Without peeking, I listed:
1. Megan Reeves (Numb3rs)
2. Hiro Nakamura (Heroes)
3. Jack O’Neill (SG-1)
4. Larry Fleinhardt (Numb3rs)
5. Janet Fraiser (SG-1)
6. Sara Sidle (CSI)
7. Alan Eppes (Numb3rs)
8. Fiona Glenanne (Burn Notice)
9. Michael Weston (Burn Notice)
10. Nick Stokes (CSI)
1. Divide the list up by even and odd. Which group of five would make a better Five Man Band (like a Power Rangers team)? Who would you slot in each position: Leader, Fighter, Diplomat, Scientist, Eye-Candy? If you think the team would be improved by swapping one character between the even and odd groups, which ones would you switch?
So we have Team Odd, aka The Kick-Ass Plus One Pacifist Team: Megan Reeves (Fighter), Jack O’Neill (Leader), Janet Fraiser (Scientist), Alan Eppes (Diplomat), Michael Weston (Eye-Candy [sorry, Michael])
And we’ve got Team Even, aka The Total Geeks Team: Hiro Nakamura (Fighter), Larry Fleinhardt (Scientist), Sara Sidle(Eye-Candy), Fiona Glenanne (Leader), Nick Stokes (Diplomat)
Overall, I think Team Odd would make a better team, although there’s going to be some serious leadership issues going on between Jack and Michael—and depending on the mission, some serious objections to means and ends being raised by Alan. If they can all agree, though, this would be one damn effective team.
The geeks of Team Even, otoh, would spend so much time arguing and discussing that they might not get much done. Especially not with Fiona in the mix—if she’s a geek, she’s a weapons-and-explosives geek, and she and Hiro will clash over ethics and heroics.
Could the teams be improved by a single character-swap? Yeah, I’d swap Fiona for Jack; that way the geeks have a leader whom Hiro can potentially respect and who knows how to work with them, and the kick-ass team can have someone willing to follow Michael (and not opposed to being the eye-candy of the group, lol).
2. Gender-swap Janet Fraiser (5), Fiona Glenanne (8) & Nick Stokes (10). Which character would have the most change in their story arc? Which the least? Would any of these characters have to have a complete personality change to be believable as the opposite sex?
Good lord. Let’s see if I can even wrap my brain around this.
I think Fiona and Janet would probably tie for the most change in their story arc. Fiona might have it the worst, unless we’re going to retcon Michael Weston into being gay/bi; otherwise, Fredrick Glenanne would be just like Michael’s other male buddy, Sam, except from the other side of the law.
Janet’s storyline wouldn’t change much, although I can’t see the adoption of Cassie being quite as easy if Janet were Dr. John Fraiser.
I’m really amused to think that Nick’s storyline might change the least, if he were Nicole Stokes.
Out of these three, I think Fiona is the one who might need a serious personality transplant to be believable as a man. She’s very comfortable with her body and her femininity. Her entire approach to people, her way of moving, her type of banter, would alter if her gender did. Unless she were a really flamboyantly gay man.
3. Compare the matchups of Janet (5)/Fiona (8) and Hiro (2)/Michael (9). (Ignore canon sexual preferences for the moment.)
Uh--since I’m a genficcer who is squicked by slash, this is going to be a very general, “would they even make good friends” thing.
I can see Janet and Fiona butting heads at first. Janet is a few years older (I think), and has the benefit of two disciplines: medicine and her Air Force training. She’s sensible, warm, practical, and quite as comfortable in her own skin as Fiona is, but in a much less exhibitionary way. She no longer needs to prove anything to anyone but herself. Fiona’s a hothead, an adrenaline junkie with a fondness for weapons, very good at getting into sticky situations, then improvising and coming out of them more or less in one piece.
Janet would always have to patch Fiona up after her adventures, and would be alarmed at Fiona’s apparent disregard for life, limb, and good advice. Fiona would consider Janet uptight, a worrywart. But after working together for a while, I can see them reaching a happily bickering equilibrium: Janet scolding Fiona for taking risks, but understanding how top-notch her skills are and how happy these adventures make her; and Fiona figuring out that she likes being taken care of and worried over, at least to a point.
Hiro and Michael, on the other hand--nope. I can’t see it. I can’t even see them working together on something, unless the circumstances were particularly drastic. Michael’s all “the ends justify the means,” at least if he’s going up against guys he knows are bad news. Hiro is, well, heroic. The ethical and practical disconnect is huge.
4. Your team is Jack O’Neill (3), Larry Fleinhardt (4) & Sara Sidle (6). The mission consists of a social challenge, a mental challenge and a physical challenge. Which team member do you assign to each challenge?
Jack’s going to handle the physical challenge. That one’s obvious, and he’ll do well. The others…argh, two socially challenged geeks. I’ll give Sara the mental challenge (she’s very bright), because even though Larry is more than a little eccentric, he reads people pretty well, and isn’t out of his depth interacting with them. He can handle the social challenge, even if he doesn’t ace it.
5. Alan Eppes (7) becomes Janet Fraiser's (5) boss for a week in some plausible fashion. How's their working relationship?
Well, I can’t think of a plausible way for a retired city planner to become the boss of an Air Force medical doctor. But they’d have a really good working relationship—they’d get along, it wouldn’t be hard for them to communicate, and I can imagine them becoming friends outside of work on the basis of the respect they’ve earned from each other inside.
[DAMMIT. Now I’m ‘shipping them. Even though Janet has to be at least 15 years Alan’s junior.]
6. Megan Reeves finds herself inserted into Michael Weston's continuity. As far as anyone other than Megan or Michael is concerned, they've always been there. What role would Megan be presumed to have had in Michael's story, and could they fit in without going wonky?
This question is awkwardly phrased. So Megan and Michael would be aware that she doesn’t belong, but nobody else would? Hmmm. I’d read that story. :-)
Megan would be an FBI agent who knows Michael from the days before he was burned, and is willing to keep some secrets for them. Fiona thinks she’s an old flame of Michael’s, so there’s no love lost there; and Sam is suspicious of Megan’s motives, but likes her as a person.
Megan would fit perfectly into the Burn Notice continuity. Wow. Somebody please write me a crossover like this?
7. Jack O’Neill (3) and Alan Eppes (7) get three wishes. The catch is that they have to agree on all three wishes before they get the benefits of any of them. What three wishes would they make?
Even for each of these men to understand what the other one is suggesting might take a lot of discussion, but Jack and Alan are both idealists in their way--and they're both well aware of the practical compromises that sometimes need to be accepted in order to reach their goals. Jack's a man of action, and Alan is a man who can easily see both sides of a conflict or idea and weigh the alternatives accordingly.
Neither would waste a wish on something they really want, but that they no longer have space for in their lives (like bringing Charlie O'Neill or Margaret Eppes back from the dead).
The first thing they could probably agree on would be world peace, although Jack might have to tell Alan a bunch of classified stuff to get one of the wishes to be used for the necessary corollary: interstellar peace (or safety), at least insofar as it relates to Earth.
The last one would be really hard. I can see both of them wanting to use it to ensure the safety of a particular loved one (Don, or Daniel, or Carter), but in the end I imagine they would only be able to agree on something broader, like the discovery of cold fusion energy. (Which Alan might know something about from all the geeks he hangs out with, and which Jack might have heard about from Carter, and which would not require the uncovering of the Stargate program to power the world.)
8. Hiro Nakamura (2) and Fiona (8) are brainwashed by a one-time artifact that works even on people immune to mind control to attack and kill Megan Reeves (1). They keep their normal personality, skills and competence level, except any Code vs. Killing has been turned off. Can Megan survive? How?
Let’s see. Fiona’s an arms dealer and explosives expert who worked for the Irish Republican Army for years. Hiro is a sword-fighter who can teleport through time and space.
Megan’s a kick-ass FBI agent with a good support system of friends and colleagues, but she’s so dead. There’s no way she could survive a coordinated assassination effort by those two.
9. Megan Reeves (1), Sara Sidle (6), Alan Eppes (7) & Michael Weston (9) must help an orphanage full of small and depressed children have a merry Christmas. Who does what, knowing that at the very least the kids will be expecting a visit from Santa?
Oh, those lucky kids.
Alan, who is a father and keeps bugging his sons to settle down and have grandchildren already, will be Santa. He’ll be so jolly and tender and wise that even the older kids will start to wonder if Santa is real after all.
Megan, who’s fairly good with children (and has studied psychology), will basically run the whole event, keeping everything moving and everyone busy and happy. Sara’s past as a foster child from a shattered home will keep her quiet and depressed for a while, but eventually the joy that Megan and Alan are displaying will move her to begin enjoying herself, and her empathy with these kids will draw them to her. (It might even be therapeutic for her.)
Michael is the least comfortable around children, so I imagine he’ll be the one keeping an eye on everything, making sure nothing burns and nobody accidentally hurts anyone else. His fun would have come before the event: using his investigative skills to find out about each child, so that they could be given the perfect gift.
10. Larry Fleinhardt (4) and Nick Stokes (10) are challenged to circumnavigate the Earth in eighty days or less, using only forms of transportation invented before 1900. Can they do it, or will they be fatally distracted by sidequests or their own personality conflicts?
Larry knows a bit about history, and I think he would find such a challenge invigorating and fascinating. However, he would be very, very easily sidetracked. There’s no way he’d ever get around the world in 80 days on his own.
Nick would enjoy traveling, seeing new sights, but he’d be much better at keeping his eye on the goal and keeping them moving. Nick and Larry would probably get along great—they’re both curious, easy-going, generally articulate men, and I can see them successfully finishing this trip, friends for life, having shared such an experience.