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okay something very weird just happened. I was answering a question that Matt posted about the 'chameleon gene'. Then suddenly, the question just changed. My answer (which I was in the process of writing) remained , but there was now a new question listed above it.....
Hmmmm.... Okay, I think Gore just re-activated the question answering function while I was typing and we had a little glitch here. Matt's question was lost. I'll try to recreate it a bit...
1. Matt wrote something like, "I know you're not a biologist, but how does this chameleon gene' work."
2. Matt thought gargoyles were the sources of various legends, but does the chameleon gene cause gargoyles to look like legendary characters.
3. He asked whether the gene would start changing the looks of familiar clans over time. Or something like that.
4. He stated that he had his own theories as to heredity, etc. And he challenged me to 'sell' him on my chameleon gene theory.
5. He had at least a fifth part to the question (maybe more) but I didn't even get the chance to read it.
My answers to his original question; not to the paraphrased versions above. (Man, this is a mess.)
1. I have no idea. It was just a random thought.
2. No. Definitely not. You're first thought was correct.
3. Natural Mutations (not the Sevarius kind) are likely to occur. They occur to some degree in all species. I was simply positing (and only positing) that Gargoyles might have a gene that causes mutations to occur more frequently. But mostly, garg appearance is defined by heredity.
4. I don't have to sell you on anything. For starters, I'm not sure I've sold myself on it. Second, I'm under no obligation to compete with your personal beliefs. Third, if it isn't in the 66 -- I'm not guaranteeing it. Even some of that is suspect. Sevarius theorized that gargs absorb solar energy while stone. But that was just a theory. He may have been right. He may have been wrong. He may have been partially right. Or he may have been lying intentionally. See?
Tomorrow (or today I guess -- July 31st, 2001), I'm going on vacation for a week. Don't know whether or not I'll have internet access, so I don't know whether or not I'll be able to answer any more Ask Greg questions while I'm away. This is the trip that I was supposed to take in June, but didn't because I got pneumonia.
Later this month, I'm taking another week off (it helps to have no job). And that's another week when I don't know if I'll be able to answer questions.
In between, I'm job-hunting and novel-writing and still trying to have a life and answer ASK GREG questions all at the same time.
And everytime I start to get close to catching up, you guys FLOOD this place with more questions.
So here's what's going on. FLOOD AWAY. Today. Because the question posting function at ASK GREG is going on vacation for the entire month of August. I'll still answer questions when I can. And on September 1st, Gorebash will promptly turn the question posting function back on. Todd will review the questions and send them to my queue.
But for August, we're on question posting hiatus. Vacation. So relax. There's plenty of questions already posted to keep me busy. Plus you have just under 24 hours to post those last minute questions that you just can't wait on.
And we will be back one short month from now. Enjoy your summer. See you soon.
And thanks, as always, for your continued support of the show.
On Friday the 13th, July 2001, the staff and etc. of Disney's Team Atlantis was informed that the series was being scrapped. Being a freelance Voice Director, I wasn't at the meeting, but I've been told that the company is disappointed with the box office of the Atlantis film and have decided not to spend additional monies on a series.
(There may still be a direct to video sequel. That had not been decided as of Friday.)
So basically we're all unemployed and all the work that we did up to this point just gets tossed into a file cabinet. WHOOPIE!
On the plus side, as long as I continue to be involved with killed projects we will never lack for Radio Play materials at future Gatherings.
Another thing I REALLY wish I had seen at the Gathering is Keith David wielding a sword and quoting from Othello.
I heard that Michael Reaves has a brilliant (because it's simple) solution for how Goliath, Hudson and the Trio could speak modern English upon waking at the castle. Demona used a spell from the Grimorum on them the night before they woke up. Perfect. They'd never even have to know that there was a change in the language. I love it. (Wish I had thought of it.)
Monday, June 25, 2001
Once more, Kathy knocked on my door to wake me for the staff breakfast.
Once more, I ignored the first knock.
Once more, she didn't give up.
Once more, I got up and answered the door, telling Kathy I wouldn't make it to the breakfast.
Once more, I did get down there in time to catch the tail end of the breakfast and get some juice.
I checked out of the hotel and put my stuff in my car.
The first panel of the day was for Roughnecks: The Starship Trooper Chronicles. This was actually the panel I had been most nervous about. The reason? Well, we had gathered an impressive list of guests: David DeLuise, Jamie Haines, Alex Polinsky, Rino Romano, Steve Staley, James Horan, Jason Marsden, Sue Blu, Wayne Boon, Vince Edwards, Russ Isler, Joe Lawson, Dave Hartman, Lydia Marano, Jay Oliva and Tom Pugsley. But the panel was scheduled for 10am on Monday the night after the Masquerade. I was afraid that our panelists would outnumber the attendees. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. I played an episode from the series: "Funeral for a Friend". Mostly because it's my personal favorite. Yes, I wrote it. But I just love how it turned out, particularly the epilogue funeral itself. Then we gathered for the Q&A, which was fun. A lot of these guys hadn't seen each other for awhile. Then a short signing. Finally, I had to clear the room for the next panel.
3x3 Eyes. Guests included Thom, Jonathan Klein, Taliesin Jaffe, Mia Korf and Susan Chesler. This was a nice little panel too.
Then a short break and closing ceremonies. Lots of people getting thanked....
I hung out downstairs for awhile, then Brynne and Russ and I meandered up to the con suite. The Dead Dog Party took a while to get started. But we shared a pizza with the constaff. And then I had to take off. (My family missed me.)
And that, was the con.
But once again, I'd just like to thank everyone involved. Jen and the whole constaff, in particular. But also the guests and supporting members. And especially the fans who shelled out and showed up. It was great meeting you/seeing you again, etc. It makes my year. I'm already psyched about Virinia Beach in August, 2002. And, although, I wouldn't wish the workload on any of my friends on the G2001 staff again, I do hope that sometime we have the chance to do the con in L.A. once more. In terms of Gathering the cast and crew that worked on the show, you just can't beat proximity to where they all live. You guys always treat me wonderfully, but it was also very gratifying to see everyone else on the show get a chance to share in your respect and appreciation. GARGOYLES was never a one man operation, and I'm glad you all got the chance to meet each other.
I'd also like to point out, what I'm sure you're all very aware of -- how feeble my Gathering diary is. I have no defense. Except that I'm a fiction writer not a journalist. I've been lurking around though, and diaries by Christine, Lexy, Aaron, BrooklynX, Greg Bishansky, Shan, etc. have really put mine to shame.
And I'm also sorry that I missed a few things at the con. I was so busy, I didn't ever get to see Crispin's mythology seminar. I spent almost no time in the video room and it would have been fun to watch some of the shows with you guys. And although, I did get to the art room, I never had time to just hang there and really absorb everything (I never had time to vote, for example), and I somehow completely missed seeing the MAP that won the big prize. If it's scanned online and there's a link, I'd sure appreciate someone sending the link my way.
Thanks, gang. You rock. (Pun intended.)
Well, again, I've completely mixed things up. I'm too lazy to start over so I'll just keep correcting myself after the fact.
Saturday night, after the dinner at CityWalk and a little con suite fun, we all headed up to check out the Rooftop Garden Ballroom. This is the room where the "Better than Barney" story actually took place all those years ago. But I'd never been up there at night before. It was gorgeous. I pointed out all sorts of random stuff. Where 3x3 Eyes was recorded. Where Disney TV Animation used to be housed. Where we used to sneak into the Texaco Commissary. Where Gargoyles was On-Lined. Etc. Then we just hung out for awhile. Talking quietly. It was calm and nice. This kind of stuff is actually my favorite part of the con.
SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2001
Kathy knocked on my door to see if I was coming to breakfast. I said no, though I managed to get down there for the tail end and grab a glass of juice.
Then it was time for my mug-a-guest. Got some interesting questions. Hope I gave interesting answers.
It ended in time for me to participate in the tail end of the Design and Direction panel with Bob Kline, Doug Murphy, Frank Paur, Dennis Woodyard and Bob Schaefer. Frank (or someone) had brought a ton of development and pre-production and production art and spread it out on the long table. My sister Robyn arrived. And then my folks. And then my wife and kids. It was kinda cool.
That panel segued right into the massive Series Production panel. All of the above were there, plus Bob Birchard, Denise Byrne, Craig Kemplin, Brynne Chandler, Ray Leonard, Marc Perlman, Laurel Whitcomb, Paca Thomas, Jamie Thomason, Mark Von der Heide and Thom Adcox (and again I apologize if here or anywhere I've left someone out). It was great to see such a big turn out both on the panel and in the audience. Jay Fukuto, one of my old bosses on Gargoyles and currently Vice President of Creative Affairs at Disney TV Animation, came in just a bit late. I think Jay was really impressed with the con. He's currently talking to people around the company about exploiting the property a bit. Specifically, he's asking about DVD production, so the Convention's Job One was a success.
My family took off. And the actors began to arrive. Thom Adcox and Crispin Freeman, of course. But we also had Jeff Bennett, Neil Dickson, Elisa Gabrielli, Gregg Rainwater, Cree Summer and Keith David. Cree came despite the fact that she had a sinus infection. Keith brought his son Owen, who was also feeling under the weather. It was really gratifying that they all came.
The Q&A was terrific. I tried to moderate and otherwise keep my mouth shut as much as possible so that you guys could here them talk. Then there was the cast autograph session... the line was literally out the door. Way out the door. Cree was feeling awful and had to take off. And Keith too eventually. I'm sorry if anyone missed them, but it was great that they came at all.
The auction started, while the crew guests signed stuff. I think I signed fewer autographs this year than at any previous con. Finally, you guys are getting your fill of me.
My shrinky-dink Brooklyn necklace sold to Aaron for $65. Beth and I were arguing what it would go for. I guessed twenty. She guessed forty. Greg Bishansky bought the signed copy of "The Journey." Though I'm not sure what he paid. I don't know what the Roswell script went for or who it went to. But I gather the auction was a success. Major kudos to Kathy, Patrick, Myhrr and Draconis.
We had some time off before the Banquet up in the Rooftop Garden. Beth came back to join me for dinner. We wound up sitting with Todd Jensen, Tigris, Kelly and her fiance, and a couple more people that I'm blanking on, unfortunately (sorry). Beth did most of the talking. It may come as a surprise, since I seem to be such a big mouth, but in our house, Beth is the talker.
After dinner came the Masquerade. We had about a million judges, which was unwieldy but fun. There were, as usual, some great costumes and some fun Cosplay. Slash came out and played his guitar. It was fun, but at the end of the night it started to go on a touch too long. People wanted to get to the awards and Dreamie and Demona May came out to hook him. We gave a joke award to the ladies for that, and I'm afraid that Slash might have misinterpreted that. Slash, it was great of you to get up there. Sorry if there were any hurt feelings.
As usual, we gave out the Gorebash Memorial Award. Of course, Gorebash isn't actually dead. He's just been seemingly M.I.A. for a bit. He's firmly back now. Just check out his comment room. Anyway, that award went to Mara and Aaron for their cross-dressing Xanatoses. Thom got to drop his pants. Thom and Crisping made out repeatedly. Myhr was his usual amazing self. It was a blast.
The hotel shut down the DJ a touch early. But frankly that worked for me fine. Again, I got to spend time in the dark and quiet rooftop garden with a bunch of you guys. Including people who have become good friends. Jennifer, Steph, Seth, Patrick, Kathy, etc. I'd have probably stayed there all night, but I started on a coughing jag -- left over from my pneumonia, and I just couldn't stop it. So I called it a night, went downstairs and took some cough medicine.
One day left...
First, standard disclaimer. I apologize in advance if I leave people out. Sorry.
Second, an invitation. I'd love to hear others' responses to the Gathering. Feel free to post them here.
Third, a correction. I got confused writing Part Two of my Gathering Diary. That dinner I described at the Japanese Restaurant at CityWalk actually took place on Saturday, June 23rd. Here's what we did Friday night...
After opening ceremonies, we had a staff meeting over dinner at the restaurant in the Hotel. Jordan, Carol, Patrick, Jennifer, Kathy, Cindy, Kenna, Meredith and Thom Adcox and myself. (Am I leaving anyone out?)
When that dinner was over, I strolled over to the next table where Frank Paur, Dennis Woodyard, Bob Birchard and Loren McLaughlin were eating. Joined them and we talked and bitched and told stories for a while longer.
Then I wandered back to our main rooms, where the MST session was in progress. I stayed for all of "The Gathering, Part One". It was fun, but so many people were talking, it was a little hard to hear each individual joke. I left after that. Later, I was told that people were afraid I was offended. I absolutely WAS NOT. Just tired.
SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2001
I got up in time for the Staff Breakfast in Performers. A nice calm before the storm. After, I took a quick peak into the art room again. Then my brother showed up. He and I went upstairs to get the stuff I needed for my various panels.
Then I had my first Q&A. Series Develoment. I was on a panel with:
Greg Guler - Development Artist and Character Designer
Bob Kline - Development Art Director and Producer/Director
Dave Schwartz - Development Art Director
Tad Stones - Producer of multiple other animated tv series.
Tad was the star of this panel. He told the story of how he basically gave me the idea of Goliath, but his story took him off on a bunch of fascinating tangents. He also talked quite a bit about Team Atlantis. This sort of surprised me. I had been under the impression that he wanted to keep mum on that subject. But it was nice of him to reveal what he did.
After that, I had a Voice Acting Technique Seminar. Originally, I had been scheduled to be in the "Writing for TV Animation Seminar" that was going on at the same time. But I switched over for a couple reasons.
1. I did that seminar last year in Florida. Don't have much new to say.
2. I've been doing much more voice directing these days then writing. It seemed more honest in a way.
So the voice seminar was a blast. Morgan Sheppard was on the panel. And Crispin Freeman and Jonathan Klein and Taliesin Jaffe. They had all just finished a Voice Acting Technique Q&A minutes before, so we made ours into more of a workshop.
I had brought some sides. Morgan read Petros Xanatos with a couple of different attendees trying their mouths as David Xanatos. Then Crispin took on the roll of Griff with two casts of Leos, Unas and Goliaths.
We auditioned people for various rolls from Gargoyles, just to give them an understanding of the audition process.
Then Crispin set up his computer and monitor so that people could try their hands at dubbing some anime. By this time, my wife Beth and our kids Erin and Ben had arrived. (Their first day at the con.) Erin wanted to try her hand at ADRing. She did pretty good, but I think she realized that it's harder than it looks.
Taliesin then set up his own little anime dubbing exercise. It was all fun and I gave away the sides at the end.
From there, I headed over to the "Writing for Gargoyles" Q&A. This panel consisted of myself and...
Brynne Chandler - Writer/Story Editor
Gary Sperling - Writer/Story Editor
Lydia Marano - Writer
Tuppence Macintyre - Researcher (and a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney)
Monique Beatty - Currently a producer in her own right, but on Gargoyles she was my assistant.
This was another fun panel with a lot of good questions asked and some fun stories. Todd Jensen, I believe, was in the audience, though I didn't yet know who he was. He and I had a little bit of time to talk later, though less than I would have liked. (I was too crazed, and I think he was too respectful to be pushy.)
My various family members took off, as I headed into the Radio Play rehearsal. (I listed the cast in the last part. I won't repeat it here.) The rehearsal went fast and easy, and because this year's radio play was shorter than previous, we had time to run things twice. And we still finished with time to spare.
Again, I ran around a bit. Checking out the dealer's room and art show. Then I joined Jordan Mann and Morgan Sheppard for an extremely late lunch. Morgan told us some great stories. It was fun. (Everything was fun.)
We gathered in the main room to set up for the Radio Play. Minor crisis involved the little stage the hotel had put up for us. Not big enough for everyone. But too big to move. I had to quickly rethink where everyone sat. (This is only a problem because I'm so anal.) Anyway, there were a few nervous moments as neither Nicole or Rebecca had gotten the message to show up early. I thought for a second we'd be subbing in two more of our understudies. But they both showed just before the show.
We put the cast in our "Green Room". Actually out a door that led outside. Brought in the fans. I intro'd the cast one by one, ending with our ringers, ending with Thom who was playing Lexington of course.
We then performed the thing. It has some sequences you never saw on tv, including a nice little chase through the Paris catacombs and a sweet scene between Jason and Elisa at the ruined clock tower. But I think the single line that got the best response was Charles Canmore saying, "We can no more stop hunting the Demons than breathing the air." Or something like this.
This year, I had/took the time to cut the narration way down before hand. WAY DOWN. But during the performance, I kept noticing other things I should have cut. Hopefully next year I'll do better.
Still, people seemed to enjoy it. And I had a blast. Jen was a very fun Demona. Zehra's Elisa was terrific. The audience went nuts for Brooklyn and Bronx and all the minor rolls. And especially for Thom as Lex and Crispin as a very Faggerbakke-esque Broadway.
When that was over, we went to dinner up at CityWalk. But I accidentally wrote about that in the last entry, so that's it for now.
Stay tuned for PART FOUR: Sunday.
Friday, June 22nd, 2001
[Assume the usual caveats. I'm bound to forget someone or many. I apologize in advance. Also, I'd love to see other peoples Gathering diaries. Feel free to post them here.]
Well, I got up Friday morning at home. Packed a small duffle and my box of Gathering crap and headed to Universal City.
I checked in, but my room wasn't ready. An obvious question is why was I staying at the hotel when I live about twenty minutes away.
The answer begins with the Gathering Staff's generosity. But I hope they got their money's worth. By staying at the hotel, it allowed me to be at the con both earlier in the morning and later (much, much later) at night. My kids missed me. But my family's very understanding, thankfully.
Anyway, after checking in, I dropped my Gathering box off at the con suite and then went back downstairs to look around and see if I could help in any way. All day Friday and Saturday I wore the Shrinky-Dink Brooklyn necklace that I made with my kids. It seemed like wearing it around the con might just up its price at the auction. You'll have to ask Aaron if that ploy worked.
I gave Cindy and Jules the two pieces of artwork that my daughter Erin drew. One was "Gargoyle Babe", which she did herself. The other was "Daddy and Daughter's Night Out". A picture of Goliath and Angela disco dancing which she and I drew together. Erin eventually decided to put both pictures up for sale for charity. I think Dreamie bought "Babe". And Jules bought "Night Out". In turn, Erin wound up buying a piece from Dreamie and a bunch of stuff from David Wong. My son Ben bought a piece from Kelly and a Goliath yoyo. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I gave Kenna some Roughneck video tapes that Sony had donated. Over the last couple months, I had already loaned Jen all my Gargoyles episode tapes for her to copy. (She still has all of season two and "The Journey".) So we had plenty to keep the video room busy.
I put some things in for the auction. Some more Sony donations. A signed copy of my original script for "The Journey". And a signed copy of my original pilot script for "Roswell Conspiracies". (You know, the one we did as a Radio Play in Dallas.)
And speaking of Radio Plays, it was time for auditions. I met up with Thom Adcox and Jordan Mann and we began the process. As usual it was a lot of fun. Because I knew we were going to be doing "Hunter's Moon, Part Three", but the auditioners didn't, I got to here a lot of Scottish accents, and I got to ask everyone to bark like a dog (for Bronx).
We got a fairly good turnout. Better than last year in Orlando, when we had to beg people to participate. Still not as good as in Dallas or New York, when we were so overwhelmed by the numbers of those auditioning that the whole rest of the day ran late. It helped, I think to hold auditions Friday when the show was Saturday.
We powered through the auditions, taking a few breaks. Seth, who's easily distracted, was in line to audition. Took off while we were on break, and came back too late to audition. He tried to wheedle his way into the show later. And it was tempting, since he's been a member in good standing of the Gathering Players (he was our male lead in New York and Orlando). But the show was cast. Too late, Seth. Sorry. ;P
Most everyone who auditioned was pretty good. Casting was difficult, because we hated to leave anyone out. But I think we came up with a good mix of the old guard, new blood and RINGERS.
We had Lanny back. As usual, in the auditions, I offer people a choice of reading whichever original Gargoyle "side" they feel like reading. Lanny chose Goliath, and I told him I was hoping he'd pick that. He didn't know what I meant until that night when he found out he'd actually be playing Goliath. And we had Jen and Jordan and Alex and Sara and Heather back in the show again. It's great to have some continuity.
Plus we had Thom playing Lex of course. With Morgan Sheppard (the voice of Petros Xanatos) playing Hudson and Crispin Freeman doing his dead-on Broadway imitation. (It SO cracked us up in our auditions, Jordan, Thom and I KNEW we had to cast him as Broadway.) Elisa Gabrielli was supposed to play Maria Chavez (as she had in "Revelations"). But there was a miscommunication and she didn't make it Saturday. (Fortunately, she came Sunday, which is when we really needed her.) The good news is we had three understudies this year. Last year, we lost a cast member at the last minute. Jesse was forced to play two rolls. This year we were ready, and Jennifer Mallon jumped in to take Elisa's place.
And we had some great new finds. Zehra just blew us away with her Elisa audition. She was great. And Nicole was a fine Scottish Canmore. Actually, everyone did great.
Here's the full cast:
ELISA MAZA... Zehra Q. Fazal
GOLIATH... Lanny Fields
LEXINGTON... Thom Adcox
BROADWAY... Crispin Freeman
BROOKLYN... Sara Hutchinson
ANGELA... Batya Wittenberg
HUDSON... W. Morgan Sheppard
BRONX... Rebecca Gold
JASON CANMORE... Jordan Mann
JON CANMORE... T.J. Ferraro
ROBYN CANMORE... Nicole Dubuc
CHARLES CANMORE... Chris Rogers
DEMONA... Jennifer Anderson
DAVID XANATOS... Johnney Muije
FOX... Kelly Creighton
OWEN BURNETT... Kevin de Caccia
MATT BLUESTONE... Joshua Poole
MARIA CHAVEZ... Jennifer Mallon
MORGAN... Loren G. McLaughlin
PILOT... Alisa Christopher
MARGOT YALE... Heather E. Rice
BRENDAN... Rahsaan Footman
VINNIE... Alex Wittenberg
TRAVIS MARSHALL... Kristen de Caccia
UNDERSTUDIES... Sean Camanyag and Gabriel Guerrero
I'd like to give a special thank you to both Thom and Jordan for being my partners in crime on the auditions.
Anyway, casting done, we got back downstairs just as various guests began to arrive. I saw Michael Reaves for about a second before he took off. But I got to spend a bit of time with Dennis Woodyard, Bob Birchard, Frank Paur, Tuppence Macintyre, Brynne Chandler, etc.
I'd like to extend another special thank you, this time to Carol Wagner, who did such an amazing job at guest wrangling both in the weeks before the con and during. Also to Patrick for making registration for the guests such a smooth and generally painless process.
I checked into my room. Just down the hall from the Con Suite and the staff room. I saw a bunch of familiar faces. Leva. Greg Bishansky. Aaron and Mara. Hudson. Kythera (who also helped out at Auditions with Johnney). Saw Vash in here somewhere. Demona May. Noel. Ah, I know I'm forgetting people. Sorry. Or mentioning them on the wrong day. I ran into Ashley at one point. It was great to see her again.
Bill Faggerbakke arrived, and folks almost literally lined up around the block for his autograph. It delayed opening ceremonies a bit. But not too badly -- not relative to the Gathering's track record, anyway. Jamie Murray got things rolling, introducing the staff, etc. I won't repeat the con virgin joke. Other people have mentioned it, and the truth is I didn't hear it at the time. I was antsy. Getting up and sitting down and getting up again.
As you all may have gathered, I rather like speaking in public. (I'm lousy at small talk and shy in social situations with people I don't know VERY well, but I'm a decent public speaker. Go figure.) But I generally get pretty wired just before I'm about to go "on".
Anyway, Jamie intro'd me. I intro'd our guests. Ending with Thom. (I just want to say that Thom and I always got along well during production of the show. But it's during the last few years since he came to the Dallas Gathering that he and I have really become close friends. He's such a great guy. I'm not sure how we made it through the first two NYC Gatherings without him.) Thom intro'd Lexy and gave her her FAN GUEST OF HONOR AWARD. This was a complete surprise to her. Something the staff agreed on secretly to thank Lexy for her amazing recruitment work. She seemed genuinely touched. It was pretty cool.
Then I began my schpiel. Considering you have heard and I have told ALL these stories about a THOUSAND times, I thought that this time I was amazingly scatter-brained. You'd think I'd have them down to memory. But I kept forgetting things. Remembering them later. Telling things out of order, etc. I belatedly remembered that I had a letter from Ed Asner to read to all attending, and then couldn't find the letter. It must have taken me forever to realize I was holding the letter in my hand. I had folded it up and had written a note to myself on it. D'Oh.
Anyway, it was fun to tell the "Better than Barney" story in the Hotel where it originally took place, with Bill F. there. I'm not sure whether he remembers saying that. Perhaps I made the whole thing up. (And my garage band will be playing at the Whiskey this week-end.)
I showed the pitch, the promo. The New Olympian and Dark Ages development. The Bad Guys reel. It was terrific to have that video projector. Finally people could get a decent look at what I was showing them.
I rambled forever. Then finally relinquished the floor.
Afterwards, a bunch of us went up to CityWalk for Sushi and a staff dinner. Crzy's husband Alan Anderson was there (with Kathy Pogge as his date). My date was Jen. *Yes we're a strange bunch, and I'm happy to include myself in that assessment.*
Meredith was there. Patrick. Crispin and Izobel. Cindy? Kenna? The Morgans? Carol? I can't remember, I'm sorry. Dinner was the typical "Hey, it's CityWalk, expect to wait forever!" marathon. But the food was good. And so was the company.
We headed back to the con suite, where Aimee and Steph (Hi, Pickles!) began decorating me with post-it notes depicting various characters from the show. I've kept them all. Except for that nasty one of me. [Wait, did this happen Friday night or Saturday? My memory is just a blur.]
I called it a night relatively early (for me). I was still a bit nervous about a pneumonia relapse. Walked down the hall to my hotel room. Watched some TV and then crashed.
Stay tuned for Part Three...
[Disclaimer: It is the nature of these things to forget more than one remembers. The feelings remain. The details are fuzzy. I apologize in advance if I get something wrong or leave something out.]
Thursday, June 21st, 2001
Yeah, I know, the Gathering 2001 didn't start until Friday, but for me it started last August in Orlando. I'd been working pretty closely with this year's staff to help them gather special guests. At G2000, I rashly promised over twenty guests would attend. By June 14th, 2001 we had over 50. And then I got pneumonia and it looked like I'd be the one guest who wasn't going to make it.
Fortunately, my doctor got me on antibiotics immediately. Within 48 hours I was feeling about 90% better. I was even able to go to a Team Atlantis recording session on Wednesday the 20th. Good thing to, because that was the day I secured Cree "Hyena/Kida" Summer to attend our little party.
Anyway, by Thursday the 21st, I was feeling world's better, and I attended the pre-con dinner at Camacho's at CityWalk. Carol Wagner, a former student of mine and our phenomenal guest liaison (who absolutely picked up tons of last minute slack in handling detail work on most of the guests), was the first to join me at the restaurant. But soon, Jennifer Anderson arrived with most of the gang, including Patrick, Kathy, Meredith, Kenna, (Cindy were you there?) and the Morgans. Tim had to take off with Becca, but Christine stuck around. Jen introduced me to Crispin Freeman and his girlfriend, the lovely and talented Izobel. Dinner was fine -- though the service was SLOW!
Then we hiked down to the hotel to get a tour of where everything was going to be. Thursday night it all seemed TOO spread out to me. But by Friday, I realized it was all close enough together. We elevated up to the con suite and sat around a bit. But I didn't want to stay up to late Thursday, so I took off at a semi-reasonable hour. Carol and I hiked back up to CityWalk. I drove home. Very excited. Like a kid, it was hard to sleep.
FINALLY! It's over!
Matt got the last correct answer (though it was the only answer he got), and we're all very grateful. He gets a prize.
The other prize goes to the individual who got the most answers correct first. Here are the results...
TIED FOR EIGHTEENTH PLACE:
Dracolich - 1
Faieq - 1
Fireball - 1
Matt - 1
Melissa - 1
The Guppi - 1
The Mighty Thor - 1
Vashkoda - 1
TIED FOR FIFTEENTH PLACE:
CZ - 2
Graymonk - 2
Slow - 2
IN FOURTEENTH PLACE: Bud-Clare - 4
IN THIRTEENTH PLACE: Coyote the Bando - 5
IN TWELFTH PLACE: Shari B. - 6
IN ELEVENTH PLACE: Leva - 7
IN TENTH PLACE: Todd Jensen - 8
TIED FOR EIGHT PLACE:
Aris Katsaris - 12
Demonskyre - 12
IN SEVENTH PLACE: Kalafarski - 31
IN SIXTH PLACE: DragonWolf - 32
IN FIFTH PLACE: Ray Kremer - 33
IN FOURTH PLACE: Galvatron - 35
IN THIRD PLACE: Kelly L. Creighton/Kya White Sapphire - 42
In SECOND PLACE: Adam - 101
AND IN FIRST PLACE: Phil - 183
Phil got nearly 35% of the answers single-handedly.
So the winners are matt and Phil. But I'd like to thank everyone who participated.
As for the prizes, I'm first wondering if either matt or Phil are coming to the Gathering, so that I can hand-deliver their prizes. If not, I'll mail them out after the Gathering. (Too swamped to deal with it now.)
AND NOW THE COMPLETED BLANK-FILLED CONTEST:
(Fill-in-the-Blank Contest / 9-21-00)
One thousand years ago…
Superstition and the sword ruled.
It was a time of darkness.
It was a world of fear.
It was the age... of gargoyles!
Stone by day, warriors by night,
We were betrayed by the humans we had sworn to protect,
Frozen in stone by a magic spell for a thousand years.
Finally... the spell was broken, and we lived again!
But our struggle was far from over...
For the last two hundred years we have faced the future,
Navigating an uneasy truce with the human race.
But now the planet Earth itself is under attack!
Humanity is helpless!
And we may be your last hope for freedom…
We are defenders of the night!
We are protectors of this world!
The year is 2198.
And we… are GARGOYLES!
In 1996, humanity and the world at large discovered there were gargoyles living among them. Fortunately for the human race, Gargoyles are by nature a protective species. Unfortunately for the gargoyle race, humanity is by nature an intolerant species. Humans did not welcome having to share their world with other sentient creatures. Many were quick to label the gargoyles as beasts, monsters, demons or worse. Gargoyles were denied basic "human" rights. They were discriminated against. Experimented upon. Attacked. Caged. And sometimes destroyed.
Despite this, GOLIATH, the leader of the gargoyles, maintained hope that one day humans and gargoyles would live in peace. Eventually, that day came. The "GARGOYLE MINORITY PROTECTION ACT" was adopted by the UNITED NATIONS. Gargoyles were granted full "sentient rights". Though Gargoyle clans were scattered across the globe, they were collectively granted special status as an indigenous nation. Hunting Gargoyles became a crime.
True acceptance, however, is not so easily legislated. At best, Gargoyles were still barely tolerated by their human neighbors. Real peace would have to wait.
But the gargoyles would take what they could get. The species, once on the verge of extinction, began to make a comeback. Clans that were thriving helped to repopulate those that were not. By 2188, TWELVE CLANS comprised the GARGOYLE NATION. Each was strong in number and tradition. Now it was time to expand again. As a potent act of symbolism, every clan brought its GARGOYLE EGGS to QUEEN FLORENCE ISLAND, off the West Coast of Canada. The eggs would hatch together to demonstrate gargoyle unity. Some of the hatchlings would eventually return to the other Twelve Clans. But many would stay to form the basis of a new clan. A thirteenth clan.
Someone should have told the gargoyles that thirteen is NOT a lucky number.
March 21st, 2198. Queen Florence Island. From around the globe, human Heads of State and all Twelve Gargoyle Clan Leaders have come to this small island for the HATCHING. They wait within the caldera of the Island's dormant volcano to witness the new generation of gargoyles bursting out of their shells. Meanwhile, Samson, a young gargoyle warrior is stuck on ceremonial guard duty at the base of the mountain. Out of nowhere, an immense SPACESHIP materializes above the volcano. It emits a blinding beam of light that stabs down into the caldera. Samson races up the slope, but it's too late. The caldera is empty. No eggs. No gargoyles. No humans. No World Leaders!
Simultaneously, another giant spacecraft hovers over Antarctica. Another beam stabs downward. And Earth's MASTER MATRIX Computer -- the operating system for nearly everything on the planet -- vanishes.
It all happens so fast, there's no time to react. Earth is paralyzed and leaderless when the alien SPACE-SPAWN invades. In less than twenty-four hours, the planet is occupied, absorbed into the SPACE-SPAWN EMPIRE. There is very little loss of life. Very little damage done. Unless freedom matters to you.
It matters to Samson, the new leader of the RESISTENCE. One by one, he gathers his team…
SAMSON - Samson of the Manhattan Clan hatched in 2158. Though his coloring is different, it's obvious to anyone who'd care to look that he is descended from Goliath. Still no one knows how many biological generations removed from Goliath he is. He might be the biological grandson of either Artus or Gwenyvere, Angela and Broadway's first two biological children, or he might be the biological son of Lancelot, their third born. Frankly, it doesn't really matter. There were many eggs in that rookery. All raised collectively by the Manhattan Clan.
By 2198, Samson is forty years old, but only twenty biologically. He has been trained as a Gargoyle Warrior both in Manhattan and in Ishimura. He demonstrated enough promise to have recently been named Second-In-Command of the Manhattan Clan. Now, a reluctant Samson must become leader not just of his clan, but of the entire Resistance.
DELILAH - Delilah of the Labyrinth Clan is a half-breed. Mostly Gargoyle… but part Human as well. Her ancestors include her namesake, the Delilah that Anton Sevarius cloned by combining the DNA of ELISA MAZA with that of DEMONA. Being genetically part of both races has left Delilah feeling like she's not truly a part of either. Upon learning of her "heritage", humans seem to react with fear and even disgust. And Delilah has never been confident that the gargoyles she was raised with don't feel the same way. All this has made her tough on the outside, but desperately insecure on the inside. Nevertheless, she's a fierce young Gargoyle Warrior (the same age as Samson), and Samson makes her his Second in the Resistance.
ZAFIRO - Zafiro of the Mayan Clan hails from the rain forests of Guatemala. He's a descendent of Obsidiana and the Zafiro from "The Green". He has feathered wings, reptilian features and skin the color of sapphires. From the waist down, he looks like a giant snake. He's Samson's contemporary and close friend. Samson, Delilah and Zafiro all trained together as Gargoyle Warriors, studying bushido in Ishimura; they have a Three Musketeers kind of rapport. Zafiro isn't quite the fighter that the other two are, but he has other strengths. He's more spiritual, more intellectual, more book-smart. He has also been entrusted with his clan's ancient and sacred Sapphire Amulet; this magical Mayan talisman prevents him from turning to stone during the day.
GUARDIAN - Seventeen year old Nicholas Natsilane Maza is a scion of both the Natsilane and Maza families (which technically makes him a distant relative of Delilah's). Nick was raised among gargoyles and has taken the family tradition to heart. He too has traveled to Ishimura to join the ORDER OF THE GUARDIAN. He has trained as a Gargoyle Warrior, embracing the Gargoyle Way of Protection & Service. He's as much a gargoyle as a guy can be and not have wings. He's eager, perhaps a little too eager, for a chance to prove that he can hold his own with any other gargoyle. Only he's not a gargoyle. He's one hundred percent human, with a human being's unique strengths and weaknesses.
SENTINEL - NOKKAR (the original model for the mysterious moai statues of Easter Island) landed on Earth centuries ago to stand sentinel and protect our world from the Space-Spawn. But by the time the Space-Spawn actually arrived, their technology so far surpassed his, he was completely caught off guard. Now, there's nothing he can do but join Samson's Resistance cell and try to pitch in. Nokkar is deeply shamed by his failure to protect his adoptive world. He would gladly sacrifice his life to redeem himself.
OWEN BURNETT - OWEN BURNETT was Chief of Staff of the United Nations. An indispensable aide to Secretary General ALEXANDER FOX XANATOS IV. In fact Owen has been an indispensable aide to the Xanatos family since before Alexander was born. But now the Secretary General is gone. Taken by the Space-Spawn and put in stasis with the rest of the world's leaders. The new acting Secretary has surrendered the planet to the enemy. He has no use for Owen's quiet efficiency and intensity. And Owen has no use for a man who won't fight. So Owen has left public service to rejoin the private sector. Secretly, he has placed all the resources of the Lexington-Xanatos Corporation at Samson's disposal. Of course, we all know that Owen is really the Puck. But since he already failed to protect his charge, and certainly has no opportunity to teach him anything at the moment, he's stuck as Owen, stone hand and all.
LXM - LXM (a product of the Lexington-Xanatos Corporation) stands for Lexington-Xanatos-Matrix, a line of robotic personal assistants that were all but ubiquitous in 2198. Almost everyone who was anyone had one of the cute little, five-foot tall, Lexington-shaped chrome robots. Each robot was directly connected via satellite to the Master Matrix in Antarctica, giving each one the ability to instantaneously summon any or all of mankind's collective knowledge. But when the Space-Spawn attacked, one of their first acts was to steal the Master Matrix. Now each LXM is on its own. Each one still has a powerful computer brain with crude artificial intelligence and long-term adaptive programming. But now, knowledge is finite, and experience is becoming the best teacher. Actually, two of these robots, LXM-994 and LXM-1057 will play a role in our series. When we open, these robots will be all but indistinguishable from each other. Automatons, merely. But as the series progresses, each will slowly develop its own personality.
DEMONA - For over a thousand years, Demona has plotted against humanity, blaming them for crimes against the gargoyle race. Now that a greater threat, the Space-Spawn, has reared it's many ugly heads, Demona has reluctantly joined Samson's Resistance cell. But no one, including Demona herself, is fully confident that she'll continue to fight on the side of the angels. This may be her last chance at redemption... or her final opportunity to annihilate the human race. Still, Samson felt it necessary to actively recruit her. It's hard to pass up the help of a warrior who's survived a millennium's worth of battles, a sorceress who knows how to combine ancient magic with modern technology. And then there's that bit about her turning into a human during the day. The only question is how she will use her talents. For now, she's siding with the Resistance. But can that last?
BROOKLYN - Brooklyn is a young gargoyle warrior from our own present day. In our second episode, he'll timedance forward to 2198. The future is as new and strange to him as it is to our audience, and often Brooklyn will be the point of view character to introduce us all to this brave new world. Brooklyn does hope to return to his own time someday, and so makes a special effort not to learn too much about his own "future". But he has no intention of abandoning Samson or Earth in their time of need. Someday, however, he may have to make a choice.
FU-DOG - FU-DOG is a Gargoyle Beast bred by the Xanadu Clan in China, who arrives in 2198 with Brooklyn. Fu-Dog is fiercely loyal (especially to Brooklyn). The ultimate watchdog.
[NOTE: Eventually, the large cast will be split in half. Nokkar will take Demona, Zafiro, Guardian and LXM-1057 into space to hit the Space-Spawn where they live. Samson, Delilah, Brooklyn, Fu-Dog, Owen and LXM-994 will remain on Earth, thwarting the aliens at every turn and engaging in many non-Space-Spawn stories.]
Anyway, those are our heroes. (Other characters will be added over time.) Here's who they're up against…
THE SPACE-SPAWN - Our main antagonists. This alien race was literally "spawned in space", born amidst the fury of an exploding star. For thousands of years, they have expanded their Empire in all directions, and nothing has been able to stand in their way. Their technology is far superior to anything we had on Earth. They possess faster-than-light space travel, cloaking devices, powerful force shields and molecular transporters. They also have weapons capable of destroying the entire planet in a matter of minutes. This creates a dilemma for Samson's Resistance. If Earth becomes more trouble than it's worth, the invaders will simply evacuate the globe and annihilate it.
THE QUARRYMEN - Decades ago, the Quarrymen organization fell out of favor. They were no longer "politically correct". But the events of March 21st, 2198 changed all that. Because most of the world's leaders were abducted while attending the Gargoyle Hatching, many humans became convinced -- at least in part due to Quarrymen propaganda -- that the Gargoyles had conspired and collaborated with the aliens. Now the Quarrymen are making a comeback. They don't much care for the Space-Spawn, but their scapegoat of choice is still the Gargoyles.
THE ILLUMINATI - Of course, the Gargoyles are not collaborators. But THE ILLUMINATI SOCIETY is. The Society is an ancient fraternal organization made up of almost all the true movers and shakers on planet Earth. Many of the world leaders abducted by the Space-Spawn were secretly members of the Illuminati -- proof that the Society definitely did NOT have advanced warning of the invasion. But once the occupation was complete, the Illuminati wasted no time capitalizing on it. They negotiated a secret treaty with the aliens, promising to infiltrate, sabotage and expose any sign of resistance. In exchange, the Space-Spawn promised to release those world leaders that the Society was prepared to vouch for. This devil's agreement was the beginning of a profitable arrangement for all concerned -- and the onset of a major headache for the Resistance.
COYOTE-X - COYOTE-X is a super-advanced robot with a highly evolved and Machiavellian artificial intelligence. He has multiple robot and cyborg operatives, and any number of android bodies that can accommodate his software. Once upon a time, Coyote-X had designs on taking over the world. But that was before the Space-Spawn showed up and rebooted his operating parameters. Now anything less than total control of the entire galaxy would strike him as under-achieving.
And that's the series in a nutshell.
GARGOYLES 2198. The future is now!
Sorry, I've been so derelict in "Answering Greg" recently.
It's true that voice directing Team Atlantis has filled a bit of my time, but the fact is that what's really keeping me busy is preparations for the GATHERING (June 22-25 at the Universal Sheridan in Los Angeles).
We've been confirming guests for the last few weeks, and though unfortunately we've lost four of what might be described as "our heavy hitters", the fact remains that we have confirmed OVER FORTY special guests for the convention. Since the most we've EVER had was FOUR, I think you'll agree that this is likely to be the biggest and best Gathering to date.
Anyway, I have about twenty minutes now to answer some questions... and right before the Gathering, I'm going to my in-laws for a few days. If they've got their Web-TV set up, I should have some free time to answer a bunch of questions while I'm there. So keep your fingers crossed.
And I'll see you at the Sheridan.
I thought I'd never get through the February 2001 questions.
Time to Ramble...
Fueled by (what I perceived in my own mind to be) the success of "City of Stone", I began to get more daring in my story structure. In Revelations, Cary and I utilized the time-honored tradition of "in medias res", where a story starts in the middle and catches the viewer up along the way. (Thanks, Homer.)
We also used voice over narration for the first time. It's interesting because Matt just seemed like a perfect character to do that kind of Philip Marlowe naration. But at the same time, it was daring, because of course, Matt is not a regular. The audience didn't know him that well. I think it showed the strength of our supporting cast that Matt could carry a show like this. Of course, having the massively talented Tom Wilson playing Matt helped. I knew he could handle it. And he did. Tom is terrific and VERY funny in the booth. I hope someday he gets his own tv show. (I also loved him as Coach Fredericks on Freaks & Geeks.)
The basic springboard for this episode came from four sources.
1. The notion that eventually Matt would have to find out about the Gargoyles. We didn't want to just throw it away or constantly come up with new excuses why he had "just missed them" or whatever.
2. Matt's pursuit of the Illuminati. What began as a Michael Reaves throwaway line in "The Edge" had evolved into its own subplot. Cary's "Silver Falcon" had taken us to the next level of hearsay. It was time to finally bring the Society into the series.
3. Disney's desire to do a cross-over event with their new "TOWER OF TERROR" ride down in Orlando. Unfortunately, they had wanted this much earlier -- in 1994. We had piggy-backed our World Premiere Screening of Gargoyles down in Florida in September of 1994 with the press event for the Tower's Grand Opening. (That's how Keith David, Marina Sirtis, Salli Richardson, Gary Krisel and I wound up riding the Tower of Terror together on the night before it opened to the general public.) But this was the soonest we could fit the notion into our continuity. You'll see in the memo that I just posted previous to this ramble, that when we were at the outline stage, I was still trying to more firmly tie the two properties together. Partway through the script process, someone at Disney changed their mind. They didn't want the tie-in anymore. I shrugged, I think. And the HOLLYWOOD TOWER became the HOTEL CABAL.
4. An episode of the British TV series, THE AVENGERS, called something like "The House That Jack Built". This was a classic that we ripped off shamelessly. (Wait, wait, I mean we paid it homage shamelessly.) It was about this nutty house designed, I believe, to trap spies inside and drive them bonkers and break them. Sound familiar? John Steed and Emma Peel redone as Goliath and Matt. Didn't you notice the resemblance?
(Gee, so far I've credited Raymond Chandler, Homer and THE AVENGERS as influences. What a fun episode.)
We reintroduced Hacker, mostly so that we could bookend him at the end as Matt's new Illuminati contact. This was something that Cary and I planned as far back as Silver Falcon. We always had to keep Hacker's agenda straight. Make sure any info he gave Matt was a wild goose chase, at least as far as Hacker knew.
In this episode, and only in this episode, Maria Chavez is played by the talented Elisa Gabrielli (also known as Obsidiana). Rachel Ticotin, our usual Chavez, was just unavailable. So Elisa filled in. She has a lighter sound. But I think it works. Did anyone notice? Both Elisa and Rachel are great. I used Elisa as the Doll Demon in 3x3 Eyes (now available on VHS and DVD).
My 3 year old son Ben, who at this point is used to me writing down what he and his older sister says during these viewings told me to write down the following: "When it's night, Demona's a gargoyle. When it's day, she's a human. He likes it when Demona's a human." This had absolutely nothing to do with this episode, but hey, who cares?
I really loved what Ed Asner did with the throwaway character of Jack Dane. "Tell him he's a bum." Dane was so much fun, I brought him back for TURF later.
Matt climbs into the clock tower and finds the TV he helped Elisa with on the day they met. That was fun. This whole episode ties back to Matt's Illuminati musings in "The Edge". It was nice to find another connection. Also, Elisa's been lying to him as long as they've known each other. Nice to remind the audience of that as well.
I like the "family of gorillas" line.
"The Dental Plan" line is vintage Cary Bates.
Elisa: "Matt, you haven't said three words all night..."
Matt: "Let me drive." HEY! THREE WORDS! :) This is fun because, I always thought of Elisa as someone who was such a control freak, she never let her partner drive her car. A big part of this episode, though it could easily sneak past you what with everything else going on, is revealing more facets of Elisa's personality. We learn much more about her and she grows here too.
It's fun to establish Xanatos as "a lower eschelon member". Immediately makes the Illuminati impressive, if Xanatos barely registers on their scale. Also sets up eventual conflicts with him.
First act cliffhanger: Here the threat is Matt. Again, how well did you all think you knew Matt? Here we're inside his point of view -- his narration. But we still try to play him edgy enough that we don't know if he'll kill them both. It helps that we opened with the shocker that he betrayed Goliath to Mace. How many people bought that? Thought Matt was the Judas that Mace said he was?
Anyway, I really like this scene. Elisa yelling at Matt. Matt getting out of the car and yelling at... no one. And Elisa's quiet revelation that Matt isn't crazy... "They don't follow me everywhere." Again, this line was as important for Elisa as for Matt. Sure she can count on the Gargoyles for help. But I never wanted it to seem like Lois and Superman. Like he was always around or would here her with super-senses everytime she screamed. Most of the time, Elisa's on her own.
"This time I'll drive."
Fun to see the gargoyles reactions when Matt is introduced. Goliath's not upset. He appreciates that Elisa has a loyal partner and probably gave her permission to bring Matt in from the cold long before. The truth is they know Matt already.
Elisa: "better late than never".
And then immediately Goliath is suspicious. "Trust is not... to be bartered."
As creators, we were playing both ends here. Omitting pieces of conversation. Trying to get the audience to believe that Matt might in fact be betraying G. But also making it believable that in hindsight, he wasn't. Not cheating, in other words.
At this point, my six year old daughter Erin said: "I don't like Bluestone in this one. He's usually very nice. But in this one he's mean." That's how she saw him. Not righteously angry with Elisa for the lies. Just mean.
It took remarkably more effort than I'd have expected to get things to hook up with our Teaser from the beginning of the act. To help, I reused a couple of Mace's line as prompts to the audience.
It's fun to hear Tom Wilson playing Matt playing at being a bad guy.
I like all the hotel references. "Check out time" etc.
Mace falls down the shaft and grabs the cables with his bare hands. One hundred years old or not, that's gotta hoit.
I like Matt using his coat as a parachute. That wouldn't be necessary except for that darn Gallileo. If it weren't for him, Goliath, being heavier, could have fallen faster than Matt to catch up to him. :)
And of course, I enjoy the irony of Mace being trapped in a Hell of his own making. And i like the notion that the Illuminati just left him there to rot. He had outlived his usefulness. A non-member had found him thanks to his annoying sentimental habit of visiting Pine Lawn. AND he had failed to hold the Gargoyle in the Cabal. Breaking a perfect record. Woops.
Goliath refers to Bluestone as his friend. That's to make sure the audience is clear that Goliath was in on the plan from the beginning. Later, I gathered, some people still didn't get that.
We have a great Turning to Stone sequence here. Every once in a while it's nice to remind the audience that this is unique and special. Seeing it through a new characrer's eyes is a great way to do that.
I love Elisa and Matt's conversation. Elisa reveals that she's subconsciously been keeping the gargs to herself because it made her feel special. Explains a lot about "Her Brother's Keeper", doesn't it? And Matt admits to something similar. I think we all do little things to help ourselves stand out, even if no one notices them but us.
Maria then helps us see that Matt and Elisa are going to be okay.
And finally, our Hacker tag. (This episode had like six tags.) Matt gets his pin. I thought that was kinda cool...
What say all of you....
In Prep for my coming RAMBLE on REVELATIONS, here's the memo I wrote to Story Editor Cary Bates in response to his outline...
Notes on "Revelations" Outline...
I was very concerned that the first act and much of the second act came across as prologue to our adventure. And yet most of it is necessary stuff. So I think we should open the story with GOLIATH trapped in the "house that Jack built" (HTJB) and flashback from there. Probably with MATT narrating the whole story in Voice Over.
I've suggested act breaks, but you don't have to feel married to them, if the timing or page count seems wrong.
Also, I didn't suggest any specific revisits to the HTJB (after the prologue) until our story brings us back there chronologically. If you want to revisit the present in the HTJB a few times to remind the audience of the current situation and to up the action with Goliath facing another death trap, go for it. Totally up to you.
I also moved the Hacker scene up, so that he can bookend the show a little more. In his first scene, he'll still be telling Matt that the Society is a myth. In his last scene, he'll be inviting Matt to join.
HTJB/MOUNTAIN RETREAT/TOWER OF TERROR/SEEDY HOTEL
It's a bit of a stretch to believe that Goliath would go to this "Mountain Retreat" with Matt. What do they hope to accomplish there, besides illegal search and seizure? Matt's "informant" is fishy beyond belief. So is the gizmo that gets them past the security perimeter. The point of which is lost on me, since they are immediately spotted by security forces. How does defeating these forces help? THEY'VE BEEN SPOTTED. What can they hope to accomplish now? These security guards can't radio inside to hide or destroy whatever data there might be? It's all adding up to a big old fishy mess. And yes, I realize that the Illuminati want Goliath inside and that Goliath wants to get "trapped" in order for Matt's plan to work out, but it's too convenient to say everyone is intentionally acting like idiots. The audience won't be in on it. They'll just be getting frustrated. By the time we reveal the truth, they'll just generally feel the whole story was contrived.
So let's start by ditching the mountain retreat. I like the Seedy Hotel better. Someplace that from the outside seems like a totally non-descript Manhattan building. Maybe it's boarded up and condemned. Getting in is not a problem. They land on the roof and sneak inside. But getting out is impossible.
The hotel is really the "House That Jack Built". Yes, steel shutters slam shut, trapping Goliath, but more importantly, we should really lose our bearings inside. Goliath rips open a window that he thinks leads outside, only to find it's a false facade that leads into another room. At another point, he thinks he has gotten back onto the roof. But this turns out to be another interior room, with a domed ceiling painted with stars. Another room has all the furniture on the ceiling and the razor sharp ceiling fan on the floor. Maybe another room rotates. Think about optical illusions, Escher paintings, etc. The death traps are fun, but we've done them before, so it's the mind-bending surreal stuff that will make this place special.
Also since the powers-that-be have asked, and since it fits our story, please refer to this place at least once as the "TOWER OF TERROR" and do at least one death trap with a rapidly falling elevator. This is "Synergy" with the Disney/MGM theme park's TOWER OF TERROR ride in Florida. I wouldn't suggest it if it didn't fit, but it fits just fine and that kind of goodwill never hurts. The name of the hotel should be the Hollywood Tower, cause that's the name in the ride. Now I know that seems like a weird name for a manhattan hotel, but if you figure it was built in the thirties or forties, during Hollywood's heyday, you can RATIONALIZE that even a New York Hotel would want to associate itself with the glamour of Hollywood. O.K. It's a stretch, but go for it.
MATT AND SECRECY
THE THEME OF OUR STORY IS TRUST. Hit it as much as possible. However, I don't want to replay Matt's emotional arc from Silver Falcon. He learned his lesson in that story. He no longer runs off without telling Elisa where he's going or what he's doing. Matt's honesty at the beginning of the story will contrast nicely with Elisa's deception about the gargoyles and with Matt's later bitter, furtive behavior. He can't feel too betrayed by Elisa's lies if he opened the story lying to her as well.
In your beat #9, Goliath is behaving completely out of character. He may never have been introduced to Matt, but he's seen him from a distance and knows who he is. He must know from Elisa that Matt is a good guy. His long-term goal in Manhattan is to find acceptance with a growing number of humans. Elisa was the first (and is still the foremost), but Renard is a friend of Goliath's now. Jeffrey Robbins the novelist is a friend of Hudson's. Goliath tried to convince Elisa to tell the truth to her brother, etc. And in any case, he's not likely to physically assault someone for doing nothing else but looking at them. I know you want to set up a tense dynamic, but the one in beat 9 is totally artificial. So drop it.
BOTHERSOME QUESTIONS THAT MUST BE DEALT WITH IN THE SCRIPT
1. Why was it necessary for Mace to vanish in the twenties? (Perhaps he was recruited by the Illuminati, but was about to get busted for his criminal operations with Dracon. So he vanished with the money, and the Illuminati set him up with a new life. But why did they want him? Why would they bother?)
2. Why would Mace give up his glamorous gangster life to live in a seedy hotel for the Illuminati? (He obviously wouldn't. So let's not imply that he did.)
3. How did Matt make the connection between Mace and the Illuminati in the first place? (This question must get answered in this episode. In "Silver Falcon", the old photo of Mace and Dominic will depict Mace wearing the Illuminati pyramid/eye emblem. But don't count on the audience noticing or remembering that. And don't forget that Matt thought Mace was involved with the Society long before he saw that photo in Benton's office.)
4. Did Matt just get phenomenally lucky that he happened to go to Flo's grave at the same time as Mace? Was he planning on setting up 24 hour surveillance? Did he have some way of knowing that Mace visits and when?
5. How does Mace being alive prove the existence of the Illuminati? (Hint: it doesn't, by itself. See question #3.)
Mace was a prominent gangster when he disappeared in 1924. If you figure he was about thirty, he'd be 100 now give or take five years. I think we should make a point of this. He looks great, thanks to the Illuminati's rejuvenation techniques. Like a man of 75 or 80. But he proudly tells Matt that today's his 100th birthday, or something like that.
1. Establishing shot of the Seedy Hotel. It's Friday night. Inside, Goliath is already alone. The steel shutters slam shut, trapping him inside, a mysterious voice (Mace) welcomes him to the "Tower of Terror". Maybe activate a death trap or two. Maybe Goliath finds an open window, but it leads back inside. Maybe the ceiling comes down on him or something.
2. Cut to the control room, where we see Goliath on a monitor. Mace is at the controls. (We don't yet know who he is.) And then pull back to see Matt looking over Mace's shoulder. We can't believe Matt is helping to trap and kill Goliath!! Push in on Matt. In his voice over, we find out he can hardly believe it either, it all began last Tuesday....
3. First flashback begins. Last Tuesday. It's the FBI target range and the scene with MARTIN HACKER. (Don't take for granted that the audience knows Hacker. Reintroduce all the necessary, pertinent info about him, Malone and the Illuminati -- pretend they've never been mentioned before this episode.) Hacker can't believe Matt is still chasing Mace Malone and the Illuminati. It's a wild goose chase that got him fired from the Bureau. When will he learn his lesson? But Matt is determined. He's going to prove the existence of the Illuminati, prove that he's not a nutcase. So Hacker gives him the info that he asked for: the location of Malone's step-son, a mobster who's part of the Federal Witness Relocation Program. (Hacker gives him this location because he knows that Malone's step-son has no idea where Malone is.)
4. Tuesday Night. Later at the precinct house, Matt sees Captain Chavez coming out of the Ladies room. He asks her if Elisa is in there. She says no. Matt doesn't get it. Her car is here, but he can't find her.
He finally finds Elisa exiting the broom closet. Has she been sitting in a closet for the last twenty minutes? Of course, not. She was just, uh... returning a mop. One of the sinks in the ladies' room overflowed. That's where she's been (yeah, that's the ticket) cleaning up a flood in the Ladies' Room. Matt is so stunned by her obvious and clumsy lie, that he doesn't immediately confront her with it. Unaware that she's been caught in a lie, Elisa quickly changes the subject. Why was Matt looking for her? He's got a lead on the Illuminati. After the Silver Falcon debacle, he's learned his lesson about keeping his partner in the dark. (He says pointedly.) He just wanted to let her know where he's going to be tomorrow. (As with Hacker, Elisa likes Matt but seems to only tolerate his obsessions. There's the tiniest bit of a patronizing attitude toward them. Perhaps Matt invites her along on his investigation, but she thinks it's a waste of time. She's nice about it, but Matt's V.O. narration lets us know that he knows she thinks he's a kook. Same with Hacker in the scene above.)
5. Wednesday. Matt confronts Malone's step-son, JACKSON DANE (or whatever) at the gym (or wherever). (Jackson's 80 if he's a day, but he can have Ferrigno-sized goons. Though you need to be careful that Matt doesn't come across as a dirty or rogue cop. I don't want him to break any laws.) Matt asks Jackson about Mace. Dane hasn't seen Mace since he was a little kid. Matt pulls out a photo that was taken at the memorial service for Jackson's mother (Mace's ex-wife), actress Flo Dane, when she died fifteen years ago. It was a big deal thing. We see a picture of Jackson in the front row. Did Jackson see Mace at the funeral. No. Matt takes out a second picture. A blow up of people in the back row. He points to one. Jackson looks carefully, and whaddaya know? It's Mace. Now Matt wants to know where Flo Dane is buried. Jackson says that his mom didn't want her grave to become a tourist attraction, so she was buried under her real name, FLORA DREEDLE. Did Mace know that name? Yes, he did.
6. Wednesday, just before sundown. Back at the precinct, Elisa asks Chavez if Matt's checked in yet. No. Elisa goes up to see the gargoyles. We follow her into the broom closet. The pull-down ladder is already down. She nervously pulls her gun and goes upstairs. Only to find Matt there. She's under time pressure to get him out of there, since it's nearly sunset. He points to the t.v. set. He remembers helping her bring that into the precinct the day they met. She had said it was for a friend. She pretends that this is her little getaway spot when police life gets too intense. Some getaway spot. An old lounge chair. A hot plate. Video game equipment. Books. Enough food for a family of gorillas. She says she may be bending a few regulations, but she's not breaking any laws. Don't tell Chavez, o.k.? (She has got to get him downstairs.) So how'd it go with Mace's step-son? He's still highly suspicious, but enthusiastic enough about filling her in on Mace that he allows her to guide him back downstairs. Matt has checked with the funeral home. Some old man shows up there every Thursday and leaves a rose for Flora Dreedle. It's a long shot but Matt is going to be there tomorrow to find Mace Malone.
7. Thursday. Matt finds Mace Malone, who goes into a bit of denial, but we'll give him an Illuminati tattoo on the palm of his hand (or something). Mace relents, impressed. The Illuminati has been aware of Matt's quest. They've thrown multiple roadblocks in his way, and still Matt found Mace. The Society has clearly underestimated the boy. Mace offers Matt membership based on a loyalty test. Matt: You want me to prove my loyalty? How do I know I can trust you? Mace: Fair question. What if I prove good faith by revealing a bit of information donated by one of our lower echelon members, David Xanatos. Matt's listening.
8. Very late Thursday night. Elisa and Matt are driving in her car. She's driving. She asks him if everything's all right. The shift's almost over and he hasn't said three words all night. "Let me drive," he says [exactly three words]. No way -- it's my car, she replies, only half-kidding. He INSISTS. She relents, realizing he's pretty upset about something. It's a very awkward moment. She has to stop the car, get out and switch sides with him. He's silent the whole time. He drives. Where are they headed? He ignores the question, but tells her that today he found Mace Malone. That's great, she says, but you're driving awfully fast. He ignores that too, saying he feels like he's on a streak. Now that he's proven the Illuminati exists, he's about to prove the existence of another urban myth that he's been taunted for believing in. Matt, she yells, you're driving us right into the path of some kind of danger!! That's right he says, and the only way we can be saved is if your gargoyles save us.
9. Elisa manages to wrest the wheel from him and turn the car into a very uncontrolled 360° skid. Thank god for seat belts. They barely survive. Elisa is furious at Matt! What the heck does he think he's doing?! He's trying to get his partner to tell him the truth. He gets out of the car and yells to the sky. "I know you're out there! Show yourself!" Nothing happens. No gargoyles appear. Elisa gets out of the car. Matt's expecting another lie. But all she says is, "They don't follow me everywhere I go." They look at each other. C'mon, she says. I'll drive. (NOTE: I don't think we need to bring up informants. Elisa can believe that Matt has put two and two together from all the lies she's had to tell in the first act.)
10. But by the time they get back to the precinct it's dawn, early Friday morning. Too late, she says. He doesn't buy it. He knows that set-up in the clock tower must be for them. She's still reluctant to tell him the whole truth. Look, she says, you have to be patient for a little while longer. (Note: she has not actually apologized yet.) Meet me back here this evening. Ten minutes before sunrise.
11. Friday. Mace and Matt meet again. Has Matt seen the gargoyles yet? Tonight. But the information was correct? Yes, she friends with them. The Society has demonstrated good faith. Does Matt still want to join? Yes. Then you're willing to take the loyalty test? Yes, what do I have to do? Bring us a gargoyle.
12. Friday at twilight. Matt and Elisa head out the clock face's door (at roman numeral VI) Matt sees the statues of the gargoyles and gets pissed again. No stone statues are going to fool him. He knows they're flesh and blood. He's seen them (in previous episodes). She says hold on and stand back. The sun goes down. The gargoyles explode from stone. Milk this for all the awe and majesty, etc., that it's worth. Seeing it from Matt's point of view, we should all feel like we're seeing it again for the first time. The gargoyles approach. They all know Matt, even if he doesn't know them. Even Bronx is friendly. Matt is awestruck. Speechless. Elisa tells Matt that the Gargoyles have adopted the city and protect it as they once protected their castle in Scotland long ago. She asks him to keep the gargoyles' secret. He says he will, but he wants something in return. Goliath doesn't love the idea of being blackmailed into anything. Matt says he's tracked Mace to a seedy condemned hotel. He's sure he can get proof of the Illuminati's existence if he could just get into the hotel, but it's locked and boarded up on the ground floor. He needs Goliath's help to enter via the roof. The other gargoyles offer to help, but Matt isn't trying to lay siege to the place, he just wants to sneak in and sneak out. All he needs is Goliath. Elisa wants to go, but Matt specifically doesn't want her to. Why? Because I want to find out once and for all whether you trust me. So Goliath takes off with Matt. (AND I think we can assume that Matt filled Goliath in on his plan on the flight over to the seedy hotel.)
13. Friday night. They land on the roof of the hotel. With Goliath's help, they break into the stairway and go inside. Almost immediately, Matt is forcibly separated from Goliath and spirited away to join Mace in the control room. Mace is very pleased with Matt. He presses a button and steel shutters slam home in a repeat of scene 1. Which brings us up to date, end on a cliff hanger and go to commercial.
14. Play Goliath in the HTJB. Have fun with it. You've got most of the act. Meanwhile, Matt asks Mace how long they plan to keep Goliath here. Why, we can keep him here forever. He'd never find his way out without help. So Matt has to secretly help Goliath. But you can't have that signal device. Where would Matt get it from? He's not Batman. So think of something else. Ultimately, they escape leaving Mace hopelessly lost inside the surreal world of his own making. (That's the Illuminati's punishment for him. He can die of dehydration there, some time in the future and we don't have to portray it or worry about S&P.) All this is done in such a way that the Illuminati would later blame Mace not Matt. If you need help to choreograph this, give me a call.
15. Pre-Dawn Saturday morning, Goliath and Matt return to the clock tower where Elisa and the others are waiting. We find out definitively that Matt tipped Goliath off to his plan on the way to the seedy hotel. He was hoping to join the Illuminati -- so he could bust them from the inside, but in order to escape, they had to trap Mace, his only Illuminati connection, in the HTJB, so it was all for nothing. Matt watches with Elisa as the Gargoyle's turn to stone. (Again, milk this. Through Matt's eyes it should feel like the first time.) Elisa and Matt have their little scene. She finally apologizes. He asks why she kept it a secret from him. And etc.
16. Matt walks outside and there's Hacker, who reveals that he's a member of the Illuminati who had been assigned to Matt to keep him away from the Illuminati. Matt can't believe it: Hacker helped him with info. Only info that Hacker thought led down a dead end. Matt just figured a way to do an end run around the dead ends. No hard feelings. Anyway, he always liked Matt, so he's proud to give him his official Illuminati membership pin. Matt doesn't get it. The society lost the gargoyle. Mace's fault, not Matt's. Hacker promises to keep in touch. He hops in an unmarked car and drives off. After he's gone, Matt says something determined about keeping in touch too. This isn't over.
On July 6th, 1993, Writer Eric Luke turned in an outline for the pilot. It still had the Pack, and introduced the concept of the Gargoyle Eggs. Here were our notes on that outline, as we sent him to script.
To: Eric Luke Date: 7-15-93
From: Greg Weisman Ext.: (818)-754-7436
Subject: Notes on 7/6 Gargoyle Outline
Ta Da!! Let's go to script....with notes...sorry. Actually, we're real happy with the outline, we just want to send you forward with a few things in mind.
One general note comes from Gary, who's pretty much decided that the Gargoyles cannot fly like birds, but rather can glide like flying squirrels. We're going to take a lot of liberties with this. Play a lot with updrafts and downdrafts, i.e. cheat a lot, but the big basic no-no is the idea that they can start at ground level and just muscle themselves into the air with their wings. Gary doesn't want to just make this a rule, he wants to make use of it in the script as a vulnerability for the gargoyles. For example, if Goliath and Elisa are surrounded by the Pack, he can't just pick her up and fly away. He's trapped, unless he can get some height to get some air. Another thought comes earlier when Goliath saves Elisa's life at their first meeting. Maybe he grabs her in mid-air and then arcs up to re-land on the castle ramparts. And maybe he can't quite make it to the top and has to grab hold of the building and use his talons to claw his way back up to the landing, with her holding on to him for dear life. (These are just examples that occur to me...use, embellish, come up with your own as it fits the script.) Anyway, you get the idea.
I think we can heighten the drama of the opening by referring to the original beat outline depicting Robby and his Mom desperately running up the hill to the castle w/the Marauders close behind. It's sunset. Cole and crew don't have long to wait for it to get too dark for the archers to target them.
Re: the Wizard. The scariest thing about Goliath's looks is his tremendous threatening bulk, claws and teeth. His non-human appearance, wings and skin color play into the wizard's fears as well. But it's the potential physical threat that's the most frightening. I'm not sure that this will specifically come out in dialogue, but...
Teen 'goyles should probably be doing minor mischief until Robby's mother refers to them as monsters. This pisses them off (particularly Brooklyn) and they decide that if they're gonna be treated like Monsters they might as well act like monsters, and perhaps they do something that is flat-out malicious. Goliath comes in while they're "acting like monsters", doesn't know why and banishes them from the courtyard. They feel bigtime jipped.
Eggs in the rookery really intrigues us. It raises HUGE questions. Do Gargoyles lay eggs? What do they look like? Gary pictures rough spheres like cannonballs made of stone. Do the eggs survive Cole? I guess they must since Bronx and the trio do. Do they survive the centuries? What's the gestation period of a gargoyle egg? Did Demona gather up the eggs? Were they effected by the wizard's spell? When Xavier moves the castle to Manhattan, is the Rookery, eggs and all, left in tact in Scotland? None of these questions need to be answered in the pilot. It's just a great seed to plant for future episodes, so don't make too big a deal of it here; we want careful viewers to be curious, but most to be unconcerned, since they won't get the answers to these questions in this movie.
Was Broadway raised in the Rookery? Or has it been out of use for decades? If he was, we need to be careful that our trio aren't telling each other things that they all already know.
Again, in the final battle against the Captain, Cole and his marauders, refer to the original beat outline for choreography. We need Cole and the Captain to drag the queen away from the battlefield, luring Goliath away too, alone. We need the Wizard left alone, believing the Queen is dead, w/only one remaining spellbook to confront the rest of the 'goyles and turn them to stone, etc.
Perhaps when the Pack first attacks, Goliath and company jump to defend the castle without any request from Xavier. It's that instinctive. Afterwards, (p.6), Xavier asks for their continued protection, and Goliath agrees, largely because at this point, he's already got one foot in the water, so-to-speak.
We still have the three night structure, but we've lost Elisa asking Goliath to give her three nights to show him all that her world has to offer. That always struck me as a nice moment. Was there a reason we took it out? I'm not saying we need it back in, I'm just curious.
Adrienne Bello is our executive here in charge of Standards and Practices. We showed the final version of the outline to her, and she had a concern here regarding our depiction of latchkey kids. Basically, it's a weighty issue, and we really don't have the space to do it justice here. That gave me a thought. Another (easily-solved) problem in the scene is that Goliath doesn't seem to be a participant. No one reacts to him. If we change that, we can see a number of kids (maybe out on the stoop, early evening) reacting differently to him. All should be scared at first, but some are quickly reassured and think Goliath (and Bronx) are way cool. Littler kids might still be frightened, and Goliath sees Elisa comfort and reassure them. Teaching them not to be prejudiced, in essence. Or something. We don't have to make them latchkey kids. Taggers? Just neighborhood kids w/no crime involved? Maybe we create a 20th century counterpart to Robby? Anyway, give it some thought.
This could play into the attack by the Pack. Perhaps our Robby-counterpart witnesses it. And the noise brings more people. They root for the Pack to win out over the "Monster" Goliath. They think the Pack is saving them. Our "Robby-counterpart" could really be confused as to who's good and who's bad. Maybe the crowd helps the Pack? (The right thing to do, as they perceive it, but unfortunately, they've picked the wrong side to help.) Elisa may try to flash her badge, and is knocked aside/out before she can identify herself as a cop. What Fox says to Goliath in the clinches, doesn't have to be heard by the crowd. Maybe the Pack even pretends to try to rescue Elisa from Goliath, making it clear to Goliath and our audience, though not the crowd, that if they get her away from him (and Bronx) she's doomed. [Again, though Bronx is largely a comic relief character, he can be helpful in a fight. Just as Goliath--though basically a dramatic character--has a sense of humor, and can be used in lighter, comic situations.] Goliath has little choice but to retreat with Elisa, with the crowd thinking he's the villain getting away w/a victim (or perhaps accomplice). Then he expresses his frustration that humans could so confuse the heroes and villains, based solely on appearances. If Elisa's conscious at this point, she might try to argue with him.
It's unclear why Goliath thinks the Pack is bent on revenge. What does he think they have to revenge? So far, they've been basically successful in both encounters. At worst, you could say they've fought to a draw.
If Xavier spotted Demona in a book, it was probably an art book, not a history book. Gargoyles didn't make the history books. I know this is just a story Xavier tells Goliath, but we might as well make it as realistic as possible.
Also Demona does not "seem" to be "genuinely pleased" to see the gargoyles; she IS genuinely pleased to see them.
Xavier should claim that the disks will benefit all mankind AND ALL GARGOYLES as well.
Xavier should make his contingency plans w/Owen. That way, we don't have to have him talking to himself, or reveal that he and Demona are in cahoots.
Goliath should probably find Elisa at her place, (maybe he followed her from the police station). As opposed to just happening to spot her on the streets.
Also want to make sure I have all the corporate names straight. XAVIER ENTERPRISES (XE) is Xavier's big conglomerate. SCARAB CORP. is the robotic and cybernetic arm of XE. PACK INC. is the "marketing firm" that handles the Pack, which is owned by a company, which up the ladder is eventually owned by XE. CYBERCORP is Xavier's basically honest competitor and the creators of the anti-grav technology that's on the disks.
The idea of Goliath just sitting on the disks for a night in a warehouse still strikes us as artificial. Maybe Xavier asks Goliath to deliver the disks to someone, at the warehouse or wherever, and then arranges for Elisa to be there.
Angelica/Demona's statement about "If you'd only taken the others away..." isn't enough of a tip-off to make Goliath suspicious. It doesn't sound like she knows something, it sounds like she's using 20-20 hindsight to make him feel bad. At any rate, that would be the natural thing for him to think. Maybe it begins with this, but she takes it a step farther, and that tips Goliath off.
In her explanation of what went wrong, we need to include the notion that the Captain promised her he'd protect the gargoyles, but at the last minute she panicked and left.
We're also unclear how all this has led her to join up with Xavier. Maybe she sees the destruction of humanity in his evil, and she's anxious to help. Or maybe he plans on conquering humanity, and then she plans to take the reins of power from him. Lots of possibilities; we just need to clarify.
Did Xavier send anyone besides Demona (and Elisa) to the "loyalty test". Maybe Owen has been watching from the shadows.
The reason Xavier didn't take Goliath out immediately after the loyalty test can probably be tied to Xavier's intelligence. He knows that the best time to attack the Gargoyle's is during the day, when they're frozen. I think we should make use of this. Have a scene where the Pack (carrying sledgehammers) searches for the Gargoyles in daylight. Elisa hides the gargoyles and/or protects them, and/or lures the Pack away from their location at great personal risk. Now she and Goliath have saved each other. A human he can count on. Etc. At this point, Xavier doesn't want to leave the loose ends untied for too long. He's confident in his new robot creations. (Perhaps there's one that's specifically been modeled after Goliath.) He decides to just get the battle over with. Or maybe it's Goliath and the gargoyles who decides to take the castle back, (with Elisa's help). They attack Xavier. Demona, the steel gargoyles AND the Pack (and Xavier, for that matter) are there to defend the castle. That's kinda ironic and cool.
And that's it. Give me a call if you have any questions. I'd also like to get an approximate target date when you think we'd have the first draft screenplay. Despite all the notes, we're getting really psyched. Good luck.
cc: Gary Krisel, Bruce Cranston, Paul Lacy
Disney's Japanese Studio was collectively the true unsung heroes of the first season of Gargoyles. This is a memo from Mr. Tokunaga, who was the head of that studio. It mentions the Little Mermaid episode that they were currently animating, but is mostly about recommending certain individuals on their staff to be creative forces for the Gargoyles series.
CC: B. FERRO
DATE: July 10,1993
TO: Ms. Lenora Hume
FROM: Motoyoshi Tokunaga cc. Shin Matsumoto/Sheri Shimada
Yesterday, I have asked several animators to try on rough designs for this projects characters. We will need one week to finish this work. Therefore. we will be able to tax you these drawings on 7/17. Also, we have sent you the followings together with Take-l's workprint for the Mermaid show #015.
*Gadget - storyboarded by Saburo Hashimoto.
*Reporter Blues - storyboarded by Kazuo Terada.
*Soccer Boy - storyboarded by Kazuo Terada.
As a reminder, in Japan we set the maximum number of cels that the show can spend before we start the production. And directors should draw storyboards within this limitation. Since these storyboards were drawn under these circumstances, I fear they might not give you the insight into the artists' creative aspects.
*Ulysis 31: This was produced 12 years ago and directed by Terada.
I hope you could use this as a reference of how he divided the scenes and
the camera angles. But, please do not refer to the animation.
*Batman; which was animation directed by Kazuyoshi Takeuohi.
We have sent this to you because we would like to know if you are thinking of any certain level of animation quality and timing. Please let us know if this is the kind of animation you expect from us for Gargoyles series.
I think these two memos are fairly self-explanatory. So the only comment I'll make is that although few of these people still work for Disney, none of them had to give back their toys. (And I still have the Nerf stuff.)
 From: Greg Weisman 7/8/93 4:10PM (751 bytes: 10 ln)
To: Bruce Cranston
cc: Greg Weisman
Subject: TOYS FROM KENNAR
------------------------------- Message Contents -------------------------------
As you know, I received a large box of toys from Kennar, which I am officially giving to the Development department. Some of these will be on display in their original packaging in my office, per Gary Krisel's suggestion. Some will be used in creative meetings to help generate ideas and reduce tension. The rest will be distributed among the development staff for research and display, on the understanding that they belong to the company and not to the individuals involved.
 From: Greg Weisman 7/9/93 2:25PM (2200 bytes: 47 ln)
To: Mary Nguyen, Bonnie Buckner, Hali Helfgott, Lisa Melbye, Adrienne Bello, Paul Lacy, Fred Schaefer, Kathy Fair, BAMBI MOE, Ellen Gurney, Ann Catrina, Brad Vielock
cc: Bruce Cranston, Melinda Farrell, Jay Fukuto, Greg Weisman
------------------------------- Message Contents ------------------------------
cc: Dave Schwartz, Sharon Morrill
As many of you know, Kennar sent me a large box of toys. Too large for me to keep them as a gift w/out a conflict of interest arising. So I am officially giving these toys to the company. Gary instructed me to keep some of them unopened on display in my office, (he's sent some to Lucasfilms already, and we may need them for similar purposes at some point), and to break open the Nerf stuff for creative meetings (you know, to relieve tension, etc.). But there are still a number of toys left, more than I have room for, so I'm going to pass them out to all of you for research and display in your offices, on the official understanding that they belong to Disney and should stay with the company.
I put everyone's name in a hat and Hali pulled the names, and this's the order of toy picking:
I think you can see by Hali's placement on the list that her picks were not biased. It was totally random. Don't blame her.
And if you're low on the list, you can at least take consolation in knowing that the bigshots (Bruce, Mindy, Jay and Sharon) don't get any toys at all. Sorry. There weren't enough to go around.
Bambi's first on the list, and she'll be back Monday, so that's when distribution will begin.
Remember, no friction. This is a small good thing. That's all.
The first season of Gargoyles was largely pre-produced in Japan. And our Japanese Studio was very involved in getting the show up on its feet. This is a memo from Lenora Hume, who was at the time the head of International Production for our division. The memo is addressed to Mr. Tokunaga who was the head of Walt Disney Television Animation Japan.
WALT DISNEY Television Memorandum
To: Motoyoshi Tokunaga Date: July 2,1993
From: Lenora Hume Extension: (818) 754-7150
Subject: FAX: 011-8142-251-8229
PAGE: -1- of -1-
As a follow up to our conversation, we would like to proceed to do some preliminary development work on Gargoyles as outlined below.
1) We would like you to send us some design and storyboards samples of the artists you intend to use on this project. If you have any tapes of shows that these individuals have been involved in that would be very helpful as well.
2) On Tuesday, we will fax your descriptions of the characters we would like you to work on.
3) Based on the information we send you on Tuesday, we would like budget on a schedule prepared for this preliminary design work.
At this stage we would like to see rough drawings of a variety of styles and ideas based on the information we have supplied. There is no need to edit your preliminary work. We would like to see a number if different approaches. If you have a preference as to which approach you prefer please by all means let us know your choices.
4) Once this preliminary design work has been submitted we will review the materials in Los Angeles and give you our comments, along with instructions as to what the next phase will be.
If you have any questions or comments about this first phase of development, please feel free to contact us.
cc: B. Cranston
JUL 06 1993
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
Evidentally, I went out of town in late June / early July of 1993. My very capable and talented Development Associate Paul Lacy was holding down the fort.
Walt Disney TV Animation Japan had been asking for a more creative role in the division. Gargoyles would represent a new opportunity for them. (Something that I believe Roy Sato could comment on more directly.) Paul wrote up some character descriptions for Goliath and the Trio to get them started. This document, as far as I can tell, is the first one in which Brooklyn and Lex were assigned the basic personalities that they'd wind up with. Previous to this, the two characters had always been assigned each others traits. So I think we can credit Paul (or his confusion, at least) with giving us the Brooklyn and Lex we now know and love.
Also by this time, we had moved away from a female Broadway. One of my bosses, Bruce Cranston, still raised the suggestion that we go back. But I believe my other boss, Gary Krisel (and Kenner) wanted as many males in the group as possible.
July 2, 1993
Gary wants to give Tokunaga, the head of the Disney Studio in Japan, a shot at showing us what they can do design-wise with the GARGOYLES, so he wants us to send them descriptions of GOLIATH, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY. The descriptions need to be brief and put in general terms to allow them room to be creative.
I've enclosed my pass at these descriptions for your changes. Although I remember the "types" we were thinking of for Brooklyn, Lexington and Broadway, I don't remember who was assigned which attribute. Bruce asked about making one of the kids a female, should we open that up to the Japanese as an option?
Gary and Bruce looked at these today and I incorporated their changes. We need to get these to Lenora Hume early Tuesday so she can fax them to Japan.
Hope you had a great trip. See you on Tuesday.
And here's Paul's memo to the Japanese Studio.
GARGOYLE DESCRIPTIONS (Lacy 7/2/93)
Below are general descriptions of the look and feel of GOLIATH and the three teen-aged Gargoyles, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON and BROADWAY.
The Gargoyle-master. Physically imposing, muscular. At least a head taller than an average human. Weighing approximately 500 pounds, Goliath is solidly built. Although he possesses many human-like features, Goliath's gargoyle features set him apart from man. When angered he resembles a raging beast. When relaxed there is a gentle nobility to his appearance ... in a strange, rugged way, he's handsome. Goliath's wings enable him to glide and, as such, must be big enough to support his weight. They are not simply attached to his back. Rather, they are an integral part of his skeletal and muscular structure, as organic to him as arms and legs are to humans. When sitting, Goliath's wings drape around him like a cape. When spread wide, they act as a backdrop that frames his body.
BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON AND BROADWAY
As adolescent gargoyles, they're awkward and not as physically developed as Goliath. To a human, however, they're still imposing and beastly. Although the three are part of the same species, each one is physically different enough to establish their individuality.
BROOKLYN: If there's a leader of the group, it's Brooklyn. He's the most physically fit of the group and is the one who most aspires to be a gargoyle warrior like Goliath. In the modern world Brooklyn wants to be "cool" and stylish, following all the current trends.
LEXINGTON: The smallest of the group. He's not as muscular as his pals, though he still is powerful. Lexington natural resting position is more a squat than the other two. Lexington is fascinated by gadgets: in medieval times it's catapults and siege engines. In modern times it's airplanes, traffic lights, video games, etc.
BROADWAY: The chubby one, Broadway's also bigger than the other two. Despite his fat, he has well defined muscles like the other gargoyles. Broadway is happy go-lucky, always looking for a good time.
Some of different wing types for these three characters include sprung from the back (like Goliath) for gliding, attached to the back but too small to be of any use, draped from the arm (like a bat), or non-existent.
So the meeting between us and Kenner happened, most likely on June 30th, 1993. They brought this document to the table. It's very enlightening, I think, as to how a major toy company thinks. You'll notice that their "main concerns" didn't cause us to alter the show at all. Save for adding in a motorcycle and helicopter here and there. There were some things that they were concerned about that we were just able to reassure them about. That the Trio would not just be silly. That Xanatos would eventually get down and dirty with his own armor, etc.
My handwritten notes at the bottom were things we discussed at the meeting, also to help aleviate their concerns. "Franken-goyle" eventually became Coldstone. "X's Metal/Steel/Titanium Gargoyles" became the Steel Clan Robots. We were trying to show Kenner that we'd have some "male villain gargoyles" in addition to Demona.
MAIN STORY ELEMENTS
* Ageless goodness and loyalty vs. modern opportunism.
* Powerful myths.vs. powerful high tech "realities".
* Goliath vs. Demona.
* Goliath vs. Xavier.
* Goliath and his five ancient gargoyles.
* Elisa and her gargoyle team; especially Goliath.
* Xavier and Demona.
* Xavier and his subordinates.
* Huge, powerful, and ugly.
* Immortal by night; inert and powerless by day.
* Ancient, decent, loyal, and wise.
* Possesses leadership qualities.
* Visual power, strength of living gargoyles.
* Day vs. night power phases of protagonists.
* Humorous possibilities of gargoyle assimilation into contemporary New York.
* Traditional good vs. evil conflict.
* Severe visual contradiction of scary/ugliness as good (Goliath); deceptively normal is bad (Xavier, his gladiators, etc.)
* Limited number of heroic characters.
* Key human ally is female (Elisa).
* Key/only evil gargoyle is female (Demona).
* Industrialist as the evil adversary is very familiar and very difficult to translate into an exciting toy. A visually more powerful and more unique enemy would be preferable or increase his powers through armorment [sic].
* Lack of significant special hardware and vehicles for both good and evil.
* Described back story (especially enduring- love/hate relationship between Goliath and Demona) may be too complex for 5-year old boys.
* Four of the six gargoyles (Trio and Dog) appear less aggressive and silly than heroic.
* Breaking the Gargoyles kills them.
[My handwritten notes on the document follow:]
* Franken-goyle & Demona
* Pack / Xavier / Scarab Corp / Vehicles etc.
* X's Metal / Steel / Titanium Gargoyles
Time to Ramble...
My three year old son Ben watched the opening titles for about the five hundredth time. On the one hand, he made the point that it was getting dull seeing this same opening. He wanted me to fast-forward to the actual story.
On the other hand, he spent the time reviewing "the rules". How the gargs turn to stone during the day. How Goliath is the leader. Etc.
One thing we always cheated on was how Fortress-2 landed. There it is on the ground awaiting it's maiden voyage, and I just don't see any landing gear.
Vogel is introduced. This is another thing where I had to carefully explain my long-term intent behind the screen in order to get a model for the character that really looked like Owen but wasn't his twin. I remember a lot of people on the Disney Afternoon mailing list reacting negatively to Preston in this episode. Like he was a feeble imitation of Owen. Like we didn't know how to do any other kind of executive assistant. I was simultaneously amused and annoyed by those kind of comments. So now I'm curious. What was your initial reaction to Vogel? And what do you think of him now?
As usual, Travis has old-school attitude when interviewing his subjects. I like that. Makes him more of a character and not just a reporter place-holder.
Fox in casual clothes. With a very casual, yet strangely intense attitude. "I know what happens next," Fox says to David.
My six year old daughter Erin asked, "Why is she watching [Travis' report] like that?" She could tell something was up there.
And in fact, like UPGRADE, this was another episode where we were intentionally trying to show that Fox was David's equal. We show it physically in their martial arts work out. And we show it by giving her a ruthless and complex plot to take Cyberbiotics. In fact, in this episode, when you add in the fact that David is clearly in the dark about her pregnancy test, she seems to be a little equaler than he is.
Fortress-2 takes off. And Goliath sends us into flashback. This is flat-out padding. For some reason, though the script is the same basic length as any of our scripts, this one timed out short after story-boarding was done. (Most of my stories time out too long.) So we added this flashback. I think it was a mistake. It kills the stories momentum, and we already had the sequence later where Renard shows all the important scenelets to Goliath. Those become incredibly redundant. When you add in the "Previously on Gargoyles" opening, it was just too much.
Elisa reveals the show's Hill Street Blues influence by telling Goliath to "be careful out there."
Goliath gets attacked by cybots. As noted, any individual cybot is no match for him. But they have strength in numbers. I wanted to show that Goliath can still kick some ass when motivated. So the cybots shoot at him. And his only response is "That. Stings." Very intense. Unfortunately, I think sound-wise the line gets buried.
And that's a general problem with the episode. On a technical level this just wasn't one of our best. The animation isn't awful, but it's mediocre. Goliath's size relationship gets screwed up here and there. (Particularly in the brig sequences.) The story's padded by flashbacks. Our normally great sound team, didn't do the most inspiring job on this one either. It just generally feels like one that got away from us.
I still think there's some great stuff in it. And the revelation of Fox's pregnancy actually makes it something of a landmark (both for our series and for animated series in general), but the execution never quite lived up to its potential. Oh, well.
CONTINUITY & INTRIGUE
Did anyone remember Cyberbiotics before this ep? Had you ever wondered who Xanatos was stealing from in the pilot? We knew that Cyberbiotics abandoned their underground base, which became the home of the Mutates. Now we were rebuilding the air fortress and revealing that the CYberbiotics Tower is still in business.
Also, Renard mentions Gen-U-Tech. And the revelation that Sevarius and Burnett used to work for Cyberbiotics. Of course, Renard thinks that Xanatos stole Sevarius and Owen away. We know better. We knew even then that Sevarius is much better suited to work for a man like Xanatos than Renard. And of course, now we know why Owen was Xanatos-bound as well. But what did you guys think of that minor revelation at the time?
Renard's opinion of Xanatos is probably colored by his relationship to his daughter: "And that's the least that viper has stolen from me." Did you stop at that moment to consider what that meant and what he meant by the "My Anastasia. My Janine." line? Did anyone (from Renard's name, if nothing else) guess that Fox was his daughter, before the tag? Who did you think Anastasia and Janine were at that time? Or did Goliath's follow up line, "My angel of the night." distract you from considering these questions?
At this point, just before the Janine line, Erin (who has seen these before, but not recently) remembered: "That's Fox's daddy!"
Goliath has some cool lines here too. "I belong to no one." "I serve no master."
And Renard (voiced by Robert Culp to perfection) has some great lines too: "Not my fault, not my fault. You sound like every human employee I've ever FIRED." and "Take some responsibility."
What was fun for me, although maybe for no one else, was (a) to get some hard thoughts about both the need and the difficulty of maintaining personal integrity up onto the screen and (b) doing that by lecturing to Goliath, arguably one of the most "integrous" characters I've ever written. (b) served (a), by showing that even Goliath can be prone to slipping.
The thing is that integrity really matters to me. And yet, I don't know how much of it I exercise in my own life. I really do try. But it's so hard. And not because I'm a dishonest person, but more because I'm lazy. It's easier to shift blame, to tell white lies, etc. The alternative takes effort and vigilance. I think the rewards are immense, even if the costs are too. But I ain't kidding myself about the difficulty.
The martial arts scene. Reminiscent of the scene from the Edge where Owen toppled David. Here we hinted even more strongly that Fox is Renard's daughter. David is basically giving her permission to back out of the plan, to save face and exit, BEFORE she destroys her father. It's not that David really cares about Halcyon. I think he's thinking about his relationship to his own father. David likes to believe (at this stage in the series) that he's evolved beyond the need for a parental relationship. But "Vows" sort of demonstrates that his relationship with Petros is much more complex than that. David still needs parental approval and is somewhat amazed (at least subconsciously) that Fox does not. Again, in this episode, Fox is more than his equal.
And now the doctor calls with test results. David shows legitimate fear here for a moment. He's not thinking pregnancy. He's worried maybe she's sick or something. She enjoys toying with him. Maybe she's just in a mood. But her armor is on in force in this ep. We won't really get INSIDE Fox until "The Gathering" two-parter.
Finally, Goliath acknowledges his crime: "I was wrong." Cary had this great line for Renard: "I'm glad you're gargoyle enough to admit it."
Robert Culp and Peter Scolari were an interesting pair as Renard and Vogel. Culp was tough in the booth. Very precise. Very clear ideas about how he wanted to play the character. Tougher on his performance than Jamie and I were. And the results show.
Peter was a dream to work with. We spent an hour talking after the recording (about Busom Buddies, mostly). He's an incredibly nice guy. And he picked up the character right away. Despite the fact that we didn't have Jeff Bennett there to do a little Owen for him. He just got it.
Until the end, Vogel really plays Renard in this. He knows how much Renard hates whining blame-shifters, so he's constantly saying things like "You can place the blame on me if you like." in order to defuse any of Renard's suspicions.
But in a more subtle way, Renard is unwittingly playing upon Vogel as well. He doesn't intrude on Vogel's phone calls. He treats him with respect and gives him credit ("You and I built this ship together"). Insists that Vogel save the people in the tower, even if it means Renard's own life. We can see that Vogel was willing to take Fox's money for a bit of corporate espionage. But Vogel is not a killer. (It's important to see that he views Goliath as a creature.) This partially explains his turnaround at the end. (Which some people complained about.) All along he's been trying to get Renard to GET OFF THE SHIP. But Renard forces his hand. And when push comes to shove, Vogel likes Renard too much to see him die. "Mr. Vogel, I knew you wouldn't let me down." "You have that effect on people." And then Goliath basically bluffs him at the end there into confessing, screwing up their relationship.
But Goliath fixes it again. His last discussion with Renard sets up the reconciliation between them that must have taken place before "Golem".
At any rate, it's also nice to see Goliath make a NEW friend. This was important, because that has always been Goliath's goals. To make friends with humans on his own terms. Every once in a while, we had to show it working. Couldn't just be ONLY Elisa forever.
Ben weighed in at this point and said, "Daddy, I love Xanatos. And I love Fox." Of course, Ben and Erin dressed up as David and Fox at the last Gathering. In fact they dressed up in the martial arts outfits from this episode. Thus the affinity. I once played Theseus in the play THE WARRIOR'S HUSBAND. And Edmund in KING LEAR. It gave me an on-going affinity for both characters and awakened my interest in "The Bastard" archetype.
Now the tag. I'm usually pretty proud of our tags. They often advance the overall story as much as the entire episode. But this is one of my favorites. "Hello, Janine." "Hello, daddy." Was anyone ready for that? And her attitude: "Almost got you that time, didn't I?" The whole sense that Fox is in all this just for kicks. She's not as acquisitive as her husband. He'd always take the path of LEAST resistance to a goal. If Renard would give Janine the company, X would suggest she ask for it. But she doesn't care about the company. ONLY the game. X likes the game. But he's about RESULTS. All established in one little scene.
And of course that slick little pregnancy revelation. I think that was one of the most revolutionary and flat-out subversive things we did on the whole show. Was anyone ready for that? We had hinted at it with the "genetically compatible" line in "Eye of the Beholder" and obvioulsy with "It's your doctor... with test results." But I think it was quite the shocker.
And Fox is so tough. Pregnant and back on the hang-glider. I love it.
Okay, I'm done. You're turn. Ramble away...
Kenner had competed for the Gargoyles toy license and won. They were enthusiastic partners. This was pretty early on in the process, but their initial main objection was that we still had the gargoyles able to fly under their own power at this stage. They didn't like that, because it removed the need for kids and parents to buy flying vehicle accessories. We eventually acquiesced (over my initial objections) because my boss Gary Krisel felt that it could be to our advantage to only allow the gargs to glide on "currents of wind" instead of fly. It hampered them some. I was dubious, but this turned out to be all for the best. So thank Kenner -- for that at least.
Me, I still have the Nerf guns.
JUN 25 1993
GREG WEISMAN'S OFFICE
A Tonka Division
June 23, 1993
Mr. Gregory David Weisman
Wait Disney Television
5200 Lankershim Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91601
We're looking forward to seeing you and Gary next week and getting further into the Gargoyles concept (are they still flying?).
I'm bringing Rm Hayes again (VP of Product Concepts) as well as Howard Bollinger, really, (Sr. VP of Product Concepts), Bruce Stein (Kenner's President), and possibly Ginger Kent (Sr. VP of Marketing). We've spent Kenner development time on the project and will have something to show you during our discussions on June 30.
I'm sending you some of our current action figures from Aliens, Batman and Jurassic Park to refresh everyone's awareness of how we market our action figure toys. The Nerf weapons in the package are for your internal entertainment and are not to be used on us if you don't like what we've done on Gargoyles. Enjoy!
See you next Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.
James R . Black
Vice President, Licensing
CC: R. Hayes
Eric Luke turned in an outline on our multi-part pilot on 6-3-93. I'm afraid I don't have that document anymore. But my response (from a week later) is still in my computer files. And it does give a sense of what he was up to. But more, it gives a sense of where I wanted to take the story.
One might argue that my greatest strength as a writer is in fact... that I'm a good editor. I do think I have a knack for taking solid work by other professionals, and finding the core story inside that work. Bringing that story out and helping it to shine. I think I have a good mind for both the big picture and the little details. (At any rate, that's largely been the basis of my career.)
So that's what I was attempting to do here. And I think you can begin to see the details of the story beginning to see the light in my notes here.
To: Eric Luke Date: 6-10-93
From: Greg Weisman Ext: 818)754-7436
Subject: Notes on 6/3 GARGOYLE Outline
Hi, Eric. Big improvement. I've collated a bunch of specific page notes, and I apologize in advance for their length. But we are getting so close, we wanted to make sure everything's nailed dead-to-rights. As before, we're largely concerned that everything tracks logically and that we've fully explored the relationships between our leads. So here goes.
Don't overdue the notion that no one's ever seen a gargoyle (in the tenth century). They are rare. But not that rare. Basically, Cole, the lead Marauder assumes that like most castles, this one has "bluff" gargoyles made of actual stone. He's taking a calculated risk. A risk he may feel absolutely confident in taking, but a risk nonetheless.
Although you DON'T have to use them in the treatment, when we get to script, we'll probably want to bring back the boy, Robbie, and his mom, so that we can play the anti-gargoyle prejudice beats. These will parallel w/Goliath's anti-human prejudice in the modern day sequences, and help give an overall theme to the piece.
We might want to show the Captain helping out in this battle, in some (perhaps minor) way, so that we see that he and Goliath are comrades-in-arms. [We've abbreviated the events of the 10th century sequence by cutting a day from the original beat outline. That's o.k., but it makes it tougher to show Demona and the Captain's complex motivations and loyalties. We have to compensate in other ways.]
The "after you, alphonse" dialogue seems a little on the silly side. It might play in script.
Right now, Gary is leaning toward a male Broadway.
At the bottom of page, it's unnecessary for Goliath to suspect treachery at this point. He's merely horrified at what he finds. The Captain's treason comes as a greater surprise when Goliath confronts him a bit later.
Remember, Captain (and Demona) had hoped to remove the gargoyles to safety. Goliath (unwittingly) had not cooperated. That's what left the gargoyles vulnerable to Cole. (From Demona's point of view, the plan backfired in a big way.)
Just a cautionary, but we don't want to flag early on that Xavier is a villain. At first we should consider him a rich eccentric. Cheerful, even.
Remember, when the Gargoyles awaken, they burst free of their stone shells, shattering them.
Xavier should not be so matter-of-fact about the Gargoyle's appearance. Remember, he's pretending this is the first time he's ever seen this reawakening. He should be appropriately impressed.
One of the elements that we want to be able to play with the Pack is the notion that they are the heroes of their own American Gladiatoresque t.v. show. For example, that's how Elisa would know them, as pseudo-athletes, not villains. If we don't have room to play that here in the pilot, than perhaps the Pack isn't the best villain team to use. Another notion we had was a group of armored villains w/names revolving around a demolition motif (the natural enemies of the sometimes-stone gargoyles): i.e. Piledriver, Bulldozer, etc.
If you do use the Pack, the twins are Jackal (male, cunning and vicious) and Hyena (female and practically psychotic).
The robot is CY.O.T.I. (CYber-Operational Technical Intelligence), and his bodies are interchangeable, not his head.
Elisa is a plain clothes detective, and therefore doesn't drive a black and white. Though she could have one of those removable cherry-tops on her car.
Xavier could help the gargoyles fight, to show (a) how tough and formidable he is for a "normal" human and (b) how trustworthy he is...paralleling the Captain's actions from the 10th century.
Perhaps the Pack (or whoever) pretends to get away w/stealing something. (Xavier will later claim it was the 3 disks.) After all, this whole attack was staged.
The whole notion of the Gargoyles not appearing on videotape because they're magical creatures doesn't work for us and doesn't seem necessary. It adds a fairly sophisticated new rule (usually associated w/vampires) and confuses the issue as to whether the gargoyles are their own race of creatures, as opposed to magically animated stone. They exist. They're real. We think they show up on tape.
In this particular scene, we think we can leave out the camcorder and the scene at the police station. Elisa's fairly independent. Also, she doesn't necessarily need to see what's happening from the ground. Better if she doesn't know she's looking for "creatures" 'til she finds them. She could just be investigating the falling debris, though that sounds like something a building inspector would do. It would be nice if there was something that would attract a police detective's attention. (Laser-fire?) Some sign of a crime.
Does she initially question or try to question Xavier? Does she suspect him?
The gargoyles should probably be the first bizarre entities that Elisa (and the city) encounters. If she's been dealing w/super-villains the last few weeks, than Goliath won't seem that strange. Also, her initial fear of him should not be based specifically on the notion that he is one of a group of villains, but on a visceral reaction to his appearance and threatening size. Prejudice. And the fact that there are a lot of Gargoyles doesn't hurt either.
The idea that "the whole city is her responsibility and she has a right to know what's going on" anywhere in it, sounds a bit egocentric or even vaguely fascist to me. This may not be the right moment for bravado. Again, she can be legitimately scared at this point. No shame in it. She doesn't have to ask about turf wars, or even be aware of what took place. In essence, we can reduce the talkiness of this scene by having her react the way any of us would.
Obviously, when Goliath saves her life, it'll have a profound effect, probably on both of them. It's a powerful event. It probably signals a truce, an end to hostility. And their mutual insight might hint at what's to come, but they're a long way from friends yet...or even trusted allies.
Here's where they can start to talk a bit. Get the basics on each other. Since we want the Gargoyles to lead weirdness into the modern world, she doesn't recruit him to fight super-villains, rather she offers to show him the best and worst of his new home. Maybe, she's hoping he'll see for himself it's worth fighting for, or maybe she hasn't thought it out that far. Maybe she plays on his need to get acclimated to his new surroundings. He needs a tour guide in this brave new world, she offers to be that guide. From his point of view, he's had bad luck leaving the castle, which would tend to make him reluctant to take her up on her offer. His agreeing is probably a sign of things to come coupled with the admission that he doesn't know what he's up against in the 20th century. He needs to learn, and learning does appeal to him.
Goliath probably can't be goaded into joining her. He knows enough about "puny" humans and their betrayals to WISELY be afraid of what they are capable of. She needs to appeal to his better nature--as above, his curiosity and desire to learn, and perhaps a hidden desire to find (or be reminded of) the good in humans that he once recognized.
Again, we don't need to make the Gargoyles invisible to electronics for them to steal the disks. Make the three sites where the "stolen" disks are being held, three entirely separate locations, each uniquely inaccessible to a normal human. Also, Xavier can claim that these disks were stolen from him during the previous night's attack by the Pack (or whoever). He doesn't want to go to the police, because they'd investigate the site of the theft and the signs of battle that might lead to the Gargoyle's being revealed. Xavier's not making "a proposition", he's "asking" for Goliath's help. Coupled w/Elisa's request, Goliath may be on the verge of softening toward humans again. As you wrote, he'll think about it.
After Goliath leaves, perhaps Xavier talk to a shadowy figure (Demona) about how everything is going according to plan. He's confident that Goliath will come around.
I apologize, but I think I led you astray when we discussed how "super-heroey" this universe is. Though we are eventually going to have multiple paranormal characters, we don't want to make their introduction casual, nor their existence commonplace. I like the idea that Xavier is stealing technology in order to power up his operatives or build Scarab Corp robots or both, but I don't think he'd be giving out this or any technology so that "the Crippler", et al, could wander the streets doing as they please. Too wasteful for Xavier.
Is Xavier aware of Goliath's deal w/Elisa? If so, would he want to use it to his advantage, perhaps staging another conflict with the same villain team that attacked the castle? Something to convince Goliath that he must help Xavier recover the disks? [The trick to these villains obviously, is to make them powerful enough to be threatening to Goliath and Company, but missing some necessary ability like flight or stealth, that would have enabled them to liberate the disks for Xavier (something other than the invisible-to-video rule). Their abilities can be enhanced for the climax when Xavier makes use of the stolen info on the three disks.]
Boots on Brooklyn are a bit awkward design-wise. Let's trade Doc Marten's for Ray-Bans or Aviator sunglasses.
It's an interesting question whether or not the teen gargoyles can read, but let's not address it here.
Let's have Bronx chewing up the car interior, instead of stinking it up. He's an omnivore.
Goliath's attitude on the first night that humanity is not worth saving doesn't seem to follow. He's always known, even before the Captain's betrayal, that there were bad humans. He used to think there were also good humans worth saving. Since the Captain, he's lost faith in that. Now that he's met Xavier and Elisa, he's probably regaining his faith, despite himself. The way to bring him back to his prejudices is with an ungrateful victim that he has saved. Some modern day equivalent to the queen or wizard. Humans will never stop fearing, blaming or hating the gargoyles. They don't deserve his assistance. Elisa, as a cop, can actually relate to this. But by example, she's trying to show him not to give up on humanity and it's potential.
To cement Goliath's gratitude, it's probably better if Xavier claims to have sought Demona out. Found her for Goliath. This was always part of Xavier and Demona's plan. Although Goliath will be overwhelmed by her reappearance, all the Gargoyles should be very glad to see her. And she, sincerely glad to see them. (She still hopes to turn them to the dark side.)
Again, we don't need non-detectability. Let's put the three disks in three very separate locations in the city. Let's send Goliath and Demona after one. The trio after another, and stick Hudson (much to his annoyance) w/Bronx to go after the third.
The disks must be largely inaccessible. (One in a tower; one in an underground vault, etc.) And they should each be protected by security systems and well-armed human guards. But only a guy like Xavier would create Spiderbots and Wardroids, so let's keep things clean by leaving them out. However, a good complication would be for the disk's real owners to call the police. Elisa, who's been waiting for Goliath to show, takes the call. She confronts Goliath and Demona. It's a horrible moment for everyone. He flies away w/the disk. But after turning it over to Xavier, he insists on going back to talk to Elisa. Demona would be against it. She'd relate Elisa to the Captain. Xavier might start making contingency plans...if Goliath is so honorable that he has to clear his conscience with the authorities, then it may not be so easy to turn him and keep him turned.
The trick is probably not to let Goliath come off as a big dope. It's o.k. that he's been fooled, as long as it's been a convincing con. He's a smart guy.
We need to contrast Elisa's responses w/Demona's knee-jerk ones. Elisa could be deeply disappointed. Goliath could try to explain why he did what he did. To Elisa it all sounds fishy, and at any rate, he shouldn't have taken the law into his own hands. That's where he might scoff at human law...and humans, in general. Don't let him get pouty. He's got legitimate gripes. But this disappoints Elisa further. She thought they had connected. Plus, she's been put in an awkward situation. He's a criminal now. Does she arrest him? He takes that decision out of her hands by leaving.
We're not clear on the meaning of Elisa's: "You're blaming humans because you can't face the blame yourself!" What blame?
If we use the Trio in the action-packed disk-raid, then we can cut the Artless Dodger. Again, we don't want to make "paranormals" too commonplace.
It's tough to believe that the Pack (or their replacements) would really think the gargoyles had stolen their money. And it's impossible to believe that Fox would betray her boss by giving away his well-mapped out plans. Xavier's control should be fairly complete. Basically, the multiple changes that these notes have suggested are going to require some major restructuring of the last few pages.
Xavier's "contingency plans" from above could help set the final act in motion. Maybe, he decides to test the gargoyles' loyalty to him once and for all. This is important, because Xavier would not just toss aside valuable "assets" like the Gargoyles, just because they had already accomplished the specific mission he acquired them for or because their talents were now largely redundant. If he thought there was a chance to keep them, he'd go for it. Maybe the loyalty test involves Elisa. That way, we can get that moment when Goliath refuses to betray Elisa. This cements Goliath and Elisa's relationship. Further enrages Demona, etc.
When Goliath fails the loyalty test, Xavier can then decide to destroy Goliath (and probably the other gargoyles as well). He can utilize the disk technology that the gargoyles stole which he has already used to enhance the Pack (or whoever) or build killer robots (or whatever). This personalizes the final battle. They're not saving the city. But themselves.
It's unlikely that Xavier would give away his plans just to gloat. He's too smart for that.
We want to reveal Demona's true colors to Goliath and our audience at the same time. The last great shocking secret revealed. Perhaps Goliath discovers the truth after failing the loyalty test. She tries to convince him one last time to change sides. If in the course of the loyalty test, he was physically defeated, this'll be like kicking him when he's down. And then it's Elisa who saves him and helps rally his spirits for the coming final confrontation.
How did Demona stay young for a thousand years?
Given the above, it's hard to see how the trio could refuse to help Goliath.
Obviously, we can now lose the army of paranormals. I'll miss Mister Billious the most.
We can probably reduce the talky-nature of the final battle scene by giving Elisa and Goliath a moment of calm before the battle begins. Remember, the key relationship is theirs. She may fear that the betrayals of Xavier and Demona will drive Goliath further into his shell. But she has unwittingly kept her promise. She has shown Goliath that humanity is worth saving, because she has shown Goliath herself. And it's enough, because she's a very special individual who considers herself fairly typical of humanity.
Demona can be armed with "modern" bazooka-laser Kirbyesque weapons to even out the odds in her and Goliath's one-on-one final battle.
Xavier's "death" may need to be rethunk. Perhaps Demona, who's been our secret betrayer from the beginning, should "die". (Maybe her weapon explodes?) Xavier, the human villain can be arrested by Elisa. He's not worried though, he'll have the best trial money can buy...or as Elisa counters: "The best cell."
Whew. That's it. Let me know if you have any questions.
cc: Gary Krisel, Bruce Cranston, Paul Lacy
In anticipation of watching "Outfoxed" anyday now, I'm going to go ahead and post the memo I wrote to Cary Bates, after he turned in his outline for that episode, originally titled, "After the Fox".
Notes on "After the Fox" Outline...
Well, one of the advantages of having you as one of my story editors is that I can be brutally honest. We got some problems here. The main one being that the story doesn't get going in earnest until the last scene of Act Two. We're horribly padded here. Normally, I would give this back to you for a second draft outline, but -- my fault -- I didn't read it in time. So I'll beat it out here.
FOX vs. RENARD
First off, let's make Renard the last name. I know I said it was o.k. to make Renard the first name, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn't want Fox's only connection to the Renard/Fox name to be that it was her father's first name. I don't think she could admit to herself that she was borrowing anything from him. So let's make her given name Janine Renard. He still calls her Janine. She rejects that and has her name legally changed to her nom de guerre: Fox. (Like Cher or Madonna, it's just the one word. Remember, she was a performer.) The "Fox" is the part of herself that she believes in. The irony, of course, is that the name did come from her father.
I don't think Fox consciously hates her father. I don't think she consciously admits to having feelings that could cloud her judgment. There's no vengeance kick here. No line of dialogue where she says she wants to see him suffer or that she only saved his life so she can continue to torture him. That all may be subconsciously true, but if so, she doesn't realize it. Remember, she's Xanatos' perfect mate. Neither her nor her husband get that emotional. They enjoy the game for its own sake. Playing it against her father may give it a special tang, but from her point of view, there's only one reason to do this: Cyberbiotics. She wants it, so she decides to take it. If it wasn't worth having, she wouldn't have bothered.
The investor scenario doesn't work. Just because the investors aren't killed, doesn't mean these five terrorized guys are now gonna invest. The damage is done. The stock price will still fall and Cyberbiotics will still belong to Fox by close of business tomorrow.
The solution, I believe, is to change the location. Renard has just rebuilt the CYBERBIOTICS AIR FORTRESS. He's determined to prove that it's safe and effective. It's a corporate icon, like the Good Year Blimp -- and the public does think it's really cool -- but it's still not the smartest investment. It's hybris. Worse... it's Euro-Disney. Renard's had to invest way too much to rebuild it. If it's destroyed so soon after it's reconstruction, Cyberbiotics will be bankrupt and easy prey for Fox. This'll tie in nicely with Goliath's growing sense that he owes Renard a debt. Goliath helped destroy the first Air Fortress. Now, he must save the second one. And if you save the ship, you save the company from Fox.
INTEGRITY: GARGOYLE vs. HUMAN
For once, this should not be an issue. Renard accuses Goliath of not having as much integrity as humans do. But Renard doesn't believe humans have very much integrity -- that's why he's automated his operations -- so we're arguing the wrong premise. Integrity is not the province of either race. Deep down, Goliath may have a vague prejudice that gargoyles are generally more honest than humans, but in his head he knows that his race does not have a monopoly on integrity. Thanks to the events of our pilot, Renard may have a general mistrust of gargoyles, but that's not the point he should be making. Renard firmly believes that integrity is an absolute. You have it. Or you don't. Cut and Dry. Black and White. He's got it. Most humans don't, including Xanatos and his daughter. Machines can be programmed with absolutes. People can't. So he's populating his world with machines. His assumption is that Goliath is no better than Xanatos and that all of the creature's protestations about being duped are nothing more than whining excuses. Will Goliath take responsibility for his actions or won't he? Let's not distract this important theme, with issues of race.
Though I loved the line: "You're gargoyle enough to admit it."
Who is this guy exactly? Security man? Computer programmer? Born-again? Was he hired on a project basis to complete the automation? Is he helping Fox because he knew Renard was going to fire him? Has Vogel automated all of Renard's operations or just the security? If it's just the security, than what are they securing? Why does he repent? Basically, the character is coming across as very vague and contradictory. We have to clean this up.
Let's also make sure we fit Vogel into our theme. He is corrupted by Fox. Ultimately, Renard will use Vogel as another example of why humans cannot be trusted. But Goliath will point out that the cybots were just as corruptible, while incapable of experiencing a change of heart, as Goliath has had.
"After the Fox"... I don't get it. Am I missing something?
1. Open quietly with FOX at the EYRIE BUILDING. She turns on the evening news. TRAVIS MARSHALL is on the air, reporting from JFK or LaGuardia or wherever. It is the Maiden Voyage of FORTRESS-2, the CYBERBIOTICS airship. Marshall had hoped to get an interview with the reclusive head of Cyberbiotics, HALCYON RENARD, but has to settle for Renard's right-hand man VOGEL. Fox watches all this with some interest.
2. Out at the airfield, Marshall, a tough journalist, questions the wisdom and expense of Fortress-2, particularly since FORTRESS-ONE crashed into the river last year. Vogel counters that the cause of that crash was an act of corporate espionage that was only successful thanks to human error on the part of Fortress-One's crew. Fortress-2 is fully automated, run by patented CYBOTS. Human error is not possible. No humans aboard at all? After this test flight, human scientists will occupy it's laboratories to research new wonders, but there is no human crew, except for Vogel and Mr. Renard, himself. Marshall asks if it's true that Renard has invested all of his personal fortune into Fortress-2, and that if it doesn't perform both he and Cyberbiotics will be ruined. Vogel has no comment on that, and heads inside the ship.
3. We follow Vogel, as he heads for the command center. Everything is automated, and there are little Cybots everywhere. All with very specific functions. No waste. At the command center, Vogel contacts Renard in his private office, elsewhere on board. Cut briefly to a shadowed Renard hovering in his ultra-chair, watching Vogel on a vid-screen. Renard gives permission to launch.
4. Fortress-2 launches. Huge turbines and compressors roar. And GOLIATH and ELISA watch from a nearby roof or hilltop. Goliath claims to be here because he is concerned that XANATOS might attempt to attack this ship, just as he tricked Goliath into attacking the first one. But Elisa probably knows that the air fortress is a symbol of Goliath's own guilt -- a guilt that Goliath has yet to come to terms with. Goliath decides to follow the airship, just to be safe.
5. In the air above Manhattan, a cybot alerts Vogel to their pursuer [Goliath]. Vogel informs Renard. Renard says Vogel knows what to do. (It doesn't hurt if we briefly misdirect the audience into thinking that Renard is a villain.)
6. Goliath glides a short distance behind the airship. Suddenly, flying cybots swarm out of a Fortress-2 hold. There're not very big, and they have very simple attack programming. They fire medium strength stun bolts and they miss more often than they hit. Goliath can swat them away easily. Clearly, these cybots don't seem to be on a par with Xanatos' STEEL CLAN. But if results are what counts, they turn out to be superior. There are just too many of the little things. No matter how many Goliath trashes, there are more coming at him. They hover, which Goliath can't do. And eventually, the stun beams add up. Finally, he gets hit with a barrage of them and passes out. Two larger cybots are waiting to catch him and bring him into the airship. (Let's consistently depict the cybots as mono-functional. Each model capable of doing only one thing.)
7. Inside the airship, Goliath regains consciousness in the brig. The bars on the cell might be bendable for Goliath, but he is forced back by Cybot guards with built-in cattle prods. Vogel is there, and a large metal pneumatic door slides open to finally reveal Halcyon Renard. He floats in on his hover chair. He has silver hair and a very sharp mind -- but he is definitely not "robust and vital".
Renard hovers around Goliath, sizing him up. "So this is what the boys at Gen-U-Tech have been up to. Xanatos must be very proud." Goliath responds that he is neither Gen-U-Tech's creation nor Xanatos'. Renard laughs. Goliath demands to know why he is being held prisoner. "Because if you're my prisoner, than I know you can't destroy Fortress-2 for your master." Goliath: "I have no master." "No? Then why did you do this?" Renard flicks a remote button on his chair, and the walls slide back to reveal a large screen. Another button, and video clips from "Awakening, Parts IV and V" show Goliath's participation in the destruction of Fortress-One. Chastened, Goliath tries to explain that he had been duped by Xanatos: "It wasn't my fault." But Renard doesn't let up: "It's not my fault. It's not my fault. You sound like all my human employees. My former human employees. Crush them all together and you couldn't squeeze an ounce of personal integrity from the lot of them. Don't make excuses, creature! Take responsibility for your actions! Stop whining!"
"I DO NOT WHINE," says Goliath, as he rips the bars off his cell and uses them to smash his cybot guards. But Renard doesn't even flinch. "You don't whine, but you also don't hesitate to destroy more of my personal property." He presses another button, and two stun cannons on his chair blast at Goliath until he is knocked out again.
Vogel apologizes. "All my fault, sir. I'll make sure he can't get out of the next cell." We see that Renard respects Vogel for taking the blame. A cybot informs Vogel that he has an incoming personal call. Renard exits, not wanting to impose on Vogel's privacy.
As Cybots drag the unconscious Goliath away, Vogel turns to a vid-screen and activates it. Reveal Fox on the other end. Is it safe to talk? Mr. Renard always respects my privacy. Is Vogel ready to sabotage Fortress-2? He is if the money's been deposited in his Swiss Bank Account. All taken care of. Vogel: "Then we're ready. And the good news is..." He looks at Goliath. "We've got a perfect candidate to take the blame."
8. A short time later, Goliath awakens shackled to a wall in a new cell, with MUCH thicker bars, and even more cybot guards. Renard is there in his hover chair, brooding. If only Goliath could make him understand that Xanatos is to blame. But Renard: "Oh, I have no doubt of that. You aren't the first poor soul Xanatos has corrupted. Owen Burnett. Anton Sevarius. They both were Cyberbiotics employees... and they're the least of what that viper has stolen from me. I've no doubt he was behind the attack and no reason to doubt that he tricked you into participating." But if that's so, than why does Renard hold Goliath responsible? "Someone has to. And you obviously don't." It doesn't matter to Renard whose idea it was. It doesn't matter whether Goliath believed he was doing the right thing. Now he knows the truth. What's he going to do about it? Goliath grimly rattles his chains, then says, "I think a better question might be, what are you going to do about it."
9. Xanatos and Fox are working on their Kung Fu at the Eyrie Building. Make a point of showing that they are evenly matched. While they fight, they talk casually. Xanatos: "Weren't you mounting a hostile take-over of Cyberbiotics today? Your not having second thoughts about taking it from old man Renard?" Before she can answer, OWEN enters to alert Fox of a phone call from her physician. When Xanatos looks concern, she misinterprets and tells him not to worry: Cyberbiotics will be hers before morning. And as she says hello into the phone, we cut...
10. In the command center, Vogel instructs a random cybot to shut down for repairs. When it does, he opens it up and installs a chip into it's programming matrix. Then he reactivates the cybot, but when it turns on, an arc of electricity flashes around it, briefly. Vogel taps it on the head. Off you go.
11. Goliath and Renard are still talking practical philosophy. Renard has been brooding over the question of what to do with Goliath. He's trying to decide what the honorable thing would be. He'll probably just turn him over to the authorities. Goliath is aghast. "Look at me, human. Is that an equitable punishment? Was my crime against you heinous enough to justify turning me into a laboratory specimen?" Renard smiles. "Well, we're making progress. You've finally acknowledged that you committed a crime."
12. Elsewhere on the ship, the first cybot that Vogel infected passes another cybot. The same arc of electricity shoots out of the second 'bot. Then both 'bots move off and infect two more...and so on... and so on... and so on...
On Vogel's read-out screen, the percentage of cybots infected keeps rising. 13%... 27%... 32%...
13. Goliath eyes Renard. Almost despite himself, Goliath is beginning to regard the man with a grudging respect. "All right. I've admitted I was wrong. No more excuses. Now what?" But Renard doesn't have any easy answers for him. "Integrity is not easy. It is a daily struggle. A costly struggle. If you only knew what it cost me. My Anastasia. My Janine." Goliath lowers his head, "...my angel..." Renard looks at him closely. "So you do know." Goliath speaks slowly: "I know I owe you a great debt for what I did a year ago. And a greater debt for the education I received tonight. If the text was not new to me, it was at least... worth revisiting."
Now during this entire conversation, a cybot enters and approaches a guard cybot by the door. The guard cybot is infected, and approaches the other cybot by the door and infects it. Neither Goliath nor Renard notice until the cybots flanking Goliath's cell are infected and the arcing electricity catches the attention of both.
14. On Vogel's screen the percentage goes up from 99% to 100%, and "Right on cue" he gets a vid-call from Renard. He affects panic. Somehow that creature in the brig has infected every cybot on board with a computer virus. Renard says, "Nonsense. I've been sitting here talking with him the whole time." Vogel doesn't know how Goliath did it. But the Cybots are not responding to commands. They've set Fortress-2 on a collision course with the CYBERBIOTICS TOWER. They must abandon ship and activate the emergency self-destruct mechanism or both installations will be destroyed, and Cyberbiotics will be history. Renard is beside himself: If Fortress-2 is destroyed than Cyberbiotics is ruined anyway. Vogel shakes his head, flips a switch and a 10 minute time counter appears on the vid-screen. "I'm sorry, sir. You can place the blame on me if you must, but now we have no choice. At our present rate of speed we will hit the tower in ten minutes. You have nine minutes to meet me at the escape pod. After that I will jettison, and use my access code to destroy Fortress-2."
15. Goliath offers to help Renard try to save the ship. Renard is so furious, he's half ready to believe that Goliath was responsible. But Goliath knows that Renard doesn't really believe that. Goliath helped destroy Fortress-One. "Let me help to save Fortress-2." Renard agrees and presses a button on his chair which releases Goliath. The Cybot guards interpret this as an escape attempt. Renard cannot override them. But between Goliath and Renard's hover-chair, they manage to destroy the cybot guards. They leave the brig. The seconds tick away.
16. Vogel monitors them from the comfortable escape pod. He can't believe the old fool is going to try to save the ship. Why doesn't he just admit defeat and head for the escape pod? Vogel's made sure that route is clear of cybots. He'll just have to discourage anymore heroics. He orders all the cybots to kill the creature and drive Renard toward the pod. (Note: he does NOT want to kill Renard.)
17. Now every cybot on the ship is against Goliath and Renard. The little flying ones that knocked Goliath out in the first place. The big ones that carried him inside. More cattle-prod guard 'bots. Zippy little messenger 'bots. Maintenance 'bots. All of them. The good news is that in the airship's small corridors, there are only so many that can go at our heroes at once. But the situation is intolerable. They can't destroy the 'bots one at a time. They need to cut off power to all the cybots at once. And it's possible. There's a power station at the center of the ship that transmits power to all the cybots. But if they destroy that then they destroy the cybots that pilot the ship. There won't be time to get to the power station, shut it off and then go to the bridge. They have to split up. And time is ticking away. And the Tower gets closer and closer.
18. Intercut between Goliath fighting his way to the power station; Renard fighting his way to the bridge, and Vogel getting very nervous in the escape pod. [Turns out that even Vogel didn't know how much the old guy had grown on him. Destroying his empire is one thing. But Vogel is no killer. He doesn't want Renard's death on his conscience. And/or he had explicit instructions from Fox that Renard not be killed.] And time is ticking away. And the Tower gets closer and closer.
19. Goliath gets to the power station and destroys it. All the 'bots shut down. But time is ticking away. And the Tower gets closer and closer.
20. With the cybots down, Renard is able to zoom the rest of the way to the bridge quickly. He puts Fortress-2 on manual override, but time has passed the nine minute mark. The tower looms right in front of him and navigation and the helm are located on two different consoles. At the last second, Vogel appears and between the two of them, they are able to turn the ship away from the tower and save it.
21. Aftermath between Renard and Goliath. At first, Renard is bitter. Vogel has confessed his betrayal. Further proof that the human species is devoid of integrity. But Goliath disagrees. Vogel's example hardly proves the wisdom of putting one's trust in single-minded automatons. Automatons are tools. They know nothing of honor or betrayal. They do what they are programmed to do. But a living being knows nothing of programming. A living being must choose. And, ultimately, Vogel chose honor.
Renard lets all that sink in. He's got a lot to think about, but one thing he knows is that Goliath has paid his debt. A ship for a ship. Renard: "We are even." But Goliath: "No... We are friends."
22. Goliath soars off into the night. And he doesn't notice a small hang-glider land on the now defenseless airship behind him. The newcomer abandons the glider and tosses a cloudy ball against the metal hull. The ball shatters and a corrosive substance is released that quickly burns a hole in the hull. The stranger enters the airship, and as she does, we finally get a look at her. It is Fox.
23. Back in Renard's office. He sits in his chair. Quietly. Fox enters behind him, and for a moment we think she's there as an assassin. But he seems to be expecting her. "Hello, Janine," he says. "Hello, Daddy," she replies. "I almost got you that time." "Yes, but why? I built this company for you. I'd have given it to you by now if you hadn't married that villain Xanatos. I'd still probably give it to you if you just stood up and asked me for it honestly." "Oh, Daddy. You and your integrity. Asking for it wouldn't be any fun at all." Renard: "And fun is more important to you than honor. I can't understand that." Fox: "Well, maybe you'll have better luck with the next generation." Renard: "What?" Fox: "That's right, Daddy. You're going to be a grandfather."