- "This is no "Waltzing Matilda", but if Matilda dances with you, it's a dance of death! Her tusks can rip and pneumatically flip, it's a breeze for 'Tildy'! Her spinning rear flywheel is 27 kilos in weight, the matriarch of mayhem, the mistress of mischief, Matilda!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Matilda in Series 5
Matilda (occasionally nicknamed Tildy) was one of the original four House Robots that appeared in the UK TV game show Robot Wars. Present in all series of the UK series and all international versions, Matilda was initially infamous for her unreliability and susceptibility to being attacked by competitor robots, eventually being destroyed by Razer at the end of the Series 4 Southern Annihilator. However, upgrades to her pneumatic tusks and the replacement of her original chainsaw with a vertical flywheel enabled her to become one of the more destructive House Robots in later series.
In addition to her role in the main series, Matilda also regularly appeared in numerous side competitions, notably Robotic Soccer in Series 3 and both the Series 3 and 4 Pinball tournaments. Her design takes inspiration from a mutant alien dinosaur, and is perpetuated in the Robot Wars Technical Manual to be a biomechanical creature unearthed from a lost Atlantean civilisation. Jonathan Pearce often described Matilda as the 'Matriarch of Mayhem' across the UK Series, in recognition of her originally being the only female House Robot.
- "We wanted a girl's name that sounded hard, Matilda fitted the bill - it sounded tomboy-ish. For a while we called her Sharon."
- — Robot Wars Executive Producer Steve Carsey, on the inspiration for Matilda's name
In all of her appearances, Matilda’s basic design remained consistent, being based around a mutant alien dinosaur with a 12V motor and armed with front pneumatic flipping tusks and either a rear 3000rpm chainsaw or vertical flywheel as weapons. Her body was made from fibreglass matting, and featured decorative stegosaurus-like spikes, front horns and two LED ‘eyes’ to reinforce the alien dinosaur theme.
In Series 1, Matilda’s tusks ran on a relatively simple pneumatics system, and were mounted close to the chassis, with her chainsaw being her primary weapon. The tusks were upgraded for Series 2 to lift faster, allowing her to lift robots more easily as she raised them and pushed them across the arena. A spark shooter was also installed for Series 2, but was rarely seen in action.
Matilda received new speed controllers and a complete rewiring for Series 3, which reportedly doubled her top speed and improved her reliability compared with earlier series. Additionally, her rubber horns were briefly swapped with metal ones for this series, but were swapped back after the metal horns tended to break off easily during battles. Even so, her tusks and chainsaw had little improvements, and the latter proved increasingly ineffective against tougher armour used by most competitor robots.
For Series 4, Matilda’s tusks were remounted higher above the chassis, allowing them to lift higher, more powerfully and reliably than before. Additionally, the safety catches for her rear bodyshell were improved in order to stop it from falling off when she was nudged or flipped, a problem that regularly occurred in earlier series. Still, the chainsaw received no modifications, and as in Series 3 could not cause any significant damage to competitors’ armour. The original version of Matilda was heavily damaged by Razer at the end of the Southern Annihilator, and was replaced by a new version for Series 5 onwards.
The Series 5/Extreme 1 version of Matilda featured substantial revisions to her weapons, firstly the replacement of her original tusks with brand-new ones powered by upward firing pneumatic rams and a system of air rams and dump tanks. This revised pneumatics system allowed the tusks to fire even faster and be more capable of lifting heavier weights. Most significantly, the chainsaw was made interchangeable with a 27kg (60lbs) vertical flywheel, which was attached to a thick solid steel mounting in order for the rest of Matilda to withstand its power. Initially painted grey, it was later painted pink and given larger teeth in order to be more visually recognisable and to improve its potency. The chainsaw was never used again in the UK series, although it continued to be used in international championships, most notably Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors and Nickelodeon Robot Wars.
In earlier series, Matilda’s armament was comparatively weak to that in her later appearances, and she was often the subject of attacks from competitor robots, which often broke off her tusks (as Spin Doctor did in the Series 2 Joust trial), dislodged her fibreglass shell, or flipped her over (Recyclopse, Cassius,Chaos 2, etc.). However, since her Series 5/Extreme 1 upgrades, Matilda became renowned as one of the more destructive House Robots in later series, being capable of causing significant damage to competitor robots and even throwing them out of the arena. As a result, the Series 5/Extreme 1 Matilda remained largely unchanged until the end of Series 7, and has been retired along with the other original versions of the House Robots.
For Series 8, a brand-new version of Matilda was made from scratch by Robo Challenge, featuring a revised design and upgraded drive systems and weaponry. She features a new bodyshell and headpiece with a more pronounced dinosaur influence, with a triceratops-like neck-frill lined with spikes and a pair of red LED ‘eyes’, and raised spikes on her rear shell resembling that of a crocodile, painted white in Series 10. Her weight was significantly increased from 116kg to 350kg, and her weapons have been upgraded, with her tusks now flipping at a force of 800psi, and her HARDOX flywheel now weighing 35kg and spinning at 25 revolutions per second (1,500 RPM), with the potential of spinning faster if the drivers willed it. Her headpiece now lifts as part of the tusk assembly, with the tusks now being capable of flipping competitors out of the arena as well as the flywheel.
- "Matilda's disc is certainly one of the most powerful. I would say very likely the most powerful vertical spinner by a good way. However it’s designed to spin slower to try and launch robots rather than tearing them to pieces."
- — Grant Cooper on Matilda's new flywheel
Matilda was the second House Robot to be introduced into the series. Her tusks were relatively basic back then, and only had a simple lifting mechanism. Often, she would rely more on her chainsaw to attack robots that strayed into her CPZ (as she did with Mortis). The chainsaw itself was largely ineffective against the majority of the robots, as shown in the semi-finals of Heat D; whilst she was able to cut through the wooden body of SAT'arn easily, her saw stopped instantly upon contact with the metal body of Demolisher.
- "And Matilda's saw comes down! SAT'arn is being chewed, slowly - oh look at that!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Matilda slices into SAT'arn
Rather than using her tusks to flip other robots, Matilda instead used them to ram them. This proved very effective during the Gauntlet, where she was often placed right at the end of the run. One of the most notable instances involved her pushing back Prince of Darkness just as it had crossed the line, taking it back several metres. Luckily for the contestant robot, she got stuck, allowing it to complete its run.
Matilda holds the dubious honour of being the first House Robot to be defeated in the arena (not including Shunt's defeats in the Sumo trial). During the British Bulldog trial, Matilda attacked an immobilised Recyclopse, and was pushed onto its tongue. She was promptly flipped over, the first time a house robot had ever been overturned. Matilda also suffered an internal breakdown during the Featherweight Gauntlet whilst attacking Krayzee Tokyo, whereby she started billowing purple smoke.
Matilda's pneumatic system was reworked slightly to make the tusks lift faster. She could now overturn robots more easily but ramming was still a favourite tactic. It was this series that Matilda used her spark shooter, however, it was rarely seen. As the quality of other robots' armour was on the up, Matilda's chainsaw was starting to lose its effectiveness.
However, Matilda once again had her fair share of being set on by competitors. In the King of the Castle trial, Spin Doctor used its sit-and-spin technique to break off one of her tusks. Also, during the heat final of Heat H, Cassius exploited Matilda's ground clearance and flipped her over, very similar to what happened to her in the British Bulldog trial in Series 1.
- "Oh, something's come off! It's the cuddly toy Matilda!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Matilda is pushed back to her end
She also fell into the pit during Roadblock's Pinball run. To add the icing on the cake, Matilda was unable to gain an advantage on Kill Dozer because of the latter's scoop digging into the floor. This prompted a girl in the audience to turn around her Matilda sign to reveal a sign rooting for Kill Dozer.
Matilda received new speed controllers and was completely rewired for Series 3, reportedly doubling her top speed and "to avoid and embarrassing smoking circuitry like in Series II". Her soft rubber horns were also swapped in favour of metal ones. This proved to be an undoing as they frequently snapped off. Matilda was flipped several times during the series, this time actually disconnecting her rear armour, leaving her rear workings exposed. Her shell would come off a few times against robots such as Chaos 2, Aggrobot, Facet, Invertabrat and Gravedigger.
- "And now the cricket fans trying to a bowl a maiden over! Look! They've ripped the shell off Matilda! They've body-popped Matilda - she's nude! Oh, horrible! That's a nightmare that'll stay in my memory forever! Naked Matilda - shocking!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Aggrobot dislodges Matilda's shell
Matilda's chainsaw was not making as much impact on robots as it had in Series 1. As many a robot's armour was getting stronger, her chainsaw was becoming her secondary weapon in favour of the unchanged tusks. These tusks helped to ruin Six Pac's pinball hopes as she flipped the 75 point target out of the arena.
Matilda was still a favourite to pick on by the competitor robots because of her not very potent arsenal. After flipping Hypno-Disc to win Series 3, Chaos 2 chose Matilda as its second victim, throwing the house robot onto her left side in the CPZ, where Shunt was waiting, who was next to be attacked.
Matilda's chainsaw barely damaged armour during this series, as chainsaws were designed for cutting wood, not metal, which made up the majority of robots at the time. Her tusks were given a makeover however. The mountings for her tusks, originally close to her chassis, were moved up, therefore making the tusks lift higher. Safety catches were also added, to keep her rear shell on even if she was flipped.Onslaught onto its side where it couldn't self right, Razer crushed Matilda's rear armour, not only filling it with holes, but also rendering the chainsaw inoperable. She was pushed onto the flame pit, with the house robots also attacking Matilda. After Dead Metal pushed Onslaught into the pit, Razer went after Sir Killalot, leaving Matilda immobilised. The damage was so severe that a funeral was held at the end of the episode.
- "Matilda, created at the dawn of Robot Wars. R.I.P. Rust in peace. D.I.A. Destroyed in action. D.Y.W.B? Do you wanna bet!?"
- — Jonathan Pearce provides Matilda's last rites whilst funeral music plays. It comes to an abrupt stop at his last statement
However, Matilda reappeared active, albeit heavily bandaged, at the end of the episode. According to Vincent Blood, the producers were planning on rebuilding Matilda, so they let Razer destroy her.
- "Oh yes, the matriarch of mayhem, the sister of slice-and-dice, the grandmother of grinding metal, will be back!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Matilda reappears, heavily bandaged
Matilda had been completely overhauled to keep it competitive in the new 100 kg weight limit - her chainsaw would not have been very useful because of its design and the strength of competitors' armour. Her tusks were new and larger, and the pneumatic system was gone altogether - instead, a complex system of air rams and dumps were fitted. This new system enabled the tusks to lift far heavier weights than before.
- "...and Matilda, with a new weapon this time around: a 27 kilo flywheel, that can rip opponents to shreds!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Matilda's new weapon for the first time
Her rear chainsaw "tail" was abandoned in favour of a huge 27 kg vertical flywheel, now capable of destroying robots. Because the disc was so heavy and powerful, the mounting was solid steel, itself fairly hefty in weight. She could now flip robots out of the arena with this weapon, however it took time for this to happen.
Matilda's first use of her flywheel came in the All-Stars first round battle between Chaos 2 and X-Terminator, where the House Robot buckled X-Terminator's axe and sent shards of its shell flying after Chaos 2 had flipped the beaten machine onto the House Robot's rear weapon.
- "And look at the pieces literally being ripped away from the frame of X-Terminator, there - torn apart!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
She followed this up with a crippling attack on Doom in the Middleweight Championship after it was thrown by the floor flipper, before also playing a notable role in the International Inferno. After causing damage to the immobile Maximill, Matilda helped end the deadlock between Panic Attack and Manta, as she pressed the pit release button while Panic Attack had the US robot lifted up, and Kim Davies' machine was able to reposition and drop Manta down into the pit. Matilda then caused more pain for a foreign machine as she threw the beaten German machine, Flensburger Power, over with her flywheel in The Second World Championship, causing bodywork damage in the process.
Matilda managed to immobilise the eventual winners of the second Annihilator, Disc-O-Inferno, in the first round of the tournament, after Spirit of Knightmare drove it into the CPZ. Thankfully for Disc-O-Inferno, Fighting Torque was immobilised before the House Robot landed her devastating blow.
Matilda was also involved in two notable scraps with competing robots in Robot Wars: Extreme, the first of which being the House Robot Rebellion, where Matilda appeared through the front gate late on into the battle to join Shunt and Dead Metal. She also appeared in the Flipper Frenzy, where Matilda single-handedly immobilised Wheely Big Cheese, Bigger Brother and Chaos 2 with her new weaponry after the competing robots decided to attack the House Robots.
- "Oh! And we forgot to give you another little item of news - we can bring on a substitute, like Matilda!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Matilda joins the fray in the House Robot Rebellion
Matilda still had her negative and controversial moments in Extreme. In a Mayhem match between The Steel Avenger, Tornado and King B Powerworks, Matilda attacked The Steel Avenger illegally, throwing it over. Matilda was red carded for this attack, and the Judges disregarded her attack on The Steel Avenger when they made their decision. She also buckled part of the arena wall out of place in an All-Stars semi-final battle between Razer and Firestorm 3. Not shown on television, Typhoon also ripped away one of Matilda's fibreglass tusks.
Matilda appeared in the first two battles of The Fifth Wars, and she made her mark on both battles as she sent two-time champion Chaos 2 up into the air with her flywheel in its battle against Storm Force, before tearing into Obsidian and causing notable damage as it was defeated by S.M.I.D.S.Y..
- "Look at the damage there! Smash, rip, tear!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Matilda exerts her punishment onto Obsidian
Matilda's potency didn't threaten to come to a halt either, with Atomic the next in line to suffer significant damage in Heat B. With Atomic already immobile, Matilda used her flywheel to add further wounds to its right-hand side after it was already damaged by Hypno-Disc.
She followed this up with another exhibition of her flywheel's power in Heat D, as she completely disfigured the flipping arm of Firestorm 3 and crashed into the immobile Bee-Capitator during the two robots' first-round battle, before subjecting Rohog to multiple damaging hits after it was beaten by Sir Chromalot, which not only caused significant bodywork damage, but also caused the entire shell itself to be thrown upwards at one stage.
Matilda's rear weapon also proved pivotal during a couple of first-round battles. In Heat H, with Behemoth and Supernova trading blows, Supernova then found itself in Matilda's CPZ, and the House Robot showed no mercy, as it sent Supernova's entire top panel flying before buckling one of its wheel guards. With such significant damage caused, Supernova failed to get itself back into the battle and was chucked down into the pit by Behemoth. Then, a fight between The Executioner and Pussycat in Heat L saw Matilda completely wipe out any sort of further attacking threat from The Executioner, as she ripped off the tip of its crusher.
Matilda also subjected beaten robots to further punishment in The Fifth Wars. In Heat G, she used her flywheel on Hydra before pushing it down into the pit, while in Heat J she subjected Kliptonite to severe damage as she completely wrecked its bodyshell. Finally, she gave Widow's Revenge similar treatment in Heat K as she slammed body panels loose from the beaten machine after it was defeated by Razer.
- "Matilda, what are you doing! Sisters of mercy? The Widows are infuriated! Girl power? That certainly was from our Matilda!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Matilda wrecks Widow's Revenge
There was also a controversial incident involving Matilda in Heat L. During Terrorhurtz's battle with Ming 3, she came out from her CPZ and attacked Ming 3 twice with her flywheel, which immobilised it. The match went to the judges nevertheless, who chose Terrorhurtz as the winner based on the action up until Matilda unfairly intervened. Team Ming were given an apology, while Matilda was red-carded and given "a good smack up the backside" according to Jonathan Pearce.
Matilda had no major internal changes for The Sixth Wars, with the most notable revisions coming visually, as she was attached with two big hoops resembling wings at the top of her head and her flywheel was now permanently pink.
Matilda made an instant impression in her first appearance in The Sixth Wars, as, during the Heat A final, Razer dragged Raging Reality towards the House Robot, where her flywheel tore off a top panel and carved a huge gash into Raging Reality's side. This attack immobilised the silver robot, ending its run in Series 6.
- "Matilda's flywheel wrecking havoc!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Raging Reality is torn apart by the House Robot
Matilda's flywheel caused more problems for competing robots in Heat G, as she knocked the back plate of Edge Hog loose during its first round melee before completely ripping a panel off of Inshredable in the same battle.
Panic Attack was the next robot to feel the force of the House Robot's flywheel, as, after it was cornered in the CPZ in its heat final battle against Terrorhurtz in Heat I, Matilda came across and completely ripped Panic Attack's top straight off, sending it out of the arena and into a camera.
Matilda was also involved in a pivotal moment in the Semi-Final second round battle between Tornado and Dominator 2. Both robots tussled and manoeuvred in and around Matilda's CPZ, before Tornado suddenly made contact with Matilda's flywheel, which sent Tornado high into the air and almost directly into the pit. It was after this action that Dominator 2 drove into the pit itself.
Matilda's first appearance in Extreme 2 came in an All-Stars second round battle between Dominator 2 and 13 Black, and the House Robot inflicted decisive damage, rendering Dominator 2's right-hand drive immobile with a hit from her flywheel, which caused mobility issues for Dominator 2 during the remainder of the battle.
Matilda also caused notable damage in the Annihilator. At the end of Round 4, with Major Tom a sitting duck, Matilda reversed into it, ripping into the front of its fibreglass shell, with subsequent attacks leaving Major Tom dilapidated.
- "Look at that! The dust settling on what was once upon a time, proud major."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Matilda rips into Major Tom
Matilda also played a notable role in the Tag Team Terror, as she tore one of Mighty Mouse's ears off, ripped a protective panel away from Barbaric Response's wheel guard, and came in to inflict further damage on a beaten Diotoir.
In Heat A of the New Blood Championship, Matilda was involved in a comical incident involving Niterider, as, after causing damage to the immobile machine, she ended up shattering the screen of the TV that was sent down from the dropzone. She also caused considerable damage to Chopper and Mad Dog in Heat C, and Doctor Fist and Piranha in Heat D.
Matilda's flywheel took another considerable step to proving its power during Extreme 2, as it managed to not only damage robots, but also throw them Out of the Arena. She inflicted this fate on Sir Chromalot and Vader, with both instances occurring during the Challenge Belt.
Matilda was unchanged from Series 6, and had to wait a considerable amount of time to make her mark in The Seventh Wars, as she only made her first appearance in Heat E, and appeared a total of three times in the first seven heats.
Matilda's first moment of real impact in The Seventh Wars was worth the wait, however, as she tore a chunk out of St. Agro's wheel before severely damaging an immobile Ceros as she sent it flying out of the arena in the final of Heat H.
- "Good old Matilda. You can count on her rear end in any sort of catastrophe."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Matilda smashes Ceros out of the arena
Matilda's flywheel continued to prove its power throughout the series, and made an impression in the very next heat, when she sent a panel from the arena wall flying as she attempted to attack Rhino, before throwing Mayhem through the air in the same first round melee.
Matilda's next moment of impact involved an out of control Behemoth in its second round defeat to Mute in Heat L as she inflicted minor bodywork damage before chucking it up into the air with another rear-end attack.
Heat M saw Matilda take part in the special event of the episode, the final qualifier for the final of the Featherweight championship, where she and Sir Killalot teamed up to cause significant damage to Micro-Mute.
Matilda then made her mark in the Semi-Finals during a battle between X-Terminator and St. Agro, as she added to the damage she caused to St. Agro in its heat by smashing a chunk out of one of its wheels once again, before causing notable bodywork damage.
Matilda appeared in the final two battles of the UK Championship, and the third place playoff saw her throw X-Terminator up and over before causing damage to the armour of the machine that ended up finishing fourth.
Matilda only carried out arena hazard duties twice during The Seventh Wars, as she subjected Hammerhead to the dropzone before nudging the beaten robot down into the pit of oblivion in Heat O, and placed the beaten St. Agro on the floor flipper during its Semi-Final battle with X-Terminator.
Matilda was the first House Robot to be confirmed for Series 8, appearing in the very first teaser trailer for the rebooted series. Along with fellow House Robots Shunt, Dead Metal and Sir Killalot, she has been upgraded to "modern standards". Her weight has been increased to 350kg, Matilda's flywheel is now a double-bladed Hardox 35kg wheel, spinning 25 times per second. Her tusks also have considerably more flipping power at 800PSI. Her design brandishes spikes, and glowing red eyes.
In Meet the House Robots during Matilda's segment, Matilda manages to lose a horn after using its flywheel which caused a piece of wood to fly off which knocked the horn off.
In Heat 2, during the Thor vs Shockwave in the head to heads, Matilda manages to use her flywheel to tear a section from the already damaged scoop of Shockwave off as well as ripping off the top of the wheel guard of Thor. In the same episode, after the Foxic vs Thor fight had ended, Matilda flipped the immobile Foxic into the pit.
In Heat 3, Matilda managed to secure the first instance of a robot being trenched in the new series during the battle between Dantomkia and King B Remix. After Dantomkia had flipped King B and wedged it between the Pit release and Arena wall, Matilda came by and used her tusks to flip King B out of the arena, her first time flipping a robot out of the arena without using her flywheel.
In the Grand Final, Matilda once again used her flywheel against Thor, causing even more damage after facing Carbide. Matilda would later trench Thor, after TR2 tossed the red machine into her, she managed to use her tusks to flip the defeated machine over one of the entrance walls.
Battle of the StarsEdit
Matilda appeared in Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars, which was filmed and broadcast as part of the ongoing ninth series. In Episode 1, she came out of her CPZ during the Head-to-Head battle between JAR and Interstellar: MML, pushing Interstellar: MML against the wall after it lost drive to one side. After JAR shoved Interstellar: MML into the CPZ a second time, Matilda rammed it out with her tusks. In Episode 2, she flipped Soldier Ant off the Flame Pit with her tusks following its Head-to-Head defeat to Robo Savage, before pushing and tossing it into the wall. In retaliation, Soldier Ant grabbed hold of Matilda's tusks with its crusher, before Matilda dragged it away and pitted it, although not without having one of her horns broken off in the process.
Matilda appeared in a teaser trailer for Series 9, uploaded on 10th February 2017. The teaser showed her and the other House Robots destroying household appliances, with Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble" playing in the background.
- "Swipe left, or she'll take a swipe at you!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Matilda before the first battle of Heat 1
Matilda was the first House Robot to appear in Series 9, carrying out her duties in the Group Battle involving Nuts 2, Terrorhurtz, Rapid and Jellyfish. She quickly made her presence felt by flicking Nuts 2 aside early in the battle, before eliminating the same machine in devastating fashion at a later stage by hurling it out of the arena with her flywheel.
- "Don't mess with the rear end of Matilda - it's a grizzly place to be!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Matilda throws Nuts 2 out of the arena
Matilda also made two appearances during the Head-to-Heads stage in Heat 1, as she joined Dead Metal for the battle between Terrorhurtz and Jellyfish, as well as being partnered with Sir Killalot for the final Head-to-Head fight involving Sabretooth and Jellyfish.
Heat 2 was a subdued one for Matilda, as she failed to get into the action in any of her four battles.
In her first appearance in Heat 3, Matilda's attempt to remove the stuck Concussion away from the Pit of Oblivion panel ended up with her getting stuck on top of the competing machine. Her fellow House Robot, Dead Metal, was needed to separate them.
Matilda also put her flywheel to use in the battle between Heavy Metal and Thor, as she damaged the wedge of Heavy Metal before sending a wheel that was knocked off by Thor through the air and into Dead Metal's CPZ.
Matilda only appeared in two battles in the Grand Final, and she was unable to affect either of the fights she was in.
- "There is the gorgeous Matilda - extra special looks for her in this series of Robot Wars'"
- — Jonathan Pearce on Matilda's new white horns and tips
Matilda's sole appearance in Heat 1 came in the battle between Behemoth and The Swarm. Despite her limited battle time, Matilda still caused damage in her only battle, as she created a gash in Behemoth's side armour with her flywheel. However, she also had one of her white tips ripped away by The Swarm's bar spinner unit, Blenda.
Just like Heat 1, Matilda only appeared once in Heat 2, in the fight between Eruption and Big Nipper. She caused problems for the latter, using her tusks and flywheel to put Big Nipper under pressure on a number occasions.
- "In the arena for the house robots and still not returning my calls, Matilda!"
- — Jonathan Pearce during Series 10
Matilda found herself in the action more in Heat 3 - featuring four times. She made Bucky the Robot flinch in the Group Battle with a hit from her flywheel, before chucking the same machine across the arena floor with her tusks after it was counted out against Vulture. She used her tusks again later in the episode to separate Vulture and Terrorhurtz, as well as appearing in the shortest fight in Robot Wars history as Rapid threw Track-tion out of the arena in 00:05.6 seconds in the Heat Semi-Finals.
Matilda contributed to two battles in Heat 4. In the battle between Concussion and The Kegs, Matilda launched one of The Kegs across the arena after 'cease' had been called, eventually flipping an empty keg shell out of the arena, smashing it into the entry gates. Matilda also threatened Iron-Awe 6 during its battle with Androne 4000, attacking with both the flywheel and tusks on separate occasions, although Iron-Awe 6 was not flipped over, which would have defeated it.
- "I don't think we've seen that sort of destructive power of a House Robot in the series so far, as Matilda went wild - Rogue and wild!"
- — Jonathan Pearce after Thor takes severe damage from the House Robot
After seeing no action during the Robot Redemption Round fight between Expulsion and Push to Exit, Matilda made a massive impact during the later part of Heat 5. A first example of this came during the Heat Semi-Final battle involving Thor and Coyote. After being summoned in Rogue House Robot mode when the Arena Tyre was pressed, Matilda came charging out, and a massive blow from her rear flywheel ruptured Thor's gas supply. Matilda's flywheel came into play again during the Third Place Playoff involving Expulsion and Coyote, as she damaged the Brentwood School Roboteers' machine with two hits from her spinning weapon, before flipping it over with her tusks, despite Expulsion having won the battle over the immobile Coyote.
Matilda was the only House Robot not to play some part in the Robot Rumble, and despite only appearing twice in the Grand Final episode itself, she still made a notable difference - flipping Magnetar into immobility during the second Group Battle, and sending Behemoth spinning through the air after connecting with a hit from her flywheel to Anthony Pritchard's machine.
Matilda's Series 10 adventure wasn't over yet, as she also appeared in the World Series. In Episode 1, after TMHWK sustained consistent damage to its weapon in its fight against Terrorhurtz, a final Matilda flip saw the axe shaft snap completely.
Matilda also caused notable damage during Episode 2, as she shattered one of Big Nipper's top panels during its battle against Terror Turtle, causing its lithium polymer batteries to catch fire. She also used her tusks on both competing machines during the same fight. Matilda then finished the episode by chucking Cathadh into the Pit of Oblivion after it was immobilised against Eruption during the captains' battle.
Matilda has made appearances in all the other Robot Wars international series. Despite Matilda's flywheel being interchangeable with her chainsaw, the chainsaw was only ever seen a few more times in the second season of the US series Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors as well as in Nickelodeon Robot Wars. This was due to the fact that the producers thought Matilda's flywheel was too powerful following recent upgrades and opted to use the chainsaw as an alternative. However, Matilda's chainsaw was rarely put into action during its matches.
Regardless, Matilda's flywheel proved to be quite devastating, managing to completely destroy many robots such as the Dutch competitors Impact and Shapeshifter and the German competitor Thorgrim, as well as sending American competitor Medusa Oblongotta and S.O.Xbot, part of the Dutch clusterbot √3, flying out of the arena. In the Dutch Series 1 Grand Final, a combination of Slicer's drum and Matilda's flywheel launched Lizzard 3 ft into the air.Matilda also fought in the House Robot Rebellion in the first season of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, but was easily knocked onto her side by Tricerabot. Tricerabot also achieved this feat in the Tag Team Terror event. These were the first times Matilda had been flipped whilst she was equipped with her flywheel and this would not occur again until fifteen years later where she was flipped by Apollo in Series 8.
Matilda played only a minor role in Nickelodeon Robot Wars, as she was deemed "too powerful" by production. Out of the twenty-four battles held during the series, she only appeared in four of them.
Appearances in MerchandiseEdit
- Matilda/Robot Wars: Metal Mayhem
- Matilda/Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction
- Matilda/Robot Wars: Advanced Destruction
- Matilda/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (GBA)
- Matilda/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (PC/Xbox)
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Before the show's revival, a version of Matilda made an appearance at the 2011 UK Heavyweight Championships at the O2 Arena. Built by Alan Gribble, this version of Matilda was based on the original Series 1-4 shell, while featuring a new chassis and internals. It served as a house robot in the Featherweight Championship at the event and continued to act as house robot for all Roaming Robots tournaments up to - and after - John Findlay acquired the rights to use the Robot Wars brand name.
In 2014, John Findlay built a new version of Matilda to replace Gribble's version. Gribble had worked at Gloucester University, which provided the innards for his version whilst he provided the shell; however, with Gribble's death, the university wanted its property back. Findlay's version of Matilda was equipped with a flywheel, improved tusks and a tougher body shell, which was later replaced with a new shell made from the original moulds. It was retired in 2016 after Findlay conceded the rights to the Robot Wars brand upon the show's return to TV.
On July 21st, 2016, Matilda and the rest of the House Robots appeared on BBC's The One Show, to promote Series 8 of Robot Wars. They battled three remote controlled cars piloted by the cast of The Rebel. Sir Killalot flattened all three cars, and won the battle for the House Robots.
Both Matilda and Shunt appeared in the 6th March 2017 edition of The One Show along with Dara Ó Briain, in order to promote Series 9.
Along with Sir Killalot and Dead Metal, Matilda also appears in the BBC Make It Digital promo What If Robots Replaced Teachers? as one of several robots running a high school in place of human staff. She and Dead Metal are seen accompanying Sir Killalot as he 'expels' a pair of disruptive Cybermen, and are credited onscreen as 'Senior Prefects'.
As of September 2017, Gribble's version of Matilda is now owned by Cyberigs Robotics, a company specialising in collecting and restoring famous robots and robot props. Still retaining the original bodyshell, it was restored to working order with new wheels and tyres as well as recreations of missing components, including new tusks, horns and a dummy rear chainsaw. Cyberigs Robotics intend to display the restored Matilda at Robotazia, a planned museum and art gallery dedicated to robots from science-fiction.
- According to the Robot Wars Fun Fax, the early design that became Matilda was known as Evildoer. This machine had a similar ovoid shape and a chainsaw on the rear like Matilda, but had saws and spikes all over its body.
- The thumbprints on Matilda's headpiece were fashioned by Crew member James Davis.
- Early footage of Matilda being tested would suggest that she was originally intended to be painted black, before later being changed to purple.
- Matilda was fitted with spark projectiles on her tusks for some of the events in Series 2. They were removed just before Series 3 started.
- Matilda's horns were made from squashy rubber; the metal versions tended to shatter or break off too easily. The practice of rubber horns has carried over to the newest version of Matilda and can be seen wobbling when using her tusks.
- Matilda was the oldest House Robot, having had construction started first amongst the four original House Robots.
- Even discounting the versions made for live events, Matilda is the House Robot represented by the most different machines with three; the original model used for the first four series, a rebuilt model used from Extreme 1 onward, and an updated model for Series 8 onwards.
- Matilda was the only robot to be represented by all four types of Robot Wars toys.
- Prior to Series 10, Matilda was the only House Robot to be considered and referred to as a female.
- ↑ https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnofficialRobotWars/permalink/553849841561452
- ↑ Series 9 Teaser Trailer, featuring the House Robots.
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjCkiNRM-FI
- ↑ http://www.robotazia.co.uk/robot-wars-matilda/
- ↑ http://www.robotazia.co.uk/robotazia-to-operate/