The Deathmatch

Into the arena of blood and sarcasm enter the contestants: Tall. Proud. Strong. And, on occasion, animated.

Sixty-Four contestants. Head-to-Head. Only one winner. The decision is yours.

Well, actually, it's not. The Great Fannish Deathmatch is now over, having been fought at Damn Fine Convention at 11am on Sunday May 5th, 2002. This page can only give you the results; if you want to know what the real thing was like, simply pop back in time to the convention and have a look.

The initial 64 contestants were selected from hundreds of possibilities: though the attendees at the convention didn't realise it, we were secretly listening in on their conversations, checking out their badges and t-shirts, and doing whatever it took to find the 64 most talked-about fictional characters. We also added a handful of real people just to spice things up.

For They Came and Shaved Us, we'd like to have the attendees send in their five favourite characters / people, and we'll select the top 64 of these (or we'll just make them up and say we did).

The Contestants:

Alien from Dark Star (you know, the beachball thing)
Audrey Horne
Avon (from Blake's Seven)
Benny Hill
Britney Spears
Buffy Summers
Captain Janeway
Danger Mouse
Darth Vader
David Lynch
Douglas Adams
Dr. Who (Sylvester McCoy)
Dr. Who (Tom Baker)
Eric Cartman
Ermintrude (from The Magic Roundabout)
Ford Prefect
Harry Potter
Hugo Rune
James Bacon
James T. Kirk
John Higgins
Judge Dredd
Kermit the Frog
Margaret Thatcher
Marilyn Manson
Marvin the Martian
Marvin the Paranoid Android
Robbie the Robot
Robert Rankin
Rupert Giles
Scary Spice
Scooby Doo
Special Agent Dale Cooper
Spike (from Buffy)
Strontium Dog (Johnny Alpha)
Terry Pratchett
The Luggage
The Master (from Buffy)
The Mummy
The Prisoner
The Rock
The Stainless Steel Rat
Tiny Clanger
Wicket the Ewok
Zaphod Beeblebrox

Round One:

The contestants were randomly drawn against each other, and the attendees present voted for their prefered winner in each match. The winners were then put back into the hat (we actually used a real hat for this!), and drawn against each other for round two. And so on.
In the event of a tie, the Deathmatch Master (me) would have the casting vote. Luckily, it didn't ever come to that.

Audrey Horne vs David LynchAudrey Horne
Eric Cartman vs Ford PrefectEric Cartman
Britney Spears vs Captain JanewayCaptain Janeway
Tobes vs ErmintrudeErmintrude
The Prisoner vs RincewindThe Prisoner
Catwoman vs TiggerTigger
Scary Spice vs The LuggageThe Luggage
Danger Mouse vs Terry PratchettDanger Mouse
Hugo Rune vs Wicket the EwokHugo Rune
Harry Potter vs Kermit the FrogKermit the Frog
Gandalf vs Tiny ClangerTiny Clanger
Robbie the Robot vs James BaconRobbie the Robot
Dr. Who (Tom Baker) vs Alien from Dark StarAlien from Dark Star
Spike vs Marilyn MansonSpike
Special Agent Dale Cooper vs Judge DreddSpecial Agent Dale Cooper
Blade vs Spider-ManSpider-Man
Zaphod Beeblebrox vs The MummyZaphod Beeblebrox
Marchant vs Strontium DogMarchant
Marvin the Martian vs The RockMarvin the Martian
Robert Rankin vs Dr. Who (Sylvester McCoy)Robert Rankin
Benny Hill vs YodaYoda
Douglas Adams vs BagpussBagpuss
Dracula vs AvonAvon
Buffy vs WolverineWolverine
Scooby Doo vs BobScooby Doo
The Master vs CalvinCalvin
Rupert Giles vs Marvin the Paranoid AndroidMarvin the Paranoid Android
Bender vs PenfoldPenfold
Batman vs Margaret ThatcherBatman
Chewbacca vs The Stainless Steel RatThe Stainless Steel Rat
James T. Kirk vs Darth VaderDarth Vader
John Higgins vs HobbesHobbes

For most of these matches, there wasn't much doubt as to which way the show of hands was going - though Eric Cartman vs Ford Prefect was a close one.
A big surprise here was the triumph of The Stainless Steel Rat over everyone's favourite Wookie, Chewbacca. I suspect that had Chewie gone up against someone else in the first round - say, Benny Hill - there's a good chance he would have made it further into the competition.
Tobes had the misfortune to go up against everyone's favourite hat-wearing cow... It was no contest. Ermintrude won hooves-down, to cries from the gallery of "Ermintrude for TAFF!"

Round Two:
Alien from Dark Star vs PenfoldPenfold
Bagpuss vs YodaYoda
Robert Rankin vs TiggerTigger
Spider-Man vs The LuggageThe Luggage
Hugo Rune vs The PrisonerThe Prisoner
Darth Vader vs Zaphod BeeblebroxZaphod Beeblebrox
Spike vs Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian
Scooby Doo vs Robbie the RobotScooby Doo
Marvin the Paranoid Android vs BatmanMarvin the Paranoid Android
Danger Mouse vs Tiny ClangerDanger Mouse
Kermit the Frog vs Special Agent Dale CooperKermit the Frog
Avon vs ErmintrudeErmintrude
Hobbes vs WolverineHobbes
Marchant vs Eric CartmanEric Cartman
Captain Janeway vs Audrey HorneAudrey Horne
Calvin vs The Stainless Steel RatThe Stainless Steel Rat

Sadly, Robert Rankin was drawn against Tigger, and was severly trounced (not to mention bounced, pounced and flounced).
Danger Mouse and Tiny Clanger fought long and hard, but in the end the cyclopean rodent won over the incomprehensible woollen beastie.

Round Three:
Yoda vs Scooby DooScooby Doo
The Prisoner vs Eric CartmanEric Cartman
The Luggage vs Zaphod BeeblebroxZaphod Beeblebrox
Marvin the Martian vs HobbesHobbes
Danger Mouse vs Marvin the Paranoid AndroidDanger Mouse
Ermintrude vs Audrey HorneErmintrude
Kermit the Frog vs PenfoldKermit the Frog
The Stainless Steel Rat vs TiggerTigger

Things are getting hotter, and one clear pattern is emerging: Damn Fine Con attendees have fond memories of their childhood TV shows. Of all these winners, only Zaphod Beeblebrox is a real person. Except of course he isn't really.
I was a little disappointed here that we didn't get to see Marvin the Martian taking on Marvin the Paranoid Android.

Round Four:
Zaphod Beeblebrox vs Kermit the FrogKermit the Frog
Tigger vs Eric CartmanTigger
Danger Mouse vs Scooby DooDanger Mouse
Hobbes vs ErmintrudeErmintrude

The round that separated the wheat from the not-quite-so-good wheat... Despite a strong showing thus far, Zaphod is completely slaughtered by Kermit: it might not be easy being green, but it's clearly a lot easier than having two heads and three arms.
Likewise, the cowardly Scooby does a runner when faced with the greatest secret agent of them all.
Certain fans, in an attempt to confuse your humble Deathmatch Master, have been caught putting up two hands during the voting stage: a clever trick that will certainly come in handy during the next general election. In fact, James Bacon who shall remain nameless snuck out of the room and returned with a third hand cleverly sellotaped to one of his real ones.

Round Five
Tigger vs ErmintrudeErmintrude
Kermit the Frog vs Danger MouseDanger Mouse

The semi finals... Only four contestants remained, and their fans were out in force. No one wanted to see Tigger fail, but Ermintrude holds a special place in the hearts of these people. And anyway, these days you can barely move without falling over merchandise with Tigger on it, but where's the Ermintrude merchandise? So it's about time that the flower-eating cow received a little recognition.

Final Round:
Ermintrude vs Danger MouseDanger Mouse!

The Ermin versus the Vermin... It's been a long, hard battle, but in the end the title of Supreme Champion of the Universe goes to the one, the only, Danger Mouse. Who, we are reliably informed by his show's opening song, is the greatest.

And there you have it: the fans have decided. If you disagree with any of the outcomes of these matches, well, tough. That's what democracy is all about, apparently.

My thanks to the lovely Alix, who drew the contestants' names from the hat (so if anyone's to blame, it's her), and the lovely Leonia, who kept score and made sure I didn't screw up too much. Plus, she's the one who suggested Ermintrude...

All together now: "Ermintrude for TAFF!"