- "Taking axe technology to the next level"
- — Team Hurtz Website
Team Hurtz is a team from Oxfordshire who competed in every series of Robot Wars except for Series 1 and the first series of Robot Wars Extreme. Captained by long-time veteran John Reid, the team entered two robots across eight UK Championships, Killerhurtz and one-time fourth place finisher Terrorhurtz. The team have represented both the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom in international competitions.
John Reid is also associated with 2016 pilot competitor Basher, as he entered the robot into BattleBots under the name Beta, although Team Hurtz did not compete in the pilot.
Branding[edit | edit source]
In Series 2 and 3, the team wore generic T-Shirts with the Robot Wars logo on them (maroon in Series 2 and blue in Series 3).
In the First World Championship, Dominic Parkinson dressed in Czech colours. Killerhurtz flew a pair of Czech flags and adopted the Pokémon Charmander as its "driver". Killerhurtz also had the phrase "Maś Čhlupatÿ Pupîćek" written in red along the side - translating to "you have a hairy tummy button" in Czech. Charmander was knocked off by Shunt during a tussle in the CPZ.
The team's motto during Series 4 was "It Kills, It Hurts, Get Used To It" and its logo was outline of the Killerhurtz axe head. In Series 4, the team brought their own uniform; plain white T-shirts with the logo on the front and the motto on the back. Interestingly, Dominic Parkinson was wearing his T-shirt back to front during the battle with Splinter, as Craig Charles read the motto off his T-shirt, which was on the back of both Reid and Reaston-Brown's. During the debrief with Julia Reed, however, he was wearing it the correct way around.
In Series 5, the Killerhurtz logo was dropped and replaced by white T-shirts with 10¹² (the number of hertz to make up a terahertz). In Series 6, Reid kept the Series 5 T-shirt whilst Parkinson wore a yellow one with the Killerhurtz axe logo above HZ³ (the maximum frequency of a Terahurtz) in the fights during Heat I. In Extreme 2, the team changed to black polos with HZ¹² in white.
During the reboot, John Reid and Nick Lynch wore red jackets.
The Team[edit | edit source]
John Reid[edit | edit source]
The Captain of Team Hurtz, John Reid, appeared throughout Robot Wars, as the only member of the team to appear in every series. Reid designed both Killerhurtz and Terrorhurtz from computer software. Reid was a mild-mannered but enthusiastic competitor all throughout the show, driving both of his robots in every fight as well as being the principal designer.
- Philippa Forrester: "Say it with me, d'oh!"
- John Reid: "D'oh! I cannot believe I did that."
- Philippa Forrester: "Well we thought it was quite funny."
- — After the loss to Cerberus
John Reid's driving skills became a source of humour for the show due to an incident in Series 3. Reid, used to the pit-less arena of BattleBots where he had been competing with Killerhurtz, drove away from his opponent Cerberus and veered straight into the Pit of Oblivion under no pressure whatsoever. The roboteers in the pit and Philippa Forrester all made fun of the losing Killerhurtz team, especially as Reid had just won the "Best Driver" award in America. Julia Reed and Jonathan Pearce both teased Reid about this in the pits of Series 4 when mentioning Killerhurtz's car steering capabilities in Series 4.
Despite this early running gag, Reid was an extremely capable driver, especially with the more nimble Terrorhurtz. He remains the only roboteer to defeat Carbide by KO, which he did by pitting the deadly spinner and keeping Terrorhurtz's heavily armoured front end pointed at the spinner. He also drove Terrorhurtz to victories over skilled drivers Kim Davies and Ian Watts. The closest he came to winning a tournament was winning the Challenge Belt in Extreme 2, but lost the eventual challenge to Tornado. Unlike most successful roboteers, Reid had started with a very poor combat record and was self-effacing about his lack of success. He openly admitted to having a poor record when Craig Charles interviewed him about his first heat final in Series 6. Reid always had the same big smile on his face, whether in success, loss or disappointment.
Reid's experience in America caused another disadvantage to him in Series 7, when he arrived with Terrorhurtz in a partially completed state. The Robot Wars rules meant robots had to arrive ready to fight, whereas BattleBots had nearly all the robots turning up unfinished with three or four days to finalise. Reid participated with Derek Foxwell in a staged disqualification for Jayne Middlemiss and the viewing public.
- "Wait for it, wait for it, wait - I need you - get ready, get ready, get ready, c'mon, get ready...no, wait for it! Wait for it! Wait for it! Wait for a - wait for a good hit. Wait for a good hit...Okay! [Nick Lynch fires] Good one. Excellent."
- — John Reid, during the fight with Sabretooth
By 2016's reboot, John Reid was a mechanical design engineer who designed race car simulators. He became a favourite of the fan community for his outspoken nature. He made comments while driving and argued with Nick Lynch on screen several times, including an outburst of frustration over Terrorhurtz's failed axe in the fight with Behemoth and constantly clamouring for Lynch to wait for "a good hit" in the Series 9 fight with Sabretooth. The "wait for a good hit" has since become a 'meme' within the online Robot Wars community, used in a number of different contexts. In Series 10, Reid continued the usage of this phrase by praising Nick Lynch's work as having got "lots of good hits".
John Reid was specifically chosen to be a mentor in Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars. He appeared in Episode 2, mentoring rapper Jordan Stephens from the pop duo Rizzle Kicks, where they competed with Dee. The other two members of the team were Joshy and Pete Cannon. Reid joked that the team were difficult to manage. John Reid repaired Dee when necessary, and also provided the tactics for its battle with Kadeena Machina. Even in defeat, he was confident that they could get ready to fight Robo Savage, and his confidence gave Jordan Stephens confidence. Reid's humour came out when he signed a 'loser L' at Robo Savage's team following Dee's victory. He publicly complimented the production crew on Twitter for building all of the Battle of the Stars robots.
Dominic and Iona Parkinson[edit | edit source]
- "Dominic Parkinson, with his rather tenuous links to the Czech Republic."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Dominic Parkinson lived in London and was John Reid's partner with Killerhurtz and early Terrorhurtz models. He also operated the axe on Terrorhurtz during Series 5 and 6, responsible for the mauling of competitors such as Bigger Brother and Panic Attack. An ex-inventor who studied albino cave frogs (as noted by Jonathan Pearce in Series 3), he was responsible for some of the modifications to Terrorhurtz, including the "Fluffy launch device".
Parkinson was half-Czech, leading to Killerhurtz representing that country in the First World Championship. Parkinson was from a family of five and compared the Northern Annihilator to fighting for scraps of food at his kitchen table. He did a lot of the pre-battle interviews and cutaways, on equal footing with Reid.
Dominic's wife Iona was also a member of the team in Series 5 and 6, though she was not credited on the board. She was misidentified both by the statistics board and by Jonathan Pearce as Rebecca Reaston-Brown in the fight with Ming 3, the only fight in which she appeared that series. She also made another uncredited appearance in Series 6 during the fight with Bigger Brother.
Nick Lynch and James Lynch[edit | edit source]
Nick Lynch joined the team in Extreme 2 and took Dominic Parkinson's role as weapons operator. The new man on the axe, his skill was immediately noticeable in the mauling of S.M.I.D.S.Y., after which Craig Charles called him a bit of a sadist. Lynch was an amateur rocket scientist as of Series 9, and remained John Reid's partner throughout each reboot series.
Nick Lynch joined the team after having seen John Reid and Terrorhurtz during Series 5. Lynch wrote to Reid and sent him a a 3D interactive physics simulation of how to make the axe more powerful. Upon seeing this, Reid offered him a place on the team.
James Lynch also joined the team for Extreme 2 and was part of the team in Series 7, but was not shown during the disqualification.
Rebecca Reaston-Brown[edit | edit source]
Rebecca Reaston-Brown was a member of the Series 2-4 Team Hurtz. She did not receive a speaking role until Series 3, where she joked that every time she was present the team lost early on. She modelled her T-shirt for Julia Reed in Series 4. Reaston-Brown proved prophetic in that most of Killerhurtz's victories (in the Northern Annihilator) all took place when she was not present.
Robots[edit | edit source]
|Terrorhurtz||Heavyweight||Series 5-10, Extreme 2|
- NOTE 1: John Reid is associated with Basher through BattleBots, but was not present for its appearance in the pilot.
- NOTE 2: John Reid also mentored the Dee team during Battle of the Stars and carried out repairs, but did not build or drive the machine.
Wins/Losses[edit | edit source]
- Wins: 22
- Losses: 16
Series Record[edit | edit source]
|Main Series||Team Hurtz Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Heat, Arena Semi-Final with Killerhurtz|
|The Third Wars||Heat, Round 1 with Killerhurtz|
|The Fourth Wars||Heat, Round 2 with Killerhurtz|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 2 with Terrorhurtz|
|The Sixth Wars||Fourth Place with Terrorhurtz|
|The Seventh Wars||Heat, Round 1 with Terrorhurtz (disqualified)|
|Series 8||Heat Round 2, Third Place with Terrorhurtz|
|Series 9||Heat Round 2, Third Place with Terrorhurtz|
|Series 10||Heat Final with Terrorhurtz|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
|Series 1||Did not enter|
|Series 2||Entered with Terrorhurtz|
- NOTE 1: John Reid also competed in Battle of the Stars as the mentor of Dee, which finished fourth within its episode
- NOTE 2: Basher, a robot which John Reid competed with in BattleBots, was entered into the 2016 Pilot by its builder Grant Cooper, where it fell in the first round
Outside Robot Wars[edit | edit source]
Team Hurtz continues to fight today at live events with Terrorhurtz. They have enjoyed considerable success in the period during Robot Wars' hiatus, winning the FRA UK Championship in 2004 and 2009 and finishing second in 2005 and 2007.
In October 2017, John Reid collaborated with Team Legion to enter Tánshè into the Chinese TV show King of Bots. The robot, an up-scaled version of Team Legion's titular featherweight, is armed with a flipping bucket at the front. The word Tánshè is Mandarin for 'catapult'. In the first round, it fought an invertible drum spinner, Dark Knight, but Tánshè flipped it against the wall for a knockout win in just over a minute. In the second round, Tánshè defeated a tracked drum spinner, Hammerhead Shark by flipping it out of the arena with barely thirty seconds left on the clock. Tánshè ultimately reached the third round, where it sustained extensive damage to its flipper and sides from Great White before becoming immobilised by the Anglo-Australian clusterbot. Although eliminated from the main competition,Tánshè would later reappear in the 2v2 competition, where it and Team MAD's Vulcan won their first-round battle against Snake and Saber on a Judges' decision.
Tánshè returned in the associated show This is Fighting Robots, and based on its visual appeal, Zheng Shuang selected it to join her team of robots, alongside Vulcan and Spectre. Gabriel Stroud was then able to influence Zheng into choosing other powerful machines such as Tungsten and Megabyte. It was selected to battle Saber II and Orby Blade in a three-way rumble, and flipped both robots out of the arena to win the battle. This streak continued in a head-to-head battle with Chronos, where Tánshè threw yet another machine out of the arena. Tánshè could not maintain its streak of out-of-the-arena flips against Weber, and was almost counted out of the battle, but it staged a late comeback and won the Judges' decision. In another consecutive win, Tánshè flipped Shrederator Tiger Claw over for an immediate knockout. As a result, Tánshè advanced to the Top 8, and won a Judges' decision over Greedy Snake after overturning it repeatedly. Tánshè earned a narrow escape in the semi-finals, staging a late comeback against Xiake, which had lost full mobility in the final seconds of the fight, giving Tánshè the win via Judges' decision. In the Grand Final, Tánshè lost a wheel against Tungsten, compromising its ability to drive. Although Tánshè survived until a Judges' decision, it was resigned to second place in This is Fighting Robots after losing to Tungsten.
Tánshè returned for King of Bots II, and fought Reaper in its first battle, which it won convincingly to join its celebrity team.
Also in King of Bots II, John Reid designed and partially built Rhino, a four-wheel driven vertical spinner, entered by Robert Pickford and Paul Streeter.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Team Hurtz was the only team to have their robots appear in merchandise for both Robot Wars and BattleBots.
- Team Hurtz was also the only team in Robot Wars to represent both the UK and an international country - in this case, the Czech Republic - across the series' international competitions.
- John Reid is the younger brother of experienced Le Mans and touring car driver Anthony Reid.
- Team Hurtz have fought every UK champion except Typhoon 2 at least once during their career. Their robots have fought Roadblock in Series 2, Panic Attack in Series 6, Chaos 2 in The First World Championship and the Northern Annihilator, Razer in Series 6, Tornado in the All-Stars and Challenge Belt of Extreme 2, Carbide in Series 8, and both Apollo and Eruption in Series 10's 10 Robot Rumble.
- Just like the other three teams in Series 9 to debut in Series 2 (Team Make Robotics, Team Supernova and Team 13), Team Hurtz finished third in its heat during Series 9.
- In recognition of their engineering, axe weapons and successes inside and outside of Robot Wars, Team Hurtz's robots Killerhurtz and Terrorhurtz were both inducted into Mark Joerger's Combat Robot Hall of Fame in 2003 and 2009 respectively. Basher/Beta received an Honorable Mention in the Hall of Fame in 2017, making Team Hurtz the only UK-based team to have three heavyweight representatives on the list.
Honours[edit | edit source]
- Best Engineered Award - Robot Wars: The Second Wars (Killerhurtz)
- Best Design Award - Robot Wars: The Fifth Wars (Terrorhurtz)
References[edit | edit source]