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Mr. Weisman, I watched "The Edge" today and found myself amazed by how well you and the writers (in this case, Michael Reeves) pulled off your surprise endings. They were always shocking without feeling 'cheap.' This is because they always make perfect sense in the context of the episode, once you know what's really up. I think the way you accomplished this, without resorting to manipulative or dishonest tactics, was to make the viewer feel like he was in control. For instance, in "The Edge," the viewer is happy to believe Xanatos has created a new, more advanced Steel Clan robot. That would have been a cool plot development in and of itself, and something the viewer felt he grasped better than the gargoyles did. In "The Price," the viewer knows that Macbeth is immortal, while the gargoyles do not, so he feels more in control than the gargoyles. Perhaps this even results in a sort of gracious laze-of-mind in the viewer, by which you and the writers used the gargoyles' naivete, both of the modern world and of the show's arching plot, as a way of lulling us into a false sense of security. Was this a conscious tactic? Is it something you and the show's writers saw yourselves pulling off or was it business-as-usual? Is such stuff taught in television writing classrooms? I've never seen another show pull off its surprise endings quite as remarkably as Gargoyles. The very first time you pull one off is "The Thrill of the Hunt," an episode that could well have ended, just as "The Edge," after the gargoyles turned to stone. But like "The Sixth Sense," you kept going, and in the process, turned what would have been merely "good" stories into great ones. These episodes and the others like them were not created for the sole purpose of their surprise endings. They were flesh-and-blood stories that you and the writers ended with surprises nonetheless. Most of the praise for Gargoyles goes to its multiethnicity, its voice cast, its music, its gothic atmosphere, the dialogue (which you claim was sixth-grade level, but I've never read a newspaper article as verbose as Goliath), and all deservedly so, but one of the most enduring aspects of all were the shock endings.
I'm glad that stuff works for you. It worked for us.
The main drive behind endings like that was a desire not to undercut our lead villains. Villains get tiresome when they lose all the time. And heroes are pointless if they lose all the time. (It's fun and dramatic and right to have both sides lose occasionally. But if either side loses ALL the time... well then where's the drama?)
But if a hero wins the battle and then we secretly reveal (in our patented Xanatos tags) that he may still be losing the war, then that keeps both sides interesting.
So it's not shock value for shock value's sake. But it lead us down a path that gave you the surprises you enjoyed. It forced us to always look BEHIND the obvious. Forced us to work harder. Then, I think the trick is to play fair. We may not reveal all, and -- your right -- our characters (human and gargoyle alike) may make incorrect assumptions about the situation, but all the clues are there from the moment the "PREVIOUSLY ON GARGOYLES..." starts to roll. (In fact, sometimes I feared that too many clues were planted.) By playing fair you get that double whammy at the end... both the surprise but also the "Of course..." That feeling that it's right. That it's not cheating. That in fact nothing else could possibly make sense.
Perhaps the ultimate example of that was the Owen/Puck revelation.
As for whether that's taught in writing classes? None specifically that I've taken. I've touched on it, here and there, in a couple of the classes that I've taught over the years. But I don't think I've ever focused a lesson plan on this point either. It's very much at the fine tuning end of the spectrum. Not something you'd get into in a survey course.
What is the highest point in North America
I give up. What is the highest point in North America?
Will the DVD of Gargoyles be released in Canada on December 7th also?
I don't know. Was it? It certainly could not have been too hard to get in Canada, I would think.
And again, both the SEASON ONE DVD and the SEASON TWO VOLUME ONE DVD are currently available. Because of mediocre sales on the latter, there are no current plans to release SEASON TWO VOLUME TWO at this time. So we need to SPREAD THE WORD to people. Let them know that the DVDs are out there and available and raise the sales figures so that we can get that next release.
While utilizing the nifty SEARCH function, I decided to look up responses for "the whisper". I came up with this:
Question received on Mon, August 07, 2000 03:01:14 AM
1.What did titania whisper into fox's ear at he end of the gathering part2
1. Do you think they'll be wondering about this in Ask Greg four years from now?
Response recorded on August 23, 2000
And given the most recent Q&A on that subject was recently posted.... 4+ years after that Q&A was done.... I think your answer holds true.. heh :) We were still wondering that in Ask Greg.. in 2004 :)
The fandom that you didn't anticipate has bugged you about something that you didn't think you would have been bugged about.
Keep it up, it's fun being confused, etc. :D
My pleasure. (Most of the time.)
EYE OF THE STORM
(And a Happy Thanksgiving 2004, BTW.)
This was the second time the Eye surprised me--the first being when it was revealed to be more than a mere bauble. Now we find out it really is Odin's eye, and he's looking for it.
I love Odin's "old wanderer" guise. The "star-cloak" is nicely done. His final, "Warrior-King" ensemble is a little less impressive to me, actually, but still nice (and hey--having little exposure to the great Kirby's work, it looked pretty fresh to me).
This is one of those episodes where, after watching it, you realise just how EASY things would have been if everyone had been honest and open from the start. As you pointed out Greg, Odin could have just said, "Hi! Welcome to Norway! I'm Odin, I'll be your resident supernatural being today. Oh, by the way, could I have my eye back please? I really miss having depth perception." He might have actually got his Eye in less time than it takes to watch the first Act. And poor Gunther and Erik wouldn't have lost a wall of their house!
Erik is an interesting fellow, to me. He know's Elisa's hiking story is suspect, but he doesn't want to press her about it, and in fact seems to have a rather cheerful attitude in spite of the deception. He also, to me, never seems to quite trust Goliath. Even after Elisa's first brought him up to speed he says, "From what you've told us, it sounds like we're in good hands with your Goliath." He doesn't sound completely sure about that.
Gunther's reaction to the gargoyles and the world they open up is great--wonder and enthusiasm. Pretty much what you'd expect for a boy his age. I love his eagerness to see Angela and Bronx wake up, along with his happy, "Hi, you must be An-GEL-a" (I love his strange pronunciation there).
I also love Angela's response to that greeting--"Uh...yes, I am." You go to sleep and then wake up on top of a car with a young lad happily saying your (mispronounced) name--yeah, that can be disorienting.
"The Fall of Goliath"--This was very well done. I liked how you guys developed the way in which the Eye "corrupts" Goliath. It takes his caring, protective nature and twists it into a rigid, tyrannical, "It's all for your own good" sort of thing. I have to admit I was at first surprised when it was revealed that he had been creating the storms, but afterwards it made perfect sense.
Actually, it's interesting that, after riding away and yelling "This isn't over," Odin really does cease to take any action against our heroes. He doesn't surface again until Goliath calls him out.
That battle is very well-done, BTW. It's pretty obvious that in terms of raw power, Goliath's got the edge, however Odin is the one who uses more subtlety--such as freeing Goliath's friends.
Goliath has some real "villain" moments in this piece, the most obvious of course being his line to Odin, "How frustrating for you, Old Man. To be so close to Death, and Rejuvination at the same time." Did anyone else hear a "Darth Vader Breath-Track" there?
Others would include the one you pointed out, Greg, where Goliath just says they'll "pack" Angela and Bronx--that always threw me off for some reason--and just the way he says, "A cave...yes, a cave would be ideal."
Before I forget, "Odinized Goliath" had a great design--and I like how it was tied in with Odin's "Warrior-King" design. The starry (sp?) wings were a nice touch, too.
SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS:
Goliath: "Believe it or not, we've hit ice."
Elisa: "I believe it." (A fun little exchange.)
I love how Goliath holds Elisa at the beginning. Obviously, it's to try and keep her warm...but there's, to me, a pretty strong undercurrent of attraction there. And I love his line (and the way he says it), "It is my duty to protect you."
Dang! In trying to get the Sturllisen's (sp?) car to stop, our heroes nearly send them over a cliff! Good thing Goliath can pretty much bench their car.
Elisa tries to outrun a man on a horse...well, I guess it beats just standing around, but they both have the same outcome.
I really wish more had been done with Goliath's first sight of the sun. This time, though, I began to wonder if Goliath was more enamoured with the feeling of the sun, or the feeling of the POWER coursing through him.
"Maybe you should take the Eye off now." I love how Goliath pauses ever so slightly before answering that.
I recall someone once saying that they were glad neither Gunther nor Erik became a new hero for Norway. :-)
Angela and Bronx are crusted with ice before they awaken. I rather liked that.
"The Eye! The Eye has gone to your head!" I love the look on Goliath's face after that--the raised brow ridge. It's almost like he's reacting to the (unintentional on Elisa's part) pun.
Goliath's turn around was a bit too quick and pat, but it nevertheless touched on Goliath's love for his daughter. I rather like Elisa's admission "Wish I'd thought of that." Maybe I'm reading too much into that, but it seems to me like it touches on Elisa's feelings for Goliath. Elisa may not be much for being the "Damsel in Distress"(tm), but all the same, I think she sort of likes being "rescued" by Goliath.
BTW, when'd the Eye get its "neck-chain" back?
To me, Odin's putting his Eye in its socket wasn't anti-climactic. It was just right. I mean, that's all he really wanted it for. And his and Goliath's final exchange was very well-done. I like how they admitted that each of them had kind of screwed up.
At any rate, I really enjoyed this episode and was glad to get a chance to see what happened when Goliath wore the Eye of Odin.
BTW, way back when you rambled on TEMPTATION (3 years ago, I think?) you said there were 3 toy tie-ins throughout the series. The first was the motorcycle in TEMPTATION. The second was supposed to be the helicoptor in HER BROTHER'S KEEPER (which wound up becoming a "sky sled"). And the third was supposed to be in this episode. So, what was the toy supposed to be?
"Oh, by the way, could I have my eye back please? I really miss having depth perception."
As for the toy connection, they wanted a "STORM-BRINGER GOLIATH" (I think that was the name). They were doing a whole line of elemental gargoyles. Ice-Brooklyn, I think, was one. They wound up doing Hudson as the storm gargoyle, I seem to recall (although it's been a LONG time and I don't have those toys).
Also, as I've mentioned before, the EYE OF ODIN itself was the invention of the Disney Interactive Games people, and they used it in the game they created over there. (In fact they had a better - NORSER- design than we had. I always thought that our design looked a bit too Egyptian.)
I've been a fan of Gargoyles since it was first broadcast. And I still enjoy watching it even now years later, and look forward to the long awaited DVD release. The show is very original, and I think it had a lot of life left in it still when it ended. Which brings on my question Ive thought about off and on while watching the show. Do you ever think the relationship between Demona and Angela was given absolution? There was no real closure in The Reckoning, and the episode Generations strung along without adding any development.
I don't count "Generations" myself one way or another. And I'm not sure exactly what you mean in this context by "absolution," but there was no intent for true closure in "The Reckoning". None. I don't see "closure" happening anytime soon, but keep an eye out in the comic book for the relationship to progress.
I have to admit, when this first aired, I was more than a little surprised to see Arthur showing up again (or at least, so soon after AVALON). Likewise with Griff. And it was even more surprising that you guys teamed them up like this. Surprising and delightful.
I was also pleased to see the return of Macbeth (for the last time in the regular series). I have to admit, at first I was a little disappointed that Macbeth was the antagonist, simply because after CITY OF STONE and SANCTUARY he had become such a tragic and sympathetic figure, you wanted to root FOR him, not against him. Also, I'm not sure, but I think a lot more of Macbeth's reverance for Arthur could have been shown. In fact, when he and Arthur are crossing swords (well, sword and mace) he says, "You will kneel to me" in an almost spiteful way. Of course, in the end, Mac shows himself to actually be a bigger man than Arthur when it comes to admiting defeat--he does so instantly, unlike Arthur who had to be coached (and I had never thought about the similarity to those who had challenged Arthur's legitimacy back in the legends).
Anyway, back to London. I agree with your reasonings for not giving Arthur a sword (though, personally, I would have preferred a double-bladed axe to a mace, but that's just me). I just love Arthur's surprise at a locked church--says a lot about how times have changed.
BTW, you said that one of Arthur's trips was to the Guggenheim in NYC--New York City, yes? I must say, I find that a bit surprising. Since he didn't run into the clan, I can only guess that it must've taken place during the day. And if I were him, I would have been more than a little cheesed-off that my path looped on me like that ("Aww, I just LEFT here!").
The Stone was a surprise, but cool (and I love Frank Welker's voice). If the Stone's speaking didn't surprise Arthur, though, I wonder what Arthur was reacting to when he gasped and lept back into Griff. He might have felt someone else in the room, I guess.
As for Griff's design, for the most part it's okay in this ep, except for where he recites the poem (nice poem, BTW). At this point, he loses his neck. It just looks like there's this huge LUMP in the middle of his shoulders that has a beak, eyes and a mohawk.
At any rate, I really like Arthur's portrayl (sp?) here. A lot of times in popular culture, it seems, he's turned into this infallible, wonderfully wise, Paladin-like character. While that is definitely a side of his personality, I like that it's only a side--Arthur is a human, and as such, imperfect. He's not terribly humble, he perfers acting to thinking (like you said), and continually refuses to accept the possibility that he may NOT be destined for Excalibur again. Actually, this makes him easier to identify with.
One bit I like: As Macbeth is performing the summon spell, Banquo yells over the wind and rain, "HE AIN'T PAYIN' US ENOUGH FOR THIS!" In hindsight, it's like a bit of foreshadowing for him and Fleance leaving Macbeth's service (and joining up with Castaway).
Arthur immediately recognizes Macbeth (no fond memories there), and Macbeth, of course, has no memory. I like how that doesn't really phase him, though.
The gargoyles expertly handle Macbeth and his goons (it's great how they disarmed them all in less than 5 seconds). Brooklyn displays his leadership of the clan when he opts to stay and collect "some answers" rather than pursue Macbeth.
And then the clan gets a big ol' 1-2-3 punch. 1) There's a gargoyle standing right in front of them--when they thought they were the last all this time. 2) King Arthur is there as well--THE King Arthur. 3) Both the gargoyle and King Arthur have seen their missing leader and friend, Goliath. It's a heck of a lot of information to take in, and that (coupled with their trying to find Excalibur and deal with Macbeth) kind of numbs them to the ramifications of Griff's very existence for the moment. Or, at least, that's my guess. I would have loved to hear them wonder whether or not Griff was the only other one.
One nit, here: The poem says "Ebon glass in emerald frame." And they (correctly) figure it's the lake, but the lake is just a dark blue. Ebon should be black. Oh, well.
Finally, we meet the Lady of the Lake. A fun little note, here: a few months ago, I turned some of my friends onto GARGOYLES, and sometimes they had interesting observations. One of them was along the lines of, "The Lady of the Lake would HAVE to be a Child of Oberon to have a body like THAT in the Dark Ages."
I like how Macbeth plugs in his crystal ball, and uses a monitor screen as his "scrying pool." Ah, the conveniences of modern technology.
Can't add much to what you've already said about the Water Djinn sequence, mostly because I find myself agreeing with you. Still, you guys only had 22 minutes or so to work with.
I got a kick out of the whole "Brooklyn" exchange. There are some inconveniences to being named after a location.
Like Todd, I was a bit surprised that Banquo (and Fleance as well, it seems) know about Macbeth's true identity. Mac must have a LOT of confidence in them.
At about this point, the Trio and Hudson largely take a backseat to the main action--Arthur and Griff vying with Macbeth for the sword. That's not to say that they don't have some good fight moments with Banquo and Fleance.
While it was never readily apparent that Banquo and Fleance were wearing power-suits, that knowledge does help explain a couple things I'd always wondered about: 1) How Banquo didn't lose his legs when Hudson hit them with what looked like the sword's cutting-edge, and 2) How Banquo wasn't crushed under the weight of both the tree AND Broadway.
Actually, Fleance seemed to be the more competent of the two in this battle--almost single-handedly taking out all four gargs. And she's got a tough hover-bike, one that crashes, but can still be used as stairs later on.
Griff encourages Arthur to continue fighting for Excalibur--yup, our king's found his first uber-loyal supporter.
The dragon...I am a BIG dragon buff, and I was indescribably pleased to see one in GARGOYLES, even if it was technically made of stone. The "vents" on the neck were an interesting and unique touch. And of course the whole "fight-and-flight" sequence was fun. The Trio and Hudson seemed to have the roughest time of it, being knocked back at the first, and then dodging fireballs while flying around the dragon's head, (Hudson whacking it with his sword...which right now reminds me of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" where Lancelot whacks the French castle with his sword before retreating).
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is Griff's way of freeing Arthur--making the dragon drop him and then grabbing him by the *corner of his cape* as he starts to fall! Arthur never even blanched. Then again, this is the same guy who a few seconds later plunges his had into the magical fire to retrieve Excalibur. I loved that part, BTW.
Poor Macbeth looks so sad when he drops the remnants of the false sword. I like that Arthur asks Macbeth to join him. As I recall, that was something he often did in the old legends: make a friend and knight out of a former foe. Of course I also recall reading somewhere that Excalibur could burst into blue flame or some such thing, so what do I know?
Arthur pretty much states what his next quest is (find that old fart, Merlin), and then does something I didn't quite expect...he knights Griff. I have to admit, maybe it's a bit prejudiced on my part, but I never contemplated the idea of a gargoyle-knight. I like it though.
I didn't get the idea that this was a sort of "backdoor pilot" to a spin-off, but once I found out, it made perfect sense. If this ep was any indication, it was already shaping up to be a fine show.
There's my ramble, and tomorrow I start replying to EYE OF THE STORM.
I think you misunderstood me. The Stone sent him to the roof of the Guggenheim. I can't imagine that I said that he'd been there before. I don't think he'd been to Manhattan before. Of course, it's been two years, and I have no memory of what I wrote at all. But that seems unlikely.
In prior response you've indicated that the Ragnorak of the Norse Gods has already happened through its destruction was far less than it was in the Norse Sagas. So did you get your idea of having Ragnorak happening in the past from Roy Thomas's run of Thor where the Asgardians were revealed to be created by the survivors of the previous Ragnorak.
No. I never read Roy's run of Thor. (Though Roy and I worked together for a few years at DC Comics on books like All-Star Squadron, Secret Origins, Infinity, Inc. and Young All-Stars.)
I think it's a case of great minds thinking alike, if you assume Roy and I have great minds. Also, it's sort of a natural assumption. Ragnarok was written about in the Eddas. So it must have happened, right?
Got a question about Max Steel for you.
I know you don't want to hear summaries of episodes that you didn't do, but I have a question that you might be able to answer. In many of the episodes in Seasons 2 and 3, a major theme is that Josh uses less T-juice than Max because Josh doesn't have the superhuman powers (just extra sharp hearing and eyesight). However, I remember that in episode 4 (Sportsmen), Josh quit the Del Oro Extreme because he couldn't shut off his Max powers -- it was unfair and not a challenge. So, am I confused, or did the writers for seasons 2 and 3 make a mistake?
Oh, and I know you probably wouldn't want them, but in case anyone's interested, Max Steel Season 1 is on DVD. People in the U.K. can get them from http://www.streetsonline.co.uk/ . People in the U.S. and other countries will have to get them off eBay.
Thanks for your time.
I would want Max Steel Season 1 on DVD. Very much actually. I had no idea it was available. I'll try to find it. So thanks for the heads up.
As to your question, well... I'm going to have to say that there was a screw-up. Josh and Max weren't two different guys. Josh used his powers to change his appearance to look like Max, so that he wouldn't be recognized. But he had all his powers at all times. At least that's how we wrote it during Season One. Of course, I was fired after Season One, and who knows? Maybe that was why.
if the series was not canceled would lex and brooklyn have been able to find mates
Yes. And the series is now of course UNcancelled as a comic book. So if you're still wondering, check it out. Be patient. We'll get to all of this eventually.