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The Phoenix Gate

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Gargoyles protect...

In our next document, Kat Fair was clearly given the assignment of pulling all our various threads together, yet what I find the most interesting is my own handwritten note about gargoyles being protectors but being treated like dogs. That was me returning to the series key idea. But we weren't quite there yet:

NOV 20 1991
[My handwritten notes are in brackets.]

[I wrote "Protectors -- treated like dogs" across the top of the page.]

Fair 11/20/91

Long afar and way ago gargoyles were disgusting but necessary things. They were kind of like messy flying watchdogs with an aberrant sense of humor. No one really liked them much, but they were a necessary evil because they chased away nasty evil things that would come into town. In their own way, they helped keep the peace, although they were anything but peaceful.

Finally, the evil Sorceress Morgan had enough. There was a particularly annoying group of gargoyles who were spoiling too much of her fun. She enchants some talismans and tricks the gargoyles into wearing them. No sooner are the talismans around their necks than the mischievous gargoyles turn into nasty monsters, bent on destruction. Gleefully, Sorceress Morgan harnesses them to her chariot and sets about wreaking havoc on the countryside.

When good Wizard Xavier hears about this, he takes immediate action. In a confrontation with Morgan, he turns the gargoyles upside down in a monsoon. The talismans fall from their necks and into his hands. He quickly banishes the talismans across the sea (around Manhattan.) Meanwhile, the gargoyles instantly transform into their pesky selves again, furious with Morgan, whom they unceremoniously dump. Then they start fighting with each other. Accusations fly as they blame each other for falling for Morgan's trick.

*Xavier's trying to referee as the gargoyles almost come to blows, so no one sees Morgan sneaking up. She's battered, humiliated and pissed off. At the last moment, Xavier deflects her spell to zap the gargoyles into oblivion. Instead, the fighting gargoyles are frozen in sleep for 1000 years.


*Battered and humiliated, Morgan returns to her castle to plot revenge. Knowing the gargoyles can't resist a party, she sends them an invitation to a gala to be held in their honor, as an apology for all the trouble she's caused them. The gargoyles are suspicious, but talk themselves into being magnanimous and accepting her apology. Once there, the gargoyles have the time of their life, singing, dancing and drinking Morgan's 'special' spiked punch, which puts them asleep for 1000 years. Gleefully, in the dead of night, Morgan puts them over the gates of Xavier's castle. Xavier is horrified and saddened by what has happened to the gargoyles, but there's nothing he can do to counter the spell. [I crossed out "spell" and wrote "drug". Then I crossed out "drug" and wrote "potion".]

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Another trip to the drawing board...

Obviously, after showing Gary and Bruce our development in September of 1991, we were sent back to the drawing board to rework our backstory a bit. I'm not sure why anymore. The old one seems much cleaner than what we have here.

Anyway, the way I worked things back then was to have big brain-storming meetings with my staff. We'd all talk out ideas. Reach a general consensus, and then I'd assign Development Associates to write up what we discussed. What follows is the combined work of Kat Fair (I think) and Fred Schaefer. Kat was given the assignment to write up the tenth century backstory. Fred was given the assignment to write up the awakening in the twentieth century. Kat tried two different approaches (A and B) both of which lead into "Fred's outline". At that time, I clearly favored the notion that Xavier's ancestor was good and Morgan's evil. That way we could have a nice flip on the gargoyles and the audience's expectations when we got to the twentieth centuries.

Fred's outline changes Morgan's job (for the first time) to cop. Actually the Police Commissioner. (Elisa winding up a detective ends up being quite the step down.)


NOV 14 1991
[My handwritten notes in brackets.]


A. Gargoyles were put to sleep by the evil wizard for revenge when the good wizard got the talismans.

Once upon a time gargoyles were good citizens whose main job was to fly about stopping evil-doers. They were loyal to Good Wizard Morgan (BSF), who cared for them. Everyone loved the gargoyles except Evil Wizard Xavier (WSM). The gargoyles were-always spoiling his fun, so he invented some evil talismans. When he put these around the gargoyles necks, they became evil, too, and obeyed his every command. The good people were terrified, and begged the Good Wizard Morgan to do something. Morgan warned them that a direct confrontation might mean the destruction of the gargoyles, not to mention damage to their town and possible loss of life. So, knowing the gargoyles couldn't resist a party, he and the townspeople organized a big celebration to lure the gargoyles to the town. While the gargoyles were singing and dancing, Morgan cast a nap spell, which made the gargoyles fall asleep and turn to stone, as sleeping gargoyles do. As soon as they were asleep, the townspeople quickly removed the talismans, and Morgan banished the amulets to a secret place. But before Morgan -could wake the gargoyles, Xavier came, furious that his gargoyles had been stolen. He was even angrier when he saw that the talismans were gone. The gargoyles would be no use to him now, and would become the annoying things they had been before, thwarting his evil plans. If Morgan and the townspeople wanted them asleep,then asleep they'd be. Before Morgan could stop him, Xavier zapped the gargoyles into a 1000 year sleep. . Furious Morgan threw Xavier to the other side of the ocean. [I wrote "Not necessary" by this sentence.] The townspeople, saddened by the loss of their friends, carried the stone gargoyles from the square. They hoisted them onto their favorite perch, above the gate to Morgan's castle, where they remained until they woke up 1000 years later in NYC. [Next to this paragraph, I wrote "Flip Evil Morgan Good Xavier in Back story".]

The last thing the gargoyles remember was being at a party. And wasn't it in their honor? And wasn't Morgan there? Morgan was the only one at the party with enough clout to put them asleep for so long. Boy, you'd think he'd forgive them for what they did when they were Xavier's slaves. The gargoyles can't agree what to do next. Coco wants to find Morgan, Amp tells her she's stupid - Morgan is long gone. Accusations fly as to who got tricked into wearing the talismans to begin with, and who just had to go to the party, anyway. They all fly off in separate directions, never wanting to see each other again. (see Fred's outline)

B. Gargoyles were put to sleep by the good wizard when the evil wizard controlled them through-their talismans.

Long ago and far away gargoyles were disgusting but necessary things. They were kind of like messy flying dogs with an aberrant sense of humor. No one really liked them much, but they were tolerated because they chased away vagrant evil spirits looking for work.

In a small town outside Paris, the evil wizard [I wrote "sorcerous" above the word wizard, but I think I meant "sorceress"] Morgan (BSF) [I put a question mark next to "BSF", but I now realize it means Black Single Female] thinks she could use some of these gargoyles for her own mischief, and decides to unionize the few that guard her town. She tells them they aren't getting the respect they deserve, the townspeople aren't paying them enough for the work they do. What's a few measly scraps and all the stale crepes you can eat when you are literally putting your life on the line every day? The gargoyles had never really thought about it before, but it sounds right. Morgan suggests they come to work for her. She'll feed them, give them uniforms, and make them the most respected flying force in the land. And as a gesture of good faith, she offers them matching medallions, with a new crest of their own imprinted on them. Soon everyone will know and fear - um, love - this crest. Their feats will be heralded far and wide. If they don't like working for her, they can always quit, no hard feelings. The gargoyles try on their medallions. Pretty cool. They feel different already. But when Morgan gives her first order, which is to harness themselves to her chariot, they balk - with surprising results. The medallions burn and hurt! [I wrote: "Not evil. Just forced. We want to see them as gleefully evil w/med. on"] Laughing maniacally, Morgan tells them they are now under her control, and must obey her. The amulets directly connect Morgan to them. The gargoyles valiantly try to remove the medallions, but it's no use. They get into the harness, prodded by the amulets when they move too slow. Off they fly. The wreaking havoc part isn't so bad, it's being at Morgan's beck and call that bugs them. And the food is lousy. [I wrote: "The issue of Morgan-evil etc. is independent of scenario.]

Morgan delights in her new power, and drives the gargoyles unmercifully. Morning, noon, and night, they're out burning down the fields, pillaging villages, and being a general nuisance. Morgan feels confident that she can now take on the Good Wizard--Xavier (WSM), her archnemesis. The gargoyles really don't like this. Xavier's very powerful things could get dangerous. Morgan hitches up the gargoyles and sneaks to Xavier's castle. But the gargoyles are fed up. They're tired of Morgan. If she beats Xavier, the country will be at her mercy - and she has no mercy. At the hottest moment in the heat of the battle, they freeze. In a flash, Morgan screams, the medallions burn, the gargoyles hang tough. Xavier sees his chance, zaps a spell at Morgan, who deflects it onto the gargoyles, turning them all to stone! [I wrote "sleep" here by the word stone. And I also wrote "messy" next to the whole sentence.] Xavier overcomes Morgan and banishes her to a land across the sea. In honor of the gargoyles, Xavier has their stone figures mounted on his castle-above the gate. There they stay until they wake up in NYC 1000 years later. (See Fred's outline)


The Movie in the Series:

1) Gargoyles wake up in Manhattan; they argue amongst themselves about who was responsible for their falling into Sidero's trap (and hence the 1000 year sleep) . Their argument is so-heated, they take off in different directions, furious with one another. [I crossed out "Sidero" and wrote "Evil Morgan".]

But not without being witnessed by some New Yorkers.

2) Newspapers report on the recent sightings of gargoyles flying between the buildings. Dismissed as a hoax.

3) Sidero's modern heir, Xaxier, sees a television news broadcast about the sightings and immediately knows what's happened. He plans to catch them with the talisman and make them his slaves.

4) Meanwhile, the gargoyles are off separately causing mischief.

5) Ralph and Pandora run into each other. Ralph tries to make-up with her, but she's still bitter. In the middle of their argument, Ralph is captured by one of Xaxier's 3-piece suits and taken away screaming. Pandora is horrified and desperately flies off to search for the others.

6) Morgan Reed, Police Chief of New York, throws down a tabloid newspaper that announces the city has been invaded by flying demons. She curses the media. Their crazy stories are disturbing the peace! There are no such things as gar... suddenly, she sees one ... goyles ... sleeping in a corner of her apartment. The gargoyle (AMP) wakes up and they frighten each other. Morgan backs away. It's stress... that's it ... too much stress on the job. [I wrote "Tough to swallow" by this paragraph.]

7) Ah, make that TWO gargoles, because a hysterical Pandora spots Amp and flies into Morgan's apartment, frantically rambling on about Ralph being kidnapped; the talisman; the possible evil transformation of Ralph, etc. They must find the remaining gargoyles (Lassie and Coco) before Xaxier does!

Morgan doesn't know what to make of all this. All she knows is that the Police Chief of New York can't say she's seen (much less, spoken with) a gargoyle! Reluctantly, she offers to help them out. ("Now what's this about a talisman?")

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The following was our first attempt (in September of '91 -- NINE YEARS AGO!!!) to write a pitch to sell our new Gargoyles comedy-adventure show to our higher ups (Michael Eisner, Rich Frank and Jeffrey Katzenberg). This isn't necessarily the version they saw, however. First Kat Fair and I had to get it past our TV Animation bosses: Bruce Cranston and Gary Krisel. This is the version that went to them for approval. The phrases in parentheses describe the visual on the art cards we used. The words that follow are the "script" of the pitch. What I would say as I flipped the cards and showed the pictures. Most, if not all, of this art was drawn by Bob Kline, who was Development Art Director at that time. (I wish I had that art now.)

For those of you who have been to the Gathering and seen the final pitch of the Drama version of the show we all know and love, you'll recognize verbal echoes of that pitch here in this first one. Phrases like "there was a better place for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Europe [or Scotland]" and "lock, stock and gargoyle" made it all the way from this pitch to the last. (And sometimes even into the series itself.)

Other points of interest:
--Morgan's last name is now Reed (a surname we eventually gave to Maggie the Cat), and she's now a second grade teacher and amateur acheologist. This was done to give her and our 'goyles ready access to kids.
--Xavier is now Xavier's FIRST name, which I had forgotten about.
--Amp, though he still looks more like Lex, is now firmly Brooklynian.
--Coco, though still female, is very Broadway.
--For some reason, I was spelling DeMona, with a capital M in the middle. I have no memory of that either.
--And I had completely forgotten about Xanatos' multi-racial "suits", though they were clearly the origin of both his "Goon Squad" and the Steel Clan.

Anyway, here it is:

(Weisman/Fair: 9/17/91)

#1. (Three stone gargoyles.)

We all think we know what GARGOYLES are. Ugly, stone creatures squatting on the roofs of old buildings. But have we ever asked how they got that way?

Well, one thousand years ago, Gargoyles were mischievous, troublemakers, driving us humans up the wall.

#2. (Medieval LORD XAVIER of Glint.)

Particularly this human--LORD XAVIER of Glint, who decided he'd had just about enough of their destructive fun and games...

#3. (Lord Xavier drugging the 'goyles.)

So he threw them a party complete with ice cream, cake...and punch, spiked with a sleeping potion guaranteed to last a millennium!

And because Gargoyles automatically turn to stone when they fall asleep...

#4. (The Castle.)

He used them to decorate his castle, where they stayed for a thousand years.

#5. (XAVIER.)

Until his great-great-great-great-great-grandson, XAVIER GLINT, the President of Xavier Enterprises, decided there was a better place for a medieval castle than a picturesque hill in Europe.

#6. (Castle on the skyscraper, up-angle.)

He moved the whole place--lock, stock and gargoyle--to the top of his personal headquarters in Manhattan...just cuz he felt like it.

#7. (The six stone gargoyles.)

But as the castle settled, things got unsettled. The gargoyles...

#8. (The 'goyles stir.)

...woke up!

#9. (The 'goyles wake up.)

They've been sleeping for a thousand years...

#10. (The 'goyles rise and shine.)

...and now they're ready to PARTY!!

#11. (National Enquirer headline:"Gargoyles alive in NYC!")

Now, that may all sound pretty far-fetched, but this is the kind of world that only the National Enquirer could love. The public may not be able to decide whether the Gargoyles are a new urban myth or a full-on media hoax...

#12. (AMP flying.)

But the Gargoyles know they're real enough, and just as prone to trouble as they ever were.

#13. (Four-pose Amp composite.)

Particularly AMP. Trouble used to be his middle name--his last name, too. It's not that he's bad, he's just easily tempted by...well, uh, temptation!

Fortunately, this self-proclaimed leader has no ready followers. All the Gargoyles are too busy having fun to obey orders.

#14. (Four-pose COCO composite.)

Take Coco, for example. This female John Belushi has the soul of a dancer and the grace of a rhinoceros. She's always up for adventure in this brave, new, 20th Century world.

#15. (Five-pose PANDORA composite.)

Then there's PANDORA. The sneakiest of the 'goyles. I wouldn't exactly say she's a pathological liar, just a born actress who loves to improvise.

#16. (Four-pose LASSIE composite.)

And LASSIE. (He picked his own name.) Loyal, goofy and easily distracted, Lassie's just as likely to be fascinated with the villain's shoelaces as with his ray gun.

#17. (Four-pose RALPH composite.)

Finally, there's RALPH, who thinks adventure is a great thing to watch on television. He's a couch potato kind of gargoyle, who keeps the home fires burning...

#18. (MORGAN.)

...Which isn't always good news if you're MORGAN REED, a second grade teacher and amateur archeologist who's befriended the Gargoyles. She tries to take care of them, keep 'em fed and gives them a place to stay.

#19. ('goyles causing trouble in Morgan's apartment.)

Sometimes to her regret.

#20. (Longshot of castle-scraper.)

Still, it's better than where they used to live. Not that the location was bad, just the landlord...

#21. (Two-pose composite of Xavier looking oily.)

Our old pal, Xavier. This guy makes Gordon Gecko look like Santa Claus. Greed isn't just good, it's GREAT!!

#22. (Xavier admiring his race car.)

Whether it's gold bullion, a race car or a castle on a skyscraper, this is a guy used to getting what he wants...

#23. (Xavier burned by his race car.)

...Prone to getting what he deserves.

#24. (Three-pose composite of Xavier looking frustrated, shocked and angry.)

But now, he's set his sights on the one prize money can't buy--Immortality. If the gargoyles can live a 1000 years, so can he.

#25. (Xavier, OWEN, DeMONA and the SUITS.)

So with help from OWEN, his aardvark aide-de-camp, DeMONA, the one bad apple in the Gargoyle bunch, and his Cadre of muscular 3-piece suits, Xavier's out to steal every magical totem he can find.

#26. (Conflict card: Xavier & DeMona vs. the 'goyles.)

And only the Gargoyles can stop him.

#27. ('goyles save copter.)

You see, the Gargoyles are determined to make up for all the trouble they caused a thousand years ago. This time they wanna be the good guys.

#28. (GARGOYLES cast/title card.)

Trouble is, when you're one of the GARGOYLES, making trouble is so darn much fun.

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THE LOST CAUSE DIAMOND (and other stories...)

Another old document from the file. This one doesn't have a name or a date attached. Kat Fair, maybe? It's certainly from this September 1991 era that we've been exploring recently. I don't have any specific memories of these stories, but they obviously served to plant seeds for things that would surface later. Xavier's quest for BIG DIAMONDS and IMMORTALITY surfaces. Amp (half Lex, half Brooklyn) wants to do a little joy-riding. You get the idea.

seeds... seeds....



The Lost Cause Diamond has been... misplaced. And the museum wants to keep it quiet. Knowing that Xavier has always coveted it, Morgan manuvers [sic] to get assigned to retrieve the jewel before he finds out it's up for grabs. Unfortunately, Lassie accidentally spills the beans. Xavier and his crew trail Morgan, planning to let her do all the work, and then snatch the diamond from her. When Lassie takes off to rectify his mistake, the rest of the gargoyles soon realize things are too quiet around the house. They are horrified to discover Xavier is after Morgan - and she's only got Lassie to protect her! They're off to the rescue, making more trouble than Morgan and Lassie can possibly handle.


Xavier has always been fascinated by immortality. It's the one thing his money can't buy. Hoping to impress her boss, Demona pretends to know the hiding place of the last Flaming Zealot, who holds the secret to immortality. Amp and the other gargoyles try to foil her plans and protect the ancient and sacred FZ, who, it turns out, can protect its own nasty self from Xavier, them, and everyone else.


Amp has pushed one too many of Pandora's buttons in the right sequence, and she's mad. Meanwhile, Xavier is preparing for the unveiling of his new Omnitrans. Amp sneaks in for a look, but can't resist test driving the one of-a-kind car. He returns it, but the next morning it's gone! Xavier is furious to find his car is missing, and accuses Morgan, who is arrested. Pandora confesses that she hid it, hoping to get Amp in trouble, but now it's not where she left it! The gargoyles turn the city upside down to get the car back before Morgan is put in jail.

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Dakota's out. Demona's in.

A couple of new memos today. The first seems to be something that I more or less dictated to intern Regina Dixon during a meeting that took place in September 1991. Here you can see that Dakota has been removed as the leader, mostly for being too intense and serious for a comedy show.

In the second memo, which I'm only guessing was written by Kat Fair, Dakota has finally become a power-hungry Demona. She starts out as their leader, but when they won't do things her way, she teams up with Xavier. No pathos, but the early stirrings of the character.

You may also notice that I resisted the notion of "Gargoyles Protecting" for the comedy version of the series. It was inherent in the idea, but I felt for a comedy, I wanted them to have a more party-garg impulse. Protecting was NOT second nature, it would have to be something they learned -- reluctantly. I wasn't looking for NOBILITY. I was looking for jokes.


Notes from Meeting 9/6/91

Backstory - MORGAN and XAVIER

MORGAN and XAVIER are business partners. Their relationship goes way back to when they were kids and ran a lemonade stand together. Xavier financed it, and when Morgan starts giving away peanut butter crackers, business really booms. Even so, money's no substitute for Xavier's cheating ways. Morgan catches him watering down the lemonade, and overcharging people. Morgan tries to get Xavier to see they're already making lots of money, and cheating isn't necessary, but Xavier just doesn't get it.

Morgan continues to be the thorn in Xavier's side as their partnership grows and changes from lemons, to high-tech aerospace and engineering. Although they're intellectual equals, Morgan continues to outdo Xavier with her ingenious inventions. This is the last straw. Xavier's so fed up with Morgan always outshining him, and standing in the way of his evil schemes -- he cheats her out of every penny she's earned.

Now ousted from the company, Morgan is angry and vows revenge on Xavier. Soon she realizes by competing on his terms, she'll become just like him.

So Morgan retreats to her modest brownstone to collect her thoughts. To make ends meet, she'll have to take in a few boarders. A family (like the Muddlefoots) move in.

In addition to boarders, Morgan's helicopter will help her earn money and help combat Xavier's evil schemes whenever and wherever she can.

Morgan accesses the positives in her new situation: - she can now be her own woman
- she can go back to doing the things she loves
(inventing, flying aircraft, mechanical tinkering)
- she'll no longer be partners with the devil
- rather than be a victim, she can fight Xavier's schemes at every turn

As for the Gargoyles... there is no real leader as such, but AMP acts as De facto in command most times.

Except for LASSIE, and sometimes COCOA, no one is accustomed to following orders. Which means Morgan has her hands full trying to lead this motley crew.


SEP 10 1991
[Greg's 1991 handwritten notes in brackets and quotation marks.]


Once upon a time there were millions ["well, thousands"] of gargoyles, whose main job was to protect and serve. [Strangely, I crossed out "main job was to protect and serve" and wrote "No" beside it.] This was before dogs got the job, and it was because of the gargoyles' tendency to be just a little bit too smarty pants [I underlined "just a little bit too smarty pants" and wrote "Not strong enough".] that the humans finally got fed up and eliminated them in various human ways.

Our gargoyles came from Oldenberg,- a small Prussian town that no longer- exists, having been destroyed in various human ways during WWI. But about 900 years before that, [I crossed out this paragraph up to this point and wrote "Distracting".] Demona was the top gargoyle in the village, with aspirations to supervise greater realms, maybe even going as far as the next town. Her minions were many, her top aides Amp and Pandora. As a group, gargoyles aren't of the "herd" persuasion, which means orders have a 50/50 chance of being carried out. Gargoyles tend to improvise, make an assignment their own, and get sidetracked and bored pretty easily. Demona didn't have the motivational management skills needed to keep her crew in line - Pat Riley would have had a hard time with this group. Left to their own devices, the gargoyles were everywhere they weren't wanted, wreaking minor but very annoying havoc. [I wrote "light" beside this section. And, no, I no longer know what that note was supposed to mean.] They'd spill the milk, ruin the bread, sour the beer, steal the shoes put out for the elves to repair, etc. And they had the most annoying habit of laughing hysterically as they hovered overhead when their latest prank was discovered. The final straw was when they ran all the sheep through town.

So when the Oldenbergians decided to throw a big party to thank the gargoyles for their hard work, and Demona warned that it was all a trick, having been alerted by a minor kitchen gargoyle, not one gargoyle in all of Oldenberg listened, and they all wound up heavily sedated by the spiked punch. [I wrote "Why" by this sentence. But I was an executive then.] And when gargoyles sleep, they turn to stone. Demona was the last to fall. She'd been tied up and dipped into the punch bowl by a cheering crowd of humans.

Once assured that all the gargoyles were dead asleep, the townspeople then didn't know what to do with them, but finally decided they might make nice decorations. Some were placed as gateposts, others made handy hat racks in the local taverns, or were used as planters in the local gardens. A nice grouping was made over the castle gates, with Demona, Amp, and Pandora (and Lassie, Ralph, and Coco, who were just laying around extra.) The grouping served as inspiration for the townspeople in years to come, having proved to themselves that they could handle their own problems, and giving them the confidence they needed to go out and enslave their neighbors. [Next to this section, I wrote "Used to scare off minor". Minor what? Who knows?]

And so they slept. And slept. And slept. Until, just as the crane was lowering the castle onto the top of Xavier's tower, a pesky fly landed on the crane operator's nose, causing him to sneeze, which caused the castle to be placed just a little harder than planned, which finally woke up our gang.

Once awake, Demona-and the group hid out for awhile. This obviously wasn't Kansas anymore, Toto. Their cautious first forays into their new world brought wonderful new discoveries - like ice cream, TV, cars, Xerox machines, Nikes. It also gave them a chance to think about how they got there. While-Demona was drawn to Xavier and the power that he commanded, the other five decided there was too much fun to be had exploring this new world. They liked it here and wanted to stay. Maybe if they didn't cause so much trouble, no one would put them to sleep again. Demona didn't care if these puny gargoyles couldn't see the potential in siding with the brilliant and omnipotent Xavier. Let them go off on their own. Xavier promised things beyond her wildest imaginings. She'd follow her dream- head of the largest security force in the world.

[Below the memo, I wrote "1000 YEAR PUNCH". Which still sounds cool to me.]

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Morgan starts to morph...


The following document from the old development file was written by Kat Fair to myself and Art Director Bob Kline. There's no date on this one, but I'm guessing it's from early September 1991. Morgan (Elisa) is changing from an archaeologist type to an engineer (the first change of many) and is being given a personal gripe against Xavier (Xanatos). This is the first of many career changes for the young lady.

Mr. Owen, the clumsy soon-to-be-aardvark precursor to Owen Burnett is hanging around too.

Greg and Bob:

I really didn't mean to do this from Morgan's point of view - it just came out that way. I hope this is what you were looking for, Greg. I sure had fun. I realize none of this will ever be used, unless we go to a prequel Movietoon for the series, but it might start and settle some discussion on these two base characters.



Ever since Morgan was a child, she's been what her father called a "tinkerer." When she was three, she fixed her first toaster. (To this day, when she's worried or upset, she starts tinkering with her toaster, or any other appliance that's handy.) When she was 9, she broke her arm testing her new invention, the Human Kite. Unfortunately, the proper materials weren't available, and she had to use an inferior substitute. Tin foil doesn't hold up as well as mylar. Her first date was a disaster. When the car broke down, she fixed it. Her first human love ended with bittersweet goodbyes when the Arco station closed, and her young mechanic moved on to oilier fields.

Morgan has always risen like a phoenix from the ashes in her life. With her trunks stuffed with blue prints, and her head filled with dreams and new ideas, Morgan started looking for a job with the largest aerodynamics corporation around, X Co. Rejected there, she quickly worked her way down to a small cargo company, who hired her as a mechanic, with permission to use the shop in her off hours. Always adept with mechanical things, Morgan soon learned to operate and repair every moving thing in the company - trucks, forklifts, small planes, cargo planes, helicopters. She finally completed the prototype for her lightweight engine, and was quickly swept up in a tornado of corporate bids for its exclusive use.

Although astonished at the money she was being offered, Morgan didn't jump at the first offer she got. She enjoyed being courted and dined and flattered. Each new meeting and meal brought bigger and bigger promises of a bright and financially secure future. Finally, the really big guns called. A Mr. Owen from X Co sent a limo to bring her to Mr. Xavier's penthouse offices in the internationally famous Castle X. Wow! X Co - the biggest, most prestigious aerodynamics corporation in the world! Everyone knew who X Co was. They built practically everything that moved in the world - jets, cruisers, missiles, satellites, space shuttles, even race cars and automobiles. With promises of being able to oversee the entire production of the lightweight engine, and, most importantly, approval on all its applications, plus her own research lab to continue work on her inventions, Morgan decided to go into business with the famous Mr. Xavier of X Co He seemed a little slimy, but with his entire company almost at her disposal, and control over the lightweight engine's applications, she felt she could keep a handle on her inventions.

Of course, from the very first day, nothing went right. She'd never had so many failures. First the Frictionless Fulcrum project ignited, and the plans for the lightweight engine were lost in the lab fire. As she struggled to redesign them, her other projects fell behind schedule, which Xavier patiently excused. Finally, Xavier called her into his office and sadly told her "it just wasn't working out" and he must regretfully terminate their business relationship. Her continued failures just made it too expensive (and too embarrassing) to keep her. Naturally, he wouldn't breathe a word of her failure to anyone else, and would help her find another position. Dejectedly, she signed her resignation.

As she was packing up her lab (and her toaster), shy Mr. Owen came by to wish her well. He'd always expressed an interest in her projects, which seemed to go beyond just keeping tabs for Xavier, and they found they shared a common interest in computers. Unfortunately, as she cried into his handkerchief about her failures, Owen let slip that all her setbacks weren't really her fault, and that he was looking at the plans on the lightweight engine just the other day and commenting to Mr. X on just how brilliant they were. Oops. Suddenly Owen was up against the wall, looking into the eyes of a very angry female. Owen wasn't up to the tapdance necessary to fool Morgan, who stormed into Xavier's office, demanding an explanation and the plans - yes, those plans spread out on his desk!

Cooly, Xavier told her exactly what had been going on over the past few months, and how she had played right into his ingenious plan. When he first heard of the lightweight engine, he had his henchmen find out all they could about her - how she broke her arm when she was 9, her first love, her penchant for repairing toasters when under stress anything and everything so he could make her an offer he knew she wouldn't refuse, but give him access to all of her inventions - especially the lightweight engine. Under his orders, Owen sabotaged each of her experiments, although Xavier had reserved the fun of igniting the Frictionless Fulcrum for himself while Owen was busy sneaking the plans out of the lab and making it look like they had been burned in the fire. And now all her ideas and work were his, everything she had brought to X Co, to do with as he pleased. Her initial agreement stated all ideas and work performed during her employment were the exclusive property of X Co, and now that she was officially gone, those properties were officially his.

Morgan realized she was beat. Calmly, she rose, told him she would never forget him, emptied his coffee cup on the plans, and with a withering glance to the cringing Owen, left the room.

Despite Xavier's attempts to discredit her, she got her old job back with the cargo company, flying exotic freight to exotic and not so exotic places. And she takes every opportunity she can to aggravate, annoy, badger, exasperate, irk, vex, peeve, and provoke X Co.

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Interns again...

Intern Ideas

Continuing our reprinting of old documents from the Gargoyles Development File.

This one was written by Regina Dixon, who was a college intern working at Disney TV Animation for the summer. Refer to previously posted documents to see what she was basing these ideas comedy springboards on.

I hate to say it, but in hindsight this seems like busy work to me. We hadn't even sold the show. We were a long way from needing story ideas. Still, I suppose it was good practice.

For some reason, Regina's ideas didn't post yesterday, so I'm reposting them here along with a set of ideas from our other intern Hoyland Ricks.

July 3, 1991

Story premises for GARGOYLES submitted by H. Ricks
[Greg's handwritten notes in brackets, as usual.]

"Pandora's Box's

Pandora finds an old chest encased in stone in one of the uninspected crevices of the castle, but she doesn't realize that Sidero put it there 500 years ago when he and the gargoyles first lived. Morgan tells Pandora to leave it alone so that she can study it, but Pandora accidentally cracks it open when Morgan is absent. Out of the chest comes an evil assortment of ogres, demons, and/or trolls--all of whom were faithful helpers of Sidero's back in the 15th century. The helpers go out and cause mayhem in the city and try to keep the goyles from interfering with their actions. The helpers take Xavier as a hostage and he is forced to conjure up Sidero. Now, Sid has several workers that are loyal to him and that will carry out his evil plans to rule the world. The goyles trap the helpers in the chest once again. [I wrote "good enough" next to this paragraph.]

"The Amazing Goyles"

Xavier is about to buy a circus from Barnum Dingling, a near-bankrupt circus owner. Everything that Barnum has worked for in his life to create is about to be lost to Xavier--unless he finds a way to bring in sell-out crowds so that he can repay his debts. The gargoyles run into Barnum and he hires them to be in his show--Cocoa on the tightrope, Lassie as a clown, Pandora fire-eating, Dakota taming lions, Amp as the ringmaster, and a terrified Ralph on the trapeze. The goyles turn out to be a hit, saving Barnum from bankruptcy and keeping Xavier from taking away the man's life. [I circled the word "circus", because I knew my boss Gary Krisel hated circus stories.]

"Stargoyles (Second Season)

An evil alien being, Metero, lands on earth with plans to take it over. [I wrote "standard" above this sentence.] Sidero learns of the alien's presence from Xavier. Sid coaxes Xavier to bring Metero to him and Sid allies with the extraterrestrial. The gargoyles become aware of Metero and his plans to rule Earth with Sidero. The goyles surprisingly encounter the Stargoyles who are futuristic alien gargoyles that have travelled to earth to throw a wrench in Metero's plans. [I circled the word "Stargoyles" and wrote "saves it."] The Star- and Gargoyles team up to stop Metero and Sid, and they eventually undermine the evil duo's plans--sending Metero back to his home planet with a sense of frustration.

Story ideas for GARGOYLES
by Regina Dixon
[As usual, my handwritten notes are in brackets.]

"Two Good To Be True"

XAVIER'S long lost identical twin brother XELLENT [I wrote "confused" by this name], shows up on his doorstep with a handful of books and a-family tree. Xavier, thinks he's only after his money. He puts him through various tests and finally brings him to Sidero. Xellent is able to call Sidero forth and Sidero enthuses at the thought of having any other heir besides Xavier. He tells Xellent about the Goyles and sends him to capture one. Xellent watches them play, when he tries to join in, they mistake him for Xavier and run away. They prepare for combat with Xellent. He befriends them and refuses to use his magical powers to harm them. Sidero's delicious delusions of power dissipate when he learns that though Xellent is very bright, he is too kind for words and therefore useless. When Xellent refuses to go along with any of Sidero's schemes he is banished from the castle.

"Goyled Again"

Sidero muses over a book of sorcery, but one ingredient's missing. He sends Xavier and Owen off to get it. Morgan and her class are on a dig in the very area, they leave just as Xavier arrives. Morgan finds what's valuable to Sidero --an amulet. Morgan wants to authenticate her find, but their isn't enough existing data, so she takes it to the Goyles to see if they know what it is. They too recognize it as being evil and valuable to Sidero and urge her to get rid of it. Before she can, Xavier and Owen corner her; only the goyles can save her now. [I wrote "STANDARD" next to this idea.]


RALPH has fallen asleep in front of the t.v. and is discovered by the air-conditioning maintenance man who carts him to his truck. He gives him to his mother in law who he hates. RALPH wakes to the sound of the t.v. thinking he is still at home. He finds himself surrounded by hundreds of t.v.'s. He thinks he's in rerun heaven. Only, the maintenance man makes Ralph help with his home repair business, which keeps Ralph from watching t.v. He rigs up some kind of signal through a television set to the others. They come and break him out. [I wrote "FUNNY" below this idea.]

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Had a good time at the Gargoyles Adult Chatroom the other day, and it got me thinking. Someone named VP (or VJ?) made the point that everything I've done after, well, "The Journey" I guess, is fanfiction. At first, I misunderstood him. For example, I thought he was confusing Katana with Sata. But he made it clear, that he meant the quote-unquote Master Plan. My initial reaction was to balk.

But I think he's got a point.

Some of this stuff was completed while I was still on the Disney Payroll in late '95, early '96, but none of it's canon in my mind. Canon, as far as I'm concerned only includes the 66 episodes running from "Awakening, Part One" through "The Journey". The other 12 Goliath Chronicles are debatable. Because the show ISN'T on the air, I think I personally am free NOT to regard them as canon. If and/or when the show does get going again in some shape or form, then a more definitive decision will have to be made at that point about those additional 12 stories.

But putting Goliath Chronicles (and Marvel Comics and Disney Adventures, etc.) aside for the moment, that still leaves us with what to do about things like:

--"Once Upon a Time There Were Three Brothers..."
--Various ASK GREG and other revelations.
--My further plans for the GARGOYLES main series itself.

Calling the work I've done on any of the above "fanfic" rankles at first, but that's largely a problem of semantics. It certainly isn't canon. At this point, legally, I have no more connection to the GARGOYLES property than any of you do. Plus, as I've said many times before, I won't be held to any of it. Hell, for all you know everything I've revealed is just one big snow-job to keep you from guessing my real plans. (It's not, but it might have been smarter of me if it was.)

I do think I'm something of an authority on the subject of Gargoyles. And I also think that if the show is ever brought back, the PTB at Disney would be likely (at least given current management) to come to me first to try and revive it. Plus I'm actively working on getting the show revived, again "in some shape or form".

But that doesn't change anything regarding the question of canon.

As many of you know, I've been working on a major revision of 2158. This is taking me longer than I thought, because -- and I shouldn't have been surprised by this, but -- it's effecting the ENTIRE chronology of the series. In addition to changing the year (and thus the title) of GARGOYLES 2158, I've already been forced to go back and make adjustments to both DARK AGES and "Once Upon A Time...Three Brothers". I now know that the last posted chapter of three brothers wound up being the last chapter of that little story period. Because "3Bros" really wound up being just a prologue to DARK AGES. And where "3Bros" leaves off is in fact right at the beginning of where DARK AGES begins.

The 2158 revamp has also necessitated minor changes in TimeDancer. And has clarified my thinking on Pendragon and Bad Guys as well.

[Thankfully, none of it has effected the Clan Contest. We should still be able to put that monster to bed soon.]

All this flux has made it difficult for me to keep certain details clear in my head. For example, at that Friday 9/1/00 chat, I revealed that Hudson had two biological children, Hyppolyta and Broadway. That was an error. Hudson had THREE biological children. (I got my dates mixed up.)

I'm hoping that the work I'm doing now will clean a lot of stuff up. I'm hoping that clarity (and my personal certainty) will return. But this flux isn't necessarily a bad thing. I know I screwed up at least a few times (Garg Universe-wise) within the 66 episodes. I tried to keep those mistakes to a minimum, but they happened. I'd like to avoid making more mistakes, even here at ASK GREG. I definitely feel like I'm getting closer to the "true" Gargoyles Universe, if that's possible and/or makes any sense.

Updates on all this should come over the next ten months. But I'm targeting Gathering 2001 for completion. I'm hoping to be able to make some big announcements there. So bear with me.

But to be fair to VP, he was right. I wouldn't call what I do "fanfiction". For starters, none of it is in the form of fiction. And so calling it that may be giving it TOO MUCH credit. But at the moment, I have no more claim to canon than anyone.

Rather, I'd say that if you like the stories I did come up with on the original 66, and think you might enjoy what I'd do next -- the way you might enjoy what Christine Morgan or Christi Smith Hayden or TGS does next -- than stay tuned. I've got more to tell you and more to reveal by and by.

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Intern Ideas

Continuing our reprinting of old documents from the Gargoyles Development File.

This one was written by Regina Dixon, who was a college intern working at Disney TV Animation for the summer. Refer to previously posted documents to see what she was basing these ideas comedy springboards on.

I hate to say it, but in hindsight this seems like busy work to me. We hadn't even sold the show. We were a long way from needing story ideas. Still, I suppose it was good practice.


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Enter Owen -- The Aardvark!

Continuing to reprint the old Gargoyles Comedy Development...

Another document from Kat Fair and Cindy Chupack. This one brings Xavier's assistant Owen into play. What's interesting to me is that we clearly already knew that Owen had been turned into an Aardvark. It's information taken for granted in this document. It's possible that the idea originated as artwork. I do remember Bob Kline's design of Owen being pretty funny.

Morgan [the Elisa precursor] is quite different, yet still fulfills the same basic function.

Pre-Xanatos Xavier is clearly inspired by Duke Igthorn and Captain Hook. Both are favorite comic villains of mine. Of course, in the drama that Gargoyles became, Xavier would have annoyed the hell out of me. But for a comedy show, I thought he was great.

MAY 09 1991

GARGOYLES: Characters
(Fair and Chupack, 5/8/91)

OWEN: Owen always had trouble asserting himself, and now that he's an aardvark, well, things aren't getting any better. He's terribly defeatist and apologetic, as in "Xavier, I know you're busy and all, but do you think you might possibly make me a human again, at your convenience. I understand if you can't. I was just checking."

Occasionally Owen will suggest a solution or plan, but he only gets credit when it backfires. (Xavier thinks positive reinforcement is an oxymoron.) However, Xavier is Owen's hero. He's rich, powerful and best of all, tall. Owen strives to be like Xavier, and he's always working for his approval.
The upside to being an aardvark is that Owen doesn't have to shave anymore. The downside is that he has no social life. (Xavier likes to point out that Owen never had a social life, but that's not true. Owen was recording secretary of Knights of the Floppy Disk.) Yes, Owen is a computer geek. He can tap into anything anywhere anytime, which makes him invaluable to Xavier. Of course, he's underpaid.

Next to becoming a human, Owen's greatest aspiration is to impress Morgan.

MORGAN: Even as a young girl, Morgan was fascinated with the medieval time period. She preferred toy dragons to dolls. She dressed up as Guenivere for Halloween. She faked doctor's notes that said she had the black plague. As an archeology grad student in Europe, she was appalled to learn that some rich American brat was buying her favorite castle and taking it to the States, so she finagled her way into a curator position to keep on [sic] eye on its transport and reconstruction. {I wrote "already" next to the above paragraph.}

Morgan finds Xavier totally reprehensible--a real sleaze. Stupid to boot. She'd be perfectly content if she never saw him again, but that won't be the case because she can't resist helping the goyles. (She and Dakota have become real friends, and the goyles often go to her because she knows all the castle's secret passageways.)

Currently, Morgan does research for various historical societies by looking into past records and invariably uncovering mysterious events. The goyles are always on hand to help and/or hinder her research. {I wrote "research dull" next to this paragraph.}

Morgan might seem all business, but she has a warm heart and a nice laugh. She has a hard time tolerating the goyles' silliness, especially in a crunch, but somehow their play always turns out for the best. The goyles might even help her lighten up.

XAVIER: You can't say many nice things about Xavier, but he looks great in a tux. He's always contemplating whether to run for public office, but when it comes to real work he's a lost puppy. (Not that it stopped Dan Quayle.) Xavier is all hot air with that nasty edge that comes from insecurity. He must continually feel like he's on top, and he only drops his condescending tone when he's addressing Sidero. Since he's after acclaim and recognition, flattery will get you everywhere.

Did we mention that Xavier is completely self-centered? He is. So much so that his narrow vision often prevents him from seeing the larger evil picture. Anything that doesn't relate to him isn't worth his attention. Therefore Sidero will probably remain a smoke signal, and Owen will probably remain an aardvark.

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