The 12th Doctor’s final adventure will mirror his first incarnation by battling Mondasian Cybermen. A recent BBC announcement revealed that Peter Capaldi’s last season of Doctor Who will feature these original Cybermen with a lower production-value appearance.
Although marketed as the return of the “original” Cybermen, it’s not entirely accurate. Mondasian Cybermen have appeared since 2005, but not in their 1966 attire. According to Doctor Who lore, the first Cybermen originated from Mondas, and their debut coincided with the 1st Doctor (William Hartnell). Subsequent Cybermen designs were also from Mondas, until 2006.
In the “new” show’s second season, the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) encountered alternate universe Cybermen from a parallel Earth. This “Cybus” design has persisted in the series.
However, Mondasian Cybermen have appeared in the new series. In Season 6, Rory confronted Mondasian Cybermen with the Cybus design in “A Good Man Goes to War.” In Season 7’s “Nightmare in Silver,” the Doctor faced Mondasian Cybermen with a design resembling the ones from “Pete’s World.”
Cybermen last appeared in Season 8’s finale, “Death in Heaven,” under Missy’s control. Although they resembled the Cybus design, they were likely Mondasian, with no mention of parallel worlds.
Why the Return of the “Old” Cybermen?
What does this mean for the Mondasian Cybermen reverting to their 1966 appearance? Time travel is a simple answer, but will the Doctor venture into his own past? If Peter Capaldi revisits the events of William Hartnell’s “The Tenth Planet,” fans will be ecstatic. It’s plausible that David Bradley, who portrayed William Hartnell in 2013’s “An Adventure in Space and Time,” could return as the 1st Doctor in a crossover finale. The 1st Doctor Cybermen could lead to a 1st Doctor crossover.
Furthermore, “Day of the Doctor” didn’t explain how the 1st Doctor knew to bring his TARDIS to Gallifrey at the right time or why the 12th Doctor was present.
The Season 10 finale might address these questions. Could the 12th Doctor travel back to the show’s early days, fight classic Cybermen, and resolve a 2013 anniversary special plot hole simultaneously? Time will tell.
Doctor Who Season 10 premieres on BBC and BBC America on April 15.