Cyberman helmet and chest unit - Earthshock
An original screen used Cyberman helmet and chest unit from the cult BBC television series Doctor Who. The Cybermen are one of the Doctors most persistent foe and appeared, in various incarnations, in ten adventures during the classic series run of the programme between 1963 and 1988.
This helmet and chest unit were made for the classic 1982 serial Earthshock by Richard Gregory of Imagineering and are constructed from fibreglass. The helmet features a removable backplate to allow access and exhibits all the tells of an original helmet including the orange foam in the roof of the helmet added for the wearers comfort, the use of this particular type of foam was commonplace in the 1970s and 1980s but soon after these helmets were made it was banned due to its toxic nature. The presence of such foam or evidence of a helmet once containing it is the biggest tell of a helmet being one of the original eight constructed for Earthshock, rather than later serials. The original mesh is still present over the ear holes and eyes and the helmet also features a period BBC label which attributes this particular helmet to Ken Barker meaning it was used in the later story Attack of the Cybermen (1985) and almost certainly in The Five Doctors (1983). Due to the nature of the location filming and stunt work on The Five Doctors many of the original Earthshock helmets were damaged beyond repair and subsequently scrapped by the BBC resulting in new helmets being required for the 1985 story Attack of the Cybermen making a guaranteed Earthshock helmet incredibly rare.
The addition of the yellow detailing was made in 2005 when the BBC called for a Cyberman helmet to be featured on screen as part of Henry Van Statten's collection of extraterrestrial artifacts in the episode entitled Dalek, ultimatlely a different style of Cyberman was used at the request of producer Russell T Davies and this particular helmet was never filmed for the new series. Much of the extra dressing was removed but some still remains to the interior of the piece.
The chest unit was also produced for Earthshock and reused in the aforementioned storys, it also has the orange toxic foam present to the rear that was used in order to pad the base of the chest thus guaranteeing its pedigree as an original produced for Earthshock in 1982. It is complete with the original vacuum formed centre section, most of which were smashed and discarded over the years due to their flimsy and extremely delicate nature.
Overall the condition of both pieces is excellent considering the heavy production use these items endured. There are no cracks to the fibreglass with the only damage being some light scratching to the rear of the helmet, the vaccum formed centre section does display some cracking due to age but this is to be expected due to its delicate nature.
A very important and desirable ensemble of a Doctor Who adversary second only to the Daleks.
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