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Once again, you and your team are incredible. Each new episode of YJ is better than the last. I'm sure that you are bummed about the unscheduled hiatus, but I (and I'm sure everybody else who has followed you since Gargoyles) will be there Jan 5th, feeling like it is Christmas morning. Perhaps absence will make the heart grow fonder. But enough of the propers, as I've had a question that I've been wanting to ask you for months.
1) Have you seen Looper? If not I STRONGLY suggest that you do. I would imagine it is right up your ally.
2) If so, I wanted to hear your take on the time travel aspects. How does its interpretation of multi-verse/multiple timelines mesh with your working theory on Gargoyles. You have talked at length about working vs non-working paradoxes. As the movie suggests, "I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws." So, let's face it, it isn't an exact science.
2)Obviously, it doesn't hold true to your interpretation, based on the ending (I'm not going to spoil it for anyone here), but do you think that it implies a working or non working paradox? If you see it and are like "WTF?", there is a great piece online, where they actually lay it out with straws that I would suggest.
Just wanted to see if you had checked it out and get your spin.
Thanks once more to you and your team (and The Team) for Young Justice. I have a feeling that it is going to come back to serious fanfare and you'll be answering questions about Bibbo's blood type for years to come. At least I hope so.
Happy New Year! I know this next one will be a big one for you!
P.S. You teased something about Gargoyles a few weeks ago... anything? Just a tiny taste? A morsal for a long time fan?
1. I have not.
2. (You had two question twos.) But since I haven't seen the movie, I can't respond to either.
P.S. I did? I seriously don't recall. What did I say?
To elaborate on my last post...if you go back & change something, then there would be no reason to go back, therefore you never did, and nothing changes...ie. Bart would have to have been from a future in which Impulse had already arrived from the future 40 years ago, and the changes he made would be a part of his own.
I swear, its not as complicated as it sounds.
Wow. I'm sure you don't mean to sound as condescending as you're coming across. I totally understood what you were getting at. And again, it's the way I prefer to handle time travel stories. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S STILL A FICTIONAL CONCEIT. As long as we're being internally consistent about the rules of time travel on Young Justice, then I think we're fine.
Ok so in Gargoyles the Archmage fell into that chasm in 984 and was supposed to die, but didn't. How was it possible for him to save himself? I understand the "future Archmage" came and saved himself in 984, but the Archmage from 984 must have conjured his future incarnation to begin with while he was falling down that chasm, I'm I close? Thanks!!!
No, you're not. Didn't you JUST ask this question recently? If not you, someone else did. Anyway, "ASKED AND ANSWERED." Check the archives.
Greg: "The Archmage's ENTIRE LOOP was part of the timestream. [..]
The Archmage NEVER died in that cavern. In ANY incarnation.
[...] it's a WORKING paradox. It does have logic. I did a panel on this at a Gathering once, and it's easier to explain with a chalkboard. But it works. Trust me."
If he never died in the cavern then how did the time loop begin? Just out of the blue future archmage shows up to save his past self? Isn't that Deus Ex Machina?
I'm not trying to provoke you or anything, I just really wish to understand this paradox, especially the part that makes it work. Would it be too much to ask you to doodle that panel and upload it to GargWiki or something? I CAN'T be the only one not understanding this...
If you want to call it Deus ex Machina, you can. In other words, you can fault the storytelling but not the integrity of the time-loop. ;)
But I don't think it IS Deus ex Machina, except by technicality, BECAUSE of the time-loop. It was inherent in who the Archmage was.
I have no ability to upload a doodle anywhere, I'm afraid.
Can you tell us who was the first (a) person, (b) being and (c) entity to figure out how to work the Phoenix Gate?
Yes, I can."
Really, you can? I wouldn't think the term "first" could apply to the Phoenix Gate. And I'm not even being sarcastic (well, maybe just a little), but how can something in an infinite loop ever be said to have a beginning or end? Perhaps there's an earliest time it appeared, but odds are it was taken there by someone else, who may have taught this "earliest" person how to use it- in which case, could (s)he really be said to be the first person to have used it? I'm interested in this- do you think of there being a beginning to something like the Phoenix Gate? Or am I just reading way too much into an off-the-cuff smartass remark?
Mostly, yeah, you're reading too much into it...
BUT.. haven't I already answered this? The first entity to figure out how to work the Gate was the entity that bound the Phoenix IN the Gate.
Iâd like a clarification on the only thing I donât understand about Gargoyles: Archmageâs time loop.
So, the Archmage didnât die when he plunged down the chasm because he was saved by his future self, thus changing his inevitable outcome: death. But, the future Archmage could not have travelled back in time to save his past-self in the first place unless the latter had survived naturally, only to age and get the talismans and then travel back and begin the loop. The future Archmage saving his past-self from certain death doesnât go against the showâs premise of time being immutable? The future Archmage could not have saved his past-self without changing history...
Is this confusing? So is this paradox, but even paradoxes make sense when they adhere to an internal logic, but I canât find this one. A clarification would make wonders for the throbbing headaches this time loop gives me.
The Archmage's ENTIRE LOOP was part of the timestream. It changed nothing. It always was. (You're viewing the timestream linearly instead of viewing it as a whole.)
The Archmage NEVER died in that cavern. In ANY incarnation.
And yes, this is a paradox, but it's a WORKING paradox. It does have logic. I did a panel on this at a Gathering once, and it's easier to explain with a chalkboard. But it works. Trust me.
In response to Matthew and also to your answer earlier concerning "All You Zombies," doesn't changing what he did (let alone preventing his own birth) also change history? It is part of the past that the character said certain words in a certain order, and not other words. If he chooses to change the words, he must change history also. Isn't this true of Demona in Vows as well? But in Gargoyles, history cannot be changed.
The reason I focused on whether or not the character remembers the words spoken to their past selves is this: when Demona shows up with the Phoenix Gate, the events of her encounter with herself have not actually happened yet. So they appear not to be predetermined. But she remembers what she her future self said to her when she was on the receiving end, and she remembers watching her future self kick Goliath. The events are already in her memory, and therefore part of the history she has already participated in. If she remembers the events, then either her memories are wrong (and were wrong all along) or else the events were part of history. The other possibility I can think of is that when she went back in time, she temporarily forgot her previous encounter with her future self and was free to make it up from scratch.
What I don't follow is how she (or Heinlein's protagonist) can choose not to play along without altering history.
Nothing prevents you from TRYING to change history. Succeeding is something else. Nothing prevents you from trying to jump off a cliff in order to fly under your own power. Succeeding at flying under your own power is something else.
Again, free will is NOT the same as sudden control over things you never had control over.
There's no forgetting in a mystic sense going on with Demona. (No making it up from scratch.) But it has been a thousand plus years. Her memory is good, but not photographic. She tries to make some changes, and no changes are made. They can CHOOSE not to play along. But they DIDN'T choose not to play along. It's a loop. The fact that the CHOICE itself is part of the loop doesn't negate the choice.
If you're falling off that cliff (not flying) and AT THAT POINT choose not to jump... well, it's a little late. But the fact that you can't change it halfway down the mountain doesn't negate the fact that you made a choice in the first place.
In an earlier post the discussion was about Robert Heinlein's "All You Zombies..." and whether the protagonist had free will or was predestined to carry out his actions in the story. You said he could have chosen to do otherwise. I agree, but I'd like to point out that it wasn't much of choice. If he did not he would not have been born. So whether not he had free will, he had to do what he did to ensure his own existence.
If existence mattered that much to him. Like any of us, sometimes the choices we're presented with aren't particularly appealing. You're in a burning building. You can jump to your death or burn to death! Choose! (Yeah, not fun. But you get the idea.) Having free will doesn't make you omnipotent in real life, so why would it make you omnipotent in a time travel story?
I read "All You Zombies" by Heinlein a while ago, based on your recommendation that it demonstrated working paradoxes in time travel, and although it was not recent I decided to finally type up and share what I thought from reading it. First of all, the story creeped me out!
But what I'm writing to you about is free will. Did the main character of that story have free will? On the surface at least, it appears to me that he did not for much of the story. He clearly remembered everything that had happened to him, yet he did not have to option not to seduce himself, or not to catch take past self back in the time machine, nor could he choose to change what he said and did in that bar when he was the bartender. When interacting with his past self, I think he had no choice but to say and do exactly what he remembered seeing his future self doing and hearing his future self saying.
He did have options regarding abducting the baby, mainly because he didn't remember being abducted, but one way or another he had to abduct that baby or get someone else to abduct her: he only had options in how he did it. This is comparable to Goliath time-travelling with Griff in M.I.A. Goliath could not possibly get Griff back to his clan in the 1940s, but he had plenty of options of what he could do instead. In that situation Goliath had far more options than the character in "All You Zombies" had when abducting the baby, but still this is a situation with free will.
But what options does a character really have when meeting their past self, if they DO remember the entire encounter? This is apparently what happened to Demona in Vows. She remembered Goliath's "little speech" (or maybe she was lying to him or to herself, but let's assume she was telling the truth this time) and so she must have remembered what her future self said and did. Does that mean she had no free will to change the encounter with her past self when she went back in time? For example, did she really have free will to change what words she said, or not to kick Goliath? It appears to me that this is a situation where she didn't have free will. When the Archmage(+) told his past self that the future is a place of science, not superstition, and that Demona and Macbeth were only "cannon fodder" he couldn't even have understood what he was saying, let alone invented it himself. In fact his entire bizarre mini-timedance seems to abrogate his free will, because as he said "I should (know what to do), I watched you do it."
Demona's PAST self certainly had free will in Vows, since she did not yet remember the encounter. Likewise, the Archmage clearly had free will during his first pass through his time loop. I would think that any time a character is in a stable time loop, they have free will as long as they are unaware of what "already happened." But when they do remember what happened because their past self is there at the scene, they don't have the option to change what already happened. They already KNOW what happened. If they already know what words they spoke to their past self, then those words are something they remember, not something they are thinking up freely, and they donât have the option of saying anything different from what they remember.
Am I missing something?
I tend to disagree with you about the free will thing. Heinlein's character could have chosen NOT to cooperate with his memories. Either because he liked the end result or because he felt oppressed by the inevitability of it all (or some other reason I can't think of at this moment), he CHOSE to play along.
Again, Free Will doesn't mean you get to live the life you want to lead. It means that at best you have the option of STRIVING for the life you want to lead. But some people use their free will to conform. Doesn't mean it's not a choice.
Now, that raises the obvious question: what would have happened to Heinlein's character, to Demona, to the Archmage had they chosen NOT to play along. We'll never know.
Hello Mr. Weisman it is me again; 3 days ago I saw Avalon, they are very exiting and interesting episodes but I don't understand how the Archmage survived after the battle in "Long away to morning", can you explain that to me in detail?
Well, I hope again my english it is understandable.
Goodbye Mr. Weisman
This is in the archives, but BRIEFLY, he was rescued by his future self, who caught him before he hit bottom.
What else do you need to know?
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
The travelers immediately depart Avalon again, landing in London, where they meet Leo and Una, who remember Goliath from 1940 and blame him for the death of Griff. Goliath is mystified, and uses the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time to 1940, in an attempt to learn the truth and save Griff. He and Griff return to 1996, reuniting Griff with Leo and Una.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Macbeth and Demona attack the humans and gargoyles at Oberon's Palace, while the Magus faces off against the Weird Sisters at the Hollow Hill, and Goliath and Angela seek out the Archmage at the Grotto. At first things look grim, but Princess Katharine defeats Demona with help from Ophelia, the Guardian, Elisa Maza, Gabriel, Bronx and Boudicca. King Arthur Pendragon also defeats Macbeth, and the Magus captures the Weird Sisters, though it fatally weakens him. Goliath battles the Archmage, who uses the Phoenix Gate to bounce them around through Time and Space. But the Archmage cannot shake Goliath, and returns to the present, where Goliath succeeds in removing the Eye of Odin from his brow. Without the Eye, the energy from the Grimorum Arcanorum burns the Archmage to death from the inside out. The battle is over.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Owen tells Xanatos the results of his Gargoyles vs. The Pack experiment. With Fox and Wolf under arrest, The Pack television series is quickly cancelled. Dingo flees to Europe.
Fox arrives at the Eyrie with Xanatos' father, Petros. That night, Goliath decides to attend the wedding. He brings his half of the Phoenix Gate along. Fox and David are married. Demona tricks Goliath into giving her his half of the Gate. She then uses it to travel back in time to the year 975. Goliath, David, Fox and Petros Xanatos go too. Seconds later, they return, having fulfilled their roles in the time-stream. That same night, Thailog, who had intentionally been kept hidden from Goliath, initiates his plan to steal $20 million from Xanatos.
5:32am EST - [withheld]
6:00am EST - [withheld]
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Using the Phoenix Gate, Goliath, Demona, David Xanatos, Petros Xanatos and Fox come back in time from the year 1995. Demona immediately uses the Gate to disappear again. Xanatos saves the life of Princess Elena of Normandy. He is rewarded with a coin, which he gives to the Norman Ambassador, a fellow member of the Illuminati Society. The 1995 Goliath encounters the 975 Hudson. The 975 Demona is studying under the Archmage as his apprentice. He instructs her to steal the Phoenix Gate from Princess Elena, which she does. But then she is confronted by the 1995 Demona and Goliath. After a brief trip for all three to 994, the 975 Demona returns them to her time and winds up on the outs with the Archmage. She breaks the Phoenix Gate in two and gives half of it to the 975 Goliath at the wedding of Malcolm and Elena. Meanwhile, all the 1995 participants return to their own time.
David Xanatos receives an anonymous gift of a medieval coin worth $20 grand. It is the start of his fortune, and was actually sent to David by his 1995 counterpart, via the Illuminati Society from the year 975.
A fully-grown Thailog is released from his maturation chamber and takes up residence at the Eyrie Building. Xanatos receives a letter from the Illuminati Society. It is from himself, sent in the year 975. It explains that he sent himself the medieval coin that was the basis of all his wealth. The letter also explains how he set this all up by turning his wedding to Fox into a time travel excursion to 975.
Xanatos gets a new assignment from Quincy and the Illuminati. Hudson confirms he is a gargoyle to Robbins. Thailog and the clones fight the Manhattan Clan. During the battle, Thailog gets DNA samples from Goliath, Angela, Broadway, Lexington, Elisa, Brooklyn, Hudson and Bronx. Delilah, Malibu, Burbank and Hollywood reject Thailog, but Brentwood chooses to depart with him. Thailog gives the DNA to Sevarius and gains a new personal assistant, Shari. Doctor Sato treats Goliath. Goliath and Elisa declare their love for each other.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Just before dawn, Goliath and Hudson discover that they have been following only a small contingent of Vikings; the rest must be preparing to attack the castle. The two gargoyles turn to stone before they can get back. Simultaneously, Demona nearly warns Othello and Desdemona, but changes her mind as she sees the Vikings approach. Instead, she hides at the foot of Wyvern cliff, where she turns to stone as the sun rises. Hakon attacks. The archers' sabotaged bows are useless, and the Captain opens the main gate, allowing the Vikings to enter Castle Wyvern, which is sacked. The humans, including Katharine, the Magus, Mary and Tom are led away bound. Hakon then sets about to destroy the gargoyles, including Othello, Desdemona, Iago and Hyppolyta. The Captain is "unable" to stop him. When the sun goes down again, Demona awakens to discover that the Wyvern Clan have been massacred. When she sees Goliath and Hudson returning, she cannot face them and flees before they can discover the massacre. The only other survivors seem to be the Trio and Bronx, who were in the Rookery. The survivors head for the Viking camp to take their revenge. When Hakon and the Captain hear the gargoyles approaching, they take Katharine as a hostage. The Magus mistakenly assumes that the Princess is dead. Blaming the gargoyles, he casts a spell on all but Goliath putting them to sleep "until the castle rises above the clouds." Meanwhile, Goliath confronts the Captain and Hakon atop a cliff. He rescues the Princess, and the two villains fall to their deaths. But when Goliath discovers that the rest of his clan has been turned to stone, he asks the Princess to watch over the eggs in the Rookery and asks the Magus to cast his spell one more time. Goliath is turned to stone with the others and placed atop Castle Wyvern. Demona later returns to the castle to find Goliath frozen in stone. She watches the Magus, Tom and Princess Katharine removing the eggs from Wyvern. She departs for good. Katharine dubs Tom the Guardian of the Gargoyle Eggs. Katharine, the Magus, Tom, Mary and the rest of Wyvern's human inhabitants take the eggs and leave the cursed castle to live under the protection of Katharine's uncle, King Kenneth II. Seconds later, three time travelers arrive in 994: the Demona of 1995 has brought the Demona of 975 along with the Goliath of 1995 to see the results of the massacre. But the 1995 Demona fails to convince the 975 Demona to take up her evil cause. The time travelers depart, returning to 975.
Xanatos proposes to Fox and gives her the Eye of Odin as an engagement gift. She accepts both his proposal and the Eye. Alexander Fox Xanatos is most likely conceived on this night.
Hi Greg. Wanna thank you for doing Ask Greg, so few people are willing to take time to discuss their series like this (and I enjoy reading the Gathering write-ups you do). If only Invasion America got that treatment... Books never finished the series. I digress. I have two questions I was hoping you could answer.
1. Since the phoenix gate has a cyclical existence throughout history, it only goes so far back in time and only up to a certain date in the future (which would be whenever Brooklyn was leaving the latest date he traveled to I suppose). Is there a reason that the gate is constricted to a specific time range?
2. While Brooklyn traveled to times in his future did he try to avoid learning about events that affected his clan? After returning home it might be kind of awkward to know exactly how your friends will die and what events will claim them...
1. I don't know how to answer this without confirming parts of your question which are not confirmable and/or not correct and/or I don't want to confirm.
OK In the episode Vows, Xanatos says he is a 'self made man' and shows how he sent himself the money. Then how he got a letter 20 years later on how he did it and to re-do it ect. But how did it happen ORIGINALLY. Like the 1st time wouldn't he of been poor. And never of been able to awake the Gargoyles in the 1st place?
Ahhh... time travel.
There is no "first time". The timestream exists. Whole. Just is.
For more on this, check the ASK GREG archives under "Time Travel".
My view about time travel isn't the same as what "Gargoyles" uses. I think it's more likely that going back in time creates a new universe independent from the original, with no need to account for causality paradoxes. Still, despite this and a mild annoyance at the "jalapena" thing, I rather like the series and hope you get to tell all of your remaining stories.
In the episode Vows, why does Demona bother trying to change what her younger self did to prevent the massacre? You cannot change history, so I don't understand her motivation. You could say she didn't know that rule but I would expect that a soceress that has lived for over a thousand years would know that.
Also she would have remembered everything that happened to her when she was younger (though maybe her memory would be rusty after a 1000 years but she does tell Goliath that she remembers her speech) so what would be the logic and motivation for her to go into the past if she knows she failed and act exactly how she remembered and FAIL like she remembered. Did she only go because she had to go because she remembered it happening? The whole time being fixed says she had to go to remember failing, but that still doesn't explain her motivation for doing something she knew wouldn't work out. Or perhaps her motivation was to see herself as innocent again? To remember why she did what she did at the last wedding she attended with Goliath? Agh...this turns into a big wouldn't one cancel out the other and get all confusing thing...
Also considering that Demona is a thousand years old, what did she do for all that time? The some of it is shown in the episodes, but nothing really after the whole hunter thing and macbeth, and that was a long time ago. Wouldn't a thousand years be enough time for her to travel around the world and find other clans so she would not have ended up so alone?
Also really old characters always bother me. I know you cannot assume that wisdom comes with great age, but I wonder how someone could live that long and not really mature at all? I guess that adds to the insanity, that everything else changes and you don't so that would add to her whole "alone" complex and anger.
Heh sorry for the long question/ramble...
Demona was hoping that you COULD change history. Since the Gate was broken, there wasn't any time travel in her long past to know for sure how the system worked. She was hoping she could avoid Goliath's appearance. She knew he showed up, but she didn't know how that happened, so she was hoping... hoping...
It's interesting that Demona is so full of hope. Hmmmmm.... Maybe it's just denial.
I won't pretend I've mapped out ALL of Demona's 1000 years, but I have a few key events in mind. As to her stunted growth... well, I know a lot of wise old people myself. And I know a lot of wise old idiots too. So I based her on REAL LIFE. ;)
First of all, I love Gargoyles, and still watch them to this day. I've been watching since it was aired, and I'll be watching my tapes until the day I die. Anyways, I've never really understood the episode M.I.A. Una and Leo recognize Goliath when he arrives, but Goliath has no idea who they are. Goliath then uses the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time to try and save Griff, and figure out what is going on. Goliath saves Griff, brings him back to the 1990's, and all is well. Goliath then tells Elisa that he 'first had to travel back in time to meet them' (Una and Leo). But I don't understand. Supposedly, he was frozen in stone when he met Griff, Una and Leo. So how would they (Una and leo) have known him? It doesn't make sense. If you could explain, it would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Sigh. (I sigh because if the explanation -- let alone the demonstration of that explanation -- from the episode wasn't clear, I'm unlikely to be able to make it clearer for you in writing here and now.)
Yes, Goliath was frozen in stone in Scotland during WWII.
But in the 1990s, THAT Goliath (the Goliath of the 1990s) went back in time and met Leo and Una and Griff DURING WWII. So they met him THEN. But he (the Goliath of the 1990s) hadn't met them yet, when they first encountered him AGAIN outside the magic shop at the beginning of the episode.
As he said, first HE had to go back in time to meet them.
It's a time loop. What I call a "Working Paradox".
It's easy to draw a picture of on a piece of paper, so come to the GATHERING in Los Angeles this summer, and I'd be happy to demonstrate.
I'm pleased to see that you would take time, out of what must assuredly be a busy schedule of yours, to answer fans questions via the internet. I don't know of any other creators of television shows who do that.
I've checked the archives (though not absolutely thoroughly; so much information is rather intimidating to sort through) and I believe I might have a question no one has asked yet. In regards to the mechanics of the Phoenix gate, a ball of flame usually engulfs the user and those with him. However, in "Past Tense" Goliath creates the flame away from him to send the Phoenix Gate through without going through time and space himself. So, can the user of the Phoenix Gate always cause time/space vortices (for lack of a better term) external to himself? Or must the Phoenix Gate always go through the flaming sphere if travelers are to be transported elsewhere?
I realize you won't get to this question for about 2 more years. Maybe a DVD will be out by then.
DVD's out. Another one's coming.
The Gate generally creates the flame around it, but by this time, Goliath had used it enough to generate an element of control, which allowed him to put the flame off a few yards. But the Gate always goes through the vortex. Perhaps the gate is what shuts it.
I hope that answers your questions.
Hey Greg, its me again, I got a question for you I keep forgeting to ask. (Hope you can answer it)
the Gargoyles were completly devistaded by the loss of there clan in 994, so why didnt they try to go back in time and try to erase that event once they obtained the phenox gate?
I know the past is hard to change but it is possible (they did it with Griff)
Well, i was just courious thanx for trying to answer
They didn't change the past with Griff, they played into it. Griff didn't die in WWII, he disappeared. So Goliath disappeared him to the present.
The gargs in 994 were massacred. Goliath learned he could NOT change the past.
Hi Greg- first time posting but a well educated fan of the show. I am now in the process of showing the series to my girlfriend and she recently posed a question following 'M.I.A.' that even I cannot justify or find an answer for. Question being, if Goliath is able to utilize the Phoenix Gate to return to the past and save Griff by bringing him to the present day, then why is it he cannot use the Gate to return to Scotland prior to the slaughter of the clan and bring them into the present where they may be alive with the remaining gargoyles?
Now I have exhausted the archives and I realize that this question has been asked before although not in this exact scenario. Problem is that people are writing essays on the subject in rough draft form and thus their respective points, along with your answers/explanations, are lost to me.
Now, knowing full well that history cannot be altered, the closest thing to an answer I found was you citing that Goliath did not in fact change the past but rather fulfilled it. To the effect of Leo and Una having recognized Goliath from 1940 demonstrates it was not anybody elses history being altered but rather Goliath playing out his role in something that already had happened TO HIM.
Armed with that, it still makes no logical sense to me. First off, if Goliath had in fact saved Griff once before, why did he have no recollection of him, the war, Una, or Leo? Also, in 1940, wasn't Goliath still in stone sleep as
Xanatos had not yet found them and broke the spell? If that is the case, how could have Goliath ever been there to fight alongside Griff in the first place?
Perhaps the answer is that the line between altering the past and fulfilling it is a fine one given all of the intricacies of time travel. Anything you might wish to
expound on this matter would be of great appreciation Greg.
It hadn't happened to Goliath already, but it HAD happened in the past to Una and Leo already. Goliath then went back and fulfilled the role that from there point of view he had already played but from his perspective he had yet to do.
His 1940 self was unaffected. His 1940 self was indeed frozen in stone sleep. But his 1996 self went back in time. In essence for a few short hours, there were TWO Goliaths in Great Britain. One flying over London, one frozen in stone in Scotland.
The past was not altered. Goliath going back to Wyvern solves nothing because those gargs were not saved. They did not "disappear" as Griff did in 1940. They were reduced to rubble by Hakon and his men in 994. We saw this -- or at least the start of it. So we know it cannot be altered.
(I know I promised not to get snippy, but I swear I feel like I JUST answered this question, and that it was phrased in almost the exact same way. Is this a double post?)
In Avalon Part 3(I think) after the, shall we say, "newer" Archmage uses the Phoenix Gate to travel back in time to get... well, himself, the "older" Archmage says something along the lines of " I thought he would never leave" then promptly goes off to face Goliath and the others alone only to fail. If the whole point of getting his doppelganger was to attack en force to take over Avalon, why did he do the final battle alone? Also, when the Archmage returned with himself, did he ever wonder where his older self had gone to?
The point was NOT to get a doppleganger to attack "en force". The point was to get himself up to his level of power. To complete the time loop.
I don't understand your second question. But I'm guessing you don't understand the loop.
Time to ramble...
Haven't done this in a while (over a year, actually), and I definitely feel rusty. Anyway, I watched "M.I.A." last night with my wife Beth, my nine-year-old daughter Erin and my six-year-old son Benny.
This episode was directed by Kazuo Terada, story edited by Gary Sperling and written by Robert Cohen.
The (semi) one word title, as usual, was one of mine. (As was the springboard, but more on that later.) It's appropriate both because of Griff's disappearance and because of the wartime setting. Although I don't know if they actually used the M.I.A. acronym as far back as WWII. I associate it with Vietnam. Does anyone else know?
Benny read the title and thought it said Mia. He has a friend named Mia, whose birthday party he had gone to earlier in the day. So the title required a bit of explaining.
INTO THE MYSTIC
This was one of my ideas that I really fell in love with. The idea that a magic shop never goes out of style. The idea that these gargoyles have been running this shop right in the midst of London's teeming humanity for a millenium. I just love the idea that you could stop by there in 1940 or 1996 or 1809 or 1776 or 1595 or whenever. Different gargoyles manning the store, of course. But the store itself largely remains the same. It's a place where Lennox Macduff and Will Shakespeare might have ended up after a night of carousing together.
My notion, which I've stated here before, is that the London Clan has an estate in the burbs, and that the shop helps fund them.
Responding to the guys line about the shopkeepers having "incredible" masks, Benny takes a good look at Una and says: "That's a unicorn. A real one."
And Erin: "Those aren't masks."
Of course, these kids have both seen the episode before. But it was so long ago and they were so young it's like they're seeing it for the first time.
We get some gorgeous shots of London. So gorgeous that when the animation on PENDRAGON came back weeks later looking not so good, we reused some of the "M.I.A." footage for that ep.
[Of course the animation here was done by Walt Disney Television Animation Japan, GARG's Best studio. It still kills me that Disney has shut down that unit. They did SUCH great stuff.]
Elisa talks to the Cabbie. In my mind, this Cabbie appears during the 1940 sequence as a little boy, running downstairs and into a bomb shelter with his sister. It's not important, but that's how I saw it.
And we explain (include) another legend. That of Gremlins. Not Gremlins from the Spielbergian movie. But gremlins that caused damage to airplanes during the war. This was/is a very famous legend among pilots. Roald Dahl (of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame) wrote a book about them, which Walt Disney himself optioned. Eisner once had us develop a tv series based on the idea. I handed it off to a couple of producers who COMPLETELY redeveloped the idea. They came up with a good show, but it was unrecognizable to Eisner. (It also had a toupee joke, which probably didn't go over well.) Anyway, he didn't buy it.
Actual racists thugs. We didn't do much of that. We usually went with anti-gargoyle types, who were metaphors for racists. But here we actually go with the real thing.
Their attack is very reminiscent of Awakening 3.
I love Brigitte's work here. Angela sounds like a tough warrior one minute, like a naive innocent the next. All within her character.
And that shot of Bronx leaping down from the roof is just gorgeous.
Leo and Una come out and confront Goliath, whose confusion is a lot of fun.
They're all in conflict, but everyone can agree with Elisa to take the argument inside...
We go inside and see the portrait of Griff.
Benny makes a connection: "There's a statue of him on the airplane."
I love Una's line: "I know my merchandise."
Throughout this episode, I think she comes across a bit like a junior Demona. I don't know if I felt that way at the time. But we have a female garg with sorcerous powers in denial about her own feelings of guilt and rewriting history to blame Goliath for things that were really not his fault.
Una was in love with Griff. And still is. But in the interrum, in my mind, she mated with Leo. She LOVES Leo. But she never got over being IN LOVE WITH Griff.
Two of them.
One is having Goliath black out and instead of using it as our act break, we just go to black, wait a beat and then come back. We had a much better act break coming up, so I guess I don't regret it, but I also don't like it much.
The other awkward moment is giving Goliath that voice over of his interior thoughts, where he states his plan to use the Gate to figure out what the hell happened in 1940. I'm sure I resisted doing that VO. But we just didn't have a better solution.
I do love Goliath's frustrated: "I don't know any Griff!" line.
G uses the gate and Benny asks "What did he just do?" Beth explains it to him, but it illustrates my point that it has been so long since the kids last saw an ep, that their memories of the show are very vague.
We meet Clive and Douglas Bader. I've stated this before, but Douglas Bader was a real person. A true war hero. Douglas Bader lost both his legs in a plane crash, and became a war hero and fighter ace AFTER he recovered and learned to walk on two artificial pins. He was a hero during the Battle of Britain. Later, he was shot down over enemy territory and put in a POW camp. He escaped twice but was recaptured both times. Years later, he was knighted.
I met him once. My father, Wally Weisman, is a real Spitfire afficionado, and Bader was one of his heroes. My dad eventually met Sir Douglas in London and at the RAF Museum outside London. When I was a kid, Sir Douglas and his wife came to Los Angeles and we all went to Disneyland together. He never used a wheelchair. Always just moved along with his hip-swinging walk. An amazing man.
So there was no way I wasn't going to pay tribute to him here (and indirectly to my father as well -- in my mind, this ep is dedicated to my dad). I gave Gary Sperling the Bader biography, "REACH FOR THE SKIES," knowing that it would be tough for him to incorporate much into the episode. But we tried to base the design of Bader on one of his photographs. And we made sure that his first and last name were both used in dialogue so that he could be indentified by those paying attention.
And most of all, we tried to show that these pilots were the true heroes. Sure, Goliath and Griff save them. But Bader saves the gargoyles too, and he's the one who takes out the most dangerous of the Nazi fighter pilots.
This was important to me. Influenced by both Dahl's Gremlins book and my father and Bader, I'd wanted to do a Battle of Britain story pretty much since the series' inception. It's even listed in the bible. This came out of the notion we once had that (while the other gargoyles may have been asleep for a thousand years) Goliath had been awake and alone for 1000 years.
Imagine, if you will, that scene in Awakening-2, when Goliath comes back and finds Hudson, Bronx and the Trio asleep. Instead of joining them, he watches over them for a millenium. (This was back when we had a more magical view of Garg biology.) I thought Goliath would have largely spent a thousand years brooding. But that during WWII he might have ventured forth to fight the Nazis, if for no other reason than to prevent the bombing of Wyvern.
We, obviously, didn't end up going that way, but the visual of Gargoyles fighting in the Battle of Britain stuck with me. (And man, is that visual brought to life here beautifully.)
But having decided to do that, I didn't want to give the gargs all the credit. Real men and women gave their lives during the Battle of Britain. I didn't want to undercut their contribution in order to make my fictional gargs look good. That just seemed like it would be both irresponsible and disrespectful. A betrayal of the very reasons why we were doing the ep in the first place.
Casting... we had used Neil Dickson to tremendous evil effect as Duncan and Canmore in City of Stone. Here he gets to play Errol Flynn. Neil is a Brit. As is Charles Shaugnessy who played Bader and Sara Douglas who played Una. (Leo/Gregg Berger, on the other hand, is a Yank.) And they all really brought life to their respective roles. I have to admit I was worried about whether Neil would be right for the role. I should no better, but Duncan especially was so memorable, I really had that fixed in my head. But Neil's voice just worked perfectly for Griff. I'm still sorry we didn't get to see more of Griff with King Arthur in the Pendragon spin-off.
Griff was conceived as a real swashbuckling hero. A Robin Hood of the 1940s. As opposed to our rough-hewn "Scottish stock", this was a good-old-fashioned patriotic English Hero to put up against the Nazis. His costume was influenced, I think by the Blackhawks. And his look was inspired by British Heraldry. He was the Griffin to Una's unicorn and Leo's lion, three of the most striking heraldic beasts. Again, going back to my earliest development of the series, I thought that adaptations of heraldic beasts might be the English version of gargoyles. So Griff has Eagle and Lion qualities. Feathered wings. A mohawk-like main. An eagle-like beak, but lionesque limbs.
I know that Greg Guler, Frank Paur and I went over and over Griff's model. We were never 100% satisfied with it. But it must work, as I've never any complaints from the fan. And I think Neil (and Jamie Thomason's voice direction) deserve much of the credit for that. Because even with the great Japanese animation, he still looks a bit too Foghorn Leghorn for my tastes.
Goliath (after Griff saves his life): "It was supposed to work the other way."
Erin: "I think this is how it started in the first place."
So, hey, she got it!!
Benny even jumped ahead, figuring out: "So he can take Griff back forward in time."
So he got it too. Did you guys get it right from the beginning? That Goliath would take Griff "back forward" to the present to reunite him with Leo and Una?
I love the scene between Griff, Leo, Una and Goliath over tea in the shop. Everyone's motivations are so clear that I often use this scene when I do voice seminars.
Griff wants to sell everyone on going on the offensive.
Leo wants to sell everyone on sticking with defense.
Una is more subtle. She'll use any argument that will promote Griff's safety.
Goliath is trying to stay out of trouble.
But I love his line: "In my experience, human problems become Gargoyle problems." How true... (witness the cancellation of the show...)
And then later, Goliath AGAIN realizes a lesson that he and the audience would have to relearn again and again. Fate cannot be cheated. History cannot be changed.
And once again, we show our lack of imagination and/or our desire to stick with something once we find it works by using the line "Not where, when."
We can say "1940" but we were discouraged from referring to the present by an actual year -- so that reruns would still sound current. I'm surprised that Goliath got to use the phrase "the 1990s". How short-sighted of Disney to not think we'd still be airing these reruns in the 21st Century. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.
Griff almost gets hit by a car in the present and Goliath says "Let's not start that again." A mini-tribute to the English Vultures in "A Jungle Book".
At the very end, Elisa's confusion is fun: "Just explain it one more time." That probably came out of my fear that the audience might not get it. If Elisa didn't get it either, the audience wouldn't have to feel so bad about it.
Everything I could have asked for.
I have a VERY vague memory that we were discouraged from using Swastikas. I can't remember why or even if this is true.
But the skull-like pilot with the skull & crossbones on his plane certainly looks like a bad guy, doesn't he?
The planes themselves just look great. I found out later that Bader didn't fly Spitfires during the Battle of Britain. He flew Spitfires later, but flew Hurricanes during the Blitz. This fact drives me crazy.
But I love his line about the Gargoyles (which in my mind, he viewed as Gremlins): "They're real, and they're on our side!"
Benny noticed that they shot a hole through Goliath's wing. I had to reassure him that he'd be okay after getting some stone sleep.
Parachutes. No one dies in this episode. At least not in theory. Of course, we KNOW people died during the Blitz. But we couldn't show or even imply that.
THE WORLD TOUR
We end of course by creating new heroes out of old. Griff has returned. And Leo and Una have been reinvigorated. They take back their neighborhood.
Leo: "Or we'll make it our business." Leo's spent years worried only about business. Now he remembers what his business is supposed to be. The nation of shopkeepers is once again ready to defend the realm. So to speak.
Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?