Spike TV released the first season of Deadliest Warrior, a computer simulation based contest pitting some of the greatest combatants the world has ever known against each other.
Film making 15/25
Bonus Features 15/25
Deadliest Warrior pits two world famous fighters, warriors and combatants against each other, computer simulation style one thousand times to see who is the Deadliest. Spike TV premiered Deadliest Warrior to some thrilled fans and the show is nothing but interesting as well as educational to say the least.
The premise is simple, find two closely matched famous warriors and use a computer to simulate one thousand battles to find out who is better. Each warrior will have common weapons to the warrior and through the use of a computer simulation thanks to Slitherine Studios one is determined the winner.
The show starts with an introduction to each warrior and then experts on each one will show weapons and characteristics of the warriors abilities. Experts range from historians to actual descendants of people who are world renowned in the warrior specialty.
The show has found combat training experts, historians and others like instructors in various forms of martial arts to show off the techniques each warrior uses. They also use a lot of computers and special equipment to measure the effectiveness of weapons and general tactics used.
Weapons are measured for speed and striking power along with effectiveness of attacks like if an edge can cut through a pig or even more. Attacks from blunt weapons are measured for hitting force and thrown or projectile weapons are measured for both accuracy and speed to determine damage.
Once the show tests each weapon chosen for each warrior and collects a lot of data they put all this data into a computer simulation that pits warrior against warrior. The computer results are shown, no simulated combat is shown but actors do perform a combat using realistic weapons and a real world site and some CGI effects added in to show the results in a realistic fashion.
Combatants in the first season are: Apache vs Gladiator, Viking vs Samurai, Spartan vs Ninja, Pirate vs Knight, Yakuza vs Mafia, Green Beret vs Spetsnaz, Shaolin Monk vs Maori Warrior, William Wallace vs Shaka Zulu and I.R.A. vs Taliban. The show is pretty good and uses warriors that are well matched but a few discrepancies are kind of built into the mix.
While they do a great job of picking tough and fierce combatants they do have a couple of issues with the shows entire theme and how they perform their simulations. I think they should have explained at the beginning of each show that they are going to be testing and repeating tests for weapons and such to get their results for the computer simulation.
During the show in the first couple of episodes they go through the show and check out weapons but do not really explain that they will be running tests on each weapon for several tests to get results they punch into the computer. In order to get the computer data needed to run the simulation the program will need a lot of data and testing weapons just once won’t work.
They also need to test each weapon or situation for both warriors weapons so that results are comparable and repeatable to get enough good data for the simulation to be fair and work out correctly. The show does the repeatable tests and they do compare each weapon against the others but they don’t really explain this till one of the roundtable discussions on the bonus features.
They should explain this from the start so people are aware that the show does several days worth of testing and only show the good stuff on each episode. You get to see some of the tests and the really interesting ones like cutting a few pigs in half with a sword but they do a lot of testing to gather enough data for the simulation.
The other dispute I have with the show is the actual end where you do not get to see any kind of battle simulation from the computer but only get number crunched to find the outcome. Personally I would have preferred to see a computer simulation battle than actors fighting it out to an outcome that represents the computers simulation.
To me it seemed the show would just be anticlimactic by just telling viewers the outcome so they had actors battle out the warrior fight in a staged battle. It really does not represent the battles as much as a computer simulation would as a few had weapons that were not talked about or did things I would not think those particular warriors would do.
The actors battles seemed to be added to give the final outcome a little more stage presence like the show needed some kind of action sequence beyond the work with weapons testing. The battles between warriors make for some entertaining fiction but I think the show should concentrate more on the computer simulation.
I think if the they found a simulation that has more than just numbers for an outcome and some kind of AI run first person shooter type combat it would be a bit better than the actors. It just felt that the combat using actors made too much of particular moments that the actors or whoever was directing the fight wanted and not what the computer came up with.
The Deadliest Warrior is not all about the final results and the action sequence near the end only goes toward showing who won by the computers results. The show is much more about testing the weapons and finding out about the warriors and their tools of fighting than the results themselves or even how people react to the results.
As part of the bonus content on the DVD’s you get a roundtable discussion with various people from the show in The Aftermath talk about each battle. The questions asked by people from the Spike TV forum are answered and a few common themes from the forums are discussed.
The Aftermath discussion for each episode is great and should remain as part of a valuable addition to the show, it gives deeper insight when the battle and parts of each episode are discussed afterward as well as getting a broader insight form audience members who through their own experiences in special forces, or history research have input to the episode or fighters.
Bonus features also include a season wrap up in the same roundtable fashion of The Aftermath bonuses with about the same results as that bonus content. The extras amount to stuff that should be part of the show so I really don’t know if you would even consider them bonus content or just part of the show.
Video and audio work well and just like MythBusters and other reality shows that use a lot of expensive equipment this is a mixed bag but it works well. Both audio and video look and sound great with well done video and audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound.
Deadliest Warrior Season one is a violent show but has at least some educational and informational value for those interested in the weapons and tactics of combat. While the show does make use of this violence for entertainment purposes it does so with an eye toward being educational in the facts of each warrior and the history behind each warrior type and their culture.
Deadliest Warrior is a pretty decent show but it is violent and makes plentiful use of fake blood and organs so parents should be cautioned about the visuals of the violence. Deadliest Warrior is a pretty good show overall and for history buffs and anyone interested in warriors and the use of weapons it is worth a viewing.