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More old memos from the original development file...
At one point a Disney Executive came to me and asked me to rename Hudson as a personal favor. She had just had a son, whom she had named Hudson, and was concerned for reasons I can no longer clearly remember.
I wanted to be nice, but this was very problematic for us. Hudson's being named for the river was the way into the New York names for the whole clan. I couldn't see an easy way to make the change.
But in the spirit of being a team-player, we tried to give it a shot.
The following is a hand-written note in my files of possible names. The ones marked with an "x" were actually crossed out by me.
[Castle Logo] Walt Disney Television
Gregory David Weisman
FIRE - x
LONG - x
CONEY - x
SHERIDAN - x
COLUMBIA - x
MADISON - x
LAGUARDIA - x
SHEA - x
YANKEE - x
TRIBECA - x
BATTERY - x
WASHINGTON - x
LINCOLN - x
VERRAZANO NARROWS - x
EMPIRE - x
CHELSEA - x
GRAMMERCY - x
WALL ST. - x
BROAD ST. - x
NOHO - x
HOUSTON - x
BLEEKER - x
After jotting those down, I composed a memo for my boss to see if he wanted to make the change. He didn't have (or at any rate didn't use) e-mail back then. So traditionally, I would send the memo to myself. Print it out and then leave a hard copy with his assistant.
 From: Greg Weisman 9/13/93 12:44PM (616 bytes : 28 ln)
To: Greg Weisman, Paul Lacy
Subject: Hudson Names
------------------------------- Message Contents -----------------
Gary, here are some possible alternatives to the name Hudson:
He returned the same memo to me stamped from his office with the following little note:
SEP 13 1993
GARY KRISEL'S OFFICE
1) Would "Hudson" pick his own name?
Keep this for the teens
Having received that note, I then had to go into his office and remind him about the whole naming schema. The fact that we had names for the 'teens' and that the reason we were considering changing Hudson's name was because of the request of this one executive. Gary then considered all this and decided to stay the course. I apologized to the executive but told her we wouldn't be making a change. I felt bad -- a bit. But I also felt sure that we had chosen the correct names.
Time to get back to rambling...
Well, we've had our adventure in Avalon and made a couple stops on what I knew was going to be a long trip. Time to check in on the home front.
Only trouble is, as these things originally aired, this one actually didn't manage to get broadcast right here. It just wasn't ready in time, and we had enough trouble airing reruns without holding up episodes that were ready to go just because this one wasn't. And besides it was all part of Tier Four. So we couldn't justify waiting for it.
Still. Out of the 66 eps I was involved in, only two aired out of order. "The Price" aired too soon. "Kingdom" aired too late.
Hope it didn't screw too much with your sense of continuity.
Oh, by the way, Kingdom was
Directed by Bob Kline
Story Edited by Gary Sperling
Written By Marty Isenberg & Robert Skir
KINGDOM (BROOKLYN & TALON)
The title, I believe, was another one of my one word 'theme' titles. It refers, of course, to the newly established kingdom of the Labyrinth and who and how it will be ruled. Can any organization exist without leadership? Or will a power vacuum by nature be filled by something, positive or negative?
We have in this show two reluctant leaders. Brooklyn and Talon. Ironically, Talon seems to have no problem asserting himself to lead -- especially among the Gargoyles in the void of Brooklyn's unleadership. He wants the authoritiy of leadership without the responsiblilty that comes with actually having the title.
Brooklyn feels a burden of leadership that's two-fold. On the one hand, he feels like acknowledging his role as leader is a betrayal of Goliath. Like he's giving up on finding his older brother. On the other hand, he feels intimidated by trying to fill Goliath's shoes (assuming Goliath wore shoes).
He's specializing in 'avoidance' or as Kent Brockman would say, "Avoision".
"Why are you looking at me?"
"Stop asking me that. I don't know."
Everyone else is actually working on the missing Goliath/Bronx/Elisa problem. Brooklyn isn't even doing that, because any action risks being misinterpreted as leadership.
So throughout, Hudson uses psychology to gently nudge Brooklyn into the right mental space.
Guess he'll go to the Labyrinth to ask Elisa's brother if he's seen her. Might see Maggie there....
Suddenly Brooklyn is volunteering. For the wrong reasons, of course, but Hudson has at least gotten him started. Moved him from active to passive.
Is fun in this. Didn't want to leave the poor cat alone for months now, did we? I like how Broadway and Hudson care for him. How the cat reacts, sleeping on Hudson's head, when Hudson wakes up. How he reacts to Maggie the (other) Cat. How Hudson, quietly admits just how much he loves Bronx in Cagney's presence.
AL, CHAS and ?
I like these guys. They're well characterized in just a few little bits.
Al's the homeless guy that Fang harrasses. Chas and his buddy (who's name I didn't catch this time through -- though I know I have it written down at the office) are Fang's cronies.
Jeff Bennett (as Chas' buddy) is very funny describing their discovery to Fang.
There's a brief moment at the end, where it looks like Lex and BW might be smashing these two guys heads in with rocks. But we pull back and see they're really smashing the guns. I don't think we'd get away with even the tease of that in the current S&P atmosphere.
I wonder where they went after Talon chased them out. Can't help thinking they were naturals to join the Quarrymen.
And how's Al doing?
FANG & CLAW
I love Belushi as Fang. (He's got a great growl that's a sound effect, but it works great with Belushi's stuff.) My wife Beth thought Jim was too over the top. But I think he's hilarious.
He's got a bunch of great lines:
"...Flying bug zappers."
"Now wouldn't that be a crying shame."
"Open the door, Fang. Protect the weak, Fang."
"There's a new Sheriff in town."
Talon: "You and what army?"
Fang: "This army, pal. And you're our first prisoner of war." (Though technically Talon is the second, since Maggie's already trapped in the gun chamber.)
My nearly eight-year-old-daughter Erin asked, "Is he greedy or jealous?" Both, probably.
And he is bright enought to trick Talon.
And Claw is just a love. Charming in his silence. He really comes into his own in this ep, you know?
Incidentally, this year "Kingdom" made the fan's top ten favorite episodes, alongside such others as: "Hunter's Moon, Parts One, Two and Three," "The Mirror," "Future Tense," and others.
I was a bit surprised. Most of the other ten look a hell of a lot better than this one. It's a tribute to Brooklyn's popularity probably, but also, I think to Claw.
There's great fun throughout with that darn key card. Fang trying to bust into the gun chamber initially. Being so frustrated, and Claw just lowering the card in front of him.
"Give me that!" Fang says and grabs it.
Later, after Maggie's escaped, and Fang regains consciousness to find out what happened, Claw does his intentionally indecipherable pantomime schtick. And Fang simply repeats: "Give me that!"
The scene with Broadway and Matt is oddly animated. Looks briefly like it's from some other show. But there's something strangely cool about the animation, even though it's off.
Erin said, "I like Maggie. She's very..." But she didn't complete the sentence. Even with prompting from both Beth and myself. She just liked her, I guess.
Maggie begs Claw to let her out. So that she can join the fight? No. So that she can get help. That's Maggie's version of bravery. And I'm not knocking it. Frankly, it's what we teach our kids. You don't teach them to enter dangerous situations. You teach them to go get help. Dial 911. Maggie will never be a warrior, though she has the power for it. It's just not who she is. Normally, that might bug me. But this was a show with so many strong warrior female types, that I liked having the variety.
But this episode doesn't happen to have any of those strong female types like Elisa or Angela or Fox or even Demona. Did it bother anyone that Maggie was the only woman depicted and that she never participated in battle?
Maggie does get to shine in an area that comes more natural to her. Acting. She figures out at the end what Brooklyn is up to, and then performs her heart out to keep Fang in the dark, as she releases Derek. Well, I've always said she came from Ohio to make it in NYC as an actress...
She and Talon are now even more firmly established as a couple. Even in Brooklyn's mind. Finally, he adjusts and moves on.
XANATOS & OWEN
Hey, how about that new security system, installed as a result of Thailog's 'kidnapping' in Double Jep. Doesn't it... SUCK??!!!!!
The cannons do WAY more damage to X's castle than to anyone or anything else. And I also felt like we had done this before at Mac's place in Lighthouse and the Price.
So this is just weak. A failure on our part to come up with something stronger, more original, etc. We needed some action around now. But I still wish we had cracked this better.
There are some fun moments, if not always for the right reasons...
There's a comedy WAY off-model Broadway riding the exploding cannon.
There's a couple gargs falling through X's ceiling.
And it leads into a fun scene...
Owen's stone fist use (though a great idea) is actually a touch feeble, but X is in rare form...
Xanatos: "Do I really need an excuse to have a good time in my own home?"
And Xanatos: "A man has to make a living."
And Xanatos again: "I wasn't aware I needed permission."
Of course, on my tape that effect is spoiled when he suddenly goes cross-eyed. I'm hoping that's a retake that got corrected after the first airing.
Finally, after the debacle at X's place (which winds up being less of a debacle since we never figured out an episode that would show how X would take advantage of the info he learned) and after Maggie's plea for help (Brook could never resist a damsel in distress), Brooklyn finally takes up the role of Leader. Reluctantly.
Brooklyn: "This has nothing to do with what I want."
Hud: "Is that an order then."
Brook: "Yeah, I guess it is." Then look at him right there. That's a hero, am I right?
And Erin says, "Funny. All the leaders have long hair."
And so Brooklyn can't avoid leadership...
"Yeah, try as I might."
And he and Talon shake hands, as both accept the roles destiny has thrusted upon them. It looks good on them.
And that's my ramble. Where's yours?
Ramble, ramble, ramble...
The other night my family and I sat down to watch "The Price"...
Director: Dennis Woodyard.
Writer & Story Editor: Michael Reaves
Based on Comic Book Material by Lee Nordling
It seems like I was starting to learn my lesson about not giving too much away in the "Previously on Gargoyles" section. This one is really all about Hudson, and issues of old age and mortality. I think it tends to hint that maybe, just maybe, we were thinking of killing him off. Anyone else think that perhaps we might?
There's some really great, really good looking character work in this animation. Pretty stuff.
There's a great moment where Hudson banks off an office building. Very cool.
Also, I like it on those rare occasions when we do weather in New York. Snow here. Or rain. Usually, it's all left standard for the same reason Elisa usually wears the same clothes. It's cheaper.
As the story opens, we're again trying to set Hudson up for possible termination, at least in the minds of the audience. He says, "Not a bad life all things considered..." which is usually an invitation for something really horrible to happen.
This is the last episode of our third tier. I had always hoped it would air last, since what happens at the end to Owen's hand would make interchanging very difficult. But on the first go-round it was ready long before a couple of other eps in the tier. So it aired early. (Particularly before Owen's appearance in "The Cage".) I tried to correct that for later runs. Sometimes with success. Sometimes not.
Anyway, because I couldn't be sure it would air in the right order, you can see that we hedged our bets a bit. Goliath doesn't understand how Macbeth escaped the Weird Sisters. He's not referring to events in "High Noon" which he could not have known about and which I could not guarantee would air before "Price". He's referring to events in "City of Stone, Part IV".
*At the moment he brought them up, my daughter Erin just happened to be coloring a picture of the Sisters drawn by artist David Wong (I think that's his name) who was selling them in the Dealer's Room at the Gathering 2001 in L.A. Erin was very excited by the kismet of the moment.*
Did you guys register Mac's limited dialogue? It would be tough in the first fight by itself. He does have four lines. And GARGOYLES was never a show to go in for extensive quipping during battles. So four lines may have seemed like enough.
And did you register the "Magic Sparkly Powder" when it first hit Hudson?
This ep is fun because there are so many layers of deceit going on.
Note that at this early stage, Goliath doesn't intend to kill Macbeth. He aims for the Sky-sled's control panel and hits it. The fact that the sled goes down is an unfortunate and unavoidable result. And Goliath clearly feels at least a little guilty. Hudson doesn't mind though. He thinks Goliath's action was perfectly reasonable.
I don't suppose anyone thought Mac was really dead? I wasn't really even trying to trick you into that one. Between the immortality info that you (but not the Gargoyles) knew from City of Stone and the early timing of the death in the episode, I figured nobody would be fooled. And I didn't want anyone fooled. Because that wasn't what I wanted to fool you guys about. I didn't want you to figure out that Macbeth was a robot. So I intentionally did not show the body, on the assumption that most everyone knows that if you don't see the body, the victim probably isn't dead. That way when Mac came back, you'd all be thinking, "Hah, Immortal!" instead of "Hah, Robot!"
BTW, everyone always asks how Hudson can believe Mac is dead and then later acknowledge Mac & Demona's immortality to Xanatos. But Hudson was thinking of immortality in the sense of living on without aging, ala the Norse Gods. Not in the sense that Mac was somehow immune to all injury and death ala the Greek Gods. Clear?
Lucky for Xanatos that all the Gargs seem to have favorite poses. (Cheaper that way, don't you know.) Of course it also helps that since they all wake up and go to sleep at the same time, they rarely get a good look at each other's poses. Makes statue prep easier, huh?
Anyway, when Hudson didn't wake up, did everyone buy the magic powder/he's not waking up scenario? Had anyone seen Lee Nordling's Disney Digest comic story that inspired this gimmick. I've never met Lee, but he came up with the idea of replacing a sleeping garg with his statue. He used Goliath, not Hudson. But it was the same basic principle. I gave the idea to Michael (just that notion) and he ran with it to create this entirely different story? Did anyone see Lee's story and still not get it?
I can't remember why we wound up cutting Banquo & Fleance. Guess we were saving money or time at some stage. So Mac's mansion works on auto-pilot, I guess. Though those cannons still aren't too effective against gargs. And who else would attack?
Back to Brooklyn and Broadway guarding "Hudson". We wanted to keep the focus on Hudson, which is tough, since he's not moving. Brooklyn's worried about the reality of being able to find a cure. Again, we're expressing his leadership tendencies without confirming them since we couldn't guarantee that "Upgrade" would air first.
Then, finally at the end of the act, we reveal the real Hudson. My kids got very excited. Erin said: "The stone guy's not the real him." And Benny chimed in with: "That's the real one!" What were you thinking at this moment?
I even had the odd notion last night that we could have gone the direction of Hudson's "prison" being all in his mind. That the statue was him, and that he couldn't wake up until he escaped this mental/dream prison. Obviously, not the way we went. But it's a cool story idea. Anyone think THAT?
So then we come back from commercial and reveal Xanatos who claims he wants Hudson's skin. The line is said in such a way that we and Hudson are geared to think the worst. Which sets up the fun.
Hudson: "You'll have the devil's own time getting it."
Xanatos: "Gee, that wasn't as hard as you made it sound."
Ah, STONE skin. For the Cauldron of Life. I'm pretty sure the Cauldron was Michael's idea.
Everything has a price. Xanatos just doesn't get that yet.
But Hudson has X's number. They're exchanges throughout this episode are a lot of fun. Like a flip on the Goliath/Renard exchanges in "Outfoxed". But better done, frankly. Less preachy.
These exchanges may have been the inspiration for Hudson and Xanatos killing each other in "Future Tense". Owen's watching and subconsciously realizes that in some way, Hudson and Xanatos make better natural adversaries than Goliath and Xanatos. Maybe.
Hudson: "Growing old terrifies you doesn't it?
Xanatos: "Nothing terrifies me, because nothing's beyond my ability to change." (Who else can lie and tell the truth in the same sentence with this much charm. I'm so proud of this boy.)
X: "What about you? Still wasting your nights in front of the television?" (An only semi-dated reference to both Hudson's origins as the comedic gargoyle Ralph and to the way we occasionally still relegated him to clock tower duty in order to have fewer characters to deal with.)
Note that Xanatos plans on giving Fox immortality as well. He knows he loves her at this point. Wouldn't leave her out.
He doesn't mention Owen though, and in general doesn't treat Owen with his usual respect. Goads him a bit. (Macbeth has already died for me once.) Or rather teases him. He probably figures that Owen can take it. But I think it gets to Owen a bit. Xanatos wasn't expecting Owen to test the Cauldron for him. Owen felt the need to prove something. As he says: "Service is its own reward."
Lots of people watched this episode and e-mailed me that X was a big jerk for treating Owen this way. Particularly at the end of the episode when Xanatos seems completely unfazed by Owen's stone hand. Of course in our minds, this was all a very subtle clue to Owen's true identity. Xanatos and Owen both know that this condition is only as permanent as the Puck chooses to make it.
"Over-sized chamber pot." Heh.
X loves them zingers. He nails Hudson with that "the hardest part was finding a replica for your sword."
I like Goliath's desperation in the scene with him and Elisa. "We need a sorceress. We need Demona. You are a detective."
She doesn't know how to find Demona though.
Meanwhile Mac's back, still using only those same four lines. Anyone catch on here? Or wonder why Mac was working for Xanatos again?
Broadway now knows the expression is "Sitting Ducks" not "Sitting Dorks" as he said it in "Enter Macbeth". A little inside joke.
Okay. Very little.
Erin sees Hudson pick up the stone skin and asks what it is.
Sunrise. At the end of Act Two, Elisa has an oddly timed slow reaction to events, that I wish we had found a way to trim a bit.
Benny was worried: "He's gonna break into pieces and never be alive again."
Erin was a bit more tv-savvy: "He's not going to break into pieces. Or this would be the last [episode]."
I didn't really think anyone would think we were actually going to kill BW here. I think the interest is to wonder over the commercial break exactly how the hell we're going to get out of this.
Beth asked: "How'd Elisa know to shoot at that box? Who came up with that? She clearly didn't like it."
Michael Reaves put in this bit about BW turning to stone in mid-air. And I cut it. That's right. Cut it. I thought that it was too big a deal to fit into this story or at any rate that we could never make the rescue convincing. But ultimately I put it right back in. Michael was right. We needed it here. Everyone worked very hard to make Elisa's save as real as possible. The carpet sign established in advance. The multiple shots it takes her just to hit the rope twice. And Brooklyn and Goliath's exchange:
Brook: "It's a miracle!"
Gol: "A miracle named Elisa."
We're acknowledging how unlikely this is and hoping you'll just share it with us.
I still don't know. It's fun. But I'm not sure we really pulled it off in a convincing way. What did you all think?
"Jalapeña, you're still alive!" Another tier risk. Since I couldn't be sure this would air after "Protection".
X: "Hudson, your bath is ready."
This is another cool exchange. The Price metaphor really comes through here.
The title, I think, was one of mine. Inspired by the Arthur Miller play and the Jim Starlin Graphic Novel of the same name.
Back at the Macbeth battle, here he is again. By this time, the robot thing may be more obvious. Same four lines. We still tried to preserve suspense. Since he's presumably working for Xanatos to distract the Gargs that may explain his behaviour. Anyone who thought he was the real Macbeth right until the moment G gutted him?
Elisa is out of bullets. At the time, I thought that made realistic sense. Always hated guns that seemed to have unlimited bullets. Now it just feels like she was dumb for not reloading.
But one other thing strikes me -- in today's environment, we probably wouldn't have been allowed to let Elisa use a realistic gun at all.
Boom. The Hudson statue is blown to bits. By this time you all knew it wasn't Hudson, but we were hoping that for a split second, the image itself would be shocking enough to make you forget. Just for a second.
I think it worked. Ben needed to reassure himself: "That's okay. It's not the real Hudson." I don't think he would have even bothered to say that, if for a split-second he hadn't thought it was.
Of course, Goliath, who had been on the verge of putting two and two together just before this attack, goes positively medieval on us. Before he aimed for Mac's sky-sled. Now he wants "Gargoyle Justice". He's trying to kill Macbeth. It's just lucky that (a) it was a robot and (b) we had a very understanding S&P executive.
I think the robot's death scene is pretty cool. We had John Rhys-Davies come in just to record five lines. The four that we reprinted over and over and one more 'winding-down' take on "You'll have to do better than that!" It's very cool. With the eye popping out and everything. Nice stuff.
One thing I remember discussing with Michael was the rescue of Hudson. Originally, I think he had Goliath and the boys figure it out and have them show up to get H. But I felt strongly that Hudson had to rescue himself. Prove to all concerned that his age was not the liability that X thought.
This is fun.
And I love that Hudson won't destroy the Cauldron.
Like Xanatos, we think that H is "just full of surprises." But it shouldn't be much of a surprise. I think that was right in character for Hudson.
And I love his parting shot: "What will be your legacy, Xanatos?"
Frakes and Asner were both just amazing in this episode.
X: "Let him go. He's earned it." Of course, that's right in character for X too. No revenge. No jumping up and down and whining.
And hey, now Owen's arm can live as long as the mountain stones.
"How literal-minded." I think that line was one of mine. Not sure. It would probably have helped if I had read those two drafts of the script I posted yesterday. But I didn't have time.
So there's my ramble. Where's yours?
Did Hudson call his mate something? (The way Goliath called Demona 'Angel')
was Hudson's hair/ beard always grey/ white, like Brooklyn's? or did it change at some biological age like Demona's
I honestly don't know yet.
didn't the various gargoyle clans feel wary or even angry that humans were building their castles and fortresses over garg rookeries for free soldiers? i mean, it seems to me that the humans are like, "we're going to build our castle here, if you want to stay, fine, but you have to help protect our castle." if i were a garg i'd have been angry, Demona and Othello were right, not only were the humans totally asses to them, but they were also using them! why do the old garg clans put up with this?
now, obviously i know that the humans would make the deal of protecting the gargs during the day, but did they just move in or did they ask the gargs first? i'd imagine that most humans generally wouldn't bother to ask "animals" permission. what are your thoughts?
There's no ONE answer to cover every clan. There was a period, a semi-mythical golden age in human/gargoyle relations, when this was popular. I'm sure there were times when gargoyles were presented with little REAL choice, given their vulnerabilities.
If we're talking about Wyvern specifically, there was an alliance formed between Hudson and Malcolm.
1. Why does Hudson where a full set of clothes when most of the other Wyverin Gargoyals seem content with loin cloths and bra cloths (or whatever they are called).
2. Do you know what thoes "bra cloths" the female Gargoyles wear are really called? I'm not sure why this question interests me. Really.
1. Sloth, I'm guessing that you're either young or in good shape or both.
2. Is this a quiz?
What is the signifigance of the clones names? The only name I recognise is Hollywood. Why did Demona choose them?
Hollywood, Brentwood, Malibu and Burbank are all part of the Greater Los Angeles Area. Demona chose those names to spoof what she views as the idiotic name choices that the trio and Hudson chose for themselves.
I just read your responce to my question of how Goliath and Hudson view their homes. I mostly understand now, the Goliath part anywhey. But I still think Hudson would of been the most stubbern about leaving the castle with his "protecting the castle and breathing the air" attitude. What made him so practical at first and then stubbern by reawakening? Sorry if I'm just not getting it.
I just don't see him as stubborn in Reawakening at all. He simply hadn't made the mental leap from "castle" (i.e. the clock tower) to community (i.e. the island) that Goliath had made. He had had no reason to make that leap until Goliath pointed it out. At which point he saw the light and adjusted instantly.
As for his attitude in Enter Macbeth, I think he had already awakened to find the castle moved from Wyvern weeks earlier. I think he already felt like they had lost their home.
When Savarius caught Angela he noticed, after looking over some DNA samples, that she was related to Goliath. Hudson and Broadway were also cloned later on in the series, but no body seemed to notice a correlation. Why is that?
No one mentioned it on screen.