If you watched InnerSPACE last night (of course you did), you were fortunate enough to see Teddy and Ajay square off in a robot rumble-style fight inspired by the new SPACE series Robot Combat League. What you didn’t see was what happened off camera. I was fortunate enough to observe the whole process since I was in fact a large contributor to the skit. (Fact: I built Ajay 2000’s costume!) Sadly, Ajay 2000 lost the battle, mostly due to the fact that Atomic Teddy was indeed the underdog in the fight. As we all know from countless fighting films, the underdog usually triumphs. Anyway, here's what happened behind the scenes.
Day 1 – Design and Assemble
My producer Mark (also featured in the skit as the announcer in the fancy bowtie) gave me and intern #2 the daunting task of designing and building robot costumes for our hunky hosts. I was assigned to Ajay since I match his height and hair colour. Originally I was thinking of calling us “Team Aryan,” but something sounded off-putting about it.
The plan was to have two separate and contrasting designs: Teddy was to resemble an old school 1950’s boxy robot and Ajay was to look more futuristic and sleek. Seems simple enough, right? I thought so... at first. After we were given our separate tasks, the other intern and I went our separate ways to design our robots. I proceeded to draw up some sweet concept sketches (okay, they weren’t that great but in my mind they were). The plan was for Ajay 2000 to resemble the hypothetical love child of C-3PO, a cyberman, and a samurai (I may have discovered the plot for the new Star Wars film).
After the design was done it was time to go shopping! We went out to several different stores to find cheap and fun supplies. After visiting several stores and sticking to our budgets, we came back to the station and assembled our robots. This was a lot harder than I realized, but I managed to make a torso for Ajay out of two tin foil cooking pans, a hat out of an old broken headset and the rest out of tin foil and cardboard. At this point it was hard to imagine my design actually being worn by Ajay, and the big fight was tomorrow! Fortunately, with the help of caffeine-fuelled will power I managed to assemble Ajay’s robot costume.
Day 2 – The Fight
The big day was here. In the morning I applied the finishing touches to Ajay’s costume and then we were off to the fighting ring. We spent a few minutes pumping up our hosts and getting them mentally and physically ready to beat the bolts off each other. Then came the time I had been simultaneously dreading and looking forward to all day: the fitting. Teddy’s costume was pretty simple. He essentially just had to slip into a box and look awesome. Ajay’s was a little more complicated. The costume fit, but wasn’t quite staying on, so I applied my old friend, Mr. Duct Tape. Yes, the costume looked ridiculous, but that actually made me happy. He looked like a mixture between an Andy Warhol creation and the Tin Man.
Now it was time to fight. We finally got the costume to stay on, but I was worried that after one Atomic Teddy punch the whole thing would come crashing down. Amazingly, it worked! Ajay’s costume actually stayed on and it looked like he was going to win! But—as you all saw in the final moments of the battle—Teddy triumphed in the name of underdogs everywhere. Oh well, I still made a pretty crazy acid trip robot costume and got to be in the video! Look, Mom, I’m on TV! MOM, YOU’RE NOT WATCHING!