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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who 13: Science and Technology > THe CYBERMEN

THe CYBERMEN

A nightmarish amalgam of organic and synthetic components, the Cybermen are probably Doctor Who’s grimmest warning about the perversion of technology.
This version of the Cybermen was designed by Sandra Reid and first appeared in the 1967 story The Moonbase.
Photo © Dan Goldsmith.
The tragic patients in World Enough and Time (2017) – the earliest stage in the evolution of the Cybermen.
Cybermen from Mondas invade Earth in The Tenth Planet (1966).
A surgeon (Paul Brightwell) prepares a Cyberman’s emotion-suppressing ‘handles’ in World Enough and Time.
A Cybus-branded example from the 2006 story Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel.

SINCE THE TENTH PLANET WE’VE SEEN THE CYBERMEN EVOLVE, SEEMINGLY BECOMING INCREASINGLY ROBOTIC.

The Cybermen were created in 1966 by Kit Pedler, a doctor and writer who was very aware of medical advances in organ replacement – pacemakers, ‘iron lung’ machines and the like. He feared the dehumanising effects of medicine and imagined this taken to an extreme, with people becoming more artificial than organic.

In The Tenth Planet (1966), the Cybermen’s first appearance in Doctor Who, their leader explains: “We were exactly like you once but our cybernetic scientists realised that our race was getting weak… Our life span was getting shorter, so our scientists and doctors devised spare parts for our bodies until we could be almost completely replaced.” They went further, also eliminating emotion, becoming entirely logical creatures – although this is one trait that may not necessarily apply to all of the Cybermen that have been seen in the series.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Ever since the TARDIS was first revealed in 1963, Doctor Who has presented a bewildering array of alien technology and gadgetry. Human scientific knowledge can do nothing to explain the mysteries of the astonishing devices and phenomena that the Doctor takes for granted. This is the first publication devoted to the incredible ideas that the series has made its own. Highlights include a comprehensive guide to the sonic screwdriver, the secrets of the Time Lords and the weaponry of the Doctor’s most dangerous enemies.