DW's secondary main villains, first appearing in the First Doctor's final serial, "The Tenth Planet".
A species of cybernetic beings; originally a fully organic humanoid species, they started replacing more and more of their biology with robotics to extend their life, to the point that they have next to nothing living inside them, including emotions, and somewhere along the line they for some reason picked up a drive to "upgrade" the entire universe to be like them. They are an example of "parallel evolution"; they have origins on many planets and in many timelines, essentially an inevitability, arising wherever there are people with the technology Mondas, Telos, Planet 14, and so on. In fact, the Mondas/Telos Cybermen came from the tenth planet of the Earth's solar system ("Earth's long-lost twin planet"). note
Tropes associated with the television continuity:
- AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle:
- They spoke like this in their first appearance, giving their voices a rather unSETTling sINg-song quality."SIIIIlenCE! AnyONNNNNNNNNNNNE who MOOOOOOOVES willbekilled inSTANTlyyyyyy!"
- The Troughton-era Cybermen have their own version, where they tend to stretch out words."YOU BEEEEEELONG TO UZZZZZZ."
- They spoke like this in their first appearance, giving their voices a rather unSETTling sINg-song quality.
- Action Figure Speech: Because their mouths don't move, they frequently move their hands when speaking amongst each other so the audience knows which one is talking.
- Adaptive Ability: Ramped up in "Nightmare in Silver", wherein they survive an electrified moat without a single loss, and eventually become immune to Cyberguns.
- Always Second Best: No matter how great a threat the Cybermen might be, if you put them in the same room/story as the Daleks, they'll inevitably be shoved aside as being weaker and less ruthless. The Daleks even mocked them about this in "Doomsday". This extends to real life as well, since the Cybermen are the second most well known Who monster.
- They never have a great time of it when the Master's around either. They're little better than Missy's muscle in the larger backdrop of her and the Doctor's latest fall-out in "Dark Water" and "Death in Heaven", with their main effect on the story being Danny becoming one. Likewise, they go from a convincing threat to Big Bad Wannabe status in "The Timeless Children" as soon as The Master arrives, with his killing Ashad opening his own scheme with the Cyber-Masters.
- Ambiguous Situation: It's not clear whether or not the Cybermen from "The Pandorica Opens", "Closing Time" and "Nightmare in Silver" are Mondasian or Cybus Cybermen.
- Animesque: Their 2013 incarnation takes some design cues from Humongous Mecha anime, most notably their Gundam-like vented breastplates and Neon Genesis Evangelion-inspired spinal detailing along their backs. From a non-anime perspective, they also look as if they were the latest products of Stark Industries.
- Arch-Enemy: Only second to the Daleks in being the most recurring and iconic antagonists to the Doctor.
- Art Evolution: The Cybermen tend to change their look with each appearance. The only aspects that remain unchanged are the handlebars on the sides of the head and the soulless black eyes. The general trend is that they look more robotic and sophisticated with each redesign.
- Assimilation Plot: Their whole shtick.
- The Assimilator: Coupled with the Unwilling Roboticisation trope, and equally definitive.
- Body Horror: Part and parcel of who they are. Played up by the original design, which had medical cloth surrounding their heads and ordinary human hands.
- "You belong to us"/"You will become like us", or variations upon those phrases. "WE MUZZT SURVIVE!" also tends to pop up fairly often.
- In "Nightmare in Silver", they get a new one: "Upgrade in progress."
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Cybermen will never hold up to their end of an alliance, instead being firm believers of You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
- Comically Missing the Point: A dark version in "The Tenth Planet". Appalled that the Cybermen have no compassion or care for their victims, Polly poses the question: "Have you no heart?!" The Cyberman believes that she refers to the body part."NooOOOoo, that is OOONE of the WEAKnesses that we HAAAVE remoVED."
- Conspicuous Gloves: The Mondasian Cybermen in "World Enough and Time" have gloves that resemble the skin of a Caucasian man, as opposed to being actual human hands, making it very useful for hiding the race of the actors. Or indeed, that of the characters, i.e. Bill Potts.
- Costume Evolution: They are one of the most frequently redesigned of Doctor Who aliens, with major new design changes being introduced in;
- "The Moonbase" - The original Body Horror design with its visible human elements was replaced by a sleeker and more robotic look. According to some of the crew members who played the Cybermen in their debut story, they disliked the experience of wearing the costumes, hence the redesign.
- "The Invasion" - The introduction of the "square-headed" or "earmuff" look, which stayed with the Cybermen in various forms throughout the classic series.
- "Earthshock" - The skin-tight look of the previous designs' external covering is replaced by a baggier look, with the external cybernetics/chest pieces of previous designs now built-in to the suit..
- "Rise of the Cybermen" - A radically redesigned alternate universe version. The noticeably more robotic design saw their bodies covered with jointed armour rather than metallic cloth, with exposed circuitry around the limb joints.
- "Nightmare in Silver" - A sleeker and less bulky redesign halfway between the classic era Cybermen and the Cybus version.
- "Ascension of the Cybermen" - A more heavily armoured/bladed design that brings back the classic "earmuff" look.
- Creative Sterility: Mentioned in the Big Finish audio production "Human Resources", where the Doctor informs the local Cybermen he only saved them by accident, before he realised who they were. When asked why he will extend help to all other species but not the Cybermen he answers "Because other species create. You don't."
- Creepy Monotone: All Cybermen talk in a mechanical, computer-like voice, though they shift in and out of this in their "Earthshock" appearance.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Almost certainly the Trope Codifier. The Mondasians were simply trying to keep themselves alive via cybernetics, at the cost of their emotions, and it worked. Then their new, emotionless, cybernetic selves decided everyone else had to be like them, and set about trying to take over the universe. Going by "The Doctor Falls", something similar happens wherever they're created, regardless of whatever the initial motive was they see themselves as an improvement over their original species, and decide everyone else must be "upgraded".
- The Dreaded: In "Nightmare in Silver", they inspire so much fear that the standard procedure for seeing one is to destroy the entire planet.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: The Cybermen in "The Tenth Planet" had a much more mixed human-robot appearance with heavy Body Horror implications, while the later designs all look entirely or almost entirely (the 1980s design's chin window) robotic from the outside. Even when these Cybermen reappear in "World Enough and Time"/"The Doctor Falls", they look different, with smaller headlights, tighter-fitting masks, and skin-coloured gloves as opposed to human hands.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first Cybermen in the series, in "The Tenth Planet", have individuality and, while incapable of true empathy, are at least not as openly malevolent and conquest driven as they would later become.
- Elite Mooks: Cyber-Leaders, Cyber-Controllers.
- Evil Evolves:
- At least in "Nightmare in Silver", the main problem with fighting Cybermen is the ability to adapt to enemy weapons on the fly. Using a super laser gun thing Clara and some soldiers completely obliterated one Cyberman, blew up the head on the next and slightly singed a third. It's considered that the only way to really stop a Cyberman invasion is to nuke the entire planet. And even that may not be enough if The Stinger in that episode is any indication."Upgrade in Progress."
- Thanks to time dilation, the Cybermen of "World Enough and Time"/"The Doctor Falls" go through accelerated evolution, starting as "Tenth Planet"-like Cybermen and developing into the numerous versions seen over the series' history.
- At least in "Nightmare in Silver", the main problem with fighting Cybermen is the ability to adapt to enemy weapons on the fly. Using a super laser gun thing Clara and some soldiers completely obliterated one Cyberman, blew up the head on the next and slightly singed a third. It's considered that the only way to really stop a Cyberman invasion is to nuke the entire planet. And even that may not be enough if The Stinger in that episode is any indication.
- Evil Is Hammy:
- 1980s Cybermen, particularly their Cyber-Leaders. "EXCELLLEEENT!!!"
- Mr. Clever, who frankly considers the scenery an appetizer.
- When initially introduced, the Cybermen were completely alien but in many ways better than humans, even winning the arguments thrown at them, and offered cyber-conversion as a choice, although they couldn't care less about mankind. Later on, the Cybermen's main motive seems to completely become "convert everyone into Cybermen", although this could be excused by Early Installment Weirdness and that their survival motive seems to be intertwined with cyber-converting.
- In later Classic series stories, the Cybermen seem to be in a weaker state, which could explain their desire for more Cyber-conversion.
- The second flanderization Cybermen got was the level they displayed their emotions and their weakness to gold, because it clogs their chest-units. In "Revenge of the Cybermen", the weakness was introduced and the writers and actors put much less effort in making the Cybermen seem emotionless like they originally did. When they came back in "Earthshock", their lack of emotions was little more than lip-service and they had a tendency to delve into Large Ham territory, to the point it was suggested that the Cybermen remove all emotions except for rage. And in "Silver Nemesis", the gold weakness was exaggerated to the point where merely being hit by a gold coin could completely destroy them.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Every emergent Cyberman civilisation starts with some desperate humanoids using technology to enhance their lives. Millions of years later, the combined Cyber-Race has become an unstoppable intergalactic empire.
- Godzilla Threshold: After the Cyber-Wars, the mere presence of one Cyberman is grounds to blow up a whole planet. During the Cyber-Wars, the only way to stop them was to destroy their entire galaxy.
- Great Off Screen War: The Cyber-Wars, which ended with an entire galaxy being blown up. They survived.
- Hive Mind: The Moffat-era Cybermen, in their various incarnations.
- Human Resources: It makes fighting them difficult. After all, if they need new troops, they can take you.
- Hyperaffixation: They are notorious and sometimes mocked by fans for using "Cyber-" as a prefix for absolutely everything they make or use, such as using Cyberguns and Cyberbombs to fight Cyberwars, and travelling in Cyberfleets, however it can be said that this helps emphasize their Creative Sterility.
- Iconic Item: The "handlebars" on their heads remain a constant part of their design, even as everything else changes. While in "The Tenth Planet" they seem to be providing power to their head lamps, the other designs seem to have no practical use for them. "World Enough and Time" explains them as being the Mondasian Cybermen's emotional inhibitor.
- Jet Pack: The version created by Missy in "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven", and the Mondasian ones in "World Enough and Time"/"The Doctor Falls", have rocket boots.
- Joker Immunity: They've been wiped out several times, but there always turns out to be another batch of them stashed away somewhere on another planet that nobody had ever mentioned before. Or in another universe and those Cybermen have the immunity, too; at one point, every last one of them was sucked into a featureless void for eternity, and they still managed to come back. "The Doctor Falls" gives some justification to this by establishing them as a repeating pattern even if they're wiped out, someone, somewhere, will end up recreating them.
- Leitmotif: "Space Adventure" in the black and white era. "The Cybermen" in the revival.
- Literal Surveillance Bug: The Cybermats.
- Long Bus Trip: The original Mondasian version from "The Tenth Planet" didn't reappear until 2017's "World Enough and Time"/"The Doctor Falls".
- Loss of Identity: People who are transformed into Cybermen are stripped of all personality and individuality, becoming soulless killers. Once a human is transformed, they're considered dead and all that can be done is to destroy the Cyberman. The process isn't perfect, though, as there have been a rare few exceptions across the series and expanded universe who held onto their individuality through one means or another.
- Machine Monotone: All Cybermen talk in a mechanical, computer-like voice, though they shift in and out of this in their "Earthshock" appearance.
- Machine Worship: How the Mondasian Cybermen got started, before deciding that everyone else should be like them too.
- Malevolent Mugshot: Their logo design in the 60s, and more recently in "Blood of the Cybermen".
- Multiple-Choice Past: While rising on Mondas is the most common origin for them, other media has also claimed they originated on Telos, Marinus (sometimes as a past Mondas), Planet 14, and a Mondasian colony ship. "The Doctor Falls" gets around this by claiming the Cybermen rose naturally on all of them they're the inevitable result of a combination of sufficient technology and insufficient caution.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: The Cyberman in "The Pandorica Opens" shows several abilities that never appear before or after; the ability for the head to move and operate on its own, grow tentacles, shoot tranquilising darts, split open the face plate, and survive without any living organic components.
- The Noseless: Although the Cybermen have been through numerous radical redesigns since their first appearance, this has always been a constant.
- Obliviously Evil: They genuinely think that Unwilling Roboticization is a favour for humanity.
- Red Scare: In contrast to the Daleks who represented World War II-era fears of Nazism and fascism, the Cybermen exemplify Cold War-era Western fears of collectivism and communism taken to the extreme. The fact that the Cyber-Leader in "Doomsday" specifically references the elimination of social class is telling that these themes are still relevant to their concept.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Where the Daleks are an analogy for Nazi Germany, the Cybermen on the other hand are an analogy for Soviet Russia. They are hell-bent on surviving forever through the enforcement of unity by converting all other humanoid creatures into Cybermen like themselves, their only long-term goal being to keep carrying out this directive.
- Silent Antagonist: The "Nightmare in Silver" Cybermen don't say much.
- Spikes of Villainy: The 2020 versions have spikes on the shoulders.
- Stompy Mooks: The 2013 versions have this, just like the Cybus Cybermen. Even the original variants were given this trait.
- Straw Vulcan: Depending on the Writer. The emotionless qualities of the Cybermen are dropped if convenient.
- Super Speed: The ones that first appeared in "Nightmare in Silver" can move much faster than anything seen before, effectively graduating into Lightning Bruiser. Matt Smith even commented that was the most scary thing about them in that story.
- Talking Lightbulb: The new series versions have blue lights in their mouth that flash as they speak, borrowed from their Cybus counterparts.
- Too Dumb to Live: They locked the Doctor up in an explosives storage closet... without searching him for items that could be used as a detonator. Guess how he got the door open?
- Took a Level in Badass:
- In "Nightmare in Silver", where they have since become equipped with an Adaptive Ability, rendering them quickly immune to things that have previously destroyed or slowed them down. And to make it worse, they now have Super Speed that reaches Bullet Time levels, and it requires special guns to even damage them.
- And they quickly become immune to even those guns too.
- Worse for the Doctor, they aren't limited to assimilating Humans anymore, putting Time Lords on the menu.
- In their next appearance in "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven", they have upgraded again, this time capable of flight, having advanced nanotechnology that can even resurrect and convert the dead, and maybe or not finally capable of time-travel. Though this is due to being under Missy's control. The nanotech is so advanced that Missy's ultimate plan involves infesting the atmosphere of Earth with it until every living human and every human corpse becomes a Cyberman.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: In at least a couple episodes, forced conversion to Cybermen was announced as the fate for those captives who were "worthy" of the "honour", particularly the Doctor. Most notably in "The Tomb of the Cybermen", where this fate was intended for all of the expedition team, as a "reward" for having re-awakened them.
- Vestigial Empire: According to Jack Harkness in "Fugitive of the Judoon", the Cybermen have become this, but that could all change if the "Lone Cyberman" gets what it wants.
- Villain Team-Up: Since 2014, they have worked alongside the Master no less than three times in the TV series. With the exception of the first time in "Dark Water" (in which Missy, and later the Doctor, had total control over the Cybermen), these alliances have ended poorly for one party or the other.
- Vocal Evolution: In their very first appearance, the Cybermen were depicted with an odd, high-pitched sing-song voice due to using AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle. Subsequent appearances began tinkering with this formula, mostly through the use of synthesizing to convey a more "mechanical" tone. Stand-outs include the use of an electro-larynx-like buzzing, emotionless monotone in "The Tomb of the Cybermen", and the smoothly electronic vocals associated with the Cybus Cybermen of "Rise of the Cybermen".
- When the very first breed of Mondasian Cybermen reappeared in 2017, they retained the odd sing-song voices, but with the modern day vocal processing added (which had previously been used by Big Finish's depictions of them).
- Voice of the Legion: Notable with Troughton-era Cybermen, just barely audible under the sound of the Cyber-voice is a second one, a hissing rasp of the original being before they became a Cyberman.
- Was Once a Man: Wherever they begin, it follows a similar pattern: people use cybernetics to replace organic body parts, then someone decides to go all the way and make the entire body cybernetic, discarding humanity and emotion, and the Cybermen are created anew.
- Weaksauce Weakness: The infamous gold allergy evolved into this over time. It started as "gold dust jams up their works" and eventually became "you can kill them instantly with gold coins fired from a slingshot". This was quietly ignored in the RTD years (a tie-in site mentions that R&D eliminated the Cybus breed's allergy before they even started).
- However, in Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation², they were able to mostly defeat the Cybermen using gold dust, at Eleven's suggestion.
- In "Nightmare in Silver" it's mentioned as having been useful against older tech, but not even worth trying against new. Despite this, some models such as the Cyberplanner still contain the flaw deep within the source code for their operating systems, which the Doctor exploits, forcing it to spend time developing a patch.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The original purpose of the Mondasian Cybermen was as a way to survive biosphere extinction, when a catastrophe threw Mondas out of orbit. To that end, they sacrificed their humanity to ensure their preservation, genuinely believing it to be the right thing to do. The Cybermen see themselves as a superior species (and they sorta are), so cannot comprehend why people don't want to become like them. Furthermore, it's a very "us or them" kind of situation, and while the Cybermen intend to save as many humans as they possibly can, they acknowledge those they can't will die.
- The alternate universe counterparts were likewise created as a way to make humanity live forever. Afterwards, they saw the decision to not upgrade as irrational and decided to remove choice from the equation entirely.
Introduced in "Revenge of the Cybermen", a Cyber-Leader would appear in every subsequent Cybermen story of the original series. Although each Cyber-Leader was a different unit, they were all played by the same actor during the John Nathan-Turner eranote and were functionally the same character.
- Big Bad: Of "Revenge of the Cybermen" and "Earthshock".
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Virtually all post-"Earthshock" appearances, original or revival series, aside from "Attack of the Cybermen", where it's The Dragon.
- Catchphrase: "EXCELLENT!"
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Cyber-Leader has black handlebars on its head. The Revival series specifies this as part of a villainous upgrade.
- Creepy Monotone: In "Attack of the Cybermen", it's a lot less scenery-chewing, which makes it sound very intimidating. Once Nicholas Briggs started supplying the voice, a more straight Machine Monotone became standard.
- The Dragon: To the Cyber-Controller in "Attack of the Cybermen".
- Dragon-in-Chief: It's implied that this is its normal role, but the Controller so rarely appears onscreen that this story is the only time we see it actually depicted.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Speaks in a lower register than its troops, with David Banks seemingly channeling Darth Vader at a few points.
- Informed Attribute: Cybermen are supposed to be emotionless, but the David Banks incarnation is very emotive.
- Large Ham: David Banks was clearly enjoying himself. Every syllable is relished. The Doctor even lampshades this:"Compared to some, this one's positively flippant."
- Legacy Character: See the entry for You Are in Command Now.
- Out of Focus: From 2013 to 2017, when Cybermen are led by Mr. Clever and later, the Master.
- Smug Snake: Particularly in "Earthshock", where the Leader is convinced nothing can stop the Cybermen's plans, and "The Five Doctors", where it's arrogant enough to think it can control the Master, of all people.
- We Meet Again:"So, we meet again, Doctor!"
- You Are in Command Now: When a Cyber-Leader is destroyed, one of its mooks is upgraded into the next Leader.
- You Are Number 6: Cybus Cyber-Leaders have numbered designations.
A unique Cyberman who directs the Cybermen's central base of operations on Telos. Larger and more autonomous than the standard Cyberman, the Controller is primarily preoccupied with formulating plans to preserve its species in the aftermath of Mondas' destruction, and rarely sees action in the field.
- Adipose Rex: It's a bit larger than an ordinary Cyberman by default, but it's rather heavyset in its 1980s appearance.
- Big Bad: Of "The Tomb of the Cybermen" and "Attack of the Cybermen".
- Brain in a Jar: Implied, but not as explicit as the Cybus/Lumic incarnation.
- Colony Drop: How it plans to destroy Earth in "Attack of the Cybermen".
- Evil Sounds Deep: But generally colder and more mechanical than the Cyber-Leader.
- King Mook: Is higher on the food chain than the Cyber-Leader.
- Legacy Character: In theory, yes, but the Controller featured in "Tomb" and "Attack" is strongly implied to be the same individual.
- My Brain Is Big: Requiring a special domed cranial casing.
- Orcus on His Throne: Doesn't usually leave the Cyber-Tombs, so is rarely encountered by the Doctor.
- Playing Possum: Can take more punishment than the average Cyberman, so pulls this quite a few times.
- All There in the Manual: The first Cyber-Planner was created when the (still human) Intelligencia of Mondas abandoned their individual personalities and funnelled their collective intelligence into a mechanical shell.
- Armchair Military: Given how it is a computer that cannot move on its own (outside of Grand Theft Me), it doesn't really have much of a choice.
- The Assimilator: Can take over the mind of organic lifeforms and use their knowledge to expedite its plans.
- Big Bad: Of "The Wheel in Space" and "The Invasion".
- Brain in a Jar: Implied to have some organic components.
- Complexity Addiction: The plan it formulates in "The Wheel In Space" has shades of this: Capture the Silver Carrier and have the Servo-Robot pilot it towards the Wheel. When nearby, it releases tiny pods across space that go into the Wheel and hatch Cybermats. The Cybermats then consume the Wheel's stocks of bernalium. Meanwhile, the Cybermen ionise a star to (somehow) divert an asteroid storm towards the Wheel. The crew of the Wheel will notice this, but be unable to use their defensive laser without bernalium. They will then discover that the Silver Carrier has plenty of bernalium on board, so will go over to get it. Concealed in the bernalium are large egg-like pods which, when on the Wheel, will hatch Cybermen. These Cybermen will then deactivate the Wheel's oxygen supply, killing the crew. The Cybermen will then be able to use the Wheel as a beacon for their fleet. All of which raises the question: if they want a beacon, why not just build one?
- Costume Evolution: Inverted. The Planner featured in "The Invasion" looks less advanced than the one seen in "The Wheel in Space" (which takes place a century later). Justified, as for the first half of the narrative, it had to look like a machine that Tobias Vaughn could have conceivably built himself.
- Evil Doppelgänger: One of them essentially becomes this for the Eleventh Doctor (see the entry for Mr. Clever).
- No Kill Like Overkill: In "The Invasion", after its fleet is destroyed, the Cyber-Planner intends to destroy all life on Earth with a super bomb.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Being completely immobile with no defensive capabilities, it obviously can't fight.
- We Have Reserves: Thinks nothing of sacrificing its own troops in "The Invasion".Cyber-Planner: You are of no further use to us. The Cyber-invasion must succeed. The bomb will be delivered.
Vaughn: But if you do, you'll destroy everything here. Even your own Cybermen!
Cyber-Planner: The sacrifice will be small.
- Would Hurt a Child: Sees the minds of children as prime targets for assimilation because of their imaginative potential.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If you're not a Cyberman you will eventually find yourself on the receiving end of this. Even if you are... see the entry for We Have Reserves.
Mr. Clever is a Cyber-Planner that was operating out of the brain of the Eleventh Doctor. As a result, there was a much more flamboyant, emotive, and outlandish personality than one would ordinarily associate with Cybermen.
- The Chessmaster: Holds his own in a game against the Doctor. Or so it seems. The real match, at least for the Doctor, was taking place off the board.
- Expy: Of Mr. Hyde, which fits the motif considering when you put the two together it's "The Doctor and Mr. Clever".
- Grand Theft Me: The Doctor is partially converted into a Cyber-Planner. Mr. Clever would like very much to make it a full conversion.
- Hyde Plays Jekyll: Tries to impersonate the Doctor in an attempt to fool Clara, but she sees through his act when he tells her he thinks she's pretty, something the real Doctor would never be upfront about.
- Hypocritical Humor: Chastises the Doctor on the uselessness of emotions, in a rather emotional display. Also a far more emotive Cyber-entity than we usually see.
- Jerkass: Mr. Clever is extremely unpleasant. He cruelly mocks Clara by telling her she's going to die pointlessly and very far from home and he tries to have Angie and Artie killed simply to spite the Doctor. It's very satisfying when the Doctor defeats him.
- Large Ham: Even beyond Matt Smith's usual hamminess while playing the Doctor.
- Spot the Imposter: An unusual case, as both the Doctor and Mr. Clever are operating out of the same head at the same time.
- That Liar Lies: The Doctor says that if the Cyber-Planner loses the game of chess, he'll break his promises and kill them all anyway.
Formerly known as Ashad, this half-converted, insane Cyberman is sent to retrieve the Cyberium database and help rebuild the Cyber Empire in the aftermath of the Cyber Wars.
- Artifact of Doom: Possesses the Cyberium, a database containing all the knowledge of the Cybermen, and the Death particle, capable of wiping out any organic life if released.
- Axe-Crazy: Kills most people who cross his path even if they don't get in his way.
- Been There, Shaped History: Partly inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Serves as Series 12's Arc Villain alongside the Master until the Master, far from being one to share the spotlight, usurps him completely.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He has a good run as an Arc Villain, but he gets a little too careless with the Master, who hijacks his plan.
- Blood Knight: Takes great pride in the Cybermen's reputation as a mighty warrior race, a spiel you'd sooner expect from a Sontaran, and he takes sadistic pleasure in hunting down the remaining humans.
- Body Horror: Ashad's conversion was only half completed, not even having an emotional inhibitor and leaving several body parts exposed including the left side of his face and left arm.The Doctor: Interesting look. What happened? They get bored halfway through or something?
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Zigzagged. Ashad is completely nuts but given his lack of an inhibitor it's unclear how much of this is due to the conversion or his personality before then.
- Dark Messiah: Ashad appears to have an almost religious zealotry for his cause: wanting the Cybermen to become completely cybernetic and viewing it as the ultimate ascension, removing the organic components from several he finds to turn them into his own army. His speeches on the ascension have a similar zealousness to the Dalek Emperor
- The Dreaded: Enough so that Captain Jack Harkness hams his way back into the show for an episode just to forewarn the current companions about the destruction the Lone Cyberman will bring in the future. When Ashad eventually appears, the tone of the show gets significantly bleaker.
- Evil Laugh: A really creepy one.
- Knight of Cerebus: His appearance marks a distinct tonal shift for Series 12 as his threat forces the usually chipper Thirteenth Doctor to get truly serious and resort to using almost militaristic tactics against him.
- Large Ham: Think David Banks' Cyber-Leaders on crack. Justified, as it is acknowledged In-Universe that Ashad lacks an emotional inhibitor.
- MacGuffin: His debut sees him pursuing the Cyberium, an ethereal entity that contains all Cyberman stratagems, and it is later revealed that Ashad himself is a Living MacGuffin, or rather the Death Particle within him. After the Master kills him with the TCE, Ashad's shrunken, action-figure sized body is used as a weapon by the Doctor and Ko Sharmus.
- Pater Familicide: He proudly claims to have murdered his own children for joining the resistance against the Cybermen and then allowed himself to be partially converted into a Cyberman, ending his own humanity.
- Person of Mass Destruction: When he said that he held the death of all things within him, he meant literally. His chest compartment hides the Death particle, a weapon with the potential to destroy all organic life on an entire planet (at least).
- The Remnant: Alongside two similarly degraded Cybus Cybermen, he is one of the last active Cybermen in the galaxy by the end of the Cyber-Wars and is relentlessly hunting down the very last vestiges of humanity.
- Sadistic Choice: Makes the Doctor choose between giving him the Cyberium to doom the future or let him destroy the Earth in 1816. She gives him the Cyberium.
- Tempting Fate: Says to the Master that the Cyberium won't leave his body as long as he lives. The Master immediately kills him.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: Inverted: only partially converted compared to regular Cybermen, Ashad's goal is to "ascend" from his organic form, becoming fully robotic - something he desires for all Cybermen. The Master finds this highly underwhelming given the many other robots in the Whoniverse, partially inspiring him to turn on Ashad later.
- Unstoppable Rage: Seems to be his default emotional state.
- Villain Team-Up: The Master gives him a belter of an alliance offer by inviting the Lone Cyberman's forces through the Boundary to the ruins of Gallifrey and allowing them access to the vast data stores within the Matrix. Of course, the Master is using him and the alliance quickly dissolves.
- Would Hurt a Child: Averted for William Shelley, but not for any compassionate reasons. He only spares the baby because he's a "useless runt" not worth converting.
- You Are What You Hate: The Doctor accurately summarises that for all his evangelising about the superiority of the "Cyber race", Ashad is far from a model Cyberman himself because not only was his physical conversion incomplete to the point that half of his face is exposed, he retains his human emotions and memories due to his lack of inhibitor. Surprisingly, he's already quite accepting of the contradiction, but it doesn't change his mind at all.
- Badass Cape: As standard issue.
- Elite Mooks: Superior in every way to plain old Cybermen, the CyberMasters serve as the Master's immortal henchmen.
- Fashion-Victim Villain: They retain the Time Lords' questionable dress sense, with their design including gaudy red robes and the infamous high collars on top of gold-tinted Cyberman armour. Considering that it was the Master that made them, this was likely intentional.
- Invincible Villain: They also retain the Time Lord ability to regenerate, making them so dangerous that Ko Sharmus sacrifices himself and Gallifrey to destroy them with the Death Particle.
- Motive Decay: They have no adherence to usual Cyberman doctrine about converting all other lifeforms, instead obeying only the Master's commands.
- Mythology Gag:
- The Master, as Missy, previously commanded an army of obedient undead Cybermen in Series 8's finale. Series 10 saw her (and her past self) try to enthral some Cybermen, but that attempt went much worse.
- Their existence seems to serve as one to the Titan Comics storyline Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen, which also saw Cybermen, under the leadership of Rassilon, invading Gallifrey and converting Time Lords.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: They are undead Cyber-Time Lords that serve the Master.
- Spikes of Villainy: Carried over from the 2020 Cyberman design though less prominent under their robes.
- Too Cool to Live: They are apparently destroyed by Ko Sharmus in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom before they have a chance to get out into the universe.
The founder of International Electromatics, who met the Cybermen and formed an alliance with them, and then masterminded an invasion to take over the Earth. However, he plans to backstab them as he knows their intentions too well.
- Control Freak: While his identical offices are mostly the result of cheap budgeting, it does say something about him that all his offices are exactly alike, and adds to his characterization as someone who sees order and uniformity as part of rejecting inferiority.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Vaughn is very much a corporate Blofeld, who runs his company as a private fiefdom and allows his security guards to murder anyone who gets in his way.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Averted! Unlike the vast majority of other convertees, Vaughn's new cyber-body affects neither his will nor his personality, and doesn't even seem to come with an altered appearance or inability to feel sensation, even as it means he doesn't have to blink and is Immune to Bullets.
- Emotion Bomb: His Cerebration Mentor weapons, which inflict extra-strong emotions on people. Notably, because Cybermen are not properly equipped to handle any emotions, let alone the incredibly intense ones caused by the Mentors, they are either killed or driven insane by these weapons, which is a cornerstone of his eventual attempt to destroy his "allies" once they've conquered the world for him.
- Enemy Mine: Ultimately allies with the Doctor to prevent the Cybermen from destroying humanity, and also to take revenge on them.
- Evil Genius: Even setting aside his association with extraterrestrial intelligences, Vaughn is a legitimate genius, with a company whose products exist all over the world.
- Expy: He's similar to Mavic Chen from "The Daleks' Master Plan", another character Kevin Stoney played. They work with the Big Bads, then betray them for their own purposes.
- The Quisling: He plans to ally with the Cybermen, but betrays them once they succeed in their mission.
- Sadistic Choice: Somewhat zigzagged. His initial intent once the Cybermen take over was to use the Cerebration Mentor to destroy his allies, but then decides to take the TARDIS from the Doctor hearing from him, but that fails after he and his companions escaped. He then decides to go to the original play, but that fails after Watkins escaped as well. So the only choice left was to bargain with the Cybermen, which even then didn't worked out.
- Villainous Breakdown: When the Cyber-Planner finally loses patience with him and decides to just nuke the planet.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He runs a business, and no one aside from his workers know his intentions.
- Visionary Villain: He believes his conquest of the world will allow him to sweep away all the messy disorder and competing ideologies that cause so much suffering, chaos, and death in the world, and instead let him use his superior intellect to impose a single world order where mankind will not be divided any longer.
- You Don't Look Like You: His animation model for the recreation of episodes 1 and 4 lacks Kevin Stoney's distinctive half-closed right eye. (Probably because the animation models need to be mirrored and they didn't want to cause continuity errors.)
The Hospital Staff
A group of workers stationed at the Mondasian Colony Ship's Conversion Hospital.
- Lack of Empathy: With the exception of Mr. Razor, all workers at the hospital seem to be apathetic towards the cries of pain emitted by the patients, justified in that it's the only way for the inhabitants of Floor 1056 to survive their harsh conditions.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: They are the workers in charge of mantaining the Cyberman Conversion process aboard the Mondasian Colony Ship.
The lead surgeon in charge of Cyberman Conversions.
- False Reassurance: What he gives to Bill before her conversion.Bill: But look at them! They're screaming every second they're alive!
Surgeon: But we've got something for that now! [holds up Cybermen handlebars] This won't stop you feeling pain, but it will stop you caring about it. It fits over your head.
- Lack of Empathy: Played Straight with his attitude towards the extreme pain suffered by conversion patients, then later subverted with the introduction of the pain inhibitors.
- No Name Given: He is not officially given a name.
- Red Herring: Seems to be the main villain of the episode, but the Master is superior to him.
- Skewed Priorities: Rather than come up with a way to fix the cyber-conversion so that it doesn't inflict unimaginable pain, he just comes up with a brain-manipulating implant that stops the Cybermen from caring that they're in pain.
The Surgeon's assistant, who is tasked with overlooking the patients after the lights go out.
- Battleaxe Nurse: She is an asshole to her patients and doesn't care when one is in pain.
- Lack of Empathy: Particularly emphasised with the Nurse, as her reaction to a patient's repeated screams of pain is to mute his volume dial.
- No Name Given: She is not officially given a name.
The eccentric and disheveled Hospital janitor.
- False Friend: He is one to Bill, playing her like a fiddle the whole time.
- The Igor: He has overtones of this before his true identity is revealed.
- Latex Perfection: He hides his true appearance via a rubber mask.
- Mr. Exposition: He explains the Backstory of the Mondasians and why they're doing what they're doing now. Interestingly, despite The Reveal that Mr. Razor is actually the Master, there is no reason to think (at this point) that he lies to Bill about anything aside from who he is.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Right before Mr. Razor reveals himself to be John Simm's Master, shades of Simm's normal, unaffected voice start to seep through.
- The Reveal: His true identity is that of the Master in disguise.
- Spot of Tea: Enjoys this with Bill regularly. As far as he's concerned, it's the real horror of the hospital. And this is the "good" tea.
- Token Good Teammate: Is the only person in the hospital who cares remotely for Bill's safety. Sadly, it's just an act.
- Walking Spoiler: Not only was he manipulating Bill, he was the Harold Saxon Master in disguise the whole time.
- Wham Line:Mr. Razor: Do you still like disguises? Of course, they are rather necessary [accent changes] when you happen to be someone's former Prime Minister!
The parallel Earth Cybermen (or Cybus Cybermen or Cybusmen, after the evil corporation that created them). These Cybermen come from a parallel universe. Have been around for a while, first appearing in "Rise of the Cybermen" in 2006. Get sent into the Void between dimensions, from where they neatly spill over into the regular timeline.
Tropes associated with the television continuity:
- Ambiguous Situation: Because the "C" on their chest was removed after "The Pandorica Opens", it makes it hard to tell if the Cybermen that carry the design are actually the same branch as the Cybus ones, or the original counterparts. Not helping the case is that after they came from their universe, they use different ways to convert others.
- Assimilation Plot: Every single time, they want to "upgrade" everyone.
- The Assimilator: Coupled with the Unwilling Roboticisation trope.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Of the 2006 series, with the Cult of Skaro for the season finale, "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday".
- Body Horror: The Cyber-conversion process is... not pleasant. The details aren't given in full, but the general gist is most of the human parts are sliced away, and the remains welded to a metal exoskeleton.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Due to their more corporate origins.The Doctor: A logo on the front. Lumic's turned them into a brand.
- Catchphrase: "You will be deleted", or simply "DELETE".
- Chest Insignia: They have a "C" on their chests. Mondasian Cybermen that have copied their template do not share this feature, instead having something more akin to an inverted XANA symbol.
- Creative Sterility: The Doctor describes them with this trope in their debut arc.The Doctor: The Cybermen won't advance. You'll just stay like this forever! A metal Earth with metal men and metal thoughts, lacking the one thing that makes human beings so alive: People!
- Creepy Monotone: All Cybus Cybermen talk in a mechanical, computer-like voice.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Deliberately invoked and played with; the Cybusmen have "emotional inhibitors" because any human who can truly grasp what has happened will Go Mad from the Revelation and then explode.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bizarrely. The Cybermen occasionally show a little bit of sass to their enemies. It's very rare, but it happens.Dalek Thay: Daleks have no concept of elegance!
Cyberman: This is obvious.
- The Dreaded: Note the Doctor's reaction when he first sees them. He's utterly terrified, and doesn't even bother fighting them, he just tries to surrender.
- Enemy Mine: At first, it was just a case of Evil vs. Evil with the Cult of Skaro, as the Daleks had no plans of playing together. But eventually, once Sec got the Genesis Ark opened, the Cybermen had no choice but to ally with Torchwood and the Doctor to fight them off.
- Evil Sounds Deep: In "The Next Doctor", their voices are much deeper than usual.
- The Japanese dub of their stories gave this trait.
- Fate Worse than Death: Becoming a Cybus-Cyberman is a fate so hideous, so inherently traumatizing, that they depend on their emotional inhibition to survive; any Cybus-Cyberman who has their emotions restored becomes overwhelmed by pain and body dysphoria, invariably committing suicide.
- Humongous Mecha: In "The Next Doctor", called a Cyberking.
- Immune to Bullets: What with being made of metal. They're not immune to rockets or particle guns, though.
- Jet Pack: They gained rocket boots much like their parallel counterparts from the 2013 redesigns.
- Join or Die: They offer two choices: Upgrade, or refuse. Refusal means you're irrelevant, and irrelevant elements are deleted. However, they might decide someone's not worth upgrading, and kill them anyway.
- King Mook: The first Cyber-Controller, a converted John Lumic, who has a slightly modified design and sits on a massive throne.
- Leitmotif: Bwaah-BWAAH-bwaah-bwaah-bwaah-bwaaaaaah! It's so memorable that the six-note theme has carried over to pretty much every appearance of the Cybermen in the revival series, including those of the Mondasian Cybermen.
- Machine Monotone: With the Cybus Cybermen, the Cybermen regain the ability to speak in a constant and unchanging machine-monotone after gradually losing that trait in the eighties, but as Deadpan Snarker shows, they bizarrely lose it too occasionally.
- Motive Decay: The way they convert people after their initial appearance changed. They originally just have the brain, nervous system and organs removed from the human body and transfer it to the empty suit. When teleported from out of their own universe, they started converting others by simply removing body parts with the mechanical implants, similar to their parallel counterparts. This was proven corrected in Torchwood when Lisa Hallett was partially converted, and when the decapitated head from "The Pandorica Opens" reveals a skull.
- Mythology Gag:
- The way their "mouth movements" are done behind the scenes are similar to how the original Cybermen move their mouths. The only difference is that there's a switch in the mask that lights the "teeth".
- Their original voices from their initial appearance to "The Next Doctor" are based on the Cybermen voices from "The Invasion", only a bit lower.
- In the Cybus notes, they originally had the gold weakness until it was improved much later.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: They get new powers or "upgrades" with each appearance. At first they killed by electrocuting through direct contact, then they could fire lasers.
- Obliviously Evil: They genuinely think that Unwilling Roboticization is a favour for humanity.
- Psycho Electro: Their original method of killing was to electrocute victims.
- Robo Speak: They have a tendency to use more tehcnical terms when speaking.
- Stompy Mooks: They constantly march in formation while making as much ominous noise as possible... so the Doctor is very surprised when they manage to sneak up on him in "The Next Doctor". "D'you have your legs on silent?"
- Talking Lightbulb: They were the first version of the Cybermen to have flashing blue lights in their mouths when speaking.
- Uniformity Exception: Cyber-Leaders have black handlebars, compared to the rank-and-file's grey. Likewise, the lead Cyberman in "The Next Doctor" has a visible brain, like the Cyber-Controller, and a black face plate.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: Even more so than the Mondasian Cybermen; those of Mondas had no choice but to convert into Cybermen to survive, but the Cybus-Cybermen were forcibly converted against their will by John Lumic, who used brainwashing technology to make people literally walk into the conversion chambers.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Their idea of a utopia, at least.
- Villain Team-Up: They teamed up with both of their parallel counterpart Cybermen.
- Was Once a Man: All Cybus-Cybermen were humans, originally. Now, they're nothing but brains and perhaps a few other organs/nerves stuffed into cybernetic shells.
- We Can Rule Together: They offer an alliance with the Daleks. Fortunately (for the rest of the universe), the Daleks decline.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The original purpose of the Mondasian Cybermen was to survive at the cost of their humanity, which they genuinely believe to be the right thing. The Cybus Cybermen are basically the same, except the factors that influenced the motivation are much more selfish.
- Your Head Asplode: They make a habit of this when their emotional inhibitors are deactivated.
The CEO, director and co-founder of Cybus Industries, John Lumic was the brilliant and insane creator of the parallel universe versions of the Cybermen (Cybus Cybermen). He was dying from a terminal illness, and made efforts to upgrade himself and eventually all of humanity into a higher lifeform.
- Big "NO!": Once the Doctor kills all of his Cybermen stationed in London, he shrieks "NOOOOOOO!" and personally chases after the Doctor.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He owns Cybus Industries, which from the looks of it, pretty much owns the entire internet. Via his Cybus earpods, which just about everyone wears, he can remotely control anyone to achieve his ends. It's safe to say that not only is he corrupt, but pretty evil to boot.
- Evil Brit: He is identified as being a British native (in fact, that Britain is his homeland is why he decided to start upgrading there).
- Evil Cripple: He's wheelchair bound and has a wealth of life-support instruments hooked up.
- Evil Genius: This man created the Cybermen, albeit a parallel universe counterpart.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: "A remark about 'crashing the party' might be appropriate at this point, sir!"
- Evil Is Hammy: Despite being a No-Nonsense Nemesis, he has a very grandiose manner of speaking.
- Expy: What if Tobias Vaughan (a Villain with Good Publicity who has a fascination with technology) was Davros (crippled and hammy evil genius who's the de facto ruler of his society)?
- Faux Affably Evil: From the get-go, he's depicted as a very unpleasant man. So any charm he does display is entirely transparent and superficial.
- Freudian Excuse: Suggested. Based on when he asks the Doctor if he's ever known grief, rage and pain (with an angry tone), it's possible Lumic himself may have experienced these things earlier in his life, and they hardened him into the man he's seen as.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He was upgraded much sooner than he had planned on, due to Crane's unexpected attempt on his life, and was visibly panicked when a Cyberman took him away against his will. It's ultimately subverted though, as he not only got everything he wanted, but became the Cyber-Controller in the process.
- It's All About Me: John Lumic is dying of an unspecified illness, and therefore decides to find a way, any way, to save himself, no matter how many people he has to kill, or worse. Unlike the Cybermen, who think they're genuinely doing people a favour scooping their innards out, Lumic's only motivation is ever himself and his legacy.
- Mortality Phobia: All ambition aside, Lumic is nothing more than a weak old man deathly scared of dying.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: He doesn't really play around. The second he doesn't get what he wants, he sends in a horde of Cybermen. Even small-talk is beyond him.
- Visionary Villain: Foresees a world of Cybermen as one without grief, rage, or pain... the Doctor, of course, points out how that means a world without happiness, calm, or pleasure, too.