Here is an in-depth look at the Revenge of the Cybermen from the old “In-Vision” series.
NOTE : while the text is probably still readable here (depending on your monitor anyway) it might be easier to read this on the page here as it displays in a slightly larger size without the sidebar.
from “The Doctor Who Technical Manual“
by Mark Harris
1983 Sphere Books (Out of Print)
(Please Note : The graphics have been adapted very slightly)
The story of the Cybermen goes back many aeons, to a time when the solar system had only just been created. In those days Earth had a sister planet -Mondas. But soon the great intergalactic forces of that period broke Mondas free of its orbit and it drifted away from the solar system into deep space.
Organic life on both worlds developed in much the same way, but on Mondas circumstances made survival for the people of the rogue planet much more difficult. After many centuries, they began to realise that their life-spans were shortening and their bodies becoming weaker. It was clear that unless they could do something to reverse this, their entire race faced extinction.
In their efforts to preserve the species, the doctors and scientists of Mondas made many experiments In the fields of bionic and cybernetic engineering. They learned how to replace diseased organs with synthetic apparatus, capable of performing the functions of the original perfectly. As their replacement technology advanced, they were able to exchange entire limbs for prosthetic devices which performed better than the original flesh and blood.
Generations later, it had become quite normal for people to have cybernetic limbs. Cyber-technology provided them with legs which were faster, arms which were stronger and hands which were much more dexterous.
The people of Mondas were no longer concerned merely with surviving – they were striving to achieve physical perfection. In their attempts to free themselves of all weakness, they decided to erase emotion from their brains, their only remaining organ made of flesh and blood. Emptied of love, hate, anger, fear or compassion, a new race of beings emerged from Mondas – THE CYBERMEN. Totally logical, even if not actually evil, they would become ruthless in their attempts to achieve their aims.
Having attained physical perfection, they began to look for new goals. They turned their attention to the pursuit of power and the conquest of the Universe.
The scientists of Mondas therefore began to look into the possibilities of space travel and before long had developed short range space vehicles. When ‘Mondas strayed into the Telos system the Cybermen invaded that planet. Telos was taken and many of its inhabitants were converted into Cybermen, and an army of Cybermen was stored on Telos.
It was centuries later, in 1986, that Mondas finally wandered back into this solar system. It was now in truth a dying world. The planet’s life force, upon which the Cybermen’s existence depended, was diminishing rapidly and In order to save themselves they decided to drain the Earth of its energy.
A fleet of Cyber-ships was to remain in orbit around the Earth to deal with any resistance. Meanwhile, one of the landing parties would organise the gathering of the terrestrial energies from the Earth’s northern polar Ice cap.
The scheme, however, could not succeed. The Cybermen had seriously underestimated the Earth’s vast store of energy. The phenomenal influx of power was too much for their planet – Mondas was destroyed, exploding into billions of fragments. Isolated from the energies which maintained their life support systems, until that moment beamed to them from Mondas, the invading Cybermen weakened and died.
By this time, however, the Cybermen of Telos had perfected the techniques of hyperspace travel. This meant that countless galaxies and star systems were now within their grasp. Despite the destruction of Mondas, the Cybermen’s reign of terror was only just beginning.
The Telosian Cybermen have attempted to conquer the Earth on a number of occasions. Because they cannot reproduce themselves naturally, they favour planets dominated by humanoid types. There, they can increase their numbers in the only way possible for them – by converting humans into Cybermen.
The typical Cyberman stands about 7 feet tall and has the strength of ten humans. He is immune to the most intense heat and can survive in the vacuum of space. The Cybermen’s weapon systems are highly sophisticated. They have also been known to use Cybermats – small metallic ‘rodent-like’ creatures – for attack and sabotage,
Although almost invulnerable, Cybermen do have weaknesses. For instance, their chest units can easily be ‘choked’ with gold dust, terminating their life-support systems. It is therefore clear why Cybermen regard gold as a major problem, and why they made such a determined attempt to destroy Voga, the legendary ‘Planet of Gold’. Fortunately their plan was frustrated by the Doctor.
Great advances in Cyber-technology are however being made all the time. It cannot be long before the Cybermen are an invincible force. Humanity’s only hope then will be inter-planetary unity, a galactic alliance to combat the Cybernetic invaders from Mondas.