Tuesday, April 3, 2012

November 8, 2005: Re: show 131 ("The Gaminator") Outline

Subj: Re: show 131 ("The Gaminator") Outline
Date: Tuesday, November 8, 2005 1:37:47 PM
From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the 131 outline.

This outline has a number of minor goofy things in it that make me think this writer is not very familiar with the characters -- i.e. Splinter calling Michelangelo "Mikey" and "Michael" (!) -- but I won't waste time pointing them out. If they make it into the script, I will do so then.

1.) To avoid having this episode be TOO much of a rip of the old "Tron" movie, and also to try to keep the technology more this side of "magic", I would suggest that instead of the Turtles and Splinter being literally, physically "digitized" and  sucked into the machine, we do something different. One suggestion: the Turtles' MINDS are sucked into the machine, but their bodies are "frozen" in their last postures before the Gaminator sucked in their minds. I think there are a few possibilities for humor here, where Serling could drily comment that THIS is the way he'd prefer the Turtles: still and silent and not eating! Also, I could envision a fun visual as Serling moves the "frozen" Turtles out of the way so Cody can get to the machine -- he could stack them in a corner and when the episode is over and their minds returned to their bodies, they could all simultaneously collapse in a heap as they "unfreeze".

2.) It's unclear to me whether the Gaminator itself has the power to suck you into the game, or it is Viral using her powers in some way. The former seems unlikely, and the latter not much more likely. It's another reason why I think something like what I suggest in my comment #1 above might be a good idea. In fact, one of the things about the Gaminator that could be touted by the salesman when our heroes are wandering through the gaming convention could be the Gaminator's new, state-of-the-art "neural interface" which promises a much more realistic gaming experience. This way, it might be more logical to posit that Viral could use her particular powers to "tweak" this neural interface to her own ends.

3.) Re: the following:

"Splinter turns to leave as well, grumbling about silly games.  He's about to shut the door, when the monitor on the game box fires up, showing "Press Start To Play."  More intrigued than he'd admit, Splinter walks over to one of the game remotes and picks it up.  "Press Start To Play" continues to flash on the monitor.  Splinter looks around to see if anyone is watching, presses the "Start" button on the remote. "

This is completely out of character for Splinter, and I think some other was of making him the first target should be thought up. One thought: Splinter is about to leave the room when he realizes that the game is still powered up, and he goes to shut if off. On the screen a graphic is showing "Press here to shut down", and Splinter presses that on-screen button... and immediately an image of Viral pops up on the screen with a gloating "Fooled you!"... and Splinter is "frozen" and his mind is sucked into the machine.

4.) Re: the following:

"They look to see Viral dissolve in front of their bars.  She gloats at having caught the Turtles with such a simple ruse – and even their mentor!  Her Master Sh'Okanabo will be pleased.  She has finally demonstrated her superiority and has beaten them.  It's Splinter who begs to differ."

This is not the only odd use of the word "dissolve". I think I understand the writer's intent -- that Viral appears from nothingness -- but that would be the OPPOSITE of "dissolve". If she dissolved, she would disappear.

5.) Re: the following:

"INSIDE THE GAME.  They can't hear him.  The Turtles look to Splinter.

MIKEY: Splinter, what are you doing in here?
SPLINTER: You were so excited by the game that I became curious.  I must say it is so far not very interesting."

The Turtles' reaction to suddenly being INSIDE A VIDEOGAME is very lame and matter-of-fact. Shouldn't they at least WONDER what the heck is going on , if only for a few moments before they figure it out?

6.) Re: the following:

"Leo grabs the Avatar's net and wraps up the Avatars inside of it.  They struggle, but can't move."

These avatars aren't too threatening -- the Turtles have just knocked them over and they're defeated.

7.) The challenges within the game seem kind of unimaginative, generic and bland. Also, I think a great opportunity is missed by not having Viral herself appear as a "big boss" within the game to battle the Turtles.

-- Pete

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