Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blast from the Past #403: May 17, 2004: Re: Ep 77 ("Exodus: Part One")Third Draft

Subj: Re: Ep 77 Third Draft
Date: Monday, May 17, 2004 11:32:19 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 5/17/04 9:43:12 AM, Lloyd Goldfine writes:

<<We did get to add the Hun/Shredder-is-an-Utrom scene in 77 and we can deal with his reaction to this in subsequent episodes.>>

Thanks for that!

<< As for the assault on Shredder’s mansion, maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how blowing the Shredder’s altruistic public-face is the same as destroying his “earthly empire.”  The Shredder’s claw-hold on earth extends far beyond his NYC mansion and his recent ploy to create a legitimate public persona.  Karai will still have a huge secret organization to run, and there will be definite conflicts between her and Bishop and Hun as season four progresses. >>

You are right when you say that the blowing up of the Shredder's NYC mansion and his subsequent loss of face as an altruistic dude does not necessarily mean the destruction of his "earthly empire". But... if we think logically about this, the effect on the Foot Clan's operations all over the place could be devastating. Here we have a starship  (!!!) blasting off from the middle of NYC out of this mansion owned by Oroku Saki, powerful businessman. Not only that, but (at least in the current version of the script... or the last one I read -- I have not at this time read the last version that was sent to me) there was a running battle between heavily armed forces firing rockets and lasers and who knows what. Surely this would bring all the appropriate authorities down on the heads of the remaining Foot Clan as they attempt to find out exactly what happened... and even if the Foot are able to "swerve" the authorities and mislead them and try to finesse what happened, it's going to be a MAJOR impediment to their operations, and not only in NYC, but anywhere the authorities can make a connection.

But ignore all the other locales where the Foot connections would be investigated, and concentrate on NYC (because that's where, up 'til now -- barring a few trips into space, other dimensions, and Massachusetts -- the Turtles have hung out), and they have a BIG problem. It seems to me that there are two options for the Foot -- (a) they can basically disappear underground and operate out of their secret bases and hope that these secret bases are not eventually discovered during the investigations, or (b) attempt to survive in public during these investigations by a combination of lies, lawyers, and payoffs, and end up with a battered but still viable public face. 

The question for us, it would seem, is this: Which option allows us to tell more interesting stories? For me, I've always liked the public/secret Foot thing (that we set up from the beginning) as it allowed a lot more flexibility and gave us a major foe which could operate on both levels, raising the threat bar for the Turtles (and the world at large, for that matter). And I also think that having the Foot have to be, essentially, like the Turtles -- i.e. in hiding, "underground" if you will, not being able to show their faces -- is not a great idea.

But all that aside, the even more important question (at least in my mind) is this: Of the two scenarios proposed for this episode, summarized here by me as (a) "Destroy Shredder's Mansion in a Public Firefight and Starship Launch" and (b) "Shredder, Turtles, and Bishop Engage in Battle and the Shredder's Starship Gets Launched While the Public is Kept Blissfully Unaware", which puts us in a better position to tell stories in the fourth season? Given that the action quotient for both options is essentially equal, albeit slightly different in the particulars, I would vote (b). So far, I haven't heard a compelling argument why (a) would be preferable. Maybe there is one -- I just haven't heard it.

-- Pete


  1. Too be honest, that always bothered me as well.Why would the mayor, later on in season 5, still associate himself with karai if a semi legitimate section of the government assulted saki's mansion and a star ship blasted off from it's lawn?

    Even more interesting, is Karai was talking to him in full Shredder Armor, sans helmet. I guess the mayor liked the idea or having a band of secret ninja's to do his bidding ;o).. It did make for an interesting scene though :)

  2. Well, my explanation for it was that the Foot was able to convince the public that the launch was an undesired and unfortunate consequence of the government raid, which has the side benefit of being entirely true and can be supported by the physical evidence. After all, owning a starship in itself isn't illegal, as long as you have the proper authorization; the only legally actionable thing the Foot did that night was launching it while the party was still going on above.

    Aaaanyways, I'm actually sort of interested in hearing what ideas Goldfine and Co. had in mind for a severely downgraded Foot: I feel you can do interesting stuff with it, and would have been interested to see an extended storyline involving that--maybe not for season 4, but maybe after the Demon Shredder trashed the hell out of their organization in season 5.

  3. Hello Mr Laird
    I hope all is well!
    I have a unique request to ask of you, My friend is a huge fan of TMNT, TMNT had quite the influence on us when we were kids, and made us want to create comics; we were maybe 12-13 at the time.
    Fat forward 20 years later, and we found a HUGE binder of all these comics that he and I created as kids. For my buddy’s birthday I will be assembling these and will be putting them in a Comic/Trade paperback format (even the loose leaf pages etc), and in the back of this comic, I wanted to see if I could get a bunch of different TMNT artists to do just a pencil sketch of his characters on 8x11 paper maybe inked if I can afford it!
    . I know he would get a thrill of a lifetime if I could accomplish this and want to know if this is something you’d be willing to do. I of course will provide you with scans of his character.
    If you are willing, please let me know the costs and everything surrounding this,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!

    Eric Mallette

  4. It would be interesting to see Ninja Tribunal notes :)..