I’ve always been a fan of robot on robot violence, with the classic British TV show Robot Wars being a firm favourite. Unfortunately, Robot Wars is currently in a state of limbo, having been cancelled (again) by the BBC – so where can I get my fix of fighting machines now?
Thankfully, Netflix have a few series of US series BattleBots available for streaming. Just like the UK’s Robot Wars, it’s full of impressively engineered – and often very expensive looking – machines battling it out to the death, mostly in one on one fights taking place in a bulletproof glass-encased arena. The arena has its own hazards that the bot drivers attempt to push their opponents into – if their own deadly weapons, which come in the form of flippers, spinners and even flamethrowers, among other appendages of metallic destruction, don’t do the job on their own.
It’s a hugely entertaining watch, seeing the competition whittled down from qualifying rounds, to quarter finals and then semis until we reach the final bot on bot showdown, which determines the winner of the season. Along the way there’s upset, disappointment, triumph over adversity and more than a few shocks. Despite the drama sometimes feeling a tad artificial in the way it’s stirred up by the commentators and the editing of the show, it’s really easy to get involved in the bouts and pick favourite machines that you’ll be cheering along in their battles. You’ll get to know the often kooky and very passionate robot builders too, with some of them being very arrogant sorts who you’ll love to hate – and others seeming like thoroughly pleasant people that you’ll want to see succeed.
With only six episodes in the first season, it’s hardly a significant time commitment to get through the lot – and it soon becomes incredibly compelling once the competitors are pared down to the best of the best – and there’s only a few fights where the outcome seems assured before the action even befinsy, but even in those instances, there’s a few genuinely surprising outcomes that you just won’t foresee. It’s a great watch and despite the carnage, it’s all good, clean fun for the whole family. Excellent stuff.
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