The Cyberman aren’t interested in idle chat, they’ve no time for your fanciful ideas of freedom and diversity – they just want you ‘upgraded’ into a fetching silver suit and that’s what makes them terrifying.
Exploring their single-minded evilness, Cavan Scott, who, along with writing partner George Mann (Doctor Who – Eighth Doctor), are currently unleashing a new wave of cyber-menace in Titan Comic’s summer event, Supremacy of the Cyberman – a birthday lap of honour for Doctor Who’s most persistence foes – and has been talking to Nerdist about writing one of Doctor Who’s most iconic foes.
Talking about their enduring legacy, Scott said:
“They’re always there because, you know, they’re a believable villain. Daleks, yeah a lot of work has to be done to turn someone into a green blob in armor. Cybermen can go down that route, replacing parts of your body, replacing parts of your brain to become ‘better’ to ‘improve yourself,’ to upgrade. You can sort of see that happening [nowadays] so that’s why it can get a bit scary at times when you think about the Cybermen.”
Making their first appearance in the First Doctor’s final bow in 1966’s The Tenth Planet, the Cybermen had been a constant advisory for the Second Doctor before they disappeared for a decade after a single appearance in the Fourth Doctor’s 1975 serial, Revenge of the Cybermen.
But when they made their surprise return in 1982’s Earthshock, they made an indelible impression on the young Scott:
“I remember growing up watching the show in the ’80s; they brought them back and it was a complete shock. They didn’t tell anyone they were going to be there and it was the [serial’s first episode] cliffhanger with no big talk or mention of it. The reveal went up and we hadn’t seen them since the early 70s.”
Each appearance has added something to the Cyberman mythos and everyone has their favourites, so how many can we expect to see in future issues of Supremacy of the Cybermen?
“We tried to get every Cybermen into this story, even the ones that you haven’t necessarily seen. We looked at some of the designs for Cybermen that never made it to the screens because we have things like the Ninth Doctor meeting the Cybermen and you never saw that on screen. We wondered what his Cybermen would be like so we went back to some of the designs for the Tennant Cybermen. We also made sure we got the first Cybermen in with the cloth faces. But obviously, the main thrust of this story is the 21st Century Doctor.
“We tried to make sure that every Cybermen in some way is covered. Probably the ones we don’t have so many of is the 1980s Cybermen because they’re the most emotional Cybermen you’ve ever seen. They get very excited about just about everything.”
So with their cold, calculating nature, how difficult is it to write for the Cybermen?
“Because they’re so monotone, they’re so much harder… actually the Daleks make better conversationalists than Cybermen, because if a Cyberman doesn’t have to exert the energy to talk, they won’t. And that’s what makes them so terrifying. You know, it’s like the Borg in Star Trek, it’s the same deal. If you don’t bother with them, they won’t bother with you because they won’t exert the energy.”
You can check out the whole interview over at the Nerdist.
Supremacy of the Cybermen #2, written by Cavan Scott and George Mann with art by Alessandro Vitti, is available now from all good stockist and digitally via Comixology.