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Stopped by the comment room and saw some of your comments on Theseus.
I have a slightly different take on the guy. I do think he's heavily flawed, but I think (or like to think) that some of the stories about him reflect bias. He's still more of a hero to me than a villain. (By the way, have you read the Mary Renault books THE KING MUST DIE and THE BULL FROM THE SEA. I'd recommend them.)
For example, in the Persephone story, I've always gone with the version that Theseus swore an oath of loyalty to Perithoos. Perithoos then insisted on going to Hades to take Persephone. Theseus is then stuck. He either has to break his oath to his friend or go to hell, so to speak. He tries to talk Perithoos out of this fool's gambit, but the guy won't listen. (And I wonder if Perithoos hadn't pissed off Eros and gotten shafted.) So Theseus goes. And is severly punished. Thus Athens is abandoned by him for years, and they don't forgive him. Thus you get some bias...
As for his history with women...
Ariadne - I always read that Theseus was FORCED to abandon her by Dionysus, who had taken a shine to the lady. (And this fits with Renault's more realistic interpretation too.)
ANTIOPE - I always thought that Theseus only ever really fell in love once. With Antiope the Amazon. (Sister to Hyppolyta, though Renault and others often confuse her with Hyppolyta herself. It may be that Hyppolyta was more of a title than a name. When Herakles' Hypolyta was killed, her sister Antiope ascended to the throne and took the name/title Hypolyta. That might explain the confusion.) When Antiope died, I think it killed something inside him.
I don't want to whitewash the guy, and maybe my problem is that too many of my early exposures to the character did just that. I do think he's a Bastard. With all that that implies. But I like to think there's more good in him than evil.
I could go on -- and some day I probably will -- but that should do for now.
One thing (one of many things) I admire about Joss Whedon's tv version of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and his ANGEL is his fearlessness as a creator. His willingness to let things evolve, change.
Characters find out the truth about other characters. They fall in and out of love. Things aren't drawn out forever and ever. He's unafraid to GO for it.
And frankly, I think that's one of the things I'm proudest of about GARGOYLES.
Not everyone loved the World Tour, but how many of you ever thought we'd have the guts to do it. To take our two leads and send them away from their "franchise" location not just for an episode or two but for what amounted to a season's worth of episodes?
And, honestly, how many of you thought -- even at the very end of "Hunter's Moon, Part Two" -- that we'd REALLY blow up the clock tower? Did you anticipate that the Gargs would wind up back at the castle with Xanatos or was that a surprise? For that matter, in season one, how many of you would have thought we'd have moved them out of the castle in the first place? "Enter Macbeth" represented a defeat of sort for our heroes. Did you see that coming?
(NOTE: These are not rhetorical questions. I'd really like to know the answers, so don't hesitate to let me know with a post here.)
Anyway, if these things were shocking, I think it's because they were somewhat brave. A risk. But not a risk for the sake of risk, but a risk in the name of being true to the characters. We made the various franchise shifts because nothing else made sense. I think it paid off for us, at the very least in loyalty from all of you. What do you think?
My DC Comics editor finally sent me a few copies of that Justice League comic with the Captain Atom/Gargoyles story. I had forgotten just how many Gargoyle in-jokes I put in that story. There's much more there for a Gargoyle fan then for a Captain Atom fan. Though I think the scenes of Cap kissing Bette (and the mention of Las Vegas) would make a couple people (Simon Del Monte, Melissa Page, for example) a bit nostalgic. I think the story turned out pretty well. Anyway, I'm happy. My editor made a couple small changes. He removed the two references to the year the story took place (1991). And he changed the title. It was called something like: "An Exercise in Self-Indulgence". Now it's called "The Flashback of Notre Dame". Both are accurate, but his is much more clever.
Lately, I've been giving away a lot of ASK GREG tidbits for some reason. Not sure why. I'm just in the mood, I guess. But it suddenly occured to me to register this caveat.
There's canon and there's canon.
As far as I'm concerned the only true canon is the 66 episodes of the series running from "Awakening, Part One" through "The Journey". As many of you know, I don't like to consider the other twelve episodes of Goliath Chronicles to be canon, let alone whatever other stories got published by Marvel or Disney Adventures Digest or whatever.
But to be honest, even some of my ASK GREG answers cannot truly be considered canon. They're closer. But I won't be held to them in any absolute sense. Part of the wonder of producing the first two seasons of Gargoyles involved things discovered along the way. I won't etch things in stone (pun intended) just for the sake of making these ramblings and off-the-cuff answers sacrosanct. If I got the chance to produce the show (or one of its spin-offs) again, I'd ABSOLUTELY incorporate much of what's here. But I'd be a fool not to hold everything up to a microscope and decide with consideration what would and wouldn't be best for the new series.
Having said that, I've been giving some particular thought to G2158 recently, studying timelines for example. And I've changed a few things in my head. Nothing major. But certain things have changed that would in turn effect things in TimeDancer and present-day Gargoyles. Maybe even New Olympians and Pendragon. (So far nothing that would alter Bad Guys or Dark Ages.)
The good news is that none of these changes effect our three current contests. (Wouldn't that be an ASK GREG disaster?)
And all this thought has gotten me thinking about how I might handle a couple of thorny problems in any revival of the original series, specifically the time gap between 1996 and whenever the new show hit the air, and/or the existence of those 12 non-canon Chronicle episodes.
And frankly, I think the internet is the answer.
Goliath Chronicles exists. I can't change that. But I think I can ignore it. For example, if I wanted to do my version of the trial of Goliath -- the one where the question before the court is his very sentience -- couldn't I just do it?
New fans wouldn't know about the Chronicles trial and thus wouldn't be upset about it. Old fans could check here and find out why it was being ignored.
That only leaves a small percentage of people, who, for example, see the Chronicles episode on Toon Disney and wonder about it, but don't have the resources or whatever to find a site like this and learn the rationale. Would they be very put off? Is that too selfish an approach for me to take?
Likewise, the time gap. What if in the fist season, I did that Halloween story I've mentioned before. I wouldn't mention what year it was. For a new audience, they'd just assume that the story took place in say, October 2002. No harm done. But I could post here and tell people it took place in 1996. Then, by the end of the first season, I could have the series caught up to 2002, but still have gotten to do the stories that would have depended (continuity-wise) on proximity to the events in Hunter's Moon and The Journey.
What about that?
I'm very interested in all of your opinions on these notions. Please post them here.
My ASK GREG answering/rambling system is telling me that there are no more questions in the Queue. We all know that's not the case, but I can't answer anymore questions until Gore finds the problem. Bare with us...
Yeah, Todd, the archetype of the Bastard (particularly the more villainous Edmund version) was definitely running around my head when Cary and I created Thailog.
I recall that Cary was thinking of Thailog in more evil twin mode. As Goliath's brother (after a fashion). This was a legitimate approach, but I guided him toward making Goliath and Thailog into father/son figures. And by throwing in Xanatos and Sevarius as father-figures as well, I was hitting the Bastard idea head on.
After all, who is Theseus' father? Aegeus or Poseidon? Both had "intercourse" with Theseus' mother. Both claimed Theseus as his son. And Theseus was smart enough not to disagree with either.
(Though in his heart, I think Theseus' true "father-figure" was his maternal Grandfather.)
A little side-note. I happened to see the episode that you wrote for "Disney's Hercules" - I thought I'd mention it after noticing that somebody else on the list mentioned it. I quite enjoyed it - particularly the portrayal of Theseus as a sort of ancient Greek version of "Batman". I also noticed, as a side-note, that there was a certain thematic echo of "Hunter's Moon" in it (although I don't know if you'd intended it or not) where Hercules got so caught up in his efforts to wreak vengeance upon the Minotaur that he lost sight of what was really important, much the same way as Goliath in his pursuit of the Hunters.
First off, Todd, thanks for the kind words.
There are certain themes that interest me, and so you'll see them revisited in my work (probably ad nauseum) over and over. The theme of, well, let's call it "What Profit Vengeance?" is one of my favorites. So I wasn't deliberately trying to echo "Hunter's Moon" so much as I was servicing a set of ideas that seemed apropos to both series.
As for the Theseus-as-Batman stuff. Well, that's a no-brainer. The Superman/Batman dynamic -- that is the teaming of a hero possessing superhuman abilities with a hero who merely makes the best possible use of his human abilities -- originated with Herakles and Theseus. (Or at any rate, it goes back that far.) So the notion of flipping that, and playing Herc/Theseus as Superman/Batman seemed wonderfully ironic and a fertile place to find comedy.
In high school, I acted in a play called THE WARRIOR'S HUSBAND. I played Theseus, and I've had a real affinity for the character ever since. In that play, Hercules was kind of a mope. (Very strong, but a mope.) The Greeks were waging war against the Amazons. Hercules was in charge, but Theseus was the real brains of the operation. Yet he's also the guy who really falls hard in love for Antiope, sister to Queen Hyppolyta. So instead of conquering -- as he had originally intended -- Theseus winds up manipulating everyone into a compromise. I like that in a hero.
Theseus is part of a sub-genre of archetypes, (an off-shoot of Trickster figures like Puck, Coyote or Odysseus/Ulysses). He's the primary example of the Archetype of "THE BASTARD", which includes such diverse characters as Shakespeare's Edmund from KING LEAR, Joan of Arc's ally Dunois and multiple characters from Arthurian legend (including Merlin, Arthur, Percival, Galahad and Mordred). There are so many parallels between Arthur and Theseus that reading Mary Stewart and Mary Renault seemed almost redundant. (Not really.)
In fact, Luach (or Lulach) is also a prime candidate for that archetype. When he was born, Gruoch was still married to Gillecomgain. But gossip around the castle hinted that the babe's true father was Macbeth. After Macbeth and Gruoch married, Macbeth adopted the boy as his own. At which point the gossip shifted to insist that Gillecomgain was the boy's father. (You can't win.) Pre-DNA testing, there would be no way for Luach to ever be certain of the truth. Maybe Macbeth didn't even know. Hell, Gruoch might not know.
Life's a bitch when you're a bastard.
Seeing TITUS and having some professional free time to dedicate to a more long term project finds me re-emersing myself in the Works of Will (WoW). At least, after a fashion.
Since this ramble will knock my comments on TITUS off the "LATEST RESPONSES" page, so may want to check those comments out by visiting the "Shakespeare" section of the ASK GREG archive.
But recently, I've also been reading Harold Bloom's book, "Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human". It's really an amazing work. I've been reading it while viewing various takes on ROMEO AND JULIET and HAMLET. It's really helped me to appreciate HAMLET more. In the past, I've always admired the play, but it never reached me as deeply as LEAR or R&J or MIDSUMMER or MUCH ADO or WINTER'S TALE, etc. I'm gaining a new, deeper understanding and appreciation of HAMLET now. In part from Bloom's book.
And in part, from Kenneth Brannaugh's four hour movie version, which I saw and liked in the movie theater a few years ago. Still, I'm gaining a new appreciation for it on video. So many little things to love. Such a scope. And I think I'm finally "getting" Hamlet himself.
But frankly, one of the big helps has been revisiting a film that Brannaugh directed (but did not star in) just before he took on HAMLET. In America, it's called "A MIDWINTER'S TALE". (Elsewhere, I think it's known as "IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER".) It's a little black & white film about a company of seven actors (and two support people) who put together a local production of HAMLET in order to raise money to save the church they're performining in. This is another movie I saw and liked in the theater. But seeing it again on video has been wonderful. Ophelia's song of madness has never been more poignant, then in the "rehersal" scene in this film. I can't help feeling, that this little movie was an important act of mental preparation before Brannaugh took on his big HAMLET film. Among other points of interest, the actors who play Hamlet, Claudius and Laertes in A MIDWINTER'S TALE, went on to play Laertes, Polonius and Horatio (respectively) in HAMLET.
I've also been revisiting ROMEO & JULIET. Bloom's book has some really interesting stuff about that play as well. (Though I'm convinced he gets one thing dead wrong. It's trivial, but he takes for granted that Susan is Juliet's late twin sister. His brain must be short-circuiting there. It seems beyond obvious to me that Susan was the Nurse's daughter. Born at the same time as Juliet, an infant who died shortly thereafter, making the Nurse a good candidate to be Juliet's wetnurse -- and surrogate mother.)
I've also watched the video of Baz Luhrman's version of R&J, starring Leonardo & Claire. I like it. This one suffers a bit off the big screen, but it has some great moments.
Romeo actually getting to see Juliet come back to life just AFTER he's taken the poison for example.
Next up, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE on video and then the ZEFIRELLI R&J. The movie that first opened the door to Shakespeare to me. (I'm still in love with Olivia Hussey.)
BTW, I realize that a lot of Gargoyles fans won't really know what I'm talking about here. ("Who the heck is Susan?") But, you are an exceedingly bright group. Maybe all this cryptic rambling will get you to check all of this stuff out. I recommend it.
Well, I just answered the last question from August. September, you are next. I'm determined to catch up so that questions are answered within a week of being asked.
Will you continue the story of the three brothers sometime soon? (When we last left the tale Hudson was to make an appearance, if I recall correctly)
Maybe after I catch up with the rest of the questions here. (It feels like August 24th has been going on forever.)
I saw Galaxy Quest this past Saturday. Not a perfect film by any means, but I enjoyed it.
But mostly it got me thinking. The Star Trek parallels were obvious, and it's hard to apply the same kind of scenario to, say, a Gathering.
But I wondered how I'd respond this summer in Orlando if Thom Adcox and I (for example) were confronted by a woman who looked sort of like Salli Richardson but with blue jeans, black shirt and a red jacket. She tells us she really's Elisa Maza and she need our help.
I wound up coming up with this whole scenario in my head about Alexander accidentally using his magic to send Elisa, Fox and Lexington to our universe. I finally find out definitively what I've suspected all along, which is that I'm not inventing these stories, I'm simply tapping into another universe. Turns out I got a lot right and a little bit wrong here and there. (See previous comments about how I missed beats on "Hero of Ulster" and "Grief" as examples.)
Trapped in our universe, the unlikely trio happen to see an episode of the show. They get on the net and find out about me. And with no other idea how to get home they track me down at the Gathering, hoping I'd know how they are SUPPOSED TO GET HOME.
Then I got stuck. The whole idea got very messy. (This story is really up Cary Bates' alley. I still have that old issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE where Cary travels to EARTH-TWO, turns evil and tricks the JLA into killing the JSA. In that story, the Spectre personally intercedes with God to fix things.)
Anyway, I think this is what Todd calls a 'creativity demon'. I've been trying to "crack" open this story since Saturday night, with little success. But I'll keep working on it, and if I come up with anything good, I'll ramble further.