Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blast from the Past #504: October 12, 2005: Re: TMNT Show 132 ("Graduation Day: Class of 2105") Outline, Re: TMNT Show 127 ("Invasion of the Body Snatcher!") Third Draft, and Re: Show 129 ("Bad Blood") Second Draft

Subj: Re: TMNT Show 132 ("Graduation Day: Class of 2105") Outline
Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 9:51:13 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Much like the premise for this one, I don't have many problems with this outline. Here are my few notes on the Ep. 132 outline.

1.) Re: the following:

"Raph cries out: "Elbows and knees!"

Raph grabs Leo and dives into the light, toward Splinter.  They both hit the floor and perch on their elbows and knees, a few feet apart.  

Leo: "I'm gonna understand this in a minute, right?"

A boulder slams down, but the shells of the two turtles absorb the impact (indestructibility) and hold the boulder above the floor."

I wish I understood it. Does it seem silly to anyone else that (a) Leo gets into this "elbows and knees" position without any pre-planning with Raph to do so, and (b) that probably the WORST position to be in to catch a falling boulder would be one in which two of the most vulnerable joints (knee and elbow) are positioned to take the HARDEST hit? I think this needs work.
Perhaps a better, more shock-absorbing position would be Leo and Raph back-to-back, leaning forward with upper bodies almost parallel to the ground, knees bent arms stretched out and hands clasped (or grasping each other's forearms, if that works better), so that the boulder will hit both their shells at the same time and the strength of their arms and legs can soften and absorb the blow. And they could still leave room between their legs for Don to slide/dive through.

2.) Re: the following:

"Raph (going Cosell-ish): "Maybe our amphibian warrior will uncover a stratagem than can maintain his distance from his cybernetic adversaries.""

NOT "amphibian" -- "reptilian"!

3.) Re: the following:

"Cody hits a button.  Part of the warehouse floor opens, and a nasty-looking 30-foot-tall robot is lifted up, just to one side of the chuck piece.  Then another opening brings up a nastier-looking partner, placed just to the other side.  Uh-oh. 

Raph: "That's why." 

Cody waves proudly: “O’Neil Tech’s private robo-ball team has off this week.  I called for a practice session.”"

A couple of things here. I wonder if it might be cool if these were not "robo-ball" robots, but "robo-HOCKEY" robots... a fun nod to Cody's grandfather Casey Jones. Also, as the reaction of these robots to Mikey's insults seems very odd to me -- why would these sports playing robots care about insults like "You mama is so ugly..."? -- maybe a line of two could be thrown in here about how these robots have been programmed with simulated human emotions... the idea being that Mike thinks that makes these robots even MORE dangerous, as they can get MAD at him. But it also provides him the clue he needs to defeat them.
I was also thinking it might be fun and more varied to change the setting a little. Here's my idea: It's still set in a "futuristic warehouse", but the huge interior has a correspondingly huge POOL in the middle of it. In the center of the pool, on what seems to be a small pole surmounted by a thick disk, is the second chuck piece -- stuck to the disk. Mike smirks and says something like "What... I've just gotta SWIM out to get it?"
Cody and Raph grin at each other. "Not exactly," says Cody, and he pushes a button on a handheld remote. Out of the water rise the two huge robots, each shouldering an equally huge hockey stick. Mike's eyes bulge, but he figures he'll have the advantage in the water, still. Raph chuckles. "Think again, bro!" Cody pushes another button on his controller, and ice starts to form on the surface of the water. In moments, the entire pool has FROZEN solid, and is now a gigantic ice rink. The robots are activated... and Mikey gulps as he sees that the disk on which his second chuck piece is stuck is actually an outsized HOCKEY PUCK! The robots start playing "keep away" with Mike, batting the puck around at insane velocities as well as trying to mash Mikey with their bulk and their hockey sticks. 
(The rest could follow pretty much like it is in the outline.)

4.) Re: the following:

"Splinter: "I've been following Michelangelo's tests.  His three tasks were important but not essential.  Humility is the TRUE test required for graduation to Chunin.  With it, Mikey has now proven himself WORTHY."

Splinter wouldn't refer to Mike as "Mikey".  He would say "Michelangelo".

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT Show 127 ("Invasion of the Body Snatcher!") Third Draft
Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 10:01:03 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I'm glad to see that some of the changes I suggested were implemented, but the most important problem persists -- the goofy ending fight scene. I'll just reiterate my comments from the second draft notes:

"I still don't see why if Splinter/Jammerhead got to where Jammerhead's body is FIRST -- i.e., before the Turtles get there  -- Jammerhead doesn't immediately move his consciousness into his original body.
And what's up with Don's "Don't let him reach his own body! He'll be able to phase and we'll never catch him!" Is he REALLY saying that he WANTS Jammerhead to be in control of their Sensei's body even one second longer? I think that makes ZERO sense.
And the "pig pile on Splinter" is still INCREDIBLY dopey, given what the Turtles MUST have been able to figure out about how it is that Jammerhead moves from body to body, i.e. he can't do it from a distance, otherwise he would have been able to take any of THEM over and thus escape more easily. Grabbing on to Splinter in this way is a VERY poor tactic.
If we DESPERATELY need to do our version of the "Who's the shape-shifting alien?" blood testing gag from John Carpenter's "The Thing" movie, it MIGHT work if Jammerhead/Splinter is BLOCKED (with WEAPONS, not body parts, remember!) from rejoining his (Jammerhead's) body, and uses some kind of feint (maybe he pretends to collapse or something) to draw all four Turtles in close so he can touch them all simultaneously. I know this means the end of the "Splinter throws all four Turtles off him and poses dramatically" bit, but I think we can afford that loss."

-- Pete

P.S. I just thought of another way from Jammerhead to trick all of the Turtles into grabbing Splinter simultaneously: Jammerhead (while still in Splinter's body) could feint a move which LOOKS like he's going to KILL the body he's in so he can escape to his own body -- maybe he makes it look like he's going to shoot himself, or grab onto a live electrical wire, or dive out in front of a big truck speeding by... and THAT'S what gets all the Turtles to let their guard down for a few seconds, as they ALL instinctively leap to save their beloved Sensei.
Actually, this could result in the much-favored (by the writer, anyway) "pig pile on Splinter" scene and what follows therefrom.


Subj: Re: Show 129 ("Bad Blood") Second Draft
Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 10:22:39 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here is my one note on the second draft of Ep129. Much improved!

1.) Re: the following:

"*ON LEO- He crosses his swords in front pf his face menacingly
I think you’ll find that armed with our weapons, my brothers and I are more than a match for you imposters."

As we have stressed many times throughout the series that "it's not the weapons, it's the one who wields them", this line from Leo seems a bit off. Here's a suggestion for an alternative which fixes that problem AND kind of has a nice nod to a line from one of the Dark Turtles earlier in this story:

"*ON LEO- He crosses his swords in front pf his face menacingly
I think you’ll find that in a fair fight, my brothers and I are more than a match for you imposters."

-- Pete


  1. That note about them being reptiles is starting to grate on me too. Is this something you've had to correct since '84?