The War of Independence of Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars was a special tournament held during the Christmas Specials of Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars. It featured four British robots fighting against four American robots to see which side had the best machine in a simple knock-out tournament.
The episode featuring the War of Independence was originally broadcast on December 31, 2000 on BBC Two. The broadcast managed to attract 3.19 million viewers, a decrease of 770,000 viewers when compared with the previous episode. According to BARB, this meant it fell to fifth in the top thirty highest rated BBC 2 broadcasts during 25-31 December 2000.
|Dimensions||0.36 x 0.76 x 0.91m|
|Power||3 x Electric powered motors|
|Weapons||Axe and lifting arm|
|Notes||Made from aerospace materials|
|From: Nottingham and Cambridge|
|Team Members: Rob Knight, Paul Ford & Arthur Chilcott|
|Dimensions||0.16 x 1.00 x 0.70m|
|Power||2 x Windscreen wiper motors|
|Weapons||Electric lifting forks|
|Notes||Shell is bullet proof|
|Team Members: Kim Davies, Michael Davies & Christian Bridge|
|Dimensions||1.03 x 0.28 x 0.78m|
|Power||Electric powered motors|
|Weapons||2 x spikes and flippers|
|Notes||Nose cone raises and lowers|
|Team Members: Andrew Cotterell, Alexander Cotterell & Oliver Cotterell|
|Dimensions||1.20 x 0.80 x 0.60m|
|Power||2 x wheelchair motors|
|Weapons||Spikes and ram|
|Notes||Wheels from a wheelchair|
|Team Members: David Crosby, Clare Greenway & Tegan Crosby|
- Note: Hypno-Disc had originally been intended to compete, but was replaced with Detonator at the last minute, apparently to ensure that there would be an American robot in the final.
|Dimensions||1.30 x 0.57 x 0.47m|
|Notes||Lightest in competition|
|Team Members: John Angeli, Al Ruhoff & Joe Taylor|
|Dimensions||1.30 x 0.82 x 0.34m|
|Notes||Works both ways up|
|From: Miami, Florida|
|Team Members: Korey Cline, Nola Garcia, Alex Espinosa & Eduardo Ampuero|
|Dimensions||0.47 x 0.92 x 0.50m|
|Notes||Built in three days|
|From: Los Angeles, California|
|Team Members: Dan Danknick, Adam Clark & Bob Pitzer|
|Dimensions||0.77 x 0.77 x 0.47m|
|Weapons||Very powerful axe|
|Notes||Axe Head is a meat tenderiser|
|From: Los Angeles, California|
|Team Members: Patrick Campbell, George Melero & Emile DeMillo|
Mortis vs Ghetto-botEdit
- "Well, Ghetto-bot will have to go some here to stop Mortis in its tracks!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Mortis began the battle quickly by charging at Ghetto-bot, but it simply drove straight up Ghetto-bot's wedge, although this wasn't enough to affect the British robot and Mortis drove straight off. Mortis quickly turned and missed four axe blows in succession, before Ghetto-bot began pushing it from the front. Mortis' axe continued to fire, making numerous dents in the American robot's armour but doing no more than that.
Despite Ghetto-bot having the initial pushing advantage, Mortis eventually got around the side of the middleweight and pushed it towards the flame pit. Ghetto-bot did not appear to have full mobility, which allowed Mortis to adjust itself properly before pushing it on the flame pit. Ghetto-bot was still smouldering when Mortis pushed it off, but could do no more than twitch slightly. Refbot extinguished the flames on Ghetto-bot, but Dead Metal and Shunt started attacking the immobilised robot, with Mortis joining in as well. Shunt was making more of an effect on Ghetto-bot's armour than Mortis' did, managing to puncture its shell.
- "Look at Shunt's axe. More powerful, sharper than that of Mortis it would seem"
- — Jonathan Pearce, comparing weapons
Mortis eventually left the American machine to the house robots and went to attack Sir Killalot, hitting him on the head numerous times with its tanto blade. As it continued its onslaught, Shunt pushed Ghetto-bot back onto the flame pit, ending its run in the War of Independence.
- "Well, it's well and truly a salt-and-pepper pot by the end of it all"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Panic Attack vs RammsteinEdit
- "Panic Attack, worthy opponents, whether it be domestically or on the international stage."
- — Jonathan Pearce with high-hopes for Panic Attack
Both robots began fairly quickly, but after an initial dodge it was Rammstein that landed the first attack, using its spike to snag Panic Attack's armour. It reversed to come in on another charge, narrowly avoiding Panic Attack's lifting forks. It took several more charges and managed to push the former champion around the arena, but eventually, Panic Attack managed to get around the side of its opponent and lifted it up. After spinning it around, it pushed under Rammstein's side and pushed it over. This did not hinder the invertable Rammstein, but it appeared to be a lot more sluggish than it had in the opening stages of the battle. Panic Attack took advantage and lifted up Rammstein again.
- "What Rammstein may find, if they go up on their side, they will not be able to right at all and they will be out...and I think that is what Kim Davis is trying to do with Panic Attack now - try to lever it up on its side"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Panic Attack takes control
Despite its best efforts, Panic Attack could not lift Rammstein high enough for a side-stranding and eventually had to settle for overturning it again. The American attempted another attack, driving straight up Panic Attack's lifting forks, and this time, the Welsh robot effortlessly picked it up.
- "Go on. Lead him to our own, our very own Grand Canyon on our arena floor!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, realizing Panic Attack has won
The pit descended moments later, and Panic Attack swiftly carried the far-heavier Rammstein towards it before quickly dropping it down.
After the battle, it was revealed that Rammstein's batteries had run out of power, as they had not been adapted for the length of the battles held in the UK.
- "We typically run three minute matches in America. You guys run five, so we're a little unprepared for that"
- — Korey Cline of Team Rammstein
Winner: Panic Attack
Ming 2 vs The MangulatorEdit
The two robots got off to a quick start, but missed each other on the first charge. The Mangulator attempted a spinning attack and managed to catch Ming 2, but no more. Ming drove at Mangulator and used its wedge shape to push underneath, and the slippery Mangulator drove away before Ming could use its flipper.
- "It is a powerful weapon, isn't it? Crashing against the arena floor which doesn't pick up any points, boys! Never mind, we'll try to explain the rules to you a little later on!"
- — Jonathan Pearce, watching The Mangulator's weapon
Mangulator continued to spin and swing its "thumperizer", but only managed to hit the arena floor as Ming was nowhere near it. Eventually, Ming took an opening, charging at Mangulator and pushing it into Sgt Bash's CPZ. It then pushed Mangulator onto the flame pit, before forcing it back into the centre of the arena. After landing another minor spin attack, Mangulator fled towards the arena wall. Ming followed and managed to clip one of its opponent's wheels in passing, which was enough to break the wheel clean off.
Immediately afterwards, Sgt Bash, Shunt and Matilda surrounded the fallen American, the latter two causing damage to the body and remaining tyre, respectively.
- "All the way from LA and home again in pieces. But home again for tea, which is more important for them"
- — Jonathan Pearce watches The Mangulator being destroyed
Eventually, Shunt and Matilda took the remains of The Mangulator to the pit, pushing it in.
- "We had a failure here on the wheelshaft where the snap-ring holds on. It's a place where a crack can start and under shock, the crack continued and the wheel came off!"
- — Dan Danknick, explaining why the wheel broke off
Winner: Ming 2
Detonator vs frenZyEdit
- "I'd hoped the United States competitors could last as long and be as durable and long lasting as the US presidential election, but that's not the way it's been so far ..."
- — Jonathan Pearce on the American side's 0-3 loss
In comparison to the other battles, both machines got off to a sluggish start. frenZy appeared to be slightly faster, and as they made contact, it became clear it had the advantage, hammering Detonator's top armour and making numerous large dents.
- "...but look at this! frenZy absolutely pummeling Detonator!"
- — Jonathan Pearce finishing his sentence as frenZy lands the first blow
Detonator was very sluggish in moving away and frenZy quickly followed, landing more attacks with its axe. Each blow landed another dent in Detonator's domed top, steadily flattening it. As frenZy continued to attack, one of its back-swings caused the handle of the meat tenderizer axe-head to become stuck in the arena floor. Despite this, Detonator did not capitalize on the advantage, or even move, and eventually Matilda used her tusks to free frenZy, which allowed it to continue crushing Detonator.
- "Poor old Detonator will not thank Matilda for that!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Eventually, frenZy decided to use the rear of its axe to hook Detonator's armour and drag it towards one of the flame jets. The Series 1 competitor could not resist, and frenZy used its axe to push it sideways, closer to the flame hazard. Eventually, it went back to hammering Detonator's top, flattening it even more. In doing so, it finally managed to force Detonator over the flame pit and its petrol engine caught fire. frenZy continued its assault and eventually managed to break the top armour clean off.
- "They've been scalped! Where's the seventh cavalry when you need them!?"
- — Jonathan Pearce in delight at Detonator's destruction
frenZy did not let up and continued its assault, causing damage to the sides which began to crumple. Eventually, Shunt and Dead Metal took over and placed the smouldering Detonator on the floor flipper. After being thrown, Detonator was pushed into the pit by Sgt Bash, ending its torture.
- Julia Reed: "I hear this is an old robot, though, because we've seen you before with Shadow of Napalm, Napalm ... and this is your first robot, isn't it?"
- David Crosby: "This was our very first robot, yes."
- Julia Reed: "I think it was a wise decision putting that one in up against the Americans."
- David Crosby: "It was indeed. It's been lying idle for four years, then it came back, it got trashed!"
- — The sarcastic post-battle interview
Mortis vs Panic AttackEdit
- Julia Reed: "Have you faced Panic Attack in other wars?"
- Arthur Chilcott: "Yes we have, some time ago."
- Julia Reed: "And what happened?"
- Arthur Chilcott: "They ... beat us."
- — Before the rematch
As the battle began, neither robot made a real attempt to attack each other, with Mortis only ramming against Panic Attack from behind at best, its axe chopping at thin air. After a little bit of dodging, the two robots met head-on. Mortis fired its axe a few more times, but Panic Attack's lifting forks won out and lifted Mortis onto its side, before driving it into the arena wall. Mortis was able to right itself off of the wall and came back on the attack, hitting Panic Attack with its axe, although it missed several other blows. The axe appeared to be caught in the "down" position after this, so Mortis was forced to ram Panic Attack instead. In doing so, the tanto blade tip managed to get snagged within Panic Attack's forklift mechanism. Mortis took advantage and forced Panic Attack into Dead Metal's CPZ, but the former champion escaped with no damage. Eventually, Panic Attack broke away from Mortis, whose axe finally reset, and forced underneath its opponent, catching it on one of the spikes of its self-righting mechanism. In a skillful driving move, Panic Attack slammed Mortis against the arena wall until it was right on top of it before reversing it into Sir Killalot's CPZ. The house robot picked Mortis up and carried it around for a bit before dropping it heavily.
- "Don't panic! Don't panic, Mr Mortis! Panic Attack's on the attack!"
- — Jonathan Pearce references Dad's Army
Mortis tried to escape, but its lifting arm now appeared to be stuck and Panic Attack rammed into it. Mortis managed to reset its arm eventually and then, as the two met front-on, used its axe to chop at Panic Attack, at one point knocking off its light. Panic Attack tried to overturn Mortis, but only managed to lift itself off the ground, before instead ramming its opponent into the arena wall. Getting underneath, it was unable to overturn Mortis and eventually reversed away. In the last few seconds, Mortis was able to get its lifting arm underneath Panic Attack's rear, but could not flip it. The judges were called to make a decision, and gave Mortis a very close victory by only one point.
- "Well, maybe we drove better and pushed them about, but their axe did more damage."
- — Kim Davies, gracious in defeat
Ming 2 vs frenZyEdit
Before the fight, Team Ming decided that their best tactic would be to hit frenZy's axe front-on, hard enough to dislodge the chain and rendering it weaponless.
- "If we hit the axe, the chain might come off and we can flip him then, because that way he definitely won't be able to self-fight."
- — Alexander Cotterell explains his logic
As the battle began, Ming 2 charged straight at frenZy. frenZy quickly retaliated, striking Ming's body, before landing several more blows to its flipper. It soon became apparent that the first blow had immobilised Ming's mobility, as only its flipper was still functioning. frenZy did not hold back and continued to bludgeon Ming's carcass.
- "They may be overweight, overpaid and over here, but they're over here on a mission, frenZy: To slam-dunk Ming 2 out of the War of Independence, and they're doing just that, and this is painful to watch!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
After a while, the house robots closed in on Ming's immobile form. Dead Metal tried to saw into Ming 2, but two attempts missed and he instead placed Ming on the floor flipper. The resulting flip caused a few bolts to break off as Cease was finally called.
- "Ming may have been merciless, but now he's motionless"
- — Craig Charles
Back in the pits, it was revealed the frenZy had struck Ming so hard it had broken the receiver's on/off switch, which had caused Ming to break down.
Mortis vs frenZyEdit
- "Some robots had their British ends flipped-up, while others are no longer the American beauties they once were, but now, with two robots remaining, national pride is at stake!"
- — Craig Charles announces the Final
Mortis got off to the quicker start, driving straight under frenZy, meaning it was able to dodge its axe. Mortis then drove frenZy into the arena wall and overturned it, but frenZy quickly righted itself. Mortis responded with several axe blows, one even managing to counter the American robot's own weapon. frenZy managed to land a blow on Mortis, but couldn't damage its hard armour, and Mortis continued to attack, managing to overturn frenZy twice in quick succession.
- "It's the weightier weapon, certainly, but the more frenzied attack comes from our very own Mortis."
- — Jonathan Pearce
frenzy managed to right itself both times, but Mortis pushed its opponent into Sgt Bash's CPZ, who gripped the American machine with his pincer, allowing Mortis some more attack opportunities. frenZy escaped and tried to land a few more blows, but the British robot's armour resisted the axe blows, and frenZy was flipped again. As the two forced their way back to the centre of the arena, one of frenZy's attacks nearly turned itself over. The two met head-on and landed axe blows, but Mortis' weapon landed more blows, nonetheless both robot's armour held firm. Eventually, Mortis went for a different attack, wedging itself underneath frenZy and pushing it into the arena wall, near a flame jet.
Mortis then slowly dragged frenZy away and slowly levered up the American robot using its lifting arm before pushing it onto its back. Mortis then quickly began hammering at frenZy's underside with its axe, causing no obvious damage aside from a few dents.
- "It's the Woody Woodpecker song from Mortis!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
The damage, however, had clearly been done, as frenZy's weapon had been rendered immobile and it was unable to right itself. After a few more blows from Mortis' axe, the house robots closed in. Sir Killalot took hold of frenZy and placed it on the floor flipper. As Mortis was attacked by Sgt Bash and Shunt, frenZy was thrown across the arena, landing on its back again.
- "California, here I come, right back where I started from!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Having finally won its first competition, Mortis' team announced its retirement from Robot Wars after the battle.
War of Independence Champion: Mortis
- "They fought long and hard, they battled for a cause, and they reclaimed America, for Robot Wars"
- — Craig Charles' sign-off
- The first two battles of this episode (Mortis vs Ghetto-bot and Panic Attack vs Rammstein) were filmed immediately after the unaired MTV Pilot - one month before the rest of the competition - as both Ghetto-bot and Rammstein had travelled to England but did not have a chance to fight. This is particularly noticeable in that in each of these battles, many of the arena hazards - including the Flame Pit and Pit of Oblivion - lack their borders and/or markings, Mortis is still in its Series 3 colour scheme and Sir Killalot still has the jaws of life used in Series 3. Additionally, alternative lighting sequences are used for the arena, similar to those used at the Robot Mayhem live event.
- Of the American robots, only Ghetto-bot actually met the weight restrictions for heavyweight robots at the time of Series 4; even so, it weighed significantly lighter than the maximum limit of 79.4kg.
- Due to this episode being broadcast after Heat D, this episode marked Mortis' final appearance on Robot Wars.
- Mortis and Panic Attack's second-round fight was actually fought twice, due to a disagreement between the Judges and the producers as to which robot should go through. The fight shown on television featured a mixture of footage of the two battles edited together into one.
- "What you see is edited, it was actually two fights, the judges gave it too [sic] us but production wanted PA. The judges argued with production so we went again, I still have the lifter actuator from PA that we destroyed."
- — Arthur Chilcott of Random Violence Technologies
- Five of the competing teams also competed on BattleBots, although Team Ming would later compete in the one-off US series, Nickelodeon Robot Wars.
- Team Minus Zero - who built and entered frenZy - would later compete in Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors with The Bat.
- frenZy would also end up fighting every UK representative in this competition at some point in its career; three in the War of Independence itself, and Panic Attack in BattleBots Season 2.0.
- This episode marked the only appearance of The Mangulator in any robot combat competition, excluding its appearance in the unaired MTV Pilot.
- The Dartford Girls Grammar team were the only UK representatives in the War of Independence not to compete in any international series of Robot Wars or any other robotic-themed competitions.
- This episode marked Ghetto-bot's first appearance in a televised robot combat competition. It had previously competed in a competition called Robot Rivals, and was not selected to compete in the MTV Pilot.
- Detonator's weight was increased by 20kg from its original weight in Series 1.