Monster File – The Cybermen

Hello everyone! 🙂

The story begins with the Cybermen!

“YOU WILL BE UPGRADED!!!”

Today, I’d like to share some thoughts with you on what I make of the Cybermen in ‘Doctor Who’! They’re one of my favourite monsters from the series and they’ve had plenty of variations in terms of design and appearance over the years. I hope you enjoy these thoughts by me on the Cybermen.

But first, check out this amazing Babelcolour video on the Cybermen! See if you can hear any soundbites of the Big Finish audio adventure ‘Spare Parts’ during this amazing Cybermen video!

My first memories of Cybermen were from watching the two-part story with David Tennant called ‘Rise of the Cybermen’/’The Age of Steel’. I remember being pretty terrified by them since they had the cold menacing factor of turning people into like them and to have all of their emotions removed.

The Cybermen are scary and cold-blooded since they’re without feeling or emotion. They’ve very like the Borg from ‘Star Trek’, who are assimilating people into their collective. But with the Cybermen, they’re silver; made of steel and they became the second best ‘Doctor Who’ monster to the Daleks!

The Cybermen have changed a lot over the years since their inception in 1966. I found it interesting comparing the differences from the new series Cybermen to the classic series Cybermen. Some have disappointed me in certain stories, but they’re still one of my favourite monsters from ‘Doctor Who’.

The concept of the Cybermen is pretty terrifying as you lose all sense of identity and get all your emotions surgically removed with technological upgrades planted into you. It reflects our modern society as we as humans are so obsessed with technology and it takes over our lives in various ways.

The Cybermen made their first appearance in ‘Doctor Who’ on TV in ‘The Tenth Planet’. In our universe, they were born on Mondas, a planet remarkably similar to Earth. As depicted in ‘Spare Parts’, Mondas was dying world that got frozen and the people became Cybermen so they can live.

But as a consequence, the Cybermen were augmented with technology planted onto their bodies and they became devoid of emotion. They were also programmed with the cold-blooded machine logic of survival and they set out on a conquest of power to take over many species to become them.

The earliest Cybermen that featured in ‘The Tenth Planet’ were pretty terrible. They had cloth faces and cumbersome costumes to wear in that first story. They also had these strange Cyber voices that seemed musical as well as electronic. I couldn’t take the Cybermen seriously or be threatened by them.

I’m very pleased when they did the second Cybermen story, ‘The Moonbase’, they had a complete make-over. The Cybermen were more impressive and robotic compared to the ‘Tenth Planet’ ones. I especially liked their robotic voices when they spoke, as they sounded harsh and very menacing too.

My favourite version of the Cybermen has to be the 2006 retro designs from the Russell T. Davies era of ‘Doctor Who’. I find these Cybermen more menacing and frightening compared to other versions, especially from my first viewing of the ‘Rise of the Cybermen’/’The Age of Steel’ story in 2006.

When first introduced in the new series, the Cybermen came from a parallel universe that eventually became called Pete’s World. It was interesting to see the Cybermen reintroduced for a new audience of ‘Doctor Who’ fans, as they came from a parallel universe and not from ours which is so intriguing.

I liked it when watching the Cybermen in the new series with David Tennant, that they had this ‘ultimate upgrade’ when they take you and convert you into one of them. I also liked their famous catchphrase of “Delete!” which is very similar to the Daleks’ war cry of “Exterminate!” in this series.

I liked the chilling cyber-voices for the Cybermen provided by Nicholas Briggs, who also does the Dalek voices for the series. The suits of the Cybermen from 2006 are spectacular and they have that feeling of being hard metal, especially when they stomp about with their metal boots on the march.

Lately, they’ve upgraded the Cybermen with new designs from ‘Nightmare in Silver’. These Cybermen are okay, but they don’t have the same menace and feel as the ‘Rise of the Cybermen’ versions do. Their voices also sound different as they sound throaty and deeper which wasn’t great.

The ‘Nightmare in Silver’ Cybermen don’t seem scary enough for me in the new series, although they have grown on me. I wish that the Cybermen could be better used and have stories that focus more on them, since I hoped that in ‘Dark Water’/’Death in Heaven’. But that was overwhelmed by Missy.

My favourite Cybermen TV stories are as follows. As well as ‘Rise of the Cybermen’/’The Age of Steel’, there’s ‘The Invasion’, ‘Earthshock’ and ‘Army of Ghosts’/’Doomsday’. I have vivid and fond memories watching these stories originally on DVD and how gripped I was by the Cybermen in them.

‘Army of Ghosts’/’Doomsday’ was so good since that story featured both the Daleks and the Cybermen in it. I was pleased that these two popular ‘Doctor Who’ monsters got to meet up with each other at last, though it would have been nice if they did become allies and not enemies in that.

After seeing the Cybermen stories with David Tennant in the new series, I wanted to watch a classic ‘Doctor Who’ story. The first one I picked was with Cybermen and it was with Peter Davison’s Doctor called ‘Earthshock’. Watching ‘Earthshock’ was so unusual but an exciting experience for me as a fan.

However, I found the ‘Earthshock’ Cybermen pretty appalling. The Cybermen suits were pathetic, apart from the headset and the voices sounded emotional compared to the new series Cybermen. I don’t blame David Banks’ efforts as the Cyber Leader, but his catchphrase of “Excellent!” didn’t do it for me.

‘The Invasion’ was a happy experience for me as a ‘Doctor Who’ fan. I loved watching ‘The Invasion’ with its animation episodes and it was an exciting adventure with the Cybermen and Tobias Vaughn in it. The ‘Invasion’ Cybermen were very good and looked and sounded robotic compared to others.

It’s fair to say that the Cybermen in the 60s, baring ‘The Tenth Planet’, were pretty good in terms of look, design and voice. They changed a lot from ‘The Moonbase’ to ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’ to ‘The Wheel in Space’ to ‘The Invasion’, but they feel, look and sound more robotic as in the new series.

There are some exceptions which I must point out. As well as the ‘Earthshock’ and ‘Tenth Planet’ Cybermen, there are the ones from ‘Revenge of the Cybermen’ that I found disappointing. Despite looking ‘Invasion’-like, I was unhappy with their look; voices and Christopher Robbie’s Cyber Leader.

There’s also this thing of the Cybermen’s vulnerability to gold. This makes the Cybermen too easy to kill when using gold on them. I would like a Cybermen story where silver and gold worked together. We could have golden-looking Cybermen and not wooden Cybermen as in ‘The Time of the Doctor’.

The Cybermen have also appeared in plenty of audio adventures by Big Finish with the Doctor. I have my favourite audio stories with the Cybermen by Big Finish. As well as ‘Spare Parts’ with Peter Davison, there’s also ‘The Reaping’ with Colin Baker and ‘Human Resources’ with Paul McGann.

Also, the Cybermen have appeared in their own Christmas special called ‘The Next Doctor’ with David Tennant and David Morrissey which was shown on Christmas Day in 2008. I have fond memories seeing ‘The Next Doctor’ on TV and enjoyed the Cybermen making their appearance for Christmas.

The Cybermen have also teamed up with the Borg in comic-book form during the graphic novel adventure ‘Assimilation2. I loved that team-up so much, especially when the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory teamed up with Captain Picard and the Enterprise-D team from ‘TNG’ to fight against the Borg and the Cybermen.

I written my own Cybermen story for ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ fan-fiction series called ‘Neptune Connect’. I had a happy experience writing that story with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy fighting the Cybermen. I hope to release that story soon on my blog which will be at some later date.

The Cybermen are one of my favourite monsters from ‘Doctor Who’. I’ve found them interesting over the years in their various forms in TV stories, audios, books and graphic novels. I get a buzz when seeing the Cybermen, although I would not like to be one of them and lose all of my emotions.

“DELETE! DELETE! DELETE!!!”

Before I finish, I must mention that the Cybermen are making a return to ‘Doctor Who’ in Series 10 on TV for 2017! But these are the original Mondasian Cybermen from ‘The Tenth Planet’ and ‘Spare Parts’. Hmm! Now isn’t this interesting?! Not sure how it’ll work out, but it will be interesting to see!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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