Both Doctor Who fans and writer Neil Gaiman received an exciting gift back in September. For Gaiman, he got to take the stage and accept a Hugo award for the writing of his first Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife.” He then gave fans something to cheer about by announcing that he was writing a second episode, to be aired when the show returns in 2013. News about the episode, including the title, “The Last Cyberman,” has been trickling out little by little, and now we’ve got our first look at the new look of the Doctor’s long-time mechanical nemeses.
Descriptions of (and even a sketch depicting) the redesigned Cybermen came out last week, and from the look of these pictures, the early reports from the set were pretty spot-on. Like Doctor Who’s Daleks have been shown in many different iterations over the years, so it’s no surprise that this latest appearance would give them yet another spit-polish. Compare the new designs to some of the earlier looks:
The changes are pretty minor, but still noticeable to die-hard fans I’m sure. Personally, I’ve never been able to get on board with the goofy piping that runs up from the ears and connects over the head. Is that a handle for convenient shipping? I don’t care if they came up with a canon explanation, they still look goofy. Then again, this is a show that has managed to make pepper shakers with a toilet plunger sticking out the front into fearsome cosmic villains.
It’s worth noting in the above side shot that some of the Cybermen have guns mounted on their wrists, but this doesn’t seem to be a universal feature of the costumes. Those guns were described in the earlier set report, so it’s unclear if there are different classes of Cybermen here, or if they just hadn’t attached the guns to all of the actors yet.
Neil Gaiman’s second Doctor Who episode, “The Last Cyberman,” will premiere in 2013. You can see more shots of the Cybermen over at Doctor Who TV.