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Hi Greg! I'm posting for the first time and it feels wierd, since I tried to send questions 4 or 5 years ago and they got deleted. Anyway...
First of all, I'd like to thank you for having been (and still being) such an important part of the Gargoyles franchise. You (and others of course) provided me with easily THE single best animated show ever. A well written series great voice acting, continuous plots, characters that are believable, and a complex universe that manages both to include lots of existing legends and myths while still retaining a distinct identity. I truly think that in terms of all-around quality for a dramatic show, Gargoyles was easily Disney's best effort by far. Reboot is the only other animated show that I've seen that seems to exhibit the same qualities, meaning well-written, clever and quite enjoyable for both kids and adults.
Also, I'm happy to learn that Gathering 2004 will take place in Montreal, meaning I might actually be able to attend! I don't know if you're the one who chose the location, but if you are, thanks on behalf of us Canadians!
Finally, I'd just like to thank you for actually answering the flood of questions we fans send your way. And especially your god-like patience towards people who obviously never took the time to read the FAQ OR archive. I can understand asking about a minor detail that could have been missed, but among the questions being submitted, I know there are some LAZY people I wouldn't mind slapping once or twice in the face...
Anyway, I have a number of questions on different subject, so expect a few one-question posts from me.
This one would fit in a "Writing" category if there is such a thing.
1. Regarding your current master plan (i.e. your ideas for the various spin-offs), it's obvious you've given lots of thoughts to the initial setting of each. The main characters and their immediate goals for example, as well as ideas for early stories as well as a few ideas for on-going plots. A lot of course would be dictated by the characters (and your muse I'm sure) as the shows would go along.
a) Now here's my question: Do you have an idea about the possible endings of some of your spin-offs? I don't want you to tell me anything, just if you have some "Ultimate goals" in mind for all your spin-offs.
Gargoyles itself has always been very open-ended. There never was a single overlying theme to the series, it just kept going on on its own, the plots and characters growing in complexity in a very organic and sometimes unpredictable way. It could potentially keep going on for years and years.
But some of your spin-offs have very specific premises. There ARE stories that are better told if planned from beginning to end as a whole. Others however are better if left to evolve on their own. An aimless story could potentially "find its voice" after a while, leading to an ultimate ending of sorts. Or, the initial premise could be transformed over time, leading the story in a quite different direction.
For example, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Initially, the show is about our heroes trying to restore a people (Bajorans) to a stable society following years of occupation by an enemy race (Cardassians). Yet, after two years, the show introduced a much bigger menace, a race who sought to conquer and control all others (the Dominion). From then on, the show eventually lead to a huge war with the ending signaling the end of the hostility.
a) How do you feel about long stories? About those that are open-ended and those that have some finality set for them? (I hope I'm not being to vague here. I'm really interested in how you feel about this)
And about some specifics spin-offs:
b) Bad Guys: The basic idea is about our main characters seeking redemption. Do you know if they ever find it? And would that be the goal of the show?
c) TimeDancer: Ultimately, the very final ending is, in a way, already known. Brooklyn makes it home a lot older with a family. But do you already have some sketchy idea about how he finally makes it there, like some final adventure dealing with the Phoenix Gate itself, or were you planing on dealing with it once you were forced to, like a series' finale?
c) Gargoyles 2198: This one seems to be mostly about the war against the Space-Spawn but as you often say, "Things aren't that simple". Would the liberation of Earth signal the end of the series, or would you keep the series going with the existing setting once the war is over? After all, there might still be other threats like Coyote-X, the Illuminati, etc.
d) Dark Ages: Since this one could theoretically run up to the beginning of "Awakening", I won't ask if you have an ending in mind.
e) Pendragon: It's obvious now that Merlin, Mr. Duval and Holy Grail would be important part of the story. Do you have an ending in mind for this one, or where you again planing on seeing where the story ultimately took you?
f) New Olympians: This one feels pretty generic, and feels like it could run forever like Gargoyles. The ultimate goal I suppose would be the acceptance of New Olympus by humanity, but judging by the response toward gargoyles, wouldn't likely fit within an entire series, no matter how long it might be. Still, got an ending in mind, even if it's pretty open-ended, like "Hunter's Moon pt.3"?
Thanks a lot for answering.
Well, time delay means that I believe we met in Montreal (and, no, I didn't choose the location -- I don't make those decisions). You played Lex in the radio play, right?
1a. Some yes, some no. I know where Dark Ages ends -- with "Awakening, Part One". I know where "TimeDancer" ends... right where it began. I have a VERY good idea of how the Space-Spawn thing is resolved, but I don't think that necessarily marks the end of 2198. And likewise, I don't have a firm ending for Pendragon, Bad Guys or the New Olympians... but I have a good idea where I want to go with the first major arcs. As for Gargoyles itself -- that would end in 2198.
1a) [You had two (a)s.] Some stories -- whether long or short -- need closure. They're one-shots... no matter how long they last. Others can be open-ended. I lean toward the latter personally... because life is ongoing -- even after individuals die. But I respect the other form as well.
b) I'm not going to reveal whether or not they find redemption, but yes that's the goal. The thing is... even if I were to redeem all the original cast, the concept can survive them. And new characters may be introduced that give us a reason to continue. I will say, that I wouldn't be shy to bring a series to an end if I had no more stories to tell. That just has never happened to me within the Garg Universe. Not yet anyway.
c) See above for confirmation of your basic thesis. But I have a fairly clear general idea of how the whole dance, including the finale choreographs. But I won't pretend I have all forty years worth of adventures planned out to the last detail. I don't.
c) [You had two (c)s, as well.] See above. The war doesn't end the series.
d) See above.
e) I have endings in mind for some of the arcs that I plan to set in motion. But even the ultimate death of Arthur himself (which I was not planning anytime soon) might not end this series. I have at least one significant idea to go beyond Arthur...
f) Same deal. I have specific arcs in mind, and I have a solid idea of how they end. But I doubt that they wouldn't lead to more stories. If in fact they didn't and I was out of juice there, I'd shut it down.