Sunday, May 12, 2013

A history of the Cybermen:

Millennia in prehistory: The solar system's tenth planet, Mondas, is somehow knocked out of orbit. Using cyborn technology, the Mondasians convert their bodies into Cybermen to survive the cold of space. They also delete (although some later episodes claim "suppress") all emotion so that they are not driven insane by the horrible things happening to their world. Mondas (also known as Cyberia) drifts through space for centuries. The Cybermen eventually develop the technology to enable their entire planet to move like a huge spaceship. By now, their complete lack of emotion leads them to seek to conquer other worlds to create replacements for the ever-thinning Mondasian ranks. The Cybermen eventually control vast numbers of worlds. Among them is Telos, where they supplant the native Cryons and build a vast "Cyber Tomb". The Cybermen place tens of thousands of their brethren in suspended animation in the Cyber Tomb in case, some day, someone should wipe out the Cybermen. This would leave a large army capable of restoring the Cyber-Race.

102 A.D. – The Eleventh Doctor is captured by first-generation Alternate Universe Cybermen who travel from the early 21st century in Cyberships. The Doctor is imprisoned in the "Pandorica" -- a legendary prison. ("The Pandorica Opens", 2010. The Cybermen do not feature in the second part of this two-part episode. For the first time, Alternate Universe Cybermen are shown to have body parts that can detach and move independently of one another. This leads one to speculate just how much of a human form remains under the cyber superstructure.)

1851 A.D. – First-generation Alternate Universe Cybermen from 2006 are cast back in time by the Void-opening device seen in "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday". They appear injured or lacking in technology, for they are unable to convert human beings into Cybermen. At best, they can convert a dog or cat, which makes an appearance as a "Cybershade". Allying themselves with a Miss Hartigan (a bitter feminist), they create a steampunk giant robot they call the "Cyber King" and use it to try to take over Earth. (The Doctor says Cyber-Kings are common Cybermen attack units.) They are defeated by the Tenth Doctor, who uses a dimensional transporter to hurl them, the Cyber-King, the Cybershade, and Miss Hartigan into the Void. ("The Next Doctor", 2008.)

1960s A.D. – An advance platoon of first-generation Cybermen, preparing for an invasion of Earth, crash-land in Antarctica. They are instantly frozen, and remain in suspended animation until 1986. ("The Tenth Planet", 1966.)

1970 A.D. - Tobias Vaughn, owner of International Electromatics, is contacted by the Cybermen. Vaughn, a psychotic who believes robotic life is superior to all other forms, agrees to assist the Cybermen in trying to invade Earth. He implants Cyber-technology into the household appliances his company manufactures, so that humanity can be converted easily. A large, immobile computer, the Cyber-Planner, is seen helping the Cybermen plan for their invasion. The Second Doctor defeats them. ("The Invasion", 1970. Much more robotic third-generation Cybermen are seen, possibly because they are time-travelers from the future. Third-generation Cybermen should be manufactured some time between 2500 and 2875. The Cyber-Planner is mentioned again in "Nighmare in Silver" [2013], but not seen.)

1985 A.D. - Fourth-generation Cybermen from the late 2500s travel back in time to 1985 to try to prevent the destruction of Mondas. They captured two human beings who had a timeship, which enabled them to travel through time. Trying to fix the TARDIS chameleon circuit, the Doctor crash-lands on Earth. Somehow, a man named Lytton knows the Doctor is coming, and lures him into the Cybermen lair in the London Underground with a fake distress call. The Doctor encounters a Cyber Leader (the captain of a squad of Cybermen). The Doctor is forced by the Cyberment to travel forward in time to the late 2500s A.D. ("Attack of the Cybermen", 1985. Fourth-generation Cybermen are seen, possibly because they are time-travelers from the future beyond 2875.)

Much much much more about the Cybermen AND more photos - after this cut here, so click and go!

1986 A.D. - The First Doctor lands in Antarctica and discovers that a scientific expedition has unwittingly unfrozen three Cybermen. The Cybermen are attempting a second invasion of Earth by bringing Mondas back into the solar system. The Doctor seeks help from humans at a local rocket base, but the Cybermen seize the base. The Cybermen reveal that Mondas is draining energy from Earth, and that this will destroy Mondas. They need to destroy the Earth first, but the humans manage to kill all three Cybermen. Some scientists think Mondas' destruction will flood the Earth with radiation, and General Cutler (who runs the rocket base) wants to use the ultra-powerful Z-Bomb to destroy Mondas. The rocketship carrying the Z-Bomb is sabotaged by the Doctor's companion, Ben, and another Cybership lands. Fending off the Cybermen with rods made of radioactive isotopes, the Doctor and humans gain enough time -- and Mondas explodes. But too much energy has been drained from the Doctor by Mondas, and he dies -- only to regenerate into the Second Doctor. ("The Tenth Planet", 1966. Very human-like "original" first-generation Cybermen are seen. They have fabric-like faces, spotlights on their heads, massive chest units, and microwave generators for a crotch.)

1988 A.D. - A Cybermen scouting party is sent to Earth to find the Nemesis statue, a Time Lord artifact made of the living metal, validium. It was created by the first Time Lord President, Rassilon, as the ultimate defense for Gallifrey. But since it could also be an offensive weapon, the Doctor took it to Earth in the year 1638 A.D. Lady Peinforte found the Nemesis meteor and fashioned the validium into a statue of herself, holding a bow and arrow. The Doctor then arrived, and hurled the statue into space. It comes near Earth every 25 years, but its orbit is unstable and it will, in time, land again on Earth. In 1988, the Seventh Doctor is vacationing on Earth to listen to jazz. Meanwhile, some neo-Nazis from South America have learned that the Nemesis meteor is heading to Earth. Back in 1638 A.D., Lady Peinforte uses magic to travel foward in time to 1988. The neo-Nazis converge on the meteor, but just then Cybermen arrive from space. The Doctor reveals that they tracked it to Earth in 1638 and tried to take it then, too. The Cybermen drive off the neo-Nazis, and hide the statue in Lady Peinforte's grave. To make it achieve a critical mass (and thus useable as a weapon), they need the bow and arrow which come with it, but the Doctor has the bow and the neo-Nazis the arrow. The neo-Nazis drive off the Cybermen with gold (to which the Cybermen are deadly allergic) and restore the arrow to the statue, but the Cybermen return and get the statue back. The Doctor leads the Cybermen away on a merry chase, then sneaks back and awakens the statue by touching it with the bow. Using a rocket-sled, he sends it into the approaching Cyber-Fleet -- but not before the rocket-sled kills Lady Peinforte. ("Silver Nemesis", 1988. Fourth-generation Cybermen are seen, possibly because they are time-travelers from the future. They should appear just before 2526 A.D.)

2006 A.D. (?) – Inexplicably, the TARDIS falls out of the time vortex, which shunts it into a parallel universe. John Lumic, owner of Cybus Industries, develops a cyborg he calls the Cyberman. He wants to "upgrade" humanity into Cybermen, but the President of Great Britain refuses. Through a dummy company, International Electromatics, Lumic has sold EarPods (smartphones worn in the ear like Bluetooth) to hundreds of millions of people. A group called The Preachers believe Lumic is conspiring to take over the world, but don't realize Lumic has been kidnapping homeless people and converting them into Cybermen. Lumic's Cybermen attack, and Lumic himself is forcibly turned into the Cyber Controller. The EarPods are used to turn Londoners into zombies and bring them to a factory to be converted. Tenth Doctor discovers that Lumic had an "inhibitor code" that can temporarily disable Cybermen. He uses the code to stop them, freeing London and allowing the military to mop up the Cybermen. The Doctor easily returns to his own universe. ("Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel", 2006. Alternate Universe Cybermen, first generation.)

2006 A.D. (?) – Some months after the events in the alternate universe chronicled in "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel", the Tenth Doctor is visiting London. Ghostly humanoid shapes appear all over the world, and the Doctor traces an odd power source to the Torchwood facility in London. Generating the power is a Void Ship, which can enter and exit the Void where the Time Lords sent themselves and all Daleks during the Time War. Torchwood has been using it as a power source, which generates the ghosts. Some Torchwood employees under mental control of some sort bring the ship to full power -- and suddenly the "ghosts" turn out to be Cybermen from the alternate universe forcing their way into ours. Four Daleks also emerge from the Void Ship, along with a device (the "Genesis Ark") which contains millions of trapped Daleks. It turns out that that the alternate universe Cybermen (seeing the TARDIS move between universes) quickly developed the technology on their own within weeks. The Doctor opens a dimensional rift that will suck anyone who has passed to our dimension into the Void. All Cybermen and Daleks are thus trapped in the Void... or so everyone thinks. ("Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday", 2006. Alternate Universe Cybermen, first generation.)

Early 2011 A.D. (?) - The Eleventh Doctor and Rory confront an entire Cyber-fleet in an attempt to find Amy Pond (who has been kidnapped by "The Flesh"). The Doctor destroys their fleet to prove he is serious. They otherwise do not feature in this episode. ("A Good Man Goes to War", 2011. Alternate Universe Cybermen, second-generation Cybermen who have lost the Cybus Industries logo on their chest. Since the Doctor learned in "The Pandorica Opens" -- broadcast in 2010 but whose events take place in 102 A.D. -- that some Cybermen were hurled throughout time and not sucked into the Void, he is not surprised to see them here in "A Good Man Goes to War" -- broadcast in 2011. However, it is stunning to think that they have become so numerous in just a single year that they have taken over an entire quadrant of the galaxy.)

April 2011 A.D. – The Eleventh Doctor checks up on Amy and Rory after the events of "The God Complex" (in which they are trapped in a hotel with a fear-consuming monster). He does not actually meet them, however, because he realizes they have a great life together without him. Instead, the Doctor runs into Craig ("The Lodger"), the dumpy nerd. Craig's now married and has a son. Unbeknownst to anyone else, a long-crashed Cybership is uncovered in a new subway tunnel beneath the department store where Craig and the Doctor meet. A Cybermat (last seen in "Tomb of the Cybermen") is on the loose, sucking up energy from various sources and taking it back to the crashed ship where several damaged Cybermen await. Now fully repowered, the Cybermen want to begin converting human beings. They capture Craig and convert him, but Craig's love for his son causes an emotional feedback loop that allows Craig and the Doctor to escape before the Cybership blows up. ("Closing Time", 2011. Alternate Universe Cybermen, second-generation. Alternate Universe Cybermat, first-generation. Just how these can be Alternate Universe Cybermen in a ship is not clear.  They should be "our universe" Cybermen. Continuity error!!)

2012 A.D. – The Ninth Doctor sees the inert head of a Cyberman in American billionaire Henry van Statten's vast underground vault of space oddities and artifacts. ("Dalek", 2005. The head design is third-generation Cybermen "Mark II". But the label in van Statten's museum says it was found in the London sewers in 1975, which means it should be just a third-generation Cyberman. Continuity error!!)

Mid-21st century – Cybermen attempt to take over Space Station W3 in preparation for another invasion of Earth. The TARDIS (suffering from a broken "mercury link") crash-lands aboard a robotic supply ship, which then takes them to W3 -- the so-called "Wheel in Space". The Doctor is taken aboard W3. But the supply ship was infected with Cybermats, which get aboard W3 and devour the power supply for the station's X-ray laser. The Cybermen have rigged a nearby star to go nova; when the crew realizes their X-ray laser is out of power, they will go to the supply ship for more energy rods -- and the Cybermen will capture them. The Doctor discovers the Cybermats, and suspects Cybermen are not far behind. When several crew aboard the supply ship are killed, the Cybermen are then easily discovered. Control of the X-ray laser shifts back and forth between humans and Cybermen: Both realize that a meteor shower is coming (the nova is ignored), and the laser is their only defense. The meteors deflected, the humans manage to kill the few Cybermen aboard W3. Despite numerous betrayals by human beings in the early stages of cyber-conversion, the Doctor manages to retrieve a device from the TARDIS which he connects to the X-ray laser. He uses this to destroy the incoming Cyber-Fleet. The remaining Cybermen aboard the supply ship try to attack via spacewalk, but the Wheel's force fields deflect them into outer space (where they die). ("The Wheel in Space", 1968. The Cybermen are second-generation "Mark II", slightly altered from the second-generation only in their facial features -- which now feature slight slits in the outer corner of each eye and the lower "lip". It is possible they are time-travelers from the future. But, since this is so close to the 2070 second-generation Cybermen, it's possible we are just seeing the upgrade while the Doctor fights the older version at about the same time albeit just a few years later.)

2070 A.D. – The Doctor lands on the Moon for some fun in low gravity. He and his companions discover a nearby moonbase. The moonbase houses the Gravitron, a device that controls the weather on Earth. A mysterious virus is also killing the crew of the moonbase. The dead bodies and the sick also keep disappearing, and they soon discover that Cybermen are on the Moon and stealing the patients and the bodies for conversion. The Gravitron is increasingly unstable, and when two men venture out to repair it they are killed by Cybermen. The moonbase commander, believing the Doctor is behind the disease, orders him to leave. But the Doctor discovers that the Cybermen poisoned the base's sugar supply to weaken the crew and make it easier to take over. The Cybermen, it seems, want to use the Gravitron to drive Earth's weather wild, wiping out humanity and making it easier to invade. The Cybermen, using a tunnel, have been accessing the moonbase for some time, and now take over the central core. The Cybermen attack via the Moon's surface, and a Cyber-Ship blasts a hole in the moonbase wall. This, however, de-activates early-conversion Cybermen, allowing the Doctor to seize control of the central core agian. The Doctor uses the Gravitron to prevent the Cybermen from attacking the moonbase via the surface, and blasts two Cyber-ships out of the sky. ("The Moonbase", 1967. The Cybermen are second-generation.)

Late 2000s A.D. - The Cybermen appear to die out. ("Tomb of the Cybermen", 1967.)

Circa 2500 A.D. – The Second Doctor lands on the distant planet Telos, home of his old friends the Cyrons. Only the Cryons appear to have died out. The Doctor joins a human archeological dig on the planet, which has uncovered a tomb. The archeologists believe the Cybermen died out, and that this is a Cyber Tomb. Once inside, the group discovers a Cybermen revitalization ray and a Cybermen gunfire training range. Meanwhile, the human spaceship is sabotaged, stranding everyone, and a Cybermat attacks. The inner part of the tomb is finally opened, revealing thousands of Cybermen in cyronic sleep. The leader of the expedition reveals that he belongs to a secret society of philosophers who want to resurrect the Cybermen in the hopes the Cybermen will make them rulers of humanity. In fact, the Cyber Tomb was a trap: Only those smart enough to open it (the philosophers) could gain access, and those are the people the Cybermen want to cyber-convert. A Cyber Controller wakes, but the Cybermen are so low on energy that most cannot function. One of the conspirators revitalizes the Cyber Controller in exchange for rule over humanity. One of the early-conversion humans regains consciousness enough to hurl the Cyber Controller into an electrical panel, killing it. Another conspirator tries to wake the Cybermen again, but fails. The Doctor scrambles the Tomb's controls so it can never be reopened. He also electrifies the doors so no one can gain entry. Just then, the not-dead Cyber Controller leaps at them. A human being sacrifies himself to shut the doors, killing the Cyber Controller and himself. The expedition leaves the dead body behind, and no one notices a Cybermat approaching it... ("Tomb of the Cybermen", 1967. The Cybermen are second-generation. The expedition leader's claim that the Cybermen "died out five centuries ago" is probably untrue. But they did get attacked or died out at some point, long enough ago that people have almost forgotten them.)

2526 A.D. - Attempting to take his companion Tegan home, the Fifth Doctor miscalculates and lands in caves on Earth four and a half centuries too late. Soldiers accuse the Doctor of killing an archeologist, but then suddenly some androids attack -- proving the Doctor's innocence. The Doctor discovers a planet-busting bomb in a hatch near where the archeologist died, and he and Adric stay behind to deactivate it (which they do). The Doctor discovers that the androids are being controlled from a freighter in space, so he takes the TARDIS there. It turns out that Cybermen were hiding in the cargo, and they now break out and seize the freighter and the Doctor. The Cyber Leader explains that they had hoped to destroy Earth during an interstellar conference -- a conference called by Earth to unite many worlds in a final assault to wipe out the Cybermen. With the bomb deactivated, they can't do this. So they decide to ram Earth with the ship -- which will do just as much damage. The Cybermen force their way onto the TARDIS. Adric, left behind on the freighter's bridge, manages to tap into the TARDIS' energy and shift the freighter 65 million years into the past. He then manages to deactivate the cargo ship's engines, so that it will not explode on impact and destroy the planet. A wounded Cyberman attempts to kill Adric, but only disables the freighter's controls so Adric can't undo the last code and actually stop the ship. Adric dies in the explosion (which also wipes out the dinosaurs). Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor uses Adric's gold mathematics medal to temporarily disable the Cyber Leader and take control of the TARDIS again. ("Earthshock", 1982. Fourth-generation Cybermen, slightly altered from the third-generation, are seen. Their handlebars are back to thin, smooth tubing. Their faces are now frowns, and their chest units extend to the croth via tubing and are V-shaped armor plates.)

Late 2500s A.D. - The Cybermen are facing defeat in the Cyber-Wars. However, they have managed to reactivate a number of Cybermen on Telos, and have taken over the planet. Meanwhile, the Cryons on Telos are not dead at all. In fact, they are sabotaging the Cybermens' hibernation tomb. Hundreds of Cybermen, their minds insane from the malfunctioning hibernation units, rampage through the Cyber Tomb. Arriving from 1985, the Sixth Doctor encounters the Cyber Controller as well. The Doctor uses a gun to kill both the Cyber Leader and his Cyber Controller. Working with the Cryons, the Doctor also manages to set off a bomb that destroys the Cyber Tomb -- freeing the Cryons from cyber-tyranny. ("Attack of the Cybermen", 1985. Fourth-generation Cybermen are seen, possibly because they are time-travelers from the future.)

2875 A.D. – The Fourth Doctor had his TARDIS taken away by the Time Lords, and he and two companions were sent back in time via a Time Ring to try to destroy the Daleks before they were created ("Genesis of the Daleks"). They failed, but have now returned to Space Station Nerva to pick up the TARDIS again. Due to a malfunction in the ring, they arrive "thousands of years" before they left. The Doctor explains that the TARDIS is drifting through time toward them, so all they have to do is wait... But a plague has wiped out 47 of the station's 50 crew members. Space Station Nerva is early in its lifespan (remember, it'll be there "thousands of years" in the future still), and has just been assigned to the planet Jupiter. Voga, the planet made entirely of gold, has drifted into the solar system and is now a moon of Jupiter. Nerva is to warn spacecraft away from the navigational hazard. Down on Voga, the Guardians of the Mines are wary because they believe the Cybermen are going to try to destroy Voga (as they tried once before during the Cyber-Wars). The Doctor quickly discovers there is no plague, but rather a Cybermat is attacking and poisoning people. The Guardians hope to destroy an incoming Cyber-Ship with a rocket, but civil war breaks out as the Militia wants Voga to stop hiding and become a trading center in the universe again. Because the Cyber-Ship is not destroyed, it docks at Nerva. Because Cybermen cannot operate on Voga, they strap bombs to the Doctor and two other station workers, and order them to deliver the bombs to the heart of Voga. If they stray, or try to remove the bombs, the bombs will be detonated. But since gold interfers with the Cybermen's radar, the Doctor is able to stop and deactivate the devices. The Cybermen decide to load bombs aboard Nerva and crash the space station into Voga. The Doctor, having returned to the station and been tied up by Cybermen, gets loose and flies the station out into space. The Vogans use their rocket to destroy the Cyber-Ship. ("Revenge of the Cybermen", 1975. Third-generation Cybermen "Mark II" are seen. The tubing along the limbs is far thinner, the chest unit is slightly altered, and instead of smooth handlebars on the head, the handlebars are corrugated flex tubing. Are these travelers from before 2500? Or a remnant of un-updated Cybermen who have managed to survive whereas the fourth-generation Cybermen have not?)

Circa 4000 A.D. - The Empire of Man rules the galaxy. The Eleventh Doctor arrives on a planet containing the universe's largest amusement park. A park employee says that all Cybermen were destroyed a thousand years ago, after being trapped in a distant galaxy -- which was then destroyed. All that remain are the shells of a fourth-generation Cybermen and two second-generation Alternate Universe Cybermen. In fact, there's something nobody knows: Damaged Cybermen were sent to the funhouse planet, where the Cybermen had a secret repair shop. These included both "our universe" and "their universe" Cybermen, which merged to form a new, fifth-generation Cyberman. Thousands of these have survived in a Cyber Tomb below the planet's surface. A platoon of bumbling soldiers has arrived with a planet-busting bomb to destroy the abandoned planet. The arrival of the soldiers and two con-men -- carnival barker Webley and the chess-playing dwarf, Porridge -- brought energy to the planet which new, improved miniature Cybermats (which the Doctor calls "Cybermites") are using to resurrect the Cybermen. The Cybermen begin to convert Webley and the two children accompanying the Doctor. The Cybermen reveal that they have been upgrading repeatedly over the centuries, and now are unstoppable. They exhibit new super-speed powers, and their capacity to upgrade now takes seconds (not years). They have also learned to adapt to other species as well, and try to convert the Doctor. The converter link places the Cyber Controller (hidden somewhere on the planet) in the Doctor's mind. The Doctor and Cyber Controller are deadlocked, so the Doctor proposes a game of chess: If he wins, the Cyber Controller leaves his mind and abandons the children. If he loses, the Cybermen gain access to the secrets of time. While the Doctor's companion Clara and the soldiers fight off the Cybermen, the Doctor manages to disract the Cyber Controller long enough to grab an electric shock unit (left at his side by Clara) and destroy the cyber-converter attached to his face. It turns out Porridge is the Emperor of the Universe, and destroyed the Tiberian Galaxy a thousand years ago to stop the Cybermen. Guilt-stricken, he has been hiding on the funhouse planet for some years.  He now sets off the planet-buster bomb to finish off teh Cybermen, and everyone (and the TARDIS) are beamed aboard the emperor's orbiting battleship (which conveniently arrived a few hours ago, having looked for the lost emperor for years) just in time. All but one fifth-generation Cyberman head are destroyed. ("Nightmare in Silver", 2013. Alternate Universe Cybermen, second-generation and third-generation. Alternate Universe Cybermat, second-generation. Webley says they destroyed the Cybermen "a thousand years ago", so if he is to be believed then this dates the episode as occurring about 4000 A.D. Webley has the shell of half of a second-generation Alternate Universe Cyberman, and two full first-generation Alternate Universe Cybermen in his collection.)

* * * * * * *

Cybermen also appear in the Death Zone on Gallifrey. Borusa, President of Gallifrey, secretly kidnapped the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Doctors from their respective time-streams and imprisoned them in the Death Zone. They are to help Borusa gain access to the Tomb of Rassilon deep inside the Death Zone, which will allow Borusa to become immortal and rule Gallifrey forever. Fourth-generation Cybermen appeared in the Death Zone, but since this episode could have taken place at any time (past, present, or future), their appearance should be considered "out of the time stream". ("The Five Doctors", 1983)


  1. Nitpicks: Although the casing is the same all cybermen that don't have the C logo are mondasian, not alternate universe ones. There was osme confusiong on whether this was coincidence, the cybus one being based off altverse mondasians (cybus industries owned international electromatics) or the cybus guys from Next Doctor merging/reviving the mondasians. Neil Gaiman confirmed the latter as the backstory for NiS. So the C logo ones in Pandorica Opens and as an exhibit in NiS are their cybus allies while the Cyber Legion cybermen(circle logo and faced logo from the game) are mondasian after absorbing them(hence removal of the logo. The NiS design is the next generation of Mondasians after absorbing cybus.

    Actually history being changed in Next Doctor (good move there Doc) simplifies things a lot as now you can chuck thew old nomad/neomorph theory out!

    Anyway the second one is that NiS takes places 250 thousand years or so from now (again, stated by Gaiman) - 4000 AD would actually place it before A good Man Goes to War

  2. Sadly we must concede whats said in this article. They looked like the cybus ones, acted like them etc. Let's just accept all cybermen up until now (i'll get to that later ;) ) are the Alternate universe ones. Neil gaiman interviews and fan theories and outside sources other than the showrunner himself just don't count. BUT NEVERMIND, CAUSE THEY'RE FINALLY BACK! Original canon mondasians. The question now though is if these will continue as the dominant cyber race or if its just a one off and the Cybus knock offs will continue forever...I have some very nasty suspicions.