Thursday, April 5, 2012

Blast from the Past #511: November 12, 2005: Re: Premise 134 ("Enter the Jammerhead")

Subj: Re: Premise 134 ("Enter the Jammerhead")
Date: Saturday, November 12, 2005 1:18:07 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep.134 premise.

1.) Re: the following:

"Then Glaxxer spies the Turtles: "And what are they?"  Starlee's parents take in shock and scream, "Masked bandits!" as they both whip out pocket tasers/urban-protection weapons and zap the Turtles.  As the four guys drop to the floor and writhe, Starlee answers: "They were my friends.""

These ARE the same Turtles who routinely dodge laser blasts and all manner of projectiles, right? Dopey.

2.) Re: the following:

"Meanwhile, Jammerhead, alone, tattered, and seemingly friendless, is released from prison."

"Released from prison"...? WHY? I would have thought his various crimes would have kept him in there for a LONG time. It might make more sense if he ESCAPED from prison.

3.) Re: the following:

"At the rough, tough ABROCS ABYSS bar, Jammerhead enters and spies what he's looking for: a fight where a huge, tough alien is using slick martial arts moves to dispatch three assailants.  Jammerhead, eyes glittering, stares at the alien for a moment.  (For a second, we see Jammerhead's POV: a 3-D wire-frame outline of the man in a ‘binocular’ view: one side black and white, the other color.  The black and white side lags a millisecond behind the other.  What we’re seeing is Jammerhead’s new ability to ‘record’ an event as it happens, and absorb it instantly.  OR he’s ‘plugged in’ to the various security cameras).  Then he taunts the alien.  The bar patrons smile and leer -- Jammerhead is toast!  But when the big alien attacks, Jammerhead deftly anticipates his every move and defeats him.  His new chip has allowed him to instantaneously absorb another's abilities! "

Again, we're veering precipitously into the "magic tech" area. How can a chip you plug into your neck allow you to "instantaneously absorb another's abilities"? (I won't get into the question of why, if Jammerhead already had this chip in his possession, he didn't use it in his other encounters with the Turtles.) I suspect that what the writer really means is that the chip has the ability to scan and analyze the moves of the "another" in question and then transfer that knowledge to the person who is "wearing" the chip. Of course, that would mean that the "wearer" of the chip would only be AS GOOD as the person being scanned -- NOT better! I wonder if it might be better if instead of giving the "wearer" all of the abilities of the person being scanned, it instead analyzed the WEAKNESSES of the subject and gave the "wearer" this knowledge, which they could then use against the subject being scanned. I think this would fit more with Jammerhead's sneaky nature.

4.) Re: the following:

"At the restaurant, everything seems to be going well.  The food is wonderful.  Momma admits that maybe NYC isn't such a terrible place for Starlee to live.  Just then Jammerhead bursts in and starts tearing up the place as he demands to see the owner.  It looks bad. "

Why (other than pure coincidence) does Jammerhead show up at THIS particular restaurant and "demand to see the owner"?

5.) Re: the following:

"As Leo gives an excuse to deal with Jammerhead, Cody and Starlee hurry her family away, convincing them as they go that Jammerhead isn't a criminal, but is instead an entertainment put on for diners (like a Benihana knife-wielding cook)."

Dopey. If Cody and Starlee are trying to convince her parents that this guy is just entertainment, then WHY are they trying to hurry them away? Makes no sense.

6.) Re: the following:

"Momma, shawl in hand, approaches a startled Jammerhead (“Starlee, he said he’s in charge.  Don’t worry.  I know how to negotiate! I’ll talk him down on this scarf!”). The Turtles swoop her out of the way."

Very silly. This is the same guy who freaked them out in the restaurant... and now Momma is assuming he's the vendor who is selling the shawls and she can negotiate with him? What the...?!

7.) Re: the following:

"Cody just barely manages to get his pals out of danger by ramming Jammerhead with a vendor’s cart.  (Jammerhead just laughs.  The turtles will be his soon enough.)  They all high tail it out of there to regroup as Jammerhead struts around that he owns Alien Alley!"

It's simply ridiculous that the Turtles would "high tail it" out of the marketplace and just leave Jammerhead there to do what he wants, while they go back to Starlee's apartment to think over their next move!

8.) Re: the following:

" Jammerhead takes the bait. In classic Kung Fu Movie style, he does an intricate Kata showcasing all of the guys’ moves, then encourages Glaxxer to do the same. Glaxxer raises his arms… Jammerhead begins scanning… And Glaxxer launches into a series of Klutzy moves that would make a pregnant yak seem graceful!

Suddenly, Jammerhead is the biggest klutz in the world -- he has absorbed Glaxxer's moves!  Before he can recover, the turtles manage to subdue Jammerhead and dislodge and stomp the neck chip.  Jammerhead runs for it."

So what I'm getting from this bit is that Jammerhead's chip can only handle "absorbing" one person's abilities as a time. Does that make any sense? Given that we earlier saw him fighting - and defeating -- all four Turtles at the same time, I don't think so. This concept needs more thought.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: 133 First Draft
Date: Saturday, November 12, 2005 2:13:45 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep. 133 first draft.

1.) Re: the following:

"WIDEN – to find MIKEY on his SPEEDER, skidding to a stop on the hood of the car! He’s wearing a TRI-POINT HAT AND BOOTS like a soldier in the American Revolution might.
Whoops! Sorry--!
RAPHAEL <ZOOMS> past on a second SHELL SPEEDER, calling out to his brother. He has WAR PAINT on his face…
No time for Polite! We’re late!!
REVERSE – RAPH trails FEATHERS from an INDIAN VEST as he DIVES from the elevated roadway. Mikey follows."

WHY are Raph and Mike wearing these bits and pieces of historical outfits? I really think we should drop this gag, and the accompanying Raph and Mikey meet Raph and Mikey time paradox bit later in the script, as none of it makes a whole lot of sense. I think we could do as good/exciting an opening by showing one of the interactions between our heroes and the things from the past.

2.) Re: the following:


I don't think they used biplanes in World War 2.

3.) Re: the following:

See? Now, let’s talk about our next move, partner…"

Given the context, this line is totally dumb.

4.) Re: the following:

Raph’s brain is leaking on me. Please translate from “geek.”"

I don't get the "Raph's brain is leaking on me" line.

5.) Re: the following:

T.M.I., Mikey. Don? Chelsea Chasm."

I suppose "T.M.I." is supposed to stand for "Too Much Information", yes? If so, let's just say it.

6.) Re: the following:

Spooky alien ship…in a deep dark place... pumping out time junk that’s ripping open New York. Do I have to be the one to say it?
It’s ninja time."

Gag. I don't think anyone needs to say "It's ninja time".

7.) Re: the following:

It’s r-really Shredder. H-He’s so much bigger than I imagined…
LEO – DEFENDS CODY with a series of KICKS and BLOCKS, but slowly they’re backed against a SHORT WALL…
I’ll get you his autograph!"

Leo's line is not a Leo line. Dopey.

8.) Re: the following:

"Mikey and Raph are chased by PILGRIMS BEARING TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS, only this time, RAPH is sporting WAR PAINT…"

WHY is Raph "sporting WAR PAINT"?

9.) Re: the following:

Do not try to enforce logic upon it… Consider it a gift of fate."

I think "force" would be more appropriate than "enforce".

10.) Re: the following:

Yeah, we’d better…I’m totally freaked out right now."

Don doesn't say "yeah".

11.) Re: the following:

"Mikey and Raph are chased by REDCOATS…And now, MIKEY has the REVOLUTIONARY’S HAT…"

WHY does Mikey have "the REVOLUTIONARY’S HAT"?

12.) Re: the following:

Hey! Studs! Looking good!"

What is WITH this "studs" thing?! When have the Turtles EVER referred to each other as "studs"?

13.) Re: the following:

"THE GUYS LOOK UP, and their jaws drop open.
REVERSE – They see THEMSELVES from the TEASER in the Chevelle Alley, only it’s DAY.
Get to it! We’re out of time!
Sorry, listen—The Rip is around the corner and up a flight of steps—
And then you GOTTA be here at One O’clock, behind Chevelle’s for the aftershock! Set yer watch, Lunkhead!"

This whole bit still makes no sense to me. It's an attempt at a clever time paradox which doesn't really work.

14.) Re: the following:

That device belongs to Shredder!"

The Shredder does not refer to himself as "Shredder". If he said this line, he would say "the Shredder" instead of just "Shredder".

15.) Re: the following:

Shredder must have followed us through the rift!"

And Leo would not say "Shredder" here -- he would say "the Shredder".

16.) Re: the following:

This ONCE, it is, as you say… ninja time."


-- Pete


  1. Why exactly were the writers forced to have someone say, "It's Ninja Time!" in every FF episode? It was so lame and pointless, especially since they never used catch phrases in the previous 5 seasons.

    I liked the FF season but it is stupid things like that which brought it down a tad and made things too silly.

    1. My recollection is that this was an attempt to accommodate Playmates' (our master toy licensee) desire for a recognizable "battle cry" that young kids who played with the TMNT toys would have fun yelling.

      I'm not sure if that worked, but I will say that I also found it annoying. It certainly wasn't the worst thing ever done in the world of TMNT merchandising, but it wasn't anywhere near the best, either. -- PL

  2. I think having them say, " Let's kick some shell!" would have been far less cringeworthy even if it was used before in the 90's.

  3. Ninja Time suddenly appearing was a stupid addition. I also didn't care for all of Leo's puns in the first Viral episode during the holodeck training test. SO un leo like.

    It's amazing some of these writers are so terrible at writing this show, fans might have been able to make better first drafts ;o)..

    Didn't Steve Murphy write this episode, or was he brought in later to spruce it up?