It looks as though those four Cybermen were sneaking up on our four assembled incarnations of the Doctor – the Ninth through the Twelfth Incarnations. But the Doctor would never be caught unawares like that, especially with the Cybermen being such clanking, clattering collections of caliginous junk.
No, I think we were seeing the Cybermen as partners with the four incarnations of the Doctor!
We’ve seen several Cybermen over the years assert their independence from the hive programming for a variety of reasons. And it appears there are different Cyber-styles in their armor – some are Mondasian, others from the parallel Earth’s Lumic corporation, and there may be even a Telosian Cyberman in their midst.
Getting back to those Cybermen who regained their individual personalities, I think at least three of these were once characters who showed up in the series as humans before they were “upgraded”.
Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, former head of UNIT
Yvonne Hartman, former head of Torchwood
Jackie Tyler, the parallel Earth’s counterpart to the mother of Rose Tyler, the Doctor’s former companion
Here’s the basics for the story I have in mind – somebody use that temporal scoop which had been deployed in the adventure of “The Five Doctors” to gather up not only these four Incarnations of the Doctor out of various points in the timestream, but also those three Cybermen… as well as the fourth.
As for that fourth Cyberman, I think it could be “Handles”, the Eleventh Incarnation’s companion all those decades on the planet Christmas until it deactivated from age. And before Handles was deposited with the Doctors, somebody had upgraded what was left of Handles – reinvigorating his circuits and then giving him a new body.
I’m not going to suggest much more regarding the storyline. But it could be that there is a reason for the six former Companions to appear as “phantoms” above the TARDIS. Maybe who gathered the Doctors together is hoping that they can repair the timeline so that Donna, Clara, Rose, Bill, Amy and Martha will be brought back into existence.
Because they were reduced to being nothing more than memories shared by the Incarnations of the Doctor, I think it could be the Great Intelligence in the Doctor’s timestream. And he’s not as dead as was believed.
But as to who is aiding the Incarnations behind the scenes? River Song? The White Guardian? Perhaps another Time Lord? Maybe one who was not normally friendly to the Doctor, like the Master or the Rani.
Or maybe because this adventure deals with rewriting the time-line, perhaps it could be the Meddling Monk.
Here’s how I think the teams would divvy up:
- The Ninth Doctor with Jackie Tyler
- The Tenth Doctor with Yvonne Hartman
- The Eleventh Doctor with Handles
- The Twelfth Doctor with the Brigadier
So those are the bare bones of a fanfic story. Feel like writing it? If you do, send me a copy. I’d love to read it!