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RETORTS 2004-07 (July)

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Blaise writes...


As soon as I saw the title, I instantly thought of the connection between this legendary figure and our gargs. It's fitting that Max's description of the Golem resonates with Goliath.
Actually, when I saw this, I had not realized that there really was a Rabbi Loew, and that legends had connected him with the Golem. You learn something new from GARGOYLES every time.
I liked a lot of the animation and character work in this episode. Especially the shots of the gargs climbing and gliding. They were very well done.
Brode interested me mostly because of his look (and Clancy Brown's voice). He's given some nice facial expressions and character moments. I don't think he's on a level with Xanatos, but he does seem a bit more competent (sp?) than Dracon--that boy's biggest chance to shine came only at the very beginning of DEADLY FORCE when he knocked down Bruno. Otherwise, Dracon seems to avoid direct confrontations, whereas Brode is far more hands on. And, as has been said, he can think more in the long-term.
Max Loew--another budding hero our travelers meet. Unlike Nick, Max seems to have some belief in ancient legends, and though he is reluctant at first (and voices his doubts) it takes very little prodding from Janus or anyone else for Max to do what must be done. I really like some of his and Janus' exchanges. In terms of character, my favorite is Janus telling Max, "YOU are the Chosen One," with Max responding, "Which doesn't leave me any choice." In terms of comedy, I like Max's "What if it doesn't like me?" to which Janus can't help but smile.
I really wish more could have been done with Janus. He seems like such an interesting character (heck, he seemed even less taken aback by the gargoyles than Max--and even that boy took the whole thing in stride).
I loved the flashback of Prague 400 years ago. That moment where the old man falls down, and then we pan up to see the shadow of the Attacker beating him...that was one of the most chilling moments in this show. Of course, it's undercut by the same old man appearing in relatively good condition later, but still.... And the ceremony of the Golem's Awakening was breathtaking. I loved the scenery with all the candles, and seeing Loew through the Golem's POV. And I pretty much fell in love with the Hebrew incantations. Of course, the rest of the scene has some very anime moments. Not just the pink hair on the woman with the baby, but also some of the facial expressions of the Attackers seem straight out of "Speed Racer" or something. It's somewhat distracting, but not terribly so.
I like how Act 2 begins only with the striking of a match. A nice moment.
Now, for Renard. I was mildly surprised to see Vogel with him, but I didn't think it a real discrepancy. It wasn't too great a stretch of the imagination to think that Renard had forgiven him. What did surprise me was their being in the company of Brode. That, and Renard's "reveal" (hidden in shadows at first before coming into the light) lent a sinsiter nature to his appearance here. One of my friends, who had never seen the show before, had caught a glimpse of this and assumed "the old man" to be the main bad guy or something close. For my own part, I was instantly intrigued. Why would Renard have this dark aura about him?
I knew Goliath would try to get in touch with him, they are friends after all, and was surprised at how curt Renard was with G. I like how Goliath's mouth hangs open for an instant after being rebuffed, and then he broods away.
This episode was the first time I realized Renard had an illness. I had thought before that he was just very old, but with this...it adds even more bitterness to his situation (more than if it had been just a natural aging) and makes his fall more believable. When Renard does become the Golem, he has a very telling moment, where after crowing, "I can walk," he touches the cheek of his human body and quietly murmurs, "I can feel again." That got to me--that he was robbed not only of movement, but of feeling as well. Of course, he abuses his new-found power (and now I finally know the name on the tombstone he knocked over, and as for the car Greg, it is a bit battered, but whole enough for Renard's smashing it to crush in the top and windshield). Still, he seemed to degenerate rather quickly for me. I found his turning back towards the light, so to speak, more natural. But I KNEW that at some point, Renard-Golem would say "It's not my fault"--that just had to be there to show how much he betrayed his ideals. While I may have found his turnaround rather jarring originally, in later viewings, especially this last one, I notice how much Robert Culp is able to do with his voice. He actually portrays the doubt, frustration, fear, everything. His acting goes a long way towards making Renard's changes work. Still, a little more "breathing space" might have helped.
One thing I really thought about just this last time--Renard orders Vogel to guard his human body. Even there, Renard has doubts about being in the Golem.
And I also like Goliath's line about "Giving up all you believe in--for a piece of CLAY!"
For his own part, Vogel seems to have thrown himself even more into the role of "yes-man" than usual (probably to make up for his earlier betrayal). He only comes out of it once when he chastises Goliath (he's got guts, that one).
I had figured that Goliath and the others would have tried to get in contact with Renard or someone to get home eventually, but when Goliath decided to stay the course and finish out going where Avalon sent them to go...I was almost cynically expecting that. Yet, I was not really disappointed--it made sense for everything and everyone up to this point. So I sat back and tried to stop worrying about when they'd get home.
Misc. stuff: When Goliath gets hit by Brode, it's with a stun gun--that looks very much like his regular bullet gun.
One of Brode's goons is the thug from the park in DEADLY FORCE. And the driver of the car that nearly runs into the Golem looks like the guy who tried to buy a gun from Glasses in the same episode, except the guy here has black hair (a second cousin, maybe?).
While on the subject of cars--the guy above was on the left side of the car, driving the right side of the road, whereas Brode was on the right side of the car, driving on the left side of the road. Which is the right one in Prague?
Anyway, while it's not on my "top ten list," I do think this is a pretty cool episode. Of course, only now, after reading your ramble, Greg, do I actually realize the importance of it in regards to the focus of the World Tour. Very nice that.

Greg responds...

Unfortunately, I don't remember my ramble. It's been too long. And I'm not too clear on how one drives in Prague either. So I'm feeling a bit useless.

But I did like reading your ramble...

Response recorded on July 27, 2004

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Rising Moon Starsword Warrior Daiginga writes...

About Nokkar was he by any chance inspired by the Green Lantern Corp which had members stationed all over the galaxy like the N'kai Sentinels?

Greg responds...

Well, God knows I've read a lot of Green Lantern comics and even worked on a few at DC. So I can't deny the possibility that the GL Corps was an unconscious influence.

But, no, we did not model the N'kai on the Lanterns. The N'Kai are not interstellar policemen, they are soldiers in an army at war. Nokkar was inspired by largely apocryphal stories of Japanese soldiers on deserted tropical islands cut off from communication who continued to fight World War II long after 1945.

Response recorded on July 27, 2004

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Mike writes...

Who is your fav. Gargoyle?

Greg responds...

I love them all like children.

Response recorded on July 26, 2004

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meagan hatfield writes...

I'm not sure if you'll consider this a valid question or not... but, I have been a long time fan, and I am interested in putting together a video collection of the gargoyles cartoons. How many episodes were put out on video? Do you have any suggestions on web sites (not ebay), where one might find new/used copies? I'm sure you've had quite a few requests for this information, and you can tell me to bugger off if you'd like. I appreciate your time, Thanks! :) trailbeasty@holtmail.com

Greg responds...

I'm not going to tell you to bugger off, but since you guessed (correctly) that I received multiple requests for this info, why not check the archives and save yourself the TWO YEAR WAIT.

Anyway, the entire first season was released on video, though I have no idea -- beyond ebay -- how you'd track down those tapes at this point.

And I wouldn't bother as the entire first season will be released on DVD by the end of this year (2004). If that release sells well enough, you can be sure they'll release season two as well.

Response recorded on July 26, 2004

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The Nique writes...

Hi there, I just wanted to say Gargoyles is my second favorite TV show of all time... and also, at the top of the Ask Greg page it says "Quesions answered archive"

I thought you might want to changed that to "Questions Answered Archie" ;) Just wanted to point that out, thanks.

Greg responds...

Gorebash is currently reworking the entire site, so it's probably a moot point. But I'll let him know about the typo. Thanks.

Response recorded on July 26, 2004

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Maria writes...

Hi Greg, I just have one question to ask. Do you think there will ever be a chance of Gargoyles being put back on the air. It should be b/c from what I've seen and heared, there are millions of fans out there.Well,gotta go. Re-runs of Gargoyles is showing in a couple of minutes and I don't want to miss out.

Greg responds...

See the archives, attend the Gathering and buy the DVD. That's the best I can offer at this point.

Response recorded on July 23, 2004

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Caits writes...

Does Toon Disney show the episodes "Outfoxed" or "Upgrade"?

Greg responds...

As far as I know.

Response recorded on July 23, 2004

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Todd Jensen writes...

About "Golem".

The funny thing is that I was watching "Golem" this morning, as part of my little custom of rewatching my "Gargoyles" tapes each summer. Which means that it's still fresh in my memory as I'm writing this ramble-reply.

I will confess that I don't have as many observations to make about this episode (beyond the fact that I quite enjoyed it). I'm not much of an expert on the Golem legend (beyond the overall concept) - Airwalker did a splendid job of analyzing the use of the Golem legend in his comments at the comment board - so I can only give some general remarks here.

Brod struck me as more akin to Dracon than to Xanatos, truth to tell (partly because Brod was an open criminal, which Dracon was but Xanatos wasn't). I hadn't even noticed the parallel between the Golem about to kill Brod and Goliath about to kill Xanatos in "Awakening Part One", until you mentioned it.

I hadn't realized the parallel between Elisa and Max, either - though I did pick up on the parallel between the gargoyles and the Golem pretty quickly.

One of my favorite little bits: Bronx nudging himself against Janus, who then scratches Bronx behind the ears.

I liked the development of Renard, including his and Goliath's reversal of roles from "Outfoxed" - and I picked up at once on the significance of his "It's not my fault" line. I was one of those who thought that his change of heart came a little too quickly, but you provide a good explanation for how Goliath convinced him so quickly.

I was quite impressed, by the way, with the dedication that Max Loew showed in firmly speaking to Renard-in-the-Golem's-body, as well as with the Golem when it's about to drop Brod into the pit.

I was also pleased to see that Goliath caught on to the significance of the Avalon World Tour at the end of this episode (definitely making it into a turning point). Obviously, he'd have to catch on soon in order to keep from looking slow.

Not much to say, I'll admit; I do have more comments, though, for "Sanctuary", which is coming up next.

Greg responds...

I always thought of Goliath as more the tortoise than the hare in the brains department.

Response recorded on July 23, 2004

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Wingedbeast writes...

Ramble on Golem.

A great episode this.

On the climbing. I've got to say, my favorite Gargoyle shots are of them climbing. It best shows off how animalistic they are and how beautiful they are. It really drives home the "they aren't human" issue. They're creatures of instinct.

And, BTW, when Angela and Bronx are climbing up the tower, that's a great butt shot on Elisa. Gotta say. Elisa rocks. Strong woman that never gives up, protects her friends, has a sense of humor, and has a great butt.

If she's based off of anybody you know, mind introducing me? :)

Onto the rest of the ramble.

Max and Elisa parallel on that huge issue. They're the heroes beside the heroes. The difference is that Elisa started out that way. It's who she is. Considering who her parents are, it might even be an instinctive trait to her.

Max? Max isn't so lucky as to have Elisa's upbringing. He's probably had to learn that lesson that there are some things that are too powerful for him to overcome. So, he has to overcome that fear just to go into his destiny.

Elisa's learned quite the opposite lesson. Even within the series, she's learned that, even though there's always somebody bigger and stronger than she is, that doesn't really matter.

Renard gone mad. Oh come on, like you wouldn't destroy a few things if you got that kind of power. It's like a new toy. You play with it until you're through.

But, when Renard was through with the euphoria of the new toy, he was left with the cost. And, that was a great face shot of the Golem when Renard realized that he had become something. It also made sense that it was Goliath's words that finally got through.

He might, logically, have known that Elisa and Max were right, but he considered Goliath to be an equal. They both share that daily struggle of integrity. And, it's here where Goliath really repayed Renard for his lesson in Outfoxed, and reminded him of the daily struggle that is integrity.

The final fight sequence was something that struck me. 4 different heroes, 4 different styles. Max, the Golem, Goliath, and Elisa. Each very effective.

The first time I saw this, I saw the golem as a robot and Max as the mind behind it. Telling it what to do and, like a good little drone, it does it. Essentially making Max the mind. But, that scene with Brode over the big pit, last time I saw it, changed my mind. Instead of the golem's mind, the golem has it's own mind even if it is a primitive one, Max is the golem's heart.

If there were future episodes with the golem, I could see Max going through efforts to keep the golem from becoming like the monsters that he fights.

Can't wait for the ramble on "The Hound of Ulster"

Greg responds...

Elisa's based on Salli Richardson. She's in the upcoming movie, ANACONDA 2.

Totally agree with your heart/mind assessment, by the way.

Response recorded on July 23, 2004

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Announcement for August...

Hey gang,

Just wanted to let everyone know that Gorebash, Todd & I will be re-opening the Question Submission function for the month of August 2004.

Gore is working on revising the whole site. We're not 100% sure that the new version will be ready by then, but either way, you'll be able to submit questions and rambles from August 1st to August 31st.

I'm going to ask (and pray) that people NOT post frivolously. I'm still over two years behind on answering questions. Try and do your homework just a bit before posting a question. Check the Archives or at least the FAQ. Heck, it wouldn't hurt to pre-post your question at the Station 8 Comment Room. Give your fellow fans a chance to direct you to the answer, before you post it for me. Keep in mind that it will take me a LONG time to get to your questions, so if you can get them answered another way, it'll be MUCH FASTER for all concerned.

But with that caveat in mind, I'm very pleased to be reopening the site to you, if only for one month. In particular, I'm anxious to get as many GATHERING 2004 DIARIES as possible. Seriously, we have close to 200 people attending this year, and my goal is to get at least 100 diaries posted at ASK GREG as an historical record. So please, that's one kind of post that I'm really looking forward to. So don't hesitate.



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