As Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi prepares to take his leave of the TARDIS in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, it looks as if one of the actor’s cherished wishes for the series is coming true. Capaldi has often spoken for his fondness for the ‘original’ Cybermen who first appeared in Doctor Who in William Hartnell’s swansong serial The Tenth Planet in 1966.
Although primitive, the first Cybermen, with their eerie cloth-clad faces, huge lamp-like headpieces, massive chest-plates and human hands, were an immediate hit with viewers of the series and the creatures returned repeatedly throughout the era of second Doctor Patrick Troughton, their appearance redesigned and made much sleeker with every return engagement against the Doctor. The Cybermen only appeared once in the 1970s but regained ‘recurring adversary’ status in the 1980s after their surprise reintroduction in 1982’s Earthshock starring fifth Doctor Peter Davison. The Cybermen were quickly resurrected when Doctor Who returned from its long hiatus in 2005 although this new ‘breed’ of militaristic Cybermen were the creations of an insane scientist on a parallel version of Earth. But now it appears, from a new still issued today by the BBC, the original Cybermen, hailing from the planet Mondas (and often referred to as the ‘Mondasian Cybermen’) are back in the two-part tenth series finale, which has just started production. Even the most jaded and disillusioned Doctor Who fans (naming no names) will surely feel a thrill of anticipation at the confirmation of the long-rumoured return of a genuine classic from the original Doctor Who series and will be hoping against hope that outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat will be able to pull something really special out of the bag to make their return one of the most memorable and iconic moments of Doctor Who in the 21st century.
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 in the UK on April 15th.
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