Telos (Doctor Who)
The planet as seen in Attack of the Cybermen
|Genre||Science fiction television|
|Race(s)||Cryons, Cyberman (adopted)|
|Notable locations||Cybermen tombs|
Telos is a fictional planet from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is an arid and mountainous planet, with little sign of vegetation. Beneath its surface, however, are the legendary tombs of the Cybermen.
The planet was featured in the serials The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967) and Attack of the Cybermen (1985).
Telos was originally covered entirely in ice, and inhabited by the Cryons, humanoids who could survive only in the cold. As temperatures rose, the Cryons were forced underground, building giant refrigerated cities as shelter. When the Cybermen entered the Telos system, they took over the planet, using the cities as cryogenic facilities.
The Cybermen disappeared sometime in the 21st century, at least in 2070 (as they knew of the Second Doctor encountering them in The Moonbase), following defeats around human-occupied space. Although the rest of the galaxy presumed them to have died out, they had, in reality, retreated into hibernation in the tombs of Telos to await discovery and reactivation.
Sometime around the 25th century, a team of archeologists, led by Professor Parry and financed by the Brotherhood of Logicians, embarked on an expedition to Telos, believing it to be the Cyberman homeworld and hoping to discover artefacts amongst its ruins. No Cryons were encountered during these events and it is not known what the Cryons were doing during the Cybermen's long sleep.
Uncovering the entrance to the tombs, Eric Klieg of the Brotherhood brought the Cybermen out of hibernation in an attempt to ally the Brotherhood with them. However, the Cybermen were intent on converting all of the expedition and once more begin their expansion. The Second Doctor and companions Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield were on hand to help the survivors of the expedition escape the tombs and then reseal them, though a Cybermat was able to escape.
However, this respite was short-lived, as in the 26th century the Cybermen had once again developed into a galactic threat. When the Sixth Doctor arrived on Telos inside the tombs, the Cyber Controller captured him and imprisoned him in a refrigeration chamber. There, he met Flast, the leader of a Cryon rebellion against the Cybermen, who revealed the presence of stores of vastial in the chamber, an unstable mineral that became explosive at temperatures above 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a sonic lance, they ignited the vastial, destroying the Cyber Control. With the Cybermen destroyed, the Cryons regained their planet.
Home planet of the Cybermen?
For many years there was much confusion amongst Doctor Who fans as to whether the Cybermen had originated on Mondas or Telos. The Tomb of the Cybermen merely states "Telos was their home planet," seemingly at odds with the statements in The Tenth Planet that Mondas is where the Cybermen have originated. The first edition of The Making of Doctor Who (1972) gives Telos as their home planet, as do several 1970s novelisations of the Cybermen stories by co-creator Gerry Davis. With the episodes becoming easily accessible and the issue being covered in magazines like Doctor Who Magazine the uncertainty declined in the 1980s and Attack of the Cybermen (1985) sought to resolve the conflicting claims by detailing how the Cybermen had conquered Telos. In 2017, the episode The Doctor Falls addressed this controversy in passing, by indicating that the Cybermen were created independently in multiple locations, including both Mondas and Telos.
In the Big Finish Productions Cyberman audio play miniseries, written by Nicholas Briggs, the Cybermen are portrayed as having frozen armies on many planets, controlled from a central tomb on Telos. In the fourth instalment, titled "Telos", it is revealed that the planet Telos has been destroyed due to an asteroid collision — possibly concurrent with the events of Attack of the Cybermen. However, the Cybermen were prepared for this eventuality, and their central tomb survived the impact, sealed away from the vacuum. Android and human agents later destroyed the tomb, the last surviving element of Telos.
In the first story of audio New Eighth Doctor Adventures Blood of the Daleks after the Daleks on the planet Red Rocket Rising have been destroyed, it is implied help is coming from the planet Telos, though the transmission is cut off at Tel-.
In the game "The Mazes of Time", Telos is one of the stages in which the Doctor and Amy must de-activate all of the Cybermen and make sure that there is no way the frozen Cybermen on Telos can escape.
- Telos lends its name to Telos Publishing, which began by publishing licensed novellas based on Doctor Who.
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