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Although the Eighth Draft of the Pitch was far from final, by December of 1992, we had finally sold Eisner on doing the Gargoyles series. We quickly (before anyone could change their minds) began work on the pilot multi-parter.
Keep in mind, this was before Michael Reaves or Frank Paur came aboard. This was even before I knew that I'd be producing the series. But I suppose I should have known. We received an outline from a writer, which wasn't bad but wasn't the series I wanted to make. So I tried to redirect things. You can see below that I'm still floundering around with a whole bunch of different thoughts. But the pieces are starting to come together.
Notes on 5-part Outline
--We want to stick closer to the original pitch. Keep the story solidly from Goliath's point of view, with his relationship with Elisa as the central emotional arc.
--We want to clarify what a Gargoyle is and what the "rules" are:
1. Gargoyles were not created by an individual. One thousand years ago, they were real living creatures, a now extinct race that even then was scarce.
2. Gargoyles are nocturnal. At sun-up they transform into stone statues as a protective measure. Theoretically, there may be some magic involved, but from a gargoyle's P.O.V. it's a natural biological process.
3. They cannot wake up at will. They cannot turn back and forth from stone at will. Daytime, they are sleeping. Frozen in stone. That makes them fairly protected, though if someone took a sledgehammer to them, it would kill them. At night they are not stone, they are strong and powerful, and they can fly, etc. But they are not invulnerable.
4. Gargoyles don't have any special instinct or telepathy for danger. What they do have, instinctively, is a territorial and protective nature. Up to this current story, that never extended beyond the castle walls. One of our main objectives is for Elisa to give Goliath a wider definition of his territory...extending it across all of Manhattan (all of NYC?). She gives him hope and a revived sense of purpose.
5. Naming is a human trait. The medieval humans deal w/Goliath so he gets a name. The others have none until they get to the twentieth century, when Elisa encourages/insists on it. Then they pick their names.
--We have to know and sympathize w/Goliath much sooner on in the story. We should largely see it through his eyes. His concern for Elisa should drive the latter half of the story, much more than any desire to foil a crime.
--The absolute key to this is the relationship between Goliath and Elisa. We need to develop this slowly. She's got to get used to him in a big way, and for his part, he's not comfortable around humans, and definitely unused to human kindness. He's awkward. Maybe even stunned. We don't have to play it for romance, per se. Even friendship from a human is a foreign concept.
--Hudson is an ex-gargoyle warrior, long past his prime, who now acts as Goliath's advisor. He tends to knock around the castle. Maybe, he likes television. He is not and would refuse to act as a baby-sitter for the younger kids. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Goliath is the Gargoyle-Master. The other gargoyles are HIS responsibility, not Hudson's.
--We'd like to play the younger Gargoyles (Broadway, Brooklyn and Lex) more as teens than little kids. Very eager to explore the new world as you have it, but with a more adventurous sensibility.
--Bronx, the gargoyle-dog does not have wings. His ears allow him to hover a bit for short periods of time. But it's hard. (Keep in mind, he has a weighted tail, like a mace.) He can't really fly. He CAN scurry all over the place, up straight vertical walls, across the ceiling, etc. He has claws that really allow him to dig in.
--Our fault, but we don't think the Bannister character is adding anything. We can probably drop him.
--Xavier needs to be much more imposing. Not bordering on broke. Though obviously, he's not in Goliath's league in terms of brute strength, underneath that three-piece suit he should be a powerful man. As men goes, he should be very strong. And brilliant. On the surface, a rich powerful man, but underneath with his hand in all-things nefarious. He should not be petulant. He should always feel menacing threatening. If, at the end, we do send him to prison, we should not weaken or reduce him. He should go off like Al Capone, with an attitude like "You don't expect prison walls to stop me, do you?"
--We don't necessarily have to use the Gladiator-esque PACK, but if we do, we should keep their strengths clear in mind. The television aspect is a front, but one we might need to see in order to understand why the public regards them as good guys. Since clearly, no single member could be as strong as Goliath, their strength lies in the pack mentality. Goliath tosses one aside, their are five others leaping on top of him, etc. Also keep in mind, that our toughest pack members as they were originally designed were probably Wolf, Jackal and Hyena. Dingo, Fox and Coyote were never designed to be very threatening on their own. Another possiblility might be the SCARAB CORP. Robots from the pitch. (Scarab could also be a division of Xavier Enterprises.) However, feel free to create new villains or a different threat.
We want to get to know Goliath right away. Preferably, all the beats we played in the pitch.
1. He and his fellow Gargoyle warriors defend the castle from "barbarians". We establish his territorial and protective nature.
2. For their pains, they get no thanks or even kindness. Humans look at them as necessary evil.
3. Goliath spends his time reading and keeping the younger Gargoyles out of trouble.
4. We might want to plant a seed for the Demona character here. Establish her as the gargoyle he cares for the most.
5. Also establish Hudson, his advisor, and the younger gargoyles.
6. Goliath and Hudson are sent or lured away from the castle (perhaps by Demona, though the viewers don't have to know she betrayed them). They do not get back before sunrise.
7. The trio of younger gargoyles chase Bronx down into some hidden dungeon. At daybreak they are frozen their.
8. During that day the castle is overrun and sacked.
9. When Goliath and Hudson return that night, Goliath is horrified to discover that the rest of his Gargoyles have been destroyed. Someone took the equivalent of a sledge hammer to them during the day. Demona, his love, is probably part of the rubble. (We don't have to revisit her in the five parter. She can be an element of the tragedy of Goliath. We can bring her back in an episode if this goes to series).
10. Bronx and the younger Gargoyles survived, because they were hidden from the attackers.
11. It may be stronger for Goliath not to be cursed into a thousand year sleep. He takes responsiblity for the disaster. Hudson and the others are cursed to sleep "Until the castle rests in the clouds." (I.e., theoretically, until kingdom come.) Goliath is forced to guard them (the last of his race) alone for a thousand years. This means that he won't be totally ignorant of planes and cars etc. He's seen them over the years. And it might increase his tragedy. At any rate, we don't want to bring up the issue of exorcisms. Dangerous ground.
PARTS TWO - FIVE
1. Let's keep in mind that the whole castle is moved to New York. It can be dismantled, but the human focus should be on moving this castle to the top of the skyscraper. The gargoyles are nothing more than decoration to the humans.
2. There's probably something to Goliath being on a castle top in Scotland one night. Falling asleep and waking up crated in the bowels of a ship, the next night. But we probably want to go for a more dramatic problem than him leading them with a lamp.
3. The other gargoyles, Hudson and Bronx included, don't wake up until the first night after they are installed on top of the castle in the clouds. They've gone from riding a parapet a 100 feet above the ground, to the top of this mega-story skyscraper. It's a pretty hefty transition for them.
4. Art thefts and Bank thefts aren't nearly as crucial as putting Elisa in danger and involved in the case. That's what brings Goliath in. Perhaps we should open with her undercover, infiltrating Xavier's organization. Perhaps that leads her to the Pack training grounds or some other aspect of Xavier's operation. Make her a vital and integral part of the Xavier story. Not simply on the trail of it. And though we don't want to make her helpless, we do need to put her in jeopardy.
5. We're not sure what the red herring of blaming the gargoyles for Xavier's crimes buys us. Not opposed to it, but does it just force us into awkward moments? Lots of talk about guys in gargoyle suits. That's not really a major issue for the series.