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Charisma82 writes...

In regards to Derek and his family situation:

Derek’s mother is the one who helped encourage Derek to take the job with Xanatos. As his mother, does she feel partly responsible/guilty for the situation Derek is now in (i.e. his transformation)?

The only time we’ve seen Derek with his family (the Maza’s) was in the episode The Cage. I know Derek is busy in the Labyrinth, but does he make time to see his family on a regular basis, or is it too hard for him to interact with his past and is only looking on to the future? And does any of the Maza family (I already know Elisa does) visit Derek in the Labyrinth? Or, again, is it too hard for them to see him in that situation, living as a mutate in hiding from the world?

Thank you for your time and all that you do,

-Charisma82

Greg responds...

1. I'm sure she does, though of course, she didn't have all the facts when she advised Derek.

2. I think they see each other.

Response recorded on September 15, 2010

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FEBRUARY 5

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

February 5th...

1996
Halcyon Renard returns to Manhattan and contacts Matt Bluestone, informing him of Goliath and Elisa Maza's situation. Matt passes the word on to Hudson and the Trio, who inform Talon. Matt also attempts to cover for Elisa with her parents and Captain Maria Chavez.


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JANUARY 21

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 21st...

1995
Goliath, Hudson and Demona turn to stone mid-battle. When the sun sets, Goliath awakens healed. Demona is forced to flee.

1996
Elisa Maza and the gargoyles arrive in Paris during the day. Elisa starts to call her parents, but when she spots Macbeth and Demona together, she follows them to Macbeth's Chateau. Then she follows Demona to Notre Dame Cathedral, where she loses her trail. After sundown, she rejoins the gargoyles and fills them in. Goliath attempts to confront Demona at the Cathedral and is surprised to find her allied (and apparently in love) with Thailog. Angela overhears their confrontation and realizes that Demona is her biological mother. Goliath and his friends depart. Demona informs Thailog that she has successfully set up their new international corporation: Nightstone Unlimited, owned and operated by Dominique Destine and "Alexander" Thailog.


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JANUARY 4

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

January 4th...

1066
Edward the Confessor dies of natural causes. His brother-in-law, Harold Godwinson, succeeds him.

1995
Goliath, Lexington, Bronx and Brooklyn return to Castle Wyvern atop the Eyrie Building but are intercepted by Elisa Maza, Hudson and Broadway, who finally manage to convince Goliath to follow Elisa to their new home at the Clock Tower above the 23rd Precinct -- but not before Goliath warns Owen Burnett that the clan will some day return. David Xanatos is finally released from jail that morning and returns to the castle. He starts serving his probation. Later that day, Xanatos goes to Gen-U-Tech Systems to observe Anton Sevarius' progress. Sevarius has successfully cloned Goliath and begins to accelerate the growth of "Thailog".

1996
Hudson and the Trio have been searching for Goliath and Bronx to no avail. Broadway, realizing that Elisa Maza is missing too, brings her cat Cagney back to the Clock Tower. Brooklyn resists taking the reins of leadership, but he does go to visit Talon and Maggie the Cat in the Labyrinth, where homeless humans like Al, Chaz and Lou have joined the Mutates in what is supposed to be a free society of outcasts. Broadway visits Matt Bluestone next, but Matt is equally in the dark over his partner's disappearance. Lex eavesdrops on Elisa's parents and learns they are also worried. Meanwhile on Queen Florence Island, Elisa and the gargoyles find each other again, and then find Grandmother as she transforms into the Thunderbird. Grandmother later admits that she was undergoing these transformations to convince Natsilane to take up arms against Raven to save the island. When Natsilane meets the gargoyles, he is convinced. The gargoyles and Natsilane battle Raven and drive him away. With Raven gone, Grandmother is able to heal the island. The travelers again return to Avalon, where it is six in the morning, causing Goliath, Angela and Bronx to turn to stone.


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Demonskrye writes...

I've gone through the archives and asked in the Comment Room and as far s I can tell, this question has never been asked or answered.

In the story memo for "Metamorphosis", you make mention of a "pinkie swear" concept, some kind of in-joke call and response back and forth between Elisa and Derek that is specific to them. So that when Elisa is talking to "Talon" and starts in with the first part of the phrase, Derek finishes it with his particular twist out of habit and Elisa immediately realizes who he is. But in the final episode, they just say "cross my heart" "and hope to die", which is pretty much the standard version of that saying which everyone uses. Granted, it would be a little odd for someone to finish the phrase when a complete stranger starts it, and I can accept the idea that hearing Derek say something that he says fairly often would be enough of a trigger for Elisa to recognize him. But I still can't help but think that the scene would have been clearer and more ffective if it had been established that Derek says "and cross my eyes" or "and hope there's pie" or something equally silly and unique whenever Elisa says "cross my heart". So why didn't the final script use the suggestion from the story memo?

Greg responds...

The idea that one starts and the other finishes struck us as unique enough.

Response recorded on December 20, 2007

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DECEMBER 20

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 20th...

1995
Goliath kidnaps Anton Sevarius out from under the nose of Gen-U-Tech security guard Vinnie Grigori. Goliath takes Sevarius down to the abandoned Cyberbiotics underground lab and tries to force him to create a cure for the Mutates. Meanwhile, the Mutates attack the other gargoyles at the Clock Tower. The gargoyles ultimately win the battle, but Brooklyn lets them go in order to prove to Maggie the Cat that he can be trusted. Having discovered that Goliath was the kidnapper, Elisa Maza, Talon, the Mutates, David Xanatos and his Steel Clan robots all converge on the old lab. Xanatos rescues Sevarius, and Talon finally realizes his employer was responsible for his metamorphosis. Talon and the other Mutates take up residence in the abandoned Cyberbiotics underground base, which they redub "The Labyrinth". The next morning, Vinnie is fired from Gen-U-Tech. And that evening, Elisa brings her parents and sister to the Labyrinth for a reunion with Derek and an introduction to the other Mutates. In Scotland, Xanatos' security team successfully captures "Nessie", a Loch Ness Monster. Sevarius leaves for Scotland, to begin running tests on the creature.


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DECEMBER 19

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

December 19th...

1995
Goliath and Broadway, who aren't in on Elisa Maza's undercover charade, follow her and come close to blowing her cover. She covers, however, and manages to get a meeting with Tony Dracon, where the two of them agree to go into business together with the gargoyles. The gargoyles and cops wind up foiling Dracon's operation and getting him to confess his transgressions on videotape. He's arrested and sent away. Goliath tastes jalapeñas for the first time. Later that morning, Elisa's sister Beth Maza comes into town from Arizona. That evening, while the Trio attend a rock concert in the park, Beth spots Talon watching the Maza family from outside Elisa's window. Later, Goliath admits that he has seen the Mutates back with David Xanatos. Elisa and Goliath confront Talon. Elisa reveals to her brother that Anton Sevarius isn't dead. Talon's extreme stance convinces Goliath to take drastic action.


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NOVEMBER 19

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 19th...

1994
Dr. Sato spends ten hours in surgery trying to save Elisa Maza's life. Her parents, brother and boss come to see her at the hospital. Goliath is outside and overhears Captain Chavez's suspicion that Tony Dracon shot her. Goliath vows vengeance and trails Dracon to the weapons. Broadway, meanwhile, is on an anti-gun rampage, foiling a mugging and tracing the prototype weapons back to Dracon. Together, Broadway and Goliath take Dracon and his men down and destroy the guns. Captain Chavez, with the help of Matt Bluestone, arrests Dracon.


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NOVEMBER 16

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

November 16th...

1995
The Pack is approached by the Coyote robot's severed head. On Xanatos' behalf, the head offers the Pack the opportunity to be upgraded by using genetic engineering, cybernetics, armor and robotics. They agree to differing degrees. While back at the Eyrie Building, Fox & Xanatos begin a game that will eventually pit the gargoyles and Pack against each other. Meanwhile, Peter & Diane Maza confront Elisa about Derek Maza's disappearance. Elisa talks them out of filing a police report on her brother.

1996
5:44am EST - [withheld]


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SEPTEMBER 7

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

September 7th...

1995
Lydia Duane and Arthur Morwood-Smyth discover The Scrolls of Merlin in Wales. Elisa confronts Derek about missing the previous Sunday's family dinner. He promises to contact her if he has any trouble with Xanatos. That night, Maggie the Cat is allowed to "escape" from Gen-U-Tech Systems. Brooklyn & Broadway find her and try to help, but she is more frightened of the gargoyles than her pursuers. She is recaptured and taken back to Gen-U-Tech. Owen later informs Xanatos and Derek of unusual expense reports coming out of Gen-U-Tech.

1996
The Illuminati make contact with the Canmore family of Hunters, seeking an alliance. Jason turns them down.


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SEPTEMBER 3

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

September 3rd...

1995
Derek Maza misses Sunday dinner with his family.


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TiniTinyTony writes...

You mentioned in your Gathering 2007 - Insta-Journals, that you had the opportunity to see Ocean's 13 and Knocked Up with your wife Beth? I'd love to hear your reviews of them and any other movies you happen to see or plan on seeing this summer in a "Ramble" if you find the time.

Speaking of your wife Beth, is Elisa's sister named after her? Does that make her your favorite character?

Speaking of going out and seeing movies, have people on the street ever stopped you and said, "Hey, are you Greg Weisman?" and asked for your autograph?

Greg responds...

Rambles on movies when I have time... not opposed, but I don't know when I'll have time. Basically, I enjoyed Waitress the most. But I also enjoyed Ocean's 13 and Knocked Up. Didn't think they were great films, but I enjoyed 'em.

Beth Maza is named after my wife. But I love all the Gargoyles characters. Beth is my favorite wife though.

And, no. That has never happened.

Response recorded on June 25, 2007

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JUNE 18

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

June 18th...

1040
Hardicanute, the son of Canute and Emma, succeeds to the throne of England, replacing his late half-brother Harold Harefoot.

1996
The Mazas attempt to inform the Tribal Police about the soil carving but are again confronted by the Trickster - who is quickly captured by Coyote 4.0. The gargoyles attempt to rescue the Trickster, but it is Peter who fools Coyote 4.0 into releasing his namesake. The Trickster then tricks the robot into destroying itself. Xanatos is forced to flee. That morning, Peter visits the grave of his father Carlos. That evening, the four travelers again return to Avalon and immediately turn around and depart again to avoid the imminent Avalonian sunrise.


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JUNE 17

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

June 17th...

1996
Peter and Beth make bail in the morning and return to Beth's apartment, where they find Elisa waiting. That evening, the gargoyles awaken and are introduced to Elisa's family. Together the Mazas and the gargoyles again attempt to find out what Xanatos is up to. Goliath and Angela discover the soil carving but are captured by Coyote 4.0. Xanatos prepares to destroy the two gargoyles and the soil carving as bait to lure the Trickster. Meanwhile, Bronx and the Mazas capture the mysterious security guard, who turns out to be the Trickster himself. He has taken on the appearance of the young Peter Maza, with whom Coyote once formed a bond during a kachina dance. Bronx and the Mazas rescue Goliath and Angela (with a little help from Coyote).


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JUNE 16

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

June 16th...

1996
Peter Maza arrives in Arizona to investigate Xanatos with his daughter Beth. That evening, Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx depart Avalon and arrive in Flagstaff, where Beth goes to college. Fearing that her sister might be in trouble, Elisa takes the gargoyles to Beth's apartment. Meanwhile, Xanatos finally decides to bulldoze the mystic soil carving on the land he has leased from the local tribe. Almost immediately, the Coyote Trickster magically vandalizes the building site in order to stop Xanatos. Minutes later, Peter and Beth are allowed entry onto the Xanatos construction site by a mysterious "security guard". Xanatos has them arrested for trespassing.


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JUNE 14

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

June 14th...

1996
The travelers leave Avalon and arrive in Ishimura, Japan. There they meet the Ishimura Clan of Gargoyles who have lived in peace with their human neighbors for generations. At sunrise, Goliath, Angela and Bronx turn to stone alongside their new cousins. But minutes later, their human guardians are attacked by ninjas hired by Taro, a Japanese businessman who grew up in Ishimura. All the gargoyles are stolen. They awaken inside a Gargoyle Theme Park that Taro has built. Yama, second-in-command to Kai, the leader of the Ishimura Clan, tries to convince everyone to stay in the park. Goliath, Angela and Bronx attempt to leave, but are gassed and imprisoned by Taro. Beth Maza calls her father Peter and asks him to come to Arizona to investigate the local Xanatos Construction project.


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MAY 17

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 17th...

1996
The gargoyles, Mazas and were-panthers converges on the ancient ruins of Kara Digi. There they discover that Fara was largely manipulated by the Spider-Trickster Anansi. All concerned join forces to defeat Anansi. Fara and Tea remain were-panthers but are reconciled and vow to protect the jungle. Just before sunrise, Goliath finally acknowledges Angela as his daughter. After sunrise, Elisa tells her mother everything about her life with the gargoyles. At sunset, Elisa and the gargoyles once more return to Avalon. Diane Maza phones New York, informing her husband of Elisa's situation. Peter Maza contacts Matt Bluestone and Talon. Matt contacts Brooklyn, Lex, Broadway and Hudson.


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MAY 16

This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....

May 16th...

1996
Goliath, Angela and Bronx awaken on Avalon and depart the island with Elisa. They land in Nigeria, in time to hear Elisa's mother, Diane Maza, tell the story of the Panther Queen before the Feast of the Panther Queen. The Maza reunion is interrupted by poachers, led by Tea, whose former love Fara Maku turns into a panther before their eyes. Tea shoots Fara, who escapes into the jungle. The gargoyles and the Mazas take down the poachers and attempt to protect Fara from Tea, who turns out to be another were-panther.


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Twiggess writes...

So if the Canmore's are named after your sibblings, does that mean that Elisa's sister Beth is named after your wife? Or is that just a coinsidence? (Like there's such a thing as coinscidence on "Gargoyles"....

Greg responds...

It's not a coincidence.

Response recorded on February 15, 2007

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matt writes...

been a looong time since i sent in something to Ask Greg. i didn't want to contribute to the backlog unless i had a good question. and my guess is that this will be answered on November 29th, 2006... lets see how close i get this time (usually i'm at least 6 months off)
ANYWAY

you recently posted your ramble for Cloud Fathers and i had a question. you wrote:

"We finally get to know Elisa's other sibling -- the non-mutated one. She seems like an interesting character. Very open-minded. Influenced by her mother's more academic and anthropological pursuits, but choosing to focus on the Native American side of her heritage as opposed to the African side that her mother studies.

It's interesting to me that Elisa is the only one of the siblings who really directly follows in a parent's footsteps."

now, that last statement struck me as odd because as you had previously mentioned Beth was following in her mothers athropological footsteps, even though her study takes her to a different culture, and Derek was in the police force, for a while following in his father's footsteps. so i guess i'm wondering what you meant in your statement, because it seems to me even more interesting that ALL the Maza kids followed in their parents footsteps.

and in a related question, what was Beth's official Major and when did she graduate? and for that matter what do you suppose she is doing in 2005?

thanks Greg!

Greg responds...

October 26th, 2006. I'm a month early! YAY!

Yeah, that statement was perhaps a bit glib. So I'll back off it rather than explain it. (I think the explanation is obvious anyway, just particularly feeble.)

Beth's major, I'd imagine is Anthropology. But it's not a field I studied, so it may be more specific than that. So I won't be held to it.

As for the rest of your questions, I'm not going to confirm or deny her graduation or reveal what she might or might not be doing in the so-called present. The comic is currently set in 1996, and I don't want to reveal anymore than I already have.

Response recorded on October 26, 2006

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Todd Jensen writes...

One other thing about "Mark of the Panther" that I forgot to mention: I find it somehow amusing and appropriate that Elisa and Diane Maza would have a run-in with humans magically transformed into panthers in light of how a member of their family had already been turned into a panther-of-a-sort (though through science rather than through magic).

Greg responds...

So you caught that. Good.

Response recorded on August 25, 2006

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Jacob writes...

Will Talon/Derek ever turn bacdk to human? If so what will his response be to Elisa about choosing to work for Xanatos in the first place?

Greg responds...

I'm not sure why his response would be any different before or after he might or might not turn back?

Response recorded on October 20, 2005

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Talon writes...

Could Elisa have told the chief of police about her brother's condition after Metamorphosis or The Cage?

Greg responds...

Obviously, she could have. But she didn't.

Response recorded on April 29, 2004

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Aaron writes...

Hi Greg. Long-winded question, so bear with me.

One of the recurring themes of Western story-telling is that those who "tamper in God's domain", to borrow a phrase, will be struck down for their hubris. After the enterance of Frankenstein into our collective consciousness, one of the "rules" for Western literature is that Frankenstein must always be destroyed by his monster, for his arrogance in playing god.

The reason I bring this up, is that Xanatos is a man who seems to like playing god. And he has left a trail of monsters in his wake.

I'll ignore Jackal, Hyena, and Wolf for the purposes of this question, since it could be argued that they were already monsters who merely allowed their exteriors to be altered to match their true natures. (Although, it could also be argued that those three were tempted by David and his offers of power and vengeance, but at the end of the day, I still think they all damned themselves willingly)

I'd go so far as to even ignore the mutates, because even though they become monsterous looking, they really don't fit the bill as "monsters". They're just ordinary people who, by virtue of making some bad character judgements, find themselves with fur and wings. (Although it probably doesn't help Xanatos' karma any)

But even ignoring those two examples, you still have...

1. Coldstone. Such an obvious Frankenstein archtype that you joked about it. (The "It's alive! ALLLLLLLIVE!" sequence remains one of my favorites from the whole show) Of course, you could lay Coldstone at least partially at Demona's feet as well, so we'll move on.

2. Thailog. Grown in a lab, created with a mixture of different people, (Goliath's body and temper, Xanatos' mind and ethics, Sevarius'... libedo? Whatever accounts for Delilah) he turns almost immediately on his "fathers" You could call Thailog Sevarius' creature rather then Xanatos' except that David is the force behind his creation, and that Anton, for all his mad scientist posturing, could be seen as no more then a lab assistant, an Igor to David's Dr. Frankenstein.

3. The Coyote robot series. Xanatos' most personal "creature", the one to whom he gave his face (well, half of it) and voice. Loyal (?) to David for now, but unless forming the Ultrapack is David's idea, he presumably goes indepentant eventually. That, and we know he sets his sights on galactic domination in 2198, presumably not with his creator's blessing. (Then again, I could be wrong)

4. The Matrix. Created so that David and Fox could reshape the entire planet at their whim. If that's not arrogance, I don't know what is. Admittedly, I don't think it's becoming sentient along the way was part of the plan, and it's inclusion here might be a bit of a stretch, but I thought it was an example of Xanatos' hubris, if nothing else.

So, I guess, after all that lead up, my question is this: Would the pattern hold true? Would one (or all) of Xanatos' "creatures" come back to bite him in the ass later? As Elisa said "I wouldn't want Xanatos' karma."

There is a second part to this question, but I'll submit it separately, in case it's viewed as an idea.

Greg responds...

Well, for starters, I'd argue your premise. Victor Frankenstein's life was certainly decimated by the monster he created and abandoned -- but he survived the experience, sadder and hopefully wiser.

Moreover, it was the abandonment that was his true sin in Mary Shelley's original work. The creation was certainly hybris. But Shelley is pretty darn clear that she viewed the abandonment as worse. And I tend to agree. It's nature vs. nurture. The creature wasn't created evil. He was driven to it.

As to X's karma and whether it will all come back to bite him in the ass, I think the answer is clearly yes. But I really see it as a separate question. That is, it is a karma question more than simply a playing god question. That's one element. But only one. After all, one might argue that David and Fox were playing god by bringing Alexander into the world. But I wouldn't argue that. And I'm sure that's not what you had in mind.

So let's go through the numbers.

I tend to agree that Wolf, Hyena and Jackal built their own cages. And for the record, seem quite happy to live in them.

The Mutates seem to be following the same path as the gargoyles themselves. That is to say, that Xanatos woke the gargoyles, and has often suffered for it since. He then turned these four humans into mutates, and has had to suffer a bit (though admittedly not much) for that. It will be interesting to see Talon's post-Hunter's Moon reaction to Goliath and Co. moving back into the Castle. But the larger truth is that Talon, Maggie and Claw are making lives for themselves.

1. Coldstone. Well, yeah, duh. This is our Frankenstein's monster. But as with most things, Xanatos is too smart to truly follow in Victor's footsteps. He helps create the creature -- and certainly uses it -- but he never simply abandons it. And he also tries to balance (or bury) the Karmic scales, by helping out with Coldstone's Multiple Personality Disorder and by building Coldsteel and Coldfire.

2. Thailog. Here's the big threat, frankly. A guy with something to prove and three fathers to prove it all to. I think Xanatos hasn't seen the last of Thailog. One could argue that Thailog is the only guy to ever beat Xanatos at his own game (in Double Jeopardy). So the hybris of creating him has already bitten X's ass. But I doubt Thailog is through.

3. Coyote... I just don't want to reveal too much on this right now. Sorry.

4. I really think you have to chalk Matrix up to Fox's hybris (and competitive spirit) rather than to David's. She was certainly having the Matrix engineered for her and her man, but that doesn't mean that Xanatos was behind it. That would assume that she cannot operate independently. And I sure as heck wouldn't assume that about her.

So the short answer: yes. But it's all very nuanced.

Response recorded on January 07, 2004

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matt writes...

thanx alot Jade for going through the series and changing every noun in every line to "light buld". wish i'd thought of that one... too bad the contest is OVER!

sorry, that was harsh, didn't intend to be mean though, just kidding around... anyway...

1. by the time of "Hunters Moon" had Peter, Diane, or Beth Maza met any of the other gargoyles besides Goliath, Angela, or Bronx?

2. in "Mark of the Panther" and "Cloud Fathers" did Peter, Diane or Beth pick up on or discover the relationship between Elisa and Goliath as kinda sorta more than friends?

3. what will Peter, Diane, Beth and Derek think of Elisa and Goliath's relationship?

4. as of "Cloud Fathers" was Beth in a relationship with anyone? in 2001 is she in a relationship with someone?

Greg responds...

1. Certainly not Beth, but it's possible that Peter and Diane did.

2. I don't know if it occured to them.

3. I've answered this before. I think Beth will get it. I think Derek won't. I think Peter will be uncomfortable with it. I think Diane will be too, though maybe she'll try not to be.

4. No one significant back then. I'm not sure now.

Response recorded on May 20, 2003

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Anonymous writes...

1.Is Tea and Fara Maku both 100% human?
2.Is Elisa, Beth and pre-Metamorphsis Derek 100% human?

Greg responds...

1. They were originally.
2. Yes.

Response recorded on February 26, 2003

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Chapter XXXII: "The Cage"

For ASK GREG and the DCV, here's my ramble on "The Cage"...

Director: Dennis J. Woodyard
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano

SEMI-NEW CHARACTERS:

We'd seen a photo of Beth Maza before, but this was the first time we actually met her.

This is also, arguably, Vinnie's first real appearance. We'd heard his voice before, and we later decided that he had appeared two or three times before. But here was the inspirational moment. The character that we fell in love with, that went on to STAR in "Vendettas" and "The Journey". Throughout our viewing of the episode, my wife kept asking who did this voice, who did that voice? Every single time, I answered "Jeff Bennett." Then at the end, she asked: "Who's voicing Maggie? Don't tell me it's Jeff." For the record, it's Kath Soucie.

And here's the first real characterization for Fang & Claw as well. Fang was voiced by Jonathan Frakes for his one line in "Metamorphosis". But we cast Jim Belushi to play Mr. Obnoxious from this point out. I fell in love with Jim's take on Fang. His performance alone was one of the big inspirations for BAD GUYS. He's got some great lines:
--"Cat got your tongue... don't you get it?"
--"Like you're some kind of expert on evil monsters!"
--"I'll have to clear my social calendar."

Note also, to save money, Diane Maza never speaks. This episode had a huge cast. Making Claw a mute was a fun way to save money.

LITTLE THINGS I LIKE:

--Elisa refers to her brother as Derek. Goliath uses the word Talon.

--I love how Xanatos says: "Goliath and Elisa are always welcome here." He's so slick. He's far from in control in this episode. But he never stops playing the various characters against each other. He's constantly adjusting to new information. Never flustered.

--I like how Sev is basically talking to himself in his cage. With only the growling monster for feedback. Amazing how much one can gleen from a growl.

--Broadway praises the concert music simply by virtue of it's volume.

--Brooklyn's line: "I'm not a man. I'm a gargoyle." And don't you forget it.

Goliath kidnapping Sev and withholding info from Elisa to 'spare her pain', presiges his behavior in "Eye of the Storm".

Maggie is interesting to me in this. Though she's never going to be an action hero -- we intentionally didn't want to make her a strong female, because it seemed like every other female in the show was strong -- she seems to come into her own a bit here. She speaks her mind. She wields some power over Derek, even if she doesn't realize it. She's still stronger than she gives herself credit for. (Geez, I must suck at weak women characters.)

Although it's not used in the body of this episode, in the credits we refer to Maggie as "Maggie the Cat" for the first time. A Tennessee Williams "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" reference.

FLASHBACKS

Lots of 'em. The recap. And TWO separate internal flashbacks in the show. I'm trying to remember if the board was short or if we just really felt like this was a tough story to get if you didn't have a TON of back-info.

Elisa even has a line, that I think works pretty well, where she's imagining telling her family about Derek -- and in one quick speech, she spews out all the pertinent details. We were clearly nervous about this episode being able to stand alone. Did anyone else have problems with this? Particularly anyone who saw this one without having seen "Metamorphosis" already?

When you see Maggie in flashback, book-ended by her current appearance, you can really see how different the designs were between "Metamorphosis" and "The Cage". I greatly prefer the later designs. Though I think I miss the tails.

FLAWS:

--Throughout the episode, I have numerous problems where identities seem to me to be given away before I want them to be given away.

In the opening scene, we want the audience to think that the snooping winged creature is Goliath. But there are two problems. One is all the Talon scenes in the "Previously on Gargoyles..." recap. The second is that we get too clear a glimpse of Talon.

Later, Goliath kidnaps Sevarius and holds him captive. But we wanted the audience to think it's Talon. But again, I think we get glimpses of Goliath that are just too clearly Goliath.

The concept of seeing a character "in shadows" or in partial "silhouette" just seemed tough to get across the ocean and back with our production team on this ep.

Did anyone think that Talon had kidnapped Sev? Was anyone shocked when it was revealed that Goliath was the kidnapper?

--On my tape, Anton's briefcase mispells his name: SERVARIUS. I hope that was corrected for later airings. I hope.

--The scene between Talon and X in the latter's office is clunky. The cityscape visible through X's window looks to be painted onto the window. And Talon's footsteps are very labored and clunky.

Xanatos admits that Sev's original "Metamorphosis" cure was just a placebo. If we stop here, then Talon should stop being angry at Goliath. Goliath neither killed Sev nor did he destroy a viable cure, nor did he have any impact on Talon's chance at a cure. But at this point, Talon's blinded by rage.

There's some really nice animation of Brooklyn and Fang climbing through the air.

KID RESPONSE:

My daughter Erin thought that Fang looked more wolf-like than cat-like.

She also figured out pretty fast that Goliath was the kidnapper. And when it was revealed she said, "I knew it all along."

CONTINUITY

Brooklyn acts as leader in Goliath's absense. But we don't have anyone comment on it. That was just in case this episode wound up airing before "Upgrade". I think Brook makes some wise moves here though. I also like his emotional resonance with Maggie: "You know I wanted to be your... friend."

I also like when he refers to her "persecution complex". Is he projecting?

We re-intro Cyberbiotics Underground Lab from the pilot, in preparation to turning it into the Labyrinth.

I like Goliath and Elisa's exchange in the lab. Lines like:

G: "You were in so much pain."
E: "Who would we test it on?"
E: "The ends can't justify the means. That's Xanatos' way. Not yours."

Other cool lines:

Fang: "I like this body."

Maggie: "Is your vengeance more important than our humanity?" The ultimate question to put to anyone pursuing vengeance.

Xanatos: "You always over-play your hand, Anton." Anton's just a ham to the core.

Xanatos: "He's the scientist. You're just the experiment."

Xanatos: "Hello, Goliath. Didn't even notice you there."

(X is so cool.)

Talon finally, finally figures out what Elisa has been trying to tell him since "Her Brother's Keeper". Took long enough. This arc for Talon was something we had been planning out as far back as our original unsold first dramatic over-pitch to Eisner. Back when Talon was both Scientist and experiment, and the character (created by Fred Schaefer) was known as Catscan.

I like Talon & Maggie's relationship. Don't know if they ever would have gotten together as humans. But they are so natural with each other as Mutates.

Talon: "We're not strong alone. We're strong together."

Goliath verbalizes here that Elisa is part of the clan.

Talon has his own clan (the Mutates) and his own family (the Mazas). The Mazas learn about the Mutates and are reunited with their son. But Goliath is hiding behind the curtain. Elisa's still not ready to share that secret.

Ending: Contrast this (relatively) upbeat ending with the endings from "Metamorphosis" where Elisa is left in tears and "Her Brother's Keeper" where she is left alone in the snow and wind. Things are looking up.

And, of course, we end on the image of the open cage door. That was important to me, because the cage was never more than a metaphor. We didn't really need it for Sevarius. We needed to see that Maggie and Talon were in cages of their own making. (Sev too, really. And Goliath. And maybe Elisa, although now I'm stretching it.)

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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"THE CAGE" Memo...

In prep for a ramble on "The Cage", here is the memo that I wrote to Brynne Chandler Reaves on Lydia Marano's 1st draft outline...

WEISMAN 12-13-94

Notes on "The Cage" Outline...

Brynne, call me when you get these.

GENERAL
I hate to sound like a broken record but this begins too slow. I've tried not to write a whole new story. But I have condensed things -- moving the kidnapping up into the first act, etc.

A secondary problem that only occurred to me Sunday is that we have to re-introduce Talon to our audience before we begin to misdirect them into thinking that Talon is the kidnapper. Otherwise, they'll see the silhouette of a big guy with wings and correctly guess that the kidnapper is Goliath. (When the story begins, Talon will have only appeared in one other episode; Goliath will have been in at least 25.) Talon won't even enter their minds until he is re-introduced later in the first act. By that time, we'll need to change their mind regarding the kidnapper's identity. A difficult task, considering that the audience already would have assumed the truth.

MUTATE rather than MUTANT.

At start of story... Goliath is to Talon what Xanatos is to Elisa.

THEME: Cages of all kinds. Use every opportunity to reinforce it.

Need to make sure that in the first two acts, we've set up Maggie's desperate need for a cure. But more importantly, we must set up the warm interdependent relationship between Maggie and Talon. Need to believe their feelings for each other are real before we get to Act Three.

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
I. Maza Family Dinner. Beth spots winged creature at window.

II. Clock Tower. Elisa talks to Goliath.
A. She hates to lie to her family about Derek.
1. Even if it's just a lie by omission.
B. By the way, G has to be more careful. Beth spotted him.
1. Wasn't me, Goliath says.
2. One of the other gargs? G doesn't think so.
3. Elisa's very excited. Could it be Derek?
4. Goliath is quiet. Deciding what to do.
C. G reveals to E that Talon and Mutates are back w/Xanatos.
1. Last few weeks, he's seen them near Eyrie Building.
2. Didn't tell her because he knew it would hurt her.
3. He feels powerless to help her.
D. Elisa insists that Goliath take her there.

III. Eyrie Building.
A. Action. Goliath vs. Talon, Fang & Claw.
1. Elisa tries to stop fight. Talon is torn.
2. Maggie stops fight.
a. She hates the fighting.
b. We see that Talon listens to her.
3. Magnanimous Xanatos seconds the motion.
a. He's pleased that the Mutates defend his castle.
b. But Goliath and Elisa are not the enemy.
B. Elisa confronts Talon: X is the enemy.
1. Maggie defends X as their only chance for a cure.
2. Elisa says X is the cause not the cure.
3. Talon: No -- Sevarius and Goliath caused this.
4. Reveal that Talon believes Sev. to be dead.
a. Either show flashback to "Metamorphosis"
b. Or be very clear for our audience:
i. Why he thinks Sev is dead.
ii. And why he blames Goliath.
5. Elisa hasn't seen Sev, so she can't be sure.
a. But she expresses some doubt that he's dead.
b. Talon: if Sev is alive now, he won't be for long.
6. Elisa and Goliath leave.
C. X secretly tells Owen to warn Sev to disappear for awhile.

IV. Gen-U-Tech.
A. Sev is kidnapped. Nobody sees. Very Quick.
B. Elisa arrives seconds later in her car.
1. Confirms w/security guard that Sev is alive.
a. She just missed him.
2. Another winged figure listens from above.
a. It's actually Talon.
b. But audience, and even Elisa, will assume it's G.
i. Elisa's touched G's so concerned about her.

V. Sev caged by unseen captor in underground Cyberbiotics Lab.

VI. Eyrie Building.
A. Owen has not been able to reach Sev.
1. Talon probably got to him first.
B. On battlements, Talon returns. Mutates confab.
1. Talon now knows Sev didn't die in "Metamorphosis".
2. But "dealing" with Sev is only half the job.
3. Sev couldn't have faked his death without help.
4. Goliath is Talon's #1 suspect.
5. Maggie doesn't agree but...
a. She let's slip about the Clock Tower.

VII. Fang, Claw and Maggie attack Clock Tower.
A. Maggie is present but is terrified by fighting.
B. Hudson and Bronx are the only Gargoyles there.
1. They put up a valiant fight but are defeated.

ACT TWO
VIII. Underground Lab. Sev agrees to work on cure for unseen captor.

IX. Clock Tower. Hudson regains consciousness.
A. Fang & Claw await Goliath's return.
1. So they can bring him back to Talon, as ordered.
2. Hudson warns them it'll be a long wait.
a. Goliath said he'd be gone for a few nights.
i. It's actually the truth.
ii. But the mutates don't buy it.
iii. Neither will the audience.

X. Eyrie Building.
A. Owen checks all locations where Talon might hold Sev.
B. Talon confronts X.
1. Until recently, Sev was alive & working at G-U-Tech.
2. X admits that he was fooled by Sev's "death".
a. Goliath and Sev must've been working together.
b. G wants Sev to create more monsters like him.
c. This confirms Talon's suspicions.
3. X has known for some time that Sev was alive.
a. He's had Sev working on a cure at Gen-U-Tech.
b. Didn't want to get Talon's hopes up.
4. But Sev was close to a cure.
a. If it's not too late...
b. Talon should release him to X's custody....

XI. Clock Tower. Trio return home.
A. Hudson manages to warn them.
B. Battle.
1. Fang & Claw are more powerful...
2. But Gargoyles are more experienced fighters.
3. Gargoyles win.
C. Brooklyn talks to Maggie.
1. He's over his crush on her.
2. But he still tries to get her to see reason.
a. G was there that night to save her from Sev.
b. G & Sev aren't partners.
c. Xanatos must be culprit.
3. Maggie doesn't want to hear it.
a. Xanatos is their only chance for a cure.
b. Gargoyles must be at fault.
4. To prove her wrong, Brooklyn lets the Mutates go.

XII. Gen-U-Tech. Elisa's back, still looking for missing Sev.
A. She's very worried that Derek has done something stupid.
B. Checking security-camera footage for when Sev left earlier.
1. Does enhancing tricks to confirm Sev was snatched.
2. Enhances more to get a look at kidnapper.
a. Off her reaction...

XIII. Cyberbiotics. Reveal Goliath as kidnapper of Sev.

ACT THREE
XIV. Eyrie Building. Talon tells Xanatos that he doesn't have Sev.
A. Owen enters w/news from Gen-U-Tech.
1. Looks like Sev. "left with" Goliath.
a. Comes across as proof that Sev & G are partners.
2. Doesn't take long for Owen to deduce where G is.
a. Only one abandoned lab that G knows about.
i. CyberBiotics Underground Research Lab.
B. Talon takes off.
C. Other Mutates are just getting back from Clock Tower.
2. They go after him.

XV. CyberBiotics. Goliath is watching Sev work on serum.
A. Elisa enters. (Calm before the storm.)
1. She deduced his location (same as Owen did).
2. Why did Goliath do it?
a. He could see how Derek's condition hurt Elisa.
b. He was afraid that if Talon got to Sev first...
i. then Sev wouldn't survive to cure Derek.
c. Seemed like only way to get cure from Sev.
3. Elisa: Ends don't justify the means.
a. Besides, wouldn't work anyhow.
b. They can't trust Sev.
i. How do they know "the cure" is safe?
4. Goliath agrees to release Sev.
B. Too late. Talon arrives, with Mutates on his heals.
1. Positive that G and Sev are in cahoots.
2. Talon attacks G.
a. This time E. can't stop them.
C. Mutates join in.
1. It's curtains for Goliath and Sev.
D. Sev tries to save his skin with the cure.
1. There's enough here for one.
b. But he can make enough for all four.
2. Talon and Fang don't care.
a. Claw and especially Maggie care a great deal.
b. Maggie reaches out to Talon.
i. What's more important?
ii. Vengeance or Humanity?
3. For her sake, he relents, and gives her the serum.
a. Maggie clutches the serum like it was a diamond.
4. Sev tries to get Talon to take it instead of Maggie.
a. Which makes everyone suspicious.
b. Situation on verge of heating up again.
E. Armored Xanatos steps out of shadows.
1. Rescues Sev.
2. Things seemed under control.
a. But Sev overplayed his hand, as usual.
3. Talon finally gets message about X.
4. X: "So sue me." or some such.
5. He takes off with Sev.
a. Parting shot from Sev: "Serum's poison."
F. Maggie still wants to take it.
1. She thinks Sev lied to preserve his "creations".
a. It's a risk she's willing to take.
b. Because it's better to die than to live a monster.
2. Talon disagrees strongly.
a. Life is more important than normalcy.
b. Besides, he's a monster too.
3. She thinks he's stronger than she is.
4. But Talon couldn't have made it without her.
a. Neither are strong alone.
b. They are strong together.
5. She puts the serum aside.
G. Goliath offers Mutates a home with his gargoyle clan.
1. Thanks, but no.
2. Talon has his own clan (i.e. Mutates).
3. And his own family...

XVI. CYBERBIOTICS UNDERGROUND LAB - A few NIGHTS later.
A. Elisa brings Peter, Diane and Beth.
1. They are reunited with Talon.
a. Hint Maggie.
b. Fang and Claw in b.g.
B. Goliath watches, pleased.
C. Sevarius' cage sits empty. The door wide open.


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Gipdac writes...

1) What year was Maggie born?
2) What year was Claw born?
3) What year was Fang born?

Greg responds...

1. 1975.
2. 1954.
3. 1968.
4. And while we're at it, Talon: 1970.

Response recorded on March 28, 2002

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Gipdac writes...

What's Diane's maiden name?

Greg responds...

I don't know at this time.

Response recorded on November 02, 2001

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Alex "Cyclonus" Bishansky writes...

I'm not sure if this was asked before or not.

In "Cloud Fathers" the Kachina Dance must have been performed many times before, how come when Peter Maza danced in it, Coyote developed this bond with him?

Greg responds...

It was 'rarely' performed even in Peter's day. But I believe Coyote developed a bond with all who danced the part of Coyote.

Response recorded on September 03, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

What did Elisa do with her day when the Gargs went to sleep in one of the countries they viseted? Shadows of the past for instance?

What did Elisa tell the Police when she got back from the World tour, to explane her absence?

How does Elisa explane how she keeps loosing her guns? Does she jut tell the police that she melted it down to make a bell? Does she get in much trouble for it?

Greg responds...

She often slept too. Sometimes maintained a vigil. Sometimes explored a bit, as she did in Paris.

Personal leave. She'd have been in bigger trouble had Chavez not been in immediate need for an undercover operative to enter Brod's organization. Elisa's absense from New York during the period of Brod's arrival and establishment made her the perfect candidate. The good results from that operation tended to brush Elisa's shortcomings under the rug -- for now.

Elisa's usually on the verge of being in trouble. Fortunately, she had a strong arrest and conviction record even before meeting the gargs. They've improved her record a bit too. Plus her boss genuinely likes her. Even if she doesn't always show it. (And Maria also has a lot of respect for Peter Maza. He used to be her boss, long time back.)

Response recorded on July 27, 2001

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Lord Sloth writes...

What presinct does Peter Maza work at if not the 23rd? He is still a cop right? What was the name of Peter's dad?

Greg responds...

Yes, as of 1996 at least, Peter was still a cop. A desk Sergeant at another precinct, which I have not, to date, numbered.

Peter's father was Carlos Maza.

Response recorded on July 11, 2001

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Laura 'ad astra' Ackerman writes...

I was looking over the [finally] completed description of the future series and after happily ooing and aahing, I had a few questions.

-1- I noticed that Broadway and Angela's biological children had similar sounding names, (arthurian in my mind). Since they were not named specifically by the parents but rather as clan children, (I assume), I was wondering if this was intentional. Are rookeries intentionally named with similar names, like the angel theme with the Avalon eggs? Do near rookeries share somewhat similar names and distant ones more different ones? Am I reading way too much into a statistical sample of three?

[Side question- Broadway, raised by Gargoyles would not care who was his biological child, but Angela was raised by humans, even if they did try to follow the gargoyle mode. Does she care a little, or at least think about it?]

-2- Nicolas Natzilani Maza, (please excuse my spelling, I am composing this offline): From which of the current Maza siblings does he descend?

-3- Alexander Fox Xanatos IV: I have a feeling I am being a bit dense here, but is he the same Alex as Alexander Fox Xanatos I but covering for extreme longevity?

-4- I don't remember any mention of the New Olympians. Do they play a notable role? If not, where are they?

-5- Logistically I am confused about something- In a perfect world all the Gargoyle spin offs would be running at the same time for an indefinate amount of time. More specifically Time Dancer and Gargoyles 2198 would be running at once. [Which leads to another side question: What you call the series after the first year?] As I see it the first year or two wouldn't be a problem- Timedancer Brooklyn would be a couple of years younger than future Brooklyn and we just wont see him describing in detail events that haven't happened yet in Time Dancer to people in 2198.

The problems start when it comes time for Time Dancer Brooklyn to go to 2198. The easiest way I can see it is, we see him leave, we see him return ten years older all in one ep, "wow! I just spent ten years fighting aliens in the future! But I wont say anything more as not to let you know too much about what will be." Then we have a Time Dancer Brooklyn ten or so years older than the Future one and a massive, sustained chuck of time that he can't give away to the audience. It seems like it would be a very awkward.

Thanks... And enjoy the con!! I hope you give a passing thought to those of us stuck on the other side of the continent. (This whole being an adult with a job kinda sucks sometimes.)

Greg responds...

1. You probably are reading a bit too much into a statistical sample of three. Plus, keep in mind that the Manhattan Clan doesn't exactly have deeply held traditions in naming. The whole concept is fairly new to them.

1a. I think Angela does think about it. But keep in mind, she was group raised. This way, as a parent, she has more children to love. That suits her fine.

2. I'm SO not telling.

3. Yes.

4. They will eventually play a roll. Technology-wise, the rest of the world has caught up to them. I wouldn't fully re-intro them right away, although their leader will be kidnapped along with Alex.

5. You worry too much. I should have such worries.

Response recorded on July 10, 2001

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Pyro X writes...

Greg;

There are several types of Characters on the show.

Hudson is like a grandfather if you know what i mean.
Goliath is the typical parent.
The trio are the teens.

My question: there is no gargoyle around the early to mid twenties range (something like Beth Maza.) Was there ever a problem not having this type of influence?

Did you give some of the qualities that a character of this age group my have to other people?

Greg responds...

Well, the Trio are in their late teens. (And Beth was in her early twenties.) So I'm not sure if the distinction you're suggesting isn't a heck of a lot subtler than you're indicating.

Response recorded on May 04, 2001

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Jason Barnett writes...

I know you've repeatedly stated that Peter Maza's connection to Coyote doesn't make his kids Fey but does it affect them at all? Perhaps shifting luck to their favor. Being turned into a bat-winged panther might seem unlucky but Derek wouldn't have met Maggie. Elisa lost an incredible amount of blood but still managed to survive being shot.

Greg responds...

I don't think so. But maybe Coyote would disagree.

Response recorded on May 02, 2001

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matt writes...

when Derek was mutated into a panther like mutate did you have "Mark of the Panther" in mind? i found it really great that Diane was telling this story about humans turning into panthers, which is kinda what happened to her son, and then is still surprised when the were-panthers change, and again has seen Derek as a pseudo-gargoyle and still is shocked by the gargoyles in Nigeria with Elisa!

Greg responds...

We suspend our disbelief. And eventually, nothing seems too weird, I suppose. But from Diane's POV, I don't think that's automatic. It's a step-by-step process. One thing doesn't lead into another.

And no, we didn't have "Mark" in mind when we planned Talon. Talon developed out of a character called Catscan in our original development. But we did have Talon in mind when we wrote "Mark".

Response recorded on February 15, 2001

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Monzo writes...

1.When Beth Maza was born?

2.When did Carlos Maza died?

3.When did Peter and Diane got married?

4.Did Peter invited his father at his wedding?

5.Did anyone in the NY Family (Diane, Elisa, Derek and Beth) met Carlos when he was still alive?

6.What Carlos thought of Peter's family?

Greg responds...

1. I don't have that info handy at this time. Ask me again later.

2. Ditto.

3. Ditto.

4. No.

5. Maybe.

6. He had mixed feelings.

Response recorded on February 07, 2001

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Corrine Blaquen writes...

Do you have any sort of future planned for Beth Maza? Will she ever marry, or have any kids?

Greg responds...

Yes, I have plans. No, I won't reveal them now.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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matt writes...

what year did/will Beth Maza graduate from college? what is she studying? would we see more of her in the spinoffs (and i mean develop her character more, not just every once in a while she happens to say a couple lines)?

Greg responds...

I'd like to think we'd develop her more fully as time goes by. Though largely in the main series. I don't really see her fitting into any of the spin-offs.

She's a Native American Studies Major, and I imagine she's finished her undergraduate degree by now.

Response recorded on February 01, 2001

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Sixshot writes...

1.I figured Peter Maza never saw his father again after the quarrel, but what about his family: Diane, Elisa, Derek and Beth? Did they ever met Carlos Maza, at least once?

2.If they did met, how did Carlos felt about Peter's family?

3.When did Carlos died?

Greg responds...

1. Yes to Elisa, Derek and Beth. Diane I'm not sure of, and I'm also not sure that Peter and Carlos never SAW each other again. I just know they didn't reconcile. Didn't make peace.

2. Carlos, I think, would have mixed feelings because of the inter-racial marriage.

3. I'd rather not say at this time.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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(The Guppi) writes...

[1] You've said before that you had "marriage, etc" in store for Maggie and Talon. I agree that what-ifs are impossible to deal with, but I'm curious to know if they'd ever have ended up together if it weren't for Gen-U-Tech. From the little we saw of their early interpersonal mechanics (I think that's how it's put), all they seem to have in common is their horrifying experience with Sevarius. Shared trauma can be a mightily powerful attracting force, but it just doesn't seem like a strong foundation on which to build a relationship.
It's not merely the old "leader gets the girl" cliche, I'm sure -- the qualities that make Derek a good leader (and XE recruit) would make him quite the catch. But love isn't one-sided. Maggie really is a sweetheart (steel-core and all), and seems exactly the kind of person to balance out the rougher aspects of Talon's personality (and boy does he have a lot). In the beginning, though, does she have much going for her other than a waifish vulnerability, innocence (or naivete, your call), and, well... a nice rack? (I'm not too sure if the so-called catgirl mystique counts -- that's pretty hard to pin down.)
Now, I think Derek and Maggie make a cute couple, and I admit I'm probably just spoiled by the near-perfect matchups of E+G and F+D. So why question a good thing? It's just that they've already shown how good they are at self-deception. For the sake of romance, I hope they aren't just fooling themselves again. :)
[2] What does the Maza family think about their son/brother and Maggie living together?
[3] Not that I expect an answer for these, but... a) Is the Maza name going to be passed on to T&M's hypothetical children? b) Will it die out with the current generation? (Not necessarily the same question :))

Greg responds...

1. No, they clearly would not have ended up together, I think. But that doesn't mean they aren't right for each other. Nor does it mean they may not have some rocky times ahead.

2. They're fine with it. Particularly given what's happened to Derek, they're happy he has someone to share his life and problems with.

3a. Maybe.

3b. It doesn't die out.

Response recorded on January 26, 2001

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Faieq writes...

I recently heard that most Native Americans are lactose intolerant.
1)Was Carlos Maza lactose intolerant?
2)Is Peter lactose intolerent?
3)Is Elisa lactose intolerent?
4)Is Talon/Derek lactose intolerent?
5)Is Beth lactose intolerent?

Greg responds...

I've never heard that.

Response recorded on November 01, 2000

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DrFaust writes...

Is Peter Maza the first human with whom Coyote has had a "connection"?

Greg responds...

No.

Response recorded on September 25, 2000

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OnyxStar writes...

This is kind of off-topic, but I learned something interesting in Chemistry class yesterday that I thought might be worth sharing, especially since there have been some questions about Children of Oberon and resistance to Oberon.
It seems that the word "iron" comes from Greek (or was it Latin?) meaning "metal from heaven," because iron is often found in great quantities in meteors. As the fae were generally seen as an abomination from a religious viewpoint, such metal from heaven was a way to hurt them.
Just a general observation I thought might be interesting. Especially if "maza" does indeed mean iron. Hmm...

Greg responds...

Thanks. Interesting...

Response recorded on September 16, 2000

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Aris Katsaris writes...

Concerning the whole "Maza" debate. I searched the Internet for about 10 minutes and in http://www.code-it.com/translation.htm there's an English-Lakota(Sioux) dictionary.

It says "Maza" indeed means "iron". Congrats - that's one mistake that wasn't made. :-)

Greg responds...

I thank you. And though he doesn't realize it, Paul Lacy thanks you. He's the one that did the original research that got us that name.

I guess Elisa is Very Multi-Racial. You have to figure that on her mother's side she most likely has both African and Caucasian ancestors. And on her father's side we're looking (at minimum) at Sioux and Hopi. With possibly some Navajo in there too.

For some reason that pleases me.

Am I missing anything?

Response recorded on September 12, 2000

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Lexy ^_^v writes...

Hello Greg:)

1) In "Mark of the Panther" Elisa's mother meets Goliath, Angela and Bronx. By this time, I am pretty sure..*hopes she isn't wrong on this* Elisa has introduced the _new_ Derek (sp?) and co. In "Cloud Fathers" both her father and sister meet Goliath and crew as well. My question is..Does Elisa's family (aside from Derek I mean) already know that Elisa and Goliath have feelings that go beyond friendship just from what they have observed?

2) Were they still unaware by the time "Hunters Moon" part three aired?

3) Did you have any episodes in mind (for later on) that would give them the full picture?

4) Did you ever plan on having a confrontation between Elisa, Talon and their parents about their..well choice in partners? Or would this have been more of a, "Well..I hope they know what there doing.." type thing?

5) Do you have plans on hooking Beth up with a non-human partner? (not that Maggie wasn't human..but..well)
(was that asked already? U don't have to answer if you think it was)

Next up..

I am SOOO hyped you revealed that little bit about Lex working with an unlikely business partner:D Always thought that goyle needed something of the like to bury himself in during his little depressed/introverted stage. (OKOK so I didn't know how else to describe it!) Here are some Q's on that.

6) Did Lexington _willingly_ ally himself with this partner knowing fully WHO the person was? (IE: was this a silent partner or did he actually have contact with the person and know basic things like there name, sex, SPECIES? *L*)

7) Did Lexington _willingly_ ally himself with this partner knowing full well their true motives? (whatever they might be..)

8) I suppose this is a dumb question considering we are talking about Lex here..but are we talking about a software type company? Games? Or did you not have anything SO specific in mind?

9) Can you tell us why Lexington started this business at all?
(IE: just to get away from all rookery and mate talk? Wanted to for a while?..both?)

10) Have we seen or heard of this partner yet? (*L* You said I might find this partner surprising.now is that ME or everyone else included? *JK!!*

11) You said this company would have reprocusions (sp) all the way up to 2158 (hopes she got that date right!)
Would these reprocusions be bad, good or a little of both? (mostly bad..mostly good..etc. etc.)'

Dare I ask a Lexington's mate Q? ^_^ ..ahh..you don't have to answer that one..

12) Will Lexington's mate be 100% gargoyle?

13) Will Lexington's mate be roughly the same age as Lexington when she meets him? Or will there be an age difference?

About Sora and Yama...

14) In "Bad Guys" you had planned on Yama being part of the crew. But I doubt that will occure exactly that way if the regular "Gargoyles" series ever comes back.

15) Did you plan on having Yama try to redeem himself in some way?

16) You mentioned that Sora was going to be one of the females included in the Manhattan Rookery. Why did she go all the way there to lay her egg? Was it do to some clause in Bushido? (I personally don't think that gargs have a hang up on dishonor being passed down ..but thought I'd ask) Or was Yama like, "hey babe, gotta glide..OH hey I know. Why don't you go stay with that Goliath fella..he seems cool."

17) Maybe I should have asked this first..Are those females you listed laying their eggs in Man. then leaving them there for 10 years? o_0..or..am I totally confused here...(feels really dumb now..)

18) Why did _any_ of the females (for that matter) decide to go THERE to lay there eggs? I suppose I can understand the Guatemalan..(SP!!) Gargs doing so..and maybe Sora..but why would anyone need to leave Avalon?

Finally...

19) Thanks for answering some of my recent Lex Q's. :D You also asked me (in relation to the question what is Lex really like) if you had answered it the way I had hoped. Yes you did!:) That was a fine answer. (Not that anyone could say much of Lex that wouldn't interest me..) I also wanted to put in here that I did not think that Lex was younger then his R. bro's. I simply wanted you to say so in print. (got sick of arguing this out with ppl) It looked like I gave you the impression that _I_ was wondering that. o_O

Ok..my friend wants me to quit this and shut down. Enjoy that vacation you are on! ^_^V

Greg responds...

1. No. And Derek doesn't know either. Diane is pretty astute, but I don't think her head would even go that way. Or rather, I think she probably sensed it subconsciously, but didn't think about it objectively. Same with Beth, perhaps. Maybe.

2. Yep.

3. Eventually.

4. Always go for the drama.

5. Not saying now.

6 and forward. O.K. now you've shifted topics and we have a rule here that questions on separate topics must be posted separately. I invite you to cut, paste and do just that.

And I wouldn't call Lex depressed. Where did you get that?

Response recorded on September 09, 2000

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Ambrosia writes...

THE MIRROR!
Yeah, this one is totally one of my favorites.
On Brooklyn's line about A Midsummer Night's Dream, you said, "I hope we sent a few people to the library with that line." As I've mentioned, I was storming the library the next day.
Elisa's reaction to being changed into a gargoyle kind of didn't work for me. Sure, everyone *else* thinks the guys are monsters, but she's supposed to know better. But when she sees the New Yorkers as humans... as they normally are... she goes, "Everyone's been turned into a... a human!" As if being the "other" is something horrible. You might say that their transformation is what she was disturbed about, but she was happy about Goliath's "transformation". It's as if she thought that if the clan were the same as everyone else, that that would make everything better.
BTW a couple times you've said "suspend belief" or something like that. Are you quoting S.T. Coleridge? Shouldn't it be suspension of DISbelief?
Oh, about Elisa's disappearing jacket... There's a part in Grief where the camera pans back and shows our heroes standing ready to fight and... Elisa's not wearing the jacket. Just her short-sleeved black shirt. In the next shot, the jacket's back. Anasatis (my best friend) and I have a running gag about that. Whenever something mysteriously disappears in any cartoon, movie or whatever, we say that it's made out of Elisa's jacket. Hehe. "Wasn't that guy just holding a briefcase?" "It must be made of Elisa's jacket."
New subject: I was hoping you'd see the bearded gargoyle lady this time. I'm surprised your kids didn't pick up on it. Kids don't miss anything. *shakes head* She's there, I'm telling you!!!! Right after Demona says, "Is it done?" and Puck sighs, "Yes." Okay, I'll drop it.
Romantic stuff: Goliath thought he was being so sweet, promising to always catch Elisa when she falls, only in the next minute to have to be caught by her. But it's sweet in reverse too.
It surprised me at the time for Broadway to be the one talking about finding love. But it seems perfect now.
The very end exchange with G and E always gets me. Goliath trying to talk things out and Elisa dodging the conversation. The wind was a nice effect.
Sigh. I love this ep. Well, thank you for reading!!
Wait, one more thing... your wife's name is Beth. Was *Derek* Maza named after anyone?

Greg responds...

Suspending Belief. Suspending Disbelief. I'm not specifically quoting anyone. I've heard it both ways. I've never been able to figure out which is right. What did Coleridge say? Educate me, please!!

As to Derek's name: Not that I know of, but you might ask the Reaves or Steve Perry.

Response recorded on August 22, 2000

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Zeliard writes...

Hi mr. Weisman!

In Metamorphosis, why Xanatos didn't provided Goliath's DNA to Sevarius?

Thanks!

Greg responds...

He had already. That was a lie to help fool Derek. Thailog was already in the works.

Response recorded on July 10, 2000

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Chapter XV: "Metamorphosis"

STORY EDITOR: Michael Reaves
WRITERS: Brynne Chandler Reaves & Lydia Marano

The first appearance of Anton Sevarius and the MUTATES: Maggie the Cat, Fang and Claw. Derek had appeared before, but this was TALON's "first appearance" as well.

In our original development, the Talon character was called CATSCAN. He wasn't Elisa's brother. In fact, he was sorta Sevarius. That is, he was the scientist who created the mutagenic formula. At first he works for Xavier (Xanatos), but later -- when he realizes that Xavier was responsible for the "accident" that turned him into Catscan -- he tries to hunt Xanatos down, forcing Goliath to actually protect Xanatos in order to save Catscan's soul. This version of Catscan was basically the inspiration of my good friend Fred Schaefer, who was a Disney Development Associate at the time. Part of the team. Oh, and Catscan was a solo act, there were no other Mutates. And he didn't have wings either. He fired some kind of radiation bolt from his eyes.

Later, we began to prep Derek for the Catscan/Talon role. I don't remember if we knew Derek's fate way back in "Deadly Force", when he was introduced, but we definitely knew by "Her Brother's Keeper". One of the reasons we made him a pilot was to give him some flight background to justify how quickly we needed him to learn to fly. This was emphasized HERE by putting him in a glider.

Anton Sevarius became a separate character obviously. Michael Reaves, I believe, came up with his name. At first, I didn't like it. I thought it was too cartoony. Now I think it suits him.

Rereading my memo, it seems I was thinking of Brent Spiner to play Sevarius. I hadn't remembered that. Of course, no one else could be Sevarius except Tim Curry. And Brent was a perfect Puck for us too. So all's well that ends well. (But can you imagine if somehow the rolls had been switched?) Tim has some great lines here: "...Or has that changed?" is one of my favorites. He's so hungry.

FYI - That's Jonathan Frakes voicing Fang's one-liner in this episode. We couldn't afford to hire a separate actor for one line. So Jonathan stepped in. Of course, later Fang was taken over by Jim Belushi. But I don't think anyone noticed.

Gotta love the Snidely Whiplash reference.

As I mentioned in my last Ramble on "Leader", Xanatos' plans were getting more and more sophisticated. Here we had two humdingers in a row. The one in "Leader" is just a lot of fun. This one is cruel. Throughout the story, we (I think) tend to believe in Xanatos' mea culpa and his outrage regarding the Mutates ("They'll crucify you. And if they don't, I WILL!!"). Why? Because he's so darn likable we want to think well of him. (Who was fooled? I'd like to know.) Also his story rings true. When he tells Sevarius, "I've been in prison before." We know he has. We believe he could take it again. It's that touch of truth amid the lies that makes him so sharp.

And Owen was complicit. On one level, that shouldn't be surprising, yet there's something of the Mr. Spock about Owen. As faithful as you know he is, you don't actually expect him to lie.

And frankly, the plan is SO complex. I hope it's believable when all is said and done. We made a real effort to make sure that it could have worked, that if it hadn't gone EXACTLY as depicted it would feel like there would have been alternative scenarios that would have generated the same result. Of course the master-stroke is Sevarius' death. Our S&P executive raised an eyebrow over that, as she finished reading Act Two. Fortunately, she was the type who finished the script before knee-jerking us with an objection. We got away with depicting a violent death on-screen -- because it was fake. (But who was fooled?)

We tried to play fair with a number of clues throughout. We used Xanatos' own security team as the "hired mercenaries" that Sevarius was using. Only Xanatos checks Sevarius' pulse. When Matt and Elisa are later investigating the scene, there's no body and NO CHALK OUTLINE either. They have no idea that anyone even theoretically was supposed to have DIED there. And Sevarius is SO OVER THE TOP. That should have been a stylistic clue. It was way fun to do -- and it took great acting on Tim's part to act that badly and still make it play.

For once the script came in a tad short. So the board artist added the bit where the gargoyles break out of stone and we see the debris rain down on the people below. Pigeons fly off into the night. (Just a little touch of realism.) Very nice.

I was never too fond of Elisa's Zen Master joke. Still, in the comic book story I wrote before the Marvel comic book was cancelled, I created a Zen Master character. (Just compulsive I guess.)

My original plan for Gen-U-Tech was to abreviate its name as G.U.T.S. As in the company that twists yours up. (The full name is Genetic Undiscovered Technical Systems.) Instead it became Gen-U-Tech, which is probably better. But I can't remember who made the change. The script has plenty of GUTS references in the descriptions. But it may have escaped my notice that it has none in the dialogue. And the logos designed all read Gen-U-Tech, not guts. I wonder if Frank & Michael were slyly protecting me from a mis-step?

I like the conflict between Brooklyn & Broadway here. All the interplay with the trio is very well handled, I think. Were people really rooting for Brooklyn & Maggie to wind up together?

Not our best animated episode. Both the modeling and the animation leave a bit to be desired. Derek's ears look mid-transformation long before he's hit with that dart. Makes me cringe, but I guess if the audience isn't expecting him to get changed, they don't notice the subtle pointyness to the ears, until after the contents of the dart are revealed. But on a second viewing...?

Maggie Reed: "I'm from Ohio." As if that should explain EVERYTHING. I love that line.

"Morgan Reed", by the way, was one of our may early names for what eventually became Elisa Chavez, Elisa Bluestone and finally Elisa Maza. (I never waste anything.)

Observations from my daughter Erin:

1. "I like the click of their boots." [Erin complimenting the foley during the recapture of Maggie in the alley.]

2. "His hands ARE tied!" [My clever Erin catching the irony. Elisa says "My hands are tied." Brooklyn responds, "Well mine aren't." But then he turns to stone, prompting Erin's observation.]

3. "Hudson and Bronx always stay home." [Erin commenting on our proclivity for leaving Hudson & Bronx behind at the castle or clock tower when Goliath and the Trio go off. It is kind of a rip.]

Another great series of endings and false endings.

Xanatos tells Owen to bring him the "best geneticist on the planet."

The gargs arrive and fight the Mutates. Elisa arrives. Xanatos asks her to "stop this senseless violence". [Ahh, what a lovely bastard he is.]

Maggie makes the accurate observation that Brooklyn wants her to stay a monster. And yet despite that incite, she clearly still believes that both she and Brooklyn ARE monsters. She's as bound up in appearances as he is.

Talon names himself. It's kinda odd. But I think it works.

Elisa declares war on Xanatos. And for a split-second it registers on his face. Something has actually given him pause.

And then Owen brings in the best geneticist. I still wonder if it's immediately clear that this "new guy" IS Sevarius. He looks SO different. And Tim wasn't using the hoky accent anymore. Was anyone else confused, even momentarily? But anyway, it's another stunner Xanatos Tag. Did your eyes bug out? Or did you know by this time?

And finally, back to the Tower. Brooklyn is in a funk. But Elisa...

This entire episode is obviously a direct sequel to "Brother's Keeper". Right down to the end. In the end of that one, Elisa can do nothing but stare sadly out at the snow. But we're past that now. Now she cries. Xanatos doesn't wind up with the Mutates, though he correctly predicts there eventual return, but this is his clearest victory yet. The Mutates blame the gargs. Talon still believes X is his best chance at a cure. And he has an emotional and physical weapon against Elisa and the gargs. I was proud of us for ending a "cartoon" on such a relatively down note. Can't always have happy endings. How many people were surprised we ended it that way?

That's it. Comments welcome...



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