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Robot Wars 2017: Amateur Hour Returns

Well this is two days late again but this time it’s not because I forgot but rather that after the shitshow that was the last episode I had given up on the show. I decided to watch it again today however and thankfully despite starting out questionably the episode became rather good.

The starting two group battles saw the return once more of terrible quality control on the producer end of the show with one robot, Tauron, breaking after the first nudge while the second, an all kid team (hmm) and their machine Expulsion, could barely even move under its own weight before just stopping entirely. On the flipside however the terrible machine Foxic from last season also went out immediately.


This turn of events meant that for the first time this series we had a good lineup for the head to heads. The first of these was an old hand in the form of a new version of Thor which, unlike last series, could stand up to the spinners on show. Despite this however the new version had a serious weakness in the gas tank which kept leaking, adding some tension as to whether it’d be able to keep going. Even with this flaw it put up some admirable fights and made it to the final of the episode but went out.

The episode also saw the return of unique spinner M.R Speed Squared, which has a circular disc all-around the outside. This was sadly the least mechanically sound of the robots with its disc breaking time after time, at one point they forgot to even test if it could move before a fight and it didn’t, and in the final fight the force of the blade caused the robot to take off and then crash back to earth broken. Hardly the most fitting of endings, though the captain may have sabotaged the machine as he said he’d only marry his partner if he lost.


Next we had Heavy Metal, a robot that had the weight and speed to actually work as a shunting robot, pushing their competitors around the arena efficiently. Its one downside was its use of rubber nubbed metal wheels for drive, with the nubbs coming off almost immediately leading them to slide around the arena in a Benny-Hill farce manner.


Finally we had new entrants Concussion, a vertical spinner that despite its professional exterior had the rank amateur feel about them. While they suffered at times with issues regarding their drive system and spinner they did something that no one else thought of doing, they brought spare parts with them. The whole tension of whether they’d be able to fix their machine in time approach the show has been taken finally worked for the first time as they clearly had the ability to repair their robot to a decent standard while others have been forced to withdraw entirely.

Concussion was the other robot to make it to the final to face Thor and their second bout was definitely the more interesting, with the first suffering due to an arena defect I’ll get on to in a moment. Concussion however managed to beat Thor twice and are through to the Grand Final.


Now onto the main grievance of the episode. It seems the arena this series hasn’t been up to scratch. Already this series we’ve seen the wall come off and the flipper sides fall off. Now this episode the pit failed to function properly, with the hydraulics keeping it up failing meaning that low clearance robots got stuck on it multiple times and couldn’t get off.


In the end the episode was a step in the right direction but still core issues remain for the show that really should’ve been sorted by now.

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