BattleBots (partially found footage of robot combat show dress rehearsal battles; 2015-2021)
BattleBots is an American robot combat show. Originally airing on television from 2000 to 2002, and again in a revived form since 2015, the premise consists of radio-controlled robots competing in elimination weight-based tournaments inside the BattleBox. Prior to the filming of each season since 2015, dress rehearsal fights were recorded to test the audial and visual equipment.
Dress rehearsals, also known as demo fights, have commenced as early as 2015, when BattleBots was revived for a six-episode season on ABC. Considering the shear extent of battles to film, especially in the 2000-2002 era, the demo fights ensured optimal match film quality by allowing the filming crew training opportunities. It is not the only robot combat show to have done this, with Robot Wars filming a pilot prior to Series 8 that achieved the same purpose.
For Season 1, two reserve machines took part in what was the first ever bout of the revival era. Swamp Thing was a Hardcore Robotics-entered machine that had previously competed in the 2004 NPC Charity Event. Aside from this, Swamp Thing had never participated in BattleBots-sanctioned competitions, and was ultimately not selected for Season 1 of the ABC era. Nevertheless, it was set to compete for the demo fight, armed with a hammer. Its flamethrower was banned for this fight according to team member Rick Russ. It faced Chronic, built by Team MAD as a rebuild of Kronic the Wedgehog, who had achieved strong success in UK tournaments following the original end of Robot Wars in 2004. Like with Swamp Thing, Chronic was not selected for the tournament. Armed with a flipper, Chronic struggled against Swamp Thing, losing both its tail and some of its foam spikes during the battle. The encounter ended in a Judges' decision, with Swamp Thing picking up the win. Neither robot has since competed in later editions of BattleBots, with a second version of Chronic being converted to establish Robot Wars: Series 8 champion Apollo.
No confirmation exists surrounding whether Season 2 received a dress rehearsal. However, when the show moved to Discovery for Season 3, two main show competitors, Monsoon and Red Devil, competed in the next demo fight. Monsoon was a newcomer, entered by Team Monsoon and armed with a vertical spinner. Red Devil competed in Season 2, reaching the Round of 16 before losing to Bombshell. Entered by All Black Robotics, it was a tracked machine armed with a grappling arm and saw blade. In a match where both robots were forbidden to utilise their weapons, Monsoon picked up the victory. Monsoon was retired in favour of its sequel, Monsoon 2, while Red Devil was retired after unsuccessful attempts to enter subsequent seasons.
Regarding Season 4, Free Shipping and Foxtrot competed in a repainted BattleBox. Free Shipping, entered by Team Special Delivery and armed with a forklift, had previously competed in Season 3, being knocked out in Fight Night after a loss to WAR Hawk. In contrast, Foxtrot was making its debut, the Team Danby machine being armed with a lifter. Not much is known surrounding the fight, but Craig Danby confirmed his machine Foxtrot came out victorious. Free Shipping has since been a mainstay on BattleBots, while Foxtrot was retired not long after its only season, its parts gutted to restore Foxic, while the shell became a coffee table.
In Season 5, Skorpios and Tantrum competed in action. Both machines were BattleBots veterans, debuting in Season 2 and 3 respectively. Both were spinners, with Offbeat Robotics' Skorpios being armed with an overhead saw, and Tantrum being equipped with a vertical drum by its team Seems Reasonable Robotics. Very little is known surrounding this demo fight, with not even a winner being officially declared. Skorpios also participated in Season 6's dress rehearsal; according to its team, a contributing factor for its selection was that it became one of the earliest to have passed pre-competition inspections. Alongside it was Season 3 veteran Kraken, entered by CE Robots and armed with a crusher. Unlike the other rehearsals, this encounter was not really a battle. Rather, it was used to test the new Upper Deck, as the producers needed to examine its consequences for camerawork. This is possibly why the Upper Deck from changed from yellow to red for the actual season. Skorpios was called-up for a possible World Championship VII rehearsal, with HyperShock also called upon only for its team to decline. Ultimately, the battle was cancelled as the producers deemed it unnecessary, having achieved optimal lighting beforehand.
The demo fights were never intended to air on television. Thus, despite the matches being recorded, most of the footage has since been locked away. For the Season 3 and 5 battles, no photos exist either. The only footage of these matches that has resurfaced are behind-the-scenes recordings; these include an Instagram post from Team Special Delivery showing Free Shipping in the red square, and footage of the Skorpios-Kraken uploaded to YouTube by Offbeat Robotics as part of a Season 6 sneak peak.
- 1995 Robot Wars UK Open (partially found rejected robot combat TV show pilot; 1995)
- American Robot Wars 2000 (lost MTV pilot of British robot combat game show; 2000)
- BattleBots (found Comedy Central robot combat game show; 2000-2002)
- BattleBots (partially lost build of unreleased GameCube/PlayStation 2 game based on robot combat TV series; 2003)
- BattleBots Collegiate Championship (partially lost unaired spinoff of robot combat TV show; 2009)
- The Big Breakfast (lost appearance of Robot Wars team on Channel 4 breakfast show; 1998)
- Blue Peter (partially found segments of Robot Wars teams on children's television series; 1998)
- Mechanoids (partially found BBC robot combat game show; 2003)
- Plunderbirds: Talk Robots (partially found unfinished robot combat mockumentary film; 2019)
- Robot Wars (found cameos of robot combat-themed BBC 2 ident; 1999-2000)
- Robot Wars (lost footage and HSE documentation of behind-the-scenes accidents of BBC robot combat game show; 1998-1999)
- Robot Wars (lost near-death footage of Jeremy Clarkson from robot combat game show; 1998)
- Robot Wars (lost work on unfinished cartoon series based on robot combat game show; existence unconfirmed; 2002-2004)
- Robot Wars (partially found footage of robot combat show qualifying auditions and battles; 1998-2003)
- Robot Wars (partially found unaired or partially aired battles of BBC robot combat game show; 1998-2017)
- Robot Wars (partially found uncut battles from BBC robot combat game show; 1998-2017)
- Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1 (lost original BBC Choice version of robot combat battle; 2001)
- Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors: Season 1 (found TNN robot combat game show; 2001)
- Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors: Season 2 (partially found behind-the-scenes footage of TNN robot combat game show; 2002)
- Robot Wars Revealed (found BBC Choice spin-off of robot combat game show; 1998-2000)
- Robot Wars: Series 8 (lost unaired pilot of BBC robot combat game show; 2016)
- Robot Wars: Series 8 (partially found Science Channel reruns of robot combat game show; 2018)
- Robot Wars: The Kick-Off (lost BNN robot combat special; 2001)
- Robotica (found TLC robot combat game show; 2001-2003)
- Robots Revenge (partially found Discovery robot combat documentary series; 2001)
- See Hear (lost appearance of Robot Wars team on BBC magazine show; 1999)
- Why Hypno-Disc can't work in an office (found testing video of Robot Wars competitor; 2000, 2007)
- Digital Spy reporting on BattleBots returning on ABC in 2015. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Hardcore Robotics post detailing the Chronic-Swamp Thing battle and noting it was the first of the revived BattleBots era. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- r/robotwars post discussing Robot Wars: Series 8's pilot. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Builders Database noting Swamp Thing competed in the 2004 NPC Charity Event. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Fighting Robots Association page on Kronic and noting it was converted into Chronic. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Robot Wars page on Apollo. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- The Hollywood Reporter reporting on BattleBots being picked up by Discovery. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Team Monsoon detailing Monsoon. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- BattleBots detailing Red Devil and its fight record. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Team Monsoon detailing Monsoon 2. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- r/battlebots discussing the retirement of Red Devil. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Instagram post from Team Special Delivery providing footage of Free Shipping prior to its dress rehearsal battle. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- r/battlebots discussing the Free Shipping video, also containing a comment from Craig Danby confirming Foxtrot won the fight. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- BattleBots detailing Free Shipping and its fight record. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- BattleBots detailing Foxtrot and its fight record. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Craig Danby confirming Foxtrot was retired. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- BattleBots detailing Skorpios and its fight record. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- BattleBots detailing Tantrum and its fight record. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- BattleBots detailing Kraken and its fight record. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Correspondence between BattleBots Wiki user SFCJack and Greg Munson surrounding Skorpios' participation in the cancelled World Championship VII rehearsal. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Out of the Arena Discord post from HyperShock team member Kyle Awner confirming the team had to decline an invitation for the ultimately cancelled World Championship VII rehearsal. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22
- Correspondence between BattleBots participants Reira Granger and Diana Tarlson World Championship VII rehearsal battle being cancelled. Retrieved 23rd Dec '22