The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa arrive in what they think is 1950's London.. But they soon realise that they are not even on Earth, they have arrived on its sister planet: Mondas.
Marc Platt was reluctant to write a Cyberman story, as he felt their plausibility as a convincing villain over the history of the series had declined too markedly. However, he realised that by writing an origin story, he could go right back to the basics of what the Cybermen had originally been intended to be by Kit Pedler, which he felt were a far scarier concept than the later incarnations.
Platt was determined that the story should be a tragedy. Unlike the Daleks, which were aliens driven by Nazi-like beliefs, the Mondasians were very much human. Spare Parts thus became a story of how humans could become so desperate that they would reject their humanity – even their emotions – to survive.
Because of these close links to the original concept for the Cybermen, there are various references to the first Cyberman story, The Tenth Planet. The curious sing-song voices of the Cybermen are the same as used in that episode, and references to cloth masks indicate that they are the same design of Cyberman. The Cyberplanner expands on the brief description of Mondasian history in the television story. Marc Platt has stated that Eric Krailford, mentioned several times though never appearing, is intended to be the human who will eventually become Cyberman Krail from The Tenth Planet. The death of Adric in Earthshock, indirectly caused by the Cybermen, is alluded to several times. The concept of a planetary propulsion unit on the surface of Mondas was derived from Attack of the Cybermen.
Roger Lloyd-Pack was originally approached to play Mr Hartley, but was unable to. Eventually he was cast as the creator of the alternate universe Cybermen in Rise of the Cybermen. Pamela Binns agreed to play Sisterman Constant partly because she rarely had the chance to play villains. Constant is not strictly a villain, but certainly not wholly on the side of good (at least from the Doctor’s point of view). Sally Knyvette made being allowed to bring her dog to the studio a condition of playing Doctorman Allan. Derren Nesbitt had a history of being cast in Doctor Who, having played villainous warlord Tegana in the 1964 First Doctor serial Marco Polo.
Spare Parts was the original inspiration for Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel. Howeever the is very little of the original story in the TV production, though Marc Platt still received a credit on screen.
It is set between Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity and was origanlly released by Big Finish in July 2002.
The Doctor - Peter Davison
Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
Yvonne Hartley - Kathryn Guck
Dad - Paul Copley
Thomas Dodd - Derren Nesbitt
Sisterman Constant - Pamela Binns
Frank Hartley - Jim Hartley
Mrs Ginsberg - Ann Jenkins
Doctorman Allan - Sally Knyvette
Cybermen/Cyber-Commander Zheng - Nicholas Briggs