The Cybermen as seen in 1982's Earthshock.

The Cybermen, known to some as the Silver Giants, are among the most popular enemies in Doctor Who, second only to the Daleks. With living human brains plugged into cybernetic bodies both as a power source and means of operation, their mission is to convert as many people into their kind as possible. Only a few methods are known to bring down the Cybermen: Decapitation, as displayed by the Raston Warrior Robot, high energy weaponry such as Dalek guns, shutting down their emotional dampeners (the shock of learning what they have become killing them) and gold, which to the Cybermen is like garlic to a vampire.


The Cybermen originate from Mondas, Earth's twin planet, and were humanoid originally. When Mondas was knocked out of solar orbit and pushed into deep space, the Mondasians began experimenting with cybernetic augmentation in order to survive, while at the same time colonising other worlds. The augmentation eventually led them to replace all but their brains with cybernetic parts. Having removed all emotion from their brains to prevent insanity, the Cybermen were now driven simply to survive, and thus set about converting other species into Cybermen. On a parallel version of Earth, new Cybermen were created by John Lumic of Cybus Industries. Terminally ill and certifiably insane, Lumic created a way to preserve the brain in a cocktail of chemicals and link it to a cybernetic body. After capturing a number of homeless people to ensure the conversion process worked, Lumic began controlling every person on the planet through the Cybus Ear-Pods people wore in lieu of mobile phones and mp3 players, leading them all into Cyber factories to be 'upgraded.' His plan was thwarted however by the Doctor and a resistance group known as the Preachers. A number of Cybermen survived however, and found their way into our universe, where they were soon embroiled in battle against the Torchwood Institute and the Daleks. These Cybermen refer to themselves as 'human point 2' or 'the next level of humanity' and like their Mondasian fellows seek to convert as many people as possible into Cybermen, though they refer to the process as 'upgrading.'

Designs and Variants


The Cybermens' design circa 2006-2013

The Cybermen are notable for having a massive number of redesigns throughout their appearances in Doctor Who, both in design and voice. In 1966's The Tenth Planet, they were much larger and bulkier, having more of a cobbled together appearance and a definite hint of mechanical parts being attached on, though with some vague hints of humanity left over. At this time they spoke in an unsettling sing-song voice. When they returned in 1967's The Moonbase, they appeared to be much more robotic, and this was reflected in their voice, which now had a buzzing, flat, monotonous quality. This design carried over into the same year's Tomb of the Cybermen, though their hands were replaced with pincers of sorts. 1968's The Invasion altered the Cybermens' design again, the cyborgs now appearing much more sleek and streamlined. This design would continue to be used even when the series made the jump into colour, though the Cybermen wouldn't receive their next design alteration until 1982's Earthshock, which saw them return with larger, more imposing designs and the 'silver pyjamas' as seen throughout the 60s replaced with repainted retired flight suits. Their next redesign for television came in 2006's Rise of the Cybermen, and was used for six years. The 'Cybusmen', as fans dubbed them, were large, powerfully built, completely metallic and spoke in a deep monotone. This design was used for six years until their next redesign in 2013's Nightmare in Silver. The current Cyberman model retains the complete metallic finish but has been slimmed down to more human proportions and is more streamlined. They speak little, and when they do, it is again in a monotone, though with a harsher, rasping voice.

Variants of the Cybermen have been seen several times. Cyber Leaders can be easily recognised by the black handlebars on their helmets, and a Cyber Controller is usually distinguished by its brain being visible through its helmet, or a much larger brain-casing, as seen in the 80s. Alternative versions of Cybermen include Cybershades, cyborgs created using animal brains, and Cyberslaves, as seen in the PC game, Blood of the Cybermen. In an odd move, some of the Cybermen seen attacking Trenzalore were made of wood, though this made them easier to defeat.


Cybermen 2013

The Cybermen's appearance as of 2013

In addition to their fleets of massive warships and Cyber conversion technology, the Cybermen have a number of weapons at their disposal, a further indicator of how advanced the Mondasians were. Cybermats have been used several times in the Cybermens' conquests, either to knock victims out before their conversion, or to infect people with a nanovirus, converting them into Cyberslaves, as seen in Blood of the Cybermen. Many Cybermen in the 80s carried large guns, and the 60s Cybermen had weaponry built into their chest units. The current Cybermen have also been seen to use handheld guns, though they do not necessarily need them, as they can electrocute with a simple touch, and many are equipped with wrist-mounted lasers.


  • The Tenth Planet
  • The Moonbase
  • The Tomb of the Cybermen
  • The Wheel In Space
  • The Invasion
  • Carnival of Monsters
  • Revenge of the Cybermen
  • Earthshock
  • The Five Doctors
  • Attack of the Cybermen
  • Silver Nemesis
  • Dalek
  • Rise of the Cybermen
  • The Age of Steel
  • Army of Ghosts
  • Doomsday
  • The Next Doctor
  • The Pandorica Opens
  • A Good Man Goes To War
  • Closing Time
  • Nightmare In Silver
  • The Time of the Doctor
  • Dark Water
  • Death in Heaven
  • Face the Raven
  • Hell Bent
  • World Enough and Time
  • The Doctor Falls