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Junkyard Wars Nominated For Emmy

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the excellent-recognition dept.

Television 168

abh writes " CNN is reporting on the Emmy nominations, apparently there is a new category for reality-based TV (such as Survivor), and none other than Junkyard Wars got a nomination." Junkyard Wars rocks - excellent recognition of good stuff. The Daily Show was nominated as well, and deserves it, IMHO.

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Good, I Hope They Get a Better Budget (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#81067)

And hire a real host. Both of those guys are annoying and not funny at all. They can keep the girl though. Maybe some nicer clothes though.

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#81068)

I agree with the fixed comment. They at least hinted that the boats needed a little tweaking to make them not sink immidiately. I'm sure that more often than not the teams are given off camera time after they call time but before the trials, and they only present the successful trials. Watch for odd changes in the angle of the sun, extra weld joints, and groggy contestants that were allowed to spend all night fixing their project.

That's not to say that the contestants aren't good engineers, but the show is trying to present them as superhuman engineers when they're typically not. By rigging the contest they're no more credible than Jeopardy contestants who get a little help from Alex during the commercials.

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#81069)

It was fairly obvious after watching for a month or so that there had been some "salting" of the junkyard, but I didn't think it was this blatant. There were a couple of times when they said they provided a part. And of course for the rocketry contest, they just out and out said they hid the fuel packs.

I'm a little disappointed that they get to submit parts lists. That's the only out and out lie that they tell; they say that contestants don't know what the challenge is until they hear it, and they make a big point of that. The rest they just let people assume.

On the shows when just Kryten is hosting it sure looked like just one day because they were filming at dusk and even at night.

Overall only slightly disappointed in this news.

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#81070)

Contestants have freely admitted [google.com] that the junkyard is less than pristine, but that the outcome of the show is not predetermined.

Some food for thought:

1. Ever wonder why the two experts always choose different ways to solve the problem? I wonder if they are steered to do so.

2. God, the American host is awful. Bring back Robert Llewellyn!

I think you're missing the point of the show if you complain about the accuracy of the results: the show is less of a competition and more of an educational tool. The grand prize is a trophy, ferchrissakes! And maybe a peck on the cheek from Cathy Rodgers, if you're lucky... The real reward is in the informative animations and explanations.

Have we learned nothing from AI? (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#81071)

That so-called "junk" can love, man.

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 13 years ago | (#81073)

I think the PROS get to make the list, not the contestants....

Gripe Mode. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 13 years ago | (#81074)

You don't like Kryton? Are you crazy??

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (1)

cshaw (2773) | more than 13 years ago | (#81075)

During one of the english seasons they had an american team on called NERDS. The have a website that I cannot remember at the moment. They kept a journal and gave a behind the scenes perspective. They said that The show is edited such to make it seem that they are running out of time while having a lot left to do. The website went on to say that for the most part they were pretty much done and that the editing was done that way to create suspence. That is why things seem to just apear towards the end. Don't forget this is 10 hours compressed into 1. There are going to be things that happen that will not be shown. I am going to try and find that website, it was actually pretty intresting reading.

Re:Difference between UK and US (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 13 years ago | (#81079)

According to the Junkyard Wars website she was inspired after watching the scene in Apollo 13 where the astronauts had to build an air filter after junk that was lying around the space shuttle.

That would have been a neat trick.

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 13 years ago | (#81080)



nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, I love this whos it's heart breaking, although it does make sence in retrospect. ah well.

Re:The show is fixed? (2)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 13 years ago | (#81082)

And all this is available exactly where on your website...?

It isn't. My co-host diligently converted past taped episodes to RealAudio, and I promptly lost the CD-R he gave me. I plead only partial stupidity - the CD-R was a blank, unlabeled one, and it got swallowed by my office. All the links on the past guest list are outside links (as you probably discovered).

And we're currently trying to get on the Clear Channel network. After years of fighting them, we decided to try joining them. Five points if you can name the source for our logo.

--
Evan

Re:The show is fixed? (4)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 13 years ago | (#81083)

Thank you for the clarification. It certainly adds new clarity to the situation

Hey, there's this new concept - not all replies are in direct opposition to your point of view. I knew you weren't saying the outcome is rigged, I just disputed your term "fixed"... it was very misleading.

Experts, Leaders, The Guys Showing The Team How To Build The Device. Does it really matter?

Yes, since the "experts" are the non-team members brought in for one show, and the "leader" is one of the people on the team. The expert provides specialized knowledge, and the leader organizes the construction.

It's a bit like looking at a car and saying: "Engineer, mechanic, the guy who puts the car together. Does it really matter?". I've seen experts that don't get their hands dirty, or come up with great *theoretical* ideas, and a good team leader will just ignore their plan and go with a simple, direct design.

Realistically, there are three experts - the Judge also makes comments, and the hosts will wander down and try to subtly warn teams of grevious potential problems.

--
Evan

Re:The show is fixed? (5)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 13 years ago | (#81084)

Yes, the show is fixed.

I would decidedly not used the word fixed. The outcome is not predetermined.

the team leaders who built the crafts on Junkyard Wars.

Not quite. Unless that particular show was an extreme abberation, the team *experts* are the ones who stock the junkyard. In some cases (the underwater diver episodes, for example), there was no stocking whatsoever. In others (the rocket and steam engine episodes), the junkyard is stocked with pristine, new, tested parts. In both those cases, the reason should be obvious. I would seriously question the common sense of someone who is slapping together a high pressure steam engine in 10 hours and letting people ride in it. Safety is a concern. In the case of rockets, they were focusing on the body construction, not the propulsion, which are almost completely seperate aspects.

And yes, the corner of the junkyard that is the set is *very* "rich". Lots of working engines, lots of unpunctured batteries. Basically, it's real junk from the rest of the much larger junkyard tossed into the corner.

Also, in addition to the two days of filming, they used a 3rd day off-camera to finish up their hovercrafts.

Again, unless it was a very abberant episode, the had 10 hours in one filming day. The next day, they make sure the damn things work. In some cases, they just pull them out and play. In other cases, which they very clearly mention (something along the lines of: "We given both teams some extra time to make sure their /foo/s are up to the task"), they give up to a few hours. Almost always, it is at this point that they get some spray paint and paint their device in team colors.

It's important to remember that the point of the show is education, not competition. The prize is a wad of welded metal. The experts are generally chosen to present two very different ways of solving the problem and have had time to research the situation. The teams are thrown in with no knowledge of what they are going to build, and have to do the construction themselves. There is (in the British set, and presumably also on the American set) a large facility filled with stuff that you'd get from a Home Depot (a large warehouse style building supply store here in the states). It's behind the vehicle weighstation that's filmed in some of the episodes. That's where the paint, glue, screws, blades, etc all come from. They *have* run out of supplies, and the 10 hours ticked by.

Incidently, a few more details: they have an hour for lunch, tools down, debate on the blackboard encouraged. The clock stops when the host asks the people to explain what they are doing (as a result, the ten working hours often end at different times for the two teams).

I have almost all the episodes on tape, have interviewed Robert Llewellen for my radio show, and have exchanged emails with a few prior players. I am putting together rules for a micro version of the game for SF Conventions. It's one of the only television shows that have every caught my attention.

Sure, it's spun to be entertaining. They selectively edit and try to make sure things work; the point is to show how things work. But is it "fixed". No. The teams are genuinely out there trying to win.

--
Evan

Re:The show is fixed? (2)

GregWebb (26123) | more than 13 years ago | (#81085)

Don't know whether the first series has been shown outside the UK - the one with the same teams throughout and only the experts different - but in that, when they made hovercrafts, one never made it.

There has been at least that one total failure, as well as the merely embarrassingly poor like the rugby ball cannon or the gun which shot its own barrel, or the boat with outriggers on one side only which sank at the first bend...

Re:The show is fixed? (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#81086)

You're building a cool toy, and didn't provide a URL? C'mon, c'mon, c'mon. Let me see it!

:)

Seriously, any good links (yes, I could hit google, but I'm guessing that you have progressed beyond the sniffing butt stage of a new project, and have some good sites stashed in your bookmarks.)

Back on topic: there is a good site (lost the URL) by one of the teams that states how and why the stocking is done. Basically, they don't give *exactly* what the experts ask for. Typically something requires a bit of bodging. For example, the dragster with no forward gears in the tranny. Lack of props. Etc.

Why? Have you ever been to a junkyard? Most of the good bits are already gone. You will almost never find a working (or potentially working) motor in a junkyard. That stuff gets picked out (as do almost all of the usable bits) and the only thing the public can see and crawl over are bare carcasses. (Of course, if you read Car Craft or Hot Rod, the planet is covered with wonderful junkyards that you can enter, and find a perfect 455 Olds engine for a mere $25. As a matter of fact, according to them, there are so many 350 Chevy engines that you have to carry one away when you leave the junkyard. Maybe in So. Cal., but on the East Coast? Bullshit.)

Fortunately not a popularity contest (3)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#81087)

Fortunately, the Emmy's (and Oscar's) are not always the popularity contest that the Billboard, MTV, People's Choice, etc. awards are. There is a chance (albeit slim) that Scrapheap Challenge could pull this off.

But, to be fair, isn't Road Rules the only original show in the bunch? Junkyard Wars (as I implied) is a re-edit of Scrapheap Challenge. Can't remember the geneology of Survivor, but that may be original as well. And shouldn't 'The Real World' have been included before Road Rules?

Still, it's nice to see a new category. I only wish they had never invented the animated series category. The Simpsons should have been up against comedies. Why separate it because it's animated? Of course, it probably never would have won, but it certainly contributes to the public's low opinion of animated shows.

A few other comments:

WB, why push a show that you are not going to have any more? Of course, UPN would love it, but it doesn't make sense to complain. Oh, and BTW, the reason you didn't get any nominations is because your network is full of repetitive drivel. Please don't tell me you think a 'very special episode of Seventh Heaven' is deserving of an award (and BTW, I watched it for several years, and have nothing wrong with the show. Nice, moralistic family 'drama'. But it doesn't do or say anything. It certainly doesn't push any boundaries or do anything in an exemplary manner.)

And yes, 'Catcher in the Rye' IS a dime-store paperback. Even at 16, I thought this kid was a whining sniveller. I don't know about anyone else, but even as a geeky teen, I didn't have that much time to be doing a bunch of navel gazing like good old Holden Caufield. Get over yourself, man.

(And let's not even talk about his 'odd' relationship and thoughts about his sister. I think I saw that on Jerry Springer a few weeks ago.)

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (5)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#81088)

Wish I had mentioned this in my earlier rant (message 30). Why the hell isn't this show reliably captioned? Why, why, why? It seems that the last British season is, but not the first US season (and the world series also was not captioned).

Battlebots is captioned. (Robot Wars UK is not). Are You Being Served is captioned. Fawlty Towers is not. Half the weird stuff on Sci-Fi is captioned (and what the hell is up with that show they put on at 8:00???) Why can't current episodes of Junkyard Wars be captioned?

Now, before anyone gets the idea that I'm one of those Deaf Community, ADA nuts, I'm not. My wife is hearing impaired, with a cochlear implant, effectively shutting us out of the 'Deaf community'. (Not to mention that she married a hearing man). And she watches JYW sometimes. Like... When it is captioned!! And she truly get's a kick out of it, but not enough to make time for it.

More important than my wife is the schools. If TLC wants to be in more, they are going to have to caption more stuff. Some school districts have requirements that captioning is available. And as others have pointed out, JYW is a not bad science/applied engineering problem.

Finally, that giant sledgehammer the Americans made was cool as shit. I really liked the British team (Hey, all those bikers? Can't go wrong) and I bet Nosh would have had a helluva good time bashing his own machine with the Americans killer sledge.

There's no problem a big enough hammer won't solve.

Re:Fortunately not a popularity contest (1)

Nodatadj (28279) | more than 13 years ago | (#81090)

And Scrapheap Challenge is a glamed up version of The Great Eggrace. That was a lovely show :)

Junk Yard Wars: Only good show on TV... (5)

dublin (31215) | more than 13 years ago | (#81095)

I discovered Junk Yard Wars earlier this year, and it has since become a family favorite. Such a favorite, in fact, that my children (a boy, almost 7, and a girl, almost 10) both insisted that I set the VCR to record the JYW 4th of July US vs. UK challenge. Then when we began watching over at my folks' house and realized it was a *two* hour special edition, all plans for watching fireworks went right out the window, and we stayed put to see who could smash that Jetta the flattest.

The show is very well-done, and I think it's not only entertaining and funny, but one of the most educational shows on TV, teching basic physical and mechnical principles and reasoning seamlessly as an adjunct to the competition. Sure, the yard is occasionally seeded with stuff that would not typically be in a junkyard (propellers and a surprising number of running engines, for example), but that really doesn't detract from the incredible feat of inventing and fabricating a usable machine in only 10 hours. More incredible to me is how often very different approaches turn out to be quite closely matched when they compete.

This is truly one of the best shows on TV, and the only one my family watches on a regular basis! If you haven't checked it out, you owe it to yourself to do so, especially if you've ever harbored any leanings to be a mech hacker..

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (2)

adjusting (32309) | more than 13 years ago | (#81096)

It's http://www.the-nerds.org
I can't seem to connect to it right now, so here's google's cached page:
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:bZ0Em0M02IU :w ww.the-nerds.org/

Re:Junkyard Wars vs ScrapHeads (1)

zaks (33796) | more than 13 years ago | (#81097)

And the US version, of course, just had to have a more violent sounding name (it's a war, dude!)

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (1)

inkey string (35594) | more than 13 years ago | (#81100)

im with you there... when parts start magically appearing when it comes competition time, you have to wonder if something is up.

Re:The show is fixed? (3)

edremy (36408) | more than 13 years ago | (#81102)

As I said in a previous post, both machines ALWAYS works, so I'm not surprised.

They do? Have you been watching the same show I have?

The shows have devices ranging from the functional but pathetic (Bowser's rugby ball crossbow, 2 sail land yacht) to the almost pathologically broken (Both the blimp and the plane on the radio-controlled bomber episode) to the so-bad-it's-embarrassing-to-watch (the Navy's amphib, which couldn't steer, float or move across water or land without the humans pushing/paddling.)

Eric

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

csbruce (39509) | more than 13 years ago | (#81105)

In others (the rocket and steam engine episodes), the junkyard is stocked with pristine, new, tested parts.

Exactly, and if they ever go for my idea about "car-sized battle bots", they'd need to stock the junkyard with radio controllers and powerful servoelectronics. ;-)

Finally (5)

epseps (39675) | more than 13 years ago | (#81106)

Creativity with junk will be competing with crap.

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

Don Sample (57699) | more than 13 years ago | (#81107)

And my favourite non-functioning machine: The Brother's in Arms' cannon that fired its barrel down the range.

Re:Fixed Aspects (2)

Minupla (62455) | more than 13 years ago | (#81108)

B) Umm, I would kinda consider a sinking ship, or a dragster whose engine was attached backwards to both be pretty much total failures... _I_ would certinally think they were if I had been on the teams in question. Also the "bombers" episode where it worked out that the bomber to crash closest to the target pretty much took it also seemed like a pretty miserable (if hillarious) failure to me.
--
Remove the rocks to send email

Sexiest? (1)

GregGardner (66423) | more than 13 years ago | (#81110)

I don't know about sexiest (I find her rather annoying actually), but she certainly is a geek. She wears the same clothes in every single episode!

What is that outfit anyway? Is she an extra in a Mad Max movie or something?

Re:Fortunately not a popularity contest (1)

Phork (74706) | more than 13 years ago | (#81112)

I have always been of the opinion that big brothers and the likes of that are jsut clones of real world, and personally, i think MTV was better at choosing casts.

Reality Show Category? (4)

szcx (81006) | more than 13 years ago | (#81114)

What are the odds that the presenters will "vote off" the losers in the category?

pardon me for being sarcastic, but... (1)

dml6 (96785) | more than 13 years ago | (#81116)

And the 2002 winner of the reality tv emmy is.......... The Running Man Show!!!! Remember back to the early 80's where we all thought that the running man movie was written by a bunch of crack heads? Well, guess what: we're very near that now. I can't stand reality tv and I really don't think it should have it's own emmy.

Emmy Nominations (3)

fiziko (97143) | more than 13 years ago | (#81117)

For those of you who haven't activated the Sci-Fi news Slashbox, a complete list of Emmy nominations in all categories is available here [bureau42.com] .

Re:Junkyard Wars vs ScrapHeads (1)

Fluid Truth (100316) | more than 13 years ago | (#81119)

BTW, am I the only one (or only American) who thinks that the British male host was better than the US guy?

No, you're not the only American who thinks the British host is way better. Not only does he make cool sounds (he has to mimic any motor he hears) but his jokes are much better.

And just because it's called Junkyard Wars over here doesn't mean that we don't get the "UK with UK guys." I think I've seen about 3 seasons' worth (or are we in the middle of the 3rd season?) and there has only been 1 season with US guys.

other categories? (1)

nick++ (100416) | more than 13 years ago | (#81121)

will there also be categories for the best new game show with stupid host and eerie sound and lighting effects and catch-phrase-turned-pop-culture-cliche? that's my final answer, hahaha ha ha!

Reality shows.. (1)

xmedh02 (100813) | more than 13 years ago | (#81122)

Have you seen Series 7: The Contenders [imdb.com] ? I highly recommend this to anybody interested in reality shows and how they will end up.. The Contenders show is about killing people. The show people just give randomly chosen people guns and the goal is to survive by killing all other contenders..

Difference between UK and US (1)

aef123 (113763) | more than 13 years ago | (#81124)

I just wanted to post to clear up a few misconceptions about Junkyard Wars. First off the reason some are U.K. and some are U.S. is because seasons 1-3 were in the U.K. Only the last season (season 4) was U.S. I don't know whether or not there will be any more U.K. versions, but hopefully there will be more U.S. Also the female host Cathy Rodgers is actually the shows creator and producer. According to the Junkyard Wars website she was inspired after watching the scene in Apollo 13 where the astronauts had to build an air filter after junk that was lying around the space shuttle. Another interesting thing to note is the british co-host Robert Llewellyn was Kryton on Red Dwarf. Hope that clears some things up.

Re:KISS (1)

mikewas (119762) | more than 13 years ago | (#81125)

Works for software too -- do the simplest thing that might work, and just maybe the features will outnumber the bugs introduced!

Re:Gripe Mode. (2)

Grab (126025) | more than 13 years ago | (#81126)

Nah, the Yanks replaced an intelligent, charismatic and enthusiastic actor with... well, some bloke. Sorry guys, but your presenter sucks. At least they kept whatsername, the lass who runs it as well. Actually they'd have to, since she OWNS it (she came up with the idea, owns the rights, produces, etc, etc).

Grab.

Re:Sexiest? (2)

Grab (126025) | more than 13 years ago | (#81127)

They've actually toned it down since the first (British) series when it was called Scrapheap. Robert Llewellyn's outfit in that was the dead spit of the Gyrocaptain's in Mad Max 2. I think they twigged that it was a bit _too_ OTT though, and toned it down a bit.

Grab.

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (2)

Grab (126025) | more than 13 years ago | (#81128)

Depends. Plenty of times when things went radically wrong due to crap gear (the number of engines failing under pressure is a matter of record). And in the first series, the shortage of kit meant that only one team got a hovercraft built, and that had to be pushed.

Compare to the American version. Full roll-cages in the dragsters and off-road buggies - that doesn't happen in 8 hours with scaffolding poles! Sorry, it's American dumbing-down in action again, I'm afraid.

Grab.

Re:The show is fixed? (2)

Grab (126025) | more than 13 years ago | (#81129)

Sure, they'll have something. But there's many cases where it has to be towed to the start line and never moves, or (in the case of the bombers or the submarines) where the only movement is down like a stone, or where it travels a few yards and then sheds its engine. Having "something" is no guarantee of having something that works!

Grab.

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (3)

Grab (126025) | more than 13 years ago | (#81130)

That's the point though, not everyone can. The expert comes up with a base idea, and it's then up to the team to try and make it happen, given the limited and rusty materials available. And then to keep whatever it is alive long enough to beat the opposition! :-)

Be practical here - no-one knows enough about tractor pulls, drag racing, hang-gliders, high-pressure pumps, steam engines and rocketry to be able to design one of each successfully in a day. It isn't possible. You could maybe find two teams in the world who knew about all those subjects, and then they'd be blown out bcos none of them knew anything about balloons... :-) There's any number of wrong ways of doing stuff like that, and when they involve ppl standing around them, riding on them or operating them, you'd damn well better have an expert on hand to make sure everyone survives! And the time limit (regardless of if they get "tinkering time" allowed the next day) is restrictive enough without the extra hassle of having to experiment to find a way of doing something. For the more dramatic programs (the gliders and rockets, for instance), there is literally no way they could have done it without experts on hand; they would have had to have given them a less technical task, and the programme would have been poorer for it.

Grab.

Grab.

Re:Very entertaining. (1)

crashnbur (127738) | more than 13 years ago | (#81131)

Reality shows like Survivor are brainless drivel. Your brain isn't engaged by such programs. Your emotions and blood pressure are. Perhaps if people paid a little more attention to the things that mattered, like, oh I don't know, politics, the country might not be going to hell in a hand basket in such a damn hurry.

Sorry. I'm just tired of people defending all the "brainless drivel" on television by simply acccusing this bit of brainless drivel better than that bit... Blah blah blah. All of it succeeds for its purpose: to distract by entertaining. As long as people are entertained, they think they are happy, and when something bad happens, they just distract themselves again to "make it go away".

Now, if I may, I think I'm going to run for Congress.

My favorite fixed episode (1)

Bad_CRC (137146) | more than 13 years ago | (#81134)

Was when they found a brand new roll of ultra-lightweight silver material to build a blimp in the back of a rusted out car.... Just after mentioning how they didn't think they'd be able to finish their job without it. :)

________

Obligatory Cathy Rogers moment. (2)

cqnn (137172) | more than 13 years ago | (#81136)


http://www.rdfmedia.com/about/cathyrogers.htm

http://www.llew.co.uk/scrapheap/cathys-corner.ht ml

Marine Research (The band she's in)

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~queenb/index.h tm

So I should get a TV? (1)

Seeth42 (138589) | more than 13 years ago | (#81137)

Is it good enough for me to shell out for cable television?

If it is, could someone tell me what channel it's on?

For the glory (3)

fleener (140714) | more than 13 years ago | (#81138)

Who cares if key components are planted in the junkyard? The contestants do not win any money. They do not have dreams of becoming reality TV celebrities. They take time off work, fly off to who knows where and spend a full day welding and getting sweaty and dirty. They compete "for the glory." I relate to these people more than any of the 'pretty faces' on Big Brother or Real World.

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 13 years ago | (#81140)

Well, what gets me is that no matter how badly a team falls behind in their construction, they always manage to finish just in time. I know that they are supposed to get tweak time the next morning, but they always at least have something to tweak. No one ever fails to get to the starting line.

There's a difference between having a badly designed entry and having *no* entry, and that's where things get fishy with this show. But I can't help loving it anyway :-)

Re:Junkyard Wars vs ScrapHeads (1)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 13 years ago | (#81141)

Actually, in some of the older shows, the host actually refers to "Scrapheap" in a way that makes it clear that it's the name of the show (ie. not just a generic term for a heap-of-scrap, or yard-of-junk).

Now the really funny bit would be if they filmed two versions of the US vs. UK special: one with the US winning, and one with the UK. Kinda like the two versions of Godzilla vs. King Kong (which really annoyed me 'cause I was always a Godzilla fan).

BTW, am I the only one (or only American) who thinks that the British male host was better than the US guy?

Re:Junkyard Wars vs ScrapHeads (1)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 13 years ago | (#81142)

Hmm, I wasn't sure about this; it does look like english scrap, but I thought maybe the increased safety precautions on the US shows was due to our wonderful healthcare system (ie. cover the cost of the treatment by filing a frivolous lawsuit against whoever you can). Maybe this is too cynical; then again, I guess as long as they are Americans, they still have private insurance, so...

(BTW, if you don't know what I'm talking about, look at the shows with similar challenges. For example, UK drag racing: find an old seat, bolt on a crappy two-piece roll cage, and off you go. US drag racing: give both teams specialized racing seats with five-point harnesses, demand a full roll cage that probably doubles the weight, etc.,etc.)

Re:Fortunately not a popularity contest (2)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 13 years ago | (#81143)

Yep, the only difference between these "distinguished" awards and TRL is the primary age demographic of the voters...

Re:Sorry (1)

RoofusPennymore (151772) | more than 13 years ago | (#81144)

Uh, the last few shows I watched had all americans except for one of the hosts. And she is welcome on my TV anytime.

Also congrats to the Daily show. I laugh my ass off watching that. They deserve to win.

ScrapHeads or Scrapheap? (4)

green pizza (159161) | more than 13 years ago | (#81146)

I was under the impression that the (original) UK version was known as "Scrapheap Challenge".

I just hope they wait until my Blind Date episode (1)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 13 years ago | (#81150)

...before choosing a winner in the reality TV category!

Seriously, I do have an audition down there this week... so keep an eye out, and you might see one of /.'s own making a complete fool of himself on national TV. (And getting PAID for it - I usually make a fool of myself for free!)

Re:So I should get a TV? (1)

jaga~ (175770) | more than 13 years ago | (#81152)

TLC

Re:also ... (1)

jaga~ (175770) | more than 13 years ago | (#81153)

I hate that show because I spend 45 minutes enjoying the chefs and the humor and watching the food get cooked and then its midnight and the food is done and they are eating it and I'm starving and only a 5 * restaurant gourmet meal will satisfy me at that point....

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (2)

isomeme (177414) | more than 13 years ago | (#81155)

That's not to say that the contestants aren't good engineers, but the show is trying to present them as superhuman engineers when they're typically not. By rigging the contest they're no more credible than Jeopardy contestants who get a little help from Alex during the commercials.

A good friend of mine was a five-time winner (and hence also championship contestant) on Jeopardy. I was in the studio audience while three of his games were being filmed. There was no help from Alex or anyone else involved. Not saying the same is true for all game shows, but Jeopardy seems to be pretty honest.

--

Re:The show is fixed? (2)

HobNob (177770) | more than 13 years ago | (#81156)

The leader of the American team (The NERDS) that participated in the British series has posted on Slashdot before.

He said that the experts know what the challenge is beforehand - they submit a tentative design and a list of critical parts - but the actual teams don't know until it starts.

In fact, if you go to the Channel 4 website you can see what appears to be the expert's design brief for each show; e.g.: The Airship [channel4.com] .

Re:Junk Yard Wars: Only good show on TV... (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 13 years ago | (#81157)

Sure, the yard is occasionally seeded with stuff that would not typically be in a junkyard (propellers and a surprising number of running engines, for example),

The propellers were a surprise, but if you go to pretty much any scrap yard, you'll be able to start most of the "complete" engines if you try (and if the scrappy will let you!)

Re:ScrapHeads or Scrapheap? (1)

protactin (206817) | more than 13 years ago | (#81161)

The first series in the UK was known only as 'Scrapheap' then changed to 'Scrapheap Challenge [everything2.com] ' from the second series on..

More info on that e2 [everything2.com] link above.. :)

I like Red Dwarf better (1)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 13 years ago | (#81165)

Hopefully Robert Llewellyn won't forget about his post as laundry-bot and part-time science officer gig on Red Dwarf! I heard rumors that they are working around his schedule in Junkyard Wars, but I see new Junkyard Wars shows, not Red Dwarf shows or movie. Don't forget about us little people in cult sci-fi fandom!

Well, your fingers weave quick minarets; Speak in secret alphabets;

Fixed Aspects (1)

Afreet1 (224290) | more than 13 years ago | (#81167)

I like the show regardless of the seeding of the junkyard and the hosts talking to the teams to fix major technical flaws.

What I REALLY want to see is either A) a team not finish their project (or at least not celebrate when they barely finish it), B) a design totally fail when it is time for the competition.

Once again I have no problem with the seeding of the junkyard with cars and compressors, but it does take away some of the more innovative engineering tasks. Of course if a team had to perform a major overhaul on an engine they would require more than a couple of hours.

Re:The show is fixed? (not really) (2)

Omerna (241397) | more than 13 years ago | (#81168)

"Fixed" means a winner is decided before hand. Think Don King. What you mean is the competitors get a little help. Some people might argue this is crap and ruins the spirit of the show, but would you like to see a couple of hovercrafts that didn't work? Or just 1 that worked? Of course not, and because TLC needs some ratings as well as a cool show, the junkyard is seeded.

P.S.- I've also heard that in Britain there are laws about the quality of parts, so, (let's take the rockets, for instance) the engines are certified and seeded in the junkyard.

Re:ScrapHeads or Scrapheap? (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 13 years ago | (#81176)

Well you must be right.

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 13 years ago | (#81177)

Yeah... I clearly remember the time when some guys were trying to built a RC balloon to drop a bomb. They couldn't find a plastic good enough for the envelope. Then they found a complete brand new roll of Millar (just perfect), in trunk of an old car... Yeah...

Also, both machines ALWAYS works... At least a bit.

Keep in mind that this is TV entertainment, not a real competition.

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 13 years ago | (#81178)

As I said in a previous post, both machines ALWAYS works, so I'm not surprised.

KISS (2)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 13 years ago | (#81179)

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

It seems to me that it's always the simplest machine that wins. Insightful...

Junkyard Wars vs ScrapHeads (4)

AdamInParadise (257888) | more than 13 years ago | (#81180)

For those of you actually wondering about the difference between Junkyard Wars (US, with US guys) and ScrapHeads (UK with UK guys), well, there isn't any. It is just the same show, with two different names for each border of the big pond.

TLC basically broadcasts both (they even had a super finale US vs UK (US won) for the Fourth of July). Sure they change the male anchors between the two.

I'm basically thinking that they shoot each "sequence with an anchor" twice, once saying "ScrapHeads", once saying "JunkYard Wars".

Re:Junkyard Wars vs ScrapHeads (1)

richard-parker (260076) | more than 13 years ago | (#81181)


Actually this is strange. They did a pumpkin launching contest (rugby ball throwing in the UK), and in the UK, one team used an air pressure gun. The other team used a catapult / slingshot device. When I saw the US version of the challenge, again, one team used a very similar looking (and functioning) air pressure cannon, and the other team used a catapult. I didnt know what conclusion to come to about this.
The thing you have to remember is that the purpose of the show is not the contest, the purpose is to teach science.

The approach the competing teams use to attack the challenge is usually heavily influenced by the skills of the expert provided by the producers as the 4th member of each team. In order to enhance the instructive nature of the show it is not uncommon for the producers to deliberately choose experts with different skill sets that the producers feel will encourage the teams to choose methods that illustrate different scientific principles.

would be better if it were not rigged (1)

regexp (302904) | more than 13 years ago | (#81183)

I think Junkyard Wars would be much better if it weren't rigged (junkyard stocked in advance with useful parts, etc.) Yes, it would be difficult if not impossible to make these great machines without providing parts, hey could still make it an interesting show by simplifying the assignments (have the contestants make less complicated machines) or by being more up front about the rigging (give each team a working engine and other necessary parts at the start, and say exactly what they have been given)

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (1)

Script0r (305025) | more than 13 years ago | (#81186)

I think it is kind of stupid how they get experts on whatever kind of thing they are trying to build to design the machines for them. Anyone can build something. The real challenge is designing the machine to build.

Don't Rule out Battlebots for next year (3)

blair1q (305137) | more than 13 years ago | (#81187)

Sure, Junkyard Wars is cool, but the new season of Battlebots is cooler.

All of the arena hazards got a 5x (yes, five times) improvement in motor power (they didn't look all that wimpy last year, but they're positively rocking this year), and the saws and hammer were improved to increase destruction capability.

The contestants have clearly been improving their bots, too. They're heavier and stronger.

And when the saws or one of the bots flips a 300-lb contestant 10 feet into the air, it's massively cool.

I give it 10, maybe 20 years before the show turns into a live-action MechWarrior. Probably with a tie-in to Junkyard Wars, if everyone's smart.

The only degradation year-to-year: they changed spokesmodels and now it's that plastic-surgery disaster, Tracy Bingham. Hey! She weighs maybe 100 lbs, she's half-lexan, and she's got the brains of a remote-controlled car; maybe the plan is she should get in the arena! See how far she'd fly off the kill-saw...

--Blair
"Claimer: I'm not connected to the show in any way except via my eyeballs."

Flamebait? (1)

snake_dad (311844) | more than 13 years ago | (#81188)

After all the Discovery-channel bashing I've seen here resently I don't know if I dare mention this but:

<whisper>Here in Holland it is on the Discovery Channel... </whisper>

Snake_dad (desperately holding on to his karma...)

ooops... (1)

snake_dad (311844) | more than 13 years ago | (#81189)

let me correct myself before I really get flamed: the series on Discovery is ofcourse the British version of the show: Scrapheap [channel4.com] , as comment #26 [slashdot.org] already mentioned. Anyway, this version is great, following in a long tradition of British humor.

I'll crawl back under a rock now :-)

SNL... (1)

3am (314579) | more than 13 years ago | (#81191)

...deserves an award for the parody of Iron Chef that they did a while back..

Charlie Sheen was hosting, and was 'American Bachelor chef', and he was challenging Iron Chef Japan (?) played by Horatio Sans... The theme ingredient was Shark heads, and Sans infused some rice with Eel farts (they were 'a little salty').

it was by far the funniest thing I've seen on television in months.

Token gesture. (1)

3am (314579) | more than 13 years ago | (#81192)

The fact that Junkyard Wars was included means nothing. Survivor is going to take the award, regardless of it's (lack of) merit. This entire reality TV trend makes me ill... in 15 years people won't even know what real is.

Re:Junkyard Wars vs Scrapheap Challenge (3)

McSpew (316871) | more than 13 years ago | (#81194)

Yes, the British show "Scrapheap Challenge" is relabeled by TLC as "Junkyard Wars." Until the recent all-US version, that's all Junkyard Wars was. But TLC's ratings for the relabeled Scrapheap Challenge have been terrific, so they contracted with RDF Media and Cathy Rogers to produce an all-US version of the show.

And yes, Robert Llewellyn (the British host) is much better than George Gray (the American host). I find it amusing that two cast members from Red Dwarf have jobs as gameshow hosts. Craig Charles (who plays Lister) hosts the British show Robot Wars while Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) hosts Scrapheap Challenge/Junkyard Wars UK.

Apparently, British viewers got to see the US vs. UK championship back in December 2000 [channel4.com] . I'd discovered that website months back and studiously avoided reading too much on there because I wanted to be surprised by the outcomes of the shows.

By the way, the first season of the all-US version of the show was shot in England at the same junkyard as the British version. The second US season will be shot at an American junkyard in California (and is probably being filmed right now).

It isn't so bad from the right mindset (1)

isoteareth (321937) | more than 13 years ago | (#81200)

It's better to think of the setting as a large pool of raw materials, tweaked to better present solutions to a given problem, rather than as a junkyard. It was clear to me early on it wasn't a junkyard when they "found" a roll of mylar in a car trunk. However, it made for a good show and allowed a nifty design to be finished, so I sputtered for only a moment. Also, much of the setting is not rigged for each show. On the UK episodes of Junkyard wars, Which season I don't recall, there is a plane that is progressively gutted for parts over seveal different shows. Essentially, it seems they keep the same pool of resources, adding in new bits appropriate to the current task so the show's projects can be completed and played with.

Each team has 12 hours.... (3)

Quizme2000 (323961) | more than 13 years ago | (#81202)

to accept an Emmy, weld it into an obscene gesture, and spray the audience with oil. For an old A-team addict, the show is my crack cocaine.

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (2)

CoachS (324092) | more than 13 years ago | (#81207)

I'm sure that more often than not the teams are given off camera time after they call time but before the trials, and they only present the successful trials.

While I'm sure that they do give them some extra off-camera time where necessary, the fact is that they DO show unsuccessful trials.

  • The speedboat competetion had one boat flipping over and sinking on the first lap. The other team finished the race unopposed.
  • The hovercraft competetion featured one hovercraft hitting ground and fatally (for the craft, not the driver) ripping the skirts. Again, the other team finished unopposed.
  • The underwater salvage episode featured one team that failed to get their Mini out of the water and, in fact, they had to give up and just watch the other team finish.

While I'm sure we're not seeing everything that goes on, it's still true that not all of the machines work.

-Coach-

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (2)

CoachS (324092) | more than 13 years ago | (#81208)

No argument they do have to stock the junkyard a bit, but that's not the point. The show isn't a scavenger hunt; it's about coming up with a useful design that can be built "from scratch" within a single day and with reasonable parts -- i.e. nobody's getting a fusion reactor.

The show is about the science and mechanical engineering and competing designs. Hopefully the audience learns why hovercraft hover and the contestants can come up with machines that actually work. (by the way, sometimes they work VERY little; remember the "torpedo" speedboat that flipped and sank in the second turn of the first lap?)

The producers could force the contestants to only use stuff from an unstocked junkyard, but the chances of them ever (much less in 10 hours) coming up with a serviceable machine that does much of interest is pretty slim.

There's only so many times you can build "a car". If you want to do skyrockets you have to have some kind of usable rocket propulsion; which you're not going to find in the average junkyard.

-Coach-

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

Nick Number (447026) | more than 13 years ago | (#81210)

Back on topic: there is a good site (lost the URL) by one of the teams that states how and why the stocking is done.

The NERDS (New England Rubbish Deconstruction Society) had a site at http://www.the-nerds.org/, but it seems to be out of commission.

You can still see google's cached copy here [google.com] .

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

ryanwright (450832) | more than 13 years ago | (#81212)

You're building a cool toy, and didn't provide a URL? C'mon, c'mon, c'mon. Let me see it!

Well, for fear of swamping my meager 1Mbps connection, here you go:

http://www.ryanwright.com/hover/ [ryanwright.com]

Plenty of pictures for your enjoyment. The project is 1.5 years in the making and should be completed by next summer. That is, if I don't run out of money again. :)

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

ryanwright (450832) | more than 13 years ago | (#81213)

I would decidedly not used the word fixed. The outcome is not predetermined.

Thank you for the clarification. It certainly adds new clarity to the situation, considering my last statement, "What isn't rigged is the outcome: It's a real competition with real winners and losers."

Unless that particular show was an extreme abberation, the team *experts* are the ones who stock the junkyard.

Experts, Leaders, The Guys Showing The Team How To Build The Device. Does it really matter?

But is it "fixed". No. The teams are genuinely out there trying to win.

(sigh) ...

The show is fixed? (4)

ryanwright (450832) | more than 13 years ago | (#81214)

Yes, the show is fixed. Not too long ago, they built a couple of hovercraft on Junkyard Wars. I am building a hovercraft of my own (a real one, not made out of junk) and have spoken with both of the team leaders who built the crafts on Junkyard Wars. Basically, they submitted a list of necessary parts to the producers, who then stocked the yunkyard. Also, in addition to the two days of filming, they used a 3rd day off-camera to finish up their hovercrafts.

If you'll recall, one of the guys carved a prop out of a piece of "old" burnt wood - yes, he really did carve that prop from scratch! But the wood wasn't old. It was a brand new piece of wood specifically selected for the purpose, and the Junkyard Wars crew burnt it for them beforehand. :)

So yes, the show is rigged, but you have to give them some credit: How could you possibly have entertainment otherwise? They certainly wouldn't be able to build most of what they do if the junkyard wasn't stocked. What isn't rigged is the outcome: It's a real competition with real winners and losers.

Very entertaining. (2)

FrankieBoy (452356) | more than 13 years ago | (#81216)

They deserve any recognition they get, one of the best shows on TV. That's not saying much since most of the stuff on is brainless drivel, which some of the lame posters probably like.

Hoo Boy... (1)

andrew_mike (458436) | more than 13 years ago | (#81219)

Seems like the Emmys are really scraping the bottom of the barrel this time. Man, it's getting harder to find good TV shows nowadays, isn't it?

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 13 years ago | (#81220)

A good friend of mine was a five-time winner (and hence also championship contestant) on Jeopardy. I was in the studio audience while three of his games were being filmed. There was no help from Alex or anyone else involved. Not saying the same is true for all game shows, but Jeopardy seems to be pretty honest.

As a former contestant (I came in 2nd, got a trip to SF), I can confirm this. US game shows are STILL reeling from the quiz show scandals of the '50s, and go to great lengths to prevent any "contamination" of the contestants.

Now, back on topic. I don't think the OP was saying that Jeopardy was rigged, he was using the concept of rigged Jeopardy as an example.

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (1)

spaceyhackerlady (462530) | more than 13 years ago | (#81221)

While it's sometimes obvious that they've seeded useful bits around the junkyard, in one way the show appears to be anything but fixed.

Is it just me, or do the U.S. teams seem a lot more dependent on their experts ("what *is* a hovercraft?" comes to mind)? It makes me wonder if this is post-1950s game show laws coming in to play: they can't propose challenges based on what the contestants know.

...laura

Re:KISS (2)

well_jung (462688) | more than 13 years ago | (#81222)

I'm reminded of this UF cartoon [userfriendly.org] discussing complexity v. simplicity.


Carl G. Jung
--

Re:So I should get a TV? (1)

prdugan (463007) | more than 13 years ago | (#81223)

Yes when there are new ones... no when it's reruns... trebuchet's rock!

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (2)

Smedrick (466973) | more than 13 years ago | (#81224)

Keep in mind that this is TV entertainment, not a real competition.

Exactly. While part of me would like to see some failure, most of me just wants to be entertained. Besides, what good is a hovercraft race if only one can hover?

"Genetic engineering lets us fix god's horrible, horrible mistakes...like German people."

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (1)

bani (467531) | more than 13 years ago | (#81225)

1. the producers encourage different approaches, it makes the show more interesting. however the team captain is free to IGNORE the expert, as bowser did in the football-slinging contest.

2. did you see season 1 of JYW with robert? all dressed up mad-max style and doing "singin' in the rain"? puh-leeze. george gray wasnt NEARLY that annoying.

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

bani (467531) | more than 13 years ago | (#81226)

> ... interviewed Robert Llewellen for my radio
> show, and have exchanged emails with a few
> prior players.

And all this is available exactly where on your
website...?

Re:would be better if it were not rigged (1)

bani (467531) | more than 13 years ago | (#81227)

No, it would make it a LESS interesting show
because theres little chance of them completing
their assignments at all.

What chance in hell are you going to have of
finding ROCKET MOTORS in a junkyard?

Give me a break.

They learned real quick in season 1 that cars
in a junkyard RARELY have working engines, so
the junkyard needs to be seeded. Just which
cars have the working engines and which cars
have the best working engines, the teams are not
told.

The teams arent GIVEN anything specific.

They have to FIND it.

The producers ask the experts what is needed to
complete the task, and the producers then seed
the junkyard appropriately with MULTIPLE instances
of the required parts. Some parts work better
than others. Some are duds and don't really work
at all.

Its up to the teams to find something suitable
and make it work.

Re:Fixed Aspects (1)

bani (467531) | more than 13 years ago | (#81228)

You havent been watching closely enough. There have been MULTIPLE instances of B). Bowser's catapult (it broke!) Brothers in Arms' cannon (kept jamming) Three revs' flyer uh... didn't

Re:The show is fixed? (1)

bani (467531) | more than 13 years ago | (#81229)

Do I get to redeem my points for cash and prizes? Dont tell me you lost the tapes as well...

Re:Don't Rule out Battlebots for next year (4)

bani (467531) | more than 13 years ago | (#81230)

Battlebots is all about destruction.
Junkyard Wars is all about construction.

Battlebots is more like watching script kiddies duke it out.

Junkyard Wars is closer to the spirit of "true hackers".

I'll take Junkyard Wars thank you very much.

For anyone who hasn't seen junkyard wars.. (1)

Mirotrem (468227) | more than 13 years ago | (#81231)

I personally enjoy the show, and have watched the episodes from England and the US. Some of the "projects" call for unique type items that you would never find in a Junkyard, so they have to plant them. I mean, if you really expect to find model rocket engines in a Junkyard..then you got some problems. Overall, I like watching the teams themselves, and I think the "hosts" could do with a bit of de-actifying, they seem to overact and overhype certain events. Thats about the only thing that bugs me, but I can supress the urge to slap my roommate just from the sheer cool factor of the show.

Re:Too bad the show is fixed... (1)

xdrewx (468230) | more than 13 years ago | (#81232)

its still the best show ever.
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