I remember the days from 2000-2002 fondly, tuning into Comedy Central, excited for the cyber sounding voice to count down to battle time. Yes, I’m talking about Battlebots. While the original incarnation ended much too soon, a new incarnation was brought back to life last night on ABC and gosh are we excited for what is to come next. We tuned in to the first episode last night and are eagerly awaiting the next broadcast. The box is locked, the lights are on, it’s robot fighting time!
To get a taste of what is to come this season, this epic intro introduced viewers to some of the folks behind the bots as well as a little preview of some of the hard hits to come. This got myself, as well as the whole living room of people, completely pumped for the rest of the show. The rules are simple this time around. Two bots enter, one bot leaves victorious. The winners of each round move on to the top 12, with the losers fighting for a chance at 1 of 4 spots. It’s really anyone’s game, as anything can happen within the BattleBox.
ABC has given us the robot fighting that we all want, as well as the human side of the fights, providing background on the builders and what drives them. What may be a downside for some viewers is actually an upside for this writer. I actually like knowing who is behind the bots, going out on a limb to build these intricate and deadly creations that only may last 3 minutes in the ring. But those 3 minutes may be their finest 3 minutes, so it’s nice to know the human emotion and experience. Take the team from Plan X, for example.
You see the woman with the pink hair? Her name is Lisa Winter. How badass is she? She competed on the original show when it aired on Comedy Central. That’s right. The fact that after all these years, Winter continued to build bots and now is back on the show is incredible. It shows a true testament to creativity and drive, something that I enjoy. I don’t want to watch someone fighting a bot because they had enough money to build a deathtrap; I want to see someone who cares and but their sweat (and sometimes blood) into the creation.
Winter and her team came in and kicked some serious robot circuits last night against Wrecks. While the design of Wrecks was cool as a walking bot, it left itself open for far too many attacks from behind due to its slow, wobbling gait. Even its weapon (which doubled for its walking momentum) was barely able to do anything until the last 10 seconds of the match. In that last 10 seconds, Plan X caught itself on something and was left completely open. That did not matter much to the judges, as they ruled in favor of X. Good decision without a doubt.
What seemed to be a hype point for the show was a legendary UK team with a very intricate design. I’m talking about Warhead. Builders Ian Lewis and Simon Scott are well known within the bot community and looked to bringing destruction to the US competitors with Warhead, their articulated drum spinner with lifting arms and tail.
While the design looks pretty awesome, in battle well…there was something to be lacking. Warhead went up against a California bot, Bite Force, and oh, there was plenty of force and plenty of bite! It was clear from the start of the match that Warhead was completely outgunned. The lifting arms and tail did nothing against Bite Force, who took advantage early and pushed the bot around into every hazard in the ring that it possibly could. You can watch the full battle here in all its glory.
The downfall for Nightmare was its size, in my opinion. Warrior Clan was able to get right underneath Nightmare and get it to flip over, ultimately causing its demise. Nightmare seemed like it could do some damage when on its side, as its blade was propelling it around the BattleBox, but the swift maneuvering of Warrior Clan made sure that did not happen. Watch the whole match below, and enjoy the fire!
With the first episode in the books, we eagerly await the second episode, with more battles, bots, and all the crunchy destruction that can occur. You can watch Battlebots on ABC on Sunday evenings 9pm Pacific time.