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Adaptational Badass: Live-Action TV
  • Smallville:
    • Brainiac. Not that he hasn't always been a huge nuisance with his ridiculously advanced technology, but he is usually fairly easy to defeat in hand-to-hand combat as long as he doesn't have one of those pesky force fields or a Kill Sat. In Smallville he has all kryptonian powers, possession, Mind Probe, shapeshifting and self-multiplication.
    • Season 9 transformed B-list villain The Icicle II into a Game Breaker whose presence alone was enough to turn any room into an arctic wasteland. He's able to take out three Justice Society members before being stopped. Season 10 does the same thing with Desaad, changing his from a snivelling Dirty Coward into a Serial Killer whose Psychic Powers allow him to take on Superman.
    • Lana Lang in the original DCU continuity wasn't even half as badass as she comes off in Smallville. Even at her best, she was the outspoken Daily Planet Editor who was a vocal supporter of an aged Batman. In Smallville Lana is apparently a kickass martial artist, skilled hacker, and master tactician whose skill could apparently rival that of renowned, albeit younger, Chess Master Lex Luthor, much to his chagrin and respect. Not to mention her highschool abilities, which despite being considerably lesser than what she became in later seasons, is still pretty much impossible to do for a high school student. Apparently she was a straight A student who was at least near the top of the class, regularly competed in high profile horseback tournaments, and to top it all off, somehow found enough time to run a sizable coffee shop as its manager and as one of its waitresses. How in the hell she had enough time, let alone the energy, to do all of this and juggle what was apparently a successful social life (she was a cheerleader for at least a season or two not to mention her general popularity with the other students) astounds me and becomes blatantly obvious that she was a Creator'sPet and Author Avatar. Again all these achievements listed above are solely from Smallville and aside from being popular and a cheerleader, had virtually no grains of truth in the DCU canon.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Eddard Stark is a capable general, but is not particularly large or strong. Word of God states that Ned is a pretty average fighter and never as good as his bigger, stronger brother was. In the show, the badasses Jaime Lannister and Barristan Selmy both speak very highly of Ned's skills as a fighter. When Ned and Jaime duel, Ned matches the famous swordsman blow for blow and might be getting the better of the exchange before they're interrupted. Littlefinger also calls Ned "an even more impressive specimen" than his late brother Brandon.
    • In the books, Shae is a shallow prostitute that does little more than sleep with men and tell them what they want to hear. In the TV series she has way more attitude, seems to care genuinely for Tyrion and takes on a protective role over Sansa to the point of threatening another woman that was going to rat on her with a knife. She also carries the same knife while the city is under siege and says that she is ready to use it on any enemy soldier that tries to rape her.
    • In the books, Ygritte is just another spearwife wildling in terms of her combat abilities. In the show, she's a precision archer who's considered one of the deadliest members of the raiding party.
  • In a series that typically keeps most characters similar to the originals, Kat from Power Rangers S.P.D. is shown to be a better and more competent fighter than her counterpart in Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger. Unlike her counterpart, Kat does battle a group of mooks unmorphed, and generally is presented a lot more serious and determined. Also, Ben-G, who had had a beef with sentai Doggie for capturing him earlier, is now a general of the invaders who nearly wiped out Doggie's planet in the backstory, and gets a two-parter as Doggie tries to overcome his Heroic BSOD and avenge his world.
  • Once Upon a Time: Snow White is an Action Girl, Red Riding Hood is a werewolf and an Action Girl, while her grandmother is a former werewolf and a crossbow-wielding badass.
  • The Worst Witch
    • Agatha Cackle and her cronies in The Worst Witch were quite easily defeated by Mildred casting a spell to turn them into snails. In the TV series they manage to outwit her and reach the school, even succeeding in turning Miss Cackle into a frog. They return in the season 1 finale with another plan that comes quite close to succeeding.
    • Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom in the books were merely just the girls' teachers with little mention of their powers. In the TV series they are very powerful witches and demonstrate great power. Miss Cackle is able to freeze Agatha and her cronies effortlessly while Miss Hardbroom is able to stop a powerful magical blizzard that would have covered the entire world.
  • Elementary: In the books, Holmes is the one who brings down Moriarty. In "Heroine", Watson is the one who figures out that Moriarty is in love with Sherlock and launches the plan to capture her.
  • Done once in a while in the Granada adaptations of Sherlock Holmes. For example, in "The Lady Frances Carfax", Watson chases down and shoots the villain at the climax (in the original the villain got away), and in The Solitary Cyclist, we get to see Holmes and Woodley's fistfight rather than just hearing Holmes mention it.
  • Sherlock:
    • Watson's military career is given much more emphasis, and it's repeatedly established that Watson accompanies Sherlock because he misses the danger and excitement of his army days. And a couple of times (like his original self), Watson is able to come up with some very well-reasoned deductions, even if they end up being wrong. He also has excellent aiming skills and shoots the murderer in the first episode through a window with a 9mm P226.
    • Irene Adler just wanted to be left alone with her new husband in the books. Here, she's a dominatrix who pwns Sherlock, knocks him out, makes Moriarty rage and brings the British government, Royal Family and the nation itself to its knees. Almost.
    • Mary Morstan, former CIA assassin who kicked ass while being pregnant at the time.
  • The Walking Dead upgraded many of the Non Action Guys, Neutral Females and emotionally-wrecked/unstable characters from the comic into Stronger Than They Look Action Survivors, if not, full-fledged action type characters.
    • Glenn went from a Non-Action Guy to an Action Survivor from the comics to a combat-proficient Action Survivor from the get-go in the series.
    • In the comic, Lori would often fumble with her gun, and Carl saved her on more than one occasion. In the show, she is making headshots at night without panicking.
    • Maggie Greene went from an emotionally fragile girl from the comic to an emotionally strong and assertive in the show. Not only that, but the series also made her the most competent Action Girl of the group until Michonne joins in season 3. And if you take into account that Michonne is bad with guns, Maggie is still the group's ace female marksman. Not that Maggie is bad at melee either.
    • Because Carol is given tons of Adaptational Angst Upgrade, she Took a Level in Badass in season 3 and becomes much, much more combat proficient and emotional stability than her comic counterpart.
    • Due to being Spared by the Adaptation, Shane was able to showcase a lot of his Badassness in the TV series.
    • The series also gave the already Badass Governor a strong set of manipulative skills.
  • Good Eats often painted Louis Pasteur, father of bacteriology, as a heroic historical figure (as his discoveries led to improvements in food safety). One episode, "Milk Made", definitely fits the trope, as it features him taking down a Food Police helicopter with a flamethrower.note 

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