Monday, 11 May 2015

Know Your Cybermen No.7

Earthshock (1982).
The Cybermen return after a seven year absence, with their most significant redesign so far. The basic shape of the helmet remains the same as the last two versions but the faceplate has some detailing - a horizontal ridge - and the jaw area is now transparent. Silvery flesh can be seen underneath. The chest unit is now incorporated into a collar section which is linked to the helmet. They no longer have the piping along the limbs. Instead, the whole body is covered in piping and cabling. The hands are five fingered and large. On their feet are what look like "moon-boots".
The Cyber-Leader still has black markings on the "handles" to denote his rank. There is also a Cyber-Lieutenant rank, though this has no distinguishing features.
These Cybermen carry laser rifles which emit a blue pulse.
It is the year 2526, and the Cybermen have turned their attention towards Earth which is about to play host to a conference which threatens to forge an alliance against them. The Cybermen plant a powerful bomb in a cave system near to the conference venue, guarded by android sentinels. An invasion force is, meanwhile, assembled on a space freighter approaching the planet. Most of these lie dormant in individual silos. A human crew member is helping conceal them.
When the Doctor deactivates the bomb, the Cyber-Leader activates his army and they plan to take over the freighter. It will be loaded with explosives and crashed into the planet instead. This plan also fails, thanks to the self-sacrifice of the Doctor's young companion Adric. The Cybermen inadvertently help the human race come into being, by wiping out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
These Cybermen are still susceptible to gold.
The Cyber-Leader recognises the Doctor and the TARDIS, and his Lieutenant has heard of the Time Lords. The Cybermen have visual records of previous incarnations of the Doctor.

Story Notes:

  • David Banks plays the first of several Cyber-Leaders. He is rather fond of the expression "Excellent!", and is not averse to a bit of fist clenching - so these Cybermen are not totally unemotional.
  • Elements from previous Cyber-stories include the Cybermen stored in their silos (The Invasion), and the back-up plan of crashing a space craft into a planet plus a human collaborator (Revenge).
  • The bodies of these new Cybermen are silver-painted pilots' flight-suits. The piping is for warmth.
  • The transparent jaws were to remind us that these are not robots, but converted humanoids. The battery packs for the microphones were positioned higher up within the helmet, but during recording the heat caused perspiration and the packs tended to slip down to the chin where they could be seen. As such, the jaws are made opaque in shots recorded later in the evening.
  • Bits of the "Nostromo" set from Alien were used for the Cyber controls.
  • Whilst a Cyber-gun prop was reused by the Silurians in Warriors of the Deep.
  • Clips are seen from The Tenth Planet, Wheel In Space and Revenge of the Cybermen. The dialogue accompanying the Troughton clip relates to Tomb of the Cybermen, but that story was still lost at the time this was made.

No comments:

Post a Comment