DWO are issuing a warning to any Doctor Who fans in the USA considering bidding on a Cyberman helmet, claiming to be from the 1968 episode 'The Wheel In Space', in today's 'Profiles In History, Hollywood 83' auction.
The auction catalogue is claiming the helmet was screen used in the serial, but having researched the item, and sought expert advice from prop making guru's JBReplicas, DWO understand this to not be the case. If you look closely at the helmet being sold at the auction (image to the right), you will see the chin of the cyberman is pointy, as well as various discrepancies for the eye and mouth holes. Below this we have included an image from the cyberman used in the actual episode, and, as you can see, it is completely different.
We have included the official description for the lot (via Invaluable), below:
"968. Doctor Who screen used “Cyberman” helmet from the 1968 episode “Wheel in Space.” (BBC-TV, 1963-1989) One of the earliest versions of the Cybermen, the fearsome cyborgs in the Doctor Who universe. Constructed of fiberglass and painted silver to appear like metallic alloy. Following its use in the 1968 episode “Wheel in Space,” the BBC repurposed this helmet for personal appearance exhibitions in the early 1970s by adding metal mesh behind the eyes and mouth to hide and protect the actor in the suit. The clear acrylic “handlebars” were repurposed and replaced with plastic replacements. The back plate (held in place with putty during the production) is missing. Otherwise, in vintage fine condition. This helmet was donated by the BBC to The Doctor Who Experience in Llangollen, Wales where it was exhibited for several years; after which is was sold at Christie’s South Kensington 9 December 1999, lot 49. $15,000 - $20,000"
The head, if sold, could fetch between $15,000-$20,000, but if this turns out (as we strongly believe) to not be a screen-used helmet, the actual figure which it is worth is between £150-£200!
DWO have contacted Profiles In History for comment...
UPDATE - Friday 1st July 2016
The auction has now ended and the cyberman helmet has sold for $22,500! DWO have still not heard back from the auctioneers...
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[Sources: DWO; Julian Vince; JBReplicas; Invaluable]