Friday, January 27, 2012

Blast from the Past #462: March 2, 2005: Re: Notes on 111 ("Membership Drive") and March 3, 2005: Re: 114 ("Fathers and Sons") Outline

Subj: Re: Notes on 111 ("Membership Drive")
Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2005 1:30:06 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I could comment on another (mis)usage of "wailing" when "whaling" is called for, but given the nature of this script, that would feel very petty...

... because I freakin' LOVED it! This has to be one of the most satisfying scripts in a while. I actually laughed out loud several times while reading it. Great job!

-- Pete


Subj: Re:  114 ("Fathers and Sons") Outline
Date: Thursday, March 3, 2005 12:32:25 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep. 114 outline.

1.) Re: the following:

"We open on an eerie full moon against a blood red night sky."

Very poetic, but as far as I can tell, impossible. How can the sky at NIGHT be "blood red"? Plus, the mention of a red sky puts me in mind of the old cartoon, the last season of which I believe is referred to as the "red sky" season. I MIGHT be able to buy a blood red moon, as that makes a little more sense.

2.) Re: the following:

"Splinter is aghast as he pulls a stick out of his jacket (the one that will become his walking stick).  Mikey flees under Splinter’s jacket."

Splinter's wearing a jacket? That's a first.

3.) Re: the following:

"We push in close on one of the faces of the Utroms in the room with Yoshi, and it transforms into the Utrom face of the Shredder.  We pull out to reveal that the Shredder Utrom is in his armor.  The abdomen door shuts and the Shredder’s red eyes flare. "

This is a little confusing. Is it meant to be "symbolic", or are we saying that one of the Utroms in this room with Yoshi is actually the Shredder?

4.) Re: the following:

"Splinter: “I recalled a trip Master Yoshi often made to see a sage, old…”

At this point the Ancient One cuts a fart.  Mikey laughs.

Splinter: “…malodorous man.”

Splinter tells that this was the only family he knew of, so he packed up his four young wards and made the trek to see the Ancient One.  It is at this point that we transition to full on flashback mode. "

I am again confused, by several things here. If Splinter had observed that his Master Yoshi had often made a trip to see the Ancient One, the only way Splinter would know WHERE that trip took Yoshi would be if Yoshi had taken Splinter with him. And if THAT is true, then Splinter and the Ancient One had met  BEFORE Yoshi came to NYC, as the Ancient One lives in Japan, and as far as I know, Yoshi never went back there after he came to NYC.
But more important -- are we saying that Splinter returned to Japan with ALL FOUR TURTLE TOTS in tow, just to see the Ancient One? That seems a bit ridiculous.
Also, doesn't this break continuity? In the episode where Leo goes to see the Ancient One and receive training from him, Leo doesn't recognize him... but if Leo had seen the Ancient One when Leo was a youngster, wouldn't he have remembered him?

5.) Re: the following:

"  The Ancient One’s eyes widen as he murmurs to himself with alarm “…the Black Shuck…”"

Maybe I'm missing something, but "The Black Shuck" has to be one of the GOOFIEST names I've ever heard.

6.) Re: the following:

" He dodges a few close jaw snaps and with a flick of his wrist, the Ancient One scatters a mystical dust over the Shuck.  The powder transforms the beast into a cute Black Shuck puppy."

The Disney-esque "fairy dust" bit makes me somewhat queazy, not just here but in the next paragraph:

"Leo pours a magical powder all over Mikey’s head.  Mikey’s head quickly transforms in a super-quick homage to the old Turtles series: his head becomes Bebop <POOF> Rocksteady <POOF> Krang’s Android Head, and <POOFS> back to Mikey’s head. "

Yuck. What's the point?

7.) Re: the following:

"Later, the Ancient One leads Splinter and the Tots into the Ninja Tribunal Monastery Courtyard.  We see the members of the Ninja Tribunal each instructing their own squad of acolytes. The Ancient One points out each Tribunal member to Splinter.  Chikara leads her acolytes in Strength exercises, Kon instructs a Spirit lesson, Hisomi teaches Stealth, and Juto harshly drills his acolytes on Weapons."

Again, doesn't this break continuity? I thought the Turtles had not met the Ninja Tribunal until the beginning of Season Five.

8.) Re: the following:

"It is here that we meet Miseros Mal: a tall, charming, handsome Ninja master. "

"Miseros Mal"? Okay, now "The Black Shuck" has been knocked from its position of "Goofiest Name".

9.) Re: the following:

"Splinter dodges the falling Miseros.  The Ancient One complains that Splinter missed a prime opportunity to strike; he had in fact kicked Miseros towards him for this very reason – doesn’t Splinter know that formation!?!  Splinter quarrels back, and Miseros gets the chance to get in his feet.  He grabs Splinter’s tail and swings him at the Ancient One. The Ancient One dodges the airborne Splinter and the rat slams HARD into a wall. When Splinter comes to he bickers back at the Ancient One that his pointless arguing made him lose focus."

If you took the worst old cliched comic book "superheroes bitch at each other during a fight" scene and made it even dopier, I think you'd end up with the scene above. Lame, lame, lame.

10.) While I appreciate the effort made in this episode to create a clever "origin" story for the Turtles' masks, it just doesn't work for me, as much of this episode doesn't. The inclusion of the Turtle Tots throughout seems mostly for unnecessary, strained comic relief, and as I have stated earlier, seems to play havoc with established continuity. I'm all for telling a "How Splinter and the Ancient One Met and Came to Dislike Each Other" story, but this one to me is a big misfire.

-- Pete


  1. which one was 111? Don't remember any of the tribunal's being rather funny in nature, these where kind of light on jokes :)

    1. Neil, it was "Membership Drive", which -- unless I am misremembering -- didn't have much (if anything) to do with the Tribunal. -- PL

  2. I being a fan of TMNT because of the 1987 cartoon would love to see any nods and tributes but only if it makes sense plot-wise. Just throwing in the three heads seemed out of place and random thus not needed.

    I never got the idea that Splinter and the Ancient One were supposed to dislike each other. It showed the unique family make up of the TMNT even further.Though The Anicent One could have been done without the fart jokes.