- This article is an overview of the concept of the Cyberman. You may be looking for more specific versions, including those from Mondas and those from Pete's World
Cybermen were a "race" of cybernetically augmented humanoid. They varied greatly in design, with different factions throughout time and space. The two major groups, from which all other known versions derived, were the Mondasian Cybermen, which originated on the planet Mondas – Earth's twin planet in the Doctor's Universe – and the Cybermen created by Cybus Industries, which originated on Earth in an alternate universe.
Despite the different origins, there were similarities between both groups of Cybermen, and there were groups that shared the characteristics of both. For the most part, they lacked individuality or names. Cybermen had no emotions and viewed them as a weakness. They frequently attempted to physically and mentally re-engineer humans and other humanoids into Cybermen, via a process called "cyber-conversion" or "upgrading".
At one point in their history, both the Mondasian and Pete's World Cybermen encountered each other. What actually happened is unknown although they did co-operate and shared their technologies, to give birth to the variant of Cybermen seen in TV: A Good Man Goes to War, TV: Closing Time, TV: Nightmare in Silver, and possibly TV: The Pandorica Opens.
Cybermen of Mondas
- Main article: Cyberman (Mondas)
These Cybermen were originally a wholly organic species of humanoids who originated on Earth's former twin planet, Mondas. Mondas drifted into the outer solar system. To survive, the natives of that world adapted by turning themselves into cyborgs. (TV: The Tenth Planet) Eventually, all of the Mondasians underwent cyber-conversion. (AUDIO: Spare Parts) Many of them left Mondas and ultimately developed into separate groups without connection to one another.
Nearly all were silver save for one black variety (for stealth) surviving in the London sewers (TV: Attack of the Cybermen). They had exposed circuitry and tubing which may have contained hydraulic fluids for motion, covering a rubber or mylar-like outer skin. The Mondans which the First Doctor met on the Snowcap base in December 1986 had undergone a less radical conversion and still retained biological hands; it is possible these Cybermen were prototypes. (TV: The Tenth Planet) They were similar in design to the earliest Mondans which the Fifth Doctor would later encounter on Mondas. (AUDIO: Spare Parts) All other Cybermen were entirely covered by their metallic suits. (TV: The Moonbase onwards)
These Cybermen had several major weaknesses. The most notable was the element gold. Gold, being non-corrosive, choked their respiratory systems. (TV: Revenge of the Cybermen) 20th century guns barely fazed Cybermen, though explosives and bazooka shells could take them down. (TV: The Invasion, Silver Nemesis) UNIT would develop gold-tipped rounds for Cybermen. (TV: Battlefield) In later centuries, the Cybermen would take hits from laser guns and energy weapons: at close range, this could destroy them. (TV: Earthshock)
Cybermen designed by John Lumic
- Main article: Cyberman (Pete's World)
These Cybermen originated in another universe, where they were created by John Lumic, the owner of Cybus Industries. His Cybermen believed that all of humanity must be "upgraded" to cyber-form so that information would never be lost and that the humans' physical and emotional weaknesses were abolished.
Cyber-conversion usually involved removing the brain of the subject painfully and placing it within a suit of armour. Once complete, the new Cybermen had a special implant which prevented them from feeling emotions. If the implants were disrupted, the Cybermen entered into a traumatic state caused by the pain of the conversion. This inevitably resulted in an agonising death from the overload of emotions. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel)
The cyber-suit was constructed from bulletproof steel. This exo-structure appeared thicker and heavier than that of the Cybermen of Mondas – though a comparison of the strengths of the two body types was never performed. A chest plate with the Cybus Industries logo housed a "heart of steel", the function of which is unclear, and the emotional inhibitor chip. The brain was contained within the head. Artificially grown nervous tissue was threaded throughout the body so the Cyberman responded like a fully biological organism. (TV: The Age of Steel) Without a brain inserted, the cyber-suit was a robot. Even when disembodied, the various parts of the suit – arm, head and torso – had sufficient processing capacity to pursue and attack a human target. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)
Joint Cybermen (Mondas and Cybus)
When the Doctor, Clara Oswald, Angie Maitland and Artie Maitland visited Hedgewick's World of Wonders, they encountered Cybermen that had vastly upgraded to weather a millenium of war with humanity, replacing the outdated Cybus models. They utilised Cybermites to expedite their upgrades and Cyber-conversions. A Cyber-Planner was also hardwired into the Doctor's mind to harness his vast knowledge, creating "Mr. Clever", a nefarious alter ego. The Doctor competed with it for control of his mind at a game of chess, while Clara led a Punishment Platoon against 3 million Cybermen. The Doctor outsmarted Mr. Clever and purged the Cyber-Planner from his mindscape, but the Cybermen were not deterred. The planet was destroyed to wipe out the troops, but remants of their technology survived in the vacuum of space. (TV: Nightmare in Silver) These Cybermen have been confirmed to be a technological combination of Mondasian/Telesosian, and Cybus Cybermen. This explains why they have characteristics of both, have many new technologies, such as super speed, Cybermites, the ability to upgrade themselves for adaption to weakness at an alarming rate, twist their heads 360 degrees, disconnect appendages for ranged combat and deception, among many other enhancements. They possess streamlined designs to allow better mobility and speak with much deeper, croaking metallic voices. Despite their improvements, the Cyber-Planner was still at first (until it upgraded itself in response) vulnerable to the old Mondasian Cyberman weakness of the element gold. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)
Cybermen of Unknown Origin
Cybermen in the Arctic
While in the Arctic, the Doctor encountered Cybermen that greatly resembled the Cybus-made Cybermen, and were said to be brains in metal shells like the Cybus creations, but also had certain characteristics common to the Cybermen of Mondas. For instance, they used Cybermats, they recognised the Eleventh Doctor as a Time Lord, and they had advanced spacefaring capabilities.
This unnamed group of Cybermen was buried under the ice in the Arctic Circle and had been for tens of thousands of years after being hit by a temporal storm. An excavation began to awaken the army, commanded by a Cyber-Lord, releasing Cybermats which in turn created Cyberslaves. The Eleventh Doctor arrived on 4 May 2010 and stopped their awakening. He blew up their base and returned them to stasis. (GAME: Blood of the Cybermen) The Doctor acquired a chest plate from one of these Cybermen and kept it in the TARDIS drawing room. (GAME: TARDIS) The Doctor also kept the Cyberman head in the drawing room. (GAME: The Gunpowder Plot)
Cybermen of the Cyber Legions
The Cyber Legions were a major power in space possessing at least twelve fleets. Outwardly they resembled the Cybermen of Cybus Industries but their chest logo featured a simple circle instead of the Cybus logo. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War) They were known to use blasters on their wrists and terms such as "Delete" and "Upgrade" like the Cybus Industries Cybermen (PROSE: Plague of the Cybermen, GAME: The Eternity Clock) as well as Cybermats, Cybermites and Cyber-Planners. (TV: Closing Time, Nightmare in Silver, GAME: The Eternity Clock) Their arsenal also consisted of large firearms which were sometimes used in place of wrist blasters. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War, GAME: The Eternity Clock) There was evidence to suggest these Cybermen were the result of the Mondasian Cybermen and the Cybermen of Pete's World becoming the same race. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)
A Cyber Ship full of these Cybermen, either on a mission for colonisation or a military mission, crash landed in Klimtenburg at some point prior to the 19th century. The survivors began capturing humans, using body parts to replace their own damaged parts, and they created their own rainstorms so they could revive themselves using power from the lighting. The Eleventh Doctor arrived in Klimtenburg during the 19th century and began to investigate an illness the villagers were catching which he identified as Hapthoid Radiation poisoning from a Cyber Ship's generator. As more and more Cybermen began to revive, the Doctor rallied the villagers to fend off the oncoming attack. When battle began, the Doctor infiltrated the Cybermen's base of operations and overloaded them with excess power. All the Cybermen exploded. (PROSE: Plague of the Cybermen)
In 2011, a group of these Cybermen were encountered by the Eleventh Doctor and Craig Owens in Colchester. They were based in another crashed ship which the Doctor claimed had been crashed for "centuries." The Cybermen were defeated when Craig's love for his son Alfie allowed him to resist Cyber-conversion and created a surge of emotion which destroyed the Cybermen. (TV: Closing Time)
The Ninth Cyber Legion invaded London in 2012 commanded by a Cyber-Planner using a piece of the Eternity Clock. They made a Cyber factory that was full of Cyberman storage units, guarded by Cybermats. The Legion was destroyed by the Eleventh Doctor and River Song by shutting down their thermionic core. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)
In the 52nd century, the Twelfth Cyber Legion was positioned 20,000 light years away from Demons Run when it was obliterated the Eleventh Doctor and Rory Williams. This gave the Cyber-Leader little choice but to give them the information on Demons Run they needed. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)
The dead suit of one of these Cybermen was recovered after the Cyber-Wars and used as a chess-paying robot at Hedgewick's World of Wonders and was considered one of the 699 Wonders of the Universe. Some Cybermites waited inside the suit for a chance to wake three million other Cybermen left over from the Cyber-Wars from their tombs. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)