Cybermen
Doctor Who Doctor Who

Cybermen

Comparison of the voice actors who have been the voice of Cybermen with sound clips and images.
Franchise: Doctor Who

The Cybermen are second only to the Daleks as Doctor Who's longest-running and most well-known antagonists, making their first appearance in 1966's The Tenth Planet (the final adventure of the First Doctor, William Hartnell). They have come into contact with The Doctor in nearly all of his incarnations, the lone exception being his short-lived Ninth life. Originally from the Earth's twin planet Mondas, they are former humans who replaced their body parts with robotic augments to survive, effectively becoming cyborgs. Due to this conversion, the Cybermen lack human emotion and empathy, and consider themselves superior to organic life forms. As such, one of their most common goals is to convert other forms of organic life into Cybermen. Their primary weakness is gold, which clogs their respiratory systems.

During the Tenth Doctor era in 2006, a new type of Cyberman was introduced. Coming from an alternate universe, they were created by terminally ill (and evil) genius John Lumic as an experiment to preserve human brains in new bodies. Just like their Mondasian counterparts, these Cybermen lack emotion and seek to carry out Lumic's will by forcing humans to "upgrade" themselves to these robotic bodies. From then on, Cybermen seen in the modern series were all of the Lumic variety, but the Mondasian Cybermen made their return in the Eleventh Doctor era, and are once again the primarily-seen versions of the metallic menaces.

The original voices of the Cybermen were Peter Hawkins and Roy Skelton, who voiced them together in The Tenth Planet and The Wheel in Space. Peter Hawkins voiced them solo in two outings with the Second Doctor, Tomb of the Cybermen and The Moonbase. In The Invasion, their voices were instead provided by Peter Halliday. For the rest of the classic series (from 1975 onward), the Cybermen did not have official voice actors, as their voices were provided by the suited actors physically playing them.

During their return in 2006's Rise of the Cybermen, the idea of having separate actors to portray them physically and provide the voices was revived. Since then, Nicholas Briggs has been the official voice of the Cybermen, voicing them in all appearances except for the Eternity Clock game.

Created by NCZ on Nov 23 2014

EDITOR'S OPINION

Compared to the Daleks, the Cybermen are interesting in that there hasn't really been one cohesive vision for them. Depending on who you ask and what story/era you're watching, they're either sadistic but sympathetic creatures that were once human, or they're vicious killing machines that downplay the human element.

I have to say I've always liked the late-60s, Second Doctor-era Cybermen. The combination of the uncanny prosthetics, the eerie voices, and the black-and-white visuals ensured that their presence was always eerie. Tomb of the Cybermen is in my mind, the definitive Cyberman story, and Peter Hawkins' vocal performance there is highly memorable. His "You will become like us..." line is famous as one of the most chilling cliffhangers the series has ever done. As well, he also provided the unnerving sing-song tone of voice the Cybermen had in their first appearance, which was abandoned quickly but nonetheless an effective performance. Roy Skelton's work was in the same vein, but without the aid of vocal effects. His robotic delivery but clearly human voice create a disturbing juxtaposition that reinforce the Cybermen as emotionless but once-organic beings.

Nicholas Briggs' performance is noteworthy as he voiced both the Lumic and the Mondasian Cybermen, which had different effects applied to them. The Mondasian Cybermen have deep, monstrous voices, while the Lumic Cybermen have high-pitched voices similar to the sing-song tones they had in The Tenth Planet. While the "Mondas" voice is more threatening, the "Lumic" voice does a better job of conveying their humanity.

In the end, Peter Hawkins and Roy Skelton are my favourites, followed by Nicholas Briggs, David de Keyser, and Peter Halliday.


NCZ

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Who do you think has been the best from these Cybermen voice actors?
Peter Hawkins
Roy Skelton
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