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LSZ writes...

Quote: The Coyote Robot, no matter how smart it gets, will always have a bit of Wile E. Coyote in its makeup

Does this apply to Coyote X?

Greg responds...

Sure. DEEP, DEEP DOWN. :)

Response recorded on November 09, 2000

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Ashe writes...

Hello Greg..I was wondering do you know what does the ultra pack look like in the future tense? I mean are they upgraded again? Also .. about the Coyote.. I heard Coyote 5.0 was made in future tense..care to explain how and why?

Greg responds...

You heard wrong, if by "future tense" you mean Gargoyles 2198.

And yes, I do have something in mind.

Response recorded on October 20, 2000

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Kayless writes...

1. The first Pack episode 'Thrill of the Hunt' featured Wolf as brutal, yet crafty fighter (by covering for the Pack when that family spots them pummeling Goliath and Lex). However, later episodes depict him as being somewhat mentally deficient. So what happened to him? Was he brain damaged in the fight with Goliath?
(Gargoyles isn't the only show to feature this mysterious progressive intellect loss ailment. Many a villain has been quite formidable in their first few appearances only to degrade into a simpleton several years into the show's running)

2. What could you possibly name a new member of the Pack? I can't think of anymore wild dog names. (But I assume you have)

Greg responds...

1. As I noted here in Ask Greg, I was surprised in reviewing THRILL to see how relatively smart Wolf was and how relatively dumb Fox was in their first appearance. Perhaps Wolf's upgrade had a negative effect on his intelligence. But I hope he's the only villain who qualifies under PILA. I like to think most of our villains got better with age.

2. I could, of course. Won't. But could.

Response recorded on October 19, 2000

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Demona Taina writes...

Hello, Greg! Just a quickie.

I was watching the episode "Grief" this morning, and I couldn't help but wonder if Jackal pushed the Emir away because he was trying to protect the world from the Avatar OR because he wanted to be the Avatar to control life and death himself?

Thank you for your time. :)

Greg responds...

He wanted it. He felt like Anubis, being a jackal-headed god, was connected to him.

Thanks for asking a question.

Response recorded on September 30, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

I recently realized that there is a certain similarity between the Sidero/Xavier team-up in the original comedy version of "Gargoyles" and the Hakon/Wolf team-up in "Vendettas". In both cases, a couple of villains team up against the gargoyles, one an original enemy of theirs from the Middle Ages, surviving on only as a ghost, the other a modern-day descendant of that medieval enemy who is scorned by his medieval ancestor for being too "poor-quality". Was the Sidero/Xavier team-up the distant inspiration for the Hakon/Wolf team-up?

Greg responds...

Likely it very much was. Of course, the main motivator was the very talented Clancy Brown. But nothing gets wasted, consciously or otherwise.

Response recorded on September 21, 2000

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Matthew Smith writes...

Is it more than a coincidence that Hakon and his descendant Wolf both just happen to be enemies of Goliath? i mean it is a pretty big coincidence isn't it?

Greg responds...

Not in my universe, pal.

(More like destiny.)

Response recorded on September 14, 2000

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Jackal's Love writes...

G'day Greg

Would any of the spinoffs featured the Pack (or at least members of the Pack) as villains?

Thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

Sure. Most. Let's see...

Gargoyles
Bad Guys
Gargoyles 2158 (revised)

for sure...

And I wouldn't be surprised if we also saw them in

Pendragon
New Olympians
TimeDancer

But I would be surprised if they showed up in

Dark Ages

Response recorded on September 14, 2000

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Ithica writes...

Apparently, correct me if I'm wrong, Hakon and Wolf are voiced by the same guy. Hakon was the earlier character. Was the same actor chosen for Wolf with the knowledge that they were distantly related, or did that idea come later? As in the time of 'Vendettas'?

Greg responds...

The idea came long before Vendettas. But definitely was inspired by the fact that Clancy played both parts. I think it came shortly after "Leader of the Pack" was voice recorded.

Response recorded on September 02, 2000

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LSZ writes...

1) In response to the 'which Coyote' thing in being compared to intelligence with Talos, I mean Coyote 6.0 and 7.0
2) What is it that makes Talos so smart? Extremely advanced AI? Remaining sorcery from Daidolos/a Cyclops' manufacture? All or none of the above?

Greg responds...

1. I don't know. I think probably Talos. The Coyote Robot, no matter how smart it gets, will always have a bit of Wile E. Coyote in its make-up.

2. Advanced A.I. mostly. (Keep in mind he's been rebuilt and upgraded many times. Both in hardware and software. Only his basic design style and memory files have remained consistent.)

Response recorded on September 02, 2000

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Jackal's Love writes...

G'day Greg!

A while back, in your 'Leader of the Pack' ramble, you mentioned that Wolf would be the one to challenge Coyote for leadership (and be subsequently beaten up) so that Hyena wouldn't have the chance to step aside. Why wouldn't Dingo or Jackal try to gain leadership? And, if somehow it came down to Wolf, Hyena, Dingo, and Jackal as the only members of the Pack, who would Dingo and Jackal support, respectively, since apparently it would be Wolf and Hyena vying for power.

Thank you for your time (and apologies for the run-on sentences).

Greg responds...

I don't think either Jackal or Dingo (or truly Hyena) had any real ambition to lead.

But I can't answer your last hypothetical, because it bears no fruit.

Response recorded on August 23, 2000

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Dracolich5 writes...

Here again with a pretty specific question. Ok, we know that there was going to be an Ultra-Pack, and that this Pack would have one new member. I, having an interest in recognizing animals, have tried to narrow down the options as to the Pack name for this new member. Now, I am trying not to single out a name, since that would be a story idea, so I'll see if this goes through:

Well, pretty much all standard wild Canids and one related type have been used; Wolf, Fox, Jackal, Hyena(which is actually more closely related to cats!), Dingo, and Coyote. So, what do we have left? A petty easy one is Wild Dog (shortening from African Wild Dog.) This name seems to fit and is simple enough not to confuse the general public. Considering this series is designed for a general audience, I don't think anyone would know what a Dhole is. Most other uniquely named canids are foxes, and the Culpeo is more closely related to Domestic Dogs (I think.) Thus, although I would like to see Dhole (although viewers might mistake that name for Dingo), and if it is not a Wild Dog, the only other choice I see is in non-canids. In otherwords, the Thylacine (Tasmanian Wolf.) I honestly can't see any other addition, unless you consider that the Maned Wolf is not a true wolf. So, have I narrowed it down? Are any of the names I've listed the name? Do you wish to keep a secret? Am I missing any? Am I just being a pain?

Greg responds...

You're half right.

Response recorded on August 22, 2000

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LSZ writes...

How did Hakon get out of the cave after Shadows of the Past?

Greg responds...

He inhabited the axe. Wolf took up the axe and carried it off. (But I do wish I had made it a mace.)

Response recorded on August 22, 2000

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LSZ writes...

Which is more intelligent, roughly: Talos, Coyote or the Golem?

Greg responds...

Talos.

Wait, which Coyote?

Response recorded on August 22, 2000

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Abigail Thorne writes...

In "The Thrill of the Hunt," Fox and Wolf were arrested when the photographer took pictures of them holding a women hostage. Don't you think that, while he was busy getting pictures, he would have taken the time to photograph Goliath too? I mean, that would seem a bit more noteworthy to me than two TV stars turning bad. Why didn't he?

Greg responds...

I don't think he intended to photograph Fox and Wolf either. He was stunned, paralized. But his camera had an auto-shutter and he was pressing down on the button. Fox and Wolf were standing right where his models had been. So he got them on film. Goliath was out of view. The photographer didn't have the presence of mind to do anything but stand there. Rewatch the episode. I'm not making this up. That's what happened.

Response recorded on August 17, 2000

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Greg "Xanatos" Bishansky writes...

Out of curiosity, which Coyote robot is your favorite?

Greg responds...

They're all like children to me.

Response recorded on July 30, 2000

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Abigail Thorne writes...

There's something I've always wondered about the Pack: how exactly were they imprisoned once they were upgraded? Wolf, Jackal, and Hyena all had enhanced strength, and the latter two were equipted with all sorts of mechanical gismos and morphng technology. When Hyena was unconcious on the steps in "The Green," Officer Morgan wasn't in too big a hurry to get her into a secure place--once she came to, she could have easily beaten he crap out of him and his partner and escaped. Did the authorities have to build special facilities for holding the Upgraded Pack?

Greg responds...

Probably, but you'll notice that jails didn't hold the Pack too well after their upgrades. So success was limited.

Response recorded on July 29, 2000

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Blaise (repost by Aris) writes...

RE: Thrill of the Hunt

When I first saw this I was still getting used to the characters myself, so most of the impact this ep had on me came in later viewings.

What I did like in my first viewing was the Pack itself. They were very interesting antagonists to me for some reason. Possibly it was because they were human and managed to give the gargoyles a hard time there for a while. Also, the Xanatos Tag. I almost missed that the first time I watched the show. I thought it was over when the gargoyles went to sleep, so I went to get a drink or snack or something. Then I came back and there's Xanatos talking about how "the test was most...informative [smirk]". I was completely blown away by this (and gained even more respect for how dangerous Xanatos could be). I also remember liking the fact that Xanatos's ownership of the castle was addressed and not swept under the rug. It was refreashing to have previous events being referred to and having an effect on the present.

In later viewings, I found even more things to like. My favorite part in the whole episode is when Goliath and Lex have the advantage. After seeing the Pack mercilessly come after them, I got kind of a vindictive pleasure in having the gargoyles now acting as the silent stalkers. It's kind of like a horror movie almost--only this time you want the "monsters" to win. Come to think of it, I've always gotten a big kick whenever any of the gargoyles were scaring/beating the living tar out of their opponents. I never really thought about how they became "borderline cuddly" as the series progressed. Maybe we all just got familiar with them. But I always liked seeing them cut loose when they did.

As for the whole stunt show--so insanely corny I almost couldn't watch. Great send-up of the P--uh, you-know-whats.

I hadn't given much thought to Wolf's display of brain's or Fox's lapse in judgement until you mentioned them. Fox's is easy to forgive (for reasons you have already stated). Wolf--wow, it surprises me I never noticed it before.

Pointless note: I didn't expect the Pack to appear again after this. I didn't know there were any ideas to bring them back in at any later point, so when Jackal and Hyena showed up about 6 eps later I was surprised (and a bit delighted).

As for the animation, I never saw what the problem with it was. Even after the multiparter, I thought the animation here was still good (at least above the level of quality reached by your average animated show).

Oh, and I agree with you wholeheartedly about television.;-)

Greg responds...

I was concerned that the Pack might seem too generic as super-villains, but I think we managed to make them come alive as interesting characters. New stories just kept suggesting themselves, so the Pack keeps coming back.

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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THE HYENA CONTEST RESULTS

We have a winner:

Adam writes...

THE HYENA CONTEST

Hyena smiles because she's amused by Elisa's values. Elisa is clearly playing by the "good guy" rules, which
say that you don't shoot someone when you could arrest them, you don't drop Xanatos off the building, etc.
Hyena believes that when it's in your best interests for someone to be dead, you kill them. It's funny to
Hyena that Elisa could be so deluded by ideas of "right" and "wrong" that she would let someone as
dangerous as Hyena live to fight another day when it would be so easy just to kill her and solve the problem
permanently.

Adam's entry came in first. And I kept waiting for someone to top it, but it never happened. Good work.

I'd like to thank Aaron, Jackal's Love, The Christine Morgan, Derek!, E.J. Kalafarski and Duncan Devlin for entering.

Adam, contact either Gore or Todd Jensen with your e-mail address so that we can arrange to give you your prize. Congratulations.


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Duncan Devlin writes...

"THE HYENA CONTEST"

Hyena realizes she will be able to get her revenge upon the person who truly put her in such a compromising position: Fox. Notice that Hyena closes her eyes in addition to smiling. In her mind, Hyena is playing a game of 'it's not my fault' with the intention of making Fox painfully find out it was her fault. She closes her eyes and envisions punishing, then smiles at her little fantasy. Hyena is a sadistic little bitch, as can be seen in the twinges of her smile.

Greg responds...

Thanks for entering. You entered twenty minutes under the wire. So we shouldn't have too many more entries left. Results soon.

Response recorded on July 18, 2000

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E.J. Kalafarski writes...

"THE HYENA CONTEST"

Elisa has her gun trained on Hyena. Hyena's beaten. But she smiles. Because, in her mind, Hyena truly believes that she cannot be beaten. She believes that she is infinitely superior to Elisa Maza, or the gargoyles, or anyone, for that matter. This superiority complex is later manifested when she and Jackal enhance themselves with cybernetic technology. They feel this unconscious need to prove that they are better than anyone else, that they are above society, and that they have no equals. This is why Hyena smiles. Because, someday, the world will know that she can never be beaten.

Greg responds...

Thanks for entering.

The contest is almost over. Results soon.

Response recorded on July 11, 2000

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LSZ writes...

Wealth:

1) Who has more money, Macbeth or Xanatos?
2) How much money do the Canmores have?
3) Just how much did the Pack profit financially from their tv show?

Greg responds...

1. From a liquid standpoint, Xanatos. Macbeth may have some extremely valuable items, that would be worth a fortune if he was willing to part with them, but he's largely not...

2. An extremely large trust.

3. Quite a bit. But not as much as Xanatos did.

Response recorded on July 03, 2000

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Christine (who doesn't scare you) writes...

THE HYENA CONTEST

Hyena is smiling because she's eager to get back to women's prison and hopes her next cellmate will be more 'accomodating' than Fox ; )

Greg responds...

Except this episode takes place before Hyena went to prison and "roomed" with Fox. Who may or may not have been accomodating.

Now who scares who?

Response recorded on July 03, 2000

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Derek! writes...

THE HYENA CONTEST

From the beginning of the episode, we see that Hyena is not content with living a "normal life". She wants to be, if you'll excuse the teenage phrase, hardcore. Wolf and Fox had already proven they were tough by getting thrown into prison for taking a woman hostage. Perhaps in her somewhat warped view of things, she was proving she was as good, if not better than they were. They were arrested for taking a model hostage; she, however tried to assassinate one of the richest men on earth. Who do you think would be considered more dangerous?

Greg responds...

Thanks for participating. Results some day.

Response recorded on July 03, 2000

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Jackal's Love writes...

Hyena Contest:

Hyena says "I'm not beaten yet", and Elisa responds by shouting "Oh, yes you are!". Hyena looks angry for a second, then smiles. I think she does this because she's thinking "Oh, no I'm not." She realizes that she's down but not out, and that although she may have to bide her time, she'll get out, and in the meantime she's going to go to prison with her brother to plan what happens next. So Hyena's smile her way of laughing at Elisa, who has no idea just how wrong she is.

Greg responds...

Thank you for entering. Results when all the entries are in.

Response recorded on July 03, 2000

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Aaron writes...

Well, I guess I'll take a shot at this, before more eloquent guys like Aris and Airwalker take it.

The Hyena Contest.

I think the twins had a very... strange childhood, which didn't impress them with the fundamental goodness of humanity. At the end of the day, each is probably the only one that the other even partially trusts.

They're both terrified of being alone, which is why a psychopath and a sociopath stay together. Hyena is smiling because she knows, subconsciously, that getting captured is the only way to stay with her brother.

(Or maybe Hyena was so glad not to be blind after seeing a million candle-power searchlight through her NVGs, she was happy to see anything, even a cop)

Greg responds...

Thanks. Contests results to follow... someday....

Response recorded on July 03, 2000

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Adam writes...

THE HYENA CONTEST

Hyena smiles because she's amused by Elisa's values. Elisa is clearly playing by the "good guy" rules, which say that you don't shoot someone when you could arrest them, you don't drop Xanatos off the building, etc. Hyena believes that when it's in your best interests for someone to be dead, you kill them. It's funny to Hyena that Elisa could be so deluded by ideas of "right" and "wrong" that she would let someone as dangerous as Hyena live to fight another day when it would be so easy just to kill her and solve the problem permanently.

Greg responds...

Thanks Adam, good answer. I know you posted it in March. It's almost July, and you're the first entry to the contest I've seen. I had to go back and look up the rules, it's been so long. Anyway, when I finally get through all the April posts, I'll announce a winner.

Response recorded on June 30, 2000

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Tas Vince Burrfoot writes...

Dear Greg,

About your Ultra-Pack.

The Pack showed signs of dissention in "The Thrill of the Hunt" all the way through "Grief" where it looked like they could barely stomach each other. What makes them stay together when the Ultra-Pack is formed? I don't suppose even their own greed and lust for violence could keep them together at this point.

Thanks,

TVB

Greg responds...

Coyote finds a way. Carrot and stick, so to speak.

Response recorded on June 26, 2000

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Chapter XIV: "Leader of the Pack"

I've already dealt with the changes between the first and second seasons of GARGOYLES. (See a previous ramble on that subject.) And hopefully you've all read the serialized postings of the memo I wrote to Michael Reaves in July of 94. Note the date. I was writing that memo to Michael a good three months before the first season of the series would actually premiere. Meaning, Michael, myself, all of us, were just guessing.

Now, finally, I have the time to sit down and ramble about my recent re-viewing of "Leader"...

STORY EDITOR: Michael Reaves.
WRITER: Steven Perry.

Some things were coming to fruition in this episode. A CY.O.T.I. robot had been part of the original development of the show and the Pack. Six characters seemed like a bit much, but the main reason we left CY.O.T.I. out of "Thrill of the Hunt" was because of the way we wound up intro-ing the Pack, that is as a group of T.V. super-heroes. Giving them a realistic robot in that context didn't seem to fit. By the time we got around to introducing the show's version of the Coyote robot (note the NORMAL spelling) much had changed in how we conceived the thing. And yet many of the original elements were still present, if altered. The orignal CY.O.T.I. (CYber-Operational Technical Individual -- or something like that) was a hovering robotic head. But not a Xanatos head. It was a dog-faced head. The head could attach to multiple different robotic bodies, as well as lock into various vehicles as a kind-of autoMATED pilot. One of the robotic bodies was four-legged, dog-shaped. Another was bipedal. But in either case there was never any question that the robot was a robot.

But by the time, we got to "Leader" we had learned so much more about our characters, that our whole conception of CY.O.T.I. changed into the Coyote you know. Part of the change came right out of how sophisticated Xanatos himself was. David constantly made Michael and I jump through hoops to come up with trickier and trickier plots. Plots that would allow the Gargoyles to generally triumph, and yet allow Xanatos to snatch some real victory out of seeming total defeat in what had become our trademark Xanatos Tag sequences. The one in "Leader" is one of the best, which brings up another thing that came to fruition in this episode. When we first created the Pack, I had NO IDEA that Fox and Xanatos were an item. That was a complete discovery, a revelation that came to us during the making of "Her Brother's Keeper": akin to, "Ohmigod, Fox is in love with David!!!" I don't know if it shocked you guys, but it sure came as a surprise to me, their so-called creator. Another instance when I think of myself less as a writer, and more as simply the guy who was tapping into what was really going on in the GARGOYLES UNIVERSE. When did you guys figure it out? During "Brother's Keeper"? During "Leader"? Or not until the end of "Leader" when it was objectively revealed? (Obviously, any of you who saw later episodes first are disqualified from voting on this one.)

Anyway, since we knew they were destined for each other, and we had this semi-top secret plan for them to marry and extremely top-secret plan for them to procreate, we knew we had to get Fox out of jail. And not break her out. But have her out more-or-less scott free. So that would be Xanatos' plan. All the subterfuge would lead to that. Having the robot pose as Xanatos in armor, allowed us for the kind of multiple surprise onion-peeling kind of story that I just live for. Plus it would leave us with a more wieldy five-man Pack again. Fox would graduate. Coyote would take her place.

One tricky thing was electronically futzing Jonathan Frakes' voice when Coyote was wearing his helmet. We wanted to alter it enough so that no one would know it was "Xanatos" until after he took off the helmet. But we didn't want to alter it SO much that you couldn't register Jonathan's standardly and casually wonderful acting AS Xanatos inside the armor. I think we succeeded. (Credit for that goes to the guys at Advantage Audio, who mixed the show. Real unsung heroes.)

We also gave Jamie Thomason, our voice director, and Jonathan the key note that would differentiate the true Xanatos from Coyote. And that was Coyote's fairly primitive desire for vengeance. If I do say so myself, I thought this was a terrific clue, a great moment of fair play, planted in the story. I wanted people to be a little surprised that Xanatos would care about vengeance. But I also figured most would buy into it, because we're all so trained to think of villains in a certain way. But then when Xanatos calls revenge a "sucker's game" at the end, the audience would feel "Oh, of course. That's OUR Xanatos. The other guy was just a cheap imitation." Who was fooled? Who wasn't? I'm curious to know.

When Coyote first took off his helmet at the end of Act One, my three year old son Ben yelled out "Xanatos!" He was truly and wonderfully surprised at that moment. It was fun.

Random observation: Wolf's not doing real push-ups. Not fully extending, either up or down.

Another thing we did do for the NEW SEASON start up was feature the gargs EXPLODING out of stone. Another of our series' trademarks that we wanted to be sure to get into the first episode of the new season.

Coyote clearly has a "quip chip" installed. He's got some great very Xanatosian lines. "Exact change". "Wanna see what I can do with both hands." Etc.

In fact lots of characters have great cutting lines in this one. Owen is wonderfully officious, even a tad smarmy in this one. You can almost see Puck smiling through, and this is before I knew Owen was Puck. But his, "Shouldn't you... be there." is just great.

Or Brooklyn's line: "Yeah, why should we stay up here... where it's safe." Great.

And Hyena: "I love a man who brings me weapons..." and "A robot?! Even better." Classic. And that was another discovery. Hyena would have the hots for Coyote. It wouldn't necessarily be reciprocated, but the mere fact that he was a robot wouldn't bug her. (I'm guessing she's used to using technology to satisfy her desires.) On some level, I think this was us (and Hyena) just being perverse for the sake of perverseness. But I also think it created an interesting parallel to Goliath and Elisa's relationship, if that doesn't sound to preposterous.

______

Another random observation: Hyena mentions Santa Claus. :) Ho ho ho.

______

CHARACTER CONTINUITY:
I think there was a semi-conscious desire to give every character something that new and returning viewers could use to hang their hats on, so-to-speak.

Lex is still so angry at the Pack for events in "Thrill of the Hunt" that he's literally HOPPING mad. Actually, that bit of hopping bugged me. Made Lex look silly and young at a point when I was hoping to present him as truly dangerous. Oh, well...

Brooklyn still feels the same way about Demona. And he's self-aware enough to know it. Though not mature enough to get passed it. (That'll come -- sometime in 2158.)

Broadway still hates guns and smashes them at every opportunity. (Lex obviously doesn't share his rookery-brother's opinion. Lex looks real tough holding that launcher. And I think it's a fairly shocking moment when that hole gets blown in Coyote's torso, and Lex is revealed -- through the hole, no less -- as the shooter. Even though we know by this time that Coyote is a robot, I still think it's one of the most violent images that ever appeared in our show. And it's all about context and attitude. You get the sense that Lex might just do the exact same thing to any of the human members of the Pack too.)

Hudson is still the observant guy who deduces events from what remains behind. "There's been a struggle here..." is right in keeping with his tracking skills and the way he examined that tampered-with bow back in "Awakening, Part Two".

Bronx is still a good judge of character. And he hates robots with fearful abandon. We decided he could literally smell when something isn't human. If it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, we naturally assume that it's a duck. But for Bronx it better smell like a duck or he's going to rip its face off, eh? That was another great shocking moment, I think. There's a little bit of WESTWORLD homage going on. Or FEMBOT homage, depending on how old you are. (I'm old enough to remember both.) It's pretty cool. And I love Coyote's head rocketing off at the end. It's so cool and sick. I fell in love with that head, and decided to use it in all future Coyote's -- one way or another.

Nietzche, Sartre, Kafka. That exchange was pure Perry-Reaves. And people tell me _I_ write to old for the demographic. Geez.

I love that moment when the phone rings at PackMedia Studios. (Also have I mentioned I love the name PackMedia. It's so perfect.) Anyway, Broadway's tentative response, before picking it up. And Owen knowing someone WOULD just pick up. It kills me.

As most of you know I favor one word titles. But "Leader of the Pack" WAS in fact one of mine. It was just irresistible.

The fight between the Gargs and the Pack aboard the oil tanker was very well-choreographed in script. But this was an instance where, in my opinion, our board artists lost the forest for the trees. The fight in storyboard went off on some wonderful tangents -- that wound up creating problems for those interested in keeping track of our combatants. Who was where and when just became a mess. We basically were able to fix those problems in film editing. But that's accomplished by keeping the fight well-paced. In the script, I actually think it's well-choreographed. In particular, Broadway freeing Lex, Brook and Bronx made a bit more sense in the script.

Coyote's perception-warping weapon is very cool. We probably didn't use it enough. Mainly because it was too effective. Too hard to stop.

I wanted the gargs to have to swim back to shore from the sinking tanker. But no one else agreed with me.

The head of Fox's parole board is voiced by Jim Cummings (aka Dingo, Darkwing Duck, Bonkers, etc.), doing his best Orson Wells imitation. Which is damned good by the way. Jim Cummings and Jeff Bennett in the same show. Man, were we blessed or what?

And coming full circle, we have our great Xanatos Tag. The villains kiss passionately. You don't see that too often in cartoons, I think. I love Xanatos' great line "That was merely the icing, you're the cake." And also his "true love is so much harder to come by." But here's my question for you guys. At the time, did you really think Xanatos was truly in love with Fox, or did you think he was merely being glib? I knew by that time, but even David didn't. Wasn't until "Eye of the Beholder" that HE realized how deep his feelings were for Fox.

So, comments?


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Bengali writes...

1.When Coyote 3.0 said "I was programmed for vengeance!" did he mean it literally or did he just think it was the right thing to say at the time?

Greg responds...

Both. I talked about his Quip Chip in my last ramble. But I think Xanatos wanted to make sure the robot stayed focused.

Response recorded on June 23, 2000

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Jackal's Love writes...

You mentioned some time earlier that there were two canid names left for the fifth member of the Ultra-Pack. What are they? And which would be given to the new guy?

Greg responds...

Must I chose?

Response recorded on June 23, 2000

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"Leader" memo concluded...

Finally, the last section of the 7/94 "Leader of the Pack" memo. Act Three of the Beat Sheet. I'll try to type up my new ramble on the episode soon...

ACT THREE
8. Goliath, Hudson and Broadway arrive at the Packmedia Studio. It's quiet. Inside, they see the damage. But no sign of the missing gargoyles. The phone rings. Broadway answers it tentatively. It's Owen. He was wondering if he could schedule an appointment for the Gargoyles to have a big fight with the Pack at the Oil Tanker Whatever-Maru in the harbor. Is Midnight convenient?

9. On the Tanker. In a carvernous empty oil tank, Lex, Brook and Bronx sit inside, effectively imprisoned. Lex swears even more vengence [sic]. Brooklyn can't get through to him. (Maybe Brook makes some sarcastic reference to the three of them always getting captured. First Macbeth nets them, now the Pack.) [Note: This story just structured out that way. So this tidbit was me acknowledging the coincidence, so that the viewer wouldn't think we -- the writers -- were oblivious to it. Greg 2000] Eventually, the other three gargoyles show up for the fight. Broadway is sent to find the others while Goliath and Hudson run interference. At one point, Goliath digs his claws into Coyote's helmet and rips it off, revealing "Xanatos". Goliath isn't too surprised. But eventually after the others are freed, he is surprised. Bronx again beelines for "Xanatos"/Coyote. He smells robot and claws off half of the rubber Xanatos mask to reveal the Coyote robot beneath. [Do you know, I was half afraid that some people would take this to mean that Xanatos had been a robot all along. Greg 2000] Even the Pack is shocked and the tide of battle begins to turn for good, especially after Lex picks up one of Dingo's fallen weapons and blows a hole in Coyote's chest. The robot really malfunctions now. The head "evacuates" and rockets into the sky to escape. The Pack decides to retreat in their Attack Vehicle, but opt to blow up the tanker to cover their escape. Lex in the end has to choose between saving Brooklyn and preventing the Pack's escape. Obviously, he saves Brooklyn and the Pack gets away, though with their doggy tails firmly between their legs. The ship goes down. The Gargoyles tread water. Brooklyn thanks Lex, but Lex is grateful that Brooklyn reminded him what was really important to him. And the gargoyles have a long swim back to shore.

10. Parole board. Fox is released. (Let's not mention Xanatos here.)

11. Fox steps out of prison to be greeted by (surprise, surprise) Xanatos in his Limo. They kiss. She's grateful to be out, but she's sorry his vengeance plan against the gargoyles didn't work. But Xanatos never wanted vengeance. (He's no mook.) He has his priorities straight. He just wanted to stage scene [sic] to get her out. (I love the line about icing and Fox being the cake.) But, she asks, aren't you anry that Coyote was destroyed. Xanatos holds up Coyote's head and admires it like Yorick. Half of it is still recognizable as Xanatos. Half reveals the robot skull underneath. My dear Fox, robots are easily destroyed and rebuilt. But they'll never destroy the true Coyote. Because the true coyote is Xanatos. Or some such. [Interesting. We seemed to save this idea for "Cloud Fathers". Went with the "true love" line instead.] Go out on the robot head, half smiling a typical Xanatos smile.

And that's all folks....


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WereFox writes...

Ugh! Sorry about the typos in the last werewolf question. Here is another one. The mutated wolf (to me at least) most resembles the classic wolfman (ie Boris Karloff). Basically a large man with lupine feature, but still mostly a man. However, at one point duirng the battle in the Upgrade his jaws jut out like a dogs and the ears gown more pronounced, more wolflike. Here he was more akin to the modern Werewolves like those shown in The Howling series. Does he actually grow more physically wolflike here (ie "When Wolf becomes angry or outraged, a startling metamorphisis occurs.
The other alternative is that this is just a visual device (imagery) that signifies his rage. No actual transformation takes place. Which did you intend. Either way it is a neat effect.

Greg responds...

It was always Frank's intent that Wolf transform more when outraged. But I'm not sure we pulled it off even in UPGRADE. And I'm not sure we even attempted it in GRIEF or VENDETTAS. So given the reality, you can choose your preferred interpretation.

Response recorded on June 21, 2000

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WereFox writes...

Greg

Even though her lycanthropy was induced by the eye of Oden, would Fox have been subject to the normal limitations associated with werewolves/foxes? Would she have had a vulnerabilty to silver? Also could she, and did she pass on her lycanthropy by bightring someone. I realize that we already have Wolf, our favorite mutate
Werewolf. What possible reason would we need another.

Greg responds...

I don't think so. Neither Wolf or Fox fit the traditional lycanthropic mode. Fara Maku and Tea are better examples.

Response recorded on June 21, 2000

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More of the "Leader" memo...

Here we have Act Two from the Beat Sheet I gave Michael Reaves in my 7/94 memo on "Leader of the Pack":

ACT TWO
4. Hyena and Jackal are ready to kill Xanatos/Coyote for revenge. X/C puts them down hard. He reminds them that it was Fox who told them to go after him. She's out of the picture now. Besides, it was the gargoyles who really sent you down. They put him away once too. They've destroyed enough of his plans. He wants them bad. He's [sic] works the Pack up into a revenge-fest frenzy. They want the gargoyles. But how do they find them? As X/C puts on his helmet, he says, we let them find us.

5. Goliath, Broadway and Hudson arrive at the castle. Owen is there, but not Xanatos. Goliath is confrontational but cautious. Woen has the Pack's social calender and says they should be at PackMedia studios shortly. Goliath is immediately concerned about the others. They take off.

6. From a nearby shadowed rooftop, Brooklyn, Bronx and Lex watch the police (Elisa, Matt, maybe Morgan) check out the Studios. It gives Brooklyn time to talk to Lex. He knows how Lex feels. Everytime Demona's name get's [sic] mentioned Brooklyn feels the same way. But you can't let it take you over. You need to remember what's really important, etc. Lex isn't listening. The police leave. Lex insists on going in. Brook & Bronx follow.

7. Inside, the place is deserted -- UNTIL SUDDENLY the floor begins to open up beneath them. The PACK Assault vehicle, rises up from a secret entrance beneath. Brokklyn suggests retreat, at least until they can get reinforcements from Goliath, et al. Lex ignores him and wades right in. The battle is on. Lex (followed by Brooklyn) goes after the four pack members they recognize. Lex is a holy terror and they're doing all right, at first. His shocking ferocity making up for any deficiencies. Bronx for some reason beelines for Coyote. (Basically, he smells robot.) It's a good fight, but soon all three gargoyles are out cold and at the Pack's mercy.

ACT THREE
(To be completed next time... Finally.)


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Gside writes...

Now, my sweet honey lord,

*\ 1HIV I.2.152 (approx)
Insert random first time introduction/semi-hero-worship, and other random first question material \*

Right, now that that is over with, I have a question or three.

1. Just how much does Dingo know? //1HIV 1.2.184 I am asking in the context of the Bill reference, not general knowledge

2. Was he always imitating the sun covered by base clouds, or did he not originally have much beauty to be smothered from the world? //1HIV 1.2.186-8

3. Will he be able to fully pay of the debt he never promised? //1HIV 1.2.198

Greg responds...

'Kay, Gside, I hate to disappoint you, but I don't have the complete works of Shakespeare committed to memory. And I don't have 1 Henry IV here in the office. In fact, sneaky-bastard, it took me a bit just to figure out what you were talking about.

So why don't you repost the question, giving me the actual quotes instead of line numbers. (That's called meeting me and the rest of our ASK GREG readers halfway.)

Response recorded on June 20, 2000

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More of the "Leader Memo"...

Sorry, everyone, I know this is going very slowly. But transcribing is really boring. So I can't stand to do too much at a time. Anyway, here's another chunk of my 7-2-94 memo to Michael Reaves regarding "Leader of the Pack":

Beat sheet:
ACT ONE
1. Sundown. Open w/prison break. Let's make it much more fast and furious. It can start quier, but almost immediately should go to explosions, alarms, etc. The guards become aware of the break IMMEDIATELY. A big action set-piece. No time for a lot of talk. Also, let's have Dingo bust out the boys, and Coyote bust out the girls. It's a more practical plan. They'll all meet up in the NEW all-terrain PACK ATTACK vehicle. (And no, Kenner isn't asking for this, I am. Xanatos has the resources. After he saw Macbeth's hover-thing, he'd start his people on R&D. This is the result. The Pack should not be hand-to-mouth. This thing should be a flying submarine multi-purpose thing. Real cool.)

2. Just after sundown at the clock tower, Elisa informs the argoyles that there's a prison break and the Pack's involved. Lex goes bananas. WE'VE GOT TO BRING THEM DOWN. Goliath agrees with the sentiment, if not he intensity. Manhattan is their castle to protect. But Broadway wants to know, how do they find the Pack? Lex is sure they'll return to Packmedia Studios. Elisa disagrees, that's the first place the cops are going to look. Lex is positive. They're like animals. They'll eventually return to their cave to hide. He's going there to wait and watch. Goliath figures on being more pro-active. He knows Xanatos is behind the Pack from Elisa's talk with Fox in "Brother's Keeper". He's going to the castle. Broadway & Hudson are going with him. Brooklyn is concerned about Lex. He insists on going with Lex to the studio. He also insists on taking Bronx.

3. Aboard the Pack's vehicle, Coyote and Wolf fight for the right to lead. (Let Wolf make the first challenge, so that we aren't forced to make Hyena politely step aside.) Coyote wins, but Hyena and Jackal insist on seeing his face. Coyote vouluntarily removes his helmet, revealing that he is "Xanatos".

ACT TWO
(to be continued...)


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More of the "Leader of the Pack" memo...

This continues my transcription of the memo I wrote to Michael Reaves on 7-2-94 regarding Steve Perry's original outline on "Leader of the Pack"...

Specific Notes & Questions...
Some of these will be rendered moot by other changes, but for future reference...

--No YoYo's for Brooklyn. He's too old to be playing with that. (Not that I don't enjoy a well-balanced yo-yo myself, but it's embematic [sic] of being really young. Like having him play jacks. Remember, this is a guy who likes motorcycles.)

--I liked the Hudson game show scenelet. Maybe slip that in right before Elisa tells the gargs about the prison break. If it no longer fits, save it for another episode.

--I think Wolf is a descendant of Hakon's. [It's interesting to me now that I put this comment in this memo. It's absolutely apropos of nothing. I must have just wanted to write it down somewhere so that I'd remember. Greg 2000]

--The gargoyles exo-sheathe remnants don't dissolve into vapor.

--Is a smoking jacket really Xanatos' style?

--Suddenly, on the bottom of page 3, Goliath has spider-sense. Maybe not.

--Goliath seems to be brooding about things he's already come to terms with. "...enemy one day, friend the next." He learned that lesson from the Captain in episodes 1 & 2.

Beat sheet:
ACT ONE
(to be continued soon...)


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Coldstone writes...

Few questions on the robotic twins.

1)Are Jackal and Hyena's parents alive and who are they? (what are their names,where do they live?)
2)What are Jackal and Hyena's real names?
3)Would they be alive in G2158? I mean,when they're finished getting better upgrades they'll probably have their insides scooped out and replaced with circuits and wires and guns etc.
4) I know this contradicts my last question and the answers probably no but can they have kids?

Greg responds...

1. Haven't focused on this yet.

2. I've covered this to the extent I intend to at this time. Check the Pack archive.

3. They would not be alive. But that doesn't mean there wouldn't be a J&H.

4. Why not? I'm confident they would not have allowed their sexual organs to be removed.

Response recorded on June 13, 2000

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"Leader of the Pack" Background memo...

ASK GREG is back up and running. (Thank you, Gorebash.)

Unfortunately, Murphy's Law in in effect, and I'm now swamped with work. (More on that tomorrow.) I'll try to get to your questions and comments A.S.A.P. In the meantime, I've watched another episode "Leader of the Pack". I've taken notes to write a ramble but I don't have time to compose it tonight. But I also wanted to post my July, '94 memo to Michael Reaves regarding his first draft outline on this episode. (Like the one I posted for "Reawakening".) I have a hard copy of this memo, but unfortunately -- there's that Murphy's Law again -- I don't seem to have a computer file for it. (Which, frankly, is truly bizarre.) Still, retyping this is faster than composing something original. But I don't know if I'll have time to retype the entire five page memo tonight. So bear with me. This could take a while... (I'll try to keep all the typos intact. And I'll add a few new comments in [brackets].)

Greg Weisman 7-2-94

NOTES ON OUTLINE for "Leader of the Pack"
Michael, I think we can focus the story a little more. And I think there's quite a bit of padding that we can trim down, but on the whole, a good start.

General Notes...

--Let's focus this by making it Lexington's story. A real companion piece to "Thrill of the Hunt". In that story, Lex was too trusting. In this he'll be hell-bent on REVENGE. That's today's theme. And today's lesson is about setting priorities -- and how revenge ain't a great one. Lex comes close to letting his lust for revenge take priority over his concern for his life and his friends. Same with the Pack. They break prison; they could head for Rio. But they want revenge on the gargoyles more. It gets them in trouble. Ironically, only Xanatos has his priorities straight. He didn't give a damn about revenge on the gargoyles. He just cared about his "friend" Fox and getting her released from her unfortunate incarceration. [A DESIGNING WOMEN reference -- Greg 2000]

--Given the above. Let's see Lex as the true monster he can be. As frightening as possible, as often as possible.

--The stuff w/Dingo's change of heart was nice. It gave me a great idea for a story about him trying to go straight, set in Australia during the WORLD TOUR. But I think it's out of place here. It's distracting to the main story. I don't want Dingo to start to turn yet. He didn't have to come back from Europe to help the others. Let's keep him gung-ho for now. (When we do the Pack Upgrade Story, in which Wolf will submit to Doc Sevarius' genetic treatment ala Talon, and Hyena and Jackal will undergo cyborgizing ala Coldstone, we'll plant the seed there that Dingo thinks things are getting carried away. He'll choose removable robot-armor, and we'll play some of these beats then.) [When you're working on 65 episodes you try not to waste anything. And the characters begin to define their own destinies. But you need to pace them. -- Greg 2000]

--Coyote's abilities need some clarification. Let's start by thinking this is a stranger wearing some kind of power-armor. Jet black, anubis-headed armor. We'll modify or harmonize Jonathan's voice. Then when he removes the dog-faced armored head, we reveal that it's Xanatos inside the armor. The audience will buy this because of "The Edge" story. When COYOTE has the "helmet" off, we'll use Jonathan's voice un-harmonized. But obviously for battle scenes he'll put the helmet back on. A slight clue that Coyote isn't the real Xanatos will be that Coyote seems more determined to get revenge than we'd normally expect from the rational Xanatos we've come to know and love. Then at the end, we'll reveal the robot beneath the Xanatos face. We also need to make a bigger deal of this reveal. I think it would be cool, if after the body is damaged beyond repair, the semi-damaged head, takes off, shooting into the sky like a comet, abandoning the Pack. At any rate, we can now have Coyote be very powerful throughout the episode, without our audience suspecting the truth. What can the Coyote "armor" (i.e. the Coyote/Xanaots robot) do? Does it have built-in jet-boots and weapons systems? Let's make it real tough and cool.

--In general, we need to be really careful not to let the Pack seem weak or incompetent. I doubt Elisa can outshoot them. They've been defeated twice already. If we don't up the ante, we've lost these characters as effective adversaries.

--The huge emphasis on updrafts can be dumped. We've already shown the gargoyles glide to and from Liberty Island in "The Edge". How far out in the water is this tanker? Better not to go into too much detail.

--Same with the Pack's search for the gargoyles. Why raise the issue about how easy it is to find the gargoyles? Besides, the method used here could take weeks, if not months. Let the gargoyles find the Pack. We can dump the CD-ROM disk.

--The mirrored shields was a good idea. But it pre-supposes a Lexington who is rational enough to use his head and come up with it. Not this story. But remember it for later use. [O.K. I guess some things did get wasted. --Greg 2000]

--We definitely don't need or want Derek in this story. If it comes before "Metamorphosis" than we don't want to mess with his loyalty to Xanatos. If it comes after, then obviously he's not Derek anymore, but Talon. Anyway, we won't need him. The way I figure it, Elisa's role in this story is fairly minimal. I didn't like her as victim/hostage, so I largely dumped her. So we can leave Derek out, as well.

--Fox should protect he guard first, then refuse to go. When she refuses Hyena's inclined to kill her too. Coyote prevents it by indicating there's no time. Also, I've cut the middle Fox scene 14. Better that the audience forget about her until the end.

Specific Notes & Questions....
[to follow tomorrow, hopefully...]


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Jackal's Love writes...

G'day Greg!
I was just wondering, how much do the police know about Wolf, Jackal and Hyena? For instance, was Wolf only in prison for what happened in 'Thrill of the Hunt', and Jackal and Hyena for 'Her Brother's Keeper'? Or, since I assume that those three weren't exactly on the right side beforehand, was it for more? Do the police know about the other things they've done, their real names and identities, or just what the viewers of Gargoyles know (prehaps less)?
Thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

Wolf, Jackal and Hyena managed to stay on the windy side of the law -- at least as far as the authorities knew -- until "Thrill" and "Brother's".

I imagine the cops know their real names: Rolf, Jack and Heidi. (JUST KIDDING!! JOKE JOKE!!)

Hey, I missed April Fools Day!

Response recorded on April 04, 2000

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Phil writes...

Hi, Greg
No questions today; just a ramble of my own.
I'm really enjoying your comments about each episode as you re-watch the series. You'll probably be way past it by the time you read this, but I'd like to tell you about a memorable episode for me.
It was the first one of the second season, "Leader of the Pack." I was knocked out of my socks from surprise three times in that one episode.
The first surprise was when Coyote took off his helmet in front of the Pack. I wasn't surprised to see that it was Xanatos; I "knew" it was him from his first line. What I was surprised about was that he would reveal himself to them. Xanatos was a behind-the-scenes villain who had others do his dirty work for him. It took me by surprise.
My second shock came when Bronx ripped off half of Coyote's face. I had no idea that he wasn't really Xanatos.
The third surprise was at the end when Xanatos picked up Fox in his limo and they started kissing. I didn't see that coming at all. I was suspicious when Fox refused to escape, but the idea that she and Xanatos were in love never entered my mind.
Of course there were a lot of other memorable moments in the series, but three surprises in one half-hour makes that episode stick out in my mind.
Thanks for a great show, and I hope to see more in the future.

Greg responds...

Erin responds:

I liked the show too. And I think it was very shocking also.

Benny's response:

Shock.

Greg's response:

We tried to keep ya guessing as much as possible. (Of course, as you know, I'm still a couple episodes away from doing my "Leader" ramble.) But this one was particularly fun. Though of course, I felt we had laid pipe for the revelations during the conversation that Elisa had with Fox in "Her Brother's Keeper".

Response recorded on April 01, 2000

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Jackal's Love writes...

Greetings Greg,
What are the ages of the original members of the Pack (as in Fox, Wolf, Dingo, Hyena and Jackal)? I know Dingo is in his mid-thirties, but what of the others?
Thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

Fox was born in 1966. I think Jackal & Hyena are younger. Dingo and Wolf are older.

Response recorded on March 31, 2000

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A NEW CONTEST

Ladies & Gentlemen, I invite you all to enter our latest ASK GREG contest:

Why is that Villainess Smiling?

At the end of "Her Brother's Keeper", Elisa has a gun on Hyena, forcing the Packmember to surrender. Cut to a close-up of Hyena... who SMILES!!

In one hundred words or less, tell me why she's smiling.

RULES:
--All answers must begin with the following heading:

"THE HYENA CONTEST"

--ANSWERS MUST BE THOROUGHLY PROOFREAD! Spelling and punctuation count! Remember I'm a former and current teacher.

--Answers that run longer than 100 words will be disqualified.

--Answers without the correct heading will be disqualified.

--Answers must be posted to ASK GREG by the end of April. Answers posted in May will be disqualified.

Once I've read all the April answers (hopefully in May) I will choose a winner based entirely on my own subjective preferences. That winner will receive a prize of zero actual value but hopefully of some real fan interest.

Good luck.


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Chapter XII: "Her Brother's Keeper"

I think Michael Reaves came up with this title. I wanted to shorten it to "Brother's Keeper" so that it would implicitly include the Trio, Goliath and his late rookery-brothers, Jackal & Hyena. But Michael talked me out of it. He was right.

This was the second out of three episodes where we attempted to do Kenner a solid by inserting a toy into the series. The Helicopter was a much more awkward fit than Brooklyn's motorcycle had been. But we all agreed to make it work. Originally, Lex was going to repair Derek's police chopper, but someone suggested using the Pack 'copter instead. So we tried to make it all play as organic as possible. Lex and the Simulator, to set up his ability to pilot the thing. Broadway bringing up the obvious question as to why winged gargs would need a chopper, so that the audience didn't think we were ignoring those points. Etc. And in the end, it still plays artificial. But fortunately it's in an episode that is othewise filled with tremendous emotional honesty. So maybe it all balances out.

Of course, the irony was that Kenner never made a gargoyle helicopter. Without telling us, they switched to a sky sled sorta thing, because they couldn't figure out how to do a helicopter that successfully interacted with the garg-toys' wings. No good deed goes unpunished.

Broadway: "If cops were meant to fly they'd have wings." I love that line.

Derek - This was part of our plan to turn Derek into Catscan. Of course, the Catscan name was eventually dropped for Talon. The original plan for Catscan had him being a scientist that worked for and was duped by Xanatos. Picture us trying to combine Derek and Anton. (I know it's a mind-bender. It was more like Derek's personality and Anton's expertise.) But the Garg Universe told me otherwise once we created Derek for "Deadly Force". He'd be the cursed one. And this was just step one. Step only, if we never got a second season. So we left it open ended. And I think it's a pretty stunning bittersweat ending. The snow starts to fall (all very symbolic) and we don't know if Derek will listen to Elisa's tape of Fox or not. And we leave Elisa, standing, wondering, thinking, as the snow falls. It's not your typical Saturday morning cartoon conclusion -- not even for a drama. What did you all think at the end of that after your first viewing?

The snow became a very important visual metaphor for me. I exchanged a few faxes with Japan to make sure (that contrary to the script) there was NO SNOW on the ground at Xanadu, no snow at all, until it starts falling during Elisa's last conversation with Derek.

CONTINUITY:

Sure, Jackal and Hyena were at large, but we establish here that Wolf and Fox are in prison. Anyone looking back at "Thrill" would know that this makes sense. Lex and Goliath take Dingo, J & H out on the roof. No human witnesses to their evil. And they didn't do anything against anyone but the gargs. But Wolf and Fox were photographed taking human (well, fashion model) hostages. So they go to prison. Dingo goes to Europe. J&H are still around to do mischief. But meanwhile, most normal humans still regard them as celebrities, until Hyena pulls a knife. (We had planned once-upon-a-time to make knives a bigger element/part of their arsenal. But it was a bit problematic S&P-wise, and it became moot after "Upgrade".)

Broadway, ever Elisa's biggest fan, thinks Derek should just trust her.

Brooklyn, still scarred from trusting Demona, points out that trust doesn't mean much without honesty.

Lex, still pissed at the Pack, just wants to catch them.

And it's nice to see Morgan and Matt again. If you like guys in towels.

Xanatos, as usual, is so cool.

"Never a gargoyle around when you need one."

"Detective. Always a pleasure."

"My life is anything but dull."

And that's just his dialogue. His plan is audacious. He has Owen call the Police, counts on Elisa and the gargs to rescue him from Jackal & Hyena. (We loved playing that irony.) And instructs Fox to tell Elisa everything. He's so confident, he even has no qualms about leaving Elisa and Derek alone to talk at the end.

And you gotta love a guy named Xanatos naming his retreat Xanadu.

I love the Hannibal Lechter inspired scene between Elisa & Fox. This of course was the moment when we all figured out what the garg universe already knew: "My god, Fox is in love with Xanatos." I hadn't known that back when Fox was created in the development days of yore. Hadn't known it when we did "Thrill". Hadn't known it until we were way into script on this. But there it was. And nothing would ever be the same. (Did you guys realize it there? And how far did you think we'd take it?)

Suddenly, the events of "Leader of the Pack", "Eye of the Beholder" and "Vows" seemed to spread out before me. And Alexander became a glimmer in my eye (if not Xanatos').

Elisa acts true to form here. What we'd spell out later in "Revelations" is already implied here. Elisa is extremely (if subconsciously) reluctant to share her gargoyles secret with anyone. Three times Goliath tells her to share her secret with her brother. Three times she finds an excuse not to. (Frank Paur found this repetitive. He tried to take one of the scenes and make it play more subjective. Like Elisa imagining a conversation with Goliath, while the actual Goliath was sleeping in stone. It was a sweet idea, but it didn't make any logical sense in terms of story flow and forced us to make storyboard changes and call retakes in order to get the version we've all seen.)

We loved playing irony. Elisa and Peter are right about Xanatos, but dead wrong about the way they're trying to control Derek's life. Diane and Derek are absolutely right about Derek needing to control his own destiny, but make the tragic choice of trusting that destiny to Xanatos. Those two scenes are terrific. (Helped immensely by vocal performances. And I also love Nichelle Nichols as the diamond exchange saleslady.)

Derek thinks Elisa thinks Xanatos is the "Prince of Darkness". "He practically is!" she responds. <SIGH> Tricksters are always being confused with Satan.

But that was more irony. It's not the demonic-looking gargoyles who are being compared to Satan. It's the handsome, rich Bruce Wayne-esque playboy. I guess the goatee helps.

My daughter's reactions:

As you may have gathered, it's become fascinating to me to see how Erin is reacting differently seeing all these episodes for the second time at age 5 1/2.

She was stunned at the end of Act One and following when Derek told Elisa that he was accepting Xanatos' offer. "That's not supposed to happen," she kept saying.

And all the trio stuff made her laugh. She especially liked Goliath's admonitions to the Trio: "Try to get along."

Brooklyn sure knows his pop-culture: Star Wars and Star Trek references within a few minutes of each other.

It was important to us to show that even guys as close as the Trio could get tired of each other. Sure they're all Rookery brothers and best friends. But if they had stayed at Wyvern (i.e. if there had been no massacre) they wouldn't have had to spend ALL their time together. At the very least, females would have provided a distraction. But here in the 20th century they're all they've got. So of course, there'd be good days and bad days. Like any siblings.

And of course, the sibling theme was central to the episode, including the Jackal & Hyena's relationship. The irony there being that they were getting along better than the Trio or the Mazas.

I loved Goliath's outrage at the lack of appreciation that the Mazas and Trio have for their siblings. It's very moving to me. (And helps us set up Coldstone for next episode.)

When Lex comments that if Broadway had his way, the garg-copter would be covered with food, I knew that we were pushing Broadway's eating habits into the dull one-joke tired category. I hate that line. And we tried to back off the eating jokes after that.

Anyone notice our tribute to Launchpad McQuack when Lex says "Any landing you can walk away from..."

Some gorgeous animation in this one. I loved what they did with the lighting when Lex gets Jackal and Hyena in the chopper's spot.

S&P

--The trio toss Jackal & Hyena out of their chopper. It's o.k. They're wearing parachutes. But did the Trio know that? Maybe with Jackal, since Hyena's chute had already opened. But was Hyena tossed to her presumptive death.

Yes. After all they're still thinking (first season) like tenth century warriors, not like twentieth century super-heros.

--One of the advantages to Syndication over Network is a more liberal S&P. We could show Broadway's fist heading into camera. We couldn't actually show him punching Jackal in the head, but we could show Jackal's POV of that fist heading toward him. A couple frames of black, and then we cut wide to Jackal on the ground, and we know what happened. But on Network, in "The Journey" or, say, "Max Steel", we are NEVER allowed to even imply a head blow. And we can't show a fist or gun or whatever pointed directly at camera (i.e. at the audience). Too disturbing, I'm told.

And finally, at the end, when Elisa arrests Hyena, I've got to ask, what do you think Hyena's smiling about?

Maybe that's the next contest...

Hmmm....


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Bengali writes...

1.Would any members of the Pack still be alive in 2158?

Greg responds...

Define alive.

Response recorded on March 25, 2000

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Bengali writes...

1.What is the name of the 6th Pack member?

Greg responds...

6th? Uh, let's see...

1. Fox.
2. Wolf.
3. Jackal.
4. Hyena.
5. Dingo.
6. Coyote.

Coyote.

Response recorded on March 25, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

Oh, another one of the "big shake-ups" that I know took me aback - the Pack getting upgraded. I recall that, even aware of what that lot were like, I was still a bit startled by Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf's transformations, a response of "I can't believe you three did that to yourselves!" (Indeed, from that episode onwards, I started to like Dingo, for refusing to sacrifice his humanity similarly and for being horrified at their changes - it helped prepare me for his further development in "Walkabout", in fact).

Greg responds...

Who says I don't think ahead?

(Well, no one actually, but it helps to pretend I'm persecuted.)

Response recorded on March 17, 2000

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Aaron writes...

Greg, can we make guesses as to the identity of the fifth member of the Ultra-Pack, or will those fall under the category of ideas?

(Prediction: We can guess as much as we want to, but the answer, like Lex's mate is and what Titania whispered to Fox,will remain mysteries forever)

Greg responds...

On a scale, where the likelihood of my revealing what Titania said is a ten and revealing BROOKLYN'S MATE is a one (since I alreadly revealed that), I'd put Lex's mate at about a six and the fifth Pack Member as a four.

It's really pointless to guess, however. The character is brand new. There are no clues currently built into the cannon. Thus, as you surmised, almost every guess would play like an idea and Gore would have to boot them.

Response recorded on March 11, 2000

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Michael writes...

Hi, Mr Weisman,
I've got some questions concerning The Pack:
1.)To which species will the fifth member of Ultra-Pack belong, and will this member be male or female? And is the fifth member someone be have already seen in the show?
2.)Who will be the leader of Ultra-Pack and who will sponsor them?
3.)Will they get another version of their traditional upgrades, or another kind of upgrade? (with traditional upgrade I mean if e.g. Wolf would get another genetical enhancement, and with another kind I mean things like e.g. Wolf getting something like a battle armor or cybernetics...I hope this example won't be misinterpreted as an idea masquerading as a question...).

Greg responds...

1. Human. Probably male. No.

2. I just answered these questions. Which means they were present in the queue when you posted your questions. Come on gang, please at least read the queue. (All right, all right, Coyote.)

3. There will be upgrades. I'm not saying anything else.

Response recorded on March 11, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

Some ultra-Pack questions...

1. Who would guide and desire its formation? Earlier it was Xanatos who had done it, but his alliance with the Gargoyles doesn't seem to make it very possible he would create the Ultra-Pack...
2. Who would *lead* the Ultra-Pack? The new character you had mentioned?
3. Would the new Ultra-Pack member also have the name of a ferocious canidae (hope I spelled it correctly) animal?
4. Would the new character be male or female?

Greg responds...

1. Coyote 6.0.
2. Coyote 7.0.
3. Coyote 8.0. No wait. I just got on a roll there. The answer is "Yes." But I won't vouch for your spelling.
4. Leaning toward male, but won't be held to that.

I'm amazed I revealed that.

Response recorded on March 08, 2000

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Chapter VII: "Temptation"

[More rambles on individual episodes. As usual, I encourage you to post your responses here.]

Part two of our trio tryptich. Brooklyn looks pretty cool in this one. I have to admit, I didn't realize what a break-out star Brooklyn was back then. I mean I liked him, but I didn't yet realize how much he would really capture a huge chunk of fandom's imagination. (Of course, back then the show hadn't aired yet, so there wasn't any fandom.) But seeing this episode in hindsight, you can sure see how cool this guy was. Good-looking with the hair and the muscles and everything. Even the snout adds to the look.

And he's so sympathetic too. Yes, he gets "turned" by Demona. But he immediately realizes that what she's doing is wrong. He admits his mistake and tries to correct it. He's such a good guy. Later, of course, I'd recognize the star power and attempt to give him his own series: TIMEDANCER.

Back then, of course, I had really modeled the ensemble nature of the show on HILL STREET BLUES. Goliath was my Frank Furillo. Everyone would get their own stories, but Goliath carried the weight. So, although the tryptich was designed to deepen the characters of the trio, you can see that each episode also prominently features Goliath. THRILL: Lex & Goliath. TEMPTATION: Brooklyn & Goliath. DEADLY FORCE: Broadway & Goliath. (And later, LONG WAY TO MORNING: Hudson & Goliath.) Don't get me wrong, I don't regret this at all. I think those are all great stories, and without Goliath they would not have worked as written. But I think the design of them betrays a bit of insecurity. We weren't sure if the other characters could carry their own episodes alone. The nice thing about the tryptich (and LONG WAY) was that it proved to us what a strong ensemble of characters we had built.

Lex has some real attitude here: "You rode a horse once, does that mean you could build one from scratch."

The motorcycle is interesting. It was one of three toy driven elements we consciously put into the show. (The others were in "Her Brother's Keeper" and "Eye of the Storm".) It was a rare moment of Kenner and Disney being in semi-synch. And the toy actually looks like the motorcycle. But of course, what the hell were we going to do with a motorcycle? How could we make that an on-going element in the show. Sure Batman has a batmobile, but the garg-cycle just sounds silly. So we put it in, but Michael, Brynne, Frank and I are so subversive that we blow the thing up before the end of Act One. Kenner never said anything. I'm not sure if they ever saw the episode. (But we weren't being very good partners.) But what goes around comes around. I'll tell the flip side of this when I ramble on Keeper and Storm.

S&P required that Brooklyn wear a helmet when riding. That was fine with me, but I wanted to make an effort to make it organic. Brooklyn puts it on because it's "All part of the look." Helmets make it cooler. Thus helmets are cool. Thus kids will wear their helmets. Aren't we sneaky?

Also, Brooklyn loses yet another pair of sunglasses.

Morgan's back. But he litters. That always bugged me. Talk about setting a bad example.

And is that Margot Yale's actress sister on the television sitcom saying, "Who do you think you are... Elvis?" [Add laugh track here.]

CONTINUITY

"Kindred Spirits" - Brooklyn quotes Lex from Thrill and attempts to make the same kind of connection with the bikers that Lex attempted with the Pack. With similar results. Later, Demona refers to Lex's little adventure with the Pack. This was the moment when Michael Reaves and I decided to attempt to treat the series as episodic but sequential. The order of the episodes would matter. Yes, you should be able to enjoy any individual story... but viewing is enhanced when you see the shows in order. This was not an obvious decision. Most shows REQUIRE that episodes are airable in ANY ORDER. We had that requirement too, up to a point. But we wanted to add something more. To play with continuity. With evolving lives. This wasn't an issue in the pilot five parter. Of course, that had to air in order. And then there was Thrill. Just the first one we made after Awakening. That aired next. But we didn't think about it. But here, we had to decide. So we opted for an episodic but sequential series. (My favorite kind.) We referred to previous conversations. (Elisa's still pestering Goliath about the Xanatos-ticking clock.) And we laid pipe for future episodes, by having Demona rip a few spells out of the Grimorum. (At the time, I didn't even know what those spells were for. But I knew she had them. I knew we'd use them.) We had Demona admit she had lied about how she had survived to the present. Etc. Anyway, all this continuity would later bite us on the ass a bit. (I'll talk more about this when we get to "ENTER MACBETH", which forced us to slightly change our M.O. for season two.) But again, I have no regrets; I think it's one of the things that makes the show special.

Meanwhile, how did Demona know about the Pack & Lex? Although the pact with Xanatos clearly hasn't been broken yet (not till CITY OF STONE, obviously), she also doesn't exactly have free run of the castle. She has Brooklyn steal the book. Of course, she wants Brooklyn complicit. And it's hard to sneak around the castle, when the Gargoyles (at least think that they) are the proprieters. I just always wondered whether Demona might not have been following Lex & Goliath around throughout that entire Pack battle. Or whether, Xanatos just phoned her and told her. Obviously, the former is much more interesting.

ANIMATION

Another great looking episode that we didn't fully appreciate at the time. Lots of great little touches. I love when Demona casts her spell, and then closes the Grimorum with one last flash of magic. So cool. And, as I said, Brooklyn really looks great throughout.

But there are a couple things...

The bikers approach Brooklyn. They get very close, and he's not in shadow. But they don't notice he's a "monster" until he takes off his helmet. What?! The snout didn't give it away?! That scene continues to drive me nuts. I just hate how it was staged.

And when Elisa's lecturing Goliath she is wagging her index finger in his face. That's annoying enough. But worse, the finger seems to get longer (like Pinocchio's nose) the more she wags (or nags). It's sorta mesmerizing. In that scene, I can't see anything else.

CHARACTER

I love how Marina Sirtis' voice bristles when Brooklyn mentions Elisa to Demona. Demona/Marina forces herself to say that the Detective may be "The exception [to human evil] that proves the rule." It seems sincere, but I really hear the hatred underneath.

Elisa tries to talk Goliath into leaving again. This time, she's got an idea where he can go. (So although that seems to be a repeat of their conversation from THRILL, we actually advanced that plot too. Weren't we smart?)

[And yes, I realize that all these rambles sound incredibly arrogant and immodest. I'm sitting here praising me and my team's own work. But what can I tell you? I do really like it. And I figure you guys might still be interested in my -- totally biased -- observations.]

Anyway, I love how what Elisa's saying to a very close-minded Goliath plays right into what Brooklyn heard from Demona. Brooklyn tries to argue Elisa's point. Putting Elisa and Demona, ironically, on the same side. Kudos to Brynne and Michael. It's a great little scene. Of course it ends with Brooklyn and Goliath turning to stone mid-argument. Just like Lex & Goliath did in the previous episode. Frank came to me and warned me not to do that again. Twice in two episodes was enough. At least for a while.

I also love Goliath's lines about "half-truths that [Demona] has thoroughly embraced."

LITTLE TOUCHES

Goliath just loves saying "Joy-Ride". It seems so pleasant.

Lex's double take reactions to finding out the motorcycle was blown up.

Elisa's "Thanks, I think." reaction to Brooklyn saying that he knew that she at least was a worthwhile member of the human race. Brooklyn still isn't quite free of prejudice. A work in progress.

The DEAD BODY. I held my breath on that one. We've got a chalk outline. And a corpse in a body bag. I was sure S&P would balk. But Adrienne was great. She saw that it was important to the story. And since we didn't dwell on it or explain it, she figured little kids wouldn't get it and/or be traumatized. As you can see we had a great working relationship with S&P. I mean, a DEAD BODY! It still shocks me.

Did Demona pay that family to perform their little scene for Brooklyn? I didn't think so at the time. But now I'm suspicious.

Brooklyn has a perfectly innocent line about the Cloisters being a place like the "world we came from" or something like that. Meaning of course, the medieval time that they came from. Once this aired, I immediately start seeing e-mails claiming this as evidence that Gargoyles are from another planet. This misapprehension may be one of the reasons I so quickly got involved with fandom.

Did we cheat? Elisa solves Goliath's slave-spell problem by using the spell to unhex him. I love that little bit. But Michael Reaves and I had a long back & forth discussion where we debated whether we were cheating the audience. (I seem to recall that at different times he and I both came down on both sides of the argument.) We finally decided to go for it. And again, no regrets. I do think it worked. And we sort of both promised each other that we wouldn't pull that kind of thing again. (Airwalker, I think there's a mention of this in the City of Stone memo I sent you.)


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CHAPTER VI: THE THRILL OF THE HUNT

More musings on individual GARGOYLES EPISODES. As usual I welcome reactions and responses posted here based on both your original impressions from when you first saw the episode and later thoughts from repeated or recent viewings.

After the semi-epic "Awakening" multi-parter, Michael Reaves and I consciously set about creating a tryptich to develop each member of the Trio. Lex up first.

In hindsight, we probably didn't do enough Lex episodes. (I think this is Thom Adcox's favorite. He said "Leader of the Pack" at the pro-chat the other day, but the more I think about it, the more I think he was describing "Thrill".) We tried to give each member of the Trio equal coverage, but down the road, Lex might have been cheated a bit. But not here.

I love the fact that Lex is RIGHT. Sure, he's wrong about the Pack, but he was so right about taking chances on people. And I love that as stubborn as Goliath is, he's capable of admitting his mistakes, giving Lex full credit for, uh, rightness. Practically quoting back to Lex everything Lex had said to him.

You may notice that starting with this episode and running through the end of the first season, the writer's got their credit at the beginning with the title of the episode. This was a function of the Disney Afternoon. Michael Reaves rightly objected to the "gang credits" at the end of the two hour block. It had never been an issue before, because annually each new series, i.e. the one with original episodes, had always aired last with its credits immediately following. But in Gargoyles' first season, we aired on Fridays at 4pm, a half-hour before the last show. That meant that the writers' credits didn't appear until a half hour after the show ended. Gary Krisel agreed to make an exception and display writer's credits at the head of the episode for that one season. I wish I had fought to make that rule permanent. I didn't. Mea culpa.

I think Thrill is important right off because it established a few things which today we take for granted, but which I think were, at the time, fairly unusual for a cartoon series.

CONTINUITY.
--Xanatos was still in prison. He hadn't just "somehow" gotten sprung between the end of Episode 5 and the beginning of 6.

REAL RAMIFICATIONS.
--The Gargoyles won the Awakening war. And the castle still wasn't theirs to keep. At every turn, Michael and I just tried to make things play in a slow, steady logical progression. I wasn't trying to change the world in every episode. Not because I'm against world changing, but because each new situation was fascinating to explore. But we wouldn't let the world stand still either.

Early on, you can still see signs that to the creators, the audience AND the other characters, the Gargoyles themselves were still a wonderfully alien species. (And I don't mean that literally. Geez.) We tried to maintain the perspective of creatures out of their time. Goliath is stubborn, even dense and condescending toward Elisa, when she tries to convince him to leave the castle. But I think from his POV, his responses were perfectly natural. Xanatos was banished. The castle was theirs. The concept of ownership was sketchy for the Gargoyles at best, but if they did understand it, they understood it in the "Possession = Ownership" sense. The notion that Xanatos could still "own" the castle after an embarrassing defeat was completely ALIEN to Goliath.

Likewise, look at Fox's actions at the end of the episode. Can you imagine Fox in any later episode crudely taking a hostage? It seems like she checked her brain at the door. But it works for me because at that time, she (and we) didn't truly know what an angry gargoyle was capable of. Maybe Goliath would dismember her. Our boys got so borderline cuddly as the series progressed that I had to remind everyone just how dangerous they could be in HUNTER'S MOON. But Hunter's Moon wouldn't have worked back in Season One. Because in Season One, no one would have been shocked by Goliath's desire for Demonaesque vengeance. Maintaining that edge was always very important.

But if Fox wasn't acting her brightest here, I think Wolf was. That scene with Susie and Billy, where he pretends the Gargoyles were monsters sent by the evil ninjas, is about as smart a move as we ever see Wolf make. When you think about it, it's pretty darn clever. For him anyway. In later episodes, I think I got too big a kick out of making him dumb. I could justify it after UPGRADE. But if I got back, I think I'd give him a bit more of a mental edge.

And speaking of Wolf and Fox, how about that Pack? Their first appearance. The thing I was most struck by in viewing it here is how great they were cast. Clancy Brown, Laura San Giacomo, Matt Frewer, Cree Summer and Jim Cummings. Man, what a great ensemble. Hats off to casting and voice director Jamie Thomason. Time and again, he assembled great, great people for us.

There are a lot of little touches that make me smile. Jim Cummings "narration" during the appearance at Madison Square Gardens is priceless. We were consciously trying to do a professional wrestling meets (the hated) Power Rangers thing, and it amuses me to no end. There's that very anime shot of the Pack standing absolutely still (a held cell) while spotlights pass over them. It's very cool.

I even like that we got the notion of the Daily Tattler into the episode. That was something I wanted to expand on more. The Gargoyles never made any real attempt to keep themselves very hidden. Oh sure, they weren't holding New Olympian style press conferences, but they didn't sweat it if they were spotted. But we figured that the more of an urban myth they became, the less the majority of the population would believe in them. And once stories about Gargoyles started regularly appearing in the Tattler, people would be sure the whole thing was faked. I'm not sure we mentioned the Tattler again until Hunter's Moon, which is too bad. Though it does show how consciously Michael and I were echoing first season concerns and contrasts in that final mini-series.

Fox and Lex. Their relationship is established in that one moment when she strokes him under his chin. Even I didn't know that down the road they'd become flat-out allies thanks to Alex. Hell, back then I didn't know Alex was on the way. Didn't even know that Fox and David were an item. The characters were just beginning to teach me who they were and what they wanted.

Action-wise this thing is taut. The Pack just keeps coming and coming. The Gargs never have a chance to catch their breath. And, then, suddenly, they do. And the tables turn fiercely. And the Point of View, as well. We are ALWAYS on the side of the hunted. When it's Goliath and Lex, we get very little of the Pack. Just snatches of them attacking. The gargs struggling to stay alive. But up on that roof, we abruptly switch POV. Suddenly, we're following the Pack. Even, dare I say, sympathising with them. Not that we want them to win. But we begin to identify with them as they battle these strange creatures. I love that.

It's hard to believe, but when Frank Paur and I first saw the animation on this episode we were crushed. I look at it now and think its gorgeous. But we were so spoiled by the Awakening animation, we thought this was a debacle. Later we'd get some truly mediocre animation and learn to appreciate the good stuff more. But back then... we were idiots.

Those tv lines were my idea. I love television. I mean I really, really love it. And I hate when people attack it. I think on a percentile basis, there's more good work being done in television than any other medium. Doesn't mean there isn't a lot of crap being done. But that's true in everything. But still it's fun to poke fun. To bite the hand that's feeding you every once in awhile. One of the trio says: "The Pack is just like us. They fight evil. And they do it on television." (I just saw the episode half an hour ago, and I can't be sure who said it. That's pathetic.) Of course, whoever said that didn't mean to say that the Gargoyles were also on television. That was an afterthought. But it's a bit of an in-joke for us and our audience, because the Gargoyles are just like the Pack. I just like to think they had a better show.

But my favorite is Hudson's line: "Maybe we shouldn't believe everything we see on the television..." A lesson we all should live by.

And finally, "Thrill" contained the first of what would soon be a Gargoyles Trademark. The Xanatos Tag. Our favorite manipulator snatching partial victory from seemingly overwhelming defeat. Again, something vaguely revolutionary for a cartoon. You gotta love the guy.


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Craychek writes...

Me again. By the way you can ignore questions about petros and Renar in my previous batch of questions. I was just being stupid(it's a habit I'm afraid).

1) I know this is a broad question, but how did Jackle and Hyena get involved with the Pack and/or mercenary work?

Greg responds...

As I just said, I'd rather not give too many details up about the terrible twins just now.

Response recorded on February 25, 2000

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Jackal's Love writes...

Is there anything you can tell me about Jackal and Hyena that hasn't been revealed in the series? I know, I know, they mainly do everything that they do because Jackal's a sociopath and Hyena's a psychpath. But is there some reason that they are in that state? I don't know if this has been asked yet, but any information at all would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for the wonderful show!

Greg responds...

I'm sorry, but I don't want to go to far into their backgrounds at this point. It may sound strange, since we know so much about characters like Demona, Coldstone, Xanatos and Macbeth. But sometimes it's just fun to have villains be villains. At any rate, I like to mix it up. I was ready to give more Dingo info in BAD GUYS. But I like keeping Wolf, Hyena and Jackal a bit CYPHERIFFIC!!

At least for now.

Response recorded on February 25, 2000

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Craychek writes...

I just know that I'm going to screw this up...

Anyways, all these questions assume that someone was going to create the Ultra-Pack(it's been a while, but I think you said that part of future tense would come true).

1)Were you planning on adding anyone to the Ultra-Pack(they lost dingo and Fox), and if so who?

2)Would they have been formed by Xanatos or any of the other super rich(stinking rich, extremely rich, etc.) characters we've seen in the show or in your questions thus far?

3)Would the Pack(or ultra-pack) ever do any serious damage to damage Goliaths clan?

Thanks

Greg responds...

1. Yes. But I'm not saying who it is right now.

2. No.

3. Define "damage"...

Response recorded on February 23, 2000

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Coldplasma writes...

Who came up with the idea of having Coyote a face with half Xanatos and half cybrog? I'm asking this, because I've seen one episode of Batman (the Animated Series) where a robot of Bruce Wayne is destroyed. It's face was half Bruce wayne and half cyborg...

Greg responds...

That developed naturally over Coyote's many appearances. Bronx so effectively chewed up half of Xanatos' face in "Leader of the Pack" that we maintained that head in "Upgrade" at which point it became symbolic of Coyote, and was used as a visual tie-in in "Grief" and "Cloud Fathers".

As for who came up with the notion of a humanoid robot with half its face destroyed. Well, we certainly weren't the first, but neither was the Animated Batman. The earliest I can think of off the top of my head is the original Star Trek, but I'm sure that bit goes even further back.

Response recorded on February 21, 2000

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E.J. Kalafarski writes...

Hey Greg, just one question that's been bugging me. Did Puck in any way influence Xanatos's decision to hire Fox as the leader of The Pack? If not, then it's a pretty incredible coincidence that a fey and the daughter of a fey just so happened to come under the employment of the same mortal man. I mean, according to Oberon's law, there shouldn't be too many fae wandering around in Manhatten in the first place, right? I'm assuming something (or someone) led Xanatos to hire (and marry) Fox, which caused Oberon (who was only trying to bring Alexander to Avalon) to run into Puck. If this question has already been answered, I ask you to forgive me :-)

Greg responds...

No, you've got it backwards, sort of. But it's not a coincidence at all, if you've seen "The Gathering, Part Two".

Puck became Owen because he spotted Titania posing as Anastasia. And he went to work for Xanatos because David and Fox interested him. They were already something of a couple before the Pack was formed. (Or at any rate, before "Thrill of the Hunt".)

Response recorded on January 24, 2000

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Airwalker writes...

1. How old is The Director?

2. What are the ages of the rest of the BAD GUYS cast?

Greg responds...

1. Uh, don't hold me to this, but I'd say 50.

2. Robyn Canmore was 14 in 1980.
Dingo was in his mid-thirties in 1994.
Matrix was born in 1995.
Fang was in his early thirties in 1994.
Yama was in his late twenties (biologically) in 1996.

Response recorded on January 10, 2000

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Zorlond writes...

Good evening, Greg. My question is something I know you've skirted before, but the question wasn't very specific. Okay, question is:

In The Green (think that's the name), Jackal's imagining the things he's going to do to the Aztec Clan and the Tourists. One of those things is re-carving Goliath's face to resemble Jackal's. If Jackal had actually done that, would Goliath wake up looking like Jackal? Wake up with his own face? Not wake up at all?

Hopefully this specific question isn't a repeat...

Greg responds...

He probably would not have woken up. It probably would have killed him.

Response recorded on January 10, 2000

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Wing writes...

Continued...
1>Could, Would, Was Wolf ever considered a NO?
2>How many canids are left to name the fifth Ultrapack member?
Bye Greg

Greg responds...

1. Does NO stand for New Olympian? If so the answer is N. O.

2. At least two.

Response recorded on January 07, 2000

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Wing writes...

Continued...
What were <some of> your plans for the Mutates <specifically Claw, but not necessarily just him>?

Greg responds...

Wing, Wing, Wing, Wing, Wing...

Same deal. This is not the format or forum for novel-length responses.

As I've mentioned many times, Fang would join the Redemption Squad.

Claw, Talon and Maggie the Cat would remain in the Labyrinth.

Wolf (who's also a mutate technically) would join the Ultra-Pack.

Response recorded on January 07, 2000

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Airwalker writes...

Would Dingo have any family members who would factor into BAD GUYS somehow?

Greg responds...

Yes. Definitely.

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

At the end of THE GREEN, Jackal is on the loose in Central America and Hyena is on her way to jail in New York. Now in BROADWAY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, TGC had them reunited with no explination. What exactly did you intend? Would Jackal have rescued her or just left her in jail? After all as a sociopath, he really should only care about his own well being.

Greg responds...

I won't comment on TGC.

As to the specifics of what would have happened next with these two had I been in charge... I don't know. Never had that worked out.

But ultimately they would have been reunited in the Ultra-Pack.

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

Jackal and Hyena seem to have a true connection as siblings, staying together throughout the series. But how deep a connection do they really have? After all you defined Jackal as a sociopath so that means he shouldn't care about anyone more than himself. Is there really a sort of sibling connection that keeps them together or do they remain together for other reasons like habit for example?

Greg responds...

Habit is probably a big part of it. Insecurity (well-buried). Mutual enabling and dependence. But also a deep filial sense that transcends all that psycho-babble. It doesn't necessarily make sense. But there it is. It's what saved Hyena's life when Jackal and Anubis merged. (Wolf's too by virtue of proximity and laziness).

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Aurora Kinsclan: THE Jackal Lover writes...

Greg,

A little while back, someone in the fandom told me that according to you, Dingo's real name is something along the lines of "Henry Monsmouth". Is this true?

Also, Did you ever plan to do any background information on Pack members Jackal and Hyena? Do they have official real names as well?

Greg responds...

Harry Monmouth, actually.

As for Jackal and Hyena... No. I'm not sure why. All I can say is that info hasn't come to me yet. Or more accurately, hasn't been revealed to me yet.

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

How many upgrades do you see Cyoti ultimately going through? You once said that the various version numbers (Cyoti 2.0, Cyoti 3.0, Cyoti 4.0, etc) were a homage to Marvel Comic's Ultron. But Ultron stopped numbering himself at #13. Do you think Cyoti would exceed that or not?

Greg responds...

You're just way ahead of me. I had the robot plotted through 6.0. I hadn't plotted him out farther, though I probably would have brought him back in some form in G2158. I hadn't thought about what I would name him at that point. Maybe COYOTE-2158?

By the way, though I wish I had used the Bible's spelling, the fact is I didn't, so it's COYOTE, not CY.O.T.I.

Response recorded on September 05, 1999

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Sevarius Jr. writes...

Who was responsible for creating the concept of Fox? I've always thought it was very clever to name her "Fox Renard". A conscious effort to point back at the folk tales of old, huh (Renard the Fox is a fave of mine!)? ;-)

Greg responds...

Uh, it depends what you mean.

I came up with the original concept for the Pack. At least I think I did. At any rate, I led the development team that did. I definitely had Fox pegged as female. Her birth name came later. "Renard" was used in "Outfoxed" as both a clue to the clever viewer that Halcyon and Fox were related and a clue to the clever viewer as to where Fox got her name. I know it sounds like I'm always taking credit, but I think that was my idea as well. (But it might have been Cary Bates. I just vaguely remember that Cary named the character Something Halcyon. And I made Halcyon the first name and made the last name Renard. Frank Paur came up with the character of Halcyon Renard in the first place, though I think Cary and I figured out that he was Fox's dad.)

Response recorded on August 24, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

Would you have given some personal history to Jackal and Hyena as time went on?

(I'm curious as to what kind of people would be so willing to mutilate themselves. What kind of a past could have moved them to doing that to themselves?

Wolf mutating himslef didn't bother me because if anything he was increasing his senses, his physical being, while Jackal and Hyena were diminishing theirs. They threw away perfectly good body parts for what - dull feelingless metal?)

Greg responds...

Probably. But it wasn't a high priority for me. Sometimes it's fun just to have a couple characters who are nuts. Characters who don't have complex reasons for their actions. I'm very proud of the complexity that abounds in both Demona and Xanatos. But sometimes it's fun just to cut loose.

Response recorded on August 20, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

1. What would be Katana and Nashville's reaction to Malibu?
2. Do you have designs in mind for Katana, Nashville, Tachi, Fudog, and Hudson's mate? If so, could you describe them?
3. You said that Brooklyn ended up with Mary and Finella in the 1970's. So doesn't that mean that they would still be alive today?
4. Why did you say that Shakespeare's MACBETH would amuse Macbeth? It portrays Gruoch as a Princess of Darkness. How can he take pleasure in that?
5. In what era did Demona arrive in America (Colonial, Antebellum, Reconstruction, etc)?
6. In what era did Macbeth arrive in America (Colonial, Antebellum, Reconstruction, etc)?
7. Now that Renard knows the truth about Anastasia, has it changed anything for him in terms of his feelings for her?
8. Considering that after all is said and done, Goliath was raised and lived most of his life in the 10th century, what is his stand on capital punishment?
9. What are the feelings of the Trio about the Magus and Katharine, considering that they only knew them before they changed, and have never seen their redemption, only heard of it?
10. What are the Mutates feelings about the Gargoyles now living in the castle?
11. Any news on the movie?
12. If you had done BAD GUYS, would Macbeth and/or Demona have appeared?
13. Why didn't anyone ever figure out that Gilcomgain was the Hunter? He has slash marks on his face that match the one's on the mask.
14. Broadway's blindness in FUTURE TENSE, was it just Puck playing with Goliath's sanity AND a prophecy or was it only just Puck playing with Goliath's mind?
15. If the show ever did come back, would you ever bring up or try to make clearer that the people Demona smashed in CITY OF STONE were truly dead?
16. You said that Demona would find love again. But what about Macbeth? Would he have found love again?
17. How rich would you classify Xanatos, Demona, Macbeth, and Post-RECKONING Thailog (Mildly rich, extremely rich, stinking rich, beyond the reach of ordinary people rich)?
18. What did the Mutates do with Sevarious' potion from THE CAGE?
19. Would you have shown us some of Fang's past and also some of his family if BAD GUYS had been done?
20. Can you give us a clue, where in the world, which hemisphere, which continent, where ever, is Coldstone and Coldfire's new clan going to be?
21. What was the name of Xanatos' mother and when did she die?
22. You said you haven't come up with real names for Jackal and Hyena. But do you have anything in mind?
23. Does Macbeth know about the Illuminati?
24. Does the Illuminati know about Macbeth?
25. Would we have seen some of Lexington's descendants in GARGOYLES 2158?

Greg responds...

1. That would depend on the circumstances of their introduction, don't you think?

2. I've dealt with this recently. I do have a fairly clear idea about Fu Dog. But I'm not going to pin myself down at this point.

3. Doesn't preclude the possibility.

4. It has a lot to do with Mac's relationship to Will.

5. In the immortal words of my Magic Eightball: "Try Again Later".

6. Which time?

7. What exactly does he know?

8. He probably has little trouble with it but feels that in an ideal world (which he knows this is not) it's a less than stellar solution. Of course, that's all very theoretical. In practice, we've seen how he responds.

9. Distanced.

10. The Mutates aren't a monolith.

11. Nothing new, since I last answered.

12. Maybe, eventually, but not in my immediate plans.

13. Dramatic license? Or.... There were a lot of people with similar scars running around Scotland back then. Yeah. That's the ticket.

14. You didn't really think I'd answer that, did you?

15. You mean go out of my way to cover that?

16. Sure. Why not? (I'm such an old softy.)

17. Xanatos is Beyond the Reach rich. Macbeth is just stinking rich. Demona's extremely rich. Thailog's just rich.

18. Maggie saved it.

19. Yes.

20. Huh?

21. Not saying now.

22. Jack and Hanna. (Just kidding.) (Unless, I decide that those names really amuse me.)

23. Not saying.

24. Not saying.

25. Not saying.


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Airwalker writes...

1. How much of Jackal and Hyena is left, how much of them is still human flesh? 5 percent, 10 percent, etc? Are they more machine than man?

2. Are Jackal and Hyena still anatomically correct, meaning are they still capable of sex?

Greg responds...

1 and 2. They are, I believe more machine than flesh, i.e. over 50 ody replacement. But I'm quite sure they wouldn't have ditched their sexual organs. Though I don't think that Hyena kept her reproductive organs. And I'm afraid to ask her.


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Airwalker writes...

Glad to see AskGreg is back up.

1. Does Demona know about the Illuminati Society?
2. Does the Illuminati Society know about Demona?
3. Why exactly did you decide that Jackal and Hyena would become Cyborgs and that Wolf would become a Mutate? Why specifically that combination instead visa versa?
4. How long has Nokkar's intergalactic war been going on?
5. What happened to the helicopter Lexington fixed in HER BROTHERS KEEPER?
6. You said that New Olympians generally live for 13-250 years. So would any of the New Olympians we know be alive and around in 2158?
7. How does the Avalon Clan feel about Demona and Macbeth? (They must know those two weren't acting under their own will during the fight with the Archmage but to someone who they injured that little bit of information might not exactly displace anger at being injured.)
8. After all these years, does Macbeth know that Demona was listioning outside his window when Bodhe suggested betraying her clan to the English?
9. What are the Mutates feelings towards Alex Xanatos?
10. Why didn't Xanatos try to make Coldfire and Clodsteel look more "alive"; meaning why not slap some fake flesh on them like he did for Cyoti 1.0?
11. In POSSESSION, why wasn't Angela shocked at seeing Coldstone? After all when Goliath first saw him, he called him an abomination.
12. What was Goliath thinking in SANCTUARY and MARK OF THE PANTHER when he kept tellin Angela that she has many mothers and fathers? Who was he thinking of? There's only him, Hudson, Coldstone, Demona, and the Trio at that point. Did he seriously expect the Trio to think of Anglea as their daughter?
13. In 2158, how do you picture the world political status? Are there still seperate countries for example?
14. What is the legal status of Gargoyles in 2158?
15. What is Renard's opinion of Petros Xanatos?

Greg responds...

1. Yes.
2. Quite a bit.
3. A lot had to do with what felt right for the characters I guess. Wolf was very animalistic and hostile. Seemed perfect to make him a genetic werewolf. Jackal & Hyena were just nuts. A sociopath and a psychopath. It felt right that they would take things to the ultimate extreme.
4. Quite some time, young feller.
5. Kenner decided not to make a toy out of it.
6. That wasn't my plan.
7. Indiviuals all react differently. I'm not going to give you thirty-six individual responses.
8. I think he figured it out that night on Lunfanan Hill.
9. Which Mutate?
10. Fake gargoyle flesh? What would be the point?
11. Well, the truth here is that Angela had seen him already in the Himalayas. At least that had been my plan if the comic book hadn't been cancelled.
12. He was trying to instill in her the idea that her preoccupation with her biological parentage was an unhealthy human notion. (And since he knew Demona was her biological mother, you can see where his fear was coming from.) Of course, he lost the forest for the trees as Diane Maza pointed out in "Mark". He tried to make up for it later.
13. Yes and no.
14. Protected minority.
15. They barely know each other. And on some level, I think they'd get along, except for one thing... Renard hates David. And though Petros doesn't approve of much of his son's actions, I can't see him standing calmly by while someone else berates his son. Blood. Whatchagonnado?


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Karen writes...

Hiya! First of all i'd like to say that you have made an excellent series, congrats on the great work. Ok...I'm a first-timer but I have read the archives so I'll be careful not to ask anything that I can remember already being asked.
1) Why is it that it took Goliath so long to finally except Angela as his daughter but it didn't take Demona very long at all? infact, it seemed as though she had completely excepted Angela as hers, not even asking about the other members of the rookery. Any reason for this?

2) If you had to pick one, which would you say is the most truly Evil villain on the show? (The one who is bad merely to see people suffer or something)

3) Since what biologic ages would you say that Goliath and Demona were a couple?

Well.. although I've been itchin' to do this for so long but wasn't able to because it had been down, I can't remember any of the questions I had lined up... oh well.. I'll save them for another day i suppose.

Greg responds...

Now to answer my first question of ASK GREG - The Next Generation.

Hi Karen,

1. Goliath was very concerned about playing favorites. Angela, to his mind, was way too concerned about him as her BIOLOGICAL father. To his upbringing, that showed bad taste. Of course, she was raised differently. Once Diane Maza pointed out to Goliath that Angela was the only daughter in the vicinity, Goliath lept at the chance to be her dad. It's not that he didn't love her, but he was a novice father and he didn't want to screw up.

Demona's motivations, as usual, were more complicated. Assuming Sevarius filled her in about Angela sometime between "Sanctuary" and "The Reckoning", Demona had time to plan an "attack" on her daughter, or at least on her daughter's loyalties. As usual, Demona is her own worst enemy. She initially saw Angela as an opportunity, not a child. By the time she realized how important Angela truly was to her, it was all but too late.

2. Gee... Did we have any of those? I guess Hyena, Jackal and Wolf sorta qualify. Proteus was pretty nasty. Yeah. Maybe Proteus.

3. Don't have my timeline here with me, so I can't pin it down exactly. But by 971 they were already falling for each other, so that should give you an idea...



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