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Robot Wars episode 6 review

26 August 2016 1:52 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Louisa Mellor Aug 28, 2016

In the revived Robot Wars grand final, can anyone beat the mighty blade of Carbide?

This review contains spoilers.

I think I finally get boxing. Endurance, tactics, grudge matches, underdogs coming back from the brink of failure to pound opponents into paste after their drive motor fails and they start venting CO2… No wonder Stallone made all those movies about it.

The final had a touch of the sports movie genre about it. The seemingly undefeatable champions—Team Carbide, who built a robot so tough it didn’t only tear through its competitors like tin cans but also through the arena’s much-vaunted steel walls—was bested by a plucky flipper. Apollo, star of episode four, concluded its sterling work by launching Carbide into outer space.

Not quite outer space admittedly, more a few feet off the floor. The hyperbole of the final is obviously catching. The »

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Robot Wars: a guide to stopping your robot catching fire

25 August 2016 10:44 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Alex Warren Aug 26, 2016

After last week's Robot Wars arena blaze, we chat to cool expert Dr Chris Aldham about how to keep a robot from bursting into flames...

Between flamethrowers and fire pits, in the Arena of Destruction it’s all too easy for robots and roboteers to get a little hot under the collar. While most viewers would be happy to watch the new series and appreciate it for little more than the fiery destruction it is, we had to take it that step further and unleash our inner geek.

That’s why we took a look under the hood of this year’s competitors to find out how they’ve tried – and in some cases failed – to stop their machines bursting into flames.

To lead us on this journey, we spoke to Dr Chris Aldham, a thermal management expert from simulation software firm 6SigmaET. With over thirty years »

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Robot Wars episode 5 review

19 August 2016 6:26 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Louisa Mellor Aug 21, 2016

The final heat in the revived Robot Wars doesn't quite live up to last week’s excitement…

This review contains spoilers.

It strikes me that the Robot Wars arena would be a good place to weather a nuclear apocalypse. While the outside world poofs into hot dust, the collective engineering expertise inside that Glaswegian warehouse could probably whip up a new civilisation inside the timeframe of a two hour repair window.

That thought was prompted by a sound, specifically the siren whirr of Pulsar’s spinning weapon, the sort of powerful noise you could imagine being used to signal the four-minute warning and just the thing to psych out your opponents. That, or hypnotise the judges. Either way it worked and Pulsar was eventually awarded the place in next week’s grand final.

Being awarded a victory isn’t the same as winning one outright. So much »

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Robot Wars episode 4 review

12 August 2016 3:01 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Louisa Mellor Aug 14, 2016

Robot Wars episode 4 was the series’ best yet, thanks to a thrilling performance from an impressive flipper…

My friend Julie getting a Snes for Christmas 1992. The Incredible Hulk Roller Coaster at Universal Studios, Orlando. David Tennant sitting two rows behind me at a play.

Hitherto the three most exciting moments in my life were just eclipsed by an episode of Robot Wars. Specifically, the moment in an episode of Robot Wars that Team Apollo went on a flipping rampage. That’s not just a Britishism, Apollo literally flipped its way around the arena on a flipping rampage. It was flipping brilliant.

It’s not for nothing that Team Apollo shares its name with the space missions that put man on the moon; that performance, which left House Bots Dead Metal and Matilda as helpless and paralysed as upturned woodlice and booted the series’ most expensive robot out of the arena, »

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Robot Wars episode 3 review

5 August 2016 7:50 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Louisa Mellor Aug 7, 2016

A wooden robot tests its mettle in the third episode of the new Robot Wars. Does it succeed? Er…

High-energy celebratory displays don’t come naturally to Robot Wars competitors. Every fist pump and double thumbs-up in a post-battle interview comes at a clear cost to the roboteers’ natural sense of reserve and decorum. That the winning teams do it anyway, throwing their unsynchronised arms in the air and haltingly yelling ‘yeah!’ at the mention of their victory, is one of this show’s most endearing features.

Robot Wars is packed with endearing features. This week’s included the proud-as-punch dad of winning team TR2 repeatedly singing the praises of his fifteen-year-old son while said son shifted bashfully on his feet. Then there was the nervous laughter of students Team Overdozer well aware of the impending folly of taking a robot only marginally more high-tech (and less »

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Robot Wars episode 2 review

2 August 2016 7:01 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Louisa Mellor Aug 2, 2016

Fun and frivolous, Robot Wars continued this week with another shock exit and some unforgiveable showboating…

This review contains spoilers.

I’ll tell you who’s doing well out of the Robot Wars revival, those print shops you drive past on the outskirts of towns that make custom hoodies. You’re no-one on this show if you’re not wearing a lightweight, breathable polo shirt embroidered with a word that probably sounded like a good idea when you made it up in your shed. Those guys must be raking it in.

Viewers at home, as it goes, aren’t doing badly out of it either. The second episode of Robot Wars was just as much frivolous fun as the first, even if it did feature what judge Professor Noel Sharkey called “the worst fight I’ve ever seen on the whole of Robot Wars”.

That was a »

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Versailles recap: episode eight – from la petite mort to une grande mort

27 July 2016 2:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Mon dieu! What with tout le torture, les plotteurs and les attempted meurtres, Versailles is now about as sexy as Robot Wars

Not-So-Bad Philippe is sulking in front of the fire because his frere, le roi, has not unreasonably locked up the Mauvais Philippe for plotting against him. Louis barges in and tells Not-So-Bad Philippe to cheer up and come for a gallop for old times’ sake. Not-So-Bad Philippe agrees but is still sulking.

Cue the title music, and much excitement. Because the BBC used exactly the same music during its coverage of the London Anniversary athletics at the weekend, prompting hopes/fears that they might be planning to roll it out for the Rio Olympics in just over a week’s time. Who knew this piece of sub early-70s Genesis was the Nessun Dorma de nos jours? Perhaps the BBC thought Versailles = Sexy, Rio = Sexy, so wanted to »

- Guardian Staff

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Time Commanders gameshow returning to the BBC

26 July 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Louisa Mellor Jul 26, 2016

A third series of the BBC historical military strategy game Time Commanders appears to be on the way...

Is it your dream to replicate the military achievements of Alexander the Great via the medium of modern games engines, live on TV? Then you, my friend, are in luck.

BBC Four has put out a call for teams of three people to take part in the return  of Time Commanders, a "popular historical military strategy series, where teams go head-to-head with some of the greatest generals from history".

During its brief 2003-2005 tenure, Time Commanders saw teams reenact historical battles using a games engine more or less imported wholesale from real-time strategy game Rome: Total War. It was hosted by Scottish broadcaster Eddie Mair before Top Gear's Richard Hammond took over. 

The call for participants appears to have preceded an official announcement in this case. The revived »

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Robot Wars episode 1 review

24 July 2016 8:48 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Louisa Mellor Jul 24, 2016

Robot Wars has rejigged its bots and presenters for a hugely entertaining return to BBC Two...

Whatever Robot Wars got up to during its twelve year absence from TV, it evidently wasn’t a period of deep, meditative reflection and personal change. The revived series is back on BBC Two with barely a hair different.

Well, the hair’s different. Returning original series teams who never stopped battling robots in the interim have lost some of theirs, while the ‘dos of Dara O’Briain and Angela Scanlon replace those of the previous presenters.

The pair conduct this latest symphony of TV nostalgia with welcome pep and an even more welcome sense of the show’s inherent folly. O’Briain hypes the crowd over the increased ferocity of the ‘biggest, baddest’ house bots and lists engineering statistics as if he were introducing The Beatles at Shea Stadium, but »

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Robot Wars interview: presenter Angela Scanlon

24 July 2016 4:18 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Louisa Mellor Jul 25, 2016

We chat with one of the new Robot Wars presenters about carnage and camaraderie behind the scenes on the revived BBC Two show...

Read our review of the first episode of the revived Robot Wars, here.

Irish broadcaster and journalist Angela Scanlon makes up one half of the new Robot Wars presenting team. For the next few weeks, she and Dara O'Briain will be talking viewers through the hyper-competitive world of flippers, pushers and spinners at 8pm on Sundays on BBC Two as the destruction-happy show counts down to its final battle.

Move over Top Gear, there's a new sheriff in town...

We love Robot Wars. I think because it showcases the best and worst of humanity, our ingenuity and our bloodthirsty desire to destroy things.

[Laughs] Me too! That is a perfect, perfect summary of the show.

Tell us about the relationships between the teams. You’ve »

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Robot Wars: revisiting the original show

21 July 2016 2:05 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Aaron Birch Jul 22, 2016

Ahead of the return of Robot Wars to BBC Two, we revisit the classic original run of the show...

3. 2. 1. Activate!

In early February 1998 a new TV game show surfaced on BBC Two, one that was about as different as anything we'd ever seen. It didn't feature general knowledge questions or sprints around a super market, it was equal parts testosterone and techno-geek chic. It was, of course, Robot Wars and it would quickly become one of the most popular programmes on TV.

Before appearing on UK TV, Robot Wars was first dreamt up over the pond. The story goes that a Lucasfilm-employed toy designer by the name of Marc Thorpe came up with the idea in 1992 while failing to build a remote control vacuum cleaner. The results ended up being less about cleanliness, and more about carnage. This unexpected turn out made Thorpe realise that radio controlled »

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There will be shrapnel: the return of Robot Wars

16 July 2016 1:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

It was the 00s show where Diy robots fought to the death. Now Mma for machines is back. We visited the set to watch the sparks fly

A city famous for its shipyards, Glasgow seems like an appropriate place to relaunch a scuttled franchise. Today, on the banks of the river Clyde, a huge rented warehouse echoes with a renewed chorus of heavy industry. The high-pitched whine of power tools, showers of sparks and the percussive donk of metal smashing against metal would be familiar to a retired welder. The same might not be said of the 500-strong crowd jabbing foam fingers in the air and lustily singing along to Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust.

Related: BBC's Robot Wars reboot to bring in more high-tech fighting machines

Related: Robot Wars… reactivate! It’s the perfect time for a new series

Continue reading »

- Graeme Virtue

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'BattleBots': Show Ep promises projectiles, fire-breathing drones in Season 2

23 June 2016 11:18 AM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

A couple of years ago, I wrote a story for Sports Illustrated about something called chess boxing. It’s pretty much like it sounds - people box for a couple minutes and then switch to playing chess for a few more minutes. This goes back and forth until someone gets knocked out or checkmated. I affectionately referred to it as “Fight Club for Nerds.” I stand corrected. That title really should belong to the ABC series BattleBots. The show, which is a reboot of the old Comedy Central program of the same title, is a competition between robots (and their drivers) that look to pulverize each other into fine bits of shrapnel while throngs of fans scream in excitement. And when you consider each robot costs around $14,000, that’s some expensive shrapnel. It’s as wacky as it sounds. Nerds like me inexplicably watch it because…that’s what we do. »

- David Eckstein

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Celebrating the UK adventure game TV show

22 May 2016 10:42 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Aaron Birch Jul 13, 2016

The Crystal Maze, Cyber Zone, Fort Boyard... We look back at the UK game shows that dared to ask more than just quiz questions...

If the idea of yet another TV game show with an uninspiring presenter and ever so slight spin on the tried and tested Q&A formula fills you with apathy, you're not alone. Although TV quiz shows often rake in the viewers for a relatively low production budget, hence their popularity with TV studios, the whole genre feels a little stagnant. Perhaps it's the rise of the Internet, a general change in viewer culture, and the changing tastes that come with it. While many shows of the past delighted audiences with images of shiny new appliances, cars, and holidays to far-off destinations, today's shows mostly award cold, hard, and boring cash. Great for the winner, but not too interesting for the viewer. Give »

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McM London to host EU premiere of ‘Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin III’

20 April 2016 11:24 AM, PDT | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Organisers have announced that the McM London Comic Con this May will host the European premiere of new Sunrise film Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin III. Comic Con will also welcome the series’ mecha designer and producer, Mika Akitaka and Osamu Taniguchi – both of whom will be signing autographs for fans and presenting a panel on the Saturday of the Excel London show.

Mika Akitaka has worked as a mechanical designer on a slew of Mobile Suit Gundam titles prior to The Origin, such as Mobile Suit Gundam Zz and Mobile Suit Gundam 0083, along with series such as Martian Successor Nadesico, A Certain Magical Index: Miracle of Endymion, Date A Live, Sakura Wars and Super Robot Wars Og: The Inspector. As well as producing The Origin, Osamu Taniguchi’s credits include The Piano Forest, Lupin III (TV Special), Moyashimon and slice-of-life comedy Ramen Fighter Miki.

An adaptation of Yoshikazu Yasuhiko’s best-selling manga, »

- Kat Wheat

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Comic Book Review – Brit-Cit Noir

7 April 2016 4:44 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Villordsutch reviews Brit-Cit Noir…

I’ve stepped into Brit-Cit Noir with a bit of trepidation I’ll be honest. My last piece of Brit-Cit I recall was reading it in The Heavy Mob over in the Judge Dredd: Mega Collection back in April last year.  The titles were Brit-Cit Brute and Trilogy, albeit from Robbie Morrison and Co., and I really wasn’t overly impressed.  What I wasn’t aware of that I’d actually recently read some more Brit-Cit in the Megazine a month or so earlier and bloody loved it!  So instantly the doubt I had was dampened down straight away.

Sat in this book we have two pieces of collected works, Strange & Drake: New Blood from the pen of John Smith with art by Colin MacNeil, and also Storm Warning: Relic written by John Reppion & Leah Moore with the art being handled by Tom Foster. »

- Villordsutch

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Airmageddon: the drone gameshow training kids for the inevitable

17 February 2016 3:56 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Kids fly drones through hula hoops ad nauseam in the new show from the Robot Wars mastermind. It’s perfect practice for when they’re all working for Amazon

When you think about the upcoming return of Robot Wars, it’s hard to separate excitement from nostalgia. Yes, your mind might immediately race to Hypno-Disc and self-righting mechanisms and the industrial quantities of talcum powder that were presumably necessary to get Philippa Forrester into her leather trousers each week, but the reality of the show was something else entirely.

For the most part, Robot Wars consisted of nothing but an overexcited football commenter squealing himself giddy to overcompensate for the fact that everyone at home was watching three awkward blokes from Swindon trying to move a static remote-controlled car out from behind a box. Vast swaths of Robot Wars, when you look back at it, were tedium personified.

Related: Robot Wars… »

- Stuart Heritage

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Voltron: Netflix’s revival gets a title, first image

9 February 2016 1:21 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Netflix’s Voltron series will be called Voltron: Legendary Defender, and we’ve got the first huge robot image here…

When Netflix announced its plan to bring back 1980s astronauts-assembling-a-giant-robot-to-fight-evil series Voltron in collaboration with Dreamworks Animation, it was overshadowed a little by the fact that they also announced Trollhunters, an animated series from the mind of Guillermo del Torro.

Today, though, Netflix is putting Voltron centre stage. The streaming service has announced that the new series will be entitled Voltron: Legendary Defender, and this first piece of promotional art was also unveiled…

There’s no word yet on when to expect Netflix’s take on Voltron to reach our screens. There’s also no official confirmation thus far on whether the series will be a reboot or if it will take the shape of a belated sequel (although the former seems likeliest). It's been called a 'reimagining, »

- rleane

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Robot Wars: BBC Rebooting UK Game Show

15 January 2016 7:35 PM, PST | TVSeriesFinale.com | See recent TVSeriesFinale news »

The robots have returned. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cancelled BBC game show Robot Wars will be coming back for six new episodes.

The series, which featured contestants pitting hand-built robots against each other, ran from 1998 to 2004. Robot Wars evolved into BattleBots in the United States. That show was recently revived and renewed for a second season on ABC.

Read More… »

- TVSeriesFinale.com

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Robot Wars… reactivate! It’s the perfect time for a new series

14 January 2016 3:28 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

With the Raspberry Pi and 3D printing, it’s a great time for the BBC to reboot a new season of the remote-controlled battle-bots

Finally, a nu-metal revival we can all get behind. After more than a decade rusting on the TV scrapheap, Robot Wars has been reactivated. The BBC has announced plans to bring the bombastic pageant of radio-controlled droid proxies engaging in gladiatorial combat backs to our screens for a new six-part run later this year. The original series, which originated in the cyberpunk era of the late 1990s before perishing in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Channel 5 schedules in 2003, was a scrappy but absurdly entertaining showcase of weaponised Roombas scuttling around a booby-trapped Thunderdome, an arena where overclocked house sentinels like Shunt and Sir Killalot roughed up most of the civilian challengers with ease.

Related: BBC's Robot Wars reboot to bring in more high-tech fighting machines

Continue reading. »

- Graeme Virtue

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