Last week we reported that Neil Gaiman’s plan for the second to last episode of the current series (season) of Doctor Who is to bring back the classic villain, the Cybermen. Gaiman’s previous episode for the show, The Doctor’s Wife, is not only the most popular episode of the show in several magazine polls, but is one of only six episodes of Doctor Who to have won a Hugo award.
The Cybermen are probably the second most iconic villain in the Doctor Who universe. The Weeping Angels were made popular by the fantastic recent episode in which the Ponds made their inevitable departure from the TARDIS, but the Cybermen sit only behind the Daleks as the most recognizable Who villains from the classic series episodes – before the 2005 relaunch.
Last time the Cybermen were defeated, they were apparently made never to return, but as is common with Doctor Who, and is a clear part of the show’s overriding themes, enemies always find a way back into the Doctor’s life eventually. The Cybermen have been created several times in independent processes, as if the creation – accidental or purposeful – of these metal assimilators is a thing inevitable to happen many times in the course of man’s technological rise.
It seems that they are to be created once again on a distant planet, and, as always, they will look slightly different than previous incarnations. Doctor Who TV magazine reporters sent in a report from on set regarding some plot details, and visuals from the show. They couldn’t get any photos, so we only have this sketch of the new Cyberman design by DWTV reporter Gabundy.
The episode, called The Last Cyberman will be set in a creepy theme park on a mysterious planet, where the Doctor and companion Clara are slated to encounter a band of misfits who are in danger from Cybermen. The episode will take place partly inside of a mock medieval castle in which theDoctor and his misfit friends have barricaded themselves against attack. Expect to see some prop medieval weaponry in use, and perhaps some castle puns in the Doctor’s dialogue.
The second half of the series kicks off in the new year, but in between we’ll have the holiday episode which is slated to air on December 25, 2012. A Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special will also arrive sometime in 2013, but the series will be on hiatus after that until Fall 2014, when series 8 is scheduled to be split across the new year, similar to this season.