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Design work memo...

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

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

To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga 7-21-93

From: Greg Weisman

Re: GARGOYLES DESIGN WORK

Dear Mr. Tokunaga,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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An old memo...

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

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

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

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

Subject: CYBERCORP.

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

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

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


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Chapter XXXIX: "Kingdom"

Time to get back to rambling...

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

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

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

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

Oh, by the way, Kingdom was

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

KINGDOM (BROOKLYN & TALON)

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

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

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

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

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

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

HUDSON

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

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

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

CAGNEY

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

AL, CHAS and ?

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

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

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

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

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

And how's Al doing?

FANG & CLAW

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

He's got a bunch of great lines:

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

Talon: "You and what army?"

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

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

And he is bright enought to trick Talon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

MATT

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

MAGGIE

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

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

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

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

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

XANATOS & OWEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it leads into a fun scene...

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

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

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

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

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

BROOKLYN

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

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

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

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

Hmmmm....

And so Brooklyn can't avoid leadership...

"Yeah, try as I might."

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

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


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3x3 Eyes TV Premiere

FYI

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


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: TUESDAY

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

We had some Burger King.

Had a bit of a wait for our flight.

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

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

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

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

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

A great trip!!!

Thanks, all of you!!!


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GATHERING 2003 RAMBLE: MONDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathy and I rode the Big Bad Wolf Roller Coaster.

Jubes and Lanny and I rode some twirly thing.

I got a carmel apple at some point.

Etc.

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

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

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

Oh, well.

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

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

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

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


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MORE TO COME...


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: SATURDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, it was fun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lynati's costume was just amazing!

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

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

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

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

There were other cool costumes too.

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

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

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

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

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


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: FRIDAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We went back upstairs to the con suite.

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

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

MORE TO COME...


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GATHERING 2002 RAMBLE: THURSDAY

Well, I'm back.

Time to ramble on the Gathering.

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

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

Anyway, Thursday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MORE TO COME...


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LIGHTBULB CONTEST RESULTS

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

First the honorable mentions:

matt writes...

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

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

Airportman writes...

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

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

Jim R. writes...

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

Lynati writes...

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

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

Patricia writes...

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

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

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

Now, in second place...

DragonWolf writes...

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

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

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

Congratulations!!

And finally, our winner!!!!

Aris Katsaris writes...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks again everyone.

New contest coming soon.

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


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Chapter XXXVIII: "Heritage"

Time to ramble...

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

FAME

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

SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT

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

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

A.K.A. CECIL

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

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

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

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

HEY, WEREN'T THERE FOUR OF YOU?

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

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

TOTEM POLES

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

Fake GARGOYLES, right here in North America.

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

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

HAR with a V. VAR with a D.

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

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

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

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

THAT'S NOT A CROW

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

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

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

When he said that, did you believe him?

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

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

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

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

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

WHO EXACTLY IS THE SICK ONE HERE?

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

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

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

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

SEEING RED

I like the lighting in the Volcano scene.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUSPICIOUS MINDS

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

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

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

THAT'S GOTTA HOIT

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

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

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

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

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

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

I like "It's so messy."

POOR HORATIO, ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, NEVER A BRIDE

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

I've always loved that line.

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

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

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

Does everyone see Goliath play dead for that bear?

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

Neither does this Ramble.


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Chapter XXXVII: "Shadows of the Past"

Time to ramble....

This chapter (episode) was brought to you by:

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

Plus the usual suspects, including Frank and me.

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

THE WORLD TOUR

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

"Uh, oh," indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not 52? They asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do 52.

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

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

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

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

Whoops. Sorry.

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

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

And I think some of the stories really kicked ass.

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

Except for that outburst. Sorry about that outburst.

WYVERN, SCOTLAND

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

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

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

TIDBIT

Angela: "It was always summer on Avalon."

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

TOKYO, JAPAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Except for that outburst, I apologize for that outburst.

GASLIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE AXE OF HAKON

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

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

Shoulda been. My fault.

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

THE STREET PIZZA TRADITION

a.k.a.

A CLASSIC MICHAEL REAVES' ELISA LINE:

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

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

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

GETTING TO KNOW ANGELA

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

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

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

COOL CLIFFHANGER

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

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

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

Anyway, Bronx saves the day.

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

STAR TREK INFLUENCE

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

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

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

We also see Demona, Othello and Desdemona.

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

SALLI RICHARDSON

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

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

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

SPEAKING OF FISSURES

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

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

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

THE TURN

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

Hakon is enjoying tormenting Goliath.

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

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

Ed, wherever you are... THANKS!

THE FATAL FLAW IN YOUR PLAN

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

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

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

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

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

HOW

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

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

THE DANCE

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

Really came to life here.

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

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

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

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

He pushes Hakon back.

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

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

RESOLUTION

So Cap hated himself, not G.

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

You think if Hakon made an effort? Nah.

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

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

Elisa thinks she's in for a long story.

G: "Centuries long."

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

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

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

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

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


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Chapter XXXVI: "Avalon, Part Three"

Time to Ramble...

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

It was time to go to war.

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

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

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

JALAPEÑA

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

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

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

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

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

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

HUNTING HOLLOW HILLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIVIDING THE TROOPS

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

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

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

Goliath and Angela will attack the Archmage.

And the Magus agrees to take on the Sisters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOLIATH & ANGELA vs. THE ARCHMAGE

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

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

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

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

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

DEATH OF A HERO

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

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

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

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

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

FAREWELLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Chapter XXXV: "Avalon, Part Two"

Time to Ramble...

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

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

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

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

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

THE EGGS

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

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

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

BEACH FIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

"Uh. Yeah."

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

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

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

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

Either way, there are some great lines:

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANGELA & GABRIEL

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

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

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

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

REUNIONS

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

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

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

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

SLEEPING KING

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

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

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

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

LOOSE ENDS

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

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

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

And how did the Archmage survive?

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

Now let's reveal...

WEIRD SISTERS

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

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

The sisters have some nice lines...

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

ARCHMAGESES

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

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

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

And of course, David. Wow.

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

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

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

"Show some dignity."

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

"Not where. When."

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

"The book must remain in play."

"Try to keep up."

"We're not doing her any favors."

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

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

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

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

"Now I understand."

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

All great fun.

FLAWS

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

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

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

But Macbeth?

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

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

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

CAPTIONS

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

Sure we start with...

"Scotland, 984 A.D."

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

It still makes me smile.

POWERING UP

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

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

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

BATTLE FLASHBACK

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

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

LAYING PIPE

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

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

Bronx and Boudicca want to go with Goliath.

Elisa asks about the Sleeping King...

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

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

Uh oh.

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

To be concluded...

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


Bookmark Link

Memo for "Avalon, Parts Two and Three"

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

WEISMAN 2-2-95

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

GENERAL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Archmage+ uses Gate and both disappear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom is forced to sound retreat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

END PART TWO

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

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

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

Hey, where's Elisa and the Magus?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES Bible: 11th Chunk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11) And etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. And etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Chapter XXXIV: "Avalon, Part One"

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

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

THE RECAP

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

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

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

THE TITLE

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

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

OPENING

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

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

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

OLD FRIENDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

BELVEDERE CASTLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FLASHBACK

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

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

VOICES

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

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

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

Kath plays Katharine, Mary and all three Weird Sisters.

They're amazing.

SOAP OPERA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE MURDER

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michaelmas. I just like that word.

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

THE ESCAPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AVALON

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

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

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

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

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


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES Bible: 10th Chunk.

THE ENEMY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the Alliance was sitting pretty.

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

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

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

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


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE: 9th Chunk

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

The Alliance's Mission Statement reads as follows:

Contain any and all Extraterrestrial Expansion on our world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE: 8th Chunk

SUPPORTING CAST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Roswell Conspiracies Bible: 7th Chunk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Chapter XXXIII: "The Price"

Ramble, ramble, ramble...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TIER STUFF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I even had the odd notion last night that we could have gone the direction of Hudson's "prison" being all in his mind. That the statue was him, and that he couldn't wake up until he escaped this mental/dream prison. Obviously, not the way we went. But it's a cool story idea. Anyone think THAT?

So then we come back from commercial and reveal Xanatos who claims he wants Hudson's skin. The line is said in such a way that we and Hudson are geared to think the worst. Which sets up the fun.

Hudson: "You'll have the devil's own time getting it."

Xanatos: "Gee, that wasn't as hard as you made it sound."

Ah, STONE skin. For the Cauldron of Life. I'm pretty sure the Cauldron was Michael's idea.

Everything has a price. Xanatos just doesn't get that yet.

But Hudson has X's number. They're exchanges throughout this episode are a lot of fun. Like a flip on the Goliath/Renard exchanges in "Outfoxed". But better done, frankly. Less preachy.

These exchanges may have been the inspiration for Hudson and Xanatos killing each other in "Future Tense". Owen's watching and subconsciously realizes that in some way, Hudson and Xanatos make better natural adversaries than Goliath and Xanatos. Maybe.

Hudson: "Growing old terrifies you doesn't it?
Xanatos: "Nothing terrifies me, because nothing's beyond my ability to change." (Who else can lie and tell the truth in the same sentence with this much charm. I'm so proud of this boy.)
X: "What about you? Still wasting your nights in front of the television?" (An only semi-dated reference to both Hudson's origins as the comedic gargoyle Ralph and to the way we occasionally still relegated him to clock tower duty in order to have fewer characters to deal with.)

Note that Xanatos plans on giving Fox immortality as well. He knows he loves her at this point. Wouldn't leave her out.

He doesn't mention Owen though, and in general doesn't treat Owen with his usual respect. Goads him a bit. (Macbeth has already died for me once.) Or rather teases him. He probably figures that Owen can take it. But I think it gets to Owen a bit. Xanatos wasn't expecting Owen to test the Cauldron for him. Owen felt the need to prove something. As he says: "Service is its own reward."

Lots of people watched this episode and e-mailed me that X was a big jerk for treating Owen this way. Particularly at the end of the episode when Xanatos seems completely unfazed by Owen's stone hand. Of course in our minds, this was all a very subtle clue to Owen's true identity. Xanatos and Owen both know that this condition is only as permanent as the Puck chooses to make it.

"Over-sized chamber pot." Heh.

X loves them zingers. He nails Hudson with that "the hardest part was finding a replica for your sword."

I like Goliath's desperation in the scene with him and Elisa. "We need a sorceress. We need Demona. You are a detective."

She doesn't know how to find Demona though.

Meanwhile Mac's back, still using only those same four lines. Anyone catch on here? Or wonder why Mac was working for Xanatos again?

Broadway now knows the expression is "Sitting Ducks" not "Sitting Dorks" as he said it in "Enter Macbeth". A little inside joke.

Okay. Very little.

Erin sees Hudson pick up the stone skin and asks what it is.

Sunrise. At the end of Act Two, Elisa has an oddly timed slow reaction to events, that I wish we had found a way to trim a bit.

Benny was worried: "He's gonna break into pieces and never be alive again."

Erin was a bit more tv-savvy: "He's not going to break into pieces. Or this would be the last [episode]."

I didn't really think anyone would think we were actually going to kill BW here. I think the interest is to wonder over the commercial break exactly how the hell we're going to get out of this.

Beth asked: "How'd Elisa know to shoot at that box? Who came up with that? She clearly didn't like it."

Michael Reaves put in this bit about BW turning to stone in mid-air. And I cut it. That's right. Cut it. I thought that it was too big a deal to fit into this story or at any rate that we could never make the rescue convincing. But ultimately I put it right back in. Michael was right. We needed it here. Everyone worked very hard to make Elisa's save as real as possible. The carpet sign established in advance. The multiple shots it takes her just to hit the rope twice. And Brooklyn and Goliath's exchange:

Brook: "It's a miracle!"
Gol: "A miracle named Elisa."

We're acknowledging how unlikely this is and hoping you'll just share it with us.

I still don't know. It's fun. But I'm not sure we really pulled it off in a convincing way. What did you all think?

"Jalapeña, you're still alive!" Another tier risk. Since I couldn't be sure this would air after "Protection".

X: "Hudson, your bath is ready."

This is another cool exchange. The Price metaphor really comes through here.

The title, I think, was one of mine. Inspired by the Arthur Miller play and the Jim Starlin Graphic Novel of the same name.

Back at the Macbeth battle, here he is again. By this time, the robot thing may be more obvious. Same four lines. We still tried to preserve suspense. Since he's presumably working for Xanatos to distract the Gargs that may explain his behaviour. Anyone who thought he was the real Macbeth right until the moment G gutted him?

Elisa is out of bullets. At the time, I thought that made realistic sense. Always hated guns that seemed to have unlimited bullets. Now it just feels like she was dumb for not reloading.

But one other thing strikes me -- in today's environment, we probably wouldn't have been allowed to let Elisa use a realistic gun at all.

Boom. The Hudson statue is blown to bits. By this time you all knew it wasn't Hudson, but we were hoping that for a split second, the image itself would be shocking enough to make you forget. Just for a second.

I think it worked. Ben needed to reassure himself: "That's okay. It's not the real Hudson." I don't think he would have even bothered to say that, if for a split-second he hadn't thought it was.

Of course, Goliath, who had been on the verge of putting two and two together just before this attack, goes positively medieval on us. Before he aimed for Mac's sky-sled. Now he wants "Gargoyle Justice". He's trying to kill Macbeth. It's just lucky that (a) it was a robot and (b) we had a very understanding S&P executive.

I think the robot's death scene is pretty cool. We had John Rhys-Davies come in just to record five lines. The four that we reprinted over and over and one more 'winding-down' take on "You'll have to do better than that!" It's very cool. With the eye popping out and everything. Nice stuff.

One thing I remember discussing with Michael was the rescue of Hudson. Originally, I think he had Goliath and the boys figure it out and have them show up to get H. But I felt strongly that Hudson had to rescue himself. Prove to all concerned that his age was not the liability that X thought.

This is fun.

And I love that Hudson won't destroy the Cauldron.

Like Xanatos, we think that H is "just full of surprises." But it shouldn't be much of a surprise. I think that was right in character for Hudson.

And I love his parting shot: "What will be your legacy, Xanatos?"

Frakes and Asner were both just amazing in this episode.

X: "Let him go. He's earned it." Of course, that's right in character for X too. No revenge. No jumping up and down and whining.

And hey, now Owen's arm can live as long as the mountain stones.

"How literal-minded." I think that line was one of mine. Not sure. It would probably have helped if I had read those two drafts of the script I posted yesterday. But I didn't have time.

So there's my ramble. Where's yours?


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE: Chunks 5 & 6

Continuing the posting of pieces of the Bible for the version of THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES that I developed for BKN.

Here's the fifth chunk:

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO - June 14, 1947.
Nothing happened. Nothing at all. Every witness on every side of every version of every event was already working for the Alliance. Oh, today, you might be able to find some old civilian who swears he or she saw the crash from a distance. But that's just a tip off that they're telling tales. Nothing happened.

Vasquez did call the Sheriff to report the crash. And Vasquez, McKay and Ten-Samsons did convene in the desert. And McKay did radio Walker Air Force Base.

Air Force Captain Will Hawking was dispatched to the site of the incident -- with a full platoon of men. Alliance men.

On June 15, the news services did report that a U.F.O. had crashed near Roswell. Captain Hawking did confirm the story later that day.

June 16. General Burdette explained about the weather balloon. And the Vasquez Ranch was declared off-limits to all non-Alliance personnel. Heavy machinery was brought in. Underneath the ranch, construction began on the Bunker to end all Bunkers.

By July 7, the Alliance was able to remove every sign that work was proceeding underground.

On July 8, Trish Ainsley filed her U.F.O. story. The Alliance made sure it never got on the wire. It also made sure that copies of the story were circulated privately, but widely.

July 9. Captain Hawking resigns his commission. He disappears to supervise the completion of the Bunker.

July 16. Ainsley contacted Vasquez, McKay and Ten-Samsons, laying the groundwork for decades of obfuscation.

May, 1948. The Bunker was completed. The Alliance was up and running.

In between investigative assignments for the Alliance, Trish Ainsley continued to "pursue the Roswell story." The plan was clearly working. Most people either believed in weather balloons or casually and unconcernedly assumed that the U.S. government was covering up the existence of aliens on our planet. The few who actively pursued the latter course, were led down a garden path of false witnesses and manufactured evidence designed to lull them into believing that aliens are little grey men in flying saucers. Recent arrivals. Largely harmless. And nothing like the truth.

1949. T.G.A., The Global Alliance admits ten more nations: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway & Portugal. The Alliance began drawing the best and the brightest from all of TGA's member nations.

1952. Greece and Turkey join TGA. West Germany will join three years later.

March, 1955 - The Alliance used Tyler and Ainsley to seed the story of recovered alien bodies.

November, 1960. Segundo Vasquez, a chain-smoker, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Since he couldn't be cured, the Alliance decided to take advantage of this "unique opportunity" to add another layer to the lie.

January 4, 1961. With Alliance help, Joseph Ten-Samsons Senior faked his death. The story was spread that he died of cancer.

December 13, 1961, Segundo Vasquez did die of cancer.

1964. Dr. Tyler retired from the U.S. Army and then vanished off the face of the Earth. Actually, he became the Alliance's head scientist, and thus no longer had the time to lead a double life.

1965. France breaks with TGA for thirty years. They will rejoin the organization in 1995. Meanwhile, Spain will join in '82 and the newly reunited Germany will replace West Germany in 1990.

Meanwhile, back in July, 1971, after over two decades of being Burdette's right hand man, Hawking was ordered to resurface in order to rekindle the lie. Together, Hawking and Ainsley produced the Alliance-written fiction: THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES. They also fell in love and were secretly married.

February, 1972. Trish Ainsley discovered that she was pregnant. She chose to leave the Alliance in order to give her baby a normal life. Hawking elected not to join her.

May 1, 1972. The Alliance helped Trish Ainsley fake her death in a car accident. She returned to Great Britain to give birth and raise her child. Hawking went back underground as a full time Alliance operative.

June 14, 1972. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Roswell Crash, Alliance operatives McKay, Vasquez Diener and Kateras staged a press conference to keep the curious guessing.

August, 1980. Erich Diener -- an Alliance operative and the husband of Maria Vasquez Diener, a second generation Alliance operative --was killed in the line of duty. The story in above-ground Roswell was that he ran off and abandoned Maria and their two children.

June 1, 1982. 83 year old Warren Burdette passed away in his sleep. The story was put out that he died of cancer. Hawking was promoted to Night Officer.

June 14, 1982. Will Hawking resurfaced on the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Roswell crash. He and Jack McKay became very public spokesmen for both versions of the lie.

December 13, 1986. Hawking and the Alliance bought the ranch adjacent to the old Vasquez place in order to expand the Bunker even further.

March 18, 1989. Maria Vasquez Diener died in the line of duty. Again, cancer was blamed. Her son Alex, a third generation operative, was given his first taste of action and obfuscation.

In 1995, under Alliance supervision, the U.S. Air Force launched a new investigation into the Roswell Incident. The resulting report sounded so pat and phony that most people either believed it flat out or assumed that all the Roswell myths must be entirely true.

1996. Hawking convinces TGA to allow him to recruit individual operatives without regard to their citizenship or the membership status of their country of birth.

September, 1999. Roswell, New Mexico is both a serious tourist trap and a Mecca for true believers seeking (inaccurate) knowledge about extraterrestrials on this planet. Every Friday night, McKay and Hawking stage another debate about the Incident. They don't have to do it. They just enjoy it.

And now the 6th Chunk:

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO - September, 1999.
Tony Markus -- I bet you thought I forgot about him -- comes to town a half-step behind Siobhan Barrow. At this point, the only thing that's clear to Markus is that he's never had a case like this before.

Siobhan seems to have some kind of super-natural power --impressive super-natural power -- though not quite as impressive as that of the Tall Women pursuing her.

Likewise, the "Honeymooning Couple", though clearly not what they pretend to be, are also not what they seem to be either. Markus had thought they were Feds, but they've got some mighty strange methods, some even stranger weapons and the strangest possible friends.

Eventually, all is revealed. Siobhan is a member of an alien race, the SIDHE. She's on the run from her own people (the Tall Women) and is simultaneously trying to avoid being captured by ALEX DIENER & CLEA BALEWA (agents of the Alliance), who want to give her a life sentence simply because she exists. Markus just wants to get her back to L.A. so that cousin Dom doesn't have to pick up a fifty grand tab on her bail. Despite her power, Markus manages to reel her in and convince her to head west again with him. Together, they manage to stay a step ahead of both the Sidhe Warriors and the Alliance Agents. But all the good luck and skill in the world can't last forever.

Markus and Siobhan are cornered in the GRAND CANYON. The Sidhe attack, and it's the Alliance that comes to the rescue. But not Alex and Clea. The cavalry consists of JOSEPH TEN-SAMSONS JR., CEDRIC HARRIS and the alien YA-TUK. After an impressive battle, the Sidhe Warriors are captured. And Markus' life has been changed forever. There are aliens -- dangerous aliens -- loose on our world. He feels like his eyes are open for the first time. But he's not the only one. The Alliance has been very impressed with both Markus and Siobhan. They offer them each a job.

Markus, with his skills and experience, will become an investigator like Alex and Clea. Siobhan, with her raw power, will join Ten-Samsons' combat unit. Neither are sure they want what's being offered. Ultimately, Siobhan doesn't have many sunnier choices: (a) Life on the Run from her fellow Sidhe; (b) Life in an Alliance Prison, or (c) Life as an Alliance Operative. She chooses option (c).

As for Markus, it comes down to accepting the challenge. Hunting aliens. The ultimate skip chase. How can he resist? Well, once he's made sure that Dom hasn't been left in the lurch, the answer is: he can't. Thus Tony Markus and Siobhan Barrow become the two newest operatives of the Alliance.


Bookmark Link

"THE PRICE": "Final" Draft Script

This script is listed as a "Final Draft" after I took my pass on it. But skimming it, I'm not sure how final it actually was. It may have still gone through some changes, both before and after record.

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

Written by:
Michael Reaves

Based on comic book material by:
Lee Nordling

Revised draft: January 25, 1995
Final draft: February 1, 1995

Story Editor:
Michael Reaves

WALT DISNEY TV ANIMATION

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

CAST LIST

REGULARS
GOLIATH
HUDSON There is also a stone statue of Hudson in a typical sleep pose.
BROOKLYN
BROADWAY
LEXINGTON
ELISA

XANATOS
OWEN

RECURRING
MACBETH Actually a robot, (actually two robots), but visually indistinguishable from the real thing. He only speaks four lines, using them over and over.
BANQUO From 4319-022. Seven lines.
FLEANCE From 4319-022. Five lines.
STEEL CLAN ROBOT No lines.

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

EXT. MANHATTAN SKYLINE - NIGHT - PANORAMIC POV

A spectacular gargoyle's eye view of the city, covered by a thick pelt of snow. CAMERA MOVES SLOWLY through the maze of skyscrapers. Below, headlights and neon signs play prismatic colors. An enchanting vista.

LEXINGTON (V.O.)
Boy, the city sure is different
when it snows.

TRACK WITH GARGOYLES

As GOLIATH, BROOKLYN, BROADWAY, LEXINGTON and HUDSON ride the night wind.

BROOKLYN
Yeah -- it's colder.

FAVOR GOLIATH - PANNING

He permits himself a small smile.

GOLIATH
It's almost dawn, and we've
completed our patrol. Let's
return to the clock tower for
a good day's sleep.

FAVOR HUDSON - PANNING

He looks contented.

HUDSON
Not a bad life, all things
considered ...

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

Suddenly an ELECTRO-BLAST CRACKLES THROUGH SHOT, missing them narrowly and causing them all to scatter.

GARGOYLES
(surprised cries)

TRACK WITH BROOKLYN

He recovers his equilibrium, looks O.S. and reacts in shock.

BROOKLYN
Yeah ...

HIS POV

of MACBETH, swooping around on a return path, riding a small open-air flying platform supported and propelled by a repulsor device.

BROOKLYN (O.S. CONT'D)
Too bad he wants to end it!

WIDE ANGLE - INCLUDE OTHERS

Hovering as Macbeth heads toward them again, aiming one of his electro-magnetic guns. (NOTE: We will learn later that this Macbeth is a robot, one of several constructed by Xanatos. For now, treat him as the real thing.)

HUDSON
(shocked)
Macbeth!

They scatter as another LIGHTENING BLAST RIPS THROUGH SHOT.

MACBETH
I've been looking for you!

TRACK WITH GOLIATH

He folds his wings, drops, peels out O.S. During this:

GOLIATH
Spread out! Attack formation!

EXTREME WIDE

The gargoyles split up and swoop toward Macbeth from opposite directions in a pincers strategy.

GOLIATH
I don't know how you escaped
the Weird Sisters, Macbeth --

BROOKLYN
But you're gonna wish you hadn't!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Macbeth's platform suddenly shoots straight up out of the gargoyles' paths. Our guys only manage to avoid colliding with each other by adroit maneuvering.

GARGOYLES
(startled cries)

FOLLOW MACBETH

He does a steep glide and turn, FIRING down O.S. as he does.

TRACK WITH GOLIATH

He narrowly dodges a CRACKLING RAY. As he flies:

GOLIATH
Why do you attack us? What do
you want?

ON MACBETH - FLYING

Intent, murder in his eyes. He raises the gun again.

MACBETH
(laughs)
Trophies!

He sends a ray CRACKLING directly at us.

REVERSE ANGLE - BROOKLYN

The ray ZAPS him, causing him to fall O.S.

BROOKLYN
(stunned grunt)

ON GOLIATH

Reacting in shock. He dives down O.S.

ON BROOKLYN

Semi-stunned, dropping in a steep glide, about to pass out entirely. Goliath swoops INTO SHOT and grabs him.

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOF

He glides to it and deposits his stunned comrade safely on a snow-covered ledge. (STORYBOARD NOTE: During these last shots the eastern horizon is starting to glow with Pre-Dawn light.)

CLOSER ON GOLIATH

He launches himself from the rooftop again.

ON LEXINGTON AND BROADWAY

Heading toward us, grim and intent.

BROADWAY
We'd better finish this fast. The
sun's about to come up.

ON MACBETH

He triggers a control on the platform's console. A small canister shoots out O.S. from the platform's base.

TRACK WITH LEXINGTON AND BROADWAY

The canister sails IN, BURSTS apart and releases a rapidly-expanding net that settles over them. They react, but too late.

LEXINGTON, BROADWAY
(surprised walla)

ANOTHER ANGLE

The net ELECTRIFIES, shocking both of them into unconsciousness.

LEXINGTON, BROADWAY
(cries of pain)

ON ROOFTOP

They tumble down and CRASH on the rooftop beside the unconscious Brooklyn.

FOLLOW HUDSON

He catches an updraft and wheels about, drawing his sword.

TRACK WITH MACBETH

As he flies. Hudson is heading right for him.

HUDSON
(growls)

CLOSER ON MACBETH

He dips his hand into one of his coat's many pockets, and as Hudson comes at him he hurls a small packet right into the gargoyle's face. The packet hits Hudson and BURSTS, scattering a sparkling mist of white glittery powder all over him.

HUDSON
(surprised sputter)

ON FLYING PLATFORM

The craft drops, letting Hudson sail on O.S.

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOFTOP

Temporarily blinded, Hudson CRASHES on the rooftop alongside the still-unconscious Trio.

HUDSON
(impact grunt)

He rises to his knees, frustrated. He pulls the net off of Broadway and Lex.

TRACK WITH PLATFORM

Suddenly Goliath, eyes white, drops down INTO SHOT above Macbeth, grabbing him from behind in a bear hug.

GOLIATH
(growls)

ANOTHER ANGLE

Macbeth manages to twist his weapon back. He fires it right into Goliath's side, blasting him off the platform.

MACBETH
You'll have to do better than that!

GOLIATH
(cry of pain)

ON SKYSCRAPER PINNACLE

Goliath manages to land atop the pinnacle of a building which rises to a needle-like spire. He grips the spire with one hand, head drooping in a dazed slump, looking like King Kong just before taking that final dive.

GOLIATH
(dazed groan)

TRACK WITH MACBETH

He turns on the platform and aims his ray gun down O.S.

MACBETH
Farewell, my enemies!

ANGLE INCLUDES

RACK FOCUS from the lightening gun and Macbeth's hand in EXTREME f.g. to the trio and Hudson in b.g.

CLOSER ON HUDSON AND TRIO

The Trio's starting to revive, but won't recover in time. Hudson protectively steps between them and Macbeth.

TRIO
(groans)

ON GOLIATH

He reacts in horror as he sees the O.S. Macbeth's intention. His eyes blaze white.

GOLIATH
No!

Clinging to the pinnacle with one hand and both feet, he SNAPS off the six-foot long tip of the spire.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Goliath hurls the spire like a javelin with all his strength.

GOLIATH
(effort grunt)

DRAMATIC ANGLE - MACBETH

Just as he's about to trigger the ray gun the spire arrows INTO SHOT and SKEWERS the flying platform's control console. There's a huge ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE, and the platform goes into a dive.

WIDE ANGLE

All the gargoyles (the trio have recovered by now) stare in shock as the platform passes out of view behind a skyscraper. Followed seconds later by a huge EXPLOSION. Flaming debris flies back into shot.

ON HUDSON AND TRIO

They move so that they can see where Macbeth crashed. Flickering light paints their faces and bodies. Goliath drops down INTO SHOT beside them.

LEXINGTON
I don't believe it.

ON WRECKAGE

A mini-inferno of twisted, flaming metal. No one could have survived that crash.

HUDSON
Believe it, lad. Macbeth's dead.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Staring grimly O.S. Behind him the sky is roseate with dawn.

GOLIATH
I had no choice. He would have
killed the four of you.

Hudson moves IN beside him, absently brushing at the sparkling dust on his hauberk as he speaks:

HUDSON
No one's questioning you, Goliath.
(beat)
We'd best prepare to sleep right
here. Dawn is upon us.

WIDE ANGLE

The gargoyles assume threatening positions as the sun rises.

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. NEW YORK SKYLINE - PANORAMIC VIEW - DAY (TIME LAPSE)

TIME LAPSE shot showing the whole day compressed to a few seconds. Clouds boil and writhe across the sky, lights wink on and off in windows, shadows flow like spilled ink as the sun arcs quickly from east to west. As evening shadows lengthen

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BUILDING ROOFTOP - ON GARGOYLES - DUSK

Start with Goliath and PAN across the gargoyles as they each in turn SHATTER their carapaces and stretch in awakening.

GARGOYLES (EXCEPT HUDSON)
(wake up)

PAN STOPS on Hudson; it's his turn to awaken. But nothing happens. The last flicker of sunlight disappears from his adamantine form. (Note: the stone Hudson is holding his sword, which is not stone.) REFIELD TO INCLUDE Goliath and the trio, staring at him in stunned disbelief.

GOLIATH
Hudson ...?

BROADWAY
What's wrong? Why doesn't he
wake up?

FAVOR GOLIATH

As he approaches, gingerly touching the old warrior's stone face. He's totally at a loss, and maybe there's just a bit of panic in his face and voice -- this is totally unprecedented.

GOLIATH
I-I don't know ...

CLOSER

He looks closer. The fading light shows some glittery powder on Hudson's granite shoulder.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
Wait ... last night Macbeth
threw some kind of powder on
Hudson.

BROOKLYN
Powder?

FAVOR GOLIATH

He peers closely at the powder.

GOLIATH
Sorcery. A magical concoction
to keep him asleep.

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

Goliath and the trio stand around the stone Hudson.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
And it's up to us to find a cure.

LEXINGTON
But how? Macbeth's dead --
who else would know about the
powder?

FAVOR GOLIATH

Having come to a decision.

GOLIATH
Lexington and I will go to Macbeth's
mansion and question his lackeys.
Brooklyn, Broadway, stay here
and protect Hudson.

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOFTOP'S EDGE

Goliath and Lex prepare for flight. Brooklyn puts a hand on Goliath's arm.

BROOKLYN
(worried)
Goliath -- what if there is no
cure?

Goliath is in some denial.

GOLIATH
There is a cure. There must be.

DRAMATIC ANGLE

Goliath and Lexington take off from the rooftop and glide O.S. Brooklyn and Broadway watch him go.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. MACBETH'S MANSION - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

PUSH IN and

CUT TO:

INT. MANSION'S CONTROL ROOM - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

Here we find BANQUO and FLEANCE (last seen in #4319-22), desultorily playing poker. Behind them the monitor screens show various views of the grounds and mansion interior. Banquo tosses a poker chip on the pile. PUSH IN SLOWLY on them as they play.

BANQUO
Raise.
(beat)
Y'know, when we took this job,
the Boss promised us lots of
action.
(looks around;
disgusted)
Right.

FLEANCE
Relax. We could use a little peace
and quiet.
(beat)
See you and raise.

ANOTHER ANGLE

She tosses two chips in. Banquo scowls and looks at his cards.

BANQUO
Okay, whatcha got?

ANGLE INCLUDES MONITOR

Showing a view from the roof. Fleance grins and starts to lay her cards down.

FLEANCE
Read 'em and --

Suddenly an ALARM KLAXON SOUNDS and the words INTRUDER ALERT begin flashing in red over the roof view on the screen. PUSH IN quickly on the screen as Banquo and Fleance react and look. We can see the winged shape of Lexington silhouetted against the moon, approaching.

ON FLEANCE AND BANQUO

Startled at first; then they grin at each other.

FLEANCE
One'a those gargoyles.

BANQUO
All right. C'mon!

They head O.S. The door SLAMS. PUSH IN on another one of the monitors, this one covering one of the mansion's walls. We can see a shadowy shape climbing it. Another KLAXON SOUNDS and the red INTRUDER ALERT sign starts flashing on that screen too ...

CUT TO:

EXT. MACBETH'S ROOF - NIGHT

The two electromagnetic cannons used in #4319-022 rise up from the roof as Fleance and Banquo dash IN and man one each.

ON FLEANCE

POWERING UP the gun. A green screen with a blip on it appears on a console before her.

FLEANCE
In range in forty seconds ...

Goliath's hand reaches IN behind her, grabs her by the collar and yanks her O.S.

FLEANCE (CONT'D)
(startled cry)

ON BANQUO

Seated at his cannon. He turns, looks. ANGLE ADJUSTS TO INCLUDE the other cannon, now manned by Goliath and aimed right at him.

BANQUO
Hey! What in --?

Banquo dives out of the way, just as Goliath BLASTS Banquo's cannon with a lightening bolt.

BANQUO (CONT'D)
(dive)

CLOSER

Banquo covers his head to protect himself from flying debris. He looks O.S. and reacts.

BANQUO
(cry of fear)

HIS POV

Goliath, face in shadow save for his glowing eyes. He looks quite fearsome. Lex glides IN and lands beside him.

GOLIATH, LEXINGTON
(growls)

ON BANQUO

Goliath steps IN, seizes Banquo by the shirt front and lifts him up. He gets in the terrified guard's face and growls:

GOLIATH
I want your master's magic -- all
of it -- now.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Banquo is obviously too scared to lie.

BANQUO
I don't know where he keeps it!

Goliath drops him on top of his unconscious comrade and turns to Lex.

GOLIATH
We must search the house.
(beat; to Banquo)
Find another job. Macbeth
won't be coming back.

He and Lexington turn away as we

CUT TO:

EXT. - ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Broadway and Brooklyn flank the stone Hudson.

BROADWAY
I'm worried. Even if Goliath
finds something at Macbeth's place,
how are we gonna make it work?
None of us are sorcerors.

ON BROOKLYN

Suddenly, determined.

BROOKLYN
Let's just focus on protecting Hudson.
We can't let anything happen to him.

CUT TO:

INT. CAGE - NIGHT

Large, like a high-tech version of an old lion cage, lit by a single bulb. Where it's located is not immediately clear -- all is darkness about it. Within the cage is a figure in sillouette at first. Then the figure steps into the light. It is Hudson, flesh and blood and pissed as hell. (MODEL NOTE: Hudson does not have his sword.)

HUDSON
(raging)
You can't keep me in here
forever!

He grabs the bars; they deliver an ELECTRICAL SHOCK that knocks him back.

HUDSON
(cry of pain)

CLOSER ON HIM

Angrier than we've ever seen him.

HUDSON
I'll get out, d'you hear me?!
I'll get out, and when I do --!

FADE OUT

END ACT ONE

ACT TWO

FADE IN:

INT. CAGE - HUDSON -CONTINUOUS

We still don't know where we are. Hudson is pacing his cage like a trapped tiger.

CLOSE ON HIS FEET

We can see now that he's walking on bars that raise the cage perhaps six inches above a steel tray; basically a larger version of the tray used in pet cages to catch droppings (although this is for a different purpose). Scattered on the tray below the level of the bars where Hudson walks are the stone shards of his skin, shed this past dawn.

WIDE ANGLE

An O.S. CREAK OF HINGES stops his pacing. He looks O.S. and reacts grimly.

HUDSON
About time you came back.

ANOTHER ANGLE

We can tell now that we're in a dim-lit dungeon chamber. A shadowy figure approaches the cage as Hudson continues:

HUDSON (CONT'D)
Why did you kidnap me? What
d'you want of me?

ON SHADOWED FIGURE

Approaching. As he speaks he steps into the range of light from the cage's bulb and is revealed to be XANATOS. OWEN shadows him silently. He's holding a small box in one hand.

XANATOS
Nothing much, Hudson. Just --
your skin.

TWO SHOT - XANATOS AND HUDSON

Hudson glares warily at Xanatos.

HUDSON
You'll have the devil's own
task getting it.

FAVOR XANATOS

Urbane and unconcerned as ever.

XANATOS
Really?

Xanatos pulls a remote control from his pocket. He presses the button. The tray beneath Hudson's cage automatically SLIDES out. Xanatos crouches and picks up a few long shards of stone exoderm. He presses the button again, and the tray returns to it's normal position.

XANATOS
Gee, that wasn't as hard as you made
it sound.

HUDSON
So you're through with me.

XANATOS
Not quite. I need your help to
conduct a small experiment.

Hudson glowers at Xanatos, who presses another button on the remote. In b.g. a STEEL CLAN ROBOT carries a huge wooden crate IN and sets it down near the cage.

HUDSON
Experiment? What kind of
experiment?

ANOTHER ANGLE

The robot RIPS open the wood as though it were Christmas wrapping, showing us what's inside the crate: a huge iron cauldron, obviously very old. The robot turns and EXITS.

FAVOR XANATOS AND HUDSON

Xanatos stares at it with tense excitement; Hudson is wary.

HUDSON
What'll that be, then?

FAVOR XANATOS

He runs his hand over the cauldron's lip. We can see Celtic runes engraved along the iron side.

XANATOS
The Cauldron Of Life. The legend
says it grants whoever bathes in
it "will live as long as the mountain
stones."

FAVOR HUDSON

He raises an eyebrow.

HUDSON
Ah. You wish to be ... immortal?

XANATOS
Of course. What good are all the
riches on Earth if Fox and I can't
enjoy them forever?

FAVOR HUDSON

He's settled into a poker face.

HUDSON
And how do I fit into all this?

ON XANATOS

Xanatos leans toward the cage and holds up the shards of exoderm.

XANATOS
One of the key ingredients in
the cauldron's brew is the
stone skin of a gargoyle.

ON HUDSON

He moves in too, getting face to face with Xanatos without touching the electrified bars.

HUDSON
These ancient talismans are often
dangerous, Xanatos. I would've
thought your experience with
the Eye Of Odin had taught you
that.

XANATOS
You could be right. Maybe it
would be a good idea to test
the brew first.
(beat; evil grin)
Any volunteers?

The Steel Clan robot reenters, now carrying a large plastic container filled with water. Xanatos and Owen watch, as the robot pours the water into the cauldron. Xanatos holds the handful of stone skin fragments in one hand.

FAVOR HUDSON

He scowls.

HUDSON
You mean to dunk me in that
oversized chamber pot?

CLOSE ON CAULDRON

Xanatos tosses the shards in the water, and they DISSOLVE in a mystical flash. A beat; then, though no fire burns beneath the cauldron, the water apparently begins to BOIL.

XANATOS
Eventually. The legend says the
skin must boil for a night and
a day first.

FAVOR XANATOS

His usual smug, superior self. He glances at his watch.

XANATOS (CONT'D)
So be patient. If the procedure
is successful, I'll release you.

FAVOR HUDSON

He trusts Xanatos about as far as he can comfortably spit a rat.

HUDSON
And if it isn't ...?

CLOSE ON XANATOS

He smiles.

XANATOS
Then you'll have the privilege
of giving your life for science.

ANGLE INCLUDES HUDSON

Furious.

HUDSON
My clan will never rest until
they know where I am!

Xanatos is spectacularly unconcerned.

XANATOS
But they already know where
you are.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

Off his puzzled look, we PAN AWAY TO FRAME Owen as he opens the box and takes out a tiny statue of Hudson in sleep pose. He holds it up.

ANGLE INCLUDES HUDSON

Who stares at it.

XANATOS
This is just a sculptor's model,
of course. The real thing is
life-size -- and very life-like.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

He's screwed, and he knows it.

XANATOS (CONT'D O.S.)
(sticking it to him)
The hardest part was finding a
replica for your sword.

Xanatos turns to Owen.

XANATOS
Still there's no sense being
complacent. Let's make sure
the other gargoyles don't think
to look for him here.

WIDE

Xanatos exits. The robot remains on guard. Owen is about to follow, when Hudson calls out to him.

HUDSON
And what's in this for you?

FAVOR OWEN

OWEN
Service is it's own reward.
I would have thought you knew
that.

XANATOS (O.S.)
Owen, I want the gargoyles distracted.

He nods slightly, poker-faced as usual.

OWEN
Understood, sir.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Where Brooklyn and Broadway are guarding "Hudson". An ELECTRIC BOLT ZAPS the roof near them, scorching it and startling both of them.

BROOKLYN, BROADWAY
(surprised cries)

ANGLE INCLUDES

Macbeth, swooping toward them on another flying platform. Broadway and Brooklyn are astounded to see that he's apparently risen from the dead.

BROOKLYN
It can't be!

BROADWAY
There's no way he could've
survived that crash!

WIDE ANGLE

Macbeth ZAPS another bolt at them; this one comes perilously close to the Hudson statue. Both Brooklyn and Broadway are forced to leap from the rooftop to avoid it.

BROOKLYN
Well, for a ghost he sure
packs a wallop!

TRACK WITH GARGOYLES

As they swoop away from the rooftop.

BROADWAY
We've got to make him follow
us -- lead him away from Hudson!

Another POWER BOLT SCORCHES between them. They look back. REFIELD TO INCLUDE Macbeth, zooming after them.

BROOKLYN
I don't think that'll be a
problem!

ON MACBETH

He aims his weapon and FIRES again. During this:

MACBETH
(re-use line #??)
I've been looking for you!

In the heat of battle, neither gargoyle notices that he says this exactly the same way he said it before. Macbeth GAINS O.S. as we

CUT TO:

INT. ELISA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

WIDE

Goliath and Lex have been filling Elisa in.

ELISA
Any luck finding the cure at
Macbeth's house?

GOLIATH
No. We searched from attic to
cellar, but found nothing.

CLOSE ON GOLIATH

This is a real last resort for him.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
There's only one other hope.
We need a sorceress. We need
Demona.

ON ELISA

She's stunned by his request.

GOLIATH (CONT'D O.S.)
You are a detective. You must help
us find her.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Elisa puts a hand on his shoulder.

ELISA
Goliath, you know I'd do anything to
help. But honestly, I wouldn't even
know where to start looking.

GOLIATH
We can't just give up!

ELISA
We won't. I promise.

ANGLE INCLUDES

the brightening eastern horizon. Lex glances at it.

LEXINGTON
It's not long to sunrise. We should
head back. Brooklyn and Broadway will
be worried.

FAVOR ELISA AND GOLIATH

ELISA
I'd like to go with you.

Goliath nods and lifts her into his arms.

CUT TO:

EXT. ELISA'S APARTMENT - PRE-DAWN

TRACK WITH GOLIATH AND LEX

the former carrying Elisa, as they glide uptown.

CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON

Hudson glowers at Xanatos, as the latter enters and peaks into the boiling cauldron. He warms his hands above it. The robot remains immobile in the b.g.

XANATOS
The soup's cooking nicely.

HUDSON
You've obviously gone to a lot
of trouble. Had to carve your
statue weeks in advance. Tell me
something: Why me?

FAVOR XANATOS

Who thinks the answer is obvious.

XANATOS
Because you're old and getting
older. I thought you might even
appreciate the opportunity.

ON HUDSON

He crosses his arms. He's just picked up on one of Xanatos' few weaknesses.

HUDSON
Growing old terrifies you,
doesn't it?

ECU ON XANATOS

Hudson's pressed one of his few buttons.

XANATOS
Nothing terrifies me. Because
nothing is beyond my ability to
change.
(beat, petty)
What about you? Still wasting
your evenings in front of a
television set. You're of
little use to your clan; you
might as well be of some use to
me.

CLOSER ON HUDSON

Xanatos hasn't rattled him a bit.

HUDSON
Open this cage and I'll show
you just how useless I am.

HOLD ON XANATOS

He doesn't have a comeback. He burns, turns and leaves.

ON CAGE

Hudson SLAMS a fist into his palm in a frustrated gesture and turns to resume his pacing.

CLOSER ON HUDSON

He notices something at his feet. MOVE WITH him as he kneels to look closely at the slivers of rocky exoderm -- some of which are as long as a knife blade. Hudson reaches through the grated floor and touches his shed skin thoughtfully.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - ESTABLISHING - PRE-DAWN

A dark and dreary area, the deserted streets narrow and winding, with tall dark warehouses lining them. VERT. PAN UP TO FRAME Brooklyn and Broadway, fleeing for their lives, as another ELECTRICAL BOLT ZAPS a brick wall near them, SHATTERING it.

ANGLE INCLUDES MACBETH

Zooming along on his flying platform in close pursuit. We can see that the eastern sky is lightening.

MACBETH
(reuse line #??)
Farewell, my enemies!

TRACK WITH BROOKLYN AND BROADWAY

Flying through the narrow streets like Luke zooming along the Deathstar trench.

BROADWAY
At least we led him away from
Hudson!

BROOKLYN
Yeah -- now if only someone'd
lead him away from us!

ON BROADWAY - FLYING

His expression becomes determined.

BROADWAY
It's almost dawn -- and then
we'll be sitting ducks!

ANGLE WIDENS as he does a barrel roll, looping up in a backwards arc. During the next few shots we should be seeing the sky growing lighter and lighter.

BROADWAY (CONT'D)
Besides we gotta nail him. He's the
only one who can cure Hudson!

ON MACBETH - FLYING

As Broadway comes swooping down behind Macbeth, the latter turns and lines up on him with his weapon.

MACBETH
(reuse line #??)
You'll have to do better than
that!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Just before Macbeth fires, however, Brooklyn CRASHES into him from behind. Macbeth does not cry out from the impact (he's a robot), nor is he knocked down as we would expect a human to be. Instead he turns and grapples with the surprised Brooklyn.

BROOKLYN
(grunt of surprise)

ANGLE INCLUDES BROADWAY

swooping down toward them; he reacts in astonishment as Macbeth picks up Brooklyn and hurls him from the careening platform.

TRACK WITH BROOKLYN

He pops open his wings, catches air, slowing his drop. As he does so, he looks up and reacts in surprise as he sees:

LOW ANGLE - MACBETH'S FLYING PLATFORM

Just in time for Broadway to sail IN and be BATTED aside like an annoying insect by Macbeth's one-armed blow.

BROADWAY
(stunned grunt)

ON BROOKLYN

He lands on the fire escape next to a crane which holds a huge shipping crate on the end of its cable. The building has a sign on the wall that reads ROYAL PERSIAN CARPETS.

ON BROADWAY

Rising on a thermal while he recovers from Macbeth's blow.

BROADWAY
(groans)

ABOVE A NEARBY BUILDING

Goliath, Lex and Elisa glide into view.

GOLIATH
Look! Over there! It's Broadway!

LEXINGTON
The sun's about to come up!

CLOSE ON GOLIATH AND ELISA

He looks at her and comes to a decision. He and Lex land on the rooftop. He puts Elisa down, and looks O.S. in astonishment. The world is trembling on the edge of dawn.

ANGLE INCLUDES MACBETH

Turning his platform to come back for another shot at Broadway.

GOLIATH (O.S. CONT'D)
Macbeth -- and alive?!

ZAP! Macbeth FIRES O.S.

ON BROADWAY

The BOLTS SCORCH the air directly beneath him, forcing him to rise higher and higher.

ON GOLIATH, LEX AND ELISA

Goliath prepares to leap into the air, but Lex and Elisa grab his arms and points O.S. eastward in horror.

ELISA, LEXINGTON
Goliath! You can't! / The sun!!

ANGLE INCLUDES

The horizon, where the molten edge of the sun has appeared across the East River.

RESUME GOLIATH AND LEX

The PETRIFACTION starts, moving swiftly up their bodies. Goliath stares up O.S., struggling against the inevitable.

GOLIATH
(strains)
Broadway --!

And then he is stone, as is Lex.

ON BROADWAY

ON THE CUT he TRANSFORMS also, and drops like -- well, like a rock.

ON BROOKLYN

Brooklyn has an extra second of consciousness before the terminator moves down the building and envelopes him -- just long enough to see his friend plummeting toward certain death.

BROOKLYN
No!!

Then Brooklyn TRANSFORMS.

ON ELISA

In shock as she watches BROADWAY falling.

HER POV - BROADWAY

Falling away from us as we

FADE OUT

END ACT TWO

ACT THREE

FADE IN:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - LOW ANGLE SHOT - DAWN - CONTINUOUS

The stone Broadway falling right INTO CAMERA.

ON ELISA

She's only got a couple of seconds to come up with something. She looks frantically this way and that, then spies something O.S. (These scenes MUST play like lightning.)

HER POV - SHIPPING CRATE

The huge shipping crate at the end of the crane cable, level with the second story of the building. ZOOM IN on the box's side, where the words ROYAL PERSIAN CARPETS are stenciled.

ON ELISA

She whips her gun from its shoulder holster, aims and FIRES up O.S. repeatedly, emptying the clip.

CLOSE ON CRANE BOOM

She's a helluva shot -- most of the bullets STRIKE the hoist cable at the pulley junction, its weakest point. The cable SNAPS.

PULL BACK WIDE as the crate falls and SHATTERS on the street, releasing its cargo: a couple of dozen rolled up thick carpets. They barely have time to hit the street in a pile six feet thick before Broadway CRASHES down on top of them, bounces, lands again on the very edge of the pile and lies still.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa leans back against Goliath's petrified form.

ELISA
(big sigh)

CLOSER ON HER

She remembers Macbeth and looks up O.S.

HER POV - SKY

We can see Macbeth zooming away on his platform.

MACBETH
(reuse line #??)
(laughs)
Trophies!

RESUME ELISA

Watching him go.

CUT TO:
INT. DUNGEON

Xanatos stares at the stone form of Hudson. Looks into the boiling Cauldron. Owen enters.

OWEN
We have a field report from
"Macbeth". He kept the gargoyles
busy throughout the night.

XANATOS
Better watch out Owen. This Macbeth
fellow may be gunning for your job.
He's already died for me once on
this project. It's hard to top that.

ON OWEN

He raises an eyebrow.

WIPE TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - DAY

Elisa supervises as the crane lifts Broadway up toward the rooftop where Goliath and Lex are frozen in stone.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. EYRIE BUILDING - TWILIGHT

The sun sets.

CUT TO:
INT. DUNGEON

Hudson explodes out of his stone shell.

HUDSON
(awakening roar)

TIGHT ON HUDSON

He reaches behind him, as if to check that he still has a weapon stuck in his belt. Though we don't see it, he obviously still feels it there, and looks relieved.

CUT TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE ROOF - DUSK

Elisa is there with Goliath, Lex and Broadway. Brooklyn glides in for a landing. He immediately rushes to Broadway.

BROOKLYN
Jalapeña, you're still alive!
It's a miracle!

Goliath looks at Elisa who smiles.

GOLIATH
Yes -- a miracle named Elisa.

FAVOR LEX

Wheels clearly turning.

LEX
What I don't get is Macbeth. Why
did he cut and run?

BROOKLYN
Good question. He keeps saying he
wants us as trophies. Why didn't
he come back for us while we were
stone?

FAVOR GOLIATH

Suddenly realizing that "Hudson" has been left unprotected.

GOLIATH
Hudson!

DRAMATIC ANGLE

As all four gargoyles launch themselves into the night. Goliath carries Elisa.

CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT

FAVOR XANATOS AND HUDSON

Xanatos turns from the boiling cauldron to the old gargoyle. He holds Hudson's sword in one hand. With the other, he presses his remote. The cage opens. The Steel Clan Robot grabs Hudson and pulls him out. Owen is also present.

XANATOS
Your bath is ready, Hudson.

ON HUDSON

Hudson is there, arms held by a Steel Clan robot. Head high, determined to show no fear.

HUDSON
Listen to me, Xanatos. What
you seek demands a heavy price.

CLOSER ON HUDSON - INCLUDE XANATOS

Xanatos is listening, politely but with barely concealed impatience.

HUDSON (CONT'D)
I've been alive for over eleven
hundred years. Most of my clan
is dead and dust, and I am a
stranger in a strange land.
(beat)
Demona and Macbeth are immortal.
Has it brought them happiness?

XANATOS
Save your breath, Hudson. Old
age has its price as well, and
it's too expensive for me.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Where the "Hudson" statue keeps its lonely stone vigil. The gargoyles land and look about warily.

BROADWAY
No sign of Macbeth.

BROOKLYN
I still want to know how he
lived through that crash --
and why he keeps attacking us.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Thinking hard about it.

GOLIATH
It's almost as though he's trying
to keep us off guard while
something else goes on ...

ANOTHER ANGLE - ALL

A POWER BOLT from O.S. SHATTERS the edge of the roof, nearly toppling them all into the street.

GARGOYLES, ELISA
(surprised cries)

WIDE ANGLE

Here comes Macbeth again, FIRING furiously.

MACBETH
(reuse line #??)
Farewell, my enemies!

ON GARGOYLES AND ELISA

Elisa dives for cover behind a brick chimney, pulling her gun as she does so. The gargoyles take to the air as more BOLTS ZING THROUGH, some coming perilously close to Hudson.

AERIAL SHOT - WIDE

The gargoyles circle Macbeth, avoiding the LIGHTENING BLASTS.

GOLIATH
Keep him away from Hudson!

ON "HUDSON"

A nearby BLAST PEPPERS the statue with stone shrapnel.

ON BROOKLYN AND BROADWAY - FLYING

A massive POWER BOLT KNOCKS Broadway and Brooklyn out of the sky.

BROADWAY, BROOKLYN
(impact grunts)

They land on the roof's edge, half-stunned.

BROOKLYN
This is gettin' old ...

ON GOLIATH AND LEXINGTON

Swooping around for another pass. BOLTS SIZZLE THROUGH SHOT.

ON HUDSON STATUE

The POWER BOLTS are coming closer to it.

QUICK CUT - ELISA

She takes aim at Macbeth with her gun.

ELISA
Don't do it!!

She fires, but she used all of her bullets to save Broadway. The gun CLICKS harmlessly.

QUICK CUT - LEXINGTON

He sees what's going to happen and reacts in horror, but he's too far away to do anything about it.

LEXINGTON
(gasps)

ON GOLIATH

Arrowing straight toward us, hands outstretched.

GOLIATH
Hudson --!!

ON "HUDSON"

As a POWER BOLT STRIKES the statue squarely, BLOWING it to hell and gone.

REACTION SHOT - GOLIATH

Utterly horrified, as we

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The robot lifts Hudson from behind. Hudson struggles futilely.

HUDSON
(struggles)

WIDE ANGLE

The robot carries him toward the cauldron as we

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The dust still settling from the destruction of the statue. Goliath drops INTO SHOT beside the fragments.

ON GOLIATH

His eyes blaze white. He is in a killing rage, angrier than we have ever seen him before. He glares up O.S. Another POWER BOLT BLISTERS the roof right next to him, but he doesn't even notice it. With a:

GOLIATH
(roar of pure fury)

he leaps from the roof and soars up O.S.

ON MACBETH

FIRING O.S. at the oncoming juggernaut.

ON GOLIATH - FLYING

He takes an almost-direct HIT by a BOLT; it knocks him back, but he does a quick barrel roll and gets back on track.

GOLIATH
(growls)

WIDE ANGLE - MACBETH'S FLYING PLATFORM

Goliath gets one hand on the platform. He ignores another BLAST by sheer force of will and climbs aboard.

CLOSER

Before Macbeth can fire again Goliath tears the weapon from his hands and CRUSHES it.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Goliath's too angry to notice Macbeth's lack of fear. He grabs the robot, sustaining a massive SHOCK doing so. But he doesn't let go. Holding on with one hand, ELECTRICITY CRACKLING the length of his arm, he cocks the other fist back.

GOLIATH
Murderer!!

CLOSE ON THEM

As Goliath SMASHES a piledriver blow straight into Macbeth's chest, CRUSHING it. Circuitry SPARKS, FLASHES. Macbeth spasms as his system shorts out. When he speaks his voice RUNS DOWN like a slowing tape:

MACBETH
(reuse, but slow down, line #??)
You'll have ... to do ...
better ... than ... that ...

Goliath stares in disbelief.

CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

Hudson's about to be dumped in the cauldron. He struggles.

HUDSON
(struggles)

FAVOR XANATOS

He holds up the sword tauntingly.

XANATOS
Relax, Hudson. Without your
sword, you're helpless.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

And we see that his struggles mask the sight of one hand reaching behind him and beneath his hauberk and pulling out a long sharp shard of epithelial stone.

HUDSON
Swordless, maybe ...

WIDE ANGLE

As Hudson whips his arm around, driving the shard back directly into the face plate of the robot behind him. The robot SHORTS OUT spectacularly and falls away. During this:

HUDSON (CONT'D)
Helpless, never!

ANOTHER ANGLE

With one side free, Hudson drops his feet on the cauldron's side, balancing on the narrow lip, then leaps forward.

HUDSON
(battle cry)

PAN WITH HIM as he does a forward flip over the cauldron, wings folded, and IMPACTS feet-first squarely into Xanatos, KNOCKING the latter O.S. Owen reacts in surprise.

XANATOS
(impact grunt)

ON WALL

Xanatos SLAMS against it, dropping Hudson's sword. He then slides down to sprawl on the floor, stunned.

XANATOS
(stunned grunt)

ON HUDSON AND OWEN

Hudson grabs up his sword and whips about to face Owen. He points a warning finger at Xanatos' charge d'affaires.

HUDSON
Behave yourself, boy.

ANGLE INCLUDES XANATOS

Who gets to his feet somewhat shakily. He looks at Hudson standing there with his sword ready. In a heartbeat he's recovered his poise.

XANATOS
I underestimated you. Very
resourceful, using your own
skin as a weapon. I should
have thought of that.
(beat)
I suppose you'll destroy the
cauldron now.

TWO SHOT - XANATOS AND HUDSON

Hudson raises an eyebrow.

HUDSON
And why would I be doing that?
What you choose to do with
your life is your own affair --
as long as it's got nothing to
do with me.

ANGLE INCLUDES DOOR

Hudson backs toward the doors warily, sword ready. For once in his life Xanatos looks surprised.

XANATOS
You're just full of surprises.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Hudson reaches the doors. Stops and turns.

HUDSON
A friendly word of advice. True
immortality isn't about living
forever, man. It's about what
you do with the time you have.
(beat)
When all your scheming's done,
what will be your legacy Xanatos?

WIDE ANGLE

Hudson sheathes his sword, KICKS the doors open and runs O.S.

ON XANATOS AND OWEN

Owen pulls a pocket communicator from his coat, but before he can use it Xanatos puts a forestalling hand on his arm.

XANATOS
No. Let him go. He's earned it.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

The gargoyles and Elisa stand looking forlornly at "Hudson's" remains. The flying platform and the ruined Macbeth robot are nearby.

GOLIATH
Hudson was the greatest warrior
I have ever known. His loss
diminishes us all.

BROOKLYN
Yeah. Now I wish I'd... He was
one in a million.

As they speak, Hudson drops silently down INTO SHOT behind her. He grins as he hears the impromptu eulogies.

FAVOR LEX, BROADWAY AND ELISA

Holding back tears. From this angle we can't see Hudson.

LEXINGTON
He's forgotten more things than
we'll ever know.

ELISA
He was always there for us.

BROADWAY
I'm sorry, Hudson. I wish it
hadn't turned out this way ...

HUDSON (O.S.)
All things considered, I'm just
as glad it did, laddy.

The gargoyles and Elisa whip about in comical astonishment. REFIELD QUICKLY TO INCLUDE Hudson, leaning against a rooftop chimney and grinning widely.

FAVOR HUDSON

The others rush to his side.

GARGOYLES, ELISA
(walla)
Hudson --? What --? You're
not dead? I don't get it!

Hudson holds up a hand in a calming gesture.

HUDSON
It's a long story, and one
best told over a hot cup of
tea.

ANGLE INCLUDES STATUE RUBBLE AND "HUDSON" HEAD

Hudson turns and picks up the statue's head.

HUDSON
I think I'll keep this as a
souvenir. Not everyone can
reclaim their head after
losing it.
(beat)
Let's go home.

ON ROOF'S EDGE

The gargoyles glide into the night. Goliath carries Elisa.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. DUNGEON - NIGHT

The cauldron still BUBBLES in b.g. Xanatos looks at it.

XANATOS
I was so close to finding out
if the legend was true. Now
there's no one to test it on.

REVERSE ANGLE

Owen crosses to the cauldron in f.g., pulling up his sleeve as he goes.

OWEN
Allow me, sir ...

CLOSE ON WATER

Owen plunges his fist into the "boiling" water.

TWO SHOT - OWEN AND XANATOS

Xanatos watches in surprise as Owen pulls his fist out. The fist is now solid stone. Owen reacts quite unemotionally. He TAPS it against the side of the cauldron.

OWEN
It would appear, sir, that
the cauldron's spell of
immortality has a price.

XANATOS
Yes ... what was the legend?
Whoever bathes in it "will live
as long as the mountain stones."
How literal-minded.
(beat)
Thank you, Owen. That will
be all.

He turns and walks O.S., leaving Owen standing there with his new stone hand. Owen calmly rolls down his sleeve and rebuttons his cuff as we

FADE OUT

THE END


Bookmark Link

"The Price": First Draft Script

In preparation for my episodic rambles, I usually post the memo I wrote to the story editor with notes on that editor's first draft outline. This time, on "The Price", there was no memo. The outline must have been in very good shape. So instead I thought I'd post a couple scripts. Usually, I can't do that because back then I tended to edit by hand, and have my script coordinator, Denise Byrne, enter my changes into the computer. But this time, for whatever reason, I did (at least some of) the changes myself, so I still have both drafts on my computer. This one here is Michael Reaves' first draft script. [Note: some or all of the formatting will likely be lost in posting it here at ASK GREG. Read this for content, not format.]

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

Written by:
Michael Reaves

[based on comic book material by Lee Nordling]

1st draft:
1/12/95

Story Editor:
Michael Reaves

WALT DISNEY TV ANIMATION

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

CAST LIST

REGULARS
GOLIATH
BROOKLYN
HUDSON - There is also a stone statue of Hudson in a typical sleep pose.
BROADWAY
LEXINGTON

ELISA

SEMI-REGULARS
XANATOS
OWEN

GUESTS
MACBETH Actually a robot, but visually indistinguishable from the real thing. He only speaks three lines, using them over and over.

NON-SPEAKING PARTS
MATT BLUESTONE Non-speaking cameo.
3 COMMANDOS
1 STEEL CLAN ROBOT

GARGOYLES

"The Price"

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

EXT. MANHATTAN SKYLINE - NIGHT - PANORAMIC POV

A spectacular gargoyle's eye view of the city, covered by a thick pelt of snow. CAMERA MOVES SLOWLY through the maze of skyscrapers. Below, headlights and neon signs play prismatic colors. An enchanting vista.

BROOKLYN (V.O.)
Boy, the city sure is different
when it snows.

TRACK WITH GARGOYLES

As GOLIATH, BROOKLYN, BROADWAY, LEXINGTON and HUDSON ride the night wind. Broadway hugs himself against the cold.

BROADWAY
Yeah -- it's colder.

FAVOR GOLIATH - PANNING

He permits himself a small smile at Broadway's discomfort.

GOLIATH
It's almost dawn, and we've
completed our patrol of the
city. Let's return to the clock
tower and a warm meal.

FAVOR LEXINGTON - PANNING

He looks contented.

LEXINGTON
Not a bad life, all things
considered ...

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

Suddenly an ELECTRO-BLAST CRACKLES THROUGH SHOT, missing them narrowly and causing them all to scatter.

GARGOYLES
(surprised cries)

TRACK WITH BROOKLYN

He recovers his equilibrium, looks O.S. and reacts in shock.

BROOKLYN
Yeah ...

HIS POV

of MACBETH, swooping around on a return path, riding a small open-air flying platform supported and propelled by a repulsor device.

BROOKLYN (O.S. CONT'D)
Too bad it's about over!

WIDE ANGLE - INCLUDE OTHERS

Hovering as Macbeth heads toward them again, aiming one of his ray guns. (NOTE: We will learn later that this Macbeth is a robot, one of several constructed by Xanatos. For now, treat him as the real thing.)

HUDSON
(shocked)
Macbeth!

They scatter as another RAYBLAST RIPS THROUGH SHOT.

TRACK WITH GOLIATH

He folds his wings, drops, peels out O.S. During this:

GOLIATH
Spread out! Attack formation
Spartacus!

EXTREME WIDE

The gargoyles split into two groups and swoop toward Macbeth from opposite directions in a pincers strategy.

MACBETH
You'll have to do better than
that!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Macbeth's platform suddenly shoots straight up out of the gargoyles' paths. Our guys only manage to avoid colliding with each other by adroit maneuvering.

GARGOYLES
(startled cries)

FOLLOW MACBETH

He does a steep glide and turn, FIRING down O.S. as he does.

TRACK WITH GOLIATH

He narrowly dodges a CRACKLING RAY. As he flies:

GOLIATH
Why do you attack us? What do
you want?

ON MACBETH - FLYING

Intent, murder in his eyes. He raises the gun again.

MACBETH
I want your hides for trophies!

He sends a ray CRACKLING directly at us.

REVERSE ANGLE - LEXINGTON AND BROOKLYN

The ray ZAPS both of them, causing them to fall O.S.

LEXINGTON, BROOKLYN
(stunned grunts)

ON HUDSON AND BROADWAY

Reacting in shock. They dive down O.S.

ON LEXINGTON AND BROOKLYN

Semi-stunned, dropping in steep glides, about to lose consciousness entirely. Broadway and Hudson swoop INTO SHOT, Broadway grabbing Lexington and Hudson grabbing Brooklyn.

HUDSON
(straining)
Easy, lads -- we've got you --!

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOF

They glide to it and deposit their stunned comrades safely on a snow-covered ledge. (STORYBOARD NOTE: During these last few shots the eastern horizon is starting to glow with daylight.)

FOLLOW GOLIATH

He catches an updraft and wheels about, heading back.

TRACK WITH MACBETH

As he flies. Suddenly Goliath, eyes white, drops down INTO SHOT above him, grabbing him from behind in a bear hug.

GOLIATH
(growls)

MACBETH
(startled grunt)

ANOTHER ANGLE

A massive ELECTRICAL JOLT from Macbeth's armor knocks Goliath O.S. He falls from the platform.

GOLIATH
(cry of pain)

ON SKYSCRAPER PINNACLE

Goliath manages to land atop the pinnacle of a building which rises to a needle-like spire. He grips the spire with one hand, head drooping in a dazed slump, looking like King Kong just before taking that final dive.

GOLIATH
(dazed groan)

TRACK WITH MACBETH

He zooms down, a small packet held in one hand. As he sails past the gargoyles on the roof he hurls the packet at Hudson, who's a bit separated from the other three.

ON HUDSON

Before Hudson can dodge, the packet hits him and BURSTS, scattering a sparkling mist all over him. He reacts in surprise and confusion.

HUDSON
(startled cry)

ON MACBETH

He turns on the platform and aims his ray gun down O.S.

MACBETH
Farewell, my enemies!

ANGLE INCLUDES

The trio in b.g., the ray gun and Macbeth's hand in EXTREME f.g. RACK FOCUS from the gun to them.

CLOSER ON BROADWAY

He reacts. He could save himself, but he won't leave his friends. (They're starting to revive, but won't recover in time.)

BROADWAY
(gasps)

ON GOLIATH

He reacts in horror as he sees the O.S. Macbeth's intention. His eyes blaze white.

GOLIATH
No!

Clinging to the pinnacle with one hand and both feet, he SNAPS off the six-foot long tip of the spire.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Goliath hurls the spire like a javelin with all his strength.

GOLIATH
(effort grunt)

DRAMATIC ANGLE - MACBETH

Just as he's about to trigger the ray gun the spire arrows INTO SHOT and SKEWERS him square in the chest! There's a bit of an ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE about the entry wound, nothing too noticeable; we assume it's his body armor shorting out. Macbeth stiffens, but does not cry out. He collapses over the control panel of his platform, sending it into a dive.

WIDE ANGLE

All the gargoyles (Lex and Brooklyn have recovered by now) stare in shock as the platform COLLIDES with a huge ornate stone gargoyle on the top of a nearby building and EXPLODES. Flaming debris rains down O.S.

ON GARGOYLES

Staring O.S. in disbelief. Flickering light from the twisted, flaming wreckage paints their faces and bodies.

LEXINGTON
I don't believe it.

BROOKLYN
Believe it. Macbeth's dead.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Staring grimly O.S. Behind him the sky is roseate with dawn.

GOLIATH
I had no choice. He would have
killed the three of you.

Hudson moves IN beside him, absently brushing at the sparkling dust on his hauberk as he speaks:

HUDSON
No one's questioning your act,
Goliath.
(beat)
We'd best prepare to sleep here.
Dawn is upon us.

WIDE ANGLE

The gargoyles assume threatening positions as the sun rises.

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. NEW YORK SKYLINE - PANORAMIC VIEW - DAY (TIME LAPSE)

Let's try something difficult (and expensive): A TIME LAPSE shot showing the whole day compressed to a few seconds. Clouds boil and writhe across the sky, lights wink on and off in windows, shadows flow like spilled ink as the sun arcs quickly from east to west.(As if Frank didn't have enough to worry about ...) As evening shadows lengthen we

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BUILDING ROOFTOP - ON GARGOYLES - DUSK

Start with Goliath and PAN across the gargoyles as they each in turn SHATTER their carapaces and stretch in awakening.

GARGOYLES
(wake up)

PAN STOPS on Hudson; it's his turn to awaken. But nothing happens. The last flicker of sunlight disappears from his adamantine form. REFIELD TO INCLUDE the others, staring at him in stunned disbelief.

BROOKLYN
Hudson ...?

BROADWAY
What's wrong? Why doesn't he
wake up?

FAVOR GOLIATH

As he approaches, gingerly touching the old warrior's stone face. He's totally at a loss, and maybe there's just a bit of panic in his face and voice -- this is totally unprecedented.

GOLIATH
I-I don't know ...

CLOSER

He looks closer. The fading light shows some glittery powder on Hudson's granite shoulder.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
Wait ... last night Macbeth
threw some kind of powder on
Hudson. Here -- see?

The others crowd around.

BROADWAY
That's right -- I saw it.

FAVOR LEXINGTON

He peers closely at the powder.

LEXINGTON
I don't think there's any 20th
century science that can turn
flesh to stone.

GOLIATH
Sorcery, then. Macbeth put a
spell on him.

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

Grouped around the stone Hudson.

GOLIATH (CONT'D)
And it's up to us to find a way
to break it.

BROOKLYN
Sure, but how? Macbeth's dead --
who else would know about the
spell?

FAVOR GOLIATH

Having come to a decision.

GOLIATH
Lexington and I will go to Macbeth's
mansion and search it. Perhaps he
left some clue there.
(beat)
Brooklyn, you and Broadway will
stay here and protect Hudson.

ANGLE INCLUDES ROOFTOP'S EDGE

Lexington and Goliath prepare for flight. Broadway puts a hand on Goliath's arm.

BROADWAY
(worried)
Goliath -- what if there is no
cure?

We can see that this has occurred to Goliath too.

GOLIATH
Then we will mourn our friend
and mentor.

DRAMATIC ANGLE

Goliath and Lexington take off from the rooftop and glide O.S. Broadway and Brooklyn watch them go.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. MACBETH'S MANSION - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

PUSH IN and

CUT TO:
INT. MANSION'S CONTROL ROOM - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

As we last saw it in Episode #4319-008. Here we find BANQUO and FLEANCE (last seen in #4319-22), desultorily playing penny-ante poker. Behind them the monitor screens show various views of the grounds and mansion interior. Banquo tosses a coin on the pile. PUSH IN SLOWLY on them as they play.

BANQUO
Raise.
(beat)
Y'know, when we took this job,
BANQUO (CONT'D)
the Boss promised us lots of
action.
(looks around;
disgusted)
Right.

FLEANCE
Relax. After what happened with
them gargoyles last time I can
use a little peace and quiet.
(beat)
See you and raise.

ANOTHER ANGLE

He tosses two coins in. Banquo scowls and looks at his cards.

BANQUO
Okay, wise guy, whatcha got?

ANGLE INCLUDES MONITOR

Showing a view from the roof. Fleance grins and starts to lay his cards down.

FLEANCE
Read 'em and --

Suddenly an ALARM KLAXON SOUNDS and the words INTRUDER ALERT begin flashing in red over the roof view on the screen. PUSH IN quickly on the screen as Banquo and Fleance react and look. We can see the winged shape of Lexington silhouetted against the moon, approaching.

ON FLEANCE AND BANQUO

Startled at first; then they grin at each other.

FLEANCE
One'a those gargoyles.

BANQUO
All right. Payback. C'mon!

They head O.S. The door SLAMS. PUSH IN on another one of the monitors, this one covering one of the mansion's walls. We can see a shadowy shape climbing it. Another KLAXON SOUNDS and the red INTRUDER ALERT sign starts flashing on that screen too ...

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOF - NIGHT

The two electromagnetic cannons used in #4319-022 rise up from the roof as Fleance and Banquo dash IN and man one each.

ON FLEANCE

POWERING UP the gun. A green screen with a blip on it appears on a console before him.

FLEANCE
Be in range in forty seconds ...

Goliath's hand reaches IN behind him, grabs him by the collar and yanks him O.S.

FLEANCE (CONT'D)
(startled cry)

ON BANQUO

Also seated at the ray cannon. He turns, looks. ANGLE ADJUSTS TO INCLUDE the other cannon, now unmanned.

BANQUO
Hey! What in --?

He jumps out of his seat, fumbling for the gun on his belt. Before he can free it Fleance flies INTO SHOT, SLAMMING into Banquo and knocking him back against the cannon.

BANQUO (CONT'D)
(stunned grunt)

CLOSER

Fleance is out; Banquo dazed. He looks O.S. and reacts.

BANQUO
(cry of fear)

HIS POV

Goliath, face in shadow save for his glowing eyes. He looks quite fearsome. Lex glides IN and lands beside him.

GOLIATH, LEXINGTON
(growls)

ON BANQUO AND FLEANCE

Goliath steps IN, seizes Banquo by the shirt front and lifts him up. He gets in the terrified guard's face and growls:

GOLIATH
I want your master's collection
of magic spells -- now.

BANQUO
I-I dunno where it is! Macbeth
keeps 'em locked up. He-he ain't
been here for weeks!

GOLIATH
If you're lying --!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Banquo is obviously too scared to lie.

BANQUO
It's the truth! I don't know
where he is!

Goliath drops him on top of his unconscious comrade.

GOLIATH
Find another job. Macbeth
won't be coming back.

He and Lexington turn away as we

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Goliath and Lexington have joined the others and the stone Hudson.

GOLIATH
His lackeys say he hasn't been
there for weeks. There was no
time to search the entire place
before dawn.

BROOKLYN
But we've got to do something.
Hudson can't stay stone forever.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Looking very grim as he tries to think of a way to save his old friend. HOLD ON him, and then

CUT TO:

INT. CAGE

Large, like an old lion cage, lit by a single bulb. Where it's located is not immediately clear -- all is darkness about it. Within the cage is Hudson, flesh and blood and pissed as hell. (MODEL NOTE: Hudson does not have his sword.)

HUDSON
(raging)
You can't keep me in here
forever!

He grabs the bars; they deliver an ELECTRICAL SHOCK that knocks him back.

HUDSON
(cry of pain)

CLOSER ON HIM

Angrier than we've ever seen him.

HUDSON
I'll get out, d'you hear me?!
I'll get out, and when I do --!

He whips out his sword, brandishing it menacingly as we

FADE OUT

END ACT ONE

ACT TWO

FADE IN:

EXT. ROOFTOP - CONTINUOUS

Goliath and the others with the stone Hudson.

LEXINGTON
Brooklyn's right -- there must
be some way we can help.

GOLIATH
Broadway, Lexington -- remain
here with Hudson. Brooklyn --
return to the clock tower and
check the Grimorum. Perhaps it
contains a counterspell.

BROOKLYN
Right.
(beat)
What about you?

FAVOR GOLIATH

Looking even grimmer than usual.

GOLIATH
With Macbeth dead, only one other
knows enough about magic to help
Hudson.

INCLUDE OTHERS

They look at him like he's nuts.

BROOKLYN
(incredulous)
You can't ask Demona for help!

GOLIATH
There is no other alternative.

ON EDGE OF ROOF

Goliath prepares to take off.

BROADWAY
How will you find her?

GOLIATH
I'll find her. Somehow.
(beat)
And then perhaps I can --
bargain -- with her.

FAVOR LEXINGTON

Puzzled.

LEXINGTON
What could you offer Demona
to make her help you?

ON GOLIATH

We can see that it pains him to say this, but he says it with chilling determination.

GOLIATH
Her life.

WIDE ANGLE

Goliath and Brooklyn take off O.S. in different directions as we

CLAW WIPE TO:

INT. CAGE - HUDSON

We still don't know where we are. Hudson is pacing in his cage like a trapped tiger. An O.S. CREAK OF HINGES stops him. He looks O.S. and reacts grimly.

HUDSON
About time you came back.

ANOTHER ANGLE

We can tell now that we're in a dim-lit dungeon chamber. A shadowy figure approaches the cage as Hudson continues:

HUDSON (CONT'D)
Why did you kidnap me? What
d'you want of me?

ON SHADOWED FIGURE

Approaching. As he speaks he steps into the range of light from the cage's bulb and is revealed to be XANATOS. He's holding a small box in one hand.

XANATOS
Nothing much, Hudson. Just --
your skin.

TWO SHOT - XANATOS AND HUDSON

Hudson glares warily at Xanatos, sword still at the ready.

HUDSON
You'll have the devil's own
task getting it.

FAVOR XANATOS

Urbane and unconcerned as ever.

XANATOS
I need your help in conducting
an experiment. It's dangerous,
so I felt it necessary to insure
your cooperation.

HUDSON
Experiment? What kind of
experiment?

ANOTHER ANGLE

Xanatos makes a dismissive gesture.

XANATOS
I won't bore you with technical
details. If the procedure is
successful, I'll release you.

FAVOR HUDSON

He trusts Xanatos about as far as he can comfortably spit a rat.

HUDSON
And if it isn't ...?

CLOSE ON XANATOS

He smiles.

XANATOS
Then you'll have the privilege
of giving your life for science.

ANGLE INCLUDES HUDSON

Furious.

HUDSON
My clan will never rest until
they know where I am!

Xanatos is spectacularly unconcerned.

XANATOS
But they already know where
you are.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

Off his puzzled look, we PAN AWAY TO FRAME Xanatos as he opens the box and takes out a tiny statue of Hudson in sleep pose. He holds it up.

ANGLE INCLUDES HUDSON

Who stares at it.

XANATOS
This is just a sculptor's model,
of course. The real thing is
life-size -- and very life-like.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

He's screwed, and he knows it.

CUT TO:

EXT. EYRIE BUILDING - CASTLE COURTYARD - NIGHT

Xanatos and OWEN are conversing.

OWEN
The overseas shipment will
be here, but not before dawn.

CLOSER - FAVOR XANATOS

He's unusually excited. He slams a fist into a palm.

XANATOS
Very good, Owen. Now we have
to make sure the gargoyles don't
think to look here for Hudson. I
want them -- distracted.

ON OWEN

He nods slightly, poker-faced as usual.

OWEN
Understood.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Where Lex and Broadway are guarding "Hudson". An ELECTRIC BOLT ZAPS the roof near them, scorching it and startling both of them.

LEXINGTON, BROADWAY
(surprised cries)

ANGLE INCLUDES

Macbeth, swooping toward them on another flying platform. Broadway and Lex are astounded to see that he's apparently risen from the dead.

LEXINGTON
It can't be! He's dead!

WIDE ANGLE

Macbeth ZAPS another bolt at them; this one comes perilously close to the Hudson statue. Both Lex and Hudson are forced to leap from the rooftop to avoid it.

BROADWAY
Well, for a ghost he sure
packs a wallop!

TRACK WITH GARGOYLES

As they swoop away from the rooftop.

BROADWAY
We've got to make him follow
us -- lead him away from Hudson!

Another POWER BOLT SCORCHES between them. They look back. REFIELD TO INCLUDE Macbeth, zooming after them.

LEXINGTON
I don't think that'll be a
problem!

ON MACBETH

He aims his weapon and FIRES again. During this:

MACBETH
I want your hides for trophies!

In the heat of battle, neither gargoyle notices that he says this exactly the same way he said it before; we should re-use the reading. Macbeth GAINS O.S. as we

CUT TO:

EXT. PRECINCT HOUSE - NIGHT

ELISA is just leaving, her shift over. MATT BLUESTONE parts company with her at the bottom of the steps.

ELISA
'Night, Matt.

EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Elisa is about to get into her car when a winged figure steps out from the shadows of the building.

ELISA
(surprised)
Goliath?

ON GOLIATH

He joins Elisa, glancing about to make sure they're alone.

ELISA
What's up?

ANOTHER ANGLE

Before Goliath can reply Brooklyn drops down INTO SHOT, landing next to them. Elisa reacts.

BROOKLYN
(to Goliath)
Figured I'd find you here.
(beat)
Nothing in the Grimorum that'll
help us.

FAVOR GOLIATH

He nods; the news is disappointing but not unexpected. He turns back to Elisa.

GOLIATH
We need your help finding
someone.

ELISA
Sure, you got it. Who you
looking for?

CLOSER - FAVOR BROOKLYN

Obviously not at all in favor of this.

BROOKLYN
(disgusted)
Believe it or not -- Demona.

REACTION SHOT - ELISA

She is, of course, quite taken aback.

ELISA
Must be important.
(beat)
You gonna tell me why?

FAVOR GOLIATH

We see he wants to, but:

GOLIATH
There's no time. But it's
imperative that we find her.

ELISA
We don't have any files on her;
most people don't even know she
exists. Finding her could take
weeks.

ANGLE INCLUDES

the brightening eastern horizon. Goliath glances at it.

GOLIATH
Do what you can -- please.
(beat)
I must go.

He and Brooklyn turn away, then stop as they and Elisa hear over Elisa's car radio:

DISPATCH (V.O.)
All units. Aerial disturbance at
South and Caroline streets. Laser
fire reported; use caution.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa, Goliath and Brooklyn look at each other.

BROOKLYN
That's not far from where we
left Hudson!

GOLIATH
Take to the air -- quickly!

ANGLE INCLUDES BUILDING

The two gargoyles climb swiftly up the side, digging holes in the masonry with their claws. APPROPRIATE SFX. PAN TO Elisa as she turns and dashes for her car.

CUT TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

A dark and dreary area, the deserted streets narrow and winding, with tall dark warehouses lining them. VERT. PAN UP TO FRAME Lexington and Broadway, fleeing for their lives, as another ELECTRICAL BOLT ZAPS a brick wall near them, SHATTERING it.

ANGLE INCLUDES MACBETH

Zooming along on his flying platform in close pursuit. We can see that the eastern sky is lightening.

MACBETH
Farewell, my enemies!

Again, the line is spoken exactly as previously.

TRACK WITH LEXINGTON AND BROADWAY

Flying through the narrow streets like Luke zooming along the Deathstar trench.

LEXINGTON
At least we led him away from
Hudson!

BROADWAY
Yeah -- now if only someone'd
lead him away from us!

ON LEXINGTON - FLYING

His expression becomes determined.

LEXINGTON
It's almost dawn -- and then
we'll be sitting ducks!

ANGLE WIDENS as he does a barrel roll, looping up in a backwards arc. During the next few shots we should be seeing the sky growing lighter and lighter.

LEXINGTON (CONT'D)
(battle cry)

ON MACBETH - FLYING

As Lex comes swooping down behind Macbeth, the latter turns and lines up on him with his weapon.

MACBETH
You'll have to do better than
that!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Just before Macbeth fires, however, Broadway CRASHES into him from behind. Macbeth does not cry out from the impact (he's a robot, remember?), nor is he knocked down as we would expect a human to be. Instead he turns and grapples with the surprised Broadway.

BROADWAY
(grunt of surprise)

ANGLE INCLUDES LEXINGTON

swooping down toward them; he reacts in astonishment as Macbeth picks up Broadway and hurls him from the careening platform.

BROADWAY
(surprised cry)

TRACK WITH BROADWAY

He pops open his wings, catches air, slowing his drop. As he does so, he looks up and reacts in surprise as he sees:

LOW ANGLE - MACBETH'S FLYING PLATFORM

Just in time for Lex to sail IN and be BATTED aside like an annoying insect by Macbeth's one-armed blow.

LEXINGTON
(stunned grunt)

ON BROADWAY

He lands on the fire escape next to a crane which holds a huge shipping crate on the end of its cable. The building has a sign on the building's wall that reads ROYAL PERSIAN CARPETS. We can see the street; at the far end of it Elisa's car SCREECHES around the corner and heads toward us.

ON LEXINGTON

Rising on a thermal while he recovers from Macbeth's blow.

LEXINGTON
(groans)

ON TOP OF NEARBY BUILDING

Goliath and Brooklyn sail IN and land on the ledge, looking about for their clan mates. The world is trembling on the edge of dawn. Goliath points O.S. in astonishment.

GOLIATH
Over there!

ANGLE INCLUDES MACBETH

Turning his platform to come back for another shot at Lex.

GOLIATH (O.S. CONT'D)
Macbeth -- still alive?!

ZAP! Macbeth FIRES O.S.

ON LEXINGTON

The BOLTS SCORCH the air directly beneath him, forcing him to rise higher and higher.

ON GOLIATH AND BROOKLYN

Goliath prepares to leap into the air, but Brooklyn grabs his arm and points O.S. eastward in horror.

BROOKLYN
Goliath!

ANGLE INCLUDES

The horizon, where the molten edge of the sun has appeared across the East River.

RESUME GOLIATH AND BROOKLYN

The PETRIFACTION starts, moving swiftly up their bodies. Goliath stares up O.S., struggling against the inevitable.

GOLIATH
(strains)
Lexington --!

And then he is stone, as is Brooklyn.

ON LEXINGTON

ON THE CUT he TRANSFORMS also, and drops like -- well, like a rock.

ON BROADWAY AND ELISA

Elisa now standing beneath Broadway, both of them staring up in horror. Broadway has an extra second of consciousness before the terminator moves down the building and envelopes him -- just long enough to see his friend plummeting toward certain death.

BROADWAY
No!!

Then he TRANSFORMS.

ON ELISA

In shock as she watches Lexington falling.

HER POV - LEXINGTON

Falling straight toward us as we

FADE OUT

END ACT TWO

ACT THREE

FADE IN:

EXT. WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - LOW ANGLE SHOT - DAWN - CONTINUOUS

The stone Lexington falling right INTO CAMERA.

ON ELISA

She's only got a couple of seconds to come up with something. She looks frantically this way and that, then spies something O.S. (Needless to say, these scenes must play like lightning.)

HER POV - SHIPPING CRATE

The huge shipping crate at the end of the crane cable, level with the second story of the building. ZOOM IN on the box's side, where the words ROYAL PERSIAN CARPETS are stenciled.

ON ELISA

She whips her gun from its shoulder holster, aims and FIRES up O.S. repeatedly, emptying the clip.

CLOSE ON CRANE BOOM

She's a helluva shot -- the bullets STRIKE the hoist cable at the pulley junction, its weakest point. The cable SNAPS; PULL BACK TO WIDE as the crate falls and SHATTERS on the street, releasing its cargo: a couple of dozen rolled up thick carpets. They barely have time to hit the street in a pile six feet thick before Lex CRASHES down on top of them, bounces, lands again on the very edge of the pile and lies still.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa races to Lexington's side. His stone form is unharmed.

ELISA
(big sigh)

CLOSER ON HER

She remembers Macbeth and looks up O.S.

HER POV - SKY

We can see Macbeth zooming away on his platform.

RESUME ELISA

Watching him go.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. EYRIE BUILDING - CASTLE COURTYARD - DAY

Where Xanatos and Owen are looking at a large wooden crate sitting on the flagstones. They each use a crowbar to lever the top open. The wood falls away with a CRASH.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Showing us -- and the two men -- what's inside the crate: a huge iron cauldron, obviously very old.

OWEN
Might I ask what it is?

FAVOR XANATOS

He runs his hand over the cauldron's lip. We can see Celtic runes engraved along the iron side.

XANATOS
The Cauldron Of Life.

WIDE ANGLE

Xanatos SNAPS a finger and several FLUNKIES come forward and begin DISMANTLING the crate. This action continues in b.g. as Xanatos and Owen walk away.

XANATOS (CONT'D)
I learned about it from ancient
Celtic texts. The legend says
it grants to whoever bathes in
it "a life as long as that of
stone itself."

OWEN
Ah. Your interest in it now
becomes clear.

XANATOS
Exactly. What good are all the
riches on Earth if Fox and I
are not around to enjoy them
forever?

CUT TO:

INT. GREAT HALL - DAY

Xanatos and Owen walk IN cross to the elevators.

OWEN
These ancient spells are often
dangerous. Our experience with
the Eye Of Odin proves that.

CLOSER ON THEM

The elevator doors open and they step in. As the doors close:

XANATOS
Which is why we'll test it
first.

CUT TO:

INT. DUNGEON - ON CAGE

Which contains the now-stone Hudson. REFIELD TO INCLUDE elevator doors, which open to reveal Owen and Xanatos. They
cross to the cage. During this:

XANATOS
Gargoyle physiology is similar
enough to humans to make
Hudson a good test subject.

CLOSE ON CAGE

On the floor of the cage we can see several shards of stone epidermis that Hudson shed the previous night. Xanatos' hand reaches IN and picks one up. PULL BACK TO INCLUDE him and Owen as he holds it up to examine it.

XANATOS (CONT'D)
Also, one of the key ingredients
for the cauldron's brew is the
stone skin of a gargoyle.

OWEN
Quite expedient.

XANATOS
Yes. And if the old gargoyle
is made young again, we'll
know it works.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Owen checks his watch.

OWEN
A pity we'll have to wait
twelve hours to test it.

ON XANATOS

Eyes all but glowing in anticipation.

XANATOS
Twelve hours isn't too long
to wait for eternity.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. WAREHOUSE ROOF - DUSK

Where the stone statues of Brooklyn and Goliath have been joined by Lexington and Broadway. Elisa is there waiting for them to wake up.

ANOTHER ANGLE

The sun vanishes beyond the western horizon and the four gargoyles SHATTER their stone skins and awaken.

BROOKLYN, GOLIATH, LEX, BROADWAY
(wake up)

FAVOR GARGOYLES

Lex's clan mates are surprised and overjoyed to see him. Lex is no less surprised at being there.

LEXINGTON
Hey -- I'm still alive!

BROOKLYN
It's a miracle!

Goliath looks over at Elisa, who smiles.

GOLIATH
Yes -- a miracle named Elisa.

WIDE ANGLE - ALL

The gargoyles crowd around Elisa.

LEXINGTON
How'd you save me from
shattering?

ELISA
That was easy. The hard part
was convincing the rug merchant
to have you and Broadway put up
on the roof.
(beat)
Now; I think I've earned the
right to know what's going on.

FAVOR GOLIATH

He picks Elisa up in his arms.

GOLIATH
We will show you.

CLAW WIPE TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Where "Hudson" keeps his lonely stone vigil. The gargoyles land, Goliath setting Elisa down. She's astonished.

ELISA
He's still stone!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa touches "Hudson", unable to believe this.

ELISA (CONT'D)
But it's night time.

GOLIATH
Precisely. Macbeth put a spell
on him.

BROADWAY
We haven't figured out why --
or why he keeps attacking us.

FAVOR GOLIATH

Thinking hard about it.

GOLIATH
It's almost as though he's trying
to keep us off guard while
something else goes on ...

ANOTHER ANGLE - ALL

A POWER BOLT from O.S. SHATTERS the edge of the roof, nearly toppling them all into the street.

GARGOYLES, ELISA
(surprised cries)

WIDE ANGLE

Here comes Macbeth again, FIRING furiously.

MACBETH
Farewell, my enemies!

ON GARGOYLES AND ELISA

Elisa dives for cover behind a brick chimney, pulling her gun as she does so. The gargoyles take to the air as more BOLTS ZING THROUGH, some coming perilously close to Hudson.

AERIAL SHOT - WIDE

The gargoyles circle Macbeth, avoiding the POWER BLASTS.

GOLIATH
Keep him away from Hudson!

ON ELISA

Lying behind the chimney, unable to get a clear shot. She ducks and covers as another nearby BLAST PEPPERS the chimney with stone shrapnel.

CUT TO:

INT. GREAT HALL - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The Cauldron now sits in the center of the Hall, filled with water. Xanatos and Owen watch. Hudson is there, arms held by a Steel Clan robot. Xanatos holds a handful of stone skin fragments in one hand and Hudson's sword in the other.

XANATOS
Now for the final ingredient ...

CLOSE ON CAULDRON

He tosses the fragments in the water, and they DISSOLVE in a mystical flash. A beat; then, though no fire burns beneath the cauldron, the water apparently begins to BOIL.

FAVOR XANATOS AND HUDSON

Xanatos turns to the old gargoyle.

XANATOS
Time for your bath, Hudson.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

A POWER BOLT KNOCKS Broadway and Brooklyn out of the sky.

BROADWAY, BROOKLYN
(impact grunts)

They land on the roof's edge, half-stunned.

ON GOLIATH AND LEXINGTON

Swooping around for another pass. BOLTS SIZZLE THROUGH SHOT.

ON HUDSON STATUE

The POWER BOLTS are coming closer to it.

QUICK CUT - ELISA

She sees what's going to happen and reacts in horror.

QUICK CUT - LEXINGTON

He has the same reaction, but is too far away to do anything about it.

LEXINGTON
(gasps)

ON GOLIATH

Arrowing straight toward us, hands outstretched.

GOLIATH
Hudson --!!

ON "HUDSON"

As a POWER BOLT STRIKES the statue squarely, BLOWING it to hell and gone.

REACTION SHOT - GOLIATH

Utterly horrified, as we

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. GREAT HALL - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The robot lifts Hudson from behind. Hudson struggles futilely.

HUDSON
(struggles)

WIDE ANGLE

The robot carries him toward the cauldron as we

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

The dust still settling from the destruction of the statue. Goliath drops INTO SHOT beside the fragments.

ON GOLIATH

His eyes blaze white. He is in a killing rage, angrier than we have ever seen him before. He glares up O.S. Another POWER BOLT BLISTERS the roof right next to him, but he doesn't even notice it. With a:

GOLIATH
(scream of rage)

he leaps from the roof and soars up O.S.

ON MACBETH

FIRING O.S. at the oncoming juggernaut.

ON GOLIATH - FLYING

He takes an almost-direct HIT by a BOLT; it knocks him back, but he flaps his wings and recovers, gets back on track.

GOLIATH
(growls)

He's HIT again, but nothing can stop him.

WIDE ANGLE - MACBETH'S FLYING PLATFORM

Goliath muscles his way through another BLAST by sheer force of will and lands on the platform.

CLOSER

Before Macbeth can fire again Goliath tears the weapon from his hands and CRUSHES it.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Goliath's to angry to notice Macbeth's lack of fear. He grabs the robot, sustaining a massive SHOCK doing so. But he doesn't let go. Holding on with one hand, ELECTRICITY CRACKLING the length of his arm, he cocks the other fist back.

GOLIATH
Murderer!!

CLOSE ON THEM

As Goliath SMASHES a piledriver blow straight into Macbeth's chest, CRUSHING it. Circuitry SPARKS, FLASHES. Macbeth spasms as his system shorts out. When he speaks his voice RUNS DOWN like a slowing tape:

MACBETH
You'll have ... to do ...
better ... than ... that ...

Goliath stares in disbelief.

CUT TO:

INT. GREAT HALL - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

Hudson's about to be dumped in the cauldron. He struggles.

HUDSON
(struggles)

FAVOR XANATOS

He holds up the sword tauntingly.

XANATOS
Relax, Hudson. Without your
sword, you're helpless.

CLOSE ON HUDSON

And we see that his struggles mask the sight of one hand reaching beneath his hauberk and pulling out a long sharp shard of epithelial stone.

HUDSON
Weaponless, maybe ...

WIDE ANGLE

As Hudson whips his arm around, driving the shard back directly into the face plate of the robot behind him. The robot SHORTS OUT spectacularly and falls away. During this:

HUDSON (CONT'D)
Helpless, never!

ANOTHER ANGLE

With one side free, Hudson drops his feet on the cauldron's side, balancing on the narrow lip, then leaps forward.

HUDSON
(battle cry)

PAN WITH HIM as he does a forward flip over the cauldron, wings folded, and IMPACTS feet-first squarely into Xanatos, KNOCKING the latter O.S. Owen reacts in surprise.

XANATOS
(impact grunt)

ON WALL

Xanatos SLAMS against it, dropping Hudson's sword. He then slides down to sprawl on the floor, stunned.

XANATOS
(stunned grunt)

ON HUDSON AND OWEN

Hudson grabs up his sword and whips about to face Owen. He points a warning finger at Xanatos' charge d'affaires.

HUDSON
Behave yourself, boy.

It's a Mexican stand-off for a beat, then:

ANGLE INCLUDES DOORS

Which SMASH open, revealing Goliath, Lexington, Broadway and Brooklyn, all of them decidedly pissed off.

GOLIATH
Xanatos, you will pay for --

He breaks off in astonishment at the sight of Hudson, alive and well.

BROOKLYN
Hudson?!

ANOTHER ANGLE

Hudson's clan mates rush to him.

HUDSON
It's about time you showed up.

LEXINGTON
We thought you were dead!

BROADWAY
We saw Macbeth shatter you!

BROOKLYN
Yeah -- we left Elisa to guard
your remains.

FAVOR HUDSON

He's got no idea what they're talking about.

HUDSON
Macbeth? Remains? Have ye all
gone daft?

FAVOR GOLIATH

He notices Owen, standing by Xanatos' stunned form and speaking sotto into a cellular phone.

GOLIATH
I think explanations had best
wait. Come!

CUT TO:

EXT. EYRIE BUILDING - CASTLE - NIGHT

The gargoyles leap from the battlements and soar away over the city just as several of Xanatos' COMMANDOS rush IN. They FIRE LASERBLASTS after them, but it's too late.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

Elisa stands looking forlornly at "Hudson's" remains. The flying platform and the ruined Macbeth robot are nearby.

ELISA
I'm sorry, Hudson ... I wish
it hadn't turned out this
way ...

As she speaks, the gargoyles drop silently down INTO SHOT behind her. Hudson now has his sword in his belt. They grin as they hear Elisa's words.

HUDSON
All things considered, I'm
glad it did, lass.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Elisa whips about in comical astonishment.

ELISA
Hudson --? What --? You're
not --?

HUDSON
It's a long story, my bonnie,
and one best told over a hot
cup of tea.

WIDE ANGLE

Goliath scoops Elisa up. Hudson picks up the statue's head.

HUDSON
I think I'll keep this as a
souvenir. Not everyone can
reclaim their head after
losing it.

ON ROOF'S EDGE

The gargoyles glide into the night, Goliath holding Elisa.

WIPE TO:

EXT. GREAT HALL - NIGHT

Owen is helping Xanatos to his feet. The cauldron still BUBBLES in b.g. Xanatos is angry.

XANATOS
Blast it! I was so close to
finding out if the legend was
true. Now there's no one to
test it on.

REVERSE ANGLE

Owen crosses to the cauldron in f.g., pulling up his sleeve.

OWEN
Allow me, sir ...

CLOSE ON WATER

Owen plunges his fist into the "boiling" water.

TWO SHOT - OWEN AND XANATOS

Xanatos watches in surprise as Owen pulls his fist out. The fist and arm are now solid stone up to the cuff's edge. Owen reacts quite unemotionally to this.

OWEN
It would appear, sir, that
the cauldron's spell of
immortality has a price.

XANATOS
Yes ... what was the legend?
"A life as long as that of
stone itself."
(beat)
Thank you, Owen. That will
be all.

He turns and walks O.S., leaving Owen standing there with his new stone hand as we

FADE OUT

THE END


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES: 3rd & 4th Chunk

Here's a couple more chunks from the 1998 Roswell Conspiracies Bible...

3rd Chunk:

EURASIA - 1944
In the last year of World War II, a select group of Allied Intelligence operatives stumbled upon a threat to the planet Earth that would make the War seem like a church social.

Aliens -- extraterrestrials from half a dozen different planets --had invaded our world. Some of them had been here for centuries. Some could pose or pass as humans. Some had infiltrated our governments and institutions, insinuating themselves into positions of power throughout the world.

Leaders of four of the most prominent alien races had formed a CADRE. Using the chaos caused by the War, the Cadre was positioning itself to take our planet for themselves.

Fortunately, their plan was discovered by O.S.S. agent Warren Burdette. Burdette's only problem was that no one believed him. Still, he was determined to save humanity despite itself. He gathered evidence -- some of it living.

An earlier, more mundane intelligence operation had once resulted in Burdette saving the life of WINSTON CHURCHILL. Burdette called on Churchill again and presented his evidence. Churchill was convinced. He contacted FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT and "THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE" (T.G.A.) was officially chartered. At the time, it consisted of only two nations, the United States and Great Britain.

Burdette was named the Alliance's first NIGHT OFFICER, (a euphemism for Head Honcho). His team consisted of an elite group of spies, soldiers and scientists from both nations, as well as a few aliens with an interest in seeing the Cadre defeated. Early operatives included:
--Lieutenant William Hawking, British Intelligence;
--Doctor Michael Tyler, a British Biologist;
--Colonel Joseph Ten-Samsons, an American Fighter Pilot;
--Sergeant John Gerald McKay, an American Army Commando;
--Doctor Segundo Vasquez, an American Physicist;
--Aidan Maguire, an alien of the Sidhe race;
--Ya-Tuk, an alien of the Qua-Yeti race.

Burdette's first mission was to stop the Cadre. This was accomplished most elegantly by turning the four member races against each other. In September, 1945, after a final battle in the Himalayas, the Cadre was finally smashed.

But the Alliance's work had only just begun. Now that the Wars (both Wars) were over, the Alliance needed a permanent base to carry out their on-going mission: to protect Earth from both its alien inhabitants and any future invaders. All without panicking the human population of the planet.

1946 was spent preparing for this new scenario.

A site for the base was chosen in an intentionally unlikely location: Roswell, New Mexico -- the home town of Joseph Ten-Samsons.

Segundo Vasquez bought a ranch using Alliance money.

Jack McKay came to town from Texas. Word "somehow" got out that he was a war hero, and when he ran for Sheriff, he won handily. He hired Joseph Ten-Samsons as his deputy.

Will Hawking and Michael Tyler were carefully trained to speak "American." Tyler was given a new identity as a U.S. Army surgeon. Hawking was made a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. He was assigned to Walker Air Force Base.

Burdette became an instant Two-Star General.

British spy (and new recruit) Trish Ainsley became a wire service reporter.

By now, it was June, 1947. The stage was set.

4th Chunk:

THE BIG LIE
The Lie was designed to operate on four levels in order to achieve three objectives:

Level #1: An incident is created that presents a plausible scenario, including witnesses and some evidence, for the limited arrival of intelligent alien life on our planet.
Level #2: An equally plausible counter-scenario is offered, including witnesses and some evidence, detailing a mundane explanation for the same events.
Level #3: In order to explain discrepancies between the first two levels, Level #1 is embellished with supplementary testimony in order to suggest that a government cover-up and conspiracy exists designed to hide any evidence of alien contact.
Level #4: None of these scenarios are completely plausible. None are completely without the ring of truth. None of the pieces fit perfectly. No theory or explanation is beyond reproach. The evidence is limited, inaccessible and/or unreliable. Witnesses appear and disappear. They change their stories. Nothing is made 100% clear.

Objective A: People who are inclined to believe in an alien visitation are given a safe (and inaccurate) outlet for their curiosity. They can believe in aliens, be paranoid about conspiracies and investigate both to their hearts' content without ever getting close to the actual truth.
Objective B: People who are disinclined to believe in the paranormal are offered a suitable explanation and an excuse to regard anyone who does believe as a fanatic.
Objective C: In general, the sum total of all this is such a quagmire that most people -- even if they believe in the possibility of alien visitation and/or government conspiracy -- will quickly lose interest and simply go on with their daily lives.

To date, few government programs in history have been quite so successful at meeting all of their objectives as the Big Lie.
****************


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE - 2nd Chunk

That first chunk was pretty short. Hardly enough to pique your interest. So here's another piece...

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO - June 14, 1947.
Rancher SEGUNDO VASQUEZ is sitting on his porch admiring the quiet desert night. Something, something fast, streaks across his field of vision. A shooting star? He's not sure. He doesn't get a good look. He stands and scans the sky. Suddenly a fiery explosion lights up the night! Now Vasquez can see flaming debris crashing to the Earth a few miles away. Thinking an airplane has gone down, he makes a quick call to the Sheriff, then gets in his pick-up truck and heads out into the desert to see if he can find any survivors.

Roswell Sheriff JACK MCKAY and his Deputy JOSEPH TEN-SAMSONS arrive on the scene an hour after Vasquez. McKay immediately radios his dispatch and has them connect him to WALKER AIR FORCE BASE.

Air Force Captain WILL HAWKING is dispatched to the site of the crash, with a full platoon of men.

The next morning, June 15, the news services report that a U.F.O. has crash-landed on the Vasquez Ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. Captain Hawking is quoted, and he confirms the story later that day.

June 16. The Air Force releases a correction. Two-Star General WARREN BURDETTE explains that Captain Hawking was mistaken. What he took for a U.F.O. was actually a weather balloon. Hawking cannot be reached for comment. And the Vasquez Ranch is off-limits to all non-military personnel.

July 7. The U.S. Armed Forces finally pulls its last transport out of Roswell. On July 8, in a SANTA FE motel room, Captain Hawking speaks to wire service reporter TRISH AINSLEY. Hawking maintains his original story. He saw a "saucer-shaped" vehicle broken into two distinct pieces with assorted small debris. He saw one corpse and one badly injured survivor. But neither individual was human. Their skin was grey. Their heads were disproportionately large. So were their eyes. They had no ears or nose or teeth. They had two long fingers and a thumb on each hand. Neither was over five feet tall. There's no doubt in Hawking's mind that what he saw was extra-terrestrial. An ALIEN SPACECRAFT from another world that had crashed on our planet, killing one occupant and injuring the other. Hawking claims that the U.S. Military knows all of this and is covering it up. They have removed the bodies and every trace of debris from the Vasquez ranch. Ainsley tries to get Hawking to call the aliens "Martians". She tries to get him to speculate as to what the government has done with the craft and the bodies. Hawking refuses to take the bait. He saw what he saw. The rest is as much of a mystery to him as to anyone. That night, Ainsley turns in her story. But her employers -- calling it preposterous -- refuse to put it on the wire.

July 9. Seven hours after the story is rejected, Captain Hawking resigns his commission. He phones Ainsley and tells her the resignation was less than voluntary. Then, he disappears.

July 16. Ainsley contacts Segundo Vasquez. But he won't talk to her. Won't even let her on the property. She goes to the Sheriff's office and speaks to McKay. McKay confirms the official version. He had seen everything Hawking had seen. There were no bodies. And the shattered craft was a weather balloon. McKay's deputy sits silently and listens to his boss speak. When Ainsley turns to Ten-Samsons, he simply stares back at her. He won't confirm. He won't deny. He won't open his mouth at all. That night, she confronts him in a local bar. He's silent. She presses. Finally, he speaks: "Don't ask me to talk to you. I have a son that I love." He leaves the bar. Ainsley doesn't follow.

But Trish Ainsley continues to pursue the story, to the detriment of her legitimate career as a journalist. Years pass, but she tracks down every army grunt who had ever set foot in Roswell, New Mexico. Most won't talk to her, and the few who will won't say anything on the record. But she begins to piece it together.

March 10, 1955. Following up on an anonymous tip, Ainsley finds an Army Surgeon, MAJOR MICHAEL TYLER, who claims to have seen and worked on the two recovered aliens.

January 4, 1961. Joseph Ten-Samsons dies of cancer.

December 12, 1961, Segundo Vasquez is on his deathbed, another cancer victim. Trish Ainsley arrives and speaks to him before he passes away early in the morning of December 13.

1964. Dr. Tyler retires from the U.S. Army and then seems to vanish off the face of the Earth.

Then in July, 1971, Will Hawking resurfaces after over two decades in hiding. Together, Hawking and Ainsley write a book: THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES.

May 1, 1972. Two weeks before the book is scheduled to be published, Trish Ainsley dies in a car accident. Hawking disappears again.

May 18, 1972. Nevertheless, the book is published. It reiterates Hawking's original story and expands upon it, using material that Hawking gathered while underground, combined with interviews that Ainsley had conducted over the last twenty plus years. These interviews include a startling 1961 deathbed confession from Segundo Vasquez, confirming Hawking's version of events. Vasquez explained his previous silence by detailing numerous threats against and attempts upon his life. He also hinted that his cancer was the result of his exposure to the broken and glowing alien spaceship all those years ago. Finally, Ainsley also claimed that in his last moments, Segundo had given Ainsley a piece of twisted metal from that craft that was clearly extra-terrestrial in origin.

The book also included Dr. Tyler's description of the alien autopsy, as well as his attempts to resuscitate the second, injured, alien. When it seemed certain that those attempts were failing, Dr. Tyler had been instructed to place both the dead alien and his still-breathing companion in cryogenic stasis. As late as 1963 (the last time either Hawking or Ainsley had seen Tyler), both alien popsicles were still in the custody of the Joint Chiefs.

The Roswell Conspiracies causes a minor sensation. It is on the non-fiction best-seller list for four weeks, peeking at #7. Although few legitimate scientists take it seriously, the Air Force issues an immediate and all-encompassing denial on June 2.

June 14, 1972. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Roswell Crash, Sheriff McKay actually holds a (fairly well-attended) press conference to debunk the book's findings. He reiterates his own version of events: simply put, there was a fallen balloon and some high-tech military debris on the Vasquez Ranch. Although, McKay doesn't pretend he could identify every bit of it, there was certainly nothing alien in it's design. And he literally scoffs at the notion that there were any bodies (living, dead, alien or human). The idea that exposure to the downed craft was carcinogenic seems to be belied by his own robust good-health.

At the press conference, McKay is joined by MARIA VASQUEZ DIENER, Segundo's daughter. Maria confirms that Ainsley had spoken with her father the night before he died. But Maria claims that in his delirium, her father spoke only in Spanish. Ainsley had admitted at the time that her command of that language was limited at best, but she nevertheless insisted on speaking to Segundo alone. Thus no one else heard this so-called confession, and the book gives no indication as to what language Segundo was using when he spoke these "startling revelations".

Maria is questioned about the piece of "alien metal" that her father supposedly gave to Ainsley. She confirms that her father had kept a piece of wreckage from the crash as a souvenir. This was no secret to his friends or family. It had been sitting on his mantel for over a decade. The Air Force had allowed him to keep it, so it couldn't have been too startling in anyone's version of events. A few days after the funeral, Maria noticed that the relic was missing. She can now only assume that Ainsley stole it. McKay chimes in with an observation. He acknowledges that Ainsley's death is a tragedy, but since the chunk of metal was conveniently missing from her effects, legitimate science has been prevented from examining it to confirm (or dispute) her conclusions.

At this point, reporter NICK KATERAS asks McKay if the timing of Ainsley's death isn't extremely suspicious. McKay agrees that it is. He's checked into it. Ainsley's body was cremated within 48 hours of her death, and the only person who identified that body was the now missing Hawking. McKay can't help wondering if Ainsley is actually dead, of if the whole thing isn't a publicity stunt that doubles as a way for her to dodge some tough questions. After all, if there really was a conspiracy that wanted her dead, wouldn't she have been killed BEFORE she wrote the book, or at least before she had delivered the manuscript to her publisher?

June 16, 1972. Jack McKay issues an apology to Trish Ainsley's "friends and family." It was insensitive to imply even in jest that she could or would have faked her own death for the sake of book sales.

The book drops off the best seller list, though it remains in print. Royalties are held in trust for Hawking. Ainsley has no living relatives. She does not resurface.

August, 1980. Maria Vasquez Diener's husband ERICH DIENER abandons her and her two children. She struggles to maintain the ranch.

June 1, 1982. Retired Four-Star General Warren Burdette dies of cancer. He was 83 years old. To the end, he refuses to comment on Roswell.

June 14, 1982. Will Hawking resurfaces on the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Roswell crash. He collects a substantial royalty check from his publisher and makes the rounds of all the morning talk shows. Jack McKay is a surprise guest on one of these, and Hawking and McKay engage in an intense and bitter debate on the air. Hawking is goaded into producing the "Roswell Fragment," the twisted piece of chrome-like metal that Ainsley either stole or received from Vasquez. Hawking insists that a battery of tests have already proven that the fragment is of extraterrestrial origins. McKay suggests that Hawking turn it over for independent testing, but Hawking refuses to let the evidence out of his sight.

December 13, 1986. Hawking uses his military pension and book royalties to buy the ranch adjacent to the old Vasquez place.

December 31, 1986. Jack McKay retires as Sheriff after 40 years in office. He purchases the old Vasquez place from Maria Vasquez Diener.

March 18, 1989. Maria Vasquez Diener dies of cancer. Her teen-age son ALEX DIENER claims that she lied about Segundo's last meeting with Trish Ainsley, because she was afraid of Jack McKay and his "friends."

June 14, 1992 - On the 45th Anniversary of the Roswell Incident, Jack McKay and Will Hawking once again do their point/counterpoint routine on television talk shows. They display hostility laced with humor and are a genuine success. Together, they are booked on lecture tours.

In 1995, after an investigation into the Roswell Incident intended to end the various rumors, the Air Force now maintains that the debris was part of Project Mogul, a formerly top secret operation using acoustic equipment on high altitude balloons in an effort to detect foreign atomic tests. When one of the Mogul balloons was downed in '47, the Air Force moved in to retrieve it before security could be further compromised.

The USAF also says that it conducted a variety of experiments in the same general area involving test dummies dropped from balloons and aircraft in order to measure the effects of falls from various altitudes. The dummies match the descriptions of the "aliens" reported by witnesses. The Air Force feels that the connection between the dummies and the balloon has been exaggerated over the years.

June 14, 1997. The 50th anniversary. Jack McKay now admits to having seen the dummies at the site. He claims he was asked not to mention them by the U.S. government, and he complied like any good patriot would. Hawking, his regular sparring partner, wonders aloud what else this patriot has lied about over the years. The debate that follows is lively, but it's clear that over the years Hawking and McKay have developed a strange little friendship. They actually like each other.

September, 1999. Roswell, New Mexico is both a serious tourist trap and a Mecca for true believers seeking knowledge about extra-terrestrials on this planet. Every Friday night, McKay and Hawking stage another debate about the Incident. Admission is a modest four dollars.

And by the way, almost none of the above is true.


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ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES BIBLE: 1st Chunk

Hi. In 1998, I started developing a series for BKN called "The Roswell Conspiracies". This was not an idea I created. (The credit for that, I believe, goes to Kaaren Brown.) But I did do extensive work on the project. I tried to create a detailed universe, and wrote a detailed bible, a timeline and a one hour pilot script (which some of you who attended Gathering 1999 in Dallas may recall). I wound up not doing the project, and my work was redeveloped by others before the show went on the air. I never saw the finished project so I have no idea (and little interest) in how it turned out. But I was thinking about it the other day and reread the materials. I think it's kinda some cool stuff. So I thought you might be interested in seeing it. (I figure the show's come and gone. I'm no longer revealing any secrets.) I'll post a chunk at a time here, as I have the time.

THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES:

Aliens, Myths & Legends

(development bible)

written by

Greg Weisman

SE: GDW

June 5, 1998
Revised: June 12, 1998

THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES:
Aliens, Myths & Legends
(development bible)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Present Day.
TONY MARKUS is an L.A.-based skip tracer, a bounty hunter employed by DOMINIC BAIL BONDS to track down deadbeats who skip out on their bail. Saying Markus is a loner doesn't quite do him justice. He's cynical, hard and generally uninterested in the human race. His cousin (and boss) FRANK DOMINIC is the only guy that Markus has any tolerance for, and that's only because Dom knows Tony well enough to leave him alone. None of this makes Markus a particularly pleasant dinner companion. But it's done wonders for his career. He's relentless. Unemotional. Unflinching. And he has a near-perfect track record. Only one guy ever successfully skipped on Markus, and that was a long time ago during his first month on the job, back when he was pretty darn green. But green or not, Markus didn't like failing. So he just doesn't fail anymore. When Dom gives Tony Markus a skip to trace, Dom knows his cousin is going to deliver.

Which brings us to Markus' current assignment: her name is SIOBHAN BARROW. She's skipped on a Felony Assault Charge, and Dom is potentially out fifty grand on her bail. The trail is three days cold by the time Markus is on the hunt. But that's not the problem. Barrow is fleeing across state lines, from CALIFORNIA to ARIZONA and finally into NEW MEXICO. But that's not the problem either. She's also tougher than she looks, leaving a fair number of additional assault victims in her wake. But even that's not the problem.

The problem is that Markus isn't the only guy hunting her down. Two FEDERALES are after her too. At least he thinks they're Feds. They act like Feds, pretending to be Honeymooning Tourists. And then there are the TALL WOMEN. Scary types, but bearing a certain family resemblance to his quarry. They could be trying to help Ms. Barrow get away. Except that Siobhan Barrow seems more afraid of them than anyone. Markus doesn't know why there's a crowd after Siobhan, he only knows that he's going to be the one to run her down first.

The chase leads all interested parties to ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO. And that's when things really start to cook.


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Chapter XXXII: "The Cage"

For ASK GREG and the DCV, here's my ramble on "The Cage"...

Director: Dennis J. Woodyard
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano

SEMI-NEW CHARACTERS:

We'd seen a photo of Beth Maza before, but this was the first time we actually met her.

This is also, arguably, Vinnie's first real appearance. We'd heard his voice before, and we later decided that he had appeared two or three times before. But here was the inspirational moment. The character that we fell in love with, that went on to STAR in "Vendettas" and "The Journey". Throughout our viewing of the episode, my wife kept asking who did this voice, who did that voice? Every single time, I answered "Jeff Bennett." Then at the end, she asked: "Who's voicing Maggie? Don't tell me it's Jeff." For the record, it's Kath Soucie.

And here's the first real characterization for Fang & Claw as well. Fang was voiced by Jonathan Frakes for his one line in "Metamorphosis". But we cast Jim Belushi to play Mr. Obnoxious from this point out. I fell in love with Jim's take on Fang. His performance alone was one of the big inspirations for BAD GUYS. He's got some great lines:
--"Cat got your tongue... don't you get it?"
--"Like you're some kind of expert on evil monsters!"
--"I'll have to clear my social calendar."

Note also, to save money, Diane Maza never speaks. This episode had a huge cast. Making Claw a mute was a fun way to save money.

LITTLE THINGS I LIKE:

--Elisa refers to her brother as Derek. Goliath uses the word Talon.

--I love how Xanatos says: "Goliath and Elisa are always welcome here." He's so slick. He's far from in control in this episode. But he never stops playing the various characters against each other. He's constantly adjusting to new information. Never flustered.

--I like how Sev is basically talking to himself in his cage. With only the growling monster for feedback. Amazing how much one can gleen from a growl.

--Broadway praises the concert music simply by virtue of it's volume.

--Brooklyn's line: "I'm not a man. I'm a gargoyle." And don't you forget it.

Goliath kidnapping Sev and withholding info from Elisa to 'spare her pain', presiges his behavior in "Eye of the Storm".

Maggie is interesting to me in this. Though she's never going to be an action hero -- we intentionally didn't want to make her a strong female, because it seemed like every other female in the show was strong -- she seems to come into her own a bit here. She speaks her mind. She wields some power over Derek, even if she doesn't realize it. She's still stronger than she gives herself credit for. (Geez, I must suck at weak women characters.)

Although it's not used in the body of this episode, in the credits we refer to Maggie as "Maggie the Cat" for the first time. A Tennessee Williams "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" reference.

FLASHBACKS

Lots of 'em. The recap. And TWO separate internal flashbacks in the show. I'm trying to remember if the board was short or if we just really felt like this was a tough story to get if you didn't have a TON of back-info.

Elisa even has a line, that I think works pretty well, where she's imagining telling her family about Derek -- and in one quick speech, she spews out all the pertinent details. We were clearly nervous about this episode being able to stand alone. Did anyone else have problems with this? Particularly anyone who saw this one without having seen "Metamorphosis" already?

When you see Maggie in flashback, book-ended by her current appearance, you can really see how different the designs were between "Metamorphosis" and "The Cage". I greatly prefer the later designs. Though I think I miss the tails.

FLAWS:

--Throughout the episode, I have numerous problems where identities seem to me to be given away before I want them to be given away.

In the opening scene, we want the audience to think that the snooping winged creature is Goliath. But there are two problems. One is all the Talon scenes in the "Previously on Gargoyles..." recap. The second is that we get too clear a glimpse of Talon.

Later, Goliath kidnaps Sevarius and holds him captive. But we wanted the audience to think it's Talon. But again, I think we get glimpses of Goliath that are just too clearly Goliath.

The concept of seeing a character "in shadows" or in partial "silhouette" just seemed tough to get across the ocean and back with our production team on this ep.

Did anyone think that Talon had kidnapped Sev? Was anyone shocked when it was revealed that Goliath was the kidnapper?

--On my tape, Anton's briefcase mispells his name: SERVARIUS. I hope that was corrected for later airings. I hope.

--The scene between Talon and X in the latter's office is clunky. The cityscape visible through X's window looks to be painted onto the window. And Talon's footsteps are very labored and clunky.

Xanatos admits that Sev's original "Metamorphosis" cure was just a placebo. If we stop here, then Talon should stop being angry at Goliath. Goliath neither killed Sev nor did he destroy a viable cure, nor did he have any impact on Talon's chance at a cure. But at this point, Talon's blinded by rage.

There's some really nice animation of Brooklyn and Fang climbing through the air.

KID RESPONSE:

My daughter Erin thought that Fang looked more wolf-like than cat-like.

She also figured out pretty fast that Goliath was the kidnapper. And when it was revealed she said, "I knew it all along."

CONTINUITY

Brooklyn acts as leader in Goliath's absense. But we don't have anyone comment on it. That was just in case this episode wound up airing before "Upgrade". I think Brook makes some wise moves here though. I also like his emotional resonance with Maggie: "You know I wanted to be your... friend."

I also like when he refers to her "persecution complex". Is he projecting?

We re-intro Cyberbiotics Underground Lab from the pilot, in preparation to turning it into the Labyrinth.

I like Goliath and Elisa's exchange in the lab. Lines like:

G: "You were in so much pain."
E: "Who would we test it on?"
E: "The ends can't justify the means. That's Xanatos' way. Not yours."

Other cool lines:

Fang: "I like this body."

Maggie: "Is your vengeance more important than our humanity?" The ultimate question to put to anyone pursuing vengeance.

Xanatos: "You always over-play your hand, Anton." Anton's just a ham to the core.

Xanatos: "He's the scientist. You're just the experiment."

Xanatos: "Hello, Goliath. Didn't even notice you there."

(X is so cool.)

Talon finally, finally figures out what Elisa has been trying to tell him since "Her Brother's Keeper". Took long enough. This arc for Talon was something we had been planning out as far back as our original unsold first dramatic over-pitch to Eisner. Back when Talon was both Scientist and experiment, and the character (created by Fred Schaefer) was known as Catscan.

I like Talon & Maggie's relationship. Don't know if they ever would have gotten together as humans. But they are so natural with each other as Mutates.

Talon: "We're not strong alone. We're strong together."

Goliath verbalizes here that Elisa is part of the clan.

Talon has his own clan (the Mutates) and his own family (the Mazas). The Mazas learn about the Mutates and are reunited with their son. But Goliath is hiding behind the curtain. Elisa's still not ready to share that secret.

Ending: Contrast this (relatively) upbeat ending with the endings from "Metamorphosis" where Elisa is left in tears and "Her Brother's Keeper" where she is left alone in the snow and wind. Things are looking up.

And, of course, we end on the image of the open cage door. That was important to me, because the cage was never more than a metaphor. We didn't really need it for Sevarius. We needed to see that Maggie and Talon were in cages of their own making. (Sev too, really. And Goliath. And maybe Elisa, although now I'm stretching it.)

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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"Protection" Addendum

One thing I forgot...

When Glasses first shows up at Mr. Jaffe's store, he knocks over a bunch of cans.

Later Dracon shows up, and he also knocks over the cans.

I'm reminded of the Steve Martin movie "The Jerk".

"He hates these cans! Stay away from the cans!"


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"THE CAGE" Memo...

In prep for a ramble on "The Cage", here is the memo that I wrote to Brynne Chandler Reaves on Lydia Marano's 1st draft outline...

WEISMAN 12-13-94

Notes on "The Cage" Outline...

Brynne, call me when you get these.

GENERAL
I hate to sound like a broken record but this begins too slow. I've tried not to write a whole new story. But I have condensed things -- moving the kidnapping up into the first act, etc.

A secondary problem that only occurred to me Sunday is that we have to re-introduce Talon to our audience before we begin to misdirect them into thinking that Talon is the kidnapper. Otherwise, they'll see the silhouette of a big guy with wings and correctly guess that the kidnapper is Goliath. (When the story begins, Talon will have only appeared in one other episode; Goliath will have been in at least 25.) Talon won't even enter their minds until he is re-introduced later in the first act. By that time, we'll need to change their mind regarding the kidnapper's identity. A difficult task, considering that the audience already would have assumed the truth.

MUTATE rather than MUTANT.

At start of story... Goliath is to Talon what Xanatos is to Elisa.

THEME: Cages of all kinds. Use every opportunity to reinforce it.

Need to make sure that in the first two acts, we've set up Maggie's desperate need for a cure. But more importantly, we must set up the warm interdependent relationship between Maggie and Talon. Need to believe their feelings for each other are real before we get to Act Three.

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
I. Maza Family Dinner. Beth spots winged creature at window.

II. Clock Tower. Elisa talks to Goliath.
A. She hates to lie to her family about Derek.
1. Even if it's just a lie by omission.
B. By the way, G has to be more careful. Beth spotted him.
1. Wasn't me, Goliath says.
2. One of the other gargs? G doesn't think so.
3. Elisa's very excited. Could it be Derek?
4. Goliath is quiet. Deciding what to do.
C. G reveals to E that Talon and Mutates are back w/Xanatos.
1. Last few weeks, he's seen them near Eyrie Building.
2. Didn't tell her because he knew it would hurt her.
3. He feels powerless to help her.
D. Elisa insists that Goliath take her there.

III. Eyrie Building.
A. Action. Goliath vs. Talon, Fang & Claw.
1. Elisa tries to stop fight. Talon is torn.
2. Maggie stops fight.
a. She hates the fighting.
b. We see that Talon listens to her.
3. Magnanimous Xanatos seconds the motion.
a. He's pleased that the Mutates defend his castle.
b. But Goliath and Elisa are not the enemy.
B. Elisa confronts Talon: X is the enemy.
1. Maggie defends X as their only chance for a cure.
2. Elisa says X is the cause not the cure.
3. Talon: No -- Sevarius and Goliath caused this.
4. Reveal that Talon believes Sev. to be dead.
a. Either show flashback to "Metamorphosis"
b. Or be very clear for our audience:
i. Why he thinks Sev is dead.
ii. And why he blames Goliath.
5. Elisa hasn't seen Sev, so she can't be sure.
a. But she expresses some doubt that he's dead.
b. Talon: if Sev is alive now, he won't be for long.
6. Elisa and Goliath leave.
C. X secretly tells Owen to warn Sev to disappear for awhile.

IV. Gen-U-Tech.
A. Sev is kidnapped. Nobody sees. Very Quick.
B. Elisa arrives seconds later in her car.
1. Confirms w/security guard that Sev is alive.
a. She just missed him.
2. Another winged figure listens from above.
a. It's actually Talon.
b. But audience, and even Elisa, will assume it's G.
i. Elisa's touched G's so concerned about her.

V. Sev caged by unseen captor in underground Cyberbiotics Lab.

VI. Eyrie Building.
A. Owen has not been able to reach Sev.
1. Talon probably got to him first.
B. On battlements, Talon returns. Mutates confab.
1. Talon now knows Sev didn't die in "Metamorphosis".
2. But "dealing" with Sev is only half the job.
3. Sev couldn't have faked his death without help.
4. Goliath is Talon's #1 suspect.
5. Maggie doesn't agree but...
a. She let's slip about the Clock Tower.

VII. Fang, Claw and Maggie attack Clock Tower.
A. Maggie is present but is terrified by fighting.
B. Hudson and Bronx are the only Gargoyles there.
1. They put up a valiant fight but are defeated.

ACT TWO
VIII. Underground Lab. Sev agrees to work on cure for unseen captor.

IX. Clock Tower. Hudson regains consciousness.
A. Fang & Claw await Goliath's return.
1. So they can bring him back to Talon, as ordered.
2. Hudson warns them it'll be a long wait.
a. Goliath said he'd be gone for a few nights.
i. It's actually the truth.
ii. But the mutates don't buy it.
iii. Neither will the audience.

X. Eyrie Building.
A. Owen checks all locations where Talon might hold Sev.
B. Talon confronts X.
1. Until recently, Sev was alive & working at G-U-Tech.
2. X admits that he was fooled by Sev's "death".
a. Goliath and Sev must've been working together.
b. G wants Sev to create more monsters like him.
c. This confirms Talon's suspicions.
3. X has known for some time that Sev was alive.
a. He's had Sev working on a cure at Gen-U-Tech.
b. Didn't want to get Talon's hopes up.
4. But Sev was close to a cure.
a. If it's not too late...
b. Talon should release him to X's custody....

XI. Clock Tower. Trio return home.
A. Hudson manages to warn them.
B. Battle.
1. Fang & Claw are more powerful...
2. But Gargoyles are more experienced fighters.
3. Gargoyles win.
C. Brooklyn talks to Maggie.
1. He's over his crush on her.
2. But he still tries to get her to see reason.
a. G was there that night to save her from Sev.
b. G & Sev aren't partners.
c. Xanatos must be culprit.
3. Maggie doesn't want to hear it.
a. Xanatos is their only chance for a cure.
b. Gargoyles must be at fault.
4. To prove her wrong, Brooklyn lets the Mutates go.

XII. Gen-U-Tech. Elisa's back, still looking for missing Sev.
A. She's very worried that Derek has done something stupid.
B. Checking security-camera footage for when Sev left earlier.
1. Does enhancing tricks to confirm Sev was snatched.
2. Enhances more to get a look at kidnapper.
a. Off her reaction...

XIII. Cyberbiotics. Reveal Goliath as kidnapper of Sev.

ACT THREE
XIV. Eyrie Building. Talon tells Xanatos that he doesn't have Sev.
A. Owen enters w/news from Gen-U-Tech.
1. Looks like Sev. "left with" Goliath.
a. Comes across as proof that Sev & G are partners.
2. Doesn't take long for Owen to deduce where G is.
a. Only one abandoned lab that G knows about.
i. CyberBiotics Underground Research Lab.
B. Talon takes off.
C. Other Mutates are just getting back from Clock Tower.
2. They go after him.

XV. CyberBiotics. Goliath is watching Sev work on serum.
A. Elisa enters. (Calm before the storm.)
1. She deduced his location (same as Owen did).
2. Why did Goliath do it?
a. He could see how Derek's condition hurt Elisa.
b. He was afraid that if Talon got to Sev first...
i. then Sev wouldn't survive to cure Derek.
c. Seemed like only way to get cure from Sev.
3. Elisa: Ends don't justify the means.
a. Besides, wouldn't work anyhow.
b. They can't trust Sev.
i. How do they know "the cure" is safe?
4. Goliath agrees to release Sev.
B. Too late. Talon arrives, with Mutates on his heals.
1. Positive that G and Sev are in cahoots.
2. Talon attacks G.
a. This time E. can't stop them.
C. Mutates join in.
1. It's curtains for Goliath and Sev.
D. Sev tries to save his skin with the cure.
1. There's enough here for one.
b. But he can make enough for all four.
2. Talon and Fang don't care.
a. Claw and especially Maggie care a great deal.
b. Maggie reaches out to Talon.
i. What's more important?
ii. Vengeance or Humanity?
3. For her sake, he relents, and gives her the serum.
a. Maggie clutches the serum like it was a diamond.
4. Sev tries to get Talon to take it instead of Maggie.
a. Which makes everyone suspicious.
b. Situation on verge of heating up again.
E. Armored Xanatos steps out of shadows.
1. Rescues Sev.
2. Things seemed under control.
a. But Sev overplayed his hand, as usual.
3. Talon finally gets message about X.
4. X: "So sue me." or some such.
5. He takes off with Sev.
a. Parting shot from Sev: "Serum's poison."
F. Maggie still wants to take it.
1. She thinks Sev lied to preserve his "creations".
a. It's a risk she's willing to take.
b. Because it's better to die than to live a monster.
2. Talon disagrees strongly.
a. Life is more important than normalcy.
b. Besides, he's a monster too.
3. She thinks he's stronger than she is.
4. But Talon couldn't have made it without her.
a. Neither are strong alone.
b. They are strong together.
5. She puts the serum aside.
G. Goliath offers Mutates a home with his gargoyle clan.
1. Thanks, but no.
2. Talon has his own clan (i.e. Mutates).
3. And his own family...

XVI. CYBERBIOTICS UNDERGROUND LAB - A few NIGHTS later.
A. Elisa brings Peter, Diane and Beth.
1. They are reunited with Talon.
a. Hint Maggie.
b. Fang and Claw in b.g.
B. Goliath watches, pleased.
C. Sevarius' cage sits empty. The door wide open.


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Chapter XXXI: "Protection"

Watched "Protection" last Saturday with my wife and kids. Here's a ramble:

CAST
I'm immediately struck by our large supporting cast. Probably because so few of our regulars (Elisa, Goliath, Broadway only) appear in the episode.

THE CROOKS: Dracon, Glasses and Pal Joey. (All very fun to write for.)

THE COPS: Matt, Maria, Morgan. (All three go undercover and do a bit of play-acting, which is also fun.)

THE CIVILIANS: Art, Lois, Dave, Mr. Jaffe, Travis Marshall. (Each is characterized rather quickly, but memorably, I think. It was particularly cool to play off the Matt/Jaffe relationship previously referred to in "Reawakening".)

As for our regulars, we intentionally reduced the number of 'goyles in this one so that we had the space in our short 22 minutes to focus on other things. Goliath and BW seemed the appropriate two to bring along for various reasons -- established most obviously in "Deadly Force" and "The Silver Falcon".

I liked how Goliath reacted to the perversion of the concept of "Protection" and how the movie-savvy BW shakes his head but takes it in stride.

ELISA
Okay, I figure we didn't fool many of you into thinking that Elisa had actually gone bad. I was pretty sure we wouldn't. At least not the older fans. So I tried to fool you another way in the first few minutes. Glasses tells Dracon about a lady cop, but doesn't mention who. Chavez accuses Elisa, but Elisa pleads her innocence. Did anyone think that Elisa was being framed?

My daughter did. But in a way that I hadn't considered, despite the fact that "Double Jeopardy" was part of the same tier and naturally led to her conclusion.
--Erin: "That's not Elisa, is it?"
--Benny: "Yes, it is."
--Erin: "Yeah, that's not her. She never dresses like that."
--Benny: "It's a wig. How'd she get her hair like that?"
--Erin: "It's a clone."

A clone? Of course! That's the problem with introducing so many concepts. Too many options for the viewer. Did anyone else think clone? Erin maintained this idea right until the end of the episode. She kept saying with increasing frustration: "That's not Elisa. It's not."

SPEAKING OF NEW CLOTHES...
I loved Elisa's new outfit, I only wish the animation -- the character modeling -- in the episode had been better. It's not always very flattering to her. Sometimes it seems to WAY flatten her out. Other times, it makes her huge. (Yes, I'm focused on her breasts. I'm a heterosexual male. What do you want from me?) But it never makes her look real. Still, it's just nice to see her wearing something -- ANYTHING -- different. I wish we had had the resources to give her more clothing options in general.

DIALOGUE
Some nice lines in this one...
Elisa to Goliath: "What are you, a puppy?"
Elisa to Glasses, et al: "You tough guys just gonna stand there all night?"
Goliath to Elisa & Dracon: "Money and power sound very appealing."
Dracon to Elisa: "Keep the jar."
Elisa to Broadway: "Keep the jar."
Dracon to Goliath: "So she's your woman. You have good taste."
Broadway to himself: "Why are bad guys always in such a hurry."
Broadway to Pal Joey: "Sorry, Pal."
Broadway's slightly dated black & white movie gangster lingo.
All of Dracon's on-going Honey, Sugar, etc. references and Elisa's reaction to them. Makes me smile still.

JALAPEÑA
You've all heard this story, right?

Okay, BRIEFLY...

Keith David used the exclamation "Jalapeña" all the time. More or less as a replacement for Halleluia. It was an expression he had gotten from a female jazz singer (whose name escapes me at the moment -- as it usually does for some reason). One day in the control booth, voice director Jamie Thomason turned to me and said, "I bet you can't get that into a script." I said, "I bet I can."

Shortly thereafter, poor innocent writer/story editor Gary Sperling turned in a perfectly normal script. I then added this entire "Jalapeña" subplot. (I had to add all this stuff about room service, jars, etc. to justify the last word in the episode.) I fell in love with the idea. I thought it would give us a curse word, basically. (That's how BW uses it in the ep.) Most everyone else hated it. But directors Frank Paur, Dennis Woodyard and Butch Lukic didn't know how far I planned on taking it. They thought it would be a one episode thing, so they indulged me here. In fact, they suggested the massive "Jalapeña!" echoes at the end of the episode. ("If you're gonna do it, do it!")

Jamie would later goad me by saying things like, "Yeah, but I bet you can't get Hudson to say it." And so one by one, everyone said it. Again, I thought it was fun and useful.

But eventually the art staff literally revolted against it. Frank told me I HAD to stop. So what you'll notice is that starting with this episode we ramp up and begin to use the word a lot. And then it peters out and disappears entirely from the show -- until "The Journey" my farewell episode. I put one "Jalapeña" in that. Disney executive Jay Fukuto asked me why I had done that: "I thought Frank hated it." That's why I did it, to annoy Frank and gratify myself.

Frank and I are all good again now. We look back on our Garg days and realize that we didn't even know how good we had it. But I'd say that in 1996 our relationship had deteriorated a bit. The stress of doing 65 episodes had taken a bit of a toll. We weren't at each others' throats or anything. But we were just a bit on edge. Like I said, ancient history. I'd love to work with Frank again now. But there you have it.

DRACON & GLASSES
Lots of loyalty from Glasses. These second banannas always fascinate me. Of course, Xanatos usually treats Owen with the utmost respect. Dracon isn't quite as good a boss. He has a line of contempt after Glasses tells Dracon that the shopkeep [Matt] wants to meet with the boss. Dracon to Glasses: "And he knows it's not you." You wonder why Glasses puts up with it.

I love how quickly Dracon adjusts to the Gargoyles too. The concept of controlling them is so appealing, it submerges his fears. He quickly starts referring to them as Guests, and then as Partners. He even puts a hand on Goliath's shoulder -- briefly.

BOMBS OVER BROADWAY
This guy seems to deal with bombs a lot. This time he hold it in his teeth, which I thought was cool.

THE GROCERY STORE
Poor Mr. Jaffe. He gets robbed all the time. Then he has to put up with a Werefox attack. And now a particle beam battle.

And what's with those giant bags of flour? Who buys those?

And I wish those hidden cameras had actually been hidden.

I'm not in love with the battle choreography here. Elisa gets the jump on Dracon, which is okay, I guess, as he was hoping he could trust her. But then Dracon gets the jump right back. She should have been better prepared. It's all a touch clumsy.

Goliath's roar is interesting. Usually we use more effect and less Keith. This one is more Keith. A lot more Keith.

G's eyes are glowing as he takes Dracon into the air. But you'll notice they stop glowing just before he drops Dracon. This is a clue that he never really intended to let Dracon die. His anger has already ebbed. And after all, "Gargoyle justice is not human justice." Had this been Gargoyle justice, you get the sense that Dracon would have wound up, dare I say it, "Street Pizza."

Things wrap up. Chavez of course is still largely in the dark. But you'll notice that things were staged so that you could believe that Matt may or may not have been in the dark too. Since this episode was part of the same tier as "Revelations" we didn't 100% know for sure whether or not Matt would know about the Gargoyles by the time this aired. So we tried to play it ambiguously here.

ELISA & GOLIATH
Jalapeñas aside, I like the final scene between E&G. They reaffirm their mission and their love for each other. The first explicitly. The second implicitly.

Also we use the scene to justify why Dracon would buy something that I knew the audience wouldn't. "The corrupt are the first to believe that others can be corrupted." If you never thought for a moment that Elisa was dirty then there's hope for you yet. Either that, or your hopelessly cynical about the rules of television.

But did you still think she was a clone?

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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"PROTECTION" Memo

[In prep for my ramble on "Protection", here's the memo I faxed to Story Editor/Writer Gary Sperling. (Actually, I'm retyping it -- old typos and maybe some new ones included -- because I don't have a computer file. Just the hard copy.) You'll notice that it's more abbreviated than usual. Note the date. I was on vacation at the time. Plus, the outline may have been in better shape. Also note that the episode's original title was "Undercover". But we realized that Elisa wasn't so much going undercover, and that we'd save that concept for what eventually became "Turf". Besides the one word title, "Protection", was hard to resist given our on-going themes.]

WEISMAN 12-29-94

Notes on "Undercover/Protection" Outline...

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
1. Restaurant blows up. Keep very brief.

2. Glasses joins Tony in the limo. Glasses has heard that dirty cops are muscling in on their protection racket.

3. News report to Gargoyles. PRoTECTION RACKET. Goliath wants to see Elisa. She hasn't stopped by in days. Where has she been?

4. ChAvez asking Matt same question. As MATT brings in #3 to question him about restaurant bombing. Elisa arrives late. Matt: "Where you been?" Don't crowd me Bluestone. Asks for time alone with #3 Matt gives it. Elisa starts to talk obliquely about her moving in. Chavez interrupts and suspends her while she's under investigation. Maza protests that she's innocent. HAs to turn in badge and gun.

5. Elisa storms outside. Goliath and Broadway follow.

6. #3 calls Dracon.

7. Pool Hall - reveal Elisa.

ACT BREAK??

Glasses and #3 comes in.

8. Pursuit.? or HUSSLES ELISA OUT.

9. Goliath and Broadway intervene. CHASE.

Elisa pulls the rug out from under G. She leaves w/Glasses.

Goliath says she's under a spell. BW says maybe there's another explanation.

10. Glasses and Dracon. Elisa in the next room. Send her in. You guys get to work.

Elisa and Dracon.

11. Grocery Store: MATT (disguised) and owner. Matt and Glasses.

12. Some phony store. Maria, Morgan and #3. After #3 leaves they make reference to one of their plans is sure to nail Dracon.

13. Goliath and Broadway have gone bad at Dracon's Penthouse.

ACT BREAK

Finish out 13.

Intercut:
14. Broadway helps Maria and Morgan against #3 (and Glasses?)

15. Matt and Elisa nab Dracon. He's ready with men and bomb.

Goliath and Elisa work together to diffuse situation.

(Matt and Goliath relationship should be vague.)

Elisa gets her shield and gun back.

16. Reveal clearly what everyone probably knows by now. Elisa was undercover. BW figured it out and tipped off G. Some PROTECTION TAG.

DRACON OUT ON BAIL?????????


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Chapter XXX: "Upgrade"

Here's a new ramble for ASK GREG & the DCV...

As usual, I watched the episode recently with my family.

And as usual, everytime my five year-old Benny, sees Xanatos and Fox, he tells his seven year old sister Erin, "You were her. I was Xanatos and you were Fox." [All quotations (both from my kids or from the episode) are approximate.]

ATTITUDES

This is a big episode for attitudes.

Xanatos and Fox pit multiple individuals against each other in life and death circumstances and regard it all as a game.

Lex still hates the Pack.

Dingo is disgusted with the Pack's life of crime, and then even more disgusted with what his teammates do to their bodies. Cool lines like "Save the horrorshow..." or "I hope you don't eat your catch..." or "You're barely our species..." or "I still can't get over what you three did to yourselves..." or "I'm a partner in a freakshow..." or "...after they went Frankenstein on me..." all help distinguish him, perhaps for the first time. We had a notion of where Dingo was going. And this episode helped bridge the gap to "Walkabout". And eventually to the development I did with Gary Sperling, Bob Kline, Troy Adomitis, Doug Murphy and Patrick Archibald on "BAD GUYS," which some of you have seen at the Gathering.

How the mighty have fallen. My point-of-view and Dingo's matched up. The Pack were beginning to feel pathetic. The problem with villains is that after the heroes keeps beating them over and over, you need to find a way to keep them competitive. This episode (reflected in its title, which may or may not have been one of mine, but which I latched onto EARLY and stuck with) was always part of my plans for the Pack. Intro them in the first season as humans. This was necessary, because the world of our first season was MUCH more normal. I wanted to weird the world up in small steps. Don't intro Oberon first, intro Puck. That kind of thing. So once the science was established, we'd upgrade.

This dovetailed nicely with the need for Goliath to 'upgrade' one of his warriors to Second-In-Command. Goliath had been Hudson's second. Demona had been Goliath's. But it was past time to name a new successor. We always had Brooklyn in mind for that roll, but I remember asking Gary whether he felt we had succeeded in establishing that without ever having stated it. He felt we had. What did you guys think when you first saw the episode?

The battle at the bank. On my tape, there's an animation glitch where Dingo hits his head and then seems to intentionally hit his head again. I'm hoping it got fixed for later airings.

Anyway, the battle winds down. No one's done very well. But the Pack is on the run. Erin at this point says, "There's no messing with the big boys." Proving that the Pack was no longer competitive.

Wolf yells, "This isn't over!" sounding very much like Hakon to my ears.

Lex wants to pursue, but Brooklyn already the subconscious leader of everyone's choice, says, "Helping Goliath is more important."

Hudson gooses Goliath to choose a second. Refuses the job himself. This is another example of Hudson being the guardian of tradition. He knows they live in a brave new world. But he wants to preserve what worked in the old one as well.

Erin says, "I think Goliath's going to choose the red guy." Meaning Brooklyn. I am briefly horrified that my own kids don't reliably know the names of the lead characters. (Of course, before last week, we hadn't watched the series in a year. But still...)

I love the idea of Coyote's head knocking on the door of the Pack's ship. For starters it's so odd to get a knock while in flight. Second, how did he knock. Why with his forehead of course...

The trio begin their competition. Bronx is disgusted.

The new Pack is revealed. What was everyone's reaction? The Coyote-Head had laid out the options, but were you at all shocked at the upgrades when you first saw them?

I like the creepy Addams Family moment with Jackal's arm. I like that this Wolf and Dingo are now competitive in strength with Goliath.

I find it interesting that we had Goliath say, "What manner of trickery is this?" instead of "What sorcery is this?" I mean, who were we kidding, right?

Hudson then brings up the Archmage's sorcery. Just a reminder that the Archmage existed for what we knew was coming in Avalon.

I don't know if this was fixed for reairing, but their's a big mistake in this first battle. Goliath spots COYOTE the robot flying off and goes off alone in pursuit. This was supposed to be him spotting just the little head. He goes off after the head, thinking he'll find Xanatos or something. Then the giant Robot steps forward. Would have been a much better reveal.

I love the interaction as the Pack chooses a leader.

Cree is great reading: "Coyote, honey..." and "I find him very attractive." Hyena's attraction to Coyote was a fun running gag. But did it influence her choice of upgrades?

Jackal is grossed out, proving as ever, that he's just a tad saner than his sister. "Well, that's sicker than usual." He sides with Wolf, just for that reason.

Leaving Dingo with the deciding vote.

More animation errors that I hope got corrected eventually: Fox's lips don't move. So suddenly we're hearing her internal monologue.

Note that Broadway actually foils the most crime in their nightly competition. We did that on purpose. To show that was never the point.

Xanatos says, "Clever move." to end an act.

Then we come back, and he's confident saying, "I think I've still got the edge." Of course that line was a literal reuse of the line from "The Edge". We had a lot of so-so animation in this episode. It forced us to cut the show tight enough that we had to add footage. So we reprinted the shot of X&F playing chess and reused the old line to fill the space.

Final battle.

Everytime Hyena's hand folded backwards, Erin would say: "Eww, that's disgusting!"

CONTINUITY: Just as Lex dislikes the Pack, Bronx seems to particularly dislike Coyote. He's always chewing on that bot, forcing Coyote to threaten to "send this puppy into orbit!"

I love Hyena's line: "I wonder if Gargoyles taste like chicken?" Can't help thinking she'd sincerely like to know.

Frank Paur had this idea that when Wolf got angrier, he'd morph even wolfier. But the animation never quite worked on that. It was a great idea, but the transformation doesn't play dramatically, so it just looks like the model changes part way through the fight.

Coyote's demise was heavily influenced by the first Terminator movie. We keep destroying the darn bot, but it just keeps getting up.

Morgan reappears. I was never wild about his "Hospital, Machine Shop or Vet" line. It's okay, but it seemed a bit too flip.

Goliath, like the production staff, had his choice in mind all along. Brooklyn. By now the trio's come around to the same idea, except Brooklyn himself, who suddenly realizes the weight he'll be carrying around. A prelude to "Kingdom", as he says to Goliath, "Be careful. I'm in no hurry to take your place."

(Nice moment in their when Hudson pets Bronx. It has nothing specific to do with anything else, but it's a nice touch.)

Fox & Xanatos make such a cool couple. I love that he doesn't mind losing to her. Happier to have found a true equal.

And I love that chilling, funny ending: "Care to play again?"

Ever wonder about their next game?

Anyway, there's my ramble. Where's yours?


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"Upgrade" MEMO

[In preparation for my new ramble for ASK GREG & the DCV, here's my original memo to Story Editor Gary Sperling on Adam Gilad's first draft outline of the episode "Upgrade". Note the date. At the time I wrote this, "Deadly Force" had just recently aired, but the rest of the first season was being saved for early 1995.]

WEISMAN 11-30-94

Notes on "Upgrade" Outline...

GENERAL
TRIO
My big fear is that Brooklyn didn't feel like leader material in this. To our audience he's going to come off as cautious and wimpy throughout most of the episode, with the added problem that he's subject to peer pressure. This is particularly problematic in that Brooklyn has always been defined as the MOST adventurous of our trio. Ultimately, the qualities that will define him as a leader include strategic abilities, common sense, a willingness to sacrifice... and, yes, knowing when to retreat and/or call for help. But if we make the latter quality into Brooklyn's first instinct, it will overshadow the others. And our audience won't buy him as leader. Maybe more important than all of this should be a natural unconscious quality of leadership, which parallel's Broadway and Lexington's roles as followers. When they stop thinking and slip into automatic pilot, Brooklyn naturally seems to give the orders and the others naturally follow.

These guys do work well as a team, don't be afraid to show that. We've got a competitive thing going between them that will tend to screw up their natural teamwork, but if we're going to prove our point, then we need to see moments when they forget to be competitive and just cooperate. In any case, let's not make them infantile. When you define competitiveness think Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in Top Gun. These are young warriors, not children elbowing each other as they fly.

Let's also avoid setting up non-existent flaws in Lex and Broadway. Things like Broadway being slow to awaken is just not born out in any of our other episodes. They all wake up within a few seconds of each other at sunset.

Having said all this, you'll see below that I gave them less screen time, mostly because it choreographed cleaner, but also because it really put something at stake other than the contest for leader (i.e. the lives of their friends). Plus I've isolated them from everyone that usually provides them with help or advice (Goliath, Hudson, Elisa and even Bronx). So I'm crossing my fingers that what we lose in quantity time, we will make up for in quality.

PACK
I'm also concerned that we've Upgraded the Pack, only to make them seem even more incompetent than ever. They've got to feel considerably more dangerous. We need to believe the Gargoyles barely survived this go 'round. The Pack's leadership issues cannot get too far in the way of their success. Ultimately the gargoyles do triumph because their teamwork under Brooklyn defeats a divided Pack. But if the Pack members are just at each others throats through the whole program, they'll never feel like a viable threat. Remember, despite the dangerously unstable personalities involved (including Coyote, but not Dingo), the Pack's fighting style is based on teamwork by definition. Let them play to their strength, that way it'll be even more ironic when the gargoyles defeat them through teamwork driven by sound leadership.

PACK UPGRADE SPECS
What follows may be what you had in mind, but I want to make sure we're all operating off the same page.

WOLF - gets turned into a werewolf. The biggest and most obvious change will be to his head, which will have a canine shape. Like Talon and his mutants, Wolf will be covered with hair all over, his hands will be clawed, and he'll have haunches. He cannot fly, but he can leap far distances. He'll probably have a better sense of smell and hearing, but I want to downplay these last qualities, because I think they can come off as silly. (Let's not make him an object of ridicule to his teammates simply because he's gotten more dog-like. They are all themed off canines. Both Coyote's head and Dingo's helmet will be dog-shaped as well. I would think that Jackal, Hyena and Coyote would all respect the power which came with his choice of Upgrade. Hyena might make an obnoxious comment here or there, but the only one who's really attacking his choice is Dingo -- and obviously it's not for aesthetic reasons.) Wolf will be much stronger than he was, now on a par with Goliath.

JACKAL & HYENA - become Cyborgs. Half human. Half machine. And the machine parts are NOT camouflaged as human. They have built in weapons. Cyborg legs will also allow them to leap far distances. Maybe even built in flight capabilities. And their strength will increase to Gargoyle level. Maybe not as strong as Goliath or Broadway, but equal or above the others.

DINGO - wears full body armor, including a helmet. Sort of like what we thought Xanatos was wearing as Coyote (in "Leader of the Pack") before we found out Coyote was a robot. (Model sheets are available for Coyote if you're unclear.) The focus should be on his armor, not on "weapons". All the weapons are built in. And the armor should be as flexible and powerful as Xanatos' own Gargoyle armor (screen "The Edge"), plus whatever latest innovations were thrown into this design. That means Dingo should be able to fly. Rocket jets in his boots. Or a rocket pack on his back. Probably not as maneuverable or graceful as a Gargoyle, but he can hover, which they can't do. Again, his strength level is now increased. Probably just under Wolf and Goliath range. (Note: Dingo also has less screen time than I'd like to be able to give him here, so we've really got to make his moments of uneasiness about his partners count. One visual clue that I think will help is the fact that Dingo removes his helmet every chance he gets. He subconsciously needs periodic reassurance that the helmet isn't a part of him and that he hasn't in fact relinquished his humanity.)

COYOTE - Although he's still programmed to have a slightly more vengeful version of Xanatos' personality, Coyote doesn't look like Xanatos anymore. What would be the point? He looks like a huge exaggerated version of the original Coyote. Mighty Joe Young may be a little too big, but you get the idea. If Goliath is eight feet tall than Coyote-II is more like ten or eleven, and built like a gorilla. Coyote is definitely stronger than Goliath, and he can fly. Being huge may have it's disadvantages, but not too many. This is the most powerful and sophisticated robot that Xanatos has built yet. It's computer brain (at least part of which should be the damaged head from "Leader") is well-protected in the robot's chest.

PACK ATTACK VEHICLE - This isn't and never was a van. It flies. It submerges underwater. This is super high-tech. I'm not sure if it even has an exhaust pipe. Model sheets exist if you need to see them.

OWEN vs. COYOTE'S HEAD
You can't have Owen. He's a stand-in for Xanatos, and you've already got one of those: the damaged head of Coyote from "Leader".

LEXINGTON'S TRACKING DEVICE vs. FOX
You can't have this device either. I don't want to ever make the gargoyles too high-tech in their crime-fighting. If we give Lex the ability to make one of these here, we're stuck with him having this knowledge and wondering all the time why he doesn't use it over and over. Besides, why would he create a device that tracks, but only tracks when it's inhaling carbon monoxide fumes?

At any rate, the gargoyles may not need the device. They have a secret ally that even they are not aware of: Fox. It's obvious here how Xanatos is manipulating his chess pieces. But Fox doesn't seem to be moving hers in opposition. She's simply counting on them to defeat the Pack. In some subtle way, let her "move" her pieces too. [Note: the method I use below is semi-goofy at best. If you like it you can use it, but feel free to come up with something better.]

Also, please be careful that Xanatos doesn't say anything that might imply that he threw the match. If he wasn't trying his best to win, he wasn't respecting Fox as an opponent.

MONTAGE vs. NO MONTAGE
Sorry. After cuts were made for both S&P and for things that I did not want to reveal, there wasn't anything left. So out it went.

HUDSON
All gargoyles sleep as stone to recharge during the day, which allows them to operate at their peak throughout the night. Hudson's peak may not be what it once was, but he doesn't need extra downtime at night.

BEAT OUTLINE
ACT ONE
1. Night. Bank job being carried out by what's left of the PACK: WOLF, JACKAL, HYENA and DINGO. There's an air of desperation here. They need money because they are on the run. They get to the roof, where their PACK ATTACK VEHICLE is hovering. And where it has attracted the attention of the patrolling gargoyles: BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON, BROADWAY and GOLIATH. There is a battle. The Pack is a bit out-classed, but only just. The Pack has the weapons and technology. What they lack is flight capability, brute strength (Wolf is incredibly strong for a human, but no match for Goliath) and leadership (Wolf acts like he's the leader, the others just don't naturally follow him). In contrast, Goliath leads his troops effectively. Give the Pack credit for figuring that out. They agree to take out the leader. And they do. Goliath is injured.
The Pack get away in their vehicle, but without the money. Lex momentarily wants to pursue his hated enemies, but as sirens approach, Brooklyn thinks the priority should be to get Goliath back to the safety of the CLOCK TOWER. He asks Broadway to help him carry Goliath. Neither Lex or Broadway question Brooklyn's leadership at this stage. Nor do any of the three, including Brooklyn, make a point of saying that Brooklyn is in charge. He just says some very common sense things and the others see the sense in it and follow his lead.

2. Meanwhile, the Pack Vehicle flies through the Manhattan Night. Maybe some brief sniping between the members, before there's a knock on the door... which seems odd at this altitude. Almost despite himself, Dingo opens the hatch to reveal COYOTE'S HEAD flying alongside on it's little mini-rocket. It still has half of Xanatos' face, and it asks politely in Xanatos' voice if it can come in. (There's also a model sheet completed on this damaged head. It looks pretty cool if you want the reference.)

3. Back at the Clock Tower near dawn, HUDSON tends to Goliath. It's a bad laser burn, but it'll heal when the sun rises and they turn to stone. But it brings up something that's concerned Hudson for awhile. He hates to even say it, but next time Goliath might not be so lucky. Goliath needs to name a second-in-command. Goliath chooses Hudson, of course. But Hudson declines. Goliath was Hudson's lieutenant and became his successor when it was time for Hudson to step down. Goliath needs to choose one of the trio. But first Goliath must sleep. The trio hear all this. Hudson has intentionally made no attempt to hide the conversation from them. They all straighten-up, leader-like. And the sun rises. Goliath turns to stone still cradled in his comrades arms.

4. Because the sun has risen, the Pack Vehicle dives beneath the surface of the Hudson River (or the East River or the Bay or whatever). It comes to a stop on the bottom and rests.
Inside, the Coyote Head has literally latched itself onto the ships computers. He's lowered a screen and is starting his sales pitch. Tired of being out-classed by the gargoyles? Ready to be as strong as them? To fly like them? Etc.? Well, let me show you what we can do. Is Genetic-Engineering your passion? (He shows footage of TALON in action trashing Goliath.) Or is Cybernetics more your style? (He shows footage of COLDSTONE trashing Goliath.) A little high-tech haberdashery, perhaps? (Footage of XANATOS in his GARGOYLE ARMOR trashing Goliath, with at least one shot of Xanatos with the helmet off.) Or my favorite, Robotics? (Footage of COYOTE trashing Goliath. This obviously doesn't apply to the four humans, but I want to get it in here to hint at Coyote's rebirth as well.)
Obviously, they are all very interested. Dingo goes for the armor and pretty much writes off the rest as horror show. The other three don't state their preferences. Coyote Head: "All made possible by the men and women of XANATOS ENTERPRISES." Where is Xanatos? Occupied at the moment, but happy to be of assistance.

5. At the castle, Xanatos and FOX seem to be playing chess, but we don't get to see the game board or the pieces. Xanatos has made the first move.

6. Super: ONE MONTH LATER. Clock Tower. The trio are just leaving to patrol the city separately and in competition. They've hardly done anything else, each is so intent on being Goliath's second in command. Hudson's in his comfy chair with the t.v. set on, but he's not watching. After the trio leave, he chides Goliath, who has to decide between the three young warriors. Goliath seems strangely reluctant to choose.
Just then ELISA enters. The desk sergeant just received an "anonymous" tip on the Pack's location. S.W.A.T. Teams from three precincts are mobilizing. But Elisa has listened to a recording of the tip and recognized the voice as Xanatos'. She'd like to be there in an unofficial capacity. Goliath agrees. No time to wait for the trio, but the Pack can be tough, so they'll take BRONX. They leave in such a hurry, Hudson doesn't bother to turn off the t.v.

7. An abandoned building scheduled for demolition, which the police have totally surrounded. The S.W.A.T. LEADER talks through a megaphone, giving the Pack a chance to surrender peacefully. There is no response. Tear gas canisters are shot through the windows -- followed by an explosion that practically levels the building. The tear gas couldn't have caused that. The building must have been rigged to blow.
Goliath, Elisa, Hudson and Bronx watch from a nearby rooftop. At first they don't notice the little Coyote Head, which zips around the site like a humming bird looking for food. Then the head spots them and approaches. It tells them that this little display was just designed to attract their attention. If the gargoyles really want to find the Pack, they're going to have to follow the head, which they do.

8. Goliath, Elisa, Hudson and Bronx follow the Head to a construction site. It's the skeletal beginnings of a skyscraper. As soon as they arrive the new ARMORED DINGO flies in. After Dingo, comes the new CYBORG JACKAL and HYENA, followed finally by the new WERE-WOLF. Our heroes are surrounded.

ACT TWO
9. Picking up where we left off, we have a fight. The Coyote-Head zips away and with Hudson's blessing Goliath follows it. (He thinks it will lead to the source of the trouble.) Although the Pack works together, there are hints that they are in some competition with each other. Ultimately, the Pack knocks out Hudson, Elisa and Bronx, with Wolf personally taking down Hudson.
Elsewhere in the structure, Goliath catches up to the Head which says that it would like to introduce Goliath to its "better half". A huge shadow looms.
Back with the Pack, where we get a sense of the tension between the members. As Dingo takes off his helmet, hint that he hasn't been able to get over the horrific things that his teammates have had done to their bodies. We also find out they've been fighting over who should lead. They agreed before the fight that whoever took out the biggest gargoyle, would get to be the leader. Wolf took out Hudson, so he feels entitled.
On cue, Goliath is knocked through a brick wall. He falls unconscious at their feet. And then the rest of the wall is knocked down to reveal the new robot COYOTE-II: "Sorry, Wolf. I think my Goliath tops your Hudson."
The Pack are all stunned, but for Hyena it's love at first sight: "Coyote, honey, is that you?" A panel slides open inside Coyote's chest to reveal the Coyote Head literally plugged into the inner workings of this huge machine. No way Wolf is taking orders from a machine. No one ever said Coyote was part of the contest. Wolf is still leader. But Hyena disagrees, she's siding with her new boyfriend. Jackal can't believe his sister has fallen in love with a glorified toaster oven. He's not exactly Wolf's biggest fan, but he's got to go with old furball. They all turn to Dingo to break the tie. Dingo looks at his helmet. He makes it clear that he's not wild about his options: a robot who thinks he's human or a lunatic who gave up his humanity. But he turns to Coyote and says, "O.K. boss, what's our next move?"

10. Back at the Clock Tower, the trio are each getting back after a night of competitively patrolling the city alone. Lex prevented two muggings. Brooklyn prevented one mugging and scared off a burglar. Broadway stopped three muggings and an armed robbery: "Just have to know where to look," he says proudly. Then they realize that the tower is empty. Even Bronx is gone. And if Hudson and Goliath lugged Bronx along with them it must have been trouble.

11. Cut to the interior of some kind of hanger for the Pack Attack Vehicle. We do not get an exterior to show us where we are, but we do hear a train go by every minute or so. Goliath, Hudson, Bronx and Elisa are in a glass chamber filled with a colored gas that keeps them unconscious. Wolf isn't at all pleased about waiting around. How is sitting on their hands going to help them find the other gargoyles? But Coyote has a plan. It's midnight now. At 4:30 am they'll release Bronx from the chamber. He'll almost definitely lead them straight to the Gargoyle's Home Base. And he should get there just before sunrise, allowing the Pack to arrive just after sunrise and smash the remaining gargoyles into gravel.

12. In Xanatos' office, he and Fox are still playing chess. Xanatos: "You're in check, my dear."

ACT THREE
13. The trio are still waiting for Goliath et al at the clock tower. It's 3 A.M. and they are very worried. It's only a couple hours 'til sunrise. And no sign of Elisa either. And the tension isn't doing wonders for their dispositions. They argue over what to do. The television gives them a clue when a report comes in about the bombing at the abandoned building. The report mentions that the fire was contained because the police were already on the scene, having received a false tip that those escaped felons (and former television stars) known as the Pack were there. They're about to head out to investigate, when they hear "The following is a paid commercial message." Lex recognizes the voice as Fox's. Brooklyn didn't think Fox was still in the Pack. But the commercial continues. "Tired of walking up Lexington Avenue? Sick of taking the bus down Broadway? Fed up with driving your car to Brooklyn? Then take the subway!" And an image appears on the screen of a place where multiple tracks criss-cross above ground. Well, that can't be a coincidence. One of them recognizes the location, he's flown over it. But is this a tip or a trap? Well, what choice do they have? Off they go.

14. Trio arrive at Train crossing. Again, there are multiple tracks crossing in multiple directions, and every minute or so, another train rushes by at high speed. They find a large metal shack, that's supposed to house train cars or something, but is acting as a hangar for the Pack Vehicle instead. They sneak in and get a look at the upgraded Pack and their sleeping friends. Broadway and Lexington are all for mounting an immediate attack. Brooklyn is reluctant. Just look at the size of Coyote, who's in the middle of putting a tracking device on Bronx. They need help to defeat these guys. But where are they going to get help? From Goliath and the rest. Our priority should be freeing them. Both Broadway and Lex try to peer pressure him. Maybe he's afraid to fight without Goliath, but they're not. But Brooklyn isn't biting. He's not scared, and he's also not stupid. They need a plan.
A little bit later, Brooklyn makes his presence known and then takes off as a decoy. Coyote figures as much, but Wolf and Jackal won't listen to reason and take off after him. And right after they leave, the power goes out inside the hanger, thanks to Lex. Dingo reaches for his helmet, but it's not there. Broadway has it and throws it with all his might at the sleep chamber. The helmet smashes a hole in the chamber, allowing the gas to pour out. But meanwhile things don't look good for the trio. Coyote slams into Broadway carrying them both outside. Hyena and Dingo pursue Lex.
So outside the battle continues amid the backdrop of unpredictable and speeding trains shooting past on random tracks. Eventually, however, Brooklyn's delaying tactic pays off. The others have been given the opportunity to recover from the sleep chamber. They join the fight, and the tide of the battle turns. The Pack is defeated. GARY, LET'S DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PACK AT THE END OF THIS SHOW.

15. Back at the clock tower, Goliath realizes that tonight's events only prove what Hudson has been saying all along. He must choose a second in command. He's had a choice in mind for weeks, but has been reluctant to reveal it, because he was afraid that it would drive a wedge between the trio. But tonight they worked together and saved the clan. He has to trust that they are mature enough to handle this. He chooses Brooklyn. (This without being aware of who spear-headed tonight's success.) The others are genuinely happy for Brooklyn. He proved himself to them. They take their places outside and Brooklyn looks across the city. A siren wails. He shakes his head and tells Goliath to be careful. He's in no hurry to take his place. They turn to stone.

16. Dawn. Fox says checkmate, and we reveal the board with its pieces based on our characters. She knows her husband doesn't like to lose. Is he upset? Of course not, he's happy to have an opponent to match his skill. Made the game more fun. "Care to play again?" FADE OUT.


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Chapter XXIX: "Double Jeopardy"

My family and I watched "Double Jeopardy" a few nights ago for the DCV and for my (belated) but on-going Ramblings on each of the Gargoyles episodes...

(This 'chapter'/episode was written & Story Edited by my old buddy Cary Bates.)

It's literally been over a year since my kids or my wife have seen an episode of Gargoyles. I've occasionally had to check out individual scenes and/or credits for things I've been working on, but I don't think I've sat down to watch a whole episode beginning to end in quite some time either.

Watching the opening titles, my five year old son Benny remarked to his seven year old sister Erin: "You have [Brooklyn] and I have Goliath." He's referring to the Kenner toys I gave them a couple Christmas' ago. Erin, I believe has Brooklyn, Broadway and the Steel Clan robot. Benny has Goliath, Lex and Xanatos.

Then when Benny saw Xanatos in the credits, he said, "I was Xanatos last year." Here, he's referring to the fact that he dressed up as Xanatos for the costume ball at G2000. I had to point out that that was nearly TWO years ago.

TITLE

Cary must have come up with this one, I think. I tend to favor one-worders myself. His original title was "Thailog Rules", which I didn't care for. I liked "Reversals" but he must have convinced me to go for "Double Jeopardy".

Erin, who can now read, asked what "Jeopardy" meant. I said "Trouble". And she was very amused that the title 'translated' as "Double Trouble". She liked that better, I think. She also enjoys reading the various on-screen scrawls, like "One Year Ago" and "One Year Later". Reading is like a super-power to her now. I hope she doesn't lose that.

THE FLASHBACK

So we open with a touch of continuity. Or retcon, I suppose. Though to me retcon is a nearly derogative term suggesting that continuity has been abused to fit new circumstances and I think our little flashback here fits in nicely with what we already knew of that time. A Steel Clan Robot interrupts Elisa trying to convince G that they need to find a new home. Goliath puts the bot down hard and fast. It's a cool and well-timed scene.

It's nice to see Goliath's old stubbornness there too.

Now, to the present. There's a color error (or perhaps cheat) where we see a flash of what will eventually turn out to be Thailog's arm. It's Goliath's color, not Thailog's.

Then we hear the maniacal laughter, which Hudson will later comment on: "Do you even know how to laugh maniacally?" he'll ask Goliath. The answer, surprisingly, is yes. Though I had forgotten, Goliath laughs pretty darn maniacally in "Enter Macbeth" after Macbeth suggests that Demona will come to Goliath's rescue. Still, one of the impulses that made me want to create Thailog was Keith David's talent. The fact that he was brilliant as Goliath, but that Goliath didn't allow us to show but a fraction of Keith's true range. Creating Thailog allowed Keith to do things that he otherwise wouldn't. And I think he's amazing. There's never any question as to which character is speaking whether that character is on-camera or not. And he does it all with acting. The voice itself is the same. Thailog lets Keith cut loose and just be BAD.

Also, a touch of Jeff Bennett's amazing flexibility too. Jeff does a Schwartzenegger impersonation for the mercenary. Beth immediately recognized it as an Arnold takeoff, but didn't know who was voicing it. She was suitably impressed to find out it was yet another creation of JB's.

I like Lex's line: "Made my hair stand on end... if I had any". (Note, all quotations are approximate.)

I had some fun trying to mess with the audience's minds. Which is tough, because honestly you guys (tv watchers in general these days) are pretty savvy people who know most writer-tricks. When you saw Thailog frozen in stone on the parapet, before the real Goliath & Brooklyn appeared in the episode, what did you think was going on?

Benny (still focused on the prologue) theorized: "It's a robot that also can be turned to stone."

Erin knew it wasn't Goliath. And after a few minutes wondered if the robot had cloned Goliath. (NOTE: Both kids have seen the episode before. But long ago. And for Benny, so long ago, that there's really no possible way he could remember it. Erin doesn't remember either, at least not consciously, but she may have more of a sense of it buried in there somewhere.)

CONTINUITY:

The Emir is mentioned again. I think, though I can't remember for sure, that by this time, I had some vague notion of picking up on the throw away mention of this guy in "The Edge" and using him as a character later. So we mention him having deadline problems. In theory, he's already working on the Anubis plan that Xanatos agreed to bankroll back in "The Edge" -- but which wouldn't come to fruition until "Grief".

Owen is fun here too for me: "Is this a plan you neglected to mention?" A reasonable possibility, though it's hard to imagine that Xanatos would work anything behind Owen's back. I also like the bit about how Xanatos has never lacked for formidable enemies.

And Arnold's line about Sevarius giving him the creeps is truer now than ever before. Sitting in front of me is an article from this past Sunday's L.A. Times about Dr. Severino Antinori's real life cloning experiments. I even have a picture of the guy. He doesn't look much like our Anton. But the name and the sliding ethics sure sound spookily like Dr. Sevarius. As far as I know, that's a name that Michael Reaves made up out of the blue. It's really weirding me out.

Owen & Xanatos figure out that the kidnapper is Sevarius, and Xanatos has that great resigned villainous speech about how "An example must be made." It's funny. We have to work to get him to do anything that an everyday cartoon villain would do without breaking a sweat.

Also, we get the first mention of the "Thailog Project". The word "Thailog" itself, as I may have mentioned before, was another major impetus (is that spelled right) for creating the character.

While we were mixing the 35mm movie version of the pilot, there was one scene that was giving us trouble. The guys at Disney Sound kept rewinding across this scene over and over and I kept clearly hearing the same word "Thailog" over and over again. I eventually realized it was Elisa saying Goliath backwards. I just liked the sound of Thailog and that gave me the idea of creating an evil (i.e. backwards) Goliath. Again, that would also give Keith some fun opportunities.

But one thing I didn't want to do was to make Thailog a true dead-ringer for Goliath. I felt that had been done to death. It was fun to misdirect in the first act. But after that, I wanted something different. Thus we have the 'pigmentation' change brought on by the accelerated aging process. (This was another thing that mattered to me. Clones who miraculously are the same age as the original bug me. I wanted to at least pay lip service to the notion that theoretically a clone should age normally. The color change was an attempt to kill two birds with one stone.)

The specifics of the color change were actually inspired by John Byrne's tenure on the FANTASTIC FOUR at Marvel. He did a bunch of issues where the FF went to the Negative Zone, and when they emerged, their uniforms were altered from black and light blue to white and dark blue. It always seemed like a simple but stunning change. So Thailog was a nega-Goliath. (And, yes, Darkwing's foe Negaduck also had an influence, I'm sure.)

MORE CONTINUITY

Broadway's ongoing 'learning to read' subplot is advanced. Lex has put two and two together and guessed that what they saw might just be a clone. Which is smart o him, I think. But BW has to figure out what Lex was spelling out. Perhaps even more of a challenge for a guy that didn't care about the written word, just a few short months before.

Erin saw her birthday on the Thailog project logs, and was very tickled. (Of course, it's really no coincidence.) I felt a little bad, since Benny's birthday never appears in the show. (Since he wasn't born yet.)

BW: "This is bad news."
LEX: "You can say that again."
BW: "This is bad news."
Erin: <LAUGHS> "He said it again."

Love the X & Sev scenes. It's always fun to give Tim Curry a chance to really HAM it up. (You can see how a lot of our work was inspired by the talents of our cast.) But I just love cross-purpose conversations in general. And this one is a blast. It's also nice to see Xanatos confused for a change. Props to Jonathan Frakes, who always gave us a very non-showy but spot on performance. Particularly once the voice and animation were put together.

X: You're the kidnapper.
Sev: I guess I am at that.

Goliath sees Thailog for the first time and reacts very badly. I think it's (dare I say it) very human of him. He thinks Thailog is an abomination. I love the "...pieces out my soul" line. Love it.

***HEY! I know I've said this before, but in case everyone's forgotten... These ramblings are admittedly a little obnoxious. I'm like praising my own work here. Except (a) some of it isn't my work, but the work of my colleagues and it still impresses me and (b) I'm genuinely fond of all this stuff so forgive the indulgence.****

Anyway, Elisa points out that Thailog is almost Goliath's son.

This was another ongoing point of behind-the-scenes contention. Since Thailog appears to be Goliath's evil twin, Cary and others thought we should play them as brothers instead of father & son. But that just seemed wrong to me. That wasn't the relationship either genetically or otherwise. And I liked the notion of Thailog having three fathers that he was in constant conflict/competition with.

All the father/son stuff is great.

I love the "Chip off the old block" "All the old blocks" exchange. Pun intended of course.

And Thailog's line "...just to raise a fool."

And Sev's "You do and do and do for them."

Thailog laughs maniacally multiple times. YAY!

Round about here, Erin muttered: "This is an odd episode."

Note that Thailog is attracted to Elisa from the start. Creepy. But also he's more in touch with his body chemistry than Goliath is. Guess it helps if you haven't had a decades of socialization.

Actually, everyone admires Elisa. X for her delicate wrists. The bit with Elisa slipping out of her manacles always seemed like a bit of a cheat to me. (See, sometimes there are things I don't like.) The handcuffs line was a semi-feeble attempt to cover.

I like the idea that Sev had worked up a garg specific knock-out gas that Thailog used.

I liked the animation and sound work on Thailog tearing open the oil barrels.

I liked Thailog's line "Now I know where I got the temper." But does he really have much of a temper. He seems much more Xanatosian than Goliathesque in that regard. But I do think he holds more of a grudge. He just hides it.

Tangent, but I believe that this maybe explains his relationship (still to come) with Demona a bit. I think he knows on some level that Demona likes him because he's the Goliath she always wanted. And Thailog is very into being his own man. He wants nothing from his fathers that he hasn't TAKEN.

Thailog won't leave without his money. I'd ask in hindsight whether or not at that point the money was even still in that briefcase.

Goliath by the end is now fully on-board with the notion of Thailog being his son. His clannish instincts have taken over. And he feels that all of Thailog's rookery fathers (X, Sev and G) have failed Thailog. The notion of multiple fathers is something that's easy for him to grasp. But of course, he takes his own failure to heart more than the others. Cuz he expects THEM to be jerks.

And now our patented Xanatos Tag. Only it's flipped into a Thailog tag. I love Owen's line: "He's out there, he has the money, he's as powerful as Goliath and he's smarter than you." Only Owen could slam X like that with impunity. And X's return: "Owen, I think I've created a monster." Love that too.

Still not sure whether I love the super-imposed Thailog head. But I do like Thailog's maniacal laughter. Never get enough of that.

Erin: "[Thailog] practically is a monster. Gargoyles are supposed to be monsters. Only they're nicer. Thailog is a monster."

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Double Jeopardy Outline Notes

[With the DCV moving into episodes that my rambles haven't yet covered, I'm again going to try to reprint old memos from the series. What follows are my notes on writer/story editor Cary Bates' outline for what eventually became "Double Jeopardy". By the time we wrote this memo, we'd clearly gone through three iterations of the story (which I no longer possess). This version related below, is darn close to what we finally wound up with, and should give you an idea of how closely I worked with the story editors, though it reveals little about who came up with what, since even I don't remember how much of what follows was new to this document and how much was part of what came before. Enjoy.]

WEISMAN 12-24-94

Notes on "Thailog Rules" Outline...

GENERAL
O.K. You're last beat sheet was a big improvement. Particularly the Sevarius stuff. But something still seemed missing. So I reviewed all three versions of this thing and after dancing them around in my head a bit, came up with the following. It preserves the mystery of Goliath's strange behavior a little longer, but keeps the plotline moving along fast.

TITLE
I'm afraid "Thailog Rules" tips our hand too much. What do you think of the title "Reversals"? Or something similar with the word "negative" in it? Or something like "Sins of the Fathers"?

FIRST ENCOUNTER
I traded Brooklyn for Elisa. That way, we could get rid of the awkward phony weapons bit. Thailog (or Sevarius) could have left an anonymous tip for Elisa that brought her (and Lex and Broadway) past the right place at about the right time.

THAILOG'S DICTION
Can be very colloquial. Direct. Like his menacing laugh, it'll be weird for our audience to hear Keith's deep voice comfortably use edgy modern parlance.

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
1. Prologue. One year ago at Eyrie Building. Night. Keep very brief and simple. ELISA is trying to convince GOLIATH that he must find a new home, before Xanatos is released from prison. Suddenly, a STEEL CLAN ROBOT goes berserk, making a bee-line for Elisa. Goliath puts it down hard. OWEN apologizes and "treats" Goliath's small cut.

2. One year later. On a stormy night, Elisa is driving along Riverside Drive in upper Manhattan, where there's a bit of a cliff down to the water. LEXINGTON and BROADWAY are gliding through the storm above her. Lex wears a radio headset like the one he wore in "Legion". He uses it to communicate with Elisa, letting us in on the anonymous tip that brought them up here, and how it must have been a crank call, since it turned up nothing. (We need to believe that whatever this call claimed to reveal was something that would have led her to bring Lex and Broadway instead of Matt.) Just off shore, we should see an old oil rig platform. Suddenly, Lex and Broadway are attacked, and Elisa is "strafed" and nearly forced off the road and over the cliff. (Keep her point of view very tight and claustrophobic inside her car. Between the poor visibility and multiple "blind spots", she won't know where the next attack will come from.) As dangerous as the whole thing is, there's something almost childish about the attacks. Ultimately, Elisa gets control of her car, pulls over and gets out. Lex and Broadway land next to her, and they see their attacker. It's clearly "Goliath", though we only see him in silhouette, laughing. Then he is gone.

3. At Gen-U-Tech, DOCTOR SEVARIUS is making a down payment to LEAD MERCENARY. The Doctor's having a damn good time.

4. At the Clock Tower, just before Dawn, Elisa, Broadway and Lex have just finished describing Goliath's strange behavior to HUDSON. No one has a clue as to why Goliath would act that way, and they'll have to wait until sunset to find out. He and BROOKLYN were supposed to be out patrolling, and with Dawn fast approaching, they probably found a ledge to spend the day on: somewhere Goliath would feel safe.

5. Daytime at Eyrie Building. "Goliath" is frozen in stone on the highest tower of the Eyrie Castle. (Note: when "stoned" there's no way to tell the difference between Goliath and his counterpart.) XANATOS chats with Owen about how nice it is to have "him" here, guarding the castle. (Since they both know who they are talking about, they don't have to mention him by name.) Suddenly, MERCENARIES led by Sevarius' Lead Mercenary, land. Xanatos and Owen are caught off guard. Mercenaries leave with stone "Goliath" and Xanatos can't shoot them down without risking the gargoyle's life.

6. From his helicopter, the Lead Mercenary calls Sevarius by Video Phone, telling him that the mission is accomplished. They have the statue in the cargo hold in back. Sevarius is pleased and tells them to bring it to the rendezvous point, but not until after dark.

7. Night at the clock tower: Elisa, Hudson, Broadway, Lex and BRONX watch Goliath and Brooklyn come in for a landing. Goliath is bombarded with questions, but he doesn't know what they're talking about. Brooklyn confirms that Goliath has been with him the whole time. Well, if that wasn't Goliath they saw, then who was it?

8. In their helicopter, the mercenaries rendezvous with Sevarius at the abandoned oil rig platform. Sevarius is carrying a tranquilizer gun, which mystifies the lead mercenary. What's he gonna do, tranq the statue? The mercenaries open their hold, only to be confronted by THAILOG -- shock white hair, photo-negative colors, bad attitude, but otherwise a dead ringer for Goliath. (Incidentally, this is the last we'll ever see of these particular mercenaries.)

ACT TWO
9. Lex and Broadway have brought Goliath to the riverside location of the previous' night's "attack". They find a Gen-U-Tech tracking bracelet (like the one in "Metamorphosis"), right where "Goliath" had been standing. Lex wants to check out Gen-U-Tech. Goliath sends him and Broadway to do it, while he and Elisa look around for whoever or whatever that phony Goliath was.

10. Back at the Eyrie Building, Owen hands Xanatos the phone. The voice on the other end has been electronically altered beyond recognition, which doesn't prevent it from demanding a ransom for Thailog: $20 million in cash to be delivered to Oil Rig Platform #18 (or whatever). Owen tries to trace the call. No luck. But he can trace Platform #18. It doesn't belong to Demona, Macbeth or Renard. In fact, it belongs to Xanatos Enterprises. That's all Xanatos needs to hear. He can barely believe it, but Sevarius must have betrayed him. It all fits. Sevarius works for X.E. and he's the only other person who knew that Thailog existed. Xanatos hates to lose a talent like Sevarius, but he can't permit this kind of behavior from his employees. He's just going to have to make an example of Dr. Sevarius.

11. At Gen-U-Tech, Lex and Broadway break in. Lex has an idea. He types "C-L-O-N-E" into the computer and gets the scoop on Project Thailog.

12. Goliath and Elisa have been searching the area. They've looked everywhere and found nothing. Almost everywhere. Goliath points to the oil rig.

13. Xanatos, wearing a trench coat and carrying a suitcase, has taken a launch out to the oil rig. He is greeted warmly enough by Sevarius. He shows Sevarius the money. Sevarius: "What? Oh, the money. You know in all the excitement, I almost forgot about it. Actually, I've never seen that much money in one place. Mind if I take a peek?" And while he does, Xanatos removes his coat, to reveal that he is wearing armor. Thinner, lighter than his Gargoyle armor. Not as effective in a huge battle, but still formidable and obviously, easier to conceal. He grabs hold of Sevarius and explains, that although he's not by nature a vengeful man, Sevarius has forced him to make an exception.

14. Pull back to reveal, Goliath and Elisa watching all this from above. She wonders what could set Xanatos and Sevarius against each other? "Some new abomination they created together." They decide to take a look around.

15. Meanwhile, Sevarius is stunned at Xanatos' attack. What did he do wrong? Xanatos can't believe he's asking. Kidnapping, extortion, betrayal -- how's that for a start? Sevarius suddenly gets conspiratorial and whispers, "Oh, I get it. Somebody's watching us. Don't worry. I'll make it look good." Then he hams it up big time: "YES, I BETRAYED YOU!! YOU TOOK MY CREATION AWAY FROM ME!! IT WAS ONLY AN ACT OF JUSTICE TO STEAL IT BACK!!" And then he whispers to Xanatos, "How was that?"

16. Goliath and Elisa find Thailog chained up in an oil storage tank. Goliath is horrified. How can this be? Thailog explains very briefly that he is a clone of Goliath, created from his blood. Goliath feels violated and speaks rashly about the horrors of modern science and the evil of Xanatos and Sevarius. Thailog seems hurt and glowers angrily at Goliath. Elisa yanks Goliath aside. "Listen, you have a right to be angry, but you shouldn't take it out on Thailog. It's not his fault he was created. And however it happened, he's still a gargoyle. In a way, he's kind of your son. And you're rejecting him."

17. A very perplexed Xanatos is finally putting it together. Sevarius thinks this is all an act. Now Sevarius is confused. Isn't it an act? I only followed your instructions. What instructions? Sevarius had gotten instructions from Xanatos' office over electronic mail to do everything he had done. Far from betraying Xanatos, he had thought he was helping Xanatos in his latest Machiavellian scheme. Except Xanatos doesn't know anything about this. Who else has access to his personal computer? Sevarius: "Owen? Fox?" Xanatos: "Don't be ridiculous." "Well, has anyone else had access to the castle?" Xanatos thinks about it, and then... laughs.

18. Back in the oil tank, Goliath knows that Elisa is right. He goes to free Thailog. But Thailog says it won't be necessary. The shackles weren't locked. He grabs Goliath, puts him in a wrestling hold and slams a gas mask over Goliath's mouth and nose. Before Elisa can do anything but gasp, Goliath slumps unconscious in Thailog's arms. And Thailog laughs.

ACT THREE
19. Xanatos is still laughing. He's figured out that it was all Thailog's plan, and he's proud of his boy. Thailog comes out, smiling. And he's carrying a little bonus -- an unconscious Goliath and Elisa. (He took her out during the commercial.) Better and better. The kid is a real chip off the old block. "Yes, I am... All the old blocks." And he slaps an electro-disk onto Xanatos, shorting out his armor and knocking him unconscious. Screen goes black.

20. When Xanatos regains consciousness, he is chained next to Goliath, Sevarius and Elisa (in the oil tank maybe). Thailog enters with murder in mind. He's learned from all of his "proud fathers". But he has no intention of going through life as Sevarius' guinea pig or Xanatos' stooge. It's time to leave the nest. And twenty million should help him make his mark. Sevarius protests: How are you going to spend it? You can't exactly open a checking account. But Thailog has learned enough from Xanatos to know that with that much money, he can find a way to make it work for him. After all, he set all of them up without any cash incentives. Imagine what he could do with 20 mil? Goliath tells Thailog that he doesn't need the money. He can join the gargoyle clan. Thailog: "Do I look like a sap to you?" He has no desire to waste his time acting as guardian angel to a city full of ignorant humans. He had toyed with the idea of sharing the money with Goliath. That's why he had arranged for Goliath to join the party. But their little family reunion pissed Thailog off. "So I've decided to hate you too." He approaches Elisa, caresses her face. It seems like a waste, but she's going to have to die too. Nothing personal. He leaves, activating a death trap. (Maybe the oil tank starts filling with oil or something.) At any rate, the four work together to escape the trap. Though they set the rig on fire in the process.

21. Topside, they arrive just in time to stop Thailog from escaping with the cash. Thailog is furious that they've escaped. Big battle mostly between Thailog and Goliath. Broadway and Lex finally arrive but by this time the rig is about to collapse. Goliath tries one last attempt to reason with Thailog. They must escape. Thailog won't leave without the money. He goes after it, is caught in an explosion and apparently dies. Xanatos and Sevarius escape in Xanatos' launch. Broadway, Lex and Goliath leave with Elisa. They've survived. But at such a great cost. Goliath would like to blame Xanatos and Sevarius for corrupting Thailog. But all of Thailog's fathers hurt him. Goliath cannot exonerate himself.

22. Epilogue: One week later. Xanatos, Sevarius and Owen are talking about a brand new, more secure computer system. Price tag: just under $20 million. Xanatos chuckles at the irony, and then almost chokes on the chuckle. He suddenly realizes that if he had been in Thailog's shoes, he would have planned a contingency for their escape from his death trap. He would have faked his own death so that he could get away with the money. Sevarius: "You mean that monster's still out there. It has the money... and it's smarter than you?" Xanatos, dead serious: "Owen... I think I've created a monster."


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Grad Thesis semi-Answers

I got the following e-mail from Gore the other day. I don't usually encourage going around the system this way. But the guy seemed to be under deadline pressure, so I cut him some slack and moved him to the head of the line. I'd ask that others not abuse the process. Thanks.

Subject:
[Fwd: Graduate Student needs Greg's Help]
Date:
Thu, 14 Mar 2002 20:21:44 -0500

Just forwarding something that was sent to me.

-[Gorebash]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Graduate Student needs Greg's Help
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 14:21:57 -0500

Dear Mr. Weisman,

My name is John Diego Hernandez. I am a full time graduate student in public relations at Rowan Univeristy in Glassboro, New Jersey. My research topic for my thesis is "toys and cartoons" and how the two fields relate to one another when it comes to development of both toy lines and animated serials. As part of my thesis research I am required to survey individuals who pertain to my investigative studies. As creator of an animated television serial, your knowledgeable expertise would be an invaluable
wealth of information that would remain in my thesis throughout perpetuity.

The survey consists of 12 short questions posted below. It will only take 20 minutes of your time - no longer. If you can find some time from your busy schedule, I would be most indebted. You do not have to answer all the questions if you choose not to. If you wish to remain anonymous, I will not put your name or personal data in my thesis.

Thank you for your time,

John Diego Hernandez

1. Do toys affect what cartoons you make?

Yes. The profit margins on children's programming are so slim these days (largely because of misguided government regulation coupled -- ironically -- with the deregulation that has allowed entertainment companies to vertically integrate) that potential money from consumer products (including but not limited to toys) has become a greater factor than when I started in the business in 1989. Toy companies can help fund programming -- for better and for worse -- that might not otherwise get made. And even original properties benefit if there are multiple forces (e.g. a toy line) that maintain incentives to keep a show alive.

2. Do you choose what toys are made?

Never.

3. How significant is a hit animated show to sales of toys?

It can be very significant, in that an animated series can virtually act as a 30 minute daily commercial for the toy -- a commercial that establishes play patterns and allows the audience to invest in both characters and the property as a whole.

4. How many cartoons a year are related to toy lines?

I have no idea.

5. Must the toy manufacturer pay royalties to cartoon producers?

Depends on the origin of the property.

6. Does a successful cartoon guarantee a hit toy line?

No. Some shows are not considered 'toyetic'.

7. Does a successful toy line guarantee a hit cartoon?

Never. But it doesn't hurt.

8. When your company is in search of a new animated serial, where do they look first - current toy lines or creative innovators?

There's no one place. (And that either/or you just gave me is ridiculously simplistic. Implicitly biased even. There are plenty of creative innovators working at toy companies, for example. And there are more than just two places where you might look for inspiration or series springboards.)

9. Approximately how much do cartoon producers allocate to the funding of toy lines?

Doesn't work that way. Toys help fund cartoons (in simplistic terms) not the other way around.

10. Which usually comes first - the toy line or the cartoon?

Again, there's no one rule. In certain countries, like England, if a toy line exists already then you CAN'T air the property at all. But here in the U.S. it can go either way. Though often the cartoon will appear first to help promote the toy line.

11. May I attribute your responses? Yes / No

Yes.

12. If yes, please list name and/or title and company name:

Greg Weisman
Freelance Writer/Producer


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While I'm thinking of it....

Behold the following exchange (then skip to the bottom):

Received from pc-17.di.uoa.gr on Monday, September 17, 2001 04:52:03 AM
Aris Katsaris writes...

'kay, you were in your Disney office and couldn't answer this the last time I asked it, so you told me to repost it... Here goes:

<g> Another timeline thingy - this time less of a question though and more of a possible correction (unless I'm missing something)...

You recently said that Tom, Katherine and Magus entered Avalon on September 28th 995. But we also know that the eggs would normally hatch on the spring equinox (about March 21st) of 998. This means that there normally remained 2 and 1/2 years for the eggs to hatch... This time they spent on Avalon.

You can probably see where I'm going... Multiply by 24, and we see that they had to spent 60 years (Earth time) on Avalon. This takes them all the way to 995+60 = 1055.

Obviously the closest "20-year circle of the earth" was 1058... Quite near by. So why did you have them hatch on 1078, 20 years later, instead?

I don't think I've made any errors with the math... :-)

Greg responds...

The eggs were laid in 988. From 988 until 995 (seven out of the normal ten years for gestation) time passed normally. That means they needed @three more years to hatch once they arrived on Avalon. One year on Avalon equals 24 in the real world, as you noted. 3 x 24 = 72. 995 + 72 puts us at 1067. Making the closest twenty year cycle at 1078, as I noted.

You're calculations assume two and a half years instead of three to hatch. And that makes sense given the dates listed. The obvious dopey answer is that I was not calculating to the month but to the year. And so I could acknowledge the mistake and redo everything. And maybe on my next pass through the timeline, I'll do just that.

But to be honest, maybe I won't. When dealing with Avalon's mysterious flow of time, I believe my calculations are close enough. If the eggs weren't ready until March of 1059 even, then I'm still correct -- so it's not quite as big an error as it appears at first glance. Four years passing in the real world represents only two months on Avalon. Perhaps all that traveling and magic, etc. set the eggs back just a bit. If it set them back two months, then I'm right, and they're just slightly late bloomers.

And yes, I'm making excuses. So I'll save this exchange and decide at a later date.

For now, I'm sticking with my current calculations.

recorded on 03-04-02

With all this in mind...

I know I've established -- both here and in my own head (particularly with regards to G2198) that eggs hatch on the Spring Equinox.

But does anyone remember whether (and where) I've established what month the eggs are laid in?

I can't recall if this has come up yet.

Anyone know? And would this solve my problems at all?


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GOLIATH AND DEMONA: A RESPONSE

Here's another post I just know I'm going to regret. But I can't seem to help myself.

Mooncat, please don't take this personally, but I think you're viewpoint on Goliath's "shallow" love for Demona is misguided.

Let me make a few parallel changes to illustrate my point.

1. Let's say both Goliath and Demona were humans.

2. Let's say Goliath was a woman named Gina.

3. Let's say Demona was a man named Dan.

4. Let's say that instead of taking place atop rooftops and castles, these events were taking place in a two-bedroom house in suburbia.

5. Let's say that instead of using laser bazookas and the like, Dan was simply using a baseball bat. Or his fists.

Now take your scenario. Once upon a time, when they were young, Gina swore undying love for Dan. They got married. Spent years together. Even had a daughter together. There may have been hints along the way as to Dan's troubling nature, but Gina ignored those hints. She still loved Dan.

But, hey, sometimes things change. They go from good to bad to worse. Now Dan beats her. He hurts her. He's tried to kill her more than once and has nearly succeeded. He runs off. Shows up again, and behaves the same way. He has successfully killed other people in cold blood. Sometimes Gina reaches out to him. Sometimes he pretends to be good. And hey, he never, ever hurts their daughter. But he always winds up hurting Gina again. I can't tell you how many times Gina has been taken to Sunrise Hospital for treatment. Well, I could tell you. You could count for yourself, I guess. But once is too many, and we both know it.

Whatever oath Gina took once upon a time is, as I see it, moot. No one should stay in an abusive relationship. I wouldn't want my daughter to do it. I wouldn't want my son to do it. And I wouldn't want Gina or Goliath to do it either. To not respect Gina for moving on with her life given Dan's behaviour, is IMHO kinda horrendous.

Now I'm not saying Dan is Satan. He may have a decent side to him. He may have taken some hard knocks himself, maybe even as a child. He's certainly lonely as hell inside his own skin. All mitigating factors. Certainly Dan needs help. Would benefit from counseling. But to put that all on Gina's shoulders, the VICTIM, is beyond unreasonable. Love is NEVER enough in these situations. You may feel that Goliath didn't make a big enough effort, but you weren't the one being shot at. (And my comment in the CR about how maybe Goliath looked for her between episodes, was way beside the point as well.)

Personally, I have tremendous empathy for Demona. Not mere sympathy but empathy. I feel that there but for the grace of God, go I, more often than I care to admit. But empathy or sympathy doesn't cut it. She's committed cruel and violent (murderous) acts against other living beings.

And to use your own example, if Elisa went "Dark" and Goliath had to chose between saving her and an innocent. I'd hope he'd save the innocent. I hope that's the kind of guy he is. That he does the right thing, no matter how personally painful.

And if you think what happened with Demona wasn't personally painful for him on every level, then I failed as a storyteller.


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Testing, one, two, three...

Just checking to make sure this is working.


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OH, YEAH...

I was watching Gilmore Girls the other night and I realized that I've neglected to mention a show that was a subconscious influence on Gargoyles.

I LOVE LUCY

Here was a series set in Manhattan that periodically took its main characters on trips to other 'more exotic' locations. Like Europe, Cuba, Hollywood, etc.

Just thought I should mention it.


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Where have I been?

Around.

True, my computer crashed last Thursday, and because I took my daughter to Catalina Friday-Sunday, I wasn't able to get it fixed until yesterday.

But that's not really why I haven't been answering questions here.

The reason, which is perhaps obvious, is September 11th.

Like just about everyone, I've been deeply effected by the events of that day and by what has followed. I'm at a loss, to say the least.

I can't see my way clear to an end... Even in a strictly fantasy sense, given super-powers or magical assistance, I can't imagine a satisfying conclusion. It's not like I see the world ending. (And perhaps I've been living in blissful ignorance for too long...) But the world just seems so ugly right now, and I don't see that changing. Don't know how it changes at this point. And thus I'll admit I'm having trouble getting back into a daily routine -- even a full four weeks later.

It probably doesn't help that (a) I'm unemployed. There's no structure to my days beyond the structure that I impose. And (b) I'm naturally lazy. Any excuse, right?

But I'm going to try. I've lost all the time I gained during the August break, and I still don't think I'm ready to power through all your questions. But I have to start somewhere, sometime. And, heck... maybe a few of those lightbulb jokes will cheer me up.


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Keith David, Live and In Person

For those of you in the Greater Los Angeles area looking for some much needed diversion...

Keith David (the voice of Goliath, of course) will be singing and performing live at CINEGRILL inside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard (between La Brea & Highland) at 8pm on both Friday, September 21st and Saturday, September 22nd, 2001. My wife and I will be going Friday night. It would be great to get a nice garg-fan turnout. And I know that I personally can use the break from news reports, etc. Reservations are suggested but not required. Call: (323)466-7000.

Hope to see at least a few of you there.


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September 11, 2001

There's not much I can say. I'm in shock like the rest of you. I voted in a local election, and I'm going to try to donate blood later today. It's all I can think to do.

Everyone, just take care of each other.

Greg


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Thank Heaven...

July (and thus August) ASK GREG questions are done.

Now I'm just over a week behind. I can live with that.

FYI, for any fans living in the Los Angeles area:

Keith David (the voice of Goliath and Thailog and Officer Morgan) is performing live at the Cinegrill (at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard) at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, September 21st and 22nd, 2001.

I'll be going on the 21st, and I hope to see at least a few of you there.

If you've never heard Keith sing, you are SO in for a treat. The guy is brilliant.


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Feeling like this is still pertinent...

I'm reprinting this.... and yes, I know that the questions I'm currently answering were all posted LONG before the first time I posted this. But since I cleared the room, I wanted to repost his message so that people keep it square in mind when posting NEW questions....

Paranoia... possibly.

So maybe it's me...

But lately I've been feeling like people are popping in to ASK GREG with the deliberate intent of catching me in a mistake or inconsistency. Like they are trying to trip me [or the series] up.

If not, my apologies.

But if so... CUT IT OUT, OKAY!!!!

It's just not much fun for me.

And before anyone else gets personally paranoid, this isn't directed at any one person. I've just had this general sense that somehow this is the new contest here. Who can make Greg look stupid. Believe me guys, I don't need much help in that department.

If you have a legitimate question you're curious about, then ask away. But if you're just posting to make me look foolish and/or to prove that the show wasn't perfect... well, how 'bout I just acknowledge both things here and now, and we let that drop.

Okay?


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CLEARED THE PAGE...

I've been trying to answer questions here at ASK GREG pretty consistently for the last few weeks.

I'm guessing that the "Latest Response Page" is starting to get pretty unmanagable.

So I've cleared it, despite the fact that I've added to it as recently as yesterday.

So if you missed anything recent, please check the following archive:

RESPONSES 2001-9 (Sept)

That'll only give you questions and rambles from this month.


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LIFE IN THE REAL WORLD

This is something I wrote YEARS ago. But I don't think it's here in ASK GREG, or if it is, it's only in the old archives. Vash dug it up recently, and I thought I'd reprint it here, verbatim, I've added a few notes in [brackets]:

Life in the real world.

I know I've said this stuff before. Please read this carefully. I have a real fear that this might sound defeatist or condescending, but you can't possibly succeed in "saving" the show if you don't come to terms with these hard truths. I don't know what you've been told by other people. But I do know a few things about today's animation market. I've told you before that I did not believe that Gerry Leybourne was single-handedly responsible for not renewing the show. Dean Valentine is also not single-handedly responsible. Neither is Eisner. If the fans insist on looking for a VILLAIN to blame, they stand no chance. [Neither Leybourne or Valentine are at Disney anymore.] You say you're looking for a straight answer. But really you've been given and have ignored straight answers and what you are looking for is for simple answers. There are none. Here are some (but not all) of the many factors that have probably played into the non-renewal:

1) Quantity. A normal syndication package for any children's show is 65 episodes. If you don't make it up to 65 then you are considered something of a failure. If you make 65, then you have created a show that can have ongoing library use. That's a success. Anything above 65 is gravy and NO SHOW makes more than 65 episodes without significant financial incentive. They made 78 gargoyles (including Chronicles). The financial incentive for the last 13 was that ABC needed a boys action show with some "Marquee" attached to help fill out it's Saturday Morning line-up. You'll notice that no new episodes were made for syndication. There was no financial incentive in syndication. So they didn't make any more for syndication. [These days a syndication package can be as few as 39.]

2) Ratings. The ratings for Goliath Chronicles are, or so I'm told, lousy. Forget about the why for a moment, and just absorb this fact. If the ratings are lousy, we've just lost the financial incentive to make any more beyond the 13. On that level, Goliath Chronicles objectively failed. Gargoyles did a bit better in its day, but it never broke out and knocked down the competition. Aladdin did better business for Disney. And they're not making any more new Aladdin tv episodes either.

3) Shelf space. The Disney Afternoon, as we know it, is dead. The rise of FOX, the WB and UPN ate up almost all of the existing independent stations that aired the Disney Afternoon or (in lieu of the full two hour block) the individual shows that made up The Afternoon. We've known this was coming for awhile. Existing contracts kept the Afternoon alive through the end of this season. But after that it is gone in it's present form. Now, as I understand it, Disney has made a deal with Kelloggs to do a reduced version of the Afternoon. I think it's supposed to be an hour and a half long, with one new show and two library shows. The new show for next season is 101 Dalmations. For fall of 98, it's supposed to be HERCULES. There isn't room for new Gargoyles in syndication. ABC has similar problems. As a broadcast network, they've committed to air 3 hours of FCC/Kid friendly programming per week. That means 3 hours of their morning have to be reserved for that kind of programming, because unlike Fox, they don't have any other place in their schedule to air this FCC stuff. That only leaves them with about one and a half hours to fill their morning. They have an existing commitment to the Bugs Bunny cartoons that they air for an hour. That leaves them with one half hour slot to fill. Given Goliath Chronicles ratings, it just doesn't make sense to fill that one slot with a show that's failing, when you can take a chance on something new that might succeed.

4) Resources. The fans seem to regard Disney as this Giant that can do whatever it wants, and that's true up to a point. But Disney TV Animation has limited resources. There are only so many talented animators and storyboard artists out there. There's only so much money they can spend without profits to justify the expense. From Disney's point of view, Gargoyles had its shot. You and I may quibble about how that shot was handled. Whether it could have been handled better. I think everyone would acknowledge that mistakes were made. But not intentionally. EVERYONE at Disney wanted the show to be a huge success. IT WAS NOT. I wish I could tell you different. Creatively, I'm very proud of the show. We touched a substantial group of people. But an even more substantial group preferred POWER RANGERS on a consistent basis. They cleaned our clock. Disney has to decide how to allocate limited resources. If Gargoyles had 78 shots to be a hit, and didn't quite make it, you can see why they might think it's time to allocate their resources to something else.

5) Quality. Resources came into play with Goliath Chronicles. The decision was reached to allocate priority resources to shows and home videos that they believed had a better chance to break out. That's why Chronicles looks the way it does. In my opinion, the show is inferior to the original on almost every level. This doesn't mean that a lot of good people didn't work their butts off to make it as good as it could be. But limited resources result in limited success. The resource issue was the major reason why I walked away. I regret it now. The animation has been weak, but I should not have passed up the opportunity to tell twelve more of my stories. But that's spilled milk. Eric Lewald was under the gun from the moment he came on board the show. There wasn't adequate time to make the show at its previous quality level. There wasn't even adequate time for Eric to become as familiar with the show as I'm sure he would have liked to. I tried to help. I was paid to consult. But...

6) Time. Along with limited resources, the main reason Chronicles isn't up there is Time. The show didn't get a go ahead until late november '95. I began "The Journey" in December. Eric didn't really come aboard until January '96, as I recall. Look at where we are now. It's late February [1997]. Do you really want to see the GARGOYLES episode that would result if it started from scratch now and had to air in September [1997]? I WOULD NOT.

7) Expectations. I do believe that Disney in general views the show as a disappointment. They had tremendous high hopes for it. They rushed 52 episodes into production for it's second year despite my warning that they'd have to air a lot of reruns in between new episodes. The reruns, the weaker stations we were on and many other factors, including series content resulted in a solid but decidedly unspectacular performance. I do believe that the high expectations that many at Disney had for the show, led to greater disappointment in its real failure to break out and its perceived failure in general. That disappointment doesn't make a lot of people feel inclined to make more.

8) Strategy. O.k., I'm not at Disney anymore, so I'm not privy to their strategy meetings, but from outside observation, it doesn't seem like Gargoyles fits in their overall strategy plans. Maybe it never truly did. Now we can be mad about this. We can even try to change it. But first and foremost, we should be glad they made the show at all. Next we should realize that if it doesn't fit their plans, they aren't going to be too inclined to change them IN THE SHORT TERM.

9) Management. (The one I suppose you've been waiting for if you still insist on playing the blame game.) There has been a lot of management shake ups at Disney. Jeffrey Katzenberg, Rich Frank, Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston all left. So did I. We were all supporters of the show. But Eisner didn't leave and he was a supporter too. I haven't talked to him recently. I don't know what he thinks about the show. Maybe he's disappointed. Maybe he's not. Maybe for him it's just the resource issue. Gotta take a shot with something new. Maybe he's not involved in this decision in a significant way. No way to know. But I wouldn't be so quick to label him a villain. It doesn't hurt to let him know that you love the show, but it can't help to blame him for its demise.

I don't know Gerry at all. I've never met her. I'm also a little vague on her responsibilities at Disney, thought I've heard she's responsible for scheduling ABC's Saturday morning. But before you blame her, or even guess at what she personally feels about the show, reread all the above, particularly the section on shelf space, strategy and ratings. Now she may not like the show. I have no idea. Neither do you. If she doesn't care for the show, I'd personally be curious to know what she bases her dislike on. Goliath Chronicles? Gargoyles? Both? Whatever, she's entitled to her opinion.

I've met Dean. I've heard that Gargoyles isn't his thing. I've heard that he believes that it may not be Disney's thing either. But I don't know any of that. And again, Dean's personal view of the show is, positive OR negative, way down on the list of reasons not to make more. See above.

Buena Vista. Mort Marcus ran Buena Vista at the time I left Disney. I have no idea if he's still there. Mort was a big early supporter of the show. He was also very disappointed when it didn't perform up to expectations. Buena Vista is taking its next shots with Dalmations and Hercules. But even if the Afternoon had survived, there wouldn't be any new episodes of Gargoyles in syndication. Look at the Disney Afternoon's history. A new show premieres with new episodes. Over the next few years, the reruns move down through the Afternoon. That's cause they couldn't afford the MILLIONS of Dollars that it would take to make new episodes for early time slots that don't deliver very many kids. If there aren't any (or many) butts sitting in front of the t.v. then advertisers don't want their products advertised there, in which case they don't pay much for commercials. So networks won't pay much for the shows, so the shows operate at HUGE budget deficits. Gargoyles operated at a huge deficit. Ultimately, I'm sure it will make an overall profit for the company. It may have already. But let's not pretend this was the LION KING.

Other divisions. Some did better than others. But no one is clamoring for more gargoyles product, so none of the other divisions are clamoring for more shows.

SO WHAT DO WE DO?

We begin by admitting, at least to ourselves, that in the short term, we lost the battle.

Then we go on and try to win the war.

We have one big chance and a general small chance. Both are long shots.

The Big Chance is the Touchstone Live Action Feature. If this ever gets made and if it succeeds, then there will be renewed interest in the show.

The general chance is that television is cyclical. He-Man rules until DuckTales comes along. Rescue Rangers rule until Batman comes along. Soft and quirky is big now. But times change. And Gargoyles has a marquee. (It's a trifle damaged, but it's real.) There's a chance it could come back.

The best thing we can do is keep the flame burning. Keep executives, particularly if there's any executive turnover, informed that there is a fan base for the property. Write letters to Buena Vista, to Eisner, to ABC, to Disney TV Animation, to Touchstone. Write letters to local stations, asking them to air reruns. Write letters to the Disney Channel for the same thing. If the reruns are airing in the U.S., we have a much better chance of someday making new episodes. Keep these letters respectful. Don't try to assign blame. My god, what difference does that make. If I thought it would help I'd take 100% of the blame myself. I certainly deserve some of it. Just let people know that you loved the show. Praise it's virtues. Show "Deadly Force", "Lighthouse..." and "The Green" at grade schools. Make the GATHERING a yearly event. Increase it's budget and scope on a slow and steady basis until it becomes an important event. (Don't try to get too big too fast. If you go bust early on, you won't get a second chance.) Keep the fan base excited about the show. (This to me is the main virtue to the whole fanfic thing, which I have many mixed feelings about. If it keeps the fans interested, great.) Don't let the fans marginalize themselves with hostility or esoterica. If they get territorial they keep new fans out. No new fans. No new episodes. Prove to Disney that you are part of that great consumer demographic that they are hunting for. BUY STUFF. Buy all the stuff you can find. Prove that the show can still make money for the company. Buy all the videos off the shelf. Then write Disney's home video division and have them make more. More copies of existing tapes and more episodes on tape. Show those taped episodes to new fans. Particularly young fans. Adults and college kids are great too, but if kids don't like the show, we are doomed. Try to convince Disney records to release Carl's music on C.D. Buy animation cells from authorized Disney dealers. Talk it up.

As for the petition, hell, make copies. Send it a lot of places. Buena Vista for sure. Don't worry about whether or not it's read cover to cover by the president of the division (Mort Marcus, I think). It'll make an impression. But I don't see why you shouldn't send it to Gerry too. Send it to Dean Valentine at Disney T.V. Animation. Send it to Barry Blumberg (at the same place). Have someone in every market send it to their local ABC affiliate. Gerry isn't giving you bad advice there. If the local stations want the show, they'll make their voices heard at the network. (But remember, you need locals to send it to local stations. A petition postmarked Newark won't be taken very seriously in Cleveland.) Send it anywhere you think it might help. But you might want to read it over first. If it's full of hostile and antagonistic attacks, then we've marginalized the petition. Also try to make sure that there's no doubling up. If people signed the petition twice and Disney figures that out, then they'll figure the entire document is compromised, and they'll freely ignore it. If it's a rational statement from real existing fans than I promise you it'll make a positive impression.

But I don't want to kid you. We are probably past the point of no return, at least for this coming fall [1997]. I appreciate that you refuse to give up, and I'm not telling you to. But if you want to save yourself some heartbreak, I think you might want to start focusing on the long term instead of the short term. Even if we could change everyone's minds overnight, we've all but run out of time to put new episodes of any quality on the air by September. I don't like saying that, but I figure it doesn't help anyone to beat around the bush.

Now let me say in advance that most of this won't work. Sorry. The odds are against us. I take some consolation in knowing I was involved with 66 episodes that I can be proud of. I told the stories I wanted to tell. Not nearly all of them, but many. I ended it with Hunter's Moon and Journey, in a way that gave us some small closure but left it open in case I get another shot. A shot I'm longing for. All this offers some consolation. I hope you and the other fans feel the same. It's something to hold onto through what's bound to be a LOT OF REJECTION. There are no guarantees that we'll ever get the show back on the air in any form. But what I've written above is the most practical plan I can think of. If I can help in any way, let me know.

Otherwise, Good Luck. You are going to need it.

GREG



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