“BattleBots Update” came from humble beginnings in 2008 as a weekly column on the now-defunct variety website Radio F Software Headquarters (RFSHQ). It was my last regular column there before I departed from the project. Back then RFSHQ would post an archived episode of BattleBots from the Comedy Central seasons every Saturday and on the following Sunday the corresponding BattleBots Update column covering that episode would be posted. The goal was to take a satirical look at the fights and competitors plus any skits the producers included… and there was a lot of that.
While the original BattleBots Update was not very successful, the re-issuing of BattleBots through RFSHQ was literally the first of its kind online and spurred other tape collectors to digitize and share their content as well. Though there are now much better VHS rips available online, to this day you can still sometimes find old videos on YouTube branded with “Presented by RFSHQ.com” in the lower left corner that have been shared and re-uploaded by enthusiasts. 2008’s BattleBots Update ended after season two and the project was considered abandoned, however the column was revived in name only on another website for an article in 2011 covering Killer Robots (Robogames 2011) on Science Channel.
With BattleBots having officially ended as a television show in 2003, and BattleBots Update going by the wayside in 2008, it was a safe assumption that the final page had been turned in the column’s story. There were rumors and talk here and there of other BattleBots events — which did happen — but never made it to air. The BattleBots company uploaded some selected content from these events as well as a couple of full Comedy Central episodes of their own, but nothing of substance happened until BattleBots announced in 2015 that ABC had officially taken the tournament under their wing. I knew what that meant. It was time for The Update to come back. I took a stab and despite a rocky start 2015’s BattleBots Update was a hit; fans loved it, the builders and teams got in on it, and even BattleBots themselves publicly endorsed the website as a hilarious (but crude) comedy spectacle.
Since then, for better or worse, I’ve continued onward with the project with both of the ABC seasons of the show and the new Discovery/Science Channel edition. BattleBots Update also expanded to cover Robot Wars from the UK which means that I really didn’t think this whole “naming” thing through all that well. It had been a long time, but if BattleBots was going to make its return then so was BattleBots Update. We were committed to bringing you snarky coverage almost a decade ago and now even though I’m flying solo I’ll be doing it all over again as we follow the new generation of not just BattleBots, but the world of robot combat itself.
It’s good to be back.
BattleBots’ “Seasons” Clarifications
I’ve been asked more than a few times why this website refers to the 2015 season onward of BattleBots as “season 6” and such when they are more commonly known on television as “season 1” and things like #WeWantSeason3 trended on Twitter. Simply put, ABC’s “season 1” in 2015 was technically the sixth season of the show if you take into consideration the five seasons of BattleBots that aired on Comedy Central from 2000-2003. I realize it’s sort of confusing, but since this website covers both the current and former eras of the show it would be even more confusing if I had two sections named “Season One”.
Here is a brief breakdown of what each season/section of the website refers to:
- Season 1: Comedy Central season 1
- Season 2: Comedy Central season 2
- Season 3: Comedy Central season 3
- Season 4: Comedy Central season 4
- Season 5: Comedy Central season 5
- Season 6: ABC season 1 (“Season 1” in most TV listings.)
- Season 7: ABC season 2 (“Season 2” in most TV listings.)
- Season 8: Discovery Channel season 1 (“Season 3” in most TV listings.)