The BBC have today confirmed that fantasy author Neil Gaiman’s script for the forthcoming batch of Doctor Who episodes, the second half of the seventh season, will see a return appearance for the Cybermen, one of the Doctor’s most iconic and persistent enemies. Created by scientist Kit Pedler and scriptwriter Gerry Davis back in 1966 the Cybermen first appeared in William Hartnell’s last serial, ‘The Tenth Planet’ returning regularly throughout second Doctor Patrick Troughton’s tenure in the role, their costumes undergoing significant modification and updating with each appearance. After ‘The Invasion’ in 1968 the Cybermen were not seen in the show again until ‘Revenge of the Cyber men’ (barring brief cameos in ‘The War Games’ in 1969 and 1973’s ‘Carnival of Monsters’) in Tom Baker’s first season in 1975 and following a resurrection and a further radical redesign for 1981’s ‘Earthshock’ starring Peter Davison they appeared regularly throughout the 1980s. When Russell T Davies revived Doctor Who in 2005 the Cybermen, again redesigned for a modern audience, were called back into service for the two-part ‘Rise of the Cybermen’/’Age of Steel’ in 2006 and they have since appeared in a further six episodes, most recently in 2011’s ‘Closing Time’.
The new episode, currently filming in Cardiff, is directed by Stephen Woolfenden and the guest cast includes Warwick Davis (from the recent BBC2 Ricky Gervais comedy Life’s Too Short), former EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite and Jason Watkins, still remembered by Being Human fans as vicious vampire Herrick and currently starring as exasperated supermarket manager Gavin in Sky One’s comedy Trollied. Gaiman’s episode, his second following 2011’s well-received The Doctor’s Wife, remains untitled and will screen in the Spring when the seventh season of Doctor Who is expected to resume following the broadcast of this year’s Christmas Day special.
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