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"This is Robot Wars Revealed, where we put on the camouflage, go deep undercover and delve behind the trenches of Robot Wars. We discover what life is like in The Pits, we dig for dirt with the contenders' own video diaries, and come up for air in the arena, to witness revving chainsaws and clashing steel."
— Philippa Forrester's introduction for Episode 9 (Heat I)

Robot Wars Revealed was a spin-off series of the British television game show Robot Wars. It was originally broadcast from 1998 to 1999 on BBC Choice, around the same time as The Second Wars.

Presented by Philippa Forrester, the series featured numerous interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of competitor teams taking part in The Second Wars. Much of the footage from The Pits was otherwise not used in the main series, and was accompanied by video diaries of a few selected robots being designed, built and tested ahead of the main competition. Insights into the show's production (e.g. House Robots and preparations for Gauntlet, Trial and Arena events) were also shown, as were segments where Mat Irvine evaluated the technical aspects of robots making it to later stages of each episode.

The above were interspersed with highlights of Gauntlet, Trial and Arena events from the corresponding main episodes. A major difference over the main Series 2 footage was the absence of commentary from Jonathan Pearce, though highlights from The First Wars leave Pearce's commentary intact. In place of commentary, the footage was presented with a natural arena ambience without the extra sound effects heard in the main series, but retaining battle or robot entrance music depending on the clips used.

Almost 22 years after the last episode was known to have been broadcast on BBC Choice, Mech+ announced on May 6th 2022 the addition of the complete series to their streaming service. The entirety of Robot Wars Revealed was initially streamed live that evening, with the episodes being added to their On Demand service the following day.[1]

Episode Guide[]

NOTE: Some broadcast dates are taken from the archived BBC Programme Index[2] and do not necessarily reflect the initial airings of certain episodes.

Series No. Episode Series 2 Episode Broadcast date
1 Episode 1 Heat A November 6, 1998
2 Episode 2 Heat B November 13, 1998
3 Episode 3 Heat C November 20, 1998
4 Episode 4 Heat D November 27, 1998
5 Episode 5 Heat E December 4, 1998
6 Episode 6 Heat F December 11, 1998
7 Episode 7 Heat G December 18, 1998
8 Episode 8 Heat H January 8, 1999
9 Episode 9 Heat I January 15, 1999
10 Episode 10 Heat J January 22, 1999
11 Episode 11 Heat K February 5, 1999
12 Episode 12 Heat L February 12, 1999
13 Episode 13 Semi-Final 1 January 22, 2000
14 Episode 14 Semi-Final 2 September 2, 2000
15 Episode 15 Grand Final Unknown

Availability[]

Until May 2022, most of the series was considered to be lost media, with only two recordings of the spin-off show initially resurfacing online. These recordings were of Episodes 7 and 9 (based on Heat G[3] and Heat I[4] respectively), representing two surviving episodes out of a total of 14, or 15 if the listed programme "Chill on Choice" on the BBC Programme Index archive is counted.[2] The Mech+ airings later reconfirmed that 15 main episodes were produced, covering the Heats, both Semi-Finals and the Grand Final of Series 2.

"They went out on (the then new) BBC digital TV service [BBC Choice] to entice people into getting digital set top boxes. Thing is- hardly anyone had bought them at that time."
Simon Harrison on the disappearance of Robot Wars Revealed

Robin Herrick of the Cold Fusion Team was also known to have purchased a physical video copy of Episode 4 (based on Heat D) directly from Mentorn. This episode was unusual in that it contained behind-the-scenes material Herrick recorded for Bodyhammer's entry into The First Wars. Herrick referred to the series by the title Robot Wars Uncovered, although it is unknown whether this was an alternative official name used by Mentorn.[5]

"Not many people will have seen Robot Wars Uncovered on BBC Choice (digital) which is a shame because in many ways it's more interesting than the main series. We bought a video from Mentorn of the show we were on. The video diary bits (including a supposed sneak shot of the bare chassis) are from Series 1 - for some reason they didn't use any of the Series 2 material I recorded. You'll probably have to wait for Series 3 to see that!"
— Robin Herrick on the Robot Wars Revealed episode based on Series 2, Heat D[5]

On 4th May 2022, Mech+ released a teaser trailer briefly featuring a digitally-restored Robot Wars Revealed title card, confirming the series' addition to their streaming service on May 7th.[6]

Trivia[]

  • In multiple episodes, Mat Irvine referred to the Arena Semi-Finals as the Quarter-Final stages - the only occasions they were referred to as such in official Robot Wars media.
    • Likewise, the Heat Finals were occasionally referred to as the Semis or Semi-Final stage, an example occurring during Irvine's segment on Onslaught in Episode 7.

References[]

External Links[]

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