It has recently come to our attention that Toberman, the servant of Kaftan, had kept a diary during his time on Telos. In fact he bought it for that very trip. It is our understanding that his master never took him anywhere and he suddenly became very excited about the thought of traveling to a new world.

The year is sometime after 2570; Toberman is not that specific in his writing. Women have apparently reverted back to a time when they are too delicate to do a “man’s” work and people can have other people as their “servants”.

The future does seem all-progress doesn’t it?

Now it is our pleasure to bring to you the final thoughts of the last servant in the galaxy.

Passage 1

“We made it here. Toberman is finally getting to see the universe. Toberman can taste freedom, but Toberman is not happy. Toberman’s pants are too tight, and people are yelling at Toberman to get off of the mountain that Toberman has just overcome.”

He goes on for a bit about how upset he is and after a while the writings become a series of nonsensical grunts and growls and “Hulk Smash” and so on.

Moving along…

Passage 4

“We are in the building, and it is wondrous, Toberman want to go see it all, but they make him stay with women. They think Toberman no better then a woman. Toberman is a slave… no: “servant.”

We get the understanding that Toberman has women issues as he devoted the next 12 passages to the matter, but once again we are not able to decipher all the writing, however, this snippet was found to be legible:

Passage 17

“I have the strength to crush all of their heads, but still they speak to Toberman as if he is a little girls. Toberman sad, and pants are starting to chafe.”

It is unclear just how upset that Toberman is in his present situation of being a slave.. er, “servant”, or if he is more upset about something else.

Curiously enough, passages 18 through 23 describe in full detail how the logic systems of the Cybermen base work, but as this is so inconsistent with the rest of Toberman’s writing, we will chalk this up to someone else picking up the wrong book.

Passage 24

“Mistress Kaftan pinch Toberman’s bottom today. Toberman sick of being boy toy. Toberman want to be free man.”

Passage 25

“Klieg pinch Toberman’s bottom today, Toberman wish he could bash Klieg’s skull in.”

Passages 26, 29, 34 through 39, and 42 all focus on this same sort of frustration.

But soon things take a drastic change.

Passage 47

“Toberman has been married. Nice men have given Toberman a big silver ring for his arm. Toberman will have to change his name to Cyberman. Change name? Again Toberman is thought of as a Woman! Toberman no change name! Toberman Smash!”

He continues in passages 48 and 49 about how the Cybermen were able to calm him down, although he thinks that removing part of his brain may have done this. But nonetheless he does not abandon his diary.

Passage 50

“Cyberman have sent Cyberm- TOBERman to kill humans. Toberman sees chance to smash Klieg’s head in now.”

Passage 51

“Toberman feel much better now. Klieg will touch Cyberm- TOBERman no more.”

Passage 52

“Mistress dead, Cyberman killed mistress… what will Toberman do? Toberman WILL DESTROY!”

Unfortunately this is where the diary ends, we understand that he could not write in the diary anymore after his death.

Thankfully his thoughts were persevered by a sole surviving Cybermat who picked his pocket and brought his diary all the way back to Earth for us to read and contemplate.

As you read this, the diary is being serialized and an autobiography is being written. Movies are being made about the man and the torment he had to endure, but nothing will ever have the impact the Diaries of Toberman truly hold. How could one man have worn pants that tight?

Doctor: [To the Cyberleader] ‘You’re nothing but a pathetic bunch of tin soldiers skulking about the galaxy in an ancient spaceship.’ Cyberleader: ‘Cybermen can survive more efficiently than animal organisms. That is why we will rule the galaxy.’

Revenge of the Cybermen

And that is what it boils down to. The Cybermen are second only to the Daleks in their desire for domination, but whereas Skaro’s most insane desire to utterly destroy anything different to themselves, the Cybermen will subjugate and convert their conquests, thus bolstering their own ranks. This is the true horror of the Cybermen. Convinced that flesh will fail, that their way is best, they surrendered emotion and eventually individuality in the name of survival.

So, for the uninitiated, what is a Cyberman? Their history is one of sadness; the inhabitants of the planet Mondas – Earth’s lost twin – the original Cybermen were like us until they found that replacement surgery was necessary to prolong the life of their dying race. Their respiratory system was replaced by the prominent chest place, and their strength increased ten-fold. With their planet lost, wandering through the galaxy, the Cybermen conquered many worlds but Mondas was eventually destroyed following an attack on Earth (The Tenth Planet). Few of the remaining Cybermen are true Mondasians, but their aim is still the same – survival. Eventually, some settled on Telos and built their own tombs in order to draw those humans that would see them reanimated into their lair… and convert them.

This, of course, isn’t an entirely new concept; every story in existence has the concept of survival wove into it one way or another. In a Universe where anyone can be met at anytime by the Doctor, it is no surprise that many of the races he meets are threatened with extinction. Take the Kaled/Dals, the Ice Warriors, and the Zygons as prime examples from the original series – then add what has happened to the Autons world following the Time War and the effect of the war on the Gelth’s world. And just look at what the Master was prepared to do to stay alive!

Survival is a word that also commands our daily existence. We work – or otherwise acquire money – in order to survive. We buy food that we might survive, and pay rent or mortgage so that we and our families have shelter – in order to survive. Doctors and scientists spend their lives working so that we might survive.

This was something that co-creator of the Cybermen Dr. Kit Pedler recognised. In 1966 when he was employed by the Doctor Who production team to give the series a stronger scientific grounding, the Cybermen were born. A real-life doctor, Pedler was fearful of the ghastly possibilities that the proposed replacement-part surgery likely to be available in the future would create for mankind. Survival was one thing – but what if we lost our humanity?

As the Cybermen were eventually able to develop into a force capable of challenging mankind’s place in the galaxy, their image as silver-clad cadavers was replaced with an image of an unstoppable force. Thanks to writer Eric Saward, the already overused Nazi metaphor applied with varying degrees of obviousness to all of the Doctor’s adventures with the Daleks were shoehorned in to Cyberman mythology in the 1980s, no doubt to assist with their desire for conquest. But surely survival is enough?

Pedler and Davis’ original vision of the Cybermen back in the 1960s was perfect. Done-to-death Nazi parallels were meaningless in the 1980s, and even more so now as imperialism rears it’s ugly, destructive head once more. But a human-like race, fearful of it’s impending doom, fighting nature for survival and using whatever means be they mechanical or whatever – that is genius. And the parallels with real life are far more interesting. Governments have risen and fallen for the last 4000 years – aggressive fascist policy isn’t going stop mankind whether it be fictional or real. But a dying race would stop us, and make us face up to these very real decisions.

A mechanical heart or one grown in a lab?