- "This is Robot Wars, where Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Or indeed, one who's left on her own while her fella nips off to play with robots, because tonight, the unsung heroines of Robot Wars; the wives, the daughters, the mothers of our favourite roboteers are out for a piece of the action! Will Mrs Pussycat beat Mrs Behemoth? Am I going to be safe in the middle? These are questions that will be answered! These are the Iron Maidens!"
- — Craig Charles' introduction
The Iron Maidens was a competition held during Robot Wars Extreme: Series 2. It featured six robots all driven by female members of their teams and also wives and girlfriends of regular team members. The format was two eliminators, two semi-finals and a final, similar to a Series 4 heat. The episode was first shown on January 29, 2003 on BBC Choice and was repeated on September 19, 2003 on BBC Two.
|Dimensions||0.63 x 1.03 x 0.66m|
|Weapons||Pneumatic flipper & axe|
|Strengths||Speed and power|
|From: Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire|
|Team Members: Liz Pritchard, Anthony Pritchard & Claire Gray|
|Dimensions||0.66 x 1.22 x 0.68m|
|Power||2 x Electric motors|
|Weapons||Hydraulic jaws and rear spike|
|Weaknesses||Knights in shining armour|
|Team Members: Debs Cook, Simon Cook & James Cook|
|Dimensions||1.15 x 1.25 x 0.84m|
|Power||2 x 1000W Electric Motors|
|From: Addlestone in Surrey|
|Team Members: Georje Reed, Julie-Ann Williams & Hazel Heslop|
|Dimensions||0.66 x 0.90 x 0.63m|
|Power||2 x Electric motors|
|Strengths||Always lands on its feet|
|From: Gloucester in Gloucestershire|
|Team Members: Ann Gribble, Alan Gribble & Stuart Barnwell|
|Dimensions||0.25 x 1.39 x 1.50m|
|Power||2 x Electric motors|
|Weapons||Spikes and spinning claws|
|Strengths||Fast, strong and agile|
|From: Preston in Lancashire|
|Team Members: Lorna Graham, Peter Platt & Geoff Graham|
|Dimensions||0.53 x 0.66 x 0.66m|
|Power||2 x 24v wheelchair motors|
|Strengths||Compact and destructive|
|Weaknesses||No self-righting mechanism|
|From: Exeter in Devon|
|Team Members: Jenny Harlow, Tim Harlow & Alastair Harlow|
- "So tonight the ladies are taking over! Wives, mothers! My gran even wanted to come up here and cheer on from the crows nest! I told her "Not with the language you use when you see Razer!"! Let's get on with Round 1"
- — Jonathan Pearce before Battle 1
Chompalot vs Spin Doctor vs PussycatEdit
The first Iron Maidens battle got underway with Spin Doctor spinning up to speed, but was rammed by Chompalot, which stopped it revolving. Chompalot pushed Spin Doctor into the Disc of Doom release button, but then released Spin Doctor. Pussycat, meanwhile, dug its blade into the back of Chompalot. Chompalot chased Spin Doctor into the CPZ, where Shunt axed the top of Spin Doctor, although surprisingly Shunt did not puncture the shell. Chompalot then got a grip of Spin Doctor, but let it go again. Pussycat then attacked Spin Doctor, scratching the machine, but not causing any serious damage with its blade. Chompalot then got a grip of Pussycat, before releasing it, and then repeated this again. Pussycat then oddly attacked Mr. Psycho with its disc.
- "We lost a tyre half way through."
- — Jenny Harlow after the battle
Spin Doctor meanwhile had had its mobility reduced to small movements, as a tyre had come loose from the machine. Pussycat rammed the machine a couple of times, but then left Spin Doctor to be counted out by Refbot. Cease was called soon after this.
Qualified: Chompalot & Pussycat
Kat 3 vs Behemoth vs RiptilionEdit
Oddly, Behemoth began this battle by driving straight into the arena wall, before slamming into the Disc of Doom release tyre, before running into Kat 3 and flipping it over with the bucket. Kat 3 struggled to self-right, whilst Behemoth was axed by Shunt. Kat 3 was pushed onto the angle grinders by Refbot, and Riptilion came in, but could not cause any damage, and subsequently broke down. It was lifted by Behemoth, but not toppled. Eventually, Kat 3 self-righted; however Riptilion was not moving, and the House Robot pounced. Kat 3 pierced Riptilion with its axe, and dragged the machine across the arena, before letting it go, allowing Refbot to start the count out, whilst Behemoth fought with Shunt, and Kat 3 pressed the pit release.
Kat 3 pushed Riptilion towards the pit, Mr. Psycho came in for a hammer blow, before allowing Kat 3 to suspend Riptilion over the pit. Eventually, Mr. Psycho delivered a final blow to pit Riptilion, allowing Kat 3 and Behemoth to progress.
- "What chaos! But it's R.I.P. Riptilion, Kat 3 and Behemoth live to fight another day"
- — Craig Charles
Qualified: Kat 3 & Behemoth
Kat 3 vs PussycatEdit
- "The axe descends, misses, axe descends, misses."
- — Jonathan Pearce notes Kat 3's lack of accuracy
The battle began with Kat 3 missing many axe blows, landing them only on the arena floor. Eventually it landed a hit on the surface of Pussycat, causing minor damage. Pussycat's weapon was more effective, attacking with the blade and dislodging panels from the Kat. Kat 3 then ran towards, and pressed, the pit release tyre. More dodging ensued, until Pussycat finally attacked Kat 3 again, once again causing damage to the side. Pussycat then drove straight into the CPZ, and Killalot came in, but Ann Gribble at the controls spin away. Kat 3 then punctured Pussycat with its axe, but only caused a small hole. Kat 3 then got in behind Pussycat and tried to axe the rear, but missed. Pussycat then ripped away the loose panel entirely, exposing the CO2 tank, and the wheels.
Kat 3 did not seem fazed by this, however, and attacked Pussycat with its axe. The front of Kat 3 had the front of the machine buckled by Pussycat, but nevertheless both cats survived to the end of the battle, and the fight was decided by the Judges.
The resulting Judges' decision was a split decision, but on the basis of damage, this was awarded to Pussycat, 2-1. Georje Williams agreed with the outcome.
- Craig Charles: "Are you disappointed, or do you think [Pussycat] swung it?"
- Georje Williams: "No, I think they definitely got us on the aggression!"
- — Team KaterKiller agree with the Judges' decision
Chompalot vs BehemothEdit
Both machines dodged each other at the start, Chompalot running into the disc of doom release button, before running over it, conveniently spinning it at the correct angle to allow it to attack Behemoth from behind, but Behemoth was quick enough to turn round and flip Chompalot over. Despite Chompalot featuring a self-righting mechanism, it was unable to self-right, as Chompalot did not have enough hydraulic fluid for its hydraulic rams to function when the entire robot had been inverted.
At this point, Shunt controversially re-righted Chompalot, so Behemoth again tried to flip Chompalot, and in retaliation, Chompalot tried, but failed, to grab Behemoth with its jaws.
- "Was that an attack by Shunt? House Robots aren't allowed to help a competitor out, of course, it might well have been a misguided attack from Shunt!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Behemoth then ran into the CPZ and Shunt attacked it mercilessly, trapping it in the corner and axing through the top of the machine. Chompalot seized the initiative and pushed Behemoth back into Shunt, one axe blow knocked the link out. Chompalot then grabbed Behemoth, dragged it into the pit release button, before backing away and then holding Behemoth over the pit. Chompalot opened its jaws to drop its target into the pit to claim a surprise win.
- Philippa Forrester: "Right, that wasn't fair, was it?"
- Liz Pritchard: "No it certainly wasn't, no!"
- — Forrester and Pritchard comment on the controversy
Pussycat vs ChompalotEdit
- "This isn't handbags at six paces, I can tell you!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
The battle began with Pussycat attacking Chompalot with the blade, but Chompalot spun away, but oddly got itself wedged underneath the arena floor, due to the low profile of the weaponry. Sergeant Bash pushed Chompalot to the side, while a ram from Pussycat freed Chompalot, inflicting damage in the process. Chompalot span on the spot. Pussycat and Chompalot fled to the general area of an empty CPZ, where Chompalot was then rammed by Growler. Chompalot then grabbed the shell of Pussycat, but released its foe, as it was unable to push Pussycat while both of its wheels were grounded.
Chompalot then rammed Pussycat into the floor spinner, but again Pussycat escaped. Chompalot once again grabbed Pussycat, but this time did not let go. As Pussycat only had one wheel grounded, Chompalot, after much struggling, pressed the pit release, and dropped Pussycat into the pit, earning it a surprise victory of the Iron Maidens Championship.
Iron Maidens Champion: Chompalot
- "The fairer sex, came through our doors. But they weren't that gentle, on Robot Wars"
- — Craig Charles signs off
- This tournament was originally going to be known as "Warrior Wives".
- This episode is most notable for it being the last episode of the original run to be shown on BBC Two, prior to the rights being purchased by Five.
- After this episode, champion Chompalot was not seen again on the original run of Robot Wars, placing it as one of only a select few robots to win their final battle, before its appearance in Series 8.
- For this episode, Hazel Heslop of Team Firestorm competed with the Kat 3 team.
- The fight between Chompalot and Behemoth is seen as controversial, as Chompalot was righted by Shunt to allow it to continue with, and ultimately win, the battle. Even more than this, it was Shunt who delivered the killing blow to Behemoth, knocking the link out of the front with his axe.
- The name of the episode was most likely a reference to the execution device of the same name. Alternatively, it could also be a reference to the London-based Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden.
- This was the final appearance of Alan Gribble of the Cold Fusion Team before the hiatus and his death.
- Behemoth's weakness was labeled as being inexperience despite having been around since Series 2. But this was mainly because Liz Pritchard and Claire Grey were at the controls of Behemoth.