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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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Chapter XXI: "Vows"

Written by Shari Goodhartz
Michael Reaves, Story Editor

Benny: "But Daddy, when it's dark they get alive. But when it's light, the get frozen like a statue."

Last night, the kids, my sister, my wife and I all watched "Vows" together. Time to ramble.

Back to the Golden Cup Bakery Building. As I noted in the previously posted memo about this episode, I wanted a little opening battle, but I didn't want to waste time in a tight, packed script explaining how this came about. It does beg the question though. Assume that X contacted Elisa. She told Goliath. He went ALONE? His friends allowed this? Hmmm.

Xanatos knows from the letter to himself what to do, but I sometimes wonder just how detailed the letter was. I like to think it was fairly sketchy. That exactly HOW Xanatos got Goliath to come was his own machinations. Otherwise, though he takes the credit for the letter, the truth is that the plan itself wasn't his idea. He got the idea from the letter. And he wrote the letter based on what he had done, which he had gotten from the letter. None of this is really his to own, though he does claim ownership. So I like to think that at least some of the details were X's. For example, X knows what G will respond to, i.e. Demona.

Hudson, on hearing about the wedding, suddenly makes the connection to the long ago incident when he met the Goliath from the future. So he's strangely ambivalent. Elisa on the other hand, seems flat out jealous to me. After the events of "The Mirror" and "Eye of the Beholder", she's much more aware and focused on her feelings for Goliath. SHE DOES NOT WANT TO ACT ON THOSE FEELINGS. At this time, she thinks it's impossible. But that doesn't change how she feels. And now, she's jealous. Goliath's feelings for Elisa are just as intense, but so are his feelings for the "Angel" of his youth. He HAS to give it one last chance. (And this will be the last chance. The final nail in the coffin of his and Demona's "marriage".) Brooklyn, meanwhile, is just knee-jerk against anything involving Demona.

PETROS XANATOS is introduced. Again, I wonder why he was invited. Was he also included in the letter? Or did Xanatos invite him to prove something to his father. Is X that needy? Or did X invite him to the wedding, because of course he'd invite his father to his wedding, and his already planned "honeymoon" to 975 shouldn't alter his decorum. Perhaps he's mildly surprised his father winds up coming along? Anyway, Petros was a fun character. A tough hard physical man. With morals. A great contrast to the son. I knew even then that we'd give Petros and David an arc to their relationship, (one that eventually would culminate in Gathering2).

"Oh, reason not the need." A little King Lear is always nice. And I love Petros' attitude on the line, "And the armor?" I mean what would you say to your son if you saw him dressed like that? I'd like to know how many people had sort of forgotten that X was even wearing armor (we're so used to it) until Petros made an issue of it?

I love all the irony in the dialogue between Petros and David. David knows what he's planning. He must be smiling when Petros says "I'd like to get my hands on the man who gave you that coin." And when David says, "Someday, I'll prove to you that I'm a self-made man," he must really be patting himself on the back.

I love the voice work of Keith and Marina when doing their teen-age counterparts. So subtle, yet it's always clear which Goliath and Demona is talking at any given moment.

CONTINUITY:
Gotta love that storage room in the clock tower. The Eye of Odin, the Grimorum, half the Phoenix Gate, and, oh, yes, a comatose Coldstone. By the way, despite what the memo said, I think generally, Goliath carried that Gate in the pouch attached to his belt. Not behind some brick. We hadn't actually come up with that pouch yet, not until the World Tour. But using RetCon, I think that's where he kept it until they moved to the clock tower and Demona tried to kill him, Hudson and Elisa in "Long Way to Morning".

One interesting thing: this is the first episode where we actually CONFIRM that the ILLUMINATI does exist. Matt's mentioned it. Even chased it in SILVER FALCON, but we've never been shown any proof of it's existence until now. Was anyone surprised by that?

Judge Roebling was interesting in theory, though not so much in the episode. I'd like to do more with him some day. I also thought that it was interesting that despite seeing the tape of the Gargoyles in advance. And not reacting outwardly when he saw Goliath, he still gasps when Demona enters. What is it about her? When she entered, Benny turned to me and said: "She's queen of the Gargoyles." Oh. So that's it.

(And everytime Xanatos and Fox are on screen together, Benny likes to point out that he and Erin dressed up as them at the last Gathering. "That's me. That's you, Erin.")

To some extent, X must have filled D in on his plan. I love her "acting" when she enters and gives her bitter "excuse" for being there to Goliath. She's playing hard to get!

I love Petros: "Unnacceptable." He's still trying to teach David the error of his ways.

The Gate itself is very idiosyncratic. It's size, the size of its portal, and the duration the portal stays open seems to vary not just from episode to episode but from scene to scene. Sometimes it annoys me, like when Princess Elena removes the Gate from her sleeve, and suddenly it's bigger than her hand. But now I'm just amused by it. Again, if you think of it as a steam valve for the timestream, it explains a lot.

I love the little sound that Paca put in when the two pieces of the Gate first come together. What a tip-off that was, yet it's subtle. Did anyone think about the significance of the talisman that Demona had shared with Goliath before she started speaking in Latin and flames appeared out of nowhere?

It was hard to make people understand the time loop a bit. But it seemed really hard to make them see why I kept wanting to repeat scenes to show the connective tissue. We had to squeeze in Owen's "Honeymoon" line the second time. No one left space for it.

For the first of many times in the series, someone (X) says the line: "It's not where, it's when". (Erin: "I know when.")

I love X & Fox's relationship. "Having fun." "A marvelous time." Great stuff.

Hudson gets a close look at 1995 Goliath and immediately sees the age and wear and tear on the guy. (I love the shot of Goliath gagging him.) That says a lot for Hudson, because the visual difference between the two Gs was extremely subtle in the animation -- when it existed at all.

Knowing what we had planned (more or less) for Avalon, we were already laying groundwork here for that. Setting up the combined power of the Gate, Grimorum and Eye. Setting up the Archmage's desire for that power. Further demonstrating his enmity for the people he'd wind up using. Of course, making Demona his apprentice was fun. Tells a lot about her own desire for power that even when she was a good girl, she was still willing to work for the Archmage in order to learn his secrets. Willing even to steal for him.

The Norman Ambassador and Prince Malcolm make a BIG deal about how odd the Xanatoses' clothes are. But were they THAT strange? Was Fox's wedding gown that odd? And even if they were strange, did they look as shabby as Prince Malcolm seemed to suggest?

Not every episode gives you a double wedding. Fox and David. Elena and Malcolm. Hey, did anyone notice that we married off our lead villain? That was very daring, and we all but threw it away in Act One. Was anyone expecting Fox and X to really get married? And once they were, did you think you'd see them have a kid by season's end? I think we broke new ground there.

I like the exchange between Goliath and Hudson. Goliath's trying to explain that he's not a creature of sorcery, but a time traveler. H: "And I suppose you came back in time on the wind." O.k., well sorcery was involved if you're gonna get technical. And Goliath has some amusing tense problems while trying to describe what happened in his recent past, Hudson's FAR future. Then Hudson looks him in the eye and decides to trust him on no further evidence. Cool.

I knew a girl named Bryant from Bar Harbor, Maine once. That's where we got X's home town.

Fox is so proud of her man. But I love Petros' "Mr. Big-Shot Time Traveler" line. Or rather I love the way Morgan Shepard read the line.

How hard did Demona try to do things differently from the way she remembered them being done? She knows Goliath is going to fly down to try and join her and her younger self. She tries to leave before he can get there. But the gate stays open long enough for him to go with. Did it ever occur to her to go somewhen else other than 994? I guess part of it could be chalked up to dim memory. It was over a thousand years ago. And Demona lived through that 1000 years. Even for a very significant event in her life, it must still be very hazy.

That exchange between Demona and Demona is a lot of fun. Demona is so brutal to Demona. (And, hey, she spells out the Gate's power to any audience member who hasn't yet caught on.) "Do not share it with-- Do not share it!" I love that line. Also:

"I am what you will become."
"I will never be like you."
"I don't want to hurt you."
"And I don't want to BE you."

pretty cool stuff.

I also like the moment when we have two gates rolling about on the floor and young Demona and older Goliath both bend over to pick them up. At first we had a lot of discussion as to who should pick up which gate. But the discussion became moot, since after the gate pieces were reunited, they almost always seemed like they had never been broken in the first place. Magic.

And the young Demona, older Goliath scene is also gorgeous.

"What am I to do?"
"Nothing."

Love that. Love his whole "Do nothing/attend the petty jealousy" speech. I think it's very pretty. Very sad. At that moment, does Goliath hope he's changing the future? Or is he simply trying to spare this young Angel a couple extra decades of pain?

Showing Demona's natural bents again: Goliath isn't sure if he remembers the incantation, though he's heard it multiple times by this point. Young Demona, having only heard it ONCE, does remember and uses the Gate perfectly.

"Time Travel's funny that way." At least it is in the Gargoyle Universe with the strict, strict rules that I imposed. Of course, I've always thought that those strict rules made the stories more challenging for the writer and, yet, more fun and satisfying for the viewer.

I also really like Petros' "American Penny" speech. For once the "Xanatos Tag" of victory doesn't go to David.

Where did the expression "More's the pity." come from? I've heard it many times. I know what it means, though that's more from sound and context than from the words themselves. What am I quoting when I use it? Does anyone know? (This isn't a contest. I really don't know.)

Finally, my tape has the weird mistake ending that first aired, which shows Demona and Goliath in the clock tower. It's pretty, but it drives me nuts and I think it's really confusing. But I've talked about that many times before, and I'm sick of it, so this time, I'll let it go.

COMMENTS WELCOME!


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VOWS memo

Saw "VOWS" last night with the family. I'll ramble on that one shortly, but here's the memo from November '94. Shari Goodhartz wrote the outline, which Michael Reaves edited. Shari's entire story was more or less set at the Eyrie Building. It was about Demona and Xanatos using the wedding to get half of a magical talisman from Goliath. Goliath prevents them from using this macguffin, but realizes once and for all that he and Demona are over.

As I noted below, it seemed like that wasn't enough. So I took ALL of Shari's story and CRUSHED it into Act One. Then I came up with the Time Travel story that was the heart of VOWS. All of Acts Two and Three as presented in the memo below are my work. But I think Shari and Michael did a great job of executing it in this jam-packed episode.

One little tidbit. Petros was my original name for Xanatos' father. (I went to college with a guy named Petros.) But Shari and/or Michael named the dad "Stefan", which I went with here. 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?) So I jumped in and rechristened him Petros. Later we realized that both Elisa and David had fathers who had been named variations on Peter. To me, that was a very cool thing.

WEISMAN 11-25-94

Notes on "Vows" Outline...

GENERAL
Basically, it still didn't seem like we had enough story. So I compressed what was here and tried to extrapolate forward to fill out acts 2 and 3.

THE TALISMAN
I'm calling it the PHOENIX GATE. It can be used as a gateway to anywhere and anywhen. (The Gate will, I believe, eventually give us our Battle of Britain Story. And give the Archmage a powerful weapon for reaching and conquering Avalon.) By combining the two halves of the Phoenix Gate and invoking the Latin translation of the phrase: "Burn down the walls of time and space!", the gate opens in flame and sucks up anyone in the immediate vicinity, transporting them to the place and time chosen by the invoker. But choosing requires incredible concentration. Otherwise, the chooser's emotional or mental whim of the moment may cause the gate to drop everyone off at Burger King instead of Fort Knox.

TIME TRAVEL
So we're going to do a time travel story. Which means we need to establish traveling rules for our series. I'm going with the most conservative, most restrictive rules possible, because more than any other type of fantasy or science fiction convention, time travel is really subject to logic abuse. So...

Whatever's happened in the past has already happened, including the actions of our time travelers. Recorded history may be incomplete or incorrect, but true history cannot be changed. When Demona and Goliath go back in time to meet the young Demona, both of the older gargoyles are seeking to change or influence the young Demona's history. But this meeting already took place. The older Demona remembers it. (Maybe not every precise detail, and maybe she didn't fully understand the event at the time, but she does remember it.) Whatever influence the modern gargoyles had on her has already been figured into the events that followed, many of which have already been depicted in other episodes. (Sadly, in this case, neither Goliath or Demona had any real sustained influence on the younger Demona at all. That's the tragic flaw of both Demonas. They just never learn.)

WHERE AND WHEN ARE WE GOING?
Castle Wyvern. 975 A.D. The castle is ruled by the 21 year old Prince Malcolm of Wyvern. Malcolm's chief advisors are the 35 year old Captain of the Guard [NOTE: per my recent work on the timeline, the Captain was 29 years old in 975.]; the Archmage (nine years younger than when he appeared in "Long Way to Morning"), and Hudson who is biologically 49. Young warriors, Goliath and Demona are both biologically 19, (in "Long Way..." they were more like 23). If you have space for them, Brooklyn, Lexington and Broadway are all biologically nine. Bronx hasn't hatched yet. In contrast, our modern Goliath is biologically 29 years old and Hudson's 59.

VOWS
That's the theme. Vows. When you keep them. When you can't. Why you do or don't. Don't hesitate to play it up.

STEFAN
In thinking about it, I think Stefan Xanatos should be a naturalized American Citizen living in a north eastern fishing community. Maybe somewhere in Maine. He's still Greek, but he emigrated before David was born. That way, David Xanatos could have been born and raised to pursue (and pervert) the American Dream.

BEAT OUTLINE
ACT ONE
1. Night by some landmark, (maybe the Goldencup Bakery Building or the Cyberbiotics Tower). DAVID XANATOS (in armor) and GOLIATH fight. No stolen Cyberbiotics devices. I really don't want to sweat this scene too much. There are a hundred ways that this could have begun, and in the interest of getting to our main story quicker, I don't want to spend a lot of time "prologing" our prologue. But for the sake of consistency, I'll posit the following: Xanatos left a vaguely menacing message for Goliath with ELISA, whom he can reach easily enough at the precinct house. (The location of the rendezvous itself may have suggested bad news.) Goliath, prepared for a trap but not about to hide from danger, went to the stated rendezvous and, expecting the worse, waded into battle before Xanatos could get a word in edgewise. Well, Xanatos is always up for a little workout, so he fought back with relish, taking his time to reveal the real reason he had asked Goliath to come: He wants Goliath to be best man at his wedding tomorrow night. As a little incentive, he's invited DEMONA, and wrested a promise that she'll be on her best behavior throughout the event. [Reveal as much or as little of the "prologing" as necessary in order to make the scene play.]

2. Clock Tower just before Dawn. HUDSON seems strangely ambivalent, but Elisa and BROOKLYN can't believe Goliath would even consider going to the wedding. They have a hundred reasons each why it's obvious lunacy. Goliath doesn't put up much of a counter-argument. He knows they're right. He won't go. Dawn comes. They all turn to stone. Elisa heads home.

3. Castle during the day. In the courtyard, Xanatos waits for something, still in his armor but with the helmet off. A helicopter lands, piloted by FOX and carrying STEFAN XANATOS, a big, tough, weathered but honest Greek fisherman. Stefan is a little put off by his son's armored attire, but tries at first to make the best of an awkward situation. He is teasingly superstitious about his son seeing Fox on the day of the wedding, but the happy couple make their own luck and patronizingly ignore his concerns, which darkens Stefan's mood. Fox exits to get dressed. David asks his dad, what he thinks of the place. Stefan is frankly appalled by the conspicuous consumption. Why does his son need a place like this? "Oh, reason not the need, father. I wanted it. So I took it." Stefan is disgusted by his son's attitude. Why does he need to wear armor? David assures him, the armor is purely defensive. Defense against what? What kind of life does his son lead? He think David would have been better off being a humble fisherman, like himself: "In fact, if I ever get my hands on the man who sent you that coin, I swear I'll teach him a lesson for meddling with my family." David smiles when his Dad brings up "the coin". That's ancient history, Pop. Besides, that coin was only worth about 20 grand. David's now worth "considerably more". But Dad's not letting him off the hook. If he had never received that coin anonymously, he'd never have become what he is now. "You know, Dad, someday I'm going to prove to you that I really am a self-made man. And that's a promise." Besides, if the castle and the armor upset you, wait until you meet the best man.
On cue, OWEN enters with the JUDGE who is to perform the ceremony. Owen has prepared a little videotape of the gargoyles for Stefan and the Judge to watch. That way, they won't swallow their tongues when they see Goliath and Demona. As they all head inside, Owen questions whether this is necessary, will Goliath really show? He'll be here, Xanatos assures him, "I'd take an oath on it."

4. Back at the clock tower during the day, we push in on the stone Goliath and ripple dissolve to his dream/memory.

5. Castle Wyvern, 975 A.D., night. YOUNG GOLIATH finds YOUNG DEMONA standing on the tower with YOUNGISH HUDSON. Demona seems ridiculously happy to see him. Goliath doesn't want to miss PRINCE MALCOLM'S Wedding. She seems a bit distracted. She looks at Hudson, who says "Go on, then." She and Goliath glide down to one of the upper windows of the Great Hall. From there, they watch this strange human ceremony of bonding, including the exchange of rings. Goliath comments on the beauty of the symbolism or something, and Demona takes out the PHOENIX GATE. She separates the two pieces and hands him one. She swears she will never stop loving him. (If she seems a little too intense, we'll chalk it up at this stage to the emotion of the moment.) Goliath takes his half of the gate, and somewhat awed by her intensity, makes a similar vow. They embrace, stroking each other's hair. (The Gargoyle equivalent of kissing.)

6. Dissolve back out to the Clock Tower at Dusk. Goliath and the others explode awake. Goliath goes to a secret hiding place in the clock tower. (Behind the comatose, COLDSTONE, perhaps.) We see the GRIMORUM and the EYE OF ODIN, as well as Goliath's half of the Gate. (He had hidden it a thousand years ago in a hollow brick at the castle, which Xanatos had transported to NYC unaware of its contents. Goliath had retrieved it before moving to the Clock Tower.) He clutches the gate-piece in his huge hand and leaves, never giving the other gargoyles a chance to talk him out of what even he must realize is a foolhardy quest. Hudson watches him go.

7. Night at the castle. Xanatos and Owen wait in the courtyard for Goliath. Both are now dressed in tuxedos, and Xanatos is wearing a lapel pin that depicts a pyramid with an eye at its apex radiating light. Owen questions whether he should be wearing the emblem of the ILLUMINATI SOCIETY in public. Xanatos says cryptically that it's a necessary risk. [By the way, I have no idea if this is an Illuminati symbol or not. But it seems to fit.] Goliath arrives. Owen offers him a bow-tie. Goliath is not amused. Xanatos gives him Fox's wedding ring to hold. That's what the best man does, you see. Hold the ring, until the couple exchanges vows.
The three enter the Great Hall. Everyone is there. The judge and Stefan have already seen Demona, but Goliath is even more startling thanks to his imposing size. Fox is wearing a white dress, but something non-traditional and sexy. And Demona broods. Goliath approaches her, clutching the gate-piece tightly in his fist. She does not even want to talk to him. She feels she has to attend this farce because Xanatos insisted, and she needs to keep him as an ally. But she cannot fathom why Xanatos wants Goliath here. Goliath attempts to remind her of the last wedding they attended together, but she is not interested in reminiscing.
The wedding ceremony begins, rather informally at first. Keep it very short. (At some point, the Judge should ask Fox's real name. Fox coldly informs him that "Fox" is legally her real name now.) We get to the exchange of rings. Goliath hands Xanatos one for Fox. Demona hands Fox one for Xanatos. Demona looks across at Goliath and seems to break down. Just as the Judge pronounces David and Fox, HUSBAND AND WIFE, Demona runs from the Hall. Goliath pursues. Xanatos & Fox, exchange glances. "Now the fun really begins." They start to follow the gargoyles. Stefan tries to restrain his son: What are you up to now? You'd interrupt your own wedding to engage in Machiavellian scheming? But Xanatos is in a bit of a hurry. He and Fox head out the door pursued by Stefan. The Judge turns to Owen very confused. Owen says something dry and witty. And then both men follow the rest.
Outside, Goliath catches up with Demona before she can glide away. Does she remember their vows? Is there still a chance for them? He shows her his gate-piece. He's always kept it. She gently removes it from his hand and takes out hers. So has she. She puts the interlocking pieces together to form the PHOENIX GATE. And then... she laughs. Goliath is such a fool. He's fallen right into Xanatos and Demona's sentimental trap. Now she has the Gate. And she intends to use it. And just as the Xanatos clan approaches, she speaks the incantation. A huge bird of fire seems to engulf Goliath, Demona, David, Fox and Stefan Xanatos. The fire consumes itself. Owen and the Judge arrive just in time to see the last spark go out. There is no sign of the wedding party. Owen: "It seems the honeymoon has begun earlier than expected."

8. Wyvern, Scotland, on the cliffside near the forest overlooking Castle Wyvern. (This is where Hudson and Goliath froze the morning of the gargoyle massacre of 994 A.D. Only now, it's 975 A.D. -- the night of Prince Malcolm's wedding.) Our five time travelers materialize out of the flaming gate. Stefan asks "Where are we?" David: "The question isn't where... but when?"

ACT TWO
9. Pick up right where we left off. Demona laughs and launches herself off the cliff. Goliath pursues, leaving the humans behind. Xanatos doesn't waste any time. "Follow me!" He runs back into the forest followed by Fox and a very confused Stefan.

10. Air chase. Demona manages to put some distance between herself and Goliath. She chants the incantation and vanishes into the flaming "Gate", leaving Goliath alone.

11. In the forest, Clan Xanatos comes upon TWO HOODED RIDERS who are being attacked by FOUR ARMED BANDITS on horseback. Although he is unarmed, Xanatos never hesitates, wading right in against the bandits. Xanatos, Fox, the larger of the two riders and even Stefan make short work of the bandits. The bandits are forced to flee without their horses, which Xanatos commandeers for his family. The large rider is grateful but suspicious of these strangers in bizarre garb. Then he notices Xanatos' Illuminati pin and warms up fast, briefly drawing back his cloak, to reveal that he wears the same Illuminati emblem. He tells Xanatos that he is the NORMAN AMBASSADOR. He and his "companion" bring "priceless gifts" to Prince Malcolm of Wyvern. Xanatos may wear strange garb, but he's a great fighter (and a fellow Illuminatus). The Ambassador would be honored if Xanatos' would accompany them the last few miles to Castle Wyvern. He also promises that Prince Malcolm will be very grateful for their help as well.

12. Having lost Demona, Goliath soars closer to the castle, debating with himself whether or not he should land there. Then he spots Demona again from a distance. He circles to intercept her, but as she lands on a castle battlement, she is greeted by a young Goliath. And the adult Goliath realizes that he wasn't tracking his enemy, but her younger counterpart. He comes in for a landing on one of the high towers of the castle, and surreptitiously watches the young lovers below him. It almost tears his heart out. And then he hears Hudson's voice behind him, demanding to know what he's doing up on the tower when he had been assigned to hold watch on the battlement. Adult Goliath turns to see his MENTOR, (the YOUNGER HUDSON). When Hudson gets a good look at him, he immediately sees that something is wrong. And when Hudson sees young Goliath and young Demona, below on the battlement, he's ready to cry sorcery, and Adult Goliath has to slap a hand over his mouth.

13. At the gates of the castle, Xanatos, Stefan, Fox, the Ambassador and the hooded rider are greeted by young Prince Malcolm and the ARCHMAGE. The rider is revealed to be PRINCESS ELENA of Normandy. (I made this name up, and have no idea if it's accurate to tenth century Normandy.) The Ambassador had hoped that by arriving in secret, he and the Princess would avoid just the kind of trouble that Clan Xanatos saved them from. Malcolm is very grateful. He was to marry Elena tomorrow, but because the princess was attacked, he has decided to move up the wedding to this very night. He tells his SERVANTS to prepare the Great Hall. At the Ambassador's prompting, Elena pulls out her father's wedding gift. It is a priceless golden treasure known as the PHOENIX GATE, which she will officially present to the Prince after the ceremony.

14. Meanwhile, with great difficulty, Goliath is trying to convince Hudson that he is not a sorcerous creature, but a visitor from the future. (He does not choose to reveal how far in the future.) Goliath is a bit flustered himself: he doesn't know how much to reveal, and he has to remind himself not to use anachronistic names like Hudson and Demona. He manages to babble out the fact that sometime in the future, he attended the wedding of an enemy and that he and his... enemies were sent back in time by some kind of sorcery. He is particularly concerned for the younger versions of himself and Demona. He needs his MENTOR's help. (This conversation will explain the older Hudson's ambivalence in Scene 2. He remembered meeting the adult Goliath after the latter had attended the wedding of an enemy.) Hudson isn't sure what to believe, but he looks deeply into adult Goliath's eyes and decides to trust him.

15. The Archmage returns to his laboratory. He is furious. At first we think he's ranting to himself, but then we realize he's talking to his apprentice, who cowers a bit in the shadows. It turns out that the Archmage hired the bandits to steal the Phoenix Gate from the Normans. To Malcolm, it is just a gaudy bauble, but to him it is the second talisman of power that he needs. (He has the Grimorum. Doesn't yet have the Eye of Odin.) With it he can transverse space and time in a thought. He needs his apprentice to steal it from the Princess before the wedding. Hesitantly, the apprentice steps forward out of the shadows. It is the young Demona.

16. Fox and Stefan watch as Xanatos hands the Ambassador a letter, and returns to face his father. He tells him that the letter contains instructions for the Illuminati society and two sealed envelopes. The Society is to wait 1000 years and then deliver the first envelope to a young David Xanatos of Bar Harbor, Maine. The envelope contains a small coin, a minor reward requested of the Prince for saving the Princess. The coin is practically worthless in 975, but by 1975 it will be worth about 20 grand. The second envelope is to be delivered twenty years after the first. It contains a detailed account of how the coin was obtained. That's how Xanatos knew how to set all this up. He had received instructions from himself last week. "So you see, Pop. I am indeed a self-made man." Fox beams with pride. Stefan is quiet for a beat. Then asks: "All right, Mr. Big Shot Time Traveler. You sent yourself your little letter before you answered one important question: How do we get home?"

17. Young Demona sneaks into the Princess' room through a window and grabs the Phoenix Gate, while Elena's back is turned. She leaves by the same window, but she doesn't get very far. Suddenly, her older counterpart appears before her in a fiery flash of Phoenix flame.

ACT THREE
18. Up on the tower, the burst of Phoenix flame attracts the attention of Goliath, Hudson -- and Young Goliath down on the battlement! Adult Goliath knows the flame signals the arrival of his... enemy. But his younger counterpart MUST NOT investigate. Hudson agrees to waylay young Goliath. Adult Goliath takes off in the direction of the fading flame.

19. Meanwhile, the older Demona confronts her younger self. Both hold a complete version of the Phoenix Gate. (Don't you just love time travel stories?) Anyway, the younger Demona is obviously stunned by what she sees. The older one is right to business. She knows for a fact that her arrival is about to attract some unwanted attention. They need to go somewhere private to talk! She invokes the Latin spell and her gate opens into fire that sucks in both Demonas. At the last possible second, Adult Goliath flies into the fiery gate, and all three vanish.

20. Castle Wyvern. The highest tower. 994 A.D. A few nights after the Massacre. The 994 counterpart of Goliath is frozen in stone (in Thinker pose) at night! Small fires still burn. Fragments of other gargoyles litter the ground. On the cut, the Phoenix Gate deposits Young Demona, Adult Demona and Adult Goliath a few yards above the tower. The Demona's drop down gently enough, but Goliath's momentum from scene 19 sends him crashing into the stone floor of the tower. Adult Demona seems ready for this as well. Before Goliath can recover, she slams him across the back with all her might, plus both fists and the anger of 1000 years. He is knocked unconscious.
And then her real work begins. Young Demona is still in a state of semi-shock. Adult Demona wastes no time. Yes, she is her older self returned from the future with a warning. See the destruction. The death. Goliath frozen in stone at night! Humans did this! And you can stop it! You have the Phoenix Gate. All you have to do is think of a place and time. Hold it in your mind, and by speaking the incantation you are there. With its power you can accomplish anything. Do not give it away to the Archmage. Do not share it with... Do not share it! USE IT!! Destroy all the humans! Rule the Gargoyles! Rule the world!! It's all within your grasp!!!
Goliath starts to come to. Young Demona rushes to his side. Adult Demona intercepts her. "Believe me, I know exactly how you feel." But you cannot trust Goliath. He is weak. He cares more about the humans than the gargoyle clan! The greatest favor you can do him would be to put him out of our misery. (And here is where our Demona has made her big mistake. A mistake made despite the power of hindsight. Because Demona never learns. And because at this time, the younger Demona loves Goliath with all her heart.) Adult Demona: "You must know I'm right! Can't you see I am what you will become?!" And young Demona, still largely innocent and good, snaps: "I will never become like you!" Young Demona attacks adult Demona! Fight scene. Frankly, Young Demona wouldn't be a match for adult Demona, except that the latter is a bit reluctant to trash "herself". Still, it's for her own good.
Goliath regains consciousness and joins the battle. The tide turns and Adult Demona is knocked out this time. Goliath takes her version of the Phoenix Gate from her. Young Demona is pretty near shattered by this whole experience! She turns to Goliath, pleadingly. What should she do?
Goliath is reluctant to use Adult Demona's methods. But he also wants to undo some of the damage the Adult Demona did. Young Demona is touching the frozen version of Goliath. Our Goliath approaches her. Tells her not to worry about this. Not to fear it or look for it. It is not the big catastrophes that must concern her. It is the little slights. The little jealousies and angers that prey upon the heart. Fortify yourself with love and trust, and you need not fear this future.
Goliath looks at Adult Demona. He holds up her Gate. He's not sure he knows how to use it. The younger one lifts her version. She knows how. She speaks the words and the three of them disappear in flames.

21. They reappear in flame on the same tower in 975. Xanatos, Fox and Stefan are there. (The highest point on the castle was the logical place to watch for the Phoenix flames.) Goliath would be tempted to leave Xanatos behind if he wasn't afraid of the damage the guy could do to the future. Goliath says good-bye to young Demona. By now, he's figured out how the gate works. Young Demona steps back out of range. With some hesitancy, Goliath speaks the Latin and our five time travelers disappear.
Young Demona is left alone. She still has her version of the Phoenix Gate, which she holds tightly behind her back. The Archmage comes running up the stairs, clutching the Grimorum. He had seen the Phoenix fire and jumps to the conclusion that young Demona let somebody else get away with the Gate. Before she can reveal that she still has her Gate, he punishes her with a bolt of lightning, and threatens to tell the Prince that she stole the Gate. Hudson glides in, landing between Demona and the Archmage. Hudson wonders why the Archmage would expect Demona to have the Prince's wedding present? If Demona did steal it, who would she be stealing it for? The Archmage takes the hint, begrudgingly. But he won't forget this. He heads back downstairs, grumbling: Those strangely dressed strangers have disappeared. The theft of the Gate can be blamed on them. Obviously, Young Demona never reveals that she still has the Gate.
Young Goliath glides in and in a repeat of the first half of scene 5, Demona seems ridiculously happy to see him. Goliath doesn't want to miss Prince Malcolm's Wedding. Demona seems a bit distracted. She looks at Hudson, who says "Go on, then." She and Goliath glide down to one of the upper windows of the Great Hall.

22. Xanatos' Castle in Manhattan, 1995. A repeat of the end of scene 7: Owen and the Judge arrive on the scene just in time to see the last spark go out. There is no sign of the wedding party. Owen: "It seems the honeymoon has begun earlier than expected."
Our five time travelers reappear. Demona is recovering. Goliath may have defeated her, but he failed too. Demona remembers his little speech from when she was young. She never forgot it. And it didn't change anything. "More's the pity," he says. And he glides off with the Gate.
In excellent spirits, Xanatos approaches his father. "Did you have a good time at the wedding?" Xanatos Senior takes a penny from his pocket and flips it to Xanatos Junior. David catches it and asks, what's this? Stefan says, "It's called a penny. It's not worth much now, but in a 1000 years, who knows. It's my wedding present to you. Because it's all you seem to care about." Stefan turns his back on his son, and walks away.

23. Goliath arrives back at the Clock Tower. Elisa and Brooklyn are there, ready to blast him for going to the wedding. But Hudson takes one look at Goliath and stops them. Goliath puts the Phoenix Gate back in its hiding place with the Grimorum and the Eye. When he turns to face us, there's a single tear rolling down his cheek. Push in on him and ripple dissolve...

24. Castle Wyvern, 975 A.D., night. M.O.S., Young Demona separates the two pieces of the Phoenix Gate and hands one to Young Goliath. They embrace, stroking each other's hair. FADE OUT.


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EYE OF THE BEHOLDER MEMO

Last week, I posted my ramble on EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. But I forgot to post the memo from that episode. Here it is.
This is from October of '94, though the episode wouldn't air until September of '95.

Steve Perry wrote a first draft script (which I know longer have), edited by Michael Reaves. This was my memo to Michael in response to that first draft. Usually, these memos come at the outline stage. I'm not sure why this waited until the script stage. Making changes at this stage creates pressure. And I think that pressure is reflected in my brusker tone. (A tone which I regret in rereading it now.)

WEISMAN 10-11-94

Notes on "EYE OF THE BEHOLDER" Script...
This will be a fairly extensive rewrite. Mostly necessitated by Xanatos coming across as weak and moonstruck for the entire episode. We've got to do some restructuring to solve that problem. Sorry.

GENERAL STUFF
XANATOS
We cannot weaken Xanatos to the degree we do here. He should appear to be his normal machiavellian self through the whole episode. Going through life, despite minor setbacks, with an ever-present ace up his sleeve. With only two exceptions... at the crisis point, when he finally has to admit to Goliath and himself that he cares about Fox, and at the end when he feels Goliath has the goods on him. Both of these are important but brief moments. At the very end, we need to feel like Xanatos is more well-rounded, but still formidable.

FOX
In the first scene, please mention Fox's facial tattoo in description. No matter how fancy she dresses, it's a reminder that she still has the beast within. Like Xanatos, let's not play her sappy or moony. She's cut from the same cloth as he is. She may truly love him. But she's not gonna easily be carried away by those feelings. Do we want to give Fox a real name? I feel like she would have had hers legally changed. Maybe not. But how about Janine instead of Janet? Sounds slightly more exotic. Do we want the Werefox to be proportioned like a bodybuilder? She'll have super-strength of course, but shouldn't her proportions remain similar to Fox's design?

TRAVIS, etc.
You'll see below, that I've added a bit for Travis Marshall. If you can figure a way to get the exposition smoothly across without Travis, you can skip him. In either case, during Elisa's first battle against the Werefox in the grocery store, let's reuse the store and store keeper from -013. Charlie H. did that voice and you'll probably need him for Travis. (This doesn't mean the store keeper has to speak, it just gives us a convenient option and saves our artists some work.)

IT'S A CHOKER NOT A PENDANT
I know we discussed that.

TODAY'S THEME: VULNERABILITY
It's there, but I think we could be hitting it harder. (It's not that I advocate a lack of subtlety, but in our scripts we need to emphasize the theme to maintain the audience's focus. We always have so much going on that it would be easy for them to feel like it's just a lot of fighting and not about anything.)

NO 40 PAGE SCRIPTS
I don't want to see any script that is longer than 39 pages. Even at the first draft stage. Please make sure that this is to length. This shouldn't be tough. The script seemed heavily padded to me. There are entire scenes that can come out.

CAST LIST
Please make sure that this is complete. Elisa was left off. I've cut Dr. Stein. Also don't forget to include characters with no lines. They are still needed for design purposes. And describe the costumes of Elisa, Brooklyn, Broadway, Lexington and the costumed man. You don't have to go into great detail. Just make sure that it's noted that they appear in normal garb and in these other costumes.

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
1. SUPER: OCTOBER 1st. Our prologue. Xanatos proposes, in a decidedly business-like manner. We don't get to see the Eye. (This scene is largely successful in Steve's draft.)

2. SUPER: OCTOBER 31st. On the streets, late afternoon. Halloween prep going on. Wind, leaves. And Elisa walking with her (unrevealed) costume by the store as the bookrack flies through the store window. She goes in, coming into conflict with this monster WEREFOX. We should see the Werefox eating. Establish that basic motivation. We should also see the EYE. Werefox escapes.

3. Time cut to aftermath. Brief moment between Elisa and Morgan, as Travis Marshall reports live. This is not the Werefox's first sighting.

4. Back at the castle, Xanatos and Owen click off the television (and the Travis Marshall report) as Fox enters. She's got an overcoat pulled tight around her neck. Xanatos asks her if she is wearing her engagement present. She says nervously, that she never takes it off. She exits. He and Owen look at each other. They clearly suspect something.

5. At clock tower, gargoyles EXPLODE awake. Elisa's there. Tells what happened. Brooklyn figures that blows his theory that the Monster sightings were all pre-Halloween shenanigans. (Let's get in here that they are excited about Halloween and being able to appear in public. Hudson's less sanguine.) Goliath takes Elisa aside: "I should have been with you." But Elisa won't let him feel guilty. He can't be with her all the time anymore than she can spend every hour of daylight guarding him. They're all vulnerable. It's scary, but knowing someone cares whether they make it through the day makes it worthwhile. (Or something like that.)

6. Back at the castle, Xanatos calmly approaches Fox and asks for her engagement present. He wants to have it engraved. She tries to demure. He insists, gently pulling her collar away from the EYE!!! She slams him back and transforms into the werefox!

ACT TWO
7. Xan was more-or-less ready for this, he has a tranquilizer gun, but she's much more powerful than he anticipated. The dart doesn't seem to slow her down. Owen enters prepared, with what appears to be another tranquilizer gun. But it's really a tagging device of some sort. The Werefox escapes. (This is tricky, given the setting.) Xanatos: "So much for doing things the easy way." Owen's tagger tracks the beast and sends back vital signs. Owen explains that her metabolic rate is skyrocketing, explaining why the tranquilizer had no effect, and also revealing that she's gonna burn out and die. Xanatos seems unconcerned. (This is a facade, but even he doesn't realize it yet.) He needs to get the Eye of Odin back. If he had known it was anything more than a fancy jewel he'd never have given it away. "Oh, well. On to plan B."

8. Elisa finds Goliath in the library. She's gotten an anonymous tip about where to find the Werefox. (She doesn't know it, but it's from Xanatos.)

9. Xanatos in his battle armor, tracks and confronts the Werefox on the rooftop. (Of a bakery? Or a meat packing warehouse? In any case, reestablish her metabolic hunger.) He tries to get in close enough to remove the Eye. Goliath and Elisa arrive and, thanks to a little play-acting by Xanatos, become convinced that the Werefox is another of Xanatos' victims (ala Maggie Reed). They try to intervene, but obviously the werefox isn't too helpful. Xanatos takes this opportunity to make his grab for the Eye. He's blasted by magical energy. And the Werefox trashes his armor. He's forced to flee. Goliath tries to talk to Werefox, but she slams him into Elisa, nearly knocking the latter off the rooftop. Goliath and Elisa recover, by which time, Werefox is gone. They confer. Elisa is convinced that Xanatos has victimized this poor creature just as he did her brother. He's clearly after the eye. They have to gather all the gargoyles and make sure they get it first. Goliath looks suspiciously toward the Castle in the distance. Maybe he can barely see Xanatos limping toward it.

10. Xanatos comes in for an unsteady landing at the castle. He's greeted by Owen: "So much for plan B." And Xanatos: "True. But now plan C is activated. Goliath and company are, as usual, determined to thwart me. They'll pull out all the stops to get the eye off Fox before I do. They'll do all my work for me." Owen is confused. How will this help him recover the eye? (This is a hint that the eye isn't really Xanatos' main concern.) But before Xanatos can address that question (or even give conscious thought to the answer), Goliath and Elisa dramatically reveal their presence. It's clear they've heard everything. (Or almost everything.)

ACT THREE
11. Goliath is major angry. (But kind of proud of himself that he didn't get fooled again.) Xanatos can do his own dirty work. Goliath and Elisa start to go. And suddenly, almost against his own will, Xanatos stops him. Reveals to himself, Goliath and audience that he really cares for Fox. He needs help to get the eye off of her. The legend says that this is what the Norse God Odin traded for POWER AND INSIGHT. He had no idea the legend had any basis in fact or that the eye had any real metamorphic abilities. Goliath comments wryly that it should give Xanatos some "insight" as to Fox's true bestial nature. It's made her more like herself. (Xanatos does not find that unattractive.) Why should Goliath help? Xanatos makes the Demona reference. (At some point in here, Xanatos should make physical contact with Goliath. Touching his arm. Needing his help.) Goliath starts to waiver, but Elisa's convinced that this is just another scam. A plan D, if you like. Goliath nods agreement. In any case, it's Xanatos' mess. He can fix it himself. They leave. Xanatos seems momentarily desperate, but then controls himself. Asks how long it will take for armor repair. Owen says a couple of days and then takes a quick look at his tracker/scanner. Fox doesn't have that long.

12. Greenwich village. The party. Let's take some time to play this. The trio and their costumes. And particularly, play the beauty of Goliath and Princess Elisa. Maybe a band is playing something classical on Bleeker Street and they dance. Suddenly Goliath spots the werefox. He grabs the creature. Only to discover it's a guy in a costume. But it starts him thinking. He's going to help Xanatos. Elisa protests (not too strongly; she's not immune either). But Goliath has good reasons. The Werefox is dangerous to his "castle". But truly, if a man like Xanatos can love...well, there's hope for the whole world. From behind Xanatos agrees. How did he find them? Almost embarrassed, Xanatos pulls a Scarab transmitter off Goliath's arm. Old habits die hard. He pulls out the scanner. Come with me.

13. Elsewhere in the village, there's a lot of free food being given out at booths. (I know this would never happen in real life, but let's just assume that local restaurants are looking at it as an advertisement expense.) All the trio, not just Broadway, are partaking. But the Werefox is hungry too. Her attack is closely followed by Goliath, Elisa and Xanatos' arrival. Ultimately, Goliath gets her in a full-nelson that allows Xanatos to reach in with his gauntlet-covered hand and painfully remove the Eye. Fox transforms back, in Goliath's arms. Goliath demands the Eye; he won't trust Xanatos with it. (Xanatos will assume he's being asked to trade the eye for Fox. This is not Goliath's intent, but leave it ambiguous.) For once, Xanatos can't refuse. The exchange is made. Xanatos, cradling Fox in his arms: "Well, Goliath, now you know my one weakness." Goliath regards him with disdain: "Only you would regard love as a weakness." He, Elisa and the Trio depart with the Eye. As all this is happening, Owen has pulled up in the limo. He caught the tail end of the conversation. He agrees with Goliath: "Frankly, Mr. Xanatos, you've never looked quite so formidable." Xanatos smiles. Fox awakens. He says something tender, but it's clear he's back to his old self, just as dangerous as ever.


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Joxter writes...

You've said that Xanatos basically stopped trying to make his own gargoyles after Thailog because Thailog scared him. For what reasons is Xanatos scared by Thailog?

Greg responds...

As Owen pointed out, Thailog was stronger and smarter than Xanatos. His creation, no longer under HIS control.

Scares me, anyway.

Response recorded on November 10, 2000

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Yttrium writes...

Greg, I have a minor interest in geneology. Could you please clarify for me what nationalities the following characters are:
1) Elisa, half African-American, half Native American.
2) Xanatos, Greek
3) Matt, I don't know
4) Fox--- well, her dad's probably French and her mom's a fairy...
5) Maria Chavez, Spanish

Could you help me here?

---Ytt

Greg responds...

1. Yes.
2. Greek-American, yes.
3. Jewish-American.
4. Her dad's French-American, yes.
5. Maria's Hispanic-American.

Response recorded on November 09, 2000

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Chapter XX: "Eye of the Beholder"

Written by Steve Perry. Story Edited by Michael Reaves.

It's really just a coincidence that we watched this so close to Halloween (11-2-00). I wasn't trying for that. This was just the next episode in the sequence. Still, when I mentioned before we started that this was the Halloween episode of Gargoyles, the kids got very excited. Erin pointed at the framed cell we have in our bedroom which depicts Goliath and La Belle Elisa dancing. She remembered that it came from the episode we were about to watch. Benny then commented that Elisa and Goliath are going to get married. Erin, who has a clearer memory of the last time we completed the 66 episode sequence corrected him. But I said something cryptic, like you never know. Erin said I needed to make more episodes so that we could find out. From her mouth to God's ears.

In general, the kids were very verbal during this episode, or at least Erin was. Benny started out verbal, but fell asleep with his mom rubbing his tummy somewhere during Act One.

In the opener, a classic scene I think, when he first saw Xanatos and Fox together he said: "That was you, Erin. I was him." in reference to the Fox and Xanatos costumes they wore to the Gathering 2000's masquerade.

Erin really bought into the tension of the episode. And it is very tense. Some terrific pacing to this. She remembered this one with much greater clarity than most. "Uh oh. That's not just any necklace." Etc. Personally, I just love Xanatos' pragmatic proposal. The truth is X should have already known that he was truly in love with Fox. I've just done some research into sentencing while working on and reworking my Gargoyle timeline. Fox & Wolf each received a 16 month sentence for briefly holding that model hostage in "Thrill of the Hunt". They had the opportunity to be parolled after eight months. They were rejected. Instead of waiting a mere eight more months for them to be released free and clear, an impatient Xanatos sets up the events in "Leader of the Pack". Is that a man in love or what? Nevertheless, we get his whole "We're genetically compatible and have the same goals" speech. She asks about love, and he feels himself largely incapable of the emotion. He thinks he's too amoral for that. "I think we love each other as much as two people like us can." (Or something like that. I'm approximating all these quotations.) It's fun.

Then comes the sequence in Mr. Jaffe's store. Erin is still very tense: "Uh oh, that's Fox. She's wearing the necklace." and "She wants to stop it [the necklace] with one arm. But she doesn't want to with the other." Here, Erin's hit right on Fox's internal conflict. Part of her is fighting the Eye, but part of her wants to surrender to its power. When X first confronts her in her bedroom, and when the Werefox emerges and attacks, it doesn't shred him. It throws him down on the bed. There's some powerful primal energy swirling 'round that room. Lucky thing Owen is there, or I'm not sure Xanatos escapes with his dignity intact.

Xanatos takes note and activates Plan A, which will be followed by B and C. And a makeshift D. It becomes almost a parody of all his contingencies and "Xanatos Tags" from previous episodes. For once, he's out of control. And he can't bear to admit it. He pretends (even to himself) that he just needs to recover the valuable Eye of Odin, when what he obviously really wants is to save Fox. "...I'd never have just given it away. Ah, well, spilled milk." (I always thought that was a great and yet feeble cover for his real feelings.)

Speaking of the Eye, how many knew back when it was intro'd in "The Edge" that it would be so important? As I think I've mentioned, the Eye was actually the creation of Disney Interactive which was working on a GARGOYLES VIDEO GAME at the time. They told us about the Eye, and I loved the idea and decided to incorporate it into the show. Unfortunately, we didn't use their design, which had this great crow/raven theme to it, appropriate to Odin. Instead, our design always looked vaguely Egyptian to me. I can't remember, but I think that maybe they're design wasn't ready when we needed to complete our model for "The Edge". Or it might have been poor communication. The Eye was designed at Walt Disney Animation - Japan. At any rate, we knew from the gamer folk that the Eye had metamorphic powers. But I wanted to be more specific. Yes, it would grant power, but it had to grant power that suited the legend of Odin's Eye. The Eye traditionally provided Mimir with the gift of sight. That easily translated to "insight" for me. Which is a kind of power in its own right. The Eye in the Gargoyles Universe would externalize and amplify a major trait of the wearer. And, yes, even then I had plans to eventually intro Odin himself and have him stick the thing back in his empty socket.

I think that shot from inside the elevator shaft when Fox smashes her way in is very cool.

Owen with an Elvis tribute: "Fox has left the building."

CONTINUITY
--The Eye of Odin, of course.

--Mr. Jaffe's poor grocery store.

--X's commando squad (including Bruno) is at the ready, yet still unprepared for the Werefox's fury.

--Since "The Mirror", Goliath is more open about his growing feelings for Elisa. She again defuses things by turning his concerns for her into a more objective statement about friendship.

--Goliath is back in the library. This time studying Werewolves. The information won't be useful, but isn't that just like him?

--Elisa immediately jumping to the conclusion that the were-thing is another of Xanatos' mutated victims like her brother.

HALLOWEEN - The trio are very excited to be able to stroll into the open. "No one'll know who we are." Better yet, "No one will know WHAT we are." The taste of conformity they got in "The Mirror" has opened a window on their need to be a part of something larger than the clan.

Another cool visual: Fox and Goliath circling each other, with Fox on all fours.

I love when Goliath tries to reason with Fox. "If Xanatos is your enemy, then believe me, WE are your friends." How little he knows. The Werefox immediately attacks him. Still conflicted. Throughout the story, Fox fights, but the Eye reasserts.

Time for Plan C. But Owen has noticed the flaw in Xanatos' usually stellar power of contingency. X claims that all he cares about is the Eye. But he's only setting things up so that the gargs will get the eye. Subconsciously, all he wants is Fox. But we have Goliath arrive and interrupt just at that moment so that neither X or the audience has time to focus on the contradicition.

X breaks down. Appeals to Goliath. He's out of control. Up to a point. ("Old habits die hard -- he still has the forsight to plant a bug on Goliath ala "Awakening, Part Three".

Gotta love Goliath's line: "Not a good night for you." It's great as a writer when you can legitimately turn the tables and give Goliath a Xanatos line.

HALLOWEEN 2
Broadway REALLY wanted to dress up as a Detective. So he's got a new trenchcoat and hat. Brooklyn, ever the swashbuckler, is a pirate. And Lex... hmm... what should we make Lex. We settled on a pilot, in keeping with his helicopter prowess, I guess. But it was never too clear what Lex would or should be, and I can't help thinking that Lex had trouble deciding on a costume too.

Of course, Goliath doesn't wear a costume.

Vinnie has a line here. Though officially, it's not Vinnie's first appearance, this one line of Jeff Bennett spoken dialogue "A costume over a costume." is the obvious inspiration for all that followed with the Vinster.

And I love Keith as that witch saying "That is a great, great costume." What a great, great line reading.

BEAUTY & THE BEAST. Finally, we get to hit the nail on the head. A moment so romantic (in a very romantic episode) that even the characters take note. Elisa lets her self go for a moment. Goliath just is. The kids are happy for them.

But "Things are not always as they seem". Goliath breaks the moment by attacking a guy in a werewolf costume.

Note: That Goliath now refers to Manhattan as "My castle, my city." A year earlier (more or less) he was calling it Xanatos' city. I love the notion that Goliath sees hope in Xanatos LOVING someone. And of course, he's right. Xanatos' love for Fox (and later Alex) will result in Goliath getting the castle back. Not war, but love.

Brooklyn and Lex finally get to eat pretzyls. Remember that in Awakening, Broadway ate them all. Meanwhile Broadway eat's a hot dog and BELCHES MIGHTILY. This was really more about all of us indulging ourselves in low humor. We put the burp into the script. Bill Fagerbakke burped loudly. But our sound effects guy Paca Thomas, put in the burp to end all burps.

CONTINUITY AGAIN
--Lex gets very intense (briefly) and wants to go after FOX. He still hates anything or anyone connected to his Pack experience.

--The return of Brendan & Margot.

Gotta love Elisa's costume. Holster for a garter belt. Very sexy. Solved our nudity problem with Fox too. I'm amazed we got away with that.

In a larger sense, I'm amazed we got away with the entire episode. I was very nervous that the notion of X and Fox getting engaged would be rejected. But the BIG BOSSES didn't focus on the fact that the engagement might lead to marriage. And fortunately, they weren't paying attention when that engagement led to marriage, pregnancy and a kid. I don't think they would have allowed it.

I could have done without Broadway eating his hat.

Fox's internal conflict is visualized when she sees Elisa as herself and attacks to silence that human voice inside her once and for all.

When, in slow motion, Goliath intercepts Fox and saves Elisa (who's usually fairly self-sufficient) it may be the purest moment of Hero saving damsel we have in the series. The dress helps of course.

A little HIGHLANDER inspiration here with Fox and the exploding sign.

I love that Owen's right there with the helicopter.

X is still trying to interpret things to suit his old (and dated) world view. He thinks Goliath is trading the Eye for Fox, which of course he wasn't. Goliath doesn't think that way.

"Now you know my weakness."
"Only you would consider love a weakness."
"You've never looked more heroic."
"A momentary lapse, I assure you."

All great lines.

Let's go home.

And Owen, who signed on BECAUSE Fox and Xanatos were so interesting to the Puck, SMILES.

And now a word about the episode from Erin Sydney Weisman (she typed this herself):

I am most interested in this episode. And the episode I watched was a spooky episode. And I liked the episode, because it was a very enchanting episode.


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Mr. Anonymous writes...

I've always thought Xanatos a fascinating character and possibly my favorite villain in the Gargoyles Universe, if not my fave character overall. Is he as fun to write as he is to watch?

Greg responds...

yes

Response recorded on October 20, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

How did Renard and Vogel find out about Oberon and Titania's plan to kidnap Alexander?

Greg responds...

From Xanatos.

Response recorded on October 19, 2000

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Ed writes...

Would Xanatos feel the need to upgrade his Steel Clan further now that he's developed Coyote and has the real deal back at Castle Wyvern?

Greg responds...

Possibly.

Response recorded on October 19, 2000

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Siren writes...

Who's richer?
Xanatos or Bill Gates?

Greg responds...

I don't know. But I know who's more fun to hang with.

Response recorded on October 05, 2000

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White writes...

I am curious... I know Xanatos *programmed* Thailog. But is that just a way of saying that he thaugh him everything or does it really mean that Thailog can be *programmed* with a computer or something.
I just don't understand the concept.

Thank you

Greg responds...

Specific information was forcefed to Thailog while he was still in his maturation chamber. The choice of info and the spin put on that info, was Xanatos'.

Response recorded on September 25, 2000

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Derek! writes...

Hia, Greg!
In Outfoxed, Halcyon says that if Fortress II were to crash, cyberbiotics would be history. As we know, fortress II crashed in Gathering part 2, So, my question is, how bad were the damages sustained by Fortress II and was Halcyon able to get his company back on its feet (so to speak) afterward?

Greg responds...

The damage was extensive. By that time, Halcyon had had time to diversify a bit. But I'd say Cyberbiotics stock dropped considerably.

Response recorded on September 06, 2000

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Sixshot writes...

1.If we look at "Gathering 2", we only see Renard and Vogel in Fortress II. Did the ship carried only Cybots or there were people as well?

2.We know that Renard did have some "things to reconsider" in "Outfoxed". Did he had the Cybots replace by people?

3.If he did not made the replacemnt, will he plan to in the future?

Greg responds...

1. None other on that outing.

2. He replaced many cybots with people. But he didn't bring them along for that hazardous mission.

3. Renard's not making any long-term plans right now.

Response recorded on September 06, 2000

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Aaron writes...

If Xanatos did know what Iago was like, was he

A. Being kinda irresponsible to give a psycho like that access to a state of the art killing machine without building in some kind of failsafe.

B. Hoping to use Coldsteel for his own ends later, *finally* getting a gargoyle who'd work for him. After all, Iago's Dark Ages alliance with the Archmage makes this a bit of a possibility.

Greg responds...

Yes.

Yes.

Xanatos was never one not to throw caution to the wind. But keep in mind he always has a back-up plan and he did build the robot.

Response recorded on September 02, 2000

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Vasy writes...

1.What did titania whisper into fox's ear at he end of the gathering part2
2.who rules after oberon
3. is fox the next queen of avalon
4. does titania know who the ruler of avalon will be after oberon's demise.
5. when does titania die.
6. how does titania die
7. does alexander, xanatos's child, ever become ruler of avalon.
8.odin is king of the gods in norse myth, and oberon is king in hte scottish/irish myth...so why does oberon ruler over odin?
9.how did oberon dfeat mab
10. why did oberon battle mab
11. who is merlin's mother, i know she is human, but who she
12. did merlin's mom know she had a son to oberon, or didn't oberon tell her
13. does foxes, dad...i say foxes dad because i dont know how to spell his name, well does he know that foxes mom is titania?
14. when oberon made everyone sleep in gathering part 1 and 2, why is foxes dad and vogel not asleep? was this titania's doing

Greg responds...

1. Do you think they'll be wondering about this in Ask Greg four years from now?
2. Who says there is an after?
3. Who says there is a next?
4. Who says there's a demise?
5. Who says she does?
6. See 5.
7. No.
8. You're premise is incorrect. Oberon is not king of the gods in Scotish/Irish myth. He's king of the fair folk. There's a difference.
9. That's an epic story.
10. That's part of the above mentioned epic story.
11. A welsh noblewoman.
12. Huh?
13. Yes. Which doesn't mean he's dealt with it.
14. No. Renard and Vogel put an energy field around the bridge of Fortress-II similar to the field that surrounded the Eyrie.

You know it occurs to me that these questions covered multiple unrelated topics. That's a no-no. Next time I'll get tough on you.

Response recorded on August 23, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

At the end of "Double Jeopardy", Xanatos comments about Goliath and Thailog, "I should have known that no copy could ever live up to the original." What I found interesting about that remark is that Thailog was the last attempt that Xanatos made to create "his own gargoyles". After that, he made no new efforts to come up with "gargoyle-substitutes" - he used the already-made Steel Clan robots in a few cases, and he also welcomed the Mutates' services when they came back to work for him in "The Cage", but he did not come up with brand-new schemes of that sort. Did this remark of Xanatos's above indeed indicate the end of that particular strategy on his part?

Greg responds...

Yep. Also, I think for once he was chastened. Thailog scared him a bit.

Response recorded on August 23, 2000

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vasy writes...

this is about the 8 authurian survivors
1. merlin is trapped. for how long?
2. how does merlin get out.
3. who put him there
4. who is the green knight exactly
5. how was the pheonix gate envolved with the 8 authurian survivors
6. what was the price duval had to pay for his current status
7. in the journey episode, duval was on the phone and kept on hold....what did duval want?

Greg responds...

1. 'Til Arthur frees him.
2. Arthur frees him.
3. Nimue.
4. Who are you exactly?
5. Who said it was?
6. I'm not telling.
7. To talk to Xanatos.

Response recorded on August 23, 2000

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LSZ writes...

Did any specific event in Xanatos' life set about his thirst and overwhelming desire for immortality?

Greg responds...

The death of his mother couldn't have helped.

Response recorded on August 22, 2000

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LSZ writes...

1) How old is Xanatos?
2) Fox?
3) Petros?

Greg responds...

Uh, I have this info at the office (for the first two at least). But I'm at home now. So ask me again later.

Response recorded on August 22, 2000

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Laura aka 'ad astra' Ackerman writes...

I love this asking questions off of answers to my own questions! By the time you read this it will have been a while since you answered what I apologized being "an amorphous blob of a question" on Fox, her potential fae abilities and concrete lack thereof, as well as Titania's intentions. I now apologize for this being only a little less of a blob; I separated paragraphs- (randomly, but I did it).

I did not truly express myself well so you could not fully answer that question- (you did cover most of it). The main thing that has been bothering me, and which prompted me to assess the situation as I had, was that thought that Titania would intentionally put herself through the pain of having a child that will live, grow old and die in a fraction of her own lifespan. I realize that even Titania cannot foresee and account every happening, but I figure that she can handle birth control if she wanted to. [Given the cross species thing, I assumed she had to work at the non-compatibility problem. Different species should be nearly automatic birth control for the most part.] Basically, I assume she intended to have Fox- or at least a halfling child. [A correct assumption?]

You answered me on July 19 saying there was no exterior block on Fox practicing fae magic- only the atrophying of unused talents. The implication of The Gathering seemed to be that that bolt at Oberon was Fox's first act of magic. The thing I am curious about is whether or not Titania tried to make Fox a magical being as a child, or even as a baby, or, at any rate before issues of atrophy could come up. I assumed she would have tried, if for no other reason than giving Fox access to a lifespan of a short lived Oberati instead of a long lived human. [I really can't understand people willingly putting themselves through the pain of losing a child when there is any viable alternative.] Continuing with what were probably faulty assumptions I deduced that Titania must have tried in a direct fashion to get Fox used to magic until Fox was old enough to talk about it credibly (4 or 5?). After that point, through the events of the Gathering, I assumed she tried less direct methods- perhaps even things that would be dangerous for a child had her mother not been there to step in to save her. Fox of course would have generally found her own way out of dangerous situations using her mind and body and circumventing the whole experiment. This all seemed a rather logical set of deductions except for figuring out why a child version of Fox could not do magic. From there I hypothesized some sort of exterior block, which you said does not exist.

So…
Did Titania conceive Fox intentionally?
Did Titania desire to have a child that was human or halfling in point of view and ability?
[Oddly enough it seems to me Fox has a rather Fae POV despite her lack of magic]
Did Titania try to train Fox in fae magic as a small child?
If so, why didn't I work at the time?
Did Titania try indirect methods throughout the rest of Fox's life?
Now that Fox has touched on her fae potential- should she desire and be able to reclaim that 'muscle' and strengthen it, in effect become more a halfling than a human, could her life expectancy jump from what I would guess to be low hundreds to several hundred?

You wrote in your answer:
"Titania/Anastasia may have made some mistakes, may not have thought things out in advance. May have had one or more changes of heart."

I am beginning to getting a bit of a picture of Titania like the cat I once saw described in a birthday card- the sort of animal that can perch on your Tv, fall off with an ungraceful plop and then jump up with an "I meant to do that" look and walk proudly and disdainfully away. Perhaps all that wonderful manipulation I give her credit for is actually (in part) post facto saving face on an incredibly skill level.

Greg responds...

I definitely think she wanted Fox. I think she loved Halcyon. And they wanted to have a child together. I think having that child was a huge part of her maturation process. (This is also all tied in with the two children she's had with Oberon. A not so happy story for another day.) The issue of Fox being a halfling was automatic. She couldn't have a child with Halcyon and NOT have it be a halfling. (You can't leave love out of the equation.)

At first, I don't think Titania DID try to train Fox in magic. Because, and this is key, she was working very hard to live as ANASTASIA. (Think Bewitched, I guess.) Again, there was love for her rational, scientist, industrialist man in there. But also it was a period of emotional growth for her. So she didn't want to mess with Fox's head. And she didn't realize it would cause problems later.

Later, yes, she tried many indirect methods. Including Matrix. No dice. So maybe, she had to try something a touch more desperate.

As to your last question, only time will tell.

Response recorded on August 22, 2000

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Ambrosia writes...

Hi!
I was wondering about little Alex. Do you think Fox and Xanatos will put him in public or private school? Or would they maybe home school him? None of the above?

Greg responds...

All of the above.

Response recorded on August 21, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

Oh, one little bit about my question regarding Xanatos in "The New Olympians". I, of course, knew that "Xavier" was merely a "rejected first-draft" name for our favorite scheming billionaire and did not actually exist in the Gargoyles Universe. Rather, I mentioned it because somebody who'd been to your "New Olympians" speech at one of the Gatherings had told me that there would have been a Xanatos-style character named Xavier in it; I may have misunderstood him.

Greg responds...

You did. Or he misunderstood me. XANATOS himself is in the New Olympian pitch. We came up for the idea for New Olympians before Gargoyles. But we brought it back out DURING gargoyles and revised the pitch to include Xanatos.

Response recorded on August 21, 2000

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Mara "Shinigami" (yay, Japanese! )Cordova writes...

Me again! (heh, and what month is this now, Greg?)

Okay, In Hunter's Moon, when Owen offers the help of his boss to Elisa during that scene in the warehouse and she rebukes him...

When she says "I've had enough help from him to last a lifetime" (paraphrased, ofcourse) what is she referring to?
Her brother's mutation or just the craziness that she's been snared into since the Gargoyles woke up? That line somehow sounds to me like the two (Xanatos and Maza) have a past history pre-Gargoyles. So, do they?

Greg responds...

August. (Which isn't too bad.) Are you the same Mara I met at the con? The one with the orangest hair?

Mostly Derek, but all of the crap he's put her and her friends through.

No past history to speak of.

Response recorded on August 19, 2000

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Mara "Lord of Death" Cordova writes...

Hi Greg! First off, let me get the butt-kissing out of the way. Thank you and all involved for one of the greatest animated shows... ever. I have many wonderful memories of heated fights for the television with my late Grandma between watching reruns of Gargoyles and.... Judge Judy.

Judge Judy never stood a chance. :)

Now! *figuratively rubs hands together* I got a Xanatos questions/comments for you today!

Admittedly, I'm one of those twisted souls who prefers a charismatic villian to the good guys any day of the week, so Mr. X is ofcourse my fave next to Demona.(but this post isn't about Her, so...)It's very hard NOT to like a guy as smooth and manipulative as all that. (It's nearly impossible to tell when he drops the act. As Sevarius knows...) Demo...

1. Why did David propose to Fox so... quickly in their relationship? In other words, was it part of a future strategy? It's far too early for him to know about his self addressed letter in VOWS.

Hmm.. I know I had more to ask but I think I forgot em... Eh, something to bug you with next time, ne?

Ttfn.

Greg responds...

First off, it wasn't that quick. They'd been dating since before the gargs were awakened. Second of all, there's no real mystery as to why he proposed, he gave his reasons when he did. They were genetically compatible, made each other hot, and had the same goals. Including procreation. It was a business decision. Or so he thought.

Response recorded on August 19, 2000

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April writes...

Does Fox love her mother Titani?

Greg responds...

She loves Anastasia. Titania will take some getting used to.

Response recorded on August 19, 2000

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Matthais writes...

At www.xanatos.com, there is an actual company called Xanatos Enterprises. Is this the source of the name, or visa-versa? That is, did they name the company after the character from Gargoyles? Or were you unaware of this company's existance?

Greg responds...

I can't say for certain, though I have an inkling, whether the show gave them the name. But I do know, because Disney's Legal Department did a search, that there was no Xanatos Enterprises in existence when the show first went on the air. There was a Xanacorp, however, which had been our first choice.

Response recorded on August 19, 2000

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Anonymous writes...

What did Odin whisper to the dead Balder the Light?
What did Titania whisper to Fox?

Was Norse myth the source that inspired you to put in the scene that had Titania whispering to Fox?

Greg responds...

Haven't thought about this.
Maybe something about Balder?

No.

Response recorded on August 18, 2000

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Punchinello writes...

Hello.
I see you are making progress with your backlog of questions. This question is kind of an ammendment to another question of mine.

A couple of months ago I asked if your idea for Owen was influenced by an archetype I referred to as being "a supernatural charachter indentured to a human master." I made reference to djinn being bound within oak or silver. Now, I dont recall if I was thinking this at the time, but...

I had just recently viewed "Prospero's Books" by Peter Greenaway again. There is a rather disturbing scene therin, of Ariel, bound in his "cloven pine." Spitting out splinters of wood and carring on. It's all rather ghastly. I had, in the past, made the observation that Ariel could be an other example of this archetype. I think, however, that I needed the emphasis Greenaway placed on certain elements to make some connections apparent to me. Of some peripheral interest is the fact that ariel is another spirit bound in a tree, but of greater interest is the stress placed on the characters servitude to Prospero. It was not much of a stretch to *read Owen* into the character.

OF GREATER INTEREST was how easy it became to read Xanatos into Prospero. I was struck by several things in this vein. The first being the parallel between the two men's status as "mortal's" who had aquired great power through supernatural means; particularly through the service of a captive spirit. (I realize the term "captive" does not really describe Owen's situation.) Further, Xanatos' collection of supernatural artifacts (The Eye, the Grimorrim, even the Gargoyles) could be a reflection of Prospero's robes and staff. The artifacts which empower him.

I also considered (perhaps on the heels of watching an adaptation that placed such emphasis on Pospero's Books) that the Grimorrim might be a volume Xanatos "valued above his dukedom."

I wonder also if a reading of Xanatos as *the exiled duke* would be too far off. Milan is in rather close proximity to Greece. I believe you placed Petros Xanatos as a native, there. While Xanatos may not have been physically exiled from his place of birth, it could be argued that his distance from his father and their conflicted relationship could be read as a kind of exile.

Now, I realize you have your reasons for not wanting to confirm or deny ideas that you had for the show, but were not able to elaborate on before it's cancellation. I read the anecdote about the guy who thought you had stolen his idea. (Wasn't he asking about the characters from "The Tempest," actually?) At this point, however, I think you have rather concretely established that Shakespeare plays a rather prominent and consistent theme in "Gargoyles." I cant imagine that anyone would not be inclined to believe that you were going for this reading from the beginning.

Maybe I'm completely wrong about all of this, but I'm sure it will elicit some interesting commentary from you.

Greg responds...

To be honest, the Prospero/Xanatos connection never occured to me -- probably because I have specific ideas for Prospero as a separate character, and also because I SO saw Xanatos as a Coyote Trickster type, and I don't see Prospero that way at all.

But you're analysis fascinated me.

Of course, with the exception of "Possession", Xanatos never got any real magical aide from Owen. (That was kind of the point of their bargain.) But still, I like that what we did had some deep archetypal resonance.

Response recorded on August 02, 2000

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Abigail Thorne writes...

Looking back on "Hunter's Moon," it seems to me that the Xanatos's were not surprised to learn that the Gargoyles had lived above the clock tower. Had they figured it out already? If so, then when?

Okay, this next question is related to the other one, so I'll post it here. We all know that Xanatos likes to manipulate the clan and that he derives a certain satisfaction from their ongoing feud. But in "Cloud Father's," it seemed like hehad had enough of it. When he informed Goliath that these last minute upsets were becoming "irritating," he sounded more pissed off than I've ever heard him. So assuming that Xanatos did know where the clan slept during the day, why didn't he just go to the clock tower and smash them?

Greg responds...

Why would he want them smashed? Maybe his irritation was with the feud, not them. THey'd been allies before, remember.

As for when they found out that the Gargs lived in the tower, it depends who you're referring too. Puck knew for awhile. I don't think Xanatos knew.

Response recorded on July 30, 2000

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Faieq Ali writes...

Before the Gathering, did Fox know about Owen being Puck?

Greg responds...

No.

Response recorded on July 30, 2000

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Abigail Thorne writes...

I asked this way back in March, but I think the question got lost, so let me try again.

Were you ever going to reveal just how Demona and Xanatos teamed up? Xanatos is not exactly a trustworthy individual, and Demona's track record with humans has not been stellar. It's not like she would just go up to him and say "I'm a thousand-year old gargoyle with a grudge against humanity. Want to help me reawaken my clan?" And was she the one who gave him the Grimorum? Because if he got it from someone else, and Demona found out about it, then she would have obviously wanted to reclaim it, which would explain how they met, but not how they decided to work together. So what's the story?

Thanks for listening, and sorry if you have read this already.

Greg responds...

Ever? Yes. In TimeDancer. It's a very complex story involving two different "dances", Brooklyn, Mary, Finella, Xanatos, Demona, Owen and Puck.

Response recorded on July 29, 2000

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Lexy (repost by Aris) writes...

HEY GREG!

Just got done reading your commentary on, "Thrill of The Hunt". Loved it! hmm did that have anything to do with the fact it was on Lex?;) Anyway, You sorta answered a Q that I had written down at work today. Here is my Q.

As you just mentioned, Fox and Lex are almost instant a allies due to Alex. My Q's are.....

1) Were you planning on Lex and Alex's relationship to play a major or minor role? What I'm trying to ask is, were you just planning on having it be a nice side thing like a few shots of Lex playing with Alex or whatever..or were you going to make acutall episodes around it..was it going to play a big enough role to call it a role? *kicks herself* IM saying this all wrong!! *sighs*

2)Would Lex and Alex still be buds as he grows up?

3) What role do you think best describes Lex and Alex's relationship overall from his childhood to adulthood? IE: Alex trusts him as a confidant? Would Lex be more of a buddy? Mentor?

Thanks!

Greg responds...

1. Yes. I had at least one story in mind where Alex is kidnapped by Raven. Lex would have been very involved in saving him. That story became an episode of Goliath Chronicles -- one which I don't like much, but which wasn't as annoying as some of the stories that followed.

2. Yep.

3. Older Brother.

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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Lexy (repost by Aris) writes...

Nope..still not done yet..

Ok, I put this in a separate post _just_ in case.

1) Could you tell us what the episode, "Ransom" would have been like if you had had more control over it?

I put this in a separate post cuz..as you may notice you have answered this one from me before. I admit that. Its just that when you did it was awful vague. I was just wondering if right now you could tell us something more besides, "It was pretty much the same plot except the kidnappers were from Avalon." Ok they were from Avalon?

2) Would we have seen these characters in any episodes after Ransom?

We never saw Puck in TGC. But im SURE Alex getting kidnapped would have warrented a Puck episode;)

3) Would Puck have been the first one to know and not his parents?

Everyone got together trying to figure out how to go about getting Alex back

4) In the ep you had planned, would it have been more of a Puck/Lex teamup?

5) Where would've the mystery characters from Avalon taken our lil prince?

U know..Q's like that?

Pulezz?;)

Greg responds...

1. Is that quotation an actual quotation or a paraphrase? I can't imagine that's what I wrote. It certainly was never going to be the same plot. It was a Tricksters story. Initially it was to include Owen/Puck, Raven, Anansi and Coyote. Plus Lex and the Family Xanatos. I think as time has gone on, I would have dropped Anansi and Coyote from this one. Focused more on Raven as the Trickster/Villain. Saved the multi-Trickster episode for another story.

2. In that season or ever?

3. Uh, I don't pretend to have every little detail worked out. I never actually wrote the story, I simply proposed it. They took a kernel of it and turned it into Ransom.

4. Probably.

5. Don't know.

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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Taleweaver writes...

While watching City of Stone and Mirror something Demona said struck me. She knew about Owen's alter ego, Puck. How did she figure it out?

Greg responds...

Puck/Owen introduced Demona to Xanatos.

Response recorded on July 26, 2000

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Cave writes...

why do civilians like macbeth and xanatos have laser weapons while the police force is using automatics and slugs?

Greg responds...

Macbeth largely uses Electro-Magnetic technology, but I get your point. Both these guys are extremely rich and have the time and money to invest in the development of hi-tech experimental weapons.

And generally speaking, aren't cops always a step behind technologically? (That's not meant as a criticism, just as a reality check.)

Response recorded on July 24, 2000

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Laura aka 'ad astra' writes...

Sorry to leave this as an amorphous blob of a question, but it is really one complex question on Fox: You have said that she is human [life expectancy, magical ability, etc] because she was raised that way. But Titania in The Gathering said she tried to get Fox's magic to surface many times. It almost seemed as if there was some sort of block on that magic surfacing. Is there a block, be it exterior to Fox, or from within her own subconscious? (if so, is it interior or exterior?) Granted Titania's efforts were probably not that straightforward, [I would assume the events of the Gathering were such a test, perhaps Walkabout.] wouldn't the earliest attempts, the ones when Fox was a child, have been more straight forward, and only when they failed, and Fox was old enough to do that endearing thing little children do (repeat what they oughtn't at inopportune moments) that they became hidden? I can see Titania wanting to raise a child that would appear to everyone as fully human even if it meant the child itself not knowing for a while, but did Titania want to raise a truly fully mortal child? It seems hard to believe that Titania would want to put herself through having a child only to have it age and die in a blink of her life span. Since you have said much depends on her POV, should Fox change her perception of herself could she tap into substantial fey magic, life expectancy? Do you see that happening?

Greg responds...

Uh... What was the question?

I'm not sure that Fox won't have a slightly longer life expectancy. But I wouldn't use the term "block" at all. There's no block. Her natural abilities have simply not been nurtured. Think of it as a muscle that has atrophied. Titania/Anastasia may have made some mistakes, may not have thought things out in advance. May have had one or more changes of heart. Where things go from here depends on a number of factors -- and in any case is a story for another day.

Or was that what you were asking?

Response recorded on July 19, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

According to what I've heard about your discussion of "The New Olympians" spin-off that you'd planned at the Gatherings, Xanatos would have shown up in it as a sort of trading partner to New Olympus, both under his own name and under Xavier. You've mentioned here earlier that Xavier was the "first-draft" name for Xanatos, back when "Gargoyles" was going to be a comedy series. Was Xavier/Xanatos originally created for the "New Olympians" series when it was first thought up, before "Gargoyles" came along, and then transfered to "Gargoyles" when "New Olympians" didn't get off the ground (the same as the New Olympians themselves eventually)?

Greg responds...

First off, there is no Xavier in the Garg Universe. The Xanatos name completely took it's place. And Xavier never appeared in the New Olympian Pitch. We pitched New Olympians first, pre-Gargoyles. (Based on an idea by Bob Kline.) Then after Gargoyles was up and running, we trotted the New Olympian pitch back out, made some minor changes, including the addition of Xanatos and pitched the show again. Still with no success.

But Xanatos was created for Gargoyles. Adding him to New Olympians, was an afterthought.

Response recorded on July 19, 2000

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Warpmind de InzanE writes...

After a sudden impulse of creativity I forced myself to do some *gasp, shudder* RESEARCH. Okay, I just checked my dictionaries, but still... I found that, indeed, Halcyon is the name of a bird... and Halcyon Renard's right-hand man is called Vogel, which means bird in German... intentional joke, or coincidence? (Concidering that their first appearance was in an airborne vessel, I lean toward the former...) So, what's the story? Did you have a punster come up with that one, or what? :)

Greg responds...

Cary Bates came up with both names. Actually, his orignal name for Halcyon Renard was Renard Halcyon. I switched it so that Fox was adapting her last name into her new name, not simply taking adapting her father's first name. That seemed weird, considering she was basically rejecting his value system.

I was unaware of the bird connections in either name. I can't say for sure if Cary knew. The word "halcyon" suggests a phrase like "those halcyon days of yore". That is something wonderful and nostaligic. It seemed very appropriate to the guy with the seemingly archaic value system.

Response recorded on July 11, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

Oh, and this is a little "general response" to "Max Steel", since my initial comments on the pilot episode also got lost in the crash.

I haven't fully made up my mind about it. On the one hand, the genre (secret agent-type adventure) isn't as much my personal piece of cake as the genre (urban fantasy with medieval connections) of "Gargoyles" was, so I haven't gotten as much into "Max Steel" so far. But I do think that it's quite well-written, with a good job on the conflicts that the hero has to face between his everyday life as Josh McGuire and his Max Steel role. My favorite part in it so far, however, has been the scenes involving the "mastermind villain" (Dredd, I believe his name was), who's got that same "calmly logical" quality that I found so appealing in Xanatos; I like how he responds to defeat in that very philosophical fashion. (In "Strangers", when discovering that L'Etrange's attempt to kidnap the German government for him failed, he just says with a shrug, "My fault, for entrusting such an important assignment to free-lancers", and in "Sphinxes", his commentary on the whole adventure at the Pyramids at the end definitely sounds Xanatosian, as he dwells on what they succeeded at and not what they failed at. I'm finding this element very appealing, not just because of its Xanatos-reminiscent style, but also because I rather like that kind of villain in general.

Greg responds...

Yeah, Dread is very Xanatosian (or rather both of them are quite Eiling-esque). I was bothered by that for awhile. Like I wasn't being original. But the truth is I had plans for Dread that would have clearly set him apart from Xanatos. (Plans that I won't be executing now.) And at any rate, I agree with you. That's the kind of villain I like. One I can respect.

And it's Josh McGrath, by the way, not McGuire.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Jenna writes...

You said that when Fox mainfested as a where fox, it was her own inner conflict and hatred emerging. My question is: why does she hate herself?

I've always wondered...

Greg responds...

A werefox. Not a where fox. And that's not what I said exactly. That's what I said happened when she looked at Elisa and saw herself. The Werefox was trying to kill Fox.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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The Gatekeeper writes...

My husband and I were talking this weekend about some of the great American industrialists; people like Carnegie, Pullman, and Kaiser to name a few of the better known ones (thank you PBS). We are both Garg fans, so this question came up in our rambling and I thought it would be interesting to see what your answer would be. I have my own ideas, as does DH (he thinks I'm romanticising a bit too much), but I would like to hear your ideas as well. So here it is:

In his younger days, did David Xanatos admire/idolize any of the past or present industrialists (real or fictional)? I'm sure he studied how they ran thier businesses, so did he also use any company as a model for his early empire?

Greg responds...

Probably. After all, David is without doubt a student of history. But I'd have to study those past Robber Barons to get specific with you.

But being a Stanford graduate, the name Leland Stanford immediately comes to mind. Notions of immortality included.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

Do you have to be a fay in order to be a trickster? I'm asking this because Xanatos is 100 % human, and he's definitely a trickster-figure just as surely as are Puck, Raven, Anansi, and Coyote, at least IMHO.

Greg responds...

Technically, yes. But anyone with the soul of a con artist, the hands of a pickpocket and a decent sense of humor can be a trickster.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Zeliard writes...

Hi mr. Weisman!

In Metamorphosis, why Xanatos didn't provided Goliath's DNA to Sevarius?

Thanks!

Greg responds...

He had already. That was a lie to help fool Derek. Thailog was already in the works.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Jarrod writes...

I was watching Gargoyles today mainly the "Cities of Stone" episodes. I noticed when demona was casting her spell she said to Owen when he was in a frozen state "You are the tricky one so we will make sure you stay put". Which makes me wonder, did Demona know that Owen was Puck? And if she knew that Owen is Puck, how long has she known that?

Greg responds...

Yes, she knows. She's known since before the rest of the clan was awakened.

There's a similar clue in "The Mirror", when Demona says to Puck, "You serve the human [i.e. Xanatos], you can serve me now." (Or something like that.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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galvatron writes...

Is the reason that Alexander is considered a Children of Oberon while Merlin is considered a halfling because Alexander is basically more powerful than Merlin?

Greg responds...

Who made those assumptions?

Merlin's technically a halfling because Oberon is his father but his mother is human.

Fox is also theoretically a halfling. Her mother is Titania. Her father is the human Halcyon Renard.

Alexander is technically a quarterling, I guess. He's fully human on his father's side and half human on his mother's side.

Response recorded on July 07, 2000

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LSZ writes...

Wealth:

1) Who has more money, Macbeth or Xanatos?
2) How much money do the Canmores have?
3) Just how much did the Pack profit financially from their tv show?

Greg responds...

1. From a liquid standpoint, Xanatos. Macbeth may have some extremely valuable items, that would be worth a fortune if he was willing to part with them, but he's largely not...

2. An extremely large trust.

3. Quite a bit. But not as much as Xanatos did.

Response recorded on July 03, 2000

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Ambrosia writes...

Hey Greg!
This is another response to a ramble on another beautiful ep!

Like Erin said, it's not supposed to happen. The brother of our heroine isn't supposed to be in the employ of the Bad Guy. The thing that interested me most was that scene with the different reactions between the trio. Broadway and Brooklyn's lines beg some thought… Derek should trust you… but trust doesn't mean much without honesty. In a kid's show, there is usually a very clear definition between Good and Bad, but Brooklyn is subtly saying that she hasn't been entirely honest with her brother. I love my trio. Oops, there's three. And poor Lex who carries a grudge as long as any other gargoyle is inching out the Six trying to start hunting the Pack down. Great personality work. These aren't Huey Duey and Louie.

Again, the Good and Bad thing going on with Xanatos. He's supposed to be the antagonist, but he just acts so… suave! One might mistake him for a great guy… I guess Derek did.

The scene with Fox? I think the beams of light from heaven surrounding her enraptured face as she pictures "David" gave it away. :) When I first saw it, I for some reason thought that Fox was infatuated with Xanatos, but didn't know it was mutual. Silly me.

Thanks!

Greg responds...

Nah, you're not silly. We had to have some secrets.

Response recorded on June 30, 2000

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Andrew Warren writes...

In regards to "Her Brother's Keeper."

Great episode for Xanatos. The convuluted plan demands respect, but I was even more impressed with how his whole team worked together. While Elisa is bickering with her brother, Xanantos, Fox, and Owen are working together seamlessly to call the tune. Even Jackal and Hyena seem to be playing at sibling rivalry rather than suffering from it.

And, yes, it was obvious Fox had a thing for Xanatos here. Also that she was already pretty close to him. Not only is there that whole "brilliant man" line, but she also calls him David. Not many people in the series are on a first name basis with the guy.

The coyote diamond would be a great clue later on in the series. Was this conscious forshadowing for "Leader of the Pack" or "Cloud Fathers?" I'd guess almost certainly the former and perhaps the latter as well.

Greg responds...

Xanatos and Coyote. Two-sides of a coin.

Response recorded on June 30, 2000

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Kevy Kakes writes...

In the episode 'Future Tense,' Demona is killed by Cyber-Xanatos, didn't Goliath know something was up then? Because clearly Xanatos is not MacBeth, and therefore cannot kill Demona...Puck knew Demona was immortal because of 'The Mirror,' did Puck just kinda forget, or was he not worried about the details of his little scheme. Just a little somethin' somethin' to ponder and answer for us, or just me

Greg responds...

I think that Goliath's head was fairly well turned upside down by all that had happened up to that point.

As for Puck, what in "The Mirror" gives you the impression that Puck/Owen knows about the Demona/Macbeth connection?

Response recorded on June 29, 2000

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Chapter XV: "Metamorphosis"

STORY EDITOR: Michael Reaves
WRITERS: Brynne Chandler Reaves & Lydia Marano

The first appearance of Anton Sevarius and the MUTATES: Maggie the Cat, Fang and Claw. Derek had appeared before, but this was TALON's "first appearance" as well.

In our original development, the Talon character was called CATSCAN. He wasn't Elisa's brother. In fact, he was sorta Sevarius. That is, he was the scientist who created the mutagenic formula. At first he works for Xavier (Xanatos), but later -- when he realizes that Xavier was responsible for the "accident" that turned him into Catscan -- he tries to hunt Xanatos down, forcing Goliath to actually protect Xanatos in order to save Catscan's soul. This version of Catscan was basically the inspiration of my good friend Fred Schaefer, who was a Disney Development Associate at the time. Part of the team. Oh, and Catscan was a solo act, there were no other Mutates. And he didn't have wings either. He fired some kind of radiation bolt from his eyes.

Later, we began to prep Derek for the Catscan/Talon role. I don't remember if we knew Derek's fate way back in "Deadly Force", when he was introduced, but we definitely knew by "Her Brother's Keeper". One of the reasons we made him a pilot was to give him some flight background to justify how quickly we needed him to learn to fly. This was emphasized HERE by putting him in a glider.

Anton Sevarius became a separate character obviously. Michael Reaves, I believe, came up with his name. At first, I didn't like it. I thought it was too cartoony. Now I think it suits him.

Rereading my memo, it seems I was thinking of Brent Spiner to play Sevarius. I hadn't remembered that. Of course, no one else could be Sevarius except Tim Curry. And Brent was a perfect Puck for us too. So all's well that ends well. (But can you imagine if somehow the rolls had been switched?) Tim has some great lines here: "...Or has that changed?" is one of my favorites. He's so hungry.

FYI - That's Jonathan Frakes voicing Fang's one-liner in this episode. We couldn't afford to hire a separate actor for one line. So Jonathan stepped in. Of course, later Fang was taken over by Jim Belushi. But I don't think anyone noticed.

Gotta love the Snidely Whiplash reference.

As I mentioned in my last Ramble on "Leader", Xanatos' plans were getting more and more sophisticated. Here we had two humdingers in a row. The one in "Leader" is just a lot of fun. This one is cruel. Throughout the story, we (I think) tend to believe in Xanatos' mea culpa and his outrage regarding the Mutates ("They'll crucify you. And if they don't, I WILL!!"). Why? Because he's so darn likable we want to think well of him. (Who was fooled? I'd like to know.) Also his story rings true. When he tells Sevarius, "I've been in prison before." We know he has. We believe he could take it again. It's that touch of truth amid the lies that makes him so sharp.

And Owen was complicit. On one level, that shouldn't be surprising, yet there's something of the Mr. Spock about Owen. As faithful as you know he is, you don't actually expect him to lie.

And frankly, the plan is SO complex. I hope it's believable when all is said and done. We made a real effort to make sure that it could have worked, that if it hadn't gone EXACTLY as depicted it would feel like there would have been alternative scenarios that would have generated the same result. Of course the master-stroke is Sevarius' death. Our S&P executive raised an eyebrow over that, as she finished reading Act Two. Fortunately, she was the type who finished the script before knee-jerking us with an objection. We got away with depicting a violent death on-screen -- because it was fake. (But who was fooled?)

We tried to play fair with a number of clues throughout. We used Xanatos' own security team as the "hired mercenaries" that Sevarius was using. Only Xanatos checks Sevarius' pulse. When Matt and Elisa are later investigating the scene, there's no body and NO CHALK OUTLINE either. They have no idea that anyone even theoretically was supposed to have DIED there. And Sevarius is SO OVER THE TOP. That should have been a stylistic clue. It was way fun to do -- and it took great acting on Tim's part to act that badly and still make it play.

For once the script came in a tad short. So the board artist added the bit where the gargoyles break out of stone and we see the debris rain down on the people below. Pigeons fly off into the night. (Just a little touch of realism.) Very nice.

I was never too fond of Elisa's Zen Master joke. Still, in the comic book story I wrote before the Marvel comic book was cancelled, I created a Zen Master character. (Just compulsive I guess.)

My original plan for Gen-U-Tech was to abreviate its name as G.U.T.S. As in the company that twists yours up. (The full name is Genetic Undiscovered Technical Systems.) Instead it became Gen-U-Tech, which is probably better. But I can't remember who made the change. The script has plenty of GUTS references in the descriptions. But it may have escaped my notice that it has none in the dialogue. And the logos designed all read Gen-U-Tech, not guts. I wonder if Frank & Michael were slyly protecting me from a mis-step?

I like the conflict between Brooklyn & Broadway here. All the interplay with the trio is very well handled, I think. Were people really rooting for Brooklyn & Maggie to wind up together?

Not our best animated episode. Both the modeling and the animation leave a bit to be desired. Derek's ears look mid-transformation long before he's hit with that dart. Makes me cringe, but I guess if the audience isn't expecting him to get changed, they don't notice the subtle pointyness to the ears, until after the contents of the dart are revealed. But on a second viewing...?

Maggie Reed: "I'm from Ohio." As if that should explain EVERYTHING. I love that line.

"Morgan Reed", by the way, was one of our may early names for what eventually became Elisa Chavez, Elisa Bluestone and finally Elisa Maza. (I never waste anything.)

Observations from my daughter Erin:

1. "I like the click of their boots." [Erin complimenting the foley during the recapture of Maggie in the alley.]

2. "His hands ARE tied!" [My clever Erin catching the irony. Elisa says "My hands are tied." Brooklyn responds, "Well mine aren't." But then he turns to stone, prompting Erin's observation.]

3. "Hudson and Bronx always stay home." [Erin commenting on our proclivity for leaving Hudson & Bronx behind at the castle or clock tower when Goliath and the Trio go off. It is kind of a rip.]

Another great series of endings and false endings.

Xanatos tells Owen to bring him the "best geneticist on the planet."

The gargs arrive and fight the Mutates. Elisa arrives. Xanatos asks her to "stop this senseless violence". [Ahh, what a lovely bastard he is.]

Maggie makes the accurate observation that Brooklyn wants her to stay a monster. And yet despite that incite, she clearly still believes that both she and Brooklyn ARE monsters. She's as bound up in appearances as he is.

Talon names himself. It's kinda odd. But I think it works.

Elisa declares war on Xanatos. And for a split-second it registers on his face. Something has actually given him pause.

And then Owen brings in the best geneticist. I still wonder if it's immediately clear that this "new guy" IS Sevarius. He looks SO different. And Tim wasn't using the hoky accent anymore. Was anyone else confused, even momentarily? But anyway, it's another stunner Xanatos Tag. Did your eyes bug out? Or did you know by this time?

And finally, back to the Tower. Brooklyn is in a funk. But Elisa...

This entire episode is obviously a direct sequel to "Brother's Keeper". Right down to the end. In the end of that one, Elisa can do nothing but stare sadly out at the snow. But we're past that now. Now she cries. Xanatos doesn't wind up with the Mutates, though he correctly predicts there eventual return, but this is his clearest victory yet. The Mutates blame the gargs. Talon still believes X is his best chance at a cure. And he has an emotional and physical weapon against Elisa and the gargs. I was proud of us for ending a "cartoon" on such a relatively down note. Can't always have happy endings. How many people were surprised we ended it that way?

That's it. Comments welcome...


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"Metamorphosis" Memo

I recently re-viewed "Metamorphosis". Before typing up my ramble on the subject, here's an unedited look at the memo I wrote to story editor Michael Reaves in July, 1994 regarding Brynne & Lydia's first draft of their outline for the episode....
________

WEISMAN 7-27-94

Notes on "Metamorphosis" Outline...
O.K. I made a few changes, as usual. Here's a bit of the reasoning, so they don't seem arbitrary. (I may be a pain to work with, but I try not to be arbitrary.)

THEME
The theme of today's adventure is SELF-DECEPTION. (We played the family theme in "Her Brother's Keeper". And since this is such a direct sequel to that one, I don't want to be playing the same emotional beats. That's not to say that "Family" isn't a secondary or tertiary theme running through this episode as well as our entire series, but we don't need to go out of our way to emphasize it here.) Derek is DECEIVED by Xanatos and Sevarius. But the deception would not have worked without Derek's own cooperation and SELF-DECEPTION. That's the tragedy. He's a victim, but he's helped to victimize himself, by fooling himself into believing that Xanatos was either a right guy or someone he could handle. But you can't play with fire without getting burned.

We'll reemphasize the theme with Xanatos himself, who will say that Sevarius fooled him and then admit that he really fooled himself, because he wanted to believe Sevarius. Of course this whole thing is an act on Xanatos' part, but it'll still reinforce the theme.

But as well as the above works, it unfortunately leaves our gargoyles as real fifth wheels to the story. So I've tossed in a little self-deception sub-plot for Brooklyn, as well.

ELISA & DEREK'S PARENTS
I've cut them. Partially out of economics. But mostly because they didn't seem to have much to say or do here. So I decided to keep our focus on Elisa & Derek.

ELISA & DEREK'S ARGUMENT
I'd rather not simply reiterate the conflict of "Her Brother's Keeper". In fact, I don't want to have to summon up the specific details of that episode. I think we should assume that in between the two seasons, Derek listened to Fox's taped "revelation" and that he and Elisa have already argued about it specifically. Now they are past that and in a mode of uneasy truce. He's talked himself into believing that Xanatos can't be that bad... or that if he is Derek'll find out for himself from the inside. Either way he can handle it. (Again: massive self-deception here.) Elisa has retreated to a "it's-your-life-but-don't-expect-me-to-approve" mode. They've agreed to disagree.

DEREK'S JOB
I think soliciting the homeless with a promise of money and food in exchange for being part of a scientific experiment is too slimy for even the self-deceiving Derek to swallow. Besides, it's not what he was hired to do. He's Xanatos' pilot and bodyguard. For these reasons, I've altered the set-up some.

THE HOMELESS
Michael, this story really seemed to dovetail with what you suggested for a future story on the Homeless underground. MAGGIE and the homeless men seemed like great potential characters. So I've increased their role here. (Particularly Maggie's.) In some episode down the road, Derek can lead his "people" underground.

CYBERBIOTICS
I don't want Xanatos to own Cyberbiotics. I don't have a specific idea in mind, but we might need a corporate opponent someday and I'd rather not have to create a new one. I've switched it to Genetic Undiscovered Technical Systems, also known as Gen-U-Tech or G.U.T.S., which I stuck into the bible a long time back. We never used it last season, so when it's first mentioned here, neither Elisa or Goliath will know that Xanatos owns it. I think it'll serve the same purpose.

POLICE PROCEDURES
Some of the actions that Matt and Elisa take seemed odd to me. Elisa allows Goliath to stop her from confronting Derek outside the building, but is intent on confronting him inside the building and is willing to bend the law to do it. I don't mind the bending so much as the inconsistency. Matt and Elisa talk their way by the guard, but then someone manning the cameras activates the security doors and gas. Who's manning the cameras? A different guard? Someone who wants Elisa to get through, but not Matt? The cameras must have seen that they got Matt but not her. I may be missing something, but I've made some changes to streamline this stuff.

THE PINKIE SWEAR
I don't think Derek would reveal his condition to his sister. Deep down, he must know that his self-deception has gotten him into this mess. He'd be ashamed of that and his monstrous appearance. He wouldn't initiate the pinkie swear at the end. Then again, neither would she with a monster she doesn't know. I love the pinkie swear, but I don't know if it can work here. What if in scene 2, Elisa's gesture is a more standard cross-my-heart thing, which Derek usually follows with some unique response like cross-my-eyes. Something silly that they've been doing since they were kids. Then at the end, she tries to talk to the monster; tries to inspire its trust with the standard cross-my-heart gesture. And before Derek can think about it, he automatically responds with his unique response.

THE MONSTER'S MIND
I don't think Xanatos ever wanted to destroy Derek's mind or make him amnesiatic, weak or easily controllable. That's more Demona's style. Xanatos has set up this whole con to manipulate Derek into serving him, as he did with Goliath in the pilot. He doesn't need Derek to be an automaton. He's already got robots. They haven't worked so great. He prefers having independent thinkers working for him. Like Owen, for example.

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
1. Open at NIGHT, with a shadowed DOCTOR SEVARIUS (Brent Spiner?) soliciting MAGGIE, the young homeless woman in the alley. Emphasize his limp. [No Derek involved.] Maybe give her a bit of dialogue. She's down on her luck. Lost her job, her apartment. It's a temporary set-back. (A bit of self deception here too.) She goes with him.

2. The next day at a small air field, ELISA is watching her brother DEREK land the new glider he just bought with the high salary that Xanatos pays him. They eat lunch at a hot dog stand. It's a bit awkward. But it's not Elisa's problem. It's Derek who clearly has a chip on his shoulder.

Derek: You're still mad I'm working for Xanatos. But he's not as bad as you think. And if he is, then I'll be right there on the inside to nail him.

Elisa: I think you're kidding yourself. But it's your life. Just don't expect me to agree with your decision.

They agree to disagree and do some equivalent to the pinkie swear thing. Something where she initiates the exchange with something more generic and he does something unique as an almost automatic response.

3. That night at the clock tower, the gargoyles split up to patrol the city they protect. BROOKLYN and BROADWAY are one team. They spot a shadowy creature on the ground. (It has wings, but it doesn't fly. Maybe the wings aren't fully developed yet.) For a second, the gargoyles think that it may be another gargoyle (perhaps Demona) and pursue it. The thing is clearly afraid of them and flees.

They finally catch up to it. We get a quick partial view. It's female! Maybe by the hair color and voice the audience guesses that it's Maggie. She is wearing a special bracelet, with a small light that blinks on and off and beeps quietly. Brooklyn is instantly smitten. (Maybe he thinks she's a gargoyle at first, maybe her shapely wings turn him on or something.) He says they aren't trying to hurt her but help.

Suddenly, they are surrounded by private "ambulances", out of which pour private "orderlies" (i.e. armed troops). (All of the above bare the GUTS logo.) The bracelet was a tracking device. Maggie is still more afraid of the gargoyles than the humans trying to take her back into custody. The troops are clearly surprised to see three creatures instead of one. The head guy says take them all. They pull out tranquilizer rifles and start shooting. Maggie tries to surrender. Brooklyn tries to stop her and accidentally pulls the bracelet off her wrist. He is shot by the tranq darts. It's all Broadway can do to get him safely out of there. The troops get away with Maggie.

4. At the Castle, Derek lands Xanatos' chopper and the two men disembark to find OWEN waiting for them. Owen's gotten some interesting expense reports from Gen-U-Tech Systems, one of Xanatos' subsidiaries. XANATOS isn't surprised. He gave Doctor Sevarius, the head of R & D there an interesting assignment. Would that assignment require armed mercenaries? No... it would not. Xanatos says he better check this out personally. Derek insists on coming along. (As a good bodyguard should.)

5. Back at the clock tower, Brooklyn is just coming out of it. Broadway has already filled Elisa and the other gargoyles in on what happened. But Brooklyn's version is slightly different. He's convinced himself (self-deception) that he made a real connection with the she-thing. She needs and wants his help. (Broadway's dubious. She was clearly more scared of them than of the goons.) Brooklyn shows Elisa the bracelet. (We know it's not tracking anymore because the light is busted and it no longer beeps.) She sees the G.U.T.S. logo. Brooklyn & Broadway remember the same logo being on the "ambulances". It means nothing to her, but she promises to check.

6. At Gen-U-Tech, Xanatos and Derek are greeted by Sevarius. Emphasize Sevarius' limp. He seems over-anxious, slightly paranoid. A bit of a mad scientist. Xanatos is playing it cool. He wants an update. Sevarius sits them down for a Jurassic Park style slide-show presentation. Xanatos had asked Sevarius to genetically create Gargoyles from scratch. (Derek is stunned. But keeps his cool and says nothing.)

As Sevarius explains his thought processes, we watch footage of Goliath battling a Steel Clan robot or Macbeth from the first season...
A. The logical decision would be to clone gargoyles from a gargoyle specimen.
1. But he was told that there was no specimen available. a. Sevarius, greedily: "Or has that changed?"
b. Xanatos says, no, it hasn't changed.
B. S: Well, then, in lieu of a direct clone he would have to build his gargoyle from scratch using available genetic material.
1. It would require the strength, speed and agility of a jungle cat (or maybe a bear? are there other options? Talk to Frank about what he wants to do? No wolf or other canines though.)
2. The wings of a bat.
a. Mutated to giant size.
3. Xanatos: "And the intelligence of a human being."
a. S: "Exactly."
C. But according to his calculations it still wouldn't work.
1. Animals are no different from machines.
a. They still require fuel to operate.
b. We get fuel by eating.
2. To keep its strength and stamina this thing would have to eat the equivalent of three cows a day.
3. X: Well then how do the gargoyles survive?
4. S: By hibernating as stone for 12 hours a day.
a. This allows them to store up energy and thus work at peak efficiency for the entire night.
b. The stone hibernation process is unknown in the animal kingdom. Sevarius had to find a substitute.
5. He presses a button revealing a glass case full of electric eels. The electric eels store and utilize myo-electric (bio-electric?) energy which could fuel the new creation.

Derek finally cuts in. This is all great theory (he's still deceiving himself into believing that these are two guys discussing hypotheticals), but why is Sevarius hiring armed mercenaries?

Sevarius seems sincerely embarrassed. He had to hire them. One of his test subjects escaped.

Xanatos and Derek simultaneously: WHAT?!! (Meaning: "You have test subjects?!!"

Sevarius misses point of their concern and says don't worry we caught her again. Look... And he presses a button that slides a panel revealing a glass wall revealing Maggie and two males now fully morphed into winged cat creatures. (Or whatever. Perhaps one looks Tiger-esque, one looks lionesque, etc., saving the coolest look for Derek. Again, ask Frank how he wants to go.)

On the reveal... we fade to black.

ACT TWO
7. Pick up where we left off. Xanatos is stunned. Derek is horrified. Sevarius is giddy. (He seems like a border-line nut case throughout acts one and two.) Xanatos is astounded that Sevarius grew these things from scratch in such a short time.

Sevarius admits proudly that he took a shortcut. He injected bums with a mutagenic formula. Now Xanatos is horrified. And furious. Derek starts to turn on him, but Xanatos never intended for this to happen. "Sevarius deceived me. No. That's not entirely true. I deceived myself." He'd been warned about Sevarius' "unethical" practices, but he wanted to believe in the man, because he wanted to achieve his own goals. Xanatos is deeply ashamed of himself. But he's determined to make it better, cure these people.

Sevarius is astonished. He has no idea what he's done wrong. They were just bums. No friends. No family. He's made them into something better. He won't let Xanatos destroy all the progress he's made. He reaches for one of the tranquilizer guns that his troops used earlier, he takes aim at Xanatos and fires. Derek pushes Xanatos out of the way and takes the dart in the shoulder. He then quickly disarms Sevarius.

Derek and Xanatos examine the dart. A tranquilizer? Derek doesn't feel sleepy. Sevarius crumpled in the corner starts to laugh. The dart wasn't loaded with tranqs. It was loaded with the mutagenic formula.

8. Back at the precinct, Matt has tracked the GUTS logo to Gen-U-Tech. But he won't tell Elisa until he finds out why she needs to know. Elisa says she got an anonymous tip on a kidnapping. The bracelet was their only clue. She and Matt leave to investigate.

9. Back at Gen-U-Tech, Derek's still in shock. Xanatos demands to know if there's an antidote. Sevarius says there is one. Inside his head. He could create one, but why should he? Just then, a Gen-u-Tech guard comes in with word that the police are here. Xanatos gets very threatening: "By all means invite them in. Let's give them the slide show. Introduce them to the finished product.."

S: "You bankrolled all my experiments. You wouldn't dare."

X: "I'll take my chances. I've been in prison before. But you... The police, the press, the public... they're going to crucify you. And if they don't -- I will."
(The audience should believe that Xanatos was prepared to do anything to help Derek.)

Sevarius is very frightened and agrees to manufacture the antidote if Xanatos will agree not to turn him in. X agrees for now. But one more step out of line and it's over.

10. Downstairs, a very nervous and hinky Sevarius agrees to take Matt and Elisa on a brief tour of the facility to allay their preposterous suspicions of a kidnapping. At one point, Xanatos and Derek watch them from behind a one way mirror. Xanatos tells Derek that if he wants to step out and tell his sister everything, Xanatos would support that decision, even if it meant he had to go back to prison. But Derek decides not to. He'll give Sevarius a chance to come up with a cure first. But he tells Xanatos that if Sevarius can't cure him... If he turns into a freak like one of those others... Well, if that happens, he doesn't ever want Elisa to know.

11. Back at the clock tower, Elisa fills the gargoyles in. Sevarius was one hinky individual. She thinks Brooklyn may be right. But there's nothing she can do without evidence for a warrant. But Brooklyn's a private "citizen". He doesn't need a warrant. He's determined to help that she-thing and nothing's gonna stop him. Except the dawn. They turn to stone.

12. Back at Sevarius' lab, he's hard at work on the antidote serum. (He grouses about having Xanatos looking over his shoulder all the time.) In a shadowed corner, Derek cries out in pain. The transformation is beginning. (Though we don't see him clearly.) Sevarius suggests putting Derek in the glass prison with the other specimens. Xanatos just tells him to shut up and keep working.

13. Sunset at the clock tower. Brooklyn and the others explode out of their stone cocoons. Brooklyn's fire hasn't died out during their sleep. He's determined to go. Goliath agrees. But they'll do it his way.

14. At Gen-U-Tech, we find out what Goliath had in mind. Not a massive raid, but a surgical strike. Just himself, Brooklyn and Lex. (He needs Lex to work the security systems. He would have left Brook at home if he thought Brooklyn would have stayed put.) They get in all right, they even discover Maggie in her glass cage. But again she is more afraid of them, than of her captors. Brooklyn is determined to "save" her, and the ruckus they cause soon alerts Sevarius' guards. She is shot with a tranq dart. Brooklyn scoops her up and the gargoyles attempt to fight their way out. A battle through the complex begins, the guards switching to heavier weapons.

15. Meanwhile Sevarius has finished the serum and is about to inoculate a shadowed Derek. Unfortunately, the battle has moved in their direction. Derek is forced to battle the gargoyles to protect his chance at a cure. We reveal Derek as 50% mutated and already unrecognizable to Goliath and the others. In the struggle, the air-hypo with the serum falls and shatters. And then there is an explosion. Sevarius is thrown against the tank of electric eels and is electrocuted. He falls to the ground. Xanatos approaches. Checks for a pulse. He turns to Derek. Sevarius is dead.

ACT THREE
16. Brooklyn, Lex and Goliath escape with the unconscious Maggie. Derek curses them, blaming them for ruining his chance at a cure. Then he collapses to the floor. Xanatos tries to snap him out of it. They have to get out of here before the police show up. Or does he want his sister to see him like this? Derek agrees to leave with Xanatos. But what about the other creatures? We'll bring them, poor souls. Somehow, some way we'll find a cure for all of you.

17. Back at the clock tower, Maggie awakens to find herself surrounded by six monsters...the gargoyles. Brooklyn tries to reassure her. She's safe now. But she's terrified. She unconsciously sparks off electrical energy that keeps Brook at a distance. Maggie doesn't want to be a monster, she just wants to be human again. Can they make her human again? Brooklyn doesn't know what to say. The sun is about to come up. The gargoyles will soon turn to stone. They tell Maggie to rest. (Hudson offers her the use of his t.v.) Goliath promises they will start searching for some kind of cure tomorrow night, even if it means confronting Xanatos in his castle.

18. Gen-U-Tech, daytime, but very foggy. Matt and Elisa are racking up the overtime, as they investigate last night's ruckus. No signs of the kidnapping victims. No signs of Sevarius. A lot of mangled high-tech equipment and weapons. And cages full of jungle cats, bats and eels. And the not-so-shocking discovery that Xanatos owns Gen-U-Tech.

19. Just after sunset at the clock tower. Brooklyn is bumming because Maggie has vanished. He's still not ready to admit that she doesn't want his help. She probably took off immediately after sunrise, when the fog-shrouded streets were still pretty empty. But where would she go? Xanatos' castle. That's where Goliath said they'd start their search for a cure. Hudson and Bronx will stay at the clock tower on the off chance she returns. Goliath and the trio will head to the castle.

20. At the castle, we find Xanatos telling Owen to find him the best geneticist on the planet, and fast. Outside in the wards, above the layer of fog, we find Derek, now fully transformed. He is teaching Maggie and the other two to glide. (They don't have a bat's natural instinct or the training that he has.) He's a natural if reluctant leader. Figures that until they find a cure they might as well learn to use their new abilities. (One of the guys should probably really enjoy flying. He's the only one not in a hurry to be cured. The other guy is mute, but with a saner more normal response.) Even Maggie seems a bit more at ease. She's now with people facing the same predicament, who are actively looking for a cure. Derek seems like a pillar of strength to lean on.

The Gargoyles arrive. Derek requires no prompting to lead his flying tigers on the attack. He beelines for Goliath. The other two males go after Lex and Broadway. But Brooklyn targets Maggie. He's determined to reach her. Air battle, complete with electricity. Somewhere in here Elisa arrives. Xanatos lets her in, hoping that somehow she can stop this pointless fighting.

Maggie battles Brooklyn, who doesn't really fight back. He tries again to tell her that he cares about her. You don't even know me, she says. The only thing they have in common is that they're both monsters. She doesn't want to be a monster. She hates monsters!! She gives him one massive zap to drive the message home.

Although Lex and Broadway are more than holding their own, Goliath isn't doing as well against Derek and is zapped into unconsciousness, falling across one of the outer battlements. Derek comes in for the kill. But Elisa is there. She doesn't recognize Derek, and for obvious reasons it never occurs to her that this is her brother. But she's never been one to judge by appearances, so she tries to talk to the creature, calmly. She asks its name. Derek laughs for a moment. Then looking at his own hands, he coins the name TALON. She tries to tell Talon that Goliath is her friend. Talon says that "her friend" is the reason Talon's been turned into a monster. Elisa says that if that's true, it must have been an accident. Goliath would never intentionally hurt anyone. She swears, cross-her-heart. And without thinking, he does the follow up gesture. She's stunned. (He's horrified.) It takes a moment to compute, but when it does... "Derek? Is that you?!" Derek denies it, but she knows now. "Xanatos. Somehow he did this to you?!" "No, he's my only chance at a cure." "Derek, how long are you going to grasp at that straw?! Deep down you must know who's to blame for this. Derek, let me help you!!" She moves towards him, but he can't face her. Because deep down he knows that he's to blame for his predicament. He goes screaming off into the night.

The other "cats" including Maggie don't know where Talon's going, but he's their leader. They follow. Broadway and Lex help Goliath and Brooklyn to their feet. Should they pursue the cats? But Brooklyn says no. He'd been kidding himself. He can't help her, particularly if she doesn't want his help.

Elisa faces off against Xanatos. He says he's been trying to help. But there's no way she's buying it. IT'S WAR NOW. Somehow, she's going to nail him. Count on it. Elisa and the gargoyles leave.

Owen enters. He's found the best geneticist on the planet that Xanatos was asking for. A man enters wearing a slouch hat and trench coat. With a flourish, he reveals himself as Sevarius. (Minus the cane, the limp, and the manic, paranoid, mad scientist demeanor. It was all a put on.) He's very proud of his performance, particularly his death scene, though Xanatos thought he hammed it up a bit. Still Sevarius is amazed they pulled it off. It took months of forcing the early subjects to "escape" until one of them was spotted by the gargoyles. For a while there he thought they'd never find each other. Yes, Xanatos agrees, but once the gargoyles did find the test subject things couldn't have proceeded more predictably. And Xanatos was right that Derek's particular abilities were well-suited to his new form. Sevarius is worried that they've lost Derek and the others. But Xanatos knows they'll be back. Talon has convinced himself that I'm his only chance at a cure. It's a delusion he can't afford to give up. Not without giving up all his hope as well.

21. Back at the castle, Brooklyn nurses his own wounds in bitter silence. But Goliath is more concerned about Elisa, who is also quiet, but crying bitter tears in spite of herself. It's not over, he tells her. No, she agrees, wiping her eyes. It's definitley not over.


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Blaise writes...

THE EDGE

This is always a fun episode for me to watch just because of Xanatos. To me this seems very much to be his episode. Agreed, the fact that he didn't penalize Owen for having beaten him at sparing was very refreshing (and totally in-character for him, I thought). The scene between him and Goliath is priceless. Usually in "animated action/adventure shows" it is the villain who blows his top and rants while the hero remains cool. Here, just the opposite occurs. It's very nice to see the villain not falling prey to the usual pitfalls and cliches.
And no, when I first saw this I didn't think that Xanatos and the Red Steel Clan were one and the same. When the "robot" began ascertaining the status of his comrades, my siblings and I (we were all watching this episode together) remarked that Xanatos had apparently created a robot that could think. Then our jaws hit the floor when we came to the Tag at the end.
The cliff-hanger of Act I did have less of an impact on me because I knew the thief was Steel Clan, but I still did wonder what Elisa might do, and how she'd explain herself out of it.
Matt left me intrigued. Not so much from his little spiel on the Illuminati, but from the fact that he DID make a good point about partners (you already gave the quote). One would almost expect his type of character to be an idiotic bumbler and/or a complete jerk--comedy relief. I'm glad he wasn't just a one-note character, but actually got to grow and develop along with everyone else.
I also enjoy the scenes of the clan adjusting to their new home. Goliath reading Dostoyevsky (however the heck you spell that). I haven't read any of his works yet, but maybe when the mood takes me.... (Considering what Goliath ruminated on while reading the book--Xanatos, the castle, and so forth--I think I can guess the title of the book).
And of course, SUPERB animation.

Greg responds...

Xanatos was always our idea of the hero as villain (not to be confused with an anti-hero). He'd have a lot of very heroic traits, even some our heroes didn't have.

As for Matt, what use would an idiot partner be to Elisa? I respect her too much to saddle her with a fool.

Response recorded on June 26, 2000

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Tas Vince Burrfoot writes...

Dear Greg,

One question that may settle it all (depending on whether you're in a giving mood).

A subject that has not been asked in a long time: Did the content of Titania's whisper to Fox in "Gathering Part 2" have anything to do with the latter's fey powers?

Thanks,

TVB

Greg responds...

It was pithy. Does that help?

Response recorded on June 26, 2000

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Joxter the Mighty writes...

A couple of questions about, of all things.... Shaving.

1. Xanatos- Electric or old fashioned razor?

2. Owen- Does he need to shave at all, or is a side effect of the "out Vogeled vogel" character include always being clean cut?

The gargs- In the past whenever anyone assumed that Hudson is odd because only has a beard and that the other gargs don't shave, you've basically responded "Who said they didn't". So...

3. *DO* the other gargs need to shave?

4. If so, what do they shave with, particularly Goliath on the Avalon tour?

5. Would Brooklyn ever seriously consider growing a beard, since it'd probably look rather akward on his beak?

6. COuld Brooklyn grow a beard even if he wanted to?

Just an odd tangent I was suddeny inspired to ask. Thanks for your time Greg.

Greg responds...

1. Ask Fox.

2. He shaves.

3. Not Angela.

4. Superman checked in periodically, and volunteered his heat-vision.

5. Would you in his circumstances?

6. Only a Goatee.

Response recorded on June 26, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

A question here about Owen/Puck. In the original legends about Puck, under his "Robin Goodfellow" alias, he's portrayed as a sort of household spirit, helping to look after the home in which he dwells and assisting the humans who live there in the upkeep of their home. Now, it's recently occurred to me that Owen's duties to the Xanatos household could indeed be viewed as almost a mundane equivalent to those of Robin Goodfellow, the way that he similarly looks after Xanatos's home and keeps it running well. Which consequently makes the fact that Owen and Puck are really the same all the more appropriate.

Is this something that you've noticed before, that Owen serves as almost the "mundane equivalent" to a household spirit for Xanatos?

Greg responds...

GREG SAYS:
No. Not really, because, obviously, I'm more familiar with Shakespeare's Robin "Puck" Goodfellow, then the one you refer to.

BENNY SAYS:
I want to say that Mama likes Bigtime and Iggy and I like them, but I shoo them. And I'm sorry about that.

Response recorded on June 25, 2000

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Chapter XIV: "Leader of the Pack"

I've already dealt with the changes between the first and second seasons of GARGOYLES. (See a previous ramble on that subject.) And hopefully you've all read the serialized postings of the memo I wrote to Michael Reaves in July of 94. Note the date. I was writing that memo to Michael a good three months before the first season of the series would actually premiere. Meaning, Michael, myself, all of us, were just guessing.

Now, finally, I have the time to sit down and ramble about my recent re-viewing of "Leader"...

STORY EDITOR: Michael Reaves.
WRITER: Steven Perry.

Some things were coming to fruition in this episode. A CY.O.T.I. robot had been part of the original development of the show and the Pack. Six characters seemed like a bit much, but the main reason we left CY.O.T.I. out of "Thrill of the Hunt" was because of the way we wound up intro-ing the Pack, that is as a group of T.V. super-heroes. Giving them a realistic robot in that context didn't seem to fit. By the time we got around to introducing the show's version of the Coyote robot (note the NORMAL spelling) much had changed in how we conceived the thing. And yet many of the original elements were still present, if altered. The orignal CY.O.T.I. (CYber-Operational Technical Individual -- or something like that) was a hovering robotic head. But not a Xanatos head. It was a dog-faced head. The head could attach to multiple different robotic bodies, as well as lock into various vehicles as a kind-of autoMATED pilot. One of the robotic bodies was four-legged, dog-shaped. Another was bipedal. But in either case there was never any question that the robot was a robot.

But by the time, we got to "Leader" we had learned so much more about our characters, that our whole conception of CY.O.T.I. changed into the Coyote you know. Part of the change came right out of how sophisticated Xanatos himself was. David constantly made Michael and I jump through hoops to come up with trickier and trickier plots. Plots that would allow the Gargoyles to generally triumph, and yet allow Xanatos to snatch some real victory out of seeming total defeat in what had become our trademark Xanatos Tag sequences. The one in "Leader" is one of the best, which brings up another thing that came to fruition in this episode. When we first created the Pack, I had NO IDEA that Fox and Xanatos were an item. That was a complete discovery, a revelation that came to us during the making of "Her Brother's Keeper": akin to, "Ohmigod, Fox is in love with David!!!" I don't know if it shocked you guys, but it sure came as a surprise to me, their so-called creator. Another instance when I think of myself less as a writer, and more as simply the guy who was tapping into what was really going on in the GARGOYLES UNIVERSE. When did you guys figure it out? During "Brother's Keeper"? During "Leader"? Or not until the end of "Leader" when it was objectively revealed? (Obviously, any of you who saw later episodes first are disqualified from voting on this one.)

Anyway, since we knew they were destined for each other, and we had this semi-top secret plan for them to marry and extremely top-secret plan for them to procreate, we knew we had to get Fox out of jail. And not break her out. But have her out more-or-less scott free. So that would be Xanatos' plan. All the subterfuge would lead to that. Having the robot pose as Xanatos in armor, allowed us for the kind of multiple surprise onion-peeling kind of story that I just live for. Plus it would leave us with a more wieldy five-man Pack again. Fox would graduate. Coyote would take her place.

One tricky thing was electronically futzing Jonathan Frakes' voice when Coyote was wearing his helmet. We wanted to alter it enough so that no one would know it was "Xanatos" until after he took off the helmet. But we didn't want to alter it SO much that you couldn't register Jonathan's standardly and casually wonderful acting AS Xanatos inside the armor. I think we succeeded. (Credit for that goes to the guys at Advantage Audio, who mixed the show. Real unsung heroes.)

We also gave Jamie Thomason, our voice director, and Jonathan the key note that would differentiate the true Xanatos from Coyote. And that was Coyote's fairly primitive desire for vengeance. If I do say so myself, I thought this was a terrific clue, a great moment of fair play, planted in the story. I wanted people to be a little surprised that Xanatos would care about vengeance. But I also figured most would buy into it, because we're all so trained to think of villains in a certain way. But then when Xanatos calls revenge a "sucker's game" at the end, the audience would feel "Oh, of course. That's OUR Xanatos. The other guy was just a cheap imitation." Who was fooled? Who wasn't? I'm curious to know.

When Coyote first took off his helmet at the end of Act One, my three year old son Ben yelled out "Xanatos!" He was truly and wonderfully surprised at that moment. It was fun.

Random observation: Wolf's not doing real push-ups. Not fully extending, either up or down.

Another thing we did do for the NEW SEASON start up was feature the gargs EXPLODING out of stone. Another of our series' trademarks that we wanted to be sure to get into the first episode of the new season.

Coyote clearly has a "quip chip" installed. He's got some great very Xanatosian lines. "Exact change". "Wanna see what I can do with both hands." Etc.

In fact lots of characters have great cutting lines in this one. Owen is wonderfully officious, even a tad smarmy in this one. You can almost see Puck smiling through, and this is before I knew Owen was Puck. But his, "Shouldn't you... be there." is just great.

Or Brooklyn's line: "Yeah, why should we stay up here... where it's safe." Great.

And Hyena: "I love a man who brings me weapons..." and "A robot?! Even better." Classic. And that was another discovery. Hyena would have the hots for Coyote. It wouldn't necessarily be reciprocated, but the mere fact that he was a robot wouldn't bug her. (I'm guessing she's used to using technology to satisfy her desires.) On some level, I think this was us (and Hyena) just being perverse for the sake of perverseness. But I also think it created an interesting parallel to Goliath and Elisa's relationship, if that doesn't sound to preposterous.

______

Another random observation: Hyena mentions Santa Claus. :) Ho ho ho.

______

CHARACTER CONTINUITY:
I think there was a semi-conscious desire to give every character something that new and returning viewers could use to hang their hats on, so-to-speak.

Lex is still so angry at the Pack for events in "Thrill of the Hunt" that he's literally HOPPING mad. Actually, that bit of hopping bugged me. Made Lex look silly and young at a point when I was hoping to present him as truly dangerous. Oh, well...

Brooklyn still feels the same way about Demona. And he's self-aware enough to know it. Though not mature enough to get passed it. (That'll come -- sometime in 2158.)

Broadway still hates guns and smashes them at every opportunity. (Lex obviously doesn't share his rookery-brother's opinion. Lex looks real tough holding that launcher. And I think it's a fairly shocking moment when that hole gets blown in Coyote's torso, and Lex is revealed -- through the hole, no less -- as the shooter. Even though we know by this time that Coyote is a robot, I still think it's one of the most violent images that ever appeared in our show. And it's all about context and attitude. You get the sense that Lex might just do the exact same thing to any of the human members of the Pack too.)

Hudson is still the observant guy who deduces events from what remains behind. "There's been a struggle here..." is right in keeping with his tracking skills and the way he examined that tampered-with bow back in "Awakening, Part Two".

Bronx is still a good judge of character. And he hates robots with fearful abandon. We decided he could literally smell when something isn't human. If it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, we naturally assume that it's a duck. But for Bronx it better smell like a duck or he's going to rip its face off, eh? That was another great shocking moment, I think. There's a little bit of WESTWORLD homage going on. Or FEMBOT homage, depending on how old you are. (I'm old enough to remember both.) It's pretty cool. And I love Coyote's head rocketing off at the end. It's so cool and sick. I fell in love with that head, and decided to use it in all future Coyote's -- one way or another.

Nietzche, Sartre, Kafka. That exchange was pure Perry-Reaves. And people tell me _I_ write to old for the demographic. Geez.

I love that moment when the phone rings at PackMedia Studios. (Also have I mentioned I love the name PackMedia. It's so perfect.) Anyway, Broadway's tentative response, before picking it up. And Owen knowing someone WOULD just pick up. It kills me.

As most of you know I favor one word titles. But "Leader of the Pack" WAS in fact one of mine. It was just irresistible.

The fight between the Gargs and the Pack aboard the oil tanker was very well-choreographed in script. But this was an instance where, in my opinion, our board artists lost the forest for the trees. The fight in storyboard went off on some wonderful tangents -- that wound up creating problems for those interested in keeping track of our combatants. Who was where and when just became a mess. We basically were able to fix those problems in film editing. But that's accomplished by keeping the fight well-paced. In the script, I actually think it's well-choreographed. In particular, Broadway freeing Lex, Brook and Bronx made a bit more sense in the script.

Coyote's perception-warping weapon is very cool. We probably didn't use it enough. Mainly because it was too effective. Too hard to stop.

I wanted the gargs to have to swim back to shore from the sinking tanker. But no one else agreed with me.

The head of Fox's parole board is voiced by Jim Cummings (aka Dingo, Darkwing Duck, Bonkers, etc.), doing his best Orson Wells imitation. Which is damned good by the way. Jim Cummings and Jeff Bennett in the same show. Man, were we blessed or what?

And coming full circle, we have our great Xanatos Tag. The villains kiss passionately. You don't see that too often in cartoons, I think. I love Xanatos' great line "That was merely the icing, you're the cake." And also his "true love is so much harder to come by." But here's my question for you guys. At the time, did you really think Xanatos was truly in love with Fox, or did you think he was merely being glib? I knew by that time, but even David didn't. Wasn't until "Eye of the Beholder" that HE realized how deep his feelings were for Fox.

So, comments?


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Ambrosia writes...

Ah, The Edge…
I just adore that scene where Owen and Xanatos are sparring. The first time I saw that episode though, I thought it was laughable: Owen Burnett in a gi, his glasses and electronic organizer set aside so he can be beat on by his employer. I was quite surprised when he actually won. I looked at Owen a lot differently from that point on. He is, as Demona likes to say, "A force to be reckoned with."
I'm afraid I did guess that the red robot was Xanatos. Still, the part at the end where he removes the helmet is wonderfully dramatic.
It's been a long time, so I don't remember for absolute sure, but I think, since the museum was so dark, I thought it *was* Goliath stealing the Eye. You're right, it seems obvious, but after that scene with him roaring at the news report and the whole clan looking at him in that, "uh oh, he's lost it," kind of way, I thought he was enraged enough to do it.
About Munch's "The Scream" (and this is straight from my art history text): it's in Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo. Don't ask me where exactly that is… but it's not in Manhattan. Sorry.
Absolutely amazing that the Emir was mentioned this early in the series but wouldn't physically appear for another season or so. Were you planning the Avalon eps in that much detail, that much ahead?
I *love* Travis Marshall. He always seems to tell it the way it is… whether it's against public opinion or not.
I'm with Erin. I was on the edge of my seat in the battle scene, seeing this ep for the first time, not as much because of the danger and action, but because I was sure someone was going to damage Lady Liberty. Why did Xanatos choose her as their battle field anyway? Goliath had said before that he probably didn't want anymore damage done to his city…
Thanks, Greg. We love ya!

Greg responds...

RE: "The Scream". I've never been to Oslo. I feel like I saw it in Amsterdam. But it doesn't really matter. It could have been a traveling exhibit. Happens all the time.

RE: The Emir. No, we didn't have Grief planned in THAT much detail that far in advance. The point is that little touches don't get by me. That was, I believe a Reaves/Perry throwaway line. But I remembered it. The second time the Emir is mentioned, in season two, I did have Grief in mind.

RE: Travis. I like him too.

RE: Lady Liberty. Sorry, but didn't the Gargs choose the battle sight?

Response recorded on June 23, 2000

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Chris writes...

A couple of questions

1)How powerful could Alexander become with Puck training him? Could he become as powerful as Puck?

2)Would Alex be a bit of a trickster himself since Puck is the person training him?

Thanks, and once again congrats on such a great cartoon!

Greg responds...

1. Probably not if we're talking pure power. Alexander's only a quarter fae. But Puck isn't Alex's only teacher. Take a quarter of Titania's power, and give it the kind of focus that comes with being a Xanatos or a Renard. What da ya think ya get?

2. Sure. But again, not just because of Puck. Don't forget that Alex's parents are a fox and a coyote at heart.

Response recorded on June 23, 2000

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"Leader" memo concluded...

Finally, the last section of the 7/94 "Leader of the Pack" memo. Act Three of the Beat Sheet. I'll try to type up my new ramble on the episode soon...

ACT THREE
8. Goliath, Hudson and Broadway arrive at the Packmedia Studio. It's quiet. Inside, they see the damage. But no sign of the missing gargoyles. The phone rings. Broadway answers it tentatively. It's Owen. He was wondering if he could schedule an appointment for the Gargoyles to have a big fight with the Pack at the Oil Tanker Whatever-Maru in the harbor. Is Midnight convenient?

9. On the Tanker. In a carvernous empty oil tank, Lex, Brook and Bronx sit inside, effectively imprisoned. Lex swears even more vengence [sic]. Brooklyn can't get through to him. (Maybe Brook makes some sarcastic reference to the three of them always getting captured. First Macbeth nets them, now the Pack.) [Note: This story just structured out that way. So this tidbit was me acknowledging the coincidence, so that the viewer wouldn't think we -- the writers -- were oblivious to it. Greg 2000] Eventually, the other three gargoyles show up for the fight. Broadway is sent to find the others while Goliath and Hudson run interference. At one point, Goliath digs his claws into Coyote's helmet and rips it off, revealing "Xanatos". Goliath isn't too surprised. But eventually after the others are freed, he is surprised. Bronx again beelines for "Xanatos"/Coyote. He smells robot and claws off half of the rubber Xanatos mask to reveal the Coyote robot beneath. [Do you know, I was half afraid that some people would take this to mean that Xanatos had been a robot all along. Greg 2000] Even the Pack is shocked and the tide of battle begins to turn for good, especially after Lex picks up one of Dingo's fallen weapons and blows a hole in Coyote's chest. The robot really malfunctions now. The head "evacuates" and rockets into the sky to escape. The Pack decides to retreat in their Attack Vehicle, but opt to blow up the tanker to cover their escape. Lex in the end has to choose between saving Brooklyn and preventing the Pack's escape. Obviously, he saves Brooklyn and the Pack gets away, though with their doggy tails firmly between their legs. The ship goes down. The Gargoyles tread water. Brooklyn thanks Lex, but Lex is grateful that Brooklyn reminded him what was really important to him. And the gargoyles have a long swim back to shore.

10. Parole board. Fox is released. (Let's not mention Xanatos here.)

11. Fox steps out of prison to be greeted by (surprise, surprise) Xanatos in his Limo. They kiss. She's grateful to be out, but she's sorry his vengeance plan against the gargoyles didn't work. But Xanatos never wanted vengeance. (He's no mook.) He has his priorities straight. He just wanted to stage scene [sic] to get her out. (I love the line about icing and Fox being the cake.) But, she asks, aren't you anry that Coyote was destroyed. Xanatos holds up Coyote's head and admires it like Yorick. Half of it is still recognizable as Xanatos. Half reveals the robot skull underneath. My dear Fox, robots are easily destroyed and rebuilt. But they'll never destroy the true Coyote. Because the true coyote is Xanatos. Or some such. [Interesting. We seemed to save this idea for "Cloud Fathers". Went with the "true love" line instead.] Go out on the robot head, half smiling a typical Xanatos smile.

And that's all folks....


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More of the "Leader" memo...

Here we have Act Two from the Beat Sheet I gave Michael Reaves in my 7/94 memo on "Leader of the Pack":

ACT TWO
4. Hyena and Jackal are ready to kill Xanatos/Coyote for revenge. X/C puts them down hard. He reminds them that it was Fox who told them to go after him. She's out of the picture now. Besides, it was the gargoyles who really sent you down. They put him away once too. They've destroyed enough of his plans. He wants them bad. He's [sic] works the Pack up into a revenge-fest frenzy. They want the gargoyles. But how do they find them? As X/C puts on his helmet, he says, we let them find us.

5. Goliath, Broadway and Hudson arrive at the castle. Owen is there, but not Xanatos. Goliath is confrontational but cautious. Woen has the Pack's social calender and says they should be at PackMedia studios shortly. Goliath is immediately concerned about the others. They take off.

6. From a nearby shadowed rooftop, Brooklyn, Bronx and Lex watch the police (Elisa, Matt, maybe Morgan) check out the Studios. It gives Brooklyn time to talk to Lex. He knows how Lex feels. Everytime Demona's name get's [sic] mentioned Brooklyn feels the same way. But you can't let it take you over. You need to remember what's really important, etc. Lex isn't listening. The police leave. Lex insists on going in. Brook & Bronx follow.

7. Inside, the place is deserted -- UNTIL SUDDENLY the floor begins to open up beneath them. The PACK Assault vehicle, rises up from a secret entrance beneath. Brokklyn suggests retreat, at least until they can get reinforcements from Goliath, et al. Lex ignores him and wades right in. The battle is on. Lex (followed by Brooklyn) goes after the four pack members they recognize. Lex is a holy terror and they're doing all right, at first. His shocking ferocity making up for any deficiencies. Bronx for some reason beelines for Coyote. (Basically, he smells robot.) It's a good fight, but soon all three gargoyles are out cold and at the Pack's mercy.

ACT THREE
(To be completed next time... Finally.)


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More of the "Leader Memo"...

Sorry, everyone, I know this is going very slowly. But transcribing is really boring. So I can't stand to do too much at a time. Anyway, here's another chunk of my 7-2-94 memo to Michael Reaves regarding "Leader of the Pack":

Beat sheet:
ACT ONE
1. Sundown. Open w/prison break. Let's make it much more fast and furious. It can start quier, but almost immediately should go to explosions, alarms, etc. The guards become aware of the break IMMEDIATELY. A big action set-piece. No time for a lot of talk. Also, let's have Dingo bust out the boys, and Coyote bust out the girls. It's a more practical plan. They'll all meet up in the NEW all-terrain PACK ATTACK vehicle. (And no, Kenner isn't asking for this, I am. Xanatos has the resources. After he saw Macbeth's hover-thing, he'd start his people on R&D. This is the result. The Pack should not be hand-to-mouth. This thing should be a flying submarine multi-purpose thing. Real cool.)

2. Just after sundown at the clock tower, Elisa informs the argoyles that there's a prison break and the Pack's involved. Lex goes bananas. WE'VE GOT TO BRING THEM DOWN. Goliath agrees with the sentiment, if not he intensity. Manhattan is their castle to protect. But Broadway wants to know, how do they find the Pack? Lex is sure they'll return to Packmedia Studios. Elisa disagrees, that's the first place the cops are going to look. Lex is positive. They're like animals. They'll eventually return to their cave to hide. He's going there to wait and watch. Goliath figures on being more pro-active. He knows Xanatos is behind the Pack from Elisa's talk with Fox in "Brother's Keeper". He's going to the castle. Broadway & Hudson are going with him. Brooklyn is concerned about Lex. He insists on going with Lex to the studio. He also insists on taking Bronx.

3. Aboard the Pack's vehicle, Coyote and Wolf fight for the right to lead. (Let Wolf make the first challenge, so that we aren't forced to make Hyena politely step aside.) Coyote wins, but Hyena and Jackal insist on seeing his face. Coyote vouluntarily removes his helmet, revealing that he is "Xanatos".

ACT TWO
(to be continued...)


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Kenneth Chisholm writes...

I admit that conclusion about Fox trying to murder her father in Outfoxed depends on whether she knew how Halcyon would react to that crisis she created with the Fortress. Mind you if she did know his reaction, then a serious attempt on her part to destroy the ship with him on board would appear to me to be attempted murder. So I was wondering, did she know that he would be that commited to the ship that he would go down with it if he could not save it? If she did know, then was her attempt to destroy the ship serious, or was she banking on her father foiling him?

Greg responds...

Erin says: I'm sorry that I can't understand you.

Greg says: I think Fox was counting on the fact that Vogel had assured her, he could get Renard out. They were both wrong.

Response recorded on June 17, 2000

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More of the "Leader of the Pack" memo...

This continues my transcription of the memo I wrote to Michael Reaves on 7-2-94 regarding Steve Perry's original outline on "Leader of the Pack"...

Specific Notes & Questions...
Some of these will be rendered moot by other changes, but for future reference...

--No YoYo's for Brooklyn. He's too old to be playing with that. (Not that I don't enjoy a well-balanced yo-yo myself, but it's embematic [sic] of being really young. Like having him play jacks. Remember, this is a guy who likes motorcycles.)

--I liked the Hudson game show scenelet. Maybe slip that in right before Elisa tells the gargs about the prison break. If it no longer fits, save it for another episode.

--I think Wolf is a descendant of Hakon's. [It's interesting to me now that I put this comment in this memo. It's absolutely apropos of nothing. I must have just wanted to write it down somewhere so that I'd remember. Greg 2000]

--The gargoyles exo-sheathe remnants don't dissolve into vapor.

--Is a smoking jacket really Xanatos' style?

--Suddenly, on the bottom of page 3, Goliath has spider-sense. Maybe not.

--Goliath seems to be brooding about things he's already come to terms with. "...enemy one day, friend the next." He learned that lesson from the Captain in episodes 1 & 2.

Beat sheet:
ACT ONE
(to be continued soon...)


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"Leader of the Pack" Background memo...

ASK GREG is back up and running. (Thank you, Gorebash.)

Unfortunately, Murphy's Law in in effect, and I'm now swamped with work. (More on that tomorrow.) I'll try to get to your questions and comments A.S.A.P. In the meantime, I've watched another episode "Leader of the Pack". I've taken notes to write a ramble but I don't have time to compose it tonight. But I also wanted to post my July, '94 memo to Michael Reaves regarding his first draft outline on this episode. (Like the one I posted for "Reawakening".) I have a hard copy of this memo, but unfortunately -- there's that Murphy's Law again -- I don't seem to have a computer file for it. (Which, frankly, is truly bizarre.) Still, retyping this is faster than composing something original. But I don't know if I'll have time to retype the entire five page memo tonight. So bear with me. This could take a while... (I'll try to keep all the typos intact. And I'll add a few new comments in [brackets].)

Greg Weisman 7-2-94

NOTES ON OUTLINE for "Leader of the Pack"
Michael, I think we can focus the story a little more. And I think there's quite a bit of padding that we can trim down, but on the whole, a good start.

General Notes...

--Let's focus this by making it Lexington's story. A real companion piece to "Thrill of the Hunt". In that story, Lex was too trusting. In this he'll be hell-bent on REVENGE. That's today's theme. And today's lesson is about setting priorities -- and how revenge ain't a great one. Lex comes close to letting his lust for revenge take priority over his concern for his life and his friends. Same with the Pack. They break prison; they could head for Rio. But they want revenge on the gargoyles more. It gets them in trouble. Ironically, only Xanatos has his priorities straight. He didn't give a damn about revenge on the gargoyles. He just cared about his "friend" Fox and getting her released from her unfortunate incarceration. [A DESIGNING WOMEN reference -- Greg 2000]

--Given the above. Let's see Lex as the true monster he can be. As frightening as possible, as often as possible.

--The stuff w/Dingo's change of heart was nice. It gave me a great idea for a story about him trying to go straight, set in Australia during the WORLD TOUR. But I think it's out of place here. It's distracting to the main story. I don't want Dingo to start to turn yet. He didn't have to come back from Europe to help the others. Let's keep him gung-ho for now. (When we do the Pack Upgrade Story, in which Wolf will submit to Doc Sevarius' genetic treatment ala Talon, and Hyena and Jackal will undergo cyborgizing ala Coldstone, we'll plant the seed there that Dingo thinks things are getting carried away. He'll choose removable robot-armor, and we'll play some of these beats then.) [When you're working on 65 episodes you try not to waste anything. And the characters begin to define their own destinies. But you need to pace them. -- Greg 2000]

--Coyote's abilities need some clarification. Let's start by thinking this is a stranger wearing some kind of power-armor. Jet black, anubis-headed armor. We'll modify or harmonize Jonathan's voice. Then when he removes the dog-faced armored head, we reveal that it's Xanatos inside the armor. The audience will buy this because of "The Edge" story. When COYOTE has the "helmet" off, we'll use Jonathan's voice un-harmonized. But obviously for battle scenes he'll put the helmet back on. A slight clue that Coyote isn't the real Xanatos will be that Coyote seems more determined to get revenge than we'd normally expect from the rational Xanatos we've come to know and love. Then at the end, we'll reveal the robot beneath the Xanatos face. We also need to make a bigger deal of this reveal. I think it would be cool, if after the body is damaged beyond repair, the semi-damaged head, takes off, shooting into the sky like a comet, abandoning the Pack. At any rate, we can now have Coyote be very powerful throughout the episode, without our audience suspecting the truth. What can the Coyote "armor" (i.e. the Coyote/Xanaots robot) do? Does it have built-in jet-boots and weapons systems? Let's make it real tough and cool.

--In general, we need to be really careful not to let the Pack seem weak or incompetent. I doubt Elisa can outshoot them. They've been defeated twice already. If we don't up the ante, we've lost these characters as effective adversaries.

--The huge emphasis on updrafts can be dumped. We've already shown the gargoyles glide to and from Liberty Island in "The Edge". How far out in the water is this tanker? Better not to go into too much detail.

--Same with the Pack's search for the gargoyles. Why raise the issue about how easy it is to find the gargoyles? Besides, the method used here could take weeks, if not months. Let the gargoyles find the Pack. We can dump the CD-ROM disk.

--The mirrored shields was a good idea. But it pre-supposes a Lexington who is rational enough to use his head and come up with it. Not this story. But remember it for later use. [O.K. I guess some things did get wasted. --Greg 2000]

--We definitely don't need or want Derek in this story. If it comes before "Metamorphosis" than we don't want to mess with his loyalty to Xanatos. If it comes after, then obviously he's not Derek anymore, but Talon. Anyway, we won't need him. The way I figure it, Elisa's role in this story is fairly minimal. I didn't like her as victim/hostage, so I largely dumped her. So we can leave Derek out, as well.

--Fox should protect he guard first, then refuse to go. When she refuses Hyena's inclined to kill her too. Coyote prevents it by indicating there's no time. Also, I've cut the middle Fox scene 14. Better that the audience forget about her until the end.

Specific Notes & Questions....
[to follow tomorrow, hopefully...]


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Batman vs. Gargoyles...

As I believe I've mentioned before, there was once some fear at Buena Vista (our distribution arm) that GARGOYLES would be perceived as a rip off of BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Now, that seems all but laughable, but then it was a sincere concern at BVTV. (The fact that we had Frank & Michael on our show, both of them major contributors to B:TAS, probably didn't help.) So they asked me to write up a memo showing the differences. That memo follows, unedited. Note the date.

(6-14-94)

Random thoughts on the differences between Gargoyles and Batman:

--Batman was traumatized as a child, by witnessing the death of his parents, which left him totally alone and psychologically scarred for life.
--Goliath had a major tragedy occur in his life, but it happened when he was an adult. He was not left totally alone. He is mature enough to realize that bad things can happen to good gargoyles and he is creating a positive life for himself and his clan.

--Batman fights criminals because of a deep-psychological need to stop their evil.
--Goliath and the gargoyles protect the innocent because they are protective by nature. It is a very primal instinct to them. They are not taking eternal vengeance.

--Batman is one man in a suit. (Two men if you count Robin.) He wears a mask to protect his secret identity.
--There are six gargoyles, each with unique personalities. And they are a different species -- monsters. Nothing put on. No secret identies. No posing as normal. Very little technology.

--Gotham City is New York at it's worst. Dark, ugly, cynical.
--Goliath's Manhattan is a dangerous but beautiful place, w/a rich colorful palate. A place of Hope.

--Batman faces a colorful array of villains, all with their own separate backstories.
--The Gargoyles face a colorful array of villains, whose backstories intertwine with the gargoyle's own rich history in ancient Scotland and modern Manhattan.

--Batman is reality based w/a few exaggerations and sci-fi elements thrown in.
--Gargoyles is more fantastic. Magic is quantifiable, but it exists. Immortals and sorcerers walk the earth.

--Batman is a man for his time.
--The gargoyles are creatures who are displaced in time trying to adjust to the modern world.

--Batman has no regular female character (unless you count villains like Poison Ivy or the occasional use of Batgirl.)
--The gargoyles are supported by Elisa Maza, a strong, capable but tender, female New York Police detective.

--Batman wears a cape.
--The gargoyles have wings which can fold over like a cape, but can also be used to glide through the air, simulating true flight.

--Batman wears a utility belt with gadgets included.
--Gargoyles don't. Hudson wears a sword though.

--Batman wears boots.
--Gargoyles are barefoot.

--Batman doesn't have super-human strength or powerful claws or a tail.
--The gargoyles do.

--Batman doesn't turn to stone every morning and then explode out of stone every night.
--Gargoyles do.

--Batman doesn't have a dog.
--Gargoyles have Bronx.

--Bruce Wayne has nearly unlimited wealth to subsidize his heroics with technology.
--Xanatos has nearly unlimited wealth to subsidize his villainy with technology. The gargoyles have a medium-sized t.v. set and a used barca-lounger.

--The Batcave is a high-tech top secret location located underneath stately Wayne Manor.
--The clock tower is a low-tech place to hide above the police precint in Manhattan.

--Batman has a butler.
--The gargoyles don't.

I hope this is helpful. Though I don't know why it would be.

As you can see, I didn't take the assignment too seriously. The only real key point for me is the first one. The differences between the tragedies and the heroes' reactions to those tragedies. Also that Xanatos is the anti-Bruce Wayne. But c'mon... "Batman has a butler. The Gargoyles don't". Was I stretching or what?


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Chapter XIII: "Reawakening" (The new ramble...)

As promised, I'll now attempt to recreate the lost ramble on this episode, which I recently watched again with my family.

For those of you who haven't seen it, I refer you to my recently posted "Memo" on this episode dated back in April of 1994. One thing you might have noticed was that the title of the episode was "The Awakening". In the memo, I suggested what I thought was the more appropriate title "Reawakening". Michael liked that idea but had a suggestion that did it one better. He suggested renaming our pilot five-parter "Awakening". I jumped at the idea. At the time, the five-parter was simply titled "Gargoyles, Part One", "Gargoyles, Part Two", etc. I've never liked that sort of cop out where the pilot's title is simply the series' title. Among other things, it lacks imagination. And it's dishonest. By that standard, "The Journey"'s real title should have been "Gargoyles, Part Sixty-Six". So giving our pilot its own title seemed like a very good idea to me.

But there was another reason why I liked Michael's plan. We were working on our last episode of the first season. It was April of 1994, nearly a year before that episode would air. And a good six months before our premiere. There was no way of knowing whether or not there would ever be a SECOND season. And so to protect myself (emotionally) I had to operate on the assumption that their might not be. Obviously, I wasn't going to do anything apocalyptic. I wanted there to be a second season, so I wanted to leave the doorway open for it. So Michael, Frank, Brynne and I discussed the idea of open-ended closure. If there never was a second season, we'd go out with a bang. We'd give some small amount of closure to our characters. Let them reach a turning point. If this was to be it, we'd have created a little 13 episode novel that brought the Gargoyles from the past to the present and renewed (reawakened) their sense of purpose.

Nice. We'd done the open-ended closure thing (to a lesser degree) at the end of what would eventually be called "Awakening, Part Five" and we'd eventually do it again at the end of "Hunter's Moon, Part Three". And I'd do it for myself in my script for "The Journey".

But there are tricks to achieving a sense of closure. And one of the tricks is to create parallels with the episodes that launched your story.

So by retro-titling our pilot "Awakening" and naming our last ep "RE-Awakening" you can see how we gave ourselves a headstart.

But there were other parallels. The flashback to the past, (which we intentionally built so that it could theoretically be edited into the pilot if necessary) included the Magus at his most pre-Avalon obnoxious. Obviously, that flashback also intro'd pre-Coldstone, but it served the purpose of calling those first couple of flashback episodes clearly into the viewers' minds. (The only problem with that scene, is that Hudson has his sword in a couple of the shots. This is a mistake, as any good Garg fan knows that Hudson first acquired his sword in the battle with the Vikings that took place the following night.)

We also did the big event VILLAIN TEAM-UP thing, bringing Xanatos and Demona back together for the first time since "Awakening, Part Five". (I love the exquisite tension that plays between them. They are both SO using each other. When Demona tells Coldstone that X is her servant, you know that she's partly doing that to circumvent Coldstone's questions, but that she also partly believes that it's true.)

We also used Morgan in Times Square in a very similar way to how he was used in "Awakening, Part One" (reiterated in "Awakening, Part Two").

And then there's that moment near the end where Elisa asks Goliath if there's anything he needs. He answers "A Detective" verbally echoing a key moment from their first meeting in "Awakening, Part Three". That still tickles me.

HOMAGE

Obviously, Frank and I both worked overtime to pay homage to the classic Universal "FRANKENSTEIN" movie. I can say "pay homage" with a straight face (as opposed to rip off) because we so clearly acknowledged the source. Frank's art direction of the lab. X's line: "It's alive! Alive!" (Wonderfully undercut by Jonathan Frakes' reading of the follow-up "I've always wanted to say that.") And the whole idea behind Coldstone. (More on this when I eventually ramble on "Legion".)

Coldstone would be our Frankenstein's monster. Pieced together. Gargoyle & Machine. Reanimated (reawakened). I even love the Coldstone name. And wasn't Michael Dorn's sepulchral tones just perfect for the role?

And Goliath's reaction is so multi-faceted, so Dr. Frankenstein... [You know Goliath's response to his brother here, would be echoed later in his response to his "son" Thailog in "Double Jeopardy". Initially, Goliath's simply repulsed by what he sees, calling Coldstone "an abomination". But given a bit of time, Goliath quickly sees past appearances and attempts whole-heartedly to save his brother. He'll go through the same changes with Thailog. Well... at least we (and Goliath) were consistent.]

CONTINUITY

Snow. It started snowing in "Her Brother's Keeper" and now the city is blanketed in the stuff. (And doesn't Elisa look cute in her scarf and gloves.)

Brooklyn's still pissed off at Demona, specifically and sarcastically asking if she has anymore "spells to save you now". In fact, we wanted to make clear that the spell used to resurrect (reawaken) Coldstone was one of the spells she tore out of the Grimorum in "Temptation". Instead, we cheated a bit. By having her tell Xanatos that the "Cantrips have already been spoken" it saved us the trouble of getting another spell translated into Latin. We were either lazy or short on time or -- most likely -- both.

Following out of "The Edge", and until the helmet comes off at the bridge, the gargs assume that Xanatos in his armor is simply another Steel Clan Robot. The next upgrade. The red model. They have no idea it's actually Xanatos himself in armor.

Small observation: Mirrors don't fare too well in the Gargoyles Universe.

Emotionally, I think the story is very successful at taking the audience through Goliath's spiritual reawakening. I love how he starts out pensive and brooding, listening to that great exchange between the trio and Hudson, realizing that all of them have lost track of their true purpose. Hudson recites the Gargoyle credo merely as an excuse not to go out in the cold. (And I love Thom's reading on Lex's "We don't even live in a castle anymore" response.) The trio are clearly missing the point, but methodical thinker Goliath isn't sure he remembers what the point is either.

And that dovetails SO nicely with Elisa revealing the Police motto "Protect and Serve". The police motto/gargoyle credo connection is so perfect, it struck me even at the time as further proof that we were tapping into something very true in our little fictions. (And don't cops -- for better and sometimes for worse -- act just like a clan?)

From there, Goliath moves past the notion of simply being a reactive character, struggling only to SURVIVE one crisis after another. Now he will strive to be proactive. To rededicate (reawaken) the clan toward their original life purpose. Extending the term "castle" to Manhattan island was always our plan. Even that was intentionally primitive in our view. Goliath doesn't protect New York City. Not all five burroughs anyway. That's beyond his medieval scope at this still-early stage. He can get his head around protecting an island surrounded by water. Not the whole world. But eventually, the plan would include expanding the clan's definition until Castle Earth was the only thing that made sense. Of course, that might not have been fully realized until 2158. But we'd have gotten there. And the World Tour was part of that process too.

PROBLEMS
(Besides Hudson's sword...)

--One line in the ep. that for some reason still makes me cringe is Elisa's "My car's big." It just seems awkward to me. Not sure why.

X & D watch Coldstone's progress from the castle. Almost instantaneously they're at Times Square. We always knew we were just skating by on that.

Goliath & Coldstone go into the water at the bridge TWICE within the span of a couple of minutes or so. The first time, Goliath nearly drowns. The second time he's completely uneffected (physically) by the experience. We get away with it because the second time he's diving in on purpose. But just the fact that we had to dunk them both twice is an awkward construction (and my fault). At least, Goliath looks good with wet hair.

Some really graceful animation here. Goliath has some great moves, and I love that moment when Matt and especially Elisa are diving into the snow, out of the way of the car that Coldstone has just thrown... And speaking of that scene...

TIMES SQUARE SEQUENCE

There's some very interesting, fun stuff here besides what I've already mentioned about it above. A sampling:

Explosions in Bambi. :)

Demona's Clan: Herself, Coldstone, a Steel Clan Robot and Xanatos in Gargoyle Battle Armor. It's so twisted. I love it.

Goliath's very smart here. He doesn't want the fight to take place in public and basically convinces Xanatos to take his side on the issue by flattering him. Goliath refers to Manhattan as "your city" (i.e. Xanatos' city), this despite the obvious fact that Goliath does NOT regard Manhattan as Xanatos' personal property. And Xanatos, usually immune to such stuff, falls for it -- maybe BECAUSE it comes from the ultra-sincere Goliath.

I also am very fond of the Mr. Jaffe book-ends. I think they're a lot of fun. And I love how Matt talks about Mr. Jaffe. It gives us insight into Matt's character, his background, his youth. His empathy for Jaffe really helps humanize him. Matt was always eminently human.

Signing off now...

"Because six monsters just told me to..."


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Chapter XIII: "Reawakening" (background rambling)

I'm trying something different with this ramble. And because of recent difficulties, I'm going to break the Ramble into two parts. My thoughts on reviewing the episode last Friday night will need to be recreated from scratch. And I'll get to that as soon as I can.

But first I thought you guys might appreciate a little background. What follows is a long memo that I wrote to Story Editor Michael Reaves after receiving the first draft of writer Brynne Chandler Reaves' outline on our thirteenth and final episode of the first season. Pay careful attention to the date of the memo and the title of the episode. I'll comment on both sometime in the next few days...

THE MEMO (unedited):

To: Michael Reaves Date: 4-10-94

From: Greg Weisman Ext: 7436

Re: Notes on "The Awakening" / Outline for 4319-013 of GARGOYLES

GENERAL NOTES
This is a tough one, because in this episode, we have a very specific mission, which is to remind Goliath of his. In order to accomplish this, I'd like to focus both our efforts and Goliath's soul-searching. These aren't simple concepts but I'm gonna try and go through them in baby steps. This is less for our benefit than for the benefit of our audience & Goliath. (Remember, Goliath is a determined thinker if not a quick one.)

Goliath spends the episode searching for the true meaning behind the gargoyle motto, "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air."

We begin by defining our terms. Goliath first needs to understand the following equation: "Castle = Home = Family = Community". He more or less learned the Castle through Family section in "ENTER MACBETH", but we'll need to reiterate the lesson in some way for our audience. Then we need to take him the final step from Family to Community.

After that (or perhaps simultaneously), he needs to decide on what is meant by "protect". Protect what? The physical structure he lives in? No. Again, Home leads into Family which leads into Community.

Protect why? To survive in a hostile environment? Ultimately and by the end of the episode Goliath decides/remembers that to survive is not enough. Coldstone and Demona provide cautionary proof; both of them are abominations of a sort, created in the name of "Survival". Survival ("breathing the air") is important, but clearly survival isn't enough. Goliath and his clan need purpose. They need to return to the mission: Protect the castle (i.e. protect the community).

This dovetails nicely w/Elisa's mission as a cop: "To protect and serve." And leaves us, at the end of our first season, with a more pro-active group of heroes.

SPECIFIC NOTES
Just a few specifics that aren't covered in the beat outline that follows.

Page 1.
--The trio saw snow last episode. Let's make the winter weather the backdrop to the action. Not part of the story.
--I don't think we want to light any fires in the clock tower.

Page 2.
--We no longer need Madame Serena in this story. Plus she adds another new element to a pretty full plate.
--Remember this is one of the spells that Demona ripped from the Grimorum back in "Temptation".

Page 3.
--Coldstone wouldn't name himself. It's not gargoylean thing to do. And he hasn't been awake long enough to know he needs a name. Let Demona do it.

Page 7
--I think we can fit the action of this story into one night, so this is kind of a moot point, but I don't think Demona would risk sleeping as stone in Xanatos' castle. She doesn't trust anyone that much.
--Let's not overplay Matt's conspiracy fettish. It's o.k., but we don't want him to come off as a "babbling".

Page 11
--Remember, unless we're getting biblical here, Gargoyles weren't "created". They have very strong territorial and protective instincts. These instincts are as strong as their survival instinct. But I want to make sure we don't imply that they were magically created by someone or something who gave them a mission.

Finally, if I could recommend a title change... how about "Re-Awakening" instead of "The Awakening". I think it's a bit more appropriate all the way around.

ACT ONE
1. Prologue #1 - Present Day Manhattan - All-Nite Grocery - Winter Night
--It's snowing in Manhattan and will continue to snow until the last scene.
--A lone thief holds up the owner of a small and otherwise empty All-Nite grocery store.
--Thief tells the owner: "I guess we just live in dangerous times.

2. Prologue#2 - Flashback to 994 A.D. Scotland - Castle Wyvern - Night
(Note this scene happened off-camera during part one of the five-parter, somewhere around page 24 of script #4319-001.)
--Goliath informs Hudson that they must leave to harry the vikings far away.
--He'll need Hudson's tracking skills.
--Demona and "pre-Coldstone" gargoyle (Goliath's rookery brother) are also present.
--Magus comes thru and says or does something obnoxious.
--Demona, secretly desperate for Goliath to bring them all along, asks why they bother protecting the human's castle at all?
--Pre-Coldstone agrees: "Let them keep the castle, we can survive anywhere."
--(We see he is of a semi-simlar mind-set to Demona, which explains why she uses him 1000 years later for Coldstone.)
--Hudson firmly states the gargoyle mission statement: "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air..."
--Goliath instructs his rookery brother to stay w/Demona and protect.

3. Present Day - Winter - Clock Tower - Night
--Goliath's been daydreaming (at night) about old memories.
--Trio are going to a movie; they invite Hudson along.
--Hudson's a couch potato. He'll wait to see it on cable. Besides he's got to guard their home.
--Trio: We live over a police station. What could happen? We don't have to guard the place every night.
--Hudson tosses off gargoyle truism: "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air..." (But that's just an excuse to be left alone.)
--Goliath reacts silently, realizing their mission has lost meaning for the gargoyles, even Hudson. Maybe even himself.
--Trio leaves ("We don't even live in a castle anymore...")
--As Elisa enters.
--She wants to know how gargoyles are "surviving" the cold weather.
--G says they're fairly immune... to the elements.
--Elisa starts to leave for her shift w/offhand remark: "Time to do a little of the old 'Protect and Serve'."
--G stops her to find out what she means.
--Police motto.
--But what does it mean? Protect who?
--(Maybe Elisa can get us from Castle to Family here.)
--Goliath decides to accompany Elisa on the night shift.
--Which is a bit problematic now that she has a partner.

4. Castle
--Demona has talked a reluctant Xanatos into another attempt to destroy Goliath.
--Xanatos & Demona use science & sorcery to revive creature made from cybernetics and mismatched gargoyle parts. (The head is that of Goliath's rookery brother, our pre-Coldstone, augmented by cybernetic-eye & etc.)
--Demona names him Coldstone.
(--Perhaps she represents Xanatos as her servant. Perhaps he allows it.)
(--Note: in this episode, I think we want to sense a tension between X & D, but I don't think we want to bust them up here. It's distracting and we have enough to deal with.)
--Coldstone's confused. Last thing he remembers is Goliath & Hudson leaving the castle. Then came sunrise and oblivion.
--Demona: "Goliath abandoned us to the mercy of humans."
--He has been seduced by their beliefs.
--It is because of him that you look like this....
--It's mirror time.
--Does audience see him or do we save that revelation?

5. Manhattan Streets / All-Nite Grocery / Rooftop across the street.
--Elisa & Matt are driving in her car.
--Goliath is following them from above. (She's given him a walkie-talkie or headset or something. She's basically wearing a wire so that he can be on her shift with her.)
--They investigate All-Nite grocery store robbery from scene 1. (Not a crime in progress. Remember, they are detectives, not beat cops.)
--While Matt questions the owner...
--Goliath, watching from above, is able to talk quietly w/Elisa.
--We get from Family to Community.
--Elisa: No one wants to live a prisoner of their own castle anymore. We live in a community. The whole community needs to work together...
--G: "To survive." (He still hasn't gotten it yet.)
--Radio call: "All available units."

6. Times Square.
--That tortured soul, Coldstone, is going bonkers.
--(He hated "Cats". No, wait... he hates humans.)
--(Physical strength only. No robotic weaponry yet.)
--Morgan and other cops are just securing the perimeter, keeping people clear.
--From a distance, Goliath surmises another Xanatos robot ploy. (He sees the occasional metallic glint. The rest is in shadow.) He won't be dragged into another of Xanatos' schemes.
--Elisa & Matt don't have that luxury. They approach the thing. Tell it to cease and desist, etc.
--Coldstone prepares to throw a small car at them or something.
--As Goliath reacts, we fade out.

ACT TWO
7. Times Square.
--With Elisa endangered, Goliath doesn't hesitate to intervene and save her and a flabergasted Matt.
--Now Coldstone really goes ballistic. Literally. Barrel rises from robotic arm and fires.
--Goliath dodges or maybe he is hit, but Coldstone is too shocked to notice. --He didn't know he could do that.
--(Xanatos had a pre-programmed battle mode built-into his circuitry.)
--While C is figuring this out, Goliath comes in and smashes him.
--It's only in close that Goliath realizes he's not fighting a robot.
--(Is this the audience's first full look at Coldstone too??)
--And it's only now that Coldstone recognizes G.
--But all this convinces Coldstone that Demona was telling the truth.
--Goliath is attacking his own rookery brother to defend a human.
--But Goliath is out-matched, and soon losing.

8. Inside Orpheum Theatre (Times Square).
--Trio are watching movie from balcony.
--(As Broadway did in "Deadly Force").
-- "There sure are an awful lot of explosions in this movie."
--But are those explosions coming from outside?
--Suddenly movie stops. House lights come up.
--On ground level, Morgan is ushering people out the back entrance, calmly and for their own safety.
--Trio exit to see what's going on.

9. Times Square.
--Trio arrive in time to save Goliath from Coldstone.
--Coldstone surrounded by all four gargoyles.
--Looks like the tide of battle might have shifted.
--We see gargoyles thru Coldstone's robot POV.

10. Castle.
--Matchcut to Xanatos office monitor.
--Seems he gets a direct feed on whatever Coldstone sees or hears.
--X to D: Looks like sonny-boy's having trouble making friends.
--(No indication that they're going to help yet.)

11. Times Square.
--Goliath does not attack; he's still trying to put everything together.
--Could this abomination really be his rookery brother?
--At first, Goliath doesn't talk to Coldstone, rather he speaks about "it".
--Which of course doesn't endear him to Coldy one bit.
--G tries a kinder, gentler approach.
--Might even be starting to reach him.
--G: What happened to you, pal?
--From off-screen Demona says: "We did."
--Goliath, trio and Coldstone turn to see Demona, Xanatos in Gargoyle armor and a Steel Clan Robot. Fade to black.

ACT THREE
12. Times Square.
--Stand-off.
--Demona: If you're going to bring your whole clan, you can't expect me not to bring mine.
--G: You call that a clan?
--Coldstone is torn, confused. What should he do?
--Demona: "Destroy Goliath. Destroy him, and we survive."
--Coldstone looks down at his cobbled-together form: "Is this survival?"
--Demona tells him not to be fooled by appearance.
--Goliath and the others have been corrupted by humans.
--"We are the only real gargoyles left."
--Travis Marshall pulls up in newsvan.
--While cameraman is setting up, Elisa uses "wire" to warn Goliath.
--Goliath appeals to Xanatos
--(Probably doesn't yet know that Xanatos IS one of the robots.)
--(G thinks he's talking by radio-link via the robots.)
--G: It's your city, X, shouldn't we reconvene someplace less fragile.
--Demona doesn't like the idea, but Xanatos insists.
--(She's not ready to sever their partnership yet).
--Xanatos quietly names a spot that only Goliath (and Elisa via their wire) can hear.
--The eight combatants fly off, severally.
--Marshall only gets the tail end on camera.

13. Clock Tower.
--Hudson sees Marshall's report on t.v.
--Discusses dilemma (theoretically w/Bronx, but he's really talking to himself).
--Goliath told them to stay and guard the tower.
--What should he do?

14. George Washington Bridge.
(Or whatever bridge is closest to Times Square.)
--Your basic battle royale...on the bridge, in the air. Among other things...
--Brooklyn goes after Demona.
--He's still mad at her from "Temptation."
--Which allows Goliath and Coldstone to continue their face-off.
--The Steel Clan robot is destroyed.
--Xanatos is forced to unmask.
--But generally, the bad guys are winning, if barely.
--Coldstone & Goliath plunge into the icy river.

15. The River.
--Coldstone's got a built-in breathing apparatus that extends over his mouth and nose automatically.
--As they struggle underwater, Goliath's losing air and consciousness.
--G. hears Hudson's voice: "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air."
--Suddenly, Goliath is pulled out of the water... by Coldstone.

16. An Ice flow.
--As G. gasps for breath he sees that a battered Demona and Xan have the drop on an even more battered Trio. The fight is over; the good guys lost.
--Demona's glad Coldstone saved G. for her to finish off.
--But Coldstone wants some answers first.
--Coldstone: "You said if Goliath dies. We would survive."
--Again, he indicates himself: "Is that all there is... surviving?"
--Demona's almost tender with him, but what she says is something like: "That's all that counts."
--But Goliath has finally figured it out. Surviving is not enough. To merely survive at all costs is not the gargoyle way. Gargoyles protect the way gargoyles breathe. To forget that leads to true corruption. Not the corruption of humans, or even Coldstone's metallic corruption. But the bitter fanaticism of Demona's corrupt soul. Or something like that.
--Of course, Demona's not just gonna sit there and let Goliath speechify forever.
--She takes aim.
--Coldstone leaps between them, takes the blast and is blown off the ice into the water. He does not resurface.
--Goliath immediately dives in after his brother.
--Demona fires into the water at both of them.
--She is furious at Coldstone's betrayal.
--Trio try to take some advantage of situation, but Xanatos won't allow it.
--Suddenly, the ice seems to be hit from above by a cannonball that sends everyone reeling.
--That was no cannonball that was Bronx. Hudson dropped him from on high.
--Again, the tide has turned. And it's all Xanatos can do to grab Demona and rocket her out of there.
--Goliath comes up for air. There's no sign of Coldstone.
--Goliath has lost his only surviving brother.

17. Epilogue #1 - Bridge.
--The six gargoyles are climbing back up the bridge. (They'll need some height to glide home.)
--Hudson apologizes for abandoning their home, the clock tower.
--Goliath points toward Manhattan and says something like: "The clock tower is where we sleep. But our home is that island. Our castle is Manhattan. And gargoyles always protect their castle... and anyone, human or gargoyle who resides within."
--Elisa pulls up in her car. It took her awhile to get clear of Matt.
--Are they o.k.? Do they need anything?
--Goliath: "I need a detective."

18. Epilogue #2 - All-Nite Grocery - Dawn.
--The thief from scene 1 comes in again.
--The owner is scared at first but the thief is very contrite.
--He gives back all the money and asks the owner to call the police so that he can turn himself in.
--When the flabbergasted owner asks why, the frightened thief replies: "Six monsters and a cop told me to."

19. Rooftop across the street from the All-Nite Grocery - Morning.
--In the cold early morning wind amid hazy sunlight, Elisa stands on the roof across the street from the grocery store amid six horrific stone gargoyles.
--Elisa watches, as Morgan (at the end of his shift) takes the thief away in his squad car.
--Elisa: "Well, it's a start. Xanatos, Demona, you two are next."
--The sun breaks through the clouds, shining brightly on a beautiful winter's day in Manhattan.
--E: "You know, guys, the city feels safer already."
--She leaves them there to sleep and heads home after a long night.
--FADE.

End of memo. My real Ramble should come soon.


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Aaron writes...

Awakenings 5. I always found Demona's name revalation to be quite dramatic. She comes through the smoke, with the bazooka, eyes flashing. I know I was paying attention. And Xanatos is the man. Even hanging some obscene height off the ground, with nothing but a muscle twitch between him and very messy death, and a PO'd Goliath in his face, he never loses his cool.

Greg responds...

Gotta say, I'm very proud of Demona & Xanatos. So modesty aside...

Villains are generally interesting. But they rarely come off the page or the screen. (Or if they do it's by being very loud and in your face.) They're rarely complex. They have one great motivation and/or trait. And they live off that.

But Demona and Xanatos are both extremely complex and layered. Two really great villains. And both in the same series.

(Macbeth isn't too shabby either.)

Response recorded on April 05, 2000

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p;xl writes...

You ask for comments, and boy, do people give them to you. I think you'll be shackled in this Ask Greg piece for the rest of your life, or if by some miracle... <which won't come cause Disney corps are stupid and inherently greedy> the shows ressurected.

Anycase.... I was going through my very fractured gargoyle collection. <I had started taping the episodes off the WB, but the show was cancelled, le sigh, and never got key episodes like "The Mirror" which I so adore, so I only have the crappy USA versions and a couple of uncuts>. Anyways... I saw a handfull of episodes. I'd forgotten how powerful some scenes were.

The first episodes I popped in and saw. Avalon 1-3. Avalon 1 was nice, flashback, filler episode. And then came Avalon 2, with David Warner <who for Star Trek fans voiced a cardassian in an episode where Picard was captured, the "how many lights" big brother deal ep>. His interaction with anyone is great, but with himself?! Pure genius. But even yet... this probably didn't prepare anyone for Avalon 3. This was truly a pivotal episode. In it we see the typical fights, Archmage, Macbeth/Demona. But the Magus. Wow. My congrats whoever did that... The Magus. How you expanded in on his character to let everyone know *who* he was. His feelings, regrets, hardships, guilt. And then the impossible battle he fought... you stated that Puck would have a hard time taking on the Weird Sisters. But he did it, a single sorceror, without the strength to weild the magic, took them on anyways. And in his last ounce of strength, cast a spell sealing the battle. Just must applaud whoever wrote that, whether you or anyone. And the Death scene, I'm not a cryer, but I swear I nearly shed tears. Goosebumps..

The Price came next. Another very key episode. It shows how much Goliath cares for his former leader, and the loyalty of Owen. Xanatos really pissed me off at the end of that episode, how he casually shrugged off the loyalty bit.

Well I'm gonna end my little episode opinions, but its fun to talk about them and such. With such a *huge* audience. If Gore ever put a counter on this page, I'd laugh to see what its little ticker would be. You get at least 15 questions a day I'd think.

Thanks for the show.

Greg responds...

I'd hardly call AVALON I, filler. Anyway....

As for Avalon III, I think Lydia wrote the episode. I came up with the basic story idea, and Lydia, Brynne and I worked out the plot together.

As for "The Price", you don't need to be quite so pissed at Xanatos. He knew Owen was Puck.

As for how many questions I get... I'm not sure. But February's going on forever.

Response recorded on April 04, 2000

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Aaron writes...

What did Titania whisper to Fox? I'm not asking the question, (again) just presenting a theory.

Titania never whispered *anything* to Fox. It was just a quick kiss. ;) Kudos to you if you know what movie I'm riffing on here.

Greg responds...

I don't. Sorry.

Response recorded on April 04, 2000

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Blaise writes...

Just got back from reading your rambles on "Awakening Part 5".

Xanatos does indeed kick ass, as far as villains go. Whether he was "stupid" or not in letting Goliath and Demona "play out their little drama" may end up being something of a debate, but personally, he does strike me as the type who would be endlessly fascinated in watching this sort of thing.
I never really gave much thought to the ambiguity of Hudson's advice to Goliath before. I did notice that he seemed more...reasonable? Elisa's plea seemed more to be based on emotion (gut instinct, whatever) while Hudson's was definitely more the "thinking man's" response. I kind of like that.
Yeah, Elisa's way of showing three in her fingers always throws me for a loop. I always thought it was just some idiosyncratic quality.
Also, I always wondered (at least, I did after reading the Season 1 Writer's Bible) why we didn't hear or see much of Scarab Corporation except for the insignia. I'm glad to have some idea now. Xanatos is indeed a complex man, playing both the "mastermind-behind-the-scenes" and the "glorious-conquistador" if you will. He doesn't stay at either extreme, and will play whatever part he feels will be the most advantageous (sp?). For some things, that is apparently indeed handling things himself. And one thing that I will ALWAYS admire about him (both as a character and as a villain) is the fact that when Goliath was holding him by his shirtfront off the side of the Eyrie Building (however that's spelled), Xanatos did not fall into the cowardly pleadings quite a few "regular" villains seem to do. Instead, he just shows calm defiance. Gotta love that!
Demona and Goliath's conversation: Yeah, I enjoy a lot of the irony in that scene, too. Especially Goliath's remark about Xanatos and the undeniable revelation of Mr. X's true colors afterwards.
As for the revelation of Demona's name--hey, I thought it worked for me! Kind of gave a chill actually. That and even in this early mention of it I liked the sound and thought it fit her well.

Can't wait for the next one!

Greg responds...

The main thing was that Xanatos was so damn fun to write.

And I'm glad the Demona name thing worked for you. That's one vote for.

Response recorded on April 04, 2000

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Phil writes...

Hi, Greg
No questions today; just a ramble of my own.
I'm really enjoying your comments about each episode as you re-watch the series. You'll probably be way past it by the time you read this, but I'd like to tell you about a memorable episode for me.
It was the first one of the second season, "Leader of the Pack." I was knocked out of my socks from surprise three times in that one episode.
The first surprise was when Coyote took off his helmet in front of the Pack. I wasn't surprised to see that it was Xanatos; I "knew" it was him from his first line. What I was surprised about was that he would reveal himself to them. Xanatos was a behind-the-scenes villain who had others do his dirty work for him. It took me by surprise.
My second shock came when Bronx ripped off half of Coyote's face. I had no idea that he wasn't really Xanatos.
The third surprise was at the end when Xanatos picked up Fox in his limo and they started kissing. I didn't see that coming at all. I was suspicious when Fox refused to escape, but the idea that she and Xanatos were in love never entered my mind.
Of course there were a lot of other memorable moments in the series, but three surprises in one half-hour makes that episode stick out in my mind.
Thanks for a great show, and I hope to see more in the future.

Greg responds...

Erin responds:

I liked the show too. And I think it was very shocking also.

Benny's response:

Shock.

Greg's response:

We tried to keep ya guessing as much as possible. (Of course, as you know, I'm still a couple episodes away from doing my "Leader" ramble.) But this one was particularly fun. Though of course, I felt we had laid pipe for the revelations during the conversation that Elisa had with Fox in "Her Brother's Keeper".

Response recorded on April 01, 2000

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Jackal's Love writes...

Greetings Greg,
What are the ages of the original members of the Pack (as in Fox, Wolf, Dingo, Hyena and Jackal)? I know Dingo is in his mid-thirties, but what of the others?
Thank you for your time.

Greg responds...

Fox was born in 1966. I think Jackal & Hyena are younger. Dingo and Wolf are older.

Response recorded on March 31, 2000

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Blaise writes...

RE: "Awakening Part 2" I agree, there is some real nice stuff in here.

I hadn't realized the problems you guys had with the Viking fight in regards to Broadway. Just so you know, I definitely got the idea that Broadway grabbed the meat soley for its value as a weapon (I was quite surprised in fact--when most animated shows introduce a character as an "eating machine" the audience is constantly reminded of that fact). I also noticed (and am glad) that Broadway's eating became down-played as the series progressed.
As for Hudson's sword...well, it took me a few viewings before I noticed that he didn't really have it until the Viking camp. I like the idea that the "character with the weapon" didn't start out with it.
Yeah, Lexington's admiration with the catapult would have been nice. Oh well, at least he was shown recognizing the helicoptor (sp?) as a contraption rather than a creature.
Personally, I never connected GARGOYLES with "Batman" so you'll be happy about that. And I didn't think that the laserbeam shot from Goliath's eyes (Xanatos was shown retrieving the laser in the previous scene).
On the subject of Xanatos, I knew he was at least tilted if not the outright villain. Mostly this is because he seemed like that in the "trailer" I saw on the "Nightmare Before Christmas" tape. However, there were also a couple of his lines. Whenever ANY character says the phrase "At last" in reference to a noun I tend to mark them down as untrustworthy. Then of course there's the wonderful line "Pay a man enough, and he'll walk barefoot into Hell." One of the coolest lines in the whole damn series, IMHO (I was surprised you guys got away with a character saying the ol' "H-E-double-hockey-sticks" word). But I did believe Xanatos when he said Goliath & co. were the last gargoyles on Earth (once again, it seemed the route so traveled I didn't expect it to change), and I thought the attack itself was for real.
Goliath's "suicide"--unfortunately I knew he was going to wake up in 1,000 years, and I never looked at it as a suicide until you pointed it out as such. I can be pretty thick-headed in some things. I did love their awakening in the 20th century, however. Definitely a sense there of the creatures of antiquity being reborn if you will.
As for Owen, there was definitely a mystique here--he only gets the one scene, yet he is so dignified and solemn, and seems more practical and level-headed than his "boss." How many other "villain's sidekicks" are like that?

Used WAY too much space. C'YA!

Greg responds...

Interesting observations. (By the way, the "barefoot into hell" line was all Michael Reaves.)

It's interesting about the "last Gargoyles on earth" thing. I mean, here you don't actually trust X, but you still are inclined to believe what he says. The next question is did you believe his story about Demona? And after David was fully revealed as a villain, did you think to reconsider what he had said about the eggs? Or did you just forget about them until Avalon?

Response recorded on March 31, 2000

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Chapter XII: "Her Brother's Keeper"

I think Michael Reaves came up with this title. I wanted to shorten it to "Brother's Keeper" so that it would implicitly include the Trio, Goliath and his late rookery-brothers, Jackal & Hyena. But Michael talked me out of it. He was right.

This was the second out of three episodes where we attempted to do Kenner a solid by inserting a toy into the series. The Helicopter was a much more awkward fit than Brooklyn's motorcycle had been. But we all agreed to make it work. Originally, Lex was going to repair Derek's police chopper, but someone suggested using the Pack 'copter instead. So we tried to make it all play as organic as possible. Lex and the Simulator, to set up his ability to pilot the thing. Broadway bringing up the obvious question as to why winged gargs would need a chopper, so that the audience didn't think we were ignoring those points. Etc. And in the end, it still plays artificial. But fortunately it's in an episode that is othewise filled with tremendous emotional honesty. So maybe it all balances out.

Of course, the irony was that Kenner never made a gargoyle helicopter. Without telling us, they switched to a sky sled sorta thing, because they couldn't figure out how to do a helicopter that successfully interacted with the garg-toys' wings. No good deed goes unpunished.

Broadway: "If cops were meant to fly they'd have wings." I love that line.

Derek - This was part of our plan to turn Derek into Catscan. Of course, the Catscan name was eventually dropped for Talon. The original plan for Catscan had him being a scientist that worked for and was duped by Xanatos. Picture us trying to combine Derek and Anton. (I know it's a mind-bender. It was more like Derek's personality and Anton's expertise.) But the Garg Universe told me otherwise once we created Derek for "Deadly Force". He'd be the cursed one. And this was just step one. Step only, if we never got a second season. So we left it open ended. And I think it's a pretty stunning bittersweat ending. The snow starts to fall (all very symbolic) and we don't know if Derek will listen to Elisa's tape of Fox or not. And we leave Elisa, standing, wondering, thinking, as the snow falls. It's not your typical Saturday morning cartoon conclusion -- not even for a drama. What did you all think at the end of that after your first viewing?

The snow became a very important visual metaphor for me. I exchanged a few faxes with Japan to make sure (that contrary to the script) there was NO SNOW on the ground at Xanadu, no snow at all, until it starts falling during Elisa's last conversation with Derek.

CONTINUITY:

Sure, Jackal and Hyena were at large, but we establish here that Wolf and Fox are in prison. Anyone looking back at "Thrill" would know that this makes sense. Lex and Goliath take Dingo, J & H out on the roof. No human witnesses to their evil. And they didn't do anything against anyone but the gargs. But Wolf and Fox were photographed taking human (well, fashion model) hostages. So they go to prison. Dingo goes to Europe. J&H are still around to do mischief. But meanwhile, most normal humans still regard them as celebrities, until Hyena pulls a knife. (We had planned once-upon-a-time to make knives a bigger element/part of their arsenal. But it was a bit problematic S&P-wise, and it became moot after "Upgrade".)

Broadway, ever Elisa's biggest fan, thinks Derek should just trust her.

Brooklyn, still scarred from trusting Demona, points out that trust doesn't mean much without honesty.

Lex, still pissed at the Pack, just wants to catch them.

And it's nice to see Morgan and Matt again. If you like guys in towels.

Xanatos, as usual, is so cool.

"Never a gargoyle around when you need one."

"Detective. Always a pleasure."

"My life is anything but dull."

And that's just his dialogue. His plan is audacious. He has Owen call the Police, counts on Elisa and the gargs to rescue him from Jackal & Hyena. (We loved playing that irony.) And instructs Fox to tell Elisa everything. He's so confident, he even has no qualms about leaving Elisa and Derek alone to talk at the end.

And you gotta love a guy named Xanatos naming his retreat Xanadu.

I love the Hannibal Lechter inspired scene between Elisa & Fox. This of course was the moment when we all figured out what the garg universe already knew: "My god, Fox is in love with Xanatos." I hadn't known that back when Fox was created in the development days of yore. Hadn't known it when we did "Thrill". Hadn't known it until we were way into script on this. But there it was. And nothing would ever be the same. (Did you guys realize it there? And how far did you think we'd take it?)

Suddenly, the events of "Leader of the Pack", "Eye of the Beholder" and "Vows" seemed to spread out before me. And Alexander became a glimmer in my eye (if not Xanatos').

Elisa acts true to form here. What we'd spell out later in "Revelations" is already implied here. Elisa is extremely (if subconsciously) reluctant to share her gargoyles secret with anyone. Three times Goliath tells her to share her secret with her brother. Three times she finds an excuse not to. (Frank Paur found this repetitive. He tried to take one of the scenes and make it play more subjective. Like Elisa imagining a conversation with Goliath, while the actual Goliath was sleeping in stone. It was a sweet idea, but it didn't make any logical sense in terms of story flow and forced us to make storyboard changes and call retakes in order to get the version we've all seen.)

We loved playing irony. Elisa and Peter are right about Xanatos, but dead wrong about the way they're trying to control Derek's life. Diane and Derek are absolutely right about Derek needing to control his own destiny, but make the tragic choice of trusting that destiny to Xanatos. Those two scenes are terrific. (Helped immensely by vocal performances. And I also love Nichelle Nichols as the diamond exchange saleslady.)

Derek thinks Elisa thinks Xanatos is the "Prince of Darkness". "He practically is!" she responds. <SIGH> Tricksters are always being confused with Satan.

But that was more irony. It's not the demonic-looking gargoyles who are being compared to Satan. It's the handsome, rich Bruce Wayne-esque playboy. I guess the goatee helps.

My daughter's reactions:

As you may have gathered, it's become fascinating to me to see how Erin is reacting differently seeing all these episodes for the second time at age 5 1/2.

She was stunned at the end of Act One and following when Derek told Elisa that he was accepting Xanatos' offer. "That's not supposed to happen," she kept saying.

And all the trio stuff made her laugh. She especially liked Goliath's admonitions to the Trio: "Try to get along."

Brooklyn sure knows his pop-culture: Star Wars and Star Trek references within a few minutes of each other.

It was important to us to show that even guys as close as the Trio could get tired of each other. Sure they're all Rookery brothers and best friends. But if they had stayed at Wyvern (i.e. if there had been no massacre) they wouldn't have had to spend ALL their time together. At the very least, females would have provided a distraction. But here in the 20th century they're all they've got. So of course, there'd be good days and bad days. Like any siblings.

And of course, the sibling theme was central to the episode, including the Jackal & Hyena's relationship. The irony there being that they were getting along better than the Trio or the Mazas.

I loved Goliath's outrage at the lack of appreciation that the Mazas and Trio have for their siblings. It's very moving to me. (And helps us set up Coldstone for next episode.)

When Lex comments that if Broadway had his way, the garg-copter would be covered with food, I knew that we were pushing Broadway's eating habits into the dull one-joke tired category. I hate that line. And we tried to back off the eating jokes after that.

Anyone notice our tribute to Launchpad McQuack when Lex says "Any landing you can walk away from..."

Some gorgeous animation in this one. I loved what they did with the lighting when Lex gets Jackal and Hyena in the chopper's spot.

S&P

--The trio toss Jackal & Hyena out of their chopper. It's o.k. They're wearing parachutes. But did the Trio know that? Maybe with Jackal, since Hyena's chute had already opened. But was Hyena tossed to her presumptive death.

Yes. After all they're still thinking (first season) like tenth century warriors, not like twentieth century super-heros.

--One of the advantages to Syndication over Network is a more liberal S&P. We could show Broadway's fist heading into camera. We couldn't actually show him punching Jackal in the head, but we could show Jackal's POV of that fist heading toward him. A couple frames of black, and then we cut wide to Jackal on the ground, and we know what happened. But on Network, in "The Journey" or, say, "Max Steel", we are NEVER allowed to even imply a head blow. And we can't show a fist or gun or whatever pointed directly at camera (i.e. at the audience). Too disturbing, I'm told.

And finally, at the end, when Elisa arrests Hyena, I've got to ask, what do you think Hyena's smiling about?

Maybe that's the next contest...

Hmmm....


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Aris Katsaris writes...

You had said that you planned to add a female (and human) love interest for Owen... In what time-period would we have seen her? Gargoyles-2158 or the "present" series?

Greg responds...

Most likely the present. But my plans might have changed if the present series never got picked up and 2158 did. Nothing's final 'til its canon.

Response recorded on March 26, 2000

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Chapter X: "The Edge"

By the end of this episode, everyone is happy.

Both Goliath and Xanatos are afraid they've lost their edge. Both are convinced by the end that they've regained it. Both are at least partially deceiving themselves. [One of the little ambiguities that I love about the Xanatos tags is that one way to interpret them is that David is just full of it. He loses, but claims victory anyway.]

But David is just so lovable in this episode. You gotta love the villain who does NOT penalize his subordinate for beating him in a judo match. And he has such great audacious dialogue (kudos to Michael Reaves and Jonathan Frakes). A few approximate samples:
--"I'm the best friend you have."
--"If you're going to be picky, we won't get anywhere."
--"You're taking this much too personally."
And those were all in one scene. A scene where he's just standing out there awaiting their arrival. I mean, a guy as busy as he is... Is that confidence/arrogance or what?

And he's not afraid to get his hands dirty. Giving X the armor was essential. Up to this point, David had been only the brains. But to be a true reverse-hero, he had to be a warrior as well. Here we showed he had what it takes to mix it up. But always without being stupid. Question: How many of you knew the "red robot" was Xanatos in armor before the tag? Of course, now it seems obvious, but what about the first time you saw this ep?

And yet Elisa "Wouldn't want his karma." What goes around comes around. All that arrogance, had to receive some commeuppance. (Can anyone say Oberon?)

One thing that I thought was TOO OBVIOUS was the Steel Clan theft of the EYE OF ODIN. I would have preferred if that scene had been more ambiguous in Act One. Preferred that the audience maybe think that the Robot WAS Goliath, so that when Matt takes aim at the cliffhanger, we think he's going to shoot Goliath. The cliffhanger doesn't really play as is. Only Elisa is fooled, not the audience.

Everyone wonders why Xanatos donated the Eye to the Museum of MODERN Art. (Maybe because it had mediocre security, but adequate security cameras.) But what I want to know is whether or not Edvard Munch's "The Scream" is really at that museum?

Speaking of THE EYE, I may have mentioned that this was actually the idea of the Disney interactive video game people. We wanted to be synergistic, and I kinda liked the whole idea, so we put it into the show. It was another of our step-by-step additions to the continuity. Intro it as a minor maguffin. A dewdad for Xanatos. And build from there, with the eventual plan to actually make it Odin's eye. At some point in all this, we completely forgot that the idea came from the interactive people. We went back to see them months and months later and were reminded. Luckily the concepts hadn't gotten too far away from each other. But the design did. Unfortunately, our design wound up looking a bit Egyptian for my tastes. The Interactive design had a great Raven motif. (Oh, well.)

New characters (more or less):

A cameo by Derek.

The first mention of the Emir.

The first appearance of Travis Marshall. Michael and I worked this guy out together. He wouldn't be one of those fluff journalists. He'd be old school. He wouldn't whitewash David, just because the guy was a rich man. We always made sure to give Travis that edge. And still, I always felt we underused him. In this episode, Matt gives him a lift in Derek's chopper. Matt says, "You owe me one." Eventually, I'd like to see Matt collect on that favor in a story focusing on the two of them.

And speaking of Matt...

The first real appearance of Matt Bluestone. This guy was largely Michael Reaves' creation. (Although the "Bluestone" name was one of our earlier choices for Elisa's last name. After Chavez, Reed and Chavez, but before Maza.) At first, I admit I was dubious about him being a conspiracy nut. But it so worked. And this was the first time I ever worked with Tom Wilson. He's just so great. And so damn funny to have in the booth. (I love him in FREAKS & GEEKS.)

Matt & Elisa discuss the Illuminati, UFO's and Loch Ness. I love how dubious she is, with her inside joke: "Believe me, the world's strange enough as it is." Little does she know.

But my favorite thing about Matt is that ultimately he's a healthy influence on Elisa... "Maybe that's when you need one [a partner] the most." He's just a really good guy.

As usual, characters keep their promises. Matt vows to find out what those creatures (the gargs) are. And by God, eventually he does.

More on continuity...

Elisa's only JUST coming back to work. In cartoon terms, the fact that we waited this long after her gunshot wound, was a relative eternity. The height of cartoon realism. It doesn't seem like very long, but months passed between the original airings of DEADLY FORCE and THE EDGE.

And Chavez won't let her go back on the job without a partner. Michael conceptualized Matt -- after I mandated the creation of Elisa's partner. Cops have partners. It is one of the defining things about cops. When cop-shows show cops working solo, it always bugs me. I felt we got away with it for a bit. But it was time to make Elisa a more real cop. And that meant a partner. Not a bad guy. But someone who could potentially cause her trouble. And yet still really be her partner.

Broadway is still very solicitous toward Elisa. Taking the tv from her. It's sweet.

Random stuff:

The show is gorgeous to look at. (Thanks Roy, et al.)

I love Lexington's line when he regains consciousness: "We're still alive. How come?"

Watching the show this time, my daughter was very nervous that the Statue of Liberty would be damaged in the battle between our gargs and the Steel Clan. But when Broadway nailed one robot by impaling him with a metal claw from the other robot, Erin said, "Nice one."

Goliath is reading Dostoevsky. Are you?


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Blaise writes...

Hey Greg! Just read your ramble about taking risks on the show. I have to tell you, I liked that.
Actually the first thing that got my attention was in the first five episodes when a) the majority of the clan was massacred, b) there were actual children (eggs) that vanished, and c) a character who was introduced as a "good guy" and the hero's love to boot ended up a dangerous villainess. I liked that. I wasn't initially as surprised at the gargoyles moving to the clock tower--I guess I kind of expected them to leave the castle sometime (because of Xanatos and all).
During the second season, however, the permanent changes really started hitting me. Elisa's brother and three other humans are turned into Mutates and NOT CHANGED BACK at the end of the episode. Hell, the ep ends with Xanatos pretty much triumphant, Brooklyn depressed, Elisa crying and the other gargoyles troubled (at least, that's how I interpreted it). And of course, Demona gaining the ability to turn human during the day! The Pack's permanent body upgrades (and Dingo's eventual reformation). Owen's stone hand--quite an ending that. And of course the addition of Angela to the cast. I always find it interesting when a new character is added to the show as a REGULAR.
Then there's the Avalon World tour. I got to admit, that's gutsy. Yeah, I got annoyed sometimes--4th or 5th ep I started wondering "when are they going to get home?"--but then I realized I just had to sit back and enjoy the ride. And I did.
The Xanatos family--I didn't really see that coming (how many other characters in animated afternoon shows get married and have kids like this?). The Clocktower's destruction--I could have killed you guys for that cliff-hanger. ;-) I did not expect that, but after it happened, I figured Xanatos would help them and they'd live in the Castle again. But that was only AFTER you destroyed the place they lived in for the majority of the show.
This is a book now, so I'll just finish by saying this: You guys did a bang-up job!

Greg responds...

Wow. Thanks. I was particularly proud of the Fox/David marriage and child thing. I mean, he's the bad guy after all, and she ain't much better. And yet...

Hey, you know it actually is working. I feel like we've got a substantial back/forth dialogue going over the last few posts.

Response recorded on March 17, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

You asked in a recent rambling about our responses to a number of the "permanent changes" in the course of the series. In the case of the ones that you cited, I can't really recall now how I responded to them at the time (for example, in the case of "Enter Macbeth", my attention was more grabbed by Macbeth's entrance into the series - particularly on account of his name, since that's always been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays - than by the gargoyles' forced relocation - and I was even more delighted in later episodes when we found out more about him and that he was *the* Macbeth).

However, I do recall two "changes" (if relatively small ones) that did startle me. The first was Owen's hand getting turned permanently to stone at the end of "The Price". The second was the destruction of the Grimorum Arcanorum in "Avalon", which particularly raised my eyebrows since that book had been around since the beginning of the series, so that I was astonished to see it go. (I might add that, from my subjective view-point, the end of the Grimorum came, in a sense, not so much when it self-destructed in "Avalon Part Three" as when the Archmage devoured it in "Avalon Part Two").

But when I did look back on them in retrospect, I found that I very much appreciated the changes. It was one of those things that gave "Gargoyles" a special feeling about it that I've so rarely seen in television animation. More like a televised novel, almost.

Greg responds...

Thanks. That was the goal. I figure, hey, S**T HAPPENS. And some things you can't take back. Yeah, sure, I wasn't gonna leave all the gargoyles as humans for all the eps after "The Mirror"; after all, the show wasn't called "HUMANS". And of course, even the loss of the castle wasn't permanent, as Goliath predicted.

But some things can't be changed. Demona can't take back the massacre. History is immutable. And the Magus... well, he's gone. That's life. And death. And everything in between.

As for the two specifics you mentioned...

I wanted to get a rise out of all of you with Owen's hand. It was designed to shock. It was also a bit of a clue. And it flat-out amused the hell outta me.

As for the Grimorum, it honestly felt played out to me. (How many stolen spells could we pull out of our collective hat?) But I wanted to give it a memorable exit. I thought having it swallowed whole by the Archmage was pretty cool.

Hmmm, "HUMANS"... Maybe there's a spin-off idea there...

Response recorded on March 17, 2000

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Jessica Brimer (shadowrider@blomand.net) writes...

Hi, this is the first time I've asked a question, so ignore me if I seem to babble a bit.
I'm a big Puck/Owen fan so my questions have to do with him.

1)Seeing as you really never got the chance to use the Puck/Owen thing much, I was wondering if you would have used this angle more later? (Did that make sense?)

2) In the "The Mirror", Demona mentioned that Puck had served the human (I think that was it), now he would serve her. Is this maybe a reference to Puck serving Shakespear?
(I only say Shakespear because thatr's the work he first appeared in right?)

3) I've long believed that Puck and Owen are one in the same. Owen being the tricksters more serious side. However I have also talked to people who thought Puck was a seperate personality from Owen's own and vice versa. Which is true?

4) In "The Gathering" Oberon didn't seem to know Puck was Owen. Is that an indication that Puck had made his "mask" so well even Oberon himself couldn't see through it?

All for now and it's been nice ummm...typing to you?

Greg responds...

1. Yes and yes.

2. No. Xanatos.

3. Both.

4. I suppose. But Oberon wasn't focusing either.

Nice typing back...

Response recorded on March 11, 2000

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Heather N. Allen writes...

Okay, these questions sorta ended up essay form. I hope I didn't make things TOO complicated. (But they're all on one topic: 'The Gathering' episodes.)

*1* In The Gathering, Puck mentions he noticed Titania in human form and thought it looked like fun. Therefore, he created Owen. Obviously he knew about her, but did she know about him? I mean, he didn't reveal himself to anyone but Xanatos. And after being brought to see grandbaby Alex by Owen himself, when Puck is noticeably missing from Avalon, wouldn't she have known right where to look for him if she knew his human guise?

If she DIDN'T know, like didn't sense or anything (the way Oberon senses her once in the Eyrie Building) then that means she didn't reveal herself to Puck. Then how'd HE know ANASTASIA was TITANIA in the first place, if he couldn't sense it?

Did that come anywhere near making sense?

I'm adding this on as an afterthought sparked by Robby in the CR--perhaps it helps out the confusing mess I posted above:

*2* a) What if Titania DID know Puck was Owen, and kept it to herself (seeing that she'd had in mind it was likely the Xanatos family would get to keep Alex anyway). Was this what was mentioned in the infamous 'thing whispered into Fox's ear that made her smile'?

*2* b) If not, what WAS whispered by Titania into Fox's ear that made her smile? {Are you tired of this one yet? Hopefully not as much as the 'Which Weird Sister is which' questions ^_^}

~H\A~

Greg responds...

All right for starters, the GATHERING info Puck gives assumes that he was watching Titania. Followed her at some point and saw her transformation to Anastasia. Then secretly observed Anastasia to find out what the fascination was.

Theoretically, Titania did NOT know. Owen certainly doesn't think she knows. So the question really is, do you believe Titania's implied statement that everything in GATHERING PART TWO went as she planned. That's hardly possible if she didn't know that Puck was available to act as a tutor that Fox and David would implicitly trust. So the question is, who do you believe?

As to the whisper... Well, I won't say what she said, but certainly it was nothing as Prosaic as "Listen, Janine, this all worked because I already knew that Puck was Owen."

Response recorded on March 11, 2000

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Kar -kwannon@yahoo.com writes...

When Xanatos loses his "guinea pig" aka Hudson in "The Price" why would he allow Owen to test the Cauldron of life for him? Since Owen is Puck, and Puck being a Fey is naturally immortal what does this accomplish? If it worked Owen would be no different or did Owen set out to prove that it did NOT work?

Greg responds...

Owen is human. He can turn back into Puck. But that's his only magical ability. It was a legitimate test. Besides, what did X have to lose?

Response recorded on March 11, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

This is a rather confusing question - even I am not certain I completely understand it... It has to do a bit with characterisation as it applies to the Puck/Owen situation. Obviously Owen is the most serious of the two (understatement of the year :-) But usually when people talk about what another is and feels like, they don't mean only what he *acts* like. So is Owen *really* any different personality-wise to Puck, does Puck's (or any fay's) disguise really influence something more fundamental than their form, influence their thought-processes? Or is Owen's personality nothing more than a role to Puck, (like that of an actor) even if an important one?

In a nutshell, can the Children of Oberon pretty much change their *personalities* as well to some extent when they take different forms, especially as important alter egos as those of Anastasia and Owen?

Greg responds...

FORM is a HUGE influence, I believe. So yes, Puck and Owen are very different. Underneath it all, sure they're the same lovable rogue, don't you agree? But there are fundamental differences. Or else the Puck is a poor showman. When Puck takes on a roll, he lives it. And Owen is his best roll yet.

Now, having said that, generalizing what the Puck can do to the rest of the Children is not wise.

Anastasia had a major influence on Titania, but I think they are more alike than not. Much more alike than Puck and the Owen.

Response recorded on March 09, 2000

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Bud-Clare writes...

You once mentioned that Fox "has half-siblings foster-siblings and step-siblings on her mother's side." Her half- and step-siblings are easy enough, but who are her foster-siblings?

Greg responds...

Well, there's always that Indian Boy from Midsummers for starters.

Gotta be a lot of what we used to call "Changelings" that Titania's taken in over the years.

Response recorded on March 09, 2000

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Chapter IX: "Enter Macbeth"

Another episode by episode ramble. Feedback encouraged.

So here's where all that great continuity got us in major trouble.

The episodes were all designed to play in a certain order. But I didn't tell my bosses that in advance. I know it sounds sneaky, but it wasn't really. We wrote the darn things and sent them off in order. It never occured to me they wouldn't be able to come back and air in order. I mean, how could a newer episode get the jump on an older one? How could an older episode not be ready before a newer one? Then the footage came back on "Enter Macbeth".

This was the first episode not animated in Japan. And immediately we knew we were in trouble. I'm not talking about the version you all have seen. The one that aired. I'm talking about stuff you never saw. Much of the original footage we got was unusable. This wasn't about just calling retakes. This wasn't about us bitching how "Thrill" wasn't as well animated as "Awakening". This was a major disaster. So my bosses said: "Air the next one." And I responded, "We can't."

And not just because they were all designed to air in order. It was a horrible coincidence, but this episode, this episode that was unairable, was a tentpole. Yeah, if Thrill or Temptation had been reordered it would have been sad. Same with "The Edge" and "Long Way To Morning". But big deal, right? Better to get a new episode out and not make the audience deal with repeats this early in the season. (Remember, we had aired our first five episodes in one week. This was only week five. In those days, week five was considered way too early in the year for reruns.)

But this was the follow-up to Elisa's injury. It was important to us that we continue our policy of "repercussions". We put her on crutches to show that a gunshot wasn't something that was solved in twenty-two minutes. This was an ongoing recovery. If you pulled the crutches out by airing Edge next, you blew out the sense of repercussions.

But that wasn't the clincher. Of course, the clincher was the Clock Tower. This was the episode where the Gargs were "banished" from the castle and moved to the Clock Tower. That was a major shift. If we cut straight to Edge, the audience would be lost. Fortunately, Gary was convinced. In a way, I was lucky that our first crisis of order came on such a pivotal "tentpole" episode. We couldn't reorder these. So we went with reruns. But it was a lesson learned. And it would effect the way we approached the second season.

But meanwhile, we had the problem at hand. We couldn't reanimate the entire show. So we picked shots to redo judiciously. There are still some awful looking scenes. When Goliath says, "How Dare You?!" to Elisa, he looks like an Animaniacs parody of Goliath. And that sarcophogus/iron maiden thing that Goliath follows Macbeth through looks like a prop out of CHIP N DALE'S RESCUE RANGERS. (Another perfectly good series, but with a slightly different art style, if you know what I mean.) Or how about the GIANT remote that Macbeth pulls from his duster in order to summon his ship? "Enter Macbeth" is still, as aired, the worst looking episode of the first season. And that really killed Frank and I, because we both really loved this story. We were sure that the bad animation would kill any interest in Macbeth. The fact that generally, the character did catch hold of fandom's collective imagination is a true testament to the work of Steve Perry, Michael Reaves, John Rhys-Davies and Jamie Thomason. And, oh, yes... William Shakespeare.

The weak picture forced us to use a lot of little tricks to get a final cut. One thing we did, which I regret, is reuse dialogue. Elisa says "You aren't safe here" like three times. And it isn't three different takes. It's just the exact same take reprinted and reused. Lex & Brooklyn also reuse lines to get Bronx to find Goliath. That sort of thing drives me nuts.

There is one really nice moment in the animation. When Macbeth chooses his sword off the wall, the reflection effect is quite sweet. And I also like the down shot of Bronx running right down the middle of Broadway (the street not the gargoyle). I also love how Goliath makes no attempt to hide. That really spoke to the Gargoyles attitude about living among humans. They wouldn't hold press conferences, but they would not cower.

Anyway, we ran reruns. Awakenings. And obviously all five episodes on five consecutive weeks. That might have been a good thing for people who had heard about the show by word of mouth in week two or later and needed to catch up. But for anyone who had been following the show from its premiere, it was a long time to wait for new episodes. By the time we came back, so much time had passed since "Deadly Force" that we felt the need to put a "Previously on Gargoyles" at the head of the episode. Another trick I cribbed from HILL STREET BLUES. Cartoons rarely did that sort of thing. Sure multi-parters had to. But single episodes... For some reason, it made me feel very grown up. (Which only proves how immature I really am.) The "Previously" also allowed us to cut 30 more seconds of bad looking footage out of the episode. That little bonus was something I'd remember for season two as well.

HOME

As we pushed guns in the previous episode, this one is laced with the imagery and language of home. What is it? What makes it? What price is one willing to pay to keep or secure it? There are four homes depicted. Well, really five. The Gargoyles' castle. Xanatos' prison. Macbeth's mansion. The Clock Tower. And the Castle again, once it is reclaimed by Xanatos and thus becomes a very, very different place.

I tried to make sure, as much as possible, that every episode had that kind of underlying theme. (I recently tried with very limited success to do the same thing in MAX STEEL. Someone asked me once, why the one-word S-Titles for all the Max Steel episodes. They were my attempt to make me and the writers focus on the theme of each story.)

And how do all these homes turn out? Macbeth is so obsessed that he loses his home to a fire. Xanatos finally gets out of prison. (Not on Halloween by the way, or that would make the dates depicted in Double Jeopardy innacurate. Obviously, Halloween was circled on his calendar because the guy just loves Halloween. And after all, Owen specifically says in a LATER scene that Xanatos has one week left before he gets out. The wall calendar had shown only a few days.) The Gargoyles lose the castle, gain the clock tower, but realize that home is literally where the heart is. And Xanatos... well all other concerns of Grimorum and gargoyle of destruction and competition pale next to the simple pleasure of being back home.

And how many of you were suprised that the Gargoyles lost the castle? That was supposed to be another pretty shocking development. I mean, sure, Batman might lose the Batcave for an episode, but for 56 episodes? When Goliath said "We'll be back to claim that which is ours" at the end, did most of you think he'd be back next week? Next month? By the time, the gang finally did return in chapter 65, did anyone still remember Goliath's vow?

MACBETH

I've discussed this before, but Macbeth's origins (at least in terms of our series) were (ironically) an early attempt to play the notion of THE HUNTER. I was looking for someone human who could physically take on the Gargoyles as prey. Someone smart, with an agenda. We actually started with the notion of trying to create our own KRAVEN THE HUNTER type character. But it quickly moved in its own direction. Frankly, away from Kraven and more toward BATMAN. In those days, we were constantly being told that we would be accused of ripping off Batman. So Frank, Michael and I decided to create a villain who, at least in M.O. would be our Batman.

I had a semi-separate idea to add a human to the cast who was from Goliath's time. Thus creating a good thematic nemesis or opposite for him. (The key to creating a good villain, in my opinion.) But this villain would have lived through the centuries. So that he was familiar with the very latest in technology. This dove-tailed with our anti-Batman, and was also exactly how we viewed Demona. So it soon became clear to Michael and I that the two characters must be connected in some way. That suggested that he shouldn't merely be 1000 years old. He should be Scottish as well. All that was left was a name. And given my love of Shakespeare, I'm surprised it took me so long to figure it out. Our nemesis was Macbeth himself. An immortal Scottish King. What Scottish King was more immortal than Macbeth? More mortal too for that matter.

This was the beginning of countless Shakespearian references that I would either slide (or force) into the show, or that the writers would stick in knowing I was a sucker for them. And I love the little exchange between Lex & Brooklyn...

[dialogue approximate]
LEX: "Wasn't "Macbeth" the name of that play by that new writer Shakespeare that Goliath was talking about?"

BROOKLYN: "Have you read it?"

LEX: "No. Have you?"

BROOKLYN: "No. But maybe we should."

This was my little way of trying to encourage our viewers to read or at least learn about the play. If they wanted to know who Macbeth was, it wouldn't hurt to go to the primary source.

And at the time, Shakespeare was my primary source for Macbeth. This was long before Tuppence Macintyre and Monique Beatty did all their research for me for "City of Stone". Back then, the only Macbeth I knew about was Shakespeare's.

We gave him a sense of honor, but a twisted one. And we gave him a very interesting motivation. I didn't yet know the particulars, but this guy was after Demona in a major way. He had stained glass windows in his home depicting the two of them. He was the man who named her. It was all pretty intriguing stuff to me. I love the exchange between him and Goliath. Goliath is a pawn. Mac wants the queen and believes that endangering Goliath is the surest way to ensnare Demona. And how does Goliath respond? By gum, if he doesn't laugh -- MANIACALLY!! And watch how the tables turn. Macbeth is not infallible and suddenly Goliath has him on the defensive. Goliath even uses a MACE!! Great stuff.

Incidentally, we had in the script described Macbeth as wearing a thin layer of exo-armor. And Goliath was supposed to dig his claws into it. Macbeth would escape by detaching from the armor. Instead, the artists did the bit with the duster coat. But I remembered the claws in armor thing and eventually found a place for it... in HUNTER'S MOON, PART THREE.

Finally, watching the episode tonight, my five year old daughter said she spotted the Mona Lisa on Macbeth's wall. I didn't see it. But I believe her. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was the original. Too bad about that fire.


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Bud-Clare writes...

Why did the Eye of Odin only transform Fox at night?

Greg responds...

Who said it did?

Response recorded on March 03, 2000

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Kenneth Chisholm writes...

Would the clan ever learn that Fox tried to ruin and/or murder her own father for fun? If so, how do you think the clan, especially Lex, would react?

Greg responds...

When did Fox try to murder her father?

As for the ruination part, do you think anyone would really be surprised? Certainly not Lex.

Response recorded on March 03, 2000

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The Gatekeeper writes...

Hi Greg,
If you were to compair drivers licence birthdates, who would be older, Xanatos or Owen? I say drivers licence because if you consider Owen's age as being based on Puck, then he would be several thousand years older, but if you consider Owen's age as his creation date, then he would be at least 15 years younger.
A related question, did Puck match Vogels physical age with Owen as well?

Greg responds...

As to your last question, yes, I would think that initially Puck tried to get as close to Preston as possible without going over, i.e. without making it SO freaky that everyone took DISTURBING notice.

I'd say Owen's driver's license probably lists him as a few years younger than David. But their pretty close.

Response recorded on March 03, 2000

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Chapter VIII: "Deadly Force"

Another ramble as I review the entire series. Comments welcome.

"Deadly Force". I have to admit. I never liked the title. It always sounded too generic to me. Michael Reaves pointed out how appropriate it was, but "Temptation" had already given me a taste for one word titles. I came to prefer those, unless I was given a damn good reason not to.

The third episode of our trio tryptich. Broadway. Broadway and Goliath. Broadway, Elisa and Goliath. But this episode represents so much more.

If you were watching the series in '94 during it's original run, and you didn't already think, "Hey, this is different." Then by the end of Act One of "Deadly Force" you knew. I don't know if there's ever been a cartoon like "Deadly Force". A mainstream media production. We had had up to that point a few fairly shocking cliffhangers, a few fairly shocking events, but what equals Broadway pulling that trigger, the suddenly "empty" kitchen and Elisa lying in a pool of her own blood as we fade to black and cut to a commercial?

Where do I start? With pride, I guess. I am extremely proud of this one.

Guns. My personal stance on gun control isn't an issue. Not in this episode. This is about something that I think every even vaguely intelligent person can agree on. Guns aren't toys. Guns aren't "cool", no matter how they're depicted in the media. Guns demand respect. Elisa is at fault. Broadway's massively at fault. Because neither held enough respect for the weapon. (Now one might argue that Elisa lived -- nominally -- alone. It didn't occur to her that she needed to be more careful with her weapon. But it should have. She's a cop. She should know better.) As I write this, as I watched the episode tonight, my head is of course filled with thoughts of the six year old boy who yesterday took his uncle's gun to school and shot a six year old girl, killing her. And I don't want to sound arrogant. But I am angry. And I feel like this episode could really help people. That parents should HAVE to watch this with their kids. Required viewing. And the fact that Toon Disney won't even air it...! I'm furious. Simply furious.

Guns are the least of it. We wanted to send a message about repercussions. Real world repercussions. I wanted our series to be ABOUT repercussions. Demona and the Captain betray Wyvern. There are repercussions. You can't fix things. You can't go back and change it. That's why time travel in the Gargoyles' Universe has such STRICT laws. Without those laws, you remove the dramatic law of repercussions. The real world law that actions have repercussions. This episode was our ode to repercussions. The guns were just our means to an end.

Still, guns would be our medium and the episode is laced with them. With gun imagery. With gun language (e.g. Chavez referring to Dracon's alibi: "He's bulletproof.", etc.). I don't think the episode is too pedantic. I hope it's honest. Probably the most dishonest thing in the story was that Elisa DIDN'T die. Forgive me for that. But I couldn't let her go just then. Still, I think we gave our audience a bigger scare in this one then in most of the other episodes combined. Maybe she would die. There's a sense of scary (again real world) vulnerability in this. And we tried to make her injuries and suffering as realistic as possible. We weren't doing E.R. (or St. Elsewhere, since E.R. didn't exist back then), but we did try to make the medical stuff play true.

All this makes me proud. Proud of what's on the screen.

But there's a whole other side to the making of this show that makes me proud. For what isn't visible on screen. For teamwork. This is a story that seemed to need to be told. Most of the springboards for the 66 chapters came from me, but this one was waiting for us. My bosses Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston were behind the story from the start. Michael Reaves wrote an amazing script, and my God the thing is beautifully made. No one balked. Not our S&P executive. Not our bosses. No one. Think about how amazing that is? We had one of our young heroes pick up a very REAL gun and shoot our female lead in her own kitchen. That's pretty intense.

And fairly rewarding. Even our publicity department saw the value in this one. They got advance copies and sent them out. We had (always had) phenomenally good reviews. But this episode brought us praise from the kind of parents groups that most action cartoon shows usually fear. People got it. They got it. Dr. Madeline Levine wrote a book called "Viewing Violence". It's a fairly sobering study of the effect of modern media on impressionable minds. Disabused me of a few notions, I'll tell you. But she praises GARGOYLES, specifically this episode, in her book. People got it. But not TOON DISNEY people, I guess. They show a huge lack of respect for everyone who worked on that show. Everyone who did or might benefit from it.

(Re: The pool of blood. When it first came back from Japan, the pool of blood was much larger. We pulled it back by calling a retake. This wasn't cowardice on anyone's part. This was us trying to get our message across. We didn't want kids goofing on the pool of blood. Interested in the pool for the pool's sake, so to speak. We wanted enough blood there to make it real. To scare everyone. But we didn't want the pool to be distracting. And also we didn't want to imply that Elisa had already bled out.)

CHARACTERS

Broadway - First and foremost, this was still designed to showcase Broadway. All our nobler aspirations wouldn't matter if you walked out of this episode still thinking of the big guy as an eating machine and nothing else. So let's start by praising Bill Faggerbakke and voice director Jamie Thomason. Bill's performance is wonderfully poignant without falling into bathos.

And man, who is the scariest gargoyle when angered? Goliath? Demona? How about a vote for old Broadway? Guilt and anger tear him apart, and no one's safe. He PALMS Glasses for God's sake. He's young but maturing fast. I only had vague notions of Angela at this time. And I sure didn't know they were destined for each other. But I can see it here. The child who's done something so bad he's afraid to go home, ultimately taking responsibility for actions too horrible for most of us to face. Amazing strength of character.

Elisa - A secondary purpose (tertiary?) was to demonstrate that Elisa was a real human being, with real connections. A real life. She has a boss (introducing Maria Chavez), an apartment (introducing the loft), a cat (introducing Cagney). And she wasn't born a twenty-something police detective. She has a family. A father (introducing Sgt. Peter Maza), a mother (introducing Diane Maza), a brother (introducing Derek Maza) and a sister who's away at college (we even get a photo peak at Beth Maza). This wasn't some cypher who existed only to facilitate things for the Gargoyles. This was a woman whose life extended beyond their reach. A woman who now lived in TWO worlds. With two sets of hospital visitors.

Elisa's ethnic/racial make-up parallels actress Salli Richardson's, who has both African American and Native American ancestry. This is where serendipidy played a roll. We'd later get stories out of her multi-racial background. And it paralleled the inter-species romance we were preparing to build slowly. Sometimes, everything just goes your way.

Goliath - He says he'll find the man who shot Elisa and "Make him Pay". We didn't have to say "kill" there. Again, because this early in the series, we could all easily believe that Goliath could kill. And in fact, when Broadway tells Goliath that he "can't" kill Dracon, Goliath's response is: "You think not?" All the gargoyles had an edge of danger. We may have lost some of that along the way. It's natural. You get to know characters, you stop feeling tense around them. But here, both Goliath and Broadway go a little berserk. And we don't know how they'll act.

And Goliath already loves Elisa. It's so clear to me. The way he touches her hair. The way he reacts to her being shot. He loves her. He doesn't know it yet. But it is SO there. That moment when Goliath tells Broadway that they should go see Elisa, and Broadway is thrilled because he thinks that means that Elisa survived. And then Goliath stops. Because he realizes he isn't sure if Elisa is still alive. It slays me.

And meanwhile, Goliath is adapting fairly fast to the modern world. He clearly got his head around the idea that Xanatos was put away for possessing "stolen property", so he leaves the busted gun in Dracon's lap to make sure Dracon goes away too. He says as much. Not bad for a medieval gargoyle.

And this whole episode is a character-fest. Besides the above mentioned Family Maza, etc. We bring back Bruno, head of Xanatos' security. This was intentional. Establishing that the commandos from episode 2 were just Xanatos' security team being given an unusual assignment.

There's Dracon (pre-stripe) with Glasses and even Pal Joey. Rocky Caroll really brought Glasses to life. I like him. And Dracon, well, I just love his old-fashioned "noive". Calling Elisa "Honey" and "Sugar". Sending Glasses off to sell guns right in front of her. He's pretty fun in this episode.

Owen is incredibly cool. You can really see the Mr. Smithers influence in this one. Times ten. He fights, he negotiates. He manipulates. He's a phenomenal proxy for Xanatos. A true trickster with a low burning flame.

We also introduced Doctor Sato. I always planned on using him more. We just never found the story. Too bad. I liked him a lot.

And we cameo Matt. Originally, Chavez's driver was going to be Morgan. But we had already started work on "The Edge". We knew Matt was coming. So we decided to preview him here. Just a nice little touch for anyone paying attention.

MISCELLANEOUS STUFF

I'd love to know a little bit more about the movie "Showdown", a black and white western that was premiering in 1994. A score by Ennio Morricone (channeled through Carl Johnson -- a guy who doesn't get enough praise for the stunning work he did on the show). And the movie seemed to be a hit. Go figure.

And what about that movie theater. The balcony is closed. But they're storing bags of pre-popped popcorn. How old was that stuff?

Finally, Owen is very specific about the 37 missing weapons. Early on, I tried to keep count. To allow Broadway to eventually account for every one of those guns. But that was one detail that got away from me.


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CHAPTER VI: THE THRILL OF THE HUNT

More musings on individual GARGOYLES EPISODES. As usual I welcome reactions and responses posted here based on both your original impressions from when you first saw the episode and later thoughts from repeated or recent viewings.

After the semi-epic "Awakening" multi-parter, Michael Reaves and I consciously set about creating a tryptich to develop each member of the Trio. Lex up first.

In hindsight, we probably didn't do enough Lex episodes. (I think this is Thom Adcox's favorite. He said "Leader of the Pack" at the pro-chat the other day, but the more I think about it, the more I think he was describing "Thrill".) We tried to give each member of the Trio equal coverage, but down the road, Lex might have been cheated a bit. But not here.

I love the fact that Lex is RIGHT. Sure, he's wrong about the Pack, but he was so right about taking chances on people. And I love that as stubborn as Goliath is, he's capable of admitting his mistakes, giving Lex full credit for, uh, rightness. Practically quoting back to Lex everything Lex had said to him.

You may notice that starting with this episode and running through the end of the first season, the writer's got their credit at the beginning with the title of the episode. This was a function of the Disney Afternoon. Michael Reaves rightly objected to the "gang credits" at the end of the two hour block. It had never been an issue before, because annually each new series, i.e. the one with original episodes, had always aired last with its credits immediately following. But in Gargoyles' first season, we aired on Fridays at 4pm, a half-hour before the last show. That meant that the writers' credits didn't appear until a half hour after the show ended. Gary Krisel agreed to make an exception and display writer's credits at the head of the episode for that one season. I wish I had fought to make that rule permanent. I didn't. Mea culpa.

I think Thrill is important right off because it established a few things which today we take for granted, but which I think were, at the time, fairly unusual for a cartoon series.

CONTINUITY.
--Xanatos was still in prison. He hadn't just "somehow" gotten sprung between the end of Episode 5 and the beginning of 6.

REAL RAMIFICATIONS.
--The Gargoyles won the Awakening war. And the castle still wasn't theirs to keep. At every turn, Michael and I just tried to make things play in a slow, steady logical progression. I wasn't trying to change the world in every episode. Not because I'm against world changing, but because each new situation was fascinating to explore. But we wouldn't let the world stand still either.

Early on, you can still see signs that to the creators, the audience AND the other characters, the Gargoyles themselves were still a wonderfully alien species. (And I don't mean that literally. Geez.) We tried to maintain the perspective of creatures out of their time. Goliath is stubborn, even dense and condescending toward Elisa, when she tries to convince him to leave the castle. But I think from his POV, his responses were perfectly natural. Xanatos was banished. The castle was theirs. The concept of ownership was sketchy for the Gargoyles at best, but if they did understand it, they understood it in the "Possession = Ownership" sense. The notion that Xanatos could still "own" the castle after an embarrassing defeat was completely ALIEN to Goliath.

Likewise, look at Fox's actions at the end of the episode. Can you imagine Fox in any later episode crudely taking a hostage? It seems like she checked her brain at the door. But it works for me because at that time, she (and we) didn't truly know what an angry gargoyle was capable of. Maybe Goliath would dismember her. Our boys got so borderline cuddly as the series progressed that I had to remind everyone just how dangerous they could be in HUNTER'S MOON. But Hunter's Moon wouldn't have worked back in Season One. Because in Season One, no one would have been shocked by Goliath's desire for Demonaesque vengeance. Maintaining that edge was always very important.

But if Fox wasn't acting her brightest here, I think Wolf was. That scene with Susie and Billy, where he pretends the Gargoyles were monsters sent by the evil ninjas, is about as smart a move as we ever see Wolf make. When you think about it, it's pretty darn clever. For him anyway. In later episodes, I think I got too big a kick out of making him dumb. I could justify it after UPGRADE. But if I got back, I think I'd give him a bit more of a mental edge.

And speaking of Wolf and Fox, how about that Pack? Their first appearance. The thing I was most struck by in viewing it here is how great they were cast. Clancy Brown, Laura San Giacomo, Matt Frewer, Cree Summer and Jim Cummings. Man, what a great ensemble. Hats off to casting and voice director Jamie Thomason. Time and again, he assembled great, great people for us.

There are a lot of little touches that make me smile. Jim Cummings "narration" during the appearance at Madison Square Gardens is priceless. We were consciously trying to do a professional wrestling meets (the hated) Power Rangers thing, and it amuses me to no end. There's that very anime shot of the Pack standing absolutely still (a held cell) while spotlights pass over them. It's very cool.

I even like that we got the notion of the Daily Tattler into the episode. That was something I wanted to expand on more. The Gargoyles never made any real attempt to keep themselves very hidden. Oh sure, they weren't holding New Olympian style press conferences, but they didn't sweat it if they were spotted. But we figured that the more of an urban myth they became, the less the majority of the population would believe in them. And once stories about Gargoyles started regularly appearing in the Tattler, people would be sure the whole thing was faked. I'm not sure we mentioned the Tattler again until Hunter's Moon, which is too bad. Though it does show how consciously Michael and I were echoing first season concerns and contrasts in that final mini-series.

Fox and Lex. Their relationship is established in that one moment when she strokes him under his chin. Even I didn't know that down the road they'd become flat-out allies thanks to Alex. Hell, back then I didn't know Alex was on the way. Didn't even know that Fox and David were an item. The characters were just beginning to teach me who they were and what they wanted.

Action-wise this thing is taut. The Pack just keeps coming and coming. The Gargs never have a chance to catch their breath. And, then, suddenly, they do. And the tables turn fiercely. And the Point of View, as well. We are ALWAYS on the side of the hunted. When it's Goliath and Lex, we get very little of the Pack. Just snatches of them attacking. The gargs struggling to stay alive. But up on that roof, we abruptly switch POV. Suddenly, we're following the Pack. Even, dare I say, sympathising with them. Not that we want them to win. But we begin to identify with them as they battle these strange creatures. I love that.

It's hard to believe, but when Frank Paur and I first saw the animation on this episode we were crushed. I look at it now and think its gorgeous. But we were so spoiled by the Awakening animation, we thought this was a debacle. Later we'd get some truly mediocre animation and learn to appreciate the good stuff more. But back then... we were idiots.

Those tv lines were my idea. I love television. I mean I really, really love it. And I hate when people attack it. I think on a percentile basis, there's more good work being done in television than any other medium. Doesn't mean there isn't a lot of crap being done. But that's true in everything. But still it's fun to poke fun. To bite the hand that's feeding you every once in awhile. One of the trio says: "The Pack is just like us. They fight evil. And they do it on television." (I just saw the episode half an hour ago, and I can't be sure who said it. That's pathetic.) Of course, whoever said that didn't mean to say that the Gargoyles were also on television. That was an afterthought. But it's a bit of an in-joke for us and our audience, because the Gargoyles are just like the Pack. I just like to think they had a better show.

But my favorite is Hudson's line: "Maybe we shouldn't believe everything we see on the television..." A lesson we all should live by.

And finally, "Thrill" contained the first of what would soon be a Gargoyles Trademark. The Xanatos Tag. Our favorite manipulator snatching partial victory from seemingly overwhelming defeat. Again, something vaguely revolutionary for a cartoon. You gotta love the guy.


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Mara Cordova writes...

I noticed recently that there are several recurring names in the series. For instance, Peter Maza and Petros Xanatos have similar first names (both mean "rock", right?). Also, Thailog's chosen first name during "Sanctuary" was Alexander, the same name the Xanatos' named their baby. If you want to go a little on a limb, their's even a name connection between Alex, the baby, and Lexington, or Lex, the gargoyle. Is all this coincedental, planned, or a fluke?
And if it was planned, what were the reasons for it?

Greg responds...

The Peter/Petros thing was something that I planned that wound up being a fluke. Petros was my original name for Petros, but somehow in the script for "VOWS" the writer chose another name. (My memory on this is very vague.) At the recording session, someone had an objection to the new name. (It wasn't me.) But since there was a desire to switch, I piped up with Petros again.

The Alexanders was semi-planned. That is when it came time for Thailog to choose a name, I couldn't think of anything else he would choose besides Alexander. Same for Fox & David. Nothing else worked. (Nothing I could think of anyway.) Obviously, I was aware that both Thailog and the Xanatos' were choosing the same name. But I liked that. Made perfect sense to me, since Xanatos programmed Thailog.

As for the Lex/Alex thing, well that is more of a fluke. Not that I was unaware of it. But it just worked out that way.

Response recorded on February 25, 2000

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Aaron writes...

In Enter MacBeth, after Owen tosses Broadway and Hudson around, he pulls a gun on them. Does Owen normally go around armed, or was it something he started after Dracon snatched that shipment of particle beam weapons right in front of him the episode before?

Greg responds...

I assume Owen is as prepared as Owen needs to be. The guy does not get flustered often.

Response recorded on February 24, 2000

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Demona writes...

Dear Greg,Why does Fox have a bluish-green patch surrounding her right eye? Is it a physical trait from her mom, Titania, or is it just a tatoo that she got for "The Pack" TV show? Thank you!! : )

Greg responds...

It's a tatoo that she got prior to the Pack TV show.

Response recorded on February 21, 2000

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Arthur Pendragon ( in webchat ) writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman:
I've enjoyed Gargoyles since the first time I saw it, you did an impresive work whith the story, the plots and subplots interact in a way that every animation ( or not ) series will want. Good Job! ^_^
Well..., I've been reading the "Ask Greg" Archive ( I'm in it, I didn't have much time lately ), and you said that Merlin appeared in "The Gathering". It was recently showed in TV and I looked for him...
Maybe the first person we see that's talking whith Oberon in hte Castle of Avalon could be Merlin, one man whith black beard that just finishes talking whith Oberon and gets out of scene... It's him?
By the way, here in Spain they have only showed the first and second seasons, so I couldn't see TGC ^_^U , I wanted at least see the chapter you did in the 3rd season -_-U
Another cuestion: When Puck worked for Renard and Foxy's mother, what was his phisical apearance? was he like Owen? or he was totally diferent? Vogel started working for Renard before or after Puck's leaving from Cyberbiotics?
All for now

Read you soon! ^_^

If anybody wants to share mail whith me JUNCOR@teleline.es is my adress ^_^.

Greg responds...

No. I'm quite sure I never said that Merlin appeared in "The Gathering." You must have misread it.

Puck worked for Renard as Owen, as established in both "The Gathering, Part Two" and "Outfoxed". Vogel was already employed by Renard, when Owen joined the Cyberbiotics payroll.

And again, though I encourage gargoyles fans to correspond with each other, I'm quite sure that a chat or comment room would be a better place to find an e-pal.

Response recorded on February 21, 2000

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E.J. Kalafarski writes...

Just out of curiosity, did the Cauldron of Life transform Owen's arm in actual stone, or into the organic stone-like substance that Gargoyles become during the day?

Greg responds...

Stone.

Response recorded on February 20, 2000

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Heather N. Allen writes...

*Ack* I really wish I'd read though the 'waiting-to-be-answered' list better before I posted my first questions, one of which has been answered, according to you, several times. Sorry if I unintionally tick you off when you read it (if it's anytime soon); I wasn't trying to, it was an honest mistake!

NEW question I haven't seen asked yet (I HOPE):
*What does Xanatos do with the military virus he downloaded from Coldstone in "Legion", especially now that he's one of the 'good' guys?

Thanks in advace. You are awesome for putting up w/ us!

~H\A

Greg responds...

I'm not sure that Xanatos is any more one of the "good" guys now, then he was strictly speaking one of the "bad" guys before. He's no longer in an antagonistic relationship with the gargoyles. Unless one of his schemes puts them in opposition again.

As for the computer virus... he has his plans.

Response recorded on February 20, 2000

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Blugirl writes...

Hi! I would like to know, when did Xanatos become "Bad"? was he always like this?

Greg responds...

Xanatos was (and largely is) amoral. Probably born that way.

Response recorded on February 20, 2000

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AWAKENING: PART FIVE

More tidbits and observations...

The first appearance of the Steel Clan. It's a silly little thing, but at the time I was ridiculously pleased by the name "The Steel Clan". It just seemed so right. Cool sounding, tough. And yet original and appropriate to the series. It was one of those early moments that made me feel like I was really tapping into the Gargoyles Universe.

Also the first appearance of the Eyrie Building Lobby Security Guard. The one that Oberon will later do his Obi-wan number on. I never forget a minor character.

One reason some of the editing is different between the video version and the tv episodic version has to do with when the two separate products were due. (I'm not referring to the TV movie version that's been appearing recently. I have no idea who edited that one. Or when. Or why.) As I've mentioned before, the video version was not originally created for video. It was created for our world premiere on two big screens at the movie theater multiplex on Pleasure Island at Walt Disneyworld. That premiere was in September of 1994. But the series premiere was almost a full month later. While I was supervising the editing of the movie version, Frank was (relatively speaking) taking his time on the five episodes. In my editing bay, we didn't have the luxury of waiting for all the retakes to come back before we had to complete OUR edit and lock picture for sound design. In fact, sometimes we were editing to pencil test animation. That's animated pencils without background paintings or ink or paint. It can sometimes be very hard to read at all. But we had to make decisions based not soley on "ART" but also on what we likely thought we'd get back in time to get the two prints made for the Florida premiere. Sometimes we cut little pieces that wound up turning out fine and making it into the episode.

Generally, I think the animation in this episode is just stunning. A few examples.
--Hudson lifting Bronx off that train.
--The whole scene with Xanatos, Demona and Owen standing beside the Steel Clan robots while they are covered with sheets. Some incredible shadow work. And the character stuff is so sweet.
--Some gorgeous battle stuff with those robots.
--The castle tower blowing up, crashing and falling apart.
This and more can still take my breath away.

I love all the Demona-Goliath-Elisa triangle stuff. It's all spelled out in the confrontation when Goliath wants to go keep his appointment with Elisa, and Demona's trying to stop him. If Demona hadn't been so bloodthirsty aboard FORTRESS-1, would Goliath have even remembered his appointment with Elisa? Or would he be off cuddling with his long-lost love?

Anyway, that whole conversation is just full of delicious irony -- all working against Demona. Goliath says, "I cannot make war on an entire world," completely unaware that that's exactly what Demona wants to do. He says, "Doesn't Xanatos prove that some humans can be trusted?" But of course, Demona knows that Xanatos absolutely cannot be trusted. Every statement Goliath makes pushes Demona toward further extremism. And he isn't even trying. Finally, after Demona reminds him of the Wyvern betrayal and Massacre, he says that the ones responsible for that "have been dead for 1000 years." Now putting aside that the Captain and Hakon aren't quite as dead-dead as Goliath thinks, this has got to push Demona over the edge. Deep down she knows her own responsibility. Again Goliath is wrong, because the traitor is standing right in front of him. My hats off to Michael Reaves. What a great scene! "So be it." she says. Goliath won't know it until VOWS. But they are DONE. Right there.

Cultural Differences 101: Elisa is trying to convince Goliath not to trust Xanatos. I don't remember the exact line, but she says something with the word "three" in it. (Maybe refering to the three disks or the three Cyberbiotics installations...?) Anyway, to indicate three she holds up her index finger, her middle finger and ... her thumb. It still looks totally goofy to me. I don't know anyone who wouldn't use their ring finger with the other two, using the thumb to hold the pinky down. Does anyone know if in Japan the thumb is preferred?

When Demona's destroying FORTRESS-1, Goliath is standing around stunned. She tries to get him to leave, but he refuses. Finally, she pulls him out. What was supposed to happen was that the tilting ship was supposed to dump him out the hatch at the same time Demona was pulling. So that he was more unwilling to abandon the crew of the ship. But it never animated with the tilt going the right way.

In our original development we planned on making a lot bigger deal of all the various Xanatos Enterprises sub-divisions. You got a taste of that with PackMedia Studios and Gen-U-Tech (a.k.a. Gen-U-Tech Systems or G.U.T.S.). But we were also going to make a bigger deal of his robotics division, which was going to be called the Scarab Corporation. (Thus the scarab design that appears on the transmitter.) But Xanatos wound up being even more hands-on then I anticipated. Less Lex Luthor. More his own glorious self. So Scarab never got much of a spotlight because Xanatos handled those kinds of adventures himself and/or the robots handled things themselves (cf. Coyote in Leader of the Pack). For those of you who have been to one of the Gatherings and seen the original Gargoyles Pitch, you might recall a giant chrome cockroach climbing up the side of a building to attack Goliath. That was going to be a Scarab Corp. creation.

Isn't Xanatos just too cool:
"Let's let them play out there little drama, shall we?" He's so amused. He can't resist watching the confrontation. And for once I don't feel like it's cause he's a villain stupidly giving the hero time to turn the tables. He's sincerely entertained by the show.

"Without me you'd still be gathering moss." Nuff said.

There's another great little dialogue editing moment. Real subtle. When Demona says: "The plan was perfect." Goliath whispers "Plan?" She says something else and then he completes his thought "What Plan?" That little overlap wasn't scripted. It was another product of me having the luxury to really nurse those dialogue edits on those early scripts.

There is good and evil in all of us. Human and Gargoyle alike. Hey, Lexy, there's another major theme of the series. No one group has a monopoly on either attribute.

One thing that never quite worked for me, was the reveal of Demona's name. She makes such a big deal of it. But the name (at this point in the series) just doesn't have enough resonance for me yet. Later, sure. "Demona". We all sit up and take notice. But there. "Demona". Yeah, so? Did that moment play for you guys?

Goliath is about to toss Xanatos off the building. Elisa begs him not to. That'll make you just like Demona she says. Then Hudson pipes in and says, "She's right, lad. Is that what you want?" I intentionally instructed our voice director Jamie Thomason to direct Ed Asner to read that line with ambiguity. Hudson DOESN'T care whether Goliath tosses David or not. He simply wants Goliath to make an informed choice.

And yeah, yeah, David & Goliath. Perfect opposites.

Elisa: "Maybe, we'll catch a Giants' game."
Goliath: "Giants?"
Were any of you surprised when a Giant Oberon attacked the castle?

As usual, I encourage responses posted here, on either your original feelings when seeing the episode for the first time and/or newer more recent observations from repeat or recent viewings.


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sdoh writes...

hello,

i`am a big fan of gargoyles and star trek. so my question is how many star trek actors played on gargoyles? can you tell me the actors names and the roles they played please? ty for you time

Greg responds...

I know this is in the archives... <sigh>

I won't pretend this is a complete list, but off the top of my head...

Classic Star Trek
Nichelle Nichols - Diane Maza

Next Generation
Jonathan Frakes - David Xanatos, Coyote (robot)
Marina Sirtis - Demona/Dominque Destine, Margot Yale
Brent Spiner - Puck
Michael Dorn - Coldstone, Taurus
LeVar Burton - Anansi

Deep Space Nine
Avery Brooks - Nokkar
Colm Meeney - Rory's father

Voyager
Kate Mulgrew - Anastasia/Titania

Plus there are all sorts of actors who had guest rolls on the various Trek series, for example both Morgan Shepard (Odin, King Kenneth, etc.) and Salli Richardson (Elisa/Delilah) have guested on Trek. I don't know and couldn't possibly list them all.

But this is a start, right?

Response recorded on February 17, 2000

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Greg "Xanatos" Bishansky writes...

Did Fox wear the Eye of Odin in public after Xanatos gave it to her? I'd imagine it would raise questions since it was stolen.

Greg responds...

She could always say it was a copy. But really, when did she have the chance?

Response recorded on February 14, 2000

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AWAKENING, PART TWO

Watched the episode again last night.

Little things....

My two year old son is fascinated with Tom. And misses him in the second act after he's gone. Misses him in other episodes too. Kinda puts the lie to the strongly held belief I've always had that contrary to Network Executive Dogma, kids don't need animated shows to be about kids. Of course, my son is just two. My five year old has no problem with their being no "little girl" in the show.

Goliath says "What sorcery is this?" for the first time. We wound up using it over and over in the series, til it became something of an in-joke. But the truth is, we could never come up with a better line that said the same thing.

Goliath's "suicide" at the end of Act One, is still one of the most startling things I've ever seen in a cartoon. That was Gary Krisel's idea (my boss Bruce Cranston's boss). And I've always admired him for it. It's also the reminder I use to keep me humble when I'm listening to notes from the higher ups. Michael Reaves and I were just going to have the Magus offer to cast his spell on Goliath as something of a consolation prize. "Best I can do" kinda thing.

Love that Chernabog moment where Goliath says "I've been denied everything, even my revenge!" Man, Keith David is great.

The way it's edited you'd never know the problem the last fight in the Viking's camp caused me vis-a-vis Broadway. As you may recall from Part One, during the Viking's initial attack, Broadway stopped for a snack, and then opportunistically used the turkey leg to bonk a Viking. A nice little comedic beat. Well, in Part Two, we wanted to contrast that by having Broadway land in front of the roasting spit by the fire -- so that the audience again thinks he's just thinking about his stomach. But that after the massacre, the much more serious Broadway immediatlely starts using it as a weapon. That's pretty much what you see. But that's not what we received in Animation. What we got was a virtual replay of the scene from Part One. Broadway lands with a big grin and starts to eat. Then he gets attacked and uses the spit as a weapon. It took judicious editing to keep Broadway from feeling too one-dimensional. And even then as the series progressed, we started to downplay Broadway's appetite (another good Gary Krisel suggestion). We brought it up again in Hunter's Moon, Part Three to show how far the character had come. Yeah, great kitchen, but an even better library. That kind of thing.

We had a similar problem with Hudson's sword. We were supposed to make a big deal of him using it for the first time in the battle at the Viking camp. But some of the animation in both Parts One and Part Two showed him using the sword and/or having it by his side before that. That's what retakes are for, I guess.

Xanatos' first appearance... I'm really curious to know how many people, seeing this for the first time knew that Xanatos was the bad guy. I thought it was a little too obvious myself. There's a look he gives Goliath when he's taking the gargs' questions in the Great Hall that I thought absolutely tipped his hand to the audience. But we did try to create a guy who looked like he should be the hero of the show. Handsome athletic Bruce Wayne type up against scary monsters. And Jonathan Frakes is terrific.

(There was a while when Gary Krisel thought maybe we should have Xanatos -- or another rich guy, a pre-Renard if you will -- actually be the gargoyles modern benefactor. I'm glad that's one bit of advice I didn't take from Gary.)

We also get the first look at Owen. Jeff Bennett. Man. What a great cast we had. Wasn't Owen just fascinating from moment one? I didn't know he was Puck way back then, but I sure did know there was a story behind him.

Love that moment when they all Shatter out of stone near the top of Act Two. The sky spinning behind Goliath. The rotating camera for the others. Bronx leaning into the foreground. Still gives me a little thrill. Don't disappoint me Xanatos said. Well, it worked for me.

The first time we got the animation back on that sequence, their stone skins didn't really EXPLODE off them. In fact the first version of the footage had no stone at all. Those of you who have been to the GATHERING have seen that footage. We really had to push to make that concept of them exploding to life every night play visually.

There's an intentional this-ain't-Batman moment during the fight with the Commandos. Goliath gets tossed off the building. He's falling and he grabs for a flagpole, just like Batman would. But Goliath is so heavy, he rips the flagpole right off the building, and he has to use his claws to save himself. Back in those days, everyone was terrified that GARGOYLES was going to be perceived as a BATMAN rip-off. I actually had to write up a memo for the Marketing Department, listing all the significant ways the shows were different. This flagpole bit was our (me, Frank, Michael's) conscious reaction to the constant comparisons.

There's a moment during the fight where Goliath is facing a Commando, and from off-stage Xanatos rescues Goliath by firing his laser at the wall and dumping the masonry on the commando. But that scene gave us nightmares, because it looked like the laser beam was coming from Goliath's eyes. Like he was Cyclops of the X-Men. This made us nervous, because the concept was so new, we were afraid that the audience would think that maybe Gargoyles have all sorts of "cool" super-powers like that.

One line got cut from Part One that would have helped a bit in understanding Lex's character. In Part One, during the initial battle with the Vikings, we had Lex investigating a catapult, fascinated with how it works. That little scenelet got cut from the script for time. But I still miss it.

Anyway, please feel free to post your own responses here on the episode. Both how you felt when you first saw it, and what strikes you now looking at it again.


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Todd Jensen writes...

Something that I've been wondering for some time about that secret passageway that Demona used to sneak into the great hall of Castle Wyvern in "City of Stone Part Three". How did she manage to conceal it from everyone else when the castle was being moved from Scotland to New York? I'd think that it would be extremely difficult to have hidden it while the castle was being transported stone by stone.

Greg responds...

I think so too. Maybe the transport wasn't quite as stone by stone as it looked to be. Or maybe in the replacing of stones the supervisors of the reconstruction didn't put two and two together and realize that by attaching stone A to stone B they were creating a secret passsage, and so neglected to alert Xanatos or Owen.

Response recorded on February 09, 2000

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lisa writes...

you said that xanatos would be dead by 2158 how would he have died?

Greg responds...

Oh, come on. You didn't really think I'd reveal that?!!

Response recorded on February 09, 2000

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lisa writes...

what did titania whisper to fox?{one day we'll find out}

Greg responds...

From whom? Titania or Fox?

Response recorded on February 09, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

In the gargoyles bible for the first season you had made mention of the existence of a 'very wise man' who first made an alliance with gargoyles building his castle of a gargoyle rookery and who ushered in the golden age of gargoyle-human relations...

Is this still how you picture it happening? The existence of a specific 'very wise man' was intriguing to me - is he just a generic figure, or someone whose name we would recognize? (I have my own idea on the subject ofcourse but I refrain from suggesting it in case it's considered a story-idea)

Greg responds...

I was being generic in the bible on purpose to simplify things. Honestly, I don't think I ever really thought there was just one person who did that. The world was too big a place and there wasn't any internet back then to facilitate communication. So that "wise man" was a place holder in my mind for a number of intelligent humans and gargoyles who made multiple alliances over multiple centuries in multiple places.

One such alliance of "wise men" was the alliance formed between Hudson and Malcolm, which was brokered by Robbie.

Another alliance was that formed between Xanatos and Demona, brokered by Owen, with a little help from Brooklyn, Mary and Finella behind the scenes.

Response recorded on February 09, 2000

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Excelsior writes...

In "The Price," after Hudson escapes Xanatos's dungeon, Xanatos bitterly comments that he now has no one to test the Cauldron of Life's magic on. Ever the good servant, Owen volunteers and sticks his hand into the cauldron without a second thought.

Now, I know Xanatos isn't the most practical being on Earth, but couldn't he have just dipped one of his little lab animals into the brew, or even one of his lower-level lackeys?

Greg responds...

Owen didn't give him the chance. I think Owen was feeling a little jealous of Xanatos' praise of the Macbeth robot. He dived right in, so to speak.

Of course, both men knew that "Owen" really had nothing to lose by dipping his hand. That's why both had such mild reactions to Owen's hand turning into stone.

Response recorded on February 02, 2000

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Dan writes...

I think I asked this earlier, so if you don't want to answer this, it's okay by me, but I'm still curious as to why David Xanatos did not decide to turn Elisa into a mutant panther instead of her brother in the "Metamorphosis" episode. Elisa as a mutant instead of her brother seems a better bargain to me, as Elisa as a human posed a ongoing danger to Xantos, and had more to offer in the way of skills, (Not to mention a certain revenge factor in turning Elisa into a mutant kitty on Xantos part). Even if the transformation was only on a short term basis, having a crack detective who was already your enemy transformed instead into a mutant powerless,ex-cop living in the sewers, who was dependent on your good will and had to follow your "requests" if she ever wanted a cure,would have been a great way for Xanatos to split Elisa from the gargoyles, get her off the force, if not actually working for him, and out of his hair at least for awhile.

Greg responds...

I feel like I've answered this already, but...

What good is Elisa as a mutate?

She'd only have become a more dangerous enemy. Maybe her effectiveness as a cop would be neutralized, but Xanatos had already managed that fairly effectiely, and his plan to turn her brother into a mutate further hampered her there. But meanwhile he would have a dangerous mutate, who knew he was a villain, knew he couldn't be trusted. It would hardly get her out of his hair, as you put it. She'd have nothing to lose, wouldn't trust him for a second to find a cure.

Derek, on the other hand, could be manipulated. In the long run, using him didn't accomplish all that Xanatos hoped, but for awhile it looked like he had what he set out to create, his own personal set of gargoyles. That could never have happenned with Elisa. Not even briefly. And I don't see how this would have split her off from the Gargoyles. She wouldn't have gone to live in a sewer. She'd have moved in with them. Arguably it could have made them even tighter.

As for revenge, we've seen over and over that Xanatos doesn't have a revengeful bone in his body. That kind of petty stuff doesn't interest him.

Response recorded on February 01, 2000

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Biggest Fan Amanda writes...

Me and some buds have been haveing a contest and it was this What is Owen's Middle Name?

Greg responds...

Probably Alan.

Response recorded on February 01, 2000

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Aaron writes...

Probably irrelevent, but... In Reawakening, when Xanatos says "It's alive! Aliiiive! I've always wanted to say that." does Demona know what he's talking about, or does she just think he's being goofy. In other words, does she get the reference?

Greg responds...

It's probably funnier if she doesn't.

Response recorded on February 01, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

This is a comment rather than a question and I was reminded of it due to E.J. Kalafarski's previous message. I've been meaning to congratulate you on the interconnectedness of all the elements in the Gargoyles universe as well as for the fact that most of the connections between the characters are given reasonable explanations and don't have to rely on farfetched coincidences (Charles Dickens-style...)

For example (to mention the characters that E.J gave) the idea that Puck was intrigued by Titania's role as Anastasia and from there on went on working for Fox's boyfriend, Xanatos, gave a perfectly reasonable explanation (not dependent on coincidence) on why two fay would be in the same area... Kudos for this and many similar instances...

Greg responds...

Thanks, Aris.

That's something I took some pride in. Made some effort to make play well. But again, it wasn't that hard. It just seemed to work and make sense almost beyond my ability to control.

All of the following were discoveries more than inventions:

1. Fox loved Xanatos.

2. Fox is Renard's daughter.

3. Anastasia was Titania.

4. Owen was Puck.

It all just seemed right.

Response recorded on January 24, 2000

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E.J. Kalafarski writes...

Hey Greg, just one question that's been bugging me. Did Puck in any way influence Xanatos's decision to hire Fox as the leader of The Pack? If not, then it's a pretty incredible coincidence that a fey and the daughter of a fey just so happened to come under the employment of the same mortal man. I mean, according to Oberon's law, there shouldn't be too many fae wandering around in Manhatten in the first place, right? I'm assuming something (or someone) led Xanatos to hire (and marry) Fox, which caused Oberon (who was only trying to bring Alexander to Avalon) to run into Puck. If this question has already been answered, I ask you to forgive me :-)

Greg responds...

No, you've got it backwards, sort of. But it's not a coincidence at all, if you've seen "The Gathering, Part Two".

Puck became Owen because he spotted Titania posing as Anastasia. And he went to work for Xanatos because David and Fox interested him. They were already something of a couple before the Pack was formed. (Or at any rate, before "Thrill of the Hunt".)

Response recorded on January 24, 2000

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Zeliard writes...

Just one quickie:

What was Fox's occupation by the end of Season 2?

Greg responds...

Full time mom.

Response recorded on January 19, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

Will Alexander by the year 2158 have a family (besides Titania and the possibility of Fox)? Wife, girlfriend, children?

Greg responds...

Not saying. Though obviously, he'll have a HUGE extended family.

Response recorded on January 19, 2000

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Jonathan Frakes

Last night, my wife and I went to the WB's fifth anniversary party.

I talked with Alan Burnette and Rich Fogel. Two guys who I used to work with at Disney, but who are now on BATMAN BEYOND.

I also saw a number of celebs, including the actors who play the title roles in ANGEL and FELICITY. Plus Diedrich Bader, (Oswald on DREW CAREY and Jason Canmore of "Hunter's Moon"). I also literally bumped into Shiri Appleby who's "Liz" the female lead on ROSWELL. And she was very nice about me being a clutz.

And, best of all, I ran into Jonathan Frakes, who's an exec producer on ROSWELL. He was terrifically charming as always to both myself and Beth. (Beth and Jonathan's wife Genie Francis were once in MOMMY & ME classes together after we both had our respective first kids.)

Without any prompting from me, he bemoaned the fact that Disney stopped making GARGOYLES. He's still a big fan of the show. We started to talk some more but he was approached by Ray Wise, the actor who played Laura Palmer's father on TWIN PEAKS. I left them to talk, and we didn't get to hook up again before Beth and I had to leave. (Babysitters, school nights, plus as glamorous as it may sound, I feel very out of place at this kind of party. Very uncomfortable.)

Anyway, I realize it's not much of an anectdote, but I thought you'd like to know.


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Airwalker writes...

Would Xanatos have eventually shown up in BAD GUYS?

Greg responds...

Could I have stopped him?

Response recorded on January 10, 2000

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Todd Jensen writes...

Just out of curiosity - have you ever worked out what religion the major (or minor, for that matter) human characters in "Gargoyles" are, if on a purely "for personal amusement" basis? (I doubt that you were seriously planning to bring it up directly in the series, given how tricky handling religion in television can be). We know from Diane's "We can pray, Peter" line in "Deadly Force" that the Mazas have some sort of religious belief, and obviously Max Loew, his Rabbi ancestor, and Janus in "Golem" are/were Jewish, but that's as far as I can guess.

Greg responds...

Matt Bluestone is Jewish.

Maria Chavez is Catholic.

Halcyon Renard is a Calvinist.

Petros Xanatos is Greek Orthodox.

I think that Diane Maza is a member of some Protestant Christian sect, but I'd have to do some research to figure out which one.

Peter Maza spent most of his adult life as a dedicated Agnostic. But since "Cloud Fathers" it would be interesting to see how that's changed.

I think Elisa probably has a background in Christianity from her mother, but probably styled her beliefs after her father. Still, I'm quite certain that all the stories her mother told about African myths and legends helped her maintain an open mind.

I think Derek Maza has a more Christian bent. Maggie Reed too.

Beth Maza's more likely to at least attempt to connect back with Carlos Maza's Native American beliefs.

David Xanatos believes... in himself.

Fox believes in David.

Have I left anyone out?

Response recorded on January 07, 2000

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Airwalker writes...

What would Titania's response be to Renard's death?

Greg responds...

Sadness. Peace.

She'd have been with him, as Anastasia, at the end, along with Fox, Alexander, Vogel and Goliath. I had a story planned for the third season.

Maybe someday...

Response recorded on January 06, 2000

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Amina/Lupichana writes...

If this question has already been asked, then feel free to ignore it---I'll eventualy get around to looking at all the archives. (Wow, BIG archives.. 8)

What is David Xanatos's nationality? For that matter, his father's? (or, if it's easier, where his family originally came from 8)

Greg responds...

Petros is from Greece. David is Greek-American.

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Fysen writes...

Approximately how much did Xanatos' Gargoyle Battle Armor Cost?

Greg responds...

I don't have any idea. A lot.

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Alaxk writes...

1. By the end of "Journey", does Xanatos realize he has obtained his immortality already through his son or was he going to continue in his attemps to live forever (I realize the two, immortality and living forever are very different which leads me to my next question)?

2. Did Xanatos learn from Hudson in "The Price" the difference between living forever and immortality?

Greg responds...

I'll answer Question 2 first:

Cloud Fathers came after The Price.

As for Question 1, I don't think he'd fully seen the light.

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

Why was Renard allowed to put a second flying fortress in orbit around the city? If the first one had gone a little bit to the left or right in either direction, it might have hit an area full of people. Wouldn't they consider it to be too much of a danger in case of an error or accident of some sort?

Greg responds...

I'm sure he had to do some politicking.

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

How does Diane Maza feel about the fact that it was her advice that finally helped Derek decide to work for Xanatos?

Greg responds...

Probably pretty lousy. Wouldn't you think?

Though of course her advice was sound based on the info she had at the time.

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

Once you stated that as late as 2158 Puck would still be around and stuck as Owen in the mortal world. You also stated that the way Owen avoids the effects of aging is that he basically resets himself whenever he transforms from Puck to Owen. If he is stuck as Owen in 2158, then how does he avoid aging?

Greg responds...

He's stuck starting in 2158. Stuck for a very specific reason. So starting in 2158 he does begin aging normally. Unless the situation changes...

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

At the end of THE GATHERING 2, did Oberon restore Fortress 2 to the air and fix up Central Park so there was no evidence of any battle, or did he leave it in place?

If it wasn't moved, then how did Renard explain why it crashed again? And if people think that yet another flying fortress crashed, why would they be willing to allow it to go up a third time?

Greg responds...

Do you really think Oberon would have bothered?

And who said it went up a third time?

Response recorded on December 30, 1999

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Demona Taina writes...

Oh, man, I forgot to include this question...
1. What's wrong with Renard? Why can't he walk? Why does he look so old? He was young when he married Anastasia.
Thanks for reading!

Greg responds...

Well, first off he married Anastasia a long time ago. But he's also in failing health from an illness that I was thinking might be Multiple Sclerosis. But I'm not sure, and haven't done the research to confirm if the symptoms we've seen him demonstrate fit that disease. I wouldn't want to be innacurate in dealing with something that real and difficult.

Response recorded on October 20, 1999

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Aris Katsaris writes...

Asked about whether halflings like Fox, Alex and Merlin age slower, you responded "It depends." On what does it depend?

Greg responds...

On how human they live and believe their lives to be. On training. On appearance. On luck.

Response recorded on October 20, 1999

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Aris Katsaris writes...

Did Titania really love Renard, or was he just a game? Around what time did she leave him? And was it before or after he became ill and paralyzed?

Greg responds...

Titania did love him when she married him and for years after. In a way, she probably still loves him. But he was too rigid, too mortal to hold her interests for too long. And I imagine they divorced before he became ill. He didn't blame her departure on his illness, but on his integrity.

Response recorded on October 20, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

How does Petros feel about the Gargoyles personally? And would he approve of Gargoyles helping to take care of his grandson?

Greg responds...

Petros (whose name means 'rock' by the way) is very hard-nosed. If the gargs helped save Alex and if they have the kind of moral fiber that David lacks, I don't think he'd much care about issues of species or appearance.

Don't you agree?

(Please feel free to respond. As I mentioned a long time ago, I'd love it if Ask Greg became something of a dialogue.)

Response recorded on September 05, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

How would Petros Xanatos react if he found out about the Mutates and his son's involvment in their creation?

Greg responds...

Badly.

Response recorded on September 05, 1999

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Todd Jensen writes...

Something that I've wondered about "Metamorphosis" for some time, and finally remembered to ask here. Why did Xanatos choose Derek as one of his victims for the Mutates project? The reason why I'm wondering this is because unlike Maggie (whose folks were presumably all back in Ohio), Derek had family living in New York who would notice his disappearance and investigate - and indeed did. And in particular, Elisa was already definitely not a member of the David Xanatos Fan Club even before the events in "Her Brother's Keeper" and "Metamorphosis", and Xanatos was surely aware of this. It must have been pretty obvious that he'd be in real trouble with her if she ever found out that he'd turned her brother into a winged panther.

Obviously Xanatos must have felt there to be some practical benefit to turning Derek into a Mutate that was enough to outweigh the disadvantage of making even more of an enemy out of Elisa. What I'm curious about is: what was that practical benefit that was strong enough for Xanatos to take the risk?

Greg responds...

First off, Derek had qualities that Maggie, Fang and Claw did not.

Simply put if you are creating your own race of gargoyles, you might consider that you need your own equivalent of Goliath too lead them. Even, literally, to teach them how to fly.

Secondly, I don't think he really feared making an EVEN bigger enemy out of Elisa. That ship had sailed. Rather, I think he felt, particularly if he succeeded -- as he very nearly did -- in keeping Derek/Talon in his employ, that having Derek as a Mutate-bodyguard would be a very effective deterrent against anything Elisa might do. Using Derek was a huge potential bonanza. And the downside (to Xanatos at least) was minimal.

He never really suffered for it.

Great question, by the way.

Response recorded on September 05, 1999

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Kevin writes...

This is my first time asking a question, although I've read your responses on and off for 2 years now.

I have never found any answer to this in the archives, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

1. Did David Xanatos actually choose to have Derek become a mutate? This is something I was never clear about...Yes, Xanatos and Sevarius were basically putting on an act for Derek, but was Sevarius shooting Derek with the formula come about as just part of the acting on the Mad Doctor's part, or was Sevarius told ahead of time by Xanatos to specifically inject Derek.

2. Another Metamorphisis question. If Sevarius is really not the old man with the cooky accent he portrayed in the beginning of that episode, why did he feel the need to dress up like one??? I ask because if it was to disguise himself so that after faking his death he could go about freely, well then it failed. Everyone reckgonized him immediatly, including Goliath and Derek. So why bother pretending to be an old man in the first place?

3. And how did Sevarius "pretend" to be electocuted to death by eels anyway??? Did he have some sort of insulated suit?

4. Another Metamorphisis question. (something about that episode) How did Maggie end up on the streets of New York anyway? Was she hooked on drugs? She looked very unhealthy, much like she was coming down off after being high.

5. Okay, this one isn't Metamorphisis related. And I don't recall this one being asked either, but it does concern the whole Time loop thing which has been discussed. How did the Archmage even know about Macbeth(and the older version of Demona for that matter). Why did he choose to perserve those particular two?

Thank you for your time

Greg responds...

1. I'm not saying there was no ad libbing going on, but the evening went pretty much as Xanatos had planned.

2. He's a ham. He was having a good time. Weren't you?

3. He had something, obviously. Does it matter what?

4. I think Maggie came to New York to be a "STAR". She was tremendously naive. She probably had, like a thousand bucks, and figured that would last her the two or three months it would take before she was "discovered". Of course, a grand won't last you one month in Manhattan. Not if you don't know anyone that you can trust and not if you have no where to stay. I think she was rather quickly in desperate circumstances and living on the streets. She might very well have been sick, but no she hadn't been using drugs.

5. O.K. Per our new rules, since this is a new topic, you'll need to resubmit this question as a seperate post. Sorry.

Response recorded on September 05, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

I once asked "Now that Renard knows the truth about Anastasia, has it changed anything in terms of his feelings for her" to which you replied "What exactly does he know?"

So he doesn't know that Anastasia is Titania? Why not? I mean, why would Xanatos and Fox keep him in the dark about that if they already informed him about Oberon?

Wasn't he curious as to why Oberon was after Alex?

Greg responds...

This question gave me a headache. It's full of assumptions. I didn't say he didn't know that Anastasia is Titania. But is that the same thing as your initial question?

Precision. Precision. Precision.

But cutting through my obfuscation, I think that Renard will go to his grave loving Anastasia. Titania means nothing to him. That doesn't mean he doesn't know.

Response recorded on September 05, 1999

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Sevarius Jr. writes...

Who was responsible for creating the concept of Fox? I've always thought it was very clever to name her "Fox Renard". A conscious effort to point back at the folk tales of old, huh (Renard the Fox is a fave of mine!)? ;-)

Greg responds...

Uh, it depends what you mean.

I came up with the original concept for the Pack. At least I think I did. At any rate, I led the development team that did. I definitely had Fox pegged as female. Her birth name came later. "Renard" was used in "Outfoxed" as both a clue to the clever viewer that Halcyon and Fox were related and a clue to the clever viewer as to where Fox got her name. I know it sounds like I'm always taking credit, but I think that was my idea as well. (But it might have been Cary Bates. I just vaguely remember that Cary named the character Something Halcyon. And I made Halcyon the first name and made the last name Renard. Frank Paur came up with the character of Halcyon Renard in the first place, though I think Cary and I figured out that he was Fox's dad.)

Response recorded on August 24, 1999

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Jackson writes...

Me again! Since I tend to think up questions one at atime, your request is one I can easily handle! Anyway:

1. Does Thailog have a certain attraction to Elisa? His behavior in "Double Jeopardy" and "The Reckoning" Seem to indicate this (the way he speaks and acts toward her in "Double Jeopardy" and the fact that he mixed her DNA with Demona's instead of making a ordinary clone of Demona to create Delilah in "The Reckoning"). If he does, is it because of the fact that he was created with Goliath's DNA? Or does he just naturally find something about her attractive?

Greg responds...

Thailog clearly finds Elisa attractive.

Now as to the cause....

Well you could attribute it to Goliath's DNA. But that sounds extremely unlikely as Goliath wasn't physically attracted to Elisa until he saw her transformed into a Gargoyle in "The Mirror".

So you either have to attribute it to some facet or facets of Xanatos' programming...

Or to the knowledge of Goliath's feelings for Elisa.

Or both.

Or something else.

Response recorded on August 22, 1999

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Aris Katsaris writes...

What would Oberon and Titania's son and daughter (thanks for providing that tidbit by the way!) feel about their half-siblings, Fox and Merlin? Indifference, annoyance, affection?

Greg responds...

Aris, I luv ya guy, but you ask HUGE questions as if they can be answered with a single word like "Indifference".

How does A relate to B?

How does A relate to Fox?

How does A relate to Merlin?

How does B relate to Fox?

How does B relate to Merlin?

And that assumes that A & B even know about Fox and Merlin. That A & B are even among the living?

When questions are that huge, I tend to give no useful information at all.

Maybe you've noticed.

Response recorded on August 22, 1999

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Airwalker writes...

Would you have given some personal history to Jackal and Hyena as time went on?

(I'm curious as to what kind of people would be so willing to mutilate themselves. What kind of a past could have moved them to doing that to themselves?

Wolf mutating himslef didn't bother me because if anything he was increasing his senses, his physical being, while Jackal and Hyena were diminishing theirs. They threw away perfectly good body parts for what - dull feelingless metal?)

Greg responds...

Probably. But it wasn't a high priority for me. Sometimes it's fun just to have a couple characters who are nuts. Characters who don't have complex reasons for their actions. I'm very proud of the complexity that abounds in both Demona and Xanatos. But sometimes it's fun just to cut loose.

Response recorded on August 20, 1999

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Zeliard writes...

Hello Mr. Weisman.

My first time ever that I ask a question in Station 8!

1.a)In "Her brother's keeper", did Derek listened to the tape Elisa gave him?

1.b)If Derek did listened to the tape, what did he thought about Xanatos and elisa?

2)What happened to Fortress 2 after the crash? Did Cyberbiotics left it or the air base is still operational?

3)Why Matt Bluestone hasn't revealed his membership to the Illuminaty to Elisa and the Gargoyles?

Thank you for your time, bye!

Greg responds...

1. I think that's an ambiguity better left ambiguous.

2. For you to answer, really...

As per our new rules, I invite you to resubmit your remaining questions as multiple separate posts.

Response recorded on August 17, 1999

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Nick "Elessar" Oder writes...

Actually getting to communicate with THE Greg Weisman, should I be in reverental awe or just hop-up-and-down giddy? Maybe both at the same time. Anyway, here goes my long-winded questions...

This may take a while, but yes, it does actually get to a question :)

While watching Gargoyles, I can't help but get shivers down my spine and goosebumps whenever someone starts chanting in Latin. Whether it's the actual chanting in Latin, the creepy music, or the animation, I don't know. Though I tend to think it's the Latin, because it's how I noticed the difference between the two types of magic in Gargoyles. When watching the Magus cast the spell of sleep on the gargoyles, or Goliath throwing the Phoenix Gate into the void, I always get goosebumps. On the otherhand, when Oberon, Titania, or Puck use magic, there was no tingly feeling, and that's when I finally noticed.

Humans and gargoyles (hencefore refered to as mortals, even though some aren't) always chant in Latin while using magic. Members of the Third Race (henceforth refered to as Fay) speak in plain english, although it's usually in the form rhyme/short poem.

Though there were exceptions, which all proved dangerous, sometimes fatal, as Xanatos said "I'm told mixing magics is dangerous anyway."

Now I start making assumptions, generally intelligent ones though.

First off that all mortal magic is in Latin, while Fay is in English or whatever other language they prefer at the time, or subliminal, not requiring speech.

I can think of three instances of a mortal using fay magic, and perhaps one of a fay using mortal magic, and one of a fay realizing not to get involved with mortal magic.

Let's start with the mortals. In Grief, the Emir uses the Scroll of Thoth to summon Anubis, of the Fay. I will now be brash enough to assume that the Scroll is of Fay origin, since:

a) It was powerful enought to summon Anubis, a Fay (though Demona summone Puck with a Latin spell that I assume was of mortal origin)

b) It was spoken in english, like other Fay magic.

c) If Anubis is Fay, it stands to reason that all the other Egyptian gods were also and since it's the Scroll of Thoth, an Egyptian god, it must be Fay in origin.

And in the end the Emir presumably dies, the usual fee for mixing magics.

Second scenario. In the Avalon Trilogy the Magus casts two spells, both in english, whereas he previously used Latin. Which brings me to my next assumption, "When in Avalon, do as the Avalonians do," or that you can't even use mortal magic on Avalon, it has to be Fay in nature.

And the Magus also paid the price for magic mixing.

Part Three. All the uses of the Eye of Odin were pretty ugly, Fox almost died, Goliath went nuts, and the Archmage died since without it's assumed Fay (it's Odin's eye, he's a Fay, it's Fay) power, he couldn't contain the mortal-magic Grimorum.

Are we seeing a pattern here or what?

Ok, I lied, one more mortal use that could have been dangerous. Fara Maku and Tea being were-panthers. Um, that's just plain dangerous. :)

The fay perhaps using mortal magic. While I don't know if the Cauldron of Life is of fay or mortal origin, it was dangerous to Owen (fay in human form) and would have been dangerous/fatal to both Xanatos and Hudson. Which leads me to believe the Cualdron is of Fay origin, Xanatos probably wanted to see if this mixing was indeed dangerous. And even though it was a Fay trying out Fay magic, it did alter Puck's human form, but his natural form is still fine.

And Owen/Puck was smart enough not to try reversing Demona's spell in City of Stone, since he knew she used mortal magic. Which re-enforces the belief that the Cauldron is of Fay origin, otherwise I doubt Owen would have gone ahead with dunking his hand. Even though it was a Fay using Fay magic, his human form still got chumped. I suppose this was a learning experience for the Puck, don't use Fay magic in mortal form.

1) So the question is: Are my assumptions correct? Please correct me if I've goofed anywhere, I'd love to know the real answers if I'm wrong.

2) The Emir used the Scroll of Thoth to summon Anubis and used the Papyrus of Thoth to become a vessel. Are they two different things or one thing refered to by two names.

3) Even though the Phoenix Gate is of Avalon origin, it's used by a Latin incantation. Ermmm, why? Wouldn't this be mixing magic?

4) Why did Elisa hand Tom her gun in Ill Met?

4a) How did Tom know how to hold it?

4b) Why did she call it a revolver in Sentinel? Semi-autos have a very hard time revolving. :)

4c) Speaking of that, is it full auto, or just semi?

5) Where does Xanatos aquire all his cool stuff? The Cauldron of Life, the Star of Arabia, the Coyote Diamond, the Eye of Odin, the Grimorum Arcinorum, etc... I know where he got the diamond, but why would anyone be selling the other stuff?

Well that's it for now, my brain's starting to go numb. Thanks for taking the time to read these.

Greg responds...

1. Some of your assumptions are correct. Some aren't completely correct, but most are close enough.

Latin isn't the only language of magic. Hebrew works as well, we know. And they can't be the only ones. In theory, English could work, but it would take more than a literal translation to imbue modern English with the correct magical cadences.

The Cauldron, being iron, isn't Fay magic.

And Owen wasn't really at liberty to reverse Demona's spell or even to reverse the whole stone hand thing. He was bound by his pact with Xanatos.

2. The latter.

3. It clearly is. Don't you consider the Gate fairly dangerous?

As per our new rules, I invite you to resubmit your remaining questions as multiple separate posts.

Response recorded on August 17, 1999

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Robin Wynn writes...

Hello, and thanks in advance Mr. Weisman,

1) Would Alex have be an only child, or would Xanatos and Fox had another child?

2) Xanatos and Fox are a reasonably young couple. Would they have remained together the entire time? I ask this somewhat based on the Eye of the Beholder in which we "learned" a little about Fox's true character. There seemed to be a bit about her that Xanatos didn't know, things she was holding back (I never understood the whole "self-loathing" thing), would this have gotten in the way of their relationship later on?

3) Would Alex have been immortal like Oberon's children? If not, would he have lived longer than normal humans or anything like that?

4) Would we have ever met any of Xanatos's other relatives? We've met his father, his mother's dead, and you've already stated he is an only child, but what about Uncles, Aunts, cousins, etc? If so, who? How would they be related to him?

4) What about Fox? Is she an only child? (I assume the answer is yes, but thought I'd ask anyway)

5) a. In the Future Tense spinoff, who, of the characters we already know, would have been on the bad-guys side?
b. Who'dve been on the good guys side?

Well, that's all i can think of now, (gosh, i used to have a whole bunch of em, but as soon as I get on to ask questions i always forget em....)

Thanks for your time!

Greg responds...

1. Only child. Definitely.

2. I think, to their mutual surprise, they would have been a Til-Death-Do-We-Part kind of couple.

3. Yes.

4. I didn't have any plans for other Xanatypes.

4. (The second question four.) Yes, Fox is an only child, though she has half-siblings foster-siblings and step-siblings on her mother's side.

As per our new rules, I invite you to resubmit your remaining questions as multiple separate posts.

Response recorded on August 17, 1999

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*The Bride of Ringo* writes...

Ok.. WOW.. i have yet more... i'm comin' up royal tonight...

1a)In order to make Cold Stone, didn't Demona need at least some part of his original stone body (The pieces that were left after he was killed)?

1b) If she did need some parts of his original body, how'd she get them? Did she save some of him for a thousand years or did Xanatos have some saved parts of him? I can't imagine she could go back and gather up the pieces, because first of all how would she get back to Europe and secondly wouldn't erosion have kicked in after 1000 years?(If this doesn't make perfect sense i really apologize, but it makes sense in my head)

2) Goliath, Brooklyn, Lex, Bronx, and Broadway were in stone sleep for 1000 years.. why didn't any erosion or weathering occur on them even though the castle itself eroded? Is it because in reality these Gargoyles were living beings or did it have something to do with the magic involved in their being stone for 1000 years?

Greg responds...

1a. Yes.

1b. Xanatos collected them.

2. They weren't dead. They were asleep. Solar energy allowed for ongoing replenishment. But I wouldn't recommend the experience.

7-13-99


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Airwalker writes...

1. What would be Katana and Nashville's reaction to Malibu?
2. Do you have designs in mind for Katana, Nashville, Tachi, Fudog, and Hudson's mate? If so, could you describe them?
3. You said that Brooklyn ended up with Mary and Finella in the 1970's. So doesn't that mean that they would still be alive today?
4. Why did you say that Shakespeare's MACBETH would amuse Macbeth? It portrays Gruoch as a Princess of Darkness. How can he take pleasure in that?
5. In what era did Demona arrive in America (Colonial, Antebellum, Reconstruction, etc)?
6. In what era did Macbeth arrive in America (Colonial, Antebellum, Reconstruction, etc)?
7. Now that Renard knows the truth about Anastasia, has it changed anything for him in terms of his feelings for her?
8. Considering that after all is said and done, Goliath was raised and lived most of his life in the 10th century, what is his stand on capital punishment?
9. What are the feelings of the Trio about the Magus and Katharine, considering that they only knew them before they changed, and have never seen their redemption, only heard of it?
10. What are the Mutates feelings about the Gargoyles now living in the castle?
11. Any news on the movie?
12. If you had done BAD GUYS, would Macbeth and/or Demona have appeared?
13. Why didn't anyone ever figure out that Gilcomgain was the Hunter? He has slash marks on his face that match the one's on the mask.
14. Broadway's blindness in FUTURE TENSE, was it just Puck playing with Goliath's sanity AND a prophecy or was it only just Puck playing with Goliath's mind?
15. If the show ever did come back, would you ever bring up or try to make clearer that the people Demona smashed in CITY OF STONE were truly dead?
16. You said that Demona would find love again. But what about Macbeth? Would he have found love again?
17. How rich would you classify Xanatos, Demona, Macbeth, and Post-RECKONING Thailog (Mildly rich, extremely rich, stinking rich, beyond the reach of ordinary people rich)?
18. What did the Mutates do with Sevarious' potion from THE CAGE?
19. Would you have shown us some of Fang's past and also some of his family if BAD GUYS had been done?
20. Can you give us a clue, where in the world, which hemisphere, which continent, where ever, is Coldstone and Coldfire's new clan going to be?
21. What was the name of Xanatos' mother and when did she die?
22. You said you haven't come up with real names for Jackal and Hyena. But do you have anything in mind?
23. Does Macbeth know about the Illuminati?
24. Does the Illuminati know about Macbeth?
25. Would we have seen some of Lexington's descendants in GARGOYLES 2158?

Greg responds...

1. That would depend on the circumstances of their introduction, don't you think?

2. I've dealt with this recently. I do have a fairly clear idea about Fu Dog. But I'm not going to pin myself down at this point.

3. Doesn't preclude the possibility.

4. It has a lot to do with Mac's relationship to Will.

5. In the immortal words of my Magic Eightball: "Try Again Later".

6. Which time?

7. What exactly does he know?

8. He probably has little trouble with it but feels that in an ideal world (which he knows this is not) it's a less than stellar solution. Of course, that's all very theoretical. In practice, we've seen how he responds.

9. Distanced.

10. The Mutates aren't a monolith.

11. Nothing new, since I last answered.

12. Maybe, eventually, but not in my immediate plans.

13. Dramatic license? Or.... There were a lot of people with similar scars running around Scotland back then. Yeah. That's the ticket.

14. You didn't really think I'd answer that, did you?

15. You mean go out of my way to cover that?

16. Sure. Why not? (I'm such an old softy.)

17. Xanatos is Beyond the Reach rich. Macbeth is just stinking rich. Demona's extremely rich. Thailog's just rich.

18. Maggie saved it.

19. Yes.

20. Huh?

21. Not saying now.

22. Jack and Hanna. (Just kidding.) (Unless, I decide that those names really amuse me.)

23. Not saying.

24. Not saying.

25. Not saying.


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Airwalker writes...

Glad to see AskGreg is back up.

1. Does Demona know about the Illuminati Society?
2. Does the Illuminati Society know about Demona?
3. Why exactly did you decide that Jackal and Hyena would become Cyborgs and that Wolf would become a Mutate? Why specifically that combination instead visa versa?
4. How long has Nokkar's intergalactic war been going on?
5. What happened to the helicopter Lexington fixed in HER BROTHERS KEEPER?
6. You said that New Olympians generally live for 13-250 years. So would any of the New Olympians we know be alive and around in 2158?
7. How does the Avalon Clan feel about Demona and Macbeth? (They must know those two weren't acting under their own will during the fight with the Archmage but to someone who they injured that little bit of information might not exactly displace anger at being injured.)
8. After all these years, does Macbeth know that Demona was listioning outside his window when Bodhe suggested betraying her clan to the English?
9. What are the Mutates feelings towards Alex Xanatos?
10. Why didn't Xanatos try to make Coldfire and Clodsteel look more "alive"; meaning why not slap some fake flesh on them like he did for Cyoti 1.0?
11. In POSSESSION, why wasn't Angela shocked at seeing Coldstone? After all when Goliath first saw him, he called him an abomination.
12. What was Goliath thinking in SANCTUARY and MARK OF THE PANTHER when he kept tellin Angela that she has many mothers and fathers? Who was he thinking of? There's only him, Hudson, Coldstone, Demona, and the Trio at that point. Did he seriously expect the Trio to think of Anglea as their daughter?
13. In 2158, how do you picture the world political status? Are there still seperate countries for example?
14. What is the legal status of Gargoyles in 2158?
15. What is Renard's opinion of Petros Xanatos?

Greg responds...

1. Yes.
2. Quite a bit.
3. A lot had to do with what felt right for the characters I guess. Wolf was very animalistic and hostile. Seemed perfect to make him a genetic werewolf. Jackal & Hyena were just nuts. A sociopath and a psychopath. It felt right that they would take things to the ultimate extreme.
4. Quite some time, young feller.
5. Kenner decided not to make a toy out of it.
6. That wasn't my plan.
7. Indiviuals all react differently. I'm not going to give you thirty-six individual responses.
8. I think he figured it out that night on Lunfanan Hill.
9. Which Mutate?
10. Fake gargoyle flesh? What would be the point?
11. Well, the truth here is that Angela had seen him already in the Himalayas. At least that had been my plan if the comic book hadn't been cancelled.
12. He was trying to instill in her the idea that her preoccupation with her biological parentage was an unhealthy human notion. (And since he knew Demona was her biological mother, you can see where his fear was coming from.) Of course, he lost the forest for the trees as Diane Maza pointed out in "Mark". He tried to make up for it later.
13. Yes and no.
14. Protected minority.
15. They barely know each other. And on some level, I think they'd get along, except for one thing... Renard hates David. And though Petros doesn't approve of much of his son's actions, I can't see him standing calmly by while someone else berates his son. Blood. Whatchagonnado?