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will Broadway ever meet Gabriel and the rest of Angela's rookery siblings? if so, what will Gabriel think of Broadway?
At some point, yes.
Broadway's a pretty personable guy, wouldn't you say?
I would think that Gabriel would like him.
Time to Ramble...
This third part of the tryptich, was designed to be a kick-ass battle. Lots of action, lots of excitement. All (or nearly all) the pipe had already been laid out. We had two of our toughest mortal villains (Demona and Macbeth) working with the mysterious and powerful Weird Sisters and the MEGA Archmage Plus, who possessed the power of Gate, Book and Eye. That seemed like some real competition for our good guys, who had wounded to protect.
It was time to go to war.
A few other soldiers:
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano
As the main titles were playing and Keith was narrating, my seven-year-old daughter Erin mentioned that Goliath and Darth Vader both do voices for phone companies.
Erin also figured out that Angela and Gabriel were being stalked by Demona, before she actually came on screen.
Goliath says it like a curse word when he realizes that A&G are being followed. That was how I wanted to use it. As I've mentioned before, the art staff eventually threatened a coup if I didn't drop it.
But if I ever get to do Gargoyles 2198, I'm bringing it back. That's a threat, not a promise.
Anyway, Goliath attempts to appeal to Demona and Macbeth's better natures. It starts to work, but it's too late. The Archmage has a good line: "They are my creatures now."
Then Bronx and Boudicca attack, saving our 'goyles. This was hinted at in Part Two. And clarified later when Angela comments on it. But it also was my way of serving notice that Bronx was no longer going to be the puppy-most-left-behind. The World Tour was his coming out party.
Anyway, the Archmage now changes his plan. Not because he doesn't want to take any chances, but really because his sensibilities have been offended. He has another good line: "If they are so eager to die..."
But it's really that balance I was trying to maintain between his newfound ultimate power and his original clichéd origins.
HUNTING HOLLOW HILLS
Elisa asks about the Sleeping King. The Magus says he's been sleeping in his Hollow Hill. More hints as to who the king was. (If the name Avalon wasn't hint enough.)
On the way, Elisa pumps Magus for information like he was in the interrogation room back home. She already guessed that he had a thing for Katharine. She wants the lowdown. It's really not her business. Call it a habit of her profession.
(There's an animation error on my tape, which I hope was corrected for later airings. When the Magus starts to narrate the flashback, both his and Elisa's mouth are moving, mouthing the same lines. Obviously, Elisa's animator misread the X-sheets and thought she was talking instead of the Magus.)
(Of course there's another semi-error which I've tried to explain away in the past. The lighting on the scene where Katharine and Tom play with the baby-gargs Angela, Gabe and Boudicca seems very daylight. I've always claimed that it was just a very bright moonlit night. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
This last flashback got my five year old son Benny talking. He asked "How did the gargoyles even get born?" And had to be reminded about the eggs from Part One (which we saw three weeks ago). "Oh, yeah," he said.
Then when we got to the Sleeping King, he compared that to a character that's on his radar: The sleeping MATA NUI from Bionicle.
The Magus uses magic, explaining that "magic is the lifeblood of Avalon." This seemed logical to me. That a practioner like the Magus could train himself to access that ambient magic -- but at a price.
My wife Beth was very impressed with Jeff Bennett's performance here. As a change of pace, Jeff was only playing one character -- as opposed to his usual fifty. But it was a truly heartbreaking performance, I think.
And I have to ask, given the Magus' first appearance in "Awakening, Part One", did you guys ever think that you could or would find that character this appealing, this sympathetic? I think that our ability to allow characters to grow and change was one of the hallmarks of our series. And I had the backbone of his change planned as early as "Awakening, Part Two": (1) his love for Katharine which is unequivocal and (2) his guilt over what he did to the gargoyles, which he never tries to dodge or make excuses for in any way.
The Leap of Faith. It does seem too Indiana Jones now. But obviously it must not have at the time. Either that or we were kidding ourselves. Still, I like Elisa here a lot.
The Platform lowers on cue and Elisa finally names the Sleeping King: "Arthur Pendragon, King of All Britain... You are needed." We wanted to keep it simple. That simple. I also wanted to begin establishing the name Pendragon. Everyone's heard of King Arthur. But you have to have had a bit of exposure to the legends to be familiar with the Pendragon name. I always thought it was cool. And I think that even then I had the notion of using it as the title for a spin-off.
Anyway, we get back to the Palace, and Elisa states a fact that I wonder if anyone had focused on before (regarding Demona and Macbeth): "You've never actually beaten either of them." Goliath agrees: "Simply foiled their plans or fought them to a stand still.
And then Arthur asks: "What's going on?" which I always thought was kind of funny. They're counting on him to help save the day. He doesn't even know the set up.
So while we get him up to speed, we cut to the Archmage who orders the Sisters to "Dispatch the Sleeping King." Erin smiles and says,, "What they don't know..." is that it's too late. But what I found interesting is that Erin actually did trail off. She knew that she didn't need to state what they didn't know. Cool.
DIVIDING THE TROOPS
True to Elisa's hopes (and my interpretation of the character of legend) Arthur in fact does immediately take charge.
He'll go with Elisa, Tom and Gabe to fight Demona & Macbeth.
Katharine, Bronx and Boudicca will guard the wounded 'eggs'. (Katharine has one of her bookend tough mom statements here: "They'll not harm my eggs again!")
Goliath and Angela will attack the Archmage.
And the Magus agrees to take on the Sisters.
Eventually -- after Art figures out that Demona feels Mac's pain and Demona establishes that she and Mac need to put distance between them to minimize the link -- things change a bit and Arthur faces Mac one-on-one, while Kathy, Bronx, Boudicca, Ophelia, Elisa, Tom and Gabe all team up to battle Demona -- who as always, may present the greatest threat of all, even when it's against her own interests.
All this seemed very appropriate to me. I like how the battle divides up. How the opponents match up. And you'll notice at the cliffhanger/commercial break that every one of our battles is going badly for the good guys. Macbeth seems to have the upper hand over Arthur. The Archmage has Goliath down. The Weird Sisters are clearly overpowering the Magus and even Demona is on the verge of wiping out all her opposition at the Palace.
KING ARTHUR PENDRAGON vs. MACBETH
We gave Arthur a mace, because I didn't want anyone to think that some random sword he was carrying might be Excalibur.
When Arthur says, "What manner of magic is this?" it made me wish we had just gone ahead and said "What sorcery is this?" like we usually did.
There's some fairly effective slo-mo animation in here. Slow motion in animation (when called for in scripts) usually makes me nervous. If not done well, it can just look like a poorly-timed, poorly-animated scene. But here it seems to work.
I like how the battle ends. Arthur takes the sword fragment, and for a second, it looks like he's going to skewer Mac. But instead he uses it to pin Mac to a tree. Setting him up for Arthur's punch into camera with his ringed fist. Disney S&P let us do that. ABC S&P didn't allow those kind of fist coming into camera shots on Goliath Chronicles. But I wasn't informed of the change in policy until after "The Journey" was animated.
PRINCESS KATHARINE, OPHELIA, BRONX, BOUDICCA, GABRIEL, THE GUARDIAN & ELISA MAZA vs. DEMONA
Ophelia gets another nice moment here, as even injured, she attempts to stop Demona.
Elisa again takes advantage of the fact that she knows that Demona's hatred for her is so extreme and irrational, that she'll literally drop her weapon for the chance to grapple with Elisa, the chance to tear her apart with her bare hands.
Of course, this is after Elisa demonstrates that she never carries enough ammo. After uselessly shooting at a beach and a hollow suit of armor, she's out of bullets by the time she gets a target of flesh and blood. Of course, we made Elisa a touch dopey in this department for S&P reasons. Elisa, being a NY cop, had to carry a gun. But short of doing an episode about gun violence like "Deadly Force" (which Toon Disney refuses to air these days), we couldn't actually let Elisa shoot anyone with her gun. So we found other uses and excuses.
But ultimately, it's Katharine who brings Demona down, looking quite intentionally like a medieval Ripley, saying the other bookend: "No one threatens my eggs."
THE MAGUS vs. PHOEBE, SELINE & LUNA: THE WEIRD SISTERS
Luna says to the Magus: "There is no future for you." That was a clue from the voice of fate. Anyone pick up on it?
I also like how all the Sisters say together: "You will suffer!" But of course, he's been suffering for decades. What he will soon be is free of all suffering...
I wanted to show here (among other things) that magic itself was neither good nor evil. Magic simply existed at the disposal of those with the power to wield it.
The Magus defeats the sisters and collapses onto Artie's platform. Erin asked quietly: "Did he die?" Benny looked for another way out: "He might have just lost his power."
GOLIATH & ANGELA vs. THE ARCHMAGE
Erin asked what the Archmage was planning for Goliath... and I had to answer something like "a painful death."
Goliath asks what I thought many of you might be asking: why doesn't the Magus just kill him. And David Warner answers as only he could: "Because I'm having too much fun."
We have all this Gate-Jumping. This was an afterthought. Because at one point I had thought of having our guys steal the gate back, I had forgotten to have the Archmage use the gate in the script. So at the board stage, I asked Dennis to put this in. We were very tight for time, but he obliged me. Ideally, I'd have liked to show them briefly in some other times, but I knew we just couldn't afford to design new layouts for two second shots. Even so, who knows where and when they went? Who knows how long they were gone? Sometimes their poses changed. But Goliath is like the Old Man of the Sea. He never lets go. And finally he takes the Eye away.
The Archmage is already in trouble, but how much he doesn't know for a few seconds. Then the power of the Grimorum destroys him from within. A nice creepy companion to him eating the book in Part Two.
And I love David's last line, the forlorn: "All my lovely magic..." Believe it or not, I had to fight a little to get that line in. Just a little. But still.
DEATH OF A HERO
The Magus' death stll moves me. His quiet desire for rest. Katharine's love for him. (Not romantic love, but love nonetheless.) K: "Oh, Magus, what have you done?"
The Magus still concerned that he owes a debt to Goliath and Goliath's forgiveness. The eyes closing and the star shooting overhead.
For S&P reasons, we decided not to make it absolute that he was dead. No one mentions death. Just rest. Sleep. And he is lying on the Sleeping King's platform by his own request.
And many fans, even adult fans, chose to believe he might still come back someday. Hey, more power to 'em, I guess.
But I felt/feel that would cheapen the moment. Cheapen the sacrifice. We sent our heroes into battle. And in battle, their are casualties. Some things are worth fighting for, but if we don't understand costs, then I want people to know that when something isn't worth fighting over, they shouldn't.
For various reasons, many of our voice actors in this episode recorded their lines separately. So we recorded each character saying goodbye to everyother character. Not knowing exactly what we would use. We, in my opinion, wound up using too much of these wild goodbyes. It's very awkward sounding to me now.
Gabe & Goliath establish why Gabe and his clan don't join Goliath in Manhattan and why Goliath doesn't bring his clan back to Avalon. Though both clans are born of the old Wyvern Clan, both have found new homes, which they will not abandon.
But Angela has a bit of Demona in her. The iconoclast, she wants more than normal clan life has to offer. She wants to see the world with Goliath. He proudly agrees. He wants one of his children with him. Gabriel and Angela say goodbye. He refers to her here as his rookery sister (not as his "Angel of the Night" or some other equivalent). This was done to make clear that they regarded each other as brother and sister, not mates. I basically wanted to leave her unattached for the Trio. Nevertheless, many fans still thought that they were a couple.
Art goes off on his own to be less conspicuous, and Goliath laughs a borderline Thailog laugh. He also plants pipe for Arthur's eventual stop in Manhattan.
Mac & Demona are freed from the spell, leaving them with no memory since they were first ensorcelled. There's an awkward bit of business here as the gargs who were guarding them move away, just so that Goliath can move in and push the skiff off. Flaw in the boarding that no one caught, I'm afraid.
The Sisters move off, having been forced off-camera to explain most everything.
Bronx & Boudicca part. Now that's a couple.
More pipe: Goliath swears that no one will ever use the eye or the Gate again. Famous last words.
Tom: "Elisa, I thought you understood. Avalon doesn't send you where you want to go! Avalon sends you where you need to be!"
Both Elisa and Erin said: What does that mean? at about the same time.
What did you think when you first heard that? We had officially launched the World Tour, but you didn't know it yet. What were you thinking?
Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours...?
Time to Ramble...
Director: Dennis Woodyard
Writer: Lydia Marano
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
I guess you guys were used to longer multi-parters from us, so you probably didn't think this was the last part when you saw Part Two come up after the title. I tried something different at the end though. Instead of writing "To be continued" I had them put down "To be concluded". It seemed (at least in my head) to increase tension to know that the next part would be the last.
I've been told by people that out of context, this episode is incomprehensible. I hope it's not quite that bad, but I will say that unlike the rest of our eps, I felt that multi-parter eps don't quite need to stand alone in the same way.
Still with all the time travel stuff, it's very complex. I remember Lydia having to come into my office after her first draft and needing me to diagram the time travel for her. The loop that the Archmage takes. I love it. But I guess it's not that easy to follow.
Anyway, this ep was designed to be the second part of a tryptich. This is the one where we focus on our villains and bring them all up to date, just as in part one, we focused on our heroes. All gearing to a MAJOR BATTLE coming in Part Three.
Picking up where Part One left off, Elisa looks at Angela, Gabriel and Boudicca and says: "These are the eggs?" I love her tone there.
Guardian: "Sorry, I always call them that." It was a cheat to buy us, at least with some percentage of our audience, the shock value of expecting eggs and finding fully grown gargs and beasts instead. Still, I believe that a guy like Tom, dubbed "Guardian of the Eggs" would continue to use that term to refer to his kids, even after they are grown.
Goliath is initially shocked that the gargs have names. Angela says the standard human response: "How else would we tell each other apart?" This was done intentionally to both cover the issue of non-garg naming (which I still think is neat, but which is often a massive pain) and to indicate that these are gargs raised by humans.
So I'm in my office one day, after the script to "Avalon, Part Two" has gone final. And Supervising Producer Frank Paur and Producer/Director Dennis Woodyard come in. Frank hates the script. Dennis is calmer, but he seems to clearly agree with Frank, more or less.
I'm annoyed because it's VERY late in the game for them to be giving me these kind of notes. Things get heated between me and Frank.
I yell something like: "Well, what do you want me to do?!!!"
And he yells something like: "We need some action! Like a fight on the Beach with the Archmage!!"
And I start to object for about a second. Then I go, "Oh, yeah. A fight on the beach with the Archmage. That'd be cool. Would that fix it?"
And that was it. Our fights were always like that. We always only wanted to make it better. He'd get worked up, but the solution wound up being simple and when push came to shove (we never actually pushed and shoved by the way) we agreed on nearly everything.
It was also good to have Dennis' calming influence. Frank and I would go momentarily nutty and Dennis would always maintain.
So anyway, after the fact we added the memorable fight on the beach. Now I can't imagine the episode without it. It forced us to trim down some the Archmages travels (cause we were already long) but it definitely improved the episode.
I think, not sure, but I think I wrote that fight because it came so late in the game. It's also possible, I might have taken it back to Brynne and/or Lydia to write. I really don't remember anymore.
Either way, there are some great lines:
Goliath: "Don't be too insulted!" I love how he goes nuts here. We really get a reminder of his warrior-ness.
Archmage: "Don't crow too loudly, after all, what have you accomplished: you beat up a beach." You beat up a beach. That's one of my favorite lines in the whole series.
Archmage: "At dawn you all will die. Get used to it!"
Tom: "Let's get out of here before the very air attacks us!"
The fight itself is pretty cool too. I like how Bronx and Boudicca immediately team up. I like the symbolic nature of the Archmage growing wings, turning to stone and then shattering. I think that was a board-artist's addition. I don't remember seeing that in the script. (And I'm too lazy to stand up and check right now.)
At the end of the fight, my five year old son Benny asked: "Why can't they glide to the castle?" I had to explain the flight rules.
ANGELA & GABRIEL
Elisa slides up to Goliath: "Angela sort of looks like Demona, except her coloring is different. Exactly whose daughter is she?" Again, I love Salli's reading here. That need to know. The jealousy. The feeling for Goliath -- who dodges the question by saying that all children belong to the clan.
But of course Elisa knows. Knows something that I believe never occured to her before. Sure, she knew that Goliath and Demona had been mates, lovers. But she didn't let her mind traverse to the next logical step. Parents. Together. Goliath and Demona.
And of course, the audience knows it too, I hope. It was never meant to be a secret to anyone but Angela who her biological parents are. These lines also served to point that out.
On the other hand, we didn't make a big deal of Gabe's bio-parentage. But I wanted it to be semi-clear that his folks were Othello and Desdemona (Coldstone and Coldfire). Anyone get that at first viewing?
Everyone returns to Oberon's Palace. There are many injured and Gabe is apologetic. As Leader, he feels responsible. But there was 'never any need to hone our combat skills' before this.
Tom & Katharine are reunited. Elisa, the cop, picks up on the human dynamics, the relationships, immediately. She sees the Magus' reaction to their reunion.
I also really like the exchange between the Princess and Goliath.
K: "This is more than I could have hoped for."
G: "What you've done for the eggs is more than I could have dreamed of"
We kept dropping hints. He's mentioned by the Magus, but the conversation moves quickly on.
Later, the Weird Sisters mentioned him. The Archmage is surprised to hear he's not a myth, causing Seline to say her famous: "All things are true." line. The Archmages promise to kill the king later.
And Elisa brings the guy up at the end. This policy was me trying to play fair and make his awakening in Part Three not seem artificial. But also not to allow the guy to distract from the matter at hand.
Of course, most of THIS crowd must have known the s-king was a ref to KING ARTHUR. Particularly when the Hollow Hill ref was thrown in too. But did anyone not know on first viewing?
This was an episode for tying up Loose Ends in a big way. Solving some mysteries.
Why did the Weird Sisters do what they did? (At least objectively.)
Why were Demona and Macbeth working together in "High Noon"? (Elisa: "They hate each other." Guardian: "I saw no sign of that.")
And how did the Archmage survive?
Tom unwittingly hints at the truth when he says that the Archmage seemed to be able to be in two places at once.
Now let's reveal...
Wow! Did we get negative feedback from fans when we played the Sisters as villains here. Of course, I always had it in my head that the Sisters had three aspects. Grace, Vengeance and Fate. Sometimes one aspect is ascendent, but there is always a touch of all three in anything they do. But after the Sisters' Fateful appearances in "City of Stone", many fans rebelled at the notion that the objective reason they did all those things was for simple petty vengeance here in "Avalon". Oh, well.
[When Benny saw the Sisters for the first time, he said "Weird Sisters" with an interesting tone of awe. They're his favorites. But he didn't comment on them being bad guys here.]
The sisters have some nice lines...
L: "What is time to an immortal."
Phoebe: "This is true." (in ref to what cannot be broken can be bent).
Okay, this was just fun for me. In many ways the origin of much of this was the flat out talent of David Warner. He brought such life to the underwritten (and clichéd) part of the Archmage in "Long Way to Morning" that I just knew I'd have to bring him back. Many of the events of "Vows", "City of Stone", "High Noon" etc. were all geared toward bringing him back as a real THREAT!!
Yet with all this, I didn't want to forget the character's roots. We tried to set a balance between his clichés and his new power.
Think about it. The Archmage+ (as we called him in the script), had only been plussed for about a day. Still he's full of arrogance. His power hasn't raised him above that hybris nor above the thirst for vengeance nor above gloating or above impatience. That's his flaw, but also the fun, I think.
And of course, David. Wow.
Praise for Salli Richardson as Elisa. For Kath Soucie as Princess Katharine and all three Weird Sisters. For Frank Welker as Bronx and Boudicca.
But this Archmage stuff here is a tour de force, I think. David just went through, playing both characters. Both versions of himself. Keep in mind, he hadn't been privy to all that the writers had planned. He had come in for his small parts in both "Long Way" and "Vows". Now suddenly, he's this guy(s). Amazing.
"Do you know what to do?"
"I should. I watched you do it."
"Show some dignity."
"I could put you back where I found you."
"No, no." (I love that no, no. So tiny and fearful.)
"Not where. When."
"If you don't know, don't guess."
"The book must remain in play."
"Try to keep up."
"We're not doing her any favors."
"The rules that cannot be broken can surely be bent."
"Nine hundred and seventy-five YEARS??!!"
"I hadn't thought that far in advance."
"What am I supposed to do, eat it?!"
"Now I understand."
"As it did. As it must. As it always will!"
All great fun.
All these episodes were being produced simultaneously. All in various stages of production. So inconsistencies were bound to happen.
The Egg boats are messed up here. Demona's model in her flashback. Etc.
And storywise, what's the deal with Macbeth? I can see why the Archmage wants to include his former apprentice Demona in his plans. He felt betrayed by her, and is glad not to be doing her any favors by enslaving her.
Okay, it's not a true flaw. Macbeth is included because the 'plan of the Archmage' -- birthed whole from the timestream without the Archmage ever actually coming up with it independently (though he takes credit) -- included Macbeth.
It is the provence of Luna, not Seline, at work.
But still, I'd have liked to have been able to figure out some connection between the Archmage and Macbeth so that he wouldn't question the boy's inclusion. Thankfully, the Archmage+ is so arrogant, he takes credit and thus never questions. It occurs to me now, that I could have made a connection between Mac and his ancestors, all related to Katharine and Malcolm. Oh, well.
These became fun for me. Adding Captions indicating place and time is one of the very last steps in production. So I'm in there for the "On-Line" with Jeff Arthur, our post-production supervisor, and I'm just indulging...
Sure we start with...
"Scotland, 984 A.D."
But pretty soon we're at "YESTERDAY" and "SIX HOURS AGO" and "ONE MINUTE AGO" and finally "NOW".
It still makes me smile.
So the Archmage gets the eye. Power. But he's still an idiot. He needs wisdom. He eats the book, which I always thought was really creepy and cool. Now he understands. Now we truly have two Archmage+es. But they can't coexist forever. Aside from how complicated that would be to choreograph, and aside from the fact that the timestream needs the younger of the two to fulfill his role....
They also couldn't coexist because both are too arrogant.
So we repeat the scene of departure to close the circle and tack on: "Finally. I thought he'd never leave."
We get to see a new clan awake from stone. I hoped that was fun.
Ophelia appears (pre-injury). She looked way cool. For all those people who thought that Gabe and Angie were a couple, take a look at the way Gabe is holding Ophelia and looking at her after she's injured.
In addition to the Sleeping King, we were also laying pipe for our whole fourth tier WORLD TOUR. Tom says: "Avalon dropped me in your laps." He credits Avalon with sending him to Goliath.
The Magus declares that he is without magic and useless. Katharine rebels at that: "Don't say it, and don't think it!" She loves him. Just not the way he wanted her to love him.
Bronx and Boudicca want to go with Goliath.
Elisa asks about the Sleeping King...
And Goliath, Angela and Gabriel take off on a stealth attack.
And we immediately see that the Archmage knows they're coming.
As the Archmage says... "[We've layed all the damn pipe we could possibly need and more], Now the fun really begins!"
To be concluded...
And that's my ramble. Where's yours?
since Angela has had an interest in gargoyle parentage and has a close relationship with Gabriel has see perhaps guessed that Gabriel's parents are Othello and Desdemona? she had to know that they had a child on Avalon, did she think through the next step and guess at that child?