Robot Wars (partially found uncut battles from BBC robot combat gameshow; 1998-2017)

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Robot wars title.jpg

Title card used for the British version of the show.

Status: Partially Found

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. Like with most pre-recorded television shows, the editing process meant that not all footage of battles was ultimately shown on television. This has resulted in the uncut battles becoming coveted Robot Wars media, with a few having resurfaced.

Background[edit | edit source]

During the original run of the show, robot combat battles on Robot Wars could last a maximum of five minutes.[1] However, Series 1 and 2 of the show were only allocated thirty minutes of broadcast time.[2] While this increased to 45 minutes from Series 3-7,[3], and to an hour for Series 8-10,[4], the number of battles per heat typically had a combined length that alone exceeded the broadcast time limit. Additionally, the inclusion of pre- and post-match interviews plus other non-battle segments forced the need to cut a considerable amount of battle footage.

Whereas some battles faced being either unaired or only briefly shown, the reality was that all battles shown throughout Robot Wars' lifespan, including its US, Dutch and German spin-offs, were edited with considerable footage being cut. Often, cut footage was of no particular concern to the casual viewer, which included an excessively long segment of the House Robots inflicting additional damage to Splinter following the latter's loss to Hypno-Disc in the Series 4 Semi-Finals. However, a few highlights were known to have been cut from the final broadcast. This included Dantomkia successfully flipping S.M.I.D.S.Y. out of the arena during its Extreme 2 Challenge Belt melee,[5] to Apex breaking the Arena wall during its Series 10 melee, forcing a restart.[6]

Additionally, some battles were known to have been restarted, with these fights being merged together to create a highlights package featuring two or battles from the same machines. One example comes from Series 4's War of Independence, where Mortis originally beat Panic Attack via a close Judges' decision. However, the Judges and production crew disagreed with who won, and it was decided that a re-match should occur, with Mortis again winning via a Judges' decision. The two battles were merged together, with the viewer not being informed of any restart.[7] Chaos 2's win over Tornado in the Series 4 Semi-Finals was restarted twice; in their first battle, the Arena was damaged, forcing an early stoppage. In the second, Tornado pushed Chaos 2 into Shunt's corner patrol zone, resulted in Shunt attacking Chaos 2 and causing the latter to lose a chain. However, Tornado lost a chain two, and with both immobile, the Judges called a draw. Thus, a third battle was demanded, this time Chaos 2 winning via flipping Tornado out of the arena.[8] As with Mortis vs Panic Attack, the stoppages and restarts were not shown, with footage only coming from the brief third encounter.

Availability[edit | edit source]

Of the many battles that were recorded for Robot Wars, a few are publicly accessible in their uncut forms. Four were included as a bonus feature for the Robot Wars: Ultimate Warrior Collection. This included Chaos 2 vs Pussycat in the Series 4 Grand Final; Hypno-Disc vs Splinter in the Series 4 Semi-Finals; Razer vs Robochicken vs Velocirippa in Series 4 Heat B; and the Flipper Frenzy in Extreme: Series 1. Two other uncut battles were uploaded to YouTube on 17th February, 2008 by Team Iron-Awe, which showcased Iron-Awe's entire Series 4 campaign. Aside from these battles, no other uncut fights have ever been made publicly accessible, and with the cancellation of the show, is likely to remain so.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Chaos 2 vs Pussycat
Hypno-Disc vs Splinter
Razer vs Robochicken vs Velocirippa
Extreme 1 Flipper Frenzy
Iron-Awe vs Mortis vs Mazakari
Iron-Awe Steg 2


See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Robot Wars Extreme: The Official Guide, listing the rules of Robot Wars, including battle duration. Retrieved 6 Aug '21
  2. BBC Genome listing of Radio Times issues, showing an example of a thirty minute Series 1 episode. Retrieved 6 Aug '21
  3. BBC Genome listing of Radio Times issues, showing an example of a forty five minute Series 3 episode. Retrieved 6 Aug '21
  4. BBC Genome listing of Radio Times issues, showing an example of an hour-long Series 8 episode. Retrieved 6 Aug '21
  5. Since deleted Facebook comment from Dantomkia's Mike Lambert, discussing Dantomkia flipping S.M.I.D.S.Y. out of the arena. Retrieved 6 Aug '21
  6. RoboCast podcast discussing Apex breaking the wall. Retrieved 6 Aug '21
  7. YouTube comment from Mortis' Arthur Chilcott, discussing the two Mortis-Panic Attack battles. Retrieved 6 Aug '21
  8. Team Tornado website discussing the three Chaos 2-Tornado battles from Series 4. Retrieved 6 Aug '21