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Todd Jensen writes...

After reading your answer to ExoLex, I thought that I'd weigh in with my two cents. I wasn't at all bothered by the fantasy elements in the series (partly because I like myths and legends), and I did think that you did a good job of balancing it. I might add that what I really liked about it was that you actually got in a sense of the significance of the legends that you were drawing on.

Take your use of Merlin in "A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time", one of my favorite episodes. Lots of animated series out there bring King Arthur and Merlin in at some point ("The New Batman/Superman Adventures" did it with an episode pitting Batman against a pet demon of Merlin's named Etrigan, for example). But the episode actually tackled - successfully, IMHO - the meaning that the Arthurian legend has to us. Macbeth got that very eloquent and moving speech about the importance of Arthur and Merlin's achievements that so impressed Broadway, all about Arthur as "a king who ruled with justice and compassion". Merlin's scrolls turn out to contain, not his magical secrets, but something even more valuable - his eyewitness account of King Arthur's time. (I can't help wondering what impact the Scrolls of Merlin must have had on Arthurian scholarship in the Gargoyles Universe - finally, another eyewitness account to "Arthurian" Britain besides Gildas's "De Excidio Britanniae"! Hudson and Broadway were right to urge Goliath not to burn those scrolls!) And Merlin, in a sense, plays his role as tutor, from beyond the Crystal Cave, to Hudson and Broadway, just as he did to the young Arthur 1500 years ago, by teaching the two gargoyles the worth of reading (although Jeffrey Robbins should get part of the credit in Hudson's case, of course).

I did think, as well, that while more "fantastic" in some ways than the average animated action/adventure series set in the modern world (such as "Batman"), "Gargoyles" did feel in other ways more realistic. The New York of "Gargoyles" felt much more like a real modern-day city than do, say, Gotham City or Metropolis, even in the crime scene (the leading criminal figure in Manhattan being Tony Dracon, an "ordinary" mob boss, rather than somebody like the Joker).

Greg responds...

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Of course, all that Arthur stuff meant a lot to me too. I wanted to really evoke Arthur and Merlin in "Lighthouse". Who better to do it than Macbeth?

And, yeah, I like to think that in the context of all our wierdness, that the series was grounded in a world that felt real.

Response recorded on March 19, 2000