Place of Origin:
First Seen In:
Rise of the Cybermen
The Age of Steel
Roger Lloyd Pack
Main Voice Actor:
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John Lumic was a business tycoon. He was CEO, director and co-founderof Cybus Industries and the creatorof the Cybermen and High Content Metal. Born in Great Britain (which he called “the homeland “), he advanced the entire planet through such inventions as the EarPod.
Though he publicly denied rumours of ill health, Lumic suffered from an incurable life threatening disease that made him so frail he became wheelchair-bound. Despite this, Lumic was always meticulously presented.
He devoted all of his resources to finding a way to extend his own lifespan. To this end, he used Cybus Industries’ front organisation, International Electromatics, to abduct homeless people for test subjects. They were transported to Battersea Power Station, Lumic’s factory in London, where they were upgraded into Cybermen. John took strict measures to keep the project secret, even killing Kendrick who threatened to blow the whistle to Geneva.
Hoping to gain government approval for his work, John unveiled the Cyberman model to the President of Great Britain. To Lumic’s dismay, the President rejected the project. Viewing the President’s decision as a death sentence, John set in motion a plan to overthrow the government. He mailed a pairof EarPods to the wife of one of his employees, Pete Tyler, ostensibly as a birthday present. In reality, the EarPods scanned Jackie Tyler’s brain so John could find the security arrangements and passwords for that night. Knowing the President would be among those in attendance at Jackie’s party, John dispatched a horde of Cybermen to kill him (along with any other potential dissidents). (Rise of the Cybermen)
Once his life-support system was damaged by Mr Crane, John realised that he would soon die and pleaded with his Cybermen to help him. The Cybermen reasoned that keeping him alive would be redundant, and against his protests, forcibly upgraded him into their new master: the Cyber-Controller.
This Cyber-Controller was similar to his subordinate Cybermen, except his brain was visible and his eyes glowed with blue light. He remained seated in a chair made from titanium alloy, connected by tubing, though he did have full mobility as long as he disconnected the tubing.
His brain housed in a metallic body, Lumic announced that his Cybermen would take control of London before overthrowing the world. Soon afterwards, the Battersea factory was destroyed from the Cybermen exploding due to their emotional inhibitors getting deactivated. This was delaying the Cybermen invasion. The upgraded Lumic angrily tried to stop the Tenth Doctor and his friends from escaping in a zeppelin. Before Lumic could reach them, however, Pete Tyler used the sonic screwdriver to cut the rope ladder suspending John above his factory. He promptly fell into the burning wreckage below to his presumed death. (The Age of Steel)
Despite Lumic’s death, the Cybermen lived on across the world. The Preachers devoted themselves to dealing with them. The Cybermen crossed through the Void into the Earth of N-Space. Their invasion force of five million Cybermen was defeated there. (Doomsday) A remnant group was also defeated by the Tenth Doctor, seemingly ending the Cybermen. (The Next Doctor) they somehow lived on however, and ventured into space. (The Pandorica Opens)
Lumic was a sadistic man, he watched in amusement when a Cyberman killed Kendrick, as per his orders. He thought was wrong to use the word “working” when referring to a machine. Being proud of creating a new form of life, Lumic didn’t want them to be known as machines.
To the public, Lumic was described as sharp, but to others, insane: his research on immortality had taken its toll, slowly turning him into a megalomaniac. Despite thinking that the Ultimate Upgrade would ensure global immortality, to political figures it was seen as both obscene and unethical, which no government would approve of. Lumic tried any way possible of getting his own way whilst being one step ahead in case he couldn’t, he wasn’t granted permission to embark cyber-converting Britain, but nonetheless had Crane, his deputy and right-hand man, capture homeless people and have them turned into Cybermen. Britain was his birthplace and considered it important to him, even feeling condemned when the government refused him.
BEHIND THE SCENES
According to Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia, the “human”John Lumic was both portrayed and voiced by Roger-Lloyd Pack. The “Cyber-Controller” John Lumic was portrayed by Paul Kasey, but retained the same voice actor as his human counterpart.
Rise of the Cybermen episode guide