Cyberman Level Nine was a primitive stage of Telosian Cyberman development. This level of Cyberman appeared like a normal human being at first glance, but with a pose as stiff as the Cybermen and encased in metal and plastic. However, the shape of human muscles could be seen in the thighs and calves, while a face with a blank expression remained behind the helmet. One could identify Cyberman Level Nine by its artefacts, the ancillary breathing apparatus. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen)
The CyberTelosians were led by a Cyber-Controller, (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen) the CyberTelosian Controller. (AUDIO: The Cyber Nomads) The Cyber-Controller was supported by a group of five head Cybermen. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen)
CyberTelosians could produce arcs of electricity from their hands to stun, disable and kill. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen) They also possessed a cyber-cannon that could operate in the vacuum of space. The virus Neurotrope X was used by the Telosians to incapacitate humans. (TV: The Moonbase)
CyberTelosians used Cybermats with crystalline eyes and antennae through which they received commands. These Cybermats resembled oversized metallic silverfish. They had segmented bodies with cilia-like tactile sensor probes along the bases of their heads. Some, though not all, Cybermats of this kind could fit in the palm of a humanoid hand. Cybermats like this were almost unnoticeable. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen)
One account stated that the Telosian Cybermen were originally a race of humanoids, all but identical to Earth humans, native to Telos. Centuries prior to the 21st century, this race sought immortality and so perfected the art of cybernetics. As their bodies became old and diseased, they were replaced limb by limb with plastic and steel. Finally, the circulation and nervous systems were recreated, and their brains were replaced by computers, resulting in the Cybermen. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cybermen) Later, forced to leave Telos, these Cybermen took refuge on Mondas, the long lost twin planet of Earth. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet)
According to the CyberTelosians themselves, specifically the group which attacked the Moonbase in 2070, they were descended from the first space travellers from Mondas, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cybermen) the humanoid Mondasians having converted themselves into CyberMondasians. (AUDIO: Spare Parts) These space travellers had left before Mondas was destroyed during the Mondasians' invasion of Earth in 1986, and had only begun converting themselves into Cyberman after arriving on Telos. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cybermen)
According to yet other accounts, the space travellers had only come to Telos as a direct result of Mondas' destruction. All but wiping out the native Cryons, a humanoid species distinct from humans, the Cybermen used their refrigerated cities as repositories of their number cryonically frozen in suspended animation. (TV: Attack of the Cybermen, PROSE: Attack of the Cybermen) According to the CyberHive history, compiled from the Cyber-Documents according to the judgment of ArcHivist Hegelia, the Cybermen did not in fact seize Telos and subjugate the Cryons until after their attack on the Moonbase. Considered descendants of the early CyberFaction which left Mondas for Planet 14, these Cybermen were formally recognised as CyberTelosians by Hegelia. (AUDIO: The Cyber Nomads)
While the concept of parallel evolution meant the Cybermen had many origins on various worlds, (TV: The Doctor Falls) Telos being a birthplace of the Cybermen was contentious. Indeed, Bernice Summerfield once corrected one of her students who believed that Cybermen originated on Telos, insisting that Mondas was the true homeworld. (AUDIO: The Crystal of Cantus) The Fifth Doctor also understood that the Cybermen found in the tomb on Telos originated from Mondas. (AUDIO: Secrets of Telos)
On 15 October 2070, the Telosian Cybermen attempted to destroy the Earth in order to eliminate humanity, whom they saw as a potential threat to the Cyberman Empire, as well as gaining retribution for the destruction of Mondas. However, this attack was thwarted by the Second Doctor. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cybermen, TV: The Moonbase)
By the end of the 25th century, the Cybermen had all but passed into legend when an archaeological expedition to the Telos found the CyberTombs, where hordes of Cybermen waited in cryogenic suspension led by the Cyber-Controller. They were awakened but defeated by the Second Doctor. This tomb was sealed again. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen) However, as history recorded, this was not the end of the Cybermen on Telos. It was the hypothesis of the ArcHivists that a surviving group of CyberNomads eventually discovered Telos. Finding the CyberTelosian Controller, they revived and reconstructed him, developing a new form of exoshell that incorporated the most efficient aspects of Nomad and Telosian design, based on the less encumbered Cyber-technology of the Cyber-Controller. Ultimately, a single, new Cyber-subspecies, which the ArcHivists designated CyberNeomorph. Based from Telos, these Neomorph Cybermen proliferated throughout the 26th century. (AUDIO: The Cyber Nomads, PROSE: Killing Ground, TV: Attack of the Cybermen)
Following the disappearance of the Time Lords at the end of the Last Great Time War, Telosian Cybermen were among the species that fought to seize the power vacuum they left. (COMIC: Weapons of Past Destruction)
In the video game Happy Deathday, played by Izzy Sinclair on the Time-Space Visualiser, a trio of CyberTelosians were among a host of "every single enemy" that the Doctor had ever defeated, who were assembled by the Beige Guardian and pitted against the Doctor's first eight incarnations. (COMIC: Happy Deathday)
Whilst fighting CyberMondasians aboard a Mondasian colony ship, the Twelfth Doctor recalled sealing the Cybermen into their ice tombs on Telos, as well as defeating them on the Moon. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
Behind the scenes
Peter Hawkins provided the voice of the Cybermen in The Moonbase and The Tomb of the Cybermen. He used the same voice for his portrayal of the Cyber-Planner of the "late CyberFaction" in The Wheel in Space.
- The Cyber-head of a "late CyberFaction" along with the chest unit of an "early CyberFaction" was fitted to what was the Cyber-body of the CyberTelosian Controller to form a new Cyber-suit which posed with Third Doctor actor Jon Pertwee for the Radio Times in 1970. Notable for being potentially the first appearance of a live-action Cyberman in colour, its image later appeared on the classic Doctor Who website and The Doctors Revisited.
- The Radio Times' Doctor Who Special (1973) featured a pair of Cyberman pursuing Polly Wright and Ben Jackson. One suit was a mostly standard CyberTelosian, with head, chest unit and body but with the legs of the Controller, whilst the other was a "late CyberFaction" head atop a standard Telosian body.
- Elsewhere in the Doctor Who Special, another Cyberman hybrid appeared among a group of monsters menacing the Third Doctor. This Cyberman was an "early CyberFaction" head atop a CyberTelosian body.
- In 1974, a Cyberman which appeared for a photocall with Fourth Doctor actor Tom Baker was an "early CyberFaction" with the chest unit and exoskeletal rods of the Telosians.
- The image of an "early CyberFaction" Cyberman is used on the covers of Doctor Who and the Cybermen and Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen, novelisations of the televised CyberTelosian stories The Moonbase and The Tomb of the Cybermen. The novelisations additionally diverge from their televised counterparts with the appearance of Cyber-Leaders distinguished by black Cyber-helmets.