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Posts tagged “Lost Cyberman stories

Lost Cyber-Stories – Illegal Alien

“Illegal Alien” is/was-to-be a Cyberman story featuring the 7th Doctor and Ace.

“Illegal Alien” was under consideration as a three-part script for the 1990 season of Doctor Who. It was never produced as the original run of Doctor Who ceased production in 1989. A novelization of  “Illegal Alien” (which is for the most part close to the original proposed TV story) was published as a (now out of print)  novel by  BBC Books, written by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry.

The story that became the novel was originally submitted as a television script to have been part of Season 28 of the original series of Doctor Who. It was initially submitted under a pseudonym as Mike Tucker had been known within the BBC as having predominately worked with special effects.

“Illegal Alien” (the unproduced TV story) was a Cyberman story set in the 1940s, originally submitted just prior to the production of “The Curse of Fenric Tucker and Robert Perry were asked to re-submit it for the following season as Fenric was also set in the 1940s.

Mike Tucker noted in Doctor Who Magazine about the writing of the novel (and its TV heritage) that –

“Illegal Alien was originally written in script form. When I (Mike Tucker) was writing the novel, the early part I was working from our original script to get all the dialogue for the novel, so that was quite nice for me – it was the novelising of an unmade story in effect. The opening two parts of Illegal Alien, when it finally hits the bookshelves, is damn near what was in the scripted version. When it does come out it may show some of the problems, in that it would have been a very expensive production, which could ultimately have been its downfall.”

(Doctor Who Magazine #255)


“Lost” Cybermen Stories – The Genesis of the Cybermen

Not every story or script commissioned for Doctor Who made it as far as production. Some were dropped for reasons such as cost or difficulty in the logistics of production, others due to clashes of interest with other BBC drama productions, difficulties in scheduling, scripts being deemed unsuitable – and so on. Some of these stories probably were indeed better left unmade at the time as in many cases they were replaced by stories that have now become part of the Doctor Who legend. But amongst the “Lost Stories” of Doctor Who there are a few real gems – including this unmade Cyber-story  “Genesis of the Cybermen”, from the co-creator of the Cybermen, Gerry Davis.

This site is devoted to recording information about lost Doctor Who stories & spin-offs and is well worth a read.

Genesis of the Cybermen

by Gerry Davis

Story: Intending to fix the TARDIS’s faulty zero regulator, the Doctor and his companion (Peri?) land on a pre-cybernised Mondas, where they meet the benevolent King Paulus and his two sons, the scientist Prince Dega, and the artist Prince Sylvan.

While the Doctor repairs the zero regulator Peri, who has taken a shine to prince Sylvan, shows him the TARDIS. The Doctor returns just in time to find Sylvan tinkering with the TARDIS controls, and accidentally sends the ship into flight. The Doctor quickly lands, but when they step outside they find that they have moved 50 years into the future.

Mondas has become a changed world, now under the leadership of Dega, the pursuit of scientific achievement is the primary goal, with the greatest advances being in the field of cybernetics. The king has had his arms and legs replaced with cybernetic limbs and is about to have his head replaced and his brain augmented, turning himself into the first Cyberman.

The Doctor, now realising what is happening, begs Dega to reconsider. The king is furious at this insolence and orders the royal guards to take the Doctor away. In the confusion Peri is able to slip away from the palace into the surrounding forest.

The King expains to his brother that through the process of cybernisation, his people would achieve immortality and would be unstoppable, able to conquer the universe, starting with Mondas’ twin: Earth. Monda’s resouces are limited and they need energy to survive, energy which Earth has in abundance. Dega offers Sylvan joint kingship over the Earth and Mondas if he will agree to be cybernised.

Hiding in the forest Peri is found by a group descended from the artists of King Paulus’ time, the Sylvans, named after the artist prince. Forced to abandon their artistic ways the Sylvans sole purpose is to collect food for the palace. Peri tells the Sylvans that their prince has returned. They decide to rescue their prince and the Doctor before they are turned into cold unfeeling Cybermen.

The Doctor and Queen Meta are taken to the Transformer room where they witness the final part of Dega’s cybernisation. The king then instructs that the Doctor be cybernised.

The Sylvans, having infiltrated the palace, storm the transformer room only to be repelled by the palace guards, but not before they free the Doctor; however peri and Sylvan are recaptured. Dega decides to start the mass production of cybermen and to ready his space fleet for the invasion of Earth, with peri the first to be cybernised. Peri appeals to the queen, hoping that there is still a shred of female compassion in her newly cybernetic body. Her pleas fall on deaf ears.

Seeing Sylvans discomfort at Peri’s distress, Dega’s chief of Staff Krail offers him a bargain: Peri’s life in exchange for the location of the TARDIS. Sylvan tells him but Krail reneges on the deal saying that bargains are illogical and have no meaning; before throwing Peri into the transformation chamber. This betrayal angers the Queen who orders Krail to stand down. Krail complies but insists that this be reported to the King and storms out. The Queen leads Sylvan and Peri to a secret passageway used to get to the royal launchpad.

In the throne room the new Cyberman army is lining up before the King. Krail informs Dega of what took place at he transformation room. Furious, the King rushes to confront his Queen, where he finds the prisoners gone. Meta refuses to tell him where they are, but he is able to extract the information by reading her thoughts. He races after the prisoner followed by Krail and a phalanx of Cybermen.

At the other end of the passage Sylvan and Peri emerge onto the launchpad where they find the Doctor and the rebels preparing to board the spacecraft and escape. In the distance they hear the sound of Cybermen approaching, Slyvan hurries the rebels onto the ship and urges the Doctor and Peri to follow. The Doctor tells Sylvan that they will not be coming with them as they have to find their way back to the TARDIS. Suddenly they find themselves surrounded by Cybermen led by Dega. Dega accuses Sylvan of being a traitor and tries to kill him, only to be shot down by Queen Meta before landing the killing blow. Sylvan makes his way into the ship, but Krail arrives with more Cybermen and kills the Queen.

The Sylvans start the ships engines and in the confusion the Doctor and Peri are able to escape back to the TARDIS only to find it surrounded by Cybermen, however the tremors from the escaping ship put the Cybermen off balance and the pair are able to weave between them and get inside. The Doctor realises that the huge impact of the rocket’s engines must have thrown the planet out of it’s orbit, and opens the scanner to find Mondas heading away from Earth and out into the solar system.

Notes: Having found out that the production team had used the Cybermen without first seeking his permission, Davis contacted them and sumitted this story. it was rejected as substandard by Eric Saward, who went on to write the next Cyberman story, ‘Attack of the Cybermen’, himself. This story later appeared in David Banks’ “Cybermen” book.

Personally I find it incredible that Gerry Davis’ origin of the Cyberman story should have been regarded as “substandard”, especially when the alternative was Eric Saward’s “Attack of the Cybermen” story, which really left quite a bit to be desired. Hopefully one day we may see a retelling of the “Genesis of the Cybermen” story become part of the “official” TV show – but we might have a long time to wait for that…

More on the “Genesis of the Cybermen” in a post coming soon