It’s finally here! And it’s safe to say guest blogger Jontosaurus was pretty darn excited about it!
It only took twelve years, but it arrived in blistering fashion. Although I was somewhat disappointed that the show was devoid of its once amazing theme tune. Yes, Robot Wars returned to our screens, with the first frantic and destructive episode proving that the new boys can do it alongside the old ones.
We saw new machines in Nuts, which was about as crazy as its name suggested, and also in other machines such as the General and Kill-E Crank-E. We also saw the appropriately named Bonk, the new machine from the team formerly responsible for Series Seven semi finalist Mute. The real gems, though, were the addition of legends of the scene, with Behemoth, Razer and the almighty Terrorhurtz getting the chance to show that experience still counts for something. For the most part, it does, but that didn’t help in the arena, with the newcomers offering up their own slab of destructive potential.
The format of the show has changed slightly, with the four surviving robots from the first round all fighting each other and earning points. They gain three points for a straight knock out, two points for winning a bout on the decision of the judges, and absolutely zero points for losing. That means that defeat doesn’t actually mean that you’re out- not if you can bounce back with a win in the next battle. Think of the Champions League group stages, only with metal machines bashing each other apart, and you’re quite close to the idea.
I won’t ruin too much for those playing catch up, other than to say that Razer, legends of the wars, didn’t quite have the impact we all thought they would, and that Terrorhurtz and Behemoth were both taught a lesson by the brutal Carbide- although the team consisted of former members of both Terrorhurtz and Tiberius 3 and so wasn’t quite the plucky newcomer you’d think it was- which boasted a horizontal spinning blade which dished out some serious damage, removing wheels all over the place and leaving poor old Nuts literally in pieces. Even house robot Shunt took a head on collision from that blade and seemed to flinch a little.
Angela Scanlon and Dara were suitable presenters, although like Top Gear, it is taking a little bit of time to warm to them. That said, my dad seemed to be a big, big fan of Ms Scanlon, and so was I, so at least theyve made a suitable choice when it comes to eye candy. There were a few highlights to the show’s return for me. Behemoth flipping Nuts’ minibots around, Terrorhurtz finally getting that manic axe into play, Nuts being methodically and sadistically ripped apart by Carbide. It was so beautiful to see it return and, unlike Top Gear, the show was always going to be onto a winner. After all, the concept of the show is so gloriously simple. It would take a real error of judgement to get things wrong. As long as the audience gets to experience robots bashing into other robots, there really isn’t much that can be disliked. Although Dara’s constant insistence on pronouncing Behemoth’s name wrongly, even when the team themselves made it clear how they pronounced it, grated me slightly. But that is being really, really picky.
In the end, Behemoth and Carbide emerged as the two highest scoring machines, and they fought again in the heat final which was actually very anti-climatic. Behemoth barely put up a fight. It got hit so hard that I’m amazed it didn’t just fall apart immediately. Carbide went through. And boy did it look like a menacing machine. For me, though, the real heroes were the Nuts team, who embraced everything that made the original show so much fun. They had built a fun machine, they were enjoying themselves, they held their own even when being battered into oblivion, and most importantly they laughed when they got ripped to shreds. They were wonderfully eccentric and it was secretly always those robot teams we loved the most.
Next week promises to be just as destructive. The war has started again- and lets hope it won’t be twelve years until it returns.
Episode One of Robot Wars is avilable on catch-up now