It's that time again! Here at The Murder Mystery Company we are working tirelessly around the clock to work out once and for all who is the greatest television detective to ever grace our screens, and the fifth match of the first round starts now!
As ever the result is up to you!
Pre Match Introduction
On paper this round looks like a whitewash before it begins - one man was a crime fighting dark avenger, the other one was a lifeguard!
But no - Buchannon was able to enter the World Series on the back of his two series spin-off show Baywatch Nights, that saw slow motion lifeguard Mitch Buchannon become a private detective... at night!
Round One - Pursuing Villains
One of the things that made Knight such a fearsome crime fighter was his car. The Knight Industries Two Thousand, or KITT, is not an ordinary car. It talks, it drives itself, it has an arsenal of inbuilt weaponry, it can hit 300mph and it can make wise cracks in combat situations.
Buchannon, on the other hand, likes running. His preferred method of getting from A to B is running barefoot along the beach in slow motion. The slow motion itself doesn't help, but Buchannon's problems don't end there. Due to his firm ethical code he always showers and towel dries his feet before putting his socks and shoes back on, because he's against 'taking the beach with him' when he leaves. This severely limits him in a high speed pursuit environment should his target leave the main beach area.
Round Two - Being Even The Slightest Bit Realistic
Knight looks sheepish coming into this round - there's no denying his car with its artificial intelligence and all was a little bit far fetched back in 1982. But what has the intervening thirty years shown us? Well, it's not quite the same thing, but the Judges decide Knight gets a couple of points for Satellite Navigation. As children the Judges watched in wonder, but now as adults they too can experience what it is like to have heated arguments with a patronising, computerised voice as to which exit is the correct one and whether or not to turn around at the next opportunity.
Buchanan is all bluster coming into this round, talking about his investigations into corporate embezzlement, escaped prisoners, missing persons and kidnapping. True, most of these were quite beach-heavy crimes, but not necessarily unrealistic.
But what's this? On closer examination, Judges reveal that in the second series of the show an element of the paranormal should be introduced. Buchannon is left red faced and mumbling explanations in the face of mummies, werewolves, reanimated 900 year old Vikings and the occult. The below episode summary from tv.com sums up the mood perfectly:
"While letting go on their day off, Ryan drags a reluctant Mitch into the fortune-telling booth at the pier. An Indian guide sends them into an eerie tunnel from which Mitch and Ryan emerge to watch helplessly [as] their future unfolds"
A poor show from Buchannon, and he looks ashamed. He should.
Round Three - Having A Drinking Problem
Every good TV Detective should have character flaws, and the most common is alcoholism. But a quick look at Knight makes it obvious he doesn't have a problem - being behind the wheel so often it would be impractical to drink to excess, and Knight would rather have full use of his faculties when hitting the booster switch and accelerating from zero to 60 in 0.2 seconds, thank you very much.
Buchannon laughs at the very idea of a drinking problem! He spends his days saving lives on a busy beach full of attractive members of the public, and then when the sun goes down he has to immediately get changed and begin investigating whatever crazy notion his writers have come up with for this week. Would that he had the time! This round ends a draw.
Final Round - Being Responsible For The Collapse Of The Berlin Wall Through The Gift Of Music
Knight starts this round with confidence, claiming that this round 'rings a bell'. But Judges discover Knight works in various locations around the USA, without finding the time to visit Europe. What is even more telling though is that Knight stopped making his own shows in 1986 whereas the Berlin Wall was still going strong until 1989! Knight has to face facts - he wasn't involved.
Buchannon also claims that he thinks he might have had something to do with this, and the dates make a little more sense for him - but no, on closer examination it seems that during the fall of the Berlin Wall Buchannon was working as a lifeguard in Los Angeles County, California. Further scheduling clashes (many involving montages) rule Buchannon out of having any involvement in the reunification of Germany.
And there you have it - a strange selection of rounds for these two icons, but now it's over to you. After all, only one can win.
Voting closes in one month, and in the meantime, if you think you can do better than Baywatch Nights (you can), then prove it!