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The Forces Special was a special episode broadcast as part of Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1, featuring robots entered by six different armed forces or emergency services. The episode was originally broadcast on December 21, 2001 on BBC Choice. The episode was originally repeated on January 4, 2002 on BBC Two and was repeated on Challenge on the same date in 2016.

Competing robots[]

Weight 100kg
Dimensions 1.07m x 1.01m x 0.14m
Power 2 x 750w Electric Motors
Weapons Ramming Spikes
Strengths Low Profile
Weaknesses Lack of Offensive Weaponry
From: Royal Air Force, Kinloss
Team Members: Sgt. Mark Ellis, Karl Walsh
Weight 90kg
Dimensions 1.13m x 0.67m x 0.25m
Power 2 Electric Motors
Weapons Ramming Spikes
Strengths Ability to Self Right
Weaknesses Poor Manoeuvrability
From: Royal Navy, HMS Collingwood
Team Members: Petty Officer Robson, Petty Officer Bell, Operator Mechanic Wayne Goscombe
Weight 99kg
Dimensions 1.09m x 0.86m x 0.44m
Power 2 x Electric Motors
Weapons Pneumatic Flipper & Axe
Strengths Powerful Weaponry
Weaknesses Poor Manoeuvrability
From: Fire Service (Witney)
Team Members: Rob Heasman, Stan Launchbury, Tom Butler
Rhino (Army).JPG
Weight 95kg
Dimensions 1.45m x 0.68m x 0.48m
Power 2 x Electric Motors
Weapons Tipping Shovel
Strengths Heavily Armoured
Weaknesses No Self Righting Mechanism
From: Army, Hazebrouck Barracks
Team Members: Lt. Nick Doyle, Staff Sergeant Philpott, Staff Sergeant Knights
Weight 98kg
Dimensions 1.12m x 1.08m x 0.77m
Power 4 x Electric Motors
Weapons Twin Bladed Cutter
Strengths Robust Design
Weaknesses No Self Righting Mechanism
From: Police in Baswich, Stafford
Team Members: Richard Peter, Albert Peter
Weight 99kg
Dimensions 1.34m x 0.56m x 0.6m
Power 24v Electric Motor
Weapons Pneumatic Torpedoes
Strengths Periscope Scrimech
Weaknesses Slow & Sluggish
From: Royal Navy, HMS Neptune
Team Members: Russell Scott, Gordon Walker, John Watson

Round 1[]

Anvil vs Shockwave vs Sub-Version[]

Shockwave uses its front spikes on Anvil

The three robots immediately engaged in battle, but did not launch any meaningful attacks in the early stages and instead bumped into each other. Shockwave appeared to be the most aggressive of the three, but its spinning blade was too high to damage the very low Anvil. The robots continued to barge into each other, with Sub-Version somehow driving straight into Sergeant Bash, but no noticeable damage was sustained.

Anvil nudges Shockwave onto the pit

Shockwave is pitted by Sub-Version

No robot was able to get the upper hand as Shockwave decided to cause damage by spinning around and pushing forwards with its front spikes rather than use its 22" cutting blade. Sub-Version finally activated the pit release button and Anvil was able to nudge Shockwave onto the edge of the descending pit, with Sub-Version finally pushing it down.

"And Shockwave are about to spend not a night in the cells but a night down in the Pit of Oblivion - there's no way out for them there! Straight to our own magistrate's court for Shockwave!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Shockwave is nudged into the pit

Eliminated: Shockwave

Mega-Hurts vs Rhino vs Oblark[]

Mega-Hurts buries its body into Rhino

Oblark axes the occupied Mega-Hurts

Once "Activate" was sounded Mega-Hurts immediately attacked Rhino, causing the two to get wedged together. After a slow start, Oblark unsuccessfully used its flipper to free Mega-Hurts from Rhino's track. Whilst still stuck together, Oblark struck the duo with its axe twice, with one hitting the arena floor. After Refbot separated Rhino and Mega-Hurts the former initially had some difficulty moving as it was spinning but eventually worked up enough momentum to activate the pit release button. Oblark came in and pushed Mega-Hurts, but was then pushed away by Rhino.

"Well, I don't think you've ever seen a Royal Navy boy and an Army foot-slogger in a kiss and cuddle, have you?"
— Jonathan Pearce

Rhino pushes Oblark

Refbot counts out Rhino as Oblark attacks

After this assault, Rhino drove over Mega-Hurts using the treads to run over Mega-Hurts, but this didn't seem to harm it. As Rhino sluggishly moved away one of the batteries got caught in one of the tracks and eventually dropped off (something had come off from under Rhino when it was separated from Mega-Hurts), immobilising Rhino and allowing Oblark to attack with its axe several times as Refbot counted out the Army's machine. Finally, Matilda pushed Rhino onto the Floor Flipper, which flung it across the arena, causing a few small pieces to break off. The Army's robot was pitted by Sergeant Bash. At the very end of the fight Refbot pushed the dislodged army mascot onto the flame pit.

"My dad was in the Royal Air Force. He used to say soldiers don't like flying. He was right."
Jonathan Pearce as Rhino was thrown by the Floor Flipper.

Eliminated: Rhino


Anvil vs Oblark[]

Shunt attacks Oblark

Oblark self-rights spectacularly

Anvil immediately slammed Oblark into the arena wall, then the fire service machine steered onto the edge of the CPZ, where Shunt attacked it with his axe twice (the second blow going straight through the aluminium shell "like paper"), before flipping it over with his front scoop. Oblark first used its pneumatic flipping arm, which thrust it straight into the air before landing on its front. Shunt used his bulldozer blade to re-right Oblark, but Anvil slammed it into the arena wall again, where Oblark's axe head got stuck to the outside of the arena wall.

Anvil moves the fire service towards the fire

Oblark's flipper breaks off

After being freed by Refbot it appeared to have mobility problems and its axe appeared to be stuck in the out position. Anvil pushed the fire service machine into the wall again where the axe got caught outside the arena again. Anvil activated the pit release button just after Refbot freed Oblark again and checked to see if it was still moving. Anvil came in on the attack again while Oblark was spinning and the latter tried to use its flipping arm, but the weapon broke in half in the process, almost hitting Refbot. By now Oblark had stopped moving and was placed onto the floor flipper, where it was counted out and thrown across the arena, before being placed on the flame pit and finally pitted by Sir Killalot.

"And the rescue services... you need some rescuing out there."
— Jonathan Pearce as Oblark is immobilised

Rob Heasman later revealed that Oblark was dysfunctional during the fight as its aerial was stuck inside the robot.

Winner: Anvil

Mega-Hurts vs Sub-Version[]

"We're going to beat them into sub-mission!"
— Petty Officer Dave Robson on Sub-Version

Mega-Hurts coerces Sub-Version into the angle grinder

Sub-Version breaks down

The battle started very slowly, with neither robot launching any meaningful attacks and instead bumped into each other in the early stages. Sub-Version deployed its "torpedo tubes" twice and drove over the CO2 vent, but this didn't do much harm. Sub-Version drove into the arena wall and bumped into Mega-Hurts, but again little damage if any was sustained to either robot. Eventually Sub-Version drove into the CPZ, but quickly escaped from Shunt before he could attack. Upon exiting the robots collided again, with the same result as the last collision. The two robots circled around each other for a while with Sub-Version attempting to use its spinner until the whole robot suddenly stopped moving.

Shunt attacks the submariners' mascot

The submarine sinks below the depths

Sir Killalot bumped into the submariners' robot to try and mobilise it again but Sub-Version only regained very basic movement. Taking advantage of this hindrance, Mega-Hurts crashed into Sub-Version a few times, but the Navy's robot was also suffering from partial mobility. Mega-Hurts activated the pit release button while Refbot counted out Sub-Version. Shunt attacked Sub-Version's mascot before it fell out, where it was shoved by Refbot. After Shunt pushed Sub-Version onto the floor flipper it flew across the arena, breaking off a few pieces. Sir Killalot briefly picked up Sub-Version, carried it towards the pit and knocked it in with his lance.

"Man overboard!"
— Jonathan Pearce as the submariner mascot falls out of Sub-Version's "crow's nest"

Winner: Mega-Hurts


Anvil vs Mega-Hurts[]

Anvil traps Mega-Hurts by Shunt

Anvil wedges Mega-Hurts under the angle grinder

The two robots briefly circled each other and Anvil shoved Mega-Hurts but it escaped. The two robots bumped into each other several times with limited effect. Mega-Hurts drove into the CPZ, where it was axed and pushed by Shunt. Mega-Hurts continued to bash into Anvil with its spikes until Anvil ran away and activated the pit release button. The robots resumed their bumping and bashing until Anvil pursued Mega-Hurts once more, where the Navy machine got itself wedged under an angle grinder. Refbot freed Mega-Hurts after bumping into Anvil and the two robots engaged again. Dead Metal came out of his CPZ illegally and tried to attack Mega-Hurts, but the Navy machine got away before major damage was sustained. Anvil eventually pushed Mega-Hurts into the arena wall and then drove over the flame pit. Mega-Hurts and Anvil engaged again, but Shunt attacked Anvil with his axe, causing no damage.

Anvil continues to engage Mega-Hurts

Dead Metal pits Anvil illegally

The robots engaged in battle yet again, with little effect. Anvil rammed Mega-Hurts into the arena wall again, but the latter was able to get away again due to the lack of an angle grinder to get impaled on. Mega-Hurts appeared to have steering difficulties as Dead Metal came out of his CPZ again and pushed Anvil into the pit. As this was an illegal move by the House Robot, the battle went to the judges who voted for Anvil, with this being the only judges' decision in the whole episode.

"Well, those magnificent men and their fighting machines, have won a proper war on Robot Wars Extreme."
Craig Charles' sign off

Forces Champion: Anvil


  • The three "Armed Forces" teams would also feature in a three-way melee that was aired in another episode of Extreme.
    • The winner of the Forces Special also won the Armed Forces Melee.
  • MouseTrap was due to represent the Fire Service, but was unable to as it had sustained severe damage prior to filming, which was caused in its Series 5 Heat by S3. As a result, Stan Launchbury of the MouseTrap team and Rob Heasman of Team Jurassic Park entered Oblark.
    • Oblark is the only robot not to appear physically in its team introduction.
  • Of the six robots competing, only Sub-Version appeared in a main series, entering in the Seventh Wars under the name Sub-Version 1.1.
  • This was Julia Reed's last appearance as pit reporter.