Sunday, 21 August 2016

Robot Wars 2016 Review, Episode 5

Time for the penultimate show! How time flies...

So we start off with a quick statement about how varied the robots are. Fair enough... I thought I wouldn't like the variety of the intros but it is actually getting me hyped for the next episode!! Especially after the last episode (the best so far). I wonder if Dara did that "This is Robot Wars" intro every time, or did they just use one good take? Angela doing the NOT Phillipa Forrester routine with the brevity that gets us to the fighting quicker. Lovely!

Team Pulsar look like they are in pieces in the pits but sounds like it will make some serious noise! Chompalot looks nice but how much power is in that crusher? Oh, *only* a ton. Team Ironside is going for the massive arm, but no testing? Sounds like the sort of amateur team we need more of! Finally, Team Thermidor, the only golden oldie in the first heat. The team captain has an incredible set of teeth! 

Group battle 1: Turns out Ironside 3 (Nottingham) and Chompalot (Derby) are recreating the Clough derby! Shunt is in the arena... and we are off! Chompalot goes after Ironside but Thermidor and Shunt double team Chompalot! You can hear Pulsar, but not doing too much here... they hit Ironside but now they're spinning on one wheel! Thermidor is OUT in the melee! Massive hit from Ironside meanwhile, on Chompalot, rips the side panel off!!! Incredible robot. Chompalot is all over the place here, almost in the pit but mostly on the front of the immobile goes to the judges while Chompalot tries to push Pulsar into the pit. And those through are Ironside and Chompalot (the most deserving fighters)! The Clough derby continues, but for how long? Bits are falling off left right and centre, will they be able to fix it in time (2 hours is surely too long)?

Group battle 2: So now we have Crazy Coupe 88, a fairly chrome-y looking fellow, but not looking too dangerous. Proper old-school, even getting the fiancee involved! good old Dara. Gabriel looks like a giant cousin to the old Stinger, very tall. I forget what the height restrictions is. Not easy to explain how Gabriel works. Beast is your conventional flipper bot but with a roll-cage on top. All the weight is in the flipper? Interesting... Infernal Contraption another returnee from the old series (I think, it looks very similar to the old Infernal Contraption). There are quite a few teams from Norwich. Oh dear, JP can't pronounce coupe... And away we go! A lot of hits, it turns into a complete melee! Beast flips Crazy Coupe, but its invertible! Dead Metal gets Crazy Coupe and they aren't moving! Gabriel just spinning around. Infernal Contraption and Beast dance around each other but Infernal Contraption pirouette their way into the pit! Gabriel and Beast are through. Meanwhile Dead Metal leaves Crazy Coupe on the flame pit.

Head to Head 1: Gabriel v Chompalot. Gabriel's huge blade has flipped Chompalot but eventually Chompalot have their crusher on Gabriel. The flipper gets Chompalot and launches them on their side and across the arena! They can't self-right! And now while Angela is talking to the team it has caught on fire... Poor Chompalot. They stood up so well in the group battle too. That is a lot of smoke, they've even had to take it outside. I think Pulsar will get in over Thermidor, and the judges select Pulsar! 

Head to Head 2: Ironside 3 v Beast. Beast and Ironside are dancing around each other and the first hits are ripping chunks out of Beast! Very manoeuvrable and after a slight malfunction they hit the exposed tyres on Beast and almost completely immobilise Beast! Eventually it is unable to move completely. Will it go to the judges? No! It's been given as a straight victory.

A quick break to talk to Dr. Sethu Vijayakuma  about prosthetic arms, which is actually quite cool! T-1000 style hand holding the flask. A cheeky reference to the old techno games?

Head to Head 3: Gabriel v Ironside 3. A change of weaponry for Gabriel but how much damage can it do with that axe? Too late, Ironside is way too quick and is hitting Gabriel's wheels and Sir Killalot gets a hold.But it's still going... the wheels are doing very well considering how many hits are going in from Ironside and Killalot! The flamepit is getting a lot of use today and Gabriel is in trouble here. They eventually escape and it goes to the judges. That might be closer than we think.... but the decision goes Ironside's way.

Head to Head 4: Beast v Pulsar. A bit unfair on Pulsar to only have 2 fights but such is the way of Robot Wars! That said both robots need the win.. Pulsar seem to be in trouble with their drive. Both of them are in trouble... but what a hit on Beast!! And that seems to have immobilised them! Well done Pulsar, although the cameras seem to have missed out most of the rest of the battle, which might have been really good, but I suspect it was a bore-fest.

Head to Head 5: Beast v Gabriel. Would Beast have had time to see Gabriel's problems on the flame pit? Back to the arm for Gabriel. Beast having some technical problems. On that same wheel that was ripped apart before... Gabriel's arm sounds good on hitting the floor. A strange ending there with Gabriel not wanting to do any more damage after immobilising Beast. A mercy killing? If you're not going to, Dead Metal will... the judges still have to decide, that is one less point if they do decide and that would be crucial. But they've been given the full points as Beast was immobilised for longer than 10 seconds.

Head to Head 6: Ironside v Pulsar. Spinners fight each other, they didn't do much against each other in the group stage except for the one hit that has given Pulsar so many drive problems. Now we will see their true powers... OH MY WORD THAT WAS INCREDIBLE!! Ironside flipped by the sheer power of Pulsar's vertical spinner when the horizontal spinner collided on it!!  Sir Killalot controversially self righting Ironside after a very long time!!  Ironside have suffered heavily here, only chance is to pit them. But wait, Pulsar aren't moving!! They've both gone into the pit... judges are looking for more than control, damage and aggression! They've gone for Pulsar!! Fantastic! Ironside were immobilised for more than 10 seconds. In just 2 fights they've gone through to the final against Gabriel! Of course that is a controversial decision, perhaps cease should have been called after the 10 seconds?

Heat final: Gabriel v Pulsar. Wow, I thought Ironside would walk through this heat, but here we are. Gabriel are so big that Pulsar are going straight under them! Pulsar are hitting the wheels, but Gabriel is still moving around, those wheels are almost indestructible. Pulsar are more manoeuvrable, Pulsar are having issues and almost stop in front of Killalot! Pulsar continue to hit the wheels of Gabriel, causing it to flip around. Again Pulsar are in trouble, right next to Killalot!! And again Pulsar is  immobile! And again they start again!! They seem to be starting again within ten seconds so it will go to the judges... even the flipper can't get a hold of Gabriel!! Who would want to be a judge! Very enjoyable final, Pulsar did more damage but that drive will count against Pulsar. Aggression to decide? Gabriel are surprisingly robust, I will agree with the team on that one. Pulsar get the win!!! I think Gabriel ran them very close, although on criteria alone, Pulsar had 2 categories going for them.

Overall, an episode that will go down as controversial for Pulsar's inclusion (maybe it should have been left blank?) and for Pulsar getting a win over Ironside when they maybe should have lost. Yes it has happened in the old series but something just doesn't seem right about it. At least this time there are no bad losers! Plus we've had our first robot so completely destroyed they've had to retire! No Matilda I see in hindsight...too much damage maybe from the 3rd episode??

The grand final is next week, let's see how it goes down...

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