Can Neil Gaiman restore the Cybermen to their original greatness?S

Since being revived seven years ago, Doctor Who has had many amazing triumphs — but the Cybermen haven't really been among them. The Cybermen, as reintroduced to the show, were the product of an alternate universe full of zeppelins, and they had a few major drawbacks, including the fact that you could hear them coming a mile away. By the time we saw Rory Williams and the Doctor blowing up a whole Cyberfleet to make a point, the Degeneration of the Cybermen seemed complete. (It was a lovely moment, don't get me wrong. But David Banks would have crushed some heads.) Oh, and then the Cybermen were defeated by a father's love for his baby.

In any case, now there's a brand new hope for Cyber-restoration. Neil Gaiman's mysterious second episode, airing this spring, will bring the Cybermen back — and let's hope Gaiman can actually give them some menace and mystique once again. You only have to rewatch "Tomb of the Cybermen," "Earthshock" or the surviving episodes of "The Moonbase" to see how great these cybernetic death troopers can be. Deadline has the details:

The episode will air next spring and also co-star Life's Too Short‘s Warwick Davis, EastEnders‘ Tamzin Outhwaite and Being Human‘s Jason Watkins. Stephen Woolfenden, a second unit director on some of the Harry Potter films, is helming the episode.

Update: We got a press release from BBC America, which confirms all of the above and includes this quote from head writer Steven Moffat:

Cybermen were always the monsters that scared me the most! Not just because they were an awesome military force, but because sometimes they could be sleek and silver and right behind you without you even knowing. And with one of the all-time classic monsters returning, and a script from one of our finest novelists, it's no surprise we have attracted such stellar names as Tamzin, Jason and Warwick.

Oh, and in case there was any doubt, Deadline also says we'll get the full run of eight episodes remaining to season seven this spring — which presumably means season eight starts in the fall. [Deadline]