Heat 4 of Robot Wars: Series 8, titled Going Airborne in US airings, was the fourth of five heats which determined the finalists of Robot Wars: Series 8. The episode featuring Heat 4 was originally broadcast on 14th August 2016 on BBC Two.
The episode's original broadcast on BBC Two managed to attract 860,000 viewers, a decrease of 920,000 viewers when compared with the previous episode. Highlights of the 2016 Rio Olympics were considered to be a key factor for the low rating. According to BARB, this meant it became the only Series 8 episode to rank outside the top thirty highest rated BBC Two broadcasts, during 8-14 August.
|Team: Dave Young, Ben Bacon, Marc Dermott|
|Team: Michael Oates, Adrian Oates|
|Team: Gary Cairns, Sarah Dennis, Jamie McHarg|
|Weapons||2 x angle grinders|
|Team: Sean Cleary, Laurence De Bruxelles, Jon Elmer, Dominique Anderson|
|Weapons||12 tonne crusher|
|Defence||Armour plate steel|
|Team: Andy Kane, Tom Kane|
|Team: Gabriel Stroud, Robert Pickford, Esme Stroud, Harry Hills|
|Team: Ed Hoppitt, Tim Bence, Meryl Bence|
|Team: John Frizell, Jonathan Swan, JME Anderson, Charles Hoile|
Apollo vs Kan-Opener vs PP3D vs Sweeney ToddEdit
As the battle began, Kan-Opener immediately reversed into the pit release button, before charging straight at PP3D. PP3D's spinning disc deflected Kan-Opener and Apollo, whilst giving chase, was thrown by the floor flipper. It quickly self-righted and flipped Kan-Opener up against the arena wall, but this in turn allowed PP3D to attack from begin and tear its left tyre off, hindering its mobility.
- "Kan-Opener in with the pincers, Apollo's in orbit!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Apollo is flipped by the Floor Flipper
Apollo seemed to stop for a moment as PP3D landed a glancing blow on the sluggish Sweeney Todd, but managed to gain some momentum as Kan-Opener grabbed hold of PP3D and tried to drag it towards the floor flipper. The first flip missed, but the second flip inverted both machines, whereby Apollo flipped the two robots again, leaving PP3D upside down. PP3D then drove over the flipper again, which launched it, before the same happened to Kan-Opener. The two robots clashed with each other again as well as Sweeney Todd, causing one of the middleweight's grinders to break off.
- "Really? Kan-Opener - "More bite than a great white". Or is it small fry?"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Apollo then got underneath the two robots and flipped Kan-Opener across the arena, separating it from PP3D. Upon landing, Kan-Opener ceased to function, having had its link dislodged. Apollo got caught on an arena spike whilst Sweeney Todd was left unable to move freely. PP3D tried to launch an attack, but the angle of the now-inverted spinning disc caused it to repeatedly hit the arena floor and bounce violently. After a while of trying to adjust itself, Apollo was able to flip Sweeney Todd, and itself, over, although it quickly self-righted. PP3D was flipped by Apollo, turning it the right way up, whilst Apollo landed another flip on Sweeney Todd, which was now completely immobile. The two heavyweight robots landed a joint attack on the middleweight, which caused damage but got Apollo briefly caught on PP3D, although it escaped before Cease was called.
Qualified: Apollo & PP3D
Eruption vs Sabretooth vs Storm 2 vs Terror TurtleEdit
- "Here we go, Eruption explosive, Sabretooth the real tiger, Storm 2 whirlwind force, Terror Turtle? Hmm, we'll wait and see."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Storm 2 entered the arena with its front-hinged flipper, while Sabretooth entered the battle with its srimech broken. Terror Turtle's clusterbot, The Hatchling, immediately clashed with the other three robots in the middle of the arena, wedging underneath Eruption. Sabretooth landed a small attack onto Eruption with its drum, causing some dents. Storm 2 managed to get around the back of Terror Turtle and push it around whilst Eruption flipped Sabretooth, although it landed on its wheels. Storm 2 pushed Terror Turtle into the arena corner, before driving it around and pushing it past Eruption, which took a glancing blow from Terror Turtle's disc, and over the flame pit into the opposite corner.
As this happened, Eruption got underneath Sabretooth and flipped it onto its back, defeating it. Eruption then launched a series of flips on Terror Turtle, not shown on television. The Hatchling ran up Eruption's wedge and was overturned. Sabretooth's srimech had broken before the battle begun, leaving it helpless as the remaining three robots fought amongst each other, with Terror Turtle and Storm 2 both inverted. Storm 2 was able to right itself whilst Eruption pursued after Terror Turtle. The Hatchling chased after the other robots, but ran up Storm 2's wedge and was pushed against the arena wall, rendering it stuck for the rest of the fight. Eruption pushed Terror Turtle against Sabretooth's immobile form before getting it caught amongst the arena spikes. Once it escaped, Eruption pushed Terror Turtle towards one of the low arena walls and flipped it out of the arena.
- "I think we'll all remember the moment where you picked up a turtle and flung him over a wall. That was quite beautiful actually."
- — Dara Ó Briain praises Eruption
Qualified: Eruption & Storm 2
Apollo vs PP3DEdit
As the battle began, Apollo charged straight at PP3D, deflecting it away. PP3D came in for another attack, but Apollo kept its front facing the Scottish robot's undercutting disc at all times, continually deflecting any serious blows. The two robots continued to chase each other around the arena, unable to land any crippling blows, until one attack in the top-right corner caused PP3D to "jump" slightly into the air. Apollo was able to get underneath and fired its flipper, which failed to flip PP3D, but instead pulled one of its tyres off.
With the wheel no longer touching the floor, PP3D was unable to drive forward and its disc caused it to spin on the spot, although Apollo was deflected away from another attack. Apollo cautiously approached PP3D from behind and flipped it into the air, causing it to crash into the arena wall and cause its link to fall out, rendering PP3D immobile.
Winner: Apollo via KO (3 points)
Eruption vs Storm 2Edit
Eruption and Storm 2 immediately collided, and Storm 2 gets the advantage to push Eruption into Sir Killalot's CPZ, however, Eruption evaded Sir Killalot's grasp, but Storm 2 got caught by Sir Killalot. The House Robot then pushed Storm 2 on to the flame pit. Eruption then tried to get in underneath Storm 2, but failed to do so, instead going over Storm 2. Storm 2 then started shunting Eruption around the arena. Storm 2 then pushed Eruption towards the floor flipper. Eruption pushed back, but the floor flipper fired and Eruption was flipped over.
This flip damaged the front wedge of Eruption, although it self-righted quickly, and crashed into the pit release, with a bit of help off Storm 2. Storm 2 pushed Eruption towards Sir Killalot's CPZ, and both tried to get away, Storm 2 narrowly succeeding, but Eruption wasn't so lucky. Eruption tried to push Storm 2 back towards Sir Killalot, but failed and went in itself. Again, Eruption tried to get under Storm 2, but went over instead. Storm 2 then pushed Eruption towards the flame pit and Sir Killalot but just slipped in itself. Eruption got a flip in on Storm 2. After a tussle, Storm 2 yet again got underneath Eruption, and got it in against the arena wall and the pit release. Storm 2 locked Eruption in, and Eruption flipped, causing it to land on its back.
At this point, Storm 2 had broken down, and was immobile for roughly twenty seconds. Eruption got underneath Storm 2 and almost succeeded in flipping Storm 2 out of the arena, but instead threw it into the wall. Eruption got another flip in, before heading to the centre of the arena to spin in circles and throw itself over, attempting to display its mobility to the Judges whilst Storm 2 sat lifelessly. Nevertheless, Storm 2 was not counted out, and the Judges made their decision.
- "My aim was to try and get them towards one of the House Robot corners and then try and flip them, but most of the time, had them on top and just rode them into a corner, and it was to a House Robot when it got there!"
- — Tim Bence on Storm 2's lack of weapon use
Due to Storm 2's immobility, the resulting Judges' decision was extremely close. It was a split decision, and only a single point separated the two robots when the scores were combined, but the two points were awarded to Storm 2.
- "That was a battle that was hard to call, until about 20 seconds to go, Storm 2 was leading comfortably and then last minute, there was some action from Eruption's flippers and I think that made a huge difference, but in the end, we feel the right team won"
- — Professor Sethu Vijayakumar
Winner: Storm 2 via Judges' decision (2 points)
Apollo vs Storm 2Edit
Storm 2 lunged straight for Apollo, getting underneath the white and black machine and pushing it into the wall. Apollo escaped, continuing to push and run up Storm 2's wedge for some time until it got underneath Storm 2 and flipped it onto its back. Storm 2 tried to self-right, but was steered onto the Floor Flipper by Apollo, where it was tossed a great distance across the arena. Apollo chased the inverted Storm 2 around, before Storm 2 dodged it and finally self-righted using its own flipping arm. After missing a flip and tipping onto its back, Apollo lined another flip on Storm 2, only for Storm 2 to self-right and get underneath it once again. It was at this point that Team MAD realised that Apollo had lost its drive chain again, with Storm 2 pressing the pit release button.
Apollo retreated into Dead Metal's CPZ as Storm 2 gave chase. It got its wedge under Dead Metal's pincers, and flipped him over against the wall, with the House Robot leaking CO2 from underneath.
- "Apollo drives into the CPZ - ah, ha ha ha! How dare you! Dead Metal venting its spleen and steam - and why not?"
- — Jonathan Pearce's glee as Dead Metal is flipped
- "And...pushed onto Matilda, or were they going to flip Matilda? I think they were. I think they got too confident there. Oh, they've done it! A KO blow for the second time!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Apollo throws Matilda in two tries.
However, Apollo's flipper stuck open as Storm 2 nearly pushed it into the pit, then the drive in one of Apollo's wheels began to fail as Storm 2 continued to shove them into the walls.
- "Houston, we have a problem with Apollo!"
- — Pearce spots Apollo's drive problems
In the dying seconds, Storm 2 positioned Apollo close to the pit and nearly pushed it in once again. However, Apollo escaped, and again rode up Storm 2's wedge as 'Cease' was called. Despite Apollo becoming immobilised on one side, the judges unanimously voted for Apollo, giving it two points and its place in the Heat Final.
- "This was an unanimous decision. Apollo won quite clearly. It did all the flipping, it was the most aggressive robot in there. There wasn't a lot of damage, but its control was superb. I thought one of the most incredible things with that fight was the way that Apollo turned on the House Robots. Didn't need to, it wasn't going to get it any extra points, but flipping two bots like that, never seen anything like that before. Fantastic."
- — Professor Noel Sharkey's verdict on Apollo's performance
Winner: Apollo via Judges' decision (2 points)
Eruption vs PP3DEdit
Eruption darted towards and round the back of PP3D almost immediately, withstanding a few hits from PP3D's disc before one impact sent both robots recoiling across the arena - Eruption on the flame pit, PP3D in an empty CPZ. The two robots came together again three more times, before Eruption headed for the pit release button, seemingly still intact and fully mobile.
Another clash between Eruption and PP3D sent both machines spinning off into different parts of the arena and ripped a few of Eruption's protective armour plates off. It became apparent that both Eruption and PP3D had lost drive to one side as a result of this hit, spinning in circles and not being able to steer towards each other for the remainder of the fight.
- "Yes, we know that you can move it, well, you can fidget. You're fidgeting - you're not fighting, you're fidgeting."
- — Jonathan Pearce expresses his frustration at the pair's inactivity
Eruption billowed smoke as one of its drive motors burned, then flipped itself over and self-righted a few times in an attempt to show some mobility. Dead Metal threatened to attack PP3D as time ran out, and the battle went to a judges' decision after neither Eruption or PP3D regained full mobility.
- "Well there's one for the purists! When the history of Robot Wars is written, this battle may not be logged!"
- — Dara Ó Briain
As revealed by Dara Ó Briain, the judges made their decision based on the first minute of the fight alone, up until the point where both robots became immobilised. They unanimously voted for PP3D, awarding it two points.
Winner: PP3D via Judges' decision (2 points)
Apollo vs EruptionEdit
Eruption entered the battle without its claw or decals - this battle was the first to be filmed on the day, so Team Eruption did not have the time required to bolt them on. As Eruption was also using a substitute flipper blade, it fought more tactically, dodging a missed flip from Apollo, and punishing. Eruption threw itself over by missing with its own flip, but quickly recovered. Eruption flipped Apollo forwards, which seemed to dislodge a drive chain from Apollo. A stronger flip launched Apollo against the plexiglass. Both robots self-righted, and a flip from Apollo caused Eruption to spin on the surface of its flipper.
- "Oh look at the pirouette by Eruption!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Apollo was unable to drive away, and Eruption launched it along the surface of the trench. Apollo was immobilised after this flip, and Eruption attempted to throw it out of the arena. Apollo was counted out, and Eruption threw it into Dead Metal, which fixed Apollo's drive, but it was already too late, and Eruption received a consolation three points, despite this being their final battle in the series.
- Angela Scanlon: "Eruption! What a way to go, where was that guy in the previous fights?"
- Michael Oates: "It was there, it just couldn't get under the opponent!"
- — Too late for Eruption
Winner: Eruption via KO (3 points)
PP3D vs Storm 2Edit
This battle marked a rematch between Gary Cairns and Team Storm, after the teams met in the Seventh Wars Grand Final. PP3D almost had to withdraw due to motor problems, after not bringing a spare, but Team Legion lent the team a spare, and the battle begun. PP3D remained stationary in an effort to spin up its weapon, but Storm 2 charged in, causing PP3D to recoil into the air repeatedly. Storm 2 pushed PP3D into Shunt, which landed a blow on the lid of PP3D, but had its scoop buckled by the undercutting blade.
- "There's an awful sound coming out of PP3D now! Shake, rattle, and not exactly rock and roll, it sounds like an old steam engine!"
- — Jonathan Pearce on the sound of PP3D's weapon
PP3D's weapon had bent, and was scraping along the floor, but managed to bend a piece of Storm 2's side ARMOX armour. A big hit from PP3D sent Storm 2 spinning onto the arena spikes, where it was held off the ground, but PP3D had lost drive to one wheel directly over the pit. Team Storm only needed to activate the pit release, and the battle was won, as PP3D tumbled in.
Winner: Storm 2 via KO (3 points)
Apollo vs Storm 2Edit
After Apollo had previously defeated Storm 2 on a controversial Judges' decision, the two met again in the Heat Final. The ground clearance of Storm 2 once again proved to be infallible, and Storm 2 pushed Apollo into Shunt. However this turned into the chance for Apollo to flip its third House Robot over in its campaign, overturning Shunt.
- "Maybe Shunt can gain revenge, no! Again a House Robot has been flipped!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Storm 2 pressed the pit release button, still ahead on points despite Apollo's glory, and pushed Apollo to various parts of the arena. Apollo eventually found a chance to attack, and overturned Storm 2. Curiously, Storm 2's weapon did not seem to be working, and it did not self-right. Storm 2 was righted, but only after being launched into the arena wall powerfully.
Matilda caught up to the rear of Storm 2, and righted Shunt, but while doing so, Apollo threw Storm 2 onto the arena wall, where it could not drive away. Apollo followed this up by throwing Storm 2 out of the arena completely, awarding it the victory, and celebrated by flipping itself over.
- "The main thing was just to make sure we're entertaining, that's what we do, so when we came into this, every match, we don't want to be boring, we want to do the best we can, and hopefully everyone's had a good time watching!"
- — Ben Bacon
Heat Winner: Apollo
- Despite the lack of seedings or reference to the previous series, all five heats of Series 8 featured a semi-finalist from the Seventh Wars. In Heat 4, it was Storm 2.
- However, if PP3D is considered the successor to Typhoon 2 due to Typhoon 2's driver Gary Cairns building PP3D, both of the two finalists from Series 7 appeared in the same episode. Gary Cairns also fought Kan-Opener for the second time.
- Although Team MAD had previously entered Robot Wars with five different robots, this was their first time entering a heavyweight, Apollo.
- The appearance of Sweeney Todd in this heat marks the first time that a non-heavyweight competed in the main competition of Robot Wars since Robot Wars: The First Wars, excluding US series.
- Three pilot competitors, Turbulence, Monte and Merlin, make cameos in the pits.
- Armakillo made two more cameos, appearing for the third episode in a row.
- When the battle between Storm 2 and Eruption was sent to a Judges' decision, Jonathan Pearce erroneously referred to the criteria as style, damage and aggression instead of control, damage and aggression.
- The losers of the second Group Battle are both known for their record of losses - Sabretooth's lack of a televised win was regularly referenced by its builder and the presenters before it finally collected two wins in Series 9, while Terror Turtle holds the record for the worst win-loss ratio in Robot Wars, with five losses and no wins.