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Chapter XLII: "Sanctuary"

Time to ramble...

This episode was directed by Dennis Woodyard, written and story edited by Cary Bates.

The one word title, as usual, was one of mine. I thought initially that we'd be even more focused on the Cathedral. That we might play a Quasimodo character. Heck, if Disney's "Hunchback" movie was going to have living gargoyles bouncing around, then I could have a Quasimodo swinging from the bell-ropes.

But the story, thank goodness, rightly evolved into a family drama with Goliath, Elisa, Angela, Demona, Macbeth and Thailog (and Bronx) providing us with one very ODD family. Quasimodo went away in favor of Thailog.

And we had to work a bit to make sure the thematic idea of the heart as a Sanctuary worked its way into the picture. Thank God for that French minister, eh?

During the "Previously..." recap the following exchange was heard between my eight year old daughter Erin and my five year old son Ben, after Angela learns (in that scene from "Monsters") that Goliath is her biological father:

Benny: He IS her father. He laid the egg.
Erin: Girls lay eggs.
Benny: His wife laid the egg.

ROMANCE

Enter, for the third time or the first (or, depending on your point of view, maybe this one doesn't count either), Ms. Dominique Destine. She tells Mac, "We have all the time in the world..."

This for me (and I know for Bond expert Cary) was a very memorable line from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." And always a good sign that a relationship is going to come to a bad end.

Elisa tips her hand, which she can do cuz no one is awake, about how she really feels about Goliath here. "The most romantic city in the world and Goliath isn't awake to share it with me." (Or something like that, all quotations are approximate.) That's what she'd like to do, I'd wager. Soar over Paris with G. the way they soared over Manhattan in "Awakenings". Now had he been awake, do you think she would have made that request? Or would she in fact be distancing herself from him simply BECAUSE she had that impulse?

After her adventure on the Loch, it's nice to see Margot on a pleasant little stroll through Paris.

THE GARGOYLE WAY

Why is Goliath so resistant to parenting Angela? After all, though they're really more like younger brothers, he does his fair share of parenting the Trio.

He falls back on "The Gargoyle Way", but that's certainly inadequate, as Diane Maza will later point out. Yes, he's only one of her rookery fathers, but he's (a) the only one there and (b) the only one left alive except for the two souls trapped inside the AWOL Coldstone.

Ultimately, I think the answer is that Angela's sudden obssession with her "BIOLOGICAL" parentage makes him nervous because of the obvious extrapolation to what comes next. If she's obssessed with me as Daddy, then what happens when she learns who Mommy is?

And that's the key. He's divorced Demona. His wife who laid the egg. It took centuries and months, but after "Vows" he moved on. Now he sees Demona as a nemesis. A painful one to be sure, but a nemesis none the less. He's afraid of what the knowledge will do to Angela. He's afraid of what Demona will do with Angela, should Angela share that knowledge. And is he perhaps afraid of what -- under Demona's influence -- Angela might become?

THE CATHEDRAL

There's some nice animation in this episode -- but none of it is at Notre Dame. That sequence put us through fits in retakes and editing. Ugghh. It's still painful to look at.

But there's some nice stuff going on...

Demona says: "In here my love." to Goliath before she realizes its not Thailog. What did you all think of that line? At this point we had only seen one silhouetted monster from a distance. And since you knew Demona was in town, we intentionally tried to lead you to belive that she was the Monster at Notre Dame. Were you expecting Thailog? Or did you think that Demona was addressing G as 'my love'?

Goliath's arrival is a shock to her, so what did you think then?

Then Thailog's arrival is supposed to be a bigger shock to you guys. Was it?

I love hearing Thailog say: "My angel of the night."

Demona has a good line too: "Jealous and paranoid."

Later, we set up Nightstone Unlimited and their two "human" identities, Alexander Thailog and Dominique Destine.

At this point in production, we knew that Fox was going to have a baby but we had not named it yet. I couldn't think of a better first name for Thailog and later I couldn't think of a better first name for Alexander Xanatos. At first this bugged me. But I began to realize it made perfect sense. Xanatos had programmed his "first" son well. If X would pick Alexander, why wouldn't T have picked it as well. And there's something so symmetrical about both his kids being named Alexander.

TOURISTS

Elisa sits at a french cafe talking out loud to herself. Ugh. Very awkward. Obviously, we couldn't come up with a solution we liked better. I'm sure it occured to me to do it in voice over, but just chucking a V.O. sequence in the middle of an ep is very awkward too. Suddenly, the movie is POV Elisa, and we weren't doing that here. (Cf. "Revelations" and Matt's VO narration.)

I do like her last line though, coming as it did from a long time Superman scripter, Cary Bates: "This is a job... for the Gargoyles!"

THE WEDDING NIGHT

We had Macbeth use the Lennox Macbeth name instead of Lennox Macduff because we thought it would be too confusing to give him an entirely different name to any new viewers. And it makes sense that he has multiple aliases. But it still bugs me and I think in hindsight, I wish we had just been consistent.

Demona kicks Macbeth into unconsciousness, and Erin asks: "Why didn't she get hurt?"

And that's a very fair question. As usual with D&M's Corsican Brother connection, we tried very hard to be faithful to it, but it was very hard. And we wound up being a bit inconsistent. The best I can suggest is that when Demona knows she's going to hurt M and it isn't just on impulse, she can more or less steel herself against the magical feedback. It's still painful. But she doesn't show it as much.

The Gargoyles wake up and Elisa says: "Look alive, guys!" Well, they do now, don't they?

I love how Thailog slips Mac the gun and then later yells at Demona, "Didn't you search him?!" He's an evil genius that one. And passive-aggressive too.

Thailog's plan is brilliant, I think. So elegant. So simple. And if not for Elisa, so effective.

Mac's suicidal tendencies resurface. Demona's legendary temper gets the better of her common sense.

Thailog really comes into his own in this ep. Sure, Xanatos said he may have created a monster, but now Thailog has outsmarted X, D and M. Who the hell is left to outsmart?

And he has some great lines too:

"You and what clan?"

"Teamwork is so overrated."

"Aren't you spunky?'" (Another Lou Grant reference of course.)

To be fair, he couldn't immediately know that Angela was blood kin, but still doesn't his reaction to her give you the creeps? When X says Angela is lovely in "Cloud Fathers" I don't think anyone thought he was being salacious. But T? Yeah, baby.

Of course, Goliath finally gets the picture after this one. Up to this point, he was thinking Demona's the lost cause but maybe Thailog is salvagable. Now he knows better. At least about T anyway.

BATTLE

There's a lot of water in that water tower. It looks cool though. The animation here makes up for the Cathedral stuff.

I love Goliath's two-handed punch.

I love Demona's punch-drunken sway, as she makes her move to, as Mac says, "put us out of our misery..."

But I've always wondered why the background painters put multiple pictures of Elisa on the wall of Macbeth's chateau. Odd, that.

When I was young, I used to love MASH, particularly back in the Wayne Rogers days. (And, yes, Wayne is a friend of my dad's now. But they didn't know each other back then so I was unbiased.) But one thing that used to drive me nuts was the repetition of the following exchange:

<LOTS OF SHELLING IS ROCKING THE HOSPITAL. SUDDENLY, IT STOPS.>

Hawkeye: Do you hear that?
Someone else: Hear what?
Hawkeye: Silence! The shelling's stopped!

This was fine the first time they used it. By the twentieth time it got VERY old.

But we do a version of it here after Elisa shoots Demona ending the battle.

Why? When it used to drive me nuts? It's amazing what I'll pay tribute too.

KEITH meet MR. DAVID

I love playing Thailog against Goliath, because I love those Thailog/Goliath exchanges where Keith plays both roles. That's one of the main reasons we created Thailog. To enjoy listening to Keith go to town.

1st Epilogue:

Goliath: "She has done you a favor, Macbeth."

That line should be a bit of a shock when G first says it. But it makes a lot of sense after he explains. And I love the look that Goliath and Elisa share. They aren't even pretending they don't share those feelings. They just won't act on them.

And how about Goliath actually telling a joke: "Just make sure you get a good look at her at night." Word.

2nd Epilogue:

One of the things I like about our series is we didn't have to end each episode the same way.

This one ends rather darkly. Goliath won't acknowledge the obvious. He just broods. Angela turns to Elisa: "Elisa, I have to know." And Elisa confirms that Demona is Angela's mother, because it's ridiculous to either lie or to not confirm the obvious that Angela has already figured out. But she knows G didn't want A to know that. So everyone is left unhappy as we sail into the fog.

And Erin ends the episode saying: "I think Elisa should be her mother."

(Me, I've always seen them sharing a more sisterly relationship. But I thought Erin's idea was sweet, and certainly came out of the sexual tension between E&G.)

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Chapter XXXXI: "Golem"

Time to Ramble...

This episode was directed by Frank Paur and was really based on an idea of his that pre-dated the introduction of Renard in "Outfoxed".

The episode was written and story edited by Gary Sperling. Gary selected this episode, because he felt he had an affinity for the subject matter and because his brother, a Rabbi, was able to advise him on things like the Hebrew, etc. (But I tell you, recording some of that Hebrew was a bitch.)

I love most of the backgrounds on this episode. Very striking and atmospheric.

RENARD & CO.

My eight-year-old daughter Erin spotted Renard, and immediately recognized him as "Fox's father." I think Robert Culp does a great job with Renard. And (futzing aside) with the Golem as well.

Vogel's back with no explanation or indication that he fell out of favor. I guess Goliath's speech to Renard at the end of "Outfoxed" carried real weight. I think it shows something in Renard that he's able to give Vogel a second chance.

And Renard's other compatriot is Brod. A new gangster of the new Eastern-European school. I can't remember if I already had plans to pit Brod against Dracon. But I liked the contrast between them. And I like how tough and fearless Brod is. And also how outside-the-box he is in his thinking. He'd rather have the hovercraft than a cash payment. He sees the advantage.

Goliath spots Renard (and vice versa). Renard isn't pleased, cuz he knows he's doing wrong and doesn't need a reminder that he used to lecture people on integrity.

Goliath IS pleased, initially, because he sees Renard as a potential ride home. Here, and for the last time until probably "Ill Met by Moonlight" and "Future Tense", the focus is still on GETTING HOME.

But for Renard, the focus is on living. ("Integrity is a luxury I can no longer afford.") Goliath is stunned. He calls Renard someone "I thought I knew."

There's some nice climbing here. Just visually, the way the gang climbs up the bridge. The way Angela and Bronx climb up the tower. The way Bronx later climbs down. I just think it's cool.

ELISA & MAX and GOLIATH & THE GOLEM

I also like Elisa and Max's little exchange at the beginning.

Max: What are you looking for?
Elisa: New York.

Max was consciously designed to parallel Elisa. And she at least, notices the connection. When she says "The Golem needs you as much as you need it." I think she's thinking about her relationship to Goliath. (It may be a touch arrogant, but it's accurate too.)

He's the human ally and advisor (sometimes guide) to a protector made of stone and clay. The parallels of Golem to Gargoyle are obvious, and the main reason why I felt we HAD to do this episode. (Probably the main reason why Frank suggested it in the first place.) I love how Keith read: "So this Golem is a protector." He likes the whole idea. It's almost sweet in a way.

Max is just less confident than Elisa ever was: "What if it doesn't like me?" I don't think Elisa ever worried about that, at least not after she learned that Goliath could talk.

Elisa actually has a bunch of fun lines here:

"Hit it, Bronx!"
"Don't worry. We're the Good Guys!"
"And you get used to the weirdness."

I like how the Renard/Golem turns the lamp-post into a pretzel. But on my tape, he smashes a car that was already smashed. Did that get corrected for later airings?

I also thought it was a nice touch when he knocked over Edgar Blosa's tombstone. I know that was an homage to some movie. Maybe an Ed Wood film? But now I'm blanking out?

POWER-DRUNK/POWER-SOBER

Renard as the Golem is corrupted rather rapidly (if shallowly) by his newfound power. That was the idea. That a man who had been trapped in the prison of his own body would get flat-out drunk on the freedom and strength that the Golem offered: "Instant respect. I could get used to this."

But like any high, one eventually comes down.

And Elisa is the first to start to sober him up. "You're enjoying this!" she yells. It stops him. Cuz he is. But cuz he's not so far gone that he shouldn't know better. He flees. Not because anyone has yet provided an adequate threat. He's really running from himself. But that translates to: let me just get out of here.

Renard actually says, "It's not my fault!" which of course was the one phrase that used to drive him crazy.

Goliath has a great comeback: "A weak body is no excuse for a corrupt spirit." That's classic Goliath, I think.

I love the close up shot of the Renard/Golem looking over his shoulder, weighing it all. Wondering what his alternative is beyond accepting his fate, i.e. his death by whatever disease was killing him.

And I love Goliath's next follow up too: "You've given up all you believe in... for a piece of clay."

I'm sure some people thought Renard's turn-around was too sudden. But between Elisa, Goliath and some well-chosen words from Max ("Can you live with yourself"), and Renard's basic decency, I have no problem accepting it when he finally says, "What have I become?"

THE FINAL BATTLE

Elisa really rocks in this episode I think. That may have been the thing I most noticed in this viewing. I don't think of this as one where she was particularly featured, but she really does great. I love her little "Hi there." close up moment before she decks the bad guy with a punch that comes right into camera and flashes red. (Of course, I doubt you could do that these days.)

I like all the stuff with Golem and the hovercraft.

I'm also reminded here of the end of "Awakening, Part Five" when Goliath is holding Xanatos and on the verge of dropping him to his death. Elisa and Hudson talk him out of it. And Max fulfills the same function for the Golem. And I love Max's line, which is traditional: "Love Justice and Do Mercy." So simple and eleoquent. So right.

In any case, I guess that makes Brod the Xanatos of Prague. Except clearly he didn't fare as well. The Golem's appearance must have convinced him to seek out new "Turf", if you know what I mean.

THE WORLD TOUR

Finally, Goliath has learned something about all Max's talk about destiny and making choices. He finally realizes that Avalon isn't simply messing with them. But that there is purpose and need and destiny. He could choose to skip it. He could hitch a ride with Renard back to Manhattan. But he won't run away. So instead he'll take the Skiff.

Now the World Tour can finally start in earnest. Sure, the audience still wonders when and if the quartet will ever get home. But I think the tenor of it changes now. Now there's an expectation. I think, had we not had to air so many damn reruns during the original run of the Tour in winter/spring of 1996, the audience would have been much more patient after this episode. Like Goliath, they would have understood.

Elisa makes the same choice. Although for her, it's less about quests and destiny than about abandoning her friends: "You guys would be lost without me." And again, kidding or not, there's a certain arrogance. But a lot of accuracy as well.

Anyway, that's my Ramble. Where's yours?


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Chapter XXXIX: "Kingdom"

Time to get back to rambling...

Well, we've had our adventure in Avalon and made a couple stops on what I knew was going to be a long trip. Time to check in on the home front.

Only trouble is, as these things originally aired, this one actually didn't manage to get broadcast right here. It just wasn't ready in time, and we had enough trouble airing reruns without holding up episodes that were ready to go just because this one wasn't. And besides it was all part of Tier Four. So we couldn't justify waiting for it.

Still. Out of the 66 eps I was involved in, only two aired out of order. "The Price" aired too soon. "Kingdom" aired too late.

Hope it didn't screw too much with your sense of continuity.

Oh, by the way, Kingdom was

Directed by Bob Kline
Story Edited by Gary Sperling
Written By Marty Isenberg & Robert Skir

KINGDOM (BROOKLYN & TALON)

The title, I believe, was another one of my one word 'theme' titles. It refers, of course, to the newly established kingdom of the Labyrinth and who and how it will be ruled. Can any organization exist without leadership? Or will a power vacuum by nature be filled by something, positive or negative?

We have in this show two reluctant leaders. Brooklyn and Talon. Ironically, Talon seems to have no problem asserting himself to lead -- especially among the Gargoyles in the void of Brooklyn's unleadership. He wants the authoritiy of leadership without the responsiblilty that comes with actually having the title.

Brooklyn feels a burden of leadership that's two-fold. On the one hand, he feels like acknowledging his role as leader is a betrayal of Goliath. Like he's giving up on finding his older brother. On the other hand, he feels intimidated by trying to fill Goliath's shoes (assuming Goliath wore shoes).

He's specializing in 'avoidance' or as Kent Brockman would say, "Avoision".

"Why are you looking at me?"
"Perfect."
"Stop asking me that. I don't know."

Everyone else is actually working on the missing Goliath/Bronx/Elisa problem. Brooklyn isn't even doing that, because any action risks being misinterpreted as leadership.

HUDSON

So throughout, Hudson uses psychology to gently nudge Brooklyn into the right mental space.

Guess he'll go to the Labyrinth to ask Elisa's brother if he's seen her. Might see Maggie there....

Suddenly Brooklyn is volunteering. For the wrong reasons, of course, but Hudson has at least gotten him started. Moved him from active to passive.

CAGNEY

Is fun in this. Didn't want to leave the poor cat alone for months now, did we? I like how Broadway and Hudson care for him. How the cat reacts, sleeping on Hudson's head, when Hudson wakes up. How he reacts to Maggie the (other) Cat. How Hudson, quietly admits just how much he loves Bronx in Cagney's presence.

AL, CHAS and ?

I like these guys. They're well characterized in just a few little bits.

Al's the homeless guy that Fang harrasses. Chas and his buddy (who's name I didn't catch this time through -- though I know I have it written down at the office) are Fang's cronies.

Jeff Bennett (as Chas' buddy) is very funny describing their discovery to Fang.

There's a brief moment at the end, where it looks like Lex and BW might be smashing these two guys heads in with rocks. But we pull back and see they're really smashing the guns. I don't think we'd get away with even the tease of that in the current S&P atmosphere.

I wonder where they went after Talon chased them out. Can't help thinking they were naturals to join the Quarrymen.

And how's Al doing?

FANG & CLAW

I love Belushi as Fang. (He's got a great growl that's a sound effect, but it works great with Belushi's stuff.) My wife Beth thought Jim was too over the top. But I think he's hilarious.

He's got a bunch of great lines:

"...Flying bug zappers."
"Now wouldn't that be a crying shame."
"Open the door, Fang. Protect the weak, Fang."
"There's a new Sheriff in town."
"Ahhh, mannn...."
"Mutate humor."

Talon: "You and what army?"

Fang: "This army, pal. And you're our first prisoner of war." (Though technically Talon is the second, since Maggie's already trapped in the gun chamber.)

My nearly eight-year-old-daughter Erin asked, "Is he greedy or jealous?" Both, probably.

And he is bright enought to trick Talon.

And Claw is just a love. Charming in his silence. He really comes into his own in this ep, you know?

Incidentally, this year "Kingdom" made the fan's top ten favorite episodes, alongside such others as: "Hunter's Moon, Parts One, Two and Three," "The Mirror," "Future Tense," and others.

I was a bit surprised. Most of the other ten look a hell of a lot better than this one. It's a tribute to Brooklyn's popularity probably, but also, I think to Claw.

There's great fun throughout with that darn key card. Fang trying to bust into the gun chamber initially. Being so frustrated, and Claw just lowering the card in front of him.

"Give me that!" Fang says and grabs it.

Later, after Maggie's escaped, and Fang regains consciousness to find out what happened, Claw does his intentionally indecipherable pantomime schtick. And Fang simply repeats: "Give me that!"

MATT

The scene with Broadway and Matt is oddly animated. Looks briefly like it's from some other show. But there's something strangely cool about the animation, even though it's off.

MAGGIE

Erin said, "I like Maggie. She's very..." But she didn't complete the sentence. Even with prompting from both Beth and myself. She just liked her, I guess.

Maggie begs Claw to let her out. So that she can join the fight? No. So that she can get help. That's Maggie's version of bravery. And I'm not knocking it. Frankly, it's what we teach our kids. You don't teach them to enter dangerous situations. You teach them to go get help. Dial 911. Maggie will never be a warrior, though she has the power for it. It's just not who she is. Normally, that might bug me. But this was a show with so many strong warrior female types, that I liked having the variety.

But this episode doesn't happen to have any of those strong female types like Elisa or Angela or Fox or even Demona. Did it bother anyone that Maggie was the only woman depicted and that she never participated in battle?

Maggie does get to shine in an area that comes more natural to her. Acting. She figures out at the end what Brooklyn is up to, and then performs her heart out to keep Fang in the dark, as she releases Derek. Well, I've always said she came from Ohio to make it in NYC as an actress...

She and Talon are now even more firmly established as a couple. Even in Brooklyn's mind. Finally, he adjusts and moves on.

XANATOS & OWEN

Hey, how about that new security system, installed as a result of Thailog's 'kidnapping' in Double Jep. Doesn't it... SUCK??!!!!!

The cannons do WAY more damage to X's castle than to anyone or anything else. And I also felt like we had done this before at Mac's place in Lighthouse and the Price.

So this is just weak. A failure on our part to come up with something stronger, more original, etc. We needed some action around now. But I still wish we had cracked this better.

There are some fun moments, if not always for the right reasons...

There's a comedy WAY off-model Broadway riding the exploding cannon.

There's a couple gargs falling through X's ceiling.

And it leads into a fun scene...

Owen's stone fist use (though a great idea) is actually a touch feeble, but X is in rare form...

Xanatos: "Do I really need an excuse to have a good time in my own home?"

And Xanatos: "A man has to make a living."

And Xanatos again: "I wasn't aware I needed permission."

Of course, on my tape that effect is spoiled when he suddenly goes cross-eyed. I'm hoping that's a retake that got corrected after the first airing.

BROOKLYN

Finally, after the debacle at X's place (which winds up being less of a debacle since we never figured out an episode that would show how X would take advantage of the info he learned) and after Maggie's plea for help (Brook could never resist a damsel in distress), Brooklyn finally takes up the role of Leader. Reluctantly.

Brooklyn: "This has nothing to do with what I want."

Hud: "Is that an order then."
Brook: "Yeah, I guess it is." Then look at him right there. That's a hero, am I right?

And Erin says, "Funny. All the leaders have long hair."

Hmmmm....

And so Brooklyn can't avoid leadership...

"Yeah, try as I might."

And he and Talon shake hands, as both accept the roles destiny has thrusted upon them. It looks good on them.

And that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Chapter XXXVIII: "Heritage"

Time to ramble...

This chapter was written by Adam Gilad. Story Edited by Gary Sperling, and directed by Frank Paur.

FAME

As I watch each episode with my family, I've got my journal open in front of me to take notes for these rambles. During the opening credits, my five-year-old son Benny said: "I like Gargoyles." I was very pleased, of course. Then he said, "Can you write down that?" So I did. And so I have.

SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT

Back on the skiff, and Elisa still hasn't QUITE gotten the idea. She still anticipates being back in Manhattan. Like visiting Scotland was an anamoly, but now surely Avalon will send them home. (What did you all think at the time?)

And boy, that girl likes her hot dogs. Make her one with everything, you know?

A.K.A. CECIL

Our Sea Monster attacks. It's a cool design, based on research that we did. (It happens to look a lot like a pre-historic whale I saw last night on a Discovery Channel special: "Walking with Pre-Historic Beasts".)

I wish we could have found a less generic name for the creature than "Sea Monster". Thunderbird is a cool name -- particularly since I have fond memories of the L.A. T-Birds from Roller Derby telecasts of my youth -- but our research never turned up another name for the Sea Monster.

Keep in mind that though we did research, we also had time constraints. We couldn't keep researching a topic indefinitely. Eventually, we'd have to use what we had and run with it in order for the story and script to be delivered on time.

But I know Gary and Adam did quite a bit of backgrounding for this story. The Sea Monster, Thunderbird, Raven and Grandmother all came from Haida stories -- though we conflated quite a bit, I think. We did always try to be as true as possible to the history and legends we were riffing on.

HEY, WEREN'T THERE FOUR OF YOU?

As the battle with the Sea Monster came to a close, my seven-year-old daughter Erin said: "What about Elisa? Where's Elisa?"

Five seconds later, Goliath surfaces and says pretty much the same thing, before fearing her drowned by shouting "ELISAAAAA!!" (Shades of things to come -- in Hunter's Moon III.)

TOTEM POLES

Speaking of research, the origin of the whole episode was the fact that Totem Poles caught my eye as being a particularly gargoylesque deal. Then we did some preliminary research and found that they weren't carved in anything that seemed to resemble a gargoyle tradition. They were 'carved to honor animal ancestors'. So rather than stretch (or abuse) the truth, we decided to let the characters (and audience) be lured off course by the poles, just as we had been.

Fake GARGOYLES, right here in North America.

In many ways, I think it could be argued that what takes place in this episode is handled or covered in other episodes to come. We have another episode with a 'sea monster'... a more famous sea monster in a certain loch... coming up rapidly in "Monsters". Also in that ep, one of our cast is lost and feared drowned after an early attack by that monster. And much of Nick/Natsilane's dilemma is also re-covered with a more-important recurring character (Peter Maza) in our other Native American-themed episode: "Cloud Fathers". We even do more with a volcano in "Ill Met by Moonlight". On some level I suppose I regret the duplication of efforts. I don't think we usually did this sort of thing.

But I don't regret the episode. I had plans for Raven. Plans for Queen Florence Island. Plans for Nick/Natsilane. I still think the ep has some cool stuff in it. And I think we NEEDED to cover Totem Poles. It was a natural.

HAR with a V. VAR with a D.

I went to a high school in North Hollywood, CA named "Harvard High School". Named after the University. (Some people have incorrectly stated I went to Harvard for college. But I went to Stanford for Undergrad and U.S.C. to get my Masters.)

I don't remember who's idea it was to have Nick be a graduate of Harvard. Might have been mine. Harvard of course is useful as a symbol.

I like Nick/Natsilane. He's got some nice attitude here and a nice shift. Maybe not the most impressive of our so-called "International Heroes". But very likable.

I give a lot of credit to the voice actor for bringing him to life. Gregg Rainwater was brought in by our Voice Director Jamie Thomason. Gregg was terrific. We used him again in Cloud Fathers, but I've used him many times since Gargoyles. I've even written parts with Gregg in mind. He was Jake Nez in Max Steel. And I cast him as Jake MacDonald in 3x3 Eyes. He always brings incredible humanity to a part, I think. Heroic, but real.

THAT'S NOT A CROW

It's a raven. Our second Trickster makes his first appearance. Of the four (Puck, Raven, Anansi and Coyote), Raven was the guy we gave the most evil bent to.

I like all the shape-shifting he does. (Though when he flees at the end, I wanted him to flee in his bird form, not his Raven-Goyle form.) I also like how he lies by using pieces of the Truth.

Raven-Goyle: "There is an evil sorceress named Grandmother. She summoned the monster that you fought."

When he said that, did you believe him?

Of course, Grandmother does have magic power and she did, in a way, summon the Sea Monster.

IT COULD BE WORSE. I ONCE LIVED ON 28TH STREET.

While doing our research, we encountered names of Islands off the Canadian coast like Queen Charlotte Island. So I named the fictional island we'd be using "Queen Florence Island."

Growing up in Woodland Hills, California, I lived on Queen Florence Lane, a street off Queen Victoria Road. Victoria and Florence were the daughters of Michael Curtiz, the director of such films as CASABLANCA. Curtiz, at one time, owned all the property in that area, so he named the two streets after his daughters.

OR so I once was told... by a ghost named Humphrey who tried to convince me that he was Humphrey Bogart, though you could tell by looking at him that he wasn't.

WHO EXACTLY IS THE SICK ONE HERE?

Elisa is so strong so much of the time, that it's kinda sexy to see her vulnerable and feverish.

Notice that Grandmother doesn't use Fairy magic to heal Elisa. She uses Haida medicine. Thus the rule of non-interference is bent not broken.

I like when Nick comes back in and the Fever's broken. And he says just don't tell me you cured her with tree bark.

When she says, "...and roots." His expression is priceless.

SEEING RED

I like the lighting in the Volcano scene.

Goliath is so glad to learn that other clans have survived, that he doesn't notice -- in fact defends -- the inconsistencies in Raven's story.

Angela, on the other hand is suspicious. This was done, in part, to further develop her character. She's naive about certain things. Having been raised by humans, she's not inclined to judge them harshly or fear their prejudices. But she's not stupid. Something doesn't smell right and she notices.

For once, Bronx though does not. I chalk this up to the high quantity of magic being tossed around on this dying island. Grandmother is not what she seems. Neither is Raven. Bronx is confused.

Anyway, Goliath speaks to Gargoyles protecting to explain away why "Raven's Clan" can both hate humans and protect them. You get the sense that he understands all too well. Like despite everything, there's a part of him -- a prejudiced part -- that hasn't forgiven the human race for what happened at Wyvern. (Also keep in mind, he was just at Wyvern again, rehashing all those old memories.)

Of course, once Goliath learns that Raven was pulling something, he's furious at the trickster. Playing on his hopes AND his prejudices, Raven has risked G's wrath.

At the end of this scene, the three silent gargs vanish magically.

Erin said: "What happened? What just happened?"
Benny said: "How did they just vanish?"

They know I know the answer. But I resist telling them. It's a touch cruel. What did you guys think?

YOU CAN TAKE THE GIRL OUT OF THE CITY...

Elisa is such a New Yorker. Everything is compared to that. "This sure isn't Central Park."

Anyway, Raven, then a bear, then Bronx and finally Angela and Goliath find Elisa. I love Goliath and Elisa's hug. It's so unselfconscious. They were so worried about each other that they forgot the usual distance that they maintain.

SUSPICIOUS MINDS

So who did you trust? When the gargs disappeared, that had to indicate that something was up with the Raven-goyle.

So when Goliath tells Elisa that Grandmother is a sorceress, particularly given that Grandmother saved Elisa's life, we all tend to think that G's been duped. Then we spot Grandmother turning into Thunderbird. What did you all think then?

Benny noticed "her ears" and suspected her even before she turned into T-Bird.

THAT'S GOTTA HOIT

A cool moment in the battle against T-Bird is when Goliath rakes the creature with his claws.

Then Angela spots the Illusion. And plays it cool with Raven.

I like Goliath's line to Grandmother: "We live. We do not thrive."

Grandmother than establishes that Raven is a Trickster and that they are both "Children of Oberon". Thus we establish that aspect of our series.

She states that they are forbidden from directly interfering in human affairs. Reinforcing what the Weird Sisters said a few episodes before.

Raven joins the party. The jigs up, but he revels in it. He's got a few decent lines too.

I like "It's so messy."

POOR HORATIO, ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, NEVER A BRIDE

Elisa more-or-less quotes Shakespeare: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Natsilane, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

I've always loved that line.

Anyway, Goliath and Angela depart to fight Raven. They arrive first, but given the fact that Nick had to...
1. Have a final change of heart.
2. Change clothes.
3. Get up to the volcano without wings.

...He makes good time, don't you think?

Raven brings the totem beasts to life. This was always a bit weird. We introduce illusion gargs based on the totem beasts. But then when we bring the totem pole to actual life (or semblance) we have new designs for the woody creatures.

Does everyone see Goliath play dead for that bear?

Raven has a nice exit line here: "This place no longer amuses me."

Neither does this Ramble.


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Chapter XXXVII: "Shadows of the Past"

Time to ramble....

This chapter (episode) was brought to you by:

Director: Kazuo Terada
Story Editor: Michael Reaves
Story: Michael Reaves
Teleplay: Michael Reaves & Brynne Chandler Reaves

Plus the usual suspects, including Frank and me.

The title is one of Michael's. I had the impulse to shorten it to "Shadows", but I didn't.

THE WORLD TOUR

As the recap ended and Tom shouted out: "Avalon doesn't take you where you want to go. Avalon sends you where you need to be!" My seven-year-old daughter Erin said, "Uh, oh."

"Uh, oh," indeed.

And so we begin Tier Four in earnest. Our quartet of travelers weren't headed straight home. Of course you couldn't know at that time just how long they'd be gone. And frankly when we started writing, neither did we.

It wasn't just the quantity of episodes (23 counting the Avalon three-parter, Kingdom, Pendragon, The Green and Future Tense) that we'd spend before everyone was reunited in Gathering One. It was the reruns in between.

What was supposed to be a five week trip became a five month trip. And so, for many of the fans it became interminable.

Why all the reruns? Well, the schedule finally just caught up with us. When Gargoyles was picked up for a second season by Buena Vista, I was asked how many we could reasonably produce for the fall quarter (between September & December of 1995) without interruption.

I told them that we were prepared to do six more. That was all the scripts that had been ordered (Leader, Legion, Metamorphosis, Lighthouse, Beholder, Vows). But I said we could do 13. We had done 13 the first season with a ten month sliding schedule. Now we had just under twelve months so we could certainly do 13 again.

I was asked what's the most we could do. I said, well if we start right now we can do 18.

Not 52? They asked.

52? Are you nuts? (Well, I didn't say that exactly.) I said we'll never get 52 done for the fall quarter. We'll wind up with a lot of repeats. You (Buena Vista) will not be happy with all those repeats.

They were disappointed. So disappointed, that instead of ordering 18, they only ordered six. (If we can't have 52, then forget it. [Okay, they didn't exactly say that either, but that seemed like the basic attitude.])

So we get to work to do six. Two weeks pass. Buena Vista comes back and says. No, do 13.

We respond with, uh, okay. Of course we've lost two weeks, so it'll be a bit harder, but we can do it.

Two weeks pass. They come back and say, "No, do 18."

We grumble a bit, because now we've lost a month of prep time when we could have been building crews, etc. But okay, I said we could do 18. We'll manage.

Two weeks pass. They come back and say, "Do 52."

Now we balk. We warned you we couldn't do 52 in twelve months. Now you want us to do it in 10? It took us ten to do 13.

Do 52.

And so we did. We built multiple crews. Our staff increased exponentially. We expanded to four writing teams from one. We expanded from one pre-production team (in Japan -- waves at Roy) to three and a half (one in Japan) and two and a half here in L.A.

And we worked like little demons to bring you 52 for the fall quarter. But it was never going to happen.

We wound up doing pretty good. I don't have my old calendar in front of me, and I can't remember exactly how many we managed to air in the fall, but it was considerably more than the 18 that I thought we could do.

But it wasn't 52. And so we had reruns. And reruns. And reruns. And most of those reruns came in the middle of the World Tour. And thus... yes... it seemed to go on forever.

Whoops. Sorry.

Of course, other people didn't care for it for other reasons. They felt it got away from the series strengths of the gargs in Manhattan. Obviously, it left behind four of our characters, and I'll admit that I underestimated the trio's popularity a bit.

But I felt it was important. The World Tour gave our series breadth and hope. It expanded the Gargoyles Universe, added many new characters and in particular added at least four other clans of gargoyles.

And I think some of the stories really kicked ass.

So I apologize for nothing. NOTHING, do you hear me, nothing!!!!!!

Except for that outburst. Sorry about that outburst.

WYVERN, SCOTLAND

Anyway, our first stop was no place new. Goliath immediately recognizes the ocean cliffside as "home, my home."

Even before Hakon and the Captain start to drive him crazy, his dialogue is laced with nostalgia.

He's so into being back in Scotland, that when he climbs the hill, he doesn't even take Elisa with him. Elisa goes with Angela. Which is no big deal. But usually, G's more of a gentleman than that. Particularly with Elisa.

TIDBIT

Angela: "It was always summer on Avalon."

Just wanted to give a sense of things on the fair island. Seemed to fit the legends as well.

TOKYO, JAPAN

I can't say enough good things about the animation in this episode. It's just gorgeous. The work of Disney's studio in Tokyo. WOW! Production AND Pre-Production was done there. All sorts of little touches, like Elisa slipping briefly and regaining her footing. And GREAT, GREAT character animation. Great lighting as the characters enter the tunnels. STELLAR effects animation in the megalith chamber. Just wow gorgeous stuff.

And boy, did we fight over this episode. [Roy, I'd love to get your perspective on this.]

When we got the storyboard from Japan, Frank and I each found something that just drove us nuts.

For Frank, it was the Wyvern cliff. The castle was gone, of course, as Xanatos had taken it away. But the cliff seemed to otherwise remain in tact. Frank was adamant that a chunk of the cliff had clearly been taken away and was part of the Eyrie Building. You could see it on that design. So obviously, we needed a crater of sorts to exist back at Wyvern.

When Frank pointed it out to me, I agreed with him. It didn't bother me as much as it bothered him, but I agreed.

What bothered me was Elisa's parka. In the storyboard, Elisa was wearing a parka with a hood. Of course, she looked great in it. And it kept her warm and safe and dry. But there was of course, no way and no place where she could have acquired that parka. (The Avalon Eddie Bauer, maybe?) So I insisted the parka had to go.

Frank agreed with me after I pointed it out. It didn't bother him as much as it bothered me, but he agreed.

So we gave Japan both these notes. And to our surprise, they balked. They felt that the only changes we were allowed to make to their boards were S&P changes.

We couldn't believe it. Finally, they relented. But on the cliffside ONLY. They felt that was a fair compromise. Since that had been Frank's BIG note, he was appeased. But obviously, I was not. All sorts of people came to me asking me to back down.

But I wouldn't. And I can honestly say it was for you guys that I refused. I knew even then that OUR FANS paid attention. That we couldn't get away with Elisa suddenly having a warm coat from no where.

So I put my foot down, and Elisa stayed cold and wet.

And our Tokyo Studio had another reason to be annoyed with me.

I regret the tension, certainly. But I still think I did the right thing, so I apologize for NOTHING, DO YOU HEAR ME? NOTHING!!!!

Except for that outburst, I apologize for that outburst.

GASLIGHT

A great movie. A husband tries to convince his wife that she's going insane. It's now a staple of melodrama everywhere. And we used it too.

So the ghosts of Hakon and the Captain try to gaslight Goliath.

We tried to gaslight the audience a bit too. Tried to let them think for a bit that Goliath might just be losing it. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, maybe.

You can hear it in Goliath's voice. How he's lost in the past. Angela tells him that he did the right thing all those years ago by saving the Princess.

His only response: "Still, I wanted revenge." I love Keith David's reading of that line.

But we also wanted to play fair, so we dropped a hint: when Goliath hears Demona's voice, Bronx howls. He senses something. Always trust Bronx.

Bronx has a pretty important supporting role in this, btw.

THE AXE OF HAKON

When Goliath and friends first enter the caves, Goliath picks up an old Viking axe. Hakon's Axe. The one he uses in "Vendettas".

Should have been a mace by the way. Should have been the same mace you can see in the opening titles EVERY episode. The one that Hakon used to smash the gargoyles at Wyvern.

Shoulda been. My fault.

Okay, for that -- I apologize. I screwed up. Dang.

THE STREET PIZZA TRADITION

a.k.a.

A CLASSIC MICHAEL REAVES' ELISA LINE:

"This place is creepier than the morgue at midnight."

Michael was great at giving Elisa this tough contemporary feel without taking us out of the moment.

Another good one: "Old wounds bleed as bright as new ones sometimes."

GETTING TO KNOW ANGELA

When Goliath pretends that he's NOT freaking out and having hallucinations, Angela can tell he's lying.

I love Brigitte's read there. She sounds SO SHOCKED: "He's not telling the truth."

You can tell she was raised in a world where there was little cause for lying.

COOL CLIFFHANGER

Goliath attacking Elisa and Angela, thinking they are Hakon and the Captain.

Very dramatic. And again, we don't know yet, objectively that he isn't just going nuts.

What did you guys all think at this point? Did you suspect the truth?

Anyway, Bronx saves the day.

And Goliath runs off. He also has a nice stumble here. Again, parka aside, much amazing attention to detail and character in all this animation. Stunning.

STAR TREK INFLUENCE

No, I'm not talking about the voice cast.

Finally, we objectively reveal that Goliath is being influenced. We see two floating entities hovering over the scene. He doesn't see them, so they're not part of his dementia. Ergo (I don't have much opportunity to use the term ergo you know), ergo, they must be what is causing this.

Of course, they look like energy beings right out of Star Trek.

We also see Demona, Othello and Desdemona.

More of us playing fair. Sure they're identifiable. But of course, they (plus Iago) would be the souls LEAST likely to be haunting Wyvern and Goliath.

SALLI RICHARDSON

Yeah, Keith was the star. And we're always going on about Jeff's versatility. But we really were blessed with an amazing cast right down the line.

Salli does Elisa SO DARN WELL. It's the little things really.

Like when Angela explains about the fissure and how Goliath could die in it. Elisa says, "Swell." Just, "Swell." In one word, she says everything that needs to be said. It's hard. Try it sometime.

SPEAKING OF FISSURES

Bronx saves Goliath (temporarily) from falling by chomping down on his arm. Always thought that was cool. Would have liked to have drawn some blood, but we knew we'd never get away with that.

And the fissure itself is way cool. I love Goliath's fall.

And Elisa's determination, as she starts to climb down feet first. And I love the contrast, as Angela and Bronx, by virtue of their claws, climb down head first.

THE TURN

Some fans have felt, I know, that the Captain's change of heart at the end comes suddenly. That may be so. It's hard in a mere 22 minutes to achieve these arcs and turns. But as usual, we tried to drop subtle hints that he wasn't fully on board with Hakon.

Hakon is enjoying tormenting Goliath.

The Captain says: "Make an end to it." Hinting at his ambivalence. Torturing Goliath doesn't give him pleasure.

And while we're praising voice actors, how about a toast to the late Ed Gilbert, voice of the Captain of the Guard. Wonderful work here. Evil. Tortured. Redeemed.

Ed, wherever you are... THANKS!

THE FATAL FLAW IN YOUR PLAN

Demona. The Captain must have assumed that Demona died in the massacre. He and Hakon figured that her appearance would be the coup de grace. That Goliath's will would just dissolve when faced with her ghost.

They were almost right. But of course, G is no idiot. A bit slow sometimes, but not stupid. Demona's ghost shouldn't be here. Cuz the dame ain't dead.

[By the way, the idea to have her fist morph into a mace was mine. Just a little post-storyboard tidbit that I suggested amid bitching about the parka. They must have liked the idea because that wasn't one I insisted on, but they did it anyway. When push came to shove, everyone -- on both sides of the ocean -- was just VERY dedicated to making the show better.] [See. It's a mace because that's the weapon that we associate with the Massacre. Hakon's axe should have been a mace. How did I miss that?]

Anyway, Goliath figures out the truth and, hey, we've awakened the sleeping giant. He trashes the phony Demona. And we think he's going to smash all the others.

But something even more chilling happens. They all begin to dissolve around him. It still gives me the creeps. Very cool animation AND music and effects. (Props to the gang at Advantage Audio too.)

HOW

Or rather how come we don't have ghosts hanging around ALL the time. I didn't want this episode to open a spectral floodgate, where any character that was killed or had died in the past was available to haunt us.

So the Captain offers two possible explanations: Hate and Magic. Both present in ample supply. Plus Guilt. His guilt. Unfinished business.

THE DANCE

Again, very cool effects on the Megalith's here. But the idea emerges from an old (if not very original) idea I've had since I was a teen. The notion that Stone Dances, that Megalith Circles were like Medieval Mystic Dynamos. Circles of power. That build and generate.

Really came to life here.

I love Hakon's line: "I can feel it. I can feel again." I love that transition halfway through the line between where he can feel that the process is working and when he realizes the simple fact that he can feel things again.

But again, watch the Captain feel his own hand. You can see the ambivalence there. Particularly when Goliath becomes the Ghost and Hakon is beating on him. Cap doesn't participate in this.

And Goliath helps him remember what he has forgotten. The Captain doesn't HATE Goliath. His problem is that G's presence has reinforced his own guilt.

But here's an opportunity to redeem himself: "I can't let this happen again!"

He pushes Hakon back.

Hakon: "You've crossed the lines of power, you fool."

You can almost here the Ghostbusters say, "Don't cross the streams."

RESOLUTION

So Cap hated himself, not G.

G forgives. He forgave the Magus last episode. Now he forgives the Captain. Shows that he's a pretty decent guy.

You think if Hakon made an effort? Nah.

Anyway, I like G's line: "One enemy. And one friend."

And then a positively angelic Captain returns briefly to say goodbye and thanks. I also like the "shackles of hate and guilt" line. And the way he calls Goliath, "Old Friend".

Elisa thinks she's in for a long story.

G: "Centuries long."

And as the sun rises, and Elisa -- as usual -- leans against her stone beau for a nap....

Hakon: "Don't leave me here alone!! Not without anyone to hate!!"

Many people think I should have left him there forever. But evil doesn't rest in peace in my opinion. When left alone it tends to get out of control.

Besides I already had this fun idea. What if Wolf was Hakon's descendant?

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Chapter XXXV: "Avalon, Part Two"

Time to Ramble...

"PART TWO"
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Writer: Lydia Marano
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves

I guess you guys were used to longer multi-parters from us, so you probably didn't think this was the last part when you saw Part Two come up after the title. I tried something different at the end though. Instead of writing "To be continued" I had them put down "To be concluded". It seemed (at least in my head) to increase tension to know that the next part would be the last.

I've been told by people that out of context, this episode is incomprehensible. I hope it's not quite that bad, but I will say that unlike the rest of our eps, I felt that multi-parter eps don't quite need to stand alone in the same way.

Still with all the time travel stuff, it's very complex. I remember Lydia having to come into my office after her first draft and needing me to diagram the time travel for her. The loop that the Archmage takes. I love it. But I guess it's not that easy to follow.

Anyway, this ep was designed to be the second part of a tryptich. This is the one where we focus on our villains and bring them all up to date, just as in part one, we focused on our heroes. All gearing to a MAJOR BATTLE coming in Part Three.

THE EGGS

Picking up where Part One left off, Elisa looks at Angela, Gabriel and Boudicca and says: "These are the eggs?" I love her tone there.

Guardian: "Sorry, I always call them that." It was a cheat to buy us, at least with some percentage of our audience, the shock value of expecting eggs and finding fully grown gargs and beasts instead. Still, I believe that a guy like Tom, dubbed "Guardian of the Eggs" would continue to use that term to refer to his kids, even after they are grown.

Goliath is initially shocked that the gargs have names. Angela says the standard human response: "How else would we tell each other apart?" This was done intentionally to both cover the issue of non-garg naming (which I still think is neat, but which is often a massive pain) and to indicate that these are gargs raised by humans.

BEACH FIGHT

So I'm in my office one day, after the script to "Avalon, Part Two" has gone final. And Supervising Producer Frank Paur and Producer/Director Dennis Woodyard come in. Frank hates the script. Dennis is calmer, but he seems to clearly agree with Frank, more or less.

I'm annoyed because it's VERY late in the game for them to be giving me these kind of notes. Things get heated between me and Frank.

I yell something like: "Well, what do you want me to do?!!!"

And he yells something like: "We need some action! Like a fight on the Beach with the Archmage!!"

And I start to object for about a second. Then I go, "Oh, yeah. A fight on the beach with the Archmage. That'd be cool. Would that fix it?"

"Uh. Yeah."

And that was it. Our fights were always like that. We always only wanted to make it better. He'd get worked up, but the solution wound up being simple and when push came to shove (we never actually pushed and shoved by the way) we agreed on nearly everything.

It was also good to have Dennis' calming influence. Frank and I would go momentarily nutty and Dennis would always maintain.

So anyway, after the fact we added the memorable fight on the beach. Now I can't imagine the episode without it. It forced us to trim down some the Archmages travels (cause we were already long) but it definitely improved the episode.

I think, not sure, but I think I wrote that fight because it came so late in the game. It's also possible, I might have taken it back to Brynne and/or Lydia to write. I really don't remember anymore.

Either way, there are some great lines:

Goliath: "Don't be too insulted!" I love how he goes nuts here. We really get a reminder of his warrior-ness.

Archmage: "Don't crow too loudly, after all, what have you accomplished: you beat up a beach." You beat up a beach. That's one of my favorite lines in the whole series.

Archmage: "At dawn you all will die. Get used to it!"

Tom: "Let's get out of here before the very air attacks us!"

The fight itself is pretty cool too. I like how Bronx and Boudicca immediately team up. I like the symbolic nature of the Archmage growing wings, turning to stone and then shattering. I think that was a board-artist's addition. I don't remember seeing that in the script. (And I'm too lazy to stand up and check right now.)

At the end of the fight, my five year old son Benny asked: "Why can't they glide to the castle?" I had to explain the flight rules.

ANGELA & GABRIEL

Elisa slides up to Goliath: "Angela sort of looks like Demona, except her coloring is different. Exactly whose daughter is she?" Again, I love Salli's reading here. That need to know. The jealousy. The feeling for Goliath -- who dodges the question by saying that all children belong to the clan.

But of course Elisa knows. Knows something that I believe never occured to her before. Sure, she knew that Goliath and Demona had been mates, lovers. But she didn't let her mind traverse to the next logical step. Parents. Together. Goliath and Demona.

And of course, the audience knows it too, I hope. It was never meant to be a secret to anyone but Angela who her biological parents are. These lines also served to point that out.

On the other hand, we didn't make a big deal of Gabe's bio-parentage. But I wanted it to be semi-clear that his folks were Othello and Desdemona (Coldstone and Coldfire). Anyone get that at first viewing?

REUNIONS

Everyone returns to Oberon's Palace. There are many injured and Gabe is apologetic. As Leader, he feels responsible. But there was 'never any need to hone our combat skills' before this.

Tom & Katharine are reunited. Elisa, the cop, picks up on the human dynamics, the relationships, immediately. She sees the Magus' reaction to their reunion.

I also really like the exchange between the Princess and Goliath.

K: "This is more than I could have hoped for."
G: "What you've done for the eggs is more than I could have dreamed of"

SLEEPING KING

We kept dropping hints. He's mentioned by the Magus, but the conversation moves quickly on.

Later, the Weird Sisters mentioned him. The Archmage is surprised to hear he's not a myth, causing Seline to say her famous: "All things are true." line. The Archmages promise to kill the king later.

And Elisa brings the guy up at the end. This policy was me trying to play fair and make his awakening in Part Three not seem artificial. But also not to allow the guy to distract from the matter at hand.

Of course, most of THIS crowd must have known the s-king was a ref to KING ARTHUR. Particularly when the Hollow Hill ref was thrown in too. But did anyone not know on first viewing?

LOOSE ENDS

This was an episode for tying up Loose Ends in a big way. Solving some mysteries.

Why did the Weird Sisters do what they did? (At least objectively.)

Why were Demona and Macbeth working together in "High Noon"? (Elisa: "They hate each other." Guardian: "I saw no sign of that.")

And how did the Archmage survive?

Tom unwittingly hints at the truth when he says that the Archmage seemed to be able to be in two places at once.

Now let's reveal...

WEIRD SISTERS

Wow! Did we get negative feedback from fans when we played the Sisters as villains here. Of course, I always had it in my head that the Sisters had three aspects. Grace, Vengeance and Fate. Sometimes one aspect is ascendent, but there is always a touch of all three in anything they do. But after the Sisters' Fateful appearances in "City of Stone", many fans rebelled at the notion that the objective reason they did all those things was for simple petty vengeance here in "Avalon". Oh, well.

[When Benny saw the Sisters for the first time, he said "Weird Sisters" with an interesting tone of awe. They're his favorites. But he didn't comment on them being bad guys here.]

The sisters have some nice lines...

L: "What is time to an immortal."
Phoebe: "This is true." (in ref to what cannot be broken can be bent).

ARCHMAGESES

Okay, this was just fun for me. In many ways the origin of much of this was the flat out talent of David Warner. He brought such life to the underwritten (and clichéd) part of the Archmage in "Long Way to Morning" that I just knew I'd have to bring him back. Many of the events of "Vows", "City of Stone", "High Noon" etc. were all geared toward bringing him back as a real THREAT!!

Yet with all this, I didn't want to forget the character's roots. We tried to set a balance between his clichés and his new power.

Think about it. The Archmage+ (as we called him in the script), had only been plussed for about a day. Still he's full of arrogance. His power hasn't raised him above that hybris nor above the thirst for vengeance nor above gloating or above impatience. That's his flaw, but also the fun, I think.

And of course, David. Wow.

Praise for Salli Richardson as Elisa. For Kath Soucie as Princess Katharine and all three Weird Sisters. For Frank Welker as Bronx and Boudicca.

But this Archmage stuff here is a tour de force, I think. David just went through, playing both characters. Both versions of himself. Keep in mind, he hadn't been privy to all that the writers had planned. He had come in for his small parts in both "Long Way" and "Vows". Now suddenly, he's this guy(s). Amazing.

"Do you know what to do?"
"I should. I watched you do it."

"Show some dignity."

"I could put you back where I found you."
"No, no." (I love that no, no. So tiny and fearful.)

"Not where. When."

"If you don't know, don't guess."

"The book must remain in play."

"Try to keep up."

"We're not doing her any favors."

"The rules that cannot be broken can surely be bent."

"Nine hundred and seventy-five YEARS??!!"

"I hadn't thought that far in advance."

"What am I supposed to do, eat it?!"

"Now I understand."

"As it did. As it must. As it always will!"

All great fun.

FLAWS

All these episodes were being produced simultaneously. All in various stages of production. So inconsistencies were bound to happen.

The Egg boats are messed up here. Demona's model in her flashback. Etc.

And storywise, what's the deal with Macbeth? I can see why the Archmage wants to include his former apprentice Demona in his plans. He felt betrayed by her, and is glad not to be doing her any favors by enslaving her.

But Macbeth?

Okay, it's not a true flaw. Macbeth is included because the 'plan of the Archmage' -- birthed whole from the timestream without the Archmage ever actually coming up with it independently (though he takes credit) -- included Macbeth.

It is the provence of Luna, not Seline, at work.

But still, I'd have liked to have been able to figure out some connection between the Archmage and Macbeth so that he wouldn't question the boy's inclusion. Thankfully, the Archmage+ is so arrogant, he takes credit and thus never questions. It occurs to me now, that I could have made a connection between Mac and his ancestors, all related to Katharine and Malcolm. Oh, well.

CAPTIONS

These became fun for me. Adding Captions indicating place and time is one of the very last steps in production. So I'm in there for the "On-Line" with Jeff Arthur, our post-production supervisor, and I'm just indulging...

Sure we start with...

"Scotland, 984 A.D."

But pretty soon we're at "YESTERDAY" and "SIX HOURS AGO" and "ONE MINUTE AGO" and finally "NOW".

It still makes me smile.

POWERING UP

So the Archmage gets the eye. Power. But he's still an idiot. He needs wisdom. He eats the book, which I always thought was really creepy and cool. Now he understands. Now we truly have two Archmage+es. But they can't coexist forever. Aside from how complicated that would be to choreograph, and aside from the fact that the timestream needs the younger of the two to fulfill his role....

They also couldn't coexist because both are too arrogant.

So we repeat the scene of departure to close the circle and tack on: "Finally. I thought he'd never leave."

BATTLE FLASHBACK

We get to see a new clan awake from stone. I hoped that was fun.

Ophelia appears (pre-injury). She looked way cool. For all those people who thought that Gabe and Angie were a couple, take a look at the way Gabe is holding Ophelia and looking at her after she's injured.

LAYING PIPE

In addition to the Sleeping King, we were also laying pipe for our whole fourth tier WORLD TOUR. Tom says: "Avalon dropped me in your laps." He credits Avalon with sending him to Goliath.

The Magus declares that he is without magic and useless. Katharine rebels at that: "Don't say it, and don't think it!" She loves him. Just not the way he wanted her to love him.

Bronx and Boudicca want to go with Goliath.

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King...

And Goliath, Angela and Gabriel take off on a stealth attack.

And we immediately see that the Archmage knows they're coming.

Uh oh.

As the Archmage says... "[We've layed all the damn pipe we could possibly need and more], Now the fun really begins!"

To be concluded...

And that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Chapter XXXIV: "Avalon, Part One"

There's no memo, outline or script for this one on my computer, so we'll head right into my ramble on...

"AVALON, PART ONE"
DIRECTOR: Dennis Woodyard.
WRITER: Lydia Marano.
STORY EDITOR: Brynne Chandler Reaves.

THE RECAP

...is all over the place. So much was coming together in this three-parter. The Weird Sisters, the eggs, the Archmage, Tom, Princess Katharine, the Magus, Macbeth, Demona. This was our most ambitious story yet. Which given episodes like "The Mirror" or "Vows" and multi-parters like "Awakening" and "City of Stone" was saying something.

Of course "Avalon" was never designed to be the cohesive single story movie that "City of Stone" was. It was designed as a tryptych. Part one would bring our heroes up to date. Part two would bring our villains up to date. Part three would pit them against each other.

"Avalon I" also represented the first episode in our fourth tier. The three-parter was what we called a 'tentpole'. We knew we couldn't air it until all the Tier 3 episodes had aired. And we knew we couldn't air any other Tier 4 episodes until this three-parter had aired. Despite the fact that "The Price" aired out of order, generally our Tentpole/Tier system worked very well. Out of 66 episodes that I worked on only two: "The Price" and "Kingdom" aired out of order, hopefully with minimal damage to the continuity.

THE TITLE

The title was one of mine. But initially I wasn't sure that we were going to call the island Avalon. Now, it's mind-boggling to me, but I actually had my assistant Monique Beatty (who's now a producer in her own right) research Brigadoon to find out if that name was created only for the musical, or if it was something pulled from legends. I was thinking of Avalon, but looking for something from a Scotish tradition as opposed to British. Fortunately, Brigadoon was created for the musical. So we were 'stuck' with Avalon. Which made including King Arthur a natural.

Many series don't reveal that an episode is going to be a multi-parter until you get to the 'To Be Continued' line at the closer. "Avalon, Part One" could have just been titled "Avalon". The conventional wisdom is that people are reluctant to commit the time to a multi-parter in advance. That it is better to hook them on the story before revealing that they HAVE to come back to see the end. I always felt that was cheating. What is your reaction to seeing "Part One" attached to a title?

OPENING

Another cool shot of our gargs waking up. Always nice to reiterate that at the start of our bigger stories.

Bronx gets left behind. Of course, this often happens. It was one of the things that the World Tour would set about correcting in a BIG way. But we made his getting left behind a bit more obvious here. Usually, he just doesn't go. This time they won't take him and he's sad. We were laying pipe.

My 5-year-old son Benny asked where Hudson and the Trio were going. I had to think about it. "On Patrol, I guess."

OLD FRIENDS

Then the GUARDIAN shows up. I love his cool, Goliath-inspired armor. My 7-year-old daughter Erin immediately demanded to know who he was. I wouldn't tell her. (I'm so mean.) Did any of you guess?

Of course he immediately encounters BRENDAN & MARGOT. (What would one of our multi-parters be without him?)

Then comes the three gang-bangers from "AWAKENING, PART THREE". As usual, Keith David does the voice for one of them -- making it distinctive from both Goliath and MORGAN, who's about to come in and speak. The problem is we got a touch confused. In Awakening, Keith voices the bald white guy. Here he does the same voice, but it's assigned to the black guy. Hard to say which is wrong, except by virtue of which came first. It annoys me though.

Morgan's fun in this. I really like him. No one but Simon DelMonte will get this, and I don't know if he even reads these rambles, but Morgan kind of reminds me of Jeff Goslin, a character that Cary Bates and I created in Captain Atom.

Anyway, I like how Morgan talks Guardian down. And I like how the sword is much heavier than he thought it was going to be. His cop buddies tease him, but he maintains his sense of wonder and goodness when talking about the Guardian to Elisa.

That's kind of a cool scene. First off he describes Guardian's armor: "Real armor. King Arthur stuff." Anyone think this was a clue to what was coming in the next episode? Even with the Avalon title? Then he tells her the guy's looking for Gargoyles. Elisa of course discourages her fellow officers from taking Garg reports seriously. Everyone who's seen one must be a nut-case. These guys should form 'a club'. Then she finds out that this Guardian was asking for Goliath by name. BOOM.

BELVEDERE CASTLE

Site of our last encounter with Demona and Macbeth. Another clue.

Once Elisa got a look at the Guardian's armor, she must have thought -- yeah, there's a Goliath connection here all right.

Goliath shows with Bronx, who gets to come along and come along and come along for once. Bronx always seemed underutilized to us. We knew we couldn't bring the whole clan along. (Too many characters and no poignancy.) But Bronx was an easy addition. Of course, Bronx is also useful as a kind of living personality test. If Bronx likes you, it's a damn good sign. Bronx likes Tom. Does he remember him? What scents do you figure the Guardian carried back from Avalon. Anyway, Bronx engenders immediate trust in the Guardian for Goliath.

I love this scene. Guardian gives everyone so little time to catch up. He talks about the Archmage, reveals that he's Tom and talks about 'the eggs' being in danger. *That was a fun idea. Keep you guys thinking in terms of eggs for twenty minutes and reveal that it's just a pet name for the Avalon Clan.*

Benny asked: "What kind of Eggs?"
Erin: "Gargoyle Eggs."
Benny: "I didn't know Gargoyles hatch out of eggs." [Well, keep in mind it's been a year since he saw the first thirty episodes. And he's too young to remember the first time he saw the ones we're watching now.]

Then there's the skiff. Elisa: "Where'd that boat come from? ... To where? The other side of the lake? ... Wait for me!"

This all sounds fishy to her. Nothing makes sense. I wanted to get a clear shot in there of the pond in Central Park so that you could see objectively that it doesn't go anywhere. But I never quite managed that. I wanted you guys to be confused. Or at any rate to have a million questions. But like Elisa, no matter how suspicious, I figured you'd want to go along for the ride.

FLASHBACK

Mary, Katharine, the Magus and young Tom are all reintroduced. It's very clear that the first three have all learned their lesson from Awakening. They've all really become better people. Tom, of course, didn't need to learn that lesson. But he does learn to be a hero. He officially becomes the Guardian. It begins, I believe, as just a nice gesture on the part of the Princess. Later, of course, it'll become the truth. Then there's the long journey. I like the montage there. Hardship. We never had the time to show enough of the hardship of tenth century life.

Our gang heads into Edinburgh. Constantine's followers are all over the place. They all seem to look like Disney storyboard artists for some reason. ;)

VOICES

There's some stellar voice work in this ep. Morgan Shepard as King Kenneth II. Sheena Easton making her Garg Premiere as Finella. Ian Buchanan as Constantine. (I've already mentioned Keith's versatility.)

But as usual, real props must be handed out to Jeff Bennnett and Kath Soucie.

Jeff plays Brooklyn, the Magus and Maol Chalvim. (No Bruno or Owen or Vinnie in this ep, I'm afraid.)

Kath plays Katharine, Mary and all three Weird Sisters.

They're amazing.

SOAP OPERA

Benny saw Finella and said: "That's one of the witches."

A year ago, Tom was his favorite character. Now Tom barely registered. And he really is fascinated with the Weird Sisters. Anyway, I corrected him, but I was glad that they were appearing later.

Ian Buchanan, once of General Hospital, is playing a cad here. We have to very quickly set up a lot of politics, sexual and otherwise. This story was as historical as we could make it based on the available research, the fact that we had to fit in a few fictional characters and eggs, and screen time compression.

Believe it or not, we also had another character originally that we cut early on because it was just getting too damn complicated. Katharine and Maol Chalvim's cousin: the future King Kenneth III. The father of Bodhe. Yep. That Bodhe. The father of Gruoch.

Kenneth III winds up being made High King of Scotland after Constantine is killed. To get a sense of their relationship, at least as I see it, you might want to check out "Once upon a time there were three brothers..."

(Or to give you a hint, ten years after the events depicted here, King Kenneth III would be murdered by Maol Chalvim's operatives during a civil war. Maol Chalvim was also known as Malcolm Forranach, the Destroyer. We used the Maol Chalvim version of his name so as not to confuse him with Katharine's father Prince Malcolm. Just as in City of Stone we emphasized Malcolm Canmore's Canmore name for the same reason.)

Anyway, Maol Chalvim seems intense but right on the money here. He's even kind of heroic when he and the Magus bring Tom back to Katharine's apartment, and he begs Katharine to go. Kind of heroic. He still leaves her. We were trying very hard to balance out his minor role here with his future roll as the grandfather of and major influence on Duncan. (Of course, he's also Macbeth's grandfather, as well.)

After Katharine tells Maol to go, there's a weird cut of him just standing there smiling. We needed some kind of transition before he took off running, and I guess that was the best we could do. But it's still awkward as hell.

THE MURDER

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

We establish early on that Katharine doesn't think much of Constantine. You wouldn't know it from Awakening, but obvioulsy she's learned to be a decent judge of character.

Kenneth isn't quite so sharp. Everyone can see that he's a fool for Finella. And he doesn't recognize Constantine's threat (despite the fact that Constantine's father was a bitter enemy and) despite the fact that his son flat out tells him to beware. My thinking was that the crown had kept bouncing back and forth between different branches of the royal family. Kenneth had hoped that by taking Constantine in, instead of banishing him, he'd be able to be a positive influence on the boy. A nice idea perhaps, but maybe Kenneth was too innattentive to pull it off. And Maol probably was too covetous to really be a brother to young Con.

Anyway, Constantine tricks Finella and kills the king. We hear Finella sobbing, just to prove that she was neither in on it nor that she would approve of it. (Though one wonders what her reaction would have been down the road if Constantine hadn't spurned her in favor of Katharine. Would she have adjusted to the crime? Or did Constantine become an unredeemable villain in her eyes immediately? I hate to say it, but I tend to think it's the former. Actually, I don't hate to say it. She's more interesting to write that way.)

Erin asked: "He killed King Arthur? Why?"

That's a tough question. So first I had to explain that it was King Kenneth, not King Arthur. Then my wife Beth helped out by explaining that Constantine wanted to be king.

We come back from the act and we see that Constantine was ready for the takeover. The Banners are immediately changed in a scene clearly inspired by the Ian McKellan (spelling?) movie version of Shakespeare's Richard III. (A version I heartily recommend, by the way.)

We also continue to set up the Magus' own tragedy. He loves Katharine. Has loved her since before Awakening. That feeling is shown to deepen here when she is once again in danger. And when Constantine tries to coerce her into marrying him. (The astute Mary and Tom have to hold him back.) Here, we sense that maybe Katharine might some day return that love. That's what I wanted you all to think anyway. Did you?

Constantine takes his crown. Originally we wanted to stage this with the Stone of Destiny as we did with Macbeth. But again, I think we just had too many sets.

Michaelmas. I just like that word.

Constantine is fairly astute himself: "You have 36 very good reasons to obey." We kept reiterating the number of eggs for what was coming later.

THE ESCAPE

The Magus disguises broken pots as eggs and vice-versa. But it always seemed to me that the kitchen staff at Edinburgh sure broke a lot of pots. I mean a LOT!

I like the lines: "Taking the wee bairns for a walk?" and "I don't think I like Gargoyle eggs." Very menacing.

Princess K burns her wedding dress. She feels she cannot leave because C will follow her to "the ends of the Earth." So the Magus responds: "Then I will take you beyond them." Again. Very romantic moment between them.

Finella joins the troop. The WOMAN SCORNED. She's really fun now. Dangerous. I always laugh when Constantine drinks the brew and collapses so abruptly.

Erin: "The Weird Sisters". My kids are just fascinated with this trio. I wonder if they still will be by the end of this three-parter or if like many fans, they will be disappointed?

They get turned into owls. But the Magus worries about giving up the source of his power. K doesn't care about that.

And Finella and Mary agree to take the book. I love these two. I think they'd make a totally kick-ass team. I doubt it would be commercial enough, but I'd love to do a spin-off show just with these two women. At any rate, there was the plan to include them as recurring characters in TimeDancer.

Tom has to leave his mother and his childhood behind. Now his role as the Guardian is a way for Katharine to make him accept the loss. It is the start of their relationship, though neither knows it. I watch this now, and I can't help thinking of the Anakin & Padma relationship and where that's destined to go.

AVALON

Back to the present. We see the impressive shores of Avalon. Very cool painting.

Bronx reacts. Guardian: "He's found the eggs..." And the music swells and two gargs and a garg beast appear on the cliff.

Now is that a cliff-hanger or what? What was your reaction?

Erin and Benny wanted "to see ther rest!" I told them they'd have to wait a week and we got a lot of protesting. Just what I was hoping for.

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Chapter XXIX: "Double Jeopardy"

My family and I watched "Double Jeopardy" a few nights ago for the DCV and for my (belated) but on-going Ramblings on each of the Gargoyles episodes...

(This 'chapter'/episode was written & Story Edited by my old buddy Cary Bates.)

It's literally been over a year since my kids or my wife have seen an episode of Gargoyles. I've occasionally had to check out individual scenes and/or credits for things I've been working on, but I don't think I've sat down to watch a whole episode beginning to end in quite some time either.

Watching the opening titles, my five year old son Benny remarked to his seven year old sister Erin: "You have [Brooklyn] and I have Goliath." He's referring to the Kenner toys I gave them a couple Christmas' ago. Erin, I believe has Brooklyn, Broadway and the Steel Clan robot. Benny has Goliath, Lex and Xanatos.

Then when Benny saw Xanatos in the credits, he said, "I was Xanatos last year." Here, he's referring to the fact that he dressed up as Xanatos for the costume ball at G2000. I had to point out that that was nearly TWO years ago.

TITLE

Cary must have come up with this one, I think. I tend to favor one-worders myself. His original title was "Thailog Rules", which I didn't care for. I liked "Reversals" but he must have convinced me to go for "Double Jeopardy".

Erin, who can now read, asked what "Jeopardy" meant. I said "Trouble". And she was very amused that the title 'translated' as "Double Trouble". She liked that better, I think. She also enjoys reading the various on-screen scrawls, like "One Year Ago" and "One Year Later". Reading is like a super-power to her now. I hope she doesn't lose that.

THE FLASHBACK

So we open with a touch of continuity. Or retcon, I suppose. Though to me retcon is a nearly derogative term suggesting that continuity has been abused to fit new circumstances and I think our little flashback here fits in nicely with what we already knew of that time. A Steel Clan Robot interrupts Elisa trying to convince G that they need to find a new home. Goliath puts the bot down hard and fast. It's a cool and well-timed scene.

It's nice to see Goliath's old stubbornness there too.

Now, to the present. There's a color error (or perhaps cheat) where we see a flash of what will eventually turn out to be Thailog's arm. It's Goliath's color, not Thailog's.

Then we hear the maniacal laughter, which Hudson will later comment on: "Do you even know how to laugh maniacally?" he'll ask Goliath. The answer, surprisingly, is yes. Though I had forgotten, Goliath laughs pretty darn maniacally in "Enter Macbeth" after Macbeth suggests that Demona will come to Goliath's rescue. Still, one of the impulses that made me want to create Thailog was Keith David's talent. The fact that he was brilliant as Goliath, but that Goliath didn't allow us to show but a fraction of Keith's true range. Creating Thailog allowed Keith to do things that he otherwise wouldn't. And I think he's amazing. There's never any question as to which character is speaking whether that character is on-camera or not. And he does it all with acting. The voice itself is the same. Thailog lets Keith cut loose and just be BAD.

Also, a touch of Jeff Bennett's amazing flexibility too. Jeff does a Schwartzenegger impersonation for the mercenary. Beth immediately recognized it as an Arnold takeoff, but didn't know who was voicing it. She was suitably impressed to find out it was yet another creation of JB's.

I like Lex's line: "Made my hair stand on end... if I had any". (Note, all quotations are approximate.)

I had some fun trying to mess with the audience's minds. Which is tough, because honestly you guys (tv watchers in general these days) are pretty savvy people who know most writer-tricks. When you saw Thailog frozen in stone on the parapet, before the real Goliath & Brooklyn appeared in the episode, what did you think was going on?

Benny (still focused on the prologue) theorized: "It's a robot that also can be turned to stone."

Erin knew it wasn't Goliath. And after a few minutes wondered if the robot had cloned Goliath. (NOTE: Both kids have seen the episode before. But long ago. And for Benny, so long ago, that there's really no possible way he could remember it. Erin doesn't remember either, at least not consciously, but she may have more of a sense of it buried in there somewhere.)

CONTINUITY:

The Emir is mentioned again. I think, though I can't remember for sure, that by this time, I had some vague notion of picking up on the throw away mention of this guy in "The Edge" and using him as a character later. So we mention him having deadline problems. In theory, he's already working on the Anubis plan that Xanatos agreed to bankroll back in "The Edge" -- but which wouldn't come to fruition until "Grief".

Owen is fun here too for me: "Is this a plan you neglected to mention?" A reasonable possibility, though it's hard to imagine that Xanatos would work anything behind Owen's back. I also like the bit about how Xanatos has never lacked for formidable enemies.

And Arnold's line about Sevarius giving him the creeps is truer now than ever before. Sitting in front of me is an article from this past Sunday's L.A. Times about Dr. Severino Antinori's real life cloning experiments. I even have a picture of the guy. He doesn't look much like our Anton. But the name and the sliding ethics sure sound spookily like Dr. Sevarius. As far as I know, that's a name that Michael Reaves made up out of the blue. It's really weirding me out.

Owen & Xanatos figure out that the kidnapper is Sevarius, and Xanatos has that great resigned villainous speech about how "An example must be made." It's funny. We have to work to get him to do anything that an everyday cartoon villain would do without breaking a sweat.

Also, we get the first mention of the "Thailog Project". The word "Thailog" itself, as I may have mentioned before, was another major impetus (is that spelled right) for creating the character.

While we were mixing the 35mm movie version of the pilot, there was one scene that was giving us trouble. The guys at Disney Sound kept rewinding across this scene over and over and I kept clearly hearing the same word "Thailog" over and over again. I eventually realized it was Elisa saying Goliath backwards. I just liked the sound of Thailog and that gave me the idea of creating an evil (i.e. backwards) Goliath. Again, that would also give Keith some fun opportunities.

But one thing I didn't want to do was to make Thailog a true dead-ringer for Goliath. I felt that had been done to death. It was fun to misdirect in the first act. But after that, I wanted something different. Thus we have the 'pigmentation' change brought on by the accelerated aging process. (This was another thing that mattered to me. Clones who miraculously are the same age as the original bug me. I wanted to at least pay lip service to the notion that theoretically a clone should age normally. The color change was an attempt to kill two birds with one stone.)

The specifics of the color change were actually inspired by John Byrne's tenure on the FANTASTIC FOUR at Marvel. He did a bunch of issues where the FF went to the Negative Zone, and when they emerged, their uniforms were altered from black and light blue to white and dark blue. It always seemed like a simple but stunning change. So Thailog was a nega-Goliath. (And, yes, Darkwing's foe Negaduck also had an influence, I'm sure.)

MORE CONTINUITY

Broadway's ongoing 'learning to read' subplot is advanced. Lex has put two and two together and guessed that what they saw might just be a clone. Which is smart o him, I think. But BW has to figure out what Lex was spelling out. Perhaps even more of a challenge for a guy that didn't care about the written word, just a few short months before.

Erin saw her birthday on the Thailog project logs, and was very tickled. (Of course, it's really no coincidence.) I felt a little bad, since Benny's birthday never appears in the show. (Since he wasn't born yet.)

BW: "This is bad news."
LEX: "You can say that again."
BW: "This is bad news."
Erin: <LAUGHS> "He said it again."

Love the X & Sev scenes. It's always fun to give Tim Curry a chance to really HAM it up. (You can see how a lot of our work was inspired by the talents of our cast.) But I just love cross-purpose conversations in general. And this one is a blast. It's also nice to see Xanatos confused for a change. Props to Jonathan Frakes, who always gave us a very non-showy but spot on performance. Particularly once the voice and animation were put together.

X: You're the kidnapper.
Sev: I guess I am at that.

Goliath sees Thailog for the first time and reacts very badly. I think it's (dare I say it) very human of him. He thinks Thailog is an abomination. I love the "...pieces out my soul" line. Love it.

***HEY! I know I've said this before, but in case everyone's forgotten... These ramblings are admittedly a little obnoxious. I'm like praising my own work here. Except (a) some of it isn't my work, but the work of my colleagues and it still impresses me and (b) I'm genuinely fond of all this stuff so forgive the indulgence.****

Anyway, Elisa points out that Thailog is almost Goliath's son.

This was another ongoing point of behind-the-scenes contention. Since Thailog appears to be Goliath's evil twin, Cary and others thought we should play them as brothers instead of father & son. But that just seemed wrong to me. That wasn't the relationship either genetically or otherwise. And I liked the notion of Thailog having three fathers that he was in constant conflict/competition with.

All the father/son stuff is great.

I love the "Chip off the old block" "All the old blocks" exchange. Pun intended of course.

And Thailog's line "...just to raise a fool."

And Sev's "You do and do and do for them."

Thailog laughs maniacally multiple times. YAY!

Round about here, Erin muttered: "This is an odd episode."

Note that Thailog is attracted to Elisa from the start. Creepy. But also he's more in touch with his body chemistry than Goliath is. Guess it helps if you haven't had a decades of socialization.

Actually, everyone admires Elisa. X for her delicate wrists. The bit with Elisa slipping out of her manacles always seemed like a bit of a cheat to me. (See, sometimes there are things I don't like.) The handcuffs line was a semi-feeble attempt to cover.

I like the idea that Sev had worked up a garg specific knock-out gas that Thailog used.

I liked the animation and sound work on Thailog tearing open the oil barrels.

I liked Thailog's line "Now I know where I got the temper." But does he really have much of a temper. He seems much more Xanatosian than Goliathesque in that regard. But I do think he holds more of a grudge. He just hides it.

Tangent, but I believe that this maybe explains his relationship (still to come) with Demona a bit. I think he knows on some level that Demona likes him because he's the Goliath she always wanted. And Thailog is very into being his own man. He wants nothing from his fathers that he hasn't TAKEN.

Thailog won't leave without his money. I'd ask in hindsight whether or not at that point the money was even still in that briefcase.

Goliath by the end is now fully on-board with the notion of Thailog being his son. His clannish instincts have taken over. And he feels that all of Thailog's rookery fathers (X, Sev and G) have failed Thailog. The notion of multiple fathers is something that's easy for him to grasp. But of course, he takes his own failure to heart more than the others. Cuz he expects THEM to be jerks.

And now our patented Xanatos Tag. Only it's flipped into a Thailog tag. I love Owen's line: "He's out there, he has the money, he's as powerful as Goliath and he's smarter than you." Only Owen could slam X like that with impunity. And X's return: "Owen, I think I've created a monster." Love that too.

Still not sure whether I love the super-imposed Thailog head. But I do like Thailog's maniacal laughter. Never get enough of that.

Erin: "[Thailog] practically is a monster. Gargoyles are supposed to be monsters. Only they're nicer. Thailog is a monster."

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Demona Taina writes...

This is a question that I honestly have never seen the answer to. Why doesn't Laura San Giacomo appear on the credits of Gargoyles?

Greg responds...

You haven't looked to hard, cuz I KNOW I answered this one.

Laura's representation (NOTE: NOT LAURA herself) felt that it could damage her career to have her name appear in the credits of an animated television series. We tried to change the reps mind, but no go. Nowadays, I doubt it would be an issue. And I want to stress that Laura was nothing but wonderful, working on the show. A real pleasure. Also she and Fox gave birth at more or less the same time.

Response recorded on March 04, 2002

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The Cat writes...

Hey Greg,

I'd figure since I just got a call back from Jeff Bennett that I'd better check on you. If you are ok could you tell me how Bill(Broadway) and Thom(Lexington) are doing? I'm really conserned about how ya'll are doing and now more than ever. I know that sometimes the actors go to New York to work and Jeff got a hold of my answering machine, so he didn't elaberate(hope I spelled that right). Well, how have you been let's say between November of 1999 to present day? Since I met you, Jeff, Bill and Thom in November of '99 through Make A Wish.

Well I got homework write ya later, Bye.

Greg responds...

Hi Cat,

I've been fine, basically. It's sweet of you to be concerned. How are you?

Thom is fine. Playing a lot of tennis. Doing a ton of radio commercials, at minimum.

I haven't talked to Bill or Jeff since (either) the 2001 L.A. Gathering or when I used each of them on the now defunct Team Atlantis show -- all this past summer. But I'm sure they're doing well, or I'd have heard.

Keep in touch. (Any chance we'll see you at G2002 in Virginia this summer?)

Greg

Response recorded on February 14, 2002


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