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Chapter XXXXI: "Golem"

Time to Ramble...

This episode was directed by Frank Paur and was really based on an idea of his that pre-dated the introduction of Renard in "Outfoxed".

The episode was written and story edited by Gary Sperling. Gary selected this episode, because he felt he had an affinity for the subject matter and because his brother, a Rabbi, was able to advise him on things like the Hebrew, etc. (But I tell you, recording some of that Hebrew was a bitch.)

I love most of the backgrounds on this episode. Very striking and atmospheric.


My eight-year-old daughter Erin spotted Renard, and immediately recognized him as "Fox's father." I think Robert Culp does a great job with Renard. And (futzing aside) with the Golem as well.

Vogel's back with no explanation or indication that he fell out of favor. I guess Goliath's speech to Renard at the end of "Outfoxed" carried real weight. I think it shows something in Renard that he's able to give Vogel a second chance.

And Renard's other compatriot is Brod. A new gangster of the new Eastern-European school. I can't remember if I already had plans to pit Brod against Dracon. But I liked the contrast between them. And I like how tough and fearless Brod is. And also how outside-the-box he is in his thinking. He'd rather have the hovercraft than a cash payment. He sees the advantage.

Goliath spots Renard (and vice versa). Renard isn't pleased, cuz he knows he's doing wrong and doesn't need a reminder that he used to lecture people on integrity.

Goliath IS pleased, initially, because he sees Renard as a potential ride home. Here, and for the last time until probably "Ill Met by Moonlight" and "Future Tense", the focus is still on GETTING HOME.

But for Renard, the focus is on living. ("Integrity is a luxury I can no longer afford.") Goliath is stunned. He calls Renard someone "I thought I knew."

There's some nice climbing here. Just visually, the way the gang climbs up the bridge. The way Angela and Bronx climb up the tower. The way Bronx later climbs down. I just think it's cool.


I also like Elisa and Max's little exchange at the beginning.

Max: What are you looking for?
Elisa: New York.

Max was consciously designed to parallel Elisa. And she at least, notices the connection. When she says "The Golem needs you as much as you need it." I think she's thinking about her relationship to Goliath. (It may be a touch arrogant, but it's accurate too.)

He's the human ally and advisor (sometimes guide) to a protector made of stone and clay. The parallels of Golem to Gargoyle are obvious, and the main reason why I felt we HAD to do this episode. (Probably the main reason why Frank suggested it in the first place.) I love how Keith read: "So this Golem is a protector." He likes the whole idea. It's almost sweet in a way.

Max is just less confident than Elisa ever was: "What if it doesn't like me?" I don't think Elisa ever worried about that, at least not after she learned that Goliath could talk.

Elisa actually has a bunch of fun lines here:

"Hit it, Bronx!"
"Don't worry. We're the Good Guys!"
"And you get used to the weirdness."

I like how the Renard/Golem turns the lamp-post into a pretzel. But on my tape, he smashes a car that was already smashed. Did that get corrected for later airings?

I also thought it was a nice touch when he knocked over Edgar Blosa's tombstone. I know that was an homage to some movie. Maybe an Ed Wood film? But now I'm blanking out?


Renard as the Golem is corrupted rather rapidly (if shallowly) by his newfound power. That was the idea. That a man who had been trapped in the prison of his own body would get flat-out drunk on the freedom and strength that the Golem offered: "Instant respect. I could get used to this."

But like any high, one eventually comes down.

And Elisa is the first to start to sober him up. "You're enjoying this!" she yells. It stops him. Cuz he is. But cuz he's not so far gone that he shouldn't know better. He flees. Not because anyone has yet provided an adequate threat. He's really running from himself. But that translates to: let me just get out of here.

Renard actually says, "It's not my fault!" which of course was the one phrase that used to drive him crazy.

Goliath has a great comeback: "A weak body is no excuse for a corrupt spirit." That's classic Goliath, I think.

I love the close up shot of the Renard/Golem looking over his shoulder, weighing it all. Wondering what his alternative is beyond accepting his fate, i.e. his death by whatever disease was killing him.

And I love Goliath's next follow up too: "You've given up all you believe in... for a piece of clay."

I'm sure some people thought Renard's turn-around was too sudden. But between Elisa, Goliath and some well-chosen words from Max ("Can you live with yourself"), and Renard's basic decency, I have no problem accepting it when he finally says, "What have I become?"


Elisa really rocks in this episode I think. That may have been the thing I most noticed in this viewing. I don't think of this as one where she was particularly featured, but she really does great. I love her little "Hi there." close up moment before she decks the bad guy with a punch that comes right into camera and flashes red. (Of course, I doubt you could do that these days.)

I like all the stuff with Golem and the hovercraft.

I'm also reminded here of the end of "Awakening, Part Five" when Goliath is holding Xanatos and on the verge of dropping him to his death. Elisa and Hudson talk him out of it. And Max fulfills the same function for the Golem. And I love Max's line, which is traditional: "Love Justice and Do Mercy." So simple and eleoquent. So right.

In any case, I guess that makes Brod the Xanatos of Prague. Except clearly he didn't fare as well. The Golem's appearance must have convinced him to seek out new "Turf", if you know what I mean.


Finally, Goliath has learned something about all Max's talk about destiny and making choices. He finally realizes that Avalon isn't simply messing with them. But that there is purpose and need and destiny. He could choose to skip it. He could hitch a ride with Renard back to Manhattan. But he won't run away. So instead he'll take the Skiff.

Now the World Tour can finally start in earnest. Sure, the audience still wonders when and if the quartet will ever get home. But I think the tenor of it changes now. Now there's an expectation. I think, had we not had to air so many damn reruns during the original run of the Tour in winter/spring of 1996, the audience would have been much more patient after this episode. Like Goliath, they would have understood.

Elisa makes the same choice. Although for her, it's less about quests and destiny than about abandoning her friends: "You guys would be lost without me." And again, kidding or not, there's a certain arrogance. But a lot of accuracy as well.

Anyway, that's my Ramble. Where's yours?

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On 7-15-93, I sent our writer a memo, sending him from outline on the Gargoyles multi-part pilot (what would eventually be dubbed "Awakening") to script (with notes).

So now it's two months later. In the interrum, the writer turned in a script, but it had become clear that he wasn't locking into the vision of the show that Gary Krisel and I had. This isn't meant as a criticism of this writer. This show was so new to Disney it was hard to get the template across to people. Fortunately, the next writer we brought on hit a home-run. That writer was, of course, Michael Reaves. What follows is a LONG memo I sent him with the previous writer's script. Everything else should be fairly self-explanitory, though I've added the occassional note in [brackets].

To: Michael Reaves 9-19-93

From: Greg Weisman (818)-754-7436

Re: Notes for Gargoyles Script

cc: Paul Lacy, Jay Fukuto, Bruce Cranston.

Michael, here are our collated and copious notes on [the previous writer's] script. Some of them are probably obvious to you, so forgive me if I tend to go on and on. Enclosed with this memo is a copy of Eric's script on disk, hopefully formatted to suit your needs, and the original beat outline for the 10th century section that we gave to [the previous writer] in March to get him started. We thought reading the latter might give you a clearer idea of what we were aiming for. You'll notice that [the previous writer] compressed the events of 994 from three nights into two. This obviously saved him some space but limited his ability to set up characters, motivations, themes, logistics, etc. I'm only bringing this up to allow you the flexibility to do either. Also available but not included is the outline that he wrote, which we approved to script with five pages of notes. Just let me or Paul know if you want to see either document.

--Obviously, the dialogue needs improvement. Each character must have his or her own unique VOICE. Diction must be chosen carefully. We don't want Goliath to sound arch and artificial, but he shouldn't be spouting colloquialisms either. Plus everyone should only say things that make sense for them to say.

--Motivations which once seemed clear to us have been buried or lost entirely. We must make these clear and understandable.

--Goliath's arc in particular must be made clear. He begins as an optimist. He has a job to do and he does it well. He believes that humans have a lot to offer to gargoyles (like reading and writing, for example), and that gargoyles also have a lot to offer to humans. He puts up with the Queen [soon to be demoted to Princess, i.e. Princess Katharine] because whether she's grateful or bitchy is largely immaterial to the fact that he will be true to himself, i.e. a gargoyle who protects his home. When he is betrayed, he becomes embittered. He has learned to hate and mistrust humans...he begins to see the world in Demona's black and white terms. Gargoyles, good; humans, bad. It may be a mind-set that he almost has to struggle to maintain: it's against his better nature. But he's determined not to trust again. Elisa changes him. He rediscovers his optimism through her. And the realization that Demona participated in the betrayal cements it. The world has shades of gray again. It's a tough world, but worthy of effort.

--Themes are likewise buried or lost. In addition to Goliath's major arc, the most important theme is, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Even Goliath is prone to fall into the trap of appearances. We should emphasize it as much as possible. A secondary theme is the "man out of his time" idea. We should never forget how strange the twentieth century must seem to our gargoyles.

--Ideally, we'd like to have some lighter moments of humor, both to offset the tension and to throw it into relief. But that doesn't mean we need brainless sight-gags or goofy pseudo-Spider-Man quips.

--As we discussed, you may want to open the whole piece with a VERY brief twentieth century scene between Elisa and another cop, looking at the fallen debris (claw-marks included) and wondering what could have caused this.

--Also remember that Gargoyles can't fly. They can glide, and we will cheat this using updrafts and downdrafts to keep them in the air, but if they're on the ground they have to get some height (perhaps by clawing their way up a building). They absolutely CANNOT take off by running fast at ground level.

--Gargoyles normally have pupils, but when they are angry or fighting, their eyes glow solidly.

As we imagined it, the castle was built on top of a Gargoyle rookery. The rookery itself was a series of tunnels carved into a cliffside overlooking the sea. This gave the inhabitants (both Gargoyle and Human) protection on all sides but one. The scene between Brian and his mother was originally to take place within a hundred feet and in clear view of the castle gates as they struggled up the hill toward the castle on the promontory. They are probably serfs. It's doubtful they had a village to burn down. The castle would have been the center of the community. We're not even sure whether it's necessary for the marauders to have already attacked their farm. (How would they have survived that, anyway?) Brian's desire to stand and fight seems off point. The fight's gonna happen where it should happen, at the castle.

Incidentally, for reasons that escaped us, [the previous writer] changed the boy's name from ROBBY to BRIAN. It doesn't really matter, but for some reason, Brian seems like a more modern name. Robby may be no better, however, so feel free to use either name or come up with a new one. [Of course, Michael changed the name to Tom. So in "Three Brothers" I used the Robby name for the young Captain.]

Cole is a very wordy marauder. Also his reasoning's a bit off. He's in no real hurry to catch the farmers. He's after bigger game: the castle. If he takes that, he'll get everyone's possessions including the farmers. He's on a steady march up the hill. [Cole, of course, became Hakon and the marauders became Vikings.]

Waiting for dusk to obscure the archer's vision is o.k., but obviously, waiting for nightfall when they can't see anything makes even more sense.

We saw the Captain as anything but handsome. A burly gargoyle of a man, ugly even. A real career soldier. Not necessarily a native to the castle. Someone who would get as little respect from the queen as Goliath does. Someone who could identify more with the gargoyles than with the humans he works for.

The conversation between the marauders is too on the head. Telegraphs TOO much. I think the point was supposed to be that even in 994, real gargoyles were fairly rare and many castles had adopted the practice of putting fake ones up to scare off the likes of Cole. Cole is taking a calculated risk in attacking a gargoyle covered castle at night. I did think it was a nice moment when Cole ordered his men on and then silently stared at the castle, before shrugging off his fears.

The captain should have his archers ready, but Cole's keeping his men out of range, waiting for nightfall.

At some point we may need to clarify why the marauders are attacking. The idea is monetary gain. Confiscate anything of value. Drag the people away in chains. Perhaps ransom the valuable ones. Sell the others as slaves.

O.k., the gargoyle's transformation from stone to flesh is not a magical one. It's biological. No magical light. We've discussed that every sundown they turn back to flesh from the inside out and when all that's left is a thin layer of stone on top, it starts to crack, and they explode out of it. (This is like a snake shedding it's skin for a new one underneath.) It's also up for grabs whether we want to show the complete transformation here. It may be better saved for when they first wake up in the twentieth century. Your call.

In this first battle, the Marauders never make it over the wall. The battle takes place in front of the castle, and maybe on the wall a bit.

Bronx does not panic and hide. Again, think of Hooch in Turner and Hooch. He's dangerous in a fight.

The "gargoyles-don't-have-names" stuff must seem totally incomprehensible to you from this script, but we actually do think it can work, so as we go through the script, I'll try and show you what we had in mind. One key thing to remember is that in the tenth century, gargoyles felt that naming something defined and limited that thing. Goliath was named by the humans, (and you'll notice that the humans chose the name of a monstrous biblical villain, which kinda indicates their opinion of gargoyles in general). If gargoyles do need to refer to each other, they do it based on the individual relationship. So on this page, Goliath would never refer to Hudson as "Old One", but might refer to him as "old friend".

Goliath: "We'll take care of it, son. You get your mother to safety." All of a sudden I expect to see a big red S on his chest. No thanks.

Plus Brian (or Robby or whatever) drives me nuts. This kid is too precocious. We don't need to see him leaping into battle. And we need to remember, Gargoyles are scary to humans, even to humans that gargoyles protect. Brian may have a more open mind than his mother, but the mistrust may not fully go away until the end of the tenth century sequence. Brian isn't hero-struck by Goliath. He's intimidated. (Of course this whole scene may go, since the marauders aren't gonna make it over the wall, here.)

The trio are NOT kids. They are the human equivalent of 19 years old, which would easily make them warriors in their own right. Not necessarily mature, but old enough to fight and not whine.

"Earned your claws" is an odd expression. I don't think I like it, but I'm not sure.

Like "Old One" for Hudson, "Beautiful One" in reference to Demona is just an awkward substitute name. If Goliath must refer to her, it would be by relationship...something like "my love".

And they do love each other, so we don't need any pseudo-"Moonlighting" sparring. She would certainly not refer to him as "Presumptuous One."

And we probably don't need any 20th century airplane jargon, like Double Barrel Roll, etc.

Bronx is NOT Scooby Doo. Dogs don't laugh.

Cole and Goliath's exchange is awkward and confusing. What does Cole want revenge for? Having been beaten?

Goliath's line, "As we owe you ours every day, for protecting us during the daylight hours", is redundant.

We need to clarify the wizard's reaction to Goliath. To be fair to [the previous writer], the Wizard [soon to be dubbed 'the Magus'] is a character who's been giving us trouble from the beginning. We thought of him as a frightened and prejudiced old man. Perhaps, it might work better if he were envious, insecure and young. Turning the haughty, young queen (who is easily swayed by appearance) against the gargoyles. Whatever you think works best. Believe it or not, Bronx might actually be useful in this scene. If he trotted after his master into the throne room and did something funny and obnoxious, that bit of comic relief would then be ammunition for the wizard's opinion, and the queen's disgust.

Likewise, we need to understand the Queen's attitude. She is young and immature. Prejudiced, insecure too, perhaps. Perhaps she feels the need to prove her own superiority and fool herself into believing she doesn't need the 'goyles. It's unlikely that she would value the ugly captain much more than the gargoyles. In our original beat outline, we had the queen suggesting that after this fight with the marauders is over the captain's services also might not be valued so highly. (Perhaps she tells him he'll be reporting to the wizard from now on?) This might also help motivate the captain's betrayal.

Goliath's line "We are what we are." is right on target. It's not that he loves how the queen treats him. But he will be true to himself w/or without praise. However, the phrase "do our jobs" is wrong. It's not a job. It's who he is.

Again, I'm confused by this reference to Cole's revenge.

In the three night structure of the original beat outline, the captain's betrayal (and the logistics that made it possible were much clearer). You might want to refer to that March outline or at least rearrange scenes so that the logistics work. Meanwhile, the captain's suggestion should be to take ALL of the gargoyles and give the marauders a good scare.

Goliath figures he can be plenty scary on his own. Why leave the castle unguarded? (Still he's aware that going off alone is somewhat dangerous. That's part of the reason he leaves Demona behind.)

We don't get the line about only her "understanding the full responsibility."

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I don't mind "smoothskin" too much, but I don't see any point in reducing that to "smoothie". I certainly would rather have them use the word "Humans" over "pink ones".

Broadway volunteers some very awkward expository information about naming. But I think the exchange with Brian could help illustrate the idea simply with a few changes. For example:

You don't have names? How do you tell each other apart?

We look different.

But what do you CALL each other?


In other words, they don't have clever explanations for why they don't have names. They have simple reasons for why they don't need them.

So all these substitute names like "One that always looks good" is just the kind of thing gargoyles would never do.

It probably would take a little more prodding to get the trio to act like monsters.

Growling is kinda feeble.

Also didn't Goliath leave with Hudson in the previous scene? And should he order them specifically into the rookery or just out of the courtyard? And again, beware playing the trio too young. Here they come off as little kids.

Hudson and Goliath CANNOT run along the ground and catch an updraft with their wings. They could jump off a cliffside though.

"Little Gargs?" I don't know.

This whole conversation comes off as artificial and expository.

And Bronx should be with them. How else does he survive? Which means he should probably have been with them in the previous scene with Brian/Robby as well.

It's a tough scene, but we need dialogue that won't make us cringe.

Are the trio and Bronx waiting in shadows, or are they just now emerging from the rookery?

Hudson's attitude is wrong. He's a soldier, not a kindly old man.

We're not sure why Goliath ran down to the rookery, but we know the results of the trip don't work. If Cole found the eggs in the rookery and took them away, than he would have also found Bronx and the trio and destroyed them. The idea with the eggs was to plant that they existed in one scene in the pilot and not refer to them again. Than they'd be fodder for a future episode.

Hudson's line: "There is never a reason good enough..." is confusing in this context. We shouldn't be afraid to use silence when words aren't necessary.

At the bottom, the Queen's last line has now made her thoroughly irredeemable. (Even if Brian is a sappy kid.) Now that she's been humbled, we should begin to see her transformation. She's witnessed some horrible things. Now that it's too late this young woman is going through some changes that might someday make her a wise ruler.

Again, we need to make sense of the wizard. He can't be so irrational towards Gargoyles that it's unbelievable.

Brian makes my teeth hurt.

Brooklyn is coming across as whiny again. There's no finesse to any of this dialogue.

And the choreography of this scene makes little sense either. Why is Cole only now dragging the Queen into his tent. Again, you may want to refer to our original March-dated beat outline. In that, Cole and the Captain have the Queen and Wizard (the most valuable captives) isolated in their tent from the beginning. Cole taunts the wizard here by tearing pages out of the magic book and burning them. Then when gargoyles attack, Cole and Captain flee tent and campsite, leaving wizard behind, again isolated, believing the queen will be killed. Goliath follows the villains. Queen will thus be witness to his heroism. Wizard can blame gargoyles for causing queen's death (not for killing her) before she returns with Goliath. Not the only way to go, but it might work. This doesn't.

Hopefully, by this time the Captain's motivation will be clearer. He had no love for the queen. He thought he was doing the gargoyles a favor by having the humans dragged away, leaving the castle to them. But Goliath insisted on leaving the gargoyles at the castle, and though the captain believed he could protect them from Cole, he was wrong. Cole was taking no chances, purely as a practical matter.

What exactly are we seeing in silhouette?

Again, the choreography and the wizard's reaction and accusations make no sense.

The way the wizard phrases the spell renders the spell useless, because the gargoyles did not betray the castle. However, it's good that the emphasis of the spell is on putting the gargoyles to sleep (in which case they always turn to stone) rather then having him magically turn them to stone (which would confuse the whole issue of whether or not gargoyles turn to stone magically or biologically).

By this time we need to believe in the Queen's change of heart and redemption. Even the wizard should be well chastened. This whole thing is coming across as too pat.

This needs to be a sad, almost poetic moment.

Do we want to use lasers to cut through mortar? Is this planting the available technology so that it doesn't seem artificial if we use it later, or are we making something that should be special into something mundane?

Maybe so it's less artificial, the rain should be coming down from the beginning of this scene.

Here, at least, the gargoyles should explode out of their old skin.

Don't know why we're moving inside for half a scene that could be much more dramatic and effective in the rain.

Obviously we can't use the name Charles Xavier. And we probably shouldn't use Xavier either. We've discussed the name XANATOS here, but if you have a better idea that's fine.

We don't know about giving Xavier the book of magic. Seems to us that the book may be useful for future stories (like the eggs). Besides if he has this book, what would keep him from turning them back into stone at the end of the pilot when things don't work out.

Again, we're not sure if we can do THE PACK justice in the pilot. They've got that interesting "American Gladiator" back story that we don't seem to have room to service here. Though thematically it does fit nicely. Maybe in a future episode. If we do use the Pack, they shouldn't have any Cybernetic implants. And they shouldn't have CY.O.T.I. either. These were all additions that I discussed with Eric for their second and third appearances. We should never take this sort of stuff for granted.

I like the HARD HATS idea too, but I wonder if even this is necessary. If the attack is done by black garbed, masked commandos it would still serve it's purpose.

The attack should come very soon after the gargoyles are awakened. And they should be totally at sea. Helicopters. Guns. They don't know what the hell is going on. Pack...Hard Hats...Commandos...they'd be running circles around these 'goyles. If the gargoyles defend the castle at all, it should be purely reflexive. Again, it's what they are. But Goliath is certainly in no mood to protect any human or human interests. Goliath should be more confused than the audience.

And we definitely don't need any mid-raid chats between Xavier and Fox. Not sure if the bad guys need to talk at all.

Nor do we need any old bad vaudeville schtick from Hyena. I know she's crazy, but please...

And Dingo can be cast to have an Australian accent w/out resorting to cliched dialogue like "Mate" or "Gander at the Goodies".

Also don't know why Fox waited so long to "coordinate" the attack.

We've been spelling Elisa's name with one "s". Eric consistently used two. I only bring this up, because it changes the pronunciation to something that sounds less Hispanic: his eh-LISS-uh as opposed to our eh-LEE-sah.

Our preliminary designs have shown Elisa with long hair. And we never thought of her as a Rosie O'Donnell type. We're hoping she's something special but doubt that's the way to take her.

What are the reactions to what's going on above their heads? It's high enough up that they can't see any details. And it can't be such a civic disaster of falling stone that the whole city would be up in arms.

How does Xavier know Goliath's name? Maybe this was supposed to be a mistake on Xavier's part, a clue that he knows more than he claims. But Xavier is not that sloppy.

Before Lex identifies the helicopter as a flying ship, should one of the others think it was some kind of creature? A metal dragon or something?

Although Goliath is too decent not to be somewhat grateful to the man who woke them up, we don't think he's making any deals with any humans at this point. He's protecting his own.

Could Elisa see "lasers and heavy weapons fire" from the ground? And Batman may call Gotham his city, but we doubt that Elisa is so full of herself to call New York, "MY city".

And when does Elisa investigate? That night? The next day? Why does she wait 24 hours?

We're uncomfortable with the notion of introducing our cop by having her perform an illegal search. Perhaps, instead of being stonewalled, she is called in to investigate the theft. (Xavier knows she'll get nowhere, because there was no theft.)

Bronx would not shake like Jello. He'd probably be a fairly effective watchdog. (Which is not to say we couldn't use him surprising her to comic effect.)

They just rebuilt the castle; should the ledge be giving way?

As we discussed, Goliath can grab the flagpole, but it should snap off in his hand. He's not BATMAN. He's way to weighty. Maybe he uses his claws to dig into the side of the building and eventually slow his descent.

We need to develop the relationship between Goliath and Elisa slowly. His saving her life does create some kind of trust...but doesn't make friendship automatic. So she wouldn't just "know" that he "was only... protecting the castle."

And she can't just shrug off the fact that she's "talking... to a bunch... of gargoyles." When and how will she hear their story, learn about them.

There's something promising about their exchange at the bottom of the page. Perhaps if it were more like...

And who decides what is... "wrong"?

Well, over the years... the people decided.

You mean the humans decided.

Or perhaps something which indicates the tension.

His need to know more about this world...is this his decision or something she leads him towards? In general, this all seems to be happening too fast. She seems to know his desire to stay with the castle before he's expressed it. She seems to know about the day/stone stuff. Why does she even want to enlist him at this point?

Even at this stage, we need some solemnity to their growing bond.

And we need to avoid modern phrases like "case list" that we can't assume Goliath would understand.

Hudson asks a good question. Goliath's answer seems non-responsive to it.

And Elisa seems like a real user in her aside at the bottom. Besides, how does she know he'd make a great addition. And why are they waiting until tomorrow night. The way he's devised the last few scenes, it seems the night is still young.

Why enter mid-scene if you're just gonna have Xavier re-explain things?

As noted above, characters here don't seem to have their own voice. Hard to believe that Xavier would use the expression "for crying out loud."

If we do use the Pack, this could be a good time to emphasize the theme of appearances being deceiving. Xavier could even use the fact that Goliath is sensitive to this theme to his advantage.

The lines re: the t.v. set are appropriate in the sense that the gargoyles should not take the modern world for granted. But they don't have to be stupid either. Perhaps the more savant-like Lex can express things in terms the others can understand. For example, television might be a living tapestry. And a living tapestry might appeal to Hudson.

Is the holographic projector necessary?

Xavier's never nervous. Let him do the reasoning and the talking.

Bronx has no real wings. He cannot glide.

All this dialogue is "voiceless" and dull.

Back to the name thing. This is more what we had in mind:

What do I call you guys?

Goliath is the only one the humans named.

What? You have to have names.

Does the sky need a name? Does the river?

The river's called the Hudson.

(w/a heavy sigh of capitulation)
Fine. Then I too will be "the Hudson".

Don't worry. You'll get used to it.

Good thing we weren't facing east.

Or something like that. Then the kids decide that if Hudson (the big traditionalist) is gonna have a name than they'll get names too. We don't need to see them find their names. We'll just reveal their choices later. Also we don't need to find a rationale for Bronx's name. The trio can just come back with it. (They probably just made their choices based on the sound of the words.)

As for the various exits... Hudson is happy to guard the castle. That's what gargoyles do. Maybe he's going to study the new world through the Living Tapestry/T.V. that he's discovered. Goliath wants to explore it first hand. Hudson tells Goliath to take the dog with him, probably as a way to make sure Goliath is careful and safe. (Again the dog is not a liability to it's master. But good to have around in a bad situation.) But Hudson would express his concern subtly.

Take the dog with you.


He needs the exercise.

Goliath gets the message. As for the trio, just remember that they are not "youngsters" with a curfew. Goliath can express a stern warning without treating them like children.

Remember, Brooklyn is the natural leader of the trio.

I doubt Elisa says "Sheesh!"

Now this whole thing with the robbery seems horribly contrived. If I didn't know better, I'd think Elisa had rigged it just as Xavier rigged the Pack attacks. The whole thing doesn't work. Certainly no one would rob the same apartment twice on the same night.

Elisa seems to wear an agenda on her sleeve at the bottom of this page. She's coming off as a worse slickster than Xavier.

Goliath's: "Those days are over!" response is ridiculous, because those days never existed.

And dogs don't laugh.

I'm sure we don't want the female Hyena doing Rodney Dangerfield. Or any other bad old jokes.

I've missed how Elisa made it to her car. I thought they were herding her.

And her line about "checking the transmission" is exactly the kind of pseudo-Spider-Man quips that we can forever do without.

Do we care how the Pack found Goliath?

Since Fox is telling a fib (which Xavier probably fed to her) in order to get Goliath's dander up, then "riches" misses the point entirely. What does Goliath know or care about wealth? Perhaps Fox brags that the stolen information will give them power to crush anyone who stands in their way. As for her excuse for chasing Goliath down...(Since it is literally contrived)...she could say that she doesn't like to leave any potential enemies alive. She couldn't finish him the other night because he was surrounded by friends. But now she can pick off all of the gargoyles one at a time. That would send a chill down Goliath's spine.

Also, it occurs to me that if you do replace the Pack w/masked commando types, than we could actually have a masked Xavier delivering this speech to Goliath. Maybe Bronx recognizes Xavier, but not being Scooby Doo, there's no way for Bronx to get his message across.

So many problems.
--Elisa comes off as an idiot, here.
--None of us buy Goliath's sudden "surge of superhuman strength".
--What's Bronx doing in this scene?
--No running take offs into the air allowed.
--Bronx can't fly, so he couldn't follow anyway.

Also, this might be an opportunity to explain that Gargoyles glide and don't fly. As they are trying to escape, Elisa would ask the natural question:

Fly us out of here!

I can't.

What do you mean you can't?! What're the wings

Or something like that. Given his limitation they either have to stand and fight or he has to start to climb high enough to get some air.

Does the crowd attack Goliath or ask the Pack for autographs? Again, can we service the Pack in this pilot with all the other things we have to accomplish?

If we do use the Pack, then Elisa has NOT just remembered who they are. And we need to understand why she doesn't immediately call for back-up or warrants for their arrest.
And this is a missed opportunity to play up the theme of judging by appearances.

This is also an opportunity to explain that Gargoyles daytime hibernation allows them to heal and recharge. Shed their damaged skin for a new one the next night.

PAGES 61 - 63
It seems odd that we haven't really intercut between the trio and Goliath.

This scene is a mess as well.
--Again, we need "voices" for the trio.
--We shouldn't rush to give them colloquialisms either. Over time, they SHOULD pick them up more readily than Goliath or Hudson. But let's make it make sense.
--We don't need to see the namings at all, or find rationales for the chosen names.
--Brooklyn appropriating some sunglasses seems like it might be a fun little touch. But how he gets a leather jacket and t-shirt over his wings is a bit perplexing.

Although I'm not necessarily in love with it, the "Pleestameetcha" bit is the closest we come to believing these guys are learning to adapt, as opposed to automatically adapting with ease.

Dancing Gargoyles are a bitch to animate. Or so I've been told.

We'd like to avoid the whole perplexing issue of whether or not the gargoyles can read. I tend to think that except for Goliath, they can't. (As it is, we're stretching in having them able to even speak and understand modern English.) In fact, if we feel like actually doing some good at some point, then a literacy episode featuring our trio and Hudson might be honestly worthwhile, but until we're prepared to really deal with the issue, we'd like to avoid it.

This cluebuster scene has come off more contrived than it had to be.

Again, it's unclear why Elisa doesn't simply file charges.

Maybe Hudson starts to give a shadowed Goliath the same guff he's been giving the trio, until Goliath steps into the light and he sees that Goliath has been wounded.

Again, wealth is not the issue. But physical power might be.

And this grudge thing makes no sense. The Pack has battled Goliath twice and have basically won both battles. The only explanation that makes any kind of sense is the notion that they don't take any chances with potential threats.

Goliath could be honestly perplexed as to what to do...and decide to sleep on it.

The reunion should be an amazing moment. We need to believe in their love.

Xavier should say that he took the liberty of choosing the name Angelica for her. It's a lie that will ring truer.

Angelica's story is not convincing. The attack was during the day. All gargoyles that were found were destroyed. We know it's a lie but we need a better one. Maybe just before sunrise, she got worried about Goliath and left the castle to find him. [The truth is that at the last minute she didn't trust the Captain to protect the frozen gargoyles from Cole. So she took off and hid somewhere.]

Xavier's story is no more convincing. Maybe he saw her picture in an art book and purchased her for his collection, long before he found out about Goliath. Or something.

Dialogue needs work, and Bronx is misused again.

This is how Bronx should be used. Like a dog.

Goliath's "You just watch me" line, again misses an authentic voice for the character. He should also not gain immediate comfort with everyone's new names.

It's probably all right that Brooklyn has picked up the word "cool" and its usage by this time. But Goliath should not respond with another colloquialism, "Excuse me?", like he's Wayne or Garth. Does he think the tower is too cold or Brooklyn is? Actually, this whole exchange might be better suited for Hudson or cut entirely. I just feel like I've seen it in a 1969 Bob Hope film.

As for Bronx going with Hudson, we can play off my earlier suggestion. This time Goliath tells Hudson to take the dog with him, because now he's worried about his old friend and the dog might come in handy. But he wouldn't dare to embarrass Hudson either.

Oh, and Hudson, take the dog. He needs exercise.

We don't know why Angelica and Goliath need a helicopter.

And Demona's little slip about "crime rates" is too goofy. No reason for her to say something like this unless she was trying to tip him off.

Maybe I'm over-reacting to the word, "lumbering", but for some reason I keep picturing an old fashioned and impractical Spruce Goose. We need to make this cool.

We obviously don't want to animate TEN GUARDS simultaneously.

Also we need a sense that Xavier out-fitted each of the three teams with a precise plan and understanding of their mission. He's too smart to let them all wing it.

Why wouldn't the trio glide to the top of the tower/skyscraper? Why GROUND yourself by starting at the bottom. And again, they should already have a plan, provided by Xavier.

We also need to believe that these things are well-guarded. If CYBERCORP went to the trouble of splitting this information between three separate disks in three separate locations, including one mobile location, than they're not just gonna leave each disk laying around. Again, a plan from Xavier would help short-cut CyberCorp's security. But we also need to see some things that only a gargoyle's unique talents could accomplish.

Also, should we intercut between these three assaults, as opposed to basically seeing them one at a time?

Bronx is not Lassie. He's not smart enough to have plans whispered in his ear.

Would a police dispatcher really report "gray monsters with wings" over the radio?

Should the gargoyles have tried to bring the airship down on purpose, or did that happen when things didn't go quite according to plan?

There's a lot of fainting and near fainting in this script.

Are there any other cops around?

Is this an airplane crash/explosion or a blimp/airship taking a slow fall?

The exchange between Goliath, Elisa and Demona is very confused. Demona's "little detective" line is perhaps a clue that she knows more than she's letting on. But if it's so bitter, so soon, than it's too big a clue. Perhaps she just points out that Elisa doesn't know the story and they don't have time to tell her now. At any rate, Elisa and Goliath have not built the relationship to justify the "how could you" line at the bottom of the page. Of course, by now they should have. Even if we have a better line of dialogue to illustrate it.

We probably don't need the triumphant scenelet at the top.

And we don't know why Xavier would raise the question of legality.

Remember, from Goliath's point of view, Elisa simply doesn't know the whole story. He thinks explaining will be easy.

Any visible seething on Demona's part will give her away.

It's probably o.k. if we've revealed Xavier by this time, but his line is SO on the head.

Why is Goliath being cryptic?

The issue of law into one's own hands is awkward coming from a woman who's been playing so fast and loose.

And when she says, "I thought we had a common bond..." Well, as the script stands now, we don't believe it. And we should.

Does Goliath know NYC like a cabby. Can't stage this scene so that he doesn't have an off-screen opportunity to find out where he's going.

Did Goliath mention Elisa's name on or off camera? Or did Xavier just find it out on his own?

Page 84
Again we need to be somewhat careful that we don't assume that Gargoyles are totally up-to-date on modern terminology.

We also need to make sure that Xavier's plan up to this point is clearly spelled out. (Xavier wanted two things. The information on the disks and the gargoyles' unquestioning obedience. He tricked them into stealing the disks, something he couldn't do without their talents. The logistics of which should probably be explained here.)

{At this point, Xavier will know that he's obviously not going to be able to secure the gargoyles' loyal service. That's all right though. He has a back-up plan. The info on the disks allows him to create new-and-improved steel gargoyles. (Perhaps it contained a formula for a rocket fuel that would allow them to fly--something more believable than anti-gravity disks.) Now, he doesn't need the real gargoyles. He'd still like to have them. But if he can't, he'll destroy them so that they can't work against him.}

Don't know why Demona waited so long to shriek?

Goliath can't swoop up to the top of the roof from the ground.

This whole conversation seems non-responsive. Exposition's flying, but they're not talking to each other. Goliath should probably figure some of this out for himself.

Goliath suddenly sees Xavier as the devil, it seems. It just doesn't seem justified.

Xavier is not a war-monger per se. Demona's reasoning may need to be more general. She recognizes that Xavier is the worst kind of human. If she helps him gain more power, she's helping humanity destroy itself. Plus he gives her cool weapons.

As to her name, we think she should say something mysterious like..."The humans named me Demona long ago." No explanations necessary.

Page 88
Xavier set up this test. If Goliath had passed, great. But what did Xavier think would happen if he failed. He probably should have supplied Demona w/some mega-cannon kinda thing to wipe Goliath out. Goliath should barely escape with his and Elisa's life. And when they do escape, either Xavier or at least his assistant Owen should be revealed there also. It's not like Xavier trusts Demona 100%.

We'll leave the design of the robots to the designers, but I'm guessing that if we really want to contrast the robots with our gargoyles, than they should be shiny and chrome-like, as opposed to Giger-bio-mechanical.

Xavier doesn't plan on selling anything. This is a guy who's favorite word is " Acquire". Acquire power; acquire people...anything he sets his sights on. What he can get by legitimate purchase, he'll buy; it's easier. What he can't buy, he'll take by subterfuge or force. What he can't take, (i.e. our gargoyles and their obedience) he'll destroy. He has no desire to destroy humanity. Or even the system of commerce and government that's put him where he is.

Elisa's apartment is the first place that the Pack would look at this point. And in any case, the landlord is not gonna just let the floor cave in. Elisa should try to lead the Pack (or whoever) on a wild goose chase. Perhaps into a sculpture garden full of art decco gargoyles and the like. This should be a tense scene where she clearly putting her life on the line to saves all of the Gargoyles. This doesn't seem like a moment for ineffective comedy.

Xavier should not be too ruffled by the Pack's failure. If they had gotten them during the day it would have saved him some trouble. But he's not worried. He has the castle. He knows they won't risk another day without coming to take it back.

Although Elisa's statement that everyone has some good in them is a fine message, it seems off-point.

Is Elisa going to participate in this fight or just watch it? Is Bronx (who can't glide or fly) staying with her for protection, or are the Gargoyles carrying both of them into battle.

Demona's line about designing her own armaments only works if it's supposed to be a clue to how long she's been awake in the modern world. Otherwise, it's easier if it's just a gift from Xavier.

Finally, Lexington has found a voice. Unfortunately, it belongs to Mr. Spock.

Xavier wouldn't sink to the level of calling Goliath a moron.

And it's ridiculous for Goliath to say that he betrayed him more than any human. First off, it's not true. The captain's betrayal was far worse. And secondly, the whole point of this thing is that it doesn't matter whether you're a human or not.

Also, the Pack, (Hard Hats, Commandos, whatever), should all be participating in this finale, unless they've truly been dealt with in some way during the daytime chase scene.

This is a very weak fight. Audience won't be able to know about internal gyroscopes, and nobody is gonna buy the screwdriver stuff.

Xavier is coming off very weak, here. Can't happen.

Elisa can throw a pair of binoculars farther than she can clearly see without them. I don't think so.

In all this morass, we've lost track of what Elisa is busting Xavier for. What does she have evidence of that she can reveal without simultaneously revealing the gargoyles?

Goliath: "This time the threat came from within." It isn't just this time.

Goliath's attempt at a joke is lousy. And what's worse is the "clean up this town" line. He's neither the sheriff nor Batman. That's not his mindset. He's a protector of innocents, not a pro-active crime fighter.

This is not how we want to go out. Tell me about it.

Well, that's it. (That's enough surely.) Good Luck.

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Stacey writes...

Dear Mr Weisman.
Hey there. Hope you had a nice holiday.
I was wondering when it was that you actualy thought up the idea for the garg universe? I mean, did it just pop in your head on day or had it been there for a while?
Also, was there any 'plan' to the story. Was there always going to be a Goliath/Elisa thing? Were the Rookery eggs always going to be on Avelon? Was there some kind of planning towards it?
I know this is probably incredibly sappy but its been killing me ever since I saw that episode...what WAS Goliath going to say to Elisa at the end of 'The Mirror'? Ok, for a start, it wouldn't have been much because he knew that the sun would be up soon. And all the clan were around. But what would he have actualy told her - sworn absolute undying love? Admited that he liked her a bit? I know its a stupid question, but its a lovley scene. Also, what were they like with each other the next night? I guess they both knew what he meant (even if I don't).
Okay, thats all for now. Thank you very much.

Greg responds...


It's been so long since you posted these questions (last October) I'm going to assume that you've already got the answers since all of them are available in the archives.

But just in case, and briefly.

I've been fascinated with Gargoyles since high school at least, but the series was developed by my team at Disney between 1991 and 1994.

Yes, we had a plan. G&E was planned. The eggs showing up on Avalon (or some equivalent) was planned..

I'm not sure that Goliath had the exact words on the tip of his tongue. (This isn't like Titania whispering in Fox's ear.) I think he would have tried to stammer something out about his growing feelings for her. But it would have stopped far short of "declaring his undying love".

Response recorded on August 21, 2002

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Hudson's nearly renamed...

More old memos from the original development file...

At one point a Disney Executive came to me and asked me to rename Hudson as a personal favor. She had just had a son, whom she had named Hudson, and was concerned for reasons I can no longer clearly remember.

I wanted to be nice, but this was very problematic for us. Hudson's being named for the river was the way into the New York names for the whole clan. I couldn't see an easy way to make the change.

But in the spirit of being a team-player, we tried to give it a shot.

The following is a hand-written note in my files of possible names. The ones marked with an "x" were actually crossed out by me.

[Castle Logo] Walt Disney Television

Gregory David Weisman

FIRE - x
LONG - x
SHEA - x
WALL ST. - x
NOHO - x

After jotting those down, I composed a memo for my boss to see if he wanted to make the change. He didn't have (or at any rate didn't use) e-mail back then. So traditionally, I would send the memo to myself. Print it out and then leave a hard copy with his assistant.

[4] From: Greg Weisman 9/13/93 12:44PM (616 bytes : 28 ln)

To: Greg Weisman, Paul Lacy
Subject: Hudson Names

------------------------------- Message Contents -----------------
Gary, here are some possible alternatives to the name Hudson:



He returned the same memo to me stamped from his office with the following little note:

SEP 13 1993


1) Would "Hudson" pick his own name?
Keep this for the teens


Having received that note, I then had to go into his office and remind him about the whole naming schema. The fact that we had names for the 'teens' and that the reason we were considering changing Hudson's name was because of the request of this one executive. Gary then considered all this and decided to stay the course. I apologized to the executive but told her we wouldn't be making a change. I felt bad -- a bit. But I also felt sure that we had chosen the correct names.

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Another design memo...

We got more designs from WDAJ. Here's our response back to them...

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 8-26-93

From: Greg Weisman 818-754-7436


Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

This is in response to the designs sent in your fax dated August 21st. (We've looked over the originals you sent as well.) Although we have substantial notes, I want to emphasize that we're learning more with each submission. Things that did not occur to us initially are now becoming clearer. For reference purposes, I'm going to refer to the page numbers of the fax. In the future, you might want to number every drawing on every page for easier reference.

Seeing the four Gargoyles together raised a number of interesting problems. Goliath seems to have lost some of the upper body bulk that made him so imposing. And Broadway seems to be on an equal level with Goliath. We need to make Goliath more special and unique. And although the trio of Brooklyn, Lexington and Broadway must each be unique from each other, we'd like to see the three of them as a natural grouping. As it stands now, Goliath, Broadway and Brooklyn all seem of a piece, with Lexington as the odd man out.

I might propose the following possible solutions:
--Let's give greater stature to Goliath relative to the other three, particularly Broadway.
--Let's make Goliath the only one of the four who tends to stand erect like a man. If Broadway and Brooklyn existed in a crouch as Lex does, we could cheat all three of them larger and still leave Goliath with greater stature.
--We already have two unique wing constructions (Goliath's and Lexington's), but we could stand to create a third type. Leaving either Brooklyn or Broadway as is, if we gave the other a third style of wing, then when we looked at the trio of younger gargoyles as a unit, each of them would have a unique wing-type and Lexington wouldn't seem like such the odd man out.
--If I haven't mentioned it before, we think of Goliath as being in his late twenties (in Gargoyle years). We think of the trio as being between 17 and 19 years old (in Gargoyle years). Keeping them youthful should also help in making them into a visible unit and still distinguish them from Goliath. Broadway, in particular is looking a bit too old.

PAGES 4 and 5
We'd like to make Goliath more imposing in size. Perhaps by slightly reducing the size of his head relative to his shoulders and chest. Bulking up his upper body.

We're also divided over here on the issue of the tail. Some of us feel it adds an inhuman element to help make Goliath cool and different. Others, just feel it's another thing that'll need to be animated.

Love the way the wings drape on page 5.

One of Gary Krisel's concerns is that the face have depth. He doesn't want it to look like a mask connected to Goliath's thick neck. I'm not sure I see that problem in these drawings, but it's something to watch out for.

Another important point is Goliath's attitude and expression. He is highly intelligent. Noble. Gary was also concerned that some of the expressions here (and on page 4) made him look a bit like a thug.

A third concern is whether or not we might still have too much pencil mileage in the facial design to animate effectively.

I love the top two head shots. Goliath looks terrific surprised. And I think the trick with the pupils vanishing in anger is very effective with all the characters. I also like Goliath amused in the lower right corner. But I'm not sure about the lower left shot. I'm not clear what emotion is being expressed. Something about the teeth and maybe the eyes is unappealing. I apologize for not being able to pin down my problem further. Maybe we should reserve his jagged teeth for extreme expressions? I don't know.

Both poses, particularly the kneeling shot, are wonderful. In the first pose, however, I think we should be cheating his wing-span much, much larger.

Page 9

Page 10
I like his slimmer "teen" build, but perhaps Brooklyn should "stand" in more of a crouch. Not simply bad posture, but keeping at least three limbs on the ground.

Again, Brooklyn needs to remain 18 or 19 years old. Particularly in the lower left and right corners he seems much older than that. We also probably need a greater range of expressions. Remember, he is the irrepressible leader of the trio. Out to find adventure. Are his horns too far apart? As opposed to being slicked back like his cool young hair, are the horns scooping up, giving him a more demonic look than necessary? Have we created a mouth that inhibits expression too much? You can see, we have more questions than answers, still.

I think Lexington works as a basically horizontal character, but we don't want to make him too diminutive relative to the others...stretch him out in poses. Remember that his middle set of limbs function as arms as well as legs.

His wing design may be more complicated than necessary. We may not need the rib construction coming out of his back. For him, it may be enough that he has this wing like webbing between his two upper sets of limbs. Perhaps it's more elastic than draping.

Again, we need to keep him young. Lex is highly curious about the modern world around him. Everything interests him and fills him with wonder. He's more naive and innocent than the others. These qualities should help compensate for his slightly more demonic look.

My favorite shot is the third from the left on the bottom row. And as usual, the angry glowing eye "battle" version works great. The upper right shot is cute. And I like the surprised version in the second from the left on the bottom row. But we're not getting the sense of wonder or excitement from him in the upper left and upper middle. And I don't really care for the sinister shot of him in the lower left corner. He's not angry or primed for battle (we know this cause his eyes aren't glowing), so I can't figure out what would give him that kind of nasty, almost hungry expression out of a battle context. Again, it may be that using jagged teeth outside of battle mode makes them too demonic. Another question: do his cheekbones need to be so prominent?

Body-wise, Broadway looks pretty good outside of a context of scale with the others. We like his gut, his sumo-like quality. But like Brooklyn and Lex, he should be a croucher. Like the center on an American football team. And we may want to scale him down; he doesn't necessarily need to be that tall or broad relative to Goliath.

Our biggest concern is that he looks way too old. Mostly in the face, but when scaled with Goliath, as on page 3, in the body as well.

Again, in all these shots, he looks too old. In some ways, he looks too much like Goliath. He should be a nineteen year old party animal. He just likes to have a great time. Always laughing. The only shot that really works for us here is glowing eyes shot in the lower left corner. In battle, it's appropriate to have the jaw distended and grotesque. In the others, we might try to give him more youth by making his head shape more horizontal than vertical. Less cheekbones, maybe. Rounder, perhaps? I'm not sure.

That's it for now. Looking forward to seeing your next pass.

Thanks. Greg.

cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Eddy Houchins, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.

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More correspondence with Tokyo...

Another old memo from my development files. It's pretty self-explanatory.

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 8-4-93

From: Greg Weisman 818-754-7436


Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

Just a quick note to let you know we all looked at the Clayface episode of Batman that you sent us. We thought it was terrific. If you are confident you can animate to this level, I'm confident we have a great show in the works.


cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.

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LSZ writes...

1) In your original projected plans for Mab, would she have escaped in the third season, or some later one?

2) In what year would Mab escape? Before or after 2000?

Greg responds...

1. I don't know. Eventually.

2. I hadn't plotted in dates to that detail.

Response recorded on August 16, 2002

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Corrine Blaquen writes...

I recently read your 'Once Upon a Time There Were Three Brothers..." story, and a key element in it is that Malcolm and the Captain of the Guard were dear friends. Robbie even says he'd lay down his life for Malcolm. My question is, if he cared so much for the prince, why was he so ruthlessly willing to cause his daughter's death? I would think that the idea of hurting the child of his best friend would be enough to make him change his mind about betraying them. If not for Katharine, for Malcolm. Did this cross Robbie's mind when he was planning the betrayal with Demona?

Greg responds...

There's a lot of stuff that happens to Robbie between the end of Three Brothers and Awakening.

But thoughts cross minds all the time, so the answer is probably yes.

Response recorded on August 16, 2002

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dan writes...

In the episode "Long Way Till Morning" the cave that goliath, demona, and hudson were in when there were going to attack the archmage, the one with the carvings that demona saw. Did you actually think this idea up or did you take it from some cave that had similiar wierd drawings that you heard of or maybe have visited?

Greg responds...

I don't know. I mean the influences exist, but there was no one specific cave that I personally had in mind, though many people worked on the episode.

Response recorded on August 16, 2002

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DPH writes...

Since I read the archive and didn't see any mention of this, I'd thought I ask these two questions:

1)Did Arthur Pendragon have an alliance with the London clan before he was taken to Avalon?

2)If so, did any written/non-oral records of that alliance surive to 1996?

Greg responds...

1. Gargoyles played a major roll in Arthurian "History" in the gargoyles universe. I'm not ready to be more specific at this time.

2. Well, there's the Scrolls of Merlin just for starters. And I'd imagine that the London Clan managed to preserve some cool things.

Response recorded on August 16, 2002

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Galvatron writes...

For the next contest why don't you have us guess the name of the Lost Race? It'll be as fun as the clan contest and it'll benefit both the fans and you since we would get a handy piece of information and you'd very short responses.

Greg responds...

I'm too backlogged to start another contest right now. (Haven't even gotten Aris his prize from the last contest.) Any contest answers posted now are months from me being close to looking at them.

Response recorded on August 16, 2002

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Chapter XXXX: "Monsters"

Time to ramble...

I think this episode had a fun story written and edited by Cary Bates. And I know it had a great moody storyboard directed by Frank Paur. But it suffered from two major problems...

1. Repetitive elements. We had multiple story editors working on multiple episodes. I was overseeing all of them, but sometimes things did get away from me. "Monsters" has a number of elements in common with "Heritage" which had only just preceeded it in the line up. It makes "Monsters" seem a bit more tired than it really is, through no fault of Cary's. For example, we open with a Sea Monster. One of our female cast members is lost and nearly drowned. Goliath searches frantically. Etc. Even my five-year-old son Benny was convinced, "We just saw this one." It just felt very been there done that. My fault.

2. Very weak animation -- some of the weakest of the series -- removed much of the mystery and mood from the boards that Frank directed. I know we called tons of retakes on this ep, but there was a limit. Secrets were given away too early. What's a monster submarine and what's a monster is too easily discernable at the start. We were hoping for more silhouette's in that murky Loch. Throw in some really atrocious character moments (like when Angela wakes up in chains) and you've got an ep that's unimpressive at best.

And yet, there's much in this show that I really like.

It takes an important step toward evolving Angela's relationship with Goliath. Though G's not aware of it, Sevarius reveals to Angela that she is his biological daughter. Having grown up around her adoptive *HUMAN* parents, that notion of biological imperative must have seeped in. She already KNEW that Goliath was one of her ROOKERY parents. But this revelation ignites her curiousity and need. I find it interesting anyway. My eight-year-old daughter Erin was likewise fascinated with this aspect. She was anxious for Angela to tell Goliath about her discovery. Of course, Goliath knows in a 'shrug' sense. It's visually obvious to him. It just isn't programmed to be significant for him.

And if that weren't enough to make the ep worthwhile, we also get another wonderful over-the-top performance from Tim Curry as Dr. Anton Sevarius. He has a TON of great lines in this (all quotations approximate)...

"If it gets any more sacharine in there, I'll have to shove a finger down my throat."

"It must be awful to wake up in chains first thing in the morning."

"Thank heaven for little girls... and DNA markers."

"He's your very own flesh and stone."

"Enough to make my mind boggle..."

But there were other problems too. In my mind and Cary's Big Daddy and Nessie were mates (with little ones revealed at the end). But because of the name "Big Daddy" and because we were intentionally using the L.N.Monsters to parallel and comment on Goliath and Angela's father-daughter relationship, many people thought that Big Daddy was Nessie's dad. I'm not sure it matters too much. But (unintentional) confusion can't help.


Elisa knows they haven't arrived in Manhattan because it's too quiet and because the water's too clean. Of course, Loch Ness is famous for having MURKY, MURKY water. Not that the water is "dirty" exactly, the way New York Harbor is. But it's hard to figure Elisa would think of the Loch as clean either. And I knew that. Don't know how that got by me.

But Elisa does have some fun lines here and there:

"I'm not really the adventuring type."
"It's a show... Themeparks do this five times a day."
(Yes, we weren't above giving a gentle knock to the parent company.)

(Of course, when Elisa said that last bit, Erin said, "I don't think so." Benny noticed the submarine was metal and thought it was a robot. It took him a while to get the notion that it was a ship or sub.)


Elisa leaves a message on Matt's machine. But the tape is full. This was done for two reasons. Or three...
1. We felt that Elisa would and should attempt to contact someone.
2. We wanted to prolong the agony (at least in the audience's minds) as to what happened to our travelers from the point of view of those left behind.
3. We were in the middle of a tier, and couldn't guarantee (as we saw with "Kingdom" that the episode would air in order. We didn't want Elisa to successfully contact anyone, because it might screw up continuity.

Nice to see Brendan & Margot taking a little vacation on the Loch, huh?

Angela says to Nessie: "I bet you've never been this close to a real live gargoyle either." But of course Angela's wrong. One of the reasons that Nessie gets so friendly so fast with Angela is BECAUSE she recognizes her as a gargoyle and knows that gargoyles are friendly to the Monsters of the Loch.

Of course, this begs the question as to what the Loch Ness clan was doing throughout this little adventure. I don't have a grea answer -- YET -- but for now, I'm just going to fall back on the notion that they were aware that Nessie was missing, but didn't know the cause. (It is a big murky loch, after all.) And yes, I know that's a feeble explanation, but it will have to do until I figure out a better one.

The title "Monsters" is another one of my thematic one word titles. Angela hits the nail on the head when she calls Sevarius the only monster around here. It's central to the series theme. But again, maybe too obvious, contributing to the weakness of the episode.

We had some trouble with the animation of the scene where Bruno confronts Goliath and Elisa right after they escape the dungeon. It forced us to reuse Jeff Bennett's "All right." line twice in a row.

Speaking of Jeff, my wife Beth thought Bruno sounded very Jack Nicolson. I pointed out that when Bruno was created, way back in "Awakening" we asked Jeff to make him a young George C. Scott. Beth couldn't hear that at all.

Benny used to love Bruno. Not only does Bruno barely register with him now. He doesn't remember ever liking the character. Erin asked him if he remembered the Xanatos Goon Squad. He didn't respond.

Another weakness... Angela just holds her breath forever down there at the end.

And when Goliath does get there, her chains pop off too easily, begging the question why she couldn't free herself.

I know I keep talking about the ep's flaws. But like all the 66 chapters, I really am more fond of it than critical. I do love seeing Goliath launched as a living torpedo, for example. There are a bunch of little things that I like.

And heck, we killed off four more characters. Sevarius and Bruno survived. But I think we have to assume that the other four members of the Goon Squad are gone for good.

But it wasn't one of our best efforts, I'll have to admit.

Sorry 'bout that...

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?

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Another memo to Japan...

Here's a follow-up memo on the character designs to the one I just sent praising "Designer E". Mr. Tokunaga sent us a note asking for feedback on the other five designers who had made an attempt on the Trio and Goliath....

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 7-26-93

From: Greg Weisman 818-754-7436


Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

Per your request, a quick note on Designs A-D and F, with a reminder that just because the designs didn't suit our purposes, doesn't mean they weren't worthwhile attempts.

Designer A has the action feel of the show, but to be honest, the designs on Goliath, Brooklyn and Lexington were too unappealing. Although the characters are monsters, they need to be heroic monsters. It's a tightrope we're walking, and this group didn't seem redeemable. Broadway was more appealing, but a little goofy looking, and he seemed to be scaled too large.

Designer B was too cartoony on Lexington, Broadway and even Brooklyn. We're looking for more of an action feel. Goliath, particularly in B-7 and B-8, seemed too human. Like a man wearing a mask. Not unique enough. B-10 was a nice pose, though.

Designer C was just too cartoony. And the trio of smaller gargoyles looked more like aliens from another planet than medieval stone creatures.

Designer D's Goliath was an interesting interpretation. D-1, D-2 and D-3 were all nice poses that gave us the feel we were looking for. But in D-3, Goliath seemed too reminiscient of the Beast from Disney's Beauty and the Beast; and we're already a bit too close to that concept for comfort. We don't want to emphasize the similarities further than necessary. And though it seems like a minor point, we all really didn't like his chicken feet. And again, the gargoyle trio seemed too cartoony.

Designer F obviously stuck the closest to our original designs. Even closer than Designer E, whose work we liked. They seem to be simplified tracings, without the wings. I'm not sure how to describe my response, but the magic just seemed to be out of the drawings. The characters seemed unappealing, unexpressive and flat. Everything that E wasn't.

The "GOLIATH SPECIAL by Hashimoto" didn't grab us. Again he seemed like a normal man, an older man, with pointy ears and big hair.

Hope all the above is helpful.


cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.

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Drew Thomas writes...

Hello, Sir.

I'm sorry to disturb you, Mr. Wiseman, but what I meant to ask was, how many floors does the Eyrie Building have?

I'm curious because my friend, Andy Morrison, wanted to make certain he had the right number in his tale about the Eyrie Building.

Thank you for your precious time. I can imagine that these questions are pestilential, but some good does come from answering them, I promise you.

Greg responds...

I'm afraid I don't know the answer.

And I wouldn't use the word "pestilential" to refer to these questions. Even if that was a word.

Response recorded on August 13, 2002

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Creamy writes...

Are there anymore magical islands besides Avalon?
Does Atlantis exsist in the Gargoyles Universe? If so, would it have made an appearance in future Gargoyles episods?

Greg responds...

All islands are magical.

As for Atlantis, if you came to Gathering '02, you know the answer to that question. Yes, Atlantis existed in the Garg Universe. The Praying Gargoyle was created there.

Response recorded on August 13, 2002

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Andrea "Elisa Maza" Ivanovs writes...

Hi Greg!

I hope you had a nice birthday! :)

I have a profane question, to which you might not even have an answer, but I figured I'd try. I'm hosting ELISA MAZA'S WEBSITE, all about her, have been for a pretty long time now. I've been considering getting "elisamaza.com" as a domain, but even though there's no profit involved, I'm not quite sure if I'd get into deep trouble with that.
"Gargoyles" is not a copyrighted name, so sites titled "Gargoyles.com" don't have problems - but "Elisa Maza" is a copyright by Disney...you worked with those guys, so maybe you can tell me your thoughts on that. I don't want Disney's hitmen on my doorstep or something.

Thanks for your time, and seize the night!

Greg responds...

Hey Andrea,

By now, you must be married or darn close to it. Say hi to Tony for me. Tell him the CD was great. (Although the song he credited to Alanis Morissette wasn't by her.)

Anyway, I can't answer your question. I'm not a lawyer. I don't work for Disney and I don't know what the rules are for this thing. Is it expensive? I mean would it kill you if you did it and at some point down the line, Disney asked you to stop? They wouldn't punish you -- at least not at first -- they'd just send a cease and desist.

I don't know what the likelihood of even that is, but I wouldn't want to advise you to do something that could cause you problems down the road. Good luck.

Response recorded on August 13, 2002

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lily writes...

Okay, I've never been able to get to S8 before, and I don't have the extensive amount of time to read through EVERY answered question, but I did skim through the archive and FAQ contents, so I'm hoping not to repeat an old question. Anyway, I was curious as to whether you felt Disney (or more precicely cartoon form) was the best outlet for your vision, considering the amount of pressure ratings, time slots, ect. puts on those types of entertainment. I would have thought that you would have built a comic or graphic novel (and I differenciate them due to the difference in quality of art/story)fanbase like more sucessful Jap Cartoons (Dragonball, Pokemon, ect.)have done. I'm not questioning methods and I'm not exactly an expert on your past in the greater Disney hierarchy, what's dodne is done, just curious.

Greg responds...

Are we talking generally or about Gargoyles specifically?

To take Gargoyles out of the context of its creation at Disney is to remove any reality from my answer. I'd love, at this stage, to do Gargoyles in any format that would have me and it. But at the time, the show was created by a specific group of people in a specific place.

If we're talking generally, again, I'd love to do any of my ideas in any format that would have me. But no one is battering down doors to get me. I'm scrounging these days for every freelance assignment.

Response recorded on August 13, 2002

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matt writes...

when Arthur begins his quest for Excalibur and to find Merlin, how does he know if Merlin is still alive or if Excalibur still exists? are Excalibur and Merlin so powerful that they will always be around?

Greg responds...

He certainly thinks so.

Response recorded on August 13, 2002

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Galvatron writes...

Do the space-spawn in 2198 still use the brainwashing trick that Nokkar is familar with?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Gipdac writes...

I read a Japanese legend about the Tengu - winged, gnomelike creatures, that studied martial arts.
Was this one of the legends that inspired the Ishimura Clan?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Gipdac writes...

I think I just found the myth/legend (or at least one of the myth/legends) that inspired the Pukhan clan. http://www.csun.edu/~hcedu004/goblin.html
It's a little long to post here.
But am I even close to being right about the legend?

Greg responds...

Well, there's no way I can confirm or deny this. Because the Korean clan was Frank Paur's idea (including the love of justice). I can't answer what did or didn't inspire him specifically.

Having read the linked fable, the goblins in it don't seem particularly gargoylean to me. But if one extrapolates the origins of the fable. And think in more Gargoylean terms, I'm sure we could find common ground.

Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Carmen.E.G.C writes...

Dear Greg why is there so little female Gargoyles?

Greg responds...

Well, with the exception of the few survivors at Wyvern and their clones, the premise of your question isn't accurate.

We tried to indicate that most of the other surviving clans (including Avalon) had a pretty much equal ratio of gals to guys.

As for the Wyvern survivors, well, the within-the-show explanation is just the story as presented. Goliath and Hudson chased the Vikings. The trio and Bronx were on detention in the Rookery. Demona hid. The ratio comes out of story.

Behind the scenes... well, there are probably a bunch of reasons.

1. Demona stands out more as the only female survivor, and the whole thing is more tragic (before you know there are other gargoyle clans) when the ONLY female survivor is a villain now.

2. By the same token, Elisa's influence is more pronounced if there aren't other females in the group.

3. Females are generally nurturing. Having a nurturing character can be problematic sometimes dramatically. They solve problems too quickly. This is BTW the main reason IMHO why so many Disney Animated mothers are DOA. If Ariel's mom was alive, she'd fix things too quickly. Same with Snow White or Cinderella or Jasmine, etc. Culturally, we don't seem to mind making dad an idiot. But making mom (as opposed to evil step-mom) into a clueless wonder seems flat-out unbelievable.

4. We were probably influenced by the core target audience we had to reach which was boys 6-11 years old and the conventional (but I believe incorrect) wisdom that boys that age don't want to see female characters in lead rolls. I know Kenner did everything in their power to push us toward more males and fewer females.

5. Broadway was initially a female. But (and I'm not proud of this) we were scared to present the politically incorrect picture of a heavy-set female who loves food.

Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Galvatron writes...

Just curious is Coyote-X for the Space-spawn occupation of Earth or is he against it?
What about the Space-Spawn are any of them against the occupation of Earth?

Greg responds...

Coyote-X views the invasion as an eye-opener. It resets his parameters. Who holds the status quo is of less interest than who will ultimately hold the Galaxy.

The Space-Spawn are no more monolithic than the humans or the gargoyles or anyone. So some may object. But you're not going to meet many of them early on.

Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Design work memo...

The following is a memo I sent to Walt Disney Japan. They sent us character designs (based on inspirational work by Greg Guler and Dave Schwartz) on Goliath, Lex, Broadway and Brooklyn by at least five different designers. (Maybe more, I can't remember.) We immediately liked designer E (Kazuyoshi Takeuchi) and he eventually became the lead character designer for the series' first season.

I know what follows may be a tad frustrating since it refers to art you can't see. But I thought you might be interested anyway.

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 7-21-93

From: Greg Weisman


Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

We were very excited to receive the preliminary design work on the four major gargoyle characters. Designer "E" seemed to come the closest to capturing our vision of the series. His or her work impressed us, but begs the question whether or not you believe we could effectively animate designs that are this complex?

If the answer is yes, we'd like to see Designer "E" continue his development of the characters, focusing particularly on heads, faces and wing design. As a secondary concern, we might attempt line drawings, turnarounds and even some color.

Gary and Lenora have asked me to gather together a few notes, thoughts and suggestions for you. So here goes...

E-1, E-3. A major concern for all of us is figuring out how the wings attach to the gargoyles' backs so that there is a real feeling of believable musculature. How does it look from the rear, for example, when we can't hide where they attach behind a shoulder blade?

E-3, E-4. When the wings are spread, and particularly when they are in flight, we probably want to cheat them larger, so they fill the screen except from an extreme distance. We really need to believe they are large enough to carry his weight.

E-3. We like the dramatic posing on all the shots. But in E-3, he looks satanic rather than heroic. Occasionally, we'd like to see a more classically heroic pose. We want to make sure that Goliath and the others don't look consistently demonic.

E-5. It's lovely how the wings are draped here.

E-2, E-5, E-6. This is a great start in terms of facial expressions. We'd like to see more of them...a greater range of expressions. Intelligent. Laughing. Pensive. Wry. Perplexed. Noble. Mildly amused. Etc.

Gary also has some concerns about the head's design. He wants to make sure that the head or face does not lose its "depth"; (meaning "depth" as a measurement like "width" or "height", not "depth" as a personality trait). I'm not sure I see this problem myself, but I might suggest keeping the ears back, the jawline long and the jaw square.

E-3, E-5. We want to make sure that the hair on his head has mass, but falls like hair, and doesn't look like a removable helmet. The key here might be in the way it is layered.

I've included some old designs done by one of our artists last year. They should give you some ideas on color, simplicity, etc. Don't feel bound by them. I've numbered them for discussion, Disney-1, Disney-2, etc.

In Disney-1, Gary felt very comfortable with the simplicity of the lines and design of the body. But he did not like the head, again feeling it did not have enough depth.

It's also important to set the balance between the animalistic and human in all of these characters. Some of the "Disney" drawings may be too human in the face. And there's a nice animalistic quality about some of the "E" drawings. But we need to be careful we're not losing Goliath's nobility either. We need to strike a balance.

Disney-1 gives an example of the classically heroic pose that we will need on occasion.

Disney-1 also serves to illustrate how we'd like the hair to fall.

Other questions raised by Disney-1, include whether or not Goliath looks broad enough in chest and shoulders?

Also, whether he should have Disney-1's high weight-lifter's belt around his stomach, or whether we should lower it to his waist as in Disney-4?

Disney-4 also illustrates a head shape that may have the depth that Gary's looking for.

Also, notice the arm hair in Disney-1. It's always been a bit problematic, a bit stiff. But we think it might add something in color. Helps break up the design a bit. But we're not sure if it's worth it. It might be something for all of you to experiment with.

Disney-5 helps illustrate how the length of Goliath's wings will constantly be cheated to suit the situation or pose. But they should always give the illusion that if they were spread out to full size, the wing-span would be fairly enormous.

E-7, E-9, E-10. We have similar concerns for Brooklyn & Broadway, regarding wing construction, attachment and musculature.

E-8. Lexington's glider-wings in the down-shot seem to be coming out of his stomach and the bottoms of his arms. We prefer how it looks in the up-shot, where they are webbed between his back and the tops of his arms. I like how the wings are attached to both sets of arms, not just the upper arms as in our original designs. A big improvement.

E-7, E-8, E-9. As for faces, Gary is concerned about animating emotions and expressions when we don't have pupils in their eyes. We discussed the possibility that they normally have pupils, but that when they are in battle, their eyes glow solidly. Again we'd like to see a range of expressions. Particularly because it is so easy for the trio (Lexington especially) to look demonic, we'd like to see some softer, gentler expressions.

E-10. We're also interested in the trio's scale relative to Goliath. Goliath should still be the biggest of them by some visible amount.

Thanks again for all your efforts. Good luck on the next go 'round.

cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.

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Galvatron writes...

1.Did the Porter from MacBeth the play exist in the gargoyles universe?
2.What about the Lennox from MacBeth the play? Banquo(not the mercenary)? Fleance(not the mercenary)?
3.Did Hecate from MacBeth the play exist in the gargoyles universe?

Greg responds...

1. Probably.
2. Probably in one form or another.
3. In some form.

Response recorded on August 08, 2002