Three generations of Cybermen are due to return in Doctor Who episode ‘World Enough and Time’, so we thought we’d look back a five great Cyber-stories from the show’s past.
The Cybermen have plagued the Doctor since his first regeneration. A prolific presence in the show during the sixties, they’ve been through some ups and downs since.
With several designs due to team up in this year’s finale, we thought it appropriate to list five of our favourite Cybermen stories.
Written by Liam South
5. Earthshock (1982)
In their first appearance in seven years, the Cybermen blasted their way back onto the screen with pet androids and bombs. If you can watch this story without any knowledge of what happens at all (knowing the Cybermen are in it is one shock spoiled, however), do it!
4. Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel (2006)
This may be slightly controversial but I’ve always loved this two-parter. For me, the scariest the Cybermen have ever been in New Who. John Lumic is a mildly pantomimic villain but is well-played. Mickey’s evolution is also well done and the long lines of blank-faced people walking towards their deaths really freaked out nine-year-old me. The cliffhanger is great and self-realisation killing the Cybermen, I think is genius.
3. The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967)
A lot has been written about this story. It’s magical. Patrick Troughton is, as always, fantastic, the Cybermen design is my personal favourite and the Cyber-Controller is awesome. There’s an overly enthusiastic American pilot, a megalomaniac European mathematician and a tall mute black guy who is partially cybertised and beats up Cybermen with his Cyber-limbs. If you haven’t watched it, do yourself a favour.
2. The Moonbase (1967)
In the year 2070, a human base on the moon is being stealthily attacked. The base contains the Gravitron, which is used to control Earth’s weather. The Cybermen plan to take control of the Gravitron, destroy humans with extreme weather and occupy Earth. This story is in many ways quintessential 60’s science fiction but the Cybermen are a very formidable force in this story. Their sheer number is enough to make anyone quake. A small number invade the base and call in a battalion and then another group arrives later. The Episode 3 cliffhanger of hundreds of them amrching across the moon’s surface still terrifies me.
1. The Invasion (1968)
Patrick Troughton’s fourth encounter with the metallic warriors is a masterpiece. While it is a little stretched out (it’s eight episodes long!) it’s not as slow as you’d think. Tobias Vaughn, the man behind the world’s biggest electronics company, is secretly in league with the Cybermen and plans to control planet Earth for himself. The radios his company sells contain equipment that when activated immobilise humans allowing the Cybermen to take control. This story begins the “Cybermen in the sewers” idea that crops up again in several other stories. Although they don’t have the biggest part to play, the Cybermen are quite scary as they roam around London streets and, for the first time, walk down the St Paul’s Cathedral steps.
You can read our spoiler-free review of World and Enough Time here.