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We've all been awaiting this ramble for a long time, and no doubt, the coming weeks will be VERY enjoyable. :)
CITY OF STONE, PT 1.
I'll admit to you that the opening terrorist sequence wasn't all that effective to me. It came off rushed. But it provided an excellent transition to Demona. And then... THE FLASHBACK. The first of many. My God, this was glorious. I always imagine that if I were to ever show off Gargoyles to someone new in under 5 minutes I'd show them this flashback. Even though deductive reasoning filled the holes that this flashback does in, it was still such an experience actually seeing it take place, like witnessing history. The Wyvern Massacre was the defining moment of the series. And now, to see the behind-the-scenes was breathtaking beyond description. Demona's tearful turn to stone, then horrific discovery at sundown were amazing. That 'blood-curdle' music is just great, too.
Let's see, I can't go on like this with every scene, so I'll try to sum up from here.
You mentioned it was originally going to be a three-parter. Allow me to accidentally spit my drink all over my keyboard at reading that. Even now, I think about how much better it could've told its story with five or even six parts. Just three? Impossible. There is so much jammed in there. Too much, really. I'm glad you're here for insight, because I'll be honest: I got scarcely any of what you had in mind for various characters' motivations and inter-relating. Everything was crunched to 'sound bites' and didn't get enough flesh for me to interpret what you were aiming for. Of course, I got all the necessary things needed to understand the flow of the story, but I regret not getting the rest...
This is completely random, but I just thought I'd say that when Macbeth removes his Hunter's Mask later, in Part 4 I think, I like how his hair was ruffled. A nice touch. Very appreciated.
Anyway, to do with Part 1, I have really one more comment. I think the "mistake" you made with the Weird Sisters in their portrayel in this multi-parter has to do with just one key scene... aww, crap, here I go referring all the way to Part 4 again. Oh well, the scene in question is the very end, the "they are our responsibility... our children... that is a story for another day" scene. Up until then, I believe our impression of the Sisters was of benevolent helpers, like you wanted us to believe, according to your memos. However, in this scene, they suddenly "reveal" that they actually had a reason for helping them. That there is a greater design. That Demona and Macbeth have destinies to fulfill. I, and I'm sure most other people, suddenly got insanely excited thinking that D&M were going to be instrumental in saving the world from some great prophecy or something. But as it turns out, it's just a petty strike on an island...
Just my take. (I'd be interested - if this doesn't sound like me usurping your forum, Greg - in what others' takes were.)
Lastly, I just thought I'd mention that, ironically, I was talking with a friend this morning about the play Macbeth. I mentioned Gargoyles and off-handedly about its superior historical accuracy, to which Friend reponded that Macbeth, the play, was fiction. I insisted there really was a Macbeth and Duncan, but he was convinced otherwise. Interesting, huh?
Of course, I myself thought it was all made-up by you and the makers of the show till I looked it up in my Encyclopedia, to see what kind of historical "damage" you were doing in drawing these elaborate tales set in real countries' pasts... heh.
Again, the sisters have many aspects. Like the moon. Vengeance was certainly one. Petty vengeance at that. But they have other motivations as well. That is a story for another day.
(And I'm always interested in other takes. I welcome them here.)
As to Macbeth and the legends/history, we always tried to be as accurate as we could. Not necessarily out of benevolence, but because the truth, when mixed with our gargs, made for such GREAT stories!
You're friend needs to be dragged into a library. It never bothers me when people don't know things. But it sure is disturbing when they're positive they know something and they're wrong.