"In a desperate bid to bring peace once again to this sceptred isle, the USS Nimitz today arrived off the coast with a full compliment of F-14 fighters. Now ordinarily, the might of the US Navy's flagship would be no match for the robots on Robot Wars, but tonight, things are a little different."
— Jeremy Clarkson introducing the featherweight heat

Heat D of Robot Wars: The First Wars was the fourth of six heats which determined the Grand Finalists of Robot Wars: The First Wars. The episode featuring Heat D was originally broadcast on March 13, 1998 on BBC Two.

Competing robotsEdit

Weight 7.3kg
Dimensions 0.70m x 0.55m x 0.40m
Speed 4mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 40mm
Power 12V motors
Weapons Ramming wedge
From: Chesham School
Team Members: Michael Stacey, Michael Langdon & Stephen Devereau
Cunning plan
Cunning Plan
Weight 11.5kg
Dimensions 0.63m x 0.48m x 0.17m
Speed 10mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 10mm
Power Electric drill motors
Weapons None
From: University of Reading
Team Members: Oliver Steeples
The Demolisher
Weight 2.9kg
Dimensions 0.60m x 0.34m x 0.17m
Speed 40mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 5mm
Power Electric motor
Weapons Aluminium spikes
From: London
Team Members: Sam Rudgard, Gary Speed-Macey & Bill Rudgard
Krayzee Tokyo
Krayzee Tokyo
Weight 3.2kg
Dimensions 0.63m x 0.34m x 0.22m
Speed 12mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 10mm
Power Electric
Weapons Curved bumper
From: Milton Keynes
Team Members: Kevin Church, Matthew Davy & Chris Purchase
Weight 10.5kg
Dimensions 1.27m x 0.60m x 0.21m
Speed 10mph
Turning Circle 3m
Ground Clearance 10mm
Power 8.4V motors
Weapons Pointed horns
From: Billericay
Team Members: Tom Barber & Sam Barber
Vector of armageddon
Vector of Armageddon
Weight 10.7kg
Dimensions 0.46m x 0.69m x 0.26m
Speed 20mph
Turning Circle 0m
Ground Clearance 1mm
Power 2 x 14.4V motors
Weapons None
From: Romford
Team Members: Adam Clark


Competing order: 1. Cunning Plan 2. Krayzee Tokyo 3. SAT'arn 4. The Demolisher 5. Bugs 6. Vector of Armageddon
Ranking Competing Robot Report Distance
SAT’arn SAT'arn seemed to have a lot of manoeuvrability and got around Sergeant Bash, but not a lot of control as it drove first into the side wall and then into a pyramid. Despite this it slipped around Matilda and crossed the finish line.
""Moo"s? That's a few bruises too many!"
— Jonathan Pearce, emphasising the rhyme as SAT'arn crashes into the pyramid
Cunning plan gauntlet
Cunning Plan Cunning Plan darted straight into the maze. Its zero degree turning circle was advantageous and helped it to clear the maze. To avoid Matilda it took on the corkscrew lances but Matilda caught up with it and actually thrust it towards the end zone. After briefly coming to a halt due to the spikes, Cunning Plan completed the gauntlet; Matilda had driven onto a grille and was unable to stop it. Cunning Plan almost ploughed through the side walls and out of the arena.
"What, the spikes are tricky but Matilda isn't?"
— Jeremy Clarkson during the post-Gauntlet interview
The Demolisher The smallest robot in the competition slipped through the House Robots' defence and across the finish line. On the program, Demolisher only appeared to take nine seconds to complete the course but the statistics showed SAT'arn and Cunning Plan completed it in faster times. Jeremy Clarkson does point out that Demolisher was flipped in the gauntlet, not seen on TV, and this could be why Demolisher was placed third.
"Sam Rudgard with the smallest machine we've seen in the competition so far, and he's speeding away - and he's beaten just about everything!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Matilda purple smoke krayzee tokyo
Krayzee Tokyo The GCSE students drove straight into one of the gates on the maze which dislodged part of their robot's back panel. It had rather more difficulty with the maze than Cunning Plan and eventually got stuck on one of the springs. Matilda attempted an attack but also got stuck and began billowing copious amounts of smoke.
"Oh, Matilda's in trouble, look at that!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Bugs After an initial period where Bugs seemed to have a problem deciding which course to take it went for the route guarded by the House Robots. Matilda hit into its side, which seemed to give it control problems and it was unable to get past the House Robot.
"Well, I reckon Sergeant Bash had a hangover"
— Jeremy Clarkson
Vector of armageddon stuck
Vector of Armageddon This was based on a successful design from America but unfortunately it didn't get to show off its brute strength. After skilfully conquering the first ramp, the robot's low ground clearance meant it couldn't get up and over the second ramp.
Jeremy Clarkson: "I know it looks like a grass-cutting box, but its a serious robot, isn't it?"
Adam Clark: "Yeah, its designed for extreme ground clearances, and the ramp's just too steep for it unfortunately."
— Post-Gauntlet interview
Eliminated: Vector of Armageddon

Trial (Stock Car)Edit

"Now for some motor racing where pit-stops are banned, but ramming is actively encouraged. It's a sport that could've been designed specifically for Michael Schumacher... a three-lap race around this figure-of-eight course, and the one that crosses the line last, or covers the least distance, is eliminated. Unless of course, they were sensible enough to give the government a million pounds."
— Jeremy Clarkson explains the format for the Stock Car Trial

The opening pile-up

Stock car

The diminutive Demolisher leads the field

Krayzee Tokyo jumped the start due to radio interference, bumping into The Demolisher before the latter, Cunning Plan and SAT'arn rammed into the outer wall together. Bugs took the lead as Krayzee Tokyo spun into a wall, with The Demolisher being pushed back onto its wheels by Cunning Plan after being flipped over in the initial pile-up. The Demolisher's high top speed enabled it to take the lead as both Bugs and SAT'arn drove into walls, and complete its first lap. It proceeded to lap the other robots while bumping into Cunning Plan, and complete a second lap before Cunning Plan and SAT'arn finished their first laps. However, as it rounded the last corner to finish its final lap, The Demolisher clipped the inside wall surrounding Sergeant Bash's plinth, flipping itself over before being bumped by Bugs.

"Back down the centre stretch, around the final corner, it could all be over here – OH MY GOODNESS ME! HE'S FLIPPED! It's flipped over, The Demolisher!"
Jonathan Pearce as The Demolisher flips itself over on its would-have-been final lap

The Demolisher lies on its back after clipping the wall

The Demolisher was left stranded as Cunning Plan passed to complete its second lap, although not without bumping into the wall and Bugs, while Krayzee Tokyo lay immobilised. As it rounded the last corner, Cunning Plan approached The Demolisher and pushed it into the wall while trying to right it, all while SAT'arn pushed Bugs across the line to complete their second and first laps respectively. Cunning Plan finally darted over the line, completing its third lap and taking the chequered flag, itself operated by Shunt.

1. Cunning Plan - 3 Laps
2. The Demolisher - 2 Laps
3. SAT'arn - 2 Laps
4. Bugs - 1 Lap
5. Krayzee Tokyo - 0 Laps

Jeremy Clarkson: "Oh, no, no, no, the one that looks like a dustbin or something is out. And you jumped the start! Come on."
Kevin Church: "It wasn't my fault!"
Jeremy Clarkson: "Well, whose fault is it? Father Christmas'?"
Kevin Church: "Its whoever's got the other controller on the same frequency."
Jeremy Clarkson: "That's the worst excuse I've ever heard in my entire life."
— Krayzee Tokyo is eliminated

Eliminated: Krayzee Tokyo


"If I may liken this show to a cup of cappuccino, we have now reached the point where the froth is gone. It's neat wake-up juice from now on in."
— Jeremy Clarkson's introduction to the Arena stage


Cunning Plan vs BugsEdit

Bugs dead metal

Dead Metal closes in on Bugs

Cunning Plan rocketed across the arena, but missed Bugs. It dawdled, trying to line up an attack, and then rushed again, slipping its front wedge beneath Bugs completely and dropping it on the ground. Cunning Plan withdrew, but Bugs who appeared to be turning uncontrollably from the start had driven onto the grilles, and was unable to escape.

"You will not escape from there, Bugs! I didn't think it had the manoeuvrability it had earlier...that's Dead Metal. Those pincers could crush the life out of the bug..."
— Jonathan Pearce

Dead Metal battered Bugs, and although it looked like it would free Bugs from the grille, it did not and cease was called. Cunning Plan, meanwhile celebrated its win by bumping the side of Sergeant Bash a couple of times.

It was later revealed that a change in castor wheel had cost Bugs the battle as it decreased Bugs' manoeuvrability.

Winner: Cunning Plan

The Demolisher vs SAT'arnEdit

Demolisher SAT'arn matilda

Matilda's chainsaw begins its descent

"SAT'arn, like a bull, rushes at the Demolisher - oh, you silly moo, you missed him!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Both robots got off to quick starts. SAT'arn charged forward, but missed the fast Demolisher. SAT'arn drove round to charge again, and this time tussled the minuscule Demolisher with its charge. It then tried to shunt Demolisher into a CPZ, but the latter escaped. SAT’arn reversed away and suddenly burnt out completely, and then Demolisher and the house robots closed in to attack SAT’arn. After surviving from almost being tipped over by Shunt's scoop, Demolisher bashed into SAT'arn, and subsequently got itself trapped between its prey and Matilda's back end. Matilda sliced through SAT’arn, but Demolisher’s tough armour prevented Matilda’s chainsaw from going through it – and because of its position, SAT’arn. However, the other house robots ganged up, and SAT’arn was defeated.

"There was a connection that came off...we had problems with it yesterday."
— SAT’arn’s crestfallen team explain

Winner: Demolisher


Cunning Plan vs The DemolisherEdit

Demolisher overturned

Demolisher, overturned in 14 seconds

"In the Stock Car, Cunning Plan actually tried to rescue Demolisher. That’s not going to be happening in the final!"
— Jeremy Clarkson

Cunning Plan moved forward, and Demolisher back-pedalled, nervously. The duo moved tentatively together, and then rushed towards each other. Cunning Plan’s low clearance and wedge-shape won out, and Demolisher tumbled onto its back. Cease was immediately called.

"Demolisher, at the top of your picture, is the quicker, but Cunning Plan is the heavier of these two featherweights. Demolisher will be trying to keep out of trouble, with young Sam at the wheels- Oh, but the wheels have come off! The Demolisher is beaten by the Cunning Plan of Oliver Steeples. I'm not too sure whether the crowd wanted young Sam Rudgard to go through, but he had no chance with power like that."
— Jonathan Pearce

Heat Winner: Cunning Plan

Trivia Edit

  • While the other five heats of the series featured robots of various weight categories, Heat D only featured featherweight competitors, although Jeremy Clarkson stated incorrectly that it featured lightweight robots.
  • The victory of Cunning Plan in this episode made it the highest placing featherweight of Series 1.
  • Cunning Plan's defeat of Demolisher in the Heat Final broke the Shortest Battle Record. Currently, it is ranked 5th in Shortest Battles in UK Robot Wars.
  • Both Cunning Plan and Demolisher came very close to going out of the arena - Demolisher entered the arena for the first time and almost shot out through the wall. Cunning Plan's burst of speed to finish the Gauntlet almost caused the same thing.
    Close to oota

    Close to going out. Cunning Plan (top) and Demolisher (bottom)

  • Also included in this episode were video clips from the final of the 1995 UK Open Competition in London, between American robots The Master and Thor, as well as from the final rumble of the 1996 American Robot Wars, won by La Machine.
  • Jonathan Pearce introduced Cunning Plan by stating that Oliver Steeples, builder of the robot, was a Star Wars fan. Steeples would later build a robot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.
  • This was the first time children appeared on Robot Wars. It was also the first time a child drove a robot.

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