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did Xanatos know that one of the souls in Coldstone was evil? i figure he did know, but then why did he build a robot for it and not let it just fade out of existence? and even if the soul had to go somewhere why put it in robot with great strength and cool weapons? if he was really trying to help out Coldstone why create a bigger headache for him? poor Coldstone gets screwed at the end of every episode he's in...
Yeah. Poor Coldstone.
Anyway, Xanatos is not a wasteful man. Think about it.
Was Renard aware that his daughter starred in THE PACK? Did he ever watch the show?
He was VERY aware. I'm sure he forced himself to watch it once.
Owen likely has most aspects of David Xanatos' personal protection well in hand, but how does Xanatos avoid something like poisoning? Does he have Owen act as food taster, or does he keep a magic widget (such as a trichinobezoar) around?
Generally, Xanatos isn't a paranoid. He doesn't sweat it.
Why'd Cyberbiotics have a hidden underground base? ('Doesn't everyone?' Right. :P) So why and when did they abandon it?
They had a hidden underground lab, as a precaution against industrial espionage. That lab was destroyed by a fire at the same time that Fortress-1 went down. Renard could not afford to redeploy both locations. So the underground lab/complex was abandoned.
1) Why does the modern Castle Wyvern have such a large kitchen? With only two bachelors living in residence (pre-Fox), I'd have expected something a fraction of the size of the sleekly professional restaurant operation seen in _Awakening_. (The contrast between the ultramodern and the medieval was subtle, but came across nicely.) Does Xanatos eat in a whole lot, or does he simply like ostentatious home design (in which case I'd -really- like to see what his bathroom looks like :))?
2) Do either Xanatos or Owen know how to cook?
1. Well, for one thing, X likes the best of everything. But he also NEEDS the option of entertaining on a grand scale.
2. Yes. Both do.
Does Renard know that his wife is actually Titania? Does this affect him at all? How so?
He knows now.
Not saying at this time.
What did Titania whisper to Fox at the end of The Gathering Part 2?
I don't have a funny comeback today. Sorry.
Time to Ramble on "City of Stone, Part One", which I watched the other night with my family....
Story Editor: Michael Reaves
Story: Michael Reaves
Teleplay: Brynne Chandler Reaves & Lydia Marano
Well, over a year had passed since we had revealed in "Enter Macbeth" that Macbeth had named Demona. Now we were gearing up to explain that little tidbit of info. I'm curious to know how many people were still focused on that before the "PREVIOUSLY ON GARGOYLES..." reprised it.
City of Stone was a story I had conceived originally (but briefly) as a Direct to Video movie. My boss Gary Krisel rejected it. He felt that a movie featuring the Gargoyles needed to feature our heroes a LOT MORE than this story did. Nevertheless, he liked the concept of the HUNTER a lot. So I got him to agree to let us do City of Stone as a multi-parter for the series. And I promised that Michael and I would come up with a new Hunter story that focused more on our heroes. Thus Hunter's Moon was born -- as a Home Video, originally, and we had an ending to shoot at for the entire second season.
Meanwhile, I couldn't actually disagree with Gary too much. This was Demona and Macbeth's story. The origin of two of our major villains. We had some great animation on this from Koko in Korea. Not as strong as our WDTVJapan stuff, but still very good.
What was the terrorists' cause, you might ask? I'm not telling. At the time, I had no answer. We were vague on purpose. Since then, I've come up with an answer. Now I'm being evasive on purpose.
I love Matt as a hostage negotiator.
But not as much as I love Brendan & Margot as hostages. They're a hoot.
How fast was everyone on the uptake with the Weird Sisters? Those three little girls. Even before the gargs showed, one was saying something like: "Don't worry, it'll be over soon." Did you think they were odd then? Did you notice them?
I like Brooklyn's "Don't gush" line.
When the Weird Sisters tell Goliath they weren't talking about THAT terrorist, my six year old daughter Erin said: "I think they were talking about Demona." For Chanukah, I gave Erin a Kenner Brooklyn, Broadway and Hard-Wire Goliath (which I told her was a Goliath robot). My three year old son Benny got Goliath, Lex and Xanatos. So for the first time, while they watched they could play with the toys.
It's interesting to watch the first flashback SET. All sorts of old footage from Awakening Part One, mixed with new footage. It's all very seemless thanks to great editing by Bob Birchard. And it wasn't easy. Because there was considerable confusion overseas throughout City of Stone, in terms of which model of Demona to animate. We had her standard model. Plus one that was slightly older, for the second set of flashbacks in this episode. They were constantly mixing the models up. We'd call retakes whenever we could, but sometimes we decided just to make due. So you have the flashback from Awakenings, where Goliath tells Demona to stay behind. That's followed by us finally seeing what Demona and the Captain said to each other after Goliath left. No great revelation in that scene, but we figured it would be nice to finally reveal it. Plus we wanted to clarify things from Demona's point of view. But in some of those shots, Demona appears to have aged a bit.
We see Othello & Desdemona. We are allowed to do something in this episode that we couldn't really do for S&P reasons in Awakening. To personalize the victims of the massacre a bit. In Awakening, we only got to meet the survivors. Finally we meet the victims. Of course, we're still cheating a bit, since my excuse to S&P was that our audience already knew (1) that these two died and that (2) they survived in a sense in Coldstone. But it did, independent of previous episodes, allow the startling moment when Demona picks up a fragment of Othello's face. Of course, I tried to get tha fragment -- and all those fragments in the immediate vicinity -- to be the pieces that survived into Coldstone. I think that was semi-successful.
Demona's cowardice overwhelms the courage of her strongly held convictions. She flees. Benny: "The sun's gonna come up." Yep. She turns to stone, shedding a tear. That "TEARS OF STONE" image was so effective that I allowed it to repeat in the episode. Later, her tear drops onto the stone Goliath and seems to be coming from his eye. A nice visual variation on a theme.
Demona: "It worked! At last my clan is free of human rule!"
Erin: "No. It didn't work."
Later Erin sees Demona watching Goliath holding some smashed gargoyles' remains and crying "my angel of the night". Erin says: "He thinks that was her [Demona]." Now you may be wondering why I'm reprinting such obvious responses here. But they interest me. It really struck me this viewing that in this episode, despite the "Previously" segment and all the flashbacks, that you really would be lost if you were a new viewer. Is there anyone out there for whom City of Stone was your first Gargoyle experience? If so, I'd love to hear from you. Did you have a clue as to what was going on?
Demona's classic neurotic short-circuit: "What have I -- What have THEY done to you?" The motivation that writer's live for.
And a little hint of Avalon things to come, as we see Tom, Princess K and Magus depart with the eggs. How many people had given the eggs any thought since Xanatos told the gargs back in Awakening Two that they were the last of their kind? And did this little tidbit whet the appetite, or did you forget about it immediately? I was already planning the Avalon/Archmage/World Tour/Angela stuff.
Benny (out of nowhere) asks: "What happens if someone is frozen in the sky?" We discussed various possibilities. But we're still weeks away from getting around to seeing "The Price". So I didn't want to spoil that one for him.
The intro of Gillecomgain. Erin (who has seen these before once, long ago) suddenly remembers: "His face is gonna get scratched."
Now, back in the 20th century, Owen points out that Xanatos' tv override works for "Cable, as well." I always liked that.
I also like Demona's VERY convincing lie. At this point, we don't know how she's survived through the centuries. Maybe she did do it by stealing minutes of life from thousands of people. And maybe now, she and Xanatos will do the same on a citywide scale. I always thought it was a very elegant lie. What did you guys think? Did you buy it?
The "Watch or Listen but not both" stuff regarding the magic, wasn't just a convenient excuse to give us a Robbins expository scene later. I always felt that the magic our various sorcerors did couldn't be as simple as it seemed. Anyone who reads the spell out loud can do it? No. There are complex inflections, movements, etc. involved. Study and willpower, etc. This was an attempt on my part to demonstrate that it was about more than just being in range with someone who has a copy of a Grimorum page.
On the other hand, I do think we cheated a bit to trap Owen. That spell she reads is the City of Stone spell. Yet it seems to put Owen, of all people, into a trance. We talked about her nailing him some other way first. But it was too clumsy and time consuming, so we just cheated.
Gathering Clue: Demona to Owen: "You are the tricky one." And she wraps him up in iron cable.
Elisa's watching Casablanca. Great movie.
Phoebe is looking at Seline when she speaks to Luna. Like Demona aging, we had a hell of a time getting the overseas studio to keep the three sisters straight. I began to insist that each of their appearances on the storyboard was accompanied by a hair color chart. And once more, it's black for Seline, blonde for Phoebe and silver for Luna.
We also made a real effort to put subtle character distinctions between the three sisters. Seline is the hard case. Phoebe is the gentle one. Luna is the mystic. It was part of hinting that the Sisters would serve multiple purposes in the series. Some of which I still have not revealed.
Back to the past. The guard says "Maybe they won't come." Erin asks: "Maybe who won't come?" And then the gargoyles come. The guards are taken down, and Demona raises her mace into the air. Erin asks: "Are they dead?" And dad... equivocates.
I like that gargoyle (Demona's second) with the breast plate. John Rhys-Davies did his voice.
At this stage, Demona believes that these scattered gargoyles are all that are left in the world. A second later, three gargoyles she's never met show up. (Now, true, they're the Sisters. But I was trying to make a general point, hinting that sometimes characters make absolute statements when they flat out don't know what they're talking about. Audience members beware.)
Benny immediately figured out that the three old gargoyle females were the weird sisters, or as he put it: "They're the humans. The one's that disappeared." I.e. the kids that disappeared in the first sequence of the episode. That made me feel a little better. People are always telling me that I write stuff that is too adult for kids to get. I tell them that I try to write on multiple levels. So that the kids get what they need to get and that adults, etc. get more. But it's nice to get confirmation that the kids do get it on occasion. Particularly in an ep as complicated as this one.
Intro Findlaech, Gruoch, Bodhe and young Macbeth. I like how quickly they are all characterized in that scene. F is loyal. B is equivocal at best. Bodhe is already thinking about how to marry G off to advantage. "What about Macbeth? Is he a match for the lass?" Yeah, sure he's talking about chess. I came to have a great deal of contempt for the character of Bodhe. (Too be fair, I have no idea what the historical Bodhe's character was like.) And yet, almost simultaneously, I became fond of him too. He was SO human. SO flawed. SO afraid of the world. And yet SO desperate to tread water in it.
We also establish the "SIGIL OF MORAY" which will become an important prop throughout.
I like that little blushing moment of G & Mac's. But mostly, I like it because of B & F's reactions. Bodhe is suddenly nervous that Gruoch might, shall we say, lose something with Macbeth prematurely. Though he pushed them together, he now rushes to separate them. But it's too late. The connection has already been made. F just laughs.
Now... Enter the HUNTER. The Hunter got a sort of Steve Canyon intro. That is, he's been talked about by various people for the last few minutes, though we haven't gotten a look at him. (This was the technique used when Steve Canyon was first introduced in the comic strips.) Now he shows up, and I trust he isn't disappointing. Benny immediately says: "THat's the one that got scratched." Sharp boy. (Keep in mind, that we haven't yet seen the adult Gille, so we haven't seen his scarred face yet.)
I love this sequence. It's a great fight, full of great little touches, flourishes, etc. Great storyboarding work here.
Again, characters are revealed in a nutshell. Gruoch's already loyal. Bodhe's revealed to be a coward. Even when his daughter rushes downstairs, he stays above.
Findlaech dies. It's a classic Disney fall-to-one's-death death. But there is a difference. F is the good guy. Usually, that's done with the villain. Was anyone shocked?
I love how at this point, Macbeth is nothing but an annoyance to both Demona and the Hunter. I also love how complex Demona is. Under it all, she's really something of a romantic. She rescues the young lovers. Then can't believe she did it. She's trying to will herself to be cold. So that she won't feel anything. But it isn't natural. She's not a cold woman, though her plans often are. It's that divide that's generally gonna screw her up everytime.
When the Hunter first enters on Prince Duncan, we were supposed to (BRIEFLY) think he was there to attack the Prince as well. But I don't think that comes off even slightly.
And o.k., yes, Gillecomgain has a face to match the Hunter's mask. It's worse than Clark Kent and those glasses. Does Scotland really not know it's him? Believe it or not, that never even occured to me initially. (Yes, I'm a dope.) Now, I'll chalk it up to the notion that everyone figures he's TOO obvious a suspect. You can almost here the water cooler talk:
MacMorris: "Hey, MacTavish, have you ever noticed that that Gillecomgain guy has scars across his face just like the red marks on the Hunter's mask?"
MacTavish: "What are you saying, MacMorris? That Gillecomgain is so stupid, he'd wear a mask and then put his scars ON the mask? Not much of a disguise. Know what I think. I think the Hunter is trying to throw suspicion onto old Gilley."
MacMorris: "Oh, give me a break."
MacTavish: "Hey, pal, it worked with you."
I made a real effort to just have the Weird Sisters EVERYWHERE.
Back to the present. Someone dons a Hunter's Mask. How many knew it was Macbeth right away? I figured at the time that regular viewers would figure that out pretty darn quick. That didn't bother me. For them, I figured the mystery would be "WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD MACBETH DON A HUNTER'S MASK, WHEN THE HUNTER KILLED HIS FATHER?" I thought that mystery was at least as intriguing. Do you guys agree or disagree?
I also liked the variation on the mask. No eyes. Nothing. Modern technology.
Fox. Fox presented an interesting dilemma. What was Xanatos' attitude toward her in this? We already know he loves her. But he doesn't include her in the immortality thing with Demona. Why? Demona won't allow it? Or he thinks Demona won't? Or he doesn't fully trust D and won't risk Fox until he knows the set-up works?
And then he finds out that she did watch the broadcast. He had told her not to, but she did. He doesn't fill her in. (Not that there's much time.) Is he prepared to let her lose a minute from her life (as he believes has happened)? How would he have felt if Demona wasn't lying about that? At the end of her life, would an immortal Xanatos be desperate to give her that one minute back? Of course, given Fox's heritage, which I didn't know yet, it's possible, she'll outlive him by quite a bit. Course, anything's possible.
How's the cliff-hanger? We haven't seen the city yet, but we do get to see Owen, Fox and Elisa all turned to stone. We're so used to the Gargoyles in stone, but not humans. I thought it was sort of chilling. The more chilling, because we know from earlier in this very episode, what can happen when living beings are turned to stone. (The Wyvern Massacre.) Now we've seen this four-parter a bunch of times and we're used to it. But I'm curious as to how you all felt the first time you saw Part One.
Another interesting aspect, is that 3/4 of the threat is to characters that we consider to be villains. Or more than 3/4. In the past, young Macbeth has lost his father and is clearly at risk. And Demona is being hunted. In the present, Fox and Owen are stone. And Xanatos and Fox appear to be falling to their deaths. Sure, the clincher is Elisa. But I think it's a tribute to how well-rounded are villains are that we care what's going to happen to them. Can you imagine most cartoons making the death of the villains a cliff-hanger? People would simply cheer.
One little flaw: Elisa's facing the wrong way. It was easier to board that way, I'm sure. But I can't figure out why she would have been standing and facing that direction at sundown.
Comments welcome, as usual...
I've not read anything here before about this theory, so I hope I don't shock anybody. But have you ever thought about the evidence in the series that - gulp - there is a bit of a subconscious attraction between Elisa and Xanatos? Were you deliberate in creating this underlying current? Again, the intricacies of the characters and the stories are why this show appeals to me so much. Not that either Elisa or Xanatos would ever admit to such a thing, let alone act upon it. In fact, if I read Elisa's characterization right, she'd probably kill me for even suggesting such a thing.
But consider that Xanatos - although looking at Elisa as an adversary - will say things like "the charming Detective Maza" and "I love a woman with delicate wrists," etc. And, really, isn't he just a little too interested in her life? I have no doubt of his love and attraction for Fox, but Elisa is very similar to Fox - only working on the side of selflessness vs. selfishness. Xanatos seems to like strong women who can hold their own. And when he claims the feud against the gargoyles is over in "Hunter's Moon," his voice is almost - gulp again - tender when he says to Elisa, "He's waiting for you."
For Elisa's part in this - well, sure it's absurd to be attracted to a man who's turned your brother into a mutate. So I'll again caution that I'm meaning this on a very, very subconscious level. But you can't convince me there isn't some very passionate love/hate heat passing between these two in "Eye of the Beholder" when Xanatos prepares to take off in pursuit of Fox-as-werefox and Goliath, and Elisa jumps up and grabs her arms around him, looks him in the eye and very emphatically says, "I trust you about as far as I can throw you, Xanatos." And then he puts his arm around her waist and they're off because he doesn't have time to argue with her. It's almost as if you don't know if she wants to strangle him or kiss him. Similarly, look at the intensity of love/hate Demona has for Goliath. I also think you could argue that another reason why Fox attacks Elisa (who, to the werefox, appears to transform into Fox) is out of a tinge of jealousy. (You did say that episode was very romantically charged.) Also, Xanatos is a strong, attractive, intelligent ... human male (!) who, like Elisa, seems to have a bit of a nocturnal nature and has a seemingly predestined interest in and connection to the gargoyles. If he weren't so self-serving and nasty and wouldn't alter the physical chemistries of her relatives ... and if she hadn't met Goliath ... , heck, she could really go for a guy like him.
So, enough sacrilege out of me. I'd love to get your take on this. And thanks.
Well, I think there's little doubt that Xanatos finds Elisa attractive. Consciously so. Subconsciously, he may admire her even more than he realizes, and for things that he wouldn't acknowledge valuing. I think he's found the right match in Fox, but that doesn't mean he's gone blind or deaf, literally or figuratively.
As for Elisa, that's more of a stretch, I believe. Even subconsciously. Look at their first meeting, before she even knew he was a bad guy. She doesn't seem even vaguely interested to me there. Now keep in mind, that we intentionally gave them moments together -- to play AGAINST the stereotype. The one you mention where he flies up with her in "Eye" is a perfect example. In any other series (I like to think) that would be an example of heroic looking guy and gal working together. But our hero is amoral at best. He's interested in another girl. And our gal likes the monster and hates him. I think her distaste for Xanatos is real, and it runs damn deep.
But to be fair, Xanatos is changing. And I think Elisa acknowledges that change, at least subconsciously. She is no longer in open conflict with him. I think that his love for Fox had an effect on her. As does his obvious love for his son, and the way he protected the gargs when the chips were down. And when Xanatos says, "he's waiting for you", it is tender. But it's directed at her and Goliath, and doesn't reflect any personal desire.
The Goliath/Demona thing is very different to me.
Finally, when Fox attacks Elisa, it's not out of jealousy. It's because in her confused state, the Were-Fox is attacking the remnants of the human Fox, trying to wipe that humanity away. There's an element of self-hatred there. But it has little to do with jealousy.
NOW... all of the above is simply my opinion. True, I'm something of an authority, but other interpretations are valid if you believe them to be valid. In any case, yours was fun.
One other interesting feature about "Vows" that I forgot to mention in my ramble last night. When Goliath is talking to Hudson in 975, he indicates that he is afraid that Xanatos went back in time to 10th century Castle Wyvern to plot some sort of skullduggery against the clan then. But in fact, it turns out that Xanatos's real purpose for being there is to receive the coins from Prince Malcolm, not because of the gargoyles, and that it's merely a coincidence (insomuch as anything in the Gargoyles Universe can be considered a coincidence) that he received those coins at the old home of Goliath and his clan.
I mention this because it brings up one of the interesting features of Xanatos that makes him different from the conventional "main villain" in an animated series. Most such "main villains" focus their schemes almost exclusively on settling their feud with the protagonists, to such an extent that it often results in the rest of their objectives failing because they let themselves get sidetracked by their obsession. But Xanatos didn't. A lot of his schemes turned out to be, from his own perspective, only marginally involving the gargoyles, while really focused in a different direction ("Leader of the Pack" is a good example of this, where it turns out that Xanatos's real interest was in getting Fox out of prison rather than in defeating the gargoyles), and in fact, he often accomplishes a lot of his objectives (the ones that didn't involve capturing Goliath and Co. - or, later on, becoming immortal). Other antagonists in the series do strike me as thoroughly capable of letting themselves get sidetracked by the feud to the detriment of their other goals (Demona, the Archmage, and the Pack spring immediately to mind in such a category), but Xanatos seemed more inclined to focus his attention elsewhere than on the clan.
At the same time, of course, Goliath always seemed ready to take an angle towards Xanatos as though he really was the "stereotyped master-villain" above, automatically assuming that Xanatos's schemes were directed towards the gargoyles (as per the case above) or even initially thinking that he was behind somebody else's scheme (as when he initially believed that it was Xanatos rather than Macbeth who stole the Scrolls of Merlin). That helped make Xanatos's break with "cartoon tradition" all the more noteworthy, in having Goliath's perception of Xanatos being closer to how such a conventional villain acted than Xanatos in person actually was.
Well, X getting his coin from Malcolm at Wyvern is far from a coincidence. Demona had a plan. Xanatos had his own plan. Those plans coincided of course. But they also worked together, planned together.
But generally, I agree with you. That was what made writing Xanatos so much fun. He was smart. He wasn't petty. He wasn't evil, though he did some evil things. He was so damn AMORAL.
Demona and some of the others you mentioned were fun too, for other reasons. Demona was as complex a villain as you'd generally see.
But only Xanatos was Xanatos.