The Cybermen. The Borg before they got big, basically. Originally from the planet Mondas, a twin of Earth, they began adding little cybernetic bits here and there onto their bodies, trying to make themselves better. But it got away from them, as happens in science fiction, and they lost their humanity, becoming remorseless, cold, machines.
Or, alternatively, they were made by some guy in an alternate reality where zeppelins are still a thing. Pick your poison.
Either way, they traveled through space, and occasionally time, “assimilating” various races. The interesting thing is that the Cybermen assumed they were the good guys. After all, they were freeing people from pain and misery and giving them a new existence. What could possibly be wrong with that?
The Cybermen return this weekend in “Nightmare in Silver”. We don’t know yet if the upcoming story will be good or bad, of just simply “meh”. But we do know about the quality of previous stories. Let’s have a look at the five best and worst of the Cybermen stories!
Oh, and be it noted that I haven’t yet seen “The Tenth Planet”, so I cannot comment on that one. On with the list!
5. “Silver Nemesis”
The only appearance of the Cybermen in the Seventh Doctor’s time on the series. It is, alas, also one of the worst. While not exactly bad, it’s quite far from good. It features magic (yes), Ace killing Cybermen with a slingshot, and then there’s the gold…
You see, back during the Fourth Doctor’s time, some clever person thought it would be a good idea to give the Cybermen a weakness. Not a bad concept, and the weakness of gold dust as something that clogs their air filters, dooming them to death by suffocation, was a good one. However by the time the Seventh Doctor came along, the gold thing had reached the point where basically all the Cybermen had to do was look at gold and they’d fall over twitching.
Despite that, I will allow that this is one of the more fundamentally entertaining episodes of the Seventh Doctor’s era, despite its problems. It’s worth seeing just for Lady Painforte’s high-level hammery.
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