A Station Eight Fan Web Site
THE HOUND OF ULSTER
At last!! I say that both because it's a new ramble, and I'm finally able to add my own. I'll play catch up with your other additions over the weekend.
When I first saw this episode, both the "Previously on" segment and the title indicated that Bronx would get some exposure. I wasn't sure HOW since there's only so much you can do with a dog (or even a dog-like beast) without giving them some anthropomorphic qualities. Consequently, I think it makes since that Rory Dugan became the protagonist.
And yet, that in itself is unique. Here we have a non-regular being the main character of the episode--hightlighted with that wonderful "hero-shot" where the camera circles around Rory's face (well done bit of animation, that). I mean, I don't know of too many other series that do that (well, maybe there were some old "Batman: TAS" episodes that seemed to focus more on the villains, but they're the VILLAINS!)
I love Molly's character design--the hair-style, the eyes, the three belts (in technicolor!) around her waist.
Rory's vision of Crom Cruoch really threw me the first time I saw it. Then I completely forgot about it until the Banshee transformed at the end.
BTW, time out here to say kudos to the voice work all around. Colm Meaney's (sp?) guest turn was great. Scott Cleverdon did excellent work (and HE added the battle cry?! I love that thing!). And as for Sheena Easton, hey do I really need to say anything?
Loved the Banshee's keening! I have to wonder though...it seems to me that gargoyles have a stronger sense of hearing than humans, yet the Banshee's cry is apparantly more fatal to humans.
Anyway, I was a little surprised at our heroes sinking into the bog right off. Very tense the first time you see it, and a nice little character bit for Goliath--he turns from Elisa to try and save his daughter, but can't and turns back to find Elisa has already sunk beneath the surface. For a guy so big on protecting his loved ones that must have been a truly hellish moment.
But Bronx escapes and we get our first glimpse of the Banshee.
Rory's discussion with his Dad is interesting to me, mostly in how pessimistic and cynical Rory acts. One line of his that I always like (even if I don't agree with it): "There are no heroes anymore! Only villains! And they've got us all beat." Sometimes it's very easy to think that.
Our main heroes wake up trapped in the Cairn, and Goliath says that "a whole clan of gargoyles could not batter down these walls." That line always struck me for some reason.
A bit disconcerting that Elisa's muddy in this scene and clean in the next, but "meh".
And although Cuchullan's remains would have been nice, I don't really miss it (unlike the whole Anubis thing). Besides, how much of an unmummified corpse would be left after 2,000 years?
Rory meets Bronx and between the pooch's outlandish appearance and the legends of his father, Rory reacts in a perfectly reasonable way...he runs like hell. And falls off a cliff (looking at it from the wide shot, I can't help but think it's a miracle he survived).
BTW, the little memo you posted finally clears up why Bronx singled out Rory--the Banshee's scent. Yet Bronx can still sense that Rory's not an enemy.
The Banshee talks with our "main heroes." I can never stop noticing her rather exaggerated gestures. She must be a bit of a drama queen. I like her "ghost" form, though.
The Banshee does have that one character trait (which Todd has already mentioned) that annoys me to no end: she does not even consider the possibility that her prisoners might be telling the truth. And as you pointed out she could have just mesmerized it out of them (no fuss, no muss), which makes her behavior even more inexcusable.
After the Banshee hears Bronx and splits, and Angela says that Bronx will save them (she's got more faith in her pooch than I've ever had in any of mine, I'll admit), the camera starts to briefly zoom in before cutting to the next scene. I'm always wondering what got cut, if anything.
When Molly transformed into the Banshee...I figured they were both one and the same. At least, until Molly appeared in Rory's house the next day and said she'd go with him to the Cairn because she loved him. THAT cast some doubt in my mind.
"Be still little mortal and come quietly with me, into the dark." That line still sends my dirty little mind reeling with possibilities. ;-)
I like Mr. Dugan's attitude towards his son's visions: he may not entirely believe in them, but he's not about to go tempting fate in regards to them, either.
A little animation bit I only really started noticing after you mentioned exploring more of the relationship between Rory and Molly--when Rory strides down the hill towards the Cairn, Molly gets a sad/worried look on her face. Rory isn't looking at her so she doesn't have to act, but it's still there. It's more than just avoiding an old enemy that makes her want to keep Rory in the dark.
I love the voice acting in the Cairn--as the two characters talk, a bit more of each's "other" starts to creep into their speech.
I love the whole "Gae Bolga" scene.
"Skills may rust indeed, but true friendship stays bright." Y'know, because of the accent, I didn't understand what he was actually saying there for YEARS!
I always noticed how you guys had Goliath and Angela, the usual heavy hitters, get knocked away by Crom Cruach the instant they try to join the battle. Makes sense--this was Rory and Bronx's show!
"And there's no kind of training schemes for this job, I'll wager." Nope, and no pay either! Just ask Spider-man!
On the "Thor" subject, I never knew that much about Thor (either comic or mythology) until a bit after GARGOYLES, so for me this was fairly fresh.
Dog's (or gargoyle beasts) can look smug! I've seen it myself!
I always thought the "Previously on" segment for this episode felt awkward towards its end--your ramble helps clear that up.
One thing that struck me this time out was the Banshee's character design, especially in the face. It can move from beautiful to rather corpse-like.
Yes Cuchullan was the "Hound of Ulster," but only because he killed the original hound and vowed to act in its place until a new one was raised. Who's to say these hounds weren't gargoyle beasts?
Those "Hounds" were indeed Gargoyle Beasts in the Gargoyles Universe, and as I've learned more about the legend SINCE doing the episode, it seems to me that as Cu Chullain was replacing the "Hound" he killed, he would also be raising and training a new "Hound" to eventually take his place. That, to his mind, was the Hound of Ulster that he recognized in Bronx.
Or that's my current theory anyway.
One other thing about "Mark of the Panther" that I forgot to mention: I find it somehow amusing and appropriate that Elisa and Diane Maza would have a run-in with humans magically transformed into panthers in light of how a member of their family had already been turned into a panther-of-a-sort (though through science rather than through magic).
So you caught that. Good.
I was wondering, I have been looking around for my answer, and I couldn't find but ONE part of it.
I'm simply wondering if you could post the magic spells that are spoken in Latin here. I'd love to see them. Like when Magus turns the clan into stone, or the spell to part the mists into the Isle of Avalon etc. The only one I could find in this page was the spell to make the Phoenix Gate work.
"Deflagrate muri tempi et intervalia!" Which means, "Burn down the walls of time and space!"
Thank you for your time.
I can't remember off the top of my head all the spells we used, and I'm not going to go script by script through 65 scripts to find them all...
But here are the two you specified...
Dormiatis dum castellum super nubes ascendant.
Vocate venti fortunate,
Ex ricae Oberonis,
Et hic navis frugum regate,
Ad orae Avalonis.
hey greg i am a big fan of the gargoyles i watch every chance i get and i was wondering (it would be awesome)if there is going to be a live action movie or if there is what is the progress of it?
As I've stated before, the live-action movie which Touchstone Pictures (a division of Disney) had in script development for years as been shelved. No progress to report.
1) Is Nokkar the Sentinel aware of the cloaked island of New Olympus or has New Olympian technology being able to fool the technology developed by his kind?
2) How did the New Olympians manage to create such advanced technology years ahead of human technology when they had a much smaller population and less resources for research and development when in regard human civilizations have been inventing continuously. For example even through humanity was in the Dark Age in Western Europe, people were still developing stuff in the MidEast and the Far East.
So in short order how did the New Olympians get so ahead? Did they just bypass or skip some of the technologies that humanity has or were they just really brillant at inventing stuff.
1. Well, without confirming whether or not Nokkar COULD have seen through their cloak, I think the short answer is that he DIDN'T see through it. Had no reason to look. He's looking outward for an external attack. That's where his sensors are aimed.
2. Continuity helps. A few brilliant individuals who are able to build upon the work of their predecessors without interference and are given the resources can do amazing things in very few generations. Scattered advancement (two steps forward, one step back) across continents with little or no communication doesn't encourage speed of development. I also think an open mind helps too. Who believed that a man could fly in the so-called real world? A few people certainly, but until the Wright Brothers proved it, not the masses. On New Olympus, lots of their citizens can already fly. So making the leap to creating a chariot to accomidate those without wings or other flight capabilities isn't quite as difficult.
1) Why did the producers of the show go with iron as the general weakness for Oberon's Children when many of them like Raven, Odin or Anubis were figures from mythologies that didn't see iron as a sort of "god kryptonite". In fact the Fenris wolf from norse mythology was able to snap his iron chains and had to be finally chained with a magical one and many of the gods and demons of the Far East didn't seem to have a problem with iron.
2)In relation to the first question why was Oberon the king and lord of the third race that included such beings as Odin and possibly Zeus and other godhead when in the traditional stories he was just a minor king of the fairies or elves?
In general I'm just rather curious why you put so many of the qualities found in fairies and elves such as Oberon and the iron weakness onto mythological figures such as Odin, Coyote or Anasi which in the end from my point of view kind of diminishes the gods.
1) When combining so many mythologies, certain choices have to be made. Since we were putting a traditional "fairy" figure like Oberon at the top of our feudal pyramid, using iron made sense. I understand your objection, even sympathize with it, but I also don't regret our decision.
2) Well, a short answer is that we wanted to diminish the gods a bit... or put another way, we wanted to create a unifying system for them all. A feudal system. Oberon and Titania got priority, because in general SHAKESPEARE got priority. Titania, as far as I know, is not a traditional figure but an invention of ol' Will's. I've always freely admitted to being a Shakespeare fanatic, so his characters, including Macbeth, Oberon, Titania, Puck, the Weird Sisters, etc. were always going to have featured roles in this series. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, and I was the guy in charge. That doesn't make me RIGHT in some transcendent sense, just means that I had the right to create the universe I wanted to play in. So I did.
Just so that I've gotten this straight - so in the very first outline for "Mark of the Panther", it was were-jaguars rather than were-panthers? I'm glad that that was changed; since jaguars live in South America rather than Africa, it'd be pretty strange seeing one (ordinary or were) showing up in Nigeria.
Yep, and that's why the change was made of course. We got the beast wrong. So we fixed it.
Thanks for the ramble on "Mark of the Panther". (Boy, we're really coming along well with the rambles now! Isn't it great?) Here are my thoughts on it.
One of the moments that still most stands out to me is the legend of the Panther Queen that was incorporated into the story; the change of animation to set the old tale apart from the present-day action was a particular delight for me. (Although I hadn't even thought until you mentioned it that somebody tuning into "Gargoyles" during this story could have mistakenly believed that they were watching a different television program.)
I've read a little about Anansi before the series came out, though I'm no expert upon him. One thing that I had learned about him, which I think that the episode captures accurately, is that his tricks and schemes had a tendency to backfire upon him - and this is what happens in both the Panther Queen story and the main action. In the Panther Queen story, Anansi, indignant about having to turn the Panther Queen's son into a panther, banishes all the humans from Karadigi - and then realizes too late that he's just sacked his entire hunting force, so who's going to bring him food now? And in the present day, Anansi's getting Fara Maku to hunt for him worked too well - he gorged himself to such an extent that, once out of his web, he was too fat and unwieldy to fight the gargoyles effectively.
Diane's helping to resolve satisfactorally the problem of Goliath's difficulty in acknowledging Angela as his daughter reminds me of something that you once said about why they generally leave mothers out of Disney movies: the mother, if she was there, could have found a solution to the problem so quickly that there'd be barely any story. And once Elisa's mother shows up, she does indeed help solve the Goliath-Angela problem (though without preventing there from being a story).
And I picked up (by the last time that I saw this episode, a few months ago - I regularly watch my "Gargoyles" tapes every summer) on the link between Diane telling Fara Maku about his desire to keep Tea by his side "That's not love; that's selfishness" and her telling Elisa at the end that love is about letting go.
The moment that you mentioned about Diane telling Goliath with a certain indignant dignity "I don't need protection" and Goliath saying "Of course" always amused me - and I found myself also thinking of "mother-in-law" towards Diane at that moment.
The first time that I saw this episode, I thought that Anansi had indeed been slain at the end, though "The Gathering Part One" proved me wrong on that. And, truth to tell, I'm kind of glad that the Children of Oberon are so difficult to kill and that we haven't had any genuine deaths among them as yet in the series. After all, they are (or the bulk of them are) traditional figures in humanity's own myths and legends, part of our cultural heritage. Obviously, a genuine death for Anansi wouldn't result in everyone forgetting the tales about him, but still, his passing, or the passing of any other member of the Third Race, would somehow (to me, at least) diminish the "tapestry of story" that we have gained from them. (When we get to "The Gathering Part Two", I'll mention how Oberon's sentence upon Puck has a similar, if not as strong, impact upon me.)
Thanks also for telling us about how Bronx somehow reminded you and your family of Norman again. (I wonder now how the Cagney scenes in "Gargoyles" would have affected me if I'd seen any of them between the time that my old cat Merlin passed on, two months ago, and the time that I adopted my new kitten Obie.) Norman sounds like he must truly have been quite a dog.
Norman was indeed quite a dog. I miss him still. We have two new old dogs now, Sammi & Abraham and we still have our cat Bigtime, but we recently lost our cat Iggy during a power outage. And when I say "lost" I mean that literally. Heat wave. Power outage. Open windows. He must have run off. But he hasn't come back.
Kinda know how Hudson felt about Bronx during the World Tour. So I'm hoping Iggy's having fun in his own personal Avalon.
How did Elisa know how to wake up Sleeping King Arthur in Avalon part 3?
The Magus filled her in off-camera.
If Gargoyles hadn't (temporarily) ended when it did, would it still be going or would you have run out of material by now? 10 years is a lot of episodes. How many eps per season would there have been anyways? 13, 52, or somewhere in between.
Well, there are SO many "ifs" in your hypothetical question, I don't know how to evalute the specifics. But I am QUITE confident that I would not have run out of material by now. The new comic book can easily go twice that long assuming sales support us.
As for how many episodes per season, that's a financial question, not a creative one. We didn't do 13 in season one and 52 in season two for creative reasons, but for financial ones. Likewise the decision to make 13 in Season 3 (Goliath Chronicles) was again financial. So in the intervening seasons, the answer is zero per season, for what Disney perceived as financial reasons. So how to evaluate financials for a hypothetical non-existent season is impossible.