Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown - Rise Of The Cybermen

To celebrate the fact that 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, we'll be taking a look back at all of the episodes of the show which featured David Tennant as the Doctor. At the end of our look back we'll be asking you, the fans, to vote for what you think is the ultimate David Tennant episode of Doctor Who....

We continue with the next David Tennant episode.... Rise Of The Cybermen
Read our previous Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown posts here.

6. Rise Of The Cybermen

First Broadcast on 13th May 2006. Running Time: 45 Minutes. Viewing Figures: 9.20 million.
Written By Tom MacRae.
Directed By Graeme Harper.
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner. Rating: 9/10


The Tardis is trapped on a parallel Earth and the population is preparing for the ultimate upgrade. But sinister forces are at work and The Doctor runs up against an old enemy, The Cybermen.

Extras:  Promotional Photos | On Set Photos | Screen Caps | Articles | Videos 

Production Notes:
This episode was filmed in various locations in London and Wales. London locations included Battersea Power Station and Lambeth Pier.
Welsh locations were Uskmouth Power Station and Riverside Arts Centre in Newport, Cardiff Heliport, Cardiff Docks and Ely Papermill in Cardiff and the Stella Artois brewery in Monmouthshire.
The plot of this episode was loosely based upon the 2002 Big Finish audio drama Spare Parts written by Marc Platt.
This episode was the first time that Cybermen had been seen in the 'New' Doctor Who series and they were given an Art Deco makeover.
The new Cybermen were designed by Neill Gorton at Millennium FX. The new Cyberman are around 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) tall. They needed to be tall to look menacing, particularly as David Tennant is tall himself at 6ft 1. The Cybermen are made from burnished steel and feature the Cybus Corporation symbol on their chests. The Cyber Controller's design is distinctive as he has glowing eyes and a transparent head which reveals his human brain.
The Cybermen's line 'You will become like us' was first uttered by the metal monsters back in 1967 in Tomb Of The Cybermen.

The Foes:
The Cybermen are some of the Doctor's most recognisable and feared enemies. They are cyborgs. They have a human brain encased in a cybernetic shell. They have had all of their previous human emotions removed.
The original Cybermen originated from Mondas, Earth's twin planet. They made their first appearance in the episode The Tenth Planet alongside William Hartnell's Doctor.

In this episode the Cybermen exsist on a parallel Earth and they are the creation of John Lumic, the owner of Cybus Industries. Lumic was terminally ill and was looking for a way to prolong his own life span. He was feeding information in to the brain's of the public through his invention the EarPod. He was also arranging for homeless people to be abducted so that various tests could be carried out on them - these tests took place at Battersea Power Station - the end result of these tests was that the homeless people were upgraded into Cybermen.
The Cybermen eventually forced an upgrade on to Lumic and turned him into their very own Cyber Controller....

The Friends:
This is the episode in which Mickey Smith really starts to come in to his own. He's gone from being a character that was mostly there to provide a little light comic relief, and as part of Rose Tyler's back story, to hero of the hour.
Mickey has grown up and takes centre stage in the action. He is saddened by his travels with the Doctor and Rose as he has watched the girl he loves with another 'man' and one who he feels has more to offer her than her does. He's tried joining them on board the TARDIS and still he can't compete with the Doctor. He finally realises that Rose will just never feel as strongly about him as she does about the Doctor.
What happens to really change Mickey is that he finds a purpose for his life on the parallel Earth. His Grandmother is still alive there and he comes face to face with alternative version of himself.
Ricky is brave and outgoing, he's a rebel, he's a hero. Mickey realises just what he could be, but he has to stop living in the shadow of Rose and the Doctor to achieve this.

  • Rose Tyler: [On the Cybermen] They're people? 
  • The Doctor: They were. Now they've had all their humanity taken away. That's a living brain jammed inside a cybernetic body, with a heart of steel. All emotions removed. 
  • Rose Tyler: Why no emotion? 
  • The Doctor: Because it hurts. 

  • The Doctor: We surrender. There's no need to damage us, we're good stock. We volunteer for the upgrade programme. Take us to be processed. 
  • Cyberman: You are rogue elements. 
  • The Doctor: But we surrender. 
  • Cyberman: You are incompataible. 
  • The Doctor: But this is a surrender. 
  • Cyberman: You will be deleted. 
  • The Doctor: But we're surrendering! Listen to me, we surrender! 
  • Cyberman: You are inferior. Man will be reborn as Cyberman, but you will perish under maximum deletion. Delete, delete, delete, DELETE! 


  • The name International Electromatics, as seen on the truck collecting humans for Cyber-conversion, is a reference to the company of the same name featured in the 1968 Cyberman adventure The Invasion.
  • The Doctor made a point of calling Mickey 'Ricky' during Series One. Did he know something that he wasn't letting on?
  • The TARDIS previously suffered a complete power failure in 1974's Death To The Daleks. Note that when the TARDIS crashes, six oxygen masks drop from the ceiling - an early indication that a TARDIS normally has six crew. This is later confirmed in the story Journey's End.
  • This is director Graeme Harper's first new series adventure. Graeme previously helmed Peter Davison's swansong, The Caves Of Androzani (1984) and Revelation Of The Daleks (1985).
  • It's probably no coincidence then, that actor Colin Spaull returned to Doctor Who to play Mr Crane, having last appeared as Lilt in Revelation Of The Daleks.
  • The Cybermen were created by Doctor Who's unofficial scientific advisor Dr Kit Pedler and script editor Gerry Davies for the 1966 adventure The Tenth Planet. These Cybermen originated on Earth's twin planet, Mondas. An original Cyberman head was seen in the Series One story Dalek.
  • Don Warrington had never previously appeared in a television episode of Doctor Who, but had played Time Lords founder Rassilon in several audio adventures.
  • Roger Lloyd Pack broke his leg shortly before filming on the episode commenced. Luckily it had always been intended that his character, John Lumic, would be confined to a wheelchair, so no rewrites were necessary!
  • If you look closely, the clock face of Big Ben is square rather than round in this alternate dimension. Oddly it reverts to being round again in the next episode!
  • Noel Clarke doesn't really have a tattoo on his arm - it was specially created with make-up.

  • David Tennant - The Doctor
  • Billie Piper - Rose Tyler
  • Noel Clarke - Mickey Smith / Ricky 
  • Camille Coduri - Jackie Tyler
  • Shaun Dingwall  Pete Tyler
  • Roger Lloyd Pack  John Lumic
  • Andrew Hayden-Smith  Jake Simmonds
  • Don Warrington – The President
  • Colin Spaull  Mr Crane
  • Mona Hammond – Rita-Anne
  • Helen Griffin – Mrs Moore
  • Paul Antony-Barber – Dr Kendrick
  • Adam Shaw – Morris
  • Andrew Ufondo – Soldier
  • Duncan Duff – Newsreader
  • Paul Kasey – Cyber-Leader
  • Nicholas Briggs – Cybermen (Voice)

What do you think of the episode? Tell us below....


  1. David McGregor Tennant proved to be the very best actor to ever don the cloak of The Doctor. While others were great for different reasons, no other Doctor displayed the same level of acting genius. But I was also impressed with Miss Piper and her performances. Thank you one and all from Australia (where The Doctor has never been, I think).

  2. I think my favorite thing about this episode is Mickey getting a fresh beginning and finding his inner-self/heroic courage under his cowardly timid and go-with-the-flow self. Also gives a new character face to Rose's father, who like Mickey gets to have things work out for him, where in the parallel universe (ours), nothing works out for him, even his life.


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