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Chapter LIII: "Bushido"

Time to ramble...

Chapter LIII: "Bushido"
Story Editor: Gary Sperling
Writer: Gary Sperling
Director: Dennis Woodyard

PREVIOUSLY
As with "Sentinel", which immediately proceeded this ep, the Previously scenes are all from "Awakening". Because again, we're going to use this episode to tell another story loaded with parallelism and "What ifs?"

My daughter Erin, who's seen this episode before of course -- but not recently, picked up on all of it immediately. Taro is a Japanese Xanatos. Kai a Japanese Goliath. Yama a Japanese Demona. Hiroshi a Japanese Elisa. Etc.

What if Xanatos' plan for the gargoyles had been more directly and publicly exploitive? What if Demona was tricked... but also maintained her sense of honor and need for redemption. And etc. Would things have worked out better or worse?

Fortunately, Goliath has (in a sense) been through all of this before. And fortunately, Taro is clever. But he's no Xanatos. So it all turns out all right.

But the parallels continue. Taro also parallels the Captain, and we even present a faux Wyvern to drive the Captain/Demona - Taro/Yama relationship home.

I also like how Yama uses Goliath as proof that the Ishimura Clan doesn't need to hide from the world. Goliath disabuses him of oversimplifying, but it reminds me of when Goliath cited Xanatos to Demona as proof that humans can be trusted.

Yama is great at spouting half-truths that he has thoroughly embraced. Or put another way, Yama is right about a lot. But has chosen a really poor road with which to pave his good intentions. (Not quite the road to Hell, but the road to being a living walkaround character in a theme park!)

LOTS O' LINES
Yama (bored): "Yes, I know. We're terrifying."

Kai: "It's the best kept secret in Japan."

Goliath: "And you believe this problem will be solved by charging admission?"

Taro: "I was always a poor student." (Understatement of the year. And I love how Kai tries to deny it. That's good manners, cuz you gotta figure that for once Taro is being honest -- disarmingly honest.)

Kai: "Gargoyle must not fight Gargoyle" (A conscious tribute, believe it or not, to the semi-seminal "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" and the line "Ape has killed Ape!")

Elisa: "If you don't hurry, you're gonna wind up TV Stars!"
Goliath (horrified): "NO!" (See, we always blamed Disney for GARGOYLES low corporate profile, but Goliath himself was uncooperative.)

Taro: "Nobody ever got rich off Bushido."

Taro again: "Who else needs lessons in courtesy?"

And Taro again: "Bushido is not kind to you, Yama."

Reporter: "You've watched too many cartoons."

Elisa: "But it's a start."

Most of our guest actors began our voice recording playing different roles. But part way through the recording, Jamie and I realized that we needed to start over. They were all good actors but we hadn't worked with most of them before. Once we actually heard the SOUND of their voices, we knew we had to do some switching.

LITTLE TOUCHES
My son Benny immediately noticed that Elisa spent the last half of Act One in a kimono. (I assume her regular outfit was being cleaned -- QUICKLY.) Again, Elisa looks good in anything.

Hey, we actually do get attacked by "EVIL NINJAS"!

Also notice that Taro purchased the same brand of Tranq Gun that Bruno uses for Xanatos.

I love the cultural difference that the Ishimuran Gargoyles face IN, instead of out.

I love how Goliath crumbles the faux stone castle walls.

Hiroshi and Elisa both have some really nice moves. But she's WAY better looking.

And how about those electrified fans of Taro's. VERY COOL. Credit for those go to Dennis Woodyard and his team. The script had electro-disks on Taro's palms. But the fans are much cooler than what I had pictured. (Though I am gonna use those palm disks someday.)

LITTLE ANNOYANCES
Just exactly how many domes did Taro build? When Elisa & Hiroshi are behind the main dome, there ALWAYS seems to be another dome behind them from every angle.

More damn automated cannons shooting up the place. Sometimes, we fell back on old standards.

Way at the beginning of the World Tour, we had a meeting to decide what we were going to do about foreign languages. The majority felt we should ignore them. (I was on the fence, myself.) So when we wrote and recorded Bushido, we used no actual Japanese. Later, Frank wanted to put the first section in Japanese (with subtitles) -- right up until Kai meets Goliath, and then begins speaking English as a courtesy to his new friend. I felt it would work great (though I sure wish he had brought it up earlier). I felt that even our youngest non-literate audience would be okay with it, since the situation being presented was VERY straight-forward and easy to figure out.

Unfortunately, Frank came up with his plan too late, and Disney didn't want to spend the additional money to rerecord everything. (Many felt it was a dubious creative choice, and the cost settled it.) But in general, I wish we had played with foreign languages more. In Bushido and other World Tour eps.

BUSHIDO IN ISHIMURA
We also were interested in showing that Goliath's vision for human/Gargoyle relations wasn't just a pipe dream. For centuries, humans and Gargoyles have protected each other and lived in peace in Ishimura. It's not a perfect system. The younger human generation has (as the ep opens) lost interest in learning the ways of Bushido. And threats to their little community will always exist, both from within and without. But we felt it was important to demonstrate that peace is possible. And by the end, the pact between human & gargoyle, which we sense had begun to be taken for granted, is renewed. And the study of Bushido will be resumed. This struck me so keenly -- i.e. the notion of young humans and gargoyles studying together in the ways of Bushido (which I view to some degree at least as the Japanese version of the Gargoyle Way), that I incorporated the idea into Gargoyles 2198. Eventually, Ishimura will train both gargoyles and humans from across the globe. The former as protectors, the latter -- as GUARDIANS. All proving that Goliath was a garg ahead of his time.

Yama popped for me a bit. We bulked him up and added him to BAD GUYS as a guy who really wanted to redeem himself for betraying his clan.

We also wanted to do an episode set in Japan for our Japanese Animation Studio. At one point, I noticed that this specific episode was scheduled to go to our Korean sub-contractor. This seemed insane to me, so we juggled some stuff so that WDTVA-Tokyo could do Bushido. And they did a VERY nice job with it.

AND WHO CAN FORGET THE ANIMATRONIC GIANT GARGOYLE
Frank Welker is a lot of fun playing this guy. I want to bring him back. Or them rather. And I love how Taro is stranded up there and then falls. And I love how he says, "Not now." when the Garg starts talking.

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


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Chapter LII: "Sentinel"

Time to ramble...

Chapter LII: "Sentinel"
Story Editor: Cary Bates
Writer: Cary Bates
Director: Bob Kline

PREVIOUSLY
All really old stuff to compare and contrast with this odd little attempt to present Goliath & Elisa's first meeting in an alternate universe, so to speak.

Lost already?

In "Awakening", Elisa accepts Goliath fairly quickly. In my mind, a lot of that acceptance comes because Elisa has a good sense of herself. She's secure in her black shirt, red jacket and genes. (Pun intended.) I believe that someone who is basically (and truly -as opposed to kidding his or herself) self-possessed, has a better chance at accepting those that are different. If I know who I am and am comfortable with that knowledge, than how does your being different effect me? It doesn't. So live and let live.

In "Awakening", Elisa knows Elisa. So Elisa accepts Goliath. But what if Goliath had met someone, even someElisa, who was not quite so self-assured?

Like, say, an Elisa with amnesia? In that alternate universe, how does their first meeting go? She takes a shot at him with her service piece, that's how it goes. Fortunately, she's out of bullets.

And ultimately, Elisa has good instincts. We left it intentionally ambiguous as to how much of her eventual turn around is credited to her returning memory and how much is a result of her instinct. But she quickly comes to believe that "this Goliath," or as I love to hear her call him, "Tiny," is a guy she can trust, even when she CANNOT trust herself.

SPEAKING OF TINY
Little changes are refreshing to me. So hearing Elisa call Goliath Tiny is like seeing her with her jacket off. Which we do, here, briefly. Long-sleeve shirt again. I know that she has both short and long sleeve black t-shirts. But has anyone kept track of whether or not we saw her in the short-sleeve t-shirt on the World Tour. Cuz that would be a continuity gaff that I could easily explain.... but I'm hoping I don't have to.

OTHER INSPIRATIONS
Well, for starters one notion that I wanted to put to rest, was some fan buzz after the first season that suggested that Gargoyles must be aliens from another planet. So I wanted to hit that idea head on with the intent of knocking it out once and for all. So Nokkar BELIEVES that the Gargoyles are servents of the Space-Spawn. But he's wrong.

And the result... I got even more fans thinking after this episode that the gargs must be from outer space. <sigh>

Another inspiration was of course, Rapa Nui/Easter Island itself. And those moai statues. This was another stop that seemed like a natural for our world tour. Famous strange statues always drew us to send the skiff to town. I love the image at the very end of Nokkar in profile beside the profiles of the moai.

Finally, when I was young there were tons of stories about forgotten Japanese soldiers assigned to remote South Pacific Islands who were still fighting World War II, because they were cut off from all communication and had no idea that the war had ended (let alone that Japan had lost). I think THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN did an episode about that. So Nokkar is a metaphor for that kind of (probably apocryphal) forgotten Sentinel.

A FEW LINES
(all quotations approximate)
*Goliath to Elisa when she agrees not to fight him at high altitude: "I suppose that's a start."

*Elisa to Tiny: "Just shut up and land."

*Nokkar to the Gargoyles: "Tell your Space-Spawn Masters that Nokkar will never abandon his post!"

Elisa to Tiny: "That's some story. Gargoyle Clans. Mutated Brothers. You threw in everything but King Arthur and the Holy Grail."
Tiny to Elisa: "Yes, well, we haven't encountered the Holy Grail yet." (HINT, HINT)

Elisa to Angela: "Stow the melodrama. I'm immune."

Goliath to Nokkar: "We are both Protectors. Guardians. Sentinels."

The way Avery Brooks (as Nokkar) says the words: "Little doubt" used to always strike me as odd. But I guess I've gotten used to it. Didn't bug me this time.

IT'S THE AMAZING NOKKAR SHOW
The way this ended, you'd almost think we were setting up yet another spin-off. "That wacky alien Nokkar teams up with a doctor and two archeologists to save the world from invasion and learn a little something about getting along... all in one hotel room!"

In fact, I did have a spin-off in mind, but set so far in the future that Arnada, Duane and Morwood-Smyth would be long gone, I'm afraid. (See the GARGOYLES 2198 archive, here at ASK GREG for more information.)

Have I mentioned that Arthur Morwood-Smyth was named after Peter Morwood and Arthur Byron Cover, and that Lydia Duane was named after Diane Duane and Lydia Marano? Yeah, I thought I had.

A FEW LITTLE TOUCHES
Goliath thinks Bronx is disoriented, because he's meandering around in front of the hill. In fact, he's meandering there, because that's the secret entrance to Nokkar's ship.

I like how Goliath gathers Elisa to him by scooping her up in a wing.

A real nice hand-to-hand battle between Goliath and Nokkar.

And Bronx jumps Nokkar TWICE!

Erin, who I believe is now TOO aware that I write down her comments thought it was cool the way Goliath sort of "ice-skated" backwards after Nokkar threw him aside.

AND SADLY
We destroy yet another archaeological treasure when Nokkar's ship topples a moai.

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


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Will Eisner, RIP

Just taking a moment to note with sadness the passing of comic book (or I should say sequential art) genius, Will Eisner. I met Will only once, when he came to speak to a gathering of DC Comics staffers in the mid 80s. (I was a very junior editorial staffer at the time.) But I've admired his work forever and found every Spirit I've ever read to be extremely instructive. And THE DREAMERS... wow!

Bye Will, and thank you.


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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Hey gang,

I'm back in town after a great holiday (tempered by the tragedy in Asia). I hope all of you are doing well.

Well, the holiday gift-giving season has passed, but please keep spreading the word about the Gargoyles DVD. Buena Vista Home Entertainment will begin discussing whether or not to produce a DVD of the second season in February, so the more sales we rack up between now and then, the better.


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Happy Holidays...

I'm heading out of town. Don't know how much (if any) net access I'll have, so this may be my last post until January 3rd of the new year.

So all of you, have a great Holiday Season. I am so grateful to have all of you in my life.


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Chapter LI: "The Green"

Time to ramble...

Chapter LI: "The Green"
Story Editor: Cary Bates
Writer: Cary Bates
Directors: Kazuo Terada, Takamitsu Kawamura

PREVIOUSLY
Use a voice actor. Pay a voice actor. That's the rule, and it's a good one. What that means practically is that even the guy who says, "Previously on Gargoyles" needs to be paid for that episode. Or rather, we won't use someone to say "Previously on Gargoyles" unless that actor is already appearing in the episode, because we don't want to pay someone JUST to say "Previously on Gargoyles..." Now, if you know that one fact, then when you hear our good friend Thom Adcox saying "Previously on Gargoyles" at the beginning of the episode, then it's a pretty safe bet that Lexington is going to appear... and yet, as the episode begins, it seems, at least by this time, to be a fairly standard World Tour Adventure: Goliath, Elisa, Angela & Bronx in the exotic locale of the week. So where in the world (since it ain't gonna be Guatemala) is Lexington going to pop in?

The origins of this episode ("The + [one word title]" attributable to me) come from two semi-competing desires. 1) I wanted to make sure we hit every continent, including South America on the World Tour. And I believed that the stunning visual image of Quetzacoatl, the Flying Serpent was another great inspiration for a Gargoyle character. 2) Frank felt strongly that we had not seen enough of Hudson & the Trio during the Tour. I'll admit, as I have before, that I underestimated their popularity and probably overestimated -- at least at the time -- the interest in our little odyssey 'round the world. But even then, I could see Frank's point. I didn't want to not do our Mayan adventure, so Cary & I constructed a story that would give us an interesting experience in the Green, but would also bring us back to the deep purples of Lex & Broadway's Manhattan.

IT'S ALL IN THE DELIVERY
Some great lines in this one, mostly from Hyena & Jackal:

Hyena...
"Hey, he's a fan."
"Have I mentioned how much I hate Gargoyles."
"They get no mercy." (This right before H&J get slammed by a pretty darn impressive throw of a bulldozer shovel.)
"Bowling for Gargoyles!" (To which my daughter Erin responded with: "That was disturbing." I found it interesting that in all the gonzo stuff in this episode, the thing she found most disturbing was Hyena rolling up into a ball. I mean is that really as disturbing as Jackal's dream of "resculpting" Goliath's head?!!)

Jackal...
"If a tree falls in the forest... do I get to hear it scream?"
"Timber!"

Zafiro had a good line too: "There's no such thing as a few trees."

And Goliath: "What's left of their world is rapidly dwindling."

And Broadway: "Leave our mothers out of this." (Broadway always thinks in clan-parentage mode. My son Benny wondered if they even knew whom their mothers were. Of course, they did. Not biologically, but they knew which females gargoyles were their rookery mothers. All gone now.)

And Morgan (to an unconscious Hyena): "You have the right to remain silent."

"WHAT IS THE GREEN?"
My kids wanted to know.

First off it's hot. Elisa takes off her jacket, revealing her (in this instance) short-sleeve black t-shirt. Even this slight clothing change for her comes off as exciting to me.

Second, it's full of potential herbal medicines, admirably demonstrated by Obsidiana.

Third, it's got Obsidiana. And Turquesa and Jade and the amazingly designed Zafiro. And the revelation, that long ago, Gargoyles were everywhere in the world. In hindsight, I wish that all four characters had had the serpentine lower body. Though I'm glad that only Zafiro had the feathered wings and snake-like head. There's a great Mayan/Aztec flavor to all four gargs. And you wouldn't believe the trouble we had figuring out their names. Now they seem so right. But we went through many permutations, before figuring them out. I think at one point, Zafiro was named Jose.

Fourth, it's got that cool pyramid.

Fifth, it's got amulets which defy the basic Day/stone dynamic. We had some fun with that. And my son Benny liked seeing them alive in the morning. It was different.

Sixth, what didn't get mentioned was Oxygen. I had a line in there which talked about the dilemma of losing the rain forest on the basic level of how much of our oxygen it produces. I felt that was a VERY important message. Frank felt it was preachy. I lost that battle, or ceded it or something. But the line's not in there.

FOR A CHANGE OF PACE
Elisa is accepted fairly easily by the Mayan Clan. Obsidiana takes a particular shine to her. Despite having undergone a Wyvernesque massacre, none of the Mayan gargs have a knee-jerk negative reaction to humans. And certainly nothing on the level of what Elisa had just experienced in New Olympus.

DID YOU NOTICE THE HOMAGE?
To THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN & THE BIONIC WOMAN? I think we did some cool things with Hyena's bionic ear and Jackal's seven-figure eye.

Also, Jackal has a built in hair dryer?

And there's a moment in the museum when Hyena activates her rear jetpacks, when both my kids and my wife thought that she had "rocket-boobies". The shot switches from front to back, and her jets emerge from bionic shoulder blades. But if you miss the camera-angle switch, it can certainly look briefly as if her breasts have become rocket powered. Top that Lyndsey Wagner!

Heck, Jackal even has a built-in Bionic wrist-watch. For some reason, I find that particularly hilarious. ("And he tells time...!")

VOGEL
Just a taste of him here. He's largely a place-holder. A bad employer of our two bad villains. But we tried to make even this little bit of Vogel interesting. He's still somewhat morally-challenged. And he reveals that he has gained more responsibility as Renard's affliction has worsened.

This episode is, by the way, loaded with references to OTHER World Tour episodes. That's supposed to be a no-no. We couldn't guarantee that they would all air in order within the World Tour Tier, i.e. between the AVALON Three-Parter and the GATHERING Two-Parter. But I guess, we had some confidence that "The Green" would air after "Golem", after "Grief", etc.

THE GOLIATH & ELISA FANCLUB
I love how they disagree with each other without losing respect or concern for each other. It's so DAMN mature.

WE TRASH ANOTHER LANDMARK
Yep, we're knocking down and burning down the rain forest right & left (in an attempt to save it by influencing public opinion, no less). But we also trash another museum. I was SO cavalier about it at the time, but when I see that Mammoth skeleton go down now, I cringe.

Cool amulet though. It rolls. It frisbees with a great sound effect. Since we had the NYC plot ending -- before the Guat-plot ended -- with Hyena's defeat, we wanted to maintain some suspense. So we have Broadway and Lex come to the incorrect but believable conclusion that the Amulet must be destroyed. Fortunately, they decided to confiscate it instead. And, yes, it survives the destruction of the Clock Tower in Hunter's Moon. Then back in Guatemala, we have Obsidiana lose her amulet so that we could see her in stone and wonder if Broadway had destroyed it so that all four Mayan gargs would be sleeping.

Speaking of Hyena's defeat, she goes down after a head injury. In today's world of S&P there's no way we would be allowed to give her that head injury in the first place.

WHAT IS THE GREEN PART TWO
Seventh, I hope, without getting TOO preachy, it managed to teach a lesson. Erin thought so. Which is perhaps good enough for me.

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


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Gargoyles DVD

Still, don't have my copy. I ordered it from Amazon with Return of the King, so I guess I'm on Hobbit time waiting to get both DVDs.

I went to Target near my house. They didn't have it. No indication that they ever had it.

So I'm still waiting.

In the meantime, for those of you who do have it, I'd love to see DVD reviews posted here at ASK GREG.

Again, it helps to have one centrally located spot where I can direct the Powers That Be at Disney. So all of you... review!


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Buffyverse Stats

BUFFYVERSE STATS

TOP 40 CHARACTER LIST:

Once again, I'm wasting my semi-valuable time (and hopefully yours) to bring you the latest update in my attempt to catalogue the most significant characters in the BUFFYVERSE. The three previous CUMULATIVE updates covered the first, second and third seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The idea behind a cumulative tally is to mimic the original experience of following the Buffyverse. It's a horse race. Some of the winners and losers are a bit surprising. Others are decidedly predictable.

The task has gotten more complicated with Buffy's fourth season, which airs simultaneously (day for day, literally) with the first season of Angel. Since a normal season of Buffy (the first excepted) consists of 22 episodes, the fourth of Buffy added to the first of Angel will total 44 episodes, and that seemed too long to wait for an update. So I'm taking the pulse at the halfway point, after 11 episodes of each series.

As you may recall, I've tried to inform this subjective task with an objective formula. I tried, as much as possible, not to allow my knowledge of future events to influence the current standings. Still, I won't deny that subjectives have played a role. It's hard not to take extra notice of a character you know is going to be important later. And ties were broken based entirely on subjective criteria - i.e. my personal preference.

I have a list of ALL the characters that have appeared in both series up to this point. It's so long (including everything from leads to ridiculously minor characters) that I haven't even bothered to count how many there are. But my list of MOST significant currently tops out at 86 characters.

But I think listing the top 40 is plenty. Or largely. I just want to note a few characters introduced (or revisited) in these two half-seasons, who haven't yet or never will make the top 40, but whom I believe are memorable enough to merit honorable mention.

Starting with…

#84 - Lee Mercer. Lee was a cold-blooded Wolfram & Heart attorney that I remember being sure would become a recurring danger. During this first half, W&H didn't focus on any one recurring villain. And I kept thinking any minute now… Any minute now… And I was right. But I picked the wrong horse.

#82 - Dennis. The Ghost haunting Cordelia's rent-controlled apartment. He was a good roommate, who obviously had a crush on her. He was sweet, and I worried about him after Cordelia was gone.

#81 - The Gentlemen. The lead Gentleman in particular. The best single episode menaces - EVER. Terrifying in look. Terrifying in M.O. Stylish. In one of the most impressive hours of television I've ever watched.

#75 - Aura. Aura appeared as an incredibly minor character in the Buffy pilot. And never again. But her name stuck with me and obviously with the Whedon team as well. Because in an early Angel, when they needed a high school pal from Cordelia's past to give her a call, they used Aura.

#74 - Tom. Tom was a vampire, part of a clique who preyed on Freshman at UC Sunnydale. The rest of his crowd was staked, but Tom was the first "Hostile" we saw captured by the Initiative. He later helped Spike escape, and we never saw poor Tom again.

#70 - Trevor Lockley. Police Detective Kate Lockley's jerk of a dad.

#67 - Lyndsey. The first W&H lawyer we met wound up being the most important. But halfway through the season, we still hadn't seen him after the pilot.

#65 - D'Hoffryn. Anya's former boss as a Vengeance Demon. He offers Willow a job after Oz leaves. (We should have seen her sixth season rampage coming.)

#64 - Tara. Willow's fellow witch makes her first appearance, and although she has very little screentime, and doesn't immediately appear again, she does seem interesting from moment one.

#61 - Sunday. Buffy's first college Vampire. #74's boss. Some nice attitude.

#57 - Olivia. Giles' incredibly hot girlfriend from London. She appears twice, including memorably in "Hush". At the end of that episode, she says she isn't sure she can take Giles' "lifestyle". And then she never appears again…

#53 & #54 - Oracles. Male and female representatives of the Powers That Be. They're not particularly interesting, so they'll die soon.

#47 - Kathy. Buffy's original Freshman roommate. A Celine fan. Brrrrrr.

#44 - Veruca. The werewolf that broke up Oz and Willow, and sent Oz running from Sunnydale.

AND NOW THE TOP 40

#40 - Graham. No previous rank. Riley Finn's second best friend. Laconic.

#39 - Scott Hope. 3rd Season Rank: 33. Buffy's one real normal boyfriend. He's still holding on to the top 40, but down 6 places, and not likely to still be around by the end of the year.

#38 - Deputy Mayor Finch. 3rd Season Rank: 32. Also down six places. Faith's murder victim.

#37 - Whistler. 3Season: 31. 2Season: 18. The Demon who set Angel on the right path. Kind of the guy I figured to take the Doyle role on Angel. But he's lost 6 rankings (19 since Season 2) and is falling fast.

#36 - Kendra. 3S: 30. 2S: 17. This whole crowd is dropping six rankings. Kendra the original auxilary Vampire Slayer deserves a bit better, I think.

#35 - Ethan Rayne. 3S: 29. 2S: 22. Giles former friend still looms larger in my memory than his ranking suggests. I keep thinking he's going to appear again, because I find it hard to believe he registered so well in so few appearances.

#34 - Devon. 3S: 28. 2S: 37. Oz's bandmate, has peeked.

#33 - Forrest. NPR. Riley's best buddie at the Initiative and the Fraternity.

#32 - Principal Flutie. 3S: 24. 2S: 16. 1S: 9. The original Principal of Sunnydale High is still hanging on.

#31 - Willy the Snitch. 3S: 21. 2S: 24. Looks like Willy has peeked also.

#30 - Larry. 3S: 25. 2S: 35. Hard not to peek when your dead. But I always liked Larry. A former bully, he became one of the White Hats and was killed by the Mayor. And he's still in the top 30.

#29 - Darla. 3S:23. 2S: 23. 1S:11. Hard not to slip when you're a vampire who's been staked. But Darla's poised for a comeback.

#28 - Percy. 3S: 26. I'm stunned Percy's holding on. He's not even vaguely interesting. But he keeps showing up.

#27 - Parker Abrams. NPR. The second guy that Buffy ever slept with. A real jerk. Makes me miss Scott Hope.

#26 - The Annointed One. 3S: 19. 2S: 14. 1S: 10. The Master's mini-me.

#25 - Mr. Trick. 3S: 18. Staked and falling. But his attitude is missed.

#24 - Amy. 3S: 27. 2S: 23. 1S: 17. Her continuing appearances as a Rat, are keeping her in the top 25.

#23 - Kate Lockley. NPR. Angel's cop friend seemed like a potential love interest, but has at the first season's halfway point, become something closer to an enemy.

#22 - Jonathan. 3S: 17. 2S: 19. Jonathan's falling, but his presence is missed, and he'll be staging a comeback.

#21 - The Master. 3S: 16. 2S: 13. 1S: 8. Buffy's first big bad appeared in a shortened first season, so has fallen out of the top twenty.

#20 - Harmony. 3S: 20. 2S: 26. 1S: 18. Harmony's emergence as a vampire was a stroke of comic genius, and has allowed her to hold onto her #20 ranking.

#19 - Maggie Walsh. NPR. The Ice Queen enters the rankings as a real comer.

#18 - Anya. 3S: 22. Halfway through the season, and Anya's admirably filling the Cordelia role, but she's still not a regular. Still she's moved up four rankings already.

#17 - Riley Finn. NPR. But the big news is Riley. Entering the rankings at 17. A new regular (hopscotching over Anya) before the Season's half over. He's Buffy's new boy. A soldier and a nice guy. Cornfed Iowa boy.

#16 - The Mayor. 3s: 14. 1S: 40. The Mayor's only lost a couple slots. Probably the best of the big bads - unless you count Angelus.

#15 - Wesley. 3S: 15. Wesley's midseason reappearance on Angel, allows him to hold onto his #15 ranking.

#14 - Jenny Calendar. 3S: 13. 2S: 11. 1S: 15. Still maintaining a good number.

#13 - Drusilla. 3s: 11. 2s: 8. Dru has fallen a couple ranks, but she's still up there.

#12 - Doyle. NPR. Okay, bigger news than Riley is Doyle. Although with his midseason death, he's got nowhere to go but down. But I loved this character. He was a blast. And his death really did catch me off guard. His ranking was really helped by Angel having such a small regular cast initially. It gave him a lot of screen time and story points.

#11 - Faith. 3s: 10. Faith only loses one rank (thanks to Spike).

#10 - Principal Snyder. 3S: 9. 2s: 10. 1s: 12. Snyder falls one rank, to equal his 2season score. But he's still in the top ten, which is pretty good for a dead guy.

#9 - Spike. 3s: 12. 2s: 9. Spike jumps (finally) past Dru, past Snyder, past Faith, as he becomes a regular. The start of something truly beautiful. (I'm choking up here.)

#8 - Joyce. 3s: 8. 2s: 7. 1s:7. Joyce has barely appeared this season, but she's got points to spare to keep her up in the high numbers.

#7 - Oz. 3s: 7. 2s: 12. Well, Oz'll be back, briefly, but he's clearly peeked. So it's all downhill from here. Still, I'm sure he'll remain in the top 40 forever.

#6 - Angel. 3s: 6 2s:6. 1s:6. This surprised me. Though Angel is climbing fast, even his own series hasn't been enough for him to catch up - yet - with Buffy's main Scoobies.

#5 - Willow. 3s: 4. 2S: 4. 1s: 4. But THIS just stunned me - and frankly makes me question my system entirely. Yes, Cordelia's position as Angel's Gal Friday on Angel gives her a ton of screen and story time. And she was close enough to Willow, to allow her to pass our young Wicca. But perception of course, suggests that Willow should be #3 or even #2 behind only Buffy. This may still end up to be the case. Figure by the end of the horse race, to see Buffy & Angel in the one/two slots, but I'd assume that Willow would pass Cordelia (once Angel gains more cast members) and maybe even Xander. (And certainly Giles).

#4 - Cordelia. 3s:5, 2S: 5. 1S: 5. See above. She's #2 in a tiny regular cast.

#3 - Xander. 3s: 3. 2s:3. 1s: 3. Xander hasn't quite found his place in Buffy's college life. But then neither has Giles. So both of them are cruising on old points.

#2 - Giles. 3s: 2. 2s:2. 1s: 2. Giles still hanging on to the #2 slot.

#1 - Buffy. 3s: 1; 2s: 1; 1s: 1. Duh.


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I GOT MINE!!

Just got back from the Amazon my friends -- went their via the Gathering 2005 site at www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com -- where I purchased my copy of the GARGOYLES SEASON ONE on DVD. I'm pretty excited. Nervous too.

I want to thank all of you who are supporting this product. Supporting this property, this fandom and my emotional state.

But let's try this. Everybody contact SOMEBODY from the fandom whom you haven't heard from in a while. Someone maybe who attended a Gathering in 1998, maybe. Or someone who used to frequent Station 8, but just sort of drifted off. Search these people down. Odds are they'd love to get the DVD, but if they've been out of the loop, they may not know it's available NOW!!!

If all of you contact just one lost fan, it would really help to spread the word!!

Thanks!


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TOMORROW OR NEVER

Well, guys, tomorrow -- December 7th, 2004 -- is the big day. The GARGOYLES first season comes out on DVD.

I know I'm preaching to the converted, but I can't emphasize enough how important it is to the fandom that this DVD sells well.

Good sales on the first day, particularly a nice Amazon turnout, are important, but what's more important are PHENOMENAL SALES over the next month or two.

If you can't get it at Amazon, get it somewhere else.

If you can't get it tomorrow, get it soon.

But get it. And more than that get everyone you know to get it.

Get strangers to get it.

Yes, I know we're all a bit disappointed in the way Disney has somewhat failed to support the DVD with advertising. But as I've always maintained... the burden is on the fans. They need to prove to Disney that Disney needs to spend money to make money on Gargoyles.

They need to prove to Disney that the fandom is rabid and large and ready to support the property with actual dollars and cents.

A very small part of me feels bad about asking you to spend money. But keep in mind if this DVD doesn't do EXTREMELY well, it will be very difficult to convince Disney to support the property in other ways -- including a second season on DVD, let alone new and original material set in the Gargoyles Universe.

By the way, we did get a nice write-up here:

http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/rage/index1.htm

Check it out.

But mostly, take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate your love for the show. Again this is NOT just about money. This is about SPREADING THE WORD WITH RELIGIOUS FERVOR!!!

Good luck to us all.



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