way for a ground invasion. They had also grafted cybernetic arms onto several of his workers. Vaughn had a Cyber-Planner installed in his office and communicated with it. The plot was uncovered by the newly formed UNIT and by the Doctor who assisted in beating off the invasion both on the ground and from the Cyberman base on the Moon. (DW: The Invasion)
- The exact date of this invasion remains unknown, though estimates range of its date range from 1969 to 1979. It occurred shortly after the formation of UNIT.
From the mid 1970s through 1985, Cybermen lurked in the sewers below London, awaiting another invasion, which would come in 1986. One Cyberman's head was taken and was stored in Henry van Statten's Vault, where he collected alien artefacts. (DW: Dalek)
- According to its label, it was recovered from the London sewers in 1975, though its design seems subtly anachronistic for its era and more typical of the designs seen in the post-Cyber Wars era.
Cybermen in the future, having captured a time vessel, knew that the Doctor would destroy Mondas, so planned, instead, to divert Halley's Comet towards Earth. (DW: Attack of the Cybermen)
In December 1986, the Doctor met an advance force of CyberMondasians that landed near Snowcap Base in Antarctica. This advance force was to prepare for the return of Mondas to the Sol System and the draining of Earth's energy for the use of the Cybermen. Mondas absorbed too much energy and was destroyed, as were the Cybermen on Earth who depended on Mondas for power. (DW: The Tenth Planet) Following the destruction of Mondas, the Cyberman would make Lonsis their new home. (BFA/BBCR: Human Resources)
In November 1988 a Cyber-fleet of another faction was assembled to turn Earth into New Mondas now that their homeworld had been destroyed. A scouting party was sent to Earth in search of a statue made of validium called Nemesis, a Time Lord weapon. (DW: Silver Nemesis)
Roughly in the mid-2000s, Cybermen from the future (see below) would use time travel to return to Earth to announce them to the public. They hoped to flood Earth. The survivors would then, the Cybermen believed, willingly undergo cyber-conversion. (DWM: The Flood)
In 2006, Cybermen once more invaded the South Pole of Earth. (NA: Iceberg) In the same year, the Cybermen on Lonsis tried to invade Earth via the portal in the main branch of Hulbert Logistics. Lucie Miller managed to destroy them by using a quantum crystalliser to make the Cybermen and their ship rapidly rust to dust. This would see the last of the original Cybermen. (BFA/BBCR: Human Resources)
Around this same time, a version of the Cybermen from a parallel Earth crossed over from their reality and attempted an invasion of the Earth (DW: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday), and there is a record of a set of these Cybermen also causing havoc in the 19th century (DW: The Next Doctor). It remains unknown as to whether the "original" Cybermen are aware of this alternate-universe version or if they have ever interacted.
In the middle to late 21st century, Space Station W3 was the site of a takeover by Cybermen on Earth. (DW: The Wheel in Space)
In 2070, by which time Earth's weather was being controlled by the Gravitron installation in the Moonbase, Cybermen planned to use the Gravitron to disrupt the planet's weather patterns and destroy all life on the planet. (DW: The Moonbase)
The Doctor encountered Cybermen in 2191 (MA: Killing Ground)
The Cybermen had all but passed into legend when an archaeological expedition to the planet Telos found the CyberTombs, where hordes of Cybermen waited in cryogenic suspension. This tomb was sealed again (DW: The Tomb of the Cybermen) and re-activated (DW: Attack of the Cybermen). It was also not the only CyberTomb. There were dozens across the galaxy and more wars were started off. Bernice Summerfield, who spoke of the Telos expedition in the past tense, discovered one in the early 27th century. (BFBS: The Crystal of Cantus)
In 2526 several planets would unite in war against the Cybermen in an event called the Cyber-Wars. A force of Cybermen tried to devastate Earth using a Cyberbomb and convert the survivors. Failing this, they hoped 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 "meteor" that wiped out the dinosaurs. (DW: Earthshock)
One of the last acts of the Cybermen during this war was attempt to blow up the planet Voga in order to stop the production of glitterguns. (DWN: Revenge of the Cybermen). In the aftermath of their failure, the Cybermen were reduced to the scattered remnants (DW: Revenge of the Cybermen).
On Telos, the Cybermen plotted to change history and, as already noted, divert Halley's Comet to Earth in order to destroy it and to save Mondas. This would lead to their loss of Telos. (DW: Attack of the Cybermen)
- As noted previously, these actions would have repercussions in the year 1985.
At some point, Telos was shattered by an asteroid impact. (BFA: Telos (audio drama))
During the Orion War between humanity and a race of androids, both sides would attempt to use the long-dormant Cybermen to win the war. This would lead to both races nearly wiped out and the temporary conquest of Earth before the Cybermen resurgence was stopped. (BFA: Sword of Orion, Cyberman (audio series))
By 3286, the Cybermen had been thought dead for centuries. The Cybermen eventually developed into cyborgs indistinuishable visually from Humans. (BFA: Real Time) Later Cybermen would again use time travel and return back in time circa the 2000s to convert it. They used rain that caused extreme emotions (sadness, fear, anger) in an attempt to convert the peoples of the world. (DWM: The Flood)
By the 101st Century, the Cybermen had nearly died out. Several centuries before that, they choose a new name for their species and became pacifists. (PDA: Synthespians™)
Transcending into pure energy, the Cybermen would ultimately redeem the whole of sentient life and become the most peace-loving species in the whole of creation. (DWM: The World Shapers)
History of the Cybus Cybermen
The Cybus Cyberman originated in another universe, where they were created by John Lumic, the owner of Cybus Industries. His Cybermen believed that all of humanity must be "upgraded" to cyber-form so that information would never be lost and that the humans' physical and emotional weaknesses were abolished.
Cyber-conversion usually involved removing the brain of the subject painfully and placing it within a suit of armour. Once complete, the new Cybermen had a special implant which prevented them from feeling emotions. If the implants were disrupted, the Cybermen entered into a traumatic state caused by the pain of the conversion. This inevitably resulted in an agonising death from the overload of emotions.
The cyber-suit was constructed from bulletproof steel. This exo-structure appeared thicker and heavier than that of the Cybermen of Mondas – though a comparison of the strengths of the two body types was never performed. A chest plate with the Cybus Industries logo housed a "heart of steel", the function of which is unclear, and the emotional inhibitor chip. The brain was contained within the head. Artificially grown nervous tissue was threaded throughout the body so the Cyberman responded like a fully biological organism. Without a brain inserted, the cyber-suit was a robot. Even when disembodied, the various parts of the suit – arm, head and torso – had sufficient processing capacity to pursue and attack a human target.
These alternate Cybermen showed no vulnerability to gold.
Behind the Scenes
Inspiration for the Cybermen
The idea from the Cybermen came from Kit Pedler's interest in new medical advances and his fears as to where they might possibly lead. Earlier conceptions of the Cyberman design would have emphasized the "man" part of the equation, but the proposed design would have cost too much money. Indeed, the televised version of The Tenth Planet featured much more human-like Cybermen, who had human hands.
Prologues to certain Target Books novelisations reflect the earlier ideas about the Cybermen, which state that perfected the science of cybernetics as a means to gain immortality. The Cybermen were the result: immortal, but at the cost of losing their humanity.
Development of the characters
The second appearance of the Cybermen in DW: The Moonbase (pre-planned by the production team even before DW: The Tenth Planet had aired), re-designed them rather radically, making them appear much more robot-like in appearance. The Cybermen went through another major re-design in DW: The Invasion and yet another in DW: Earthshock.
As of 2009, the original Cybermen have yet to appear in the revived TV series. The new series acknowledged them on screen once when the Ninth Doctor examined a Cyberman head with fondness in DW: Dalek. Afterwards, in DW: Rise of the Cybermen, the series introduced a reimagined version of the Cybermen that had been created on a parallel Earth, and all appearances by the Cybermen since up until 2011 have been of this version. However, the original Cybermen returned in the series finale of the first part of Series 6, and made a more significant appearance in the episode "Closing Time". Coincidentally, these advanced forms of the Cybermen were nearly identical to their parallel universe counterparts, distinguished only by the lack of the Cybus logo on the former's chests; in its place was a simple circle.
- According to Derrick J. Wyatt, the Omnitrix from the Ben 10 franchise is unable to accept Cybermen DNA due to their nature as cybernetically-enhanced humans.