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G2003 Journal (6/28)

SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 2003:

Each day better than the last...

Again, I got up for a staff meeting, and I remember getting together outside the London room. But that's all I remember.

At 10am, Thom and Carol and I held another round of auditions with Emambu running the line, and auditioning.

At 11am, Thom and I helped Carol bring the Disney-loaned Gargoyles Development and Production artwork up to the Art room. I took another look at the art in the room. Some very cool stuff, particularly Niamgold's face cards. (But I really want her to finish the deck with a different canon character on every card. I mean we must have 52 characters easy, right?)

No bids on Erin and Benny's art. Uh oh.

Then Thom and Carol and I retreated to my room to cast the Radio Play, posting copies of the cast list at noon in multiple locations around the con.

I made several attempts to get into the Othercon art room, but kept finding the door locked.

At 12:30m I held a Starship Trooper/3x3 Eyes Q&A. I showed some DVD clips from both series, in particular featuring voice work by Gargoyles Voice Actors. Also showed some funny videos on 3x3. That Gap add still cracks me up.

But there weren't many questions for me on Troopers or 3x3. So we wound up just talking about whatever.

At 2pm, Vic and I held the Series Development Panel. This was nice. I showed the New Olympian, Gargoyles and Dark Ages pitches again. I also showed the Bad Guys reel again. And Vic and I showed the new show we're trying to sell now (with Greg Guler). It got a pretty good response. Hopefully, we'll sell it and be able to tell you about it soon.

At 3:30, the cast gathered for our radio play rehearsal. There wasn't enough time, because of various delays. But I could tell that they were quick studies.

At 5pm (or near enough to that, as we started late), we performed the Radio Play. This year as a tribute to Gary Sperling we performed his script of THE RECKONING.

Ladies & Gentlemen, The Gathering Players:

ANGELA - Jill "Leopard" Friedman
DEMONA - Batya "The Toon" Wittenberg
GOLIATH - Stephen Sobotka, Jr.
THAILOG - Carter Moore
BROOKLYN - Sarah the Great
MALIBU - Lanny Fields
TALON - William "Revel" Anson
FANG - Alex "Simon DelMonte" Wittenberg
ELISA - Vashkoda
DELILAH - Mandi Ohlin
HUDSON - Erik "Emambu" Mambu
BURBANK - Eric "Gorebash" Tribou
BROADWAY - Adam Leigh
HOLLYWOOD - Greg "GXB" Bishansky
CLAW - Seth Jackson
BRENTWOOD - Anthony "Archangel" Zucconi
LEXINGTON - Gabriel Guerrero
and Thom Adcox as DR. ANTON SEVARIUS

Everyone was great. Seth was really cast as an understudy in case someone didn't show, but I knew he would get a great laugh as Claw. And in fact he got TWO great laughs as Claw. One when he entered and one where he stood silently for his part.

Thom was fun as Sevarius. In the rehearsal, Thom and Carter did this very funny extended laughing sequence that cracked us all up. They did it again during the performance, but didn't sustain it as long. Oh, well.

But the show went great. Liz Chesterman also drew a big card up for Gary Sperling's kids, which everyone signed (and which Carol got to drag home for me). I'll give it to them next week and let you know their response. But thanks everyone who signed and special thanks to Liz and Carol.

At the Banquet, I sat with Lexy, GXB, Spacebabie and Revel and... ugh, I'm sorry, I can't remember. Pretty good food. I really liked the rice especially for some reason. I was quiet. It was a perfect example of how I'm really pretty shy in social situations. If someone had started asking me questions about Gargs or whatever, you couldn't have shut me up. But I'm lousy at small talk. Thank God, Revel was there to carry the conversation, or we would have been darn silent. (Of course, by this time everyone was tired and stuffing their faces too.)

We had a great Q&A with myself, Thom, Vic and Nichelle Nichols. Unsurprisingly, most of the questions were for her. (After all, you can get to me, Vic and Thom all the time.) And she was just great. Very gracious and warmly funny. We talked a bit about Mark of the Panther. My memories of it and hers. And she talked about Star Trek, her science fiction novels, her singing and a bunch of other stuff.

The Masquerade started at about 9:45, I think. Fewer costumes then previous years, but what their was was cherce.

Revel as Vinnie and Spacebabie as Hunter won cutest couple. (And picturing Vinnie hitting on Robyn Canmore, cracked me up.)

Cosplay prize went to Patrick as Anastasia and Karine as Fox. They were hilarious. Patrick also won the Gorelisa Memorial Award... for like the third time or something. We've got to get this guy some decent panty hose.

The Thom Adcox Memorial award went to Rob.
The Greg Guler Memorial award went to Nikki Owens.
Best Costume went to Kyt.

After the Masquerade, a few of us (me, Thom, Lanny, Patrick, Kathy and Carol) headed down to my old haunts in the West Village. The place was packed. We walked past my old apartment building. Then we went and had a second dinner at the Caliente Cab Company. Great Guac, man.

Afterwards we returned to the hotel. We all planned on going back to bed, but those of us on the 11th floor found ourselves talking in the hallway, too jazzed to go to sleep. So I invited the small group (me, Thom, Gabriel, Lanny and Kathy) into my room. We talked WAY into the night. Thom finally went to bed, I think around 3am. I think I kicked everyone out at 3:30. But I don't think I got to sleep until 4:30. It was like being in college again. Very neat...

TUNE IN TOMORROW AS GREG IS TRANSFORMED INTO THE AMAZING "DEN-MOTHER"...


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G2003 Journal (6/27

FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2003:

So I remembered what I did after dinner the night before. And since technically it was after midnight, it's kinda okay that I'm putting it in this entry.

I read. I had finished two novels in Nantucket: THE DANTE CLUB and THE DAVINCI CODE. And I started a third, THE SINISTER PIG by Tony Hillerman. I finished that one late Thurs/early Fri.

Normally, I'm a big Hillerman fan, but I have to say this book was weak. No mystery, since he gives it away. Little suspense, since we know that our heroes have allies. Omniscient narrator, so it doesn't have the unique dual protagonist structure that makes his books so neat. Almost nothing of Navajo culture. And worst of all, Bernie was turned into a damsel in distress. YUCK.

Also, it didn't fit the pattern of my other reading for the vacation, i.e. that mix of fact, legend and fiction, which was one of the hallmarks of the first two books and of the Gargoyles series. ALL THINGS ARE TRUE.

Still, I so rarely get to read for pleasure, it was nice to put away three books.

Anyway, back to Friday...

I woke up at 8am, which wasn't easy. But I knew I wasn't going to get much sleep this weekend.

At 9, I was down in the consuite for the staff breakfast that didn't materialize because there were other more pressing things to do. I helped stuff and alphabetize envelopes instead.

After that, around 10:30am, Kathy and Carol and I went down to the hotel Lindy's for a WAY-overpriced meal that included fermented tomato juice. Kathy insisted on paying, which was very, very nice of her, if unneccesary.

Around 11:30, I stopped by the art room to drop off the ceramic figures that Erin, Benny and I had painted for the con. Mine was just on display -- but was destined for the charity auction on Sunday. It was a gargoyle that I dubbed (at the last minute) "No-Name". Erin had also done a gargoyle; she had painted glasses on it, so I named it "Four Eyes". Benny had done a fairy, which I named "Junebug" after one of the fairies in our back yard at home. The kids weren't donating their art to the charity auction. They wanted to get paid for theirs. More on this Sunday.

At 1:30pm I had a Mug-A-Guest up in the Skytop room. Answered a few questions in my long-winded fashion. It was fun.

Then at 2:30 I went downstairs to join Thom for a Voice Acting Seminar. This was fun. We answered questions, but we also workshopped a number of pieces including the Demona audition side, a Griff/Leo/Una/Goliath scene from MIA, a Lex/Tom/Mary/Brooklyn/Demona scene from Awakening One and a Lex/Goliath/Brooklyn/Broadway/Hudson scene from Thrill.

It was fun and we discovered two exceptional actresses, Jill & Rachael. Unfortunately, Rachael actually got a paying acting gig so she wouldn't be around for the Radio Play.

After that, at 4pm, Thom and Carol and I held the first round of auditions, with Archangel and I think Chyna acting as our volunteers, managing the line.

We had some really great people, but I couldn't help missing some of our missing long-standing Gathering Players: Jen, Jubes, Zehra, Zach Baker, Jordan Mann, etc.

Kathy brought Thom and I Nathans hot dogs from downstairs for lunch. So I think she paid for two of my meals that day. Uh. Thanks AGAIN!!

6:30 brought Opening Ceremonies. The G2003 staff intro'd themselves. And then the G2004 staff (led by Karine and Kelly) did the same. I'm already excited about the Montreal con. I hope all of you will be there.

Then it was my turn. I took hand counts of con virgins, 2nd timers, third timers, fourth timers, fifth timers, sixth timers and those absolutely HEROIC SEVENTH TIMERS. It was great to see people like Noel, Patrick, Karine and others raise their hands.

But it again made me think of those MIA that I missed. All those listed above and also Derek, Christine, Tim and Becca Morgan, Spike, Pogo and Aimee, Kenna, Steph, Cindy, etc. I'll admit it. I'm greedy. I want them all back!

I read letters from Greg Guler and Brigitte Bako, both announced guests that unfortunately had to pull out at the last minute. They said some nice stuff.

Then I did the Video Presentation AGAIN. Garg pitch. Garg promo. Garg presentation. Dark Ages Pitch. New Olympians Pitch. Bad Guys Reel. It was fun for the Virgins. Fun for the old hands. Fun for me. My resolution for next year is to stop apologizing for showing the same stuff over and over. If people don't want to see it they can leave the room.

After opening ceremonies, a group of us (me, Carol, Kathy, Patrick, Mandi and Vic) went to a restaurant called AMERICA, which was one of my favorite places to eat back when I lived in NYC. It was empty, which was weird, since back in the day, the place was always packed. The food was still great, so it just must be out of fashion. I had popcorn shrimp and pulled pork and tastes of a bunch of other stuff. As a table we shared like six deserts including apple pie, cheesecake, brownie alamode, and Death-By-Chocolate. Also, my college friend Doug joined us for dinner. I hadn't seen him in years, so it was great to catch up, especially at America, a place he and I used to go to with some frequency.

After Dinner, time was short so we hustled back to the hotel (sorry, Mandi). Thom and I held our "Blue Mug" which was a real blast. People try to shock me, but it isn't easy to do. I suppose by now, most of you have heard the big revelation of the night: that Lexington is Gay. I hadn't planned on revealing it, but a direct question was asked and so I gave a direct answer. We had an intelligent mature conversation about it -- spiked with lots of laughter. I was really sorry when the Security Guard broke us up around 2am, and in hindsight even sorrier that none of us took him up on the offer to check with the front desk for permission to continue.

Still it was late. I went to bed. But I was so juiced it took me another couple hours to crash.

TUNE IN TOMORROW AS OUR YOUNG MAESTRO GATHERS HIS PLAYERS...


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G2003 Journal (6/26)

THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2003:

Having been on Nantucket for a few days already, you'd think I'd be on Eastern time. But nope, not me. I'd been going to bed ridiculously late -- even by my standards, and getting up, well, let's just say before noon (but not much before).

But today, to catch my plane I had to set the alarm for 5:30am.

I had a very eclectic breakfast: an egg yolk, bacon, a bananna, Apple Juice, a slice of turkey, Cranberry Jello and a Three Musketeers bar at the Nantucket Airport (the setting for the tv series "WINGS").

My flight was supposed to be a non-stop to La Guardia, but the flight number got changed and I wound up on a puddle-jumper that stopped in Hyannis before heading off to New York. This was not a problem for me, but caused panic with Mara and the Bishanskys who were waiting to pick me up in Queens. They had forgotten that I was coming from Nantucket, and assumed that I was on a flight from SoCal. But the now-non-existant flight number they were given didn't match with a California flight. And because of the stopover in Hyannis, I was getting in later than they expected. So they thought they missed me.

Of course, when I did get in I just sauntered off the plane and Alex recognized me, calling over to his mom and Mara. They were very apologetic. But since, I never knew there was a problem, I was fine.

En route to the hotel, Greg & Alex's mom told this story about the "Underwear Cowboy" who hangs out in Times Square. Just as she finished telling us about this guy, we drove past him. I would wind up seeing him again later in the trip.

We arrived at the Hotel Pennsylvania and checked in. Carol Wagner (guest coordinator extraordinaire) was waiting and handed me the huge quantity of stuff that I had more or less coerced her into taking to New York, so that I wouldn't have to. (Thanks, Carol, for everything.)

My room was nice. Not huge, but much larger than some people got. No room service though. (There ought to be a law.)

I then headed out to meet up with Lianne, my high school friend, who now lives in New York with her husband Chris and son Elijah. It was so hot, I decided to walk, since I had the time and I just figured the subway stations would be sauna-esque. It wasn't too bad walking through midtown, as the concrete canyons create a breeze. But the air just flattens out at Central Park South. And man those last few blocks into the sixties were torture.

Lianne and I met at Elijah's school, at Stephen S. Wise Temple, up near the Park. As a kid, I went to a Stephen S. Wise Temple in L.A. I wondered who this Wise guy was that he had temples named for him all across the country, but no one could answer me. No one being, Lianne and Elijah (age 4).

We went to a coffee shop to grab a late afternoon breakfast (bacon, eggs and potatos) then walked with Elijah through Central Park. We hung out at the water park, rode the carousel, strolled across the sheep's meadow, got ice cream, etc. Lianne and I got to catch up. It was great. I dropped them off at their midtown apartment and walked back down to the hotel.

I cooled off for a bit in my room, but by that time the staff had checked into the consuite, so I stopped by to say hello.

Then a bunch of us went to go wait for Thom Adcox and Vic & Hanna Cook out in front of the hotel. They were about a half-hour late, when Carol went inside to discover that they had arrived as planned but had been dropped off in the alley.

When we finally hooked up, we got everyone checked into their rooms and then took off for a late dinner at Monster Sushi.

We had at least three tables. Thom, Kathy Pogge, Carol, Spacebabie and Revel were at my table. Nearby were Sapphire, Liz, Dreamie, Winterwolf, Mara, Aaron, GXB, Ethan and Lynati. (I think that's everyone.) The food was great, and we traded acting stories. I learn more about Mr. Adcock-Hernandez everyday. I had no idea that Thom was a dancer.

I have absolutely no memory of what we did after dinner. None. It's even possible I just went to bed.

MORE TO COME AS OUR INTREPID MR. WEISMAN ENTERS THE GATHERING ZONE...


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G2003 Journal (6/20 - 6/25)

FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2003:

This was a last minute day of stuffing in work, mostly. But I did have a great lunch at the Airstream Diner with Thom Adcox, Jen and Alan Anderson, Lanny Fields and Derek. (Uh, I just realized I don't know Derek's last name.) Lunch was great, and most of us came back to my office after to talk. It was the perfect precursor to the Gathering. I knew I needed to kick them out and get some more work done -- and I did eventually -- but not until much later than I originally planned.

The only bummer was that Derek, Alan and Jen weren't coming to the Gathering this year. We gave them heck about it though.

Also, and this is VERY important, I had been dieting right up until the morning of the 20th (and had lost 9 lbs.). Diet was officially over until July 7th. Now I could Gather AND eat!!

Anyway, after work I headed home. Beth, Erin, Benny and I were picked up by the car service and taken to LAX. In the airport, we spotted Tony Shaloub, the actor who plays "Monk" and who was the voice of the Emir on Gargoyles. He did one days work for us about 8 years ago, so I didn't approach him, but I took it as a good omen. Especially when it turned out he was on our red-eye flight to Boston. (Although he was in First Class, and we were in coach.)

The movie was Daredevil, which I hadn't seen. There were a few things I liked about it -- and I'm always more generous to movies on a plane, since I'm so desperate. Not a great movie. But I didn't hate it.

SATURDAY, JUNE 21, 2003:

Saturday morning we arrived at Logan Airport in Boston to catch our connecting Cape Air flight to Nantucket. (I know, I know, you're all thinking: "But Greg, didn't you know the con was in New York?" Bear with me.) Tony Shaloub seemed to be following me. It occured to me that this former star of "Wings" which was set in Nantucket, might be going there. That would put him on our very small plane. At any rate, it seemed to be fate, so I reintroduced myself to him, and intro'd the two kids. He was very nice. But it turned out he was going on a different plane to Martha's Vineyard. Which seemed to me like a real blow to Wings fans. But what can you do?

So the four of us boarded our flight to Nantucket. And then we were there, picked up by Beth's parents, who live there most of the year.

We spent most of the day relaxing and/or sleeping. It was raining anyway and we were beat.

That night, on cable TV, I saw some bit of Awakening Parts 3 & 5. And took it as another good omen.

SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2003:
Another relaxing day where we didn't do much. Though I did buy an apple pie that I would wind up eating single-handedly over the next two days.

Kathy Pogge sent me some research for a project I might be working on. Thanks, Kathy.

I started reading a book called THE DANTE CLUB. It was very good. Aside from including a lot of Dante/Inferno references, it mixed real people with fictional. Told a fictional story in a real setting, etc. This is stuff, which I'm sure you guys realize interests me a lot. It would become the theme for my reading this week. Anyway, a very good book. I recommend it.

On the other hand, that night I finally saw "Attack of the Clones" on cable. UGH. A movie that is entirely catharsis-free cannot be a good thing.

Question: What am I supposed to think the Tuskan Raiders did to Ma Skywalker? Just beat her up a lot? Gang-rape her? Awful.

And Owen wasn't a Skywalker in New Hope? I had no idea.

And doesn't Padma think that Anakin requires -- if not prosecution -- then at least therapy, after he kills Tuskan women and children?

And am I the only one who totally doesn't buy the Jedi rule against love? Where did THAT come from?

And why is the whole Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Siddius thing played like a mystery?

Plus the plot's a mess.

UGH.

MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2003:

With the start of the new week, Erin started a one-week Sailing Class and Benny started summer camp. They both had a lot of fun.

I finished Dante Club and started a new book, THE DAVINCI CODE. This one wasn't as well-written, but again dealt with a mix of real people and legendary figures, and secret societies. Mixing fact and fiction, as we tried to do in Gargoyles. Not as good a read, but fascinating subject matter.

We treated my in-laws to all-you-can-eat Spaghetti and meatballs.

We started a lighthouse puzzle that we still hadn't finished by the time our trip ended.

We had Hot Fudge sundaes in town.

That night on cable: more good omens:

--Brigitte Bako in "Mind of a Married Man".
--Tony Shaloub in a new episode of "Monk".
--And Keith David narrating "Comic Book Heroes - Unmasked" It was weird hearing him talk objectively about Spawn, as if he had nothing to do with it. But it was a pretty cool special.

TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2003:

With both kids in camp, Beth and I had time to wander through town. We got ice cream, and I got some Clam Chowder. I wanted to get the Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, but they don't do that on the island. I guess that's a San Francisco thing that hasn't reached the East yet. But it seemed like something someone could make some money on. One of you go get rich and thank me later.

We had dinner at home (baby back ribs and potato pancakes). I finished Da Vinci Code and watched The Bourne Identity, which was okay.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, 2003:

Again, Beth and I had some nice time for ourselves for a walk through town. This time I got Soft Tacos and a Smoothie.

Dinner was Italian Sausages at home.

And the night's movie was "Lost & Delirious" which was pretty creepy.

TUNE IN TOMORROW AS GREG LEAVES NANTUCKET FOR MANHATTAN...


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GATHERING 2003 JOURNAL - Or how I spent my summer vacation...

Before I start, I just want to say...

1. I had a blast. Thank you, everyone for another phenomenal and memorable event in my life.

2. Now that the posting function here at ASK GREG has been re-awakened, I'd like to ask everyone who attended the Gathering to post their Gathering journals/diaries/logs here at ASK GREG. If you've got them posted elsewhere, please cut and paste them here. (Do not provide a link.) One, I'd like to read them eventually. And I even think it'll be kind of fun to be reading them months from now. I'll be nostalgic. Two, I think we should have a record here for con virgins and other newbies about just how much fun the Gathering can be. Thanks, in advance.

3. As I'm going through my journal, I'm flat out bound to forget some things and even some people. I apologize in advance. There are so many names and faces, it sometimes takes me a year or two to process people (just ask Spacebabie).

4. I'm not just going to post about the Gathering (i.e. about June 27-29th). My vacation started on June 20th and didn't end until yesterday, July 6th. So I'm going to post everything Gathering related that took place over that period. Hopefully in chunks.

5. I won't be answering any more questions until I get this done, but I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the week.

6. I'm also hoping to getting back to rambling about episodes -- about one ep a week, starting next week or the week after. That's the plan, anyway.

7. And again. Wow. Thank you all.


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BACK TO MANHATTAN

Okay gang,

There you go. A double dose of ASK GREG today, because tonight I am off to the East Coast. A family vacation first, before I head into Manhattan for the Seventh Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles. The G2003 staff has a kick-ass con planned for all of you this year.

Guests include myself, Thom "Lexington" Adcox, Nichelle "Uhura/Diane Maza" Nichols, storyboard artist and director Victor Cook and Paul Lacy, who helped me create GARGOYLES all those many years ago.

We have a display of ORIGINAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION ART FROM THE GARGOYLES SERIES, lent to us by Disney.

We have a Radio Play, a sneak peak at new development from myself, Vic and Gargoyles' character designer Greg Guler. We have the audio tape of the Team Atlantis episode featuring Marina Sirtis as Demona. And all the standard Gathering good times we have every year.

I hope to see all of you there. For more info check out:

http://gathering.gargoyles-fans.org

And I'll be back here answering questions around July 7th.

Greg


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GARY SPERLING

Gary Sperling has passed away.

It wasn't a surprise. Though he never smoked a day in his life, he had lung cancer. Surgery to remove one of his lungs failed to halt the spread of the cancer, and a few minutes ago he passed away with his wife beside him.

Some of you may have met Gary at the 2001 Gathering in Los Angeles. I hope you did. I hope you got a chance to talk to him or at least listen to him. He was a phenomenally intelligent, reasonable and wonderful human being.

Gary was a lawyer by training, who gave up a lucrative career to do something he loved. Write. Specifically, he wrote cartoons. A lot of cartoons, mostly for Disney TV Animation. A very incomplete list of shows he worked on would include: Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles, Nightmare Ned, Hercules, Buzz Lightyear, Max Steel and Kim Possible. (And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.)

He was a terrific writer and story editor, and a great friend. His contributions to Gargoyles are hard to measure. He was truly a rock on that show. Someone I could always count on. Listing his Gargoyles credits will give you a partial idea of just how much your enjoyment of the series was based on Gary's work...

UPGRADE - Story Editor
PROTECTION - Story Editor & Writer
HERITAGE - Story Editor
KINGDOM - Story Editor
GOLEM - Story Editor & Writer
M.I.A. - Story Editor
THE NEW OLYMPIANS - Story Editor
BUSHIDO - Story Editor & Writer
THE GATHERING, PART TWO - Co-Story Editor & Co-Teleplay Writer
TURF - Story Editor
THE RECKONING - Co-Story Editor & Teleplay Writer

In addition, he helped develop BAD GUYS and was the writer on the BAD GUYS Story Reel which I show every year at the Gathering.

Among other things, Gary turned Brooklyn into a leader, turned Dingo into a good guy, created both the London and Ishimura Clans and set the stage for Broadway and Angela to fall in love. If any of those things helped to make you a fan, then he's the reason.

Gary leaves behind a wife and two young children. Plus many other friends and family members who will miss him tremendously.


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Gargoyles DVD

Hey gang -- Good news and bad news time.

I was contacted by John Hanna at Buena Vista Home Video (or whatever the division is called now).

The Gargoyles DVD is definitely ON. As some of you know, I had been concerned since I hadn't heard from John in a long time.

The "bad news" is that it has been moved back to 2004 release to coincide with the TENTH ANNIVERSARY of the series.

As bad news goes, that's sorta cool.


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ATTENTION FANS OF MATT BLUESTONE

Tom Wilson (the voice of Matt Bluestone) is currently recurring on the NBC series Ed, playing a widowered fireman and a potential love-interet for the Molly Hudson character, played by actress Leslie Boone, whom I've also worked with on 3x3 EYES. (Leslie is a very good friend of Thom "Lexington" Adcox.)

I've worked with Tom on most of the series where I had some control over casting, like MAX STEEL and TEAM ATLANTIS. He's one of my absolute favorite performers, and he and Leslie make a very cute couple. He's already been on two episodes. I don't know how long a run he'll get. But I hope he sticks around.


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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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