Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blast from the Past #496: September 14, 2005: Re: Show 127 ("Invasion of the Body Snatcher!") Premise, Re: 124 ("Night of Sh'Okanabo") First Draft, and Re: TMNT: Show 125 ("Clash of the Turtle Titans") Third Draft

Subj: Re: Show 127 ("Invasion of the Body Snatcher!") Premise
Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 12:53:07 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep127 premise.

1.) My main problem with this premise is that the "Bodyjacker" device is FAR too powerful and gives Jammerhead what should be an insurmountable advantage over the "good guys". I've been trying to think of a way to make it work and I can't come up with anything.
Some of my comments that follow will make specific criticisms/suggestions about how this BodyJacker is used, but they should not be taken to mean that I think the Bodyjacker is a good idea in general. 

2.) Re: the following:

"We open to the Turtle’s chilling and watching an Entertainment Tonight type of program.  Tonight they’re featuring live coverage of the movie premiere of “Tomb Raiding Queen of the Barbarian Hoards.”  When its star, the glamorous alien Jasmine Escobaroka steps onto the red carpet, she shocks everyone by suddenly breaking away and running from the premiere.

Neither the Turtles nor the rest of the viewing audience sees what we do—that Jasmine has become a victim of Jammerhead’s latest technology:  The Bodyjacker!  It allows him to literally steal someone’s identity by temporarily taking control of a person’s mind.  And that’s what he did with Jasmine—so that she could hand-deliver the million-dollar necklace she was wearing to the premiere!"

Unless this Jasmine is a super-fast runner, it's kind of silly to assume that everyone would watch her bolt -- and then just let it slide. Certainly someone  (probably several people) would follow her (if only the paparazzi), leading them right to Jammerhead.
I get the idea that it would be dramatic to have her unexpectedly do something unusual like run off, but it doesn't make much sense to me that Jammerhead would play it this way, especially when there are hundreds if not thousands of people observing the scene... and the whole point of this Bodyjacker device seems to be to use others to do your bidding without being seen yourself.

3.) Re: the following:

"EXT. CODY’S PENTHOUSE  – The Turtles herd a reluctant Cody into a waiting limo.  Cody, tugging at his uncomfortable suit, wonders why he has to go to the business cocktail party at O’Neil Tech.  Cody’s never been that crazy about his social responsibilities at O’Neil tech and now that the Turtles have entered his life, he hates his obligations more than ever.  He’d rather just go do something fun with his new pals. Splinter gently lectures Cody that O’Neil Tech is an important part of his identity, and that a true Ninja must be able to face all sides of himself, and accept his responsibilities.  

Meanwhile, the guys tag along to keep an eye on Darius. Even though Cody doesn’t see it, they’re sure he’s a bad guy!"

It might be humorous if the Turtles try to fit in by wearing some kind of party suits, i.e. futuristic tuxedos, themselves.

4.) Re: the following:

" As they arrive, Jammerhead scans them with the bodyjacker which projects a holographic image of the occupants’ brains in front of J.H.  He’s rejecting them all as not being the one he’s waiting for.  One limo pulls up, and he’s surprised at the odd-turtlehead-shaped brains of its occupants."

"Turtlehead-shaped brains"?

5.) Re: the following:

"“Darius” puts a call out to his gang, telling them exactly where to meet him for the “transfer.” Then he spots something big--it’s the battlesuit still draped in shadows.  “Darius” smiles an evil leer."

WHAT battlesuit?

6.) Re: the following:

"From a safe distance, the Turtles follow in the shadows, ninja style. Do they finally have something on Mr. Dun?"

I'm not clear what, other than acting a little weird, the Turtles might think they could "have" on Darius. After all, he runs O'Neill Tech and obviously has clearance to enter all the restricted areas. 

7.) Re: the following:

" The Turtles finally succeed in turning the tide by teaming up and making a combined assault to topple the battlesuit out of the open window!"

Now THERE'S a great tactic! "Oops... hey you pedestrians who might be walking by the building -- sorry about that!"

8.) Re: the following:

"On the street below, Biggles grabs Darius just as he wakes up out of his dazed state.  We see he’s standing in his underwear.  Biggles is amused.  It looks like they caught him with his pants down! "

Biggles may be amused, but I'm not. Why is he in his underwear? I mean, other than a cheap laugh?

9.) Re: the following:

"Cody says he believes Darius’ protestations—that someone else was controlling him. "

Why? What evidence supports this belief?

10.) Re: the following:

"LATER- BACK AT THE PENTHOUSE – Mikey’s channel-surfing the news.  New York City is in chaos.  <”…riots in Alien Alley when two formally peaceful gangs took a bead on one another…”>  <…argument between two former staunch allies at the Pan Galactic Alliance threatens to escalate into interplanetary war, all because one representative called the other’s mother a--> <…chaos on the street as-->  Leo says it’s pretty clear who’s behind the robbery and these other incidents.  Who leads the Street Phantoms and who didn’t we see at the robbery—Jammerhead!  Mikey:  But how are we going to find him?  "

Is Leo psychic? How does he make the connection between Jammerhead and "these other incidents"?

11.) Re: the following:

"Leo:  Great, we can track him.  Then what are we waiting for?  Don says, “Cody.”  He peeks in on Cody in his lab, making some adjustment to the Turtlebot. (he’s making it impervious to Jammerhead’s jamming)  “Last time we messed with the Phantoms, Cody was almost splatted in Chelsea Chasm… This time, we’re not taking any chances…”"

I'm confused by this bit -- it SEEMS as if Don is so concerned about Cody getting into danger that they will leave him behind. But then, a little bit further:

"UPTOWN – The guys fly the HOVERSHELL with Cody’s TURTLEBOT SUIT in tow. (Can he fit INSIDE the Hovershell while wearing the suit?) DON’s machine goes crazy, and  they take off for Times Square in time to See the chaos unfold!"

Suddenly, not only is Cody with them going into danger, he's being TOWED behind the Hovershell???!!! 

12.) Re: the following:

"But before it dies, the device crackles, fizzles, and malfunctions causing everyone’s minds to fly around the ship at breakneck speed and hop randomly into one another’s bodies.  The Turtles swap with each other (much to Mikey and Raph’s disgust), with the Street Phantoms, and with Cody.  The switches are only momentary, but they make an impression.

Cody:  Wow!  So this is what it’s like to feel like a Ninja Turtle!
Mikey (in Cody’s body):  I’m a REAL boy!"

I find it hard to express how truly, excruciatingly dopey this is.

13.) Re: the following:

"The Turtles move on Jammerhead.  He calls on the Street Phantoms…who desert their leader and phase out."

Why? Up until now, they've obeyed all his orders and backed him up.

14.) Re: the following:

"OUTSIDE THE POLICE STATION - Darius walks out a free man.  All the stolen goods sit out in the parking lot—including the battlesuit.  Darius, of course, is happy to be out.  He greets Cody in his smarmy way.  Cody tells him they’ve recovered all the stolen property, too.

Leo (drily):  Yeah, including your battlesuit!

Darius gets the accusation and denies that the suit is his.  He says that Jammerhead must have made it to assist him in pulling off the crime.

Darius:  I’ll prove it to you!  I’ll have it melted down into slag!"

What is the big deal with this Battlesuit? I don't get it. Why does Darius try to pretend it isn't "his"?

-- Pete


Subj: Re: 124 ("Night of Sh'Okanabo") First Draft
Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 2:08:42 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep124 first draft.

1.) Re: the following:

I will eliminate myself. TONIGHT."

All right! The end of the big bad guy -- and he's going to do it himself! Woo hoo! That's great! I --


       ... I just realized -- that line's probably just missing a "them" between "eliminate" and "myself". Darn.

2,) Re: the following:

"… ROTATE TO REVEAL Michelangelo is actually clinging to the ceiling in true ninja fashion while LEONARDO and RAPHAEL.  Raph smiles."

"While LEONARDO and RAPHAEL"... do WHAT?

3.) Re: the following:

You want to come, Serling."

Is Leo ASKING Serling or TELLING him?

4.) Re: the following:

Tell us how you really feel.
I … I just did."

Serling's line makes the joke less funny, in my opinion.

5.) Re: the following:

… at that fatuitous horror movie festival.  "

I found "fatuity" in my dictionary, but not "fatuitous". I think the right word might be "fatuous".

6.) Re: the following:

He’s gone.
And, so had we better be."

Awkward grammar in Leo's line. I think something simpler like "As we should be" might work better.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT: Show 125 ("Clash of the Turtle Titans") Third Draft
Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 8:35:02 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Jeez! I just get finished reading the second draft of 125, write up my comments, go online to send them to you -- and there's a THIRD draft waiting for me!

Well, I'm going to send them anyway -- a couple might be irrelevent now due to the changes in draft three, but the rest still apply, I think. Here ya go!

notes on Ep125 second draft

This is a fun episode!

1.) Re: the following:

And who, disguised as Michelangelo, mild mannered Turtle, fought a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the terrapin way!"

I think it would read/flow better if Mikey said:

And who, disguised as Michelangelo, mild mannered Ninja Turtle, fought a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the terrapin way!"

2.) Re: the following:

"Mikey <CHOMPS> on the candy. Then <SPITS> it out disgusted.

I suppose I COULD have mentioned those are merely plastic reproductions.  But this is much more amusing. "

This line is perfectly fine as is. But -- inspired by one of my favorite scenes in the movie "Strange Brew" -- I wonder if it might be as funny or maybe a little bit more if instead of being plastic reproductions, the candy could actually be from that period. Imagine what one hundred year-old JuJubes would be like!

3.) Re: the following:

"RAPHAEL - fiddles with an old TV with "rabbit ear" antennas. 
Who knew these things had antennas?  
LEONARDO - skateboards on an interactive half-pipe display.  
Who knew THESE things had wheels?"

Raph's line is a bit odd (I suspect that he and the other Turtles have seen TVs with antennas before), but Leo's is REALLY odd -- I mean, they grew up with wheeled skateboards!

4.) Re: the following:

"TRIPLE THREAT (Ep. 121) bounds into Times Square, pursued by a squad of PEACEKEEPERS on HOVER PODS.  A WAKE OF DESTRUCTION lies in their path.  Hover Cars <SWERVE> and <CRASH> to avoid them. 
I thought you said you had a PLAN!
Triple Threat picks up a FUTURISTIC "TOFU DOG" CART and hurls it at the Peacekeepers, who scatter as it <SMASHES> into the FLYING BILLBOARD with the Anti-Grav rink ad.
I DID have a plan!  We bust outta jail and break stuff! 
Psycho-Head stretches his tongue out and sticks it up his nose.
I can pick my nose with my tongue!
LEVEL HEAD - spots the Traveling Museum.
Maybe there's something worth stealing in there.  "

Level Head's first line indicates that he's concerned that Nasty Head's plan -- such as it was -- has put them in a jam with the cops after them. That makes his second line a little off -- I would think he would see the Traveling Museum as a possible way to hide/throw off Peacekeeper pursuit, instead of just thinking it might have stuff to steal in it.

5.) Re: the following:

"*RE-ESTABLISH - The Museum Ship plummets to the street. 
TURTLE TITAN - <ROCKETS> up to the plummeting Museum Ship and FIRES a HIGH TECH LASER GRAPPLE LINE, snagging the underside of the ship and swinging up.
Have no fear!  Turtle Titan's here!
CLOSER - Turtle Titan's MAGNETIC BOOTS and GLOVES <CLICK> onto the underside of the plummeting ship.  He crawls upside-down to an ACCESS PANEL, <POPPING> it open.  
Aha!  The Emergency Anti-Grav Unit should do the trick.  
He <FLICKS> a switch inside the panel.  A device <HUMS> to life.
WIDE - Turtle Titan swings off the plummeting Museum Ship as it's bathed in a GLOWING FORCE FIELD, its descent slowing for a soft landing to the street below.  "

I think we need to keep in mind that the ship was earlier described as being "a hundred feet from the sidewalk" -- not a very great distance to fall. How long would it take to fall that far -- a few seconds? Not a whole lot of time for Turtle Titan to do what he is described as doing. Perhaps we should either (a) crash the ship into the building a lot higher up (1000 feet?) or (b) have Turtle Titan start his moves a few seconds BEFORE the ship slides out of the hole it's made in the side of the building.

6.) Re: the following:

Easy, Miss.  You're safe in the shell of... Turtle Titan!"

"In the shell" seems a bit off. Maybe "UNDER the shell" (as in under a protective umbrella)?

7.) Re: the following:

"An eight-year-old AFRICAN AMERICAN BOY struggles to lift a BARBELL while an older, grayer Silver Sentry flies overhead, waving. 
I inherited my grandfather's passion for justice, but unfortunately, NOT his powers.  "

Not sure if we would use this in this season, but as I read this line I thought it might be cool if maybe this kid had a brother or sister who DID inherit some, most, or all of their grandfather's powers... and maybe turned to EVIL! And if that was something we wanted to do, TT's line could go like this:

I inherited my grandfather's passion for justice, but, unlike my brother/sister, unfortunately NOT his powers."

-- Pete

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