Doctor Who fans — and genre fans in general — received an early Christmas present with the news a while back that Neil Gaiman would be returning to the Whoniverse to pen a second episode (following up on his Hugo-winning first, “The Doctor’s Wife”). Earlier this week we found out that the episode would involve long-time baddies the Cybermen, and now some more details have leaked. First, and least spoiler-y, is the episode title itself: “The Last Cyberman.”
Funnily enough, the reveal of the episode title came down to carelessness on somebody’s part. A copy of Gaiman’s script was left in the back of a cab in Cardiff, and shortly thereafter a picture of the title page found its way online. I’m betting somebody got a tongue lashing over that one.
So, it’s obviously about Cybermen…or at least one Cyberman, possibly the last one, depending on how literally you care to interpret the title. The Doctor has been battling the mechanical Cyberman menace for decades (or even longer if we’re counting his personal timeline), and over the years we’ve seen various different versions of the Cyberman design (see above). Doctor Who TV has a reporter who got to see the new Cyberman look. Unsurprisingly, his description is about as geeky and Who reference-y for a thing to be. It’s also technically spoilerish, but only if you don’t want to know at all what the new incarnation of the Cybermen look like. So if you don’t, don’t read any further.
Very similar to the Cybus ones, but they have tighter armour and Tomb of the Cybermen-like faces!!! Really shiny. The armour is like slim-fitted rubber, similar to the new Sontarans, but silver. Guns fixed on arms, and the leader has an extra gun.
They’re walking softly, slowly, and quietly, like the Hartnell/Troughton era Cybermen.
The Cybermen have a cool chest plate, with a camera iris thing in the middle, like this, but closed… Cool slot-like mouth and a more blank, fitted headpiece. And dare I say it, as close to cloth faces as would work in 2012.
Here’s the reporter’s sketch of the new Cyberman look:
It’s worth noting that the reporter is still referring to the Cybermen in the plural, so that suggests that, title notwithstanding, we’ll still be seeing more than one of them. What, then, is the significance of “The Last Cyberman?” Perhaps some Doctor-related cataclysm will whittle their numbers down to one? Maybe there’s an imposter wrapped in aluminum foil running around and claiming to be the last Cyberman? Yeah, I’ve got no idea.
But it’s Gaiman. So you know it’s gonna be good.