Saturday, November 5, 2011

Blast from the Past #432: September 20, 2004: Re: Outline for 96 ("Trouble With Augie") and Re: First Draft 94 ("Prodigal Son")

Subj: Re: Outline for 96 ("Trouble With Augie")
Date: Monday, September 20, 2004 12:04:28 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep. 96 outline.

1.) Re: the following:

"April’s POV – her parents and little sister sit in chairs, clapping.  Next to them is an empty seat."

If "little sister" is supposed to refer to April's sister Robyn, in the comics we have established that Robyn is older than April by a few years. Not that she can't be younger in the show, but...

2.) One thing which kind of bothers me -- how does Uncle Augie know April's email address? I wonder if it might be better if the signal that he sends doesn't go to her computer in particular, but actually affects a lot of computers... and April and Don recognize the strange symbols -- when they see them in a news report on TV about this new "virus" -- as coordinates for the Artifact.
Actually, I just reread that part and realized that they are not necessarily actual emails, but rather "crude “e-mails from beyond”". However, it then goes on to say that they are "signed Augie". I wonder if it might be better if they don't realize that the messages are "signed Augie" until AFTER Don deciphers the messages, as the idea that there is a string of weird alien symbols followed by "Uncle Augie" in English seems a bit goofy.

3.) Re: the following:

"Augie explains that he has two working artifacts – a small one and a large one. The small Transport Artifact enabled April and Donatello to beam to this location."

I thought it was the Artifact in April's possession that let them do this.

4.) Re: the following:

"Augie: “But don’t tell the Slee’ens – I don’t want them knowing that I have all these different keys.  Otherwise, they might share their knowledge with some other planet instead of Earth.  You wouldn’t believe what these people know.  Just look at their city!”"

This is getting a little weird, Why would Augie want to deny these life-saving technologies to any other worlds? Makes him sound like a selfish jerk. 
Also, it seems REALLY odd that if Augie is as intelligent as he is said to be, he is completely clueless about the nature of the Slee'ens, which nature should be pretty obvious by the dilapidated nature of their city. This is a HUGE logic hole, in my opinion.

5.) Re: the following:

"Regrouped and ready to fight, the Slee’en army steps into the large Transport portal and are transported…. to the dead planet that Augie showed to Donatello and April earlier. "

The entire planet-conquering Slee'en army steps into ONE transport portal? That IS a truly large portal. While it is a clever punishment to exile the SLee'ens to the "dead world", it doesn't seem to make too much practical sense in the way they get there. I think it would be just a good a punishment to maroon them on the Zodat world (which, if you think about it, is just as "dead" as that other world)... especially if the holographic Zodat "ghost" gag that Don set up is still running. So all the time the Slee'en are slowly starving to death, the "ghostly" Zodats are haranguing them. What poetic justice!

6.) I'm really not sure the whole "key" thing works and/or makes sense. It seems to have a lot of holes in it. For example, if you need a different key to get to each specific dimension, how do April and the Turtles get to the "bug" dimension in the first "Uncle Augie" episode ("April's Artifact") and then back to Earth? As stated in this outline, "April pushes the top of the artifact – revealing a hidden key (a rod with gems on it)". That's "a" key, one key -- and it turns out to be the "Earth" key in this story.
I think it makes a lot more sense that these artifacts can allow you to go anywhere as long as you program them with the proper coordinates. Let's ditch this key thing. We don't really need it, especially if we use my suggestion in point 5.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: First Draft 94 ("Prodigal Son")
Date: Monday, September 20, 2004 2:27:32 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep. 94 first draft.

1.) Re: the following:

"WIDER- Leonardo <WHIPS> out his Katana from his back sheath and <SLASHES> behind him.  <CLANK> <CLANK>
With sparks and lines of energy, two Shredaughts materialize seemingly out of nowhere (de-cloaking). "

Since when have the Shrednaughts been able to cloak (like the Foot Tech Ninja)? This is new. I think having Leo go up against and defeat two Shrednaughts all by himself is a bit over the top, even with his new confidence and skills.
Also, the clear implication here -- correct me if I'm wrong -- is that Leo has CAUSED the Shrednaughts to decloak simply by slashing behind him with his swords, his blades somehow disabling their cloaking abilities (similar scenes abound in past episodes with the Foot Tech Ninjas). This is more than a little improbable. I mean, Leo doesn't even know that these Shrednaughts EXIST. He's never gone up against them. I think we should get rid of the Shrednaughts in this scene and just have some Foot ninja, maybe Foot Tech Ninja.

2.) Re: the following:

"Leonardo <RUNS> toward the first Shredaught.  He <SLICES> across it’s front with both Katana.
CLOSE ON- the Shrednaught as cuts <SPLIT> open with energy and electrical sparks."

I've never particularly liked the the way Leo's swords can cut through almost anything like butter (or at least if the story requires it), but this is just silly. Weren't these Shrednaughts nigh on impenetrable in the attack on the lair? Didn't it take Mikey using the laser drill of the Turtle Tunneler to cut one open? The idea that Leo can just casually open them up with his katana is really unbelievable.

3.) Re: the following:

"The Second Shredaught <LEAPS> back with a <KLANG>.  It raises its fists as a hatch on it’s right shoulder <POPS> open revealing a cannon (as seen in EP. 93).
CLOSE ON- Leonardo smirks."

Leo SMIRKS? What the hell is he SMIRKING for? Have we turned him into some unbeatable Arnold Schwarzenegger-type hero? Is he going to start making stupid one-liner jokes as he skewers bad guys ("Stick around!")? This is NOT the way to show that Leo has evolved as a fighter -- it's just DUMB-ASS POSING.

4.) Re: the following:

"<DODGING> more missiles, Leonardo <SLIDES> past the Shrednaught <SLICING> off one of the legs.  The Shrednaught <CRASHES> to the ground."

Now Leo's swords can just slice off a Shrednaught's leg with no problem. Please.

5.) It just occurred to me that it would have made a lot of sense for the Turtles to have had a contingency plan for an event of this nature -- some catastrophic thing happening which would split them all up. They would very likely have had one or more pre-set locations where they could rendezvous in an emergency, so they wouldn't have to waste a lot of time with random searches. Maybe this could be worked into the story.

6.) Re: the following:

"WIDE ANGLE DOWN ON- The roof of the building.  The three Foot Soldiers stealthily walk across.
The shadow of Leonardo, <JUMPS> up and onto the roof, then stealthily <RUNS> toward them.
Leonardo <JUMPS> toward them, doing a <FLIP>, and <CROUCHES> right behind them.
Or, I at least had to know when the Foot had found the trail themselves.
CLOSE ON- Leonardo’s hand reaches forward gently removing a communication device from the Foot Ninjas belt."

Either Leo is now SuperInvisoNinja, or that Foot Soldier was recruited from the Deaf and Dumbass School of Ninjitsu. This is preposterous.

7.) Re: the following:

"CLOSE ON- A broken dish, small bag that reads “CATFOOD” and a PLANET RACERS comic book (that sit in a cubby hole beside the subway tracks).  A flashlight beam passes over them. "

Now that we have had an episode where Raphael goes to another universe and encounters the "Planet Racers", it seems a little weird to have Mikey own a "Planet Racers" comic.

8.) Re: the following:

"WIDE DOWN ANGLE ON- The street.  Leonardo walks away from the destroyed Battle Shell to some motorcycle tracks on the street."

So... how long has the destroyed Battle Shell been sitting out on the street? Has anyone noticed it? Why hasn't it been hauled away?

9.) Re: the following:

"WIDE ANGLE DOWN- Leonardo, still holding Splinter with Donatello following in rear, <FORCES> a path through the large crowd of Foot Ninja.  (Note, like Jet Li surrounded by the crowd that can’t touch him in HERO, or Leonardo parting a sea of Foot Ninja)  They arrive at the doorway.

Moon light shines down on the Reservoir Pump Station nestled and hidden under Belvedere Castle.

Leonardo sets the weakened Splinter down on the ground/blanket."

Uh... there seems to be something missing here. How did Leo and Don and Splinter escape from this large crowd of Foot Ninjas? Did they just let them go? I think we REALLY need to be careful about overdoing this "Super Leo" bit.

10.) Re: the following:

What is important is that you are here now.  And our family is together.
WIDER- Raphael interrupts, 
And, in one piece!  I can’t believe we lost our home!  "

Raph's two lines here don't seem to go together. I would lose the "And in one piece!" line.

11.) Re: the following:

Get used to disappointment, Karai.  You won’t be the first Shredder who can’t seem to touch the Turtles!"

The second line of Leo's here makes no sense -- the "old" Shredder certainly DID touch the Turtles. I would take it out.

12.) Re: the following:

"Karai (Laughing) <WHIPS> the chain toward Leonardo.
Oh Leonardo, I had no true idea how much I would enjoy your pain!"

What a bizarre line from Karai. I would lose it.

13.) I have to wonder if it makes a whole lot of sense that Karai would have her Shredder armor on under her robe. Why would she be wearing it? And why have a robe covering it? It seems like this is only in the script for the little bit of "surprise reveal" when she whips off the robe. I wonder if it might make more sense that we see her enter that scene in full Shredder armor -- including helmet -- and she takes off the helmet as she bows/kneels to the statue of Oroku Saki. (Maybe she has just come from a training session in the dojo.) OR... she could have the whole fight with Leo WITHOUT her new Shredder armor, and we could save that confrontation for a later episode.

-- Pete

1 comment:

  1. If memory serves April was revealed to be a living drawing drawn by her then childless parents so April is older than Robyn.I have never been fond of the "April is a living drawing" thing.