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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 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...

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.

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.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

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."


"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..."


"...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."


"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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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."


[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.]

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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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.


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..."


"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."


"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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