The Commonwealth Carnage was an international competition featuring robots from the Commonwealth of Nations. It was featured during the penultimate episode of Robot Wars Extreme: Series 2 and was originally shown on BBC Choice on January 31, 2003, but the series was dropped by the BBC before it could be shown on BBC Two. It was first repeated on Dave on 15 January 2011.

Format[edit | edit source]

The competition featured eight robots, each representing their respective countries from the Commonwealth. The robots came from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Canada, Australia and South Africa. The eight robots were split into two four-way melees for the first round from which two would go through to the semi-finals. Two robots then went through to the final to decide the Commonwealth Carnage champion.

Competing Robots[edit | edit source]

Bondi Titch
Weight 100kg
Dimensions 0.66 x 1.07 x 0.87m
Power 2 x Electric motors
Weapons Pneumatic hammer
Strengths Very agile
Weaknesses Inexperienced team
From: Brisbane, Australia
Team Members: Matthew Jennings & Linda Jennings
Cerberus EX2.JPG
Weight 87kg
Dimensions 0.53 x 1.50 x 0.80m
Power Electric motor
Weapons Crushing jaw
Strengths Fast and manoeuvrable
Weaknesses Paint job
From: Cyprus
Team Members: Theo Kaccoufa, Alex Kaccoufa & Alex Wink
Weight 99kg
Dimensions 0.65 x 0.88 x 0.88m
Power 3 x Electric motors
Weapons 6 Revolving blades
Strengths 360 Degree killing zone
Weaknesses Difficult to control
From: Selkirk, Scotland
Team Members: John Heatlie, Lewis Heatlie & Laurence Heatlie
Crushtacean EX2.jpg
Weight 100kg
Dimensions 0.40 x 1.35 x 0.85m
Power 36V Electric motor
Weapons Crushing claws
Strengths Very tough
Weaknesses Poor handling
From: South Africa
Team Members: Michaela Visser, Dominic Visser & Ian Visser
Firestorm IV.jpg
Firestorm 4
Weight 100kg
Dimensions 0.36 x 1.10 x 0.83m
Power Electric motors
Weapons Pneumatic flipper
Strengths Excellent manoeuvrability
Weaknesses 2 Wheel drive
From: Durham, England
Team Members: Graham Bone & Hazel Heslop
Panic Attack EX2.jpg
Panic Attack
Weight 96kg
Dimensions 1.30 x 1.10 x 0.90m
Power 2 x Electric motors
Weapons Lifting forks
Strengths Very strong and powerful
Weaknesses Slow to self-right
From: Cwmbran, Wales
Team Members: Kim Davies & Kevin Pritchard
Terror Turtle EX2.jpg
Terror Turtle
Weight 95kg
Dimensions 0.54 x 1.60 x 0.77m
Power Electric motor
Weapons Spinning arm
Strengths 360 Degrees of attack
Weaknesses It's a turtle!
From: Vancouver, Canada
Team Members: John Frizell & Jacob Frizell
Weld-Dor 3.jpg
Weld-Dor 3
Weight 96kg
Dimensions 0.55 x 1.16 x 0.85m
Power 2 x Electric motors
Weapons Flipper and rotating blade
Strengths Speed & power
Weaknesses Untested in battle
From: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Team Members: Phelim Lundy & David Lundy

Round 1[edit | edit source]

Bondi Titch (AUS) vs Corkscrew (SCO) vs Firestorm 4 (ENG) vs Weld-Dor 3 (NIR)[edit | edit source]

Firestorm 4 slams Weld-Dor 3 into the CPZ...

...and over the wall

Bondi-Titch, damaged by Corkscrew, retaliates

Mr. Psycho attacks Bondi Titch

Firestorm 4 went into this battle as the overwhelming favourites, and it was quick off the mark, immediately flipping Weld-Dor 3, although the Northern Irish machine comfortably self-righted, only to be overturned again. Firestorm 4 then attacked Bondi Titch, but Corkscrew got in the way of the attack. Meanwhile, after a long time inactive, Weld-Dor 3 tried to self-right, but found itself unable to. This was a result of an untelevised attack from Corkscrew[1], which saw Corkscrew hit the wheel of Weld-Dor 3, twisting its frame and causing CO2 to vent out of the machine violently. Firestorm 4 pushed Weld-Dor 3 into the CPZ and pressed it against the arena wall with its flipper a few times, before eventually flipping it out of the arena completely. Bondi Titch hit the pit release, but was then attacked by Firestorm 4, who flipped it up against the arena wall, but Bondi Titch crashed down again. Corkscrew, meanwhile, very nearly pitted itself under no pressure, as Philippa Forrester suspected pre-battle, but veered away and crashed into an immobile Bondi Titch. A second impact from Corkscrew dislodged a panel from Bondi Titch.

"The Australians- surfing their way out of the competition it would seem!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Firestorm throws the Australian hopes out

Corkscrew shreds Matilda

Firestorm 4 then took over the battering of Bondi Titch, pushing it into the CPZ, and then, after levering against the arena wall, left it to Mr. Psycho, who hammered it. Bondi Titch appeared to have a brief spell of mobility, but this was cut short by a charge from Firestorm 4, and the subsequent flip out of the arena. After cease was called, Corkscrew caused massive damage to the side of Matilda.

Philippa Forrester: "You did very well for Australia, you should be very proud. Congratulations and thank you for coming all this way."
Jonathan Pearce: "And now go home."
— Conflicting opinions on the performance of Bondi Titch

Qualified: Corkscrew & Firestorm 4

Cerberus (CYP) vs Crushtacean (RSA) vs Panic Attack (WAL) vs Terror Turtle (CAN)[edit | edit source]

Crushtacean grabs hold of Cerberus

Cerberus is pitted

Panic Attack and Crushtacean approach Terror Turtle

Panic Attack met Cerberus head on, but the two spun away. Crushtacean then took over, and rammed Cerberus into the pit release. Panic Attack then attacked Terror Turtle with the forks, meanwhile Crushtacean managed an almighty charge to pit Cerberus. Panic Attack and Crushtacean then teamed up to bully Terror Turtle, pushing it into the CPZ, and Panic Attack lifting it up with its forks. Crushtacean then grabbed the wheel guards, and pushed Terror Turtle, before releasing it. Panic Attack then pushed Terror Turtle into Sir Killalot, who lifted it up and over, causing JJ Frizell to lift a sign in support of his robot.

"Save the Turtle!"
Team Terror Turtle's banner

Panic Attack engages with Shunt

Terror Turtle lies on its back

Responding to the banner, Crushtacean gripped the back of Sir Killalot, but caused no damage. Towards the end of the battle, Panic Attack reignited its famous rivalry with Shunt, lifting the house robot off its wheels. Sir Killalot appeared to break down towards the end of the fight, only able to move his jaws, and so could not inflict further punishment on the overturned Terror Turtle. Jonathan Pearce remarked that Sir Killalot's defeat of Terror Turtle, which could not self-right, was an illegal manoeuvre, so it was disregarded in the resulting Judges' decision. Regardless, they decided that Crushtacean and Panic Attack had done enough to make the next round.

Qualified: Crushtacean & Panic Attack

Round 2[edit | edit source]

Panic Attack (WAL) vs Firestorm 4 (ENG)[edit | edit source]

Panic Attack slips under Firestorm 4

Panic Attack, stuck on its side

The battle between the two old rivals began with Panic Attack dodging Firestorm, before it ran up on its forks, but Panic Attack was unable to capitalize on this. Firestorm then fought back, and pushed Panic Attack into the CPZ, almost flipping it onto its back in the process. Panic Attack was unable to regroup and come in on another attack as Firestorm mercilessly hounded it; however once again it ran up on the forks of Panic Attack, who again failed to capitalize. Firestorm pushed Panic Attack the length of the arena, and into Sergeant Bash's CPZ, but both robots escaped. Firestorm again tried to flip Panic Attack but failed to. Firestorm got stuck on an angle grinder temporarily, and Panic Attack took the initiative, momentarily taking the upper hand in the battle. Firestorm retaliated and pushed Panic Attack against the arena wall. Panic Attack's srimech was designed for protecting it from getting stuck on its back, so was useless on its side. First Refbot, then Mr. Psycho tried to free Panic Attack, but failed, so Panic Attack was counted out, and Firestorm pressed the pit release.

"Six foot two, eyes of blue, Mr Psycho's after you!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Mr Psycho exacts revenge on Firestorm

Mr. Psycho holds Panic Attack while Firestorm flips Sgt. Bash

Firestorm 4 topples Mr. Psycho

Mr. Psycho picked up Panic Attack, and paraded it around the arena, whilst Firestorm took on Sergeant Bash and flipped it. Mr. Psycho left Panic Attack to attack Firestorm who had tried, and failed to get underneath. After hammering Firestorm, Psycho returned to Panic Attack, dumping it in the pit. As Mr. Psycho reversed, he landed himself on the wedge of Firestorm. Cease was called, but Firestorm continued anyway, managing to flip the gargantuan house robot. Post-battle, it took nearly a dozen people to re-right Mr. Psycho.

"Mr Psycho saved by the cease! No!"
— Jonathan Pearce watches as Firestorm flips Mr Psycho

Winner: Firestorm 4

Crushtacean (RSA) vs Corkscrew (SCO)[edit | edit source]

Crushtacean grips Corkscrew

Corkscrew spun up to full speed and attacked Crushtacean, which sent the South African machine spinning away, but did not cause major damage. Crushtacean quickly responded and stopped Corkscrew from spinning by pinning it against the arena wall, and grabbing the blades with its claws, fulfilling the pre-match prophecy that Corkscrew would 'fit perfectly' in the claws of Crushtacean.

"This would be something of an upset if South Africa were to win this!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Growler nudges Crushtacean in

Corkscrew was dragged towards the pit release, but resisted and managed to delay the process of pressing the button, but could not stop the inevitable, causing the decorative corkscrew to fall off in the process. Crushtacean then managed to push Corkscrew into the pit, driving its own wheels over the pit as well. Growler nudged Crushtacean in completely, but Corkscrew was eliminated due to it being pitted first.

"Once they had got us in their claws, there was no stopping that!"
— Lewis Heatlie

Winner: Crushtacean

Final[edit | edit source]

Firestorm 4 (ENG) vs Crushtacean (RSA)[edit | edit source]

"Brave Commonwealth Carnage finalists. But, this was a small crab in a very, very big pool."
— Jonathan Pearce

Firestorm 4 flips Crushtacean

Refbot counts out Crushtacean

Firestorm 4 started the battle with an onslaught on Crushtacean, attempting several times to flip Crushtacean. Dead Metal then attacked Crushtacean, who attacked the exposed wheels. Firestorm again got in underneath Crushtacean, and flipped Crushtacean over, and then onto its side, from where it could not self-right. Refbot then counted down the South African machine, and Firestorm was crowned Commonwealth Champion, their first trophy in four years of trying.

Sgt. Bash crushes Firestorm 4, which lifts Dead Metal

Firestorm in celebration took on the House Robots as it had done before, pressuring Dead Metal, almost flipping it over. Sergeant Bash came in with its jaws, and crushed the shell of Firestorm. Refbot tried to separate the three machines. The fight ended with Firestorm balancing Dead Metal precariously on its flipper, with Sergeant Bash locked onto the back of Firestorm 4.

"After all this time you've won something! Would you like the trophy?"
— Craig Charles presents the Firestorm team with their prize

Commonwealth Carnage Champion: Firestorm 4

"After all the fighting, one country roars, it's the Commonwealth champions, on Robot Wars!"
— Craig Charles' sign-off

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The winner of the All-Stars Championship was originally intended to automatically qualify for the Commonwealth Carnage, but Firestorm, the runner-up of the All-Stars, represented England instead, presumably because the winner, Razer, was already fighting in the European Championship.
  • This episode, as well as the European Championship, was originally intended to have 12 competitors [2].
    • Representatives from Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Pakistan were supposed to feature in this episode too.
  • This episode featured the rekindling of two grudges, between Panic Attack and Firestorm, and Panic Attack and Shunt. Incidentally, this was the last time that Panic Attack would fight Firestorm one-on-one.
  • Also featured in this episode was the only occasion in UK Robot Wars where Mr. Psycho was flipped.
  • This episode featured the team that had travelled the furthest to get to Robot Wars, a distance of over 10,000 miles.
  • Graham Bone, captain of Firestorm, proposed to girlfriend Hazel Heslop after winning this competition.
  • Kevin Pritchard rejoined the Panic Attack team in this episode, after leaving to form the Evil Weevil team at the end of Series 2.
  • Philippa Forrester made constant mention of Corkscrew driving itself into the pit during Series 6 to mock the team. Despite this, the Commonwealth Carnage featured two other robots which drove into the pit during Series 6. Crushtacean and Firestorm have both pitted themselves, the latter driving itself into the pit three times in the history of Robot Wars, and the former pitting itself for the second time upon beating Corkscrew.
  • A mistake with the battle board showed Firestorm 4 with the United Kingdom flag, instead of an English flag.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Private correspondence between Anthony Murney and Phelim Lundy
  2. Robot Wars Forum (Archived)
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