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Phoenician writes...

I was swimming through the S8 archives and noticed a Gargoyles question that's been asked before but never really had a chance to be answered (at least online).

From 2001: http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=2177

From 2013: http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=19262

Naturally, I'm curious myself now (and curious that I've never really wondered about it before tonight). So how many seasons and/or episodes was The Pack on the air?

Just to be thorough, I double checked the ol' This Day in Gargoyles' Universe History rambles from 2007-2008 and the posts relative to the on-air Pack program only refer to the day the television at the castle began airing episodes of The Pack on all stations all day and night long (http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=644), the day of the live-performance engagement (http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=645), and the aftermath of Wolf & Fox's arrest, leading to the show's cancellation (http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=647) . . . all in the span of four days from November 3rd to November 6th, 1994.

Finally, I've been reading Cary Bates's and your work on The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom and I just finished World of Warcraft: Traveler! I thorougly enjoyed both and I (like so many others) cannot wait for Young Justice season three :D

Greg responds...

Thanks for the kind words!

The Pack had at least one season and had begun (at least) its second when the $#!^ hit the fan. I don't have Gargoyles materials here at my WB office, and I just can't remember if they had more than one full season. But I don't think so.

Response recorded on August 03, 2017

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Tyler Reznik writes...

Hello, Mr. Weisman.

I've been rewatching some episodes of "Gargoyles" and reading some of your ramblings about the show, and I had a couple of interesting thoughts about the Pack:

The two most human members of the Pack, Fox and Dingo, are also the first to break off from the group. Fox basically ditched them as soon as Coyote entered the picture; she'll manipulate or work with her former co-stars if the mood strikes, sure, but otherwise, she's pretty much done with them. Dingo took a bit longer, but he left as well, and he also seems to be pretty much done with the Pack, apart from working for Fox in "Walkabout".

On a similar note, Fox and Dingo are also the only ones out of the Pack to have had their real names (or, in Fox's case, her birth name) revealed. They go by Fox and Dingo, but they were born Janine Renard and Harry Monmouth.

Contrast the others: long after Fox and Dingo have (mostly) gone straight, Wolf, Jackal, and Hyena continue a life of crime. On top of that, we have no other names by which to identify them (although, for some reason, I keep thinking that Wolf's first name is something like "Thomas"; probably just getting a little mixed-up with one of Clancy Brown's other roles on the show). They're the ones who discard their humanity for an extra edge. Unlike Fox and Dingo, who are people with vague beastly motifs, Wolf, Hyena, and Jackal are beasts in human skin (metaphorically speaking). We know them by no other names because they need no others. What their parents called them is irrelevant. Not only that, but they stayed together as a team up until Egypt (and will eventually reunite under Coyote as the Ultra-Pack). The beasts stayed a Pack, and the people set off on their own.

One last remark on the Pack's chosen names: Fox's and Dingo's mirror their heritages ("Renard" is French for "fox", and Dingo's Australian), while the other members have names that reflect who they are (Wolf was always a huge, growling brute, Hyena's a cackling killer, Jackal's amoral). Fox and Dingo CHOSE their names; Wolf, Hyena, and Jackal already WERE their names.

So, what do you think? Is this little analysis accurate at all (I could be way off, or reading too much into it; you, sir, would, of course know better than I would)?

In conclusion, thank you for taking the time to read this, and have a good day, Mr. Weisman.

Greg responds...

I like it!!

Response recorded on February 05, 2016

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Merlin writes...

What were Xanatos's original intentions with the Pack? He said he created them to be far more than a TV show and he sicced them on Goliath to see how good they were and to also test Goliath.

But how long were they on the air before this? He couldn't have always intended to use them as a test for Goliath, so what were his original intentions there when he created them to be far more than a TV show?

Greg responds...

To be his operatives.

Response recorded on November 27, 2013

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Greg Bishansky writes...

One aspect that I always liked about "Gargoyles" was that most of the individual characters had someone they considered their own personal nemesis.

Brooklyn had Demona (but I doubt she thought enough about him to feel the same, her focus was always on Goliath). Lexington had the Pack (though, again, I doubt they gave him as much thought as again, Goliath). Broadway had Dracon (again, I tend to think Dracon gave Goliath more thought, and especially Elisa).

Actually, while writing this post, it just occurred to me that these people the trio despised probably didn't give them individually all that much thought... kind of says something about how the futility of holding such contempt for someone, only for that other person to probably not spend all that much time thinking about you. See, I love "Gargoyles," I'm always seeing things in new ways.

But I guess what I was originally going to ask, before my little revelation there was this. Did you have any rivalries like that planned with the Redemption Squad?

For Hunter, Demona or John Castaway being her personal nemesis seems like a given. Though I wouldn't be surprised if we get a new character there. Dingo seems to have Falstaff for that role, especially if he ever discovers how his mother died.

Yama, Fang and especially Matrix are harder to pin down for this. I suppose for Yama it could be Taro, but I'm not sure... he seems to blame himself for what he did rather than Taro. Fang doesn't seem to hold any real ill will towards Sevarius. And Matrix doesn't even have emotions and can't take things personally.

Greg responds...

Of course, the ultimate example of what you describe in your third paragraph is with Gillecomgain. He's obsessed for years over the gargoyle that scarred him. And when Demona sees his face, she has absolutely no memory of the incident.

As for the Bad Guys characters, things would evolve in the fullness of time.

Response recorded on March 22, 2013

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Todd Jensen writes...

I recently got to watch the first two episodes of Season Two of "The Spectacular Spider-Man" on YouTube (I hadn't seen them before now, since I don't have cable) and enjoyed them.

I noticed at the end the MasterPlanner's line to Kraven about "hunting in packs". While it works in its own right as a hint of things to come (presumably super-villain team-ups), I thought "pack" was appropriate. Kraven was hunting Spidey for the same reason that the Pack initially hunted the gargoyles - the "Most Dangerous Game" motive - and, like Wolf, had himself upgraded into a mutate (though feline rather than canine). He even got photographs of Spidey at the start of the episode from the MasterPlanner, just as the Pack got the photographs of Goliath at the start of "The Thrill of the Hunt". I don't know if the "hunting in packs" line was intended as a "Gargoyles" hommage or in-joke or not, but I liked it and thought it appropriate.

Greg responds...

I can't remember for sure. But it probably was.

Response recorded on October 30, 2012

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Richard Jackson writes...

Which would you rather watch?

The entire series run of "The Pack" or "Hello Megan?"

Greg responds...

Oh, God. That's tough. Really tough.

LOL. I'm stumped.

Response recorded on May 22, 2012

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Richard Jackson writes...

A couple of in-universe questions about "The Pack" television show.

1) How much of a role did Xanatos play in the development of the show? Like creating the monikers for the team and coming up with the storyline of the Pack constantly battling the evil ninjas.

2) How was "The Pack" television show received among parents and critics in the Gargoyles Universe? I mean, was it considered better than Barney?

Greg responds...

1. Probably a lot of conceptual work, then delegating the day to day.

2. Probably, it was considered horrible for children. It was a huge success.

Response recorded on August 26, 2011

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Clark Cradic writes...

What exactly did the Pack do for a living before being hired by Xanatos and becoming celebrities?

Greg responds...

Dingo was a thief and a robber for a long time. But Dingo, Hyena, Jackal and Wolf were all mercenaries immediately before getting hired by Fox. Fox's story I'll keep to myself for the time being.

Response recorded on June 19, 2009

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Chicken Taco writes...

Have you by chance seen the new version of "American Gladiators"? One of the new Gladiators is called 'Wolf' and bares a striking resemblence to well, Gargoyles' Wolf.

I'm sure it's just coinsidental then some intentional reference, since of course a stocky hair muscle man is gonna pick the name "Wolf", but it's still very funny to see what's basically the same character 'real life'

Greg responds...

You probably couldn't pay me enough to watch "American Gladiators", but then again, had it been a real show, you probably couldn't have paid me enough to watch "The Pack" either.

Response recorded on February 05, 2008

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JANUARY 28

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 28th...

1995
Lexington begins to repair Jackal's helicopter. Elisa Maza confronts Fox in prison. Fox reveals that David Xanatos created the Pack, and is using Jackal and Hyena to cement Derek Maza's loyalty. Elisa records Fox's conversation. Derek flies Xanatos to his upstate retreat, 'Xanadu'. Again, Jackal and Hyena attack. And again, the Manhattan Clan intervenes, using the repaired helicopter to defeat and capture the twins.

1996
In the morning, Rory Dugan returns home and argues with his father, Mr. Dugan. That evening at sunset, Elisa Maza, Goliath and Angela wake up to find themselves trapped inside Cairn na Chullain by the Banshee, who is convinced they have been sent by Oberon to bring her back to Avalon for the Gathering. Rory, looking for Molly, encounters Bronx instead. When the Banshee realizes that Rory and "the Great Beast" are together, she appears to Rory and lures him away from Bronx.


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JANUARY 26

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 26th...

1994
The Emir's son is killed in a pointless car accident.

1995
Fox orders Hyena and Jackal to assassinate David Xanatos. And that morning, Derek Maza decides to quit the NYPD and accept Xanatos' job offer.

1996
At midnight, the Emir summons and imprisons Anubis, the Egyptian god of death. Elisa Maza and the gargoyles attempt to intervene but are captured. The Emir tries to force Anubis to bring his late son back to life. When Anubis refuses, the Emir attempts to become an avatar of Anubis' power. But Jackal intercepts the spell and becomes the Avatar of Anubis instead. Mad with power, Jackal destroys Coyote 3.0 and brings death to an entire Egyptian town, before the Emir recasts his spell and becomes the new Avatar. The Emir now understands that death cannot play favorites, and he destroys the temple to prevent anyone else from ever gaining access to Anubis' power. Elisa and the gargoyles spend the day outside the Sphinx. Then they return to Avalon. What's left of the Pack scatters.


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DECEMBER 14

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 14th...

1995
The trio have grown steadily more at odds over Goliath's inability to choose one of them as a Second. They have begun competing to see who can stop the most street crime. Elisa, Goliath, Hudson and Bronx are captured by a newly upgraded Pack. Coyote has a new robot body. Hyena & Jackal are now cyborgs. Wolf is a mutate. And Dingo has new battle armor. Meanwhile, Halcyon Renard, who had been searching for some means to fight the disease that is killing him, discovers an incantation that will transfer his soul into the Golem of Prague.


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E360 writes...

What nationalities are Wolf, Hyena and Jackal?

Greg responds...

Wolf is American of Norwegian descent.

Hyena and Jackal are Canadian.

Response recorded on December 14, 2007

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NOVEMBER 16

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 16th...

1995
The Pack is approached by the Coyote robot's severed head. On Xanatos' behalf, the head offers the Pack the opportunity to be upgraded by using genetic engineering, cybernetics, armor and robotics. They agree to differing degrees. While back at the Eyrie Building, Fox & Xanatos begin a game that will eventually pit the gargoyles and Pack against each other. Meanwhile, Peter & Diane Maza confront Elisa about Derek Maza's disappearance. Elisa talks them out of filing a police report on her brother.

1996
5:44am EST - [withheld]


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NOVEMBER 15

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 15th...

1994
While Elisa again tries to convince Goliath to abandon the castle, they are attacked by a Steel Clan Robot. Goliath destroys it, but Owen uses the opportunity to acquire some of Goliath's genetic material.

1995
The Pack attempts to rob a bank. The gargoyles try to stop them. Goliath is badly injured - allowing the Pack to escape. Hudson informs Goliath that he needs to choose one of the Trio to be his Second-in-Command.

1996
1:16am EST - [withheld]

5:02am EST - [withheld]

5:05am EST - [withheld]

5:12am EST - [withheld]

5:38am EST - [withheld]

5:40am EST - [withheld]

5:43am EST - [withheld]

7:00am EST - [withheld]

7:36am EST - [withheld]

8:06am EST - [withheld]

8:07am EST - [withheld]

9:23am EST - [withheld]

10:59am EST - [withheld]

11:04am EST - [withheld]

3:13pm EST - [withheld]

3:15pm EST - [withheld]

8:06pm EST - [withheld]

8:07pm EST - [withheld]


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NOVEMBER 9

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 9th...

1995
The city honors Peter Choy and Rosaria Sanchez. Terrorists take hostages (including Brendan & Margot) at a bank. The gargoyles intervene and have their first encounter with the Weird Sisters. Wolf sees television coverage of the bank robbery and decides that he and the Pack are going to turn to a life of crime. Meanwhile, Demona and Xanatos initiate their plan to secure immortality by stealing a minute of life from everyone who watches their hijacked broadcast. However, Demona was fooling Xanatos, and actually succeeds in using the broadcast to turn everyone who watches into stone at night. Owen, Fox, Elisa and most of the humans in Manhattan see the broadcast. Xanatos does not watch.

1996
5:36am EST - [withheld]


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NOVEMBER 6

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 5th...

1994
Owen tells Xanatos the results of his Gargoyles vs. The Pack experiment. With Fox and Wolf under arrest, The Pack television series is quickly cancelled. Dingo flees to Europe.

1995
Fox arrives at the Eyrie with Xanatos' father, Petros. That night, Goliath decides to attend the wedding. He brings his half of the Phoenix Gate along. Fox and David are married. Demona tricks Goliath into giving her his half of the Gate. She then uses it to travel back in time to the year 975. Goliath, David, Fox and Petros Xanatos go too. Seconds later, they return, having fulfilled their roles in the time-stream. That same night, Thailog, who had intentionally been kept hidden from Goliath, initiates his plan to steal $20 million from Xanatos.

1996
5:32am EST - [withheld]

6:00am EST - [withheld]


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NOVEMBER 5

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 5th...

1994
Lexington convinces Goliath to meet the Pack. But the Pack attempts to hunt Goliath and Lex down. The gargoyles manage to turn the tables. Fox and Wolf are arrested.

1995
Xanatos sends word through Elisa that he wants to talk to Goliath. Assuming the worst, Goliath attacks Xanatos atop the Goldencup Bakery Building. After a brief struggle, Xanatos stops the fight and asks Goliath to be best man at his wedding to Fox the next night. Xanatos also promises that Demona will be at the wedding.

1996
3:00am EST - [withheld]

5:31am EST - [withheld]


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NOVEMBER 4

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 4th...

1994
Now that Xanatos has negotiated such a short sentence, Elisa tries to convince Goliath that the gargoyles must leave the castle. Goliath refuses. Brooklyn, Broadway and Lexington attend a live performance by the Pack. Lexington makes contact with his heroes after the show.

1995
Peter Choy and Rosaria Sanchez rescue and resuscitate a drowning five-year-old from the lake in Central Park.

1996
5:30am EST - [withheld]

5:35am EST - [withheld]

9:48pm EST - [withheld]

9:50pm EST - [withheld]


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NOVEMBER 3

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 3rd...

1793
Philibert Aspairt is lost beneath the catacombs of Paris.

1994
The television at the castle begins showing THE PACK on all channels at all times.

1996
5:29am EST - [withheld]

10:00am EST - [withheld]

11:30am EST - [withheld]

12:07pm EST - [withheld]

1:15pm EST - [withheld]

2:01pm EST - [withheld]

2:45pm EST - [withheld]


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SEPTEMBER 5

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

September 5th...

1995
After midnight, Goliath, Hudson & Broadway free Brooklyn, Lexington and Bronx from an oil tanker in the bay. Coyote, revealed to be a robot, is destroyed by Bronx and Lex, though the robot's head and the Pack escape.


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SEPTEMBER 4

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

September 4th...

1995
Coyote and Dingo bust the rest of the Pack out of prison. Fox refuses to join them, and even protects a guard from Hyena. Coyote becomes the new leader of the Pack. At sundown, the Gargoyles join the hunt to track them down, and the Pack captures Lex, Brooklyn and Bronx.


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Huac writes...

If Wolf and Fox were sentenced to jail for 16 months, why did Xanatos even bother pulling the stunt in Leader of the Pack instead of just letting them serve their time in jail?

Greg responds...

Love makes you do whacky things.

Response recorded on July 16, 2007

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JUNE 30

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

June 30th...

1995
Fox and Wolf are denied parole, and are informed that they will most likely have to serve their entire sixteen-month sentence. Their next parole hearing is set for October 30th, 1995. Xanatos begins to plan Fox's release and the Pack's escape.


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dph writes...

Prior to seeking employment for the Pack tv show, had Jackal, Hyena, Dingo, or Wolf met/encountered Fox?

Greg responds...

I'm not answering this at this time.

Response recorded on June 12, 2007

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Caswin writes...

"Which members of the Pack?"

Okay, to elaborate slightly less than before on my Pack/Mutates question (as as far as I can tell, mentioning my rationale sounded too much like an idea, hence its deletion)...

Did The Pack - asking about every member here; I guess Fox would be a safe bet, all things considered, but other than her - know about the Mutates while they were together? Do any of them now?

Greg responds...

With the exception of Fox, and perhaps Coyote, I'd say no. Information is power. Why would Xanatos share power with Dingo, Jackal, Hyena or Wolf?

Response recorded on June 11, 2007

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Charisma82 writes...

Hey! I was wondering about the Pack's names. I'm assuming that each of them picked their own animal name when they joined the pack. Did each of them have a reason for picking the animal they picked, or was it like they drew straws out of a hat to see who got the coolest names? (I know that's unlikely, but you know what I mean… I hope). If they chose their own, was there an intellectual reasoning behind the name or did they just pick their favorite animal?

Thanks for you time and answer.

-Charisma82

Greg responds...

It's hard to imagine them picking the names at random, isn't it? I mean, can you picture Dingo and Hyena exchanging names because of the whim of a hat?

Fox's name pre-dates her involvement with the Pack. And you might keep in mind that the others were recruited.

Response recorded on June 01, 2007

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MAY 26

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 26th...

1996
Broadway and Lex defeat Hyena and take custody of the Amulet, leaving Hyena for the cops. And in Guatemala, the gargoyles and Elisa battle Jackal. At sunrise, Jackal briefly believes he has the upper hand when Obsidiana turns to stone. But in reality, she had merely lost her pendant. Bronx recovers it, and he, Zafiro, Jade and Turquesa dispatch Jackal. As a result, Vogel decides to cancel Cyberbiotics' rain forest operation. After sundown, the travelers depart. But they bring Jade and Turquesa along to transplant samples of the rain forest flora in Avalon. They arrive on the mystic island at dawn and Goliath, Angela and Bronx sleep through the Avalonian day. Elisa introduces Jade and Turquesa to Princess Katharine and the Guardian, and all spend the day scouting Avalon for a good location for the rain forest transplants.


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MAY 25

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 25th...

1996
At sunrise, Goliath, Angela and Bronx turn to stone. But the Mayan gargoyles wear magic pendants that allow them to remain flesh, thanks to a missing Mayan Sun Amulet. During the day, Elisa watches Zafiro scare farmers away from the forest. Meanwhile, Hyena heads for New York in order to break into a museum and destroy the Sun Amulet. She's spotted by Broadway and Lexington.


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MAY 24

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 24th...

1996
Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx leave Avalon and arrive in the rain forests of Guatemala. There they encounter Zafiro, Obsidiana, Jade and Turquesa, the last surviving gargoyles of the Mayan Clan. Together, they fight off an incursion against the rain forest by Jackal, Hyena and loggers working for Cyberbiotics, under the management of Preston Vogel.


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MAY 1

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 1st...

1776
Adam Weishaupt founds the Bavarian Illuminati.

1996
Hakon's spirit reaches out across the globe and senses that his descendant Wolf shares his hatred of Goliath. He summons Wolf to Wyvern Hill in Scotland. Meanwhile, Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx depart from Avalon and arrive in Australia. There they encounter the Matrix phenomena created by a pregnant Fox and her mother Anastasia Renard.


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Caswin writes...

Hey there, fairly recent fan of the series, first-time asker. One question (so far) that I've been curious about - is The Pack aware of The Mutates' existence?

Greg responds...

Which members of the Pack?

Response recorded on April 19, 2007

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Fllay Allster hater AND Kira Yamato hater writes...

Hi greg,

Questions regarding "Walkabout"

1. Why did Dingo meant by helping Fox and Anastasia? Carry crates? Clearing the test sites?

2. How did the Matrix shrank after being so insanely large? Compression? Did it kill a handfull of nanobots?

3. What was Dingo's job before going to America?

Thank you.

Greg responds...

1. Generally, I think he was in charge of security. EXTERNAL security. Although, clearly he was off duty when the episode begins.

2. Deactivated and dissolved most of them, yes.

3. Mercenary.

Response recorded on August 30, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

An "Upgrade" question. During the gargoyles' fight with the Pack at the bank at the beginning of the episode, Wolf shouts, as the Pack is retreating, "This isn't over!" The last time that I watched this episode on tape, I realized that those were the exact same words that Hakon shouted in "Awakening Part One" after the gargoyles had turned back his first attack on the castle.

Did you know at the time that Wolf was descended from Hakon, and put that line of Wolf's in as a foreshadowing of "Vendettas"?

Greg responds...

Yes.

Response recorded on May 02, 2005

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Anonymous writes...

Is Nokkar the Sentinel your version of the Green Lantern in the Gargoyles Universe just as Cuchullain and Coyote were your ideas of Thor and Ultron?

Greg responds...

Cuchullain wasn't inspired by Thor. In fact if anything, I was disappointed that the character kept overlapping into Thor-territory.

Ultron was AN inspiration for Coyote... in the sense that we kept bringing the robot back and numbering each new incarnation, but I think that's where the inspiration ended. They don't have much else in common.

Nokkar has no connection to Green Lantern in any significant way that I can see, even now that you bring it up.

In any case, this notion of "versions" (implying that all we were trying to do was to duplicate existing characters) is somewhat offensive. I'm not sure if that was your intent, and I don't want to over-react. But I thought you should know.

Response recorded on April 29, 2005

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Lawrence Matheson writes...

How similar are coyote 1.0 and the program Xanitos put on Coldstone to monitor his personalities as they both seemed to be based on Xanitos but were either an AI?Did they know of each other?

Greg responds...

I'm sure they had similarities. Neither were full-fledged Artificial Intelligences. Did they know of each other? Uh... I don't know. Never thought about it. Does it matter?

Response recorded on April 28, 2005

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Coyote Inventor writes...

What is a sense distortion laser beam that Coyote 1.0 and Coyote 4.0 had .

Greg responds...

If we're talking about the same thing, it effects things like balance and vision and sound in the brain... makes everything go all Salvadore Dali on ya.

Response recorded on April 18, 2005

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Macbeth writes...

Dear Greg , I have a few questions I was wondering about 1 . What Happened to Coyote 1.0's coyote head and body ?
2. Had Xanatos had Coyote armor that he wore ?
3. How come Coyote's head mcame back in Greif . Goliath destroyed Coyote's head to pieces in Upgrade ?
.P.S. - I will be really sad if you don't answer my questions right away .

Greg responds...

1. The body was basically destroyed and went down with the ship. The head was incorporated into Coyote 2.0 and was eventually smashed by Goliath, as I recall.

2. I don't think so.

3. It wasn't the actual head it was a vid-image of the head.

P.S. Sorry, I made you sad, but you must have seen the queue. I didn't even see your question until today.

Response recorded on March 25, 2005

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Anonymous writes...

Why didn't Xanatos destroy the head of Coyote 1.0

Greg responds...

Why waste it?

Response recorded on March 16, 2005

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DPH writes...

Why was each member of the original Pack recruited?

Greg responds...

Prowess and resume.

Response recorded on December 02, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

How exactly did Coyote get rebuilt by Xanatos if he got turned into rust by the Anubis Avatar?

Greg responds...

Xanatos can manufacture new parts. He doesn't need the old materials to build the robot. He has the specs. And he's constantly upgrading those specs anyway. Plus the Coyote after the one Anubis/Jackal destroyed incorporates the Cauldron of Life, right?

Response recorded on September 29, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

What does the X in Coyote stand for? The variable? The roman numeral? I'm not trying to be annoying, but this has become an issue since the X in Weapon X has turned out to be the roman numeral ten instead of the variable.

Greg responds...

Neither. It's a place holder.

Response recorded on September 22, 2004

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Lacey & Marlissa writes...

What are some fact about Austrilla because my partner and I are in a class were we have to research Austrilla for a report in library Science thanks lots

Greg responds...

Dingo's from there. Matrix too.

Does that help?

Response recorded on February 09, 2004

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Todd Jensen writes...

My ramble on "Upgrade".

I'll confess, for a start, that "Upgrade" isn't one of my favorite episodes, due mostly to the fact that it seemed much more like a half-hour "slugfest" than is generally the case with "Gargoyles" (although, given that we're dealing with the Pack here, I suppose it's inevitable - they're not the most subtle antagonists out there, after all). But it had some parts of it that I rather liked.

The transformations of Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf definitely freaked me out. In fact, the first time that I saw this episode, I tried to believe, for a while, that Jackal and Hyena were simply wearing fancy mechanical armor, but the evidence against that was too strong; I had to face the facts, in the end, and realized that they'd become cyborgs. And that definitely chilled me. (In Wolf's case, I didn't even have the option of finding an alternative explanation; it was too obvious that he'd been mutated.) Those three had permanently changed, on the physical level, from what they'd been in "The Thrill of the Hunt". They were no longer fully human. In fact, to me, the real significance of their alterations in "Upgrade" wasn't what you'd pointed out (they need to be upgraded so that it won't be too easy for the gargoyles to take them down - though I did see that there) but rather the way that the three of them were growing less human, their physical transformation being almost an outward sign of their increasing degeneracy.

By contrast, I liked Dingo's refusal to become physically upgraded, and horror at what his teammates had done to themselves. In fact, that was definitely when I began to like Dingo, as opposed to seeing him as just another member of the Pack (as he'd been to me up until then). (It certainly echoed my response to their transformations, which, I suspect, was how most of the audience was similarly responding). I wasn't surprised, therefore, when he was no longer with the Pack in "Grief" afterwards, or when he was shown seeking to "go straight" in "Walkabout". This was definitely the point where we see the "break with Eastcheap" (I chose that particular phrase inspired by your idea of Dingo's real name being Harry Monmouth, and the parallel is definitely there - though I might add that I don't see any of his former Pack-mates being a Falstaff-figure - more on the level of Falstaff's associates like Bardolph or Pistol, perhaps, but not scaling the heights of comic genius of Sir John himself - not that they were meant to.)

We also see the definite introduction (though it'd been hinted at in "Leader of the Pack") of Hyena's interest in Coyote, which has to count as the most bizarre relationship in "Gargoyles"; even Jackal gets nauseated by it, and this is a guy whose idea of a good time is redesigning Goliath's features in his stone sleep.

One side-note: re Hyena's wondering aloud whether gargoyles taste like chicken. I've sometimes wondered why the phrase is "tastes like chicken" as opposed to "tastes like beef" or "tastes like pork", or "tastes like turkey". Just one of life's little mysteries, I suppose.

On the gargoyles' side, we get to see Brooklyn becoming the new second in command. I will admit that I honestly hadn't wondered about that issue until the episode came out. (I've occasionally wondered if Goliath didn't pick one before this episode had anything to do with it having last been filled by Demona, but that's probably a bit of a stretch.) I did think that Brooklyn fitted the role well, and liked the bit at the end where he admits that he's not in that big a hurry to take Goliath's place. And where Goliath offers the role to Hudson, but Hudson declines it.

I still get a kick out of Fox's little public service announcement: "Don't 'Pack' it in. Take the train." Pretty clever of her.

I don't find Officer Morgan's remark that troublesome; in fact, I found it quite amusing.

Incidentally, Xanatos's remark at the end about having found a true equal in Fox reminds me of your analysis of Theseus, where you saw him as having found his equal in the Amazon Queen Hippolyta/Antiope. It makes me wonder whether you'd included a little of your perception of Theseus and Hippolyta in Xanatos and Fox (whether consciously or otherwise). Come to think of it, there's even a slight connection between the two couples, via "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Greg responds...

Taking your points in reverse order:

One of the great ironies of the series is that the one character who truly builds a healthy relationship (prior to Broadway & Angela in "The Journey") is Xanatos. The BAD GUY.

Heavily influenced by "The Warrior's Husband" and "The Bull from the Sea", I do see Theseus and Antiope as being true equals and the correct match.

But I'm not sure that's influencing X & Fox so much as that ANY great man would WANT a great woman, not a trophy or showpiece or weak link. Xanatos would no more settle for a weak wife than he'd want Owen to throw a judo practice.

By the same token, Goliath loves and respects Elisa and Broadway loves and respects Angela. They are equals.

Maybe it's just the way I think the world should work.

"Tastes like chicken" has entered the vernacular, I think. I first heard it in reference to Rattlesnake meat, and at the time that may have been someone's sincere way to describe what the serpent tastes like.

But since then, I've heard the phrase applied to almost any exotic carnivorous matter. I've never heard beef, pork or turkey used the same way.

The degeneracy of Wolf, Hyena and Jackal was definitely part of our intent.

Response recorded on January 30, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

You know how in most comic books that super-villains end up in mental hospitals for the criminally insane instead of prison? Two examples are Arkham Asylum in the DC comics and Ravencroft in Marvel Comics. Out of all of the Gargoyles' enemies, who would most likely end up in an insane asylum? Fans have to admit that villains like Demona, Dr. Sevarious, Castaway, Thailog, Hyena, Jackal, Proteus and Coldsteel are all nuts! Plus, Wolf and Fang seem to have some issues.

Greg responds...

I don't think that either Wolf, Fang, Sevarius, Thailog or Coldsteel are "criminally insane" by its legal definition. I think it's a stretch for Demona, Jackal, Castaway and Proteus as well. That is, all these characters know right from wrong.

Of the characters you named, Hyena and Proteus are the most psychopathic. But I think Proteus knows what he's doing. He just revels in his evil. Hyena, frankly, isn't that bright. She has no control at all, beyond some semi-affection for her brother, i.e. her anchor.

Clearly, many of these characters COULD wind up in someplace Arkhamesque. But that would depend on lawyers and judges and juries. Obviously, the one trial we know that Hyena faced landed her in a regular prison cell right beside Fox. So even for her, a legal argument could obviously be made that she was criminally sane.

Response recorded on January 22, 2004

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Aaron writes...

Hi Greg. Long-winded question, so bear with me.

One of the recurring themes of Western story-telling is that those who "tamper in God's domain", to borrow a phrase, will be struck down for their hubris. After the enterance of Frankenstein into our collective consciousness, one of the "rules" for Western literature is that Frankenstein must always be destroyed by his monster, for his arrogance in playing god.

The reason I bring this up, is that Xanatos is a man who seems to like playing god. And he has left a trail of monsters in his wake.

I'll ignore Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf for the purposes of this question, since it could be argued that they were already monsters who merely allowed their exteriors to be altered to match their true natures. (Although, it could also be argued that those three were tempted by David and his offers of power and vengeance, but at the end of the day, I still think they all damned themselves willingly)

I'd go so far as to even ignore the mutates, because even though they become monsterous looking, they really don't fit the bill as "monsters". They're just ordinary people who, by virtue of making some bad character judgements, find themselves with fur and wings. (Although it probably doesn't help Xanatos' karma any)

But even ignoring those two examples, you still have...

1. Coldstone. Such an obvious Frankenstein archtype that you joked about it. (The "It's alive! ALLLLLLLIVE!" sequence remains one of my favorites from the whole show) Of course, you could lay Coldstone at least partially at Demona's feet as well, so we'll move on.

2. Thailog. Grown in a lab, created with a mixture of different people, (Goliath's body and temper, Xanatos' mind and ethics, Sevarius'... libedo? Whatever accounts for Delilah) he turns almost immediately on his "fathers" You could call Thailog Sevarius' creature rather then Xanatos' except that David is the force behind his creation, and that Anton, for all his mad scientist posturing, could be seen as no more then a lab assistant, an Igor to David's Dr. Frankenstein.

3. The Coyote robot series. Xanatos' most personal "creature", the one to whom he gave his face (well, half of it) and voice. Loyal (?) to David for now, but unless forming the Ultrapack is David's idea, he presumably goes indepentant eventually. That, and we know he sets his sights on galactic domination in 2198, presumably not with his creator's blessing. (Then again, I could be wrong)

4. The Matrix. Created so that David and Fox could reshape the entire planet at their whim. If that's not arrogance, I don't know what is. Admittedly, I don't think it's becoming sentient along the way was part of the plan, and it's inclusion here might be a bit of a stretch, but I thought it was an example of Xanatos' hubris, if nothing else.

So, I guess, after all that lead up, my question is this: Would the pattern hold true? Would one (or all) of Xanatos' "creatures" come back to bite him in the ass later? As Elisa said "I wouldn't want Xanatos' karma."

There is a second part to this question, but I'll submit it separately, in case it's viewed as an idea.

Greg responds...

Well, for starters, I'd argue your premise. Victor Frankenstein's life was certainly decimated by the monster he created and abandoned -- but he survived the experience, sadder and hopefully wiser.

Moreover, it was the abandonment that was his true sin in Mary Shelley's original work. The creation was certainly hybris. But Shelley is pretty darn clear that she viewed the abandonment as worse. And I tend to agree. It's nature vs. nurture. The creature wasn't created evil. He was driven to it.

As to X's karma and whether it will all come back to bite him in the ass, I think the answer is clearly yes. But I really see it as a separate question. That is, it is a karma question more than simply a playing god question. That's one element. But only one. After all, one might argue that David and Fox were playing god by bringing Alexander into the world. But I wouldn't argue that. And I'm sure that's not what you had in mind.

So let's go through the numbers.

I tend to agree that Wolf, Hyena and Jackal built their own cages. And for the record, seem quite happy to live in them.

The Mutates seem to be following the same path as the gargoyles themselves. That is to say, that Xanatos woke the gargoyles, and has often suffered for it since. He then turned these four humans into mutates, and has had to suffer a bit (though admittedly not much) for that. It will be interesting to see Talon's post-Hunter's Moon reaction to Goliath and Co. moving back into the Castle. But the larger truth is that Talon, Maggie and Claw are making lives for themselves.

1. Coldstone. Well, yeah, duh. This is our Frankenstein's monster. But as with most things, Xanatos is too smart to truly follow in Victor's footsteps. He helps create the creature -- and certainly uses it -- but he never simply abandons it. And he also tries to balance (or bury) the Karmic scales, by helping out with Coldstone's Multiple Personality Disorder and by building Coldsteel and Coldfire.

2. Thailog. Here's the big threat, frankly. A guy with something to prove and three fathers to prove it all to. I think Xanatos hasn't seen the last of Thailog. One could argue that Thailog is the only guy to ever beat Xanatos at his own game (in Double Jeopardy). So the hybris of creating him has already bitten X's ass. But I doubt Thailog is through.

3. Coyote... I just don't want to reveal too much on this right now. Sorry.

4. I really think you have to chalk Matrix up to Fox's hybris (and competitive spirit) rather than to David's. She was certainly having the Matrix engineered for her and her man, but that doesn't mean that Xanatos was behind it. That would assume that she cannot operate independently. And I sure as heck wouldn't assume that about her.

So the short answer: yes. But it's all very nuanced.

Response recorded on January 07, 2004

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Lord Sloth writes...

1. In the episode "Grief", was that Egyptian city and everyone in it just simply destroyed by the Jackal Avatar? As in: dead, and never ever coming back?

2. If #1 is correct, why couldn't the Emir Avatar return life to the city's population (not to mention those crocodiles and trees) since they were brought to death as untimely as the Emir's son returning to life would have been? Why weren't those lives considered "stolen energies" as well?

3. If #1 is correct, don't you agree that it was quite an unusual move for the show to have so many people die, and then not worry about the repercussions that it usually spends a whole lot of focus on with smaller incidents (something that made the show really great)? Did you have these concerns when working on the episode?

4. If #1 is correct, did S&P have any problems with it?

5. Was that a real city? Does/Did it have a name?

6. Dose Jackal, in his normal state, still harbor ambitions of bringing the gift of death to the world, or dose he keep his feelings under some control until he becomes super natural or dons the Eye of Odin?

7. How does Hyena feel about her bro's ambitions, would she be just as malicious if given the chance.

8. I was wondering if the Sphinx actually has that ritual chamber and mastaba as shown in the show? And was that door with the secret hieroglyphics just something Xanatos Enterprises cooked up that looks cool and also keeps out intruders, or was that meant to be ancient Egyptian tech?

9. This question is a bit differn't, but I'll ask none the less. How do you think Anubis felt about Iago, Desdemona and all Othello being brought back from the dead? Did it cause a big disruption to him, the spirit world and the space-time continuum?

Greg responds...

1. That's my thinking.

2. What's dead and gone cannot be recovered. Or something like that. (He has a great quote in the episode on this very subject.)

3. A bit. But we also wanted to hint at the devastation -- and still get away with it on an S&P basis. Had we explored the repercussions, it would have drawn too much attention to what we had done and we would not have been allowed to do it. We felt it was more important to do it and not explore as opposed to not being able to do it at all. I still have hopes to explore those repercussions somewhere, someday.

4. Not with the way we did it. See above.

5. It's more of a town than a city, but no it didn't have a name.

6. Jackal is a sociopath, i.e. he knows how to control his impulses to function in society. But given the right opportunity, he's clearly capable of anything.

7. Hyena is a psychopath, who needs her brother to control her impulses. You can decide for yourself which one is more dangerous.

8. Meant to be ancient Egyptian tech. But I've never been to Egypt, so next time you go, you can check out for yourself whether or not it's really there.

9. Anubis strikes me as a guy who has intentionally divorced himself from passion. Ghosts exist. That's not what the Emir was asking for. The ColdTrio are ghosts in various shells.

Response recorded on December 09, 2003

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Chapter XLIV: "GRIEF"

Time to ramble...

I watched "Grief" the other night with my wife Beth, my nine-year-old daughter Erin and my six-year-old son Benny.

This episode was directed by Kazuo Terada & Takamitsu Kawamura, story edited by Michael Reaves based on his story. The teleplay is by Michael and Brynne Chandler Reaves.

Though Brynne co-wrote the teleplay, this strikes me as a VERY Michael episode. I remember how excited he was to be using the Tanna Leaves and the Avatar, plus all those other references to Thoth, Osiris, Isis and Set. I think it was something he had wanted to do on a Batman episode, but it hadn't survived someone's interference (my memory is hazy). But these MUMMY trappings suited our purposes perfectly. The Tanna leaves even gave Hyena hay fever.

The one word title, as usual, was one of mine. I liked it because it had that double meaning, covering the Emir's grief over his son, and all the grief (trouble) that this was causing. I have a vague memory that Michael wasn't thrilled by the title, but, hey, I gave him his Tanna Leaves...

One of us had Wolf speak to the second meaning in the episode when he says he's tired of the Gargoyles giving the Pack grief. Just to give things a bit of clarity.

THE PACK

The new Coyote 3.0 surfaces, complete with a slightly new design and that now iconic Xanatos robot head (smashed in his last appearance) displayed on a video screen. (Goliath mentions seeing it, although in the ONLY scene where Goliath could have seen it, it's not visible. Arggh...)

The new Coyote design obeys Frank Paur's general rule of robots, which states that if you're not trying to fool anyone into thinking that the robot is actually a human being, then the design should clearly be inhuman enough so that you'd never think it could be a guy wearing an armored suit.

Coyote's an odd bird in many ways. So like Xanatos, but without his drive and with more of a vengeful nature. Programmed in, I believe, so that he doesn't let anyone or anything stand in the way of X's missions. He's got some fun lines ("Shoot first and ask questions later."), in particular his exchanges about the chain of command...

Coyote: "I'm not programmed to kill without orders.
Wolf: "I'm giving the order!"
Coyote: "You don't qualify."

or

Coyote: "Is that an order?"
Emir: "YES! Get rid of them!"
Coyote: "Cheerfully."

Hyena continues to be attracted to a Coyote that doesn't seem interested but also never closes the door on the possibility of hooking up with the cyborg. ("Wanna make sparks fly?" "Later, perhaps.") It's sick and twisted and hard to get your head around, but it sure is fun, culminating with her wonderful complaint to her brother after Jackal destroys Coyote: "Every time I meet a guy I like..." (I also like those buzzsaws on her arms.)

It's important to note that Dingo is already missing from the group. Clearly, during and after "Upgrade" he was rethinking his association with the other members. This doesn't bode well for the Pack as a unit. They're already talking about going their separate ways after the Emir's work is through and are only still together because they owe Xanatos for busting them out of jail. After this, Wolf will head to Scotland, answering the call of his ancestor Hakon. Jackal & Hyena will take a job with Cyberbiotics and head for Guatemala. Dingo will go to work for Fox in his native Australia. Coyote 4.0 will be rebuilt and head for Arizona with Xanatos.

So "Grief" is the Pack's swan song -- that is until a new Coyote forms the Ultra-Pack with Wolf, Jackal & Hyena and a new member... someday...

THE EMIR

To be perfectly honest, the Emir entered the Gargoyles Universe as a throwaway line of dialogue to indicate how powerful Xanatos was in "The Edge". If he could keep an Emir waiting, X must be a real bigshot. But Michael and I remembered the line, and used the Emir again as a semi-throwaway in "Double Jeopardy". But by that time, I think we might have already known we'd be seeing him on the World Tour. It's just an example of how the Tapestry seemed to be working for us. Creating opportunities that were so right, it almost seemed as if we were truly tapping into the Gargoyles Universe. How many of you were surprised to see the Emir actually appear?

The Emir was a very successful and poignant character (at least in my opinion). I give most of the credit for that to actor Tony Shaloub and Voice Director Jamie Thomason. Not to knock our wonderful designers and animators who brought that voice to life. But let's face it, he's just a guy in a robe. Now over the course of the ENTIRE production of Gargoyles, I would say that I only missed two voice sessions EVER. But one of them was this pick-up session with Tony. NOW, of course, everyone knows that Tony is an Emmy-winning brilliant actor of movies and television. I just love MONK. But back then, the only thing that Tony was really known for was the Italian immigrant cab driver on WINGS. Pretty cool in and of itself, of course. But having missed the session, I was unprepared for just how wonderful he was as the Emir. Everything from the grief-stricken sighs to the bursts of anger are just wonderful.

And while we're on the subject of voice, how about that other Tony, Tony Jay, as Anubis. He's delicious in three different personae -- as the neutral and imperious Anubis, as the crazed Jackal/Anubis and as the exhausted Emir/Anubis. That vocal effect we did of having both actors (Tony & Tony or Tony & Matt Frewer) read the Avatar lines and blending them together was a bit of accidental brilliance, in my opinion. I'm also glad that they do NOT quite synch up. It's better. The lines basically fit, but they ebb and flow around each other like the magical melding it's supposed to be. It was a bit of a bitch to mix, but I love it.

But I digress. The Emir's heartbroken love for his son is, I think, one of the cleanest and most purest emotions (unencumbered by too much fantasy) that we ever presented. Something very real. When the Emir first pulled out the photo of his son, Erin said "Who is that? Is that his son?" She immediately knew the photo had meaning. (Again, Tony's big sigh really helped.)

And at the end, we (along with Goliath) really hope that after gaining true understanding upon becoming Anubis' Avatar, he is now at rest with his son.

JACKAL

Jackal also truly comes into his own in this episode. I love how he flat out has a thing for jackals. How he admires the Anubis hieroglyph and Anubis himself, calling him "The original model". It's cool and creepy. We also truly get to see Jackal as a sociopath here. I think I've mentioned before that I view Hyena as a psychopath and Jackal as a sociopath, i.e. someone with enough sense to know he's got to do his evil within a schema that allows him to get away with it. But what happens when you free the sociopath from all restrictions. What happens when you give him (Matt & Tony, remember) the powers of Death itself? Well, you see what happens. People die. Lots of them, in theory.

Getting away with that was interesting. I think maybe in Adrienne Bello's mind, everything was set right. Or the fact that we see that Egyptian town age into a ruin didn't count because we weren't seeing ANY human beings die. But we had much more trouble getting those two skeletonized crocs past her than the implied death of an entire town. Misdirection. Or she was just being cool. Or both, i.e. she thought the misdirection was sufficient that she COULD be cool.

I love when Jackal/Anubis says: "Life and Death at my command. I LIKE it!" I also like that he's smart enough and sociopathic enough to co-opt the most dangerous guy in the room: The Emir. The Emir? you ask. Well, yes, it's the Emir who does in fact end up defeating him by rereading the scroll. And Jackal keeps the Emir in his place by holding out the hope to him that he will restore his son.

SPHINX

Seriously, how could we not go to Egypt on the World Tour. How could we skip visiting what Angela refers to as the World's Biggest Gargoyle. So we stuck a fictional temple inside it -- and then trashed it. I think dedicated archaeologists must hate our show, because we're constantly trashing these amazing hidden chambers of antiquity. Maybe I'm getting older or something, but I find myself wincing everytime Goliath and Wolf bust a sacarphogus during a fight, everytime a pillar cracks or the roof falls in. I'm just glad we didn't destroy the Sphinx itself.

Goliath's entrance into the temple isn't one of our most brilliant animated moments. For starters, when Coyote is touching the hieroglyphs, he seems to miss every one. Goliath than claims to be repeating the sequence, but it looks nothing like what Coyote did. Yet it works for both of them. Maybe getting into that temple isn't as hard as it looks.

I love how the power of death flows from Jackal/Anubis and then through the Sphinx's own eyes before striking out at Egypt at large. Almost makes the Sphinx seem to come to life in those shots.

And I do love that shot at the end where the gargs are in stone in front of the stone Sphinx.

ANUBIS

Love Wolf's reaction: "Shave my head and call me baldy." (Or something like that, all ramble quotations are approximate.)

The animation effects on this episode are all fantastic, particularly the lighting during tranformations (very reminiscent of "Shadows of the Past"). Gorgeous. Another reason for me to be bummed that Disney closed its Tokyo studio.

I like how Anubis has no real mouth. Certainly no synch to his dialogue. My kids both commented on it. It fascinated them. But I also think it puts him on another level. His speech is that of a god. He requires nothing as mundane as a mouth movement to get his meaning across. (That's why it's so disconcerting in "THE GATHERING, PART ONE" when his mouth opens to laugh. He seems above something as petty as laughter, non?)

And how about Tony Jay and those great lines of godlike neutrality: "I grant but one boon." "Death is always pointless. That is the point." "All are equal in death." "You would not like to see the Jackal God play favorites." Etc.

ACTION

All right, once again, let me acknowledge my screw up. I should have let Coyote shoot Elisa, Goliath, Bronx and Angela dead. And have nothing happen. At that moment in the ep, no one can die. Emir and Anubis are just covering that in dialogue. Instead, Elisa pulls off a fairly elegant move that allows them to escape. But how much cooler if the distraction were the mere fact that they survived the Pack's barage unscathed? I blew it.

Otherwise, there is some pretty cool action.

Coyote advises Elisa to take her best shot. She does and it's kinda cool. But less cool because she then comments on it.

Coyote's limp afterwards is a nice touch, I think.

RANDOM FLOTSAM

When Elisa and the gargs wake up in chains, Erin says: "They all wake up at the same time suddenly." Leave it to a nine-year-old to point out an obvious cheat.

Erin said, "Yuck, disgusting." when Jackal first transformed.

Benny: "He wants to be the strongest, I'm guessing."

Benny didn't quite get why the Gargs were turning old. (Designing a demonstably old Bronx was NOT easy, by the way.) Or for that matter why Hyena and Wolf turned into Cyber-baby and wolf-cub. (Though both kids thought they were cute.) So the exchanging of energies lacked a bit of clarity for our younger audience, perhaps. Still any excuse to give Keith David an opportunity to do a variation on a theme is fun. Like hearing Keith play Thailog, it was also cool to hear him play a very old Goliath. The guy's a maestro of his own voice.

I do remember arguing with Reaves about the Baby and puppy moment. I thought (a) that it was funny and (b) that it was necessary to illustrate Jackal/Anubis' power. Michael simply thought it was too silly in tone. Now, I'm very glad I held firm. I think it's a great moment. And a little in-context humor really helps any episode. (I also love Jackal's "Baby sister" line that prefaces the change.)

I think in hindsight, Goliath's explanation that the gargs aged at half-speed and Jackal didn't know it, is a cheat. They are visibly very old. Internally, they'd be no less old. It's not like Jackal was thinking, "Hmmm, if I age them fifty years that should be enough." He just kept aging them until they were old and feeble. It's also not like biologically a gargoyle's exterior ages faster than his or her interior.

Ironically, commenting on that was not necessary for the purpose of explaining the action. If there had been no explanation and Goliath had used sheer will power to drag himself up for one last feeble attack, I don't think anyone in the audience would have balked. Rather, I think that dialogue was put in by me to definitively establish the fact that Gargs age at half speed. Oh, well...

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


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Chris Velazquez writes...

If given the chance to revive the Gargoyles series, what role would you personally give to these mostly underused and/or underrated characters:

1. Fang- My favorite character, I wonder if he would be given the chance to become one of the typical " one-liner spitting good guy with bad attitude" character (something I would like) or become a mayor villain.

2. Maria Chavez- Would she ever meet the gargoyles?

3. Claw

4. Wolf

5. Delilah

Also, I would like to know how old Talon, Maggie, Claw and Fang are.

Greg responds...

What follows is not meant to be all-inclusive, but just a sampling of my plans...

1. Fang was destined to join "BAD GUYS". That is he was forced to either join Bad Guys or serve a life sentence in prison. He chose the former. For more info on BAD GUYS see the Bad Guys Archive here at ASK GREG, or come to next year's GATHERING in Montreal to see the Bad Guys' story reel for yourself.

2. Ever's a long time. But I had no immediate plans to change either her position or her role within the show. We would have learned more about her home life though, including her daughter.

3. Claw would have remained a mainstay in the Labyrinth, though he also would likely have guest-starred in BAD GUYS.

4. Wolf would have joined the Ultra-Pack.

5. Delilah would also have remained in the Labyrinth. She and Goliath would attempt to "date", but it wouldn't work out.

Finally, my timeline shows the following birth years:

Claw - 1954
Fang - 1968
Talon - 1970
Maggie - 1975

Response recorded on August 25, 2003

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DPH writes...

Since Coyote was given artificial intelligence with Xanatos's personality and Thailog was given Xanatos's slant on the world:

1)How does Coyote view Thailog?
If you ask which version of Coyote, I am referring to all the versions of Coyote that know about Thailog and his origins.

2)How does Thailog view Coyote?
I am referring to every version of Coyote that Thailog is aware of.

Greg responds...

I don't know exactly HOW artificially intelligent Coyote is through his first four appearances. He has certain pre-programmed responses, which certainly make him appear clever, and he is fairly sophisticated, but I'm not sure I'd label him as artificially intelligent, as the term is usually defined. Compare Matrix, for example.

1. I don't even know if Coyote has info on Thailog. I guess Xanatos would plan a contingency in case Thailog were to appear during one of Coyote's operations. But again, I don't think the Coyote you saw THINKS.

2. As a tinker toy that might some day be of some use.

Response recorded on July 31, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

1.Would you consider the golem to be an AI since it is artificial?
2.If you could rank the AIs of the Gargoyles Universe from most advanced to least advanced where does the Golem fit?

Greg responds...

1. Uh, I suppose... but certainly not in the sense that the term is generally used.

2. I'm not sure we yet have any true AI's aside from Matrix.

Does even Coyote 4.0 qualify? He's certainly sophisticated by robotic standards, but is he truly artificially intelligent?

Would you categorize Coldfire & Coldsteel as A.I.'s when it is the sorcerous possession of gargoyle souls that engenders their intelligence?

Am I missing anyone?

So far all I've got is Matrix, who, yes, is more advanced than Golem, if you even want to put Golem on that scale, which I don't.

Response recorded on June 12, 2003

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Galvatron writes...

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

Greg responds...

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

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

Response recorded on August 12, 2002

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Chapter XXX: "Upgrade"

Here's a new ramble for ASK GREG & the DCV...

As usual, I watched the episode recently with my family.

And as usual, everytime my five year-old Benny, sees Xanatos and Fox, he tells his seven year old sister Erin, "You were her. I was Xanatos and you were Fox." [All quotations (both from my kids or from the episode) are approximate.]

ATTITUDES

This is a big episode for attitudes.

Xanatos and Fox pit multiple individuals against each other in life and death circumstances and regard it all as a game.

Lex still hates the Pack.

Dingo is disgusted with the Pack's life of crime, and then even more disgusted with what his teammates do to their bodies. Cool lines like "Save the horrorshow..." or "I hope you don't eat your catch..." or "You're barely our species..." or "I still can't get over what you three did to yourselves..." or "I'm a partner in a freakshow..." or "...after they went Frankenstein on me..." all help distinguish him, perhaps for the first time. We had a notion of where Dingo was going. And this episode helped bridge the gap to "Walkabout". And eventually to the development I did with Gary Sperling, Bob Kline, Troy Adomitis, Doug Murphy and Patrick Archibald on "BAD GUYS," which some of you have seen at the Gathering.

How the mighty have fallen. My point-of-view and Dingo's matched up. The Pack were beginning to feel pathetic. The problem with villains is that after the heroes keeps beating them over and over, you need to find a way to keep them competitive. This episode (reflected in its title, which may or may not have been one of mine, but which I latched onto EARLY and stuck with) was always part of my plans for the Pack. Intro them in the first season as humans. This was necessary, because the world of our first season was MUCH more normal. I wanted to weird the world up in small steps. Don't intro Oberon first, intro Puck. That kind of thing. So once the science was established, we'd upgrade.

This dovetailed nicely with the need for Goliath to 'upgrade' one of his warriors to Second-In-Command. Goliath had been Hudson's second. Demona had been Goliath's. But it was past time to name a new successor. We always had Brooklyn in mind for that roll, but I remember asking Gary whether he felt we had succeeded in establishing that without ever having stated it. He felt we had. What did you guys think when you first saw the episode?

The battle at the bank. On my tape, there's an animation glitch where Dingo hits his head and then seems to intentionally hit his head again. I'm hoping it got fixed for later airings.

Anyway, the battle winds down. No one's done very well. But the Pack is on the run. Erin at this point says, "There's no messing with the big boys." Proving that the Pack was no longer competitive.

Wolf yells, "This isn't over!" sounding very much like Hakon to my ears.

Lex wants to pursue, but Brooklyn already the subconscious leader of everyone's choice, says, "Helping Goliath is more important."

Hudson gooses Goliath to choose a second. Refuses the job himself. This is another example of Hudson being the guardian of tradition. He knows they live in a brave new world. But he wants to preserve what worked in the old one as well.

Erin says, "I think Goliath's going to choose the red guy." Meaning Brooklyn. I am briefly horrified that my own kids don't reliably know the names of the lead characters. (Of course, before last week, we hadn't watched the series in a year. But still...)

I love the idea of Coyote's head knocking on the door of the Pack's ship. For starters it's so odd to get a knock while in flight. Second, how did he knock. Why with his forehead of course...

The trio begin their competition. Bronx is disgusted.

The new Pack is revealed. What was everyone's reaction? The Coyote-Head had laid out the options, but were you at all shocked at the upgrades when you first saw them?

I like the creepy Addams Family moment with Jackal's arm. I like that this Wolf and Dingo are now competitive in strength with Goliath.

I find it interesting that we had Goliath say, "What manner of trickery is this?" instead of "What sorcery is this?" I mean, who were we kidding, right?

Hudson then brings up the Archmage's sorcery. Just a reminder that the Archmage existed for what we knew was coming in Avalon.

I don't know if this was fixed for reairing, but their's a big mistake in this first battle. Goliath spots COYOTE the robot flying off and goes off alone in pursuit. This was supposed to be him spotting just the little head. He goes off after the head, thinking he'll find Xanatos or something. Then the giant Robot steps forward. Would have been a much better reveal.

I love the interaction as the Pack chooses a leader.

Cree is great reading: "Coyote, honey..." and "I find him very attractive." Hyena's attraction to Coyote was a fun running gag. But did it influence her choice of upgrades?

Jackal is grossed out, proving as ever, that he's just a tad saner than his sister. "Well, that's sicker than usual." He sides with Wolf, just for that reason.

Leaving Dingo with the deciding vote.

More animation errors that I hope got corrected eventually: Fox's lips don't move. So suddenly we're hearing her internal monologue.

Note that Broadway actually foils the most crime in their nightly competition. We did that on purpose. To show that was never the point.

Xanatos says, "Clever move." to end an act.

Then we come back, and he's confident saying, "I think I've still got the edge." Of course that line was a literal reuse of the line from "The Edge". We had a lot of so-so animation in this episode. It forced us to cut the show tight enough that we had to add footage. So we reprinted the shot of X&F playing chess and reused the old line to fill the space.

Final battle.

Everytime Hyena's hand folded backwards, Erin would say: "Eww, that's disgusting!"

CONTINUITY: Just as Lex dislikes the Pack, Bronx seems to particularly dislike Coyote. He's always chewing on that bot, forcing Coyote to threaten to "send this puppy into orbit!"

I love Hyena's line: "I wonder if Gargoyles taste like chicken?" Can't help thinking she'd sincerely like to know.

Frank Paur had this idea that when Wolf got angrier, he'd morph even wolfier. But the animation never quite worked on that. It was a great idea, but the transformation doesn't play dramatically, so it just looks like the model changes part way through the fight.

Coyote's demise was heavily influenced by the first Terminator movie. We keep destroying the darn bot, but it just keeps getting up.

Morgan reappears. I was never wild about his "Hospital, Machine Shop or Vet" line. It's okay, but it seemed a bit too flip.

Goliath, like the production staff, had his choice in mind all along. Brooklyn. By now the trio's come around to the same idea, except Brooklyn himself, who suddenly realizes the weight he'll be carrying around. A prelude to "Kingdom", as he says to Goliath, "Be careful. I'm in no hurry to take your place."

(Nice moment in their when Hudson pets Bronx. It has nothing specific to do with anything else, but it's a nice touch.)

Fox & Xanatos make such a cool couple. I love that he doesn't mind losing to her. Happier to have found a true equal.

And I love that chilling, funny ending: "Care to play again?"

Ever wonder about their next game?

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


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"Upgrade" MEMO

[In preparation for my new ramble for ASK GREG & the DCV, here's my original memo to Story Editor Gary Sperling on Adam Gilad's first draft outline of the episode "Upgrade". Note the date. At the time I wrote this, "Deadly Force" had just recently aired, but the rest of the first season was being saved for early 1995.]

WEISMAN 11-30-94

Notes on "Upgrade" Outline...

GENERAL
TRIO
My big fear is that Brooklyn didn't feel like leader material in this. To our audience he's going to come off as cautious and wimpy throughout most of the episode, with the added problem that he's subject to peer pressure. This is particularly problematic in that Brooklyn has always been defined as the MOST adventurous of our trio. Ultimately, the qualities that will define him as a leader include strategic abilities, common sense, a willingness to sacrifice... and, yes, knowing when to retreat and/or call for help. But if we make the latter quality into Brooklyn's first instinct, it will overshadow the others. And our audience won't buy him as leader. Maybe more important than all of this should be a natural unconscious quality of leadership, which parallel's Broadway and Lexington's roles as followers. When they stop thinking and slip into automatic pilot, Brooklyn naturally seems to give the orders and the others naturally follow.

These guys do work well as a team, don't be afraid to show that. We've got a competitive thing going between them that will tend to screw up their natural teamwork, but if we're going to prove our point, then we need to see moments when they forget to be competitive and just cooperate. In any case, let's not make them infantile. When you define competitiveness think Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in Top Gun. These are young warriors, not children elbowing each other as they fly.

Let's also avoid setting up non-existent flaws in Lex and Broadway. Things like Broadway being slow to awaken is just not born out in any of our other episodes. They all wake up within a few seconds of each other at sunset.

Having said all this, you'll see below that I gave them less screen time, mostly because it choreographed cleaner, but also because it really put something at stake other than the contest for leader (i.e. the lives of their friends). Plus I've isolated them from everyone that usually provides them with help or advice (Goliath, Hudson, Elisa and even Bronx). So I'm crossing my fingers that what we lose in quantity time, we will make up for in quality.

PACK
I'm also concerned that we've Upgraded the Pack, only to make them seem even more incompetent than ever. They've got to feel considerably more dangerous. We need to believe the Gargoyles barely survived this go 'round. The Pack's leadership issues cannot get too far in the way of their success. Ultimately the gargoyles do triumph because their teamwork under Brooklyn defeats a divided Pack. But if the Pack members are just at each others throats through the whole program, they'll never feel like a viable threat. Remember, despite the dangerously unstable personalities involved (including Coyote, but not Dingo), the Pack's fighting style is based on teamwork by definition. Let them play to their strength, that way it'll be even more ironic when the gargoyles defeat them through teamwork driven by sound leadership.

PACK UPGRADE SPECS
What follows may be what you had in mind, but I want to make sure we're all operating off the same page.

WOLF - gets turned into a werewolf. The biggest and most obvious change will be to his head, which will have a canine shape. Like Talon and his mutants, Wolf will be covered with hair all over, his hands will be clawed, and he'll have haunches. He cannot fly, but he can leap far distances. He'll probably have a better sense of smell and hearing, but I want to downplay these last qualities, because I think they can come off as silly. (Let's not make him an object of ridicule to his teammates simply because he's gotten more dog-like. They are all themed off canines. Both Coyote's head and Dingo's helmet will be dog-shaped as well. I would think that Jackal, Hyena and Coyote would all respect the power which came with his choice of Upgrade. Hyena might make an obnoxious comment here or there, but the only one who's really attacking his choice is Dingo -- and obviously it's not for aesthetic reasons.) Wolf will be much stronger than he was, now on a par with Goliath.

JACKAL & HYENA - become Cyborgs. Half human. Half machine. And the machine parts are NOT camouflaged as human. They have built in weapons. Cyborg legs will also allow them to leap far distances. Maybe even built in flight capabilities. And their strength will increase to Gargoyle level. Maybe not as strong as Goliath or Broadway, but equal or above the others.

DINGO - wears full body armor, including a helmet. Sort of like what we thought Xanatos was wearing as Coyote (in "Leader of the Pack") before we found out Coyote was a robot. (Model sheets are available for Coyote if you're unclear.) The focus should be on his armor, not on "weapons". All the weapons are built in. And the armor should be as flexible and powerful as Xanatos' own Gargoyle armor (screen "The Edge"), plus whatever latest innovations were thrown into this design. That means Dingo should be able to fly. Rocket jets in his boots. Or a rocket pack on his back. Probably not as maneuverable or graceful as a Gargoyle, but he can hover, which they can't do. Again, his strength level is now increased. Probably just under Wolf and Goliath range. (Note: Dingo also has less screen time than I'd like to be able to give him here, so we've really got to make his moments of uneasiness about his partners count. One visual clue that I think will help is the fact that Dingo removes his helmet every chance he gets. He subconsciously needs periodic reassurance that the helmet isn't a part of him and that he hasn't in fact relinquished his humanity.)

COYOTE - Although he's still programmed to have a slightly more vengeful version of Xanatos' personality, Coyote doesn't look like Xanatos anymore. What would be the point? He looks like a huge exaggerated version of the original Coyote. Mighty Joe Young may be a little too big, but you get the idea. If Goliath is eight feet tall than Coyote-II is more like ten or eleven, and built like a gorilla. Coyote is definitely stronger than Goliath, and he can fly. Being huge may have it's disadvantages, but not too many. This is the most powerful and sophisticated robot that Xanatos has built yet. It's computer brain (at least part of which should be the damaged head from "Leader") is well-protected in the robot's chest.

PACK ATTACK VEHICLE - This isn't and never was a van. It flies. It submerges underwater. This is super high-tech. I'm not sure if it even has an exhaust pipe. Model sheets exist if you need to see them.

OWEN vs. COYOTE'S HEAD
You can't have Owen. He's a stand-in for Xanatos, and you've already got one of those: the damaged head of Coyote from "Leader".

LEXINGTON'S TRACKING DEVICE vs. FOX
You can't have this device either. I don't want to ever make the gargoyles too high-tech in their crime-fighting. If we give Lex the ability to make one of these here, we're stuck with him having this knowledge and wondering all the time why he doesn't use it over and over. Besides, why would he create a device that tracks, but only tracks when it's inhaling carbon monoxide fumes?

At any rate, the gargoyles may not need the device. They have a secret ally that even they are not aware of: Fox. It's obvious here how Xanatos is manipulating his chess pieces. But Fox doesn't seem to be moving hers in opposition. She's simply counting on them to defeat the Pack. In some subtle way, let her "move" her pieces too. [Note: the method I use below is semi-goofy at best. If you like it you can use it, but feel free to come up with something better.]

Also, please be careful that Xanatos doesn't say anything that might imply that he threw the match. If he wasn't trying his best to win, he wasn't respecting Fox as an opponent.

MONTAGE vs. NO MONTAGE
Sorry. After cuts were made for both S&P and for things that I did not want to reveal, there wasn't anything left. So out it went.

HUDSON
All gargoyles sleep as stone to recharge during the day, which allows them to operate at their peak throughout the night. Hudson's peak may not be what it once was, but he doesn't need extra downtime at night.

BEAT OUTLINE
ACT ONE
1. Night. Bank job being carried out by what's left of the PACK: WOLF, JACKAL, HYENA and DINGO. There's an air of desperation here. They need money because they are on the run. They get to the roof, where their PACK ATTACK VEHICLE is hovering. And where it has attracted the attention of the patrolling gargoyles: BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON, BROADWAY and GOLIATH. There is a battle. The Pack is a bit out-classed, but only just. The Pack has the weapons and technology. What they lack is flight capability, brute strength (Wolf is incredibly strong for a human, but no match for Goliath) and leadership (Wolf acts like he's the leader, the others just don't naturally follow him). In contrast, Goliath leads his troops effectively. Give the Pack credit for figuring that out. They agree to take out the leader. And they do. Goliath is injured.
The Pack get away in their vehicle, but without the money. Lex momentarily wants to pursue his hated enemies, but as sirens approach, Brooklyn thinks the priority should be to get Goliath back to the safety of the CLOCK TOWER. He asks Broadway to help him carry Goliath. Neither Lex or Broadway question Brooklyn's leadership at this stage. Nor do any of the three, including Brooklyn, make a point of saying that Brooklyn is in charge. He just says some very common sense things and the others see the sense in it and follow his lead.

2. Meanwhile, the Pack Vehicle flies through the Manhattan Night. Maybe some brief sniping between the members, before there's a knock on the door... which seems odd at this altitude. Almost despite himself, Dingo opens the hatch to reveal COYOTE'S HEAD flying alongside on it's little mini-rocket. It still has half of Xanatos' face, and it asks politely in Xanatos' voice if it can come in. (There's also a model sheet completed on this damaged head. It looks pretty cool if you want the reference.)

3. Back at the Clock Tower near dawn, HUDSON tends to Goliath. It's a bad laser burn, but it'll heal when the sun rises and they turn to stone. But it brings up something that's concerned Hudson for awhile. He hates to even say it, but next time Goliath might not be so lucky. Goliath needs to name a second-in-command. Goliath chooses Hudson, of course. But Hudson declines. Goliath was Hudson's lieutenant and became his successor when it was time for Hudson to step down. Goliath needs to choose one of the trio. But first Goliath must sleep. The trio hear all this. Hudson has intentionally made no attempt to hide the conversation from them. They all straighten-up, leader-like. And the sun rises. Goliath turns to stone still cradled in his comrades arms.

4. Because the sun has risen, the Pack Vehicle dives beneath the surface of the Hudson River (or the East River or the Bay or whatever). It comes to a stop on the bottom and rests.
Inside, the Coyote Head has literally latched itself onto the ships computers. He's lowered a screen and is starting his sales pitch. Tired of being out-classed by the gargoyles? Ready to be as strong as them? To fly like them? Etc.? Well, let me show you what we can do. Is Genetic-Engineering your passion? (He shows footage of TALON in action trashing Goliath.) Or is Cybernetics more your style? (He shows footage of COLDSTONE trashing Goliath.) A little high-tech haberdashery, perhaps? (Footage of XANATOS in his GARGOYLE ARMOR trashing Goliath, with at least one shot of Xanatos with the helmet off.) Or my favorite, Robotics? (Footage of COYOTE trashing Goliath. This obviously doesn't apply to the four humans, but I want to get it in here to hint at Coyote's rebirth as well.)
Obviously, they are all very interested. Dingo goes for the armor and pretty much writes off the rest as horror show. The other three don't state their preferences. Coyote Head: "All made possible by the men and women of XANATOS ENTERPRISES." Where is Xanatos? Occupied at the moment, but happy to be of assistance.

5. At the castle, Xanatos and FOX seem to be playing chess, but we don't get to see the game board or the pieces. Xanatos has made the first move.

6. Super: ONE MONTH LATER. Clock Tower. The trio are just leaving to patrol the city separately and in competition. They've hardly done anything else, each is so intent on being Goliath's second in command. Hudson's in his comfy chair with the t.v. set on, but he's not watching. After the trio leave, he chides Goliath, who has to decide between the three young warriors. Goliath seems strangely reluctant to choose.
Just then ELISA enters. The desk sergeant just received an "anonymous" tip on the Pack's location. S.W.A.T. Teams from three precincts are mobilizing. But Elisa has listened to a recording of the tip and recognized the voice as Xanatos'. She'd like to be there in an unofficial capacity. Goliath agrees. No time to wait for the trio, but the Pack can be tough, so they'll take BRONX. They leave in such a hurry, Hudson doesn't bother to turn off the t.v.

7. An abandoned building scheduled for demolition, which the police have totally surrounded. The S.W.A.T. LEADER talks through a megaphone, giving the Pack a chance to surrender peacefully. There is no response. Tear gas canisters are shot through the windows -- followed by an explosion that practically levels the building. The tear gas couldn't have caused that. The building must have been rigged to blow.
Goliath, Elisa, Hudson and Bronx watch from a nearby rooftop. At first they don't notice the little Coyote Head, which zips around the site like a humming bird looking for food. Then the head spots them and approaches. It tells them that this little display was just designed to attract their attention. If the gargoyles really want to find the Pack, they're going to have to follow the head, which they do.

8. Goliath, Elisa, Hudson and Bronx follow the Head to a construction site. It's the skeletal beginnings of a skyscraper. As soon as they arrive the new ARMORED DINGO flies in. After Dingo, comes the new CYBORG JACKAL and HYENA, followed finally by the new WERE-WOLF. Our heroes are surrounded.

ACT TWO
9. Picking up where we left off, we have a fight. The Coyote-Head zips away and with Hudson's blessing Goliath follows it. (He thinks it will lead to the source of the trouble.) Although the Pack works together, there are hints that they are in some competition with each other. Ultimately, the Pack knocks out Hudson, Elisa and Bronx, with Wolf personally taking down Hudson.
Elsewhere in the structure, Goliath catches up to the Head which says that it would like to introduce Goliath to its "better half". A huge shadow looms.
Back with the Pack, where we get a sense of the tension between the members. As Dingo takes off his helmet, hint that he hasn't been able to get over the horrific things that his teammates have had done to their bodies. We also find out they've been fighting over who should lead. They agreed before the fight that whoever took out the biggest gargoyle, would get to be the leader. Wolf took out Hudson, so he feels entitled.
On cue, Goliath is knocked through a brick wall. He falls unconscious at their feet. And then the rest of the wall is knocked down to reveal the new robot COYOTE-II: "Sorry, Wolf. I think my Goliath tops your Hudson."
The Pack are all stunned, but for Hyena it's love at first sight: "Coyote, honey, is that you?" A panel slides open inside Coyote's chest to reveal the Coyote Head literally plugged into the inner workings of this huge machine. No way Wolf is taking orders from a machine. No one ever said Coyote was part of the contest. Wolf is still leader. But Hyena disagrees, she's siding with her new boyfriend. Jackal can't believe his sister has fallen in love with a glorified toaster oven. He's not exactly Wolf's biggest fan, but he's got to go with old furball. They all turn to Dingo to break the tie. Dingo looks at his helmet. He makes it clear that he's not wild about his options: a robot who thinks he's human or a lunatic who gave up his humanity. But he turns to Coyote and says, "O.K. boss, what's our next move?"

10. Back at the Clock Tower, the trio are each getting back after a night of competitively patrolling the city alone. Lex prevented two muggings. Brooklyn prevented one mugging and scared off a burglar. Broadway stopped three muggings and an armed robbery: "Just have to know where to look," he says proudly. Then they realize that the tower is empty. Even Bronx is gone. And if Hudson and Goliath lugged Bronx along with them it must have been trouble.

11. Cut to the interior of some kind of hanger for the Pack Attack Vehicle. We do not get an exterior to show us where we are, but we do hear a train go by every minute or so. Goliath, Hudson, Bronx and Elisa are in a glass chamber filled with a colored gas that keeps them unconscious. Wolf isn't at all pleased about waiting around. How is sitting on their hands going to help them find the other gargoyles? But Coyote has a plan. It's midnight now. At 4:30 am they'll release Bronx from the chamber. He'll almost definitely lead them straight to the Gargoyle's Home Base. And he should get there just before sunrise, allowing the Pack to arrive just after sunrise and smash the remaining gargoyles into gravel.

12. In Xanatos' office, he and Fox are still playing chess. Xanatos: "You're in check, my dear."

ACT THREE
13. The trio are still waiting for Goliath et al at the clock tower. It's 3 A.M. and they are very worried. It's only a couple hours 'til sunrise. And no sign of Elisa either. And the tension isn't doing wonders for their dispositions. They argue over what to do. The television gives them a clue when a report comes in about the bombing at the abandoned building. The report mentions that the fire was contained because the police were already on the scene, having received a false tip that those escaped felons (and former television stars) known as the Pack were there. They're about to head out to investigate, when they hear "The following is a paid commercial message." Lex recognizes the voice as Fox's. Brooklyn didn't think Fox was still in the Pack. But the commercial continues. "Tired of walking up Lexington Avenue? Sick of taking the bus down Broadway? Fed up with driving your car to Brooklyn? Then take the subway!" And an image appears on the screen of a place where multiple tracks criss-cross above ground. Well, that can't be a coincidence. One of them recognizes the location, he's flown over it. But is this a tip or a trap? Well, what choice do they have? Off they go.

14. Trio arrive at Train crossing. Again, there are multiple tracks crossing in multiple directions, and every minute or so, another train rushes by at high speed. They find a large metal shack, that's supposed to house train cars or something, but is acting as a hangar for the Pack Vehicle instead. They sneak in and get a look at the upgraded Pack and their sleeping friends. Broadway and Lexington are all for mounting an immediate attack. Brooklyn is reluctant. Just look at the size of Coyote, who's in the middle of putting a tracking device on Bronx. They need help to defeat these guys. But where are they going to get help? From Goliath and the rest. Our priority should be freeing them. Both Broadway and Lex try to peer pressure him. Maybe he's afraid to fight without Goliath, but they're not. But Brooklyn isn't biting. He's not scared, and he's also not stupid. They need a plan.
A little bit later, Brooklyn makes his presence known and then takes off as a decoy. Coyote figures as much, but Wolf and Jackal won't listen to reason and take off after him. And right after they leave, the power goes out inside the hanger, thanks to Lex. Dingo reaches for his helmet, but it's not there. Broadway has it and throws it with all his might at the sleep chamber. The helmet smashes a hole in the chamber, allowing the gas to pour out. But meanwhile things don't look good for the trio. Coyote slams into Broadway carrying them both outside. Hyena and Dingo pursue Lex.
So outside the battle continues amid the backdrop of unpredictable and speeding trains shooting past on random tracks. Eventually, however, Brooklyn's delaying tactic pays off. The others have been given the opportunity to recover from the sleep chamber. They join the fight, and the tide of the battle turns. The Pack is defeated. GARY, LET'S DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PACK AT THE END OF THIS SHOW.

15. Back at the clock tower, Goliath realizes that tonight's events only prove what Hudson has been saying all along. He must choose a second in command. He's had a choice in mind for weeks, but has been reluctant to reveal it, because he was afraid that it would drive a wedge between the trio. But tonight they worked together and saved the clan. He has to trust that they are mature enough to handle this. He chooses Brooklyn. (This without being aware of who spear-headed tonight's success.) The others are genuinely happy for Brooklyn. He proved himself to them. They take their places outside and Brooklyn looks across the city. A siren wails. He shakes his head and tells Goliath to be careful. He's in no hurry to take his place. They turn to stone.

16. Dawn. Fox says checkmate, and we reveal the board with its pieces based on our characters. She knows her husband doesn't like to lose. Is he upset? Of course not, he's happy to have an opponent to match his skill. Made the game more fun. "Care to play again?" FADE OUT.


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Gipdac writes...

1) What year was Wolf born?
2) What year was Jackal born?
3) What year was Hyena born?
4) What nationality are Jackal and Hyena?

Greg responds...

Boy, this is fun.

1. 1957.
2 & 3. 1968.
4. American.
5. Dingo: 1960.
6. Fox: 1966.
7. Coyote first activated in 1995.

Response recorded on March 28, 2002

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Zarok writes...

A few Coyote questions...
(1) coyote 4.0 was in "cloud fathers" and coyote 6.0 forms the ultra-pack, so what happens to coyote 5.0.
(2)coyote 6.0 forms the ultra-pack and coyte 7.0 leads it, why have to coyotes at the same time sounds a bit confusing if you ask me.

Greg responds...

1. He's very important to the Coyote line. But I don't want to give details at this point.

2. I never said they existed at the same time. Of course, I never said they didn't either.

Response recorded on March 18, 2002

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Mooncat writes...

In "Eye of the Beholder" Fox briefly see Elisa as her human self, and then attack her -- and you said it was "It's both a manifestation of Fox's own self-loathing (amplified by the Eye), and an attempt for the Eye to gain control by having her symbolically destroy her humanity."

My question is, what do you mean by self loathing? Why did Fox loath herself? Is this a temporary result of being controlled by the Eye, or is it deeper loathing that was there before the Eye came to her.

Another Fox question, How did Fox and Xanatos meet?

Was Fox a professional mercenary before the PACK, or act in that capacity with the PACK before their run in with the Gargoyles?

Final Fox question *^_^* -- When Goliath said the Eye made her MORE herself, what did he mean by that? That being a big were-fox/wolf creature was Fox's true nature? Goliath and the Archmage didn't turn into beasts, just suped up versions of theirselves. But Fox went animal kingdom on us. Do you have some behind the scenes thoughts you would share with us on that?

Basically, I just like Fox, so any thought you have on her that you would express would be appreciated *^_^*

Thanks you for taking the time to read my questions!

Greg responds...

1. I think Fox has some issues. The fact that even when she is in love, she thinks she can't love or be loved, that she doesn't deserve love, etc. is central to her problems. Her parents and their relationships to her and each other play in too. I don't want to go into much more depth here or now.

2. Story for another day.

3. X created the Pack around Fox. She did some 'professional' work, before its creation.

4. Well, let's begin with the notion that Goliath is one character and doesn't necessarily speak for me. But I think what he was getting at was her beastial, predatory nature.

Response recorded on March 04, 2002

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Vashkoda writes...

1.) You've answered, "He's indifferent in the incarnations you've seen" when Lord Sloth asked whether Coyote the robot had any feelings for Hyena. Because of your choice of the word "incarnations", let me rephrase the question to ask:

When they become part of the Ultra Pack, how will Coyote the robot feel towards Hyena?

2.) What gender will the fifth Ultra Pack member be?

Greg responds...

1. Don't know yet.

2. Not telling.

Response recorded on November 29, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

What Central American wars did Dingo fight in?
Where did Fox get the tattoo?

Greg responds...

1. I'd have to research that.

2. Over her eye.

Response recorded on October 17, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

What are Jackal and Hyena¡¯s real names?

Greg responds...

Not yet established.

Response recorded on October 10, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Is the Ultra-Pack still around in 2198?

Greg responds...

Not saying.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

How similar is Coyote-X to Ultron?

Greg responds...

Not very similar at all, I think.

The one thing I 'homaged' was the whole numbering system, though we modernized the idea into computer style upgrades.

Ultron is an influence, obviously, but I think the differences between the two, both in terms of goal and style speak for themselves.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Punchinello writes...

______________________________________________________________________________
It brings me to another distinction: the one between sentience and artificial intelligence. Coyote, for instance, can throw a zinger, but is he self-aware? I don't think he is. Xanatos hasn't achieved (or would wish to achieve) that much, has he?
______________________________________________________________________________

I don't know anything about computer technology past it's relationship to cognitive studies into artificial intelligence. There is a lot of dispute about the possibility of an actual computer intelligence. I'm not competent to say if the possibility is real but I would not discount it. I can see numerous avenues for foundations for intelligence besides the neurochemical variety. Incidentally, I once took a Turing test...and failed. I was delighted.

Greg responds...

I don't know what a "Turing test" is. Sorry.

I believe that in the Gargoyles Universe that artificial intelligence is truly possible. I just don't think any Coyote robot we've seen has truly achieved it yet.

Matrix may be closer.

Response recorded on September 08, 2001

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matt writes...

1. in Leader of the Pack when the clan learns from Elisa that the Pack escaped from prison Lex wants to head off to PMS cuz he thinks they'll return there like "snakes to a nest", Goliath and Elisa try to stop him and then Brooklyn says he'll go with Lex to PMS to check it out. what gives Brooklyn the authority to just run off with Lex like that, hes not yet Second and he never asks Goliath or anyone if they can go?

2. what does "snakes to a nest" mean anyway? from what i know of snakes, they all abandon their eggs completly or stay with their eggs until they hatch.

Greg responds...

1. Look, these guys have been working together for awhile. Brooklyn makes the offer (whether he phrases it that way or not), and Goliath tacitly accepts. What's going on here, primarily, is that everyone is aware that Lex is out of control. Elisa (and thus Goliath and Brooklyn and everyone) don't believe that the Studio is a likely place for the Pack to go to. So Brooklyn goes along to keep Lex out of trouble at a theoretically harmless location.

2. Ask the writer. I was just the producer.

Response recorded on September 08, 2001

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matt writes...

1. did Dingo meet up with Coyote for the first time when he was in Europe or was it when he returned to the States?

2. how well did Dingo know Coyote? did he know that it was 'Xanatos'?

Greg responds...

1. That's a story for another day.

2. Not well. No.

Response recorded on September 08, 2001

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matt writes...

1. does Coyote from Upgrade still have the memories of his original version from Leader of the Pack?

2. since the head of Coyote Version 1 was destroyed in Version 2 does Version 3 or 4 still have the memories of Version 1 and 2?

what i'm asking is, did each Coyote Version that Xnatos built have a completly blank memory to start with or were the memories from the previous Coyotes passed on.

and i agree that with all these Coyotes, Coyote was probably a relative of Wile E. Coyote.

Greg responds...

1. Yes.

2. Yes.

Passed on.

And that was the idea.

Response recorded on September 08, 2001

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JEB writes...

Hey, random question. Any idea what Coyote version number finally hits on the idea of changing his name to Coyote-X? Just curious.

Thanks!

Greg responds...

I left it open on purpose.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

I now have a list of questions to for you about love. ahhh

1. Does Hyena love Jackel?
2. Does Jackel love Hyena?
3. How serius are Hyena's feelings to Cyotie? Is she madley im love with him, or just mildly attracted? Either way, it's kinda gross
4. How does Cyotie feel toward Hyena? He seemed up for they idea of "making sparks fly".
5. Does Fox love Anistasia(before and after the Gathering)?
6. Does Halcyen still carry a torch for Anistasia? And does he now know that she is Titania?
7. Does Titania love fox?
8. Does Puck love Alex?
9. Does Oberon love anyone besides Titania?
10. Does Dracon dream about Elisa and him being together?
11. Was Brooklyn attracted to Demona before "Temptation". He seems to go after the most females.
12. Does Iago feel in love with Desdemona, or is it a strong sexual attraction, or is it just to hurt Othello?
13. Was there a time when Desdemona had feelings toward Iago?
14. Does Vinnie have a special someone (besides himself), or does everyone think he is too wierd?
15. Has Thailog ever felt love, even in the slightest way?
16. Was Malcolm and Elaina's wedding more out of love, or convenience?
17. Do Banquo and Florence have a thing for each other?
18. Does Cagney have a special kitty friend, or just Elisa?
19. Has the Magus been yerning for Kathern all of his life, and never told her how he felt? If yes., thats pretty sad.
20. And, somewhere deep deep down, both Goliath and Demona both yern to again be one, now and forever. Right? I better be. And this would have been shown in latter episodes besides dark ages right?

I'm sure you can see from my questions that I am QUITE the softy. And I love how Gargoyles uses this topic so often. Great job!!!

Greg responds...

Twenty Questions! YAY! :P

1. Sure, to the extent she knows how.

2. Ditto.

3. Something between madly in love and mildly attracted.

4. He's indifferent in the incarnations you've seen.

5. Yes.

6. Yes and Yes.

7. Of course.

8. Sure.

9. Yes. His children and his Children and the island of his birth and all the funny little mortals. He's a benificent one, that Oberon.

10. Probably.

11. I think Brooklyn respected Goliath too much to think that way, to allow himself to think that way.

12. The first two. The third is just a side benefit.

13. No.

14. He is currently available? You interested?

15. He's not admitting to it, unless he's lying.

16. Politics. And a hope of love.

17. They're exes.

18. That avenue has not yet been explored.

19. Not all his life. After all, he's ten years older than she is. But yes, it is sad.

20. I think somewhere deep, deep down Goliath wants to be with Elisa. And somewhere deep deep down, Demona wants to be with someone who is right for her.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001

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Entity writes...

I have something to add about the definition of "sentience." Hopefully you remember this comment thread by the time you get to this. It involved talk of "The One" vs. "The Other" and the ethics of destroying planets in Star Trek, etc. Here's my take:

"Sentience" is a distinctly different quality from "Intelligence." Sentience is being self-aware. Therefore just about all life with a backbone is sentient. Intelligence is the ambiguous one. But we don't like ambiguity, so that's why sentience has taken the role it has in popular language. I say my dog is sentient, a frog isn't. I say a human is intelligent, so is a gorrilla, but a dog isn't. I guess it's ALL subjective in the end.

It brings me to another distinction: the one between sentience and artificial intelligence. Coyote, for instance, can throw a zinger, but is he self-aware? I don't think he is. Xanatos hasn't achieved (or would wish to achieve) that much, has he?

Greg responds...

I don't believe that the Coyote robots we have seen through "Cloud Fathers" can truly be called sentient. At least not by my definition. I'm not sure if I completely agree with yours.

Response recorded on August 06, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

How does Cyotie 1.0 have enough rocket fuel in his head to take him back to Xanatos? It seems like quite a feat, isn't his brain supost ta be in there somewhere to? It still looks very cool though.

Greg responds...

I think you've answered your own question.

Response recorded on July 11, 2001

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Gipdac writes...

1) Besides Coyote X, will any members of the Pack (or Super Pack) appear in Gargoyles 2198?
2) Who is the eighth member of the Pack, that will be added after the Pack gets up-graded to the Super Pack? Just a name would be nice. Please.

Greg responds...

All right, first off, it's the Ultra-Pack, not the Super Pack.

Eighth member? How are you counting?

I just answered question 1 about five minutes ago.

Response recorded on July 11, 2001

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Nieuws writes...

What is the thing on Fox's Eye and where did it come from?

Greg responds...

It's a tatoo.

Response recorded on July 11, 2001

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matt writes...

Demoness> Greg said that they turned it into a planter. LOL one of my favirote smart-ass responses!

a better question would be:

where did Jackal and Hyena get a laser-proof, missile equipped helicopter in the first place?

Greg responds...

From Xanatos. Although they didn't know that he provided it.

Response recorded on July 09, 2001

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Justin writes...

Greg few questions regarding the Pack.

I believe that in "Thrill of the Hunt" When Goliath can't belive that Lexington let the Pack see him Lex says
"I am not stupid, they don't know we turn to stone during the day" Am I am correct on this?

If so then why is it in "Upgrade" Hyena cackles and states. "We'll follow'em home and smash the rest where they roost" ?

Did the Coyote robot have knowledge of gargoyle sleep cycles? Obviously Xanatos is aware of them, so he could have given that knowledge to Coyote.

Or by that time had the Pack just figured it out?

Thanks

Greg responds...

1. So far.

2. They had more info by that time. From Coyote.

3. Yes.

4. See above.

Response recorded on July 06, 2001

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Sloth writes...

Does the cyotie dimond have anything to do with cyotie robot? How bout the immortal cyotie? What does it have ti do with either/both if it has something to do with them at all? Hope you get my language!

Greg responds...

Connections will be made someday.

Response recorded on July 06, 2001

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Todd Jensen writes...

A few questions, now, about "Gargoyles 2198":

1. I've noticed a few parallel elements in it with "Future Tense", as follows:

Demona joining forces with the resistance movement.

The LXMs serving as a parallel to "Cyber-Lex".

Coyote-X as a parallel to the Xanatos Program (artificial intelligences out to conquer the world, both derived ultimately from Xanatos - although I doubt that Coyote-X has any direct connection to Xanatos, he did originate the Coyote line of robots).

Were these three elements intended as parallels to "Future Tense", a la the destruction of the clock tower in the original series?

2. What sort of occupation do you imagine the Space-Spawn making on Earth? A really tyrannical regime of the sort where Earth's population is reduced to slave labor, or a more remote occupation where they pretty much let the Earthlings go on with their lives, though now as subjects of the Space-Spawn Empire?

3. How is it that Coyote-X is out to conquer, first the planet, then the galaxy? I will confess that I have something of a problem with the notion of a robot or artificial intelligence out to conquer the world; such a goal strikes me as more fitted to an "organic being" with such emotions as greed, ambition, arrogance, etc., than to an artificial intelligence, which I simply can't imagine developing emotions (truth to tell, my own thoughts on machines are pretty much the same as those of Goliath in "Outfoxed" - machines know only what they are programmed to know; it's living beings, such as humans and gargoyles, who are capable of making decisions, and choosing between the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do). I didn't have any problems with the Matrix undertaking this route in "Walkabout" since it was portrayed here as merely a logical extension of its programming (to bring about order to the terrain of the world; it was merely misinterpreting its mission) rather than being motivated by power-lust. However, I'm not certain as to how Coyote-X developed its goal. (Of course, artificial intelligences could have come a long way by 2198, and maybe by that time they have developed emotions and the weaknesses and failings of living beings like humans and gargoyles). Of course, I doubt that you want to fill us in on the details yet, but I just thought that I'd mention it.

Greg responds...

1. Yes and no. I love playing with the Future Tense expectaions. But on another level, it's just the characters telling me what they want. I know what Lex does in the late nineties early "oughts". I know what that leads to in turn. I know Demona well enough to know that she's sure not gonna like the Space-Spawn after they steal all the Gargoyle Eggs. And I know what happens to Coyote and how he's going to evolve and upgrade. So maybe Puck was being a bit prophetic. After all, the characters are deciding things for themselves. And he wasn't half wrong.

2. In the immortal words of Abe Simpson, "A little from column A and a little from column B."

3. Well, artificial intelligence has come a long way by 2198. Thanks in no small part to Coyote, Coldsteel, Lexington, Matrix, Fox and Anastasia. (An odd group. But there you go.)

Response recorded on July 03, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

How does Coyote the robot end up like the Machiavellian schemer that he is in Gargoyles:2198?

Greg responds...

With help. And multiple upgrades.

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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Sloth writes...

OK, Heres a good one!
If Fox had stayed as leader of the pack untill "upgrade" would she have upgraded her body in anyway or would she have taken Dingo's view on the matter. If she did upgrade herself what sort of thing would she do to herself and how sadistic would it be.
Mabey you wont mind this type of hypothetical question.
thanks

Greg responds...

Why is THIS type of hypothetical any different from the others?

I'm not fond of them, but I doubt Fox would have done anything to her body.

Response recorded on June 30, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

By now the 2198 contest has probabyl ended so a few questions

1.Why doesn't Oberon involve himself in the war afterall the head of his honor guard has been taken hostage along with Titania's grandson?
2.What ever happened to Natsilane's parents?
3.Is the Delilah, Samson and Zafiro relationship in anyway like that of the trio? Who exactly is Samson's mate going to be?
4.What is the proper name for the Space-Spawn
5.How did Coyote become so devious?

Greg responds...

1. Are you sure Oberon is still alive?

2. I'm not answering this now.

3. Well, there are three of them. But no two groups are exactly the same. Samson likes Delilah. Delilah likes Samson. But whether they ever become mates is an open question.

4. As opposed to Space-Spawn?

5. Iron supplements.

Response recorded on June 30, 2001

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SEM writes...

Greg, saw "Walkabout" recently and had a question about Dingo's ending line about Australia having a new kind of hero. Was this intended in any way as a jab to Crocodile Dundee, who had been very popular in the previous decade? Maybe it's just because CROCODILE DUNDEE IN L.A. came out in the last few months that my mind made that kind of connection... not sure. Thanks!

Greg responds...

Well, it's not like I never saw the original Crocodile Dundee movie, so I suppose anything's possible.

But honestly, no, I don't think it was any kind of Dundee reference.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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The Sloth (rob) writes...

ummm, did wolf die when all those cars fell on him or was he sent to jail? Seems like a lot of impact for even a mutate werewolf to take!

Greg responds...

He's not dead.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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Vashkoda writes...

I just rewatched "Vendettas", and yup, a few questions came to mind:

1) While battling Wolf/Hakon, I noticed that Hudson is pretty proficient with his sword, yet you said that he had just happened to pick up the weapon during the battle with the Vikings. Had he actually had some sword training beforehand, or did he learn how to use one through trial and error?

2) While Hakon was possessing Wolf, he told him that if he destroyed the axe, Hakon would lose his only link to the Earth plane and disappear. However, in "Possession", Desdemona and Othello lamented over the fact that if they destroyed the Coldstone body, they would be trapped in Broadway and Angela forever. You've said before that the relationship that Hakon has with the axe is similar to that of the Coldtrio and their mechanical bodies. a) So if what the Coldtrio said about possessing hosts also applies to Hakon, would he in fact have been able to remain permanently in Wolf's body if the latter had destroyed the axe while he was still being possessed? b) Puck had said that soul transferance was tricky, and that the host had to be willing to be possessed. So how was Hakon able to take over Wolf? Wolf didn't seem to happy about it when he regained consciousness, so I don't think he would have been willing. c) Why did Hakon need to worry about Wolf destroying the axe? Couldn't he have taken complete possession of Wolf once he managed to get inside him and prevented him from doing the weapon any harm?

Greg responds...

1. Maybe a bit of both.

2. a. Different deal, basically.

b. They were sympatico. Ancestor/descendent with a common hatred of Goliath.

c. Obvioulsy, he couldn't. Not when Wolf was conscious.

Response recorded on June 21, 2001

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Basilisk writes...

Something I would like to point out:

The fifth Ultra-Pack member wouldn't HAVE to be named after a canid--- just has to live in a pack. I mean, hyenas are aren't dogs, but they are pack animals. (But then, a fox is a canid and isn't a pack animal, so I suppose that logic isn't sound...)

Greg responds...

Logic may not be the main issue here. Look who we're talking about.

Response recorded on June 20, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

What kinds of upgrades were Hyena, Jackal and Wolf going to get when they join the Ultra Pack?

Greg responds...

not saying

Response recorded on June 20, 2001

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Todd Jensen writes...

I was watching my tape of "The Thrill of the Hunt" some minutes ago, and found myself noticing something (which I may have caught before, but didn't think to mention before now). When Dingo's commenting at the beginning about how soft the Pack's been getting, he says that in his current condition, he wouldn't last over a week in a Central American war. I find that comment rather amusing now, because two of the Pack-members (though Jackal and Hyena, rather than Dingo himself) DO get involved in a sort-of Central American war in "The Green". I don't know if you intended a connection there or not, but I thought that I'd mention it.

Greg responds...

At that stage I didn't. No way I could have predicted "The Green" way back then. But who knows. Maybe we were tapping in again...

Response recorded on June 09, 2001

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matt writes...

i have a couple comments on "Her Brother's Keeper" which i just watched...

first of all, i love the trio in the helicopter scene, one of the most fun moments in the series!

my real comment/question is about Hyena in this episode. why are she and Jackal suddenly outlaws, hunting a creature that doesn't legally exist is one thing, but all of a sudden they're stealing (or attempting to steal) the "most valuable stone on Earth", whats that about? oh, it was orders from Fox? i see, didn't Hyena just say, "I don't take orders, brother, not even from you!" then she dutifully follows Fox's orders several times in the episode. i don't get it... these two, particulary Hyena really confuse me and seem to be acting out of character at this point. later on, they escape from prison and so they're already outlaws, so why not rob a bank, but here they are good citizens, even popular citizens, why mess that up on Fox's orders, are they that loyal to her?

Greg responds...

They were never good citizens. They were mercenaries hired to portray heroes on tv.

None of what they did, including following orders when it suited their proclivities, seems out of character to me.

Response recorded on May 04, 2001

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matt writes...

i was really surprised how easily Hyena forgives Jackal, i mean he is always calling her sick for falling in lust with Coyote, then in "Grief" Jackal destroys Coyote and makes Hyena a baby, but by "The Green" Hyena happily makes jokes with her brother. it just didn't seem right and it didn't seem like it fit in with the theme of consequences in "Gargoyles"... your thoughts...

Greg responds...

Hyena's a freak. Coyote can always be rebuilt. And Jackal and Hyena have always both counted on and sniped at each other.

Response recorded on April 08, 2001

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Shavri writes...

Sorry for double posting, I just thought of another question. Is one of the reasons why Xanatos was always picking on Goliath is that it gave him a sense of power? You know, as kind of an ego-booster? Is it that the same reason Wolf was always trying to fight Goliath(besides his hatred of him)?

Greg responds...

It's in there. But it's also not that simple.

Response recorded on April 08, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

What body parts did Jackal and Hyena sacriface for the upgrade?

Greg responds...

Arms and legs mostly. Body mass.

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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Vashkoda writes...

1a) Which race and civilization (or "clan" if they were gargoyles) created the Cauldron of Life? b) Which was the Cauldron made of--mortal, fairy, or some other magic? c) If it was made of mortal magic, did the mortal energies have any adverse effect on Puck when he dipped in his hand (other than the petrification itself), or was he spared any possible additonal effect because he was in mortal form as Owen?

2a) When the Cauldron's iron was reforged into the Coyote robot, was its ability to turn objects to stone lost? b) Did the Cauldron have any magical abilities other than petrification? c) Did the magic in the Cauldron's iron really make it more effective at capturing the Coyote fae, or would regular iron have been just as effective? If the Cauldron was made with mortal magic, did these mortal energies play a part in its effectiveness as a prison for fey?

3) What did Xanatos do with the magical iron after that Coyote robot was disabled?

Greg responds...

1a. That's a story in its own right.
1b. Mortal, largely.
1c. No adverse effects on Puck.

2a. Not necessarily.
2b. Not necessarily.
2c. Didn't hurt.

3. Wouldn't you like to know?

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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matt writes...

i know Xanatos used the Cauldron of Life in Coyote's reconstruction cuz it was iron and would hold Coyote the Trickster, but couldn't he have used any old iron to do this? some may say that Xanatos used the Cauldron so as not to be wasteful, but i think he really was wasting the Cauldron on something that any iron would do. so why did he use the cauldron?

Greg responds...

He wasn't taking any chances, I guess. He wanted his robot to not merely be iron, but to be magically powerful.

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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Bruno writes...

Hi, Greg,

About Angela: Right after the World Tour, what are her opinions about...

1-Macbeth?

2-Fox?

3-Dingo?

Thanks.

Greg responds...

1. He seems all right.

2. She doesn't seem to trustworthy. But at least she's not trying to kill me.

3. He seems all right.

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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matt writes...

am i correct in these assumptions of what beasts DNA was used to mutate the following characters:

Wolf - wolf

Talon - panther, bat, e. eel

Claw - tiger, bat, e. eel

Fang - couger?, bat, e.eel

Maggie the Cat - lion, bat, e. eel

Greg responds...

Yeah, that sounds right. Cougar or Mountain Lion for Fang.

Response recorded on February 08, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Were Fox, Dingo, Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf using their 'stage' names prior to the Pack's formation?

Greg responds...

Fox, maybe. The rest, no.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Are the former members of the Pack (excluding Fox) wanted criminals? Why haven't they been caught yet?

Greg responds...

Dingo and Jackal are both wanted in the U.S. But they're out of the country and hard to catch.

Hyena's in prison.

Wolf, I'm not sure about.

Coyote doesn't officially exist.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

1) What happened to PM Studios after the arrests?
2) Did the model who was taken hostage by Fox press charges or file suit?
3) How did the PR staff deal with the fallout?
4) What was the public's reaction? The parental backlash against the media's portrayal of violence &c can't have been very pleasant for TV execs.
5) Do the fuzz or Feds know about XE's connections with PMS?

Greg responds...

1. Nothing.

2. Yes. The former.

3. Miserably.

4. The Pack was immediately cancelled.

5. Potentially, but no one knows that X was behind the Pack's crimes.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

[1] About how long did THE PACK air, and how large a portion of the market did it capture? Was it syndicated or affiliated or a network? And was it at the height of its popularity as of _The Thrill of the Hunt_?
[2] What was THE PACK's usual show format? The impression I got from _TTotH_ would lead me to place it in the 'mindless fighting' category. (Not that that's always a bad thing. THE A-TEAM always held a great deal of fascination for me when I was a kid, and enough people see something in POWER RANGERS [wince] and the WWF to have propelled them to the top of the ratings charts. ...The fighting in GARGOYLES is naturally quite cerebral.)
[3] What sort of commercial tie-ins do you think THE PACK might have had? Would its merchandise have rocketed in value after its stars got the boot?
[4] Lastly, was Pack Media Studios in charge of any other series or franchises?

Greg responds...

1. I don't have all that info handy here at my Disney office. But it was syndicated. And it was at the height of popularity when Fox and Wolf were arrested.

2. It was more mindless. They were the good guys. Always getting lured into traps by evil ninjas. Fighting their way out.

3. They had tons of merchandising. I think initially all that stuff would have tanked in value. By now they might be collectors items.

4. They had a lot in development.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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Basilisk writes...

We know Fox's real name is Janine Renard and Dingo's is Harry Monmouth, but what about Wolf, Jackal, and Hyena? What are their real names?

Greg responds...

Don't know yet.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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Yttrium writes...

Did you always plan for Fox to be the leader of the Pack? I don't know why, but from the Pitches I got the impression that you were originally leaning toward CY.O.T.I or Wolf.

---Ytt

Greg responds...

Not Coyote. Fox or Wolf.

Response recorded on December 22, 2000

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Sapphire writes...

Will there be any more mutates in the future besides the 4 already present?

Greg responds...

Yes.

Don't forget Wolf, for starters.

Response recorded on November 15, 2000

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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...