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Xera writes...

I found on gargwiki that Xanatos and Fox are 11 years apart in age, how old were they when they started dating and did Fox date him originally because she wanted to date him, or because she thought it would annoy her father?

Greg responds...

"SPOILER REQUEST. NO COMMENT."

Response recorded on April 20, 2011

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John Sett writes...

Another Fox Question:

Now, I personally don't care what Titania said to Fox. That is better left to the individual to decide. However, I do care about one issue right now:

Did Fox take Xanatos' last name when they were married? I cannot find this asnwer anywhere. Based on her personality, I would think not. However, any help you can give would be great.
Thanks.

Greg responds...

Like many women I know, the answer is variable depending on the situation.

Generally, no. She's still just Fox. One word. Fox.

But I don't think she objects to being referred to, when WITH her husband, as "Mr. & Mrs. Xanatos" or as "David and Fox Xanatos". Though it would be more correct to say "Fox and David Xanatos".

Response recorded on June 30, 2009

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NOVEMBER 18

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 17th...

1994
Tony Dracon steals hi-tech weapon prototypes from Xanatos Enterprises. Elisa is put on the case and confronts Dracon, who later orders Glasses to sell a few of the weapons on the street. Broadway rushes off to see the movie Showdown again and then goes to Elisa's loft for a bite to eat. He accidentally shoots her with her own gun and rushes her to Manhattan General Hospital. He does not return to the castle.

1995
At the behest of Fox, the cybots are reprogrammed by Preston Vogel to sabotage Fortress-2. Goliath and Renard join forces to defeat them and save the ship. In the end, Vogel has a change of heart and assists. Early that morning, Fox confronts Renard, informing her father of her pregnancy. Owen learns from Xanatos that Fox is pregnant and begins making preparations for a possible attack from the Children of Oberon.


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NOVEMBER 17

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 17th...

1994
The Trio goes to see the movie Showdown for the first time.

1995
Early in the afternoon, Fox wires a down payment to Preston Vogel's Swiss bank account, securing his services for her hostile effort to take over Halcyon Renard's Cyberbiotics company. That evening, Cyberbiotics launches Fortress-2. Despite Elisa's concern, Goliath follows the airship to protect it, but he is viewed as a threat and is captured by Renard's cybots. Meanwhile, Fox receives test results from her doctor, confirming she is pregnant with Xanatos' child.


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NOVEMBER 6

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 5th...

1994
Owen tells Xanatos the results of his Gargoyles vs. The Pack experiment. With Fox and Wolf under arrest, The Pack television series is quickly cancelled. Dingo flees to Europe.

1995
Fox arrives at the Eyrie with Xanatos' father, Petros. That night, Goliath decides to attend the wedding. He brings his half of the Phoenix Gate along. Fox and David are married. Demona tricks Goliath into giving her his half of the Gate. She then uses it to travel back in time to the year 975. Goliath, David, Fox and Petros Xanatos go too. Seconds later, they return, having fulfilled their roles in the time-stream. That same night, Thailog, who had intentionally been kept hidden from Goliath, initiates his plan to steal $20 million from Xanatos.

1996
5:32am EST - [withheld]

6:00am EST - [withheld]


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NOVEMBER 1

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 1st...

975
Using the Phoenix Gate, Goliath, Demona, David Xanatos, Petros Xanatos and Fox come back in time from the year 1995. Demona immediately uses the Gate to disappear again. Xanatos saves the life of Princess Elena of Normandy. He is rewarded with a coin, which he gives to the Norman Ambassador, a fellow member of the Illuminati Society. The 1995 Goliath encounters the 975 Hudson. The 975 Demona is studying under the Archmage as his apprentice. He instructs her to steal the Phoenix Gate from Princess Elena, which she does. But then she is confronted by the 1995 Demona and Goliath. After a brief trip for all three to 994, the 975 Demona returns them to her time and winds up on the outs with the Archmage. She breaks the Phoenix Gate in two and gives half of it to the 975 Goliath at the wedding of Malcolm and Elena. Meanwhile, all the 1995 participants return to their own time.

1975
David Xanatos receives an anonymous gift of a medieval coin worth $20 grand. It is the start of his fortune, and was actually sent to David by his 1995 counterpart, via the Illuminati Society from the year 975.

1995
A fully-grown Thailog is released from his maturation chamber and takes up residence at the Eyrie Building. Xanatos receives a letter from the Illuminati Society. It is from himself, sent in the year 975. It explains that he sent himself the medieval coin that was the basis of all his wealth. The letter also explains how he set this all up by turning his wedding to Fox into a time travel excursion to 975.

1996
Xanatos gets a new assignment from Quincy and the Illuminati. Hudson confirms he is a gargoyle to Robbins. Thailog and the clones fight the Manhattan Clan. During the battle, Thailog gets DNA samples from Goliath, Angela, Broadway, Lexington, Elisa, Brooklyn, Hudson and Bronx. Delilah, Malibu, Burbank and Hollywood reject Thailog, but Brentwood chooses to depart with him. Thailog gives the DNA to Sevarius and gains a new personal assistant, Shari. Doctor Sato treats Goliath. Goliath and Elisa declare their love for each other.


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dph writes...

I have a few questions about the Puck/Owen duality or rather who knows about it.

1. Outside of Goliath's clan living in Manhattan, David Xanatos, Fox, and Alex, how many others know about that duality?

2. Does Thailog know about that duality?

Greg responds...

1. Well, Oberon and Titania know. That's all we know for sure.

2. Why would he?

Response recorded on October 31, 2007

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Shannon 'Shan' Muir writes...

Greg, a timeline question. When you laid out Alex's timeline, did you know at the time the series was being done at what point he wound up being conceived (i.e. was that intentional) or is that something you figured out later as you put the bigger timeline together? Not that it matters per se, but with all the fiction I've been doing of late of my own projects being so timeline oriented due to the massive amount of intertwined events and the epic scope, these are the kind of issues I've struggled with myself and wonder how much was done originally and how much you learn along the way. This is just a very specific example I can cite. Also, you pointed out before (in the "Eyes of the Beholder" ramble) there was enough about Fox and Xanatos' relationship that you are surprised that you got away with at all. Thanks.

Greg responds...

I didn't "do the math" until years later. Nowadays, since I have the timeline, I tend -- TEND -- to be much more circumspect.

Response recorded on October 18, 2007

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OCTOBER 17

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

October 16th...

1996
When the real Hudson and Goliath return to the Clock Tower, they find Coldstone and are soon convinced that Othello controls his body. They follow Coldstone back to the Eyrie. Minutes later, Iago, Othello and Desdemona return to the Tower in their appropriated bodies. They free Lex, who surmises that Iago must now be in control of Coldstone and has tricked Goliath and Hudson into declaring war on Xanatos. The real Iago, still posing as Brooklyn, suggests that they destroy the Coldstone body once and for all. Othello agrees, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that this action would strand the various souls in their new bodies. At the Eyrie, Puck uses the Coldsteel and Coldfire robots to capture Goliath and Hudson. The others arrive soon after. Iago knocks Lex unconscious to take him out of the action, but when Lex recovers, the spirit of Alexander enters his body. Puck, meanwhile, uses Coldstone's body to take down Angela/Desdemona and Broadway/Othello. Brooklyn/Iago tries to make off with Desdemona, but Puck uses Coldsteel and Coldfire to stop him. After some further conflict, Lex/Alex transfers Iago, Othello and Desdemona into Coldsteel, Coldstone and Coldfire, respectively. Coldsteel flees, and Coldstone and Coldfire take off in pursuit. Puck returns Alexander to the nursery and transforms back into Owen just before Xanatos and Fox return.


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OCTOBER 16

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

October 16th...

1996
Xanatos and Owen make a third attempt to transfer the souls of Iago and Desdemona into independent robot bodies. It too fails. Later, David and Fox go out for the evening, leaving Alexander in Owen's care. Owen decides to teach Alexander his first lesson in magic. Owen transforms into Puck, then glamours himself and Alexander into dead-ringers for Goliath and Hudson. They "liberate" Coldstone from the Eyrie and take him to the Clock Tower. There, "Goliath" convinces Angela and Broadway to allow the souls of Desdemona and Othello to take up temporary residence inside their bodies. Coldstone is emptied of all three souls, and the Iago soul secretly enters Brooklyn. "Goliath" and "Hudson" then depart, leaving "Brooklyn" in charge. Iago convinces Othello and Desdemona to try out their new bodies. He then follows them to the Statue of Liberty, where he hints that they might keep Broadway and Angela's bodies for themselves. Meanwhile, Puck and Alexander enter Coldstone's body; they grab Lex, tie him up in a corner and gag him.


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Bazell writes...

Yay! Question time! I was sad we couldn't post for so long, however working on a comic and having an upcoming television show demands alot of time I'm sure. Having fun?
Anyway, what are your plans for future Gargoyles stories? No! Just kidding!!!

Fox was understandbly bitter towards her mother at the end of The Gathering. Is there a planned reconciliation in the near future, or at least a confrontation? Or is that far off still?
Furthermore, what are Zanatos' feeling about her. I'm sure he harbors some resentment, but as someone who made a living out of schemes and plots, does he have a bit more... understanding (even if not appreciation)?

Greg responds...

I am having fun, thanks for asking. I'm really tired though.

I'll leave everyone's feelings up to your interpretation for now. Eventually, we'll get to everything, but I'm trying to avoid scooping myself too much.

Response recorded on October 11, 2007

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OCTOBER 1

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

October 1st...

994
Just before dawn, Goliath and Hudson discover that they have been following only a small contingent of Vikings; the rest must be preparing to attack the castle. The two gargoyles turn to stone before they can get back. Simultaneously, Demona nearly warns Othello and Desdemona, but changes her mind as she sees the Vikings approach. Instead, she hides at the foot of Wyvern cliff, where she turns to stone as the sun rises. Hakon attacks. The archers' sabotaged bows are useless, and the Captain opens the main gate, allowing the Vikings to enter Castle Wyvern, which is sacked. The humans, including Katharine, the Magus, Mary and Tom are led away bound. Hakon then sets about to destroy the gargoyles, including Othello, Desdemona, Iago and Hyppolyta. The Captain is "unable" to stop him. When the sun goes down again, Demona awakens to discover that the Wyvern Clan have been massacred. When she sees Goliath and Hudson returning, she cannot face them and flees before they can discover the massacre. The only other survivors seem to be the Trio and Bronx, who were in the Rookery. The survivors head for the Viking camp to take their revenge. When Hakon and the Captain hear the gargoyles approaching, they take Katharine as a hostage. The Magus mistakenly assumes that the Princess is dead. Blaming the gargoyles, he casts a spell on all but Goliath putting them to sleep "until the castle rises above the clouds." Meanwhile, Goliath confronts the Captain and Hakon atop a cliff. He rescues the Princess, and the two villains fall to their deaths. But when Goliath discovers that the rest of his clan has been turned to stone, he asks the Princess to watch over the eggs in the Rookery and asks the Magus to cast his spell one more time. Goliath is turned to stone with the others and placed atop Castle Wyvern. Demona later returns to the castle to find Goliath frozen in stone. She watches the Magus, Tom and Princess Katharine removing the eggs from Wyvern. She departs for good. Katharine dubs Tom the Guardian of the Gargoyle Eggs. Katharine, the Magus, Tom, Mary and the rest of Wyvern's human inhabitants take the eggs and leave the cursed castle to live under the protection of Katharine's uncle, King Kenneth II. Seconds later, three time travelers arrive in 994: the Demona of 1995 has brought the Demona of 975 along with the Goliath of 1995 to see the results of the massacre. But the 1995 Demona fails to convince the 975 Demona to take up her evil cause. The time travelers depart, returning to 975.

1995
Xanatos proposes to Fox and gives her the Eye of Odin as an engagement gift. She accepts both his proposal and the Eye. Alexander Fox Xanatos is most likely conceived on this night.


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SEPTEMBER 6

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

September 6th...

1995
Fox is granted an expedited parole hearing at the request of grateful prison authorities. She receives an early parole and is reunited with Xanatos. Matt is certified to operate R.E.C.A.P. Elisa tells Lexington about R.E.C.A.P. Coldstone's self-repair systems are activated by Xanatos.


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zeffix writes...

How did Xanatos tell Fox about what happened to her in the episode eye of the beholder? and what was Fox's reaction?

Greg responds...

I'll leave that to your imagination.

Response recorded on August 24, 2007

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JanAlexandra writes...

Did Fox & Xanatos cohabited right away since the day he picked her up at Rikers island?
& where did they go first after the limo starts off?
Did anything in particular happened between them in the limo during their way to the destinations?

Greg responds...

Yes.

I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Response recorded on July 13, 2007

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Cookingace writes...

Who is/are responsible for the meals of Family Xanatos?
do they have an exclusive family chef or
Xanatos and Owen are already is since both of them know how to cook?
i wonder whether Fox can cook or not..can she??

Greg responds...

Don't have the specifics worked out. I'm sure David, Owen and Fox are all capable enough of preparing a meal, but I doubt that's how they spend most of their time.

Response recorded on July 11, 2007

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JULY 10

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

July 10th...

1996
Owen reveals himself as Puck but also fails to stop Oberon. It is Fox herself who saves the day by revealing a magical power even she did not know she possessed. Goliath convinces Oberon to allow Alexander to stay with his parents. Puck is chosen as Alex's tutor. But his powers are stripped from him save when he is training or protecting the boy, and he is eternally banished from Avalon. He reverts to Owen. Oberon arranges for Manhattan to awaken at dawn, and he and Titania return to Avalon. Xanatos vows to repay Goliath for helping to save Alexander. The gargoyles return to the Clock Tower. The sun rises. They turn to stone. And the city awakens. Elisa goes back to work. Chavez is less than thrilled about her six-month absence. Fortunately for Elisa, Chavez is in the middle of a turf war between the Brod and Dracon organized crime factions. Chavez needs a new face to infiltrate Brod's men. Because Elisa has been "out of town," she's the perfect choice to go undercover. Elisa will pose as "Salli", bringing Brod information about a Dracon chop shop operation being run by Dracon's lieutenant, Glasses.


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JULY 9

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

July 9th...

1996
The Gathering is nearly complete, bringing Odin, Raven, Anubis, the Lady of the Lake, Anansi, Grandmother, Coyote and Nought (among others) back to Avalon. The Weird Sisters drag the Banshee before Oberon, who punishes her for her pride by silencing her voice. Only Titania and Puck remain absent. Oberon decides to seek out Puck himself, and takes Boudicca along to help with the hunt. In Manhattan, Fox gives birth to Alexander Fox Xanatos. The baby is introduced to his grandparents, Petros Xanatos, Halcyon Renard and Anastasia Renard (and also to Halcyon's assistant Preston Vogel). Owen reacts strangely to the news that Anastasia has remarried her first husband. Not long after, Oberon arrives, searching for Puck. But instead he finds Anastasia and reveals that she is in fact Queen Titania. Titania convinces Oberon that Alexander must be taken away to Avalon in order to nurture his magical potential. Xanatos protests - violently - but to no avail. Oberon gives Fox and David an hour to say goodbye to their son. Xanatos confers with Owen, who reveals security measures against Oberon that he has already put into place. Owen then abandons Xanatos without explanation. At the Clock Tower, Hudson, the Trio and Cagney learn about Alexander's birth, and then happily welcome home Bronx, Elisa and Goliath before being introduced to Angela. All three of the Trio are immediately smitten with her. Goliath brings Cagney and Elisa to their loft. When he returns to the Clock Tower, Anastasia is there. She reveals herself as Titania and asks him to help with the peaceful removal of Alexander. Goliath refuses to cooperate with the abduction of Xanatos' son. The hour having expired, Oberon returns to the Eyrie Building to claim Alexander. With amusement, he watches the evacuation of the building's employees. But he's furious when he realizes that Xanatos has activated Owen's force field to keep him out. He puts every mortal in Manhattan (including Elisa, Cagney, Morgan, Travis, Brendan and Margot) into a deep magical sleep. But the energy field protects the Xanatos family inside the Eyrie, and Goliath's clan is immune, thanks to Oberon's promise back on Avalon. Oberon then uses his magic to increase his size until he is literally as tall as the Eyrie itself. David and Petros Xanatos, the Gargoyles, Owen's Iron Clan Robots, Preston Vogel, Halcyon Renard and his cybots all attempt to prevent Oberon from getting to the child. They wound and weaken the giant, reducing him back to normal size, but are unable to stop him. And Renard's Fortress-2 crashes into Central Park.

[Woof! Big day, huh?]


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Anonymous writes...

Hi Greg,
I searched through through the archives and didn't see the answer to this so thought I would go ahead and ask.
You've said previously that Petros Xanatos was a Greek immigrant.
1. Assuming you gave it any thought yet, what part of Greece is he from?
2. How old was he when he came to the US?
3. Was David's mother from Greece as well?

That's all for now, but I also wanted to say thanks for continuing the story in comic book form, I'm really enjoying it so far. :)

Greg responds...

1. I'd have to research this... or see if I can track down Aris Katsaris to ask for his advice.

2. I'm not revealing that now.

3. Ditto.

Response recorded on April 10, 2007

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Makhasu writes...

How did Xanatos' mother die? How did Xanatos react?

Greg responds...

I'm not telling this story at this time.

Response recorded on February 20, 2007

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Matt writes...

1. What did Xanatos do with the "simple American penny" Petros gave him as a wedding present in "Vows"?

2. Did you have any further specific story ideas involving Petros Xanatos?

Thanks Greg.

Greg responds...

1. He kept it.

2. Yes.

Response recorded on January 29, 2007

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Jarrod writes...

Hello Greg, This is my first question here. I have been combing the archives and have been unable to find an answer.

My question refers to David Xanatos's Parents.

WE know Petros Xanatos is a "poor fisherman" from Maine. WE know that he has not approved of David in the past, and even at the end of "The Gathering Part 2" he does not appear to approve of him, but he does see promise in him for the way he defends Alexander.

I was wondering:

1) Was there a particular event which caused a rift between David Xanatos and his father Petros?

2) if there was, would you please give a brief overview of the event?

3) Is David Xanatos's Mother Officially Dead?

4) If she is, what was her name and how old was David Xanatos when she passed?

5) If she isnt dead, what is her name? And why havent we seen or heard of her?

6) In your opinion, what would Mrs. Petros Xanatos think of David Xanatos? His Corporation? His "empire"? His wife?

7) What are David Xanatos's feelings towards his Father, Petros?

Thank you Greg, SOme of these will probably be answered when you get to this (in 2008?). I appologize for writing in a shopping list format, but I thought it might be easier for you. Maybe I am the only one interested in this, but I would love to know More about Xanatos's backstory, hence the above questions. Thanks for Gargoyles, thanks for reading, and thanks for keeping in fun!

Jarrod

PS - The DVDs are great, Im getting the first issue of the comic (Nightwatch) tommorrow!

Greg responds...

Let me begin by saying that I don't completely agree with your initial assessment of their relationship in the Gathering.

1. I think that David was always just outside of Petros' understanding.

2. I don't see it that way.

3. Yes.

4. I'm not revealing those details now.

5. She's dead.

6. I'm not revealing that now.

7. David loves and respects his father for who he is. He hopes his father can love and respect him for who HE is.

Response recorded on January 18, 2007

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Rachel writes...

'Sup, Greg? Anyhoo, I was just wondering if there's anything you might be willing to tell us about Xanatos' mother. (I would most like to know how old he was when she died. Second most--was she really a prison cook? ;) )

Greg responds...

She was NOT a prison cook. That's all I'm prepared to reveal at this time.

Response recorded on November 28, 2006

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Harvester of Eyes writes...

I have a question concerning half-breeds. Perhaps you've answered it, but I've perused most of the questions concerning the third race, Oberon's children, and Fox. Anyway, if Merlin is the offspring of Oberon and a mortal human, does that make him immortal? Arthur seems intent on finding him at the end of the episode "Pendragon." Would this also mean that Fox, being the offspring of a similar union, is immortal? Does whether or not the immortal parent is male or female have any bearing on this?

Greg responds...

The gender of the immortal parent has no bearing.

As for the rest, I've never said that Merlin was immortal, so you can't make assumption based on facts not in evidence.

Questions about Fox and Alexander's status have yet to be revealed.

Response recorded on September 05, 2006

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Puck Robyne Lover!! writes...

Can you give me a family tree of oberon and titiania's children across the centuries? I can't figure out if Puck is Alexnder Xanatos is pucks nephew or not. I would really like to know about Puck's/owen's secret love that you mentioned earlier too.

Greg responds...

I'm not going to reveal anything new at this time, but I will summarize what I've already revealed:

Lord Oberon is the son of Queen Mab.

Lord Oberon married Titania (who became Queen Titania after Mab was overthrown). (Note: Oberon intentionally did not take the title of King. Retaining his "Lord" title is his semi-skewed attempt at being more... egalitarian.)

Oberon and Titania have two children together: one male and one female. I know exactly who they are, but I'm keeping their identities and personas secret for the time being.

Oberon also has at least two sons by mortal women: Merlin and the changeling boy from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Titania has one child with the mortal Halcyon Renard. This is Janine Renard, a.k.a. Fox.

Fox married David Xanatos. They have one child: Alexander Fox Xanatos.

Puck, a.k.a. Owen Burnett, is not directly related to ANY of these individuals.

Response recorded on November 18, 2004

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SOK writes...

While perusing my tapes I noticed that Xanatos named his son Alex. Is this suppose to be a tribute to Lex Luthor since Lex=Alex?

Greg responds...

Nope. More of a reference to Alexander the Great.

Response recorded on October 19, 2004

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Epantiras writes...

Did Janine Renard call herself Fox because the French word "renard" means "fox"?

Greg responds...

I'm sure that was part of it.

Response recorded on July 01, 2004

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Xanadu writes...

Was the fact that Fox was the only heir to one of Xanatos's biggest competitors have anything to do with his marrying her or does he actually love her?

Greg responds...

As it turns out, as demonstrated in "Eye of the Beholder", BOTH.

Certainly Fox's "compatibility" included her coming inheritence. But Xanatos soon discovered that he actually loved her. Remember?

Response recorded on October 31, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

Does alex or merlin have enough fay blood in them to mate with non-compatible species?

Greg responds...

I'm really not sure I understand the question.

If they transform into another species than they can mate. They have enough "fay blood" to theoretically transform, but it also requires extensive training. And more training for them than for the average Child of Oberon.

Response recorded on July 29, 2003

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Chapter XXX: "Upgrade"

Here's a new ramble for ASK GREG & the DCV...

As usual, I watched the episode recently with my family.

And as usual, everytime my five year-old Benny, sees Xanatos and Fox, he tells his seven year old sister Erin, "You were her. I was Xanatos and you were Fox." [All quotations (both from my kids or from the episode) are approximate.]

ATTITUDES

This is a big episode for attitudes.

Xanatos and Fox pit multiple individuals against each other in life and death circumstances and regard it all as a game.

Lex still hates the Pack.

Dingo is disgusted with the Pack's life of crime, and then even more disgusted with what his teammates do to their bodies. Cool lines like "Save the horrorshow..." or "I hope you don't eat your catch..." or "You're barely our species..." or "I still can't get over what you three did to yourselves..." or "I'm a partner in a freakshow..." or "...after they went Frankenstein on me..." all help distinguish him, perhaps for the first time. We had a notion of where Dingo was going. And this episode helped bridge the gap to "Walkabout". And eventually to the development I did with Gary Sperling, Bob Kline, Troy Adomitis, Doug Murphy and Patrick Archibald on "BAD GUYS," which some of you have seen at the Gathering.

How the mighty have fallen. My point-of-view and Dingo's matched up. The Pack were beginning to feel pathetic. The problem with villains is that after the heroes keeps beating them over and over, you need to find a way to keep them competitive. This episode (reflected in its title, which may or may not have been one of mine, but which I latched onto EARLY and stuck with) was always part of my plans for the Pack. Intro them in the first season as humans. This was necessary, because the world of our first season was MUCH more normal. I wanted to weird the world up in small steps. Don't intro Oberon first, intro Puck. That kind of thing. So once the science was established, we'd upgrade.

This dovetailed nicely with the need for Goliath to 'upgrade' one of his warriors to Second-In-Command. Goliath had been Hudson's second. Demona had been Goliath's. But it was past time to name a new successor. We always had Brooklyn in mind for that roll, but I remember asking Gary whether he felt we had succeeded in establishing that without ever having stated it. He felt we had. What did you guys think when you first saw the episode?

The battle at the bank. On my tape, there's an animation glitch where Dingo hits his head and then seems to intentionally hit his head again. I'm hoping it got fixed for later airings.

Anyway, the battle winds down. No one's done very well. But the Pack is on the run. Erin at this point says, "There's no messing with the big boys." Proving that the Pack was no longer competitive.

Wolf yells, "This isn't over!" sounding very much like Hakon to my ears.

Lex wants to pursue, but Brooklyn already the subconscious leader of everyone's choice, says, "Helping Goliath is more important."

Hudson gooses Goliath to choose a second. Refuses the job himself. This is another example of Hudson being the guardian of tradition. He knows they live in a brave new world. But he wants to preserve what worked in the old one as well.

Erin says, "I think Goliath's going to choose the red guy." Meaning Brooklyn. I am briefly horrified that my own kids don't reliably know the names of the lead characters. (Of course, before last week, we hadn't watched the series in a year. But still...)

I love the idea of Coyote's head knocking on the door of the Pack's ship. For starters it's so odd to get a knock while in flight. Second, how did he knock. Why with his forehead of course...

The trio begin their competition. Bronx is disgusted.

The new Pack is revealed. What was everyone's reaction? The Coyote-Head had laid out the options, but were you at all shocked at the upgrades when you first saw them?

I like the creepy Addams Family moment with Jackal's arm. I like that this Wolf and Dingo are now competitive in strength with Goliath.

I find it interesting that we had Goliath say, "What manner of trickery is this?" instead of "What sorcery is this?" I mean, who were we kidding, right?

Hudson then brings up the Archmage's sorcery. Just a reminder that the Archmage existed for what we knew was coming in Avalon.

I don't know if this was fixed for reairing, but their's a big mistake in this first battle. Goliath spots COYOTE the robot flying off and goes off alone in pursuit. This was supposed to be him spotting just the little head. He goes off after the head, thinking he'll find Xanatos or something. Then the giant Robot steps forward. Would have been a much better reveal.

I love the interaction as the Pack chooses a leader.

Cree is great reading: "Coyote, honey..." and "I find him very attractive." Hyena's attraction to Coyote was a fun running gag. But did it influence her choice of upgrades?

Jackal is grossed out, proving as ever, that he's just a tad saner than his sister. "Well, that's sicker than usual." He sides with Wolf, just for that reason.

Leaving Dingo with the deciding vote.

More animation errors that I hope got corrected eventually: Fox's lips don't move. So suddenly we're hearing her internal monologue.

Note that Broadway actually foils the most crime in their nightly competition. We did that on purpose. To show that was never the point.

Xanatos says, "Clever move." to end an act.

Then we come back, and he's confident saying, "I think I've still got the edge." Of course that line was a literal reuse of the line from "The Edge". We had a lot of so-so animation in this episode. It forced us to cut the show tight enough that we had to add footage. So we reprinted the shot of X&F playing chess and reused the old line to fill the space.

Final battle.

Everytime Hyena's hand folded backwards, Erin would say: "Eww, that's disgusting!"

CONTINUITY: Just as Lex dislikes the Pack, Bronx seems to particularly dislike Coyote. He's always chewing on that bot, forcing Coyote to threaten to "send this puppy into orbit!"

I love Hyena's line: "I wonder if Gargoyles taste like chicken?" Can't help thinking she'd sincerely like to know.

Frank Paur had this idea that when Wolf got angrier, he'd morph even wolfier. But the animation never quite worked on that. It was a great idea, but the transformation doesn't play dramatically, so it just looks like the model changes part way through the fight.

Coyote's demise was heavily influenced by the first Terminator movie. We keep destroying the darn bot, but it just keeps getting up.

Morgan reappears. I was never wild about his "Hospital, Machine Shop or Vet" line. It's okay, but it seemed a bit too flip.

Goliath, like the production staff, had his choice in mind all along. Brooklyn. By now the trio's come around to the same idea, except Brooklyn himself, who suddenly realizes the weight he'll be carrying around. A prelude to "Kingdom", as he says to Goliath, "Be careful. I'm in no hurry to take your place."

(Nice moment in their when Hudson pets Bronx. It has nothing specific to do with anything else, but it's a nice touch.)

Fox & Xanatos make such a cool couple. I love that he doesn't mind losing to her. Happier to have found a true equal.

And I love that chilling, funny ending: "Care to play again?"

Ever wonder about their next game?

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


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matt writes...

on Fox and David Xanatos's Marriage certificate/license, who signed as witnesses to their marriage? i mean, traditionally its the Best Man and Maid of Honor, but we can see why that wouldn't work...
did Owen sign it? did Petros?

also, i apologize if this was asked before, but, was Halcyon Renard or Anastasia invited to the wedding? if so, why didn't they come?

Greg responds...

1. Owen, probably.

2. I think not. Partially, because Fox was semi-estranged from her father at least. But MOSTLY because of the instructions Xanatos got from himself. Neither Fox or Xanatos are sentimental enough (at least not that they'd admit) to risk having either of Fox's parents there, when potentially they might interfere.

Response recorded on January 22, 2002

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Anonymous writes...

Foreshadowing in Future Tense
Does the Alexander of 2198 own any exo-suits like the one seen in the Future Tense episode?
Does Brooklyn and Demona look like the Demona and Brooklyn in Future Tense?

Greg responds...

Generally, I try to avoid making 'decisions' here that will inhibit the artistic freedom of future collaborators, but...

Alex. Potentially, yes. But since, Alex is kidnapped and put in stasis in the first episode it's going to be a non-issue for some time.

Brooklyn. Initially, Brooklyn would look very much like Brooklyn from Hunter's Moon. Later he may wind up with a look similar to Future Tense -- though with one major change.

Demona. Potentially.

Response recorded on November 13, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Alexander¡¯s immortality
Why does Alexander Xanatos hide his immortality from the general public? How does he do it? Do the Illuminati know of his unique heritage? Any others?

Greg responds...

NS.

Response recorded on November 06, 2001

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Gipdac writes...

1) In 2198 is Alexander married?
2) If yes, to whom?
3) Is s/he human, Child of Oberon, gargoyles or New Olympian?
4) Has Alexander been married between 1994 and 2198?
5) If yes, how many times?

Greg responds...

1. ns
2. see 1
3. see 1
4. ns
5. see 4

Response recorded on November 05, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

1.What does Alexander Fox Xanatos IV look like? Does he look like the one in Future Tense? Is he married?
2.How powerful is he in magic? Why didn't he use his magic to flee the area when the Space-Spawn came?

Greg responds...

1. Though I'm determined to keep design issues open for the time being, Alex does, in my mind, look much like his adult persona in Future Tense.

1a. Not telling.

2. Enough.

2a. No warning at all. None. He was transported right into stasis.

Response recorded on October 17, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Why isn¡¯t Merlin, Oberon¡¯s own kid, considered a Child of Oberon? Why is Alex considered one?

Greg responds...

Well, let's begin with this: Considered by whom?

Alex was considered to have the potential to be one by Oberon & Titania.

Merlin and Oberon have long-standing issues, but what makes you think that he isn't considered a Child of Oberon?

Response recorded on October 16, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

By 2198 how many fae are off Avalon?
Care to give a few names?

Greg responds...

Very few.

Puck. Alex.

Response recorded on September 11, 2001

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Lexy writes...

Hey again..

At mug-a-guest you mentioned that Alex will be living for a
long time. This due to his 3rd race genes. My question is if he lives longer will he also age slower?
We didn't get to see a lot of him on the show so I was wondering if he was actually going to age slower, or just age as a normal human and then hit a point where he aged slower.

Thanks again!

Greg responds...

The aging of Alex is a story in and of itself. Initially he will age like a normal human. Right now, in August of 2001, he's five. That's all I'm saying at this point.

Response recorded on August 08, 2001

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Laura 'ad astra' Ackerman writes...

In one of your replies you mention that AI has progressed a long way by 2198 thanks to a group {species none specific} of people that included Fox. You mention her with 'Anastasia', would might mean that it is only a reference to Matrix's origin, but it reminded me of a question I have been meaning to ask for a while: How much of a scientist is Fox? Titania seems quite accomplished in that realm, (and I assume her knowledge of the physical world makes her magic that much more effective), but Fox seemed to know her way around a lab as well.

Greg responds...

Janine Renard had two scientists for parents, so she does know her way around a lab. I'd say she has a high school education in science PLUS all the stuff she learned by assisting her parents as a youth. But I think she generally rebelled against their more -- shall we say -- academic pursuits. She hasn't studied any particular scientific discipline. She has no advanced degrees. She's very bright, obviously. But she's not a scientist by either method or inclination or training.

Response recorded on August 07, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Is Fox still alive?

Greg responds...

Why? What have you heard?

Response recorded on July 27, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

How did Alex get elected to the position of Secretary General? Why would the Illuminati which controls almost everything on Earth before the Space-Spawn invasion allow the election/installation of someone who they don't approve of considering they didn't vouch for his release?

Greg responds...

Your premise is faulty.

Response recorded on July 27, 2001

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Jacob writes...

Sorry, two mistakes in my first letter. Here's the correct(?) one:

Let's say someone would put a spell on Fox so that she can only say the FULL truth and leave nothing out, what would she answer if she's asked what Titania had whispered to her in the night Oberon wanted to take Alex away to Avalon?

Greg responds...

"ARRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

Response recorded on July 20, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

Gathering questions:
1a) Why does Oberon need a tracker to find Puck(a fellow fey), when both Titanya and the Wierd Sisters were able to locate the Gargoyles in the clock tower? b)Why could Oberon sence Titanya and not Puck? c)How was Budicca able to track Owen from the Park to the castle? Had Owen been frolicking in the park earlier?

2a)Did Titanya want things to end up as they did from the begining? b) If she did, how was she sure Puck would of shown up? c) If she didn't, then should I assume she wanted Gargoyles to help take the baby, and it wasn't reverse pyicoligy?

3)Why were nither Rinard, Vogel, nor the Gargoyle's put to sleep? Am I right in thinking Titanya protected them?

4)How did Rinard know about the danger? Did Xanatos or Titanya ask him for help?

5a) Why would the people of manhaten, think this was all a midsummer night's dream, with all the car crashes, injuries and, probably, deaths that occured? b) Would not all that damage break the non-interferance law?

Good luck with these, for all our sakes.

Greg responds...

1a. He was in the mood. Besides, Puck is better at hiding.
1b. Puck is not his wife/soulmate.
1c. It's a magic flute, man. Just flow with it!

2a. So she says.
2b. Intuition?
2c. I'm not going to interpret it for you.

3. Renard and Vogel were not in Manhattan when the spell was first cast. Also they had an energy field around the bridge.

4. Yes. Xanatos informed him.

5a. That's Oberon's interpretation.
5b. From his point of view, he didn't cause the damage. He was merely taking the mortals out of a conflict that would have interfered with their lives. The damage was a minor repercussion.

Response recorded on July 17, 2001

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Gipdac writes...

Okay, originally someone asked you what made Anubis connected to death. Your answer was "Fay are tied to the pure magic of Earth. Individual fae have different 'connections', just as individual humans have different talents, etc. Anubis and other "death gods" come by it naturally". My question is this:
1) Does Alex have any special connection? Any particular magical talent that comes naturally to him?
2) If so, what are they?

Greg responds...

1. Too soon to tell, isn't it?
2. See 1.

Response recorded on July 11, 2001

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Nieuws writes...

What is the thing on Fox's Eye and where did it come from?

Greg responds...

It's a tatoo.

Response recorded on July 11, 2001

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Sloth writes...

I was reading your rambles on "OutFoxed", and you mentioned that there was a clue that hinted Fox was Halcyen's daughter by the fact that his last name is Rynard. Could you explane how there is a connection between the words rynard and fox, cause I can't see it. I don't even know what rynard means.

Greg responds...

In French, "renard" means "fox". See, learn something new every day.

Response recorded on July 10, 2001

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Laura 'ad astra' Ackerman writes...

I was looking over the [finally] completed description of the future series and after happily ooing and aahing, I had a few questions.

-1- I noticed that Broadway and Angela's biological children had similar sounding names, (arthurian in my mind). Since they were not named specifically by the parents but rather as clan children, (I assume), I was wondering if this was intentional. Are rookeries intentionally named with similar names, like the angel theme with the Avalon eggs? Do near rookeries share somewhat similar names and distant ones more different ones? Am I reading way too much into a statistical sample of three?

[Side question- Broadway, raised by Gargoyles would not care who was his biological child, but Angela was raised by humans, even if they did try to follow the gargoyle mode. Does she care a little, or at least think about it?]

-2- Nicolas Natzilani Maza, (please excuse my spelling, I am composing this offline): From which of the current Maza siblings does he descend?

-3- Alexander Fox Xanatos IV: I have a feeling I am being a bit dense here, but is he the same Alex as Alexander Fox Xanatos I but covering for extreme longevity?

-4- I don't remember any mention of the New Olympians. Do they play a notable role? If not, where are they?

-5- Logistically I am confused about something- In a perfect world all the Gargoyle spin offs would be running at the same time for an indefinate amount of time. More specifically Time Dancer and Gargoyles 2198 would be running at once. [Which leads to another side question: What you call the series after the first year?] As I see it the first year or two wouldn't be a problem- Timedancer Brooklyn would be a couple of years younger than future Brooklyn and we just wont see him describing in detail events that haven't happened yet in Time Dancer to people in 2198.

The problems start when it comes time for Time Dancer Brooklyn to go to 2198. The easiest way I can see it is, we see him leave, we see him return ten years older all in one ep, "wow! I just spent ten years fighting aliens in the future! But I wont say anything more as not to let you know too much about what will be." Then we have a Time Dancer Brooklyn ten or so years older than the Future one and a massive, sustained chuck of time that he can't give away to the audience. It seems like it would be a very awkward.

Thanks... And enjoy the con!! I hope you give a passing thought to those of us stuck on the other side of the continent. (This whole being an adult with a job kinda sucks sometimes.)

Greg responds...

1. You probably are reading a bit too much into a statistical sample of three. Plus, keep in mind that the Manhattan Clan doesn't exactly have deeply held traditions in naming. The whole concept is fairly new to them.

1a. I think Angela does think about it. But keep in mind, she was group raised. This way, as a parent, she has more children to love. That suits her fine.

2. I'm SO not telling.

3. Yes.

4. They will eventually play a roll. Technology-wise, the rest of the world has caught up to them. I wouldn't fully re-intro them right away, although their leader will be kidnapped along with Alex.

5. You worry too much. I should have such worries.

Response recorded on July 10, 2001

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matt writes...

1. before "The Gathering", did anyone besides Xanatos and demona know that Owen was Puck? you've said before that Fox didn't know, correct?

2. from what i know of Oberon and his relationship with Puck, i doubt that bringing him the Phoinex Gate would've convinced Oberon to let Puck stay in the mortal world any longer. what do you think?

Greg responds...

1. Correct.

2. Might have worked. Depended how Puck approached him. He's known Oberon a lot longer than you have.

Response recorded on July 06, 2001

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Todd Jensen writes...

A few questions, now, about "Gargoyles 2198":

1. I've noticed a few parallel elements in it with "Future Tense", as follows:

Demona joining forces with the resistance movement.

The LXMs serving as a parallel to "Cyber-Lex".

Coyote-X as a parallel to the Xanatos Program (artificial intelligences out to conquer the world, both derived ultimately from Xanatos - although I doubt that Coyote-X has any direct connection to Xanatos, he did originate the Coyote line of robots).

Were these three elements intended as parallels to "Future Tense", a la the destruction of the clock tower in the original series?

2. What sort of occupation do you imagine the Space-Spawn making on Earth? A really tyrannical regime of the sort where Earth's population is reduced to slave labor, or a more remote occupation where they pretty much let the Earthlings go on with their lives, though now as subjects of the Space-Spawn Empire?

3. How is it that Coyote-X is out to conquer, first the planet, then the galaxy? I will confess that I have something of a problem with the notion of a robot or artificial intelligence out to conquer the world; such a goal strikes me as more fitted to an "organic being" with such emotions as greed, ambition, arrogance, etc., than to an artificial intelligence, which I simply can't imagine developing emotions (truth to tell, my own thoughts on machines are pretty much the same as those of Goliath in "Outfoxed" - machines know only what they are programmed to know; it's living beings, such as humans and gargoyles, who are capable of making decisions, and choosing between the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do). I didn't have any problems with the Matrix undertaking this route in "Walkabout" since it was portrayed here as merely a logical extension of its programming (to bring about order to the terrain of the world; it was merely misinterpreting its mission) rather than being motivated by power-lust. However, I'm not certain as to how Coyote-X developed its goal. (Of course, artificial intelligences could have come a long way by 2198, and maybe by that time they have developed emotions and the weaknesses and failings of living beings like humans and gargoyles). Of course, I doubt that you want to fill us in on the details yet, but I just thought that I'd mention it.

Greg responds...

1. Yes and no. I love playing with the Future Tense expectaions. But on another level, it's just the characters telling me what they want. I know what Lex does in the late nineties early "oughts". I know what that leads to in turn. I know Demona well enough to know that she's sure not gonna like the Space-Spawn after they steal all the Gargoyle Eggs. And I know what happens to Coyote and how he's going to evolve and upgrade. So maybe Puck was being a bit prophetic. After all, the characters are deciding things for themselves. And he wasn't half wrong.

2. In the immortal words of Abe Simpson, "A little from column A and a little from column B."

3. Well, artificial intelligence has come a long way by 2198. Thanks in no small part to Coyote, Coldsteel, Lexington, Matrix, Fox and Anastasia. (An odd group. But there you go.)

Response recorded on July 03, 2001

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Demoness writes...

In the "Gathering pt 1" Oberon reminds Titania "It is my law not to interfer in human affairs. Let the woman keep her child."

Then a minute later he says: "If it pleases you, you have my permission to take the child."

Xanatos: "It's alright, no one is going anywhere. It is the epiphany [sp?] in interfering in human affairs by taking a child from its parents. By your own law, you can't do this."

Oberon: "I've made up my mind."

Xanatos is right....So Oberon just broke his law by trying to take Alex whether he is of Fae blood or not. He would still be interfering in Fox and David's lives. Doesn't he realize that he made a big mistake concerning his law? Or is it just because he's the King and he can do whatever he wants?

Greg responds...

That's your point of view. Not his. Not even mine necessarily. I'm not saying he was right about taking Alexander in any kind of moral sense. But I certainly see his point from a "law-interpretation" sense. Alex was a "Child of Oberon" (not literally). He therefore was not a mortal and not subject to the non-interference rule. Quite the contrary, Oberon had declared the Gathering. Alex was REQUIRED to attend by Oberon's law. Since he couldn't get there on his own power, Oberon was simply providing a taxi service. Giving them an hour -- monstrously cruel as it sounds to us -- seemed to him like a generous concession. After all, Alex was due in Avalon yesterday -- literally.

You can see the 'fairness' of his judgment in the way he deals with Fox. He could have insisted that she come too. Costing Xanatos both wife and child. But he ruled that Fox was "regrettably human". And thus he could not touch her. From his point of view he was being very fair.

And mentioning Oberon's earlier comment is specious. He didn't know who Alex was at the time.

Xanatos certainly, and obviously, has his point of view. But who is he to interpret Oberon's law relative to Oberon himself. Who had the backing of Titania by the way in said interpretation.

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

What does the Master Matrix and the LXM robots have to do with the Matrix that we see in Walkabout?

Greg responds...

A lot.

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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Anonymous writes...

Have the names of Oberon and Titania's kids been mentioned in AskGreg?

Greg responds...

Two have. Merlin and Fox. Oh, you mean the kids they had together?

NO. Not that I can recall.

Response recorded on July 02, 2001

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Rob Irwin writes...

#3
When Puck showed himself to Xanatos and offered a wish or life time service, did immortality cross divid's mind, was he not interested in it at the time, or did he think he could get his service and try to live forever another day?

I'll add this one too cause it's about Xanatos. What were Xan's thinkings when he made the steel clan and decided to kill the gargs. He went through a lot of trouble and money to bring them back just to have them steal some disks and then pulverize them. And when he gets out of jail he wants to go back to using them. Can this be explained?

One more about future stories if it's alright. Was Xanatos compleatly turned to a "good guy" or would he latter have had his moarlity conflict with his need for immortality. Same about Fox
Thank U

Greg responds...

1. The latter. Owen's service was valuable. There must be a hundred ways to become immortal.

2. He kept underestimating them at first. He learned not to do that later.

3. Xanatos and Fox are never good for the sake of being good. Nor are they bad for the sake of being bad. They are immoral. The only thing that really changed for them are some of their priorities.

Response recorded on June 29, 2001

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Sapphire writes...

Sorry Matt for picking on you I was just joking any question time.....

Greg you said earlier that Talon would get upset when his sister takes Goliath to be her mate. I was wondering why would he get upset over his sister's choice about the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with?

Greg responds...

Think about it and get back to me.

Response recorded on June 27, 2001

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Corrine Blaquen writes...

What is Xanatos's mother's first name?

Greg responds...

Not saying at this time.

Response recorded on June 19, 2001

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Phil writes...

I've been away for awhile (due to computer problems), and now I'm trying to catch up.

I read your list of characters ages (from about three weeks ago) and you gave Alex's tentative birthdate as 7/9. That's the same day as mine! Cool!

More later

Greg responds...

I can't confirm that Phil, because I'm at home and my timeline is at the office. But it is cool. I assume there are years separating you two. OR else, you're quite the prodigy.

Response recorded on June 09, 2001

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Kathy Lowe (AKA The Gatekeeper) writes...

Just my $.02 worth on "Outfoxed". I'll leave the in-depth analysis up to Todd and Aris.

When I saw Preston Vogel for the first time, I honestly thought that is was Owen. All the characters extremely complex; I never thought that it was a copout from an animation standpoint. I went right to wondering what Owen's hidden agenda was. All the other villains had a hidden agenda, why not Owen. His "I've got a secret" attitude was evident from "The Awakening".
By the end of the episode I started having doubts that Vogel was Owen, but I didn't entirely dismiss the idea until I watched "Golem". The amount of care that Vogel had to give to a very sick Renard was more time consuming that even Owen could handle.
While I was expecting a hidden agenda out of this episode, (how could I not, Xanatos was involved via Fox) I never expected it to be Fox's agenda which was her relation to Renard. While I definitely understood what the "Tests" were, my vocabulary is woefully inadequate, so I did not know that Renard meant Fox.
I was not surprised by a pregnant cartoon character. I grew up with the Flintstones; and Wilma being pregnant with Pebbles. Back then, knitting baby booties was the way to indicate that someone was expecting. (The last sentence is for those readers who are half our ages <g> Boy do I feel old)

Greg responds...

Yeah, me too.

Obviously, Fox wasn't as ground-breaking as Wilma. But I think she's up there.

Interesting side note, Laura San Giamcomo and Jonathan Frake's wife Genie Francis were both expecting at the same time as Fox.

Response recorded on May 02, 2001

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matt writes...

okay, you don't have to tell me what Titania whispered to Fox, but Xanatos was standing right there, did he hear what Titania whispered? if not, did Fox tell him what Titania whispered to her?

Greg responds...

X did not hear. Fox did not tell him.

Response recorded on April 17, 2001

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Todd Jensen writes...

One amusing little historical note about Canmore, which I must confess spooks me a little. In actual history, two of his sons, both of whom became Kings of Scotland after him, were named Alexander and David. In the context of "Gargoyles", I must confess that I find that a bit on the creepy side.

Greg responds...

You and me both, buster.

One of the many freaky little things leaking into our reality from the Gargoyles Universe.

Response recorded on April 08, 2001

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The One writes...

1) Does Titania truly love Oberon or is he more of a pawn that she uses while she rules through him? What initially attracted the two together?

2) What are Titania's feelings toward's Halcyon Renard's illness? Obviously, it would have been in her power to cure the disease or indirectly use it to create some scientific cure. Why hasn't she tried to heal Renard?

3) What are Halcyon Renard's feelings towards Titania/Anastasia? Is he bitter, angry? How does he feel about the fact that Titania shall stay young, beautiful, and alive forever while he is condemned to rot before his death?

Greg responds...

1) She loves him. And he is very attractive to her. He has power and unpredictability. A certain nobility. Intense loyalty. Command. He's probably great in bed too, frankly.

We've tended to see him from a certain point of view. Not hers.

2. It's neither that simple or that easy. I reject your premise. But she still cares for him, if that's what you want to know.

3. I think he misses her terribly. I don't think he quite has his head around the entire Titania thing. But I also think to him, even before he knew about Titania, Anastasia always seemed young and beautiful. And on some level, that was a comfort. He's not looking to bring the whole world down with him. Let alone those he cares for.

Response recorded on April 08, 2001

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Demona Taina writes...

Well, this is one silly question that I've been pondering about ever since.. well, ever since I first saw the Steel Clan. Why did Xanatos model them after Goliath? I mean, look at the hair, the wings, the face; it is clearly him. Why did he choose Goliath out of the other gargoyles?

Thanks for your time. :)

Greg responds...

Goliath was the biggest and strongest.

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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Alex "Cyclonus" Bishansky writes...

Did the Illuminati ever realize that Xanatos set up his wealth and power through them via time-travel when he sent that coin?

Greg responds...

Not necessarily. They certainly watched the young Xanatos with interest.

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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Bruno writes...

Hi, Greg,

About Angela: Right after the World Tour, what are her opinions about...

1-Macbeth?

2-Fox?

3-Dingo?

Thanks.

Greg responds...

1. He seems all right.

2. She doesn't seem to trustworthy. But at least she's not trying to kill me.

3. He seems all right.

Response recorded on March 29, 2001

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Todd Jensen writes...

A question about Xanatos as portrayed in "Future Tense". This was the last episode in the series where Xanatos was the antagonist (even though it may not count as such, given that it turned out that it wasn't really Xanatos). And what recently struck me about it was that here Xanatos, for once, was acting in a manner more like a conventional cliched cartoon villain than he did anywhere else in the series. He took over Manhattan by force, enslaved the population and plunged them into poverty and misery, had the city patrolled by Mutate soldiers on the ground and Steel Clan robots in the air, murdered his own son without even an ounce of pity or remorse, and was plotting to seize control over the entire planet. All very evocative of the stereotypical super-villain that one would expect to find in a more conventional animated series.

Also, in this episode, Goliath did (momentarily) "destroy" Xanatos (or the Xanatos Program masquerading as him) in the cyberspace battle (just before it turned out that it was really Lexington operating the Xanatos Program behind the scenes), in what could count as their final battle.

So, was "Future Tense" designed, in part, to trick the audience into thinking that "Gargoyles" was going to end with a more conventional showdown between Goliath and Xanatos, a more stereotypical "final battle", before going on to reveal, almost immediately afterwards (given that "The Gathering" was the story that came immediately after "Future Tense"), the real manner in which the Goliath/Xanatos conflict came to an end (through the two making peace after the gargs helped Xanatos against Oberon)? A kind of "tricking the audience raised on more conventional adventure cartoon series" method similar to that used in "Leader of the Pack" (where it initially seems as if Xanatos is out for revenge, but it turns out that it wasn't the real Xanatos and that the real one had very different and much more practical goals)?

Greg responds...

Yep. I mean that wasn't the only thing going on, but we did so love to play with and against expectations.

But it's also fun, even if it's a fantasy within our fantasy, to see such opposites go at it to the death. I knew that wasn't they're true destiny, so it was nice to slip a version of it in.

Response recorded on March 13, 2001

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Todd Jensen writes...

In "Monsters", was Sevarius working for Xanatos or himself when he was at Loch Ness? He had the Xanatos Goon Squad along with him to help him out, but nothing that he said really confirmed that he was working for Xanatos; he appeared to be after the Loch Ness Monsters more to satisfy his own personal interest in genetic tinkering than from any interests that Xanatos had.

Greg responds...

For Xanatos, though X gave him fairly free reign to keep him happily employed.

Response recorded on March 13, 2001

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Yadira writes...

"Outfoxed"

In this episode, one of the key things we learned is that Fox is pregnant and she breaks the news to her father, Renard. What we don't see is how she breaks the news to her husband. If you had time to explore this, how did Fox tell Xanatos about her delicate condition and what did she feel might be Xanatos' reaction. How did Xanatos truly react at first upon hearing her news.

Greg responds...

He was thrilled. I believe she told him as soon as she got off the phone.

Response recorded on March 13, 2001

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Mel. Celestial writes...

Fox and her son has Faeye blood in them; so does that mean that they are able to age slower or become immortal?

Greg responds...

Either are theoretically possible, though it does depend on how one define's immortality.

Response recorded on March 08, 2001

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Aris Katsaris writes...

More of a ramble (or two) than a question but here goes:
I believe that someone here in Ask Greg compared Xanatos to Prospero- both having magical assistants... Anyway I was thinking around the same lines, trying to compare Xanatos with characters from mythology:

My first thought was Gilgamesh (I'll ramble about him next) but then I thought an even better match: namely Sisyphus. And, god, this guy seems the most Xanatosian character I know (I even imagine him played by Frakes). He's *very* intelligent (him and Ulysses are pretty much the two clever men of Greek mythology); something of a trickster; he's considered to be something of a villain; and finally in certain stories he has even tried to find a way to defeat death. Two times in fact. One of them involved binding Thanatos (or Hades - not sure which) pretty similar to what the Emir did in 'Grief'...

So questions:
1. Any thoughts on the above? :-)
2. Sisyphus was punished pretty severely for what was seen as villainy (namely his trying to cheat death and angering Zeus in general)... Other than the brief (though admittedly great) scare that Oberon gave to Xanatos, do you think that Xanatos will get a comeuppance for his crimes? He's done worse than Sisyphus I think...
3. There's a third question but I'll post it serarately in case Todd thinks it a story idea...

Greg responds...

1. Interesting. I can't claim to have been thinking along those lines specifically. Though Odysseus did come to mind, more than once. I guess, I'm just not quite as familiar with Sisyphus' legends...

2. Of course the thing I remember most about Sis is the final punishment. The Sisyphusian task of pushing that boulder up the hill. Xanatos will, on occasion, continue to get his comeuppance. But I can't picture him standing for that kind of punishment -- even in Hell.

Response recorded on March 08, 2001

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Sapphire writes...

In the proposed spin off series The new Olympians you said something about David Xanatos trying to take advantage of the New Olympians. Can you give some details on how he might take advantage of them?

Greg responds...

It's complicated.

Response recorded on March 08, 2001

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matt writes...

why did Xanatos name his skyscraper the "Eyrie Building"?

Greg responds...

Step 1.

Look up "Eyrie" in the dictionary.

Step 2.

If you still need the answer come back with proof of step 1, i.e. the definition.

Response recorded on March 02, 2001

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Oberon writes...

1) If Puck made Xanatos the chioce between Puck and Owen (since Xanatos want immortallity so badly now) would he still make the same chioce.
2) I know that Owen is loyal, but given that he ofered Xanatos a life time of service, does he really want Xanatos to become immortal

Greg responds...

1. Definitely.
2. Owen does. Puck?

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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matt writes...

What condition does Renard have that confines him to that chair?
He doesn't seem to be doing so well in the last few eps of the series (The Green and The Gathering), was there plans for him to die in the near future?
What would Titania think of this?

Greg responds...

I have never nailed it down. I've been thinking Multiple Schlerosis (spelling?). But I never got around to doing the research that would confirm that his symptoms as displayed on the series fit that disease.

Yes, actually.

She would be very sad.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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Entity writes...

Hi Greg,

In "Walkabout," you state that David and Fox really were going to follow through with the Matrix reshaping the planet. I find that pretty jaw-dropping, even if it was to be a selective reshaping. They'd have to basically take over the world in order to do it. Not like they can just do it here or there and go about their business. But onto the specific questions:

1) What in particular did David and Fox have in mind for the world's reshaping? What did they see wrong with it that they sought to righten, or alter in their favor, with the Matrix?

2) How does this goal mesh with Xanatos' pre-established personality? I thought he was already comfortable in the world as it was. And why not? Free trade had evidently benefited him quite well. He was probably the most powerful, non-governmental man on the planet, no? X doesn't seem like the type to rule an empire, like in "Future Tense" (which was a tip-off as to the falsehood of Puck's dream). Rather, he seems to simply want control and power, but in a, well, down-to-earth way.

3) Did Anastasia care?

4) Does Xanatos still have the Matrix technology?

Greg responds...

All right, your 1st paragraph premise is faulty. When did I say that? What were my exact words? Cuz I certainly didn't mean to even imply what you've written here.

1-3) These questions are moot, given the above.

4) Xanatos and Fox still have the research that led to Matrix.

Response recorded on March 01, 2001

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Sapphire writes...

What is David Xanato's view on homosexuality?

Greg responds...

Okay, that's what I figured. Sapphire, did you think this might get a little dull?

David doesn't care. Most of my characters don't.

Response recorded on February 26, 2001

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Chapter XXVII: "Outfoxed"

Time to Ramble...

My three year old son Ben watched the opening titles for about the five hundredth time. On the one hand, he made the point that it was getting dull seeing this same opening. He wanted me to fast-forward to the actual story.

On the other hand, he spent the time reviewing "the rules". How the gargs turn to stone during the day. How Goliath is the leader. Etc.

One thing we always cheated on was how Fortress-2 landed. There it is on the ground awaiting it's maiden voyage, and I just don't see any landing gear.

Vogel is introduced. This is another thing where I had to carefully explain my long-term intent behind the screen in order to get a model for the character that really looked like Owen but wasn't his twin. I remember a lot of people on the Disney Afternoon mailing list reacting negatively to Preston in this episode. Like he was a feeble imitation of Owen. Like we didn't know how to do any other kind of executive assistant. I was simultaneously amused and annoyed by those kind of comments. So now I'm curious. What was your initial reaction to Vogel? And what do you think of him now?

As usual, Travis has old-school attitude when interviewing his subjects. I like that. Makes him more of a character and not just a reporter place-holder.

Fox in casual clothes. With a very casual, yet strangely intense attitude. "I know what happens next," Fox says to David.

My six year old daughter Erin asked, "Why is she watching [Travis' report] like that?" She could tell something was up there.

And in fact, like UPGRADE, this was another episode where we were intentionally trying to show that Fox was David's equal. We show it physically in their martial arts work out. And we show it by giving her a ruthless and complex plot to take Cyberbiotics. In fact, in this episode, when you add in the fact that David is clearly in the dark about her pregnancy test, she seems to be a little equaler than he is.

Fortress-2 takes off. And Goliath sends us into flashback. This is flat-out padding. For some reason, though the script is the same basic length as any of our scripts, this one timed out short after story-boarding was done. (Most of my stories time out too long.) So we added this flashback. I think it was a mistake. It kills the stories momentum, and we already had the sequence later where Renard shows all the important scenelets to Goliath. Those become incredibly redundant. When you add in the "Previously on Gargoyles" opening, it was just too much.

Elisa reveals the show's Hill Street Blues influence by telling Goliath to "be careful out there."

Goliath gets attacked by cybots. As noted, any individual cybot is no match for him. But they have strength in numbers. I wanted to show that Goliath can still kick some ass when motivated. So the cybots shoot at him. And his only response is "That. Stings." Very intense. Unfortunately, I think sound-wise the line gets buried.

And that's a general problem with the episode. On a technical level this just wasn't one of our best. The animation isn't awful, but it's mediocre. Goliath's size relationship gets screwed up here and there. (Particularly in the brig sequences.) The story's padded by flashbacks. Our normally great sound team, didn't do the most inspiring job on this one either. It just generally feels like one that got away from us.

I still think there's some great stuff in it. And the revelation of Fox's pregnancy actually makes it something of a landmark (both for our series and for animated series in general), but the execution never quite lived up to its potential. Oh, well.

CONTINUITY & INTRIGUE

Did anyone remember Cyberbiotics before this ep? Had you ever wondered who Xanatos was stealing from in the pilot? We knew that Cyberbiotics abandoned their underground base, which became the home of the Mutates. Now we were rebuilding the air fortress and revealing that the CYberbiotics Tower is still in business.

Also, Renard mentions Gen-U-Tech. And the revelation that Sevarius and Burnett used to work for Cyberbiotics. Of course, Renard thinks that Xanatos stole Sevarius and Owen away. We know better. We knew even then that Sevarius is much better suited to work for a man like Xanatos than Renard. And of course, now we know why Owen was Xanatos-bound as well. But what did you guys think of that minor revelation at the time?

Renard's opinion of Xanatos is probably colored by his relationship to his daughter: "And that's the least that viper has stolen from me." Did you stop at that moment to consider what that meant and what he meant by the "My Anastasia. My Janine." line? Did anyone (from Renard's name, if nothing else) guess that Fox was his daughter, before the tag? Who did you think Anastasia and Janine were at that time? Or did Goliath's follow up line, "My angel of the night." distract you from considering these questions?

At this point, just before the Janine line, Erin (who has seen these before, but not recently) remembered: "That's Fox's daddy!"

Goliath has some cool lines here too. "I belong to no one." "I serve no master."

And Renard (voiced by Robert Culp to perfection) has some great lines too: "Not my fault, not my fault. You sound like every human employee I've ever FIRED." and "Take some responsibility."

What was fun for me, although maybe for no one else, was (a) to get some hard thoughts about both the need and the difficulty of maintaining personal integrity up onto the screen and (b) doing that by lecturing to Goliath, arguably one of the most "integrous" characters I've ever written. (b) served (a), by showing that even Goliath can be prone to slipping.

The thing is that integrity really matters to me. And yet, I don't know how much of it I exercise in my own life. I really do try. But it's so hard. And not because I'm a dishonest person, but more because I'm lazy. It's easier to shift blame, to tell white lies, etc. The alternative takes effort and vigilance. I think the rewards are immense, even if the costs are too. But I ain't kidding myself about the difficulty.

The martial arts scene. Reminiscent of the scene from the Edge where Owen toppled David. Here we hinted even more strongly that Fox is Renard's daughter. David is basically giving her permission to back out of the plan, to save face and exit, BEFORE she destroys her father. It's not that David really cares about Halcyon. I think he's thinking about his relationship to his own father. David likes to believe (at this stage in the series) that he's evolved beyond the need for a parental relationship. But "Vows" sort of demonstrates that his relationship with Petros is much more complex than that. David still needs parental approval and is somewhat amazed (at least subconsciously) that Fox does not. Again, in this episode, Fox is more than his equal.

And now the doctor calls with test results. David shows legitimate fear here for a moment. He's not thinking pregnancy. He's worried maybe she's sick or something. She enjoys toying with him. Maybe she's just in a mood. But her armor is on in force in this ep. We won't really get INSIDE Fox until "The Gathering" two-parter.

Finally, Goliath acknowledges his crime: "I was wrong." Cary had this great line for Renard: "I'm glad you're gargoyle enough to admit it."

Robert Culp and Peter Scolari were an interesting pair as Renard and Vogel. Culp was tough in the booth. Very precise. Very clear ideas about how he wanted to play the character. Tougher on his performance than Jamie and I were. And the results show.

Peter was a dream to work with. We spent an hour talking after the recording (about Busom Buddies, mostly). He's an incredibly nice guy. And he picked up the character right away. Despite the fact that we didn't have Jeff Bennett there to do a little Owen for him. He just got it.

Until the end, Vogel really plays Renard in this. He knows how much Renard hates whining blame-shifters, so he's constantly saying things like "You can place the blame on me if you like." in order to defuse any of Renard's suspicions.

But in a more subtle way, Renard is unwittingly playing upon Vogel as well. He doesn't intrude on Vogel's phone calls. He treats him with respect and gives him credit ("You and I built this ship together"). Insists that Vogel save the people in the tower, even if it means Renard's own life. We can see that Vogel was willing to take Fox's money for a bit of corporate espionage. But Vogel is not a killer. (It's important to see that he views Goliath as a creature.) This partially explains his turnaround at the end. (Which some people complained about.) All along he's been trying to get Renard to GET OFF THE SHIP. But Renard forces his hand. And when push comes to shove, Vogel likes Renard too much to see him die. "Mr. Vogel, I knew you wouldn't let me down." "You have that effect on people." And then Goliath basically bluffs him at the end there into confessing, screwing up their relationship.

But Goliath fixes it again. His last discussion with Renard sets up the reconciliation between them that must have taken place before "Golem".

At any rate, it's also nice to see Goliath make a NEW friend. This was important, because that has always been Goliath's goals. To make friends with humans on his own terms. Every once in a while, we had to show it working. Couldn't just be ONLY Elisa forever.

Ben weighed in at this point and said, "Daddy, I love Xanatos. And I love Fox." Of course, Ben and Erin dressed up as David and Fox at the last Gathering. In fact they dressed up in the martial arts outfits from this episode. Thus the affinity. I once played Theseus in the play THE WARRIOR'S HUSBAND. And Edmund in KING LEAR. It gave me an on-going affinity for both characters and awakened my interest in "The Bastard" archetype.

Now the tag. I'm usually pretty proud of our tags. They often advance the overall story as much as the entire episode. But this is one of my favorites. "Hello, Janine." "Hello, daddy." Was anyone ready for that? And her attitude: "Almost got you that time, didn't I?" The whole sense that Fox is in all this just for kicks. She's not as acquisitive as her husband. He'd always take the path of LEAST resistance to a goal. If Renard would give Janine the company, X would suggest she ask for it. But she doesn't care about the company. ONLY the game. X likes the game. But he's about RESULTS. All established in one little scene.

And of course that slick little pregnancy revelation. I think that was one of the most revolutionary and flat-out subversive things we did on the whole show. Was anyone ready for that? We had hinted at it with the "genetically compatible" line in "Eye of the Beholder" and obvioulsy with "It's your doctor... with test results." But I think it was quite the shocker.

And Fox is so tough. Pregnant and back on the hang-glider. I love it.

Okay, I'm done. You're turn. Ramble away...


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Memo on "Outfoxed"...

In anticipation of watching "Outfoxed" anyday now, I'm going to go ahead and post the memo I wrote to Cary Bates, after he turned in his outline for that episode, originally titled, "After the Fox".

WEISMAN 11-27-94

Notes on "After the Fox" Outline...

GENERAL
Well, one of the advantages of having you as one of my story editors is that I can be brutally honest. We got some problems here. The main one being that the story doesn't get going in earnest until the last scene of Act Two. We're horribly padded here. Normally, I would give this back to you for a second draft outline, but -- my fault -- I didn't read it in time. So I'll beat it out here.

FOX vs. RENARD
First off, let's make Renard the last name. I know I said it was o.k. to make Renard the first name, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn't want Fox's only connection to the Renard/Fox name to be that it was her father's first name. I don't think she could admit to herself that she was borrowing anything from him. So let's make her given name Janine Renard. He still calls her Janine. She rejects that and has her name legally changed to her nom de guerre: Fox. (Like Cher or Madonna, it's just the one word. Remember, she was a performer.) The "Fox" is the part of herself that she believes in. The irony, of course, is that the name did come from her father.

I don't think Fox consciously hates her father. I don't think she consciously admits to having feelings that could cloud her judgment. There's no vengeance kick here. No line of dialogue where she says she wants to see him suffer or that she only saved his life so she can continue to torture him. That all may be subconsciously true, but if so, she doesn't realize it. Remember, she's Xanatos' perfect mate. Neither her nor her husband get that emotional. They enjoy the game for its own sake. Playing it against her father may give it a special tang, but from her point of view, there's only one reason to do this: Cyberbiotics. She wants it, so she decides to take it. If it wasn't worth having, she wouldn't have bothered.

CYBERBIOTICS
The investor scenario doesn't work. Just because the investors aren't killed, doesn't mean these five terrorized guys are now gonna invest. The damage is done. The stock price will still fall and Cyberbiotics will still belong to Fox by close of business tomorrow.

The solution, I believe, is to change the location. Renard has just rebuilt the CYBERBIOTICS AIR FORTRESS. He's determined to prove that it's safe and effective. It's a corporate icon, like the Good Year Blimp -- and the public does think it's really cool -- but it's still not the smartest investment. It's hybris. Worse... it's Euro-Disney. Renard's had to invest way too much to rebuild it. If it's destroyed so soon after it's reconstruction, Cyberbiotics will be bankrupt and easy prey for Fox. This'll tie in nicely with Goliath's growing sense that he owes Renard a debt. Goliath helped destroy the first Air Fortress. Now, he must save the second one. And if you save the ship, you save the company from Fox.

INTEGRITY: GARGOYLE vs. HUMAN
For once, this should not be an issue. Renard accuses Goliath of not having as much integrity as humans do. But Renard doesn't believe humans have very much integrity -- that's why he's automated his operations -- so we're arguing the wrong premise. Integrity is not the province of either race. Deep down, Goliath may have a vague prejudice that gargoyles are generally more honest than humans, but in his head he knows that his race does not have a monopoly on integrity. Thanks to the events of our pilot, Renard may have a general mistrust of gargoyles, but that's not the point he should be making. Renard firmly believes that integrity is an absolute. You have it. Or you don't. Cut and Dry. Black and White. He's got it. Most humans don't, including Xanatos and his daughter. Machines can be programmed with absolutes. People can't. So he's populating his world with machines. His assumption is that Goliath is no better than Xanatos and that all of the creature's protestations about being duped are nothing more than whining excuses. Will Goliath take responsibility for his actions or won't he? Let's not distract this important theme, with issues of race.

Though I loved the line: "You're gargoyle enough to admit it."

VOGEL
Who is this guy exactly? Security man? Computer programmer? Born-again? Was he hired on a project basis to complete the automation? Is he helping Fox because he knew Renard was going to fire him? Has Vogel automated all of Renard's operations or just the security? If it's just the security, than what are they securing? Why does he repent? Basically, the character is coming across as very vague and contradictory. We have to clean this up.

Let's also make sure we fit Vogel into our theme. He is corrupted by Fox. Ultimately, Renard will use Vogel as another example of why humans cannot be trusted. But Goliath will point out that the cybots were just as corruptible, while incapable of experiencing a change of heart, as Goliath has had.

THE TITLE
"After the Fox"... I don't get it. Am I missing something?

BEAT OUTLINE
ACT ONE
1. Open quietly with FOX at the EYRIE BUILDING. She turns on the evening news. TRAVIS MARSHALL is on the air, reporting from JFK or LaGuardia or wherever. It is the Maiden Voyage of FORTRESS-2, the CYBERBIOTICS airship. Marshall had hoped to get an interview with the reclusive head of Cyberbiotics, HALCYON RENARD, but has to settle for Renard's right-hand man VOGEL. Fox watches all this with some interest.

2. Out at the airfield, Marshall, a tough journalist, questions the wisdom and expense of Fortress-2, particularly since FORTRESS-ONE crashed into the river last year. Vogel counters that the cause of that crash was an act of corporate espionage that was only successful thanks to human error on the part of Fortress-One's crew. Fortress-2 is fully automated, run by patented CYBOTS. Human error is not possible. No humans aboard at all? After this test flight, human scientists will occupy it's laboratories to research new wonders, but there is no human crew, except for Vogel and Mr. Renard, himself. Marshall asks if it's true that Renard has invested all of his personal fortune into Fortress-2, and that if it doesn't perform both he and Cyberbiotics will be ruined. Vogel has no comment on that, and heads inside the ship.

3. We follow Vogel, as he heads for the command center. Everything is automated, and there are little Cybots everywhere. All with very specific functions. No waste. At the command center, Vogel contacts Renard in his private office, elsewhere on board. Cut briefly to a shadowed Renard hovering in his ultra-chair, watching Vogel on a vid-screen. Renard gives permission to launch.

4. Fortress-2 launches. Huge turbines and compressors roar. And GOLIATH and ELISA watch from a nearby roof or hilltop. Goliath claims to be here because he is concerned that XANATOS might attempt to attack this ship, just as he tricked Goliath into attacking the first one. But Elisa probably knows that the air fortress is a symbol of Goliath's own guilt -- a guilt that Goliath has yet to come to terms with. Goliath decides to follow the airship, just to be safe.

5. In the air above Manhattan, a cybot alerts Vogel to their pursuer [Goliath]. Vogel informs Renard. Renard says Vogel knows what to do. (It doesn't hurt if we briefly misdirect the audience into thinking that Renard is a villain.)

6. Goliath glides a short distance behind the airship. Suddenly, flying cybots swarm out of a Fortress-2 hold. There're not very big, and they have very simple attack programming. They fire medium strength stun bolts and they miss more often than they hit. Goliath can swat them away easily. Clearly, these cybots don't seem to be on a par with Xanatos' STEEL CLAN. But if results are what counts, they turn out to be superior. There are just too many of the little things. No matter how many Goliath trashes, there are more coming at him. They hover, which Goliath can't do. And eventually, the stun beams add up. Finally, he gets hit with a barrage of them and passes out. Two larger cybots are waiting to catch him and bring him into the airship. (Let's consistently depict the cybots as mono-functional. Each model capable of doing only one thing.)

7. Inside the airship, Goliath regains consciousness in the brig. The bars on the cell might be bendable for Goliath, but he is forced back by Cybot guards with built-in cattle prods. Vogel is there, and a large metal pneumatic door slides open to finally reveal Halcyon Renard. He floats in on his hover chair. He has silver hair and a very sharp mind -- but he is definitely not "robust and vital".
Renard hovers around Goliath, sizing him up. "So this is what the boys at Gen-U-Tech have been up to. Xanatos must be very proud." Goliath responds that he is neither Gen-U-Tech's creation nor Xanatos'. Renard laughs. Goliath demands to know why he is being held prisoner. "Because if you're my prisoner, than I know you can't destroy Fortress-2 for your master." Goliath: "I have no master." "No? Then why did you do this?" Renard flicks a remote button on his chair, and the walls slide back to reveal a large screen. Another button, and video clips from "Awakening, Parts IV and V" show Goliath's participation in the destruction of Fortress-One. Chastened, Goliath tries to explain that he had been duped by Xanatos: "It wasn't my fault." But Renard doesn't let up: "It's not my fault. It's not my fault. You sound like all my human employees. My former human employees. Crush them all together and you couldn't squeeze an ounce of personal integrity from the lot of them. Don't make excuses, creature! Take responsibility for your actions! Stop whining!"
"I DO NOT WHINE," says Goliath, as he rips the bars off his cell and uses them to smash his cybot guards. But Renard doesn't even flinch. "You don't whine, but you also don't hesitate to destroy more of my personal property." He presses another button, and two stun cannons on his chair blast at Goliath until he is knocked out again.
Vogel apologizes. "All my fault, sir. I'll make sure he can't get out of the next cell." We see that Renard respects Vogel for taking the blame. A cybot informs Vogel that he has an incoming personal call. Renard exits, not wanting to impose on Vogel's privacy.
As Cybots drag the unconscious Goliath away, Vogel turns to a vid-screen and activates it. Reveal Fox on the other end. Is it safe to talk? Mr. Renard always respects my privacy. Is Vogel ready to sabotage Fortress-2? He is if the money's been deposited in his Swiss Bank Account. All taken care of. Vogel: "Then we're ready. And the good news is..." He looks at Goliath. "We've got a perfect candidate to take the blame."

ACT TWO
8. A short time later, Goliath awakens shackled to a wall in a new cell, with MUCH thicker bars, and even more cybot guards. Renard is there in his hover chair, brooding. If only Goliath could make him understand that Xanatos is to blame. But Renard: "Oh, I have no doubt of that. You aren't the first poor soul Xanatos has corrupted. Owen Burnett. Anton Sevarius. They both were Cyberbiotics employees... and they're the least of what that viper has stolen from me. I've no doubt he was behind the attack and no reason to doubt that he tricked you into participating." But if that's so, than why does Renard hold Goliath responsible? "Someone has to. And you obviously don't." It doesn't matter to Renard whose idea it was. It doesn't matter whether Goliath believed he was doing the right thing. Now he knows the truth. What's he going to do about it? Goliath grimly rattles his chains, then says, "I think a better question might be, what are you going to do about it."

9. Xanatos and Fox are working on their Kung Fu at the Eyrie Building. Make a point of showing that they are evenly matched. While they fight, they talk casually. Xanatos: "Weren't you mounting a hostile take-over of Cyberbiotics today? Your not having second thoughts about taking it from old man Renard?" Before she can answer, OWEN enters to alert Fox of a phone call from her physician. When Xanatos looks concern, she misinterprets and tells him not to worry: Cyberbiotics will be hers before morning. And as she says hello into the phone, we cut...

10. In the command center, Vogel instructs a random cybot to shut down for repairs. When it does, he opens it up and installs a chip into it's programming matrix. Then he reactivates the cybot, but when it turns on, an arc of electricity flashes around it, briefly. Vogel taps it on the head. Off you go.

11. Goliath and Renard are still talking practical philosophy. Renard has been brooding over the question of what to do with Goliath. He's trying to decide what the honorable thing would be. He'll probably just turn him over to the authorities. Goliath is aghast. "Look at me, human. Is that an equitable punishment? Was my crime against you heinous enough to justify turning me into a laboratory specimen?" Renard smiles. "Well, we're making progress. You've finally acknowledged that you committed a crime."

12. Elsewhere on the ship, the first cybot that Vogel infected passes another cybot. The same arc of electricity shoots out of the second 'bot. Then both 'bots move off and infect two more...and so on... and so on... and so on...
On Vogel's read-out screen, the percentage of cybots infected keeps rising. 13%... 27%... 32%...

13. Goliath eyes Renard. Almost despite himself, Goliath is beginning to regard the man with a grudging respect. "All right. I've admitted I was wrong. No more excuses. Now what?" But Renard doesn't have any easy answers for him. "Integrity is not easy. It is a daily struggle. A costly struggle. If you only knew what it cost me. My Anastasia. My Janine." Goliath lowers his head, "...my angel..." Renard looks at him closely. "So you do know." Goliath speaks slowly: "I know I owe you a great debt for what I did a year ago. And a greater debt for the education I received tonight. If the text was not new to me, it was at least... worth revisiting."
Now during this entire conversation, a cybot enters and approaches a guard cybot by the door. The guard cybot is infected, and approaches the other cybot by the door and infects it. Neither Goliath nor Renard notice until the cybots flanking Goliath's cell are infected and the arcing electricity catches the attention of both.

14. On Vogel's screen the percentage goes up from 99% to 100%, and "Right on cue" he gets a vid-call from Renard. He affects panic. Somehow that creature in the brig has infected every cybot on board with a computer virus. Renard says, "Nonsense. I've been sitting here talking with him the whole time." Vogel doesn't know how Goliath did it. But the Cybots are not responding to commands. They've set Fortress-2 on a collision course with the CYBERBIOTICS TOWER. They must abandon ship and activate the emergency self-destruct mechanism or both installations will be destroyed, and Cyberbiotics will be history. Renard is beside himself: If Fortress-2 is destroyed than Cyberbiotics is ruined anyway. Vogel shakes his head, flips a switch and a 10 minute time counter appears on the vid-screen. "I'm sorry, sir. You can place the blame on me if you must, but now we have no choice. At our present rate of speed we will hit the tower in ten minutes. You have nine minutes to meet me at the escape pod. After that I will jettison, and use my access code to destroy Fortress-2."

ACT THREE
15. Goliath offers to help Renard try to save the ship. Renard is so furious, he's half ready to believe that Goliath was responsible. But Goliath knows that Renard doesn't really believe that. Goliath helped destroy Fortress-One. "Let me help to save Fortress-2." Renard agrees and presses a button on his chair which releases Goliath. The Cybot guards interpret this as an escape attempt. Renard cannot override them. But between Goliath and Renard's hover-chair, they manage to destroy the cybot guards. They leave the brig. The seconds tick away.

16. Vogel monitors them from the comfortable escape pod. He can't believe the old fool is going to try to save the ship. Why doesn't he just admit defeat and head for the escape pod? Vogel's made sure that route is clear of cybots. He'll just have to discourage anymore heroics. He orders all the cybots to kill the creature and drive Renard toward the pod. (Note: he does NOT want to kill Renard.)

17. Now every cybot on the ship is against Goliath and Renard. The little flying ones that knocked Goliath out in the first place. The big ones that carried him inside. More cattle-prod guard 'bots. Zippy little messenger 'bots. Maintenance 'bots. All of them. The good news is that in the airship's small corridors, there are only so many that can go at our heroes at once. But the situation is intolerable. They can't destroy the 'bots one at a time. They need to cut off power to all the cybots at once. And it's possible. There's a power station at the center of the ship that transmits power to all the cybots. But if they destroy that then they destroy the cybots that pilot the ship. There won't be time to get to the power station, shut it off and then go to the bridge. They have to split up. And time is ticking away. And the Tower gets closer and closer.

18. Intercut between Goliath fighting his way to the power station; Renard fighting his way to the bridge, and Vogel getting very nervous in the escape pod. [Turns out that even Vogel didn't know how much the old guy had grown on him. Destroying his empire is one thing. But Vogel is no killer. He doesn't want Renard's death on his conscience. And/or he had explicit instructions from Fox that Renard not be killed.] And time is ticking away. And the Tower gets closer and closer.

19. Goliath gets to the power station and destroys it. All the 'bots shut down. But time is ticking away. And the Tower gets closer and closer.

20. With the cybots down, Renard is able to zoom the rest of the way to the bridge quickly. He puts Fortress-2 on manual override, but time has passed the nine minute mark. The tower looms right in front of him and navigation and the helm are located on two different consoles. At the last second, Vogel appears and between the two of them, they are able to turn the ship away from the tower and save it.

21. Aftermath between Renard and Goliath. At first, Renard is bitter. Vogel has confessed his betrayal. Further proof that the human species is devoid of integrity. But Goliath disagrees. Vogel's example hardly proves the wisdom of putting one's trust in single-minded automatons. Automatons are tools. They know nothing of honor or betrayal. They do what they are programmed to do. But a living being knows nothing of programming. A living being must choose. And, ultimately, Vogel chose honor.
Renard lets all that sink in. He's got a lot to think about, but one thing he knows is that Goliath has paid his debt. A ship for a ship. Renard: "We are even." But Goliath: "No... We are friends."

22. Goliath soars off into the night. And he doesn't notice a small hang-glider land on the now defenseless airship behind him. The newcomer abandons the glider and tosses a cloudy ball against the metal hull. The ball shatters and a corrosive substance is released that quickly burns a hole in the hull. The stranger enters the airship, and as she does, we finally get a look at her. It is Fox.

23. Back in Renard's office. He sits in his chair. Quietly. Fox enters behind him, and for a moment we think she's there as an assassin. But he seems to be expecting her. "Hello, Janine," he says. "Hello, Daddy," she replies. "I almost got you that time." "Yes, but why? I built this company for you. I'd have given it to you by now if you hadn't married that villain Xanatos. I'd still probably give it to you if you just stood up and asked me for it honestly." "Oh, Daddy. You and your integrity. Asking for it wouldn't be any fun at all." Renard: "And fun is more important to you than honor. I can't understand that." Fox: "Well, maybe you'll have better luck with the next generation." Renard: "What?" Fox: "That's right, Daddy. You're going to be a grandfather."
FADE OUT.


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Malcom writes...

Why did Xanatos find he Grimorum Arcanorum?
Did Dmona help him finding the book?

Greg responds...

Why? Do you mean how?

And, no, Demona wasn't involved in finding the book, just in interpreting it once it was acquired.

Response recorded on February 08, 2001

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CONCEPTION

A random bit of information that I thought I'd post while I'm thinking of it. Based on my current research, Alexander Fox Xanatos was conceived sometime between September 6th, 1995 and November 16th, 1995.

This may change, or I may eventually be able to pin it down more. But right now, that's my most current info.


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Chapter XXV: "City of Stone, Part Four"

Time to ramble...

Picking up right where Part Three leaves off, Demona is forced to back off on killing Elisa right away because of Bronx. I really like that scene, mostly for how it illustrates Bronx's level of sophistication. It's not like he understands English, beyond a few simple names and commands. But he understands tone of voice. Something that Demona uses. She talks him down by saying nasty things in a nice tone of voice. He's still suspicious. But as long as her actions and tone don't get hostile, he's content to back off. At one point though, she can't restrain her venom, and he starts to growl again. And she has to regain her composure.

FLASHBACK

Great Choral music during the battle. Carl Johnson and music editor Marc Perlman (both of whom will be attending the Gathering this June in Los Angeles) did a magnificent job with this.

And there's some great fog as well.

It's also nice to see a legitimately joyful Demona, hoisting Macbeth into the air. He laughs, but his mind's on other things, wondering why Bodhe wanted to talk to him without Demona present. Perhaps he's feeling guilty. Perhaps she picks up on that, which is why she eavesdrops.

A tragedy of bad timing: My sense is that Macbeth is about to read Bodhe the riot act, when Luach interrupts. Mac essentially agrees with Luach, but not with his manner. He takes JUST the wrong moment to teach him a lesson about being a good king. Luach reacts badly and storms out. And it is Luach's behavior that Macbeth is considering when Demona leaves. Two seconds later, I'm quite sure the conversation went like this:

Bodhe: "Well, sire?"

Macbeth: "Well, what?"

Bodhe: "The Gargoyles, sire. You must disavow them!"

Macbeth: "Don't be a fool." etc.

The siege is pretty cool too. (Though you'd think boulders dropped from the battlements would be a touch more effective.)

Mac rescues Gruoch. Even at this age, I still think they're a sexy couple.

I like the scene where Canmore removes his Hunter's Mask. Like Gille before him with Demona, he's truly annoyed when Mac doesn't immediately recognize him.

"Never would I have done so! We have been allies for thirty-seven years!!" Demona ain't a great judge of character.

Luach and Bodhe show up. I like this scene too. (O.K., I'm partial. What can I tell you?) Bodhe has an interesting moment. One of two things happens here. Either he's pleased to finally have one of his own blood (i.e. his grandson) installed as King or the death of Macbeth has finally awakened the hero inside him. Or both. For once, I tend to give Bodhe the benefit of the doubt. I think, at this late date, he's finally come into his own. I like to think he died a good warrior's death at Luach's side.

Demona wakes up. She claims not to believe Gruoch's admonishment, but NOTE, she does not kill Gruoch. Underneath it all, she knows that Gruoch is right and feels chastened.

Macbeth wakes up. Here we have our final scene on Lunfanan Hill. It parallels the previous break-up of Mac and Gru. That time Mac sent her away, but he loved her still. This time she sends him away. She loves him too. But this parting is permanent. Very moving to me. "I will always love you." And because of that, he must leave her. But we know he hasn't forgotten her even into the present. Her loss informs what follows.

Back to the present. Over episodes two and three, things in the present have been progressing very slowly. Now the present takes center stage.

Demona echoes what I'm sure by this time we were all thinking: "Take off that mask. You aren't fooling anyone... Macbeth." And he explains that he wears it as a symbol of her betrayal. (And for a psychological edge, no doubt.)

Meanwhile, we have that semi-feeble exchange between Goliath and Xanatos in the air. Feeble (a) because in one little scenelet, the mouth on Xanatos' armor is moving like it had lips; and (b) because the whole tapestry thing was a fairly forced way to get X and Goliath back to the castle.

I like Demona's line: "Let's not start that again. You blame me. I blame you..." etc. It's a very rational Xanatosian moment for her. But that rationality is born from the knowledge that she can't kill Macbeth without killing herself. Her usual vengeful attitude is useless. What she doesn't know is how suicidal he is. "Revenge is a dish best served cold. And I have waited 900 years for mine." Hey, leave a dish out for 900 years and it will get pretty cold.

There's always a bit of comedy in the pain-sharing battles of D&M.

When the floor starts to give way, it reminds me of a scene that was WAY better animated in the DuckTales pilot. Where the bricks of gold fall away in a simlilar vein. It's nice here, but it was awesome there.

I also like when Demona has Mac's E-M gun, tosses it and catches it to fire at X and G. Nice little touch.

And Xanatos' truly frightened yet underplayed: "This is bad." when he sees the computer screen.

I like the multiple falls that get us down to the Atrium -- a wonderful setting for the final confrontations.

And Goliath's speech: "...Death never does."

Again we get multiple images of the Sisters throughout this scene. And again, I had to fight for that.

Each Sister gets to take a mental punch to weaken first Macbeth and then Demona. Are they being hypocrites here? One aspect of their persona is, certainly. But there's more going on, some of which I still haven't revealed.

But the key thing in terms of this scene (and the events of AVALON) is that both Mac and Demona need to be mentally weakened for the spells of control that the Sisters are going to use on them in HIGH NOON and AVALON. And M&D need to borderline volunteer to relinquish control over themselves. Macbeth, who has been suicidal, is tired and willing. Demona's tougher. But even she doesn't put up much of a fight. "You tricked me." she says. And certainly they have, but she can't break the grip of three children, and though of course they are not ordinary children, one must wonder if she really wanted to.

Goliath: You have learned nothing.

The sisters (as children) say their cool (and ironic) line: "We have written their stories. They are our responsibility. They are our children." My three year old son Ben says: "I love the triplets."

But theirs is a story for another day.

Xanatos really has to sweat in this one. Unusual for him. I love his line to Bronx: "What are you looking at?"

But once the skies burn, he's back to his old self: "Magnificent." Believe it or not, it took some effort to really get the skies burning. The animation came back with only a few contrails of gas burning. We used video tricks to get that whole sky-burning effect that was SO important to the story.

When the gargs rush back inside they were supposed to lift Elisa up into the air in their joy at seeing her unstoned again. Thus you have contrast to explain Xanatos' line to Owen, "You'll forgive me, if I just shake your hand." (But you also have to wonder how he'd respond to Fox when next he saw her.)

And Xanatos gives a line I'd been waiting to use for a year. "I always wondered why I allowed you gargoyles to live. You come in handy now and then." I had always worried that an audience raised on certain villain cliches would just assume that the reason Xanatos never killed the gargs on one of the myriad occasions when he had the chance, was because we were bad writers. This X/G exchange was here to demonstrate that X wasn't that kind of villain. That he was never wasteful. Maybe at this point in the series, it wasn't necessary to spell it out. But it was still nice to get the sentiment across.

Of course, this ends the Xanatos/Demona partnership. Uneasy though it had been. It's why VOWS had to come first.

And that's my ramble...

Where's yours?


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matt writes...

where did Xanatos go to college? am i correct in assuming he did?

Greg responds...

Yes, he did. Dartmouth.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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Heather N. Allen writes...

==From one of your early revisions to the five-ep opener:
"--Our fault, but we don't think the Bannister character is adding anything. We can probably drop him."

Who was Bannister, exactly? Sounds like a cutesy name for a cat, or a cheesy villain's pet bat or something. But since you know for sure, would you enlighten us?

~H\A~
Who probably _would_ name a cat 'Bannister', if she had a cat...

Greg responds...

I'm not sure I remember. I have a VAGUE memory that at one point we discussed having a "good" Rich Guy to place in opposition to Xanatos. We decided against that -- didn't want to make life too easy for our heroes. Bannister may have been that guy, or he may have been someone else entirely. The good rich guy sort of eventually kind of became Renard.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Why wasn't Anastasia present at her daughter's wedding? Was she not invited? She and Fox seemed to get along all right in _Walkabout_.
Could the Matrix be considered a sort of wedding present? (Pretty crummy one if you ask me. Fondue sets may not be very popular, but at least they're not out to kill you.)

Greg responds...

The wedding served a specific purpose, in addition to the marriage itself.

No sense complicating matters by inviting mom.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Was the interesting ensemble Fox sported while crashing Fortress II a remnant of her Pack days, or part of her personal, ah, trousseau? I thought its one-time appearance in _Outfoxed_ was rather odd, since it didn't really work as a disguise. Would this be another example of a Kenner-influenced addition? The thought of a 'Flying Kunoichi Fox' action figure is not unamusing...

Greg responds...

It had nothing to do with Kenner. It was just gear. She owns it. But she owns all her old Pack wardrobe.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

1) Was Fox really serious about her plans with David to "use Matrix to reshape the entire planet to suit" themselves? Talk about extreme. Looks like _HERITAGE_ wasn't Xanatos' first stab at "cliched villany" after all.
2) Having an entire ocean and continent between yourself and a risky project is always a sensible idea, but why was Operation Matrix was based in Australia in particular?
3) Was this the only Xanatos-sponsored project that Anastasia worked on?

Greg responds...

1. Selectively, yes. But not a full make-over. And I think you're thinking of "Cloud Fathers".

2. They had what they thought was a secure and deserted territory. Plus property values.

3. Pretty much.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Do you feel like expanding upon how Fox and David met? :)

Greg responds...

Not right now. (Kind of a long story.)

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Had Janine Renard already acquired her new name or foxhead tattoo by the time her father hired Owen Burnett?

Greg responds...

Certainly the tattoo.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

If the divorce between Anastasia and Halcyon took place while their daughter was still a minor, who got custody?

Greg responds...

It didn't.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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Corrine Blaquen writes...

Family Xanatos:

1. What are the middle names of David and Fox?
2. Will Alexander ever get a foxhead tattoo like his mom, as he did in FUTURE TENSE?

Greg responds...

1. Alexander and Alexandra.

2. You never know.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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Yttrium writes...

Greg,

I was recently reading a book on the last Grand Duchess of Russia, Anastasia Romanov. She had a older sister named Tatiana. But every time I looked at the word, I read it as Titania. Titania's human alter ego is named Anastasia. Did you get the idea for Titania's human form from these two sisters?

---Ytt

Greg responds...

Not exactly.

I threw the name Anastasia into "Outfoxed" before I knew Titania and Fox's secrets.

But obviously, I got the name Anastasia from Anastasia Romanov. I didn't know she had an older sister named Tatiana. Cool, huh?

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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matt writes...

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...

Greg responds...

Yeah. Poor Coldstone.

Anyway, Xanatos is not a wasteful man. Think about it.

Response recorded on January 31, 2001

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Corrine Blaquen writes...

Was Renard aware that his daughter starred in THE PACK? Did he ever watch the show?

Greg responds...

He was VERY aware. I'm sure he forced himself to watch it once.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

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?

Greg responds...

Generally, Xanatos isn't a paranoid. He doesn't sweat it.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

Why'd Cyberbiotics have a hidden underground base? ('Doesn't everyone?' Right. :P) So why and when did they abandon it?

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

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?

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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Warp Faylique writes...

Does Renard know that his wife is actually Titania? Does this affect him at all? How so?

Greg responds...

He knows now.

Yes.

Not saying at this time.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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Joxter writes...

What did Titania whisper to Fox at the end of The Gathering Part 2?

Greg responds...

I don't have a funny comeback today. Sorry.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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Chapter XXII: "City of Stone, Part One"

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...


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VF writes...

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.

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on December 22, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

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.

Greg responds...

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.

Response recorded on November 17, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

You said: <<At the recording session, Marina Sirtis pointed out that the name didn't work for some reason that I can no longer recall. (Aris, any thoughts?)>>

<shrug> Stefan doesn't sound at all Greek. To me atleast it sounds Scandinavian or French or something. "Stephanos" or "Stefanos" would be Greek but changing these to Stefan (or Steven) would be similar to having Petros anglicizing his name into "Peter".

I don't know if that's what Marina Sirtis had in mind, though.

Greg responds...

I think so. Marina (who is at least part-Greek, I believe) probably said that Stefan isn't a Greek name, even though we were asking Morgan to read the part with a Greek accent, indicating he was from there.

I took the opportunity to use the Petros name that I had wanted to use from the beginning, instead of switching over to Stefanos or something.

It's all starting to come back to me... :)

Response recorded on November 17, 2000


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