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This is hard.
It's been a bit of a stressful weekend, as my father went into the hospital with chest pains. A stint that had been replaced last year had failed and was replaced again Saturday morning during an angioplasty. I've been concerned, worried. But the procedure seemed to go well, and he was set to go home today. We seemed to have dodged a bullet.
But there was a second gun.
I slept in today. I woke up to two pieces of news:
1. My dad was good. Solid. My sister picked him up at the hospital and took him straight to breakfast. (My mother was annoyed at not being included - but that's a whole other story.) He's home now. I've talked to him. He sounded cheerful. All good.
2. Ed Asner had passed away.
I spent most of the day doing laundry and other mundane tasks. Life goes on, right? It has to. But it's been difficult getting my head around the whole thing. I've gotten many calls and texts today, offering condolences as if I were part of the Asner family. Folks seem to know how close I felt to Ed. But I don't want to exaggerate. Ed was my friend. I hope he knew I was his, as well. But I haven't talked to him in at least a couple of years. (You can partially blame that on the pandemic, I suppose. There are a lot of people I've lost touch with. If anything, this is a reminder to GET in touch. And I'm going to make an effort to do that.) In any case, there are many, many people who knew Ed better than I did, who were closer to Ed than I was.
Nevertheless, at the risk of turning this post into my own self-aggrandizement, I am going to spend a few paragraphs here on the subject of the Ed Asner that I knew and loved.
I was a fan of Ed's long before I met him. Like many, many people, he first entered my awareness playing Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Later, I got a kick out of picking him out of reruns, where he usually played the heavy in such series as The Wild Wild West and others.) But as Lou, Ed was simply brilliant. One of the truly classic scenes in all of television is the scene in the TMTMS pilot, where Lou interviews Mary for a job. Do yourself a favor and view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj286uBKCu0
That scene had a major effect on me, even seeing it as a kid.
Now, having just rewatched it, the genius of the writing and the two performances still knocks me out. But there was something else about Lou and Mary. Watching their interactions was a bit like watching my parents. The connection in my mind between Lou and my dad was especially strong.
Ed and my father were two Ashkenazi Jews from the midwest. My dad was from Chicago; Ed, from Kansas City. They were gruff AND loving. They even had mannerisms in common. There was much more, I'm sure, that they DIDN'T have in common. But something connected the two men in my mind. And, meanwhile, my admiration for Asner as a performer knew no bounds. When I saw him in the Lou Grant series, in Rich Man, Poor Man, in Roots, that admiration only increased. When I learned of his activism - and the price he paid for it - that admiration shot through the roof.
Years later, when we had begun pre-production on GARGOYLES, I thought of Ed Asner - or of Lou Grant, at least - as the inspiration for Hudson. In fact, when we held auditions for the role, I wrote at the bottom of the character description that "Hudson hates spunk." This was, of course, a variation on Lou's classic line from the above job interview scene. Now, to be clear, I never imagined we'd get Ed to play the role. I figured he was way too big a star for us to land. But low and behold, a few days later, Ed came in to audition for the part. Later, he told me that when he read the character description, he was initially thrilled. The "Hudson hates spunk" line made him feel like he was a lock to land the role. Then a couple minutes later, he thought that if he didn't land the role it would really be awful. But of course, he immediately understood the character and nailed his audition... only for Jamie Thomason and I to throw him a curveball, asking him to do it again in a Scottish accent. He nailed that, too.
Working with Ed was a joy. He was fun and funny and so supportive. In addition to playing Hudson (and Burbank and Jack Danforth/Dane) on Gargoyles, I also cast him as recurring characters on Max Steel (Chuck Marshak), 3x3 Eyes (Grandpa Ayanokoji), W.I.T.C.H. (Napoleon the talking cat), Young Justice (Kent Nelson) and Rain of the Ghosts (Joe Charone). When casting Peter Parker's late Uncle Ben in The Spectacular Spider-Man, Ed was the only person I ever considered. He always brought so much to each and every role.
And more than that he was a great friend to me. After the first season of Max Steel, when I couldn't find a job for over a year and thought I might have to give up on my writing career, Ed was there, offering me support. We had lunch at Musso & Frank's. He looked at pictures of my kids out of my wallet and told me to laminate them. He introduced me to his son, Matt Asner, a producer. He didn't allow me to wallow in self-pity or to badmouth guys who I believed had done me wrong. He just reassured me that I had ability and would find my way through. He was, in essence, my work dad.
So today, as you might imagine, has been complicated. My dad is home and healthy. And Ed is gone. I'm grateful and sorrowful. And struggling. But life goes on. It has to, right?
Finally, I'm going to quote Hudson from Gargoyles. In "The Price," an episode that spotlighted the character, Ed as Hudson told Xanatos: "A friendly word of advice: True immortality isn't about living forever, man. It's about what you do with the time you have. When all your scheming's done, what will be your legacy, Xanatos?"
I think we all know that Ed Asner did amazing things with the time he had. And though we'll miss him dearly, his legacy is clear and shining.
If you had all the time in the world to work on the second seasons of your TV Series such as:
and The Spectacular Spiderman,
What exactly (from the specifics to not-so-specific) would you change/alter them?
Change or alter? Nothing. Even errors and missed opportunities are errors and missed opportunities I can live with.
Wanted to post this separate from my review, for length reasons if nothing else.
The "sources" for several of the references included in RAIN OF THE GHOSTS are fairly obvious. Bernie and Maude, Broadway-Niner-Niner-Four, and Terry Chung all demonstrate that you continue to be as shameless as ever (and damn if we don't love you for it!), and it's probably easier to list what [I]isn't[/I] referenced from "The Tempest."
But I'd just like to quickly confirm if "Mr. and Mrs. John DeLancy" are meant to refer to actor John de Lancie, most famous as Q from "Star Trek" (and more recently, Earth-16's very own Mister Twister).
And if so, was there any particular reason that you gave him a little shout out there? Just mildly curious.
Thanks, and I hope that you enjoyed my review! :)
Honestly, it must have been, right? But I can't remember why. (I wrote the first draft of the book over a decade ago.) Back then, I had worked a bit with John on Max Steel, but it's not like we socialized or anything. Maybe I just liked the name.
While on the topic of CGI, do you prefer this method or the classic hand drawings for animation and why? I know your series have mostly been all drawings (I think) but wanted to see.
I don't have a preference if the series is developed correctly for the medium it's using. I did Roughnecks: the Starship Troopers Chronicles in CGI, and I think it worked great. I did Max Steel (Season One only), and although I'm proud of our scripts, I DON'T think it worked great, because the series as it was developed (by me but under marching orders from multiple very large companies) didn't work in CGI.
It isn't really much of a question, but all in all, I just wanted to say "Thank you". Thank you for all the high quality shows you produced that enriched my childhood and still give me intelligent and gripping entertainment in my favorite media, animated shows, as an adult.
Most off all, I also wanted to express my admiration for your resolve. While privately I may often joke bitterly about the "Weisman curse" whenever one of your shows gets unfairly canceled way too soon despite (arguably) having the best quality in the entire program. You will always have my gratitude for continuing to produce great shows despite all the stones placed in your way.
As for questions:
1. If you had the means to, would you do a Young Justice/Gargoyles Crossover?
2. Sorry to bring up this unfairly missed opportunity gain, but if you had remained on the staff for "The Roswell Conspiracies", do you think that show would at some point crossed over with Gargoyles?
3. In the spirit of question one, do you think Demona would make a good Red Lantern?
In any case, once again, thank you. Thank you for raising the quality and complexity of the already great W.I.T.C.H. cartoon, thank you for producing the best animated Spider-Man series to date, thank you for bringing Starshiptroopers to the screen in the way it should have been in the first place, thank you for doing such a great job with Max Steel, thank you for doing a huge part in keeping animated DC material extremely high quality, especially at the moment, and of course, thank you for Gargoyles, probably my favorite franchise ever, and I am rooting for you to one day get it back and do more wonders with it.
1. I don't think so. Maybe as a radio play. But I don't see the two universes as being particularly compatible.
2. No. Two different companies.
3. See, this kinda thing doesn't interest me much. If you think so, great.
Thanks for all your kind words.
So glad Young Justice is back! Anyway, I just had a few questions this time around:
1. Is there any particular reason you decided to cover much of the backstory for characters like Kid Flash, Miss Martian, and Robin in Issue #5 of the tie-in comic instead of the show itself? It's an interesting decision, to say the least.
2. How closely did you work with the writer of the first six issues of the book?
3. How many retakes do you generally have to do? MOI's animation for the show has been incredible so far, so I wondered if there were hiccups like you had in, say, Gargoyles.
4. Did BS&P really not catch that quick panty shot of Chesire? I was rather amazed you guys got away with it.
5. Mark Rolston is an intriguing choice for Lex, having only done a little previous VO work, and none with you guys. How did you, Brandon and Jamie come to cast him in the role?
Anyway, can't wait to see where the show goes next!
1. We only have so much airtime. There is a lot of backstory and STORY that we'd love to cover that we just don't have the room for on air. Even WITH the comic, there's still a ton we don't have room for. But the comic does provide us with a second bite at the apple, so to speak. Everything you NEED to enjoy the series is in the series. Everything you NEED to enjoy the comic is in the comic. But I believe you get more out of both by enjoying both.
2. Very closely on the basic story concepts, which were all ideas that Brandon, Kevin and I came up with. Then we tried to give Art and Franco as much freedom as possible on the scripting... though I did kibbitz a bit here and there. Particularly on issues #5 and #6 to get the backstories feeling the way we wanted them to.
3. There are always retakes but MOI and LOTTO have both been great partners.
4. I didn't catch it. Only the fans caught it.
5. Actually, I worked with Mark on Max Steel and remembered him being great in that - and in many live-action things I've seen him in. In addition, Mark is the father of one of my daughter's friends. We've socialized occasionally, so he was in my head. I think his Lex is fantastic. Mark/Lex just owned every scene of episode 110 he was in, I thought. "Adorable."
Who provided the voices of Dr. Elena Yevshenko and Mari Keita in Max Steel?
The very talented Jean Gilpin provided the following voices on shows I've worked on...
--Elena Yevshenko (Max Steel)
--Inger (Team Atlantis)
--Mari Keita (Max Steell)
--Mrs. Wong/Xunquai (3x3 Eyes)
I was curious have you ever wanted to start the show Max Steel back up i know you only did the first season but have you ever like suggested to mattel to start the show back up?
No. I'm proud of the stories we told on the first season of Max. But the whole thing was something of a negative experience for me. And it's hard enough trying to keep the faith on Gargoyles, which I created.
Hey Greg me again checking your site after a long while, you must think I don't ave a life lol. But I've been doing research and it seems they made more Max Steel episodes it other country here check this site:http://www.maxsteel.com/default.aspx?lang=en
Most episodes are in spanish unfortunately but what a change from your version. I've urd they made a DVD but I can't find it. Also if you want to see Max Steel video's go to www.youtube.com and type max steel.
Anyways sorry for buggin you but I had to tell somoene.
Kassey Demers big fan
Thanks for the info, but I'm not that interested in seeing what others did to/with Max after I was... shall we say, let go. Kinda the way I feel about Goliath Chronicles.
Do you think female dread minions are hot
Is this a Max Steel question, cuz if not, I don't know what you're talking about.
Okay, last time I'm going to bug you about this, I promise.
I actually didn't expect an answer for anything I asked earlier, so you haven't disappointed me in any regard. I understand about not remembering anything about Max Steel due to Gargoyles taking up most of your time, so all I can do is say thank you for your time reading and answering my questions, and I wish you great success in the future with Gargoyles :)
Thanks. It hasn't JUST been Gargoyles. I've worked on a LOT of shows since Max.
Hey me again, I was woundering if anyone knows if Max Steel will ever come on TV again???
Someone might. Not me though.
Wow! Max Steel ruined your career for several years!! How?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNK5Fli0JAE it says so on youtube but the camera guy keeps laughing and I can't hear you!
Man, I've got to remember that anything I say these days can wind up on You Tube.
And, yeah, it did. I believe, and I have had many more objective people than I confirm it, that I was both scapegoated and blackballed for the perceived failures of that series, the main irony being that the show was a minor hit -- not a failure at all.
Follow-up to my earlier question:
In earlier questions/answers you've alluded to such things as Dread being akin to Xanatos and you having ideas for him that never bore fruit; Mairot being a triple-agent (giving information from Smith to Dread and then back to Smith again) and the 'mole' being N-Tek's own technology and computers; that Laura would find out in some way or another about Josh's dual identity; that there was a reason behind the first series episode titles beginning with 's' which was never fulfilled (but would have been in a later series); we would have met Berto's family; that there were three prior missions to the one we saw in "Strangers".
Basically, anything you can tell me about the above situations, if you can :)
I'm so sorry, but I just can't remember. It's been too long, and I don't even have any of the Max materials here at Sony to refresh my memory. Everything you wrote above, is true, but I would not have been able to call most of it to mind, if you hadn't reiterated it. It's been too long. I'm sure you're sitting there thinking, "But Gargoyles was even longer ago!" and that's true, but I've been working on Gargoyles and talking about it here and at the Gathering non-stop with fans ever since, so it's never left my mind. I'm afraid Max never generated the same kind of interest. Plus there was the very bitter way I was let go, which put a bad taste in my mouth.
Me once again, comment, not a question. I was just on iTunes when I noticed the latest episode of Kim Possible was up. Now I don't have cable, so iTunes is how I watch most cable shows, I purchased the episode (haven't watched it as it is still downloading) and then went to TV.com and discovered that you were the one who wrote it, making me really excited to watch it! The Episode was entitled Big Bother, and I guess I'm just looking for comments from the writer, seeing as how by the time you get to this post I'll have watched it.
I'm not sure what to comment on. I had a really fun time writing it. I'd written one Kim before, and thought I hadn't done a very good job (though the final product turned out great -- just through efforts not my own). But I felt very good about this script, and the proof in the pudding is that most of what I wrote made it on screen. There's a Gargoyle in-joke in there too... although it got trimmed a bit. Same with a reference from a "Mummy" I once wrote and a Max Steel.
Hi! In regards to Max Steel (which I love dearly), I've always wondered: where did Jefferson Smith's name come from? Is that an homage to 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington', an amazing coincidence, or something else altogether? Thanks!
I honestly don't recall. I was given many, many of the names when I joined the project. I just don't remember if that was one they handed me or one I came up with. (I'm guessing the former, as I'm rarely shy about taking credit ;)
Hey, I'm not sure, but do you still take Max Steel questions? I've got a couple I've been sitting on:
1) For all intents and purposes, the Max Steel series is canceled in the USA (there's a large fan base in Latin America, with three movies produced so far). As such, do you feel able to discuss your plans and ideas for the show, or not? If so, would you be willing to share?
2) You've references a Max Steel "Bible" in a few earlier questions: do you still have it and would you be able to share any information in it if you still do?
Thanks for reading, even if you don't reply!
1. Well, it's not that I'm unwilling, but you're talking about a series that I did 13 episodes for back in 1999. So my memory isn't crisp on the subject. Anything specific you were curious about?
2. I might still have it at my other office. I don't have it here at Sony. Sorry.
Oh my god! Thank you very much for answering my questions for Max steel I was 12 years old when I wrote that I went on your site again after a long while and now I'm 15 years old I'm still a fan no matter what. I do honestly miss the show.
Thanks you made my day.
One last question: Is there any dvd or something that cuntains every Max steel episode?
Kassey still our biggest fan Chapleau, Ontario Canada.
Hi Kassey. I'm afraid I'm not aware of any Max DVDs. If there were one of the first season, I'd love to have it too.
My name is Zackary Nellom.I dont really have a question abut GARGOYLES,but about Max Steel. I looked everywhere and I couldnt find any kind of tapes or movies. Since you ARE the creator, I thought you might know where I can find some.Please help me
I wish I did. But I don't. Sorry.
R.I.P. Edward Albert.
Edward did a voice for us on a couple of episodes on Max Steel. I won't pretend I knew him well, but he was a good and talented guy on those two occasions. The son of Green Acres Eddie Albert, Edward was a talented actor and activist. He'll be missed.
Got a question about Max Steel for you.
I know you don't want to hear summaries of episodes that you didn't do, but I have a question that you might be able to answer. In many of the episodes in Seasons 2 and 3, a major theme is that Josh uses less T-juice than Max because Josh doesn't have the superhuman powers (just extra sharp hearing and eyesight). However, I remember that in episode 4 (Sportsmen), Josh quit the Del Oro Extreme because he couldn't shut off his Max powers -- it was unfair and not a challenge. So, am I confused, or did the writers for seasons 2 and 3 make a mistake?
Oh, and I know you probably wouldn't want them, but in case anyone's interested, Max Steel Season 1 is on DVD. People in the U.K. can get them from http://www.streetsonline.co.uk/ . People in the U.S. and other countries will have to get them off eBay.
Thanks for your time.
I would want Max Steel Season 1 on DVD. Very much actually. I had no idea it was available. I'll try to find it. So thanks for the heads up.
As to your question, well... I'm going to have to say that there was a screw-up. Josh and Max weren't two different guys. Josh used his powers to change his appearance to look like Max, so that he wouldn't be recognized. But he had all his powers at all times. At least that's how we wrote it during Season One. Of course, I was fired after Season One, and who knows? Maybe that was why.
Can you get me info on Maxsteel?
Can you be more specific?
I really like you're style of writing for the show of Max Steel did you ever meet Christian Campbell? Does the letter 'S' stand for something? Because I think that it's cool the way you put those titles together so "those are my two questions"
you're biggest Max Steel fan Kassey Demers Chapleau Ont,Can
Don't know if you're still reading ASK GREG, but yes, I knew Christian quite well, though I haven't seen him in a couple years.
S stands for Steel.
hi greg. My name is Michelle. My son who is 2 years old and is obsessed with Max Steel. I have been looking all over for videos for him. I have had no luck in finding any. If you can help me in any way, I would appreciate it. I am willing to pay anything for them. thank-you
Please e-mail me at email@example.com.
As far as I know, videos for Max Steel are not available. Sorry.
I was watching Max Steel with my 2 year old son and was curious what software was used in the making. What about Lip Synch software.
I have no idea. Sorry.
I have a Max Steel Question that hopefully will be more fuin than painful. I didn't get to see the show that often, but from reading this site, I've learned that in your version, Josh's parents were named Molly and "Big Jim". My toy collector boyfriend tells me that there is a British action figure line called "Big Jim" which is quite similar to the American G.I. Joe line and thus in the same scale as the Max Steel figures. Apparently, some people in the online action figure collecting community have been wondering if there's a connection. So...
1) Is the name of Josh's dad an intentional homage to the Big Jim line? (if it is, please skip 3. If no, ignore number 2.)
2) If so, was it a suggestion from Mattel or something you came up with on your own?
3) If not, where does the name "Big Jim" come from? (And isn't it kind of an interesting coincidence?)
1. When I was a kid, I had Big Jim (here in the U.S.). Also Big Jack, Big Josh and Big Someone Else. I was told by Mattel that when they were developing the Max Steel line, it came out of a desire to revamp their old Big Jim line. Given that, I thought it made sense to name Josh/Max's dad Big Jim. They were fine with it. And Big Jim did make one flashback appearance in the first season.
So it wasn't a coincidence and it was kind of a mutual thing.
Looking for a website that will give me a list of all the title names of the action figures of "maxsteel".We have about 8 of them.Example:"wave flier","samurri warrior",etc. Trying to collect for my son.Any help?Thanks
Sorry, aside from the time displacement that's unfortunately typical of ASK GREG, I didn't even know the answer to this back in 2002.
I loved your episode of Video wars for the jem series, I was wondering how you and cary bates came up with the storyline, and why you only seem to have written 1 episode for the show? You and Cary also seem to have done a lot together. Will you two be working on future shows? and personally, I think you both rock! :-) Stnp@yahoo.com
Thanks. Cary & I were writing partners for years, mostly at DC Comics. Nowadays, we still like working together, so I made him a story editor on Gargoyles. And I've had him write scripts for me on that show, plus Starship Troopers & Max Steel.
Basically, if I ever get another show, we'll wind up working together again, most likely.
I'm glad you liked the Jem episode. We only did one, because we were only offered one. I'd have been happy to do more. I'm not too clear (as it's been over 15 years) how we came up with that particular storyline, but I think it was suggested by the bible. Not the premise per se, but it felt like a natural.
I know that it's impossible, but in your opinion, what would happen if there was a cross-over between your two creations Gargoyles and Max Steel? How would the characters react towards each other?
For starters, credit going where it is due, Max wasn't my creation. I developed the show, but did not create it.
After that, I guess they'd fit together all right. Max is assigned to investigate Gargoyle sightings or something. He's got nano-tech powers. It could be fun.
But it doesn't particularly jazz me.
What happened to Max Steel? My sons miss him terribly.
I don't have an answer for you. I only worked on the first season (the first 13 episodes). They did two more seasons after I left. I thought it was still airing in reruns on cable somewhere, but I'm not sure.
So, Greg , what type of series are you currently working on your own besides Gargoyles and Redemption Squad, a.k.a. BAD GUYS, Max Steel, Timedancer and all of those other Gargoyles Spin-offs?
For starters, of course, Max Steel is not a Gargoyle Spin-Off. It was a show on Kids WB, produced by Sony and based on a toy from Mattel. I developed it and worked on the first season in 1999. Since then, I've had no involvement.
I have never stopped trying to bring back Gargoyles or one of its Spin-Offs in some way, shape or form, but in the meantime I still have to earn a living.
I've worked on a number of shows as a freelancer since Max. A non-comprehensive list would include: 3x3 Eyes (English dub), Atlantis: Milo's Return (direct-to-DVD/Video), The Mummy, Kim Possible, Bionicle: Mask Of Light, etc.
I've also been working more recently for a number of companies in development, including Platinum Studios, Warner Brothers, DAG and Hasbro. (All in addition to various spec projects on my own and with partners that I/we hope to sell some day.) I'd love nothing more than to talk about this stuff, but it's both bad luck and bad business to talk about a project before it's sold.
Finally, most recently, I've been writing for a new Warner Brothers animated series for Story Editor/Producer Duane Capizzi (of "Men in Black" and "Jackie Chan" fame). Again, I'd love to talk about it, but I don't know if Warners has announced the series yet, and I definitely do NOT want to be the guy who let the cat out of the bag.
I am a parent of a 7 yr old boy. My son loves Max Steel and all of sudden the show has been cancelled? I cannot seem to find any infomation on why or what. I was wondering if you could bring me up to speed on what happened? I have done numerous searches and cannot find current information on Max Steel. I do really appreciate the response!
Well, Cathy, I somehow doubt you're still checking this site for an answer after 19 months. And even if you are, I can't be of much help. I worked on ONLY the first season of Max Steel. I know they did at least two more seasons, but I had no idea that it was still on the air at all. I last saw it this past spring -- what I assume was a rerun on cable.
Anybody else know Max's status?
You might check with the Mattel toy company, who has a vested interest in maintaining fan interest in the property.
I was wondering what you could tell me about the Max Steel character?
Lots, probably. What do you want to know?
Did you see the second season of Max Steel? Did they respect your ideas? What do you think about Kat, Jo, the two robots dog, the robot cat, the absence of Laura, Berto who goes out of his screen's life, the discovery of Max steel's secret by Pete, the new ennemies... Or did you see nothing and you will never see it?
Personnaly, I found the second season too previsible (we had to see an episode on him (Psyco), on him (the other human robot), on her(Dragonnelle)...Dread went in prison in the first one.It was too fast, he can't stay in prison...and I win again, in the last one, he went out)
A third season is in project?
I noticed too the clothes' mistake in the third episode, before Ricky wrote it on your website.
I have never seen the second season. They didn't ask me my plans, so any resemblance to what I had in mind is purely coincidental and/or a natural result of things I set up in Season One. It's not likely I'll see that stuff. It would probably just make me nuts.
There was a third season, and I (very) recently saw part of one episode of the third season. It seemed like a very different show. Not bad. Just different.
Hi Greg, ever thought about getting Max Steel and Rachel together. Despite you're not with the Max Steel project anymore. Have any thought about what you could've done with the characters?
Well, in the one season (out of three) that I did work on Max Steel, we did (briefly) get Max and Rachel together. In an episode called Sharks, set in a submarine (or two). They succumbed to emotion, the depths and a lot of sexual attraction and kissed. Then they immediately backed off. Max (or rather Josh) was still in love with Laura. Rachel was conflicted, since she's Max's boss.
I'm not sure where we would have gone long term -- since I left the show before season two.
Just last week, I finally saw one of the episodes I didn't work on. (Up to this point, I'd seen none except my thirteen.) It seemed to be from the third season, and had a very different feel in many ways. Max and 'Berto were still there, though 'Berto was now a field agent. Psycho was still the villain, but he seemed to be operating independently. There was a new girl with Max and 'Berto, and no sign of Rachel, Laura or any of the rest of my supporting cast, unless you count the occasional reference to Jeff -- who didn't appear. I watched a couple acts of it, but then my kids lost interest and changed the channel, and I didn't care enough to change rooms and see the end.
DO YOU THINK THAT MAX STEEL WILL EVER BE MADE INTO A FULL-LENGTH FEATURE FILM?
In a word, no.
But who knows? Max Steel is owned (largely if not entirely) by Mattel. Would you count "Barbie in Rapunzel" as a full-length feature? If so, then I suppose it is possible.
Tom Wilson (the voice of Matt Bluestone) is currently recurring on the NBC series Ed, playing a widowered fireman and a potential love-interet for the Molly Hudson character, played by actress Leslie Boone, whom I've also worked with on 3x3 EYES. (Leslie is a very good friend of Thom "Lexington" Adcox.)
I've worked with Tom on most of the series where I had some control over casting, like MAX STEEL and TEAM ATLANTIS. He's one of my absolute favorite performers, and he and Leslie make a very cute couple. He's already been on two episodes. I don't know how long a run he'll get. But I hope he sticks around.
I know the titles from other sites (Max Steel)
Oh. How did they know?
Sorry to hear that the Atlantis project was scrapped, that's terrible news...actually a series like that would've been great to see. Too bad!
Why are all the first episodes of Max Steel titled with "S" names? Was it your idea, any humourous reason?
My idea. No humorous reason.
The reason in my head was always a bit obscure. I was trying to do something that I never quite achieved. Years later, it's even less clear to me now.
But here's a question... since the titles don't appear on the episodes, how do you know them? From this site?
This question actually deals with the credits listing of the series (yeah, I know it seems I have too much time on my hands, but that's beside the point).
Two things about GARGOYLES' credits stood out. The first you already talked about--the writers recieving credit at the beginning of episodes during the first season. The second however I also found to be quite interesting--GARGOYLES actually gave a true cast list. Usually in these Disney shows, when the credits say, "With the Voice Talents of..." they just lump the actors' names together without telling who they played. GARGOYLES was the first Disney animated series I know of (BUZZ LIGHTYEAR did it later) that actually listed both the actors and the characters they played. This enabled me to (when I started taping the episodes and could hit pause) more fully discover just how diverse and talented this cast was. I could recognize names and see if a person played multiple roles, and I was quite pleased.
1) Is there any story behind this, like there was for giving the writers' credit up front?
2) Whatever the case, I'm glad I could know who played who.
I don't know if this would qualify as a story, but I liked how Batman the animated series listed who played who. It seemed to show more respect for the actors (and as I was a fan of Batman) more respect for the fans who might be VCRing the thing and want to know.
So we followed their lead. And I'm glad we did. I tried to talk SONY into doing that for Starship and/or Max Steel, but they weren't interested.
I wonder if you noticed this, in episode 2 of Max Steel, when Rachal and Max were in the dark alley and they encounter 3 dread minnions and Psycho, one scene Max is wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans, he's having fainting spells in this episode remembering how he got his powers, after he regains consciousness he suddenly is wearing his fighting uniform, he didn't power up or anything, then after defeating dread's minnions and Psycho escaping, he's back to wearing the dark shirt and blue jeans again...Can you explain this? Do you know what I'm talking about?
Well, first off, it's episode THREE: Shadows. Not episode TWO: Sacrifices.
Second off, however, I don't recall there being a mistake here. Are you sure he didn't power up off screen.
At any rate, I can't confirm or deny anything. It's just been too long since I've seen the eps.
Thanks for responding to my questions. I've written about four novels, but none of them have been accepted. Maybe it's my style of writting I don't know...but perhaps we can help each other in this matter. Would it be all right if I sent you a story on this web page despite it being against your guidelines...I'd like someone to read it, and since it's about Max Steel I thought you would be the more appropiate person to send it to. Just take a look and if you like it then perhaps we can colabrate on something.
I appreciate the sincerity of the offer. But I'm afraid I'm not interested for a score of reasons. Here are the main ones:
1. Max Steel generally is a painful topic for me. I'm quite less than anxious to see anyone else's version of that character.
2. I don't know you. You may be a great guy. Or you may be law suit happy. Even if you are the former, if I break my rule for you, than someone else who is law suit happy can claim that sometimes I break my rules and that I must have broken it for him or her.
3. I'm sorry, but I'm not looking for a new collaborator. My brother and I are collaborating on a screenplay. But working with him is like working with my second self. Otherwise, generally, I prefer to gut it out on my own.
Having said all that, I wish you all the best with your work. If writing is your passion, then stick with it.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but remember when you said that when Max Steel went off the air, you'd reveal YOUR plans for the show? You might want to start to get your notes together. Even though WB has announced that they've committed to a third season, the fact that Max Steel IS NOT on the WB Fall 2001 schedule, coupled with the fact that they ran the last episode of the second season, "Breakout", BEFORE the May 2001 Sweeps, signifies bad news. If the fat lady isn't singing airas, she's definitely warming up....
The third season will be on Cartoon Network, or so I'm told.
Can you tell us of any particularly amusing/interesting garg reference in either MAX STEEL or 3X3 EYES?
I can't think of any in max.
There are quite a few in 3x3, including the use of a lot of garg voice talent. For example, Keith David plays a cop and uses his Morgan voice. He also plays a much more startling character. It's a hoot.
There's a homeless guy who hums the gargoyle theme song. I did that voice.
Someone says, "What could be strong enough to leave claw marks in solid stone?"
And so on...
Nothing that didn't TOTALLY fit the context. We didn't want to abuse 3x3 for the sake of Gargoyles. But where it fit, it fit.
I can't find info on psycho anywhere! what made him the way he is (I.E. Cyborg)? I really want to know.
Never revealed that in my 13. Ask Mattel.
I know Mas Steel is still a sensitive subject for you. (Trust me, I can hear it from your tone when you answer some of the questions.) I swear this will be the last question from me. Did they pull you off the show because of the direction you're taking with the Max/Josh-Laura-Rachel relationship triangle?
Well, though it was always in the development, they clearly came to feel that they didn't like it. So that was one of the reasons. But not the only one. As we had moved past that triangle by the end of my 13th and final episode.
The new triangle I was planning was a Max-Laura-Josh triangle. Which I was mostly going to play for comedy.
And I don't know whether they would have liked it or not. They booted me without ever discussing what they wanted for the second season. Caught me QUITE off guard.
They've claimed I'm a lousy writer. Maybe I am. Max certainly wasn't my best work. But I blame them and they blame me... Etc. It's all very subjective.
Not fun, huh?
(Can't believe I said all that. No wonder I can't get a job.)
How did Josh McGrath turn into Max Steel exsactly?
He activated the Max-Probes in his body and clothes.
Ricky here again,
Max Steel is an **AWESOME** character! I'm almost finished my Max Steel story. Do I have your permission to post it on the internet, or would you like to read it first since you are the creator? Pointers? firstname.lastname@example.org
A) I wasn't the creator.
B) I don't read fanfiction EVER.
C) I have nothing to do with Max Steel anymore.
D) I can't give you permission to do anything regarding the character.
E) But I'm glad you like him.
Hi Ricky here,
This is not a request for employment, but a plea for a chance to break into the business. I'm a writer and I'd like to write a novel. Can you help me?
P.S. How did you come up with Max Steel. Awesome character. Sorry you're no longer involved.
I'd like to write a novel too. Can YOU help ME?
And I didn't come up with Max. Mattel did. I just developed the character.
I just keep rollin' them out, don't I?
1. From the episode "Scions," who played the voices of Jim and Molly McGrath, and Marco Nathanson?
Thanks for putting up with me, and catch ya later! Luv ya all!
Honestly, I don't remember. They're names would be listed in the credits. If you gave me a list of the actors names, I could tell you who played who.
I was thinking: Im Max Steel and Starship Troopers, you worked with old garg fellows: Michael Reaves, Lygia Marano, Cary Bates... You invited them or was it a case of great professionals hired to work togheter?
On those shows specifically, I invited them. If you find good writers, you try to work with them over and over.
As you may know, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot is currently being re-aired (heh, mostly aired for the first time, 'cause they only showed 6 eps in Fall '99) by Fox. You wrote the second ep, "Out of Whack", with the rather scary subplot of Rusty being afraid he'd get turned to scrap in
"the grinder". You also introduced the Legion Ex Machina, their mole Dr. Gilder/Number Six, and picked a pretty darn cool (and gutsy!) way for Rusty to save the day. Any thoughts on this episode?
Also, are you related to Marlowe Weisman, who also wrote for Big Guy and Rusty?
I know Marlowe, but no, we are not related. I am related to Jon Weisman, my brother, who has also written scripts for Men In Black, Starship Troopers, Max Steel, Hercules and So Weird.
As for "Out of Whack", most of the credit for that episode, and that series, should go to Producer/Story Editor Duane Capizi. The Legion Ex Machina was his idea. And my version of it was very different. Duane rewrote me quite a bit, actually.
But the basic telling of the story is mine. And I thought it was kind of fun. Originally, I was supposed to write a number of Rusty episodes. But then I wound up doing Max Steel instead. Oh, well.
Okay, hi there again...
1. Was Kat a part of your universe?
Catch ya later! Luv ya all!
No. At least not that I can recall. Again, I only did the first 13 episodes. If the character didn't appear in the first 13 than you gotta figure he or she ain't one of mine.
I have a question regarding Max Steel~ Is Berto hispanic? Right? I am seriously confused, I mean, or is he hawaaian? Also, does Katt *like* Berto? I mean, this is disterbing, and yeah. Anyway, buhbai! Everyone out there, dun dis Max. He's my friend. Anyway, see ya'll around! Dragoness rules!
'Berto's from Columbia (in my development).
Who is Katt? (Sounds like something from season two, which I have no involvement in (or interest in).)
And do you mean Dragonelle?
One "Max Steel" question that I've been meaning to ask you for some time, over a matter that genuinely puzzled me. The story of how he became Max Steel was done, not in the very first episode of the series, but in the third one (at least, the third one from the point of view of intended order of release), via a flashback. And that always surprised me a little, since the origin story struck me as something that I would have expected to see in the first episode. It would have been as if "Gargoyles" had opened with Goliath and his clan already being in New York for some time and the story in "Awakening" being done as a flashback in a later episode (and I mean by the story in "Awakening", all of it, including the present-day parts such as the Cyberbiotics raid and the first battle with the Steel Clan). I was wondering why you took that particular route in the series.
It was largely a decision that came out of the decision that stated NO MULTI-PARTERS. Trying to introduce characters, locations, situations, etc. at the same time that you are introducing the origins of all that stuff is nearly impossible to do in 22 minutes. So we break up the story into two separate stories. And create a bit of intriguing mystery. (Or so I hoped.)
Given what you learned from STARSHIP TROOPERS and MAX STEEL -- if you were told that you could do GARGOYLES again but only if it could be done in 3D Animation would you? Do you think GARGOYLES could even work in 3D?
(I know it's a hypothetical, but this was the main selling point that got VOLTRON back on the air after 10 years as VOLTRON: THE THIRD DIMENSION for 26 episodes.)
BTW for the person who asked what program MAX STEEL is rendered in -- I know Netter Digital (now defunct) used Lightwave, and that Foundation Imaging used Lightwave for season one (as well as for the work they did on STARSHIP TROOPERS). I presume its still being used for the current season but not sure. Lightwave's major competitor is a program called Maya.
Sorry if I wandered too far off topic, Greg, but since I knew this came up thought I'd answer it for the archives.
Yes, I think Gargoyles could work in 3-D. And if that was my only option for bringing it back, I'd jump at the chance.
If I had multiple options, however, I'd use the animation style that best suited the subject matter of the series.
I was watching the show that day and I figure the facial expression of Josh seemed to be a bit atatic. I mean yeah, the eyeballs roll around, and he sometimes furrow his brows, but it still felt like something is missing. Same thing goes on with other characters like Smith and Nez. Am i over picky or is the facial animation isn't tip top?
(We're talking about Max Steel, here, folks.)
I think that some of the animation (on the first thirteen episodes, the only ones I've seen) is definitely not that great. Some of it is all right, but none of it is terrific.
I will say, that there's no reason, however, why Josh shouldn't be as good or as awful as Max. They had the exact same facial model.
I just bought a max steel toy of bio-constrictor i ve only watched 4max steel eps and well/has he been in the cartoon series?
You lost me.
Just a few more Max Steel questions.
1) If Mairot was going undercover on Jeff's orders,
how was he going to redeem himself in the eyes
of the man he betrayed into a death-trap,
namely Max? And what effect would this have
on Max's relationship with Jeff? My guess is:
catastrophic collapse! But, the fact that Jeff
made a desperate plea to James Bond, Sr, i.e.,
Charles Marshak, to save his son, suggests that
he didn't know or approve of the WAY Mairot
planned his "defection". Or, was Mairot supposed
to get Max out of the lab BEFORE things got
2) If Dread wasn't getting his N-Tek info from
Mairot, WHERE was he getting it from? I have
an ugly suspicion, cobbled together from the
info on the kidsWB site, plus info from here
and there, that John Dread is actually Marco
Nathanson, who has gone rogue for some reason,
instead of dying in an explosion. After all,
bad guys walk away unscathed from all sorts of
stuff, and the info from the site indicates that
Jeff restored N-Tek to its proper mission after
Nathanson's death, which indicates that Nathanson
was warping N-Tek into ... something else,
perhaps something "dreadful?" Plus, after
"Strangers", Dread's first direct attack on N-Tek
was on its leader, which indicates he knew all
about N-Tek (just was attacking the WRONG member
of the family), possibly indicating a personal
grudge with Jeff.
3) Which brings up, when did N-Tek know about
DREAD? Before or AFTER Jeff's abduction? Was
that your way of introducing DREAD to everyone?
4) Was Max's powers "developed" or "discover-
ed"? Like was the "stealth mode", super-strenght
etc, deliberately designed after Josh's in-
fusion, or was it discovered that Josh had these
new powers "naturally", during tests after his
recovery? I must concur with Maxy Steel that
Josh looks too totally different from Max, indi-
cating that Josh is actually doing some sort of
"morphing", not just disguising himself, since
even at very low power levels, Josh stays in
the form of Max Steel, unless he consicously
transforms. Even when rendered unconscious,
as he was in "Shattered" (how did Mairot knock
him out, by the way?), he stays in Max Steel
5) I also concur with Maxy Steel in wishing to
know more about 'Berto and his family, since in
"Snow-Blind", he'd apparently had left to go
home to Columbia on that vacation, yet had al-
ready returned to Del Oro - just in time to help
save Max's life, and protect him against further
Dread phone calls. So what had happened, and
why? Also, in "Spear-Carriers", what was that
guard doing to 'Berto's wrists, while Breamer
was responding to Max's call? I'd thought that
they were unchaing him, but even with VCR slo-
mo, I'm not sure. Since Breamer treated 'Berto
like a stray puppy rather than a prisoner (no
guard on him on the flight deck, let alone not
locked up someplace), I take it Breamer didn't
want to hurt anyone who wasn't a direct threat.
6) No doubt this'll be cold comfort to you after
the way you was "voted off the island" by WB,
but Pete is becoming a major part of Max Steel's
life. I would like to see those three untold
tales in some form or other, as well as the last
four unproduced Starship Troopers stories, just
for completion and closure. If there's anyway
you can let us know what happened, or was to
happen, I (and a lot of other people) would
really appreciate it. As long as it doesn't
get you in any trouble, of course!
O.K. First off, keep in mind this is my version of events. This may not reflect what the current creators and execs of the show have planned, if anything.
1. Mairot was supposed to find a way to get Max out, if for some reason Max (and/or Marshak) could not. But Jeff didn't know who the real Mole was, so he had to play concerned father to Marshak and everyone, so that whoever the real Mole was would lower his or her guard.
2. Boy, you stuff a lot into a single question. Well, first off, I was trying to lead people to believe that Dread was Nathanson. But he wasn't. There was no personal grudge against Jeff. Just the practical grudge that Jeff's people were constantly thwarting Dread. As for where the information was coming from, the answer there was from N-Tek's master computer. The mole (in my imagination) was not a person, but they're own computer system. Which was built by Nathanson.
3. I don't remember.
4. By your definition, I guess "discovered". But I must reiterate that his facial design is exactly the same. Body design too. The only changes are his hair color and hair style. His eye color. And his clothing. The rest is in your imagination.
5. Breamer was interested in 'Berto. Thought he had found a kindred spirit. Also didn't perceive him as much of a threat of any kind. But I don't remember the wrist thing you mention. As for 'Berto's family, I think I did a little background work on him, but mostly I was saving it for a chance when we'd do an episode about them. Never got to though. Oh, well.
6. Uh, are we talking Starship or Max here? I always liked Pete.
1. I noticed that Gregg Rainwater voiced "Jake Nez" in Max Steel, and "Jake MacDonald" in 3x3 eyes. Was there some kind of joke or connection with having the same first name for both characters, or just a really strange fluke?
2. I know that Max doesn't always wear the chest plate. (like how he didn't have it for most of "Scions") I was curious, does that thing do anything interesting? Hold water, contain weapons, possibily a swiss army knife?
3. I know that in "Sacrifices" Rachel and mant of the other agents had pistols or some kind of fire arm. Since this is a kids show, I was kind of surprised by that. So, out of curiosity, do most agents have a weapon at all times? I can see why max wouldn't need one, but others like Rachel, Jake, possibly Berto if he ever left N-tek?
1. Just a fluke. I named Jake Nez. But the Jake MacDonald character was already named when I came onto 3x3. Gregg was just great in GARGOYLES, voicing Coyote Trickster and Natsilane. He's been a favorite of mine ever since, so I try to use him on every project.
2. Don't know. I was not involved in the animation or design. Ask Mattel, I guess.
3. 'Berto maybe not. He doesn't usually go out in the field, and when he does, I'm not sure it occurs to him to grab a piece. Max, no. Rachel, yes, in my mind. But I'm not sure the WB agrees.
By the way, 3x3 Eyes is now available on video. And coming soon to DVD.
Okay, I'll rephrase the questions.
1. In response to a question by Andrea Marbry, you said there were at least three "untold" episodes before "Strangers." I was asking if their scripts were written, and the episodes animated.
2. Put it this way: WHAT are Josh, Rachel, and Berto's middle names?
3. Not to sound snippy or anything, but are you ever at your desk when you answer these questions?
1. No. (And I didn't say "episodes". I said missions. Or at least I'm fairly certain that's what I said.)
2. I don't remember whether I gave them any, let alone what they were.
3. I'm generally at my Disney Desk, as I am today. Since Max was a Sony show, I don't have my Max files here. Because my Disney show does not yet have a green light, I currently have more time to answer ASK GREG questions here than I do in Beverly Hills. Sorry.
Greg, what software is used to model and animate Max Steel? What software do you prefer? How long does it take to produce a single episode, and about how many people work on one? What are the odds you can reply to me in person? email@example.com (I'm 32 years old and only came here looking for this information--I've a great interest in modeling and animation).
I am ignorant as to what's used to animate Max. LOTS of people work on episodes. Length of time varies, and as it contracts, quality tends to go down.
Unfortunately, Matt, this isn't a great resource for this kind of information. I'm not an animator. I'm a writer, basically.
And I can't start e-mailing you, because everyone would want the same treatment, and (a) I just don't have that kind of time and (b) if everyone was getting personal answers, then this forum would cease to be useful.
Iwanted to know if a video-game on Max Steel is in project.
- If the answer is yes and if it will be on a computer please ask it for Mac too (because usually it's only for Windows and I haven't any)! Please ! ! !
- If the answer is no, can you ask for it ? Please ! ! !
In any case, I'm waiting and wishing that a day I'll have the chance to play on a Max Steel's plateform game. Will I be disapointed or not? Thanks for answering my questions.
I have no idea. As I've stated over and over, I no longer have any involvement in Max Steel.
If you have questions about the stories in the first thirteen episodes, fire away. Otherwise, I won't be of much help. Sorry.
I came across this page while trying to find out more about the Max Steel series, which Greg was/is an integral part of. The character Josh McGrath is Max Steel, like Bruce Wayne is Batman, Clark Kent is Superman. My four year old son is named Josh McGrath. So, I am after something, anything, that I can purchase that actually says that Josh McGrath is Max Steel. Mattel, which makes the toys, does not have anything - the toy packaging is devoid of anything. The web sites tell the story, but there is nothing else - I can't exactly print a web page image that is good enough to frame. Does Greg know of anything? Thank you for your assistance. - Kevin McGrath
"the Max Steel series, which Greg was/is an integral part of."
Was, not is.
I'm sorry, I don't know of anything. Good luck.
Me an' my eternal motor mouth...heh.
1. Do you have something like a "bird's-eye" shot of the whole city of Del Oro?
2. What about Josh's suburban home, the layout?
3. And the beach house?
Sorry, it's just...I have to know these things! I go crazy if I don't! Yeah, I'm real weird.
1. Do I? No.
2. I'm sure the studio does.
3. Josh's home is the beach house.
Yet another question. I keep coming up with these, don't I?
1. Do Josh, Rachel, and Berto have middle names?
Please answer this one!
Didn't you JUST ask me this.
And yes, I'm sure they do.
Okay, something I've been wondering for a long time.
1. In Sacrifices, right before Smith collapsed and Psycho nabbed him, what happened? Why did he collapse?
Thanks a billion!
A sonic pulse was released through Smith's cellphone. It knocked him out, and the Dread operatives pretended he'd had a heart attack.
Hi again! More questions.
1. About what you said about the three untold episodes of Max Steel: Did they get created?
2. Do Rachel, Josh, or Berto have middle names?
3. I agree with Andrea Marbry. There should have more on Berto's past.
4. Do you know much about the upcoming Max Steel video game?
Thank you so much for listening to me blab!
1. What did I say? Cuz I don't know what you're referring to.
2. I'm sure they do.
3. 'Kay. If I had done more episodes we would have seen more on his past. We would have met his family eventually.
4. NOTHING. As I've said, all my knowledge is past tense.
Hi Greg. I know you don't do the series anymore, but since you did strangers, sacrifices, and Snow blind, I want to know if you cknow when those episodes will play again.
And do you know when Max Steel videos will come out in stores?
No and no.
Don't have anything to do with it anymore.
I am interested in Max Steel but it is not hot in Hong Kong now. So it is hard for me to find some toys and models.
I like #24915 PSYCHO but can not find any clear pictures and toys in Hong Kong.Even from net.
Would you please kindly send me some pictures of #24915 or some web site that I can find it?
Thank you very much
I'm sorry, but I don't have that info.
Okay, It's been so long since I posted...for me, anyway. There are a few questions you said I should ask again, beacuse you didn't have the information. So, I'll ask again.
1. How old are some of the frequents (Smith, Mairot, Yevshenko, Smiley, Dread, Vitriol)And a few we've only seen once or twice. (Dragonelle)
2. Is Yevshenko's name really Elena?
3. The WB site said Berto was 18. I thought he looked 16 or 17. You said you thought he's 19, and yet Max refers to him as if he's younger. (the grasshopper comment from Strangers comes to mind here) So, how old is he?
4. About Psycho, I meant how many times he was kinda left hanging with no way out. Like the space thing, or in Shattered, with the fungus.
5. Who did Annabelle's voice? I haven't seen much of gargs.
6. I still think it's DNA resturcturing. *pouts*
7. The time comment didn't make any sense. How about something in terms a non-gargoyle educated person would understand?
FYI, Rachel's authorization code is A057. Yeah, I'm obsessed.
1. Still not in my office. Don't have it with me.
2. I believe so. See above.
3. See above, but I think he's eighteen or nineteen. Certainly not younger or older.
4. It's all a matter of degree. There was the space thing, the fungus, the volcano. Those off the top of my head. You can count 'em as well as I can.
5. Annabelle had no voice. She never spoke. (Who did you think did it?)
7. What are you referring to?
On Max Steel, why do Max & Berto wear blue costumes
while the other agents tend toward street clothes?
Also, the first season concentrated on Max's history with
N-Tek, but what was Berto's? Josh mentions that he was
already an agent when he asked his dad for permission to
Why do Max & Berto operate as a team, with Rachel as a
supervisor, whereas other agents operate alone? Is it
due to the Max Probes accident, or are there other N-Tek
Was the first mission/adventure of Team Steel "Strangers",
or was there an earlier, "untold" mission/story that led
Jeff to accept his son as an agent, and to partner him
with Dr. Martinez?
And, finally, what are the heights of Max, Josh, and Berto?
Max does appear to be physically heavier than Josh does?
Constraints of animation limited our costume options. Rachel appears both in street clothes and in agent gear. Jeff and Mairot wear street clothes, as they aren't field agents, but management.
'Berto was hired on just a few short months before Max.
It was felt that given Max's unique combination of Max-Probes and inexperience, that he needed a unique support staff. But most agents don't operate alone (at least not in my view). Most had partners. Nez had Murtaugh, for example.
There were at least three earlier untold adventures. Though from moment one Team Steel consisted of Max, Rachel and 'Berto. Marshak was added later.
I'm not too good with statistics, sorry, but Max and Josh weigh the same amount (not counting gear).
I like very much the Max Steel series.
1.When will the second season arrive in USA and in France(if possible) ?
2.I don't know if you are concerne about the graphism but in Shadows (I think it's the title of the Paris' episode, in french it's " Paris, ville sombre ") Paris'streets are not well done. They're to american with the hill and the double yellow lines in the middle of the road… (normally there are no hills and there's one white line in the middle…) but the Eiffel Tower's place is beautiful (where was the Seine ?).
Can you answer my questions please ? Thank you.
1. I believe the second season (which I have nothing to do with) has already begun airing in the US. As for France, I have no idea. Sorry.
2. In general, we felt the animation was very disappointing on all our cities, except maybe Del Oro Bay.
Boy, I have too much free time on my hands.
1. In season one, about how many times did Psycho supposedly die?
2. Has Shannon Kenny (Rachel) done any other roles in other shows you've worked on?
3. Is Berto really 18?
-Maxy Steel (who has had too much sugar!)
1. Gee. Hmm. Twice? Three times. It depends on how you define it. There was only one time when N-Tek really felt pretty sure that Smiley had bought it. That was when Nez sent him flying off into space in "Sabres".
2. No, darn it. I'd love to work with her again, though. She's an amazing actress, with a great voice. She's currently in that Vincent Ventresca Invisible Man series on Sci-Fi (I think).
3. I thought he was nineteen. But I don't remember for sure.
Yeah, I just keep sendin' 'em in. I hope I'm not bothering you to insanity.
1. If L'Etranger is not a robot, and he's not a person in a suit, then is he a cyborg, like Smiley?
2. And wouldn't hair and eye color "naturally" changing be counted as DNA reconstruction?
3. In your world, did Mairot die in "Shattered?"
4. Which voice actor does who in the show, of the characters that show (somewhat) regularly. I already know ones like Max, Rachel, Berto, Smith, Laura, Pete, Smiley, Mairot, and Dread. But what about others, like Sophia, Vitriol, Dragonelle, Woody and Annabelle Barkowski, and L'etranger?
Thank you soooooo much!
1. In my development, yes. I can't speak for the new producers.
2. No. I consider it part of the color/light warping abilities of the Max-probes.
--Sophia and Dragonelle were voiced by Mia Korf. (She's great. She also did a voice for me [Natsuko] in 3x3 Eyes.)
--Woody was the amazing Jeff Glenn Bennett (voice of Brooklyn, Owen, the Magus, etc.)
--Vitriol was an actor named August Paro, that I had never used before. But I thought he had a great voice.
--Annabelle was done by the same performer who voiced Claw and Nought in Gargoyles.
--L'Étranger was voiced by John DeLancie. Better known as "Q"
in Star Trek.
Hi again, it's Maxy. More questions, once again.
1. There's a Max Steel bible?! I want one!
2. About what year is Max Steel set? Like, is it set in the present, past, future? How far in any of the directions?
3. What are the ages of the frequently seen characters? (Smith, Mairot, Yevshenko)
4. Does Yevshenko have a first name?
Thanks a bunch!
1. Yes, it exists. But I'm not currently at liberty to distribute it to anyone.
2. Somewhere between the present and Max Headroom's "Twenty minutes into the future." Say, twelve minutes.
3. I don't have that info handy.
4. Yes. From memory, I'd say Elena, but I don't want to be held to that. Again, I'm not at my office where I have access to that info.
Ask again another time.
Sorry about the synopsis to the first episode of Max
Steel, Season II [posting it (inadventently), that is].
Hope it doesn't get you into any trouble! But the reason
why I am so fascinated about 'Berto is that my first epi-
sode of the show I saw was "Spear-Carriers", his "trial
of fire", so to speak. I'd noticed that most of the senior
N-TEK personnel, like Rachel & Jeff, are very protective
of him. My question is, given the events of Snow-Blind,
Sphinxes, and especially, Shattered, is it proabable that
'Berto's temporary captivity aboard Breamer's Javelin
was a covert Dread plot to abduct him? If not, what led
Breamer to treat 'Berto with "kid gloves" after capturing
him? And, finally, who responsible for the great music
used on Max Steel?
Looking forward to more of your work,
That Spear-Carriers episode was supposed to air much earlier in the sequence. I think it was like the sixth show or something (though I'm away from my office and don't have that info handy).
And, no, it wasn't a Dread plot. Breamer was impressed by 'Berto. At least in part because 'Berto pretended to be impressed by Breamer.
I believe the music on Max was by Jim Latham, but I wasn't involved in the post-production of that series, so I'm not sure.
Yup, Maxy's back! More questions...
1. Where's the Max Steel archive on this site? The part with the episode bios ad stuff.
There isn't one. This is a Gargoyles site. I answer Max questions here occasionally. And there's an archive of those answers here.
I'm back, thanks so much for answering my questions. I've got a few more.
1. How old is Rachel? One site said she was 26. Is this true? (This same site also said Jake Nez was 32.)
2. Is L'Etranger a robot, or a person in a suit?
3. Why weren't there that many animals in the first season? I counted about four or five.
Muchos gracias, doomo arigatou, thanks a million!
1. I'm not at my regular office so I don't have my Max "bible" on hand. Those ages sound about right, but if you want to be sure (at least in terms of what I was thinking) than ask me again later.
3. I'm surprised we had that many. What animals did we have? A shark. What else? If the scripts didn't call for them, the animators weren't likely to design them.
Just a few quick questions about Max Steel:
1. Why does Max have a uniform like the girl's uniforms, and then Berto's is different? Is it because of Berto's postion at N-tek or something?
2. In your world, what honestly happened to Jim McGrath?
3. Why is it that when Josh becomes Max, his entire DNA structure seems to change? I'm not picking up on that one.
Thannks a million!
1. In the original set-up, which I'm not sure we executed consistently, Max was an MX operative. MX-1. Rachel was an Agent/Operative. (I forget her number, but she said it once in a French elevator.) 'Berto was part of the Sci/Tech staff. That should explain the different garb.
2. I don't know whether or not they plan on using my original plans. Since I don't know, I don't want to screw them by giving it away. When and if the series is cancelled, I'll answer that question.
3. Huh? Just his appearance -- and really only his hair and eye color. His clothes have Max-probes in them and change at the same time. But he doesn't change them. His bio-link signals them to change.
Max Steel question... You've indicated that one reason all the episode titles started with the letter "s" is because it amused you, but you also indicated that there were other reasons. What were some of the other reasons?
Nothing that'll ever happen since I didn't work on subsequent seasons.
I see that you're trying to restart your Gargoyles
series elsewhere, with what network, please? And, of course, the best of luck to you. Just for your information,
on Max Steel, Season II, things got off to an explosive start when Dread, who survived the Dread airship crash in
"Shattered" attacked Josh by kidnapping his best civilian
friend Pete, and ran Max thru a gauntlet designed to weaken
and eventually destroy him. But, even cut off from Berto,
who finally tracks him down and re-energizes him with a
portable trans-phasic generator, Max still manages to survive the deathtraps, especially the most vicious one,
where Pete is chained to a time bomb in an old mining
cavern, and rescue his friend. (Laura, by the way, is
spending a year at sea, but has spoken to Josh again,
saying "See you later, (but) NOT goodbye.") After Berto's
save, Max is able to capture Dread and lock him up in a
high-tech castle dungeon. Oh yes, there was a robot dog
in this episode (Berto is developing a pet hobby), that,
as of the second episode, has morphed into an android cat
(that occasionally barks at Max).
Of course, I understand your wish to avoid commenting
on the program since you were invited off of it, but the
above is for folks who don't have access to the second
season yet (like in Canada). However, in your storylines,
is there some reason why Berto rarely, if ever, leaves
N-Tek HQ, and when he does, it's always in a heavily-secure
environ, like Behemoth?
I never said I was trying to start Gargoyles up "elsewhere". Gargoyles is owned by Disney.
O.K. For starters. Please DON'T feel the need to post synopses of future Max Steel episodes here. If I wanted access to them, I could get them. It just makes me nuts. There are comment rooms for that kinda thing.
As for 'Berto during my seasons, it was his job to "run" Max from his console. The console was either at N-Tek or in Behemoth. We did (under extraordinary circumstances) have him get out from behind the monitor on a couple of occassions. But to make that a consistent thing, would have changed his job description.
In "City of Stone Part Three", when Xanatos and Owen are discussing how to find a way of breaking Demona's spell, Owen suggests researching the Grimorum Arcanorum. Xanatos correctly points out that even if they could find a counter-spell in its pages, they wouldn't be able to use it (and it could even be dangerous to do so on account of the "mixing magics is a bad idea" business).
The revelation later on that Owen was really Puck made that suggestion of his a bit puzzling to me. I would have thought that Puck would have already been aware that the Grimorum wasn't an option for the solution without Xanatos needing to tell him that. Or is he less knowledgeable about human magic than about faerie magic?
There was no pilot movie. There was a pilot episode: "Strangers". And two episodes later there was an origin episode: "Shadows". In any case, I wasn't the one making those decisions then (and certainly not now).
I´ve seen the first ep. of "Max Steel" Yesterday. A great show! ( exept from the intro. Well, maybe thats the only paralel between Gargoyles and M.Steel, the intros are verry weird ). But one thing I have to ask you: Was there anny pilot-movie of the show? If not, I think there should be one.
There was no pilot movie. There was a pilot episode: "Strangers". And two episodes later there was an origin episode: "Shadows". In any case, I wasn't the one making those decisions then (and certainly not now).
I know your plans for Max Steel aren't really in effect anymore since other people have taken over the show, but I'm still curious about some of the plans you had about the show, soo...
1-In your plan, would Laura ever have found out Josh and Max were one in the same, or would it be a Peter Parker sort of thing where the dual identity would be the major source of personal stryfe for Josh?
2- In the new episodes, (which you had no part in) Josh has decided that since he hasn't the time to be with Laura, he'll hook up with her as Max. Which strikes me as... Wierd... Did you have any sort of plans along those lines?
1. No immediate plans for her to find out, but yes eventually, some day... I don't like anything to be static too long.
2. Acutally, that last decision was the last moment of my last episode. And it wasn't that Josh didn't have time to be with Laura. It was that Laura wasn't speaking to Josh.
I realize that this may be painful for you to do, and
I'll understand if you decline, considering that you wasn't
allowed to participate in Max Steel Season2. But, please,
check out the first new episode Saturday and comment. Thanx!
I'd especially like to know how it compares with your plans.
Wow, you've really caught up since I got back to san fran...now I've got a lot of reading to do once I get my computer down here with me. *smiles and crosses out any plans she might have for the next two weekends*
Anyway, I recently got a job at the WB Studio Store and noticed that we carry a children's t-shirt for Max Steel. I was like: Ooo Cool! and I thought that your kids might want one. It's actually a cool design. I get a 20% discount, and the shirt's probably only about 12 bux anyway (I didn't check the price of it) You want I should get some for them? I can either send the shirts, or just bring them to G2001. ^_^
Tana, that's sweet, but the truth is Max Steel was sort of a negative experience for me. I'm largely proud of the stories we wrote, but it was never the show I hoped it would be. I don't need a lot of reminders. But thanks.
Hey greg I think I have typed you a letter earlier but any way. When you get a chance please try to mail me blue prints of the biolink and max steels car, thank you.
Sorry, Kevin. I don't have them.
what are max probes and are they real. One more thing is n-tek a real bissnes.
N-Tek and Max Probes are fictional, but the idea of nanotechnology is not.
In the last two episodes of "Max Steel" in its first season (the one that you worked on), Max was shown working on an English assignment on "Huckleberry Finn" in his Josh McGrath persona. Was there any intention in this part of the story to nudge the audience into reading Mark Twain's novel, the same way as with the Shakespeare references in "Gargoyles"?
It wouldn't have hurt. But the truth is, that Huck was a compromise. I originally had the essay be on the works of Faulkner. The WB rejected Faulkner as too intellectual. I asked them what they wanted and seriously suggested Dr. Seuss. They got very pissed off at me, like I was making fun of them.
So then I hit on Mark Twain. (I was past caring whether I was inspirational at that point.)
I'm a fan of your great work on MAX STEEL, and am sorry
that you won't be back. Do you have info on what's up for
the second season and, what will your next project be?
I have no idea what they're planning for season two. Maybe a bionic dog. (Just kidding.)
As for me, watch for 3x3 Eyes coming out on video this Halloween. And on DVD this Christmas.
They showed the Season One finale for "Max Steel" (the last episode that you worked on) this morning, and in it, portrayed Mairot as being revealed as a traitor to N-Tek, secretly working with Dread all along. Since you mentioned in response to an earlier question about Mairot that in your own plans for the series, he wasn't a traitor, that prompted me to wonder: was the season finale actually shown on television different from the one that you made, changed to alter Mairot's character? Or was the episode as shown on television the same as the one you did, with Mairot's treachery being just an illusion?
In that episode, we revealed Mairot to be a traitor. If I had come back for the second season, it would be revealed that he was NOT a traitor, but rather a mole that Jefferson had planted within Dread's organization.
I have no idea what aired however, or what they currently have planned for Mairot -- if anything.
Well, this isn't actually a question. I'm assuming you're the same Greg Weisman who used to work at DC Comics. If you are then, "Hi!" This is Kevin Maguire. I used to do Justice League. I was wondering what the hell you were doing. I was watching Max Steel for the first time this morning and saw your name in the credits. I was going to congratulate you on the show til I read your responses and got the sense that it was a bitter, though possibly rewarding, experience for you. Beyond that I hope everything's going well for you and, oh, what the hell, congratulations anyway.
Yeah, it's me. I still have that page of art from Justice League that you gave me hanging on the wall. The one where Batman gives silent approval to Booster Gold.
Yeah, MAX STEEL was a pretty bitter experience at best. I'm now glad I didn't have to do the second season. (Though I was very pissed off about that at first.) As you can see, I'm still living off my GARGOYLES glory days to feed my ego. DC seems like forever ago. What are you up to?
Will Laura ever find about josh's secret? I mean sooner or later he'll crack.
Don't know. I'm not on the show anymore.
What inspired you to create MAX STEEL?
Sony hired me to develop a tv series based on a toy by Mattel. I don't think it's fair to call me the creator of MAX STEEL. I was handed the toy and the idea and a rough bible.
I think I developed the series. But I didn't create it.
Hi Greg! Thanks for the response, it cleared up a lot of my questions. But I have one more question. Did Rachel find out that Laura and Josh broke up?And if she did, What was her reaction?(at least in your version)
In my version, Rachel knows that Laura wasn't speaking to Josh. And she also knows that Josh was determined to get Laura back. And she wished him luck.
did josh and lara ever break up?
Laura dumped Josh, at least in the episodes of MAX STEEL that I worked on.
What happened to Max Steel's Parents?
His mother died in a boating accident. His father died in an explosion -- or at least that was my original plan. I don't know what the new team has in mind, if anything.
Hi Greg! I have one major question. What is going on between Max, Rachel, and Laura? I'm so confused about the whole situation. If you could please answer this one question, it would be greatly appreciated:) Thank you so much!!
Well, it might help if they aired the episodes in order...
And now that the new seasons' starting, I have no idea what they have planned.
But in the thirteen I did...
Josh was dating Laura since before he got his powers and became Max. After becoming Max, he was teamed with Rachel, who he was physically attracted to, at a minimum. Josh was still dating Laura but there was now an entire chunk of his life he couldn't share with her. And in fact, to cover his dual identity, he was now standing her up and lying to her on a regular basis.
Among his lies, was one where he described Rachel as an old lady. When Laura found out that wasn't true, she got very jealous, but Josh talked his way out of that.
Later, during an adventure that brought up a lot of painful memories for Josh/Max, he kissed Rachel. They both immediately regretted it. It screwed up Team Steel. They got passed it, but Max felt guilty enough that he (Josh) eventually told Laura. She broke up with him. Wouldn't talk to him. So he tried to ask her out as Max. (And that's where I left off. Don't know what the new team plans. If anything.)
1. With all the Star Trek actors doing voice on Gargoyles, was John 'Q' DeLancie ever considered for a role? I personally consider Q a trickster.
1. John, who is great, did a role for us on Max Steel, as L'Étranger. It's possible that he was briefly considered for a roll on Gargs, but nothing that sticks out in my mind.
Max Steel is my fav show, and I've been watching it sense the first season. My question is:
Is Josh's last name McGrath -or- Geraurd? Because I was watcing the show and Max groaned about "Another Geraurd" When he was on vacation with Laura
His last name is McGrath.
Guerard is his English Lit professor. When he said "another Guerard" he was referring to the Prof. And in fact these other Guerard's turned out to be his professor's sons.
Sorry, if that wasn't clear. (Did you miss the first few minutes?)
I while back I asked about the Ntek company emblem in Max Steel, a thumbs-up. I noticed it had four digits, namely 3 fingers and a thumb and asked if it was a Gargoyles reference or in-joke. You nit picked on my grammar and asked if I was saying a thumb had four digits. Here is take two- that hand with four digits instead of the human average of 5- were you having fun there, or was that somebody else's doing.
The logo was designed by Mattel before I got involved, so whatever it is, it's not a gargoyle in-joke.
Sorry about the nit-pick.
Hiya, I was just surfin' around, and I found this. I had a couple questions.
1. Why'd ya have to make Mairot the DREAD spy?! I liked him!
2. Psycho is Josh's dad, isn't he?
1. I liked him too. And in my continuity, he wasn't a Dread spy. He was going undercover. But I don't know what the new regime plans to do. If anything.
2. No. Not in my version of the show.
Oh, and just for good measure, one Max Steel question based on something I noticed in your reply to the question about the production company ...
Was it a conscious decision to have all the episode titles in the first season begin with "S?" Or was that a pure fluke?
Concscious. (that would have been one heck of a fluke.)
Max Steel questions:
Hi mr. Weisman. By now, I learned that WB did not invite you to continue on Max Steel for the second season. How do feel about WB's decision? Do you know who will take over the show? Will you become a consultant for Max Steel, just like you were in Gargoyles: TGC?
I'm concerned about the show's future. It's all seem deja vu. The last time someone took over one of your show, it got pretty ugly...
1. Originally, I was pissed off. Not so much that I wouldn't be doing the second season [because participating in the first season was so unpleasant], but because I wasn't being given the option of deciding for myself. Now, I'm just glad to be free of it. I don't miss it at all.
2. The new story editors are Tom Puggsley and Greg Klein. I know Tom. He's a good guy.
3. No. I have no involvement in the series now. In fact, this time no one even called to ask me what I had planned for the second season. They're on their own.
Funny little thing I noticed: The thumbs up on the suits on Max Steel have four digits (three fingers and a thumb). Is that a coincidence or an in-joke?
Thumbs have four digits?
Where can I get the "Max Steel" episodes and the descriptions of the episode?
Well you can watch them Saturday mornings on the WB. You can also take a look at the Max Steel Archive on this site. And you can run a search on the internet.
As far as I know, the episodes are not available on home video.
Max Steel question:
Is it John Dread or John Dredd?
WHY IS MAX DAD BLACK AND WHY IS MAX WHITE AND WHERE IS MAX MOM
Max's real name is Josh McGrath. His biological parents were Big Jim and Molly McGrath. Molly died in a boating accident when Josh was two. Big Jim died (at least in my mind) on a mission when Josh was four. Josh was then adopted by Big Jim's best friend, Jefferson Smith, who is African-American.
Hi mr. Weisman
Yet another Max Steel question:
I saw the episode with the Chang and the decryp software ploy and I think it's one of best yet (don't know which title this episode is)!
I didn't understand where Max got the mask to breathe underwater, because Chang's goons would have found it on him earlier on the yatch.
The episode was called "Seraphim". The mask was waiting for him under the water. There was a blinking beacon there to guide him to it.
My question is actually regarding the t.v. series "Max Steel" and not "Gargoyles." (I have a few questions and someone referred me to this site.) My aunt is translating the cartoon series from English to French, but does not currently have any internet service. She does, however, need background information. She would like to know if the characters "Rachel Leeds," "Jeff," and "Roberto Martinez" were created just for the T.V. series or if they existed previously like Max Steel and Pyscho. If you could also give me the meaning to "Max probes," and any other additional information about the characters, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your help.
PS- I will check this website for a response, or you can email me at Puppyluv82@aol.com
Sorry you and your aunt had to wait so long for a response.
Rachel, Jeff and 'Berto were all created for the show. Largely, so were Max and Psycho, though the toys existed.
Max Probes refers to the microscopic Nanotechnology robots that have altered Josh McGrath's body and given him his Max Steel powers.
As for additional info, I'm not sure what you need. If she's translating the scripts, the info should all be there. But feel free to ask me any other specific questions you have.
Story Editor: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Writer: Lydia C. Marano
Arguably the best single episode of the series. The animation is fluid, dynamic and very strong. The writing is sharp, even quite funny over and over. And yet, dramatically the story is still potent. It really advances the Goliath & Elisa romance arc. Changes Demona permanently. And introduces Puck -- and by extension, the entire third race: The Children of Oberon. All in a mere 22 minutes.
It's also very gratifying for me. A bit of a vindication. As you may have seen from the memos I wrote to Brynne & Lydia, there was some considerable resistance to the notion that none of the characters would notice their own personal change from one species to another. Most of my collaborators thought the idea was way too complicated to pull off. I argued that it might seem complex, but in fact it would play cleaner on screen -- and funnier and more directly to theme. In my mind, another title for this episode could have been -- had we already not been using it for our Werefox episode -- "Eye of the Beholder", because all the transformed characters really noticed was when someone else was "OTHER". Being a monster or being "normal" was based on their point of view, not any objective look in the mirror. [As it is, the title is the kind I like. Simple, objective and yet metaphoric. At one point, it was titled: "Mirror, Mirror". But we simplified it even more.]
But anyway, when the human Brooklyn, Lex and Broadway are confronted by "Gargoyles", the scene is an intentional mirror of the scene from AWAKENING, PART ONE where Brooklyn says, "If they think we're beasts and monsters..." Again, this is playing with the idea of "beasts and monsters" being merely in the eye of the beholder. The species have reversed, but the situation is exactly the same simply because the Trio remain in the minority. I suppose that's one thing that X-Men's mutants have in common with the Gargs. Both are a metaphor for being part of a minority. Feared almost automatically.
On the other hand, when Elisa is transformed, she believes that Goliath & Co. have been transformed into something like her. I think her immediate reaction is very telling about how she ALREADY felt about Goliath at that point. She's thrilled. She throws her arms about him. Now they're the same species. There's no impediment to their love. What's interesting is that if you stopped and asked Elisa under normal circumstances whether she would wish for Goliath to be transformed into a human, the answer would most certainly be "No." She knows that being a Gargoyle is fundamental to who he is. You can't change that without changing him -- and yet in that instant, in that unguarded moment, her desire to be with him overwhelms that rational knowledge. She's just happy.
At the museum, Elisa looks at herself in the mirror. She then moves, but the reflection holds. That was the idea of one of our board artists. A little clue that the mirror is magic. (It's not an animation error.)
Family Reactions #1
During that museum chase, my wife wanted to know why no alarms were going off. I figure Demona or the thieves just shut them off.
Erin didn't realize that that was Elisa dressed as a security guard at first. We were trying to withhold that information for a bit.
"Titania's Mirror", "The Children of Oberon", "Oberon sent me." We were laying groundwork to expand the entire series' base. But I don't know if back then I knew that much about what if anything I had planned specifically for Titania & Oberon.
Anymore than I knew then what I'd do with the "Dracula's Daughter" reference. But we try not to waste anything.
Coming up with that "Children of Oberon" name was a struggle. And so many people have asked me since whether or not Oberon is literally everyone's father, I almost regret landing on that choice. Our thought process is largely present in the episode when Goliath et al, go through various noms: Fair Folk, Dark Elves, Changelings, Shape-Shifters. Of course, at the time we were misusing the term Changeling. I think that was Odo's influence frankly, but I should have known better. I suggested "The Oberati". But the Reaves didn't care for that. I think they thought it sounded too much like an Italian sports car.
I do love the moment when Brooklyn cites Shakespeare's play as a sort of reference work on the Children. I hope we sent a few people to the library with that line. Did we?
I also love Hudson's line in response to Elisa's question: Are they real?
Hudson: "As real as I am, if the stories be true." It's full of delicious dramatic irony. If you can suspend belief on a bunch of gargoyles, then this shouldn't be a problem for you. I love things that work on multiple levels.
I also love Hudson's "Be careful what you wish for" line.
We were trying to show a bit here how Demona had managed to operate in the modern world up to this point. One of the thieves has clearly worked for Demona before without ever having laid eyes on her. Of course, showing Demona's M.O. here, was like giving it a swan song. Because after this episode, though she clearly doesn't realize it yet, her life is going to get MUCH easier. Being a human during the day is a great boon to all her scheming. I'm very curious about everyone's reaction to that? Shock? Amusement? I also tried to work very hard so that in that last two minutes of epilogue, everyone would get that she only was human during the day. I was very afraid that the audience would think she was permanently transformed into a human. Was anyone confused? Or was anyone surprised that Puck's revenge/gift STUCK? We wouldn't really explore the change until HIGH NOON. Had you forgotten about it by then?
Family Reactions #2
As Demona's casting the spell that will summon Puck. (Which I always thought was very cool, with the feather and all.)
Benny: "That's a magic mirror. Is Demona going in there?"
Erin: "Puck's gonna come out."
As I've mentioned before, during the writing of this story we figured out that Owen was Puck. So to play fair we dropped a hint here. Demona (who knows) says to Puck: "You serve the human. You can serve me." Puck changes the subject, replying "Humans [note the plural] have a sense of humor, you have none." This was done intentionally to distract the audience away from the hint we had just dropped. But obviously, in hindsight, it's a clear reference to Owen serving Xanatos. Anyone get it right off the bat? Anyone even take note of the line the first time? Originally, the line read, "You serve him, now you can serve me." With the "him" referring to Xanatos. But our S&P executive was afraid the "him" could be taken to mean Satan. I know that seems silly now. But keep in mind, we were very paranoid back then about the show being attacked for promoting devil worship. So we made the change.
Sensitive Broadway: "Maybe even love." It's a nice moment. Wistful.
Puck reminds Demona that the mirror isn't "Aladdin's lamp". At the time, the Aladdin series was still in production at Disney. So that's a bit of an in-joke.
And how about that: Demona is still carrying a torch for Goliath. On some level, she wants him more than almost anything. Yet she continually allows her hatred to get in the way. And the irony is, that at this point, pre-Vows it isn't yet too late for them. But her actions further serve to cement the Goliath/Elisa relationship. More now than ever before.
Puck/Brent Spiner is just fantastic. I love that "charming personality" line. And "You don't know what you're asking, believe me." And "I'll do EXACTLY as you asked." And "My mistake." And "A very long nap." He's just so rich.
Plus the boarding and animation on Puck is just great. As is the sound work that accompanies him zipping around.
I always wanted Puck to be the one character who could break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience. Every time he appeared, we'd put a line or two in the script that was addressed to the audience. And every time, Frank or Dennis Woodyard would cut it out of the board. They didn't like breaking the fourth wall. (A lot of guys don't. I tried to do that with Max on Max Steel, but Richard Raynis and Jeff Kline wouldn't allow that either.) Oh, well....
Puck also establishes that Oberon's Children generally use rhyming spells instead of Latin or Hebrew or whatever. (Thus making life slightly -- but ONLY slightly -- easier on me and the writers.) But Puck isn't too formal: "Human's love a battle hearty, so does Puck, come on, let's Party!" Fun. (And I like Brooklyn's line, "Party's over." too.)
Family Reactions #3
When Elisa's transformed into a gargoyle.
Erin: "She looks cute." [I very much agree. Though I always wonder where her red jacket goes.]
Ben then asked why she was transformed.
Beth explained that Demona didn't want Elisa to be human anymore.
Erin then corrects my wife and explains that Puck is tricking Demona.
KIDS GET IT! Adults need to pay closer attention!
Goliath suddenly has lust in his heart:
G: "I never realized when you were human just how beautiful you were."
E (with a smile): "You mean you thought I was ugly?"
G: "Uh... careful! Updraft!!"
Man, that guy is smooth.
Anyway, that's one of my all-time favorite exchanges. I think it reveals so much. Somewhere underneath, Goliath has been attracted to who Elisa IS deep-down -- at least since AWAKENING, PART THREE. But he never thought of her as a potential love interest. He wasn't brought up liberally enough to think that way. After all, she has no wings, no tail. And those human shaped feet!
But suddenly, she's revealed as a FEMALE. Now, even when she goes back to being human, his perspective is permanently altered. Hers, however, is not. She's already consciously had those thoughts. Consciously rejected them. So at the end of the episode, he wants to discuss these (for him) new feelings -- but she does not. And the sun helps shut him up.
G: "That's not what I meant."
E: "But that's the way it is."
Another of my all-time favorite exchanges. (I'm really partial to things involving the G/E relationship. I know, I know, I'm a romantic sap.]
I also like the ongoing confusion. Elisa: "Everyone in Manhattan has been turned into... HUMANS!" Goliath: "No, no, no, no, no." And when the Gargoyles are changed into humans, Brooklyn is so sure that they've always been humans, it's funny. Like that moment in CITY OF STONE, when he's convinced that the "statue of Elisa" is a bad likeness of her: "They got the nose wrong."
FYI, there was an honest attempt, within the logical parameters of what our gargs looked like, to make their human versions resemble the actors who played them. Thus Goliath has darker skin than the others, because Keith David is African-American. (Though otherwise Goliath really looks like Conan to me.) The bald Lex has brown hair and the bald Broadway has blond like Thom Adcox and Bill Fagerbakke respectively. Brooklyn resembles Jeff Bennett but with Brooklyn's white hair instead of Jeff's blond. And Hudson looks like Ed Asner with a beard. More or less. Thom Adcox is the one who most looked like the human version of his character.
Cool little touches:
Demona nudges an unconscious Puck with her tail.
She continues to call Hudson, "Old Soldier". Her tenth century "name" for him.
Her line about the "gift of being a gargoyle". I love that superior attitude.
Lexington's "Fun, but weird" line.
Hudson wrapping the sheet over the mirror.
Elisa and Demona have a brief "cat-fight" as Gargoyles. Not quite as diverting as the one they'll have as humans in High Noon. But it was nice to put them on equal physical footing for a change. Let them have it out.
Demona mentions that Puck isn't too tired to make himself "invisible to the crowd". This was us trying to plug a hole in our story. We felt it would undercut the mob's reactions to our newly human heroes if they had the same reaction to seeing Puck. And yet Puck clearly looks more human than Gargoyle. More "other". So we slid that line in to avoid the whole problem.
FAMILY REACTION #4
Beth laughed at Hudson's very Scots reading of "No doubt about it." Which is pronounced more like: "No doot aboot it."
More sappy stuff (which I love):
Goliath's line: "I'll always be there to catch you."
Elisa completely forgetting her fear of flying in order to save the MAN she loves.
That brief moment when both Elisa and Goliath are humans at the same time.
Hudson's wistful line about seeing the sun, just once.
Although it had little to do with the metaphor, we couldn't really resist the notion of showing Bronx transformed into a dog. We picked the biggest dog we could think of, a Wolfhound type, though a bulldog might have been more reminiscent.
In the script, Demona smashes the mirror upon seeing her human reflection in the glass. But somehow the scene never got animated. So we added the sound of the mirror being smashed to the exterior shot at the end. This was important in order to give the story full closure. The initial point of the episode was to prevent Demona from getting Titania's Mirror. Structurally, therefore, I couldn't allow her to keep it.
But no fear, later we introduced Oberon's Mirror (clearly part of a matching set) in THE GATHERING, PART ONE.
I wonder what all those Manhattanites thought when suddenly they realized they were all barefoot.
I love the show. I can't watch it here in Chico, Ca. But, your work with villians is great. One vision for 2 seasons is very rare.
1. How much does it cost to produce 66 episodes?
2. Does it vary much for different studios/companies?
3. Any way I can get some of the material you show at the gathering? NY is pretty far from CA. I can't afford the trip.
4. What do you feel is your best work (not a specific "1", but things you'd recommend)?
5. I know and like Max Steel. Anything else you're working on now (even single episode plots)?
Thanks for listening. If you're even half as busy as I am, you'd be pressed to answer these in a timely manner. I'm glad just to hope for a response eventually.
Best Wishes, John Peacock
P.S.: Gargoyles is one of the few shows I'd be proud to watch with children. Hope yours keeps enjoying it.
1. We averaged between 400K and 500K per episode in the first two years. The third year had, I believe, a lower budget.
2. I'm not sure what you mean.
3. New York isn't that far from Orlando, Florida -- which is where this year's Gathering is. (Next year's is in California.) And where were you during the TWO NYC Gatherings in 97 and 98? Anyway, what material did you have in mind?
4. On Gargoyles or period? Gargoyles is my best work. I'm fond of Starship Troopers and the comic book Captain Atom too.
5. I just completed voice directing a Japanese Anime video series called 3x3 Eyes. It should be available in September.
We Recently Started Watching and Taping Max Stell on Kids WB, But they do not do Subtittles on the show, We have all the subtittles written down but it is hard to match them up with certain Episodes, Do you know any website or a list somewhere that tell what each Episode is about with the apropiate subtittle, My E-Mail Adress is FHawk00003@AOL.com
If you could help us that would be great, or if you know someone that would know.
Uh, no, I rarely have website info. And I'm not sure what you mean? Subtitles, like close-captioning? Or episode titles?
If it's the latter, here's a primer, I guess...
#1 Strangers. The Pilot. Max Steel (aka Josh McGrath) is in Berlin when his partner Rachel Leeds and the entire Reichstag conference disappears. Max (with the help of 'Berto Martinez) helps Rachel and the others escape from freelance mercenary L'Étranger.
#2 Sacrifices. Josh's foster-father and boss Jefferson Smith is kidnapped by Psycho (aka Smiley), John Dread's right hand cyborg.
#3 Shadows. Paris is suffering from mysterious blackouts, as is Max, who's also flashing back to his origin.
#4 Sportsmen. Josh quits the Del Oro Extreme, but when mysterious lightning threatens the Triple Threat competition, Max Steel is forced to enter the contest.
#5 Seraphim. N-Tek agents Max Steel and Sophia Skarsgaard infiltrate the Cyberdragon organization in order to recover a stolen computer disk and keep it out of the hands of Dragonelle and Dread.
#6 Spear-Carriers. Team Steel gets a new mobile base of operations, but it's stolen with 'Berto trapped inside.
#7 Snow-Blind. Josh and his friends Laura Chen and Pete Costas vacation in Aspen, while Dread and Psycho plot to use the Bio-Link to kidnap Max and destroy Del Oro Bay.
#8 Sharks. Max and Rachel are on a tense undersea plutonium salvage mission aboard the N-Tek sub shark. But they have competition from L'Étranger. Plus Josh has to come to terms with his mother's death.
#9 Sabres. Max and Jake Nez attempt to salvage N-Tek's orbiting space station. But Psycho and Vitriol have other ideas.
#10 Sphinxes. Max, 'Berto and Rachel travel to Egypt to uncover Dragonelle and Dread's latest plot against world peace.
#11 Swashbucklers. Spring Break for Josh and Laura translates into a little pirate adventure for Max Steel. This one has Earthquakes.
#12 Scions. This one has volcanos. Plus a flashback adventure with Josh's biological father, Big Jim McGrath.
#13 Shattered. The final (for the season) showdown between N-Tek and Dread. Del Oro Bay. New York. Munich. Explosions. Fungus. And practically the entire cast. This one's got it all.
(It sort of embarrasses me that I'm so facile at the above.)
I've been watching the Max Steel series and I'm rather curious why his features are different in #9 & 10 than they were in the first episodes. Could you offer any insight? Thanks!!!
Actually, his features in #9 shouldn't be ANY different from the first episodes.
NETTER DIGITAL animated episodes 1-4 and 9.
FOUNDATION IMAGING animated episodes 5-8 and 10-13.
That's why the characters look slightly different in some episodes.
Max Steel questions:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the episodes I've seen so far, all the guards of Psycho and l'Étranger appear to be women. Am I wrong? If not, then why?
If they are indeed women, this amuse me a bit, since Max Steel is essentially meant for boy audience and sometimes people complaint that there not enough girls in a boy show.
Yes, you're wrong.
Psycho has Dread Minions. Male and female. You haven't been paying very close attention if you didn't notice that. Even their voices are male and female.
In the pilot, L'Étranger was working for Dread and also used male and female Dread Minions.
In "Sharks" (the submarine episode), L'Étranger was no longer working for Dread. And indeed, in this one episode only, he used ONLY female "SIRENS". This is the only episode in the entire first season, where that was the case. (In some later episodes, FOUNDATION erred and used the Sirens interchangably with female DREAD MINIONS, but there were always Male Dread Minions about -- in Dread episodes that is. Chang, Breamer and Carreras each had their own troops.)
As for why, I just thought that the romantic L'Étranger would want to surround himself with women.
As long as I'm here...
What gives with Max Steel?
You'd said Snow-Blind was supposed to air today, but it was a rerun of... Shadows? The good news is, I heard that line: "I can see the Berlin Wall from here." I'd missed it last time. I think it made Max look more dumb than it did you, Greg. :)
Anyways, since you'd said just yesterday that Snow-Blind was going to air, did they do that without letting you know? The bums.
*Regardless*... I love the show! Particularly the ep that just repeated. Berto's so cool. Chess-boy.
"'Swell' comes to mind, but then English isn't my first language."
Yet another triumph, Greg and crew!
see ya around!
I'm glad you liked it. At some point I completely lost track of when and where they were airing which episodes. It may be that after they decided not to bring me back for the second season (but before they told me) they sort of kept me out of the loop for obvious reasons.
I just wanted to say that, in regards to Max Steel, I am outraged by what WB is doing to the series episode order. I've not yet seen the show (though by the time you see this, that very well may change) but the fact that the episode order is causing problems demonstrates to me that it has a structure, and isn't just some random, ep-to-ep series (though how could I suspect otherwise from you?).
Something just like this happened to "Crusade," the short-lived spin-off series to "Babylon 5." TNT, the network upon which it aired, felt the need to literally RUIN the show by messing with the episode order. If you know anything about "Babylon 5" you know about the highly-structured plotline, and that carried over to "Crusade" in a large part. I believe it was because of TNT that the show failed.
I hope the same fate doesn't befall "Max Steel." Why do networks buy shows that they know to be structured - presumably a trait they were attracted to - only to mess it up?
I guess networks are just not changing with the times, which are leaning more towards continuity in television shows. But you'd think they would at least have the decency to reject a show, rather than accept it and then twist it.
Actually, you can't put all the blame for the episode ordering problems on the Network. Netter Digital did not deliver all the episodes on time. Certain episodes that weren't already in the works with Netter were pulled away and given to Foundation. Than other episodes wound up being pulled away. This resulted, just as an example, in episode #6 being the last out of the thirteen to be completed. WB couldn't air it in order unless they were prepared to air months of reruns with no new episodes until May. They obviously were not prepared to do that.
Now there may be times where Networks, including the WB, DO chose to air episodes out of order. But this isn't exactly one of those times. Not really.
Max Steel, N-Tek questions:
1.About N-Tek, I figured they are fully autonomus: they have their own resources, techonology, information network, etc.
However, who created N-Tek and for whom they work for?
2.What are there main objectives besides countering terrorists?
3.Is N-Tek known to the general public?
4.What are the power and influence of N-Tek compare to other agencies like CIA, FBI, KGB, etc?
Thanks, love the show and the CGI.
Well, I can only comment on what my plans would have been. I have no involvement in the second season. No idea what they have in mind. They certainly haven't asked me what I had planned, so there's no way they can know. So what I right here may not reflect the series as it ends up. But...
1. N-Tek was founded by Marco Nathanson as a response to the terrorist attack on the 1972 Olympic Games. It is an anti-terrorist organization chartered by the United Nations.
2. That's the only real objective.
3. Only as a sporting goods company.
4. N-Tek is more international in scope than any specific nation's intelligence agency. It's only motivation is to save lives. No politics involved.
Is there a reason that so far all the Max Steel Episodes have started with an 'S'?
Oh, and this is a little "general response" to "Max Steel", since my initial comments on the pilot episode also got lost in the crash.
I haven't fully made up my mind about it. On the one hand, the genre (secret agent-type adventure) isn't as much my personal piece of cake as the genre (urban fantasy with medieval connections) of "Gargoyles" was, so I haven't gotten as much into "Max Steel" so far. But I do think that it's quite well-written, with a good job on the conflicts that the hero has to face between his everyday life as Josh McGuire and his Max Steel role. My favorite part in it so far, however, has been the scenes involving the "mastermind villain" (Dredd, I believe his name was), who's got that same "calmly logical" quality that I found so appealing in Xanatos; I like how he responds to defeat in that very philosophical fashion. (In "Strangers", when discovering that L'Etrange's attempt to kidnap the German government for him failed, he just says with a shrug, "My fault, for entrusting such an important assignment to free-lancers", and in "Sphinxes", his commentary on the whole adventure at the Pyramids at the end definitely sounds Xanatosian, as he dwells on what they succeeded at and not what they failed at. I'm finding this element very appealing, not just because of its Xanatos-reminiscent style, but also because I rather like that kind of villain in general.
Yeah, Dread is very Xanatosian (or rather both of them are quite Eiling-esque). I was bothered by that for awhile. Like I wasn't being original. But the truth is I had plans for Dread that would have clearly set him apart from Xanatos. (Plans that I won't be executing now.) And at any rate, I agree with you. That's the kind of villain I like. One I can respect.
And it's Josh McGrath, by the way, not McGuire.
Max Steel questions:
1.In the first episode of Max Steel, I noticed the reference to "biting the knee caps off". It was amusing to see that, at least for us Gargoyles fans :-) Will all the Max Steel episodes have references to Gargoyles, just like Futurama has reference to The Simpsons?
2.What company created the CGI Max Steel? Is it the same that did Roughnecks? These are the best CGI I've seen so far. The hair detail and the backgrounds are very well made.
1. I doubt I slipped a garg reference into EVERY episode of Max. For starters, you want those things to be fairly organic. If they're forced they're not funny, even to those in the know. They're just labored. And besides, for those not in the know they'd stick out like a soar thumb.
But trust me, there are a number of Garg references, though to be fair, the one you cite above is really a Monty Python reference common to both shows.
The fun thing was slipping garg in-jokes into our English dubbing of 3x3 Eyes. Once both volumes are out on video and dvd, I'm gonna hold a contest here to see who can find the most garg references in that one. Some slap you in the face and are pretty funny. Some are much more subtle.
2. Two different companies worked on Max Steel. The first was Netter Digital. They did episodes 1-4 and 9. That's "Strangers", "Sacrifices", "Shadows", "Sportsmen" and "Sabres". Then Netter and Sony had a parting of the ways. And Foundation Imaging, which did the bulk of the Roughneck/Starship Troopers episodes took over for 5-8 ("Seraphim", "Spear-Carriers", "Snow-Blind" and "Sharks") and 10-13 ("Sphinxes", "Swashbucklers", "Scions" and "Shattered").
But I'm afraid I can't agree with your glowing assesment of the CGI. Generally, I think Starship Troopers is MUCH stronger.
To reply to you answer on my "Max Steel" question on 2-23-200:
Some time ago - around mid-1980's or so - Tonka (or Mattel) released a toy line called "Max Steel's Robo-Force"; basicly a series of cylindrical, claw-armed robots whose major gimick was you could attach them to any flat surface via a suction-cup. They had good guys and bad guys, and I assumed there was to be a show made for them, but the toy line never really took off. (This was during the time when shows like "Transformers", "GoBots" and the like were very popular.)
Now for a question:
If you've ever read the book "Planet X" (a Star Trek:TNG/X-Men crossover novel) then you should understand this query: If you ever got around to writing novels or making a graphic novel with Gargoyles in it, would you ever consider doing a crossover story that pits the Gargoyles with another group of characters from another licensed universe of characters (with the creator's permission of course)?
P.S. - Here's to seeing you in Orlando (if I'm lucky enough to get down there). Maintain and Check Six!
Hey, Stephen, hope to see you right back.
I've never read Planet X. Frankly, it sounds awful. I can't think of two universes less suitable for crossover than Trek and X-Men. As for whether I'd consider it... the answer is maybe. First, I'd love the chance just to be doing garg stuff sans crossovers. (I've got enough ideas to crossover on my own, including New Olympians, Bad Guys, Pendragon, etc.) Then it would depend on what universe exactly we were trying to cross with. Some might be good fits. Some would not. Then the method of crossover would matter too.
As for Max Steel, it sounds like that's where Mattel got access to the name. Nothing else similar. And I'd never heard of it.
As promised, here's a little update on what's been going on in my professional life...
The first season (all thirteen episodes) of MAX STEEL have been completed. I've lost track of how many have aired. I think they turned out pretty good. At any rate, the show is a success and will be back for a second season. Unfortunately, I won't be. The WB didn't invite me to produce/edit/write season two. So you can forget about any long term plans/arcs I had for the series. Still, I wish the show well. (After all, it'll still carry my "Developed By" credit.)
In other news, today I finished recording all of the two volume (seven episode) video anime series 3X3 EYES. I think we assembled a terrific cast for the English dub. Here's a complete list:
Christian Cambell* as Yakumo Fujii
Brigitte Bako^ as Pai/Sanjiyan/Pabo Ayanokoji/Parvati/Howasho
Thom Adcox^* as Monkey
Edward Asner^* as Grandpa Ayanokoji
Earl Boen as Benares
Leslie Boone as Ken-Ken
Susan Chesler as Lee Ling-Ling
Bill Faggerbakke^ as Steve Long
Elisa Gabrielli^ as the Doll Demon
Jean Gilpin* as Mrs. Wong/Xunquai
Taliesin Jaffe as the Frog Demon and Feihong
William Katt as Tinzin
Mia Korf* as Natsuko
Ralph Lister as Choukai
Erin Matthews as Mei-Shin Long
Yuji Okumoto* as Chou and Naparva
Gregg Rainwater^* as Jake MacDonald
Dina Sherman as Dawn and Ran-Pao-Pao
Rick Simone as Tatsuya
Keith Szaribajka* as Professor Fujii and Ryouko
Rosie Taravella as Grandma Ayanokoji
Greg Weisman^ as Hide
and Keith David^ in a roll so rocking, I can't reveal it here. :)
* indicates a Voice Actor I worked with on MAX STEEL.
^ indicates a Voice Actor I worked with on GARGOYLES.
Anyway, the voices are all recorded. I've got three mix sessions left to do. I should be done in a week or so, at which point -- I'm unemployed.
Or nearly. I'm still teaching the animation writing course through UCLA extension. That's been a lot of fun and it keeps me pretty busy. Plus I'm working on writing a spec screenplay with my brother. And I go on the occasional job interview.
All this means is that it looks like I'll soon have plenty of time to dive back into ASK GREG. At one point we were closing in on completely catching up. Now we're over three months behind. But I'll try to make some fast progress. We've now got Todd Jensen helping Gorebash out to keep the site current, so that should help us avoid the "Nothing in queue" problems that were slowing us up before.
And I hope to see most of you at Gathering 2000 this August. It should be a GREAT con this year. I'll be there with Thom Adcox plus my wife and kids. We'll have new and special treats from Gargoyles, 3x3 Eyes and another EXCLUSIVE radio play event -- something that I guarantee you won't want to miss. Plus Disneyworld is a shuttle ride away. Make your reservations now.
For some reason the WB chose to air a Max Steel rerun last week instead of the already completed episode 7. This week (i.e. Saturday 4/21) they're skipping 7 again to air episode 10 (I think).
Episode 10 was written by former Garg writer/story editor Gary Sperling. Its title is "Sphinxes".
Queue is still empty...
Meanwhile, Max Steel episode #7 airs this Saturday. It's called "Snow-Blind" and was written by Mike Ryan. This continues Sony/WB's current tradition of airing the durn things in REVERSE order.
For those keeping track, the following episodes have aired in the following bizarre order:
#1 - "Strangers"
#3 - "Shadows"
#2 - "Sacrifices"
#4 - "Sportsmen"
#9 - "Sabres"
#8 - "Sharks"
#7 - "Snow-Blind"
#10 should follow shortly. It features the villain Dragonelle. After that #5 will air, which INTRODUCES Dragonelle.
This is how my life is running these days.
Maybe someday the WB will air them all in order.
But I wouldn't count on it.
We got Max Steel in Teletoon, Canada! I saw a preview and must say, I can't wait to see rest of the show!
Hope you like it!
For those of you following MAX STEEL on the WB...
This past Saturday, episode nine "Sabres" aired. (This is the one largely set on a space station.) It was written by Cary Bates.
And yes, it was supposed to be the ninth episode. But instead it aired fifth.
So far we've aired...
And, yes.... ARGGHHHHH!!!!
Anyway, next up this coming Saturday (4/8) is episode #8, "Sharks", written by Katherine Fugate.
The fourth episode of Max Steel airs tomorrow morning on the WB (in order for a rare change).
It's called "Sportsmen" and was written by Jon Weisman.
It features a few guest voice actors that might be familiar to you guys.
Cam Clark for starters, the voice of Erik Sturluson and Young Gillecomgain.
And oh, yeah, a couple of guys named Adcox and Bennett. (Tried to get Faggerbakke, but he was unavailable.)
The "second" episode of Max Steel, "Sacrifices", should air this Saturday morning on the WB (check local listings).
For those hopeless few attempting to keep track continuity-wise, this one was designed to fit between the two you've already seen, i.e. after the pilot episode (set in Berlin) and before the origin/flashback episode (set largely in Paris).
Another episode by episode ramble. Feedback encouraged.
So here's where all that great continuity got us in major trouble.
The episodes were all designed to play in a certain order. But I didn't tell my bosses that in advance. I know it sounds sneaky, but it wasn't really. We wrote the darn things and sent them off in order. It never occured to me they wouldn't be able to come back and air in order. I mean, how could a newer episode get the jump on an older one? How could an older episode not be ready before a newer one? Then the footage came back on "Enter Macbeth".
This was the first episode not animated in Japan. And immediately we knew we were in trouble. I'm not talking about the version you all have seen. The one that aired. I'm talking about stuff you never saw. Much of the original footage we got was unusable. This wasn't about just calling retakes. This wasn't about us bitching how "Thrill" wasn't as well animated as "Awakening". This was a major disaster. So my bosses said: "Air the next one." And I responded, "We can't."
And not just because they were all designed to air in order. It was a horrible coincidence, but this episode, this episode that was unairable, was a tentpole. Yeah, if Thrill or Temptation had been reordered it would have been sad. Same with "The Edge" and "Long Way To Morning". But big deal, right? Better to get a new episode out and not make the audience deal with repeats this early in the season. (Remember, we had aired our first five episodes in one week. This was only week five. In those days, week five was considered way too early in the year for reruns.)
But this was the follow-up to Elisa's injury. It was important to us that we continue our policy of "repercussions". We put her on crutches to show that a gunshot wasn't something that was solved in twenty-two minutes. This was an ongoing recovery. If you pulled the crutches out by airing Edge next, you blew out the sense of repercussions.
But that wasn't the clincher. Of course, the clincher was the Clock Tower. This was the episode where the Gargs were "banished" from the castle and moved to the Clock Tower. That was a major shift. If we cut straight to Edge, the audience would be lost. Fortunately, Gary was convinced. In a way, I was lucky that our first crisis of order came on such a pivotal "tentpole" episode. We couldn't reorder these. So we went with reruns. But it was a lesson learned. And it would effect the way we approached the second season.
But meanwhile, we had the problem at hand. We couldn't reanimate the entire show. So we picked shots to redo judiciously. There are still some awful looking scenes. When Goliath says, "How Dare You?!" to Elisa, he looks like an Animaniacs parody of Goliath. And that sarcophogus/iron maiden thing that Goliath follows Macbeth through looks like a prop out of CHIP N DALE'S RESCUE RANGERS. (Another perfectly good series, but with a slightly different art style, if you know what I mean.) Or how about the GIANT remote that Macbeth pulls from his duster in order to summon his ship? "Enter Macbeth" is still, as aired, the worst looking episode of the first season. And that really killed Frank and I, because we both really loved this story. We were sure that the bad animation would kill any interest in Macbeth. The fact that generally, the character did catch hold of fandom's collective imagination is a true testament to the work of Steve Perry, Michael Reaves, John Rhys-Davies and Jamie Thomason. And, oh, yes... William Shakespeare.
The weak picture forced us to use a lot of little tricks to get a final cut. One thing we did, which I regret, is reuse dialogue. Elisa says "You aren't safe here" like three times. And it isn't three different takes. It's just the exact same take reprinted and reused. Lex & Brooklyn also reuse lines to get Bronx to find Goliath. That sort of thing drives me nuts.
There is one really nice moment in the animation. When Macbeth chooses his sword off the wall, the reflection effect is quite sweet. And I also like the down shot of Bronx running right down the middle of Broadway (the street not the gargoyle). I also love how Goliath makes no attempt to hide. That really spoke to the Gargoyles attitude about living among humans. They wouldn't hold press conferences, but they would not cower.
Anyway, we ran reruns. Awakenings. And obviously all five episodes on five consecutive weeks. That might have been a good thing for people who had heard about the show by word of mouth in week two or later and needed to catch up. But for anyone who had been following the show from its premiere, it was a long time to wait for new episodes. By the time we came back, so much time had passed since "Deadly Force" that we felt the need to put a "Previously on Gargoyles" at the head of the episode. Another trick I cribbed from HILL STREET BLUES. Cartoons rarely did that sort of thing. Sure multi-parters had to. But single episodes... For some reason, it made me feel very grown up. (Which only proves how immature I really am.) The "Previously" also allowed us to cut 30 more seconds of bad looking footage out of the episode. That little bonus was something I'd remember for season two as well.
As we pushed guns in the previous episode, this one is laced with the imagery and language of home. What is it? What makes it? What price is one willing to pay to keep or secure it? There are four homes depicted. Well, really five. The Gargoyles' castle. Xanatos' prison. Macbeth's mansion. The Clock Tower. And the Castle again, once it is reclaimed by Xanatos and thus becomes a very, very different place.
I tried to make sure, as much as possible, that every episode had that kind of underlying theme. (I recently tried with very limited success to do the same thing in MAX STEEL. Someone asked me once, why the one-word S-Titles for all the Max Steel episodes. They were my attempt to make me and the writers focus on the theme of each story.)
And how do all these homes turn out? Macbeth is so obsessed that he loses his home to a fire. Xanatos finally gets out of prison. (Not on Halloween by the way, or that would make the dates depicted in Double Jeopardy innacurate. Obviously, Halloween was circled on his calendar because the guy just loves Halloween. And after all, Owen specifically says in a LATER scene that Xanatos has one week left before he gets out. The wall calendar had shown only a few days.) The Gargoyles lose the castle, gain the clock tower, but realize that home is literally where the heart is. And Xanatos... well all other concerns of Grimorum and gargoyle of destruction and competition pale next to the simple pleasure of being back home.
And how many of you were suprised that the Gargoyles lost the castle? That was supposed to be another pretty shocking development. I mean, sure, Batman might lose the Batcave for an episode, but for 56 episodes? When Goliath said "We'll be back to claim that which is ours" at the end, did most of you think he'd be back next week? Next month? By the time, the gang finally did return in chapter 65, did anyone still remember Goliath's vow?
I've discussed this before, but Macbeth's origins (at least in terms of our series) were (ironically) an early attempt to play the notion of THE HUNTER. I was looking for someone human who could physically take on the Gargoyles as prey. Someone smart, with an agenda. We actually started with the notion of trying to create our own KRAVEN THE HUNTER type character. But it quickly moved in its own direction. Frankly, away from Kraven and more toward BATMAN. In those days, we were constantly being told that we would be accused of ripping off Batman. So Frank, Michael and I decided to create a villain who, at least in M.O. would be our Batman.
I had a semi-separate idea to add a human to the cast who was from Goliath's time. Thus creating a good thematic nemesis or opposite for him. (The key to creating a good villain, in my opinion.) But this villain would have lived through the centuries. So that he was familiar with the very latest in technology. This dove-tailed with our anti-Batman, and was also exactly how we viewed Demona. So it soon became clear to Michael and I that the two characters must be connected in some way. That suggested that he shouldn't merely be 1000 years old. He should be Scottish as well. All that was left was a name. And given my love of Shakespeare, I'm surprised it took me so long to figure it out. Our nemesis was Macbeth himself. An immortal Scottish King. What Scottish King was more immortal than Macbeth? More mortal too for that matter.
This was the beginning of countless Shakespearian references that I would either slide (or force) into the show, or that the writers would stick in knowing I was a sucker for them. And I love the little exchange between Lex & Brooklyn...
LEX: "Wasn't "Macbeth" the name of that play by that new writer Shakespeare that Goliath was talking about?"
BROOKLYN: "Have you read it?"
LEX: "No. Have you?"
BROOKLYN: "No. But maybe we should."
This was my little way of trying to encourage our viewers to read or at least learn about the play. If they wanted to know who Macbeth was, it wouldn't hurt to go to the primary source.
And at the time, Shakespeare was my primary source for Macbeth. This was long before Tuppence Macintyre and Monique Beatty did all their research for me for "City of Stone". Back then, the only Macbeth I knew about was Shakespeare's.
We gave him a sense of honor, but a twisted one. And we gave him a very interesting motivation. I didn't yet know the particulars, but this guy was after Demona in a major way. He had stained glass windows in his home depicting the two of them. He was the man who named her. It was all pretty intriguing stuff to me. I love the exchange between him and Goliath. Goliath is a pawn. Mac wants the queen and believes that endangering Goliath is the surest way to ensnare Demona. And how does Goliath respond? By gum, if he doesn't laugh -- MANIACALLY!! And watch how the tables turn. Macbeth is not infallible and suddenly Goliath has him on the defensive. Goliath even uses a MACE!! Great stuff.
Incidentally, we had in the script described Macbeth as wearing a thin layer of exo-armor. And Goliath was supposed to dig his claws into it. Macbeth would escape by detaching from the armor. Instead, the artists did the bit with the duster coat. But I remembered the claws in armor thing and eventually found a place for it... in HUNTER'S MOON, PART THREE.
Finally, watching the episode tonight, my five year old daughter said she spotted the Mona Lisa on Macbeth's wall. I didn't see it. But I believe her. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was the original. Too bad about that fire.
Last Friday and Saturday, the Max Steel pilot, episode #1: "Strangers" aired on the WB... twice.
Unfortunately, the rest won't be airing in order. For a change, this isn't being caused by some bizarre scheduling perversion. The truth is that episode #2 isn't ready yet. Almost. But not quite.
So instead, this coming Saturday (March 4) the WB will present episode #3: "Shadows", written by Lydia Marano.
As the writer of episode #1, I do want to point out that I do know that the Berlin Wall was torn down over a decade ago. After Max says, "I can see the Berlin Wall from here." He was supposed to listen to 'Berto and say, "Oh, right. Some other wall then." I haven't been participating in the post-production on this series, so I'm not entirely sure why the second line was cut. And normally, I wouldn't mention it. But I think it makes me look like an idiot. So I'm gonna be petty and set the record straight.
I will say that the "Developed by" credit I get on the opening titles is without a doubt the COOLEST-LOOKING credit I've ever had.
Hi Greg! Even though this may not get seen for a while, I had to submit it anyway... so here's a comment and a question:
First, I find it wild that Gummi Bears were one of your major influnces. I can only assume you're talking about the candy or the animated show, for that I wish I could show you the one story I wrote that crosses Gummis with another group of characters... well, you fill in the rest. :)
Now, my question: You mentioned a series called Max Steel that you've been working on. Is this in any relation to a toy line called "Max Steel's Robo Force", or is this something completely different?
Anyway, will talk at you later! Maintain and Check Six!
I was of course referring to the Disney TV series, not the candy.
Max Steel IS based on a Mattel toy line. It's called MAX STEEL and became available in Stores in the US starting in January of this year. I don't know where you got the "Robo-Force" tagline. Are you sure you're not confusing the name with something else?
I read your little piece about the new "Max Steel" series that you're working on, and found myself wondering one odd little question.
Is there any particular reason as to why all the episode titles begin with an S?
There's a greater parallel between the titles then simply the Ss.
But honestly, the main reason was to amuse myself.
Hi mr. Weisman!
1.Are you still in touch with Michael Reaves, Frank Paur and Laura Perrotta?
2.Do you know what they're doing now since Gargoyles was cancelled?
I haven't seen or talked to Laura in some time. She left Gargoyles between the first and second season of the series to become an Associate Producer on SANTA BUGITO at Clasky-Czupo, I believe. I ran into her in a restaurant once since then, but that's it. I think she told me she had moved to Warners, but I can't remember.
I last talked to Frank, last summer. He was trying to get to the Gathering 99 and was having flight trouble. Instead of calling the Gathering staff, he kept leaving messages for me at my hotel room. I called him back at an airport payphone. He had just finished work on season two (three?) of SPAWN. I'm not sure what he's been doing since. Maybe more SPAWN?
Michael Reaves and I worked together fairly recently. He wrote a couple of the STARSHIP TROOPERS and one of the MAX STEEL scripts that I edited.
How did you get Tom Wilson and Sheena Easten for the show? Did they come to you, did you call them?
Tom auditioned for one or more of the Trio. He wasn't right, but I really liked him, and I suggested him to Jamie Thomason when we created Matt.
I am now a HUGE Tom Wilson fan. I created the role of Pete Costas in MAX STEEL with Tom in mind. (Originally it was a bigger role, but the WB cut it back. He's still great in it though.) And I think the work he's doing on NBC's FREAKS & GEEKS is brilliant. He does so much with so little. Taking a cliche that we've seen a hundred times before (remember Robert Picardo in THE WONDER YEARS) and investing it with so much humanity. I can't tell you how great I think he is. Someone should really give this guy his own live action show.
As for Sheena, she was my original choice for Princess Katharine. She wasn't available and Kath Soucie who I had never worked with before was terrific. But Sheena was always in my head to give something to. Finella seemed a great opportunity. So we brought her in. She was great. So we brought her back. She was astounding as Molly/Banshee, so we brought her back again. I was prepared to build the entire BAD GUYS series around her and Jim Cummings (with some help from Jeff Bennett, Jim Belushi and William Devane) but I couldn't sell it. I tried to cast her in as Molly McGrath in Max Steel, but again she wasn't available.
But I'd work with either Tom or Sheena again, anyday.
I'm back. And determined to pour through these questions. I can't believe I'm still backlogged until JULY!!!
But first, let me give you a quick update on what I've been up to recently.
Post-Production has been completed on my first arc of stories. They are all set on the jungle moon TESCA NEMEROSA. I think they turned out wonderfully. I'm still very proud of the writing, but I'm wildly impressed with the CGI. (And yes, there are a few small things that bother me, but...) Overall, I think it's a very powerful set of stories.
We've completed writing and recording all 13 episodes for the first season. Post-production should begin after the first of the year. The CGI series should premeire in February on the WB's Saturday Morning. And now that the heavy lifting is done, I'm all but unemployed, which means I should have plenty of time for ASK GREG.
A good friend of mine did the English dub for this Japanese Anime series. Thom Adcox does the voice for one of the leads, and I do a few incidental voices here and there. (Yes, the man who brought you "Nice Mask!" and "Father, the rockets aren't working!" is back behind the microphone. God help us all.) It's available on home video in stores starting mid-January.
JUSTICE LEAGUE GIANT
As many of you already know, I did a CAPTAIN ATOM/JLE/GARGOYLES parody team-up for this comic book. I wrote it a year ago and I still haven't seen the final result, but I'm told it turned out all right. And every copy you buy puts about a tenth of a penny into my pocket... Seriously, it wouldn't hurt if this issue sold out and was followed by a letter writing campaign asking DC to do an actual Gargoyles comic. Don't know if it would work, but it wouldn't hurt.
For those of you living in the L.A. Area, Kevin Hopps and I are teaching a twenty week course on writing for Television Animation through UCLA Extension's Writer's Program at Universal CityWalk starting this Spring and running through the Summer. Hope to see some of you there.
Now, back to your questions...
Reprinting (for posterity) what I just posted in the comment room:
Just a quick response/explanation to Alex (aka Simon).
I couldn't really do a full-on Captain Atom story. I was limited to 10 pages (and it takes a lot of time to write that short) and it was a JLA GIANT, so I was obligated to include the JLE from that era. Those were my marching orders.
So Dan Raspler (my editor) and I decided to do something fun. Something with Captain Atom elements, but something more in the tone of the JLE of that era -- admittedly, a sillier mag than the CAPTAIN ATOM book I used to write back then. But even in those days, when I put the JLE into Cap's book, I tried to split the difference on the tone, so that the transition wasn't too jarring.
I suggested making it a real exercise in self-indulgence by including a bit of a GARGOYLES parody. He went for it.
Now, in my first draft, I did open the story by showing the Funeral-At-Sea of Heinrich Megala. But my editor felt that it was too serious. That it clashed with the tone of the rest of the story. I didn't disagree. (I just didn't care.) But he didn't like it. So we went with what you saw.
Or so I assume. I haven't seen it yet. I called Dan yesterday, and he promised to send me a copy. Originally, Pat Broderick was supposed to do the pencilling -- a reunion of sorts. I don't know exactly what happened, but Pat didn't end up doing the story. So I can't even imagine what it looks like. And I don't know how much or how little I was edited. I hope it plays.
And I hope that clears things up.
By the way, I'm almost done with the writing and editing of Max Steel. I promise that after the first of the year, I'm going to try to MUSCLE through the backlog here at ASK GREG.
Sorry for the delays.
I can't believe I'm still answering questions from back in July.
Please have patience with me. I have been completely swamped working on a new series for SONY (makers of MIB & Starship Troopers) and the WB (the network of BATMAN BEYOND). It's called "MX1: MAX STEEL", and if I survive the production process it should be a pretty cool show.
Here's a little info:
I'm the story editor and one of the producers.
It's not the same job/responsibility/freedom that I had on Gargoyles, but it is the closest I've come to it since way back then.
The Executive Producers are Richard Raynis and Jeff Kline.
The other Producer (on the art side) is Bob Richardson.
Sue Blue is our voice director.
We've got an order for 13 episodes. Each stands alone, hopefully, but as usual with my stuff they'll play better in sequence. I hope they air in order someday.
As of today, the writing breaks down as follows:
1. "Strangers" by Greg Weisman.
2. "Sacrifices" by Greg Weisman.
3. "Shadows" by Lydia Marano.
4. "Sportsmen" by Jon Weisman.
5. "Seraphim" by Michael Reaves.
6. "Spear-Carriers" by Kevin Hopps.
7. "Snow-Blind" by Mike Ryan.
8. "Sharks" by Katherine Fugate.
9. "Sabres" by Cary Bates.
10. "Sphinxes" by Gary Sperling.
11. "Swashbucklers" by Jon Weisman.
12. "Scions" by Cary Bates.
13. "Shattered" by Kevin Hopps.
The voice cast is pretty impressive to, with quite a few names familiar to Gargoyles fandom...
Our five regulars...
Recurring & Guest Cast includes (in order of appearance):
John de Lancie
Thomas Wilson (aka Matt Bluestone)
Edward Asner (aka Hudson)
Jeff Bennett (aka Brooklyn, Owen, etc.)
Cam Clarke (aka Young Gillecomgain & Eric Sturlesson)
Thom Adcox Hernandez (aka Lexington)
Greg Rainwater (aka Natsilane & Coyote Trickster)
And that's just after having recorded five episodes.
The show is 100% CGI. We have high hopes.
In other news, I just attended what could be called my first GARGOYLE wedding. Marc Perlman (our music editor) and Laurel Whitcomb (our publicist) met at the Gargoyle Premiere Party in 1994. They've been an item ever since, and finally made it official yesterday. The wedding was great fun, and I was singled out as being responsible for bringing them together.
Geez, talk about pressure.
I loved it.
I will get back to answering questions as soon as I can. Hope this little update tides you over a bit.