Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blast from the Past #433: September 24, 2004: comments on Ep. 98 premise and comments on Eps. 99 and 100 premises

Subj: comments on Ep. 98 premise
Date: Friday, September 24, 2004 12:31:36 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep. 98 premise.

1.) I wonder if, when Stockman decides to put his brain into a new cloned body, he also decides to "improve" upon his former body -- i.e. make it taller, stronger, with better eyes (so he doesn't have to wear glasses, etc.. That might make his fall even harder.

2.) Re: the following:

"We rejoin the Turtles cleaning up the aftermath of the mutant toad battle.  There’s a mess of green slime in the gutter between the tracks.  Raph complains about how “It stinks that we gotta play merry maids nowadays after kickin’ butt.”  Don explains that, “Yeah, well, nowadays our enemies explode into highly toxic and contagious waste!” (And then maybe Donny can even do a subtle cough … he’s got a touch of the flu … bit of a scratchy throat …).  The Turtles finish bagging up the slimy toad debris and head home.  We segue from that slime to…"

This "clean up" bit is a little weird. For one thing, what are the Turtles doing with the waste once they've bagged it up? Where are they taking it? I get the idea that the Turtles want to be responsible, but becoming janitors might not be the way to do it. Maybe instead of actually bagging up the slime and taking it with them, they spray it with some compound Don has concocted that renders it inert or just completely dissolves it into harmless elements. OR... they "tag" the area with some kind of sign which will alert the authorities (who are also surely aware of the problem and are trying to deal with it) to a location where some of these mutant creatures have been fought and melted, so that they can call in more appropriately equipped clean up squads.

3.) Re: the following:

"Back at the Turtles lair, there’s a sudden noise—the Turtles are alarmed and jump to action—someone is coming through the door!  The Turtles are armed and await the intruder…finally the door opens and…it’s Master Splinter with some new decorations for the lair.  Oh, what a relief!  The Turtles rest easy.  But then…where was Stockman going to?"

I get the idea that we want a little misdirection to fool the viewer into thinking that Stockman's destination was the Turtles' lair, but this bit with Splinter "coming through the door" and making a "sudden noise" which gets the Turtles all freaked out is GOOFY. What door is Splinter coming through -- the one to outside? If so, what the HELL is he doing going outside to get "decorations"?! And what kind of noise can he make to freak the Turtles out so? Makes no sense. This needs reworking.

4.) Re: the following:

"Stockman charges at April—there’s a bit of banter in which he insanely reasons why April is responsible and then a cat and mouse chase ensues where April proves surprisingly evasive—but most importantly, she manages to turn the web-cam on her computer on … clandestinely sending a message and video images to some friends …

Back at the Turtle lair Mikey playing with the computer when he sees what at first he assumes is a cool new video game on his computer but quickly realizes is, in fact, April being attack by—who the?!  Stockman?!  Human … well almost human, Baxter Stockman!  But, the turtles are not hallucinating!  That’s Stockman!"

This is more than a bit goofy. First, that April would turn on her webcam in the hope that by some random chance one or more of the Turtles would be watching that particular webcam at that particular moment and see what's happening -- or at least see SOME of what's happening, as webcams typically have a fairly small field of view. And secondly, that Mikey would be so STUPID that he could mistake a webcam window for a new videogame.
I think we're also missing an opportunity to bring Casey into this story. I think it would be nice if he attempted to save April from Stockman. Here's a possible scenario: April is using her laptop with webcam in her shop, and she's intant messaging/webcamming with Casey (maybe we even do some funny stuff where she's trying to help Casey get the hang of this technology, as he keeps futziing it up (mounting the webcam upside down, etc.)) when suddenly Stockman breaks in. Now, Casey sees this intrusion via April's webcam (and maybe it's a odd angle view because April's laptop/webcam got knocked off the counter and landed on its side or something) and is horrified. As he rushes to his motorcycle to blast over to April's to help her, he gives the Turtles a call (via ShellCel -- don't know if the boys have any of these or not -- or by phone) and let's them know what's happening. 
Casey gets to April's place before the Turtles, and though he fights valiantly against Stockman, he gets his ass kicked. When the Turtles finally arrive, a groggy Casey can fill them in on what happened and maybe point them in the direction April took off in, pursued by Stockman.

5.) Re: the following:

"The Turtles blast through the sewers on the sewer sled getting downtown as fast as they can!  We can only hope it will be fast enough because …"

I thought the Sewer Sled had been lost in the attack on the lair? Anyway, I think it might be better if they DON'T have any kind of vehicle, and have to hoof it, opening up some opportunities for some complaining along the way from some of the Turtles -- I'm thinking Mikey would be a good choice -- about how they should have some wheels, how they miss the Sewer Sled and Battle Shell, etc..

6.) Re: the following:

"The chase continues through the streets … Stockman uses some of the “weaponry” that he has included in patching himself back together in his cyborg self and tries to hit April with small rockets (which blow up parked cars), etc.  He should be a horrific amalgamation of man, mutant and machine."

I'm not loving the rocket thing.

7.) Re: the following:

"April puts up a good fight …

… but Stockman overwhelms her and is about to cut her painfully to pieces with a piece of his cyborg-ness (a laser torch) … to experience his pain … one missing limb at a time."

I wonder if it might be better (i.e. much more horrible and scary) if Stockman at that moment determines that a better way to punish April and simultaneously help himself would be to transplant his brain into her healthy, non-diseased body (rather than just kill her).

8.) Of the two "Options" for Stockman's final hallucination, I prefer Option 1, as Option 2's inclusion of Stockman's mother comes out of the blue (we've never heard of or seen Stockman's mother before) and is really kind of cheesy. I think the idea that Stockman again hallucinates the Shredder (and maybe MULTIPLE Shredder's, where he sees each Turtle as another Shredder) is much cooler, and ties in with the beginning of the episode.

-- Pete


Subj: comments on Eps. 99 and 100 premises
Date: Friday, September 24, 2004 12:53:26 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I really don't have much to say about these two premises -- they are for the most part a really good adaptation of the TALES OF THE TMNT #7 story, with a few useful modifications (i.e. Savanti magically controlling the Deinonychus, etc.).
The one thing I'm not loving is the whole "time wave" thing in the beginnning of Ep. 99. While visually intriguing, it really opens up a whole can of worms, the biggest worm being this: If Savanti's magic is so powerful that it can cause these kinds of massive changes in the present, it stands to reason (well, at least to my way of thinking) that he doesn't need the Time Scepter. 
But even more it bugs me that, by opening the episode with a huge, cataclysmic series of events, there's no build up and we miss an opportunity to do a smaller, personality-driven bit which enriches the characters. I refer, of course, to the idea that April has managed to smuggle the Turtles into the museum after hours (through some contact she has there) so that dino-fanatic Don can finally get to see the cool fossils and dino skeletons in the museum. And that he STILL wants to see them even though he's not feeling that great just helps to delineate his character more. And Mike and Raph can piss and moan about how boring it is (and maybe Mike goofs off with some exhibits and April has to reprimand him).

-- Pete


  1. Ah, one of the two barred episodes and the one that made it to DVD! We are of like mines of what the TMNT were doing with the waste after it was cleaned up. Sometimes even with great plots a plothole is waiting and this was one of them.

    At times I felt Michelangelo was dumbed down TOO much. I love him and his personality but that would have been too much. I never liked how the other turtles would slap him on the back of the head of Splinter with his walking stick. It seemed unneccessary and signlaing out Mike. Not to mention a little abuse that seemed unwarranted that none of the others had coming.

  2. If I'm reading your posts right, it seems this script took the title "Insane in the Membrane" away from that Justice Force/Bad Guys story you posted about the other day. Do you remember why that Justice Force story originally titled "Insane in the Membrane" got scrapped?

  3. Like Mikeandraph87 said: Why Mikey is slapped on the head many times? I don't like that too much either. Mikey has a childlike personality, but he is not silly.