Robot Wars: Series 8 (lost unaired pilot of BBC gameshow; 2016)
After a twelve-year hiatus, the popular BBC robot combat gameshow Robot Wars returned for a new series in 2016. A total of six episodes were commissioned for the series, which were filmed in March 2016.
Before filming of the six episodes began, however, a pilot episode was recorded in a single day, on March 1st, 2016. It was created so that the production team were able to practice handling the programme, such as testing camera equipment, prior to shooting the televised series.
A total of eight robots competed in the pilot, all of whom did not compete in televised battles in Series 8. This includes Basher, Ka-Pow!, Merlin, Monte, Reaper, Tanto, Turbulence and Wraith, the latter of whom would withdraw prior to the first battle due to internal fire damage. The remaining seven robots would compete in a battle format that would be used in the televised episodes. This would include four-way Group Battles, a second round consisting of Head-to-Heads, and a Heat Final whereby the two highest scoring robots in the Head-to-Heads would compete. However, only three Head-to-Head battles could be filmed in time, so Turbulence and Ka-Pow (who was actually outscored by Merlin), competed in the Heat Final, with Turbulence picking up the victory.
Footage and images of the pilot are scarce; an image of the battle between Ka-Pow! and Merlin, which sees the latter being attacked by house robot Dead Metal, as well as a behind-the-scenes video recorded by Team Tauron, remains the only recordings of the pilot that are accessible to the public. No footage from the production team has yet been publicly released.