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Chapter LI: "The Green"

Time to ramble...

Chapter LI: "The Green"
Story Editor: Cary Bates
Writer: Cary Bates
Directors: Kazuo Terada, Takamitsu Kawamura

PREVIOUSLY
Use a voice actor. Pay a voice actor. That's the rule, and it's a good one. What that means practically is that even the guy who says, "Previously on Gargoyles" needs to be paid for that episode. Or rather, we won't use someone to say "Previously on Gargoyles" unless that actor is already appearing in the episode, because we don't want to pay someone JUST to say "Previously on Gargoyles..." Now, if you know that one fact, then when you hear our good friend Thom Adcox saying "Previously on Gargoyles" at the beginning of the episode, then it's a pretty safe bet that Lexington is going to appear... and yet, as the episode begins, it seems, at least by this time, to be a fairly standard World Tour Adventure: Goliath, Elisa, Angela & Bronx in the exotic locale of the week. So where in the world (since it ain't gonna be Guatemala) is Lexington going to pop in?

The origins of this episode ("The + [one word title]" attributable to me) come from two semi-competing desires. 1) I wanted to make sure we hit every continent, including South America on the World Tour. And I believed that the stunning visual image of Quetzacoatl, the Flying Serpent was another great inspiration for a Gargoyle character. 2) Frank felt strongly that we had not seen enough of Hudson & the Trio during the Tour. I'll admit, as I have before, that I underestimated their popularity and probably overestimated -- at least at the time -- the interest in our little odyssey 'round the world. But even then, I could see Frank's point. I didn't want to not do our Mayan adventure, so Cary & I constructed a story that would give us an interesting experience in the Green, but would also bring us back to the deep purples of Lex & Broadway's Manhattan.

IT'S ALL IN THE DELIVERY
Some great lines in this one, mostly from Hyena & Jackal:

Hyena...
"Hey, he's a fan."
"Have I mentioned how much I hate Gargoyles."
"They get no mercy." (This right before H&J get slammed by a pretty darn impressive throw of a bulldozer shovel.)
"Bowling for Gargoyles!" (To which my daughter Erin responded with: "That was disturbing." I found it interesting that in all the gonzo stuff in this episode, the thing she found most disturbing was Hyena rolling up into a ball. I mean is that really as disturbing as Jackal's dream of "resculpting" Goliath's head?!!)

Jackal...
"If a tree falls in the forest... do I get to hear it scream?"
"Timber!"

Zafiro had a good line too: "There's no such thing as a few trees."

And Goliath: "What's left of their world is rapidly dwindling."

And Broadway: "Leave our mothers out of this." (Broadway always thinks in clan-parentage mode. My son Benny wondered if they even knew whom their mothers were. Of course, they did. Not biologically, but they knew which females gargoyles were their rookery mothers. All gone now.)

And Morgan (to an unconscious Hyena): "You have the right to remain silent."

"WHAT IS THE GREEN?"
My kids wanted to know.

First off it's hot. Elisa takes off her jacket, revealing her (in this instance) short-sleeve black t-shirt. Even this slight clothing change for her comes off as exciting to me.

Second, it's full of potential herbal medicines, admirably demonstrated by Obsidiana.

Third, it's got Obsidiana. And Turquesa and Jade and the amazingly designed Zafiro. And the revelation, that long ago, Gargoyles were everywhere in the world. In hindsight, I wish that all four characters had had the serpentine lower body. Though I'm glad that only Zafiro had the feathered wings and snake-like head. There's a great Mayan/Aztec flavor to all four gargs. And you wouldn't believe the trouble we had figuring out their names. Now they seem so right. But we went through many permutations, before figuring them out. I think at one point, Zafiro was named Jose.

Fourth, it's got that cool pyramid.

Fifth, it's got amulets which defy the basic Day/stone dynamic. We had some fun with that. And my son Benny liked seeing them alive in the morning. It was different.

Sixth, what didn't get mentioned was Oxygen. I had a line in there which talked about the dilemma of losing the rain forest on the basic level of how much of our oxygen it produces. I felt that was a VERY important message. Frank felt it was preachy. I lost that battle, or ceded it or something. But the line's not in there.

FOR A CHANGE OF PACE
Elisa is accepted fairly easily by the Mayan Clan. Obsidiana takes a particular shine to her. Despite having undergone a Wyvernesque massacre, none of the Mayan gargs have a knee-jerk negative reaction to humans. And certainly nothing on the level of what Elisa had just experienced in New Olympus.

DID YOU NOTICE THE HOMAGE?
To THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN & THE BIONIC WOMAN? I think we did some cool things with Hyena's bionic ear and Jackal's seven-figure eye.

Also, Jackal has a built in hair dryer?

And there's a moment in the museum when Hyena activates her rear jetpacks, when both my kids and my wife thought that she had "rocket-boobies". The shot switches from front to back, and her jets emerge from bionic shoulder blades. But if you miss the camera-angle switch, it can certainly look briefly as if her breasts have become rocket powered. Top that Lyndsey Wagner!

Heck, Jackal even has a built-in Bionic wrist-watch. For some reason, I find that particularly hilarious. ("And he tells time...!")

VOGEL
Just a taste of him here. He's largely a place-holder. A bad employer of our two bad villains. But we tried to make even this little bit of Vogel interesting. He's still somewhat morally-challenged. And he reveals that he has gained more responsibility as Renard's affliction has worsened.

This episode is, by the way, loaded with references to OTHER World Tour episodes. That's supposed to be a no-no. We couldn't guarantee that they would all air in order within the World Tour Tier, i.e. between the AVALON Three-Parter and the GATHERING Two-Parter. But I guess, we had some confidence that "The Green" would air after "Golem", after "Grief", etc.

THE GOLIATH & ELISA FANCLUB
I love how they disagree with each other without losing respect or concern for each other. It's so DAMN mature.

WE TRASH ANOTHER LANDMARK
Yep, we're knocking down and burning down the rain forest right & left (in an attempt to save it by influencing public opinion, no less). But we also trash another museum. I was SO cavalier about it at the time, but when I see that Mammoth skeleton go down now, I cringe.

Cool amulet though. It rolls. It frisbees with a great sound effect. Since we had the NYC plot ending -- before the Guat-plot ended -- with Hyena's defeat, we wanted to maintain some suspense. So we have Broadway and Lex come to the incorrect but believable conclusion that the Amulet must be destroyed. Fortunately, they decided to confiscate it instead. And, yes, it survives the destruction of the Clock Tower in Hunter's Moon. Then back in Guatemala, we have Obsidiana lose her amulet so that we could see her in stone and wonder if Broadway had destroyed it so that all four Mayan gargs would be sleeping.

Speaking of Hyena's defeat, she goes down after a head injury. In today's world of S&P there's no way we would be allowed to give her that head injury in the first place.

WHAT IS THE GREEN PART TWO
Seventh, I hope, without getting TOO preachy, it managed to teach a lesson. Erin thought so. Which is perhaps good enough for me.

Anyway, that's my ramble. Where's yours?


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Anonymous writes...

Are the pendanat wearers in The Green a cross section of gargoyles in the guatemala clan or were there other weird looking gargoyles there before the massacre?
Were there gargoyle beasts in the Guatemala clan?

Greg responds...

I'm not sure how you're defining "weird looking". I assume you mean Zafiro and his snake-like lower body. In which case, yes, there were others like Zafiro.

There were also gargoyle beasts.

Response recorded on September 23, 2004

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Galax writes...

What happened to Turkesa and Jade? Do they still live on Avalon?

Greg responds...

Turquesa & Jade did/will eventually return to the rain forest.

Response recorded on September 17, 2004

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Anonymous writes...

Almost every gargoyle clan we've meet in the show or that you've us about protects something. The Guatemalan clan protects the rain forest. The Loch Ness clan protects the Loch Ness Monster, the Manhattan, London and Ishimura clan naturally protects New York City, London and Ishimura respectively. And the Avalon clan protects Avalon while the Labyrinth clan presently protect the homeless of New York.

1. So what does the New Olympus clan protect? Mount Thanatos? The whole of New Olympus? Or have they abandoned their duty much like the London clan when they lost Griff(since you did say they were isolationists)?

2.What does the Pukhan and Xanadu clans protect?

3.What exactly do New Camelot and New Wyvern clans protect?

4.What abou the Queen Florence Island Clan(after they've been freed from their stasis)?

5.What about the Notre Dame Clan?

Greg responds...

1. I think they have become too insular. It's something I would have made an issue of, given the chance.

2. Pukhan Clan is more interested in protecting their concept of justice. Xanadu Clan protects the endangered Gargoyle Beast species.

3. New Wyvern is very traditionalist. So they protect Wyvern and it's surroundings. By contrast, New Camelot is very internationalist.

4 & 5. Haven't gotten that far in my thinking yet, but at the least they'll protect the Island and Paris, respectively.

Response recorded on May 28, 2004

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DPH writes...

If you don't have your notes about the Guatamela clan handy, you might want to pull them out.

1)You listed the location of Guatamela clan as Chacixchel, Guatamela, but I can't find that location on a map. So can you specify the coordinates (so many degrees west by so many degrees north) of that location?

2)Was there a theme to the places where Jade and Turquesa visited on their world tour which lead to their return to Guatamela? If so, can you tell us what it is?

Greg responds...

1. Nope.

2. A theme? I don't know. I'm not sure I know ALL the places they went. I just have a couple of stories in mind.

Response recorded on May 11, 2004

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DPH writes...

Here's a quote:

Pamber writes...

have jade and turquesa returned to guatemala from avalon yet? did they go on adventures wherever avalon sent them?

Greg responds...

Yes. Yes.

So here's my follow-up questions:

1)when did Jade and Turquesa make it back to Guatamela?

2)how hard was it to get those transplanted plants from Guatamela to grow on Avalon?

Greg responds...

1. Not saying.

2. Not very.

Response recorded on March 23, 2004

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matt writes...

have we seen the person or persons responsible for massacreing the Mayan Clan and stealing the Sun Amulet in any of the episodes of Gargoyles?

i must say Greg that for some reason that i'm not entirely aware of i really really like the Mayan Clan. they are my favirote clan. so, my birthday is coming up, care to give me any tidbit of unknown information about them? hehee

Greg responds...

I think I've missed your birthday, twice over now.

And no, we haven't yet met those that destroyed the Mayan Clan. I'm glad you like 'em though. I have more plans for them.

Response recorded on August 07, 2003

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matt writes...

1. do the Mayan Pendant Wearers ever get sunburns?

2. why did you decide not to give/make all the Mayan Clan with the lower snake-like bodies?

3. is it just coicidence that Zafiro (1996) looks so different from the other Mayan gargs? (reptile facial features, feathered wings, snake body) are those features more common in the Mayan Clan or more rare?

4. did you ever figure out where you would have Jade and Turquesa journey to on their trip home from Avalon? where would they go?

Greg responds...

1. I've never given it any thought? Any biologists out there with a theory?

2. I wish I had, frankly. That's a mistake I think we made. We wanted to really tie Zafiro in with Quetzacoatl, and I was so focused on him, that I didn't think to do the same with the others. I like their upper body designs a lot, but I wish I had had the art guys give them snake lower bodies too. I've decided that the majority of the slaughtered Mayan clan were lower-snake types. And when the new batch of eggs hatches the hatchlings would reflect that fact.

3. See above. After the fact, I think they're more common. But I'd like to see a mix of lower Zafiro with (for lack of a better term) upper Obsidiana, etc. Or upper Zafiro with lower Jade. You get the idea.

4. Yes.

Response recorded on June 13, 2003

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Justin writes...

Dear Greg,

You said that, and Goliath has also said that, "Long ago there were clans all over the world." Well that is a pretty vague statement. I do understand it was intentional but the idea has bothered be for close to six years now, where were these clans? Were there any in the americas? Africa? Italy? Moscow? I really would like to know how far the species migrated.

Thanks

Greg responds...

What part of "all over the world" don't you understand?

If you want me to list every clan location... well, I won't. I'm not going to go through an Atlas and start choosing spots.

The Americas? You know it. Africa? Sure. Italy? Absolutely. Moscow, specifically? I don't know.

They are an old race. Now on the verge of extinction, but once upon a time they were (briefly) the dominant species on the planet. They spread out.

Response recorded on May 27, 2003

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matt writes...

1. is the leader of the Mayan Clan always or usually one of the Pendant Wearers?

2. does the name of the Pendant Wearer change in relation to sex? like the Sapphire Pendent on a male would be Zafiro, on a female Zafira for instance...

3. have gargoyles been in Guatemala longer than humans?

4. did Oberon ever find out about those tropical plants transplanted to Avalon? if so, what was his reaction?

5. how are those plants doing in 2001 anyway?

Greg responds...

1. Usually, I'd say. Almost always.

2. I'd think so.

3. I'd think so.

4. I'm guessing he's okay with it.

5. As far as I know they're flourishing.

Response recorded on May 12, 2003


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