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Eric Luke turned in an outline on our multi-part pilot on 6-3-93. I'm afraid I don't have that document anymore. But my response (from a week later) is still in my computer files. And it does give a sense of what he was up to. But more, it gives a sense of where I wanted to take the story.
One might argue that my greatest strength as a writer is in fact... that I'm a good editor. I do think I have a knack for taking solid work by other professionals, and finding the core story inside that work. Bringing that story out and helping it to shine. I think I have a good mind for both the big picture and the little details. (At any rate, that's largely been the basis of my career.)
So that's what I was attempting to do here. And I think you can begin to see the details of the story beginning to see the light in my notes here.
To: Eric Luke Date: 6-10-93
From: Greg Weisman Ext: 818)754-7436
Subject: Notes on 6/3 GARGOYLE Outline
Hi, Eric. Big improvement. I've collated a bunch of specific page notes, and I apologize in advance for their length. But we are getting so close, we wanted to make sure everything's nailed dead-to-rights. As before, we're largely concerned that everything tracks logically and that we've fully explored the relationships between our leads. So here goes.
Don't overdue the notion that no one's ever seen a gargoyle (in the tenth century). They are rare. But not that rare. Basically, Cole, the lead Marauder assumes that like most castles, this one has "bluff" gargoyles made of actual stone. He's taking a calculated risk. A risk he may feel absolutely confident in taking, but a risk nonetheless.
Although you DON'T have to use them in the treatment, when we get to script, we'll probably want to bring back the boy, Robbie, and his mom, so that we can play the anti-gargoyle prejudice beats. These will parallel w/Goliath's anti-human prejudice in the modern day sequences, and help give an overall theme to the piece.
We might want to show the Captain helping out in this battle, in some (perhaps minor) way, so that we see that he and Goliath are comrades-in-arms. [We've abbreviated the events of the 10th century sequence by cutting a day from the original beat outline. That's o.k., but it makes it tougher to show Demona and the Captain's complex motivations and loyalties. We have to compensate in other ways.]
The "after you, alphonse" dialogue seems a little on the silly side. It might play in script.
Right now, Gary is leaning toward a male Broadway.
At the bottom of page, it's unnecessary for Goliath to suspect treachery at this point. He's merely horrified at what he finds. The Captain's treason comes as a greater surprise when Goliath confronts him a bit later.
Remember, Captain (and Demona) had hoped to remove the gargoyles to safety. Goliath (unwittingly) had not cooperated. That's what left the gargoyles vulnerable to Cole. (From Demona's point of view, the plan backfired in a big way.)
Just a cautionary, but we don't want to flag early on that Xavier is a villain. At first we should consider him a rich eccentric. Cheerful, even.
Remember, when the Gargoyles awaken, they burst free of their stone shells, shattering them.
Xavier should not be so matter-of-fact about the Gargoyle's appearance. Remember, he's pretending this is the first time he's ever seen this reawakening. He should be appropriately impressed.
One of the elements that we want to be able to play with the Pack is the notion that they are the heroes of their own American Gladiatoresque t.v. show. For example, that's how Elisa would know them, as pseudo-athletes, not villains. If we don't have room to play that here in the pilot, than perhaps the Pack isn't the best villain team to use. Another notion we had was a group of armored villains w/names revolving around a demolition motif (the natural enemies of the sometimes-stone gargoyles): i.e. Piledriver, Bulldozer, etc.
If you do use the Pack, the twins are Jackal (male, cunning and vicious) and Hyena (female and practically psychotic).
The robot is CY.O.T.I. (CYber-Operational Technical Intelligence), and his bodies are interchangeable, not his head.
Elisa is a plain clothes detective, and therefore doesn't drive a black and white. Though she could have one of those removable cherry-tops on her car.
Xavier could help the gargoyles fight, to show (a) how tough and formidable he is for a "normal" human and (b) how trustworthy he is...paralleling the Captain's actions from the 10th century.
Perhaps the Pack (or whoever) pretends to get away w/stealing something. (Xavier will later claim it was the 3 disks.) After all, this whole attack was staged.
The whole notion of the Gargoyles not appearing on videotape because they're magical creatures doesn't work for us and doesn't seem necessary. It adds a fairly sophisticated new rule (usually associated w/vampires) and confuses the issue as to whether the gargoyles are their own race of creatures, as opposed to magically animated stone. They exist. They're real. We think they show up on tape.
In this particular scene, we think we can leave out the camcorder and the scene at the police station. Elisa's fairly independent. Also, she doesn't necessarily need to see what's happening from the ground. Better if she doesn't know she's looking for "creatures" 'til she finds them. She could just be investigating the falling debris, though that sounds like something a building inspector would do. It would be nice if there was something that would attract a police detective's attention. (Laser-fire?) Some sign of a crime.
Does she initially question or try to question Xavier? Does she suspect him?
The gargoyles should probably be the first bizarre entities that Elisa (and the city) encounters. If she's been dealing w/super-villains the last few weeks, than Goliath won't seem that strange. Also, her initial fear of him should not be based specifically on the notion that he is one of a group of villains, but on a visceral reaction to his appearance and threatening size. Prejudice. And the fact that there are a lot of Gargoyles doesn't hurt either.
The idea that "the whole city is her responsibility and she has a right to know what's going on" anywhere in it, sounds a bit egocentric or even vaguely fascist to me. This may not be the right moment for bravado. Again, she can be legitimately scared at this point. No shame in it. She doesn't have to ask about turf wars, or even be aware of what took place. In essence, we can reduce the talkiness of this scene by having her react the way any of us would.
Obviously, when Goliath saves her life, it'll have a profound effect, probably on both of them. It's a powerful event. It probably signals a truce, an end to hostility. And their mutual insight might hint at what's to come, but they're a long way from friends yet...or even trusted allies.
Here's where they can start to talk a bit. Get the basics on each other. Since we want the Gargoyles to lead weirdness into the modern world, she doesn't recruit him to fight super-villains, rather she offers to show him the best and worst of his new home. Maybe, she's hoping he'll see for himself it's worth fighting for, or maybe she hasn't thought it out that far. Maybe she plays on his need to get acclimated to his new surroundings. He needs a tour guide in this brave new world, she offers to be that guide. From his point of view, he's had bad luck leaving the castle, which would tend to make him reluctant to take her up on her offer. His agreeing is probably a sign of things to come coupled with the admission that he doesn't know what he's up against in the 20th century. He needs to learn, and learning does appeal to him.
Goliath probably can't be goaded into joining her. He knows enough about "puny" humans and their betrayals to WISELY be afraid of what they are capable of. She needs to appeal to his better nature--as above, his curiosity and desire to learn, and perhaps a hidden desire to find (or be reminded of) the good in humans that he once recognized.
Again, we don't need to make the Gargoyles invisible to electronics for them to steal the disks. Make the three sites where the "stolen" disks are being held, three entirely separate locations, each uniquely inaccessible to a normal human. Also, Xavier can claim that these disks were stolen from him during the previous night's attack by the Pack (or whoever). He doesn't want to go to the police, because they'd investigate the site of the theft and the signs of battle that might lead to the Gargoyle's being revealed. Xavier's not making "a proposition", he's "asking" for Goliath's help. Coupled w/Elisa's request, Goliath may be on the verge of softening toward humans again. As you wrote, he'll think about it.
After Goliath leaves, perhaps Xavier talk to a shadowy figure (Demona) about how everything is going according to plan. He's confident that Goliath will come around.
I apologize, but I think I led you astray when we discussed how "super-heroey" this universe is. Though we are eventually going to have multiple paranormal characters, we don't want to make their introduction casual, nor their existence commonplace. I like the idea that Xavier is stealing technology in order to power up his operatives or build Scarab Corp robots or both, but I don't think he'd be giving out this or any technology so that "the Crippler", et al, could wander the streets doing as they please. Too wasteful for Xavier.
Is Xavier aware of Goliath's deal w/Elisa? If so, would he want to use it to his advantage, perhaps staging another conflict with the same villain team that attacked the castle? Something to convince Goliath that he must help Xavier recover the disks? [The trick to these villains obviously, is to make them powerful enough to be threatening to Goliath and Company, but missing some necessary ability like flight or stealth, that would have enabled them to liberate the disks for Xavier (something other than the invisible-to-video rule). Their abilities can be enhanced for the climax when Xavier makes use of the stolen info on the three disks.]
Boots on Brooklyn are a bit awkward design-wise. Let's trade Doc Marten's for Ray-Bans or Aviator sunglasses.
It's an interesting question whether or not the teen gargoyles can read, but let's not address it here.
Let's have Bronx chewing up the car interior, instead of stinking it up. He's an omnivore.
Goliath's attitude on the first night that humanity is not worth saving doesn't seem to follow. He's always known, even before the Captain's betrayal, that there were bad humans. He used to think there were also good humans worth saving. Since the Captain, he's lost faith in that. Now that he's met Xavier and Elisa, he's probably regaining his faith, despite himself. The way to bring him back to his prejudices is with an ungrateful victim that he has saved. Some modern day equivalent to the queen or wizard. Humans will never stop fearing, blaming or hating the gargoyles. They don't deserve his assistance. Elisa, as a cop, can actually relate to this. But by example, she's trying to show him not to give up on humanity and it's potential.
To cement Goliath's gratitude, it's probably better if Xavier claims to have sought Demona out. Found her for Goliath. This was always part of Xavier and Demona's plan. Although Goliath will be overwhelmed by her reappearance, all the Gargoyles should be very glad to see her. And she, sincerely glad to see them. (She still hopes to turn them to the dark side.)
Again, we don't need non-detectability. Let's put the three disks in three very separate locations in the city. Let's send Goliath and Demona after one. The trio after another, and stick Hudson (much to his annoyance) w/Bronx to go after the third.
The disks must be largely inaccessible. (One in a tower; one in an underground vault, etc.) And they should each be protected by security systems and well-armed human guards. But only a guy like Xavier would create Spiderbots and Wardroids, so let's keep things clean by leaving them out. However, a good complication would be for the disk's real owners to call the police. Elisa, who's been waiting for Goliath to show, takes the call. She confronts Goliath and Demona. It's a horrible moment for everyone. He flies away w/the disk. But after turning it over to Xavier, he insists on going back to talk to Elisa. Demona would be against it. She'd relate Elisa to the Captain. Xavier might start making contingency plans...if Goliath is so honorable that he has to clear his conscience with the authorities, then it may not be so easy to turn him and keep him turned.
The trick is probably not to let Goliath come off as a big dope. It's o.k. that he's been fooled, as long as it's been a convincing con. He's a smart guy.
We need to contrast Elisa's responses w/Demona's knee-jerk ones. Elisa could be deeply disappointed. Goliath could try to explain why he did what he did. To Elisa it all sounds fishy, and at any rate, he shouldn't have taken the law into his own hands. That's where he might scoff at human law...and humans, in general. Don't let him get pouty. He's got legitimate gripes. But this disappoints Elisa further. She thought they had connected. Plus, she's been put in an awkward situation. He's a criminal now. Does she arrest him? He takes that decision out of her hands by leaving.
We're not clear on the meaning of Elisa's: "You're blaming humans because you can't face the blame yourself!" What blame?
If we use the Trio in the action-packed disk-raid, then we can cut the Artless Dodger. Again, we don't want to make "paranormals" too commonplace.
It's tough to believe that the Pack (or their replacements) would really think the gargoyles had stolen their money. And it's impossible to believe that Fox would betray her boss by giving away his well-mapped out plans. Xavier's control should be fairly complete. Basically, the multiple changes that these notes have suggested are going to require some major restructuring of the last few pages.
Xavier's "contingency plans" from above could help set the final act in motion. Maybe, he decides to test the gargoyles' loyalty to him once and for all. This is important, because Xavier would not just toss aside valuable "assets" like the Gargoyles, just because they had already accomplished the specific mission he acquired them for or because their talents were now largely redundant. If he thought there was a chance to keep them, he'd go for it. Maybe the loyalty test involves Elisa. That way, we can get that moment when Goliath refuses to betray Elisa. This cements Goliath and Elisa's relationship. Further enrages Demona, etc.
When Goliath fails the loyalty test, Xavier can then decide to destroy Goliath (and probably the other gargoyles as well). He can utilize the disk technology that the gargoyles stole which he has already used to enhance the Pack (or whoever) or build killer robots (or whatever). This personalizes the final battle. They're not saving the city. But themselves.
It's unlikely that Xavier would give away his plans just to gloat. He's too smart for that.
We want to reveal Demona's true colors to Goliath and our audience at the same time. The last great shocking secret revealed. Perhaps Goliath discovers the truth after failing the loyalty test. She tries to convince him one last time to change sides. If in the course of the loyalty test, he was physically defeated, this'll be like kicking him when he's down. And then it's Elisa who saves him and helps rally his spirits for the coming final confrontation.
How did Demona stay young for a thousand years?
Given the above, it's hard to see how the trio could refuse to help Goliath.
Obviously, we can now lose the army of paranormals. I'll miss Mister Billious the most.
We can probably reduce the talky-nature of the final battle scene by giving Elisa and Goliath a moment of calm before the battle begins. Remember, the key relationship is theirs. She may fear that the betrayals of Xavier and Demona will drive Goliath further into his shell. But she has unwittingly kept her promise. She has shown Goliath that humanity is worth saving, because she has shown Goliath herself. And it's enough, because she's a very special individual who considers herself fairly typical of humanity.
Demona can be armed with "modern" bazooka-laser Kirbyesque weapons to even out the odds in her and Goliath's one-on-one final battle.
Xavier's "death" may need to be rethunk. Perhaps Demona, who's been our secret betrayer from the beginning, should "die". (Maybe her weapon explodes?) Xavier, the human villain can be arrested by Elisa. He's not worried though, he'll have the best trial money can buy...or as Elisa counters: "The best cell."
Whew. That's it. Let me know if you have any questions.
cc: Gary Krisel, Bruce Cranston, Paul Lacy