Robot Wars (partially found unaired or partially aired battles of BBC gameshow; 1998-2017)

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Robot wars title.jpg

Title card used for the British version of the show.

Status: Lost


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, with the aim to win via immobilising their opponents in some fashion, or through a Judges' decision. Throughout its run, there were multiple UK series, Extreme spin-offs, and US, Dutch and German versions of the show, each with varying numbers of battles taking place. However, due to the show's limited runtime, not all filmed battles could be broadcast, resulting in some being partially or fully lost.

The Grudge Matches (The Second Wars)[edit | edit source]

The Grudge Matches were a series of special battles that took place after the main competition of Series 2 concluded. Among the various fights (including two Judgement Day battles pitting Mortis against Cassius and later Napalm), there were several weight-specific championship matches, including the Featherweight, Lightweight, Middleweight, and Super Heavyweight championships.

While The Grudge Matches episode was broadcast on March 12th 1999 on BBC 2, it was decided that the weight-specific matches would see their air times cut, to ensure the show met a strict runtime. Because of this, only a few seconds of highlights of the Featherweight, Lightweight and Middleweight battles, as well as the Super Heavyweight heats, were shown. The only battle unaffected was the final of the Super Heavyweight competition, known as Super Showdown. This resulted in some competitors not even being seen in the cut versions, including Anarchy and Deadline from the Featherweight Championship, Scorpion from the Middleweight Championship and an Unidentified lightweight robot that was only confirmed to have battled thanks to an image in Robot Wars Technical Manual.[1] The uncut battles have never been released for public viewing.

Behemoth vs Cerberus (The Third Wars)[edit | edit source]

After filming of The First World Championship concluded, a friendly match between World Championship competitors Behemoth and Cerberus took place.[2] For a long time, this battle fell into obscurity, even among the competing roboteers, until its existence was confirmed through a CD-ROM that was included in an issue of the Robot Wars Magazine. The CD-ROM provides the only screenshot of this battle,[3] with no footage currently being available.

Hypno-Disc vs TX-108 (Extreme: Series 1)[edit | edit source]

In Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1, one of the events was the Wild Card Warriors, a series of one-on-one battles pitting a robot that had never fought in the main competition against an experienced veteran. Of five broadcast, it was notable that the veterans successfully beat the newcomers.

A sixth battle pitted newcomer TX-108, a robot with a grey wedge which was armed with a vertical hydraulic crushing arm for a weapon, against then two-time Grand Finalist Hypno-Disc, a robot with a horizontal spinning flywheel. The battle was deemed a brief and boring affair, with Hypno-Disc breaking down early on, leaving TX-108 as the only newcomer to win a Wild Card Warriors match. Despite Hypno-Disc's team requesting a rematch, this ultimately did not occur, with the producers deciding not to air the fight.[4] No images or footage of the fight, as well as the pre- and post-match interviews, have been found.

Robot Rampage (Extreme: Series 2)[edit | edit source]

Similar to the Grudge Matches, Robot Rampage was an episode featuring competitors from other weight categories aside from the traditional heavyweights. First broadcast on BBC Choice on January 27, 2003, time constraints again resulted in some battles having their airtime cut to only a few seconds. While the entirety of the Middleweight and Lightweight Championships aired, only a few snippets of the heats for the Featherweight and Antweight competitions were broadcast.

Whiteboard Matches (Series 8 and 9)[edit | edit source]

During filming for the Series 8 and 9 Grand Finals, several whiteboard matches were filmed, with the aim of obtaining more footage for each series and to entertain the attending audience. Five such battles were filmed in Series 8, including Eruption vs Infernal Contraption, Eruption vs Shockwave, Behemoth vs Gabriel, Behemoth vs Eruption, and Infernal Contraption vs Turbulence.[5] Three more were filmed in Series 9, including a rematch between Behemoth vs Gabriel, and two battles pitting Behemoth against TR2,[6] one of which featured hosts Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon controlling the machines.

Because these battles were only intended to provide extra footage, the majority were not broadcast on BBC 2. The only match that did air was the Behemoth-TR2 battle pitting Ó Briain against Scanlon, as part of Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars. Nevertheless, a few snippets of Eruption vs Infernal Contraption, and the Series 8 battle between Behemoth and Gabriel did air in the introduction to some Series 8 episodes, while some in attendance took photos for some of the other fights. The brief footage and images are currently the only viewable media as of the present day.

See Also[edit | edit source]

Reference[edit | edit source]