Roboteers, stand by…

If you were a teenager in the UK in the late 90s/early 00s, rejoice. Your favourite early evening BBC Two show is coming back. Robot Wars has been recommissioned for a brand new series of six hour-long episodes. It’ll be produced by Mentorn Scotland, and will apparently be bigger and better than ever before.  There’s no word yet on who’ll be presenting. We’re obviously hoping it’s Craig Charles, partly to maintain the Red Dwarf connection, but mostly because he was brilliant at it. But he’s a very busy man, and I guess it would depend on how long it would take to film, and when.

The press release seems to be saying all the right things, especially regarding the focus on the science, and the way that the show is driven by the innovation of the roboteers. The structure of the competition will be “new”, but we’re promised that it will involve more robots and more battles than the original. Basically, this could be very very good indeed. Imagine the original show, how exciting and compelling it was, but in HD, and with the cameras right up close. Yes please.

It wasn’t the end, it was merely a pause. For this is the return, *kisses fingers*, of Robot Wars.

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61 Responses to Roboteers, stand by…

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  1. Private Iron v War Bastard. *That’s* a battle.

  2. This is awesome news! Our whole family loved the show.We watched it on the Discovery Channel here way back then. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll eventually air it here.

  3. I quit the scouts because it coincided with Robot Wars. Plus I couldn’t abide all the praying.

  4. I was watching the re-runs on Challenge recently. I can actually appreciate the design and engineering more.

  5. In Glasgow, you say? Might see if I can snaffle a ticket to see it live whenever they get released…

  6. I actually have a faint memory of watching Robot Wars on Australian TV early one morning when I was about five or six years old. I didn’t realise until about last year that the host was Craig. It would be almost a decade before I saw him on TV next, on the show that we all love, in the role that made him famous…

    …Captain Butler.

  7. I’m rejoicing! I’m hoping Craig hosts too, especially after he’s said he’d love to do it. Red Dwarf filming’s over in March, so Craig should be available :)

  8. Craig’s a workaholic, anyway. TV, radio, DJ sets and God knows what else, usually all in the same week. Or the same night.

  9. “with the cameras right up close. Yes please.”

    Shhhhhhhhhh. Dont cheapen this.

  10. If CC really hadn’t been contacted before this press release came out, I’d bet they already have someone else in mind.

  11. If Ed Tudor-Pole takes over at Robot Wars, I won’t be happy.

  12. Ed seems like a nice guy. He was lovely to me when I wrote to him back in the early 00’s. He sent me a hand written 5 page letter (both sides) and a personalised photo with autograph wishing me a happy birthday. He may not (to some) have suited The Crystal Maze in its last 2 series, but they could have got someone a lot worse. Richard O’Brien was equally lovely in his correspondence including an eye-opening photo (well, it was to someone who at that point had yet to discover that other thing he did before TCM!)

    Anyway, back on topic, and yes, I’d love to see Craig back doing RW. Clarkson did the first series, and thankfully it was his only one. I hope they approach him, but like Somebody said, they likely already have someone in mind.

  13. When I was about 16, my band played a gig with Tenpole Tudor.

    He is a lovely guy, although he did seem somewhat…refreshed.

  14. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Ed Tudor-Pole, but The Crystal Maze and Robot Wars are different beasts.

  15. > that other thing he did before TCM!

  16. Haha! I had forgotten about that one!

    If we’re gonna talk about TCM spoofs though, this is surely the best one.

  17. Love both of those! I know the first one off by heart because I would tape The Mary Whitehouse Experience and rewatch it endlessly around the time of series V.

  18. What’s the Star Wars one from?

  19. Yes, the brilliant Adam & Joe show. Each episode usually started out with a great parody of a film or TV show with toys.

    Toy Trainspotting was another highlight. Check them out on YouTube, most of them are on there.

  20. I received an email about tickets for Robot Wars today and the first recording date is also the day they record the last episode of Red Dwarf XII. Which wouldn’t seem to point to a return for Craig, although if it’s only one date then possibly not out of the question depending on how they’re recording it?

  21. Hmm, it doesn’t look likely which is a shame. I hope whoever they have got in can do it well and fits the role.

    It should be announced very soon then who actually is hosting it.

  22. If Nick Grimshaw or Greg James or some other yoof twunt personality vacuum gets it, I swear my head will explode faster than Kryten’s in Beyond A Joke.

  23. Gotta be Noel Edmonds.

  24. G&T Admin

    Dominic Littlewood.

  25. Michael Barrymore’s My Kind of Robots

  26. My guess is Dick Strawbridge, as he’s default setting for anything technological nowadays. In other news, holy crap I finally remembered my login details! Took me long enough

  27. G&T Admin

    From the official Facebook page:

    We can confirm that we will be filming our new series of Robot Wars on the 4th, 5th and 6th of March, and again on the 11th, 12th and 13th of March in Glasgow!

    For audience requests, get in touch at robotwarsaudience@mentorn.tv

  28. Oh.Shame.

  29. Smash the frames and damn the doors
    Craig Charles won’t be presenting New Robot Wars

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2016/rw-logo

    So, Dara O’Briain. That’s going to be a different presenting style.

    Also, for some reason, they’ve reversed the orientation of the cog & text on the logo, and flipped the colours.

  30. Dara. Didn’t see that coming. That suggests to me that there’s definitely going to be more time spent on the specifics of the ‘bot, the way it’s put together. He’s not the shouty type. Leave all that noise to JP.

    *takes time to read press release* …which is pretty much what they said. Oh well.

  31. Aww. I wanted Craig back. Shame. Dara is a funny guy, but like other presenters, he seems to be everywhere and it’s a shame they didn’t get Craig or even someone new a shot at it. Using the same talent over and over gets boring. Sick of seeing the same faces presenting all the time.

  32. They probably asked for ‘that bald chap who’s on TV all the time’ and were surprised to end up with O’Briain and not Gregg Wallace.

  33. Or Harry Hill. “I like Hypnodisc, and I like Chaos 2. But which is better? There’s only one way to find out…”

    ROBOTEERS, STAND BY.

    “…FIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!”

  34. G&T Admin

    Or Harry Hill

    God, I really wish everyone in the world didn’t hate Stars in Their Eyes. I wanted more of that.

  35. Well, they’ve not gone with somebody with a scientific background for the pits reporter (which presumably will be the one who actually gets close to the robots, especially when repairs are being carried out), Jonathan Pearce is returning and the logo is basically an inverted version of the original one so I don’t think it’s going to be *hugely* different to the original. Maybe there’ll just be some VTs about robot construction (in a similar vein to the ‘history bits’ on Bake Off) between rounds.

  36. The new presenter is that irish twat who isnt funny.
    I wanted Craig Charles back, he’s more on the money.
    Poetry, war crys, smiles & all tongue in cheek.
    Instead we get a lame prat from mock the week.
    I won’t be watching when you open your doors.
    Go smash yourself and your cameras, new robot wars.

  37. That’s nice. It rhymes…

  38. The new presenter is that irish twat who isnt funny.

    I like Dara O’Briain. :/

  39. I do too, but I don’t think he suits a show like Robot Wars. I remain, of course, open minded but am not holding out much hope.

  40. Apart from the wrong BBC TWO logo at the end, of course!

  41. I have managed to get a ticket for a non-broadcast pilot recording on the 1st March (by way of consolation from Lost in TV for not getting in to any of the actual series recordings) – I could report back here with a few tidbits if anyone’s interested?

  42. A full episode of Robot Wars has been filmed in front of a studio audience for the first time since 2003. I was there.

    (OK it was just a pilot and I wasn’t there for the whole thing as it turns out, but never mind)

    There were two recordings, one in the morning and one in the afternoon – I was there for the latter. Either the people at the morning recording saw half an episode being filmed and we saw the other half, or the people at the morning recording saw an episode and a bit being recorded and we saw the rest of the second episode – I didn’t quite work out which. Although we were missing the first half of the episode, I think I understand how the tournament structure of this series will work. It sounds… a wee bit over-complex, but we’ll see.

    To answer the obvious question: Dara is a very good presenter. I don’t think he’s as good as Craig, who was simply perfect for the show, but Dara is great in his own right and a good fit for the show; one of his best bits was some well-natured ribbing of a roboteer that’d driven into the pit. Angela Scanlon was also very good, although she did seem to have an odd habit of making seemingly unintentional double entendres at times.

    Incidentally, the presenting wasn’t split with Dara doing the ringside links and post-match interviews and Angela in the pits as you might expect – sometimes it was like that but sometimes Dara would be in the pits, sometimes Angela would do the post-match interviews, and sometimes it’d be both of them together. This worked better than you might expect, and I think Dara was strongest doing the post-mortems in the pits – he excelled at this.

    When I first saw the arena I was a bit unsure – I think I’d expected something closer to the one used for the TV series and it’s probably closer to the ones used for the live events that have been going on between the show being cancelled and now. Once I saw it on the monitors in the studio I was instantly sold, though – it’ll look gorgeous on TV. My only problem is that it’s maybe a bit small and as a result the various arena hazards are a bit too close together… but that’s nit-picking. Seriously, this show is going to look *astonishingly* good if what I saw today was anything to go by.

    The only house robot we saw was a very shiny new Dead Metal, who was in every fight – apparently the ‘real’ shows will have multiple house robots in each bout, and presumably rotate between them. The warm-up man also indicated that the four house robots with teaser trailers released are the only four returning for this series.

    We saw four or five fights filmed over about three and a half hours – fortunately, the warm-up (didn’t catch his name, I’m afraid) was very good at his job and helped make a rather bum-numbing experience more bearable. He also had a few cue cards with crib sheets on the various robots that he very kindly distributed to the audience as souvenirs once he was done with them. (I think *all* of the fights involved high-powered flipper robots that were very similar in design, although there had apparently been a wide variety of weapons in the first round before they all got knocked out…)

    In between fights we also got to see various ephemera, the highlight of which was the judges coming in to the arena to take some publicity photos and Noel Sharkey climbing into the open pincers of a deactivated Dead Metal and pretending he was being sawn in half.

    There’s been talk of this series being more “educational”. They recorded an interview with Dara and Noel discussing the advances in technology since the show was last on air that definitely put me in mind of the ‘history bit’ on Bake Off, and they also recorded some links designed to introduce some VTs about the teams behind the competitor robots – those were really the only differences between this and any episode from the later original series that I noticed.

  43. Noel Sharkey’s back?! Yay! Maybe he’ll be in the next teaser.

    Cheers for all that, glad to know it’s looking promising.

  44. Despite us being asked specifically *not* to share pictures (the unfortunate warm-up having forgotten to ask us not to *take* them), there is a picture of the new arena out there: https://twitter.com/christopherps3/status/704700558725279746

    I have to say, the more I see it, the more I like it in spite of my initial worries.

  45. Angela Scanlon was also very good, although she did seem to have an odd habit of making seemingly unintentional double entendres at times.

    There’s nothing more devastating than a big chopper.

  46. Don’t cheapen this.

  47. Series proper starts filming today – confirmed that Shunt, Matilda, Dead Metal and Killalot are the only house robots.

    Some more photos have leaked out from today’s filming – I won’t provide direct links but search for “robot wars” or “#robotwars” on Twitter if you wish to see them (for the spoiler-wary, some of these confirm notable returning contestant robots).

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