Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blast from the Past #411: June 25, 2004: Re: comments on Ep. 83 outline

Subj: comments on Ep. 83 outline
Date: Friday, June 25, 2004 2:59:24 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep. 83 outline.

1.) Because, for one thing, Rat King is a character I would like to see recur on this show, I really think that we should hold off on giving too much away too quickly about the "secret origin" of the Rat King (i.e. he is -- or was -- Bishop's creation "The Slayer"). As presented here, it's too much, too soon. One of the cool things about the Rat King as he appeared in the comics was that he had some secret history to him -- he didn't just appear overnight. I always had the sense that he had been prowling that abandoned factory for years. Given the new take we are applying to the Rat King character, I realize we can't do that (because the Turtles only encountered the Slayer for the first time a relatively few episodes ago, not much more than weeks or months ago in "show time"), but I would at LEAST like to try to give this guy some time to "marinate" in his new role as the Rat King.
And though I have agreed, somewhat reluctantly, to go forward with this Slayer/Rat King idea, I still think it's not necessarily the best one and we could if we so desired extract the Slayer aspect and still have a great Rat King.

2.) Re: the following:

" It’s Mikey’s turn to be “stealth.”  He’ll be on the run from the others, wearing a bandana that he must protect from the “seekers” for as long as he can."

It is not clear to me if the bandana mentioned here is Mike's usual one or something special that he is carrying. If it is the latter, where should he be wearing it?

3.) Re: the following:

"As the others call Leo back to the hunt, we tilt up to reveal the Rat King… stuck to the side of the high building wall (he may not remember, but he retains some Slayer abilities)."

Again, I'd like to conceal the Slayer part as much as possible, and perhaps we can "cheat" this type of scene so it is unclear if he is sticking to the wall or just clinging to it.

4.) Re: the following:

"When Michelangelo comes to consciousness, he’s tied down by the wrists and ankles to an old door in the darkened, secluded bowels of the ruins."

While, as I've already said, I don't want to give away too many clues about Rat King's origin story, as I was reading this it occurred to me that this setup -- Mikey strapped to a board (or door, in this case) -- is eerily reminiscent of how perhaps the Slayer was strapped to an examining/surgical table in Bishop's lab, and maybe he has unconsciously (and crudely) replicated that environment he dimly recalls within the walls of this factory. If we like that idea, perhaps we could add some more decor and props -- old rusty stuff that SORT of looks like lab equipment, but really isn't.

5.) Re: the following:

        "Don:  “He has the advantage in this tight space!  We have to draw him out into the open!”

Raph:  “My pleasure.  I’m outta here!”

Raph slams through the wall of the arena, and Casey and his brothers follow through the makeshift door. "

If Raph can just "slam" through the wall of the "arena", it wasn't much of a trap, was it?

6.) Again, the Rat King is described as pulling off some no-humanly-possible moves during his fights with/pursuit of the Turtles... and I think we should tone this down so as not to give away too much.

7.) Re: the following:

"Raph:  “Be my guest, Nurse Honeyturtle…”"

"Nurse Honeyturtle"...? Am I missing something here, some reference?

8.) Re: the following:

"Mikey:  “Yeah, he should really take a load off those feet.  Wanna help him out, guys?”

Mikey grabs a wooden pallet from a stack, steps onto it.  As he crouches down, Casey and Raph together shove the pallet, hurtling it (and Mikey) toward the Rat King.  Mike “surfs” the pallet as it knocks the Rat King’s feet out from under him, Mikey popping up and kicking the Rat King in the chest while he’s off-balance."

I appreciate it when writers try to add new and creative ways to improve fight scenes, but this one is just terribly contrived and silly.

9.) And here's another bit of silly action:

"The Rat King pounds the overhanging edge of a metal sheet with both fists, a lever-and-fulcrum effect that sends a stack of bricks up into the air.  With a flurry of lightning-fast kicks and punches, the Rat King sends bricks flying as projectiles – too many for his enemies to dodge."

This kind of "Roadrunner"-type stuff really reminds me of the old show. Bleh.

10.) If there is any way we can tweak this episode so it is not just (as it seems to be now) more or less one long running monster fight, I think that would be great. Also, it is unclear to me WHERE this setting is. Casey mentions in the beginning of the story that he "used to take the train out here from school", but what does that mean, exactly? Is this Massachusetts or NYC?

-- Pete


  1. Thanks again for posting these Peter and also thanks to Llyod for allowing these type of post.

    I was wondering, of all the villains that could have become the no.2 villain the '87 series why was Rat King choosen to appear in the show over other characters? I can't complain because I love the character and glad he made it it to a character used in mutliple incarnations.

    I don't know how you felt but Rat King being the Slayer wrapped in bandages was a bit of a let down like the Shredder being a renegade Utrom angle. I liked it having arguably the two worst enemies being human.

  2. "mikeandraph87 said...

    I don't know how you felt but Rat King being the Slayer wrapped in bandages was a bit of a let down like the Shredder being a renegade Utrom angle. I liked it having arguably the two worst enemies being human."

    It (the Slayer as Rat King) was not something I was crazy about, but it passed the "puke test", so I let it go. The Shredder as Utrom, though -- I liked that one, and I thought it worked really well in the context of that series. -- PL