Thursday, 30 July 2015

Know Your Cybermen No.14

The Pandorica Opens (2010).
More of a cameo this one, as the Cybermen form part of the Pandorica Alliance that aims to trap the Doctor and prevent him from destroying the universe. However, one Cyberman forms the main threat in the middle of the episode. These are still the Cybus Cybermen.
One has been left at Stonehenge to guard the Pandorica, which is located in a secret chamber beneath. At some point this sentinel has fallen foul of the local Iron Age tribesfolk. It has been decapitated and has lost an arm. How long this Cyberman has been there is hard to work out. Stonehenge is already very ancient by 102 AD. If built to mark the location of the Pandorica, then it has been guarded for a couple of thousand years.
The severed body parts have a life of their own, and the body can function without the head.
The head is lying in the stone circle but manages to make its way down into the Underhenge. Pipes and cables which connect the head to the body are able to pull it along the ground, and one can fire a drugged dart. The head can open at the front, down the middle, to reveal the humanoid skull within - so the Cybermen no longer simply transfer the brain. The head attempts to clamp itself around Amy's head - to replace the old skull.
The arm has an in-built weapon, and it seems to have some sort of sensory apparatus, as it is able to identify movement and target it.
The headless Cyberman is able to reattach the head, but is later destroyed by the Auton-Rory with a sword through the chest.
Later we see a trio of Cybermen, one of whom is a Cyber-Leader, when the Alliance make their presence known to the Doctor. This is the same type of Leader seen in Army of Ghosts / Doomsday, with only the "handles" on the helmet painted black.
Apart from a couple of static fairground exhibits seen in Nightmare in Silver, this is the final outing for the Cybus Cybermen.

Story Notes: 

  • As well as the unexplained length of time the Cyberman has been guarding the Pandorica, and why the Alliance wait for 2400 years before springing their trap, it seems odd that neither the Doctor, nor River, nor Amy - who have been studying the circle for some time - have noticed the Cyber-head lying only a few feet away.
  • For a change, Paul Kasey is not lead Cyberman in this episode. This is due to those other members of the Alliance being around. Kasey plays the Judoon instead.
  • The Cyber-Leader's mouth can be seen to light up even when it isn't speaking. (The Dalek Supreme's dome lights do the same - so obviously there were some script changes after the filming had taken place).
  • Initially an actor who had lost his arm was employed to play the headless, armless Cyberman, wearing a green mask. When the footage was reviewed, the director was unhappy with the camera angles and it was reshot. The amputee actor was unavailable for this, so CGI was used to remove the arm as well as the head on another actor.

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