It’s not quite deja vu. The Cybermen and Missy will, like they did in series eight, both be appearing in the Doctor Who series 10 two-part finale, which will once again be directed by Rachel (“I bet they’re going to mention Tank Girl”) Talalay.
But the Cybermen will be looking slightly different. Well, very different. In fact, like they looked back in their very first appearance in 1966 for first Doctor William Hartnell’s final story, “The Tenth Planet”. That was when they had cloth faces and human hands, emphasising the fact that they’re cyborgs. They also had weird Speak & Spell voices which emerged they spoke from static mouths that gaped open like startled trout. It all sounds a bit hokey and B-movie but it was surprisingly chilling and the new images released by the BBC shows that these “new” old Cybermen are remarkably faithful to that old design.
The reason these images have been released now is because filming has commenced on that two-part season finale, and presumably these antique Cybermen will be spotted in around Cardiff in the next few days. That means Who fans forums will be crammed with blurry behind-the-scenes photos of them.
Continuity Matters… Or Does It?
The BBC is referring to them as Mondasian Cybermen so that means they should have a totally different origin to the Cybermen we’ve seen in the new series of Doctor Who so far (who originated in an alternate universe). The Mondasian Cybermen came from the Earth’s twin planet, Mondas, which made a reappearance in our universe after going off on its vacations, or something.
Even in the original series, there were conflicting origin stories for the Cybermen. Maybe Moffat is planning to try to tie all that mess of continuity up? Will there be more alternate universe shenanigans? Certainly, brining back the ’60s design is a brave move. Will audiences used to post-Star Wars mechanical men be able to stomach balaclava-clad Cybermen? We hope so. We think it looks great fun.