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Ask Greg Archives

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Jennifer Griel writes...

Hey. I was just watching one of my favorite TV shows ever, Ben 10. And while watching I discovered that you wrote not only the best episode of the show objectively, Ben 10,000, but also my personal favorite episode Under Wraps. I just wanted to say thank you. You did a great job making a great show even better. What was it like working with those guys on that show if you remember. I know it was a long time ago.

Greg responds...

I had a great time working with Tom Pugsley and Greg Klein (the latter of whom I also went to high school with). They made my freelance gigs on that series pretty easy. They also did me a big favor. I had been working on the non-union show W.I.T.C.H. for some time and was in danger of losing my union health insurance. The work they gave me allowed me to keep my coverage.

Response recorded on July 09, 2021

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btgr writes...

Do you have a favourite Ben 10 episode and favourite Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode?

Greg responds...

Well, I won't pretend I've seen all episodes of either series. I haven't even seen all of my episodes. But I liked Ben Ten Thousand a lot, and likewise Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster.

Response recorded on March 09, 2015

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Laura 'ad astra' Sack writes...

Hi Greg,

Thanks to the joys of TiVO my daughter and I have discovered and been watching Ben 10.

(Mini review: The theme song is right up there with Spectacular Spiderman and the characters are fun and endearing. That said, at least as far as we've gotten, I have noticed a lack of, (for lack of coming up with a better word), 'depth' plotwise: They stop the bad guy at the nuclear power plant, but they don't explain where all the workers went. The rescue the three kids at a sleepaway camp overrun but space fungus, but don't explain whether the rest of the camp ran away or were captured and consumed. Etc. I noticed that the show was structured with one season of standalone plot stories mostly showing Ben, Gwen and the grandfather adjusting and interacting in their new situation. The second season starts having plots of Plumbers, and Forever Knights and aliens groups, but mainly having them appear in standalone stories. Starting the 3rd season I presume they'll start putting together all these parts into more of a greater mythology. Or so I guess from the fact they have multiple follow-up series.)

I noticed that you wrote the episode I most recently watched, Ben 10,000. It was very good. It made me wonder- it seems to be the most 'overarching plot' based so far. Beyond showing us future hero Ben, future magic caster Gwen, future society etc- it seems to tease the direction of the series. Leading me to my questions:

1- Were you approached to write this particular episode because you are know for working on shows with detailed overarching mythology, or was it more random of that episode being available, or you choosing from a list and it appealing to you?

2- In the other direction, when you are choosing none regular writers for your own shows, do you choose specific writers with their track record in mind to match certain types of stories? Do you offer them to choose among several none claimed upcoming plot whether or not it matches what you think of as that writers specialty, or what writing he or she did that impressed you?

3- What type of preparation do you do/expect for none series writers? Watch all the previous episodes? Read synapses of all? Prepare a list of representative episodes to back up the plot of the episode to be written and its tone? Just take detailed instructions from the show runners and expect tremendous edits to cover the adjustments to continuity?

Laura 'ad astra' Sack
(As apposed to the 'as astra' I accidentally autofilled into my last 12 postings;)

Greg responds...

1. So long ago... As I recall, I think story editors Tom Pugsley and Greg Klein approached me because they knew I liked Time Travel stories. I had done one for them on THE MUMMY.

2. Generally, I assemble a writing 'staff' at the beginning of each season. '(Staff' is in quotes, because these days, in fact, the 'staff' is all freelancers.) In choosing a staff, I generally am choosing from an embarrassment of riches. There are a ton of talented writers who can handle the kind of show I tend to do. I have a few individuals that I've worked with many times before, who are familiar with the way I work and are very good. So I tend to go back to them over and over, assuming they're available. Sometimes, on rare occasions, I push a specific story on a specific writer. More often, I've got three or four and - schedule allowing - I let the writers fight it out for which they'd prefer. (It's never much of a fight.)

3. I'm not clear what you mean by "none series writers". Even assuming the "none" is a typo for "non," I'm still not sure. As for prep, I expect them to have done their homework. We rarely have the footage for them to look at episodes, but I do expect them to keep up with reading the final outlines and scripts.

Response recorded on March 04, 2014

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Nelson writes...

Are you aware that Peter David has actally written several Ben 10 episodes?

I'll list the following episodes he has currently written:

Alien Force:
1. In Charm's Way

Ultimate Alien:
1. Reflected Glory
2. Prisoner #775 is Missing
3. Solitary Alignment

Greg responds...

I knew he wrote some, yes. Why?

Response recorded on November 06, 2012

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Anonymous writes...

Are you a huge Ben 10 fan? I only asked because you've casted James Remar, Dee Bradley Baker and Yuri Lowenthal onto Young Justice.

Greg responds...

I wrote a few Ben 10s and I like the show. But I've been working with Dee since W.I.T.C.H. and James since Spectacular Spider-Man (and I liked him in live action even before that). Brandon had worked with Yuri on Legion of Super-Heroes, plus Yuri did some great audition work for us on YJ, but just didn't get cast as any of our leads.

So... no. I didn't even know James and Yuri were on Ben Ten.

Response recorded on February 22, 2012

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Anonymous writes...

I heard Victor Cook has directed that CGI Ben 10 movie called "Destroy all Aliens". Since you have worked with him before, what is your response to that?

Greg responds...

My response?


Response recorded on December 28, 2011

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Mayor Wilkins III writes...

Hi, Greg. As a freelancer, you wrote the episode "Ken 10" in the series "Ben 10". If you remember much about that episode, I'd like to ask you:

1. Kevin 11(000) had a son in that episode named Devlin. When did he have that son, and who was the mother?
2. Gwen was able to create a golem-dog-creature like her foe Charmcaster did in the present. How did she learn to do that?
3. There was an alien at Ken's party that looked and sounded like Billy from "The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy". Did you have anything to do with that, or was the character just made that way in the animation/voicing process?


Greg responds...

I'm afraid I can't answer any of these questions. You'd have to ask the producers of that series.

Response recorded on November 09, 2010

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A friend of Greg Bishansky writes...

Hello, Greg! This certainly as been a while since I came by this forum and ask you a question. But I've certainly been following your recent work as of late, your time-travel episode of the Ben-10 series, and your current work on the latest Spider Man cartoon series; which I must commend you for. The plot twist regarding Harry Osborn being the Green Goblin was certainly a nice surprise to be sure. But would also like to say how sorry I am regarding the Gargoyles DVD series, I myself would have liked to see your series be completely transferred onto DVD at last...

Now onto my question, since you did work on the time-travel episode of Ben 10; I was wondering on its continuity. After watching the first 6 episodes of the Ben 10 Alien Force series, I noticed a change in Kevin Eleven's demeanor, and doesn't seem to hold that much of a grudge against Ben Tennyson. To which the case is different for your Ben 10 episode; is it because the episode wasn't meant to be taken into the official storyline, or is it a prelude of things to come? Well, I'm very curious to hear from you on this, I know you very busy in your work, and I can only wish you the best of luck in them, especially your work on Spiderman. Take Care!

P.S. - Here's hoping we get a Gargoyles Movie in the future! ^^


Greg responds...

I'm afraid I was just a freelancer on Ben Ten, so you'd have to ask the Ben Ten folk whether or not my episode is canon or not.

Response recorded on July 14, 2008