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Two questions inspired by the Avalon World Tour and "The Gathering"
1. What is the nature of Avalon that it sends poele where they need to be? It is alive or sentient or just an agent of kismet? And why is the island endowed with these powers? (OK, that's really three questions, but one answer, I suppose)
2. We don't see Goliath, et al, actually return to New York. What happened to the skiff? Did it sink like Arthur's skiff did? And was there a scene perhaps showing them returning that was left on the cutting room floor?
1. One answer: Yes.
2. No scene on the cutting room floor. We had JUST shown a very similar scene in "Future Tense". Basically, we felt it would have played the same way minus the "Planet of the Apes" shock value of seeing the Statue of Liberty half-destroyed. So we chose NOT to show their arrival, not to show a LESS dramatic version of what we had just depicted one episode previous. Instead, we decided to give the PoV to Hudson, Cagney and the Trio. See their surprise. Get a cliff-hanger out of it. You understand. As for the skiff, yes it sunk, as Arthur's had. Again, something we had shown before.
To supplement Todd's Boudicca info. Boudicca is the one who had swords mounted on the wheel hubs of her chariot to cut roman soldiers off at the knees. Oddly, Margret Thatcher had a mood that her aids referred to as her Boudicca mode. My tenth grade history teacher wanted to name his daughter after her, but his wife objected.
Can't say I blame her.
You ask for comments, and boy, do people give them to you. I think you'll be shackled in this Ask Greg piece for the rest of your life, or if by some miracle... <which won't come cause Disney corps are stupid and inherently greedy> the shows ressurected.
Anycase.... I was going through my very fractured gargoyle collection. <I had started taping the episodes off the WB, but the show was cancelled, le sigh, and never got key episodes like "The Mirror" which I so adore, so I only have the crappy USA versions and a couple of uncuts>. Anyways... I saw a handfull of episodes. I'd forgotten how powerful some scenes were.
The first episodes I popped in and saw. Avalon 1-3. Avalon 1 was nice, flashback, filler episode. And then came Avalon 2, with David Warner <who for Star Trek fans voiced a cardassian in an episode where Picard was captured, the "how many lights" big brother deal ep>. His interaction with anyone is great, but with himself?! Pure genius. But even yet... this probably didn't prepare anyone for Avalon 3. This was truly a pivotal episode. In it we see the typical fights, Archmage, Macbeth/Demona. But the Magus. Wow. My congrats whoever did that... The Magus. How you expanded in on his character to let everyone know *who* he was. His feelings, regrets, hardships, guilt. And then the impossible battle he fought... you stated that Puck would have a hard time taking on the Weird Sisters. But he did it, a single sorceror, without the strength to weild the magic, took them on anyways. And in his last ounce of strength, cast a spell sealing the battle. Just must applaud whoever wrote that, whether you or anyone. And the Death scene, I'm not a cryer, but I swear I nearly shed tears. Goosebumps..
The Price came next. Another very key episode. It shows how much Goliath cares for his former leader, and the loyalty of Owen. Xanatos really pissed me off at the end of that episode, how he casually shrugged off the loyalty bit.
Well I'm gonna end my little episode opinions, but its fun to talk about them and such. With such a *huge* audience. If Gore ever put a counter on this page, I'd laugh to see what its little ticker would be. You get at least 15 questions a day I'd think.
Thanks for the show.
I'd hardly call AVALON I, filler. Anyway....
As for Avalon III, I think Lydia wrote the episode. I came up with the basic story idea, and Lydia, Brynne and I worked out the plot together.
As for "The Price", you don't need to be quite so pissed at Xanatos. He knew Owen was Puck.
As for how many questions I get... I'm not sure. But February's going on forever.
Incidentally, you mentioned during your October posts that you weren't too familiar with the original Boudicca, and I thought that I'd fill you in on her a bit.
Boudicca was the Queen of the Iceni (an ancient British tribe in what is now Norfolk) and wife to King Prasutagus in the early days of Roman Britain. When Prasutagus died, he left part of his lands and wealth to Rome, but the Romans greedily decided to help themselves to a lot more than he'd left them. When the widowed Boudicca protested, they flogged her and raped her daughters. In anger, Boudicca sought revenge by rallying the Britons (both the Iceni, and the neighboring tribes) against the Romans, and sacked three cities (London, St. Albans, and Colchester), ruthlessly slaughtering everyone that she could find living in them, in a war of rebellion between A.D. 60 and 61. The Romans finally defeated her army in the end, however, and Boudicca poisoned herself.
(She does remind me a bit of Demona, on the general level, in fact. Certainly the same basic concept was there of furious retaliation upon one's persecutors on a level just as savage as the original wrong itself, if not worse).
Reminds me of Tamara in TITUS.
I wonder if Katharine, Tom and the Magus were thinking of that story when they named their Boudicca, or if it was just the notion of a female warrior that got them to choose the name?
You have stated that newly hatched gargoyles need to be nursed. How did Katherine, Magus, and Tom manage to handle that when the eggs hatched on Avalon?
Good question. Somehow Avalon provided.
"Long Way To Morning" This was my title, based on an idea I'd had from way early in the development of the series. It was always obvious to me that the fact that the gargs turned to vulnerable stone at sunrise, gave the series a built-in ticking clock that added tension. But given the gargoyles' healing factor (to borrow a Wolverine term) it occured to me early on that there might come a time when sunrise couldn't come fast enough. That was the origin of this episode and the title. (I think I may have even mentioned the scenario in the Series' Writers' Bible.)
The other obvious purpose of the episode was to give Hudson a showcase episode to equal the Trio tryptich. As I've mentioned before, Gargoyles was originally developed as a comic series, and one of the funny little gargoyles in that show was "Ralph", a very domestic couch potato Gargoyle who loved to stay at home and watch T.V. Hudson developed out of Ralph, but he spent much of the first few episodes "Guarding the castle" (or the clock tower). We'd given him some great action in AWAKENING. But we still felt a major need to UN-RALPH him.
I wanted to deal with his age as realistically as possible. To have him doubt himself, maybe even be aware of his limitations, but then have him prove to himself that he still had something to contribute. I think we basically succeed in that here.
But this ep afforded us other opportunities as well. Opportunities to explore Wyvern backstory in our parallel flashback story:
--We find out definitively that Hudson WAS the leader of the clan and that Goliath was his second. We also get to see the baton get passed.
--We learn how Hudson was blinded in one eye.
--We meet Prince Malcolm and get a sense of how Princess Katharine became the bitch she was at the start of "Awakening". I think this was very important in paving the way for her role in the "Avalon" tryptich. By the end of "Awakening", she's remorseful and has seen the error of her ways, but it doesn't change how badly she acted. But this episode reveals how and why her antipathy toward Gargoyles was created. It doesn't excuse her behaviour, but it helps to explain it enough so that we can buy her as a heroine when we next see her. Malcolm doesn't come off as well. I wanted to present how easily casual thoughtless words could be hurtful, and even lead to tragic consequences. My daughter Erin (age 5 1/2) had seen this episode at least once before. But this time, that aspect of Malcolm's inadvertent damage and Katharine's mistaken blame really grabbed her attention. The injustice of it really troubled her. Which is exactly the response I was looking for. (My kids are so cool. She also noticed Hudson's eye getting injured, and commented on how smart Hudson was to jump off into the waterfall.)
--I love the subtle changes that Jeff, Keith and Marina made in their voices when playing the young Magus, Goliath and Demona. It's interesting to see Demona's progression in hindsight from "Vows" to "Long Way" to "Awakening, Part One" to "City of Stone" to the present day. She really is a fascinating character, if I do say so myself. Here, you see her ambition. But no villainy. Of course, it made for a nice counterpoint with her vicious murderous tendencies in the present day story.
--Throughout production of this episode, I had to keep pointing out to the artists, etc., that the flashbacks all had a point of view, i.e. Hudson's. That Demona and Goliath's "private conversations" could NOT be as private as they thought. Hudson had to know what they were saying about him. Both because it further eroded his confidence in both the past and present (the true demon he had to overcome) and because if he didn't hear those conversations it would be cheating to include them in HIS dreams and flashbacks.
--We also intro'd the ARCHMAGE. A one-shot villain if I ever saw one, except that David Warner was so amazing, I knew I had to bring the character back. When he falls into the chasm, you can just here the Phoenix Gate exploding open down there. (Of course, to some people that sounded like him hitting bottom. Their mistake.)
Brooklyn still has it in for D. Broadway is now Ultra-Protective of Elisa. Hudson has superior tracking skills in the past and the present.
And Demona has clearly focused her hatred on Elisa. (Who, by the way, loses her second gun of the series.) It was important for these early episodes that we fool Demona into thinking that Elisa was dead. Otherwise, how else do we explain why she doesn't just kill her.
Demona at the end, uses her cannon as a club. This was designed to be ambiguous. Did Hudson's sword damage the weapon? Or was Demona just so furious that she wanted the satisfaction of cudgeling the old guy to death? Yeah, it was designed to be ambiguous, but no one ever EVER thought that the gun was damaged. They all assumed Demona just lost it. Which is probably true.
Speaking of that Waterfall thing, that image was important retro-pipe for Hunter's Moon, Part Three. (More on that in 54 chapters.)
Animation-wise, I just wish Demona hadn't come off as such a lousy shot.
I love Hudson and Goliath's last exchange. Goliath assures Hudson that he still has "Years of fighting left". Hudson, glad to be of use, is still less than thrilled at the prospect. It's a great wry beat, but it was also important to me to point out that no rational person would wish to fight like that forever. The gargs, including Hudson, fight the good fight because they have to, because it is their duty, part of their natural protective instincts. But none of them WANT to fight.
As usual, I'd like to encourage responses to this episode here at ASK GREG, particularly how you responded to viewing this for the first time.
I was just reading some of your responses, and came across one response which made me crack up:
"I think Angela was a virgin even at the time of "The Journey". (Broadway too for that matter.) Not so sure about Ophelia. "
I don't know how many other fans have read Hamlet, or even seen it performed (personally I think reading should be done before viewing). But as it's one of my favorite plays, I found the comment about Ophelia absolutely marvelous. Now I don't read fanfiction, nor do I really write it (I am working on one story as more of a roast towards Stephen Sobatka and Wyrmwolf); but I tell you that one little comment does get the ideas flowing. Like who is our young "hamlet"??
I've always enjoyed all of the Shakespearian refrences, and this little one about Ophelia's purity has definately made a good day out of a bad week. Thnx!
Uh, Ophelia's mate is Gabriel. Haven't I mentioned that?
1)How would Tom's mother react to his relationship with the Princess?
2)Have you determined exactly why Tom and Katherine never had biological children of thier own?
1. I think she'd be happy for him, and not a little impressed.
2. Not a lot of fertility specialists on Avalon.
Hi Greg! Ditto what Jenna just said. I'm going to try to insert a question in here, tho'. Did the third race create Avalon, or did Avalon create the third race? If this question is hard to answer, could you tell me which appeared first? Thanks!
It's not quite that cut and dry... One didn't create the other.
What's the general feeling among the Avalon Gargoyles concerning Oberon and his children's coming to the island? I'd expect there'd be quite a bit of resentment, especially given Magus' death at the hands of the Sisters...
I think that there's much uneasyness both ways. But I also think the Children like having a few mortals around. And the clan may simply be glad that they have both a roll (i.e. honor guard, i.e. protection) and the support of Oberon.
I tried, in that little scene in GATHERING PART ONE between Oberon and Katharine to indicate that a pleasant detante had been reached.
I believe you've said that Gabriel will learn he's Coldstone and Coldfire's son (and I think vice-versa as well). To what extent will he *care* about this? As much as Angela cared about her own parentage? Less so? Will he be completely uninterested, considering only the Princess/Guardian/Magus to be his real parents?
I think he'd care more than, say Broadway. Probably not as much as Angela. The difference is that Coldstone and Coldfire wouldn't care at all. That is, they'd be thrilled that all their children survived. To them, Angela is as much a daughter as Gabriel is a son. They were too distracted to deal with that in Possessions. But if I had been able to get back to that....
This question's also a Norse mythology one. In the cosmology of the Gargoyles Universe, where do you see Asgard fitting in, since the Aesir are part of it? Do you see it as on Avalon, or as a "home away from Avalon" for Odin and the other Norse gods?
Home away from home.
How are the two Gargoyles and the vegetation from Guatemala faring on Avalon?
I imagine the vegetation is fairing well. But Jade and Turquesa are no longer on Avalon. They were needed back on Guatemala, so I think they left Avalon A.S.A.P. Of course, we all know that Avalon sends you where you need to be. So I'm sure they had a few adventures of their own. But I imagine their back in Guatemala by now.
you said that when you wrote avalon part one it was to long so some of the scenes were taken out. what were those scenes about?
First off, I didn't write Avalon, Part One. Lydia Marano did.
I'm sure it was too long. (Most of our scripts were.) But I don't have it with me at this moment, and I don't remember anything in particular that was cut. Probably there were a few little trims here and there. No major scene cuts.
Avalon, Part Two had WAY more cuts.
Watched this with the family half an hour ago...
More random observations...
RE: Our supporting cast...
Who knew that Brendan & Margot would wind up being so important? Credit Marina Sirtis, for making Margot so gloriously bitchy.
And then there's Vinnie's first appearance on that motorcycle. Of course, no one knew Vinnie existed back then, which is thoroughly appropriate to his character.
And credit Keith David with breathing real life into Morgan the cop. Morgan didn't even have a name then. He was just a place holder, someone for Elisa to respond to. But Keith made me interested in him.
Little things still bug me. Xanatos' floating ponytail in the scene where he and Elisa first meet.
In the Kitchen, the Freezer door was supposed to have one of those easy to open latches on the inside. The irony being that Broadway could easily extricate himself, if he just knew how to operate the latch (or even what it was). Something a kid could do, assuming the kid was born in the 20th century. But BW has to bust down the door.
In the original script and the recording of that script, it's Brooklyn who says "So many wonders..." and it's Broadway who says "Goliath said not to let anybody see us." But in those early days, lots of people in L.A. and in Tokyo kept confusing their names (and Bronx's) so the animation came back as you see it. And it was easier to re-record the voices then to reanimate. (Or am I getting all this totally backwards? I just saw the show again half an hour ago, and already, I'm confused.)
(CAVEAT: In all these little things, I'll probably be pointing out animation errors here and there. But please understand, I think most of the animation we got, particularly from Walt Disney TV Animation - Japan, was brilliant. I think those guys did a great job and don't get enough credit. But anecdotes generally come out of when things go wrong, not when they go right, so it may seem like I'm talking about mistakes more often than not. Sorry, in advance to Roy Sato or anyone else who might take offense.)
When Elisa is first being checked out by the Trio, there was a scene in the original animation where Brooklyn seems inordinantly interested in her behind. We had to call a retake, cuz the guy was practically drooling. I wonder if that's where I got the idea that Brooklyn would fall for anyone in a skirt (or with a tail).
Also, after Goliath saves Elisa from falling off the building we have a point of view shot from her. It begins at Goliath's feet and pans up to his face, as she takes him in. In the original animation, the pan started at his head and panned down. That seemed less effective, so we had our editors reverse the pan, without calling for a retake.
At the end of Act Two, the door slides open revealing Demona in silhouette, clearly plotting something with Xanatos. That always really bugged me. I didn't want to give away that she was alive in this episode. I didn't want to know who Xanatos was talking to. How did you guys react to this? Did that spill everything? Did any of you not know that Demona was alive? Did any of you, by this point, not know that she and Xanatos were the bad guys?
Elisa says something like "This is where Dracula shows up." when she's walking through the corridors of the castle. If you take that literally (and you might as well), then you gotta figure that someday, Dracula will be roaming that very hallway.
Elisa loses the first in her series of guns, when Goliath crushes it near the end of Act One.
Goliath tells a joke: "And please, don't fall off the building this time." Goliath tells a joke. Can you believe it? It wasn't bad either. We should have let him tell jokes more often.
Elisa's surprise that Goliath can talk is indicative of what I thought a 20th (or 21st) century initial response to the gargs would be. That's why Goliath Chronicles' trial episode bugged me so much. I don't think humans would take for granted sentience. And I think most humans, those less open than Elisa, wouldn't even buy talking as enough evidence that the gargs weren't just beasts. (Cf. Margot Yale.)
Goliath is a pretty begruding hero. That's somewhat unique for cartoons. Elisa asks if there are more gargs, and Goliath responds: "Barely." He cuts her very little slack. But already you can see their relationship developing. I still think Hudson's expression after Goliath sweeps Elisa up into his arms is just priceless.
In that same scene, Hudson gets named for the river. I love that scene, as I loved the scene where Tom, Brook and Lex are talking about names. Of course, the desire not to name most of the gargoyles until we got to NYC '94, was mostly pragmatic. It allowed us to use those fun, cool NY names for most of the characters. But once we came up with the rationale for it, and once I managed to explain it to everyone, I really fell in love with the concept. Hudson's lament, here, that humans don't think something is real until they've put there stamp on it, is, to me at least, so damn true. And Elisa's response is so feeble and circular. "Things need names." Pathetic. But I'm no different. <SIGH> I'm such a human. But I aspire to gargoylosity. Anyway, after Hudson points to the river, and Elisa basically tricks him into taking that name, she used to have a line, as I may have mentioned before, where she said (under her breath) "Good thing we weren't facing Queens" -- implication being that Hudson nearly ended up being called Queen, I guess. It was always funny, but S&P didn't care for it, and I couldn't really defend it. So out it went. We tried another version, where she just says, "Good thing we weren't facing East." But it didn't play. So out it went too.
The thing that struck me most, however, was the almost thorough lack of action in this episode. After all that Viking stuff in Part One, and Vikings and a full act of commandos in Part Two, Part Three is a mood and character piece. Sure Elisa falls off a building, but that was a problem easily solved. Until the commandos' Central Park attack in the last seconds of Act Three, nothing else happens that could genuinely qualify as action. That was mostly a result of what was once a four-parter being turned into a five-parter. The reason we made that change is because Michael Reaves wrote a brillaint four-part script. It was amazing. But it was WAY too long. I was faced with either having to make drastic cuts (as I would later have to do in Avalon and Hunter's Moon) or expand it. Fortunately, Gary Krisel and Bruce Cranston saw the wisdom of expansion. For one thing, it would save us money. But also, it made sense because we could run the five parts across a whole week of the Disney Afternoon like a mini-series special event. It wouldn't require us to re-program one day of that first week. So we were all agreed, the four parter would become a five parter.
But that meant adding act breaks, and redividing everything. The episode that most benefited was Part One. In the orignal version, Part One covered all of what is currently part one, plus the first act of what's currently part two, i.e. ALL the Scotland stuff. The episode ended with Goliath's "suicide". A great ending, but we would have obviously had to cut a TON out of the flashback. This way we were able to expand into part two and preserve almost all of the story.
So Part Three winds up being nearly action-free. And by the way, I love that. I still think the episode works great, and it proved to me that the charcters themselves could really hold the audience's attention. (I'm such a proud papa. Unashamedly so. It must be pretty obnoxious.) I wish we had always had the luxury to be so... well, luxurious. To expand and play character. But generally a half-hour format makes it tough. I'm very sick of writing half hours, actually. But the powers that be in Animation believe that kids can't or won't sit through an hour long show.
As usual, I welcome posts here responding to this episode. Both your original reaction to seeing it for the first time, and your current reaction if you've seen it again recently.
Is Boudicca the only gargoyle beast of the Avalon clan? And does the fact that gargoyle beasts seem even rarer than normal gargoyles mean that their species is in an even worse danger of extinction?
No, she's not. But the beast species is, generally, in even greater danger of extinction than gargoyles.
How did the Avalon gargoyles learn how to glide? After all, their human foster-parents were obviously in no position to teach them themselves how to do it.
Trial and error.
Hi there ;)
Just wondering...where did you guys come up With the Name Bouhdicca? (sp?) thanks alot, have a ncie day ;)
Boudicca was a Celtic female warrior. I don't actually know that much about her. Brynne Chandler Reaves and/or Lydia Marano chose that name.
I'll mention here that I've reintroduced myself to Gargoyles only this summer via fan webpages and I've managed to get Toon Disney for only a month. Therefore, while not completly updated on every detail of each episode, I do remember quite a bit from the original airdates of them. And if this question has been asked before, forgive me, but I've only frequented Ask Greg for three months. If it's in the archives somewhere, just point the way. SOOO, without further ado...
I remember in a past question where you mentioned recycling characters. (Morgan, Margot and Brendan, Vinnie, etc.) While watching the AVALON episodes, I noticed that many of Angela's rookery sibs were identical to those gargoyles seen in Demona's renagade clan from 2nd century, right down to the clothing. As I understood it, she collected THEM from other clans that were destroyed throughout Scotland. No way for their eggs to end up in Wyvern's rookery, or even on Avalon for that matter.
So, here's the question: were these gargs mearly another batch of recycled characters? And if so, why use them on Avalon? Did you see any kind of conflict coming from this? Or is there another reason altogether that I'm missing entirley?
By the way, I REALLY envy you for having created such a great story, with all these fictional and factual elements mixed in to create the best animated series ever. Wish I'd thought of it :)
If you're looking for the "Behind the Scenes" answer it's pretty obvious. We couldn't afford to design multiple clans of background gargoyles everytime we did a flashback story or went to Avalon. So we reused the models, figuring most people wouldn't notice.
But there's also a within the Universe explanation that works for me. When a Gargoyle clan gets too large for it's location, it splits and colonizes. The Wyvern Clan had been living in relative peace under Prince Malcolm. In my mind it got up to about 100 or so Gargoyles and Beasts. That was too large a number for Wyvern to sustain, so approximately half of the gargoyle population moved on to found a new colony, start a new clan. But all the eggs were left behind in the established Wyvern rookery. The new colony obviously didn't fair any better than Wyvern ultimately, but Demona collected up a few of its survivors, during the Maol Chalvim/Duncan era.
But some of those survivors left eggs behind at the Wyvern rookery, which explains why there are some look-alikes on Avalon.
As for the clothes.... Give me a break.
This is more of a comment/correction rather than a question. I think that you've miscalculated a date. In a previous Ask Greg question you had said that you had once calculated that the gargs both in Avalon and in the real world will lay eggs at 2008. I think that must have been a mistake on your part: I believe that gargoyles lay egg in their 50th or 49th year (biological 25). That would mean that in Avalon-time 50*24=1200 years. The gargs at avalon should lay their eggs only 1200 real-world years after they were hatched. That in turn means that if they were hatched around somewhere around year 1040, they shouldn't lay eggs until 2240 or something like that...
Anyway thought I should mention this...
No, that's not right.
God knows it's been years since I did this math, however I think you are operating on faulty assumptions.
Yes, the Avalon eggs hatched in 1044.
Thus by 1995, Angela, Gabriel, Ophelia, et al. would all be biologically twenty years old. That's way past Gargoyle puberty in my book. So what remains is for their internal clocks to be in sync, so to speak, with the natural rhythms of the Earth that would put the females "in heat" (for lack of a better term). That would next occur sometime in late 2007 or early 2008.
That easily puts, say, Ophelia in synch with Angela and Obsidiana out in the real world. The difference comes twenty years later in 2028, when the latter two might again lay eggs. But to Ophelia she would have only just laid her first egg a mere 20 months ago. I don't know whether that's enough recovery time for her, enough time for her own internal cycle -- but in any case her first egg certainly wouldn't have hatched yet.
It's also worth considering whether Ophelia and Angela might have been "in heat" in Avalon in 1988? Maybe they were, and maybe Katharine was preaching abstinence in a major way.
Suddenly, I feel like this is Christine's show. :) [No, I haven't read her fan-fiction, but boy have I heard rumors.]
In any case, for those of you with dirty minds, I think Angela was a virgin even at the time of "The Journey". (Broadway too for that matter.) Not so sure about Ophelia.