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Although the Master once referred to Bill Potts' cyber-conversion as the "genesis of the Cybermen", (TV: World Enough and Time) the Twelfth Doctor corrected Missy's repeating of the statement by calling the Cybermen a product of parallel evolution, as they "always get started" where there were people, such as on Mondas, Telos, Earth, Planet 14 and Marinus. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
These various groups of Cyberman were created for many different reasons. By most accounts, the Cyberman of Mondas were born out of desperation to survive in an unsustainable environment. (TV: The Tenth Planet) The Cybermen of Telos were created as an attempt to gain immortality, (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cybermen) while the Cybermen of Earth in an alternate universe were created for at least partially commercial reasons — a drive to find humanity's next "upgrade". (TV: Rise of the Cybermen, The Age of Steel)
Creation on Telos Edit
Some of the Cybermen originated on the planet Telos. The inhabitants of Telos sought to achieve immortality with cybernetics. They gradually replaced parts of their bodies with machinery until they reached the point where they replaced their brains with computers. These first Cybermen became aware of their lack of love and emotion and found a new goal: power. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cybermen, Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen, The Revenge of the Cybermen, Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet) Something forced many of the Cybermen to leave Telos and take refuge on Mondas. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet) Some Cybermen remained in the cyber-tombs of Telos. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen)
Creation on Mondas Edit
One account did not explain the earliest origins of the Cybermen, but showed Cybermen existed on Mondas alongside the Lizard Kings, the Mondasian versions of Silurians, as well as the Sea Devils. These Cybermen died out until centuries later when Mondasian archaeologists discovered the remnants of ancient Cyber-technology. Presumably, the Mondasians recreated the ancient Cybermen. (COMIC: The Cybermen)
Another account showed that as Mondas travelled beyond the outermost planets of the solar system, conditions on the planet deteriorated. The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa arrived on Mondas prior to the rise of the Cybermen. They discovered the survivors living in an underground city roughly on a parallel with Britain in the 1950s, although with more advanced technology. They witnessed the Mondasians slowly slide towards cyber-conversion, as the Faction had. The Mondasian cyber-conversion program was conceived by the cybernetic gestalt intelligence controlling Mondas as a solution to the planet's increasingly desperate situation. These early Cybermen were, however, plagued with serious design flaws and the conversion method proved very unstable as the biological systems of most of its unfortunate victims would fail soon after they were turned, causing most subjects to perish. The conversion project's chief scientist, Doctorman Allan, managed to discover a solution when the Doctor was captured by Mondasian police. By using data extracted from a forcibly biological analysis of the Doctor, she discovered an extra brain lobe unique to Time Lords, dedicated to mechanical and other bodily functions. She was able to replicate this trait into a new Cyberman prototype, greatly increasing the survival rate of the newly converted. The Doctor was horrified about his unwilling hand in the creation of the Cyber race, so much so that he tried to derail history by poisoning the Cyber-Planner before it could manage to convert the entire population, and afterwards he helped the Mondasians with starting a research program into how to undo the conversion process. However, after the Doctor and Nyssa's departure, it turned out his efforts were ultimately in vain as the Cybermen soon overpowered and converted the remaining Mondasians. (AUDIO: Spare Parts)
Creation on Marinus Edit
One account stated the planet Marinus was an earlier name for Mondas. According to this account, the Voord acquired Worldshaper technology to accelerate time and turn themselves into full cyborgs. The Cybermen later remembered this planet as Planet 14. (COMIC: The World Shapers)
Creation on a Mondasian colony ship Edit
One group of the Mondasian Cybermen were first created on a newly built Mondasian colony ship. The ship nearly fell into a black hole and, as a result, time on the bottom of the ship moved slower than at the top, the former being where descendants of the original skeleton crew lived. With their part of the ship becoming old and uninhabitable, the colonists began transforming themselves into Cybermen with the participation of the Master. In front of his future self, he presented a fully Cyber-converted Bill Potts to the Twelfth Doctor and declared this ship to be "the genesis of the Cybermen". These Mondasian Cybermen (TV: World Enough and Time) continued to evolve towards more robotic forms, and greater technology. Most of them were destroyed by the Doctor; however, as Nardole noted, they would eventually regroup and continue Operation Exodus, escaping the doomed ship to spread throughout the universe. (TV: The Doctor Falls)
Creation in other universes Edit
These Cybermen believed that all of humanity needed to be "upgraded" to cyber-form so that information would never be lost and that the humans' physical and emotional weaknesses were abolished.
Cyber-conversion usually involved removing the brain of the subject painfully and placing it within a suit of armour. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen) Once complete, the new Cybermen had a special implant that prevented them from feeling emotions. If the implants were disrupted, the Cybermen entered into a traumatic state caused by the pain of the conversion. This inevitably resulted in an agonising death from the emotional overload. (TV: The Age of Steel)
Cybermen created by Missy Edit
In the 2010s, Missy founded 3W, (TV: Dark Water) and began preserving bodies of the rich, (TV: Death in Heaven) who believed their minds stayed conscious after death, in tanks filled with dark water which only showed the organic material, allowing Missy to convert them into Cybermen, supposedly exoskeletons to protect the bodies while uploading their minds to the Nethersphere, a Matrix data slice. There, she removed their emotions to download them back into their bodies and create a Cyber army of the dead. When Danny Pink died, the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald found 3W and Missy activated the Cybermen and released them from their tanks in St Paul's Cathedral. (TV: Dark Water)
The Cybermen marched into the streets where they were greeted by curious on-lookers before UNIT arrived to confront them. The Cybermen flew off until one was over each area of major population density in the UK, then self-destructed, creating a rainstorm of Cyber-pollen that went into the ground and Cyber-converted all of the world's dead. The Doctor teamed with UNIT to try to stop them, despite the human race being outnumbered, while Clara was saved by Danny who was Cyber-converted but retained his emotions as he chose not to delete them and his emotional inhibitor was thus never activated. When Missy broke free, she had the Cybermen attack the UNIT presidential plane Boat One. The Doctor got sucked out of the plane in the attack, but managed to get into his TARDIS. Missy gave control of the Cyberman army to the Doctor, who then gave control to Danny. Danny, who retained control even with his inhibitor, ordered the Cybermen to fly into the rain clouds and self-destruct, burning up the clouds and stopping the conversion of humanity. A few minutes later, a surviving rogue Cyberman made out of the Brigadier shot at Missy after having saved his daughter Kate Stewart from the attack on Boat One and flies off. (TV: Death in Heaven)
Behind the scenes Edit
Continuity contradictions Edit
Taken at face value, the origins of the Cybermen given in the Doctor Who Magazine comics feature The Cybermen conflicts with that given in Spare Parts and neither accords very well with The World Shapers, which had earlier appeared in Doctor Who Magazine. Lance Parkin has speculated that perhaps Cybermen have originated in different planets and times independently, just as they had in different universes, as illustrated by the parallel universe Cybermen having no connection with the Cybermen of the main universe. The twin television stories World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls later confirmed this interpretation, as while showing the creation of the Cybermen on a Mondasian colony ship, it also had the Twelfth Doctor stating that "like cellphones and Donald Trump", Cybermen "happened wherever there were people", as a sort of unnatural parallel evolution.
Alternatively, the Cybermen shown in The World Shapers may have preceded the ones in The Cybermen, though they do not match visually. (The former resemble the sleeker, later Cybermen while the Cybermen of The Cybermen resemble the ones of The Tenth Planet.) The explanation of the creation of Mondas by the Constructors of Destiny in The Quantum Archangel also contradicts that given in The World Shapers.