Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blast from the Past #476: July 26, 2005: comments on 120 ("Home Invasion") and 121 ("Headlock Prime") premises

Subj: comments on 120 and 121 premises
Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 1:23:24 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments (just a few) on the 120 and 121 premises.


comments on premise for Ep. 120 "Home Invasion"

1.) Re: the following:

"Don and Cody manage to sequester themselves and try to attack Viral  by working within NETHERSPACE – a purely digital domain operating below all computer programming (NOT a virtual reality, but a digital realm of numbers where they exist as flickering lines of information.  There they see Viral in his DIGITAL FORM, and set traps for him while Raph and the rest fend off a building gone wrong."

Maybe it's the wording, but I don't quite get what is meant by "a purely digital domain operating below all computer programming (NOT a virtual reality, but a digital realm of numbers where they exist as flickering lines of information" -- that sounds to me like EXACTLY what programming is: lines of information. I hope this is not just an excuse to use that already over-used cheesy scrolling green characters MATRIX thing. Unless there is something I am missing, there's no need to create something like "Netherspace" for this story -- Don and Cody are just doing programming. (Or counter-programming, in this instance.) "Netherspace" is a cool word, though -- maybe we should save it for a future use.

2.) Re: the following:

"Don and Cody manage to build a “trap door” for Viral that appears to be the key to O’Neil security, but instead traps him in the Dojo. Viral is tricked into downloading his entire program into one DOJO PRACTICE ROBOT – (a nasty juggernaut of a construct that will be his body in the future!) From here Viral’s certain that he can destroy the Turtles (with the visceral thrill of using “his own six hands”) but gets more than he bargained for when Raph takes out all of his “future frustration” on the robot, kicking the shell out of it. (Body and Mind… the Physical and the Spiritual, working in consort…)

In the end, Viral uses the body (now a virtual prison) to escape, barely making it out with his circuits in tact. O’Neil has been saved, and Raph is a little more at peace…just a little.

In a final coda, Viral appeals to his mysterious “creator” to free him from the robotic body, but she refuses, and we see once again a glimpse of the mysterious Sh’okanabo. What was she looking for at O’Neil..? Time will tell!"

While the idea that Viral can be trapped in the robot body is a neat way of concluding this episode, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Why can't Viral get out? What makes this robot so special and different from all of the other cybernetic systems Viral apparently got into and out of throughout the city? And even more baffling -- why would Viral's mysterious creator not let him out of the robot body? Surely Viral would be of far greater use to Sh'okanabo as a powerful computer virus than one beat-up robot.
I wonder if it might work better if it is Viral's CHOICE to keep the robot body -- though not necessarily as a permanent "home" -- because in the short time it had spent battling Raph in the dojo, it acquired something new: a "taste" for physical combat, something which it could expand upon in later episodes without losing its unique ability to infiltrate computer-driven systems as a virus. And perhaps Sh'okanabo allows it to keep this robot body, but with the threat of taking it away if Viral does not do what Sh'okanabo commands. The next question, of course, is this -- why would Viral care about THIS robot in particular... when there are very likely millions of other robot bodies it could take over and utilize? The answer might be that this robot is a special O'Neil Industries prototype with special chips and circuitry which approximate FEELINGS and SENSATIONS... which are suddenly intriguing to the previously totally digital Viral.

2.) When Viral attacks Cody's building, does his robot butler Serling also get invaded by the virus? Or is he immune somehow?


comments on premise for Ep. 121 "Headlock Prime"

1.) Re: the following:

"BADOOM! A tremendous woman explodes from the box office and lands in the ring – with the nights’ BOX OFFICE! The FAT LADY swats aside a few of the wrestlers, who recognize her from her days as a former wrestler. (She was banned from the league for being too violent!) Thinking fast, Raph activates the “titanium cage,” trapping himself in the ring with her. "

Aside from being convenient for the plot, WHY does the Fat Lady (I sure hope we come up with a better name) go from the box office into the ring? Seems kind of silly if her goal is to steal the box office take and get out with it. Maybe it's because she also has a score (or scores) to settle with a few of the wrestlers who are in the ring at the moment.
Also, I'm not really sure why it's "thinking fast" for Raph to trap himself in a cage with this violent psycho. Sounds like a DUMB move to me. Maybe it would work better if it's an automatic security thing for the protection of the patrons if the wrestling gets out of hand. The rest of it -- Raph fighting, Leo "coaching" -- would work as is.

2.) Re; the following:

"The Fat Lady leaves with all of the cash, and Raph’s pride!"

"Cash"? We're a hundred years in the future and they're still using cash? Maybe that's possible -- albeit unlikely -- but perhaps there is something more valuable AND unique to this particular venue that she is stealing. How about the Pan-Galactic Wrestling Federation Ultra-Mega-Heavyweight belt made of jewel-encrusted Unobtanium?

-- Pete


  1. Wait...did I just read that you, Peter Laird, on July 26, 2005, unintentionally created Unobtanium, the sought after substance from James Cameron's (overrated) Avatar flick?

    1. Had a Emily Litella moment. Nevermind.