The Grand Final was the finale of Series 8 of Robot Wars, where all five heat winners and the wildcard qualifier competed to determine the eighth Robot Wars champion. It was first aired on BBC Two on August 28th 2016 but was reaired on December 24th 2016.
The episode's original broadcast on BBC Two managed to attract 1.84 million viewers in the first week, a decrease of 10,000 viewers when compared with the previous episode. By twenty-eight days, it managed to reach 1.89 million viewers, a decrease of 110,000 viewers when compared with Heat 5. According to BARB, this meant it ranked tenth in the top thirty highest rated BBC Two broadcasts during 22-28 August, between Full Steam Ahead and Mastermind.
|Apollo (Winner of Heat 4)|
|Team: Dave Young, Ben Bacon, Marc Dermott|
|Carbide (Winner of Heat 1)|
|Team: Dave Moulds, Sam Smith, Sheryl Prior|
|Pulsar (Winner of Heat 5)|
|Team: Ellis Ware, Peter Ware, Tara Ware|
|Shockwave (Winner of Heat 2)|
|Team: Will Thomas, Ian Thomas|
|TR2 (Winner of Heat 3)|
|Team: Alex Brown, Clive Brown, Wendy Brown|
|Team: Jason Marston|
Round 1 Edit
Pulsar vs Thor vs TR2Edit
Thor went straight for Pulsar in the opening seconds, but was pushed by Pulsar and spun into Shunt’s CPZ after riding up TR2’s wedge. Its left-hand wheel guard hung off by a thread, then got ripped off altogether after Pulsar slammed head-on into Thor’s front. Pulsar proceeded to push TR2 around before getting underneath Thor again, and the three robots converged near Shunt, who attempted to axe Thor again. TR2 tried to flip Pulsar, but missed, and decided to attack Thor as Pulsar spun and stopped, its drive systems failing to work again. With Pulsar immobilised on one side, TR2 chased Thor around the arena, flipping itself over before Thor spun into Shunt and TR2 flipped it near the House Robot.
- "This is a good contest between the two of them."
- — Jonathan Pearce comments on TR2 and Thor's tussle
Thor self-righted, but was flipped more times by Shunt and TR2 before TR2 flipped Pulsar onto its back, the latter then sustaining a multitude of axe blows from Shunt and Thor. TR2 backed away, only to come in and charge underneath Thor, flipping it on top of Pulsar and allowing it to get wedged between Shunt and the wall. Shunt dragged Thor into his corner with his axe, before thrusting it out of the CPZ and tipping Pulsar back upright as TR2 and Thor ganged up on it.
- "Thor is in trouble - needs to get away from the House Robot's mean looking axe, which has pinned him in and drags him into his lair."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Shunt worries Thor
TR2 flipped Thor against the wall and flicked Pulsar, which now appeared to be completely immobilised, before pushing Pulsar into Shunt, whose axe produced sparks as it hit Pulsar’s top panel and drum. Shunt axed and flipped Pulsar again, while TR2 flipped Thor over once more just as the airhorn sounded.
Qualified: Thor & TR2
Apollo vs Carbide vs ShockwaveEdit
Immediately, Carbide struck Shockwave’s left-hand side as it crossed the Flame Pit, but Shockwave retreated into Sir Killalot’s CPZ and charged straight underneath Carbide, pushing it along the arena, against the wall and into Shunt’s CPZ. Carbide spun into the arena wall blade-first, breaking one of the wall panels off, before slamming into Shockwave’s right-hand side, the impact ripping its side panel apart and dislodging its rear wheel. Apollo flipped Carbide onto the spikes, and Carbide charged headlong into Shockwave’s scoop before ‘cease’ was called due to safety reasons.
- "I don't know what happens next. I'll leave it to the health and safety guys - they'll be able to tell you what's happened exactly."
- — Jonathan Pearce as cease is called
The wall was soon repaired by the production crew, and it was expected that the fight would be restarted as soon as the repairs were completed. However, due to the damage inflicted by Carbide, Shockwave was forced to withdraw as Team Shock declared that they could not repair it within the allotted timeframe.
- "It’s always disappointing to lose, but we always knew that Carbide was going to be a fantastic robot to fight, and I reckon they’ll go far."
- — Will Thomas
Qualified: Apollo & Carbide
Carbide vs ThorEdit
For this battle, Thor was equipped with a wear-resistant front panel similar to the steel plate, which Jason Marston referred to as an ‘anti-Carbide plate’, and a pointed axe head intended to pierce Carbide’s top armour. Thor lunged at Carbide in the opening seconds, but was deflected by Carbide’s blade and thrown onto its back by the Floor Flipper. Thor lingered in the CPZ, allowing Carbide to hammer then tear off one of its side panels before running away. Another couple of impacts from Carbide buckled, then tore off Thor’s front plate, sending it flying through a gap in the wall.
- "Well, they put the buffer on, they have the pointed steel top – they are being absolutely savaged and the buffer didn’t last long!"
- — Jonathan Pearce watches on as Carbide rips Thor’s front plate off
Carbide steered into Shunt’s front scoop, before charging at Thor again, tearing through Thor’s front wedge and sending it spinning on its side. Another hit threw Thor over as it tried to swing its axe, and despite self-righting, Thor became immobilised after sustaining more hits from Carbide’s blade, which tore more gashes into its armour and ripped one of its wheels loose. After surveying the damage done to Thor, Jason Marston was less than optimistic about being able to repair it in time for its remaining battles.
- "The rear end has been completely taken out, the side pod here which holds the wheel and the drive system for the right-hand side, has been completely destroyed. The plate that I’ve put on the front to stop him [Carbide] has been destroyed. The bump stop has been destroyed. That wheel in there has been destroyed. The new speed controller I fitted...that’s been destroyed as well. Pretty much no chance of getting it ready for the next two fights"
- — Jason Marston assesses the damage done to Thor
Winner: Carbide via KO (3 points)
Apollo vs TR2Edit
TR2 got underneath Apollo immediately, steering it close to the Flame Pit, but Apollo escaped and tossed TR2 over with its own flipper. Apollo flipped TR2 again as they met in the middle of the arena, before nearly throwing TR2 over the wall and out of the arena. Another flip by Apollo saw TR2 land on Dead Metal’s saw as the House Robot came out of his CPZ, but both robots escaped.
- "Oh-hoh! And very nearly flipping TR2 out of orbit!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as TR2 is nearly thrown out of the arena
TR2 recovered, briefly launching Apollo into the air before Apollo drove into Dead Metal's CPZ and flicked the House Robot against the wall. However, it did not flip Dead Metal completely over, and TR2 came in to flip Apollo over before Apollo self-righted. Both TR2 and Apollo continued flipping each other several times around the arena before Apollo flicked TR2 onto its back close to the pit release button.
- "Maybe that will be decisive! TR2, over! Seems to be immobilised."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Apollo executes the key flip
TR2 tried to self-right from against the wall, but only had enough CO2 left to launch itself onto its back, leaving it stranded as it couldn't roll back onto its wheels. Apollo spun around in victory as TR2 was counted out.
Winner: Apollo via KO (3 points)
Apollo vs CarbideEdit
Apollo charged straight into Carbide, turning it over through the recoil of its opponent’s blade. However, a second blow immobilised Apollo completely, with Carbide hitting it again and rebounding into Shunt. In the dying seconds, Carbide approached Apollo, and despite Team MAD persuading Team Carbide not to cause any more damage, hit its side as ‘cease’ was called.
- "Underhand tactics, there!"
- — Jonathan Pearce’s view of Carbide’s extra blow
After the fight, Team MAD confirmed that Apollo’s link had fallen out, causing its immobilisation, and appeared to be disappointed with the extra damage inflicted by Carbide.
- "Cheap shot!"
- — Dave Young to Team Carbide.
Winner: Carbide via KO (3 points)
Thor vs TR2Edit
Remarkably, Thor was able to be repaired in time for this battle, with new sections of armour welded onto its sides and the entire rear section rebuilt. The front steel plate was also exchanged in favour of the short wedges this time round.
TR2 began the more dominant machine, getting underneath Thor and flipping it immediately, as Thor drove round the arena to dodge its wedge. The two robots met in the middle of the arena again, before TR2 tossed and pushed Thor around arena several times, eventually flipping it into Dead Metal. Thor self-righted every time, and axed TR2 as it was flipped again, only to run into Matilda, who ripped one of its side panels off and threw it onto its back with her tusks.
- "They hit Matilda, but got an absolute… tusk trip and over they went!"
- — Pearce as Matilda flips Thor
As both competitors escaped Matilda, TR2 tried to flip Thor over again, but missed, and instead pushed Thor around in circles and flipped it into Matilda again. Thor darted away, only to be pinned against the wall and flipped over a few more times, with Matilda hitting its other wheel pod with her flywheel and immobilising Thor on one side. TR2 and Matilda continued to flip Thor around for some time, with Thor’s CO2 system eventually leaking gas as it began seizing up in the cold temperatures of the arena. Despite not being able to self-right immediately after being flipped by the Floor Flipper, Thor re-righted itself as TR2 flipped it over again, before it was pushed into Matilda and tossed over the wall by her tusks.
- "Thor’s hammer, to no avail, and heading for Thor’s Valhalla, the hall of the fallen heroes."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Winner: TR2 via KO (3 points)
Carbide vs TR2Edit
As both robots met in the middle of the arena, Carbide began strongly, ripping parts of TR2’s armour off and causing it to spin into Sir Killalot’s CPZ in rapid succession. TR2's top right panel came loose as it spun on the Flame Pit, and Carbide hit its flipper while trying to dodge Sir Killalot, sending TR2 flying over the Flame Pit.
- "And I wonder how much damage that has caused to the front flipper! A slice has been taken out of it."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Carbide sends TR2 flying
With substantial damage to its flipper, TR2 got underneath Sir Killalot before escaping, then pressed the pit release button as it became clear that Carbide’s blade had stopped spinning. It flipped Carbide over onto its back, and pushed it into the wall, almost propping Carbide up against it in the process. After a few more flips from TR2, Carbide retreated, with TR2 following it around the arena, then was sent flying as it drove onto the Floor Flipper.
Carbide deliberately drove onto the Floor Flipper twice more, attempting to re-right itself but landing in the inverted position both times before TR2 pushed it over the Flame Pit and flipped it again.
- "Carbide… is a toy for TR2! Can they survive?"
- — Jonathan Pearce as TR2 harries the weaponless Carbide
Failing to flip it over, TR2 pushed Carbide into Shunt, who missed with his axe, before flipping it onto his scoop. Carbide charged into TR2, steering it around as Shunt closed in. TR2 landed another flip on Carbide, before driving round the perimeter of the arena and pushing it towards Shunt again, who rammed Carbide against the wall twice and axed its underside. Another couple of shoves from TR2 saw Carbide slammed into Shunt again, who axed Carbide once more and propped it against the wall, leaving Carbide stranded there with seconds remaining.
Even with Carbide wedged on the wall, the battle went to a judges’ decision, which unanimously went in favour of TR2 despite the damage it sustained from Carbide, keeping it in contention for a place in the Final. Dave Moulds revealed in the pits that the cause of Carbide’s weapon failing was due to one of its clutch plates disintegrating, while Alex Brown of Team Toon considered the fight as the best he had ever fought.
Winner: TR2 via Judges' decision (2 points)
Apollo vs ThorEdit
- "Thor, as we knew him, died many fights ago. This is now Zombie Thor."
- — Dara Ó Briain introduces the audience to a decidedly patchwork Thor
Thor received yet more repairs to its damaged bodywork prior to this battle, while the TR2 team joined Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon in the other control room to watch this battle, with TR2's place in the Final depending on Apollo losing the battle. Straight away, both robots came together and circled round, before Thor drove onto the Floor Flipper and got flung onto its side. Apollo capitalised on Thor’s error by flipping it, causing Thor’s back panel to fall off as it tried to self-right. Another flip by the Floor Flipper immobilised Thor, preventing it from self-righting and prompting it to be counted out.
- "Well, the builder lost his drive system, his hammer, his wheel system, his panels, and now some gizmo off the back. The panels are bent, everything has fallen off it, and yet he's rebuilt and rebuilt and gone out there and gone out there, but that's the end of his road."
- — Jonathan Pearce and Thor is counted out for the final time
With this knock-out victory, Apollo acquired the three points necessary to beat TR2 in the league table, securing its place in the Grand Final by only one point.
Winner: Apollo via KO (3 points)
Carbide vs ApolloEdit
Following their Head to Head battle, the Final also doubled as a grudge match between the two robots, with Team MAD hoping to achieve vengeance over Carbide for the damage sustained in their earlier battle. As before, Apollo charged straight underneath Carbide, tipping it onto its side and deflecting it into Sir Killalot, who grasped Carbide with his claw before Apollo flipped it up against the wall. Carbide landed a few blows on Apollo, dislodging one of its top armour panels, before a violent hit sent both robots spinning. Apollo lost another panel slamming into Carbide, but launched it high into the air as the latter smoked, its weapon clutch beginning to fail again.
- "They can get in underneath that blade, they can flip, they can cause trouble and they’ve done it! They’ve done it! Sparks flew, as the blade crashed against the arena floor, and Carbide in real trouble!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Apollo begins flipping Carbide over and over
Carbide's blade stopped completely as it hit the floor, leaving it helpless as Apollo flipped it several times around - and almost out of - the arena. Eventually, Carbide pressed the pit release button, almost getting flipped by the Floor Flipper as it rode up Apollo’s wedge again. The two machines continued nudging each other, with Apollo getting under and flipping itself onto its back trying to flip Carbide again. It succeeded in flipping Carbide close to the pit release button, but its flipper wedged open as Sir Killalot came in to attack both robots.
- "And it’s all Apollo, and there is no shuttle to safety, for Carbide."
- — Pearce as Apollo and Carbide escape Sir Killalot
Both machines escaped, with Apollo using its opened flipper to grab hold of Carbide and push it into Shunt, who bent its flipper down with his axe. Carbide steered out of Shunt’s CPZ, then got flipped by Apollo again, before cornering Apollo into Shunt as it sustained damage from the House Robot. Apollo drove away, luring Carbide near the edge of the pit, before getting underneath Carbide and closing its flipper at last. Carbide steered Apollo into a CPZ before getting flipped by the Floor Flipper, then after one last flip Apollo grabbed hold of Carbide again and pushed it into Shunt twice, who axed Carbide’s underside and lifted it as the battle drew to a close.
- "What an ultimate final. I'm exhausted, the drivers are exhausted, the robots are exhausted."
- — Jonathan Pearce as cease is called on the Grand Final
The battle went to a judges’ decision, with both robots suffering equal amounts of damage and having lost use of their weapons. However, after a close and thrilling fight, the judges unanimously voted for Apollo, making it the Series 8 Robot Wars champion.
- This was the first Grand Final since The First Wars where every competitor that won its qualifying episode was a newcomer to the televised series. The only veteran, Thor, was chosen as a wildcard having lost its Heat Final to Shockwave.
- This was the first episode since the first semi-final of Series 4 where there were no pittings.