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The Phoenix Gate

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REJOINDERS 2005-05 (May)

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Todd Jensen writes...

I just thought that I'd mention that I enjoyed your account of your visit to Scotland, particularly your getting to visit the Stone of Scone/Stone of Destiny and your reading "Shakespeare's Kings" (I've got a copy of the book myself, and very much enjoyed it). Thanks for sharing it with us.

Greg responds...

You're welcome. You know it's been a bit of a while since the trip. But my father celebrated his 70th birthday recently and we all pulled out old photo albums and the like, and I just reread the Scotland journal. What a great time!

Response recorded on May 25, 2005

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Linda Johnson writes...

I am looking for illuminated Gargoyles merchandized from The Hunchback of Notre Dame movie release. Do you know where I might find them?

Greg responds...


Response recorded on May 25, 2005

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Question writes...

Is the Puck of Team Atlantis the same Puck of the gargoyles world just in a different shape or is this a totally different character with a different backstory? Would he be a member of the third race? If he is not then what is his backstory?

On the premeise of Team Atlantis are all the phenomenon(Loch Ness Monster, Puck, Terracotta Soldiers) the team encounters caused by the crystals?

Greg responds...

There are things in the Team Atlantis Universe that mesh nicely with the Gargoyles Universe and things that flat out don't. A perfect example is the Loch Ness Monster. Too totally different interpretations of the legend.

In the unfinished and unaired episode of Team Atlantis called "The Last," we would have seen that Gargoyles and Hunters were EXACTLY the same in both universes.

As for Puck... I'll leave that to interpretation. The Puck episode of Team Atlantis was much further along than "The Last" but it was also (to my knowledge) never completed or aired. Because Puck can change forms and because the adventure took place years before Owen hooked up with Xanatos, one could see this as compatible. Certainly the Team Atlantis Puck was less mature than our Owen/Puck, which fits rather nicely with our continuity.

As to whether literally every Team Atlantis episode was crystal driven? I'm not sure. It's been a while, so there may have been one or two that weren't directly Atlantis crystal oriented. But most were.

BUT my big question for the Question is: how do you even know about all these specific unaired Team Atlantis episodes? About Puck or Loch Ness or the Terracotta Warriors?

Response recorded on May 25, 2005

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Anonymous writes...

What where gargoyles for and why they where put on churches ?

Greg responds...

I'm tempted to just tell you to do your own research.

Historically, gargoyles were rainspouts, but the whisp of legend that I always heard was that gargoyles and grotesques were put on churches and castles, etc. to ward off evil-spirits.

We extrapolated on that idea -- or at least on the thinking that might have fed that idea -- to develop our series.

Response recorded on May 24, 2005

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iamsingleandsexy writes...

What gave you the idea for Gargoyles?

Greg responds...

Gargoyles and grotesques.

Response recorded on May 24, 2005

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Frank Gorshin, RIP

I just read that Frank Gorshin passed away. I'm kinda bummed about it.

I didn't know him well, but I did meet him a couple of times. He played Professor Hugo Strange in "The Batman" episodes that I wrote. He was terrific.

I've seen him do George Burns (briefly) live, and he was amazing.

And of course, as a kid, I just loved him as the Riddler. And there was that strange-o Star Trek episode too.

Like I said, didn't know him all that well, but he was a very talented guy. He'll be missed.

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Since Chad spilled the beans...

I've been authorized by Buena Vista Home Entertainment to confirm that there will indeed be another release of episodes from Gargoyles on DVD.

Obviously, those episodes will come from the second season... and I have been assured that in any case the episodes will be released in the correct order.

They are planning on involving me again.

We don't know how may releases there are going to be to cover the second season.
We don't know how many discs. We don't know how many episodes per disc.
We don't know what the extras are going to be.
We don't know any release dates.

As I learn more, I'll keep you posted.

My preference would be that they break up the 2nd Season into three separate releases.

The first release would include 23 episodes, running from "Leader of the Pack" through "Avalon, Part Three".

The second release would include 26 episodes, running from "Shadows of the Past" through "The Reckoning".

The third release would include 3 episodes, running from "Hunter's Moon, Part One" through "Hunter's Moon, Part Three".

I am not even vaguely implying that this is there plan. I don't know what they are planning. I'm simply expressing my personal preference, as many of you have done in the Station 8 Comment Room.

I will, of course, take whatever I can get.

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Xander writes...

This has always bothered me as i happen to love languages. What is the incantation and translation used to open up the firey ball for the Phoenix Gate? and is it in Latin or another language?

Greg responds...

It's an ancient dialect of Latin. I call it that, since despite our best efforts we seem to have gotten the proper latin wrong.

"Deslagrate muri tempi et intervalia!" translates to "Burn down the walls of time and space!"

Response recorded on May 19, 2005

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Lawrence Matheson writes...

who invented robotic body armour? was it MacBeth?Renard?Xanitos? or someone else?

Greg responds...

I think it was Robert Heinlein.

Response recorded on May 19, 2005

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Francois Ferland writes...

If nothing went right, you recently got a post I made by mistake that included every previous questions I asked you. But if everything went right and the webmaster got my mail, it's gone and you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm hoping for the former, so here's the question I was trying to send last time:

I'm still making my way through the archives (hey, it's been four years since I read it all) and each day brings forth new ideas to me, so forgive me for swarming you with so many posts in a row.

I've been reading several of the comments you made when seeing Gargoyles episodes with your family, and where you where interested in how we reacted at first to some events. So I decided to dig up those old memories and list a few key moments from the show where you (and your staff) managed to really surprise me.

Deadly Force:

This one surprised the hell out of me. When Broadway fires the gun and we hear silence, I was certain that this was a fake-scare. I mean, one of the show's hero shooting another one? Get real! And then I saw Elisa on the floor. And not just lying there with no sign of injury like is often shown in cartoons with serious accident, but resting in a pool of her own blood! If there ever was a moment where I finally took for granted that Gargoyles was a cartoon far beyond any other in terms of sophistication, that was it. And even better, we got that from Disney? Damn, I wish they'd take that kind of risk again for a TV series...

The Edge:

The opening scene where Xanatos, responding to Owen's offer to pretend to lose, replies "I'd fire you if you did". Almost any other cartoon (or live action show for that matter) would have had the villain either beat up or berate his underling for daring to beat him. You just expect it, as it's one of the most popular stereotype on TV. At this point, I still didn't know enough about Xanatos to expect that from him. It's also a defining moment where I also realized that Xanatos wasn't your ordinary bad guy. I don't think he ever really surprised that much afterward.

A Lightouse In The Sea Of Time:

Having Xanatos shown as the one responsible for the theft at first was actually refreshing. You don't know how many shows I've seen where even for very obscure reasons the right villain is always suspected right away, or how a mostly forgotten villain will suddenly be mentionned for no reason at all just to be revealed as being the brains behind the evil scheme of the day.

Maybe producers feel they don't have time to waste on a false lead, or that it's better to give the upcoming villain some introduction, no matter how clumsy it might seem.


When we meet Preston Vogel, there was an immediate alarm in my mind. We get another executive assistant type-guy who happens to look exactly like Owen? Can you say lazy Character Model re-use? It felt very cheap, and even though the rest of the episode was good, that particular detail always bugged me. That is, until several episodes down the road, we get to...

The Gathering:

First off, the scene where Petros comments on Vogel and Owen's ressembleance was hilarious. At first, I thought it was only a bit of self-derision, being aware the animators hadn't been very subtle about Vogel's character model, until Puck tells us Vogel was the inspiration for Owen. Great stuff.

And while Oberon was wasting his energy fighting the force field, I kept yelling "Just get in form the underside, it's not protected dummy!". It always seemed stupid in cartoons and comics when nobody ever thinks to go UNDER the blasted force field. Imagine my surprise when our favourite lord and master does just that.

I'm sure there are other instances where the Gargoyles staff played on our expectations as an audience. It gives the series a much more polished feel, that you were quite aware of what we might think and expect and deliberately used that to your advantage as often as possible to surprise us.

Greg responds...

We tried. HARD. I'm glad the effort paid off -- at least for you. Thanks for the kind words.

Response recorded on May 19, 2005

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