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Hi Greg! First off, I'd like to thank you for posting all those old production memos from "Gargoyles". I love reading 'behind the scenes' stuff, and seeing the way the story develops over time. It kind of reminds me of Christopher Tolkien's "History of Middle-Earth" series, albeit on a smaller scale.
Now, I have a few questions that I hope can be considered to all fall under the general category of "series development". A couple of them might be stretching it a bit, but I think it'll be okay (and if not, you'll tell me).
1. You started posting production memos for your "Re-Awakening" ramble. Are there any surviving memos from "Thrill" to "Her Brother's Keeper"?
2. When you wrote "The Journey", did Scott Thomas send you a prod. memo?
3. Are there any memos from "Spectacular Spider-Man"?
4. One thing that really struck me when reading some of the notes from early '92 was just how early the Pack came along in the development. Which got me to thinking about another early villian. Was Tony Dracon's involvement planned all along, and he just happened to first appear in "Deadly Force", or was he created specifically because "Deadly Force" needed a new villian? (Awkward sentance, I know, but I can't seem to get this phrased quite right. Do you get what I'm saying?)
Thanks for taking the time to answer these. We will now return to our regularly scheduled "Young Justice" questions.
1. I'm sure there are. But there are difficulties in posting them, including but not limited too: (a) not enough hours in the day (b) most of those memos were only preserved as documents - not electronically, so that it's not as simple as cutting and pasting (c) most of those documents are at my private office in Beverly Hills, and I'm almost never there, since producing YJ here in Burbank keeps me pretty busy.
3. Very few. Those were mostly done via e-mail, and I didn't keep a record of that. Also, I was personally story editing SpecSpidey, so I wasn't writing memos to my story editors, as I was on Gargoyles.
4. I get what you're saying, but I honestly can't remember. My vague guess is that we always knew we'd need a "crime boss" of some kind, but that we probably didn't develop Tony until we got to his episodic premiere.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Elisa Maza uses the spell from the Grimorum Arcanorum to -- for all intents and purposes -- free Goliath's mind.
At dawn, after a long night on duty, Elisa follows Macbeth and a human Demona up to the Clock Tower. They knock her out and steal Coldstone, in order to distract the clan from realizing that they've also stolen the Eye of Odin, the Grimorum and the Phoenix Gate. At sundown, Demona transforms back into a gargoyle and reawakens Coldstone with the evil Iago personality in control. Meanwhile, Elisa fills in the gargoyles, who sneak into Macbeth's mansion to recover Coldstone - only to be betrayed and captured. Meanwhile, Tony Dracon is released on bail and begins tightening his grip on the protection racket in Manhattan.
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This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
The Dracons take possession of a warehouse on First & Eighth, the former location of The Silver Falcon nightclub. They begin excavations.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Brod attacks Dracon in prison. But, the gargoyles help Elisa take down Brod, Dracon and most of their men. The gargoyles return to the Clock Tower, by which time Goliath, Hudson and Bronx have also returned. The Trio apologizes to Angela for their behavior. She forgives each of them with a peck on the cheek - just before the sun rises. Elisa's operation is a phenomenal success. Jack Dane, Pal Joey, Glasses and many other Brod and Dracon operatives are incarcerated. Dracon and Brod are even forced to share a cell.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Hudson destroys the battle-axe that tied Hakon to the Earth plane, permanently banishing the Viking's spirit. Goliath then defeats Wolf but gets hit in the face by a banana cream pie fired by Vinnie. Goliath and Hudson don't make it back to the Clock Tower before sunrise. Neither does Bronx, who's having his own adventure. Meanwhile, Brod attacks Glasses' chop shop with the help of Jack Dane and "Salli". But the raid is aborted when the police show up. Salli is knocked unconscious and witnesses very little that Elisa could testify to later. Angela and the Trio stumble into the situation, but the boys are too busy fighting over Angela to be of any help. After sunrise, Glasses visits Dracon in prison. Dracon orders Glasses to retaliate against Brod. Just before sundown, Matt brings Brod and Salli in for questioning. Salli slips away to the Clock Tower, where she reveals herself as Elisa and enlists the gargoyles' help. Salli then confers with Maria Chavez, and they agree to keep the undercover operation running for a while longer, despite the chop shop debacle. While Brod is at the police station, Dracon's men hit Brod operations all over town and even firebomb his favorite restaurant. Glasses also puts word out on the street that Dracon has a trainload of weapons coming in. Brod decides to steal the weapons. He attacks the train with Salli, but is ambushed by Glasses, Pal Joey and the rest of Dracon's men. The gargoyles intervene, but the Trio's competitiveness nearly gets Lex and Angela killed. Brod escapes again.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Matt Bluestone finds a letter from Mace Malone when a search warrant turns it up in Tony Dracon's files.
Wolf retrieves a battle-axe possessed by the spirit of his ancestor Hakon from the caves beneath Wyvern Hill, in Scotland.
Hi Greg. First, I just wanted to say thanks for everything. For shaping Gargoyles the way it is. For being so open and accessible and involved with the fans.
In "Silver Falcon" Mace pretends to be this G. F. Benton character. I was wondering if there was anything behind the name G. F. Benton? Is it just something Cary Bates pulled out of thin air or was there a deeper meaning (as it seems is the case for a lot of what's put into an episode of Gargoyles).
No, not Mace. Dominic pretends to be G.F. Benton. I'm not aware of any significance to the Benton name, but you'd have to "Ask Cary" to be sure.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Owen reveals himself as Puck but also fails to stop Oberon. It is Fox herself who saves the day by revealing a magical power even she did not know she possessed. Goliath convinces Oberon to allow Alexander to stay with his parents. Puck is chosen as Alex's tutor. But his powers are stripped from him save when he is training or protecting the boy, and he is eternally banished from Avalon. He reverts to Owen. Oberon arranges for Manhattan to awaken at dawn, and he and Titania return to Avalon. Xanatos vows to repay Goliath for helping to save Alexander. The gargoyles return to the Clock Tower. The sun rises. They turn to stone. And the city awakens. Elisa goes back to work. Chavez is less than thrilled about her six-month absence. Fortunately for Elisa, Chavez is in the middle of a turf war between the Brod and Dracon organized crime factions. Chavez needs a new face to infiltrate Brod's men. Because Elisa has been "out of town," she's the perfect choice to go undercover. Elisa will pose as "Salli", bringing Brod information about a Dracon chop shop operation being run by Dracon's lieutenant, Glasses.
I'm wondering… If Tony Dracon's right hand man Glasses decided to start wearing contacts, would they have to stop calling him Glasses?
I'm not big on hypotheticals.
Watched "Protection" last Saturday with my wife and kids. Here's a ramble:
I'm immediately struck by our large supporting cast. Probably because so few of our regulars (Elisa, Goliath, Broadway only) appear in the episode.
THE CROOKS: Dracon, Glasses and Pal Joey. (All very fun to write for.)
THE COPS: Matt, Maria, Morgan. (All three go undercover and do a bit of play-acting, which is also fun.)
THE CIVILIANS: Art, Lois, Dave, Mr. Jaffe, Travis Marshall. (Each is characterized rather quickly, but memorably, I think. It was particularly cool to play off the Matt/Jaffe relationship previously referred to in "Reawakening".)
As for our regulars, we intentionally reduced the number of 'goyles in this one so that we had the space in our short 22 minutes to focus on other things. Goliath and BW seemed the appropriate two to bring along for various reasons -- established most obviously in "Deadly Force" and "The Silver Falcon".
I liked how Goliath reacted to the perversion of the concept of "Protection" and how the movie-savvy BW shakes his head but takes it in stride.
Okay, I figure we didn't fool many of you into thinking that Elisa had actually gone bad. I was pretty sure we wouldn't. At least not the older fans. So I tried to fool you another way in the first few minutes. Glasses tells Dracon about a lady cop, but doesn't mention who. Chavez accuses Elisa, but Elisa pleads her innocence. Did anyone think that Elisa was being framed?
My daughter did. But in a way that I hadn't considered, despite the fact that "Double Jeopardy" was part of the same tier and naturally led to her conclusion.
--Erin: "That's not Elisa, is it?"
--Benny: "Yes, it is."
--Erin: "Yeah, that's not her. She never dresses like that."
--Benny: "It's a wig. How'd she get her hair like that?"
--Erin: "It's a clone."
A clone? Of course! That's the problem with introducing so many concepts. Too many options for the viewer. Did anyone else think clone? Erin maintained this idea right until the end of the episode. She kept saying with increasing frustration: "That's not Elisa. It's not."
SPEAKING OF NEW CLOTHES...
I loved Elisa's new outfit, I only wish the animation -- the character modeling -- in the episode had been better. It's not always very flattering to her. Sometimes it seems to WAY flatten her out. Other times, it makes her huge. (Yes, I'm focused on her breasts. I'm a heterosexual male. What do you want from me?) But it never makes her look real. Still, it's just nice to see her wearing something -- ANYTHING -- different. I wish we had had the resources to give her more clothing options in general.
Some nice lines in this one...
Elisa to Goliath: "What are you, a puppy?"
Elisa to Glasses, et al: "You tough guys just gonna stand there all night?"
Goliath to Elisa & Dracon: "Money and power sound very appealing."
Dracon to Elisa: "Keep the jar."
Elisa to Broadway: "Keep the jar."
Dracon to Goliath: "So she's your woman. You have good taste."
Broadway to himself: "Why are bad guys always in such a hurry."
Broadway to Pal Joey: "Sorry, Pal."
Broadway's slightly dated black & white movie gangster lingo.
All of Dracon's on-going Honey, Sugar, etc. references and Elisa's reaction to them. Makes me smile still.
You've all heard this story, right?
Keith David used the exclamation "Jalapeña" all the time. More or less as a replacement for Halleluia. It was an expression he had gotten from a female jazz singer (whose name escapes me at the moment -- as it usually does for some reason). One day in the control booth, voice director Jamie Thomason turned to me and said, "I bet you can't get that into a script." I said, "I bet I can."
Shortly thereafter, poor innocent writer/story editor Gary Sperling turned in a perfectly normal script. I then added this entire "Jalapeña" subplot. (I had to add all this stuff about room service, jars, etc. to justify the last word in the episode.) I fell in love with the idea. I thought it would give us a curse word, basically. (That's how BW uses it in the ep.) Most everyone else hated it. But directors Frank Paur, Dennis Woodyard and Butch Lukic didn't know how far I planned on taking it. They thought it would be a one episode thing, so they indulged me here. In fact, they suggested the massive "Jalapeña!" echoes at the end of the episode. ("If you're gonna do it, do it!")
Jamie would later goad me by saying things like, "Yeah, but I bet you can't get Hudson to say it." And so one by one, everyone said it. Again, I thought it was fun and useful.
But eventually the art staff literally revolted against it. Frank told me I HAD to stop. So what you'll notice is that starting with this episode we ramp up and begin to use the word a lot. And then it peters out and disappears entirely from the show -- until "The Journey" my farewell episode. I put one "Jalapeña" in that. Disney executive Jay Fukuto asked me why I had done that: "I thought Frank hated it." That's why I did it, to annoy Frank and gratify myself.
Frank and I are all good again now. We look back on our Garg days and realize that we didn't even know how good we had it. But I'd say that in 1996 our relationship had deteriorated a bit. The stress of doing 65 episodes had taken a bit of a toll. We weren't at each others' throats or anything. But we were just a bit on edge. Like I said, ancient history. I'd love to work with Frank again now. But there you have it.
DRACON & GLASSES
Lots of loyalty from Glasses. These second banannas always fascinate me. Of course, Xanatos usually treats Owen with the utmost respect. Dracon isn't quite as good a boss. He has a line of contempt after Glasses tells Dracon that the shopkeep [Matt] wants to meet with the boss. Dracon to Glasses: "And he knows it's not you." You wonder why Glasses puts up with it.
I love how quickly Dracon adjusts to the Gargoyles too. The concept of controlling them is so appealing, it submerges his fears. He quickly starts referring to them as Guests, and then as Partners. He even puts a hand on Goliath's shoulder -- briefly.
BOMBS OVER BROADWAY
This guy seems to deal with bombs a lot. This time he hold it in his teeth, which I thought was cool.
THE GROCERY STORE
Poor Mr. Jaffe. He gets robbed all the time. Then he has to put up with a Werefox attack. And now a particle beam battle.
And what's with those giant bags of flour? Who buys those?
And I wish those hidden cameras had actually been hidden.
I'm not in love with the battle choreography here. Elisa gets the jump on Dracon, which is okay, I guess, as he was hoping he could trust her. But then Dracon gets the jump right back. She should have been better prepared. It's all a touch clumsy.
Goliath's roar is interesting. Usually we use more effect and less Keith. This one is more Keith. A lot more Keith.
G's eyes are glowing as he takes Dracon into the air. But you'll notice they stop glowing just before he drops Dracon. This is a clue that he never really intended to let Dracon die. His anger has already ebbed. And after all, "Gargoyle justice is not human justice." Had this been Gargoyle justice, you get the sense that Dracon would have wound up, dare I say it, "Street Pizza."
Things wrap up. Chavez of course is still largely in the dark. But you'll notice that things were staged so that you could believe that Matt may or may not have been in the dark too. Since this episode was part of the same tier as "Revelations" we didn't 100% know for sure whether or not Matt would know about the Gargoyles by the time this aired. So we tried to play it ambiguously here.
ELISA & GOLIATH
Jalapeñas aside, I like the final scene between E&G. They reaffirm their mission and their love for each other. The first explicitly. The second implicitly.
Also we use the scene to justify why Dracon would buy something that I knew the audience wouldn't. "The corrupt are the first to believe that others can be corrupted." If you never thought for a moment that Elisa was dirty then there's hope for you yet. Either that, or your hopelessly cynical about the rules of television.
But did you still think she was a clone?
Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?
[In prep for my ramble on "Protection", here's the memo I faxed to Story Editor/Writer Gary Sperling. (Actually, I'm retyping it -- old typos and maybe some new ones included -- because I don't have a computer file. Just the hard copy.) You'll notice that it's more abbreviated than usual. Note the date. I was on vacation at the time. Plus, the outline may have been in better shape. Also note that the episode's original title was "Undercover". But we realized that Elisa wasn't so much going undercover, and that we'd save that concept for what eventually became "Turf". Besides the one word title, "Protection", was hard to resist given our on-going themes.]
Notes on "Undercover/Protection" Outline...
1. Restaurant blows up. Keep very brief.
2. Glasses joins Tony in the limo. Glasses has heard that dirty cops are muscling in on their protection racket.
3. News report to Gargoyles. PRoTECTION RACKET. Goliath wants to see Elisa. She hasn't stopped by in days. Where has she been?
4. ChAvez asking Matt same question. As MATT brings in #3 to question him about restaurant bombing. Elisa arrives late. Matt: "Where you been?" Don't crowd me Bluestone. Asks for time alone with #3 Matt gives it. Elisa starts to talk obliquely about her moving in. Chavez interrupts and suspends her while she's under investigation. Maza protests that she's innocent. HAs to turn in badge and gun.
5. Elisa storms outside. Goliath and Broadway follow.
6. #3 calls Dracon.
7. Pool Hall - reveal Elisa.
Glasses and #3 comes in.
8. Pursuit.? or HUSSLES ELISA OUT.
9. Goliath and Broadway intervene. CHASE.
Elisa pulls the rug out from under G. She leaves w/Glasses.
Goliath says she's under a spell. BW says maybe there's another explanation.
10. Glasses and Dracon. Elisa in the next room. Send her in. You guys get to work.
Elisa and Dracon.
11. Grocery Store: MATT (disguised) and owner. Matt and Glasses.
12. Some phony store. Maria, Morgan and #3. After #3 leaves they make reference to one of their plans is sure to nail Dracon.
13. Goliath and Broadway have gone bad at Dracon's Penthouse.
Finish out 13.
14. Broadway helps Maria and Morgan against #3 (and Glasses?)
15. Matt and Elisa nab Dracon. He's ready with men and bomb.
Goliath and Elisa work together to diffuse situation.
(Matt and Goliath relationship should be vague.)
Elisa gets her shield and gun back.
16. Reveal clearly what everyone probably knows by now. Elisa was undercover. BW figured it out and tipped off G. Some PROTECTION TAG.
DRACON OUT ON BAIL?????????
Are the events in "Turf" and "Vendettas" ment to be happing at the same time? If they are, why wasn't Bronx with Goliath and Hudson in Vendettas and why were they gone for two night? If they wern't, why was it that Goliath, Hudson and Bronx were away two nights in Turf?
Also, In "Turf", why does Jack Danforth(is that his name) know so much about the Prison system and where Dracon was held? And what made Danforth want to join in the mob buisness? Don't the Feds keep a watch on their relocated witnesses? For that matter, why was Jack a relocated witness? What was he a whitness of?
The events depicted in "Vendettas" (not counting the 7/18/96 prologue in Scotland) took place between August 1st and 2nd, 1996. Though neither Goliath or Hudson made it back to the clock tower before sunrise on the morning of the 2nd. The events of "Turf" took place between August 2nd and 3rd. Bronx was having his own little adventure at that time.
Jack Danforth (aka Jack Dane) has been in the prison system. And he still has friends inside. He made it his business to know. Dane wasn't joining the mob business. He was REJOINING the mob business. He was a mobster who was at odds with the Dracon family and had (at some point) testified against them. The Feds were aware that Dane had un-relocated. But they needed evidence to bring him in. Elisa eventually provided that evidence.
hello¡ my question is:
In manhattan, ebribody have a moderns pistols, but elisa have a old pistol.why?
(I´m sorry, my english is not good because i´m spanish)
Um. Elisa has a modern pistol. So does Matt and most of the cops. Some of the crooks, however, are using the technology that Dracon stole from Xanatos in "Deadly Force".
along the same lines as Todd's last question, who is Dane?
Jack "Danforth" Dane. Son of movie star Flo Dane (aka Florence Dreedle). Step-son of Mace Malone. Criminal. Was once a member of the Dracon gang. Turned against them for undisclosed reasons. Joined the Federal Witness Relocation Program, but eventually abandoned his "Danforth" identity to join Tomas Brod's operation.
in "Turf" Mace Malone's bitter stepson (sorry, can't recall his name) has joined Thomas Brode's gang. in one scene Brode, some thug, Elisa in disguise, and the stepson are being questioned by Matt in a restaurant. didn't Matt recognize Malone's stepson from "Revelations"? or vice versa? afterall, Matt did track this guy down, and his discovery changed Matt's life in many ways after it. what were their reactions to each other, if they even saw each other, which they must've.
I don't think the restaurant was Matt's first encounter with Jack "Danforth" Dane since Jack rejoined the NYC crime scene. I also don't think either Matt or Jack thinks he owes the other one anything.
Did Elisa ever have to deal with a case involving Tony Dracon before Deadly Force? He seemed very familiar with her.
Yes. He was something of a nemesis to her. And vice versa.
In a related question (but included separately, just in case) - do you have any further plans for Tony Dracon if "Gargoyles" were to be revived, or do you feel that his potential's been (more or less) filled up (the way that you did about Hakon after "Vendettas") after "Turf"? I do recall that you mentioned here some time earlier that you saw "Turf" as marking the final break-up of Tony's criminal empire.
I have future plans for everyone. Which doesn't mean that Tony's gonna be a crime boss again.
You mentioned that you'd told all the "main police stories" in the 66 episodes that made it to television that you wanted to tell. Does this mean that if "Gargoyles" were to get revived, there probably wouldn't be any new stories in that category (i.e., focusing on Elisa in her regular detective work against the mundane criminals in New York such as Dracon)?
No, that doesn't mean that at all. It just means that I didn't leave out any that were pressing to fit into the continuity of the original 66.
In "The Silver Falcon", the letter from Mace Malone to Dominic Dracon shows that Mace's full first name is "Mason". Was this a reference to the Freemasons (who seem to have been a partial-original for the Illuminati of "Gargoyles" - or at least, the popular beliefs about the Freemasons were), in light of Mace Malone's being an Illuminatus?
Maybe. I'd have to ask Cary Bates, who came up with the name.
Where did Mace Malone really hide the gems Dominic Dracon was looking for in the Silver Falcon?
He didn't. He gave them to the Illuminati as his admission fee.
I'm not sure when I'll get around to viewing the next episode of Gargoyles with my family, but I thought I'd get ready to ramble by posting my November, '94 memo to story editor Cary Bates. This was Cary's first Gargoyles script, so he was still new to the characters, which was one of the reasons he started with a single gargoyle story. Just Broadway, Elisa and a little Matt, basically.
You'll notice in what follows that some of the big twists still weren't present at this stage. We just hadn't cracked it fully yet. As I recall, Development Associate Eddie Guzelian suggested making the OLD MAN into Dominic Dracon. I was probably resistant a bit at first, just because of how much work that change would involve. But we all realized that Eddie's idea made the story much, much better. So the change was made...
Anyway, here's the memo, unedited as usual:
Notes on "The Silver Falcon" Outline...
My main problem is that as a mystery story, this is a bit of a dud. We want to stump our audience, but here, we're cheating to do it. There's no way they could figure out where the diamonds are. We don't show them any options but the red herring. And if we did show them the true location, the answer becomes too obvious, and frankly not tricky enough. There's a silver falcon gargoyle on top of the speakeasy. There's another on top of the building across from Malone's office. We check both. One has it. One doesn't.
We need a double entendre here somewhere. We're looking for a silver falcon, and it turns out to be something that isn't literally that. Or in this case, Malone is being literal -- the jewels are in the silver falcon across from his office. But for most of the episode, we're looking for a more obscure answer, i.e. the speakeasy itself. Best not to have a literal silver falcon gargoyle in the vault at the speakeasy.
Even so, it's pretty straightforward. So let's make the whole situation more mysterious. Let's not learn what Matt was up to quite so fast. Let's not have Elisa be a Mace Malone expert. Let's not learn about the loot at all until act three. Let's misdirect more.
We also need secondary suspects. I suggest the Illuminati. That's the name of the Secret Society that Matt's always going on about. It'll be a huge red herring, if even Matt thought he was investigating the Illuminati, when in truth he stumbled on something considerably more mundane. For us, this would accomplish two goals. One, it misdirects Broadway, Elisa and the audience. Two, it sets us up for a future story where we actually use the Illuminati.
You get major points here. The theme is partnership, and it's presented clearly. Let's just give it more of an arc. Elisa doesn't have to be thrilled to have Sam Broadway Spade as a partner at first. She learns to appreciate the back-up.
You need to start thinking about the Audience you're writing for. Vogel's murder in the other premise, was never gonna fly. Likewise, here, a major clue revolving around alcohol consumption is definitely out. I wouldn't be afraid to do a story about alcohol, if we were really going to focus on that issue, but not as a throw away.
Don't make him or his rookery brothers too young. They can have the occasional childlike response, but don't overdue it. Showing them enjoying a cartoon is one thing. Generalizing that they always are watching cartoons makes them sound like kids. Think of 19 or 20 year old Viet Nam Vets. These guys are warriors.
Also, when he's stone, Broadway is WAY TOO HEAVY for Elisa to budge.
And as flesh, Broadway getting shot is like anybody getting shot. Fatal. Or maybe he'd just bleed to death before sunrise. Even if sunrise were close, without surgery to remove the bullets, he wouldn't heal. Basically, what I'm getting at is that the gargoyles are NOT invulnerable.
DRACON AND GLASSES
Dracon is young and hungry. He's tough, violent, savvy, sarcastic. It's not that he can't get angry, but please resist the temptation to show him throwing temper-tantrums -- ranting (and whining) like a cliché d foiled villain.
He's got money, but he doesn't have the high-tech resources of a Xanatos. We have to be sparing with our use of that stuff. Which does not mean we can have massive gun battles with real bullets. (For S&P reasons.)
And if Dracon is not Xanatos, Glasses is not Owen. Glasses shouldn't quietly clear his throat so that he can feed his boss a plan. It's not that Glasses is stupid, but he's not the brains behind the organization either. He's an aggressive, tough and violent street thug in expensive clothes.
Let's also keep clear on Dracon's motivations and how they differ from Elisa's. He wants the loot, but he doesn't want to have to flee to South America with it. He's crossed the line by kidnapping two cops. He's going to have to kill them.... So he frees Elisa to follow her to the diamonds? Major problems all around. 1) Why does he think Elisa will be able to find them? 2) Why does he think she's even going to try after she's freed her partner? She has no motivation for finding the loot. She's a cop who's out to save her partner and bust the guy who kidnapped them both. (It's not that I don't buy her being curious. But that can wait until after Dracon is in custody.) 3) After she drops Matt off at her place, why don't Dracon's men sneak in and kill the unconscious detective? After all, they can't let him live. What are they waiting for? For him to wake up and come take them out? Etc.
Also, blowing up Matt's apartment is cool, but it has to feel like more of a last resort. Dracon doesn't want to draw any more attention to Matt's disappearance than necessary.
And, please note in your script that Dracon has a white streak in his hair from his previous encounter with the gargoyles.
CHAVEZ & BLUESTONE
Please do not play Maria as a callous boss, who doesn't care that one of her detectives has gone missing for two days. And yes, Matt's into secret society's and the like, but he's not the type to blow off work for two days in a row. Despite Matt's paranoia/hobby, he's a good partner and a good cop, someone that Elisa and Maria can count on.
On the other hand, Matt isn't psychic. He's seen gargoyles at a distance, but he knows nothing about them. Certainly, he has no idea of Elisa's connection to them. There's no way he'd casually decide that a "gargoyle" helped them crack a case. Why would it?
And we must resist the constant temptation to knock Matt out so that he doesn't find out the truth. We don't need it here. So I cut the drugged sleep.
Let's change Hacker into a real character that we might want to re-use later. An FBI agent who used to be Matt's partner before Matt was booted out of the bureau for investigating the Illuminati Society. The bureau doesn't officially acknowledge the Illuminati's existence. (All this will be a revelation to Elisa. She didn't know Matt had ever been in the bureau. Her surprise about this will add to the general feeling of mystery in the story.) Matt is persona non grata with the FBI, and Agent Smith (or whatever) can no longer be seen with him, which explains the clandestine meeting.
For future reference, the library is the other face of the same building that houses the twenty-third police precinct, above which is the clock tower where the gargoyles live. The library is closed at nights, and Goliath often reads down there. But I've cut the library scene, so it doesn't matter here.
1. Make the setting someplace other than a slaughterhouse, but otherwise MATT's kidnapping can play pretty much the way you had it.
2. Two days later at ELISA's place. BROADWAY is there to watch his video of the detective movie, (because Hudson is sick of him playing it over and over again on the tv set at the clock tower). Elisa gets a phone call from CHAVEZ. (Intercut.) Matt took some personal time to investigate Bigfoot or something. But he hasn't checked back in 48 hours, which isn't like him. And there's no answer at his place. Elisa hasn't heard from him either. This isn't good. Elisa's going to check on him on her way to work. Chavez makes Elisa promise to call for back-up if there's any trouble. Elisa says, yeah, sure, whatever.... (But she doesn't really think she needs any help.) Broadway overhears and wants to come along. He'll act as her back-up, her partner until she solves the mystery of the missing Matt. But Elisa's got one partner already. She doesn't need two. She'll handle this alone.
3. Matt's apartment. Elisa's outside Matt's door. She rings bell, knocks, calls for him. What she doesn't know is that the place has already been ransacked and that the ransack-er, a man dressed all in black and wearing a black SKI-MASK, is still inside. Plus another, bigger man in a trench coat and slouch hat (think Ben Grimm) is out on Matt's small terrace/balcony. (We should momentarily think these two men are working together -- the man on the balcony acting as look-out for Mr. Ski-Mask inside, but in reality, Ski-Mask is one of Dracon's men, and the guy on the balcony is Broadway. So in fact, Ski-Mask is unaware of Broadway's presence.) Elisa reaches above the door and finds Matt's spare key on the molding. She does not take out her gun. She is not expecting trouble. But inside, as she unlocks the door, Ski-Mask has his gun out and ready. Which is more than enough justification for Broadway to rip the terrace door right off and reveal himself, in a decidedly monstrous fashion. (NOTE: He does not crash through the glass!!) The clothes he's wearing should increase the scare factor, not make him look silly. By the time Elisa gets the door open, the terrified thug is pushing right past her and high-tailing it down the empty hallway with Broadway (who pauses only to say "Got you covered, partner") in close pursuit.
Ski-Mask makes it to the waiting elevator, and the doors close before Broadway can get to them. But Broadway pulls the elevator doors open and grabs the moving cable, which strains against him, until the elevator stops. Then he leaps down (about a flight) onto the roof of the elevator, shaking it's occupant. He rips open the trap door and yanks the guy up. By the time a stunned Elisa gets to the elevator, she barely misses getting hit by the flying thug whom Broadway has tossed out of the shaft. Ski-Mask crashes into the corridor wall and is temporarily knocked out.
Broadway climbs out of the shaft only to face the wrath of...ELISA. She definitely isn't pleased. But she's not going to fight with Broadway out in the open. They'll discuss things privately, in Matt's apartment. She indicates the thug. "Better bring him too."
Inside Matt's place, Elisa searches the thug, while she verbally chews Broadway out for interfering. She removes the ski-mask, but she doesn't recognize the guy. She does find a page that the thug clearly ripped from Matt's calendar with today's date, a time and a specific location (just saying Central Park isn't enough, it's a big park). Ski-Mask starts to come to just as Broadway suggests checking Matt's computer to see if they can find any info there. The thug panics, tipping Elisa off that the thug had rigged the computer to blow. She tries to stop Broadway from flipping the switch, but it's too late.
Cut to outside Matt's window. There is a brief high-pitch whine, during which Broadway leaps out holding both Elisa and the thug -- and then BOOM!! The force of the explosion propels them across the gap to another lower rooftop. (Broadway can't spread his wings because of his trench coat.) They land hard. Broadway drops both humans and the momentum nearly takes him over the roof. Elisa helps him up, and by the time they turn around, the thug has split.
Now Elisa is really ticked off. But Broadway points out that he did just save her life. Only after creating the dangerous situation in the first place, Elisa reminds him. Broadway's embarrassed, but tenacious. Look, it's obvious that Matt was working alone and got into something way over his head. If Elisa tries to handle this alone, the same thing could happen to her. We get tight on Elisa. What will she decide?
4. Elisa arrives alone at the meeting described on the page from Matt's calendar. She cautiously approaches a man, who turns out to be Matt's ex-partner from the FBI, AGENT SMITH (or whatever). It's tense at first, but once Elisa identifies herself, Agent Smith is very cooperative. Matt's told him that Elisa is all right. A good partner. (Elisa's a little embarrassed.)
So Smith fills her in. As usual, Matt's been trying to prove the existence of the Illuminati Society. He's been investigating a gangster from the 1920's who was rumored to have ties to the Illuminati and vanished mysteriously on March 22, 1924. Matt had found a letter, that he wanted Smith to authenticate. The letter was hand-written on Malone's pre-printed stationary:
3150 Third Avenue #45D, New York
March 21, 1924
Our little Society is turning a nice profit.
Everyday I see the Silver Falcon, I smile. You
would too, if you knew what I knew.
Your Senior Partner (and don't you forget it),
The ink and paper do date from the 20s and the signature checks out too. The letter is legit. But where did Matt get it? Smith doesn't know. What's the Silver Falcon? Smith doesn't know. Who's "D.D."? Smith doesn't know.
Smith isn't happy to hear that Matt is missing. If he can help Elisa in any way.... But Elisa insists she can handle it from here. So Smith takes off. Elisa stands there examining the letter. She seems to be talking to herself. The only real lead it offers is Malone's address, but what good could it be 70 years later.
And Elisa may never find out. Suddenly, we discover that Elisa is surrounded by three BAD GUYS, led by Ski-Mask. It looks bad.
5. Elisa calls out: "Broadway, NOW!!" And Broadway comes out from wherever he's been hiding and takes out two of the thugs. But Ski-Mask hops into a getaway car that pulls up fast and takes off faster. Elisa handcuffs the two unconscious thugs to something, but she's worried. She doesn't know if the escaped thug heard her talking about Malone's old address. They have to get there before the Illuminati blow it up like they did Matt's apartment. Broadway sweeps her up and they're off.
6. 3150 Third Avenue. 45th floor. Elisa's inside. Broadway watches from the roof. (We need to somehow establish that Elisa and Broadway both might have seen the Falcon-heads across the street -- and yet we need to do it in a way that doesn't immediately tip off our audience. One thing that would help is if the chrome falcons were now literally black with NYC soot and grime.)
There's a light on in 45D. An OLD MAN answers Elisa's knock. He's an accountant, working late. She realizes it's a long shot, but wonders if he knows anything about Mace Malone. Turns out that he's something of a Mace Malone buff. That's why he rented this particular office. He's got Mace's original desk and everything. Here, sit down.
Mace's mysterious disappearance makes him a curiosity, and every once in a while someone stops by and asks questions. Why just the other day, that nice red-headed boy was here. Elisa realizes he's talking about Matt. What did the old man tell Matt? Nothing. He ran out of here, as soon as he saw the picture. What picture? This one. It's an old photograph of Malone and a couple of other men (at least one of which is Dracon's grandfather) in front of a non-descript building. Does the old man know where this was taken? Sure, that's Malone's old speakeasy, the Silver Falcon. He gives Elisa the same lower east side address he had given to Matt, and the same caveat... the Falcon was torn down ages ago, they built something else there. Elisa thanks him as she ushers him out of his own office. It's temporarily unsafe here. She asks him to call Chavez and fill her in on everything he told Elisa and Matt, (and also about the two hand-cuffed thugs). She's heading straight to the lower eastside, as the crow flies, so to speak.
7. Elisa and Broadway arrive at the scene-one location where we last saw Matt. They soon discover GLASSES and his salvage operation. He's clearly digging for something, but what? Matt is there. Tied up and blind-folded. But before they can get near him, Broadway's weight collapses the wooden staircase, and they're discovered. A brief battle ensues. Glasses and his MEN use their semi-hi-tech construction equipment as make-shift weapons. Plus maybe a stick of dynamite or something. There's a cave-in that buries Elisa and Broadway. Glasses turns to Matt and taunts him. So much for the cavalry, Bluestone -- That was your partner. And she's dead.
8. Cut to a small cavity, with-in the cave-in. It's pitch black except for Broadway's glowing eyes. Elisa asks Broadway if he's o.k. He says he is but his voice is clearly straining. As she fumbles for her pocket flashlight, Elisa points out that there can't be much air in here. Will Broadway be able to use his claws to dig them out? Broadway has a couple of problems with that. The main one being that he's starting to feel real tired and that can only mean one thing. What? But Broadway is strangely silent and his eyes stop glowing. Elisa finally clicks on her flashlight and looks. Broadway's frozen in stone.
9. Outside, the sun has come up on a new day. Inside the cavity, Elisa realizes that when the cave-in occurred, Broadway acted as a living pillar, straining under the weight of a lot of rock and dirt, protecting them both from being buried alive. Now he stands there frozen like a medieval column. There isn't anything she can do but start digging.
10. Out in the main cave, Matt convinces Glasses to try and dig Elisa out. She's probably dead anyway, but she might have Malone's letter. If she does, Glasses' boss can stop looking for it. Glasses isn't dumb. He knows that Matt is simply trying to save his partner, but he can't deny Matt's sound logic regarding the letter, so he sets his men working.
11. Dissolve to a short while later. Glasses' men are getting close to Elisa, who's dug a little of the way out but is running out of air. She can hear them getting close, and she can't let them find Broadway in his vulnerable state. So to protect him, she pulls down one of the rocks above her own little dugout, and allows herself to be buried alive. Fortunately, she's timed it right. Glasses digs her out, but to all appearances, she's lucky to be alive and the guy in the trench coat is still buried under all that rock. She has Malone's letter. So the guy can stay buried.
Finally, DRACON arrives with the Ski-Mask guy from Matt's apartment and the old man from Mace's old office. Ski-Mask got to the old man before he could call Chavez, so there's no help on the way. (And Elisa realizes that the few minutes it would have cost her to call Chavez herself would have been well worth it.)
Dracon's fairly annoyed that Glasses hasn't finished digging through to the vault yet. Glasses explains the delay and produces the letter. But Dracon, shakes his head. We don't have to worry about someone else getting the letter, if we already have the loot. Dig out that vault!!
Loot? Vault? Dracon? What's going on? Matt fills Elisa in. Malone's letter didn't refer to the Illuminati at all, but to a bank robbing syndicate that included both Malone and Dracon's grandfather, Dominic Dracon (aka D.D.). Malone disappeared before he got around to telling Dominic where the loot from all their heists was. But the letter suggests that it might be here at the speakeasy. It wasn't found when the place was demolished decades ago, so Tony is convinced that there must have been an underground vault.
But how did Matt get involved? Matt had found the letter, among the younger Dracon's papers when Dracon was arrested months ago for grand theft. (Dracon's case is still pending. He's out on bail.) Matt investigated on his own, thinking he was on the trail of the Illuminati, and accidentally stumbled on this. Dracon kept him alive, because they wanted to make sure the letter was out of circulation. They didn't want anyone else stumbling on their little operation, before they had the loot. Matt apologizes for not keeping his partner up to speed. He really screwed up by acting alone.
Finally, Glasses hits pay dirt. There is a vault. Soon, they're burning through that. They break through. And inside... nothing. Nothing but a note:
Dracon is furious. But Elisa's not surprised. If the loot had been there, Dominic would have found it when he first received the letter seventy years ago. He must have been pretty confident it was here, or he wouldn't have gotten rid of Mace the day he received the letter. Dracon's a bit embarrassed by Elisa's superior powers of deductive reasoning. Embarrassed enough to tell Glasses to "take care of" the three hostages. But Elisa stays their hands by telling them she's figured out where the loot is hidden. Dracon demands to know where. But Elisa's not dumb. If she tells now, then she, Matt and the Old Man are wormfood. She's willing to take Dracon there. But it's pretty public, they'll have to wait until after dark, and we push in on the mound of dirt where Broadway is buried.
12. Let's indicate some passage of time here. The sun sets. Then we return to the underground chamber. No one's there at all. Broadway bursts from the cave in. He's panicked about Elisa. He finds Mace's second note and reads it with great difficulty. Will he figure everything out?
13. In a helicopter above the city, Dracon, Glasses and Ski-Mask are escorting Elisa, Matt and the old man to the roof of the building opposite Malone's old office. Matt whispers a warning: "They'll kill us as soon as you show them where the loot is." But Elisa says, "Don't worry, I've called for back-up. I think."
The building's too old to be equipped with a heli-pad, but Glasses manages to get close enough to allow Dracon and Elisa to jump onto the roof. Once on the roof, Elisa explains that from Malone's desk across the street, you can see these black bird-heads. And sure enough when she wipes the grime of seventy years away, she reveals the silver-like chrome beneath. Dracon probably has to check a couple heads, before finding the little bag of precious jewels that Mace had the bank loot converted to.
Now all Dracon has to do is get rid of his trio of hostages. He invites Elisa to step off the side of the building. And to his surprise she does.
Of course, she did it because she had already spotted Broadway, who catches her. (He didn't know anything about the loot or Dominic Dracon. But Mace's 2nd note invited "D.D." to guess again. The falcons on this building were the only other place Broadway could think of to check out. He's just glad he guessed right and that he was in time.)
Ultimately, Broadway takes out the chopper, without revealing himself to Matt or the old man. With Matt's help, Glasses, Ski-Mask and Dracon are all taken down. (This can all play largely as you had it.)
Matt thanks his partner Elisa for pulling his fat out of the fire.
14. And in the TAG at the clock tower, Elisa thanks her partner Broadway for doing the same.
That's it. Call me if you have any questions.
I asked these before, but they either vanished into the ether, or got pulled for reasons I can't figure out.
Just a couple of questions about Dracon.
1. What, roughly, is Dracon's ranking in the New York underworld? (Capo, Sub-capo, etc)
2. Is Dracon his own boss, or does he report to someone?
3. Is Tony's grandfather still an active participant in the "Family business" or is he retired now?
4. Does Tony have any family we haven't seen?
5. If so, are they active in the "Family business"?
6. Off subject, but have you caught any episodes of the Sopranos?
1. This is another question I'd probably have to do more research on to NAIL down. Suffice it to say, that at one point he was one of only a few major operators in NYC. His powerbase has been devastated of course, since. "TURF" really wiped him out.
2. In theory, Dracon reported to the head of the Dracon family. In practice, he operated solo.
3. Dominic's sanity didn't do well, coming out of "SILVER FALCON" -- or at least that's what his lawyer said. He was retired. Came out of retirement for "Silver Falcon". Now he's in Bellevue.
5. Some of them.
6. Yes. I've seen the whole first season. And the first five episodes of season two. I don't get HBO, so I have to wait and see it on video, (my brother records it for me).
What division, roughly, does Elisa work in? Homicide, Narcotics, Missing Persons, etc. I'd have to guess Organized Crime, given her run-ins with Dracon, but we never really do find out much about Elisa's job. I realize that this is Gargoyles, not NYPD Blue, and what goes on in Elisa's personal life is much more important to our then her job, but it would be nice to know.
Awakenings memories: Hmmm, I caught it the first time around in '94, so they're a bit vague. All I really have is images, Goliath catching Hakon's sword, Demona's first appearence (Goliath may be bigger, but she's still scarier), etc. But even five minutes into the first episode, I knew I'd found something very different and very good. I was hooked.
Aaron, to be honest, I'd have to do a bit more research into the workings of the NYPD to answer your question completely.
Maybe, "A FAN" or Airwalker knows this....
But I thought she was a Squad Detective, meaning she handles whatever comes her way, ala NYPD BLUE. According to that show, I there are also special squads like ANTI-CRIME, Missing Persons, etc.
If I had to pick one of the ones you listed above, then I would pick Organized Crime. But I'd still lean toward "ordinary" Squad Detective.
Inspired by my long ramble... The very first time we meet Dracon, it is quite clear that he and Elisa have some sort of prior relationship from before the series started. His calling her "Sugar" for instance. Exactly how did they know each other? Was it just through past dealing with her being a cop and him being a badguy? Their relationship seems too personal for that. Not that it seems that they dated at one point or anything,but there seems to be a back story. COuld you fill us in a little if there is one?
There were prior cop/criminal run ins. Dracon was her Lex Luthor, so to speak. And no, they never dated, but I think there are some interesting stories in their pasts.
After reading your answer to ExoLex, I thought that I'd weigh in with my two cents. I wasn't at all bothered by the fantasy elements in the series (partly because I like myths and legends), and I did think that you did a good job of balancing it. I might add that what I really liked about it was that you actually got in a sense of the significance of the legends that you were drawing on.
Take your use of Merlin in "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", one of my favorite episodes. Lots of animated series out there bring King Arthur and Merlin in at some point ("The New Batman/Superman Adventures" did it with an episode pitting Batman against a pet demon of Merlin's named Etrigan, for example). But the episode actually tackled - successfully, IMHO - the meaning that the Arthurian legend has to us. Macbeth got that very eloquent and moving speech about the importance of Arthur and Merlin's achievements that so impressed Broadway, all about Arthur as "a king who ruled with justice and compassion". Merlin's scrolls turn out to contain, not his magical secrets, but something even more valuable - his eyewitness account of King Arthur's time. (I can't help wondering what impact the Scrolls of Merlin must have had on Arthurian scholarship in the Gargoyles Universe - finally, another eyewitness account to "Arthurian" Britain besides Gildas's "De Excidio Britanniae"! Hudson and Broadway were right to urge Goliath not to burn those scrolls!) And Merlin, in a sense, plays his role as tutor, from beyond the Crystal Cave, to Hudson and Broadway, just as he did to the young Arthur 1500 years ago, by teaching the two gargoyles the worth of reading (although Jeffrey Robbins should get part of the credit in Hudson's case, of course).
I did think, as well, that while more "fantastic" in some ways than the average animated action/adventure series set in the modern world (such as "Batman"), "Gargoyles" did feel in other ways more realistic. The New York of "Gargoyles" felt much more like a real modern-day city than do, say, Gotham City or Metropolis, even in the crime scene (the leading criminal figure in Manhattan being Tony Dracon, an "ordinary" mob boss, rather than somebody like the Joker).
Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Of course, all that Arthur stuff meant a lot to me too. I wanted to really evoke Arthur and Merlin in "Lighthouse". Who better to do it than Macbeth?
And, yeah, I like to think that in the context of all our wierdness, that the series was grounded in a world that felt real.