Biology and appearance
Cybershades had bronze Cyber-heads. Like their Cyberman superiors, they had piping like handlebars connected to their heads, except they angled diagonally like the ears of an animal. (TV: The Next Doctor)
The Cybershades had the brains of cats or dogs and were unable to speak or obey complex commands, but could vocalise electronic snarls and growls. (WC: Monster File: Cybermen) They seemed unable to run upright. They were only seen to run on all fours or bent over low.
The Cybershades were incredibly agile and could jump at least five metres off of the ground. They had enough strength to pull two grown men whilst still running at full speed and could scale walls and land safely when falling from great heights. A specific Cybershade designated 'Cybershade 16' leapt onto the edge of a building, scaled the wall whilst tethered to both the Tenth Doctor and Jackson Lake, ran across the floor of the building on all fours (still dragging the two men), before jumping out of the window and seeming to land safely. (TV: The Next Doctor)
A fraction of the Cyberman army trapped in the Void after the Battle of Canary Wharf in 2007 escaped into London some time in the 19th century. Needing extra workers, they created the Cybershades as guards and scouts, modelling them on animals to avoid drawing attention. At least sixteen Cybershades were created.
When the Cybermen made contact with Miss Hartigan, the Cybershades were placed under her command. One was assigned to drive her buggy. At least one Cybershade was being hunted by "The Doctor", but it always evaded him.
When Miss Hartigan (as the Cyber-King) took control of the Cybermen and entered a large, mobile Cyber factory, at least two Cybershades accompanied her. When the Tenth Doctor gave her back her emotions, the Cybershades exploded along with her and the Cybermen, presumably rendering the Cybershades extinct. (TV: The Next Doctor)
Behind the scenes
- The Mondasian Cybermen used a similar source to create the Cybermats, though instead of a humanoid body with an animal brain, they were insect-like bodies with animal brains.
- Cybershades were first revealed in Russell T. Davies: The Writer's Tale, where it was confirmed that they would appear in The Next Doctor.
- Only one Cybershade, Cybershade 16, was specifically referenced in the story.