And we’re back. Welcome to part 2 of this mini-series. I have no idea how long this is going to last, but with the reboot of Robot Wars and the interest high, I may as well keep it going! We’re moving rapidly to the last four series. While only one can be called bad, I have to rank them somehow. I’d love if fans of the show let me know of their opinions, discussion is good! Just keep fighting as little as possible, particularly that fight. I will be discussing it though!
Number 4: The Second Wars
My my, you weren’t expecting this one, were you? Personally, I loved this series! It was the last one to feature the Trials as a necessity before Series 3 scrapped it, and it showed a lot of creativity. After the trial run of the show, this war was a great improvement to Series 1, with 96 robots in the championship. While powerful robots were still pretty rare due to a relative lack of technology back in those days (1999, such a long time ago!) There were still some powerful machines. All four finalists far outclassed their competition, and overall they dominated their runs to the last four.
- Three of Series 2’s finalists were veterans of the First Wars; Roadblock made an excellent run, Killertron showed the power of its axe (probably the most destructive machine of the Second Wars, although if Razer didn’t start its long history of breakdowns, they could have beaten it in power), and the robot of the Second War, Cassius! Rex Garrod was a legend and somewhat of a pacifist, preferring to attack the House Robots then his opponents! His front-hinged flipper was the best weapon in the show, and as of 2016, he remains the closest machine ever to flipping Sir Killerlot.
- Panic Attack was the only newcomer in the final, and showed it’s power by stunning Cassius in the titanic clash. While battles in this series were rather basic, it showed its skill. Kim Davies was one of the best drivers of all time, and one of the nicest guys ever on the tour. His win was one of the biggest shocks ever in Robot Wars, and began a powerful run by his machine. They ran for charity too, and began a life-long grudge against Shunt.
- The Debut of Razer. Unfortunately it broke down in its only Arena battle against Inquisitor. In rather hilarious fashion, Simon Scott actually admitted he told the scared Inquisitor team to fight it in reverse to lessen the damage the night before! This meant that it suffered less damage, and had he kept his mouth shut, Razer could likely have beaten them. A shame, as it dominated the first two stages, but a devastating weapon was born. I don’t think any other robot changed much of it’s overall design across the entire run then Razer; it’s weapon was borderline perfect for the original run.
- Speaking of Cassius….it could self-right! It highlighted the absolute necessity of being able to keep fighting after being flipped, something no other robot in the first two wars could do. Chaos tried to do it, but it just lacked the power after getting flipped in its Heat Final against Mace.
- The House Robots really were trigger happy in this series, bullying machines for outright no reason. This was kinda a bad thing, but made good entertainment. Killerlot debuted in this series too.
The show however, did have one major problem….Mortis. Getting a controversially high seeding (Okay, they probably should have made at least the final in Series 1, but No.2 seed above Cassius, Killertron and Chaos? Bodyhammer, the 2nd place? Come on!), they should never have gotten through it’s Trial in the Semi-finals, but the producers gave it another go, and manipulated the scoreline to put them through ahead of Napalm. The worst thing? They made everybody think that Mortis demanded another go. What utter bullshit! The team outright refused initially, and Rob Knight refused to drive it from that point onward. The controversial decision effectively shattered Mortis’s morale, and they were sitting ducks against Panic Attack. This was one of the worst ever moments on the show, and highlighted the brutality of the producers. This would happen again quite often, but it really came into a head during Series 7. They outright lied about the team and increased their already unpopular image, despite not deserving any of its hate. I felt sorry for the team for what happened. I hope Authur Chilcott in particular reads this, so he knows I support him fully. (Not that it’ll matter much, but I know he’s sometimes active on boards, so it’d be nice to see. Really nice guys.)
Number 5: The Sixth Wars
I think this image sums up the entirety of Series 6, don’t you think? Now, I know this series is voted pretty low for people. It did have some excellent matches, and while the final was controversial, it was still an excellent clash. Tornado vs Firestorm IV was probably the best battle of the series, and this war still showed some great machines:
- Series 6 really saw a change of the guard happen, with Chaos 2, Panic Attack and Hypnodisc all falling early, all of them suffering lack of form. Hypnodisc was much weaker in this wars, before stumbling against the power of Tornado. It’s weapon just seemed a lot weaker this time around.
- The new House Robots put on a decent show; while I think Mr Psycho was redundant, Growler definitely wasn’t. It was formidable! Probably the 2nd most destructive House robot on the show, second only to the revamped Matilda with that flywheel…
- A good showing by some new machines. Dantomkia made the biggest impact, making the last eight, flipping out Chaos 2 along the way. 259 proved a devastating robot, being very unlucky to break down against an inferior Wild Thing (It just lacked power this series, but lost none of it’s durability. It didn’t break down once in it’s entire career!) Terrorhurtz came 4th, it’s mad axe causing so much damage to the opposition. Even Razer didn’t mess with it, pitting it without any messing around. According to the team, it was the only option; Terrorhurtz was just too dangerous to keep playing with. Big shoutout to Supernova and Anarchy as well.
Now, we must talk about that Grand Final. Between Razer and Tornado. I’d like to make things very clear:
- Tornado didn’t cheat.
- Tornado didn’t cheat.
- Tornado DID NOT CHEAT.
Did I make that clear? Good. The cage was 100% in the rules, and the only thing which made the match controversial was the “too big for pit” thing. But hey, don’t put that in the rules. Razer couldn’t get them into the pit. If they actually let go, they would have won, as it would likely have classed as an immobilisation. But they clung on like they always do, and it backfired; Tornado was able to drive off. It was still a close, riveting and exciting match; despite Tornado dominating the battle, Razer still manage to break that evil spinning bar of Tornado, and fought back towards the end. But Tornado didn’t cheat, and fully deserved it’s title. You want some fun on Youtube or related forums? Just mention this match, and watch the two fanboy sides fight like two dogs over a bone.
Was I still upset with the outcome? Yes, but I recognise it was fine. However, it made me worry about the future of the sport. The anti-crusher cage was outlawed by Mentorn after this series, partly due to its controversy. And I feel that it kind of defeats the purpose to make a swiss-army robot which can just change it’s design for different purposes. Creative yes, but it feels a bit bullshit. It still ranks very highly on the most controversial moments of the original run, and set the stone for a rapidly sinking ship. Despite all the shortcomings, I commend Tornado for doing something about the “Razer problem”, and making an unprecedented weapon for fighting them. Razer was dominating the sport at this point, arguably in a very boring fashion. But it was controversial. What do you guys think? Whatever you believe, keep it civil, for fuck’s sake.
Series 6 saw a sharp decline in views, and Mentorn decided afterwards that it didn’t want another “boring rambot” to win the competition again. This will lead to Series 7, which I’ll be getting to shortly.
Number 6: The First Wars
It really pains me I have to rank this wars so low. It set the bar for everything. Don’t really have too much to say in this, which I’m sorry for. It was extremely small as a pilot, everything was basic, and the fights weren’t really very good. The final was a lopsided melee fest, with Roadblock winning the title. Had some controversial moments like Recyclopse vs Mortis, with Noel Sharkey saying outright he wasn’t happy about voting for the former, and wanted to call it a draw. Jeremy Clarkson was also terrible at presenting Robot Wars, and a complete dickhead to the teams. Thank God Craig Charles replaced him. Despite its archaic beginnings though, Series 1 was still better then the bottom of the barrel….
The Worst: Series 7
This should come as no surprise. With the declining viewing figures and producer bullshit, Robot Wars was shunted over to Channel Five for it’s final season for 13 years, until 2016’s BBC reboot. It performed dismally. I could talk about this disaster of a series for hours on end, but I will try and keep it as level-headed as possible. I’ll put this in bullet points.
- The producers really struggled to get competitors for this wars. The fact that Team Ming and Vader were allowed two entries into this series showed how desperate hey were. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
- The dominance of flippers. 30 robots got flipped out during the final run, as many as the first six wars put together. While it made for “entertainment”, it is extremely boring for me. 11 of the 16 semi-finalists were flippers. Shockingly, not a single one made the final!
- Most of the iconic teams didn’t return for this series. Razer, Hypnodisc, Chaos, Dominator 2 and Terrorhurtz all pulled out (The latter was known long before it filmed, so they staged a disqualification for drama. Pathetic. They could have at least given another robot a chance!)
- The “active weapon rule” came in to stop another “boring box” winning. After Tornado in series 6, and Storm II winning Extreme 2’s New Blood (A qualifier for Series 7, more then anything), the producers did everything possible to stop this happening. A lot of crap happened from this, and while I understand why they did it, doesn’t make it less wrong. Storm II were anything but boring. Come on, it rammed Steel Avenger out of the arena, such was the power of it’s drive. How the fuck is that boring?
- Jayne Middlemiss was fucking terrible. She tried her best, but came across as thick and annoying. Going up to a robot with an obvious weapon and going “LOL, what does this do?” Stupid decision to hire her as pit reporter. I may be sounding harsh, and I am, but this was awful.
Producer interference absolutely dominated the bullshit in Series 7, leading to the worst decisions of all. Storm II were conspired against the entire series. Their thread on the Robot Wars wikia highlights it, but I’ll sum it up:
- It was told it couldn’t compete without an active weapon, which they complied with.
- The producers tried to disqualify them in their last 8 match vs Firestorm on the bullshit grounds they didn’t fire their lifting arm. The judges rightfully refused.
- Against Tornado, they pushed them into the pit, but the producers raised it so Tornado could get out and edited the fight to make it look like they “just escaped.” Oh come on, that was stupid.
- The Grand Final between Storm and Typhoon 2.
Now, before I go into this, I will show a thread with Gary Cairns from Team Typhoon giving his viewpoint. This is vital I think, as it shows the story in another light. Gary, if you read this, we already talked on reddit briefly, but call this an apology from me. You guys still get a LOT of hate for what happened. It does through Storm II’s version of events under limelight. Before everybody spouts hate, this took place in 2004, so by all means stay angry, but keep things civil! I too was part of that, until I read this. I do wish everything was more transparent at the time, but this was Mentorn’s fault for meddling, not yours. If it wasn’t you, it’d be somebody else. I’ll link it for everyone else, because everybody should read it. I can’t wait to see PP3D!
The Typhoon guys are really nice people,but they were at the head of some controversy, mainly the Middleweight final in Extreme 2 (This was a bit silly, but I won’t go into it.) Basically, the final of Series 7 was a producer mess from start to finish, and they interfered constantly in the match. There is endless debate on this so I won’t go too heavily into it, but Storm II were eventually robbed of their well deserved win. The final was close but it was theirs i feel, in spite of the panel falling off in the final 10 seconds. It showed the scum of the producers in this series, and really left a bad taste in the mouth. Seeing as the show went off-air until 2016, it kinda highlighted just how badly Mentorn fucked up.
In spite of everything wrong with Series 7, it still had some good moments. The finalists all deserved to be there, the quality of robots in general was exceptional, the X-terminator boys turned up with a monster (Albeit borderline bullying. What they did to Bulldog Breed was borderline uncalled for). Oh, and Atomic. What a machine. It was incredible in this war, and was my pick for winning the whole thing. Very unlucky to lose in it’s last eight match against Typhoon 2. But the question marks over Series 7, along with Mentorn’s bullfuckery, makes this the worst series of all for me.
I hope everyone enjoyed this little journey. I’ll be going into the original series again for sure, with some hypothetical stuff as well as reviews, covering best fights, most controversial judges decisions etc! Comment and read to your heart’s content, and discuss!