Friday, April 13, 2012

Blast from the Past #518: December 1, 2005: Re: Show 134 ("Enter the Jammerhead") First Draft, and December 3, 2005: Re: Show 139 ("Head of State") Premise and Re: Show 140 ("DNA is Thicker than Water") Premise

Subj: Re: Show 134 ("Enter the Jammerhead") First Draft
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2005 2:02:28 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep. 134 first draft.

1.) Re: the following:

Something you will never achieve if you do not practice, Michelangelo. Speaking of, should you not be warming up in the dojo?"

I know it is part of some modern vernacular to leave a word or words out of common phrases (i.e. "come with me" becomes "come with"), but to me it just sounds lazy and stupid. Ergo, I think Splinter's line here should read:

"Speaking of which, should you not be warming up in the dojo?"

2.) Re: the following:

“Civilized..?” So you four won’t be there?"

Should Serling say "four" here (just the Turtles) or "five" (the Turtles plus Splinter)?

3.) Re: the following:

"GLAXXER walks over to CODY and pokes at him.  Cody instinctively backs up further and further, finally BUMPING into a wall of shelving.
Hi! I’m Glaxxer. Are you her boyfriend?  ‘Cuz she talks about her boyfriend all the time.  And if you’re not the boyfriend, you look an awful lot like the guy she says is her boyfriend.
Cody ducks away from the shelving, avoiding disaster.  Glaxxer eyes the shelving, and taps it awkwardly with his finger. 
Is this shelving very stable?  ‘Cuz shelving isn’t always very stable -- 
…THE SHELVES tip over, smashing to the ground. Dad VIDEOS…"

Yeah, that's some pretty unstable shelving, isn't it? Wonder why Cody had such unstable shelving in O'Neil Tech. Beats the heck out of me! I mean, a KID just TAPS on it with ONE FINGER and it collapses!

Right, I know Cody bumped into it first... but it's still pretty silly. Perhaps instead of just tapping it with one finger, Glaxxer could eyeball it and declare that the shelving is crooked, and he can fix it if he only pulls THIS here and pushes THAT there... OOPS!

4.) Re: the following:

There! A Kinetiscan translator!
CLOSE ON A MONITOR SCREEN – The image zooms in on the slot in Jammerhead’s head.
It reads physical movements stored on disk, translates them into neurological signals and transmits them into the cerebral cortex--"

The way Cody recognizes and talks about this thing, it sounds like it's not very rare. Do we really want to establish this gizmo as something anyone can use (if they have direct neural inputs... and I suspect that it the world of 2105 Jammerhead is not the only one who has them)?

5.) Re: the following:

Ma’am, if I may.  You have raised a remarkable daughter."

"Ma'am"? I think Splinter would use the more formal "Madam".

6.) So... what happened? The "signal" got "jammed"... but what does that mean? Does Jammerhead still have his special chip? If so, why can't he use it? Is his signal "jammed" all the time now? How? If his new chip is damaged/burned out/ can he get another one? Can he give one to each of his Street Phantoms? Why not?

7.) The basic concept of what Jammerhead is able to do with this "chip" is barely tolerable, as it seems to be to be WAY out there to make the giant leap from KNOWING how to do something to being ABLE to do it, physically (for example, Jammerhead's "cyclone spin" or whatever that bit was). If at all possible, I think it would be a good idea to tone down some of the more ridiculous "super kung fu" moves Jammerhead makes.

8.) I'm not sure exactly HOW it should be done, but I think it would be great if we could make Starlee's family less like obnoxious cartoon stereotypes, and maybe give them some substance... make their concern for Starlee's welfare on this "dangerous" planet more REAL, even if it reflects their overprotectiveness.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Show 139 ("Head of State") Premise
Date: Saturday, December 3, 2005 2:11:24 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on Ep139 premiseREV.

1.) While I like the concept of "living Mousers" because it offers some intriguing design possibilities, I don't see any explanation for WHY Baxter has gone in this organic direction instead of continuing techno-mechanical development of his Mousers. I wonder if there is any cool way to connect it to anything from past TMNT episodes. Maybe the Y'Lintians...?

Also, it might be cool if these new Mousers don't actually CHEW their way through stuff like the mechanical Mousers of yore, but instead use stuff like fast-acting organic super-solvents to dissolve their way through stuff (or at least weaken stuff enough so that they can push their way through it).

2.) It's somewhat silly that Baxter could have been alive and operating all this time, building this army of living Mousers... and yet not know that Bishop is President! I think it would work equally well if when Baxter sees the Bishop "patriotic poster", he responds with a line which implies that after many years of planning, he (Baxter) is ready to wreak his revenge on Bishop.

3.) The "Donatello to Donatello" time travel message bit is confusing and extraneous -- I'd drop it. The Turtles shouldn't need someone to TELL them how to find, fight and defeat Baxter -- they should figure it out for themselves.

4.) The bit with Constable Biggles trying to "untangle the web of interplanetary jurisdiction that may or may not prevent a rescue attempt" is not at all funny and is pretty dopey to boot.

5.) Re: the following:

"Deep underground, Baxter’s Exo-Mech drags Bishop through the centuries old sewer tunnels, leading him to a vast underground city. Housed in the remnants of Penn Station, this “Micropolis” is awe-inspiring. High-tech machines mingle with architecture of generations past to create a truly beautiful place... If you can get past the hundreds of Living Mousers- a veritable army of gnashing jaws!

Bishop: “What is this place?! What are you going to do to me?! Who are you?!”"

What -- Bishop doesn't recognize Penn Station? Seems unlikely.

6.) Re: the following:

"Bishop: “Baxter? Baxter! It’s been years! You look... great!”
Baxter: “Great?! You turned me into a monster! You said that serum would help me live for centuries!”
Bishop: “You’re still alive, aren’t you?”
Baxter: “I’m a brain in a jar!”
Bishop: “That a problem?”
Baxter: “Look at me! I’m a freak! I can’t show my face, what’s left of it, anywhere! I’ve had to hide here, in the sewers!”
Bishop: “You’ve certainly done some nice things with the place.”
Baxter: “You took me world from me! And now I’m going to take your world from you!

With the mere press of a button, Baxter can order his army of Living Mousers to destroy the city. But just as his mechanical finger nears the remote... Raph’s sai flies through the air and knocks it away!"

I hope Bishop's lines here are "placeholders", because they are quite lame (and they include one of my current pet peeves -- the HUGELY overused "love what you've done with the place" cliche).

And WHY is it that Baxter can be this incredible techno-robot thing... but he still has to use a separate REMOTE CONTROL to activate his Mousers? How primitive.

7.) Re: the following:

"Baxter: “You made me a monster!

But then, bruised and beaten, Leonardo fights back. Not with punches or kicks or weapons, but with words.

Leonardo: “You think you’re a monster? Look at me. I’m a five foot talking ninja turtle. But that doesn’t matter! Bishop’s done something special here. He’s made a place where there are no monsters. Look around. We all look different. And we don’t need to hide anymore!”"

While I like the gist of Leo's speech, I think it's more than a little goofy for him to talk about being a ninja turtle. He should just point out that, under Bishop's leadership, many different types of aliens coexist on Earth.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Show 140 ("DNA is Thicker than Water") Premise
Date: Saturday, December 3, 2005 12:58:42 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep. 140 premise.

There is a good story somewhere in here -- something similar to the classic FANTASTIC FOUR "This Man, This Monster" story. But right now, it's kind of a mess. The major problem is the "alien blob", which seems to have no consistent nature and changes to fit the needs of the plot. And one of my least favorite bits is the "rapid, nearly instantaneous physical change" thing -- where a character can be Leo on moment and Dark Leo the next, undergoing a huge change in moments... and then back again in as many (or as few) moments. There's WAY too much of this in this premise.

While it would probably be TOO much of an "homage" (okay, rip-off) of the "This Man, This Monster" FF story to have Dark Leo use some kind of gizmo to switch places with Leo (his mind in Leo's body, Leo's mind in his), it has the virtue of being (a) more logical, and (b) less "magical" (eliminating those huge physical changes I mentioned earlier). But I don't think we want to "homage" that FF story so closely, so I have another idea.

What if... Leo is continuing his studies with Splinter. Today he's practicing some deep meditative/mystical trance thing. Before he gets into it, Splinter could remind him that while it is a powerful skill to have, it is also dangerous to the novice (a foreshadowing of what is to come). Leo goes into the meditative trance state and travels on some astral plane.

What he doesn't know at that point is that Dark Leo is doing something similar... and the two of them MEET -- and battle -- on the astral plane, with the end result being a bizarre accident where their minds and bodies get switched. Leo wakes up in Dark Leo's body, freaked out. And Dark Leo wakes up in Leo's body, and quickly realizes that he has been given an exceptional opportunity for revenge. (His part of the story could more of less follow what is in the premise.)

Leo, on the other hand, is faced with the horror of being trapped in Dark Leo's body, and has to try to figure out how to rectify the situation... but it's not going to be easy! He has to deal with the other Dark Turtles, and maybe Darius (though I have to say I am kind of perplexed about how Darius is now in control of the Dark Turtles... I thought they were Sh'Okanabo's minions). And how can he convince the Turtles that he is, in fact, their brother, and not the monstrous Dark Leo?

-- Pete

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