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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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"Metamorphosis" Memo

I recently re-viewed "Metamorphosis". Before typing up my ramble on the subject, here's an unedited look at the memo I wrote to story editor Michael Reaves in July, 1994 regarding Brynne & Lydia's first draft of their outline for the episode....
________

WEISMAN 7-27-94

Notes on "Metamorphosis" Outline...
O.K. I made a few changes, as usual. Here's a bit of the reasoning, so they don't seem arbitrary. (I may be a pain to work with, but I try not to be arbitrary.)

THEME
The theme of today's adventure is SELF-DECEPTION. (We played the family theme in "Her Brother's Keeper". And since this is such a direct sequel to that one, I don't want to be playing the same emotional beats. That's not to say that "Family" isn't a secondary or tertiary theme running through this episode as well as our entire series, but we don't need to go out of our way to emphasize it here.) Derek is DECEIVED by Xanatos and Sevarius. But the deception would not have worked without Derek's own cooperation and SELF-DECEPTION. That's the tragedy. He's a victim, but he's helped to victimize himself, by fooling himself into believing that Xanatos was either a right guy or someone he could handle. But you can't play with fire without getting burned.

We'll reemphasize the theme with Xanatos himself, who will say that Sevarius fooled him and then admit that he really fooled himself, because he wanted to believe Sevarius. Of course this whole thing is an act on Xanatos' part, but it'll still reinforce the theme.

But as well as the above works, it unfortunately leaves our gargoyles as real fifth wheels to the story. So I've tossed in a little self-deception sub-plot for Brooklyn, as well.

ELISA & DEREK'S PARENTS
I've cut them. Partially out of economics. But mostly because they didn't seem to have much to say or do here. So I decided to keep our focus on Elisa & Derek.

ELISA & DEREK'S ARGUMENT
I'd rather not simply reiterate the conflict of "Her Brother's Keeper". In fact, I don't want to have to summon up the specific details of that episode. I think we should assume that in between the two seasons, Derek listened to Fox's taped "revelation" and that he and Elisa have already argued about it specifically. Now they are past that and in a mode of uneasy truce. He's talked himself into believing that Xanatos can't be that bad... or that if he is Derek'll find out for himself from the inside. Either way he can handle it. (Again: massive self-deception here.) Elisa has retreated to a "it's-your-life-but-don't-expect-me-to-approve" mode. They've agreed to disagree.

DEREK'S JOB
I think soliciting the homeless with a promise of money and food in exchange for being part of a scientific experiment is too slimy for even the self-deceiving Derek to swallow. Besides, it's not what he was hired to do. He's Xanatos' pilot and bodyguard. For these reasons, I've altered the set-up some.

THE HOMELESS
Michael, this story really seemed to dovetail with what you suggested for a future story on the Homeless underground. MAGGIE and the homeless men seemed like great potential characters. So I've increased their role here. (Particularly Maggie's.) In some episode down the road, Derek can lead his "people" underground.

CYBERBIOTICS
I don't want Xanatos to own Cyberbiotics. I don't have a specific idea in mind, but we might need a corporate opponent someday and I'd rather not have to create a new one. I've switched it to Genetic Undiscovered Technical Systems, also known as Gen-U-Tech or G.U.T.S., which I stuck into the bible a long time back. We never used it last season, so when it's first mentioned here, neither Elisa or Goliath will know that Xanatos owns it. I think it'll serve the same purpose.

POLICE PROCEDURES
Some of the actions that Matt and Elisa take seemed odd to me. Elisa allows Goliath to stop her from confronting Derek outside the building, but is intent on confronting him inside the building and is willing to bend the law to do it. I don't mind the bending so much as the inconsistency. Matt and Elisa talk their way by the guard, but then someone manning the cameras activates the security doors and gas. Who's manning the cameras? A different guard? Someone who wants Elisa to get through, but not Matt? The cameras must have seen that they got Matt but not her. I may be missing something, but I've made some changes to streamline this stuff.

THE PINKIE SWEAR
I don't think Derek would reveal his condition to his sister. Deep down, he must know that his self-deception has gotten him into this mess. He'd be ashamed of that and his monstrous appearance. He wouldn't initiate the pinkie swear at the end. Then again, neither would she with a monster she doesn't know. I love the pinkie swear, but I don't know if it can work here. What if in scene 2, Elisa's gesture is a more standard cross-my-heart thing, which Derek usually follows with some unique response like cross-my-eyes. Something silly that they've been doing since they were kids. Then at the end, she tries to talk to the monster; tries to inspire its trust with the standard cross-my-heart gesture. And before Derek can think about it, he automatically responds with his unique response.

THE MONSTER'S MIND
I don't think Xanatos ever wanted to destroy Derek's mind or make him amnesiatic, weak or easily controllable. That's more Demona's style. Xanatos has set up this whole con to manipulate Derek into serving him, as he did with Goliath in the pilot. He doesn't need Derek to be an automaton. He's already got robots. They haven't worked so great. He prefers having independent thinkers working for him. Like Owen, for example.

BEAT SHEET
ACT ONE
1. Open at NIGHT, with a shadowed DOCTOR SEVARIUS (Brent Spiner?) soliciting MAGGIE, the young homeless woman in the alley. Emphasize his limp. [No Derek involved.] Maybe give her a bit of dialogue. She's down on her luck. Lost her job, her apartment. It's a temporary set-back. (A bit of self deception here too.) She goes with him.

2. The next day at a small air field, ELISA is watching her brother DEREK land the new glider he just bought with the high salary that Xanatos pays him. They eat lunch at a hot dog stand. It's a bit awkward. But it's not Elisa's problem. It's Derek who clearly has a chip on his shoulder.

Derek: You're still mad I'm working for Xanatos. But he's not as bad as you think. And if he is, then I'll be right there on the inside to nail him.

Elisa: I think you're kidding yourself. But it's your life. Just don't expect me to agree with your decision.

They agree to disagree and do some equivalent to the pinkie swear thing. Something where she initiates the exchange with something more generic and he does something unique as an almost automatic response.

3. That night at the clock tower, the gargoyles split up to patrol the city they protect. BROOKLYN and BROADWAY are one team. They spot a shadowy creature on the ground. (It has wings, but it doesn't fly. Maybe the wings aren't fully developed yet.) For a second, the gargoyles think that it may be another gargoyle (perhaps Demona) and pursue it. The thing is clearly afraid of them and flees.

They finally catch up to it. We get a quick partial view. It's female! Maybe by the hair color and voice the audience guesses that it's Maggie. She is wearing a special bracelet, with a small light that blinks on and off and beeps quietly. Brooklyn is instantly smitten. (Maybe he thinks she's a gargoyle at first, maybe her shapely wings turn him on or something.) He says they aren't trying to hurt her but help.

Suddenly, they are surrounded by private "ambulances", out of which pour private "orderlies" (i.e. armed troops). (All of the above bare the GUTS logo.) The bracelet was a tracking device. Maggie is still more afraid of the gargoyles than the humans trying to take her back into custody. The troops are clearly surprised to see three creatures instead of one. The head guy says take them all. They pull out tranquilizer rifles and start shooting. Maggie tries to surrender. Brooklyn tries to stop her and accidentally pulls the bracelet off her wrist. He is shot by the tranq darts. It's all Broadway can do to get him safely out of there. The troops get away with Maggie.

4. At the Castle, Derek lands Xanatos' chopper and the two men disembark to find OWEN waiting for them. Owen's gotten some interesting expense reports from Gen-U-Tech Systems, one of Xanatos' subsidiaries. XANATOS isn't surprised. He gave Doctor Sevarius, the head of R & D there an interesting assignment. Would that assignment require armed mercenaries? No... it would not. Xanatos says he better check this out personally. Derek insists on coming along. (As a good bodyguard should.)

5. Back at the clock tower, Brooklyn is just coming out of it. Broadway has already filled Elisa and the other gargoyles in on what happened. But Brooklyn's version is slightly different. He's convinced himself (self-deception) that he made a real connection with the she-thing. She needs and wants his help. (Broadway's dubious. She was clearly more scared of them than of the goons.) Brooklyn shows Elisa the bracelet. (We know it's not tracking anymore because the light is busted and it no longer beeps.) She sees the G.U.T.S. logo. Brooklyn & Broadway remember the same logo being on the "ambulances". It means nothing to her, but she promises to check.

6. At Gen-U-Tech, Xanatos and Derek are greeted by Sevarius. Emphasize Sevarius' limp. He seems over-anxious, slightly paranoid. A bit of a mad scientist. Xanatos is playing it cool. He wants an update. Sevarius sits them down for a Jurassic Park style slide-show presentation. Xanatos had asked Sevarius to genetically create Gargoyles from scratch. (Derek is stunned. But keeps his cool and says nothing.)

As Sevarius explains his thought processes, we watch footage of Goliath battling a Steel Clan robot or Macbeth from the first season...
A. The logical decision would be to clone gargoyles from a gargoyle specimen.
1. But he was told that there was no specimen available. a. Sevarius, greedily: "Or has that changed?"
b. Xanatos says, no, it hasn't changed.
B. S: Well, then, in lieu of a direct clone he would have to build his gargoyle from scratch using available genetic material.
1. It would require the strength, speed and agility of a jungle cat (or maybe a bear? are there other options? Talk to Frank about what he wants to do? No wolf or other canines though.)
2. The wings of a bat.
a. Mutated to giant size.
3. Xanatos: "And the intelligence of a human being."
a. S: "Exactly."
C. But according to his calculations it still wouldn't work.
1. Animals are no different from machines.
a. They still require fuel to operate.
b. We get fuel by eating.
2. To keep its strength and stamina this thing would have to eat the equivalent of three cows a day.
3. X: Well then how do the gargoyles survive?
4. S: By hibernating as stone for 12 hours a day.
a. This allows them to store up energy and thus work at peak efficiency for the entire night.
b. The stone hibernation process is unknown in the animal kingdom. Sevarius had to find a substitute.
5. He presses a button revealing a glass case full of electric eels. The electric eels store and utilize myo-electric (bio-electric?) energy which could fuel the new creation.

Derek finally cuts in. This is all great theory (he's still deceiving himself into believing that these are two guys discussing hypotheticals), but why is Sevarius hiring armed mercenaries?

Sevarius seems sincerely embarrassed. He had to hire them. One of his test subjects escaped.

Xanatos and Derek simultaneously: WHAT?!! (Meaning: "You have test subjects?!!"

Sevarius misses point of their concern and says don't worry we caught her again. Look... And he presses a button that slides a panel revealing a glass wall revealing Maggie and two males now fully morphed into winged cat creatures. (Or whatever. Perhaps one looks Tiger-esque, one looks lionesque, etc., saving the coolest look for Derek. Again, ask Frank how he wants to go.)

On the reveal... we fade to black.

ACT TWO
7. Pick up where we left off. Xanatos is stunned. Derek is horrified. Sevarius is giddy. (He seems like a border-line nut case throughout acts one and two.) Xanatos is astounded that Sevarius grew these things from scratch in such a short time.

Sevarius admits proudly that he took a shortcut. He injected bums with a mutagenic formula. Now Xanatos is horrified. And furious. Derek starts to turn on him, but Xanatos never intended for this to happen. "Sevarius deceived me. No. That's not entirely true. I deceived myself." He'd been warned about Sevarius' "unethical" practices, but he wanted to believe in the man, because he wanted to achieve his own goals. Xanatos is deeply ashamed of himself. But he's determined to make it better, cure these people.

Sevarius is astonished. He has no idea what he's done wrong. They were just bums. No friends. No family. He's made them into something better. He won't let Xanatos destroy all the progress he's made. He reaches for one of the tranquilizer guns that his troops used earlier, he takes aim at Xanatos and fires. Derek pushes Xanatos out of the way and takes the dart in the shoulder. He then quickly disarms Sevarius.

Derek and Xanatos examine the dart. A tranquilizer? Derek doesn't feel sleepy. Sevarius crumpled in the corner starts to laugh. The dart wasn't loaded with tranqs. It was loaded with the mutagenic formula.

8. Back at the precinct, Matt has tracked the GUTS logo to Gen-U-Tech. But he won't tell Elisa until he finds out why she needs to know. Elisa says she got an anonymous tip on a kidnapping. The bracelet was their only clue. She and Matt leave to investigate.

9. Back at Gen-U-Tech, Derek's still in shock. Xanatos demands to know if there's an antidote. Sevarius says there is one. Inside his head. He could create one, but why should he? Just then, a Gen-u-Tech guard comes in with word that the police are here. Xanatos gets very threatening: "By all means invite them in. Let's give them the slide show. Introduce them to the finished product.."

S: "You bankrolled all my experiments. You wouldn't dare."

X: "I'll take my chances. I've been in prison before. But you... The police, the press, the public... they're going to crucify you. And if they don't -- I will."
(The audience should believe that Xanatos was prepared to do anything to help Derek.)

Sevarius is very frightened and agrees to manufacture the antidote if Xanatos will agree not to turn him in. X agrees for now. But one more step out of line and it's over.

10. Downstairs, a very nervous and hinky Sevarius agrees to take Matt and Elisa on a brief tour of the facility to allay their preposterous suspicions of a kidnapping. At one point, Xanatos and Derek watch them from behind a one way mirror. Xanatos tells Derek that if he wants to step out and tell his sister everything, Xanatos would support that decision, even if it meant he had to go back to prison. But Derek decides not to. He'll give Sevarius a chance to come up with a cure first. But he tells Xanatos that if Sevarius can't cure him... If he turns into a freak like one of those others... Well, if that happens, he doesn't ever want Elisa to know.

11. Back at the clock tower, Elisa fills the gargoyles in. Sevarius was one hinky individual. She thinks Brooklyn may be right. But there's nothing she can do without evidence for a warrant. But Brooklyn's a private "citizen". He doesn't need a warrant. He's determined to help that she-thing and nothing's gonna stop him. Except the dawn. They turn to stone.

12. Back at Sevarius' lab, he's hard at work on the antidote serum. (He grouses about having Xanatos looking over his shoulder all the time.) In a shadowed corner, Derek cries out in pain. The transformation is beginning. (Though we don't see him clearly.) Sevarius suggests putting Derek in the glass prison with the other specimens. Xanatos just tells him to shut up and keep working.

13. Sunset at the clock tower. Brooklyn and the others explode out of their stone cocoons. Brooklyn's fire hasn't died out during their sleep. He's determined to go. Goliath agrees. But they'll do it his way.

14. At Gen-U-Tech, we find out what Goliath had in mind. Not a massive raid, but a surgical strike. Just himself, Brooklyn and Lex. (He needs Lex to work the security systems. He would have left Brook at home if he thought Brooklyn would have stayed put.) They get in all right, they even discover Maggie in her glass cage. But again she is more afraid of them, than of her captors. Brooklyn is determined to "save" her, and the ruckus they cause soon alerts Sevarius' guards. She is shot with a tranq dart. Brooklyn scoops her up and the gargoyles attempt to fight their way out. A battle through the complex begins, the guards switching to heavier weapons.

15. Meanwhile Sevarius has finished the serum and is about to inoculate a shadowed Derek. Unfortunately, the battle has moved in their direction. Derek is forced to battle the gargoyles to protect his chance at a cure. We reveal Derek as 50% mutated and already unrecognizable to Goliath and the others. In the struggle, the air-hypo with the serum falls and shatters. And then there is an explosion. Sevarius is thrown against the tank of electric eels and is electrocuted. He falls to the ground. Xanatos approaches. Checks for a pulse. He turns to Derek. Sevarius is dead.

ACT THREE
16. Brooklyn, Lex and Goliath escape with the unconscious Maggie. Derek curses them, blaming them for ruining his chance at a cure. Then he collapses to the floor. Xanatos tries to snap him out of it. They have to get out of here before the police show up. Or does he want his sister to see him like this? Derek agrees to leave with Xanatos. But what about the other creatures? We'll bring them, poor souls. Somehow, some way we'll find a cure for all of you.

17. Back at the clock tower, Maggie awakens to find herself surrounded by six monsters...the gargoyles. Brooklyn tries to reassure her. She's safe now. But she's terrified. She unconsciously sparks off electrical energy that keeps Brook at a distance. Maggie doesn't want to be a monster, she just wants to be human again. Can they make her human again? Brooklyn doesn't know what to say. The sun is about to come up. The gargoyles will soon turn to stone. They tell Maggie to rest. (Hudson offers her the use of his t.v.) Goliath promises they will start searching for some kind of cure tomorrow night, even if it means confronting Xanatos in his castle.

18. Gen-U-Tech, daytime, but very foggy. Matt and Elisa are racking up the overtime, as they investigate last night's ruckus. No signs of the kidnapping victims. No signs of Sevarius. A lot of mangled high-tech equipment and weapons. And cages full of jungle cats, bats and eels. And the not-so-shocking discovery that Xanatos owns Gen-U-Tech.

19. Just after sunset at the clock tower. Brooklyn is bumming because Maggie has vanished. He's still not ready to admit that she doesn't want his help. She probably took off immediately after sunrise, when the fog-shrouded streets were still pretty empty. But where would she go? Xanatos' castle. That's where Goliath said they'd start their search for a cure. Hudson and Bronx will stay at the clock tower on the off chance she returns. Goliath and the trio will head to the castle.

20. At the castle, we find Xanatos telling Owen to find him the best geneticist on the planet, and fast. Outside in the wards, above the layer of fog, we find Derek, now fully transformed. He is teaching Maggie and the other two to glide. (They don't have a bat's natural instinct or the training that he has.) He's a natural if reluctant leader. Figures that until they find a cure they might as well learn to use their new abilities. (One of the guys should probably really enjoy flying. He's the only one not in a hurry to be cured. The other guy is mute, but with a saner more normal response.) Even Maggie seems a bit more at ease. She's now with people facing the same predicament, who are actively looking for a cure. Derek seems like a pillar of strength to lean on.

The Gargoyles arrive. Derek requires no prompting to lead his flying tigers on the attack. He beelines for Goliath. The other two males go after Lex and Broadway. But Brooklyn targets Maggie. He's determined to reach her. Air battle, complete with electricity. Somewhere in here Elisa arrives. Xanatos lets her in, hoping that somehow she can stop this pointless fighting.

Maggie battles Brooklyn, who doesn't really fight back. He tries again to tell her that he cares about her. You don't even know me, she says. The only thing they have in common is that they're both monsters. She doesn't want to be a monster. She hates monsters!! She gives him one massive zap to drive the message home.

Although Lex and Broadway are more than holding their own, Goliath isn't doing as well against Derek and is zapped into unconsciousness, falling across one of the outer battlements. Derek comes in for the kill. But Elisa is there. She doesn't recognize Derek, and for obvious reasons it never occurs to her that this is her brother. But she's never been one to judge by appearances, so she tries to talk to the creature, calmly. She asks its name. Derek laughs for a moment. Then looking at his own hands, he coins the name TALON. She tries to tell Talon that Goliath is her friend. Talon says that "her friend" is the reason Talon's been turned into a monster. Elisa says that if that's true, it must have been an accident. Goliath would never intentionally hurt anyone. She swears, cross-her-heart. And without thinking, he does the follow up gesture. She's stunned. (He's horrified.) It takes a moment to compute, but when it does... "Derek? Is that you?!" Derek denies it, but she knows now. "Xanatos. Somehow he did this to you?!" "No, he's my only chance at a cure." "Derek, how long are you going to grasp at that straw?! Deep down you must know who's to blame for this. Derek, let me help you!!" She moves towards him, but he can't face her. Because deep down he knows that he's to blame for his predicament. He goes screaming off into the night.

The other "cats" including Maggie don't know where Talon's going, but he's their leader. They follow. Broadway and Lex help Goliath and Brooklyn to their feet. Should they pursue the cats? But Brooklyn says no. He'd been kidding himself. He can't help her, particularly if she doesn't want his help.

Elisa faces off against Xanatos. He says he's been trying to help. But there's no way she's buying it. IT'S WAR NOW. Somehow, she's going to nail him. Count on it. Elisa and the gargoyles leave.

Owen enters. He's found the best geneticist on the planet that Xanatos was asking for. A man enters wearing a slouch hat and trench coat. With a flourish, he reveals himself as Sevarius. (Minus the cane, the limp, and the manic, paranoid, mad scientist demeanor. It was all a put on.) He's very proud of his performance, particularly his death scene, though Xanatos thought he hammed it up a bit. Still Sevarius is amazed they pulled it off. It took months of forcing the early subjects to "escape" until one of them was spotted by the gargoyles. For a while there he thought they'd never find each other. Yes, Xanatos agrees, but once the gargoyles did find the test subject things couldn't have proceeded more predictably. And Xanatos was right that Derek's particular abilities were well-suited to his new form. Sevarius is worried that they've lost Derek and the others. But Xanatos knows they'll be back. Talon has convinced himself that I'm his only chance at a cure. It's a delusion he can't afford to give up. Not without giving up all his hope as well.

21. Back at the castle, Brooklyn nurses his own wounds in bitter silence. But Goliath is more concerned about Elisa, who is also quiet, but crying bitter tears in spite of herself. It's not over, he tells her. No, she agrees, wiping her eyes. It's definitley not over.


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Lexy writes...

Hello again Greg:)

You know how in Cloud Fathers we see Coyote? ,the 3rd Race dude I mean. Well I know for that perticular episode he assumed the form of Peter Maza. He needed to for motivational purposes. But then later on we see him again in The Gathering Part 1 and he _still_ looks like that. I guess you could just say, "Hey, so the guy likes the look. Problem with that?", and that does work. But I was just wondering ..

1) What does his real form look like?
IE: Puck when hes NOT playing the role of Owen.

2) Has he taken a liking to that form and uses it more often then not?

3) In the episode you just kinda take it for granted that our trickster is appearing as young Peter. I mean..it had to be so for the episode. But behind all that had Coyote actually been watching and or aware of the Maza's before hand? Peter's mom and dad and such? Or did he just need that painting to be intact and quickly just assumed Peters' old form? Was he trying to remind Peter of his heritage?? Or was it just cuz??

Thanks!

Greg responds...

1. Kinda coyote-esque.

2. He's currently fond of Peter Maza's "Native American James Dean" look.

3. It's all in there.

Response recorded on June 26, 2000

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"Leader of the Pack" Background memo...

ASK GREG is back up and running. (Thank you, Gorebash.)

Unfortunately, Murphy's Law in in effect, and I'm now swamped with work. (More on that tomorrow.) I'll try to get to your questions and comments A.S.A.P. In the meantime, I've watched another episode "Leader of the Pack". I've taken notes to write a ramble but I don't have time to compose it tonight. But I also wanted to post my July, '94 memo to Michael Reaves regarding his first draft outline on this episode. (Like the one I posted for "Reawakening".) I have a hard copy of this memo, but unfortunately -- there's that Murphy's Law again -- I don't seem to have a computer file for it. (Which, frankly, is truly bizarre.) Still, retyping this is faster than composing something original. But I don't know if I'll have time to retype the entire five page memo tonight. So bear with me. This could take a while... (I'll try to keep all the typos intact. And I'll add a few new comments in [brackets].)

Greg Weisman 7-2-94

NOTES ON OUTLINE for "Leader of the Pack"
Michael, I think we can focus the story a little more. And I think there's quite a bit of padding that we can trim down, but on the whole, a good start.

General Notes...

--Let's focus this by making it Lexington's story. A real companion piece to "Thrill of the Hunt". In that story, Lex was too trusting. In this he'll be hell-bent on REVENGE. That's today's theme. And today's lesson is about setting priorities -- and how revenge ain't a great one. Lex comes close to letting his lust for revenge take priority over his concern for his life and his friends. Same with the Pack. They break prison; they could head for Rio. But they want revenge on the gargoyles more. It gets them in trouble. Ironically, only Xanatos has his priorities straight. He didn't give a damn about revenge on the gargoyles. He just cared about his "friend" Fox and getting her released from her unfortunate incarceration. [A DESIGNING WOMEN reference -- Greg 2000]

--Given the above. Let's see Lex as the true monster he can be. As frightening as possible, as often as possible.

--The stuff w/Dingo's change of heart was nice. It gave me a great idea for a story about him trying to go straight, set in Australia during the WORLD TOUR. But I think it's out of place here. It's distracting to the main story. I don't want Dingo to start to turn yet. He didn't have to come back from Europe to help the others. Let's keep him gung-ho for now. (When we do the Pack Upgrade Story, in which Wolf will submit to Doc Sevarius' genetic treatment ala Talon, and Hyena and Jackal will undergo cyborgizing ala Coldstone, we'll plant the seed there that Dingo thinks things are getting carried away. He'll choose removable robot-armor, and we'll play some of these beats then.) [When you're working on 65 episodes you try not to waste anything. And the characters begin to define their own destinies. But you need to pace them. -- Greg 2000]

--Coyote's abilities need some clarification. Let's start by thinking this is a stranger wearing some kind of power-armor. Jet black, anubis-headed armor. We'll modify or harmonize Jonathan's voice. Then when he removes the dog-faced armored head, we reveal that it's Xanatos inside the armor. The audience will buy this because of "The Edge" story. When COYOTE has the "helmet" off, we'll use Jonathan's voice un-harmonized. But obviously for battle scenes he'll put the helmet back on. A slight clue that Coyote isn't the real Xanatos will be that Coyote seems more determined to get revenge than we'd normally expect from the rational Xanatos we've come to know and love. Then at the end, we'll reveal the robot beneath the Xanatos face. We also need to make a bigger deal of this reveal. I think it would be cool, if after the body is damaged beyond repair, the semi-damaged head, takes off, shooting into the sky like a comet, abandoning the Pack. At any rate, we can now have Coyote be very powerful throughout the episode, without our audience suspecting the truth. What can the Coyote "armor" (i.e. the Coyote/Xanaots robot) do? Does it have built-in jet-boots and weapons systems? Let's make it real tough and cool.

--In general, we need to be really careful not to let the Pack seem weak or incompetent. I doubt Elisa can outshoot them. They've been defeated twice already. If we don't up the ante, we've lost these characters as effective adversaries.

--The huge emphasis on updrafts can be dumped. We've already shown the gargoyles glide to and from Liberty Island in "The Edge". How far out in the water is this tanker? Better not to go into too much detail.

--Same with the Pack's search for the gargoyles. Why raise the issue about how easy it is to find the gargoyles? Besides, the method used here could take weeks, if not months. Let the gargoyles find the Pack. We can dump the CD-ROM disk.

--The mirrored shields was a good idea. But it pre-supposes a Lexington who is rational enough to use his head and come up with it. Not this story. But remember it for later use. [O.K. I guess some things did get wasted. --Greg 2000]

--We definitely don't need or want Derek in this story. If it comes before "Metamorphosis" than we don't want to mess with his loyalty to Xanatos. If it comes after, then obviously he's not Derek anymore, but Talon. Anyway, we won't need him. The way I figure it, Elisa's role in this story is fairly minimal. I didn't like her as victim/hostage, so I largely dumped her. So we can leave Derek out, as well.

--Fox should protect he guard first, then refuse to go. When she refuses Hyena's inclined to kill her too. Coyote prevents it by indicating there's no time. Also, I've cut the middle Fox scene 14. Better that the audience forget about her until the end.

Specific Notes & Questions....
[to follow tomorrow, hopefully...]


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Aaron writes...

At approximately what rank did Peter Maza retire from the NYPD? (Equivalent to Morgan, Matt and Elisa, Capt. Chavez, etc)

Greg responds...

Who said he's retired? He's a desk sergeant at a different precinct.

Response recorded on April 07, 2000

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Chapter XII: "Her Brother's Keeper"

I think Michael Reaves came up with this title. I wanted to shorten it to "Brother's Keeper" so that it would implicitly include the Trio, Goliath and his late rookery-brothers, Jackal & Hyena. But Michael talked me out of it. He was right.

This was the second out of three episodes where we attempted to do Kenner a solid by inserting a toy into the series. The Helicopter was a much more awkward fit than Brooklyn's motorcycle had been. But we all agreed to make it work. Originally, Lex was going to repair Derek's police chopper, but someone suggested using the Pack 'copter instead. So we tried to make it all play as organic as possible. Lex and the Simulator, to set up his ability to pilot the thing. Broadway bringing up the obvious question as to why winged gargs would need a chopper, so that the audience didn't think we were ignoring those points. Etc. And in the end, it still plays artificial. But fortunately it's in an episode that is othewise filled with tremendous emotional honesty. So maybe it all balances out.

Of course, the irony was that Kenner never made a gargoyle helicopter. Without telling us, they switched to a sky sled sorta thing, because they couldn't figure out how to do a helicopter that successfully interacted with the garg-toys' wings. No good deed goes unpunished.

Broadway: "If cops were meant to fly they'd have wings." I love that line.

Derek - This was part of our plan to turn Derek into Catscan. Of course, the Catscan name was eventually dropped for Talon. The original plan for Catscan had him being a scientist that worked for and was duped by Xanatos. Picture us trying to combine Derek and Anton. (I know it's a mind-bender. It was more like Derek's personality and Anton's expertise.) But the Garg Universe told me otherwise once we created Derek for "Deadly Force". He'd be the cursed one. And this was just step one. Step only, if we never got a second season. So we left it open ended. And I think it's a pretty stunning bittersweat ending. The snow starts to fall (all very symbolic) and we don't know if Derek will listen to Elisa's tape of Fox or not. And we leave Elisa, standing, wondering, thinking, as the snow falls. It's not your typical Saturday morning cartoon conclusion -- not even for a drama. What did you all think at the end of that after your first viewing?

The snow became a very important visual metaphor for me. I exchanged a few faxes with Japan to make sure (that contrary to the script) there was NO SNOW on the ground at Xanadu, no snow at all, until it starts falling during Elisa's last conversation with Derek.

CONTINUITY:

Sure, Jackal and Hyena were at large, but we establish here that Wolf and Fox are in prison. Anyone looking back at "Thrill" would know that this makes sense. Lex and Goliath take Dingo, J & H out on the roof. No human witnesses to their evil. And they didn't do anything against anyone but the gargs. But Wolf and Fox were photographed taking human (well, fashion model) hostages. So they go to prison. Dingo goes to Europe. J&H are still around to do mischief. But meanwhile, most normal humans still regard them as celebrities, until Hyena pulls a knife. (We had planned once-upon-a-time to make knives a bigger element/part of their arsenal. But it was a bit problematic S&P-wise, and it became moot after "Upgrade".)

Broadway, ever Elisa's biggest fan, thinks Derek should just trust her.

Brooklyn, still scarred from trusting Demona, points out that trust doesn't mean much without honesty.

Lex, still pissed at the Pack, just wants to catch them.

And it's nice to see Morgan and Matt again. If you like guys in towels.

Xanatos, as usual, is so cool.

"Never a gargoyle around when you need one."

"Detective. Always a pleasure."

"My life is anything but dull."

And that's just his dialogue. His plan is audacious. He has Owen call the Police, counts on Elisa and the gargs to rescue him from Jackal & Hyena. (We loved playing that irony.) And instructs Fox to tell Elisa everything. He's so confident, he even has no qualms about leaving Elisa and Derek alone to talk at the end.

And you gotta love a guy named Xanatos naming his retreat Xanadu.

I love the Hannibal Lechter inspired scene between Elisa & Fox. This of course was the moment when we all figured out what the garg universe already knew: "My god, Fox is in love with Xanatos." I hadn't known that back when Fox was created in the development days of yore. Hadn't known it when we did "Thrill". Hadn't known it until we were way into script on this. But there it was. And nothing would ever be the same. (Did you guys realize it there? And how far did you think we'd take it?)

Suddenly, the events of "Leader of the Pack", "Eye of the Beholder" and "Vows" seemed to spread out before me. And Alexander became a glimmer in my eye (if not Xanatos').

Elisa acts true to form here. What we'd spell out later in "Revelations" is already implied here. Elisa is extremely (if subconsciously) reluctant to share her gargoyles secret with anyone. Three times Goliath tells her to share her secret with her brother. Three times she finds an excuse not to. (Frank Paur found this repetitive. He tried to take one of the scenes and make it play more subjective. Like Elisa imagining a conversation with Goliath, while the actual Goliath was sleeping in stone. It was a sweet idea, but it didn't make any logical sense in terms of story flow and forced us to make storyboard changes and call retakes in order to get the version we've all seen.)

We loved playing irony. Elisa and Peter are right about Xanatos, but dead wrong about the way they're trying to control Derek's life. Diane and Derek are absolutely right about Derek needing to control his own destiny, but make the tragic choice of trusting that destiny to Xanatos. Those two scenes are terrific. (Helped immensely by vocal performances. And I also love Nichelle Nichols as the diamond exchange saleslady.)

Derek thinks Elisa thinks Xanatos is the "Prince of Darkness". "He practically is!" she responds. <SIGH> Tricksters are always being confused with Satan.

But that was more irony. It's not the demonic-looking gargoyles who are being compared to Satan. It's the handsome, rich Bruce Wayne-esque playboy. I guess the goatee helps.

My daughter's reactions:

As you may have gathered, it's become fascinating to me to see how Erin is reacting differently seeing all these episodes for the second time at age 5 1/2.

She was stunned at the end of Act One and following when Derek told Elisa that he was accepting Xanatos' offer. "That's not supposed to happen," she kept saying.

And all the trio stuff made her laugh. She especially liked Goliath's admonitions to the Trio: "Try to get along."

Brooklyn sure knows his pop-culture: Star Wars and Star Trek references within a few minutes of each other.

It was important to us to show that even guys as close as the Trio could get tired of each other. Sure they're all Rookery brothers and best friends. But if they had stayed at Wyvern (i.e. if there had been no massacre) they wouldn't have had to spend ALL their time together. At the very least, females would have provided a distraction. But here in the 20th century they're all they've got. So of course, there'd be good days and bad days. Like any siblings.

And of course, the sibling theme was central to the episode, including the Jackal & Hyena's relationship. The irony there being that they were getting along better than the Trio or the Mazas.

I loved Goliath's outrage at the lack of appreciation that the Mazas and Trio have for their siblings. It's very moving to me. (And helps us set up Coldstone for next episode.)

When Lex comments that if Broadway had his way, the garg-copter would be covered with food, I knew that we were pushing Broadway's eating habits into the dull one-joke tired category. I hate that line. And we tried to back off the eating jokes after that.

Anyone notice our tribute to Launchpad McQuack when Lex says "Any landing you can walk away from..."

Some gorgeous animation in this one. I loved what they did with the lighting when Lex gets Jackal and Hyena in the chopper's spot.

S&P

--The trio toss Jackal & Hyena out of their chopper. It's o.k. They're wearing parachutes. But did the Trio know that? Maybe with Jackal, since Hyena's chute had already opened. But was Hyena tossed to her presumptive death.

Yes. After all they're still thinking (first season) like tenth century warriors, not like twentieth century super-heros.

--One of the advantages to Syndication over Network is a more liberal S&P. We could show Broadway's fist heading into camera. We couldn't actually show him punching Jackal in the head, but we could show Jackal's POV of that fist heading toward him. A couple frames of black, and then we cut wide to Jackal on the ground, and we know what happened. But on Network, in "The Journey" or, say, "Max Steel", we are NEVER allowed to even imply a head blow. And we can't show a fist or gun or whatever pointed directly at camera (i.e. at the audience). Too disturbing, I'm told.

And finally, at the end, when Elisa arrests Hyena, I've got to ask, what do you think Hyena's smiling about?

Maybe that's the next contest...

Hmmm....


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Chapter VIII: "Deadly Force"

Another ramble as I review the entire series. Comments welcome.

"Deadly Force". I have to admit. I never liked the title. It always sounded too generic to me. Michael Reaves pointed out how appropriate it was, but "Temptation" had already given me a taste for one word titles. I came to prefer those, unless I was given a damn good reason not to.

The third episode of our trio tryptich. Broadway. Broadway and Goliath. Broadway, Elisa and Goliath. But this episode represents so much more.

If you were watching the series in '94 during it's original run, and you didn't already think, "Hey, this is different." Then by the end of Act One of "Deadly Force" you knew. I don't know if there's ever been a cartoon like "Deadly Force". A mainstream media production. We had had up to that point a few fairly shocking cliffhangers, a few fairly shocking events, but what equals Broadway pulling that trigger, the suddenly "empty" kitchen and Elisa lying in a pool of her own blood as we fade to black and cut to a commercial?

Where do I start? With pride, I guess. I am extremely proud of this one.

Guns. My personal stance on gun control isn't an issue. Not in this episode. This is about something that I think every even vaguely intelligent person can agree on. Guns aren't toys. Guns aren't "cool", no matter how they're depicted in the media. Guns demand respect. Elisa is at fault. Broadway's massively at fault. Because neither held enough respect for the weapon. (Now one might argue that Elisa lived -- nominally -- alone. It didn't occur to her that she needed to be more careful with her weapon. But it should have. She's a cop. She should know better.) As I write this, as I watched the episode tonight, my head is of course filled with thoughts of the six year old boy who yesterday took his uncle's gun to school and shot a six year old girl, killing her. And I don't want to sound arrogant. But I am angry. And I feel like this episode could really help people. That parents should HAVE to watch this with their kids. Required viewing. And the fact that Toon Disney won't even air it...! I'm furious. Simply furious.

Guns are the least of it. We wanted to send a message about repercussions. Real world repercussions. I wanted our series to be ABOUT repercussions. Demona and the Captain betray Wyvern. There are repercussions. You can't fix things. You can't go back and change it. That's why time travel in the Gargoyles' Universe has such STRICT laws. Without those laws, you remove the dramatic law of repercussions. The real world law that actions have repercussions. This episode was our ode to repercussions. The guns were just our means to an end.

Still, guns would be our medium and the episode is laced with them. With gun imagery. With gun language (e.g. Chavez referring to Dracon's alibi: "He's bulletproof.", etc.). I don't think the episode is too pedantic. I hope it's honest. Probably the most dishonest thing in the story was that Elisa DIDN'T die. Forgive me for that. But I couldn't let her go just then. Still, I think we gave our audience a bigger scare in this one then in most of the other episodes combined. Maybe she would die. There's a sense of scary (again real world) vulnerability in this. And we tried to make her injuries and suffering as realistic as possible. We weren't doing E.R. (or St. Elsewhere, since E.R. didn't exist back then), but we did try to make the medical stuff play true.

All this makes me proud. Proud of what's on the screen.

But there's a whole other side to the making of this show that makes me proud. For what isn't visible on screen. For teamwork. This is a story that seemed to need to be told. Most of the springboards for the 66 chapters came from me, but this one was waiting for us. My bosses Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston were behind the story from the start. Michael Reaves wrote an amazing script, and my God the thing is beautifully made. No one balked. Not our S&P executive. Not our bosses. No one. Think about how amazing that is? We had one of our young heroes pick up a very REAL gun and shoot our female lead in her own kitchen. That's pretty intense.

And fairly rewarding. Even our publicity department saw the value in this one. They got advance copies and sent them out. We had (always had) phenomenally good reviews. But this episode brought us praise from the kind of parents groups that most action cartoon shows usually fear. People got it. They got it. Dr. Madeline Levine wrote a book called "Viewing Violence". It's a fairly sobering study of the effect of modern media on impressionable minds. Disabused me of a few notions, I'll tell you. But she praises GARGOYLES, specifically this episode, in her book. People got it. But not TOON DISNEY people, I guess. They show a huge lack of respect for everyone who worked on that show. Everyone who did or might benefit from it.

(Re: The pool of blood. When it first came back from Japan, the pool of blood was much larger. We pulled it back by calling a retake. This wasn't cowardice on anyone's part. This was us trying to get our message across. We didn't want kids goofing on the pool of blood. Interested in the pool for the pool's sake, so to speak. We wanted enough blood there to make it real. To scare everyone. But we didn't want the pool to be distracting. And also we didn't want to imply that Elisa had already bled out.)

CHARACTERS

Broadway - First and foremost, this was still designed to showcase Broadway. All our nobler aspirations wouldn't matter if you walked out of this episode still thinking of the big guy as an eating machine and nothing else. So let's start by praising Bill Faggerbakke and voice director Jamie Thomason. Bill's performance is wonderfully poignant without falling into bathos.

And man, who is the scariest gargoyle when angered? Goliath? Demona? How about a vote for old Broadway? Guilt and anger tear him apart, and no one's safe. He PALMS Glasses for God's sake. He's young but maturing fast. I only had vague notions of Angela at this time. And I sure didn't know they were destined for each other. But I can see it here. The child who's done something so bad he's afraid to go home, ultimately taking responsibility for actions too horrible for most of us to face. Amazing strength of character.

Elisa - A secondary purpose (tertiary?) was to demonstrate that Elisa was a real human being, with real connections. A real life. She has a boss (introducing Maria Chavez), an apartment (introducing the loft), a cat (introducing Cagney). And she wasn't born a twenty-something police detective. She has a family. A father (introducing Sgt. Peter Maza), a mother (introducing Diane Maza), a brother (introducing Derek Maza) and a sister who's away at college (we even get a photo peak at Beth Maza). This wasn't some cypher who existed only to facilitate things for the Gargoyles. This was a woman whose life extended beyond their reach. A woman who now lived in TWO worlds. With two sets of hospital visitors.

Elisa's ethnic/racial make-up parallels actress Salli Richardson's, who has both African American and Native American ancestry. This is where serendipidy played a roll. We'd later get stories out of her multi-racial background. And it paralleled the inter-species romance we were preparing to build slowly. Sometimes, everything just goes your way.

Goliath - He says he'll find the man who shot Elisa and "Make him Pay". We didn't have to say "kill" there. Again, because this early in the series, we could all easily believe that Goliath could kill. And in fact, when Broadway tells Goliath that he "can't" kill Dracon, Goliath's response is: "You think not?" All the gargoyles had an edge of danger. We may have lost some of that along the way. It's natural. You get to know characters, you stop feeling tense around them. But here, both Goliath and Broadway go a little berserk. And we don't know how they'll act.

And Goliath already loves Elisa. It's so clear to me. The way he touches her hair. The way he reacts to her being shot. He loves her. He doesn't know it yet. But it is SO there. That moment when Goliath tells Broadway that they should go see Elisa, and Broadway is thrilled because he thinks that means that Elisa survived. And then Goliath stops. Because he realizes he isn't sure if Elisa is still alive. It slays me.

And meanwhile, Goliath is adapting fairly fast to the modern world. He clearly got his head around the idea that Xanatos was put away for possessing "stolen property", so he leaves the busted gun in Dracon's lap to make sure Dracon goes away too. He says as much. Not bad for a medieval gargoyle.

And this whole episode is a character-fest. Besides the above mentioned Family Maza, etc. We bring back Bruno, head of Xanatos' security. This was intentional. Establishing that the commandos from episode 2 were just Xanatos' security team being given an unusual assignment.

There's Dracon (pre-stripe) with Glasses and even Pal Joey. Rocky Caroll really brought Glasses to life. I like him. And Dracon, well, I just love his old-fashioned "noive". Calling Elisa "Honey" and "Sugar". Sending Glasses off to sell guns right in front of her. He's pretty fun in this episode.

Owen is incredibly cool. You can really see the Mr. Smithers influence in this one. Times ten. He fights, he negotiates. He manipulates. He's a phenomenal proxy for Xanatos. A true trickster with a low burning flame.

We also introduced Doctor Sato. I always planned on using him more. We just never found the story. Too bad. I liked him a lot.

And we cameo Matt. Originally, Chavez's driver was going to be Morgan. But we had already started work on "The Edge". We knew Matt was coming. So we decided to preview him here. Just a nice little touch for anyone paying attention.

MISCELLANEOUS STUFF

I'd love to know a little bit more about the movie "Showdown", a black and white western that was premiering in 1994. A score by Ennio Morricone (channeled through Carl Johnson -- a guy who doesn't get enough praise for the stunning work he did on the show). And the movie seemed to be a hit. Go figure.

And what about that movie theater. The balcony is closed. But they're storing bags of pre-popped popcorn. How old was that stuff?

Finally, Owen is very specific about the 37 missing weapons. Early on, I tried to keep count. To allow Broadway to eventually account for every one of those guns. But that was one detail that got away from me.


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Mara Cordova writes...

I noticed recently that there are several recurring names in the series. For instance, Peter Maza and Petros Xanatos have similar first names (both mean "rock", right?). Also, Thailog's chosen first name during "Sanctuary" was Alexander, the same name the Xanatos' named their baby. If you want to go a little on a limb, their's even a name connection between Alex, the baby, and Lexington, or Lex, the gargoyle. Is all this coincedental, planned, or a fluke?
And if it was planned, what were the reasons for it?

Greg responds...

The Peter/Petros thing was something that I planned that wound up being a fluke. Petros was my original name for Petros, but somehow in the script for "VOWS" the writer chose another name. (My memory on this is very vague.) At the recording session, someone had an objection to the new name. (It wasn't me.) But since there was a desire to switch, I piped up with Petros again.

The Alexanders was semi-planned. That is when it came time for Thailog to choose a name, I couldn't think of anything else he would choose besides Alexander. Same for Fox & David. Nothing else worked. (Nothing I could think of anyway.) Obviously, I was aware that both Thailog and the Xanatos' were choosing the same name. But I liked that. Made perfect sense to me, since Xanatos programmed Thailog.

As for the Lex/Alex thing, well that is more of a fluke. Not that I was unaware of it. But it just worked out that way.

Response recorded on February 25, 2000

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Sapphire writes...

I was wondering will Talon ever one day become human again

Greg responds...

Not in my lifetime.

Response recorded on February 20, 2000

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sdoh writes...

hello,

i`am a big fan of gargoyles and star trek. so my question is how many star trek actors played on gargoyles? can you tell me the actors names and the roles they played please? ty for you time

Greg responds...

I know this is in the archives... <sigh>

I won't pretend this is a complete list, but off the top of my head...

Classic Star Trek
Nichelle Nichols - Diane Maza

Next Generation
Jonathan Frakes - David Xanatos, Coyote (robot)
Marina Sirtis - Demona/Dominque Destine, Margot Yale
Brent Spiner - Puck
Michael Dorn - Coldstone, Taurus
LeVar Burton - Anansi

Deep Space Nine
Avery Brooks - Nokkar
Colm Meeney - Rory's father

Voyager
Kate Mulgrew - Anastasia/Titania

Plus there are all sorts of actors who had guest rolls on the various Trek series, for example both Morgan Shepard (Odin, King Kenneth, etc.) and Salli Richardson (Elisa/Delilah) have guested on Trek. I don't know and couldn't possibly list them all.

But this is a start, right?

Response recorded on February 17, 2000

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Blaise writes...

Hey there, Greg! Love your responses about Maggie's past (though by the time you get to this question, they'll have been answered a LOOONG time ago). I must say, I've always been interested in the Mutates, Talon and Maggie in particular. I have to say, I was quite shocked when you mentioned Maggie's parents. I mean, of course she had parents, that goes without saying. It's just the way you mentioned how they *MIGHT* have played a role in her life that got me. However, this does lead to a question of character--one that I'd been wondering about for a while:

Maggie went to New York pursuing a dream which got shattered. She was homeless and then turned into a Mutate. On top of that, the man whom she, Derek and the rest believed was trying to cure them, turned out to have little intention of doing so (if any). Now she lives outside of the main stream of humanity in the Labyrinth. Yet, she managed to meet and fall in love with Derek/Talon. My question is, would she consider Derek worth it all?

It's an odd question. Anyway take care, and I got a few more Q's on the way!

Greg responds...

If she's still thinking that way, she must be very unhappy.

And knowing Maggie, the odds are that occasionally, she does think of it in terms of trade-offs and or punishments or rewards.

But I like to think that she's matured some since then. I like to think that she's gained some self-acceptance and that she doesn't regard Derek/Talon as a trade-off but rather as a blessing in her new life. I'm sure that's how Derek feels about her.

Response recorded on February 09, 2000


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