Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blast from the Past #373: More notes from the development of the 4Kids TMNT series: Feb. 1, 2004: Re: premise for Ep. 67

Feb. 1, 2004: Re: premise for Ep. 67

From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep. 67 premise:

1.) Re: the following:

"The Shredder turns on Stockman.  The Shredder has been asking Stockman for months about the possibility of obtaining the anti-grav device.  The Shredder’s furious.  (Stockman’s holographic head shimmers and spurts in an out … in nervous agitation)."

It occurred to me when reading this bit about Stockman's holographic head "shimmering" and "spurting" that we could have a lot of fun with some wild stylistic exaggerations of the holographic image when Stockman experiences strong emotions. It might be cool to build up a library of various types or styles of expression so we could be consistent -- when he's angry, he looks this way, and when he's smug he looks that way, and so on. I'm thinking weird warped stuff like what happened to Jim Carrey's "Mask" character in the "Mask" movie, or something I just saw while channel surfing -- a snippet of "Teen Titans" on Cartoon Network, wherein some of the characters flipped rapidly from their "normal" look to some wacky anime look and back again, all to emphasize some emotion.

2.) Re: the following:

"Chaplin continues:  "But, of course, you’ll never be able to get either of the anti-grav device down.  Bringing the city back to earth would be too much of a strain.  It would completely fry both of the anti-grav generators."

How does Chaplin know this? After all, this is alien technology -- how does he know what it can or can't do? I find it significantly illogical that this technology can haul the load up into orbit, yet can't lower it back down without "burning out". Is there some rationale that I am not getting?

What if we have Chaplin SUGGEST -- rather than state as an absolute fact -- that it is likely (given his study, as far as that goes, of other Triceraton technology, specifically the other nonfunctional anti-grav devices they've found) that the anti grav devices in the Beijing "flyer" will not hold up well to a return to Earth's gravity well.

3.) Re: the following:

"But, the Shredder has a better idea.  Why bring the city down.  Just go up there, take one of the devices and let the city crash to earth.  What does the Shredder care.  He needs an anti-grav generator."

I like the evilness of the Shredder's suggestion, but why not have him just say something like "Who said anything about returning Beijing safely to Earth? All we want are the anti-grav generators. What happens to the city after we remove them is none of our concern."
Also, what is Chaplin's reaction to this plan? Karai is appalled, and rightly so, but what about this scientist?

4.) Re: the following:

"Later, Karai, Hun, and a team of Foot Ninja hijack the space shuttle on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral."

???!!! This is seriously silly. And why do they even need to hijack the space shuttle? Can't they find one operational orbit-capable ship left over from the Triceraton invasion?

5.) There are some potentially very serious timing problems with the removal of the anti grav generators from Beijing and what happens thereafter. It seems to me that if the orbit of Beijing deteriorates quickly enough and they have dropped so low that both the docking arm (and now where did THAT come from?) and the ship they've come in burn up in friction from contact with the atmosphere,  and there is no working anti-grav generator in Beijing, then that city is going to drop like one big rock -- and that means REALLY fast. Far too fast, it would seem, to uncrate an anti-grav generator, re-install it, and get it working again.

Here's a slightly different suggestion: First, how about either having the space ship break loose from where it has docked accidentally, thus stranding them, OR have one of the bad guys -- Hun or Stockman -- actually sneak back to the ship and take off in it*. Second, instead of the second grav generator being destroyed, it is only damaged, and part of the nail-biting race to the finish is to see if they can get it repaired in time. And third, remember that we talked about the fact that the atmosphere surrounding Beijing (which is keeping all of its stranded inhabitants alive) is kept intact by a force field generated by some Triceraton device.

What if the only way our heroes can get that one last grav generator to put out enough power to bring the city back to Earth in one piece is for them to redirect power from that force field INTO the grav generator... the effect being, of course, that even though they are in atmosphere at the time and thus won't necessarily asphyxiate, the removal of the protective force field will let in hurricane force winds (from their rapid passage through the atmosphere) which will threaten to not only blow people off the Beijing "asteroid", but also tear apart the more fragile buildings in the city (cool visual opportunities there, as well as some fun having the Turtles working to save various Beijing-ites who are slipping off the edge of their city).

One of the reasons I suggest this is that I am really not terribly convinced by the "flying saucer" theory, or by what value creating a "spin" and "counter spin" has.

-- Pete

* Actually, if we went with the scenario I suggested, that the second grav generator is damaged, not destroyed, this would allow Hun and Stockman to return to the Shredder with one good grav generator, as well as eliminating Karai and Chaplin (something they can later, of course, when Karai and Chaplin show up again, claim was inadvertent -- the result of Karai and Chaplin not getting back to the ship in time). And maybe it would be a good thing, plotwise, that Shredder ends up with one working grav generator.


  1. Thanks for posting these! Do you happen to have any development notes from the steve barron film? I've always been curious about the early Bobby Herbeck drafts.

  2. "osborn said...
    Thanks for posting these! Do you happen to have any development notes from the steve barron film? I've always been curious about the early Bobby Herbeck drafts."

    I may have some of those, somewhere... but I have no idea where they might be. It's possible that we weren't even using email back then, which would make searching for them more difficult. But I should check, someday. -- PL