I became a fan of Robot Wars almost instantly when it first debuted on BBC Two in the late 90’s. As soon as the first show was over, I was digging inside a box of Lego trying to create my own Robots. Over the course of the entire first series I enjoyed every episode and was in admiration for the great talent and diversity of all the Robots on show. Every series of Robot Wars since then and beyond I looked forward to.
Over the course of every series there have been a great multitude of robots entered, many becoming legends and superstars in their own rights, with Robots such as Chaos 2, Razer and Hypno-Disc standing out on many fans lists. But for me; the one robot that I have loved more than any other, is a robot that was featured in the second ever episode; it was a major star for the first four series, before ultimately retiring. The robot known as Mortis.
Mortis as a robot was in the shape of a Tank. It had a rectangular-ish body with a slope at the front. It had tracks for movement and it was armed with a deadly looking Axe, which was regularly described as a Tanto Blade. When it first appeared, I almost immediately fell in love with it, as compared to the rest of the field, it genuinely looked deadly, and surely that’s what should be the case for all entrants in a show called Robot Wars? I remember trying to make a cardboard version of the robot later on, and in my head all I could remember of it, was the incredible size and simple look of it’s amazing axe pound into Leighbot.
When Mortis came back for series 2, I was so excited, as my favourite from series 1 had returned again. I had such high hopes for it to go all the way, and so was bitterly disappointed when it was defeated by Panic Attack in the Semi-Finals, in what for me looked like should have been an easy win. From every series then on though, it became a constant stream of heartbreak as Mortis never reached the same heights again; although, it did at least win the War of Independence at the end of series 4. From that point on though, there was no sign of Mortis ever again. Each new series passed by, and whilst I still had some of my favourites (Carbide, Dantomkia, Dominator 2) Mortis was never seen again. Supposedly since those days the ownership of the robot has changed hands quite a few times; and I have fantasised a lot in the past that maybe one day I might be able to get my hands on it.
To this day, over 20 years since the first episode of the show, and it’s first appearance on Robot Wars, Mortis still remains my favourite. Mortis’s design and deadly looking ability still strikes a chord with me, and while more robots have come and gone since then, some even more deadly and possibly more advanced than Mortis, to me Mortis is still the best!