- "The Duncanson cousins were the brains behind Spin Doctor... now though, the Mandarins who rule Agent Orange..."
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Agent Orange
Agent Orange was a competitor robot which fought in Series 3 of Robot Wars. In its only televised appearance, it reached the second round of its heat before losing to Blade. The team who built Agent Orange had previously competed in Series 2 with Spin Doctor.
- "We built it out of polypropylene, which is an industrial-grade plastic; basically so that it's really light, which means we can get lots of big nasty weapons in."
- — Phil Duncanson explains Agent Orange's use of plastic armour
As its name suggested, Agent Orange was an orange box-shaped robot armoured in polypropylene plastic and equipped with two potent weapons - a front set of hydraulic pincers and a rear-facing pickaxe made out of a garden fork. The pincers were capable of cutting through scaffolding pipes and metal box sections, while the axe swung quickly at a range of 180 degrees and was capable of causing considerable damage to other opponents. The robot was also fast and manoeuvrable, but had fragile armour and no self-righting mechanism by the time of its televised appearance.
Agent Orange's name and colour scheme were both inspired by the toxic herbicide used in chemical warfare, most notably by the U.S. Military during the Vietnam War.
Agent Orange entered Series 3 under a duo of cousins from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, captain Peter Duncanson, and Phil Duncanson. When building their robot, the Agent Orange team were also assisted by the Milly-Ann Bug team in refining their electronics. The Duncanson cousins had also competed in Series 2 with Spin Doctor.
Agent Orange qualified for Series 3 by attending the auditions, and running the obstacle course.
Following its Series 3 performance, Agent Orange was upgraded with a self-righting mechanism and attempted to enter Series 4. However, it failed to qualify despite winning its qualifier battle:
- "We had a great fight, many of the crew came up afterwards and said it was a real good one (one even said it was the best so far). We did fry our speed controller though which in turn took all our wiring with it sending huge clouds of white smoke out the top. Looked great. And all because the producers asked us to get our fur covered opponent on to the flame pit. We tried pushing them (some thing the Agent is not really designed for) and bang! I assume that although it was a great fight (our best yet) we showed a weakness and that was all the excuse they needed to strike us off the list. Worst bit was we got her home, changed 2 wires and she ran straight away."
- — Peter Duncanson on failing to qualify for Series 4
The team also attempted to enter Series 5, but failed to qualify again, before retiring from Robot Wars altogether:
- "... it's getting harder and harder to stay competitive. Plus, I have other things in my life now. A new wife, new house, new job all of which takes up more and more of my time and money. I'd also lost some of that zest after the shambles that was Series 3. I was just not enjoying the tv part of it anymore. ... I was going to back down after Series 4, hopefully having gone out with a bang, but we did not make it on. Then Dave (my team mate) said he really wanted to give it another go but would not unless I went with him."
- — Pete Duncanson on retiring from Robot Wars
Agent Orange competed in Heat C, where it faced series newcomer Max Damage in the first round.
In the opening seconds, it sped across the arena towards Max Damage, which failed to move at all as a result of its team forgetting to insert its killswitch before the battle. Agent Orange proceeded to slam into Max Damage's side and axe it, causing considerable damage to the latter's armour before dragging it back and forth along the side wall. It broke free before nudging and bumping Max Damage a few more times, eventually steering it towards and into the pit. With Max Damage sustaining more damage from Dead Metal and Matilda, Agent Orange was declared the winner.
In the second round, Agent Orange fought Blade.
As before, it immediately drove out into the centre of the arena, but hesitated as it tried to line itself up for an attack on Blade. Eventually, Agent Orange bumped into Blade side-on, but struggled to grab hold of it with its pincers until Blade bumped it back and exposed its side. This allowed Agent Orange to grab Blade and push it across the arena, but the two robots separated after it fired its axe on Blade's top panel.
- "Ooh, and in comes the pickaxe... like some... mental woodpecker!"
- — Jonathan Pearce after Agent Orange axes Blade
With smoke billowing from beneath its axe, Agent Orange again nudged and positioned itself around Blade, before pursuing and grabbing it by its lawnmower blades as the latter drove precariously towards Matilda's CPZ. This caused Blade to be flipped onto its side by an arena spike, with Agent Orange nudging the stranded Blade into Matilda. Agent Orange rammed into Blade again as it was knocked back onto its wheels, but was briefly blocked by the same spike, and later appeared to suffer from drive problems as Blade pushed it into the CPZ. It was lifted three times by Matilda as it tried to push Blade back, and a fourth time after swinging its axe vigorously. After being bounced by the arena spike, Agent Orange charged backwards into Blade and alongside the Flame Pit, but still struggled for mobility as Blade bumped and pushed it. Eventually, it was left immobile on one side, although it had still survived long enough for the battle to go to a Judges' decision. The decision went 2-1 in favour of Blade, eliminating Agent Orange from the Third Wars.
|AGENT ORANGE - RESULTS|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat C, Round 1||vs. Max Damage||Won|
|Heat C, Round 2||vs. Blade||Lost|
- Wins: 1
- Losses: 1
|Series||Agent Orange Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Entered with Spin Doctor|
|The Third Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Fourth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Fifth Wars||Failed to qualify|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
- Agent Orange was originally going to be paired up with Milly-Ann Bug for the Tag Team Terror competition in Series 3, before the event was cancelled. This partnership was formed as the Milly-Ann Bug team had helped the Agent Orange team build their robot.
- According to Peter Duncanson, Agent Orange is female.
- Of the four battle winners in Heat C of Series 3, Agent Orange was the only one not to fight in a battle where the pit was closed.
- Agent Orange's gearboxes were donated by David Brown Gearboxes, the team used the workshops of Hickson & Welch to build the robot, and Andel Flood Detection systems gave support during the robots construction.