Here we are with episode two of the rebooted series and while still getting better and better it was still a mixed bag affair. Once again there were 8 competitors quickly worked down to a notable four.
First up we had newcomers M.R. Speed Squared, a rather unique spinning disc design compared to past competitors. While previous machines have largely used a single disk at the front of the machine, this machine instead featured a disc that span all the way around the robot, allowing it to attack from all directions. While this was used to great effect in its first battle, cutting through other machines in an efficient manner, it suffered badly in the head to heads where previous damage to the bearings used to drive the disc meant that it was unable to spin it up fast enough, rendering it useless in the arena and seeing it crash out the competition.
Next we had another new machine, the lightweight flipper Foxic. Despite looking an interesting machine it suffered in two major areas. Firstly it was unable to flip anything due to poor design and low power, meaning its only method of attack was straight up ramming anything in its path that usually saw it get wedged in place. This flaw saw the dullest head to head the show has ever seen when it faced a crippled M.R. Speed Squared as both machines just hid from each other, simply waiting the clock down.
The second flaw it had however was a team leader who can only be described as a complete twat. His constant need to showboat and throw insults at other teams, including calling others ‘cowards’ quickly made the robot unlikable, meaning no one shed a tear when they crashed out of the head to heads with no points, with some questioning how they even got that far in the first place.
Following on we had a radically redesigned axe-focused robot Thor. Despite the pedigree that was attached to the machine, and going into the final the clear favourite it was unable to capitalise on the situation, with its axe frequently unable to do noticeable damage to other machines, larger relying on its ability to outlast and even outpush its opponents. Thor now joins the growing list of old competitors put out to pasture.
Finally we have the machine at the top of the page, Shockwave. Despite larger being confined to a pusher role its simplicity proved valuable in its fights as while the other machines suffered complications, due to their varied designs, as long as this machine had power it could do its job. The only setback the machine had was during its first head to head with Thor where the axe quickly destroyed their secondary flipper (made to deal with axes) and lost but using its main flipper was able to quickly force Thor into the pit in the final.
Outside the machines themselves there were other improvements, with Dara O’Briain much more lively compared to last week and even seeing a reduced role, with Angela Scanlon picking up more of the presenting duties this week, a role which she continues to excel at.
Overall it was another great episode, only marred by a single useless machine that was controlled by a man who was all bark and no bite. As long as they continue the way they’re going the show can only go up and up.