Rise of the Cybermen

Rise of the Cybermen

Infobox Doctor Who episode
serial_name= Rise of the Cybermen

caption=The Cybermen are back, and advancing on the Doctor.
doctor=David Tennant (Tenth Doctor)
companion=Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)
companion2=Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith)
* Camille Coduri – Jackie Tyler
* Shaun Dingwall – Pete Tyler
* Roger Lloyd Pack – John Lumic
* Andrew Hayden-SmithJake Simmonds
* Don Warrington – The President
* Colin Spaull – Mr Crane
* Mona Hammond – Rita-Anne
* Helen Griffin – Mrs Moore
* Paul Antony-Barber – Dr Kendrick
* Adam Shaw – Morris
* Andrew Ufondo – Soldier
* Duncan Duff – Newsreader
* Paul Kasey – Cyber-Leader
* Nicholas Briggs – Cybermen (Voice)
writer=Tom MacRae
director=Graeme Harper
script_editor=Helen Raynor
producer=Phil Collinson
executive_producer=Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
length=1st of 2-part story, 45 minutes
date=May 13 2006
preceding="The Girl in the Fireplace"
following="The Age of Steel"
series=Series 2
series_link=Series 2 (2006)|
"Rise of the Cybermen" is an episode in the British science fiction television series "Doctor Who". It is the first part of a two-part story, the concluding part being "The Age of Steel". The episode was first broadcast on May 13 2006.


After the TARDIS makes a crash landing on the Earth of another universe, Rose discovers her father is alive and rich, Mickey encounters his alternative self, and the Tenth Doctor learns one of his oldest and deadliest foes is about to be reborn.


As The Doctor and Rose reminisce about a past adventure while the TARDIS is in-flight, Mickey begins to feel upset that the two take him for granted. However, before they can comment, the TARDIS is rocked by a huge explosion and goes dark. The Doctor determines that they have fallen out of the time vortex into the void, and have landed somewhere, but that the TARDIS appears dead. They find themselves on Earth in London, but in a parallel universe. Zeppelins fly in the skies and Rose spots an advertisement featuring her father Pete Tyler as a successful business leader, when in her own universe Pete has died. The Doctor notes that the TARDIS can only operate on power from its own universe, and spots a dim but glowing power cell in the bowels of the ship. The Doctor breathes into it, giving away 10 years of his life but allowing the cell to start to recharge, a process that will take about 24 hours after which they should be able to return to their universe. Given the wait, Rose and Mickey decide to go and check on respectively Pete and Mickey's grandmother, both dead in this universe. The Doctor, worried for both, ends up chasing after Rose.

The Doctor and Rose discover that most of the population of this universe wear special "EarPods", devices that, when activated by a signal, download massive amounts of news and information directly to the wearer's brain, information that is also received by Rose's mobile phone. They learn that the EarPods as well as Pete's company are owned by the powerful John Lumic, owner of Cybus Industries, who is presently failing to gain approval from the Ethics Committee of Great Britain for his "ultimate upgrade": a method of sustaining the human brain indefinitely within a cradle of copyrighted chemicals and allowing its impulses to be bonded onto a metal exoskeleton. Lumic secretly has been capturing homeless people and putting them to work in his Battersea Power Station factory using the EarPods as methods to control the homeless. Having been denied permission by the President of Great Britain, Lumic tells his right-hand man Mr Crane to begin the upgrade process. Crane drives an International Electromatics lorry and kidnaps more homeless people, but instead of just fitting them with EarPods, he orders them into a room filled with cutting and other machinery which transforms them into the new prototypes.

Mickey arrives at his grandmother's house to find her still alive, but before he can get acquainted with her, he is grabbed by people in an unmarked van and taken to a country house. One of his abductors, Jake, who calls him "Ricky", tells him that he is the most wanted person in Great Britain, and that they have evidence of Lumic's dealing with the homeless people. When they arrive at the base, the real Ricky, Mickey's counterpart in this universe, is there, and explains he is the leader of the "Preachers" who reject the EarPods and have been tracking Lumic's actions. After clearing the confusion between the existence of Ricky and Mickey, the group learns of pending action by Lumic and, with Mickey in tow, make towards Pete Tyler's estate.

The Doctor and Rose arrive at Pete's estate and learn that there is a large party there that night, where the President of Great Britain and Lumic will be present. The Doctor and Rose pose as part of the serving staff to investigate, and learn that this Pete and Jackie Tyler are childless but have a pet terrier called Rose. Rose meets both Pete and Jackie and learns that they have just separated secretly. As the party gets underway, Lumic presents his plans for his prototype, which the Doctor recognises right away. Before he can act, the partygoers hear the sound of troops surrounding the building, an army of metal men, which the Doctor tells Rose are Cybermen. As the Cybermen break through the windows, Lumic explains that they have been selected to be upgraded to "Human.2", and that every human will receive a compulsory free upgrade. The President resists, and is electrocuted by a Cyberman who informs them that this is the only alternative to conversion. As Jackie flees into the basement with a Cyberman in pursuit, the Doctor, Rose, and Pete jump out a window and find the Preachers there, firing their ineffective weapons at the Cybermen. As the episode closes in a cliffhanger, the Doctor, Rose, Pete, Mickey, Ricky, and Jake are surrounded by the Cybermen, who move in for the kill.

Cast notes

*Lloyd Pack and David Tennant previously worked together in the film adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" as father and son — Barty Crouch Sr. and Barty Crouch Jr. respectively. Incidentally, Tennant played the villainous role in the film, while Pack is the villain in this episode.
*Colin Spaull played the role of Lilt in "Revelation of the Daleks", which was also directed by Graeme Harper. Spaull is the sixth actor to appear in both the original series and the revival.
*Don Warrington, who plays the President, previously provided the voice for Time Lord founder Rassilon in the "Doctor Who" audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions.
*As seen in "Doctor Who Confidential" episode "Cybermen", the actors playing the Cybermen went through extensive choreographing to perfect their movements.
*Graeme Harper is the first director to have directed stories in the original and new series of "Doctor Who", having previously directed "The Caves of Androzani" and "Revelation of the Daleks".
*According to "The Sun", Lloyd Pack broke his leg just days before filming began on the episode, requiring the scripts being rewritten to place his character, John Lumic, in a wheelchair.cite web|title=The Sun Online: Trigger's "Dr Who" part revised after leg break|accessdate=2007-04-07|url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2001320029-2005580460,00.html] Writer Tom MacRae told "Doctor Who Magazine" in issue #369 that no rewrites were necessary: the script had always had Lumic in a wheelchair as this became part of his motivation for creating the Cybermen given that he was in a wheelchair and dying and wanted to prolong his life.
*Lloyd Pack told "The Daily Mirror" that he based the character of Lumic on Donald Rumsfeld: "I thought, 'Who is a power-hungry mad person who believes he is completely right and has a lot of control?' Donald Rumsfeld came to mind. He's as bad a man as I see around now." [cite news
title=All the President's Cybermen
publisher=The Daily Mirror


*When the TARDIS crash lands at the beginning of the episode, six gas masks fall from the ceiling. This is the first visual reference of the TARDIS requiring six pilots in a Doctor Who television story. This is also mentioned in the series four episode The Stolen Earth, before being confirmed by The Doctor himself in Journey's End.
*There are two "Torchwood" references in this episode, one in the news report that Rose watches on her mobile phone which mentions the Torchwood Institute, and during the party, when Pete Tyler identifies a party-goer as "the guy from Torchwood". This implies that the Institute is either more public on this parallel Earth or is not the same type of organisation (or both).
*New catchphrases for the Cybermen include talking about compatibility like the clockwork droids of "The Girl in the Fireplace" and a repeated use of "Delete!", the last comparable to the Daleks' "Exterminate!"
*The face of Big Ben on the parallel Earth is seen to have a square face instead of a round one. However, when next seen in "The Age of Steel", it has reverted to a round face.
*The conversions are performed at Battersea Power Station, which is shown to be fully operational with four smoking chimneys in this parallel universe. Battersea Power Station was last seen in the series (with its chimneys damaged) in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (1964). The external shots of the chimneys and many of the internal shots were taken at Uskmouth Power Station in Newport.

References to previous stories

*"Doctor Who Magazine" #368 confirmed that this story was inspired by the Big Finish Productions audio play "Spare Parts", which Russell T Davies had previously described (along with "The Holy Terror") as "some of the finest drama ever written for any genre, in any medium, anywhere." "Spare Parts" author, Marc Platt, received a fee and was credited in the end titles ("With thanks to Marc Platt"), and there is a nod in the dialogue with Mickey labelling himself a "spare part". However, writer Tom MacRae noted that his television story was not a simple rewrite of "Spare Parts": "My story isn't the same — it's got a different setting, different themes, and different characters, cos once we started talking, the whole thing developed in a very different direction. But as Russell says, we wouldn't have started this whole line of thinking if he hadn't heard "Spare Parts" in the first place." (In the 2005 series, the audio play "Jubilee" was adapted into the episode "Dalek", and in the 2007 series, the New Adventures novel "Human Nature" was adapted into the two-part story, "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood")
*The episode (and its second chapter) also includes similarities to the 1968 serial "The Invasion" as the first episode of the latter also introduces a powerful electronics company dominating the planet and run by a man (in the case of "The Invasion", Tobias Vaughn) who is in league with the Cybermen. Both stories also include characters who are resisting the company, as well as rebellious chief "henchmen" working for the villain.
*The name of the front company on the lorries transporting the Cybermen, International Electromatics, is a reference to the Cybermen's front company in the 1968 serial "The Invasion". St Paul's Cathedral, which appears matted into the background in one of the scenes shot in Cardiff, also appeared in "The Invasion", which featured the Cybermen marching down some steps with the cathedral in the background.
*When Rose asks if the Cybermen are robots, the Doctor replies that they are "worse than that." The same exchange happened between the Fifth Doctor and Captain Briggs in "Earthshock" (1982). A Cyberman tells the President, "You will be like us." This is a catchphrase of the original Cybermen, first used in the Second Doctor story "The Tomb of the Cybermen" (1967).

Character details

*Rose's "Superphone", originally a Nokia 3200, has been replaced by a Samsung D500.
*In the commentary, it is noted that Jackie's "40th" birthday is a reference to the 40th anniversary of the broadcast of "The Tenth Planet", the first appearance of the Cybermen.
*The naming of the parallel Mickey as "Ricky" is a reference to an old joke from the Ninth Doctor's deliberate naming of Mickey as Ricky to annoy him.
*Mickey apparently gets a hair cut in between the events of "The Girl in the Fireplace" and this episode. The episode also reveals that Mickey sports a large tattoo on his right biceps; according to actor Noel Clarke's commentary, the tattoo was make-up applied for the episode.
*When last seen in "Father's Day", Pete Tyler asked Rose if, in the future, he had gone grey; when she failed to answer, he looked concerned and asked if he'd gone bald. In this episode, the parallel Pete Tyler has indeed begun to bald.
*Annoyed at the Doctor's choice to sneak into Jackie's birthday party as servants, one of Rose's suggestions of people they could have been are "Sir Doctor" and "Dame Rose", a reference to the honours they received from Queen Victoria in the episode "Tooth and Claw".

Parallel universes in Doctor Who

The story takes place on a parallel Earth. A parallel version of Earth, complete with counterparts to familiar characters, was previously seen in the 1970 Third Doctor serial "Inferno". In this story, the Doctor says that the TARDIS draws energy from its own universe, and the energy of the parallel Earth is incompatible. In "Inferno", this was not an issue because the Doctor was powering the TARDIS console in both universes using current drawn from a nuclear reactor. The meeting of Mickey and Ricky appears to contradict "Inferno", where the Doctor refuses to take the parallel universe counterparts back to his universe, implying that the consequences would be disastrous. Humans from a parallel universe also appeared in "Battlefield" with no ill effects.

The Doctor also states that the Time Lords used to control the barriers between parallel universes, making journeys between them easier. This appears to contradict the continuity established in the Big Finish Productions audio play "Neverland", where Time Lord society founder Rassilon and the early Time Lords were hostile towards parallel timelines and Rassilon even sought to eliminate them. On the other hand, "Inferno" implied that until then, to the Doctor's knowledge, parallel timelines were only a theoretical possibility.

The concept of a white "Void" between dimensions, and its description as given in this story (as "nowhere"), is reminiscent of the Void from episode one of the 1968 serial "The Mind Robber". It is unclear in the context of the 2006 episodes if this is intended as the same Void from the earlier story.


*Early drafts of this story featured "Body Shops", where wealthy people would purchase new cybernetic limbs. Davies vetoed this element because he found it unbelievable. He also instructed Tom MacRae to tone down the differences between the parallel universe versions of characters and their "real" universe counterparts. "I think it was one of those great lessons about the freedom of SF, as well as its greatest dangers, because when you're creating a parallel world, you suddenly get excited by saying everyone can wear eye patches," said Davies, referring to the alternative Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in "Inferno". [cite web |last =Nazzaro |first =Joe | date = 2006-05-10
title="Who"'s Cybermen Lighten Up |publisher=Sci Fi Wire |accessdate=2006-05-11
*According to Graeme Harper on the episode commentary, the pre-credits sequence was written by Russell T Davies as he was not satisfied with the original opening.
* Official BBC websites include http://www.cybusindustries.net, http://www.cybusfitness.co.uk/ and http://www.internationalelectromatics.co.uk/. Other similarly-named websites are run by fans.
*The BBC also registered the following domain names: cybusindustries.com, [http://www.who.is/whois-com/ip-address/cybusindustries.com/ WHOIS for cybusindustries.com] ] cybusindustries.co.uk, [http://www.who.is/whois-com/ip-address/cybusindustries.co.uk/ WHOIS for cybusindustries.co.uk] ] cybusfinance.com, [http://www.who.is/whois-com/ip-address/cybusfinance.com/ WHOIS for cybusfinance.com] ] cybusfinance.co.uk, [http://www.who.is/whois-com/ip-address/cybusfinance.co.uk/ WHOIS for cybusfinance.co.uk] ] cybusproperty.com [http://www.who.is/whois-com/ip-address/cybusproperty.com/ WHOIS for cybusproperty.com] ] and cybusproperty.co.uk. [http://www.who.is/whois-com/ip-address/cybusproperty.co.uk/ WHOIS for cybusproperty.co.uk] ]
*The Art Deco look of the 2006 Cybermen design follows that from the web cast "Real Time". According to the episode commentary, director Graham Harper wanted an Art Deco feel to the parallel universe Earth. Art Deco costumes had previously been used for the K1 Robot in "Robot" (1974) and for much of the cast (including robots) in "The Robots of Death" (1977). The Art Deco design, as well as the robotic movements of the Cybermen, are reminiscent of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis".
*Unlike the two-part stories from the 2005 series, this episode featured no "Next time" trailer for the next episode — only a title card reading "To be continued...", the first time the phrase has ever been used to end an episode in the programme's history. The production team had stated previously that one episode in this series was so long that there was no time for a preview. Many viewers, and writer Steven Moffat, [Steven Moffat, "The Empty Child", "Doctor Who" Series 1, DVD audio commentary] had criticised the use of a preview at the end of the 2005 episode "Aliens of London" for "World War Three" as it spoiled the dramatic cliffhanger ending. Beginning with "The Impossible Planet", trailers for the second part of stories were ran during the middle eight, after the main credits, to allow viewers time to switch off.

Outside references

*Jake refers to the Child Catcher when talking about Cybus taking people away, a reference to "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".
*Jackie's birthday in both the "real" and parallel universes is February 1. The parallel Jackie wrote in her official biography that she was born on the same day as Cuba Gooding, Jr., whose birthday in the real world is January 2, 1968. According to Mickey's reading of a discarded newspaper, it is "this year" (presumably the year when he left the real Earth in "School Reunion").
*The scene of zeppelins flying above Battersea Power Station is reminiscent of the cover of Pink Floyd's album "Animals", which featured a giant inflatable pig floating over Battersea.

Broadcast and DVD release

*Although scheduled to be broadcast in the UK from 7:00 to 7:45 p.m., the episode was broadcast from 7:23 p.m.cite web|url=http://www.shannonsullivan.com/drwho/serials/2006ef.html|title=A Brief History of Time (Travel): "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel"|accessdate=2007-04-06] due to the overrunning of the FA Cup Final. The corresponding episode of "Doctor Who Confidential" was subsequently delayed until "Rise of the Cybermen" had aired.
*For the first time, the closing titles featured a mix between the opening titles music and the 2006 arrangement (performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales).
*Overnight viewing figures for this episode averaged 8.6 million (39.7% share), peaking at 9.65 million. The audience Appreciation Index was 86. Its final viewing figure was 9.22 million, making it the sixth most watched programme of the week, the highest chart placing the new series of "Doctor Who" has yet achieved, and beaten in the original series only by episode two of "The Ark in Space", which charted at number five.
*This episode was released together with "The Age of Steel" and "The Idiot's Lantern" as a "vanilla" DVD with no special features, and later as part of the complete Series 2 boxed set.


External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/doctorwho/ram/tardisode5?size=16x9&bgc=CC0000&nbram=1&bbram=1&bbwm=1&nbwm=1 TARDISODE 5]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/doctorwho/ram/5preview?size=16x9&bgc=CC0000&nbram=1&bbram=1&nbwm=1&bbwm=1 "Cybermen" ] - episode trailer
* [http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/rise-commentary.mp3 Episode commentary by Graeme Harper, Neill Gorton and Rob Mayor] (MP3)
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/episodes/2006/flash/homepages/index-rise.shtml "Rise of the Cybermen" episode homepage]
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*Doctor Who RG| id=who_tv16 | title=Rise of the Cybermen" / "The Age of Steel|quotes=y
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*Tv.com episode|id=600979|title=Rise of the Cybermen


*OG review| id=2006-05 | title=Rise of the Cybermen|quotes=y
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*DWRG| id=risesteel | title=Rise of the Cybermen" / "The Age of Steel|quotes=y

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