ACTIVATE! You know, again.
We were all pretty stoked last year when ABC resurrected the robots-fighting-each-other-in-an-arena competition program BattleBots for six episodes in the summer. Who doesn’t love a good ol’ grudge match between remote-controlled metal behemoths—especially when kinetic energy makes parts fly across the cage? It was a grand few weeks, and it seems the televisual forerunner to the early-2000s hit didn’t want to be left out of the fray, so BBC Two has commissioned a brand new series of its robot fighting show, Robot Wars.
The brand new all-purpose fighting arena that will serve as the set for the new series will be built in Glasgow, Scotland as part of Mentorn Media’s production of the series. The press release for the six 60-minute episodes promises “new structure with more robots, more battles and more science than ever before.”
Kim Shillingshaw, the Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four (sidebar: how cool is that Big Brother-esque title? “Oh, me? I’m just the Controller of two television channels.”), issued a state on the commission, saying “Robot Wars is an absolute TV classic and I’m thrilled to be updating it for the next generation of viewers. With new technological advances making for an even more exciting and immersive experience, this is a fantastic example of the kind of content-rich factual entertainment that BBC Two excels at.”
The original run of Robot Wars aired on BBC Two from 1998 to 2001 when it moved over to BBC Choice for two more years, and then finally to Channel 5 for its final series in 2004. That means the British television landscape has been completely devoid of these powerful, servo-driven killing machines.
One aspect that set Robot Wars apart from its American counterpart, besides the overall enormity of the set as compared to the tiny Comedy Central stage, is the inclusion of House Robots, which would act as all-purpose disruptions to the contestants. Some of these, like the massive Sir Killalot, were so popular that they spawned their own toy line.
No word yet on when the new reboot of Robot Wars will air, be we can only hope it ends up on BBC America t some point, because nothing makes metallic carnage more palatable than the addition of tea and scones.
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor and a film and TV critic for Nerdist.com. He also loves all things British except Jeremy Kyle. Follow him on Twitter!