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Since Jean Valjean exists are there any other literary figures from the 1700s- 1800s that actually existed in the gargoyles universe?
This covers much the same ground as one of my posts in the Comment Room on the night of October 25, but I thought that I'd post it here as well, to give you all the better an opportunity of reading it.
I was quite intrigued with your remark that you'd decided long ago that Jean Valjean existed in the Gargoyles Universe. The reason for that was that, up until now, whenever "Gargoyles" made use of "pre-existing" fictional characters, it was almost always people from literature, at latest, in the early modern period (as in Shakespeare's characters). The Gargoyles Universe is certainly rich in characters from myth and legend, and early literature such as Shakespeare's plays. But so far as I could tell, nobody in literature post-dating Shakespeare's time period found their way directly into the Gargoyles Universe. Some may be alluded to (such as Sherlock Holmes in "The Hound of Ulster"), or have "Gargoyles Universe" analogies (such as the Frankenstein monster with Coldstone), but none had yet shown sides of being actual characters who were real instead of fictional in that universe. (Well, maybe Dracula, whom you had mentioned intending to include in time, but since Bram Stoker based him on the historical Vlad the Impaler, he's not entirely a product of the 19th century).
So it definitely raised my eyebrows when you mentioned that decision on your part about Jean Valjean. I don't know if you'd actually reached the point of planning to have him appear somewhere in the series (a lot of it, I imagine, would depend on whether "Les Miserables" is in the public domain or not as yet), but it certainly surprised me.
I'm just assuming that Les Miserables is in the public domain. Obviously, I'd have to check that before going forward with any plans.
I don't have a specific story in mind for ol' Jean, but I do have a pretty clear handle on how I'd interpret the character.
And it shouldn't surprise you too much. As I've stated before, given enough time and episodes, the plan has always been to include -- one way or another -- everything. (At least everything that's in the public domain.)
2. did Cuchullin have much contact with the Irish Clan or just with the Hound of Ulster?
2. What era are we discussing?
i mean the era when CuChullain lived and had "a dog like him once". in the time period when CuChullain and the Hound of Ulster had teamed up originally in the 1st century. the era Rory's father was talking about, 2000 years ago. did CuChullain have contact with the whole Irish clan or just the Hound?
also, will Rory/CuChullain ever encounter and/or work with Bronx again?
1. I honestly don't know. My research on Cuchullain was non-existent at the time. I counted entirely on the writers and story editor of that episode, and I've since been informed that we didn't really get things dead on. It may have been my fault, as I changed some stuff in the script. No one objected, but it may have been my changes that caused the problems. So before I'd revisit a flashback to Cu's past, I'd need to research it more. And I haven't yet.
2. At some point, yes.
1.Is Natsilane 100% human?
2.What ever happened to his parents? Are they alive? If so where are they? If not how did they die?
1. As far as I know.
2. I tend to think his parents have passed away. But I haven't given it much thought. I don't think they died in any supernatural or unusual way, as that would have given Nick evidence of "Weird stuff" before the events where he was introduced.
1.Is Tea and Fara Maku both 100% human?
2.Is Elisa, Beth and pre-Metamorphsis Derek 100% human?
1. They were originally.
1.Will there be more were-panthers besides Fara Maku and Tea?
2.You said Tea can mark only one person so my question is isn't this a dumb way of propagation? I mean if Tea died there won't be any were-panthers unless anasi decides to step in.
1. I hadn't planned on any.
2. I don't think Anansi was trying to create a self-sustaining species.
Time to Ramble...
This episode was directed by Frank Paur and was really based on an idea of his that pre-dated the introduction of Renard in "Outfoxed".
The episode was written and story edited by Gary Sperling. Gary selected this episode, because he felt he had an affinity for the subject matter and because his brother, a Rabbi, was able to advise him on things like the Hebrew, etc. (But I tell you, recording some of that Hebrew was a bitch.)
I love most of the backgrounds on this episode. Very striking and atmospheric.
RENARD & CO.
My eight-year-old daughter Erin spotted Renard, and immediately recognized him as "Fox's father." I think Robert Culp does a great job with Renard. And (futzing aside) with the Golem as well.
Vogel's back with no explanation or indication that he fell out of favor. I guess Goliath's speech to Renard at the end of "Outfoxed" carried real weight. I think it shows something in Renard that he's able to give Vogel a second chance.
And Renard's other compatriot is Brod. A new gangster of the new Eastern-European school. I can't remember if I already had plans to pit Brod against Dracon. But I liked the contrast between them. And I like how tough and fearless Brod is. And also how outside-the-box he is in his thinking. He'd rather have the hovercraft than a cash payment. He sees the advantage.
Goliath spots Renard (and vice versa). Renard isn't pleased, cuz he knows he's doing wrong and doesn't need a reminder that he used to lecture people on integrity.
Goliath IS pleased, initially, because he sees Renard as a potential ride home. Here, and for the last time until probably "Ill Met by Moonlight" and "Future Tense", the focus is still on GETTING HOME.
But for Renard, the focus is on living. ("Integrity is a luxury I can no longer afford.") Goliath is stunned. He calls Renard someone "I thought I knew."
There's some nice climbing here. Just visually, the way the gang climbs up the bridge. The way Angela and Bronx climb up the tower. The way Bronx later climbs down. I just think it's cool.
ELISA & MAX and GOLIATH & THE GOLEM
I also like Elisa and Max's little exchange at the beginning.
Max: What are you looking for?
Elisa: New York.
Max was consciously designed to parallel Elisa. And she at least, notices the connection. When she says "The Golem needs you as much as you need it." I think she's thinking about her relationship to Goliath. (It may be a touch arrogant, but it's accurate too.)
He's the human ally and advisor (sometimes guide) to a protector made of stone and clay. The parallels of Golem to Gargoyle are obvious, and the main reason why I felt we HAD to do this episode. (Probably the main reason why Frank suggested it in the first place.) I love how Keith read: "So this Golem is a protector." He likes the whole idea. It's almost sweet in a way.
Max is just less confident than Elisa ever was: "What if it doesn't like me?" I don't think Elisa ever worried about that, at least not after she learned that Goliath could talk.
Elisa actually has a bunch of fun lines here:
"Hit it, Bronx!"
"Don't worry. We're the Good Guys!"
"And you get used to the weirdness."
I like how the Renard/Golem turns the lamp-post into a pretzel. But on my tape, he smashes a car that was already smashed. Did that get corrected for later airings?
I also thought it was a nice touch when he knocked over Edgar Blosa's tombstone. I know that was an homage to some movie. Maybe an Ed Wood film? But now I'm blanking out?
Renard as the Golem is corrupted rather rapidly (if shallowly) by his newfound power. That was the idea. That a man who had been trapped in the prison of his own body would get flat-out drunk on the freedom and strength that the Golem offered: "Instant respect. I could get used to this."
But like any high, one eventually comes down.
And Elisa is the first to start to sober him up. "You're enjoying this!" she yells. It stops him. Cuz he is. But cuz he's not so far gone that he shouldn't know better. He flees. Not because anyone has yet provided an adequate threat. He's really running from himself. But that translates to: let me just get out of here.
Renard actually says, "It's not my fault!" which of course was the one phrase that used to drive him crazy.
Goliath has a great comeback: "A weak body is no excuse for a corrupt spirit." That's classic Goliath, I think.
I love the close up shot of the Renard/Golem looking over his shoulder, weighing it all. Wondering what his alternative is beyond accepting his fate, i.e. his death by whatever disease was killing him.
And I love Goliath's next follow up too: "You've given up all you believe in... for a piece of clay."
I'm sure some people thought Renard's turn-around was too sudden. But between Elisa, Goliath and some well-chosen words from Max ("Can you live with yourself"), and Renard's basic decency, I have no problem accepting it when he finally says, "What have I become?"
THE FINAL BATTLE
Elisa really rocks in this episode I think. That may have been the thing I most noticed in this viewing. I don't think of this as one where she was particularly featured, but she really does great. I love her little "Hi there." close up moment before she decks the bad guy with a punch that comes right into camera and flashes red. (Of course, I doubt you could do that these days.)
I like all the stuff with Golem and the hovercraft.
I'm also reminded here of the end of "Awakening, Part Five" when Goliath is holding Xanatos and on the verge of dropping him to his death. Elisa and Hudson talk him out of it. And Max fulfills the same function for the Golem. And I love Max's line, which is traditional: "Love Justice and Do Mercy." So simple and eleoquent. So right.
In any case, I guess that makes Brod the Xanatos of Prague. Except clearly he didn't fare as well. The Golem's appearance must have convinced him to seek out new "Turf", if you know what I mean.
THE WORLD TOUR
Finally, Goliath has learned something about all Max's talk about destiny and making choices. He finally realizes that Avalon isn't simply messing with them. But that there is purpose and need and destiny. He could choose to skip it. He could hitch a ride with Renard back to Manhattan. But he won't run away. So instead he'll take the Skiff.
Now the World Tour can finally start in earnest. Sure, the audience still wonders when and if the quartet will ever get home. But I think the tenor of it changes now. Now there's an expectation. I think, had we not had to air so many damn reruns during the original run of the Tour in winter/spring of 1996, the audience would have been much more patient after this episode. Like Goliath, they would have understood.
Elisa makes the same choice. Although for her, it's less about quests and destiny than about abandoning her friends: "You guys would be lost without me." And again, kidding or not, there's a certain arrogance. But a lot of accuracy as well.
Anyway, that's my Ramble. Where's yours?
Time to ramble...
This chapter was written by Adam Gilad. Story Edited by Gary Sperling, and directed by Frank Paur.
As I watch each episode with my family, I've got my journal open in front of me to take notes for these rambles. During the opening credits, my five-year-old son Benny said: "I like Gargoyles." I was very pleased, of course. Then he said, "Can you write down that?" So I did. And so I have.
SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT
Back on the skiff, and Elisa still hasn't QUITE gotten the idea. She still anticipates being back in Manhattan. Like visiting Scotland was an anamoly, but now surely Avalon will send them home. (What did you all think at the time?)
And boy, that girl likes her hot dogs. Make her one with everything, you know?
Our Sea Monster attacks. It's a cool design, based on research that we did. (It happens to look a lot like a pre-historic whale I saw last night on a Discovery Channel special: "Walking with Pre-Historic Beasts".)
I wish we could have found a less generic name for the creature than "Sea Monster". Thunderbird is a cool name -- particularly since I have fond memories of the L.A. T-Birds from Roller Derby telecasts of my youth -- but our research never turned up another name for the Sea Monster.
Keep in mind that though we did research, we also had time constraints. We couldn't keep researching a topic indefinitely. Eventually, we'd have to use what we had and run with it in order for the story and script to be delivered on time.
But I know Gary and Adam did quite a bit of backgrounding for this story. The Sea Monster, Thunderbird, Raven and Grandmother all came from Haida stories -- though we conflated quite a bit, I think. We did always try to be as true as possible to the history and legends we were riffing on.
HEY, WEREN'T THERE FOUR OF YOU?
As the battle with the Sea Monster came to a close, my seven-year-old daughter Erin said: "What about Elisa? Where's Elisa?"
Five seconds later, Goliath surfaces and says pretty much the same thing, before fearing her drowned by shouting "ELISAAAAA!!" (Shades of things to come -- in Hunter's Moon III.)
Speaking of research, the origin of the whole episode was the fact that Totem Poles caught my eye as being a particularly gargoylesque deal. Then we did some preliminary research and found that they weren't carved in anything that seemed to resemble a gargoyle tradition. They were 'carved to honor animal ancestors'. So rather than stretch (or abuse) the truth, we decided to let the characters (and audience) be lured off course by the poles, just as we had been.
Fake GARGOYLES, right here in North America.
In many ways, I think it could be argued that what takes place in this episode is handled or covered in other episodes to come. We have another episode with a 'sea monster'... a more famous sea monster in a certain loch... coming up rapidly in "Monsters". Also in that ep, one of our cast is lost and feared drowned after an early attack by that monster. And much of Nick/Natsilane's dilemma is also re-covered with a more-important recurring character (Peter Maza) in our other Native American-themed episode: "Cloud Fathers". We even do more with a volcano in "Ill Met by Moonlight". On some level I suppose I regret the duplication of efforts. I don't think we usually did this sort of thing.
But I don't regret the episode. I had plans for Raven. Plans for Queen Florence Island. Plans for Nick/Natsilane. I still think the ep has some cool stuff in it. And I think we NEEDED to cover Totem Poles. It was a natural.
HAR with a V. VAR with a D.
I went to a high school in North Hollywood, CA named "Harvard High School". Named after the University. (Some people have incorrectly stated I went to Harvard for college. But I went to Stanford for Undergrad and U.S.C. to get my Masters.)
I don't remember who's idea it was to have Nick be a graduate of Harvard. Might have been mine. Harvard of course is useful as a symbol.
I like Nick/Natsilane. He's got some nice attitude here and a nice shift. Maybe not the most impressive of our so-called "International Heroes". But very likable.
I give a lot of credit to the voice actor for bringing him to life. Gregg Rainwater was brought in by our Voice Director Jamie Thomason. Gregg was terrific. We used him again in Cloud Fathers, but I've used him many times since Gargoyles. I've even written parts with Gregg in mind. He was Jake Nez in Max Steel. And I cast him as Jake MacDonald in 3x3 Eyes. He always brings incredible humanity to a part, I think. Heroic, but real.
THAT'S NOT A CROW
It's a raven. Our second Trickster makes his first appearance. Of the four (Puck, Raven, Anansi and Coyote), Raven was the guy we gave the most evil bent to.
I like all the shape-shifting he does. (Though when he flees at the end, I wanted him to flee in his bird form, not his Raven-Goyle form.) I also like how he lies by using pieces of the Truth.
Raven-Goyle: "There is an evil sorceress named Grandmother. She summoned the monster that you fought."
When he said that, did you believe him?
Of course, Grandmother does have magic power and she did, in a way, summon the Sea Monster.
IT COULD BE WORSE. I ONCE LIVED ON 28TH STREET.
While doing our research, we encountered names of Islands off the Canadian coast like Queen Charlotte Island. So I named the fictional island we'd be using "Queen Florence Island."
Growing up in Woodland Hills, California, I lived on Queen Florence Lane, a street off Queen Victoria Road. Victoria and Florence were the daughters of Michael Curtiz, the director of such films as CASABLANCA. Curtiz, at one time, owned all the property in that area, so he named the two streets after his daughters.
OR so I once was told... by a ghost named Humphrey who tried to convince me that he was Humphrey Bogart, though you could tell by looking at him that he wasn't.
WHO EXACTLY IS THE SICK ONE HERE?
Elisa is so strong so much of the time, that it's kinda sexy to see her vulnerable and feverish.
Notice that Grandmother doesn't use Fairy magic to heal Elisa. She uses Haida medicine. Thus the rule of non-interference is bent not broken.
I like when Nick comes back in and the Fever's broken. And he says just don't tell me you cured her with tree bark.
When she says, "...and roots." His expression is priceless.
I like the lighting in the Volcano scene.
Goliath is so glad to learn that other clans have survived, that he doesn't notice -- in fact defends -- the inconsistencies in Raven's story.
Angela, on the other hand is suspicious. This was done, in part, to further develop her character. She's naive about certain things. Having been raised by humans, she's not inclined to judge them harshly or fear their prejudices. But she's not stupid. Something doesn't smell right and she notices.
For once, Bronx though does not. I chalk this up to the high quantity of magic being tossed around on this dying island. Grandmother is not what she seems. Neither is Raven. Bronx is confused.
Anyway, Goliath speaks to Gargoyles protecting to explain away why "Raven's Clan" can both hate humans and protect them. You get the sense that he understands all too well. Like despite everything, there's a part of him -- a prejudiced part -- that hasn't forgiven the human race for what happened at Wyvern. (Also keep in mind, he was just at Wyvern again, rehashing all those old memories.)
Of course, once Goliath learns that Raven was pulling something, he's furious at the trickster. Playing on his hopes AND his prejudices, Raven has risked G's wrath.
At the end of this scene, the three silent gargs vanish magically.
Erin said: "What happened? What just happened?"
Benny said: "How did they just vanish?"
They know I know the answer. But I resist telling them. It's a touch cruel. What did you guys think?
YOU CAN TAKE THE GIRL OUT OF THE CITY...
Elisa is such a New Yorker. Everything is compared to that. "This sure isn't Central Park."
Anyway, Raven, then a bear, then Bronx and finally Angela and Goliath find Elisa. I love Goliath and Elisa's hug. It's so unselfconscious. They were so worried about each other that they forgot the usual distance that they maintain.
So who did you trust? When the gargs disappeared, that had to indicate that something was up with the Raven-goyle.
So when Goliath tells Elisa that Grandmother is a sorceress, particularly given that Grandmother saved Elisa's life, we all tend to think that G's been duped. Then we spot Grandmother turning into Thunderbird. What did you all think then?
Benny noticed "her ears" and suspected her even before she turned into T-Bird.
THAT'S GOTTA HOIT
A cool moment in the battle against T-Bird is when Goliath rakes the creature with his claws.
Then Angela spots the Illusion. And plays it cool with Raven.
I like Goliath's line to Grandmother: "We live. We do not thrive."
Grandmother than establishes that Raven is a Trickster and that they are both "Children of Oberon". Thus we establish that aspect of our series.
She states that they are forbidden from directly interfering in human affairs. Reinforcing what the Weird Sisters said a few episodes before.
Raven joins the party. The jigs up, but he revels in it. He's got a few decent lines too.
I like "It's so messy."
POOR HORATIO, ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID, NEVER A BRIDE
Elisa more-or-less quotes Shakespeare: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Natsilane, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
I've always loved that line.
Anyway, Goliath and Angela depart to fight Raven. They arrive first, but given the fact that Nick had to...
1. Have a final change of heart.
2. Change clothes.
3. Get up to the volcano without wings.
...He makes good time, don't you think?
Raven brings the totem beasts to life. This was always a bit weird. We introduce illusion gargs based on the totem beasts. But then when we bring the totem pole to actual life (or semblance) we have new designs for the woody creatures.
Does everyone see Goliath play dead for that bear?
Raven has a nice exit line here: "This place no longer amuses me."
Neither does this Ramble.
How did Fara Maku find Karadigi when nobody else found it?
Maybe for once, Anansi wanted it to be found...
1) There any reason why Nick Natsilane Maza is connected to all four of the tricksters? (His Maza family line is part of a tribe closely related to Coyote, Diane's family has roots with a tribe associated with Anansi, the Natsilane family is of course connected to Raven, and Nick has some relation with Owen/Puck)
2) If the answer to 1) is yes, what is that reason?
I think you're stretching the point.
Diane's association with Anansi is limited to her having met him. And Nick's association with Puck is limited to him having met Owen.