Thursday, April 12, 2012
Blast from the Past #517: November 24, 2005: Re: 137 ("Turtle X-Tinction") Outline
Subj: Re: 137 ("Turtle X-Tinction") Outline
Date: Thursday, November 24, 2005 2:04:07 PM
From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine
Here are my notes on the Ep. 137 outline.
1.) Re: the following:
"OUTSIDE CODY'S PENTHOUSE – We hear the sound of a pitched battle from within. INSIDE, we discover the four Turtles and Splinter kicking serious ninja butt on… the ever-expanding blob of cake batter Mikey accidentally created. "
2.) Re: the following:
"Before they can ponder it any further, there’s someone at the door again. Everyone runs, hides and yells “Surprise!” But this time it’s BIGGLES, looking for Cody to inform him of a disturbance at O’Neil Tech by an exo-suited figure whose description matches that of the exo-suited figure seen cavorting with the Turtles. Biggles questions the Turtles as to their recent whereabouts. The guys insist they’ve been here the whole time, preparing the surprise party. But Mikey’s high-explosive “noise-makers” instantly arouse Biggles’ suspicion.
The guys decide to clear everything up by going to CODY’S LAB. Sure enough, Turtle X is missing. Still, the guys can’t believe that Cody is responsible.
Biggles: “Wait a tick. Am I to deduce from these statements that young Master Jones is the wearer of said exo-suit?”
Donatello: “I’m sure there’s a perfectly logical explanation for this.”
Cody (O.S.): “Explanation for what?”
The Guys turn to see Cody, walking in on them.
Cody: “And what’s with all the decorations? Somebody having a surprise party?”
Biggles: “And it would appear you’re my guest of honor.”
Biggles slaps a pair of handcuffs on Cody. Serling rushes protectively to Cody’s side, but gets his circuitry scrambled by Biggles’ shock stick for his efforts."
It's unclear to me WHY Biggles would handcuff Cody for causing a "disturbance" at O'Neil Tech... when Cody OWNS O'Neil Tech. UNLESS the "disturbance" is Turtle X's assault on Starlee... but in that case we have to assume that Starlee reported the assault. If so, would she have then come to Cody's apartment?
3.) Re: the following:
"The guys take quite a beating, but with some urging from Splinter, they use their ninja invisibility to trick Turtle X into repeatedly blasting an elevated street above it, inadvertently burying itself in the resulting rubbles that crashes down."
I am reminded here of the old phrase "We had to destroy the village in order to save it." The destruction of an "overhead street" seems to be WAY beyond the pale. MAYBE it would be okay if it were made clear that this section was one which was closed for repair or demolition.
4.) Re: the following:
"The guys run interference, offering themselves up as targets, keeping Turtle X distracted while Cody sneaks up behind the exo-armor and slips himself inside. The plan works like a charm… except for the part about Cody regaining control. Turtle X resumes its attack on the guys. And to make matters worse, Cody can’t get out of the suit!"
This scenario seems more than a little ridiculous... not least because (unless I am remembering this incorrectly) you have to get into this robot suit from the FRONT! Regardless, I think it's pretty silly that Cody can "slip inside" the Turtle X suit in the middle of this battle. Some more thought is in order.
5.) Re: the following:
"As the Hovershell swoops down toward the Penthouse rooftop, Cody can’t stop Turtle X from hitting it with everything it’s got. The Hovershell plummets streetward, tail smoking…
Cody/Turtle X watches as the badly damaged Hovershell plummets down, down, down and <EXPLODES> into a fireball far, far below.
Then we PAN to the Penthouse rooftop… to find Don, Leo and Mikey, having secretly bailed out earlier and sent the Hovershell flying on auto-pilot.
Donatello: “I hate to do that to Cody, but hopefully we just bought ourselves some time.”"
More irresponsible behavior. "Hey, let's distract that rogue Turtle X thing by crashing the Hovershell so it blows up in a huge fireball ON THE STREET! Sorry, everybody who was down there!" Why not just send the Hovershell off on autopilot while the Turtles bail out?
6.) Re: the following:
"Cody/Turtle X <SMASHES> through the giant windows, <BLASTING> up the Penthouse. Despite his current predicament, Cody is ecstatic to see the Turtles alive."
I thought Turtle X was fooled by the departure of the Hovershell. Why is he now crashing into the Penthouse?
7.) Re: the following:
"Mikey grabs a “noise-maker” from the bag, attempting to blast Cody free from Turtle X. But the noisemaker just poofs out a bunch of harmless confetti.
Michelangelo: “So it WAS a party supply store!”
Then the little bits of confetti <EXPLODE> like tiny grenades. Mikey dives for cover… but the explosions don’t even put a dent in Turtle X. "
8.) Re: the following:
"Meanwhile, DOWNTOWN, Raph and Splinter follow the remote control signal, which appears to be emanating from the middle of the East River!
Why is this "impossible"? After all the crazy adventures Raph has had, to believe this signal could come from "the middle of the East Rive" should be EASY.
9.) Re: the following:
"They follow a tunnel/corridor to a COMMMAND CENTER, where Darius, in full armor, is hooked up to a gyroscope-like full-body harness (ala The Lawnmower Man). Screens display an OTS view from Turtle X, as well as a GPS-like grid map of its position, as Darius pivots and turns, using his armor’s movement to control Turtle X’s every movement. It all looks like an incredibly elaborate (but deadly) video game."
It seems pretty silly that Darius would be in his full armor suit inside a "gyroscope-like full-body harness (ala The Lawnmower Man)" if he is trying to control Turtle X via a "virtual reality"-type connection. Wouldn't it be easier for him to move around within that harness if he were OUT of the bulky armor?
10.) Re: the following:
"…so does Cody/Turtle X, BACK AT THE PENTHOUSE. But in an instant he’s up fighting again. Leo and Mikey prepare to defend themselves, but Turtle X isn’t attacking them. He seems to be attacking some invisible opponent. That’s because his movements correspond to…
…Darius’ movements as he battles Raph and Splinter. (We can do some fun split-screen bits in here.) Despite his opponent’s incredible size and strength advantage, Splinter uses his ninja skill to flip Darius, sending him tumbling on his butt…"
So... if Turtle X is following the movements of Darius' armor, what the heck was the point of the "gyroscope-like full-body harness (ala The Lawnmower Man)"?
And I think we may be pushing the envelope of believability to have Splinter be able to FLIP Darius in his battle armor.
11.) Re: the following:
"Meanwhile, in CODY’S LAB, Don works feverishly on his computer virus program, assisted by Starlee, who still can’t believe that’s Cody inside the deadly Turtle X armor. A particular algorithm in the virus program has them baffled…
…until Cody/Turtle X come tumbling in and gives them the answer. Starlee smiles. That’s Cody all right. "
A lot of silly stuff here. Starlee can't believe Cody is inside the Turtle X armor? What... she thinks the Turtles are LYING to her?
And it's pretty amazing that Cody is able to follow what Don and Starlee are doing to the extent that he is able to -- from within the Turtle X armor -- provide them with programming advice! Goofy.
12.) Re: the following:
"Meanwhile, Raph threatens the still-immobile Darius with his sais, demanding he recall the self-destruct command. Darius refuses. He can’t move, but he can still blast himself out of there. Raph and Splinter try to follow on the Shell Speeder…
…but when they break the water’s surface, Darius is gone."
I don't get it. "He can’t move, but he can still blast himself out of there." Huh?
13.) Re: the following:
"BACK AT THE PENTHOUSE, Biggles, with his usual unfortunate timing, shows up, responding to this latest Turtle X rampage. Despite Cody and the Turtles’ warnings, the Peacekeepers haul Turtle X (with Cody still stuck inside) out of the lab as “evidence”. The Turtles warn that they’re carrying a time bomb in the form of Turtle X armor on a self-destruct countdown, but Biggles pays them no heed."
I can't see any credible reason WHY Biggles would refuse to believe them.
14.) Re: the following:
"Serling summons his last bit of strength and jettisons his torso from his legs."
Bizarre. WHY does he do this?
15.) Re: the following:
"OUTSIDE, on the roof of the Penthouse, Biggles and the Peacekeepers load Cody/Turtle X onto a HOVER PADDY WAGON, the self-destruct countdown ticking down. Serling drags himself up to the roof and grabs onto the back of the Paddy Wagon, just as it takes off.
Serling hangs on for dear life as the Paddy Wagon soars through the city, back toward Peacekeepers Headquarters. Summoning the last of his strength, the robot pries open the door and swings inside the Paddy Wagon, flinging himself at Biggles, taking the constable by surprise. Serling grabs Biggles’ shock stick and zaps Biggles with it, scrambling the constable’s circuitry.
Serling: “Terribly sorry about this, old chap.” "
All of this seems to me to be just action for the sake of action. I think this time could be better spent.
16.) I would really like to see this last section reworked to give Serling a more "heroic sacrifice" beat. Right now, all he really does is find his way to the inert Turtle X armor (it's already been "beaten") and he sticks something into it and uploads the virus. Kind of limp.
What I would prefer to see is something more like what happened when the Thing faced down Dr. Doom in that issue of the "Fantastic Four" (can't remember what issue it was, but it was shortly after they had lost their powers, and Ben Grimm had been restored -- against his will -- to being the Thing). The "reborn" Thing then relentlessly advanced on Doom, taking all manner of brutal, battering punishment from Doom's array of weapons, until finally making it close enough to Doom to engage him hand-to-hand. I think Serling should do something similar with Turtle X, getting the crap beaten out of him, losing "body" parts, getting ripped open, pieces blown away, etc. until he is finally able to inject the virus into Turtle X. (I think we should ditch the whole goofy Biggles and his Peacekeepers bit.) Fortunately, the key pieces which make Serling who he is are not destroyed during this battle, allowing his personality to survive and be moving into the reconfigured Turtle X armor at the end of the episode.
Part of what might make this work is that in addition to the "self-destruct/countdown" bit, Darius has also programmed Turtle X with a failsafe "berserker" mode -- whereby in the event that Turtle X is cut off from Darius' direct control, it goes into an autonomous battle mode, where it can continue fighting and causing destruction.