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Cyber-conversion was the physical and mental re-engineering of victims, often humanoid, into Cybermen. In an alternate universe, this was referred to as upgrading. A similar process used by the Borg from a parallel universe was called assimilation.
Cybermen of Mondas Edit
Cyber-conversion into Mondas Cybermen involved the replacement of body parts (including limbs, organs, and vital systems) with artificial components. (TV: Attack of the Cybermen) Partial conversion, with the victim retaining autonomy and a human identity and body parts, was possible. (TV: The Invasion)
The Cybermen would traverse the universe to find beings to convert, adding to their forces. (TV: Attack of the Cybermen) The Cybermen relied on tubing to keep the body operating, but over time the amount needed decreased. (TV: The Tenth Planet onwards)
The Cybermen who recovered from the Cyber-Wars and formed the Cyberiad possessed the most advanced technology used by Cybermen, and this extended to their conversion technology. Cyber-conversions could be carried out at almost any time, even in the midst of battle. Cybermites, an advanced form of Cybermat, could attack organic beings and graft technology that converted the being's mind to that of a Cyberman, with full conversion of the body presumably being carried out later. Cyberiad technology had also overcome a major flaw of previous Cyber-conversion techniques; the reliance on exclusively Human or Mondasian stock. The Cyberiad were able to convert all organic life forms, even Time Lords, into Cybermen, meaning that the Cyberiad could create more Cybermen than had been possible for the other groups of Cybermen.
The method used for the full conversion of a victim's body is unclear, and may have been different depending on which species was being converted. The partially-converted body of Webley seems to show that Humans are converted in a similar way to Mondasian Cyber-conversions, with a Human body remaining underneath the body containment suit. However, a fully-converted Cyberman was able to remove it's head entirely to trick a Human soldier. This Cyberman may have originally been a non-humanoid, however. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)
Cybermen of Pete's World Edit
The Cybermen of Pete's World, instead of replacing body parts, transplanted living brains into metal exoskeletons sustained in a cradle of chemicals and threaded together by an artificial nervous system. The process was extremely painful and took place in a booth where the subject's skull was sliced open by a robotic machine that used knives, lasers and syringes to remove the brain before encasing it in an empty cybernetic helmet. A device which looks like a Cyberman head drops down and incinerates the subject. Later, the Ear Pods created a trance state for the victim, so they were, in a sense, unconscious during the process and unable to feel the pain of being converted due to the EarPods having control over the brain's pain receptors. This was the most efficient form of conversion as it took under 60 seconds. They also had an Emotional inhibitor placed within them to suppress their humanity because, as the Tenth Doctor put it;
It's still got a human brain... imagine its reaction if it could see itself. Realise itself inside this thing. They'd go insane....
During the Battle of Canary Wharf, the Cybermen, badly needing reinforcements, quickly converted humans into Cybermen using a different method. They encased humans in cybernetic shells by constructing the suit of armour around their body, as with Lisa Hallett. Hallett would have died if her lover, Ianto Jones, had not retrofitted a cyber-conversion unit into life support for her. This form of conversion was excruciating. The subjects were heard screaming as metal was grafted onto their flesh, possibly because the Cybermen had little time to place their victims in a trance state. (TV: Cyberwoman)
- It may be that the reason certain converts with exceptionally strong willpower like Yvonne Hartman could overcome their programming was because this form of conversion was less precise and more rushed.
The Cybermen also employed a very primitive type of conversion in 1851 when they created the Cybershades using scrap metal and Victorian era human technology. They also invented a method of converting humans into command units for CyberKings by fitting them with a headset that could take control of their brains. The CyberKing was intended as a mass conversion unit, but the command unit Miss Hartigan, aided by the Tenth Doctor, destroyed it before it was put to use. (TV: The Next Doctor)
A Cyberman's exo-skeleton in 102 at Stonehenge displayed the ability to upgrade humans without any external machinery, merely needing to restrain the victim while the Cyberman's faceplate split open at the middle and enveloped the victim's head. The process from here on is unknown, as the only known victim of this process was Amy Pond, who escaped before the process was completed. (TV: The Pandorica Opens) The human that was previously converted seemed to have an upgrade like that during the Battle of Canary Wharf, due to the fact that the Canary Wharf upgrade involved encasing the body inside the suit, (TV: Cyberwoman) while this Cyberman had a severed head in its helmet. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)
Cybermen of the Cyber Legions Edit
Although having a design almost identical to the Cybermen of Pete's World, the Cybermen who formed the Cyber Legions seem to have converted their victims in a similar way to the Mondasian Cybermen, by encasing the victim in a body containment suit. However, as the only seen case of the Cyber Legionaries converting a Human, specifically Craig Owens was done in an emergency situation on a crippled, buried Cybership, it is possible that this was a non-standard conversion procedure. (TV: Closing Time)
Named cyber-converted individuals Edit
Cybermen of Mondas Edit
- Zheng - One of the very first true Cybermen, if not the first, Zheng was converted as part of the Mondasian effort to steer their planet away from the destructive cherrybowl nebula, and back to Sol, with a propulsion system on the surface. Like other early Cybermen, Zheng retained his name, as Cybermen were regarded as still being individuals by their creators. Unlike other early Cybermen, however, Zheng was not affected by organ rejection, a problem which affected the Cybermen until they learnt of a way of avoiding it by scanning and copying part of the physiology of the Fifth Doctor, specifically a lobe in his brain that dealt with all bodily functions. Before this, however, he was unique in surviving for so long, and he was made Cyber-commander. Zheng was more resilient than other Cybermen, being able to survive being shot by another Cyberman on the orders of the first Cyber-Planner, (AUDIO: Spare Parts) and still functioned well after all Mondasians were converted. (AUDIO: The Reaping)
- The Chang Twins - These Mondasian twins joined the surface work crews, and were converted into Cybermen. (AUDIO: Spare Parts)
- Eric Krailford - A Mondasian teenager, he either volunteered to join or was drafted into the surface work teams, and was converted. (AUDIO: Spare Parts) As a Cyberman, he retained part of his name, and became Krail. In 1986 he led the first force of Cybermen to land on Earth in the occupation of Snowcap base, and was killed by General Cutler. (TV: The Tenth Planet)
- Yvonne Hartley - After being drafted by the Mondasian government to work on the propulsion system, Yvonne was mostly converted. Conversion was stopped by loss of power caused by proximity to the cherrybowl nebula, and Yvonne wandered back to her home, due to her pre-conversion desire for her Father to see her 'uniform'. Enough of her individuality survived for her to recognize her Father and her pet Cybernetic bird. When power was restored, her conversion continued automatically. Away from the hospital used for conversions, the process killed her. (AUDIO: Spare Parts)
- Sisterman Constant - Originally the woman responsible for drafting Mondasians for conversion, Sisterman Constant was injured when a partially converted Cyberman tried to force her to divulge their purpose. Cyber-commander Zheng shot the Cyberman, and, noting that her scapula was fractured, sent both the Cyberman he had shot and Constant to be repaired. Despite her protests, Constant was converted, and as a Cyberman advocated full conversion of Mondas. (AUDIO: Spare Parts)
- Thomas Dodd - Owner of a store selling replacement organs and limbs, Dodd was captured by the Cybermen while trying to help the Fifth Doctor. He was converted, becoming the first Cyberman to be augmented with an additional lobe, based on that found in the Doctor's brain, that dealt with bodily functions and prevented organ rejection. (AUDIO: Spare Parts)
- Toberman- Partial cyber-conversion on Telos with his right arm replaced. He regained his humanity and attacked the Cyber-Controller. Sacrificed his life to close doors of the Cybermen's tombs (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen)
- Bates and Stratton - Cyber-conversion process failed at an early stage after their limbs had been replaced by mechanical equivalents. Put to work on the surface of Telos with similar such failures. (TV: Attack of the Cybermen)
- Lytton - Partial cyber-conversion on Telos, cyber-conversion incomplete at the time of his death (TV: Attack of the Cybermen)
- Bill (TV: Attack of the Cybermen)
- David (TV: Attack of the Cybermen)
- Evelyn Smythe (divergent timeline) (WC: Real Time, AUDIO: Real Time)
- Nicola Savage, Ricky Allen, Ryan Carey and David Isherwood (partially converted) (WC: Real Time, AUDIO: Real Time)
- Reece Goddard (skin drone; divergent timeline) (WC: Real Time, AUDIO: Real Time)
- Tobias Vaughn - Partial cyber-conversion, retained head and therefore his own thoughts. (TV: The Invasion)
- Jason Kane: After being manipulated by Irving Braxiatel, Jason was nearly converted into a cyberman. Before the conversion was complete, however, Bernice Summerfield used the energy in the Crystal of Cantus to defeat the cybermen, reversing the conversion. (AUDIO: The Crystal of Cantus)
- Webley - Partial cyber-conversion, retained most of his body and, based on speech, some emotions as well. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)
- Artie Maitland - Partial conversion by Cybermites. The conversion was later reversed. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)
- Angie Maitland - Partial conversion by Cybermites. The conversion was later reversed. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)
- Pair of unknown soldiers - These soldiers were partially converted while in combat with a Cyberman. They were either killed by their fellow soldiers or had their conversions reversed. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)
- The Eleventh Doctor - Partially converted into a Cyber-Planner, the Doctor's mind was split into two halves; one was normal, the other converted. The Cyber-planner half showed emotion, possibly due to the fact that the conversion wasn't completely successful. The Doctor suggested that to decide who controlled the brain, they play chess, to which the Cyber-planner agreed. After distracting the Cyber-planner by lying about being able to win the game with only three moves, the Doctor used his sonic screwdriver to remove the cybernetic implants, freeing his mind. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)
Cybermen of Pete's World Edit
- John Lumic - Converted into Cyber-Controller (TV: The Age of Steel)
- Sally Phelan (TV: The Age of Steel)
- Jackie Tyler of an alternative universe - Alternate counterpart of Jackie Tyler (TV: The Age of Steel)
- Yvonne Hartman - Torchwood Institute administrator (TV: Doomsday)
- Lisa Hallett - Torchwood employee and lover of Ianto Jones, partial cyber-conversion (TV: Cyberwoman)
- Mercy Hartigan - CyberKing command unit. Miss Hartigan refused to be converted to a standard Cyberman and took control of the Cybermen which landed in 1851. The Cybermen, however, had slowly set a plan in motion that would eventually make Miss Hartigan both a convert and a leader. (TV: The Next Doctor)
- Valerie Brannigan (COMIC: In-Flight Entertainment)
Cybermen of the Cyber Legions Edit
- Shona (TV: Closing Time)
- George (TV: Closing Time)
- Atif Ghosh (TV: Closing Time)
- Sheila Clark (TV: Closing Time)
- Craig Owens - Conversion to Cybercontroller. The conversion failed when Craig's paternal instincts were triggered by his son's crying. (TV: Closing Time)