We’re in week 3 of Robot Wars, the 8th wars, which means we’re now half way through. We’re now half way through the 6 week run that will make up this series. Time has flown by, along with half a dozen or so bits of Nuts and what’s left of Overdozer. Talking of Overdozer, who I am fairly sure constitute the worst robot I have ever seen on Robot Wars- and I’ve lived through Ruf Ruf Dougall and 2 incarnations of Granny’s Revenge- they made up one of the 8 competing teams for this heat. And what a heat it was looking to be. We actually had flippers this time around. Actual, proper flippers, not the bucket scoops or snow ploughs you found on Behemoth and Shockwave, but genuine flippers. Those flippers belonged to 2015 UK Champions TR2, legends of the original series, though under new ownership, Dantomkia and Orte, which was created by Ian Watts, most famous for his robot Bigger Brother. If you’re wondering, Orte looked nothing like Bigger Brother.
Other robots included the old guard representatives in King B Remix, World Championship grand finalists Supernova, Overdozer- which was made of wood, Big Nipper, who are 2x UK Champions themselves and Glitterbomb, captained by a 9 year old girl and sporting the world’s most oddly designed axe.
The heats were split up… Interestingly. TR2, Orte, Big Nipper and Supernova all found themselves in the same heat. All of them, I would say, could very easily get through into the head to heads if they were on top of their game. Whereas the other heat sported Overdozer, Glitterbomb and King B, all robots that I don’t think would have got through the other heat, fighting Dantomkia. If you look at it that way, somebody would be going out of the first heat that would probably have fared better in the head to heads than someone who would be going through from the second heat. But then I’m not the organiser here (I bloody wish I was though), so what do I know?
Anyway, onto the actual episode. Because that’s what I’m supposed to be recapping here, not moaning about the way they staggered the heats. We get the same introduction I’ve watched about 16 different times now; Not because I wanted to, but because I usually forget to skip past it when I’m doing the robot recaps. I’m too busy talking to a certain someone I talk to everyday to realise it’s started playing.
We get last week’s recap, as per usual. No mention of just how awful the fight between Foxic and M.R Speed Squared was, because that’ll probably drive away the viewers who just so happened not to have watched last week. As it turned out, there weren’t really any battles like that this week. They were all pretty damn cool.
We start the actual episode part of the episode with Dara once again stood in the middle of the arena, talking about just how dangerous everything is, with the arena hazards playing around as he talks. I’m personally still waiting for Killalot 2.0 to come round, pick him up and dump him in the pit, but I doubt that’ll ever happen.
We then get all the behind the scenes stuff, spying over people fixing their robots and stuff. It’s all fairly usual filler scenes before we get down to the actual fighting, where Dara explains how the format works and everything like that. I don’t care much for that part, because I already know. I just want to get down to the fighting, to be perfectly honest. So let’s do that, let’s get down to the fighting!
Heat 1: Overdozer v Dantomkia v Glitterbomb v King B Remix
Also known as ‘The heat nobody actually cares about because we’re all waiting for heat 2’, this heat sees the flipping fantastic Dantomkia face off against a spiky box (King B Remix), a wooden box (Overdozer) and a 9 year old girl called April (Glitterbomb).
First up in the pits Angela meets team Glitterbomb, captained by 9 year old April, a fact I’ve now told you at least 3 times and we’re not even 700 words into this yet. Their robot is fascinating, mainly because it is incredibly pink. It also has one of the weirdest axes I have ever seen. The axe is curved, but with teeth in it. And holes; Many, many holes. It’s not a Thor or Terrorhurtz type blunt internal damage axe, but it’s not an ultra pointy Shunt or Dominator 2 type axe either. It is an outcast! It is also completely untested, because what could possibly go wrong?
Next up we see Overdozer. There’s only one thing I can say about Overdozer, which is made completely out of MDF and is driven by a petrol engine:
What the ever loving fuck have you guys built? Dara calls it a cabinet and a boat in different sections of his interview. I’m heavily inclined to agree with him.
Next up we move to an actual working robot in King B Remix. Supposedly King B only understands Japanese. Why a box on wheels would need to understand Japanese I’m not quite sure, but I’m willing to run with it for now. It does possess a couple of spikes, though I’m not entirely sure how good they’re actually going to be… I mean it could be worse. They could be Overdozer.
Finally we see Dantomkia, where we get the history lesson into how the robot was christened. It’s nice to see this series isn’t trying to forget the other 7 happened, like Battlebots on ABC seems to be forgetting that they’re not the first incarnation of the show. As such we already well know what Dantomkia is. It’s a very, very good robot. It’s just a shame Michael Lambert isn’t driving it any more. He was boss. But either way, I love the little science geek club look the new boys have given DTK. Great showmanship.
You know the drill for the next bit by now. We get handed over to Jonathan Pearce, who introduces us to the judges. Judges that I have to say weren’t exactly used very much on this week’s episode for any actual judging. Then we get Robocop introducing everyone into the arena. It’s a voice I’m really starting to warm up to, even if I still find it ever so slightly creepy. Matilda is the house robot for this 4 way melee. And we’re ready to begin.
As the battle starts, everyone goes for everyone, meaning Overdozer gets a little… Crushed. Soon the battle breaks up into pairs as it usually does. Glitterbomb launches an attack on Dantomkia with the axe, though it doesn’t look particularly effective, while King B attempts to deal with Overdozer. And when I say attempts, the first time that they ram them, Overdozer not only falls apart, but dies on the spot. Less than 30 seconds in (23, to be precise), and the wooden machine of death is, erm, dead.
Glitterbomb meanwhile are giving DTK a real go at it, giving them no time to do anything and striking them with the axe. That is until they decide to do their best Bonk impression and get the axe stuck downwards. King B meanwhile is zipping across the arena, driving into and basically bouncing off everything they can find, including Overdozer.
Then we get to see the power of DTK for the first time, properly. One flip on Glitterbomb and they’re over, thrust away across the arena. Only a little help from King B pushing them around actually gets them back mobile, because that axe is doing sod all.
Dantomkia, not content with that one flip, go back to the stricken Overdozer and attempt to flip them- something that not only works, but also tears the entire front MDF panel off in a shower of wooden fluff. After dealing with them, it’s back to the squabbling King B and Glitterbomb. King B is invertible, so no point going for them; Instead they go for Glitterbomb, turning them over again. This time there is no way back, and we have our two progressing robots. Of course, just to finish it off, DTK goes back to Overdozer and tears it apart, just that little bit more. The Overdozer boys love it though; It was a hilariously shite robot.
Heat 2: Big Nipper v Orte v Supernova v TR2
Onto the second of our heats, and possibly the most hotly contested one we’ve had yet. 2x UK Champions and the British answer to the Swiss Army bot Bombshell, Big Nipper, took on a robot based fighter jet (Orte), what was essentially just one giant disc that happened to contain a robot (Supernova), and the 2015 UK, and hence reigning, champions, TR2.
First up in the pits we see Supernova, which is… Broken. Slightly. Supposedly the entire electrical system went kaput so they had to spend the entire day rewiring it. I mean what better place is there to test what is basically a new robot for the first time but the arena? It sounds like the perfect testing ground…
Next up we see TR2, which in addition to the almighty flipper, have the world’s most pathetic axe attachment. I mean I suppose at least it’s there, but it looks rather awful. I would honestly just stick to the flipper.
Next up we see Ian Watts and Orte, who are also a little bit broken. And by broken I mean that their receiver has lost its antenna, and they need to get another one of they won’t be able to drive the robot. Just a small problem then guys.
Finally we see Big Nipper, and what they claim is a ferocious vertical spinner. At 4200rpm, it is 1900rpm faster than Carbide’s spinning bar, though it does also weigh less. Still, the claim that it’s so powerful it could destroy itself is somewhat ominous.
We get Sir Killalot 2.0 in the arena for the house robots, and we’re ready to begin!
And this battle goes from 0 to 100 in about 2 seconds flat. Orte charges Supernova, causing both bots to fling in different directions across the arena. Big Nipper then attacked Orte, pushing them back into the violent disc of Supernova. In that one hit, Orte were finished. The robot was immobile. I honestly think that took less time than it took Overdozer to die, and that’s an achievement. It goes to show just how powerful Supernova’s disc actually is.
Supernova look very much up for it, and the robot very much works. Next up they butt discs with Big Nipper, through neither team seems to budge, like two bulls locked together. That’s when TR2, who hadn’t done much prior, took over. They caught hold of Supernova, pushing them across the arena, into the side walls. There was one big thing to take from that, however- TR2’s flipper wasn’t working. At all. They were now simply a pushbot.
One of the pushing matches led Supernova to activate the pit release button, just to spice things up. And spice things up it did. After some more head butting between Supernova and Big Nipper, TR2 once again got hold of Supernova and pushed them very close to the pit, where they just about managed to keep themselves out on one wheel. Then Big Nipper came sliding in, bounced straight off TR2, and almost went down the pit themselves! Madness!
But then it was all over. TR2, who had been targeting Supernova all fight, got underneath them side on. When Supernova attempted to get away, they were balanced on one wheel, with the disc providing extra drive force forward as it connected with the floor. With no way to slow down the runaway robot, Supernova drove itself into the pit. TR2 and Big Nipper both survive.
So there we go, our 4 head to head robots confirmed. TR2, Big Nipper, King B Remix and Dantomkia. Who will get through into week 6 and the grand finale? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not King B. I mean, it was never going to be King B.
Until tomorrow, when I will have part 2 of this recap.