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


  1. wow, really interesting to see how the scripts change...and for the better! hehe the "cold-blooded" bit is pretty funny. thanks for posting Pete!

  2. Prepare for LUDICROUS SPEED!!

  3. I can tell by the message how intuned to every detail you are. Thats great to see how deep you care about your creations and giving your fans a great product. Heck,this blog entry itself is a testament to both of those.