Famously (well, in the Doctor Who community, at least), Peter Capaldi has repeatedly called for the original 1966 design of the Cybermen – dubbed “Mondasian Cybermen” by fans – to be reintroduced into the show. With season 10 being his last, writer Steven Moffat finally made the actor’s dream come true by pitting his Doctor against the OG Cybermen in the two-part season finale “World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls.” You would expect Capaldi to be overjoyed by this, then, but as it turns out, he had one geeky issue with the monsters.
Speaking on the This Week in Time Travel podcast, director Rachel Talalay revealed that the actor had a problem with… the Cybermen’s gloves.
“Steven and Peter both feel strongly about how they remember these things,” Rachel Talalay, who directed the two-part finale featuring the Cybermen, . “So they were both involved and had thoughts. Peter called me after the first Mondasian incident and said, ‘Why is it they have gloves on their hands, when one of the great things about them was that they had bare hands?’”
Here’s an image of the original Mondasian Cybermen and the 2017 version side by side. If you look closely, you can see Capaldi’s point. The figure on the left has its hands in tact, acting as a chilling reminder that this metal man was once a human being. Meanwhile, the newer model is wearing surgical gloves.
The decision to include the gloves wasn’t a mistake on the part of the costume department. Talalay revealed that they were needed to accommodate the story’s big twist – that the Doctor’s companion Bill gets upgraded into a Cyberman.
“I explained that the Pearl Mondasian, we would have an issue with skin colour. And therefore that given in the [original series] black-and-white version you couldn’t really tell if they had skintone gloves, it seemed like we could get a scarier feel and something more artificial by putting the gloves on them. But it was partially an issue because of skintone.”
This small issue aside, we imagine Peter Capaldi was still thrilled with the return of his favourite Doctor Who monsters. We know that we sure were.
Source: The Incomparable