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Hi, Greg. Here's my own ramble of things I love about Gargoyles. I found the show my senior year of high school and was hooked. And when Fox moved the second season episodes to 6 a.m., my handy VCR timer was always set. My college roommate soon became a Gargoyles fan too. On to the elements.
The shocks and surprises: I loved the way the smaller story lines worked into the larger ones. I know you're a long ways from talking about "The Gathering" but I'm starting there, sorry. I saw/heard that Kate Mulgrew was doing both Anastasia and Titania's voice without much difference, so I knew they were one in the same. But my congratulating myself on figuring that out stopped and I almost fell out of my chair when Owen was revealed to be Puck. My best friend DID fall out of his chair when I was showing him and his wife the episode. Going back to season one, actual blood was shown when Broadway shot Elisa! In a Disney cartoon! And when I told people about this, they didn't believe me. Derek goes to work for Xanatos and is mutated for ignoring his sister's advice. Fox and Xanatos got married. I caught the "she's totally in love with him" in "Her Brother's Keeper", but I didn't expect them to get married--live together maybe.
Elisa: Thank you for creating such a great female character. Tough, smart, and still a beautiful woman. She could have de-evolved from "Awakenings" into the helpless female that the gargoyles had to rescue every week (and part of me worried that it could happen), but instead she ended up saving them as often as they saved her. And who else would have had the guts to wake King Arthur up? But she isn't a superhero. She has problems dealing with her mother and brother, she gets hurt, and she gets a little obsessive.
Intelligent bad guys: I suppose more accurately stated is bad guys with intelligent motivations. Demona has psychological hang-ups that culminate in her desire to wipe out the human race. Xanatos is just fun. How many series villians never let revenge get in their way? Plus, he had most of the best lines. My favorite: "This is my first stab at cliched villanry. How am I doing?" from "Cloud Fathers". Thailog seems to have this Oedipal need to displace Xanatos in the world.
Characters evolve: No one remained static. Demona's downward spiral was shown, but it has the potential to end by her desire to protect and love Angela. Xanatos and Fox fall in love and have a child, and apparantly learn what it means to have someone manipulate your life, something they're both a little guilty of. Macbeth realize that the gargoyles are as honorable as he is, and finds a new purpose to life. I love his debate with Margot in "The Journey". The Pack gets their upgrade. Cameo characters get stories and prove that the six degrees of seperation works in the gargoyle universe too.
References: Shakespeare's plays; Scottish history; Eygptian, Irish, Norse, Greek, African, Jewish, King Arthur mythologies, pop culture, World War II, Loch Ness, aliens, werewolves, and fae. I was waiting for vampires to show up. Okay, maybe not real vampires, but Servarius could make some. It was great to watch a show that used this stuff inside its own mythos and used it effectively.
That's just a few of the things that I loved about the show. Artwork was excellent and dialogue was wonderfully written and flawlessly performed. Here's my hope, wish, spell, prayer that GARGOYLES comes back to the air with you at the helm. And one quick question before I go find the episode rambles I've missed.
Question: Did you or do you plan on a flashback or a TimeDancer episode in which Will Shakespeare shows up as a character?
To Will or not to Will, that IS the question.
To be honest, the idea intimidated the hell out of me. I have more than one idea about Will's role in the Garg Universe, specifically with regard to Macbeth and Oberon/Titania/Mab/Puck/etc. But I don't know if I would have done it. Neil Gaiman already did something like that with "Midsummer Night's Dream" in SANDMAN, and if that wasn't intimidating enough, WILL himself looms.
And yet, if you're afraid to do something, that probably means that you should. I loved SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, and on one level, it should increase the intimidation level. I mean it's Tom Stoppard for God's sake. But it showed me a window into how to interpret Will as a man. So I like to think I would have gone for it.
(And by the way, thanks for your kind words on all the other stuff. It's particularly gratifying because it was our intent. We lucked out all over the place. But the stuff you mentioned was all part of the plan. I'm glad we managed to pull it off, for you at least.)
Now, my sweet honey lord,
*\ 1HIV I.2.152 (approx)
Insert random first time introduction/semi-hero-worship, and other random first question material \*
Right, now that that is over with, I have a question or three.
1. Just how much does Dingo know? //1HIV 1.2.184 I am asking in the context of the Bill reference, not general knowledge
2. Was he always imitating the sun covered by base clouds, or did he not originally have much beauty to be smothered from the world? //1HIV 1.2.186-8
3. Will he be able to fully pay of the debt he never promised? //1HIV 1.2.198
'Kay, Gside, I hate to disappoint you, but I don't have the complete works of Shakespeare committed to memory. And I don't have 1 Henry IV here in the office. In fact, sneaky-bastard, it took me a bit just to figure out what you were talking about.
So why don't you repost the question, giving me the actual quotes instead of line numbers. (That's called meeting me and the rest of our ASK GREG readers halfway.)
I thought that I'd submit this as a change-of-pace question.
There's a new fiction book out by John Updike called "Gertrude and Claudius", a prequel to "Hamlet" covering the period from Gertrude's marriage to Hamlet's father all the way up to the start of the play. I've just read it and thought it quite good. I was curious as to whether you'd read it, and if so, what you thought of it.
(To me, one of the most intriguing parts of the book was its progression from the original version of the Hamlet legend in Saxo Grammaticus all the way down to the Shakespeare play - so that the book opens with the characters in a "Viking Age" atmosphere and using the names from Saxo, but then proceeds gradually into an increasingly Renaissance atmosphere, with the names evolving along the way until the familiar Shakespeare ones show up in the last part).
Sorry, Todd, I've heard of the book, but I haven't purchased or read it yet.
Hi Greg!! I was just reading your interview with Lexy. You said that you hoped Gargoyles would inspire people to learn more about sujects you touched on... and I realized that it has done exactly that for me. In fact, I don't know if I realized the magnitude of an impact Gargoyles has had in my life until I thought about that...
In The Mirror when the clan is trying to explain to Elisa who Oberon's Children are (I thought everybody knew this??), Brooklyn says, "Yeah, that guy Shakespeare wrote a play about them: A Midsummer Night's Dream." The next day after I saw that episode, I had the play in my possession and began poring over it. This began a love/obsession for Shakespeare- particularly that play.
Also, I read your ramblings about Theseus and decided I needed to learn more about him. Mary Renault's The King Must Die stuck out in my memory one day between classes and I found it in the library. I'll post again when I'm finished with it.
In ancient history 103, I could be tired and completely tune out my professor, but I'd hear the word "Scotland" and snap back awake and pay perfect attention.
I never really thought about these things as they were happening, but looking back I can see that so many things I've learned or done came from gargoyles: I'm teaching myself to draw, I want to visit New York... stuff like that. I wanted to say... thanks!
And I want to say "YOU ARE VERY, VERY WELCOME!" As a former educator (who's about to start teaching again tomorrow) your message really warmed my heart.
Shakespeare and Renault are two of my favorite authors. It thrills me that I turned you on to them.
But you know what? The show had the same effect on me. I've fallen in love with Scottish History as well. I knew nothing about it before GARGOYLES. Now I'm fairly well-versed and, at the very least, very interested.
HEY! TELL YOUR TEACHER!
Incidentally, you mentioned during your October posts that you weren't too familiar with the original Boudicca, and I thought that I'd fill you in on her a bit.
Boudicca was the Queen of the Iceni (an ancient British tribe in what is now Norfolk) and wife to King Prasutagus in the early days of Roman Britain. When Prasutagus died, he left part of his lands and wealth to Rome, but the Romans greedily decided to help themselves to a lot more than he'd left them. When the widowed Boudicca protested, they flogged her and raped her daughters. In anger, Boudicca sought revenge by rallying the Britons (both the Iceni, and the neighboring tribes) against the Romans, and sacked three cities (London, St. Albans, and Colchester), ruthlessly slaughtering everyone that she could find living in them, in a war of rebellion between A.D. 60 and 61. The Romans finally defeated her army in the end, however, and Boudicca poisoned herself.
(She does remind me a bit of Demona, on the general level, in fact. Certainly the same basic concept was there of furious retaliation upon one's persecutors on a level just as savage as the original wrong itself, if not worse).
Reminds me of Tamara in TITUS.
I wonder if Katharine, Tom and the Magus were thinking of that story when they named their Boudicca, or if it was just the notion of a female warrior that got them to choose the name?
A Macbeth question that I've been wondering for some time. In the Shakespeare play, he can only be killed by one who is not "of woman born". It occurred to me some time ago that this also holds true for the Gargoyles Macbeth, for the only one who can kill him is Demona, and she was hatched from a gargoyle egg, which counts just as well as a loophole as being from one's "mother's womb untimely ripped". Have you ever noticed this before?
Yep. We talked about making a point about it in City of Stone, just as we discussed doing a Birnham Wood scene. But unfortunately all that "Shakespeare" stuff got cut for time (before we even went to script).
Some Questions About MacBeth:
1) In "A light house in the sea of time," MacBeth says "The Scrolls of Merlin, Seeld by my own hand." Did he mean the He (MacBeth) seeled the scrolls?
2) If that is the case, then did MacBeth know Arthur and
Merlin, or were they before his time? In pendragon, he did seem kinda shocked that that was King Arthur, so it make for a conflict.
the Next two also relate to MacBeth...
3. Did Macbeth Know that a play was being written about him by Shakespear and did he ever "see" the play?
4. Did Demona ever see MacBeth, because she knew it was about Macbeth?
5. Did MacBeth MEET Shakespear?
1. No. (Admit it, no one ever reads the archives.) Macbeth was reading that. Meaning, he read that Merlin sealed it with HIS own hand.
2. So, no, they were before his time.
3. Yes. And yes.
4. I'm sure she's seen it.
5. Yes. (Yeah, no one ever reads the archives.)
A response to your post on shocking moments in Gargoyles-
I was genuinely suprised by all three endings in the Hunter's Moon episodes. I saw PT 2 and figured the episode would be continued right as Robyn had her finger over the button, but then...SHE PRESSED IT!! The missile went off, the colck tower exploded! There was no going around that, they showed the explosion! I was in 8th grade at the time of it's original airing, and I remember sitting in my science class and wondering how they would ever get out of that situation? Where would they live now? With Elisa? I certainly NEVER would have guessed that Xantatos would show up and save them, but, it worked. I loved it. I was at the edge of my seat with my mouth open in awe, I couldn't wait until the GOLIATH CHRONICLES aired in January...
You did a great job, very dramatic story telling that took risks and still made sense. I loved it. Gargoyles is one of the finest television series ever. Because of you and Gargoyles, I have taken an interest in mythology, Shakespeare, Arthurian Legends, Animation. It covers EVERYTHING. I read T.H. Whites "Once and Future King" over the summer (while ASK YOU was down) just because I wanted to know more about these subjects that interested me in the show. I'm a Senior in High School and for my Senior Project, I'm Illustrating in comic book fashion 3 of shakespeare's plays...WHY? Because of Gargoyles. You have opened up so many doors to me, and I thank you.
Thank you! You just made my night.
If the team and I introduced you to Shakespeare and White, then we really did something worthwhile. By the way, have you read White's "Book of Merlin". It's a wonderful final chapter to "Once and Future King". The scene with the hedgehog always breaks my heart.
A few days after reading your review of "Titus" I saw Roger Ebert's TV show and had to smile at his review. He hit just about every point you did, including the fine acting of all involved (with special mention of Harry Lennix) and its corralation to "Scream." Maybe he reads ASK GREG... Well, I just thought you would like to know.
One thing that I'm going to confess here, and it's that I'm still feeling somewhat taken aback at the discovery that the mythological gods in the Gargoyles Universe are subject to Oberon, a "mere" faerie king (though don't tell him that I called him that :) In traditional legend, Oberon wasn't a divinity, so seeing him have authority over gods like Odin feels a little strange to me still. It's like seeing an earl giving orders to a king. I know that in the Gargoyles Universe, Oberon does outrank the gods of mythology and that they were really "just" powerful faerie-folk, but it does feel a little odd to me all the same.
That is... an absolutely SHOCKING confession.
Look, I knew it was going to be controversial (relatively speaking). Frank Paur wasn't particularly comfortable with the idea, but I'm a fast talker.
The main motivation was that I wanted the Garg Universe to have a certain cohesion. I wanted it to be rich and expansive, but not completely arbitrary. So after a bit of tease and mystery, we reveal a feudal system.
And Oberon's lack of shall we say, press, didn't bother me. He was the big man behind the scenes. And although he's not exactly Mr. Maturity, I don't think that bothered him.
And of course, he did have at least one spectacular press agent. Guy named Will.