"When the Cold War ended, and military dictators around the World got the nuclear soled boot of Uncle Sam off their backside, we all felt safe. Once we worried about melting in a nuclear explosion, now we worry about melting cheese in an Argos catalogue fondue set. But as you sit there reclining in you World of Leather armchairs, introducing your grandchildren to uncommonly good butter candy, remember this: a new war rages. It makes the Cold War looks like a hot summer’s day. It’s called Robot Wars. And to prove it, six iron-plated superpowers are gonna fight for a place in our series semi-finals."
— Craig Charles' introduction

Heat C of Robot Wars: The Second Wars was the third of twelve heats which determined the Semi-Finalists of Robot Wars: The Second Wars. The episode featuring Heat C was originally broadcast on November 20, 1998 on BBC Two. The broadcast managed to attract 5.95 million viewers, an increase of one hundred and fifty thousand viewers when compared with the previous episode. This meant it set a new Robot Wars ratings record. According to BARB, this meant it ranked third in the top thirty highest rated BBC 2 broadcasts during 16-22 November, behind only The Simpsons and Have I Got News For You.

Competing RobotsEdit


Weight 74.0kg
Dimensions 1.3 x 0.8 x 0.5m
Speed 4mph
Turning Circle 0.7m
Ground Clearance 25mm
Power 2 x 12V batteries (wheelchair)
Weapons Angle grinder and spikes
Notes Custom built gearbox
From: High Wycombe
Team Members: Steve Dove, Andy Byrne & Peter Rose
Weight 58.7kg
Dimensions 0.95 x 0.87 x 0.3m
Speed 12mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 50mm
Power 2 x 12V batteries
Weapons Hardened steel rams
Notes Inverted operating capability
From: London
Team Members: Suren Balendran, Thuvaaragan Balendran & Prasamna Ariyanadadam


Dreadnaut 2
Weight 80.8kg
Dimensions 1.4 x 0.95 x 0.75m
Speed 10mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 75mm
Power 2 x 12V batteries
Weapons 70kg front forklift
Notes Fibreglass shell and wheelchair motors
From: Nuneaton
Team Members: Ken Feltwell & David Vowles
Weight 79.4kg
Dimensions 1.3 x 0.7 x 0.2m
Speed 19mph
Turning Circle 1m
Ground Clearance 13mm
Power 2 x 12V batteries
Weapons Lifting arm
Notes Weapon powered by linear actuators
From: The University of Reading
Team Members: Oliver Steeples & Ben Steeples
Mortis (seeded 2nd)
Weight 78.3kg
Dimensions 1.3 x 0.75 x 0.39m
Speed 9mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 50mm
Power 8 x 12V batteries (high discharge)
Weapons Tempered tanto blade
Notes Welded alloy chassis with kevlar/titanium laminated shell
From: Cambridge
Team Members: Rob Knight, Arthur Chilcott & Ben Impey
Rameses II
Rameses II
Weight 74.7kg
Dimensions 0.67 x 0.57 x 1.0m
Speed 3mph
Turning Circle 1m
Ground Clearance N/A
Power 2 x 12V batteries
Weapons Spring loaded hammer
Notes High density polyethylene shell
From: Abingdon
Team Members: Chriss Crosskey & Peter Kyberd


Left Route Centre Route Right Route
Shunt, Matilda and two pits Breeze block wall, ramp and Sergeant Bash. Ramrig, flame pit, saws.



Challenger tries to climb the ramp

Challenger whizzed forwards at the brick wall, smashing through off centre. Not being able to climb the ramp, Challenger reversed and drove into the wall again on the other side, only succeeding in knocking the top row of bricks down.

"Now the driver, Steve Dove, wants to drive to The North Cape on a motorcycle. Let's be honest, Steve, you wouldn't get beyond Hadrian's Wall. Look, you can't get beyond this one!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Challenger struggled through the middle of the wall and eventually made it onto the ramp. One brick was holding Challenger back, as it blocked the wider rear from passing, spinning Challenger around. Challenger tried to spin around, but the front wheels fell off the ramp, stopping Challenger reversing away. Shunt moved in and lifted Challenger with the scoop, leaving the driving wheels in the air. Matilda reversed into the bricks Challenger was next to, freeing Challenger just as Matilda's Chainsaw cut into its armour. Challenger frantically backed up, moving side-to-side to clear the bricks blocking it, and just started edging up the ramp as Matilda came in with the chainsaw again and cease was called.


Mortis gauntlet

The House Robots bully Mortis into the pit after a completed run

Philippa Forrester: "What's going to be your tactic for the Gauntlet"
Rob Knight: "I'm going to pile straight into Shunt or Matilda and hammer them as hard as I can with the axe until one of them falls over."
— Rob Knight aims for more than just completing the Gauntlet

Mortis began slightly tentatively, before slamming into the brick wall and pushing onto the ramp. Three blocks were lodged in front of Mortis, so the axe fired to try and free them. Mortis backed up before pushing two of the bricks with it as it crossed the ramp. Mortis slammed down off the ramp, spinning Sergeant Bash out of the way and wedging the two blocks underneath Matilda. Mortis was stuck by Matilda though, and fired the axe at the House Robot, while Sergeant Bash pinned Mortis in place. Matilda managed to back away from Mortis, but was still stuck on the brick, so was spun around. Mortis took the opportunity to hammer away at Matilda's rear armour with the axe, bending the chainsaw and breaking Matilda's camera. Mortis hovered by Matilda, scaring the House Robot away with the axe until a space was cleared for it to cross the finish line.

"He's over the finishing line. Now this is an arrogance of power, taking on the House Robots!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Not satisfied with the damage, Mortis continued chasing Matilda towards Shunt. Shunt managed to box Mortis in, and perch it on the side of the pit. After a few seconds of struggling, eventually Mortis was sent down the pit.



Oblivion gets beached on the pit

Oblivion turned to join the left route and take on the House Robots. Oblivion was lifted three times by the arena spike, allowing Shunt to appear and block the way. Oblivion tried to push back and eventually escaped, moving past, but meeting a choice between the pit or Matilda. Matilda reversed in and started cutting the top of Oblivion with the chainsaw, as Shunt joined in with his axe.

"Reverse, backwards, sideways, forwards... it doesn't matter when you're taking on Shunt and Matilda!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Oblivion is battered by Shunt and Matilda.

Boxed into a small area by the house robots, Oblivion tried to manoeuvre around the pit, but misjudged it and got beached. Matilda pointed her tusks underneath Oblivion and flipped it down the pit.



Dreadnaut passes the House Robots

Dreadnaut tried to bash through the brick wall, but only succeeded in knocking one brick over. Dreadnaut backed up for another attempt, this time clearing a path, but getting the forks stuck on a cleared brick. Dreadnaut reversed again, just as Shunt appeared to harass the stricken competitor. Dreadnaut avoided Shunt and managed to sneak past, heading for the left route Shunt had just vacated. Dreadnaut was trapped briefly on the floor spike, but carried on, passing Sergeant Bash with ease but being blocked by Matilda. Dreadnaut reversed to avoid a struggle, and squeezed through a gap between Matilda and the pit to cross the finish line.

"It seemed like too much hard work to get through the brick wall, so we decided to try to just go through the gap."
— Ken Feltwell on Dreadnaut's indecision

Rameses IIEdit

Rameses II gauntlet

Rameses II struggles with the wall

Rameses II drove forwards at the wall, and fired the axe before reaching it. Wedging the fired axe between a couple of blocks, Rameses II withdrew the axe, knocking some bricks over, and lifting the main body over. Rameses II fell back onto its track and reversed back to push the wall again. Rameses II eventually made it onto the ramp, bringing 1 brick along. Dropping off the end of the ramp, Rameses II was met by Matilda, who stopped Rameses II in its tracks. Rameses II tried to hit Matilda with the axe, but Matilda cut into the armour with her chainsaw. Rameses II backed up the ramp to get another run, this time meeting Matilda and starting to push the House Robot back. Matilda flipped Rameses II with her tusks, spinning it around as cease was called.


Griffon stops

Griffon stops moving...

Griffon gauntlet

...and is attacked by Matilda

Griffon moved forwards, stopping as it tried to turn down the left route. Griffon seemed to struggle turning, and again stopped before making the left turn. Shunt appeared in the back, hounding Griffon into the corner as it flexed its lifting arm. Matilda moved in to lift Griffon up. Shunt held Griffon in place, allowing Matilda to cut into the top of Griffon as cease was called.

"For Oliver, who loves 3D cartoons, this is a little bit Mickey Mouse, and you could be on your way to Pluto!"
— Jonathan Pearce


Rank Robot Distance
Dreadnaut Completed
Mortis Completed
Rameses II 10.9m
Oblivion 5.8m
Challenger 5.3m
Griffon 3.4m

Trial (Joust)Edit


Oblivion joust 1

Oblivion, flipped and off the platform

Oblivion climbed the ramp and headed straight at Matilda, but lifted up after hitting the House Robot's tusks. Oblivion was turned over and pinned by Matilda's tusks, so Matilda pushed Oblivion straight off the platform.


Mortis joust 1

Mortis is lifted by Matilda

Mortis drove at Matilda and met on the circular platform. Matilda slid under Mortis, getting a tusk caught in the exposed base of Mortis. Mortis fired the axe to try and free itself, before using the tracks to push Matilda back. Matilda nearly fell off the platform, but managed to push back. After a struggle, Mortis managed to push forwards at the end of the run, despite being held up the entire time.

"I thought I'd smash it and see what happened, but unfortunately she's [Matilda] definitely a bit closer to the ground so I [Mortis] went up the top. But still, even when I'm up in the air, she couldn't push me backwards and I was pushing her at times."
— Rob Knight


Matilda challenger joust

Challenger is battered backwards

Challenger tried to climb up the ramp, but the wide rear section clipped the wall and spun the robot around. The front got trapped on the wall as the gradient changed. Matilda edged forwards as the Challenger team frantically tried to redirect their robot. Matilda blocked the way as Challenger freed itself, and the house robot lifted Challenger up and drove it past the starting area, scoring a negative distance.

"Jousting does really depend on the robot going in a straight line, doesn't it"
Philippa Forrester to the Challenger team after their poor run


Dreadnaut joust

Matilda and Dreadnaut face off

Dreadnaut drove at Matilda, trying to squeeze through a gap to one side. The two robots slammed into each other, lifting Matilda up. Dreadnaut found itself impaled on the lip of the wall on Matilda's ramp as the House Robot reversed away. Matilda used the opportunity to slide under Dreadnaut and push it backwards off the platform.

Rameses IIEdit


Rameses II ends up on its side

Rameses II slowly edged forwards, meeting Matilda just on the level section. Rameses II, now sporting an extra Mace on a flail on the axe head, fired the weapon onto Matilda's top. Matilda tried to push Rameses II back, flipping it up, but Rameses II was caught on the wall, meaning Matilda had to reverse. Stuck on its side, Rameses II started firing the axe to try and keep Matilda at bay until cease.


Rank Robot Distance
Mortis 6.1m
Oblivion 5.6m
Dreadnaut 5.4m
Rameses II 5.0m
Challenger -0.1m



Dreadnaut vs. OblivionEdit

Oblivion dreadnaut

Oblivion watches an immobile opponent

Dreadnaut axle

Sir Killalot cuts through parts of Dreadnaut

Oblivion moved off, and scuttled around to head towards Dreadnaut, which wasn't moving. Oblivion slammed into the side of Dreadnaut, which was being lifted by an arena spike. Still not moving, the House Robots decided to start hitting Dreadnaut, with Dead Metal giving a strong initial shove.

"Dreadnaut... deadnaut!"
— Jonathan Pearce after Dreadnaut is deemed immobile
Dreadnaut's removable link

Dreadnaut's removable link, on the ground

Shunt pushed the immobile Dreadnaut onto the flame pit and left it there. Matilda eventually joined in, hooking Dreadnaut on her tusks. Sir Killalot moved in and started picking Dreadnaut up, ripping a large chunk of body shell off. Elsewhere, Oblivion was keeping out of trouble, only lightly being chased by Shunt. Sir Killalot moved in and cut the pole connecting Dreadnaut's tusks with his claws, before leaving Dreadnaut upturned.

Craig Charles: "Well they certainly moved in for the kill, though, hey?"
David Vowles: "They had no mercy at all. And they were laughing."
— After the battle

After the battle, the cause of Dreadnaut's immobility was discovered.

David Vowles: "We did switch the machine on, but as we put the cover back over it, we knocked the key out"
Ken Feltwell: "We have one of these keys which switches the power on and off. As the case was put on, the key was knocked out."
David Vowles: "I found it on the floor after we'd finished, right in position under the robot."
— The Dreadnaut team after the battle.

Winner: Oblivion

Mortis (2) vs Rameses IIEdit

Mortis rameses II

Rameses II and the floor spike

Killalot rameses II

Flames begun to erupt as Killalot holds Rameses II

Both robots started to move towards each other, but the much faster Mortis slammed into the front of Rameses II, leading with the axe. Mortis hit Rameses II many times, but was getting pushed back in the process. Rameses II relentlessly pushed Mortis across the arena and into the PPZ, where Shunt started slamming the top of Mortis with its axe. Sir Killalot started pressuring Mortis, but Rameses II was holding Mortis while it was over the floor spike, which started flipping Rameses II up. This allowed Mortis to escape, and Rameses II was forced into the PPZ. Sir Killalot picked Rameses II and carried it towards the flame pit, where it was dangled, before being rested down on its side.

Craig Charles: "It was a bit scary when Killalot picked you up and dangled you over the fire and barbecued you like a burger."
Team Isis: "Well, we are flameproof, no worries about the fire."
— Post-mortem

Winner: Mortis


Oblivion vs. Mortis (2)Edit

Mortis oblivion

Mortis punches holes in Oblivion

Philippa Forrester: "What's gone wrong now?"
Suren Balendran: "Nothing's wrong with it, we're just trying to protect it. Mortis has a reputation of going through things."
— Prior to the fight
Mortis vs Oblivion

Oblivion sustains damage from Mortis' axe

Both robots moved into the centre of the arena, and stopped, squaring up to each other. Mortis made the first move, driving in and slamming the axe down on top of Oblivion. The robots separated, and Mortis turned to try and hit Oblivion again. Oblivion took two hits, then continued, still unable to get the wedge in play. Mortis continued to slam the axe down on top of Oblivion, hammering away and puncturing multiple holes in the top armour.

Mortis vs Oblivion 1

Mortis edges Oblivion towards the pit of oblivion

"Look at that! It's like a sieve!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Mortis pushed Oblivion back into the wrecking ball, before getting behind Oblivion to start pushing it towards the pit. Oblivion managed to drive away enough to avoid being pushed in, so Mortis fired the axe again, holding onto the top armour. Oblivion found an escape route and headed for the centre of the arena, where Mortis waited and slammed the axe down again. Oblivion took charge, and started pushing Mortis back towards Dead Metal, and holding them both there until cease was called and Mortis declared the winners.

Heat Winner: Mortis

"Well from the show that's scarier than Jaws, you've been bitten, by Robot Wars!"
— Craig Charles' sign-off

Trivia Edit

  • Heat C was the first time in Robot Wars history that the seeded robot (Mortis) won the heat.
  • Heat C contained only two newcomers to the Second Wars, although Challenger's driver Steve Dove had been the driver of stock robot Eubank the Mouse from Series 1.
  • Griffon's appearance in this heat was the only time in the original run of Robot Wars (barring Series 3, which had no seeds) a Grand Finalist from the previous year returned unseeded. Because it lost in the Gauntlet, Griffon became the first case of a grand-finalist from the previous wars being eliminated in the first round.
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