Monday, May 31, 2010

Blast from the Past #306: "City at War" concepts

I found these while looking though some old sketchbooks for other stuff. They are conceptual musings and doodlings for the three-part "Return to New York" story that Kevin Eastman and I did in Volume 1 of the original TMNT comics, back in the 1980's.

In all honesty, I don't remember if I did these alone, coming up with the ideas in them by myself, or after a brief discussion with Kevin about plans for the three-parter. I kind of think it is the former, but at this late date I can't be sure. However, one of them I'm pretty sure about -- the notes for the concept of the "colony worms" that the Foot employ to ressurect the Shredder. That was all my doing.

First up is a VERY brief overview of the three parts of the story, along with my original doodle conceptualizing the three monstrous resurrection failures -- sometimes referred to as the "Shredder clones" -- that the Turtles have to fight when they invade Foot headquarters.

Next are my notes about the "colony worms".

Next, some rough thumbnail layout sketches done by me for the first part of "Return to New York". I'm not sure why I drew these -- if memory serves, Kevin laid out that issue.

Last, here are some notes I made on the first part of "Return to New York". One little thing that I find interesting is the note about the dividing up of the original pages.

I found a few more things in that sketchbook (not related to "Return to New York") that I will probably post in the coming days or weeks. -- PL

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blast from the Past #304: Dark Horse TMNT lead miniature figures

One of the earliest and coolest TMNT licensing deals Kevin and I did was for little figures of the Turtles and some of their supporting cast, sculpted for the scale popular in role-playing gaming, by some very talented people (whose names I am afraid I don't recall at this point) and cast in lead. These were producd by a company called Dark Horse Miniatures. They did some great stuff. I'm not sure if they are still in business.

Originally, as I recall, to test the waters they produced a set of the four Turtles, packaged in a plastic bag with a generic "Dark Horse Miniatures" header card stapled to it.

These apparently sold very well, and to our delight they went on and produced a lot more of the Turtles, as well as their friends and ememies. (Although, to my recollection, they never made an April O'Neil figure.) I think the first non-Turtle characters they made were the Shredder, Splinter, and some Mousers. I love the Splinter -- the detailing in these figures, especially considering their size (most less than an inch in height) is amazing. And the way they did the action pose of the Shredder leaping over a crate is very cool. These are from some time after the first sets were released, when they upgraded their packaging to a "blister card" format. The card is still a generic "Dark Horse Miniatures" design.

And the hits kept coming! Here are the Fugitoid, Casey Jones, and a Triceraton.

I think these were the second group of figures of the Turtles they produced -- and I'm pretty sure the pose were inspired by the "Turtles in space" story arc in the original comics. I love the fact that one of the Turtles is wielding a Federation blaster rifle, and another is carrying a Triceraton blaster. (Minor historical fact: I am responsible for the design of both those weapons, and the Triceraton gun was inspired by a design I saw years ago in a "Magnus, Robot Fighter" comic book.)

Of course, I was VERY happy that Dark Horse continued to make more Triceraton figures, including these very nifty Triceraton commandos in their flying harnesses. Although I have meant to do it for many years, I have never actually put one of these things together! (Incidentally, the flying harness was also my design, quite likely inspired by the flying "astro-force" weapons platform Jack Kirby gave Orion of New Genesis in the "New Gods" comic book.)

At some point, Dark Horse Miniatures upgraded their packaging for the Turtles line with a TMNT-specific full-color backing card, for which Kevin and I produced the art. I am fairly certain that I penciled and inked the drawing, and Kevin did the colors.

All in all, this was an extremely cool series of figures, and I'm grateful that we had the opportunity to work with Dark Horse Miniatures. I have sometimes wondered how these little guys would look scaled up to regular action figure size -- probably pretty neat! -- PL

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blast from the Past #303: More notes

Yet another in my continuing series of randomly chosen emails to Lloyd Goldfine from the days when we were working together on development of the scripts for the 4Kids TMNT show. This one is about Episode 100. -- PL


Subj: comments on Ep. 100 second draft
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2004 7:06:50 PM
From: Pete
To: Lloyd


Here are my comments on the Ep. 100 second draft.

Much improved!

1.) Re: the following:

Yeah, Leo, let’s hear about the Ancient One...!"

Don says "Yes", not "Yeah". But "Yes" would sound a little odd here, so why don't we keep this line as is and combine it with Raph's next line ("I want to learn about all the new ways you learned to kick butt") and make it all Raph dialogue.

2.) It's cute how Yoshi and Mash meet the Ancient One, but a little sketchy in the way the Ancient One decides to invite them to become his students of ninjitsu just because Yoshi returned a five yen note to the Ancient One. I wonder if it might be fun to stretch this scene out just a bit to include some display of physical prowess (flexibility, speed, agility, whatever) in addition to honesty on the part of Yoshi.
I think we also miss an opportunity here to foreshadow Mash's second string status. After all, it's Yoshi who returns the money. Mash is just there. Perhaps we could do something like this: The Ancient One looks at the slightly ragged Yoshi and says something to the effect that it looks like Yoshi could use a job/money. He tells Yoshi to follow him. Yoshi starts to, remembers Mash, asks the Ancient One if his friend can have a job too. The Ancient One pauses, looks at Mash, shrugs in agreement.

3.) Re: the following:

"CUT forward in time to show the two boys, now about age 16, hunkered up close to a black and white tv with the Ancient One, watching the first astronaut step out on the moon (1969). The boys are quite excited, the Ancient One not so impressed.
Wow, Yoshi, a man walking on the moon!
Outer space... it is so fascinating.
Feh. "

It occurred to me that it might be fun to have the Ancient One say something to indicate that he thinks the moon landing isn't real (whether he REALLY thinks this, or is just saying it to hold up his "old curmudgeon" image for the boys, is not clear). It could be as simple as changing the last line as follows:

Feh. Special effects."

4.) Re: the following:

Good, you talk too much as it is. Lunar eclipse much better enjoyed in silence. "

There's nothing wrong with this line. However, it occurred to me that it might be cooler if, instead of "lunar eclipse", the Ancient One uses some kind of more poetic/traditional description of the phenomena -- something like "dragon swallowing moon". I have no idea if there is such a term in Japanese mythology/astronomy, but if so, it could be fun.

5.) Re: the following:

"Mortu has an arm cut off by the (last) katana-wielding Foot Ninja.

My arm!"

I don't think Mortu needs to say anything here.

6.) Re: the following:

"WIDER to show Mash and Yoshi standing and facing the Mortu, unconscious Foot Soldiers strewn here and there. Mortu stoops and picks up his severed arm and begins reattaching it (it is now more obviously not flesh and blood but robotic).

Nothing that can’t be fixed."

Because Mortu's arm has been SLICED off by a katana, it is unlikely that he could simply reattach it (as if some screws had come loose and it had fallen off). Yes, it can be fixed, as he says, but it will require significantly more effort that simply screwing or snapping it back together. I would prefer that when he says this line, instead of trying to reattach it, he simply examines the cut end of it, then tucks the severed arm under his other arm.

7.) Re: the following:

By the stars above...!
TIGHT on Mortu.
Indeed... perhaps it is by the stars above. Yes, it must be... it must be destiny that you two have saved my life tonight... destiny that has brought us together...
WIDER to show Mortu putting one hand on each of (one of their) shoulders.
And destiny that you join... the Guardians. "

What is it that Mortu is smoking? He's babbling. That's a lot to be read into a chance encounter. I would like to suggest an alternative close to this scene: Yoshi and Mash react in astonishment to Mortu's robot-like anatomy. Just then, four (maybe fewer?) Guardians arrive, prepared to attack Yoshi and Mash. Mortu stops them, telling the Guardians that these boys saved him from the Foot attack.. The Guardians apologize to Mortu for being late to the battle (they were assigned to protect him, but were delayed for some reason which we probably don't need to get into here). One of the Guardians realizes -- and points out -- that Yoshi and Mash have seen part of his true nature. What to do? Mortu says something to the effect that they can leave, and the two boys will be left with a small mystery and their normal lives... OR... the boys can enter the world of the Guardians and the service of the Utroms, and learn the whole story. It's their choice.

8.) Re: the following:

"Walking barefoot across a bed of red-hot coals but not feeling any pain."

I'd prefer to take this one out. It's been pretty well conclusively proven that the classic "firewalking" stunt, which is supposed to show evidence of some incredible psychic power/mind over matter ability, is actually feasible because of the insulating/heat conducting qualities of ash (or something like that -- I've read about it in a number of places). So to avoid any kind of cheesy phony mind power stuff, let's replace this with something else or just take it out.

9.) Re: the following:

As a result Yoshi was promoted time and time again, right up to the top rank of Guardian Commander... while Mashimi was passed over... time and time again."

Can we think up a different term than "Guardian Commander"? Nothing wrong with it per se, just thought something cooler and less military might be better. Maybe "Guardian Prime" or something like that.

10.) Re: the following:

You dare ask why, Yoshi? Isn’t it obvious? You have taken everything from me... beaten me at everything! But with this betrayal..."

Because the best bad guys never really think of themselves as "bad", I question Mash describing his own actions as a "betrayal". I think he would use some other more neutral or even positive word.

11.) Re: the following:

"TIGHT on Yoshi, holding up and looking at Tang Shen’s purple chopsticks, a silent tear running down a cheek while his face is filled with silent fury."

I think it might be a good idea here to do a quick dissolve to an image of Tang Shen showing here wearing the purple chopsticks... just to reinforce the connection for the viewer. It would only take a second or two.

12.) I still think we need more foreshadowing of Mash's drift to the side of evil, i.e. the Foot and the Shredder. Perhaps a quick, wordless scene during or near the end of the "Yoshi rising in the Guardian ranks/Mash getting jealous" sequence that would go something like this: A bitter-looking Mash ducks down some dark alley in a seedy part of time. He leaps over a wall and drops into a leaf-strewn and weed-choked courtyard. Cut to him standing in front of a door... he knocks on it in a specific sequence of knocks... the door opens onto darkness, and Mash -- with a quick glance backward (symbolizing his last moment "in the light", as it were) -- slips inside. The door shuts, and we see that there is a weathered (but still legible) Foot symbol on it. (We couldn't see it a moment ago when Mash was standing in front of the door.)
The reason I suggest this is that in the script as is, the entry of the Shredder and the Foot into the story (via the Mash connection) still seems too abrupt to me.

13.) Re: the following:

Mashimi’s words struck Yoshi with the blistering force of an atomic bomb. Everything he cherished had been suddenly stripped away... leaving him blank... senseless... like he was filled with nothing at all. Empty."

The atomic bomb reference is a bit over the top. Actually, this whole paragraph is over the top. I get that Tang Shen has been taken from him, and he's bereft about that, and also about Mash's betrayal... but EVERYTHING? I think this needs to be toned down a little.

14.) Re: the following:

Yoshi gave no quarter, took no prisoners... he was a machine intent on only one thing: victory.
Within minutes the tide had turned, as Yoshi single-handedly drove the Foot before him..."

I question the use of the word "machine" to describe Yoshi at this moment, because it seems to be the exact OPPOSITE of what he is here, which is a man driven by PASSION. Also, I have to say that I'm not crazy about this "super Yoshi" who is single-handedly driving the Foot horde before him. I think it would work better if his inspired combat actions inspire the other Guardians and Utroms, and they rally around him.

15.) Re: the following:

Yoshi went after the Shredder with ferocity and precision...
Yoshi hacks off one of the Shredder’s arms and sends his helmet flying off, revealing a surprised and pissed Oroku Saki face.
Cutting off an arm, knocking off his helmet..."

Because we've already done an arm-severing in this episode, maybe instead Yoshi cuts off one of the Shredder's hands -- perhaps the one with the bladed gauntlet.

16.) Re: the following:

I don’t blame you, sensei. I blame Mashimi. I will set this to rights or I will perish trying.
Perhaps more blood is not the answer. More blood will not bring Tang Shen back. More blood will only stain your hands forever."

I don't know if this will work, but I'll mention it anyway. What if the Ancient One uses a metaphor here to try to illustrate to Yoshi his point about vengeance? The metaphor is about a splinter... vengeance is like a splinter... it gets under your skin... irritating, torturing, getting infected and poisoning your life... unless you pluck it out (i.e. reject the way of vengeance). Yoshi goes ahead with his plans for revenge anyway, and kills Mashimi... but afterward realizes the truth of the Ancient One's words. And to forever remind himself of that sad lesson, he re-names his new pet, the rat which had belonged to Tang Shen... he calls it "Splinter".

17.) Re: the following:

"CUT back to the Shredder, quite pissed that things have once again gone awry. (Without Krang around to blame) Shredder (instead) moves into position to stand above Mashimi (much like Yoshi had stood a few minutes earlier).
TIGHT on Shredder delivering a powerful downward death-blow at us (at camera).
TIGHT as one of Mashimi’s hands goes limp."

I wonder if it might make the Shredder seem more like a badass is he doesn't deign to execute Mashimi, but instead makes a small gesture to his Foot Elite... who close in on Mashimi... one of them raises a weapon... and brings it down.

-- Pete

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Blast from the Past #301: More notes from the development of the 2K3 TMNT series

Here's another look back at an email of mine to Lloyd Goldfine, this time making comments about several different episodes -- at various points in their development -- of the 4Kids TMNT series. -- PL


Subj: notes on 60, 61, 62 and 63 (various stages)
Date: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 4:28:22 PM
From: Pete
To: Lloyd

notes on extended 61 outline

1.) Could/should Marlin be related to Abigail Finn ("Monster Hunter"), with a similar accent? Maybe her brother?

2.) Should "Betsy" (Marlin' hunting rifle) have that name inscribed on it somewhere?

3.) Again, why, when Mikey has JUST GOTTEN THE CRAP BEAT OUT OF HIM, are the other Turtles just worried about poor l'il Leatherhead's feeling? I really think that at least ONE of them should say something to the effect that maybe it's not such a good idea to have Leatherhead as their house guest.

4.) This may be a bit too goofy, but I was thinking it also might be cool if Marlin had a little robotic "caddy" which would follow him around and carry his various mines, lasers, etc.... almost like a big robot dog. (It would give the Turtles or Leatherhead something to wreck, too.)

5.) I still think the gun should protect itself (i.e. when Leatherhead bites it) rather than have Marlin "pull a taser" from his pocket.

6.) Again, how does Marlin not only bind the huge Leatherhead but also "suspend" him from a catwalk?

7.) I'm not sure if/where this would work in, but I just had an image (inspired by the fact that Marlin uses such destructive weapons while hunting) of Marlin's "trophy room"... and it's not your typical trophy room with carefully mounted heads of large animals. Instead, it's a series of smallish domed glass cases with little BITS of various creatures he has tracked and blown to shreds.

8.) I'm still not loving the "drop Leatherhead into the pool of doom" plan that Marlin apparently has. DIdn't we just a bit earlier hear him say that this creature would bring him a lot of money if he could bring it back alive?

9.) I'm also still not buying that Raph's sais stop the giant cutting blades of the "sewage processor". And why do ALL of the Turtles jump into the water, when Marlin is still a threat?

10.) I don't like that Marlin does the suicide bit. It would work just as well if when he realizes "Betsy" is damaged, he also realizes that she is on overload and will very shortly blow up.

11.) Again -- WHY WHY WHYWHY WHY does Leatherhead SMASH through the wall to get to his new pad? It makes ABSOLUTELY no sense.


notes on final draft of ep. 60 "Touch and Go".

This one is much improved. I only have a few minor comments.

1.) Mike calling Splinter "Obi-Wan" in line 113 is very disrespectful. It's something that Mike MIGHT call Splinter when talking with his brothers, but NEVER to Splinter's face. I'd just use "Master" instead.

2.) As per my last notes about this, I think the staging of Mike and Splinter's miraculous "jump in front of the speeding train" escape could be staged much better.

3.) Do Mike and Splinter take Splinter's robe and walking stick and Mike's nunchaku from the hotel room after they beat up Hun and Touch and Go?


notes on Ep. 63 Premise/Outline "Nobody's Fool"

1.) I love the (I think unintentionally) oxymoronic line describing Nobody in his police uniform in the preview -- "his face clearly not visible."

2.) Re: the following:

"Nobody (v.o. cont’d): "Even after the department buried me under a desk down in the dead case archives, I’m still a cop."

Close on – Nobody/Cop clenches his fist and slams it down on the desk.

"Nobody (v.o. cont’d): "They told me I rocked the boat too much. They told me police work was now more about public relations than catching the bad guy."

I suggest changing this to read "They told me I rocked the boat too much. They told me police work was now as much about public relations as catching the bad guy."

And I think it's "cold case files", not "dead case files".

3.) Re: the following:

"Nobody (v.o. cont’d): "Don’t bother trying to figure out who I am."

And, with an athletic, acrobatic leap and flourish of his cape, Nobody leaps over the side of the building and is gone disappearing into the night.

Nobody (v.o. cont’d): "My name is Nobody."

I would change the last line to just "I'm... Nobody."

4.) What if... when Leo and Mike encounter Nobody when he's wounded, part of what he does to convince them he's on the up-and-up (an important point) is to show them a "Justice Force" secret ID. However -- later on, we discover that it is not exactly valid.

5.) In Act Two, just before or while Mike and Leo are waiting for Nobody to show up at the Brooklyn Bridge, it might be a good opportunity for Leo or Mike to put a Shell Cel call in to Steve "Stainless" Steel to verify Nobody's JF credentials. To their surprise, Steve tells them that Nobody was once invited to join the Justice Force, but turned them down... but he apparently kept his temporary JF ID!

6.) Splinter's little lecture to Leo before he and Mike leave the lair seems a bit much.

7.) Why does Hun need The Twins (and why Twins? why not Triplets?) to signal that "it's safe" for him to exit the limo? Is Hun SCARED?

8.) The "Raph and Don becoming video game zombies thing" seems WAY out of character for both of them. This, I think, should be played more as a competition which gets out of hand, not some self-hypnotizing bit.


notes on Ep. 62 outline "Survivalist Skills"

This one is in need of serious work. I'm not really happy with it.

1.) First of, I think Raph, Don AND Mike should be out in the woods (I'll get to "why"
in a moment). The scene with the apple being shot off the head should be DON shooting an apple off MIKE's head with a BOW AND ARROW (as in the comic) -- NOT Raph throwing a sai.
The major reasons (though not the only ones) to have Mike here are (a) he's not really needed in the farmhouse scenes, and (b) it is a CRIME to lose the "'chukker vs. 'chukker" gag when Pewk pulls out his nunchakus to threaten the Turtles, and NOT have Mike be there to respond.

2.) The Casey/April interaction is STILL stupid. Weren't these two just an episode or two ago making goo-goo eyes at each other while fixing April's shop's window? Why are they now pretending to not be interested in each other?
I suggest that we make a big change here, and that is this -- Casey's mom doesn't just randomly show up. Casey has secretly ASKED her to drop by, and his reasoning is this -- he wants April to meet his Mom (and vice versa) but in his own lug way, doesn't want April to feel like he's pressuring her or moving to fast in their developing relationship. (Meeting the parents, as we all know, is a big deal.) The reveal (that Casey asked his Mom to visit) could happen at the very end, and even continue to be a secret from April, in a coda scene with just Casey and his Mom, where he thanks her and she tells him that -- even with all of the wacky things that just transpired -- April is a peach, in her opinion. And in a REAL "zinger" upon which to end the episode, Casey's Mom says to him "... and you don't have to do it now, but someday I'd like to hear the story behind that big rat and the giant turtle." (Implying, obviously, that not only is Casey's Mom a lot sharper than they -- and the audience -- think she is, she's also willing to accept weird things in her son's life -- and I think we SHOULD bring her into the Turtles' world in future episodes.)
Also, let's get rid of the "Oops! Hide the Turtles!" stuff, which I think is REALLY tired and lame, and could be solved in one fell swoop by Leo and Splinter just LEAVING the house while Casey's Mom is there. Instead, let's do this as a series of "tests" that Casey's Mom gives April so she can see exactly what this potential daughter-in-law is made out of. (And April is more or less unaware that Casey's Mom is deliberately testing her.) Leo and Splinter could in fact surreptitiously HELP April pass those "tests" (whatever they are -- I'm sure we can come up with some good ones, probably involving patience, fortitude, strength, "class", etc. -- all things that anyone who marries Casey will HAVE to possess!).
I probably don't have to say it, but the "intro" bit with April tackling Casey's Mom and Casey wielding his baseball bats at the same moment is dopey and should GO.

3.) Re: Raph "slicing off Spud's entire belt" with his sai. Once again, the sai is not a slicing weapon. Just have him hook the grenade (or maybe ALL of them one after another, really fast) with his sais and toss it/them away.

4.) We probably WON'T have this scene anymore, but -- WHY are clean sheets kept in the ATTIC?

5.) The wedding gown bit is stupid.

6.) Re: the following:

"Donatello: "Yo, Rambo! Don't you know Turtles are cold-blooded? We don't give off heat signatures."

Somebody needs to bone up on science. "Cold-blooded" doesn't mean COLD!!!

7.) Re: the following:

"ON THE ROAD, the Shell Cycle ROARS down the road at speeds in excess of 140 miles per hour. The cycle ROARS right at camera... through camera... and away from camera..."

Why such ludicrous speeds?

8.) If we have Mike be with Raph and Don (and I think we should), he could head back to the farmhouse to warn Leo and the others about the survivalists AND get April or Casey to call 911 to help the wounded kid (Michael). Raph and Don could then -- instead of using the ShellCycle -- grab another vehicle from the survivalist camp and give chase with that. I'm thinking some kind of cool, souped-up dune buggy would be fun.

9.) Casey's Mom would not want to stay with "cousin Sid" (cousin Sid's a butthead).

10.) The plutonium core left sitting on the General's desk should have some kind of "Danger! Radioactive!" sign affixed to it (by Don), and not just a "from Santa" note.

11.) At some point Casey or his Mom should make clear that his full name is actually "Arnold Casey Jones".

-- Pete

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blast from the Past #300: More notes from the development of the 2K3 TMNT series

Here's another email, dated February 11, 2005, from back in the days when Lloyd Goldfine and I would work together on the development of the stories for the 4Kids TMNT tv show. I have to say, after re-reading this one, that maybe I could have been a little less obviously irritated, sarcastic and snappish. But sometimes, the material that some of the writers produced just struck me as egregiously careless. I think that this usually happened with writers who hadn't worked on the show before, or those who hadn't done their homework. Fortunately, it didn't happen all the time. -- PL



Here are my comments on the Ep. 110 first draft.

Before I get into specific comments, I have to reiterate that I think we are missing a wonderful opportunity with this episode to add a lot of depth to two under-rendered characters -- Hun and (especially) Garbageman -- by exploiting my suggestion that we reveal that they are brothers. Instead, we basically have a repeat of the previous two Garbageman episodes, with a few details changed, and a silly, cliched origin story for Garbageman.

1.) Re: the following:

"CLOSER ON A CONVEYOR BELT – we watch some of the recycling process. A CRANE drops a LOAD OF TRASH onto the belt. Instantly CHOPPING BLADES descend on MECHANICAL ARMS to DICE up the trash. FOLLOW THE TRASH as the conveyor belt moves the sliced trash under a HUGE COMPACTOR that comes down to MASH all the trash flat. The conveyor belt proceeds to feed the sliced up, mashed trash into a huge FLAMING INCINERATOR (NOTE: the belt runs UNDER the flames of the incinerator, carrying the trash through to be melted, not entirely burned).
Where the garbage that this city foolishly squanders is harvested – given value, given worth!
FOLLOW THE TRASH on the conveyor belt as it comes through the other side of the incinerator and we see two of the GARBAGEMAN’S WORKERS sifting through the STEAMING GARBAGE on the belt."

I am baffled -- how is this "recycling"? It seems totally ludicrous, done solely so we can have a "Tim Burton-esque" setting. I'm pretty sure that REAL recycling doesn't start with CHOPPING, MASHING, and MELTING, but instead begins with separating your raw materials into different basic groups so you can then determine what you have and what can be reused. Or maybe Garbageman's version of recycling is totally insane... which could be valid, given his character, but then that would affect the rest of the story.

2.) Re: the following:

"CLOSER ON THE TWO WORKERS: they are ghoulish, deformed, subhuman looking characters. Their skin is pressed tight against their skulls. They have large, protruding eyes (think Gollum from Lord of the Rings). Their teeth are pointy, their hair disheveled, their skin a sickly yellowish hue. "

The obvious question here is -- aside from the desire to have a "Tim Burton-esque" look -- WHY? Why do they look this way? Why are their teeth "pointy"? Garbageman later claims that the were "once human garbage", so the assumption is that they are or were human -- how did they become these "Lord of the Rings" rejects?

3.) Re: the following:

"A loud BUZZING goes off. The group stops short and looks around, alarmed – except for Don, who looks at his work area.
CLOSE ON DON – his eyes widen as he smiles.
The Shell Comm!
WIDE ON DON - running to his work area towards a new device, THE SHELL COMM. – a COMPUTER HUB with FLAT SCREEN MONITORS SUSPENDED ON METAL ARMS and lots of DIALS, BUTTONS and SPEAKERS."

This is SO dumb. Are we REALLY supposed to believe that this is the first time the Turtles have heard the "Shell Com"'s buzzer, so that they're "alarmed"? A buzzer -- yeah, that's pretty alarming. And the description of this "Shell Com" thing sounds ridiculous, considering that Don had, three seasons ago, created the Shell Cells, which were apparently a lot more sophisticated than this thing.

4.) Re: the following:

"OTS DON as he takes a SEAT at the Shell Comm’s console. A monitor before him ignites, on the screen is APRIL O’ NEIL."

"Ignites" does not mean "turns on", it means "starts burning". Or is this a new retro-tech Don has come up with -- candle-powered monitors?

5.) Re: the following:

See you at the junkyard in half hour!"

That should be "half AN hour".

6.) Re: the following:

"A COUGHING APRIL throws her arms around a COUGHING Casey.

April! I’ve cough been wantin’ to COUGH ask you somethin’

CASEY AND APRIL pass out to the floor, shrouded by black smoke."

Considering that he says this AFTER they've all started choking and passing out from the gas coming out of the submersible, this is REALLY dopey timing for this Casey line.

7.) This whole "Trojan Horse" bit with the submersible in the junkyard strikes me as really silly and lacking in logic. How did it get there? How does it leave? It seems to me that something that weird would garner a LOT of attention coming and going. And it's a SUBMERSIBLE, right? Wouldn't it make more sense if it were found somewhere near WATER? Also, why does Garbageman bother with this "dependent on sheer chance" method of gathering his "human garbage", when in his very first appearance he had a much more efficient way of doing so (his amphibious vehicle camouflaged as a garbage truck)? I appreciate the need to somehow get the our characters into Garbageman's clutches, but this just seems really weak and contrived.

8.) Re: the following:

If this is some trick you sick freaks pulled, I’m gonna tear your heads off and use them as Xmas ornaments."

So how is Hun going to say that -- "Xmas" or "Christmas"? Can't the writer be bothered to actually write out "Christmas"?

9.) Re: the following:

"ON A GARBAGE WORKER - furiously shoveling COAL into a FURNACE with a SHOVEL. PAN LEFT past the furnace to see an ASSEMBLY LINE, where another GARBAGE WORKER greedily sifts through TRASH."

So Garbageman, with all his high tech devices, uses a COAL-burning furnace?

10.) Re: the following:

A closed system…a perfect system!"

Garbageman (or the writer) obviously doesn't know what a closed system is -- one where nothing comes in and nothing goes out. That is clearly NOT what he has set up here.

11.) Garbageman's "circus freak" origin story is about as hoary a cliche as you can get.

12.) Re: the following:

"Casey and Hun find a PIPE and a STOP SIGN respectively and smash a blade apiece, but two blades lower to take the place of the blades they smashed! They keep swinging!"

Thank goodness that the blades which would otherwise chop up stop signs and pipes are vulnerable to those same stop signs and pipes when they are swung against the blades!

13.) Re: the following:

"RAPH dodges, then SMASHES two blades with his sai, breaking both!"

Maybe these are just the "practice blades", not the real ones which are supposed to chop up the garbage. Or somebody sold Garbageman some cheap imitation counterfeit blades. Sheesh.

14.) Re: the following:

I’m gonna kick that fat psycho’s butt, right after I “recycle” you Jones!
HUN and CASEY leap for each other angrily and start fighting.
Yeah…your mother!"

This action is SO dopey... and makes both Hun and Casey seem like complete morons who can't see IMMEDIATELY that escaping their imprisonment by this whackbag Garbageman takes precedence over their feud with each other.

15.) Re: the following:

I’ve seen Garbageman tech before… Disable one, and they all go down"

Isn't THAT convenient? When did Don see this? I don't remember any incidents from Garbagman's past two appearances that would lead to this conclusion. And what does it mean, anyway? "Disable one, and they all go down" -- one WHAT?

16.) Re: the following:

" The conveyor belt drops everything into a HUGE SHREDDER.


The Shredder!"

Hah. Hah. This might ALMOST be funny if Raphael didn't repeat pretty much the same gag after the break.

17.) Re: the following:

"ON PLATFORM– Hun grabs the BO and THE TURTLES AND CASEY hoist him up. Hun is stunned, incredulous, wide-eyed, touched.

While I have no problem at all with a scene which has the Turtles and Casey saving Hun instead of doing nothing and letting him die, this one is just dumb. This is HUN, remember -- the guy who can swing lampposts like they're toothpicks. SURELY in this kind of situation, he could pull himself up!

18.) Re: the following:

"THE GROUPS POV of the platform leading to the corridor – a ways down it is GARBAGE WORKER #1 carrying a WHEEL BARREL OF TRASH."

A "wheel barrel" -- is that anything like a WHEELBARROW?

19.) Re: the following:

"ON GROUP – on Casey’s order they charge after him.
Get’ em!"

"'Em" is short for "them". If they are only chasing one person -- and assuming that person is male -- it would be "'im" (short for "him").

20.) The whole scene with the worker is, to put it mildly, wacky. First, our group charges after this poor guy -- why? Then Raph immediately wants to just beat the crap out of him -- why? Then Don stops Raph from hurting the guy, saying that they need to find out from the guy where Garbageman is (huh? why do they need to know that?) and how to get out of Recycle World... but doesn't even ASK the guy anything! (Bizarrely, Don even promises that Raph can beat the guy up later if Raph's good.) And then everybody stands around watching as Hun tortures this guy, breaking his bones, and nobody lifts a finger. And to cap off this stupidity, Don and Raph have a fun little conversation about how "good guys" can't torture people, but lucky for them "bad guys" like Hun can, all while this worker -- who has done NOTHING to any of them, and is obviously one of Garbageman's VICTIMS -- is brutalized by Hun. This is APPALLINGLY bad writing.

21.) Re: the following:

"THE TURTLES, CASEY, AND HUN look utterly horrified as they look off camera.
REVERSE – the lights reveal the GARBAGEMAN. "

Has this writer even SEEN any of the episodes of this show? Why are these characters "utterly horrified"? They have all seen things MUCH scarier than freakin' Garbageman! I could see them looking disgusted or repulsed, but "utterly horrified"? No way.

22.) Re: the following:

"CLOSE ANGLE ON DON - the SERPENT’S JAWS are headed for his head. SUDDENLY - RAPH leaps in and STABS at the serpent’s “neck”.
The “HEAD” flies off, the arms coils loosen, Don wriggles free.
WIDER – GARBAGEMAN watches the action! The arm extends forth a new SERPENT HEAD (from the “neck hole” left by the first head) then CHOMPS DOWN AROUND RAPH’S TORSO and hoists him in the air.
ON RAPH - the SERPENT ARM sends ELECTRICTY surging through it, ZAPPING Raph, keeping him in a painful electrical stasis. "

This stuff is painfully cheesy. I like how the magical head-replacing serpent arm only remembers that it can send electricity through itself when it's holding Raph, but doesn't do it to Don. Bad, bad, bad.

23.) Re: the following:

"CASEY wails on GARBAGEMAN’S OPPOSITE SIDE with two bat-sized PIPES. "

It's "whales", not "wails".

24.) Re: the following:

You had “opinions” about my work, perhaps you be recycled first?"

Should that be "you should be"?

25.) Re: the following:

" Hun continues WAILING on the machine fiercely."

Buy this writer a dictionary! It's "whaling", not "wailing".

26.) Re: the following:

"FOLLOW CASEY as he runs to a nearby PILE OF TRASH and picks up a giant TIMBER SAW BLADE. He runs to the base of the CLAW ARM holding APRIL and SLICES the arm clean off. "

I don't get this action at all. A "timber saw blade"? You mean one of those things that is used to cut WOOD? And Casey simply picks it up and casually slices through a METAL arm?

27.) Re: the following:

"Garbageman hangs on to the damaged catwalk for dear life. It CREAKS, giving way.
THE TURTLES get as close as they can get to him on their (undamaged) catwalk. Don reaches out with his BO.
ON GARBAGEMAN – he reaches out, but at the last second, the catwalk gives, dropping him into the acid below as it falls.
DRAMATIC DOWNSHOT – of Garbageman falling into the acid. "

Let me see if I understand this. Shortly before Garbageman is dangling over the vat of acid, the Turtles are willing to push over another vat of acid, the plan being that the acid will rush towards Garbageman and his partially-disabled walker machine and (apparently) destroy both him and the machine. They clearly don't care if Garbageman gets caught in the "river" of acid that they make flow toward him. But now, for some reason, they want to SAVE him from being dissolved in acid. WTF?!

28.) Re: the following:

Hey, that oversized noggin of yours sure came in handy when you climbed on up and fried those robo blade arms.
And nice assist on the lock to Garbageman’s lair.
By the way, thanks for getting “mean and green” on Garbageman when he had me in his claw. I thought he as going to drop me in that acid for sure. You really raised some shell, Raph.
Aw…that was nothing…compared to your idea to tip over the acid. Hey…who needs Leo and Mikey…we are the Teenage Mutant Dream Team. Gimme’ some green!"

This congratulatory exchange seems completely pointless to me, reiterating as it does action we've already seen, and for no apparent reason.

-- Pete