Mechannibals – what the hell is that all about?

Yeah yeah, I know – I’m doing a load of TV-related posts of late but this one sure is worth watching. There’s a BBC2 show called “Mechannibals” which used to be on at the weekend but is now on Wednesday nights at 7pm on BBC2. It’s a rather interesting idea for a TV show. The task is to build something – usually a large cutting, crushing or smashing machine. The weird part of the programme is that the “contestants” have to use stuff from their homes to build these contraptions. The contestants are basically asked to destroy new or working appliances to create a large machine for a few minutes of entertainment before the whole thing explodes. The winner gets all their appliances (like their washing machines, beds, cookers, tumble driers) replaced, whilst the user gets a smashed-up house and a very annoyed wife.

This is the BBC’s copy of the Channel 4 show Scrapheap Challenge, which was sold onto the USA as “Junkyard Wars” or something. However, BBC2 decided to use old Robot Wars contestants who didn’t run off to Channel 5. These guys are used to building robots for Robot Wars, and the blokes themselves are usually a little.. ermm.. “weird”. In fact, watching them at home – some building these monstrous devices throughout the night – reveals their rather worrying lack of social skills and interaction with other people. One guy lived with his sister, who looked exactly like him albeit he had slightly longer hair. So, should the Producers of Mechannibals stumble across a robot-building geek who’s actually successfully managed to get a wife or girlfriend they immediately concentrate the cameras on the despair and anger of the wife or girlfriend. At least once per episode the wives generally break down in tears and look like they