Looks like cult author Neil Gaiman will be coming back to Doctor Who next year for the second part of the seventh series along with the evil cyborgs the Cybermen. I’m a big fan of the Cybermen and have long thought that they are among the creepier of the classic monsters. Sadly they did not age well outside of the 1960’s and while I do enjoy both Revenge of the Cybermen and Earthshock, they never really came close to recapturing their horror found in those black and white adventures.
In their 60’s appearances, the Cybermen were slow-moving zombie-like creatures who lurked in the corners of space stations, lurched through the snow-swept terrain of the arctic and even wandered through the sewers of London roaring like mad mummies. An attempt from the production team to top the Daleks, the Cybermen have long played second favorite to the dreaded pepper pots, but given that Terry Nation and Ray Cusick’s creatures are regarded as the most popular Who monster ever, that ain’t half bad, is it?
The latest version of the Cybermen from a parallel reality are decidedly un-scary, river-dancing their way into living rooms with a battle cry borne from an office keyboard. Despite a strong introduction in 2006, they have yet to make any real impact in the BBC Wales Doctor Who, though the headless Cyberman in The Big Bang was impressive. Can Gaiman succeed where so many others have failed? We’ll have to wait and see.
Entitled ‘The Last Cyberman,’ the misplaced read-through script has been the subject of a minor scandal, but in truth not many details have leaked from the event other than the title and confirmation of the new companion’s name (Clara).
The Doctor will once again face off against some of his oldest enemies. The Cybermen are returning to “Doctor Who” in 2013 in an episode written by fantasy author Neil Gaiman, BBC announced Wednesday.
Gaiman’s episode will be directed by Stephen Woolfenden, who served as assistant director for four of the eight “Harry Potter” films. The episode will take the Doctor (Matt Smith) and his new companion (Jenna-Louise Coleman) to another planet, where they meet a band of misfits portrayed by Warwick Davis (“Life’s too Short,” “Harry Potter” and “Willow”), Tamzin Outhwaite (“Hotel Babylon”) and Jason Watkins (“Being Human”).
The Cybermen have been around for nearly as long as the show itself, debuting in 1966′s “The Tenth Planet” opposite the first Doctor, played by William Hartnell in his last episode before regenerating. In the series, Cybermen are people whose bodies have been replaced with artificial parts and whose emotions have been deleted, leaving a race of cold, calculating and deadly cyborgs.
“Cybermen were always the monsters that scared me the most,” the show’s lead writer Steven Moffat said in the announcement. “Not just because they were an awesome military force, but because sometimes they could be sleek and silver and right behind you without you even knowing.”
“I saw my first Cybermen watching Moonbase, as Jamie thought the Piper was coming for him (scary). Then Tomb of the Cybermen terrified me,” Gaiman tweeted, referring to two 1967 episodes starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor.
And here’s an picture of the redesigned Cybermen (from here where more excellent images can be found)