Three. Two. One. Activate! BBC One’s Robot Wars is back with its usual silliness for the third series since the show’s revival in 2016. The dynamic duo of Dara O’ Brien and Angela Scanlon do a fine job in bringing some order as six teams and their handmade robots commence for battle each week for a place in the season’s grand finale.
In episode one, there’s some familiar faces for Robot Wars fans, with season one winner Apollo, jumping back in the ring, as well the as all-time unlucky, Behemoth, who hopes to finally find glory after a career of failed attempts.
Of course the methods of victory remain the same: being flipped out of the arena, being sent down the “Pit of Doom”, or simply being left immobilised. Roboteers also have to avoid fire, spikes and the often-rogue “House Robots” as they navigate the arena floor.
“Team Sabretooth” claim to have spent a whopping £8000! Need I remind you that’s almost a full year’s worth of university?
Match Of The Day commentator Jonathan Pierce is the only survivor from the original show’s crew and that’s because he lives and breathes Robot Wars. I honestly believe he enjoys doing this more than live Premier League football. He probably sleeps in his commentary position. He is Robot Wars.
New features come in this third series in the way of the “Fog of War”, an impenetrable mist that descends on the arena when activated, as well as a brutal ten-way fight.
But while this may all sound like fun and games (and the perfect Saturday morning hangover TV), the competitors are taking it far more seriously. In episode one, “Team Sabretooth” claim to have spent a whopping £8000! Need I remind you that’s almost a full year’s worth of university? Speaking of which, it is medical student James who is the highlight of the opening episode. He enters the scene with his amusingly named, “Donald Thump”, outfitted with a “Make Robot Wars Great Again” cap, and a tragically poor impression.
With Robot Wars you know what you’re getting: crashes, bashes and Jonathan Pierce getting far, far too excited. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and it probably grabs a quite different audience to the Great British Bake Off. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything else on TV quite like it.