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Sanctuary Outline Memo

In prep for my ramble on Sanctuary, here's my notes to Story Editor/Writer Cary Bates on his first outline for "Sanctuary"...

WEISMAN 2-13-95

Notes on "Sanctuary" Outline...

GENERAL
Cary, I'm going to resist the temptation of beating this all out for you. That's how I got so far behind before. And at this stage I doubt I could do it any faster or better than you. So I want you to do a second draft on this outline, addressing ALL of the notes below. I sympathize, in advance. This is a complicated story. But I know we (meaning mostly you) can make it work. Don't take too long. And feel free to call after you've read this. We may be able to work out some of the problems over the phone. Good luck and here goes:

"SANCTUARY"
How does the title fit? What is the theme of the story? Is it about feeling safe? Safe in the arms of someone you love? I like that notion, but we'd have to emphasize it a lot more.

And simultaneously, more of the action should be centered around Notre Dame Cathedral. Economically, we can't afford to design backgrounds for an entire city. So we should keep the action focused on a few locations, that climax at the gargoyle covered cathedral-"sanctuary".

Plus, we don't want newspapers to be generically talking about a "mysterious winged creature". We want them focused on the Creature haunting the Cathedral at night. Maybe they think it's someone posing as Quasimodo, or his spirit or maybe they even think it's a gargoyle come to life or something. Of course, it's really Thailog. (Not Demona, by the way.) He's been there since "Double Jeopardy". Arriving long before Demona and Macbeth arrived.

We need to involve Thailog more at the end. Make him part of the conflict. I think he would have upgraded a bit. Used some of that $20 million to armor himself for battle. Not necessarily robotic armor, but at least a chestplate. Maybe wrist and shin guards. Keep in mind, we want him to be more powerful than Goliath and more threatening than any other villain. We should probably arm him with some big high-tech bazooka/laser/cannon type-thing too.

And we don't have to break up Demona and Thailog at the end. We just need to know that Thailog doesn't really care for her.

Remember, Thailog's plan isn't to kill Demona and Macbeth for the sake of killing them. He wants what they have managed to acquire over the last nine hundred years. If he could add that to the fortune he's parlayed from the money he stole from Xanatos, he might be able to compete with Xanatos financially. He needs to have already merged Demona's holdings with his own. So that his corporation (and we should get a cool, evocative name for it) we'll inherit in the case of her demise. And he wants to inherit Macbeth's stuff too. So if Mac and Dierdre marry, and both die together, (which is the only way they can die) he'll get everything.

Now, I'm not pretending this is easy to accomplish. As I read the outline, I was wondering if we needed a maguffin or two to symbolize this wealth. Maybe Macbeth's Paris Mansion itself. But we managed to figure something out for "Outfoxed" that clearly and dynamically spelled out Halcyon and Fox's "financial conflict". We can do the same thing here. With the same clarity.

OTHER QUESTIONS
Does Macbeth plan on telling "Dierdre" the truth about himself?

Is this the first time since Gruoch that Macbeth has been in love? Since he's an immortal has he avoided close relationships, not wanting to outlive his lover? Or watch her grow old? Or has he been through this before? Maybe not often, but once or twice over the last nine hundred years. How did he handle it in the past? Is he doing something different now? Highlander questions, basically.

Is Macbeth afraid for Dierdre's life? Does he think Demona might try to harm Dierdre to get back at him?

Do Goliath, Elisa and Angela assume at first that Macbeth and human Demona are in cahoots and only realize/remember later that since M&D have no memory of anything between City of Stone and Avalon, that Macbeth might not know that this human woman is in fact Demona?

Do we have an opportunity, maybe when Goliath and Elisa are searching Paris for the villains, for them to be romanitcally affected by the City of Lights?

When it's over, instead of Macbeth simply remaining bitter and once again suicidal, could Goliath point out to him that life offers possibilities... that if Macbeth could fall in love with Demona, he could certainly fall in love with someone else? Someone nice who would make his long life worth living again, at least for a time.

SOME SPECIFICS
A bunch of things, (some of which Cary the Story Editor should have been able to catch from his reading of past scripts, tsk tsk). Some of these notes may be moot after a rewrite of the outline.

Beat 2) Goliath, Elisa and Angela know that Demona and Macbeth left Avalon unconcious and together. Wherever they landed it would also have to be together. (Of course, Goliath and Co. have been travelling for awhile. So there's no guarantee that Macbeth and Demona stayed together after landing wherever they landed. It's just a good bet.)

There's also no reason for Goliath to assume that Macbeth and Demona are involved with each other still. (After all, they hate each other.) Also no reason to assume that Macbeth would be hurt by the association. And though there's no love left between Demona and Goliath, Goliath has no reason to feel sympathy for Macbeth. The audience might. Some of them would know Mac's backstory from City of Stone and sympathyze, but Goliath doesn't know the whole story. And he's got no reason to think more of Macbeth than Demona. Ironically, it is Thailog, more evil than any of the others, who Goliath would have the most sympathy for. He sees Thailog as a victim of poor upbringing. He'd like to reform and rescue his "son".

On the other hand, by this time Goliath believes that they land everywhere for a purpose. If he sees Macbeth and/or Demona, it's not too big a leap for him to figure that whatever the purpose, it involves these villains.

Beat 4) Again, here we'd like the headlines to be more specific to the Cathedral.

Beat 5) Elisa would recognize the human Demona from "High Noon".

Beat 7) We are forcing the creation of a lot of different sets and backgrounds here. Also don't forget that Demona's transformations to gargoyle (and back) are painful. Also don't forget that Macbeth feels any pain that Demona feels and vice versa. Distance reduces the pain, but we've never been really specific about how much distance or what the reduction is. Does Macbeth, across town, feel a little of Demona's pain at transformation? If so, he could blame Demona, knowing as he does, that he feels her pain. All that would tell him is that Demona is in the vicinity. It wouldn't reveal that Demona is Dierdre, unless he saw her transform. On the other hand, Demona might be far enough away that Macbeth feels nothing. Or just a slight twinge of soreness, that he doesn't immediately connect with Demona. We can play it any of these ways, we just need to deal with this "Corsican Brother"-style pain-sharing. We can't ignore it.

Beat 10) We've got a lot of set-up with little action up to this point. Maybe we can streamline a bit. Also, it feels like Mac's hovercraft might be a little unwieldy for this sequence. Maybe he's on the flying equivalent of a jet-ski or something a bit more svelt.

But there's another big question. What is Macbeth's objective towards Demona at this point? He knows that the only way to rid himself of her is to die himself. He may have forgotten the lessons of City of Stone and Avalon, but I would think that his love for Dierdre would prevent him from wanting to die. Later we imply that he's chasing Demona in order to chase her out of town. But that's pretty goofy logic. "I haven't seen you in weeks. So I'm going to hunt you down, to make sure you stay out of my life."

Beat 11) We definitely want to do something with the Eiffel Tower. Maybe even stage a battle there in the first or second act. But the Tower is open to tourists at night. Does anyone see them hanging there? Or are we way into wee hours by this time?

Beat 13) Goliath can't steal this guys camcorder. He's not a thief. Even destroying it is pretty malicious for Goliath, who's never gone too far out of his way to hide from humans.

Beat 16) Gargoyles don't kiss. They stroke hair. And it's "Notre Dame" ("Our Lady"), not "Notre Damn" ("Our Damnation"?)

Beat 17) The Cathedral is a very temporary safe house for Thailog while some safer, new place is being built for him. (Or maybe that's part of what Thailog is after: Macbeth's Paris Mansion.) It is not abandoned. Thailog is safe their during the day, because he's like a needle in a gargoyle haystack. After dark, he can stay out of sight in the upper reaches, until the Cathedral closes for the night. But he can't have much of a set-up there. Computers? Paintings? I don't think so. Particularly when we've got reports of a creature climbing around the church at night. People might investigate. They wouldn't find Thailog. But what would they make of that computer?

Beat 18) Demona may have no desire to "see" Goliath, since she found Thailog. But she'd still want him dead. Plus she MUST be curious about this female gargoyle. She thinks she knows all the gargoyles that exist, and none of them are female. She'd have to know. (And for that matter, so would Thailog.)

Beat 19) Think about how silly it would look in live action, if a villain who looked like Thailog, whipped out a brush and in a few seconds added a necklace to a painting. It's equally silly looking in animation. Maybe moreso because it's so easy to do.

I don't understand the pre-nuptual agreement at all. Why does Macbeth feel he needs it? (And don't tell me his lawyers push him around.) Besides, the whole idea of it goes against what we want to have happen in the story. Thailog wants Mac and Demona to get married. And have Demona inherit so that he can inherit from her, when both Demona and Mac die. Or am I missing something? I don't think we want this to be about stealing money from a safe. That's small potatos for Thailog and Demona. Either we need to have some irreplaceable (possibly magical) maguffin in that safe, or we should be dealing with the whole ball of wax. The former would probably be easier, but I'd like to go for the latter ball of wax if we can.

Beat 20) Again, I don't buy Macbeth's logic for hunting down Demona.

Beat 21) Angela can't operate a camcorder. She's not Lex. (And as noted above, I don't see anyway for our guys to have this anyhow.) Plus she wouldn't recognize Thailog. Also it feels like a pretty big jump for Goliath to figure that Demona and Thailog are working together. Not an impossible jump, but a big one.

Also, I was unclear. Did Goliath have a chance to give instructions to Elisa or did he turn to stone before he had time?

Beat 23) Again, I don't believe Macbeth lets lawyers push him around. And I don't think we need this pre-nup agreement in the story.

Beat 24) I really don't like this camcorder. And I don't know why Elisa needs it here. Like if she followed Mac and Dem, returned to Goliath without visual proof he wouldn't believe her story?

Beat 25) "How can I prove my love to you?" "Give me the combination to your safe." Yeah, that wouldn't make me suspicious.
I'd almost rather play any scene like this where Macbeth is insisting on giving something to Dierdre, who protests that she doesn't want it. The more she protests that all she needs is his love, the more he wants to lavish on her. In this way, he is predictable, but he's not being fooled by "crocodile tears" into doing something that seems incredibly fishy.

Beat 26) Again, Elisa would recognize human Demona from "High Noon" the first time she saw her. But here I was entirely unclear. How does footage of Dierdre prove that she's Demona, when Elisa didn't recognize her in person?

And this bit about Dierdre being Demona's name...? Gargoyles didn't have names in the tenth century. Naming is a human convention. Goliath referred to Demona back then as his angel love, or his angel of the night. Do we want to change "Dierdre" to "Angel" or "Angelica" or "Angelique". I don't know if you still need this, since Elisa would recognize human Demona, but I suppose you could, as long as we wouldn't be confusing the audience with Angela.

Why wouldn't Goliath want Elisa along? And why would Elisa agree to stay behind?

And what is it that Angela's staring at? Footage of human Dierdre? This isn't going to help her make the connection between herself and Demona. Visual clues aren't really the answer at all, since she would have seen Demona in the Avalon 3-parter. She learned from Sevarius that Goliath was her biological father. Here she learns that Demona was Goliath's love all those years ago. She puts two and two together over the course of the episode. Figuring out the truth only after she's already come to regard Demona as evil. You won't have room here to deal with the ramifications of that discovery. You're just setting things up for another story.

Beat 27) Why does Macbeth want to capture Goliath and Angela if he wants to get Gargoyles out of his life for good?

Beat 28) Goliath is "spreading" lies? To who? I mean we know he's not. But who does Macbeth think he's spreading lies to, that makes him want to imprison Goliath to stop it?

Also Macbeth could NOT have heard about Thailog. He was under the Weird Sister's spell when Thailog made his only other appearance. Besides who would he have heard about him from?

Beat 32) Again, not at all happy about Thailog's magic paintbrush. Particularly since it proves nothing here. It's not a photograph. If Macbeth thinks Goliath might lie about Dierdre, why wouldn't he think that this is a further lie somehow accomplished by Goliath.

Beat 33) I'm glad Macbeth keeps his cook. That guy can make a mean omelette.

Beat 36) Again, don't forget that Macbeth and Demona feel each other's pain while fighting.

Beat 39) These are huge leaps for Angela to make. How does she know this about Thailog. Also does Thailog show up there, state what he states and then not get involved in the fight? Or is that a typo for Goliath? Maybe we should let the battle climax at the Cathedral. Thailog is there. Goliath tries to "save" his son from Demona's evil. (Goliath assumes this plan is Demona's, not Thailog's.) Thailog just laughs. Reveals he wants Mac and Demona to kill each other. And he'll kill Goliath to prevent him interferring. Or something like that.

Beat 41) Killing Demona would at least knock Macbeth out.

Beat 42) Again, doesn't Thailog want anything besides their deaths?

Beat 44) Goliath still needs to be in some discomfort vis-a-vis the biological mother and father thing. It's not the gargoyle way. Brynne is going to deal with this (she'll have the space to deal with it) in her Africa story. Let Elisa be the one who confirms Angela's suspicions.

Beat 45) Again, I think we're working against our own ends. Why does Thailog need Macbeth and Demona dead, if not for what he can gain by their deaths?

Beat 46) Again, I think we can let Demona and Thailog go off together. Also, we've spent the whole episode with Demona turning back and forth from human to gargoyle. Demona does not turn to stone -- ever.

Beat 47) Angela should not get any comfort from Goliath in this episode. You don't have the time to deal with it here. If she receives comfort, it would come from Elisa.

MOVING FORWARD
O.k. try another pass. I'd streamline, by opening with the skiff arriving in daylight. Elisa leaves the stone gargoyles on the skiff tied under a bridge and goes to explore Paris. A place she's never been. She probably calls home again. Maybe she tries her parents this time, and again gets an answering machine. To save money on a voice actor, the answering message can be one that Elisa recorded for her parents months ago. (My sister is on my parents' machine with a message she recorded two years ago.) Elisa's voice says something like: "My parents don't know how to work their answering machine, but if you leave a message for Peter or Diane Maza, there's a fifty-fifty chance they'll call you back"). You don't have to jump through hoops to get the message erased this time. Then she briefly wanders around Paris like a tourist until she spots Mac and "Dierdre" who she immediately recognizes as Demona. She doesn't know that Mac doesn't know it's Demona. She'd probably assume they're up to something bad together. And also guess that they're why she and Goliath, etc. have landed in Paris. She follows them at a safe distance, etc. She doesn't want to get spotted. Near nightfall, she might head back so that she can inform Goliath when he awakens. Or she might not want to lose Macbeth and Demona until after she's found their H.Q. Or maybe when Mac and Dierdre split up, Elisa follows Dierdre to see where she lands, then loses her among the tourists at the cathedral.

Anyway, that's somewhere to start.


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Chapter XXIX: "Double Jeopardy"

My family and I watched "Double Jeopardy" a few nights ago for the DCV and for my (belated) but on-going Ramblings on each of the Gargoyles episodes...

(This 'chapter'/episode was written & Story Edited by my old buddy Cary Bates.)

It's literally been over a year since my kids or my wife have seen an episode of Gargoyles. I've occasionally had to check out individual scenes and/or credits for things I've been working on, but I don't think I've sat down to watch a whole episode beginning to end in quite some time either.

Watching the opening titles, my five year old son Benny remarked to his seven year old sister Erin: "You have [Brooklyn] and I have Goliath." He's referring to the Kenner toys I gave them a couple Christmas' ago. Erin, I believe has Brooklyn, Broadway and the Steel Clan robot. Benny has Goliath, Lex and Xanatos.

Then when Benny saw Xanatos in the credits, he said, "I was Xanatos last year." Here, he's referring to the fact that he dressed up as Xanatos for the costume ball at G2000. I had to point out that that was nearly TWO years ago.

TITLE

Cary must have come up with this one, I think. I tend to favor one-worders myself. His original title was "Thailog Rules", which I didn't care for. I liked "Reversals" but he must have convinced me to go for "Double Jeopardy".

Erin, who can now read, asked what "Jeopardy" meant. I said "Trouble". And she was very amused that the title 'translated' as "Double Trouble". She liked that better, I think. She also enjoys reading the various on-screen scrawls, like "One Year Ago" and "One Year Later". Reading is like a super-power to her now. I hope she doesn't lose that.

THE FLASHBACK

So we open with a touch of continuity. Or retcon, I suppose. Though to me retcon is a nearly derogative term suggesting that continuity has been abused to fit new circumstances and I think our little flashback here fits in nicely with what we already knew of that time. A Steel Clan Robot interrupts Elisa trying to convince G that they need to find a new home. Goliath puts the bot down hard and fast. It's a cool and well-timed scene.

It's nice to see Goliath's old stubbornness there too.

Now, to the present. There's a color error (or perhaps cheat) where we see a flash of what will eventually turn out to be Thailog's arm. It's Goliath's color, not Thailog's.

Then we hear the maniacal laughter, which Hudson will later comment on: "Do you even know how to laugh maniacally?" he'll ask Goliath. The answer, surprisingly, is yes. Though I had forgotten, Goliath laughs pretty darn maniacally in "Enter Macbeth" after Macbeth suggests that Demona will come to Goliath's rescue. Still, one of the impulses that made me want to create Thailog was Keith David's talent. The fact that he was brilliant as Goliath, but that Goliath didn't allow us to show but a fraction of Keith's true range. Creating Thailog allowed Keith to do things that he otherwise wouldn't. And I think he's amazing. There's never any question as to which character is speaking whether that character is on-camera or not. And he does it all with acting. The voice itself is the same. Thailog lets Keith cut loose and just be BAD.

Also, a touch of Jeff Bennett's amazing flexibility too. Jeff does a Schwartzenegger impersonation for the mercenary. Beth immediately recognized it as an Arnold takeoff, but didn't know who was voicing it. She was suitably impressed to find out it was yet another creation of JB's.

I like Lex's line: "Made my hair stand on end... if I had any". (Note, all quotations are approximate.)

I had some fun trying to mess with the audience's minds. Which is tough, because honestly you guys (tv watchers in general these days) are pretty savvy people who know most writer-tricks. When you saw Thailog frozen in stone on the parapet, before the real Goliath & Brooklyn appeared in the episode, what did you think was going on?

Benny (still focused on the prologue) theorized: "It's a robot that also can be turned to stone."

Erin knew it wasn't Goliath. And after a few minutes wondered if the robot had cloned Goliath. (NOTE: Both kids have seen the episode before. But long ago. And for Benny, so long ago, that there's really no possible way he could remember it. Erin doesn't remember either, at least not consciously, but she may have more of a sense of it buried in there somewhere.)

CONTINUITY:

The Emir is mentioned again. I think, though I can't remember for sure, that by this time, I had some vague notion of picking up on the throw away mention of this guy in "The Edge" and using him as a character later. So we mention him having deadline problems. In theory, he's already working on the Anubis plan that Xanatos agreed to bankroll back in "The Edge" -- but which wouldn't come to fruition until "Grief".

Owen is fun here too for me: "Is this a plan you neglected to mention?" A reasonable possibility, though it's hard to imagine that Xanatos would work anything behind Owen's back. I also like the bit about how Xanatos has never lacked for formidable enemies.

And Arnold's line about Sevarius giving him the creeps is truer now than ever before. Sitting in front of me is an article from this past Sunday's L.A. Times about Dr. Severino Antinori's real life cloning experiments. I even have a picture of the guy. He doesn't look much like our Anton. But the name and the sliding ethics sure sound spookily like Dr. Sevarius. As far as I know, that's a name that Michael Reaves made up out of the blue. It's really weirding me out.

Owen & Xanatos figure out that the kidnapper is Sevarius, and Xanatos has that great resigned villainous speech about how "An example must be made." It's funny. We have to work to get him to do anything that an everyday cartoon villain would do without breaking a sweat.

Also, we get the first mention of the "Thailog Project". The word "Thailog" itself, as I may have mentioned before, was another major impetus (is that spelled right) for creating the character.

While we were mixing the 35mm movie version of the pilot, there was one scene that was giving us trouble. The guys at Disney Sound kept rewinding across this scene over and over and I kept clearly hearing the same word "Thailog" over and over again. I eventually realized it was Elisa saying Goliath backwards. I just liked the sound of Thailog and that gave me the idea of creating an evil (i.e. backwards) Goliath. Again, that would also give Keith some fun opportunities.

But one thing I didn't want to do was to make Thailog a true dead-ringer for Goliath. I felt that had been done to death. It was fun to misdirect in the first act. But after that, I wanted something different. Thus we have the 'pigmentation' change brought on by the accelerated aging process. (This was another thing that mattered to me. Clones who miraculously are the same age as the original bug me. I wanted to at least pay lip service to the notion that theoretically a clone should age normally. The color change was an attempt to kill two birds with one stone.)

The specifics of the color change were actually inspired by John Byrne's tenure on the FANTASTIC FOUR at Marvel. He did a bunch of issues where the FF went to the Negative Zone, and when they emerged, their uniforms were altered from black and light blue to white and dark blue. It always seemed like a simple but stunning change. So Thailog was a nega-Goliath. (And, yes, Darkwing's foe Negaduck also had an influence, I'm sure.)

MORE CONTINUITY

Broadway's ongoing 'learning to read' subplot is advanced. Lex has put two and two together and guessed that what they saw might just be a clone. Which is smart o him, I think. But BW has to figure out what Lex was spelling out. Perhaps even more of a challenge for a guy that didn't care about the written word, just a few short months before.

Erin saw her birthday on the Thailog project logs, and was very tickled. (Of course, it's really no coincidence.) I felt a little bad, since Benny's birthday never appears in the show. (Since he wasn't born yet.)

BW: "This is bad news."
LEX: "You can say that again."
BW: "This is bad news."
Erin: <LAUGHS> "He said it again."

Love the X & Sev scenes. It's always fun to give Tim Curry a chance to really HAM it up. (You can see how a lot of our work was inspired by the talents of our cast.) But I just love cross-purpose conversations in general. And this one is a blast. It's also nice to see Xanatos confused for a change. Props to Jonathan Frakes, who always gave us a very non-showy but spot on performance. Particularly once the voice and animation were put together.

X: You're the kidnapper.
Sev: I guess I am at that.

Goliath sees Thailog for the first time and reacts very badly. I think it's (dare I say it) very human of him. He thinks Thailog is an abomination. I love the "...pieces out my soul" line. Love it.

***HEY! I know I've said this before, but in case everyone's forgotten... These ramblings are admittedly a little obnoxious. I'm like praising my own work here. Except (a) some of it isn't my work, but the work of my colleagues and it still impresses me and (b) I'm genuinely fond of all this stuff so forgive the indulgence.****

Anyway, Elisa points out that Thailog is almost Goliath's son.

This was another ongoing point of behind-the-scenes contention. Since Thailog appears to be Goliath's evil twin, Cary and others thought we should play them as brothers instead of father & son. But that just seemed wrong to me. That wasn't the relationship either genetically or otherwise. And I liked the notion of Thailog having three fathers that he was in constant conflict/competition with.

All the father/son stuff is great.

I love the "Chip off the old block" "All the old blocks" exchange. Pun intended of course.

And Thailog's line "...just to raise a fool."

And Sev's "You do and do and do for them."

Thailog laughs maniacally multiple times. YAY!

Round about here, Erin muttered: "This is an odd episode."

Note that Thailog is attracted to Elisa from the start. Creepy. But also he's more in touch with his body chemistry than Goliath is. Guess it helps if you haven't had a decades of socialization.

Actually, everyone admires Elisa. X for her delicate wrists. The bit with Elisa slipping out of her manacles always seemed like a bit of a cheat to me. (See, sometimes there are things I don't like.) The handcuffs line was a semi-feeble attempt to cover.

I like the idea that Sev had worked up a garg specific knock-out gas that Thailog used.

I liked the animation and sound work on Thailog tearing open the oil barrels.

I liked Thailog's line "Now I know where I got the temper." But does he really have much of a temper. He seems much more Xanatosian than Goliathesque in that regard. But I do think he holds more of a grudge. He just hides it.

Tangent, but I believe that this maybe explains his relationship (still to come) with Demona a bit. I think he knows on some level that Demona likes him because he's the Goliath she always wanted. And Thailog is very into being his own man. He wants nothing from his fathers that he hasn't TAKEN.

Thailog won't leave without his money. I'd ask in hindsight whether or not at that point the money was even still in that briefcase.

Goliath by the end is now fully on-board with the notion of Thailog being his son. His clannish instincts have taken over. And he feels that all of Thailog's rookery fathers (X, Sev and G) have failed Thailog. The notion of multiple fathers is something that's easy for him to grasp. But of course, he takes his own failure to heart more than the others. Cuz he expects THEM to be jerks.

And now our patented Xanatos Tag. Only it's flipped into a Thailog tag. I love Owen's line: "He's out there, he has the money, he's as powerful as Goliath and he's smarter than you." Only Owen could slam X like that with impunity. And X's return: "Owen, I think I've created a monster." Love that too.

Still not sure whether I love the super-imposed Thailog head. But I do like Thailog's maniacal laughter. Never get enough of that.

Erin: "[Thailog] practically is a monster. Gargoyles are supposed to be monsters. Only they're nicer. Thailog is a monster."

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Double Jeopardy Outline Notes

[With the DCV moving into episodes that my rambles haven't yet covered, I'm again going to try to reprint old memos from the series. What follows are my notes on writer/story editor Cary Bates' outline for what eventually became "Double Jeopardy". By the time we wrote this memo, we'd clearly gone through three iterations of the story (which I no longer possess). This version related below, is darn close to what we finally wound up with, and should give you an idea of how closely I worked with the story editors, though it reveals little about who came up with what, since even I don't remember how much of what follows was new to this document and how much was part of what came before. Enjoy.]

WEISMAN 12-24-94

Notes on "Thailog Rules" Outline...

GENERAL
O.K. You're last beat sheet was a big improvement. Particularly the Sevarius stuff. But something still seemed missing. So I reviewed all three versions of this thing and after dancing them around in my head a bit, came up with the following. It preserves the mystery of Goliath's strange behavior a little longer, but keeps the plotline moving along fast.

TITLE
I'm afraid "Thailog Rules" tips our hand too much. What do you think of the title "Reversals"? Or something similar with the word "negative" in it? Or something like "Sins of the Fathers"?

FIRST ENCOUNTER
I traded Brooklyn for Elisa. That way, we could get rid of the awkward phony weapons bit. Thailog (or Sevarius) could have left an anonymous tip for Elisa that brought her (and Lex and Broadway) past the right place at about the right time.

THAILOG'S DICTION
Can be very colloquial. Direct. Like his menacing laugh, it'll be weird for our audience to hear Keith's deep voice comfortably use edgy modern parlance.

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
1. Prologue. One year ago at Eyrie Building. Night. Keep very brief and simple. ELISA is trying to convince GOLIATH that he must find a new home, before Xanatos is released from prison. Suddenly, a STEEL CLAN ROBOT goes berserk, making a bee-line for Elisa. Goliath puts it down hard. OWEN apologizes and "treats" Goliath's small cut.

2. One year later. On a stormy night, Elisa is driving along Riverside Drive in upper Manhattan, where there's a bit of a cliff down to the water. LEXINGTON and BROADWAY are gliding through the storm above her. Lex wears a radio headset like the one he wore in "Legion". He uses it to communicate with Elisa, letting us in on the anonymous tip that brought them up here, and how it must have been a crank call, since it turned up nothing. (We need to believe that whatever this call claimed to reveal was something that would have led her to bring Lex and Broadway instead of Matt.) Just off shore, we should see an old oil rig platform. Suddenly, Lex and Broadway are attacked, and Elisa is "strafed" and nearly forced off the road and over the cliff. (Keep her point of view very tight and claustrophobic inside her car. Between the poor visibility and multiple "blind spots", she won't know where the next attack will come from.) As dangerous as the whole thing is, there's something almost childish about the attacks. Ultimately, Elisa gets control of her car, pulls over and gets out. Lex and Broadway land next to her, and they see their attacker. It's clearly "Goliath", though we only see him in silhouette, laughing. Then he is gone.

3. At Gen-U-Tech, DOCTOR SEVARIUS is making a down payment to LEAD MERCENARY. The Doctor's having a damn good time.

4. At the Clock Tower, just before Dawn, Elisa, Broadway and Lex have just finished describing Goliath's strange behavior to HUDSON. No one has a clue as to why Goliath would act that way, and they'll have to wait until sunset to find out. He and BROOKLYN were supposed to be out patrolling, and with Dawn fast approaching, they probably found a ledge to spend the day on: somewhere Goliath would feel safe.

5. Daytime at Eyrie Building. "Goliath" is frozen in stone on the highest tower of the Eyrie Castle. (Note: when "stoned" there's no way to tell the difference between Goliath and his counterpart.) XANATOS chats with Owen about how nice it is to have "him" here, guarding the castle. (Since they both know who they are talking about, they don't have to mention him by name.) Suddenly, MERCENARIES led by Sevarius' Lead Mercenary, land. Xanatos and Owen are caught off guard. Mercenaries leave with stone "Goliath" and Xanatos can't shoot them down without risking the gargoyle's life.

6. From his helicopter, the Lead Mercenary calls Sevarius by Video Phone, telling him that the mission is accomplished. They have the statue in the cargo hold in back. Sevarius is pleased and tells them to bring it to the rendezvous point, but not until after dark.

7. Night at the clock tower: Elisa, Hudson, Broadway, Lex and BRONX watch Goliath and Brooklyn come in for a landing. Goliath is bombarded with questions, but he doesn't know what they're talking about. Brooklyn confirms that Goliath has been with him the whole time. Well, if that wasn't Goliath they saw, then who was it?

8. In their helicopter, the mercenaries rendezvous with Sevarius at the abandoned oil rig platform. Sevarius is carrying a tranquilizer gun, which mystifies the lead mercenary. What's he gonna do, tranq the statue? The mercenaries open their hold, only to be confronted by THAILOG -- shock white hair, photo-negative colors, bad attitude, but otherwise a dead ringer for Goliath. (Incidentally, this is the last we'll ever see of these particular mercenaries.)

ACT TWO
9. Lex and Broadway have brought Goliath to the riverside location of the previous' night's "attack". They find a Gen-U-Tech tracking bracelet (like the one in "Metamorphosis"), right where "Goliath" had been standing. Lex wants to check out Gen-U-Tech. Goliath sends him and Broadway to do it, while he and Elisa look around for whoever or whatever that phony Goliath was.

10. Back at the Eyrie Building, Owen hands Xanatos the phone. The voice on the other end has been electronically altered beyond recognition, which doesn't prevent it from demanding a ransom for Thailog: $20 million in cash to be delivered to Oil Rig Platform #18 (or whatever). Owen tries to trace the call. No luck. But he can trace Platform #18. It doesn't belong to Demona, Macbeth or Renard. In fact, it belongs to Xanatos Enterprises. That's all Xanatos needs to hear. He can barely believe it, but Sevarius must have betrayed him. It all fits. Sevarius works for X.E. and he's the only other person who knew that Thailog existed. Xanatos hates to lose a talent like Sevarius, but he can't permit this kind of behavior from his employees. He's just going to have to make an example of Dr. Sevarius.

11. At Gen-U-Tech, Lex and Broadway break in. Lex has an idea. He types "C-L-O-N-E" into the computer and gets the scoop on Project Thailog.

12. Goliath and Elisa have been searching the area. They've looked everywhere and found nothing. Almost everywhere. Goliath points to the oil rig.

13. Xanatos, wearing a trench coat and carrying a suitcase, has taken a launch out to the oil rig. He is greeted warmly enough by Sevarius. He shows Sevarius the money. Sevarius: "What? Oh, the money. You know in all the excitement, I almost forgot about it. Actually, I've never seen that much money in one place. Mind if I take a peek?" And while he does, Xanatos removes his coat, to reveal that he is wearing armor. Thinner, lighter than his Gargoyle armor. Not as effective in a huge battle, but still formidable and obviously, easier to conceal. He grabs hold of Sevarius and explains, that although he's not by nature a vengeful man, Sevarius has forced him to make an exception.

14. Pull back to reveal, Goliath and Elisa watching all this from above. She wonders what could set Xanatos and Sevarius against each other? "Some new abomination they created together." They decide to take a look around.

15. Meanwhile, Sevarius is stunned at Xanatos' attack. What did he do wrong? Xanatos can't believe he's asking. Kidnapping, extortion, betrayal -- how's that for a start? Sevarius suddenly gets conspiratorial and whispers, "Oh, I get it. Somebody's watching us. Don't worry. I'll make it look good." Then he hams it up big time: "YES, I BETRAYED YOU!! YOU TOOK MY CREATION AWAY FROM ME!! IT WAS ONLY AN ACT OF JUSTICE TO STEAL IT BACK!!" And then he whispers to Xanatos, "How was that?"

16. Goliath and Elisa find Thailog chained up in an oil storage tank. Goliath is horrified. How can this be? Thailog explains very briefly that he is a clone of Goliath, created from his blood. Goliath feels violated and speaks rashly about the horrors of modern science and the evil of Xanatos and Sevarius. Thailog seems hurt and glowers angrily at Goliath. Elisa yanks Goliath aside. "Listen, you have a right to be angry, but you shouldn't take it out on Thailog. It's not his fault he was created. And however it happened, he's still a gargoyle. In a way, he's kind of your son. And you're rejecting him."

17. A very perplexed Xanatos is finally putting it together. Sevarius thinks this is all an act. Now Sevarius is confused. Isn't it an act? I only followed your instructions. What instructions? Sevarius had gotten instructions from Xanatos' office over electronic mail to do everything he had done. Far from betraying Xanatos, he had thought he was helping Xanatos in his latest Machiavellian scheme. Except Xanatos doesn't know anything about this. Who else has access to his personal computer? Sevarius: "Owen? Fox?" Xanatos: "Don't be ridiculous." "Well, has anyone else had access to the castle?" Xanatos thinks about it, and then... laughs.

18. Back in the oil tank, Goliath knows that Elisa is right. He goes to free Thailog. But Thailog says it won't be necessary. The shackles weren't locked. He grabs Goliath, puts him in a wrestling hold and slams a gas mask over Goliath's mouth and nose. Before Elisa can do anything but gasp, Goliath slumps unconscious in Thailog's arms. And Thailog laughs.

ACT THREE
19. Xanatos is still laughing. He's figured out that it was all Thailog's plan, and he's proud of his boy. Thailog comes out, smiling. And he's carrying a little bonus -- an unconscious Goliath and Elisa. (He took her out during the commercial.) Better and better. The kid is a real chip off the old block. "Yes, I am... All the old blocks." And he slaps an electro-disk onto Xanatos, shorting out his armor and knocking him unconscious. Screen goes black.

20. When Xanatos regains consciousness, he is chained next to Goliath, Sevarius and Elisa (in the oil tank maybe). Thailog enters with murder in mind. He's learned from all of his "proud fathers". But he has no intention of going through life as Sevarius' guinea pig or Xanatos' stooge. It's time to leave the nest. And twenty million should help him make his mark. Sevarius protests: How are you going to spend it? You can't exactly open a checking account. But Thailog has learned enough from Xanatos to know that with that much money, he can find a way to make it work for him. After all, he set all of them up without any cash incentives. Imagine what he could do with 20 mil? Goliath tells Thailog that he doesn't need the money. He can join the gargoyle clan. Thailog: "Do I look like a sap to you?" He has no desire to waste his time acting as guardian angel to a city full of ignorant humans. He had toyed with the idea of sharing the money with Goliath. That's why he had arranged for Goliath to join the party. But their little family reunion pissed Thailog off. "So I've decided to hate you too." He approaches Elisa, caresses her face. It seems like a waste, but she's going to have to die too. Nothing personal. He leaves, activating a death trap. (Maybe the oil tank starts filling with oil or something.) At any rate, the four work together to escape the trap. Though they set the rig on fire in the process.

21. Topside, they arrive just in time to stop Thailog from escaping with the cash. Thailog is furious that they've escaped. Big battle mostly between Thailog and Goliath. Broadway and Lex finally arrive but by this time the rig is about to collapse. Goliath tries one last attempt to reason with Thailog. They must escape. Thailog won't leave without the money. He goes after it, is caught in an explosion and apparently dies. Xanatos and Sevarius escape in Xanatos' launch. Broadway, Lex and Goliath leave with Elisa. They've survived. But at such a great cost. Goliath would like to blame Xanatos and Sevarius for corrupting Thailog. But all of Thailog's fathers hurt him. Goliath cannot exonerate himself.

22. Epilogue: One week later. Xanatos, Sevarius and Owen are talking about a brand new, more secure computer system. Price tag: just under $20 million. Xanatos chuckles at the irony, and then almost chokes on the chuckle. He suddenly realizes that if he had been in Thailog's shoes, he would have planned a contingency for their escape from his death trap. He would have faked his own death so that he could get away with the money. Sevarius: "You mean that monster's still out there. It has the money... and it's smarter than you?" Xanatos, dead serious: "Owen... I think I've created a monster."


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Entity writes...

Someone brought up the distinctive coloration of Thailog again, and I thought I'd throw in my two cents. You both agree, basically, that the idea to give Thailog a unique 'color scheme' was a good one, because it nulled the possibility of Thailog and Goliath being mistaken for each other, a very bad cliche. If you'd kept Thailog looking identical and just NOT done that cliche, we the viewers would simply be waiting for it, so the coloration difference was the best way to actively put it to rest.

You ask what the rest of us think about the general direction you and the other writers took Thailog. I'd just like to say that IMHO you guys played him BRILLIANTLY. And I mean it. So many shows bring in clones seemingly just to screw with the hero's identity. But in GARGOYLES Thailog plays such a more profound role. He is Goliath, but with a different soul. And that is what makes him disturbing. Also, in most shows, the clone remains the instrument of his creator, until perhaps he eventually dies, either slain or martyred. But in GARGOYLES Thailog breaks free of his creators in his very first appearence. Right off the bat, Thailog makes it clear that he is his own character, and that although his origin is as a clone, that isn't the extent of his profile. He is something never seen before in science fiction: a clone who so well establishes himself that the description "clone of Goliath" just sounds ignorant and pitiful.

Greg responds...

Wow. Thanks. I'm very glad it (all of it) worked for you.

Response recorded on January 14, 2002

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Shan writes...

Greg said:
In fact, Goliath's initial reaction to Thailog is not to form a bond. It's to call him an abomination. (You blithely skipped over that, Shan.) Part of what follows is a bit of guilt mixed in with him taking responsibility for Thailog as a parent.

As to Angela, you've again missed his initial reaction to her on Avalon. It is clearly one of paternal pride, just as he is proud of Gabriel and all of his children.

Shan responds:
You're right on both counts. I do remember having fallen asleep and just woken up in time to see the "Double Jeapordy" episode. Probably thought I remembered more than I really did, both about what I had just seen and Angela's situation. Lousy excuse though. I really should have researched better before asking a question of such an involved level (re: attempting to compare Thailog and Angela).

Greg responds...

No biggie. Glad you're interested.

Response recorded on November 29, 2001

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Cha-Cha writes...

Why didn't Thailog and Demona clone Angela?

Greg responds...

Demona didn't want a clone of Angela, she wanted Angela. So she never released a mosquito when Angela was guarding her cell. That meant that Thailog and Sevarius didn't have the option.

Response recorded on November 13, 2001

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Mooncat writes...

If Gargoyles are biologically inclined to take a monogamous mate (as well as traditionally) why is it so easy for Thailog to discard Demona?

Can a gargoyle have physical relations with more than one other gargoyle before the "imprint" sets in? Or does the "imprint" set in during the first full physical relationship?

Greg responds...

Opportunistic programming allows Thailog to override certain impulses.

Generally, the latter.

Response recorded on October 10, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

Is the reason you created the clone's differn't skin, eyes and hair pigmintation, because you didn't want another cartoon where your trying to figure out which one is the real Goliath or Lexington? Or at least not overdue it since this happend latter with Proteus?

Greg responds...

I liked Thailog's look. It was partially inspired by the changes that John Byrne made to the Fantastic Four's costumes in the eighties.

But yes. Though we played the beat for a couple of acts, I didn't want to do EVIL TWIN takes the place of the good guy and confuses everyone. Once Thailog was revealed, there wasn't any question as to who was who. Just seemed a more original take on the old clone idea. What do the rest of you think?

(And Proteus had nothing to do with it. At the time we were creating Thailog, I didn't yet know that I was going to insert The New Olympians into the Garg Universe.)

Response recorded on September 08, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

I now have a list of questions to for you about love. ahhh

1. Does Hyena love Jackel?
2. Does Jackel love Hyena?
3. How serius are Hyena's feelings to Cyotie? Is she madley im love with him, or just mildly attracted? Either way, it's kinda gross
4. How does Cyotie feel toward Hyena? He seemed up for they idea of "making sparks fly".
5. Does Fox love Anistasia(before and after the Gathering)?
6. Does Halcyen still carry a torch for Anistasia? And does he now know that she is Titania?
7. Does Titania love fox?
8. Does Puck love Alex?
9. Does Oberon love anyone besides Titania?
10. Does Dracon dream about Elisa and him being together?
11. Was Brooklyn attracted to Demona before "Temptation". He seems to go after the most females.
12. Does Iago feel in love with Desdemona, or is it a strong sexual attraction, or is it just to hurt Othello?
13. Was there a time when Desdemona had feelings toward Iago?
14. Does Vinnie have a special someone (besides himself), or does everyone think he is too wierd?
15. Has Thailog ever felt love, even in the slightest way?
16. Was Malcolm and Elaina's wedding more out of love, or convenience?
17. Do Banquo and Florence have a thing for each other?
18. Does Cagney have a special kitty friend, or just Elisa?
19. Has the Magus been yerning for Kathern all of his life, and never told her how he felt? If yes., thats pretty sad.
20. And, somewhere deep deep down, both Goliath and Demona both yern to again be one, now and forever. Right? I better be. And this would have been shown in latter episodes besides dark ages right?

I'm sure you can see from my questions that I am QUITE the softy. And I love how Gargoyles uses this topic so often. Great job!!!

Greg responds...

Twenty Questions! YAY! :P

1. Sure, to the extent she knows how.

2. Ditto.

3. Something between madly in love and mildly attracted.

4. He's indifferent in the incarnations you've seen.

5. Yes.

6. Yes and Yes.

7. Of course.

8. Sure.

9. Yes. His children and his Children and the island of his birth and all the funny little mortals. He's a benificent one, that Oberon.

10. Probably.

11. I think Brooklyn respected Goliath too much to think that way, to allow himself to think that way.

12. The first two. The third is just a side benefit.

13. No.

14. He is currently available? You interested?

15. He's not admitting to it, unless he's lying.

16. Politics. And a hope of love.

17. They're exes.

18. That avenue has not yet been explored.

19. Not all his life. After all, he's ten years older than she is. But yes, it is sad.

20. I think somewhere deep, deep down Goliath wants to be with Elisa. And somewhere deep deep down, Demona wants to be with someone who is right for her.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001

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Shan writes...

This has both an apology and a question. Apparently you answered my recently posted question previously, to Aaron, some time ago. The problem is that I did not see Thailog's archive (somehow my eye missed it that time) and only one for the Clones. The answer I wanted was in Thailog's archive but not in the Clones archive. Therefore, I thought I was asking a new question.

But I've also figured out what bothers me about Goliath's "he is my son" response. If, as you said in your response to Aaron, Goliath feels responsible and wants to bring Thailog into the fold -- where he told Angela she should see the clan as her parents -- should Goliath have said instead "he is the clan's son" or "he is our son" (though THAT would have been odd, since he's talking to Elisa!).

Is that taking it personal attributable to Goliath's personality then? Would most Gargs have said "Thailog is the clan's son" or "He is of my blood. He is one of the clan"???

Greg responds...

You're taking this stuff out of context, as you yourself indicates. The fact that he didn't semantically state it EXACTLY as you might wish he had, is unimportant. You get the idea.

Really, I think you're splitting hairs.

Response recorded on September 06, 2001


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