Friday, October 14, 2011

Blast from the Past #421: August 5, 2004: comments on Ep. 86 ("Bad Day") second draft, and August 6, 2004: comments on rest of season 4 story arc

Subj:  comments on Ep. 86 ("Bad Day") second draft
Date:  Thursday, August 5, 2004 11:22:46 AM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my very short comments on Ep. 86 second draft.

1.) Re: the following:

"ON LEO – holding Splinter, taking charge.
Donny!  Get the Battle Shell ready!  Mikey, get April on the phone!  Tell her we need a doctor, now!"

There is something a little off about this, and in addition I think we miss an opportunity to ratchet up the tension a little. First, I find it odd that Leo would right away think that telling April to get a doctor would be the way to go. How is she supposed to find a doctor that will treat a four foot tall mutant rat? I mentioned something in my last notes about this episode regarding healthcare and the Turtles which is germane, and the more I think about it, the more I think that the Turtles should have a game plan for health crises which is a little more logical than this. I mean, if you think about it, these characters are constantly getting into fights and running up against bizarre toxic menaces -- you'd think that this would be something they would need.
However... that being said, I think me miss an opportunity here -- I think that we should play up the panicked response by the Turtles, where they DON'T know what to do, and the lair floods then anyway, essentially terminating that discussion. And we might easily do this simply by shuffling (and tweaking a little) some lines as follows:

Master Splinter!

His breathing’s shallow!  He needs medical attention!

Donny!  Get the Battle Shell ready!  Mikey, get April on the phone!  Tell her -- tell her we need a doctor, now!

We just gonna run a 65-pound talking rat to the hospital?

Anybody know a veterinarian who can keep his mouth shut?

WIDER – Don and Mike jump into action.

*ON MICHELANGELO – grabbing a SHELLCEL as he lands near the pool with an unexpected .  He looks down."

2.) I'm sure that there are a number of other, better names for the as-yet-unnamed "mystic amulet", but as I was re-reading this, I thought calling it the "Heart of Tengu" might be cool (to tie it in a little bit with the Shredder). So it would appear as follows in Karai's dialogue:

My respect will never be earned with foolish exercises like this.  And as long for as I hold the Heart of Tengu, your so-called “power” is mine to command."

-- Pete


Subj:  comments on rest of season 4 story arc
Date:  Friday, August 6, 2004 12:20:13 PM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on arc 93-104 (I've left out any comments on 91 and 92 as I have already commented on the actual premises).


Ep. 93

1.) It's not made clear HOW the Foot have found out where the Turtles' lair. As this is such a big deal, I think we should know.
One twist that popped into my head is that maybe Angel betrayed them, and she shows up here or later on as one of Karai's right-hand minions.

2.) Re: the following:

"The Foot Ninja (in redesigned Foot Ninja garb?) are better, faster, and more skilled than ever before."

Why? How? I'm not averse to having some new and badder Foot ninja, but I think it's important to remember that the big thing here is that the Turtles' safe place has been violated and invaded, and even the plain old Foot soldiers would be bad enough.

3.) Re: the following:

"The Turtles are overwhelmed, too stunned to mount a defense."
I think that's overstating the situation a little -- I think they would be hard-pressed, and eventually have to beat a strategic retreat, but they certainly would put up a good fight.

4.) Re: the following:

"We reveal it is Karai, garbed in her own new, power-enhancing Shredder armor."

Is this some big mecha-type armor, or just personal armor?

5.) Re: the following:

"Don tries to pull his battered master away and into the ShellSub, but not before Splinter can grab the TCRI canister and the orb the Utroms gave him that holds memories of master Yoshi.  "

This seems a little forced. And maybe these things SHOULD be destroyed, to emphasize the devastating nature of the attack. I can't think of any reason, story-wise, that we would need either of these objects in the future. It might be good to trash them.

6.) Re: the following:

"Mike, with Klunk, manages to escape by attacking with the TurtleTunneler.  He charges one of the Shreddnaughts, but really he’s just making himself a new exit.  When the Shreddnaught peels the Tunneler open, he finds that it’s empty. "

Given that the Tunneler is outfitted with disintegrator beams which can carve through solid rock, I think it could be used as a pretty devastating weapon, and I think we should show Mikey doing just that, before the Tunneler get  trashed. He should take out one of the Shrednaughts with it.

7.) Re: the following:

"A Foot copter will chase the BattleShell and blow it to bits, but Raph will escape at the last minute on the ShellCycle. "

As I suggested at our meeting this past week, I'm not sure if it is necessary to totally destroy the Battleshell, and we might do well by just having the body get destroyed so that the Turtles can later build a NEW Battleshell upon the old one's battered but sturdy chassis. I have this image in my head of Raph driving a really blown to heck Battleshell, with almost all of the bodywork and extras blown away, leaving only the chassis, engine, and maybe a seat and steering wheel.

8.) Re: the following:

"Foot troops comb every inch of the city looking for them."

That seems like quite an exaggeration.


Ep. 94

1.) Re: the following:

"Leo returns from his lessons with the Ancient One.  When he shows up at the lair, he finds that the place has been reduced to rubble… and a contingent of Karai’s Foot Ninja (maybe new special ninjas) are lying in wait for him!  Armed with his new attitude and a few nifty new skills from the Ancient One, Leo completely and utterly kicks ass! "

Let's try to not make this too unbelievable -- Leo is not now "Super Ninja".

2.) Re: the following:

"He tries to question one of the Foot ops, but the loyal Foot soldier deactivates himself rather than betray “the Shredder.”"

"Deactivates himself"...? Huh? Is he a robot? Maybe it would be better if he just bashes his head against a wall to knock himself out.

3.) Re: the following:

"Meanwhile, after hours in the Oroku Saki Memorial Library, Karai enters through a secret passage to commune with a statue of her father.  Suddenly her reverie is interrupted by Leonardo.  "

How does Leo know where this "secret passage" is? And why does it have to be a secret, anyway? Wouldn't it make sense that there would be some publicly-placed statue of the library's founder, Oroku Saki?

4.) Re: the following:

"Then, as tension builds, Karai and Leo will fight.  A big one on one between two incredibly skilled warriors.  But Karai, in her new armor, is faster and more deadly than ever before."

Karai's in her new Shredder armor all this time? That seems kind of odd.

5.) Re: the following:

"But before anyone can get near Leo, he flips back out of the library and holds up a little blinking device.  It’s a detonator.  “Leave my family alone.” He says, and then he depresses the detonator.  A series of explosions go off, blowing the crap out of the Oroku Saki Memorial Library.  Karai and her Foot goons retreat behind emergency blast doors, though she does get to see the statue of Oroku Saki explode into rubble just before the door seals."

Not only is this unrealistic (where did Leo get all the time required to set all these explosive devices?), but it is TOTALLY un-Leo-like. I seriously doubt he would plant bombs, let alone destroy a LIBRARY with them. It would be cool, though, if as a parting/warning short just before he leaves, Leo does some amazing leaping/flipping move and decapitates the statue of Oroku Saki, and the severed head rolls over to Karai's feet.

6.) Re: the following:

"Later, Leo returns to lair with a few odds and ends.  A laptop computer for Don, a punching bag for Raph, some comics for Mikey, and a new walking stick for Splinter.  The last item in his cart he unveils; it is the oversized and somewhat damaged head of the Oroku Saki statue from the library."

I think I understand the intent of this scene, but it seems unrealistic and a bit goofy. And Leo bringing the Oroku Saki head into their new lair just feels completely wrong -- what a BAD way to christen their new home. I would lose this scene entirely, or just have Leo come back to the lair and symbolize their new beginning by replacing the "Lair Sweet Lair" sign (either he returns the beat up one he got from April via Karai, or he makes a new one).


Ep. 95

1.) Re: the following:

"Don will get wounded by one of the creatures. This will lead to infection, and eventually mutation over the course of the rest of the season."

I assume "wounded" means bitten or clawed? Also, I think we should consider Raph for the Turtle who gets mutated, not least because it would be a cool tie-in with the current comic book.

2.) Re: the following:

"April notices Don scratching at a bandage he wears on his thigh – the wound he received last episode.  Don shrugs it off as all in the line of duty, ma’am.  “Just wish the darn thing wouldn’t itch so much.”"

I think this bit is what got me thinking that it should be Raph, and not Don, who gets mutated. I really don't think Don would be so cavalier with such a potentially serious situation.

3.) Re: the following:

"They wind up at the outskirts of an impressive, lost-world-looking fantasy city.
The people who inhabit the city are long, tall, noble beings, sophisticated and apparently friendly. "

I immediately thought of the Y'Lyntians and the Entity when reading this description. Maybe they should instead be squat and round.

2.) Re: the following:

"Augie needs the compass because within it’s workings he has hidden a piece of the material from which the artifact (which transports people but never transports itself) is made of, and with it he can create a device to transport them all back to our world (or something like that)."

Huh? The idea that the artifact " transports people but never transports itself" seems to fly in the face of it's nature as established in "April's Artifact". This whole bit with the compass seems like an unnecessary red herring and confuses the issue. Why not just say that Uncle Augie wanted to share the good news of his discovery with April and the world? The artifact has all the power we need to send everybody here and there.

3.) Re: the following:

"But, alas, it is all too good to be true.  There is another side to these long, lithe, friendly people, a dark side.  And Augie has not seen past their surface. 
They are a warlike race of conquerors.  All that they have has been plundered.  Even this fantasy city is not theirs – they conquered it."

This is okay, but I wonder if it would be better if we tweaked it so Augie didn't seem like such a dope or dupe. Maybe this race has a life cycle which includes an "age of unreason" or madness every few centuries, and it just so happens that it's about to come upon them.


Ep. 97

1.) Is this a "clip" show? I basically like the idea, but I think it needs a lot of work.

2.) Re: the following:

"In a dark and secret place, a group of villains have come together, untied in their hatred of a common enemy.  As they list their grievances, we see who these terrible villains are:  Malignus, the master of mind control!  Mephos, exile of the Avians!  The gruesome GarbageMan!  Touch and Go?  The Entity? "

I'm not too crazy about using Touch and Go here, and wasn't Mephos a prisoner of the Avians the last time we saw him? Maybe Hun would be good in this. Nano? Mr. Marlin?

3.) Re: the following:

"The Justice Force had gotten wind that Malignus was up to something.  With the Help of Donatello, they monitored Malignus’ communication traffic.  When they realized that he and the other villains were searching for the Turtles, the Turtles made sure to frequent a specific area until the super-villains took the bait!"

That approach or plan seems a bit goofy.


Ep. 98

1.) Re: the following:

"A la the famous FF comic “This Man, This Monster,” if at all possible, it would be very cool if, at the end of this episode, when Stockman is about to do April in… he somehow snaps out of his delusional mode, realizes that what he’s doing – and what he has done since he first went bad and created his mousers – is wrong… and actually winds up sacrificing himself to save her life!"

I love that FF story, and it would be cool if we could do an "homage" to it, but I'm really not sure that Stockman's personality would allow it. I'm not sure too that I want to lose Stockman -- he's been a great pain in the ass character.
One thought I had if we decide that we do want to get rid of him -- a fun twist might be that he does something nasty and evil (something, in other words, typically Stockman) that results in his doom, but April misperceives it as a noble sacrifice on his part.


Eps. 99-100

1.) It's been done before in other sci-fi tales, but maybe we could have some fun with the Savanti Romero/prehistoric dino world adventure by establishing -- as a subplot to help expand the story to fill two episodes -- some alien presence on Earth (maybe an alien "big game hunting" expedition or wildlife excursion) which ends up taking samples of dinosaurs with them back into space... and we could hint that millions of years later, some of these dinos could have evolved into -- Triceratons!


Ep. 101

No comments.


Ep. 102

1.) Re: the following:

"Casey and April are about to go out on a date.  She’s all dolled up for a night on the town.  Of course, Casey shows up in bike leathers for what he calls a romantic motorcycle ride!   They’re about to start arguing about what this date was supposed to be when Leo, Mike, Don and Raph show. "

The arguing thing is no longer cute, just annoying. I think a possible twist on it which might be fun is to have each of them show up for the date prepared for what they THINK the other will want to do -- in other words, Casey could be dressed for a night on the town (would a tux be too much?) while April shows up ready to go for a motorcycle ride (leather jacket, boots, etc.).


Ep. 103

1.) Re: the following:

"With their brother mutated into this new, monstrous, mindless state, it’s all the others can do to keep him confined!  The boys call in LeatherHead and April to help come up with an anti-mutagen… but Don was the one who’d been studying Bishop’s genetic gloop for weeks.  He’s the only one who really understands it… and without his brainpower, the others really have no idea how to help him."

What about the Fugitoid? Where is he now? Plus, I'll reiterate that I think it should be Raph and not Don, who mutates.


Ep. 104

1.) Re: the following:

"They snatch the artifact from its ornate crystal chamber and hold it aloft.  “Fools!  You are fools!  I will destroy you all!”  Shredder/Karai charges them, but, with the crystal now in hand, the Turtles begin to glow.  They vanish, and Karai‘s claws slash at nothing but air."

I know we haven't really established anything about the artifact except that Karai uses it to control the Mystics, so it COULD have this teleportation power -- but it seems like a cheat to me. I'd rather see something a little more clever in the way that the Turtles get away with it.
Also, given that we have a surfeit of crystals in this show, could we make this artifact something else? Like some kind of metal, or stone, or even wood?

2.) Re: the following:

"The Turtles re-materialize back at Bishop’s.  Before Bishop allows them to see Donatello, he insists that they hand over the artifact.  Reluctantly, they do so, knowing deep down inside that they’re going to live to regret this whole episode.  “Thanks to your presence, this base of operations has been compromised.  You have precisely 15 minutes to collect your brother and vacate the premises.  Pleasure doing business with you.”   Bishop activates a countdown and exits via a hydraulic elevator shaft that takes him below ground."

I know this is a VERY early stage, and much will change, but Bishop's warning the Turtles about the impending destruction of that facility seems a bit off. I mean, why would he care? He hates the Turtles.

-- Pete


  1. Regarding savanti comment: That would have been a great Triceraton bit. In Timing is Everything, a Triceratops and Triceraton actually'd have to think there was some kind of evolution connection there..

    I think having Don mutate instead of Raph was much more effective. Leo already had his brooding moment. Raph is ALWAYS that way...and in the old show, Mike Super mutated in a simulation. It was also rather nice to see don just loose it when he's normally so self controlled..

    Re: Bishop's warning. He may hate the turtles, but in his own warped way he is honorable. The turtles helped him, so he kept his end of the bargain. IF he needed their help in the future, he'd have it because the turtles would know he keeps his word ;o)..

  2. One thing I have wondered was what inspired the Foot Mystics and how far back was their role planned? I appreciate their concept!

    Please thank Lloyd for us for allowing these conversations to be posted. Its a thrill to set the behind the scenes progress through the two biggest forces in the show.