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REPLIES 2003-11 (Nov)

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matt writes...

in "Walkabout" why didn't they just use the computer virus Xanatos obtained in "Legion" on the Matrix when they were trying to destroy it?

i have to ask, does a question like taht one bug you? i mean, i can understand how a question asked about something taht has yet to happen or why something happened a certain way is fine, but does it annoy you when we ask, "why didn't they do this..." questions? i think those kind of questions would annoy me cuz they sound so after the point, so unimportant. and when i begin to ask a question like taht i can usually look at it and answer it myself as well as you can. for instance, my question above, my guess is you'll say, "they didn't have the virus with them in Austrailia" or "they had no way to transmit the virus to the Matrix." sorry for the long ramble about nothing, i'll just stop asking these obvious and annoying questions...

boy, i'm tired :)

Greg responds...

1. I'm not sure Fox knew about that virus.

2. You're second paragraph undercuts any annoyance I might have had with your first question.

Response recorded on November 19, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

1.How much of the modern world is Duval responsible for? Was most of it created by the Illuminati?
2.How much of the world does the Illuminati control? Do they also control all those third world countries in Africa, Asia and South America? If so are they responsible for the wars occuring in them?

Greg responds...

1. Huh? No. (I must not understand the question.)
2. They manipulate rather than control. I'm sure they are responsible for some conflicts, but conflict for the sake of conflict wouldn't suit Duval. He has a plan and a purpose.

Response recorded on November 18, 2003

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Demi writes...

How many of the clan's eggs were Goliath and Demona's??

Greg responds...

I assume you're referring to the 36 eggs that Princess Katharine preserved, in which case the answer is one: Angela.

Gargoyle females only lay one egg at a time, generally.

Response recorded on November 18, 2003

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As many of you know, I stopped by the Station 8 Comment Room last week, asking the fans to list the top five reasons that they were drawn to the Gargoyles series. My post received 470 responses in one week: pretty good on short notice.

The responses can be viewed at http://s8.org/gargoyles/cmntarch2.php. They'll be on that site through this coming Sunday
(11/23/03), at which point the room clears.

I copied and pasted the entire room over to a Word Document and found it to be nearly three hundred pages long and full of very
gratifying bites about the series, but it's a lot to wade through, so I put the following statistics together. [Note: some people gave more than five reasons, and many reasons overlapped. I just tried to count everything. But this is far from scientific.]


Out of 470 Total Responses…

#1 - Characters.
An amazing 437 people cited the Characters and the series' complex characterization as one of their top five reasons for being drawn to the series. They discussed, often in great detail, how real and believable the characters seem, how detailed their backstories were, how major and minor characters grew, changed and evolved, and how complex they were, reflecting shades of grey. They liked the relationships/bonds/dynamics between the characters, as well. They even liked their names. 35 respondents specifically noted and appreciated the diversity of our cast (multi-racial and multi-species, and all of very different body types). 16 respondents noted our depiction of strong and non-stereotyped female characters. Another 35 respondents listed our villains as their favorites. Many individual characters were listed simply as examples, but many were also singled out by the fans, voted as one of their top five reasons for liking the show: Demona (39), Brooklyn (30), Xanatos (29), Goliath (23), Puck/Owen (22), Elisa (17), Lexington (13), Macbeth (9), Broadway (9), Bronx (7), Hudson (5), Thailog (5), Fox (4), the Mutates (4), The Pack (3), Oberon (3), the Tricksters (3), the Hunters (3), Angela (2), the Illuminati (2), Jackal & Hyena (1), Desdemona (1), Titania (1), the Clones (1), Una (1), Fang (1) and Matt (1).

#2 - Plot Development.
228 respondents listed the series' ongoing saga, its story arcs, as one of their top five reasons for liking the series. They liked its dynamism and twists. How stories built on past stories and presaged stories yet to come: the tapestry of events that created the Gargoyles Universe. In fact, 23 people specifically listed the "Gargoyles Universe" as one of their top five draws. 88 people specifically referred to Gargoyles' Continuity as being a plus. They liked, in essence, that the show had a memory - it made events more real and seemed to reward the fans for both sticking around and paying attention. It also encouraged them to watch episodes over and over to pick up tidbits that they might have missed on a first viewing. 18 also liked how actions had repercussions and consequences. 3 people praised the series' "epic scope". 6 talked about how it seemed to be filled with possibilities for yet more stories.

#3 - Literary, Mythological, Historical & Biblical References.
201 people loved the integration of various characters and concepts from myth, history, literature and the Bible. A whopping (and gratifying) 104 specifically mentioned all the various Shakespeare references and characters as being a plus. Many felt the show was educational, inspiring them to read Shakespeare's plays or study Scottish History, etc.

#4 - Animation.
199 people loved the series' animation. Many consider it the best or among the best that American television animation has ever produced. Many people compared it favorably with Japanese anime and Batman: The Animated Series. Two people specifically praised the pacing.

#5 - The Voice Cast.
158 people listed the voice cast and voice acting in their top fives. 38 people specifically mentioned that the presence of so many Star Trek actors in Gargoyles was a major initial draw. As with the characters, many individual actors were singled out by the fans in their lists: Keith David/Goliath (32), Jonathan Frakes/Xanatos (19), Marina Sirtis/Demona (15), Salli Richardson/Elisa (4), Michael Dorn/Coldstone (3), Edward Asner/Hudson (2), Jeff Bennett/Brooklyn (2), Jim Cummings/Dingo (1), Tim Curry/Sevarius (1), Thom Adcox-Hernandez/Lexington (1), Frank Welker/Bronx (1). Three of our international fans even praised the foreign dubs.

That takes care of the top five, but this'll fill out the top twenty:

#6 - Series Intelligence.
140 people specifically stated how much they appreciated how "smart" the series was. They liked that it was written on multiple levels so that it could be appreciated by kids as well as by teens and adults. That's one of the reasons why they're still watching it ten years later. They liked how Gargoyles respected its audience and its audience's intelligence.

#7 - Design.
122 people cited the show's design work and art style as part of their top five. They liked the looks of the individual gargoyles and the other characters as well, with 12 people actually praising how "sexy" the characters were. They liked the backgrounds and the overall look of the show. 12 people specifically gave credit to the series' color palette.

#8 - Writing.
76 people cited the series' writing for praise (this is in addition to those listed above who liked the characters, overall story arcs, literary references, etc.). They praised the writing's attention to detail, its substance, layers and intensity. 32 people praised how "believable" and "realistic" the show seemed, despite its fantasy premise. 28 specifically noted the mystery and intrigue, liking the risk-taking twists and turns that kept the audience coming back for more. 27 praised the show's humor and comedy (and one person even liked all the in-jokes). 24 specifically praised the dialogue. 11 praised the emotional depth. 5 praised its timeless quality. 3 praised its scary sequences.

#9 - Issues/Values/Themes.
71 respondents were impressed by Gargoyles ability to introduce real world issues and teach values without preaching. They cited episodes that dealt with gun safety, illiteracy, environmental concerns, etc. 24 people also specifically cited the shows pro-social themes, again noting how the show got its messages across without hitting the viewer over the head with them. Specific themes were even listed on occasion. 10 people hailed the idea of our using monsters as heroes and exploring the theme of "not judging a book by its cover." Four liked the show's theme of hope. Another four liked its theme of protection. One person listed "the fish out of water" theme. Another listed the theme of Family as being important.

#10 - Romance.
67 people responded to the romance in the show. In particular, the slow-boiling Beauty and the Beast relationship between Goliath and Elisa.

#11 - Core Concept.
65 people listed the core concept as one of their reasons. They liked the whole idea of medieval Gargoyles waking up in the modern world. They liked how fully realized the Gargoyles species was, from how they looked to how they acted, their history, culture and behavior. An additional 30 people specifically cited the series' "Originality".

#12 - Music.
62 respondents listed Carl Johnson's music score and opening theme as one of their top five reasons for liking the show. (Though one person was happy that there was no singing.) Many of the fans spontaneously requested that Disney release the music on CD. [Of course, many, many others noted that they would like to see the whole show on DVD.] 7 additional people listed "Sound" in general, including music and sound effects.

#13 - Multi-Genre storytelling.
62 individuals liked how the series elegantly combined multiple genres, including fantasy, science fiction, comic book action hero, comedy, drama, horror, etc. They liked how science went hand-in-hand with sorcery. They liked the use of magic and technology, time travel, robots, gods, monsters, etc.

#14 - Episodic Stories.
60 respondents praised the storytelling of individual episodes. How each was able to stand alone, while still fitting into the larger tapestry of the series' arcs. 17 people praised the stories from the Avalon World Tour set of episodes. Many individual episodes were also cited in the fans' lists: "Deadly Force" (9), "The Mirror" (6), "Temptation" (2), "Future Tense" (1), "M.I.A." (1), "Awakening" (1), "City of Stone" (1), "Hunter's Moon" (1), "The Edge" (1), "The Hound of Ulster" (1). One person specifically stated that he liked how not a single episode was filler.

#15 - Setting.
46 people cited the setting, usually the combination of medieval gargoyles in modern New York City. They liked how we depicted the city, how we got it right. Many people also enjoyed the flashbacks to medieval Scotland, and the World Tour episodes that took our cast to locations across the globe.

#16 - Atmosphere.
34 respondents praised the series' gothic atmosphere, running through the writing, design and animation.

#17 - Action.
30 people liked the action. The pure excitement - without being gratuitous.

#18 - The Fandom.
29 people noted that they were either drawn to the show or have remained with it at least in part because of the loyal fandom. An additional 20 found the show inspirational for their own creativity. Another 18 listed the show and its characters as "Aspirational" (although most didn't use that word). 14 more cited personal reasons for why the show was important to them. And it seems that we have many couples who met through the fandom, including multiple married couples who credit the series with bringing them together. 17 people were specifically impressed by the passion and dedication of the Gargoyles cast and crew and their participation in the fandom.

#19 - New for Disney.
28 people were impressed with the show simply for being something new and different for Disney.

#20 - Original Publicity.
11 people cited the series' original publicity for getting their attention and getting them to sit in front of their televisions in the first place. 5 more cited the old syndicated "Disney Afternoon".

That's pretty much it. There were a few other random and/or hard to qualify answers, but the above 20 reasons pretty much cover why the fans still love the series. I know all this sounds incredibly immodest coming from me, but all it takes is a quick skim of the fans' actual responses to see that I'm not exaggerating at all.

Thanks to everyone who participated...

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Anonymous writes...

Since the Illuminati are going to be the villains for Pendragon, New Olympians, Bad Guys and Gargoyles were you planning a crossover for all four series?

Greg responds...

This is all so hypothetical. All series are set in the so-called "GARGOYLES UNIVERSE" so you would see characters running in and out of everywhere. So I guess the answer is technically yes. But deciding whether or not there'd be a true cross-over, i.e. a story that started with a Part One in one series and ended with a Part Two in another would completely depend on outside criteria, like whether the network would allow something like that.

Response recorded on November 14, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

1.Is Morgana related to Oberon?
2.What does she think of Oberon?
3.Does she still hate Arthur or Merlin?

Greg responds...

1. Not saying.
2. Not saying.
3. At what point in history?

Response recorded on November 14, 2003

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Art Carney (1918 - 2003)

Growing up and living most of one's life in Southern California makes having a number of so-called "Brushes with Greatness" inevitable.

Sunday, I saw Tony Shaloub in Larchmont Village, but since I had recently seen him at Los Angeles International Airport AND spoken with him at Logan International Airport, I refrained from accosting him again, lest he think I was stalking him or something.

And just yesterday, I rode up an elevator with Florence Henderson, who looks great, by the way.

So the fact that I once met Art Carney is, in and of itself, not particularly remarkable. But his passing seems an appropriate time to relate this story.

In the mid-seventies, I was in Junior High. I read a LOT. I had somewhat eclectic, and geek-leaning tastes, but most of what I read were mystery novels, especially mystery novels that were part of on-going series. One such series was Harry Kemelman's Rabbi David Small mysteries. (This is a series that I highly recommend. The more recent books aren't quite as strong, but the original seven are terrific.) Each book's title began with the day of the week. And the first mystery was called, "Friday the Rabbi Slept Late."

One day, I came home from school and found that my street was, as they say, "bustling with activity". An army of humans and trailers and equipment had descended on Queen Florence Lane. In the seventies, in the San Fernando Valley, this was still something of a rarity. But in any event, I was fascinated. They were filming a movie in and around the house directly across the street from ours.

Soon, I discovered that the movie was a telefilm called, "Lanigan's Rabbi". It was an adaptation of "Friday the Rabbi Slept Late." I'm not sure how I managed this, other than persistance and the chutzpah that comes with not knowing anything at all, but I kept telling people that I had read the book that the movie was based on. At some point someone grabbed me and introduced me to the director. I have no idea if he was humoring me or truly interested, but he asked me a number of questions about the original novel, claiming that he -- and that in fact NO ONE on the set -- had actually read the thing. There were, I was told, certain things in the script that weren't tracking for him. So I answered his questions and told him how the mystery played out in the book. He took it all in and seemed grateful for the insight.

In any case, he then did something fairly astounding. He let me hang out. That's it. But I was allowed to watch filming. I was allowed to get food from the catering truck. I was allowed to sit with the actors and talk with them. Now, this couldn't have gone on for very long. It's not like I was employed by the movie company or anything. I didn't follow the shoot to its next location. But they spent at least three or four days in the cul-de-sac where I lived. They gave me a copy of the shooting script, which I then had autographed by the movie's two leads.

One of those leads was Stuart Margolin, who's probably most famous for playing "Angel" on THE ROCKFORD FILES. "Lanigan's Rabbi" wound up spinning off into an on-going series, and for some reason Margolin didn't end up playing Rabbi Small in the series. But he was terrific in the movie. And he was an extremely nice guy, who didn't seem to mind chatting with a thirteen-year-old, who was hanging around the set.

But the part of Police Chief Lanigan was played by Art Carney. Now Art Carney is a certified genius. Emmy winner. Oscar winner. Of course his performance as "Ed Norton" in THE HONEYMOONERS is nothing short of brilliant. His on-screen teaming with Jackie Gleason, a match-made in sitcom heaven. Among other things, Ed Norton was the clear inspiration for any number of cartoon characters, ESPECIALLY "Barney Rubble". People often forget, however, what a wonderful dramatic actor Carney was. How he brought a touch of humanity to every role he played. Rod Serling knew this. Art is unforgettable as a drunken department store Santa in "The Night of the Meek" episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. A part that Serling wrote especially for Carney. He is also truly wonderful in a number of movies: "Harry & Tonto" and "The Late Show", among others.

I knew almost none of this at the time. I didn't even know Ed Norton. In New York, the Honeymooners has probably NEVER been off the air, but Los Angeles was and is an I LOVE LUCY town. It would be nearly a decade before I would move to New York and learn to appreciate Ralph and Ed and Alice and Trixie.

What I knew at the time, all I knew at the time, was that this was a big time star -- in the middle of shooting a movie -- who spent time with me. Time by the catering truck. Time on the set. He explained how things worked. He explained why things were done the way they were done. He was just so damn nice -- nice enough that as ignorant as I was -- I didn't take it for granted. It impressed me even then.

A few days later, they were gone. Stuart, Art, all of them. The movie finished shooting in my neighborhood and moved on. Some time later, the movie went on the air. We didn't have a VCR back in those days, so I don't have a copy. I followed along on my shooting script and took note of all the little changes in it. It seemed to me (though I might have been seriously kidding myself) that the final version of the film leaned a bit closer to the original novel than the shooting script in my hand. I was certainly kidding myself when I took credit for that somewhat dubious conclusion. And without a doubt the coolest moment was watching Rabbi Small and Chief Lanigan (Stuart and Art, as I called them) walking down the hill of my street and turning a corner and suddenly being at the Rabbi's Temple. There was no temple around the corner from Queen Florence Lane, but the transition was so seamless, it seemed miraculous. A true bit of movie magic before I understood movie magic. Before I was even vaguely jaded.

I just now spent a half hour looking for that shooting script. I couldn't find it. I hope it turns up eventually. I'm sure I wouldn't have thrown it out, but there's a good chance it was in one of my boxes that was in my parents' basement, part of my past which was destroyed by a flood caused by the Northridge Earthquake. I hope not. I haven't thought about any of this in years, but now it's something I'd like to revisit in more detail.

I wrote about Bob Hope a couple of months ago, when he passed, and I suppose this is a very similar kind of tribute. Others will, I'm sure, write more important, more personal and more informed things about Art Carney in the next few days. But I wanted to add my bit.

Not just for the incredibly talented performer, a loss we should all feel, though not too intensely as he has achieved a meta-Xanatosian immortality through the many great performances we will always have to rewatch time and again. And not for the friend and/or family member, because he was none of these things to me, and I was none of these things to him.

But oddly, I wanted to write a tribute to the stranger. To the nice man, who was patient with a dopey know-it-all kid. He was warm and funny and made me feel welcome.

And for that I am truly grateful. Thanks, Chief.

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Joshua P. Christie writes...

Hi Greg- first time posting but a well educated fan of the show. I am now in the process of showing the series to my girlfriend and she recently posed a question following 'M.I.A.' that even I cannot justify or find an answer for. Question being, if Goliath is able to utilize the Phoenix Gate to return to the past and save Griff by bringing him to the present day, then why is it he cannot use the Gate to return to Scotland prior to the slaughter of the clan and bring them into the present where they may be alive with the remaining gargoyles?

Now I have exhausted the archives and I realize that this question has been asked before although not in this exact scenario. Problem is that people are writing essays on the subject in rough draft form and thus their respective points, along with your answers/explanations, are lost to me.

Now, knowing full well that history cannot be altered, the closest thing to an answer I found was you citing that Goliath did not in fact change the past but rather fulfilled it. To the effect of Leo and Una having recognized Goliath from 1940 demonstrates it was not anybody elses history being altered but rather Goliath playing out his role in something that already had happened TO HIM.

Armed with that, it still makes no logical sense to me. First off, if Goliath had in fact saved Griff once before, why did he have no recollection of him, the war, Una, or Leo? Also, in 1940, wasn't Goliath still in stone sleep as
Xanatos had not yet found them and broke the spell? If that is the case, how could have Goliath ever been there to fight alongside Griff in the first place?

Perhaps the answer is that the line between altering the past and fulfilling it is a fine one given all of the intricacies of time travel. Anything you might wish to
expound on this matter would be of great appreciation Greg.

Greg responds...

It hadn't happened to Goliath already, but it HAD happened in the past to Una and Leo already. Goliath then went back and fulfilled the role that from there point of view he had already played but from his perspective he had yet to do.

His 1940 self was unaffected. His 1940 self was indeed frozen in stone sleep. But his 1996 self went back in time. In essence for a few short hours, there were TWO Goliaths in Great Britain. One flying over London, one frozen in stone in Scotland.

The past was not altered. Goliath going back to Wyvern solves nothing because those gargs were not saved. They did not "disappear" as Griff did in 1940. They were reduced to rubble by Hakon and his men in 994. We saw this -- or at least the start of it. So we know it cannot be altered.

(I know I promised not to get snippy, but I swear I feel like I JUST answered this question, and that it was phrased in almost the exact same way. Is this a double post?)

Response recorded on November 13, 2003

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DTorline@aol.com writes...

Not a question, or a suggestion (really!), just a quick comment. For your example of What Not To Ask (point #2), you use "Asking if Demona tried to assassinate Hitler during World War II". I'd just like to say that based on my knowledge of Demona, she'd've been more likely to have been fighting on his side, assuming she was involved at all.

Greg responds...

No comment.

Response recorded on November 13, 2003

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Cortan writes...

Ok greg this has been puzzling me for a long time.
What does titania whisper to fox when her and oberon leave back to avalon after they give her baby back? She whispers something to her. First you think it is a kiss. But its a whisper. Now I know a whisper when I hear one. *L*

Can you answer this riddle/question?

Greg responds...

Yes, I can.

Response recorded on November 13, 2003

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