Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blast from the Past #519: December 8, 2005: Re: Show 136 ("The Fall of Darius") and Re: Show 140 ("DNA is Thicker than Water") Revised Premise

Subj: Re: Show 136 ("The Fall of Darius")
Date: Thursday, December 8, 2005 12:45:56 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep. 136 first draft.

1.) Re: the following:

"Darius enters a dimly lit office with neon-drenched light slashing through the window blinds.  A large desk dominates the room.  On the far side of this desk, BOSS RIZDEE, a stocky Triceraton with a nasty scar on his face turns toward Darius and smiles.  It is not a warm smile."

I haven't seen any art for Boss RIzdee yet, but I'm hoping we can do something other that the typical "scarred face" bit -- seems we do that a little too often.

2.) Re: the following:

As a businessman, I understand, of course.  But my clients are worried that you can’t deliver the goods.  What reassurances can I give them?  
Here’s a free sample.  
Reaching into his coat, Darius pulls out a high-tech PLASMA BLASTER and fires it at the wall just behind Rizdee.  KA-BOOM!  Rizdee dives for cover as it blows a gaping hole in the wall, as well as the three walls behind it!  
Looking at the hole, Rizdee gapes in wide-eyed amazement as Darius casually slaps the smoking blaster down on the desk."

There's nothing per se wrong with the action in this bit (although it seems a bit weird that Rizdee would be "wide-eyed" with "amazement" -- what, he's never seen a blaster before? -- instead of PISSED OFF that Darius has just blasted big holes in his offices), but how does Darius' pulling out a single blaster satisfy Rizdee's complaint about Darius being able to "deliver the goods"? How is that any kind of evidence that Darius will be able to deliver what he has promised?

3.) Re: the following:

Whoa, look at the time!  We promised Master Splinter we’d him take down to the Museum of Historic Broadcasts to see the “Wheel of Money” marathon.  Wanna come?"

Don doesn't say "wanna".

4.) Re: the following:

Maybe it’s time to practice my ninja stealth shadow technique…
Cody ties a ninja headband across his forehead, then sidesteps into the shadows, completely disappearing."

This bit with Cody putting on the "ninja headband" seems kind of silly and extraneous... why does he need it?

5.) Re: the following:

"As he and Darius look back, Cody vaults through scene behind them and into the elevator.  
Relax.  Come with me.  
Shrugging, Darius escorts Rizdee into the elevator.  
The elevator doors close, and Darius calls out.  
Level one-fourteen.  
As the elevator whooshes upward, Darius turns to Rizdee. 
I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.  
PAN UP to the ceiling to reveal that Cody has wedged himself into the corner just above their heads."

This is ridiculous. Please find a less silly way for Cody to follow Darius and RIzdee.

6.) Re: the following:

Hang tough, kid.  We’re on our way."

"Hang tough, kid" doesn't sound like Leo. It DOES sound like Raph.

7.) Re: the following:

Constable, if you would be kind enough to escort him home…  
Biggles nods and salutes Darius.  
I’d be an honor, sir.  Sorry for the bother."

I don't think it "I'd be an honor" is right -- it should be "It would be an honor".

Actually... why is it an "honor" for Biggles to take Cody home? Seems odd.

8.) Re: the following:

"But after Raph is gone, the smile fades.  Darius pulls out a communicator and activates it.  A HOLO-SCREEN appears with four SHADOWY FIGURES.  
Yes, master…
Our green friends are sticking their noses into dangerous places again.  It’s time we took care of them once and for all.  
PUSH IN on the shadowy eyes as they narrow in anger.  
Bring ‘em on."

"Bring 'em on"? Is Dark Leo channeling Bush?

And as I've mentioned/questioned before -- since when is Darius "Master" of the Dark Turtles? I thought Sh'Okanabo was their master. Did I miss something?

9.) Re: the following:

Your Turtle-X suit.  Shellacious!"

"Shellacious" is something Mikey might say -- not Don.

10.) Re: the following:

"After they’ve gone, PUSH IN and HOLD on the closet door.  We hear a light tapping.  
Uh, hello?  Is anyone there?"

As I mentioned in my notes on the outline, it's silly that Serling could be TRAPPED in a closet. Why doesn't he just break out of it? Dumb slapstick.

11.) Re: the following:

But how will we get past those goons?  
Leave that to me!  
They watch as Raph sneaks around behind the van.  
When one of the goons bends down to load a crate into the van, Raph sneakily kicks him in the butt.  
Hey, watch it!  
The goon turns around and glares at his partner.  
I didn’t do nothin’!
Are you callin’ me a liar?  
Goon #1 breaks an orchid pot over Goon #2’s head.  Immediately, they start brawling.  
(comic brawling noises!)"

Wow... what a great plan. Especially the use of the orchid pots -- where'd they come from?

12.) Re: the following:

"However, Raph can’t resist lingering.  He reaches into the van and picks up one of the plasma blasters.  As he activates the primer, blinking RED LIGHTS indicate that it is slowly powering up.  Then he tosses it back into the van.  
When he rejoins the others inside the elevator, Raph grins mischievously.  
A little surprise for later."

I haven't read ahead to see what happens with this thing, but this bit seems to have the exact same problem as when it involved a "smoke bomb" in the outline -- how does Raph know that this thing will "go off" at the RIGHT TIME?

13.) Re: the following:

Yeah, we’re not as dumb as we look!"

Very dopey line. It MIGHT be funny if it were changed thusly:

Yeah, we’re not as dumb as you look!"

14.) Re: the following:

Bro, we’ve been itchin’ for a rematch."

Why is Dark Raphael referring to Raph as "bro"?

15.) Re: the following:

Is that your best shot, freak?"

Sounds more like a Raph line.

16.) Re: the following:

"Meanwhile, Donny and Mikey have recovered from the initial blows, but Dark Donny and Dark Mikey have them pinned against the wall.  Wide-eyed our Turtles duck.  CRACK!  Chunks of concrete fly as the Dark Turtles’s fists miss their targets.  
It’s like looking in a mirror…"

Don's line is really silly in this context. And unnecessary. And how is it -- if Mikey and Don are "pinned against the wall" -- that they can DUCK?

17.) Re: the following:

"This time, Mikey knocks Dark Leo off his feet while the two Leos are facing off.  Suddenly, Leo brightens.  
That’s it!  Turtles, switch partners!"

Snore... could this GET any more cliched? Once again -- as in my comments on the outline -- I have to say that this appearance by the Dark Turtles seems like a poor use of them.

18.) Re: the following:

"Driven mad by Mikey’s childish taunts, Dark Raph lunges again.  This time he lands headfirst in a large metal canister.  His legs flail as he is helplessly stuck in it."

Oh. My. God.

19.) Re: the following:

We’ve gotta find the password.  What would Darius never forget?"

Don doesn't say "gotta".

20.) Re: the following:

"But inside, the blaster that Raph activated earlier reaches critical mass.  Its lights go red, and it emits a high-pitched squeal.  
When Rizdee’s goons see this they dive for cover.  KA-BOOM!  The entire van EXPLODES in a dramatic fireball. "

Oh... now I get it. Raph just wanted to KILL anyone who was near that blaster when it exploded! Nice.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Show 140 ("DNA is Thicker than Water") Revised Premise
Date: Thursday, December 8, 2005 4:01:01 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep.140 premise V3.

1.) Re: the following:

"The Darks file into his chamber sheepishly and Darius begins reading them the riot act!"

I fail to see why the Dark Turtles would put up with this puny human's abuse. What hold/power does he have over them that keeps them from tearing his head off?

And I hate to sound like a broken record, but will someone please tell me in which episode the Dark Turtles stopped being Sh'Okanobo's minions and became Darius'? 

2.) Re: the following:

"Darius says something TBD that makes Dark Leo's eyes widen – (sparking his plan at the end of this teaser) then throws them out with a very lethal “ship up or ship out” message."

The phrase is actually "SHAPE up or ship out", and I ask again -- HOW is Darius able to get away with abusing the Dark Turtles in this fashion? Why do they take it?

3.) Re: the following:

"The fight ends up being fair, and the Darks are trounced by the TMNT.  Before they retreat in their transport, Dark Leo “bows” to the TMNT.  He begrudgingly “thanks” them for what’s he’s learned.  He promises to be back for the TMNT and destroy them…but vows to walk an honorable path. As the bad guys disappear into the night, Don is left to ponder his connection to the Dark Turtles, and whether or not a spark of hope burns beneath their shells.

Back at Dark HQ, Dark Leo is ready for a royal reaming from Darius.  He gets one – but it’s not as bad as he expected.  While failure was still the order of the day, Darius issues a gruff, backhanded complement about the savvy and strategy he used.  It’s a small improvement.  We also show that the plan helped reaffirm his status as leader among the Darks.  We end with Dark Leo imparting one of the first lessons he learned from the turtles onto his Dark brethren."

This is a confusing and illogical ending. How am I supposed to parse the line "He promises to be back for the TMNT and destroy them…but vows to walk an honorable path"? Seems completely contradictory to me.

And I don't get WHY Dark Leo goes back with the other Darks. He's just betrayed them by helping the Turtles defeat the Darks. How do they not see this?

While this story is FAR better than its first "alien glob" version, it is still missing some significant stuff. Primarily, I don't yet buy Dark Leo's coming over to the "light side". We've already established the Dark Turtles as INHERENTLY nasty, evil brutes... so what is there that the Turtles can demonstrate to Dark Leo that would lead him to think or act differently? I mean, just having the Turtles talk about honor and niceness isn't going to cut it -- I would think that Dark Leo would just laugh at that kind of thing. I think there needs to be SOMETHING about the way the Turtles (and Splinter and Cody) interact and how they approach life that Dark Leo comes to see as VALUABLE to HIM. What that is, I'm not sure. Maybe he begins to see the value of order over chaos... cooperation over competition.

As I'm kinda getting sick of the Dark Turtles (they've become tedious, in my opinion), I wouldn't mind at all if we went for a more radical conclusion to this tale which might involve Dark Leo DESTROYING all of the other Darks (and maybe himself as well). It might be that the other Darks have the Turtles at their mercy and are about to use the new weapons Darius gave them to obliterate the Turtles once and for all... and Dark Leo snaps -- he can't bear to see something that he has come to see as valuable and worth protecting be destroyed like this. He could then either (a) wipe out the Dark Turtles, or (b) help the Turtles to defeat the Darks and then go off with them somewhere (maybe on a spaceship) to try to start new lives and evolve, away from the bad influence of Darius and/or Sh'Okanabo. Or if it were to be set up so that Dark Leo destroys all the other Darks, maybe HE could go off on a ship by himself.

-- Pete


  1. ""Bring 'em on"? Is Dark Leo channeling Bush?" Geez, it's not like Bush was the first person to every say that.

  2. "DanApr 15, 2012 11:58 AM
    ""Bring 'em on"? Is Dark Leo channeling Bush?" Geez, it's not like Bush was the first person to every say that."

    Did I say he was? Of course he wasn't the first person to say that phrase… but in my opinion, he was the most prominent person to say that phrase in the most stupidly arrogant way possible, at exactly the wrong time. -- PL