XI. Manhattan Characters

1. What Native American tribe is Peter Maza from? Is he Sioux, Navajo, or Hopi?

Greg's answer:

I'm struggling with three or four year old memories here, but I think this is what happened. When we had finished casting the lead characters, my development associate, Paul Lacy, made some phone calls to a number of tribal reps and got a bunch of different Elisa surnames for us to choose from. (We were initially leaning towards "Bluestone". We even recorded the first couple episodes using the "Bluestone" name. And that's after we had already recorded those same lines using the name "Chavez".) My boss, Gary Krisel, chose "Maza", which was fine with me also. We were under the impression that "maza" was the Sioux word for "iron". That appealed to me. (So we rerecorded again.)

Later in the season, when Elisa was shot, her parents made reference to her sister Beth who was in school in Arizona. That was my mistake. No real Sioux population in Arizona, as it turns out. Brynne Reaves and Lydia Marano found that out pretty quick when they started doing their research for what would eventually be titled "Cloud Fathers". I had recently read Tony Hillerman's novel COYOTE WAITS, so I suggested a Navajo connection, but by the time the story was done, we clearly had a Hopi ritual. (Or maybe Zuñi. Even now, I certainly don't pretend to be an expert.)

To top things off, Michael Horse, the voice of Peter and Carlos Maza, read the script and gave us a few tips. He also told us that "Maza" was not a Sioux name, so we got that wrong too somehow.

So the long answer is... I screwed up. And it pains me, because we had such good intentions. Next time, I'll be much  more careful.

The short answer (the explanation) is that Carlos Maza's ancestors are largely, but not exclusively, Hopi. This is some consolation to me, since (1) it helps us understand the interracial marriage that Peter and Diane have (not to mention Elisa's interspecies attraction) and (2) it offers us the possibility of exploring more Native American legends while simultaneously exploring more of Carlos, Peter, Elisa, Derek and Beth's ancestry. Trust that if I ever get the chance to do these further stories, I will research the hell out of the whole thing before I even begin.

2. What does Peter Maza do for a living?

He's a desk sergeant at a different NYPD precinct than Elisa's.

3. Where did the name for Elisa's cat Cagney come from? Is it a male or female cat?

Greg's answer:

Initially, I assumed that Cagney was named after Christine Cagney of Cagney & Lacey, and thus assumed the cat was a she. Later, I was informed by Michael Reaves that Cagney was named after James Cagney -- and thus a he.

4. What's Officer Morgan's full name?

Morgan Morgan. As to why this is his name, Greg says...

I went to high school with a guy named Morgan Morgan. His full name was Morgan Lord Morgan III. He had nothing in common with our Morgan, but I always thought he had a bizarrely cool name.

5. Is Brendan Margot's husband or boyfriend?

Brendan is Margot's husband.

6. What is the nature of Renard's illness? How much longer did he have to live?

Greg's answer:

I had a story in mind for the third season where Renard would finally succumb to his illness. I planned on doing research for that story, but since I didn't do the third season, I never got around to doing the research. I was going to start by researching Multiple Sclerosis, but allow me to make this clear: I would not have used that or any disease before making absolutely sure I had my facts straight. Also I would not have made up an illness.

7. Does Halcyon Renard know Anastasia is Titania?


8. Where did the idea for Vinnie and Mr. Carter (the pie-gun) come from?

Greg's answer:

The idea began with the Schnook. The Schnook evolved into Vinnie. But before there was Vinnie, there was the idea that every action has repercussions. Our series was always, I believe, pretty good about showing the repercussions of actions. At least the major repercussions. But actions have small repercussions as well. I had always wondered about that poor guy who lost his motorcycle. How did he explain that? Another example that we didn't get to put into the show had Goliath ripping off the hatch of the Huntership before entering it. We didn't have room for it, but I would have loved to show Vinnie nearly getting killed by that falling hatch. That's the poor Schnook. Vinnie was just a funny guy to put in that role. The pie idea came from Brynn Chandler Reaves, I believe. Something about an old Superman comic or cartoon, I think. Making it Banana Cream, was me. A tribute to BONKERS actually -- a reference to a semi-essay about which pie is the funniest pie that I made the Bonkers staff put into a GLOOMY THE CLOWN episode of that show. As to who would get pied, well, who else? Goliath leads the Gargoyles. He must take responsibility for their collective actions. And yes, he can be a bit of a stiff. It's nice to take him down a peg occasionally. Who knew that in Goliath and Vinnie I was creating two great cosmic opposites? The perfect Yin and Yang of the Gargoyles Universe. :) (GDW / 7-17-98)

[Later, he adds...] A combination of factors went into the creation of Vinnie.

In no particular order:

1) We asked Jeff Bennett to play the role of a dumb Gen-U-Tech security guard. He put on this great Vinnie Barbarino voice (from Welcome Back, Kotter). It was hilarious.

2) I had this idea to do an episode about the nameless schlub that the gargoyles had effected without ever knowing it.

3) Brynne Chandler had this idea about Goliath getting a pie in the face.

4) I had a separate idea about Wolf and Hakon teaming up to get vengeance on Goliath.

It all just came together. Strangely. The episode was supposed to be a comedic change of pace from the rest of the series. I don't think the animation supported the comedy very well. But it was the first episode I ever voice directed, so I'm fond of it.

9. Does Maria Chavez really have a daughter (as seen in "Future Tense")?


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