Robot Wars Wiki
Robot Wars Wiki

The Parthian Shot was a rounded box wedge shaped robot that entered Series 2 of Robot Wars. However it never managed to compete as the robot broke down and the team ran out of time to fix it. The Parthian Shot also qualified for The Third Wars, but once again had to pull out at the last minute for unknown reasons. It was seen in the pits, but not acknowledged on the TV programme, and was discretely replaced by Flipper.


The Parthian Shot's Series 2 introduction

The robot cost £400 to build from a basic tank configuration and powered by starter motors from a scrapyard. The frame came from bracing from benches thrown out at work and the main armament were spikes at the front and rear and a set of ball and chains on the top. It was one of the largest robots in Series 2, and had a very high top speed of 15mph, but its biggest flaw was its reliability, shown by the fact that it never made it to the arena in a working state until it was already too late.


The name comes from a military tactic made famous by Parthian horse archers in ancient Iran, whereby when retreating at a full gallop they would turn their bodies to shoot arrows at pursuing enemies. Through metaphor, this also became the name for an insult delivered as the speaker leaves.

Robot History[]

Series 2[]

Neil Savage in the test area

Disaster struck for The Parthian Shot as when the team tested it, having only recently finished building it, it failed to power up, showing no voltage at all. It was due to go fourth in the Gauntlet, but the production team allowed Disruptor and Whirling Dervish to run the Gauntlet in an attempt to give them time to fix the machine. The team quickly found what was wrong and tried to fix the robot, but eventually ran out of time. Just as the team got it up and running, Philippa Forrester informed the team that they had been disqualified.

Philippa breaks the bad news of Parthian Shot's disqualification

"Parthian Shot arrived in a state of disrepair and was only partially built and never worked. The crew worked very hard and throughout the day before and the day to get it working. One of them did the electronics while the other did the welding. In the end, just before they were timed out they got it working, well the wheels went round (one of them very out of alignment)."
— Oliver Steeples on the repairs of The Parthian Shot[1]

Series 3[]

"Flipper" in the pits. Note that the team members of the real Flipper were a father, daughter, and son

In Series 3, The Parthian Shot was drawn against Ultor, which would eventually win the heat. However, for unknown reasons, it had to withdraw, and was replaced by Flipper.

The Parthian Shot was only seen in the pits during Philippa Forrester's walk around the pits at the beginning of the show, partially assembled. Since Philippa didn't call Parthian Shot by its name, it was simply labelled as its replacement, Flipper.


Series 2
The Second Wars - UK Championship
Heat, Gauntlet
Heat F, Gauntlet Disqualified (6th) Eliminated
NOTE: The Parthian Shot broke down before it entered the arena, so it never attempted the Gauntlet.
Series 3
The Third Wars - UK Championship
Heat D, Round 1 vs. Ultor Withdrew
NOTE: The Parthian Shot was originally supposed to fight Ultor, but was forced to drop out. It was replaced by Flipper.

Series Record[]

Series The Parthian Shot Series Record
The First Wars Did not enter
The Second Wars Heat, Gauntlet
The Third Wars Withdrew
The Fourth Wars Did not enter
The Fifth Wars Did not enter
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter


  • The Ultimate Guide incorrectly calls The Parthian Shot "The Parthian Scott"
  • The Parthian Shot was originally Philippa Forrester's sweepstake robot before withdrawing from Series 3.
  • The Parthian Shot holds the distinction of being the only robot ever to make it to the televised show and have to withdraw twice.