- "It’s time to get deadly serious, with the first of our Robot Wars Semi-Finals. Now, Washington Irving once said: “it is the natural principal of war, to do as much damage to your opponent, with the least damage to yourself”. Clever man! But while it’s easy to take the mick out of someone who states the blindingly obvious, it’d good advice to our contenders. We’ve had six rounds of battles to get to this semi-final, and the robots who failed to harm their enemies are now rusting in a scrap heap in Surbiton. Only the six most brutal have made it through to this."
- — Craig Charles' introduction
Semi-Final 1 of Robot Wars: The Second Wars was the first of two Semi-Finals to determine which two of six heat winners would proceed to the Grand Final of Robot Wars: The Second Wars. As usual, a Gauntlet would eliminate one robot, while the Trial (Pinball) would eliminate another. The remaining robots would pair off and fight to determine which two robots moved on to the Grand Final.
The episode featuring Semi-Final 1 was originally broadcast on February 19, 1999 on BBC Two. It managed to attract 6.01 million viewers, an increase of 290,000 viewers when compared with the previous episode. According to BARB, it fell to second in the top thirty highest rated BBC 2 broadcasts during 15-21 February, behind Red Dwarf.
|Behemoth (winner of Heat D)|
|Dimensions||0.95 x 0.5 x 0.55m|
|Power||2 x 12V batteries|
|Weapons||1000kg front lifting shovel|
|Notes||Weapon powered by 'sodastream' CO2 cylinder|
|From: Hemel Hempstead|
|Team Members: Anthony Pritchard, Michael Pritchard & Edward Pritchard|
|Mace (winner of Heat B)|
|Dimensions||1.3 x 0.8 x 0.4m|
|Power||2 x 12V batteries|
|Weapons||2000rpm flail and lifting arm|
|Notes||Can lift over 115kg|
|From: St. Leonards-on-Sea|
|Team Members: Shane Howard & Brian Fountain|
|Panic Attack (winner of Heat F)|
|Dimensions||1.25 x 0.7 x 0.2m|
|Power||2 x 12V batteries|
|Weapons||Electric lifting spikes|
|Notes||Spider graphics by a Year 7 pupil|
|From: Cwmbran, Wales|
|Team Members: Kim Davies, Kevin Pritchard & Lee Wicombe|
|Napalm (winner of Heat A)|
|Dimensions||2.00 x 1.00 x 1.25m|
|Power||2 x 12V Batteries|
|Weapons||Stainless Steel Rear Mandibles & 16" Chainsaw|
|Notes||Previously Entered Robot Wars with Detonator|
|From: Dartford Girls Grammar School|
|Team Members: David Crosby, Claire Greenaway, Rebecca Glenn|
|Mortis (seeded 2nd, winner of Heat C)|
|Dimensions||1.3 x 0.75 x 0.39m|
|Power||8 x 12V batteries (high discharge)|
|Weapons||Tempered tanto blade|
|Notes||Welded alloy chassis with kevlar/titanium laminated shell|
|Team Members: Rob Knight, Arthur Chilcott & Ben Impey|
|Killertron (seeded 4th, winner of Heat E)|
|Dimensions||1.45 x 0.7 x 0.6m|
|Power||2 x 12V batteries|
|Notes||A veteran of Robot Wars - but no longer tickled pink!|
|From: Bromley in Kent|
|Team Members: Richard Broad, Abdul Degia & Ian Degia|
| Left route: The Sentinel, Matilda and two pits.
Centre route: See-saw, The Sentinel, spikes, static ramp, pit and Shunt
|1||Napalm||Napalm easily went over the moving ramp and only had a small delay from Shunt before it made it to the end zone, but not without Matilda flipping it onto its side.||Completed|
|2||Killertron||Killertron had a very slow start, but got over the moving ramp. It was blocked by Shunt and Matilda, but just managed to find a way through.||Completed|
|3||Mortis||Mortis went up the moving ramp, but in trying to drive around Shunt, drove onto the arena fence and fell over. As the house robots closed in, it was able to use its axe, with a bit of leverage from the House Robots, to push itself onto its side. Shunt and Matilda continued to attack it, but their attacks only helped to right Mortis, again by providing leverage. Mortis crossed the line, then attacked Matilda.||Completed|
|4||Behemoth||Behemoth went over the moving ramp, but Shunt was already in place to block it. It was attacked by Shunt and Matilda before being overturned by the former.||7.5m|
|5=||Mace||Mace contemplated taking on the static ramp, but decided against it because The Sentinel was blocking the way. It traversed the moving ramp, only to be blocked by Shunt and pushed into the pit.||6.9m|
|5=||Panic Attack||In comparison to all the other robots, Panic Attack went for the ramrig. It started a good charge, only to get snagged on one of the spikes, where it got stuck. In the dying seconds, Matilda nudged it free, allowing it to gain vital distance, before it got stuck again.||6.9m|
Due to the tie between Panic Attack and Mace, the two robots had a race-off by running the Gauntlet again, at the same time.
Each robot ran down the middle route, with Panic Attack using the moving ramp and Mace using the static ramp. Panic Attack had the faster start, but both robots made their respective ramps together. Panic Attack went over easily, and managed to push back against the House Robots as they came in to block. Mace, however, was bullied constantly by The Sentinel and, after nearly being overturned, was pushed into the pit.
Competing order: 1. Panic Attack 2. Napalm 3. Behemoth 4. Mortis 5. Killertron
|1||Panic Attack||Panic Attack managed to knock down almost all four sets of barrels and bricks, getting a barrel caught on its lifting forks and shattering a brick in the process, and were also able to score 15 points by going over the ramp. The House Robots were only just able to prevent it from scoring from the targets.||320 points|
|2||Killertron||Killertron managed to knock over one set of bricks, but had trouble getting past them to the barrels. It managed to knock over a few, before Sir Killalot came in and caused damage with its claw. Killertron tried to fight back using its axe and, in the dying seconds, knocked some more bricks over.||135 points|
|3||Mortis||This was arguably one of the most controversial moments in Robot Wars history. Mortis had a very slow and ponderous start to the run, under the controls of the inexperienced Ben Impey, instead of usual driver Rob Knight. It spent a long time attacking, but not crossing, the ramp and was penned in by Sir Killalot. At long last, Mortis broke free and knocked over a set of barrels and bricks, but was unable to do more than that. Sir Killalot then reversed into the pit by mistake.
The Grudge Match special broadcast later in the series revealed half of the truth about Mortis' run. On its first attempt, Mortis broke its track on an arena spike (which the team had been told would not be used), preventing it from getting any points. The producers allowed Mortis to have another run, but Rob Knight, the Mortis captain and driver, did not agree with his team going through (despite the unfair usage of the spike) and refused to drive the robot. Instead, inexperienced team member Ben Impey took up the controls. Mortis's second run only scored at least 75 points, but the score came up as 100.
|4||Behemoth||Behemoth made slow progress in reaching a set of bricks and barrels, although it did contemplate pushing the sphere. It managed to knock over most of the barrels and bricks, before Sir Killalot picked it up and dropped it in the pit.||95 points|
|5||Napalm||Napalm was able to get one set of bricks over, but got itself stuck on one and couldn't knock over any barrels because of this. It managed to break free and knock over some barrels, then tried to go over the ramp, but it fell off and got stuck. Sir Killalot came in, picked up Napalm and held it over the flame pit.
Because of Mortis' disastrous runs, the Napalm team believed they had gone through. When it was revealed that Mortis had "scored" 100 points and Napalm was out, the girls were left in tears.
Mortis (2) vs Panic AttackEdit
Due to the incident from the Pinball trial, the Mortis team were no longer in the competitive spirit, which ultimately lead to a poor performance. On the initial onslaught Mortis struck the top of Panic Attack with the axe once. Panic Attack then whizzed round, avoiding the axe of Mortis, though it seemed to have a problem with bringing the axe the whole way down. Mortis itself (still driven by Ben Impey) not wanting to properly pursue Panic Attack, was both deliberately turning on the spot, and driving round aimlessly. This allowed Panic Attack to get on one side of Mortis and pushed it into Matilda who lifted it up with her tusks. With Mortis's tracks off the ground, Panic Attack and Matilda pushed it straight into the pit.
- "Almost flipped- oh goodness me, what a surprise! Mortis have gone out!"
- — Jonathan Pearce makes no secret of Mortis' favourite status.
Winner: Panic Attack
Killertron (4) vs BehemothEdit
Both robots moved steadily towards each other. Behemoth attempted to lift Killertron but was unsuccessful. Killertron got round to the side of Behemoth and smashed part of Behemoth's outer shell with its axe.
- "Killertron well on top here- and pulling, and pushing and rocking and rolling, and toppling!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Behemoth is flipped.
Killertron repeatedly attacked Behemoth with its axe and then dragged Behemoth onto its side, leaving it unable to self-right. Cease was perhaps called a bit prematurely in this battle, as Killertron accidentally righted Behemoth seconds after.
- "If you get excited by sight-seeing tours, you've probably exploded, watching Robot Wars!"
- — Craig Charles' sign-off