Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors: Season 2 (partially found behind-the-scenes footage of TNN robot combat game show; 2002)

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Ben Borthwick during the Newsround segment

Status: Partially Found

Robot Wars Extreme Warriors: Season 2 is a TNN spin-off of the BBC robot combat gameshow Robot Wars. Broadcast from April-July 2002, the premise involved machines built by primarily American amateur engineers battling other competitors in combat. During filming of the series, which took place in January that same year, 40 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage was recorded by BBCi Humber Video Diaries contributor Ben Borthwick, with the footage being edited to create a video diary.


Ben Borthwick is an English journalist best known for being a full-time video game journalist, writing articles for publications like Eurogamer and PC Gamer. He also became the project coordinator for Women in Gaming - 100 Professionals of Play, released in 2018. Borthwick, originally from Hull, had an interest in producing video content for the media, including taking various Media Studies courses to achieve his media ambitions.[1] Additionally, he was selected for the BBC's BBCI Humber Video Diaries, as part of the BBC's now defunct Video Nation where selected individuals were allowed to record and upload small videos concerning topics of interest.[2] These would then be included on BBC's Interactive TV service, including Hull Diaries for those living within that region. Borthwick's task was to film on whatever he is interested in on a weekly basis, including such topics as stress and his new glasses. The raw footage would then be edited down to a three-and-a-half minute segment with the help of local BBC employees.

In January 2002, Borthwick wanted to create a film on robots. He was a fan of the BBC 2 show Robot Wars, which at the time was achieving its worldwide peak in popularity.[3] Borthwick was given VIP status to appear backstage during filming of Robot Wars Extreme Warriors: Season 2, which proved ironic considering the US spin-off never aired in the UK during this time period. He not only got to watch certain battles, but also was allowed backstage to film the Pits as the roboteers were maintaining their machines. Borthwick filmed approximately 40 minutes worth of content, introducing various robots and teams, while also being given an introduction by a Team Viper member, who showcased the team's machine Snake Bite.

Post-recording, Borthwick, with the help of a BBC Hull staff member called Jenny, edited the film down to a three-and-a-half minute video diary, which was uploaded to Hull Diaries and Humber Video Diaries sometime later that year. The filming also proved especially notable for Borthwick, because the children's BBC news reporting show Newsround were interested in presenting Interactive TV and wanted Borthwick's help in explaining the process. Borthwick readily agreed, and it was recorded during Borthwick's time at Robot Wars, providing additional behind-the-scenes footage on how a video diary is made.


There are three separate pieces of media concerning Borthwick's Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors: Season 2 behind-the-scenes footage. The Newsround segment is currently the only one publicly accessible, as the near two minute and thirty seconds was uploaded to YouTube by Lost Media Wiki and Robot Wars Wiki user SpaceManiac888 on 7th February, 2020.

The three-and-a-half minute video diary however is missing, as the BBC decided to close down Video Nation among 199 other websites following its decision to cut its online budget by 25% in early 2011.[4] While the video diary listings can be seen on an archived section of the BBC website, the diaries themselves were not archived. Furthermore, Borthwick's original videos prior to 2003 were removed, and by the time Borthwick stopped producing diaries following "Gifts" on 1st December, 2004,[5] the diary concerning his time on Robot Wars was removed from the listings. Meanwhile, the raw 40 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage for the US spin-off has likely only been seen by Borthwick, has family, and BBC Hull individuals. It may still be in possession of one of these individuals, though it is unlikely to ever see the light of day due to the fact it has been nearly twenty years since the footage has been recorded.


Newsround segment.

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