Saturday, April 7, 2012

Blast from the Past #512: November 14, 2005: Re: Ep 136 ("The Fall of Darius") Premise, Re: Show 135 ("Milk Run") Outline, and Re: 131 ("The Gaminator") First Draft

Subj: Re: Ep 136 ("The Fall of Darius") Premise
Date: Monday, November 14, 2005 8:29:05 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep136 premise.

1.) Re: the following:

"In Cody’s penthouse apartment, CODY fiercely attacks LEONARDO.  Watching this ninja training session, the other Turtles cheer Cody on, but Leo easily deflects Cody’s energetic assault.  After Cody quickly tires himself out, Leo is able to knock him over with one finger.  The lesson: “Sometimes the best offense is good defense.  Stay within yourself, and let your opponent expend his energy.  Then he will be more vulnerable.” "

Leo's lesson here is very similar to the founding principles of the martial art of aikido, and I wonder if it might be cool to mention that fact in this scene. (Here's a little bit about aikido I found on the web: "Aikido was founded by a man named Morihei Ueshiba who is now referred to as O-sensei.  He was born in 1883 and trained with many great masters of more traditional martial arts.  He became a master himself in Jujitsu (unarmed combat), Kinjitsu (sword combat), and sojitsu (spear combat).  Because he was not totally satisfied with brute strength and physical prowess, he also studied philosophical and religious material. 
The actual origin of Aikido can be traced to a duel between O-sensei and a naval officer.  In this battle, O-sensei evaded blows that the naval officer made with a wooden sword.  Eventually, the other man collapsed in exhaustion.  O-sensei said, upon recalling the duel, that his enlightenment began there.
O-sensei later taught that "Budo (the way of defense) is not felling the opponent by our force; nor is it a tool to lead the world into destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect, and cultivate all things in nature."  He taught what he then named Aikido for the rest of his life."

2.) Re: the following:

"Furious, Cody demands to know where Darius stashed the illegal weapons.  But Darius denies any knowledge of what Cody is talking about.  After all, it would violate O’Neiltech’s charter to be involved with making weapons.  When Cody insists that Darius is lying, Darius says he’s been worried about this; the poor boy is suffering paranoid delusions.  Reluctantly, Biggles agrees that Cody seems confused. As his legal guardian, Darius insists that Cody be locked up for his own safety.  Cody and the others react, shocked. Darius promises to get the boy the best help money can buy.  In the meantime, Darius will assume full control of O’Neiltech.  "

I think we need a more dramatic reason for Darius to have Cody "locked up for his own good" -- something that demonstrates that Cody COULD be a danger to himself of others, at least in a manner which convinces Biggles. Perhaps Cody could start smashing pots of orchids and making a huge mess, in an attempt to prove that all is not as it seems. Otherwise, it seems a bit too facile for Darius to have Cody committed so easily.

3.) Re: the following:

"Back outside O’Neiltech, Raph watches as Boss Rizdee and his goons load crates of weapons from the loading dock into an unmarked van.  Then Darius emerges from inside the building and nods with approval.  Raph grins and activates his com-link to the other Turtles.  “Looks like dear Uncle Darius has been a bad boy, after all.”"

I think this would work better if the loading of weapons was not so obvious. Maybe the goons appear to be loading pallets full of orchids (either open, in pots, or sealed in crates labeled "Orchids"), but there could be an accident where one of the pallets tips over and breaks open and we see that the orchids are just a cover to hide the weapons.

4.) Re: the following:

"Cody is excited when he hears this because it proves he’s not bonkers.  He’s eager to get out and face Darius, but Nurse Needle blocks his way.  When the Turtles order her to let the boy go, she transforms from a sweet nurse into a scary ENFORCER-BOT!  “Whoa, somebody’s off their meds!” says Mikey.  Nurse Needle attacks them!  "

"Nurse Needle" is a pretty dopey name.

5.) Re: the following:

"And what happened to Darius?  He staggers back to Boss Rizdee’s door and begs for a place to hide.  Rizdee, however, is not sympathetic, and says that he’ll only hide Darius for a hefty price.  Desperately, Darius agrees to pay anything, and Boss Rizdee smiles.  “Darius, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”  "

"Boss Rizdee" is also kind of a goofy name. Also, I'm not sure where this is going -- is this Boss Rizdee going to be an ongoing character? -- but it seems a bit weird that someone like Darius Dun would not have a backup plan that he could fall back on, one that wouldn't force him to be begging someone to help him.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Show 135 ("Milk Run") Outline
Date: Monday, November 14, 2005 9:25:46 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep135 outline.

1.) Re: the following:

"Don proudly holds up a scary-looking gizmo.  He hits a switch and it starts rotating.

Don: “Motorized mask rack.”
Raph: “You kept us waiting for THAT?”"

I can see why Raph would be upset, because -- coming from Don -- this is DUMB. Perhaps we should skip this bit with Don and have Mikey and HIS invention ("portable Laser Hot Dog Grill-O-Matic™") be the holdup.

2.) Re: the following:

"The Turtles can’t believe their eyes.  Ziixx tells them that he’s on a mercy mission, explaining with real sincerity that he’s trying to deliver this humanitarian aid to a disaster zone into an area controlled by Triceraton gangs.  Gangs?  Once a mighty empire, the Triceratons have been reduced to warring mobster clans with their hands in all sorts of illegal activities."

I don't have a problem per se with the idea that the Triceraton Repulic has fallen on hard times and SOME of them have turned into gangs, but I think it would be better if we didn't say that ALL of the Triceratons are now mafia members.

3.) Re: the following:

"Leo finds himself offering a tentative defense:

Leo: “Maybe this ‘Ziixx’ turned over a new leaf...?

Isn't Leo supposed to be sticking to the story that Zixx isn't on this ship?

4.) Re: the following:

"Don: “Are you okay?”
Raph: “Yeah, it’s just—we live in New York City.  I’ve never seen this many stars in my life.”

Not to be too nit-picky, but hasn't Raph been in space several times before this?

5.) Re: the following:

"Raph: “Do you know what you’re doing?”
Don: “Sure.  I’m gonna unplug a bunch of stuff.  And what I can’t unplug, I’ll break.”
Raph: “Oh.  Did you go to school for that?”"

What's the point of making Don sound and act like Raph in this scene? 

6.) Re: the following:

"Chastised, the goons holster their firearms and pull out nasty-looking sci-fi variations on CHAINS, BRASS KNUCKLES, and CLUBS (or should they be more fanciful weapons, like cutlasses?).  Leo draws his SWORDS and Mikey whips out his NUNCHAKU.  The Triceraton goons attack!"

And don't these guys have a STUN setting on their blasters?

7.) Re: the following:

"SPACE.  Raph fights the two Triceratons on the hull of the ship.  He gets hit and starts to float off into space... then pulls out a MAGNETIC GRAPPLE GUN and fires a line back to the hull.  He swings back down and kicks one of the Triceratons, sending him tumbling into the void.  The other thug advances on him... and Raph uses his sai to CUT OFF the piece of hull he’s standing on.  The hapless Triceraton drifts away, his magnetic boots affixed to the piece of hull plating..."

This bit with Raph cutting the piece of the hull underneath the Triceraton is painfully silly. What -- does the Triceraton just STAND THERE while Raph walks around him cutting through the hull? (Not to mention -- do we REALLY want Raph's "future sais" to be powerful enough to cut through the hull of a spaceship?)

8.) Re: the following:

"Ziixx: “Because I’m not within five light-years of here.”

Sure enough, the Ziixx standing before them is a hologram."

HOW did Zixx accomplish THIS trick? I mean, wasn't he actually with them in person when the Triceratons captured him? How did he get lightyears away so quickly?

-- Pete


Subj: Re: 131 ("The Gaminator") First Draft
Date: Monday, November 14, 2005 10:44:19 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep131 first draft.

1.) Re: the following:

"They move to go.  Serling steps forward.
33. SerLING
You can waste time with your games later, Michael.  Now you must continue with your training.
Mikey is disappointed.
Yes, Master Splinter."

Weird. I suspect it is meant to be Splinter who speaks to Mikey here, not Serling... but Splinter does NOT call Mike "Michael". He refers to him by his full name, Michelangelo.

2.) Re: the following:

"Leo grabs the power cord at the back of the Gaminator box.
40. Leo
Well what're we waitin' for?"

Raph and Mikey say "waitin'". Leo says "waiting".

3.) Re: the following:

I know, Michael.  I want to understand why these games cause you to so often forget your training.  Do you mind if I watch?"

Another weird usage of "Michael".

4.) Re: the following:

"Don looks down at his controller.
45. Don
So, how do we turn this thing on?  Is there a button we're supposed to push or --"

Suddenly, Don -- the gadget guru/electronics whiz -- is struck STUPID??!!

5.) Re: the following:

"Don looks over to Mikey.
47. DoN
Mikey, you wanna do the honors?"

Don would say "want to", not "wanna".

6.) Re: the following:

"60. CODY
I don't know, they're...  frozen or something.  Not only that...
He lightly touches his finger to Raph again to create a light SPARK.
61. CodY
...  they're electrified."

"They're...  frozen or something" and "they're electrified" seem like crude, unsophisticated comments coming from brain-boy Cody. 

7.) Re: the following:

"62. SeRLING
Might they be...  staying that way, sir?
Cody frowns at Serling's inference.
63. CodY
It's just that they're... so quiet, sir."

The gag here is that Serling is saying having the Turtles "frozen" results in blessed silence. I think it would work better and be more clear if his last line here is tweaked as follows:

"It's just that for once they're... so quiet, sir."

8.) Re: the following:

"68. SplinteR
Yes Michael.  Besides a slight pain between my temples, I am fine.  "

Yet another weird "Michael" usage.

9.) Re: the following:

"70. DON
You're not kiddin'."

Don would say "kidding", not "kiddin'".

10.) Re: the following:

"He touches the monitor, and is SHOCKED again.
85. CodY
Ow!  The console is electrified too!  
86. SerLING

I can see Serling doing this if one of the annoying Turtles was shocked, but NOT if it's Cody.

11.) Re: the following:

"87. Leo
Doesn't look like we're gettin' out that way."

Leo would say "getting", not "gettin'".

12.) Re: the following:

"96. VIRAL
Oh, no.  I did not intend for him to be caught in my little trap, but now that he is here, I am sure Master Sh'Okanabu would love to meet your Teacher...  over lunch."

Perhaps "for lunch" would work better than "over lunch".

13.) Re: the following:

"Cody looks down...
...  seeing the power cord running from the console and plugged into the wall.
98. CodY
Since they're all digital, she's going to take them out through the power cord.  One power surge, and she can carry them through the main power grid and all the way to Sh'Okanabu's ship.  We can't let her!
Cody moves to pull the plug.
99. SerlinG
One moment sir.  
His hand almost to the plug, Cody stops."

This is a spectacularly STUPID move on brain-boy Cody's part. And it's particularly ridiculous that it takes Serling to point out how stupid it is.

14.) Re: the following:

"106. DON
Well whaddya say you hit it where it hurts!"

Don does not say "whaddya". He would say "what do you".

15.) Re: the following:

"LEO - unsure.
115. LEO
I don't know what's down there, but there's no way to know but to give it a go! "

Very awkward wording. It's also kind of strange that Leo would just jump into this shaft to wherever without any idea of what would happen to him if he did so, especially as there is nothing that I can see in this scene which shows that this is their only option and thus deserving of such a radical choice.

16.) Re: the following:

"Raph shrugs, jumps in after them.  Just behind them follow Don and Mikey, leaping into the shaft.  After they are gone, the door SLAMS SHUT."

Uh... I think Leo cut a DOORWAY -- he didn't make a DOOR.

17.) Re: the following:

"126. CODY
Because you're a robot, you touched them, and you weren't electrocuted!  You'll be able to open the Gaminator console!  You're the key to saving them!"

Actually, it would make more sense that Serling -- being METAL -- would be MORE vulnerable to electric shock, not less. Unless, that is, if he has some kind of internal low-voltage dampening hardware (which Cody could refer to).
Or... we could just drop this "electrified" thing, as it's really not the biggest problem at hand, is it?

18.) Re: the following:

"131. SpLINTER
Yes, Michael.  You needn't worry about me.  This is all...  quite invigorating."

Another weird "Michael" thing. And Splinter's blase attitude is beginning to bug me.

19.) Re: the following:

"140. SplinteR
Please Michael, I'm perfectly capable of -- 
Mikey picks him up and puts him up on his shoulders.
141. MIKEY
Sorry, Master.  This one's on me."

Aaarghh -- MICHAEL!!! And given that Splinter's probably MORE agile than Mikey, isn't this kind of silly, given that having the extra weight and mass of Splinter on his shoulders will make Mikey even LESS agile?

20.) Re: the following:

"ON A SWAMPQUITO as Raph lands on its back and rides it, feet on each side of its body.  He grabs the two Swampquitoes on either side of it and SMASHES them together, throwing their limp bodies into the swamp.  
148. RAPH
Sorry, didn't mean to butt heads!"

Ugh. I think we can -- and should -- lose that Raph line.

21.) Re: the following:

"155. SplinTER
I must say, Michael.  I'm beginning to understand why you like to play these games.  That was very exciting!"

Michael... Michael... Michael...

22.) Re: the following:

"164. DoN
I wonder what it's gonna be."

Don doesn't say "gonna".

23.) Re: the following:

"170. CodY
Alright, Serling, you're all connected to the Gaminator CPU..."

"Alright" = bad. "All right" = good.

24.) Re: the following:

"201. VIRAL
Please.  Let us not be consumed with our anger."

What a strange line.

25.) Re: the following:

"207. SplINTER
Michael, I must apologize for not seeing the value in your game playing earlier.  If every game is as challenging as the one we just played, I invite you to play whenever you wish -- provided it does not interfere with your training, or course."

No more "Michael"'s... please!

26.) Re: the following:

"209. LeO
You an' me both, bro."

Leo would say "and" -- not "an'".

27.) Re: the following:

"Sh'Okanabu lifts up a remote toward Viral and presses a button.  Viral DIGITIZES OUT.
ON A MONITOR -- near Sh'Okanabu.  Viral DIGITIZES into A PINBALL GAME.
...  let's play a little digital pinball.  You have to pardon me.  I'm old school.
A PINBALL comes BLASTING TOWARD Viral.  She gets hit by the ball and WHACKED into a bumper.
214. VIRAL
WIDE PINBALL GAME -- as Viral is knocked around by the bumpers and the ball.
215. VirAL
Ya!...  Oof!...  Oh!...  Ack!
Ext. SH'OKANABO'S SHIP - continuous
As we hear the BELLS of the game.
216. SH'OKANABU (v.O.)
Lucky me.  I won an extra game. (laughs)
217. VIRAL (v.O.)

Very silly denouement.  I'm sure we can come up with something better, something that does not, for example, have Sh'Okanabo -- Scourge of the Universe -- referring to himself as "old school" and playing pinball. Gack.

-- Pete


  1. Must say that I always enjoy reading these blog posts about script supervision. Especially when it comes from plot points that aren't necessary to characteristics that are way off. I probably read these enough to be able to guess what your complaint will be beforehand. (and the word "Dopey" is slowly seeping into my vocabulary more so after every read~)

  2. Michael? Does Splinter is suffering for memory loss? The boy's name is Michelangelo!!

  3. WOW... this entire series could have been much, MUCH more worse than the original. Thank god for Pete and Lloyd.