Gladiators is coming back…!

// 12 April 2008

Gladiators is coming back to Sky One. You see images of the gladiators here.

“Compare the descriptions of the women, with those of the men!” said Andrew, who emailed this to me. Yes, let’s!


SPARTAN – Roderick Bradley, 24, Grantham- “Handsome, disciplined and brave. Will take on any army – the perfect warrior”

DESTROYER – Damar Martin, 38, Croydon – “Determined and strong, angry and unstoppable – nothing gets in his way”

PREDATOR – Du’aine Ledejo, 36, Newark – “Volatile, quick and poisonous, hunts down prey and takes no prisoners”

ATLAS – Sam Bond, 24, Bournemouth – “As strong as He-Man, fights hard and with dignity”

TORNADO – David McIntosh, 22, Altrincham – “Violently destructive windstorm full of unstoppable energy – leaves you in a spin”


ICE – Caroline Pearce, 27, Cambridge – “Cold, steely, frosty and beautiful”

INFERNO – Jemma Palmer, 24, Tamworth – “Hot, fiery, dangerous and destructive”

PANTHER – Kara Nwidobie, 26, Morecambe – “Beautiful, sleek, aggressive and powerful. Panther is the strongest and fiercest of the wild cats”

ENIGMA – Jenny Pacey, 25, Borehamwood – “Mysterious and beautiful, contradictory and unpredictable, impossible to capture”

TEMPEST – Lucy Boggis, 19, Quintin, Wiltshire – “Naturally beautiful, a force of nature bringing furious agitation and commotion”

BATTLEAXE – Shirley Webb, 26, Edinburgh – “A weapon of war, domineering, aggressive and indomitable. Battleaxe is a warrior queen”

Notice anything? Methinks Battleaxe (presumably not “beautiful” enough?) is the exception that proves the rule. Oh and p.s., the black woman is the only one shown crawling on the floor. And her name is Panther.

Now, if only they’d bring back Crystal Maze…

Comments From You

chem_fem // Posted 12 April 2008 at 7:15 pm

Part of me quite likes Gladiators.

It isn’t perfect or in the least bit feminist but it objectifies men and women equally while taking those same men and women seriously. It puts womens competing physically on the same platform as the mens (more than you normally get in sport) but it also doesn’t pretend it is anything it isn’t.

How many other shows put on muscled strong women and invite contestants (who don’t have to be attractive, just fit) to compete against them? If battleaxe is happy with her name then good on her. :)

Edward Green // Posted 12 April 2008 at 8:06 pm

It does interest me that the average age of the men is about 4 years more than the average age of the women. None of the Women are over 30 for example.

Betsy // Posted 12 April 2008 at 8:22 pm

I used to like Gladiators, at least everyone was objectified equally. Doesn’t seem to be the case any more though.

Chloe // Posted 12 April 2008 at 10:45 pm

I’m still reeling over Spartan and Battleaxe’s outfits! What have they come as?! “Predator” also seems to be wearing some sort of male bikini.

I agree with chem_fem, it’s nice to see women portrayed as “aggressive”, “naturally beautiful”, “powerful” and “dangerous”. I haven’t seen the new version of the show as I don’t have Sky, so I have no idea what kind of tasks or whatever they’ve got them doing.

I do agree that they’ve overused the word ‘beautiful’ a little for the women. Have they heard of a thesaurus? Why aren’t the women described as “as strong as She-Ra?” :D

Redheadinred // Posted 12 April 2008 at 11:42 pm

They choose their own names, I think, so it’s not so bad that the black woman chooses to name herself Panther. I mean, the white woman called ‘Ice’ isn’t making any statement about being white with that name. There was a black woman named ‘Jet’ at some point in the last gladiators, I think.

But I do find the idea utterly sexist, yes. They’re all ‘beautiful’ or ‘strong’ or even ‘violent’ depending on their gender. What is good about ‘violent’?

Actually, why is ‘violent’ seen as a sign of strength? It’s a sign of weakness.

Catherine Redfern // Posted 13 April 2008 at 12:25 pm

I used to love watching Gladiators too!

If she chose the name Panther, then fair enough. It just seems that choice is… sort of interesting. Their name seems to supposedly represent their defining characteristic. And for some of the women, this seems to be based around their physical appearance. Ice has been called Ice obviously because she has very blonde hair. Inferno has red hair, so naturally, she’s “hot and fiery” and is called Inferno. What’s the defining characteristic of Panther? Well a Panther is a black cat. I just think its an interesting choice. You often see black women being represented as exotic and signifying wildness and the jungle and this seems to be along those lines…. I mean, no-one would accept one of the black male gladiators being called Gorilla.

Interesting about Jet too. I never picked up on that!

But I’m not black so feel free to tell me to shut up! :-)

Leigh Woosey // Posted 13 April 2008 at 2:24 pm


Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture, anyone?

Carrie // Posted 13 April 2008 at 4:32 pm

Random Glad-related thoughts –

There was a Panther in the original series. She was white.

The youngest-ever Gladiator was Hunter, who was 19, I believe, when he started on the show.

Jet was a white woman (an aerobics instructor by the name of Diane Youdale).

The new Glads definitely didn’t choose their own names. Battleaxe said rather diplomatically at the press conference that she was “getting used” to her name.

Gladiator names fairly frequently depend on their physical appearance – Shadow, Nightshade, Saracen etc, but also Flame, Amazon (poor Sharron Davies – she IS TALL), etc.

Redheadinred // Posted 13 April 2008 at 8:10 pm

‘Jet was a white woman (an aerobics instructor by the name of Diane Youdale).’

Agh, I must’ve been remembering wrong… well, it has been about a century since it was on, I can’t really remember who was called what.

But I never thought about that, either – the women are called by their physical atributes and the men by their supposed strength and virility. VERY telling!

Milly // Posted 14 April 2008 at 1:45 pm

The names of the 90s Gladiators were appallingly racist – Saracen, Nightshade, Shadow, Rhino… I didn’t notice so much at the time, being nowt but a wee bairn, but the re-runs on Challenge took my breath away.

Also on a totally separate note, why do many of the male Gladiators wear crop tops to cover their man-boobs? Not that I particularly want to see their man-nipples, but it’s always puzzled me.

Nina // Posted 14 April 2008 at 5:18 pm

Surely Spartan is the exception that proves the rule for he is “handsome”

Cassandra // Posted 13 May 2008 at 7:01 pm

You left out ‘Oblivion’!


Not that it really matters, his description is much the same as the rest of the men, but leaving him out makes it seem as if they thought they needed six women to do what five men could accomplish.

Shonzy // Posted 21 May 2008 at 11:43 pm

well the point id like to make besides the fact that spartan is sooooo sexy is that why do all the gladiators seem so miserable. none of them smile besides the exception of one or two. In this series they seem to be portrayed as baddies rather than the super heros they were playin in the 90s. im yet to see any of the women smile.whats that about? oblivion seems to be takin on the sort of wolf persona…how original!!!! and can someone please tell me the purpose of tempest. all the rest seem to look like athletes with pre defined muscles but she seems to be there for the sex appeal…flicking her hair every 5 minutes doesn’t help! 1 more moan…why did they move it from the NEC in birmingham to a tiny cramped studio somewhere or other!!!!why oh why oh why!!! besides that the new series is becoming quite addictive!!!

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