John Lumic was a business tycoon and CEO, director and co-founder of Cybus Industries and the creator of the Cybermen and High Content Metal. Born in Great Britain of the Earth of "Pete's World", he advanced the entire planet through such inventions as the EarPod. Upon his upgrade, he was designated Cyber-Controller.
Lumic was born in Great Britain. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen) He grew up in New Germany, quickly becoming an inventor. (PROSE: Lumic) He established Cybus Industries in 1982, (WC: Tardisode 5) earning him much money and status. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen) After inventing the Sleep Replacement System, he was able to work as CEO of Cybus Industries permanently without needing rest periods, giving him an advantage over his competitors. (PROSE: Lumic)
Though he publicly denied rumours of ill health, Lumic suffered from an incurable life-threatening disease that made him so frail as to require a powered wheelchair with a built-in life-support system. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen)
Growing in influence
As Cybus Industries grew in influence, Lumic began to view himself as the de-facto ruler of the world. He arranged for the abolition of the BBC, allowing Cybusnet™ to become the only world information source. He assassinated the Prime Minister of the United States of Mexico who threatened to press charges against his industries for undisclosed transgressions. (PROSE: Lumic)
Lumic devoted all of his resources to finding a way to extend his own lifespan, resulting in the creation of the Ultimate Upgrade™ project, a plan to to create the Cybusmen (later renamed Cybermen). (PROSE: Lumic) The plan was for an indestructible metal exoskeleton that could house the human brain. He started this project in secret, using Cybus Industries' front organisation, International Electromatics, to abduct homeless people and use them as test subjects, and even went so far as to kill Dr Kendrick when he threatened to tell Geneva, (TV: Rise of the Cybermen) whose Genevan Bio-Convention would have forbidden the work from proceeding. (PROSE: Lumic) Because the overwhelming pain of cyber-conversion, a system was implemented in the Cybermen for preventing them from feeling any emotions. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen)
Unveiling the Ultimate Upgrade
Hoping to gain government approval for his work, Lumic unveiled the Cyberman model to the President of Great Britain. To his dismay, the President rejected the project as "obscene" and told him no country would accept the model, even after Lumic's personal appeals to him that such a decision constituted a death sentence. Lumic therefore decided to proceed without the President's approval, and set in motion his plan to convert the entire populace into Cybermen. Having used the EarPods he had sent Jackie Tyler as a birthday gift to procure the security arrangements and passwords for her party that night, he dispatched a horde of Cybermen to the Tyler mansion. The President was killed when he refused to "upgrade", and all others in attendance, including the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler, either fled, perished or were captured. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen)
Cyber-conversion and death
From the Battersea Cyber-factory, Lumic transmitted a signal across London which placed the entire EarPod-wearing population under his control. However, his associate, Mr Crane, turned on him, damaging his life-support system in an attempt to kill him. The Cybermen reasoned that keeping their dying creator alive would be redundant, and against his protests, forcibly upgraded him into their Cyber-Controller.
Lumic's plan was ultimately stopped by the Doctor, Rose, Pete and the Preachers, and the factory was destroyed in the process. Lumic tried to stop the Doctor and his friends from escaping the exploding factory, and followed them up a rope ladder that was connected to his zeppelin. Before he could reach them, however, Pete used the Doctor's sonic screwdriver to sever the ladder, sending Lumic falling into the burning wreckage below, presumably destroying him. (TV: The Age of Steel)
Despite Lumic's death, the Cybermen lived on across the world. The Preachers devoted themselves to dealing with them.
Eventually, the Cybermen crossed through the Void into the Earth of N-Space, where their invasion force of five million fought the Daleks. The Cybermen were mostly destroyed when the Doctor opened the breach between universes, sucking them all into the Void, (TV: Doomsday) but a remnant group fled through time to London, 1851. This group were also defeated by the Doctor, (TV: The Next Doctor) but somehow Lumic's Cybermen continued to live on, and ventured out into space. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)
As a human
Lumic was a genius, but his quest to preserve his life slowly turned him into a megalomaniac who cared little for human life. He tried any way possible of getting his own way, whilst always being one step ahead in case he couldn't; he wasn't granted permission to embark cyber-converting Britain, but nonetheless had already set a plan in motion that would ensure his success.
Lumic considered the Cybermen his "children", and refused to refer to them as machines. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen) Despite this, however, he refused to be upgrade himself until his "last breath". (TV: The Age of Steel)
As the Cyber-Controller
Curiously, Lumic seemed to retain several of his personality traits following his upgrade into a Cyberman. His arrogance and megalomania were ever present, if not amplified. He proclaimed the Cybermen as a species of their own and was certain nothing could stop them from taking over the world. Also, he displayed rage and anger, speaking often with a raised voice and even screaming in rage once his plans were thwarted. (TV: The Age of Steel)
Following his conversion into a Cyberman, Lumic gained the increased strength and bullet-proof durability granted by the armoured Cyber-suit. He possessed the standard weaponry that all Cybermen models, namely the electrocution via touch, though he never got the opportunity to use it. (TV: The Age of Steel)
Behind the scenes
- According to Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia, the "Cyber-Controller" John Lumic was portrayed by Paul Kasey but was still voiced by Roger Lloyd Pack, who played the human Lumic.