Deadliest Warrior – The stupidest TV programme ever

Who would win in a fight? The IRA or the Taliban? Quick, let's find out!

Deadliest Warrior

There are some insanely daft TV programmes out there if you look hard enough. Just mental ones. Like the remake of Knight Rider or Torchwood for example. Probably the most mental TV show I’ve come across in recent months/years is a documentary. It airs on Spike in the US and it’s called Deadliest Warrior.

Now, I watched the first episode and thought to myself “There is absolutely no point even reviewing this, because it’s so insanely daft the entire review would consist of ‘HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!'”

But I just saw the title of the latest episode and thought I had to share anyway.

The principle of the show is simple. See if you can avoid laughing as I explain. You take two of history’s greatest warriors or fighting forces. You get historical experts and scientists to analyse their ways of fighting. You test some of their techniques out on dummies and the like. You then feed it all into a gaming engine and enact thousands of battles in the computer. And then you see which of the two would have won in a fight on aggregate.


Okay, it’s clearly inspired by Discovery Channel’s Fight Science but all the sensible things have been done already, so that’s what they were left with.

They could still have done something halfway intelligent, though. They could have just made it a war games type programme in which armies faced off against each other, or had martial artists of different styles fight one another.

They didn’t.

Instead, their choices of warriors to pit against each other veers between the insanely silly and the outright tasteless. Here’s a list of the ones they’ve done so far – see if you can keep that smile off your face. The last two are absolute classics:

  • Episode 1: Apache vs Gladiator
  • Episode 2: Viking vs Samurai
  • Episode 3: Spartan vs Ninja
  • Episode 4: Pirate vs Knight
  • Episode 5: Yakuza vs Mafia
  • Episode 6: Green Beret vs Spetsnaz
  • Episode 7: Shaolin Monk vs Māori Warrior
  • Episode 8: William Wallace vs Shaka Zulu
  • Episode 9: IRA vs. Taliban


It’s the stupidest TV programme ever. Without a doubt.

  • Marie

    I like episode 4 best:
    Pirate pushes Knight, in full armour, into the sea. Pirate wins.

  • I read through that list with increasing disbelief, but number nine is unbelievable, even for US television.

  • I read through that list with increasing disbelief, but number nine is unbelievable, even for US television.

  • How can they do this and then miss out on the obvious strategy of rearranging episode 3 and 4’s match ups?
    Every nerd and their dog out on the Internet seems to love the idea of Pirates vs. Ninjas (I don’t but heck…) So why aren’t they paired up?
    Missed opportunity. Still, sounds like a show which is so dumb it could be funny.
    Can we get the SAS vs. Crocodile Dundee next?

  • Electric Dragon

    This reminds me of a feature in the old football annuals of my uncle’s from the 60’s and 70’s, where they would either take two brilliant sides from different eras (e.g. Real Madrid 1960 v Brazil 1970) or create two teams from whole cloth (e.g. a UK XI featuring Hurst, Best, Moore et al v a World XI featuring Yashin, Pele and Eusebio) and “feed it into a computer”, which would “output” a detailed match report. Presumably in reality it was “ask a bored hack to make some stuff up over a long liquid lunch”.
    Only with, you know, added tastelessness and with the winner going on to meet Chuck Norris in the final.
    Oh, and Rev: I’m waiting for the inevitable Hollywood film version. “Pirates versus Ninjas: whoever wins – we lose…”

  • I could see Omid Djalili doing a very funny version of 9 (-:

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