Philippa Forrester and Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson and Philippa Forrester in a promotional shot

Robot Wars: The First Wars was the first series of the British television game show Robot Wars. It was originally broadcast in 1998 on BBC Two. The series was hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, the pit reporter was Philippa Forrester and commentary was provided by Jonathan Pearce.


The series consisted of six heats, with six robots competing in each heat. The six winners from the heats moved onto the Grand Final. In each heat, the six robots would compete through a series of three challenges - the Gauntlet, the Trial and the Arena.

  • The Gauntlet was an obstacle filled maze defended by house robots. Competitor robots had to make their way as far down the course as possible in the time allowed. The robot covering the least ground was eliminated, leaving five robots to continue.
  • The Trial varied from heat to heat with games like, 'Sumo', 'British Bulldog', 'Stock Car', 'Labyrinth', 'Snooker', and 'Football'. Each trial had a specific goal and the worst performing robot was eliminated, leaving four robots to continue.
  • The Arena was the point at which the robots finally entered the arena to do combat. The four remaining robots paired off and fought head-to head in the enclosed arena patrolled by the house robots. The two victorious robots then fought for the heat championship. The winner of each heat then went through to the Grand Final.

In the Grand Final, which was held at the end of the final heat, the six heat winners met in a single battle to determine the champion of the series. During Heat D, a one-off battle from the 1995 UK Robot Wars competition between The Master and Thor was shown, alongside a montage of other moments from the 1994 and 1995 competitions.


Heat AEdit

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat A

Robots competing in Heat A: Roadblock, Killertron, Barry, Shogun, Nemesis, Grunt

Gauntlet: Barry eliminated

Trial (Sumo): Grunt eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Nemesis vs Roadblock: Roadblock won
  • Killertron vs Shogun: Killertron won

Arena Final

  • Killertron vs Roadblock: Roadblock won

Heat BEdit

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat B

Robots competing in Heat B: Uglybot, Scrapper, Recyclopse, Detonator, Mortis, Leighbot

Gauntlet: Uglybot eliminated

Trial (British Bulldog): Detonator eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Recyclopse vs Scrapper: Recyclopse won
  • Mortis vs Leighbot: Mortis won

Arena Final

  • Mortis vs Recyclopse: Recyclopse won

Heat CEdit

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat C

Robots competing in Heat C: Cruella, Plunderbird 1, WYSIWYG, Robot The Bruce, Wedgehog, Dreadnaut

Gauntlet: Plunderbird 1 eliminated

Trial (Football): WYSIWYG eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Robot The Bruce vs Cruella: Robot The Bruce won
  • Dreadnaut vs Wedgehog: Wedgehog won

Arena Final

  • Robot The Bruce vs Wedgehog: Robot The Bruce won

Heat DEdit

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat D

Robots competing in Heat D: Vector of Armageddon, Krayzee Tokyo, Cunning Plan, SAT'arn, Bugs, Demolisher

Gauntlet: Vector of Armageddon eliminated

Trial (Stock Car): Krayzee Tokyo eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Cunning Plan vs Bugs: Cunning Plan won
  • Demolisher vs SAT'arn: Demolisher won

Arena Final

  • Cunning Plan vs Demolisher: Cunning Plan won

Heat EEdit

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat E

Robots competing in Heat E: Wharthog, Psychosprout, Bodyhammer, Torque of the Devil, REALI-T, Full Metal Anorak

Gauntlet: Wharthog eliminated

Trial (Labyrinth): Psychosprout eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Bodyhammer vs Torque of the Devil: Bodyhammer won
  • REALI-T vs Full Metal Anorak: REALI-T won

Arena Final

  • Bodyhammer vs REALI-T: Bodyhammer won

Heat FEdit

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Heat F

Robots competing in Heat F: Skarab, The Blob, T.R.A.C.I.E., Elvis, Prince of Darkness, Eubank the Mouse

Gauntlet: Elvis eliminated

Trial (Snooker): Eubank the Mouse eliminated

Arena Semi-Finals

  • Skarab vs The Blob: Skarab won
  • Prince of Darkness vs T.R.A.C.I.E.: T.R.A.C.I.E. won

Arena Final

  • Skarab vs T.R.A.C.I.E.: T.R.A.C.I.E. won

Grand FinalEdit

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Wars/Grand Final

Roadblock vs Recyclopse vs Robot The Bruce vs Cunning Plan vs Bodyhammer vs T.R.A.C.I.E.: Roadblock won

First Wars Grand Champion: Roadblock


Main article: Robot Wars Awards

These are the winners of the various awards given out at the end of the series:

Video ReleaseEdit

Main article: Robot Wars: The First Great War

The highlights of the First Series were later released on video.