Friday, 3 July 2015

Know Your Cybermen No.12

Army of Ghosts / Doomsday (2006).
In a way it is part two to Rise of the Cybermen / Age of Steel. These are the same Cybus Cybermen that we saw half a series ago. We saw the London army destroyed, but mention was made of other Lumic factories across the globe where other Cybermen would be waiting to emerge. (There is no mention of Cybermen anywhere other than London being activated). Mickey and Jake were last seen heading off to France to deal with the Cybermen there.
From what we can gather from this new story, the Cybermen were sealed in their factories whilst an ethical debate raged over what to do with them. Then, it was found that they had all vanished. Somehow they have managed to find a way of crossing over to this Earth, travelling through the Void between universes, thanks to a passing Void Ship. They followed it. The activities of Torchwood London allowed them to partially break through into this world, though a couple managed to get through fully. They hid themselves within Torchwood Tower and they are tasked with partially converting some of the personnel. These staff members will open the Void fully and allow the whole Cyber force to come through.
The only design difference is the built-in weaponry in their right arms. This can disable Daleks momentarily, but not destroy them. The Cybermen are susceptible to Dalek firepower, however. The parallel Torchwood have developed weapons that are also effective against them.
The Cyber-Leader is reintroduced - once again denoted by black handlebars on the helmet. We learn what we have always thought - that the knowledge and memories of a Cyber-Leader are downloaded into a new unit when it is destroyed.
These Cybermen are all sucked back into the Void when it is reopened - unable to return to the parallel Earth.

Story Notes:

  • As mentioned above, this forms the second half of an epic four part Cyber-story. Both pairs of episodes were filmed back to back under the direction of Graeme Harper. This is the earliest a series finale has been filmed, so added to the pressures of maintaining secrecy.
  • Two clues were available to fans that the Cybermen would be back for the finale - a clip in a trailer showing a Cyberman lurking behind plastic sheeting, which did not appear in the first two episodes, and a photo of Neil Gorton's studio in the Radio Times - with a Cyber-Leader helmet sitting on the shelf behind him.
  • We also knew that the Daleks were back as one of the props was used at the BAFTAs awards ceremony. Unfortunately they used the black painted Dalek Sec one.
  • When I first visited Cardiff Bay I was able to walk over the bridge where the battle sequence early in Doomsday was filmed. It has since been replaced with a trendy new one. You cross it on your way to the Doctor Who Experience. 
  • Producer Phil Cillinson wanted Mickey to be the one who saved Rose at the last minute, as this would finally dispel the "Mickey the Idiot" thing. Julie Gardner opted for it being Pete - showing that he accepted her as his daughter (even though she wasn't).
  • Rose being sucked into the Void was a combination of wire work - and being wheeled along on a tea trolly.
  • When one of the Cyberman extras failed to turn up, concept artist Peter McKinstry got to play the part - being the right height for the costume.
  • Dalek Jast was originally going to be called Rabe - but it sounded too much like Ray.

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