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I noticed that in #3 and #4, we got to see a lot of familiar faces from the "minor characters", more than we usually saw in the average episode of "Gargoyles" in its first two seasons. These two issues, put together, included the following cast members (all ones from the first two seasons) besides the clan, Elisa, and the Xanatoses (including Owen): Matt Bluestone, Officer Morgan, Phil Travanti (in the sense that he showed up as Morgan's partner in a couple of episodes such as "Temptation", though unnamed), Margot and Brendan, Agent Hacker, Jason Canmore, Demona, Al, the Mutates (except for Fang), the Clones, Castaway, Thailog, Billy and Susan and their mother, Jeffrey Robbins, Gilgamesh, and Judge Roebling. Perhaps it's only my imagination, but this seems like a larger cross-section of the characters than I remember seeing in the televised episodes.
Does this have anything to do with the fact that you're now telling the story in the medium of a comic book, which means that you don't have to worry about paying voice actors and can thus freely bring more people into each episode? Or is this merely the result of the accumulation of characters in the original 65 episodes? ("The Journey", even in its televised form, itself had a substantial cast, including, alongside the clan, Elisa, the Xanatoses and Castaway, the following figures: Travis Marshall, the Jogger, Vinnie, Sarah Greene, Matt Bluestone, Banquo and Fleance, Margot, and Macbeth.)
It's really a combination of both. As I work on Spider-Man now, I have an on-going fight budgetarily as to how many characters I can put in any given episode... or rather how many actors I can hire. (It helps some when actors double up. For example, if I've got Brooklyn in an episode, I can get Owen for free. But if I also need the Magus, then Jeff Bennett get's a small additional payment. But if I ALSO need Bruno, then Jeff gets a FULL SECOND payment, as if I had hired a second actor to play Bruno. If I also want Matrix, I can get him for free with Bruno. If I also want young Macbeth, though, I need to make a second small additional payment. But if I ALSO need Vinnie, then I'm paying Jeff the same as three full other actors. And so on, heck with folks like Jeff or, say, Kath Soucie, this thing could go on ad infinitum.)
So, yeah, there is a certain liberation that comes with all the voices being in our heads and not behind actual microphones.
Beyond that, there's the scope thing. Look at Joss Whedon's new "Hey, no limits on my special effects or cast of thousands" Buffy comic. Same thing to some extent. I want the scope of the comic to be larger, because that's one of the strengths of that particular medium.
And still, part of it is VERY organic to the universe that we so carefully built through 65 television episodes. Nothing is wasted, and even the smallest character often inspired story ideas for me. (And I've had a decade to muse on all their stories, so frankly things are way MORE planned out now than they were back in the day, when we did plan ahead, but when our deadline pressure on the writing side was so incredibly crushing that often we were lucky as much as we were smart.) So it's natural that more and more of them will begin to have larger and larger roles. Some will whisp away for many issues and reappear when you least expect them. Others will be a constant presense. Others may not survive. Such is life...
I was reading somewhere that you really liked the character named Doctor Sato from the "Deadly Force" episode and had planned to use him more, but never had the opportunity to do so. I had to think back to remember who you were talking about, and I was wondering what you really liked about him. Also, now that you've started the comic books, will we be seeing Dr. Sato again in either a side role or a cameo?
Thank you for your time and all that you do.
How old is Martin Hacker?
In 1996, he was 44.
Top-o-the-milk-ta-ye-ma-lad. I've got some questions about the trio for you. The Canmore trio that is... :^B
1) I was wondering, since Jason's ID as a cop was phony, what about Jon's credentials as a news reporter?
b. Is Robyn Corry's Resume legit? I got the impression that she was much smarter and practical then her brothers, qualities that might come from a well-earned education at Sorbonne, and from real experience as a businesswoman.
2) Do ya think Robyn would take on a new last name as leader of the redemption squad?
b. Was Robyn Canmore's going to prison the end of Robyn Corry's carrier?
3) After taking on the role of John Castaway, did Jon have to discard his profession as a news reporter? The police probably realized that he had a double identity as Jon Carter since Maria Chavez figured that out in a scene that never aired. He also seemed to have done some slight plastic surgery to his face and that might be difficult to explain to his bosses at WVRN. It would probably be better for the Gargoyles that he doesn't have an influence in the media anymore, though I'm sure the Illuminati have other people in there.
4) Incidentally, besides serving as a subtle reference to the castle, what dose W.V.R.N. stand for?
5) What sort of relationship (if any) did Jon Carter have with Travis Marshal, and how do they feel about each other professionally?
6) Have those three had many other aliases in their lifetime?
b. If yes, did they have a variety of phony jobs, or did they tend to stick to the same thing.
c. Again, if yes, are any of these fake ID's still usable today
Thank ye kindly.
b. Largely phony.
2. No. But she also isn't quick to reveal her first OR last name to her teammates. They mostly know her as the Hunter.
b. You meant "career", right? If so, then, yeah. For now, anyway.
3. Yes, Castaway gave up being Carter. I don't think Jon got plastic surgery, just a haircut, a new wardrobe, a phony English accent and a mustache (oh, and an electrified hammer).
4. Doesn't stand for anything (except the in-joke). All television stations have four call letters assigned to them. East of the Mississippi, the call letters begin with a W. To the West, they begin with a K. Within those perameters, a station owner can choose it's own call letters (assuming no one else has already picked your choice).
The above is a HUGE hint as to who owns WVRN. Actually that last sentence is an even huger hint.
5. Not much of a relationship. Carter was clearly new to the station. Travis had been there for some time. They probably barely knew each other. Travis might have felt that Carter's reporting carried some sensationalism, but Carter could hardly be the only reporter in NY with that affliction. (And even the no-nonsense Travis is hardly immune.)
6. Uh... sure.
b. If something worked they might reuse.
If given the chance to revive the Gargoyles series, what role would you personally give to these mostly underused and/or underrated characters:
1. Fang- My favorite character, I wonder if he would be given the chance to become one of the typical " one-liner spitting good guy with bad attitude" character (something I would like) or become a mayor villain.
2. Maria Chavez- Would she ever meet the gargoyles?
Also, I would like to know how old Talon, Maggie, Claw and Fang are.
What follows is not meant to be all-inclusive, but just a sampling of my plans...
1. Fang was destined to join "BAD GUYS". That is he was forced to either join Bad Guys or serve a life sentence in prison. He chose the former. For more info on BAD GUYS see the Bad Guys Archive here at ASK GREG, or come to next year's GATHERING in Montreal to see the Bad Guys' story reel for yourself.
2. Ever's a long time. But I had no immediate plans to change either her position or her role within the show. We would have learned more about her home life though, including her daughter.
3. Claw would have remained a mainstay in the Labyrinth, though he also would likely have guest-starred in BAD GUYS.
4. Wolf would have joined the Ultra-Pack.
5. Delilah would also have remained in the Labyrinth. She and Goliath would attempt to "date", but it wouldn't work out.
Finally, my timeline shows the following birth years:
Claw - 1954
Fang - 1968
Talon - 1970
Maggie - 1975
1.By the time of the Journey, has Jeffery Robin's finished "the Sword and the Staff"?
2.If yes, was it a sucses?
3.Has Hudson read it? What did Hudson think?
1. I don't know. It could easily take an author a year to write a novel of any substance.
1) What year was Maria Chavez born in?
2) What is the name of Maria Chavez's daughter?
3) What year was she born in?
4) Who was her father?
1. Sorry. I don't have my timeline with me.
4. This has not been established.
I must sound stupid right now...but, I don't think this was asked before, cause I don't see it anywhere's. I was looking at a large archieve of LOTS of Garg pics, and noticed in City of Stone Part 2, Demona smashed two stone humans that looked just like Margret Yale and BRENDON! (I love the way she says his name)
Was that them? In which case, I take it they are dead. I liked Brendon, sorta, kinda felt bad for the poor sap, stuck with that bitch of a woman (scuse the langauage, but she was). She reminds me of some of my customers at a pet grooming shop. ;)
This has been asked before, and it wasn't them. Since they appear again in later episodes.
During the course of the series, New York was struck by a number of events of a decidedly "unusual" variety, and ones which obviously weren't completely covered up (even if the true cause of them wasn't known to its citizens). Gargoyle sightings were the obvious part, but also so were the "missing nights" in "City of Stone" and Oberon putting everyone to sleep in "The Gathering", for example. By the time that the gargoyles were revealed to the public in "Hunter's Moon", therefore, New York had experienced two years' worth of Fortean activity.
While the obvious main reason for the public panic over the gargoyles in "Hunter's Moon" and "The Journey" was simple fear over them, do you suppose that the cumulative aftereffects of the two years' worth of weirdness (especially from "City of Stone" and "The Gathering") could have been a factor as well? After all, in real life, unexplained ongoing problems can often lead to people looking for scapegoats, and persecuting minority groups thereby (as in the case of persecutions of the Jews getting more severe in 14th century Europe during the Black Death). Do you think that some of that could have been at work here?
Weirdness can in fact have a cumulative -- not simply a momentary -- effect.
To my question about future occurences of Jeffrey Robbins you said:
>Yep. (And you worry too much. I'm not paying that close >attention.)
1. I'm glad Jeffrey wasn't a one-time character to you. Even as a teenager I wanted to see characters with disabilities in animation, to reflect the wide variety of people in society as a whole. My sister and I co-developed a series years ago where a visually impaired character was prominent (maybe someday we'll get to do somethin with it). Fifteen years after I first got seriously interested in animation, I've seen a wide growth in character ethnicity but still not much in this area. It's one reason I loved working on EXTREME GHOSTBUSTERS and having Garrett (voiced by Jason Marsden, also Pvt. Brutto from ROUGHNECKS) as our wheelchair bound hero who was such a good character you practically forgot about the wheelchair. Jeffrey's the same kind of character. While portrayed as the character is, ultimately you see the person.
To make this into a question, especially now that I realize that the elder Brutto in ROUGHNECKS ends up in a similar situation (not sure whose choice that was though): without forcing it into the story, would you be open to incorporating more characters with disabilities in animated series?
2. Me worry too much? I think there's a space in line for you behind my father and Kevin on that one. If Mom or my sister think it they're not saying. (In other words I get told that a lot.) Won't deny it. But you do I have to remember I didn't know you that well back then... much changes in a year.
1. Absolutely. Robbins, of course, was never a one-shot character. For starters,even with TGC, he appeared twice. And I hate to take credit where credit's not due, but I actually do believe that bringing Sgt. Brutto back in a wheelchair WAS my idea. Certainly, I was the first to write him back that way in "Funeral for a Friend". Claw was mute. Renard was confined to a wheelchair. I'm not tooting my own horn here, I just think that maybe you're overlooking characters because they fit so naturally into the series that you forgot they were disabled. I also would love to do a hearing impaired animated character with Marlee Matlin doing the voice. She used to come into Rockets and I once had such a big crush on her that I swore that if she came in one more time, I'd ask her to marry me. (She must have sensed that cause she never came back.)
2. Uh.... (The big problem here is that you attribute better memory function to me than I actually have. What were we talking about?)
Could you give us a littler personal information about Maria Chavez? In "Future Tense" there is a woman with Chavez's picture who is generally presumed to be her daughter.
1) In the "real" world, does/will she have a daughter?
2) If so, when?
3) Does she have any other children?
4) Is Chavez married at the time of "Deadly Force" or "The Journey"?
2. I'm at home. Timeline is at work. Sorry. Ask again later.
3. Not as of 1996.
What was Vinni's job from between "the cage" and "vendettas". Was it using that fork lift at the docks and he just happened to find Goliath and Hudson? If so, why was Mr.C with him? And did he lose his job again for sinking the fork lift? If not, was he hunting the Gargoyles?
He hot-wired that forklift. He was unemployed between "The Cage" and "The Journey".
Hi! It was great seeing you again at this year's Gathering. (Insert tons of compliments, comments and the like, regarding that event).
Anyway, you wrote:
I don't have any more plans for the pie gun.
But I have very specific plans for the guy the pie gun was named after.
And I just, belatedly, realize that Carter is the alias that Jon Canmore uses in Hunter's Moon. If I remember correctly, that in your plans, Castaway was NOT Jon Canmore... is he (Canmore) the one you are referring to?
It always seemed to me that Jon having access to TV, via being a newscaster, had more influence to the public at large than being the head of an obvious Klan rip-off.
So, be oblique and witty about this?
No, in my development Canmore was definitely Castaway.
It's the people who took over from me who didn't seem to want to acknowledge that.
... as for the original to Mr. Carter.... I'm not in the mood to reveal that right now...
But, hey, Mara, where's your Gathering diary, huh?
You just this second awnsered my question about Mr Catter, and now I have to ask, who was Vinni's pie gun named after?
I really enjoyed the Gathering this year. Many thanks to you and the staff for getting all the guest panelists.
My husband is a rather shy type; he thought the following question during the production seminar, but didn't even tell me until several days after the Gathering.
What is the silliest idea you ever had, and what is the silliest idea you ever pitched?
Pitched? I don't think I ever pitched anything that I didn't legitimately believe would make a good show.
Including a shot of Michael Eisner getting his rug yanked off by one of the "Quarks" in the pitch for that show, might have been the single STUPIDEST thing I ever pitched. (You'll notice we never did make "Quarks".)
As for silly ideas, I get a lot of those. There's this notion about a guy named Vinnie, who....
What did Elisa do with her day when the Gargs went to sleep in one of the countries they viseted? Shadows of the past for instance?
What did Elisa tell the Police when she got back from the World tour, to explane her absence?
How does Elisa explane how she keeps loosing her guns? Does she jut tell the police that she melted it down to make a bell? Does she get in much trouble for it?
She often slept too. Sometimes maintained a vigil. Sometimes explored a bit, as she did in Paris.
Personal leave. She'd have been in bigger trouble had Chavez not been in immediate need for an undercover operative to enter Brod's organization. Elisa's absense from New York during the period of Brod's arrival and establishment made her the perfect candidate. The good results from that operation tended to brush Elisa's shortcomings under the rug -- for now.
Elisa's usually on the verge of being in trouble. Fortunately, she had a strong arrest and conviction record even before meeting the gargs. They've improved her record a bit too. Plus her boss genuinely likes her. Even if she doesn't always show it. (And Maria also has a lot of respect for Peter Maza. He used to be her boss, long time back.)
Where is the Eerie Building located exactly in New York? I would like a general idea of where its located. And if you could give the street name its on, thats fine too. If not, how close to the Empire State Building, Crysler Buidling, Center Park, World Trade Center, or Hudson River is it?
So...to help you on this. Your standing on the promenades of the Observatory of the Empire State Building.
North of you is Center Park and the Crysler Building
East of you is the Hudson River (i think)
West- dont know whats west of the ESB
South of you are the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
East would be the East River. West would be the Hudson River.
And it's CenTRAL Park and the Chrysler Building.
Anyway, it's on Central Park South, I believe. Directly across the street from the park. If you look at a map of the city it should be pretty clear.
And it's Eyrie Building. Not Eerie.
I know generally TGC is avoided in this forum, but since you wrote "The Journey":
Was there any significance to why Vinny was sent to Japan? Did you envision showing him and the Japanese Gargoyles at some future point?
And "The Journey" is absolutely within the purvue of this forum. My last episode.
did you ever consider involving "The Daily Tattler" in an episode beyond Hyena and Xanatos's brief mentioning of it?
will "The Daily Tattler" play any role in any spin-off?
i'm also really curious where you'll put this question in the archives, it doesn't fit any categories i don't think, oh well... :)
Eventually, it would have had a larger role. Eventually everything does.
And, geez, I have so many categories now, I can't hold them all on one screen. There must be somewhere to put it.
Is Flo Dreedle really dead?
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.
A quick thing about OUTFOXED:
When I saw Vogel, a near-twin of Owen, I chuckled to myself and thought "Oh, there's gonna be something interesting behind that!"
Time to Ramble...
Fueled by (what I perceived in my own mind to be) the success of "City of Stone", I began to get more daring in my story structure. In Revelations, Cary and I utilized the time-honored tradition of "in medias res", where a story starts in the middle and catches the viewer up along the way. (Thanks, Homer.)
We also used voice over narration for the first time. It's interesting because Matt just seemed like a perfect character to do that kind of Philip Marlowe naration. But at the same time, it was daring, because of course, Matt is not a regular. The audience didn't know him that well. I think it showed the strength of our supporting cast that Matt could carry a show like this. Of course, having the massively talented Tom Wilson playing Matt helped. I knew he could handle it. And he did. Tom is terrific and VERY funny in the booth. I hope someday he gets his own tv show. (I also loved him as Coach Fredericks on Freaks & Geeks.)
The basic springboard for this episode came from four sources.
1. The notion that eventually Matt would have to find out about the Gargoyles. We didn't want to just throw it away or constantly come up with new excuses why he had "just missed them" or whatever.
2. Matt's pursuit of the Illuminati. What began as a Michael Reaves throwaway line in "The Edge" had evolved into its own subplot. Cary's "Silver Falcon" had taken us to the next level of hearsay. It was time to finally bring the Society into the series.
3. Disney's desire to do a cross-over event with their new "TOWER OF TERROR" ride down in Orlando. Unfortunately, they had wanted this much earlier -- in 1994. We had piggy-backed our World Premiere Screening of Gargoyles down in Florida in September of 1994 with the press event for the Tower's Grand Opening. (That's how Keith David, Marina Sirtis, Salli Richardson, Gary Krisel and I wound up riding the Tower of Terror together on the night before it opened to the general public.) But this was the soonest we could fit the notion into our continuity. You'll see in the memo that I just posted previous to this ramble, that when we were at the outline stage, I was still trying to more firmly tie the two properties together. Partway through the script process, someone at Disney changed their mind. They didn't want the tie-in anymore. I shrugged, I think. And the HOLLYWOOD TOWER became the HOTEL CABAL.
4. An episode of the British TV series, THE AVENGERS, called something like "The House That Jack Built". This was a classic that we ripped off shamelessly. (Wait, wait, I mean we paid it homage shamelessly.) It was about this nutty house designed, I believe, to trap spies inside and drive them bonkers and break them. Sound familiar? John Steed and Emma Peel redone as Goliath and Matt. Didn't you notice the resemblance?
(Gee, so far I've credited Raymond Chandler, Homer and THE AVENGERS as influences. What a fun episode.)
We reintroduced Hacker, mostly so that we could bookend him at the end as Matt's new Illuminati contact. This was something that Cary and I planned as far back as Silver Falcon. We always had to keep Hacker's agenda straight. Make sure any info he gave Matt was a wild goose chase, at least as far as Hacker knew.
In this episode, and only in this episode, Maria Chavez is played by the talented Elisa Gabrielli (also known as Obsidiana). Rachel Ticotin, our usual Chavez, was just unavailable. So Elisa filled in. She has a lighter sound. But I think it works. Did anyone notice? Both Elisa and Rachel are great. I used Elisa as the Doll Demon in 3x3 Eyes (now available on VHS and DVD).
My 3 year old son Ben, who at this point is used to me writing down what he and his older sister says during these viewings told me to write down the following: "When it's night, Demona's a gargoyle. When it's day, she's a human. He likes it when Demona's a human." This had absolutely nothing to do with this episode, but hey, who cares?
I really loved what Ed Asner did with the throwaway character of Jack Dane. "Tell him he's a bum." Dane was so much fun, I brought him back for TURF later.
Matt climbs into the clock tower and finds the TV he helped Elisa with on the day they met. That was fun. This whole episode ties back to Matt's Illuminati musings in "The Edge". It was nice to find another connection. Also, Elisa's been lying to him as long as they've known each other. Nice to remind the audience of that as well.
I like the "family of gorillas" line.
"The Dental Plan" line is vintage Cary Bates.
Elisa: "Matt, you haven't said three words all night..."
Matt: "Let me drive." HEY! THREE WORDS! :) This is fun because, I always thought of Elisa as someone who was such a control freak, she never let her partner drive her car. A big part of this episode, though it could easily sneak past you what with everything else going on, is revealing more facets of Elisa's personality. We learn much more about her and she grows here too.
It's fun to establish Xanatos as "a lower eschelon member". Immediately makes the Illuminati impressive, if Xanatos barely registers on their scale. Also sets up eventual conflicts with him.
First act cliffhanger: Here the threat is Matt. Again, how well did you all think you knew Matt? Here we're inside his point of view -- his narration. But we still try to play him edgy enough that we don't know if he'll kill them both. It helps that we opened with the shocker that he betrayed Goliath to Mace. How many people bought that? Thought Matt was the Judas that Mace said he was?
Anyway, I really like this scene. Elisa yelling at Matt. Matt getting out of the car and yelling at... no one. And Elisa's quiet revelation that Matt isn't crazy... "They don't follow me everywhere." Again, this line was as important for Elisa as for Matt. Sure she can count on the Gargoyles for help. But I never wanted it to seem like Lois and Superman. Like he was always around or would here her with super-senses everytime she screamed. Most of the time, Elisa's on her own.
"This time I'll drive."
Fun to see the gargoyles reactions when Matt is introduced. Goliath's not upset. He appreciates that Elisa has a loyal partner and probably gave her permission to bring Matt in from the cold long before. The truth is they know Matt already.
Elisa: "better late than never".
And then immediately Goliath is suspicious. "Trust is not... to be bartered."
As creators, we were playing both ends here. Omitting pieces of conversation. Trying to get the audience to believe that Matt might in fact be betraying G. But also making it believable that in hindsight, he wasn't. Not cheating, in other words.
At this point, my six year old daughter Erin said: "I don't like Bluestone in this one. He's usually very nice. But in this one he's mean." That's how she saw him. Not righteously angry with Elisa for the lies. Just mean.
It took remarkably more effort than I'd have expected to get things to hook up with our Teaser from the beginning of the act. To help, I reused a couple of Mace's line as prompts to the audience.
It's fun to hear Tom Wilson playing Matt playing at being a bad guy.
I like all the hotel references. "Check out time" etc.
Mace falls down the shaft and grabs the cables with his bare hands. One hundred years old or not, that's gotta hoit.
I like Matt using his coat as a parachute. That wouldn't be necessary except for that darn Gallileo. If it weren't for him, Goliath, being heavier, could have fallen faster than Matt to catch up to him. :)
And of course, I enjoy the irony of Mace being trapped in a Hell of his own making. And i like the notion that the Illuminati just left him there to rot. He had outlived his usefulness. A non-member had found him thanks to his annoying sentimental habit of visiting Pine Lawn. AND he had failed to hold the Gargoyle in the Cabal. Breaking a perfect record. Woops.
Goliath refers to Bluestone as his friend. That's to make sure the audience is clear that Goliath was in on the plan from the beginning. Later, I gathered, some people still didn't get that.
We have a great Turning to Stone sequence here. Every once in a while it's nice to remind the audience that this is unique and special. Seeing it through a new characrer's eyes is a great way to do that.
I love Elisa and Matt's conversation. Elisa reveals that she's subconsciously been keeping the gargs to herself because it made her feel special. Explains a lot about "Her Brother's Keeper", doesn't it? And Matt admits to something similar. I think we all do little things to help ourselves stand out, even if no one notices them but us.
Maria then helps us see that Matt and Elisa are going to be okay.
And finally, our Hacker tag. (This episode had like six tags.) Matt gets his pin. I thought that was kinda cool...
What say all of you....
In Prep for my coming RAMBLE on REVELATIONS, here's the memo I wrote to Story Editor Cary Bates in response to his outline...
Notes on "Revelations" Outline...
I was very concerned that the first act and much of the second act came across as prologue to our adventure. And yet most of it is necessary stuff. So I think we should open the story with GOLIATH trapped in the "house that Jack built" (HTJB) and flashback from there. Probably with MATT narrating the whole story in Voice Over.
I've suggested act breaks, but you don't have to feel married to them, if the timing or page count seems wrong.
Also, I didn't suggest any specific revisits to the HTJB (after the prologue) until our story brings us back there chronologically. If you want to revisit the present in the HTJB a few times to remind the audience of the current situation and to up the action with Goliath facing another death trap, go for it. Totally up to you.
I also moved the Hacker scene up, so that he can bookend the show a little more. In his first scene, he'll still be telling Matt that the Society is a myth. In his last scene, he'll be inviting Matt to join.
HTJB/MOUNTAIN RETREAT/TOWER OF TERROR/SEEDY HOTEL
It's a bit of a stretch to believe that Goliath would go to this "Mountain Retreat" with Matt. What do they hope to accomplish there, besides illegal search and seizure? Matt's "informant" is fishy beyond belief. So is the gizmo that gets them past the security perimeter. The point of which is lost on me, since they are immediately spotted by security forces. How does defeating these forces help? THEY'VE BEEN SPOTTED. What can they hope to accomplish now? These security guards can't radio inside to hide or destroy whatever data there might be? It's all adding up to a big old fishy mess. And yes, I realize that the Illuminati want Goliath inside and that Goliath wants to get "trapped" in order for Matt's plan to work out, but it's too convenient to say everyone is intentionally acting like idiots. The audience won't be in on it. They'll just be getting frustrated. By the time we reveal the truth, they'll just generally feel the whole story was contrived.
So let's start by ditching the mountain retreat. I like the Seedy Hotel better. Someplace that from the outside seems like a totally non-descript Manhattan building. Maybe it's boarded up and condemned. Getting in is not a problem. They land on the roof and sneak inside. But getting out is impossible.
The hotel is really the "House That Jack Built". Yes, steel shutters slam shut, trapping Goliath, but more importantly, we should really lose our bearings inside. Goliath rips open a window that he thinks leads outside, only to find it's a false facade that leads into another room. At another point, he thinks he has gotten back onto the roof. But this turns out to be another interior room, with a domed ceiling painted with stars. Another room has all the furniture on the ceiling and the razor sharp ceiling fan on the floor. Maybe another room rotates. Think about optical illusions, Escher paintings, etc. The death traps are fun, but we've done them before, so it's the mind-bending surreal stuff that will make this place special.
Also since the powers-that-be have asked, and since it fits our story, please refer to this place at least once as the "TOWER OF TERROR" and do at least one death trap with a rapidly falling elevator. This is "Synergy" with the Disney/MGM theme park's TOWER OF TERROR ride in Florida. I wouldn't suggest it if it didn't fit, but it fits just fine and that kind of goodwill never hurts. The name of the hotel should be the Hollywood Tower, cause that's the name in the ride. Now I know that seems like a weird name for a manhattan hotel, but if you figure it was built in the thirties or forties, during Hollywood's heyday, you can RATIONALIZE that even a New York Hotel would want to associate itself with the glamour of Hollywood. O.K. It's a stretch, but go for it.
MATT AND SECRECY
THE THEME OF OUR STORY IS TRUST. Hit it as much as possible. However, I don't want to replay Matt's emotional arc from Silver Falcon. He learned his lesson in that story. He no longer runs off without telling Elisa where he's going or what he's doing. Matt's honesty at the beginning of the story will contrast nicely with Elisa's deception about the gargoyles and with Matt's later bitter, furtive behavior. He can't feel too betrayed by Elisa's lies if he opened the story lying to her as well.
In your beat #9, Goliath is behaving completely out of character. He may never have been introduced to Matt, but he's seen him from a distance and knows who he is. He must know from Elisa that Matt is a good guy. His long-term goal in Manhattan is to find acceptance with a growing number of humans. Elisa was the first (and is still the foremost), but Renard is a friend of Goliath's now. Jeffrey Robbins the novelist is a friend of Hudson's. Goliath tried to convince Elisa to tell the truth to her brother, etc. And in any case, he's not likely to physically assault someone for doing nothing else but looking at them. I know you want to set up a tense dynamic, but the one in beat 9 is totally artificial. So drop it.
BOTHERSOME QUESTIONS THAT MUST BE DEALT WITH IN THE SCRIPT
1. Why was it necessary for Mace to vanish in the twenties? (Perhaps he was recruited by the Illuminati, but was about to get busted for his criminal operations with Dracon. So he vanished with the money, and the Illuminati set him up with a new life. But why did they want him? Why would they bother?)
2. Why would Mace give up his glamorous gangster life to live in a seedy hotel for the Illuminati? (He obviously wouldn't. So let's not imply that he did.)
3. How did Matt make the connection between Mace and the Illuminati in the first place? (This question must get answered in this episode. In "Silver Falcon", the old photo of Mace and Dominic will depict Mace wearing the Illuminati pyramid/eye emblem. But don't count on the audience noticing or remembering that. And don't forget that Matt thought Mace was involved with the Society long before he saw that photo in Benton's office.)
4. Did Matt just get phenomenally lucky that he happened to go to Flo's grave at the same time as Mace? Was he planning on setting up 24 hour surveillance? Did he have some way of knowing that Mace visits and when?
5. How does Mace being alive prove the existence of the Illuminati? (Hint: it doesn't, by itself. See question #3.)
Mace was a prominent gangster when he disappeared in 1924. If you figure he was about thirty, he'd be 100 now give or take five years. I think we should make a point of this. He looks great, thanks to the Illuminati's rejuvenation techniques. Like a man of 75 or 80. But he proudly tells Matt that today's his 100th birthday, or something like that.
1. Establishing shot of the Seedy Hotel. It's Friday night. Inside, Goliath is already alone. The steel shutters slam shut, trapping him inside, a mysterious voice (Mace) welcomes him to the "Tower of Terror". Maybe activate a death trap or two. Maybe Goliath finds an open window, but it leads back inside. Maybe the ceiling comes down on him or something.
2. Cut to the control room, where we see Goliath on a monitor. Mace is at the controls. (We don't yet know who he is.) And then pull back to see Matt looking over Mace's shoulder. We can't believe Matt is helping to trap and kill Goliath!! Push in on Matt. In his voice over, we find out he can hardly believe it either, it all began last Tuesday....
3. First flashback begins. Last Tuesday. It's the FBI target range and the scene with MARTIN HACKER. (Don't take for granted that the audience knows Hacker. Reintroduce all the necessary, pertinent info about him, Malone and the Illuminati -- pretend they've never been mentioned before this episode.) Hacker can't believe Matt is still chasing Mace Malone and the Illuminati. It's a wild goose chase that got him fired from the Bureau. When will he learn his lesson? But Matt is determined. He's going to prove the existence of the Illuminati, prove that he's not a nutcase. So Hacker gives him the info that he asked for: the location of Malone's step-son, a mobster who's part of the Federal Witness Relocation Program. (Hacker gives him this location because he knows that Malone's step-son has no idea where Malone is.)
4. Tuesday Night. Later at the precinct house, Matt sees Captain Chavez coming out of the Ladies room. He asks her if Elisa is in there. She says no. Matt doesn't get it. Her car is here, but he can't find her.
He finally finds Elisa exiting the broom closet. Has she been sitting in a closet for the last twenty minutes? Of course, not. She was just, uh... returning a mop. One of the sinks in the ladies' room overflowed. That's where she's been (yeah, that's the ticket) cleaning up a flood in the Ladies' Room. Matt is so stunned by her obvious and clumsy lie, that he doesn't immediately confront her with it. Unaware that she's been caught in a lie, Elisa quickly changes the subject. Why was Matt looking for her? He's got a lead on the Illuminati. After the Silver Falcon debacle, he's learned his lesson about keeping his partner in the dark. (He says pointedly.) He just wanted to let her know where he's going to be tomorrow. (As with Hacker, Elisa likes Matt but seems to only tolerate his obsessions. There's the tiniest bit of a patronizing attitude toward them. Perhaps Matt invites her along on his investigation, but she thinks it's a waste of time. She's nice about it, but Matt's V.O. narration lets us know that he knows she thinks he's a kook. Same with Hacker in the scene above.)
5. Wednesday. Matt confronts Malone's step-son, JACKSON DANE (or whatever) at the gym (or wherever). (Jackson's 80 if he's a day, but he can have Ferrigno-sized goons. Though you need to be careful that Matt doesn't come across as a dirty or rogue cop. I don't want him to break any laws.) Matt asks Jackson about Mace. Dane hasn't seen Mace since he was a little kid. Matt pulls out a photo that was taken at the memorial service for Jackson's mother (Mace's ex-wife), actress Flo Dane, when she died fifteen years ago. It was a big deal thing. We see a picture of Jackson in the front row. Did Jackson see Mace at the funeral. No. Matt takes out a second picture. A blow up of people in the back row. He points to one. Jackson looks carefully, and whaddaya know? It's Mace. Now Matt wants to know where Flo Dane is buried. Jackson says that his mom didn't want her grave to become a tourist attraction, so she was buried under her real name, FLORA DREEDLE. Did Mace know that name? Yes, he did.
6. Wednesday, just before sundown. Back at the precinct, Elisa asks Chavez if Matt's checked in yet. No. Elisa goes up to see the gargoyles. We follow her into the broom closet. The pull-down ladder is already down. She nervously pulls her gun and goes upstairs. Only to find Matt there. She's under time pressure to get him out of there, since it's nearly sunset. He points to the t.v. set. He remembers helping her bring that into the precinct the day they met. She had said it was for a friend. She pretends that this is her little getaway spot when police life gets too intense. Some getaway spot. An old lounge chair. A hot plate. Video game equipment. Books. Enough food for a family of gorillas. She says she may be bending a few regulations, but she's not breaking any laws. Don't tell Chavez, o.k.? (She has got to get him downstairs.) So how'd it go with Mace's step-son? He's still highly suspicious, but enthusiastic enough about filling her in on Mace that he allows her to guide him back downstairs. Matt has checked with the funeral home. Some old man shows up there every Thursday and leaves a rose for Flora Dreedle. It's a long shot but Matt is going to be there tomorrow to find Mace Malone.
7. Thursday. Matt finds Mace Malone, who goes into a bit of denial, but we'll give him an Illuminati tattoo on the palm of his hand (or something). Mace relents, impressed. The Illuminati has been aware of Matt's quest. They've thrown multiple roadblocks in his way, and still Matt found Mace. The Society has clearly underestimated the boy. Mace offers Matt membership based on a loyalty test. Matt: You want me to prove my loyalty? How do I know I can trust you? Mace: Fair question. What if I prove good faith by revealing a bit of information donated by one of our lower echelon members, David Xanatos. Matt's listening.
8. Very late Thursday night. Elisa and Matt are driving in her car. She's driving. She asks him if everything's all right. The shift's almost over and he hasn't said three words all night. "Let me drive," he says [exactly three words]. No way -- it's my car, she replies, only half-kidding. He INSISTS. She relents, realizing he's pretty upset about something. It's a very awkward moment. She has to stop the car, get out and switch sides with him. He's silent the whole time. He drives. Where are they headed? He ignores the question, but tells her that today he found Mace Malone. That's great, she says, but you're driving awfully fast. He ignores that too, saying he feels like he's on a streak. Now that he's proven the Illuminati exists, he's about to prove the existence of another urban myth that he's been taunted for believing in. Matt, she yells, you're driving us right into the path of some kind of danger!! That's right he says, and the only way we can be saved is if your gargoyles save us.
9. Elisa manages to wrest the wheel from him and turn the car into a very uncontrolled 360° skid. Thank god for seat belts. They barely survive. Elisa is furious at Matt! What the heck does he think he's doing?! He's trying to get his partner to tell him the truth. He gets out of the car and yells to the sky. "I know you're out there! Show yourself!" Nothing happens. No gargoyles appear. Elisa gets out of the car. Matt's expecting another lie. But all she says is, "They don't follow me everywhere I go." They look at each other. C'mon, she says. I'll drive. (NOTE: I don't think we need to bring up informants. Elisa can believe that Matt has put two and two together from all the lies she's had to tell in the first act.)
10. But by the time they get back to the precinct it's dawn, early Friday morning. Too late, she says. He doesn't buy it. He knows that set-up in the clock tower must be for them. She's still reluctant to tell him the whole truth. Look, she says, you have to be patient for a little while longer. (Note: she has not actually apologized yet.) Meet me back here this evening. Ten minutes before sunrise.
11. Friday. Mace and Matt meet again. Has Matt seen the gargoyles yet? Tonight. But the information was correct? Yes, she friends with them. The Society has demonstrated good faith. Does Matt still want to join? Yes. Then you're willing to take the loyalty test? Yes, what do I have to do? Bring us a gargoyle.
12. Friday at twilight. Matt and Elisa head out the clock face's door (at roman numeral VI) Matt sees the statues of the gargoyles and gets pissed again. No stone statues are going to fool him. He knows they're flesh and blood. He's seen them (in previous episodes). She says hold on and stand back. The sun goes down. The gargoyles explode from stone. Milk this for all the awe and majesty, etc., that it's worth. Seeing it from Matt's point of view, we should all feel like we're seeing it again for the first time. The gargoyles approach. They all know Matt, even if he doesn't know them. Even Bronx is friendly. Matt is awestruck. Speechless. Elisa tells Matt that the Gargoyles have adopted the city and protect it as they once protected their castle in Scotland long ago. She asks him to keep the gargoyles' secret. He says he will, but he wants something in return. Goliath doesn't love the idea of being blackmailed into anything. Matt says he's tracked Mace to a seedy condemned hotel. He's sure he can get proof of the Illuminati's existence if he could just get into the hotel, but it's locked and boarded up on the ground floor. He needs Goliath's help to enter via the roof. The other gargoyles offer to help, but Matt isn't trying to lay siege to the place, he just wants to sneak in and sneak out. All he needs is Goliath. Elisa wants to go, but Matt specifically doesn't want her to. Why? Because I want to find out once and for all whether you trust me. So Goliath takes off with Matt. (AND I think we can assume that Matt filled Goliath in on his plan on the flight over to the seedy hotel.)
13. Friday night. They land on the roof of the hotel. With Goliath's help, they break into the stairway and go inside. Almost immediately, Matt is forcibly separated from Goliath and spirited away to join Mace in the control room. Mace is very pleased with Matt. He presses a button and steel shutters slam home in a repeat of scene 1. Which brings us up to date, end on a cliff hanger and go to commercial.
14. Play Goliath in the HTJB. Have fun with it. You've got most of the act. Meanwhile, Matt asks Mace how long they plan to keep Goliath here. Why, we can keep him here forever. He'd never find his way out without help. So Matt has to secretly help Goliath. But you can't have that signal device. Where would Matt get it from? He's not Batman. So think of something else. Ultimately, they escape leaving Mace hopelessly lost inside the surreal world of his own making. (That's the Illuminati's punishment for him. He can die of dehydration there, some time in the future and we don't have to portray it or worry about S&P.) All this is done in such a way that the Illuminati would later blame Mace not Matt. If you need help to choreograph this, give me a call.
15. Pre-Dawn Saturday morning, Goliath and Matt return to the clock tower where Elisa and the others are waiting. We find out definitively that Matt tipped Goliath off to his plan on the way to the seedy hotel. He was hoping to join the Illuminati -- so he could bust them from the inside, but in order to escape, they had to trap Mace, his only Illuminati connection, in the HTJB, so it was all for nothing. Matt watches with Elisa as the Gargoyle's turn to stone. (Again, milk this. Through Matt's eyes it should feel like the first time.) Elisa and Matt have their little scene. She finally apologizes. He asks why she kept it a secret from him. And etc.
16. Matt walks outside and there's Hacker, who reveals that he's a member of the Illuminati who had been assigned to Matt to keep him away from the Illuminati. Matt can't believe it: Hacker helped him with info. Only info that Hacker thought led down a dead end. Matt just figured a way to do an end run around the dead ends. No hard feelings. Anyway, he always liked Matt, so he's proud to give him his official Illuminati membership pin. Matt doesn't get it. The society lost the gargoyle. Mace's fault, not Matt's. Hacker promises to keep in touch. He hops in an unmarked car and drives off. After he's gone, Matt says something determined about keeping in touch too. This isn't over.
Why did the FBI fire Matt? Did they just think that he was too much of a nutcase, or was there some darker reason (such as pressure from the Illuminati) involved?
Some time ago, I heard a fellow "Gargoyles" fan say that he considered Matt something of a hypocrite in that, while he was setting out to expose the Illuminati to the world, he was willingly joining in the efforts to keep the gargoyles a secret and hiding them, even after he became the head of the Gargoyle Task Force - and also condemned Elisa for keeping the gargoyles a secret, especially from Captain Chavez. I didn't agree with that person, feeling that there was a difference between exposing a ruthless and machiavellian secret society that's meddling in everybody's lives and exposing a group of extremely rare beings who have to hide from the world because most humans consider them monsters and would hunt them down if they knew about them, but I felt vaguely bothered by it, and thought that I'd ask you what your thoughts on the matter were.
My reasoning is similar to yours, but I can also live with the notion that Matt is in fact being a bit of a hypocrite -- for a good cause.
As a writer, I LIKE the stress that dilemma will eventually cause. Human beings are complex. We contain multitudes.
Would Rosiara Sanchez or Peter Choi (the heroic teens from the newspaper story in _High Noon_) have made an appearance in a future episode of GARGOYLES? (Given its history of sneaking in foreshadowings....)
Was the cop riding with Officer Morgan in _Temptation_ his partner?
A tongue-in-cheek riff on Todd's religion question: Have you ever worked out if the men and women of the 23rd Precinct favor certain types of donut over others?
There are a lot of cops in that precinct house. Many donut varieties are popular.
What are Preston Vogel's thoughts vis-a-vis his evil twin Owen? His "I assure you, sir, we are not" reply when Petros asked if he and Owen were related came out awfully smooth. (Preston's coolness may be somewhat less remarkable when you consider how much practice he must have with that line. He's still a lot more nonchalant about it than I'd expected, though. Doppelgangeren are creepy.)
I don't think it was smooth at all. I think he was affronted. He just has a very thin range of demonstrable emotion.
I do think Owen bothers him.
What did Renard do when he was informed about Vogel's escapades in Guatemala?
I'm not sure he was ever informed. He's not a well man.
a- Why does Preston wear that cheesy bow tie? b- Is this why Owen wears a regular one (or vice versa)?
a. He likes the look.
b. Owen's got better taste.
Does Preston clock out at the end of the day, or is he also work as Renard's live-in assistant?
At his level, there are no timeclocks to punch. And I won't pretend he has much of a life outside his job, but he does have downtime. But he is Owen to Renard's Xanatos.
1) Is Preston Vogel a native-born American?
2) Does he have Sephardic or Ashkenazic roots? (If he isn't a convert, that is.)
2. What makes you think he's Jewish at all?
How did Matt first learn about the Illuminati's existence?
Good question. Fun answer. But it's a long story.
Is any of the main characters currently a member of a organization, fan-, or social club? (Other than the Illuminati Society, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Quarrymen, and Young Ganymede [smirk], I mean.)
Well, I think you know who's in the Quarrymen.
All the cops are in the union.
What do you consider a 'main' character?
Was any of the main characters a member of a scouting organization?
I don't know. Matt, maybe. Tony Dracon.
I know you've asked that there be "no more food questions", but hey, it's been a while... ^_^
1) Are any of the characters we know vegetarian? Elisa certainly isn't, and (judging from the contents of his walk-in freezer) neither is Xanatos.
2) Do Matt and Preston observe the laws of Kashrut?
1. I can't think of anyone off-hand.
2. I don't know what "Kashrut" is, so I tend to doubt it.
1) What does Travis Marshall think of gargoyles?
2) Does he think gargoyles are monsters and deserve to be destroyed or does he have a unique opinion about gargoyles?
1. I think Travis is struggling to keep an open-mind. To remain objective until he has more information.
2. See above.
Quite some time ago you told us some of the religions of the humans and you asked whether you'd missed anyone. No-one major, but I was just wondering if you've given any thought in the religions of the following people:
I know most of these are very minor characters and that you probably haven't given any thought into them, but I was just wondering.
3. I'm not sure. Christian of some denomination.
4. He practices the ancient religion of his people.
5. Is this Tea? I don't think she practices anything.
6. I'm not sure who you mean?
7. I'm sure he was Muslim originally. He's dead now.
8. I think he probably comes from a Protestant background, but I don't see him as being very religious now. Godless media and all that.
In the episode the journey Vinnie saved Goliath and Elisa from being killed by Jon Castaway and was given a job in Japan by an unknown man most likely being Taro. My Question is since Vinnie made peace with Goliath would Vinnie cause problems for Taro in his evil plans for the Ishimera clan?
Vinnie tends to cause problems everywhere he goes. Mostly for Vinnie.
was matt bluestone ever going to have a significant other? he is probably my favirote human character on the show, but besides his FBI past, NYPD present and Illuminati future you never seemed to go very far into his personal life. did you plan to?
why was matt b. made head of the gargoyles task force? wasn't there anyone else more qualified? you know with the FBI, NYPD, Illuminati, Recap operator, and head of this task force, matt has had a busy career!!!
Matt's part of the NYPD. And it was an NYPD task force. The experience you list makes him a good candidate. Keep in mind, he wasn't still working for the FBI or operating RECAP. And Chavez didn't know about his Illuminati membership.
Sooo... Why *was* Margot Yale in Paris? Coincidentally at about the same time as the Avalon tour group?
1)Do you plan on having Brendan and Margot Yale a 'til death do we part' couple? The only time we see them is when they go out, but who knows what happens when their at home? Actually I'm guessing you probably do know what they are like at home, and I'm also guessing that their behaviour is no different to when they are out on the streets.
2)Will they ever have any children?
1. I doubt their behavior alters when they're in private, but they must have some reason to stay together.
2. I'm not saying.
Greg, I have a minor interest in geneology. Could you please clarify for me what nationalities the following characters are:
1) Elisa, half African-American, half Native American.
2) Xanatos, Greek
3) Matt, I don't know
4) Fox--- well, her dad's probably French and her mom's a fairy...
5) Maria Chavez, Spanish
Could you help me here?
2. Greek-American, yes.
4. Her dad's French-American, yes.
5. Maria's Hispanic-American.
As much as I loathe the idea of a "Subway Series," I nevertheless find myself interested in the answer to the following question. Given that Gargoyles is set primarily in New York (the only place where anyone could possibly care about the outcome of a Subway Series), are the following characters Mets fans or Yankee fans:
Uh, I live in L.A. and I thought the subway series was fascinating.
1. Elisa - Mets
2. Xanatos - Yankees
3. Matt - Yankees
4. Owen - Neutral
5. Goliath - Uninterested.
6. Demona - Beyond uninterested.
7. Macbeth - Bemused
In 'Future Tense', when Goliath first comes into the city, the Talon-esqe soldiers blast a woman's cart and steps on a framed photo. correct me if i'm wrong, but was it intentionally implied that the girl was supposed to be a daughter of Chavez? taller woman had a similar outfit as Chavez.
Yes, it was implied. That was our intent anyway.
Watched "HUNTER'S MOON" and "THE JOURNEY" back-to-back recently and noticed that Maria Chavez was titled (on her door) as 'Chief of Detectives' and 'Chief of Police' (although I can't remember which was in which episode). Which is she?
Captain of Detectives for the 23rd precinct. "Chief of Police" is clearly an error. (One that I've never caught, by the way. Are you sure it said that?)
What are the names of the others in the Chavez family?
And what was Maria Chavez's maiden name?
I don't know at this time.
But who said Chavez isn't her maiden name?
If you had made one of the spin-offs, would you have used the same recurring background characters (Brendan, Margot, Vinnie etc.) where appropriate (i.e. in the spin-offs where they're still alive)?? If you didn't use these characters, would you make new characters? The equivalents for Arthur and Griff to keep running into for example?
We try to create cohesive universes, because (a) it's fun and (b) it's cheaper. So we would have done some of each.
For those who were at Gathering '98, Bernie and Marge were a Brendan and Margot equivalent.
Billy and Susan's mother the woman who first appeared the episode the pack where she had the feeling that the gargoyles might be real then in the episode the journey she joined the Quarrymen in the feeling that she had to protect her children from the gargoyles and quickly became one of the gargoyles deadliest enemies. I was wondering if the gargoyles cartoon show continued would Susan and billy's mother ever change her views on the gargoyles and be like Vinnie and make peace with them or would she be a Quarrywoman for the rest of her life. I didn't like her that much and I was hoping after the episode the Journey that she would have gotten herself killed.
We don't know how much she participated in the Quarrymen. She attended one meeting where Castaway got her worked up. She certainly wasn't part of the hunt that night. (You can tell that by body-shape.)
I think your view is rather harsh.
But you never know, we might have seen more of her. I mean after all, did you expect to see her again after "Thrill"?
THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!! THANK YOU for the extra scene from THE JOURNEY! Captain Chavez's return--with cast and crutches no less (gawd, how I missed that continuity in TGC).
Granted, it isn't really essential to the plot, but it does a bit to flesh out some more of the offscreen events going around.
The only real question in regards to this is...just how long can Matt and Elisa keep their connection to the gargoyles secret from Capt. Chavez?
Wait and see.
I know, I know, you've been waiting. Me too, pal, me too.
Well, since as of this writing you only have three days of questions to answer, I think I'll remake my request made WAY back when the new archive first opened:
May we please read the scene between Capt. Chavez and Bluestone that was deleted from "The Journey"?
EXT. CLOCK TOWER - DAY
It is late afternoon, the sun low in the sky. The Clock Tower and Precinct House, blown up in 4319-063, are under reconstruction. Large cranes, CONSTRUCTION CREWS, etc. continue their work. SFX.
PAN DOWN THE STREET
A long New York City Block to a lot jammed with temporary offices and trailers, housing the relocated Precinct.
PUSH IN on one trailer, where CAPTAIN MARIA CHAVEZ struggles to enter on crutches, one leg in a cast.
INT. POLICE TRAILER - DAY
Matt Bluestone is sitting huddled over paperwork at a cluttered desk opposite the door as Chavez enters.
I'm pretty sure that's my chair.
He looks up, caught off-guard by her arrival.
Captain, you're back.
She begins to maneuver awkwardly around the desk. He gets up fast to make way for her, and she eases herself into the chair.
Yeah, I'm back. What did I miss
on the gargoyle front?
Multiple false alarms and
vandalized stone statues. A lot
of people are scared.
What about the Xanatos angle?
Uh, Elisa and I have both been up
to the castle. Nothing... unusual
INT. ELISA'S BEDROOM - DAY
The shades are drawn. Elisa's in bed, sleeping in an oversized pair of men's flannel pajamas. CAGNEY the cat jumps on the bed and starts pawing at her and purring.
Where is Maza?
(meow and purrrs)
Elisa opens her eyes.
O.K. Cagney, I'm up. I'll feed
Would Matt have much success long-term in his dealings with the Illuminati. I mean, one conspiracy nut against an organisation that's a millennium and a half old doesn't lend him much of an advantage. Would he ever really expose them?
Matt would have some success. But he wouldn't do it alone.
While explaining E&G's burgeoning romance, you said this about the "double date": "She would accept a Halloween invitation to go out with either Morgan or Jason."
I have a strange compulsion to go "eww." Morgan? I've always gotten a father-figure vibe from him for some reason. It's not that he's older than Elisa (he is, isn't he?), just that Morgan always struck me as having a more paternal attitude towards Elisa.
Have I completely misread the situation?
I think you have a bit. Morgan is older than Elisa, but he's not, for example, as old as her father or anything like that. I think Morgan is one of these classic "nice guys" who tries to make a connection as a friend first. Normally, I think that might have worked on Elisa long-term. But Elisa has a tendency to fall for the big, stunning, tragic types like Goliath and Jason. And Morgan and Elisa met only hours before she met Goliath. Frankly, the guy never stood a chance.
A fresh Vinnie question. It's customary among Gargoyles fans to cite, as one of the reasons for Vinnie being an oddball, the fact that he gives his banana cream pie-gun a name (Mr. Carter). But recently, I found myself wondering if that really was quite so oddball.
After all, back in the period of myth and legend, most "magical weapons" were given names - the obvious case being King Arthur's Excalibur, but with many other examples (Odin's spear Gungnir, Thor's hammer Mjolnir, Roland's sword Durendal, Cuchulain's spear Gae Bolga, etc.) That got me wondering: is Vinnie really being quite so odd, therefore, in giving a name to a weapon that is, in its own way, just as remarkable as these others? (Of course, the precise name that he gave it could be considered another matter.... :)
Vinnie may be odd. But he seems to be from a proud tradition of oddness.
First off; Thank you for devoting what I'm sure is a good part of your time to Keeping up your answers,informing us and giving those of us without toon Disney our daily dose of Gargoyles! You must really like us!
Now, The question I've always wanted to ask and never got around! I hope you have an answer:
What has happened in Matt Bluestones past? I am aware that you don't exclusively design all the characters, but you must know more about this mystery man then was revealed in the series thus far. I was suprised it hadn't come up before!
What's his family like?
Where did he grow up/go to college?
Why/How did he start in the FBI?
Why is he so paranoid? or Does he have a reason to be?
Please help me to shed some light on this intriguing subject.
Thanks You Much,
I do really like you.
Matt's from a nice Jewish family in New York. He grew up in the neighborhood where Mr. Jaffe still runs a small grocery store. I don't know exactly where he went to college. Haven't thought about it.
In your "Silver Falcon" memo which you posted last night, you made reference to "Vogel's murder" in another outline. Was this Preston Vogel that you were talking about (whose murder, obviously, was rejected since he was still clearly alive in his last appearance in "The Gathering Part Two")?
Gee, I don't remember that reference. Hmmm. I'll have to check the memo again.
Hi, I have an observation to make about your character Vinny. You said once, in the very old 'Ask Greg' Archives that Vinny's last name would be Gregarino or something like that. Anyway, my comment is on how you chose to make this character Italian.
The common stereotype used in television about Italian New Yorkers is that we're dumb, talk with exceptionally strong NY accents, and are all named Vinny. Examples of these stereotypes can be seen in "Saturday Night Fever" and "Friends" and that Spike Lee movie "Son of Sam" (with name adjustments).
As far as I can tell, Vinny on Gargoyles (whose more or less a 'joke' character) also lives up to this very inaccurate stereotype of Italian people. I, as an Italian, find this is a little bit offensive, especially on a show that is known not to use racial stereotypes.
One of the greatest things about 'Gargoyles' (besides its great storylines and animation, etc.) is that it's racially diverse and fair.
I guess this leads to the question of was making this 'foolish' character Italian done on purpose?
Or is this entirely my imagination?
Don't get me wrong, I really love the show and everything, but the Italian stereotype thing always upset me a little bit.
Actually, though you may have a point, you're missing the joke. Vinnie was based on the not-too-bright-yet-somehow-wise character of Vinnie Barbarino from the television series WELCOME BACK KOTTER. Now you may not be fond of the Kotter Vinnie for the reasons stated above, but we were. Particularly, since Jeff Bennett did such a hilarious imitation of the character. But we certainly weren't intending to offend Italians. Just to summon up the memory of a beloved character.
The Gregarino joke, was again a reference to Vinnie Barbarino. Not to Italians in general. The idea being that Vinnie (in "The Journey" specifically) represented a stand-in character for me, personally. So I was combining my name with Barbarino's to get Gregarino.
I hope that explains it, and if it doesn't then you have my apologies.
But I don't see how you can toss "Saturday Night Fever" into the mix you listed above. (Haven't seen "Son of Sam", so I can't comment on that.) Almost EVERY character, smart, sympathetic, dumb, arrogant, etc. was Italian in that movie. The characters ran the gammut. Yeah, dumb included. But if you're showing the full spectrum, I think you get some immunity.
If these questions have been asked before, they aren't in the old or new archives, though I'm sure at least the first has been asked before:
1) How long were Goliath, Elisa and Bronx away from New York on the World Tour?
2) What was Elisa's explanation to Chavez and her friends?
3) How many places besides the ones we saw did they go to?
4) Care to name some of the unseen ones?
5) Is there any significance to the carved face on the skiff?
1. Less than a year, though I haven't made precise calculations. Coincidentally, I plan on making precise calculations within the next three months. Ask me again later.
2. To Chavez, it was "personal time", and not much more. Which didn't sit well with Maria, but Elisa was still one of her best detectives. To Matt she told the truth (and he helped defend Elisa to Maria). What other friends were you referring to.
3. At least one, Tibet. But that's probably it.
In your opinion, what's Margot Yale's attitude towards the Quarrymen? Does she sympathize with the movement (although I doubt that she'd actually be a member) or does she view the Quarrymen as a case of the cure being just as bad as the disease? (I do get the feeling from what I saw of her in "The Journey" that her own aim wasn't to destroy the gargoyles but to have them locked up in the manner of extremely rare animals for study).
I think she may be vaguely sympathetic, without ever publicly condoning them. Certainly, she'd never join up. Not good politics to become a member of an extremist organization. Margot cares about appearances.
*blinks at Ambrosia's question* ...WHOO HOO!!! I'm not the only Matt Bluestone fan in the world!! Yay!!
Uh, anyway, I have a couple of questions about the guy:
1)Does Elisa and/or the clan know that Matt's an Illuminatus and if not, will he tell them? I'm just a little concerned about his relationship with them.
2)Does Matt have a car and if he does, then can you tell me what it looks like? Hmm, this just proves I think about him too much. Oh, well, who said I was sane?
Thanks for answering (if you do)!
1. Matt's not as big on keeping secrets as Elisa is.
2. Matt does not own a car. Many Manhattanites do not.
Just some questions about our favorite yuppie couple...
Margot Yale is revealed in "The Journey" as the District DA. So what does Brendan do?
Also, common sense would say that 'Yale' is Brendan's last name. But...are they even married? And still, if they are, then Margot seems to me like the feminist type who would keep her last name after marraige. ^_^
So, to review...
1. What does Brendan do for a living?
2. Are they married?
3. What's Brendan's last name?
Hope I'm not being too picky or making too many assumptions.
Margot's a Deputy District Attorney (or Assistant District Attorney, I can't remember). She's not THE D.A.
Brendan's job is currently a mystery.
Yale is not Brendan's last name, but yes, they're married.
Hi, Greg! I've recently become really enamored with Matt Bluestone and I was wondering:
After Hunter's Moon, did Matt go back to being Elisa's partner, or is being the head of the Gargoyle Task Force a permanent, full-time gig?
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.
In "The Journey", Margot believes that the gargoyles are not sentient beings, but merely savage wild animals. However, when the gargs rescued her and Brendan from the bank robbers in "City of Stone Part One", and Goliath asks her about "the children" (the Weird Sisters in their little girl form), Margot shows by her response that she recognized what he was talking about.
Since Margot's seen evidence already that gargoyles can speak, how does she reconcile that with her belief that they're non-sentients? Has she blocked Goliath's speaking to her at the bank out of her memory, or did she believe that it was "imitative" speech like that of a parrot, with no actual sentience behind it?
I think fear has blinded her. Has she blocked it out? Maybe. But I'm not sure she's defining "sentience" in her own mind, as anything other than "human". She literally may not be thinking about what the word sentient means.
Written by Brynne Chandler Reaves & Lydia C. Marano
Story Edited by Michael Reaves
Well, I watched "Lighthouse" again last night with my family. First thing I noticed was the bad "Previously" recap. This is all my fault. The recap features Macbeth, because I wanted to make sure the audience knew who he was. But that blows out the first act surprise reveal that he's behind it all. Up to that point in the story, you'd be thinking Xanatos. But because of the dopey recap, you know it MUST be Mac. Later in the season, after I got hammered over these recaps by the folks on the Disney Afternoon e-Mailing list, I learned never to put anything into the recap that wasn't revealed in the first five minutes of the show to follow. But here's a perfect example of me screwing up my own mystery.
We introduce archeologists Lydia Duane and Arthur Morwood-Smythe. Dr. Duane was named after writers Lydia Marano and Diane Duane. Professor Morwood-Smythe was named after writers Arthur Byron Cover and Peter Morwood. Arthur is Lydia's husband. Peter is Diane's husband. I don't know anyone named Smythe.
Macbeth episodes, at least up to this point, seem to be cursed with mediocre animation. (Of course, everything's relative. Mediocre on Gargs was still better than most series got. But relative to our expectations, this ep is pretty weak.) I bet Elisa would have really looked cute in that red baseball hat if the animation had been even slightly better.
I don't know how clear it is in the prologue. The idea there, was that the wind was blowing through the lyre. The haunting sound drew the archeologists further into the cave. They read the warning which indicates that the seeker of knowledge has nothing to fear, the destroyer everything. They are supposed to hesitate, look at each other, decide that they are seekers not destroyers and then open the chest. Merlin's clearly put a safety spell of some kind on the chest. An image of the old man appears and basically checks to confirm whether the archeologists are in fact seekers or destroyers. Satisfied, the spell disipates. But you can imagine what would have happened if a Hakon type had stumbled in.
Anyway, it never felt like all that came across. Did it?
Brooklyn (re: Broadway): "Ignorance is bliss." In High School, I had a classmate named Howard Bliss. We had chemistry together with Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller once asked the class a question that we all should have known. No one knew the answer, and our own idiocy generated laughter among Miller's students. He just shook his head and said: "Ignorance is bliss." He forgot that he had a student named Bliss. It generated more laughter. I don't know why I told you that. But it's what I thought about when Brooklyn read that line.
There's a semi-heavy-handed "Read More About It" feel to the clock tower conversation regarding Merlin. Goliath practically quotes those public service announcements, saying there are many books about him in the library. I don't mind. I had wanted to cite a few actual books -- like Mary Stewart's THE CRYSTAL CAVE -- but our legal department wouldn't give us clearance for that. Very short-sighted.
A connection is made between Merlin and the Magus. This was not an accident, as at that time, I had planned to have the Magus journey with Arthur on his Pendragon quests to find Excalibur and Merlin. I later changed my mind. But the Magus does at least play a Merlin-esque roll in the Avalon three parter.
I always wonder who was playing in "Celebrity Hockey" that night.
Macbeth's standard Electro-Magnetic weapon was my idea. I didn't design it exactly, but I did make crude little drawings of something that looked vaguely like a staple gun, with two electrodes that generated the charge. I was always proud of that weapon. It was uniquely Macbeth's (and Banquo and Fleances'). Set him apart from all the concussion, laser and particle beam weapons we used elsewhere. (I did the same kind of thing on the Quarymen's hammers.)
It's fun to listen to B.J. Ward voice both sides of the confrontation between Fleance and Duane.
Banquo's model sheet showed him squinting out of one eye. Some episodes, not so much this one, but some took that to mean he only had one eye. So he walks around looking like Popeye for the entire episode. (His big lantern jaw helps accentuate that.) There are a couple of Popeye moments in this ep. But more in his next appearance I think.
It was my idea to just have Mac's mansion rebuilt without explanation. I don't exactly regret it, but it's kinda cheap. We burned it way down. He has it rebuilt. It makes sense. But we usually dealt with consequences more than that.
When he rebuilds it, he installs those cannons. They were supposed to be giant-sized versions of the hand-held E-M guns. But they don't come off that way. Instead they fire at the gargoyles. And mostly seem to destroy the various turrets of Macbeth's own place. Ugghh.
As in "Leader" we get another scene of Goliath and friends confronting Owen at the castle. Looking for Xanatos, when in fact Xanatos isn't the threat. It made sense in both episodes. And it's always nice to showcase Owen a bit. But after two of those in four episodes, I wasn't gonna do that again. (At least not until KINGDOM.)
I love the "Macbeth Theme" that Carl Johnson created for the villain, which is featured at the end of ACT ONE.
Macbeth opens the "second scroll" and starts to read Merlin's seal. This caused tons of fan confusion, as he read "Sealed by my own [i.e. Merlin's] hand". No one seemed to get that he was reading that. They thought Mac was saying that he [i.e. Macbeth] had sealed the scroll. Of course that notion renders the whole thing confusing as hell. But it never occured to us that anyone would take it that way.
We also introduce Jeffrey Robbins and Gilly in this episode. Gilly is of course short for Gilgamesh, one of the legendary characters that Robbins once wrote about. It's just a bit odd, because Gilly is a female.
Robbins is a very cool character. Wish we had had the opportunity to use him more.
I like how when Robbins and Hudson are introducing themselves, Robbins gives his first and last name. Hudson says, I'm Hudson, "like the river". An echo of how he got the name. And a reminder that names aren't natural to him. Even if they are addictive.
John Rhys-Davies is just fantastic as Macbeth. I love his speech to Broadway. It accomplishes everything we needed it too. That line about the "human heart" by the way is a reference to the Arthur/Lance/Gwen triangle.
I also love his line: "I'm Old, but not THAT Old." This was a little hint to what we'd reveal in CITY OF STONE. Sure Macbeth's from the eleventh century, but not the fifth or sixth. It's like someone saying to someone my age, "So what did you do during World War II?"
Lennox Macduff. That was a cool touch. Also a hint as to how Macbeth feels about Shakespeare.
I like the Phone Book scene too. Hudson says "Hmm. Magic Book." Robbins replies: "Aren't they all." Great stuff.
By the way, as Robbins goes through the phone book, scanning names, he passes "Macduff, Cameron". One of my college roommates was Cameron Douglas, who was really interested in his Scotish heritage. That was a mini-tribute to him.
My daughter Erin reacts to the fact that Macbeth threatens to use Merlin's spells on Broadway. She points out that Macbeth had promised to let Broadway go after he had the scrolls. She's surprised he hasn't kept his word. My wife at that point reminds Erin that Macbeth is the villain. Erin gets that. But you can tell it isn't quite sitting right with her.
Later when Macbeth DOES let everyone go without a struggle, Erin is clearly not sure what to make of him.
And on one level, that's exactly as we wanted it. Macbeth is a troubled guy -- a hero who's devolved into a villain. A suicidal villain on top of that, though we hadn't revealed that yet. But he is a villain. Later, it's debatable, but here he's taken to being an ends-justify-the-means kinda guy. And even his ends are hazy at best.
I love Broadway's "precious magic" speech. It's so wierd hearing poetry from the big galoot. But that's so Broadway. The soul of a poet. Bill Faggerbakke was a huge help.
And I love Robbins "They are lighthouses in the dark sea of time..." speech. I love that it's not exactly the title. Brynne and Lydia did fine work on this one.
I wonder what happened to that lyre?
I haven't re-watched "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" yet. But we all know that's next, so I thought I'd go ahead and post the memo I sent to Michael Reaves, Brynne Chandler Reaves and Lydia C. Marano, based on the first draft outline they gave me on this story. Here it is, unedited:
Notes on "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time" Outline...
O.K. I'm gonna suggest some major changes here, though not without purpose. Brynne, they come right out of the phone conversation that led us to trade Xanatos & Demona for Macbeth. I don't think we've adjusted enough from the premise to meet our objectives.
THE MAIN OBJECTIVE
Remember, our primary objective is NOT to teach Hudson and Broadway to read. It is to ENGAGE them in the wonder of reading, to convince them it is a worthwhile, rewarding and magical endeavor. To make them WANT to learn how to read.
We discussed that Hudson and Broadway had two very different reasons for not wanting to learn. Broadway thinks it's a waste of time. He's got television, video, movies and a very exciting life. (The latter is the most important. I'm not going to preach the evils of the visual media, which are other legitimate windows into "other worlds", but which cannot and should not substitute for reading.) At any rate, Broadway doesn't see the relevance of reading to his life. This is a major cause of illiteracy among teen-agers.
Hudson doesn't learn for a very different reason. He's ashamed that he hasn't learned already. This is the main cause of continued illiteracy among adults.
I'm not getting a clear distinction between the two characters -- partially, because we're not getting much screen time for Broadway at all. We've got a lot to fit in here, but we still need to have enough time to explore both Hudson and Broadway's very different arcs. I think there's a relatively simple solution. Cut Elisa from the story, (at least for the most part). She's a great character, but she doesn't have a lot to learn from this adventure. We're wasting screen time on her. Make Broadway the V.T.O.L. stow-away instead of Elisa.
We also discussed toning Robbins' role down. I know some of that has been done, but the guy is still coming across as St. Jeffrey to me. He's an integral, not incidental part of the plot. Now normally, I'd cheer about this, but here it's not convincing. Hudson happens to be injured near the house of the one author that Goliath loves and Elisa mentioned, who also happens to be an Arthurian expert, who if not for his blindness, would be the only person who Macbeth could get to translate the scrolls. It's just too much.
I do not believe that after nine centuries, Macbeth needs any mere mortal to translate a book for him. It's not like he has only just now started searching for magic books. If he needed to know a language he didn't know, he has had plenty of time to learn it. If no one could translate the spells, that would be another thing. But the notion that some mortal knows a Celtic language that's a mystery to the immortal Celtic Macbeth doesn't play for me.
Again, I think the solution here is simple. Macbeth doesn't get the scrolls until near the end of the play. After Macbeth's men steal the scrolls, we have Hudson and Broadway steal them back before Macbeth can get his hands on them. Hudson's injured and washes up and into Robbins' lap. Mac's men return without Hudson's scrolls. Mac and his men have to go after them. They track Hudson to Robbins' nest. Now with this change, we don't need Robbins to be the only guy who can translate these spells. He doesn't have to be the foremost authority on all things Arthurian.
In fact, he doesn't have to be the foremost anything. Frankly, he doesn't even have to be Goliath's favorite author. He doesn't have to be famous or collectable. In a way, I think it works against us if he is. What if he's just a relatively average guy. He writes novels that take myth, legend and/or history and try to render them believable and "true". Think Mary Stewart or Mary Renault. He's had some success. Enough to make him comfortable. But he's no Stephen King. He's just a writer operating in relative obscurity. (We can all relate.) I feel strongly that this makes him a better messenger for our purposes. The guy just loves his job. It hasn't made him rich or famous, but he loves it. He gets to do all this research, all this reading, on the period he's going to write on. He writes. (He loves words, and his dialogue should show it -- no easy task, because simply giving him a big, latinate vocabulary won't cut it.) And then he gets a tremendous kick out of knowing that people read what he wrote. It's immortality. And a better kind of immortality than Macbeth's. (I mean, hell, that's why I'm in the business -- fame and wealth would be nice, but what I really need is to live forever.) Maybe he's never even written about Merlin or Arthur before. Maybe this adventure inspires him to. It would be a lot less contrived if all this were true.
Another thing that I think we should cut is Macbeth's little village. I don't know why it's been created. It seems to thematically fit our idea of visiting other places and times through books, but in fact it works against that theme. (As Broadway would say, "Why do I need to read about this stuff, when I can spend an hour at this glorified museum and see it? Not that I like museums.")
PHONE BOOKS, ETC.
Unfortunately, some of my changes are going to force adjustments to all the truly wonderful incidental references and uses that we put "reading" to in this outline, but we need to make sure the tail doesn't wag the dog. Let's get the structure squared away, and then work to fit as many of these as possible back into the show. Or come up with new ones. (Sure, easy for me to say.)
THE SCROLLS OF MERLIN
Let's refer to them as the SCROLLS OF MERLIN, not MERLIN'S JOURNALS. The former is neutral. The latter implies that they are exactly what they turn out to be: a narrative. We want everyone thinking that this is a book of spells. And that's everyone, not just Macbeth. We're tipping our hand otherwise. The treasure is the narrative, but it's a secret treasure. The notion of our gargoyles and all of New York getting hyped for narrative early on, makes the revelation less special. Plus, I don't want to be flagging to our audience from moment one that this is an episode about "LITERACY". Let the audience believe what Macbeth believes: we're hunting a magical macguffin. We'll sneak up on them with our true purpose (and Lord knows we're not being that subtle, so there won't be any doubt about it by the end). That way when Hudson meets Robbins, our audience won't say, "How convenient? Story about reading, and Hudson meets a writer!" They won't know the story's about reading when this happens.
With all of the above in mind, I think we need to be careful about dressing Elisa like Guinevere. It comes across as a fad here, and she doesn't seem the type to go in for a fad. It's not like this is gonna suddenly become standard attire in NYC. Let's not oversell our point, or I'm afraid we won't make the sale at all.
MORGAN THE DOG
Sorry. We already have Morgan the Cop. You need a new name. (Again, I wouldn't chose an Arthurian reference. Let this episode pique Robbin's interest in Arthurana. Up to now he's been writing novels about Beowulf or Gilgamesh.)
Instead of making them mercenaries, let's just give him two specific henchman. Tough and very well-trained. Maybe not geniuses, but definitely not stupid. (Why do intelligent villains always employ such dumb henchmen?) Maybe their real names are Mel and Steve, but Macbeth calls them BANQUO and FLEANCE. A private joke that maybe they don't even get. (When I got to page 10 of the outline I was gonna suggest Banquo and Macduff, until I saw the Lennox Macduff thing on page 11. So I switched Macduff to Fleance. We can still use the Lennox Macduff alias.)
Macbeth has a code of honor. It's flexible, but it exists. He's clearly willing to take prisoners. Hostages and ransom were an established and legitimate part of medieval warfare. But I don't know if he'd hold a knife to someone's head to facilitate his own escape. This isn't a hard and firm note, just keep it in mind. Also, I don't think his men have made a habit of stealing statues for him. After 900+ years, I doubt he'd be that much into material possessions. That's more Xanatos' gig. Macbeth keeps a fine house, but it's easier to buy than steal, and he's very wealthy.
Don't really see any purpose to it anymore.
1. Open with a prologue that shows us the British archeologists discovering the two large scrolls. More exciting than watching a report about it on television. Maybe the underground chamber was sealed magically. (A red herring to get us thinking spell book, instead of narrative.)
2. But now we segue to the clock tower. Lex is reading a newspaper article about the scrolls out loud to the rest of the gang. It seems the Scrolls are coming to NYC for authentification or whatever. Elisa says she and Matt volunteered to guard the shipment of the scrolls, and they got the nod. She admits that it's silly for her to be so excited, after all, she won't get to read them, but the whole thing really intrigues her.
Brooklyn wants to know more about Merlin. He had heard of him even back in the 10th century. He knows Merlin was some kind of 5th century magician, but that's about it. Goliath recommends some books.
(Adrienne, can we recommend a real book? Mary Stewart's THE CRYSTAL CAVE is a wonderful novel about Merlin. I read it for the first time in eighth grade. I'm rereading it now to Erin. I know we usually don't want to appear to be endorsing anything, but given this episode's subject matter, shouldn't we make an exception? Wouldn't this be a public service? We could slip in the titles of a number of good books throughout this episode. They do it on CBS with those "Read More About It" segments. Anyway, let me know.)
Broadway doesn't get it. He doesn't know how to read, and he doesn't see why he should bother to learn. Let's rent the video. They argue a bit. Hudson pointedly refuses to give his opinion, but we don't reveal his illiteracy here. (Let's make a small point of showing Hudson's rapport with Bronx here though.)
Goliath wants to know what the scrolls contain? Elisa says the seals won't be broken until they are authenticated, but the rumor is they might be Merlin's magic spells. Goliath looks concerned.
3. Dark, stormy night. Low visibility. Harbor attack by two VTOLs. Elisa and Matt are guarding the two scroll containers. But Banquo and Fleance outgun them by a mile. They each take one container into their VTOLs. Thank goodness the gargoyles were gliding nearby. (Goliath was worried that the magic scrolls might be a prime target for Demona or Xanatos.) The gargoyles attack the VTOL's. (Maybe Broadway makes a crack: "When your life is this exciting, who needs books?")
In the confusion, Hudson manages to rip open the hatch of Banquo's VTOL. He grabs the container from the shocked Banquo, but Banquo manages to get off a concussion blast that severly wounds Hudson. He's blown out of the VTOL and into the bay, still clutching the water-proof container. None of the other gargoyles see this happen.
Fleance and Banquo hit their turbo buttons and go shooting off into the night. Goliath, Lex and Brooklyn can't keep up, but a flash of lightning reveals that Broadway has managed to dig in and hitch a ride on the underside of Fleance's VTOL. They don't see Hudson, but they assume/hope that maybe he's done the same. They retreat as police helicopters approach the scene.
But Hudson (still clutching the container) is in the water, maybe going down for the last time.
4. Banquo & Fleance land their VTOL's at their boss's compound. (It might as well be Macbeth' mansion from episode -008, rebuilt since the fire.) Banq tells Fleance that he lost his container. "WHAT?! The boss is gonna kill us!" Well, big shot, where's yours? Safe in the hold of my VTOL where it belongs. Well, one scroll is better than none. Let's bring it to him. They go to get it, but the hull's been torn open and the scroll is missing.
5. Down by the docks, Elisa confers quietly with Goliath, Lex and Brooklyn. They are all worried about Broadway and Hudson. Plus this whole theft smells like Xanatos to Elisa. But no proof. So no warrant. Goliath doesn't have that problem.
6. Still raining. Hudson sees the sillouettes of a bunch of gargoyles and heads for them. He just barely makes it to shore. He's hurting bad, and is wildly disappointed when he realizes that the sillouette's weren't Goliath and the trio, but "phonies". He collapses.
7. Goliath, Brooklyn and Lex arrive at Xanatos' castle. Owen's there alone. Goliath insists on searching the place... top to bottom. (At this point in story, we should not feel that Goliath is wasting time. Owen should be ambiguous enough so that the audience WILL think that this is a Xanatos plan.)
8. Back at the Compound's hangar, we find Broadway in hiding, clutching the second container. (And feeling like this "old book" definitely isn't worth it.) Well, Banquo and Fleance are going nuts looking for the stupid thing. Now seems like a good time to bolt for the exit. He goes for it. Catches B&F off-guard and bulls his way past them. Only to be taken down by... the boss. Macbeth.
9. Broadway recovers and attacks. But Macbeth makes short work of him. By now B&F have him totally covered (by high-tech futuristic non-imitatable weapons of course). Macbeth opens the container and carefully removes the scroll. He examines the seal and confirms that the scroll is authentic Merlin and that it is the second of the two scrolls. He doesn't break the seal, because he believes the scrolls contain magic. It's dangerous to get things out of order. Where's the first scroll?
10. Still raining. Robbins and his dog find Hudson, who. is regaining consciousness. Robbins surmises that Hudson was mugged, and Hudson lets him think so. The dog likes Hudson. Hudson says he's good with animals. Robbins appreciates that and is solicitous. Hudson sees that Robbins is blind. He gets an idea. He just needs a safe place to rest 'til morning. Then he'll cease to be any trouble. Robbins invites him inside, offers to help. But Hudson won't let him get too close. They go in.
11. Mac, Fleance and Banquo are in a VTOL, heading back to the harbor. Broadway is there too, in VERY heavy chains. Macbeth's keeping him around until he gets hold of the other scroll. Banquo protests: he blew that old gargoyle away, the other scroll is probably lying on the floor of the bay. Macbeth says it better not be, or Banquo will join it.
12. It's still storming outside. Breathing heavily, Hudson lowers himself into an easy chair and looks around Robbins' home. It's wall-to-wall bookshelves. Hudson doesn't like being here, but he's a bit of a captive audience. There's an uncomfortable silence. On a table near his chair, Hudson picks a medal off a display case. Also on the display case, is a plaque of some kind that clearly reads something like: "ROBBINS RECEIVES PURPLE HEART", but Hudson still asks what it is. Eventually, we get the idea that Robbins lost his sight in the war. (Vietnam? Korea? How old do we want Robbins to be? If we want him to be the same (biological) age as Hudson, we should go with Korea.) Hudson points to his one blind eye, which was also injured in battle. (Against the Archmage in episode #11, but Hudson won't go into details.) The two old warriors have made a connection. Now they can become friends. Robbins asks Hudson what he does. Hudson says he's...still a soldier. Robbins is a novelist. Or he used to be, before he ran out of ideas. He did have a few minor successes. Maybe Hudson's heard of them. Hudson doesn't read much, but he's shocked that the blind Robbins can read and write. Robbins is borderline insulted. Hasn't Hudson heard of braille? Hudson hasn't. Robbins is surprised. He hands Hudson a braille book (one that he wrote). Hudson runs his fingers over the bumps. Robbins then hands him the same book in standard English. Hudson lets slip that the bumps mean as much to him as the chicken scrawl. Robbins puts two and two together. And we find out that Hudson can't read.
13. In the harbor, near dawn, The VTOL searches for some clue. Broadway asks Macbeth what all the fuss is about. Who was this Merlin guy? Just another stupid magician. Macbeth tells him who Merlin was. Tells him about what he, Arthur and Guinevere created. Maybe he quotes Tennyson or Muir. But he's eloquent and evocative, and Broadway listens with rapt attention, perhaps (do we dare?) even visualizing Macbeth's words with hazy images. When Macbeth finishes Broadway says with awe: "You describe it like you were there..." Macbeth tosses off his reply (he doesn't realize the effect he's had on Broadway): "I'm old, but not THAT old. Obviously, I read about it in books." But Broadway can't help repeating to himself: "But you describe it like you were there..."
14. Back at the castle, Goliath and co. have obviously, found nothing of value. It won't be long til sunrise and they dare not stay much longer. Owen enters with the early morning edition under his arm. He's deduced what they're after from the news story. Suggests that the VTOL described in the article has more in common with the kind of vehicle that Macbeth is wont to drive. (Goliath feels like big dumb jerk. But there's no time to fight about it.) Goliath, Brook and Lex leave.
15. Hudson: "I'm too old to learn to read now." Robbins: It's never too late. I had to learn to read all over again, learn to read braille after I was blinded. Hudson: Who would teach me? He's ashamed to tell his friends he doesn't know how. Robbins offers to teach him, but makes the point that Hudson should only be ashamed to continue his illiteracy. There's no shame in learning -- ever. Hudson doesn't respond.
The storm is breaking and dawn approaches. Hudson, still hurt, gets up to leave. Robbins is afraid he's gotten too preachy. But Hudson insists he must go. He goes to the terrace. Takes his place among the gargoyles. Turns to stone, still clutching the scroll container. The dog barks. Robbins calls out to his new friend. But there's no sound, no movement. He doesn't know how Hudson got away so fast, but he did.
16. On the VTOL, Broadway, still in chains, has turned to stone. Macbeth spots the gargoyles of Robbins' terrace. He orders Banquo to head that way.
17. Robbins and his dog hear a noise on the terrace. He calls out "Hudson?", but the dog is growling and he knows Hudson isn't there. It's a man named Lennox Macduff, who claims to be a friend of Hudson's; he's looking for him. Robbins is suspicious. But Macduff is very polite and leaves without incident. What Robbins doesn't see is that Macduff slips the container out of Hudson's stone hand.
18. Sunset. Hudson bursts free. But the scroll container is gone. The noise has again brought Robbins to his terrace. Hudson claims that when he left in such a hurry this morning, he must have left something here accidentally. Has Robbins "seen" it? No, but you're friend Lennox Macduff was here, maybe he took it. Hudson knows no Macduff. Robbins isn't too surprised. He thought the name was odd. The two characters who found the dead king in Shakespeare's MACBETH. Hudson: "Macbeth?!!"
And maybe here is where we get the looking up of "Lennox Macduff's" address in the phone book. (Hudson never saw Macbeth's mansion in Episode 8. Goliath, Brook and Lex did.)
19. Inside Macbeth's compound Macbeth is preparing for some magic ceremony thing. There's a flame pit and other magical acoutrements. Broadway's flesh again, but still bound by heavy chains now anchored to the floors. He'll be Macbeth's guinea pig for trying out Merlin's spells. He starts to open the first scroll.
20. Outside the compound, Hudson is reunited with Goliath, Brook and Lex. They briefly exchange info. Then they attack. But Banquo and Fleance are ready. They're on turret mounted laser cannons that turn and twist like the ones on the Milennium Falcon (or something like that).
21. Macbeth tries to open the first scroll. It has been magically sealed, but a simple spell can break it open.
22. Goliath, Hudson, Brooklyn and Lex defeat Banquo and Fleance. They head inside.
23. Macbeth begins to read aloud from the first scroll. (I'm tempted to say he translates from Latin, but I don't know if that serves our aim. We could ignore the translation question. He reads it to us in English. Which may mean he's translating it for us automatically without bothering to mention that fact. Or we just do what we always have in this series which is ignore the differences between Old, Middle and Modern English, extending it to whatever Celtic dialect Merlin might have written in.) As he reads aloud, it soon becomes clear that it is not a spellbook but an autobiography, a narrative. A history. You get the idea. He's furious. All that trouble for a stupid book.
Hudson, Goliath, Brook and Lex storm in. Macbeth is unprepared, so he flips a release on Broadway's floor chains, but then uses him as a hostage for his escape. (Now I know I said to watch out for this. And we still need to. Macbeth needs to rationalize this. Probably outloud.) Goliath threatens to drop the scrolls into the fire if Macbeth doesn't release Broadway unharmed. (Goliath still believes that this is a book of magic, i.e. a dangerous human weapon.) Macbeth is about to laugh at this threat, when Broadway protests. "Goliath, you can't." Broadway now believes that the scrolls are infinitely precious. Goliath is surprised to hear this from Broadway. Where'd he get this from? From Macbeth. Those scrolls are magic. They can transport us back...all that good stuff. Even Macbeth is impressed. Cautiously, he releases Broadway. He tells the gargoyles they are tresspassing on his property. Take the scrolls and go.
24. The gargoyles wing their way back towards the clock tower. They plan on giving the scrolls back to Elisa, so that she can return them to the museum. Goliath's sure that after the museum has authenticated them, they will be transcribed and published. But if the others want, he can read the scrolls aloud to them, before he gives them to Elisa. But Hudson says no. For a moment, everyone is a bit taken aback. Then Hudson says that he wants to read them himself. As soon as his friends help teach him how. They glide off across the city.
25. Dissolve to Robbins at his house with his dog. He's reading a braille newspaper about the recovery of the Scrolls of Merlin. "Hmmm.... Scrolls of Merlin.... I think I've found my next novel."
And we get our Tuchman quote, probably read by Robbins (Ray Charles?).
O.K. That's it. Let me know if you have any questions or problems.
I really do like this one--maybe just because I have an affinity for cyborgs. At any rate, I was quite glad that we got intro'd to a gargoyle who DID die in the massacre. Yeah, sure he was brought back, but mentally putting that scene in the multi-parter adds another dimension of tragedy to the massacre.
I can more than understand the problem with seeing Xanatos and Demona looking at a monitor one moment, then appearing in Times Square about 3 seconds later. At times like these, I do the only thing I can do: rationalize. I make-believe X and D were in some odd, high-tech, bus-like vehicle (mobile control unit, anyone). It's silly, but it works for me.
Another animation note--in addition to Hudson's sword--when Brooklyn tackles Demona they are below the top cables of the bridge, and before they hit the ground they fall onto and bounce off...the top cables of the bridge. Oh well, the confrontation is still too great for that little bit to ruin.
Oddly enough, I don't mind Elisa's little crack about the size of her car. I actually find it an amusing, sarcastic beat. And yeah, the scarf and gloves are nice.
And of course, there is an abundance of funny lines. In addition to the bit with "Bambi" and Xanatos' fulfillment of a life-long dream ("It's alive! ALIVE!!"), I just love Morgan's little response to Elisa's "There must be something we can do."
Morgan: "I don't think so. Unless you're packing a nuclear weapon." I can see why you keep bringing this guy back--he's a wonderful character.
Coldstone> I was glad Micheal Dorn did a voice on the show. I mean, just listen to the guy! Coldstone himself made for some memorable moments. I noticed that you guys didn't put the "underwater respirator" on him as the memo stipulated. What changed you guys' minds?
The look into Gargoyle culture here was also quite welcome. A nice touch that the gargoyles did not "officially" become crime-fighters until the end of the first season. Kind of more organic and unique than most series that just intro a group of non-human heroes and have them be crime-fighters more or less from day one. And the differences in opinion of the gargoylean proverb between the characters was a nice use of the ep's theme. Goliath's quandry here is quite compelling.
Finally, just one question dealing with the memo. You made mention of a Madame Serena. Who was she?
Re: Underwater respirator. We realized that Coldstone wasn't technically alive. He didn't need an underwater respirator, because he was living stone (or living organic substance that resembles stone) brought back to life. He requires a power source. Oxygen is only necessary for speech, and maybe not even that.
Re: Madame Serena. I'm not sure I remember. She was a character that appeared in the first draft of the outline Michael gave us. She was some kinda psychic or gypsey or witch (or all of the above). But she didn't, in my opinion, fit into this story. And I guess we all quickly forgot about her. The thing is I can't check. I have my notes on Michael's outline, but I didn't keep his outline, so I can't go back to see what exact role Michael had in mind for her. Guess, you'll have to ask him.
I'd like to quickly discuss my feelings about "Awakenings" First of all I didn't watch the show till around "Enter Macbeth" Yup, got a little behind. But I caught the rerun of the first episode and wow it blew me away. I love the animation for that one the most, at least at this momment. About Demona, I knew she wasn't dead, obviously since I started late watching, but I wanted to say even though I hadn't watched the series from the start, I think Demona wasn't shadowed enough in Xanatos' office. Kinda premature re-veiling( I think that's the right word...) of the character. (my 2 cents on that)Now I don't mind the whole " I am demona" I kind of felt "So what?" but what was great was the reddish smoke effect around her, that spiced it up nicely.
To share my personal favorite scenes would have to be Just watching Goliath was fun. He looked so cool. Keith David is just amazing. I couldn't imagine another voice for Goliath. He is a unique man (Mr. David, in my opinion) I also love the caped wings. It looks fantastic when Goliath quickly drapes his wings when he talks to the Princess and Magus about the eggs. Oooh cool! Also after Demona said "Wrong, you've lost it all," the back shot of him lifting his wings up fast to intimidate the guy on the airship before using his tail to smack him. And The whole Goliath Elisa scene where they talk while standing on the Empire state building was just priceless to me. Well my favorites are all but too endless so I'll end this here. Thanks for your time.
My quick question. Just out of curiousity,what is Officer Morgan's first name?
Morgan. His name, as I've mentioned before is Officer Morgan Morgan. He's named after a guy I went to high school with who's full name was Morgan Lord Morgan III. (I didn't know this guy well, but his name always fascinated me.)
And thanks for the kind words.
I re-watched "Legion" the other night. I'll post my Rambling on it sometime this week, but first here's a memo from September, '94, written by me to Michael Reaves in response to Bob Skir & Marty Isenberg's first draft outline on the episode [reprinted here unedited]:
Notes on "LEGION" Outline...
Lots of great stuff in here. I just want to make sure that (1) we're clear on the theme and we milk it for all it's worth; (2) we're not skipping beats that will keep things mysterious and interesting for our audience; (3) we clarify the relationships (and names) a bit, and (4) we divorce it all from the 994 Viking attack.
General notes, in no particular order:
O.K. I'm as well versed in our series as anyone is going to get, and even I found myself confused by (and backtracking because of) our name problem. Coldstone... Pre-Coldstone... Coldstone's Love... Coldstone's Foe... Coldstone's Dyslexia could cause Coldstone's Ulcer. So let's give our "internal characters" names. I would suggest carrying these names into the script for use in character descriptions and stage directions. Use the names to indicate who is controlling the Coldstone creature at any given moment. And when we are in the inner world of Coldstone's psyche they can also be used as headings for the dialogue. The only place where we should not use these names is in the actual spoken dialogue. They are for our designation only, since, as we all know, gargoyles had no names in the tenth century.
COLDSTONE = The cyborg/gargoyle creature currently known as Coldstone and voiced by Michael Dorn. Use this name only when referring to him in the present. Or in stage directions when referring to the external creature. And obviously, this is the one name we can use in spoken dialogue.
OTHELLO = (Hey, we've already done Macbeth.) The situation you described naturally brought Othello to mind. Othello will refer to Pre-Coldstone (also voiced by Michael Dorn) when he is internally depicted as he was in the tenth century.
DESDEMONA = Will obviously refer to Othello's female gargoyle lover. (Please remember that Desdemona was a warrior in her own right. She can justifiably be confused by this new and bizarre situation, but she shouldn't be weak, clingy or changeable.)
IAGO = Will refer to Othello's male gargoyle foe.
The main problem I had with this backstory was its tough-to-swallow interweaving with the Viking massacre. I sense you were trying to explain how all their gargoyle parts got mixed up together. This isn't necessary. I think it's safe to assume that when Demona and Xanatos were gathering parts to create Coldstone, they couldn't find enough usable parts from any single gargoyle. We don't know the magical and scientific details that were necessary to revivify this creature, but I think we can safely assume that neither Demona or Xanatos simply wanted to graft Othello's head onto a robot body. Demona especially would have wanted the creature to be as much a gargoyle as possible. So she found a large chunk of Othello's head and a few other usable pieces. She chose him because the Viking who shattered him was lazy and left some chunks intact, but also because she may have had reason to believe that Othello had shared her negative views of humanity. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough of him to build Coldstone. So she turned around and found a nice unbroken piece of Desdemona. And over here, a piece or two from Iago. Toss in Xanatos' computer parts and you've got yourself a creature. She didn't have to be mixing them together by accident. We can posit that she did it out of necessity.
That gives us the freedom to remove this event from the Viking attack. We don't need to imply that Goliath is distracted by an impending Viking attack (which frankly I don't think he was expecting). And we don't need to sandwich in Othello's pursuit of Goliath on the fateful night. And we don't have to toss Demona into this particular story at all. (It's crowded enough as it is.) In fact, the incidents of this story's flashback could have happened months or years before they were all destroyed by Hakon's men. Let's give ourselves this breathing room.
I think Coldstone only has one voice-box: Othello's. No matter who controls the creature from the inside, from the outside he sounds like Michael Dorn. I'm not simply suggesting this for logic and/or economy (we'll still cast a different actress and actor for Desdemona and Iago in the mind-world sequences), but because I think we'd be missing a bet by not keeping our audience guessing until the third act as to what's causing the odd behavior of Coldstone. When Othello is in control, he will remember the events of "Reawakening". Neither Desdemona or Iago will, and they will react very differently to being awakened in the 20th century. When the computer is in control (i.e. when Xanatos is issuing simple and direct commands), Coldstone will respond like an automaton. But in every case, he will speak with Dorn's voice. This does more than present an interesting challenge for Dorn. It keeps our audience guessing as to what is going on.
However, we have no desire to keep our storyboard artists and animators guessing. Please resist the temptation to write the script as a mystery that only reveals things to the reader when the audience discovers the same truth. We need this teleplay to be a blueprint: as clear and straightforward as possible. We need to track who is in control of Coldstone at all times. (And if the above paragraph goes without saying, accept my apologies in advance.)
The theme of today's adventure is TRUST. And I really want to emphasize it as much as possible. Misplaced trust. Lack of trust. The need for trust. Betrayed trust. All those good trust beats. Goliath puts his trust in Coldstone, who seems to betray it. Othello trusts Iago instead of Desdemona and Goliath. Iago puts his trust in Xanatos. Etc. Etc. Etc. Just at the point where you've put the trust brick through the plate glass window of our audience's attention is the point where we've hit the mark. Anything short of that is liable to get lost in the shuffle of such a complex story. Playing this theme in action and dialogue will help keep us focused.
Goliath's goal is to restore Coldstone to the clan. Goliath misses his rookery brother. Remember, there are so few gargoyles left, that Goliath would value every one.
THE POLICE TICKING CLOCK
Rather than create a whole new character in charge of the police probe robot, I'd like to use Matt Bluestone. It's a bit of a stretch, I know, but there've been episodes of Hill Street where normal everyday cops were given the opportunity to test and evaluate new hi-tech material to see how it performed in real life situations. I think we can buy into it here as well. Particularly given Matt's personality. He's the kind of guy who would study the manuals and learn how to use this stuff. He's seen Goliath and Coldstone battle in Times Square. And he's an odd combination of compassionate idealist and minor paranoid. He might feel that it's better to know how this stuff works than be at the mercy of it. He could get into it.
And once the VR hook-up was "borrowed", he'd be pretty intent on finding out what was going on. He knows weird shit has been happening in Manhattan, but we've kept him an outsider to the world of the gargoyles. Though he's a decent guy, his ignorance makes him a viable threat to our heroes.
SCIENCE, SORCERY & CYBERSCAPE
In the beat sheet that follows, I've tracked the story in the most basic terms. [The science mostly.] But as you noted in your outline, Coldstone was created from both science and sorcery. So feel free to embellish the basics which I describe here. Particularly in the cyberscape scenes. Here, I've laid out only the bare bones to make sure the story tracks. The cyberspace reality should be fluid and changing, easily influenced by the thoughts, emotions and memories of the players involved. (Particularly Othello, but also Desdemona, Iago and even Xanatos and Goliath if appropriate.)
ACT ONE - (The idea in this act is to depict Coldstone under the control of each of his four masters (Xanatos, Othello, Desdemona and Iago) in turn, without revealing to the audience or our characters what exactly is happening.)
1. The George Washington Bridge, just before sunset. Coldstone's red robotic eye burns awake in the muck beneath the bridge. Automatic repair work begins. (Remember, the last time we saw him, Demona blew him away with a cannon.)
Intercut between these repairs and brief flashbacks to 10th century Scotland. Fleeting images of Othello and Desdemona in love. Of Iago sewing seeds of jealousy in Othello while Desdemona confides with Goliath. Of Othello attacking Goliath. Of Desdemona coming between them.
Then repairs complete, Coldstone rockets into the night sky. The creature speaks with Coldstone's voice (Michael Dorn) but in a modulated automaton-like fashion. "Repairs complete. New programming downloaded. Initiating Prime Directives."
[Basically Xanatos has broadcast a new binary code and reactivated the creature. It is Xanatos' computer programming which is now in control. Othello is still dormant.]
2. Goldencup Bakery Building, dusk. (Since this is a fictionalized location anyway, let's relocate it to Manhattan, so that we can pretend that it is located within Elisa and Goliath's "beat".) Coldstone [still under complete computer control] raids the government installation. His approach is anything but subtle. Alarms sound.
3. Clock Tower, just after sunset. Elisa's tosses Lex a headset receiver/transmitter. She tells him that she and Matt had been put on alert and now they got the call. Something's going down and they're going to test "the thing". It's clear from dialogue that they've discussed this already, as Lex is very excited to see how and if "the thing" works. Goliath is curious. What are they talking about? A new police robot probe for dealing with high-risk situations. The cops control it by using a virtual reality hook-up. Goliath: "Virtual... Reality?" This he has to see. He and Lex will follow her by air. They promise to stay out of sight.
4. Back at Goldencup, Coldstone moves like a juggernaut towards the computer room. He does not fight against the building's security forces, he simply ignores all opposition. Finally, he plugs into the computer. Suddenly Coldstone seems to have no idea where he is, what he was up to or why everyone is shooting at him.
[Although we shouldn't reveal what's going wrong yet, the computer virus has begun its attack on Coldstone's programming. It causes the creature to freeze up for a moment, and then Othello wakes up within his own body.]
Not knowing how he came into the windowless room, Coldstone doesn't even know the way out of the building. Well, he may not have the answers, but he can do something about his attackers. He begins to fight back. The humans are driven out.
5. Outside, Morgan tells Elisa & Matt that some kind of semi-robotic creature is pinned down inside. Matt is putting on the VR interface visor. Elisa asks him if he's sure he knows what he's doing. Matt says "Trust me, I didn't study all those manuals for nothing." The probe robot moves in. (Obviously, this thing shouldn't come close to being on a par with any of Xanatos' robots, but let's not make it a push-over either.) Lex and Goliath watch from building-tops, despite Elisa's warnings that they could be mistaken for the "creature". Lex is fascinated with the probe. Goliath is more interested in seeing what kind of creature the probe flushes out.
6. Meanwhile, Matt is getting the hang of the probe robot. At first it doesn't seem to be responding well. It freezes up by a computer bank and the visor goes dark for a few seconds, but then it kicks into gear. The robot approaches Coldstone. Matt tries to get Coldstone to surrender, via his connection to the Probe. But Coldstone's still a 10th century warrior at heart. He won't surrender to some Iron Tree stump (or whatever it looks like). So now it's Coldstone vs. the Probe. The Probe gets in a couple good shots, but soon it's on the ropes. Matt whips the visor off, just before the probe is destroyed. The feedback could be dangerous. (But note, the robot should not be blown to bits, just wrecked.) At any rate, the battle has led Coldstone to an exit (or at least to a small window, which he cannons into an exit). He takes off. Spotted by Lex and Goliath who pursue.
7. Goliath, Lex and Coldstone are reunited. (Maybe Coldstone is defensive and antagonistic until he gets a clear look.) They pause on a building top to talk. Goliath is thrilled that Coldstone is still alive. Coldstone is mightily relieved to see a friendly face. Lex is a bit dissatisfied with Coldstone's non-answers to his questions about what he was doing at Goldencup. But Goliath happily invites Coldstone to join the clan at their new home. They take off. Lex glides up close to Goliath and quietly questions the wisdom of taking a former enemy (and a guy who's acting pretty strange) into their home. But Goliath TRUSTS his rookery brother.
8. They arrive at the clock tower. Coldstone is especially thrilled to see his "Old Mentor", Hudson. Coldstone didn't see Hudson in "REAWAKENING" and is thrilled that Hudson survived the centuries. Nearly overcome with emotion Coldstone says there's only one other that he would be happier to see alive. And suddenly, he begins acting very odd. "Where am I? Goliath is that you? What's wrong with my voice?" That kind of stuff.
[The virus has had a systemic effect on Coldstone. It broke Xanatos' pre-programmed control, allowing Othello to regain control of his body. But as the system continues to break down, other voices are coming to the surface. You could call them ghosts, if you want. But they are the personas "haunting" the pieces of Coldstone that were neither Othello nor electronic. The first to surface is Desdemona, summoned to some degree by Othello's intense emotional memory of her. She has not been briefed on her circumstances and is legitimately confused.]
Somewhere in here, Coldstone catches sight of its own reflection, freaks out and takes off. Goliath and Hudson pursue. Brooklyn and Broadway are about to follow, when Lex stops them. Something's wrong inside Coldstone's head. And he thinks he knows how to find out what.
9. Goliath and Hudson catch up to Coldstone (after a chase?) at Ellis Island. As they approach, Coldstone stands very still, out of breath. Stunned by the huge city of Manhattan.
(Note: somewhere in here, Brooklyn glides toward them, spots them and then instead of landing, doubles back.)
Goliath asks "What's wrong?" Coldstone's whole demeanor changes: "What's wrong? Why, nothing. Nothing at all."
[The enormity of events has weakened Desdemona's hold over Coldstone. Iago has stepped in. The difference is that Iago arrives prepared. He has been briefed by the Xanatos programming. More on this later.]
Goliath hesitates for a moment, but in for a penny, in for a pound. He trusts Coldstone, approaches him openly. And Coldstone takes the opportunity to blow Goliath away.
ACT TWO - (In this act, Coldstone's deterioration continues. The personality shifts come quicker and ultimately don't wait for Othello to vacate control.)
10. Hudson moves quickly to Goliath's side. Good news. Coldstone used his concussion cannon, so Goliath is still alive. Of course, that could change. Goliath and Hudson barely avoid a blast from Coldstone's other cannon. The one that could kill them. Goliath can't understand what's going on, but Hudson points out that he's not going to have a chance to figure it out if they don't start fighting back. So it's a fight.
11. Meanwhile at Goldencup, Elisa and Matt are tying up loose ends. Lex arrives, and via his headset hook-up and her hidden microphone and ear piece, he tells her that the creature was Coldstone and that he's acting really weird. She's not surprised. Coldstone had plugged into a computer usually loaded with military defense secrets. But Goldencup had received a tip that there might be trouble. (That's why the Police had the Probe Robot ready.) But Goldencup took extra precautions, the defense computer was loaded with a new computer virus. It's probably destroying Coldstone's internal programming.
Lex takes this all in and then makes his request. He needs Matt's VR visor and the interface off the wrecked Probe Robot.
12. Back to Goliath and Hudson vs. Coldstone. Just as the tables might be turning, Coldstone's demeanor changes again. Why is Goliath attacking him?
[Iago was afraid of losing. During that moment of doubt, Othello regained control. As yet, Othello is unaware of the changes Coldstone's been going through.]
Now at this point, both Goliath and Coldstone [Othello] are pretty suspicious of each other. Goliath doesn't want to be fooled again. Coldstone says he blacked out at the clock tower. Now he's here and fighting with his rookery brother? He's confused and his head hurts....
And now Coldstone goes through some major mood swings.
[Rapid fire changes from Othello to Desdemona to Iago, etc.]
And now things get really strange. Coldstone can't seem to control some of his body parts. He's arguing with himself -- out loud. (Note: all these voices are still Michael Dorn.)
[Though Othello retains partial control, the other personas are bubbling to the surface as the whole system continues to break down. Now for the first time, Othello can hear the other voices, but it is a cacophony that is driving him nuts. I don't think he yet recognizes them specifically as Desdemona or Iago.]
Some of the voices tell him to trust Goliath. Some say destroy him. Some reiterate the events we saw in the flashback.
The "argument" gets more violent. Coldstone holds his head. He demands silence. He begins to fire blindly in all directions as if he could silence the voices that way. He's losing it. Goliath and Hudson dive for cover.
Suddenly Lex dive-bombs in, smashing into Coldstone and, not-so-incidentally, installing the VR interface hook-up. Coldstone collapses to his knees, begging for quiet.
Brooklyn and Broadway come in for a landing behind Lex. (While Lex was getting the equipment from Elisa, they had been scouting for Goliath, Hudson and Coldstone. When Brooklyn spotted them, he doubled back to tell Lex where to find them.)
Goliath tells them that Coldstone is being destroyed from the inside out.
Lex agrees and holds up the visor. If they want to save him, someone's going to have to go inside to do it.
13. Back at Goldencup, Matt tells Elisa that the VR visor and the hook-up have been stolen. Since secretly she took them and gave them to Lex, she shrugs and says they'll turn up. He's sure they will. This was expensive equipment with built-in homing beacons. He shows her a tracking device. They'll find them, all right. And when they do, he won't be half surprised if they find their creature as well.
14. Back on the Island, Lex is not at all thrilled about Goliath's decision to put on the visor himself. Lex feels that he's the best qualified to handle the technology, which is exactly why Goliath needs him on the outside in case something goes wrong. Goliath puts on the visor. An aura of Electricity and Magic surround him and Coldstone.
15. Goliath finds himself in cyber-sorcer-limbo-space . In front of him is a bridge leading over a swirling vortex [the virus] . There's nowhere to go but across. So he goes. There are already holes in the drawbridge. And the holes are getting bigger.
[The virus is now eating away at the VR interface.]
Goliath realizes that he's going to have to fix this problem, and get back across the bridge/interface before there's nothing left of it. On the other side of the bridge rising out of the cyber-mist is a dreamscape version of the 10th century Castle Wyvern. There are three gargoyles (Othello, Desdemona & Iago) frozen in cyber-stone. And half-hidden in the shadows is another familiar face -- Xanatos. He welcomes a shocked Goliath as we fade to black.
ACT THREE - (Revelation and conflict inside the deteriorating mind of Coldstone.)
16. The vortex is everywhere, and the castle is slowly sinking into it. Goliath demands an explanation from Xanatos, who steps out of the shadows and reveals that his body is full of cyber-holes, and is partially gone. Like the bridge, he is being eaten away by the virus. Xanatos explains that he is not in fact Xanatos, but a computer program with a primary objective to enslave Coldstone to Xanatos' grand design. Goliath is determined to stop him.
Suddenly the three gargoyles explode free of their stone shells. Othello again drops to his knees. Still traumatized. Desdemona runs to Goliath. (She was his rookery-sister, and he would remember her and greet her as such.) Now she fills in the blanks. Xanatos used more than one gargoyle to build his creature. They all live on inside it. But Iago is trying to wrest control of the creature from Othello. He's made some kind of deal with the human (i.e. Xanatos). But she won't let it happen. She loves Othello. Goliath must help her save him.
But meanwhile, Iago and Xanatos haven't been wasting any time. They whisper in Othello's ear. "See how Goliath steals your love away? It was the same 1000 years ago and now, once again, they have betrayed your trust."
Othello turns on Goliath. Knocks him back. Basically, tries to drop-kick him into the vortex.
17. On the outside, a catatonic Goliath and Coldstone seem to reel from the blows of invisible foes. Lex doesn't know what to make of the glowing aura that surrounds them. But Hudson recognizes sorcery when he sees it. Coldstone was created by science and sorcery. It was something Lex hadn't counted on. Then, via headset, Elisa alerts Lex that Matt is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery and that he and the authorities are closing in on them by SWAT helicopter and police boat. They better make tracks. Lex tries to take the visor off Goliath but the aura throws him back. It ain't gonna be that easy.
18. Inside, Desdemona tries to separate Goliath and Othello. Othello: "Again, you come to his defense." But she protests. He is forgetting what happened. 1000 years ago he was jealous of Goliath, but needlessly. Her love for him is eternal and true. And Goliath was not and is not his enemy but rather his brother and true friend. He has been tricked again by Iago. It's a crucial moment. Who will Othello trust? Desdemona & Goliath or Iago & the human Xanatos? Othello will trust his heart. He turns to face his true enemies.
But it's too late. The partial Xanatos is already merging with Iago. Together they are transformed into a Cyborg version of Iago, but giant-sized. The giant Cyborg-Iago smashes Goliath and Othello and prepares to throw them over the ramparts and into the vortex. With his other hand, Iago lifts Desdemona to eye level and invites her to merge with him as well. Then they can finally be together as Iago always knew they should be.
19. Outside, Lex stands watch over Coldstone and Goliath, while Hudson, Brooklyn and Broadway try to sabotage Matt's attack force without hurting anyone or being seen. They cut fuel lines on the choppers. Overturn the boats or whatever.
20. Inside, Desdemona tries to hand Cyborg-Iago his head. She's a warrior and will choose her own love. This gives Othello and Goliath the chance to recover. Now it's the three gargoyle heroes against the giant cyborg-monster. Maybe the castle landscape itself begins to change and mutate into a hollow vision of Coldstone. (They are battling for the soul of this creature-amalgam.) Ultimately, (surprise, surprise) it is the giant-cyborg-Iago that is tossed into the vortex.
But time is running out. Othello and Desdemona insist that Goliath return to his own body before the vortex swallows everything. But what about them? They are finally together. If they can halt the vortex, so be it. If they fall to it, so be that. At least they will be together. The bridge appears. Goliath crosses it, just as it collapses into the vortex.
21. Outside, the magical aura fades away just as Broadway, Brooklyn and Hudson return. Authorities are still coming. Couldn't do anymore without revealing themselves. Goliath removes the visor. Lex removes the interface from Coldstone. For the first time since scene one, Coldstone's red robotic eye dims and fades.
22. Matt and Elisa finally arrive on the island. Matt uses his tracking devise to lead them to the equipment. They find the visor and interface on the ground. The area is otherwise deserted. Not a creature in sight.
23. At Xanatos' castle, Xanatos asks Owen if there were any problems. Besides the minor setback of losing Coldstone, no. Xanatos' Scarab Corp. Robotics Division confiscated the remains of the Probe Robot (including the interface and visor) which they had supplied to the police in the first place. Coldstone was the perfect cover for the Probe Robot to get what Xanatos really wanted: the virus. Forget defense secrets, the virus is the deadliest weapon he knows of. It even defeated the mighty Coldstone.
24. Inside the clock tower, Goliath has installed the dormant Coldstone in the corner. Someday, he trusts, his rookery brother and sister may fight their way to the surface. He wants them among friends when they do.
I'm going to try to be really delicate with this question because I know TGC is a difficult topic for you (and I'm with you. I didn't like the eps either). I was wondering, though, if *your* Jeffrey Robbins really knew that Hudson was a gargoyle? From A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time, I suspected that he would have, since a blind man's other senses are so acute... and especially when Hudson placed his talon on Robbins' shoulder, I thought he had to suspect that his fingers were a bit sharper than a human's...
Not back in "Lighthouse". Why would it even occur to him back then. It's not like he had smelled a gargoyle before and could identify that smell when he sniffed Hudson. (Which sounds kinda rude when you think about it.) And Hudson wasn't touching the bare skin of his shoulder either. You're giving Robbins not just heightened senses but psychic power.
Now after Hunter's Moon. The whole thing changes. Then the idea of gargoyles is in his head. Then, yes, he might put two and two together.
I had a couple of questions regarding the double date you said you planned on sending Elisa and Goliath on.
1)In your mind, would Goliath have been dating Delilah out of any real interest in her as a person, or would it only have been a superficial attraction based on her resemblance to Elisa?
2)Obviously, Elisa wouldn't be thrilled about the idea of Goliath dating anyone. Do you think, however, that she would resent Goliath (either consciously or subconciously) for dating Delilah, who basically looks like a gargoyle version of herself? I ask this mainly due to the events of "The Mirror." Goliath's statment about not recognizing her beauty when she was human, coupled with his reluctance to answer her question as to whether he thought she was ugly, could be interpreted to mean that he only found her beautiful when she had a gargoyle's form.(Granted, I think you stated previously that this wasn't what you meant for him to be saying, but it could be interpreted that way)
3)You said you were considering Jason as a potential date for Elisa. Given the fact that Elisa told him in Hunter's Moon 3 that there was someone in her life who would always come before him, wouldn't it be uncharacteristically cruel for her to then turn around and make him think he had a chance with her after all?
1. I think it would have had a lot MORE to do with the fact that Elisa WANTED him to "see other people, gargoyles, whatever..." Delilah is the only real option in NYC at this time.
2. O.K., for starters, saying "they're dating" is pushing it. Rather, Elisa and Goliath experiment with not seeing each other. Their dates (for this one night) are basically being used a bit. So, yes, I think seeing Goliath with Delilah would disturb Elisa. And frankly, seeing Delilah period is just disturbing for Elisa. But seeing Elisa with another man would also disturb Goliath. They're trying to make the best of their mutual decision that seeing each other is impossible. But let's just say the date does not go smoothly.
And by the way, you're misrepresenting me with regards to "The Mirror". I think in fact that Goliath did NOT find Elisa sexually attractive until "The Mirror" allowed him to see her through a gargoyle's eyes. There was always chemistry there. But it was based on (a) her physical attraction to him and (b) a strong emotional and spiritual connection. After "The Mirror", Goliath also maintained a physical attraction to Elisa. He was no longer blinded by her human characteristics.
3. Would it be any crueler for her to go out with Morgan, who had no idea about her relationship with G? At least Jason wouldn't be blind-sided. Anyway, she isn't trying to be cruel. This is a sincere attempt. As far as her rational mind is concerned, the guy might really have a chance if things work out. I'm not saying there's no potential for cruelty involved. Welcome to the world of dating. But in any case, it's one date. A first date. So let's not over-react.
This is always a fun episode for me to watch just because of Xanatos. To me this seems very much to be his episode. Agreed, the fact that he didn't penalize Owen for having beaten him at sparing was very refreshing (and totally in-character for him, I thought). The scene between him and Goliath is priceless. Usually in "animated action/adventure shows" it is the villain who blows his top and rants while the hero remains cool. Here, just the opposite occurs. It's very nice to see the villain not falling prey to the usual pitfalls and cliches.
And no, when I first saw this I didn't think that Xanatos and the Red Steel Clan were one and the same. When the "robot" began ascertaining the status of his comrades, my siblings and I (we were all watching this episode together) remarked that Xanatos had apparently created a robot that could think. Then our jaws hit the floor when we came to the Tag at the end.
The cliff-hanger of Act I did have less of an impact on me because I knew the thief was Steel Clan, but I still did wonder what Elisa might do, and how she'd explain herself out of it.
Matt left me intrigued. Not so much from his little spiel on the Illuminati, but from the fact that he DID make a good point about partners (you already gave the quote). One would almost expect his type of character to be an idiotic bumbler and/or a complete jerk--comedy relief. I'm glad he wasn't just a one-note character, but actually got to grow and develop along with everyone else.
I also enjoy the scenes of the clan adjusting to their new home. Goliath reading Dostoyevsky (however the heck you spell that). I haven't read any of his works yet, but maybe when the mood takes me.... (Considering what Goliath ruminated on while reading the book--Xanatos, the castle, and so forth--I think I can guess the title of the book).
And of course, SUPERB animation.
Xanatos was always our idea of the hero as villain (not to be confused with an anti-hero). He'd have a lot of very heroic traits, even some our heroes didn't have.
As for Matt, what use would an idiot partner be to Elisa? I respect her too much to saddle her with a fool.
Ah, The Edge…
I just adore that scene where Owen and Xanatos are sparring. The first time I saw that episode though, I thought it was laughable: Owen Burnett in a gi, his glasses and electronic organizer set aside so he can be beat on by his employer. I was quite surprised when he actually won. I looked at Owen a lot differently from that point on. He is, as Demona likes to say, "A force to be reckoned with."
I'm afraid I did guess that the red robot was Xanatos. Still, the part at the end where he removes the helmet is wonderfully dramatic.
It's been a long time, so I don't remember for absolute sure, but I think, since the museum was so dark, I thought it *was* Goliath stealing the Eye. You're right, it seems obvious, but after that scene with him roaring at the news report and the whole clan looking at him in that, "uh oh, he's lost it," kind of way, I thought he was enraged enough to do it.
About Munch's "The Scream" (and this is straight from my art history text): it's in Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo. Don't ask me where exactly that is… but it's not in Manhattan. Sorry.
Absolutely amazing that the Emir was mentioned this early in the series but wouldn't physically appear for another season or so. Were you planning the Avalon eps in that much detail, that much ahead?
I *love* Travis Marshall. He always seems to tell it the way it is… whether it's against public opinion or not.
I'm with Erin. I was on the edge of my seat in the battle scene, seeing this ep for the first time, not as much because of the danger and action, but because I was sure someone was going to damage Lady Liberty. Why did Xanatos choose her as their battle field anyway? Goliath had said before that he probably didn't want anymore damage done to his city…
Thanks, Greg. We love ya!
RE: "The Scream". I've never been to Oslo. I feel like I saw it in Amsterdam. But it doesn't really matter. It could have been a traveling exhibit. Happens all the time.
RE: The Emir. No, we didn't have Grief planned in THAT much detail that far in advance. The point is that little touches don't get by me. That was, I believe a Reaves/Perry throwaway line. But I remembered it. The second time the Emir is mentioned, in season two, I did have Grief in mind.
RE: Travis. I like him too.
RE: Lady Liberty. Sorry, but didn't the Gargs choose the battle sight?
Was Dr. Sato in "Deadly Force" named after Roy Sato, the animator who stops by the Station 8 comment room occasionally, or is their having the same surname just a coincidence?
I'm pretty sure it's just a coincidence. I certainly didn't know Roy back then. And I can't remember who came up with the name... me? Michael? Brynne?
However, it's possible that in looking for the name someone saw a credit sheet from an earlier episode and liked the sound of the name. That would be cool. But it's probably not the case.
As promised, I'll now attempt to recreate the lost ramble on this episode, which I recently watched again with my family.
For those of you who haven't seen it, I refer you to my recently posted "Memo" on this episode dated back in April of 1994. One thing you might have noticed was that the title of the episode was "The Awakening". In the memo, I suggested what I thought was the more appropriate title "Reawakening". Michael liked that idea but had a suggestion that did it one better. He suggested renaming our pilot five-parter "Awakening". I jumped at the idea. At the time, the five-parter was simply titled "Gargoyles, Part One", "Gargoyles, Part Two", etc. I've never liked that sort of cop out where the pilot's title is simply the series' title. Among other things, it lacks imagination. And it's dishonest. By that standard, "The Journey"'s real title should have been "Gargoyles, Part Sixty-Six". So giving our pilot its own title seemed like a very good idea to me.
But there was another reason why I liked Michael's plan. We were working on our last episode of the first season. It was April of 1994, nearly a year before that episode would air. And a good six months before our premiere. There was no way of knowing whether or not there would ever be a SECOND season. And so to protect myself (emotionally) I had to operate on the assumption that their might not be. Obviously, I wasn't going to do anything apocalyptic. I wanted there to be a second season, so I wanted to leave the doorway open for it. So Michael, Frank, Brynne and I discussed the idea of open-ended closure. If there never was a second season, we'd go out with a bang. We'd give some small amount of closure to our characters. Let them reach a turning point. If this was to be it, we'd have created a little 13 episode novel that brought the Gargoyles from the past to the present and renewed (reawakened) their sense of purpose.
Nice. We'd done the open-ended closure thing (to a lesser degree) at the end of what would eventually be called "Awakening, Part Five" and we'd eventually do it again at the end of "Hunter's Moon, Part Three". And I'd do it for myself in my script for "The Journey".
But there are tricks to achieving a sense of closure. And one of the tricks is to create parallels with the episodes that launched your story.
So by retro-titling our pilot "Awakening" and naming our last ep "RE-Awakening" you can see how we gave ourselves a headstart.
But there were other parallels. The flashback to the past, (which we intentionally built so that it could theoretically be edited into the pilot if necessary) included the Magus at his most pre-Avalon obnoxious. Obviously, that flashback also intro'd pre-Coldstone, but it served the purpose of calling those first couple of flashback episodes clearly into the viewers' minds. (The only problem with that scene, is that Hudson has his sword in a couple of the shots. This is a mistake, as any good Garg fan knows that Hudson first acquired his sword in the battle with the Vikings that took place the following night.)
We also did the big event VILLAIN TEAM-UP thing, bringing Xanatos and Demona back together for the first time since "Awakening, Part Five". (I love the exquisite tension that plays between them. They are both SO using each other. When Demona tells Coldstone that X is her servant, you know that she's partly doing that to circumvent Coldstone's questions, but that she also partly believes that it's true.)
We also used Morgan in Times Square in a very similar way to how he was used in "Awakening, Part One" (reiterated in "Awakening, Part Two").
And then there's that moment near the end where Elisa asks Goliath if there's anything he needs. He answers "A Detective" verbally echoing a key moment from their first meeting in "Awakening, Part Three". That still tickles me.
Obviously, Frank and I both worked overtime to pay homage to the classic Universal "FRANKENSTEIN" movie. I can say "pay homage" with a straight face (as opposed to rip off) because we so clearly acknowledged the source. Frank's art direction of the lab. X's line: "It's alive! Alive!" (Wonderfully undercut by Jonathan Frakes' reading of the follow-up "I've always wanted to say that.") And the whole idea behind Coldstone. (More on this when I eventually ramble on "Legion".)
Coldstone would be our Frankenstein's monster. Pieced together. Gargoyle & Machine. Reanimated (reawakened). I even love the Coldstone name. And wasn't Michael Dorn's sepulchral tones just perfect for the role?
And Goliath's reaction is so multi-faceted, so Dr. Frankenstein... [You know Goliath's response to his brother here, would be echoed later in his response to his "son" Thailog in "Double Jeopardy". Initially, Goliath's simply repulsed by what he sees, calling Coldstone "an abomination". But given a bit of time, Goliath quickly sees past appearances and attempts whole-heartedly to save his brother. He'll go through the same changes with Thailog. Well... at least we (and Goliath) were consistent.]
Snow. It started snowing in "Her Brother's Keeper" and now the city is blanketed in the stuff. (And doesn't Elisa look cute in her scarf and gloves.)
Brooklyn's still pissed off at Demona, specifically and sarcastically asking if she has anymore "spells to save you now". In fact, we wanted to make clear that the spell used to resurrect (reawaken) Coldstone was one of the spells she tore out of the Grimorum in "Temptation". Instead, we cheated a bit. By having her tell Xanatos that the "Cantrips have already been spoken" it saved us the trouble of getting another spell translated into Latin. We were either lazy or short on time or -- most likely -- both.
Following out of "The Edge", and until the helmet comes off at the bridge, the gargs assume that Xanatos in his armor is simply another Steel Clan Robot. The next upgrade. The red model. They have no idea it's actually Xanatos himself in armor.
Small observation: Mirrors don't fare too well in the Gargoyles Universe.
Emotionally, I think the story is very successful at taking the audience through Goliath's spiritual reawakening. I love how he starts out pensive and brooding, listening to that great exchange between the trio and Hudson, realizing that all of them have lost track of their true purpose. Hudson recites the Gargoyle credo merely as an excuse not to go out in the cold. (And I love Thom's reading on Lex's "We don't even live in a castle anymore" response.) The trio are clearly missing the point, but methodical thinker Goliath isn't sure he remembers what the point is either.
And that dovetails SO nicely with Elisa revealing the Police motto "Protect and Serve". The police motto/gargoyle credo connection is so perfect, it struck me even at the time as further proof that we were tapping into something very true in our little fictions. (And don't cops -- for better and sometimes for worse -- act just like a clan?)
From there, Goliath moves past the notion of simply being a reactive character, struggling only to SURVIVE one crisis after another. Now he will strive to be proactive. To rededicate (reawaken) the clan toward their original life purpose. Extending the term "castle" to Manhattan island was always our plan. Even that was intentionally primitive in our view. Goliath doesn't protect New York City. Not all five burroughs anyway. That's beyond his medieval scope at this still-early stage. He can get his head around protecting an island surrounded by water. Not the whole world. But eventually, the plan would include expanding the clan's definition until Castle Earth was the only thing that made sense. Of course, that might not have been fully realized until 2158. But we'd have gotten there. And the World Tour was part of that process too.
(Besides Hudson's sword...)
--One line in the ep. that for some reason still makes me cringe is Elisa's "My car's big." It just seems awkward to me. Not sure why.
X & D watch Coldstone's progress from the castle. Almost instantaneously they're at Times Square. We always knew we were just skating by on that.
Goliath & Coldstone go into the water at the bridge TWICE within the span of a couple of minutes or so. The first time, Goliath nearly drowns. The second time he's completely uneffected (physically) by the experience. We get away with it because the second time he's diving in on purpose. But just the fact that we had to dunk them both twice is an awkward construction (and my fault). At least, Goliath looks good with wet hair.
Some really graceful animation here. Goliath has some great moves, and I love that moment when Matt and especially Elisa are diving into the snow, out of the way of the car that Coldstone has just thrown... And speaking of that scene...
TIMES SQUARE SEQUENCE
There's some very interesting, fun stuff here besides what I've already mentioned about it above. A sampling:
Explosions in Bambi. :)
Demona's Clan: Herself, Coldstone, a Steel Clan Robot and Xanatos in Gargoyle Battle Armor. It's so twisted. I love it.
Goliath's very smart here. He doesn't want the fight to take place in public and basically convinces Xanatos to take his side on the issue by flattering him. Goliath refers to Manhattan as "your city" (i.e. Xanatos' city), this despite the obvious fact that Goliath does NOT regard Manhattan as Xanatos' personal property. And Xanatos, usually immune to such stuff, falls for it -- maybe BECAUSE it comes from the ultra-sincere Goliath.
I also am very fond of the Mr. Jaffe book-ends. I think they're a lot of fun. And I love how Matt talks about Mr. Jaffe. It gives us insight into Matt's character, his background, his youth. His empathy for Jaffe really helps humanize him. Matt was always eminently human.
Signing off now...
"Because six monsters just told me to..."
Just read your comments on "Awakening Part 4".
I've got to admit, when I initially watched this episode I was surprised by the amount of personality imbued into the Commando Leader (the as-yet-unnamed Bruno). Normally, guys like him only get a couple lines (mostly commands) and then get taken out. I liked the fact that Bruno actually showed something beyond this. POINTLESS PIECE OF TRIVIA: "Bruno" means "brown-haired" and if I'm not mistaken, in later eps, Bruno's hair is shown to be brown. Intention or coincidence?
On another note, the only other Commando who stood out was the female (mostly because she was the only female there--but also she seemed the most aggressive and lasted the longest next to Bruno). I could be mistaken, but was she voiced by Kath Soucie?
Anyway, yeah, I liked how Elisa looked without the jacket, too (I type with a lecherous grin). Personal note: for some unexplainable reason I always liked how Elisa looked in the sweater as opposed to the T-shirt. But that's just me.
Your note about "Rover": Dang, now I'm depressed. That really kind of gives those two scenes a poignent (sp?) sense of tragedy. Was that intentional?
Elisa and Goliath's budding relationship: Oh yeah, I definitely started seeing it here. Initially, I must admit, I resisted it slightly (mostly because I knew Demona was alive and I DID NOT know the extent of her nastiness). Come to think of it, I think I pretty much followed Goliath's path in this love-triangle. I liked that flow.
Gotta agree with you on the "wing-embrace"--that was some nice animation and a logical gesture with a winged race. I could see here that Demona was schemeing, but yeah, her joy at the meeting the clan did seem genuine. Probably was in a way.
As for the as-yet-unnamed Vinnie--I agree, that is a GARGANTUAN schnozolla (I crave pardon from anyone I offend with that last statement). Admittidly, this affects my suspension of disbelief somewhat when it came to "Vendettas", but hey, it was nice seeing someone else who suffered because of the escapade in the fortress.
Personal observation: Brooklyn's role as leader of the Trio seems the most apparent here than in any of the previous episodes (save for his first appearance in Part 1). I still laugh at that "Yo Taxi!" scene and smile at their stories of the city.
Re: Kath Soucie doing the female commando. It's likely she was, but I don't have my credit sheet with me.
Re Bruno's name: coincidence. Cary Bates named him, and I doubt he knew Bruno's hair color.
You mentioned your friend Tuppence Mcintyre (I hope that I got the spelling right) who's a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles. Is there any connection between that being her profession and your having made Margot Yale an Assistant District Attorney in "The Journey", or was that just a coincidence? (Not that I seriously think that you'd have made a friend of yours that much of an inspiration for Margot, mind :)
It's Macintyre. Mac, not Mc. And no, I didn't model Margot on Tup. For starters, when Michael Reaves first created Brendan & Margot, I didn't know just how important they were going to be down the road. "The Journey" wasn't even a glimmer in my eye back then. Margot's occupation became an issue only at that point. I tend to think that she would have been an A.D.A., even if I didn't know D.D.A. Macintyre.
On the other hand, I did model a character after Tup. Her name was Tuppence MacRae and she was Plastique's lawyer in one of my last issues of Captain Atom. The judge in that comic was modeled after Bruce Cranston, my boss at Disney at the time. This was back when I was still working simultaneously for Disney and DC. (Note: when I say modeled, I don't mean visually, since I didn't draw the pictures or supply photo reference. I just let the "models" guide me when I was writing the dialogue.)
By the end of this episode, everyone is happy.
Both Goliath and Xanatos are afraid they've lost their edge. Both are convinced by the end that they've regained it. Both are at least partially deceiving themselves. [One of the little ambiguities that I love about the Xanatos tags is that one way to interpret them is that David is just full of it. He loses, but claims victory anyway.]
But David is just so lovable in this episode. You gotta love the villain who does NOT penalize his subordinate for beating him in a judo match. And he has such great audacious dialogue (kudos to Michael Reaves and Jonathan Frakes). A few approximate samples:
--"I'm the best friend you have."
--"If you're going to be picky, we won't get anywhere."
--"You're taking this much too personally."
And those were all in one scene. A scene where he's just standing out there awaiting their arrival. I mean, a guy as busy as he is... Is that confidence/arrogance or what?
And he's not afraid to get his hands dirty. Giving X the armor was essential. Up to this point, David had been only the brains. But to be a true reverse-hero, he had to be a warrior as well. Here we showed he had what it takes to mix it up. But always without being stupid. Question: How many of you knew the "red robot" was Xanatos in armor before the tag? Of course, now it seems obvious, but what about the first time you saw this ep?
And yet Elisa "Wouldn't want his karma." What goes around comes around. All that arrogance, had to receive some commeuppance. (Can anyone say Oberon?)
One thing that I thought was TOO OBVIOUS was the Steel Clan theft of the EYE OF ODIN. I would have preferred if that scene had been more ambiguous in Act One. Preferred that the audience maybe think that the Robot WAS Goliath, so that when Matt takes aim at the cliffhanger, we think he's going to shoot Goliath. The cliffhanger doesn't really play as is. Only Elisa is fooled, not the audience.
Everyone wonders why Xanatos donated the Eye to the Museum of MODERN Art. (Maybe because it had mediocre security, but adequate security cameras.) But what I want to know is whether or not Edvard Munch's "The Scream" is really at that museum?
Speaking of THE EYE, I may have mentioned that this was actually the idea of the Disney interactive video game people. We wanted to be synergistic, and I kinda liked the whole idea, so we put it into the show. It was another of our step-by-step additions to the continuity. Intro it as a minor maguffin. A dewdad for Xanatos. And build from there, with the eventual plan to actually make it Odin's eye. At some point in all this, we completely forgot that the idea came from the interactive people. We went back to see them months and months later and were reminded. Luckily the concepts hadn't gotten too far away from each other. But the design did. Unfortunately, our design wound up looking a bit Egyptian for my tastes. The Interactive design had a great Raven motif. (Oh, well.)
New characters (more or less):
A cameo by Derek.
The first mention of the Emir.
The first appearance of Travis Marshall. Michael and I worked this guy out together. He wouldn't be one of those fluff journalists. He'd be old school. He wouldn't whitewash David, just because the guy was a rich man. We always made sure to give Travis that edge. And still, I always felt we underused him. In this episode, Matt gives him a lift in Derek's chopper. Matt says, "You owe me one." Eventually, I'd like to see Matt collect on that favor in a story focusing on the two of them.
And speaking of Matt...
The first real appearance of Matt Bluestone. This guy was largely Michael Reaves' creation. (Although the "Bluestone" name was one of our earlier choices for Elisa's last name. After Chavez, Reed and Chavez, but before Maza.) At first, I admit I was dubious about him being a conspiracy nut. But it so worked. And this was the first time I ever worked with Tom Wilson. He's just so great. And so damn funny to have in the booth. (I love him in FREAKS & GEEKS.)
Matt & Elisa discuss the Illuminati, UFO's and Loch Ness. I love how dubious she is, with her inside joke: "Believe me, the world's strange enough as it is." Little does she know.
But my favorite thing about Matt is that ultimately he's a healthy influence on Elisa... "Maybe that's when you need one [a partner] the most." He's just a really good guy.
As usual, characters keep their promises. Matt vows to find out what those creatures (the gargs) are. And by God, eventually he does.
More on continuity...
Elisa's only JUST coming back to work. In cartoon terms, the fact that we waited this long after her gunshot wound, was a relative eternity. The height of cartoon realism. It doesn't seem like very long, but months passed between the original airings of DEADLY FORCE and THE EDGE.
And Chavez won't let her go back on the job without a partner. Michael conceptualized Matt -- after I mandated the creation of Elisa's partner. Cops have partners. It is one of the defining things about cops. When cop-shows show cops working solo, it always bugs me. I felt we got away with it for a bit. But it was time to make Elisa a more real cop. And that meant a partner. Not a bad guy. But someone who could potentially cause her trouble. And yet still really be her partner.
Broadway is still very solicitous toward Elisa. Taking the tv from her. It's sweet.
The show is gorgeous to look at. (Thanks Roy, et al.)
I love Lexington's line when he regains consciousness: "We're still alive. How come?"
Watching the show this time, my daughter was very nervous that the Statue of Liberty would be damaged in the battle between our gargs and the Steel Clan. But when Broadway nailed one robot by impaling him with a metal claw from the other robot, Erin said, "Nice one."
Goliath is reading Dostoevsky. Are you?
Another ramble as I review the entire series. Comments welcome.
"Deadly Force". I have to admit. I never liked the title. It always sounded too generic to me. Michael Reaves pointed out how appropriate it was, but "Temptation" had already given me a taste for one word titles. I came to prefer those, unless I was given a damn good reason not to.
The third episode of our trio tryptich. Broadway. Broadway and Goliath. Broadway, Elisa and Goliath. But this episode represents so much more.
If you were watching the series in '94 during it's original run, and you didn't already think, "Hey, this is different." Then by the end of Act One of "Deadly Force" you knew. I don't know if there's ever been a cartoon like "Deadly Force". A mainstream media production. We had had up to that point a few fairly shocking cliffhangers, a few fairly shocking events, but what equals Broadway pulling that trigger, the suddenly "empty" kitchen and Elisa lying in a pool of her own blood as we fade to black and cut to a commercial?
Where do I start? With pride, I guess. I am extremely proud of this one.
Guns. My personal stance on gun control isn't an issue. Not in this episode. This is about something that I think every even vaguely intelligent person can agree on. Guns aren't toys. Guns aren't "cool", no matter how they're depicted in the media. Guns demand respect. Elisa is at fault. Broadway's massively at fault. Because neither held enough respect for the weapon. (Now one might argue that Elisa lived -- nominally -- alone. It didn't occur to her that she needed to be more careful with her weapon. But it should have. She's a cop. She should know better.) As I write this, as I watched the episode tonight, my head is of course filled with thoughts of the six year old boy who yesterday took his uncle's gun to school and shot a six year old girl, killing her. And I don't want to sound arrogant. But I am angry. And I feel like this episode could really help people. That parents should HAVE to watch this with their kids. Required viewing. And the fact that Toon Disney won't even air it...! I'm furious. Simply furious.
Guns are the least of it. We wanted to send a message about repercussions. Real world repercussions. I wanted our series to be ABOUT repercussions. Demona and the Captain betray Wyvern. There are repercussions. You can't fix things. You can't go back and change it. That's why time travel in the Gargoyles' Universe has such STRICT laws. Without those laws, you remove the dramatic law of repercussions. The real world law that actions have repercussions. This episode was our ode to repercussions. The guns were just our means to an end.
Still, guns would be our medium and the episode is laced with them. With gun imagery. With gun language (e.g. Chavez referring to Dracon's alibi: "He's bulletproof.", etc.). I don't think the episode is too pedantic. I hope it's honest. Probably the most dishonest thing in the story was that Elisa DIDN'T die. Forgive me for that. But I couldn't let her go just then. Still, I think we gave our audience a bigger scare in this one then in most of the other episodes combined. Maybe she would die. There's a sense of scary (again real world) vulnerability in this. And we tried to make her injuries and suffering as realistic as possible. We weren't doing E.R. (or St. Elsewhere, since E.R. didn't exist back then), but we did try to make the medical stuff play true.
All this makes me proud. Proud of what's on the screen.
But there's a whole other side to the making of this show that makes me proud. For what isn't visible on screen. For teamwork. This is a story that seemed to need to be told. Most of the springboards for the 66 chapters came from me, but this one was waiting for us. My bosses Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston were behind the story from the start. Michael Reaves wrote an amazing script, and my God the thing is beautifully made. No one balked. Not our S&P executive. Not our bosses. No one. Think about how amazing that is? We had one of our young heroes pick up a very REAL gun and shoot our female lead in her own kitchen. That's pretty intense.
And fairly rewarding. Even our publicity department saw the value in this one. They got advance copies and sent them out. We had (always had) phenomenally good reviews. But this episode brought us praise from the kind of parents groups that most action cartoon shows usually fear. People got it. They got it. Dr. Madeline Levine wrote a book called "Viewing Violence". It's a fairly sobering study of the effect of modern media on impressionable minds. Disabused me of a few notions, I'll tell you. But she praises GARGOYLES, specifically this episode, in her book. People got it. But not TOON DISNEY people, I guess. They show a huge lack of respect for everyone who worked on that show. Everyone who did or might benefit from it.
(Re: The pool of blood. When it first came back from Japan, the pool of blood was much larger. We pulled it back by calling a retake. This wasn't cowardice on anyone's part. This was us trying to get our message across. We didn't want kids goofing on the pool of blood. Interested in the pool for the pool's sake, so to speak. We wanted enough blood there to make it real. To scare everyone. But we didn't want the pool to be distracting. And also we didn't want to imply that Elisa had already bled out.)
Broadway - First and foremost, this was still designed to showcase Broadway. All our nobler aspirations wouldn't matter if you walked out of this episode still thinking of the big guy as an eating machine and nothing else. So let's start by praising Bill Faggerbakke and voice director Jamie Thomason. Bill's performance is wonderfully poignant without falling into bathos.
And man, who is the scariest gargoyle when angered? Goliath? Demona? How about a vote for old Broadway? Guilt and anger tear him apart, and no one's safe. He PALMS Glasses for God's sake. He's young but maturing fast. I only had vague notions of Angela at this time. And I sure didn't know they were destined for each other. But I can see it here. The child who's done something so bad he's afraid to go home, ultimately taking responsibility for actions too horrible for most of us to face. Amazing strength of character.
Elisa - A secondary purpose (tertiary?) was to demonstrate that Elisa was a real human being, with real connections. A real life. She has a boss (introducing Maria Chavez), an apartment (introducing the loft), a cat (introducing Cagney). And she wasn't born a twenty-something police detective. She has a family. A father (introducing Sgt. Peter Maza), a mother (introducing Diane Maza), a brother (introducing Derek Maza) and a sister who's away at college (we even get a photo peak at Beth Maza). This wasn't some cypher who existed only to facilitate things for the Gargoyles. This was a woman whose life extended beyond their reach. A woman who now lived in TWO worlds. With two sets of hospital visitors.
Elisa's ethnic/racial make-up parallels actress Salli Richardson's, who has both African American and Native American ancestry. This is where serendipidy played a roll. We'd later get stories out of her multi-racial background. And it paralleled the inter-species romance we were preparing to build slowly. Sometimes, everything just goes your way.
Goliath - He says he'll find the man who shot Elisa and "Make him Pay". We didn't have to say "kill" there. Again, because this early in the series, we could all easily believe that Goliath could kill. And in fact, when Broadway tells Goliath that he "can't" kill Dracon, Goliath's response is: "You think not?" All the gargoyles had an edge of danger. We may have lost some of that along the way. It's natural. You get to know characters, you stop feeling tense around them. But here, both Goliath and Broadway go a little berserk. And we don't know how they'll act.
And Goliath already loves Elisa. It's so clear to me. The way he touches her hair. The way he reacts to her being shot. He loves her. He doesn't know it yet. But it is SO there. That moment when Goliath tells Broadway that they should go see Elisa, and Broadway is thrilled because he thinks that means that Elisa survived. And then Goliath stops. Because he realizes he isn't sure if Elisa is still alive. It slays me.
And meanwhile, Goliath is adapting fairly fast to the modern world. He clearly got his head around the idea that Xanatos was put away for possessing "stolen property", so he leaves the busted gun in Dracon's lap to make sure Dracon goes away too. He says as much. Not bad for a medieval gargoyle.
And this whole episode is a character-fest. Besides the above mentioned Family Maza, etc. We bring back Bruno, head of Xanatos' security. This was intentional. Establishing that the commandos from episode 2 were just Xanatos' security team being given an unusual assignment.
There's Dracon (pre-stripe) with Glasses and even Pal Joey. Rocky Caroll really brought Glasses to life. I like him. And Dracon, well, I just love his old-fashioned "noive". Calling Elisa "Honey" and "Sugar". Sending Glasses off to sell guns right in front of her. He's pretty fun in this episode.
Owen is incredibly cool. You can really see the Mr. Smithers influence in this one. Times ten. He fights, he negotiates. He manipulates. He's a phenomenal proxy for Xanatos. A true trickster with a low burning flame.
We also introduced Doctor Sato. I always planned on using him more. We just never found the story. Too bad. I liked him a lot.
And we cameo Matt. Originally, Chavez's driver was going to be Morgan. But we had already started work on "The Edge". We knew Matt was coming. So we decided to preview him here. Just a nice little touch for anyone paying attention.
I'd love to know a little bit more about the movie "Showdown", a black and white western that was premiering in 1994. A score by Ennio Morricone (channeled through Carl Johnson -- a guy who doesn't get enough praise for the stunning work he did on the show). And the movie seemed to be a hit. Go figure.
And what about that movie theater. The balcony is closed. But they're storing bags of pre-popped popcorn. How old was that stuff?
Finally, Owen is very specific about the 37 missing weapons. Early on, I tried to keep count. To allow Broadway to eventually account for every one of those guns. But that was one detail that got away from me.
[More rambles on individual episodes. As usual, I encourage you to post your responses here.]
Part two of our trio tryptich. Brooklyn looks pretty cool in this one. I have to admit, I didn't realize what a break-out star Brooklyn was back then. I mean I liked him, but I didn't yet realize how much he would really capture a huge chunk of fandom's imagination. (Of course, back then the show hadn't aired yet, so there wasn't any fandom.) But seeing this episode in hindsight, you can sure see how cool this guy was. Good-looking with the hair and the muscles and everything. Even the snout adds to the look.
And he's so sympathetic too. Yes, he gets "turned" by Demona. But he immediately realizes that what she's doing is wrong. He admits his mistake and tries to correct it. He's such a good guy. Later, of course, I'd recognize the star power and attempt to give him his own series: TIMEDANCER.
Back then, of course, I had really modeled the ensemble nature of the show on HILL STREET BLUES. Goliath was my Frank Furillo. Everyone would get their own stories, but Goliath carried the weight. So, although the tryptich was designed to deepen the characters of the trio, you can see that each episode also prominently features Goliath. THRILL: Lex & Goliath. TEMPTATION: Brooklyn & Goliath. DEADLY FORCE: Broadway & Goliath. (And later, LONG WAY TO MORNING: Hudson & Goliath.) Don't get me wrong, I don't regret this at all. I think those are all great stories, and without Goliath they would not have worked as written. But I think the design of them betrays a bit of insecurity. We weren't sure if the other characters could carry their own episodes alone. The nice thing about the tryptich (and LONG WAY) was that it proved to us what a strong ensemble of characters we had built.
Lex has some real attitude here: "You rode a horse once, does that mean you could build one from scratch."
The motorcycle is interesting. It was one of three toy driven elements we consciously put into the show. (The others were in "Her Brother's Keeper" and "Eye of the Storm".) It was a rare moment of Kenner and Disney being in semi-synch. And the toy actually looks like the motorcycle. But of course, what the hell were we going to do with a motorcycle? How could we make that an on-going element in the show. Sure Batman has a batmobile, but the garg-cycle just sounds silly. So we put it in, but Michael, Brynne, Frank and I are so subversive that we blow the thing up before the end of Act One. Kenner never said anything. I'm not sure if they ever saw the episode. (But we weren't being very good partners.) But what goes around comes around. I'll tell the flip side of this when I ramble on Keeper and Storm.
S&P required that Brooklyn wear a helmet when riding. That was fine with me, but I wanted to make an effort to make it organic. Brooklyn puts it on because it's "All part of the look." Helmets make it cooler. Thus helmets are cool. Thus kids will wear their helmets. Aren't we sneaky?
Also, Brooklyn loses yet another pair of sunglasses.
Morgan's back. But he litters. That always bugged me. Talk about setting a bad example.
And is that Margot Yale's actress sister on the television sitcom saying, "Who do you think you are... Elvis?" [Add laugh track here.]
"Kindred Spirits" - Brooklyn quotes Lex from Thrill and attempts to make the same kind of connection with the bikers that Lex attempted with the Pack. With similar results. Later, Demona refers to Lex's little adventure with the Pack. This was the moment when Michael Reaves and I decided to attempt to treat the series as episodic but sequential. The order of the episodes would matter. Yes, you should be able to enjoy any individual story... but viewing is enhanced when you see the shows in order. This was not an obvious decision. Most shows REQUIRE that episodes are airable in ANY ORDER. We had that requirement too, up to a point. But we wanted to add something more. To play with continuity. With evolving lives. This wasn't an issue in the pilot five parter. Of course, that had to air in order. And then there was Thrill. Just the first one we made after Awakening. That aired next. But we didn't think about it. But here, we had to decide. So we opted for an episodic but sequential series. (My favorite kind.) We referred to previous conversations. (Elisa's still pestering Goliath about the Xanatos-ticking clock.) And we laid pipe for future episodes, by having Demona rip a few spells out of the Grimorum. (At the time, I didn't even know what those spells were for. But I knew she had them. I knew we'd use them.) We had Demona admit she had lied about how she had survived to the present. Etc. Anyway, all this continuity would later bite us on the ass a bit. (I'll talk more about this when we get to "ENTER MACBETH", which forced us to slightly change our M.O. for season two.) But again, I have no regrets; I think it's one of the things that makes the show special.
Meanwhile, how did Demona know about the Pack & Lex? Although the pact with Xanatos clearly hasn't been broken yet (not till CITY OF STONE, obviously), she also doesn't exactly have free run of the castle. She has Brooklyn steal the book. Of course, she wants Brooklyn complicit. And it's hard to sneak around the castle, when the Gargoyles (at least think that they) are the proprieters. I just always wondered whether Demona might not have been following Lex & Goliath around throughout that entire Pack battle. Or whether, Xanatos just phoned her and told her. Obviously, the former is much more interesting.
Another great looking episode that we didn't fully appreciate at the time. Lots of great little touches. I love when Demona casts her spell, and then closes the Grimorum with one last flash of magic. So cool. And, as I said, Brooklyn really looks great throughout.
But there are a couple things...
The bikers approach Brooklyn. They get very close, and he's not in shadow. But they don't notice he's a "monster" until he takes off his helmet. What?! The snout didn't give it away?! That scene continues to drive me nuts. I just hate how it was staged.
And when Elisa's lecturing Goliath she is wagging her index finger in his face. That's annoying enough. But worse, the finger seems to get longer (like Pinocchio's nose) the more she wags (or nags). It's sorta mesmerizing. In that scene, I can't see anything else.
I love how Marina Sirtis' voice bristles when Brooklyn mentions Elisa to Demona. Demona/Marina forces herself to say that the Detective may be "The exception [to human evil] that proves the rule." It seems sincere, but I really hear the hatred underneath.
Elisa tries to talk Goliath into leaving again. This time, she's got an idea where he can go. (So although that seems to be a repeat of their conversation from THRILL, we actually advanced that plot too. Weren't we smart?)
[And yes, I realize that all these rambles sound incredibly arrogant and immodest. I'm sitting here praising me and my team's own work. But what can I tell you? I do really like it. And I figure you guys might still be interested in my -- totally biased -- observations.]
Anyway, I love how what Elisa's saying to a very close-minded Goliath plays right into what Brooklyn heard from Demona. Brooklyn tries to argue Elisa's point. Putting Elisa and Demona, ironically, on the same side. Kudos to Brynne and Michael. It's a great little scene. Of course it ends with Brooklyn and Goliath turning to stone mid-argument. Just like Lex & Goliath did in the previous episode. Frank came to me and warned me not to do that again. Twice in two episodes was enough. At least for a while.
I also love Goliath's lines about "half-truths that [Demona] has thoroughly embraced."
Goliath just loves saying "Joy-Ride". It seems so pleasant.
Lex's double take reactions to finding out the motorcycle was blown up.
Elisa's "Thanks, I think." reaction to Brooklyn saying that he knew that she at least was a worthwhile member of the human race. Brooklyn still isn't quite free of prejudice. A work in progress.
The DEAD BODY. I held my breath on that one. We've got a chalk outline. And a corpse in a body bag. I was sure S&P would balk. But Adrienne was great. She saw that it was important to the story. And since we didn't dwell on it or explain it, she figured little kids wouldn't get it and/or be traumatized. As you can see we had a great working relationship with S&P. I mean, a DEAD BODY! It still shocks me.
Did Demona pay that family to perform their little scene for Brooklyn? I didn't think so at the time. But now I'm suspicious.
Brooklyn has a perfectly innocent line about the Cloisters being a place like the "world we came from" or something like that. Meaning of course, the medieval time that they came from. Once this aired, I immediately start seeing e-mails claiming this as evidence that Gargoyles are from another planet. This misapprehension may be one of the reasons I so quickly got involved with fandom.
Did we cheat? Elisa solves Goliath's slave-spell problem by using the spell to unhex him. I love that little bit. But Michael Reaves and I had a long back & forth discussion where we debated whether we were cheating the audience. (I seem to recall that at different times he and I both came down on both sides of the argument.) We finally decided to go for it. And again, no regrets. I do think it worked. And we sort of both promised each other that we wouldn't pull that kind of thing again. (Airwalker, I think there's a mention of this in the City of Stone memo I sent you.)
Something that I've wondered about Matt's pursuit of the Illuminati and plans to expose them. If he's correct about the Illuminati (they run everything behind the scenes, and even the President of the United States is their puppet), then how could he bring them down, even if he did obtain proof of their existence? They must surely have enough of a hold over the governments of the leading nations of the world and the press that they couldn't be brought down. (Of course, Matt does seem a bit on the quixotic side, and may never have addressed that problem in his search, but I still can't help wondering about this).
"Quixotic" is a great word for Matt. And he may be slightly exaggerating their influence both for the sake of effect and to help with his own self-justification of the pursuit.
But largely, he's winging it. Confident that one man (with a little help from good friends) can make a difference.
Glasses never really did much apart from carry out Dracon's orders. So a couple of Glasses questions.
1. Did you ever consider giving him a further role?
2. (And in case you try the annoying answer for question one) if so, what was it? ^_^
3. Does Glasses really feel that much loyalty to Dracon? That is, if he felt it was worth his while, would he be willing to help Brod or whatever? Dracon certainly seems to take him for granted a lot.
4. How far back do Dracon and Glasses go?
1. Yeah. I liked Glasses a lot. I really like the name "Glasses".
2. I wanted to see him emerge as more of a leader than a follower.
3. I can't see Glasses going to Brod. If not Dracon, why not Glasses?
4. Early teens.
In one of the episodes (I'm not sure, and my episodes are all in San Francisco right now, so I can't check) I believe that Bluestone mentioned a sister.
1. Am I correct in thinking that Bluestone has a sister?
2. Does he have any other siblings?
3. Would we ever have seen any of them?
4. Well...the X-files fan in me would LOVE to ask about any tie's between Bluestone's Sister, and Nokkar's "Space Spawn", but I'm pretty sure that violates the rules. *grins*
Anyway...Thnx for putting up with all these questions!
No, he does not. Elisa does. Matt strikes me as an only child, but I won't be held to that response.
About Future Tense the episode, we saw the daughter of Maria Chavez. Would we have seen her in future episodes?
More tidbits and observations...
The first appearance of the Steel Clan. It's a silly little thing, but at the time I was ridiculously pleased by the name "The Steel Clan". It just seemed so right. Cool sounding, tough. And yet original and appropriate to the series. It was one of those early moments that made me feel like I was really tapping into the Gargoyles Universe.
Also the first appearance of the Eyrie Building Lobby Security Guard. The one that Oberon will later do his Obi-wan number on. I never forget a minor character.
One reason some of the editing is different between the video version and the tv episodic version has to do with when the two separate products were due. (I'm not referring to the TV movie version that's been appearing recently. I have no idea who edited that one. Or when. Or why.) As I've mentioned before, the video version was not originally created for video. It was created for our world premiere on two big screens at the movie theater multiplex on Pleasure Island at Walt Disneyworld. That premiere was in September of 1994. But the series premiere was almost a full month later. While I was supervising the editing of the movie version, Frank was (relatively speaking) taking his time on the five episodes. In my editing bay, we didn't have the luxury of waiting for all the retakes to come back before we had to complete OUR edit and lock picture for sound design. In fact, sometimes we were editing to pencil test animation. That's animated pencils without background paintings or ink or paint. It can sometimes be very hard to read at all. But we had to make decisions based not soley on "ART" but also on what we likely thought we'd get back in time to get the two prints made for the Florida premiere. Sometimes we cut little pieces that wound up turning out fine and making it into the episode.
Generally, I think the animation in this episode is just stunning. A few examples.
--Hudson lifting Bronx off that train.
--The whole scene with Xanatos, Demona and Owen standing beside the Steel Clan robots while they are covered with sheets. Some incredible shadow work. And the character stuff is so sweet.
--Some gorgeous battle stuff with those robots.
--The castle tower blowing up, crashing and falling apart.
This and more can still take my breath away.
I love all the Demona-Goliath-Elisa triangle stuff. It's all spelled out in the confrontation when Goliath wants to go keep his appointment with Elisa, and Demona's trying to stop him. If Demona hadn't been so bloodthirsty aboard FORTRESS-1, would Goliath have even remembered his appointment with Elisa? Or would he be off cuddling with his long-lost love?
Anyway, that whole conversation is just full of delicious irony -- all working against Demona. Goliath says, "I cannot make war on an entire world," completely unaware that that's exactly what Demona wants to do. He says, "Doesn't Xanatos prove that some humans can be trusted?" But of course, Demona knows that Xanatos absolutely cannot be trusted. Every statement Goliath makes pushes Demona toward further extremism. And he isn't even trying. Finally, after Demona reminds him of the Wyvern betrayal and Massacre, he says that the ones responsible for that "have been dead for 1000 years." Now putting aside that the Captain and Hakon aren't quite as dead-dead as Goliath thinks, this has got to push Demona over the edge. Deep down she knows her own responsibility. Again Goliath is wrong, because the traitor is standing right in front of him. My hats off to Michael Reaves. What a great scene! "So be it." she says. Goliath won't know it until VOWS. But they are DONE. Right there.
Cultural Differences 101: Elisa is trying to convince Goliath not to trust Xanatos. I don't remember the exact line, but she says something with the word "three" in it. (Maybe refering to the three disks or the three Cyberbiotics installations...?) Anyway, to indicate three she holds up her index finger, her middle finger and ... her thumb. It still looks totally goofy to me. I don't know anyone who wouldn't use their ring finger with the other two, using the thumb to hold the pinky down. Does anyone know if in Japan the thumb is preferred?
When Demona's destroying FORTRESS-1, Goliath is standing around stunned. She tries to get him to leave, but he refuses. Finally, she pulls him out. What was supposed to happen was that the tilting ship was supposed to dump him out the hatch at the same time Demona was pulling. So that he was more unwilling to abandon the crew of the ship. But it never animated with the tilt going the right way.
In our original development we planned on making a lot bigger deal of all the various Xanatos Enterprises sub-divisions. You got a taste of that with PackMedia Studios and Gen-U-Tech (a.k.a. Gen-U-Tech Systems or G.U.T.S.). But we were also going to make a bigger deal of his robotics division, which was going to be called the Scarab Corporation. (Thus the scarab design that appears on the transmitter.) But Xanatos wound up being even more hands-on then I anticipated. Less Lex Luthor. More his own glorious self. So Scarab never got much of a spotlight because Xanatos handled those kinds of adventures himself and/or the robots handled things themselves (cf. Coyote in Leader of the Pack). For those of you who have been to one of the Gatherings and seen the original Gargoyles Pitch, you might recall a giant chrome cockroach climbing up the side of a building to attack Goliath. That was going to be a Scarab Corp. creation.
Isn't Xanatos just too cool:
"Let's let them play out there little drama, shall we?" He's so amused. He can't resist watching the confrontation. And for once I don't feel like it's cause he's a villain stupidly giving the hero time to turn the tables. He's sincerely entertained by the show.
"Without me you'd still be gathering moss." Nuff said.
There's another great little dialogue editing moment. Real subtle. When Demona says: "The plan was perfect." Goliath whispers "Plan?" She says something else and then he completes his thought "What Plan?" That little overlap wasn't scripted. It was another product of me having the luxury to really nurse those dialogue edits on those early scripts.
There is good and evil in all of us. Human and Gargoyle alike. Hey, Lexy, there's another major theme of the series. No one group has a monopoly on either attribute.
One thing that never quite worked for me, was the reveal of Demona's name. She makes such a big deal of it. But the name (at this point in the series) just doesn't have enough resonance for me yet. Later, sure. "Demona". We all sit up and take notice. But there. "Demona". Yeah, so? Did that moment play for you guys?
Goliath is about to toss Xanatos off the building. Elisa begs him not to. That'll make you just like Demona she says. Then Hudson pipes in and says, "She's right, lad. Is that what you want?" I intentionally instructed our voice director Jamie Thomason to direct Ed Asner to read that line with ambiguity. Hudson DOESN'T care whether Goliath tosses David or not. He simply wants Goliath to make an informed choice.
And yeah, yeah, David & Goliath. Perfect opposites.
Elisa: "Maybe, we'll catch a Giants' game."
Were any of you surprised when a Giant Oberon attacked the castle?
As usual, I encourage responses posted here, on either your original feelings when seeing the episode for the first time and/or newer more recent observations from repeat or recent viewings.
More random observations...
Jogger's first appearance.
Cyberbiotics first true appearance.
Bruno (aka the Commando Leader) gets a bit of character development. I remember when voice director Jamie Thomason asked Jeff Bennett to do that voice. Jeff asked what Jamie wanted and Jamie said something like: "Do a George C. Scott/Patton thing." I don't know if that's what I'm hearing, but I like the end result.
We see Vinnie for the second time. Of course, we still didn't know that was Vinnie yet. His nose is HUGE. He must have had a little work done between this show and Metamorphosis. (Not the smartest way to spend money when you're out of work.) One of my favorite bits in "Vendettas" is the reveal of how exactly Vinnie was knocked out by Goliath aboard the airship. In Awakening IV, Goliath lifts Vinnie out of the shot. We hear a loud <SMACK> and Vinnie falls unconscious. The implication being that G knocked him out. But in Vendettas, Cary and I showed what was previously off-screen. You see that the <SMACK> came from G hitting his fist against the wall. Vinnie wasn't knocked out. He fainted.
Elisa looks damn good with her jacket off. I wish we had had more opportunities for costume changes with her. They always work so well.
I always thought that the tranq the Commandos used on Goliath in parts III and IV was pretty unreliable. It seems to knock him down. Then he's up again. Then he's staggering. All very story convenient. You could look at it as a flaw in the episodes. Or you could justify it by saying that they had never had the opportunity to test the stuff on Gargoyles before. It had strange effects.
Owen has one line in the whole episode: A very effective clearing of his throat. You gotta love a character who can be so memorable with so little.
The Commandos seem to be pretty bad shots, until you realize in episode V that killing Goliath isn't really what they're after. In my head, they were told NOT to kill him if they could effectively put a scare into him. Elisa was probably much more expendable. Bruno's discretion.
This seemed like the first episode to use the "CLAW WIPES"... but I'm not sure. A Wipe is one means of moving from one scene to another. Other methods are straight CUTS or DISSOLVES, etc. But Japan started doing these very dramatic CLAW WIPES, where a Gargoyle hand seems to be tearing the old scene away with his or her claws. It wasn't called for in early scripts, but after we had seen it a few times, we started to call it out.
Elisa puts the transmitter on a dog she calls Rover, a dog that's scrounging through garbage in the park. In the very next scene, Hudson is watching TV and a dog that could easily have been Rover as a pup is seen starring in a dogfood commercial. How the mighty have fallen.
There's a few great moments with the trio in this show. Maybe not the obvious ones. I love their exchange of dialogue to Hudson when they come back from their night on the town. We had the opportunity to really edit the dialogue with multiple overlaps and rhythms before it went to Japan. The scene really snaps. In later episodes, we wouldn't always have that luxury.
The scenelet where they fly away from the castle on their way to the Cyberbiotics Tower is also very cool. A combination of animation, editing and sound, that really gives SNAP to their departure. I love it.
Of course, the naming scene is great. Names are so addictive.
And I still like the character development in our love triangle here. Goliath doesn't trust Elisa even yet. Hasn't told her about his daytime vulnerability. And he might not have, if he hadn't been caught outside. But her loyalty and steadfastness really impresses him. I feel the connection very strongly. And I think she does too, when she asks if she can see him again later tonight. It's not just curiosity about a new life-form.
And Demona. I love that wing hug when she and Goliath are reunited. But you have to wonder about that reunion from her point of view. Yes, she's scheming here. But she must be thrilled to see him and the other gargs awake and alive. THRILLED. All those years of lonliness and now her true love is awake. But she never hesitates to prioritize her scheming. All those years of bitterness have stunted her emotions even more.
Finally, lots of people keep telling me that Elisa says "Damn" in the boathouse in at least one version of this thing. But it's not true. We never even recorded her saying Damn. Why would I? No way it would get by S&P, so why bother. Didn't even occur to me. She does grunt right before she says "Empty". And I suppose that grunt might sound a bit like the word "Damn." I mean, I don't think so, but it's the only explanation for this myth that I can come up with.
In your vision, how prominent in the public eye would the Quarrymen have been? Would they have been out in the open, the way that they were in "The Goliath Chronicles", with the general public aware of them, or would they have been more of a top-secret, carefully hidden body, like those "campus vampire-hunters" in this season of "Buffy the Vampire-Slayer"?
The Quarrymen were modelled after the KKK. Some of their activities take place in secret. Others are very public.
Watched this with the family half an hour ago...
More random observations...
RE: Our supporting cast...
Who knew that Brendan & Margot would wind up being so important? Credit Marina Sirtis, for making Margot so gloriously bitchy.
And then there's Vinnie's first appearance on that motorcycle. Of course, no one knew Vinnie existed back then, which is thoroughly appropriate to his character.
And credit Keith David with breathing real life into Morgan the cop. Morgan didn't even have a name then. He was just a place holder, someone for Elisa to respond to. But Keith made me interested in him.
Little things still bug me. Xanatos' floating ponytail in the scene where he and Elisa first meet.
In the Kitchen, the Freezer door was supposed to have one of those easy to open latches on the inside. The irony being that Broadway could easily extricate himself, if he just knew how to operate the latch (or even what it was). Something a kid could do, assuming the kid was born in the 20th century. But BW has to bust down the door.
In the original script and the recording of that script, it's Brooklyn who says "So many wonders..." and it's Broadway who says "Goliath said not to let anybody see us." But in those early days, lots of people in L.A. and in Tokyo kept confusing their names (and Bronx's) so the animation came back as you see it. And it was easier to re-record the voices then to reanimate. (Or am I getting all this totally backwards? I just saw the show again half an hour ago, and already, I'm confused.)
(CAVEAT: In all these little things, I'll probably be pointing out animation errors here and there. But please understand, I think most of the animation we got, particularly from Walt Disney TV Animation - Japan, was brilliant. I think those guys did a great job and don't get enough credit. But anecdotes generally come out of when things go wrong, not when they go right, so it may seem like I'm talking about mistakes more often than not. Sorry, in advance to Roy Sato or anyone else who might take offense.)
When Elisa is first being checked out by the Trio, there was a scene in the original animation where Brooklyn seems inordinantly interested in her behind. We had to call a retake, cuz the guy was practically drooling. I wonder if that's where I got the idea that Brooklyn would fall for anyone in a skirt (or with a tail).
Also, after Goliath saves Elisa from falling off the building we have a point of view shot from her. It begins at Goliath's feet and pans up to his face, as she takes him in. In the original animation, the pan started at his head and panned down. That seemed less effective, so we had our editors reverse the pan, without calling for a retake.
At the end of Act Two, the door slides open revealing Demona in silhouette, clearly plotting something with Xanatos. That always really bugged me. I didn't want to give away that she was alive in this episode. I didn't want to know who Xanatos was talking to. How did you guys react to this? Did that spill everything? Did any of you not know that Demona was alive? Did any of you, by this point, not know that she and Xanatos were the bad guys?
Elisa says something like "This is where Dracula shows up." when she's walking through the corridors of the castle. If you take that literally (and you might as well), then you gotta figure that someday, Dracula will be roaming that very hallway.
Elisa loses the first in her series of guns, when Goliath crushes it near the end of Act One.
Goliath tells a joke: "And please, don't fall off the building this time." Goliath tells a joke. Can you believe it? It wasn't bad either. We should have let him tell jokes more often.
Elisa's surprise that Goliath can talk is indicative of what I thought a 20th (or 21st) century initial response to the gargs would be. That's why Goliath Chronicles' trial episode bugged me so much. I don't think humans would take for granted sentience. And I think most humans, those less open than Elisa, wouldn't even buy talking as enough evidence that the gargs weren't just beasts. (Cf. Margot Yale.)
Goliath is a pretty begruding hero. That's somewhat unique for cartoons. Elisa asks if there are more gargs, and Goliath responds: "Barely." He cuts her very little slack. But already you can see their relationship developing. I still think Hudson's expression after Goliath sweeps Elisa up into his arms is just priceless.
In that same scene, Hudson gets named for the river. I love that scene, as I loved the scene where Tom, Brook and Lex are talking about names. Of course, the desire not to name most of the gargoyles until we got to NYC '94, was mostly pragmatic. It allowed us to use those fun, cool NY names for most of the characters. But once we came up with the rationale for it, and once I managed to explain it to everyone, I really fell in love with the concept. Hudson's lament, here, that humans don't think something is real until they've put there stamp on it, is, to me at least, so damn true. And Elisa's response is so feeble and circular. "Things need names." Pathetic. But I'm no different. <SIGH> I'm such a human. But I aspire to gargoylosity. Anyway, after Hudson points to the river, and Elisa basically tricks him into taking that name, she used to have a line, as I may have mentioned before, where she said (under her breath) "Good thing we weren't facing Queens" -- implication being that Hudson nearly ended up being called Queen, I guess. It was always funny, but S&P didn't care for it, and I couldn't really defend it. So out it went. We tried another version, where she just says, "Good thing we weren't facing East." But it didn't play. So out it went too.
The thing that struck me most, however, was the almost thorough lack of action in this episode. After all that Viking stuff in Part One, and Vikings and a full act of commandos in Part Two, Part Three is a mood and character piece. Sure Elisa falls off a building, but that was a problem easily solved. Until the commandos' Central Park attack in the last seconds of Act Three, nothing else happens that could genuinely qualify as action. That was mostly a result of what was once a four-parter being turned into a five-parter. The reason we made that change is because Michael Reaves wrote a brillaint four-part script. It was amazing. But it was WAY too long. I was faced with either having to make drastic cuts (as I would later have to do in Avalon and Hunter's Moon) or expand it. Fortunately, Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston saw the wisdom of expansion. For one thing, it would save us money. But also, it made sense because we could run the five parts across a whole week of the Disney Afternoon like a mini-series special event. It wouldn't require us to re-program one day of that first week. So we were all agreed, the four parter would become a five parter.
But that meant adding act breaks, and redividing everything. The episode that most benefited was Part One. In the orignal version, Part One covered all of what is currently part one, plus the first act of what's currently part two, i.e. ALL the Scotland stuff. The episode ended with Goliath's "suicide". A great ending, but we would have obviously had to cut a TON out of the flashback. This way we were able to expand into part two and preserve almost all of the story.
So Part Three winds up being nearly action-free. And by the way, I love that. I still think the episode works great, and it proved to me that the charcters themselves could really hold the audience's attention. (I'm such a proud papa. Unashamedly so. It must be pretty obnoxious.) I wish we had always had the luxury to be so... well, luxurious. To expand and play character. But generally a half-hour format makes it tough. I'm very sick of writing half hours, actually. But the powers that be in Animation believe that kids can't or won't sit through an hour long show.
As usual, I welcome posts here responding to this episode. Both your original reaction to seeing it for the first time, and your current reaction if you've seen it again recently.
Another question about the gargoyles. Technically, their protecting New York might be considered vigilantism; after all, they're not recognized agents of the law, even if they serve as secret and unofficial partners of a sort to a police detective. Had you ever intended to do anything with the vigilante issue where the gargoyles' patrols were concerned?
This question is probably a moot point, thanks to "The Goliath Chronicles", but there has been a query about the situation for the gargoyles in Season Three that I've been pondering for some time, and I thought I'd ask you about it.
After "Hunter's Moon", the gargoyles' secret has been revealed to the world, and now the whole city is out looking for them, particularly in the case of the Quarrymen. In "The Journey", Elisa and Hudson make it clear to Goliath that it isn't safe to come out of hiding in the castle - not that that stops him from going over to visit Elisa - and Castaway's attack on Goliath and Elisa only emphasizes how much more dangerous Manhattan has become for the clan. (Indeed, the rest of the clan stays cooped up in the castle in "The Journey", although I suppose that that could have been as much a matter of plot convenience as an indication of how dangerous it was to leave it). And it's not just a case of a few super-villains like Xanatos, Demona, and the Pack out hunting for them any longer; now it's an entire city of frightened and hostile people.
At the same time, obviously it wouldn't have worked to have the gargoyles simply hiding in the castle all the time, if for no other reason than that it would make for a rather dull series. So how had you planned to address the situation of ensuring adventures for the gargoyles in this new change of mood? (Brooklyn's Timedancer adventures do strike me as one good way of solving it, but that would have been only one episode). As I said, it's a moot point by now since the new guys simply went ahead and had the gargoyles going out on their usual patrols, but I'm still a bit curious.
I wouldn't have kept them cooped up, but I wouldn't have allowed the tension to drop. Or to come and go conveniently. I think one of the strengths of the series is that we forced our characters to live with the changes wrought upon them. Owen's hand is stone. Brooklyn has to learn to lead. Talan won't become human again, etc., etc.
This was no different. Gargoyles protect. That's fundamental. So you wait a few days for things to calm down a little. For the news to shift to other topics. Then you do your job.
Just out of curiosity - have you ever worked out what religion the major (or minor, for that matter) human characters in "Gargoyles" are, if on a purely "for personal amusement" basis? (I doubt that you were seriously planning to bring it up directly in the series, given how tricky handling religion in television can be). We know from Diane's "We can pray, Peter" line in "Deadly Force" that the Mazas have some sort of religious belief, and obviously Max Loew, his Rabbi ancestor, and Janus in "Golem" are/were Jewish, but that's as far as I can guess.
Matt Bluestone is Jewish.
Maria Chavez is Catholic.
Halcyon Renard is a Calvinist.
Petros Xanatos is Greek Orthodox.
I think that Diane Maza is a member of some Protestant Christian sect, but I'd have to do some research to figure out which one.
Peter Maza spent most of his adult life as a dedicated Agnostic. But since "Cloud Fathers" it would be interesting to see how that's changed.
I think Elisa probably has a background in Christianity from her mother, but probably styled her beliefs after her father. Still, I'm quite certain that all the stories her mother told about African myths and legends helped her maintain an open mind.
I think Derek Maza has a more Christian bent. Maggie Reed too.
Beth Maza's more likely to at least attempt to connect back with Carlos Maza's Native American beliefs.
David Xanatos believes... in himself.
Fox believes in David.
Have I left anyone out?
Hey Greg, hope you had a great vacation. Thanks for answering my questions earlier (sorry my post was one of the one's you had to retype the answer to multiple times!). But I'm glad I have a better idea of what went on behind the scenes of "Gargoyles", it just adds another level of the show to appreciate for me.
Anyway, I've been thinking about what my next question would be for a while, and all I could think of pretty much was this....
In "The Journey" you mentioned that you had put a scene in there between Capt. Chavez (sp?) and Matt Bluestone. Would you be willing to share that scene with us?
I don't care if it's inconsequential to the ep as a whole or whatever, I got a kick out of reading all those missing scenes from "Hunter's Moon" and I just HAVE to know what these two talked about in "The Journey."
I do have some more questions, but they're on differing subjects so I'll just post them here later. Thanks again, and see you around!
Yes. I'm willing. But it takes a lot of time. And I'm trying to power through the huge backlog. So ask me again later.
How did you get Tom Wilson and Sheena Easten for the show? Did they come to you, did you call them?
Tom auditioned for one or more of the Trio. He wasn't right, but I really liked him, and I suggested him to Jamie Thomason when we created Matt.
I am now a HUGE Tom Wilson fan. I created the role of Pete Costas in MAX STEEL with Tom in mind. (Originally it was a bigger role, but the WB cut it back. He's still great in it though.) And I think the work he's doing on NBC's FREAKS & GEEKS is brilliant. He does so much with so little. Taking a cliche that we've seen a hundred times before (remember Robert Picardo in THE WONDER YEARS) and investing it with so much humanity. I can't tell you how great I think he is. Someone should really give this guy his own live action show.
As for Sheena, she was my original choice for Princess Katharine. She wasn't available and Kath Soucie who I had never worked with before was terrific. But Sheena was always in my head to give something to. Finella seemed a great opportunity. So we brought her in. She was great. So we brought her back. She was astounding as Molly/Banshee, so we brought her back again. I was prepared to build the entire BAD GUYS series around her and Jim Cummings (with some help from Jeff Bennett, Jim Belushi and William Devane) but I couldn't sell it. I tried to cast her in as Molly McGrath in Max Steel, but again she wasn't available.
But I'd work with either Tom or Sheena again, anyday.
my Earlier Q seemed to dissapear, and I'm sure it didn't violate rules, so I'll ask again.
In Future Tense (Goliath's dream) we saw a black haired woman that was (assumed) Captain Maria Chavez's daughter.
1)How old is she in 2036...in other words, what year was/is she born?
2)And is her father someone we've already seen from the show, or would he be a new face? I don't expect you to tell us exactly who he is.
I'm asking cause I always like Chavez, and Rachel Ticotin is very cool. ^_^ Keep up all the hard work GREG!
1 & 2. I don't have this information nailed down in my head. Sorry. But I assume that the father is someone we haven't met yet.