Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blast from the Past #529: January 14, 2006: Re: Show 142 ("The Day of Awakening") beat sheet, January 15, 2006: Re: TMNT Show 141 ("The Cosmic Completist") 3rd Draft and Re: Show 143 ("Zixxth Sense") 1st Draft

Subj: Re: Show 142 ("The Day of Awakening") beat sheet
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2006 9:24:53 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on the Ep. 142 "beat sheet".

1.) Re: the following:

"ACCESS TUNNELS - As the guys’re dragged through the underground tunnels, Don realizes that Sh’Okanabo must have made his base where the sunlight wouldn’t affect the drones…

SH’OKANABO’S SHIP: Sure enough, we find SCORES of drones hiding on the dark side of the moon! It’s an army – the entire population of the Moonbase has been converted!

Sh’Okanabo reveals himself to the Turtles and Splinter, gloating. He’s even BIGGER AND NASTIER LOOKING than before! This new strength manifests as SHADOWY BODY ARMOR that appears to make him even stronger! The Day of Awakening is at hand!"

It's a little unclear what's happening here -- are the Turtles being dragged all the way from Moonbase Bishop to the dark side of the moon? That's a LONG way away, remember -- the moon is a pretty big place. Is there some kind of high-speed underground transport system, a maglev train perhaps? Maybe it was installed as a quick and safe way (not exposed to cosmic rays, meteorites, etc.) for people to get to the far side of the moon, where perhaps there is a research station (which takes advantage of the fact that the far/dark side of the moon is shielded from direct sunlight, allowing clearer observation of space.

2.) As previously stated, I think the "blowing up the fusion reactor" bit needs work, as does the defeat of Viral.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Show 142 ("The Day of Awakening") Beat Sheet
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2006 12:46:03 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

<<The Atmosphere grid is a pretty cool idea - I'm just worried that it's a big concept to introduce and process in so short a time. (Also, we'll have to explain why he didn't try this earlier) Is there any way that the "nuclear winter" scenario might work? Any good science where a cataclysm on the moon would blot out the sun?>>

I think introducing the atmosphere grid would not take too long, as it's essentially a pretty basic concept -- a protective force field for the planet. And as for why he didn't try it earlier... I don't know. SHOULD he have tried it earlier? Have we shown Sh'Okanabo trying to put Earth in the dark before? I seem to recall a story idea where Sh'Okanabo was going to try to either move the Sun or move the Earth (can't recall which), the idea being that in doing so the Earth would be plunged into darkness and thus the Kanobos could run wild. I don't think that ever made it into a script. In any event, maybe Sh'Okanabo hadn't yet tried to mess with the atmosphere grid because (a) he wasn't ready to do so, or (b) he wasn't even aware of the possibility of using it to blacken Earth's skies -- maybe that was something that Viral recently figured out for him.
The problem with any kind of explosive event transpiring on the Moon which could affect Earth's atmosphere, in the sense that "moon dust" enters our atmosphere and causes a "nuclear winter", is that the force required to blow that much particulate matter out of the Moon's gravity well and into Earth's atmosphere would be GIGANTIC -- I think FAR beyond a simple atomic explosion... especially given that the moon is 238,857 (roughly thirty Earth diameters) miles away from the Earth. That's pretty far for a dust cloud to travel.

-- Peter


Subj: Re: TMNT Show 141 ("The Cosmic Completist") 3rd Draft
Date: Sunday, January 15, 2006 7:46:21 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the third draft of Ep. 141.

1.) Re: the following:

<Phew!> Still perfecto--
SUDDENLY a <whine> like from a dive-bombing plane. The Turtles cover their ears as the sound builds to a deafening <roar.>
*A RED-HOT ESCAPE POD crashes through the roof."

A minor point, but... an escape pod would, I think, have some kind of way of landing safely -- otherwise it's not much of an escape pod, right? I think it would be good if somewhere in here we had Don say something like "That sounds like malfunctioning retro-rockets --!", which would (a) imply that this escape pod didn't just plummet down through the atmosphere with no thought to what happens when it lands, and (b) also imply that the reason it crashes through the roof of Cody's penthouse is that its retro-rockets (which are supposed to control its speed of descent) have malfunctioned and have allowed the escape pod to go out of control. Plus it gives Don a fun little geek moment.

2.) Re: the following:

"The hatch opens. BLINDING LIGHT from within. The INUWASHI GUNJIN LEADER, battered and woozy, stumbles out.
Turtles -- help --!
The Gunjin collapses, unconscious.
SERLING, horrified, waves his hands to clear the dust.
Uh &Serling you can clean-up now if you want. "

Raph's "snappy patter" line here isn't very snappy. In fact, it's kind of dopey. Something better is called for. Here's a suggestion:

"SERLING, horrified, waves his hands to clear the dust.
(turns to Serling) Now -- aren't ya glad ya didn't start the vacuuming?"

Or something like that.

3.) Re: the following:

We re right there with you, Birdman. Raph may be a pig-headed jock with wicked B.O., but we d crawl through fire for him if he needed us!"

"Crawl through fire" is fine, but I wonder if it might be funnier if it were something like "crawl through a Triceraton septic system" instead.

4.) Re: the following:

"Donatello flies off trajectory to cannonball into Raph   they both tumble backwards.
The   bot once more zips across the cabin to stop behind Raph, who lands shell first on top of the bot, with Donny on top of him. The   bot now spins its top section quicker and quicker &Raph and Donny a green blur atop it. They <scream.>"

Is there a reason for the pack-bot to do this OTHER than dumbass slapstick? And why don't Raph and Don get FLUNG off the robot when it starts spinning its top?

But surely there are many of you? Worthless."

"Coy"? Why "coy"? Seems inappropriate.

6.) Re: the following:

(Sotto) (Keep them talking this is gonna take a while "

Leo doesn't say "gonna".

7.) Re: the following:

The Inuwashi Gunjin must be added to the other three to my collection."

I think that second "to" should be "in", as follows:

The Inuwashi Gunjin must be added to the other three in my collection."

8.) Re: the following:

"Off to the side THREE PACK-BOTS with LASER-TORCHES are engraving OUTLINES for the four Turtles and the Gunjin Leader on cards...ready to mount them. "

This may be pushing it, but I wonder if it might be funny if the "cards" on which Aramzedo means to mount the Turtles look very much like Playmates first series of backing cards for the first run of the new Turtle figures a few years ago -- these were the ones which were each topped by a large die-cut Turtle head. Could be fun... could be stupid.

9.) Re: the following:

"Raph pulls out his sais, and the others pull out their weapons.
*Pack-bots from the nearby seats let loose with POLYMER SPRAY. The firehose-impact of the goo knocks the weapons out of the Turtles hands onto the dirt!
(identical voices in unison)
Action accessories forbidden --potential risk to collection condition.
We re going to have to do this the old-fashioned way!"

Nice try... but the "gooping" of the Turtles' weapons out of their hands (and that's ALL their weapons out of ALL of their hands!) is still silly. Why not just follow up on Leo's previous line on the last page ("LEONARDO Don' t hurt them! They' re prisoners as much as we are!") and have the Turtles CHOOSE to not use their weapons, instead of having this silly "super dead-eye squirt action" bit? Raph could draw his sais, and Leo could yell "No weapons!" or words to that effect.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Show 143 ("Zixxth Sense") 1st Draft
Date: Sunday, January 15, 2006 10:34:28 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the Ep. 143 first draft.

1.) Re: the following:

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

"Zixx Sense"

Minor point -- I guess "Zixx Sense" is supposed to be a parody of "Sixth Sense"... but it so, shouldn't it be "Zixxth Sense"?

2.) Re: the following:

"Zixx acts stricken by the comment.  Leaning forward, he points at the golf bag.  
Hey, are you questioning me, Zixx, the Enigma?  I risked my stinkin’ neck to smuggle those blasters past customs.  They think I’m just here for the “Sea of Tranquility Invitational Tournament.”  
He activates a wrist remote, and the golf bag FLICKERS and fades away, revealing that it was merely a holographic cover.  He takes out one of the “clubs”, and it unfolds and expands into a large nasty-looking blaster.  KA-CHINK!  Grinning, Zixx tosses it to his client.  "

In my last set of notes on the outline for this episode, I suggested changing this bit as follows:

"I wonder if it might be a bit funnier and be a better visual if instead of the bag being a "holographic cover", the CLUBS are actually the blasters -- they look like golf clubs (however golf clubs look in the future), but when manipulated in a certain way, they TRANSFORM into lethal looking blasters."

The way it is now is kind of clunky -- I mean, why have a "holographic cover" which disguises the bag but then have the clubs transform into the blasters? I think it works best if there is no holographic cover disguise, and the bag of "golf clubs" looks just like a bag of golf clubs... but the clubs themselves can transform into the blasters that they actually are.

3.) Re: the following:

"The bodyguards draw their daggers and advance toward Zixx who strikes an awkward martial arts pose.  "

Why an "awkward" pose? Isn't Zixx a good fighter?

4.) Re: the following:

"While Raph is ragging on Donny, he waves his burrito around.  Mikey impishly picks up a bottle of HOT SAUCE and squirts a healthy dose onto Raph’s burrito."

Might be funny if the label on the hot sauce is something like "Nova Blast", implying that it's the hottest sauce in 13 systems.

4.) Re: the following:

"Suddenly, his face turns BEET RED and STEAM shoots out of his ears."

And where are these EARS on Raph? Perhaps instead sweat should pour down his forehead, and/or steam could shoot out of his mouth -- maybe through his gritted teeth.

5.) Re: the following:

"The other Turtles stifle a laugh as Raph desperately turns and plunges his head into a lemonade cooler filled with ice that sits on the counter.  SSSSS!!!"

As we all know that hot sauces don't actually radically raise your body temperature, but instead make you perceive (through the nerve endings in your mouth) the SENSATION of heat, this "SSSSS" bit is kind of silly. This bit COULD be tweaked to have Raph grabbing the lemonade cooler and desperately pouring what's in it into his mouth in a desperate move to try to alleviate the burning sensation in his mouth.

6.) Re: the following:

An experimental Matter Transmitter.  It could zap the whole meteor off to an empty sector. Voila!  No harm done."

Minor point, but I just realized -- as evidenced by the fact that a few lines later Zixx mentions the "Utrom ambassador's wife" -- that even though we haven't seen them or dealt with them yet in this season, they obviously must be around, and they must still have their Transmat technology... which if you think about it would be a great way to get rid of the menacing meteor. So why don't they do it?
Simple! Their transmat doesn't work on "dark matter". That's why we need... the "experimental DARK matter transmitter"!

7.) Re: the following:

"Meanwhile, Zixx sprints across the walkway, dodging the blasts.  When he reaches the cockpit, he turns and motions to the Turtles.  
Hey, are you coming?  
They look back and see a squad of robot guards stepping in and blocking their escape at the other end of the walkway.  The guards open fire.  
Do we have a choice?  
Donny spins his Bo Staff to create a shield, and the Turtles retreat toward the shuttle."

I think it would be a good idea if we add a line or two of dialog from the Turtles indicating their frustration with being dragged into this theft of Bishop's shuttle by Zixx. Maybe something like having Raphael say "This is just gettin' better and better!" Or, if we want to do a little nod to the most-overused line from all the STAR WARS movies, we could have Mike say "I've got a BAD feeling about this --!"

8.) Re: the following:

"In quick succession, the other Turtles deftly drop into scene beside him.  Then, after a beat, Zixx lands awkwardly on his face with a resounding THUD!"

What the heck is up with these "awkward" moments for Zixx (this one being particularly idiotic)? Am I hallucinating that in past appearances he was a deft, skillful fighter? I mean, didn't he just take out two guard-robs with one move a page or so earlier?

9.) Re: the following:

"As Raph angrily slams him up against the side of the cell, Zixx struggles to break free.  
Whoa!  Time out!  Is this the thanks I get for saving your miserable lives?  
Raph pauses, puzzled.  
Saving our lives?"

Instead of pausing and looking "puzzled", I would think a pissed-off Raph would more likely say in response to Zixx "life saving" claim something like this:

"RAPHAEL Yeah? Is that what ya call betraying us and kissin' up to that Zukko creep?"

10.) Re: the following:

"Nearby, Donny glides along the ice with his arms tucked behind his back like an Olympic speed skater.  PAN with him as he skates circles around a couple of confused goons.  Then, he skates between them, and gracefully goes into a spin.  His outstretched leg suddenly whips out and knocks them for a loop!  WHAP!"

Good thing Don was carrying those pop-out ninja SKATES with him! Ridiculous. 

11.) Re: the following:

"Meanwhile, standing back to back, Mikey is using his nun-chucks and Raph is using his fists to knock over the fallen goons every time they try to get to their feet. "

Ugh... painfully silly.

12.) Re: the following:

"When Donny skates by in the FG, PAN with him.  Another goon is chasing after him.  Donny glides left and right, but he can’t lose his pursuer.  
Then he suddenly makes a sharp U-turn.  The Triceraton can’t make the sharp turn and smashes into a stack of crates. "

More skating silliness. Please remove/rework.

13.) Re: the following:

So, I gave Zixx a fake transmitter.  It was actually the shuttle’s beverage dispenser in the transmitter’s case."

Sooo... if Don gave Zixx a fake matter transmitter... how did Zixx beam himself down to the "meteor"?
Here's a solution: Don rigged the fake matter transmitter with buttons which remotely activated the REAL matter transmitter.


Don surreptitiously used a remote control to activate the REAL transmitter at the same moment that Zixx pushing buttons on the FAKE one.

-- Pete

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