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Monzo writes...

All Batman (animated) questions:

1.What are your favorite episodes in "Batman: The Animated Series"?

2.a)What do think of the episodes in "The New Adventures Of Batman And Robin" compared to TAS?

2.b)What do you think of the change from Robin to Nightwing and the arrival of Robin II?

2.c)What do you think of the design (look, costume, voice cast, etc) changes in mostly all the characters compared to the 'TAS'?

3.What do you think of the episodes in "Batman Beyond" compared to the two previous series?

4.a)Have you seen any Batman animated movies "Mask of the Phantasm", "Sub-Zero", "World's Finest" and "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker"?

4.b)Any favorites among them? What's your opinion?

5.What do you think of Harley Quinn (I think she was first introduced in the Batman universe through the animated series)?

6.What do think of Mark Hamill's performance as the Joker?

Greg responds...

1. God, it's been SO long. And there were so many in those first 65, particularly after Alan Burnette took over as Producer. It was great stuff though. And I loved Mask of the Phantasm.

2a. I don't think I saw any of those.

2b. Didn't see how they handled it. Never loved it so much in the comics.

2c. See above. I didn't see them.

3. I've only seen a few Batman Beyond. And while I think it's well-made I don't quite love it. I guess the new Batman reminds me too much of Spider-Man. I like Spider-Man, but I don't really want to see Batman acting like Spider-Man.

4a. I've seen the first and the uncut version of the last.

b. I liked them both, actually. But Mask blew me away.

5. She's fun.

6. Amazing.

Response recorded on January 22, 2002

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Shan writes...

Ian>Um... thank you, I think, for complementing my questions. (I was passing through to see what other questions had been posted as long as I was online and saw your comment).

Greg>I hope my questions better exemplify your preferences, but you and I both know I can be error prone on occasion. I can think of instances both where I was your student and not proofing myself well enough as an interviewer (the latter being the greater embarrassment) where that was the case.

(And I just had to go look up embarrassment. I always have to stop and think about the "r"s and "s"s...)

Greg responds...

The fact that you are looking things up is good in and of itself.

By the way, it was nice to see you and Jen and Alan and Zach and Ana and Ambrosia at Keith David's performance. I hope you all had a great time. (And I'm sorry I didn't warn you about the expense. I didn't know and was caught off guard by the cost myself.)

Response recorded on October 10, 2001

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Keith David, Live and In Person

For those of you in the Greater Los Angeles area looking for some much needed diversion...

Keith David (the voice of Goliath, of course) will be singing and performing live at CINEGRILL inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard (between La Brea & Highland) at 8pm on both Friday, September 21st and Saturday, September 22nd, 2001. My wife and I will be going Friday night. It would be great to get a nice garg-fan turnout. And I know that I personally can use the break from news reports, etc. Reservations are suggested but not required. Call: (323)466-7000.

Hope to see at least a few of you there.


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Thank Heaven...

July (and thus August) ASK GREG questions are done.

Now I'm just over a week behind. I can live with that.

FYI, for any fans living in the Los Angeles area:

Keith David (the voice of Goliath and Thailog and Officer Morgan) is performing live at the Cinegrill (at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard) at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, September 21st and 22nd, 2001.

I'll be going on the 21st, and I hope to see at least a few of you there.

If you've never heard Keith sing, you are SO in for a treat. The guy is brilliant.


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matt writes...

after the first season, why was it decided to put Goliath's voice over the original opening theme music? i remember the first time i heard it i liked it cuz it was new, but now i think i prefer the just music version, so i'm curious to why it was done.

Greg responds...

I probably prefer the music-only version as well. Though I think Gary Sperling did a great job writing the naration and Keith did a fantastic job reading it.

It was my idea, nevertheless I was really on the fence about it. It seemed that it might help new viewers understand the basics of what was going on. Is there anyone out there for whom this was true?

At any rate, I didn't think it was ideal, but I didn't think it hurt too much either. The final decision was made by my boss Gary Krisel.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Monzo writes...

How do you feel about male actor given there voice to female character in cartoons? How about the other way around? Do you thnik it would work in gargoyles?

Greg responds...

These decisions would all have to be made on a case by case basis.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001

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Mary Mack writes...

Where can *I* buy a copy of Cree Summer's CD?

Everyone eat Round Table pizza!

Oh! And sign up for G2002!

And write to Disney asking for Gargoyles DVD's! (Greg, you can tell Mr. Fukuto that I'll by Gargs on DVD, and I don't have a DVD player.)

Greg responds...

I love Cree's CD. Have you tried a record store?

Response recorded on September 06, 2001

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Ricky writes...

OK. I just saw my first full episode of Gargoyles. It was pretty good, but I couldn't believe whose voice I heard speaking for one of the characters. I thought I heard Jonathan Frakes, (Commander Riker, from Star Trek:TNG), as the voice of the man, he's name eludes me for the moment, who creates a mechanical gargoyle suit. I remember this creator, didn't he once try to kill the Gargoyles at one point, now he's there friend? It's all a bit confusing. I think I should watch a few more episodes to get the full picture. How in heavens name were 'they' able to get Jonathan Frakes to be the voice of one this character?

Greg responds...

Who's 'they'?

Jonathan audtioned for US and we cast him in the part. We also got Marina Sirtis and nearly a dozen other Trek actors from all of the Star Trek series that had aired at the time.

Response recorded on September 03, 2001

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anonymous cowherd writes...

Off-topic for Gargoyles, but have you seen Keith David's latest performance in 2000's "Requiem For A Dream"? His role is small but instrumental, and overall it's a powerful movie (although certainly not for children).

On that note, do you find, in general, that voice talent has a harder or easier time transitioning into live acting (or vice versa)? Clearly, the environments are different, and I wonder if live acting is more difficult for people used to studio recording.

Greg responds...

I haven't seen Requiem for A Dream. Just don't get out to many movies these days. But I have no doubt that Keith was great. Cuz Keith is ALWAYS great.

I think these days, live action actors are transitioning to animation with relative ease. And many actors go back and forth all the time.

But there are some animation specialists who don't do both, largely because they aren't interested in live action. Doing cartoons was the goal.

Response recorded on September 01, 2001

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Craig "Voiceroy" Crumpton writes...

Hi, Greg. Sorry, my question isn't related to Gargoyles. I'm mainly writing out of curiousity to know the name of the actor replacing Jim Varney as the voice of Cookie in "Team Atlantis", for which I was told you're doing the voice directing. I spoke with Corey Burton, and he couldn't remember the guy's name at all, and Tad Stones says he can only remember his first name.

I know curiousity killed el gato, but I've always been a fan of Varney's work and would just like to know a little more about the actor chosen to fill those large shoes.

Greg responds...

Steven Barr replaced Jim as Cookie on the series (which was cancelled) and on the home video which should still be forthcoming some day.

Steven was great. I will say that as a director I told him NOT to be too concerned with mimicking Varney. That he was going to be playing the character for 39 episodes and he had to make it his own. To capture the spirit of Jim's work, but not be slavish to the sound.

I gave James Taylor the same advice for doing Milo Thatch, vis-a-vis Michael J. Fox.

Response recorded on August 15, 2001

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Vashkoda writes...

I know that for certain characters, you already have a voice actor in mind before you cast them (like Ed Asner for Hudson). Now that you've met Crispin Freeman, I was wondering if you've considered him for the voice of any particular character in the spinoffs you've planned (in the hopes that they will one day get made).

I actually asked him which character he'd like to voice, and he said Griff (but basically he's a big fan of the "Pendragon" episode itself).

Greg responds...

Well, I love Crispin, now. But I also love Neil Dickson, so Crispin's not getting Griff.

To be honest, I haven't thought that far out. Or at least that way. But now you've got me thinking...

Hmmmm....

Response recorded on July 20, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

What part did Roddy McDowell play in Gargoyles?

Greg responds...

Proteus.

Response recorded on July 20, 2001

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Blaise writes...

Hi again!

This question actually deals with the credits listing of the series (yeah, I know it seems I have too much time on my hands, but that's beside the point).
Two things about GARGOYLES' credits stood out. The first you already talked about--the writers recieving credit at the beginning of episodes during the first season. The second however I also found to be quite interesting--GARGOYLES actually gave a true cast list. Usually in these Disney shows, when the credits say, "With the Voice Talents of..." they just lump the actors' names together without telling who they played. GARGOYLES was the first Disney animated series I know of (BUZZ LIGHTYEAR did it later) that actually listed both the actors and the characters they played. This enabled me to (when I started taping the episodes and could hit pause) more fully discover just how diverse and talented this cast was. I could recognize names and see if a person played multiple roles, and I was quite pleased.

So...
1) Is there any story behind this, like there was for giving the writers' credit up front?
2) Whatever the case, I'm glad I could know who played who.

Thanks!

Greg responds...

I don't know if this would qualify as a story, but I liked how Batman the animated series listed who played who. It seemed to show more respect for the actors (and as I was a fan of Batman) more respect for the fans who might be VCRing the thing and want to know.

So we followed their lead. And I'm glad we did. I tried to talk SONY into doing that for Starship and/or Max Steel, but they weren't interested.

Response recorded on July 18, 2001

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Lady Leto writes...

First of all, I just wanted to say that I love Gargoyles and would like to thank you for sharing your idea with us.

I was watching the episode; 'Vendetta' and I couldn't believe Vinnie. I am very curious to find know, how did you think of this character?

Thanks for your time.

Greg responds...

A combination of factors went into the creation of Vinnie.

In no particular order:

1) We asked Jeff Bennett to play the role of a dumb Gen-U-Tech security guard. He put on this great Vinnie Barbarino voice (from Welcome Back, Kotter). It was hilarious.

2) I had this idea to do an episode about the nameless schlub that the gargoyles had effected without ever knowing it.

3) Brynne Chandler had this idea about Goliath getting a pie in the face.

4) I had a separate idea about Wolf and Hakon teaming up to get vengeance on Goliath.

It all just came together. Strangely. The episode was supposed to be a comedic change of pace from the rest of the series. I don't think the animation supported the comedy very well. But it was the first episode I ever voice directed, so I'm fond of it.

Response recorded on July 18, 2001

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John writes...

Hi Greg,
I've read your awnsers on my last two questions today, but unfortunately, you havn't understood them both. So, now I will explain them again:
Let's take the question with the actors first. Well, if there will ever be a movie, and if you will be able to work on it, I know, that you will do almost everything to get the voice actors in it. But, what if the pruducers or directors will tell you, that the movie needs some stars, who will get people in it, who are new to the show. I know, that all this will probably never happen, but use your imagination...
And for my second question, I meant an ep, in wich you will show, what would have happened, if the gargs would have allied with demona, or what would have happened, if ..., well, think about it
hope you'll understand
CU, John

Greg responds...

John,

1. I get it. I'm just not interested. It's a hypothetical based on a hypothetical based on a hypothetical. That stuff doesn't grab me.

2. Another "What if..." story. I get it. I understand. I just don't care.

Response recorded on July 11, 2001

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Sloth writes...

Did you have Characters for Gargoyles planed to use the the voices of: Patrick Stewert, Lenerad Nemoi, William Shatner or any other characters from star trek?
BTW, Gates McFadden isn't the voice of Fox is she? I don't think so, but I can't find her name on any credits, and that would be a good part for her.
Also, why were so many Star Treak actors used as voices, besides that most of them did great jobs(puck)?

Greg responds...

It doesn't work that way. We create characters first. Then we cast. We did try to get Patrick Stewart for a couple of parts, but he was too expensive for us.

Fox was voiced by Laura San Giacomo, who currently is part of the cast of "Just Shoot Me" on NBC.

And the reason we had so many Trek actors was because:

a) Marina auditioned for us and nailed the part of Demona.

b) Jonathan Frakes auditioned for us, and after us ****ing around for awhile, was cast as Xanatos.

c) After that when we were casting guest rolls, it was only natural to think of Trek actors since we already had two of them sitting in the booth.

d) I was not unaware of the publicity value, but we never cast a Trek actor just for the sake of casting a Trek actor. If they didn't seem right for the roll, we didn't consider them.

Response recorded on July 10, 2001

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Basilisk writes...

Did you know that in Disney's newest Animated Classic ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE, the Atlantean princess Kida is voiced by Cree Summer? She did a great job, but I found this a little disconcerting because I'm used to that voice yelling death threats, laughing psychotically, and hitting on any available machinary. :-)

Greg responds...

Yes, I very much knew that because I'm voice directing Cree as Queen Kida in the spin-off series Team Atlantis. It wasn't quite the shock to me, as Cree has done many, many voices since she was a little kid, including Penny, I believe in Inspector Gadget and Max in Batman Beyond as well as Hyena in Gargoyles.

Anyone who came to the Gathering learned all this first hand from Cree herself, who showed up on the 24th of June, despite feeling under the weather. She's just terrific. She's also a GREAT SINGER. She gave me a copy of her C.D. And she's recording a new one now.

Response recorded on July 09, 2001

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John writes...

Hi Greg,
Today no talk, just the question:
In "Sanctuary", Macbeth got a picture of Elisa hanging in his livingroom. Was that a joke by the writers, or have you too not noticed it untill yet?
By the way: do you know, that John Rhys-Davies will play Gimli in the Lord of the Rings movie?
OK, that's all
CU, John

Greg responds...

I knew John was in the movie, not what he was playing.

I have noticed that there is a picture that looks like Elisa. At present I have no explanation for it. It certainly wasn't in the script.

Response recorded on July 06, 2001

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John writes...

Hi Greg,

YEESSS!!! The contest is over! Strike! Ok, so let me think for a question...
How will the future in 2198 look like? Dark (like in Blade Runner) or the shiny-super-hero-future with no wars, no deseases etc.?
Ok, thank you for awnsering. Hope you will read this before the Gathering ( Sorry, can't come :-(. The 23 June is my birthday, and to fly from Berlin to LA is a toooo big birthday present :-((((() Anyway, hope you have, or had, some fun there. Greet Jonathan Frakes from me ;-)
CU, John

Greg responds...

Jonathan was in Israel during the Gathering, so I didn't see him.

The future looked bright in March of 2198. Not perfect, but pretty shiny. With a lot preserved intentionally from nature and older periods.

Things took a dark turn with the arrival of the Space-Spawn.

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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Yttrium writes...

What is the story behind the "Better than Barney" thing?

---Ytt

Greg responds...

It's a long story. A Gathering Story. I just told it, like five times, last weekend. Bit burned out on it now.

Ask me some other time. Or come to G2002.

(But the short answer is that it's something that Bill Faggerbakke once said in defense of the series.)

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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Demoness writes...

Were all the characters drawn to resemble, in some way, the actors/actresses that voiced them? Like Xanatos and Franks for example.

Greg responds...

No. Or at least largely no.

Xanatos was literally designed years before Jonathan Frakes was cast in the role.

Elisa's basic design didn't change much either, but we did send pictures of Salli Richardson to Mr. Takeuchi, the character designer who was working on her final model in Japan.

The human versions of Goliath, Hudson, Lex, Brooklyn and Broadway were influenced by the actors who played them. But only a bit. We had to stay faithful to the gargoyle base forms.

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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Punchinello writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman.

I don't come here often, but occasionally I'm struck by the urge to quiz you on something. I was browsing the questions you're fielding, and I was struck again by something I notice every time I visit this page. There seems to be some preoccupation here with "the mind of the other." I noticed another poster make reference to your interest in it (although I cannot find any record of your having initiated the discussion).

While the series was still active I saw you invoke this theme frequently whenever you emphasized the cultural shock that the gargoyles experienced in modern America, and I appreciated the fact that you treated our linguistic tendencies to "name everything" as a curious human social construction. It helped to push the idea that these creatures were _not_ human and that we could not understand their natures or their motivations from within the context of human sensibilities. I see there is some similar talk here of the fay, and the notion that their essential nature might be something that is sufficiently far removed from humans so as to be outside our understanding. All of this puts me in mind of the anthropomorphic problem that the SETI administration outlined for dealing with the idea of extraterrestrial intelligence's. Human beings have a tendency to ascribe human values to non human species, and beyond that have considerable difficulty in contextualizing "the mind of the other" without unconsciously resorting to the context of human sensibilities.

Which brings me to the reason for this post; because being a student of the sciences (and probably less attached to my humanity than most people), I have found reason to be extremely critical of some of the aspects of the way the anthropomorphic problem is treated within the natural sciences as it applies to non-human animals. Generally speaking, my problem is that some of the more archaic ethical distinctions that are made between humans and other animals have their foundation in the premise that the ascription of certain mental capacities ( reflection, emotion, etc.) are the ascription of _uniquely human_ qualities. The fact that this premise, itself, is socially constructed rather than informed by data, seems to be lost on at least most _social_ scientists. What is troubling me is that I have begun to observe this kind of thinking migrate into the popular domain through science fiction. I don't really follow sci fi, but I've seen star trek, and I have had occasion to see the half-dozen or so other popular sci fi programs that one can find on television. I see a trend wherein the heroes casual disintegration of a planet is commonly justified with the hazily defined and indistinct ethics of "It did not harbor any sentient life."

This trend is scaring the hell out of me; because the expression "sentient" is not really used within the scientific community, so it does not have any agreed upon definition attached to it and there is no objective data informing the idea of it. The word seems to have infiltrated popular culture, however, where it finds frequent expression. That's what's bothering me. I see a lot of the same hazy ethical reasoning on this board. A number of messages expressing the confusion that humans in your story were subject to when they "mistook the gargoyles for animals rather than sentient beings" and in doing so, justified a campaign to exterminate them.

I would hope that a reasonable group of people would be given pause by the almost casual disregard for life that is being demonstrated with the prioritization of one life over another based upon the presence or non-presence of this seemingly magical endowment. Because if I am reading the intentions of the contributors to this board accurately, then it would appear their position is that if the occupants of that clock tower had been a group of stray dogs or a family of polar bears, then annihilating them with a wire guided missile would have been perfectly reasonable. "It's all right. It didn't harbor any sentient life." I would encourage the fans that come to this site to give some thought to what it is they mean by "sentience." What is the content of this sentience? If it entails that a creature can react to it's environment, anticipate, reflect and emote, then it should be pointed out that what available data exists indicates that this capacity is only about as exclusive a domain as most land based vertebrates.

I guess they shouldn't have disintegrated that planet after all. I hope to encourage others to give this issue the thought that it requires. I am also hoping to elicit some commentary from you, on the matter of how you perceive "the mind of the other." What mental distinctions do you draw between humans and gargates or faeries. I would be interested in hearing you address the notion.

Punchinello

Greg responds...

Thank you for writing. It certainly gets me thinking.

I'm probably as guilty as anyone of overusing, or rather overbilling the issue of "sentience". I think the concept has its uses. But it's probably used as a crutch too often.

Certainly, I don't want to see a family of polar bears, anthropomorphic or otherwise, blown up by a guided missile.

I don't much like the idea of destroying planets. In science fiction or otherwise.

As to this "mind of the other" concept...

Well for starters, I don't believe I did initiate the discussion of it -- unless you're including my constant admonishments to posters here that they are thinking like a human.

The previous post by Demoness and my response are a perfect example. She thinks Oberon is out of line. But she's thinking like a human, and a biased one at that. (I don't mean to pick on you, Demoness.) Oberon has a valid point of view. We may not like it, but it seems justifiable to me.

But the question of the mind of the other, was posted here initially by someone else. ( I can't remember who it was at this moment. ) I only just answered it in the last few days. Since you posted YOUR question, hopefully you've seen my response to that one.

And to reiterate, my response was that I'm still (in our universe) interested in the mind of US. Not the OTHER. But one way to explore that is to put ourselves in the shoes of the OTHER. Finding and describing and bringing the OTHER to life, whether as a Gargoyle or as a Child of Oberon, is for me an exercise in EXTRAPOLATION.

For example: If I was me, BUT I turned to stone every day AND I aged at half the rate I currently do PLUS most of my species had been exterminated 1000 years ago, ETC. -- then WHAT WOULD I BE LIKE?

For me, it's less about investing in species then in individual characters. Each with his or her own UNIQUE LIST of "extrapalatory parameters" (I just made that phrase up.)

It's really no different with a character like Elisa. After all, I'm a white Jewish male from California who has spent his entire adult life working in fiction. Elisa is an African-American/Native-American female from New York who's spent her adult life fighting crime. To understand her, I need to extrapolate.

However, in order to understand individuals of another species, I need to know more about that species. I need to envision the parameters that I will use to fully create their characters. So I've done that. In many ways, to me, gargoyle culture represent a kind of ideal. Not perfection, which doesn't personally interest me. But an ideal. Purpose. Loyalty. Oneness with the world they live in. Etc. I've borrowed things that I admired from multiple cultures and from my imagination, and I've tried to weave it into a coherent whole that fits the biology that I assigned them. These biological limits also create parameters for extrapolating character. Yes, the turning to stone thing. But also the group egg laying on a twenty year cycle. This naturally leads into the group child rearing thing. One is biological. One is cultural. But they are linked by extrapolation.

[Or... and I know this sounds silly but... perhaps they are linked by truth. By the fact that they exist in the Gargoyle Universe. As I've said many times before, sometimes this show flowed so well and easily, that it just seemed like I was tapping into something that existed. (But that's got nothing to do with this discussion, so let's ignore it.)]

And yet, from my point of view, all this is used to further illustrate the human condition. I don't think Oberon does or should think like us. But don't we all know a couple people with a little Oberon in them.

Keith David has said, as recently as seven days ago, that when he grows up he hopes to be like Goliath. And I personally think, that flawed as he is, Goliath is a wonderful role model. So we, as humans, can learn from Gargoyles. And we, as humans, can learn from Margot Yale as well. Maybe as a negative example. Maybe as something more down the road.

Ending Hunter's Moon with Jon Canmore becoming the human equivalent of Demona, was not an accident. They arrived at that point in two very different ways -- each, I hope, well informed by his or her species. (Or well extrapolated.) Nevertheless, the similarities between them are obvious and represent a "lesson" for us all.

All that stuff interests me MUCH, MUCH more than the exercise of creating something fully OTHER, just for the sake of achieving that.

Someday that may not be true. Aliens could land in Washington D.C. tomorrow and then comprehending the OTHER for the sake of understanding the OTHER will become a BIG priority fast. But for the time being, the human race is effectively alone in the universe. And before the aliens land, I'd like us all to get to know ourselves MUCH, MUCH better. In that sense, an Oberon, a Goliath, a Nokkar, are all just tools to that end.

The concept of sentience, comes in again, as I said, as a crutch. A convenient distinction between Bronx and Goliath, for example. Let's say you're from Russia. You don't speak English, and Goliath doesn't speak Russian. Still you have a hope that one or both of you may learn to speak the other's language. Dialogue is possible.

Bronx isn't ever going to speak Russian or English. That's the distinction. For what it's worth. In a moral sense, I'd say it's not worth MUCH at all. In a PRAGMATIC sense, we're not being honest if we don't admit it MEANS a lot.

Now. I don't think sentience is a WALL. Koko the gorilla can communicate in sign language. And I've got to say, I'm not sure that whales and dolphins aren't squealing complex philosophical discussions every day of the week. (Which is confusing because Dolphins have an eight day week, and whales have a thirty-seven day week. But what are you going to do?)

But even including a Bronx or a Cagney has value in the show. How do we respond to them. How do they respond to us? It's fun to do "The Hound of Ulster" and try to understand how an "animal" responds to various stimuli. It's still extrapolation. Now, with Bronx, I can cheat. I can keep him a beast and anthropomorphize him to my heart's content, because that species doesn't truly exist. I can make him as intelligent as I want. My goal there is to simply be consistent. Bronx can't start responding like Scooby Doo one day. You get the idea.

It's still about us understanding us and our place in the world. If in my own small way, I'm helping to open minds, helping to pave a bit of a way for when the aliens DO LAND, then great. But first and foremost, I'm asking us to KNOW OURSELVES.

Anyway, I feel like I'm starting to get repetitive. But this whole thread intrigues me. Feel free to post again with a follow-up. And everyone's welcome to join in.

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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Jonathan M Perry writes...

WHo does the voice of Fox Xanatos? Its been bothering me for weeks.. please let me know. cavalier80@home.com

Greg responds...

Laura San Giacomo. Currently a regular on "Just Shoot Me".

Response recorded on July 01, 2001

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Demoness writes...

In your opinion, if Gargoyles ever became a motion picture, out of the well known actors, who do you think might best play Macbeth?

I say Sean Connery. He's got the looks (well use too, stick some hair on his head and he's fine), the accent, and he's played a King and warrior before. :)

Greg responds...

We just had this discussion here. Check out the Ask Greg Archives under Macbeth, or Live-Action Movie or Voice Talent.

Response recorded on July 01, 2001

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Jim R. writes...

If any of your spin-offs went through, do you think you would be able to get all the same voice cast back?

Greg responds...

Largely. Getting Roddy McDowell or Ed Gilbert might be tough.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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LSZ writes...

Of the more obscure(meaning you can't hear their regular voice elsehwere on tv or movies like say Jonathan Frakes or Kate Mulgrew) voice actors of Gargoyles, which character's voice did their usual speaking voice most closely assemble?

Specifically Jeff Bennett, Kath Soucie, Jim Cummings and Tress MacNeille?

Greg responds...

Uh, I'm not sure how to answer this.

I haven't worked with Tress that much.

Jeff sounds more like Brooklyn than either Owen, Vinnie or Magus, but he doesn't exactly sound like Brooklyn either.

Kath doesn't have a Scottish accent, so I guess she sounds more like Maggie than most of her other characters. But she doesn't really sound like Maggie either.

And Jim isn't really from Australia. And he doesn't really sound like Darkwing Duck.

Response recorded on June 28, 2001

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John writes...

Hi Greg,
I`m back (not as if annyone is interesting:), and here comes my question :

Jason Barnett writes...
You've stated that you'd like to see the people who voiced the characters portray them in a live action movie. However John Rhys-Davies would make a fairly poor MacBeth because of his size. So excluding him who would you like to see portray MacBeth?

your awnser:
I don't know. Connery? He's probably too old now. Guess we'd have to hold auditions. :)

Actually, I'm not sure I agree with you about John.

Well, now that is the first time, you say, wich Hollywood actor you would like to see in a gargoyles live action movie becides the voice actors. Are there anny more Hollywood actors, you would like to see in a G. movie?
Hope, you`ve understood me. It feels great to be back:)))
CU, John

Greg responds...

Welcome back, John.

But I don't really understand. Are you defining "Hollywood Actor" as something different from our cast, most of whom have acted "in Hollywood"?

Response recorded on June 27, 2001

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Blaise writes...

OUTFOXED

Okay, finally back on track since mid-March.

First off, yes I'll agree this ep had a few problems, which you pretty much pointed out in your ramble--animation problems, especially in relation to Goliath's size, and the extra flashback are somewhat annoying. Still, this ep did have some nice stuff. And the sound wasn't too bad, I still heard, and loved, Goliath's "That. Stings."

Anyway, as soon as I heard "Cyberbiotics" I was interested in where this would be going. Hearing the name "Renard" I instantly guessed some connection with Fox. Her being his daughter did cross my mind, but I didn't rule out any other possible relation to him.
(If I may digress here; I knew that "renard" was another name for "fox" from its usage in a children's book I had had for years, THE TOMTEN AND THE FOX. Just felt like mentioning that.)

As for Vogel...when I first saw him I laughed. I thought he was a wonderful in-joke, one of the best I had seen in any series. I'm surprised people had a problem with him looking like Owen (as I said, I thought it was extremely amusing). Of course, at the time I first saw the ep, I was surprised he ended up having as big a part as he did. I thought he would just have had that one appearance at the beginning and then, that was it. But he turned out to be a very important (and interesting) character in this episode.

Renard intrigued me...mostly because of his unhealthy appearance and use of a high-tech wheel-chair. Despite this, he had a reasonably strong voice and managed to "talk-down" to Goliath (something Todd and I both find amusing about the interaction between the two).

Fox: I loved seeing her in the "red sweater and tight, black pants" ensemble. Her fight with Xanatos was fun as well--he knocks her down once, she gets back up, pins his arm behind his back, and then takes him down with a flip. Fun!
I never picked up that Xanatos was afraid when he mentioned "test results." Probably because as soon as I heard that I figured out that Fox was pregnant (I was finally starting to expect greater things from this series).

Back on the Air Fortress--I had missed METAMORPHOSIS the first time this aired, so I didn't know who this "antonsevarius" was that Renard mentioned. I didn't pay it much mind though (after all, Renard had immediately before named Owen as an ex-Cyberbiotics employee, and that really interested me). Basically, I forgot all about it when I finally did get a chance to see METAMORPHOSIS, so when I watched OUTFOXED again, and heard Renard mention "Anton Sevarius," it was like finding out the connection for the first time.

On a similar (but not quite) note, when Renard mentioned "My Anastasia. My Janine." Well, I guessed right away that Janine was Fox's real name. I don't know why...maybe that just seemed to fit her better to me than Anastasia (who I then figured to be her mother).

Vogel's betrayal and return to Renard's aid were, in my opinion, handled quite well. I found Vogel's actions believable, and had no problem with his change of heart.

Goliath gives Renard a great speech on the difference between the minds of living beings and automotons, and the two have one of my favorite exchanges in the series.
RENARD: "One thing I do know is your debt to me has been paid in full. A ship for a ship. We are even."
GOLIATH: "No. We are friends."
RENARD: [laugh] Yes. Friends.

And then the tag! I knew Fox was the "Hang-gliding ninja" and that she was Renard's daughter by now. AND that she was pregnant. But I still enjoyed this tag. I really liked the discussion between father and daughter, and the way the revelations were handled. A very fun ep.

Another digression: When I showed this ep to my mother, she instantly recognized the voices of both Peter Scolari, and Robert Culp. Anyway, I thought they did great jobs, and I still love the little nuances Culp managed to invest in Renard.

Hopefully, I'll catch up with your rambles by tomorrow.

Greg responds...

I hope so. Cuz I like your rambles too.

Yeah, Peter and Robert were terrific.

And I'm glad the Fox stuff worked for you. It's a strange little episode, but it's also got some pretty revolutionary stuff in it. Kind of insidious that way.

Anyway, I'm fond of it.

Response recorded on June 21, 2001

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Yttrium writes...

Can you tell us of any particularly amusing/interesting garg reference in either MAX STEEL or 3X3 EYES?
Thanks.

---Ytt

Greg responds...

I can't think of any in max.

There are quite a few in 3x3, including the use of a lot of garg voice talent. For example, Keith David plays a cop and uses his Morgan voice. He also plays a much more startling character. It's a hoot.

There's a homeless guy who hums the gargoyle theme song. I did that voice.

Someone says, "What could be strong enough to leave claw marks in solid stone?"

And so on...

Nothing that didn't TOTALLY fit the context. We didn't want to abuse 3x3 for the sake of Gargoyles. But where it fit, it fit.

Response recorded on June 21, 2001

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Demona Taina writes...

This is another stupid question.. but you've said before that when one of your voice actors had a busy schedule that he/she could not get out of, you simply got another actor to play the part, like what happened with Maria Chavez and Margot Yale. What happened when one of the main characters' voices was unavailable? (Keith David, Thom Adcox, Marina Sirtis..) Did you postpone the recording session or something?

Thanks!

Greg responds...

We postponed recording them. We'd record the other actors and get Keith or whomever when we could. It wasn't usually too long a wait.

Response recorded on June 19, 2001

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Bethany writes...

This doesn't neccesarily have anything to do with gargoyles per se, but i was wondering if you had any advice for me on something: I'm a theater major, and looking into voice work, either for animated shows or commercials..is there anything in particular I should avoid/definetly do in looking for this sort of work? I am in the dark.

Greg responds...

For starters, where do you live?

If the answer is anywhere but L.A. or maybe New York, then my second question is When are you moving?

It's not impossible to have a voice career elsewhere, but the odds are stacked against it.

Once you're here there are classes I can recommend. But you can't take them long distance.

Response recorded on May 30, 2001

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matt writes...

ramble on "Revelations"-

first of all, the name is perfect for this episode, perfect!

ok, i agree, Tom Wilson is excellant in this episode, you can hear what he's thinking with his tone throughout the episode, both while narrating and not. its Tom's performance here that makes Matt one of my favirote characters.

until your ramble i had no idea that a different person was voicing Chavez, which is wierd cuz i usually notice things like that. oh, well, she did a great job!

when Matt first discovers the stuff in the clocktower i was horrified, "Oh no! He's going to discover the gargs and hate them!!" then i realized i've been wanting for Matt to discover the gargs since "The Edge"

until your recent posts i didn't realize that Mace ended up dying at Hotel Cabal, i figured that eventually the Illuminati came in and saved him. Hacker seemed too casual talking about Mace for me to think he died. actually for the rest of the series i was waiting for Mace to get his revenge on Matt and Goliath... guess not, huh?

this episode definetly had the best turn-to-stone scene in the series, its like Matt said, "Wow..." sometimes i'll watch just this part of the episode, its amazing, especially Bronx, i love his stance, beautiful.

Chavez's line to Elisa and Matt about finding each other is one of my favirotes. they were finally acting like real partners by "The Silver Falcon", now they are friends too. Chavez looks especially pleased with herself at this too, probably remebering Elisa's objections to a partner in "The Edge".

i'm happy Matt got his own episode, not just tagging along with Elisa and dissapearing at the right times, what a good episode too...

Greg responds...

Thanks. I'm fond of it too.

I just used Tom Wilson again on Team Atlantis.

I think he's terrific. He played Pete for me on Max Steel.

And he just played Ashton Carnaby on Team Atlantis. It was great to see him again.

Response recorded on May 02, 2001

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Kathy Lowe (AKA The Gatekeeper) writes...

Just my $.02 worth on "Outfoxed". I'll leave the in-depth analysis up to Todd and Aris.

When I saw Preston Vogel for the first time, I honestly thought that is was Owen. All the characters extremely complex; I never thought that it was a copout from an animation standpoint. I went right to wondering what Owen's hidden agenda was. All the other villains had a hidden agenda, why not Owen. His "I've got a secret" attitude was evident from "The Awakening".
By the end of the episode I started having doubts that Vogel was Owen, but I didn't entirely dismiss the idea until I watched "Golem". The amount of care that Vogel had to give to a very sick Renard was more time consuming that even Owen could handle.
While I was expecting a hidden agenda out of this episode, (how could I not, Xanatos was involved via Fox) I never expected it to be Fox's agenda which was her relation to Renard. While I definitely understood what the "Tests" were, my vocabulary is woefully inadequate, so I did not know that Renard meant Fox.
I was not surprised by a pregnant cartoon character. I grew up with the Flintstones; and Wilma being pregnant with Pebbles. Back then, knitting baby booties was the way to indicate that someone was expecting. (The last sentence is for those readers who are half our ages <g> Boy do I feel old)

Greg responds...

Yeah, me too.

Obviously, Fox wasn't as ground-breaking as Wilma. But I think she's up there.

Interesting side note, Laura San Giamcomo and Jonathan Frake's wife Genie Francis were both expecting at the same time as Fox.

Response recorded on May 02, 2001

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Jason Barnett writes...

You've stated that you'd like to see the people who voiced the characters portray them in a live action movie. However John Rhys-Davies would make a fairly poor MacBeth because of his size. So excluding him who would you like to see portray MacBeth?

Greg responds...

I don't know. Connery? He's probably too old now. Guess we'd have to hold auditions. :)

Actually, I'm not sure I agree with you about John.

Response recorded on May 02, 2001

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Blaise writes...

CITY OF STONE PART 3

Well, now that you mention it, I suppose the title doesn't adequately capture the full impact of the multi-parter (especially the flashbacks), but I never noticed it before. And it is still pretty cool.

Yeah, it always did bug me that Elisa was facing the wrong way and began talking when she reverted back (not only that, but her eyes somehow closed while she was still stone--and Owen somehow managed to stand straight up).

Owen's "awakening". Very rarely do we get that much emotion out of him. ;) And I love the look he has when he sees the phone cord is broken.
And then there's his line as he surveys the "clear signs of a struggle" in the studio--"You've managed to stop the broadcast I see." Or something like that.
It wasn't until after THE GATHERING that I knew what Xanatos was meant when he mentioned "mixing magics." Before that, I had always wondered what he had been referring to with that line. The spell seemed like it was of the Grimorum. But I let it slide until all was revealed, and then I marveled at how early this seed was planted.

The news scene is indeed quite fun. Wasn't that "I never watch television" woman the one from the Diamond Exchange back in HER BROTHER'S KEEPER? Who did her voice in this ep?

It's very hard for me to watch Macbeth, Duncan and their sons on their outing--especially how quickly Duncan seems to forget that Macbeth saved his life. Neil Dickson does some very good voice acting, as you have pointed out. It's especially good with some of the more inventive touches of writing, such as Duncan switching to the use of the "royal plural" when Macbeth pleads on behalf of Demona and the other gargoyles.

Ah, the Weird Sisters as the Witches. Y'know, I actually heard about a production of the play in which the Witches actually DID appear throughout the play in different guises--most noticably as three Nurses in the "Out, out damned spot" scene. It adds an extra power to their presence--especially in this four-parter. And I too like Luna's incredulous "You would lecture US on Fate?" Kath Soucie does some incredible voice-work throughout this series.

It took me a couple viewings before I could pick out Macduff, but it was fun once I did. I think he had a scar on his face...but I can't be sure.
One thing that bothers me about the "gargoyle smashing" sequence is that the animators can't seem to keep track of which gargoyle(s) was(were) smashed. Oh well, Demona's Second still makes a good impression. I just love the look he gives Demona when she says there's no one else fit to lead the last of the gargoyles. Talk about insulting!

Once again, Bodhe suggests the submissive action and once again Macbeth follows it. Says his good-byes (yes, it is quite touching, and the fear in Grouch's voice when she says "Husband?" after Macbeth's "Know that I will always love you" is quite good).
Macbeth's interchange with Demona and the Weird Sisters' spell...what can I say. It's well animated, well acted, and a wonderful sequence. I did indeed understand that the Wierd Sisters appeared differently to D and M, and I figured out most of the aspects of the spell that were revealed in Part Four (and may I just say, that the spell has rules the crueler side of me tends to revel in).

I always wondered what Demona was thinking when she saw Macbeth and Gruoch together--her face shifted from one emotion to the next (a far more guarded look) so quickly. Maybe that was her intent.

Love the battle, though I do wish we saw Macbeth putting up a better fight against Duncan. He probably would have--if Macduff hadn't tried to blind-side him. "Treacherous human" is right!
The globe was a cheat, yes. But its effect on Duncan remains one of my two favorite death scenes in GARGOYLES. How can you beat fire shooting out of a man's head and mouth?
Ed Gilbert sure read a great "THE NIGHT IS WON!" line. I don't know why, but it's appealing in a funny sort of way (maybe the crack in the voice).

Canmore proves that he inherited a bit of his father's mean streak--and deviousness. The mask of the Hunter passes on.
Meanwhile, Macbeth is crowned, and Demona named (and cheered by the humans). This is another of those "heart-breaking" scenes because I know that eventually things just have to fall apart. Still, it is nice to see everyone happy for this brief moment. And if you look in the crowd scene, you'll see a brunette-woman who shares Princess Katharine's fashion sense. ;)

I recognized the Sisters as Police officers (and liked it).
I picked up on the "semi-running gag" of "That's one way to end an argument" when Elisa and Owen turn to stone mid-struggle.

One of my favorite exchanges:
GOLIATH: What is Elisa doing here?
BROOKLYN: She doesn't look happy.
XANATOS: Owen sometimes has that effect on people.
It's just so fun.

I figured there was something behind the tapestry when so much emphasis was placed on Bronx clawing it. And I knew Bronx was going to save Elisa as soon as the cliff-hanger happened. I still didn't like having to wait for the next episode, though.

Multi-parter's coming to an eventful end, sure enough.

Greg responds...

I don't think it was the same woman from the Diamond Exchange. The voice here was Rachel Ticotin's.

And Ed Gilbert was just great. He's sorely missed.

Response recorded on March 13, 2001

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Chapter XXVIII: "Revelations"

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.

CONTINUITY

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....


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Chapter XXVII: "Outfoxed"

Time to Ramble...

My three year old son Ben watched the opening titles for about the five hundredth time. On the one hand, he made the point that it was getting dull seeing this same opening. He wanted me to fast-forward to the actual story.

On the other hand, he spent the time reviewing "the rules". How the gargs turn to stone during the day. How Goliath is the leader. Etc.

One thing we always cheated on was how Fortress-2 landed. There it is on the ground awaiting it's maiden voyage, and I just don't see any landing gear.

Vogel is introduced. This is another thing where I had to carefully explain my long-term intent behind the screen in order to get a model for the character that really looked like Owen but wasn't his twin. I remember a lot of people on the Disney Afternoon mailing list reacting negatively to Preston in this episode. Like he was a feeble imitation of Owen. Like we didn't know how to do any other kind of executive assistant. I was simultaneously amused and annoyed by those kind of comments. So now I'm curious. What was your initial reaction to Vogel? And what do you think of him now?

As usual, Travis has old-school attitude when interviewing his subjects. I like that. Makes him more of a character and not just a reporter place-holder.

Fox in casual clothes. With a very casual, yet strangely intense attitude. "I know what happens next," Fox says to David.

My six year old daughter Erin asked, "Why is she watching [Travis' report] like that?" She could tell something was up there.

And in fact, like UPGRADE, this was another episode where we were intentionally trying to show that Fox was David's equal. We show it physically in their martial arts work out. And we show it by giving her a ruthless and complex plot to take Cyberbiotics. In fact, in this episode, when you add in the fact that David is clearly in the dark about her pregnancy test, she seems to be a little equaler than he is.

Fortress-2 takes off. And Goliath sends us into flashback. This is flat-out padding. For some reason, though the script is the same basic length as any of our scripts, this one timed out short after story-boarding was done. (Most of my stories time out too long.) So we added this flashback. I think it was a mistake. It kills the stories momentum, and we already had the sequence later where Renard shows all the important scenelets to Goliath. Those become incredibly redundant. When you add in the "Previously on Gargoyles" opening, it was just too much.

Elisa reveals the show's Hill Street Blues influence by telling Goliath to "be careful out there."

Goliath gets attacked by cybots. As noted, any individual cybot is no match for him. But they have strength in numbers. I wanted to show that Goliath can still kick some ass when motivated. So the cybots shoot at him. And his only response is "That. Stings." Very intense. Unfortunately, I think sound-wise the line gets buried.

And that's a general problem with the episode. On a technical level this just wasn't one of our best. The animation isn't awful, but it's mediocre. Goliath's size relationship gets screwed up here and there. (Particularly in the brig sequences.) The story's padded by flashbacks. Our normally great sound team, didn't do the most inspiring job on this one either. It just generally feels like one that got away from us.

I still think there's some great stuff in it. And the revelation of Fox's pregnancy actually makes it something of a landmark (both for our series and for animated series in general), but the execution never quite lived up to its potential. Oh, well.

CONTINUITY & INTRIGUE

Did anyone remember Cyberbiotics before this ep? Had you ever wondered who Xanatos was stealing from in the pilot? We knew that Cyberbiotics abandoned their underground base, which became the home of the Mutates. Now we were rebuilding the air fortress and revealing that the CYberbiotics Tower is still in business.

Also, Renard mentions Gen-U-Tech. And the revelation that Sevarius and Burnett used to work for Cyberbiotics. Of course, Renard thinks that Xanatos stole Sevarius and Owen away. We know better. We knew even then that Sevarius is much better suited to work for a man like Xanatos than Renard. And of course, now we know why Owen was Xanatos-bound as well. But what did you guys think of that minor revelation at the time?

Renard's opinion of Xanatos is probably colored by his relationship to his daughter: "And that's the least that viper has stolen from me." Did you stop at that moment to consider what that meant and what he meant by the "My Anastasia. My Janine." line? Did anyone (from Renard's name, if nothing else) guess that Fox was his daughter, before the tag? Who did you think Anastasia and Janine were at that time? Or did Goliath's follow up line, "My angel of the night." distract you from considering these questions?

At this point, just before the Janine line, Erin (who has seen these before, but not recently) remembered: "That's Fox's daddy!"

Goliath has some cool lines here too. "I belong to no one." "I serve no master."

And Renard (voiced by Robert Culp to perfection) has some great lines too: "Not my fault, not my fault. You sound like every human employee I've ever FIRED." and "Take some responsibility."

What was fun for me, although maybe for no one else, was (a) to get some hard thoughts about both the need and the difficulty of maintaining personal integrity up onto the screen and (b) doing that by lecturing to Goliath, arguably one of the most "integrous" characters I've ever written. (b) served (a), by showing that even Goliath can be prone to slipping.

The thing is that integrity really matters to me. And yet, I don't know how much of it I exercise in my own life. I really do try. But it's so hard. And not because I'm a dishonest person, but more because I'm lazy. It's easier to shift blame, to tell white lies, etc. The alternative takes effort and vigilance. I think the rewards are immense, even if the costs are too. But I ain't kidding myself about the difficulty.

The martial arts scene. Reminiscent of the scene from the Edge where Owen toppled David. Here we hinted even more strongly that Fox is Renard's daughter. David is basically giving her permission to back out of the plan, to save face and exit, BEFORE she destroys her father. It's not that David really cares about Halcyon. I think he's thinking about his relationship to his own father. David likes to believe (at this stage in the series) that he's evolved beyond the need for a parental relationship. But "Vows" sort of demonstrates that his relationship with Petros is much more complex than that. David still needs parental approval and is somewhat amazed (at least subconsciously) that Fox does not. Again, in this episode, Fox is more than his equal.

And now the doctor calls with test results. David shows legitimate fear here for a moment. He's not thinking pregnancy. He's worried maybe she's sick or something. She enjoys toying with him. Maybe she's just in a mood. But her armor is on in force in this ep. We won't really get INSIDE Fox until "The Gathering" two-parter.

Finally, Goliath acknowledges his crime: "I was wrong." Cary had this great line for Renard: "I'm glad you're gargoyle enough to admit it."

Robert Culp and Peter Scolari were an interesting pair as Renard and Vogel. Culp was tough in the booth. Very precise. Very clear ideas about how he wanted to play the character. Tougher on his performance than Jamie and I were. And the results show.

Peter was a dream to work with. We spent an hour talking after the recording (about Busom Buddies, mostly). He's an incredibly nice guy. And he picked up the character right away. Despite the fact that we didn't have Jeff Bennett there to do a little Owen for him. He just got it.

Until the end, Vogel really plays Renard in this. He knows how much Renard hates whining blame-shifters, so he's constantly saying things like "You can place the blame on me if you like." in order to defuse any of Renard's suspicions.

But in a more subtle way, Renard is unwittingly playing upon Vogel as well. He doesn't intrude on Vogel's phone calls. He treats him with respect and gives him credit ("You and I built this ship together"). Insists that Vogel save the people in the tower, even if it means Renard's own life. We can see that Vogel was willing to take Fox's money for a bit of corporate espionage. But Vogel is not a killer. (It's important to see that he views Goliath as a creature.) This partially explains his turnaround at the end. (Which some people complained about.) All along he's been trying to get Renard to GET OFF THE SHIP. But Renard forces his hand. And when push comes to shove, Vogel likes Renard too much to see him die. "Mr. Vogel, I knew you wouldn't let me down." "You have that effect on people." And then Goliath basically bluffs him at the end there into confessing, screwing up their relationship.

But Goliath fixes it again. His last discussion with Renard sets up the reconciliation between them that must have taken place before "Golem".

At any rate, it's also nice to see Goliath make a NEW friend. This was important, because that has always been Goliath's goals. To make friends with humans on his own terms. Every once in a while, we had to show it working. Couldn't just be ONLY Elisa forever.

Ben weighed in at this point and said, "Daddy, I love Xanatos. And I love Fox." Of course, Ben and Erin dressed up as David and Fox at the last Gathering. In fact they dressed up in the martial arts outfits from this episode. Thus the affinity. I once played Theseus in the play THE WARRIOR'S HUSBAND. And Edmund in KING LEAR. It gave me an on-going affinity for both characters and awakened my interest in "The Bastard" archetype.

Now the tag. I'm usually pretty proud of our tags. They often advance the overall story as much as the entire episode. But this is one of my favorites. "Hello, Janine." "Hello, daddy." Was anyone ready for that? And her attitude: "Almost got you that time, didn't I?" The whole sense that Fox is in all this just for kicks. She's not as acquisitive as her husband. He'd always take the path of LEAST resistance to a goal. If Renard would give Janine the company, X would suggest she ask for it. But she doesn't care about the company. ONLY the game. X likes the game. But he's about RESULTS. All established in one little scene.

And of course that slick little pregnancy revelation. I think that was one of the most revolutionary and flat-out subversive things we did on the whole show. Was anyone ready for that? We had hinted at it with the "genetically compatible" line in "Eye of the Beholder" and obvioulsy with "It's your doctor... with test results." But I think it was quite the shocker.

And Fox is so tough. Pregnant and back on the hang-glider. I love it.

Okay, I'm done. You're turn. Ramble away...


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Tk writes...

Hey I'm Back, not that it really matters much.
Anyway,ok i hav eto ramble about something and i hope it won't affend you or anyone who reads this.
The rumor of a live action movie has been around. (don't get annoyed i haven't said anything yet) I think that great,great that the story is being (excuse the word) resurected.(not that is was ever gone in the eyes of the fans)But does it have to be a live action movie. I just think that kind of ruins the story we (as the fans) have come to love.unless you were going to have the same cast for the parts as you did the voices. Sound is a big memory trigger and for all the people who watched it before want it to be like they knew it. I personally hate it when a story continues however it does and the voices or character change. I don't know maybe it is just me. I just think that there would be nothing wrong with an animated one, I mean the show was animated to begin with. I also really feel strongly on the voice thing. Voices should stay the same.I think that a live action might reck the story. Like (and forgive me for using this example some people can't stand it)the Harry Potter thing, brilliant books that the world fell in love with ,but the movie is going tobe live and i think that recks it. We no longer can imagine what the character are like because we will be told. I don't know, am i making any sense? Please tell me what you think, what are your views on this, what do you hope for the movie, what do you hope doesn't happen, what do you want. And please tell me if what i'm saying makes sense, please rip it apart and criteac it.
Thank you so much for listening.

Greg responds...

I'd love to do an animated movie that CONTINUES the story. But that's not being presented as an option.

So instead, I believe, they are planning a Live-Action movie that ADAPTS the story (at least to some degree). Sometimes this works. (Superman the Motion Picture). Sometimes it doesn't. (The Shadow.) So in theory, I have no objections, and in fact am rooting for the picture, for both its creative and commercial success -- if for no other reason than it increases the odds of the animated tv series coming back.

As to the actors, well, I would hope that they cast Keith as Goliath, Marina as Demona, Salli as Elisa, Jeff as Brooklyn, etc. Assuming all those characters are still in the movie script. Of course, I have no control over that, but I can dream...

Response recorded on February 08, 2001

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DCB writes...

I understand that Frank Welker did the voicework for Bronx. But was it also him who did the assorted animal-type noises that were mixed with the speaking gargoyles' speech (i.e., Goliath growling, Brooklyn's groan of realization/surrender on the rooftop in ''Temptation'' (''Demona: Do you really think they would accept us with open arms?'' Brooklyn: *groans* ''No.''); Hudson's war cry as he descends upon the Steel Clan robot in ''Awakening, Part Five'')?

I think it turned out to be a poorly organized question, but I should let you be the judge of that.

Greg responds...

It's organized fine. But no. Frank did many animal noises for us that were blended with various monsters, like Nessie and Thunderbird, etc. And of course he did Bronx, Boudicca, Gilly and (sometimes) Cagney. But the human voices that were blended with sound effects for each individual gargoyles were the voices of the individual actors who portrayed those gargoyles.

I remember, for example, that when Brigitte Bako first joined the cast, her roars were pretty feeble. But by the time the second season ended she could scare the pants off you. Keith, Jeff, Thom and Bill were all naturals at it.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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Jim writes...

Do you know where I could find a single site that could tell me what other sorts of films, shows, etc. that the voice actors of the Gargoyles series starred or voiced in?

Greg responds...

Nope. Anyone else?

Response recorded on January 31, 2001

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Maxy Steel writes...

Hey Greg!

1. I noticed that Gregg Rainwater voiced "Jake Nez" in Max Steel, and "Jake MacDonald" in 3x3 eyes. Was there some kind of joke or connection with having the same first name for both characters, or just a really strange fluke?

2. I know that Max doesn't always wear the chest plate. (like how he didn't have it for most of "Scions") I was curious, does that thing do anything interesting? Hold water, contain weapons, possibily a swiss army knife?

3. I know that in "Sacrifices" Rachel and mant of the other agents had pistols or some kind of fire arm. Since this is a kids show, I was kind of surprised by that. So, out of curiosity, do most agents have a weapon at all times? I can see why max wouldn't need one, but others like Rachel, Jake, possibly Berto if he ever left N-tek?

-Maxy Steel

Greg responds...

1. Just a fluke. I named Jake Nez. But the Jake MacDonald character was already named when I came onto 3x3. Gregg was just great in GARGOYLES, voicing Coyote Trickster and Natsilane. He's been a favorite of mine ever since, so I try to use him on every project.

2. Don't know. I was not involved in the animation or design. Ask Mattel, I guess.

3. 'Berto maybe not. He doesn't usually go out in the field, and when he does, I'm not sure it occurs to him to grab a piece. Max, no. Rachel, yes, in my mind. But I'm not sure the WB agrees.

By the way, 3x3 Eyes is now available on video. And coming soon to DVD.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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NZGargFan writes...

Q2:

I read somewhere that Elisa Maza was the cartoon drawing of actress Salli Richardson. Is this true? Were any of the other character's based on the actors/actresses voicing them? Thank you once again for your time.

Merry Xmas, and All the Best in 2001!

Greg responds...

It's kinda true.

We had a very similar drawing of the character "Elisa Chavez". Not different enough for anyone to notice in passing. But when Salli was cast, we changed her ethnic heritage from Hispanic to African/Native American to match Salli's ethnic heritage. Elisa Chavez became Elisa Maza. And we gave Salli's photos to our designers so that they could split the difference between our original Elisa and Salli. And in fact, back when Salli had long hair, there was a striking resemblance between her and her character.

People said the same thing about Xanatos and Jonathan Frakes. But that was coincidence. Xanatos was designed before Frakes was cast. Later, Jonathan would occasionally trim his beard to match Xanatos, for example when he was playing Riker's clone. Or when he did some publicity for us.

The only other time when designs were based on performers was in the episode "The Mirror". Although constrained by the basic look of our gargs, we tried to get a flavor of Keith David, Edward Asner, Jeff Bennett, Bill Fagerbakke and especially Thom Adcox Hernandez into the human versions of Goliath, Hudson, Brooklyn and especially Lex.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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Chapter XXIII: "City of Stone, Part Two"

Time to ramble...

Xanatos again does equally well as hero and villain, as he opens the episode saving his and Fox's lives.

He's got some nice lines here too:

Another reprise of Launchpad McQuack's old: "Any landing you can walk away from..."

"At least she's not chipped."

"Demona and I need to have a little talk."

"No sense hailing a cab." Or stealing one. I'm not sure if it's clear, but we wanted to give the impression that traffic was hopelessly stalled by all the stone people behind the wheels of their cars. And that Xanatos would have to hoof it.

And then it's back to the clock tower where my favorite line is Brooklyn's as he's looking at what he thinks is a statue of Elisa:

"The nose is all wrong." Gotta love a critic.

Goliath doesn't objectively know that the statue is really Elisa, but his instincts are clearly firing up early warning signs.

Meanwhile, my daughter Erin is busy advising all of us: "They should make sure... cuz that's really her!" and "I bet they're going to Elisa's house." Which they weren't.

CONTINUITY
Originally, we had planned to (as usual) leave Hudson behind with Bronx. But we switched it to Broadway, so that Hudson could come with and reestablish his fine relationship with Robbins. I should point out that we BEGAN work on City of Stone before Lighthouse. We knew we needed a blind man for City. That blind man was then developed for Lighthouse, making for a great scene in City. Sometimes, things just seemed to work.

Brooklyn still hates Demona intensely. Forcing Goliath to compensate.

My son Ben was all nervous that "They're gonna turn to stone again." He was vague on who the "THEY" were.

Demona's reign of terror on the statues presented us with interesting S&P problems -- and some bizarre but VERY FUN solutions. Adrienne understood the necessity of having Demona blow up and/or smash a few of the stone humans. Even though the implication was death for those people. She was okay with it on the condition that we didn't spell it out, because, at worst, the death's were so fanciful, they certainly weren't imitatible. But she did want us to limit the number of deaths. So at one point she nixed the idea of blowing up yet another statue, but allowed us to blow up the shopping bags (and hand and arm) of one. This seemed less harsh to her. Of course, bloodthirsty lot that we were, we loved it. Because if you think about it, it was certainly more horrific come sunrise.

I finally saw the two statues that people thought were Brendan & Margot. Certainly, they looks like them a bit. But trust me. Two different people got destroyed. That woman was a brunette. And the guy was wearing a toupee.

At this point, Benny became as concerned as Goliath that Demona would shoot Elisa.

Then we segued into our flashback and Benny was still trying to figure out why Demona scratched Gillecomgain in the previous episode. Erin, meanwhile, wanted to know why Gille was wearing a mask.

Me, I'm still fascinated with Bodhe for some reason. I love how he talks big at first, until Mac makes it clear that he's not going to obey. Then he goes into pleading mode.

I also love the scene with Gruoch on Lunfanan Hill. Very heartbreaking and romantic. Did kinda make me wonder what would have happened if Macbeth had just said "Screw it!" and spirited Gruoch away with him. What would there lives have been like then?

The Weird Sisters are fun at the wedding. I like the line: "Certainly not our hero." It's one of those self-aware-tv-moments-that-ride-the-edge of which I'm so fond.

I also really like Duncan's scene with Macbeth after the wedding. He's such a manipulative bastard.

And now we begin to parallel similar scenes in City One. The Weird Sisters again go to Demona to get her to ally with Mac.

Demona: "Ally with a human. Never Again." Well, obviously Demona should never say never again, but in this context she's thinking about her alliance with the Captain and the tragedy that led to.

There's a nice little beat with Gruoch's rose. Gruoch seems cold to her new husband Gillecomgain. We wonder if we should feel some sympathy for a man who has married a woman who loves another. We wonder if he has feelings for her as he gently takes up the rose she was sniffing. But then he crushes it underfoot, so basically we feel okay about hating him again.

Erin asked: "Why'd he step on it?"

And I didn't want to answer, because the writers are trying to manipulate you.

Ben answererd for me: "Because he's a bad hunter." A much cleaner explanation, don't you agree?

Notice here that Mac is not yet the fighter that he someday will be.

Notice also if you watch all four parts of City of Stone together that Emma Samms who voiced Gruoch -- but had never done voice work before -- gets progressively better with every episode. She's somewhat stiff in City One. As with many live-action actors, she's unused to using her voice alone to project subtleties. She's a bit better here. But by City Four, she's rockin' the joint with some really powerful work. I can't remember when I've ever seen any performer push the learning curve that quickly. Most either get it or don't. A few of those who don't, slowly improve with practice. Emma just revved UP.

Did anyone else feel that we went to the well with that long drop from the Terrace at Castle Moray once or twice too often? Again, we were trying for parallelism, but I hope it didn't get boring.

Erin: "I like Macbeth when he was a little boy. I don't like him when he's a grown up." (I think she meant she liked the younger red-headed heroic Macbeth in general in these City flashbacks. Didn't like him as a present day villain in Enter Macbeth, etc. This actually pleases me a great deal. It's the ability to create sympathy in villains that separates Gargoyles from many of its rivals.)

I love that moment when Demona rips the mask off. Gille indicates his scars, "'Tis you're handiwork, remember?" And Demona honestly and simply answers "No." And he goes BERSERK! Bad enough she scratched him and altered the entire course of his life. But that the event was so insignificant to her that she doesn't even remember it...! Now THAT pisses him off.

Gillecomgain should have known: "Live by the drop, die by the drop." As he follows Findlaech's course to doom.

I also like the little moment o' connection between Mac, Gruoch and Demona. Demona actually says Thank You to a human.

And another wedding. Two in one episode. Bodhe introduces: "Lord and Lady Macbeth!" I wanted to get the designation 'Lady Macbeth' in here somewhere. Just to provide more obvious contrast between our version of Gruoch and Shakespeare's.

I also get a kick out of the chilling little scene back in the present with Brooklyn & Goliath. Brooklyn bringing up the "Massacre at Castle Wyvern". Fearing that Elisa could wind up a victim too. This sets Goliath off to the point where he is CLEARLY thinking that he needs to KILL Demona now. "Once and for all." And then those creepy little stone Weird Sisters. Yikes.

Then Xanatos has finally made it across town and is back in hero mode. He saves Owen. And shuts off the broadcast, clearly thinking that that will break the spell. At least, I hope that was clear. Honestly, I'm not sure if it was. I wanted the audience to think that would work. Then be surprised when it doesn't. Did that work for anyone?

The "Hunter" shows up. Demona at first recognizes only the mask. How many times must I destroy you?! she says. A hint to events in the past of both City and Hunter's Moon. But than when she sees him feeling her pain, she knows exactly who's behind that mask. I'm curious how many people picked up on that. This was the first time we showed them feeling each other's pain. The first time we had them in real proximity to each other.

Their fight is kinda cool. There's a neat moment when Macbeth is flying Demona like a kite. And he's very gutsy throughout, leaping after her. Of course, he's semi-suicidal, so it's no surprise he's fearless. But we don't know that yet.

And finally, our cliffhanger. X is so sanguine. "You want vengeance or a solution?" And we end on a surprising image: Goliath and Xanatos shaking hands. Now, it's like no big deal. They ended up teaming upfrequently. But I thought that then, it would be startling.

WHAT DID YOU ALL THINK?


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Melissa writes...

Hey Greg

I don't know if you have ever heard of the VH1 show, "The List", but on Monday (12/4), Salli Richardson was a guest on the show!

I was so thrilled when I found out that it was her. I had seen her before in a Deep Space Nine episode, but since then I was waiting to see her again . Infact, I didn't even recognize her because she cut her hair really short. I thought she looked great and it was really good to hear Elisa's voice again.

Greg responds...

I don't watch it, but Salli is, I believe, a regular (short hair and all) in FAMILY LAW, a CBS drama that airs on Monday nights, I think.

Response recorded on December 22, 2000

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Corrinne Blaquen writes...

Greg, have you done any voices on Gargoyles?

Greg responds...

I was the second commando, who said: "Nice Mask" in Awakening, Part Two.

Response recorded on December 21, 2000

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Ithica writes...

About Milord Arthur:

Who provided the voice for King Arthur? I loved his performance, and I'd like to know his name.

Also, my favorite thing about him is the way you designed him. It's the best visual embodiment of the Pendragon that I've yet seen. What talented person or persons designed him?

Thanks.

Greg responds...

Ryan St. John did the voice.

I'm fairly certain, that Greg Guler designed the character, but I can't be 100% on that. It was a long time ago.

Response recorded on December 21, 2000

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LSZ writes...

A weird question, but I just finished the movie version of Camelot, so: can King Arthur of the Gargoyles universe sing well?

Greg responds...

I don't know. I guess it depends if John St. Ryan can sing well.

Response recorded on December 21, 2000

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Maxy Steel writes...

Yeah, I just keep sendin' 'em in. I hope I'm not bothering you to insanity.

1. If L'Etranger is not a robot, and he's not a person in a suit, then is he a cyborg, like Smiley?

2. And wouldn't hair and eye color "naturally" changing be counted as DNA reconstruction?

3. In your world, did Mairot die in "Shattered?"

4. Which voice actor does who in the show, of the characters that show (somewhat) regularly. I already know ones like Max, Rachel, Berto, Smith, Laura, Pete, Smiley, Mairot, and Dread. But what about others, like Sophia, Vitriol, Dragonelle, Woody and Annabelle Barkowski, and L'etranger?

Thank you soooooo much!
-Maxy Steel

Greg responds...

1. In my development, yes. I can't speak for the new producers.

2. No. I consider it part of the color/light warping abilities of the Max-probes.

3. No.

4.
--Sophia and Dragonelle were voiced by Mia Korf. (She's great. She also did a voice for me [Natsuko] in 3x3 Eyes.)
--Woody was the amazing Jeff Glenn Bennett (voice of Brooklyn, Owen, the Magus, etc.)
--Vitriol was an actor named August Paro, that I had never used before. But I thought he had a great voice.
--Annabelle was done by the same performer who voiced Claw and Nought in Gargoyles.
--L'Étranger was voiced by John DeLancie. Better known as "Q"
in Star Trek.

Response recorded on November 21, 2000

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LSZ writes...

Do you have any vague ideas in mind as to voice actors for the major characters we never saw on the show or got a leica reel, particularly Mab and Katana?

Greg responds...

Mab & Katana, no. I haven't thought about it.

But for some others, yes.

There are obvious ones like Samson, Delilah, LXM, etc.

And a few others.

Response recorded on November 17, 2000

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Ray Kremer writes...

Vows. I always prefer this style of time travel theory, when you affect events in the past you are fulfilling history, not changing it. Too few time travel stories do this, most instead taking the track of messing up the time line and then putting it back, or else just changing an unpreferred event into something else. New timelines, alternate timelines, erased timelines, it all just gets too messy sometimes. Also fun are the "cause it by trying to prevent it" stories, done with prophecy in Greek myth and time travel today. MIA even got into the act, though in a most unique fashion.

"More's the pity." I love that line too. And Morgan Shepard's wonderfully expressive voice just adds to the whole experience. I'll be the one to ask this: In the plan for Dark Ages, would we have seen the events of Vows from the other side of things?

Greg responds...

Eventually. Dark Ages begins in 971. Vows was set in 975.

Morgan Shepard was great, but Keith David said "More's the pity."

Response recorded on November 17, 2000


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