The other night, I was watching CBS's "Person of Interest" where Jim Caviezel's soft-spoken ex-Special Forces operative Reese beats up a bunch of bad guys single-handedly. This followed CBS's "Hawaii 5-0," in which Alex O'Loughlin's not-so-soft-spoken Navy SEAL/H50 task force leader Steve McGarrett beats up a bunch of bad guys single-handedly.
I got to wondering, who would win in a fight, Reese or McGarrett?
And thus was born the "who would win in a fight" bracket. Further refinement of the idea led me to decide that four brackets would be necessary: TV versus movie characters, and human versus non-human (or enhanced humans -- thus obviating the "where does Khan belong" question).
1. Although I'm thinking of characters rather than actors, I decided that there would be only one character per actor. Thus, no matter how badass you might have thought T.J. Hooker was, especially when it came to jumping on to the hoods of moving cars, William Shatner gets one entry, and it's obviously as Captain Kirk.
2. In a normal bracket, such as the NCAA basketball tournament or professional tennis, there are seedings to reduce the likelihood that heavyweight contenders meet in the early rounds. In this case, however, every single character has a claim to being the #1 badass, and hence seeding doesn't make any sense. Instead, I would randomly draw the matchups.
3. What kind of fight to the death is involved? Some characters are quite deadly with weapons but less so in hand-to-hand combat. I decided that this would be something like the classic "Star Trek" episode "Arena," where Captain Kirk is stuck on a deserted asteroid (one with an atmosphere!) with no advanced weapons but the capability to improvise.
Okay, so here's my first bracket for TV humans:
Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), Alias v. Xena (Lucy Lawless), Xena: Warrior Princess
John Reese (Jim Caviezel), Person of Interest v. Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Star Trek: Next Generation
Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin), Hawaii 5-0 v. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace (Katee Sackhoff), Battlestar Galactica
Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Star Trek v. Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell (Robert Knepper), Prison Break
Miles Matheson (Billy Burke), Revolution v. Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan), Burn Notice
Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine v. Angus MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson), MacGyver
Nikita (Peta Wilson), La Femme Nikita v. Nikita (Maggie Q), Nikita [Yes, this really worked out without any manipulation on my part.]
Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), 24 v. Christopher Chance (Mark Valley), Human Target
* Note: In past debates with me about female action actors, Professor Bainbridge has consistently pushed for recognition of Yvonne Strahovski's Sarah Walker from "Chuck." As I never watched any episodes of it, I'm simply not in a position to assess a hypothetical fight to the death between her and any of the above characters. Sorry!
Look for semi-regular entries in this series of frivolous posts, but in the meantime, comment away about my choices, your thoughts about the first round battles, or anything else related to "who would win in a fight"!