- Cybermen I -
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Doctor Who Spin-Off Guide Appendix O' Scorpius and the Telos Conversion of Fear
In the 24th Century, mankind is locked in a long, futile war with Pokémon, a race of collectible furry creatures who can turn into giant, armored killing machines whose only weakness are static-free pillow cases and sheets. The war would have been over long ago except for insanely stupid people letting captured Pokémon go afterwards.
One such sympathizer leads an entire Planetary Assault Force into an ambush, but Admiral Karen Brett decides to let them die while she has fun torturing the traitor Helliton with direct current. Amazingly enough, her letting fifty thousand soldiers die needlessly turns out to be a tactical victory, since it means there are no human casualties when she finally gets off her ass and wipes out the entire planet she was supposed to actually be liberating.
Despite being an openly-confessed sadistic maniac who allowed tens of thousands to die, America is love with Admiral Brett, seeing her as a hero and a much better leader than that wussy-liberal President Duncan Levinson who doesn’t seem to like the idea of victory at any cost. The increasingly-paranoid Levinson summons Brett to the White House for a good dressing down, but gets depressed when she arrives in a victory parade surrounded by mobs of adoring fans.
No sooner does Brett demand to know if Levinson is going to promote her or what, a flying saucer crashes into the Whitehouse and a bunch of gleaming silver, handle-bar-eared figures emerge and kill Levinson, declare Brett the new President of the Great and Bountiful Human Empire, and then piss off via teleport bracelets.
The public are delighted at this development and they’d all gone off Levinson anyway.
President Brett then gets invited to a wine and cheese night on the planet Reticence Four where she meets a smug man called Paul Hunt (a rather embarrassing descendant of the Gene Genie himself) who bores her rigid with his rather rubbish plan to hire Cybermen as mercenaries to wipe out the Pokémon once and for all. He’s been suggesting it for twelve years now and the last two Presidents kept telling him to shut the fuck up and leave them alone, but he was hoping she’d be more open-minded, what with her "victory at any cost" manifesto.
Alas, Brett upholds presidential tradition and tells him to shut the fuck up and leave her alone, but three months later as the Pokémon change their tactics and start beating nine colours of shit out of the human race, she starts to think that maybe Hunt’s plan might have some merit after all.
At that EXACT second, a Cyberman teleports into the Oval Office right in front of her, gives her two thumbs up and then beams out once more.
The war continues and the fickleness of the mob means that everyone now hates Brett for her psycho-torturer habits, refusal to negotiate, and the way she’s caused millions of innocent people to die ever since she took office. Her parents die of shame. Well, that AND the Pokémon carpet-bombing their solar system to rubble. This, of course, makes the galactic war PERSONAL in a way it just wasn’t before.
After the radiation-proof Pokémon decide to flood their planets with radiation to kill off all non-Pokémon forms of life, Brett crumbles like the wussy little crybaby she truly is and runs to Paul Hunt to save her sorry arse. She never at any point thinks that, you know, maybe Hunt is actually working for the Cybermen and they’re using her obsession to secretly conquer humanity.
Hunt outlines his plan to rid humanity of all their pathetic and weak emotions and use the Isle of Wight as a conversion centre to turn all refugees, political dissidents, traitors, criminals and above all loonies into a crack army of Cybermen. Brett has second thoughts about the idea, so the Cyber-Director – a disembodied computer disguised as a piece of modern art that speaks only Spanish – instantly brainwashes her with its evil corrupting Cyber influence
The brainwashed Brett immediately appoints Paul Hunt as Government Advisor and De Facto Ruler of the World. When Brett’s pal Barnaby complains at this odd behavior, he is instantly attacked by an unseen madman in a Morris Minor, who unsuccessfully tries to drive him off the road. Since this failed, Paul Hunt orders the brainwashed Brett to declare a jihad on Barnaby before he can raise a people’s army and seize control of the state, or some other revolutionary idea.
Luckily, Barnaby has an ally in the form of Samantha Horn – Paul Hunt’s bitter ex-lover who reveals he dumped her to swan off with his military Touchwood-wannabes reverse-engineering Cyber technology and was never seen again. However, even as they discover this a bunch of Cybermen (cunningly disguised in dark glasses and trenchcoats) try to kill them for some reason. Both Barnaby and Samantha are shot by the Cybermen’s microwave flame throwers, but Samantha is unharmed and kills them both – revealing she is, in fact, a Pokémon secret agent in deep cover and her affair with Paul Hunt was a mission to find out what the hell the stupid apes were doing with xenotech.
Barnaby and Samantha steal a boat and head to the Isle of Wight where Paul Hunt was apparently working with Cyber tech – and the fact the former penal colony is now a Cyberman-run refugee camp doesn’t actually count against this theory. Yes, Paul Hunt’s plan to made the Cybermen humanity’s bitch backfired something chronic and he was transformed into a Cyberman from the waist down, the perfect undercover agent to infiltrate the government and defeat the human race without any of that tedious mucking about with alien war fleets and megatron bombs.
Barnaby and Samantha are captured and, like the refugees, taken away to be converted into more Cybermen. They suffer humiliation, debasement, and mass hypnosis before all the nasty stuff with saws and laser begins, but Samantha (who, as a Pokémon, is immune to such suggestion) manages to break the conditioning of Barnaby by doing incredibly graphic and obscene things to his numb, helpless body. Using her amazing prick-teasing skills, Samantha is able to snap Barnaby out of it, and they both steal the Cyberman’s shuttle and run for the hills. Well, Jupiter, anyway.
As the Pokémon gain the upper hand and Earth’s control of the situation is completely lost, Brett breaks the news to the human race that that unless they want to suffer death at the hands of cute little animals they’re going to have to surrender their puny, fleshy bodies and transform themselves into Cybermen. Will the people of Earth’s racism and xenophobia outweigh their common sense? Is that a SERIOUS question? They were dumb enough to declare war on small, furry collectibles for fuck’s sake!
Cybermen now rule the Earth – which isn’t the big deal it used to be in the old days of the UNIT era – and Samantha and Barnaby meet up with the Pokémon resistance, including her steady boyfriend Prime Riordan who is not exactly pleased that his woman has come home with a naked ape lusting after her.
The Pokémon War Council decide to exterminate the human race once and for all, as this won’t just cut off the Cybermen’s supply of new recruits, but will get rid of the stupid anthropoids who are frankly far more trouble than they’re worth.
Realizing this is getting a bit serious, the Cyber-Director decide to take things up to eleven. Brett declares martial law and then is converted into a Cyberman live on public-access cable TV and live streaming on the interweb! This improves her standing amongst goths, punks and masochists everywhere, all of whom are immediately rounded up and converted as well. The Cyberleader Formally Known As Karen decides it’s time to kick some pinko Pokémon butt!
The Pokémon, however, have already decided that it’s time to kick some commie Cyber butt and set course for the Cyberman Planet of Telos, hidden on the outskirts of the Solar System, beyond Pluto, beyond Cassius, beyond Xena, the fourteenth planet of the Solar System! Well, actually the ninth since two others blew up and astronomers can’t agree on the definition of the remainder.
Barnaby and Samantha discover that Telos is one of over a thousand planets where the Cybermen have taken over, made a godawful mess, got drunk, stoned and finally fallen into hibernation. Thus, there are billions of Cybermen dozing throughout the galaxy, and if the Master Bachelor Pad on Telos is woken up, those Cybermen will be in a grouchy mood and wake up every other Cybermen in the galaxy and humanity and Pokémon alike will be screwed.
Thus, it’s a race against time as Barnaby and company try to locate Telos before Cyberleader Karen Brett. There is, however, a snag, as over a hundred years ago a massive fleet of Dustbin cruisers fleeing the Earth forgot to look where they were going and crashed into Telos and instinctively tidied the surface, erasing almost all trace of Cybermen off the surface before they went on their merry way.
With no real clue of what to do now, Barnaby and Riordan get into an alpha male fight over the sexual rights to Samantha. This is a very crude and blatant plot device to make us realize that, deep down, humans and Pokémon are really the same. Like I care. MORE CYBER CARNAGE, GOD DAMN IT! It’s just as well I don’t pay for these things!
Er. Whoops. Anyway.
Just then, Cyberleader Karen Brett arrives in her warship, The Microsoft XP900 – the only experimental space craft with a smiley in its serial number. At this precise moment, Samantha spots a surviving service station on Telos, the last remaining link to the hibernating Cybermen underneath. The two groups race towards it, and the good guys get in there first, sneaking through the door marked "GENTS" to find the countless used eggboxes containing thousands of Cybermen in a drunken stupor.
Thinking quickly, the Pokémon plant some convenient cans of Nitro-9 around the place to cause maximum damage before Karen and her army of prancing Cybermen close in – and Barnaby predictably freaks out to discover his old pal has become a Cyberman herself. Barnaby begs Brett to think of fluffy kittens and fight off the evil controller of her mind, but she tells him to get stuffed.
All this noise causes the dormant Cybermen to start to wake up and, attacked on all sides, things look spectacularly bleak until the radiation-proof Samantha throws a lump of plutonium she happened to be carrying at the Cyberleader. It turns out that in order to keep their systems running, Cybermen are already slightly radioactive, and the sudden change in levels cause the entire Cyber taskforce to start making duck noises, hopping up and down on one leg, then collapse.
For some reason, this allows Karen Brett’s mind to reassert itself and remind us all what an unfeeling, bloody-minded bitch she was long before her neural pathways were dampened by the Cybermen.
On the downside, all this radiation kills Barnaby as well, leaving Samantha the only survivor and therefore bound to be the central character in any potential sequel.
Back on Earth, despite the fact that half the population are now Cybermen, Paul Hunt realizes he’s forgotten to convert the American Senate, who are too powerful for the might of the Cyber-Director as they desperately wait for the Cybermen on Telos to revive and unleash their armies across the galaxy.
This is apparently a happy ending.
Book(s)/Other Related – Doctor Who: Bored of Ironing
Oddly Visual 17: Board of Ironing
"I’m Having a Sexual Fling With the Cyber Communist Under My Bed"
Fluffs – The cast seemed anonymous in this spin-off audio series.
Fashion Victims –
Barnaby wears nothing except some warm liquid goo for the last two episodes, yet Samantha has to go and wear a spacesuit.
Goofs – This series made enough money to make a sequel.
Dialogue Disasters -
CYBERLEADER: THERE IS NOTHING TO SHAAAAAAAAAG.
Dialogue Triumphs – Nothing springs to mind.
Viewer’s Quotes –
"Cybermen feels like a prologue to another series altogether. Another series I have no interest in hearing. I actively dislike this."
- Andrew Beeblebrox (2008)
"Apparently the first episode was filmed live. That might explain what the hell is David Tennant doing there with Arthur the Horse when he rides through the Oval Office, screaming 'YEEHAAA!' a lot."
- Nigel Verkoff (2006)
"If there are millions upon millions of Cybermen waiting to be woken up... why don’t the Cybermen go to Telos and wake them up instead of piss-farting about trying to take over the Earth? Huh? ANSWER ME THAT - IF YOU *CAN*?? YOU BIG BALD WANKER!"
- Dave Restal (2007)
"A sequel to Bored of Ironing? Fuck this! The new TV series can’t POSSIBLY fuck the Cybermen up MORE than this!"
- Jared "No Nickname" Hansen (2006 – before seeing Silver Finish)
"How infinitely depressing. An endless, futile war of eternal grim hopelessness, and Big Finish have succeeded in totally screwing over their customers with a rip off existing merely to make people buy the second series in the hope it’s not quite so shit."
- Christian Petri Dish (2006)
"Cybermen isn’t what you think it’s going to be. It’s not an epic, world-spanning war with Mark McDonnell as the central character with a disturbing sex life and Sarah Mowat as a woman collaborator with icon monsters who eventually loses her humanity altogather. OK, it is, but unlike the last time Briggs sold us this story as Dustbin Umpire, it’s total crap and barely features the title monster."
- a rather poor Thomas Cookson impersonator (2007)
Due to a rather odd advertising campaign, absolutely nothing is known about this series. Not the cast, the crew, the authors, the titles or anyone involved. Apparently they nicked the gimmick from Spooks and it all got terribly out of hand. The only thing known is that it is based on Nicholas Briggs’ unused Oddly Visual plot "The Ultimate Brian", since an idea even the OVs thought shithouse would explain how bleeding awful the finished product. A sequel is expected any day now.