Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blast from the Past #477: July 28, 2005: Re: Outline 119 ("Obsolete") Reminder

Subj: Re: Outline 119 ("Obsolete") Reminder
Date: Thursday, July 28, 2005 3:10:32 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 7/28/05 12:34:33 AM, Lloyd Goldfine writes:

Hey Pete –
 With all the hubbub over the design stuff, please don’t forget to take a look at the outline for 119.  We’d love your notes so we can get a first draft script goin’.


Here are my comments on the Ep. 119 outline.

1.) Re: the following:

"THE FIGURE steps out from behind Serling, revealing himself to be DARIUS.  Adopting a concerned face, he walks forward toward Cody, and we TRACK WITH HIM as he unsuspectingly passes the hidden Turtles, each of whom makes a mocking face at the visitor."

I could see maybe Mikey making a "mocking face", but why all four of them? Seems infantile and out of character.

2.) Re: the following:

"CUT TO OUTSIDE, where Cody finds the four brothers waiting for him…inside the Hovershell!  They tell him he can’t let Darius always tell him what to do…and that’s why it’s time for a field trip!  Instead of bringing gear from the company to them, they’ll go to the company!"

Again, I think it's important to know why we are calling this flying craft the "Hovershell". If, as you said in our phone conversation a few days ago, it is a Turtleized vehicle that super TMNT fan had had made before he brought the Turtles to the future -- which is fine -- then that should be made clear.

Also, there's something about the Turtles encouraging Cody to misbehave which is a little troubling, even if Darius is a "jerk". (Where's Splinter as all this is happening, anyway?) I think there should be some disagreement among the brothers -- Leo would likely discourage Cody from coming, while Raph would definitely egg him on. The end result could be the same...

... though the reason for their excursion seems a bit weak. Given that we just had a scene where Cody demonstrates that they can order and have delivered ANYTHING via the Internet, I don't see why they have to go out to get stuff. Maybe we should think up another rationale -- "Time to explore the city and see what's changed -- a ninja's knowledge of his environment is one of his most potent weapons".

3.) Re: the following:

"INSIDE –The Turtles and Cody see the ground rushing up at them!  Cody’s scared stiff, but there’s no time for argument or convincing!  Leo scoops him up, and all five bail out!

STREET LEVEL – The Turtles and Cody drop down from the Hovershell, which is falling itself – and land right in the middle of oncoming traffic!"

This is interesting. How do they escape being SPLATTED on the road surface? After all, they have just been falling from the sky along with the Hovershell. And if the answer is "the gravity circuits in their Enviropaks saved them", then I think we have a bigger problem, as giving the enviropaks that kind of ability sort of turns everyone into a superhero of sorts, about to fall off the tallest building or leap out of an aircraft with no worry. 

4.) Re: the following:

"GROUND ANGLE – The Hovershell pulls up on its own at the last moment, soaring over their heads and past them in the direction of the oncoming traffic!"

This I don't get -- why does the Hovershell suddenly start working again? The blinking gizmo is still attached to it, right? 

Reading further, it SEEMS as if this blinking gizmo has the ability to take over control of the Hovershell and bring it in for a safe, controlled landing. The question then becomes, if it can exert that kind of control over the flight systems of the Hovershell, why doesn't it just pilot the Hovershell to a remote location (rather than the busy center of the city) where kidnapping Cody would be far more simple?

5.) Re: the following:

"No time to worry about that now, as the Turtles leap up in sync and –

QUICK CUTS, ALL MOVING – We see them leaping from roof to roof, hood to hood, on the oncoming cars, effectively SURFING the oncoming wave of Detroit steel!  Finally, somersaulting to safe ground, they look ahead in time to see"

So who's carrying Cody? Surely we're not saying that Cody has the acrobatic ability that the Turtles have.

6.) Re: the following:

"FIND MIKEY, checking out the dented car struck by the Hovershell.

MIKEY: “I dunno…I think it hit Biggles’ car, so maybe it’s working 
better than ever!”"

How does Mikey know this is Biggles' car? And are we setting up too many coincidental Biggles encounters?

7.) Here's a thought that just occurred to me, not specific to this episode but perhaps germane overall to this season: If Cody is such a HUGE fan of the Turtles, and has his "TMNT room" full of memorabilia, is Darius Whatever aware of this? It would seem likely that he would be. If so, wouldn't/shouldn't Darius RECOGNIZE the Turtles as the Turtles? If so, that would be an important factor going forward.

Here's another, related question: Are the Turtles still a secret to the general public... or was their existence somehow revealed in the past, and it's not just Cody who knows about them?

8.) Re: the following:

"Using the lathe, Don imagines a new BO STAFF for himself, using wood from an alien planet that allows the wielder a special TBD ability."

I'm a bit hesitant to suggest this, given how many dick jokes could spring from it, but it occurred to me that a cool feature of this "alien wood" might be that even though it is formed in the shape of a bo staff, it can "relax" on command and be coiled up. Thus it could be used as a short whip when needed, used in climbing (coil it around projections when hauling oneself upward), etc..

9.) Re: the following:

"DRAMATIC ANGLE as the roof caves in with a tremendous crash!  The Turtles flip, duck and roll, dodging enormous shards of glass and debris, Donny protecting Cody from damage.  The Winged Warriors swoop in, identifying themselves as the INUWASHI GUNJIN, mercenaries for hire with a job to complete!"

How is it that the "roof caves in"? Is this main lab on the top floor? Also, why/how do the INUWASHI GUNJIN identify themselves? 

10.) Re: the following:

"A few times, the Turtles get close to their quarry, but the Inuwashi Gunjin’s maneuverability takes advantage of the Turtles’ inexperience on the sky-bikes, and they’re able to trick the Turtles into slamming into each other, knocking their transportation out of commission.  The winged warriors get away – with Cody.  TIME DISSOLVE TO:

BACK AT O’NEIL, Darius holds a press conference to detail the latest happenings, really playing up how worried he is for Cody’s safety, and pleading for his safe return.

IN THE SHADOWS, the grim Turtles watch the press conference, trusting Darius as far as they can throw him.  Unfortunately, there’s not a lot they can do at this point.  Of course, that doesn’t stop Donny from wracking his brain, trying."

I don't see why the Turtles go from chasing the INUWASHI GUNJIN to watching Darius give a press conference back at O'Neil industries. I would think that they would be trying to follow/find the kidnappers. If there IS some specific reason that they go to the press conference rather than take some action, it should be made clear. As I read further, there doesn't really seem to BE a reason for them to be there -- I mean, they don't actually LEARN anything, they just talk about how they don't trust Darius. I don't object to the idea of Darius giving the press conference, but maybe we just cut away from wherever the Turtles are to show it, then cut back to the Turtles.

Reading even further, I see that Leo is taking note of the fact that Darius is for some reason not using the "homing beacons" to find Cody. This is an important detail, but I still think it would be kind of silly and out of character for the Turtles to return to O'Neil Industries instead of doing something more active to find Cody. Here's a thought -- if it is a press conference, there would be, well, PRESS there, and they would likely be broadcasting it. Maybe the broadcast appears on various flying holographic video billboards (or whatever) that the Turtles see as they continue their search for Cody, and THAT'S how Leo gets that little nugget of information.

Here's another issue: If Serling has this information, why isn't he passing it along to the authorities, i.e. Constable Biggles? I could maybe see that he doesn't trust Darius, but surely he would have no reason to keep this vital info from the police.

11.) Re: the following:

"INCLUDE THE OTHERS, showing their gauntlets are beeping as well!  MIKEY hops about in distress, trying to shake loose the gauntlet, still not quite getting the hang of all this future tech.

Mikey:  “Don’t let it eat my arm!  Don’t let it eat my arm!”"

That's pretty dopey.

12.) Re: the following:

"IN FLASHBACK, we see winged warriors like these guys flying above a battlefield, striking ground troops from the air.

I.G. (VO): “We were mercenaries,  genetically engineered for the ‘old wars,’ but when they were over, we were deemed unnecessary and deactivated.

Would it be too much to link this to the Avians from previous episodes? The line above could be altered as follows:

"I.G. (VO): “We were mercenaries,  genetically engineered from captive members of an ancient race of flying beings, molded into fighters for the ‘old wars,’ but when they were over, we were deemed unnecessary and deactivated.

13.) Re: the following:

"Thinking fast, Raph swings up to the back of the I.G. he’s fighting and hooks his sai into the mercenary’s harness, using them to steer him against his will into a steep dive!

RAPH: “C’mon, tweety, let’s see how fast you can fly!”

DIVING WITH RAPH AND I.G. – It’s a heart-stopping sequence as Raph zooms his I.G. under Cody at the last minute, catching him.  But in doing so, he releases control of the I.G., who pulls up sharply, sending Raph and Cody flying!"

This action bit just seems totally unbelievable. Remember, we're not talking about some dumb animal that Raph can poke and prod with his sais to get it to move in the direction he wants it to go -- this is a cunning and powerful and intelligent trained warrior -- it would NEVER do this. It's just plain silly.

We need to think of another way to do this, if it is in fact necessary. Actually, a thought just occurred to me as I noticed another silly bit in  a previous paragraph, as follows:

"Finally, in a desperate bid to maintain their freedom, the I.G. pitch Cody off the roof!"

Given that their employer has just given them strict instructions that they should not HARM Cody, just FRIGHTEN him, this action seems ludicrous. BUT... it also might be a way to make the other sequence work. Here's my thought: The I.G. throw Cody off the roof -- their intent is to startle the Turtles into breaking off their attack just enough so that the I.G. can break free. This is, in fact, what happens... but because the I.G. are still under orders not to harm Cody, they ALSO use this to immediately fly down to CATCH Cody before he hits the ground. One of the Turtles -- it could be Raph, I suppose -- thinks fast and dives out after them. In one of our patented ignoring of the laws of physics, Raph could catch up to the I.G. who has JUST GRABBED CODY and Raph's weight forces the I.G. to waver off course and DROP Cody and Raph into the lake. (Maybe Raph beats on the I.G. a little to hasten this.)

14.) There seems to be either a lapse of logic or a scene missing somewhere between the time that Cody and Raph "safely – and luckily – splashing down in Central Park Lake" and in the third or fourth following paragraph wherein we see Don, Raph and Leo chasing the I.G. Didn't Raph fall into the lake with Cody? And further on, here's this confusing paragraph:

"With the three I.G. grounded, Leo, Donny and Ralph put the finishing touches on them, just as Cody and Raph come rushing up, dragging their own unconscious enemy."

15.) Re: the following:

"But before the lead I.G. can speak, there’s a HUM, then a GREEN GLOW surrounds all four mercenaries, and a moment later, the energy hardens into the STASIS CAPSULES!  Raph pounds on the capsules with his sai, but even their redesigned abilities can’t penetrate the green shielding."

This seems to me a very odd way to wrap this up (no pun intended). In front of everyone at this press conference (which is surely being recorded and broadcast), these I.G.'s who kidnapped Cody suddenly get encapsulated in stasis fields... and then Darius is allowed to just cart them away to his own choice of location? Wouldn't this be a police matter?

-- Pete

1 comment:

  1. That's another thing that bugged me about this season. It's almost a drinking game as to how many act breaks ended with the turtles falling off a huge building or out of a broken glass window. almost like it became a running gag.

    We also sort of got darius to recognize the turtles when he used serling as a spybot. I can't remember if that was the first time he mentioned that he knew who they where...but I'm glad this point was addressed.