The Cybermen


"Best Space Costume"(?)

Visions 1990 - Chicago, IL

On a trip to England back in 1986, I struck up a friendship with a British fellow Doctor Who fan who had some indirect connections with some of the special effects crews for the show. We traded Star Trek: The Next Generation tapes for rare video from England along with occasional copies he'd make of props from Doctor Who . The best thing I ever got from him was 2 sets of Cybermen helmets and chest units from the episode "Earthshock".

According to my Brit friend and other documentation, the crew removed the hosing from surplus military pressurized flight suits and then applied to a "boiler suit" (coveralls). There were also bits of British surplus naval string vests. Liquid latex was brush liberally over the suits, then painted silver. The hands were ski gloves - the feet were "moon boots".

Reproducing the suit hosing was relatively easy to do - we used polypropelene cord and some plastic hose.  I disliked the idea of using latex, because over time liquid rubber latex will break down. So I got this bright idea to try using a liquid plastic mixture (not tool dip - it was not flexible enough at the time).  I didn't mix the components very well, so parts of the "finished" suites were tacky-feeling. And the silver paint wasn't flexible, so it was constantly cracking and flaking off - apparently just like what happened with the real suits on the show. They had to constantly spray the suits with a new layer. Tim Lindsey built the props. 

Presently, the original suit is stored away in a box. I hope to remake this costume with better materials available. A friend put me onto a method of diluting equal parts of latex caulk with auto anti-freeze that should have a longer life, so maybe I can mix either paint or silver powder into the stuff, then apply it to a suit.  When I get this project done, I'll post the photo.