Friday, September 9, 2011

Blast from the Past #402: May 15, 2004: Re: Ep 77 ("Exodus, Part One") Third Draft

Subj: Re: Ep 77 Third Draft
Date: Saturday, May 15, 2004 12:01:35 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 5/14/04 1:58:59 PM, Lloyd Goldfine writes:

Hi Pete –
 We’re still working on a final draft of this ep., to hopefully go out today.  Re: your note 4, we never came to any agreement as to what Hun’s reaction would be to the Shredder being an Utrom.  You thought he would freak and feel betrayed while I felt that he would still be loyal to the Shredder (which I believe you felt was “idiotic”).  In trying to plug up all the other holes in this episode, the Hun/Shredder Utrom scene never really found a place to exist.  


That's funny -- I thought we had! However, it seems to me that rather than come to an agreement which way is best, this script has instead been structured so that the question is never even posed (i.e. Hun falls into a big hole and never sees the Saki Utrom revealed). So it's just been put off for some time in the future, if ever. I suppose it's a good way to avoid the issue, and it doesn't make this a bad story per se, but I regret missing a perfect dramatic opportunity to have this moment and give Hun some growth as a character.
I do still feel strongly that IF Hun sees the true nature of the Shredder, he would not stay loyal to him -- it just doesn't make any sense to me, and reduces the character of Hun in my mind to someone who is, well, "idiotic".

<< Re: the mayhem at the end, while I can’t completely defend the actions of Bishop (yet), we discussed the fact that letting the Turtles totally blow the Shredder’s cover would be a fun thing to do and a victory for the Turtles.  All the work Shredder did creating an altruistic, public face for his organization has been undone… but all that means is that the Foot will have to become a shadow organization once again.  Karai will have to run the Foot more covertly than ever before (which will hopefully be fun and cool). >>

So for the sake of a lot of sound and fury signifying not a whole heck of a lot, we end up with Karai and the Foot clan forced into hiding and thus that much less of a threat to the Turtles. I'm not sure I see too many pluses in that column. Especially when, with a little more thought in the matter, we can have our cake and eat it too.

What I mean by that is that I think the idea of a pitched, running battle between (or rather among) three separate forces -- the Turtles and Splinter, the Shredder and his minions, and Bishop and his commandos -- going on simultaneously with the black-tie party at the Shredder's mansion, with the partygoers none the wiser (but with the threat of the battle exploding INTO the party always hanging over our heads and ramping up the tension) is a much cooler idea, and leaves us with a much more interesting set of circumstances at the end, with the Foot and Karai still in control of the Shredder's Earthly empire, keeping the door open for the return of the Shredder at some point, at which time he can pick up the reins of power. (Or not -- it might be fun to play with the idea that by the time he returns, Karai has come to believe that she runs the Foot better that the Shredder ever did.)

And it wouldn't be that difficult. The Shredder's mansion/secret base/HQ complex has almost certainly been constructed (or at the very least retrofitted) with a lot of insulation to keep the noise of all the secret stuff he's been doing in there (building a starship AND the secret tunnel out to the sea through which to launch it). That, coupled with the noise of the party -- guests babbling, bands playing, fireworks displays going off -- could be enough to mask the sounds of the desperate struggle going on underground. Instead of blowing up the tunnel (which I think is a silly idea), leave it, and have the launch proceed as planned. The starship is lowered into a cradle which transports it toward the ocean, and at some point enters a lock which is sealed and then filled with water, allowing the starship to temporarily become a submarine as it moves to a safe point offshore for launching. 

All the while, the battle rages, and I think adding "water peril" into the mix here would be a cool thing, and allow our boys to show their stuff as the semi-aquatic mutants they are. It also allows for the addition of some potentially very cool new vehicles and figures as part of Bishop's strike force could be like Navy SEALS, and attack from small subs and/or as pumped-up scuba guys. The final launch of the starship could be played as just one more part of the party -- perhaps the climax of Saki's "light show". Pretty much everything could continue from there as in the script, with the battle for the starship and Bishop's assaults on it.

Another idea to play with -- one which would allow us a logical way to get Bishop's assault vehicles (motorcycles, tanks, ATV's, helicopters, etc. into the Shredder's secret basement complex without blowing holes through the partygoers -- would be a have a secret "service entrance" in some nondescript warehouse building several blocks away. This is where the Shredder has been bringing all the large salvaged parts and other supplies he needs to build his starship, and avoiding drawing attention to his mansion in the process. And this is where Stockman can betray the Shredder by allowing Bishop access into the service passages which lead into the secret mansion HQ.

Another benefit of taking this approach would be a potentially VERY cool scene next season between Bishop and Karai. The setup would be that Bishop knows (as a direct result of this battle which takes place in Episodes 77 and 78) about the Shredder's secret facility and his building of a starship, and he somehow threatens Karai with the knowledge. But... she counters with the fact that to convincingly reveal that knowledge, Bishop has to reveal HIMSELF, and thus his whole Black Ops organization. Stand off! I think this would be a very neat expansion of the already bitter antagonism between Bishop and Karai.
-- Pete

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