Since Doctor Who‘s 2005 revival, the original Cybermen of the Classic Series have been extinct. Casualties of either the Time War, a merger with the new Cybermen from another dimension, or one final defeat at the hands of the Doctor, their variable countenance was replaced by the consistent look and feel of the “Human.2” Cybermen introduced in the second season two-parter “Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel.” But as the BBC announced yesterday, the Cybermen will revert to their original form during season ten of the New Series; a form that — as seen in the photo below — is quite primitive.
First appearing in the 1966 serial “The Tenth Planet,” the Cybermen were more human than machine, hailing from Earth’s twin planet Mondas. The First Doctor, played by William Hartnell, foiled their invasion plans and witnessed the destruction of their homeworld. Seemingly defeated, the Cybermen would return in ever evolving costumes to tangle with each of Hartnell’s successors except for Third Doctor Jon Pertwee. The actor would later say he was happy to never actor against them as their blank masks would give him nothing to work with.
Notably, the first Cybermen wore cloth masks and simply opened their mouths wide as an unseen voice actor provided their lines. Their fleshy hands were also exposed in the initial design, suggesting the conversion to machine limbs was not yet complete.
In their 2006 reintroduction, the Cybermen were a product of a company on an alternate Earth. Unlike the Mondasian Cybermen, the Human.2 version featured human brains inside metal casings; making them more Dalek than Cyber. Though the Doctor seemingly defeated them, they would soon cross the void between worlds and tussle with the Daleks for the first time.
But in their Mondasian form, the Cybermen will tangle with the Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, new companion Pearl Mackie and the returning Matt Lucas during episodes 11 and 12 of the upcoming season, per the BBC press release. Michelle Gomez will also reprise her role as The Master.
Curiously, the press release refers to the original Cybermen as one of Capaldi’s favorite monsters. He has also said he loved the Zarbi from the Hartnell Era story “The Web Planet.” Is it possible Capaldi will get to visit with all his favorites before handing the TARDIS key to a new Doctor? What other creatures would you like to see again? Post in the comments below.