Robot Wars (lost work on unfinished cartoon series based on robot combat game show; existence unconfirmed; 2002-2004)

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Robot wars title.jpg

Title card used for the British version of the show.

Status: Existence Unconfirmed

Robot Wars is a British robot combat game show produced by Mentorn. Broadcast on BBC Two and Channel Five from 1998-2004, and from 2016 to 2017, the premise involved machines built by amateur engineers battling other competitors in combat. A major success in the early 2000s, a few sources stated that a cartoon series based on the show was being produced, but this ultimately never materialised


By January 2002, Robot Wars reached its worldwide popularity peak. According to an article by The Guardian, the show by then had been sold to twenty countries, with some also broadcasting spin-off shows, including Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors in the United States, and Dutch and German series too. It was also expected to generate more than £100 million in TV rights and merchandise sales. Robot Wars proved especially enticing to children; by 2001, the show established a 34% share of all children watching British terrestrial television.[1]

Henceforth, Mentorn decided that a cartoon series based on the show would be ideal to further capitalise on the show's popularity with children. According to The Guardian, Mentorn had begun to plan this show by January 2002, with the aim of producing episodes over the next two years. These episodes would then be broadcast between 2004 and 2005.[2] The main narrative of the cartoon is unknown, but according to Gearheads: The Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports, the main show's House Robots would be key characters in the cartoon spin-off.[3] Ultimately, the cartoon never appeared on television screens, as Robot Wars was cancelled in 2004 following poor Series 7 ratings on Channel 5, the channel having acquired the show from BBC 2 in 2003.[4][5]


While the concept of a cartoon series based on Robot Wars has been verified by reputable sources, whether any animation was made prior to the show being shelved remains unconfirmed. The Guardian and Gearheads mention that Mentorn did indeed have plans for the cartoon, with two years to produce the show. However, whether actual work was done on the show was not confirmed by either source. There was also no news from Mentorn or other reputable sources regarding development of the cartoon. Hence, it is unknown whether the cartoon was scrapped at the conceptual stage, or was cancelled during development.

See Also