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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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Sanctuary Outline Memo

In prep for my ramble on Sanctuary, here's my notes to Story Editor/Writer Cary Bates on his first outline for "Sanctuary"...

WEISMAN 2-13-95

Notes on "Sanctuary" Outline...

GENERAL
Cary, I'm going to resist the temptation of beating this all out for you. That's how I got so far behind before. And at this stage I doubt I could do it any faster or better than you. So I want you to do a second draft on this outline, addressing ALL of the notes below. I sympathize, in advance. This is a complicated story. But I know we (meaning mostly you) can make it work. Don't take too long. And feel free to call after you've read this. We may be able to work out some of the problems over the phone. Good luck and here goes:

"SANCTUARY"
How does the title fit? What is the theme of the story? Is it about feeling safe? Safe in the arms of someone you love? I like that notion, but we'd have to emphasize it a lot more.

And simultaneously, more of the action should be centered around Notre Dame Cathedral. Economically, we can't afford to design backgrounds for an entire city. So we should keep the action focused on a few locations, that climax at the gargoyle covered cathedral-"sanctuary".

Plus, we don't want newspapers to be generically talking about a "mysterious winged creature". We want them focused on the Creature haunting the Cathedral at night. Maybe they think it's someone posing as Quasimodo, or his spirit or maybe they even think it's a gargoyle come to life or something. Of course, it's really Thailog. (Not Demona, by the way.) He's been there since "Double Jeopardy". Arriving long before Demona and Macbeth arrived.

We need to involve Thailog more at the end. Make him part of the conflict. I think he would have upgraded a bit. Used some of that $20 million to armor himself for battle. Not necessarily robotic armor, but at least a chestplate. Maybe wrist and shin guards. Keep in mind, we want him to be more powerful than Goliath and more threatening than any other villain. We should probably arm him with some big high-tech bazooka/laser/cannon type-thing too.

And we don't have to break up Demona and Thailog at the end. We just need to know that Thailog doesn't really care for her.

Remember, Thailog's plan isn't to kill Demona and Macbeth for the sake of killing them. He wants what they have managed to acquire over the last nine hundred years. If he could add that to the fortune he's parlayed from the money he stole from Xanatos, he might be able to compete with Xanatos financially. He needs to have already merged Demona's holdings with his own. So that his corporation (and we should get a cool, evocative name for it) we'll inherit in the case of her demise. And he wants to inherit Macbeth's stuff too. So if Mac and Dierdre marry, and both die together, (which is the only way they can die) he'll get everything.

Now, I'm not pretending this is easy to accomplish. As I read the outline, I was wondering if we needed a maguffin or two to symbolize this wealth. Maybe Macbeth's Paris Mansion itself. But we managed to figure something out for "Outfoxed" that clearly and dynamically spelled out Halcyon and Fox's "financial conflict". We can do the same thing here. With the same clarity.

OTHER QUESTIONS
Does Macbeth plan on telling "Dierdre" the truth about himself?

Is this the first time since Gruoch that Macbeth has been in love? Since he's an immortal has he avoided close relationships, not wanting to outlive his lover? Or watch her grow old? Or has he been through this before? Maybe not often, but once or twice over the last nine hundred years. How did he handle it in the past? Is he doing something different now? Highlander questions, basically.

Is Macbeth afraid for Dierdre's life? Does he think Demona might try to harm Dierdre to get back at him?

Do Goliath, Elisa and Angela assume at first that Macbeth and human Demona are in cahoots and only realize/remember later that since M&D have no memory of anything between City of Stone and Avalon, that Macbeth might not know that this human woman is in fact Demona?

Do we have an opportunity, maybe when Goliath and Elisa are searching Paris for the villains, for them to be romanitcally affected by the City of Lights?

When it's over, instead of Macbeth simply remaining bitter and once again suicidal, could Goliath point out to him that life offers possibilities... that if Macbeth could fall in love with Demona, he could certainly fall in love with someone else? Someone nice who would make his long life worth living again, at least for a time.

SOME SPECIFICS
A bunch of things, (some of which Cary the Story Editor should have been able to catch from his reading of past scripts, tsk tsk). Some of these notes may be moot after a rewrite of the outline.

Beat 2) Goliath, Elisa and Angela know that Demona and Macbeth left Avalon unconcious and together. Wherever they landed it would also have to be together. (Of course, Goliath and Co. have been travelling for awhile. So there's no guarantee that Macbeth and Demona stayed together after landing wherever they landed. It's just a good bet.)

There's also no reason for Goliath to assume that Macbeth and Demona are involved with each other still. (After all, they hate each other.) Also no reason to assume that Macbeth would be hurt by the association. And though there's no love left between Demona and Goliath, Goliath has no reason to feel sympathy for Macbeth. The audience might. Some of them would know Mac's backstory from City of Stone and sympathyze, but Goliath doesn't know the whole story. And he's got no reason to think more of Macbeth than Demona. Ironically, it is Thailog, more evil than any of the others, who Goliath would have the most sympathy for. He sees Thailog as a victim of poor upbringing. He'd like to reform and rescue his "son".

On the other hand, by this time Goliath believes that they land everywhere for a purpose. If he sees Macbeth and/or Demona, it's not too big a leap for him to figure that whatever the purpose, it involves these villains.

Beat 4) Again, here we'd like the headlines to be more specific to the Cathedral.

Beat 5) Elisa would recognize the human Demona from "High Noon".

Beat 7) We are forcing the creation of a lot of different sets and backgrounds here. Also don't forget that Demona's transformations to gargoyle (and back) are painful. Also don't forget that Macbeth feels any pain that Demona feels and vice versa. Distance reduces the pain, but we've never been really specific about how much distance or what the reduction is. Does Macbeth, across town, feel a little of Demona's pain at transformation? If so, he could blame Demona, knowing as he does, that he feels her pain. All that would tell him is that Demona is in the vicinity. It wouldn't reveal that Demona is Dierdre, unless he saw her transform. On the other hand, Demona might be far enough away that Macbeth feels nothing. Or just a slight twinge of soreness, that he doesn't immediately connect with Demona. We can play it any of these ways, we just need to deal with this "Corsican Brother"-style pain-sharing. We can't ignore it.

Beat 10) We've got a lot of set-up with little action up to this point. Maybe we can streamline a bit. Also, it feels like Mac's hovercraft might be a little unwieldy for this sequence. Maybe he's on the flying equivalent of a jet-ski or something a bit more svelt.

But there's another big question. What is Macbeth's objective towards Demona at this point? He knows that the only way to rid himself of her is to die himself. He may have forgotten the lessons of City of Stone and Avalon, but I would think that his love for Dierdre would prevent him from wanting to die. Later we imply that he's chasing Demona in order to chase her out of town. But that's pretty goofy logic. "I haven't seen you in weeks. So I'm going to hunt you down, to make sure you stay out of my life."

Beat 11) We definitely want to do something with the Eiffel Tower. Maybe even stage a battle there in the first or second act. But the Tower is open to tourists at night. Does anyone see them hanging there? Or are we way into wee hours by this time?

Beat 13) Goliath can't steal this guys camcorder. He's not a thief. Even destroying it is pretty malicious for Goliath, who's never gone too far out of his way to hide from humans.

Beat 16) Gargoyles don't kiss. They stroke hair. And it's "Notre Dame" ("Our Lady"), not "Notre Damn" ("Our Damnation"?)

Beat 17) The Cathedral is a very temporary safe house for Thailog while some safer, new place is being built for him. (Or maybe that's part of what Thailog is after: Macbeth's Paris Mansion.) It is not abandoned. Thailog is safe their during the day, because he's like a needle in a gargoyle haystack. After dark, he can stay out of sight in the upper reaches, until the Cathedral closes for the night. But he can't have much of a set-up there. Computers? Paintings? I don't think so. Particularly when we've got reports of a creature climbing around the church at night. People might investigate. They wouldn't find Thailog. But what would they make of that computer?

Beat 18) Demona may have no desire to "see" Goliath, since she found Thailog. But she'd still want him dead. Plus she MUST be curious about this female gargoyle. She thinks she knows all the gargoyles that exist, and none of them are female. She'd have to know. (And for that matter, so would Thailog.)

Beat 19) Think about how silly it would look in live action, if a villain who looked like Thailog, whipped out a brush and in a few seconds added a necklace to a painting. It's equally silly looking in animation. Maybe moreso because it's so easy to do.

I don't understand the pre-nuptual agreement at all. Why does Macbeth feel he needs it? (And don't tell me his lawyers push him around.) Besides, the whole idea of it goes against what we want to have happen in the story. Thailog wants Mac and Demona to get married. And have Demona inherit so that he can inherit from her, when both Demona and Mac die. Or am I missing something? I don't think we want this to be about stealing money from a safe. That's small potatos for Thailog and Demona. Either we need to have some irreplaceable (possibly magical) maguffin in that safe, or we should be dealing with the whole ball of wax. The former would probably be easier, but I'd like to go for the latter ball of wax if we can.

Beat 20) Again, I don't buy Macbeth's logic for hunting down Demona.

Beat 21) Angela can't operate a camcorder. She's not Lex. (And as noted above, I don't see anyway for our guys to have this anyhow.) Plus she wouldn't recognize Thailog. Also it feels like a pretty big jump for Goliath to figure that Demona and Thailog are working together. Not an impossible jump, but a big one.

Also, I was unclear. Did Goliath have a chance to give instructions to Elisa or did he turn to stone before he had time?

Beat 23) Again, I don't believe Macbeth lets lawyers push him around. And I don't think we need this pre-nup agreement in the story.

Beat 24) I really don't like this camcorder. And I don't know why Elisa needs it here. Like if she followed Mac and Dem, returned to Goliath without visual proof he wouldn't believe her story?

Beat 25) "How can I prove my love to you?" "Give me the combination to your safe." Yeah, that wouldn't make me suspicious.
I'd almost rather play any scene like this where Macbeth is insisting on giving something to Dierdre, who protests that she doesn't want it. The more she protests that all she needs is his love, the more he wants to lavish on her. In this way, he is predictable, but he's not being fooled by "crocodile tears" into doing something that seems incredibly fishy.

Beat 26) Again, Elisa would recognize human Demona from "High Noon" the first time she saw her. But here I was entirely unclear. How does footage of Dierdre prove that she's Demona, when Elisa didn't recognize her in person?

And this bit about Dierdre being Demona's name...? Gargoyles didn't have names in the tenth century. Naming is a human convention. Goliath referred to Demona back then as his angel love, or his angel of the night. Do we want to change "Dierdre" to "Angel" or "Angelica" or "Angelique". I don't know if you still need this, since Elisa would recognize human Demona, but I suppose you could, as long as we wouldn't be confusing the audience with Angela.

Why wouldn't Goliath want Elisa along? And why would Elisa agree to stay behind?

And what is it that Angela's staring at? Footage of human Dierdre? This isn't going to help her make the connection between herself and Demona. Visual clues aren't really the answer at all, since she would have seen Demona in the Avalon 3-parter. She learned from Sevarius that Goliath was her biological father. Here she learns that Demona was Goliath's love all those years ago. She puts two and two together over the course of the episode. Figuring out the truth only after she's already come to regard Demona as evil. You won't have room here to deal with the ramifications of that discovery. You're just setting things up for another story.

Beat 27) Why does Macbeth want to capture Goliath and Angela if he wants to get Gargoyles out of his life for good?

Beat 28) Goliath is "spreading" lies? To who? I mean we know he's not. But who does Macbeth think he's spreading lies to, that makes him want to imprison Goliath to stop it?

Also Macbeth could NOT have heard about Thailog. He was under the Weird Sister's spell when Thailog made his only other appearance. Besides who would he have heard about him from?

Beat 32) Again, not at all happy about Thailog's magic paintbrush. Particularly since it proves nothing here. It's not a photograph. If Macbeth thinks Goliath might lie about Dierdre, why wouldn't he think that this is a further lie somehow accomplished by Goliath.

Beat 33) I'm glad Macbeth keeps his cook. That guy can make a mean omelette.

Beat 36) Again, don't forget that Macbeth and Demona feel each other's pain while fighting.

Beat 39) These are huge leaps for Angela to make. How does she know this about Thailog. Also does Thailog show up there, state what he states and then not get involved in the fight? Or is that a typo for Goliath? Maybe we should let the battle climax at the Cathedral. Thailog is there. Goliath tries to "save" his son from Demona's evil. (Goliath assumes this plan is Demona's, not Thailog's.) Thailog just laughs. Reveals he wants Mac and Demona to kill each other. And he'll kill Goliath to prevent him interferring. Or something like that.

Beat 41) Killing Demona would at least knock Macbeth out.

Beat 42) Again, doesn't Thailog want anything besides their deaths?

Beat 44) Goliath still needs to be in some discomfort vis-a-vis the biological mother and father thing. It's not the gargoyle way. Brynne is going to deal with this (she'll have the space to deal with it) in her Africa story. Let Elisa be the one who confirms Angela's suspicions.

Beat 45) Again, I think we're working against our own ends. Why does Thailog need Macbeth and Demona dead, if not for what he can gain by their deaths?

Beat 46) Again, I think we can let Demona and Thailog go off together. Also, we've spent the whole episode with Demona turning back and forth from human to gargoyle. Demona does not turn to stone -- ever.

Beat 47) Angela should not get any comfort from Goliath in this episode. You don't have the time to deal with it here. If she receives comfort, it would come from Elisa.

MOVING FORWARD
O.k. try another pass. I'd streamline, by opening with the skiff arriving in daylight. Elisa leaves the stone gargoyles on the skiff tied under a bridge and goes to explore Paris. A place she's never been. She probably calls home again. Maybe she tries her parents this time, and again gets an answering machine. To save money on a voice actor, the answering message can be one that Elisa recorded for her parents months ago. (My sister is on my parents' machine with a message she recorded two years ago.) Elisa's voice says something like: "My parents don't know how to work their answering machine, but if you leave a message for Peter or Diane Maza, there's a fifty-fifty chance they'll call you back"). You don't have to jump through hoops to get the message erased this time. Then she briefly wanders around Paris like a tourist until she spots Mac and "Dierdre" who she immediately recognizes as Demona. She doesn't know that Mac doesn't know it's Demona. She'd probably assume they're up to something bad together. And also guess that they're why she and Goliath, etc. have landed in Paris. She follows them at a safe distance, etc. She doesn't want to get spotted. Near nightfall, she might head back so that she can inform Goliath when he awakens. Or she might not want to lose Macbeth and Demona until after she's found their H.Q. Or maybe when Mac and Dierdre split up, Elisa follows Dierdre to see where she lands, then loses her among the tourists at the cathedral.

Anyway, that's somewhere to start.


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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?


Bookmark Link

BACK TO THE PILOT...

On 7-15-93, I sent our writer a memo, sending him from outline on the Gargoyles multi-part pilot (what would eventually be dubbed "Awakening") to script (with notes).

So now it's two months later. In the interrum, the writer turned in a script, but it had become clear that he wasn't locking into the vision of the show that Gary Krisel and I had. This isn't meant as a criticism of this writer. This show was so new to Disney it was hard to get the template across to people. Fortunately, the next writer we brought on hit a home-run. That writer was, of course, Michael Reaves. What follows is a LONG memo I sent him with the previous writer's script. Everything else should be fairly self-explanitory, though I've added the occassional note in [brackets].

To: Michael Reaves 9-19-93

From: Greg Weisman (818)-754-7436

Re: Notes for Gargoyles Script

cc: Paul Lacy, Jay Fukuto, Bruce Cranston.

Michael, here are our collated and copious notes on [the previous writer's] script. Some of them are probably obvious to you, so forgive me if I tend to go on and on. Enclosed with this memo is a copy of Eric's script on disk, hopefully formatted to suit your needs, and the original beat outline for the 10th century section that we gave to [the previous writer] in March to get him started. We thought reading the latter might give you a clearer idea of what we were aiming for. You'll notice that [the previous writer] compressed the events of 994 from three nights into two. This obviously saved him some space but limited his ability to set up characters, motivations, themes, logistics, etc. I'm only bringing this up to allow you the flexibility to do either. Also available but not included is the outline that he wrote, which we approved to script with five pages of notes. Just let me or Paul know if you want to see either document.

SOME GENERAL NOTES:
--Obviously, the dialogue needs improvement. Each character must have his or her own unique VOICE. Diction must be chosen carefully. We don't want Goliath to sound arch and artificial, but he shouldn't be spouting colloquialisms either. Plus everyone should only say things that make sense for them to say.

--Motivations which once seemed clear to us have been buried or lost entirely. We must make these clear and understandable.

--Goliath's arc in particular must be made clear. He begins as an optimist. He has a job to do and he does it well. He believes that humans have a lot to offer to gargoyles (like reading and writing, for example), and that gargoyles also have a lot to offer to humans. He puts up with the Queen [soon to be demoted to Princess, i.e. Princess Katharine] because whether she's grateful or bitchy is largely immaterial to the fact that he will be true to himself, i.e. a gargoyle who protects his home. When he is betrayed, he becomes embittered. He has learned to hate and mistrust humans...he begins to see the world in Demona's black and white terms. Gargoyles, good; humans, bad. It may be a mind-set that he almost has to struggle to maintain: it's against his better nature. But he's determined not to trust again. Elisa changes him. He rediscovers his optimism through her. And the realization that Demona participated in the betrayal cements it. The world has shades of gray again. It's a tough world, but worthy of effort.

--Themes are likewise buried or lost. In addition to Goliath's major arc, the most important theme is, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Even Goliath is prone to fall into the trap of appearances. We should emphasize it as much as possible. A secondary theme is the "man out of his time" idea. We should never forget how strange the twentieth century must seem to our gargoyles.

--Ideally, we'd like to have some lighter moments of humor, both to offset the tension and to throw it into relief. But that doesn't mean we need brainless sight-gags or goofy pseudo-Spider-Man quips.

--As we discussed, you may want to open the whole piece with a VERY brief twentieth century scene between Elisa and another cop, looking at the fallen debris (claw-marks included) and wondering what could have caused this.

--Also remember that Gargoyles can't fly. They can glide, and we will cheat this using updrafts and downdrafts to keep them in the air, but if they're on the ground they have to get some height (perhaps by clawing their way up a building). They absolutely CANNOT take off by running fast at ground level.

--Gargoyles normally have pupils, but when they are angry or fighting, their eyes glow solidly.

PAGE NOTES
PAGE 1
As we imagined it, the castle was built on top of a Gargoyle rookery. The rookery itself was a series of tunnels carved into a cliffside overlooking the sea. This gave the inhabitants (both Gargoyle and Human) protection on all sides but one. The scene between Brian and his mother was originally to take place within a hundred feet and in clear view of the castle gates as they struggled up the hill toward the castle on the promontory. They are probably serfs. It's doubtful they had a village to burn down. The castle would have been the center of the community. We're not even sure whether it's necessary for the marauders to have already attacked their farm. (How would they have survived that, anyway?) Brian's desire to stand and fight seems off point. The fight's gonna happen where it should happen, at the castle.

Incidentally, for reasons that escaped us, [the previous writer] changed the boy's name from ROBBY to BRIAN. It doesn't really matter, but for some reason, Brian seems like a more modern name. Robby may be no better, however, so feel free to use either name or come up with a new one. [Of course, Michael changed the name to Tom. So in "Three Brothers" I used the Robby name for the young Captain.]

PAGE 2
Cole is a very wordy marauder. Also his reasoning's a bit off. He's in no real hurry to catch the farmers. He's after bigger game: the castle. If he takes that, he'll get everyone's possessions including the farmers. He's on a steady march up the hill. [Cole, of course, became Hakon and the marauders became Vikings.]

PAGE 3
Waiting for dusk to obscure the archer's vision is o.k., but obviously, waiting for nightfall when they can't see anything makes even more sense.

We saw the Captain as anything but handsome. A burly gargoyle of a man, ugly even. A real career soldier. Not necessarily a native to the castle. Someone who would get as little respect from the queen as Goliath does. Someone who could identify more with the gargoyles than with the humans he works for.

PAGE 4
The conversation between the marauders is too on the head. Telegraphs TOO much. I think the point was supposed to be that even in 994, real gargoyles were fairly rare and many castles had adopted the practice of putting fake ones up to scare off the likes of Cole. Cole is taking a calculated risk in attacking a gargoyle covered castle at night. I did think it was a nice moment when Cole ordered his men on and then silently stared at the castle, before shrugging off his fears.

The captain should have his archers ready, but Cole's keeping his men out of range, waiting for nightfall.

At some point we may need to clarify why the marauders are attacking. The idea is monetary gain. Confiscate anything of value. Drag the people away in chains. Perhaps ransom the valuable ones. Sell the others as slaves.

PAGE 5
O.k., the gargoyle's transformation from stone to flesh is not a magical one. It's biological. No magical light. We've discussed that every sundown they turn back to flesh from the inside out and when all that's left is a thin layer of stone on top, it starts to crack, and they explode out of it. (This is like a snake shedding it's skin for a new one underneath.) It's also up for grabs whether we want to show the complete transformation here. It may be better saved for when they first wake up in the twentieth century. Your call.

PAGE 6
In this first battle, the Marauders never make it over the wall. The battle takes place in front of the castle, and maybe on the wall a bit.

Bronx does not panic and hide. Again, think of Hooch in Turner and Hooch. He's dangerous in a fight.

The "gargoyles-don't-have-names" stuff must seem totally incomprehensible to you from this script, but we actually do think it can work, so as we go through the script, I'll try and show you what we had in mind. One key thing to remember is that in the tenth century, gargoyles felt that naming something defined and limited that thing. Goliath was named by the humans, (and you'll notice that the humans chose the name of a monstrous biblical villain, which kinda indicates their opinion of gargoyles in general). If gargoyles do need to refer to each other, they do it based on the individual relationship. So on this page, Goliath would never refer to Hudson as "Old One", but might refer to him as "old friend".

PAGE 7
Goliath: "We'll take care of it, son. You get your mother to safety." All of a sudden I expect to see a big red S on his chest. No thanks.

Plus Brian (or Robby or whatever) drives me nuts. This kid is too precocious. We don't need to see him leaping into battle. And we need to remember, Gargoyles are scary to humans, even to humans that gargoyles protect. Brian may have a more open mind than his mother, but the mistrust may not fully go away until the end of the tenth century sequence. Brian isn't hero-struck by Goliath. He's intimidated. (Of course this whole scene may go, since the marauders aren't gonna make it over the wall, here.)

The trio are NOT kids. They are the human equivalent of 19 years old, which would easily make them warriors in their own right. Not necessarily mature, but old enough to fight and not whine.

"Earned your claws" is an odd expression. I don't think I like it, but I'm not sure.

PAGE 8
Like "Old One" for Hudson, "Beautiful One" in reference to Demona is just an awkward substitute name. If Goliath must refer to her, it would be by relationship...something like "my love".

And they do love each other, so we don't need any pseudo-"Moonlighting" sparring. She would certainly not refer to him as "Presumptuous One."

And we probably don't need any 20th century airplane jargon, like Double Barrel Roll, etc.

Bronx is NOT Scooby Doo. Dogs don't laugh.

Cole and Goliath's exchange is awkward and confusing. What does Cole want revenge for? Having been beaten?

PAGE 9
Goliath's line, "As we owe you ours every day, for protecting us during the daylight hours", is redundant.

We need to clarify the wizard's reaction to Goliath. To be fair to [the previous writer], the Wizard [soon to be dubbed 'the Magus'] is a character who's been giving us trouble from the beginning. We thought of him as a frightened and prejudiced old man. Perhaps, it might work better if he were envious, insecure and young. Turning the haughty, young queen (who is easily swayed by appearance) against the gargoyles. Whatever you think works best. Believe it or not, Bronx might actually be useful in this scene. If he trotted after his master into the throne room and did something funny and obnoxious, that bit of comic relief would then be ammunition for the wizard's opinion, and the queen's disgust.

PAGE 10
Likewise, we need to understand the Queen's attitude. She is young and immature. Prejudiced, insecure too, perhaps. Perhaps she feels the need to prove her own superiority and fool herself into believing she doesn't need the 'goyles. It's unlikely that she would value the ugly captain much more than the gargoyles. In our original beat outline, we had the queen suggesting that after this fight with the marauders is over the captain's services also might not be valued so highly. (Perhaps she tells him he'll be reporting to the wizard from now on?) This might also help motivate the captain's betrayal.

PAGE 11
Goliath's line "We are what we are." is right on target. It's not that he loves how the queen treats him. But he will be true to himself w/or without praise. However, the phrase "do our jobs" is wrong. It's not a job. It's who he is.

Again, I'm confused by this reference to Cole's revenge.

In the three night structure of the original beat outline, the captain's betrayal (and the logistics that made it possible were much clearer). You might want to refer to that March outline or at least rearrange scenes so that the logistics work. Meanwhile, the captain's suggestion should be to take ALL of the gargoyles and give the marauders a good scare.

PAGE 12
Goliath figures he can be plenty scary on his own. Why leave the castle unguarded? (Still he's aware that going off alone is somewhat dangerous. That's part of the reason he leaves Demona behind.)

We don't get the line about only her "understanding the full responsibility."

Page 13
I don't mind "smoothskin" too much, but I don't see any point in reducing that to "smoothie". I certainly would rather have them use the word "Humans" over "pink ones".

Broadway volunteers some very awkward expository information about naming. But I think the exchange with Brian could help illustrate the idea simply with a few changes. For example:

BRIAN
You don't have names? How do you tell each other apart?

LEXINGTON
(simply)
We look different.

BRIAN
But what do you CALL each other?

BROOKLYN
Friend.

In other words, they don't have clever explanations for why they don't have names. They have simple reasons for why they don't need them.

PAGE 14
So all these substitute names like "One that always looks good" is just the kind of thing gargoyles would never do.

It probably would take a little more prodding to get the trio to act like monsters.

PAGE 15
Growling is kinda feeble.

Also didn't Goliath leave with Hudson in the previous scene? And should he order them specifically into the rookery or just out of the courtyard? And again, beware playing the trio too young. Here they come off as little kids.

Hudson and Goliath CANNOT run along the ground and catch an updraft with their wings. They could jump off a cliffside though.

PAGE 16
"Little Gargs?" I don't know.

This whole conversation comes off as artificial and expository.

And Bronx should be with them. How else does he survive? Which means he should probably have been with them in the previous scene with Brian/Robby as well.

PAGE 20
It's a tough scene, but we need dialogue that won't make us cringe.

Are the trio and Bronx waiting in shadows, or are they just now emerging from the rookery?

PAGE 21
Hudson's attitude is wrong. He's a soldier, not a kindly old man.

We're not sure why Goliath ran down to the rookery, but we know the results of the trip don't work. If Cole found the eggs in the rookery and took them away, than he would have also found Bronx and the trio and destroyed them. The idea with the eggs was to plant that they existed in one scene in the pilot and not refer to them again. Than they'd be fodder for a future episode.

Hudson's line: "There is never a reason good enough..." is confusing in this context. We shouldn't be afraid to use silence when words aren't necessary.

At the bottom, the Queen's last line has now made her thoroughly irredeemable. (Even if Brian is a sappy kid.) Now that she's been humbled, we should begin to see her transformation. She's witnessed some horrible things. Now that it's too late this young woman is going through some changes that might someday make her a wise ruler.

PAGE 22
Again, we need to make sense of the wizard. He can't be so irrational towards Gargoyles that it's unbelievable.

PAGE 23
Brian makes my teeth hurt.

PAGE 24
Brooklyn is coming across as whiny again. There's no finesse to any of this dialogue.

And the choreography of this scene makes little sense either. Why is Cole only now dragging the Queen into his tent. Again, you may want to refer to our original March-dated beat outline. In that, Cole and the Captain have the Queen and Wizard (the most valuable captives) isolated in their tent from the beginning. Cole taunts the wizard here by tearing pages out of the magic book and burning them. Then when gargoyles attack, Cole and Captain flee tent and campsite, leaving wizard behind, again isolated, believing the queen will be killed. Goliath follows the villains. Queen will thus be witness to his heroism. Wizard can blame gargoyles for causing queen's death (not for killing her) before she returns with Goliath. Not the only way to go, but it might work. This doesn't.

PAGE 25
Hopefully, by this time the Captain's motivation will be clearer. He had no love for the queen. He thought he was doing the gargoyles a favor by having the humans dragged away, leaving the castle to them. But Goliath insisted on leaving the gargoyles at the castle, and though the captain believed he could protect them from Cole, he was wrong. Cole was taking no chances, purely as a practical matter.

PAGE 26
What exactly are we seeing in silhouette?

Again, the choreography and the wizard's reaction and accusations make no sense.

PAGE 27
The way the wizard phrases the spell renders the spell useless, because the gargoyles did not betray the castle. However, it's good that the emphasis of the spell is on putting the gargoyles to sleep (in which case they always turn to stone) rather then having him magically turn them to stone (which would confuse the whole issue of whether or not gargoyles turn to stone magically or biologically).

By this time we need to believe in the Queen's change of heart and redemption. Even the wizard should be well chastened. This whole thing is coming across as too pat.

PAGE 28
This needs to be a sad, almost poetic moment.

PAGE 30
Do we want to use lasers to cut through mortar? Is this planting the available technology so that it doesn't seem artificial if we use it later, or are we making something that should be special into something mundane?

PAGE 31
Maybe so it's less artificial, the rain should be coming down from the beginning of this scene.

Here, at least, the gargoyles should explode out of their old skin.

PAGE 32
Don't know why we're moving inside for half a scene that could be much more dramatic and effective in the rain.

Obviously we can't use the name Charles Xavier. And we probably shouldn't use Xavier either. We've discussed the name XANATOS here, but if you have a better idea that's fine.

We don't know about giving Xavier the book of magic. Seems to us that the book may be useful for future stories (like the eggs). Besides if he has this book, what would keep him from turning them back into stone at the end of the pilot when things don't work out.

PAGE 33
Again, we're not sure if we can do THE PACK justice in the pilot. They've got that interesting "American Gladiator" back story that we don't seem to have room to service here. Though thematically it does fit nicely. Maybe in a future episode. If we do use the Pack, they shouldn't have any Cybernetic implants. And they shouldn't have CY.O.T.I. either. These were all additions that I discussed with Eric for their second and third appearances. We should never take this sort of stuff for granted.

I like the HARD HATS idea too, but I wonder if even this is necessary. If the attack is done by black garbed, masked commandos it would still serve it's purpose.

The attack should come very soon after the gargoyles are awakened. And they should be totally at sea. Helicopters. Guns. They don't know what the hell is going on. Pack...Hard Hats...Commandos...they'd be running circles around these 'goyles. If the gargoyles defend the castle at all, it should be purely reflexive. Again, it's what they are. But Goliath is certainly in no mood to protect any human or human interests. Goliath should be more confused than the audience.

And we definitely don't need any mid-raid chats between Xavier and Fox. Not sure if the bad guys need to talk at all.

PAGE 34
Nor do we need any old bad vaudeville schtick from Hyena. I know she's crazy, but please...

And Dingo can be cast to have an Australian accent w/out resorting to cliched dialogue like "Mate" or "Gander at the Goodies".

Also don't know why Fox waited so long to "coordinate" the attack.

We've been spelling Elisa's name with one "s". Eric consistently used two. I only bring this up, because it changes the pronunciation to something that sounds less Hispanic: his eh-LISS-uh as opposed to our eh-LEE-sah.

Our preliminary designs have shown Elisa with long hair. And we never thought of her as a Rosie O'Donnell type. We're hoping she's something special but doubt that's the way to take her.

What are the reactions to what's going on above their heads? It's high enough up that they can't see any details. And it can't be such a civic disaster of falling stone that the whole city would be up in arms.

PAGE 36
How does Xavier know Goliath's name? Maybe this was supposed to be a mistake on Xavier's part, a clue that he knows more than he claims. But Xavier is not that sloppy.

PAGE 37
Before Lex identifies the helicopter as a flying ship, should one of the others think it was some kind of creature? A metal dragon or something?

PAGE 38
Although Goliath is too decent not to be somewhat grateful to the man who woke them up, we don't think he's making any deals with any humans at this point. He's protecting his own.

PAGE 39
Could Elisa see "lasers and heavy weapons fire" from the ground? And Batman may call Gotham his city, but we doubt that Elisa is so full of herself to call New York, "MY city".

And when does Elisa investigate? That night? The next day? Why does she wait 24 hours?

PAGE 40
We're uncomfortable with the notion of introducing our cop by having her perform an illegal search. Perhaps, instead of being stonewalled, she is called in to investigate the theft. (Xavier knows she'll get nowhere, because there was no theft.)

PAGE 41
Bronx would not shake like Jello. He'd probably be a fairly effective watchdog. (Which is not to say we couldn't use him surprising her to comic effect.)

They just rebuilt the castle; should the ledge be giving way?

PAGE 42
As we discussed, Goliath can grab the flagpole, but it should snap off in his hand. He's not BATMAN. He's way to weighty. Maybe he uses his claws to dig into the side of the building and eventually slow his descent.

We need to develop the relationship between Goliath and Elisa slowly. His saving her life does create some kind of trust...but doesn't make friendship automatic. So she wouldn't just "know" that he "was only... protecting the castle."

PAGE 43
And she can't just shrug off the fact that she's "talking... to a bunch... of gargoyles." When and how will she hear their story, learn about them.

There's something promising about their exchange at the bottom of the page. Perhaps if it were more like...

GOLIATH
And who decides what is... "wrong"?

ELISA
Well, over the years... the people decided.

GOLIATH
You mean the humans decided.

Or perhaps something which indicates the tension.

PAGE 44
His need to know more about this world...is this his decision or something she leads him towards? In general, this all seems to be happening too fast. She seems to know his desire to stay with the castle before he's expressed it. She seems to know about the day/stone stuff. Why does she even want to enlist him at this point?

PAGE 45
Even at this stage, we need some solemnity to their growing bond.

And we need to avoid modern phrases like "case list" that we can't assume Goliath would understand.

Hudson asks a good question. Goliath's answer seems non-responsive to it.

And Elisa seems like a real user in her aside at the bottom. Besides, how does she know he'd make a great addition. And why are they waiting until tomorrow night. The way he's devised the last few scenes, it seems the night is still young.

PAGE 46
Why enter mid-scene if you're just gonna have Xavier re-explain things?

PAGE 47
As noted above, characters here don't seem to have their own voice. Hard to believe that Xavier would use the expression "for crying out loud."

If we do use the Pack, this could be a good time to emphasize the theme of appearances being deceiving. Xavier could even use the fact that Goliath is sensitive to this theme to his advantage.

The lines re: the t.v. set are appropriate in the sense that the gargoyles should not take the modern world for granted. But they don't have to be stupid either. Perhaps the more savant-like Lex can express things in terms the others can understand. For example, television might be a living tapestry. And a living tapestry might appeal to Hudson.

Is the holographic projector necessary?

PAGE 49
Xavier's never nervous. Let him do the reasoning and the talking.

PAGE 50
Bronx has no real wings. He cannot glide.

All this dialogue is "voiceless" and dull.

Back to the name thing. This is more what we had in mind:

ELISA
What do I call you guys?

HUDSON
Goliath is the only one the humans named.

ELISA
What? You have to have names.

HUDSON
Does the sky need a name? Does the river?

ELISA
The river's called the Hudson.

HUDSON
(w/a heavy sigh of capitulation)
Fine. Then I too will be "the Hudson".

GOLIATH
Don't worry. You'll get used to it.

ELISA
Good thing we weren't facing east.

PAGE 51
Or something like that. Then the kids decide that if Hudson (the big traditionalist) is gonna have a name than they'll get names too. We don't need to see them find their names. We'll just reveal their choices later. Also we don't need to find a rationale for Bronx's name. The trio can just come back with it. (They probably just made their choices based on the sound of the words.)

As for the various exits... Hudson is happy to guard the castle. That's what gargoyles do. Maybe he's going to study the new world through the Living Tapestry/T.V. that he's discovered. Goliath wants to explore it first hand. Hudson tells Goliath to take the dog with him, probably as a way to make sure Goliath is careful and safe. (Again the dog is not a liability to it's master. But good to have around in a bad situation.) But Hudson would express his concern subtly.

HUDSON
Take the dog with you.

GOLIATH
Why?

HUDSON
He needs the exercise.

Goliath gets the message. As for the trio, just remember that they are not "youngsters" with a curfew. Goliath can express a stern warning without treating them like children.

PAGE 52
Remember, Brooklyn is the natural leader of the trio.

I doubt Elisa says "Sheesh!"

PAGE 53
Now this whole thing with the robbery seems horribly contrived. If I didn't know better, I'd think Elisa had rigged it just as Xavier rigged the Pack attacks. The whole thing doesn't work. Certainly no one would rob the same apartment twice on the same night.

PAGE 54
Elisa seems to wear an agenda on her sleeve at the bottom of this page. She's coming off as a worse slickster than Xavier.

PAGE 55
Goliath's: "Those days are over!" response is ridiculous, because those days never existed.

And dogs don't laugh.

PAGE 56
I'm sure we don't want the female Hyena doing Rodney Dangerfield. Or any other bad old jokes.

PAGE 57
I've missed how Elisa made it to her car. I thought they were herding her.

And her line about "checking the transmission" is exactly the kind of pseudo-Spider-Man quips that we can forever do without.

Do we care how the Pack found Goliath?

Since Fox is telling a fib (which Xavier probably fed to her) in order to get Goliath's dander up, then "riches" misses the point entirely. What does Goliath know or care about wealth? Perhaps Fox brags that the stolen information will give them power to crush anyone who stands in their way. As for her excuse for chasing Goliath down...(Since it is literally contrived)...she could say that she doesn't like to leave any potential enemies alive. She couldn't finish him the other night because he was surrounded by friends. But now she can pick off all of the gargoyles one at a time. That would send a chill down Goliath's spine.

Also, it occurs to me that if you do replace the Pack w/masked commando types, than we could actually have a masked Xavier delivering this speech to Goliath. Maybe Bronx recognizes Xavier, but not being Scooby Doo, there's no way for Bronx to get his message across.

PAGE 58
So many problems.
--Elisa comes off as an idiot, here.
--None of us buy Goliath's sudden "surge of superhuman strength".
--What's Bronx doing in this scene?
--No running take offs into the air allowed.
--Bronx can't fly, so he couldn't follow anyway.

Also, this might be an opportunity to explain that Gargoyles glide and don't fly. As they are trying to escape, Elisa would ask the natural question:

ELISA
Fly us out of here!

GOLIATH
I can't.

ELISA
What do you mean you can't?! What're the wings
for?!

Or something like that. Given his limitation they either have to stand and fight or he has to start to climb high enough to get some air.

PAGE 59
Does the crowd attack Goliath or ask the Pack for autographs? Again, can we service the Pack in this pilot with all the other things we have to accomplish?

PAGE 60
If we do use the Pack, then Elisa has NOT just remembered who they are. And we need to understand why she doesn't immediately call for back-up or warrants for their arrest.
And this is a missed opportunity to play up the theme of judging by appearances.

This is also an opportunity to explain that Gargoyles daytime hibernation allows them to heal and recharge. Shed their damaged skin for a new one the next night.

PAGES 61 - 63
It seems odd that we haven't really intercut between the trio and Goliath.

This scene is a mess as well.
--Again, we need "voices" for the trio.
--We shouldn't rush to give them colloquialisms either. Over time, they SHOULD pick them up more readily than Goliath or Hudson. But let's make it make sense.
--We don't need to see the namings at all, or find rationales for the chosen names.
--Brooklyn appropriating some sunglasses seems like it might be a fun little touch. But how he gets a leather jacket and t-shirt over his wings is a bit perplexing.

PAGE 64
Although I'm not necessarily in love with it, the "Pleestameetcha" bit is the closest we come to believing these guys are learning to adapt, as opposed to automatically adapting with ease.

Dancing Gargoyles are a bitch to animate. Or so I've been told.

PAGE 65
We'd like to avoid the whole perplexing issue of whether or not the gargoyles can read. I tend to think that except for Goliath, they can't. (As it is, we're stretching in having them able to even speak and understand modern English.) In fact, if we feel like actually doing some good at some point, then a literacy episode featuring our trio and Hudson might be honestly worthwhile, but until we're prepared to really deal with the issue, we'd like to avoid it.

PAGE 66
This cluebuster scene has come off more contrived than it had to be.

PAGE 67
Again, it's unclear why Elisa doesn't simply file charges.

Maybe Hudson starts to give a shadowed Goliath the same guff he's been giving the trio, until Goliath steps into the light and he sees that Goliath has been wounded.

Again, wealth is not the issue. But physical power might be.

PAGE 68
And this grudge thing makes no sense. The Pack has battled Goliath twice and have basically won both battles. The only explanation that makes any kind of sense is the notion that they don't take any chances with potential threats.

Goliath could be honestly perplexed as to what to do...and decide to sleep on it.

The reunion should be an amazing moment. We need to believe in their love.

Xavier should say that he took the liberty of choosing the name Angelica for her. It's a lie that will ring truer.

PAGE 69
Angelica's story is not convincing. The attack was during the day. All gargoyles that were found were destroyed. We know it's a lie but we need a better one. Maybe just before sunrise, she got worried about Goliath and left the castle to find him. [The truth is that at the last minute she didn't trust the Captain to protect the frozen gargoyles from Cole. So she took off and hid somewhere.]

Xavier's story is no more convincing. Maybe he saw her picture in an art book and purchased her for his collection, long before he found out about Goliath. Or something.

Dialogue needs work, and Bronx is misused again.

PAGE 70
This is how Bronx should be used. Like a dog.

Goliath's "You just watch me" line, again misses an authentic voice for the character. He should also not gain immediate comfort with everyone's new names.

It's probably all right that Brooklyn has picked up the word "cool" and its usage by this time. But Goliath should not respond with another colloquialism, "Excuse me?", like he's Wayne or Garth. Does he think the tower is too cold or Brooklyn is? Actually, this whole exchange might be better suited for Hudson or cut entirely. I just feel like I've seen it in a 1969 Bob Hope film.

PAGE 71
As for Bronx going with Hudson, we can play off my earlier suggestion. This time Goliath tells Hudson to take the dog with him, because now he's worried about his old friend and the dog might come in handy. But he wouldn't dare to embarrass Hudson either.

GOLIATH
Oh, and Hudson, take the dog. He needs exercise.

We don't know why Angelica and Goliath need a helicopter.

And Demona's little slip about "crime rates" is too goofy. No reason for her to say something like this unless she was trying to tip him off.

PAGE 72
Maybe I'm over-reacting to the word, "lumbering", but for some reason I keep picturing an old fashioned and impractical Spruce Goose. We need to make this cool.

We obviously don't want to animate TEN GUARDS simultaneously.

Also we need a sense that Xavier out-fitted each of the three teams with a precise plan and understanding of their mission. He's too smart to let them all wing it.

PAGE 73
Why wouldn't the trio glide to the top of the tower/skyscraper? Why GROUND yourself by starting at the bottom. And again, they should already have a plan, provided by Xavier.

We also need to believe that these things are well-guarded. If CYBERCORP went to the trouble of splitting this information between three separate disks in three separate locations, including one mobile location, than they're not just gonna leave each disk laying around. Again, a plan from Xavier would help short-cut CyberCorp's security. But we also need to see some things that only a gargoyle's unique talents could accomplish.

Also, should we intercut between these three assaults, as opposed to basically seeing them one at a time?

PAGE 76
Bronx is not Lassie. He's not smart enough to have plans whispered in his ear.

PAGE 78
Would a police dispatcher really report "gray monsters with wings" over the radio?

Should the gargoyles have tried to bring the airship down on purpose, or did that happen when things didn't go quite according to plan?

There's a lot of fainting and near fainting in this script.

PAGE 79
Are there any other cops around?

Is this an airplane crash/explosion or a blimp/airship taking a slow fall?

The exchange between Goliath, Elisa and Demona is very confused. Demona's "little detective" line is perhaps a clue that she knows more than she's letting on. But if it's so bitter, so soon, than it's too big a clue. Perhaps she just points out that Elisa doesn't know the story and they don't have time to tell her now. At any rate, Elisa and Goliath have not built the relationship to justify the "how could you" line at the bottom of the page. Of course, by now they should have. Even if we have a better line of dialogue to illustrate it.

PAGE 80
We probably don't need the triumphant scenelet at the top.

And we don't know why Xavier would raise the question of legality.

Remember, from Goliath's point of view, Elisa simply doesn't know the whole story. He thinks explaining will be easy.

PAGE 81
Any visible seething on Demona's part will give her away.

It's probably o.k. if we've revealed Xavier by this time, but his line is SO on the head.

PAGE 82
Why is Goliath being cryptic?

The issue of law into one's own hands is awkward coming from a woman who's been playing so fast and loose.

And when she says, "I thought we had a common bond..." Well, as the script stands now, we don't believe it. And we should.

PAGE 83
Does Goliath know NYC like a cabby. Can't stage this scene so that he doesn't have an off-screen opportunity to find out where he's going.

Did Goliath mention Elisa's name on or off camera? Or did Xavier just find it out on his own?

Page 84
Again we need to be somewhat careful that we don't assume that Gargoyles are totally up-to-date on modern terminology.

We also need to make sure that Xavier's plan up to this point is clearly spelled out. (Xavier wanted two things. The information on the disks and the gargoyles' unquestioning obedience. He tricked them into stealing the disks, something he couldn't do without their talents. The logistics of which should probably be explained here.)

{At this point, Xavier will know that he's obviously not going to be able to secure the gargoyles' loyal service. That's all right though. He has a back-up plan. The info on the disks allows him to create new-and-improved steel gargoyles. (Perhaps it contained a formula for a rocket fuel that would allow them to fly--something more believable than anti-gravity disks.) Now, he doesn't need the real gargoyles. He'd still like to have them. But if he can't, he'll destroy them so that they can't work against him.}

PAGE 85
Don't know why Demona waited so long to shriek?

Goliath can't swoop up to the top of the roof from the ground.

PAGE 86
This whole conversation seems non-responsive. Exposition's flying, but they're not talking to each other. Goliath should probably figure some of this out for himself.

PAGE 87
Goliath suddenly sees Xavier as the devil, it seems. It just doesn't seem justified.

Xavier is not a war-monger per se. Demona's reasoning may need to be more general. She recognizes that Xavier is the worst kind of human. If she helps him gain more power, she's helping humanity destroy itself. Plus he gives her cool weapons.

As to her name, we think she should say something mysterious like..."The humans named me Demona long ago." No explanations necessary.

Page 88
Xavier set up this test. If Goliath had passed, great. But what did Xavier think would happen if he failed. He probably should have supplied Demona w/some mega-cannon kinda thing to wipe Goliath out. Goliath should barely escape with his and Elisa's life. And when they do escape, either Xavier or at least his assistant Owen should be revealed there also. It's not like Xavier trusts Demona 100%.

PAGE 89
We'll leave the design of the robots to the designers, but I'm guessing that if we really want to contrast the robots with our gargoyles, than they should be shiny and chrome-like, as opposed to Giger-bio-mechanical.

Xavier doesn't plan on selling anything. This is a guy who's favorite word is " Acquire". Acquire power; acquire people...anything he sets his sights on. What he can get by legitimate purchase, he'll buy; it's easier. What he can't buy, he'll take by subterfuge or force. What he can't take, (i.e. our gargoyles and their obedience) he'll destroy. He has no desire to destroy humanity. Or even the system of commerce and government that's put him where he is.

PAGE 90
Elisa's apartment is the first place that the Pack would look at this point. And in any case, the landlord is not gonna just let the floor cave in. Elisa should try to lead the Pack (or whoever) on a wild goose chase. Perhaps into a sculpture garden full of art decco gargoyles and the like. This should be a tense scene where she clearly putting her life on the line to saves all of the Gargoyles. This doesn't seem like a moment for ineffective comedy.

PAGE 91
Xavier should not be too ruffled by the Pack's failure. If they had gotten them during the day it would have saved him some trouble. But he's not worried. He has the castle. He knows they won't risk another day without coming to take it back.

PAGE 92
Although Elisa's statement that everyone has some good in them is a fine message, it seems off-point.

Is Elisa going to participate in this fight or just watch it? Is Bronx (who can't glide or fly) staying with her for protection, or are the Gargoyles carrying both of them into battle.

Demona's line about designing her own armaments only works if it's supposed to be a clue to how long she's been awake in the modern world. Otherwise, it's easier if it's just a gift from Xavier.

PAGE 93
Finally, Lexington has found a voice. Unfortunately, it belongs to Mr. Spock.

Xavier wouldn't sink to the level of calling Goliath a moron.

And it's ridiculous for Goliath to say that he betrayed him more than any human. First off, it's not true. The captain's betrayal was far worse. And secondly, the whole point of this thing is that it doesn't matter whether you're a human or not.

Also, the Pack, (Hard Hats, Commandos, whatever), should all be participating in this finale, unless they've truly been dealt with in some way during the daytime chase scene.

PAGE 94
This is a very weak fight. Audience won't be able to know about internal gyroscopes, and nobody is gonna buy the screwdriver stuff.

PAGE 95
Xavier is coming off very weak, here. Can't happen.

PAGE 96
Elisa can throw a pair of binoculars farther than she can clearly see without them. I don't think so.

PAGE 97
In all this morass, we've lost track of what Elisa is busting Xavier for. What does she have evidence of that she can reveal without simultaneously revealing the gargoyles?

PAGE 98
Goliath: "This time the threat came from within." It isn't just this time.

Goliath's attempt at a joke is lousy. And what's worse is the "clean up this town" line. He's neither the sheriff nor Batman. That's not his mindset. He's a protector of innocents, not a pro-active crime fighter.

PAGE 99
This is not how we want to go out. Tell me about it.

Well, that's it. (That's enough surely.) Good Luck.


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Hudson's nearly renamed...

More old memos from the original development file...

At one point a Disney Executive came to me and asked me to rename Hudson as a personal favor. She had just had a son, whom she had named Hudson, and was concerned for reasons I can no longer clearly remember.

I wanted to be nice, but this was very problematic for us. Hudson's being named for the river was the way into the New York names for the whole clan. I couldn't see an easy way to make the change.

But in the spirit of being a team-player, we tried to give it a shot.

The following is a hand-written note in my files of possible names. The ones marked with an "x" were actually crossed out by me.

[Castle Logo] Walt Disney Television

Gregory David Weisman

FIRE - x
LONG - x
CONEY - x
SHERIDAN - x
COLUMBIA - x
HARLEM
ROCKEFELLER
MADISON - x
LAGUARDIA - x
SHEA - x
YANKEE - x
TRIBECA - x
SOHO
JERSEY
BATTERY - x
WASHINGTON - x
LINCOLN - x
VERRAZANO NARROWS - x
ROOSEVELT
EMPIRE - x
CHELSEA - x
GRAMMERCY - x
WALL ST. - x
BROAD ST. - x
BOWERY
NOHO - x
HOUSTON - x
BLEEKER - x

After jotting those down, I composed a memo for my boss to see if he wanted to make the change. He didn't have (or at any rate didn't use) e-mail back then. So traditionally, I would send the memo to myself. Print it out and then leave a hard copy with his assistant.

[4] From: Greg Weisman 9/13/93 12:44PM (616 bytes : 28 ln)

To: Greg Weisman, Paul Lacy
Subject: Hudson Names

------------------------------- Message Contents -----------------
Gary, here are some possible alternatives to the name Hudson:

Rockefeller
Roosevelt
Bowery
Harlem

SECOND CHOICES:
Madison
Soho
Jersey
LaGuardia
Shea
Yankee
Tribeca
Battery
Washington
Lincoln
Sheridan
Greenwich
Coney
Grammercy

He returned the same memo to me stamped from his office with the following little note:

RECEIVED BY
SEP 13 1993
GARY KRISEL'S OFFICE

Greg

WHY
1) Would "Hudson" pick his own name?
Keep this for the teens

GK

Having received that note, I then had to go into his office and remind him about the whole naming schema. The fact that we had names for the 'teens' and that the reason we were considering changing Hudson's name was because of the request of this one executive. Gary then considered all this and decided to stay the course. I apologized to the executive but told her we wouldn't be making a change. I felt bad -- a bit. But I also felt sure that we had chosen the correct names.


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Another design memo...

We got more designs from WDAJ. Here's our response back to them...

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 8-26-93

From: Greg Weisman 818-754-7436

Re: GARGOYLES DESIGN WORK

Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

This is in response to the designs sent in your fax dated August 21st. (We've looked over the originals you sent as well.) Although we have substantial notes, I want to emphasize that we're learning more with each submission. Things that did not occur to us initially are now becoming clearer. For reference purposes, I'm going to refer to the page numbers of the fax. In the future, you might want to number every drawing on every page for easier reference.

PAGE 3
Seeing the four Gargoyles together raised a number of interesting problems. Goliath seems to have lost some of the upper body bulk that made him so imposing. And Broadway seems to be on an equal level with Goliath. We need to make Goliath more special and unique. And although the trio of Brooklyn, Lexington and Broadway must each be unique from each other, we'd like to see the three of them as a natural grouping. As it stands now, Goliath, Broadway and Brooklyn all seem of a piece, with Lexington as the odd man out.

I might propose the following possible solutions:
--Let's give greater stature to Goliath relative to the other three, particularly Broadway.
--Let's make Goliath the only one of the four who tends to stand erect like a man. If Broadway and Brooklyn existed in a crouch as Lex does, we could cheat all three of them larger and still leave Goliath with greater stature.
--We already have two unique wing constructions (Goliath's and Lexington's), but we could stand to create a third type. Leaving either Brooklyn or Broadway as is, if we gave the other a third style of wing, then when we looked at the trio of younger gargoyles as a unit, each of them would have a unique wing-type and Lexington wouldn't seem like such the odd man out.
--If I haven't mentioned it before, we think of Goliath as being in his late twenties (in Gargoyle years). We think of the trio as being between 17 and 19 years old (in Gargoyle years). Keeping them youthful should also help in making them into a visible unit and still distinguish them from Goliath. Broadway, in particular is looking a bit too old.

PAGES 4 and 5
We'd like to make Goliath more imposing in size. Perhaps by slightly reducing the size of his head relative to his shoulders and chest. Bulking up his upper body.

We're also divided over here on the issue of the tail. Some of us feel it adds an inhuman element to help make Goliath cool and different. Others, just feel it's another thing that'll need to be animated.

Love the way the wings drape on page 5.

PAGE 6
One of Gary Krisel's concerns is that the face have depth. He doesn't want it to look like a mask connected to Goliath's thick neck. I'm not sure I see that problem in these drawings, but it's something to watch out for.

Another important point is Goliath's attitude and expression. He is highly intelligent. Noble. Gary was also concerned that some of the expressions here (and on page 4) made him look a bit like a thug.

A third concern is whether or not we might still have too much pencil mileage in the facial design to animate effectively.

PAGE 7
I love the top two head shots. Goliath looks terrific surprised. And I think the trick with the pupils vanishing in anger is very effective with all the characters. I also like Goliath amused in the lower right corner. But I'm not sure about the lower left shot. I'm not clear what emotion is being expressed. Something about the teeth and maybe the eyes is unappealing. I apologize for not being able to pin down my problem further. Maybe we should reserve his jagged teeth for extreme expressions? I don't know.

PAGE 8
Both poses, particularly the kneeling shot, are wonderful. In the first pose, however, I think we should be cheating his wing-span much, much larger.

Page 9
Great.

Page 10
I like his slimmer "teen" build, but perhaps Brooklyn should "stand" in more of a crouch. Not simply bad posture, but keeping at least three limbs on the ground.

PAGE 11
Again, Brooklyn needs to remain 18 or 19 years old. Particularly in the lower left and right corners he seems much older than that. We also probably need a greater range of expressions. Remember, he is the irrepressible leader of the trio. Out to find adventure. Are his horns too far apart? As opposed to being slicked back like his cool young hair, are the horns scooping up, giving him a more demonic look than necessary? Have we created a mouth that inhibits expression too much? You can see, we have more questions than answers, still.

PAGE 12
I think Lexington works as a basically horizontal character, but we don't want to make him too diminutive relative to the others...stretch him out in poses. Remember that his middle set of limbs function as arms as well as legs.

His wing design may be more complicated than necessary. We may not need the rib construction coming out of his back. For him, it may be enough that he has this wing like webbing between his two upper sets of limbs. Perhaps it's more elastic than draping.

Again, we need to keep him young. Lex is highly curious about the modern world around him. Everything interests him and fills him with wonder. He's more naive and innocent than the others. These qualities should help compensate for his slightly more demonic look.

PAGE 13
My favorite shot is the third from the left on the bottom row. And as usual, the angry glowing eye "battle" version works great. The upper right shot is cute. And I like the surprised version in the second from the left on the bottom row. But we're not getting the sense of wonder or excitement from him in the upper left and upper middle. And I don't really care for the sinister shot of him in the lower left corner. He's not angry or primed for battle (we know this cause his eyes aren't glowing), so I can't figure out what would give him that kind of nasty, almost hungry expression out of a battle context. Again, it may be that using jagged teeth outside of battle mode makes them too demonic. Another question: do his cheekbones need to be so prominent?

PAGES 14
Body-wise, Broadway looks pretty good outside of a context of scale with the others. We like his gut, his sumo-like quality. But like Brooklyn and Lex, he should be a croucher. Like the center on an American football team. And we may want to scale him down; he doesn't necessarily need to be that tall or broad relative to Goliath.

Our biggest concern is that he looks way too old. Mostly in the face, but when scaled with Goliath, as on page 3, in the body as well.

PAGE 15
Again, in all these shots, he looks too old. In some ways, he looks too much like Goliath. He should be a nineteen year old party animal. He just likes to have a great time. Always laughing. The only shot that really works for us here is glowing eyes shot in the lower left corner. In battle, it's appropriate to have the jaw distended and grotesque. In the others, we might try to give him more youth by making his head shape more horizontal than vertical. Less cheekbones, maybe. Rounder, perhaps? I'm not sure.

That's it for now. Looking forward to seeing your next pass.

Thanks. Greg.

cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Eddy Houchins, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.


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More correspondence with Tokyo...

Another old memo from my development files. It's pretty self-explanatory.

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 8-4-93

From: Greg Weisman 818-754-7436

Re: GARGOYLES DESIGN WORK

Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

Just a quick note to let you know we all looked at the Clayface episode of Batman that you sent us. We thought it was terrific. If you are confident you can animate to this level, I'm confident we have a great show in the works.

Greg.

cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.


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Chapter XXXX: "Monsters"

Time to ramble...

I think this episode had a fun story written and edited by Cary Bates. And I know it had a great moody storyboard directed by Frank Paur. But it suffered from two major problems...

1. Repetitive elements. We had multiple story editors working on multiple episodes. I was overseeing all of them, but sometimes things did get away from me. "Monsters" has a number of elements in common with "Heritage" which had only just preceeded it in the line up. It makes "Monsters" seem a bit more tired than it really is, through no fault of Cary's. For example, we open with a Sea Monster. One of our female cast members is lost and nearly drowned. Goliath searches frantically. Etc. Even my five-year-old son Benny was convinced, "We just saw this one." It just felt very been there done that. My fault.

2. Very weak animation -- some of the weakest of the series -- removed much of the mystery and mood from the boards that Frank directed. I know we called tons of retakes on this ep, but there was a limit. Secrets were given away too early. What's a monster submarine and what's a monster is too easily discernable at the start. We were hoping for more silhouette's in that murky Loch. Throw in some really atrocious character moments (like when Angela wakes up in chains) and you've got an ep that's unimpressive at best.

And yet, there's much in this show that I really like.

It takes an important step toward evolving Angela's relationship with Goliath. Though G's not aware of it, Sevarius reveals to Angela that she is his biological daughter. Having grown up around her adoptive *HUMAN* parents, that notion of biological imperative must have seeped in. She already KNEW that Goliath was one of her ROOKERY parents. But this revelation ignites her curiousity and need. I find it interesting anyway. My eight-year-old daughter Erin was likewise fascinated with this aspect. She was anxious for Angela to tell Goliath about her discovery. Of course, Goliath knows in a 'shrug' sense. It's visually obvious to him. It just isn't programmed to be significant for him.

And if that weren't enough to make the ep worthwhile, we also get another wonderful over-the-top performance from Tim Curry as Dr. Anton Sevarius. He has a TON of great lines in this (all quotations approximate)...

"If it gets any more sacharine in there, I'll have to shove a finger down my throat."

"It must be awful to wake up in chains first thing in the morning."

"Thank heaven for little girls... and DNA markers."

"He's your very own flesh and stone."

"Enough to make my mind boggle..."

But there were other problems too. In my mind and Cary's Big Daddy and Nessie were mates (with little ones revealed at the end). But because of the name "Big Daddy" and because we were intentionally using the L.N.Monsters to parallel and comment on Goliath and Angela's father-daughter relationship, many people thought that Big Daddy was Nessie's dad. I'm not sure it matters too much. But (unintentional) confusion can't help.

ELISA

Elisa knows they haven't arrived in Manhattan because it's too quiet and because the water's too clean. Of course, Loch Ness is famous for having MURKY, MURKY water. Not that the water is "dirty" exactly, the way New York Harbor is. But it's hard to figure Elisa would think of the Loch as clean either. And I knew that. Don't know how that got by me.

But Elisa does have some fun lines here and there:

"I'm not really the adventuring type."
"It's a show... Themeparks do this five times a day."
(Yes, we weren't above giving a gentle knock to the parent company.)

(Of course, when Elisa said that last bit, Erin said, "I don't think so." Benny noticed the submarine was metal and thought it was a robot. It took him a while to get the notion that it was a ship or sub.)

LITTLE CONTINUITY TOUCHES

Elisa leaves a message on Matt's machine. But the tape is full. This was done for two reasons. Or three...
1. We felt that Elisa would and should attempt to contact someone.
2. We wanted to prolong the agony (at least in the audience's minds) as to what happened to our travelers from the point of view of those left behind.
3. We were in the middle of a tier, and couldn't guarantee (as we saw with "Kingdom" that the episode would air in order. We didn't want Elisa to successfully contact anyone, because it might screw up continuity.

Nice to see Brendan & Margot taking a little vacation on the Loch, huh?

Angela says to Nessie: "I bet you've never been this close to a real live gargoyle either." But of course Angela's wrong. One of the reasons that Nessie gets so friendly so fast with Angela is BECAUSE she recognizes her as a gargoyle and knows that gargoyles are friendly to the Monsters of the Loch.

Of course, this begs the question as to what the Loch Ness clan was doing throughout this little adventure. I don't have a grea answer -- YET -- but for now, I'm just going to fall back on the notion that they were aware that Nessie was missing, but didn't know the cause. (It is a big murky loch, after all.) And yes, I know that's a feeble explanation, but it will have to do until I figure out a better one.

The title "Monsters" is another one of my thematic one word titles. Angela hits the nail on the head when she calls Sevarius the only monster around here. It's central to the series theme. But again, maybe too obvious, contributing to the weakness of the episode.

We had some trouble with the animation of the scene where Bruno confronts Goliath and Elisa right after they escape the dungeon. It forced us to reuse Jeff Bennett's "All right." line twice in a row.

Speaking of Jeff, my wife Beth thought Bruno sounded very Jack Nicolson. I pointed out that when Bruno was created, way back in "Awakening" we asked Jeff to make him a young George C. Scott. Beth couldn't hear that at all.

Benny used to love Bruno. Not only does Bruno barely register with him now. He doesn't remember ever liking the character. Erin asked him if he remembered the Xanatos Goon Squad. He didn't respond.

Another weakness... Angela just holds her breath forever down there at the end.

And when Goliath does get there, her chains pop off too easily, begging the question why she couldn't free herself.

I know I keep talking about the ep's flaws. But like all the 66 chapters, I really am more fond of it than critical. I do love seeing Goliath launched as a living torpedo, for example. There are a bunch of little things that I like.

And heck, we killed off four more characters. Sevarius and Bruno survived. But I think we have to assume that the other four members of the Goon Squad are gone for good.

But it wasn't one of our best efforts, I'll have to admit.

Sorry 'bout that...

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


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Another memo to Japan...

Here's a follow-up memo on the character designs to the one I just sent praising "Designer E". Mr. Tokunaga sent us a note asking for feedback on the other five designers who had made an attempt on the Trio and Goliath....

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 7-26-93

From: Greg Weisman 818-754-7436

Re: GARGOYLES DESIGN WORK

Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

Per your request, a quick note on Designs A-D and F, with a reminder that just because the designs didn't suit our purposes, doesn't mean they weren't worthwhile attempts.

Designer A has the action feel of the show, but to be honest, the designs on Goliath, Brooklyn and Lexington were too unappealing. Although the characters are monsters, they need to be heroic monsters. It's a tightrope we're walking, and this group didn't seem redeemable. Broadway was more appealing, but a little goofy looking, and he seemed to be scaled too large.

Designer B was too cartoony on Lexington, Broadway and even Brooklyn. We're looking for more of an action feel. Goliath, particularly in B-7 and B-8, seemed too human. Like a man wearing a mask. Not unique enough. B-10 was a nice pose, though.

Designer C was just too cartoony. And the trio of smaller gargoyles looked more like aliens from another planet than medieval stone creatures.

Designer D's Goliath was an interesting interpretation. D-1, D-2 and D-3 were all nice poses that gave us the feel we were looking for. But in D-3, Goliath seemed too reminiscient of the Beast from Disney's Beauty and the Beast; and we're already a bit too close to that concept for comfort. We don't want to emphasize the similarities further than necessary. And though it seems like a minor point, we all really didn't like his chicken feet. And again, the gargoyle trio seemed too cartoony.

Designer F obviously stuck the closest to our original designs. Even closer than Designer E, whose work we liked. They seem to be simplified tracings, without the wings. I'm not sure how to describe my response, but the magic just seemed to be out of the drawings. The characters seemed unappealing, unexpressive and flat. Everything that E wasn't.

The "GOLIATH SPECIAL by Hashimoto" didn't grab us. Again he seemed like a normal man, an older man, with pointy ears and big hair.

Hope all the above is helpful.

Greg.

cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.


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Design work memo...

The following is a memo I sent to Walt Disney Japan. They sent us character designs (based on inspirational work by Greg Guler and Dave Schwartz) on Goliath, Lex, Broadway and Brooklyn by at least five different designers. (Maybe more, I can't remember.) We immediately liked designer E (Kazuyoshi Takeuchi) and he eventually became the lead character designer for the series' first season.

I know what follows may be a tad frustrating since it refers to art you can't see. But I thought you might be interested anyway.

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 7-21-93

From: Greg Weisman

Re: GARGOYLES DESIGN WORK

Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

We were very excited to receive the preliminary design work on the four major gargoyle characters. Designer "E" seemed to come the closest to capturing our vision of the series. His or her work impressed us, but begs the question whether or not you believe we could effectively animate designs that are this complex?

If the answer is yes, we'd like to see Designer "E" continue his development of the characters, focusing particularly on heads, faces and wing design. As a secondary concern, we might attempt line drawings, turnarounds and even some color.

Gary and Lenora have asked me to gather together a few notes, thoughts and suggestions for you. So here goes...

GOLIATH
E-1, E-3. A major concern for all of us is figuring out how the wings attach to the gargoyles' backs so that there is a real feeling of believable musculature. How does it look from the rear, for example, when we can't hide where they attach behind a shoulder blade?

E-3, E-4. When the wings are spread, and particularly when they are in flight, we probably want to cheat them larger, so they fill the screen except from an extreme distance. We really need to believe they are large enough to carry his weight.

E-3. We like the dramatic posing on all the shots. But in E-3, he looks satanic rather than heroic. Occasionally, we'd like to see a more classically heroic pose. We want to make sure that Goliath and the others don't look consistently demonic.

E-5. It's lovely how the wings are draped here.

E-2, E-5, E-6. This is a great start in terms of facial expressions. We'd like to see more of them...a greater range of expressions. Intelligent. Laughing. Pensive. Wry. Perplexed. Noble. Mildly amused. Etc.

Gary also has some concerns about the head's design. He wants to make sure that the head or face does not lose its "depth"; (meaning "depth" as a measurement like "width" or "height", not "depth" as a personality trait). I'm not sure I see this problem myself, but I might suggest keeping the ears back, the jawline long and the jaw square.

E-3, E-5. We want to make sure that the hair on his head has mass, but falls like hair, and doesn't look like a removable helmet. The key here might be in the way it is layered.

I've included some old designs done by one of our artists last year. They should give you some ideas on color, simplicity, etc. Don't feel bound by them. I've numbered them for discussion, Disney-1, Disney-2, etc.

In Disney-1, Gary felt very comfortable with the simplicity of the lines and design of the body. But he did not like the head, again feeling it did not have enough depth.

It's also important to set the balance between the animalistic and human in all of these characters. Some of the "Disney" drawings may be too human in the face. And there's a nice animalistic quality about some of the "E" drawings. But we need to be careful we're not losing Goliath's nobility either. We need to strike a balance.

Disney-1 gives an example of the classically heroic pose that we will need on occasion.

Disney-1 also serves to illustrate how we'd like the hair to fall.

Other questions raised by Disney-1, include whether or not Goliath looks broad enough in chest and shoulders?

Also, whether he should have Disney-1's high weight-lifter's belt around his stomach, or whether we should lower it to his waist as in Disney-4?

Disney-4 also illustrates a head shape that may have the depth that Gary's looking for.

Also, notice the arm hair in Disney-1. It's always been a bit problematic, a bit stiff. But we think it might add something in color. Helps break up the design a bit. But we're not sure if it's worth it. It might be something for all of you to experiment with.

Disney-5 helps illustrate how the length of Goliath's wings will constantly be cheated to suit the situation or pose. But they should always give the illusion that if they were spread out to full size, the wing-span would be fairly enormous.

BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON & BROADWAY
E-7, E-9, E-10. We have similar concerns for Brooklyn & Broadway, regarding wing construction, attachment and musculature.

E-8. Lexington's glider-wings in the down-shot seem to be coming out of his stomach and the bottoms of his arms. We prefer how it looks in the up-shot, where they are webbed between his back and the tops of his arms. I like how the wings are attached to both sets of arms, not just the upper arms as in our original designs. A big improvement.

E-7, E-8, E-9. As for faces, Gary is concerned about animating emotions and expressions when we don't have pupils in their eyes. We discussed the possibility that they normally have pupils, but that when they are in battle, their eyes glow solidly. Again we'd like to see a range of expressions. Particularly because it is so easy for the trio (Lexington especially) to look demonic, we'd like to see some softer, gentler expressions.

E-10. We're also interested in the trio's scale relative to Goliath. Goliath should still be the biggest of them by some visible amount.

Thanks again for all your efforts. Good luck on the next go 'round.

cc: Bruce Cranston, Barbara Ferro, Lenora Hume, Gary Krisel, Paul Lacy, Tom Ruzicka, Dave Schwartz.


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An old memo...

It's been awhile, but I'd like to try and continue to post old memos and such from my development file.

This is where we left off in July of 1993...

[2] From: Bruce Cranston 7/16/93 10:57AM (801 bytes: 10 ln)

To: Suzanne Prescott
cc: Greg Weisman, Paul Lacy, Adrienne Bello

Subject: CYBERCORP.

------------------------------- Message Contents -------------------------------

In our outline for the Gargoyle's pilot, we refer to a fictional robotics company named CYBERCORP. Adrienne suggested that I have you check that there's no real company by that name. They aren't bad guys or anything. The bad guys steal something from them. But I guess we should check. Does it cost money to check7

It isn't necessary to check it at this point, especially if the clearance fee is more than $100.00 or so.
Please just remember to do a check once we get the go-ahead to production.


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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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3x3 Eyes TV Premiere

FYI

I've been told that at midnight tonight (Friday 7/12/02 -- or more accurately Saturday 'morning' 7/13) the English dub of the anime series 3x3 Eyes that I voice directed will be airing on Encore (a.k.a. the Action Channel).


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: TUESDAY

Got to sleep a touch later. Went down to the lobby and turned in my key. Kess and Arno drove Kathy and I to the airport. (Thanks guys!)

We had some Burger King.

Had a bit of a wait for our flight.

Then we flew to Atlanta -- I think I slept most of the way -- where I said good-bye to Kathy.

Then I had a layover waiting for my L.A. flight.

Ate some more, of course. Jambalaya, I think. And a candy bar.

Got on the plane. The movie was "The Rookie". I'd already seen it, and though I liked it, I figured I didn't need to pay $5 to see it again, so I read mostly. Finished a Hillerman mystery and started reading a biography of Queen Henrietta.

Got to LAX. Got home. Hugged my wife and kids and distributed much booty.

A great trip!!!

Thanks, all of you!!!


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GATHERING 2003 RAMBLE: MONDAY

I was probably operating on about eight hours sleep for the whole con going into Busch Gardens, which may explain what comes later.

Anyway, we all met in the hotel lobby and divided up cars. I went with Kathy, Lanny and Derek and the four of us pretty much stuck together for the entire day, with many other people entering and exiting and meeting back up and dividing off, etc.

We got to the park, and Sara and Kelly Fay joined us for muffins (or an Apple Strudel in my case) before we headed to our first rides. Kathy and I rode the Loch Ness Monster.

Everyone but Kelly (who had a cold) rode the Pompeii thing. This had WAY too much actual fire and gasoline for my tastes. We all got a bit soaked. But on the next water ride, Kathy got absolutely drenched.

While she bought new clothes, I bought some souvenirs for the kids.

Mandy found us and we road some kind of autopiaesque thing.

It's all a bit of a blur, of course. But eventually we wound up meeting up with Denis, Jade, Abram, Sara B./Liz, Dreamie, Winterwolf, KWS and Tore for lunch at the barbecue place. I had some good babyback ribs and a lemonade. (The food of course, I remember clearly.)

Then we divided up again. Saw some eagles, birds, snakes, hawks.

Met up again, to see some Irish Dancing in a wonderfully air-conditioned theater. (I nearly dozed off waiting. Kinda wish I had, as the naplet might have helped me later.)

We went to see the wolves, which was neat. But also that was the one part of the day where we were just standing in the sun baking. I literally poured nearly an entire bottle of water over my head. And I was still frying. So we didn't wait for the actual wolf show.

Kathy and I rode the Big Bad Wolf Roller Coaster.

Jubes and Lanny and I rode some twirly thing.

I got a carmel apple at some point.

Etc.

DINNER. Italian. Pretty good food at this park. Eggplant parmesian. Breadsticks. Watermelon. Spaghetti with Meat sauce. All good. We listened to a brief Swing Band set. It was nice.

Kelly and Tore kept planning on leaving after just one more thing, but they wound up staying all night.

We all met up again to see the Cirque de Soleil-ish "Imaginique" show. I saw the beginning and the end. But I spent the middle fighting off a major doze. I shouldn't have fought. If I had just let myself go, I probably would have slept for five minutes and woke up to see the show. Instead I really have no memory of the middle of the show. And I understand it was stunning.

Oh, well.

Then came the embarrassing incident with the banana split in a waffle cone. The less said the better.

On our way out we saw a couple Clydesdales. I was blown away. I had never seen one in person before. I had no idea just how big they were. Nothing in the Bud commercials gives you an idea of the massive scale. Dinosaurs literally came to mind. Wow.

Finally we left the park. The day had been one long series of goodbyes. Jubes gave me a couple of Monsters, Inc. t-shirts for the kids, prizes for the junior art contest. (They loved them, btw. They really cleaned up this trip.)

Then the four of us returned to the hotel and I went upstairs and just crashed.


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: Sunday

Dragged myself out of bed Sunday Morning for the Roughnecks/Starship Troopers Q&A. We got the VCR working, but not the DVD player, so I couldn't show any of the new "Homefront Arc" DVD (now available in stores) as planned. But I did show those funny, funky Troopers music videos. They're always good for a laugh or two.

The Troopers Q&A bled right into a Team Atlantis panel with Greg Guler and myself. Lots of explanation of what happened, what went wrong, etc. Funny AND Depressing, right?

Then that panel led right into a VOICE ACTING SEMINAR. I had some fun playing with the Demona audition side, but we read a scene from M.I.A. and I just couldn't seem to get my act or thoughts together. Maybe I was tired. I'll try to do better next time. (I think I missed Thom.)

Next came the Auction. Greg G. and I sat in the back occasionally autographing things while the auction went on. As usual the free-flowing bids astounded us both. All my Team Atlantis/Gargoyles materials sold to Carol & Zach for $300. The high bid was for one of Roy Sato's original drawings of Demona: $510, I think. Though the funniest bidding was Kaioto desperately paying something like $276 for Roy's Lex sketch for Lexy. (More on that later.)

I think I signed WAY less stuff this year than in any previous year. Obviously no one has anything left for me to sign. Some of the stuff I did sign made me feel guilty; it seemed to me I was clearly spoiling someone elses artwork with my scrawl.

Some poor fools even asked me to do one of my horrible sketches in their books.

I also got to talk to some people. Noel stopped by. Glad to hear you're feeling better. I got to talk to Karine and her beau Adam. (Siryn's beau is also an Adam. Is that like a new rule?) Karine drew a very fun sketch of me looking tired and besieged. I'll cop to the tired. But I was hardly besieged. (Karine and Sara Berkeley's drawings are now both on my daughter's bulletin board.)

My kids' art tied for first in the Junior Division, among stiff competition, I assure you.

Siryn purchased Erin's "Ocean Sirin" and Kelly C. bought Benny's "Erika". Half the money went to charity. Half went right into my kids' hot little hands when I got home on Tuesday. (Thanks Si. Thanks, Kelly. It meant a lot to them. As did those cool laminated nametags.)

After the auction, Greg Guler and Carol Wagner had to leave for the airport. So we all said goodbye. They both did great, don't you think?

Somewhere in there, I feel like I must have had some lunch, if for no other reason then I love eating. But I swear I can't remember where I ate or with whom. Might I actually have skipped a meal? Hmmmm.

Anyway, closing ceremonies. Greg and I had already decided to give the Thom Adcox Memorial Award to Kai. Sure his fiancée has one already, but we felt he deserved it for emptying his wallet for a Lexington drawing for his bride-to-be. Jubes and I were supposed to call Thom and run our choice by him before hand. But we forgot. So he can live with it.

Afterwards, a group of us (myself, Derek, Lanny, Mandy, Jen, Kyt, Kathy, Patrick, Karine and Adam) went to a restaurant called the Whaling Company for dinner. I had some great shrimp, clam chowder and trout and most of a phenomenal dessert. The most astounding thing may have been the way the restaurant volunteered to give EACH of us separate checks.

Next we drove in cars to Yorktown and hopped on a bus to get on a boat for a little river tour. I have to admit that by this time I was so so sleepy that I could barely keep my eyes open. Before I knew it we were getting off the boat and back on the bus to take a walking tour featuring ghost stories of Yorktown.

(Around here we met up with Sarah and her relatives. NOTE: there are a TON of Sara/Sarah/Zehras at this con, including Dreamie, Jubes, Liz, etc. I mean lots!!)

The ghost stories were mildly interesting, but the tour guide was really getting on my nerves by punctuating every tale with a very cheesy maniacal laugh that made everything she told us seem phony as hell.

There was a funny moment when she looked at Kyt (on a leash) and Jen and asked if we were part of a fraternity prank. Kathy said it was a family reunion, which was both funny and true enough.

Cooler than the stories were the deer and fireflys we saw. The latter really made me feel like I was in Pirates of the Carribean.

We skipped a last bus ride and walked back to our cars. Then drove back to the hotel.

We stopped by the Dead Dog Party at the Con Suite. But eventually a few of us (Zehra, Zach, Lanny, Derek, Kathy, myself, Jubes, Mandy, Jen & Patrick) ended up in Kathy & Mandy's room. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. When Kathy asked Zach why he was blinking (meaning his pager -- but we all thought she meant his eyes) I couldn't even look at Zach (trying to analyze his own eye blinks) without falling out of my chair.

I've known Zach for years now. He's been to Gatherings and I've taught him in my Animation Writing Class -- twice! But I only really got to know him on this trip. He is a really funny guy.

I always get a second wind REALLY late at night, but I knew I'd be hurting in the morning, so when Lanny & Derek called it a night, I did the same. I'm not sure I was coherent enough to focus on saying a real goodbye to the people I wouldn't see the next day. Whoops? Sorry.

I collapsed, more or less, and went to sleep.

MORE TO COME...


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: SATURDAY

[Already, my memory is blurring, so forgive me...]

I set my alarm Saturday Morning for 7:00am. Sometimes I turn over and wake up later. But I don't remember that. I remember turning off the alarm and getting up and the clock reading 8:00am. Like I was abducted by aliens for an hour or something.

Anyway, I got downstairs and Jen Anderson joined me for our second round of auditions. We had a lot of good people try out but unfortunately, this year's radio play had a very small cast.

Jen and I went up to my room to cast the show. This year we were doing an episode that I wrote for the now defunct Team Atlantis series. The biggest part was for Doctor Sweet, so we put that aside at first. Then nearly forgot to go back and cast it. I will say that Jen has great casting instincts. Better than mine I think. Anyway, between us, we wound up with a great group:

MILO THATCH - Gabriel
QUEEN KIDA - Siryn
DR. JOSHUA SWEET - Adam Leigh
MOLE - Zach Baker
VINNY - Lanny Fields
OBBY - Kythera
WHITMORE - Ed Ketcham
FIONA CANMORE - Zehra Q. Fazal
THE GORLOIS - Fern A. Wharton
FRENCH DOCTOR - Sara Hutchinson
MALE PEDESTRIAN - Erik Mambu
FEMALE PEDESTRIAN - Jen Anderson

We posted the cast list downstairs and then went next door to -- surprise, surprise -- a Pancake/Waffle House for lunch.

Came back and ran our rehearsal, which went fairly well. I never know how much direction to give. I feel vaguely incompetent, but we're all just in it for a good time, so I try not to sweat it too much. The rehearsal went smoothly and quickly, so we had a little time off. I went to my room to change and decompress for a bit.

Then it was back downstairs for the production. It went very well. Everyone was great, though I think special kudos should go to Adam for being a kick-ass Sweet. And too Lanny and Zach who made a seriously hilarious comedy team with their Vinny and Mole.

After the Radio Play had ended, I played the actual audio tape of the Team Atlantis Episode that I had voice directed, featuring the following cast...

MILO THATCH - James Taylor
QUEEN KIDA - Cree Summer
DR. JOSHUA SWEET - Phil Morris
MOLE - Corey Burton
VINNY - Don Novello
OBBY - Frank Welker
WHITMORE - John Mahoney
FIONA CANMORE - Sheena Easton
THE GORLOIS - Marina Sirtis
FRENCH DOCTOR - Frank Welker
PEDESTRIAN - Frank Welker

(Note: the reason I had two pedestrians instead of one in the Radio Play was so that I'd have both male and female understudies available. This goes back to Orlando, where one of the people I had cast didn't show up to the rehearsal or performance.)

Anyway, it was fun.

After that, I think Mandy, Jen, Patrick, Kathy and I went to McDonalds. I know I had a Quarter Pounder and an apple pie at some point that day.

Next came another Mug-A-Guest. I remember nothing. All a blur. Sorry.

Next came dinner. Greg Guler and I sat with JEB and Jack(?) and ate hot dogs, Mac & Cheese and another hamburger. I actually have a personal rule that I won't eat more than one hamburger a day. (Think about what kind of eater I am, that I require that rule.) And anyway, I broke the rule.

After eating, Greg G. and I did a Garg Q&A. Because of the two-tiered banquet space, I actually used a microphone for the first time in forever. Usually my voice carries. It was fun. Although I don't know if I covered anything new.

Banquet over, I retired to my room again. Called home. Relaxed. Then it was time for the costume ball. Greg and I exchanged name tags, so that I could come to the ball 'dressed' as Greg Guler, and he could come as Greg Weisman. (Unfortunately no one got the joke without us explaining it.)

The costume contest seemed shorter this year. Like fewer people entered. But there were some GREAT entries. Greg, Siryn and I were the judges.

Lynati's costume was just amazing!

Jen & Patrick won the Gorelisa Award for dressing as Xanatos and Fox respectively.

Aaron & Mara made fun of me and were rewarded for that.

Tony kissed me and got no prize. (Take note!)

Cutest Couple went to Kyt and Robb(?) who separately came as Puck and Owen. It just worked.

There were other cool costumes too.

After the contest, some people danced. Many asked me to dance, but I declined. Sorry. It's my natural introvertness taking over. (You guys don't see that, cuz I'm such a big mouth. Don't ask me to sing either though.)

I talked with a bunch of people. Demona May told me about a job offer she has. Lots of people stopped by to say hello.

Eventually, as usual, I happily found myself on one side of the room talking with a group of you all. It was nice and low-key, and is my favorite part of the con.

Later still, a few of us (me, Patrick, Kyt, Kathy, Zehra, Gabriel and Jen) headed up to Jen and Patrick's room for Pizza. We tried to freak out Zehra and Gabe with tales of Gatherings Past. Both of them were in last year's radio play, but I didn't really get to know them until this year. That usually happens. I'll meet someone, forget (sorry SpaceBabie), remeet, become acquainted. But there are so many people, it usually takes me two or three Gatherings to really get to know anyone. I'm not complaining. It makes every Gathering fun.

Anyway, finally, like close to fourish, I dragged myself back to my room. I even got to sleep eventually.


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: FRIDAY

Well, I got a wake-up call from the hotel. Dragged myself out of bed (it was still pretty damn early in L.A.) I was brushing my teeth, when Kathy did her traditional WAKE-UP stop by to give me my badge.

After showering and clothing, I headed downstairs and scoped things out. Almost immediately I got some cool stuff. My G2002 t-shirt. An "I Surivived G2001" T-Shirt from that staff. A very cool drawing of Elisa as a little girl, sleeping with a plush Goliath, while kitten Cagney cuddles a plush Demona and plush Hudson, Bronx, Trio, Angela and Coldstone sit on a shelf. This was drawn by Sara Berkeley aka Liz, who gave it to me. It was nice to get to know Sara/Liz a bit. She did some great stuff in the art show. (As did many.) I just wished she had asked me if she could put the picture she gave me up in the show. I would have gladly said yes.

I also gave Erin and Benny's pictures to Kelly to put in the art show. She put cool name tags up for them. It all looked very official. I was sorry they didn't get to see it.

I had a Mug-A-Guest next. At first only one person had signed up for it, but we wound up with a decent room. Already, though I remember none of what was said. But I had fun.

Then a group of us snuck away to IHOP for lunch: Myself, Jen, Patrick, Kathy, Revel and Emambu. As usual I ate like a pig. I got the wrong kind of eggs, and so wound up getting two sets of eggs and bacon. Ate most of both too.

Came back to begin Auditions for the Radio Play. Jen Anderson was my casting associate, returning to the roll she held in '99 and '00. (Jordan Mann covered that duty in '98 and '01.) A bunch of great people auditioned. But this year's cast was very small. I knew we'd have to leave out quite a few good people for lack of parts.

With more auditions on Saturday though, we didn't have to make any decisions yet.

So next was a Q&A on the Disney Afternoon. I showed a clip from Talespin and a few clips from Bonkers. I used a dry-erase board to try and explain what we were trying to do when programming the Afternoon. Ran out of time before we got to too many actual Qs or As. My fault. I just really like the sound of my own voice. Sorry.

After that Q&A, I'm not sure what I did for the next hour. Can't remember. Might have relaxed in my room for a bit.

Then came Opening Ceremonies. Greg and I sat up front. Siryn intro'd everyone. Kelly read her cool fandom poem. GXB, Mara and Aaron pitched the G2003 con. Then, more or less, it was my turn.

I asked to see a show of hands of Con Virgins and was so stunned by the high percentage that I thought at first that the question had been misunderstood. It was also great to see how many returnees we had from one or more previous years. Including a handful that had been to every con (like me).

I was happy to have some good news to impart. The con has started to make an impression on Disney. Toon Disney donated boxes and boxes of shirts, sweatshirts and hats as free give-aways. I'm sure they were just sitting in a box somewhere, but they now know the con exists. We didn't solicit these shirts. They offered.

And the BIG news. Disney DVD is going to release at least one Gargoyle DVD in 2003. Not many more details yet. But it's a major step. With consistent good sales, I think it's fair to say that they will eventually release the entire series on DVD. And that could lead to other things as well. This is a huge piece of good news and a direct result of my having the cons to tell them about. I've said it before, but the Gatherings represent the best possible way to get Disney to take notice and bring the show back in some way, shape or form.

Anyway, after the announcements, I started my standard schpiel with the standard videos. I tossed in a rarely seen promo that's narrated by Jonathan Frakes. And I forgot to tell people not to audio or video tape the BAD GUYS reel. I hope everyone listened when I asked later to destroy any tapes including Bad Guys.

After Opening Ceremonies, Greg and I went to Patrick and Kathy's adult fiction panel. But we BOTH got the distinct impression that our presence was hampering conversation so we left.

We went up to the Con Suite where Lexy and Kai were throwing a little Chinese Food party to celebrate their coming nuptuals. Great food. And I had fun.

We left again to go back downstairs to sit in on a portion of Hudson and Chris' fandom panel. Most of it was tech stuff that went over my head. There was a discussion on plaigarism, so I stood up to say how easy it is to avoid plaigarism by simply giving credit where it was due, etc. Then Greg and I left, as things got more technical again.

We went back upstairs to the con suite.

Then eventually I headed back downstairs again for my LATE NIGHT MUG-A-GUEST. This was supposed to be for people 18 and over so we could have adult themed conversations. But I think only one vaguely adult topic was briefly raised. Anyway, we just had a nice time talking until we got booted out.

I vaguely recall heading back up to the con suite for a while. But eventually I made my way to bed. VERY LATE as usual and I had to get up even earlier the next morning. So we're talking little sleep...

MORE TO COME...


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: THURSDAY

Well, I'm back.

Time to ramble on the Gathering.

Let me start by saying, that as usual: IT ROCKED!!! I had a blast and I'm so grateful to the amazing staff: Siryn, Carol, Jubes, KWSapphire, MAui, Abram, Kess, Jessie and Mr. Andy. You guys all did a fantastic job. You should be very proud of yourselves. God knows, I'm proud of you.

Second, let me apologize in advance. So much happens in these weekends that I'm bound to forget things and people and stuff. But I was very glad to see you all, old faces and new.

Anyway, Thursday.

I got to the airport and immediately got in this ridiculously long line to check in. (I had an e-ticket and couldn't go to the gate first.)

I spotted Greg Guler outside and thought he was checking a bag with the skycap. When he came in I waved him over and he looked at me and said, "Are you checking a bag?" I said no. He said, "Then why are you waiting in this line?" Turns out he hadn't checked a bag, but rather was checking in with the skycap. So I walked outside and did the same and we both were at our gate within ten minutes.

Oddly, my parents were at the very next gate waiting to board a plane to Utah. I had a vague notion that they were going on a trip, but I had no idea I'd see them at the airport. So Greg and my mom and dad and I talked until they had to board. Then I grabbed some breakfast croissants (cuz I like to eat) and Greg and I got on the plane to Atlanta.

We both had aisle seats on an interior row, with a young woman sitting between us who had a faux fur blindfold to facilitate sleeping. She also had perfect lipstick which she spent a lot of time applying -- and I don't usually notice that kind of thing.

Anyway, when the food came she said the desert tasted like Tanning Oil. I also thought it tasted really bad. But she seemed convinced that it actually tasted like Tanning Oil.

We arrived in Atlanta early, but thunderstorms delayed our flight to Newport News, Virginia. Kathy Pogge joined us in the Atlanta airport, and the three of us just sat around talking. I did a lot of just sitting around and talking on this trip -- it's always the funnest part.

Finally, the plane departed two hours late. We tried to reach people in Virginia to warn them, but no one we called answered their cellphones.

Kathy and I sat next to each other on the flight and were treated to a stunning lightning storm. We were flying between two cloud banks and the lightning that arced between them was really amazing. Almost scary, though the flight wasn't even turbulent, so I guess we weren't that close to the storm.

We arrived in Newport News, where Carol had been waiting forever for us. She was great. Special thanks to her for all she did in getting Greg and me there and making sure we were taken care of throughout. Things were so crazed I barely got to spend any time with her, but I'm very grateful.

Anyway, it was a navigational adventure finding our way to the hotel, but we arrived. Immediately saw a bunch of familiar faces, including Jen Anderson and Patrick Toman. I hadn't thought Jen was coming... That was supposed to be a big surprise, but I was more confused than surprised. But I was VERY glad to see her. The con wouldn't be as much fun without her.

We checked in and met back down in the lobby for a VERY late dinner at Denny's. There was Greg Guler, myself, Jen, Kythera, Patrick, Kathy, Siryn and Kelly Creighton. Service was slow, but the food hit the spot. And I was just giddy to be with everyone again.

We got back to the hotel and I tried to crash, although honestly, I was so excited, I don't think I went to sleep until 4amish.

MORE TO COME...


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LIGHTBULB CONTEST RESULTS

I'd like to thank everyone who entered (forgive me if I skip or mispell anyone):
Zach Baker
Vashkoda
Demoness
Greg Bishansky
Josh Wurzel
Goliath JD - Jack Donovan
Lord Sloth
Aris Katsaris
Blaise
DragonWolf
Guardian/Carole
matt
Airportman
Lady Mystic
Jim R.
Noel Leas
Lynati
Kelly L. Creighton/Kya White Sapphire
Amanda
Jimmy
Alex Katsaros
lefay_82
Patricia
Z
Kali Gargoyle
(the guppi)
Jon

First the honorable mentions:

matt writes...

how many gargoyles??? i asked Anubis, he said:

"the lightbulb has died, let it rest. ultraviolet or standard, 55 or 100 watt, all light bulb are equal in death. burning out is the ultimate fairness..."

Airportman writes...

How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Gargoyles do not screw in lightbulbs, they ROAR!!!

Jim R. writes...

Fang: "Hey, Goliath, how many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb...?"
Goliath: "Silly mutate, lightbulbs are for humans."

Lynati writes...

(Fang voice:)"How many Gargoyles does it take to change a lightbulb?

...None! They don't have time to change lighbulbs! They are too busy out harassing innocent citizens who are just minding their own business and locking them up in drafty Frankenstein cells! With no TV! HEY! DON'T YOU WALK AWAY FROM ME WHEN I'M YELLING AT YOU! ...ya creep..."

Patricia writes...

Fang: Hey, Goliath, how many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb...

Goliath: You mean the lightbulb died? We must have a Wind Ceremony for it. Come. (exits)

Fang: No, Goliath, wait! (signs) Man, he can't even take a joke!

Now, in second place...

DragonWolf writes...

How many Gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

"Six. One to screw in the lightbulb and five to berate themselves for not protecting the old one from burning out."

DragonWolf's prize for second place is highly speculative. Since the winning entry -- for obvious reasons -- could never actually be used in a script, I'm giving DragonWolf the honor of putting words in Fang's mouth should I ever get the opportunity (and assuming I don't find one I like better before then).

Congratulations!!

And finally, our winner!!!!

Aris Katsaris writes...

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: I'm home right now and the answer is in my office. Ask again later.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: Your assumptions are incorrect.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: I'm not that big in quantifying things. Lots, I guess.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightblub?"
Greg responds: What's a lightblub?

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: All things are true.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: I wouldn't want to tie down my hands and the hands of the artists in this respect.

"How many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Greg responds: The world may never know. :-)

Yeah, yeah, I know it's at my expense. But it made me laugh. Aris, you da man.

I honestly don't know what you're prize is going to be yet. But e-mail me and we'll figure it out.

Thanks again everyone.

New contest coming soon.

(Which in Ask Greg terms means... someday.)


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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 XXXVI: "Avalon, Part Three"

Time to Ramble...

This third part of the tryptich, was designed to be a kick-ass battle. Lots of action, lots of excitement. All (or nearly all) the pipe had already been laid out. We had two of our toughest mortal villains (Demona and Macbeth) working with the mysterious and powerful Weird Sisters and the MEGA Archmage Plus, who possessed the power of Gate, Book and Eye. That seemed like some real competition for our good guys, who had wounded to protect.

It was time to go to war.

A few other soldiers:
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano

As the main titles were playing and Keith was narrating, my seven-year-old daughter Erin mentioned that Goliath and Darth Vader both do voices for phone companies.

Erin also figured out that Angela and Gabriel were being stalked by Demona, before she actually came on screen.

JALAPEÑA

Goliath says it like a curse word when he realizes that A&G are being followed. That was how I wanted to use it. As I've mentioned before, the art staff eventually threatened a coup if I didn't drop it.

But if I ever get to do Gargoyles 2198, I'm bringing it back. That's a threat, not a promise.

Anyway, Goliath attempts to appeal to Demona and Macbeth's better natures. It starts to work, but it's too late. The Archmage has a good line: "They are my creatures now."

Then Bronx and Boudicca attack, saving our 'goyles. This was hinted at in Part Two. And clarified later when Angela comments on it. But it also was my way of serving notice that Bronx was no longer going to be the puppy-most-left-behind. The World Tour was his coming out party.

Anyway, the Archmage now changes his plan. Not because he doesn't want to take any chances, but really because his sensibilities have been offended. He has another good line: "If they are so eager to die..."

But it's really that balance I was trying to maintain between his newfound ultimate power and his original clichéd origins.

HUNTING HOLLOW HILLS

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King. The Magus says he's been sleeping in his Hollow Hill. More hints as to who the king was. (If the name Avalon wasn't hint enough.)

On the way, Elisa pumps Magus for information like he was in the interrogation room back home. She already guessed that he had a thing for Katharine. She wants the lowdown. It's really not her business. Call it a habit of her profession.

(There's an animation error on my tape, which I hope was corrected for later airings. When the Magus starts to narrate the flashback, both his and Elisa's mouth are moving, mouthing the same lines. Obviously, Elisa's animator misread the X-sheets and thought she was talking instead of the Magus.)

(Of course there's another semi-error which I've tried to explain away in the past. The lighting on the scene where Katharine and Tom play with the baby-gargs Angela, Gabe and Boudicca seems very daylight. I've always claimed that it was just a very bright moonlit night. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

This last flashback got my five year old son Benny talking. He asked "How did the gargoyles even get born?" And had to be reminded about the eggs from Part One (which we saw three weeks ago). "Oh, yeah," he said.

Then when we got to the Sleeping King, he compared that to a character that's on his radar: The sleeping MATA NUI from Bionicle.

The Magus uses magic, explaining that "magic is the lifeblood of Avalon." This seemed logical to me. That a practioner like the Magus could train himself to access that ambient magic -- but at a price.

My wife Beth was very impressed with Jeff Bennett's performance here. As a change of pace, Jeff was only playing one character -- as opposed to his usual fifty. But it was a truly heartbreaking performance, I think.

And I have to ask, given the Magus' first appearance in "Awakening, Part One", did you guys ever think that you could or would find that character this appealing, this sympathetic? I think that our ability to allow characters to grow and change was one of the hallmarks of our series. And I had the backbone of his change planned as early as "Awakening, Part Two": (1) his love for Katharine which is unequivocal and (2) his guilt over what he did to the gargoyles, which he never tries to dodge or make excuses for in any way.

The Leap of Faith. It does seem too Indiana Jones now. But obviously it must not have at the time. Either that or we were kidding ourselves. Still, I like Elisa here a lot.

The Platform lowers on cue and Elisa finally names the Sleeping King: "Arthur Pendragon, King of All Britain... You are needed." We wanted to keep it simple. That simple. I also wanted to begin establishing the name Pendragon. Everyone's heard of King Arthur. But you have to have had a bit of exposure to the legends to be familiar with the Pendragon name. I always thought it was cool. And I think that even then I had the notion of using it as the title for a spin-off.

Anyway, we get back to the Palace, and Elisa states a fact that I wonder if anyone had focused on before (regarding Demona and Macbeth): "You've never actually beaten either of them." Goliath agrees: "Simply foiled their plans or fought them to a stand still.

And then Arthur asks: "What's going on?" which I always thought was kind of funny. They're counting on him to help save the day. He doesn't even know the set up.

So while we get him up to speed, we cut to the Archmage who orders the Sisters to "Dispatch the Sleeping King." Erin smiles and says,, "What they don't know..." is that it's too late. But what I found interesting is that Erin actually did trail off. She knew that she didn't need to state what they didn't know. Cool.

DIVIDING THE TROOPS

True to Elisa's hopes (and my interpretation of the character of legend) Arthur in fact does immediately take charge.

He'll go with Elisa, Tom and Gabe to fight Demona & Macbeth.

Katharine, Bronx and Boudicca will guard the wounded 'eggs'. (Katharine has one of her bookend tough mom statements here: "They'll not harm my eggs again!")

Goliath and Angela will attack the Archmage.

And the Magus agrees to take on the Sisters.

Eventually -- after Art figures out that Demona feels Mac's pain and Demona establishes that she and Mac need to put distance between them to minimize the link -- things change a bit and Arthur faces Mac one-on-one, while Kathy, Bronx, Boudicca, Ophelia, Elisa, Tom and Gabe all team up to battle Demona -- who as always, may present the greatest threat of all, even when it's against her own interests.

All this seemed very appropriate to me. I like how the battle divides up. How the opponents match up. And you'll notice at the cliffhanger/commercial break that every one of our battles is going badly for the good guys. Macbeth seems to have the upper hand over Arthur. The Archmage has Goliath down. The Weird Sisters are clearly overpowering the Magus and even Demona is on the verge of wiping out all her opposition at the Palace.

KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON vs. MACBETH
We gave Arthur a mace, because I didn't want anyone to think that some random sword he was carrying might be Excalibur.

When Arthur says, "What manner of magic is this?" it made me wish we had just gone ahead and said "What sorcery is this?" like we usually did.

There's some fairly effective slo-mo animation in here. Slow motion in animation (when called for in scripts) usually makes me nervous. If not done well, it can just look like a poorly-timed, poorly-animated scene. But here it seems to work.

I like how the battle ends. Arthur takes the sword fragment, and for a second, it looks like he's going to skewer Mac. But instead he uses it to pin Mac to a tree. Setting him up for Arthur's punch into camera with his ringed fist. Disney S&P let us do that. ABC S&P didn't allow those kind of fist coming into camera shots on Goliath Chronicles. But I wasn't informed of the change in policy until after "The Journey" was animated.

PRINCESS KATHARINE, OPHELIA, BRONX, BOUDICCA, GABRIEL, THE GUARDIAN & ELISA MAZA vs. DEMONA

Ophelia gets another nice moment here, as even injured, she attempts to stop Demona.

Elisa again takes advantage of the fact that she knows that Demona's hatred for her is so extreme and irrational, that she'll literally drop her weapon for the chance to grapple with Elisa, the chance to tear her apart with her bare hands.

Of course, this is after Elisa demonstrates that she never carries enough ammo. After uselessly shooting at a beach and a hollow suit of armor, she's out of bullets by the time she gets a target of flesh and blood. Of course, we made Elisa a touch dopey in this department for S&P reasons. Elisa, being a NY cop, had to carry a gun. But short of doing an episode about gun violence like "Deadly Force" (which Toon Disney refuses to air these days), we couldn't actually let Elisa shoot anyone with her gun. So we found other uses and excuses.

But ultimately, it's Katharine who brings Demona down, looking quite intentionally like a medieval Ripley, saying the other bookend: "No one threatens my eggs."

THE MAGUS vs. PHOEBE, SELINE & LUNA: THE WEIRD SISTERS
Luna says to the Magus: "There is no future for you." That was a clue from the voice of fate. Anyone pick up on it?

I also like how all the Sisters say together: "You will suffer!" But of course, he's been suffering for decades. What he will soon be is free of all suffering...

I wanted to show here (among other things) that magic itself was neither good nor evil. Magic simply existed at the disposal of those with the power to wield it.

The Magus defeats the sisters and collapses onto Artie's platform. Erin asked quietly: "Did he die?" Benny looked for another way out: "He might have just lost his power."

GOLIATH & ANGELA vs. THE ARCHMAGE

Erin asked what the Archmage was planning for Goliath... and I had to answer something like "a painful death."

Goliath asks what I thought many of you might be asking: why doesn't the Magus just kill him. And David Warner answers as only he could: "Because I'm having too much fun."

We have all this Gate-Jumping. This was an afterthought. Because at one point I had thought of having our guys steal the gate back, I had forgotten to have the Archmage use the gate in the script. So at the board stage, I asked Dennis to put this in. We were very tight for time, but he obliged me. Ideally, I'd have liked to show them briefly in some other times, but I knew we just couldn't afford to design new layouts for two second shots. Even so, who knows where and when they went? Who knows how long they were gone? Sometimes their poses changed. But Goliath is like the Old Man of the Sea. He never lets go. And finally he takes the Eye away.

The Archmage is already in trouble, but how much he doesn't know for a few seconds. Then the power of the Grimorum destroys him from within. A nice creepy companion to him eating the book in Part Two.

And I love David's last line, the forlorn: "All my lovely magic..." Believe it or not, I had to fight a little to get that line in. Just a little. But still.

DEATH OF A HERO

The Magus' death stll moves me. His quiet desire for rest. Katharine's love for him. (Not romantic love, but love nonetheless.) K: "Oh, Magus, what have you done?"

The Magus still concerned that he owes a debt to Goliath and Goliath's forgiveness. The eyes closing and the star shooting overhead.

For S&P reasons, we decided not to make it absolute that he was dead. No one mentions death. Just rest. Sleep. And he is lying on the Sleeping King's platform by his own request.

And many fans, even adult fans, chose to believe he might still come back someday. Hey, more power to 'em, I guess.

But I felt/feel that would cheapen the moment. Cheapen the sacrifice. We sent our heroes into battle. And in battle, their are casualties. Some things are worth fighting for, but if we don't understand costs, then I want people to know that when something isn't worth fighting over, they shouldn't.

FAREWELLS

For various reasons, many of our voice actors in this episode recorded their lines separately. So we recorded each character saying goodbye to everyother character. Not knowing exactly what we would use. We, in my opinion, wound up using too much of these wild goodbyes. It's very awkward sounding to me now.

Gabe & Goliath establish why Gabe and his clan don't join Goliath in Manhattan and why Goliath doesn't bring his clan back to Avalon. Though both clans are born of the old Wyvern Clan, both have found new homes, which they will not abandon.

But Angela has a bit of Demona in her. The iconoclast, she wants more than normal clan life has to offer. She wants to see the world with Goliath. He proudly agrees. He wants one of his children with him. Gabriel and Angela say goodbye. He refers to her here as his rookery sister (not as his "Angel of the Night" or some other equivalent). This was done to make clear that they regarded each other as brother and sister, not mates. I basically wanted to leave her unattached for the Trio. Nevertheless, many fans still thought that they were a couple.

Art goes off on his own to be less conspicuous, and Goliath laughs a borderline Thailog laugh. He also plants pipe for Arthur's eventual stop in Manhattan.

Mac & Demona are freed from the spell, leaving them with no memory since they were first ensorcelled. There's an awkward bit of business here as the gargs who were guarding them move away, just so that Goliath can move in and push the skiff off. Flaw in the boarding that no one caught, I'm afraid.

The Sisters move off, having been forced off-camera to explain most everything.

Bronx & Boudicca part. Now that's a couple.

More pipe: Goliath swears that no one will ever use the eye or the Gate again. Famous last words.

Tom: "Elisa, I thought you understood. Avalon doesn't send you where you want to go! Avalon sends you where you need to be!"

Both Elisa and Erin said: What does that mean? at about the same time.

What did you think when you first heard that? We had officially launched the World Tour, but you didn't know it yet. What were you thinking?

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?


Bookmark Link

Memo for "Avalon, Parts Two and Three"

In preparation for my ramblings, here's the memo written to Brynne Chandler Reaves & Lydia C. Marano on the last two parts of their Avalon outline. I've added a few [notes], to indicate some handwritten changes to the document.

WEISMAN 2-2-95

Notes on "Avalon, Parts Two and Three" Outline...

GENERAL

ARCHMAGESES
For purposes of clarity, I'm going to refer to the new and improved Archmage as Archmage+. There will be a number of scenes where the Archmage and the Archmage+ will be appearing together. And a few scenes (including one scene repeated twice) where two Archmage+s will appear together. For those scenes I'll refer to them as 1st Archmage+ and 2nd Archmage+, but they'll look exactly alike.

CLARITY
It goes without saying that any time travel episode is going to be complex. So make an extra effort to be as clear as possible. Both in stage description for the artists, and in dialogue for the audience. I know we resist expository dialogue generally. But as you'll see below, the Archmage+ needs to explain things to the Archmage. So it won't feel artificial.

ACT BREAKS
I'm going to leave that up to you. See how the scripts progress.

BEAT SHEET
"Avalon, Part Two"
1. Pick up right where we left off. Pretty much your beat XX. Tom does need to explain that he still refers to the gargoyles as
"eggs". It's an old habit. He apologizes if it caused confusion, but they have been in Avalon long enough for him to grow old. Of course the eggs hatched some time ago.

Also none of the wounded gargoyles should be at the shore. We'll see them back at the palace.

Also don't forget that Angela has Goliath's coloring, which doesn't escape Elisa's notice. And on your Beat XXB1c. the line should expand to: "Daughters and sons belong to all of us, Elisa. That is the gargoyle way."

2. At Oberon's palace. Pretty much your beat XXI. But keep in mind, that the palace is in crisis mode. Acting as a hospital of sorts, to many wounded gargoyles.

Elisa should notice the tenderness between Tom and Katharine when they are reunited. She should also notice the pain it causes the Magus.

Don't forget to describe the Magus as 72 years old. Also describe Gabriel as looking like a young Othello with Desdemona's coloring.

The fact that the young gargoyles act more human than the trio may be too fine a point to get across. They've been raised by humans, but as a practical matter a lot of what we would think of as human is really just contemporary. And obviously, the trio are much more contemporary than these gargoyles.

You need some reason why Tribeca doesn't already have a name. Maybe, Katharine and Tom had tried not to name any of the gargoyles at first, but it just got too difficult for them with the sentient ones. But they didn't bother to name the Beasts? [We dropped the Tribecca notion eventually, and Tribeca became Boudicca. -GW 5/21/02]

Also, both Gabriel and Tribeca will be present in beat 1. So you may want to introduce them there along with Angela. That frees Beat 2 to reintro Katharine and the Magus. (Magus may be acting as a healer, using natural remedies and polstices.)

When Magus makes his point about Oberon's Children having been absent for nearly 1000 years, he might slip in a subtle reference to the sleeping King. (i.e. Arthur.) Something like: "The island's totally deserted except for the sleeping king." And then before anyone has a chance to ask about the sleeping king, something forces a change of topic.

3. Pretty much your beat XXII. Except that the Magus and Tom should probably be the ones to go into detail. The Magus knew the Archmage the best. He'd recognize that the Archmage has evolved into the Archmage+. If the Magus wasn't positive that the Grimorum cannot be brought onto Avalon, he'd swear that the Archmage+ had it. Plus when the Archmage appeared, he carried the Phoenix Gate and wore the Eye of Odin. Goliath realizes that those items must have been stolen from him.

Tom led the first disastrous attack. He saw Demona (doesn't know her name, but recognized her as Goliath's former love) plus some human in strange armor who used a weapon that fired lightning (Macbeth) and the Weird Sisters who once guarded the island. Again Goliath and Elisa can put two and two together. Macbeth and Demona never escaped the Weird Sisters. The Sisters have been using them all along. When Demona and Macbeth stole Coldstone, it was just a cover to steal the Eye, the Gate and the Grimorum. They must have given the items to the Archmage.

All Tom knows is that the Archmage+ is incredibly powerful. So powerful, he sometimes seemed to be in two places at once.

4. Enemy camp. Obviously, somewhere on the island, but where? In or in front of a cave? Someplace pleasant and relaxing, since the villains have every reason to be confident? I'll call it the GROTTO for easy reference, but anywhere is fine. [In the margin, I wrote: "Vengeance Angle"]

Present are the 3 Weird Sisters, Demona, Macbeth and... TWO Archmage+s. Each carries his own Phoenix Gate. And each wears his own Eye, (maybe imbedded like a third eye in his forehead?). They are dressed in black. Their beards are short. Maybe a metal skullcap (ala Merlin in EXCALIBUR). All very dangerous looking in contrast to the cliché Archmage that we knew.

1st Archmage+ says to 2nd Archmage+: "Shouldn't you be going?"
2nd Archmage+: "I suppose I should." 1st Archmage+: "You know what to do?" 2nd Archmage+: "Of course. I watched you do it." So the 2nd Archmage+ raises his Phoenix Gate and says the Phoenix Gate spell, disappearing into the past (see "Vows").

5. We follow 2nd Archmage+ back to 984 A.D. (He can even say: "First stop: 984 A.D." He can have a lot of attitude.) He arrives just outside the cave and secretly watches the battle between young Goliath, Hudson, Demona and the original Archmage ("Long Way To Morning"). (Again, he can fill us in, by commenting on it wryly to himself.) The Archmage loses the Grimorum and falls into the bottomless fissure, the Archmage+ uses the Phoenix Gate to pop into the fissure. He then uses the gate to transport himself and the Archmage to safety.

6. A hilltop or someplace safe. The Phoenix Gate deposits both the Archmage and the Archmage+ a few feet above the ground. The Archmage+ floats. He says "Freeze". And the Archmage freezes in mid-air. The Archmage+ says "Feathers". And a huge pile of feathers appears right below the Archmage. Archmage+: "Resume". And the Archmage tumbles into the pile of feathers.

We get some sputtering and outrage from the Archmage. And introductions. Archmage+ is his future self. Archmage realizes that means sometime in the future he accomplishes his goal of getting the Eye and the Gate. But what of the Grimorum? Archmage wants Archmage+ to use the Gate to go back and take the Grimorum back from the Gargoyles. Archmage+ says they can't accomplish their goals that way because they didn't accomplish it that way. History cannot be changed. But don't worry. We'll get the Grimorum. He uses the Gate and they both vanish again. [In the margins, by these two paragraphs, I wrote: "You want power, revenge. Allies Soldiers Weapons Base]

7. They reappear in 995 A.D. just in time to see the Magus use the Grimorum to reflect the Weird Sister's spell, turning all three of them into owls. (Archmage+ continues to use one word commands like "Float" and "Invisible" to keep them above water and undetectable. His command of magic is that complete. He can also fill Archmage and audience in on where and when they are, fairly naturally in dialogue.) Archmage recognizes his former apprentice the Magus, who's obviously grown into a potent sorcerer. But the fool just hands over the Grimorum, his source of Power, to Finella. Archmage thinks he understands now. They'll take the Grimorum from Finella. But Archmage+ says no. That's not why they're here. They're here to recruit. [In the margin, I again wrote: "Allies"]

Once all the various skiffs have moved on, the Archmage+ finds the three owls and transforms them back into the Weird Sisters. The Sisters are furious that they were defeated. When Oberon forced all of his "Children" to mingle with the mortals of the real world he had left the guarding of Avalon in their supposedly capable hands. Oberon will be very pissed off that they failed. Archmage+ offers them a chance to get even. It will take time though. The Weird Sisters don't mind. Time is one thing they have plenty of. "Then," says the Archmage+, "I will see you again in twenty-five years." And with that, he uses the gate and vanishes with the Archmage.

8. The year is 1020 A.D. ("City of Stone, Part One") and the Archmages appear via the gate. They meet up with the Weird Sisters. The Archmage+ shows them a vision of the forty year old Demona, the fifteen year old Macbeth and their enemy the HUNTER. [In the margin, I wrote: "Soldiers"] The Archmage+ wants the Weird Sisters to help Demona and Macbeth defeat the Hunter. Weird Sisters remind him that Oberon's Law prevents them from directly intervening in the lives of mortals. Archmage+ knows they are magically prevented from breaking Oberon's Law. But he also knows that they can bend it quite a bit. O.K., fine. But how does helping Demona and Macbeth do anything to help the Sisters and the Archmages achieve their goals? Archmage+ tells them that in order to achieve these goals, they will need powerful warriors, fighters adept at sorcery and weaponry, fighters we can control. These two are the perfect candidates. Guide them, help them, protect them for the next twenty years. The Archmage+ will return then with further instructions. The Weird Sisters agree and depart.

Archmage isn't too happy about this. He recognizes Demona as another of his former apprentices. One who betrayed him by losing the Phoenix Gate "years, uh... decades ago." Why are we helping her? Archmage+ tells him not to worry. This is our revenge. Believe me, we're not doing the gargoyle any favors. And again, he uses the Phoenix Gate to make them both disappear.

9. They reappear in 1040. The Weird Sisters report that they have done their best to aide Demona and Macbeth. The first Hunter is dead. But there is a new one now who's even more dangerous. Archmage+ is very pleased. He knows that Demona and Macbeth will arrive soon. He instructs the Sisters to guide them into making a magical pact that will link their life energy together. We will need them alive and vital centuries from now. We must make them immortal. [In the margin, I again wrote: "Soldiers".]

Sisters and Archmage are confused. Immortal warriors are powerful. How will we control them? Trust me, says Archmage+.

Archmage+ renders him and the Archmage invisible, just in time to see the fifty year old Demona and the 35 year old Macbeth enter. ("City of Stone, Part 3") We see the Weird Sisters link them magically.

Afterwards, the Sisters explain that the job is done. Neither can die, unless one kills the other. Excellent, says the Archmage+. Keep an eye on the two of them. Also keep an eye out for the Grimorum, the Gate and the Eye of Odin. The Weird Sisters are confused. Archmage+ has the Eye and the Gate. Archmage+ laughs. But I didn't have them. Not until you brought them to me. We'll meet again on an island called "Manhattan"... in 955 years.

Archmage: "Nine-HUNDRED and fifty-five years?!!" But before he can protest, the Archmage+ uses the gate to transport them both away.

10. 1995. Manhattan. Weird Sisters as NYC Fashion Models rendezvous at Tavern on the Green, with the Archmages. Archmage+ says: "Disguise". And he and the Archmage, seem to be wearing modern clothes. Over a pleasant candlelit dinner, the Sisters fill us in. All three magical talismans have fallen into the hands of this gargoyle... and an image of Goliath appears in the candlelight. Archmage recognizes Goliath, and can't believe that he survived this far into the future. Archmage+ says, "This isn't the future yet."

Archmage+ asks about Demona and Macbeth. Sisters respond that both are phenomenal fighters, proficient with modern technology and weaponry and half-decent sorcerers to boot. Plus each warrior has his or her own agenda. Demona is determined to wipe out humanity. And Macbeth is equally determined to wipe out Demona, even though he knows it will cost him his own life. They will be very difficult to control. Archmage+: "Yes, yes, but what are they up to now?" [And yet again, I wrote "Soldiers" in the margin.] The Sisters believe that Demona is about to cast a powerful spell to turn everyone in Manhattan into stone. Macbeth will take this opportunity to hunt her down.

Archmage+ is very pleased. He advises the Sisters to help Goliath defeat both Demona and Macbeth. Make your final move after they've fought each other, but before Macbeth has a chance to end their lives. At that point they will be weakened enough for the Sisters to put a sleep spell on them. Then bring them to me. Where? Macbeth's home on this island.

[Optional, if you have space: The sisters exit. Archmage+ asks the Archmage if he'd like to watch the action. Archmage says yes. Archmage+ says: "Somehow I knew that."]

Archmage+ uses Gate and both disappear.

[Optional, if you have space:
11. Invisible Archmages watch a replay of the final scenes from the end of City of Stone, Part Four. The ones where the Weird Sisters help Goliath talk Macbeth out of killing Demona. Put them both to sleep. Tell Goliath that they will take responsibility for them and vanish with them. The Archmages depart as well.]

12. Macbeth's mansion. The Archmages appear as do the Sisters with Macbeth and Demona. The latter two are sound asleep. The Archmage+ whispers to the sleeping warriors. He "suggests" that they work together to steal the Grimorum, the Gate and the Eye from Goliath. The Sisters provide the clock tower location, and suggest that they steal Coldstone as well. That way the theft of the talismans won't be detected immediately. Demona and Macbeth leave together to carry out this plan, completely fogged about how it came to them or why they are working together. [By the margin of both paragraphs 12 & 13, I wrote: "Weapons".]

Archmage asks about Coldstone. Weird Sisters say he is another warrior that might be of use to them. Archmage+ shakes his head. Coldstone wasn't part of the plan, so he can't be now. If his presence aids in the theft of the talismans, fine. But he must be separated from Demona and Macbeth, before the next stage of the plan can be set in motion. They will meet again at the watery door to Avalon.

[Optional:
13. Invisible Archmages watch Demona and Macbeth steal the Eye, the Grimorum and the Gate from the secret hiding place in the clocktower from "High Noon".]

14. The Archmages reappear above misty water. Archmage+ says: "Boat". And a boat magically appears beneath them. They float down to it. While they wait for the sisters, Archmage demands to know the plan. Archmage+ finally fills him in: "Soon the sisters will bring you the talismans. The ultimate magical power that you've always dreamed of. [In the margin, I wrote: "Base".] But once you get that power, what will you do with it?" Archmage is baffled. He hadn't thought that far ahead. He mutters something about conquering Scotland. Archmage+ suggests conquering the world, but warns that it will not be easy. The modern world is a place of science not sorcery. Magic is potent, but so are modern weapons. The Archmage will need a safe place to launch his attacks from. That haven is Avalon. The only problem is Avalon is occupied. Fortunately, Oberon and his children have abandoned it. But there are a few humans and gargoyles living there. Our first job is to kill them. The Archmage is very pleased with his counterpart's plan.

The Sisters join them on the raft, along with entranced Demona, entranced Macbeth and the three talismans. The sisters warn the Archmages that the Gate and the Eye are not a problem, but the Grimorum is a book of human sorcery. It cannot enter Avalon. Archmage+ is unconcerned: "Give him the Eye." Seline gives the Archmage the Eye of Odin. The Archmage puts it on. The Archmage+ explains that the Eye grants power and insight. It makes the wearer a more powerful version of himself. It usually takes weeks to transform an individual, but the Archmage+ has the ability to speed things up. "Change," he says. And the Archmage begins to metamorphose -- painfully -- into another Archmage+.

When the metamorphosis is complete, the 1st Archmage+ tells the 2nd Archmage+ that he now has the power of the world's greatest and, frankly, most evil sorcerer. But he lacks the knowledge. The exhausted 2nd Archmage+ gets the message. He asks Phoebe to give him the Grimorum. He uses his new-found power to swallow it hole. The 1st Archmage+ is very pleased. Now he is one with the magic, and there's no need to worry about bringing the Grimorum to Avalon. Even Luna is impressed. She hands the 2nd Archmage+ the Phoenix Gate, completing his power. 1st Archmage+: Shall we proceed?

[Note: I circled paragraphs 15, 16 and the first paragraph of 17 and wrote: "One Beat" in the margin and "But show it to us." By 15, I also wrote "Base".]

15. The 1st Archmage+ materializes in the palace of Oberon, in front of Katharine, Tom, the Magus. He tells them to "Make your peace, for at sundown, you die." He uses the gate to disappear again.

16. He reappears in the Grotto, joining the 2nd Archmage+, the Sisters, Demona and Macbeth. One of them spots Angela and Gabriel watching them and sneaking away. Demona asks if she should stop them. No, says the 1st Archmage+, they'll be back.

17. Sure enough, Tom the Guardian leads the gargoyles against the villains. It's a disaster. Many gargoyles are wounded. None of them can fight on a level with either Macbeth or Demona. Let alone the futuristic weapons that they bring. The Weird Sisters avoid direct interference, but still manage to use their magic to ensnare their opponents in their environment. And the Archmage+ is everywhere, popping in and out, using the Gate, vanishing. Using magic. He's devastating. (During the fight, play the two Archmage+s so that Tom might say something like "It was like he could be in two places at once." As opposed to Tom realizing that there are two of them.)

Tom is forced to sound retreat.

[I marked the rest of seventeen and 18 and wrote "combine" in the margin.]

Demona and Macbeth want to pursue and finish them off. But the 1st Archmage+ is supremely confident. Why bother? If we wait until Dawn, the gargoyles will all be stone. Only the Guardian, the Princess and the Magus will be left to defend the palace. It's so much easier to sit back and enjoy the cool breeze for a few more hours. [In the margin, I wrote: "Waiting for Goliath. Important. Vengeance. He wants Goliath.]

Luna asks: "What about the sleeping King?" The 2nd Archmage+ is surprised. He had heard the legends of the sleeping king, but didn't know that they were true. Seline assures him the King is on the island, asleep. Phoebe warns that the King's power was once very great. 1st Archmage+: "Then when once we've taken the island, we'll just make sure he never wakes up."

18. Time cut to a few hours later.
1st Archmage+ says to 2nd Archmage+: "Shouldn't you be going?"
2nd Archmage+: "I suppose I should." 1st Archmage+: "You know what to do?" 2nd Archmage+: "Of course. I watched you do it." So the 2nd Archmage+ raises his Phoenix Gate and says the Phoenix Gate spell, disappearing into the past. Obviously, this is an exact repeat of Beat 4, and finally leaves us with only one Archmage+ for the rest of the story. Archmage+ makes some comment about how the other one was getting on his nerves.

19. AND Finally, we return to the present and resume from beat 3 with our heroes in the palace. Tom picks up his story where he left off. After, there disastrous mass attack on the Grotto, they all realized they were in deep shit. Sunrise was only six hours away. They thought about hiding the gargoyles, but realized there was no place on the island where the Weird Sisters couldn't find them. They had to get help. Tom ventured out by skiff to the real world. As he had done once every century. The skiff landed at Wyvern, and Tom was shocked to see that the castle was missing. He went to a local village, where he was told that the castle had been moved to the top of a skyscraper in a place called NEW York. Tom picks up on the word "skyscraper". Is it possible that the castle has risen above the clouds? One villager's seen it in New York. It's definitely above some of the clouds. (You can show this village scene in flashback if you have space or time.) Tom returns to his skiff, returns to Avalon, and launches off again, praying that Avalon will send him to this NEW York. (Hinting that he doesn't have a lot of control.)

Sure enough he found New York and Goliath and brought him and his friends back. But the mission took two days in the real world. That's two hours here on Avalon. There's only four hours left until sunrise.

Tom apologizes to Goliath. He's tried to train the gargoyles to be warriors, but he's self-taught himself. Plus Avalon always seemed so peaceful, etc. Protective instinct must never have developed. Maybe if Goliath led the next attack... But Goliath is sure Tom did his best. Sometimes a direct attack isn't the answer. Sometimes stealth is required. If we can steal the Gate and the Eye back from the Archmage, we may have a chance. Goliath will need someone who knows the island. Gabriel and Angela both volunteer. Fine. Goliath asks the Magus to come as well. His magic might prove useful. The Magus cannot meet Goliath's gaze. He hesitates. Finally, he says that without the Grimorum he has no magic and would be a liability to Goliath. Elisa wants to come, but Goliath asks her to stay behind. If this mission fails, Tom and the others will need her expertise on dealing with Demona and Macbeth. Goliath, Angela and Gabriel depart. After they go, Elisa turns to the Magus and asks: Tell me about the sleeping King.

20. They sneak into the grotto and for a beat it looks like they might succeed in their mission. But no. They are caught. Woops. [In the margin, I wrote: "Arch+ sees them coming."]

END PART TWO

START PART THREE
21. Looks like curtains for our three heroes. Goliath even resorts to making an appeal to Demona and Macbeth. Can't they see they're being used. Does it suit Macbeth's sense of honor to wait 'til dawn to slaughter innocent gargoyles. Demona hates humans, but why would she help the Archmage hurt her own children. It doesn't make sense to Demona and Macbeth. They start to come out of the spell. But the Archmage+ is just amused by Goliath's pleas. With one word: "Obey", Demona and Macbeth are again his to command. Fortunately, rescue comes from another quarter. Bronx and Tribeca. To some extent, the rescue only succeeds because the Archmage+ is complacently amused. He likes watching the little mice run the maze. In a few hours it'll be all over anyway.

22. Goliath and Co. return to the palace. The mission was a failure.

[Note: the following paragraph was crossed out.]
But not a complete failure, says Angela. In the confusion, she got away with the Phoenix Gate. Angela wants to use it to go back in time and stop the Archmage+ before he arrives. Can't be done, explains Goliath. History cannot be changed. He's learned that lesson, painfully. Can they escape to the future? They'd be abandoning Avalon. The situation they arrived in might be even worse. Better to make their stand now. Well could they use it flee the island? This time Gabriel says no. This is his home, the only one he's ever known. He will protect it, not abandon it! Goliath is impressed. The gargoyle way is strong in Gabriel. But Angela's disappointed. Stealing the gate didn't help very much. Goliath assures her, that it helped a lot. They've taken away the Archmage's mobility. And gained some for themselves. The Gate doesn't have to be used for time travel. It can be used just to move instantly from place to place. But how will that help? Goliath isn't sure yet.

Hey, where's Elisa and the Magus?

23. Elisa and the Magus journey to the "Hollow Hill" where sleeps the sleeping King. (It's Merlin who sleeps in the Crystal Cave. At least by my research.) Maybe they have some time to talk. Elisa has noticed that Tom and Katharine are close. The Magus tells her that as the boy Tom became a man, he and the Princess fell in love. (Again, if you have the room and/or the inclination, you can show this in flashback.) Now they are husband and wife. They raised the gargoyles as their own children. Elisa wonders where the Magus fits in. I don't, he says. But his feelings for Katharine are also obvious to Elisa. How could he stand to stay and watch them grow closer? He had to stay. He had done an unforgivable thing when he cast his spell upon the gargoyles. He owed it to Goliath to tend the eggs. His pain is not important.

24. They arrive at the Hollow Hill. They see the sleeping King. He lies on a bed, surrounded by arms and gold and jewels. They move to wake him, but are intercepted by two hollow suits of armor. Elisa empties her revolver into one, but it's pretty useless. Suddenly the Magus casts a rhyming spell. (Rhyming in English, not Latin.) The armor is defeated, though it leaves the Magus drained. Elisa is shocked. She thought the Magus had lost his magic. He had. Centuries ago when he lost the Grimorum. But the island is full of magic. It is everywhere: in the wind, in the water, in the trees and certainly in this hollow hill. His training makes him sensitive to it, but summoning it without study is very hard. It's an unpredictable and often unsuccessful endeavor. He cannot be counted on.

Elisa approaches the sleeping King. For the very first time in this three parter, we hear someone speak his name. Elisa: "Arthur Pendragon. King Arthur. You are needed." And King Arthur awakens. It's that easy.

Suddenly Goliath and Angela appear via the Phoenix Gate. [The phrase 'via the Phoenix Gate' was crossed out.] What did Elisa think she was doing? Elisa realized that Demona and Macbeth are two of the greatest warriors of all time. It's a hard truth, but even Goliath has never actually bested either of them. The best he ever did was foil their plans or fight them to a draw. They needed someone better. They needed the best warrior who ever lived. Arthur clears his throat. Would someone please tell him what's going on? Angela's excited. In a minute, she says, and using the Gate, teleports them all away. ["and using the Gate, teleports them all away." was crossed out.]

[From this point out, stuff in {} is crossed out material.]

25. Back at the Grotto, The Archmage+ {has only just discovered that the gate is missing. He} is furious, and his demeanor does not improve when the Sisters wryly blame his own hybris and complacency. Fine, he says. Then we will attack now.

26. Back at the palace, Arthur's just heard the gist of the situation. He's not thrilled. This isn't what he was supposed to be awakened for. He doesn't have Excalibur. He doesn't have his knights or Merlin... But he looks around the room and sees the faces of those who need him. He will do what he can. Gabriel enters. They're out of time. The villains approach. Arthur will lead Tom, Elisa and Gabriel against Macbeth and Demona. Goliath and Angela will {use the Gate to} face off against the Archmage. Katharine, Bronx and Tribeca (and whatever other healthy N.D. Gargoyles we've shown) will stay with the wounded gargoyles and do their best to protect them. But who will take on the Three Weird Sisters. I will, says the Magus.

27. The battle. O.K. This is going to be a big one. You want to have space for it, cause it's the fight we've been building towards for THIRTY-SIX EPISODES, so we've got to make it worthwhile. (Also we have tons and tons of epiloguing in this one, so we need the audience to feel like they want a good long rest after the mega-battle is done.) You'll do a lot of intercutting between the various fronts. But for clarity here, I'll take them one at a time. (Also feel free to adjust or expand on any of the details... I'm just trying to give a big picture overview.)

ARTHUR, ELISA, GABRIEL, GUARDIAN vs. MACBETH & DEMONA
The Archmage+ has sent his two warriors as an advance force to soften up the enemy. Macbeth is impressed by this new warrior. He asks his name, and when he hears that it's Arthur, we can see that he's momentarily shaken by it. He's an Arthur-buff. A great admirer. Well. He's always wanted to test himself against the best. For his part, Arthur's quick to figure out that when either Macbeth or Demona are hurt, both feel the pain. He instructs his troops to use that to their advantage. Demona realizes that she must put some distance between herself and Macbeth. She'll still feel his pain, but not as severely. She gets past Arthur's force and into the castle. Arthur sends Gabe, Elisa and Tom in after her. He'll handle Macbeth.

ARTHUR VS. MACBETH
Macbeth is quickly deprived of his lightning gun. Both wind up using medieval weapons. It may even come down to hand to hand combat. Finally Arthur wins.

DEMONA vs. KATHARINE, BRONX, TRIBECA
Demona gets into the palace. She is confronted by Bronx and Tribeca, but they don't stop her. She finds her way to Katharine and the wounded gargoyles. We need to see by this time that Demona's bloodlust is so high, that there's no chance of talking her down again. The spell on her has worked her into such a froth that she can't see that what she's doing is against her own interests. She's a brainwashed assassin. Katharine is ready to die for her charges, and it looks like she might have to.

DEMONA vs. GABRIEL, GUARDIAN, ELISA
They arrive just in time, Gabriel and Guardian save Katharine temporarily. But they're no real match for Demona either. She's about to kill them all, when Elisa says wouldn't you rather have me. And there it is. Someone Demona hates so much, that no spell is more powerful. She leaps at Elisa, giving the others time to regroup. Ultimately, Demona is taken down by sheer force of numbers. Maybe Elisa gives the takedown blow.

MAGUS vs. THE WEIRD SISTERS.
They can't believe this old, impotent man is challenging them again. Without his precious Grimorum, no less. But he rises to the occasion. It's a sorcerers battle, so have a lot of fun with it. And the Magus wins by trapping them. Probably in some kind of iron or some kind of chain. (But here's a thought, that only just occurred to me. Should the Magus give his life in this fight, i.e. be mortally wounded during it. Maybe drained beyond any hope of recovery? He would be the one real casualty of the battle. Goliath would of course forgive him on his death bed as the old man passed away, finally at peace, maybe with Katharine's kiss on his lips. I know we planned on sending him off with Arthur, but I can't help wondering if we didn't make this fight to easy on our heroes. Isn't it necessary for them to lose something truly precious, i.e. the life of a friend? I have very mixed feelings, cause I like the character a lot. I could probably be swayed either way. Before you go to script on part three, talk this over with both me and Adrienne [Bello, our S&P executive].)

GOLIATH, ANGELA vs. ARCHMAGE+
Goliath attacks directly. And is really being trounced. The Archmage+ has not forgotten how Goliath defeated him back in "Long Way to Morning". He's really punishing Goliath. But that was part of the plan. Angela uses the gate to {bop in, and} throw the overconfident Archmage+ off balance. {She and} Goliath {toss the gate back and forth between them. They vanish and reappear.} The Archmage+'s magic still is formidable, but the tactic is infuriating him, which makes him sloppy. Finally, Goliath manages to grab the Eye and wrench it off the Archmage+. (Note: As in Eye of the Beholder, this should be damn painful for Goliath.) The Archmage+ immediately metamorphoses back into the old Archmage. But he's not through yet. He's still got all the power of the Grimorum inside him. But without the Eye to contain that power, he has a problem. You see you're not supposed to bring human magic onto Avalon. The Grimorum is burning him up from the inside out. Nothing gory, but he is destroyed in magical flames. It is over.

28. Epilogue time. Goliath realizes that the Eye and the Gate were not meant for mortals to use. He swears never to use either of them again. (He'll break this promise later, but it at least explains why he doesn't immediately use the Gate to take him, Elisa and Bronx back to Manhattan). He and Angela gladly walk back to the palace.

29. It is now only ten minutes until sunrise. Decisions must be made. They ask Goliath if it is safe for the Gargoyles out in the real world. Unfortunately, no. Not really. They invite him to bring the other gargoyles back to Avalon. No. That won't work either. Some of them must continue to live in the real world. Learn to live with humans. It will take time, but if they don't try, the outside world will never be safe for gargoyles again. Given that Goliath is willing to take any gargoyle who wants to leave. From here, you can pretty much pick up back on your outline: BEAT XXXX. (Though obviously if we kill the Magus, Arthur's leaving alone.)

30. Pretty much your Beat XXXXI. Arthur (and the Magus?) leave first. Also we have to deal with Macbeth and Demona. They can still be unconscious. The trapped Weird Sisters are forced to free Demona and Macbeth from the spell. They tell our heroes that neither warrior will remember anything that happened to them since the spell was first cast in City of Stone, Part Four. Somehow, we have to rationalize sending them off unconscious on a skiff of their own. Good luck. Finally our 4 travelers leave for Manhattan, poling out into the misty water. But Tom knows from experience that "Avalon does not take you where you want to go. Avalon takes you where you need to be."

That's it. Call me with any problems or questions, and in any case let's talk about the Magus.


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES Bible: 11th Chunk.

SERIES ARCS
We've got quite a few.
1) Markus is going to fast-track through the ranks. In episode #1, he's recruited. Starting with episode two, he'll spend about a third of the season (@ seven episodes) working in Inquiry as an Investigator. At some point he'll get in trouble. He'll get busted off Inquiry and will spend an episode as a lowly Prison Guard in Surplus. He'll foil a prison break and be rewarded by being put in Command of a Research Cell: the lone layman assigned to making sure the scientists stay focused. That'll last for two or three shows. Then he'll be drafted to join Delivery for another seven or so episodes, before he rebels against the Alliance for about three shows. Then in our 22nd episode, he'll rejoin the devastated Alliance, help them struggle out of the ashes in time to save the day. He'll end the season by being named the organization's third Night Officer.

2) Who is Siobhan Barrow? She's not your typical nineteen year old girl. We'll learn that in our pilot. She's an alien of the Sidhe race. Eventually we'll discover that she's not your typical nineteen year old Sidhe. She's the daughter of the Bhan Sidhe. We'll wonder where her loyalties lie. And just when we're sure we know, we'll turn the tables by having her kill Markus (or attempt to, anyway). And then when we're sure we know why she did that, we'll twist things 180° and make her even more sympathetic than she was before.

3) Markus and Siobhan are going to fall in love. They meet in our pilot as adversaries, but they quickly make a connection. It's a connection that both of them are going to deny for a time, but ultimately they'll admit their feelings for one another, just in time for Siobhan to betray the Alliance and attempt to kill Markus. Markus'll be hating Siobhan for a few episodes, until he learns why she did what she did. At that point, he'll join her against the Alliance, until the final episode, when they'll both be there -- a strong couple, the stronger for what they've been through both separately and together -- to pick up the pieces and rebuild a new and better Alliance.

4) The Agenda is picking up speed, and it's operating on multiple fronts. It's forming new partnerships. Startling partnerships. It's infiltrating the Alliance itself. One of our characters we'll be replaced by a Vampyr. One will turn out to be a Lycanth. One will betray everything the Alliance stands for. Etc. Early episodes that seem to be one-shots will be revealed in hindsight to have actually been part of the overall Agenda.

5) The Skray will be revealed slowly, and the Alliance will learn the startling truth that since the Skray control the oceans, they already control 3/4 of the planet. Eventually, the Skray will join the Agenda.

6) Have the Nosferatu discovered the secret of faster than light space travel? Is there an armada on the way?

7) We'll learn the answers behind some long-held Alliance mysteries. What happened to Joseph's father? What happened to Artie's uncle and brother? Who killed Alex's parents? What turned Will's wife against the Alliance?

8) We'll explore the dramatic ramifications of the Alliance's fascistic Mission Statement. When does an organization become too much of a good thing?

9) Over time, we'll probably get to know a surprising number of characters in depth. We'll watch them change. We'll see them reveal where they stand.

10) Ultimately, we're going to find out that the same individuals who are pulling the strings on the Agenda's string-pullers, are also the Puppet-Masters behind the Alliance itself. These uber-villains are the true menace that Markus and Siobhan will ultimately be fighting against.

11) And etc.

SOME SPRINGBOARDS
1. The Pilot - Skip Tracer Markus is sent after Bail Jumping Siobhan, who's being pursued by Sidhe Warriors and by the Alliance. Both Markus and Siobhan acquit themselves impressively and are recruited.

2. Markus is partnered with Tri and sent to Japan on his first Inquiry mission. People are vanishing amid reports of werewolves. The menace turns out to be a Lycanth Pack, abducting humans to work as slaves on other worlds. Delivery's called in to battle the Pack.

3. In Paris, Tri and Markus investigate reports that stone statues are coming to life. It's the noble Vinae, here to recover their honored dead. Can the misunderstanding be worked out before the populace learns these "monsters" exist?

4. In Venice, Markus and Tri are on the trail of a shape-shifter. Meanwhile, Alex and Clea go undercover inside a cult that claims to grant immortality to its members. The two cases converge, and the Alliance finds itself caught in the middle of a minor war between the Vampyru and the Nosferatu.

5. Closer to home, Markus investigates crop circles in Iowa. This leads him into an investigation of the original Roswell Incident. Through flashback, we get the whole story -- focusing on the tragic love story between Captain Will Hawking and reporter Trish Ainsley. The kicker to all this is that none of it's true. And Markus is finally introduced to Artie's boss: Night Officer William T. Hawking.

6. On a routine sea-monster mission in Sydney, Tri spots Artie's missing twin Apollo. The Skray are finally revealed, and it turns out Apollo's working with them. Delivery is sent underwater to take down the Skray. Ten-Samsons and company are able to deal with the immediate threat, but are overwhelmed when they attempt to delve further into the Skray's underwater territory. A strategic retreat is called, and Research is assigned the task of figuring out how to deal with the long-term threat posed by these amphibious aliens.

7. A Rogue Chasta-Yeti has been spotted in British Columbia. Convinced that this is the animal that killed both his parents, Alex drags his sister Gisela up to Canada to track the monster down. Complications ensue as the Chasta is under the protection of the local Sidhe Clan. In addition, Markus isn't sure that Alex has the correct Chasta in his sights. Clea, Tuk and Siobhan all get involved. Everyone's taking sides, but will mercy win out or will Alex start a full scale war?

8. Reports of Flying Saucers bring Tri and Markus to Berlin, where they're immediately ambushed and captured. This is our first solid Agenda episode, but it also serves to reveal (in flashback) the true history of the Cadre, the Alliance and the Roswell Conspiracies.

9. Markus is having a hard time recovering emotionally from his experience in the previous episode. He goes AWOL, obsessed with tracking down the one perp who ever skipped his trace when he was working for Dom. Using Alliance resources in a very public way, he comes very close to single-handedly revealing the Alliance to the world. Dom and Siobhan are able to talk him down off his emotional ledge. He returns to the Bunker, where he gets busted down out of Inquiry and into Surplus. He's a prison guard.

10. Research is conducting experiments on captured Skray inside the Surplus Prison. A dangerous and multi-racial group of inmates take advantage of the situation and attempt to bust out. The only guy who stands in their way is neophyte prison guard, Tony Markus. He succeeds. Patricia wants to promote him. Artie wants him back. But Hawking has finally taken notice of Markus. He assigns him... to Research?

11. Hawking isn't happy with how Research has been operating since Michael Tyler died. Tyler was a scientist, but he was also a pragmatist. Cabral and company seem to allow the pursuit of knowledge to get in the way of the Alliance's best interests. Markus is put in charge of Alpha Cell in order to make sure that the next time the brain-trust is sent into the field, they keep their eyes on the prize. This puts Markus in the unenviable position of being under the authority of Research Section Chief Cabral, while simultaneously being the good doctor's boss while on Alpha's next mission to prevent a radioactive Pharaoh from poisoning Peru.

12. And etc.

FORMAT / STYLE / TONE
We're writing hour-long teleplays here. Single cohesive stories -- that just happen to have a huge cliffhanger dead in the middle which allows the hour to be broken up into two tidy halves.

Tentatively, the plan is to open the first half hour with a teaser before the Main Titles. The Titles will be followed by three acts, each ending with a cliffhanger (the third one a doozy).

Part Two will open with a recap of Part One before the Main Titles. Then the Titles will be followed by Act Four, another cliff-hanger, Act Five, a last cliffhanger and then finally Act Six, which will include whatever Tag is required without an additional commercial break. All pretty straight forward.

The Point of View character is obviously Markus. He enters the Alliance knowing nothing about aliens or conspiracies. We'll learn the ropes with him. This is not to say that he has to appear in every scene, but Markus does define our basic angle on almost any given episode.

The structure of a typical Alliance mission begins with an Inquiry investigation. Research is brought in to solve some specific problem. And then as things inevitably hemorrhage out of control, Delivery is brought in for a big battle to clean up the mess.

Toward the beginning of the season, when Markus is still in Inquiry, we'll focus more on the mystery and investigation. What's going on? What is this creature? How do we stop it? Etc. We'll watch Delivery from a distance, or we'll see it through Siobhan.

Naturally, as more and more secrets get revealed, and as Markus moves up through the ranks, later episodes will spend less time on Inquiry and more time on the other sections, especially Delivery. Things'll be grimmer by that time, and the action will be more intense anyway.

This isn't a horror series. And we're not doing the ultra-violence thang. But it should be scary. We're going for suspense and intrigue: a what's-lurking-behind-that-door main course, with a side of who-can-you-trust.

Play the fear. But also play the romance between Markus and Siobhan. The real heart and caring between all our various characters. Many of them are related, which should provide great fodder. Many of them have tragic histories and/or things they need to overcome. Use Gisela's spirituality, Alex's smiling cynicism, etc. Use humor as counterpoint. Don't hunt down the joke, but don't shy away from it either. And do NOT be afraid of using SILENCE. It's a very powerful tool. (By the way, I apologize in advance if all this seems way too obvious. I figure it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves of the basics on occasion.)

Everyone should rent "THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE". That's the model for our series. We're gonna put it through our own sci-fi/monster/toy-company prism, but underneath it all is a tale of intrigue -- a long-simmering pot about to boil over in a devastating way. That's ROSWELL. That's our show.


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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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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES Bible: 10th Chunk.

THE ENEMY

The Politics of Space Travel
1. The first thing you need to know is this: in our version of the universe, Warp Drive Doesn't Exist. No wormholes, no stargates, no faster than light travel at all. The Speed of Light seems to be a brick wall. Want to travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri (@ 4.3 light-years away)? The best you could possibly do is to borrow a Lycanth Huntership, the fastest fuel-recycler on this side of the galaxy. And, it'll still take you five years to get from here to there.

Communication is only slightly faster. There's no "sub-space". No short-cuts. Information can be transmitted at the Speed of Light, but no faster. So if all you want to do is send a message to Alpha Centauri, they'll receive the call a mere 4.3 years after you've placed it. Of course, they're response is gonna take another 4.3 years, but what can you do?

The Galaxy, of course, is vast. So if an extraterrestrial race wants to come to our world, it's gonna take them some time. Now some alien species have a relatively long life span. If necessary, these voyagers have the option of sitting through the long, long boring trip. Others are left with only two choices: Sleep-Ships and City-Ships (or a combination of both).

A Sleep-Ship puts its occupant in cryo-stasis for the bulk of the journey. Computers and automatons run the ship, waking the sleepers upon arrival or in case of emergency. Sleep-Ships are used when the individual traveler is important. Of course, Sleep-Ships have certain disadvantages. To begin with, you're counting on machines to make crucial and complex decisions while you sleep. Also, you never know what you're going to find when you arrive, let alone what the situation might be like when you get back. Say you want to visit a planet two hundred light years away. You board a Sleep-Ship and go into stasis. You wake up, refreshed, two hundred and twenty five years later. No problem. It only seems like a few minutes to you. You take a two week vacation on the alien world and then reboard your Sleep-Ship for the return voyage. Two hundred and twenty-five years later, you're back on the old homeworld. Problem is, a lot can change in 450 years. Everyone you knew is almost certainly dead. Potentially, the entire planet might be dead.

By contrast, a City-Ship creates an environment where a community can live, thrive and evolve during the long journey. Crew members will mate, procreate, age and eventually die. Their offspring will mate, procreate, age and eventually die. And so on. The idea isn't for any individual to arrive at the destination, but for an entire society to arrive. Adaptation is built into the process. Plus the culture is brought along for the ride. There's less of a need to return to the old world. City-Ships tend to be favored for colonization.

Often, City-Ships have cryo-stasis capabilities. Individuals are placed in cryo-stasis at the beginning of a voyage and awakened periodically to make sure that the City-Ship's society hasn't gotten too far off track. This also sounds like a better idea in theory then it winds up being in practice. Inevitably, there tends to be some conflict (sometimes violent conflict) between the sleeping population and the descendants of the original crew. Call it a generational gap.

2. The second thing you need to know about the universe is that habitable planets are not a dime a dozen. The reason Earth is a destination resort for all these alien species is because it's a relatively primitive, unspoiled and/or exploitable location that is capable of sustaining life as we know it. And because there aren't a lot of better alternatives out there.

ALIEN RACES
Again, the universe is vast. Our Milky Way Galaxy is pretty dang immense all by itself. Somewhere out there, there must be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of habitable planets each filled with one or more sentient alien species. But forget about that, because they're just too darn far away for us to worry about.

We're not going to meet 100 different alien species. In the 22 hours of programming we're planning, we won't even meet 22 separate species. That doesn't mean we won't be introducing a new species here and there. But when we do, it's a momentous event. In our first few episodes -- as we introduce all the various concepts -- it might seem like we're doing alien-of-the-week. But it'll soon be clear that's not the case. We're NOT doing alien-of-the-week.

Our series is basically a THRILLER. Sure we have scary monsters, great action, humor, romance and lots of neato gear. But the intrigue, the machinations, is going to be what sets us apart from our many competitors.

THE SIDHE
The Sidhe were the first extraterrestrials to arrive on our world and stay. They landed in a single City-Ship in the year 527 B.C. Sidhe have a life span of approximately two hundred years. Do the math, and you'll realize that there isn't a Sidhe living on the planet who wasn't born here. They believe that Earth is their home. They believe that certainly they have as much of a right to be here as native humans. Their homeworld, if it still exists at all, is a distant memory.

The Sidhe did not come here to conquer our planet, but to carve out a life for themselves on our frontier world. They were always happy to coexist with humans, in the same way they'd coexist with a bear, rabbit or honeybee. But times have changed.

The Sidhe are a race more of energy than of matter. Through concentration and training, they are capable of coalescing their energy into a more solid human form. They can pass as either Tall Women or Short Men. (Sidhe society is matriarchal. Women are Sidhe Warriors. Men, who are objectively the weaker sex physically, are not treated as equals.)

Today, the Sidhe live among humans (mostly in the British Isles, France and Canada), but secretly maintain their tight-knit clans. Each clan is ruled by a Matriarch known as the Barrow Sidhe, and each Barrow reports to the Bhan Sidhe. The current Bhan Sidhe is Siobhan's mother RAEBHAN, (pronounced rah-VAWN) daughter of Moerbhan, daughter of Obraebhan, daughter of Maebhan, etc.

The Sidhe currently have a treaty with the Alliance that places strict limits on their Expansion. Travel is restricted. New clans may not be initiated. Human forms must always be worn in public. Despite the harshness of the terms, today's Alliance generally considers the Sidhe to be a tough, but honorable race. Occasionally, an individual Warrior might create some problems, but in general the Sidhe keep to themselves and cause little trouble.

THE NOSFERATU
The Nosferatu departed NOSFERATCH, their over-populated home planet, in search of new worlds to conquer. They traveled in a Giant City-Ship called THE VAMPYRCH. A percentage of The Vampyrch's crew were put in cryo-stasis. The rest were left awake to handle whatever crisis might arise.

Nosferatu have a life span of approximately 100 years. But the Voyage of The Vampyrch was a long one. It seemed like there was always a new solar system just around the corner that was bound to have a promising planet or two. But no. Nothing. For centuries and centuries... Nothing. Aboard The Vampyrch, new Nosferatu were born and old ones died. Meanwhile the rest slept in stasis. The centuries slid by.... And nothing.

Then finally, they found Earth. The sleeping Nosferatu were brought out of stasis in the year 744 A.D. But they found that they no longer had much in common with their descendants aboard The Vampyrch.

Today's Nosferatu are the descendants of the Nosferatu brought out of stasis upon arrival on our world. They are tall creatures that move upright on snake-like tails instead of legs. They have long necks and long arms, with long tapered hands and long tapered fingers. They look like nothing so much as human cobras, complete with a cobra's hood. Passing for human is possible, but difficult. The tail must be hidden under robes or long capes. The hood must be decorated to look like a piece of clothing as opposed to an organic body part. And even then it had better be dark, if you don't want the average human to scream.

Of course, the average human would have reason to scream. Nosferatu feed on blood, and they are bent on the conquest of our world. Really, the only thing that has stopped them is their limited numbers. Nosferatu have a life span of approximately 100 years, and they are hardly a prolific race. Nosferatu are asexual and reproduce asexually in a process that has more in common with cloning then anything we would call conception.

In addition, the Nosferatu have no desire to repeat the mistakes of The Vampyrch. So even today, here on this world, they take turns going into and out of cryo-stasis, so that they never again lose track of their mission of conquest. It is therefore possible to have a seven hundred year old Nosferatu standing next to a seventy year old Nosferatu. In either case, guessing their ages would be extremely difficult, as Nosferatu shed their skin periodically, remaining perpetually youthful in appearance, no matter how old they are internally.

The Nosferatu are always led by the oldest Nosferat currently not in stasis. The leader of the moment is eighty-three year old SAVET, born a good couple thousand years ago on Nosferatch. His second-in-command is his twenty year old son SAVETRE, who looks almost exactly like his father.

The Alliance is aware of the Nosferatu, and consider them to be the greatest alien menace on the planet. At the first clue to Nosferatu whereabouts or activity, the Alliance will mobilize to crush their primary opponent. Most of the Nosferatu currently live in Eurasia, but they have secret embassies all over the world.

THE VAMPYRU
Over the centuries that The Vampyrch was traveling the galaxy, the inhabitants who were not in cryo-stasis adapted. They learned to control the shedding of their skin, in order to alter their appearance. By the time The Vampyrch landed on Earth, these new generation Nosferatu had little in common with the ancient cousins that were brought out of cryo-stasis. Conquest was no longer a priority. After centuries cooped up in a ship, the planet Earth seemed to offer a cornucopia of delights. The newly awakened old-style Nosferatu tried to get the new crowd back in line, but they refused. Taking the name Vampyru, this new race dedicated itself to it's own pursuit of choice: Pleasure.

The Vampyru are heavy-duty hedonists. They still drink blood to sustain their lives and because, hey, it's a laugh. But they've developed a palate for food and drink as well. They are a very sensuous and sensual race. They still reproduce asexually, but by shedding their skin, a Vampyr can easily blend into human society. It helps that the race has evolved a pair of legs, but any individual Vampyr can also be male or female, old or young, black or white -- and then start over again the next day. With a bit of study and practice, they can even pose as a specific human and attempt to take that person's place.

Vampyru and Nosferatu: there's no love lost between these cousins. The Nosferatu regard the Vampyru as frivolous traitors and have vowed to someday make them toe the line. For their part, the Vampyru like the status quo. Traditionally, they've maintained an active interest in thwarting the conquest schemes of the Nosferatu.

None of this means that the Alliance and the Vampyru are buddies.

The Vampyru think of Earth as their own personal playground. Naive humans peacefully go about their business in a blissful state of ignorance. The Vampyru can pick and choose their victims, practically on demand. Playground, nothing: it's a candy store.

The Alliance is NOT o.k. with that. The problem is that the very nature of the Vampyru make it nearly impossible to track them down. They have no leader. No society. They've simply scattered to the four corners of the world to follow their individual appetites.

Both the Nosferatu and the Vampyru secrete a drug in their saliva which can temporarily enslave a once-bitten human.

THE LYCANTH
Frankly, the Lycanth are just all over the place. They come; they go. They come back again; they go away again. The first Lycanth on Earth probably pre-date the Sidhe. But they didn't stay. Not as a group. Trouble with the Lycanth is that they have short life spans. They mature quickly; a four year old Lycanth is fully grown. But they're slowing down by age ten. A twenty year old Lycanth is a rarity. You can see their dilemma. It's hard to set long-term policy when one's life tends toward the short term.

Thus by definition, the Lycanth (males and females) live life in the fast lane. They build fast and efficient Sleep-Ships, and they travel a lot, usually in packs. They hunt. They breed -- prolifically. They fight among themselves for power. They make war against their enemies. They are a highly aggressive species. Life is short, so they make it one big adventure.

The Lycanth are DNA-adapters. When a compatible DNA sample is introduced into an individual Lycanth's system, he or she can incorporate the new structure into his or her own matrix, allowing the Lycanth to morph from one biological structure to another or even to create combination forms from whatever DNA he or she has had access to. In simple terms, a Lycanth can look human one minute and then transform into a bear. Or a wolf. Or a large bat. Or a Yeti. Or a wolf-bat. Or a wolf-man. Or a bear-Lycanth. Or a Yeti-rabbit. Etc. Gender remains the same. So does mass, though volume can change within reason. Because mass remains constant, and because the average Lycanth is actually 25% larger than the average human, a Lycanth posing as a human is going to be denser than a true human. On the other hand, a Lycanth posing as a Yeti is going to be considerably lighter than average. Lycanth seem to be able to DNA-adapt any mammalian species. That includes humans, Yeti, gorillas, dolphins, etc. But it doesn't include the reptilian Nosferatu and Vampyru, nor does it include the Sidhe, who may have once been mammals, but have evolved beyond that into a complex hybrid of matter and energy. Lycanth transformations require some effort and are painful. A Lycanth is vulnerable during his or her transformation, but recovery time is swift.

Among their other lovely traits, the Lycanth are slavers. To the Lycanth, Earthlings look like profitable slaves. So even at their least organized, the Lycanth are constantly showing up, abducting humans, sticking them in cryo-sleep and taking off again. At least that's what they would be doing if the Alliance wasn't around to stop them.

THE QUA-YETI
The Qua-Yeti are a powerful but peaceful people. Once upon a time, on their homeworld, the white-furred Qua lived out their primitive existence in the high mountains. Then the Lycanth arrived. They took one look at the Yeti and realized they had hit a slave trader's jackpot. The Yeti had no knowledge of technology. They possessed phenomenal physical strength and they could survive, even thrive, in temperatures and conditions that few other races (or even machines) could endure. The Lycanth enslaved hundreds of Yeti and took them to other worlds. But some of these slaves were quick studies. Yearning for their freedom, the Yeti learned how to use the Lycanth's technology. They bided their time. Unlike their short-lived masters, Yeti's have been known to live for 1000 years. When the time was right, they rebelled, escaping the Lycanth in stolen Sleep-Ships. Unfortunately, the Yeti were too large to fit inside Lycanth stasis chambers. So they had to endure decades of space travel in lonely cramped isolation. Returning to their homeworld would have been hopeless: the Lycanth had completely overrun the place. So they chose another destination where the Lycanth were not in full control. In the year 1780, a small group of about forty Qua-Yeti landed on Earth. They made their way to the Himalayan Mountains. They're still there, for the most part, about a hundred of them now. Males, females, children. The Qua-Yeti have a treaty with the Alliance. They remain in hiding in the Himalayas, and the Alliance leaves them alone.

THE CHASTA-YETI
The Chasta come from the same planet as the Qua. Where the white-furred Qua lived in the high mountains and polar regions, the brown-furred Chasta lived in the low hills, forests and plains. Long before the Lycanth discovered the Qua, they had enslaved nearly the entire Chasta population. When the Qua rebelled, the Chasta rebelled with them, but they had already endured ten times the hardship of the Qua. The Chasta may have been peaceful once upon a time, but now they are a belligerent, even paranoid race. The Chasta also arrived on Earth in 1780. They hid in deep forests, on mountains and in jungles that were once nearly devoid of human life. Now humanity encroaches. The Chasta-Yeti also have a treaty with the Alliance, but the Alliance knows that the Chasta are less content than their Qua cousins.

THE SKRAY
The Skray are an amphibious alien race that have been here for ninety years. The Alliance has no idea that the Skray even exist. No idea that our oceans are filling with Skray fortresses and little Skray hatchlings. Surprise!

THE PHARAOH
The Pharaoh are travelers, historians. A peaceful race. They are also radioactive. And vaguely cadaverous in appearance. To protect the native races they visit, they wear containment suits that once upon a time inspired the ancient Egyptians and Peruvians to try their hand at mummification. The Alliance believes that the benevolent Pharaoh haven't been on Earth for a few centuries.

THE VINAE
The Vinae are a silicon-based lifeform. They look vaguely demonic, with stony visages, large bat-shaped wings, horns and haunches. When a Vinae dies, its body hardens. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a Vinae corpse and a stone gargoyle. The Alliance is therefore unaware that the nomadic Vinae have periodically visited our world.

THE GRAYMEN
The Graymen are the fictional aliens created by the Alliance as part of the Roswell Conspiracy. Or so we've been led to believe....

THE CADRE
In 1942, while the human world was in the midst of its most horrible war, four alien races entered into a devil's agreement to form a Cadre. These races were the Nosferatu, the Lycanth, the Chasta-Yeti and the Sidhe. Their plan was to use the chaos of World War II to take the planet and divide it amongst themselves.

Perhaps the plan was doomed from the start. Each race had a very different reason for participating in the Cadre. The Nosferatu saw it as their big chance to finally conquer the world. The Sidhe, disgusted with humanity's petty but devastating wars, simply wanted to set Earth's affairs in order. The Chasta-Yeti felt that the humans were inadvertently leaving them with no other alternative. Already, the ancient forests were vanishing, leaving the Chasta with nowhere to go. The Lycanth were just greedy for spoils, and spoiling for a fight.

Once Burdette discovered the Cadre's existence, it was relatively easy to sew dissension within its ranks. How hard could it be to convince the Sidhe that the Nosferatu wouldn't want to share power, when in fact the Nosferatu didn't want to share power? How hard could it be to convince the Chasta that the Lycanth were simply exploiting them in a new and different way, when the Chasta had centuries of experience suffering under Lycanth exploitation? How hard could it be to trick the Vampyru into undercutting the Cadre's plans, when the Vampyru already hated the Nosferatu and were determined not to let them take the planet? How hard could it be to draft the Qua-Yeti to talk some sense into the Chasta when both races faced similar challenges, but both races would clearly gain few tangible benefits under Nosferatu or Lycanth domination? How hard could it be to convince the Sidhe that being a part of the Cadre was a dishonor to their proud warrior traditions, when the Sidhe basically knew that already? How hard could it be?

O.K., it was a little hard. But it could have been a lot worse. In September, 1945, the Sidhe pulled out of the Cadre and agreed to stay neutral. The Chasta-Yeti joined with the Qua-Yeti, luring the Lycanth and Nosferatu to the Himalayas and a joint Yeti/Alliance ambush. The Lycanth HunterPack was all but wiped out. The Nosferatu, whose forces had been infiltrated by Vampyru impostors, were also decimated. They scurried back under their rocks with their tails between their legs. (Well, they don't have legs, but you get the idea.)

To top it off, the Battle of the Himalayas was immediately followed by a mini-war between the Vampyru and the Nosferatu that further thinned out the ranks of both races.

All in all, it was a stunning victory for the Alliance and (an ignorant) humanity.

It would take decades for the Nosferatu, Lycanth and even the Vampyru to build up their numbers again, let alone form any significant opposition to the Alliance.

The Sidhe, the Chasta-Yeti and the Qua-Yeti were all more or less coerced into signing one-sided treaties.

And the Alliance was sitting pretty.

Since then, operatives of the Alliance have faced numerous aliens. Numerous individual aliens. The occasional Pack of Lycanth Hunters. Every so often, an embassy full of Nosferatu. A Vampyru couple, a rogue Sidhe or a Chasta gone berserk. Not to imply that all these aliens aren't extremely dangerous, but let's be honest... The Alliance has had it easy.

Since 1945, they've never faced any organized alien opposition. By the time the year 2000 hits, the Alliance is going to be looking back on the twentieth century as the good old days. Because things are about to change. Things are about to get nasty.

THE AGENDA
It's taken decades to recover from the Cadre debacle. Soon the time will come to strike. The same mistakes will not be made again. It doesn't take a World War and an alien coup to take over the planet. All it takes is an AGENDA and a little bit of patience.

There's still a need to gather allies, but it's going to be easier this time. And one big reason it's going to be easier is the Alliance itself. The Sidhe and the Chasta don't like their treaties. And nobody likes the Alliance's policy of Containment. The Alliance itself has inadvertently created the greatest threat to humanity's existence: a rallying point, a common enemy to every alien on Earth. It's the Agenda vs. the Alliance in a fight to the finish. I'll say it again. Things are about to get nasty.


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE: 9th Chunk

THE MISSION
The Mission is pretty simple and based on this premise: Aliens are unwelcome trespassers on our planet, and 95% of them are up to no good.

The Alliance's Mission Statement reads as follows:

Contain any and all Extraterrestrial Expansion on our world.

DEFINITIONS
An "Extraterrestrial" is defined as any individual born of a non-terrestrial species. Individuals born on the planet Earth of one or more alien parents are still classified as Extraterrestrials.

"Expansion" can be defined as (a) new alien arrivals that expand the Extraterrestrial population on Earth; (b) covert alien activity that expands Extraterrestrial power or influence on Earth, or (c) overt alien activity that might reveal the true nature of the Extraterrestrial presence on Earth, thus inevitably increasing Extraterrestrial influence.

"Containment" is defined as (a) discouraging or preventing all alien arrivals; (b) encouraging alien departures; (c) monitoring all alien communication; (d) thwarting covert alien activity; (e) preventing the spread of Extraterrestrial power and influence; (f) crushing overt alien activity; (g) maintaining the secrecy of any true Extraterrestrial presence; (h) enforcing treaties with compliant Extraterrestrials; (i) forcing non-treaty aliens to leave our world, or (j) imprisoning any aliens who do not cooperate. Containment is to be carried out with extreme prejudice.

Surprisingly, there is very little conflict within the Alliance or TGA with regard to releasing the truth about aliens to the general public. There isn't really anyone who thinks that would be fun. Instead, the most controversial part of the Alliance's Mission Statement lies within the (a) definition of "Expansion". It is the single word "arrivals". Are there any circumstances under which a new alien -- or race of aliens -- could or should be welcomed to our world? And, more important, does the word "arrival" include only new-comers from other worlds... or does it also include new-born extraterrestrials born on this world? This one word represents the grey area of our series, and is particularly embodied by our alien leads, Siobhan, Tuk and (to a lesser extent) Aidan.

The Alliance has treaties with three alien races that have small populations on Earth: The Sidhe, the Qua-Yeti and the Chasta-Yeti. But these treaties are extremely one-sided -- in the Alliance's favor. The slightest breach on the part of any of our Extraterrestrial allies is an excuse for the Alliance to come down, and come down hard.

THE BUNKER
When you get to Roswell, head south past the river toward Mount Harvey. About ten miles before the mountain, you'll see a turn off for the Old Vasquez Ranch, currently owned by Sheriff Emeritus Jack McKay. Six miles further down the road is ThreeHawks Ranch, the property of retired Air Force Captain Will Hawking. McKay's is a cattle ranch. Hawking raises dairy goats, and does a good business in cheese. His place stretches from it's common border with the Vasquez Ranch, all the way to the northern slope of Mount Harvey. McKay's property is L-shaped and corners around 3Hawks to stop against the mountain's western slope.

Now go underground. Way underground. And welcome to the Bunker.

Fifty years ago, the entire Alliance fit under Vasquez. But times have changed. The Alliance and the Bunker have grown.

Acres. Vasquez and 3Hawks are both large spreads, and every inch of dirt now acts as cover to some portion of the Bunker. And Mount Harvey... well, it's hollow. Reinforced with steel. But hollow. Once again, welcome to the Bunker.

"Inquiry" is based under Vasquez. Take the TurboLift down from McKay's ranch house (or any of six other locations on Vasquez) and you'll find one hundred private quarters, forty offices and the "Assignment Desk". The Desk keeps track of every mysterious report, every flare up of alien activity and every Inquiry Agent. The desk is generally manned by Aidan Maguire, who considers it part of his job description. After all, how can he keep Hawking informed, if he doesn't know everything that's going on. Inquiry has its own "Motor Pool", plus SpeedRail Links to the other Sections and Centers.

"Management" and "Research" are both housed under 3Hawks. Again you have 100 living quarters, plus 100 small laboratories and five huge Research Chambers for the really dangerous experiments. There's one additional Research Chamber carved into the peak of Mount Harvey. This chamber includes a powerful radio telescope and super-computer, hooked to a network of orbiting satellites, designed to provide an early warning system for any new alien arrivals.

Beneath this Chamber, Harvey houses "Delivery". There are ten large apartments. An armory. An immense hangar. Training rooms. A Command Center and a War Room.

And finally, there's "Surplus". If any section of the Alliance has grown exponentially, it's the Alliance prison. Most of Mount Harvey is Surplus, and that includes Harvey's fifteen below ground stories. In addition, Surplus still maintains the Alliance's original Lock-Up on the lowest four levels of Vasquez. And it's still not enough. Surplus spills out into the sections of both Vasquez and 3Hawks that border Mt. Harvey. These newest sections are particularly problematic, because they were not originally designed to house prisoners. Lower security risks have been placed in these sections, but everyone knows it's a flaw in the system.

Locations within the Bunker are designated by first listing the Center, then the Level (in positive or negative numbers), followed by a slash mark, the pod letter and room number. For example, Markus' living quarters are Vasquez-6/C2. The office he shares with Tri is Vasquez-3/A7. Hawking lives in the ThreeHawks Ranch house, officially known as 3HawksØ. Siobhan's living quarters are at Harvey+8/A4. (Frankly, I don't know if this is going to matter, but I thought I'd stick it in anyway. Might help us to maintain consistency down the line.)

GEAR
The Alliance has recruited some of the most brilliant minds on the planet to join "Research". And guys like Tib are always coming up with new stuff. In addition, the Alliance isn't shy about confiscating and exploiting alien technology. All in all, the operatives have a lot at their disposal.

Only one problem. The Alliance is a secret. And so is its on-going effort to control the invading aliens. Most everything has to be able to pass for something else. Which gives us the opportunity for transforming vehicles, hidden weapons and more. Motorcycles that transform and fly. Trucks that become Tanks. Etc. "Delivery" does have a couple of heavily armored all-terrain monstrosities that cannot pass, but they are only used in cases of extreme emergency.

The most common weapon (standard issue for every Inquiry or Research Cell Agent) is "The Torch". The multi-purpose Torch appears to be an ordinary black metal flashlight. But with the flick of a hidden switch, it can telescope out into a (light but sturdy) metal short staff for hand-to-hand combat. One end of the staff holds an electrical charge that can be used as a taser. The other end, fires off a plasma burst that can blow a sizable hole through a brick wall. The Torch is also a communications device and has a built-in homing beacon for tracking wayward agents (or at least for tracking wayward Torches). It's also a working flashlight, and makes a passable doorstop.

Of course, Harris can't be bothered with anything quite so polite. He's into big guns. Magno-Axes. Pulse grenades that can take out a battalion of baddies. Demolition stuff. Scary looking ordinance. Since he's part of Delivery's crisis response team, he doesn't have to be as careful about laying low. If it weren't a last resort emergency, he wouldn't be there in the first place. Plus he doesn't have to clean up after himself, so he isn't shy about doing some real damage with some really impressive toys.


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE: 8th Chunk

SUPPORTING CAST

THE QUICK
AIDAN MAGUIRE
Like Siobhan, Aidan is Sidhe. But that's where the resemblance ends. The Sidhe are a matriarchal race. And that's no accident. Females of the species are incredibly powerful. Males are not. Aidan is 4'11", which is average height for his race and gender. When Aidan takes his Sidhe form, there's no great release of energy. No Banshee wail or bolts of lightning. He can float and he can pass through solid objects, but that can be a handicap, as he can't physically touch or move anything.

Aidan was born in Scotland in 1930. When he was fourteen years old he met Warren Burdette and told him of the existence of the Cadre. When the Alliance was formed, the young Aidan became Burdette's aide-de-camp. He now performs the exact same function for Hawking. In theory, Aidan is 69 years old, but his race is extremely long-lived. Except for his white hair, he hardly looks a day over twenty.

JOHN GERALD MCKAY
Jack McKay is Hawking's peer and best friend. Like Hawking, he's a veteran of WWII and numerous alien conflicts. He's seventy-seven years old. A good old boy from Texas. Once upon a time, he was a star athlete at his high school, but these days he doesn't look much like an action hero. He's about 5'10", has quite a spread around his gut and a distinct lack of hair on top of his head. But he's still sharp as a tack. He's theoretically retired from the Alliance, but his "homespun advice" is usually dead on the money. Both Hawking and Artie Kateras count on him for strategy and feedback. Like Hawking, McKay is a consummate actor, though he only ever plays one part: the common sense Sheriff Emeritus. An Andy Taylor for the conspiracy set.

TRISH AINSLEY
Now 73 years old, Trish Ainsley was once a key operative of the Alliance. That changed when she got pregnant with Patricia and left the organization so that her daughter could have a normal life. She had originally hoped that Hawking would leave as well, and she was tremendously disappointed when he chose to stay in Roswell. Years later, she was equally devastated when her daughter enlisted too -- though it was Trish that presented Patricia with the choice in the first place. Trish loves her daughter. And deep-down, she still loves her husband as much as she ever did. But something else has changed. For reasons that aren't yet entirely clear, Trish seems to have soured on the Alliance completely. She knows something that we don't.

FRANK DOMINIC
Markus' cousin Dom is 42 years old. He's a big man -- bigger than Markus -- who's put on a bit of a spare tire, but still looks like he could hold his own in a brawl. These days Dom describes himself as a small businessman, who spends his days sitting behind the only desk at Dominic Bail Bonds in Los Angeles. But Dom was once the best skip tracer in the business, and he taught his younger cousin Tony everything he knows. When things at the Alliance get too weird, Dom is the guy Markus turns to for cool-headed advice. When nothing is as it seems, and nobody can be trusted, Dom is always gonna be Dom.

THE DEAD
WARREN BURDETTE
Died in his sleep in 1982 at the age of 83. Burdette founded the Alliance and was it's first Night Officer, a position he held until the day he died. He was a tough, smart man and a hero to Aidan Maguire, Will Hawking and many others. He's still missed.

SEGUNDO VASQUEZ
Dr. Vasquez was a brilliant theoretical physicist and one of the original agents of the Alliance. A chain-smoker, he died of lung cancer in 1961 at the age of 50.

MICHAEL TYLER
Another charter operative, Dr. Tyler was killed in early 1999 in the line of duty. He was 84 years old, had led Alpha Cell since 1945, and had run the entire "Research" Section since 1964. Despite Tyler's advanced age, Hawking felt that Alpha never worked better than when Michael was teamed with Miguel Cabral and Michel Thibideaux. "The Mikes" worked in perfect synch until the day Tyler was killed.

ERICH DIENER
Erich Diener of West Berlin was recruited to join the Alliance when West Germany joined TGA in 1955. At the time he was 25 years old. While an "Inquiry" agent, he met and fell in love with "Surplus" worker Maria Vasquez. They were married in 1970 and had two children, Alex and Gisela. Erich was killed on a mission in 1980. He was 50 years old. His daughter was only five.

MARIA VASQUEZ DIENER
Maria Vasquez was the daughter of Segundo Vasquez. She joined "Surplus" section in 1957 when she was 18 years old. Her father died when she was 22. She married Erich Diener in 1970. She was 31 years old. Alex was born in 1971, Gisela in 1975. Erich was killed in 1980. Maria was killed during a prison break in 1989. She was 50 years old, the same age her father and her husband were at the time of their deaths.

REIKO TAKASHI
Reiko Takashi of Nagasaki, Japan, joined "Inquiry" in 1996, when Hawking finally convinced TGA to allow him to recruit individuals into the Alliance without regard for their citizenship. For almost three years, Reiko was Tri Chung's partner. She was as open and warm as he was taciturn and closed off. They fell in love. Although the Alliance encourages "office romance," no one thought it would be a good idea for "Inquiry" partners to marry. Reiko applied for a transfer to "Delivery". But before her request could be acted on, she and Michael Tyler were killed during a mission. Tri was there, but couldn't save her. It was early in 1999. Reiko was 32 years old.

M.I.A.
JOSEPH TEN-SAMSONS SENIOR
Joseph Ten-Samsons Senior was one of the original operatives of the Alliance. He led "Delivery" for years, just as his son does now. In 1980, he disappeared while on a mission in Ireland. He was 55 years old. He hasn't been seen since, but if he's alive today he'd be 74 years old.

NIKO KATERAS
Artie's uncle Niko joined the Alliance in 1972 when he was 21 years old. He was an "Inquiry" Senior Agent for years. He and his nephew Apollo disappeared in 1997. They were not on duty at the time. Niko was 46 then, and he'd be 48 now.

APOLLO KATERAS
Artie's twin brother Apollo was recruited with her by their uncle Niko in 1983. They were 22. Both of them entered "Inquiry" together. Artemis excelled. Apollo did not. He transferred to "Surplus." Apollo and his uncle Niko disappeared without a trace in 1997. They were not on duty at the time. Apollo was 36 then, and he'd be 38 now.


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Roswell Conspiracies Bible: 7th Chunk

Here's the 7th Chunk from the darn long Roswell Conspiracies Bible:

THE ALLIANCE - TODAY.
[NOTE: This is a snapshot, taken (more or less) at the beginning of our second episode. What follows represents each character's job assignment at that time. Over the course of our series, we can expect a lot of shifting. Markus, in particular, will fast-track through the ranks, until in our final episode, he'll become the Alliance's third and final "Night Officer". For the purpose of our character's ages, I'm assuming that "today's date" is September, 1999. ]

"MANAGEMENT"
NIGHT OFFICER - WILLIAM T. HAWKING
Since the Alliance was formally inaugurated in February, 1945, it has only ever had two Night Officers. The first was the late "General" Warren Burdette. The second was and is Will Hawking, who's been with the Alliance from the beginning. Hawking is tall (over six feet), thin and fit. He's seventy-seven years old, way past the age of retirement. He claims he'd be happy to step down -- if anyone ever got up the nerve to suggest it out loud. He's British, but he's posed as an American for so long that he's no longer sure which of his accents is real, which affected. He's a veteran of World War II and an additional few hundred alien conflicts. Once upon a time, he was Burdette's right-hand man. There isn't any job in the Alliance (save for some of the hard science positions) that Hawking hasn't personally tackled and excelled at. Today, he cuts a lean, hard figure. With his gray crewcut, he resembles nothing so much as a steel beam -- in both appearance and temperament. He does, however, have a grim sense of humor, or at least an appreciation of irony. He's also a consummate actor. At the drop of a hat, he can appear to be a tired old man, a paranoid or an eccentric, a showman or a recluse... or all of the above at the exact same time.

The Alliance is a lean organization. Hawking has a small command staff working under him, but he largely counts on his four SECTION CHIEFS to keep "Management" informed and the Alliance running smoothly.

"INQUIRY"
SECTION CHIEF - ARTEMIS KATERAS
Artie Kateras is a thirty-eight year old woman with light brown hair. Born in Greece, she and her twin brother Apollo were recruited into the Alliance by their uncle Niko when they were in their early twenties. Artie is very down to Earth and had no trouble fitting into what was then the largely male world of the Alliance. She rose quickly through the ranks. When Jack McKay retired, he hand-picked Artie to take his place as Section Chief of "Inquiry". Today, it is very much HER section, remade in her image. "Inquiry" is an Alliance euphemism for the multiple investigative units that seek out any sign of alien activity throughout the world. Artie rarely goes out in the field herself, but she chooses and pairs her agents carefully. She knows how to listen to them, and she knows how to drive them to get the information the Alliance needs.

"Inquiry" is the largest of the Alliance's four Sections. Artie currently has thirty-five investigative units working under her command. That's seventy agents. (Don't panic. We'll focus on two units. Four agents.)

UNIT #7
SENIOR AGENT - TRI CHUNG
Tri is Chinese-Vietnamese. He was born in Vietnam but when Saigon fell, he had to flee by boat as a child. He wound up in San Francisco. The Alliance recruited him out of the F.B.I. when he was in his late twenties. Today, he's thirty-six years old. A suit and tie type. He's about 5'7" and in excellent physical condition. He's smart, fast and experienced. Like his new partner Markus, he's not too talkative, which is probably how both men manage to get along. Tri's former partner was REIKO TAKASHI. Tri was in love with her. She's dead now.

SECOND AGENT - TONY MARKUS
Markus is young, but hard. As taciturn as his partner. He's big on observation. Big on determination. He's also a fast study. He knows he can learn a lot from Chung, whom he quietly respects. Markus is 25 years old and approximately six feet tall. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California.

UNIT #27
SENIOR AGENT - ALEX DIENER
Alex is a third generation operative of the Alliance, joyously following in the footsteps of his grandfather, mother and father. Alex lived above the Bunker on the Vasquez Ranch until he was eighteen, when he was officially recruited into the family business. Alex is German on his father's side. Mexican-American on his mother's. At heart, he is a rogue and a pirate: life has to get pretty grim for Alex to take it seriously. He's very good-looking with brown skin, jet black hair and the devil's own smile. He's about 5'10". Because Alex's grandfather, father and mother each died at the age of 50, twenty-eight year old Alex is convinced that he's currently invulnerable. He's equally convinced that he's destined to die in 2021, the year he himself turns fifty.

SECOND AGENT - CLEA BALEWA
Clea is Nigerian. She's a pretty and petite 5'4" with very short hair. She dresses chic, though not sexy. She's warm, open, funny. Simply a joy to be around. She's also smart (heck, everyone in the Alliance is smart), highly-trained and dangerous when necessary. She's 23 years old and has been an operative of the Alliance (and Alex's partner) for a year.

"RESEARCH"
SECTION CHIEF - DR. MIGUEL CABRAL
Dr. Cabral is Portuguese. He's forty-two years old and specializes in theoretical physics. He's a bullish guy, short with very broad shoulders, dark hair and a mustache. He's the impatient type. Always scowling. And, of course, flat-out brilliant. He's been an operative of the Alliance for twelve years. He was a protégé of Dr. Michael Tyler's (the previous Section Chief) and considered the late scientist to be both his mentor and his best friend.

Cabral's "Research" Section -- a.k.a. the Alliance's scientific branch -- operates from a pool of some fifty experts, specialists and technicians all working in well-equipped labs inside the Bunker. A few of these scientists have received additional training so that they can function in the field as "Research Cells." There are four cells of three scientists each. Cabral gets antsy inside his lab, so when it's called for, he leads Alpha Cell himself.

ALPHA CELL
CELL LEADER/PHYSICS - DR. MIGUEL CABRAL
(See above.)

TECHNOLOGY - MICHEL THIBIDEAUX
Tib is French. Twenty-eight years old, from Paris. He's 5'9" with bleached-blond spiky hair. He's highly enthusiastic. And very good with his hands. Tib was personally recruited by Dr. Tyler in 1995 when France rejoined TGA. For four years, until Tyler was killed, Alpha Cell was known as "The Three Mikes" (Michael, Miguel and Michel). Despite their age differences, they were very tight.

BIOLOGY - DR. GISELA DIENER
Gisela is Alex Diener's younger sister. She's twenty-four years old. Blonde, tan, pretty. About 5'8". If Alex is the sinner, Gisela is the saint. Despite her medical and scientific background, Gisela has a distinct spiritual side. Alex can't understand it, but Gisela believes in little things like magic and mysticism, and big things like God and Destiny. Subsequently, she seems more fragile than she really is. Everyone's very protective of Gisela. Both of her parents were killed on Alliance missions. Her father Erich, when she was five years old; her mother Maria, when she was 14. She was basically adopted by the Alliance. They raised, trained and educated her. She joined "Research" after receiving her M.D. at age 19 and her Ph.D. at age 21. After three years in the "pool," Dr. Cabral chose her to replace Dr. Tyler as Alpha Cell's Biological expert.

"DELIVERY"
SECTION CHIEF - JOSEPH TEN-SAMSONS
Joe is another Alliance legacy. His father, Joseph Senior, worked in "Delivery" until the day he disappeared. Joe Jr. is a Navajo Indian, born fifty-two years ago in Roswell, New Mexico, exactly one month before the infamous "Roswell Crash." But don't let his age fool you, Joe is a very young 52. He's over six feet tall and solid as a New Mexico mountain. And there's very little erosion.

"Delivery" is the Alliance's combat unit. They're only sent out in case of an emergency -- to clean up a real mess. Anything short of a disaster can theoretically be handled by one of the other sections. Unfortunately, disasters aren't as uncommon as you might think. Joe always leads his team into battle himself. When that happens, he wears an exo-brace that enhances his natural movements. His strength, agility, etc. are all exponentially increased.

CODENAME: MILKMAN - YA-TUK
Ya-Tuk is an alien. A member of the peaceful, reclusive QUA-YETI race. Tuk wasn't born here, but he's lived on our world for over two hundred years. (That's almost half his life.) He sincerely wants to help preserve the planet Earth from all its various invaders and so joined the Alliance in August of 1945. He's extremely good-natured. Even a touch mischievous. He's also 8'7" and weighs 524 lbs. He's covered with snow white fur. Ya-Tuk cannot pass for human. So even when a disaster forces "Delivery" Section into the field, Joe still has to decide whether the disaster is big enough to warrant bringing the "Milkman" along. (Of course, it usually is.) Tuk possesses incredible strength, stamina and a complete imperviousness to the cold. He's also has an almost childlike fascination with technology, though his huge four-fingered hands don't exactly lend themselves to this pursuit. His quarters are highly air-conditioned. He's not at all fond of warm weather.

CODENAME: PAPER BOY - SIOBHAN BARROW
Siobhan (pronounced "sha-VAWN") is also an alien. She's a member of the SIDHE (pronounced "shee") race. In fact, her mother is the BHAN SIDHE (pronounced "bVawn SHEE"), Warrior Matriarch of the entire Earth Clan. Siobhan was born on Earth, (specifically in Ireland). Our planet is the only home she's ever known. She's nineteen years old, the youngest, least experienced operative in the entire Alliance. But what she lacks in experience, she makes up for in power. She can pass for human when she wants to: a pretty young woman, 5'10" tall with white-blonde hair and pale, pale blue eyes of (only) a slightly odd shape. But at anytime, she can transform, taking on her true Sidhe appearance with a devastating burst of energy that shreds her clothes and knocks out anyone standing within ten feet of her. When this happens, she becomes a creature less of matter than of energy. Her hair goes shock-white, with a slight blue tint. Her eyes crackle with power. An electric aura surrounds her body, allowing her to float a few feet off the ground or to fire off a bolt of lightning. She is ethereal, capable of passing through solid objects. And she can release the BANSHEE WAIL - a brief but violent burst of sonic energy that few can stand against. In fact, this is Siobhan's true form. Maintaining her human appearance requires some effort and discipline. When she loses consciousness (or even just her concentration), she always reverts to Sidhe.

And just to complicate things a bit more, Siobhan's loyalty isn't exactly at the 100% level. She's torn. Like Ya-Tuk, she wants to protect the planet Earth. But she's just not sure she wants to do that by betraying her own people. When you put all these things together, Siobhan is clearly the most dangerous creature our man Markus has ever encountered. Although the main reason for that is probably still related to the fact that he's falling in love with her.

CODENAME: POSTAL WORKER - CEDRIC HARRIS
Cedric is thirty-six years old. An African-American man from South Bend, Indiana. He's the WeaponsMaster of the group. You don't want to mess with Mr. Harris. He was recruited out of the Navy SEALs when he was only twenty, and he's a battle-hardened veteran of innumerable alien conflicts. He's also huge. Not Ya-Tuk huge, but the human equivalent. If Alex is a tight end, Markus a quarterback and Joe a fullback, then Harris is a linebacker (or two).

"SURPLUS"
SECTION CHIEF - PATRICIA AINSLEY-HAWKING
Patricia is twenty-seven years old. She's Hawking's daughter, but she was raised in England for most of her life by Hawking's estranged wife Trish Ainsley. Against her mother's wishes, Patricia joined the Alliance the moment she turned 21. She requested an assignment to "Surplus" -- considered the least appealing duty in the Bunker -- and quickly rose to the position of Section Chief. Still, her relationship with her father is uneasy at best. The Alliance has made nepotism into something akin to an art-form, but no one can complain about Patricia's performance as Section Chief. She's made sure of that. She believes that distancing herself from her father is a professional necessity, though deep down it's also a personal cop-out. Patricia is a tall red-head, but she's not exactly hot-blooded. She'd almost have to have ice in her veins to run "Surplus," the euphemism for the Alliance's alien prison. Patricia runs that prison with cold efficiency.


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Chapter XXXIII: "The Price"

Ramble, ramble, ramble...

The other night my family and I sat down to watch "The Price"...

Director: Dennis Woodyard.
Writer & Story Editor: Michael Reaves
Based on Comic Book Material by Lee Nordling

RECAP
It seems like I was starting to learn my lesson about not giving too much away in the "Previously on Gargoyles" section. This one is really all about Hudson, and issues of old age and mortality. I think it tends to hint that maybe, just maybe, we were thinking of killing him off. Anyone else think that perhaps we might?

There's some really great, really good looking character work in this animation. Pretty stuff.

There's a great moment where Hudson banks off an office building. Very cool.

Also, I like it on those rare occasions when we do weather in New York. Snow here. Or rain. Usually, it's all left standard for the same reason Elisa usually wears the same clothes. It's cheaper.

As the story opens, we're again trying to set Hudson up for possible termination, at least in the minds of the audience. He says, "Not a bad life all things considered..." which is usually an invitation for something really horrible to happen.

TIER STUFF

This is the last episode of our third tier. I had always hoped it would air last, since what happens at the end to Owen's hand would make interchanging very difficult. But on the first go-round it was ready long before a couple of other eps in the tier. So it aired early. (Particularly before Owen's appearance in "The Cage".) I tried to correct that for later runs. Sometimes with success. Sometimes not.

Anyway, because I couldn't be sure it would air in the right order, you can see that we hedged our bets a bit. Goliath doesn't understand how Macbeth escaped the Weird Sisters. He's not referring to events in "High Noon" which he could not have known about and which I could not guarantee would air before "Price". He's referring to events in "City of Stone, Part IV".

*At the moment he brought them up, my daughter Erin just happened to be coloring a picture of the Sisters drawn by artist David Wong (I think that's his name) who was selling them in the Dealer's Room at the Gathering 2001 in L.A. Erin was very excited by the kismet of the moment.*

Did you guys register Mac's limited dialogue? It would be tough in the first fight by itself. He does have four lines. And GARGOYLES was never a show to go in for extensive quipping during battles. So four lines may have seemed like enough.

And did you register the "Magic Sparkly Powder" when it first hit Hudson?

This ep is fun because there are so many layers of deceit going on.

Note that at this early stage, Goliath doesn't intend to kill Macbeth. He aims for the Sky-sled's control panel and hits it. The fact that the sled goes down is an unfortunate and unavoidable result. And Goliath clearly feels at least a little guilty. Hudson doesn't mind though. He thinks Goliath's action was perfectly reasonable.

I don't suppose anyone thought Mac was really dead? I wasn't really even trying to trick you into that one. Between the immortality info that you (but not the Gargoyles) knew from City of Stone and the early timing of the death in the episode, I figured nobody would be fooled. And I didn't want anyone fooled. Because that wasn't what I wanted to fool you guys about. I didn't want you to figure out that Macbeth was a robot. So I intentionally did not show the body, on the assumption that most everyone knows that if you don't see the body, the victim probably isn't dead. That way when Mac came back, you'd all be thinking, "Hah, Immortal!" instead of "Hah, Robot!"

BTW, everyone always asks how Hudson can believe Mac is dead and then later acknowledge Mac & Demona's immortality to Xanatos. But Hudson was thinking of immortality in the sense of living on without aging, ala the Norse Gods. Not in the sense that Mac was somehow immune to all injury and death ala the Greek Gods. Clear?

Lucky for Xanatos that all the Gargs seem to have favorite poses. (Cheaper that way, don't you know.) Of course it also helps that since they all wake up and go to sleep at the same time, they rarely get a good look at each other's poses. Makes statue prep easier, huh?

Anyway, when Hudson didn't wake up, did everyone buy the magic powder/he's not waking up scenario? Had anyone seen Lee Nordling's Disney Digest comic story that inspired this gimmick. I've never met Lee, but he came up with the idea of replacing a sleeping garg with his statue. He used Goliath, not Hudson. But it was the same basic principle. I gave the idea to Michael (just that notion) and he ran with it to create this entirely different story? Did anyone see Lee's story and still not get it?

I can't remember why we wound up cutting Banquo & Fleance. Guess we were saving money or time at some stage. So Mac's mansion works on auto-pilot, I guess. Though those cannons still aren't too effective against gargs. And who else would attack?

Back to Brooklyn and Broadway guarding "Hudson". We wanted to keep the focus on Hudson, which is tough, since he's not moving. Brooklyn's worried about the reality of being able to find a cure. Again, we're expressing his leadership tendencies without confirming them since we couldn't guarantee that "Upgrade" would air first.

Then, finally at the end of the act, we reveal the real Hudson. My kids got very excited. Erin said: "The stone guy's not the real him." And Benny chimed in with: "That's the real one!" What were you thinking at this moment?

I even had the odd notion last night that we could have gone the direction of Hudson's "prison" being all in his mind. That the statue was him, and that he couldn't wake up until he escaped this mental/dream prison. Obviously, not the way we went. But it's a cool story idea. Anyone think THAT?

So then we come back from commercial and reveal Xanatos who claims he wants Hudson's skin. The line is said in such a way that we and Hudson are geared to think the worst. Which sets up the fun.

Hudson: "You'll have the devil's own time getting it."

Xanatos: "Gee, that wasn't as hard as you made it sound."

Ah, STONE skin. For the Cauldron of Life. I'm pretty sure the Cauldron was Michael's idea.

Everything has a price. Xanatos just doesn't get that yet.

But Hudson has X's number. They're exchanges throughout this episode are a lot of fun. Like a flip on the Goliath/Renard exchanges in "Outfoxed". But better done, frankly. Less preachy.

These exchanges may have been the inspiration for Hudson and Xanatos killing each other in "Future Tense". Owen's watching and subconsciously realizes that in some way, Hudson and Xanatos make better natural adversaries than Goliath and Xanatos. Maybe.

Hudson: "Growing old terrifies you doesn't it?
Xanatos: "Nothing terrifies me, because nothing's beyond my ability to change." (Who else can lie and tell the truth in the same sentence with this much charm. I'm so proud of this boy.)
X: "What about you? Still wasting your nights in front of the television?" (An only semi-dated reference to both Hudson's origins as the comedic gargoyle Ralph and to the way we occasionally still relegated him to clock tower duty in order to have fewer characters to deal with.)

Note that Xanatos plans on giving Fox immortality as well. He knows he loves her at this point. Wouldn't leave her out.

He doesn't mention Owen though, and in general doesn't treat Owen with his usual respect. Goads him a bit. (Macbeth has already died for me once.) Or rather teases him. He probably figures that Owen can take it. But I think it gets to Owen a bit. Xanatos wasn't expecting Owen to test the Cauldron for him. Owen felt the need to prove something. As he says: "Service is its own reward."

Lots of people watched this episode and e-mailed me that X was a big jerk for treating Owen this way. Particularly at the end of the episode when Xanatos seems completely unfazed by Owen's stone hand. Of course in our minds, this was all a very subtle clue to Owen's true identity. Xanatos and Owen both know that this condition is only as permanent as the Puck chooses to make it.

"Over-sized chamber pot." Heh.

X loves them zingers. He nails Hudson with that "the hardest part was finding a replica for your sword."

I like Goliath's desperation in the scene with him and Elisa. "We need a sorceress. We need Demona. You are a detective."

She doesn't know how to find Demona though.

Meanwhile Mac's back, still using only those same four lines. Anyone catch on here? Or wonder why Mac was working for Xanatos again?

Broadway now knows the expression is "Sitting Ducks" not "Sitting Dorks" as he said it in "Enter Macbeth". A little inside joke.

Okay. Very little.

Erin sees Hudson pick up the stone skin and asks what it is.

Sunrise. At the end of Act Two, Elisa has an oddly timed slow reaction to events, that I wish we had found a way to trim a bit.

Benny was worried: "He's gonna break into pieces and never be alive again."

Erin was a bit more tv-savvy: "He's not going to break into pieces. Or this would be the last [episode]."

I didn't really think anyone would think we were actually going to kill BW here. I think the interest is to wonder over the commercial break exactly how the hell we're going to get out of this.

Beth asked: "How'd Elisa know to shoot at that box? Who came up with that? She clearly didn't like it."

Michael Reaves put in this bit about BW turning to stone in mid-air. And I cut it. That's right. Cut it. I thought that it was too big a deal to fit into this story or at any rate that we could never make the rescue convincing. But ultimately I put it right back in. Michael was right. We needed it here. Everyone worked very hard to make Elisa's save as real as possible. The carpet sign established in advance. The multiple shots it takes her just to hit the rope twice. And Brooklyn and Goliath's exchange:

Brook: "It's a miracle!"
Gol: "A miracle named Elisa."

We're acknowledging how unlikely this is and hoping you'll just share it with us.

I still don't know. It's fun. But I'm not sure we really pulled it off in a convincing way. What did you all think?

"Jalapeña, you're still alive!" Another tier risk. Since I couldn't be sure this would air after "Protection".

X: "Hudson, your bath is ready."

This is another cool exchange. The Price metaphor really comes through here.

The title, I think, was one of mine. Inspired by the Arthur Miller play and the Jim Starlin Graphic Novel of the same name.

Back at the Macbeth battle, here he is again. By this time, the robot thing may be more obvious. Same four lines. We still tried to preserve suspense. Since he's presumably working for Xanatos to distract the Gargs that may explain his behaviour. Anyone who thought he was the real Macbeth right until the moment G gutted him?

Elisa is out of bullets. At the time, I thought that made realistic sense. Always hated guns that seemed to have unlimited bullets. Now it just feels like she was dumb for not reloading.

But one other thing strikes me -- in today's environment, we probably wouldn't have been allowed to let Elisa use a realistic gun at all.

Boom. The Hudson statue is blown to bits. By this time you all knew it wasn't Hudson, but we were hoping that for a split second, the image itself would be shocking enough to make you forget. Just for a second.

I think it worked. Ben needed to reassure himself: "That's okay. It's not the real Hudson." I don't think he would have even bothered to say that, if for a split-second he hadn't thought it was.

Of course, Goliath, who had been on the verge of putting two and two together just before this attack, goes positively medieval on us. Before he aimed for Mac's sky-sled. Now he wants "Gargoyle Justice". He's trying to kill Macbeth. It's just lucky that (a) it was a robot and (b) we had a very understanding S&P executive.

I think the robot's death scene is pretty cool. We had John Rhys-Davies come in just to record five lines. The four that we reprinted over and over and one more 'winding-down' take on "You'll have to do better than that!" It's very cool. With the eye popping out and everything. Nice stuff.

One thing I remember discussing with Michael was the rescue of Hudson. Originally, I think he had Goliath and the boys figure it out and have them show up to get H. But I felt strongly that Hudson had to rescue himself. Prove to all concerned that his age was not the liability that X thought.

This is fun.

And I love that Hudson won't destroy the Cauldron.

Like Xanatos, we think that H is "just full of surprises." But it shouldn't be much of a surprise. I think that was right in character for Hudson.

And I love his parting shot: "What will be your legacy, Xanatos?"

Frakes and Asner were both just amazing in this episode.

X: "Let him go. He's earned it." Of course, that's right in character for X too. No revenge. No jumping up and down and whining.

And hey, now Owen's arm can live as long as the mountain stones.

"How literal-minded." I think that line was one of mine. Not sure. It would probably have helped if I had read those two drafts of the script I posted yesterday. But I didn't have time.

So there's my ramble. Where's yours?


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE: Chunks 5 & 6

Continuing the posting of pieces of the Bible for the version of THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES that I developed for BKN.

Here's the fifth chunk:

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO - June 14, 1947.
Nothing happened. Nothing at all. Every witness on every side of every version of every event was already working for the Alliance. Oh, today, you might be able to find some old civilian who swears he or she saw the crash from a distance. But that's just a tip off that they're telling tales. Nothing happened.

Vasquez did call the Sheriff to report the crash. And Vasquez, McKay and Ten-Samsons did convene in the desert. And McKay did radio Walker Air Force Base.

Air Force Captain Will Hawking was dispatched to the site of the incident -- with a full platoon of men. Alliance men.

On June 15, the news services did report that a U.F.O. had crashed near Roswell. Captain Hawking did confirm the story later that day.

June 16. General Burdette explained about the weather balloon. And the Vasquez Ranch was declared off-limits to all non-Alliance personnel. Heavy machinery was brought in. Underneath the ranch, construction began on the Bunker to end all Bunkers.

By July 7, the Alliance was able to remove every sign that work was proceeding underground.

On July 8, Trish Ainsley filed her U.F.O. story. The Alliance made sure it never got on the wire. It also made sure that copies of the story were circulated privately, but widely.

July 9. Captain Hawking resigns his commission. He disappears to supervise the completion of the Bunker.

July 16. Ainsley contacted Vasquez, McKay and Ten-Samsons, laying the groundwork for decades of obfuscation.

May, 1948. The Bunker was completed. The Alliance was up and running.

In between investigative assignments for the Alliance, Trish Ainsley continued to "pursue the Roswell story." The plan was clearly working. Most people either believed in weather balloons or casually and unconcernedly assumed that the U.S. government was covering up the existence of aliens on our planet. The few who actively pursued the latter course, were led down a garden path of false witnesses and manufactured evidence designed to lull them into believing that aliens are little grey men in flying saucers. Recent arrivals. Largely harmless. And nothing like the truth.

1949. T.G.A., The Global Alliance admits ten more nations: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway & Portugal. The Alliance began drawing the best and the brightest from all of TGA's member nations.

1952. Greece and Turkey join TGA. West Germany will join three years later.

March, 1955 - The Alliance used Tyler and Ainsley to seed the story of recovered alien bodies.

November, 1960. Segundo Vasquez, a chain-smoker, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Since he couldn't be cured, the Alliance decided to take advantage of this "unique opportunity" to add another layer to the lie.

January 4, 1961. With Alliance help, Joseph Ten-Samsons Senior faked his death. The story was spread that he died of cancer.

December 13, 1961, Segundo Vasquez did die of cancer.

1964. Dr. Tyler retired from the U.S. Army and then vanished off the face of the Earth. Actually, he became the Alliance's head scientist, and thus no longer had the time to lead a double life.

1965. France breaks with TGA for thirty years. They will rejoin the organization in 1995. Meanwhile, Spain will join in '82 and the newly reunited Germany will replace West Germany in 1990.

Meanwhile, back in July, 1971, after over two decades of being Burdette's right hand man, Hawking was ordered to resurface in order to rekindle the lie. Together, Hawking and Ainsley produced the Alliance-written fiction: THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES. They also fell in love and were secretly married.

February, 1972. Trish Ainsley discovered that she was pregnant. She chose to leave the Alliance in order to give her baby a normal life. Hawking elected not to join her.

May 1, 1972. The Alliance helped Trish Ainsley fake her death in a car accident. She returned to Great Britain to give birth and raise her child. Hawking went back underground as a full time Alliance operative.

June 14, 1972. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Roswell Crash, Alliance operatives McKay, Vasquez Diener and Kateras staged a press conference to keep the curious guessing.

August, 1980. Erich Diener -- an Alliance operative and the husband of Maria Vasquez Diener, a second generation Alliance operative --was killed in the line of duty. The story in above-ground Roswell was that he ran off and abandoned Maria and their two children.

June 1, 1982. 83 year old Warren Burdette passed away in his sleep. The story was put out that he died of cancer. Hawking was promoted to Night Officer.

June 14, 1982. Will Hawking resurfaced on the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Roswell crash. He and Jack McKay became very public spokesmen for both versions of the lie.

December 13, 1986. Hawking and the Alliance bought the ranch adjacent to the old Vasquez place in order to expand the Bunker even further.

March 18, 1989. Maria Vasquez Diener died in the line of duty. Again, cancer was blamed. Her son Alex, a third generation operative, was given his first taste of action and obfuscation.

In 1995, under Alliance supervision, the U.S. Air Force launched a new investigation into the Roswell Incident. The resulting report sounded so pat and phony that most people either believed it flat out or assumed that all the Roswell myths must be entirely true.

1996. Hawking convinces TGA to allow him to recruit individual operatives without regard to their citizenship or the membership status of their country of birth.

September, 1999. Roswell, New Mexico is both a serious tourist trap and a Mecca for true believers seeking (inaccurate) knowledge about extraterrestrials on this planet. Every Friday night, McKay and Hawking stage another debate about the Incident. They don't have to do it. They just enjoy it.

And now the 6th Chunk:

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO - September, 1999.
Tony Markus -- I bet you thought I forgot about him -- comes to town a half-step behind Siobhan Barrow. At this point, the only thing that's clear to Markus is that he's never had a case like this before.

Siobhan seems to have some kind of super-natural power --impressive super-natural power -- though not quite as impressive as that of the Tall Women pursuing her.

Likewise, the "Honeymooning Couple", though clearly not what they pretend to be, are also not what they seem to be either. Markus had thought they were Feds, but they've got some mighty strange methods, some even stranger weapons and the strangest possible friends.

Eventually, all is revealed. Siobhan is a member of an alien race, the SIDHE. She's on the run from her own people (the Tall Women) and is simultaneously trying to avoid being captured by ALEX DIENER & CLEA BALEWA (agents of the Alliance), who want to give her a life sentence simply because she exists. Markus just wants to get her back to L.A. so that cousin Dom doesn't have to pick up a fifty grand tab on her bail. Despite her power, Markus manages to reel her in and convince her to head west again with him. Together, they manage to stay a step ahead of both the Sidhe Warriors and the Alliance Agents. But all the good luck and skill in the world can't last forever.

Markus and Siobhan are cornered in the GRAND CANYON. The Sidhe attack, and it's the Alliance that comes to the rescue. But not Alex and Clea. The cavalry consists of JOSEPH TEN-SAMSONS JR., CEDRIC HARRIS and the alien YA-TUK. After an impressive battle, the Sidhe Warriors are captured. And Markus' life has been changed forever. There are aliens -- dangerous aliens -- loose on our world. He feels like his eyes are open for the first time. But he's not the only one. The Alliance has been very impressed with both Markus and Siobhan. They offer them each a job.

Markus, with his skills and experience, will become an investigator like Alex and Clea. Siobhan, with her raw power, will join Ten-Samsons' combat unit. Neither are sure they want what's being offered. Ultimately, Siobhan doesn't have many sunnier choices: (a) Life on the Run from her fellow Sidhe; (b) Life in an Alliance Prison, or (c) Life as an Alliance Operative. She chooses option (c).

As for Markus, it comes down to accepting the challenge. Hunting aliens. The ultimate skip chase. How can he resist? Well, once he's made sure that Dom hasn't been left in the lurch, the answer is: he can't. Thus Tony Markus and Siobhan Barrow become the two newest operatives of the Alliance.


Bookmark Link

"THE PRICE": "Final" Draft Script

This script is listed as a "Final Draft" after I took my pass on it. But skimming it, I'm not sure how final it actually was. It may have still gone through some changes, both before and after record.

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

Written by:
Michael Reaves

Based on comic book material by:
Lee Nordling

Revised draft: January 25, 1995
Final draft: February 1, 1995

Story Editor:
Michael Reaves

WALT DISNEY TV ANIMATION

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

CAST LIST

REGULARS
GOLIATH
HUDSON There is also a stone statue of Hudson in a typical sleep pose.
BROOKLYN
BROADWAY
LEXINGTON
ELISA

XANATOS
OWEN

RECURRING
MACBETH Actually a robot, (actually two robots), but visually indistinguishable from the real thing. He only speaks four lines, using them over and over.
BANQUO From 4319-022. Seven lines.
FLEANCE From 4319-022. Five lines.
STEEL CLAN ROBOT No lines.

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

EXT. MANHATTAN SKYLINE - NIGHT - PANORAMIC POV

A spectacular gargoyle's eye view of the city, covered by a thick pelt of snow. CAMERA MOVES SLOWLY through the maze of skyscrapers. Below, headlights and neon signs play prismatic colors. An enchanting vista.

LEXINGTON (V.O.)
Boy, the city sure is different
when it snows.

TRACK WITH GARGOYLES

As GOLIATH, BROOKLYN, BROADWAY, LEXINGTON and HUDSON ride the night wind.

BROOKLYN
Yeah -- it's colder.

FAVOR GOLIATH - PANNING

He permits himself a small smile.

GOLIATH
It's almost dawn, and we've
completed our patrol. Let's
return to the clock tower for
a good day's sleep.

FAVOR HUDSON - PANNING

He looks contented.

HUDSON
Not a bad life, all things
considered ...

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

Suddenly an ELECTRO-BLAST CRACKLES THROUGH SHOT, missing them narrowly and causing them all to scatter.

GARGOYLES
(surprised cries)

TRACK WITH BROOKLYN

He recovers his equilibrium, looks O.S. and reacts in shock.

BROOKLYN
Yeah ...

HIS POV

of MACBETH, swooping around on a return path, riding a small open-air flying platform supported and propelled by a repulsor device.

BROOKLYN (O.S. CONT'D)
Too bad he wants to end it!

WIDE ANGLE - INCLUDE OTHERS

Hovering as Macbeth heads toward them again, aiming one of his electro-magnetic guns. (NOTE: We will learn later that this Macbeth is a robot, one of several constructed by Xanatos. For now, treat him as the real thing.)

HUDSON
(shocked)
Macbeth!

They scatter as another LIGHTENING BLAST RIPS THROUGH SHOT.

MACBETH
I've been looking for you!

TRACK WITH GOLIATH

He folds his wings, drops, peels out O.S. During this:

GOLIATH
Spread out! Attack formation!

EXTREME WIDE

The gargoyles split up and swoop toward Macbeth from opposite directions in a pincers strategy.

GOLIATH
I don't know how you escaped
the Weird Sisters, Macbeth --

BROOKLYN
But you're gonna wish you hadn't!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Macbeth's platform suddenly shoots straight up out of the gargoyles' paths. Our guys only manage to avoid colliding with each other by adroit maneuvering.

GARGOYLES
(startled cries)

FOLLOW MACBETH

He does a steep glide and turn, FIRING down O.S. as he does.

TRACK WITH GOLIATH

He narrowly dodges a CRACKLING RAY. As he flies:

GOLIATH
Why do you attack us? What do
you want?

ON MACBETH - FLYING

Intent, murder in his eyes. He raises the gun again.

MACBETH
(laughs)
Trophies!

He sends a ray CRACKLING directly at us.

REVERSE ANGLE - BROOKLYN

The ray ZAPS him, causing him to fall O.S.

BROOKLYN
(stunned grunt)

ON GOLIATH

Reacting in shock. He dives down O.S.

ON BROOKLYN

Semi-stunned, dropping in a steep glide, about to pass out entirely. Goliath swoops INTO SHOT and grabs him.

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOF

He glides to it and deposits his stunned comrade safely on a snow-covered ledge. (STORYBOARD NOTE: During these last shots the eastern horizon is starting to glow with Pre-Dawn light.)

CLOSER ON GOLIATH

He launches himself from the rooftop again.

ON LEXINGTON AND BROADWAY

Heading toward us, grim and intent.

BROADWAY
We'd better finish this fast. The
sun's about to come up.

ON MACBETH

He triggers a control on the platform's console. A small canister shoots out O.S. from the platform's base.

TRACK WITH LEXINGTON AND BROADWAY

The canister sails IN, BURSTS apart and releases a rapidly-expanding net that settles over them. They react, but too late.

LEXINGTON, BROADWAY
(surprised walla)

ANOTHER ANGLE

The net ELECTRIFIES, shocking both of them into unconsciousness.

LEXINGTON, BROADWAY
(cries of pain)

ON ROOFTOP

They tumble down and CRASH on the rooftop beside the unconscious Brooklyn.

FOLLOW HUDSON

He catches an updraft and wheels about, drawing his sword.

TRACK WITH MACBETH

As he flies. Hudson is heading right for him.

HUDSON
(growls)

CLOSER ON MACBETH

He dips his hand into one of his coat's many pockets, and as Hudson comes at him he hurls a small packet right into the gargoyle's face. The packet hits Hudson and BURSTS, scattering a sparkling mist of white glittery powder all over him.

HUDSON
(surprised sputter)

ON FLYING PLATFORM

The craft drops, letting Hudson sail on O.S.

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOFTOP

Temporarily blinded, Hudson CRASHES on the rooftop alongside the still-unconscious Trio.

HUDSON
(impact grunt)

He rises to his knees, frustrated. He pulls the net off of Broadway and Lex.

TRACK WITH PLATFORM

Suddenly Goliath, eyes white, drops down INTO SHOT above Macbeth, grabbing him from behind in a bear hug.

GOLIATH
(growls)

ANOTHER ANGLE

Macbeth manages to twist his weapon back. He fires it right into Goliath's side, blasting him off the platform.

MACBETH
You'll have to do better than that!

GOLIATH
(cry of pain)

ON SKYSCRAPER PINNACLE

Goliath manages to land atop the pinnacle of a building which rises to a needle-like spire. He grips the spire with one hand, head drooping in a dazed slump, looking like King Kong just before taking that final dive.

GOLIATH
(dazed groan)

TRACK WITH MACBETH

He turns on the platform and aims his ray gun down O.S.

MACBETH
Farewell, my enemies!

ANGLE INCLUDES

RACK FOCUS from the lightening gun and Macbeth's hand in EXTREME f.g. to the trio and Hudson in b.g.

CLOSER ON HUDSON AND TRIO

The Trio's starting to revive, but won't recover in time. Hudson protectively steps between them and Macbeth.

TRIO
(groans)

ON GOLIATH

He reacts in horror as he sees the O.S. Macbeth's intention. His eyes blaze white.

GOLIATH
No!

Clinging to the pinnacle with one hand and both feet, he SNAPS off the six-foot long tip of the spire.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Goliath hurls the spire like a javelin with all his strength.

GOLIATH
(effort grunt)

DRAMATIC ANGLE - MACBETH

Just as he's about to trigger the ray gun the spire arrows INTO SHOT and SKEWERS the flying platform's control console. There's a huge ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE, and the platform goes into a dive.

WIDE ANGLE

All the gargoyles (the trio have recovered by now) stare in shock as the platform passes out of view behind a skyscraper. Followed seconds later by a huge EXPLOSION. Flaming debris flies back into shot.

ON HUDSON AND TRIO

They move so that they can see where Macbeth crashed. Flickering light paints their faces and bodies. Goliath drops down INTO SHOT beside them.

LEXINGTON
I don't believe it.

ON WRECKAGE

A mini-inferno of twisted, flaming metal. No one could have survived that crash.

HUDSON
Believe it, lad. Macbeth's dead.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Staring grimly O.S. Behind him the sky is roseate with dawn.

GOLIATH
I had no choice. He would have
killed the four of you.

Hudson moves IN beside him, absently brushing at the sparkling dust on his hauberk as he speaks:

HUDSON
No one's questioning you, Goliath.
(beat)
We'd best prepare to sleep right
here. Dawn is upon us.

WIDE ANGLE

The gargoyles assume threatening positions as the sun rises.

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. NEW YORK SKYLINE - PANORAMIC VIEW - DAY (TIME LAPSE)

TIME LAPSE shot showing the whole day compressed to a few seconds. Clouds boil and writhe across the sky, lights wink on and off in windows, shadows flow like spilled ink as the sun arcs quickly from east to west. As evening shadows lengthen

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BUILDING ROOFTOP - ON GARGOYLES - DUSK

Start with Goliath and PAN across the gargoyles as they each in turn SHATTER their carapaces and stretch in awakening.

GARGOYLES (EXCEPT HUDSON)
(wake up)

PAN STOPS on Hudson; it's his turn to awaken. But nothing happens. The last flicker of sunlight disappears from his adamantine form. (Note: the stone Hudson is holding his sword, which is not stone.) REFIELD TO INCLUDE Goliath and the trio, staring at him in stunned disbelief.

GOLIATH
Hudson ...?

BROADWAY
What's wrong? Why doesn't he
wake up?

FAVOR GOLIATH

As he approaches, gingerly touching the old warrior's stone face. He's totally at a loss, and maybe there's just a bit of panic in his face and voice -- this is totally unprecedented.

GOLIATH
I-I don't know ...

CLOSER

He looks closer. The fading light shows some glittery powder on Hudson's granite shoulder.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
Wait ... last night Macbeth
threw some kind of powder on
Hudson.

BROOKLYN
Powder?

FAVOR GOLIATH

He peers closely at the powder.

GOLIATH
Sorcery. A magical concoction
to keep him asleep.

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

Goliath and the trio stand around the stone Hudson.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
And it's up to us to find a cure.

LEXINGTON
But how? Macbeth's dead --
who else would know about the
powder?

FAVOR GOLIATH

Having come to a decision.

GOLIATH
Lexington and I will go to Macbeth's
mansion and question his lackeys.
Brooklyn, Broadway, stay here
and protect Hudson.

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOFTOP'S EDGE

Goliath and Lex prepare for flight. Brooklyn puts a hand on Goliath's arm.

BROOKLYN
(worried)
Goliath -- what if there is no
cure?

Goliath is in some denial.

GOLIATH
There is a cure. There must be.

DRAMATIC ANGLE

Goliath and Lexington take off from the rooftop and glide O.S. Brooklyn and Broadway watch him go.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. MACBETH'S MANSION - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

PUSH IN and

CUT TO:

INT. MANSION'S CONTROL ROOM - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

Here we find BANQUO and FLEANCE (last seen in #4319-22), desultorily playing poker. Behind them the monitor screens show various views of the grounds and mansion interior. Banquo tosses a poker chip on the pile. PUSH IN SLOWLY on them as they play.

BANQUO
Raise.
(beat)
Y'know, when we took this job,
the Boss promised us lots of
action.
(looks around;
disgusted)
Right.

FLEANCE
Relax. We could use a little peace
and quiet.
(beat)
See you and raise.

ANOTHER ANGLE

She tosses two chips in. Banquo scowls and looks at his cards.

BANQUO
Okay, whatcha got?

ANGLE INCLUDES MONITOR

Showing a view from the roof. Fleance grins and starts to lay her cards down.

FLEANCE
Read 'em and --

Suddenly an ALARM KLAXON SOUNDS and the words INTRUDER ALERT begin flashing in red over the roof view on the screen. PUSH IN quickly on the screen as Banquo and Fleance react and look. We can see the winged shape of Lexington silhouetted against the moon, approaching.

ON FLEANCE AND BANQUO

Startled at first; then they grin at each other.

FLEANCE
One'a those gargoyles.

BANQUO
All right. C'mon!

They head O.S. The door SLAMS. PUSH IN on another one of the monitors, this one covering one of the mansion's walls. We can see a shadowy shape climbing it. Another KLAXON SOUNDS and the red INTRUDER ALERT sign starts flashing on that screen too ...

CUT TO:

EXT. MACBETH'S ROOF - NIGHT

The two electromagnetic cannons used in #4319-022 rise up from the roof as Fleance and Banquo dash IN and man one each.

ON FLEANCE

POWERING UP the gun. A green screen with a blip on it appears on a console before her.

FLEANCE
In range in forty seconds ...

Goliath's hand reaches IN behind her, grabs her by the collar and yanks her O.S.

FLEANCE (CONT'D)
(startled cry)

ON BANQUO

Seated at his cannon. He turns, looks. ANGLE ADJUSTS TO INCLUDE the other cannon, now manned by Goliath and aimed right at him.

BANQUO
Hey! What in --?

Banquo dives out of the way, just as Goliath BLASTS Banquo's cannon with a lightening bolt.

BANQUO (CONT'D)
(dive)

CLOSER

Banquo covers his head to protect himself from flying debris. He looks O.S. and reacts.

BANQUO
(cry of fear)

HIS POV

Goliath, face in shadow save for his glowing eyes. He looks quite fearsome. Lex glides IN and lands beside him.

GOLIATH, LEXINGTON
(growls)

ON BANQUO

Goliath steps IN, seizes Banquo by the shirt front and lifts him up. He gets in the terrified guard's face and growls:

GOLIATH
I want your master's magic -- all
of it -- now.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Banquo is obviously too scared to lie.

BANQUO
I don't know where he keeps it!

Goliath drops him on top of his unconscious comrade and turns to Lex.

GOLIATH
We must search the house.
(beat; to Banquo)
Find another job. Macbeth
won't be coming back.

He and Lexington turn away as we

CUT TO:

EXT. - ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Broadway and Brooklyn flank the stone Hudson.

BROADWAY
I'm worried. Even if Goliath
finds something at Macbeth's place,
how are we gonna make it work?
None of us are sorcerors.

ON BROOKLYN

Suddenly, determined.

BROOKLYN
Let's just focus on protecting Hudson.
We can't let anything happen to him.

CUT TO:

INT. CAGE - NIGHT

Large, like a high-tech version of an old lion cage, lit by a single bulb. Where it's located is not immediately clear -- all is darkness about it. Within the cage is a figure in sillouette at first. Then the figure steps into the light. It is Hudson, flesh and blood and pissed as hell. (MODEL NOTE: Hudson does not have his sword.)

HUDSON
(raging)
You can't keep me in here
forever!

He grabs the bars; they deliver an ELECTRICAL SHOCK that knocks him back.

HUDSON
(cry of pain)

CLOSER ON HIM

Angrier than we've ever seen him.

HUDSON
I'll get out, d'you hear me?!
I'll get out, and when I do --!

FADE OUT

END ACT ONE

ACT TWO

FADE IN:

INT. CAGE - HUDSON -CONTINUOUS

We still don't know where we are. Hudson is pacing his cage like a trapped tiger.

CLOSE ON HIS FEET

We can see now that he's walking on bars that raise the cage perhaps six inches above a steel tray; basically a larger version of the tray used in pet cages to catch droppings (although this is for a different purpose). Scattered on the tray below the level of the bars where Hudson walks are the stone shards of his skin, shed this past dawn.

WIDE ANGLE

An O.S. CREAK OF HINGES stops his pacing. He looks O.S. and reacts grimly.

HUDSON
About time you came back.

ANOTHER ANGLE

We can tell now that we're in a dim-lit dungeon chamber. A shadowy figure approaches the cage as Hudson continues:

HUDSON (CONT'D)
Why did you kidnap me? What
d'you want of me?

ON SHADOWED FIGURE

Approaching. As he speaks he steps into the range of light from the cage's bulb and is revealed to be XANATOS. OWEN shadows him silently. He's holding a small box in one hand.

XANATOS
Nothing much, Hudson. Just --
your skin.

TWO SHOT - XANATOS AND HUDSON

Hudson glares warily at Xanatos.

HUDSON
You'll have the devil's own
task getting it.

FAVOR XANATOS

Urbane and unconcerned as ever.

XANATOS
Really?

Xanatos pulls a remote control from his pocket. He presses the button. The tray beneath Hudson's cage automatically SLIDES out. Xanatos crouches and picks up a few long shards of stone exoderm. He presses the button again, and the tray returns to it's normal position.

XANATOS
Gee, that wasn't as hard as you made
it sound.

HUDSON
So you're through with me.

XANATOS
Not quite. I need your help to
conduct a small experiment.

Hudson glowers at Xanatos, who presses another button on the remote. In b.g. a STEEL CLAN ROBOT carries a huge wooden crate IN and sets it down near the cage.

HUDSON
Experiment? What kind of
experiment?

ANOTHER ANGLE

The robot RIPS open the wood as though it were Christmas wrapping, showing us what's inside the crate: a huge iron cauldron, obviously very old. The robot turns and EXITS.

FAVOR XANATOS AND HUDSON

Xanatos stares at it with tense excitement; Hudson is wary.

HUDSON
What'll that be, then?

FAVOR XANATOS

He runs his hand over the cauldron's lip. We can see Celtic runes engraved along the iron side.

XANATOS
The Cauldron Of Life. The legend
says it grants whoever bathes in
it "will live as long as the mountain
stones."

FAVOR HUDSON

He raises an eyebrow.

HUDSON
Ah. You wish to be ... immortal?

XANATOS
Of course. What good are all the
riches on Earth if Fox and I can't
enjoy them forever?

FAVOR HUDSON

He's settled into a poker face.

HUDSON
And how do I fit into all this?

ON XANATOS

Xanatos leans toward the cage and holds up the shards of exoderm.

XANATOS
One of the key ingredients in
the cauldron's brew is the
stone skin of a gargoyle.

ON HUDSON

He moves in too, getting face to face with Xanatos without touching the electrified bars.

HUDSON
These ancient talismans are often
dangerous, Xanatos. I would've
thought your experience with
the Eye Of Odin had taught you
that.

XANATOS
You could be right. Maybe it
would be a good idea to test
the brew first.
(beat; evil grin)
Any volunteers?

The Steel Clan robot reenters, now carrying a large plastic container filled with water. Xanatos and Owen watch, as the robot pours the water into the cauldron. Xanatos holds the handful of stone skin fragments in one hand.

FAVOR HUDSON

He scowls.

HUDSON
You mean to dunk me in that
oversized chamber pot?

CLOSE ON CAULDRON

Xanatos tosses the shards in the water, and they DISSOLVE in a mystical flash. A beat; then, though no fire burns beneath the cauldron, the water apparently begins to BOIL.

XANATOS
Eventually. The legend says the
skin must boil for a night and
a day first.

FAVOR XANATOS

His usual smug, superior self. He glances at his watch.

XANATOS (CONT'D)
So be patient. If the procedure
is successful, I'll release you.

FAVOR HUDSON

He trusts Xanatos about as far as he can comfortably spit a rat.

HUDSON
And if it isn't ...?

CLOSE ON XANATOS

He smiles.

XANATOS
Then you'll have the privilege
of giving your life for science.

ANGLE INCLUDES HUDSON

Furious.

HUDSON
My clan will never rest until
they know where I am!

Xanatos is spectacularly unconcerned.

XANATOS
But they already know where
you are.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

Off his puzzled look, we PAN AWAY TO FRAME Owen as he opens the box and takes out a tiny statue of Hudson in sleep pose. He holds it up.

ANGLE INCLUDES HUDSON

Who stares at it.

XANATOS
This is just a sculptor's model,
of course. The real thing is
life-size -- and very life-like.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

He's screwed, and he knows it.

XANATOS (CONT'D O.S.)
(sticking it to him)
The hardest part was finding a
replica for your sword.

Xanatos turns to Owen.

XANATOS
Still there's no sense being
complacent. Let's make sure
the other gargoyles don't think
to look for him here.

WIDE

Xanatos exits. The robot remains on guard. Owen is about to follow, when Hudson calls out to him.

HUDSON
And what's in this for you?

FAVOR OWEN

OWEN
Service is it's own reward.
I would have thought you knew
that.

XANATOS (O.S.)
Owen, I want the gargoyles distracted.

He nods slightly, poker-faced as usual.

OWEN
Understood, sir.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Where Brooklyn and Broadway are guarding "Hudson". An ELECTRIC BOLT ZAPS the roof near them, scorching it and startling both of them.

BROOKLYN, BROADWAY
(surprised cries)

ANGLE INCLUDES

Macbeth, swooping toward them on another flying platform. Broadway and Brooklyn are astounded to see that he's apparently risen from the dead.

BROOKLYN
It can't be!

BROADWAY
There's no way he could've
survived that crash!

WIDE ANGLE

Macbeth ZAPS another bolt at them; this one comes perilously close to the Hudson statue. Both Brooklyn and Broadway are forced to leap from the rooftop to avoid it.

BROOKLYN
Well, for a ghost he sure
packs a wallop!

TRACK WITH GARGOYLES

As they swoop away from the rooftop.

BROADWAY
We've got to make him follow
us -- lead him away from Hudson!

Another POWER BOLT SCORCHES between them. They look back. REFIELD TO INCLUDE Macbeth, zooming after them.

BROOKLYN
I don't think that'll be a
problem!

ON MACBETH

He aims his weapon and FIRES again. During this:

MACBETH
(re-use line #??)
I've been looking for you!

In the heat of battle, neither gargoyle notices that he says this exactly the same way he said it before. Macbeth GAINS O.S. as we

CUT TO:

INT. ELISA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

WIDE

Goliath and Lex have been filling Elisa in.

ELISA
Any luck finding the cure at
Macbeth's house?

GOLIATH
No. We searched from attic to
cellar, but found nothing.

CLOSE ON GOLIATH

This is a real last resort for him.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
There's only one other hope.
We need a sorceress. We need
Demona.

ON ELISA

She's stunned by his request.

GOLIATH (CONT'D O.S.)
You are a detective. You must help
us find her.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Elisa puts a hand on his shoulder.

ELISA
Goliath, you know I'd do anything to
help. But honestly, I wouldn't even
know where to start looking.

GOLIATH
We can't just give up!

ELISA
We won't. I promise.

ANGLE INCLUDES

the brightening eastern horizon. Lex glances at it.

LEXINGTON
It's not long to sunrise. We should
head back. Brooklyn and Broadway will
be worried.

FAVOR ELISA AND GOLIATH

ELISA
I'd like to go with you.

Goliath nods and lifts her into his arms.

CUT TO:

EXT. ELISA'S APARTMENT - PRE-DAWN

TRACK WITH GOLIATH AND LEX

the former carrying Elisa, as they glide uptown.

CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON

Hudson glowers at Xanatos, as the latter enters and peaks into the boiling cauldron. He warms his hands above it. The robot remains immobile in the b.g.

XANATOS
The soup's cooking nicely.

HUDSON
You've obviously gone to a lot
of trouble. Had to carve your
statue weeks in advance. Tell me
something: Why me?

FAVOR XANATOS

Who thinks the answer is obvious.

XANATOS
Because you're old and getting
older. I thought you might even
appreciate the opportunity.

ON HUDSON

He crosses his arms. He's just picked up on one of Xanatos' few weaknesses.

HUDSON
Growing old terrifies you,
doesn't it?

ECU ON XANATOS

Hudson's pressed one of his few buttons.

XANATOS
Nothing terrifies me. Because
nothing is beyond my ability to
change.
(beat, petty)
What about you? Still wasting
your evenings in front of a
television set. You're of
little use to your clan; you
might as well be of some use to
me.

CLOSER ON HUDSON

Xanatos hasn't rattled him a bit.

HUDSON
Open this cage and I'll show
you just how useless I am.

HOLD ON XANATOS

He doesn't have a comeback. He burns, turns and leaves.

ON CAGE

Hudson SLAMS a fist into his palm in a frustrated gesture and turns to resume his pacing.

CLOSER ON HUDSON

He notices something at his feet. MOVE WITH him as he kneels to look closely at the slivers of rocky exoderm -- some of which are as long as a knife blade. Hudson reaches through the grated floor and touches his shed skin thoughtfully.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - ESTABLISHING - PRE-DAWN

A dark and dreary area, the deserted streets narrow and winding, with tall dark warehouses lining them. VERT. PAN UP TO FRAME Brooklyn and Broadway, fleeing for their lives, as another ELECTRICAL BOLT ZAPS a brick wall near them, SHATTERING it.

ANGLE INCLUDES MACBETH

Zooming along on his flying platform in close pursuit. We can see that the eastern sky is lightening.

MACBETH
(reuse line #??)
Farewell, my enemies!

TRACK WITH BROOKLYN AND BROADWAY

Flying through the narrow streets like Luke zooming along the Deathstar trench.

BROADWAY
At least we led him away from
Hudson!

BROOKLYN
Yeah -- now if only someone'd
lead him away from us!

ON BROADWAY - FLYING

His expression becomes determined.

BROADWAY
It's almost dawn -- and then
we'll be sitting ducks!

ANGLE WIDENS as he does a barrel roll, looping up in a backwards arc. During the next few shots we should be seeing the sky growing lighter and lighter.

BROADWAY (CONT'D)
Besides we gotta nail him. He's the
only one who can cure Hudson!

ON MACBETH - FLYING

As Broadway comes swooping down behind Macbeth, the latter turns and lines up on him with his weapon.

MACBETH
(reuse line #??)
You'll have to do better than
that!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Just before Macbeth fires, however, Brooklyn CRASHES into him from behind. Macbeth does not cry out from the impact (he's a robot), nor is he knocked down as we would expect a human to be. Instead he turns and grapples with the surprised Brooklyn.

BROOKLYN
(grunt of surprise)

ANGLE INCLUDES BROADWAY

swooping down toward them; he reacts in astonishment as Macbeth picks up Brooklyn and hurls him from the careening platform.

TRACK WITH BROOKLYN

He pops open his wings, catches air, slowing his drop. As he does so, he looks up and reacts in surprise as he sees:

LOW ANGLE - MACBETH'S FLYING PLATFORM

Just in time for Broadway to sail IN and be BATTED aside like an annoying insect by Macbeth's one-armed blow.

BROADWAY
(stunned grunt)

ON BROOKLYN

He lands on the fire escape next to a crane which holds a huge shipping crate on the end of its cable. The building has a sign on the wall that reads ROYAL PERSIAN CARPETS.

ON BROADWAY

Rising on a thermal while he recovers from Macbeth's blow.

BROADWAY
(groans)

ABOVE A NEARBY BUILDING

Goliath, Lex and Elisa glide into view.

GOLIATH
Look! Over there! It's Broadway!

LEXINGTON
The sun's about to come up!

CLOSE ON GOLIATH AND ELISA

He looks at her and comes to a decision. He and Lex land on the rooftop. He puts Elisa down, and looks O.S. in astonishment. The world is trembling on the edge of dawn.

ANGLE INCLUDES MACBETH

Turning his platform to come back for another shot at Broadway.

GOLIATH (O.S. CONT'D)
Macbeth -- and alive?!

ZAP! Macbeth FIRES O.S.

ON BROADWAY

The BOLTS SCORCH the air directly beneath him, forcing him to rise higher and higher.

ON GOLIATH, LEX AND ELISA

Goliath prepares to leap into the air, but Lex and Elisa grab his arms and points O.S. eastward in horror.

ELISA, LEXINGTON
Goliath! You can't! / The sun!!

ANGLE INCLUDES

The horizon, where the molten edge of the sun has appeared across the East River.

RESUME GOLIATH AND LEX

The PETRIFACTION starts, moving swiftly up their bodies. Goliath stares up O.S., struggling against the inevitable.

GOLIATH
(strains)
Broadway --!

And then he is stone, as is Lex.

ON BROADWAY

ON THE CUT he TRANSFORMS also, and drops like -- well, like a rock.

ON BROOKLYN

Brooklyn has an extra second of consciousness before the terminator moves down the building and envelopes him -- just long enough to see his friend plummeting toward certain death.

BROOKLYN
No!!

Then Brooklyn TRANSFORMS.

ON ELISA

In shock as she watches BROADWAY falling.

HER POV - BROADWAY

Falling away from us as we

FADE OUT

END ACT TWO

ACT THREE

FADE IN:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - LOW ANGLE SHOT - DAWN - CONTINUOUS

The stone Broadway falling right INTO CAMERA.

ON ELISA

She's only got a couple of seconds to come up with something. She looks frantically this way and that, then spies something O.S. (These scenes MUST play like lightning.)

HER POV - SHIPPING CRATE

The huge shipping crate at the end of the crane cable, level with the second story of the building. ZOOM IN on the box's side, where the words ROYAL PERSIAN CARPETS are stenciled.

ON ELISA

She whips her gun from its shoulder holster, aims and FIRES up O.S. repeatedly, emptying the clip.

CLOSE ON CRANE BOOM

She's a helluva shot -- most of the bullets STRIKE the hoist cable at the pulley junction, its weakest point. The cable SNAPS.

PULL BACK WIDE as the crate falls and SHATTERS on the street, releasing its cargo: a couple of dozen rolled up thick carpets. They barely have time to hit the street in a pile six feet thick before Broadway CRASHES down on top of them, bounces, lands again on the very edge of the pile and lies still.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa leans back against Goliath's petrified form.

ELISA
(big sigh)

CLOSER ON HER

She remembers Macbeth and looks up O.S.

HER POV - SKY

We can see Macbeth zooming away on his platform.

MACBETH
(reuse line #??)
(laughs)
Trophies!

RESUME ELISA

Watching him go.

CUT TO:
INT. DUNGEON

Xanatos stares at the stone form of Hudson. Looks into the boiling Cauldron. Owen enters.

OWEN
We have a field report from
"Macbeth". He kept the gargoyles
busy throughout the night.

XANATOS
Better watch out Owen. This Macbeth
fellow may be gunning for your job.
He's already died for me once on
this project. It's hard to top that.

ON OWEN

He raises an eyebrow.

WIPE TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - DAY

Elisa supervises as the crane lifts Broadway up toward the rooftop where Goliath and Lex are frozen in stone.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. EYRIE BUILDING - TWILIGHT

The sun sets.

CUT TO:
INT. DUNGEON

Hudson explodes out of his stone shell.

HUDSON
(awakening roar)

TIGHT ON HUDSON

He reaches behind him, as if to check that he still has a weapon stuck in his belt. Though we don't see it, he obviously still feels it there, and looks relieved.

CUT TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE ROOF - DUSK

Elisa is there with Goliath, Lex and Broadway. Brooklyn glides in for a landing. He immediately rushes to Broadway.

BROOKLYN
Jalapeña, you're still alive!
It's a miracle!

Goliath looks at Elisa who smiles.

GOLIATH
Yes -- a miracle named Elisa.

FAVOR LEX

Wheels clearly turning.

LEX
What I don't get is Macbeth. Why
did he cut and run?

BROOKLYN
Good question. He keeps saying he
wants us as trophies. Why didn't
he come back for us while we were
stone?

FAVOR GOLIATH

Suddenly realizing that "Hudson" has been left unprotected.

GOLIATH
Hudson!

DRAMATIC ANGLE

As all four gargoyles launch themselves into the night. Goliath carries Elisa.

CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT

FAVOR XANATOS AND HUDSON

Xanatos turns from the boiling cauldron to the old gargoyle. He holds Hudson's sword in one hand. With the other, he presses his remote. The cage opens. The Steel Clan Robot grabs Hudson and pulls him out. Owen is also present.

XANATOS
Your bath is ready, Hudson.

ON HUDSON

Hudson is there, arms held by a Steel Clan robot. Head high, determined to show no fear.

HUDSON
Listen to me, Xanatos. What
you seek demands a heavy price.

CLOSER ON HUDSON - INCLUDE XANATOS

Xanatos is listening, politely but with barely concealed impatience.

HUDSON (CONT'D)
I've been alive for over eleven
hundred years. Most of my clan
is dead and dust, and I am a
stranger in a strange land.
(beat)
Demona and Macbeth are immortal.
Has it brought them happiness?

XANATOS
Save your breath, Hudson. Old
age has its price as well, and
it's too expensive for me.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Where the "Hudson" statue keeps its lonely stone vigil. The gargoyles land and look about warily.

BROADWAY
No sign of Macbeth.

BROOKLYN
I still want to know how he
lived through that crash --
and why he keeps attacking us.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Thinking hard about it.

GOLIATH
It's almost as though he's trying
to keep us off guard while
something else goes on ...

ANOTHER ANGLE - ALL

A POWER BOLT from O.S. SHATTERS the edge of the roof, nearly toppling them all into the street.

GARGOYLES, ELISA
(surprised cries)

WIDE ANGLE

Here comes Macbeth again, FIRING furiously.

MACBETH
(reuse line #??)
Farewell, my enemies!

ON GARGOYLES AND ELISA

Elisa dives for cover behind a brick chimney, pulling her gun as she does so. The gargoyles take to the air as more BOLTS ZING THROUGH, some coming perilously close to Hudson.

AERIAL SHOT - WIDE

The gargoyles circle Macbeth, avoiding the LIGHTENING BLASTS.

GOLIATH
Keep him away from Hudson!

ON "HUDSON"

A nearby BLAST PEPPERS the statue with stone shrapnel.

ON BROOKLYN AND BROADWAY - FLYING

A massive POWER BOLT KNOCKS Broadway and Brooklyn out of the sky.

BROADWAY, BROOKLYN
(impact grunts)

They land on the roof's edge, half-stunned.

BROOKLYN
This is gettin' old ...

ON GOLIATH AND LEXINGTON

Swooping around for another pass. BOLTS SIZZLE THROUGH SHOT.

ON HUDSON STATUE

The POWER BOLTS are coming closer to it.

QUICK CUT - ELISA

She takes aim at Macbeth with her gun.

ELISA
Don't do it!!

She fires, but she used all of her bullets to save Broadway. The gun CLICKS harmlessly.

QUICK CUT - LEXINGTON

He sees what's going to happen and reacts in horror, but he's too far away to do anything about it.

LEXINGTON
(gasps)

ON GOLIATH

Arrowing straight toward us, hands outstretched.

GOLIATH
Hudson --!!

ON "HUDSON"

As a POWER BOLT STRIKES the statue squarely, BLOWING it to hell and gone.

REACTION SHOT - GOLIATH

Utterly horrified, as we

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The robot lifts Hudson from behind. Hudson struggles futilely.

HUDSON
(struggles)

WIDE ANGLE

The robot carries him toward the cauldron as we

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The dust still settling from the destruction of the statue. Goliath drops INTO SHOT beside the fragments.

ON GOLIATH

His eyes blaze white. He is in a killing rage, angrier than we have ever seen him before. He glares up O.S. Another POWER BOLT BLISTERS the roof right next to him, but he doesn't even notice it. With a:

GOLIATH
(roar of pure fury)

he leaps from the roof and soars up O.S.

ON MACBETH

FIRING O.S. at the oncoming juggernaut.

ON GOLIATH - FLYING

He takes an almost-direct HIT by a BOLT; it knocks him back, but he does a quick barrel roll and gets back on track.

GOLIATH
(growls)

WIDE ANGLE - MACBETH'S FLYING PLATFORM

Goliath gets one hand on the platform. He ignores another BLAST by sheer force of will and climbs aboard.

CLOSER

Before Macbeth can fire again Goliath tears the weapon from his hands and CRUSHES it.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Goliath's too angry to notice Macbeth's lack of fear. He grabs the robot, sustaining a massive SHOCK doing so. But he doesn't let go. Holding on with one hand, ELECTRICITY CRACKLING the length of his arm, he cocks the other fist back.

GOLIATH
Murderer!!

CLOSE ON THEM

As Goliath SMASHES a piledriver blow straight into Macbeth's chest, CRUSHING it. Circuitry SPARKS, FLASHES. Macbeth spasms as his system shorts out. When he speaks his voice RUNS DOWN like a slowing tape:

MACBETH
(reuse, but slow down, line #??)
You'll have ... to do ...
better ... than ... that ...

Goliath stares in disbelief.

CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

Hudson's about to be dumped in the cauldron. He struggles.

HUDSON
(struggles)

FAVOR XANATOS

He holds up the sword tauntingly.

XANATOS
Relax, Hudson. Without your
sword, you're helpless.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

And we see that his struggles mask the sight of one hand reaching behind him and beneath his hauberk and pulling out a long sharp shard of epithelial stone.

HUDSON
Swordless, maybe ...

WIDE ANGLE

As Hudson whips his arm around, driving the shard back directly into the face plate of the robot behind him. The robot SHORTS OUT spectacularly and falls away. During this:

HUDSON (CONT'D)
Helpless, never!

ANOTHER ANGLE

With one side free, Hudson drops his feet on the cauldron's side, balancing on the narrow lip, then leaps forward.

HUDSON
(battle cry)

PAN WITH HIM as he does a forward flip over the cauldron, wings folded, and IMPACTS feet-first squarely into Xanatos, KNOCKING the latter O.S. Owen reacts in surprise.

XANATOS
(impact grunt)

ON WALL

Xanatos SLAMS against it, dropping Hudson's sword. He then slides down to sprawl on the floor, stunned.

XANATOS
(stunned grunt)

ON HUDSON AND OWEN

Hudson grabs up his sword and whips about to face Owen. He points a warning finger at Xanatos' charge d'affaires.

HUDSON
Behave yourself, boy.

ANGLE INCLUDES XANATOS

Who gets to his feet somewhat shakily. He looks at Hudson standing there with his sword ready. In a heartbeat he's recovered his poise.

XANATOS
I underestimated you. Very
resourceful, using your own
skin as a weapon. I should
have thought of that.
(beat)
I suppose you'll destroy the
cauldron now.

TWO SHOT - XANATOS AND HUDSON

Hudson raises an eyebrow.

HUDSON
And why would I be doing that?
What you choose to do with
your life is your own affair --
as long as it's got nothing to
do with me.

ANGLE INCLUDES DOOR

Hudson backs toward the doors warily, sword ready. For once in his life Xanatos looks surprised.

XANATOS
You're just full of surprises.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Hudson reaches the doors. Stops and turns.

HUDSON
A friendly word of advice. True
immortality isn't about living
forever, man. It's about what
you do with the time you have.
(beat)
When all your scheming's done,
what will be your legacy Xanatos?

WIDE ANGLE

Hudson sheathes his sword, KICKS the doors open and runs O.S.

ON XANATOS AND OWEN

Owen pulls a pocket communicator from his coat, but before he can use it Xanatos puts a forestalling hand on his arm.

XANATOS
No. Let him go. He's earned it.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

The gargoyles and Elisa stand looking forlornly at "Hudson's" remains. The flying platform and the ruined Macbeth robot are nearby.

GOLIATH
Hudson was the greatest warrior
I have ever known. His loss
diminishes us all.

BROOKLYN
Yeah. Now I wish I'd... He was
one in a million.

As they speak, Hudson drops silently down INTO SHOT behind her. He grins as he hears the impromptu eulogies.

FAVOR LEX, BROADWAY AND ELISA

Holding back tears. From this angle we can't see Hudson.

LEXINGTON
He's forgotten more things than
we'll ever know.

ELISA
He was always there for us.

BROADWAY
I'm sorry, Hudson. I wish it
hadn't turned out this way ...

HUDSON (O.S.)
All things considered, I'm just
as glad it did, laddy.

The gargoyles and Elisa whip about in comical astonishment. REFIELD QUICKLY TO INCLUDE Hudson, leaning against a rooftop chimney and grinning widely.

FAVOR HUDSON

The others rush to his side.

GARGOYLES, ELISA
(walla)
Hudson --? What --? You're
not dead? I don't get it!

Hudson holds up a hand in a calming gesture.

HUDSON
It's a long story, and one
best told over a hot cup of
tea.

ANGLE INCLUDES STATUE RUBBLE AND "HUDSON" HEAD

Hudson turns and picks up the statue's head.

HUDSON
I think I'll keep this as a
souvenir. Not everyone can
reclaim their head after
losing it.
(beat)
Let's go home.

ON ROOF'S EDGE

The gargoyles glide into the night. Goliath carries Elisa.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. DUNGEON - NIGHT

The cauldron still BUBBLES in b.g. Xanatos looks at it.

XANATOS
I was so close to finding out
if the legend was true. Now
there's no one to test it on.

REVERSE ANGLE

Owen crosses to the cauldron in f.g., pulling up his sleeve as he goes.

OWEN
Allow me, sir ...

CLOSE ON WATER

Owen plunges his fist into the "boiling" water.

TWO SHOT - OWEN AND XANATOS

Xanatos watches in surprise as Owen pulls his fist out. The fist is now solid stone. Owen reacts quite unemotionally. He TAPS it against the side of the cauldron.

OWEN
It would appear, sir, that
the cauldron's spell of
immortality has a price.

XANATOS
Yes ... what was the legend?
Whoever bathes in it "will live
as long as the mountain stones."
How literal-minded.
(beat)
Thank you, Owen. That will
be all.

He turns and walks O.S., leaving Owen standing there with his new stone hand. Owen calmly rolls down his sleeve and rebuttons his cuff as we

FADE OUT

THE END


Bookmark Link

"The Price": First Draft Script

In preparation for my episodic rambles, I usually post the memo I wrote to the story editor with notes on that editor's first draft outline. This time, on "The Price", there was no memo. The outline must have been in very good shape. So instead I thought I'd post a couple scripts. Usually, I can't do that because back then I tended to edit by hand, and have my script coordinator, Denise Byrne, enter my changes into the computer. But this time, for whatever reason, I did (at least some of) the changes myself, so I still have both drafts on my computer. This one here is Michael Reaves' first draft script. [Note: some or all of the formatting will likely be lost in posting it here at ASK GREG. Read this for content, not format.]

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

Written by:
Michael Reaves

[based on comic book material by Lee Nordling]

1st draft:
1/12/95

Story Editor:
Michael Reaves

WALT DISNEY TV ANIMATION

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

CAST LIST

REGULARS
GOLIATH
BROOKLYN
HUDSON - There is also a stone statue of Hudson in a typical sleep pose.
BROADWAY
LEXINGTON

ELISA

SEMI-REGULARS
XANATOS
OWEN

GUESTS
MACBETH Actually a robot, but visually indistinguishable from the real thing. He only speaks three lines, using them over and over.

NON-SPEAKING PARTS
MATT BLUESTONE Non-speaking cameo.
3 COMMANDOS
1 STEEL CLAN ROBOT

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

EXT. MANHATTAN SKYLINE - NIGHT - PANORAMIC POV

A spectacular gargoyle's eye view of the city, covered by a thick pelt of snow. CAMERA MOVES SLOWLY through the maze of skyscrapers. Below, headlights and neon signs play prismatic colors. An enchanting vista.

BROOKLYN (V.O.)
Boy, the city sure is different
when it snows.

TRACK WITH GARGOYLES

As GOLIATH, BROOKLYN, BROADWAY, LEXINGTON and HUDSON ride the night wind. Broadway hugs himself against the cold.

BROADWAY
Yeah -- it's colder.

FAVOR GOLIATH - PANNING

He permits himself a small smile at Broadway's discomfort.

GOLIATH
It's almost dawn, and we've
completed our patrol of the
city. Let's return to the clock
tower and a warm meal.

FAVOR LEXINGTON - PANNING

He looks contented.

LEXINGTON
Not a bad life, all things
considered ...

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

Suddenly an ELECTRO-BLAST CRACKLES THROUGH SHOT, missing them narrowly and causing them all to scatter.

GARGOYLES
(surprised cries)

TRACK WITH BROOKLYN

He recovers his equilibrium, looks O.S. and reacts in shock.

BROOKLYN
Yeah ...

HIS POV

of MACBETH, swooping around on a return path, riding a small open-air flying platform supported and propelled by a repulsor device.

BROOKLYN (O.S. CONT'D)
Too bad it's about over!

WIDE ANGLE - INCLUDE OTHERS

Hovering as Macbeth heads toward them again, aiming one of his ray guns. (NOTE: We will learn later that this Macbeth is a robot, one of several constructed by Xanatos. For now, treat him as the real thing.)

HUDSON
(shocked)
Macbeth!

They scatter as another RAYBLAST RIPS THROUGH SHOT.

TRACK WITH GOLIATH

He folds his wings, drops, peels out O.S. During this:

GOLIATH
Spread out! Attack formation
Spartacus!

EXTREME WIDE

The gargoyles split into two groups and swoop toward Macbeth from opposite directions in a pincers strategy.

MACBETH
You'll have to do better than
that!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Macbeth's platform suddenly shoots straight up out of the gargoyles' paths. Our guys only manage to avoid colliding with each other by adroit maneuvering.

GARGOYLES
(startled cries)

FOLLOW MACBETH

He does a steep glide and turn, FIRING down O.S. as he does.

TRACK WITH GOLIATH

He narrowly dodges a CRACKLING RAY. As he flies:

GOLIATH
Why do you attack us? What do
you want?

ON MACBETH - FLYING

Intent, murder in his eyes. He raises the gun again.

MACBETH
I want your hides for trophies!

He sends a ray CRACKLING directly at us.

REVERSE ANGLE - LEXINGTON AND BROOKLYN

The ray ZAPS both of them, causing them to fall O.S.

LEXINGTON, BROOKLYN
(stunned grunts)

ON HUDSON AND BROADWAY

Reacting in shock. They dive down O.S.

ON LEXINGTON AND BROOKLYN

Semi-stunned, dropping in steep glides, about to lose consciousness entirely. Broadway and Hudson swoop INTO SHOT, Broadway grabbing Lexington and Hudson grabbing Brooklyn.

HUDSON
(straining)
Easy, lads -- we've got you --!

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOF

They glide to it and deposit their stunned comrades safely on a snow-covered ledge. (STORYBOARD NOTE: During these last few shots the eastern horizon is starting to glow with daylight.)

FOLLOW GOLIATH

He catches an updraft and wheels about, heading back.

TRACK WITH MACBETH

As he flies. Suddenly Goliath, eyes white, drops down INTO SHOT above him, grabbing him from behind in a bear hug.

GOLIATH
(growls)

MACBETH
(startled grunt)

ANOTHER ANGLE

A massive ELECTRICAL JOLT from Macbeth's armor knocks Goliath O.S. He falls from the platform.

GOLIATH
(cry of pain)

ON SKYSCRAPER PINNACLE

Goliath manages to land atop the pinnacle of a building which rises to a needle-like spire. He grips the spire with one hand, head drooping in a dazed slump, looking like King Kong just before taking that final dive.

GOLIATH
(dazed groan)

TRACK WITH MACBETH

He zooms down, a small packet held in one hand. As he sails past the gargoyles on the roof he hurls the packet at Hudson, who's a bit separated from the other three.

ON HUDSON

Before Hudson can dodge, the packet hits him and BURSTS, scattering a sparkling mist all over him. He reacts in surprise and confusion.

HUDSON
(startled cry)

ON MACBETH

He turns on the platform and aims his ray gun down O.S.

MACBETH
Farewell, my enemies!

ANGLE INCLUDES

The trio in b.g., the ray gun and Macbeth's hand in EXTREME f.g. RACK FOCUS from the gun to them.

CLOSER ON BROADWAY

He reacts. He could save himself, but he won't leave his friends. (They're starting to revive, but won't recover in time.)

BROADWAY
(gasps)

ON GOLIATH

He reacts in horror as he sees the O.S. Macbeth's intention. His eyes blaze white.

GOLIATH
No!

Clinging to the pinnacle with one hand and both feet, he SNAPS off the six-foot long tip of the spire.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Goliath hurls the spire like a javelin with all his strength.

GOLIATH
(effort grunt)

DRAMATIC ANGLE - MACBETH

Just as he's about to trigger the ray gun the spire arrows INTO SHOT and SKEWERS him square in the chest! There's a bit of an ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE about the entry wound, nothing too noticeable; we assume it's his body armor shorting out. Macbeth stiffens, but does not cry out. He collapses over the control panel of his platform, sending it into a dive.

WIDE ANGLE

All the gargoyles (Lex and Brooklyn have recovered by now) stare in shock as the platform COLLIDES with a huge ornate stone gargoyle on the top of a nearby building and EXPLODES. Flaming debris rains down O.S.

ON GARGOYLES

Staring O.S. in disbelief. Flickering light from the twisted, flaming wreckage paints their faces and bodies.

LEXINGTON
I don't believe it.

BROOKLYN
Believe it. Macbeth's dead.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Staring grimly O.S. Behind him the sky is roseate with dawn.

GOLIATH
I had no choice. He would have
killed the three of you.

Hudson moves IN beside him, absently brushing at the sparkling dust on his hauberk as he speaks:

HUDSON
No one's questioning your act,
Goliath.
(beat)
We'd best prepare to sleep here.
Dawn is upon us.

WIDE ANGLE

The gargoyles assume threatening positions as the sun rises.

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. NEW YORK SKYLINE - PANORAMIC VIEW - DAY (TIME LAPSE)

Let's try something difficult (and expensive): A TIME LAPSE shot showing the whole day compressed to a few seconds. Clouds boil and writhe across the sky, lights wink on and off in windows, shadows flow like spilled ink as the sun arcs quickly from east to west.(As if Frank didn't have enough to worry about ...) As evening shadows lengthen we

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BUILDING ROOFTOP - ON GARGOYLES - DUSK

Start with Goliath and PAN across the gargoyles as they each in turn SHATTER their carapaces and stretch in awakening.

GARGOYLES
(wake up)

PAN STOPS on Hudson; it's his turn to awaken. But nothing happens. The last flicker of sunlight disappears from his adamantine form. REFIELD TO INCLUDE the others, staring at him in stunned disbelief.

BROOKLYN
Hudson ...?

BROADWAY
What's wrong? Why doesn't he
wake up?

FAVOR GOLIATH

As he approaches, gingerly touching the old warrior's stone face. He's totally at a loss, and maybe there's just a bit of panic in his face and voice -- this is totally unprecedented.

GOLIATH
I-I don't know ...

CLOSER

He looks closer. The fading light shows some glittery powder on Hudson's granite shoulder.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
Wait ... last night Macbeth
threw some kind of powder on
Hudson. Here -- see?

The others crowd around.

BROADWAY
That's right -- I saw it.

FAVOR LEXINGTON

He peers closely at the powder.

LEXINGTON
I don't think there's any 20th
century science that can turn
flesh to stone.

GOLIATH
Sorcery, then. Macbeth put a
spell on him.

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

Grouped around the stone Hudson.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
And it's up to us to find a way
to break it.

BROOKLYN
Sure, but how? Macbeth's dead --
who else would know about the
spell?

FAVOR GOLIATH

Having come to a decision.

GOLIATH
Lexington and I will go to Macbeth's
mansion and search it. Perhaps he
left some clue there.
(beat)
Brooklyn, you and Broadway will
stay here and protect Hudson.

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOFTOP'S EDGE

Lexington and Goliath prepare for flight. Broadway puts a hand on Goliath's arm.

BROADWAY
(worried)
Goliath -- what if there is no
cure?

We can see that this has occurred to Goliath too.

GOLIATH
Then we will mourn our friend
and mentor.

DRAMATIC ANGLE

Goliath and Lexington take off from the rooftop and glide O.S. Broadway and Brooklyn watch them go.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. MACBETH'S MANSION - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

PUSH IN and

CUT TO:
INT. MANSION'S CONTROL ROOM - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

As we last saw it in Episode #4319-008. Here we find BANQUO and FLEANCE (last seen in #4319-22), desultorily playing penny-ante poker. Behind them the monitor screens show various views of the grounds and mansion interior. Banquo tosses a coin on the pile. PUSH IN SLOWLY on them as they play.

BANQUO
Raise.
(beat)
Y'know, when we took this job,
BANQUO (CONT'D)
the Boss promised us lots of
action.
(looks around;
disgusted)
Right.

FLEANCE
Relax. After what happened with
them gargoyles last time I can
use a little peace and quiet.
(beat)
See you and raise.

ANOTHER ANGLE

He tosses two coins in. Banquo scowls and looks at his cards.

BANQUO
Okay, wise guy, whatcha got?

ANGLE INCLUDES MONITOR

Showing a view from the roof. Fleance grins and starts to lay his cards down.

FLEANCE
Read 'em and --

Suddenly an ALARM KLAXON SOUNDS and the words INTRUDER ALERT begin flashing in red over the roof view on the screen. PUSH IN quickly on the screen as Banquo and Fleance react and look. We can see the winged shape of Lexington silhouetted against the moon, approaching.

ON FLEANCE AND BANQUO

Startled at first; then they grin at each other.

FLEANCE
One'a those gargoyles.

BANQUO
All right. Payback. C'mon!

They head O.S. The door SLAMS. PUSH IN on another one of the monitors, this one covering one of the mansion's walls. We can see a shadowy shape climbing it. Another KLAXON SOUNDS and the red INTRUDER ALERT sign starts flashing on that screen too ...

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOF - NIGHT

The two electromagnetic cannons used in #4319-022 rise up from the roof as Fleance and Banquo dash IN and man one each.

ON FLEANCE

POWERING UP the gun. A green screen with a blip on it appears on a console before him.

FLEANCE
Be in range in forty seconds ...

Goliath's hand reaches IN behind him, grabs him by the collar and yanks him O.S.

FLEANCE (CONT'D)
(startled cry)

ON BANQUO

Also seated at the ray cannon. He turns, looks. ANGLE ADJUSTS TO INCLUDE the other cannon, now unmanned.

BANQUO
Hey! What in --?

He jumps out of his seat, fumbling for the gun on his belt. Before he can free it Fleance flies INTO SHOT, SLAMMING into Banquo and knocking him back against the cannon.

BANQUO (CONT'D)
(stunned grunt)

CLOSER

Fleance is out; Banquo dazed. He looks O.S. and reacts.

BANQUO
(cry of fear)

HIS POV

Goliath, face in shadow save for his glowing eyes. He looks quite fearsome. Lex glides IN and lands beside him.

GOLIATH, LEXINGTON
(growls)

ON BANQUO AND FLEANCE

Goliath steps IN, seizes Banquo by the shirt front and lifts him up. He gets in the terrified guard's face and growls:

GOLIATH
I want your master's collection
of magic spells -- now.

BANQUO
I-I dunno where it is! Macbeth
keeps 'em locked up. He-he ain't
been here for weeks!

GOLIATH
If you're lying --!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Banquo is obviously too scared to lie.

BANQUO
It's the truth! I don't know
where he is!

Goliath drops him on top of his unconscious comrade.

GOLIATH
Find another job. Macbeth
won't be coming back.

He and Lexington turn away as we

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Goliath and Lexington have joined the others and the stone Hudson.

GOLIATH
His lackeys say he hasn't been
there for weeks. There was no
time to search the entire place
before dawn.

BROOKLYN
But we've got to do something.
Hudson can't stay stone forever.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Looking very grim as he tries to think of a way to save his old friend. HOLD ON him, and then

CUT TO:

INT. CAGE

Large, like an old lion cage, lit by a single bulb. Where it's located is not immediately clear -- all is darkness about it. Within the cage is Hudson, flesh and blood and pissed as hell. (MODEL NOTE: Hudson does not have his sword.)

HUDSON
(raging)
You can't keep me in here
forever!

He grabs the bars; they deliver an ELECTRICAL SHOCK that knocks him back.

HUDSON
(cry of pain)

CLOSER ON HIM

Angrier than we've ever seen him.

HUDSON
I'll get out, d'you hear me?!
I'll get out, and when I do --!

He whips out his sword, brandishing it menacingly as we

FADE OUT

END ACT ONE

ACT TWO

FADE IN:

EXT. ROOFTOP - CONTINUOUS

Goliath and the others with the stone Hudson.

LEXINGTON
Brooklyn's right -- there must
be some way we can help.

GOLIATH
Broadway, Lexington -- remain
here with Hudson. Brooklyn --
return to the clock tower and
check the Grimorum. Perhaps it
contains a counterspell.

BROOKLYN
Right.
(beat)
What about you?

FAVOR GOLIATH

Looking even grimmer than usual.

GOLIATH
With Macbeth dead, only one other
knows enough about magic to help
Hudson.

INCLUDE OTHERS

They look at him like he's nuts.

BROOKLYN
(incredulous)
You can't ask Demona for help!

GOLIATH
There is no other alternative.

ON EDGE OF ROOF

Goliath prepares to take off.

BROADWAY
How will you find her?

GOLIATH
I'll find her. Somehow.
(beat)
And then perhaps I can --
bargain -- with her.

FAVOR LEXINGTON

Puzzled.

LEXINGTON
What could you offer Demona
to make her help you?

ON GOLIATH

We can see that it pains him to say this, but he says it with chilling determination.

GOLIATH
Her life.

WIDE ANGLE

Goliath and Brooklyn take off O.S. in different directions as we

CLAW WIPE TO:

INT. CAGE - HUDSON

We still don't know where we are. Hudson is pacing in his cage like a trapped tiger. An O.S. CREAK OF HINGES stops him. He looks O.S. and reacts grimly.

HUDSON
About time you came back.

ANOTHER ANGLE

We can tell now that we're in a dim-lit dungeon chamber. A shadowy figure approaches the cage as Hudson continues:

HUDSON (CONT'D)
Why did you kidnap me? What
d'you want of me?

ON SHADOWED FIGURE

Approaching. As he speaks he steps into the range of light from the cage's bulb and is revealed to be XANATOS. He's holding a small box in one hand.

XANATOS
Nothing much, Hudson. Just --
your skin.

TWO SHOT - XANATOS AND HUDSON

Hudson glares warily at Xanatos, sword still at the ready.

HUDSON
You'll have the devil's own
task getting it.

FAVOR XANATOS

Urbane and unconcerned as ever.

XANATOS
I need your help in conducting
an experiment. It's dangerous,
so I felt it necessary to insure
your cooperation.

HUDSON
Experiment? What kind of
experiment?

ANOTHER ANGLE

Xanatos makes a dismissive gesture.

XANATOS
I won't bore you with technical
details. If the procedure is
successful, I'll release you.

FAVOR HUDSON

He trusts Xanatos about as far as he can comfortably spit a rat.

HUDSON
And if it isn't ...?

CLOSE ON XANATOS

He smiles.

XANATOS
Then you'll have the privilege
of giving your life for science.

ANGLE INCLUDES HUDSON

Furious.

HUDSON
My clan will never rest until
they know where I am!

Xanatos is spectacularly unconcerned.

XANATOS
But they already know where
you are.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

Off his puzzled look, we PAN AWAY TO FRAME Xanatos as he opens the box and takes out a tiny statue of Hudson in sleep pose. He holds it up.

ANGLE INCLUDES HUDSON

Who stares at it.

XANATOS
This is just a sculptor's model,
of course. The real thing is
life-size -- and very life-like.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

He's screwed, and he knows it.

CUT TO:

EXT. EYRIE BUILDING - CASTLE COURTYARD - NIGHT

Xanatos and OWEN are conversing.

OWEN
The overseas shipment will
be here, but not before dawn.

CLOSER - FAVOR XANATOS

He's unusually excited. He slams a fist into a palm.

XANATOS
Very good, Owen. Now we have
to make sure the gargoyles don't
think to look here for Hudson. I
want them -- distracted.

ON OWEN

He nods slightly, poker-faced as usual.

OWEN
Understood.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Where Lex and Broadway are guarding "Hudson". An ELECTRIC BOLT ZAPS the roof near them, scorching it and startling both of them.

LEXINGTON, BROADWAY
(surprised cries)

ANGLE INCLUDES

Macbeth, swooping toward them on another flying platform. Broadway and Lex are astounded to see that he's apparently risen from the dead.

LEXINGTON
It can't be! He's dead!

WIDE ANGLE

Macbeth ZAPS another bolt at them; this one comes perilously close to the Hudson statue. Both Lex and Hudson are forced to leap from the rooftop to avoid it.

BROADWAY
Well, for a ghost he sure
packs a wallop!

TRACK WITH GARGOYLES

As they swoop away from the rooftop.

BROADWAY
We've got to make him follow
us -- lead him away from Hudson!

Another POWER BOLT SCORCHES between them. They look back. REFIELD TO INCLUDE Macbeth, zooming after them.

LEXINGTON
I don't think that'll be a
problem!

ON MACBETH

He aims his weapon and FIRES again. During this:

MACBETH
I want your hides for trophies!

In the heat of battle, neither gargoyle notices that he says this exactly the same way he said it before; we should re-use the reading. Macbeth GAINS O.S. as we

CUT TO:

EXT. PRECINCT HOUSE - NIGHT

ELISA is just leaving, her shift over. MATT BLUESTONE parts company with her at the bottom of the steps.

ELISA
'Night, Matt.

EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Elisa is about to get into her car when a winged figure steps out from the shadows of the building.

ELISA
(surprised)
Goliath?

ON GOLIATH

He joins Elisa, glancing about to make sure they're alone.

ELISA
What's up?

ANOTHER ANGLE

Before Goliath can reply Brooklyn drops down INTO SHOT, landing next to them. Elisa reacts.

BROOKLYN
(to Goliath)
Figured I'd find you here.
(beat)
Nothing in the Grimorum that'll
help us.

FAVOR GOLIATH

He nods; the news is disappointing but not unexpected. He turns back to Elisa.

GOLIATH
We need your help finding
someone.

ELISA
Sure, you got it. Who you
looking for?

CLOSER - FAVOR BROOKLYN

Obviously not at all in favor of this.

BROOKLYN
(disgusted)
Believe it or not -- Demona.

REACTION SHOT - ELISA

She is, of course, quite taken aback.

ELISA
Must be important.
(beat)
You gonna tell me why?

FAVOR GOLIATH

We see he wants to, but:

GOLIATH
There's no time. But it's
imperative that we find her.

ELISA
We don't have any files on her;
most people don't even know she
exists. Finding her could take
weeks.

ANGLE INCLUDES

the brightening eastern horizon. Goliath glances at it.

GOLIATH
Do what you can -- please.
(beat)
I must go.

He and Brooklyn turn away, then stop as they and Elisa hear over Elisa's car radio:

DISPATCH (V.O.)
All units. Aerial disturbance at
South and Caroline streets. Laser
fire reported; use caution.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa, Goliath and Brooklyn look at each other.

BROOKLYN
That's not far from where we
left Hudson!

GOLIATH
Take to the air -- quickly!

ANGLE INCLUDES BUILDING

The two gargoyles climb swiftly up the side, digging holes in the masonry with their claws. APPROPRIATE SFX. PAN TO Elisa as she turns and dashes for her car.

CUT TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

A dark and dreary area, the deserted streets narrow and winding, with tall dark warehouses lining them. VERT. PAN UP TO FRAME Lexington and Broadway, fleeing for their lives, as another ELECTRICAL BOLT ZAPS a brick wall near them, SHATTERING it.

ANGLE INCLUDES MACBETH

Zooming along on his flying platform in close pursuit. We can see that the eastern sky is lightening.

MACBETH
Farewell, my enemies!

Again, the line is spoken exactly as previously.

TRACK WITH LEXINGTON AND BROADWAY

Flying through the narrow streets like Luke zooming along the Deathstar trench.

LEXINGTON
At least we led him away from
Hudson!

BROADWAY
Yeah -- now if only someone'd
lead him away from us!

ON LEXINGTON - FLYING

His expression becomes determined.

LEXINGTON
It's almost dawn -- and then
we'll be sitting ducks!

ANGLE WIDENS as he does a barrel roll, looping up in a backwards arc. During the next few shots we should be seeing the sky growing lighter and lighter.

LEXINGTON (CONT'D)
(battle cry)

ON MACBETH - FLYING

As Lex comes swooping down behind Macbeth, the latter turns and lines up on him with his weapon.

MACBETH
You'll have to do better than
that!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Just before Macbeth fires, however, Broadway CRASHES into him from behind. Macbeth does not cry out from the impact (he's a robot, remember?), nor is he knocked down as we would expect a human to be. Instead he turns and grapples with the surprised Broadway.

BROADWAY
(grunt of surprise)

ANGLE INCLUDES LEXINGTON

swooping down toward them; he reacts in astonishment as Macbeth picks up Broadway and hurls him from the careening platform.

BROADWAY
(surprised cry)

TRACK WITH BROADWAY

He pops open his wings, catches air, slowing his drop. As he does so, he looks up and reacts in surprise as he sees:

LOW ANGLE - MACBETH'S FLYING PLATFORM

Just in time for Lex to sail IN and be BATTED aside like an annoying insect by Macbeth's one-armed blow.

LEXINGTON
(stunned grunt)

ON BROADWAY

He lands on the fire escape next to a crane which holds a huge shipping crate on the end of its cable. The building has a sign on the building's wall that reads ROYAL PERSIAN CARPETS. We can see the street; at the far end of it Elisa's car SCREECHES around the corner and heads toward us.

ON LEXINGTON

Rising on a thermal while he recovers from Macbeth's blow.

LEXINGTON
(groans)

ON TOP OF NEARBY BUILDING

Goliath and Brooklyn sail IN and land on the ledge, looking about for their clan mates. The world is trembling on the edge of dawn. Goliath points O.S. in astonishment.

GOLIATH
Over there!

ANGLE INCLUDES MACBETH

Turning his platform to come back for another shot at Lex.

GOLIATH (O.S. CONT'D)
Macbeth -- still alive?!

ZAP! Macbeth FIRES O.S.

ON LEXINGTON

The BOLTS SCORCH the air directly beneath him, forcing him to rise higher and higher.

ON GOLIATH AND BROOKLYN

Goliath prepares to leap into the air, but Brooklyn grabs his arm and points O.S. eastward in horror.

BROOKLYN
Goliath!

ANGLE INCLUDES

The horizon, where the molten edge of the sun has appeared across the East River.

RESUME GOLIATH AND BROOKLYN

The PETRIFACTION starts, moving swiftly up their bodies. Goliath stares up O.S., struggling against the inevitable.

GOLIATH
(strains)
Lexington --!

And then he is stone, as is Brooklyn.

ON LEXINGTON

ON THE CUT he TRANSFORMS also, and drops like -- well, like a rock.

ON BROADWAY AND ELISA

Elisa now standing beneath Broadway, both of them staring up in horror. Broadway has an extra second of consciousness before the terminator moves down the building and envelopes him -- just long enough to see his friend plummeting toward certain death.

BROADWAY
No!!

Then he TRANSFORMS.

ON ELISA

In shock as she watches Lexington falling.

HER POV - LEXINGTON

Falling straight toward us as we

FADE OUT

END ACT TWO

ACT THREE

FADE IN:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - LOW ANGLE SHOT - DAWN - CONTINUOUS

The stone Lexington falling right INTO CAMERA.

ON ELISA

She's only got a couple of seconds to come up with something. She looks frantically this way and that, then spies something O.S. (Needless to say, these scenes must play like lightning.)

HER POV - SHIPPING CRATE

The huge shipping crate at the end of the crane cable, level with the second story of the building. ZOOM IN on the box's side, where the words ROYAL PERSIAN CARPETS are stenciled.

ON ELISA

She whips her gun from its shoulder holster, aims and FIRES up O.S. repeatedly, emptying the clip.

CLOSE ON CRANE BOOM

She's a helluva shot -- the bullets STRIKE the hoist cable at the pulley junction, its weakest point. The cable SNAPS; PULL BACK TO WIDE as the crate falls and SHATTERS on the street, releasing its cargo: a couple of dozen rolled up thick carpets. They barely have time to hit the street in a pile six feet thick before Lex CRASHES down on top of them, bounces, lands again on the very edge of the pile and lies still.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa races to Lexington's side. His stone form is unharmed.

ELISA
(big sigh)

CLOSER ON HER

She remembers Macbeth and looks up O.S.

HER POV - SKY

We can see Macbeth zooming away on his platform.

RESUME ELISA

Watching him go.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. EYRIE BUILDING - CASTLE COURTYARD - DAY

Where Xanatos and Owen are looking at a large wooden crate sitting on the flagstones. They each use a crowbar to lever the top open. The wood falls away with a CRASH.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Showing us -- and the two men -- what's inside the crate: a huge iron cauldron, obviously very old.

OWEN
Might I ask what it is?

FAVOR XANATOS

He runs his hand over the cauldron's lip. We can see Celtic runes engraved along the iron side.

XANATOS
The Cauldron Of Life.

WIDE ANGLE

Xanatos SNAPS a finger and several FLUNKIES come forward and begin DISMANTLING the crate. This action continues in b.g. as Xanatos and Owen walk away.

XANATOS (CONT'D)
I learned about it from ancient
Celtic texts. The legend says
it grants to whoever bathes in
it "a life as long as that of
stone itself."

OWEN
Ah. Your interest in it now
becomes clear.

XANATOS
Exactly. What good are all the
riches on Earth if Fox and I
are not around to enjoy them
forever?

CUT TO:

INT. GREAT HALL - DAY

Xanatos and Owen walk IN cross to the elevators.

OWEN
These ancient spells are often
dangerous. Our experience with
the Eye Of Odin proves that.

CLOSER ON THEM

The elevator doors open and they step in. As the doors close:

XANATOS
Which is why we'll test it
first.

CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON - ON CAGE

Which contains the now-stone Hudson. REFIELD TO INCLUDE elevator doors, which open to reveal Owen and Xanatos. They
cross to the cage. During this:

XANATOS
Gargoyle physiology is similar
enough to humans to make
Hudson a good test subject.

CLOSE ON CAGE

On the floor of the cage we can see several shards of stone epidermis that Hudson shed the previous night. Xanatos' hand reaches IN and picks one up. PULL BACK TO INCLUDE him and Owen as he holds it up to examine it.

XANATOS (CONT'D)
Also, one of the key ingredients
for the cauldron's brew is the
stone skin of a gargoyle.

OWEN
Quite expedient.

XANATOS
Yes. And if the old gargoyle
is made young again, we'll
know it works.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Owen checks his watch.

OWEN
A pity we'll have to wait
twelve hours to test it.

ON XANATOS

Eyes all but glowing in anticipation.

XANATOS
Twelve hours isn't too long
to wait for eternity.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE ROOF - DUSK

Where the stone statues of Brooklyn and Goliath have been joined by Lexington and Broadway. Elisa is there waiting for them to wake up.

ANOTHER ANGLE

The sun vanishes beyond the western horizon and the four gargoyles SHATTER their stone skins and awaken.

BROOKLYN, GOLIATH, LEX, BROADWAY
(wake up)

FAVOR GARGOYLES

Lex's clan mates are surprised and overjoyed to see him. Lex is no less surprised at being there.

LEXINGTON
Hey -- I'm still alive!

BROOKLYN
It's a miracle!

Goliath looks over at Elisa, who smiles.

GOLIATH
Yes -- a miracle named Elisa.

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

The gargoyles crowd around Elisa.

LEXINGTON
How'd you save me from
shattering?

ELISA
That was easy. The hard part
was convincing the rug merchant
to have you and Broadway put up
on the roof.
(beat)
Now; I think I've earned the
right to know what's going on.

FAVOR GOLIATH

He picks Elisa up in his arms.

GOLIATH
We will show you.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Where "Hudson" keeps his lonely stone vigil. The gargoyles land, Goliath setting Elisa down. She's astonished.

ELISA
He's still stone!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa touches "Hudson", unable to believe this.

ELISA (CONT'D)
But it's night time.

GOLIATH
Precisely. Macbeth put a spell
on him.

BROADWAY
We haven't figured out why --
or why he keeps attacking us.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Thinking hard about it.

GOLIATH
It's almost as though he's trying
to keep us off guard while
something else goes on ...

ANOTHER ANGLE - ALL

A POWER BOLT from O.S. SHATTERS the edge of the roof, nearly toppling them all into the street.

GARGOYLES, ELISA
(surprised cries)

WIDE ANGLE

Here comes Macbeth again, FIRING furiously.

MACBETH
Farewell, my enemies!

ON GARGOYLES AND ELISA

Elisa dives for cover behind a brick chimney, pulling her gun as she does so. The gargoyles take to the air as more BOLTS ZING THROUGH, some coming perilously close to Hudson.

AERIAL SHOT - WIDE

The gargoyles circle Macbeth, avoiding the POWER BLASTS.

GOLIATH
Keep him away from Hudson!

ON ELISA

Lying behind the chimney, unable to get a clear shot. She ducks and covers as another nearby BLAST PEPPERS the chimney with stone shrapnel.

CUT TO:

INT. GREAT HALL - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The Cauldron now sits in the center of the Hall, filled with water. Xanatos and Owen watch. Hudson is there, arms held by a Steel Clan robot. Xanatos holds a handful of stone skin fragments in one hand and Hudson's sword in the other.

XANATOS
Now for the final ingredient ...

CLOSE ON CAULDRON

He tosses the fragments in the water, and they DISSOLVE in a mystical flash. A beat; then, though no fire burns beneath the cauldron, the water apparently begins to BOIL.

FAVOR XANATOS AND HUDSON

Xanatos turns to the old gargoyle.

XANATOS
Time for your bath, Hudson.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

A POWER BOLT KNOCKS Broadway and Brooklyn out of the sky.

BROADWAY, BROOKLYN
(impact grunts)

They land on the roof's edge, half-stunned.

ON GOLIATH AND LEXINGTON

Swooping around for another pass. BOLTS SIZZLE THROUGH SHOT.

ON HUDSON STATUE

The POWER BOLTS are coming closer to it.

QUICK CUT - ELISA

She sees what's going to happen and reacts in horror.

QUICK CUT - LEXINGTON

He has the same reaction, but is too far away to do anything about it.

LEXINGTON
(gasps)

ON GOLIATH

Arrowing straight toward us, hands outstretched.

GOLIATH
Hudson --!!

ON "HUDSON"

As a POWER BOLT STRIKES the statue squarely, BLOWING it to hell and gone.

REACTION SHOT - GOLIATH

Utterly horrified, as we

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. GREAT HALL - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The robot lifts Hudson from behind. Hudson struggles futilely.

HUDSON
(struggles)

WIDE ANGLE

The robot carries him toward the cauldron as we

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The dust still settling from the destruction of the statue. Goliath drops INTO SHOT beside the fragments.

ON GOLIATH

His eyes blaze white. He is in a killing rage, angrier than we have ever seen him before. He glares up O.S. Another POWER BOLT BLISTERS the roof right next to him, but he doesn't even notice it. With a:

GOLIATH
(scream of rage)

he leaps from the roof and soars up O.S.

ON MACBETH

FIRING O.S. at the oncoming juggernaut.

ON GOLIATH - FLYING

He takes an almost-direct HIT by a BOLT; it knocks him back, but he flaps his wings and recovers, gets back on track.

GOLIATH
(growls)

He's HIT again, but nothing can stop him.

WIDE ANGLE - MACBETH'S FLYING PLATFORM

Goliath muscles his way through another BLAST by sheer force of will and lands on the platform.

CLOSER

Before Macbeth can fire again Goliath tears the weapon from his hands and CRUSHES it.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Goliath's to angry to notice Macbeth's lack of fear. He grabs the robot, sustaining a massive SHOCK doing so. But he doesn't let go. Holding on with one hand, ELECTRICITY CRACKLING the length of his arm, he cocks the other fist back.

GOLIATH
Murderer!!

CLOSE ON THEM

As Goliath SMASHES a piledriver blow straight into Macbeth's chest, CRUSHING it. Circuitry SPARKS, FLASHES. Macbeth spasms as his system shorts out. When he speaks his voice RUNS DOWN like a slowing tape:

MACBETH
You'll have ... to do ...
better ... than ... that ...

Goliath stares in disbelief.

CUT TO:

INT. GREAT HALL - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

Hudson's about to be dumped in the cauldron. He struggles.

HUDSON
(struggles)

FAVOR XANATOS

He holds up the sword tauntingly.

XANATOS
Relax, Hudson. Without your
sword, you're helpless.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

And we see that his struggles mask the sight of one hand reaching beneath his hauberk and pulling out a long sharp shard of epithelial stone.

HUDSON
Weaponless, maybe ...

WIDE ANGLE

As Hudson whips his arm around, driving the shard back directly into the face plate of the robot behind him. The robot SHORTS OUT spectacularly and falls away. During this:

HUDSON (CONT'D)
Helpless, never!

ANOTHER ANGLE

With one side free, Hudson drops his feet on the cauldron's side, balancing on the narrow lip, then leaps forward.

HUDSON
(battle cry)

PAN WITH HIM as he does a forward flip over the cauldron, wings folded, and IMPACTS feet-first squarely into Xanatos, KNOCKING the latter O.S. Owen reacts in surprise.

XANATOS
(impact grunt)

ON WALL

Xanatos SLAMS against it, dropping Hudson's sword. He then slides down to sprawl on the floor, stunned.

XANATOS
(stunned grunt)

ON HUDSON AND OWEN

Hudson grabs up his sword and whips about to face Owen. He points a warning finger at Xanatos' charge d'affaires.

HUDSON
Behave yourself, boy.

It's a Mexican stand-off for a beat, then:

ANGLE INCLUDES DOORS

Which SMASH open, revealing Goliath, Lexington, Broadway and Brooklyn, all of them decidedly pissed off.

GOLIATH
Xanatos, you will pay for --

He breaks off in astonishment at the sight of Hudson, alive and well.

BROOKLYN
Hudson?!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Hudson's clan mates rush to him.

HUDSON
It's about time you showed up.

LEXINGTON
We thought you were dead!

BROADWAY
We saw Macbeth shatter you!

BROOKLYN
Yeah -- we left Elisa to guard
your remains.

FAVOR HUDSON

He's got no idea what they're talking about.

HUDSON
Macbeth? Remains? Have ye all
gone daft?

FAVOR GOLIATH

He notices Owen, standing by Xanatos' stunned form and speaking sotto into a cellular phone.

GOLIATH
I think explanations had best
wait. Come!

CUT TO:

EXT. EYRIE BUILDING - CASTLE - NIGHT

The gargoyles leap from the battlements and soar away over the city just as several of Xanatos' COMMANDOS rush IN. They FIRE LASERBLASTS after them, but it's too late.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Elisa stands looking forlornly at "Hudson's" remains. The flying platform and the ruined Macbeth robot are nearby.

ELISA
I'm sorry, Hudson ... I wish
it hadn't turned out this
way ...

As she speaks, the gargoyles drop silently down INTO SHOT behind her. Hudson now has his sword in his belt. They grin as they hear Elisa's words.

HUDSON
All things considered, I'm
glad it did, lass.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa whips about in comical astonishment.

ELISA
Hudson --? What --? You're
not --?

HUDSON
It's a long story, my bonnie,
and one best told over a hot
cup of tea.

WIDE ANGLE

Goliath scoops Elisa up. Hudson picks up the statue's head.

HUDSON
I think I'll keep this as a
souvenir. Not everyone can
reclaim their head after
losing it.

ON ROOF'S EDGE

The gargoyles glide into the night, Goliath holding Elisa.

WIPE TO:

EXT. GREAT HALL - NIGHT

Owen is helping Xanatos to his feet. The cauldron still BUBBLES in b.g. Xanatos is angry.

XANATOS
Blast it! I was so close to
finding out if the legend was
true. Now there's no one to
test it on.

REVERSE ANGLE

Owen crosses to the cauldron in f.g., pulling up his sleeve.

OWEN
Allow me, sir ...

CLOSE ON WATER

Owen plunges his fist into the "boiling" water.

TWO SHOT - OWEN AND XANATOS

Xanatos watches in surprise as Owen pulls his fist out. The fist and arm are now solid stone up to the cuff's edge. Owen reacts quite unemotionally to this.

OWEN
It would appear, sir, that
the cauldron's spell of
immortality has a price.

XANATOS
Yes ... what was the legend?
"A life as long as that of
stone itself."
(beat)
Thank you, Owen. That will
be all.

He turns and walks O.S., leaving Owen standing there with his new stone hand as we

FADE OUT

THE END


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES: 3rd & 4th Chunk

Here's a couple more chunks from the 1998 Roswell Conspiracies Bible...

3rd Chunk:

EURASIA - 1944
In the last year of World War II, a select group of Allied Intelligence operatives stumbled upon a threat to the planet Earth that would make the War seem like a church social.

Aliens -- extraterrestrials from half a dozen different planets --had invaded our world. Some of them had been here for centuries. Some could pose or pass as humans. Some had infiltrated our governments and institutions, insinuating themselves into positions of power throughout the world.

Leaders of four of the most prominent alien races had formed a CADRE. Using the chaos caused by the War, the Cadre was positioning itself to take our planet for themselves.

Fortunately, their plan was discovered by O.S.S. agent Warren Burdette. Burdette's only problem was that no one believed him. Still, he was determined to save humanity despite itself. He gathered evidence -- some of it living.

An earlier, more mundane intelligence operation had once resulted in Burdette saving the life of WINSTON CHURCHILL. Burdette called on Churchill again and presented his evidence. Churchill was convinced. He contacted FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT and "THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE" (T.G.A.) was officially chartered. At the time, it consisted of only two nations, the United States and Great Britain.

Burdette was named the Alliance's first NIGHT OFFICER, (a euphemism for Head Honcho). His team consisted of an elite group of spies, soldiers and scientists from both nations, as well as a few aliens with an interest in seeing the Cadre defeated. Early operatives included:
--Lieutenant William Hawking, British Intelligence;
--Doctor Michael Tyler, a British Biologist;
--Colonel Joseph Ten-Samsons, an American Fighter Pilot;
--Sergeant John Gerald McKay, an American Army Commando;
--Doctor Segundo Vasquez, an American Physicist;
--Aidan Maguire, an alien of the Sidhe race;
--Ya-Tuk, an alien of the Qua-Yeti race.

Burdette's first mission was to stop the Cadre. This was accomplished most elegantly by turning the four member races against each other. In September, 1945, after a final battle in the Himalayas, the Cadre was finally smashed.

But the Alliance's work had only just begun. Now that the Wars (both Wars) were over, the Alliance needed a permanent base to carry out their on-going mission: to protect Earth from both its alien inhabitants and any future invaders. All without panicking the human population of the planet.

1946 was spent preparing for this new scenario.

A site for the base was chosen in an intentionally unlikely location: Roswell, New Mexico -- the home town of Joseph Ten-Samsons.

Segundo Vasquez bought a ranch using Alliance money.

Jack McKay came to town from Texas. Word "somehow" got out that he was a war hero, and when he ran for Sheriff, he won handily. He hired Joseph Ten-Samsons as his deputy.

Will Hawking and Michael Tyler were carefully trained to speak "American." Tyler was given a new identity as a U.S. Army surgeon. Hawking was made a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. He was assigned to Walker Air Force Base.

Burdette became an instant Two-Star General.

British spy (and new recruit) Trish Ainsley became a wire service reporter.

By now, it was June, 1947. The stage was set.

4th Chunk:

THE BIG LIE
The Lie was designed to operate on four levels in order to achieve three objectives:

Level #1: An incident is created that presents a plausible scenario, including witnesses and some evidence, for the limited arrival of intelligent alien life on our planet.
Level #2: An equally plausible counter-scenario is offered, including witnesses and some evidence, detailing a mundane explanation for the same events.
Level #3: In order to explain discrepancies between the first two levels, Level #1 is embellished with supplementary testimony in order to suggest that a government cover-up and conspiracy exists designed to hide any evidence of alien contact.
Level #4: None of these scenarios are completely plausible. None are completely without the ring of truth. None of the pieces fit perfectly. No theory or explanation is beyond reproach. The evidence is limited, inaccessible and/or unreliable. Witnesses appear and disappear. They change their stories. Nothing is made 100% clear.

Objective A: People who are inclined to believe in an alien visitation are given a safe (and inaccurate) outlet for their curiosity. They can believe in aliens, be paranoid about conspiracies and investigate both to their hearts' content without ever getting close to the actual truth.
Objective B: People who are disinclined to believe in the paranormal are offered a suitable explanation and an excuse to regard anyone who does believe as a fanatic.
Objective C: In general, the sum total of all this is such a quagmire that most people -- even if they believe in the possibility of alien visitation and/or government conspiracy -- will quickly lose interest and simply go on with their daily lives.

To date, few government programs in history have been quite so successful at meeting all of their objectives as the Big Lie.
****************


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE - 2nd Chunk

That first chunk was pretty short. Hardly enough to pique your interest. So here's another piece...

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO - June 14, 1947.
Rancher SEGUNDO VASQUEZ is sitting on his porch admiring the quiet desert night. Something, something fast, streaks across his field of vision. A shooting star? He's not sure. He doesn't get a good look. He stands and scans the sky. Suddenly a fiery explosion lights up the night! Now Vasquez can see flaming debris crashing to the Earth a few miles away. Thinking an airplane has gone down, he makes a quick call to the Sheriff, then gets in his pick-up truck and heads out into the desert to see if he can find any survivors.

Roswell Sheriff JACK MCKAY and his Deputy JOSEPH TEN-SAMSONS arrive on the scene an hour after Vasquez. McKay immediately radios his dispatch and has them connect him to WALKER AIR FORCE BASE.

Air Force Captain WILL HAWKING is dispatched to the site of the crash, with a full platoon of men.

The next morning, June 15, the news services report that a U.F.O. has crash-landed on the Vasquez Ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. Captain Hawking is quoted, and he confirms the story later that day.

June 16. The Air Force releases a correction. Two-Star General WARREN BURDETTE explains that Captain Hawking was mistaken. What he took for a U.F.O. was actually a weather balloon. Hawking cannot be reached for comment. And the Vasquez Ranch is off-limits to all non-military personnel.

July 7. The U.S. Armed Forces finally pulls its last transport out of Roswell. On July 8, in a SANTA FE motel room, Captain Hawking speaks to wire service reporter TRISH AINSLEY. Hawking maintains his original story. He saw a "saucer-shaped" vehicle broken into two distinct pieces with assorted small debris. He saw one corpse and one badly injured survivor. But neither individual was human. Their skin was grey. Their heads were disproportionately large. So were their eyes. They had no ears or nose or teeth. They had two long fingers and a thumb on each hand. Neither was over five feet tall. There's no doubt in Hawking's mind that what he saw was extra-terrestrial. An ALIEN SPACECRAFT from another world that had crashed on our planet, killing one occupant and injuring the other. Hawking claims that the U.S. Military knows all of this and is covering it up. They have removed the bodies and every trace of debris from the Vasquez ranch. Ainsley tries to get Hawking to call the aliens "Martians". She tries to get him to speculate as to what the government has done with the craft and the bodies. Hawking refuses to take the bait. He saw what he saw. The rest is as much of a mystery to him as to anyone. That night, Ainsley turns in her story. But her employers -- calling it preposterous -- refuse to put it on the wire.

July 9. Seven hours after the story is rejected, Captain Hawking resigns his commission. He phones Ainsley and tells her the resignation was less than voluntary. Then, he disappears.

July 16. Ainsley contacts Segundo Vasquez. But he won't talk to her. Won't even let her on the property. She goes to the Sheriff's office and speaks to McKay. McKay confirms the official version. He had seen everything Hawking had seen. There were no bodies. And the shattered craft was a weather balloon. McKay's deputy sits silently and listens to his boss speak. When Ainsley turns to Ten-Samsons, he simply stares back at her. He won't confirm. He won't deny. He won't open his mouth at all. That night, she confronts him in a local bar. He's silent. She presses. Finally, he speaks: "Don't ask me to talk to you. I have a son that I love." He leaves the bar. Ainsley doesn't follow.

But Trish Ainsley continues to pursue the story, to the detriment of her legitimate career as a journalist. Years pass, but she tracks down every army grunt who had ever set foot in Roswell, New Mexico. Most won't talk to her, and the few who will won't say anything on the record. But she begins to piece it together.

March 10, 1955. Following up on an anonymous tip, Ainsley finds an Army Surgeon, MAJOR MICHAEL TYLER, who claims to have seen and worked on the two recovered aliens.

January 4, 1961. Joseph Ten-Samsons dies of cancer.

December 12, 1961, Segundo Vasquez is on his deathbed, another cancer victim. Trish Ainsley arrives and speaks to him before he passes away early in the morning of December 13.

1964. Dr. Tyler retires from the U.S. Army and then seems to vanish off the face of the Earth.

Then in July, 1971, Will Hawking resurfaces after over two decades in hiding. Together, Hawking and Ainsley write a book: THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES.

May 1, 1972. Two weeks before the book is scheduled to be published, Trish Ainsley dies in a car accident. Hawking disappears again.

May 18, 1972. Nevertheless, the book is published. It reiterates Hawking's original story and expands upon it, using material that Hawking gathered while underground, combined with interviews that Ainsley had conducted over the last twenty plus years. These interviews include a startling 1961 deathbed confession from Segundo Vasquez, confirming Hawking's version of events. Vasquez explained his previous silence by detailing numerous threats against and attempts upon his life. He also hinted that his cancer was the result of his exposure to the broken and glowing alien spaceship all those years ago. Finally, Ainsley also claimed that in his last moments, Segundo had given Ainsley a piece of twisted metal from that craft that was clearly extra-terrestrial in origin.

The book also included Dr. Tyler's description of the alien autopsy, as well as his attempts to resuscitate the second, injured, alien. When it seemed certain that those attempts were failing, Dr. Tyler had been instructed to place both the dead alien and his still-breathing companion in cryogenic stasis. As late as 1963 (the last time either Hawking or Ainsley had seen Tyler), both alien popsicles were still in the custody of the Joint Chiefs.

The Roswell Conspiracies causes a minor sensation. It is on the non-fiction best-seller list for four weeks, peeking at #7. Although few legitimate scientists take it seriously, the Air Force issues an immediate and all-encompassing denial on June 2.

June 14, 1972. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Roswell Crash, Sheriff McKay actually holds a (fairly well-attended) press conference to debunk the book's findings. He reiterates his own version of events: simply put, there was a fallen balloon and some high-tech military debris on the Vasquez Ranch. Although, McKay doesn't pretend he could identify every bit of it, there was certainly nothing alien in it's design. And he literally scoffs at the notion that there were any bodies (living, dead, alien or human). The idea that exposure to the downed craft was carcinogenic seems to be belied by his own robust good-health.

At the press conference, McKay is joined by MARIA VASQUEZ DIENER, Segundo's daughter. Maria confirms that Ainsley had spoken with her father the night before he died. But Maria claims that in his delirium, her father spoke only in Spanish. Ainsley had admitted at the time that her command of that language was limited at best, but she nevertheless insisted on speaking to Segundo alone. Thus no one else heard this so-called confession, and the book gives no indication as to what language Segundo was using when he spoke these "startling revelations".

Maria is questioned about the piece of "alien metal" that her father supposedly gave to Ainsley. She confirms that her father had kept a piece of wreckage from the crash as a souvenir. This was no secret to his friends or family. It had been sitting on his mantel for over a decade. The Air Force had allowed him to keep it, so it couldn't have been too startling in anyone's version of events. A few days after the funeral, Maria noticed that the relic was missing. She can now only assume that Ainsley stole it. McKay chimes in with an observation. He acknowledges that Ainsley's death is a tragedy, but since the chunk of metal was conveniently missing from her effects, legitimate science has been prevented from examining it to confirm (or dispute) her conclusions.

At this point, reporter NICK KATERAS asks McKay if the timing of Ainsley's death isn't extremely suspicious. McKay agrees that it is. He's checked into it. Ainsley's body was cremated within 48 hours of her death, and the only person who identified that body was the now missing Hawking. McKay can't help wondering if Ainsley is actually dead, of if the whole thing isn't a publicity stunt that doubles as a way for her to dodge some tough questions. After all, if there really was a conspiracy that wanted her dead, wouldn't she have been killed BEFORE she wrote the book, or at least before she had delivered the manuscript to her publisher?

June 16, 1972. Jack McKay issues an apology to Trish Ainsley's "friends and family." It was insensitive to imply even in jest that she could or would have faked her own death for the sake of book sales.

The book drops off the best seller list, though it remains in print. Royalties are held in trust for Hawking. Ainsley has no living relatives. She does not resurface.

August, 1980. Maria Vasquez Diener's husband ERICH DIENER abandons her and her two children. She struggles to maintain the ranch.

June 1, 1982. Retired Four-Star General Warren Burdette dies of cancer. He was 83 years old. To the end, he refuses to comment on Roswell.

June 14, 1982. Will Hawking resurfaces on the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Roswell crash. He collects a substantial royalty check from his publisher and makes the rounds of all the morning talk shows. Jack McKay is a surprise guest on one of these, and Hawking and McKay engage in an intense and bitter debate on the air. Hawking is goaded into producing the "Roswell Fragment," the twisted piece of chrome-like metal that Ainsley either stole or received from Vasquez. Hawking insists that a battery of tests have already proven that the fragment is of extraterrestrial origins. McKay suggests that Hawking turn it over for independent testing, but Hawking refuses to let the evidence out of his sight.

December 13, 1986. Hawking uses his military pension and book royalties to buy the ranch adjacent to the old Vasquez place.

December 31, 1986. Jack McKay retires as Sheriff after 40 years in office. He purchases the old Vasquez place from Maria Vasquez Diener.

March 18, 1989. Maria Vasquez Diener dies of cancer. Her teen-age son ALEX DIENER claims that she lied about Segundo's last meeting with Trish Ainsley, because she was afraid of Jack McKay and his "friends."

June 14, 1992 - On the 45th Anniversary of the Roswell Incident, Jack McKay and Will Hawking once again do their point/counterpoint routine on television talk shows. They display hostility laced with humor and are a genuine success. Together, they are booked on lecture tours.

In 1995, after an investigation into the Roswell Incident intended to end the various rumors, the Air Force now maintains that the debris was part of Project Mogul, a formerly top secret operation using acoustic equipment on high altitude balloons in an effort to detect foreign atomic tests. When one of the Mogul balloons was downed in '47, the Air Force moved in to retrieve it before security could be further compromised.

The USAF also says that it conducted a variety of experiments in the same general area involving test dummies dropped from balloons and aircraft in order to measure the effects of falls from various altitudes. The dummies match the descriptions of the "aliens" reported by witnesses. The Air Force feels that the connection between the dummies and the balloon has been exaggerated over the years.

June 14, 1997. The 50th anniversary. Jack McKay now admits to having seen the dummies at the site. He claims he was asked not to mention them by the U.S. government, and he complied like any good patriot would. Hawking, his regular sparring partner, wonders aloud what else this patriot has lied about over the years. The debate that follows is lively, but it's clear that over the years Hawking and McKay have developed a strange little friendship. They actually like each other.

September, 1999. Roswell, New Mexico is both a serious tourist trap and a Mecca for true believers seeking knowledge about extra-terrestrials on this planet. Every Friday night, McKay and Hawking stage another debate about the Incident. Admission is a modest four dollars.

And by the way, almost none of the above is true.


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE: 1st Chunk

Hi. In 1998, I started developing a series for BKN called "The Roswell Conspiracies". This was not an idea I created. (The credit for that, I believe, goes to Kaaren Brown.) But I did do extensive work on the project. I tried to create a detailed universe, and wrote a detailed bible, a timeline and a one hour pilot script (which some of you who attended Gathering 1999 in Dallas may recall). I wound up not doing the project, and my work was redeveloped by others before the show went on the air. I never saw the finished project so I have no idea (and little interest) in how it turned out. But I was thinking about it the other day and reread the materials. I think it's kinda some cool stuff. So I thought you might be interested in seeing it. (I figure the show's come and gone. I'm no longer revealing any secrets.) I'll post a chunk at a time here, as I have the time.

THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES:

Aliens, Myths & Legends

(development bible)

written by

Greg Weisman

SE: GDW

June 5, 1998
Revised: June 12, 1998

THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES:
Aliens, Myths & Legends
(development bible)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Present Day.
TONY MARKUS is an L.A.-based skip tracer, a bounty hunter employed by DOMINIC BAIL BONDS to track down deadbeats who skip out on their bail. Saying Markus is a loner doesn't quite do him justice. He's cynical, hard and generally uninterested in the human race. His cousin (and boss) FRANK DOMINIC is the only guy that Markus has any tolerance for, and that's only because Dom knows Tony well enough to leave him alone. None of this makes Markus a particularly pleasant dinner companion. But it's done wonders for his career. He's relentless. Unemotional. Unflinching. And he has a near-perfect track record. Only one guy ever successfully skipped on Markus, and that was a long time ago during his first month on the job, back when he was pretty darn green. But green or not, Markus didn't like failing. So he just doesn't fail anymore. When Dom gives Tony Markus a skip to trace, Dom knows his cousin is going to deliver.

Which brings us to Markus' current assignment: her name is SIOBHAN BARROW. She's skipped on a Felony Assault Charge, and Dom is potentially out fifty grand on her bail. The trail is three days cold by the time Markus is on the hunt. But that's not the problem. Barrow is fleeing across state lines, from CALIFORNIA to ARIZONA and finally into NEW MEXICO. But that's not the problem either. She's also tougher than she looks, leaving a fair number of additional assault victims in her wake. But even that's not the problem.

The problem is that Markus isn't the only guy hunting her down. Two FEDERALES are after her too. At least he thinks they're Feds. They act like Feds, pretending to be Honeymooning Tourists. And then there are the TALL WOMEN. Scary types, but bearing a certain family resemblance to his quarry. They could be trying to help Ms. Barrow get away. Except that Siobhan Barrow seems more afraid of them than anyone. Markus doesn't know why there's a crowd after Siobhan, he only knows that he's going to be the one to run her down first.

The chase leads all interested parties to ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO. And that's when things really start to cook.


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Chapter XXXII: "The Cage"

For ASK GREG and the DCV, here's my ramble on "The Cage"...

Director: Dennis J. Woodyard
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano

SEMI-NEW CHARACTERS:

We'd seen a photo of Beth Maza before, but this was the first time we actually met her.

This is also, arguably, Vinnie's first real appearance. We'd heard his voice before, and we later decided that he had appeared two or three times before. But here was the inspirational moment. The character that we fell in love with, that went on to STAR in "Vendettas" and "The Journey". Throughout our viewing of the episode, my wife kept asking who did this voice, who did that voice? Every single time, I answered "Jeff Bennett." Then at the end, she asked: "Who's voicing Maggie? Don't tell me it's Jeff." For the record, it's Kath Soucie.

And here's the first real characterization for Fang & Claw as well. Fang was voiced by Jonathan Frakes for his one line in "Metamorphosis". But we cast Jim Belushi to play Mr. Obnoxious from this point out. I fell in love with Jim's take on Fang. His performance alone was one of the big inspirations for BAD GUYS. He's got some great lines:
--"Cat got your tongue... don't you get it?"
--"Like you're some kind of expert on evil monsters!"
--"I'll have to clear my social calendar."

Note also, to save money, Diane Maza never speaks. This episode had a huge cast. Making Claw a mute was a fun way to save money.

LITTLE THINGS I LIKE:

--Elisa refers to her brother as Derek. Goliath uses the word Talon.

--I love how Xanatos says: "Goliath and Elisa are always welcome here." He's so slick. He's far from in control in this episode. But he never stops playing the various characters against each other. He's constantly adjusting to new information. Never flustered.

--I like how Sev is basically talking to himself in his cage. With only the growling monster for feedback. Amazing how much one can gleen from a growl.

--Broadway praises the concert music simply by virtue of it's volume.

--Brooklyn's line: "I'm not a man. I'm a gargoyle." And don't you forget it.

Goliath kidnapping Sev and withholding info from Elisa to 'spare her pain', presiges his behavior in "Eye of the Storm".

Maggie is interesting to me in this. Though she's never going to be an action hero -- we intentionally didn't want to make her a strong female, because it seemed like every other female in the show was strong -- she seems to come into her own a bit here. She speaks her mind. She wields some power over Derek, even if she doesn't realize it. She's still stronger than she gives herself credit for. (Geez, I must suck at weak women characters.)

Although it's not used in the body of this episode, in the credits we refer to Maggie as "Maggie the Cat" for the first time. A Tennessee Williams "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" reference.

FLASHBACKS

Lots of 'em. The recap. And TWO separate internal flashbacks in the show. I'm trying to remember if the board was short or if we just really felt like this was a tough story to get if you didn't have a TON of back-info.

Elisa even has a line, that I think works pretty well, where she's imagining telling her family about Derek -- and in one quick speech, she spews out all the pertinent details. We were clearly nervous about this episode being able to stand alone. Did anyone else have problems with this? Particularly anyone who saw this one without having seen "Metamorphosis" already?

When you see Maggie in flashback, book-ended by her current appearance, you can really see how different the designs were between "Metamorphosis" and "The Cage". I greatly prefer the later designs. Though I think I miss the tails.

FLAWS:

--Throughout the episode, I have numerous problems where identities seem to me to be given away before I want them to be given away.

In the opening scene, we want the audience to think that the snooping winged creature is Goliath. But there are two problems. One is all the Talon scenes in the "Previously on Gargoyles..." recap. The second is that we get too clear a glimpse of Talon.

Later, Goliath kidnaps Sevarius and holds him captive. But we wanted the audience to think it's Talon. But again, I think we get glimpses of Goliath that are just too clearly Goliath.

The concept of seeing a character "in shadows" or in partial "silhouette" just seemed tough to get across the ocean and back with our production team on this ep.

Did anyone think that Talon had kidnapped Sev? Was anyone shocked when it was revealed that Goliath was the kidnapper?

--On my tape, Anton's briefcase mispells his name: SERVARIUS. I hope that was corrected for later airings. I hope.

--The scene between Talon and X in the latter's office is clunky. The cityscape visible through X's window looks to be painted onto the window. And Talon's footsteps are very labored and clunky.

Xanatos admits that Sev's original "Metamorphosis" cure was just a placebo. If we stop here, then Talon should stop being angry at Goliath. Goliath neither killed Sev nor did he destroy a viable cure, nor did he have any impact on Talon's chance at a cure. But at this point, Talon's blinded by rage.

There's some really nice animation of Brooklyn and Fang climbing through the air.

KID RESPONSE:

My daughter Erin thought that Fang looked more wolf-like than cat-like.

She also figured out pretty fast that Goliath was the kidnapper. And when it was revealed she said, "I knew it all along."

CONTINUITY

Brooklyn acts as leader in Goliath's absense. But we don't have anyone comment on it. That was just in case this episode wound up airing before "Upgrade". I think Brook makes some wise moves here though. I also like his emotional resonance with Maggie: "You know I wanted to be your... friend."

I also like when he refers to her "persecution complex". Is he projecting?

We re-intro Cyberbiotics Underground Lab from the pilot, in preparation to turning it into the Labyrinth.

I like Goliath and Elisa's exchange in the lab. Lines like:

G: "You were in so much pain."
E: "Who would we test it on?"
E: "The ends can't justify the means. That's Xanatos' way. Not yours."

Other cool lines:

Fang: "I like this body."

Maggie: "Is your vengeance more important than our humanity?" The ultimate question to put to anyone pursuing vengeance.

Xanatos: "You always over-play your hand, Anton." Anton's just a ham to the core.

Xanatos: "He's the scientist. You're just the experiment."

Xanatos: "Hello, Goliath. Didn't even notice you there."

(X is so cool.)

Talon finally, finally figures out what Elisa has been trying to tell him since "Her Brother's Keeper". Took long enough. This arc for Talon was something we had been planning out as far back as our original unsold first dramatic over-pitch to Eisner. Back when Talon was both Scientist and experiment, and the character (created by Fred Schaefer) was known as Catscan.

I like Talon & Maggie's relationship. Don't know if they ever would have gotten together as humans. But they are so natural with each other as Mutates.

Talon: "We're not strong alone. We're strong together."

Goliath verbalizes here that Elisa is part of the clan.

Talon has his own clan (the Mutates) and his own family (the Mazas). The Mazas learn about the Mutates and are reunited with their son. But Goliath is hiding behind the curtain. Elisa's still not ready to share that secret.

Ending: Contrast this (relatively) upbeat ending with the endings from "Metamorphosis" where Elisa is left in tears and "Her Brother's Keeper" where she is left alone in the snow and wind. Things are looking up.

And, of course, we end on the image of the open cage door. That was important to me, because the cage was never more than a metaphor. We didn't really need it for Sevarius. We needed to see that Maggie and Talon were in cages of their own making. (Sev too, really. And Goliath. And maybe Elisa, although now I'm stretching it.)

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


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"Protection" Addendum

One thing I forgot...

When Glasses first shows up at Mr. Jaffe's store, he knocks over a bunch of cans.

Later Dracon shows up, and he also knocks over the cans.

I'm reminded of the Steve Martin movie "The Jerk".

"He hates these cans! Stay away from the cans!"


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"THE CAGE" Memo...

In prep for a ramble on "The Cage", here is the memo that I wrote to Brynne Chandler Reaves on Lydia Marano's 1st draft outline...

WEISMAN 12-13-94

Notes on "The Cage" Outline...

Brynne, call me when you get these.

GENERAL
I hate to sound like a broken record but this begins too slow. I've tried not to write a whole new story. But I have condensed things -- moving the kidnapping up into the first act, etc.

A secondary problem that only occurred to me Sunday is that we have to re-introduce Talon to our audience before we begin to misdirect them into thinking that Talon is the kidnapper. Otherwise, they'll see the silhouette of a big guy with wings and correctly guess that the kidnapper is Goliath. (When the story begins, Talon will have only appeared in one other episode; Goliath will have been in at least 25.) Talon won't even enter their minds until he is re-introduced later in the first act. By that time, we'll need to change their mind regarding the kidnapper's identity. A difficult task, considering that the audience already would have assumed the truth.

MUTATE rather than MUTANT.

At start of story... Goliath is to Talon what Xanatos is to Elisa.

THEME: Cages of all kinds. Use every opportunity to reinforce it.

Need to make sure that in the first two acts, we've set up Maggie's desperate need for a cure. But more importantly, we must set up the warm interdependent relationship between Maggie and Talon. Need to believe their feelings for each other are real before we get to Act Three.

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
I. Maza Family Dinner. Beth spots winged creature at window.

II. Clock Tower. Elisa talks to Goliath.
A. She hates to lie to her family about Derek.
1. Even if it's just a lie by omission.
B. By the way, G has to be more careful. Beth spotted him.
1. Wasn't me, Goliath says.
2. One of the other gargs? G doesn't think so.
3. Elisa's very excited. Could it be Derek?
4. Goliath is quiet. Deciding what to do.
C. G reveals to E that Talon and Mutates are back w/Xanatos.
1. Last few weeks, he's seen them near Eyrie Building.
2. Didn't tell her because he knew it would hurt her.
3. He feels powerless to help her.
D. Elisa insists that Goliath take her there.

III. Eyrie Building.
A. Action. Goliath vs. Talon, Fang & Claw.
1. Elisa tries to stop fight. Talon is torn.
2. Maggie stops fight.
a. She hates the fighting.
b. We see that Talon listens to her.
3. Magnanimous Xanatos seconds the motion.
a. He's pleased that the Mutates defend his castle.
b. But Goliath and Elisa are not the enemy.
B. Elisa confronts Talon: X is the enemy.
1. Maggie defends X as their only chance for a cure.
2. Elisa says X is the cause not the cure.
3. Talon: No -- Sevarius and Goliath caused this.
4. Reveal that Talon believes Sev. to be dead.
a. Either show flashback to "Metamorphosis"
b. Or be very clear for our audience:
i. Why he thinks Sev is dead.
ii. And why he blames Goliath.
5. Elisa hasn't seen Sev, so she can't be sure.
a. But she expresses some doubt that he's dead.
b. Talon: if Sev is alive now, he won't be for long.
6. Elisa and Goliath leave.
C. X secretly tells Owen to warn Sev to disappear for awhile.

IV. Gen-U-Tech.
A. Sev is kidnapped. Nobody sees. Very Quick.
B. Elisa arrives seconds later in her car.
1. Confirms w/security guard that Sev is alive.
a. She just missed him.
2. Another winged figure listens from above.
a. It's actually Talon.
b. But audience, and even Elisa, will assume it's G.
i. Elisa's touched G's so concerned about her.

V. Sev caged by unseen captor in underground Cyberbiotics Lab.

VI. Eyrie Building.
A. Owen has not been able to reach Sev.
1. Talon probably got to him first.
B. On battlements, Talon returns. Mutates confab.
1. Talon now knows Sev didn't die in "Metamorphosis".
2. But "dealing" with Sev is only half the job.
3. Sev couldn't have faked his death without help.
4. Goliath is Talon's #1 suspect.
5. Maggie doesn't agree but...
a. She let's slip about the Clock Tower.

VII. Fang, Claw and Maggie attack Clock Tower.
A. Maggie is present but is terrified by fighting.
B. Hudson and Bronx are the only Gargoyles there.
1. They put up a valiant fight but are defeated.

ACT TWO
VIII. Underground Lab. Sev agrees to work on cure for unseen captor.

IX. Clock Tower. Hudson regains consciousness.
A. Fang & Claw await Goliath's return.
1. So they can bring him back to Talon, as ordered.
2. Hudson warns them it'll be a long wait.
a. Goliath said he'd be gone for a few nights.
i. It's actually the truth.
ii. But the mutates don't buy it.
iii. Neither will the audience.

X. Eyrie Building.
A. Owen checks all locations where Talon might hold Sev.
B. Talon confronts X.
1. Until recently, Sev was alive & working at G-U-Tech.
2. X admits that he was fooled by Sev's "death".
a. Goliath and Sev must've been working together.
b. G wants Sev to create more monsters like him.
c. This confirms Talon's suspicions.
3. X has known for some time that Sev was alive.
a. He's had Sev working on a cure at Gen-U-Tech.
b. Didn't want to get Talon's hopes up.
4. But Sev was close to a cure.
a. If it's not too late...
b. Talon should release him to X's custody....

XI. Clock Tower. Trio return home.
A. Hudson manages to warn them.
B. Battle.
1. Fang & Claw are more powerful...
2. But Gargoyles are more experienced fighters.
3. Gargoyles win.
C. Brooklyn talks to Maggie.
1. He's over his crush on her.
2. But he still tries to get her to see reason.
a. G was there that night to save her from Sev.
b. G & Sev aren't partners.
c. Xanatos must be culprit.
3. Maggie doesn't want to hear it.
a. Xanatos is their only chance for a cure.
b. Gargoyles must be at fault.
4. To prove her wrong, Brooklyn lets the Mutates go.

XII. Gen-U-Tech. Elisa's back, still looking for missing Sev.
A. She's very worried that Derek has done something stupid.
B. Checking security-camera footage for when Sev left earlier.
1. Does enhancing tricks to confirm Sev was snatched.
2. Enhances more to get a look at kidnapper.
a. Off her reaction...

XIII. Cyberbiotics. Reveal Goliath as kidnapper of Sev.

ACT THREE
XIV. Eyrie Building. Talon tells Xanatos that he doesn't have Sev.
A. Owen enters w/news from Gen-U-Tech.
1. Looks like Sev. "left with" Goliath.
a. Comes across as proof that Sev & G are partners.
2. Doesn't take long for Owen to deduce where G is.
a. Only one abandoned lab that G knows about.
i. CyberBiotics Underground Research Lab.
B. Talon takes off.
C. Other Mutates are just getting back from Clock Tower.
2. They go after him.

XV. CyberBiotics. Goliath is watching Sev work on serum.
A. Elisa enters. (Calm before the storm.)
1. She deduced his location (same as Owen did).
2. Why did Goliath do it?
a. He could see how Derek's condition hurt Elisa.
b. He was afraid that if Talon got to Sev first...
i. then Sev wouldn't survive to cure Derek.
c. Seemed like only way to get cure from Sev.
3. Elisa: Ends don't justify the means.
a. Besides, wouldn't work anyhow.
b. They can't trust Sev.
i. How do they know "the cure" is safe?
4. Goliath agrees to release Sev.
B. Too late. Talon arrives, with Mutates on his heals.
1. Positive that G and Sev are in cahoots.
2. Talon attacks G.
a. This time E. can't stop them.
C. Mutates join in.
1. It's curtains for Goliath and Sev.
D. Sev tries to save his skin with the cure.
1. There's enough here for one.
b. But he can make enough for all four.
2. Talon and Fang don't care.
a. Claw and especially Maggie care a great deal.
b. Maggie reaches out to Talon.
i. What's more important?
ii. Vengeance or Humanity?
3. For her sake, he relents, and gives her the serum.
a. Maggie clutches the serum like it was a diamond.
4. Sev tries to get Talon to take it instead of Maggie.
a. Which makes everyone suspicious.
b. Situation on verge of heating up again.
E. Armored Xanatos steps out of shadows.
1. Rescues Sev.
2. Things seemed under control.
a. But Sev overplayed his hand, as usual.
3. Talon finally gets message about X.
4. X: "So sue me." or some such.
5. He takes off with Sev.
a. Parting shot from Sev: "Serum's poison."
F. Maggie still wants to take it.
1. She thinks Sev lied to preserve his "creations".
a. It's a risk she's willing to take.
b. Because it's better to die than to live a monster.
2. Talon disagrees strongly.
a. Life is more important than normalcy.
b. Besides, he's a monster too.
3. She thinks he's stronger than she is.
4. But Talon couldn't have made it without her.
a. Neither are strong alone.
b. They are strong together.
5. She puts the serum aside.
G. Goliath offers Mutates a home with his gargoyle clan.
1. Thanks, but no.
2. Talon has his own clan (i.e. Mutates).
3. And his own family...

XVI. CYBERBIOTICS UNDERGROUND LAB - A few NIGHTS later.
A. Elisa brings Peter, Diane and Beth.
1. They are reunited with Talon.
a. Hint Maggie.
b. Fang and Claw in b.g.
B. Goliath watches, pleased.
C. Sevarius' cage sits empty. The door wide open.


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Chapter XXXI: "Protection"

Watched "Protection" last Saturday with my wife and kids. Here's a ramble:

CAST
I'm immediately struck by our large supporting cast. Probably because so few of our regulars (Elisa, Goliath, Broadway only) appear in the episode.

THE CROOKS: Dracon, Glasses and Pal Joey. (All very fun to write for.)

THE COPS: Matt, Maria, Morgan. (All three go undercover and do a bit of play-acting, which is also fun.)

THE CIVILIANS: Art, Lois, Dave, Mr. Jaffe, Travis Marshall. (Each is characterized rather quickly, but memorably, I think. It was particularly cool to play off the Matt/Jaffe relationship previously referred to in "Reawakening".)

As for our regulars, we intentionally reduced the number of 'goyles in this one so that we had the space in our short 22 minutes to focus on other things. Goliath and BW seemed the appropriate two to bring along for various reasons -- established most obviously in "Deadly Force" and "The Silver Falcon".

I liked how Goliath reacted to the perversion of the concept of "Protection" and how the movie-savvy BW shakes his head but takes it in stride.

ELISA
Okay, I figure we didn't fool many of you into thinking that Elisa had actually gone bad. I was pretty sure we wouldn't. At least not the older fans. So I tried to fool you another way in the first few minutes. Glasses tells Dracon about a lady cop, but doesn't mention who. Chavez accuses Elisa, but Elisa pleads her innocence. Did anyone think that Elisa was being framed?

My daughter did. But in a way that I hadn't considered, despite the fact that "Double Jeopardy" was part of the same tier and naturally led to her conclusion.
--Erin: "That's not Elisa, is it?"
--Benny: "Yes, it is."
--Erin: "Yeah, that's not her. She never dresses like that."
--Benny: "It's a wig. How'd she get her hair like that?"
--Erin: "It's a clone."

A clone? Of course! That's the problem with introducing so many concepts. Too many options for the viewer. Did anyone else think clone? Erin maintained this idea right until the end of the episode. She kept saying with increasing frustration: "That's not Elisa. It's not."

SPEAKING OF NEW CLOTHES...
I loved Elisa's new outfit, I only wish the animation -- the character modeling -- in the episode had been better. It's not always very flattering to her. Sometimes it seems to WAY flatten her out. Other times, it makes her huge. (Yes, I'm focused on her breasts. I'm a heterosexual male. What do you want from me?) But it never makes her look real. Still, it's just nice to see her wearing something -- ANYTHING -- different. I wish we had had the resources to give her more clothing options in general.

DIALOGUE
Some nice lines in this one...
Elisa to Goliath: "What are you, a puppy?"
Elisa to Glasses, et al: "You tough guys just gonna stand there all night?"
Goliath to Elisa & Dracon: "Money and power sound very appealing."
Dracon to Elisa: "Keep the jar."
Elisa to Broadway: "Keep the jar."
Dracon to Goliath: "So she's your woman. You have good taste."
Broadway to himself: "Why are bad guys always in such a hurry."
Broadway to Pal Joey: "Sorry, Pal."
Broadway's slightly dated black & white movie gangster lingo.
All of Dracon's on-going Honey, Sugar, etc. references and Elisa's reaction to them. Makes me smile still.

JALAPEÑA
You've all heard this story, right?

Okay, BRIEFLY...

Keith David used the exclamation "Jalapeña" all the time. More or less as a replacement for Halleluia. It was an expression he had gotten from a female jazz singer (whose name escapes me at the moment -- as it usually does for some reason). One day in the control booth, voice director Jamie Thomason turned to me and said, "I bet you can't get that into a script." I said, "I bet I can."

Shortly thereafter, poor innocent writer/story editor Gary Sperling turned in a perfectly normal script. I then added this entire "Jalapeña" subplot. (I had to add all this stuff about room service, jars, etc. to justify the last word in the episode.) I fell in love with the idea. I thought it would give us a curse word, basically. (That's how BW uses it in the ep.) Most everyone else hated it. But directors Frank Paur, Dennis Woodyard and Butch Lukic didn't know how far I planned on taking it. They thought it would be a one episode thing, so they indulged me here. In fact, they suggested the massive "Jalapeña!" echoes at the end of the episode. ("If you're gonna do it, do it!")

Jamie would later goad me by saying things like, "Yeah, but I bet you can't get Hudson to say it." And so one by one, everyone said it. Again, I thought it was fun and useful.

But eventually the art staff literally revolted against it. Frank told me I HAD to stop. So what you'll notice is that starting with this episode we ramp up and begin to use the word a lot. And then it peters out and disappears entirely from the show -- until "The Journey" my farewell episode. I put one "Jalapeña" in that. Disney executive Jay Fukuto asked me why I had done that: "I thought Frank hated it." That's why I did it, to annoy Frank and gratify myself.

Frank and I are all good again now. We look back on our Garg days and realize that we didn't even know how good we had it. But I'd say that in 1996 our relationship had deteriorated a bit. The stress of doing 65 episodes had taken a bit of a toll. We weren't at each others' throats or anything. But we were just a bit on edge. Like I said, ancient history. I'd love to work with Frank again now. But there you have it.

DRACON & GLASSES
Lots of loyalty from Glasses. These second banannas always fascinate me. Of course, Xanatos usually treats Owen with the utmost respect. Dracon isn't quite as good a boss. He has a line of contempt after Glasses tells Dracon that the shopkeep [Matt] wants to meet with the boss. Dracon to Glasses: "And he knows it's not you." You wonder why Glasses puts up with it.

I love how quickly Dracon adjusts to the Gargoyles too. The concept of controlling them is so appealing, it submerges his fears. He quickly starts referring to them as Guests, and then as Partners. He even puts a hand on Goliath's shoulder -- briefly.

BOMBS OVER BROADWAY
This guy seems to deal with bombs a lot. This time he hold it in his teeth, which I thought was cool.

THE GROCERY STORE
Poor Mr. Jaffe. He gets robbed all the time. Then he has to put up with a Werefox attack. And now a particle beam battle.

And what's with those giant bags of flour? Who buys those?

And I wish those hidden cameras had actually been hidden.

I'm not in love with the battle choreography here. Elisa gets the jump on Dracon, which is okay, I guess, as he was hoping he could trust her. But then Dracon gets the jump right back. She should have been better prepared. It's all a touch clumsy.

Goliath's roar is interesting. Usually we use more effect and less Keith. This one is more Keith. A lot more Keith.

G's eyes are glowing as he takes Dracon into the air. But you'll notice they stop glowing just before he drops Dracon. This is a clue that he never really intended to let Dracon die. His anger has already ebbed. And after all, "Gargoyle justice is not human justice." Had this been Gargoyle justice, you get the sense that Dracon would have wound up, dare I say it, "Street Pizza."

Things wrap up. Chavez of course is still largely in the dark. But you'll notice that things were staged so that you could believe that Matt may or may not have been in the dark too. Since this episode was part of the same tier as "Revelations" we didn't 100% know for sure whether or not Matt would know about the Gargoyles by the time this aired. So we tried to play it ambiguously here.

ELISA & GOLIATH
Jalapeñas aside, I like the final scene between E&G. They reaffirm their mission and their love for each other. The first explicitly. The second implicitly.

Also we use the scene to justify why Dracon would buy something that I knew the audience wouldn't. "The corrupt are the first to believe that others can be corrupted." If you never thought for a moment that Elisa was dirty then there's hope for you yet. Either that, or your hopelessly cynical about the rules of television.

But did you still think she was a clone?

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


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"PROTECTION" Memo

[In prep for my ramble on "Protection", here's the memo I faxed to Story Editor/Writer Gary Sperling. (Actually, I'm retyping it -- old typos and maybe some new ones included -- because I don't have a computer file. Just the hard copy.) You'll notice that it's more abbreviated than usual. Note the date. I was on vacation at the time. Plus, the outline may have been in better shape. Also note that the episode's original title was "Undercover". But we realized that Elisa wasn't so much going undercover, and that we'd save that concept for what eventually became "Turf". Besides the one word title, "Protection", was hard to resist given our on-going themes.]

WEISMAN 12-29-94

Notes on "Undercover/Protection" Outline...

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
1. Restaurant blows up. Keep very brief.

2. Glasses joins Tony in the limo. Glasses has heard that dirty cops are muscling in on their protection racket.

3. News report to Gargoyles. PRoTECTION RACKET. Goliath wants to see Elisa. She hasn't stopped by in days. Where has she been?

4. ChAvez asking Matt same question. As MATT brings in #3 to question him about restaurant bombing. Elisa arrives late. Matt: "Where you been?" Don't crowd me Bluestone. Asks for time alone with #3 Matt gives it. Elisa starts to talk obliquely about her moving in. Chavez interrupts and suspends her while she's under investigation. Maza protests that she's innocent. HAs to turn in badge and gun.

5. Elisa storms outside. Goliath and Broadway follow.

6. #3 calls Dracon.

7. Pool Hall - reveal Elisa.

ACT BREAK??

Glasses and #3 comes in.

8. Pursuit.? or HUSSLES ELISA OUT.

9. Goliath and Broadway intervene. CHASE.

Elisa pulls the rug out from under G. She leaves w/Glasses.

Goliath says she's under a spell. BW says maybe there's another explanation.

10. Glasses and Dracon. Elisa in the next room. Send her in. You guys get to work.

Elisa and Dracon.

11. Grocery Store: MATT (disguised) and owner. Matt and Glasses.

12. Some phony store. Maria, Morgan and #3. After #3 leaves they make reference to one of their plans is sure to nail Dracon.

13. Goliath and Broadway have gone bad at Dracon's Penthouse.

ACT BREAK

Finish out 13.

Intercut:
14. Broadway helps Maria and Morgan against #3 (and Glasses?)

15. Matt and Elisa nab Dracon. He's ready with men and bomb.

Goliath and Elisa work together to diffuse situation.

(Matt and Goliath relationship should be vague.)

Elisa gets her shield and gun back.

16. Reveal clearly what everyone probably knows by now. Elisa was undercover. BW figured it out and tipped off G. Some PROTECTION TAG.

DRACON OUT ON BAIL?????????


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Chapter XXX: "Upgrade"

Here's a new ramble for ASK GREG & the DCV...

As usual, I watched the episode recently with my family.

And as usual, everytime my five year-old Benny, sees Xanatos and Fox, he tells his seven year old sister Erin, "You were her. I was Xanatos and you were Fox." [All quotations (both from my kids or from the episode) are approximate.]

ATTITUDES

This is a big episode for attitudes.

Xanatos and Fox pit multiple individuals against each other in life and death circumstances and regard it all as a game.

Lex still hates the Pack.

Dingo is disgusted with the Pack's life of crime, and then even more disgusted with what his teammates do to their bodies. Cool lines like "Save the horrorshow..." or "I hope you don't eat your catch..." or "You're barely our species..." or "I still can't get over what you three did to yourselves..." or "I'm a partner in a freakshow..." or "...after they went Frankenstein on me..." all help distinguish him, perhaps for the first time. We had a notion of where Dingo was going. And this episode helped bridge the gap to "Walkabout". And eventually to the development I did with Gary Sperling, Bob Kline, Troy Adomitis, Doug Murphy and Patrick Archibald on "BAD GUYS," which some of you have seen at the Gathering.

How the mighty have fallen. My point-of-view and Dingo's matched up. The Pack were beginning to feel pathetic. The problem with villains is that after the heroes keeps beating them over and over, you need to find a way to keep them competitive. This episode (reflected in its title, which may or may not have been one of mine, but which I latched onto EARLY and stuck with) was always part of my plans for the Pack. Intro them in the first season as humans. This was necessary, because the world of our first season was MUCH more normal. I wanted to weird the world up in small steps. Don't intro Oberon first, intro Puck. That kind of thing. So once the science was established, we'd upgrade.

This dovetailed nicely with the need for Goliath to 'upgrade' one of his warriors to Second-In-Command. Goliath had been Hudson's second. Demona had been Goliath's. But it was past time to name a new successor. We always had Brooklyn in mind for that roll, but I remember asking Gary whether he felt we had succeeded in establishing that without ever having stated it. He felt we had. What did you guys think when you first saw the episode?

The battle at the bank. On my tape, there's an animation glitch where Dingo hits his head and then seems to intentionally hit his head again. I'm hoping it got fixed for later airings.

Anyway, the battle winds down. No one's done very well. But the Pack is on the run. Erin at this point says, "There's no messing with the big boys." Proving that the Pack was no longer competitive.

Wolf yells, "This isn't over!" sounding very much like Hakon to my ears.

Lex wants to pursue, but Brooklyn already the subconscious leader of everyone's choice, says, "Helping Goliath is more important."

Hudson gooses Goliath to choose a second. Refuses the job himself. This is another example of Hudson being the guardian of tradition. He knows they live in a brave new world. But he wants to preserve what worked in the old one as well.

Erin says, "I think Goliath's going to choose the red guy." Meaning Brooklyn. I am briefly horrified that my own kids don't reliably know the names of the lead characters. (Of course, before last week, we hadn't watched the series in a year. But still...)

I love the idea of Coyote's head knocking on the door of the Pack's ship. For starters it's so odd to get a knock while in flight. Second, how did he knock. Why with his forehead of course...

The trio begin their competition. Bronx is disgusted.

The new Pack is revealed. What was everyone's reaction? The Coyote-Head had laid out the options, but were you at all shocked at the upgrades when you first saw them?

I like the creepy Addams Family moment with Jackal's arm. I like that this Wolf and Dingo are now competitive in strength with Goliath.

I find it interesting that we had Goliath say, "What manner of trickery is this?" instead of "What sorcery is this?" I mean, who were we kidding, right?

Hudson then brings up the Archmage's sorcery. Just a reminder that the Archmage existed for what we knew was coming in Avalon.

I don't know if this was fixed for reairing, but their's a big mistake in this first battle. Goliath spots COYOTE the robot flying off and goes off alone in pursuit. This was supposed to be him spotting just the little head. He goes off after the head, thinking he'll find Xanatos or something. Then the giant Robot steps forward. Would have been a much better reveal.

I love the interaction as the Pack chooses a leader.

Cree is great reading: "Coyote, honey..." and "I find him very attractive." Hyena's attraction to Coyote was a fun running gag. But did it influence her choice of upgrades?

Jackal is grossed out, proving as ever, that he's just a tad saner than his sister. "Well, that's sicker than usual." He sides with Wolf, just for that reason.

Leaving Dingo with the deciding vote.

More animation errors that I hope got corrected eventually: Fox's lips don't move. So suddenly we're hearing her internal monologue.

Note that Broadway actually foils the most crime in their nightly competition. We did that on purpose. To show that was never the point.

Xanatos says, "Clever move." to end an act.

Then we come back, and he's confident saying, "I think I've still got the edge." Of course that line was a literal reuse of the line from "The Edge". We had a lot of so-so animation in this episode. It forced us to cut the show tight enough that we had to add footage. So we reprinted the shot of X&F playing chess and reused the old line to fill the space.

Final battle.

Everytime Hyena's hand folded backwards, Erin would say: "Eww, that's disgusting!"

CONTINUITY: Just as Lex dislikes the Pack, Bronx seems to particularly dislike Coyote. He's always chewing on that bot, forcing Coyote to threaten to "send this puppy into orbit!"

I love Hyena's line: "I wonder if Gargoyles taste like chicken?" Can't help thinking she'd sincerely like to know.

Frank Paur had this idea that when Wolf got angrier, he'd morph even wolfier. But the animation never quite worked on that. It was a great idea, but the transformation doesn't play dramatically, so it just looks like the model changes part way through the fight.

Coyote's demise was heavily influenced by the first Terminator movie. We keep destroying the darn bot, but it just keeps getting up.

Morgan reappears. I was never wild about his "Hospital, Machine Shop or Vet" line. It's okay, but it seemed a bit too flip.

Goliath, like the production staff, had his choice in mind all along. Brooklyn. By now the trio's come around to the same idea, except Brooklyn himself, who suddenly realizes the weight he'll be carrying around. A prelude to "Kingdom", as he says to Goliath, "Be careful. I'm in no hurry to take your place."

(Nice moment in their when Hudson pets Bronx. It has nothing specific to do with anything else, but it's a nice touch.)

Fox & Xanatos make such a cool couple. I love that he doesn't mind losing to her. Happier to have found a true equal.

And I love that chilling, funny ending: "Care to play again?"

Ever wonder about their next game?

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


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"Upgrade" MEMO

[In preparation for my new ramble for ASK GREG & the DCV, here's my original memo to Story Editor Gary Sperling on Adam Gilad's first draft outline of the episode "Upgrade". Note the date. At the time I wrote this, "Deadly Force" had just recently aired, but the rest of the first season was being saved for early 1995.]

WEISMAN 11-30-94

Notes on "Upgrade" Outline...

GENERAL
TRIO
My big fear is that Brooklyn didn't feel like leader material in this. To our audience he's going to come off as cautious and wimpy throughout most of the episode, with the added problem that he's subject to peer pressure. This is particularly problematic in that Brooklyn has always been defined as the MOST adventurous of our trio. Ultimately, the qualities that will define him as a leader include strategic abilities, common sense, a willingness to sacrifice... and, yes, knowing when to retreat and/or call for help. But if we make the latter quality into Brooklyn's first instinct, it will overshadow the others. And our audience won't buy him as leader. Maybe more important than all of this should be a natural unconscious quality of leadership, which parallel's Broadway and Lexington's roles as followers. When they stop thinking and slip into automatic pilot, Brooklyn naturally seems to give the orders and the others naturally follow.

These guys do work well as a team, don't be afraid to show that. We've got a competitive thing going between them that will tend to screw up their natural teamwork, but if we're going to prove our point, then we need to see moments when they forget to be competitive and just cooperate. In any case, let's not make them infantile. When you define competitiveness think Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in Top Gun. These are young warriors, not children elbowing each other as they fly.

Let's also avoid setting up non-existent flaws in Lex and Broadway. Things like Broadway being slow to awaken is just not born out in any of our other episodes. They all wake up within a few seconds of each other at sunset.

Having said all this, you'll see below that I gave them less screen time, mostly because it choreographed cleaner, but also because it really put something at stake other than the contest for leader (i.e. the lives of their friends). Plus I've isolated them from everyone that usually provides them with help or advice (Goliath, Hudson, Elisa and even Bronx). So I'm crossing my fingers that what we lose in quantity time, we will make up for in quality.

PACK
I'm also concerned that we've Upgraded the Pack, only to make them seem even more incompetent than ever. They've got to feel considerably more dangerous. We need to believe the Gargoyles barely survived this go 'round. The Pack's leadership issues cannot get too far in the way of their success. Ultimately the gargoyles do triumph because their teamwork under Brooklyn defeats a divided Pack. But if the Pack members are just at each others throats through the whole program, they'll never feel like a viable threat. Remember, despite the dangerously unstable personalities involved (including Coyote, but not Dingo), the Pack's fighting style is based on teamwork by definition. Let them play to their strength, that way it'll be even more ironic when the gargoyles defeat them through teamwork driven by sound leadership.

PACK UPGRADE SPECS
What follows may be what you had in mind, but I want to make sure we're all operating off the same page.

WOLF - gets turned into a werewolf. The biggest and most obvious change will be to his head, which will have a canine shape. Like Talon and his mutants, Wolf will be covered with hair all over, his hands will be clawed, and he'll have haunches. He cannot fly, but he can leap far distances. He'll probably have a better sense of smell and hearing, but I want to downplay these last qualities, because I think they can come off as silly. (Let's not make him an object of ridicule to his teammates simply because he's gotten more dog-like. They are all themed off canines. Both Coyote's head and Dingo's helmet will be dog-shaped as well. I would think that Jackal, Hyena and Coyote would all respect the power which came with his choice of Upgrade. Hyena might make an obnoxious comment here or there, but the only one who's really attacking his choice is Dingo -- and obviously it's not for aesthetic reasons.) Wolf will be much stronger than he was, now on a par with Goliath.

JACKAL & HYENA - become Cyborgs. Half human. Half machine. And the machine parts are NOT camouflaged as human. They have built in weapons. Cyborg legs will also allow them to leap far distances. Maybe even built in flight capabilities. And their strength will increase to Gargoyle level. Maybe not as strong as Goliath or Broadway, but equal or above the others.

DINGO - wears full body armor, including a helmet. Sort of like what we thought Xanatos was wearing as Coyote (in "Leader of the Pack") before we found out Coyote was a robot. (Model sheets are available for Coyote if you're unclear.) The focus should be on his armor, not on "weapons". All the weapons are built in. And the armor should be as flexible and powerful as Xanatos' own Gargoyle armor (screen "The Edge"), plus whatever latest innovations were thrown into this design. That means Dingo should be able to fly. Rocket jets in his boots. Or a rocket pack on his back. Probably not as maneuverable or graceful as a Gargoyle, but he can hover, which they can't do. Again, his strength level is now increased. Probably just under Wolf and Goliath range. (Note: Dingo also has less screen time than I'd like to be able to give him here, so we've really got to make his moments of uneasiness about his partners count. One visual clue that I think will help is the fact that Dingo removes his helmet every chance he gets. He subconsciously needs periodic reassurance that the helmet isn't a part of him and that he hasn't in fact relinquished his humanity.)

COYOTE - Although he's still programmed to have a slightly more vengeful version of Xanatos' personality, Coyote doesn't look like Xanatos anymore. What would be the point? He looks like a huge exaggerated version of the original Coyote. Mighty Joe Young may be a little too big, but you get the idea. If Goliath is eight feet tall than Coyote-II is more like ten or eleven, and built like a gorilla. Coyote is definitely stronger than Goliath, and he can fly. Being huge may have it's disadvantages, but not too many. This is the most powerful and sophisticated robot that Xanatos has built yet. It's computer brain (at least part of which should be the damaged head from "Leader") is well-protected in the robot's chest.

PACK ATTACK VEHICLE - This isn't and never was a van. It flies. It submerges underwater. This is super high-tech. I'm not sure if it even has an exhaust pipe. Model sheets exist if you need to see them.

OWEN vs. COYOTE'S HEAD
You can't have Owen. He's a stand-in for Xanatos, and you've already got one of those: the damaged head of Coyote from "Leader".

LEXINGTON'S TRACKING DEVICE vs. FOX
You can't have this device either. I don't want to ever make the gargoyles too high-tech in their crime-fighting. If we give Lex the ability to make one of these here, we're stuck with him having this knowledge and wondering all the time why he doesn't use it over and over. Besides, why would he create a device that tracks, but only tracks when it's inhaling carbon monoxide fumes?

At any rate, the gargoyles may not need the device. They have a secret ally that even they are not aware of: Fox. It's obvious here how Xanatos is manipulating his chess pieces. But Fox doesn't seem to be moving hers in opposition. She's simply counting on them to defeat the Pack. In some subtle way, let her "move" her pieces too. [Note: the method I use below is semi-goofy at best. If you like it you can use it, but feel free to come up with something better.]

Also, please be careful that Xanatos doesn't say anything that might imply that he threw the match. If he wasn't trying his best to win, he wasn't respecting Fox as an opponent.

MONTAGE vs. NO MONTAGE
Sorry. After cuts were made for both S&P and for things that I did not want to reveal, there wasn't anything left. So out it went.

HUDSON
All gargoyles sleep as stone to recharge during the day, which allows them to operate at their peak throughout the night. Hudson's peak may not be what it once was, but he doesn't need extra downtime at night.

BEAT OUTLINE
ACT ONE
1. Night. Bank job being carried out by what's left of the PACK: WOLF, JACKAL, HYENA and DINGO. There's an air of desperation here. They need money because they are on the run. They get to the roof, where their PACK ATTACK VEHICLE is hovering. And where it has attracted the attention of the patrolling gargoyles: BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON, BROADWAY and GOLIATH. There is a battle. The Pack is a bit out-classed, but only just. The Pack has the weapons and technology. What they lack is flight capability, brute strength (Wolf is incredibly strong for a human, but no match for Goliath) and leadership (Wolf acts like he's the leader, the others just don't naturally follow him). In contrast, Goliath leads his troops effectively. Give the Pack credit for figuring that out. They agree to take out the leader. And they do. Goliath is injured.
The Pack get away in their vehicle, but without the money. Lex momentarily wants to pursue his hated enemies, but as sirens approach, Brooklyn thinks the priority should be to get Goliath back to the safety of the CLOCK TOWER. He asks Broadway to help him carry Goliath. Neither Lex or Broadway question Brooklyn's leadership at this stage. Nor do any of the three, including Brooklyn, make a point of saying that Brooklyn is in charge. He just says some very common sense things and the others see the sense in it and follow his lead.

2. Meanwhile, the Pack Vehicle flies through the Manhattan Night. Maybe some brief sniping between the members, before there's a knock on the door... which seems odd at this altitude. Almost despite himself, Dingo opens the hatch to reveal COYOTE'S HEAD flying alongside on it's little mini-rocket. It still has half of Xanatos' face, and it asks politely in Xanatos' voice if it can come in. (There's also a model sheet completed on this damaged head. It looks pretty cool if you want the reference.)

3. Back at the Clock Tower near dawn, HUDSON tends to Goliath. It's a bad laser burn, but it'll heal when the sun rises and they turn to stone. But it brings up something that's concerned Hudson for awhile. He hates to even say it, but next time Goliath might not be so lucky. Goliath needs to name a second-in-command. Goliath chooses Hudson, of course. But Hudson declines. Goliath was Hudson's lieutenant and became his successor when it was time for Hudson to step down. Goliath needs to choose one of the trio. But first Goliath must sleep. The trio hear all this. Hudson has intentionally made no attempt to hide the conversation from them. They all straighten-up, leader-like. And the sun rises. Goliath turns to stone still cradled in his comrades arms.

4. Because the sun has risen, the Pack Vehicle dives beneath the surface of the Hudson River (or the East River or the Bay or whatever). It comes to a stop on the bottom and rests.
Inside, the Coyote Head has literally latched itself onto the ships computers. He's lowered a screen and is starting his sales pitch. Tired of being out-classed by the gargoyles? Ready to be as strong as them? To fly like them? Etc.? Well, let me show you what we can do. Is Genetic-Engineering your passion? (He shows footage of TALON in action trashing Goliath.) Or is Cybernetics more your style? (He shows footage of COLDSTONE trashing Goliath.) A little high-tech haberdashery, perhaps? (Footage of XANATOS in his GARGOYLE ARMOR trashing Goliath, with at least one shot of Xanatos with the helmet off.) Or my favorite, Robotics? (Footage of COYOTE trashing Goliath. This obviously doesn't apply to the four humans, but I want to get it in here to hint at Coyote's rebirth as well.)
Obviously, they are all very interested. Dingo goes for the armor and pretty much writes off the rest as horror show. The other three don't state their preferences. Coyote Head: "All made possible by the men and women of XANATOS ENTERPRISES." Where is Xanatos? Occupied at the moment, but happy to be of assistance.

5. At the castle, Xanatos and FOX seem to be playing chess, but we don't get to see the game board or the pieces. Xanatos has made the first move.

6. Super: ONE MONTH LATER. Clock Tower. The trio are just leaving to patrol the city separately and in competition. They've hardly done anything else, each is so intent on being Goliath's second in command. Hudson's in his comfy chair with the t.v. set on, but he's not watching. After the trio leave, he chides Goliath, who has to decide between the three young warriors. Goliath seems strangely reluctant to choose.
Just then ELISA enters. The desk sergeant just received an "anonymous" tip on the Pack's location. S.W.A.T. Teams from three precincts are mobilizing. But Elisa has listened to a recording of the tip and recognized the voice as Xanatos'. She'd like to be there in an unofficial capacity. Goliath agrees. No time to wait for the trio, but the Pack can be tough, so they'll take BRONX. They leave in such a hurry, Hudson doesn't bother to turn off the t.v.

7. An abandoned building scheduled for demolition, which the police have totally surrounded. The S.W.A.T. LEADER talks through a megaphone, giving the Pack a chance to surrender peacefully. There is no response. Tear gas canisters are shot through the windows -- followed by an explosion that practically levels the building. The tear gas couldn't have caused that. The building must have been rigged to blow.
Goliath, Elisa, Hudson and Bronx watch from a nearby rooftop. At first they don't notice the little Coyote Head, which zips around the site like a humming bird looking for food. Then the head spots them and approaches. It tells them that this little display was just designed to attract their attention. If the gargoyles really want to find the Pack, they're going to have to follow the head, which they do.

8. Goliath, Elisa, Hudson and Bronx follow the Head to a construction site. It's the skeletal beginnings of a skyscraper. As soon as they arrive the new ARMORED DINGO flies in. After Dingo, comes the new CYBORG JACKAL and HYENA, followed finally by the new WERE-WOLF. Our heroes are surrounded.

ACT TWO
9. Picking up where we left off, we have a fight. The Coyote-Head zips away and with Hudson's blessing Goliath follows it. (He thinks it will lead to the source of the trouble.) Although the Pack works together, there are hints that they are in some competition with each other. Ultimately, the Pack knocks out Hudson, Elisa and Bronx, with Wolf personally taking down Hudson.
Elsewhere in the structure, Goliath catches up to the Head which says that it would like to introduce Goliath to its "better half". A huge shadow looms.
Back with the Pack, where we get a sense of the tension between the members. As Dingo takes off his helmet, hint that he hasn't been able to get over the horrific things that his teammates have had done to their bodies. We also find out they've been fighting over who should lead. They agreed before the fight that whoever took out the biggest gargoyle, would get to be the leader. Wolf took out Hudson, so he feels entitled.
On cue, Goliath is knocked through a brick wall. He falls unconscious at their feet. And then the rest of the wall is knocked down to reveal the new robot COYOTE-II: "Sorry, Wolf. I think my Goliath tops your Hudson."
The Pack are all stunned, but for Hyena it's love at first sight: "Coyote, honey, is that you?" A panel slides open inside Coyote's chest to reveal the Coyote Head literally plugged into the inner workings of this huge machine. No way Wolf is taking orders from a machine. No one ever said Coyote was part of the contest. Wolf is still leader. But Hyena disagrees, she's siding with her new boyfriend. Jackal can't believe his sister has fallen in love with a glorified toaster oven. He's not exactly Wolf's biggest fan, but he's got to go with old furball. They all turn to Dingo to break the tie. Dingo looks at his helmet. He makes it clear that he's not wild about his options: a robot who thinks he's human or a lunatic who gave up his humanity. But he turns to Coyote and says, "O.K. boss, what's our next move?"

10. Back at the Clock Tower, the trio are each getting back after a night of competitively patrolling the city alone. Lex prevented two muggings. Brooklyn prevented one mugging and scared off a burglar. Broadway stopped three muggings and an armed robbery: "Just have to know where to look," he says proudly. Then they realize that the tower is empty. Even Bronx is gone. And if Hudson and Goliath lugged Bronx along with them it must have been trouble.

11. Cut to the interior of some kind of hanger for the Pack Attack Vehicle. We do not get an exterior to show us where we are, but we do hear a train go by every minute or so. Goliath, Hudson, Bronx and Elisa are in a glass chamber filled with a colored gas that keeps them unconscious. Wolf isn't at all pleased about waiting around. How is sitting on their hands going to help them find the other gargoyles? But Coyote has a plan. It's midnight now. At 4:30 am they'll release Bronx from the chamber. He'll almost definitely lead them straight to the Gargoyle's Home Base. And he should get there just before sunrise, allowing the Pack to arrive just after sunrise and smash the remaining gargoyles into gravel.

12. In Xanatos' office, he and Fox are still playing chess. Xanatos: "You're in check, my dear."

ACT THREE
13. The trio are still waiting for Goliath et al at the clock tower. It's 3 A.M. and they are very worried. It's only a couple hours 'til sunrise. And no sign of Elisa either. And the tension isn't doing wonders for their dispositions. They argue over what to do. The television gives them a clue when a report comes in about the bombing at the abandoned building. The report mentions that the fire was contained because the police were already on the scene, having received a false tip that those escaped felons (and former television stars) known as the Pack were there. They're about to head out to investigate, when they hear "The following is a paid commercial message." Lex recognizes the voice as Fox's. Brooklyn didn't think Fox was still in the Pack. But the commercial continues. "Tired of walking up Lexington Avenue? Sick of taking the bus down Broadway? Fed up with driving your car to Brooklyn? Then take the subway!" And an image appears on the screen of a place where multiple tracks criss-cross above ground. Well, that can't be a coincidence. One of them recognizes the location, he's flown over it. But is this a tip or a trap? Well, what choice do they have? Off they go.

14. Trio arrive at Train crossing. Again, there are multiple tracks crossing in multiple directions, and every minute or so, another train rushes by at high speed. They find a large metal shack, that's supposed to house train cars or something, but is acting as a hangar for the Pack Vehicle instead. They sneak in and get a look at the upgraded Pack and their sleeping friends. Broadway and Lexington are all for mounting an immediate attack. Brooklyn is reluctant. Just look at the size of Coyote, who's in the middle of putting a tracking device on Bronx. They need help to defeat these guys. But where are they going to get help? From Goliath and the rest. Our priority should be freeing them. Both Broadway and Lex try to peer pressure him. Maybe he's afraid to fight without Goliath, but they're not. But Brooklyn isn't biting. He's not scared, and he's also not stupid. They need a plan.
A little bit later, Brooklyn makes his presence known and then takes off as a decoy. Coyote figures as much, but Wolf and Jackal won't listen to reason and take off after him. And right after they leave, the power goes out inside the hanger, thanks to Lex. Dingo reaches for his helmet, but it's not there. Broadway has it and throws it with all his might at the sleep chamber. The helmet smashes a hole in the chamber, allowing the gas to pour out. But meanwhile things don't look good for the trio. Coyote slams into Broadway carrying them both outside. Hyena and Dingo pursue Lex.
So outside the battle continues amid the backdrop of unpredictable and speeding trains shooting past on random tracks. Eventually, however, Brooklyn's delaying tactic pays off. The others have been given the opportunity to recover from the sleep chamber. They join the fight, and the tide of the battle turns. The Pack is defeated. GARY, LET'S DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PACK AT THE END OF THIS SHOW.

15. Back at the clock tower, Goliath realizes that tonight's events only prove what Hudson has been saying all along. He must choose a second in command. He's had a choice in mind for weeks, but has been reluctant to reveal it, because he was afraid that it would drive a wedge between the trio. But tonight they worked together and saved the clan. He has to trust that they are mature enough to handle this. He chooses Brooklyn. (This without being aware of who spear-headed tonight's success.) The others are genuinely happy for Brooklyn. He proved himself to them. They take their places outside and Brooklyn looks across the city. A siren wails. He shakes his head and tells Goliath to be careful. He's in no hurry to take his place. They turn to stone.

16. Dawn. Fox says checkmate, and we reveal the board with its pieces based on our characters. She knows her husband doesn't like to lose. Is he upset? Of course not, he's happy to have an opponent to match his skill. Made the game more fun. "Care to play again?" FADE OUT.


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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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Double Jeopardy Outline Notes

[With the DCV moving into episodes that my rambles haven't yet covered, I'm again going to try to reprint old memos from the series. What follows are my notes on writer/story editor Cary Bates' outline for what eventually became "Double Jeopardy". By the time we wrote this memo, we'd clearly gone through three iterations of the story (which I no longer possess). This version related below, is darn close to what we finally wound up with, and should give you an idea of how closely I worked with the story editors, though it reveals little about who came up with what, since even I don't remember how much of what follows was new to this document and how much was part of what came before. Enjoy.]

WEISMAN 12-24-94

Notes on "Thailog Rules" Outline...

GENERAL
O.K. You're last beat sheet was a big improvement. Particularly the Sevarius stuff. But something still seemed missing. So I reviewed all three versions of this thing and after dancing them around in my head a bit, came up with the following. It preserves the mystery of Goliath's strange behavior a little longer, but keeps the plotline moving along fast.

TITLE
I'm afraid "Thailog Rules" tips our hand too much. What do you think of the title "Reversals"? Or something similar with the word "negative" in it? Or something like "Sins of the Fathers"?

FIRST ENCOUNTER
I traded Brooklyn for Elisa. That way, we could get rid of the awkward phony weapons bit. Thailog (or Sevarius) could have left an anonymous tip for Elisa that brought her (and Lex and Broadway) past the right place at about the right time.

THAILOG'S DICTION
Can be very colloquial. Direct. Like his menacing laugh, it'll be weird for our audience to hear Keith's deep voice comfortably use edgy modern parlance.

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
1. Prologue. One year ago at Eyrie Building. Night. Keep very brief and simple. ELISA is trying to convince GOLIATH that he must find a new home, before Xanatos is released from prison. Suddenly, a STEEL CLAN ROBOT goes berserk, making a bee-line for Elisa. Goliath puts it down hard. OWEN apologizes and "treats" Goliath's small cut.

2. One year later. On a stormy night, Elisa is driving along Riverside Drive in upper Manhattan, where there's a bit of a cliff down to the water. LEXINGTON and BROADWAY are gliding through the storm above her. Lex wears a radio headset like the one he wore in "Legion". He uses it to communicate with Elisa, letting us in on the anonymous tip that brought them up here, and how it must have been a crank call, since it turned up nothing. (We need to believe that whatever this call claimed to reveal was something that would have led her to bring Lex and Broadway instead of Matt.) Just off shore, we should see an old oil rig platform. Suddenly, Lex and Broadway are attacked, and Elisa is "strafed" and nearly forced off the road and over the cliff. (Keep her point of view very tight and claustrophobic inside her car. Between the poor visibility and multiple "blind spots", she won't know where the next attack will come from.) As dangerous as the whole thing is, there's something almost childish about the attacks. Ultimately, Elisa gets control of her car, pulls over and gets out. Lex and Broadway land next to her, and they see their attacker. It's clearly "Goliath", though we only see him in silhouette, laughing. Then he is gone.

3. At Gen-U-Tech, DOCTOR SEVARIUS is making a down payment to LEAD MERCENARY. The Doctor's having a damn good time.

4. At the Clock Tower, just before Dawn, Elisa, Broadway and Lex have just finished describing Goliath's strange behavior to HUDSON. No one has a clue as to why Goliath would act that way, and they'll have to wait until sunset to find out. He and BROOKLYN were supposed to be out patrolling, and with Dawn fast approaching, they probably found a ledge to spend the day on: somewhere Goliath would feel safe.

5. Daytime at Eyrie Building. "Goliath" is frozen in stone on the highest tower of the Eyrie Castle. (Note: when "stoned" there's no way to tell the difference between Goliath and his counterpart.) XANATOS chats with Owen about how nice it is to have "him" here, guarding the castle. (Since they both know who they are talking about, they don't have to mention him by name.) Suddenly, MERCENARIES led by Sevarius' Lead Mercenary, land. Xanatos and Owen are caught off guard. Mercenaries leave with stone "Goliath" and Xanatos can't shoot them down without risking the gargoyle's life.

6. From his helicopter, the Lead Mercenary calls Sevarius by Video Phone, telling him that the mission is accomplished. They have the statue in the cargo hold in back. Sevarius is pleased and tells them to bring it to the rendezvous point, but not until after dark.

7. Night at the clock tower: Elisa, Hudson, Broadway, Lex and BRONX watch Goliath and Brooklyn come in for a landing. Goliath is bombarded with questions, but he doesn't know what they're talking about. Brooklyn confirms that Goliath has been with him the whole time. Well, if that wasn't Goliath they saw, then who was it?

8. In their helicopter, the mercenaries rendezvous with Sevarius at the abandoned oil rig platform. Sevarius is carrying a tranquilizer gun, which mystifies the lead mercenary. What's he gonna do, tranq the statue? The mercenaries open their hold, only to be confronted by THAILOG -- shock white hair, photo-negative colors, bad attitude, but otherwise a dead ringer for Goliath. (Incidentally, this is the last we'll ever see of these particular mercenaries.)

ACT TWO
9. Lex and Broadway have brought Goliath to the riverside location of the previous' night's "attack". They find a Gen-U-Tech tracking bracelet (like the one in "Metamorphosis"), right where "Goliath" had been standing. Lex wants to check out Gen-U-Tech. Goliath sends him and Broadway to do it, while he and Elisa look around for whoever or whatever that phony Goliath was.

10. Back at the Eyrie Building, Owen hands Xanatos the phone. The voice on the other end has been electronically altered beyond recognition, which doesn't prevent it from demanding a ransom for Thailog: $20 million in cash to be delivered to Oil Rig Platform #18 (or whatever). Owen tries to trace the call. No luck. But he can trace Platform #18. It doesn't belong to Demona, Macbeth or Renard. In fact, it belongs to Xanatos Enterprises. That's all Xanatos needs to hear. He can barely believe it, but Sevarius must have betrayed him. It all fits. Sevarius works for X.E. and he's the only other person who knew that Thailog existed. Xanatos hates to lose a talent like Sevarius, but he can't permit this kind of behavior from his employees. He's just going to have to make an example of Dr. Sevarius.

11. At Gen-U-Tech, Lex and Broadway break in. Lex has an idea. He types "C-L-O-N-E" into the computer and gets the scoop on Project Thailog.

12. Goliath and Elisa have been searching the area. They've looked everywhere and found nothing. Almost everywhere. Goliath points to the oil rig.

13. Xanatos, wearing a trench coat and carrying a suitcase, has taken a launch out to the oil rig. He is greeted warmly enough by Sevarius. He shows Sevarius the money. Sevarius: "What? Oh, the money. You know in all the excitement, I almost forgot about it. Actually, I've never seen that much money in one place. Mind if I take a peek?" And while he does, Xanatos removes his coat, to reveal that he is wearing armor. Thinner, lighter than his Gargoyle armor. Not as effective in a huge battle, but still formidable and obviously, easier to conceal. He grabs hold of Sevarius and explains, that although he's not by nature a vengeful man, Sevarius has forced him to make an exception.

14. Pull back to reveal, Goliath and Elisa watching all this from above. She wonders what could set Xanatos and Sevarius against each other? "Some new abomination they created together." They decide to take a look around.

15. Meanwhile, Sevarius is stunned at Xanatos' attack. What did he do wrong? Xanatos can't believe he's asking. Kidnapping, extortion, betrayal -- how's that for a start? Sevarius suddenly gets conspiratorial and whispers, "Oh, I get it. Somebody's watching us. Don't worry. I'll make it look good." Then he hams it up big time: "YES, I BETRAYED YOU!! YOU TOOK MY CREATION AWAY FROM ME!! IT WAS ONLY AN ACT OF JUSTICE TO STEAL IT BACK!!" And then he whispers to Xanatos, "How was that?"

16. Goliath and Elisa find Thailog chained up in an oil storage tank. Goliath is horrified. How can this be? Thailog explains very briefly that he is a clone of Goliath, created from his blood. Goliath feels violated and speaks rashly about the horrors of modern science and the evil of Xanatos and Sevarius. Thailog seems hurt and glowers angrily at Goliath. Elisa yanks Goliath aside. "Listen, you have a right to be angry, but you shouldn't take it out on Thailog. It's not his fault he was created. And however it happened, he's still a gargoyle. In a way, he's kind of your son. And you're rejecting him."

17. A very perplexed Xanatos is finally putting it together. Sevarius thinks this is all an act. Now Sevarius is confused. Isn't it an act? I only followed your instructions. What instructions? Sevarius had gotten instructions from Xanatos' office over electronic mail to do everything he had done. Far from betraying Xanatos, he had thought he was helping Xanatos in his latest Machiavellian scheme. Except Xanatos doesn't know anything about this. Who else has access to his personal computer? Sevarius: "Owen? Fox?" Xanatos: "Don't be ridiculous." "Well, has anyone else had access to the castle?" Xanatos thinks about it, and then... laughs.

18. Back in the oil tank, Goliath knows that Elisa is right. He goes to free Thailog. But Thailog says it won't be necessary. The shackles weren't locked. He grabs Goliath, puts him in a wrestling hold and slams a gas mask over Goliath's mouth and nose. Before Elisa can do anything but gasp, Goliath slumps unconscious in Thailog's arms. And Thailog laughs.

ACT THREE
19. Xanatos is still laughing. He's figured out that it was all Thailog's plan, and he's proud of his boy. Thailog comes out, smiling. And he's carrying a little bonus -- an unconscious Goliath and Elisa. (He took her out during the commercial.) Better and better. The kid is a real chip off the old block. "Yes, I am... All the old blocks." And he slaps an electro-disk onto Xanatos, shorting out his armor and knocking him unconscious. Screen goes black.

20. When Xanatos regains consciousness, he is chained next to Goliath, Sevarius and Elisa (in the oil tank maybe). Thailog enters with murder in mind. He's learned from all of his "proud fathers". But he has no intention of going through life as Sevarius' guinea pig or Xanatos' stooge. It's time to leave the nest. And twenty million should help him make his mark. Sevarius protests: How are you going to spend it? You can't exactly open a checking account. But Thailog has learned enough from Xanatos to know that with that much money, he can find a way to make it work for him. After all, he set all of them up without any cash incentives. Imagine what he could do with 20 mil? Goliath tells Thailog that he doesn't need the money. He can join the gargoyle clan. Thailog: "Do I look like a sap to you?" He has no desire to waste his time acting as guardian angel to a city full of ignorant humans. He had toyed with the idea of sharing the money with Goliath. That's why he had arranged for Goliath to join the party. But their little family reunion pissed Thailog off. "So I've decided to hate you too." He approaches Elisa, caresses her face. It seems like a waste, but she's going to have to die too. Nothing personal. He leaves, activating a death trap. (Maybe the oil tank starts filling with oil or something.) At any rate, the four work together to escape the trap. Though they set the rig on fire in the process.

21. Topside, they arrive just in time to stop Thailog from escaping with the cash. Thailog is furious that they've escaped. Big battle mostly between Thailog and Goliath. Broadway and Lex finally arrive but by this time the rig is about to collapse. Goliath tries one last attempt to reason with Thailog. They must escape. Thailog won't leave without the money. He goes after it, is caught in an explosion and apparently dies. Xanatos and Sevarius escape in Xanatos' launch. Broadway, Lex and Goliath leave with Elisa. They've survived. But at such a great cost. Goliath would like to blame Xanatos and Sevarius for corrupting Thailog. But all of Thailog's fathers hurt him. Goliath cannot exonerate himself.

22. Epilogue: One week later. Xanatos, Sevarius and Owen are talking about a brand new, more secure computer system. Price tag: just under $20 million. Xanatos chuckles at the irony, and then almost chokes on the chuckle. He suddenly realizes that if he had been in Thailog's shoes, he would have planned a contingency for their escape from his death trap. He would have faked his own death so that he could get away with the money. Sevarius: "You mean that monster's still out there. It has the money... and it's smarter than you?" Xanatos, dead serious: "Owen... I think I've created a monster."


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Grad Thesis semi-Answers

I got the following e-mail from Gore the other day. I don't usually encourage going around the system this way. But the guy seemed to be under deadline pressure, so I cut him some slack and moved him to the head of the line. I'd ask that others not abuse the process. Thanks.

Subject:
[Fwd: Graduate Student needs Greg's Help]
Date:
Thu, 14 Mar 2002 20:21:44 -0500

Just forwarding something that was sent to me.

-[Gorebash]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Graduate Student needs Greg's Help
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 14:21:57 -0500

Dear Mr. Weisman,

My name is John Diego Hernandez. I am a full time graduate student in public relations at Rowan Univeristy in Glassboro, New Jersey. My research topic for my thesis is "toys and cartoons" and how the two fields relate to one another when it comes to development of both toy lines and animated serials. As part of my thesis research I am required to survey individuals who pertain to my investigative studies. As creator of an animated television serial, your knowledgeable expertise would be an invaluable
wealth of information that would remain in my thesis throughout perpetuity.

The survey consists of 12 short questions posted below. It will only take 20 minutes of your time - no longer. If you can find some time from your busy schedule, I would be most indebted. You do not have to answer all the questions if you choose not to. If you wish to remain anonymous, I will not put your name or personal data in my thesis.

Thank you for your time,

John Diego Hernandez

1. Do toys affect what cartoons you make?

Yes. The profit margins on children's programming are so slim these days (largely because of misguided government regulation coupled -- ironically -- with the deregulation that has allowed entertainment companies to vertically integrate) that potential money from consumer products (including but not limited to toys) has become a greater factor than when I started in the business in 1989. Toy companies can help fund programming -- for better and for worse -- that might not otherwise get made. And even original properties benefit if there are multiple forces (e.g. a toy line) that maintain incentives to keep a show alive.

2. Do you choose what toys are made?

Never.

3. How significant is a hit animated show to sales of toys?

It can be very significant, in that an animated series can virtually act as a 30 minute daily commercial for the toy -- a commercial that establishes play patterns and allows the audience to invest in both characters and the property as a whole.

4. How many cartoons a year are related to toy lines?

I have no idea.

5. Must the toy manufacturer pay royalties to cartoon producers?

Depends on the origin of the property.

6. Does a successful cartoon guarantee a hit toy line?

No. Some shows are not considered 'toyetic'.

7. Does a successful toy line guarantee a hit cartoon?

Never. But it doesn't hurt.

8. When your company is in search of a new animated serial, where do they look first - current toy lines or creative innovators?

There's no one place. (And that either/or you just gave me is ridiculously simplistic. Implicitly biased even. There are plenty of creative innovators working at toy companies, for example. And there are more than just two places where you might look for inspiration or series springboards.)

9. Approximately how much do cartoon producers allocate to the funding of toy lines?

Doesn't work that way. Toys help fund cartoons (in simplistic terms) not the other way around.

10. Which usually comes first - the toy line or the cartoon?

Again, there's no one rule. In certain countries, like England, if a toy line exists already then you CAN'T air the property at all. But here in the U.S. it can go either way. Though often the cartoon will appear first to help promote the toy line.

11. May I attribute your responses? Yes / No

Yes.

12. If yes, please list name and/or title and company name:

Greg Weisman
Freelance Writer/Producer


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While I'm thinking of it....

Behold the following exchange (then skip to the bottom):

Received from pc-17.di.uoa.gr on Monday, September 17, 2001 04:52:03 AM
Aris Katsaris writes...

'kay, you were in your Disney office and couldn't answer this the last time I asked it, so you told me to repost it... Here goes:

<g> Another timeline thingy - this time less of a question though and more of a possible correction (unless I'm missing something)...

You recently said that Tom, Katherine and Magus entered Avalon on September 28th 995. But we also know that the eggs would normally hatch on the spring equinox (about March 21st) of 998. This means that there normally remained 2 and 1/2 years for the eggs to hatch... This time they spent on Avalon.

You can probably see where I'm going... Multiply by 24, and we see that they had to spent 60 years (Earth time) on Avalon. This takes them all the way to 995+60 = 1055.

Obviously the closest "20-year circle of the earth" was 1058... Quite near by. So why did you have them hatch on 1078, 20 years later, instead?

I don't think I've made any errors with the math... :-)

Greg responds...

The eggs were laid in 988. From 988 until 995 (seven out of the normal ten years for gestation) time passed normally. That means they needed @three more years to hatch once they arrived on Avalon. One year on Avalon equals 24 in the real world, as you noted. 3 x 24 = 72. 995 + 72 puts us at 1067. Making the closest twenty year cycle at 1078, as I noted.

You're calculations assume two and a half years instead of three to hatch. And that makes sense given the dates listed. The obvious dopey answer is that I was not calculating to the month but to the year. And so I could acknowledge the mistake and redo everything. And maybe on my next pass through the timeline, I'll do just that.

But to be honest, maybe I won't. When dealing with Avalon's mysterious flow of time, I believe my calculations are close enough. If the eggs weren't ready until March of 1059 even, then I'm still correct -- so it's not quite as big an error as it appears at first glance. Four years passing in the real world represents only two months on Avalon. Perhaps all that traveling and magic, etc. set the eggs back just a bit. If it set them back two months, then I'm right, and they're just slightly late bloomers.

And yes, I'm making excuses. So I'll save this exchange and decide at a later date.

For now, I'm sticking with my current calculations.

recorded on 03-04-02

With all this in mind...

I know I've established -- both here and in my own head (particularly with regards to G2198) that eggs hatch on the Spring Equinox.

But does anyone remember whether (and where) I've established what month the eggs are laid in?

I can't recall if this has come up yet.

Anyone know? And would this solve my problems at all?


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GOLIATH AND DEMONA: A RESPONSE

Here's another post I just know I'm going to regret. But I can't seem to help myself.

Mooncat, please don't take this personally, but I think you're viewpoint on Goliath's "shallow" love for Demona is misguided.

Let me make a few parallel changes to illustrate my point.

1. Let's say both Goliath and Demona were humans.

2. Let's say Goliath was a woman named Gina.

3. Let's say Demona was a man named Dan.

4. Let's say that instead of taking place atop rooftops and castles, these events were taking place in a two-bedroom house in suburbia.

5. Let's say that instead of using laser bazookas and the like, Dan was simply using a baseball bat. Or his fists.

Now take your scenario. Once upon a time, when they were young, Gina swore undying love for Dan. They got married. Spent years together. Even had a daughter together. There may have been hints along the way as to Dan's troubling nature, but Gina ignored those hints. She still loved Dan.

But, hey, sometimes things change. They go from good to bad to worse. Now Dan beats her. He hurts her. He's tried to kill her more than once and has nearly succeeded. He runs off. Shows up again, and behaves the same way. He has successfully killed other people in cold blood. Sometimes Gina reaches out to him. Sometimes he pretends to be good. And hey, he never, ever hurts their daughter. But he always winds up hurting Gina again. I can't tell you how many times Gina has been taken to Sunrise Hospital for treatment. Well, I could tell you. You could count for yourself, I guess. But once is too many, and we both know it.

Whatever oath Gina took once upon a time is, as I see it, moot. No one should stay in an abusive relationship. I wouldn't want my daughter to do it. I wouldn't want my son to do it. And I wouldn't want Gina or Goliath to do it either. To not respect Gina for moving on with her life given Dan's behaviour, is IMHO kinda horrendous.

Now I'm not saying Dan is Satan. He may have a decent side to him. He may have taken some hard knocks himself, maybe even as a child. He's certainly lonely as hell inside his own skin. All mitigating factors. Certainly Dan needs help. Would benefit from counseling. But to put that all on Gina's shoulders, the VICTIM, is beyond unreasonable. Love is NEVER enough in these situations. You may feel that Goliath didn't make a big enough effort, but you weren't the one being shot at. (And my comment in the CR about how maybe Goliath looked for her between episodes, was way beside the point as well.)

Personally, I have tremendous empathy for Demona. Not mere sympathy but empathy. I feel that there but for the grace of God, go I, more often than I care to admit. But empathy or sympathy doesn't cut it. She's committed cruel and violent (murderous) acts against other living beings.

And to use your own example, if Elisa went "Dark" and Goliath had to chose between saving her and an innocent. I'd hope he'd save the innocent. I hope that's the kind of guy he is. That he does the right thing, no matter how personally painful.

And if you think what happened with Demona wasn't personally painful for him on every level, then I failed as a storyteller.


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Testing, one, two, three...

Just checking to make sure this is working.


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OH, YEAH...

I was watching Gilmore Girls the other night and I realized that I've neglected to mention a show that was a subconscious influence on Gargoyles.

I LOVE LUCY

Here was a series set in Manhattan that periodically took its main characters on trips to other 'more exotic' locations. Like Europe, Cuba, Hollywood, etc.

Just thought I should mention it.


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Where have I been?

Around.

True, my computer crashed last Thursday, and because I took my daughter to Catalina Friday-Sunday, I wasn't able to get it fixed until yesterday.

But that's not really why I haven't been answering questions here.

The reason, which is perhaps obvious, is September 11th.

Like just about everyone, I've been deeply effected by the events of that day and by what has followed. I'm at a loss, to say the least.

I can't see my way clear to an end... Even in a strictly fantasy sense, given super-powers or magical assistance, I can't imagine a satisfying conclusion. It's not like I see the world ending. (And perhaps I've been living in blissful ignorance for too long...) But the world just seems so ugly right now, and I don't see that changing. Don't know how it changes at this point. And thus I'll admit I'm having trouble getting back into a daily routine -- even a full four weeks later.

It probably doesn't help that (a) I'm unemployed. There's no structure to my days beyond the structure that I impose. And (b) I'm naturally lazy. Any excuse, right?

But I'm going to try. I've lost all the time I gained during the August break, and I still don't think I'm ready to power through all your questions. But I have to start somewhere, sometime. And, heck... maybe a few of those lightbulb jokes will cheer me up.


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Keith David, Live and In Person

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

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

Hope to see at least a few of you there.


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September 11, 2001

There's not much I can say. I'm in shock like the rest of you. I voted in a local election, and I'm going to try to donate blood later today. It's all I can think to do.

Everyone, just take care of each other.

Greg


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Thank Heaven...

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Feeling like this is still pertinent...

I'm reprinting this.... and yes, I know that the questions I'm currently answering were all posted LONG before the first time I posted this. But since I cleared the room, I wanted to repost his message so that people keep it square in mind when posting NEW questions....

Paranoia... possibly.

So maybe it's me...

But lately I've been feeling like people are popping in to ASK GREG with the deliberate intent of catching me in a mistake or inconsistency. Like they are trying to trip me [or the series] up.

If not, my apologies.

But if so... CUT IT OUT, OKAY!!!!

It's just not much fun for me.

And before anyone else gets personally paranoid, this isn't directed at any one person. I've just had this general sense that somehow this is the new contest here. Who can make Greg look stupid. Believe me guys, I don't need much help in that department.

If you have a legitimate question you're curious about, then ask away. But if you're just posting to make me look foolish and/or to prove that the show wasn't perfect... well, how 'bout I just acknowledge both things here and now, and we let that drop.

Okay?


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CLEARED THE PAGE...

I've been trying to answer questions here at ASK GREG pretty consistently for the last few weeks.

I'm guessing that the "Latest Response Page" is starting to get pretty unmanagable.

So I've cleared it, despite the fact that I've added to it as recently as yesterday.

So if you missed anything recent, please check the following archive:

RESPONSES 2001-9 (Sept)

That'll only give you questions and rambles from this month.


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LIFE IN THE REAL WORLD

This is something I wrote YEARS ago. But I don't think it's here in ASK GREG, or if it is, it's only in the old archives. Vash dug it up recently, and I thought I'd reprint it here, verbatim, I've added a few notes in [brackets]:

Life in the real world.

I know I've said this stuff before. Please read this carefully. I have a real fear that this might sound defeatist or condescending, but you can't possibly succeed in "saving" the show if you don't come to terms with these hard truths. I don't know what you've been told by other people. But I do know a few things about today's animation market. I've told you before that I did not believe that Gerry Leybourne was single-handedly responsible for not renewing the show. Dean Valentine is also not single-handedly responsible. Neither is Eisner. If the fans insist on looking for a VILLAIN to blame, they stand no chance. [Neither Leybourne or Valentine are at Disney anymore.] You say you're looking for a straight answer. But really you've been given and have ignored straight answers and what you are looking for is for simple answers. There are none. Here are some (but not all) of the many factors that have probably played into the non-renewal:

1) Quantity. A normal syndication package for any children's show is 65 episodes. If you don't make it up to 65 then you are considered something of a failure. If you make 65, then you have created a show that can have ongoing library use. That's a success. Anything above 65 is gravy and NO SHOW makes more than 65 episodes without significant financial incentive. They made 78 gargoyles (including Chronicles). The financial incentive for the last 13 was that ABC needed a boys action show with some "Marquee" attached to help fill out it's Saturday Morning line-up. You'll notice that no new episodes were made for syndication. There was no financial incentive in syndication. So they didn't make any more for syndication. [These days a syndication package can be as few as 39.]

2) Ratings. The ratings for Goliath Chronicles are, or so I'm told, lousy. Forget about the why for a moment, and just absorb this fact. If the ratings are lousy, we've just lost the financial incentive to make any more beyond the 13. On that level, Goliath Chronicles objectively failed. Gargoyles did a bit better in its day, but it never broke out and knocked down the competition. Aladdin did better business for Disney. And they're not making any more new Aladdin tv episodes either.

3) Shelf space. The Disney Afternoon, as we know it, is dead. The rise of FOX, the WB and UPN ate up almost all of the existing independent stations that aired the Disney Afternoon or (in lieu of the full two hour block) the individual shows that made up The Afternoon. We've known this was coming for awhile. Existing contracts kept the Afternoon alive through the end of this season. But after that it is gone in it's present form. Now, as I understand it, Disney has made a deal with Kelloggs to do a reduced version of the Afternoon. I think it's supposed to be an hour and a half long, with one new show and two library shows. The new show for next season is 101 Dalmations. For fall of 98, it's supposed to be HERCULES. There isn't room for new Gargoyles in syndication. ABC has similar problems. As a broadcast network, they've committed to air 3 hours of FCC/Kid friendly programming per week. That means 3 hours of their morning have to be reserved for that kind of programming, because unlike Fox, they don't have any other place in their schedule to air this FCC stuff. That only leaves them with about one and a half hours to fill their morning. They have an existing commitment to the Bugs Bunny cartoons that they air for an hour. That leaves them with one half hour slot to fill. Given Goliath Chronicles ratings, it just doesn't make sense to fill that one slot with a show that's failing, when you can take a chance on something new that might succeed.

4) Resources. The fans seem to regard Disney as this Giant that can do whatever it wants, and that's true up to a point. But Disney TV Animation has limited resources. There are only so many talented animators and storyboard artists out there. There's only so much money they can spend without profits to justify the expense. From Disney's point of view, Gargoyles had its shot. You and I may quibble about how that shot was handled. Whether it could have been handled better. I think everyone would acknowledge that mistakes were made. But not intentionally. EVERYONE at Disney wanted the show to be a huge success. IT WAS NOT. I wish I could tell you different. Creatively, I'm very proud of the show. We touched a substantial group of people. But an even more substantial group preferred POWER RANGERS on a consistent basis. They cleaned our clock. Disney has to decide how to allocate limited resources. If Gargoyles had 78 shots to be a hit, and didn't quite make it, you can see why they might think it's time to allocate their resources to something else.

5) Quality. Resources came into play with Goliath Chronicles. The decision was reached to allocate priority resources to shows and home videos that they believed had a better chance to break out. That's why Chronicles looks the way it does. In my opinion, the show is inferior to the original on almost every level. This doesn't mean that a lot of good people didn't work their butts off to make it as good as it could be. But limited resources result in limited success. The resource issue was the major reason why I walked away. I regret it now. The animation has been weak, but I should not have passed up the opportunity to tell twelve more of my stories. But that's spilled milk. Eric Lewald was under the gun from the moment he came on board the show. There wasn't adequate time to make the show at its previous quality level. There wasn't even adequate time for Eric to become as familiar with the show as I'm sure he would have liked to. I tried to help. I was paid to consult. But...

6) Time. Along with limited resources, the main reason Chronicles isn't up there is Time. The show didn't get a go ahead until late november '95. I began "The Journey" in December. Eric didn't really come aboard until January '96, as I recall. Look at where we are now. It's late February [1997]. Do you really want to see the GARGOYLES episode that would result if it started from scratch now and had to air in September [1997]? I WOULD NOT.

7) Expectations. I do believe that Disney in general views the show as a disappointment. They had tremendous high hopes for it. They rushed 52 episodes into production for it's second year despite my warning that they'd have to air a lot of reruns in between new episodes. The reruns, the weaker stations we were on and many other factors, including series content resulted in a solid but decidedly unspectacular performance. I do believe that the high expectations that many at Disney had for the show, led to greater disappointment in its real failure to break out and its perceived failure in general. That disappointment doesn't make a lot of people feel inclined to make more.

8) Strategy. O.k., I'm not at Disney anymore, so I'm not privy to their strategy meetings, but from outside observation, it doesn't seem like Gargoyles fits in their overall strategy plans. Maybe it never truly did. Now we can be mad about this. We can even try to change it. But first and foremost, we should be glad they made the show at all. Next we should realize that if it doesn't fit their plans, they aren't going to be too inclined to change them IN THE SHORT TERM.

9) Management. (The one I suppose you've been waiting for if you still insist on playing the blame game.) There has been a lot of management shake ups at Disney. Jeffrey Katzenberg, Rich Frank, Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston all left. So did I. We were all supporters of the show. But Eisner didn't leave and he was a supporter too. I haven't talked to him recently. I don't know what he thinks about the show. Maybe he's disappointed. Maybe he's not. Maybe for him it's just the resource issue. Gotta take a shot with something new. Maybe he's not involved in this decision in a significant way. No way to know. But I wouldn't be so quick to label him a villain. It doesn't hurt to let him know that you love the show, but it can't help to blame him for its demise.

I don't know Gerry at all. I've never met her. I'm also a little vague on her responsibilities at Disney, thought I've heard she's responsible for scheduling ABC's Saturday morning. But before you blame her, or even guess at what she personally feels about the show, reread all the above, particularly the section on shelf space, strategy and ratings. Now she may not like the show. I have no idea. Neither do you. If she doesn't care for the show, I'd personally be curious to know what she bases her dislike on. Goliath Chronicles? Gargoyles? Both? Whatever, she's entitled to her opinion.

I've met Dean. I've heard that Gargoyles isn't his thing. I've heard that he believes that it may not be Disney's thing either. But I don't know any of that. And again, Dean's personal view of the show is, positive OR negative, way down on the list of reasons not to make more. See above.

Buena Vista. Mort Marcus ran Buena Vista at the time I left Disney. I have no idea if he's still there. Mort was a big early supporter of the show. He was also very disappointed when it didn't perform up to expectations. Buena Vista is taking its next shots with Dalmations and Hercules. But even if the Afternoon had survived, there wouldn't be any new episodes of Gargoyles in syndication. Look at the Disney Afternoon's history. A new show premieres with new episodes. Over the next few years, the reruns move down through the Afternoon. That's cause they couldn't afford the MILLIONS of Dollars that it would take to make new episodes for early time slots that don't deliver very many kids. If there aren't any (or many) butts sitting in front of the t.v. then advertisers don't want their products advertised there, in which case they don't pay much for commercials. So networks won't pay much for the shows, so the shows operate at HUGE budget deficits. Gargoyles operated at a huge deficit. Ultimately, I'm sure it will make an overall profit for the company. It may have already. But let's not pretend this was the LION KING.

Other divisions. Some did better than others. But no one is clamoring for more gargoyles product, so none of the other divisions are clamoring for more shows.

SO WHAT DO WE DO?

We begin by admitting, at least to ourselves, that in the short term, we lost the battle.

Then we go on and try to win the war.

We have one big chance and a general small chance. Both are long shots.

The Big Chance is the Touchstone Live Action Feature. If this ever gets made and if it succeeds, then there will be renewed interest in the show.

The general chance is that television is cyclical. He-Man rules until DuckTales comes along. Rescue Rangers rule until Batman comes along. Soft and quirky is big now. But times change. And Gargoyles has a marquee. (It's a trifle damaged, but it's real.) There's a chance it could come back.

The best thing we can do is keep the flame burning. Keep executives, particularly if there's any executive turnover, informed that there is a fan base for the property. Write letters to Buena Vista, to Eisner, to ABC, to Disney TV Animation, to Touchstone. Write letters to local stations, asking them to air reruns. Write letters to the Disney Channel for the same thing. If the reruns are airing in the U.S., we have a much better chance of someday making new episodes. Keep these letters respectful. Don't try to assign blame. My god, what difference does that make. If I thought it would help I'd take 100% of the blame myself. I certainly deserve some of it. Just let people know that you loved the show. Praise it's virtues. Show "Deadly Force", "Lighthouse..." and "The Green" at grade schools. Make the GATHERING a yearly event. Increase it's budget and scope on a slow and steady basis until it becomes an important event. (Don't try to get too big too fast. If you go bust early on, you won't get a second chance.) Keep the fan base excited about the show. (This to me is the main virtue to the whole fanfic thing, which I have many mixed feelings about. If it keeps the fans interested, great.) Don't let the fans marginalize themselves with hostility or esoterica. If they get territorial they keep new fans out. No new fans. No new episodes. Prove to Disney that you are part of that great consumer demographic that they are hunting for. BUY STUFF. Buy all the stuff you can find. Prove that the show can still make money for the company. Buy all the videos off the shelf. Then write Disney's home video division and have them make more. More copies of existing tapes and more episodes on tape. Show those taped episodes to new fans. Particularly young fans. Adults and college kids are great too, but if kids don't like the show, we are doomed. Try to convince Disney records to release Carl's music on C.D. Buy animation cells from authorized Disney dealers. Talk it up.

As for the petition, hell, make copies. Send it a lot of places. Buena Vista for sure. Don't worry about whether or not it's read cover to cover by the president of the division (Mort Marcus, I think). It'll make an impression. But I don't see why you shouldn't send it to Gerry too. Send it to Dean Valentine at Disney T.V. Animation. Send it to Barry Blumberg (at the same place). Have someone in every market send it to their local ABC affiliate. Gerry isn't giving you bad advice there. If the local stations want the show, they'll make their voices heard at the network. (But remember, you need locals to send it to local stations. A petition postmarked Newark won't be taken very seriously in Cleveland.) Send it anywhere you think it might help. But you might want to read it over first. If it's full of hostile and antagonistic attacks, then we've marginalized the petition. Also try to make sure that there's no doubling up. If people signed the petition twice and Disney figures that out, then they'll figure the entire document is compromised, and they'll freely ignore it. If it's a rational statement from real existing fans than I promise you it'll make a positive impression.

But I don't want to kid you. We are probably past the point of no return, at least for this coming fall [1997]. I appreciate that you refuse to give up, and I'm not telling you to. But if you want to save yourself some heartbreak, I think you might want to start focusing on the long term instead of the short term. Even if we could change everyone's minds overnight, we've all but run out of time to put new episodes of any quality on the air by September. I don't like saying that, but I figure it doesn't help anyone to beat around the bush.

Now let me say in advance that most of this won't work. Sorry. The odds are against us. I take some consolation in knowing I was involved with 66 episodes that I can be proud of. I told the stories I wanted to tell. Not nearly all of them, but many. I ended it with Hunter's Moon and Journey, in a way that gave us some small closure but left it open in case I get another shot. A shot I'm longing for. All this offers some consolation. I hope you and the other fans feel the same. It's something to hold onto through what's bound to be a LOT OF REJECTION. There are no guarantees that we'll ever get the show back on the air in any form. But what I've written above is the most practical plan I can think of. If I can help in any way, let me know.

Otherwise, Good Luck. You are going to need it.

GREG


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THE FAQ

I just read through the entire ASK GREG FAQ. WOW!!!!!

JEB and GXB!!! THANKS GUYS!!!!

Four corrections:

1. In 2198 there are only twelve clans. Queen Florence is added later. Paris, later still.

2. "Hobgoblin of Little Minds" and "The Weird Macbeth" (formerly "Puck's Macbeth") were two different story ideas. The one described in the FAQ is "The Weird Macbeth". So far, I have given no details on "Hobgoblin".

3. There have been at least six writers (that I know of) on the Live Action Gargoyles movie.

4. I never worked on the Disney Tarzan Animated series. I was offered a job on it, but I was busy voice directing 3x3 Eyes at the time, so I had to pass.

But given all that information, I'm amazed that there's so little for me to correct. Again, thank you. (Now, let's hope people look at it.)


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Paranoia... possibly.

So maybe it's me...

But lately I've been feeling like people are popping in to ASK GREG with the deliberate intent of catching me in a mistake or inconsistency. Like they are trying to trip me up.

If not, my apologies.

But if so... CUT IT OUT, OKAY!!!!

It's just not much fun for me.

And before anyone else gets personally paranoid, this isn't directed at any one person. I've just had this general sense that somehow this is the new contest here. Who can make Greg look stupid. Believe me guys, I don't need much help in that department.

If you have a legitimate question you're curious about, then ask away. But if you're just posting to make me look foolish and/or to prove that the show wasn't perfect... well, how 'bout I just acknowledge both things here and now, and we let that drop.

Okay?


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LIGHTBULB CONTEST

Poor Fang. Never even got to say the punchline...

Here's the set-up:

"Hey, Goliath, how many gargoyles does it take to screw in a lightbulb..."

Time for our next ASK GREG contest. It's simple and subjective. Finish the joke. The punchline that gives me the biggest laugh wins a prize of no real value, but hopefully of some mild interest.

A few rules:

1. Since we're giving out a prize, no anonymous entries will be accepted. I'll ask Todd to delete them before I even see them.

2. All posts must be clearly marked with "LIGHTBULB CONTEST" in capital letters at the head of the post.

3. Don't ask additional questions with your entry. In fact I'd recommend that you don't include anything that might distract me from laughing at your joke.

4. Spelling COUNTS!!!

5. You may enter as many times as you wish. But each entry MUST be posted seperately. Try to be selective and funny. BEWARE!!! If I sense that you're just taking multiple random stabs at it in order to try and win by the shotgun method, it may prejudice me against you.

6. I'm acknowledging up front that this is a completely subjective contest. You (many or even all of you) may not agree with my final choice. But the decisions of the judges (i.e. yours truly) are final.

7. We will accept entries posted before the end of September, 2001. I'll decide on the winner AFTER I've read all the September posts. (So figure on November, HOPEFULLY.)

One last bit of random incentive, if we ever do make BAD GUYS, I will give Fang the opportunity to complete his joke, using (with permission) the winning entry.


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GLITCH

okay something very weird just happened. I was answering a question that Matt posted about the 'chameleon gene'. Then suddenly, the question just changed. My answer (which I was in the process of writing) remained , but there was now a new question listed above it.....

Hmmmm.... Okay, I think Gore just re-activated the question answering function while I was typing and we had a little glitch here. Matt's question was lost. I'll try to recreate it a bit...

1. Matt wrote something like, "I know you're not a biologist, but how does this chameleon gene' work."
2. Matt thought gargoyles were the sources of various legends, but does the chameleon gene cause gargoyles to look like legendary characters.
3. He asked whether the gene would start changing the looks of familiar clans over time. Or something like that.
4. He stated that he had his own theories as to heredity, etc. And he challenged me to 'sell' him on my chameleon gene theory.
5. He had at least a fifth part to the question (maybe more) but I didn't even get the chance to read it.

My answers to his original question; not to the paraphrased versions above. (Man, this is a mess.)

1. I have no idea. It was just a random thought.

2. No. Definitely not. You're first thought was correct.

3. Natural Mutations (not the Sevarius kind) are likely to occur. They occur to some degree in all species. I was simply positing (and only positing) that Gargoyles might have a gene that causes mutations to occur more frequently. But mostly, garg appearance is defined by heredity.

4. I don't have to sell you on anything. For starters, I'm not sure I've sold myself on it. Second, I'm under no obligation to compete with your personal beliefs. Third, if it isn't in the 66 -- I'm not guaranteeing it. Even some of that is suspect. Sevarius theorized that gargs absorb solar energy while stone. But that was just a theory. He may have been right. He may have been wrong. He may have been partially right. Or he may have been lying intentionally. See?


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ANNOUNCEMENT

Tomorrow (or today I guess -- July 31st, 2001), I'm going on vacation for a week. Don't know whether or not I'll have internet access, so I don't know whether or not I'll be able to answer any more Ask Greg questions while I'm away. This is the trip that I was supposed to take in June, but didn't because I got pneumonia.

Later this month, I'm taking another week off (it helps to have no job). And that's another week when I don't know if I'll be able to answer questions.

In between, I'm job-hunting and novel-writing and still trying to have a life and answer ASK GREG questions all at the same time.

And everytime I start to get close to catching up, you guys FLOOD this place with more questions.

So here's what's going on. FLOOD AWAY. Today. Because the question posting function at ASK GREG is going on vacation for the entire month of August. I'll still answer questions when I can. And on September 1st, Gorebash will promptly turn the question posting function back on. Todd will review the questions and send them to my queue.

But for August, we're on question posting hiatus. Vacation. So relax. There's plenty of questions already posted to keep me busy. Plus you have just under 24 hours to post those last minute questions that you just can't wait on.

And we will be back one short month from now. Enjoy your summer. See you soon.

And thanks, as always, for your continued support of the show.


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DISAPPOINTING NEWS...

On Friday the 13th, July 2001, the staff and etc. of Disney's Team Atlantis was informed that the series was being scrapped. Being a freelance Voice Director, I wasn't at the meeting, but I've been told that the company is disappointed with the box office of the Atlantis film and have decided not to spend additional monies on a series.

(There may still be a direct to video sequel. That had not been decided as of Friday.)

So basically we're all unemployed and all the work that we did up to this point just gets tossed into a file cabinet. WHOOPIE!

On the plus side, as long as I continue to be involved with killed projects we will never lack for Radio Play materials at future Gatherings.


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RANDOM STUFF

Another thing I REALLY wish I had seen at the Gathering is Keith David wielding a sword and quoting from Othello.

I heard that Michael Reaves has a brilliant (because it's simple) solution for how Goliath, Hudson and the Trio could speak modern English upon waking at the castle. Demona used a spell from the Grimorum on them the night before they woke up. Perfect. They'd never even have to know that there was a change in the language. I love it. (Wish I had thought of it.)


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GATHERING 2001 DIARY: Part Five

Monday, June 25, 2001

Once more, Kathy knocked on my door to wake me for the staff breakfast.
Once more, I ignored the first knock.
Once more, she didn't give up.
Once more, I got up and answered the door, telling Kathy I wouldn't make it to the breakfast.
Once more, I did get down there in time to catch the tail end of the breakfast and get some juice.

I checked out of the hotel and put my stuff in my car.

The first panel of the day was for Roughnecks: The Starship Trooper Chronicles. This was actually the panel I had been most nervous about. The reason? Well, we had gathered an impressive list of guests: David DeLuise, Jamie Haines, Alex Polinsky, Rino Romano, Steve Staley, James Horan, Jason Marsden, Sue Blu, Wayne Boon, Vince Edwards, Russ Isler, Joe Lawson, Dave Hartman, Lydia Marano, Jay Oliva and Tom Pugsley. But the panel was scheduled for 10am on Monday the night after the Masquerade. I was afraid that our panelists would outnumber the attendees. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. I played an episode from the series: "Funeral for a Friend". Mostly because it's my personal favorite. Yes, I wrote it. But I just love how it turned out, particularly the epilogue funeral itself. Then we gathered for the Q&A, which was fun. A lot of these guys hadn't seen each other for awhile. Then a short signing. Finally, I had to clear the room for the next panel.

3x3 Eyes. Guests included Thom, Jonathan Klein, Taliesin Jaffe, Mia Korf and Susan Chesler. This was a nice little panel too.

Then a short break and closing ceremonies. Lots of people getting thanked....

I hung out downstairs for awhile, then Brynne and Russ and I meandered up to the con suite. The Dead Dog Party took a while to get started. But we shared a pizza with the constaff. And then I had to take off. (My family missed me.)

And that, was the con.

But once again, I'd just like to thank everyone involved. Jen and the whole constaff, in particular. But also the guests and supporting members. And especially the fans who shelled out and showed up. It was great meeting you/seeing you again, etc. It makes my year. I'm already psyched about Virinia Beach in August, 2002. And, although, I wouldn't wish the workload on any of my friends on the G2001 staff again, I do hope that sometime we have the chance to do the con in L.A. once more. In terms of Gathering the cast and crew that worked on the show, you just can't beat proximity to where they all live. You guys always treat me wonderfully, but it was also very gratifying to see everyone else on the show get a chance to share in your respect and appreciation. GARGOYLES was never a one man operation, and I'm glad you all got the chance to meet each other.

I'd also like to point out, what I'm sure you're all very aware of -- how feeble my Gathering diary is. I have no defense. Except that I'm a fiction writer not a journalist. I've been lurking around though, and diaries by Christine, Lexy, Aaron, BrooklynX, Greg Bishansky, Shan, etc. have really put mine to shame.

And I'm also sorry that I missed a few things at the con. I was so busy, I didn't ever get to see Crispin's mythology seminar. I spent almost no time in the video room and it would have been fun to watch some of the shows with you guys. And although, I did get to the art room, I never had time to just hang there and really absorb everything (I never had time to vote, for example), and I somehow completely missed seeing the MAP that won the big prize. If it's scanned online and there's a link, I'd sure appreciate someone sending the link my way.

Thanks, gang. You rock. (Pun intended.)

Greg


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GATHERING 2001 DIARY: CHAPTER FOUR

Well, again, I've completely mixed things up. I'm too lazy to start over so I'll just keep correcting myself after the fact.

Saturday night, after the dinner at CityWalk and a little con suite fun, we all headed up to check out the Rooftop Garden Ballroom. This is the room where the "Better than Barney" story actually took place all those years ago. But I'd never been up there at night before. It was gorgeous. I pointed out all sorts of random stuff. Where 3x3 Eyes was recorded. Where Disney TV Animation used to be housed. Where we used to sneak into the Texaco Commissary. Where Gargoyles was On-Lined. Etc. Then we just hung out for awhile. Talking quietly. It was calm and nice. This kind of stuff is actually my favorite part of the con.

SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2001
Kathy knocked on my door to see if I was coming to breakfast. I said no, though I managed to get down there for the tail end and grab a glass of juice.

Then it was time for my mug-a-guest. Got some interesting questions. Hope I gave interesting answers.

It ended in time for me to participate in the tail end of the Design and Direction panel with Bob Kline, Doug Murphy, Frank Paur, Dennis Woodyard and Bob Schaefer. Frank (or someone) had brought a ton of development and pre-production and production art and spread it out on the long table. My sister Robyn arrived. And then my folks. And then my wife and kids. It was kinda cool.

That panel segued right into the massive Series Production panel. All of the above were there, plus Bob Birchard, Denise Byrne, Craig Kemplin, Brynne Chandler, Ray Leonard, Marc Perlman, Laurel Whitcomb, Paca Thomas, Jamie Thomason, Mark Von der Heide and Thom Adcox (and again I apologize if here or anywhere I've left someone out). It was great to see such a big turn out both on the panel and in the audience. Jay Fukuto, one of my old bosses on Gargoyles and currently Vice President of Creative Affairs at Disney TV Animation, came in just a bit late. I think Jay was really impressed with the con. He's currently talking to people around the company about exploiting the property a bit. Specifically, he's asking about DVD production, so the Convention's Job One was a success.

My family took off. And the actors began to arrive. Thom Adcox and Crispin Freeman, of course. But we also had Jeff Bennett, Neil Dickson, Elisa Gabrielli, Gregg Rainwater, Cree Summer and Keith David. Cree came despite the fact that she had a sinus infection. Keith brought his son Owen, who was also feeling under the weather. It was really gratifying that they all came.

The Q&A was terrific. I tried to moderate and otherwise keep my mouth shut as much as possible so that you guys could here them talk. Then there was the cast autograph session... the line was literally out the door. Way out the door. Cree was feeling awful and had to take off. And Keith too eventually. I'm sorry if anyone missed them, but it was great that they came at all.

The auction started, while the crew guests signed stuff. I think I signed fewer autographs this year than at any previous con. Finally, you guys are getting your fill of me.

My shrinky-dink Brooklyn necklace sold to Aaron for $65. Beth and I were arguing what it would go for. I guessed twenty. She guessed forty. Greg Bishansky bought the signed copy of "The Journey." Though I'm not sure what he paid. I don't know what the Roswell script went for or who it went to. But I gather the auction was a success. Major kudos to Kathy, Patrick, Myhrr and Draconis.

We had some time off before the Banquet up in the Rooftop Garden. Beth came back to join me for dinner. We wound up sitting with Todd Jensen, Tigris, Kelly and her fiance, and a couple more people that I'm blanking on, unfortunately (sorry). Beth did most of the talking. It may come as a surprise, since I seem to be such a big mouth, but in our house, Beth is the talker.

After dinner came the Masquerade. We had about a million judges, which was unwieldy but fun. There were, as usual, some great costumes and some fun Cosplay. Slash came out and played his guitar. It was fun, but at the end of the night it started to go on a touch too long. People wanted to get to the awards and Dreamie and Demona May came out to hook him. We gave a joke award to the ladies for that, and I'm afraid that Slash might have misinterpreted that. Slash, it was great of you to get up there. Sorry if there were any hurt feelings.

As usual, we gave out the Gorebash Memorial Award. Of course, Gorebash isn't actually dead. He's just been seemingly M.I.A. for a bit. He's firmly back now. Just check out his comment room. Anyway, that award went to Mara and Aaron for their cross-dressing Xanatoses. Thom got to drop his pants. Thom and Crisping made out repeatedly. Myhr was his usual amazing self. It was a blast.

The hotel shut down the DJ a touch early. But frankly that worked for me fine. Again, I got to spend time in the dark and quiet rooftop garden with a bunch of you guys. Including people who have become good friends. Jennifer, Steph, Seth, Patrick, Kathy, etc. I'd have probably stayed there all night, but I started on a coughing jag -- left over from my pneumonia, and I just couldn't stop it. So I called it a night, went downstairs and took some cough medicine.

One day left...

Stay tuned.


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GATHERING 2001 DIARY: PART THREE

First, standard disclaimer. I apologize in advance if I leave people out. Sorry.

Second, an invitation. I'd love to hear others' responses to the Gathering. Feel free to post them here.

Third, a correction. I got confused writing Part Two of my Gathering Diary. That dinner I described at the Japanese Restaurant at CityWalk actually took place on Saturday, June 23rd. Here's what we did Friday night...

After opening ceremonies, we had a staff meeting over dinner at the restaurant in the Hotel. Jordan, Carol, Patrick, Jennifer, Kathy, Cindy, Kenna, Meredith and Thom Adcox and myself. (Am I leaving anyone out?)

When that dinner was over, I strolled over to the next table where Frank Paur, Dennis Woodyard, Bob Birchard and Loren McLaughlin were eating. Joined them and we talked and bitched and told stories for a while longer.

Then I wandered back to our main rooms, where the MST session was in progress. I stayed for all of "The Gathering, Part One". It was fun, but so many people were talking, it was a little hard to hear each individual joke. I left after that. Later, I was told that people were afraid I was offended. I absolutely WAS NOT. Just tired.

Anyway...

SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2001
I got up in time for the Staff Breakfast in Performers. A nice calm before the storm. After, I took a quick peak into the art room again. Then my brother showed up. He and I went upstairs to get the stuff I needed for my various panels.

Then I had my first Q&A. Series Develoment. I was on a panel with:
Greg Guler - Development Artist and Character Designer
Bob Kline - Development Art Director and Producer/Director
Dave Schwartz - Development Art Director
Tad Stones - Producer of multiple other animated tv series.

Tad was the star of this panel. He told the story of how he basically gave me the idea of Goliath, but his story took him off on a bunch of fascinating tangents. He also talked quite a bit about Team Atlantis. This sort of surprised me. I had been under the impression that he wanted to keep mum on that subject. But it was nice of him to reveal what he did.

After that, I had a Voice Acting Technique Seminar. Originally, I had been scheduled to be in the "Writing for TV Animation Seminar" that was going on at the same time. But I switched over for a couple reasons.

1. I did that seminar last year in Florida. Don't have much new to say.

2. I've been doing much more voice directing these days then writing. It seemed more honest in a way.

So the voice seminar was a blast. Morgan Sheppard was on the panel. And Crispin Freeman and Jonathan Klein and Taliesin Jaffe. They had all just finished a Voice Acting Technique Q&A minutes before, so we made ours into more of a workshop.

I had brought some sides. Morgan read Petros Xanatos with a couple of different attendees trying their mouths as David Xanatos. Then Crispin took on the roll of Griff with two casts of Leos, Unas and Goliaths.

We auditioned people for various rolls from Gargoyles, just to give them an understanding of the audition process.

Then Crispin set up his computer and monitor so that people could try their hands at dubbing some anime. By this time, my wife Beth and our kids Erin and Ben had arrived. (Their first day at the con.) Erin wanted to try her hand at ADRing. She did pretty good, but I think she realized that it's harder than it looks.

Taliesin then set up his own little anime dubbing exercise. It was all fun and I gave away the sides at the end.

From there, I headed over to the "Writing for Gargoyles" Q&A. This panel consisted of myself and...
Brynne Chandler - Writer/Story Editor
Gary Sperling - Writer/Story Editor
Lydia Marano - Writer
Tuppence Macintyre - Researcher (and a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney)
Monique Beatty - Currently a producer in her own right, but on Gargoyles she was my assistant.

This was another fun panel with a lot of good questions asked and some fun stories. Todd Jensen, I believe, was in the audience, though I didn't yet know who he was. He and I had a little bit of time to talk later, though less than I would have liked. (I was too crazed, and I think he was too respectful to be pushy.)

My various family members took off, as I headed into the Radio Play rehearsal. (I listed the cast in the last part. I won't repeat it here.) The rehearsal went fast and easy, and because this year's radio play was shorter than previous, we had time to run things twice. And we still finished with time to spare.

Again, I ran around a bit. Checking out the dealer's room and art show. Then I joined Jordan Mann and Morgan Sheppard for an extremely late lunch. Morgan told us some great stories. It was fun. (Everything was fun.)

We gathered in the main room to set up for the Radio Play. Minor crisis involved the little stage the hotel had put up for us. Not big enough for everyone. But too big to move. I had to quickly rethink where everyone sat. (This is only a problem because I'm so anal.) Anyway, there were a few nervous moments as neither Nicole or Rebecca had gotten the message to show up early. I thought for a second we'd be subbing in two more of our understudies. But they both showed just before the show.

We put the cast in our "Green Room". Actually out a door that led outside. Brought in the fans. I intro'd the cast one by one, ending with our ringers, ending with Thom who was playing Lexington of course.

We then performed the thing. It has some sequences you never saw on tv, including a nice little chase through the Paris catacombs and a sweet scene between Jason and Elisa at the ruined clock tower. But I think the single line that got the best response was Charles Canmore saying, "We can no more stop hunting the Demons than breathing the air." Or something like this.

This year, I had/took the time to cut the narration way down before hand. WAY DOWN. But during the performance, I kept noticing other things I should have cut. Hopefully next year I'll do better.

Still, people seemed to enjoy it. And I had a blast. Jen was a very fun Demona. Zehra's Elisa was terrific. The audience went nuts for Brooklyn and Bronx and all the minor rolls. And especially for Thom as Lex and Crispin as a very Faggerbakke-esque Broadway.

When that was over, we went to dinner up at CityWalk. But I accidentally wrote about that in the last entry, so that's it for now.

Stay tuned for PART FOUR: Sunday.


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GATHERING 2001 DIARY: PART TWO

Friday, June 22nd, 2001

[Assume the usual caveats. I'm bound to forget someone or many. I apologize in advance. Also, I'd love to see other peoples Gathering diaries. Feel free to post them here.]

Well, I got up Friday morning at home. Packed a small duffle and my box of Gathering crap and headed to Universal City.

I checked in, but my room wasn't ready. An obvious question is why was I staying at the hotel when I live about twenty minutes away.

The answer begins with the Gathering Staff's generosity. But I hope they got their money's worth. By staying at the hotel, it allowed me to be at the con both earlier in the morning and later (much, much later) at night. My kids missed me. But my family's very understanding, thankfully.

Anyway, after checking in, I dropped my Gathering box off at the con suite and then went back downstairs to look around and see if I could help in any way. All day Friday and Saturday I wore the Shrinky-Dink Brooklyn necklace that I made with my kids. It seemed like wearing it around the con might just up its price at the auction. You'll have to ask Aaron if that ploy worked.

I gave Cindy and Jules the two pieces of artwork that my daughter Erin drew. One was "Gargoyle Babe", which she did herself. The other was "Daddy and Daughter's Night Out". A picture of Goliath and Angela disco dancing which she and I drew together. Erin eventually decided to put both pictures up for sale for charity. I think Dreamie bought "Babe". And Jules bought "Night Out". In turn, Erin wound up buying a piece from Dreamie and a bunch of stuff from David Wong. My son Ben bought a piece from Kelly and a Goliath yoyo. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I gave Kenna some Roughneck video tapes that Sony had donated. Over the last couple months, I had already loaned Jen all my Gargoyles episode tapes for her to copy. (She still has all of season two and "The Journey".) So we had plenty to keep the video room busy.

I put some things in for the auction. Some more Sony donations. A signed copy of my original script for "The Journey". And a signed copy of my original pilot script for "Roswell Conspiracies". (You know, the one we did as a Radio Play in Dallas.)

And speaking of Radio Plays, it was time for auditions. I met up with Thom Adcox and Jordan Mann and we began the process. As usual it was a lot of fun. Because I knew we were going to be doing "Hunter's Moon, Part Three", but the auditioners didn't, I got to here a lot of Scottish accents, and I got to ask everyone to bark like a dog (for Bronx).

We got a fairly good turnout. Better than last year in Orlando, when we had to beg people to participate. Still not as good as in Dallas or New York, when we were so overwhelmed by the numbers of those auditioning that the whole rest of the day ran late. It helped, I think to hold auditions Friday when the show was Saturday.

We powered through the auditions, taking a few breaks. Seth, who's easily distracted, was in line to audition. Took off while we were on break, and came back too late to audition. He tried to wheedle his way into the show later. And it was tempting, since he's been a member in good standing of the Gathering Players (he was our male lead in New York and Orlando). But the show was cast. Too late, Seth. Sorry. ;P

Most everyone who auditioned was pretty good. Casting was difficult, because we hated to leave anyone out. But I think we came up with a good mix of the old guard, new blood and RINGERS.

We had Lanny back. As usual, in the auditions, I offer people a choice of reading whichever original Gargoyle "side" they feel like reading. Lanny chose Goliath, and I told him I was hoping he'd pick that. He didn't know what I meant until that night when he found out he'd actually be playing Goliath. And we had Jen and Jordan and Alex and Sara and Heather back in the show again. It's great to have some continuity.

Plus we had Thom playing Lex of course. With Morgan Sheppard (the voice of Petros Xanatos) playing Hudson and Crispin Freeman doing his dead-on Broadway imitation. (It SO cracked us up in our auditions, Jordan, Thom and I KNEW we had to cast him as Broadway.) Elisa Gabrielli was supposed to play Maria Chavez (as she had in "Revelations"). But there was a miscommunication and she didn't make it Saturday. (Fortunately, she came Sunday, which is when we really needed her.) The good news is we had three understudies this year. Last year, we lost a cast member at the last minute. Jesse was forced to play two rolls. This year we were ready, and Jennifer Mallon jumped in to take Elisa's place.

And we had some great new finds. Zehra just blew us away with her Elisa audition. She was great. And Nicole was a fine Scottish Canmore. Actually, everyone did great.

Here's the full cast:

ELISA MAZA... Zehra Q. Fazal
GOLIATH... Lanny Fields
LEXINGTON... Thom Adcox
BROADWAY... Crispin Freeman
BROOKLYN... Sara Hutchinson
ANGELA... Batya Wittenberg
HUDSON... W. Morgan Sheppard
BRONX... Rebecca Gold
JASON CANMORE... Jordan Mann
JON CANMORE... T.J. Ferraro
ROBYN CANMORE... Nicole Dubuc
CHARLES CANMORE... Chris Rogers
DEMONA... Jennifer Anderson
DAVID XANATOS... Johnney Muije
FOX... Kelly Creighton
OWEN BURNETT... Kevin de Caccia
MATT BLUESTONE... Joshua Poole
MARIA CHAVEZ... Jennifer Mallon
MORGAN... Loren G. McLaughlin
PILOT... Alisa Christopher
MARGOT YALE... Heather E. Rice
BRENDAN... Rahsaan Footman
VINNIE... Alex Wittenberg
TRAVIS MARSHALL... Kristen de Caccia

UNDERSTUDIES... Sean Camanyag and Gabriel Guerrero

I'd like to give a special thank you to both Thom and Jordan for being my partners in crime on the auditions.

Anyway, casting done, we got back downstairs just as various guests began to arrive. I saw Michael Reaves for about a second before he took off. But I got to spend a bit of time with Dennis Woodyard, Bob Birchard, Frank Paur, Tuppence Macintyre, Brynne Chandler, etc.

I'd like to extend another special thank you, this time to Carol Wagner, who did such an amazing job at guest wrangling both in the weeks before the con and during. Also to Patrick for making registration for the guests such a smooth and generally painless process.

I checked into my room. Just down the hall from the Con Suite and the staff room. I saw a bunch of familiar faces. Leva. Greg Bishansky. Aaron and Mara. Hudson. Kythera (who also helped out at Auditions with Johnney). Saw Vash in here somewhere. Demona May. Noel. Ah, I know I'm forgetting people. Sorry. Or mentioning them on the wrong day. I ran into Ashley at one point. It was great to see her again.

Bill Faggerbakke arrived, and folks almost literally lined up around the block for his autograph. It delayed opening ceremonies a bit. But not too badly -- not relative to the Gathering's track record, anyway. Jamie Murray got things rolling, introducing the staff, etc. I won't repeat the con virgin joke. Other people have mentioned it, and the truth is I didn't hear it at the time. I was antsy. Getting up and sitting down and getting up again.

As you all may have gathered, I rather like speaking in public. (I'm lousy at small talk and shy in social situations with people I don't know VERY well, but I'm a decent public speaker. Go figure.) But I generally get pretty wired just before I'm about to go "on".

Anyway, Jamie intro'd me. I intro'd our guests. Ending with Thom. (I just want to say that Thom and I always got along well during production of the show. But it's during the last few years since he came to the Dallas Gathering that he and I have really become close friends. He's such a great guy. I'm not sure how we made it through the first two NYC Gatherings without him.) Thom intro'd Lexy and gave her her FAN GUEST OF HONOR AWARD. This was a complete surprise to her. Something the staff agreed on secretly to thank Lexy for her amazing recruitment work. She seemed genuinely touched. It was pretty cool.

Then I began my schpiel. Considering you have heard and I have told ALL these stories about a THOUSAND times, I thought that this time I was amazingly scatter-brained. You'd think I'd have them down to memory. But I kept forgetting things. Remembering them later. Telling things out of order, etc. I belatedly remembered that I had a letter from Ed Asner to read to all attending, and then couldn't find the letter. It must have taken me forever to realize I was holding the letter in my hand. I had folded it up and had written a note to myself on it. D'Oh.

Anyway, it was fun to tell the "Better than Barney" story in the Hotel where it originally took place, with Bill F. there. I'm not sure whether he remembers saying that. Perhaps I made the whole thing up. (And my garage band will be playing at the Whiskey this week-end.)

I showed the pitch, the promo. The New Olympian and Dark Ages development. The Bad Guys reel. It was terrific to have that video projector. Finally people could get a decent look at what I was showing them.

I rambled forever. Then finally relinquished the floor.

Afterwards, a bunch of us went up to CityWalk for Sushi and a staff dinner. Crzy's husband Alan Anderson was there (with Kathy Pogge as his date). My date was Jen. *Yes we're a strange bunch, and I'm happy to include myself in that assessment.*

Meredith was there. Patrick. Crispin and Izobel. Cindy? Kenna? The Morgans? Carol? I can't remember, I'm sorry. Dinner was the typical "Hey, it's CityWalk, expect to wait forever!" marathon. But the food was good. And so was the company.

We headed back to the con suite, where Aimee and Steph (Hi, Pickles!) began decorating me with post-it notes depicting various characters from the show. I've kept them all. Except for that nasty one of me. [Wait, did this happen Friday night or Saturday? My memory is just a blur.]

I called it a night relatively early (for me). I was still a bit nervous about a pneumonia relapse. Walked down the hall to my hotel room. Watched some TV and then crashed.

Stay tuned for Part Three...


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I'm only one month behind!!

That's all I wanted to say.


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GREG'S GATHERING REPORT: PART ONE

[Disclaimer: It is the nature of these things to forget more than one remembers. The feelings remain. The details are fuzzy. I apologize in advance if I get something wrong or leave something out.]

Thursday, June 21st, 2001

Yeah, I know, the Gathering 2001 didn't start until Friday, but for me it started last August in Orlando. I'd been working pretty closely with this year's staff to help them gather special guests. At G2000, I rashly promised over twenty guests would attend. By June 14th, 2001 we had over 50. And then I got pneumonia and it looked like I'd be the one guest who wasn't going to make it.

Fortunately, my doctor got me on antibiotics immediately. Within 48 hours I was feeling about 90% better. I was even able to go to a Team Atlantis recording session on Wednesday the 20th. Good thing to, because that was the day I secured Cree "Hyena/Kida" Summer to attend our little party.

Anyway, by Thursday the 21st, I was feeling world's better, and I attended the pre-con dinner at Camacho's at CityWalk. Carol Wagner, a former student of mine and our phenomenal guest liaison (who absolutely picked up tons of last minute slack in handling detail work on most of the guests), was the first to join me at the restaurant. But soon, Jennifer Anderson arrived with most of the gang, including Patrick, Kathy, Meredith, Kenna, (Cindy were you there?) and the Morgans. Tim had to take off with Becca, but Christine stuck around. Jen introduced me to Crispin Freeman and his girlfriend, the lovely and talented Izobel. Dinner was fine -- though the service was SLOW!

Then we hiked down to the hotel to get a tour of where everything was going to be. Thursday night it all seemed TOO spread out to me. But by Friday, I realized it was all close enough together. We elevated up to the con suite and sat around a bit. But I didn't want to stay up to late Thursday, so I took off at a semi-reasonable hour. Carol and I hiked back up to CityWalk. I drove home. Very excited. Like a kid, it was hard to sleep.


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GARGOYLES 2198 CONTEST RESULTS

FINALLY! It's over!

Matt got the last correct answer (though it was the only answer he got), and we're all very grateful. He gets a prize.

The other prize goes to the individual who got the most answers correct first. Here are the results...

TIED FOR EIGHTEENTH PLACE:
Dracolich - 1
Faieq - 1
Fireball - 1
Matt - 1
Melissa - 1
The Guppi - 1
The Mighty Thor - 1
Vashkoda - 1

TIED FOR FIFTEENTH PLACE:
CZ - 2
Graymonk - 2
Slow - 2

IN FOURTEENTH PLACE: Bud-Clare - 4

IN THIRTEENTH PLACE: Coyote the Bando - 5

IN TWELFTH PLACE: Shari B. - 6

IN ELEVENTH PLACE: Leva - 7

IN TENTH PLACE: Todd Jensen - 8

TIED FOR EIGHT PLACE:
Aris Katsaris - 12
Demonskyre - 12

IN SEVENTH PLACE: Kalafarski - 31

IN SIXTH PLACE: DragonWolf - 32

IN FIFTH PLACE: Ray Kremer - 33

IN FOURTH PLACE: Galvatron - 35

IN THIRD PLACE: Kelly L. Creighton/Kya White Sapphire - 42

In SECOND PLACE: Adam - 101

AND IN FIRST PLACE: Phil - 183

Phil got nearly 35% of the answers single-handedly.

So the winners are matt and Phil. But I'd like to thank everyone who participated.

As for the prizes, I'm first wondering if either matt or Phil are coming to the Gathering, so that I can hand-deliver their prizes. If not, I'll mail them out after the Gathering. (Too swamped to deal with it now.)

AND NOW THE COMPLETED BLANK-FILLED CONTEST:

GARGOYLES 2198
(Fill-in-the-Blank Contest / 9-21-00)

Written by

Greg Weisman

One thousand years ago…
Superstition and the sword ruled.
It was a time of darkness.
It was a world of fear.
It was the age... of gargoyles!
Stone by day, warriors by night,
We were betrayed by the humans we had sworn to protect,
Frozen in stone by a magic spell for a thousand years.
Finally... the spell was broken, and we lived again!

But our struggle was far from over...
For the last two hundred years we have faced the future,
Navigating an uneasy truce with the human race.
But now the planet Earth itself is under attack!
Humanity is helpless!
And we may be your last hope for freedom…

We are defenders of the night!
We are protectors of this world!
The year is 2198.

And we… are GARGOYLES!

In 1996, humanity and the world at large discovered there were gargoyles living among them. Fortunately for the human race, Gargoyles are by nature a protective species. Unfortunately for the gargoyle race, humanity is by nature an intolerant species. Humans did not welcome having to share their world with other sentient creatures. Many were quick to label the gargoyles as beasts, monsters, demons or worse. Gargoyles were denied basic "human" rights. They were discriminated against. Experimented upon. Attacked. Caged. And sometimes destroyed.

Despite this, GOLIATH, the leader of the gargoyles, maintained hope that one day humans and gargoyles would live in peace. Eventually, that day came. The "GARGOYLE MINORITY PROTECTION ACT" was adopted by the UNITED NATIONS. Gargoyles were granted full "sentient rights". Though Gargoyle clans were scattered across the globe, they were collectively granted special status as an indigenous nation. Hunting Gargoyles became a crime.

True acceptance, however, is not so easily legislated. At best, Gargoyles were still barely tolerated by their human neighbors. Real peace would have to wait.

But the gargoyles would take what they could get. The species, once on the verge of extinction, began to make a comeback. Clans that were thriving helped to repopulate those that were not. By 2188, TWELVE CLANS comprised the GARGOYLE NATION. Each was strong in number and tradition. Now it was time to expand again. As a potent act of symbolism, every clan brought its GARGOYLE EGGS to QUEEN FLORENCE ISLAND, off the West Coast of Canada. The eggs would hatch together to demonstrate gargoyle unity. Some of the hatchlings would eventually return to the other Twelve Clans. But many would stay to form the basis of a new clan. A thirteenth clan.

Someone should have told the gargoyles that thirteen is NOT a lucky number.

March 21st, 2198. Queen Florence Island. From around the globe, human Heads of State and all Twelve Gargoyle Clan Leaders have come to this small island for the HATCHING. They wait within the caldera of the Island's dormant volcano to witness the new generation of gargoyles bursting out of their shells. Meanwhile, Samson, a young gargoyle warrior is stuck on ceremonial guard duty at the base of the mountain. Out of nowhere, an immense SPACESHIP materializes above the volcano. It emits a blinding beam of light that stabs down into the caldera. Samson races up the slope, but it's too late. The caldera is empty. No eggs. No gargoyles. No humans. No World Leaders!

Simultaneously, another giant spacecraft hovers over Antarctica. Another beam stabs downward. And Earth's MASTER MATRIX Computer -- the operating system for nearly everything on the planet -- vanishes.

It all happens so fast, there's no time to react. Earth is paralyzed and leaderless when the alien SPACE-SPAWN invades. In less than twenty-four hours, the planet is occupied, absorbed into the SPACE-SPAWN EMPIRE. There is very little loss of life. Very little damage done. Unless freedom matters to you.

It matters to Samson, the new leader of the RESISTENCE. One by one, he gathers his team…

SAMSON - Samson of the Manhattan Clan hatched in 2158. Though his coloring is different, it's obvious to anyone who'd care to look that he is descended from Goliath. Still no one knows how many biological generations removed from Goliath he is. He might be the biological grandson of either Artus or Gwenyvere, Angela and Broadway's first two biological children, or he might be the biological son of Lancelot, their third born. Frankly, it doesn't really matter. There were many eggs in that rookery. All raised collectively by the Manhattan Clan.

By 2198, Samson is forty years old, but only twenty biologically. He has been trained as a Gargoyle Warrior both in Manhattan and in Ishimura. He demonstrated enough promise to have recently been named Second-In-Command of the Manhattan Clan. Now, a reluctant Samson must become leader not just of his clan, but of the entire Resistance.

DELILAH - Delilah of the Labyrinth Clan is a half-breed. Mostly Gargoyle… but part Human as well. Her ancestors include her namesake, the Delilah that Anton Sevarius cloned by combining the DNA of ELISA MAZA with that of DEMONA. Being genetically part of both races has left Delilah feeling like she's not truly a part of either. Upon learning of her "heritage", humans seem to react with fear and even disgust. And Delilah has never been confident that the gargoyles she was raised with don't feel the same way. All this has made her tough on the outside, but desperately insecure on the inside. Nevertheless, she's a fierce young Gargoyle Warrior (the same age as Samson), and Samson makes her his Second in the Resistance.

ZAFIRO - Zafiro of the Mayan Clan hails from the rain forests of Guatemala. He's a descendent of Obsidiana and the Zafiro from "The Green". He has feathered wings, reptilian features and skin the color of sapphires. From the waist down, he looks like a giant snake. He's Samson's contemporary and close friend. Samson, Delilah and Zafiro all trained together as Gargoyle Warriors, studying bushido in Ishimura; they have a Three Musketeers kind of rapport. Zafiro isn't quite the fighter that the other two are, but he has other strengths. He's more spiritual, more intellectual, more book-smart. He has also been entrusted with his clan's ancient and sacred Sapphire Amulet; this magical Mayan talisman prevents him from turning to stone during the day.

GUARDIAN - Seventeen year old Nicholas Natsilane Maza is a scion of both the Natsilane and Maza families (which technically makes him a distant relative of Delilah's). Nick was raised among gargoyles and has taken the family tradition to heart. He too has traveled to Ishimura to join the ORDER OF THE GUARDIAN. He has trained as a Gargoyle Warrior, embracing the Gargoyle Way of Protection & Service. He's as much a gargoyle as a guy can be and not have wings. He's eager, perhaps a little too eager, for a chance to prove that he can hold his own with any other gargoyle. Only he's not a gargoyle. He's one hundred percent human, with a human being's unique strengths and weaknesses.

SENTINEL - NOKKAR (the original model for the mysterious moai statues of Easter Island) landed on Earth centuries ago to stand sentinel and protect our world from the Space-Spawn. But by the time the Space-Spawn actually arrived, their technology so far surpassed his, he was completely caught off guard. Now, there's nothing he can do but join Samson's Resistance cell and try to pitch in. Nokkar is deeply shamed by his failure to protect his adoptive world. He would gladly sacrifice his life to redeem himself.

OWEN BURNETT - OWEN BURNETT was Chief of Staff of the United Nations. An indispensable aide to Secretary General ALEXANDER FOX XANATOS IV. In fact Owen has been an indispensable aide to the Xanatos family since before Alexander was born. But now the Secretary General is gone. Taken by the Space-Spawn and put in stasis with the rest of the world's leaders. The new acting Secretary has surrendered the planet to the enemy. He has no use for Owen's quiet efficiency and intensity. And Owen has no use for a man who won't fight. So Owen has left public service to rejoin the private sector. Secretly, he has placed all the resources of the Lexington-Xanatos Corporation at Samson's disposal. Of course, we all know that Owen is really the Puck. But since he already failed to protect his charge, and certainly has no opportunity to teach him anything at the moment, he's stuck as Owen, stone hand and all.

LXM - LXM (a product of the Lexington-Xanatos Corporation) stands for Lexington-Xanatos-Matrix, a line of robotic personal assistants that were all but ubiquitous in 2198. Almost everyone who was anyone had one of the cute little, five-foot tall, Lexington-shaped chrome robots. Each robot was directly connected via satellite to the Master Matrix in Antarctica, giving each one the ability to instantaneously summon any or all of mankind's collective knowledge. But when the Space-Spawn attacked, one of their first acts was to steal the Master Matrix. Now each LXM is on its own. Each one still has a powerful computer brain with crude artificial intelligence and long-term adaptive programming. But now, knowledge is finite, and experience is becoming the best teacher. Actually, two of these robots, LXM-994 and LXM-1057 will play a role in our series. When we open, these robots will be all but indistinguishable from each other. Automatons, merely. But as the series progresses, each will slowly develop its own personality.

DEMONA - For over a thousand years, Demona has plotted against humanity, blaming them for crimes against the gargoyle race. Now that a greater threat, the Space-Spawn, has reared it's many ugly heads, Demona has reluctantly joined Samson's Resistance cell. But no one, including Demona herself, is fully confident that she'll continue to fight on the side of the angels. This may be her last chance at redemption... or her final opportunity to annihilate the human race. Still, Samson felt it necessary to actively recruit her. It's hard to pass up the help of a warrior who's survived a millennium's worth of battles, a sorceress who knows how to combine ancient magic with modern technology. And then there's that bit about her turning into a human during the day. The only question is how she will use her talents. For now, she's siding with the Resistance. But can that last?

BROOKLYN - Brooklyn is a young gargoyle warrior from our own present day. In our second episode, he'll timedance forward to 2198. The future is as new and strange to him as it is to our audience, and often Brooklyn will be the point of view character to introduce us all to this brave new world. Brooklyn does hope to return to his own time someday, and so makes a special effort not to learn too much about his own "future". But he has no intention of abandoning Samson or Earth in their time of need. Someday, however, he may have to make a choice.

FU-DOG - FU-DOG is a Gargoyle Beast bred by the Xanadu Clan in China, who arrives in 2198 with Brooklyn. Fu-Dog is fiercely loyal (especially to Brooklyn). The ultimate watchdog.

[NOTE: Eventually, the large cast will be split in half. Nokkar will take Demona, Zafiro, Guardian and LXM-1057 into space to hit the Space-Spawn where they live. Samson, Delilah, Brooklyn, Fu-Dog, Owen and LXM-994 will remain on Earth, thwarting the aliens at every turn and engaging in many non-Space-Spawn stories.]

Anyway, those are our heroes. (Other characters will be added over time.) Here's who they're up against…

THE SPACE-SPAWN - Our main antagonists. This alien race was literally "spawned in space", born amidst the fury of an exploding star. For thousands of years, they have expanded their Empire in all directions, and nothing has been able to stand in their way. Their technology is far superior to anything we had on Earth. They possess faster-than-light space travel, cloaking devices, powerful force shields and molecular transporters. They also have weapons capable of destroying the entire planet in a matter of minutes. This creates a dilemma for Samson's Resistance. If Earth becomes more trouble than it's worth, the invaders will simply evacuate the globe and annihilate it.

THE QUARRYMEN - Decades ago, the Quarrymen organization fell out of favor. They were no longer "politically correct". But the events of March 21st, 2198 changed all that. Because most of the world's leaders were abducted while attending the Gargoyle Hatching, many humans became convinced -- at least in part due to Quarrymen propaganda -- that the Gargoyles had conspired and collaborated with the aliens. Now the Quarrymen are making a comeback. They don't much care for the Space-Spawn, but their scapegoat of choice is still the Gargoyles.

THE ILLUMINATI - Of course, the Gargoyles are not collaborators. But THE ILLUMINATI SOCIETY is. The Society is an ancient fraternal organization made up of almost all the true movers and shakers on planet Earth. Many of the world leaders abducted by the Space-Spawn were secretly members of the Illuminati -- proof that the Society definitely did NOT have advanced warning of the invasion. But once the occupation was complete, the Illuminati wasted no time capitalizing on it. They negotiated a secret treaty with the aliens, promising to infiltrate, sabotage and expose any sign of resistance. In exchange, the Space-Spawn promised to release those world leaders that the Society was prepared to vouch for. This devil's agreement was the beginning of a profitable arrangement for all concerned -- and the onset of a major headache for the Resistance.

COYOTE-X - COYOTE-X is a super-advanced robot with a highly evolved and Machiavellian artificial intelligence. He has multiple robot and cyborg operatives, and any number of android bodies that can accommodate his software. Once upon a time, Coyote-X had designs on taking over the world. But that was before the Space-Spawn showed up and rebooted his operating parameters. Now anything less than total control of the entire galaxy would strike him as under-achieving.

And that's the series in a nutshell.

GARGOYLES 2198. The future is now!


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Apologia (June, '01)

Sorry, I've been so derelict in "Answering Greg" recently.

It's true that voice directing Team Atlantis has filled a bit of my time, but the fact is that what's really keeping me busy is preparations for the GATHERING (June 22-25 at the Universal Sheridan in Los Angeles).

We've been confirming guests for the last few weeks, and though unfortunately we've lost four of what might be described as "our heavy hitters", the fact remains that we have confirmed OVER FORTY special guests for the convention. Since the most we've EVER had was FOUR, I think you'll agree that this is likely to be the biggest and best Gathering to date.

Anyway, I have about twenty minutes now to answer some questions... and right before the Gathering, I'm going to my in-laws for a few days. If they've got their Web-TV set up, I should have some free time to answer a bunch of questions while I'm there. So keep your fingers crossed.

And I'll see you at the Sheridan.


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Finally...

I thought I'd never get through the February 2001 questions.


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Chapter XXVIII: "Revelations"

Time to Ramble...

Fueled by (what I perceived in my own mind to be) the success of "City of Stone", I began to get more daring in my story structure. In Revelations, Cary and I utilized the time-honored tradition of "in medias res", where a story starts in the middle and catches the viewer up along the way. (Thanks, Homer.)

We also used voice over narration for the first time. It's interesting because Matt just seemed like a perfect character to do that kind of Philip Marlowe naration. But at the same time, it was daring, because of course, Matt is not a regular. The audience didn't know him that well. I think it showed the strength of our supporting cast that Matt could carry a show like this. Of course, having the massively talented Tom Wilson playing Matt helped. I knew he could handle it. And he did. Tom is terrific and VERY funny in the booth. I hope someday he gets his own tv show. (I also loved him as Coach Fredericks on Freaks & Geeks.)

The basic springboard for this episode came from four sources.

1. The notion that eventually Matt would have to find out about the Gargoyles. We didn't want to just throw it away or constantly come up with new excuses why he had "just missed them" or whatever.

2. Matt's pursuit of the Illuminati. What began as a Michael Reaves throwaway line in "The Edge" had evolved into its own subplot. Cary's "Silver Falcon" had taken us to the next level of hearsay. It was time to finally bring the Society into the series.

3. Disney's desire to do a cross-over event with their new "TOWER OF TERROR" ride down in Orlando. Unfortunately, they had wanted this much earlier -- in 1994. We had piggy-backed our World Premiere Screening of Gargoyles down in Florida in September of 1994 with the press event for the Tower's Grand Opening. (That's how Keith David, Marina Sirtis, Salli Richardson, Gary Krisel and I wound up riding the Tower of Terror together on the night before it opened to the general public.) But this was the soonest we could fit the notion into our continuity. You'll see in the memo that I just posted previous to this ramble, that when we were at the outline stage, I was still trying to more firmly tie the two properties together. Partway through the script process, someone at Disney changed their mind. They didn't want the tie-in anymore. I shrugged, I think. And the HOLLYWOOD TOWER became the HOTEL CABAL.

4. An episode of the British TV series, THE AVENGERS, called something like "The House That Jack Built". This was a classic that we ripped off shamelessly. (Wait, wait, I mean we paid it homage shamelessly.) It was about this nutty house designed, I believe, to trap spies inside and drive them bonkers and break them. Sound familiar? John Steed and Emma Peel redone as Goliath and Matt. Didn't you notice the resemblance?

(Gee, so far I've credited Raymond Chandler, Homer and THE AVENGERS as influences. What a fun episode.)

We reintroduced Hacker, mostly so that we could bookend him at the end as Matt's new Illuminati contact. This was something that Cary and I planned as far back as Silver Falcon. We always had to keep Hacker's agenda straight. Make sure any info he gave Matt was a wild goose chase, at least as far as Hacker knew.

In this episode, and only in this episode, Maria Chavez is played by the talented Elisa Gabrielli (also known as Obsidiana). Rachel Ticotin, our usual Chavez, was just unavailable. So Elisa filled in. She has a lighter sound. But I think it works. Did anyone notice? Both Elisa and Rachel are great. I used Elisa as the Doll Demon in 3x3 Eyes (now available on VHS and DVD).

My 3 year old son Ben, who at this point is used to me writing down what he and his older sister says during these viewings told me to write down the following: "When it's night, Demona's a gargoyle. When it's day, she's a human. He likes it when Demona's a human." This had absolutely nothing to do with this episode, but hey, who cares?

I really loved what Ed Asner did with the throwaway character of Jack Dane. "Tell him he's a bum." Dane was so much fun, I brought him back for TURF later.

CONTINUITY

Matt climbs into the clock tower and finds the TV he helped Elisa with on the day they met. That was fun. This whole episode ties back to Matt's Illuminati musings in "The Edge". It was nice to find another connection. Also, Elisa's been lying to him as long as they've known each other. Nice to remind the audience of that as well.

I like the "family of gorillas" line.

"The Dental Plan" line is vintage Cary Bates.

Elisa: "Matt, you haven't said three words all night..."
Matt: "Let me drive." HEY! THREE WORDS! :) This is fun because, I always thought of Elisa as someone who was such a control freak, she never let her partner drive her car. A big part of this episode, though it could easily sneak past you what with everything else going on, is revealing more facets of Elisa's personality. We learn much more about her and she grows here too.

It's fun to establish Xanatos as "a lower eschelon member". Immediately makes the Illuminati impressive, if Xanatos barely registers on their scale. Also sets up eventual conflicts with him.

First act cliffhanger: Here the threat is Matt. Again, how well did you all think you knew Matt? Here we're inside his point of view -- his narration. But we still try to play him edgy enough that we don't know if he'll kill them both. It helps that we opened with the shocker that he betrayed Goliath to Mace. How many people bought that? Thought Matt was the Judas that Mace said he was?

Anyway, I really like this scene. Elisa yelling at Matt. Matt getting out of the car and yelling at... no one. And Elisa's quiet revelation that Matt isn't crazy... "They don't follow me everywhere." Again, this line was as important for Elisa as for Matt. Sure she can count on the Gargoyles for help. But I never wanted it to seem like Lois and Superman. Like he was always around or would here her with super-senses everytime she screamed. Most of the time, Elisa's on her own.

"This time I'll drive."

Fun to see the gargoyles reactions when Matt is introduced. Goliath's not upset. He appreciates that Elisa has a loyal partner and probably gave her permission to bring Matt in from the cold long before. The truth is they know Matt already.

Elisa: "better late than never".

And then immediately Goliath is suspicious. "Trust is not... to be bartered."

As creators, we were playing both ends here. Omitting pieces of conversation. Trying to get the audience to believe that Matt might in fact be betraying G. But also making it believable that in hindsight, he wasn't. Not cheating, in other words.

At this point, my six year old daughter Erin said: "I don't like Bluestone in this one. He's usually very nice. But in this one he's mean." That's how she saw him. Not righteously angry with Elisa for the lies. Just mean.

It took remarkably more effort than I'd have expected to get things to hook up with our Teaser from the beginning of the act. To help, I reused a couple of Mace's line as prompts to the audience.

It's fun to hear Tom Wilson playing Matt playing at being a bad guy.

I like all the hotel references. "Check out time" etc.

Mace falls down the shaft and grabs the cables with his bare hands. One hundred years old or not, that's gotta hoit.

I like Matt using his coat as a parachute. That wouldn't be necessary except for that darn Gallileo. If it weren't for him, Goliath, being heavier, could have fallen faster than Matt to catch up to him. :)

And of course, I enjoy the irony of Mace being trapped in a Hell of his own making. And i like the notion that the Illuminati just left him there to rot. He had outlived his usefulness. A non-member had found him thanks to his annoying sentimental habit of visiting Pine Lawn. AND he had failed to hold the Gargoyle in the Cabal. Breaking a perfect record. Woops.

Goliath refers to Bluestone as his friend. That's to make sure the audience is clear that Goliath was in on the plan from the beginning. Later, I gathered, some people still didn't get that.

We have a great Turning to Stone sequence here. Every once in a while it's nice to remind the audience that this is unique and special. Seeing it through a new characrer's eyes is a great way to do that.

I love Elisa and Matt's conversation. Elisa reveals that she's subconsciously been keeping the gargs to herself because it made her feel special. Explains a lot about "Her Brother's Keeper", doesn't it? And Matt admits to something similar. I think we all do little things to help ourselves stand out, even if no one notices them but us.

Maria then helps us see that Matt and Elisa are going to be okay.

And finally, our Hacker tag. (This episode had like six tags.) Matt gets his pin. I thought that was kinda cool...

What say all of you....


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Revelations Story Memo

In Prep for my coming RAMBLE on REVELATIONS, here's the memo I wrote to Story Editor Cary Bates in response to his outline...

WEISMAN 1-15-95

Notes on "Revelations" Outline...

GENERAL
NEW STRUCTURE
I was very concerned that the first act and much of the second act came across as prologue to our adventure. And yet most of it is necessary stuff. So I think we should open the story with GOLIATH trapped in the "house that Jack built" (HTJB) and flashback from there. Probably with MATT narrating the whole story in Voice Over.

I've suggested act breaks, but you don't have to feel married to them, if the timing or page count seems wrong.

Also, I didn't suggest any specific revisits to the HTJB (after the prologue) until our story brings us back there chronologically. If you want to revisit the present in the HTJB a few times to remind the audience of the current situation and to up the action with Goliath facing another death trap, go for it. Totally up to you.

I also moved the Hacker scene up, so that he can bookend the show a little more. In his first scene, he'll still be telling Matt that the Society is a myth. In his last scene, he'll be inviting Matt to join.

HTJB/MOUNTAIN RETREAT/TOWER OF TERROR/SEEDY HOTEL
It's a bit of a stretch to believe that Goliath would go to this "Mountain Retreat" with Matt. What do they hope to accomplish there, besides illegal search and seizure? Matt's "informant" is fishy beyond belief. So is the gizmo that gets them past the security perimeter. The point of which is lost on me, since they are immediately spotted by security forces. How does defeating these forces help? THEY'VE BEEN SPOTTED. What can they hope to accomplish now? These security guards can't radio inside to hide or destroy whatever data there might be? It's all adding up to a big old fishy mess. And yes, I realize that the Illuminati want Goliath inside and that Goliath wants to get "trapped" in order for Matt's plan to work out, but it's too convenient to say everyone is intentionally acting like idiots. The audience won't be in on it. They'll just be getting frustrated. By the time we reveal the truth, they'll just generally feel the whole story was contrived.

So let's start by ditching the mountain retreat. I like the Seedy Hotel better. Someplace that from the outside seems like a totally non-descript Manhattan building. Maybe it's boarded up and condemned. Getting in is not a problem. They land on the roof and sneak inside. But getting out is impossible.

The hotel is really the "House That Jack Built". Yes, steel shutters slam shut, trapping Goliath, but more importantly, we should really lose our bearings inside. Goliath rips open a window that he thinks leads outside, only to find it's a false facade that leads into another room. At another point, he thinks he has gotten back onto the roof. But this turns out to be another interior room, with a domed ceiling painted with stars. Another room has all the furniture on the ceiling and the razor sharp ceiling fan on the floor. Maybe another room rotates. Think about optical illusions, Escher paintings, etc. The death traps are fun, but we've done them before, so it's the mind-bending surreal stuff that will make this place special.

Also since the powers-that-be have asked, and since it fits our story, please refer to this place at least once as the "TOWER OF TERROR" and do at least one death trap with a rapidly falling elevator. This is "Synergy" with the Disney/MGM theme park's TOWER OF TERROR ride in Florida. I wouldn't suggest it if it didn't fit, but it fits just fine and that kind of goodwill never hurts. The name of the hotel should be the Hollywood Tower, cause that's the name in the ride. Now I know that seems like a weird name for a manhattan hotel, but if you figure it was built in the thirties or forties, during Hollywood's heyday, you can RATIONALIZE that even a New York Hotel would want to associate itself with the glamour of Hollywood. O.K. It's a stretch, but go for it.

MATT AND SECRECY
THE THEME OF OUR STORY IS TRUST. Hit it as much as possible. However, I don't want to replay Matt's emotional arc from Silver Falcon. He learned his lesson in that story. He no longer runs off without telling Elisa where he's going or what he's doing. Matt's honesty at the beginning of the story will contrast nicely with Elisa's deception about the gargoyles and with Matt's later bitter, furtive behavior. He can't feel too betrayed by Elisa's lies if he opened the story lying to her as well.

GOLIATH
In your beat #9, Goliath is behaving completely out of character. He may never have been introduced to Matt, but he's seen him from a distance and knows who he is. He must know from Elisa that Matt is a good guy. His long-term goal in Manhattan is to find acceptance with a growing number of humans. Elisa was the first (and is still the foremost), but Renard is a friend of Goliath's now. Jeffrey Robbins the novelist is a friend of Hudson's. Goliath tried to convince Elisa to tell the truth to her brother, etc. And in any case, he's not likely to physically assault someone for doing nothing else but looking at them. I know you want to set up a tense dynamic, but the one in beat 9 is totally artificial. So drop it.

BOTHERSOME QUESTIONS THAT MUST BE DEALT WITH IN THE SCRIPT
1. Why was it necessary for Mace to vanish in the twenties? (Perhaps he was recruited by the Illuminati, but was about to get busted for his criminal operations with Dracon. So he vanished with the money, and the Illuminati set him up with a new life. But why did they want him? Why would they bother?)
2. Why would Mace give up his glamorous gangster life to live in a seedy hotel for the Illuminati? (He obviously wouldn't. So let's not imply that he did.)
3. How did Matt make the connection between Mace and the Illuminati in the first place? (This question must get answered in this episode. In "Silver Falcon", the old photo of Mace and Dominic will depict Mace wearing the Illuminati pyramid/eye emblem. But don't count on the audience noticing or remembering that. And don't forget that Matt thought Mace was involved with the Society long before he saw that photo in Benton's office.)
4. Did Matt just get phenomenally lucky that he happened to go to Flo's grave at the same time as Mace? Was he planning on setting up 24 hour surveillance? Did he have some way of knowing that Mace visits and when?
5. How does Mace being alive prove the existence of the Illuminati? (Hint: it doesn't, by itself. See question #3.)

MALONE
Mace was a prominent gangster when he disappeared in 1924. If you figure he was about thirty, he'd be 100 now give or take five years. I think we should make a point of this. He looks great, thanks to the Illuminati's rejuvenation techniques. Like a man of 75 or 80. But he proudly tells Matt that today's his 100th birthday, or something like that.

BEAT OUTLINE
ACT ONE
1. Establishing shot of the Seedy Hotel. It's Friday night. Inside, Goliath is already alone. The steel shutters slam shut, trapping him inside, a mysterious voice (Mace) welcomes him to the "Tower of Terror". Maybe activate a death trap or two. Maybe Goliath finds an open window, but it leads back inside. Maybe the ceiling comes down on him or something.

2. Cut to the control room, where we see Goliath on a monitor. Mace is at the controls. (We don't yet know who he is.) And then pull back to see Matt looking over Mace's shoulder. We can't believe Matt is helping to trap and kill Goliath!! Push in on Matt. In his voice over, we find out he can hardly believe it either, it all began last Tuesday....

3. First flashback begins. Last Tuesday. It's the FBI target range and the scene with MARTIN HACKER. (Don't take for granted that the audience knows Hacker. Reintroduce all the necessary, pertinent info about him, Malone and the Illuminati -- pretend they've never been mentioned before this episode.) Hacker can't believe Matt is still chasing Mace Malone and the Illuminati. It's a wild goose chase that got him fired from the Bureau. When will he learn his lesson? But Matt is determined. He's going to prove the existence of the Illuminati, prove that he's not a nutcase. So Hacker gives him the info that he asked for: the location of Malone's step-son, a mobster who's part of the Federal Witness Relocation Program. (Hacker gives him this location because he knows that Malone's step-son has no idea where Malone is.)

4. Tuesday Night. Later at the precinct house, Matt sees Captain Chavez coming out of the Ladies room. He asks her if Elisa is in there. She says no. Matt doesn't get it. Her car is here, but he can't find her.

He finally finds Elisa exiting the broom closet. Has she been sitting in a closet for the last twenty minutes? Of course, not. She was just, uh... returning a mop. One of the sinks in the ladies' room overflowed. That's where she's been (yeah, that's the ticket) cleaning up a flood in the Ladies' Room. Matt is so stunned by her obvious and clumsy lie, that he doesn't immediately confront her with it. Unaware that she's been caught in a lie, Elisa quickly changes the subject. Why was Matt looking for her? He's got a lead on the Illuminati. After the Silver Falcon debacle, he's learned his lesson about keeping his partner in the dark. (He says pointedly.) He just wanted to let her know where he's going to be tomorrow. (As with Hacker, Elisa likes Matt but seems to only tolerate his obsessions. There's the tiniest bit of a patronizing attitude toward them. Perhaps Matt invites her along on his investigation, but she thinks it's a waste of time. She's nice about it, but Matt's V.O. narration lets us know that he knows she thinks he's a kook. Same with Hacker in the scene above.)

5. Wednesday. Matt confronts Malone's step-son, JACKSON DANE (or whatever) at the gym (or wherever). (Jackson's 80 if he's a day, but he can have Ferrigno-sized goons. Though you need to be careful that Matt doesn't come across as a dirty or rogue cop. I don't want him to break any laws.) Matt asks Jackson about Mace. Dane hasn't seen Mace since he was a little kid. Matt pulls out a photo that was taken at the memorial service for Jackson's mother (Mace's ex-wife), actress Flo Dane, when she died fifteen years ago. It was a big deal thing. We see a picture of Jackson in the front row. Did Jackson see Mace at the funeral. No. Matt takes out a second picture. A blow up of people in the back row. He points to one. Jackson looks carefully, and whaddaya know? It's Mace. Now Matt wants to know where Flo Dane is buried. Jackson says that his mom didn't want her grave to become a tourist attraction, so she was buried under her real name, FLORA DREEDLE. Did Mace know that name? Yes, he did.

6. Wednesday, just before sundown. Back at the precinct, Elisa asks Chavez if Matt's checked in yet. No. Elisa goes up to see the gargoyles. We follow her into the broom closet. The pull-down ladder is already down. She nervously pulls her gun and goes upstairs. Only to find Matt there. She's under time pressure to get him out of there, since it's nearly sunset. He points to the t.v. set. He remembers helping her bring that into the precinct the day they met. She had said it was for a friend. She pretends that this is her little getaway spot when police life gets too intense. Some getaway spot. An old lounge chair. A hot plate. Video game equipment. Books. Enough food for a family of gorillas. She says she may be bending a few regulations, but she's not breaking any laws. Don't tell Chavez, o.k.? (She has got to get him downstairs.) So how'd it go with Mace's step-son? He's still highly suspicious, but enthusiastic enough about filling her in on Mace that he allows her to guide him back downstairs. Matt has checked with the funeral home. Some old man shows up there every Thursday and leaves a rose for Flora Dreedle. It's a long shot but Matt is going to be there tomorrow to find Mace Malone.

7. Thursday. Matt finds Mace Malone, who goes into a bit of denial, but we'll give him an Illuminati tattoo on the palm of his hand (or something). Mace relents, impressed. The Illuminati has been aware of Matt's quest. They've thrown multiple roadblocks in his way, and still Matt found Mace. The Society has clearly underestimated the boy. Mace offers Matt membership based on a loyalty test. Matt: You want me to prove my loyalty? How do I know I can trust you? Mace: Fair question. What if I prove good faith by revealing a bit of information donated by one of our lower echelon members, David Xanatos. Matt's listening.

8. Very late Thursday night. Elisa and Matt are driving in her car. She's driving. She asks him if everything's all right. The shift's almost over and he hasn't said three words all night. "Let me drive," he says [exactly three words]. No way -- it's my car, she replies, only half-kidding. He INSISTS. She relents, realizing he's pretty upset about something. It's a very awkward moment. She has to stop the car, get out and switch sides with him. He's silent the whole time. He drives. Where are they headed? He ignores the question, but tells her that today he found Mace Malone. That's great, she says, but you're driving awfully fast. He ignores that too, saying he feels like he's on a streak. Now that he's proven the Illuminati exists, he's about to prove the existence of another urban myth that he's been taunted for believing in. Matt, she yells, you're driving us right into the path of some kind of danger!! That's right he says, and the only way we can be saved is if your gargoyles save us.

ACT TWO
9. Elisa manages to wrest the wheel from him and turn the car into a very uncontrolled 360° skid. Thank god for seat belts. They barely survive. Elisa is furious at Matt! What the heck does he think he's doing?! He's trying to get his partner to tell him the truth. He gets out of the car and yells to the sky. "I know you're out there! Show yourself!" Nothing happens. No gargoyles appear. Elisa gets out of the car. Matt's expecting another lie. But all she says is, "They don't follow me everywhere I go." They look at each other. C'mon, she says. I'll drive. (NOTE: I don't think we need to bring up informants. Elisa can believe that Matt has put two and two together from all the lies she's had to tell in the first act.)

10. But by the time they get back to the precinct it's dawn, early Friday morning. Too late, she says. He doesn't buy it. He knows that set-up in the clock tower must be for them. She's still reluctant to tell him the whole truth. Look, she says, you have to be patient for a little while longer. (Note: she has not actually apologized yet.) Meet me back here this evening. Ten minutes before sunrise.

11. Friday. Mace and Matt meet again. Has Matt seen the gargoyles yet? Tonight. But the information was correct? Yes, she friends with them. The Society has demonstrated good faith. Does Matt still want to join? Yes. Then you're willing to take the loyalty test? Yes, what do I have to do? Bring us a gargoyle.

12. Friday at twilight. Matt and Elisa head out the clock face's door (at roman numeral VI) Matt sees the statues of the gargoyles and gets pissed again. No stone statues are going to fool him. He knows they're flesh and blood. He's seen them (in previous episodes). She says hold on and stand back. The sun goes down. The gargoyles explode from stone. Milk this for all the awe and majesty, etc., that it's worth. Seeing it from Matt's point of view, we should all feel like we're seeing it again for the first time. The gargoyles approach. They all know Matt, even if he doesn't know them. Even Bronx is friendly. Matt is awestruck. Speechless. Elisa tells Matt that the Gargoyles have adopted the city and protect it as they once protected their castle in Scotland long ago. She asks him to keep the gargoyles' secret. He says he will, but he wants something in return. Goliath doesn't love the idea of being blackmailed into anything. Matt says he's tracked Mace to a seedy condemned hotel. He's sure he can get proof of the Illuminati's existence if he could just get into the hotel, but it's locked and boarded up on the ground floor. He needs Goliath's help to enter via the roof. The other gargoyles offer to help, but Matt isn't trying to lay siege to the place, he just wants to sneak in and sneak out. All he needs is Goliath. Elisa wants to go, but Matt specifically doesn't want her to. Why? Because I want to find out once and for all whether you trust me. So Goliath takes off with Matt. (AND I think we can assume that Matt filled Goliath in on his plan on the flight over to the seedy hotel.)

13. Friday night. They land on the roof of the hotel. With Goliath's help, they break into the stairway and go inside. Almost immediately, Matt is forcibly separated from Goliath and spirited away to join Mace in the control room. Mace is very pleased with Matt. He presses a button and steel shutters slam home in a repeat of scene 1. Which brings us up to date, end on a cliff hanger and go to commercial.

ACT THREE
14. Play Goliath in the HTJB. Have fun with it. You've got most of the act. Meanwhile, Matt asks Mace how long they plan to keep Goliath here. Why, we can keep him here forever. He'd never find his way out without help. So Matt has to secretly help Goliath. But you can't have that signal device. Where would Matt get it from? He's not Batman. So think of something else. Ultimately, they escape leaving Mace hopelessly lost inside the surreal world of his own making. (That's the Illuminati's punishment for him. He can die of dehydration there, some time in the future and we don't have to portray it or worry about S&P.) All this is done in such a way that the Illuminati would later blame Mace not Matt. If you need help to choreograph this, give me a call.

15. Pre-Dawn Saturday morning, Goliath and Matt return to the clock tower where Elisa and the others are waiting. We find out definitively that Matt tipped Goliath off to his plan on the way to the seedy hotel. He was hoping to join the Illuminati -- so he could bust them from the inside, but in order to escape, they had to trap Mace, his only Illuminati connection, in the HTJB, so it was all for nothing. Matt watches with Elisa as the Gargoyle's turn to stone. (Again, milk this. Through Matt's eyes it should feel like the first time.) Elisa and Matt have their little scene. She finally apologizes. He asks why she kept it a secret from him. And etc.

16. Matt walks outside and there's Hacker, who reveals that he's a member of the Illuminati who had been assigned to Matt to keep him away from the Illuminati. Matt can't believe it: Hacker helped him with info. Only info that Hacker thought led down a dead end. Matt just figured a way to do an end run around the dead ends. No hard feelings. Anyway, he always liked Matt, so he's proud to give him his official Illuminati membership pin. Matt doesn't get it. The society lost the gargoyle. Mace's fault, not Matt's. Hacker promises to keep in touch. He hops in an unmarked car and drives off. After he's gone, Matt says something determined about keeping in touch too. This isn't over.


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Back to the pilot...

On July 6th, 1993, Writer Eric Luke turned in an outline for the pilot. It still had the Pack, and introduced the concept of the Gargoyle Eggs. Here were our notes on that outline, as we sent him to script.

To: Eric Luke Date: 7-15-93

From: Greg Weisman Ext.: (818)-754-7436

Subject: Notes on 7/6 Gargoyle Outline

Ta Da!! Let's go to script....with notes...sorry. Actually, we're real happy with the outline, we just want to send you forward with a few things in mind.

One general note comes from Gary, who's pretty much decided that the Gargoyles cannot fly like birds, but rather can glide like flying squirrels. We're going to take a lot of liberties with this. Play a lot with updrafts and downdrafts, i.e. cheat a lot, but the big basic no-no is the idea that they can start at ground level and just muscle themselves into the air with their wings. Gary doesn't want to just make this a rule, he wants to make use of it in the script as a vulnerability for the gargoyles. For example, if Goliath and Elisa are surrounded by the Pack, he can't just pick her up and fly away. He's trapped, unless he can get some height to get some air. Another thought comes earlier when Goliath saves Elisa's life at their first meeting. Maybe he grabs her in mid-air and then arcs up to re-land on the castle ramparts. And maybe he can't quite make it to the top and has to grab hold of the building and use his talons to claw his way back up to the landing, with her holding on to him for dear life. (These are just examples that occur to me...use, embellish, come up with your own as it fits the script.) Anyway, you get the idea.

PAGE 1
I think we can heighten the drama of the opening by referring to the original beat outline depicting Robby and his Mom desperately running up the hill to the castle w/the Marauders close behind. It's sunset. Cole and crew don't have long to wait for it to get too dark for the archers to target them.

PAGE 2
Re: the Wizard. The scariest thing about Goliath's looks is his tremendous threatening bulk, claws and teeth. His non-human appearance, wings and skin color play into the wizard's fears as well. But it's the potential physical threat that's the most frightening. I'm not sure that this will specifically come out in dialogue, but...

Teen 'goyles should probably be doing minor mischief until Robby's mother refers to them as monsters. This pisses them off (particularly Brooklyn) and they decide that if they're gonna be treated like Monsters they might as well act like monsters, and perhaps they do something that is flat-out malicious. Goliath comes in while they're "acting like monsters", doesn't know why and banishes them from the courtyard. They feel bigtime jipped.

Eggs in the rookery really intrigues us. It raises HUGE questions. Do Gargoyles lay eggs? What do they look like? Gary pictures rough spheres like cannonballs made of stone. Do the eggs survive Cole? I guess they must since Bronx and the trio do. Do they survive the centuries? What's the gestation period of a gargoyle egg? Did Demona gather up the eggs? Were they effected by the wizard's spell? When Xavier moves the castle to Manhattan, is the Rookery, eggs and all, left in tact in Scotland? None of these questions need to be answered in the pilot. It's just a great seed to plant for future episodes, so don't make too big a deal of it here; we want careful viewers to be curious, but most to be unconcerned, since they won't get the answers to these questions in this movie.

Was Broadway raised in the Rookery? Or has it been out of use for decades? If he was, we need to be careful that our trio aren't telling each other things that they all already know.

PAGE 3
Again, in the final battle against the Captain, Cole and his marauders, refer to the original beat outline for choreography. We need Cole and the Captain to drag the queen away from the battlefield, luring Goliath away too, alone. We need the Wizard left alone, believing the Queen is dead, w/only one remaining spellbook to confront the rest of the 'goyles and turn them to stone, etc.

PAGE 5
Perhaps when the Pack first attacks, Goliath and company jump to defend the castle without any request from Xavier. It's that instinctive. Afterwards, (p.6), Xavier asks for their continued protection, and Goliath agrees, largely because at this point, he's already got one foot in the water, so-to-speak.

PAGE 8
We still have the three night structure, but we've lost Elisa asking Goliath to give her three nights to show him all that her world has to offer. That always struck me as a nice moment. Was there a reason we took it out? I'm not saying we need it back in, I'm just curious.

PAGE 9
Adrienne Bello is our executive here in charge of Standards and Practices. We showed the final version of the outline to her, and she had a concern here regarding our depiction of latchkey kids. Basically, it's a weighty issue, and we really don't have the space to do it justice here. That gave me a thought. Another (easily-solved) problem in the scene is that Goliath doesn't seem to be a participant. No one reacts to him. If we change that, we can see a number of kids (maybe out on the stoop, early evening) reacting differently to him. All should be scared at first, but some are quickly reassured and think Goliath (and Bronx) are way cool. Littler kids might still be frightened, and Goliath sees Elisa comfort and reassure them. Teaching them not to be prejudiced, in essence. Or something. We don't have to make them latchkey kids. Taggers? Just neighborhood kids w/no crime involved? Maybe we create a 20th century counterpart to Robby? Anyway, give it some thought.

PAGE 10
This could play into the attack by the Pack. Perhaps our Robby-counterpart witnesses it. And the noise brings more people. They root for the Pack to win out over the "Monster" Goliath. They think the Pack is saving them. Our "Robby-counterpart" could really be confused as to who's good and who's bad. Maybe the crowd helps the Pack? (The right thing to do, as they perceive it, but unfortunately, they've picked the wrong side to help.) Elisa may try to flash her badge, and is knocked aside/out before she can identify herself as a cop. What Fox says to Goliath in the clinches, doesn't have to be heard by the crowd. Maybe the Pack even pretends to try to rescue Elisa from Goliath, making it clear to Goliath and our audience, though not the crowd, that if they get her away from him (and Bronx) she's doomed. [Again, though Bronx is largely a comic relief character, he can be helpful in a fight. Just as Goliath--though basically a dramatic character--has a sense of humor, and can be used in lighter, comic situations.] Goliath has little choice but to retreat with Elisa, with the crowd thinking he's the villain getting away w/a victim (or perhaps accomplice). Then he expresses his frustration that humans could so confuse the heroes and villains, based solely on appearances. If Elisa's conscious at this point, she might try to argue with him.

It's unclear why Goliath thinks the Pack is bent on revenge. What does he think they have to revenge? So far, they've been basically successful in both encounters. At worst, you could say they've fought to a draw.

PAGE 11
If Xavier spotted Demona in a book, it was probably an art book, not a history book. Gargoyles didn't make the history books. I know this is just a story Xavier tells Goliath, but we might as well make it as realistic as possible.

Also Demona does not "seem" to be "genuinely pleased" to see the gargoyles; she IS genuinely pleased to see them.

PAGE 12
Xavier should claim that the disks will benefit all mankind AND ALL GARGOYLES as well.

Xavier should make his contingency plans w/Owen. That way, we don't have to have him talking to himself, or reveal that he and Demona are in cahoots.

Goliath should probably find Elisa at her place, (maybe he followed her from the police station). As opposed to just happening to spot her on the streets.

Also want to make sure I have all the corporate names straight. XAVIER ENTERPRISES (XE) is Xavier's big conglomerate. SCARAB CORP. is the robotic and cybernetic arm of XE. PACK INC. is the "marketing firm" that handles the Pack, which is owned by a company, which up the ladder is eventually owned by XE. CYBERCORP is Xavier's basically honest competitor and the creators of the anti-grav technology that's on the disks.

PAGE 13
The idea of Goliath just sitting on the disks for a night in a warehouse still strikes us as artificial. Maybe Xavier asks Goliath to deliver the disks to someone, at the warehouse or wherever, and then arranges for Elisa to be there.

Angelica/Demona's statement about "If you'd only taken the others away..." isn't enough of a tip-off to make Goliath suspicious. It doesn't sound like she knows something, it sounds like she's using 20-20 hindsight to make him feel bad. At any rate, that would be the natural thing for him to think. Maybe it begins with this, but she takes it a step farther, and that tips Goliath off.

In her explanation of what went wrong, we need to include the notion that the Captain promised her he'd protect the gargoyles, but at the last minute she panicked and left.

We're also unclear how all this has led her to join up with Xavier. Maybe she sees the destruction of humanity in his evil, and she's anxious to help. Or maybe he plans on conquering humanity, and then she plans to take the reins of power from him. Lots of possibilities; we just need to clarify.

PAGE 14
Did Xavier send anyone besides Demona (and Elisa) to the "loyalty test". Maybe Owen has been watching from the shadows.

The reason Xavier didn't take Goliath out immediately after the loyalty test can probably be tied to Xavier's intelligence. He knows that the best time to attack the Gargoyle's is during the day, when they're frozen. I think we should make use of this. Have a scene where the Pack (carrying sledgehammers) searches for the Gargoyles in daylight. Elisa hides the gargoyles and/or protects them, and/or lures the Pack away from their location at great personal risk. Now she and Goliath have saved each other. A human he can count on. Etc. At this point, Xavier doesn't want to leave the loose ends untied for too long. He's confident in his new robot creations. (Perhaps there's one that's specifically been modeled after Goliath.) He decides to just get the battle over with. Or maybe it's Goliath and the gargoyles who decides to take the castle back, (with Elisa's help). They attack Xavier. Demona, the steel gargoyles AND the Pack (and Xavier, for that matter) are there to defend the castle. That's kinda ironic and cool.

And that's it. Give me a call if you have any questions. I'd also like to get an approximate target date when you think we'd have the first draft screenplay. Despite all the notes, we're getting really psyched. Good luck.

cc: Gary Krisel, Bruce Cranston, Paul Lacy


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Ducks in a row...

Disney's Japanese Studio was collectively the true unsung heroes of the first season of Gargoyles. This is a memo from Mr. Tokunaga, who was the head of that studio. It mentions the Little Mermaid episode that they were currently animating, but is mostly about recommending certain individuals on their staff to be creative forces for the Gargoyles series.

CC: B. FERRO
L. HUME

FAX CONTROL
#ODU-2688

FACSIMILE(0422-51-8229)

DATE: July 10,1993
TO: Ms. Lenora Hume
FROM: Motoyoshi Tokunaga cc. Shin Matsumoto/Sheri Shimada
RE: Gargoyles

Dear Lenora,

Yesterday, I have asked several animators to try on rough designs for this projects characters. We will need one week to finish this work. Therefore. we will be able to tax you these drawings on 7/17. Also, we have sent you the followings together with Take-l's workprint for the Mermaid show #015.

1) Storyboards
*Gadget - storyboarded by Saburo Hashimoto.
*Reporter Blues - storyboarded by Kazuo Terada.
*Soccer Boy - storyboarded by Kazuo Terada.
As a reminder, in Japan we set the maximum number of cels that the show can spend before we start the production. And directors should draw storyboards within this limitation. Since these storyboards were drawn under these circumstances, I fear they might not give you the insight into the artists' creative aspects.

2) Videos
*Ulysis 31: This was produced 12 years ago and directed by Terada.
I hope you could use this as a reference of how he divided the scenes and
the camera angles. But, please do not refer to the animation.

*Batman; which was animation directed by Kazuyoshi Takeuohi.
We have sent this to you because we would like to know if you are thinking of any certain level of animation quality and timing. Please let us know if this is the kind of animation you expect from us for Gargoyles series.

Beat regards,

Motoyoshi Tokunaga
MT/my


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Being SANTA CLAUS is stressful.

I think these two memos are fairly self-explanatory. So the only comment I'll make is that although few of these people still work for Disney, none of them had to give back their toys. (And I still have the Nerf stuff.)

MEMO #1:

[1] From: Greg Weisman 7/8/93 4:10PM (751 bytes: 10 ln)
To: Bruce Cranston
cc: Greg Weisman
Subject: TOYS FROM KENNAR
------------------------------- Message Contents -------------------------------
Bruce,
As you know, I received a large box of toys from Kennar, which I am officially giving to the Development department. Some of these will be on display in their original packaging in my office, per Gary Krisel's suggestion. Some will be used in creative meetings to help generate ideas and reduce tension. The rest will be distributed among the development staff for research and display, on the understanding that they belong to the company and not to the individuals involved.

MEMO #2:

[1] From: Greg Weisman 7/9/93 2:25PM (2200 bytes: 47 ln)
To: Mary Nguyen, Bonnie Buckner, Hali Helfgott, Lisa Melbye, Adrienne Bello, Paul Lacy, Fred Schaefer, Kathy Fair, BAMBI MOE, Ellen Gurney, Ann Catrina, Brad Vielock
cc: Bruce Cranston, Melinda Farrell, Jay Fukuto, Greg Weisman
Subject: TOYS
------------------------------- Message Contents ------------------------------
cc: Dave Schwartz, Sharon Morrill

As many of you know, Kennar sent me a large box of toys. Too large for me to keep them as a gift w/out a conflict of interest arising. So I am officially giving these toys to the company. Gary instructed me to keep some of them unopened on display in my office, (he's sent some to Lucasfilms already, and we may need them for similar purposes at some point), and to break open the Nerf stuff for creative meetings (you know, to relieve tension, etc.). But there are still a number of toys left, more than I have room for, so I'm going to pass them out to all of you for research and display in your offices, on the official understanding that they belong to Disney and should stay with the company.

I put everyone's name in a hat and Hali pulled the names, and this's the order of toy picking:

Bambi
Brad
Ellen
Dave
Lisa
Fred
Paul
Kat
Ann
Adrienne
Hali
Bonnie
Mary

I think you can see by Hali's placement on the list that her picks were not biased. It was totally random. Don't blame her.

And if you're low on the list, you can at least take consolation in knowing that the bigshots (Bruce, Mindy, Jay and Sharon) don't get any toys at all. Sorry. There weren't enough to go around.

Bambi's first on the list, and she'll be back Monday, so that's when distribution will begin.

Remember, no friction. This is a small good thing. That's all.


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Prepping Production

The first season of Gargoyles was largely pre-produced in Japan. And our Japanese Studio was very involved in getting the show up on its feet. This is a memo from Lenora Hume, who was at the time the head of International Production for our division. The memo is addressed to Mr. Tokunaga who was the head of Walt Disney Television Animation Japan.

WALT DISNEY Television Memorandum
To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga Date: July 2,1993
From: Lenora Hume Extension: (818) 754-7150
Subject: FAX: 011-8142-251-8229
PAGE: -1- of -1-

As a follow up to our conversation, we would like to proceed to do some preliminary development work on Gargoyles as outlined below.

1) We would like you to send us some design and storyboards samples of the artists you intend to use on this project. If you have any tapes of shows that these individuals have been involved in that would be very helpful as well.

2) On Tuesday, we will fax your descriptions of the characters we would like you to work on.

3) Based on the information we send you on Tuesday, we would like budget on a schedule prepared for this preliminary design work.
At this stage we would like to see rough drawings of a variety of styles and ideas based on the information we have supplied. There is no need to edit your preliminary work. We would like to see a number if different approaches. If you have a preference as to which approach you prefer please by all means let us know your choices.

4) Once this preliminary design work has been submitted we will review the materials in Los Angeles and give you our comments, along with instructions as to what the next phase will be.

If you have any questions or comments about this first phase of development, please feel free to contact us.

Best regards,

Lenora Hume

cc: B. Cranston
G. Weisman
P. Lacey

RECEIVED BY
JUL 06 1993
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE


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Evidentally, I went out of town in late June / early July of 1993. My very capable and talented Development Associate Paul Lacy was holding down the fort.

Walt Disney TV Animation Japan had been asking for a more creative role in the division. Gargoyles would represent a new opportunity for them. (Something that I believe Roy Sato could comment on more directly.) Paul wrote up some character descriptions for Goliath and the Trio to get them started. This document, as far as I can tell, is the first one in which Brooklyn and Lex were assigned the basic personalities that they'd wind up with. Previous to this, the two characters had always been assigned each others traits. So I think we can credit Paul (or his confusion, at least) with giving us the Brooklyn and Lex we now know and love.

Also by this time, we had moved away from a female Broadway. One of my bosses, Bruce Cranston, still raised the suggestion that we go back. But I believe my other boss, Gary Krisel (and Kenner) wanted as many males in the group as possible.

July 2, 1993

Greg,

Gary wants to give Tokunaga, the head of the Disney Studio in Japan, a shot at showing us what they can do design-wise with the GARGOYLES, so he wants us to send them descriptions of GOLIATH, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. The descriptions need to be brief and put in general terms to allow them room to be creative.

I've enclosed my pass at these descriptions for your changes. Although I remember the "types" we were thinking of for Brooklyn, Lexington and Broadway, I don't remember who was assigned which attribute. Bruce asked about making one of the kids a female, should we open that up to the Japanese as an option?

Gary and Bruce looked at these today and I incorporated their changes. We need to get these to Lenora Hume early Tuesday so she can fax them to Japan.

Hope you had a great trip. See you on Tuesday.

Paul

And here's Paul's memo to the Japanese Studio.

GARGOYLE DESCRIPTIONS (Lacy 7/2/93)

Below are general descriptions of the look and feel of GOLIATH and the three teen-aged Gargoyles, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY.

GOLIATH
The Gargoyle-master. Physically imposing, muscular. At least a head taller than an average human. Weighing approximately 500 pounds, Goliath is solidly built. Although he possesses many human-like features, Goliath's gargoyle features set him apart from man. When angered he resembles a raging beast. When relaxed there is a gentle nobility to his appearance ... in a strange, rugged way, he's handsome. Goliath's wings enable him to glide and, as such, must be big enough to support his weight. They are not simply attached to his back. Rather, they are an integral part of his skeletal and muscular structure, as organic to him as arms and legs are to humans. When sitting, Goliath's wings drape around him like a cape. When spread wide, they act as a backdrop that frames his body.

BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON AND BROADWAY
As adolescent gargoyles, they're awkward and not as physically developed as Goliath. To a human, however, they're still imposing and beastly. Although the three are part of the same species, each one is physically different enough to establish their individuality.

BROOKLYN: If there's a leader of the group, it's Brooklyn. He's the most physically fit of the group and is the one who most aspires to be a gargoyle warrior like Goliath. In the modern world Brooklyn wants to be "cool" and stylish, following all the current trends.

LEXINGTON: The smallest of the group. He's not as muscular as his pals, though he still is powerful. Lexington natural resting position is more a squat than the other two. Lexington is fascinated by gadgets: in medieval times it's catapults and siege engines. In modern times it's airplanes, traffic lights, video games, etc.

BROADWAY: The chubby one, Broadway's also bigger than the other two. Despite his fat, he has well defined muscles like the other gargoyles. Broadway is happy go-lucky, always looking for a good time.

Some of different wing types for these three characters include sprung from the back (like Goliath) for gliding, attached to the back but too small to be of any use, draped from the arm (like a bat), or non-existent.


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The word from Kenner Toys...

So the meeting between us and Kenner happened, most likely on June 30th, 1993. They brought this document to the table. It's very enlightening, I think, as to how a major toy company thinks. You'll notice that their "main concerns" didn't cause us to alter the show at all. Save for adding in a motorcycle and helicopter here and there. There were some things that they were concerned about that we were just able to reassure them about. That the Trio would not just be silly. That Xanatos would eventually get down and dirty with his own armor, etc.

My handwritten notes at the bottom were things we discussed at the meeting, also to help aleviate their concerns. "Franken-goyle" eventually became Coldstone. "X's Metal/Steel/Titanium Gargoyles" became the Steel Clan Robots. We were trying to show Kenner that we'd have some "male villain gargoyles" in addition to Demona.

GARGOYLES

MAIN STORY ELEMENTS

Conflicts
* Ageless goodness and loyalty vs. modern opportunism.

* Powerful myths.vs. powerful high tech "realities".

* Goliath vs. Demona.

* Goliath vs. Xavier.

Partnerships
* Goliath and his five ancient gargoyles.

* Elisa and her gargoyle team; especially Goliath.

* Xavier and Demona.

* Xavier and his subordinates.

Goliath Characteristics
* Huge, powerful, and ugly.
* Immortal by night; inert and powerless by day.
* Ancient, decent, loyal, and wise.
* Possesses leadership qualities.

ISSUES

Main Likes
* Visual power, strength of living gargoyles.

* Day vs. night power phases of protagonists.

* Humorous possibilities of gargoyle assimilation into contemporary New York.

* Traditional good vs. evil conflict.

Main Concerns

* Severe visual contradiction of scary/ugliness as good (Goliath); deceptively normal is bad (Xavier, his gladiators, etc.)

* Limited number of heroic characters.

* Key human ally is female (Elisa).

* Key/only evil gargoyle is female (Demona).

* Industrialist as the evil adversary is very familiar and very difficult to translate into an exciting toy. A visually more powerful and more unique enemy would be preferable or increase his powers through armorment [sic].

* Lack of significant special hardware and vehicles for both good and evil.

* Described back story (especially enduring- love/hate relationship between Goliath and Demona) may be too complex for 5-year old boys.

* Four of the six gargoyles (Trio and Dog) appear less aggressive and silly than heroic.

* Breaking the Gargoyles kills them.

[My handwritten notes on the document follow:]
* Franken-goyle & Demona

* Pack / Xavier / Scarab Corp / Vehicles etc.

* X's Metal / Steel / Titanium Gargoyles


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Chapter XXVII: "Outfoxed"

Time to Ramble...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONTINUITY & INTRIGUE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Kenner weighs in...

Kenner had competed for the Gargoyles toy license and won. They were enthusiastic partners. This was pretty early on in the process, but their initial main objection was that we still had the gargoyles able to fly under their own power at this stage. They didn't like that, because it removed the need for kids and parents to buy flying vehicle accessories. We eventually acquiesced (over my initial objections) because my boss Gary Krisel felt that it could be to our advantage to only allow the gargs to glide on "currents of wind" instead of fly. It hampered them some. I was dubious, but this turned out to be all for the best. So thank Kenner -- for that at least.

Me, I still have the Nerf guns.

RECEIVED By
JUN 25 1993
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE

KENNER PRODUCTS
A Tonka Division

June 23, 1993

Mr. Gregory David Weisman
Wait Disney Television
5200 Lankershim Boulevard
Suite 600
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Dear Greg:

We're looking forward to seeing you and Gary next week and getting further into the Gargoyles concept (are they still flying?).

I'm bringing Rm Hayes again (VP of Product Concepts) as well as Howard Bollinger, really, (Sr. VP of Product Concepts), Bruce Stein (Kenner's President), and possibly Ginger Kent (Sr. VP of Marketing). We've spent Kenner development time on the project and will have something to show you during our discussions on June 30.

I'm sending you some of our current action figures from Aliens, Batman and Jurassic Park to refresh everyone's awareness of how we market our action figure toys. The Nerf weapons in the package are for your internal entertainment and are not to be used on us if you don't like what we've done on Gargoyles. Enjoy!

See you next Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.

Best Regards,

James R . Black
Vice President, Licensing

JRB/jav

CC: R. Hayes


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Still honing the pilot...

Eric Luke turned in an outline on our multi-part pilot on 6-3-93. I'm afraid I don't have that document anymore. But my response (from a week later) is still in my computer files. And it does give a sense of what he was up to. But more, it gives a sense of where I wanted to take the story.

One might argue that my greatest strength as a writer is in fact... that I'm a good editor. I do think I have a knack for taking solid work by other professionals, and finding the core story inside that work. Bringing that story out and helping it to shine. I think I have a good mind for both the big picture and the little details. (At any rate, that's largely been the basis of my career.)

So that's what I was attempting to do here. And I think you can begin to see the details of the story beginning to see the light in my notes here.

To: Eric Luke Date: 6-10-93

From: Greg Weisman Ext: 818)754-7436

Subject: Notes on 6/3 GARGOYLE Outline

Hi, Eric. Big improvement. I've collated a bunch of specific page notes, and I apologize in advance for their length. But we are getting so close, we wanted to make sure everything's nailed dead-to-rights. As before, we're largely concerned that everything tracks logically and that we've fully explored the relationships between our leads. So here goes.

Page 1
Don't overdue the notion that no one's ever seen a gargoyle (in the tenth century). They are rare. But not that rare. Basically, Cole, the lead Marauder assumes that like most castles, this one has "bluff" gargoyles made of actual stone. He's taking a calculated risk. A risk he may feel absolutely confident in taking, but a risk nonetheless.

Although you DON'T have to use them in the treatment, when we get to script, we'll probably want to bring back the boy, Robbie, and his mom, so that we can play the anti-gargoyle prejudice beats. These will parallel w/Goliath's anti-human prejudice in the modern day sequences, and help give an overall theme to the piece.

We might want to show the Captain helping out in this battle, in some (perhaps minor) way, so that we see that he and Goliath are comrades-in-arms. [We've abbreviated the events of the 10th century sequence by cutting a day from the original beat outline. That's o.k., but it makes it tougher to show Demona and the Captain's complex motivations and loyalties. We have to compensate in other ways.]

The "after you, alphonse" dialogue seems a little on the silly side. It might play in script.

Right now, Gary is leaning toward a male Broadway.

Page 2
At the bottom of page, it's unnecessary for Goliath to suspect treachery at this point. He's merely horrified at what he finds. The Captain's treason comes as a greater surprise when Goliath confronts him a bit later.

Page 3
Remember, Captain (and Demona) had hoped to remove the gargoyles to safety. Goliath (unwittingly) had not cooperated. That's what left the gargoyles vulnerable to Cole. (From Demona's point of view, the plan backfired in a big way.)

Just a cautionary, but we don't want to flag early on that Xavier is a villain. At first we should consider him a rich eccentric. Cheerful, even.

Page 4
Remember, when the Gargoyles awaken, they burst free of their stone shells, shattering them.

Xavier should not be so matter-of-fact about the Gargoyle's appearance. Remember, he's pretending this is the first time he's ever seen this reawakening. He should be appropriately impressed.

One of the elements that we want to be able to play with the Pack is the notion that they are the heroes of their own American Gladiatoresque t.v. show. For example, that's how Elisa would know them, as pseudo-athletes, not villains. If we don't have room to play that here in the pilot, than perhaps the Pack isn't the best villain team to use. Another notion we had was a group of armored villains w/names revolving around a demolition motif (the natural enemies of the sometimes-stone gargoyles): i.e. Piledriver, Bulldozer, etc.

Page 5
If you do use the Pack, the twins are Jackal (male, cunning and vicious) and Hyena (female and practically psychotic).
The robot is CY.O.T.I. (CYber-Operational Technical Intelligence), and his bodies are interchangeable, not his head.

Elisa is a plain clothes detective, and therefore doesn't drive a black and white. Though she could have one of those removable cherry-tops on her car.

Xavier could help the gargoyles fight, to show (a) how tough and formidable he is for a "normal" human and (b) how trustworthy he is...paralleling the Captain's actions from the 10th century.

Perhaps the Pack (or whoever) pretends to get away w/stealing something. (Xavier will later claim it was the 3 disks.) After all, this whole attack was staged.

The whole notion of the Gargoyles not appearing on videotape because they're magical creatures doesn't work for us and doesn't seem necessary. It adds a fairly sophisticated new rule (usually associated w/vampires) and confuses the issue as to whether the gargoyles are their own race of creatures, as opposed to magically animated stone. They exist. They're real. We think they show up on tape.

In this particular scene, we think we can leave out the camcorder and the scene at the police station. Elisa's fairly independent. Also, she doesn't necessarily need to see what's happening from the ground. Better if she doesn't know she's looking for "creatures" 'til she finds them. She could just be investigating the falling debris, though that sounds like something a building inspector would do. It would be nice if there was something that would attract a police detective's attention. (Laser-fire?) Some sign of a crime.

Does she initially question or try to question Xavier? Does she suspect him?

Page 6
The gargoyles should probably be the first bizarre entities that Elisa (and the city) encounters. If she's been dealing w/super-villains the last few weeks, than Goliath won't seem that strange. Also, her initial fear of him should not be based specifically on the notion that he is one of a group of villains, but on a visceral reaction to his appearance and threatening size. Prejudice. And the fact that there are a lot of Gargoyles doesn't hurt either.

The idea that "the whole city is her responsibility and she has a right to know what's going on" anywhere in it, sounds a bit egocentric or even vaguely fascist to me. This may not be the right moment for bravado. Again, she can be legitimately scared at this point. No shame in it. She doesn't have to ask about turf wars, or even be aware of what took place. In essence, we can reduce the talkiness of this scene by having her react the way any of us would.

Obviously, when Goliath saves her life, it'll have a profound effect, probably on both of them. It's a powerful event. It probably signals a truce, an end to hostility. And their mutual insight might hint at what's to come, but they're a long way from friends yet...or even trusted allies.

Here's where they can start to talk a bit. Get the basics on each other. Since we want the Gargoyles to lead weirdness into the modern world, she doesn't recruit him to fight super-villains, rather she offers to show him the best and worst of his new home. Maybe, she's hoping he'll see for himself it's worth fighting for, or maybe she hasn't thought it out that far. Maybe she plays on his need to get acclimated to his new surroundings. He needs a tour guide in this brave new world, she offers to be that guide. From his point of view, he's had bad luck leaving the castle, which would tend to make him reluctant to take her up on her offer. His agreeing is probably a sign of things to come coupled with the admission that he doesn't know what he's up against in the 20th century. He needs to learn, and learning does appeal to him.

Page 7
Goliath probably can't be goaded into joining her. He knows enough about "puny" humans and their betrayals to WISELY be afraid of what they are capable of. She needs to appeal to his better nature--as above, his curiosity and desire to learn, and perhaps a hidden desire to find (or be reminded of) the good in humans that he once recognized.

Again, we don't need to make the Gargoyles invisible to electronics for them to steal the disks. Make the three sites where the "stolen" disks are being held, three entirely separate locations, each uniquely inaccessible to a normal human. Also, Xavier can claim that these disks were stolen from him during the previous night's attack by the Pack (or whoever). He doesn't want to go to the police, because they'd investigate the site of the theft and the signs of battle that might lead to the Gargoyle's being revealed. Xavier's not making "a proposition", he's "asking" for Goliath's help. Coupled w/Elisa's request, Goliath may be on the verge of softening toward humans again. As you wrote, he'll think about it.

After Goliath leaves, perhaps Xavier talk to a shadowy figure (Demona) about how everything is going according to plan. He's confident that Goliath will come around.

Page 8
I apologize, but I think I led you astray when we discussed how "super-heroey" this universe is. Though we are eventually going to have multiple paranormal characters, we don't want to make their introduction casual, nor their existence commonplace. I like the idea that Xavier is stealing technology in order to power up his operatives or build Scarab Corp robots or both, but I don't think he'd be giving out this or any technology so that "the Crippler", et al, could wander the streets doing as they please. Too wasteful for Xavier.

Is Xavier aware of Goliath's deal w/Elisa? If so, would he want to use it to his advantage, perhaps staging another conflict with the same villain team that attacked the castle? Something to convince Goliath that he must help Xavier recover the disks? [The trick to these villains obviously, is to make them powerful enough to be threatening to Goliath and Company, but missing some necessary ability like flight or stealth, that would have enabled them to liberate the disks for Xavier (something other than the invisible-to-video rule). Their abilities can be enhanced for the climax when Xavier makes use of the stolen info on the three disks.]

Boots on Brooklyn are a bit awkward design-wise. Let's trade Doc Marten's for Ray-Bans or Aviator sunglasses.

It's an interesting question whether or not the teen gargoyles can read, but let's not address it here.

Let's have Bronx chewing up the car interior, instead of stinking it up. He's an omnivore.

Goliath's attitude on the first night that humanity is not worth saving doesn't seem to follow. He's always known, even before the Captain's betrayal, that there were bad humans. He used to think there were also good humans worth saving. Since the Captain, he's lost faith in that. Now that he's met Xavier and Elisa, he's probably regaining his faith, despite himself. The way to bring him back to his prejudices is with an ungrateful victim that he has saved. Some modern day equivalent to the queen or wizard. Humans will never stop fearing, blaming or hating the gargoyles. They don't deserve his assistance. Elisa, as a cop, can actually relate to this. But by example, she's trying to show him not to give up on humanity and it's potential.

Page 9
To cement Goliath's gratitude, it's probably better if Xavier claims to have sought Demona out. Found her for Goliath. This was always part of Xavier and Demona's plan. Although Goliath will be overwhelmed by her reappearance, all the Gargoyles should be very glad to see her. And she, sincerely glad to see them. (She still hopes to turn them to the dark side.)

Again, we don't need non-detectability. Let's put the three disks in three very separate locations in the city. Let's send Goliath and Demona after one. The trio after another, and stick Hudson (much to his annoyance) w/Bronx to go after the third.

The disks must be largely inaccessible. (One in a tower; one in an underground vault, etc.) And they should each be protected by security systems and well-armed human guards. But only a guy like Xavier would create Spiderbots and Wardroids, so let's keep things clean by leaving them out. However, a good complication would be for the disk's real owners to call the police. Elisa, who's been waiting for Goliath to show, takes the call. She confronts Goliath and Demona. It's a horrible moment for everyone. He flies away w/the disk. But after turning it over to Xavier, he insists on going back to talk to Elisa. Demona would be against it. She'd relate Elisa to the Captain. Xavier might start making contingency plans...if Goliath is so honorable that he has to clear his conscience with the authorities, then it may not be so easy to turn him and keep him turned.

The trick is probably not to let Goliath come off as a big dope. It's o.k. that he's been fooled, as long as it's been a convincing con. He's a smart guy.

Page 10
We need to contrast Elisa's responses w/Demona's knee-jerk ones. Elisa could be deeply disappointed. Goliath could try to explain why he did what he did. To Elisa it all sounds fishy, and at any rate, he shouldn't have taken the law into his own hands. That's where he might scoff at human law...and humans, in general. Don't let him get pouty. He's got legitimate gripes. But this disappoints Elisa further. She thought they had connected. Plus, she's been put in an awkward situation. He's a criminal now. Does she arrest him? He takes that decision out of her hands by leaving.

We're not clear on the meaning of Elisa's: "You're blaming humans because you can't face the blame yourself!" What blame?

If we use the Trio in the action-packed disk-raid, then we can cut the Artless Dodger. Again, we don't want to make "paranormals" too commonplace.

It's tough to believe that the Pack (or their replacements) would really think the gargoyles had stolen their money. And it's impossible to believe that Fox would betray her boss by giving away his well-mapped out plans. Xavier's control should be fairly complete. Basically, the multiple changes that these notes have suggested are going to require some major restructuring of the last few pages.

Xavier's "contingency plans" from above could help set the final act in motion. Maybe, he decides to test the gargoyles' loyalty to him once and for all. This is important, because Xavier would not just toss aside valuable "assets" like the Gargoyles, just because they had already accomplished the specific mission he acquired them for or because their talents were now largely redundant. If he thought there was a chance to keep them, he'd go for it. Maybe the loyalty test involves Elisa. That way, we can get that moment when Goliath refuses to betray Elisa. This cements Goliath and Elisa's relationship. Further enrages Demona, etc.

When Goliath fails the loyalty test, Xavier can then decide to destroy Goliath (and probably the other gargoyles as well). He can utilize the disk technology that the gargoyles stole which he has already used to enhance the Pack (or whoever) or build killer robots (or whatever). This personalizes the final battle. They're not saving the city. But themselves.

Page 11
It's unlikely that Xavier would give away his plans just to gloat. He's too smart for that.

We want to reveal Demona's true colors to Goliath and our audience at the same time. The last great shocking secret revealed. Perhaps Goliath discovers the truth after failing the loyalty test. She tries to convince him one last time to change sides. If in the course of the loyalty test, he was physically defeated, this'll be like kicking him when he's down. And then it's Elisa who saves him and helps rally his spirits for the coming final confrontation.

How did Demona stay young for a thousand years?

Given the above, it's hard to see how the trio could refuse to help Goliath.

Page 12
Obviously, we can now lose the army of paranormals. I'll miss Mister Billious the most.

We can probably reduce the talky-nature of the final battle scene by giving Elisa and Goliath a moment of calm before the battle begins. Remember, the key relationship is theirs. She may fear that the betrayals of Xavier and Demona will drive Goliath further into his shell. But she has unwittingly kept her promise. She has shown Goliath that humanity is worth saving, because she has shown Goliath herself. And it's enough, because she's a very special individual who considers herself fairly typical of humanity.

Demona can be armed with "modern" bazooka-laser Kirbyesque weapons to even out the odds in her and Goliath's one-on-one final battle.

Page 13
Xavier's "death" may need to be rethunk. Perhaps Demona, who's been our secret betrayer from the beginning, should "die". (Maybe her weapon explodes?) Xavier, the human villain can be arrested by Elisa. He's not worried though, he'll have the best trial money can buy...or as Elisa counters: "The best cell."

Whew. That's it. Let me know if you have any questions.

cc: Gary Krisel, Bruce Cranston, Paul Lacy


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Memo on "Outfoxed"...

In anticipation of watching "Outfoxed" anyday now, I'm going to go ahead and post the memo I wrote to Cary Bates, after he turned in his outline for that episode, originally titled, "After the Fox".

WEISMAN 11-27-94

Notes on "After the Fox" Outline...

GENERAL
Well, one of the advantages of having you as one of my story editors is that I can be brutally honest. We got some problems here. The main one being that the story doesn't get going in earnest until the last scene of Act Two. We're horribly padded here. Normally, I would give this back to you for a second draft outline, but -- my fault -- I didn't read it in time. So I'll beat it out here.

FOX vs. RENARD
First off, let's make Renard the last name. I know I said it was o.k. to make Renard the first name, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn't want Fox's only connection to the Renard/Fox name to be that it was her father's first name. I don't think she could admit to herself that she was borrowing anything from him. So let's make her given name Janine Renard. He still calls her Janine. She rejects that and has her name legally changed to her nom de guerre: Fox. (Like Cher or Madonna, it's just the one word. Remember, she was a performer.) The "Fox" is the part of herself that she believes in. The irony, of course, is that the name did come from her father.

I don't think Fox consciously hates her father. I don't think she consciously admits to having feelings that could cloud her judgment. There's no vengeance kick here. No line of dialogue where she says she wants to see him suffer or that she only saved his life so she can continue to torture him. That all may be subconsciously true, but if so, she doesn't realize it. Remember, she's Xanatos' perfect mate. Neither her nor her husband get that emotional. They enjoy the game for its own sake. Playing it against her father may give it a special tang, but from her point of view, there's only one reason to do this: Cyberbiotics. She wants it, so she decides to take it. If it wasn't worth having, she wouldn't have bothered.

CYBERBIOTICS
The investor scenario doesn't work. Just because the investors aren't killed, doesn't mean these five terrorized guys are now gonna invest. The damage is done. The stock price will still fall and Cyberbiotics will still belong to Fox by close of business tomorrow.

The solution, I believe, is to change the location. Renard has just rebuilt the CYBERBIOTICS AIR FORTRESS. He's determined to prove that it's safe and effective. It's a corporate icon, like the Good Year Blimp -- and the public does think it's really cool -- but it's still not the smartest investment. It's hybris. Worse... it's Euro-Disney. Renard's had to invest way too much to rebuild it. If it's destroyed so soon after it's reconstruction, Cyberbiotics will be bankrupt and easy prey for Fox. This'll tie in nicely with Goliath's growing sense that he owes Renard a debt. Goliath helped destroy the first Air Fortress. Now, he must save the second one. And if you save the ship, you save the company from Fox.

INTEGRITY: GARGOYLE vs. HUMAN
For once, this should not be an issue. Renard accuses Goliath of not having as much integrity as humans do. But Renard doesn't believe humans have very much integrity -- that's why he's automated his operations -- so we're arguing the wrong premise. Integrity is not the province of either race. Deep down, Goliath may have a vague prejudice that gargoyles are generally more honest than humans, but in his head he knows that his race does not have a monopoly on integrity. Thanks to the events of our pilot, Renard may have a general mistrust of gargoyles, but that's not the point he should be making. Renard firmly believes that integrity is an absolute. You have it. Or you don't. Cut and Dry. Black and White. He's got it. Most humans don't, including Xanatos and his daughter. Machines can be programmed with absolutes. People can't. So he's populating his world with machines. His assumption is that Goliath is no better than Xanatos and that all of the creature's protestations about being duped are nothing more than whining excuses. Will Goliath take responsibility for his actions or won't he? Let's not distract this important theme, with issues of race.

Though I loved the line: "You're gargoyle enough to admit it."

VOGEL
Who is this guy exactly? Security man? Computer programmer? Born-again? Was he hired on a project basis to complete the automation? Is he helping Fox because he knew Renard was going to fire him? Has Vogel automated all of Renard's operations or just the security? If it's just the security, than what are they securing? Why does he repent? Basically, the character is coming across as very vague and contradictory. We have to clean this up.

Let's also make sure we fit Vogel into our theme. He is corrupted by Fox. Ultimately, Renard will use Vogel as another example of why humans cannot be trusted. But Goliath will point out that the cybots were just as corruptible, while incapable of experiencing a change of heart, as Goliath has had.

THE TITLE
"After the Fox"... I don't get it. Am I missing something?

BEAT OUTLINE
ACT ONE
1. Open quietly with FOX at the EYRIE BUILDING. She turns on the evening news. TRAVIS MARSHALL is on the air, reporting from JFK or LaGuardia or wherever. It is the Maiden Voyage of FORTRESS-2, the CYBERBIOTICS airship. Marshall had hoped to get an interview with the reclusive head of Cyberbiotics, HALCYON RENARD, but has to settle for Renard's right-hand man VOGEL. Fox watches all this with some interest.

2. Out at the airfield, Marshall, a tough journalist, questions the wisdom and expense of Fortress-2, particularly since FORTRESS-ONE crashed into the river last year. Vogel counters that the cause of that crash was an act of corporate espionage that was only successful thanks to human error on the part of Fortress-One's crew. Fortress-2 is fully automated, run by patented CYBOTS. Human error is not possible. No humans aboard at all? After this test flight, human scientists will occupy it's laboratories to research new wonders, but there is no human crew, except for Vogel and Mr. Renard, himself. Marshall asks if it's true that Renard has invested all of his personal fortune into Fortress-2, and that if it doesn't perform both he and Cyberbiotics will be ruined. Vogel has no comment on that, and heads inside the ship.

3. We follow Vogel, as he heads for the command center. Everything is automated, and there are little Cybots everywhere. All with very specific functions. No waste. At the command center, Vogel contacts Renard in his private office, elsewhere on board. Cut briefly to a shadowed Renard hovering in his ultra-chair, watching Vogel on a vid-screen. Renard gives permission to launch.

4. Fortress-2 launches. Huge turbines and compressors roar. And GOLIATH and ELISA watch from a nearby roof or hilltop. Goliath claims to be here because he is concerned that XANATOS might attempt to attack this ship, just as he tricked Goliath into attacking the first one. But Elisa probably knows that the air fortress is a symbol of Goliath's own guilt -- a guilt that Goliath has yet to come to terms with. Goliath decides to follow the airship, just to be safe.

5. In the air above Manhattan, a cybot alerts Vogel to their pursuer [Goliath]. Vogel informs Renard. Renard says Vogel knows what to do. (It doesn't hurt if we briefly misdirect the audience into thinking that Renard is a villain.)

6. Goliath glides a short distance behind the airship. Suddenly, flying cybots swarm out of a Fortress-2 hold. There're not very big, and they have very simple attack programming. They fire medium strength stun bolts and they miss more often than they hit. Goliath can swat them away easily. Clearly, these cybots don't seem to be on a par with Xanatos' STEEL CLAN. But if results are what counts, they turn out to be superior. There are just too many of the little things. No matter how many Goliath trashes, there are more coming at him. They hover, which Goliath can't do. And eventually, the stun beams add up. Finally, he gets hit with a barrage of them and passes out. Two larger cybots are waiting to catch him and bring him into the airship. (Let's consistently depict the cybots as mono-functional. Each model capable of doing only one thing.)

7. Inside the airship, Goliath regains consciousness in the brig. The bars on the cell might be bendable for Goliath, but he is forced back by Cybot guards with built-in cattle prods. Vogel is there, and a large metal pneumatic door slides open to finally reveal Halcyon Renard. He floats in on his hover chair. He has silver hair and a very sharp mind -- but he is definitely not "robust and vital".
Renard hovers around Goliath, sizing him up. "So this is what the boys at Gen-U-Tech have been up to. Xanatos must be very proud." Goliath responds that he is neither Gen-U-Tech's creation nor Xanatos'. Renard laughs. Goliath demands to know why he is being held prisoner. "Because if you're my prisoner, than I know you can't destroy Fortress-2 for your master." Goliath: "I have no master." "No? Then why did you do this?" Renard flicks a remote button on his chair, and the walls slide back to reveal a large screen. Another button, and video clips from "Awakening, Parts IV and V" show Goliath's participation in the destruction of Fortress-One. Chastened, Goliath tries to explain that he had been duped by Xanatos: "It wasn't my fault." But Renard doesn't let up: "It's not my fault. It's not my fault. You sound like all my human employees. My former human employees. Crush them all together and you couldn't squeeze an ounce of personal integrity from the lot of them. Don't make excuses, creature! Take responsibility for your actions! Stop whining!"
"I DO NOT WHINE," says Goliath, as he rips the bars off his cell and uses them to smash his cybot guards. But Renard doesn't even flinch. "You don't whine, but you also don't hesitate to destroy more of my personal property." He presses another button, and two stun cannons on his chair blast at Goliath until he is knocked out again.
Vogel apologizes. "All my fault, sir. I'll make sure he can't get out of the next cell." We see that Renard respects Vogel for taking the blame. A cybot informs Vogel that he has an incoming personal call. Renard exits, not wanting to impose on Vogel's privacy.
As Cybots drag the unconscious Goliath away, Vogel turns to a vid-screen and activates it. Reveal Fox on the other end. Is it safe to talk? Mr. Renard always respects my privacy. Is Vogel ready to sabotage Fortress-2? He is if the money's been deposited in his Swiss Bank Account. All taken care of. Vogel: "Then we're ready. And the good news is..." He looks at Goliath. "We've got a perfect candidate to take the blame."

ACT TWO
8. A short time later, Goliath awakens shackled to a wall in a new cell, with MUCH thicker bars, and even more cybot guards. Renard is there in his hover chair, brooding. If only Goliath could make him understand that Xanatos is to blame. But Renard: "Oh, I have no doubt of that. You aren't the first poor soul Xanatos has corrupted. Owen Burnett. Anton Sevarius. They both were Cyberbiotics employees... and they're the least of what that viper has stolen from me. I've no doubt he was behind the attack and no reason to doubt that he tricked you into participating." But if that's so, than why does Renard hold Goliath responsible? "Someone has to. And you obviously don't." It doesn't matter to Renard whose idea it was. It doesn't matter whether Goliath believed he was doing the right thing. Now he knows the truth. What's he going to do about it? Goliath grimly rattles his chains, then says, "I think a better question might be, what are you going to do about it."

9. Xanatos and Fox are working on their Kung Fu at the Eyrie Building. Make a point of showing that they are evenly matched. While they fight, they talk casually. Xanatos: "Weren't you mounting a hostile take-over of Cyberbiotics today? Your not having second thoughts about taking it from old man Renard?" Before she can answer, OWEN enters to alert Fox of a phone call from her physician. When Xanatos looks concern, she misinterprets and tells him not to worry: Cyberbiotics will be hers before morning. And as she says hello into the phone, we cut...

10. In the command center, Vogel instructs a random cybot to shut down for repairs. When it does, he opens it up and installs a chip into it's programming matrix. Then he reactivates the cybot, but when it turns on, an arc of electricity flashes around it, briefly. Vogel taps it on the head. Off you go.

11. Goliath and Renard are still talking practical philosophy. Renard has been brooding over the question of what to do with Goliath. He's trying to decide what the honorable thing would be. He'll probably just turn him over to the authorities. Goliath is aghast. "Look at me, human. Is that an equitable punishment? Was my crime against you heinous enough to justify turning me into a laboratory specimen?" Renard smiles. "Well, we're making progress. You've finally acknowledged that you committed a crime."

12. Elsewhere on the ship, the first cybot that Vogel infected passes another cybot. The same arc of electricity shoots out of the second 'bot. Then both 'bots move off and infect two more...and so on... and so on... and so on...
On Vogel's read-out screen, the percentage of cybots infected keeps rising. 13%... 27%... 32%...

13. Goliath eyes Renard. Almost despite himself, Goliath is beginning to regard the man with a grudging respect. "All right. I've admitted I was wrong. No more excuses. Now what?" But Renard doesn't have any easy answers for him. "Integrity is not easy. It is a daily struggle. A costly struggle. If you only knew what it cost me. My Anastasia. My Janine." Goliath lowers his head, "...my angel..." Renard looks at him closely. "So you do know." Goliath speaks slowly: "I know I owe you a great debt for what I did a year ago. And a greater debt for the education I received tonight. If the text was not new to me, it was at least... worth revisiting."
Now during this entire conversation, a cybot enters and approaches a guard cybot by the door. The guard cybot is infected, and approaches the other cybot by the door and infects it. Neither Goliath nor Renard notice until the cybots flanking Goliath's cell are infected and the arcing electricity catches the attention of both.

14. On Vogel's screen the percentage goes up from 99% to 100%, and "Right on cue" he gets a vid-call from Renard. He affects panic. Somehow that creature in the brig has infected every cybot on board with a computer virus. Renard says, "Nonsense. I've been sitting here talking with him the whole time." Vogel doesn't know how Goliath did it. But the Cybots are not responding to commands. They've set Fortress-2 on a collision course with the CYBERBIOTICS TOWER. They must abandon ship and activate the emergency self-destruct mechanism or both installations will be destroyed, and Cyberbiotics will be history. Renard is beside himself: If Fortress-2 is destroyed than Cyberbiotics is ruined anyway. Vogel shakes his head, flips a switch and a 10 minute time counter appears on the vid-screen. "I'm sorry, sir. You can place the blame on me if you must, but now we have no choice. At our present rate of speed we will hit the tower in ten minutes. You have nine minutes to meet me at the escape pod. After that I will jettison, and use my access code to destroy Fortress-2."

ACT THREE
15. Goliath offers to help Renard try to save the ship. Renard is so furious, he's half ready to believe that Goliath was responsible. But Goliath knows that Renard doesn't really believe that. Goliath helped destroy Fortress-One. "Let me help to save Fortress-2." Renard agrees and presses a button on his chair which releases Goliath. The Cybot guards interpret this as an escape attempt. Renard cannot override them. But between Goliath and Renard's hover-chair, they manage to destroy the cybot guards. They leave the brig. The seconds tick away.

16. Vogel monitors them from the comfortable escape pod. He can't believe the old fool is going to try to save the ship. Why doesn't he just admit defeat and head for the escape pod? Vogel's made sure that route is clear of cybots. He'll just have to discourage anymore heroics. He orders all the cybots to kill the creature and drive Renard toward the pod. (Note: he does NOT want to kill Renard.)

17. Now every cybot on the ship is against Goliath and Renard. The little flying ones that knocked Goliath out in the first place. The big ones that carried him inside. More cattle-prod guard 'bots. Zippy little messenger 'bots. Maintenance 'bots. All of them. The good news is that in the airship's small corridors, there are only so many that can go at our heroes at once. But the situation is intolerable. They can't destroy the 'bots one at a time. They need to cut off power to all the cybots at once. And it's possible. There's a power station at the center of the ship that transmits power to all the cybots. But if they destroy that then they destroy the cybots that pilot the ship. There won't be time to get to the power station, shut it off and then go to the bridge. They have to split up. And time is ticking away. And the Tower gets closer and closer.

18. Intercut between Goliath fighting his way to the power station; Renard fighting his way to the bridge, and Vogel getting very nervous in the escape pod. [Turns out that even Vogel didn't know how much the old guy had grown on him. Destroying his empire is one thing. But Vogel is no killer. He doesn't want Renard's death on his conscience. And/or he had explicit instructions from Fox that Renard not be killed.] And time is ticking away. And the Tower gets closer and closer.

19. Goliath gets to the power station and destroys it. All the 'bots shut down. But time is ticking away. And the Tower gets closer and closer.

20. With the cybots down, Renard is able to zoom the rest of the way to the bridge quickly. He puts Fortress-2 on manual override, but time has passed the nine minute mark. The tower looms right in front of him and navigation and the helm are located on two different consoles. At the last second, Vogel appears and between the two of them, they are able to turn the ship away from the tower and save it.

21. Aftermath between Renard and Goliath. At first, Renard is bitter. Vogel has confessed his betrayal. Further proof that the human species is devoid of integrity. But Goliath disagrees. Vogel's example hardly proves the wisdom of putting one's trust in single-minded automatons. Automatons are tools. They know nothing of honor or betrayal. They do what they are programmed to do. But a living being knows nothing of programming. A living being must choose. And, ultimately, Vogel chose honor.
Renard lets all that sink in. He's got a lot to think about, but one thing he knows is that Goliath has paid his debt. A ship for a ship. Renard: "We are even." But Goliath: "No... We are friends."

22. Goliath soars off into the night. And he doesn't notice a small hang-glider land on the now defenseless airship behind him. The newcomer abandons the glider and tosses a cloudy ball against the metal hull. The ball shatters and a corrosive substance is released that quickly burns a hole in the hull. The stranger enters the airship, and as she does, we finally get a look at her. It is Fox.

23. Back in Renard's office. He sits in his chair. Quietly. Fox enters behind him, and for a moment we think she's there as an assassin. But he seems to be expecting her. "Hello, Janine," he says. "Hello, Daddy," she replies. "I almost got you that time." "Yes, but why? I built this company for you. I'd have given it to you by now if you hadn't married that villain Xanatos. I'd still probably give it to you if you just stood up and asked me for it honestly." "Oh, Daddy. You and your integrity. Asking for it wouldn't be any fun at all." Renard: "And fun is more important to you than honor. I can't understand that." Fox: "Well, maybe you'll have better luck with the next generation." Renard: "What?" Fox: "That's right, Daddy. You're going to be a grandfather."
FADE OUT.


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Back at work on the pilot...

Our second Garg writer, Eric Luke turned in his first draft on our pilot outline. This memo was my response.

What you may be able to see here is that the structure of the story was beginning to come together in my mind. (If not Eric's.) The brief prologue. Xavier's [Xantos'] motivations, etc.

To: Eric Luke Date: 5-17-93

From: Greg Weisman Ext: 818)754-7436

Subject: Notes on GARGOYLE Outline

Hi. A few major notes for the rewrite, before we get to the page-by-page stuff. First, we really believe we need to focus most of our attention on the Goliath-Elisa relationship. Really give it an arc and a progression. Elisa is intuitive, but she's only human, and when she first sees a monster, she has to be freaked out by it. Even after they stop perceiving each other as potential threats (and we don't think this can all happen in one scene), there needs to be an uneasiness at first. And then, a growing friendship that is the focus of our tele-film. They need obstacles to overcome, not all of which are plot-driven. Again, this is the most important relationship in our story. We must explore it, not just establish it.

The second major note is more plot-oriented. We believe that Xavier needs a more specific plan and motivation. The desire for human chaos and anarchy might sound good to Demona, but for Xavier it seems counterproductive. What good is all his current wealth if the world economic system crashes? What good his bribed officials if the government collapses? And anyway, how would the escalation of gang wars and crime really activate all this? Xavier is basically an acquisitive guy. He sees something. He wants it. If he can buy it or possess it legally, he probably will, because it's safer and easier. If he can't, he'll find a way to take it. This "it" could be an object of art or a huge cash reserve or power or some kind of weapon...the list is endless. If he can perceive it, he'll want it and go for it. A specific plan, visual and exciting, ala Goldfinger or something, would probably serve us well. Part and parcel of this should be a specific need for Goliath and the rest of the gargoyles. Having Goliath run an errand that any messenger could handle isn't effective enough. Xavier should have some larger purpose in mind for our heroes.

We don't think we can get too far into our story and still have our full flashback. Perhaps we could have just an extremely brief prologue in the present, where Elisa discovers the claw marks or somesuch, before segueing back to the tenth century. Our prologue is too short to reveal anything beyond the fact that something mysterious is going on in the present...something that we'll come back to. We don't even reveal the castle atop the skyscraper. We just spend enough time for Elisa to ask the question: "What could have caused this?" and then we fade back 1000 years. (Of course, this transition is tricky too, but we think it accomplishes our goals more smoothly.) We end our backstory and flash forward to the twentieth century with Xavier buying the castle and ordering it's transportation to Manhattan. Since we've in essence told the story chronologically, we can now have fun with the Gargoyles awakening in the modern world. Reveal the castle in the clouds. See their first reactions. They're first meeting w/Xavier, and how he comes across. From the audience's point of view, Elisa's search (activated in our prologue) is an open (i.e. Columbo-style) mystery. They know that she's gonna discover the gargoyles. The fun is how.

PAGE NOTES
Page 1 - Remember, Elisa is a plain clothes detective. She doesn't need a uniform.

Is the "promotional ladder" really an issue with her? It doesn't seem to pay off.

Do we want a crooked Captain McCoy? That didn't really pay off either. If he is crooked, how should he act on the surface? If we decide to make him honest, what should he be like?

Page 2 - Remember, Goliath is not stone at night. Though he's got tough hide-like skin, he's flesh and blood.

We need to avoid talky scenes, between Elisa and Felix, between Elisa and Goliath, etc.

Also, the mystery should last longer than it does. Perhaps we can build up Elisa's investigation. Perhaps she's been investigating Xavier for weeks. (Maybe she's undercover in his organization.) Or perhaps she's been investigating, Gargoyle related stuff for weeks...(really a clue that Demona's been around for longer than she claims.) There are a lot of options.

Is Goliath really afraid of the police? Does he even understand their significance?

Let's not make Elisa too perfect. Her initial reaction to Goliath should be one of real fear. And we need to discover what changes that for her. Does he save her life or do some other admirable thing?

Page 3 - Keep in mind that in the 10th century, Gargoyles are not considered a myth...just rare. With a lot of phony gargoyle statues placed on castle walls, to scare off attackers.

Remember that Brooklyn, Lex and Broadway are teens, not kids.

The flower picking bit didn't go over too well here.

Page 6 - Why have the trio been reluctant to explore the city up to this point?

The generic crimes that Goliath and Elisa fight on night one should probably wind up being clues, part of the puzzle toward Xavier and Demona's master plan.

Page 7 - Again, we have to track Elisa and Goliath's relationship clearly. Particularly Goliath's mindset. He thinks humanity's past saving? Does he include her at this point? Does he feel "some excitement" or is he "dejected"? He's basically territorial; how did Elisa convince him to help protect more than the castle in the first place? When he rediscovers Demona, is he fooling himself about how good the good old days were?

Is this all Xavier needed him for?

Page 8 - We're concerned that the rock band stuff might be a bit hokey, not visually fun enough. Particularly, without real rock music. Also, have the gargoyles found a use for money?

How does Elisa feel about Demona? What is the state of Elisa and Goliath's relationship at this point?

Is "electronic detective work" exciting visually? Would computer bank accounts literally list "The Raven" as depositor?

Why does Xavier send his Wardroids to attack Goliath at this point in the story?

Page 9 - How does Elisa find out about the weapons shipment? Does she suspect McCoy?

Do we want to reveal Demona's betrayal here, or do we want the audience to find out at the same time as Goliath? Our last surprise.

How did Demona survive into the present?

Page 10 - Where does this scene between Goliath and Elisa take place?

What changes Goliath's attitude?

Page 11 - A lot of talking is theoretically going on during an extended fight scene.

What does Goliath admire about humanity? How is he different from other Gargoyles, particularly Demona? Is there anything in humans that he aspires to? Does he shift from being instinctually territorial and protective of a specific location to being protective of humans (and gargoyles) in general?

cc: Gary Krisel, Bruce Cranston, Paul Lacy


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"High Noon" story memo.

Late 1994. Writer Lydia Marano and Story Editor Brynne Chandler Reaves had turned in an outline entitled "Thieves in the Night". This memo and beat outline was my response to their work.

And before you ask... I have no memory of "the Zompanos". Perhaps a pre-cursor to the Sopranos? :)

WEISMAN 11-16-94

Notes on "Thieves in the Night" Outline...

GENERAL
The main problem for me here is the first act. From a plotting standpoint, everything with the Zompanos is largely immaterial to what follows. As with the outline for "The Mirror", the action of this story only begins at the end of Act One, when Mac and Demona stage their first attempt to steal stuff. We have to move that event up to the beginning of the act.

FOCUS ON COLDSTONE
Let's fool the audience into thinking he is the focus of the whole thing. It's a Coldstone story that turns out to be the set-up for something more dangerous. (Avalon.) To accomplish this, let's misdirect even more than we are.

MATT
I've basically cut Matt out of this story. I didn't like doing it, because I thought you gave him and Elisa a lot of nice character stuff. I even added some stuff to what you had done -- stuff that I also wound up cutting. The story was just too crowded and unwieldy with him there. (And thematically, the Elisa/Matt arc was just slightly off point.) Every time I worked on a scene, Matt got in the way. I wouldn't mind revealing just a little to him here, but there didn't seem to be any way to reveal "just a little". (Matt's not the type to just let things go or to settle for a partial explanation. And he's certainly shown a willingness to stick close to Elisa even when she's made it clear he's not welcome.)

I also would not be opposed to revealing the whole truth to Matt, but this story seemed to be too complicated to reveal just the simple truth about Goliath and company. We'd also have to tell him about Macbeth, Coldstone and maybe even Demona. It was just too much. But don't lose track of these ideas for Matt. We'll get to them all eventually.

THEME: HIGH NOON
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing." Or put another way, "You can't crawl into a hole, no matter how nice the hole is, while others suffer." Obviously, this is Othello's arc to a tee.

I'm also giving it to Elisa. And since this is a lesson that Elisa really has already internalized 100%, I'm putting her through the wringer, so that in her exhaustion, she can have a moment of weakness, a crisis point where she can consciously reaffirm her belief. It's high noon, she tells herself. Is she gonna fight the good fight or not?

To a lesser extent, Goliath and the gargoyles reaffirm this belief every time they knowingly walk into a trap. Because the only alternative -- to do nothing -- is unacceptable to them.

CLOCK TOWER
We can't destroy the clock tower or even "all but destroy" it without attracting considerable attention from the precinct full of cops downstairs. A thunderstorm can cover a lot of noise, I suppose, but not extensive damage or explosions that might shake the building.

BACKSTORY
I don't want to count on the fact that our audience will have seen either "City of Stone, Part Four", "Legion" or "The Mirror". I don't want to be ham-fisted in our exposition, but I do want to make sure that we find a way to reveal that when we last saw Demona and Macbeth, they were in the custody of the Weird Sisters. Also that Coldstone has three personalities due to the fact that he was created from pieces of three separate gargoyles. And finally, that thanks to Puck's spell, Demona is now human during the day -- a situation which pissed her off at first, until she discovered the benefits of it.

COLDSTONE'S HEAD
The "tentacle vines" and the "vortex" were all the result of the computer virus. I think we can assume by this time that the virus has wiped out all programming, including itself. All that is left inside is the personality of the three gargoyles and whatever fantasy they create inside their mutual mind.

SHARED PAIN
Don't forget that Macbeth and Demona feel each other's pain. And also, as you had it in the outline, that they each share the opinion that the other is a royal pain.

BEAT OUTLINE
ACT ONE
1. Prologue: Coldstone's Mind. Othello and Desdemona enjoy an idyllic life in a virtual reality fantasy world that they've created. Electricity water-falls. A circuit-shaped moon. Whatever. They know it's not real, but it's close enough. They are together.
They are also aware of Iago's presence hovering darkly on the outskirts of their paradise, but he no longer has the power to come between them. They are content to let him hover.

2. Clock Tower -- Shortly before Dawn. Elisa has just ended a long night's shift and is stopping upstairs (via the broom closet) to see Goliath & co. before she heads home for some much needed sleep. Brooklyn is helping Hudson and Broadway with their reading lessons. Lexington is off in a corner working on Coldstone. Lex has opened up a metal plate on Coldstone, to get access to the circuits inside. He's hooked his laptop up to it and is checking things out. Goliath asks: is there any real hope of bringing him (her, them) back? As far as Lex can figure, the computer virus that attacked Coldstone has wiped its programming clean. Nothing's functioning, but nothing's broken. It's a blank slate. Even the virus is gone. After it finished attacking Coldstone's programming, it devoured itself. But none of that should have affected the souls of the three gargoyles that were used to create Coldstone. They were put there by magic, not programming. They've got to be in there somewhere. If Lex could devise a simple operating program, they might wake up. Well, he'll work on it some more tomorrow night. The gargoyles take their places. Sun rises. They get stoned.

3. Police Precinct -- Minutes later. Elisa's heading out the door, saying good-bye to Officer Morgan, who's also heading home. Coming in, is a uniformed female cop with red hair, pushing a felon who's got his cap pulled low over his eyes and his hands handcuffed in front of him. [Obviously, this is the human Demona and Macbeth.] Elisa pauses, and watches them head into the building and out of view. They both looked vaguely familiar, but she can't place either of them. Does Morgan know them? No, but the cop is obviously a rookie. Why else would she have cuffed the guy with his hands in front of him? Especially a guy that big.
Yeah, someone should tell her. Elisa heads back in. She spots them heading up the stairs. Sees them going around a corner. Always a step behind. Finally she sees them head into the broom closet. Horrified by what that might mean, she draws her gun, and follows them up into the clock tower.

4. Despite her precautions, she is ultimately jumped by the "felon" and the "cop". There's a struggle. And Elisa recognizes Macbeth, just before she is stunned into unconsciousness by Macbeth's lightning gun. Sweet dreams, he says. And the screen goes black.

5. Inside Macbeth's Airship - Twenty minutes later. Macbeth and the "cop" are flying along. The "cop" is angry that Macbeth wouldn't let her kill the gargoyles and especially Elisa, once and for all. Macbeth won't apologize for having a code of honor. But he's in a good mood. Their stolen cargo is safely stowed away in back, plus they got away without anybody else spotting them. "So lighten up... Demona!"

6. Clock Tower - Several hours later. Elisa comes to. She feels lousy, but she's basically all right. How long was she out? She checks her watch. Wow, most of the day. She looks around. Coldstone is gone!! Obviously taken by Macbeth and that woman. But how did they get him out of here in broad daylight? They couldn't just walk him out the door or even fly Macbeth's airship in to pick them all up without somebody noticing. Still, how they succeeded in doing it isn't as important as the fact that they did. She slumps into Hudson's recliner. "Might as well stop talking to myself and wait. It'll be sunset soon."

7. Macbeth's Mansion - Just before sundown. Human Demona is waiting for the sun to go down. Macbeth's a bit impatient. He thinks that despite her appearance, Demona's still thinking like a gargoyle. Why wait for night? Put the disk in now. She refuses. Coldstone doesn't know Macbeth, and wouldn't recognize her in her present form.
The sun goes down. Demona changes from a human into a gargoyle. The process is not without some pain. As she catches her breath, she wryly observes that despite an initial distaste for the human form, she's come to appreciate Puck's gift, although the fact that he made the transformation painful was probably his way of keeping her from appreciating it too much.
But, to work. They insert the operating program disk into Coldstone. And we push in hard and fast on Coldstone's eyes!!

8. Inside Coldstone's mind -- Same time. A tunnel of electric light appears before Othello and Desdemona. Des wonders if they should investigate, but before Othello can answer, Iago pushes them aside and glides down the tunnel out of sight. Now Desdemona is convinced they should stop or at least follow him. But Othello talks her out of it. Let him go. We are here and happy and together. What else matters?

9. Macbeth's Mansion -- Right then. Coldstone awakens and Iago is in control. He recognizes his rookery sister. (It doesn't really matter if Demona knows about Coldstone's multiple personality disorder.) She asks him how he feels. He quietly responds: vengeful. Demona and Macbeth smile at each other. They've found a friend.

ACT TWO
10. Clock Tower -- About the same time. The gargoyles woke up and got the gist of Elisa's story while we were at commercial. But everyone has questions. Goliath left Macbeth with the Weird Sisters, how did he escape them? And how did Macbeth know about the clock tower? And who was the human woman with him? Did Elisa recognize her? She seemed really familiar, but Elisa can't quite place her. Well, there's one thing they do know: Macbeth stole Coldstone. They have to get him back. So it's off to Macbeth's mansion. Elisa'd like to go with, but she's supposed to report to work in thirty minutes. Goliath assures her the six of them can handle it. She has an entire city to protect. She's not happy about being left out, but she can see his logic. She heads downstairs, talking to herself again. (Good thing I got that long enforced nap.)

11. Macbeth's Mansion -- A short while later. The place is very quiet. The gargoyles split up to search for Coldstone. Lex with Goliath. Brooklyn and Bronx. Broadway and Hudson.

12. Macbeth's Control Room. -- A bit later. Lex and Goliath break in, prepared to battle Macbeth. He's not there. Lex hits the control panel and soon he's found Coldstone on one of the screens. And what's more, he's found the creature awake and straining against chains that bind him to the floor of the dungeon. It must be a trap, but Lex can't figure out what the trap is. Goliath's all for heading straight down to the dungeon to free Coldstone, but first Lex reminds Goliath of some hard truths. Somehow, Macbeth got Coldstone operational again. That's the good news. But there'll be no way of knowing which of Coldstone's three personalities will be in control. One of the three hates Goliath's guts. Goliath has to be careful.

13. Another area in the mansion -- about the same time. Demona attacks Brooklyn and Bronx. They weren't expecting her at all, and it looks like she's got the upper hand.

14. Another area in the mansion -- about the same time. Broadway and Hudson find Macbeth. This is exactly who they expected to find and they're ready. It's a tough battle, but the good guys win.

15. Same as Scene 13. -- exactly the same time. When Macbeth is taken out by Broadway and Hudson, Demona doubles over in pain. She recovers quickly, but she's lost the upper hand, and Brooklyn is not about to let her get it back. He and Bronx defeat Demona.

16. Dungeon -- a few minutes later. Goliath and Lex approach Coldstone. Coldstone yells a warning: It's a trap!! But from another door, Broadway's voice calls out: "Not anymore!" He and Hudson enter, toting an unconscious Macbeth. But Coldstone still warns them away. Demona is still out there. And from a third door come Brooklyn and Bronx with the unconscious Demona as well. Goliath is surprised. Demona and Macbeth obviously escaped the Weird Sisters together, but who could have predicted they'd team up? They hate each other. But he can't worry about that now. He turns to Lex. Coldstone's warnings would seem to indicate that the right rookery brother is in control. Lex: "It's probably o.k. Just stay on your guard." So Goliath and Broadway help Coldstone break his chains. He greets them all warmly. Then approaches the fallen Macbeth and Demona. He effortlessly lifts them up by their shirt fronts, in a very threatening manner. But then his rocket jets turn on and he hovers a foot above the floor. Before the gargoyles have time to react, he says, "Now." Macbeth, who, like Demona, was only faking, has a small one-button remote control hidden in the palm of his hand. He presses it. The entire floor of the dungeon electrifies and all six gargoyles are knocked out.

17. Coldstone's Brain -- right then. Othello and Desdemona hear the deafening sound of Coldstone's laughter.

ACT THREE
18. Coldstone's Brain, in front of the electric tunnel -- a few seconds later. Obviously, Iago's up to no good. But Othello's being stubborn. Let someone else take up the cause. We have earned this peace.

19. Clock Tower -- Several hours later, just before sunrise. An exhausted Elisa is there (wearing at the very least, a different colored t-shirt, one would hope). She anxiously awaits the return of the Gargoyles. She tells herself that if they're not back by sunrise, she doesn't know what she's going to do. But before she can figure it out, she sees a winged silhouette approaching. She's initially relieved, until seconds later when Demona comes in for a landing. Elisa isn't exactly terrified. After all, the sun's coming up right now: Demona's about to turn to stone. But Demona merely laughs. And then transforms into the human woman that Elisa had seen 24 hours ago. As Demona grimaces from the pain of transformation, Elisa, despite her shock, draws her gun. If Demona's human, then she's subject to human law and under arrest.
But even unarmed, Demona has the upper hand. She, Macbeth and Coldstone have the gargoyles. If Demona doesn't return, the gargoyles won't either. She tells Elisa why she came. Before she kills Goliath, she wants to prove to him once and for all what humans are really like. So she's inviting Elisa to a high noon rendezvous at Belvedere Castle in Central Park. She warns Elisa that her only chance of surviving the encounter is to avoid it. Either Elisa dies or Goliath sees what human loyalty is really worth: either way, it works out fine for Demona, who then calmly takes her leave via the trapdoor. After a defeated beat, Elisa follows.

20. Ext. Precinct house. Elisa gets outside in time to see the Human Demona hail and get into a yellow cab. The cab pulls away, and for a second Elisa starts to follow, but then she says to herself, what's the point. I know where she's going. Officer Morgan exits the building, again on his way home. "We gotta stop meeting like this, Detective," he jokes. She's a bit dazed and just says, "I'm sorry, what?" He looks at her with concern. "You're looking a bit frayed around the edges."
Elisa: "Maybe that's because I haven't gotten any real sleep in the last 40 hours. I'm tired, hungry and, yes, afraid. I could just go home now and go to bed. When I woke up, it would be over for me. The world would suddenly be normal again. No more monsters -- good or bad. Just normal life."
Morgan: "Normal life would be nice."
Elisa: "But it isn't nice enough, Morgan. My life could never be nice enough or normal enough to make up for letting them down now. I can't crawl into a hole by myself and pretend that no one else matters."
Morgan, thinking he's finally getting it: "That's why you put on the badge."
Elisa: "Yeah, that's exactly why. Thanks, Morgan. You've been a big help." And she takes off.
Morgan, still a bit confused: "Sure, detective, anytime."

21. Belvedere Castle -- a few minutes before noon. The gargoyles are there in stone and in chains. Coldstone/Iago, Human Demona and Macbeth are there as well. Coldstone can't get over seeing the sun. He doesn't understand why he didn't turn to stone. Demona explains that he is no longer a gargoyle: day or night, he is Coldstone. Fine. But that doesn't explain how come no one in the park seems to notice their presence. Macbeth answers: "It's enough that they don't. Don't concern yourself with it." The answer satisfies Coldstone for the time being. He's in too good a mood to argue.

22. Inside Coldstone's Brain -- same time. Desdemona isn't sure that she and Othello are doing the right thing. Is this the gargoyle way? Othello tells her they are no longer really gargoyles. But he turns away, when he says it. He can't look her in the eye, cause he knows he's doing the wrong thing. But when he looks at her again, instead of seeing one Desdemona, he sees three. One with Blonde hair, one with Silver hair and one with Black hair. The Weird Sisters doing their thing.

23. Belvedere Castle -- Noon. Elisa arrives. Demona is surprised, but not upset. She lifts her plasma cannon. But Elisa says she's unarmed. Demona doesn't care, but Macbeth gets the message. This doesn't sit well, with his own strange code of honor. What's wrong, Demona? Afraid to face her on an even playing field? Thus Human Demona is goaded into a hand-to-hand match against Elisa. Demona's had a thousand years of warrior training. But not as a human. So it's pretty evenly matched.

24. Coldstone's mind -- Same time. The three Desdemona Weird Sisters confront Othello. Would he really be happy here in this false paradise knowing that he could have stopped all the damage that Iago is doing in the real world. Othello finally admits that he couldn't. The three Desdemona's merge together, leaving the real one there, a bit woozy, but still determined to help Othello fight Iago. They head down the electric tunnel together.

25. Belvedere - Right then. Coldstone/Iago suddenly cries out that he's under attack, then freezes up.

26. Inside Electric Tunnel - Right then. Iago blocks Othello and Desdemona's path. They fight. Desdemona will hold Iago at bay so that Othello can take control of Coldstone and try to repair the damage that Iago has done in the real world. With a last look back, Othello heads toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

27. Belvedere - That second. Coldstone/Othello awakens. Macbeth asks if he is all right. Coldstone simply asks for a moment to access his memory banks. He does. And then he attacks Macbeth. This catches both Macbeth and Demona off-guard and helps give Elisa the upper hand in her battle against Demona. Ultimately, Macbeth is forced to grab Demona and flee. (Maybe he summons his airship?) Coldstone starts to pursue, but Elisa needs him to help her get the chains off the guys, besides there's been enough fighting for one day. Coldstone uses his wrist cannon to snap the hold on all six. When they wake up at sunset, they should be able to shrug the chains off. Elisa asks him to stay. She knows that's what Goliath wants too. But Coldstone knows that Desdemona and Iago are still at war inside of him. The other gargoyles aren't safe from "Coldstone" until that battle is decided. He promises, that if he can, he will return someday. Then he rockets off into the sky. A few seconds later, a jogger jogs by. "Hey, where did those statues come from." Elisa heaves a big sigh. She sits down and leans back against Goliath. "Don't ask me. I'm just taking a nap."

28. Macbeth's Mansion - That night. Macbeth and Gargoyle/Demona are summing up. Demona's pissed that they failed to kill Elisa and the gargoyles, but that wasn't the primary objective. Plus they lost Coldstone, but that was always just a blind anyway. They've got the Grimorum, the Eye and the Portal-to-Avalon-Talisman. They stole all three when they took Coldstone. (They even used a spell from the Grimorum to hide their escape from the clock tower and to keep their fight in the park private.) If they had left Coldstone in the tower and only stolen the magic items, Goliath wouldn't have rested until he got them back. This way, it will be weeks before he notices that they're even gone.
But then they start to question they're own motivations: why did they want these items so badly? How did they know their secret location in the clock tower? For that matter, how did they know that the gargoyles lived at the clock tower at all? And why the heck are they working together when they hate each other's guts?
Just when they're about to murdilize each other, the Weird Sisters step in and put them both into a trance. They just made it under the wire. The "geas" spell on Demona and Macbeth was about to wear off. And of course they had no spell on Coldstone, which was why they wanted him separated from the other two. Besides they don't need Coldstone. Each of the three Sisters picks up one of the magical items. These will do quite nicely in the coming battle.

ONE LAST QUESTION: Given the above changes, does the title still work for you? I'm kind of mixed on it now.


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Chapter XXVI: "High Noon"

Following fast on the heels of City of Stone, here's my ramble on High Noon...

The recap is interesting here. It's all Coldstone oriented. Demona, Macbeth and the Weird Sisters aren't mentioned. Nothing from City of Stone, despite this being a direct sequel to those events. The reason is that the recaps got early criticism on a Disney Afternoon mailing list for giving too much away. We'd show a villain who didn't appear until the end of Act One, thus cueing our audience to expect that villain all along. A valid criticism. So we tried to adjust here. Coldstone's participation wasn't a secret. The episode opens in his "internal cyber-world" and he's shown dormant in the Clock Tower in the very next scene. But when Demona and Macbeth first walk past Elisa and Morgan, we're not supposed to know who they are. So I intentionally kept them out of the recap to preserve that reveal.

The heather Othello gathers has no scent. Why not? Everything in that world, except for the souls of the three gargs was simply a mental construct. Sight, sound, touch. So why not smell? No chemical senses, you might argue. But why no chemical senses? Why touch and not taste? I think that the lack of smell was an unconscious or subconscious boundary that Desdemona did not want to cross. Something to remind her that this world is not real. For all we know, Othello and Iago could smell whatever they imagined they could smell.

I like seeing Hudson and Broadway learning to read. We cheated a bit. I'm not sure they could have progressed as fast as they did in the short time since "Lighthouse". But we took that liberty to show that they had been working assiduously at it.

I have mixed feelings about Hudson's "Why would she want to 'hit a sack'?" line. On the one hand, I'm not sure we ever did enough of this. Playing with the contrasts in language and expression between their world and ours. On the other hand, it just seemed a bit late in the game for Hudson not to have heard this one already. (And for that matter, I have no idea when that particular phrase originated. For all I know they've been hitting the sack since the Middle Ages.)

Elisa makes a point of saying that she's "no hero". Just a gal doing a job. But of course, we know that's not true. It's simply how she'd prefer to view herself -- particularly when she's so tired. I tried to use this episode to emphasize that Elisa works the night shift. That she gets off work just before sunrise. Starts work just after sunset. (I actually imagine that she works a four day ten hour shift, plus mucho overtime.) Sometimes it seemed like the fans had forgotten that. I got a lot of questions back then like: "She works during the day and hangs with the gargoyles at night. When does she sleep?"

Morgan has a real nice role in this one. Keith is great as Morgan. So distinctive from Goliath in a part that was a mere throwaway in Awakening, Part One. Morgan and Elisa's easy rapor in this episode and Avalon One is what gave me the idea that he might someday ask her out (on that 2nd Halloween episode I've mentioned a few times). And the notion of a Keith-Salli-Keith triangle tickled me a bit.

Enter Macbeth as a perp with a human Demona dressed as a cop. (Always nice to show our characters in different costumes on occasion.) I'm curious how many people IMMEDIATELY recognized Demona as herself? After all, you'd only gotten a BRIEF glimpse of her human form in "The Mirror". And we hadn't shown it at all in "Vows" or "City of Stone". In fact, City of Stone began what we then called our Third Tier of stories. (Tier One was the first season. Tier Two was the first eight episodes of the second season: Leader, Legion, Metamorphosis, Lighthouse, Silver Falcon, Mirror, Eye of the Beholder, Vows.) And of course, City of Stone was transitional, so one could argue that Tier Three was beginning here with High Noon. Anyway, Demona's in atypical dress and species. Who knew it was her?

And once you did know, what were you thinking? The gargoyles have the same questions, I'd imagine. Last they (and you) saw, Mac and Demona hated each other, and had been taken away by the seemingly benevolent Weird Sisters. What was going through your heads about all this? Did you wonder at the seeming inconsistencies, like their knowledge of the Clock Tower? Their ability to get Coldstone out of the tower in daylight, unseen?

When my son Ben saw Demona, he thought it was one of the "triplets", which is what he calls the Weird Sisters. (They've fast become his favorite characters.) When I pointed out that she had red hair and not white, yellow or black, he was resistent to giving up on the idea that they weren't going to appear. (I was glad they eventually did. And now I wonder what he's going to think about the next seven episodes in which they do NOT appear.)

Throughout this, we cheat a bit on Elisa's exhaustion. We knock her out, but keep her tired. The subtle differences between various means of being unconscious and their effects on how tired one is confuse me.

I love Mac and D's exchange...
Mac: "You're still thinking like a gargoyle."
D: "I am a gargoyle." And don't you forget it.

Again, back in those days I just thought the audience would get revved up merely because we were teaming up THREE of our major villains. Macbeth, Demona and the villainous side of Coldstone. In Batman or Superman that would be a BIG EVENT. A huge threat to the hero. Did it have that effect on you guys? I feel vaguely that in a strange way, it did not. That our villains were so complex, that for once they backfired on us. That it wasn't viewed as, "Wow, our heroes have barely survived an encounter with one of those guys, how will they handle three?" Rather, the conflict was less interesting than the machinations and personalities. Am I being clear? Your thoughts?

This episode had some truly gorgeous animation in it. And the transformation scenes are both very cool. The Pain Link plays well here, though occasionally seems more geared to comedy than drama for some reason. The theme of gifts coming with a price... particularly the gifts of tricksters is emphasized in this scene.

Meanwhile Othello is desperately trying to remain an ostrich with his head in the sand. A position that on at least one level, Elisa 'believes' she'd like to take as well. With Othello, I think it's a real possibility that he will never act. With Elisa, I don't think we believe it for a moment. That's part of the reason they're both in there. To make sure that the theme of "Standing Up" is emphasized. Which brings us to the title, "HIGH NOON". That was one of mine, I believe. And I stole it right from the Gary Cooper movie. Sure we'd have a battle at High Noon. Because this was Elisa's story, not the gargoyles. Because the gargoyles would be asleep and vulnerable. But also because it was that kind of archetypal the-hero-stands-alone western battle.

You may notice that Xander Berkeley (the voice of Iago) does not appear in this episode. Because Iago has no lines when he's not in control of the Coldstone body. Again, I'm always so impressed with what a great job Michael Dorn does contrasting the Othello and Iago personalities without actually changing his voice.

I like Elisa's line when Brooklyn asks her if she recognized the woman with Macbeth. "She seemed familiar." Think about this for a second. If this was real life and not a cartoon, do you think you'd recognize Demona in Dominique? And yet I completely buy that Elisa recognized something in there. There's a strange nega-intimacy between Elisa and Demona. (Which is one of the sick reasons why I created Delilah, later.)

Goliath and Elisa engage in a little dueling patronizing here. Elisa has to go back on shift, so can't accompany the 'goyles to Mac's place. Goliath is pretty smug when he says the six of them can handle it. (The smugness, I hope, is undercut when he follows it up by saying, "You have a whole city to protect." Which is how he views it.) Then Elisa talks to them like they're little kids. She wants a full report when they get back. (Who says these two weren't made for each other?)

Lex, who has been and will continue to be very adept at breaking alarm systems, etc., for once admits that it's all too easy.

I like the moment when Goliath taps the camera with his wing. A nice little touch. And very well animated.

Lex is always the voice of warning in regards to Coldstone. This is important. Goliath listens to Lex this time. And Lex is fooled when Coldstone reveals Demona's involvement, seemingly before they know Demona is involved. I thought that was very clever on the villains' part.

Bronx smells Demona behind the closet, just as he did behind the tapestry.

I like how the marble bust flies and crashes. Another nice touch in the boarding and animation. Nice weight to the whole Brooklyn-Demona-Bronx fight scene.

I liked staging the Macbeth, Husdon, Broadway fight in a library. Felt like a thematic rematch from "Lighthouse".

The pain link here is a BIT of a cheat. Usually with them in different rooms on different floors, it wouldn't be quite this intense. Maybe the library is directly above whatever room Demona was in.

Lex is sure Coldstone's wrong about Demona. Brooklyn's "Uh, guess again." line is fun.

The entire battle at Macbeth's place is part of a technique I enjoy using on occasion called "Suspended Structure". This is really an Elisa and Othello Story. But we let the gargs carry the action for a period of time, while the true protagonists can't or won't take action. This keeps the story moving, without compromising the inaction of our "leads".

Demona confronts Elisa at the clock tower. The animators get a little carried away here with some of Demona's body language. God knows, it's fun to watch. But would she really do all those sexpot poses? Is that in character?

It is fun to see her hail a taxi though.

Morgan's back. Elisa now looks VERY tired. Again, great work from the animators. It's all in the eyes. Morgan helps Elisa though he thinks she's just talking about normal copwork. It only proves there's really no such thing as a "Normal Life". Morgan certainly doesn't think he has one.

Meanwhile Desdemona's gettin antsy. It's the "in" that the Weird Sisters need. They take over. Unfortunately, here, the animators screwed up. The three Desdemona's were supposed to have silver, gold and raven hair. Instead, in most shots, they just look like three Dessies. Then when they finally do get the hair right, it's just before they merge back into one Desdemona. At which point, the hair color should have been Des'. Instead, I think it's Luna's -- briefly. Oh, well. Anyway, I could have just done this with Desdemona herself. But I wanted to give the audience a hint that the Weird Sisters were still involved. Ben was thrown by the hair. He almost didn't believe these were the triplets.

I like the line: "Even shadows must be true to their shade."

High Noon at Belvedere Castle. Coldstone wonders that he can see the sun. Again, that's me making sure people are clear that Coldstone is RE-ANIMATED STONE, not flesh. I don't think it's visually clear. (Part of the problem being that Othello's coloring is too similar.)

Then Elisa arrives -- counting on Macbeth's honor to keep Demona from shooting her. For that reason, she intentionally doesn't bring her service revolver to the party. Quite the gambit. Elisa also counts on Demona's temper -- and on the fact that Demona is unaccustomed to fighting with reduced human strength. She goads Demona: "I'm here to save him." and "You fight like a rookie." I love, positively LOVE, the former of those two lines. Elisa is a hero in her own right. Though Goliath has rescued her on occasion, I felt we did a pretty good job of always evening the score. She's no damsel in distress.

Mac & Coldstone: "This is diverting." "You have no idea." (Quotations approximate.) I like that. A tip of the hat to my being a guy, if you will.

We cheat a bit here on the pain link too. One could argue that Mac IS feeling the pain. But he's ready for it and covering. He does seem to be grimacing a bit when he says, "You have no idea." But still, I think we cheated.

I love the animation on the Othello, Desdemona, Iago fight.

Battle over, Coldstone leaves. Sends himself into exile. This is the gargoyle way.

And hey, our jogger is back. Again wondering where all these statues are coming from. That's just fun continuity for me. And Elisa: "Don't ask me. I'm just taking a nap."

And then the whole final scene between Mac and D and the sisters is so much fun. I love the sense of the fog lifting from their eyes. "What Primary Objective?" "Why are we working together?"

And I'm also proud of the trick. A very Xanatosian tag here. Steal Coldstone to distract the gargs from noticing the thefts of the gate, book and eye.

And how about that reference to "The coming battle..." that the Sisters end the episode on? What did you all think of that at the time?

I'll try to post the High Noon writer's memo tomorrow. (Meant to do it yesterday, but I forgot.) Anyway, Done rambling. You're turn. (Again, I'm interested in both your original and current responses to the episode.)


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Pathetic...

You know once upon a time -- particularly when Cary Bates and I lived in NYC and had no real life outside DC Comics and spent every free moment going to movies -- I used to see over two hundred movies a year. I'm not kidding.

But no longer.

The oscar nominations were announced. And I went down the entire list and realized I've only seen EIGHT of the nominated films. That's 8 out of ALL the films nominated in ANY category.

Gladiator
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Cast Away
Almost Famous
The Grinch
102 Dalmations
Meet the Parents
The Emperor's New Groove

Not that anyone asked, but here's my assesment of the eight. (Obviously, I can't speak to any of the others.)

Gladiator - I was really enjoying this film most of the way through. I never thought it was Oscar callibre, but I liked it --right up until the end. I thought the ending however was so preposterous and awful, it spoiled my enjoyment of the whole film. Blech.

Cast Away - I just thought this was plain awful all the way through. The only section I was interested in was what happened (SPOILERS) after he got off the island. But that was given preposterously short shrift. Double Blech.

Meet the Parents - I disliked this so intensely, I walked out of it partway through. Went to a bookstore while my wife and friend Tuppence finished watching the movie. This is only the second film I've walked out on in my entire life. (Not counting movies I had to leave because of baby-sitting emergencies or bomb threats.) Triple Blech.

102 Dalmations - Oh, how I wish I could have walked out on this. But I was there with my kids. They enjoyed it well enough at the time, but have already forgotten about it. Double Blech.

Now the good news.

Almost Famous - I really enjoyed this one. Very well-acted, well-written. Funny. I didn't LOVE it the way some of the critics did. But I was really surprised it didn't do better at the box office. Smile.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - I really enjoyed this. Structurally, it's a bit odd. But I liked it a lot. Definitely one of the best films I saw this year... but as you can see, that's not saying much. Double Smile.

The Grinch - Another film I took my kids too. I enjoyed this one though. No, it's no classic the way the old Christmas special was. But there's a lot to recommend. And I had fun. Smile.

The Emperor's New Groove - A third film I took my kids too. This was a very pleasant surprise. A straight-forward simple story played for laughs. From the previews, I didn't think I'd like it. But, hey, I liked it a lot. Smile.

Now as for the nominations...

Picture - I have only two to choose from Gladiator and Dragon. Obviously I'd pick Dragon.

Actor - Russell Crowe over Tom Hanks. I liked Crowe's performance. (I just find it hard to believe it was the best performance this year.)

Actress - I saw none of the nominated performances.

Director - Again, I'll pick Ang Lee for Crouching over Ridley Scott for Gladiator.

Supporting Actor - Joaquin Phoenix by default. The only one of the performances I saw. But I thought he was much better in THE YARDS.

Supporting Actress - This is tough. I think I'd pick Frances McDormand over Kate Hudson (both from Almost Famous). But it's close.

Original Screenplay - Cameron Crowe's for Almost Famous over the three guys from Gladiator in a second.

Adapted Screenplay - The three guys from Crouching by default. (I don't think the screenplay was this movie's strong suit.) Does anyone remember if High Fidelity was a 2000 release? I loved that movie and can't believe it wasn't nominated.

Foreign Film - Crouching by default.

Art Direction - I think I will pick Grinch over Gladiator and Crouching.

Cinematography - Crouching over Gladiator.

Costume Design - Crouching over Gladiator, Grinch and 102 Dalmations.

Documentary Feature - I've seen none of these.

Documentary Short - I've seen none of these either.

Film Editing - Almost Famous over Crouching and Gladiator.

Make-up - Grinch by default.

Original Score - Gladiator over Crouching.

Original Song - "My Funny Friend and Me" by Sting and David Hartley from Emperor's Groove over "A Fool in Love" by Randy Newman from Parents and "A Love Before Time" from Crouching.

Animated Short Film - I've seen none of these. Which is odd.

Live Action Short Film - I've seen none of these. Which isn't odd.

Sound - Gladiator over Cast Away.

Sound Editing - I've seen neither of the nominees.

Visual FX - Gladiator by default.

Of course, there's a slim possibility that I'll see a couple more of the nominated films before the award show itself. I'll let you know if my opinions change.

But mostly I reiterate the word I started with. Pathetic.


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Just to be complete...

I apologize for all the repetition of late, but I wanted this "Originial Development File" Archive to be as complete as possible.

Last pitch you saw was the tenth version, designed specifically for Tod McFarlane. Don't know what happened to version 11. But here's version twelve, marked FINAL. Not many changes that I notice. But worth a skim... (And this is the version I show on tape at the Gathering.)

GARGOYLES Pitch Twelfth & Final Pass (Weisman / 4-8-93)

1. Trio of typical stone GARGOYLES.

"These are GARGOYLES. Ugly, stone statues that squat on the roofs of old buildings. But there was a time, one thousand years ago, when gargoyles were real, living creatures. During the day, they slept...frozen in stone."

2. GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER leading attack.

"But when the sun went down, GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER would lead his gargoyle-warriors in defense of the king's castle."

3. Goliath reading in library, sitting on small gargoyles.

"And if there was no battle to be fought, he'd retreat to the library to read and learn, all the while making sure that the other gargoyles stayed out of trouble."

4. HUMANS scorning Goliath.

"For all these efforts, Goliath received no reward, no thanks or even kindness. In fact, the people of the castle treated all gargoyles with nothing but contempt."

5. Goliath, alone in the throneroom.

"Still Goliath could no more stop guarding the castle than breathing the air. It's part of a gargoyle's nature to be territorial, protective. And so for years, he maintained his lonely vigil. Then one night, Goliath was betrayed and lured away from his post."

6. SORCERER curses Goliath and the other gargoyles.

"The castle was overrun and sacked. Goliath and the surviving gargoyles were unfairly blamed. The kingdom's SORCERER laid a curse upon them, and they fell into a stone sleep--that lasted a thousand years."

7. Castle on the skyscraper.

"New York City, 1994. A rich and powerful man has decided there's a better place for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Scotland. He's moved the whole deal--lock, stock and gargoyle--to the top of the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan."

8. Police Detective ELISA CHAVEZ.

"All of which means absolutely nothing to New York City Police Detective, ELISA CHAVEZ. She doesn't care about castles, and she doesn't believe in curses. She's hot on the trail of a major badguy."

9. Goliath observes her ambushed on rooftop by THUGS.

"A trail that leads her right into an ambush. Fortunately, a shadowy figure sees what's happening and decides to help."

10. Reveal THE GARGOYLE, as he dives into fray.

"That shadowy figure is THE GARGOYLE."

11. Goliath battles three thugs.

"Now when you're as strong as Goliath, benchpressing two badguys is easy. And that stone-like hide of his makes him practically invulnerable..."

12. Goliath & Elisa, in moonlight.

"...To everything but Elisa's kindness. She is the first human being who's ever offered him understanding and friendship, hope..."

13. From the skyscraper, Elisa shows Manhattan to Goliath.

"...And a sense of purpose. She introduces him to his new home, Manhattan, and asks for his help in protecting it against modern-day barbarians."

14. HUDSON.

"Fortunately, our hero doesn't have to face those barbarians alone. This is Goliath's old friend HUDSON, a veteran Gargoyle-Warrior. Hudson helps out by keeping an eye on the young Warriors-in-Training..."

15. BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY.

"...BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. (Uh, they picked their own names.)"

16. BRONX, the DOG. (Multiple poses.)

"And then there's BRONX, the angst-ridden Gargoyle-dog. He's not a big fan of adventure."

17. Bronx (two poses) chewing on a fire hydrant and flying.

"He just likes to eat a lot, sleep a lot and make a general mess."

18. Goliath and Elisa on the subway.

"Now, Goliath has wider interests...but it can be hard for a seven-foot medieval monster to squeeze into the modern world."

19. XAVIER.

"Especially with XAVIER around. Rich, powerful and arrogant, Xavier bought the gargoyles' castle. Now he thinks he owns the gargoyles as well."

20. Robot attacks Goliath.

"If something rotten is happening in New York...odds are Xavier's behind it."

21. Goliath battles DEMONA.

"But Goliath's greatest foe is the evil gargoyle DEMONA. Once she and Goliath were friends. But a thousand years ago, it was her betrayal that cost him the castle. Now she's his sworn enemy, and she won't rest until she owns the night..."

22. Stone version of Goliath in daylight.

"And the night is all that matters, because the gargoyles still sleep as stone statues during the day, finding an outdoor ledge just before sunrise and striking a pose that could give you nightmares."

23. Goliath with Elisa and the other Gargoyles.

"But when the sun goes down, they're our only protection against the city's dark terrors."

24. 'GARGOYLES' Logo.

"They are...the GARGOYLES."

25. KID at Disneyland.

"Joining the Disney Family in 1994."


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NEW WRITER ON PILOT

After trying for a couple months, we went our seperate ways with our first writer. (Hopefully parting on good terms.)

Writer #2 was Eric Luke, another very talented guy. This document is largely a rehashing of what had already been done to that point, collated together for Eric's benefit as he started work on the pilot.

GARGOYLES March, 93
Notes on the opening to the Gargoyle T.V. Movie:

--We want to keep the story largely from Goliath's point of view. His problems. His tragedies. But we don't want him to be a morose character. He's optimistic. He believes that in time humans and gargoyles will learn to get along better. He has a sense of humor. He's heroic not dour.

--Hudson is Goliath's aide and advisor. He is NOT a baby-sitter to the kids. In fact, if Goliath requested him to act as baby-sitter, he'd probably refuse. From Hudson's point of view, Goliath's the gargoyle-master, and the kids are his responsibility.

--Anyway, we'd like to establish the kids independence from the get-go, to help establish them as being more teen-age in nature than real young. They don't need a chaperone. They're cocky and gung ho.

--We also feel strongly that the castle should be home to both the gargoyles and the humans in 994 A.D. We discussed the following back-back-story as rationale:

Long before 994, there was a gargoyle rookery high on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea. Medieval man sought out these rookeries as prime real estate for building their fortresses or castles. For one reason, the cliffside protected there backs, and the only accessible wall was easily manned by archers, etc. Secondly, medieval man knew that the gargoyles were instinctively territorial and protective of the rookery's inhabitants, whether those inhabitants were gargoyles or humans. If the humans of the castle could put up and co-exist with the gargoyles they'd have a built in group of warriors at night. And it was mutually beneficial: the gargoyles received human protection during the day.
Though not as rare in Europe as, say, the giraffe, even then Gargoyles and their rookeries were scarce. A castle-builder who couldn't find one to build on might carve stone gargoyles to fool and thus scare away would-be attackers. (Back then everyone knew about gargoyles.)
But our castle in Scotland was built on a rookery. And the gargoyles and humans have coexisted there for years. But as our story opens, relations are tense. Humanity as a race is taking on airs. To the humans, the gargoyles are uncouth. Grotesque. Ill-mannered. Nocturnal, and therefore noisy at night when humans are trying to sleep. Considered, at best, a necessary evil.

--The following "outline" is only designed to track the opening of the story and lay out the serious, emotional underpinning. It still needs to be injected with fun, humor, exciting action, etc. It comes to a tragic conclusion, but we aren't looking for 20 minutes of depressing tragedy. Obviously, it can be improved upon. Also, most of these scenes can be very quick.

ACT ONE
I. Open with peasants struggling on foot up the hill toward the castle on the promontory. It is minutes from sunset.
A. Intro ROBBY (a peasant boy) and ROBBY'S MOM. She's hurrying her son along (with other peasants) so that they reach the safety of the castle walls before the advancing army of MARAUDERS.
1. They enter the castle. The gates are closed.
B. CAPTAIN of the Guards has all his archers at the ready on the castle battlements. We establish hideous stone gargoyle statues.
C. Outside the castle, just out of arrow range, the Marauding Army waits for sunset. It's a large force.
1. COLE, purely evil leader of the Marauders, is keeping his men in line. (Perhaps violently.)
2. One MARAUDER asks Cole why they wait: "What about the Gargoyles?"
a. Cole tells him that every castle in Scotland claims to have Gargoyles. Most are just statues. Soon it'll be dark. The archers won't be able to pick them off. They'll attack.
D. Darkness falls. Silently, the marauding horde climbs the hill. The Captain tells his men not to waste their arrows.
1. Marauders attack, perhaps with grappling hooks and ropes, their own archers, etc. Perhaps one grappling hook flies toward the largest of the stone gargoyles.
a. GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER, suddenly comes to life, catching the hook. Play up the transformation big time. (Maybe as he awakens, he shatters a thin outer layer of stone, like shedding a new skin every night. Then again, maybe not.)
2. Goliath flies down upon the marauders, closely followed by many GARGOYLE WARRIORS. Fun action.
a. Maybe it looks for a moment as if Goliath has been dragged down by three or four marauders, but soon he's shrugged them off.
3. Prominent among the warriors is [DEMONA] a FEMALE GARGOYLE, that Goliath seems to favor.
4. Intro ELDER Gargoyle [HUDSON], who coaches from the battlements.
5. Also intro TRIO of "teen-age" Gargoyles [BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON, BROADWAY] and their GARGOYLE-DOG [BRONX]. One in particular [Lex] can't wait to be a gargoyle warrior himself.
a. The trio participates in action, but the way they fight brings in humor. More prankish. They make fools of enemy.
E. Gargoyles rout the Marauders who sound the retreat. The battle is over.

II. In throne room, intro the spoiled, beautiful, young QUEEN and her rich, foppish court.
A. Intro semi-dottering old WIZARD. Sweet, but largely ineffectual. Establish that his powers are on the wain. He needs to have his books of spells in front of him to perform any magic.
B. Captain enters with Goliath. They report the victory.
1. Though the Queen is polite on the surface, we can tell she took the victory for granted. We can tell she takes these two for granted. In fact, holds them in contempt.
a. Captain may be a bit of a pig. Tobacco-spitting kinda slob. Queen assumes Goliath's just like him.
b. Queen might also suggest that after this Marauder episode is done with, the Captain will be reporting to LORD FOPWORTH over here. Captain's clearly steamed.
2. Captain and Goliath exit, but before they're out of earshot, they hear the queen make snide, contemptuous comment about Goliath and Gargoyles.
C. Outside the throne room, the Captain and Goliath are joined by the old one [Hudson] and the female [Demona].
1. Captain is really burned up about the way Queen treats Goliath. Wants to know why Goliath puts up with it? Why he stays?
a. Female agrees.
b. Goliath responds on another level. He has the patience to wait for a better day. He sees a lot that's positive about humanity. And he's proud of his own race. Someday, things will get better. Besides, this is his ancestral home. The castle was built on Gargoyle Rookery. Gargoyles are instinctively and atavistically territorial beings. Where would he go?
c. Old Gargoyle is satisfied with answer. He and Goliath walk off.
d. We see that neither the Female nor the Captain find the situation satisfactory.

III. In open courtyard, where peasants are "camped out", we see Gargoyle dog and trio of young 'goyles wreaking havoc. A. They're waking people. Eating food, sloppily. Making a general mess. But not maliciously. They're just having a good time. (This should be a real fun, good time scene.)
1. It looks like fun to Robby the young peasant boy, and he moves to join them.
a. Robby's mom pulls him away. Gargoyles are dangerous and untrustworthy.
b. This really hurts the de facto leader of the trio [Lex]. He decides to live up to the gargoyle reputation and scare them.
c. He succeeds. Robby now believes Gargoyles are bad.
d. Goliath intervenes. Maybe even disciplines. (Though he's not humorless.) It's getting close to sunrise anyway.
2. Gargoyles all move to the battlements and strike a pose. They freeze into stone at daybreak. (We need to really play this up too.)

IV. Daytime in Cole's camp. Marauders are nursing their wounds.
A. Cole is visited by a mysterious shrouded figure who wants to make a deal. (Maybe to misdirect the audience, we will put this stranger in the voluminous robes of the Wizard.)
1. In exchange for a fair share of the profits, stranger promises to secure entry for Cole and his men.
a. And they won't have to worry about Goliath or his Gargoyles.

ACT TWO
V. That night, Captain talks to Goliath, Female Gargoyle and Old One. (Perhaps in front of Queen, as well.)
A. Captain urges Goliath to take all his Gargoyles and chase Cole's army out of the county.
1. Goliath doesn't like the idea. He basically believes in DEFENSE, not OFFENSE.
2. Captain, with some support from Female, argues that the best Defense is a good Offense.
a. Besides, Goliath doesn't have to battle Cole's forces, he just has to put a good scare into them so they'll never come back.
3. Goliath reluctantly agrees, but he's not going to take all the gargoyles with him. He'll go alone.
4. Female takes him aside. It isn't safe. He could never fight off all of Cole's army alone. She's worried about him.
a. But Goliath has no intention of fighting. And he can be plenty scary enough, by himself. (Makes a scary gargoyle face to prove it.)
b. She says, at least, let me go with you for back-up.
c. He claims he needs her (his best warrior) to stay behind at the castle. (But it's clear that truthfully, he doesn't want to put her at needless risk.)
d. To make her feel better, he agrees to take Old One with him, in case something goes wrong. But the rest will maintain their nightly vigil.
5. Goliath and Old One take off after Marauders.
B. Cole gets word from the traitor: there's been a slight change in plans.

VI. Intercut between the following:
A. Goliath and Old Gargoyle follow the tracks of the Marauders by starlight.
1. Goliath is impressed by how fast the army has traveled in one day.
B. Another fun scene with the Trio and their dog, before they are chased off by frightened and annoyed humans.
1. They explore the bowels of the castle and find the ancient caverns of the Gargoyle rookery that the castle was built on.
C. The Captain is giving some odd orders to his night guards. Sending them away from weapons' room. Etc.
1. He is examining their bowstrings, etc.

VII. Goliath and Old Gargoyle catch up with "army", only to discover it is a small band of men running abreast without equipment.
A. Goliath realizes something's definitely wrong. He and the Old One head back to the castle. But it's almost dawn.
B. The sun comes up.
1. Goliath and Old One are frozen, en route back to castle.
2. Trio and Dog are frozen in bowels of castle.
3. Gargoyle warriors are frozen on parapets.
4. Archers take up their stations, unaware that their bows have been sabotaged.
5. The captain (i.e. the traitor) gives the signal for Cole's men to attack.

VIII. Cole and his army attack.
A. Each bowman gets off one shot, before their bowstrings snap. (The Captain had tampered with them.)
1. Soon the castle is overrun.
2. And it doesn't help that the Captain opens the gates as well. This is probably all we see. The rest [in brackets] is just for story-tracking purposes.
[ 3. The battle is short.
B. The castle is sacked.
1. Anything worth anything is taken by the marauders.
2. All the humans including the Queen and the Wizard and Robby and his mom are put in chains and dragged off.
C. Cole's men begin to destroy the stone Gargoyles with maces.
1. Captain tries to stop it. This wasn't part of the deal and isn't necessary anyway.
a. If Marauders leave territory with their slaves and booty, the gargoyles won't follow. It's not in their nature.
2. Cole isn't taking any chances. All the gargoyles are destroyed.
a. Ultimately, the Captain has no choice.]

IX. Fade to sunset. Goliath and Old One awaken and hightail it back to castle.
A. They arrive long after Cole has left. A small fire still burns here and there.
1. The castle has been sacked of all valuables.
2. There are no people.
3. And worst of all, the Gargoyles have all been destroyed, i.e. murdered.
a. They lie in stone rubble all around him. Partial pieces, etc.
b. There is no particular sign of the female; Goliath assumes that she is among the rubble. Big time FURY.

ACT THREE
X. The trio and dog emerge from rookery caverns. (Maybe they were temporarily trapped there by damage done during the battle.) They are torn up by what they find.
A. Goliath and Old One are relieved that someone survived. But that doesn't abate their anger.
1. Together, the six gargoyles fly off to get their revenge.

XI. Cole's army has encamped for the night.
A. We see our Marauder taunt Robby and his mother outside in chains.
B. Inside his tent, Cole and the Captain discuss how much ransom they can get for the Queen.
1. They figure the wizard is probably worthless.
a. Wizard wishes he could just get his hands on his books of magic.
b. Cole taunts him with the books, burning them one by one. (Only one left.)
C. Outside the gargoyles attack. Lots of fun and action here.
1. Gargoyles are way out-numbered.
2. Old one is old. But he picks up a sword and holds his own.
3. Trio and Dog have little fighting experience.
a. Trio leader [Lex] makes use of some of the "scare" techniques that worked on the peasants in act one.
b. [Lex] saves Robby's mother from Marauder.
c. Robby saves him from one too.
4. Goliath is a holy terror. Wading into the hordes. Tossing them aside. Scaring the stuffing out of them.
D. Cole and Captain hear the noise and look outside.
1. Despite the overwhelming odds, the Gargoyles are winning.
2. Captain says they better get out now.
3. Cole dumps the last magic book and grabs the queen.
a. Wizard tries to stop him, but is pushed aside.
b. Cole says he'll never see the queen again.
c. Wizard assumes they're going to kill her.
4. Cole and Captain flee with Queen in tow.
5. Goliath sees them go. Follows alone.
E. Wizard stumbles out of tent with last magic book.
1. Battle is winding down.
a. Freed peasants and guards are now helping gargoyles.
b. Marauders retreat, scatter.
c. Queen is nowhere in sight.
2. Irrational Wizard blames gargoyles for causing the queen's death.
a. Using his spell book, he curses them. [See spell options below.]

XII. Goliath catches up with Captain and Cole.
A. Captain tries to reason with Goliath.
1. Tells him he never meant for Gargoyles to be destroyed.
2. Besides, what does Goliath owe the queen anyway. Now he can return to his rookery and be left in peace.
B. Goliath rejects Captain's excuses.
1. The Captain had taught him to go on offensive. "See what your lessons have wrought." Etc.
C. Goliath defeats (kills?) Cole and Captain.
1. Rescues grateful (and much changed and matured) Queen.

XIII. Goliath and Queen return too late.
A. Though it is still night, the other Gargoyles have been turned to stone.
B. Wizard feels like garbage when he finds out the truth.
1. But he can't undo the spell. Cole burned his other books.
C. Queen says that her people will not return to the cursed castle. They will start a new life/build a new castle elsewhere in the kingdom.
1. She sincerely invites Goliath to join them.
D. Goliath says no. He will return to the rookery.
E. Only gift that Wizard can offer is to cast the same spell on Goliath that he cast on the other gargoyles. (Or perhaps a slight variation.)
1. Goliath agrees to this.

XIV. The stone Gargoyles are perched on the abandoned castle walls by the humans. Robby waves goodbye.
A. One DAY, 1000 years later.
1. XAVIER is looking over his newly purchased ancient castle.
a. "Terrific," he says, "Now move it to Manhattan."

END OF PART ONE

[NOTE: DEMONA's story tracks as well. Like the Captain, she hates to see the way Goliath and the Gargoyles are treated by the spoiled Queen. She and the captain make a deal. They will convince Goliath to temporarily remove the Gargoyles from the castle. Cole will sack it and take away the humans as slaves, leaving the empty castle for Demona, Goliath and the rest of the Gargoyles.
Goliath screws up the plan by refusing to take all the Gargoyles away. Captain says, no problem. He'll sabotage his archers and the attack can take place during the day. He promises to protect the frozen Gargoyles.
Demona agrees, but just before dawn she gets nervous and flies away to hide.
She returns at some point (though Goliath won't see her). She sees the destroyed 'goyles and realizes that Goliath would never forgive that. She flies away to find a new life. Somehow, she will survive into the twentieth century, by which time, three factors will have turned her bitter and evil and eventually make her Goliath's worst enemy. (1) Her largely negative and criminal experiences since she last saw Goliath. (2) Goliath's inability to forgive her, (as much as he might wish he could). (3) Goliath's modern loyalty to humans, particularly Elisa Chavez.
In light of this, we should probably bring her back in the latter half of the telepic. She eventually teams up w/Xavier, raising the stakes, and tying the medieval stuff to the rest of the story. However, though we should plant the clues, we shouldn't give any real indication that she was part of the Captain/Cole conspiracy in Part One. All the revelations about her roll in the betrayal should wait until we see her again in 20th Century.]

SPELL OPTIONS
For initial spell that Wizard casts upon Old One, Trio and Dog in anger...
1) Frozen in stone for 1000 years.
2) Frozen in stone 'til castle rests in the clouds.
3) Frozen in stone so long as this castle stands on this ground.

For spell Wizard casts upon Goliath, as the best he can do for him.
1) Same, or maybe the slight variation of 999 years, giving Goliath a headstart, and an ability to see if it's safe.
2) Same.
3) Same.
4) He will continue his endless cycle of sleeping as stone in day, guarding the castle and his friends at night until either 1), 2) or 3) occurs.

Advantages and Disadvantages to various choices:
The main question, is whether or not Goliath has been awake and alone every night for a thousand years. (Goliath option 4)). If he has, it would allow him to be at least passingly familiar that modern technology exists. I.e. when we get him to NYC and he sees an airplane, he won't think it's a dragon. Plus there's the tragedy of that much loneliness. And the possibility down the road of one or two flashback episodes (Goliath fights in WWII or something). Disadvantages include that it adds a layer of complication to the spell. And maybe we like the idea that he thinks an airplane is a dragon. (Although keep in mind, we can always play those beats with the other 'goyles.)

As to the other gargoyles, the main issue is when do you want them to wake up. If it's not until after the castle is installed at the top of the skyscraper, than option 3) doesn't work. 1000 years makes a nice round number, but is it a stiff coincidence that the 1000 years ends in NYC? Probably no more so than the Castle in the Clouds curse, though the latter may have more ambience.

And again, if we want Goliath awake BEFORE the castle arrives in NYC, i.e. on the boat, than we have to vary the spell with him to some degree or else it won't be possible.

Right now we're leaning toward Goliath Option 4) "the endless cycle" coupled w/ Option 2) "the castle in the clouds". There is some concern that the Wizard casting two spells may be awkward though. So it's still open for discussion.

That's it.


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CONCEPTION

A random bit of information that I thought I'd post while I'm thinking of it. Based on my current research, Alexander Fox Xanatos was conceived sometime between September 6th, 1995 and November 16th, 1995.

This may change, or I may eventually be able to pin it down more. But right now, that's my most current info.


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Chapter XXV: "City of Stone, Part Four"

Time to ramble...

Picking up right where Part Three leaves off, Demona is forced to back off on killing Elisa right away because of Bronx. I really like that scene, mostly for how it illustrates Bronx's level of sophistication. It's not like he understands English, beyond a few simple names and commands. But he understands tone of voice. Something that Demona uses. She talks him down by saying nasty things in a nice tone of voice. He's still suspicious. But as long as her actions and tone don't get hostile, he's content to back off. At one point though, she can't restrain her venom, and he starts to growl again. And she has to regain her composure.

FLASHBACK

Great Choral music during the battle. Carl Johnson and music editor Marc Perlman (both of whom will be attending the Gathering this June in Los Angeles) did a magnificent job with this.

And there's some great fog as well.

It's also nice to see a legitimately joyful Demona, hoisting Macbeth into the air. He laughs, but his mind's on other things, wondering why Bodhe wanted to talk to him without Demona present. Perhaps he's feeling guilty. Perhaps she picks up on that, which is why she eavesdrops.

A tragedy of bad timing: My sense is that Macbeth is about to read Bodhe the riot act, when Luach interrupts. Mac essentially agrees with Luach, but not with his manner. He takes JUST the wrong moment to teach him a lesson about being a good king. Luach reacts badly and storms out. And it is Luach's behavior that Macbeth is considering when Demona leaves. Two seconds later, I'm quite sure the conversation went like this:

Bodhe: "Well, sire?"

Macbeth: "Well, what?"

Bodhe: "The Gargoyles, sire. You must disavow them!"

Macbeth: "Don't be a fool." etc.

The siege is pretty cool too. (Though you'd think boulders dropped from the battlements would be a touch more effective.)

Mac rescues Gruoch. Even at this age, I still think they're a sexy couple.

I like the scene where Canmore removes his Hunter's Mask. Like Gille before him with Demona, he's truly annoyed when Mac doesn't immediately recognize him.

"Never would I have done so! We have been allies for thirty-seven years!!" Demona ain't a great judge of character.

Luach and Bodhe show up. I like this scene too. (O.K., I'm partial. What can I tell you?) Bodhe has an interesting moment. One of two things happens here. Either he's pleased to finally have one of his own blood (i.e. his grandson) installed as King or the death of Macbeth has finally awakened the hero inside him. Or both. For once, I tend to give Bodhe the benefit of the doubt. I think, at this late date, he's finally come into his own. I like to think he died a good warrior's death at Luach's side.

Demona wakes up. She claims not to believe Gruoch's admonishment, but NOTE, she does not kill Gruoch. Underneath it all, she knows that Gruoch is right and feels chastened.

Macbeth wakes up. Here we have our final scene on Lunfanan Hill. It parallels the previous break-up of Mac and Gru. That time Mac sent her away, but he loved her still. This time she sends him away. She loves him too. But this parting is permanent. Very moving to me. "I will always love you." And because of that, he must leave her. But we know he hasn't forgotten her even into the present. Her loss informs what follows.

Back to the present. Over episodes two and three, things in the present have been progressing very slowly. Now the present takes center stage.

Demona echoes what I'm sure by this time we were all thinking: "Take off that mask. You aren't fooling anyone... Macbeth." And he explains that he wears it as a symbol of her betrayal. (And for a psychological edge, no doubt.)

Meanwhile, we have that semi-feeble exchange between Goliath and Xanatos in the air. Feeble (a) because in one little scenelet, the mouth on Xanatos' armor is moving like it had lips; and (b) because the whole tapestry thing was a fairly forced way to get X and Goliath back to the castle.

I like Demona's line: "Let's not start that again. You blame me. I blame you..." etc. It's a very rational Xanatosian moment for her. But that rationality is born from the knowledge that she can't kill Macbeth without killing herself. Her usual vengeful attitude is useless. What she doesn't know is how suicidal he is. "Revenge is a dish best served cold. And I have waited 900 years for mine." Hey, leave a dish out for 900 years and it will get pretty cold.

There's always a bit of comedy in the pain-sharing battles of D&M.

When the floor starts to give way, it reminds me of a scene that was WAY better animated in the DuckTales pilot. Where the bricks of gold fall away in a simlilar vein. It's nice here, but it was awesome there.

I also like when Demona has Mac's E-M gun, tosses it and catches it to fire at X and G. Nice little touch.

And Xanatos' truly frightened yet underplayed: "This is bad." when he sees the computer screen.

I like the multiple falls that get us down to the Atrium -- a wonderful setting for the final confrontations.

And Goliath's speech: "...Death never does."

Again we get multiple images of the Sisters throughout this scene. And again, I had to fight for that.

Each Sister gets to take a mental punch to weaken first Macbeth and then Demona. Are they being hypocrites here? One aspect of their persona is, certainly. But there's more going on, some of which I still haven't revealed.

But the key thing in terms of this scene (and the events of AVALON) is that both Mac and Demona need to be mentally weakened for the spells of control that the Sisters are going to use on them in HIGH NOON and AVALON. And M&D need to borderline volunteer to relinquish control over themselves. Macbeth, who has been suicidal, is tired and willing. Demona's tougher. But even she doesn't put up much of a fight. "You tricked me." she says. And certainly they have, but she can't break the grip of three children, and though of course they are not ordinary children, one must wonder if she really wanted to.

Goliath: You have learned nothing.

The sisters (as children) say their cool (and ironic) line: "We have written their stories. They are our responsibility. They are our children." My three year old son Ben says: "I love the triplets."

But theirs is a story for another day.

Xanatos really has to sweat in this one. Unusual for him. I love his line to Bronx: "What are you looking at?"

But once the skies burn, he's back to his old self: "Magnificent." Believe it or not, it took some effort to really get the skies burning. The animation came back with only a few contrails of gas burning. We used video tricks to get that whole sky-burning effect that was SO important to the story.

When the gargs rush back inside they were supposed to lift Elisa up into the air in their joy at seeing her unstoned again. Thus you have contrast to explain Xanatos' line to Owen, "You'll forgive me, if I just shake your hand." (But you also have to wonder how he'd respond to Fox when next he saw her.)

And Xanatos gives a line I'd been waiting to use for a year. "I always wondered why I allowed you gargoyles to live. You come in handy now and then." I had always worried that an audience raised on certain villain cliches would just assume that the reason Xanatos never killed the gargs on one of the myriad occasions when he had the chance, was because we were bad writers. This X/G exchange was here to demonstrate that X wasn't that kind of villain. That he was never wasteful. Maybe at this point in the series, it wasn't necessary to spell it out. But it was still nice to get the sentiment across.

Of course, this ends the Xanatos/Demona partnership. Uneasy though it had been. It's why VOWS had to come first.

And that's my ramble...

Where's yours?


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My Journey to Oregon...

Around March of 1993, my boss at Disney, Gary Krisel, became fascinated with comic books -- mostly because his sons were collecting. At the time, no one was more successful than Tod McFarlane. He had launched SPAWN, and for awhile at least was bringing in multi-millions of dollars per month. WOW. I had worked briefly with Tod at DC Comics in the mid-eighties, when he was penciling INFINITY INC. for Roy Thomas, and I was Roy's Associate Editor on the book. At the time, Roy was a huge fan of Tod's. Most everyone else at DC thought his work was too eccentric. What did they know?

So anyway, Gary had me contact Tod. He wanted to see if he could get Tod interested in participating in GARGOYLES. We arranged a meeting at Tod's new home in Oregon. I prepared yet a tenth pass at the pitch, and Gary and I flew up north for an hour meeting with Tod. I did pitch the show, but Tod was way too focused on SPAWN to have any real interest. He and Gary talked about strategies for turning Spawn into a movie, and then we flew home. Nothing ever came of it. But here's the pitch, I pitched Tod:

GARGOYLES McFarlane Pitch
Semi-Modified Tenth Pass (Weisman / 3-4-93)

I. Trio of typical stone GARGOYLES.

"These are GARGOYLES. Ugly, stone statues that squat on the roofs of old buildings. But there was a time, one thousand years ago, when gargoyles were real, living creatures. During the day, they slept...frozen in stone."

II. GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER. Proud and Noble.

"But when the sun went down, GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER would lead his gargoyle-warriors in defense of the king's castle."

III. HUMANS scorning the Gargoyles.

"For these efforts, Goliath received no reward, no thanks or even kindness. In fact, the people of the castle treated all gargoyles with nothing but contempt."

IV. The Gargoyle-Master alone in the throneroom.

"Still Goliath could no more stop guarding the castle than breathing the air. It's part of a gargoyle's nature to be territorial, protective. And so for years, he maintained his lonely vigil. Then one night, Goliath was betrayed and lured away from his post."

V. SORCEROR curses Goliath and the other gargoyles on the castle ramparts.

"The castle was overrun and sacked. Goliath and the surviving gargoyles were unfairly blamed. The kingdom's SORCEROR laid a curse upon them, and they fell into a stone sleep--that lasted a thousand years."

VI. Castle on the skyscraper.

"New York City, 1994. A rich and powerful man has decided there's a better place for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Scotland. He's moved the whole place--lock, stock and gargoyle--to the top of the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan."

VII. Police Detective ELISA CHAVEZ.

"All of which means absolutely nothing to New York City Police Detective, ELISA CHAVEZ. She doesn't care about castles, and she doesn't believe in curses. She's hot on the trail of a major badguy."

VIII. She's ambushed on a rooftop by multiple THUGS. She's got the drop on most of them. But someone's about to nail her from behind. (And from another rooftop, someTHING is watching in the shadows.)

"Too bad that trail leads her right into an ambush. But thank goodness, a shadowy figure sees what's happening and decides to help."

IX. Reveal THE GARGOYLE, determined, as he dives into fray from above.

"Thank goodness for THE GARGOYLE."

X. Gargoyle lifts a badguy with either hand. While a third shoots at him, the bullets glancing off his stone-like hide.

"Goliath benchpresses two badguys easy. And that stone-like hide of his makes him practically invulnerable..."

XI. Romantic shot in moonlight. Close in. She reaches up to touch his face gently. He looks handsome and noble and just a bit uncomfortable and sad.

"...To everything but Elisa's kindness. She is the first human being who's ever offered him understanding and friendship, hope..."

XII. From atop the skyscraper, she shows him Manhattan. The city as fortress. This is our showpiece card.

"...And a sense of purpose. She introduces him to his new home, Manhattan, and asks for his help in protecting it against modern day barbarians."

XIII. HUDSON. (One pose, plus two headshots.)

"Fortunately, our hero isn't alone. This is Goliath's old friend HUDSON, a Gargoyle-Warrior long past his prime. Hudson helps out by keeping an eye on the young Warriors-in-training..."

XIV. Trio of young Gargoyles, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. Same as card 1. (But in color, perhaps?)

"...BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. (Uh, they picked their own names.)"

XV. BRONX, the DOG. (Multiple poses.)

"And then there's BRONX, the Gargoyle-dog. He's not a big fan of adventure."

XVI. Bronx (two poses) chewing on a fire hydrant and flying.

"He just likes to eat a lot, sleep a lot and make a general mess."

XVII. Goliath and Elisa try to be inconspicuous on the Subway.

"Goliath has wider interests, but it can be hard for a seven-foot medieval monster to squeeze into the modern world."

XVIII. Interior of Gargoyle lair.

"Sometimes he just needs to retreat back to the old castle and let time stand still. Of course that can be tough too..."

XIX. XAVIER.

"Especially with XAVIER around. Rich, powerful and arrogant, Xavier bought the gargoyles' castle. Now he thinks he owns the gargoyles too."

XX. ROBOT climbing building toward Gargoyle.

"If something rotten is happening in New York...odds are Xavier's behind it."

XXI. DEMONA with BIG GUN.

"But Goliath's greatest foe is the evil gargoyle DEMONA."

XXII. Demona vs. Goliath, above the city.

"Once she and Goliath were friends. Now, she's his sworn enemy, and she won't rest 'til she controls the night..."

XXIII. Stone version of our Gargoyle. Looking vicious and scary. Daylight.

"And the night is all that matters, because the gargoyles still sleep as stone statues during the day, finding an outdoor ledge just before sunrise and striking a pose that could give you nightmares."

XXIV. Night. Goliath, handsome and noble again, on top of a skyscraper with the full moon, Elisa and the other Gargoyles right behind him. Gothic mood, but clearly set in the present.

"But when the sun goes down, they're our only protection from the city's dark terrors."

XXV. Title Card: "GARGOYLES".

"They are the GARGOYLES."

XXVI. KID at Disneyland.

"Joining the Disney Family in 1994."


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Chapter XXIV: "City of Stone, Part Three"

Time to ramble...

So the sun rises on the next day. Elisa IMMEDIATELY starts talking, even though she's facing the wrong way, putting to the lie all those nice fans who tried to make excuses for why she was animated facing that direction.

It's also kind of cool to watch Goliath and Brooklyn turn to stone and then see Owen turn from stone to flesh. He's got that URGENT-Owen tone going there for a sec, then quickly regains his usual Owen composure. It's fun.

There's a line in here about mixing magics, which was supposed to be a vague, vague cover for later revelations that Owen is Puck. Owen suggests getting the Grimorum from Goliath. X responds it wouldn't do any of them any good since none of them are sorcerors and MIXING MAGICS is supposed to be dangerous. That last phrase is REALLY a reference to a notion in X's head, that Puck might be able to help. X than rejects the notion himself. He's right about mixing magics, but that isn't the main reason that Puck won't help. Puck won't help because that's not the deal that Owen made with Xanatos.

I like Xanatos' casual confidence though: "We'll just have to set the sky ablaze."

Travis scene is fun for me too. Gives me one of those oblique opportunities to semi-break the fourth wall. A woman comes up, tells Travis the truth. He discounts her story, nominally because she doesn't watch television. Anyone who doesn't watch television must be a kook. Now a report on Mass Hypnosis... (That last bit is in there to explain in passing what the world response to the City of Stone events is likely to be.)

FLASHBACK TIME: Duncan has a beard. "Some cousins are not that close." I love how Neil Dickson read that line. And I love Duncan's genuine surprise when Mac saves his life.

Mac saves Demona again. Proving what a good, loyal guy he is.

And then we bring in the Weird Sisters, in the most SHAKESPEAREAN scene in City of Stone.

But first let's talk about the title. I LOVE that title. "CITY OF STONE". I think it was one of mine. But I have to admit it's flawed. Though it's spooky and evocative it really only covers the present day story. The present day story is certainly important, but I think we'd all agree that the real juice in this four-parter is in the tenth and eleventh centuries. And the title doesn't really cover that stuff at all. I didn't notice it at the time, because the importance of the flashbacks snuck up on me. At first I thought they would simply inform the action in the present. But it wound up being more of the reverse. Still I like the title. It sounds like a Movie title to me. What do you guys think?

Anyway, we bubble, bubble, toil and trouble it a bit. I love the nasty expressions that Canmore and Luach shoot each other. [I also love J.D. Daniels work as Canmore. He's such a little nasty. Great contrast to his work as the goody-good kid Tom.]

I'm fairly certain that we screwed up on Luach's name. The name should have been Lulach. But a typo got us stuck on Luach. At first I thought maybe either name would be accurate, like Malcolm and Maol Chalvim. But now I think we just blew it.

I love Luna's line: "You would lecture US on fate."

Erin, my six year old daughter, began to get very annoyed with Duncan here. "Why doesn't he give Macbeth one chance? He just saved his life! Duncan is a fraidy-cat. And stupid." I love a good judge of character. When Bodhe ("Be reasonable, Macbeth") tells Mac that Duncan's after him, and Mac can't believe it, Erin felt quite vindicated, "See, [Mac] just asked the same question that I did."

I like Mac's sad line to Gruoch: "The Journey will be brief."

And I like D and Mac's exchange:

Mac: "You are the answer."
D: "I'm uninterested in the question."

Ben, my three year old son, was having a little trouble with how fast everyone was aging. He didn't always get that the flashbacks weren't taking place right after each other. He got the difference between past and present. But not that we kept leaping forward from say 1032 to 1044 etc. "That's a different Demona," he would say, before I explained that she was just getting older. It then occured to me that I'm not even sure if he knows that white hair specifically signifies old age in a cartoon. After all, Brooklyn's hair is white. So's Luna's, in all her forms. (It's supposed to be silver, but it looks white most of the time.)

Mac is surprised, and not a little freaked out, to hear that there's still a Hunter out there. With Gill dead, he has no clue who it could be.

He offers an alliance, and Demona -- clearly thinking of the Captain of the Guard -- says, "You sing an old song." That, for me, helped tie in our Wyvern flashbacks to the whole Mac/Demona story. I was always afraid they weren't really related enough.

The whole thing with the Sisters looking different depending on the point of view, was another idea of mine that most people thought I was nuts about. (Like having characters unaware of the change in themselves in "The Mirror".) It worked just fine, and in many ways is clearer than any alternative I can think of. But man, I had to WORK to convince people.

The sisters are pretty tricky here, they use the barest excuse of an offered trade to more or less enforce their will on Mac and D. Bending Oberon's law without breaking it. That's not too important here, but will obviously be important in later episodes.

The clues of course are planted in the spell. "Forever and eternal bound and each the other's pain resound." How many people got the implication here as opposed to figuring it all out when the sisters explained it near the end of part four?

Seline handing Mac that magic ball was another instance of us cheating a bit. We were sick of using the fall to the death shtick. But we couldn't just have Duncan skewered. So this was an S&P compromise. The good news was it looked pretty cool. Brief but scary. It even seems to scare Mac.

When Gruouch says that she's afraid Mac's made "a bad bargain," she was supposed to touch his hair to give a visual reminder that he had given up his youth to protect his clan -- and that it scared and saddened her more than a little. I gave that note over and over, but somehow it never got in there. It still works, but I really wish she had run her fingers through his hair there.

D likes Mac and Gruoch here. Look at her face. Maybe she sees a bit of herself and Goliath in them. (With Gruoch as Goliath, of course.)

I like the battle too. It's very economical staged, yet it feels kinda epic to me. Very smartly story-boarded. I really like Demona's clean sweep of Duncan's cavalry off their horses.

Mac says: "You fight like a demon." Laying the groundwork for Demona to get named. This was a bit of an argument with S&P. "Demon" was supposed to be an off-limit word for us. I convinced Adrienne Bello it was important to justify Demona's name. And my bosses backed me up. (That never happens anymore, by the way.)

There's a character in here that we never name except in the credits. He's Duncan's right hand man and Demona appears to brain him by flying him head first into a big rock. He's called MacDuff in the credits. Obviously, another name from Shakespeare. I think maybe he didn't die, but became an ally of Canmore's in part four. But I'm not sure. I know that in part Three, Charlie "Travis Marshall" Hallahan did his voice. In part Four, the character I'm thinking of (both of whom have red hair at least) is voiced by Jeff Bennett.

M&D find the mask with Duncan, and Mac says, "so the battle is truly over for us both." Which is majorly ironic, since we know the battle will continue for at least 900 years.

Bodhe comes out from the background only after "THE NIGHT IS WON!"

Bodhe, though contemptuous, is a very fun character to write. I love his little aside about Canmore: "He'll be trouble; slay him now." We like Mac better that he won't kill a child. But you'll notice that Demona won't kill the kid either.

The coronation is fun. That whole naming sequence is fun.

M: "They will learn to respect you."
D: "I'd rather they feared me."
M: "They'll do that too... 'Demona'"

A nice bow tied on that "Know her?!! I named her!!" line from way back in "Enter Macbeth".

Now as we prepare to segue back to the present, Erin recognizes the three sisters as serving wenches "Because of their hair". To which Ben says, "Me too". But when we get to the present, neither realize that the sisters are also posing as cops. Mostly, because they're police hats largely cover their hair.

Now finally, back to Elisa. Confused as hell, but beginning to catch on at the mention of PackMedia Studios. She heads for the Eyrie. X's response: "Ah, the charming Detective Maza." Love that guy.

Owen and Elisa do their little dance and we get to play a gargoyle recurring bit with them as they freeze into stone mid-argument. At this point my kids catch on to the basic rules. (All of which might have been clearer if we hadn't had such a big gap between watching part two and part three). Erin: "So the humans are the opposite of the Gargoyles. When they turn to stone, the others wake up."

Xanatos starts explaining the plan, and my son turns to me and says, "Daddy, I have to tell you something." [Which is how he starts most conversations these days.] "I had a lot of dreams about fire in the sky." I'm not sure if I believe him, but it was a nice conversation piece.

I like the way Goliath looks at Elisa when he says, "This has to work." Feelings showing.

Then everyone leaves to go pass gas. :) [I know. I'm really mature.]

Bronx goes after the tapestry. We wanted to keep that subtle so that we weren't tipping our hand. Did anyone wonder about that or did it just slide by? Did anyone remember at the cliffhanger that Bronx had been left behind to save Elisa?

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


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FOCUS TESTING

Perish the thought that a yes answer can just be a yes answer. We had approval to proceed, but the powers that be at Disney were still not sure about doing this kind of cartoon at Disney. So they decided to focus test it with kids. Of course, we didn't have an episode produced yet to focus test. So they decided to put the pitch on video, and here I was doing a "Modified Ninth Pass" on the pitch, for this test.

In a focus group test, for those of you who've never heard of one, they pull a bunch of kids more or less off the streets (or out of malls) and put them in a room to watch a cartoon or something. Then a moderator asks questions, while we watch behind a one-way mirror and/or on closed-circuit t.v. The process, from my point of view, is WAY less than scientific, as one strong personality can push an entire group into saying almost anything. Some kids try to guess what answers the moderator wants, and try to make him happy or piss him off. The mere fact that they try this skews the results whether they're successful or not. Also answers get confused, particularly with kids. A kid will say, for example, that he or she "didn't like the villain." That might mean that he or she thinks it's not a very scary or interesting villain. Or it might mean they think it's a GREAT villain to hate.

Personally, focus groups are fascinating to watch in the way a train wreck is fascinating. You can't take your eyes off it. But as feedback goes, I don't hold much store by them.

GARGOYLES FOCUS GROUP VIDEO-SCRIPT
Modified Ninth Pass (Weisman / 1-29-93)

1-A. Trio of typical stone GARGOYLES.

"These are GARGOYLES. Ugly, stone statues that squat on the roofs of old buildings. But there was a time, one thousand years ago, when gargoyles were real, living creatures. During the day, they slept...frozen in stone."

2-B. GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER. Proud and Noble.

"But when the sun went down, GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER would lead his gargoyle-warriors in defense of the king's castle."

3-C. Goliath reading in library, sitting on small gargoyles.

"And if there was no battle to be fought, he'd retreat to the library to read and learn, all the while making sure that the other gargoyles stayed out of trouble."

4-D. HUMANS scorning the Gargoyles.

"For all these efforts, Goliath received no reward, no thanks or even kindness. In fact, the people of the castle treated all gargoyles with nothing but contempt."

5-E. The Gargoyle-Master alone in the throneroom.

"Still Goliath could no more stop guarding the castle than breathing the air. It's part of a gargoyle's nature to be territorial, protective. And so for years, he maintained his lonely vigil."

6. Close-up of Goliath.

"Then one night, Goliath was betrayed and lured away from his post."

7-F (and/or 7-Alt). SORCEROR curses Goliath and the other gargoyles on the castle ramparts.

"The castle was overrun and sacked. Goliath and the surviving gargoyles were unfairly blamed. The castle SORCEROR laid a curse upon them, and they fell into a stone sleep--that lasted a thousand years."

26. Xavier.

"Now it's 1994. A rich and powerful man has decided there's a better place..."

Pre-8. Castle.

"...for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Scotland."

8-G. Castle on the skyscraper.

"He's moved the whole place--lock, stock and gargoyle--to the top of the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan."

9-H. Police Detective ELISA CHAVEZ.

"All of which means absolutely nothing to New York City Police Detective, ELISA CHAVEZ. She doesn't care about castles, and she doesn't believe in curses. She's hot on the trail of a major badguy."

10-I. She's ambushed on a rooftop by multiple THUGS. She's got the drop on most of them. But someone's about to nail her from behind. (And from another rooftop, someTHING is watching in the shadows.)

"Too bad that trail leads her right into an ambush. But thank goodness, a shadowy figure sees what's happening and decides to help."

11-J (and/or 11-Alt). Reveal THE GARGOYLE, determined, as he dives into fray from above.

"Thank goodness for THE GARGOYLE."

12. Gargoyle lifts a badguy with either hand. While a third shoots at him, the bullets glancing off his stone-like hide.

"Goliath benchpresses two badguys easy. And that stone-like hide of his makes him practically invulnerable..."

13-K. Romantic shot in moonlight. Close in. She reaches up to touch his face gently. He looks handsome and noble and just a bit uncomfortable and sad.

"...To everything but Elisa's kindness. She is the first human being who's ever offered him understanding and friendship, hope..."

14-L. From atop the skyscraper, she shows him Manhattan. The city as fortress. This is our showpiece card.

"...And a sense of purpose. She introduces him to his new home, Manhattan, and asks for his help in protecting it against modern day barbarians."

15-M. HUDSON. (One pose, plus two headshots.)

"Fortunately, our hero isn't alone. This is Goliath's old friend HUDSON, a Gargoyle-Warrior long past his prime. Hudson helps out by keeping an eye on the young Warriors-in-training..."

16-N. Trio of young Gargoyles, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. Same as card 1. (But in color, perhaps?)

"...BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. (Uh, they picked their own names.)"

20-O. BRONX, the DOG. (Multiple poses.)

"And then there's BRONX, the Gargoyle-dog. He's not a big fan of adventure."

21-P. Bronx (two poses) chewing on a fire hydrant and flying.

"He just likes to eat a lot, sleep a lot and make a general mess."

23-Q. Trio uses Bronx to play trick on Hudson.

"All in all, it's a lot for Hudson to handle."

24-R. Goliath and Elisa try to be inconspicuous on the Subway.

"Not that Goliath has it any easier. It's hard for a seven-foot medieval monster to squeeze into the modern world."

Pre-25 (and/or Pre-25-Alt). Exteriors of castle.
"Sometimes he just needs to retreat back to the old castle..."

25-S. Interior of Gargoyle lair.

" and take it easy. Unfortunately, he doesn't get much time for relaxation..."

26. XAVIER.

"Not with XAVIER around. Rich, powerful and arrogant, Xavier bought the gargoyles' castle. Now he figures he owns the gargoyles too."

30. ROBOT climbing building toward Gargoyle.

"If something rotten is happening in New York...odds are Xavier's behind it."

31. CATSCAN is discovered by Goliath and Elisa.

"Then there's CATSCAN. A scientist mutated by his own experiments..."

32. Catscan, in full pose and "Night Vision" head shot.

"...Into a bitter criminal with deadly Night-Vision."

33. DEMONA with BIG GUN.

"But the toughest villain of them all is the evil gargoyle DEMONA."

34. Demona vs. Goliath, above the city.

"Once she and Goliath were friends. Now, she's his sworn enemy, and she won't rest 'til she controls the night..."

35-T. Stone version of our Gargoyle. Looking vicious and scary. Daylight.

"And the night is all that matters, because the gargoyles still sleep as stone statues during the day, finding an outdoor ledge just before sunrise and striking a pose that could give you nightmares."

36-U. Night. Goliath, handsome and noble again, on top of a skyscraper with the full moon, Elisa and the other Gargoyles right behind him. Gothic mood, but clearly set in the present.

"But when the sun goes down, they're our only protection from the city's dark terrors."

37. Title Card: "GARGOYLES".

"They are the GARGOYLES."

38-V. KID at Disneyland.

"Joining the Disney Family in 1994."


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Still at work on the pilot...

This is still us trying to work out the story we wanted to tell with the first writer we hired for the project (one previous to Eric Luke and two previous to Michael Reaves). I remember this writer felt that having the gargs turn to stone EVERY night was too limiting. He asked us to drop that. I didn't want to, but checked with my boss Gary Krisel for confirmation. Gary agreed with me, so the first order of business was confirming that rule.

Much of the rest of this is a repeat of stuff that already got said. The fact that I had to keep repeating myself was probably not a good sign that we had the right person for this particular project. (I've mentioned before, that I very much admire this writer; it was simply two people seeing things two different ways.)

GARGOYLES 1-22-93
Notes on First Part of multi-parter.

GENERAL NOTES
The following combines (in as coherent a form as we could manage) the General Notes of all concerned.

--First off, we raised the issue of the stone/day - alive/night rule and the problems it can potentially cause. The consensus was an acknowledgement of the difficulty, but a real desire to keep that element. Gary, in particular, felt very strongly that it was one of the main appeals to the concept: an automatic ticking clock to every story, kryptonite, etc.

--Though we all agree that the ECLIPSE would make a great episode some day, we're very concerned about establishing the gargoyle rules here in the first part. We don't want to confuse the issue with an eclipse.

--We want to keep the story largely from Goliath's point of view. His problems. His tragedies. But we don't want him to be a morose character. He's optimistic (until the very end). He believes that in time humans and gargoyles will learn to get along better. He has a sense of humor. He's heroic not dour.

--The-not-yet-named-Hudson is Goliath's aide and advisor. He is NOT a baby-sitter to the kids. In fact, if Goliath requested him to act as baby-sitter, he'd probably refuse. From his point of view, Goliath's the gargoyle-master, and the kids are his responsibility.

--Anyway, we'd like to establish the kids independence from the get-go, to help establish them as being more teen-age in nature than real young. They don't need a chaperone. They're cocky and gung ho.

--We also felt strongly that the castle should be home to both the gargoyles and the humans in 994 A.D. We discussed the following back-back-story as rationale:

Long before 994, there was a gargoyle rookery high on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea. Medieval man sought out these rookeries as prime real estate for building their fortresses or castles. For one reason, the cliffside protected there backs, and the only accessible wall was easily manned by archers, etc. Secondly, medieval man knew that the gargoyles were instinctively territorial and protective of the rookery's inhabitants, whether those inhabitants were gargoyles or humans. If the humans of the castle could put up and co-exist with the gargoyles they'd have a built in group of warriors at night. And it was mutually beneficial: the gargoyles received human protection during the day.
Though not as rare in Europe as, say, the giraffe, even then Gargoyles and their rookeries were scarce. A castle-builder who couldn't find one to build on might carve stone gargoyles to fool and thus scare away would-be attackers. (Back then everyone knew about gargoyles.)
But our castle in Scotland was built on a rookery. And the gargoyles and humans have coexisted there for years. But as our story opens, relations are tense. Humanity as a race is taking on airs. To the humans, the gargoyles are uncouth. Grotesque. Ill-mannered. Nocturnal, and therefore noisy at night when humans are trying to sleep. Considered, at best, a necessary evil.

STORY NOTES
--The following "outline" is only designed to track the story and lay out the serious, emotional underpinning. It still needs to be injected with fun, humor, exciting action, etc. It comes to a tragic conclusion, but we aren't looking for 22 minutes of depressing tragedy. Obviously, it can be improved upon. Also, most of these scenes can be very quick.

ACT ONE
I. Open with peasants struggling on foot up the hill toward the castle on the promontory. It is minutes from sunset.
A. Intro ROBBY (a peasant boy) and ROBBY'S MOM. She's hurrying her son along (with other peasants) so that they reach the safety of the castle walls before the advancing army of MARAUDERS.
1. They enter the castle. The gates are closed.
B. CAPTAIN of the Guards has all his archers at the ready on the castle battlements. We establish hideous stone gargoyle statues.
C. Outside the castle, just out of arrow range, the Marauding Army waits for sunset. It's a large force.
1. LOCHTER, purely evil leader of the Marauders, is keeping his men in line. (Perhaps violently.)
2. One MARAUDER asks Lochter why they wait: "What about the Gargoyles?"
a. Lochter tells him that every castle in Scotland claims to have Gargoyles. Most are just statues. Soon it'll be dark. The archers won't be able to pick them off. They'll attack.
D. Darkness falls. Silently, the marauding horde climbs the hill. The Captain tells his men not to waste their arrows.
1. Marauders attack, perhaps with grappling hooks and ropes, their own archers, etc. Perhaps one grappling hook flies toward the largest of the stone gargoyles.
a. GOLIATH, the GARGOYLE-MASTER, suddenly comes to life, catching the hook. Play up the transformation big time. (Maybe as he awakens, he shatters a thin outer layer of stone, like shedding a new skin every night. Then again, maybe not.)
2. Goliath flies down upon the marauders, closely followed by many GARGOYLE WARRIORS. Fun action.
a. Maybe it looks for a moment as if Goliath has been dragged down by three or four marauders, but soon he's shrugged them off.
3. Prominent among the warriors is [DEMONA] a FEMALE GARGOYLE, that Goliath seems to favor.
4. Intro ELDER Gargoyle [HUDSON], who coaches from the battlements.
5. Also intro TRIO of "teen-age" Gargoyles [BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON, BROADWAY] and their GARGOYLE-DOG [BRONX]. One in particular [Lex] can't wait to be a gargoyle warrior himself.
a. The trio participates in action, but the way they fight brings in humor. More prankish. They make fools of enemy.
E. Gargoyles rout the Marauders who sound the retreat. The battle is over.

II. In throne room, intro the spoiled, beautiful, young QUEEN and her rich, foppish court.
A. Intro semi-dottering old WIZARD. Sweet, but largely ineffectual. Establish that his powers are on the wain. He needs to have his books of spells in front of him to perform any magic.
B. Captain enters with Goliath. They report the victory.
1. Though the Queen is polite on the surface, we can tell she took the victory for granted. We can tell she takes these two for granted. In fact, holds them in contempt.
a. Captain may be a bit of a pig. Tobacco-spitting kinda slob. Queen assumes Goliath's just like him.
b. Queen might also suggest that after this Marauder episode is done with, the Captain will be reporting to LORD FOPWORTH over here. Captain's clearly steamed.
2. Captain and Goliath exit, but before they're out of earshot, they hear the queen make snide, contemptuous comment about Goliath and Gargoyles.
C. Outside the throne room, the Captain and Goliath are joined by the old one [Hudson] and the female [Demona].
1. Captain is really burned up about the way Queen treats Goliath. Wants to know why Goliath puts up with it? Why he stays?
a. Female agrees.
b. Goliath responds on another level. He has the patience to wait for a better day. He sees a lot that's positive about humanity. And he's proud of his own race. Someday, things will get better. Besides, this is his ancestral home. The castle was built on Gargoyle Rookery. Gargoyles are instinctively and atavistically territorial beings. Where would he go?
c. Old Gargoyle is satisfied with answer. He and Goliath walk off.
d. We see that neither the Female nor the Captain find the situation satisfactory.

III. In open courtyard, where peasants are "camped out", we see Gargoyle dog and trio of young 'goyles wreaking havoc. A. They're waking people. Eating food, sloppily. Making a general mess. But not maliciously. They're just having a good time. (This should be a real fun, good time scene.)
1. It looks like fun to Robby the young peasant boy, and he moves to join them.
a. Robby's mom pulls him away. Gargoyles are dangerous and untrustworthy.
b. This really hurts the de facto leader of the trio [Lex]. He decides to live up to the gargoyle reputation and scare them.
c. He succeeds. Robby now believes Gargoyles are bad.
d. Goliath intervenes. Maybe even disciplines. (Though he's not humorless.) It's getting close to sunrise anyway.
2. Gargoyles all move to the battlements and strike a pose. They freeze into stone at daybreak. (We need to really play this up too.)

IV. Daytime in Lochter's camp. Marauders are nursing their wounds.
A. Lochter is visited by a mysterious shrouded figure who wants to make a deal. (Maybe to misdirect the audience, we will put this stranger in the voluminous robes of the Wizard.)
1. In exchange for a fair share of the profits, stranger promises to secure entry for Lochter and his men.
a. And they won't have to worry about Goliath or his Gargoyles.

ACT TWO
V. That night, Captain talks to Goliath, Female Gargoyle and Old One. (Perhaps in front of Queen, as well.)
A. Captain urges Goliath to take all his Gargoyles and chase Lochter's army out of the county.
1. Goliath doesn't like the idea. He basically believes in DEFENSE, not OFFENSE.
2. Captain, with some support from Female, argues that the best Defense is a good Offense.
a. Besides, Goliath doesn't have to battle Lochter's forces, he just has to put a good scare into them so they'll never come back.
3. Goliath reluctantly agrees, but he's not going to take all the gargoyles with him. He'll go alone.
4. Female takes him aside. It isn't safe. He could never fight off all of Lochter's army alone. She's worried about him.
a. But Goliath has no intention of fighting. And he can be plenty scary enough, by himself. (Makes a scary gargoyle face to prove it.)
b. She says, at least, let me go with you for back-up.
c. He claims he needs her (his best warrior) to stay behind at the castle. (But it's clear that truthfully, he doesn't want to put her at needless risk.)
d. To make her feel better, he agrees to take Old One with him, in case something goes wrong. But the rest will maintain their nightly vigil.
5. Goliath and Old One take off after Marauders.
B. Lochter gets word from the traitor: there's been a slight change in plans.

VI. Intercut between the following:
A. Goliath and Old Gargoyle follow the tracks of the Marauders by starlight.
1. Goliath is impressed by how fast the army has traveled in one day.
B. Another fun scene with the Trio and their dog, before they are chased off by frightened and annoyed humans.
1. They explore the bowels of the castle and find the ancient caverns of the Gargoyle rookery that the castle was built on.
C. The Captain is giving some odd orders to his night guards. Sending them away from weapons' room. Etc.
1. He is examining their bowstrings, etc.

VII. Goliath and Old Gargoyle catch up with "army", only to discover it is a small band of men running abreast without equipment.
A. Goliath realizes something's definitely wrong. He and the Old One head back to the castle. But it's almost dawn.
B. The sun comes up.
1. Goliath and Old One are frozen, en route back to castle.
2. Trio and Dog are frozen in bowels of castle.
3. Gargoyle warriors are frozen on parapets.
4. Archers take up their stations, unaware that their bows have been sabotaged.
5. The captain (i.e. the traitor) gives the signal for Lochter's men to attack.

VIII. Lochter and his army attack.
A. Each bowman gets off one shot, before their bowstrings snap. (The Captain had tampered with them.)
1. Soon the castle is overrun.
2. And it doesn't help that the Captain opens the gates as well. This is probably all we see. The rest [in brackets] is just for story-tracking purposes.
[ 3. The battle is short.
B. The castle is sacked.
1. Anything worth anything is taken by the marauders.
2. All the humans including the Queen and the Wizard and Robby and his mom are put in chains and dragged off.
C. Lochter's men begin to destroy the stone Gargoyles with maces.
1. Captain tries to stop it. This wasn't part of the deal and isn't necessary anyway.
a. If Marauders leave territory with their slaves and booty, the gargoyles won't follow. It's not in their nature.
2. Lochter isn't taking any chances. All the gargoyles are destroyed.
a. Ultimately, the Captain has no choice.]

IX. Fade to sunset. Goliath and Old One awaken and hightail it back to castle.
A. They arrive long after Lochter has left. A small fire still burns here and there.
1. The castle has been sacked of all valuables.
2. There are no people.
3. And worst of all, the Gargoyles have all been destroyed, i.e. murdered.
a. They lie in stone rubble all around him. Partial pieces, etc.
b. There is no particular sign of the female; Goliath assumes that she is among the rubble. Big time FURY.

ACT THREE
X. The trio and dog emerge from rookery caverns. (Maybe they were temporarily trapped there by damage done during the battle.) They are torn up by what they find.
A. Goliath and Old One are relieved that someone survived. But that doesn't abate their anger.
1. Together, the six gargoyles fly off to get their revenge.

XI. Lochter's army has encamped for the night.
A. We see our Marauder taunt Robby and his mother outside in chains.
B. Inside his tent, Lochter and the Captain discuss how much ransom they can get for the Queen.
1. They figure the wizard is probably worthless.
a. Wizard wishes he could just get his hands on his books of magic.
b. Lochter taunts him with the books, burning them one by one. (Only one left.)
C. Outside the gargoyles attack. Lots of fun and action here.
1. Gargoyles are way out-numbered.
2. Old one is old. But he picks up a sword and holds his own.
3. Trio and Dog have little fighting experience.
a. Trio leader [Lex] makes use of some of the "scare" techniques that worked on the peasants in act one.
b. [Lex] saves Robby's mother from Marauder.
c. Robby saves him from one too.
4. Goliath is a holy terror. Wading into the hordes. Tossing them aside. Scaring the stuffing out of them.
D. Lochter and Captain hear the noise and look outside.
1. Despite the overwhelming odds, the Gargoyles are winning.
2. Captain says they better get out now.
3. Lochter dumps the last magic book and grabs the queen.
a. Wizard tries to stop him, but is pushed aside.
b. Lochter says he'll never see the queen again.
c. Wizard assumes they're going to kill her.
4. Lochter and Captain flee with Queen in tow.
5. Goliath sees them go. Follows alone.
E. Wizard stumbles out of tent with last magic book.
1. Battle is winding down.
a. Freed peasants and guards are now helping gargoyles.
b. Marauders retreat, scatter.
c. Queen is nowhere in sight.
2. Irrational Wizard blames gargoyles for causing the queen's death.
a. Using his spell book, he curses them. [See spell options below.]

XII. Goliath catches up with Captain and Lochter.
A. Captain tries to reason with Goliath.
1. Tells him he never meant for Gargoyles to be destroyed.
2. Besides, what does Goliath owe the queen anyway. Now he can return to his rookery and be left in peace.
B. Goliath rejects Captain's excuses.
1. The Captain had taught him to go on offensive. "See what your lessons have wrought." Etc.
C. Goliath defeats (kills?) Lochter and Captain.
1. Rescues grateful (and much changed and matured) Queen.

XIII. Goliath and Queen return too late.
A. Though it is still night, the other Gargoyles have been turned to stone.
B. Wizard feels like garbage when he finds out the truth.
1. But he can't undo the spell. Lochter burned his other books.
C. Queen says that her people will not return to the cursed castle. They will start a new life/build a new castle elsewhere in the kingdom.
1. She sincerely invites Goliath to join them.
D. Goliath says no. He will return to the rookery.
E. Only gift that Wizard can offer is to cast the same spell on Goliath that he cast on the other gargoyles. (Or perhaps a slight variation.)
1. Goliath agrees to this.

XIV. The stone Gargoyles are perched on the abandoned castle walls by the humans. Robby waves goodbye.
A. One DAY, 1000 years later.
1. XAVIER is looking over his newly purchased ancient castle.
a. "Terrific," he says, "Now move it to Manhattan."

END OF PART ONE

[NOTE: DEMONA's story tracks as well. Like the Captain, she hates to see the way Goliath and the Gargoyles are treated by the spoiled Queen. She and the captain make a deal. They will convince Goliath to temporarily remove the Gargoyles from the castle. Lochter will sack it and take away the humans as slaves, leaving the empty castle for Demona, Goliath and the rest of the Gargoyles.
Goliath screws up the plan by refusing to take all the Gargoyles away. Captain says, no problem. He'll sabotage his archers and the attack can take place during the day. He promises to protect the frozen Gargoyles.
Demona agrees, but just before dawn she gets nervous and flies away to hide.
She returns at some point (though Goliath won't see her). She sees the destroyed 'goyles and realizes that Goliath would never forgive that. She flies away to find a new life. Somehow, she will survive into the twentieth century, by which time, three factors will have turned her bitter and evil and eventually make her Goliath's worst enemy. (1) Her largely negative and criminal experiences since she last saw Goliath. (2) Goliath's inability to forgive her, (as much as he might wish he could). (3) Goliath's modern loyalty to humans, particularly Elisa Chavez.
In light of this, we should probably bring her back in @part Four of five-parter. She eventually teams up w/Xavier, raising the stakes, and tying part one to the rest of the story. However, though we should plant the clues, we shouldn't give any real indication that she was part of the Captain/Lochter conspiracy in Part One. All the revelations about her roll in the betrayal should wait until we see her again in 20th Century.]

SPELL OPTIONS
For initial spell that Wizard casts upon Old One, Trio and Dog in anger...
1) Frozen in stone for 1000 years.
2) Frozen in stone 'til castle rests in the clouds.
3) Frozen in stone so long as this castle stands on this ground.

For spell Wizard casts upon Goliath, as the best he can do for him.
1) Same, or maybe the slight variation of 999 years, giving Goliath a headstart, and an ability to see if it's safe.
2) Same.
3) Same.
4) He will continue his endless cycle of sleeping as stone in day, guarding the castle and his friends at night until either 1), 2) or 3) occurs.

Advantages and Disadvantages to various choices:
The main question, is whether or not Goliath has been awake and alone every night for a thousand years. (Goliath option 4)). If he has, it would allow him to be at least passingly familiar that modern technology exists. I.e. when we get him to NYC and he sees an airplane, he won't think it's a dragon. Plus there's the tragedy of that much loneliness. And the possibility down the road of one or two flashback episodes (Goliath fights in WWII or something). Disadvantages include that it adds a layer of complication to the spell. And maybe we like the idea that he thinks an airplane is a dragon. (Although keep in mind, we can always play those beats with the other 'goyles.)

As to the other gargoyles, the main issue is when do you want them to wake up. If it's not until after the castle is installed at the top of the skyscraper, than option 3) doesn't work. 1000 years makes a nice round number, but is it a stiff coincidence that the 1000 years ends in NYC? Probably no more so than the Castle in the Clouds curse, though the latter may have more ambience.

And again, if we want Goliath awake BEFORE the castle arrives in NYC, i.e. on the boat, than we have to vary the spell with him to some degree or else it won't be possible.

Right now we're leaning toward Goliath Option 4) "the endless cycle" coupled w/ Option 2) "the castle in the clouds". There is some concern that the Wizard casting two spells may be awkward though. So it's still open for discussion.

That's it.



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