Telly nostalgia fans and tech geeks rejoice: Robot Wars is heading back to BBC2, 13 years after it was last on air.
BBC2 have announced a new six-part series will air “later this year”, and have raised intrigue by saying the reboot will be filmed in a “bulletproof” arena.
The original series ran on BBC2 from 1998-2001 before a one-off run on Channel 5 in 2003, with Craig Charles and Philippa Forester hosting. There is no news as to who will present the new series.
BBC2 head of entertainment Alan Tyler said: ““The redeveloped Robot Wars proved compelling – offering a mix of real people, real passion and raw power.”
The new version of the show, whose initial run introduced cult robots including Sir Killalot, Shunt and Matalda, will be filmed in Glasgow in front of a live audience. Tyler said: “The arena is purpose-built and literally bulletproof.” He added it will feature more science and more robot battles than the original series. It’s to be made by independent production company Mentorn Scotland.
It has yet to be confirmed if the reboot will see the return of Robot Wars’ original arenas such as The Pit Of Oblivion, The Perimeter Patrol Zone and The Drop Zone.
Since the original series was filmed, Craig Charles has gone on to appear in Coronation Street and a reboot of Red Dwarf, while Philippa Forester took time out from her career to raise her children before returning in 2013 as the host of BBC farming series Harvest.
Remote-controlled toys made of robots such as Sir Killalot have become collectors’ items.
BBC2 boss Kim Shillinglaw said Mentorn Scotland had several ideas for robot-based shows, but that bringing Robot Wars back was a “compelling” idea. She said: “Robot Wars is an absolute TV classic. It’s a fantastic example of the kind of content-rich factual entertainment show that BBC2 excels at.”
Loaded’s deputy editor John Earls has covered entertainment and sport across a range of national newspapers, plus several football and music magazines, since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlsJohn