Friday, January 20, 2012

Blast from the Past #458: February 7, 2005: Re: Premise 111 ("Membership Drive"), and February 8, 2005: Re: Outline 112 ("New World Order")

Subj: Re: Premise 111 ("Membership Drive")
Date: Monday, February 7, 2005 10:55:48 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep. 11 premise.

1.) Re: the following:

"LOGLINE: The Justice Force is having a recruitment drive for a new member, and Mikey plans on the Turtle Titan filling that slot!"

It seems more than a little bit silly that the Justice Force would be recruiting new members in the way it is described later on in this premise ("Camera pans across a line of superheroes!  Well, wannabe super heroes, anyway.  Dozens of freaks and fanboys with their home made costumes stand in line, waiting…) It makes them seem pretty silly. I know it worked in the old "Legion of Super Heroes" comics, but they were pretty silly themselves. Perhaps instead, news has leaked out about Tsunami and Chrysalis leaving for Justice Force East, and now all kinds of potential "heroes" have come out of the woodwork, clamoring for a position on the Justice Force (much to the JF's chagrin -- they never intended to look for new members in this "scattershot" way). But someone suggests turning it into an "American Idol"-type competition with proceeds going to charity. The winner will get to be a "Hero For A Day" and spend a whole day with the JF. (Actually, we should probably decide if all these people "trying out" are deluded posers, or if there are some with actual powers who might do well on the JF. In fact... it might be that there are one or two with real powers, and it's those powers which could turn the tide in the JF's battle against Nano.)

2.) Re: the following:

"Camera pans across a line of superheroes!  Well, wannabe super heroes, anyway.  Dozens of freaks and fanboys with their home made costumes stand in line, waiting… and in the middle of it is the Turtle Titan!  And behind him, a fidgety Leonardo. 

Leo is worried about people seeing them, but Mikey tell him to relax… look around!  They’re surrounded by costumed freaks and supernerds.  Realizing Mikey is right, Leo starts getting a little embarrassed by being associated with this crowd."

I don't get why Leo is with Mikey in this scene -- he is totally out of place here. Maybe we should have Casey instead -- he would probably enjoy the freak show, as well as possibly think he might fit in with the JF.

3.) Re: the following:

"Coney Island.  Several of Bishop’s Commandos under the supervision of Baxter Stockman are on the scene, collecting a crashed Triceraton ship from the sea.  Stockman notices something strange… what appears to be a cloud of metallic dust is hovering around the area, trying to take shape.

Later.  In one of Bishop’s NYC bases, Stockman is making his report on the ‘cloud’ to Bishop – it’s very advanced nano-technology, like nothing he’s ever seen.  Stockman has trapped the nano cloud, and has it in the lab.  It’s inactive, but Stockman is confident he can manipulate it for their purposes.

Bishop wants to weaponize the nano-tech, but when Stockman activates it, NANO wakes up!

Nano’s ‘face’ appears on all the lab monitors and he begins downloading data from Bishop’s computers.  Stockman finally succeeds in ejecting Nano from the computers, and he and Bishop watch as Nano takes form, creating a massive robot form (using hi-tech, possibly alien tech from Bishop’s lab)."

I need some clarification here -- what is Nano actually doing when they find it? As written, it is "a cloud of metallic dust is hovering around the area, trying to take shape", which to me reads like Nano at this point is awake and active. If so, that kind of puts a monkey wrench into what follows, as well as raises the question -- How does Stockman confine Nano? As we know, Nano can disassemble anything, including any cage that Stockman could put it into.
When Stockman was working for the Shredder, was he working to retrieve alien tech for the Shredder? If memory serves, he was... and if so, I think he (or Bishop) should make a passing reference to it here.
When I read that they find Nano while collecting a Triceraton ship, I almost immediately started envisioning a wild new version of Nano which would incorporate a lot of elements of the Triceraton technology, and have a twisted droid/cyborg-esque resemblance to an actual Triceraton -- albeit a huge one!

4.) Re: the following:

"Adult Nano has decided that humanity is inherently bad, and must be punished for their crimes.  It sees Leo and Raph and instantly recognizes them.  They’re going to be the first ones punished."

Does Nano really mistake these mutant turtles for humans? Also, I'm not sure I buy the transformation from "not wanting to have anything to do with humanity" to "must punish humanity". And what kind of "punishment" is he intending -- is he going to kill everyone? Wouldn't that make him just as bad as the humanity he is "punishing"?

5.) Re: the following:

"Nano-clouds spray from Nano, flowing into the Justice Tower itself.  In the lobby below, the wannabe JFers look around as suddenly the Tower itself begins to move!!!

Nano has taken over the Justice Tower.  Now taller than a skyscraper, he begins stomping through the bay toward New York City.  Inside, the building itself is attacking the Justice Force and Turtles, and Nano even takes over Ananda’s domebots, using them against the heroes."

Hmmmm... I don't have a good feeling about this. It's pretty over-the-top and veering towards REALLY silly. What if instead we establish early on that there is some kind of large heroic statue near the tower, and that is what Nano "possesses" and animates. Or maybe even more fun might be a group of several statues -- perhaps memorials to fallen former Justice Force members -- and Nano animates the whole group and battles the heroes in these forms.

6.) Re: the following:

"While Sentry, Metalhead and Ananda keep Nano distracted, Mikey and Leo go to the Tower’s power generator in hopes to shut it (and Nano) down. "

This doesn't make sense. We have established in past Nano appearances that its power supply is incorporated into its cloud of particles -- it doesn't require external power.

7.) Re: the following:

"Mikey saves Leo, but sacrifices himself in the process.  

Nano doesn’t understand Mikey’s sacrifice… but the Force explains that Mikey represents the best of humanity, that there is good in man, that there are heroes…

The light goes out in Nano’s eyes, and Mikey (now standing behind the Force and Leo, having used his mystical ninja speed to escape the ceiling fall) comments on the sadness of it all."

I'm not liking much, if any, of this. I like the idea of Nano somehow becoming a member of the Justice Force, but I think we need a better rationalization for its doing so. And if you think about it, Mikey's "sacrifice" is a sham, and once Nano realizes it (and it must) any change of heart inspired by the "sacrifice" would be wiped out.
Actually, as I typed those last few lines, it occurred to me that the conclusion of this episode -- Nano becoming a superhero and member of the JF -- might make for a better motivation for the bulk of the action. What if, instead of all the "I hate humanity/I must punish humanity" stuff, the real motivation for Nano's actions (which are misinterpreted as aggression) are that it wants to be a member of the JF, and it is "auditioning" for the JF?

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Outline 112 ("New World Order")
Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2005 12:41:55 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep. 112 outline.

1.) Re: the following:

"Inside, we see the revived Shredder as he is tended to by the Foot Mystics. They bow before him and tell him how wonderful it is that he lives again. An elaborate meal is spread before him, and some dancing women perform for his amusement."

I hope these "dancing women" are not scantily clad bimbos -- that would amp the "cheese factor" up significantly. Perhaps we should make them somewhat demonic kabuki dancers, or leave them out altogether and possibly substitute musicians.

2.) Re: the following:

"Shredder knocks the food off the table and orders the women to leave. He must have answers. 

Shredder: “I have been gone for what you tell me is nearly 2000 years. The world was content to let me rot in my prison. Why have you come to my aid now?”

Metal: “We have studied your ways, master, and we believe you are mankind’s best hope.”

Shredder is still suspicious. He knows enough about the dark side of human nature to not trust the Mystics."

There are several odd things going on here. FIrst, why does the Shredder knock the food off the table? Seems like petulant behavior not worthy of the character.
Second, why are the Mystic's telling him he is "mankind's best hope"? What is that going to get them? What does the Shredder care for mankind?
Third -- and perhaps it's my memory's fault that this isn't clear -- what exactly is the relationship between the Mystics and the Shredder? For some reason, I thought that they were former associates of his, and that is why they are so dedicated to reviving him. Here they seem not to know each other. And the Mystics aren't EXACTLY human, right?

3.) Re: the following:

"Shredder: “Fear not. You shall be suitably rewarded for your service.” (The ambiguity here foreshadows the later episode where he turns the tables on them.) Shredder continues: “But tell me…what of those who treacherously defeated me. What of the Four Dragons?”"

I can't recall discussing this idea that the Shredder turns on the Mystics, so I'll withhold judgment on that one, though at this point it seems a little odd.

4.) Re: the following:

"The Turtles at first use their weapons as they are normally used. But as they get more and more into the practice, they start to use the magical powers imbued in each of their weapons. As they do, their tattoos and amulets glow. 

Raph’s Kusari Gama shoots a controlled thunder blast at Donny, whose Naginata’s cyclone power help him to both get out of the thunder’s way, and to knock Raph off his feet."

I'm not sure why, but I'm already bored with these "powered-up" Turtles... which makes me happy that when this season ends, they'll be back to their old selves. However, this did make me think that perhaps we can foreshadow that a little by thinking of ways that having these extra powers might make them less cautious and thoughtful about fighting their enemies, and thus leave themselves vulnerable in ways that they wouldn't if they didn't have these powers.

5.) It would be cool to see a Shrednaught or two going up against the various demons and such which invade Foot headquarters in this episode.
I do wonder if TWO appearances by Chaplin are one too many. Perhaps he should only show up once, armed with his "mystic-techno"  (mystech?) weaponry.

-- Pete


  1. Nice post once again Mr.Laird :) I see a lot had to be done to make the Nano-episode a decent one. Also, I'd really like to hear your opinion on the new 2012 Shredder, which we can see on the new picture that just came out. Here it is:

  2. "TobTurnJan 21, 2012 04:33 PM
    Nice post once again Mr.Laird :)"


    " I see a lot had to be done to make the Nano-episode a decent one. Also, I'd really like to hear your opinion on the new 2012 Shredder, which we can see on the new picture that just came out. Here it is:"

    To be honest, I am not crazy about it. The calf armor looks way too bulky, and the forearm blades way too long, among other things. It looks to me like the designer didn't really understand the nature of the Shredder.

    Also, the upper torso armor is shaped in such a way as to hint that this Shredder has a bustline. I wonder if they're planning to have Oroku Saki be a woman this time around? -- PL

  3. I think we agree and several others the same at what appears to be a prototype of what "the scariest Shredder yet" looks like.

    As for the episode at hand,it felt like the Turtle Titan plot was overused in the show though I know the writting team enjoyed using it when they could.