About a week ago, my son was home on a sick day. That means that instead of listening to an audio book while I eat lunch, he picks out something for us to watch. His choice? The Deadliest Warrior.
I was less than thrilled until I sat down and watched it. By the time it was over, all I could think was “I wish I had though of this.” First, we watched William the Conqueror vs. Joan of Arc. Then we watched Poncho Villa vs Crazy Horse and Jesse James vs Al Capone. By now we’ve also seen Pol Pot vs Saddam Hussein and Hannibal vs Genghis Khan. I’ve included a link to one of the episodes below.
The Deadliest Warrior is a series of documentaries produced by 44 Blue. They scientifically analyze the effectiveness of each group’s weapons and tactics. They bring in historians and other experts. Their staff includes elite military as well as an emergency room doctor (he’d be able to fight for up to 20 minutes more with that injury).
They also take into account various “x-factors” such as health (Poncho Villa had arthritis but Crazy Horse was starving), mental state, relative size (William the Conqueror was bigger and stronger than Joan of Arc), age, and the like.
They feed everything into a computer program which runs thousands of mock battles. Then they stage the results.
What do I mean by stage the results? Let’s face it. Watching a group of guys stand around and watch a computer run a simulation would be dull, dull, dull. They stage it and bring in a group of appropriately dressed and equipped re-enactors to “do battle.” Each group has five warriors and they fight until only one “man” is left standing.
Mysteriously and miraculously (ha ha), it always ends up being a one-on-one fight between the two headliners — Poncho Villa vs Crazy Horse, William the Conqueror vs Joan of Arc, etc. You know which side won the simulations by which person emerges as the ultimate victor.
This is history gone geek. Instead of arguing who would win Spider Man or Bat Man, you are arguing about history. I mean argue in the nicest sense but we do hold lengthy discussions about who would win if they had change where the battle was set, the opening move, etc.
Half the fun of watching it is watching the reactions of the experts like when Susie the War Elephant stood on a ballistics gel mannequin. Suffice it to say, Susie is a total bad ass. At heart, I am a most likely a twelve year-old boy. I so wish I had come up with this idea although I concede they make better videos than books (squish goes the mannequin!) but there has to be some kind of possibility for a book series. Think, think, think . . .