Recap: Doctor Who S12 E5 "Revenge of the Cybermen"

"Who is this guy? We were expecting to see someone else."
"You've no home planet, no influence, nothing. You're nothing but a pathetic bunch of tin soldiers skulking about the galaxy in an ancient spaceship."

The Time Ring gets the Doctor and companions back to Nerva Beacon all right — but at the wrong time (typical shoddy Time Lord tech), instead putting them many millennia earlier than their previous visit. At this time, the station is an active radio beacon controlling space traffic around Earth, particularly with reference to a new asteroid in orbit around Jupiter - a "planet of gold" called Voga. However, all is not going well. A space plague is rife on the station and has killed all but a few of the crew, and the Doctor and friends are of course immediately suspected.

The space plague turns out to be poison, spread by a traitorous scientist, Dr. Kellman, on behalf of the Cybermen. They want to destroy Voga because of their weakness to gold. Sarah Jane is infected with the plague, but she's cured by Harry through the use of a transmat system. Upon their arrival on Voga, they're captured by Vogans (no, not those Vogons) working for the power-hungry head of security, Vorus. Vorus is confronted by the Vogan leader, Tyrum, who chastises him for making contact with humans. The Vogans have been strictly isolationist for centuries because their planet was nearly destroyed by Cybermen in the last war. Vorus insists on taking action, leading to a brief civil war between his faction and Tyrum's.

When the Cybermen arrive, the Doctor and the remaining crew from the beacon are forced to carry Cyber bombs into the heart of Voga, but the Doctor exploits the Cybermen's radar system and rids himself of his bomb to make contact with the Vogans. It seems that Kellman is in fact working for Vorus, luring the Cybermen onto Nerva Beacon, which the Vorus had planned to destroy with their Skystriker rocket. The Doctor returns to the beacon to save Sarah Jane, who had returned there to save him. Despite clever repurposing of a Cybermat to attack the Cybermen, the Doctor is captured.

The Cybermen, realizing their plan has failed, load the beacon with explosives and aim it for Voga, evacuating and leaving the Doctor and Sarah Jane aboard to die. The Skystriker is launched (well, a painfully obvious Saturn V rocket being palmed off as a Vogan anti-Cyberman rocket is launched), but the Vogans manage to divert it to hit the Cybermen's ship. Though the Cybermen locked the controls of the beacon before their departure, the Doctor manages to enable the secondary controls just in time to keep the beacon from destroying Voga.

The TARDIS appears back on the station, having been sent to catch up with them by the Time Lords, and on boarding the ship, the Doctor receives a message from The Brigadier, requesting assistance back on Earth...


  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Kellman.
  • Enemy Mine: When it becomes clear that the Cybermen will overrun Voga, Vorus and Tyrum's forces declare a truce to better defend themselves.
  • Ghost Ship: Nerva Beacon is all but this when the TARDIS crew arrive.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: The sound of a (human, not Time Lord) heartbeat plays over the bomb scenes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: One of the surviving Beacon crew sacrifices himself to destroy the Cybermen on Voga, buying the Doctor and Harry time to save Sarah Jane.
  • Kill 'em All: Of the human characters in the story, only Commander Stevenson survives. The Vogans also end up with a high body count while fighting the Cybermen invaders.
  • Mexican Standoff
  • Only in It for the Money: Kellman's true loyalty is with Voga's gold.
  • The Plague: The reason why Nerva Beacon is in quarantine, and what killed most of their crew. Though, in fact it is not a plague at all.
  • Planet of Gold: Voga.
  • Retcon: The swirly symbol later became the Seal Of Rassilon. Word of God has it that the Time Lords visited Voga once, and the Vogans liked the design.
  • Screen Shake: Used during the scene where the Nerva Beacon almost crashes.
  • Stock Poses: The Doctor, Lester and Stephenson pull off The Three Monkeys pose while prisoners of the Cybermen.
  • Tainted Veins: A symptom of the "space plague" — which the Doctor finds suspiciously similar to a "space plague" he's seen before.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Vogans. They know the Cybermen have a weakness to gold, which exists in ample quantities on Voga, but they never get the idea to exploit it, even when several of them are getting slaughtered by two Cybermen.
  • Unusual Weapon Mounting: The Cybermen head guns.
  • Voga-Shattering Kaboom: The Cybermen's plan is to blow up Voga.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Cybermen's "allergy" to gold is first introduced in this story. Here, because it is an efficient conductor of electricity, getting gold dust in their chest units shorts them out, making it impossible for the Cybermen to breathe. It would become much more ridiculous in future appearances.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: The reason Kellman is working for the Vogans.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Doctor knows the Cybermen are going to kill their prisoners as soon as they planted the bombs and drops the trope name almost literally.
  • The X of Y