A Station Eight Fan Web Site


The Phoenix Gate

Search Ask Greg

Search type:

Displaying 1 record.

Bookmark Link

Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "The New Olympians".

I've always had a soft spot for this episode, largely because I really like the notion of a whole society of "Greek mythology creatures/beings" out somewhere. I still hope that you can get to explore it some more later on; that spin-off sounded like a lot of fun.

Despite your mention of avoiding the actual gods for character models for the New Olympians (since the Greek gods were famous for looking too human to provide dramatic designs in the same way that a minotaur or centaur would), I did notice in the crowd scene (at the point when Helios is exaggeratedly coughing and retching in Elisa's presence) a woman carrying a bow who did bear a strong resemblance to Artemis (at least, as she's customarily depicted in myth-based art).

Ekidne at times struck me as almost channelling Demona in her cries of "Treacherous human!" and her eyes glowing red when angry. (Of course, Demona strikes me as another good case of "bigotry bringing about more bigotry", so it fits.)

Helios and Kiron's participation in the riot struck me as even worse than that of the other New Olympians; these guys are police, and should be discouraging such displays rather than encouraging them. (Whatever else you can say about Taurus, he had the decency to break up the demonstration outside Elisa's cell.)

Proteus struck me as a fun villain, with such lines as "They really don't like you, do they?" or his habit of tormenting Taurus by shape-shifting into his father. (I agree with you that Proteus doesn't seem to bother to do his homework; I'd caught all three of the flaws in his performance as Goliath that you'd mentioned - saying "Who's that guy?", providing a weak excuse for why he doesn't turn to stone in the daytime, and wanting to blow up New Olympus, which last - again - sounds more the sort of thing that Demona would do.) I also caught a moment when he's waving at Taurus with what appears to be an extra-large hand (which I assume is part of his shape-shifting again and not an odd-looking piece of animation).

One of my favorite bits is Elisa empathizing more with Taurus after discovering what they have in common - both police, and both have fathers who are police. Especially the bit where she wonders aloud how she'd respond if Peter Maza were to be killed in the line of duty.

Knowing your interest in Theseus, I certainly can't say that I'm surprised that one of the main New Olympian characters in the story would have a link to him, in the form of being descended from his most famous adversary. (Or that you'd do another take on Theseus and the Minotaur when you wrote an episode for Disney's animated Hercules series.)

The "humans of legend" bit reminds me slightly of a short story by J.R.R. Tolkien, "Farmer Giles of Ham"; in one scene, a giant is telling many other giants and dragons about his excursion into human territory, giving an exaggerated account of the food to be found there and of how little resistance one can expect from the local humans. The dragons promptly say eagerly "So knights are mythical, after all!"

Re your remarks about Talos - I wonder whether Talos could be described as truly prejudiced, being a robot rather than a flesh-and-blood being. (He certainly seemed the most pragmatic of the lot, as you put it.) Though, then again, maybe I'm displaying a bit of prejudice against robots and machines in not believing that they can develop feelings as humans and other flesh-and-blood beings can.

I'd caught the similarity of Goliath's "I cannot wage war upon an entire island" line to the earlier line "I cannot wage war upon an entire world" in "Awakening" - what made it most stand out to me is that the original line was spoken to Demona, and here he's saying something similar to Demona's daughter.

A neat little detail: the flying cars on New Olympus have little eyes painted in the front, just like those on an ancient Greek trireme.

Another of my favorite bits is Elisa's run-in with Helios, where she tells him about how Proteus is planning to blow up the island, leading to:

HELIOS: And you had to attack me to tell me that?

ELISA: Would you have listened to me if I'd just called you over?

HELIOS: Frankly, no!

Somehow I never spotted the hint of a spin-off at the end of this episode as I did for "Pendragon" - at least, not until I found out about the Master Plan. Now I find it an appealing idea, as I said above.

50 episodes down and only 16 to do. You're really making good progress on this one, Greg. Thanks.

Greg responds...

I think I've only got three left now. Try to get to those soon.

Response recorded on September 06, 2006