Team 101 was a group of roboteers that entered Series 2-6 of Robot Wars and the first series of Robot Wars Extreme with three different robots.

The Team[edit | edit source]

The team in Series 2

Their original entry, Robo Doc, was built by Paul Johnson, and captained by Mike Franklin with work colleagues of his from R Griggs & Co, who sponsored the robot. The team members all worked on Doc Martens boots, manufacturing moulds and shoe soles, as well as machine components and special purpose machines.

"We all work for R Griggs & Co. makers of the famous Dr Martens footwear. I run the engineering components division, here we make all manner of special machines and machine components. As the prospective team captain I have a background of experimental engineering having worked on many different projects including gas turbines and lasers. I am also a keen modeler with skills in electronics and model building. The rest of the team all work in the same department, all being skilled toolmakers."
— Mike Franklin on the Robo Doc website

There were also two team members who did not appear on the show due to the limit of three team members; Martin Dolan, a machine parts manufacturing engineer, and Darren Perkins, an apprentice engineer who specialised in fitting and machining[1].

Team 101 logo

After Series 2, the company lost interest in sponsoring a robot for Series 3. The original team disbanded, and Mike Franklin built 101 himself, with help from Paul Johnson. 101 was notable for being built from a few pounds worth of new material and a lot of scrounged metal, and reached the Semi-Finals in Series 3 and won the Series 4 Tag Team Terror.

Team 101's official photo from Series 6

After 101's brutal defeat against Fluffy in Series 5, it was retired and replaced with Anarchy, a powerful and highly engineered walkerbot built with help from team member Steve Bickle. Anarchy reached the Heat Final in Series 6, and Franklin's engineering skills were recognised when it received the Best Engineered Award in the same series.

Team 101 stated that they were interested in applying for the Series 8 of Robot Wars with Anarchy. However, with the weight limit for walkerbots now reduced from 200kg to 135kg, the revised limit meant that Anarchy would now be too heavy to compete.

Mike Franklin[edit | edit source]

"Mike Franklin is a 38-year-old engineer who trained as an injection mould tool maker. He got interested in building models and experimental at an early age, and had an interest in building rockets, jet engines and lasers."
Robot Wars: The Official Magazine on Mike Franklin[2]

Mike Franklin controlling 101 in Series 3

Mike Franklin was the team captain, driver and weapons operator of Robo Doc, roles he would keep for all the subsequent robots. An experienced engineer, Mike came up with the design for Robo Doc[3], and found the tracks used for Robo-Doc and 101 from a scrapyard.

After Dr Martens decided not to sponsor another robot, he built 101 at his home, with help from Paul Johnson. He designed the automatic spike weapon system, which used an infared sensor. His profession as a toolmaker came in useful, as he used his machining tools to build the parts for 101.

"Mike's toolmaking background influences the whole way in which he builds robots. Most competitors create their's {sic} by bolting on, screwing together or welding up parts - by addition, by fabrication. But Mike uses machine tools such as his milling machine to remove material from a solid block of metal - such as a billet. In other words, he works mostly by subtracting metal. This makes for a very compact, and hence strong robot."
— From an Ultimate Real Robots magazine interview with Mike Franklin[4]

Mike Franklin had a regular feature in Robot Wars: The Official Magazine, “Tech Round Up”, where he gave technical advice on building robots, describing how different kinds of weapon work and the parts needed to make a robot work.

Mike Franklin in the Series 6 crew

At one time during the original series, Mike Franklin became a member of the BBC Visual Effects team, working on and controlling the House Robots.[5] Franklin was notably behind the controls of Refbot when it drove into the pit while Raging Reality fought Tetanus 2, and during the battle between Refbot and Sgt. Bash in the New Blood Championship.

Team 101 did enter Series 7, but due to Mike Franklin working for the Robot Wars production crew, he was not allowed to compete and work on the show, so he chose to withdraw.

"I was entered in the 7th series, but was then told I could not work on the show and compete, so gave up my place. Then the budget was reduced and the crew. So ended not working on the show either. After that was to busy working, along with 4 young children, so no free time."
— Mike Franklin on Facebook[6]

Jason Smith[edit | edit source]

Philippa Forrester interviews Jason Smith as he and Paul Johnson work on Robo Doc

Only part of the team for Series 2, Jason was a skilled engineer and CNC programmer who worked on Robo Doc. He used CNC to make a number of parts for Robo Doc[7]. He had a brief speaking role whilst doing repairs on the robot after the Gauntlet, and in a deleted scene, included in Robot Wars Revealed, he was seen speaking to Simon Harrison after the two teams fought[8].

Paul Johnson[edit | edit source]

An expert on machine assembly, Paul Johnson worked on Robo-Doc, and despite the original team breaking up, he would continue working with Mike Franklin, being part of the team for Series 3. However, he was not credited on the statistics board, and was absent for 101’s appearance in The First World Championship.

"Unfortunately we were knocked out in the show semi final by King Buxton (a great little robot) and the company lost interest in sponsoring another entry in Series III. So I had to build my robot at home ... My thanks must go to Paul Johnson who joined the team at filming to help with the repairs and running of the robot."
— Mike Franklin on the Team 101 website

Amy Franklin[edit | edit source]

Amy Franklin with 101

Mike Franklin’s daughter, she joined the team after the original team broke up. She was only 9 years old when she first appeared, she was often interviewed by Philippa Forrester and Craig Charles. Memorably, after losing to Hypno-Disc in the Semi-Finals of Series 3, she read out a poem to Craig she had written about him.

"Craig is a trooper, who works all day long. He always gets the cameras wrong. When his favourite robot wins, he grins and grins. He really likes Amy and her bunny, we think he's really funny. He gets his lines wrong again and again, but we like him all the same!"
— "Craig", Amy Franklin's poem about Craig Charles

Amy Franklin sported a small plush bunny toy, nicknamed Super Bunny. The toy quickly became the mascot of Team 101, and was often referred to by Jonathan Pearce and Craig Charles.

Amy Franklin reveals her intentions for Superbunny to be destroyed

During the First World Championship, prior to the battle with Weld-Dor, Superbunny was spotted tied down to the outer of 101. Horrified, Philippa Forrester asked little Amy what she was doing to the toy she had owned for 9 years. Amy replied indifferently, wanting to see her bunny chopped in half, and explained that it was her father's fault for wanting to crucify Superbunny.

"She's going to die!"
— Amy Franklin's indifferent answer to the sacrifice of Superbunny

During the battle, however, Superbunny was seen in Amy's hands, safe within the booth.

Steve Bickle[edit | edit source]

Team 101 in Series 6

The final member of the team, Steve Bickle joined the team for Series 5, 6 and Extreme 1. He had previously designed the team’s website. He mostly left the speaking in interviews to Mike Franklin, but did contribute to the pre and post battle interviews on 101’s Vengeance battle with King B Powerworks in Extreme 1, and spoke to Phillipa before Round 2 and the Heat Final

Rivalry[edit | edit source]

"We actually met before the main filming of the series, the first time I and the team saw Robo Doc was at the tryouts… We'd seen from Series 1 the sort of standard of robots we thought we might be up against, and we walked in and probably the second or third bot we saw, loitering around dangerously, was Robo Doc, and we were just immediately drawn to this machine … this had a standard of engineering above what we were expecting!"
— Simon Harrison, interviewed in 2018 about the rivalry with Team 101[9]

Team B come out victorious from the two's first battle

Team 101 had a long-standing rivalry with the King Buxton team, having first fought against them in both the second and third series. King Buxton defeated the team's original machine, Robo Doc, in Series 2, with Team 101 earning revenge in the following series by defeating King Buxton in the Heat Final with 101.

"Well that was for Robo Doc! ... Revenge is sweet!"
— Mike Franklin after defeating King Buxton in Series 3

The two teams put this rivalry behind them when they paired up for - and won - the Series 4 Tag Team Terror competition.

101 and King B3 unite for the Series 4 Tag Team Terror

Julia Reed: "Of all the robots in Robot Wars, I can't believe these two have paired up..I thought they were sworn enemies."
Mike Franklin: "Well we are in the arena, but in the end of the day, we've got mutual respect for each other's robot - they've got a good robot, we've got a good robot, so we decided that we'll go do some damage to some others now."
Julia Reed: "But not to each other."
Mike Franklin: "Well possibly."
— Pre-Tag Team talk with Julia Reed

In the final, 101 and King B3 celebrated their victory by battling each other in the arena, somewhat rekindling the grudge. In Extreme Series 1, 101 and King B Powerworks re-entered the Tag Team Terror as reigning co-champions, but were eliminated in the first round after King B Powerworks went 'berserk' following a malfunction, and their opponents, Mega Morg and Diotoir, won the subsequent judges' decision.

Team 101 and the King B Powerworks teams face off before their Extreme 1 Vengeance battle

In the aftermath, both the 101 and King B teams blamed each other for their Tag Team loss, and a Vengeance battle was staged for them to settle the grudge once again. There, 101 won the battle after King B Powerworks malfunctioned again, and the King B team admitted that 101 was the 'superior' robot.

"I got my chance to tell the audience, which I've always actually wanted to say, I've always felt, and I'm saying it now, that 101 and Robo Doc were the better, he was the better team, he's the better engineer, it's the better machine."
— Simon Harrison, interviewed in 2018 about the rivalry with Team 101[10]

Following their Extreme 1 Vengeance battle, Team 101 and the King B team promised to continue their Tag Team partnership. However, neither team participated in Extreme 2, so were unable to do so.

Robots[edit | edit source]

Name Weight Class Series
Robo Doc Heavyweight Series 2
101 Heavyweight Series 3-5, Extreme 1
Anarchy Heavyweight Series 6

Wins/Losses[edit | edit source]

  • Wins: 13
  • Losses: 7

Series Record[edit | edit source]

Main Series Team 101 Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Heat, Arena Semi-Final with Robo Doc
The Third Wars Semi-Finals, Round 2 with 101
The Fourth Wars Heat Final with 101
The Fifth Wars Heat, Round 1 with 101
The Sixth Wars Heat Final with Anarchy
The Seventh Wars Withdrew
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered with 101
Series 2 Did not enter

Outside Robot Wars[edit | edit source]

Scuttle, which competed in Techno Games

Like many other Robot Wars teams, Team 101 entered several series of the spin-off show, Techno Games, competing in all four series. For Techno Games, Mike and Amy Franklin were also joined by Amy’s brother Jack. They initially entered the Battery Sprint in the 2000 edition with the eight-legged walkerbot, Scuttle, which they would go on to enter in each series. In the 2000 series, during its first-round run against Waddle, Scuttle suffered a radio fault as it started, and as it charged down the course, most of its legs broke off. Mike Franklin turned it over so it could use its wheels to move. Although this allowed it to complete the course, Scuttle was disqualified for not using its legs.

"I only had a week to design and build the robot - which explains why all the legs flew off and Scuttle blew up!"
— Mike Franklin in Ultimate Real Robots Magazine[11]

Scuttle would go on to win gold in the Battery/Lightweight Sprint at the 2001 and 2002 editions of Techno Games, before coming second in 2003 after having steering troubles. Scuttle broke the world record for fastest time twice, finishing its first race in 5.40 seconds in 2001, and then winning the 2002 final by finishing in an even more impressive 4.40 seconds. The walking mechanism and design of Scuttle was later scaled up to build Anarchy.

Scuttle B² competing at Techno Games

101 as Transpower at Techno Games 2002; note the Tag Team Terror side panels

A weaponless version of Anarchy, called Scuttle B², also entered and won the Heavyweight Sprint competition at Techno Games 2002 and 2003. Like Scuttle, Scuttle B² broke the world record twice, winning its first race in 15.19 seconds, then winning the semi-final in just 13.06 seconds.

In addition to their walkerbots, Team 101 also entered a largely unchanged version of 101, named Transpower, into the Assault Course at Techno Games 2002. There, it won its heat against Mighty Mouse, but was disqualified in the quarter-finals after impeding the progress of Bugs Buggy.

10.1, the beetleweight version of 101

Scuttle at Robonerd in August 2019

In September 2018, the original Scuttle reappeared at the first RoboNerd meet in September 2018, organised by Team B, appearing alongside Robo Doc. This also prompted Mike Franklin to plan a beetleweight replica of 101 named 10.1, in order to challenge Team B and their planned beetleweight King BtL. Both robots came to fruition in time for the event, with 10.1 sporting faithful tracks, and an active pickaxe weapon. 10.1 defeated King BtL in their head-to-head[12], and both robots fought in various melees throughout the day. Mike Franklin also brought Scuttle to the event.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The battles between King Buxton and Robo Doc/101 marked the first instance of two teams reaching a semi-final by defeating the other. This pattern would be repeated by Team Scutterbots and Team Knightmare in Series 4 and 7, and Pulsar and Ironside3 in Series 8 and 9.
  • Mr. Psycho was the only House Robot not to appear with a robot from Team 101, discounting Cassius Chrome who only appeared in Series 7, which Team 101 did not appear in.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Honours[edit | edit source]


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