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I'm working on a paper for my interdisciplinary research class, and the focus is on medievalism in modern media, with topics of our own choosing. I couldn't turn down the opportunity to return to my childhood roots with "Gargoyles"! My topic focuses on why the medieval is used in the show (for instead, instead of antiquity, like Roman times), and how that particular era gave it such success in terms of audience and impact.
If it's no burden to answer, I was wondering:
1. Why was medieval Scotland chosen as the first setting and location for the original gargoyles?
2. Was there any specific appeal, personally or for the purpose of storytelling, that drew you to it?
3. Was it a conscious, debated decision to choose the medieval era and Scotland, or was it more of an intuitive decision that was there from the start?
4. How important has historical accuracy been between the show and comics (on a scale of unnecessary to absolute)?
Thank you in advance!
1. A big part of the reason had to do with suspension of belief. We wanted the characters to speak English, so the audience could understand them. We wanted a European country, because Europe's where the classic tradition/image of Gargoyles sprang from. (We'd explore similar traditions in other countries later in the series.) So if we're looking at English speaking countries in Europe, that narrows it down considerably. Scotland felt like it was more in the hinterlands than England. A rougher/tougher tradition and location, which seemed to fit. Now, of course, I realize that no one was speaking modern English in medieval Scotland, but that's where the suspension comes in. It's just a bit easier to ignore this point in Scotland, then it would have been in, say, France.
2. I'm a Britophile. Love Shakespeare. King Arthur, etc.
3. The even "One Thousand Years Ago..." had it's appeal. The medieval setting and it's statuary seemed to make more sense, fit the tone better, than something classical, like ancient Greece or Rome. And again, the "classic" image of Gargoyles is on medieval churches and castles anyway.
4. Historical accuracy was initially not very important. But it wound up being EXTREMELY important. We found, while researching City of Stone, that - by accident or sheer dumb luck - we had not been inconsistent with the history. From that point on, we strove to be as accurate as possible.
After the Wyvern massacre, Goliath sees the remains of a gargoyle on the place where Demona usually perched and thinks its hers. Did another gargoyle take the place she usually took?
Looks like it.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
The Captain has a change of heart and rescues Goliath. The Captain's spirit ascends. Hakon is trapped alone in the caverns below Wyvern. The quartet of travelers return to Avalon so that they may attempt to find Manhattan again. Meanwhile in Paris, Demona encounters Thailog. They quickly form an alliance.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
King Arthur leaves Avalon on his own to explore the world. The Weird Sisters are forced to release Macbeth and Demona from their thrall. Goliath pushes his unconscious foes off of Avalon. They land in Paris, where Demona awakens first, sees Macbeth unconscious and flees. Minutes later, a confused Macbeth regains consciousness. Realizing where he is, he retreats to his Chateau on Paris' famous Left Bank. (Neither retain any memories of events that have taken place between November 12th, 1995 and January 1st, 1996.) Meanwhile, Goliath takes possession of the Eye of Odin and the Phoenix Gate, then releases the Weird Sisters, who vanish. Goliath leaves Tom, Katharine and Gabriel in charge of Avalon and the Avalon Clan. Only Angela chooses to join Goliath, Elisa and Bronx aboard the skiff. They begin their "World Tour" while attempting to find their way home from Avalon. Avalon sends Goliath, Elisa, Angela and Bronx to Wyvern Hill in Scotland. There the ghosts of Hakon and the Captain attempt to drive Goliath insane and steal his life force.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
John F. Kennedy assassinated.
Matt questions Jack Dane and gets a lead on Mace Malone. Just before sundown, he confronts Elisa in the Clock Tower about her lies. She puts him off again. In Scotland, Tom hikes back up Wyvern Hill and spends some time reminiscing. He even searches the Archmage's caverns.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Elisa, now out of danger, regains consciousness just before dawn. Broadway apologizes to her. Dracon wakes up with a permanent grey streak in his hair.
The Guardian departs Avalon to see if it is safe for the Avalon Clan to leave the island. Avalon sends him to Wyvern Hill, where he sees that Castle Wyvern is now gone.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Just before dawn, Goliath and Hudson discover that they have been following only a small contingent of Vikings; the rest must be preparing to attack the castle. The two gargoyles turn to stone before they can get back. Simultaneously, Demona nearly warns Othello and Desdemona, but changes her mind as she sees the Vikings approach. Instead, she hides at the foot of Wyvern cliff, where she turns to stone as the sun rises. Hakon attacks. The archers' sabotaged bows are useless, and the Captain opens the main gate, allowing the Vikings to enter Castle Wyvern, which is sacked. The humans, including Katharine, the Magus, Mary and Tom are led away bound. Hakon then sets about to destroy the gargoyles, including Othello, Desdemona, Iago and Hyppolyta. The Captain is "unable" to stop him. When the sun goes down again, Demona awakens to discover that the Wyvern Clan have been massacred. When she sees Goliath and Hudson returning, she cannot face them and flees before they can discover the massacre. The only other survivors seem to be the Trio and Bronx, who were in the Rookery. The survivors head for the Viking camp to take their revenge. When Hakon and the Captain hear the gargoyles approaching, they take Katharine as a hostage. The Magus mistakenly assumes that the Princess is dead. Blaming the gargoyles, he casts a spell on all but Goliath putting them to sleep "until the castle rises above the clouds." Meanwhile, Goliath confronts the Captain and Hakon atop a cliff. He rescues the Princess, and the two villains fall to their deaths. But when Goliath discovers that the rest of his clan has been turned to stone, he asks the Princess to watch over the eggs in the Rookery and asks the Magus to cast his spell one more time. Goliath is turned to stone with the others and placed atop Castle Wyvern. Demona later returns to the castle to find Goliath frozen in stone. She watches the Magus, Tom and Princess Katharine removing the eggs from Wyvern. She departs for good. Katharine dubs Tom the Guardian of the Gargoyle Eggs. Katharine, the Magus, Tom, Mary and the rest of Wyvern's human inhabitants take the eggs and leave the cursed castle to live under the protection of Katharine's uncle, King Kenneth II. Seconds later, three time travelers arrive in 994: the Demona of 1995 has brought the Demona of 975 along with the Goliath of 1995 to see the results of the massacre. But the 1995 Demona fails to convince the 975 Demona to take up her evil cause. The time travelers depart, returning to 975.
Xanatos proposes to Fox and gives her the Eye of Odin as an engagement gift. She accepts both his proposal and the Eye. Alexander Fox Xanatos is most likely conceived on this night.
This day in Gargoyles' Universe History....
Matt Bluestone finds a letter from Mace Malone when a search warrant turns it up in Tony Dracon's files.
Wolf retrieves a battle-axe possessed by the spirit of his ancestor Hakon from the caves beneath Wyvern Hill, in Scotland.
Was the destruction of the other clans by humans, around the time of the Wyvern massacre, organized or just a "good" idea catching on?
I still get chills (and angry at Hakon and the Captain) when I watch that scene and hear the stone crumbling...
Just to be clear, I never wanted to give the impression that all over the world clans were being destroyed at the exact same time. But the mid to late Middle Ages were a dangerous time for gargoyles. But I'm sure some clans were destroyed centuries before the Wyvern Massacre and some clans were destroyed centuries after, and as we know some clans survived.
I swear I haven't seen this answered anywhere, but I can't imagine I'm the first one to be confused by it.
How long did it take Xanatos to move all of Castle Wyvern from Scotland to Manhattan? Did it take longer than one day? If so, was the spell configured to end as soon as the last stone was replaced onto the newly transported castle? Or was the castle continuously rebuilt after Awakening?
If it did not take longer than one day, how was it possible for Xanatos to install all of the 'modern' components in the castle (elevators and vid screens and communications network etc)?
I guess this just boils down to me being confused as to the timeline of Castle Wyvern's transportation.
I don't have the exact date, but the scene you saw, where Xanatos orders Owen to purchase Castle Wyvern, took place sometime in the year 1993.
The Gargoyles wake up on October 4th, 1994.
Thus the purchase, deconstruction, transportation and reconstruction of the castle took a minimum of nine months, and maybe as much as 21 months... even with Xanatos' wealth and connections.
Xanatos, following Demona's advice, was careful not to put the gargoyles in place until everything was ready.
1. you mentioned a LONG time ago that Castle Wyvern was built so quickly (only four years, 971-975) because there was a lot of help from the Archmage and gargoyles, and because there was existing ruins on the site to build on. who built the structure that would become those ruins?
2. where the ruins the ruins of a castle or something else?
3. before Malcolm and Hudson formed their alliance, was there a rookery already existing under the ruins?
4. did the Wyvern Clan roost at these ruins before the alliance with Malcolm?
5. do the ruins have anything to do with all the artifacts, carvings and structures in the Archmage's cave?
6. both Demona and Angela discovered carvings of humans attacking gargoyles in the Archmage's cave. what did those carvings mean? why were they there? were they meant to be recorded images, like a history or were they prophetic...?
7. when the New Wyvern Clan is founded, where will they roost? will they rebuild a structure or just live on the cliffs or...?
1. I'm not answering that at this time.
2. It depends on how you define castle.
6. I'm not answering that at this time.
7. Rebuild a structure.
A question about the gargoyles' time living with the humans in Castle Wyvern between 971 and 994. In "Awakening" at the beginning, all the humans living in the castle, except for the Captain of the Guard (and Tom, but he wasn't a regular inhabitant) were, from what we can tell, hostile towards the gargoyles.
Now, since gargoyles and humans had been living side by side for 23 years, I found myself wondering a little about this. I know that prejudice can often take a very long time to overcome, but I still find it a matter of mild concern that after living with gargoyles for 23 years, with ample opportunity during all that time to see what they were really like, the humans would still be so hostile towards them. (Katharine did get conditioned to fear gargoyles due to Prince Malcolm's foolish use of them as bogeymen when she was a child, of course, so her attitude is believable.)
Of course, I suppose that it would require the entire "Dark Ages" series all the way down to the Wyvern Massacre to give a real answer to this question, but I did think that I'd comment on it. (And if after 23 years of sharing their home with the gargoyles, nearly all the humans still disliked them, I can see how it is that Demona is so cynical and pessimistic about peace between the two species. On the other hand, since Katharine and the Magus did abandon their old attitudes after the massacre and even dedicated the rest of their lives to looking after the orphaned eggs, there is hope.)
There's always hope. I think the prejudice was subtle and on-going, because nothing had ever been done about it.
Most humans in the castle weren't looking to slaughter the Gargoyles or even kick them out. But they took the Gargoyles' defense of the cliffside for granted... enough years had passed that the camaradery of the great battles they shared had been -- not forgotten -- but dampened.
And the leader sets the tone, and for the reasons you listed above, Katharine was not sympathetic to or fond of the Gargoyles. So those Lords looking to curry favor would tend to being dismissive. I also think that the Gargoyles still represented a mental wildcard to the humans. A great force in their midst that they couldn't fully control. It was disturbing. And then there are the archers, who do their jobs well, but who may have had chips on their shoulders because they weren't sufficient to guard the castle... and because their own boss seemed to respect the Gargs more than his own men.
The idea was little things contributing to on-going tension ... and a leader who was part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Where exactly in Scotland would Castle Wyvern have been? Are we talking along the West of Scotland or further up North in the Highlands? Please forgive me if this question had been numerously asked, I did take a look for this but couldn't see it anywhere.
Also just wondering even if the Wyvern clan were destroyed, I imagine there would have been several other clans throughout Scotland - would the clans have been expected to fight throughout battles with the humans? (Such as the battle of Dunbar in 1296 where the English invaded Scotland, etc)Would Gargoyles have protected not just their castles, and general areas but towns, villages, and the country against invasion from other countries?
Thanks for your time, sorry if these questions may have been answered before.
With ASK GREG's new search feature -- installed just the other day, nearly two years after you posted, it would now be fairly easy to find this information.
Wyvern (though fictional) is located on the west coast of Scotland.
was the castle the gargoyles protected based on a real castle? if so what is its name? if not where can i find a good picture of it?
I'm not exactly sure where you can find a picture, but Wyvern was VERY LOOSELY based on Tintagel in Cornwall.
how far is Wyvern, Scotland from Loch Ness, Scotland?
more like ten miles? twenty miles? fifty miles? or more?
I can't answer this question easily. For starters, Wyvern is a fictional location on the West Coast of Scotland. So where exactly are we measuring from? Secondly, Loch Ness is about thirty miles long. So where exactly are we measuring to? And are we measuring as the crow flies or along practical routes that a car or horseman might have to take?
Nevertheless, I'll give it a shot. As long as you understand I'm not being held to this. In particular, I've done no research to back up this stab at Wyvern's location.
I'm taking out my map and I'm measuring (roughly) the distance as the Gargoyle glides between the Point of Ardnamurchan (at the western end of a western Scotish Peninsula) and Castle Urquhart (which I believe is the model for the fictional castle where Sevarius set up his operation) on Loch Ness.
I come up with approximately 83 miles.
Umm, kinda a dumb question but... I was wondering if there were detailed blueprints or floorplans of Castle Wyvern.. I'm kinda peeked in the interest of making a modle of the castle and I'm really not at all pleased with the results of having to use my eyes and imagination to fill in the blanks of what's not seen on tv.. Is there anything available for Download.. I heard there was something like that around on a site a long time ago, but it appears to be long gone. Thanks
I don't know of any blueprints available for download. In fact, I don't recall any DETAILED blueprints existing. I have a vague memory of something akin to a general layout of the place, but I haven't seen it in years -- assuming I'm even remembering correctly.
I just looked at some episodes recently and something funny struck me. The Eyrie Building's. Its main gate's castle was wide open even though we were many hundreds of meters.
Do you suppose Xanatos should have closed that gate or did he found a practical use for it?
I'm not sure I understand your question...
You're saying that up at the top of the Eyrie, Wyvern's gate is open?
I honestly never noticed.
Maybe he was trying to create a welcoming environment.
About Castle Wyvern...
Now I know a wyvern is a "species" of dragon. Standing on his hind legs. It's either never had front legs or it's front legs evolved into wings, as bats have.
1.) Did you choose the name Wyvern just because it sounded good?
2.) Or was there a backstory to why that castle bears the name of this little known dragon species?
3.) If there is a backstory, could you tell us anything about it?
1. I believe that Michael Reaves chose the name Wyvern.
2. There is now. And if you come to a Gathering, you'll get a clear hint of what that is when you see the DARK AGES pitch.
3. Not right now. But maybe in Montreal. Check out:
I understand that Castle Wyvern and Wyvern Hill are located in Wyvern, Scotland. Is Wyvern, Scotland an actual place or fictional? Does Wyvern Hill have any connection do Ben Wyvis, a mountain in the Scottish Highlands?
Wyvern Hill is a fictional location on the west coast of Scotland. (It was loosely modeled after Tintagel in Cornwall.)
Just a quick note to let you know I won't be answering questions here next week. I'm off to Scotland with my dad. We're renting a car and driving along the west coast and the Isle of Skye.
I'll keep an eye out for Wyvern Hill.
And I'll be back in the office, answering questions on September 8th.
1. Is Wyvern based on a real castle?
2. What part of Scotland is Wyvern located?
<sigh> I know I've answered these before. Did you even skim the Wyvern archive before posting questions that I wouldn't get to for over a year?
1. It is VERY loosely based -- at least in my mind on Tintagel.
2. The west coast of Scotland.
1. after i first saw "Awakening" i figured that the rookery of castle Wyvern was behind a door that opened into the same courtyard that the refugees were staying in. if you look at it the Trio and Bronx appear out of that rookery door into the courtyard after the massacre. in "Shadows of the Past" however, we see that if the rookery had been below the castle (or in it) it would've been taken to New York with teh rest of the castle, and it was actually left behind in Wyvern. i'm just curious as to where the rookery actually is (was). below the castle or what? this question isn't intended to find a mistake in the show, just to clarify for me...
2. was there more than one entrance to the rookery?
3. was it a large sequence of caves below the castle and the lands surrounding it?
4. was the rookery in the same place before Castle Wyvern was built?
1. The rookery was beneath the castle proper in a cave. Or rather, the castle was built OVER the rookery.
When Xanatos moved the castle, he moved some of the rock that supported it. We have -- to my knowledge -- never made it clear just how deep into the rock the rookery cave was. It's possible that Xanatos scooped it up too. Or that it was in essence exposed by the removal of castle and "foundation" rock. If X did scoop it up, it's possible he was forced to "fill" the cave in order to create stability. I've never really thought about it before. But I'm not sure why you're sure that the Rookery was left behind in Wyvern. What it comes down to is that it no longer exists as it once did.
3. It was one largish cave chamber directly below the castle.
Did gargoyles have the capabilities to make the monolith? What about the Lost Race?
Okay, again, I'm not clear what we're talking about here when you say "the monolith". Maybe my memory is faulty, but I just don't recall a single monolith in the cave.
Silverbolt, the lightbulb contest is over.
Who created the monolith we see in Shadows of the Past?
How did the archmage find it?
Did the gargoyles of the Wyvern clan during the Dark Age era ever stumble upon it?
I'm not sure what you mean by monolith? Do you mean the megalith circle? Or the wall that contained prophetic carvings, including images of the Archmage?
The Archmage explored the caves for his own purposes.
Again, since I'm not clear on what "it" you're referring too, it's hard to answer the questions. The gargs had been in those caves, witness "Long Way to Morning".
Time to ramble....
This chapter (episode) was brought to you by:
Director: Kazuo Terada
Story Editor: Michael Reaves
Story: Michael Reaves
Teleplay: Michael Reaves & Brynne Chandler Reaves
Plus the usual suspects, including Frank and me.
The title is one of Michael's. I had the impulse to shorten it to "Shadows", but I didn't.
THE WORLD TOUR
As the recap ended and Tom shouted out: "Avalon doesn't take you where you want to go. Avalon sends you where you need to be!" My seven-year-old daughter Erin said, "Uh, oh."
"Uh, oh," indeed.
And so we begin Tier Four in earnest. Our quartet of travelers weren't headed straight home. Of course you couldn't know at that time just how long they'd be gone. And frankly when we started writing, neither did we.
It wasn't just the quantity of episodes (23 counting the Avalon three-parter, Kingdom, Pendragon, The Green and Future Tense) that we'd spend before everyone was reunited in Gathering One. It was the reruns in between.
What was supposed to be a five week trip became a five month trip. And so, for many of the fans it became interminable.
Why all the reruns? Well, the schedule finally just caught up with us. When Gargoyles was picked up for a second season by Buena Vista, I was asked how many we could reasonably produce for the fall quarter (between September & December of 1995) without interruption.
I told them that we were prepared to do six more. That was all the scripts that had been ordered (Leader, Legion, Metamorphosis, Lighthouse, Beholder, Vows). But I said we could do 13. We had done 13 the first season with a ten month sliding schedule. Now we had just under twelve months so we could certainly do 13 again.
I was asked what's the most we could do. I said, well if we start right now we can do 18.
Not 52? They asked.
52? Are you nuts? (Well, I didn't say that exactly.) I said we'll never get 52 done for the fall quarter. We'll wind up with a lot of repeats. You (Buena Vista) will not be happy with all those repeats.
They were disappointed. So disappointed, that instead of ordering 18, they only ordered six. (If we can't have 52, then forget it. [Okay, they didn't exactly say that either, but that seemed like the basic attitude.])
So we get to work to do six. Two weeks pass. Buena Vista comes back and says. No, do 13.
We respond with, uh, okay. Of course we've lost two weeks, so it'll be a bit harder, but we can do it.
Two weeks pass. They come back and say, "No, do 18."
We grumble a bit, because now we've lost a month of prep time when we could have been building crews, etc. But okay, I said we could do 18. We'll manage.
Two weeks pass. They come back and say, "Do 52."
Now we balk. We warned you we couldn't do 52 in twelve months. Now you want us to do it in 10? It took us ten to do 13.
And so we did. We built multiple crews. Our staff increased exponentially. We expanded to four writing teams from one. We expanded from one pre-production team (in Japan -- waves at Roy) to three and a half (one in Japan) and two and a half here in L.A.
And we worked like little demons to bring you 52 for the fall quarter. But it was never going to happen.
We wound up doing pretty good. I don't have my old calendar in front of me, and I can't remember exactly how many we managed to air in the fall, but it was considerably more than the 18 that I thought we could do.
But it wasn't 52. And so we had reruns. And reruns. And reruns. And most of those reruns came in the middle of the World Tour. And thus... yes... it seemed to go on forever.
Of course, other people didn't care for it for other reasons. They felt it got away from the series strengths of the gargs in Manhattan. Obviously, it left behind four of our characters, and I'll admit that I underestimated the trio's popularity a bit.
But I felt it was important. The World Tour gave our series breadth and hope. It expanded the Gargoyles Universe, added many new characters and in particular added at least four other clans of gargoyles.
And I think some of the stories really kicked ass.
So I apologize for nothing. NOTHING, do you hear me, nothing!!!!!!
Except for that outburst. Sorry about that outburst.
Anyway, our first stop was no place new. Goliath immediately recognizes the ocean cliffside as "home, my home."
Even before Hakon and the Captain start to drive him crazy, his dialogue is laced with nostalgia.
He's so into being back in Scotland, that when he climbs the hill, he doesn't even take Elisa with him. Elisa goes with Angela. Which is no big deal. But usually, G's more of a gentleman than that. Particularly with Elisa.
Angela: "It was always summer on Avalon."
Just wanted to give a sense of things on the fair island. Seemed to fit the legends as well.
I can't say enough good things about the animation in this episode. It's just gorgeous. The work of Disney's studio in Tokyo. WOW! Production AND Pre-Production was done there. All sorts of little touches, like Elisa slipping briefly and regaining her footing. And GREAT, GREAT character animation. Great lighting as the characters enter the tunnels. STELLAR effects animation in the megalith chamber. Just wow gorgeous stuff.
And boy, did we fight over this episode. [Roy, I'd love to get your perspective on this.]
When we got the storyboard from Japan, Frank and I each found something that just drove us nuts.
For Frank, it was the Wyvern cliff. The castle was gone, of course, as Xanatos had taken it away. But the cliff seemed to otherwise remain in tact. Frank was adamant that a chunk of the cliff had clearly been taken away and was part of the Eyrie Building. You could see it on that design. So obviously, we needed a crater of sorts to exist back at Wyvern.
When Frank pointed it out to me, I agreed with him. It didn't bother me as much as it bothered him, but I agreed.
What bothered me was Elisa's parka. In the storyboard, Elisa was wearing a parka with a hood. Of course, she looked great in it. And it kept her warm and safe and dry. But there was of course, no way and no place where she could have acquired that parka. (The Avalon Eddie Bauer, maybe?) So I insisted the parka had to go.
Frank agreed with me after I pointed it out. It didn't bother him as much as it bothered me, but he agreed.
So we gave Japan both these notes. And to our surprise, they balked. They felt that the only changes we were allowed to make to their boards were S&P changes.
We couldn't believe it. Finally, they relented. But on the cliffside ONLY. They felt that was a fair compromise. Since that had been Frank's BIG note, he was appeased. But obviously, I was not. All sorts of people came to me asking me to back down.
But I wouldn't. And I can honestly say it was for you guys that I refused. I knew even then that OUR FANS paid attention. That we couldn't get away with Elisa suddenly having a warm coat from no where.
So I put my foot down, and Elisa stayed cold and wet.
And our Tokyo Studio had another reason to be annoyed with me.
I regret the tension, certainly. But I still think I did the right thing, so I apologize for NOTHING, DO YOU HEAR ME? NOTHING!!!!
Except for that outburst, I apologize for that outburst.
A great movie. A husband tries to convince his wife that she's going insane. It's now a staple of melodrama everywhere. And we used it too.
So the ghosts of Hakon and the Captain try to gaslight Goliath.
We tried to gaslight the audience a bit too. Tried to let them think for a bit that Goliath might just be losing it. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, maybe.
You can hear it in Goliath's voice. How he's lost in the past. Angela tells him that he did the right thing all those years ago by saving the Princess.
His only response: "Still, I wanted revenge." I love Keith David's reading of that line.
But we also wanted to play fair, so we dropped a hint: when Goliath hears Demona's voice, Bronx howls. He senses something. Always trust Bronx.
Bronx has a pretty important supporting role in this, btw.
THE AXE OF HAKON
When Goliath and friends first enter the caves, Goliath picks up an old Viking axe. Hakon's Axe. The one he uses in "Vendettas".
Should have been a mace by the way. Should have been the same mace you can see in the opening titles EVERY episode. The one that Hakon used to smash the gargoyles at Wyvern.
Shoulda been. My fault.
Okay, for that -- I apologize. I screwed up. Dang.
THE STREET PIZZA TRADITION
A CLASSIC MICHAEL REAVES' ELISA LINE:
"This place is creepier than the morgue at midnight."
Michael was great at giving Elisa this tough contemporary feel without taking us out of the moment.
Another good one: "Old wounds bleed as bright as new ones sometimes."
GETTING TO KNOW ANGELA
When Goliath pretends that he's NOT freaking out and having hallucinations, Angela can tell he's lying.
I love Brigitte's read there. She sounds SO SHOCKED: "He's not telling the truth."
You can tell she was raised in a world where there was little cause for lying.
Goliath attacking Elisa and Angela, thinking they are Hakon and the Captain.
Very dramatic. And again, we don't know yet, objectively that he isn't just going nuts.
What did you guys all think at this point? Did you suspect the truth?
Anyway, Bronx saves the day.
And Goliath runs off. He also has a nice stumble here. Again, parka aside, much amazing attention to detail and character in all this animation. Stunning.
STAR TREK INFLUENCE
No, I'm not talking about the voice cast.
Finally, we objectively reveal that Goliath is being influenced. We see two floating entities hovering over the scene. He doesn't see them, so they're not part of his dementia. Ergo (I don't have much opportunity to use the term ergo you know), ergo, they must be what is causing this.
Of course, they look like energy beings right out of Star Trek.
We also see Demona, Othello and Desdemona.
More of us playing fair. Sure they're identifiable. But of course, they (plus Iago) would be the souls LEAST likely to be haunting Wyvern and Goliath.
Yeah, Keith was the star. And we're always going on about Jeff's versatility. But we really were blessed with an amazing cast right down the line.
Salli does Elisa SO DARN WELL. It's the little things really.
Like when Angela explains about the fissure and how Goliath could die in it. Elisa says, "Swell." Just, "Swell." In one word, she says everything that needs to be said. It's hard. Try it sometime.
SPEAKING OF FISSURES
Bronx saves Goliath (temporarily) from falling by chomping down on his arm. Always thought that was cool. Would have liked to have drawn some blood, but we knew we'd never get away with that.
And the fissure itself is way cool. I love Goliath's fall.
And Elisa's determination, as she starts to climb down feet first. And I love the contrast, as Angela and Bronx, by virtue of their claws, climb down head first.
Some fans have felt, I know, that the Captain's change of heart at the end comes suddenly. That may be so. It's hard in a mere 22 minutes to achieve these arcs and turns. But as usual, we tried to drop subtle hints that he wasn't fully on board with Hakon.
Hakon is enjoying tormenting Goliath.
The Captain says: "Make an end to it." Hinting at his ambivalence. Torturing Goliath doesn't give him pleasure.
And while we're praising voice actors, how about a toast to the late Ed Gilbert, voice of the Captain of the Guard. Wonderful work here. Evil. Tortured. Redeemed.
Ed, wherever you are... THANKS!
THE FATAL FLAW IN YOUR PLAN
Demona. The Captain must have assumed that Demona died in the massacre. He and Hakon figured that her appearance would be the coup de grace. That Goliath's will would just dissolve when faced with her ghost.
They were almost right. But of course, G is no idiot. A bit slow sometimes, but not stupid. Demona's ghost shouldn't be here. Cuz the dame ain't dead.
[By the way, the idea to have her fist morph into a mace was mine. Just a little post-storyboard tidbit that I suggested amid bitching about the parka. They must have liked the idea because that wasn't one I insisted on, but they did it anyway. When push came to shove, everyone -- on both sides of the ocean -- was just VERY dedicated to making the show better.] [See. It's a mace because that's the weapon that we associate with the Massacre. Hakon's axe should have been a mace. How did I miss that?]
Anyway, Goliath figures out the truth and, hey, we've awakened the sleeping giant. He trashes the phony Demona. And we think he's going to smash all the others.
But something even more chilling happens. They all begin to dissolve around him. It still gives me the creeps. Very cool animation AND music and effects. (Props to the gang at Advantage Audio too.)
Or rather how come we don't have ghosts hanging around ALL the time. I didn't want this episode to open a spectral floodgate, where any character that was killed or had died in the past was available to haunt us.
So the Captain offers two possible explanations: Hate and Magic. Both present in ample supply. Plus Guilt. His guilt. Unfinished business.
Again, very cool effects on the Megalith's here. But the idea emerges from an old (if not very original) idea I've had since I was a teen. The notion that Stone Dances, that Megalith Circles were like Medieval Mystic Dynamos. Circles of power. That build and generate.
Really came to life here.
I love Hakon's line: "I can feel it. I can feel again." I love that transition halfway through the line between where he can feel that the process is working and when he realizes the simple fact that he can feel things again.
But again, watch the Captain feel his own hand. You can see the ambivalence there. Particularly when Goliath becomes the Ghost and Hakon is beating on him. Cap doesn't participate in this.
And Goliath helps him remember what he has forgotten. The Captain doesn't HATE Goliath. His problem is that G's presence has reinforced his own guilt.
But here's an opportunity to redeem himself: "I can't let this happen again!"
He pushes Hakon back.
Hakon: "You've crossed the lines of power, you fool."
You can almost here the Ghostbusters say, "Don't cross the streams."
So Cap hated himself, not G.
G forgives. He forgave the Magus last episode. Now he forgives the Captain. Shows that he's a pretty decent guy.
You think if Hakon made an effort? Nah.
Anyway, I like G's line: "One enemy. And one friend."
And then a positively angelic Captain returns briefly to say goodbye and thanks. I also like the "shackles of hate and guilt" line. And the way he calls Goliath, "Old Friend".
Elisa thinks she's in for a long story.
G: "Centuries long."
And as the sun rises, and Elisa -- as usual -- leans against her stone beau for a nap....
Hakon: "Don't leave me here alone!! Not without anyone to hate!!"
Many people think I should have left him there forever. But evil doesn't rest in peace in my opinion. When left alone it tends to get out of control.
Besides I already had this fun idea. What if Wolf was Hakon's descendant?
Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?