I was originally going to titled this illustration as "Custom Cyberman"
, but that would've implied that the victim on the bottom was in some sort of control here...which he isn't.
) is my all time favorite Kaiju (Giant Monster), than The Cybermen
are my all time favorite villains from the long running "Doctor Who"
television series. And this I'm definitely sure of, despite only becoming a full-fledge 'Whovian' back in 2003, thanks to my local libraries still carrying around VHS tapes of the show.
Thank you heavily edited version of "The Brain of Morbius"
made their first appearance in the 1966 serial "The Tenth Planet"
). And were created by authors Dr. Kit Pedler
(the then series' scientific adviser) and Gerry Davis
, as both were heavily inspired by the advancement of 'spare-parts surgery' going on at the time. Along with the possible dangers that could come from it.
Namely that the over abundance of such medical body alterations. Especially in the realms of cybernetics, could transform humans into ruthless or emotionless machines.
This was not the first time such 'Cyborg Anxiety' has been featured in science fiction (1958's "The Colossus of New York"
), but The Cybermen are arguably the first notable examples of this now common story trope. And took it even further, by having the Cybermen be an un-contained menace, in the sense that they actively seek out other human (or human-like) individuals, in order to convert / assimilate them into more Cybermen like themselves (and hence the picture's title).
And a disturbing concept that wasn't really seen again, or done so prominently, until The Borg
from "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
And yes, I know about the whole 'Borgs ripped off Cybermen' debate fans often like to bring up. But I am NOT touching that mess, and hopefully neither will you here, and anytime soon.
I could go into greater depth on the long and rich (if not convoluted) history of The Cybermen, but I'm going to let this Wikipedia article handle most of the work for me: [link]
Despite being one of the most beloved antagonists from the "Doctor Who"
franchise, The Cybermen
themselves are not truly evil or villainous characters, when you really think about it.
They assimilate others into their race not only as a simple act of reproductive survival, but because in their own heartless minds, they literally think that they're doing their victims a much needed favor. And really can't contemplate why so many people openly resist their warped yet sincere motives of cybernetic conversion.
This includes the time-traveling alien adventurer known as The Doctor
, whom The Cybermen diffidently see as a priority threat. But never with the same emotional hatred that fellow villains like The Daleks
or The Weeping Angels
tend to have for him, and his various regenerations. Even going as far as to side with The Doctor on occasion, though this is a rare event, and only if it benefits The Cybermen.
And I think that's why I like The Cybermen so much, because they're not evil, yet what they do and represent is the stuff of body-horror nightmares, and perhaps more-so, technological despair.
There are indeed fates worse than death, and in the mythos of "Doctor Who"
, becoming a full-fledge Cyberman is one of them!
And then there's the oh-so-classic Cyberman design...And what I mean by classic Cyberman design, is that there really isn't any...AT ALL!
Seriously, The Cybermen have gone through so many different incarnations and re-designs over nearly half-a-century, that beyond some basic recurring elements like their height, silver / steel coloring, and 'cranium handle bars', people could mistake the various Cybermen as similar-looking, yet unrelated, robotic species. Not to mention makes and models.
But where as this could put off most fans, it somehow works for The Cybermen
As technology advances and / or changes, so does The Cybermen, who reflect design trends with the various eras of the television series. Sometime you get some great designs and additions that lasts for several seasons, like the successful looks introduced in "The Invasion"
(1968) and much later in "Earthshock"
(1982). And even when you get Cybermen designs that leave a lot to be desired, they still offer some elements worth keeping and revisiting later on.
With that said, I decided to do my own custom version of a Cyberman, featuring my favorite attributes taken from different incarnations and related serials.
The bulky, mechanically muscular bodies of the 'Cybus Cybermen', introduced in "Rise of the Cybermen"
(2006); the pronounced chest based laser-cannons, from "The Invasion"
(1968); the awkwardly huge 'forehead lamps' from "The Tenth Planet"
(1966); the somewhat thin, skeletal body patterns, which are a combination of the designs from "Earthshock"
(1982), and the upcoming episode "Nightmare In Silver"
(2013); bright, internal blue lighting, from the comic book story The Flood
; the see-through glass visors where a fleshy, semi-mummified mouth resides, again from "Earthshock"
; and a glowing, pulsating brain case, reminiscent of the classic serial "The Tomb of the Cybermen"
All this, along with some original add-ons, like a glowing vocal device for both voice volume, and intergalactic bilingual translations. The clawed hands, which are brutally efficient in grabbing fleeing humans, and holding onto them extra tight. And the thick, rubbery forearms, not unlike powered hydraulics found in a sports car, which adds to the aforementioned, inescapable grip.
And although The Cybermen are colored silver, I went with cold blues to add to the icy, steel feeling of these characters, which should punctuate the surrounding body-horror themes of the illustration.
So there you have it, my Custom Cyberman
! Hope you all enjoyed it...
*Suddenly, the front door to Enshohma's room blasts wide open, with ample amounts of BBC Effects smoke. And from the gray fumes, awkwardly walks in a small toddler in a Halloween Dalek costume of painfully obvious, shoddy construction*Dalek Kid
in a mock stiletto voice: EN-Shoh-MA!Enshohma:
Holy Colin Baker! A mini-Dalek fanatic in appropriate Halloween attire!Dalek Kid:
How Dar-e YOU make A CY-ber-MAN fan piece BE-FORE you did ONE of a DA-LEK! Pre-PARE to SUFFER for your CRIMES A-Gainst Doc-TOR WHoo FAN-Dom!Enshohma:
Yeah right! You might look the part kid, but last time I checked, Dalek death beams weren't a real thing! Let alone available through fine retailers near you! Dalek Kid:
WHO Neeeeds A RAY gun Wea-PON, When I GOT's my Da-ad's Plun-GER, from HIS plumber DAY JOB!Enshohma:
By the unshaven elbows of The Great Sky Demon! You don't mean that plunger is...dare I say...used and unwashed!?!? What dastardly toilet humor IS THIS!Dalek Kid:
LET'S Find OUT TO-geth-ER...EX-TER-Min-ATE...EX-TER-Min-ATE!
*Dalek Kid slowly creeps towards a defenseless Enshohma, as the far taller artist cowers in his bedroom's corner, screaming in panic fear*Enshohma:
Save me Romana! Both of You's! SAVE ME!TO BE CONTINUEDBBC Announcer: "Doctor Raf"
will return next week...possibly dead...And later on tonight, a new episode of Bruce Forsyth's "The Generation Game"
. But first, a very special episode of "Living With The Enemy"
: [link] "Doctor Who Confidential: Cybermen" [link]