So here we are again with the Robot Wars and this week what was a hopeful episode to begin with ended with one of the shortest finales ever seen due to probably the worst judging calls I’ve ever seen.
This great beginning saw some great opening 4 way battles that saw untested designs getting immediately vanquished, including one headed up by the dickhead in charge of team Dantomkia last year (http://observationdeck.kinja.com/robot-wars-2016-not-the-sharpest-tools-in-the-shed-1784953182) so he didn’t get the chance to boast this time round. After these initial fights however is started to go downhill fast. Why was this?
Because there was a team that was made up 3/4s by children and the judges didn’t want to hurt their little feelings.
One of the robots who got through to the head to heads was a machine called Cherub, made by the same family who made the robot Gabriel from last year (which I also detested), and it’s one function was to do “handstands” with it unable to lift, cut, or do any sort of attack but ram endlessly and pointlessly, and what do you know but they got the same lenient judging as their previous machine.
The first time this happened it was in their fight against PP3D, a very powerful but unwieldy spinner who also appeared last year. After some initial clashes without much effect to either side PP3D launched a major hit that saw it pelt Cherub so hard across the arena that it not only immobilised the small robot but also broke off a panel of the arena itself and sent shrapnel flying at one of the control booths. Due to health and safety both robots were powered down and the panel refitted before starting the fight from where it left of, with both robots then being declared immobilised, leading to a judges call. Who do they give it to, why the children of course.
The second time however was a lot more controversial in nature. The team found themselves against show veterans Behemoth, who’ve been doing this since the second series back in ‘98, and both machines were largely pushers and shovers. At one point during the fight though something peculiar happened, Cherub became wedged under the floor flipper. The show decided that this shouldn’t happen and the fight was stopped and restarted with the time remaining on the clock. In this latter stage Behemoth seemed the more aggressive of the two, shunting Cherub in Dead Metal multiple times, before ending on a judges call. The judges once more gave the win to Cherub, in events that saw Behemoth’s team lead and driver Ant walk off-stage in anger.
During airing of the episode chief judge Noel Sharkey tweeted that the show’s producers told the judging team to discount the flipper incident as “equipment failure” and therefore not part of the fight, unfairly siding with Cherub IMO.
This line of events saw Cherub head to the heat finale to take on the flipper Eruption.
Eruption themselves are also a veteran of last year, which saw an incredibly powerful flipping machine undone by spinners like carbide. This time however the team were far more experienced and ready, taking out all who came before them and flipping them all over the side wall.
This includes Cherub, who they defeated in the finale in 4 seconds flat.
In the end the episode feels robbed of an interesting finale, not because of maintenance issues lie before, simply because the production company wanted to get more children into it. Even as someone who usually prefers the action to how it ends this time it felt pretty hollow to watch.
I’m beginning to see why so many of the old robots aren’t in the show anymore despite still doing the live shows.