Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



The Orion War was a conflict in the late 25th and early 26th centuries between the Orion androids, based in the Orion system, and Earth Empire. It began in 2495. (AUDIO: Sword of Orion) Both sides investigated the use of Cyber-technology against the other, resulting in Cybermen attempting to takeover Earth. (AUDIO: Scorpius)

The Orion War was implied to be part of the greater conflict known as the Cyber-Wars. (WC: Real Time)



Androids became commonplace in Earth Empire society, but were viewed as an under-class. (AUDIO: Sword of Orion) Eight years prior to 2503, (AUDIO: Neverland) the Orion androids finally became fed up with the situation and moved en masse to the relatively unused Orion System. They set up their own government, with the stipulation that humans living in the system could stay if they accepted android rule. The Earth Empire considered this a violation of sentient rights, and attacked. (AUDIO: Sword of Orion)

Pursuit of Cyber-technology[]

By 2503, (AUDIO: Neverland) after eight years of fighting the war had reached a stalemate; to break it, the Earth Military sent an agent to the Garazone System to retrieve Cyber-Technology from a derelict Cyberman Star Destroyer, abandoned in the Cyber-Wars a generation earlier. The agent was in reality a android double agent, Deeva Jansen, who wished to discover the secrets of Cyber-conversion. The Eighth Doctor managed to dissuade her from keeping the information she'd learnt and kept the reactivated Star Destroyer busy until it was destroyed by a local ion storm. (AUDIO: Sword of Orion) In the aftermath of the failed expedition to Garazone, the Earth government founded Project Scorpius to salvage and exploit any Cyber-Technology. Android spy Samantha Thorn was assigned to investigate the project. (AUDIO: Scorpius, Fear)

The Seventh Doctor encountered two android agents, Sara and Temeter, investigating a Cyber tomb on Tasak. When the tomb awoke, they worked together to contain the Cybermen. (AUDIO: Kingdom of Silver)

The Earth Military eventually found a source of Cyber-technology in a crashed Cyber-Ship off the coast of the Isle of Wight, a remnant of a past invasion. However, the Cyber-Planner on board managed to take over Scorpius. The project was officially closed down by President Duncan Levinson, however continued in secret with its former leader, Paul Hunt, being converted into a Cybrid. (AUDIO: Scorpius, Conversion)

Cyber takeover of Earth[]

Twenty years into the Orion War, Admiral Karen Brett rose to prominence after achieving a victory over the androids following years of defeats. Controversially Karen achieve the victory by torturing an android sympathiser for intelligence, which made President Levinson dislike her though publicly he lauded her. Brett was recalled to Earth to be promoted to Commander-in-Chief and en route was summoned to a meeting with Paul Hunt on a barren planet. Hunt hinted to her about Project Scorpius and Levinson’s failings as a leader. Karen returned to Earth to receive her promotion, however the President was suddenly assassinated by Cybermen. The Senate used emergency powers to appointed Karen as the new President and she appointed her close friend Liam Barnaby as Commander-in-Chief. In the early months of her administration, Karen struggled to maintain her popularity in the face of continuing defeats and became more tempted by hints she was sent regarding Scorpius, despite Liam finding all the files had been erased on the orders of the previous President. After the androids began launching assaults on planets with high civilian populations, with Karen’s own parents among the casualties, Karen gave in and made contact with Paul Hunt. He told her to activate a transmat to come to Scorpius, (AUDIO: Scorpius) where she was placed under the Cybermen’s control. (AUDIO: Conversion)

Paul Hunt joined President Brett’s administration as a poetical adviser and began deploying Cybermen on secret raids against android forces and also arranging for refugees fleeing to Earth to be processed at a facility on the Isle of Wight and transported elsewhere for Cyber conversion. Liam Barnaby clashed with Hunt and found himself gradually ostracised from Karen, eventually resulting in his firing.

In response to the Cyber incursions, the androids reassigned Samantha Thorn as a spy to investigate the Earth government’s use of Cyber-technology. Samantha sought Liam out and saved him from being assassinated. They travelled to the Isle of Wight processing facility after she followed transmissions from Paul Hunt and were processed along with refugees, (AUDIO: Fear) however Samantha managed to hijack the spaceship they were being transported on and divert it to android space. The androids fought the Cybermen for control of the ship, resulting in its destruction with Liam the only human survivor. Using information gathered from the destroyed Cybermen, the androids deduced they were planning to reactivate the Master Hibernation Unit at Telos and use it to send activation signals to Cyber tombs across the galaxy.

On Earth, President Brett publicly revealed the existence of Scorpius and claimed the Cybermen were volunteer “special commando units” who had been cybernetically-enhanced. She placed the units on the streets every major city, officially to help keep the peace and protect against android spies. The Planner suspected the androids could gain information on Telos from the transport ship so decided to advance the master plan, having Brett place Earth under full martial law and announce she was personally leading an expedition against the androids. Karen was fully converted into a Cyber-Leader and dispatched by the Planner to lead the Cyberman expedition to Telos. (AUDIO: Conversion)

Both factions discovered Telos had been shattered by an asteroid impact, with the Master Hibernation Unit adrift in its remains. The android forces managed to prevent the Cybermen reawakening the vault, with all combatants involved perishing save Liam and Samantha. With the Cyber-Leader lost and no contact from Telos, (AUDIO: Telos) Paul Hunt took over the Earth government, claiming Karen Brett had perished fighting against the androids. Liam and Samantha were left with a heavily damaged android spaceship, which took over 6 months to reach human space from Telos. Under Hunt’s regime, Cybermen began kidnapping groups of humans for conversions under the pretence of android attacks. These incidents and continued state of martial led to a resistance forming. (AUDIO: Outsiders, Terror)

The Cybrid Chessman was deployed by Earth Military against the androids, under the name Corvus (AUDIO: Machines) he infiltrated the androids’ forces and was unsuccessfully pursued by Temeter and Sara. The two agents were subject to a competency hearing by the Android War Council for their failure, and previous failed mission to Tasak, and Sara was sentenced to be reduced to a service droid. (AUDIO: Keepsake)

Samantha and Liam were rescued by a human vessel, the Novamore. (AUDIO: Outsiders, Terror) They were eventually taken captive by Chessman, who had been aboard undercover. Samantha escaped and made contact with android forces, who informed her the Council had decided to deploy a doomsday weapon against Earth due to the Cyberman presence. She decided to go to Earth to prevent the weapon needing to be activated and made contact with the resistance. Meanwhile Liam was brought back to Earth to be publicly executed as a traitor. (AUDIO: Machines)

Aided by Samantha, the resistance rescued Liam from his execution and launched an attack on the Cybermen’s base s Samantha could interface with the Cyber-Planner and disable it. They succeeded in gaining access however Samantha’s attack failed. Unable to defeat the Planner, she instead logically reasoned with it and convinced it that the growing resistance would lead to a war on Earth the Cyberman were not in a position to win. The Planner accepted her logic and ordered it’s forces to withdraw from the planet, however the strain of interfacing killed Samantha to Liam’s horror. Before she died, she gave Liam the code to deactivate the androids weapon.

The androids accepted Samantha's code and deactivated their planet killer. and in the words of Hazelm "peace broke out". After leaving Earth, the Cyber-Planner’s fleet was intercepted and attacked by android vessels. (AUDIO: Extinction)


Thousands of years after the Orion War, the Seventh Doctor visited Reclaim Platform Juliet-November-Kilo, where he encountered the service droid that was formerly Sara. After the droid appeared to recognise him, he connected it to his TARDIS and discovered memories of the Orion War it still retained from Sara. (AUDIO: Keepsake)