Fans of Doomwatch and Doctor Who will be interested in reading Richard's detailed "History of the Cybermen", which attempts to tie together all the Cybermen adventures from both the old and new series into one detailed chronology. Here is an extract:
For thousands of years religious and spiritual leaders had observed that the human race was seemingly trapped in a cycle of suffering caused by disease and death. And obsessed with finally breaking this cycle Lumic sought a truly revolutionary solution, not through Buddhism or spirituality but cold and calculating science. Lumic decided that the only way to end such human suffering once and for all was by becoming more than human, or, in the words of Cybus Industries, “human 2.0 … the ultimate upgrade.” Inspired by alien hardware and biology Cybus Industries had obtained via its acquisition of International Electromatics in the 1980s, Lumic developed a means of removing the humanoid brain and housing it in an invulnerable “skin of metal.” Free of all emotions except arguably the most primitive of all – the will to survive no matter what – Lumic called this 21st century merger of man and machine, biology and science: Cybermen. Any sense of achievement – or perhaps even guilt – Lumic might have felt, however, was soon “deleted” when the silver giants took it upon themselves to “upgrade” Lumic from terminally ill genius to Cyber Controller.The Cybermen, of course, were created by Doomwatch creators Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis. In another essay called "Transhumanism in Doomwatch" Richard explores how the concept of Cybermen was further explored in the Doomwatch episode "In The Dark" starring Patrick Troughton and other episodes:
In the season two episode In The Dark a terminally ill man Alan McArthur (played by Troughton) desperately tries to prolong his life artificially by replacing his dieing body piece by piece with experimental life support systems. Although the experiment is successful it has a terrible price. McArthur begins to think of himself as well as other human beings (if you can still call him human at this point?) as nothing more than bio-chemical machines: ultimately planning on cheating death completely by becoming nothing more than a living brain attached to a dead machine. A procedure that would leave him utterly alone and unable to communicate with the outside world forever, with only his thoughts to keep him company in the endless darkness. Fortunately, though, Professor Quist and his daughter manage to persuade McArthur that this would be a fate worse than death and he decides instead to finally switch off the machinery and die a human being.
Such a scenario might sound fantastic but even back in the 1960s and 70s there would have been signs that such a hypothetical hybridisation between man and machine might become a reality sooner rather than later. In 1960, Belding Scribner invented the Scribner shunt a breakthrough kidney dialysis machine that later saved the lives of countless people with end-stage kidney disease around the globe. More substantially, though, in December 1967 (only a matter of months after The Tenth Planet was broadcast) the first successful human heart transplant took place at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.HERE.
Update: Signed copies now available from HERE