The Guilty Pleasures of “BattleBots”


Robotic fighters have long been a recurring theme in science fiction, and an object of fascination to males like myself who refused to grow up.  From the Richard Matheson story to its adaptation in the Twilight Zone episode “Steel,” inspiration was drawn for the Hugh Jackman movie, “Real Steel.”  As an enabling step towards realization of those fantasies, we also have airing on The Discovery Channel the BattleBots series, a place where the pugilistic arts meet high technology in an arena of mechanical mayhem.

Now the tone of these different sagas varies greatly, with Steel as shown on The Twilight Zone dark and dystopian, and set in the then-distant future world of…(gasp)…1974!  Good ole Battling Maxo could no longer hold his own against the more advanced models then.  Far more family-friendly was Real Steel, a movie more centered upon the relationship of a father and son than upon the robots themselves.  The weekly BattleBots series is a strange spectacle featuring teams of bright people from around the world who at times don costumes and whoop and yell as they yet intently field weaponized remotely-controlled devices against one another in a containing area.  Their creations, often resembling lawn mowers from hell, inflict damage upon their opponents until an adversary is unable to operate, or time for a match runs out.  Although not choreographed, matches borrow from “over-the-top” traditions of professional wrestling, complete with a ring announcer, commentators, and a whipped-up audience waving signs…

…Now, it might be interesting to see some cross-over action on BattleBots, such as seeing those ‘bots versus a Cylon from Battlestar Galactica, or perhaps a Dalek from Dr. Who.- – That ought to drive up the old ratings!


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7 Comments on “The Guilty Pleasures of “BattleBots””

  1. carycomic Says:

    I’ve always wanted to see the Daleks (who are actually genetically-engineered, sentient, amorphous lumps in robotic exo-skeletons) go up against the Borg.

    Generic Borg Spokesman: “You-will be-assimilated. Do not-resist. Resistance-is-futile.”

    Generic Dalek Spokesman: “We-are-Da-leks. Da-leks-do-not-ass-im-il-ate. We EX-TERM-IN-ATE!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • carycomic Says:

      Speaking of outer space: Did you know that today is the 72nd anniversary of Kenneth Arnold’s UFO sightings at Mt. Rainier, Washington (state)?

      Liked by 1 person

    • vulpesffb Says:

      I loved to hear the Dalek’s say that…they had a way with words! The there were the Cybermen…

      Liked by 1 person

      • carycomic Says:

        Speaking of sci-fi icons: did you see that ANCIENT ALIENS episode concerning the so-called geoglyph known as the “Badlands Guardian?” The usual proponents of “ancient astronaut” theory (whom I usually side with) claim it was obviously carved in the likeness of a Native American male’s profile. Albeit, one that could only be seen from above a la the Nazca Lines!

        I have to confess, though, this is one time I have to disagree with Giorgio and Company. For one thing, it wasn’t so obvious to me. Not during the first three satellite photo close-ups. And, even on the fourth try, it looked more like the full-face view of a STAR WARS Ithorian (aka “Cantina Hammerhead”)!

        It was only when they did a little super-imposing on the fifth try that I noticed the true “resemblance.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • vulpesffb Says:

          No, I haven’t seen that one. They churn out so many episodes that I’ve fallen behind, but will catch it in reruns, of which there are also many!

          Liked by 1 person

          • carycomic Says:

            Sad, but true. Witness the recent one that was a hodge-podge of half-truths concerning the superficial similarities between Dogon (tribe in Mali, Africa); Dagon (ancient Semitic deity); and “doragon” (comparatively recent loan word from English used to differentiate Euro-fable dragons from the Japanese version of China’s “lung”).

            Liked by 1 person

            • vulpesffb Says:

              It’s the uneven quality of the show that hurts its credibility. Some episodes give me a “wow” factor whereas others just leave me rolling my eyes and wondering what else is on that I might better be watching…

              Liked by 1 person

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