Neil Gaiman: “We’ll Make The Cybermen Scary Again”

Neil Gaiman: Cybersaviour (Writer Pictures via AP Images)

Let’s make a deal. We will stop exitedly reporting every tiny nugget of information that comes our way about the forthcoming Doctor Who adventure Neil Gaiman is writing with the Cybermen in, when it stops feeling like an impossible Christmas wish and starts feeling like a real thing that is actually going to appear on our TV screens. OK?

We’re not there yet, by the way, especially after the quotes Neil gave to the French website about the story, how it came to be, and what it will contain.

It seems the primary inspiration comes in part from those early black-and-white Cybermen episodes, and partly from a decision from Steven Moffat to take these lifesize tin soldiers in a darker direction“Steven wrote to me and said, ‘Will you make the Cybermen scary again?’. And I thought back to when I was 6 or 7 years old – ‘The Moonbase’, ‘Tomb of the Cybermen’… I saw these when they were first broadcast.”

And one of the creepiest things about their early work is that they did a lot less stomping about like soldiers, and were kind of silent, blank and eerie: “Daleks went around going, ‘Exterminate’, and blowing things up,” he said. “Cybermen were just… You look up and there’s a Cyberman.”

Like this:

He concluded: “I thought, ‘Let me see what I can do when I take the 1960s Cybermen and [incorporate] everything that’s happened since’. So that’s what I’m trying to do. I don’t know if it will work.”

If only feverish anticipation were brain fuel, it would be the best thing ever.

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser is a British writer, broadcaster and the the author of the book Stuff Brits Like. He is Anglophenia's resident Brit blogger, having written BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog, the Top of the Pops website, and for NME, the Guardian and elsewhere. Favorite topics include slang, Doctor Who and cramming as much music into Anglophenia as he can manage. He invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
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