Robot Wars Wiki

"Man may have tempered the spectre of nuclear evil. But tonight I have the unenviable task of reporting that warfare has been taken out of man's hands. We're now at the mercy of machines, and a battle, the likes of which we've never seen before, is about to begin. Outside the studio, women have lashed themselves to the railings. Britain is about to witness the birth...of Robot Wars, which is all about robots...fighting."
Jeremy Clarkson's introduction to Heat A

Jeremy Clarkson and Philippa Forrester in a promotional shot

Robot Wars: The First Wars was the first series of the British television game show Robot Wars. It was originally broadcast in early 1998 on BBC Two (and repeated twice more, first in the Autumn of that year, prior to the start of The Second Wars, and again in the Spring of 1999 on BBC One). The series was hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, the pit reporter was Philippa Forrester and commentary was provided by Jonathan Pearce.


The series consisted of six heats, with six robots competing in each heat. The six winners from the heats moved onto the Grand Final. In each heat, the six robots would compete through a series of three challenges - the Gauntlet, the Trial and the Arena.

  • The Gauntlet was an assault course with three separate routes, each filled with various hazards and guarded by the House Robots. Competitor robots had to make their way as far down the course as possible in the time allowed. The robot covering the shortest distance by the end of the stage was eliminated, leaving five robots to continue.
  • The Trial was a set challenge which varied from heat to heat. Events held during the course of the series included Sumo, British Bulldog, Football, Stock Car, Labyrinth and Snooker, each with their own specific objectives and goals. The lowest-performing robot from each Trial would be eliminated, allowing four robots to continue.
  • The Arena was the first combat stage for the remaining robots, which were paired off and fought in one-on-one battles. As the stage's name implies, each battle was held in the main Robot Wars Arena, which featured various hazards including the House Robots. Two winning robots from the Arena stage would face each other in the Heat Final, where the winner would progress to the Grand Final.

In the Grand Final, which was held at the end of the final heat, the six heat winners fought each other in a single melee battle to determine the series champion.

Although no special events took place throughout the First Wars, highlights from the preceding US Robot Wars events were shown at various points throughout Heat D. These included a battle from the 1995 UK Open Competition between The Master and Thor, and montages from the 1996 US Robot Wars competition.


Heat A[]

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat A

Robots competing in Heat A: Roadblock, Killertron, Barry, Shogun, Nemesis, Grunt

Gauntlet: Barry eliminated

Trial (Sumo): Grunt eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Nemesis vs Roadblock: Roadblock won
  • Killertron vs Shogun: Killertron won

Arena Final

  • Killertron vs Roadblock: Roadblock won

Heat B[]

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat B

Robots competing in Heat B: Uglybot, Scrapper, Recyclopse, Detonator, Mortis, Leighbot

Gauntlet: Uglybot eliminated

Trial (British Bulldog): Detonator eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Recyclopse vs Scrapper: Recyclopse won
  • Mortis vs Leighbot: Mortis won

Arena Final

  • Mortis vs Recyclopse: Recyclopse won

Heat C[]

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat C

Robots competing in Heat C: Cruella, Plunderbird 1, WYSIWYG, Robot The Bruce, Wedgehog, Dreadnaut

Gauntlet: Plunderbird 1 eliminated

Trial (Football): WYSIWYG eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Robot The Bruce vs Cruella: Robot The Bruce won
  • Dreadnaut vs Wedgehog: Wedgehog won

Arena Final

  • Robot The Bruce vs Wedgehog: Robot The Bruce won

Heat D[]

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat D

Robots competing in Heat D: Vector of Armageddon, Krayzee Tokyo, Cunning Plan, SAT'arn, Bugs, The Demolisher

Gauntlet: Vector of Armageddon eliminated

Trial (Stock Car): Krayzee Tokyo eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Cunning Plan vs Bugs: Cunning Plan won
  • The Demolisher vs SAT'arn: The Demolisher won

Arena Final

  • Cunning Plan vs The Demolisher: Cunning Plan won

Heat E[]

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat E

Robots competing in Heat E: Wharthog, Psychosprout, Bodyhammer, Torque of the Devil, REALI-T, Full Metal Anorak

Gauntlet: Wharthog eliminated

Trial (Labyrinth): Psychosprout eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Bodyhammer vs Torque of the Devil: Bodyhammer won
  • REALI-T vs Full Metal Anorak: REALI-T won

Arena Final

  • Bodyhammer vs REALI-T: Bodyhammer won

Heat F[]

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat F

Robots competing in Heat F: Skarab, The Blob, T.R.A.C.I.E., Elvis, Prince of Darkness, Eubank the Mouse

Gauntlet: Elvis eliminated

Trial (Snooker): Eubank the Mouse eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Skarab vs The Blob: Skarab won
  • Prince of Darkness vs T.R.A.C.I.E.: T.R.A.C.I.E. won

Arena Final

  • Skarab vs T.R.A.C.I.E.: T.R.A.C.I.E. won

Grand Final[]

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Grand Final

Roadblock vs Recyclopse vs Robot The Bruce vs Cunning Plan vs Bodyhammer vs T.R.A.C.I.E.: Roadblock won

First Wars Grand Champion: Roadblock


Main article: Robot Wars Awards

These are the winners of the various awards given out at the end of the series:

Video Release[]

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Great War

The highlights of the First Series were later released on video.


  • This was the only series to feature all robots in each weight category in a main competition