Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blast from the Past #406: May 25, 2004 Re: Ep. 78 ("Exodus: Part Two") "final" draft, and May 28, 2004 Re: Premise 81 ("Sons of the Silent Age")

Subj: Ep. 78 "final" draft
Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2004 11:50:44 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are a few comments on the Ep. 78 "final" draft.

1.) Re: the following:

"**THE TURTLES AND SPLINTER all join hands (Mikey, Raph and Splinter barely able to move where they’re lying on the floor)."

This sounds almost unbearably sappy. I understand the impulse to somehow show them coming together at this final moment, but this? Unnecessary and silly.

2.) I am still not loving the use of the Utrom "stasis field" effect to "freeze time" so that we can indulge in a silly, cliched "Matrix"-y effect. It's a powerful technology that we have not previously demonstrated that the Utroms possess, and it's really unnecessary -- why not just have the Utroms beam the Turtles et al out just before the explosion, or if you want to keep a little bit of tension, show the explosion, then a moment later show the Turtles materializing in the Utrom ship, with a quick line or two from Mortu to explain what just happened.
Also, not only is this "time freeze" thing not necessary, it also make NO sense given the description of events, as follows:

WIDE on the SHIP as it STARTS TO EXPLODE... and then... the explosion freezes like a still picture – the sound silenced."

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but -- the Turtles used the power core to destroy the ship, right? That's CORE as in "center", right? So if the ship blows up FROM THE INSIDE OUT, and we see -- as described -- the ship detonating in a "MASSIVE, BLINDING FLASH that FILLS SCREEN", how can we then say that the Turtles and everyone else is still alive inside the ship? If its EXTERIOR is blowing up, then it stands to reason that its INTERIOR preceded it... and that's where all the characters are.

3.) Re: the following:

"*** JUDGE #1 (O.C. CONT’D)
Ch’rell, you are hereby sentenced to eternal exile on the ice asteroid Morgal’Tall!
You will never finish me!  I am invincible.  I … I … nooo …
***SHREDDER/UTROM is transmatted onto the ice asteroid … he is in chains that affix him to the asteroid’s surface.  Ice blows through FRAME.
May your actions haunt you forever.
Nooooooooo!!! Nooooooooooo … !!!!
But, his scream is suddenly cut short as he <FREEZES> solid!"

Maybe I have a different understanding or definition or "exile", but -- as I pointed out before -- this REALLY reads like "execution" rather than exile. And if the Utroms are going to execute him, why bother with this rigmarole? Why not just use the transmat to disperse his atoms?
I think the Utroms probably have some rule against capital punishment, which is why they exile even a mass murderer such as the Shredder. With that in mind, I think it would be much more interesting to leave the Shredder WITHOUT his armor/exoskeleton (think about it -- WHY would the Utroms leave him this weapon?) and with minimal supplies on this freezing planetoid, alone and without hope, left to scrape out a miserable existence in his final days, always on the run from whatever predators are there, always trying to stay warm enough to not freeze to death.

-- Peter


Subj: Re: Premise 81
Date: Friday, May 28, 2004 11:10:41 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on EP. 81 premise based on the comic story "Sons of the Silent Age".

1.) Re: the following:

"The raft continues on its way down river and veers off towards a reservoir."

Do we mean some kind of lagoon or oxbow or something? "Reservoir" seems strange to me -- I don't recall ever seeing or hearing of a reservoir fed by a river of this kind.

2.) A few things that aren't in this story and were not in the original, as far as I can recall -- but which might be fun to play with -- relate to what each character is getting out of this rafting trip, or what they are doing while floating down the river. I thought it might be cool if Don was making scientific observations, maybe testing the water as they go down the river for various substances (pollution, radiation, etc.), taking depth readings, etc.. Leo could be moodily sitting on the back of the raft, trailing his feet in the water as he whittles something out of wood (NOT with a katana, but with some small knife -- maybe Casey's pocketknife), the chips falling in the river and floating away. Mike could be doing something goofy, talking like a pirate or something, maybe he's got a kind of sailor's hat that he found in the farmhouse or made out of folded newspapers or old comics (although that might be considered sacrilege by Mikey... unless they were BAD comics). Raph could be trying to fish (maybe he's borrowed Don's bo and attached a line with a hook on it), but Mikey's goofing around is distracting him and scaring away the fish, so Raph pushes him overboard. Mike clambers back on board, as his paper hat goes floating off into oblivion (maybe it's snatched underwater by merman hands if we need another moment like that).
Just some little character bits to add some fun detail and flesh out the crew.

3.) I'm not sure that we want "thousands" of eggs -- I think it might work better if we reduce that number to "hundreds" or maybe even "scores" of eggs, just to keep some of that "on the edge of extinction" feeling that was in the original story. Also, should they be like frog eggs or like turtle eggs?

4.) If at all possible, I would LOVE to work in that brief but telling moment from the original comic when April muses about the mermen being the last of their kind if they can't reproduce, then realizes with shock that what she is saying also applies to her beloved Turtles. I think that is a great moment, especially when one of the Turtles turns to look at her. I still get chills when I read that bit. It could possibly be used here in the section after Casey revives April and they watch the mermen carrying the body of the merwoman into the river.

-- Pete


  1. I wonder why you keep equating exile on a frozen planet as a death sentence as opposed to cryogenic freezing, which is probably the more common use of freezing in sci-fi/fiction. in fact, cryogenic freezing would be the most humane solution of all, because it keeps them out of society but to them no time will have passed at all.

  2. "Unknown said...
    I wonder why you keep equating exile on a frozen planet as a death sentence as opposed to cryogenic freezing, which is probably the more common use of freezing in sci-fi/fiction. in fact, cryogenic freezing would be the most humane solution of all, because it keeps them out of society but to them no time will have passed at all."

    Cryogenic freezing of the sort to which you refer is not as yet possible. There are many difficulties to be overcome, not least of which is cell damage from freezing (stick a can of soda into the freezer to see the effect of expanding water on a container as it freezes). Not to mention that little thing about bringing someone to life after being frozen into what is, essentially, DEATH (at least so far as our current cryogenic technology goes).

    But even in the world of science fiction, where "cryosleep" is a familiar concept, it is FAR from just dumping somebody into an environment which could freeze them solid within moments. There is, typically, some kind of (as yet unknown) process wherein bodily fluids are replaced with ones which won't freeze and destroy tissues, and possibly some preparation with injected drugs to counteract the effects of being frozen, and so on. In any kind of even slightly well-thought-out sci-fi scenario, people are not simply shoved into people-sized freezers and expected to go into safe "cryosleep". Or dropped onto the surface of a planet which is so cold that they will freeze solid in moments.

    Now, is it POSSIBLE that Utroms -- being aliens with alien biology -- might have the capacity to be quick-frozen and then thawed out later with little or no harm to them. Well, maybe… but that was never discussed, and never shown to be one of their qualities. Although that is, in fact, what we did when we brought the Utrom Shredder back to Earth in "Turtles Forever", but I look at that as playing fast and loose with logic for the sake of moving a story forward -- not ever my favorite thing, but it seemed to work in that context (probably because I was hoping that no one would say "Hey, wait a minute -- !"). -- PL

  3. As already noted, Shredder invading the Utrom homeworld was far more interesting than the actual episode.
    The heroes always winning is boring and is the single biggest flaw of both cartoon series.