Deadliest Warrior cast.After a year layoff, Spike's cult hit Deadliest Warrior is back with season three, bringing what series co-host Geoff Desmoulin calls "a ton of additions."
Debuting last week with an episode pitting George Washington against Napoleon Bonaparte, the show's seen many changes, both the cosmetic — several new in-show segments illustrating various aspects of the battles — and the major, specifically a new co-host in the form of Richard "Mack" Machowicz, who hosted Discovery's Future Weapons from 2006 to 2008.
Machowicz is replacing former co-host Max Geiger, and with 10 years experience as a Navy SEAL, he's the first permanent member of the cast with a military background.
In a December visit to Deadliest Warrior's Los Angeles set, Machowicz told Newsarama that his past will help viewers gain a greater insight into the mindset of the warriors being featured."Hopefully it will increase the takeaway value for the audience member," Machowicz said of his role on the show. "A little more history, a little more functionality of the weapons, a lot more of the warrior behind the weapon. How do they show up? What is their mentality? How do they approach strategy and tactics?"
When talking to the hosts, there seemed to be a much stronger focus on education in all aspects of Deadliest Warrior this season, though given that the show's popularity was forged from simulating bloody battlefield scenes, those involved aren't looking to lecture anyone with boring lessons.
"If there's one attribute that I have that allows me to be successful in doing what I do, I tend to take what people make complicated, and I simplify it," Machowicz said. "If we can make it simple, but effective, clean and concise — and fun — then you have a really 'infotaining' way to look at this stuff, and have a blast with it.Desmoulin, the show's biomedical scientist, will also be upping the learning factor with a new laboratory sequence, explaining the scientific facts of the weekly matchups in a focused segment.
"Although they've let me talk about science in the past, it was always a bunch of hand-waving," Desmoulin said. "We take the meatiest science portion of the show, and I'm able break it down with diagrams, demonstrations, full-on explanations."
Armand Dorian is the show's medical consultant, and expressed excitment over getting similarly further in-depth for the current season.
"I've been able to start explaining more anatomical features, describing what's happening in the body a little bit more, throw out a little more complex medical conditions than just a straight up 'bullet in the head' kind of thing," Dorian said. "Who's ever been able to evaluate a crush injury from an elephant? Sure, it's going to hurt, sure, it's going to kill, but what actually happens?"
Dave Baker, who fashions the replica weapons used in the show's battle scenes, has made moves to increase historical accuracy.
"Everything on our show has to have a minimum of three, curated sources," Baker said. "Not three articles on Wikipedia. Last year we got in some fan trouble by using some stuff that maybe wasn't as curated as we'd like it to be."Video game developer Robert Daly has also joined the show, running a simulation program calculating multiple intangibles for each contest. Daly is the studio head of Pipeworks Software, who produced last year's Deadliest Warrior video game. Desmoulin said the changes were made based on feedback from the first two seasons.
"The format of the show was something that everyone wanted to see," Desmoulin said. "Everyone likes to see history, everyone likes to see science, everyone wants to see these warriors in action, and settle these hypothetical bar bets.
"The second season, we upped the gore factor, and I think we lost some people, the older viewers. That matters when you're talking about advertising dollars."
Yet Desmoulin stressed that the alterations to the show don't change Deadiest Warrior's central appeal — seeing different historical factions throw down in fantasy warfare.
"Anyone who's been watching the show is still going to be entertained because the sizzle is still there, we've just added more meat," he said.
Desmoulin said that many of season three's bouts were directly inspired by fan requests, specifically noting the season premiere and the upcoming clash between Genghis Khan and Hannibal. Later in the season, the show takes a much more modern bent with an installment depicting Saddam Hussein versus Pol Pot.
"We're introducing the idea of evil on the battlefield, and how that actually shows up," Machowicz said of the episode.
Another notable season three skirmish is between vampires and zombies, with 30 Days of Night writer Steve Niles appearing as a guest expert on the side of the vamps, and World War Z author Max Brooks representing the living dead. Spike hosted a panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego last week to promote the episode, which is scheduled to air on Sept. 14.
Deadliest Warrior airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Spike. Tonight's episode: "Joan of Arc vs. William the Conqueror."Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!