Kroton was a Cyberman who has appeared in Doctor Who Weekly / Monthly / Magazine on and off since 1979. His last appearance (as of the time of writing) was in 2000 – this makes him one of the longest running reoccurring characters in Doctor Who spin-off media.
Kroton’s saga began in Throwback : Soul of a Cyberman
- Throwback: The Soul of a Cyberman
- Ship of Fools
- Unnatural Born Killers
- The Company of Thieves – (with 8th Doctor) Doctor Who Magazine 284-286 (17 November 1999 – 12 January 2000)
- The Glorious Dead – (with 8th Doctor) Doctor Who Magazine 287-296
- The Scarlet Empress (Novel) – Kroton is mentioned as having once been a travelling companion of Iris Wildthyme.
For a long time most Doctor Who fans assumed that the name “Kroton” was probably a reference to the crystalline alien species “The Krotons” encountered by the 2nd Doctor in the story of the same name – but apparently this was not the case.
Steeve Moore, Kroton’s creator, was interviewed by the Altered Vistas website and commented on his creation :
“The name, incidentally, comes from the ancient Greek colony of Kroton, in southern Italy, where Pythagoras established a school of philosophy!” (Steeve Moore)
More light is shed on Kroton’s development elsewhere in the interview :
Altered Vistas: ‘Throwback: The Soul of a Cyberman’ introduces your first great contribution to the Doctor Who comic strip: Kroton the Cyberman with emotions, who returned in Ship of Fools and later became a regular character in the main DW strip in the 1990s. Was he envisaged as a one-off or always intended to return? Aside from a busy letters page in the magazine, how do you know when a character has ‘legs’ and a story worth pursuing?
Steve Moore: I’m pretty sure that when I wrote that first Kroton story, I had no idea of reviving him at all. After all, I was probably writing three or four stories a week at the time, and that doesn’t give you a lot of time to plan ahead! So my attitude used to just be: ‘think of an idea, use it today, think of another one tomorrow.’ … As for the return in “Ship of Fools”, I really can’t remember whether Dez had told me the character was popular or not. I never used to bother to read the letters page anyway, as I guessed it would be fixed to throw a positive light on everything, so I can’t honestly say whether the idea of reviving Kroton was my idea or came from the readers via the office. That second story was one of my favourites, though… but I had no idea that the character continued to appear in later stories, because once I left the magazine I just lost touch with it.
AV: Indeed he did. Kroton reappeared in the 1990s (almost nineteen years later) alongside the Eighth Doctor. By this time he was quite a wise-cracking character seemingly quite at odds with your original conception. If you’d known, would you have approved of this development? How would you have developed the character? Did you even see any potential development left in him?
SM: I didn’t know at the time, and no, I probably wouldn’t have approved. From what little I’ve seen of this stuff, it looks to be a complete transformation of the original character… he’s now less a ‘Cyberman with a soul’, more just a human being in a funny suit. It’s far too far a move away from the original. If I’d done anything else with him, it would have been to continue with the character pretty much as he was… only a little different from a normal Cyberman, and still very much the “innocent abroad” that he was in Ship of Fools. The later characterisation just seems far too knowing to me. But I don’t know if I ever would have done anything else with Kroton… I never really thought that far ahead at the time.
Kroton was a junior Cyberleader who was among those sent from Telos to assist in the invasion and management of the planet Mondaran.
He quickly began to question his superiors and began to fight back as he discovered his emotions, he helped a group of Mondarains to escape their planet and Cyberman rule. The ship they used to escape was low on fuel and rather than maroon himself to die on a jungle planet set off into space to drift alone he deactivated himself. (Throwback: The Soul of a Cyberman)
A cruise ship travelling through space stuck in a lateral stasis field found Kroton’s ship and reactivated him. While on the ship he sought to remove it from the stasis loop that it was in so that the mortal passengers all rapidly aged and died, leaving Kroton on his own yet again. (Ship of Fools)
After that Kroton travelled around space fighting Sontarans, among others (Unnatural Born Killers). Kroton encountered the the Doctor and his companion Izzy on the Qutrusian Cargo Freighter X-703, and, after assisting them, joined them in the TARDIS. (The Company of Thieves)
Kroton left The Doctor after a battle with the Master, during the Master’s pursuit to become the center of the omniversal spectrum. (The Glorious Dead)
In The Scarlet Empress, Iris Wildthyme mentions that Kroton travelled with her for an unspecified period of time but the placement of this within Kroton’s life is uncertain.
The sequel to the comic strip Junkyard Demon, imaginatively titled Junkyard Demon II, can be read here
Junkyard Demon is a comic strip perhaps most notable for its introduction of a Cyberman that appears in a transitory form between the Mk 1 version found in The Tenth Planet and the Mk 2 version seen in The Moonbase & Tomb of the Cybermen. In my own categorisation system, the Junkyard Demon Cyberman is a Mk 1.1
- Click to read : Junkyard Demon – The original Black & White Version (reprinted in Doctor Who Summer Special 1983)
- Click to read : Junkyard Demon – The colourised reprint (US Marvel Doctor Who)
While the Doctor meditates, the free-floating TARDIS is scooped up by a junk-collecting spaceship Drifter, piloted by scrap merchants Flotsam and Jetsam and their windmill-powered robot Dutch, who tries unsuccessfully to break down the TARDIS for scrap. The Doctor is awakened by the noise of Dutch’s drill and emerges somewhat peeved at the disturbance, but is even more annoyed to find a dormant Cyberman amongst their collection of galactic scrap. Flotsam and Jetsam have a lucrative side business collecting inert Cybermen, reprogramming them and selling them as butlers. The Doctor accidentally re-activates the Cyberman, who then steals the TARDIS with Jetsam inside. As the Doctor, Flotsam and Dutch track the TARDIS in the Drifter, the Cyberman pilots the TARDIS to remote planet AS4, at the site of the wrecked command ship of a long-lost Cyberfleet. The Cyberman orders Jetsam to restore his long-inactive leader Zogron to function, with the ambition of rebuilding a Cyber-army that would rule Time and Space via the TARDIS. Jetsam does what he does best, reactivating Zogron who then infuriates the Cyberman by offering him a before-dinner sherry. The Drifter lands nearby, and Dutch destroys the Cyberman by coating it in quick-setting polymer paint. As Flotsam and Jetsam eagerly ponder the plunder available in the wrecked Cyberships, the Doctor leaves in the TARDIS, hoping they never find any Daleks… Click to read :
|Artist:||Mike McMahon / Adolfo Buylla|
|Published In:||Originally Published in Doctor Who Monthly 58-59Reprinted Doctor Who (US Marvel) #13
Reprinted in Doctor Who Summer Special 1983
|Publication:||November – December 1981|
|Format:||Comic – 2 parts (reprinted in one part)|
Artist Lee Sullivan has been working with the Cybermen for quite some time. He’s come a long way from his early Cyberman illustrations (age 7) ….
Making his mark along the way by providing art for Doctor Who Magazine…
And drawing the Cybermen for the Battles in Time comic strip which you can read here
You can see more of Lee Sullivan’s Doctor Who art on his own website here
His Mark VIII Cyber-creations appeared in the Radio Times 8th Doctor comic-strip Dreadnought – which you can read here. (Roughly) the same Mk 8 design later appeared in the 6th Doctor webcast of Real Time – which you can watch here. And the Mk 8 Cybermen – or a close relation – might have appeared in a comic strip featurig a future Doctor prior to the relaunch of the TV series in 2005. Sadly, it was never made…
The Mk VIII appeared in the Real Time webcast – and has also been given CGI graphic treatment…
Real Time CGI Cybermen
Real Time Cyberman designed by Lee Sullivan. CGI realisation by Rhys Griffin, Chris Gregory and Kevin Gregory.
“Resistance is futile.”
“Emotion is a weakness.”
“These things are irrelevant.”
“Promises to aliens have no validity.”
“Aliens are not to be trusted.”
“So we meet again, Doctor.”
“Halt, or you will be destroyed.”
“Your logic is correct.”
CGI animations of the Mk VII Cybermen can be found on the BBC site here
You can download a Screen Saver from the BBC :
Based on Lee Sullivan’s stunning new Cyberman designs, Rhys Griffin has created an equally spectacular computer graphic version for this special screensaver.
The now no-longer published Doctor Who – Battles in Time magazine ran a 4-part Cyberman comic strip featuring the 10th Doctor. The comicstrip was perhaps most interesting for its introduction of Cyberdrones and Cyberdogs, as well as giving a new origin for a Cybus-designed group of Cybermen in our universe. A summary of the plot follows below.
You can read this four-part comic strip here
Part One – Power of the Cybermen
“Travelling alone through time and space was taking its toll on the Doctor, so it was time for a well-earned holiday …”
The Doctor’s sunshine break on the Earth colony holiday world of Centuria is interrupted by the arrival of Cybermen rounding up the tourists for conversion. Captured and taken off in a truck, the Doctor teams up with Jayne Kadett, an undercover investigator on the trail of an interplanetary info-thief. The thief stole Torchwood files and built his own Cyber army, intending to sell the hi-tech soldiers to the highest bidder, but the Cybermen took control and partly converted the thief, using him as their driver. When they arrive at the conversion factory, the Doctor and Jayne escape by using the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver to overload the Cybermen in the immediate vicinity, and they make their way to the main power line. The thief had also stolen the power supply by tapping into the local nuclear grid. The Doctor manages to blow the restraint circuit and the power feeds out to the Cybermen; the overload destroys them and creates a huge explosion, but before the Cybermen shut down one sends out a message to others. The Doctor is determined to track them down, stop what they’re up to and destroy them all.
Part Two – The Drones of Doom
“After destroying the Cyber-factory on Centuria, the Doctor and Kadett were tracking down more of the metal menaces …”
The Doctor and Kadett follow the Cyberman’s signal, taking a robot-run airship across the now-deserted continent of Azlon on the planet Centuria. Before arriving at the airbus terminal (a Cyber-conversion factory), the conductor / law enforcer becomes influenced by the Cybermen’s hypnotic signal, which is being used to subjugate the arriving humans. The Doctor, Kadett and a reprogrammed robot conductor pretend to be hypnotised and follow the other arrivals. Seizing the right moment, the Doctor disrupts the hypnotic signal and the conductor robot attacks the Cybermen. A stray shot from the conductor ruptures the fuel banks, causing a huge explosion which kills most of the newly converted Cyberdrones (basic work units) as their humanity starts to become more dominant. As the Doctor and Kadett flee the explosion, they find a bit of a map in a Cyberman’s hand – a map that might lead them to finding out what the Cybermen are up to on Centuria.
Part Three – Enemy Mine
“The Doctor and Kadett follow the Cybermen’s map to Centuria’s arctic zone …”
Wandering the Arctic lands of Centuria in search of the Cybermen’s base, the Doctor and Kadett are attacked by a rogue-half cybernised drone called Homaj, who backs down when he realises they are human. Homaj can’t face returning to the mines where the Cybermen are using drones to mine hargstones (precious jewels with many industrial uses. An attack by a native Ice Snake (a giant vicious purple snake) is brought to an end by the Cybermen and their partially converted cyberdogs. Homaj runs off into the frozen wasteland but the Doctor and Kadett are captured and taken to a huge mine below the ice. Inside the mine, the Doctor creates a distraction while Kadett steals some explosives. The distraction causes a Cyberman to split one of the cave walls, disturbing a nest of Ice Snakes which attack them. Escaping the mine, the Doctor and Kadett see the Cybership has already departed with its cargo. Homaj is waiting for them and tells them he intercepted a message saying that the cargo was going to Centuria Central. He then takes the explosives from Kadett and heads back to the mine. In an act of self-sacrifice, he permanently seals the mine. The Doctor and Kadett leave in pursuit of the Cybership.
Part Four – Time of the Cybermen
“Cybermen have been using upgraded humans on Centuria to mine special gems called Hargstones. But what is their plan?”
The TARDIS lands in Centuria Central and in a temporal stasis field. Kadett is caught in the frozen moment but the Doctor, being a Time Lord, can resist the field. Cybermen in a patrol aircar spot him moving around and pursue. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to bring the aircar crashing down, drawing the attention of other Cybermen, who arrive to salvage parts and take them back to base. The Doctor smuggles himself into the base with the salvage. The base is the Triplanetary base which the Doctor suspects has been robbed of its Hargstone reserves to enable the Cybermen to maintain a stasis machine. The Doctor learns from the Cybermen that they built the stasis machine from Torchwood files and used the device to subdue overwhelming opposition. Choosing the most secure place for the machine, the Doctor escapes and heads for the bank’s vault, but it is made of titanium and is protected by laser-proof glass and destructor rays. When the Doctor can’t get in he uses the sonic screwdriver to turn the destructor rays inwards, destroying the stasis machine. The Cybermen have a mental link with the machine that enables them to move around inside the stasis field, so when the machine is destroyed the temporal feedback overloads their circuits. With the Cybermen now no more than ghosts and the stasis field gone, the Doctor says goodbye to Kadett, warning her to keep her eyes peeled. In the shadows, the eyes of Cybermen glow red.
You can read this four-part comic strip here
Possibly the most bizarre Cyberman comic strip ever…
|MR. T vs. THE CYBERMEN
The ultimate battle between the Robots of Silver and the Man of Gold