Doctor Who: Neil Gaiman episode title confirmed

News Louisa Mellor 8 Feb 2013 - 09:49

Neil Gaiman confirms the title of his series seven Doctor Who episode...

Warning: contains spoilers for Doctor Who series 7b

This is more confirmation of an existing rumour than newly minted news, but it's good to know all the same. The penultimate episode of Doctor Who's current series (due to return to the BBC on Easter Saturday), written by Neil Gaiman, will indeed be titled The Last Cyberman.

The name first leaked late last year when a script for the episode was discovered in the back of a cab and its title page went whizzing around cyberspace, and it's been listed on the IMDb ever since, but this confirmation comes straight from the horse's mouth, via an interview Gaiman gave to

Aside from the obvious then, what's the episode about? Identity, responsibility, and porridge according to Gaiman. A look at some of the episode's character names explains the presence of an oats-based breakfast dish on that list, as Porridge happens to be the name Warwick Davis' character goes by. Davis stars alongside Jason Watkins, Tamzin Outhwaite, and Calvin Dean in the Cybermen-focused instalment.

Below, with thanks to Doctor Who News, are a few episode stills taken from the BBC's Coming Soon trailer. Those who want to remain spoiler-free, look away now... 

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The production of this episode looks fantastic. I feel it's going to be Game of Thrones the science fiction episode. With Neil Gaiman writing this episode, I'm sure it's going to be fantastic.

Have the Borg and Cybermen been swapping tactics over java? The Doctor seems to be a rocking a Locutus of Cybermen sort of thing.


1) The Cybermen keep on getting better and better looking. 2) The Doctor totally looks like Locutus of Borg in that picture.

The Cybermen have always looked too plasticky to me - I assume it's a nod to the classic Who look, but I'd much prefer an more metallic look to them!

Cyber Doc? Doc Cyber? Nah let's just call him Docutus of Cybermen, that ought to work lol.

These Cybermen look awesome! I can't wait for this!

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, of course, but I couldn't disagree more. I think these Cybermen look EXCELLENT. They look a lot scarier as well.

The Doctor looking like a Borg is easily the most tantalising tidbit about 7b yet released

Good, at least the rumoured title turned out to be good, not like last year when the episode titles were horrible I mean the power of three was gonna be called cubed, And the angels take manhattan was a horrible name.

"Porridge" is apparently Cockney slang for life in prison. Hmmm... A hint?

You're right, they do. What you have to REMEMBER is, this is what they look like before the lighting is adjusted for the show. These are just a few high quality photos under regular lighting. No editing what so ever. Chances are, when the tone and the shot is darkened and filtered slightly, they'll look hard as effing steel.

Cyberman design is much better.

Nice Wald cross-over too.

Warwick Davis in Who? Bloody awesome! Hope he has a major role in the ep.

I love the bottom picture! Compare the set to Tomb of the Cybermen and its identical!

Cyberman has mace and is sallying forth from what may be a medieval castle.

Perhaps a Knights in Armor theme with chivalry and cyberpests.

Last timelord = last cyber man? Obviously it won't come to fruition, but I'm sure it what the cyberleader would want :-P

To those commenting about the cyberman/borg do know there has been a short comic book series where the 11th doctor teams up with Picard and his next generation crew to fight a cybermen/borg alliance?

The cybermen look completly like a rejected ironman suit, sorry but i am very disappointed

Gaiman showed himself to be something of a Dr Who traditionalist in his last writing effort 'The Doctor's Wife' - including bringing back the Time Lord psychic distress signals all the way from the 2nd Doctor's epic final serial 'War Games' (the ball the doctor receives at the start of the episode from the Corsair, only to find an enormous pile of them later, presumably from the House's previous victims).

I'm guessing that 'The Last Cyberman' is a return to the Cybermen's defining feature in the original series - no, not that they convert humans into Cybermen (for a lengthy period during the 3rd and 4th doctor's runs, every alien/mutant/monster seemed to have the ability to turn humans into one of them on touch. No, the conversion thing just feeds into the key Cyberman characteristic, and the thing that distinguishes them from the Daleks (in those days the Time Lords were constantly worried that Dalek tech was advancing at a rate that might catch up to their own in the far future, but it doesn't actually start to happen until the very end of the original series), is that the Cybermen were never a galaxy-invading intergalactic threat. Instead, they're the mere remnants of a species that evacuated their doomed planet before its destruction - they're dangerous because they're so desperate to survive that they'll do anything, including their original conversion from fully organic lifeforms into Cybermen, to avoid their own annihilation.

Even at the height of their military strength during the 2nd doctor's run, they're woefully outnumbered and outgunned once UNIT finally manages to catch them in an open firefight - they're always forced to wait in the shadows, trying to boost their conversion numbers through subterfuge rather than open invasion.

They get completely annihiliated twice, only to come back through explorers stumbling across cybermats programmed to stun and convert base intruders. The 2nd doctor classic 'Tomb of the Cybermen' (upon which Matt Smith based his portrayal of the doctor) there's not even a suggestion that the Cybermen are planning on intergalactic conquest - they're just desperate to stave off extinction (just as they were in their first appearance in 'The Tenth Planet'), and their victims are merely a necessary means to avoiding extinction.

By the 5th doctor classic 'Earthshock', the Cybermen don't even have a terrestial base - all that's left is a solitary ship with a ragtag crew and Cyberleader that is half-insane due to its supposedly eliminated emotions breaking through in occasional fits of rage.

Where the Daleks are wholly unsympathetic villains who desire nothing but galactic domination (with Davros even worse - the Daleks might want to enslave the universe, but they're not crazy enough to destroy it, pointedly refraining from crossing their past timelines, or doing anything that could break the laws of time and destroy everything, and even teaming up with the other races to try and stop the Doctor's Tardis from being used as a bomb to destroy the space-time fabric), the Cybermen are dangerous more from the fact that the human race provides their sole means of repopulation and survival. They're few and they're desperate, and that makes them a threat.

The idea of story about the Cybermen being reduced to a sole 'last cyberman' and his efforts to enable the Cybermen race to cheat extinction by the narrowest thead yet again, would be both a neat idea for a story, and consistent with Gaiman's interest in utilising material from the original series in new ways.

Could this be the cybermen equivalent of 'Dalek'?

The Doctor's Wife was the only episode I found remotely, interesting and far less boring than the rest of the last two and a half seasons. It wasn't the best ever, as Moff and Gaiman fangirls decry, but it was the closest ep of Moff's tenure to what Who is supposed to be about.

I have been disappointed by all of Moff's tenure.

For the first time ever I agree with you. They look scary, but we all know they will be defeated by a crying badger or two.

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