"Last week a new type of war came out of nowhere, and rocked the very fabric of society. When the cruise missiles were gingerly lifted from their silos in Berkshire, we figured the world would be a safer place. But we were reckoning without Robot Wars! World Leaders are in a blind panic. Last week it was reported that Tony Blair stopped grinning for five minutes, Alexander Haig has flown to Buenos Aires, but that's probably a bit silly, because the fighting is confined to Britain."
Jeremy Clarkson's introduction

Heat B of Robot Wars: The First Wars was the second of six heats which determined the Grand Finalists of Robot Wars: The First Wars. The episode featuring Heat B was originally broadcast on February 27, 1998 on BBC Two.

Competing robotsEdit

Detonator 1
Weight 52.5kg
Dimensions 1.25m x 0.90m x 0.45m
Speed 4mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 25mm
Power Petrol lawnmower engine
Weapons Steel spikes
From: Dartford Girls Grammar School
Team Members: David Crosby, Vicky Allgood & Claire Greenaway
Weight 69kg
Dimensions 1.60m x 0.35m x 0.70m
Speed 3mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 40mm
Power 2 x 24V wheelchair motors
Weapons Rear angle grinder & extendable lance
From: Leigh City Technology College
Team Members: Robin Williams, Eileen Hobbs, Tony Schofield & Chris Maylon
Mortis Series 1 Crop
Weight 78.4kg
Dimensions 1.35m x 0.78m x 0.38m
Speed 9mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 50mm
Power 2 x 12V wheelchair motors
Weapons Japanese axe blade
From: Cambridge University
Team Members: Rob Knight, Chris Sorsby & Arthur Chilcott
Recyclopse Crop
Weight 79.5kg
Dimensions 0.90m x 0.90m x 0.45m
Speed 4mph
Turning Circle 1.5m
Ground Clearance 0mm
Power 24V industrial motor
Weapons Pneumatic steel tongue-flipper
From: Mickfield, near Stowmarket
Team Members: Rex Garrod & Simon West
Weight 76.5kg
Dimensions 1.10m x 0.80m x 0.50m
Speed 10mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance Variable (Max 100mm)
Power Variable 12V/24V motors
Weapons 7" & 9" saw blades
From: London
Team Members: Mike Smith, Mike Rickard, Ken Toogood, Alvin Orton & Charles Lavery
Weight 71.9kg
Dimensions 1.60m x 1.00m x 0.80m
Speed 7mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 80mm
Power 2 x Electric wheelchair motors
Weapons 7" cutting disc
From: Gillingham
Team Members: Paul Shearwood & Colin Faulkner



Leighbot fan

Leighbot clears the smoke with the fan

Leighbot crept out of the turntable and aimed for the middle and the ramps. After coming at at a bad angle, Leighbot adjusted and started to drive up the ramp. Sergeant Bash flicked flames towards Leighbot, and drove under the ramp, holding it up. The House Robot reversed, allowing the ramp to fall, and Leighbot moved forwards, only to be held back by Sergeant Bash as it fired its flamethrower again. Leighbot turned around Sergeant Bash and up the second ramp, where the path was blocked by smoke. Leighbot pushed the fan forwards and turned it on, clearing the smoke as Leighbot drove through, taking a hit from the pendulum and barging past Matilda to complete the Gauntlet.



Scrapper is chased by the House Robots

Scrapper exited the turntable and turned on the spot trying to choose a route to go down. Scrapper tried twice to go up the ramp, but fell off both times. With Shunt blocking the left route, Scrapper reversed down the maze on the right route. After turning in too early for the first corner, Scrapper eventually bumped its way around the fences, but were cornered by Shunt and Sergeant Bash, where they finished halfway through the maze.

"He's into the sheep's pen. This could be lambs to the slaughter, because Bash and Shunt are closing in! And it could be roast lamb at that! If the torch comes out - and it does! Lamb kebab!"
— Jonathan Pearce



Recyclopse escapes the House Robots

Recyclopse whizzed out of the turntable, but into a block between routes. As Shunt moved in, Recyclopse dodged past the House Robot to take the left route, smashing through the skittles, where it was trapped by Shunt and Sergeant Bash. Recyclopse opened the tongue flipper and pushed past Sergeant Bash, driving away and slamming Matilda out the way to complete the course.

Jeremy Clarkson: "Well you were confident before you started, now you must be feeling even better."
Rex Garrod: "Not really, I wanted one of them to go over."
Jeremy Clarkson: "You wanted one of our House Robots over?"
Rex Garrod: "Well certainly that's the game, isn't it?"
Jeremy Clarkson: "It's a game, but it's also impossible!"
— The post-Gauntlet interview



Detonator is trapped on the turntable

Detonator moved away from the centre of the turntable, but one of its spikes got caught on the side as it turned into the robot. The front castor wheel on Detonator was facing right, and jammed in place, stopping itself from moving away.

"Poor old David looks about 74...75...76. He's a Star Trek fan. Beam him up, Scotty."
— Jonathan Pearce, as David Crosby grows more agitated at Detonator's predicament

Shunt and Sergeant Bash moved in to help free Detonator. Shunt pushed Detonator back, where it was caught on the railings, but another hit freed Detonator, where the team started frantically driving it away. Detonator drove down the right course and into the wall, but were eventually credited with 7m.



Mortis is pinned between the House Robots

Mortis shoved straight past Shunt into the left route, bashing down the skittles, but getting wedged in the railings. Mortis escaped and drove at Sergeant Bash, pushing it aside, but spinning Mortis around. Sergeant Bash held Mortis in place, blocking the way to the end zone as Shunt joined in the melee, axing Mortis and dragging it backwards. Matilda then moved in to pin Mortis is place, and Sergeant Bash flicked flames towards Mortis until time ended.

"We're not going to let you go anywhere- we don't have to!"
— Jonathan Pearce speaking on behalf of Sergeant Bash


Shunt uglybot

Shunt lifts Uglybot

Uglybot drove out of the turntable, but due to its large shape, it got a corner stuck in the railings. Shunt drove in, lifting Uglybot up with its wedge and getting under it. Shunt kept shoving Uglybot into the back wall, stopping it moving away. Uglybot drove back towards the turntable, where it was pushed by Shunt as the run ended.


Rank Robot Distance
Recyclopse Completed
Leighbot Completed
Mortis 7.40m
Scrapper 7.40m
Detonator 7.00m
Uglybot 1.65m

Trial (British Bulldog)Edit

British bulldog

Mortis makes the endzone

Scrapper british bulldog

Scrapper finishes the British Bulldog backwards

Mortis moved into the middle of the arena, while Scrapper and Leighbot headed to the right. Recyclopse drove left and Detonator stayed still as the trial started. Mortis ducked between the spikes and Sergeant Bash and dashed to the end zone.

"What a run through by Mortis!...that was stunning!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Scrapper and Leighbot touched each other, but separated, as in the other corner, Recyclopse was being harassed by Matilda. Having already confirmed their place through, Mortis went back into the arena and started pushing Matilda around. Scrapper reversed its way through the spikes, around Matilda and across the arena into the end zone.

"Now Scrapper, making its move - strangely backwards - but it's through backwards! Strange, but through nonetheless."
— Jonathan Pearce
Leighbot british bulldog

Leighbot is attacked by Shunt as it slowly navigates the finish line

Detonator brtish bulldog

Detonator immobile at the start line

Leighbot was being held back by Shunt and Dead Metal while Matilda kept Recyclopse back. Leighbot escaped Shunt's grasp and drove itself towards the end zone as well. Mortis then pushed Matilda back towards the non-moving Recyclopse, which had its flipper out. Recyclopse flipped Matilda over, much to the joy to all the roboteers watching in the pits.


Matilda is flipped

With Detonator not moving and Recyclopse having made it halfway across the arena, Matilda's vanquisher was allowed through as Detonator were eliminated.

"You! You! You hurt one of my pets!"
— Jeremy Clarkson to Rex Garrod

It was later revealed that Detonator's batteries had failed, which had gone unnoticed over the din of its petrol engine.


Rank Robot



Recyclopse vs ScrapperEdit

Scrapper vs recyclopse

Scrapper makes a move towards Recyclopse before dodging away from it

Scrapper recyclopse

Scrapper are flipped over

Recyclopse moved towards Scrapper as it made a wobbly move across the arena. Scrapper attempted to attack with its saws, but it turned away, missing the front of Recyclopse as Rex Garrod's machine backed into Dead Metal. Scrapper turned on the spot in front of Recyclopse, which drove forwards and flipped Scrapper over by ramming it. On its side and beached, Scrapper were eliminated.

"You stick your tongue out at me and I'll wink at you! Very nice, indeed, as the two robots come together. Manoeuvring for position at the moment. Don't go broadside- Oh, no, no, no, you shouldn't have done that! Broadside and the tongue came out."
— Jonathan Pearce's entire commentary in the fight.

Winner: Recyclopse

Mortis vs LeighbotEdit

Leighbot vs mortis

Leighbot rams into Mortis

Mortis leighbot

Mortis bludgeons Leighbot

Leighbot evaded Mortis's original attack as the two robots turned away from each other. Leighbot managed to get the front facing Mortis and tried to fire their spike into the opponent, but the front end was lifted up and so it missed. Mortis, backed up against the wall, started firing the axe, slamming it into the top of Leighbot.

"It's not very much of a weapon, is it, really? Oh, and that is! Look at that Japanese blade! Thrusting down! Leighbot - pepper-pot! You could pour pepper through that Leighbot machine now! Look at the holes!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Leighbot vs mortis vs matilda

Leighbot pushes Mortis into Matilda's CPZ

Mortis topples leigbot

Mortis topples Leighbot

Mortis pushed Leighbot back, bending the armour and weapon of Leighbot. Mortis split away and drove across the arena, turning around to land more blows on Leighbot, but reversed into Matilda's CPZ. Mortis slammed into Leighbot, lifting it up with the wedge as they drove to the side-railings.

"Could he flip it over? If he does, it's all over! And it is all over!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Mortis turns Leighbot over.

Mortis reversed having propped Leighbot behind, and tipped it over, securing their place in the Heat Final.

Jeremy Clarkson: "You just made it all look so easy."
Rob Knight: "Do you reckon? The axe should have gone through the armour, I'm quite surprised. It's tougher than it looks."
— Post-battle interview

Winner: Mortis


Mortis vs RecyclopseEdit

Mortis battering ram

Mortis, converted in weaponry, and speared on the spikes

Before the battle, Mortis discovered damage to their mainshaft, which stopped the axe being a viable weapon. To combat this, the team added a ramming blade to the front.

"We don't know how successful it's going to be. I guess it's just a case of suck it and see."
— Arthur Chilcott
Mortis vs Recyclopse

Mortis forces Recyclopse around the arena

Mortis drove forwards but turned broadside halfway across the arena. Recyclopse chased Mortis about for a bit, trying to get the flipper under Mortis. Mortis reversed across the arena, hitting Recyclopse with the rear spike.

Mortis crossed the arena towards Matilda's CPZ as Recyclopse chased. Matilda started pushing Recyclopse from the side and Mortis tried to escape through the empty CPZ, but got caught on the spike trap. Matilda used the opportunity to cut Mortis with the chainsaw and Recyclopse tried to flip Mortis as well, but the floor spikes prevented it from positioning the tongue flipper properly.

"And that is poor driving, and that is poor steering. And that will count against the boys from Cambridge."
— Jonathan Pearce
Recyclopse vs mortis

Mortis rams Recyclopse into the side wall

Once free, Mortis drove at Recyclopse and got under the robot, lifting it up on top of Mortis, but Recyclopse's round base helped it drop back down. Recyclopse pushed back when freed, and tried another flip, but it veered off-target with its tongue, then Mortis had got under and pushed Recyclopse into the corner. Recyclopse was trapped on top of Mortis, which was beached on the rails. Shunt pushed Mortis further onto the rails, and axed it seconds before cease was called.

"They're not working - we're working. We pushed them out, we had all the attacks, and we think we should've won."
— Chris Sorsby

The judges eventually declared Recyclopse as the winner.

"We could not really see a way to decide and kept asking for it to be a draw. But, in those days draws were not allowed and so we were forced to make a decision with a very aggressive crowd screaming in our ears and pushing us into the barriers. We decided on Recyclopse but none of us felt good about it."
— Noel Sharkey

Heat Winner: Recyclopse

Trivia Edit

  • Recyclopse débuted the forward-hinged flipper into robot combat. This was used to great effect by Recyclopse, as it managed to flip Matilda in the Trial; the first successful attack on a House Robot.
  • The battle between Recyclopse and Scrapper set the original Shortest Battle Record at fifteen seconds. It is currently ranked equal 6th.
  • The heat final between Mortis and Recyclopse is one of the most notable battles of Series 1 - It marked the first judges' decision in Robot Wars; Mortis lost the decision, and the team vehemently opposed the decision.
  • This heat featured four teams that would reach the semi-finals of Series 2.
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