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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".
Notes on "After the Fox" Outline...
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.
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."
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.
"After the Fox"... I don't get it. Am I missing something?
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."
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."
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."
Late 1994. Writer Lydia Marano and Story Editor Brynne Chandler Reaves had turned in an outline entitled "Thieves in the Night". This memo and beat outline was my response to their work.
And before you ask... I have no memory of "the Zompanos". Perhaps a pre-cursor to the Sopranos? :)
Notes on "Thieves in the Night" Outline...
The main problem for me here is the first act. From a plotting standpoint, everything with the Zompanos is largely immaterial to what follows. As with the outline for "The Mirror", the action of this story only begins at the end of Act One, when Mac and Demona stage their first attempt to steal stuff. We have to move that event up to the beginning of the act.
FOCUS ON COLDSTONE
Let's fool the audience into thinking he is the focus of the whole thing. It's a Coldstone story that turns out to be the set-up for something more dangerous. (Avalon.) To accomplish this, let's misdirect even more than we are.
I've basically cut Matt out of this story. I didn't like doing it, because I thought you gave him and Elisa a lot of nice character stuff. I even added some stuff to what you had done -- stuff that I also wound up cutting. The story was just too crowded and unwieldy with him there. (And thematically, the Elisa/Matt arc was just slightly off point.) Every time I worked on a scene, Matt got in the way. I wouldn't mind revealing just a little to him here, but there didn't seem to be any way to reveal "just a little". (Matt's not the type to just let things go or to settle for a partial explanation. And he's certainly shown a willingness to stick close to Elisa even when she's made it clear he's not welcome.)
I also would not be opposed to revealing the whole truth to Matt, but this story seemed to be too complicated to reveal just the simple truth about Goliath and company. We'd also have to tell him about Macbeth, Coldstone and maybe even Demona. It was just too much. But don't lose track of these ideas for Matt. We'll get to them all eventually.
THEME: HIGH NOON
"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing." Or put another way, "You can't crawl into a hole, no matter how nice the hole is, while others suffer." Obviously, this is Othello's arc to a tee.
I'm also giving it to Elisa. And since this is a lesson that Elisa really has already internalized 100%, I'm putting her through the wringer, so that in her exhaustion, she can have a moment of weakness, a crisis point where she can consciously reaffirm her belief. It's high noon, she tells herself. Is she gonna fight the good fight or not?
To a lesser extent, Goliath and the gargoyles reaffirm this belief every time they knowingly walk into a trap. Because the only alternative -- to do nothing -- is unacceptable to them.
We can't destroy the clock tower or even "all but destroy" it without attracting considerable attention from the precinct full of cops downstairs. A thunderstorm can cover a lot of noise, I suppose, but not extensive damage or explosions that might shake the building.
I don't want to count on the fact that our audience will have seen either "City of Stone, Part Four", "Legion" or "The Mirror". I don't want to be ham-fisted in our exposition, but I do want to make sure that we find a way to reveal that when we last saw Demona and Macbeth, they were in the custody of the Weird Sisters. Also that Coldstone has three personalities due to the fact that he was created from pieces of three separate gargoyles. And finally, that thanks to Puck's spell, Demona is now human during the day -- a situation which pissed her off at first, until she discovered the benefits of it.
The "tentacle vines" and the "vortex" were all the result of the computer virus. I think we can assume by this time that the virus has wiped out all programming, including itself. All that is left inside is the personality of the three gargoyles and whatever fantasy they create inside their mutual mind.
Don't forget that Macbeth and Demona feel each other's pain. And also, as you had it in the outline, that they each share the opinion that the other is a royal pain.
1. Prologue: Coldstone's Mind. Othello and Desdemona enjoy an idyllic life in a virtual reality fantasy world that they've created. Electricity water-falls. A circuit-shaped moon. Whatever. They know it's not real, but it's close enough. They are together.
They are also aware of Iago's presence hovering darkly on the outskirts of their paradise, but he no longer has the power to come between them. They are content to let him hover.
2. Clock Tower -- Shortly before Dawn. Elisa has just ended a long night's shift and is stopping upstairs (via the broom closet) to see Goliath & co. before she heads home for some much needed sleep. Brooklyn is helping Hudson and Broadway with their reading lessons. Lexington is off in a corner working on Coldstone. Lex has opened up a metal plate on Coldstone, to get access to the circuits inside. He's hooked his laptop up to it and is checking things out. Goliath asks: is there any real hope of bringing him (her, them) back? As far as Lex can figure, the computer virus that attacked Coldstone has wiped its programming clean. Nothing's functioning, but nothing's broken. It's a blank slate. Even the virus is gone. After it finished attacking Coldstone's programming, it devoured itself. But none of that should have affected the souls of the three gargoyles that were used to create Coldstone. They were put there by magic, not programming. They've got to be in there somewhere. If Lex could devise a simple operating program, they might wake up. Well, he'll work on it some more tomorrow night. The gargoyles take their places. Sun rises. They get stoned.
3. Police Precinct -- Minutes later. Elisa's heading out the door, saying good-bye to Officer Morgan, who's also heading home. Coming in, is a uniformed female cop with red hair, pushing a felon who's got his cap pulled low over his eyes and his hands handcuffed in front of him. [Obviously, this is the human Demona and Macbeth.] Elisa pauses, and watches them head into the building and out of view. They both looked vaguely familiar, but she can't place either of them. Does Morgan know them? No, but the cop is obviously a rookie. Why else would she have cuffed the guy with his hands in front of him? Especially a guy that big.
Yeah, someone should tell her. Elisa heads back in. She spots them heading up the stairs. Sees them going around a corner. Always a step behind. Finally she sees them head into the broom closet. Horrified by what that might mean, she draws her gun, and follows them up into the clock tower.
4. Despite her precautions, she is ultimately jumped by the "felon" and the "cop". There's a struggle. And Elisa recognizes Macbeth, just before she is stunned into unconsciousness by Macbeth's lightning gun. Sweet dreams, he says. And the screen goes black.
5. Inside Macbeth's Airship - Twenty minutes later. Macbeth and the "cop" are flying along. The "cop" is angry that Macbeth wouldn't let her kill the gargoyles and especially Elisa, once and for all. Macbeth won't apologize for having a code of honor. But he's in a good mood. Their stolen cargo is safely stowed away in back, plus they got away without anybody else spotting them. "So lighten up... Demona!"
6. Clock Tower - Several hours later. Elisa comes to. She feels lousy, but she's basically all right. How long was she out? She checks her watch. Wow, most of the day. She looks around. Coldstone is gone!! Obviously taken by Macbeth and that woman. But how did they get him out of here in broad daylight? They couldn't just walk him out the door or even fly Macbeth's airship in to pick them all up without somebody noticing. Still, how they succeeded in doing it isn't as important as the fact that they did. She slumps into Hudson's recliner. "Might as well stop talking to myself and wait. It'll be sunset soon."
7. Macbeth's Mansion - Just before sundown. Human Demona is waiting for the sun to go down. Macbeth's a bit impatient. He thinks that despite her appearance, Demona's still thinking like a gargoyle. Why wait for night? Put the disk in now. She refuses. Coldstone doesn't know Macbeth, and wouldn't recognize her in her present form.
The sun goes down. Demona changes from a human into a gargoyle. The process is not without some pain. As she catches her breath, she wryly observes that despite an initial distaste for the human form, she's come to appreciate Puck's gift, although the fact that he made the transformation painful was probably his way of keeping her from appreciating it too much.
But, to work. They insert the operating program disk into Coldstone. And we push in hard and fast on Coldstone's eyes!!
8. Inside Coldstone's mind -- Same time. A tunnel of electric light appears before Othello and Desdemona. Des wonders if they should investigate, but before Othello can answer, Iago pushes them aside and glides down the tunnel out of sight. Now Desdemona is convinced they should stop or at least follow him. But Othello talks her out of it. Let him go. We are here and happy and together. What else matters?
9. Macbeth's Mansion -- Right then. Coldstone awakens and Iago is in control. He recognizes his rookery sister. (It doesn't really matter if Demona knows about Coldstone's multiple personality disorder.) She asks him how he feels. He quietly responds: vengeful. Demona and Macbeth smile at each other. They've found a friend.
10. Clock Tower -- About the same time. The gargoyles woke up and got the gist of Elisa's story while we were at commercial. But everyone has questions. Goliath left Macbeth with the Weird Sisters, how did he escape them? And how did Macbeth know about the clock tower? And who was the human woman with him? Did Elisa recognize her? She seemed really familiar, but Elisa can't quite place her. Well, there's one thing they do know: Macbeth stole Coldstone. They have to get him back. So it's off to Macbeth's mansion. Elisa'd like to go with, but she's supposed to report to work in thirty minutes. Goliath assures her the six of them can handle it. She has an entire city to protect. She's not happy about being left out, but she can see his logic. She heads downstairs, talking to herself again. (Good thing I got that long enforced nap.)
11. Macbeth's Mansion -- A short while later. The place is very quiet. The gargoyles split up to search for Coldstone. Lex with Goliath. Brooklyn and Bronx. Broadway and Hudson.
12. Macbeth's Control Room. -- A bit later. Lex and Goliath break in, prepared to battle Macbeth. He's not there. Lex hits the control panel and soon he's found Coldstone on one of the screens. And what's more, he's found the creature awake and straining against chains that bind him to the floor of the dungeon. It must be a trap, but Lex can't figure out what the trap is. Goliath's all for heading straight down to the dungeon to free Coldstone, but first Lex reminds Goliath of some hard truths. Somehow, Macbeth got Coldstone operational again. That's the good news. But there'll be no way of knowing which of Coldstone's three personalities will be in control. One of the three hates Goliath's guts. Goliath has to be careful.
13. Another area in the mansion -- about the same time. Demona attacks Brooklyn and Bronx. They weren't expecting her at all, and it looks like she's got the upper hand.
14. Another area in the mansion -- about the same time. Broadway and Hudson find Macbeth. This is exactly who they expected to find and they're ready. It's a tough battle, but the good guys win.
15. Same as Scene 13. -- exactly the same time. When Macbeth is taken out by Broadway and Hudson, Demona doubles over in pain. She recovers quickly, but she's lost the upper hand, and Brooklyn is not about to let her get it back. He and Bronx defeat Demona.
16. Dungeon -- a few minutes later. Goliath and Lex approach Coldstone. Coldstone yells a warning: It's a trap!! But from another door, Broadway's voice calls out: "Not anymore!" He and Hudson enter, toting an unconscious Macbeth. But Coldstone still warns them away. Demona is still out there. And from a third door come Brooklyn and Bronx with the unconscious Demona as well. Goliath is surprised. Demona and Macbeth obviously escaped the Weird Sisters together, but who could have predicted they'd team up? They hate each other. But he can't worry about that now. He turns to Lex. Coldstone's warnings would seem to indicate that the right rookery brother is in control. Lex: "It's probably o.k. Just stay on your guard." So Goliath and Broadway help Coldstone break his chains. He greets them all warmly. Then approaches the fallen Macbeth and Demona. He effortlessly lifts them up by their shirt fronts, in a very threatening manner. But then his rocket jets turn on and he hovers a foot above the floor. Before the gargoyles have time to react, he says, "Now." Macbeth, who, like Demona, was only faking, has a small one-button remote control hidden in the palm of his hand. He presses it. The entire floor of the dungeon electrifies and all six gargoyles are knocked out.
17. Coldstone's Brain -- right then. Othello and Desdemona hear the deafening sound of Coldstone's laughter.
18. Coldstone's Brain, in front of the electric tunnel -- a few seconds later. Obviously, Iago's up to no good. But Othello's being stubborn. Let someone else take up the cause. We have earned this peace.
19. Clock Tower -- Several hours later, just before sunrise. An exhausted Elisa is there (wearing at the very least, a different colored t-shirt, one would hope). She anxiously awaits the return of the Gargoyles. She tells herself that if they're not back by sunrise, she doesn't know what she's going to do. But before she can figure it out, she sees a winged silhouette approaching. She's initially relieved, until seconds later when Demona comes in for a landing. Elisa isn't exactly terrified. After all, the sun's coming up right now: Demona's about to turn to stone. But Demona merely laughs. And then transforms into the human woman that Elisa had seen 24 hours ago. As Demona grimaces from the pain of transformation, Elisa, despite her shock, draws her gun. If Demona's human, then she's subject to human law and under arrest.
But even unarmed, Demona has the upper hand. She, Macbeth and Coldstone have the gargoyles. If Demona doesn't return, the gargoyles won't either. She tells Elisa why she came. Before she kills Goliath, she wants to prove to him once and for all what humans are really like. So she's inviting Elisa to a high noon rendezvous at Belvedere Castle in Central Park. She warns Elisa that her only chance of surviving the encounter is to avoid it. Either Elisa dies or Goliath sees what human loyalty is really worth: either way, it works out fine for Demona, who then calmly takes her leave via the trapdoor. After a defeated beat, Elisa follows.
20. Ext. Precinct house. Elisa gets outside in time to see the Human Demona hail and get into a yellow cab. The cab pulls away, and for a second Elisa starts to follow, but then she says to herself, what's the point. I know where she's going. Officer Morgan exits the building, again on his way home. "We gotta stop meeting like this, Detective," he jokes. She's a bit dazed and just says, "I'm sorry, what?" He looks at her with concern. "You're looking a bit frayed around the edges."
Elisa: "Maybe that's because I haven't gotten any real sleep in the last 40 hours. I'm tired, hungry and, yes, afraid. I could just go home now and go to bed. When I woke up, it would be over for me. The world would suddenly be normal again. No more monsters -- good or bad. Just normal life."
Morgan: "Normal life would be nice."
Elisa: "But it isn't nice enough, Morgan. My life could never be nice enough or normal enough to make up for letting them down now. I can't crawl into a hole by myself and pretend that no one else matters."
Morgan, thinking he's finally getting it: "That's why you put on the badge."
Elisa: "Yeah, that's exactly why. Thanks, Morgan. You've been a big help." And she takes off.
Morgan, still a bit confused: "Sure, detective, anytime."
21. Belvedere Castle -- a few minutes before noon. The gargoyles are there in stone and in chains. Coldstone/Iago, Human Demona and Macbeth are there as well. Coldstone can't get over seeing the sun. He doesn't understand why he didn't turn to stone. Demona explains that he is no longer a gargoyle: day or night, he is Coldstone. Fine. But that doesn't explain how come no one in the park seems to notice their presence. Macbeth answers: "It's enough that they don't. Don't concern yourself with it." The answer satisfies Coldstone for the time being. He's in too good a mood to argue.
22. Inside Coldstone's Brain -- same time. Desdemona isn't sure that she and Othello are doing the right thing. Is this the gargoyle way? Othello tells her they are no longer really gargoyles. But he turns away, when he says it. He can't look her in the eye, cause he knows he's doing the wrong thing. But when he looks at her again, instead of seeing one Desdemona, he sees three. One with Blonde hair, one with Silver hair and one with Black hair. The Weird Sisters doing their thing.
23. Belvedere Castle -- Noon. Elisa arrives. Demona is surprised, but not upset. She lifts her plasma cannon. But Elisa says she's unarmed. Demona doesn't care, but Macbeth gets the message. This doesn't sit well, with his own strange code of honor. What's wrong, Demona? Afraid to face her on an even playing field? Thus Human Demona is goaded into a hand-to-hand match against Elisa. Demona's had a thousand years of warrior training. But not as a human. So it's pretty evenly matched.
24. Coldstone's mind -- Same time. The three Desdemona Weird Sisters confront Othello. Would he really be happy here in this false paradise knowing that he could have stopped all the damage that Iago is doing in the real world. Othello finally admits that he couldn't. The three Desdemona's merge together, leaving the real one there, a bit woozy, but still determined to help Othello fight Iago. They head down the electric tunnel together.
25. Belvedere - Right then. Coldstone/Iago suddenly cries out that he's under attack, then freezes up.
26. Inside Electric Tunnel - Right then. Iago blocks Othello and Desdemona's path. They fight. Desdemona will hold Iago at bay so that Othello can take control of Coldstone and try to repair the damage that Iago has done in the real world. With a last look back, Othello heads toward the light at the end of the tunnel.
27. Belvedere - That second. Coldstone/Othello awakens. Macbeth asks if he is all right. Coldstone simply asks for a moment to access his memory banks. He does. And then he attacks Macbeth. This catches both Macbeth and Demona off-guard and helps give Elisa the upper hand in her battle against Demona. Ultimately, Macbeth is forced to grab Demona and flee. (Maybe he summons his airship?) Coldstone starts to pursue, but Elisa needs him to help her get the chains off the guys, besides there's been enough fighting for one day. Coldstone uses his wrist cannon to snap the hold on all six. When they wake up at sunset, they should be able to shrug the chains off. Elisa asks him to stay. She knows that's what Goliath wants too. But Coldstone knows that Desdemona and Iago are still at war inside of him. The other gargoyles aren't safe from "Coldstone" until that battle is decided. He promises, that if he can, he will return someday. Then he rockets off into the sky. A few seconds later, a jogger jogs by. "Hey, where did those statues come from." Elisa heaves a big sigh. She sits down and leans back against Goliath. "Don't ask me. I'm just taking a nap."
28. Macbeth's Mansion - That night. Macbeth and Gargoyle/Demona are summing up. Demona's pissed that they failed to kill Elisa and the gargoyles, but that wasn't the primary objective. Plus they lost Coldstone, but that was always just a blind anyway. They've got the Grimorum, the Eye and the Portal-to-Avalon-Talisman. They stole all three when they took Coldstone. (They even used a spell from the Grimorum to hide their escape from the clock tower and to keep their fight in the park private.) If they had left Coldstone in the tower and only stolen the magic items, Goliath wouldn't have rested until he got them back. This way, it will be weeks before he notices that they're even gone.
But then they start to question they're own motivations: why did they want these items so badly? How did they know their secret location in the clock tower? For that matter, how did they know that the gargoyles lived at the clock tower at all? And why the heck are they working together when they hate each other's guts?
Just when they're about to murdilize each other, the Weird Sisters step in and put them both into a trance. They just made it under the wire. The "geas" spell on Demona and Macbeth was about to wear off. And of course they had no spell on Coldstone, which was why they wanted him separated from the other two. Besides they don't need Coldstone. Each of the three Sisters picks up one of the magical items. These will do quite nicely in the coming battle.
ONE LAST QUESTION: Given the above changes, does the title still work for you? I'm kind of mixed on it now.
Following fast on the heels of City of Stone, here's my ramble on High Noon...
The recap is interesting here. It's all Coldstone oriented. Demona, Macbeth and the Weird Sisters aren't mentioned. Nothing from City of Stone, despite this being a direct sequel to those events. The reason is that the recaps got early criticism on a Disney Afternoon mailing list for giving too much away. We'd show a villain who didn't appear until the end of Act One, thus cueing our audience to expect that villain all along. A valid criticism. So we tried to adjust here. Coldstone's participation wasn't a secret. The episode opens in his "internal cyber-world" and he's shown dormant in the Clock Tower in the very next scene. But when Demona and Macbeth first walk past Elisa and Morgan, we're not supposed to know who they are. So I intentionally kept them out of the recap to preserve that reveal.
The heather Othello gathers has no scent. Why not? Everything in that world, except for the souls of the three gargs was simply a mental construct. Sight, sound, touch. So why not smell? No chemical senses, you might argue. But why no chemical senses? Why touch and not taste? I think that the lack of smell was an unconscious or subconscious boundary that Desdemona did not want to cross. Something to remind her that this world is not real. For all we know, Othello and Iago could smell whatever they imagined they could smell.
I like seeing Hudson and Broadway learning to read. We cheated a bit. I'm not sure they could have progressed as fast as they did in the short time since "Lighthouse". But we took that liberty to show that they had been working assiduously at it.
I have mixed feelings about Hudson's "Why would she want to 'hit a sack'?" line. On the one hand, I'm not sure we ever did enough of this. Playing with the contrasts in language and expression between their world and ours. On the other hand, it just seemed a bit late in the game for Hudson not to have heard this one already. (And for that matter, I have no idea when that particular phrase originated. For all I know they've been hitting the sack since the Middle Ages.)
Elisa makes a point of saying that she's "no hero". Just a gal doing a job. But of course, we know that's not true. It's simply how she'd prefer to view herself -- particularly when she's so tired. I tried to use this episode to emphasize that Elisa works the night shift. That she gets off work just before sunrise. Starts work just after sunset. (I actually imagine that she works a four day ten hour shift, plus mucho overtime.) Sometimes it seemed like the fans had forgotten that. I got a lot of questions back then like: "She works during the day and hangs with the gargoyles at night. When does she sleep?"
Morgan has a real nice role in this one. Keith is great as Morgan. So distinctive from Goliath in a part that was a mere throwaway in Awakening, Part One. Morgan and Elisa's easy rapor in this episode and Avalon One is what gave me the idea that he might someday ask her out (on that 2nd Halloween episode I've mentioned a few times). And the notion of a Keith-Salli-Keith triangle tickled me a bit.
Enter Macbeth as a perp with a human Demona dressed as a cop. (Always nice to show our characters in different costumes on occasion.) I'm curious how many people IMMEDIATELY recognized Demona as herself? After all, you'd only gotten a BRIEF glimpse of her human form in "The Mirror". And we hadn't shown it at all in "Vows" or "City of Stone". In fact, City of Stone began what we then called our Third Tier of stories. (Tier One was the first season. Tier Two was the first eight episodes of the second season: Leader, Legion, Metamorphosis, Lighthouse, Silver Falcon, Mirror, Eye of the Beholder, Vows.) And of course, City of Stone was transitional, so one could argue that Tier Three was beginning here with High Noon. Anyway, Demona's in atypical dress and species. Who knew it was her?
And once you did know, what were you thinking? The gargoyles have the same questions, I'd imagine. Last they (and you) saw, Mac and Demona hated each other, and had been taken away by the seemingly benevolent Weird Sisters. What was going through your heads about all this? Did you wonder at the seeming inconsistencies, like their knowledge of the Clock Tower? Their ability to get Coldstone out of the tower in daylight, unseen?
When my son Ben saw Demona, he thought it was one of the "triplets", which is what he calls the Weird Sisters. (They've fast become his favorite characters.) When I pointed out that she had red hair and not white, yellow or black, he was resistent to giving up on the idea that they weren't going to appear. (I was glad they eventually did. And now I wonder what he's going to think about the next seven episodes in which they do NOT appear.)
Throughout this, we cheat a bit on Elisa's exhaustion. We knock her out, but keep her tired. The subtle differences between various means of being unconscious and their effects on how tired one is confuse me.
I love Mac and D's exchange...
Mac: "You're still thinking like a gargoyle."
D: "I am a gargoyle." And don't you forget it.
Again, back in those days I just thought the audience would get revved up merely because we were teaming up THREE of our major villains. Macbeth, Demona and the villainous side of Coldstone. In Batman or Superman that would be a BIG EVENT. A huge threat to the hero. Did it have that effect on you guys? I feel vaguely that in a strange way, it did not. That our villains were so complex, that for once they backfired on us. That it wasn't viewed as, "Wow, our heroes have barely survived an encounter with one of those guys, how will they handle three?" Rather, the conflict was less interesting than the machinations and personalities. Am I being clear? Your thoughts?
This episode had some truly gorgeous animation in it. And the transformation scenes are both very cool. The Pain Link plays well here, though occasionally seems more geared to comedy than drama for some reason. The theme of gifts coming with a price... particularly the gifts of tricksters is emphasized in this scene.
Meanwhile Othello is desperately trying to remain an ostrich with his head in the sand. A position that on at least one level, Elisa 'believes' she'd like to take as well. With Othello, I think it's a real possibility that he will never act. With Elisa, I don't think we believe it for a moment. That's part of the reason they're both in there. To make sure that the theme of "Standing Up" is emphasized. Which brings us to the title, "HIGH NOON". That was one of mine, I believe. And I stole it right from the Gary Cooper movie. Sure we'd have a battle at High Noon. Because this was Elisa's story, not the gargoyles. Because the gargoyles would be asleep and vulnerable. But also because it was that kind of archetypal the-hero-stands-alone western battle.
You may notice that Xander Berkeley (the voice of Iago) does not appear in this episode. Because Iago has no lines when he's not in control of the Coldstone body. Again, I'm always so impressed with what a great job Michael Dorn does contrasting the Othello and Iago personalities without actually changing his voice.
I like Elisa's line when Brooklyn asks her if she recognized the woman with Macbeth. "She seemed familiar." Think about this for a second. If this was real life and not a cartoon, do you think you'd recognize Demona in Dominique? And yet I completely buy that Elisa recognized something in there. There's a strange nega-intimacy between Elisa and Demona. (Which is one of the sick reasons why I created Delilah, later.)
Goliath and Elisa engage in a little dueling patronizing here. Elisa has to go back on shift, so can't accompany the 'goyles to Mac's place. Goliath is pretty smug when he says the six of them can handle it. (The smugness, I hope, is undercut when he follows it up by saying, "You have a whole city to protect." Which is how he views it.) Then Elisa talks to them like they're little kids. She wants a full report when they get back. (Who says these two weren't made for each other?)
Lex, who has been and will continue to be very adept at breaking alarm systems, etc., for once admits that it's all too easy.
I like the moment when Goliath taps the camera with his wing. A nice little touch. And very well animated.
Lex is always the voice of warning in regards to Coldstone. This is important. Goliath listens to Lex this time. And Lex is fooled when Coldstone reveals Demona's involvement, seemingly before they know Demona is involved. I thought that was very clever on the villains' part.
Bronx smells Demona behind the closet, just as he did behind the tapestry.
I like how the marble bust flies and crashes. Another nice touch in the boarding and animation. Nice weight to the whole Brooklyn-Demona-Bronx fight scene.
I liked staging the Macbeth, Husdon, Broadway fight in a library. Felt like a thematic rematch from "Lighthouse".
The pain link here is a BIT of a cheat. Usually with them in different rooms on different floors, it wouldn't be quite this intense. Maybe the library is directly above whatever room Demona was in.
Lex is sure Coldstone's wrong about Demona. Brooklyn's "Uh, guess again." line is fun.
The entire battle at Macbeth's place is part of a technique I enjoy using on occasion called "Suspended Structure". This is really an Elisa and Othello Story. But we let the gargs carry the action for a period of time, while the true protagonists can't or won't take action. This keeps the story moving, without compromising the inaction of our "leads".
Demona confronts Elisa at the clock tower. The animators get a little carried away here with some of Demona's body language. God knows, it's fun to watch. But would she really do all those sexpot poses? Is that in character?
It is fun to see her hail a taxi though.
Morgan's back. Elisa now looks VERY tired. Again, great work from the animators. It's all in the eyes. Morgan helps Elisa though he thinks she's just talking about normal copwork. It only proves there's really no such thing as a "Normal Life". Morgan certainly doesn't think he has one.
Meanwhile Desdemona's gettin antsy. It's the "in" that the Weird Sisters need. They take over. Unfortunately, here, the animators screwed up. The three Desdemona's were supposed to have silver, gold and raven hair. Instead, in most shots, they just look like three Dessies. Then when they finally do get the hair right, it's just before they merge back into one Desdemona. At which point, the hair color should have been Des'. Instead, I think it's Luna's -- briefly. Oh, well. Anyway, I could have just done this with Desdemona herself. But I wanted to give the audience a hint that the Weird Sisters were still involved. Ben was thrown by the hair. He almost didn't believe these were the triplets.
I like the line: "Even shadows must be true to their shade."
High Noon at Belvedere Castle. Coldstone wonders that he can see the sun. Again, that's me making sure people are clear that Coldstone is RE-ANIMATED STONE, not flesh. I don't think it's visually clear. (Part of the problem being that Othello's coloring is too similar.)
Then Elisa arrives -- counting on Macbeth's honor to keep Demona from shooting her. For that reason, she intentionally doesn't bring her service revolver to the party. Quite the gambit. Elisa also counts on Demona's temper -- and on the fact that Demona is unaccustomed to fighting with reduced human strength. She goads Demona: "I'm here to save him." and "You fight like a rookie." I love, positively LOVE, the former of those two lines. Elisa is a hero in her own right. Though Goliath has rescued her on occasion, I felt we did a pretty good job of always evening the score. She's no damsel in distress.
Mac & Coldstone: "This is diverting." "You have no idea." (Quotations approximate.) I like that. A tip of the hat to my being a guy, if you will.
We cheat a bit here on the pain link too. One could argue that Mac IS feeling the pain. But he's ready for it and covering. He does seem to be grimacing a bit when he says, "You have no idea." But still, I think we cheated.
I love the animation on the Othello, Desdemona, Iago fight.
Battle over, Coldstone leaves. Sends himself into exile. This is the gargoyle way.
And hey, our jogger is back. Again wondering where all these statues are coming from. That's just fun continuity for me. And Elisa: "Don't ask me. I'm just taking a nap."
And then the whole final scene between Mac and D and the sisters is so much fun. I love the sense of the fog lifting from their eyes. "What Primary Objective?" "Why are we working together?"
And I'm also proud of the trick. A very Xanatosian tag here. Steal Coldstone to distract the gargs from noticing the thefts of the gate, book and eye.
And how about that reference to "The coming battle..." that the Sisters end the episode on? What did you all think of that at the time?
I'll try to post the High Noon writer's memo tomorrow. (Meant to do it yesterday, but I forgot.) Anyway, Done rambling. You're turn. (Again, I'm interested in both your original and current responses to the episode.)
You know once upon a time -- particularly when Cary Bates and I lived in NYC and had no real life outside DC Comics and spent every free moment going to movies -- I used to see over two hundred movies a year. I'm not kidding.
But no longer.
The oscar nominations were announced. And I went down the entire list and realized I've only seen EIGHT of the nominated films. That's 8 out of ALL the films nominated in ANY category.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Meet the Parents
The Emperor's New Groove
Not that anyone asked, but here's my assesment of the eight. (Obviously, I can't speak to any of the others.)
Gladiator - I was really enjoying this film most of the way through. I never thought it was Oscar callibre, but I liked it --right up until the end. I thought the ending however was so preposterous and awful, it spoiled my enjoyment of the whole film. Blech.
Cast Away - I just thought this was plain awful all the way through. The only section I was interested in was what happened (SPOILERS) after he got off the island. But that was given preposterously short shrift. Double Blech.
Meet the Parents - I disliked this so intensely, I walked out of it partway through. Went to a bookstore while my wife and friend Tuppence finished watching the movie. This is only the second film I've walked out on in my entire life. (Not counting movies I had to leave because of baby-sitting emergencies or bomb threats.) Triple Blech.
102 Dalmations - Oh, how I wish I could have walked out on this. But I was there with my kids. They enjoyed it well enough at the time, but have already forgotten about it. Double Blech.
Now the good news.
Almost Famous - I really enjoyed this one. Very well-acted, well-written. Funny. I didn't LOVE it the way some of the critics did. But I was really surprised it didn't do better at the box office. Smile.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - I really enjoyed this. Structurally, it's a bit odd. But I liked it a lot. Definitely one of the best films I saw this year... but as you can see, that's not saying much. Double Smile.
The Grinch - Another film I took my kids too. I enjoyed this one though. No, it's no classic the way the old Christmas special was. But there's a lot to recommend. And I had fun. Smile.
The Emperor's New Groove - A third film I took my kids too. This was a very pleasant surprise. A straight-forward simple story played for laughs. From the previews, I didn't think I'd like it. But, hey, I liked it a lot. Smile.
Now as for the nominations...
Picture - I have only two to choose from Gladiator and Dragon. Obviously I'd pick Dragon.
Actor - Russell Crowe over Tom Hanks. I liked Crowe's performance. (I just find it hard to believe it was the best performance this year.)
Actress - I saw none of the nominated performances.
Director - Again, I'll pick Ang Lee for Crouching over Ridley Scott for Gladiator.
Supporting Actor - Joaquin Phoenix by default. The only one of the performances I saw. But I thought he was much better in THE YARDS.
Supporting Actress - This is tough. I think I'd pick Frances McDormand over Kate Hudson (both from Almost Famous). But it's close.
Original Screenplay - Cameron Crowe's for Almost Famous over the three guys from Gladiator in a second.
Adapted Screenplay - The three guys from Crouching by default. (I don't think the screenplay was this movie's strong suit.) Does anyone remember if High Fidelity was a 2000 release? I loved that movie and can't believe it wasn't nominated.
Foreign Film - Crouching by default.
Art Direction - I think I will pick Grinch over Gladiator and Crouching.
Cinematography - Crouching over Gladiator.
Costume Design - Crouching over Gladiator, Grinch and 102 Dalmations.
Documentary Feature - I've seen none of these.
Documentary Short - I've seen none of these either.
Film Editing - Almost Famous over Crouching and Gladiator.
Make-up - Grinch by default.
Original Score - Gladiator over Crouching.
Original Song - "My Funny Friend and Me" by Sting and David Hartley from Emperor's Groove over "A Fool in Love" by Randy Newman from Parents and "A Love Before Time" from Crouching.
Animated Short Film - I've seen none of these. Which is odd.
Live Action Short Film - I've seen none of these. Which isn't odd.
Sound - Gladiator over Cast Away.
Sound Editing - I've seen neither of the nominees.
Visual FX - Gladiator by default.
Of course, there's a slim possibility that I'll see a couple more of the nominated films before the award show itself. I'll let you know if my opinions change.
But mostly I reiterate the word I started with. Pathetic.
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.
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.
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...
Time to ramble...
So the sun rises on the next day. Elisa IMMEDIATELY starts talking, even though she's facing the wrong way, putting to the lie all those nice fans who tried to make excuses for why she was animated facing that direction.
It's also kind of cool to watch Goliath and Brooklyn turn to stone and then see Owen turn from stone to flesh. He's got that URGENT-Owen tone going there for a sec, then quickly regains his usual Owen composure. It's fun.
There's a line in here about mixing magics, which was supposed to be a vague, vague cover for later revelations that Owen is Puck. Owen suggests getting the Grimorum from Goliath. X responds it wouldn't do any of them any good since none of them are sorcerors and MIXING MAGICS is supposed to be dangerous. That last phrase is REALLY a reference to a notion in X's head, that Puck might be able to help. X than rejects the notion himself. He's right about mixing magics, but that isn't the main reason that Puck won't help. Puck won't help because that's not the deal that Owen made with Xanatos.
I like Xanatos' casual confidence though: "We'll just have to set the sky ablaze."
Travis scene is fun for me too. Gives me one of those oblique opportunities to semi-break the fourth wall. A woman comes up, tells Travis the truth. He discounts her story, nominally because she doesn't watch television. Anyone who doesn't watch television must be a kook. Now a report on Mass Hypnosis... (That last bit is in there to explain in passing what the world response to the City of Stone events is likely to be.)
FLASHBACK TIME: Duncan has a beard. "Some cousins are not that close." I love how Neil Dickson read that line. And I love Duncan's genuine surprise when Mac saves his life.
Mac saves Demona again. Proving what a good, loyal guy he is.
And then we bring in the Weird Sisters, in the most SHAKESPEAREAN scene in City of Stone.
But first let's talk about the title. I LOVE that title. "CITY OF STONE". I think it was one of mine. But I have to admit it's flawed. Though it's spooky and evocative it really only covers the present day story. The present day story is certainly important, but I think we'd all agree that the real juice in this four-parter is in the tenth and eleventh centuries. And the title doesn't really cover that stuff at all. I didn't notice it at the time, because the importance of the flashbacks snuck up on me. At first I thought they would simply inform the action in the present. But it wound up being more of the reverse. Still I like the title. It sounds like a Movie title to me. What do you guys think?
Anyway, we bubble, bubble, toil and trouble it a bit. I love the nasty expressions that Canmore and Luach shoot each other. [I also love J.D. Daniels work as Canmore. He's such a little nasty. Great contrast to his work as the goody-good kid Tom.]
I'm fairly certain that we screwed up on Luach's name. The name should have been Lulach. But a typo got us stuck on Luach. At first I thought maybe either name would be accurate, like Malcolm and Maol Chalvim. But now I think we just blew it.
I love Luna's line: "You would lecture US on fate."
Erin, my six year old daughter, began to get very annoyed with Duncan here. "Why doesn't he give Macbeth one chance? He just saved his life! Duncan is a fraidy-cat. And stupid." I love a good judge of character. When Bodhe ("Be reasonable, Macbeth") tells Mac that Duncan's after him, and Mac can't believe it, Erin felt quite vindicated, "See, [Mac] just asked the same question that I did."
I like Mac's sad line to Gruoch: "The Journey will be brief."
And I like D and Mac's exchange:
Mac: "You are the answer."
D: "I'm uninterested in the question."
Ben, my three year old son, was having a little trouble with how fast everyone was aging. He didn't always get that the flashbacks weren't taking place right after each other. He got the difference between past and present. But not that we kept leaping forward from say 1032 to 1044 etc. "That's a different Demona," he would say, before I explained that she was just getting older. It then occured to me that I'm not even sure if he knows that white hair specifically signifies old age in a cartoon. After all, Brooklyn's hair is white. So's Luna's, in all her forms. (It's supposed to be silver, but it looks white most of the time.)
Mac is surprised, and not a little freaked out, to hear that there's still a Hunter out there. With Gill dead, he has no clue who it could be.
He offers an alliance, and Demona -- clearly thinking of the Captain of the Guard -- says, "You sing an old song." That, for me, helped tie in our Wyvern flashbacks to the whole Mac/Demona story. I was always afraid they weren't really related enough.
The whole thing with the Sisters looking different depending on the point of view, was another idea of mine that most people thought I was nuts about. (Like having characters unaware of the change in themselves in "The Mirror".) It worked just fine, and in many ways is clearer than any alternative I can think of. But man, I had to WORK to convince people.
The sisters are pretty tricky here, they use the barest excuse of an offered trade to more or less enforce their will on Mac and D. Bending Oberon's law without breaking it. That's not too important here, but will obviously be important in later episodes.
The clues of course are planted in the spell. "Forever and eternal bound and each the other's pain resound." How many people got the implication here as opposed to figuring it all out when the sisters explained it near the end of part four?
Seline handing Mac that magic ball was another instance of us cheating a bit. We were sick of using the fall to the death shtick. But we couldn't just have Duncan skewered. So this was an S&P compromise. The good news was it looked pretty cool. Brief but scary. It even seems to scare Mac.
When Gruouch says that she's afraid Mac's made "a bad bargain," she was supposed to touch his hair to give a visual reminder that he had given up his youth to protect his clan -- and that it scared and saddened her more than a little. I gave that note over and over, but somehow it never got in there. It still works, but I really wish she had run her fingers through his hair there.
D likes Mac and Gruoch here. Look at her face. Maybe she sees a bit of herself and Goliath in them. (With Gruoch as Goliath, of course.)
I like the battle too. It's very economical staged, yet it feels kinda epic to me. Very smartly story-boarded. I really like Demona's clean sweep of Duncan's cavalry off their horses.
Mac says: "You fight like a demon." Laying the groundwork for Demona to get named. This was a bit of an argument with S&P. "Demon" was supposed to be an off-limit word for us. I convinced Adrienne Bello it was important to justify Demona's name. And my bosses backed me up. (That never happens anymore, by the way.)
There's a character in here that we never name except in the credits. He's Duncan's right hand man and Demona appears to brain him by flying him head first into a big rock. He's called MacDuff in the credits. Obviously, another name from Shakespeare. I think maybe he didn't die, but became an ally of Canmore's in part four. But I'm not sure. I know that in part Three, Charlie "Travis Marshall" Hallahan did his voice. In part Four, the character I'm thinking of (both of whom have red hair at least) is voiced by Jeff Bennett.
M&D find the mask with Duncan, and Mac says, "so the battle is truly over for us both." Which is majorly ironic, since we know the battle will continue for at least 900 years.
Bodhe comes out from the background only after "THE NIGHT IS WON!"
Bodhe, though contemptuous, is a very fun character to write. I love his little aside about Canmore: "He'll be trouble; slay him now." We like Mac better that he won't kill a child. But you'll notice that Demona won't kill the kid either.
The coronation is fun. That whole naming sequence is fun.
M: "They will learn to respect you."
D: "I'd rather they feared me."
M: "They'll do that too... 'Demona'"
A nice bow tied on that "Know her?!! I named her!!" line from way back in "Enter Macbeth".
Now as we prepare to segue back to the present, Erin recognizes the three sisters as serving wenches "Because of their hair". To which Ben says, "Me too". But when we get to the present, neither realize that the sisters are also posing as cops. Mostly, because they're police hats largely cover their hair.
Now finally, back to Elisa. Confused as hell, but beginning to catch on at the mention of PackMedia Studios. She heads for the Eyrie. X's response: "Ah, the charming Detective Maza." Love that guy.
Owen and Elisa do their little dance and we get to play a gargoyle recurring bit with them as they freeze into stone mid-argument. At this point my kids catch on to the basic rules. (All of which might have been clearer if we hadn't had such a big gap between watching part two and part three). Erin: "So the humans are the opposite of the Gargoyles. When they turn to stone, the others wake up."
Xanatos starts explaining the plan, and my son turns to me and says, "Daddy, I have to tell you something." [Which is how he starts most conversations these days.] "I had a lot of dreams about fire in the sky." I'm not sure if I believe him, but it was a nice conversation piece.
I like the way Goliath looks at Elisa when he says, "This has to work." Feelings showing.
Then everyone leaves to go pass gas. :) [I know. I'm really mature.]
Bronx goes after the tapestry. We wanted to keep that subtle so that we weren't tipping our hand. Did anyone wonder about that or did it just slide by? Did anyone remember at the cliffhanger that Bronx had been left behind to save Elisa?
Anyway, there's my ramble. Where's yours?
I'm feeling like my smart-ass responses just haven't been very sharp lately.
So appropos of nothing, I'm taking a poll.
If you've got a few minutes, go through the smart-ass response archive and copy and paste your favorite one.
Maybe if you guys point out the "classics" to me, it'll help me redefine my mission on this score.
For the last couple hours, I've been trying a new system wherein in addition to my responses/answers/rambles/rants being placed in there appropriate subject-based archives, I'm also supposed to automatically add them to a chronological archive. In this case "RESPONSES 2001 - 2 (Feb)"
Unfortunately, I didn't start this first thing this morning. It was a good idea that came later in the day from one of your fellow fans. So some early-in-the-day responses won't make it into this new archive.
And, unfortunately again, I'm trying to learn a new habit here. It isn't literally automatic. I have to remember to do it. And I've forgotten to click that button on a couple of messages. Sorry.
I'll try to do better.
Time to ramble...
Xanatos again does equally well as hero and villain, as he opens the episode saving his and Fox's lives.
He's got some nice lines here too:
Another reprise of Launchpad McQuack's old: "Any landing you can walk away from..."
"At least she's not chipped."
"Demona and I need to have a little talk."
"No sense hailing a cab." Or stealing one. I'm not sure if it's clear, but we wanted to give the impression that traffic was hopelessly stalled by all the stone people behind the wheels of their cars. And that Xanatos would have to hoof it.
And then it's back to the clock tower where my favorite line is Brooklyn's as he's looking at what he thinks is a statue of Elisa:
"The nose is all wrong." Gotta love a critic.
Goliath doesn't objectively know that the statue is really Elisa, but his instincts are clearly firing up early warning signs.
Meanwhile, my daughter Erin is busy advising all of us: "They should make sure... cuz that's really her!" and "I bet they're going to Elisa's house." Which they weren't.
Originally, we had planned to (as usual) leave Hudson behind with Bronx. But we switched it to Broadway, so that Hudson could come with and reestablish his fine relationship with Robbins. I should point out that we BEGAN work on City of Stone before Lighthouse. We knew we needed a blind man for City. That blind man was then developed for Lighthouse, making for a great scene in City. Sometimes, things just seemed to work.
Brooklyn still hates Demona intensely. Forcing Goliath to compensate.
My son Ben was all nervous that "They're gonna turn to stone again." He was vague on who the "THEY" were.
Demona's reign of terror on the statues presented us with interesting S&P problems -- and some bizarre but VERY FUN solutions. Adrienne understood the necessity of having Demona blow up and/or smash a few of the stone humans. Even though the implication was death for those people. She was okay with it on the condition that we didn't spell it out, because, at worst, the death's were so fanciful, they certainly weren't imitatible. But she did want us to limit the number of deaths. So at one point she nixed the idea of blowing up yet another statue, but allowed us to blow up the shopping bags (and hand and arm) of one. This seemed less harsh to her. Of course, bloodthirsty lot that we were, we loved it. Because if you think about it, it was certainly more horrific come sunrise.
I finally saw the two statues that people thought were Brendan & Margot. Certainly, they looks like them a bit. But trust me. Two different people got destroyed. That woman was a brunette. And the guy was wearing a toupee.
At this point, Benny became as concerned as Goliath that Demona would shoot Elisa.
Then we segued into our flashback and Benny was still trying to figure out why Demona scratched Gillecomgain in the previous episode. Erin, meanwhile, wanted to know why Gille was wearing a mask.
Me, I'm still fascinated with Bodhe for some reason. I love how he talks big at first, until Mac makes it clear that he's not going to obey. Then he goes into pleading mode.
I also love the scene with Gruoch on Lunfanan Hill. Very heartbreaking and romantic. Did kinda make me wonder what would have happened if Macbeth had just said "Screw it!" and spirited Gruoch away with him. What would there lives have been like then?
The Weird Sisters are fun at the wedding. I like the line: "Certainly not our hero." It's one of those self-aware-tv-moments-that-ride-the-edge of which I'm so fond.
I also really like Duncan's scene with Macbeth after the wedding. He's such a manipulative bastard.
And now we begin to parallel similar scenes in City One. The Weird Sisters again go to Demona to get her to ally with Mac.
Demona: "Ally with a human. Never Again." Well, obviously Demona should never say never again, but in this context she's thinking about her alliance with the Captain and the tragedy that led to.
There's a nice little beat with Gruoch's rose. Gruoch seems cold to her new husband Gillecomgain. We wonder if we should feel some sympathy for a man who has married a woman who loves another. We wonder if he has feelings for her as he gently takes up the rose she was sniffing. But then he crushes it underfoot, so basically we feel okay about hating him again.
Erin asked: "Why'd he step on it?"
And I didn't want to answer, because the writers are trying to manipulate you.
Ben answererd for me: "Because he's a bad hunter." A much cleaner explanation, don't you agree?
Notice here that Mac is not yet the fighter that he someday will be.
Notice also if you watch all four parts of City of Stone together that Emma Samms who voiced Gruoch -- but had never done voice work before -- gets progressively better with every episode. She's somewhat stiff in City One. As with many live-action actors, she's unused to using her voice alone to project subtleties. She's a bit better here. But by City Four, she's rockin' the joint with some really powerful work. I can't remember when I've ever seen any performer push the learning curve that quickly. Most either get it or don't. A few of those who don't, slowly improve with practice. Emma just revved UP.
Did anyone else feel that we went to the well with that long drop from the Terrace at Castle Moray once or twice too often? Again, we were trying for parallelism, but I hope it didn't get boring.
Erin: "I like Macbeth when he was a little boy. I don't like him when he's a grown up." (I think she meant she liked the younger red-headed heroic Macbeth in general in these City flashbacks. Didn't like him as a present day villain in Enter Macbeth, etc. This actually pleases me a great deal. It's the ability to create sympathy in villains that separates Gargoyles from many of its rivals.)
I love that moment when Demona rips the mask off. Gille indicates his scars, "'Tis you're handiwork, remember?" And Demona honestly and simply answers "No." And he goes BERSERK! Bad enough she scratched him and altered the entire course of his life. But that the event was so insignificant to her that she doesn't even remember it...! Now THAT pisses him off.
Gillecomgain should have known: "Live by the drop, die by the drop." As he follows Findlaech's course to doom.
I also like the little moment o' connection between Mac, Gruoch and Demona. Demona actually says Thank You to a human.
And another wedding. Two in one episode. Bodhe introduces: "Lord and Lady Macbeth!" I wanted to get the designation 'Lady Macbeth' in here somewhere. Just to provide more obvious contrast between our version of Gruoch and Shakespeare's.
I also get a kick out of the chilling little scene back in the present with Brooklyn & Goliath. Brooklyn bringing up the "Massacre at Castle Wyvern". Fearing that Elisa could wind up a victim too. This sets Goliath off to the point where he is CLEARLY thinking that he needs to KILL Demona now. "Once and for all." And then those creepy little stone Weird Sisters. Yikes.
Then Xanatos has finally made it across town and is back in hero mode. He saves Owen. And shuts off the broadcast, clearly thinking that that will break the spell. At least, I hope that was clear. Honestly, I'm not sure if it was. I wanted the audience to think that would work. Then be surprised when it doesn't. Did that work for anyone?
The "Hunter" shows up. Demona at first recognizes only the mask. How many times must I destroy you?! she says. A hint to events in the past of both City and Hunter's Moon. But than when she sees him feeling her pain, she knows exactly who's behind that mask. I'm curious how many people picked up on that. This was the first time we showed them feeling each other's pain. The first time we had them in real proximity to each other.
Their fight is kinda cool. There's a neat moment when Macbeth is flying Demona like a kite. And he's very gutsy throughout, leaping after her. Of course, he's semi-suicidal, so it's no surprise he's fearless. But we don't know that yet.
And finally, our cliffhanger. X is so sanguine. "You want vengeance or a solution?" And we end on a surprising image: Goliath and Xanatos shaking hands. Now, it's like no big deal. They ended up teaming upfrequently. But I thought that then, it would be startling.
WHAT DID YOU ALL THINK?
Since I just did my ramble on City of Stone, Part One, I thought I'd reprint the "memo" on that episode. Actually, it's a memo on all four episodes. My "NOTES ON OUTLINE" to Michael Reaves. Michael's story was a three-parter and we were still hoping to turn City of Stone into a home video, so I expanded it to a four parter.
Greg Weisman 7-12-94
NOTES ON OUTLINE for "City of Stone"
O.K. O.K. I changed a lot. (Less than you probably think, but a lot.) You gave me great raw material, but I wanted to focus it more. Also since you wrote the three-part outline, this movie thing came up. Gary's informed me that they can sell it better if it's more in the 75 - 80 minute range. That freed me up to add a little more material for clarity. If we don't use it as a video, we'll make it a 4-parter instead of three. If it turns out short, we can add the bit about "Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane", which I've left out for now. We discussed some of the other changes at our lunch with Frank. But I'll reiterate them, and the reasons why, below.
Weird Sisters - The more I thought about this story, the more I came to believe that the Sisters were the key to cracking it open. Currently their role is limited, and yet they are the only characters who could see the whole picture. I definitely wanted to expand their role, particularly in the 20th century segments. But as I worked on achieving that goal, I realized that I wasn't clear on their motivation. I'd be happy to take you through all my thinking (there are probably two or three good story ideas in the stuff I rejected for the Sisters), so if you're ever curious, let me know. But cutting to the chase, here is what I wound up with...
Presentation: The three sisters (Phoebe, Seline and Luna) will always be depicted as triplets and female. The only physical distinction will be their hair color. Phoebe has golden hair, Seline has black hair, Luna has silver hair. (The same voice actress will play all three parts.) The three will rarely be seen apart. These will be the consistent visual (and aural) elements that will allow us to recognize them, because otherwise their appearance will vary from scene to scene, and sometimes within scenes. In the eleventh century, Macbeth sees them as old human crones, but Demona would see them as three old female gargoyles, even if they're both looking at them simultaneously. In the twentieth century, they might appear as three fashion model types in modern clothes. In our opening sequence Goliath will see them as three strange little nine year old girls. When speaking to others they present a united front. But personality-wise, particularly for conversations between themselves, I'd like to give them subtle differences. Phoebe is optimistic and cheerful. Seline is a cold realist. Luna is spiritual and distant.
Motivation: The sisters work hard to put Demona and Macbeth together in the eleventh century: to save them both, to hook them up and then to secretly add in the immortality thing. WHY? Obviously, they need these two for something. Something that isn't going to happen for centuries, or else why make them immortal. The obvious answer seemed to me to be the attack on Avalon. The sisters need powerful foot soldiers to attack Avalon for their master (probably a reworked Archmage [David Warner]). For a reason to be figured out later, the master won't be ready to attack until 1996. So the Sisters have time to plan ahead. They've decided that Macbeth and Demona would make the perfect foot soldiers. So they create immortal warriors who they then let walk around for a millennium. D & M become embittered and borderline nuts. Vulnerable to the Sisters machinations. Demona's "City of Stone" thing falls right into their hands. We have to assume that the Master is almost ready to attack Avalon. Time for the Sisters to take direct control of D & M. But over the millennium, D & M have become pretty savvy magically. It makes them more useful to the sisters but harder to control. The sisters help Goliath and Xanatos defeat Demona and Macbeth in this story so that they will be weak, defeated and vulnerable to the Sister's control.
Revelation: The cool thing is we don't have to reveal hardly any of the above in this story. In fact, we can almost present the exact opposite face. In the eleventh century sequences the Sisters will seem to really help the sympathetic Macbeth and largely sympathetic Demona defeat the nasty Gillecomgain and Duncan. In the 20th century sequences, they will help Goliath defeat Demona and Macbeth, and will again seem like three really useful ladies. There's no need to mention the master, the plan or Avalon. Our audience will think these three are great. Then if/when we get to do the Avalon story, we'll reveal the truth. The audience will hate them more cuz they'll feel as used and manipulated as Demona and Macbeth and Goliath, etc. were. The most we'll do is leave D & M under the Sisters' power at the end. We won't even hint at their malevolence.
Macbeth - Mac was great in the eleventh century stuff, but he and Xanatos seemed redundant in the present. I think we need to get clearer on his present motivation as well. Xanatos wants to save his city. I don't think Mac cares. Think of him as a nihilist. Past caring about anything. He wants Demona for the reasons we've already discussed. He's not interested in helping Manhattan. He's not part of the solution. He's a wild card who should in effect be part of the problem. We should see that immortality has done about the same to his disposition as it did to Demona's. He's honorable, but only up to a point. Reference his first appearance... he wouldn't attack the gargoyles as stone statues, but he had no compunction against kidnapping them to lure Demona to him. That's a fairly skewed definition of honor. Frankly, this yarn is more Macbeth's story than anyone's. We take him from youth to immortality. Through and beyond his entire natural lifespan. He's the one who learns something: Life is precious; vengeance and death accomplish nothing. Demona never learns this lesson. And Goliath really already new it. So we should emphasize the theme with Macbeth as much as possible. In many ways, he's carrying the emotional and thematic weight of our story.
Macbeth & Demona's Link - From 1040 on, neither can die unless both do simultaneously. If one kills the other, then both die. But if a third party tries to kill one without the other, then they both live. But there must be a penalty. I think they both feel each other's pain. (At least each other's physical pain.) We don't have to worry about cuts and scrapes, but any major blow that one feels, the other feels as well.
Reversing Demona's Spell - Since Mac won't be helping with a magical cure, I think we need another solution. (Kat Fair also pointed out that almost everyone would have their t.v.'s off and thus miss the counterspell.) I keep returning to the notion of a time limit to the spell that equates to "until Judgment Day". For our first spell, we had "until the castle rises above the clouds". From the Grimorum's point of view, that meant "until hell freezes over" or some equivalent. We can do the same thing here. Remember, Demona is getting this spell from a book that was written with no knowledge of modern science (let alone cartoon extrapalatory science). Heck it's in Latin. For example, "You will turn to stone at night until the seas boil and the skies burn." The solution to this is for Xanatos and Goliath to team up and find a way to make the seas boil and the skies burn, while simultaneously stopping Demona, saving the "statues" and dealing with Mac. That will focus their quest. It will also help give Xanatos something real to do. Only he has the technology to make the sky burn and the sea boil. I know you're concerned that this will be perceived by our audience as a cheat. We did the clever cheat once when we brought Goliath out of Demona's trance. But I see this as different. This equates with our original spell. The one that put our gargoyles to sleep for a thousand years. The solution was not a cheat. It took Xanatos' Herculean resources to match the spell's condition for reversal. The same can be true here. At first let's give the false impression that just by turning off Demona's broadcast, the spell will be reversed. Then when that fails, I'm gonna use the burning skies in what follows, but if you've got another idea for the spell's limit or reversal, that's cool. It's just a 'for instance'.
All them Scotsmen - A lot to keep track of. Let's simplify by focusing our villainy on Duncan & Gillecomgain. We won't ever see King Malcolm II. The nasty machiavellian thug Gillecomgain will work for the nasty machiavellian Prince Duncan, who later becomes the nasty machiavellian King Duncan. We will also introduce his young son Malcolm III, but we'll let him go by his alternate name Canmore so as not to confuse the audience. Canmore won't be evil, just misguided and righteous; he believes that Macbeth and Demona are evil. There are still a lot of characters, but subtracting Malcolm II will clean things up, I promise.
The Hunter - I've also added an element. The Mask of the Hunter. It belongs to Gillecomgain. After his death, Duncan takes it. After him, Canmore. In modern times, Macbeth will wear a modernized version of it. The identity of the Modern wearer will be a mystery to some of our audience until the end. Of course, anyone who saw "Enter Macbeth" will guess soon enough, but the Mask itself will carry frightening meaning -- the equivalent of a KKK hood -- and for those who guess it's Macbeth, the mystery will be why this Macbeth, who is so sympathetic in the past, would wear this horrible mask in the present. As we go through the eleventh century flashbacks chronologically, the conceit of the Hunter's mask will, I believe, help to focus our audience to differentiate between all the Scots, and even keep a few of them guessing as to the identity of the Modern Hunter.
Matt Bluestone - I definitely don't want Matt to have found out about the gargoyles in between the first and second seasons. He should be right where we left him. He knows they exist. He's seen them twice. But he doesn't know anything about them. And he certainly doesn't know that Elisa knows them. That's a great episode in and of itself. We don't want to toss it away in an off-hand line.
Flashbacks - I definitely want to intercut between the 10th/11th century sequences and the 20th century sequences. Without that intercutting, I'm afraid the two stories will seem largely unrelated. As often as possible, flashbacks should have a point of view: Demona's, Macbeth's or maybe the Weird Sisters', but they don't have to be presented to our other characters as stories unless that works in a given instance. Basically, we're using the same format that we used in "Long Way To Morning". Often the appearance of Demona, the Weird Sisters or the Mask of the Hunter will work as a convenient visual bridge between past and present.
Timeline - You may notice a few slight discrepancies here from the "Gargoyles Timeline" that you have. Here are the changes I made:
1. I placed Gillecomgain's birth at year @ 978 so that he would be @ 16 years old in 994 when he first meets Demona; @ 42 in 1020 when he kills Findlaech; and @ 54 in 1032 when he buys the farm.
2. I moved the wedding of Gillecomgain and Gruoch from 1030 (which was an approximate date anyway) to @ 1032, in order to compress events of that period into a more cohesive flashback.
3. Since I moved the wedding two years forward, I moved Luach's birth two years forward as well, from 1031 (another approximate date) to @ 1033. This makes Luach @ 7 years old in 1040 when his father becomes king; @ 24 in 1057 when he becomes king; @ 25 in 1058 when he is murdered.
You may want to note these changes on your timeline for future reference.
Demona - This yarn tells Demona's story. But she doesn't learn from it. We have to make sure that the audience is getting more than just a simple chronological depiction of her history. Since she doesn't learn the lessons of the past, we have to make doubly sure the audience does: Life is precious; vengeance and death accomplish nothing.
Goliath - Although this story belongs to our villains more than anyone, I think we need to thematically make it one of our leads as well. Goliath, obviously, gets the nod. Again, the theme is: Life is precious; vengeance and death accomplish nothing. If he forgets that, he will become like the villains he battles. "Every life is precious" applies to how he feels about all those human statues (particularly Elisa), but also -- and this is the key -- to how he feels about Demona, as well. Goliath has to work very hard to stop Demona, and then very, very hard to save her life. (Deep down, it may have something to do with her being the last female gargoyle that he knows about and/or their past relationship, but we can generalize to the notion of life's "preciousness".) The Weird Sisters can help reinforce this. (Of course, they're lying. They want Demona alive for their own personal use. But the message will sound right here.)
I. Hostage situation - Manhattan - Night.
A. ELISA & MATT outside.
B. LEAD TERRORIST inside says the cause means everything to her.
C. Our six Gargoyles take out terrorists.
1. GOLIATH approaches terrified Lead Terrorist.
a. Leader is willing to sacrifice her men to save herself.
b. Goliath is disgusted.
c. Leader flees and nearly gets herself killed.
d. Goliath saves her, almost despite himself.
D. Hostages are clearly more frightened of Gargoyles than terrorists.
1. Trio's frustration with ungrateful humans.
E. But three hostages approach Goliath.
1. We don't yet reveal that they are WEIRD SISTERS.
a. 3 nine-year old girls named PHOEBE, SELINE & LUNA.
b. Identical triplets except for hair color.
2. They are strangely unafraid of Goliath.
a. They comment on Lead Terrorist. Something like:
i. Seline: "The cause is everything until her own life
is threatened. But it's good you saved her."
ii. Phoebe: "If you forget what she has forgotten:
that every life is precious, you'll be no different
than she. "
iii. Goliath: "I'll never be like that terrorist."
iv. Luna: "We weren't talking about this terrorist."
3. Goliath looks at lead terrorist.
a. When he looks back, the Sisters have vanished.
b. This is strange. Who could they have been talking about?
II. DEMONA... wings through Manhattan skies - Night.
A. She clutches a torn piece of parchment.
B. Push in on her for flashback.
III. Wyvern Castle before the Massacre - Scotland - Night.
A. Repeat pp. 23-24 of 4319-001.
1. CAPTAIN & Demona try to convince Goliath to take all the
gargoyles to harry the Vikings away.
2. Instead Goliath assigns Demona to guard the castle with most of
3. Goliath leaves.
B. Demona & Captain discuss situation.
1. Original plan is blown.
a. HAKON would've attacked while gargoyles were away.
b. Gargoyles would have returned to human-free castle.
2. Captain reassures her that plan can still work.
a. He'll have Hakon attack during day.
b. Humans will still be dragged away.
3. Demona worries Gargoyles will be vulnerable.
a. Captain promises to protect them.
4. Demona agrees.
IV. Just before Sunrise - Wyvern. Demona is clearly antsy.
A. For a second she may consider revealing truth to PRE-COLDSTONE.
1. But she wimps out.
B. She takes off and hides in nearby woods or somewhere.
1. She turns to stone as the sun rises.
V. Smash Cut to sunset, she explodes out of her shell .
A. She rushes toward Castle which has clearly been sacked.
B. She sees dead gargoyle rubble.
C. She sees Goliath and HUDSON approach.
1. She can't face them and flees.
2. She's losing it. talking to herself.
a. She'll return later with some excuse.
b. He'll be so glad she's alive.
VI. She returns to castle and watches from a distance - Night.
A. Just in time to see Goliath in stone at night being placed on the castle.
1. Near the stone forms of Hudson, BROOKLYN, LEXINGTON,
BROADWAY & BRONX.
B. She watches KATHARINE, MAGUS, TOM and others leave.
1. They take wagon loads of Gargoyle eggs with them.
C. She takes off in opposite direction.
VII. Weeks later at a Scottish farmhouse, a starving Demona scavenges for food.
A. A sixteen year old boy [Gillecomgain] investigates the noise.
1. He holds a pitchfork, defensively.
B. Like a trapped animal, Demona slashes at him with her claws.
1. His face is hurt, but he falls back into the shadows, so we can't
2. In the shadows, the boy's eyes glower at Demona accusatorily.
C. Demona flees, saying that'll teach those humans to betray us.
VIII. Return to Present as Demona lands at Packmedia studio- Night.
A. XANATOS & OWEN are there.
1. All is ready. X had necessary equipment brought in & set up.
a. It can over-ride every broadcast channel in Manhattan.
i. Cable too.
B. She has the last stolen page from the Grimorum.
1. With it, she claims, she can steal time from other people.
a. This, she claims, is how she has remained immortal.
i. Stealing a little time at a time on a small scale.
C. By combining spell with broadcast technology...
1. They can steal one minute from the lives of everyone who watches broadcast.
2. She & X will share stolen time.
3. Given the number of people they'll reach, this'll keep them
young for a long while.
4. Spell will broadcast through the day
a. Culminate after sunset tomorrow.
i. Xanatos should return then.
D. Xan likes idea, but he's not without his suspicions.
1. Tells Owen to keep an eye on her.
2. Warns him not to simultaneously look AND listen to spellcast.
a. Xanatos leaves.
E. Demona videotapes spell.
1. Incantations; gestures; magical light show.
2. Owen listens but does not look.
a. He knows Latin and knows spell isn't what she claimed.
i. Don't tell audience what it is yet.
3. Owen puts up a good fight, but she takes him out.
a. She ties him up. Tapes his eyes open in front of monitor.
4. Puts tape in machine. Sets broadcast override. And leaves.
IX. Elisa's Apartment - Afternoon.
A. Elisa gets out of the shower and turns on t.v.
1. Remember, Elisa works the Nightwatch
a. She has slept thru the day's broadcast.
b. CAGNEY's present but ignores t.v.
2. Demona's tape plays spell over and over on t.v.
a. Elisa watches it, switching channels. But it's everywhere.
3. She plans on telling Gargoyles as soon as they wake up.
B. She heads for precinct.
X. Manhattan sidewalk - Afternoon.
A. Weird sisters watch Demona's broadcast in store window.
1. They appear to be three attractive NY fashion models.
2. A crowd of confused New Yorkers are also watching sets.
B. They discuss situation calmly.
1. Phoebe: "This is exciting. It's begins again."
2. Seline: "Concentrate, sister. Or it will all end here."
3. Luna: "There are no beginnings or endings."
a. "Remember -- it was only 975 years ago."
4. Or some such rot as they calmly walk away.
a. Tight on Demona's face on t.v. screen.
XI. Dissolve to Demona's face, older, lined by time & hardship - Dunsinane,
Scotland - Night.
A. (She's biologically in her early 40's.)
B. Demona leads a small band of gargoyles in smash and grab.
1. She uses medieval human weapons.
C. Human soldiers curse gargoyles.
1. It won't be long before the "HUNTER" wipes them out.
XII. Demona & Co. return to their Cave on Lunfanan Hill - Night.
A. She makes sure that even the gargoyles who were too weak to
participate in the raid get food.
B. Establish that she's gathered last surviving gargoyles etc.
1. The Gargoyle-Hunter has hunted them to near extinction.
2. Demona keeps them alive by sheer force of will.
C. When another gargoyle suggests making peace with humans...
1. She takes him down brutally. (As she did with Owen above.)
2. She brooks no challenge to her authority.
D. Three old, female gargoyles (Weird Sisters) arrive.
1. Demona doesn't know them, but she has no reason to fear them.
2. Sisters have spotted the Hunter near Castle Moray.
3. Now's Demona's chance to get him.
XIII. FINDLAECH, High Steward of Moray, entertains at his castle - Night.
A. Also present is his fifteen year old son MACBETH.
1. There is a strong resemblance between father and son.
B. The guests are the beautiful young GRUOCH and BODHE, her Father .
1. Clear attraction between Gruoch & Macbeth.
C. Adults discuss Macbeth's cousin, PRINCE DUNCAN.
1. A flawed young man.
2. They have their doubts about his ability to someday rule.
3. But he is to be king someday. They are loyal.
D. Gruoch and her Father go up to bed.
1. Findlaech calls for servants to clean up dinner.
a. None answer his call.
E. The Hunter steps out of the shadows.
1. He wears a distinctive mask that completely covers his face.
a. Black with red claw marks painted across it.
b. Obviously, there are eye-holes, so he can see.
2. He attacks Findlaech. No explanation or reason.
a. There is a fight, but Findlaech is killed.
[Note: Adrienne is o.k. with this death. But not with the method depicted in the outline. It would be best if we could come up with some unique (and semi-fanciful) method of killing that we can use consistently throughout movie. Talk to me and/or her about this.]
F Upstairs, Gruoch hears the fighting and rushes to help.
1. Against her cowardly father's wishes.
G. Hunter goes to kill Macbeth when Demona arrives.
1. Fierce battle between Hunter and Demona.
2. At a crucial moment, Demona must choose between saving Mac and preventing the Hunter's escape.
3. Without thinking, she saves Mac, allowing Hunter to escape.
a. Perhaps Gruoch's concern for Mac touched some long buried feelings?
H. Mac & Gruoch are grateful, but Demona leaves, disgusted with herself.
XIV. 19 year old Prince Duncan paces the floors of Edinburgh Castle near dawn.
A. The Hunter enters by a secret door and is welcomed by Duncan.
1. Hunter removes mask.
2. His face has scars matching the painted claw marks of his mask.
a. We realize that this is the boy that Demona attacked in the
3. He is identified as GILLECOMGAIN (age 42).
B. Gillecomgain reports that Findlaech is dead as ordered.
1. Though Mac lives.
C. Duncan is largely pleased.
1. Findlaech was popular.
2. With his support, Mac might have become King.
3. Without his father, Mac is just another poor relation.
D. As a reward, Duncan makes Gillecomgain the High Steward of Moray.
E. Duncan calls for a celebration.
1. Three serving wenches (the weird sisters) approach with a feast.
2. Tight in on Gillecomgain's discarded hunter's mask.
XV. An unseen man watches Demona's broadcast, muted - late afternoon.
A. He puts on a modern version of the Hunter's mask.
1. (It has no visible eye-holes. It must use special one-way lenses).
B. This new HUNTER clicks off the t.v.
1. Note: This is MACBETH in his mansion, rebuilt since 4319-008.
a. He can be dressed in his modern battle armor and duster.
b. It's o.k. if many of our viewers realize it's him, we still
won't reveal it yet.
XVI. Elisa arrives at precinct house - just before sunset.
A. Precinct phones are ringing off the hook cuz of Demona.
1. Matt & MARIA CHAVEZ dealing with calls and complaints.
B. Elisa slips upstairs to be there when Gargoyles awaken.
XVII. Xanatos' castle near sunset.
A. He gets in his helicopter heading for Studio, with Derek at pilot.
1. Derek asks if Xanatos saw Gargoyle broadcast. (Derek saw it.) a. Xanatos made a point of skipping it.
B. Phone rings. It's Owen calling from Packmedia Studios at sunset. 1. Owen has just freed himself from his bonds.
2. Owen turns to stone before he can say anything too revealing.
C. Suddenly, the copter starts to drop.
1. Derek has turned to stone next to Xanatos.
2. Chopper's going down.
XVIII. At clock tower, the Gargoyles explode out of their shells and come to life.
A. They move inside, ignorant of the day's events.
B. Elisa's "statue" stands just inside of the clock face.
[If and/or when we divide into multiple parts, I think this is where part one ends.]
1. They don't realize the statue is Elisa.
2. They assume it's a statue of her.
a. Keep in mind that gargoyles (except Goliath) haven't seen
each other as stone, because they are always stone at the same time.
3. But how did statue get here?
4. Who else but Elisa would leave it?
5. Why would Elisa give them a statue of herself?
6. And why wouldn't she wait to see their reaction?
7. And if it wasn't her, who left this here and how and why? Etc.
C. Only Goliath has seen his friends as stone.
1. He doesn't necessarily state his fear. But he's uneasy.
2. He assigns Hudson and Bronx to guard the statue.
3. He and the trio will patrol the city, as usual.
XIX. Xanatos fights to save his life.
A. Pulls chopper out of dive and brings it in for rough landing.
1. Any landing you can walk away from, hmm, Derek?
2. Derek doesn't answer. At least he's unchipped.
B. Xanatos looks around him. Everywhere people are "stoned".
1. Obviously, Demona and he need to have a little talk.
2. Pulls a mega-weapon out of the first aid kit or whatever.
3. Heads off to PackMedia Studio on foot.
XX. Goliath & Trio patrol the night skies.
A. From a height, everything seems peaceful at first.
B. But eventually they discover the "stone" populace.
1. Maybe a single blind man & his seeing-eye dog are unaffected.
a. Brooklyn talks to blind man over the barking of dog.
i. Dog is freaked out by gargoyles, not "statuary".
ii. Man doesn't realize he's talking to gargoyles.
b. Gargoyles learn about broadcast from blind guy.
i. He heard it and was told about it, but didn't see it.
ii. Gargoyles figure out the truth (including Elisa).
iii. Brooklyn is furious at Demona as usual.
c. They tell the blind man he'd better stick close to home.
C. Goliath says they'll have to split up to find Demona.
1. Brooklyn will stay with him.
a. Goliath's afraid Brooklyn's a loose cannon.
2. As for Broadway and Lex...
a. He tells them to stop by clock tower.
i. Fill Hudson in.
ii. Send him and Bronx off as a third team.
b. Broadway worries about leaving Elisa unattended.
i. G: "She's as safe in the tower as anywhere."
c. The priority now is finding Demona.
i. Lex: "But How?"
ii. Goliath is afraid that, unfortunately, finding her
will be all too easy.
XXI. On Manhattan streets we follow a highly visible trail of rubble and destruction...
A. To Demona, who is having a grand old time with the "stoners".
1. Here she blasts one with a laser-cannon.
2. There she smashes one with a medieval mace.
3. She's practically giddy, talking to herself and the "stoners".
B. She remembers her appointment with Xanatos at the studio.
1. Can't let him turn off the broadcast.
2. She heads off with impunity in that direction, continuing the
destruction as she goes.
XXII. The New Hunter [Macbeth] is flying his hover-jet through NY's night
A. Demona's broadcast silently plays over and over on a small monitor.
B. A computer voice tells us that it is tracking the t.v. override signal.
C. Soon. He says. Soon. Fade into flashback.
XXIII. Dunsinane, Near Moray -- The Original Hunter [Gillecomgain -- age 54,
but still as fit as any warrior] battles Demona (age 47).
A. It could go either way, but the sun is rising and she must flee.
B . Both swear to finish it later.
XXIV. At Castle Moray, Macbeth (age 27) and Gruoch's Father converse.
A. Mac can't believe that Bodhe is marrying his daughter off to
1. He threatens to run away with Gruoch.
B. Bodhe protests.
1. Prince Duncan has ordered the marriage.
2. If they defy the Prince, it's equivalent to capital treason.
a. There'll be no safe place for them to run.
i. Which is fine for Macbeth, but think of my
XXV. Mac & Gruoch rendezvous on Lunfanan hill as planned to run away.
A. But Mac is distant, unfeeling, unloving.
1. Tells Gruoch to marry Gillecomgain but won't give real reason.
a. Because he knows she would risk anything for him.
B. She's clearly devastated by his cold dismissiveness. (So's he.)
XXVI. The Wedding of Gillecomgain & Gruoch at Castle Moray.
A. Macbeth lurks in the back.
B. Prince Duncan (age 31) is there.
1. He's showing off his one year old son PRINCE CANMORE.
C. Maybe Gruoch's bridesmaids are the Weird Sisters.
D. After the ceremony, Duncan & Gillecomgain confab.
1. Duncan wants Gillecomgain to tie up the last loose end.
a. Kill my cousin Macbeth.
2. But Macbeth is Gille's insurance.
a. Mac's an heir to the crown and popular.
b. If Duncan gets out of line, Gill will reveal that Duncan
ordered Findlaech's death.
i. Which cousin will wind up King then?
3. Duncan is major league steamed.
XXVII. Macbeth is summoned to Prince Duncan at Edinburgh.
A. Baby Canmore plays nearby.
B. Duncan plays Mac like a lute.
1. He's just discovered something truly shocking and horrible.
2. He knows who the mysterious Hunter is...
a. The man who killed your father...
b. It's Gillecomgain.
3. Duncan laments that Gil fooled him completely.
4. Oh, if only Gillecom were gone, Duncan would:
a. Give Macbeth his rightful title: High Steward of Moray.
b. Give him Gruoch's hand in marriage.
5. But Duncan doesn't dare attack Gille openly.
a. It could start a civil war between Moray and rest of
Scotland. All would suffer.
6. Duncan shakes his head. What can be done?
XXVIII. At Moray, in a scene parallel to the death of Findlaech:
A. Macbeth steps out of the shadows to battle Gille.
B. Gruoch hears fight and comes downstairs.
C. Gill is ready to kill Gruoch to save himself.
1. He taunts paralyzed Mac.
2. He slips on the Hunter mask as final insult.
D. But Demona is here watching.
1. She had been tipped off by Weird Sisters again.
2. She didn't know which of them was the Hunter.
E. Tables turn. Mac rescues Gruoch while Dem fights Hunter.
1. Maybe in here, Gil reveals to her that he was the boy she scarred
F. Mac rescues Demona in some way.
G. Gille/Hunter buys the farm in some way.
1. Preferably by whatever method Gill used on Findlaech.
H. There is a brief moment of respect between Mac & Demona.
1. Then off she goes.
XXIX. Outside Castle Moray just after the wedding of Macbeth and Gruoch.
A. Prince Duncan puts on the Hunter's mask himself.
1. There will always be a Hunter, he says to his baby son.
a. The boy is attended by the Weird Sisters.
2. And there will always be the Hunted.
XXX. Manhattan/Night. Goliath and Brooklyn come across Demona's trail of
A. Goliath and Brooklyn are devastated.
1. This reminds them of the massacre at Wyvern.
2. Goliath: "Every life is precious."
3. Brooklyn hates Demona. "This could be Elisa."
4. Goliath erupts. NEVER!!
5. Goliath swears to put an end to Demona's evil once and for all.
B. Suddenly, three stone figures begin to speak to Goliath without
transforming back from stone -- very spooky.
1. The Weird Sisters as speaking stone versions of the nine-year old
girls that Goliath met earlier.
2. They agree that Demona must be stopped.
3. But they remind him of his own words -- every life is precious.
a. Stop her, but don't become like her.
b. Vengeance begets nothing but a vicious cycle of further
4. They advise him to follow the trail of rubble.
5. Then they crumble into rubble themselves.
C. Goliath and Brooklyn follow trail of rubble.
XXXI. Xanatos & Demona arrive at PackMedia almost simultaneously.
A. Xanatos is determined to turn off broadcast.
B. Demona is determined to stop him.
C. Big fight. (Stone Owen at risk.)
D. The New Hunter [Macbeth arrives].
1. Just seeing that mask drives Demona to fury.
2. But she's not nuts, she flees.
3. Hunter fires off a cable attachment that wraps around her ankle.
4. As she flies off, he holds on by cable -- determined.
E. All this allows Xan to shut down broadcast.
1. He expects Owen to turn back to flesh.
2. Owen does not.
XXXII. In the skies above Manhattan, the Hunter tries to hold on and nail
A. Big aerial sequence.
B. Ultimately, Demona shakes him (roughly) and flees.
1. Let's subtly indicate somewhere in here that when one is hurt
both feel pain.
C. He summons his hover-thing. He hasn't given up.
XXXIII. Goliath and Brooklyn arrive at PackMedia Studio.
A. They find Xanatos (and stone Owen) and evidence of battle.
B. Goliath is accusatory, but Xan disarms him by copping to his mistake.
1. "Do you want vengeance...or a solution?"
C. They declare a temporary truce and form an uneasy alliance.
1. They shake on it.
[And this is where Part II would end if and/or when it becomes a Multi-Parter.]
XXXIV. Morning at clock Tower. Elisa transforms back to flesh and blood.
A. Note: she does not explode out of stone shell. She transforms back.
1. Difference between Gargoyles organic process and her magical
B. She has no idea what happened to her.
1. But "two seconds ago" it was sunset.
2. Now it's sunrise and the gargoyles have vanished.
3. Did she lose the entire night?
4. She exits clock tower.
XXXV. Back at the Studio, Owen has transformed to Flesh in front of Xanatos.
A. Xan starts to explain what happened to Owen.
1. But Owen's figured it out.
2. So Xan tells Owen about Gargoyle alliance.
a. Good. Owen suggests searching Grimorum for
b. No good. Even if there's one in there none of us "good
guys" knows how to use magic.
3. Xanatos asks Owen for the exact terms of spell.
a. Owen translates from Latin:
i. "You will turn to stone each night until the sky
4. Xanatos: "Then we'll just have to set the sky ablaze."
a. "Hurry. We've only got 12 hours."
XXXVI. TRAVIS MARSHALL reports.
A. People are panicked.
B. The mysterious broadcast has ceased.
C. But most everyone in the city, including this reporter, has no memory
of the past night.
D. He interviews hysterical woman who claims everyone turned to stone.
2. Incidentally, she missed the broadcast. Doesn't watch t.v.
a. Therefore, she must be crazy.
E. Experts theorize mass hypnosis?
XXXVII. New Hunter [Macbeth] watches report.
A. He can't believe Demona slipped through his grasp again.
B. Fade into flashback.
XXXVIII. The royals hike leisurely up Lunfanan Hill on a gloomy, foggy
A. Duncan (age 39) is there. He is now High KING of Scotland.
1. With him is his son Prince Canmore (age 9).
B. Macbeth (age 35) is also there with his son LUACH (age 7).
C. All are trying to make nice.
D. Duncan nearly falls to his death. Macbeth saves him.
E. Duncan is more stunned at Mac's loyalty than grateful.
1. He tells Mac he had his doubts, but now he's convinced Mac's a
F. Suddenly, they come upon cave of stone gargoyles including Demona.
G. Duncan goes to destroy them starting with Demona.
H. Macbeth intervenes; pleads for them.
1. Duncan reluctantly acquiesces.
a. Doesn't like it, but the guy did just save his life.
I. They start down the mountain.
J. They meet the Weird Sisters in their Old Crone Shakespearean guise.
1. "Double, double toil and trouble: Fire burn; and cauldron
2. The Weird Sisters hail all four of them as Kings of Scotland.
3. Macbeth protests. Duncan is king.
a. Sisters: King now. But each of you shall be king in turn.
b. Mac: Certainly Prince Canmore, but not him & Luach...
c. Sisters: We have spoken.
K. The sisters vanish.
1. The two boys look at each other suspiciously.
2. Macbeth tries to write it off as nonsense.
3. Duncan (who's been quiet) agrees.
a. But we can see he's already plotting. Dissolve...
XXXIX Lunfanan again, later that day, with Duncan and some men.
A. Suspicious of Macbeth's relationship to the gargoyles.
B. He plans on attacking Macbeth with his army.
1. Doesn't want gargoyles to help Macbeth.
C. Hates to attack so near to sunset, but tomorrow he might not be able to
D. He puts on the Hunter's mask.
E. He gets up mountain in time to destroy maybe one or two gargoyles.
F. But the sun sets and Demona (age 51) and the others explode to life.
1. Still, all Demona can do is flee with her band.
2. She's getting old, weak.
a. Who will lead after she's gone?
b. If only there were some way to regain her strength and
i. She must seek the Weird Sisters.
XL. Castle Moray. Old Bodhe warns Macbeth that Duncan's bringing an
A. Macbeth has his loyal retainers, but they can't defeat Duncan.
B. He can't protect his family.
C. Old Bodhe (cowardly as ever) suggests Mac surrender.
1. If he does, Duncan might spare Luach and the rest.
D. Macbeth agrees.
1. He says a cryptic "I love you" to wife and child and rides away.
XLI. Night in the misty wilderness. Lost, Macbeth and Demona stumble upon
A. Mac begs Demona to help him defend his family.
1. He promises to help her keep the gargoyles safe.
2. She's heard that before. What guarantee does she have?
B. Suddenly, the Weird Sisters appear from the mist.
1. We see that Mac sees them as Old Human Crones.
2. While Demona simultaneously sees them as Gargoyle crones.
C. Sisters suggest an act of good faith. Is there anything Demona wants?
1. Demona wants youth.
2. Would Mac be willing to trade?
3. Anything to save his family.
D. Sisters arrange trade. Magic light show, incantations and morphing.
1. Demona becomes the young Demona we are familiar with.
a. A permanent change from this point on.
2. Mac becomes the older Macbeth we are familiar with.
a. From this point on, he's permanently in his early fifties.
3. Any of our audience that speaks Latin will learn about the
E. Sisters send the new allies off with one last tidbit:
1. "Duncan gave Gillecomgain all his orders."
XLII. Bothgoanan, Scotland. Night. Mac's forces and Duncan's are ready to
A. Calm before storm. Gruoch and Luach are there.
1. She touches Mac's grey hair gently.
2. She's afraid he made a bad deal.
B. Demona enters tent. It is time.
C. Old Bodhe takes Gruoch and the boy behind the lines to safety.
D. Mac and Demona go to join there forces and face the enemy.
XLIII. The Battle of Bothgoanan. Night.
A. With the gargoyles help, Mac's forces are winning.
1. Mac calls admiringly to Demona: "You fight like a demon!"
B. Duncan is killed in some way. (Preferably the same way Find & Gil
1. Hunter's mask is found as evidence he was responsible for
2. Macbeth is hailed as new High King of Scotland.
C. Prince Canmore is brought forward.
1. Old Bodhe urges the young boy's death.
2. Macbeth refuses. He will banish the boy.
a. Send him to stay with relatives in England.
b. No one notices that Canmore steals the Hunter's mask.
XLIV. The coronation of Macbeth at Scone. Night.
A. Demona, Luach, Gruoch and Old Bodhe are all there and happy.
B. Macbeth makes Demona his primary advisor.
1. He promises a golden age in human/gargoyle relations.
2. He promises that the humans will learn to respect her.
a. She'd rather be feared.
b. Mac: "They'll do that too... 'Demona'"
i. She likes her new name.
3. The happy golden age begins.
a. Everyone cheers. Humans and gargoyles alike.
b. The Weird Sisters, disguised as serving women, smile.
XLV. Precinct, late afternoon. The Weird Sisters, disguised as cops, help out cheerfully amid the panic.
A. Elisa confers with Matt and Maria.
1. FCC has tracked down source of Broadcast.
a. Packmedia Studios show signs of conflict, but no hard
b. But Elisa knows who owns Packmedia.
i. But she's not saying anything 'til she knows the
extent of gargoyles involvement.
XLVI. In the Great Hall of Xanatos' Castle before sunrise, Owen and Xanatos (in
his armor sans helmet for the time being) are hard at work.
A. They are outfitting all of the Steel Clan robots with special packs.
1. Including Xanatos' own armor.
2. They have extra packs for the gargoyles who should arrive just
3. The audience doesn't yet know what the packs are for.
4. There's a lot of other temporary equipment set up, as well.
B. Elisa arrives ready to blame Xanatos for everything.
1. Owen: "Mr. Xanatos is trying to fix things. What are you
doing to help?!"
C. Before she can answer, the sun goes down.
1. Owen and Elisa turn to stone.
2. X: "That's one way to settle an argument."
D. All six of our gargoyles arrive.
1. Hudson & Broadway carry Bronx between them.
E. Xanatos explains plan.
1. Steel Clan Robots, Gargoyles and Xan will fly in pre-arranged pattern over the island of Manhattan.
2. They will carry packs that will distribute a harmless gas.
3. At a pre-set time, the packs will explode, igniting gas.
a. A time-counter on the computer screen indicates the time
b. Obviously, by that time, Xanatos & gargoyles must be out
of the upper atmosphere and clear of their packs.
c. Xanatos' robots will be sacrificed to ignite gas.
4. For ten seconds the entire sky will appear to be on fire.
5. Hopefully that will break the spell.
F. Sometime during all this, Bronx starts clawing at a tapestry.
1. Xanatos tells Brooklyn it's worth a hundred grand.
2. Brooklyn shoos Bronx away.
3. A distracted Goliath sees none of this.
4. Make sure this isn't too obvious a foreshadowing.
5. Let's loose track of Bronx after this for awhile.
G. Everything's ready. Xanatos puts on his helmet.
1. Goliath approaches Elisa. This has to work.
H. Steel Clan, Xanatos, Hudson, Trio and Goliath take off with packs.
1. Keep Bronx out of sight and out of mind for now.
XLVII. Steel Clan, Xanatos and gargoyles criss-cross the night sky distributing
XLVIII. Back in Great Hall, a panel slides open behind Tapestry.
A. Demona steps out.
1. There are secrets about castle that even Xanatos doesn't know.
2. She can use computer set up to spoil Xanatos' plans.
3. But first she's gonna have some fun.
a. She approaches Elisa's stone form with her mace.
b. Didn't know this meddling human was still alive.
i. That can be rectified.
[And this ends part 3, if and/or when we go to four parts.]
B. Bronx intervenes between Demona and stone Elisa.
C. Demona temporarily backs off. She talks in a soothing voice, but:
1. She approaches computer terminal.
2. She reprograms gas-packs to explode early.
a. The computer screen time counter skips ahead quickly.
b. Xanatos & Gargoyles will die in explosion.
i. Intercut to Xan, gargs and robots in sky.
c. Not enough gas will be released to ignite the sky.
d. Then she'll use her laser-cannon to blow away Bronx,
Owen and especially Elisa.
e. Then there'll be no one left to stop her.
D. "What about me?", The Modern Hunter [Macbeth] steps out of the
1. In a frozen city, it wasn't hard to spot all those robots and
gargoyles taking off from the world's tallest building.
2. He decided to investigate and found exactly who he was looking
E. But Demona has already reprogrammed the computer access code.
1. It's too late to save the gargoyles and the city.
a. She presses a last button, locking out access to the
b. The time counter returns to a normal pace.
c. But a lot of time has been shaved off the countdown
before the pre-mature explosion of the gas-packs.
2. The Hunter doesn't care about any of that.
3. He just wants it over between them.
XLIX. At Dunsinane, the Hunter [Canmore -- age 26] leads English soldiers.
A. He is met by Demona leading a combined platoon of gargoyles and
human Scottish soldiers.
B. It's maybe a minor victory for the Hunter; more of a stalemate, really.
C. Demona leaves to inform Macbeth.
1. Demona's still confident that together, she and Mac can put
these English down & destroy the accursed Hunter for good.
a. We get sense that Mac's golden age has been working.
b. We've never seen Demona so happy and at peace with
L. Castle Moray. Macbeth confers with Old Bodhe and Luach (now age 24).
A. Macbeth wants to know why Bodhe wanted to meet without Demona.
B. Bodhe explains that the Hunter has convinced the English that Mac is
evil because Mac associates with gargoyles.
1. English got rid of their gargoyles long ago.
C. If Mac gets rid of the gargoyles, the Hunter will lose his English
D. Luach can't believe his father is listening to this crap.
1. Luach's about to leave to fetch reinforcements.
2. They haven't lost. There's no need to betray their gargoyle
E. But Macbeth says a wise king must consider all his options and then
make the correct choice.
1. He doesn't let us in on his choice.
F. And he doesn't realize that Demona has heard the whole thing.
1. She's sure Mac is going to betray the gargoyles.
LI. Demona approaches the Hunter in his camp.
A. She promises to keep her gargoyles out of his battle against Mac if the
Hunter will promise them protection.
B. He agrees.
LII. At Castle Moray, the Hunter launches his attack.
A. Macbeth is suddenly informed that the gargoyles are missing.
1. He's based his defense strategy on their aid.
a. The gargoyles were supposed to help hold off the English.
b. Long enough for Luach to launch a surprise counter-
attack with reinforcements from behind.
B. The battle is lost before Luach can arrive.
C. Gruoch begs Mac to flee with her, and he reluctantly does.
1. They take a pre-arranged escape route.
LIII. But on Lunfanan Hill, The Hunter is waiting for Mac & Gru with Demona.
A. Hunter takes off his mask, revealing himself as Canmore.
1. He is here to avenge his father Duncan and take back what he
considers to be his rightful crown.
B. Macbeth is stunned at Demona's betrayal.
1. But she knows Mac was planning to betray her first.
2. He furiously denies it, and while they fight...
C. Canmore kills Macbeth.
1. Demona doubles over with pain and seems to die as well.
2. As Gruoch cries over her husband...
3. Canmore confirms his belief that Demona & Mac were linked by
a. If one dies, both die.
b. Well, Canmore says, she betrayed Macbeth.
c. She ultimately would have betrayed me as well.
d. So it's a good thing I had all her gargoyles secretly
e. Hers was an unholy race and didn't deserve to live.
D. An Englishman alerts Canmore that Luach has arrived with Scottish
1. He performs the better part of valor and retreats for now.
E. Luach and Old Bodhe arrive and find Gruoch crying over Macbeth.
1. The horrible sight makes Luach more determined than ever to
stop the English.
2. Even Bodhe's courage finally seems to awaken inside him.
a. He takes Macbeth's crown and gives it to Luach.
b. Luach is the new High King of Scotland.
c. Together, they will fight the English to the last man.
3. Gruoch asks for some time alone. Her father and son depart.
F. Weird Sisters appear in their Old Crone guise.
1. They approach Demona.
a. "The pain is great, child."
b. "But you are unharmed."
c. "Waken to the fate you've made for yourself."
2. Demona stirs.
a. Gruoch, still furious at Demona's betrayal.
i. She tells Demona that Canmore betrayed her.
ii. "Your people are gone, monster."
iii. "You are the last of your duplicitous race."
iv. Or something like that.
3. Demona flies off alone.
G. Weird Sisters now approach Macbeth.
1. For Canmore got it wrong.
a. He said when one dies, both die.
b. "But when one lives, both live."
c. And they vanish into the mist.
2. And then Macbeth stirs.
3. Far from being pleased, Gruoch is frightened.
a. Is it him or his ghost?
4. Macbeth assures her that he is alive.
a. Macbeth wants to join Luach in battle.
b. But Gruoch says no.
i. If he returns now, he undermines Luach.
ii. The English already accuse Mac of sorcery.
iii. This will be the final proof.
iv. It would divide even the most loyal of Scotsmen.
v. Luach & Scotland's only hope is for Mac to remain
c. Macbeth: But I'm not dead.
d. Gruoch: Then you must disappear.
i. Leave Scotland forever. It is the only way.
5. They share one last kiss, and she departs out of his life forever.
LIV. Back in Great Hall, Demona & Hunter [Macbeth] in stand-off.
A. A confused Bronx looks on. All he knows to do is guard Elisa.
B. Hunter has sought Demona across the centuries for his vengeance.
C. She is unimpressed.
1. Take off that stupid mask. She knows he's Macbeth.
a. He takes it off.
D. Nearby, the counter continues to count off the time until the pre-
mature explosions of the gas-packs.
LV. In the skies above Manhattan, Xanatos & Goliath fly abreast for a moment
as they "pass gas".
A. Xanatos says it's working. Now if that dog of yours leaves my tapestry
B. Goliath quickly figures out the truth.
C. He and Xanatos head back for the castle.
LVI. Back at the Great Hall, Macbeth holds up the Hunter's Mask.
A. He only wore it as a reminder of her betrayal.
1. She says, "Let's not start that old argument. It's pointless."
2. Besides, what's he gonna do. To kill her, he must die as well.
B. Macbeth has lived so long he no longer fears death.
1. And, indicating "stoners", he has no desire to live in the kind of
world her evil is creating.
2. He'll do what he has to do to get his revenge.
C. They fight.
D. Xanatos & Goliath arrive just as a stray laser cannon blast takes out a
huge piece of the floor.
1. Goliath is just in time to catch Elisa and keep her from falling
down the hole to smash on the lower floors.
E. Macbeth & Demona largely ignore the new-comers.
1. They tumble down to the floor below.
F. Xanatos checks the computer.
1. She's locked him out by changing access code.
2. And pack's are set to go off pre-maturely.
3. We need to save her to save the others and the city.
G. Goliath orders Bronx to guard Elisa.
1. He and Xanatos follow the fight down.
LVII. On a lower dungeon-esque floor of the castle, Xanatos & Goliath catch up
with Demona & Macbeth.
A. Demona & Macbeth are in a berserker rage.
B. Xanatos & Goliath try to just separate them -- no luck.
C. So they wade in to incapacitate them.
D. The battle takes them down again onto a lower floor.
LVIII. The quartet of combatants fall down from the lowest floor of the castle
into the Arboretum beneath it.
A. Goliath & Xanatos use teamwork to come through the drop all right. 1. Demona and Mac hit harder, down through trees, etc.
2. G&X take advantage of this to take them out.
3. Demona is knocked out.
4. Macbeth nearly so, by her injury.
B. But the injured Mac grabs Demona and prepares to do away with her...
1. (And thus himself.)
C. Goliath: "Killing her won't solve anything."
D. "He's right, Macbeth." This from the Weird Sisters.
1. They step out from among trees as NY fashion model types.
a. Though we see that Macbeth sees them as the Crones.
2. They question Macbeth:
a. Duncan was afraid that your father would make you king.
Did your father's death stop you from becoming
i. Mac: "No!"
b. You wanted revenge for your father. Did Gillecomgain's death settle that score?
i. Mac: "No."
c. Did your own "death" save Luach from Canmore?
i. Mac: "...no..."
ii. And the last 'no' breaks his heart.
3. Goliath pipes in. "Death is never the answer."
a. "Life is. Precious, precious life."
4. Macbeth: "I'm just so tired."
5. Sisters: "Then sleep."
6. Macbeth drifts off.
E. Xanatos doesn't know what the hell is going on.
1. He just knows he needs the access code.
2. Intercut timer and trio flying around at risk.
F. Seline wakens Demona, who is groggy, as if in a trance.
1. Phoebe asks Demona for the code.
2. Demona answers like she's talking in her sleep.
a. But she still refuses.
i. She will have vengeance for the betrayal of her
people. Vengeance for her pain.
3. Sisters: "But who betrayed her people? Who caused this pain?"
a. The Vikings destroyed her clan.
i. Who betrayed castle Wyvern to the Vikings?
b. The Hunter exterminated every gargoyle he found.
i. Who created the Hunter?
c. Canmore killed the last of her race.
i. Who betrayed Macbeth to Canmore?
4. Goliath: Your thirst for vengeance created nothing but more
a. End the cycle. Give us the code.
5. She does.
6. Armed with it, Xanatos shoots up through the hole in the roof.
LIX. Xanatos enters through the hole in the floor of the Great Hall.
A. He enters the access code into computer and stops clock with seconds
to spare. Whew.
B. Bronx looks on without a clue.
LX. Back in Arboretum, Demona begins to shake off her trance.
A. Her denial's kicked in. It was the humans' fault, not hers.
1. She wants her revenge.
2. She's learned nothing.
B. Sadly, the Weird Sisters (nine year old girl version) tell her she's tired.
1. She falls back into a trance beside Macbeth.
C. Goliath wonders what to do with Demona & Macbeth.
1. Sisters feel responsible for them.
2. They will take Demona and Macbeth and try to help them.
3. Goliath asks who or what the sisters are?
a. But that's a story for another day.
D. The three sisters vanish along with Macbeth and Demona.
LXI. Hudson & Trio fly over the river and drop their empty gas packs.
A. They head back for the castle.
LXII. Goliath joins Xanatos in Great Hall. It's time.
LXIII. In the skies over Manhattan, the Steel Clan Robots and their packs
A. The sky is ignited and for ten seconds is aflame for as far as the eye can
LXIV. In the outer courtyard, Xanatos and Goliath watch the flaming sky.
A. Hudson and the trio land beside them.
B. A moment of true awe for everyone.
C. Bronx howls from back inside the Great Hall.
1. They rush inside.
LXV. Xanatos and the gargoyles arrive back in the Great Hall, in time to see the
stone melt away from Elisa and Owen.
A. Goliath is so happy he lifts Elisa up into the air.
1. She laughs. She doesn't have a clue what's going on.
B. Owen and Xanatos shake hands calmly.
1. Owen knows exactly what's going on and is pleased it worked.
C. Xanatos approaches Goliath just before the good guys are about to
1. They made a pretty good team.
2. All this time Xanatos has been wondering why he allowed the
gargoyles to live.
3. Now, he knows.
4. Occasionally, they come in handy.
D. Goliath starts to get angry, but then admits that occasionally...
1. Xanatos comes in handy, as well.
LXVI. The Gargoyles fly away from the castle.
A. Goliath carries Elisa. Broadway carries Bronx.
B. Everywhere below them are the signs and sounds that Manhattan is
waking up from it's stone sleep.
1. Safe once more, thanks to the gargoyles.
That's it. Finally. As ususal, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Sorry it took so long to get this to you. A few last reminders: just write the script as one piece; ignore the part designations for now. Also, do not be afraid to over-explain things. Be as clear as possible. We do not yet know for sure where this is being story-boarded. With all the time shifts and differing ages in different scenes it could confuse anyone. Also don't assume familiarity with previous episodes. Don't hesitate to cite specific references to page or episode numbers of past scripts. Good luck.
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...
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.
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?"
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.
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.
Notes on "Vows" Outline...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.)
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.
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."
--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.
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.
--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.
I really admire the patience and dedication of longtime fans and admirers (including yourself) of "Gargoyles." I only discovered the show for myself (with the help of my two young daughters) a bit more than a year ago, and I KEEP hoping that "some day" will come already and new episodes can be made.
Folks can say what they want about Toon Disney, but that's how my daughters found it and shared it with me, so the channel is at least providing the opportunity for a few new viewers to discover the show.
It's clear from watching the series, and then finding this Web site and learning more about the behind-the-scenes processes involved in its making, that there were a lot of thoughtful, creative, talented people behind it. Your ideas about characterization and story continuity have prompted me to post some thoughts and an inquiry here. (It's at the heart of one of the main reasons why I really lament that there aren't any more episodes being made ... yet.)
From a writing point of view, I think "Hunter's Moon, Part III" -- which I realize was a season finale -- would have served as a much better "final" finale for your involvement than "The Journey," which just left everything dangling for me like an unfinished book. Maybe I should say "like an unfinished chapter" because I don't want the book to end. At least in "Hunter's Moon," it ended with a bit of a payoff: an open declaration of mutual love between two main characters ("You know how I feel about you, right?" "How we both feel, yes." and even a kiss). It helped bring together a few loose strands that had been threading from almost the very beginning of the series without completely shutting it off from future development (far from it, actually).
In "The Journey," there is an aborted, sort-of date with very little discussion between Goliath and Elisa about what is really happening between the two of them or that very significant exchange between them from the previous episode. Also, from the information shared in this site, it seems you knew this was your farewell episode in many respects. So I would be interested to learn what you intended to have at work between Goliath and Elisa in this episode because I'm not sure that I "got it" all. I think an argument could be made that the episode, coming immediately in sequence after "Hunter's Moon," implies that a relationship between the two is A-OK with them without any internal conflicts.
Did you really want to make things seem less defined between them and let some time pass before they actually had The Talk about their relationship, specifically to help sustain fans' interest at a time when you may not have known what the future held for the series and their story?
Sorry to ramble on, but I don't want to appear as though I'm sorry you stayed on for one episode too many (again, far from it!) I'd like to learn your thoughts about the episode from a story/character development perspective.
Well. I was trying to play fair, I think. I was leaving, but the series had 12 more episodes that I was at least supposed to advise on. Most of my positive (try this) advice was ignored, though some of my negative (hey, don't do that) advice was taken. I wanted to give ME some closure, but I wasn't trying to give the series closure.
Specifically, what I was saying was that the journey would continue. That the adventure would continue. That even Japan had gargoyles, and Vinnie (or Greg Weisman) would never be totally out of the picture. That no matter what hassles Goliath and Elisa had ahead of them, that they would still have each other as companions on the journey forward.
This was not to imply that Elisa was all copecetic about loving the gargoyle. But that she knew that she did. That she would never abandon him. And vice versa.
Does that help?
Feel free to ask more specific questions, if I haven't covered it for you.
And by the way, cuts or no cuts, "Deadly Force" or no "Deadly Force", I'm still glad that Toon Disney's airing the show.
It's been awhile, but I watched "The Silver Falcon" with my kids the other night, so here's my ramblings on the episode:
This was Cary Bate's first GARGOYLES script as writer and story editor. And it feels very Cary to me. The love of old movies. The twisty-turny detective story, etc. But the main thing I remember is that Cary consciously wanted to start out slow. Not to have to be immediately fluent in each and every member of our large cast. So we focused this on Elisa and Broadway.
Broadway likes b&w genre flicks. First SHOWDOWN. Now this detective film.
Elisa keeps her gun in a lockbox now.
Broadway hates Dracon, but can't immediately place Glasses.
Broadway is extremely protective of Elisa.
Broadway has trouble reading, but he's clearly been studying.
Dracon now has a white streak in his hair. This was primarily done because I thought Tony's model looked too bland. But it made for some cool continuity, given how frightened he was in "Deadly Force". I actually had a brief weird notion to also give Glasses that white streak, but fortunately decided against that weird coincidence.
"Ears like these don't miss much."
"This is for my apartment, jerk!"
Picking up on Michael Reaves' suggestion that Matt is a conspiratorialist, we lay the groundwork for the Illuminati's eventual surfacing -- while simultaneously leave it open here to still think that Matt is way off base. Still Martin Hacker is intro'd here. He helps Matt out this time, because he knows the DD angle is a dead end Illuminati-wise. Mace is also mentioned and we see a photo of him. I already knew we'd be bringing back Hacker and meeting Mace soon enough. I knew they were both Illuminati.
Matt's FBI background is also revealed here for the first time. I always like filling in the blanks on characters we think we know.
We into Pal Joey here. Primarily, because Glasses made too BIG of an impression in Deadly Force. We needed someone that the audience (and Elisa and Broadway) wouldn't immediately recognize as a Dracon flunkee. Glasses (his name, his design and Rocky Carroll's performance in what was designed to be a throw-away role) made a strong impression on all of us. Maybe, it's the Owen syndrome. But I always wanted to do more with Glasses.
When Elisa heads for Matt's apartment, we weren't supposed to know it was Broadway hiding on Matt's balcony. The idea was to have multiple levels of suspence. A man in a ski-mask (Joey) ransacking Matt's place. Another man in a trenchcoat watching him from the balcony. Elisa about to enter. Who's on who's side? But instead, it's obvious from moment one that it's Broadway in the coat and on the balcony. Undercutting the suspense instead of expoiting it.
Where did Broadway get that trenchcoat on such short notice? Obviously, it was his Halloween costume. And obviously, since this coat wound up getting destroyed, he had to rush out and get a new one for Halloween.
The trenchcoat and hat is a tribute of sorts to Ben Grimm, alias Thing of the Fantastic Four. The oversized guy in the trenchcoat and hat was a Kirby trademark. Also that moment at the end, where Broadway knocks Tony out by simply flicking him with his finger a couple times. That was very Thing.
Elisa nearly shoots Broadway by accident, while he's pursuing Joey in the hallway at Matt's apartment building. It's a nice moment. And loaded with potential irony.
Originally, Benton and DD were two different people. Development Associate (now Story Editor/Writer) Eddie Guzelian suggested making them one and the same to add a last complication to the story. You can see that at the end. Matt deals with Pal Joey -- in a kismet kind of retaliation for the destruction of Matt's apartment. Broadway deals with Dracon, paralleling the old movie we saw at the beginning. And the story seems to be over. (Which originally it was.) Broadway even says: "Case closed." But then Elisa still has a villain to face. Dominic Dracon. Brought back to tie up loose ends, and add one more twist. Now my question is, how many people guessed that DD and Benton were one and the same? Cuz originally they weren't.
I'd have liked a little more visual clarity on the "Falcons" where the jewels were hidden. I'd have liked it better if they had been BLACK with grime and city soot. Then I'd have liked to have seen them shine like silver when Elisa does her quick polish act at the end. It basically works, but the clarity isn't quite their. Because the falcons are neither very black when dirty nor very silver when clean.
Finally, we made clear in this episode that the Gargoyles transformation to and from stone was really driven by an internal clock, not the sun itself, as Broadway turns to stone while underground. This was done, at least in part, to try and make it clearer that the gargs were not magical creatures but a mortal, biological species.
have you stop posting about the gargoyles episodes? it has been a long time since you have. sorry if this comes out rud or it sounds like i`am angry, i`am was just woundering. thank you for your time.
I haven't intentionally. I simply haven't watched any more episodes recently. Kinda busy. Also it depends on when my kids are in the mood.
Say good-bye, finally, to GARGOYLES 2158.
The proposed GARGOYLES spin-off series originally known as "GARGOYLES: FUTURE TENSE" and later retitled "GARGOYELES 2158" has been redeveloped.
For more information, check out the "GARGOYLES 2198" ASK GREG archive.
The queue is again empty.
But this time, I don't think Todd has fallen behind. I think finally, after, what, three years, I have caught up. Completely, totally, caught up.
I know it won't last. Won't even last a day, probably. But let me revel in the moment.
I'm caught up. I'm caught up. YES!
Someone asked me whether or not gargoyles would accept a homosexual gargoyle into the clan with open arms.
"The world isn't perfect. I think generally they would be tolerant. (Tolerant, in my book, is unsatisfactory.) But generalities do not
define individual reactions to individual revelations. Open arms would exist in many cases. "
My brother read that and wrote:
"I think writing "Tolerant is unsatisfactory"could be interpreted as you saying that they should not be tolerant, that you are against
tolerance rather than tolerance being insufficient."
So, just to be clear, I was saying that I find tolerance insufficient. Certainly, tolerance is better than hostility or neutrality, but I'd prefer acceptance.
I was wondering, since is is now available to rent on VHS/DVD, have you seen Princess Mononoke? It was a wonderful movie! Keith David did the voice of the leader of the Boar Clan...damned if I can remember the name. Did an excellent job too...But I can't help imagining that was Goliath, even sounded like some things Goliath might say at one point or another. He is also the narrator as well, at the beginning. If ya haven't seen it and do see it later, could you please post what ya think about it? I like your opinons on the other movies you saw (ex: Titan A.E., Jurassic Park, etc) Thanks so much!
I saw it in the theater. And I liked it a lot. It was stunning. I'd like to say more, but it was so long ago, and maybe this in itself is significant, but I can't remember the story too clearly. I do have a vague recollection that everyone's motivations were a bit confused. But I also liked how complex it was and how it was difficult to fully sympathize or dislike anyone.
"Does anyone know if "Maza" means "iron" in any Native American language or dialect?"
According to my book of names (it's got like 20,000 names and their meanings, which is totally cool, especially the Athurian names) Maza blaska, which is a Dakota name means "flat iron." So if it's one of those languages where the adjective comes after the subject, then Maza does infact mean Iron in Dakota. Which interestingly enough adds more irony since Dakota was an early choice for Demona's name. ^_^
And you know that J.R.R. Tolkien claimed that all of his novels were fact...you seen to have the same symptom with the Gargoyles.
I'm not claiming they're fact so much as acknowledging that sometimes storytelling on this show just seems to click with history, existing legend and with dramatic necessity. It's a rare feeling, and I'm humbled by it. All I'm saying is it sometimes feels like the stories are true somehow somewhere, and all I'm doing is (imperfectly) tapping into them.
But I'm not actually delusional.
Had a good time at the Gargoyles Adult Chatroom the other day, and it got me thinking. Someone named VP (or VJ?) made the point that everything I've done after, well, "The Journey" I guess, is fanfiction. At first, I misunderstood him. For example, I thought he was confusing Katana with Sata. But he made it clear, that he meant the quote-unquote Master Plan. My initial reaction was to balk.
But I think he's got a point.
Some of this stuff was completed while I was still on the Disney Payroll in late '95, early '96, but none of it's canon in my mind. Canon, as far as I'm concerned only includes the 66 episodes running from "Awakening, Part One" through "The Journey". The other 12 Goliath Chronicles are debatable. Because the show ISN'T on the air, I think I personally am free NOT to regard them as canon. If and/or when the show does get going again in some shape or form, then a more definitive decision will have to be made at that point about those additional 12 stories.
But putting Goliath Chronicles (and Marvel Comics and Disney Adventures, etc.) aside for the moment, that still leaves us with what to do about things like:
--"Once Upon a Time There Were Three Brothers..."
--Various ASK GREG and other revelations.
--The Spin-Offs: DARK AGES, GARGOYLES 2158, TIMEDANCER, PENDRAGON, THE NEW OLYMPIANS, BAD GUYS
--My further plans for the GARGOYLES main series itself.
Calling the work I've done on any of the above "fanfic" rankles at first, but that's largely a problem of semantics. It certainly isn't canon. At this point, legally, I have no more connection to the GARGOYLES property than any of you do. Plus, as I've said many times before, I won't be held to any of it. Hell, for all you know everything I've revealed is just one big snow-job to keep you from guessing my real plans. (It's not, but it might have been smarter of me if it was.)
I do think I'm something of an authority on the subject of Gargoyles. And I also think that if the show is ever brought back, the PTB at Disney would be likely (at least given current management) to come to me first to try and revive it. Plus I'm actively working on getting the show revived, again "in some shape or form".
But that doesn't change anything regarding the question of canon.
As many of you know, I've been working on a major revision of 2158. This is taking me longer than I thought, because -- and I shouldn't have been surprised by this, but -- it's effecting the ENTIRE chronology of the series. In addition to changing the year (and thus the title) of GARGOYLES 2158, I've already been forced to go back and make adjustments to both DARK AGES and "Once Upon A Time...Three Brothers". I now know that the last posted chapter of three brothers wound up being the last chapter of that little story period. Because "3Bros" really wound up being just a prologue to DARK AGES. And where "3Bros" leaves off is in fact right at the beginning of where DARK AGES begins.
The 2158 revamp has also necessitated minor changes in TimeDancer. And has clarified my thinking on Pendragon and Bad Guys as well.
[Thankfully, none of it has effected the Clan Contest. We should still be able to put that monster to bed soon.]
All this flux has made it difficult for me to keep certain details clear in my head. For example, at that Friday 9/1/00 chat, I revealed that Hudson had two biological children, Hyppolyta and Broadway. That was an error. Hudson had THREE biological children. (I got my dates mixed up.)
I'm hoping that the work I'm doing now will clean a lot of stuff up. I'm hoping that clarity (and my personal certainty) will return. But this flux isn't necessarily a bad thing. I know I screwed up at least a few times (Garg Universe-wise) within the 66 episodes. I tried to keep those mistakes to a minimum, but they happened. I'd like to avoid making more mistakes, even here at ASK GREG. I definitely feel like I'm getting closer to the "true" Gargoyles Universe, if that's possible and/or makes any sense.
Updates on all this should come over the next ten months. But I'm targeting Gathering 2001 for completion. I'm hoping to be able to make some big announcements there. So bear with me.
But to be fair to VP, he was right. I wouldn't call what I do "fanfiction". For starters, none of it is in the form of fiction. And so calling it that may be giving it TOO MUCH credit. But at the moment, I have no more claim to canon than anyone.
Rather, I'd say that if you like the stories I did come up with on the original 66, and think you might enjoy what I'd do next -- the way you might enjoy what Christine Morgan or Christi Smith Hayden or TGS does next -- than stay tuned. I've got more to tell you and more to reveal by and by.