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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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