Deadliest Warrior – Fact vs Fiction

Zombie vs SharkIdea for the xmas special – Zombie vs Shark!

I’ll make no bones about it – Spike TV’s ‘Deadliest Warrior‘ is absolute arse gravy. In fact, it’s so ridiculous, it’s almost beyond criticism. What they’ve done is take a pub argument and make a ‘documentary’ series about it. The very premise of pitting two warriors who never met and could never have met is of course completely meaningless.  Then there’s the total lack of objective criteria for establishing a victor. I know what you’re thinking – I’ve seen it said online already – “you’re taking it too seriously”. I would counter that it’s the show itself that’s taking itself too seriously for sheer entertainment, and not nearly seriously enough as an educational effort. Besides, a quick google demonstrates not only that there are a lot of credulous goons actually buying the ‘scientific’ and ‘historical’ content of the show, but that the makers and promoters of the series are selling and defending it as popular science and history – not as pop-culture-based fun and frolics. It’s not even internally consistent, and appears to resort to outright fakery on a fairly regular basis. In other words, it’s ‘professional’ wrestling in a lab coat.

The episode that really takes the cake is ‘IRA vs Taliban’. No, I’m not joking. If, like me, you’ve ever wondered where the line should be drawn with the popular interpretation of bloody conflict, a new benchmark has been set. Whereas re-enactment groups (for example) tend to have a healthy respect for and knowledge of the history and even politics of the period they ape, these people come out with lines like;

“[The IRA] fought the british military for over 30 years and were successful.”

“…repressed like the irish people have been for hundreds of years…”

“You cannot defeat the ira. it’s literally impossible, or it would have been done already”.

“The IRA’s never been beaten by anybody, and they never will be”. (Apart from the British army, who exactly would they be beaten by?!)

They also refer to the Irish Civil War as the “War of Independence, and claim that it was ‘lost’.

All of this depends upon your point of view of course, but that’s precisely my point. Not a hint of impartiality, all statements go unchallenged and unqualified. The same goes for the Taliban, though they were noticeably more careful with their words given the (to them) more obvious risk of offending their demographic. I’ve no problem with entertainment, nor of challenging received ideas about our collective enemies – but this is how a lot of especially young people, will form their opinions and prejudices about history and politics. There were a few seconds devoted to the history of the Troubles, and that was it. Nothing about the peace process, the different factions etc. American viewers would come away thinking that full-scale battle rages on a daily basis even today to ‘liberate’ Ireland – the independent nation of the Republic wasn’t even mentioned! The whole presentation pandered to those fantasists across the pond that view the IRA as some sort of wholesome group of patriots, yet would have soiled themselves with indignation had the taliban “won” this insane contest. Simplistic views of history need to be challenged, not reinforced.

Breathtakingly enough, despite this Geiger says -

“…we decided that one of the things we could do with the episode is use it to raise awareness about the effects of these weapons on civilian population in a lot of places around the world”.

Yet nothing in the show reflects this awareness of the sensitive issues at hand (not his fault I suppose). He goes on;

“So the cast and crew got together and we all made a donation to landmines.org, which is the United Nation’s humanitarian fund, which goes and directly clears mine fields. They’re the adopt a minefield program.”

Oh, well that’s alright then. Guilty consciences about controversial weapons (but not the murderous terrorists deploying them) salved, we can all move on. What’s next, The Spanish Inquisition vs Guantanamo Bay? Max, you seem like an intelligent and thinking chap. Get the feck away from this trainwreck as soon as you can.

On to the completely unscientific testing, which includes such choice quotes as;

“…the centre of mass of the face!”

And, regarding the slingshot (you really need the narrator’s OTT husky voice);

“a child’s toy turned deadly sniper weapon!”

This is just one of many problems with the whole set-up – they need to give each side/warrior a balance of weaponry and equipment to allow anything like the “Top Trumps” comparison they’re striving for. So you get comedy weapons like this added – something that is, as they admit, not fatal, and in a historic sense, hardly an “IRA” weapon. Had they gone with a real IRA slingshot – ones used as petrol bomb projectors, it would have thrown out their back-of-a-fag-packet calculations.

It got worse. The Rocket Propelled Grenade test was faked. The backblast was (rubbish) CGI, and there was a careful and drastic cut to the projectile itself in flight, which flew in a most untypical manner with a suspicious-looking smoke trail, and might actually have placed the cameraman forward of the launcher. No, it was fake alright. This is likely because actual RPGs are impossible to get outside of hot sandy places, and quite a lot more dangerous than small arms. Here’s a real RPG launch as a comparison.

It was the same story with the AR-15 vs the AKM/AK-47 torture test, done with mud carefully applied to the exterior of the bolt of both weapons and water into the muzzle. Yet the guns in that state are not shown to be fired, instead there’s a crafty cut  to scenes of shots being fired from the other (non-muddy) side of the weapon. These will have been different or cleaned weapons. This is likely a ‘health and safety’/insurance issue – if you’ve seen Mythbusters (and this applies to the explosive RPG warhead too) you’ll know that the really dangerous tests get vetoed. The final giveaway is that after supposed firing, the muddy weapons remain just as muddy – none has been removed by the cycling of the action. nor by the firer as in a real torture test.

The results we saw/heard – that the RPG was ‘devastating’ and the AR-15 unreliable compared to the AK, were therefore wholly preconceived and contrived – how many other ‘tests’ are likewise but less transparent? Even if they accurately reflect reality, why go through the charade of a scientific  ‘test’? I think you can guess the answer, and it rhymes with ‘gratings’. Perhaps this practice should be coined as “pulling a Brainiac”, after that programme was caught similarly faking its ‘experiment’ with reactive metals by using explosives. At least they tried to get real results and resorted to fakery, rather than planning it before filming even began.

The other episode I subjected myself to pitted William Wallace against Shaka Zulu. Honestly, it might as well have been against Chaka Khan. At least as far as the Scottish kit went, weapons, uniform, equipment and historical details were all wildly inaccurate. Wallace the “savage Scottish outlaw” himself was even more anachronistic than the also inexplicably-blue-faced Mel Gibson portrayal. Kilt, spiked targe, dirk and claymore all date from a minimum of 200 years later. Even the historical mythmakers never associated Wallace with a highland claymore – the sword purported to be his is of ‘Lowland’ type, and in any case there’s no evidence to suggest it’s anything but the later weapon it appears to be. The ‘ball and chain’ is straight out of the movie – no evidence at all for this. The programme makers might claim that “unrivetted mail armour” is “very typical for the william wallace era”, but I can assure you that it isn’t. The result of the zulu spear going through it is therefore utterly bogus, as the mild-steel links would simply open up and allow the point through, where the real rivetted iron or steel links would easily resist it. Unrivetted mail is not represented in the European historical record for a reason – it would have been a lot of work and weight to wear for little actual protection.

The final battles are (admittedly well-) choreographed, budget-CGI-ridden nonsense with no apparent input whatsoever coming from the “simulation software”. The IRA/Taliban one was grimly hilarious, with the Team America style comedy swarthy gentlemen in fake beards duking it out (literally at one point) in a US junkyard (for some reason). The only nod to consistency appears to be making the stuntmen use all of the arbitrarily chosen weapons “tested” in the main programme. When the last IRA terrorist…sorry… “freedom fighter” pulled out his slingshot, I involuntarily shook my head in wonderment. Absolutely bizarre. Worth watching only for connoisseurs of car crash TV (like myself!).

Another major problem I have with the show are the so-called ‘experts’ that they employ. The main host Geoffrey Thor (don’t laugh) Desmoulin is a published medical scientist, and injects the only actual science into the show (although his touted experience in the Canadian armed forces doesn’t appear even on his own CV). His helper appears to be a (student) game designer, so I suppose can legitimately be described as a ‘programmer’ and ‘computer whiz’. However, the computer programme that he wrangles is highly suspect, involving punching numbers into a spreadsheet which is then interpreted over a series of encounters using a modified piece of computer game code. These guys have taken a closer look at it, and to me its clear that even ignoring the dubious data that’s being fed into it, there’s little chance that it’s producing meaningful results from it.

The other ‘experts’ change each week, two per ‘side’, and they give more cause for concern, being drawn not from academia, but from the entertainment world:

IRA
Skoti Collins – great-nephew of Michael Collins (even if true, so what?) and an ‘IRA historian’ – actually a jobbing Scottish bit-part actor.
Peter Crowe – ‘IRA weapons specialist’ with zero web presence including publications. At least he sounds Irish.

Taliban
Fahim Fazli – (boy) mujahideen he may have been (he does seem favourable toward the Taliban), but he is now a film actor.
Alex Sami – an ‘FBI anti-terrorism agent’? Well, if he ever was, he ain’t now. He’s a bodyguard.

William Wallace
Kieron Elliott – ‘highlander weapons expert‘ (whatever that means) and ‘william wallace expert’ – actually a radio DJ with a layman’s knowledge of Wallace.
Anthony Delongis – ‘blademaster’ – another actor cum theatrical fight director.

Shaka Zulu
Jason bartley – ‘zulu combat expert’ – a stuntman.
Earl White – martial artist, and possibly the only ‘qualified’ ‘expert’ in both episodes due to his stick-fighting skills.

The ‘experts’ and ‘historians’ presented to us demonstrate just how debased the terms have become within the media. Not one academic historian amongst them. Seemingly it’s just another part to be played out in front of the camera, with no regard for credentials, experience, or expert knowledge itself. Bigging oneself up over and above your experience and qualifications is common in entertainment, where you are after all only playing a role. But if a programme desires subject specialists, it should hire them. The ubiquitous Mike Loades styles himself a “military historian”, but has yet to publish on the subject (or any other). But at least his role as host in such shows makes a certain amount of sense given his background as a stage and screen fight director, and he clearly does have a certain amount of specialist knowledge about arms and armour. Not so these people, none of whom could legitimately be described as historians, even if they do play one on TV. Finally, there are many out there who study historical swordfighting techniques based upon primary source – why were none of them employed?

I’ve only stomached these two episodes all the way through, but seeing clips of the ‘ninja’ and ‘pirate’ warriors made me wonder whether I was just the victim of a clever prank – that no-one really believed after all that this show was in any way serious. It would surely be the only defence this programme could mount – that it’s just for fun. But actually, that’s bollocks. Everything about the show’s promotion makes out that it IS scientific – one host even associating it with Mythbusters (which is hardly hard science but does balance it well with entertainment).

Even as entertainment – recommended only for the terminally hard of thinking or those (like me) morbidly fascinated by bad TV.

Update – after introducing UK viewers in the episode of ‘You Have Been Watching’ linked in the comments below, Charlier Brooker has now written a piece on this also.

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75 Responses to “Deadliest Warrior – Fact vs Fiction”

  1. jmnlman Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. The entire network seems to be filled with garbage programming. It’s not really history but the 1001 ways to die show is also laughably bad from a reality perspective.

  2. Frank Says:

    I think your loyal readers should note that you wrote this article before the awesome Charlie Brooker introduced the world (well, the Channel 4-watching world) to the delights of ‘Deadliest Warrior. So when hundreds of people go-a-googlin’ later this evening to check that he didn’t make this shit up, it should be clear that you got there first with a rigorous smackdown. Sir, I salute you!

    By the way, I won the George Cross, you know. But I can’t really talk about it.

  3. bshistorian Says:

    Thanks ‘Frank’. I feel honoured to have pipped the mighty Brooker to the post but heartily recommend said programme;

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/you-have-been-watching/4od#2927112

    “Terrorist 5-a-side” indeed!

    Richard Herring (with a Hitler moustache no less) and Charlie Brooker on the same prog can’t be bad. Although, unfortunately, Channel 4 On Demand can, and is.

  4. Spiritof1976 Says:

    I’ve been watching the Taliban vs IRA deathmatch on YouTube and giggling furiously throughout. My favourite bit is where the IRA guy locks the Taliban guy in the bus and waves the bomb remote at him through the window.

    Still, I don’t think we should mock Skoti Collins’ historian credentials. After all, he is in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel so he must know a lot about Irish history.

    • skoti collins Says:

      so you know spirit , i am the guy that locks him in the bus, as for Alvin and the Chipmunks, maybe you should IMDB that and mock me again along with jason lee and christina applegate, you to can email me, skoti

    • Pishposh Says:

      Hey spirit, the metal band Pantera is in Spongebob, does that make them not metal just because they’re in a child TV show? By your faulty logic, it sounds like it does.

  5. mrs grimble Says:

    “Still, I don’t think we should mock Skoti Collins’ historian credentials. After all, he is in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel so he must know a lot about Irish history.”
    And (according to his IMDB resume) he speaks “Scottish”. So next time you’re in Glasgow, hire him as your translator!

  6. skoti collins Says:

    haha, funny shit, glad someone has nothing to do other than pick on a daft tv show,,, stop emailing me no name, skoti collins

    • bshistorian Says:

      Stop emailing you? I sent you one email to give you the chance to show some credentials – a published article, a book, any relevant background or experience. You ignored it. Because you’re an actor, not a historian, IRA or otherwise. And by your own admission, you’re in it for the money;

      “i am at the bank counting my money then its of to the beach for the day. god i love show buz, skoti”

      I don’t blame you for this so much as the people who hired you. But pissing on the memory of all those killed in the Troubles (not just by the IRA you seem to want to associate yourself with) – that’s down to you, at least in part. As someone from the UK, you must know that it’s not a subject for a daft TV show.

      As for Natalie, Frank has it covered. You’re also quite wrong to say that I don’t care – I do. I care about the misrepresentation of the past for nothing but entertainment, ratings and profit.

      I will readily concede that Deadliest Warrior is very entertaining, but for all the wrong reasons. If it weren’t passed off as history, we wouldn’t be here arguing about it.

  7. ~Natalie~ Says:

    Hmm, for not caring so much about this, you sure have a lot of time on your hands to research and write so much about it and the people involved in the production. To me, your article was not so focused on fact vs fiction, but rather more about putting people down. All that does is make YOU look unprofessional. If you’re going to critique someone or something, find more mature and professional words. You “might” look better.

    I don’t think you realize this, but it’s TV. It’s entertainment! Why didn’t you just change the channel if you didn’t care for it? Either way, you’ve just given lots of people the curiosity to see this show and the people in the show for themselves.

    I bet everyone involved in this production is grateful for people like you. After all, I’m sure they’re agents are being called for them to be in new shows.

    Lastly, I suggest you check your facts next time to make sure you’re putting out accurate information on people before you post things about them that are untrue.

    • Frank Says:

      I’ve never really understood rebuttals like Natalie’s. They pop up quite a lot, usually when someone takes the time to write a detailed, accurate, well-researched critique of a bafflingly beloved subject. They’re always achingly well-meaning, and essentially boil down to the following elements:

      1) Stop taking it so seriously (‘get a life’, ‘turn off the TV’ etc)!
      2) You’re playing into their hands – there’s no such thing as bad publicity!
      3) You’re just mean / You’re not funny.

      What you’ll never see is an answer to any of the points made in the original piece. What are the facts that the BS Historian missed?

      And there’s always the amusing bit where you find the comedy spelling/grammatical error that won’t have been picked up by the spelling check, in what must have been such a carefully crafted post.

      So, go on Natalie. What ‘things about them are untrue’?

      Or is that not really in the spirit of your post? Sorry, how about:

      Stop wasting your life responding to a blog post!
      I bet everyone involved in this blog is grateful for people like you.
      Get your facts straight before you post – ‘they’re’ is not the same word as ‘their’. Fact.

      See? It’s a pisser when people focus on trivialities, isn’t it?

  8. Thand Says:

    The Viking vs. Samurai Episode was terrible I have been a Viking reenactor for 25 years.I addressed the episode by a series of Youtube videos to defend history and my ancestors and to point out every ones ancestors where being debased.They addressed it on the aftermath but dint really answer mine or anyone else s questions.Here are my video links

    Thrand’s videos on youtube (Viking vs. Samurai : Thrand’s aftermath part 1, 2 and 3 also there is a fighting bonus video)


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_qFq7QfUjI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEEuxzfEmX8

    enjoy

  9. Thand Says:

    here is the link to the aftermath that addressed it I have an email from Max Geiger himself saying he does not believe there will be another season good unless they plan on hiring real experts and reeanctors to do it right.

    http://www.spike.com/video/aftermath-viking-vs/3197322

  10. skoti collins Says:

    no season 2 hum hum hum

  11. Conor McCabe Says:

    Man, I LOVE Zombie vs Shark! ;)

  12. skoti collins Says:

    look BS not only here but a couple of other places you attacked me as a person, why, you must have your resons BUT you dont know me at all, your write i am just a actor and a dad getting up in the morning and gonig to work, hollywood is movie magic and we NEVER see what makes the cut untill its airs, yes this show had very large numbers for spike tv, email me and we can talk, skoti

  13. bshistorian Says:

    Attack you personally? I’ve done no such thing. And what other places?

    My problem with you is not personal – we’ve never met. It’s with you and others on this show being passed off as something that you’re not, utter disregard for the facts of history, and with the inappropriate inclusion of terrorist organisations (highly amusing though that was).

    As I said above “I don’t blame you for this so much as the people who hired you.” As an actor it’s your job to play roles and make money – I understand that. If you’re not claiming to be an IRA historian outside of the show, and especially if you feel you were misrepresented on the show as you imply, then my problem remains with the show. Good luck with your acting career.

    If you want to discuss off-list, you already have my email to reply to.

  14. skoti collins Says:

    it should have read skoti collins irish Descendant because of my family ,,, thats how my contracts reads..it is dead, good luck to you also,,,

  15. Spiritof1976 Says:

    Skoti

    Sorry if you feel you’re being personally attacked. But I have to state that when I raised the above (and I think, very relevant) points to you, your response was, and I quote:

    “poor poor spirtofhomo1976″

    Now who’s getting personal?

    At least I asked legitimate questions about your professional background, rather than resorting to homophobic namecalling.

  16. Zombiegamer Says:

    So isn’t basically the cycle for most topics would be, someone would either create a post either to create profits, or to challenge validity off of something. In which would create a dispute against what is true and what isn’t even though everyone has a different point of perspective based on personal thoughts? In which people would either argue to the end, or until something better comes up? Based on what Frank said earlier?

  17. Mac Says:

    B.S. Historian,
    I would like to know your credentials sir or ma’am that you can speak authoritatively about the William Wallace episode. In addition, could you site sources of information that I could use in regards to the history of William Wallace? In my research, I am finding conflicting information as to what kind of weapons that he utilized; Particularly the Claymore sword. In some cases, Wallace is portrayed as using a Claymore of the design seen in the aforementioned episode. Other sources display a uniquely designed Claymore that appears to be a Lowland Claymore. Wasn’t Wallace a Highlander though?

    • bshistorian Says:

      I am a former museum curator – but the onus should always be on the claimant – in this case the makers or defenders of the programme. It’s really quite simple – there is NO reliable source that describes the type of sword that Wallace wielded. Pretty much all we have is the highly unreliable Blind Harry and the surviving “Wallace Sword” which is of completely the wrong period/type in every respect. Both the two-handed claymore and ‘Lowland’ longsword styles date from two centuries after Wallace, as does Blind Harry’s embellished heroic account of Wallace.

      • andrew economous Says:

        thanks for this blog ive got ten years of reaserch on most of this but what i would like is your opinions on the spartan , samurai vs viking and apache vs gladiator which i think the gladiator shold be replaced with a legionary

    • Erchie Says:

      Hi

      I’m from Glasgow, not too far from where “Skoti Collins” comes from. I was a Viking reenactor for 12 years as well as 17th Century Highlander and Covenantor.

      The programs have lots of problems. E.g in Roman vs Rajput they didn’t have the Centurion use his shield offensively.

      I have seen Viking shields with reinforcing bands that, if the chield was hacked, would still have protected the hand as well as trapping the hand.

      The characterisation of the Viking as a thick, unsubtle fighter is kind of against the reports of the time. They had access to good quality, pattern welded, steel for the swords and as Thrand shows, the armour is strong against the single edged katana.

      Now, onto Wallace. William Wallace was never a woad clad kilt wearing loon. He was from what would be, today, a professional level middle class family, being followers of the Stewart family and from the south of the Clyde, not Highlanders.

      Which wallace you get depends which time period, do you mean guerilla Wallace or the Guardian of Scotland. he would have had access to knighly gear of the time, mail shirt, coif and hose topped by a helmet with a shield. The sword would have been a long one, possibly with drooping quillions, but not a claymore

    • JGE Says:

      “In my research, I am finding conflicting information as to what kind of weapons that he utilized; Particularly the Claymore sword. In some cases, Wallace is portrayed as using a Claymore of the design seen in the aforementioned episode. Other sources display a uniquely designed Claymore that appears to be a Lowland Claymore. Wasn’t Wallace a Highlander though?”

      I hope you someday get to read this, though its certainly rather a late reply, 3 years late, and spotted the question by pure chance…

      I’m a professional cutler and swordsmith who specialises in the craftsmanship of medieval and post-medieval arms, particularly bladed items. For my work and the academic research that often accompanies it, I have to extensively study archaeological examples. In that role, I’ve been exceptionally fortunate, and have handled about 2/3rds of the worlds surviving scots-hilted medieval swords. (and I’ll get the remainder some day, oh yes…)

      Regarding the Wallace questions: first off, Wallace was not a highlander – he was from elderslie, in Renfrewshire, just south-west of glasgow. Though Ayrshire was at that point in time associated to the Lords of the Isles, the southern hebridean islanders, they are very, very far removed from the “highlander” image which most think of.
      Regarding weapons, simply put, the “claymore” as a sword that people think of did’nt exist at that time. I could go on at length about different typologies and the minute details of the suviving examples, but I’m expecting you’re not really needing a cure for insomnia, so I’ll be brief. first point is, they would be single handed swords, not two-handed. The large two-hander you see in the Wallace Monument in stirling? that’s from the 16th C. there’s a very, very slim chance that the blade on it (which is forge-welded together from 3 peices) contains part of an earlier late 13th C swordblade, but its impossible to tell without a battery of scientific tests that they will never allow the sword to be put through, and even if they did hand it to dr alan williams for metalurgical analysis, and did neutron diffraction tests on the metal, etc, the only thing they could potentially prove is if it were or were not a possible 13th C blade part. there’s absolutely no way to prove that even that possible fragment was even so much as touched by Wallace. The hilt, its cross arms, grip and pommel are absolutely characteristic of the two-handed swords of the 16th century in every detail, and there is absolutely no archaeological reference, in art, in sculpture, in surviving examples or in text of such a hilt type dating back into the 15th century, yet alone the 13th.
      As a late 13th C sword, such a weapon as Wallace would likely have carried would with almost absolute certainty have been a broad blade with a central fuller and a fairly rounded tip, quite thin for effective cutting, ranging between 75cm and 90cm in length, and most likely around the 85cm mark. Hilts may have been of a scottish regional fashion which is the ancestor of the scottish two-handers’ destinctive shape, often called a “half-lang”. However, as a lowlander, and notably a lowlander of noble birth who ended up with positions in the royal court, Wallace is quite likely to have used an english fashion swordhilt which would have been just as popular with the lowland scots nobility. In such a case it would have almost certainly been the classical medieval swordhilt, of a straight bar shaped crossguard, and a round wheel or disc shaped pommel with bevelled edges.
      In the event that he would’ve taken a scots fashioned hilt, the defining features would have been that the cross arms droop down towards the point, and had the arms flare outwards at the ends, into a flat spoon-like shape. The pommel on such a sword may have either been a round wheel shape, with an elongated point to it, or it may have been a broad, lobed shape, quite similar in form to the viking swords of the 9-10th C settlers of the region.
      It is related to the two-handed scots claymores of the later 16th and 17th centuries, in that small elements of the style of hilt carry on into that time, but really, there’s very little similarity of design.

      • bshistorian Says:

        Excellent answer JGE, 100% correct I might add ;)

      • Andrew Economous Says:

        I must confess ignorance at wallace but I did not like the spartan, as he should have represented us all as greeks , the samurai viking episode was laughable ,apache vs gladiator wrong and the show seems to invent weapons.

  18. Mac Says:

    Thank you very much for any info you can give.

  19. skoti Says:

    season 2 in full swing .

  20. mysterylady101 Says:

    I think Skoti knows alot more than you think.
    I also think that historian guy.
    has to much time on his hands.
    He very judging and you can tell he trys to look like the better
    person. He made me laugh. When i read how much he put into a comment.
    I think skoti is a very great actor and I am happy he is some one today.
    He is very well know.
    HIstorianman <<<lol that cracks me up

  21. Alex Layko Says:

    What are you complaining about? Anachronisms, rules for the battles, and lack of credibility? Do you really expect an underground IRA guy to have internet websites devoted to him? What the show comes down to is the weapons they choose. The weapons that demonstrated better power win. Of course there’s several other factors they probably ignore but it’s better than nothing.

  22. Thrand Says:

    Here are my latest Videos on youtube. They cover alot of things that BS Historian has and then some.

    Enjoy please got to youtube and rate them!!!! leave a comment :P

    Send Spike TV an email we want it historically accurate or a disclaimer or we not watch the show..

  23. Thrand Says:

    Here are links to my new Videos that support a lot of what is said here

    Deadliest Warrior : Thrand’s Viking Vs. Samurai wrap up 1

    Deadliest Warrior : Thrand’s Viking Vs. Samurai wrap up 2

    Deadliest Warrior : Thrand’s Viking Vs. Samurai wrap up 3

    Enjoy please got to youtube and rate them!!!! leave a comment :P

  24. PJ Sam Says:

    Yes, we’re all aware that everything on that show is horribly inaccurate, but so what? It’s all for the point of entertainment. And I’m admittedly addicted to it right now. I’d just like to make the point that even if they were historically accurate and factored things other than just a few weapons into the equation, how could anyone develop a computer program that would simulate this? I’d sure love to see it done, though.

  25. johnny2332 Says:

    lol i especially love the mafia vs. yakuza battle, that was just rediculous and racist on so many levels. first of all, who uses a tommy gun anymore? and second, who is this fake al capone gangster wannabe, walking around with a pinstriped suit and an overcoat draped on his shoulders, lighting up a huge cigar every five minutes? someone call the italian anti-defamation league, quick!

  26. DREW Says:

    it is for pure enjoyment. after all even though Skoti is an actor he is related to Michael Collins one of the biggest figures of Ireland and the IRA. He would more than likely have much knowledge about the IRA from just being a decendant of someone of such magniatude. Skoti is a great irish man who will not back down. ERIN GO BRAGH.

  27. gideon551 Says:

    With all the pressing issues in the world – is debating the validity of ‘Deadliest Warrior’ the best devotion of your time. For all of you – ‘historians,’ actors and so forth – remember, it’s a TELEVISION show on SPIKE. If it was on History channel or Discovery or National Geographic Channel I’d probably take more issue with the show. But since it is in the company of such winners as ‘1000 Ways to Die’ and ‘Jail’ you have to view the whole thing as tongue-in-cheek.

  28. Mike J Says:

    Ok I can understand how people can get worked up over a TV show with some really shoddy ‘experts’ and testing however can’t you just see past the entertainment value of the show itself? I mean if you look past the so called computer whiz, biomedical/black belt/ Canadian soldier, and the doctor mixed with two sets of so called experts and just focus on the really interesting CGI battles and the testing of the weapons that don’t require tampering I think you would be just surprised at how entertaining it is just for the entertaining factor. I mean even though I am an American, I like watching the shwo just to catch an interesting battle. Plus when they shoot, slash, or torture those gel torso’s. Plus you have to admit that it can be fun to watch, like my 8th grade history teacher said once, “Movies and TV shows now-a-days are made for two types of people, there are those who watch for any kind of relevant or intellitual points or thoughts, and then there are people who just want to watch them for the explosions and the violence and sex.” Anyway if anyone has any comments, I am happy to read them and respond. By the way I think the IRA woudl take out the Taliban, the Ninja and the Samurai could whip anyone who is willing enough to fight them and when firearms are involved well its more brains than just spray and pray!

  29. John Smith Says:

    Your source for the information on all of this, please. Back your trash up.

  30. Adam Says:

    You say their credentials are low because they are actors, fight directors, stuntmen, bodyguards, etc. bu did you ever account for how they got into those jobs? Most of them have a legitimate reason to be there, just because he is a Radio DJ as a job doesn’t disqualify him think about it, even some of the greatest resources of historical information have a day job that has nothing to do with their field of knowledge. Not everyone can get enough money out of simply giving information about a person or group of people without a main source of income.

  31. Adam Says:

    I agree with some of your points. If the supposed experts are in fact just actors, while it does destroy some of the credibility of the show, it isn’t really that big a deal. Those guys are all brought on for one reason, to wield the weapons attributed to each side. The whole premise of the accuracy of the show balances on the computer program and until we find out exactly how that program works from someone on the inside, it’s impossible to know exactly how accurate the Deadliest Warrior depicts these make-believe fights.

    Big fan of the show, but mostly for the entertainment value.

  32. Adam Says:

    and I think this website is pretty cool too

  33. jb Says:

    Thanks for debunking this show. I admit I do enjoy it if for no other reason that Im a weapon’s enthusiast and enjoy real-world applications of weapons/firearms. But I always sensed there was something “not quite true” about the claims made. Also, seriously, how do you compare a warrior from the bronze age with one from the middle ages??? Seriously.
    Its a pissing contest show, but at least it makes for pseudo-wannabe factual drama.

  34. MEEEEEE Says:

    HATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Christian Says:

    Dear Lord! The show is primarily meant to entertain, and entertain it does. If watching Deadliest Warrior causes hard feelings for you, then I think you have missed the point and should tune out. Enjoy the weapons, get grossed out by the pigs and blood, laugh at the shit-talk from the opposing sides and call it a day. The show is perfectly corny and cool at the same time. And as for the participants, I think the show is well cast. The idea is to bring on people that can embody the essence of these archetypal warriors. In other words, it helps to look the part and be able to handle the weapons. If this drives you up a wall, then by all means look to the more serious cable channels, or do some research on your own. I’m pretty sure Spike never intended DW to be the final word on history’s warrior cultures.

  36. skoti collins Says:

    spike has a big hit with this show, it’s great fun to work on the show, the dircetor’s and all the people at spike are some of the best people i have ever worked with, like all off you i myself have to watch the show to find out who win’s, all i can say is keep watching and just have fun with it, i have worked on many show’s over the year’s and allways seam to enjoy going back up to spike more than any other show’s or film i work on, max , goeff and the doc i think nail it everytime ,, skoti collins

  37. Cody "Oz" Schwarz Says:

    ok several things here BShistorian:

    1. In your first paragraph i noticed you put, and i quote “taken a pub arguement and made a “doucmentary” series. Who ever said it was a documentary series?

    2. I gotta agree with skoti for ALOT of reasons, I can go to a library and read 20 books and now i might not be an expert but i may know a damn lot about the IRA, and hes a decendent of an important IRA figure, so take that into consideration.

    3. You have way too much time on your hands, i found this link on your comment about the GSG-9/SWAT battle, if you WERE a curator at one time, does that suddenly make you a genious?

    4. Since when did you think anyone cared about your opinion, i think you are just blabbing about something you dont like so you gotta go scream like a baby because skoti collins is an actor? come on lets be mature for 45 minutes eh?

  38. Kazin Says:

    I noticed something was off when time and time again the supposed “experts”/hosts of the show always came to the conclusion of “Out of these four weapons, each side has an advantage in 2 categories! Hur!” and they /consistently/ disagreed on who would win or lose right before the garbage simulation, giving completely bogus reasons as to why they think X or Y will win.

    As has also been previously stated, /none/ of the supposed “X/Y experts” have any credentials at all backing up their flaunted expertise. Hell, over two thirds of their dialogue is goading the opposing “side” and acting like complete tools, never providing any reasonable, logical, or sensical responses to opposing points. The most common and basically only response I’ve seen is in the form of a retort along the lines of “Hurrr that A wouldn’t do jack against my B” or “Hurrrr you call that pig sticker a weapon? That ain’t go no G!”

    Anyone who actually buys into this show for anything more than low-brow humor is inept in every sense of the word. There is no science behind the show excluding the medical diagnosis done by Armand Dorian which may or may not actually be 100% accurate as I’m not knowledged in the subject enough to dictate one way or another – but I’m pretty darn sure nothing can compare to being hit by a train which is a comparison he made to one of the weapons in the first few episodes.

    There is no science, there is no fact, this is strictly fictional entertainment and it should market itself as such. I’d most liken this monstrosity to The Flintstones. Yep, there sure were cavemen at one point in time, but that’s about where the historical accuracy comes to a train wreck-esque halt.

    • bshistorian Says:

      I have to admit, it certainly IS entertaining. As you say, it’s all about what it’s selling itself as.

  39. Sam Says:

    About the experts being actors how does being an actor mean you can’t be a expert on warriors?

    • bshistorian Says:

      It doesn’t. How many of these guys are working, published, or otherwise recognised in the fields of history, military history, arms and armour etc etc? None.

  40. Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior: Bad Science and Bad History « Notes from the Scriptorium Says:

    [...] but rather only tests the effect of a weapon on an unarmed/unprotected human analog.  According to one online article, the show’s makers don’t pay attention to historical accuracy (the  author [...]

  41. Matt Young Says:

    The real problem is they take two warriors and have one be really low tech while the other could kill him in 5 seconds. The best example is in the Sun Tzu Vs. Vlad the Impaler where one of the greatest war leaders in history lost because the other guy had a gun. There was 1927 year difference from Suns death to Vlads birth how is that fair?

  42. Matt Young Says:

    I also noticed that almost every american (not counting the natives) has won their fight only the green beret lost. No matter who they fight they win. No matter the odds they always win. Does anyone else see something suspicious there?

    • Ivan Says:

      Oh, but native americans did too win! Of course both times against Old World warriors: a Comanche beat a Mongol and an Apache beat a Roman gladiator.

      That too gave away the bullshit for me. They were obviously rigging the ‘tests’ in favor of the americans.

  43. andrew economous Says:

    i found the samurai vs viking episode laugable the katana couldent go through mail completly ignored it the viking lost and the samurai “expert ” was so biased it wasnt even funny sayin weakest samurai would defeat best viking get outta here viking would best them every time

  44. Peter Says:

    The IRA episode is really offensive and i very rarely get offended. The lines spewed by the IRA expert is over the top like ‘repressed for hundreds of years’ like seriously? Ypu think the Irish are repressed, look at the jewish people in Nazi Germany…THATS repression. The only ‘repression’ i can think of is the policy of internment and to be honest the IRA brought that upon themselves because of their campaign. Nowadays the IRA has very minor support and only target the police who are technically irish people, so if they are ‘freedom fighters’, why murder your own people?
    The way the IRA is used in this episode makes Northern Ireland look like a war torn battlefeild, it may have 20-30 years ago, but it has cleaned itself up now. I do have to say though, Michael Collins is sort of a big deal in the IRA background.
    What pisses me off the most in this episode is that i dont remember them condeming the IRA at all. These people are not meant to be celebrated at all!

  45. me Says:

    Why are you guys freaking out about this its just a show were they get 2 groups of people and make them fight to see who will win for entertainment purposes. I don’t see how that will effect “a childs veiw of politcs” in any way now I may only be not understanding the artical but it sounds like your all over exagerating over a tv show.

  46. Harken Says:

    Could be worse, it could be the shlock that gets put out on MTV. I find DW to be entertaining on a mind-numbingly fun scale. It’s kind of like a summer movie blockbuster; sit down, shut up, remove brain, enjoy. We don’t watch it for education, we watch it for blood, guts and explosions; which has kind of been Spike’s gimmick, put on shows that will attract an audience of 18-40 year old guys looking for some mindless entertainment.

    • bshistorian Says:

      You and I can enjoy it on that level. But if you think some people don’t watch it thinking that it reflects reality, you’re mistaken.

  47. corey Says:

    I cant believe i just spent 20 mins reading comments , god i should get a life :(

  48. Max Geiger Says:

    Hello, I am the computer wizard, Max Geiger. You know by now that this show has been cancelled by Spike. It is an unfortunate decision, but there was little more we could have done to make the show any more entertaining. Our budget was so low during the end of the third season, that we decided to host a popular and mythical rendition of a fight; Vampires vs Zombies. It appealed to the kiddies, and it got us more views, but it was the most watched episode by far other than the IRA vs Taliban or the pilot episode. We just couldn’t do it anymore.

    Yes, you are right in the belief that the show was for entertainment. Honestly, it would have been too difficult to pay for the expenses of actual specialists and experts, and usually we tried to get actors from around the area who may or may not have had at least a little experience in the said field of the episode. I do not understand the problem here…as long as the experts are entertaining and believable, it really doesn’t matter if they’re real experts or not. In the end, it’s all fun.

    We used the Excel program, but admittedly, the Slitherin Studios company was created in advance especially for the purpose of the program. The “virtual” fight and 1000 battles simulator did not exist. We flipped a coin; best 3 out of 5. A simple and more effective way in my opinion than that ever ridiculous little program we created. Looking back on it now I’m actually humored by the fact that we tricked all the kiddies and fools into thinking we had one…

    What’s even more humorous is the fact that everyone believed a Viking could defeat a Ninja. The Ninja always wins. I must say this show was fun to take part in, and honestly the only credentials and computer experience I have is basic Microsoft; but I do have multiple level 80s in WOW. I am no actual Computer Wizard, but am actually a real life Wizard. I plan, with all the money I earned from the show, to locate the existence of Hogwarts. If I can find that portal, I can potentially get in bed with Ms. Granger.

    Currently, I’m working on my degree in Weight lifting, but I hope to earn a living in Donut Farming.

    If you need any more info on the show, I will be here.

    Thanks, Max.

  49. James Says:

    To be quite honest, I don’t care if the show is entirely historically accurate. And I argue that it still is educational. After watching the samurai episode, I’ve learned of a slew of weapons I’d never knew existed. As well as a general idea of who the vikings and samurai were, regardless of the fact that these hypothetical battlers’ features may span the entirety of their eras.

    The show stimulates interest. And if someone feels inclined to learn more about the subjects portrayed and do some research of their own, sort out anachronisms, go into details, etc. that’s a win. Otherwise, those less inclined to scholarly pursuits are exposed to a quick, perhaps sometimes blurry glimpse of history through a fun and exciting medium.

    • bshistorian Says:

      Everything is a trade-off of entertainment vs accuracy. I’m with Ridley Scott to a large extent – go authenticity over accuracy and don’t let the historical fact, and certainly not the detail, get in the way of creativity and entertainment. But DW goes way, way beyond any liberties Sir Ridley has ever taken, into pure fluff territory. I don’t see why we should write off people ‘not inclined to scholarly pursuits’ to this drivel – there are far better popular ways into history than this.

  50. Baillieston Loyalists Says:

    Skoti Collins or Gary as he’s known in his home town of Baillieston, isn’t any relation of IRA terrorist Michael Collins, Gary’s nothing but a wee arsehole who used to sniff glue and steal cars. Tarriers liars from the cradle to the grave.

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