Russell T Davies has revealed that the Cybermen were considered to appear in the Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, but the idea was vetoed because the concept behind them is so dark!
Similarly, the Daleks weren’t felt to be appropriate to be in the SJA.
What’s more, we almost got another tale in the Whoniverse from Matt Jones, writer of The Impossible Planet/ The Satan Pit.
“Matt Jones once pitched a Cyberman invasion of Bannerman Road, and I sat there thinking, ‘What the Cybermen do is remove your brains and put them into metal – that’s horrible‘.
“I don’t think Cybermen fit five o’clock in the afternoon. I don’t think Daleks do. We were always dying to get the Daleks in there, but if Sarah Jane and a bunch of kids could defeat a Dalek that makes the Daleks pretty soft!”
“You wanted great big villains, you wanted the end of the world, but she’s not the Doctor, so you have to temper that by saying they’re brilliant, brave amateurs. That’s why in Turn Left you saw that Sarah Jane and the kids had tried to stop Florence the Plasmavore [from Smith And Jones] and been killed.”
Yep, that was pretty grim…
Nonetheless, sometimes the horror of the Cybermen is leaned into, but not always — often, they’re just seen as The Enemy, so could’ve been in The Sarah Jane Adventures. Equally, most of the kids watching it would also be watching Doctor Who so would be aware of the Cybermen and recognise the idea behind them.
It might’ve seen a boost in ratings too, similar to how more people tuned in when the Doctor (played by David Tennant and Matt Smith) cameoed. The series was so good, it deserved more time in the spotlight.
Would you have liked to see the Cybermen and/or Daleks in the SJA? Or would you be worried about the programme messing them up, à la Cyberwoman (in Torchwood)?