Doctor Who The Cybermen first appeared in 1966's The Tenth Planet

Published on November 15th, 2012 | by Andrew Reynolds

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Gaiman’s Restoration of the Cybermen

It was only a week ago that we learned the Cyberman stomped into Steven Moffat’s office, made idle threats about messing up his paperclips and demanded they, like the Daleks, receive a reimagining that returned them to their horrifying former glory.

The Cybermen first appeared in 1966's The Tenth Planet

Fearing the tardy impression the scattered paperclips would create, Moffat called upon American God’s author and fellow Hugo Award winning scribe Neil Gaiman to write the episode who, naturally, turned him down.

Speaking to French site Reviewer.fr (via Den of Geek) Gaiman revealed that it was only after a follow up email teased him with scary Cybermen that all conflict suddenly evaporated from his schedule:

Steven wrote to me and asked if I wanted to make the Cybermen scary again. I thought back to myself at the age of six or seven, The Moonbase, Tomb of the Cybermen… I saw them when they were first broadcast. The Cybermen were much scarier than the Daleks, because they didn’t make any noise.

Speaking of noises being made the internet has been carping on about the tantalising prospect of a CyberGaiman episode; so much so he’s already addressing rumours.

Firstly, there was the small matter of a copy of his script turning up in the back of a taxi in Cardiff bearing the title ‘The Last Cyberman’:

I don’t know anything. The title of The Doctor’s Wife was Bigger on the Inside until two weeks before it aired. It could be anything.

As details emerged and finally, the Ponds departed and Jenna-Louise Coleman was confirmed as the Doctor’s latest companion, Gaiman was kept abreast of any changes, ideas and embryonic story ideas that Moffat had as the second half of Series 7 began to take shape:

Steven sent me his ideas and the beginnings of scripts. Once the auditions started he even sent me videos…Jenna-Louise Coleman is very different from Amy, Rose or Sarah-Jane. The dialogue is completely different. Just as it is with the various Doctors. But some things don’t change: the companion will always be intelligent and brave, and the Doctor will always be funny, annoying and strange, and he will always succeed in getting out of inextricable situations.”

Regardless of how this episode turns out, it will be memorable. Mark our words…

 

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Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.




4 Responses to Gaiman’s Restoration of the Cybermen

  1. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    See, there you go, Gaiman nailed it! The Cybermen were much scarier back then because they were *silent*. They weren’t bulky, clanking, steel monsters you heard coming a mile away. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I knew the original versions were the scariest but I never even thought about the creepy silence factor. Bravo, Neil.

  2. avatar Philip Bates says:

    Love those Tenth Planet Cybermen. I know they don’t look metal or anything, but there’s something really macabre about them.

    …Especially when they talk! Fuh-reaky.

  3. avatar James says:

    A heck of a lot rests on Gaiman, he and Moffat are certainly making all the right noises and the new costumes look great. But will fans get Mondas/Telos and the mythology back? Certainly, Skaro’s turned up this year so perhaps anything is possible… I’m keeping everything crossed that they’ll pull it off if anyone can.

  4. avatar BOJAY says:

    There was something scarier about Cybermen, even back when the special effects/costumes weren’t nearly as elaborate. I have been racking my brain a bit since my last post regarding this topic, and the word finally came to me. Realization. The way the Cybermen were realized back then was way more effective than the Daleks (mind, I’m not knocking the Daleks), and that sort of creeping stealth factor was way more compelling than the clank, clank that has more recently accompanied their appearances.

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