Saturday, May 26, 2012

Blast from the Past #540: March 1, 2007: Re: TMNT 145 3rd draft, March 6, 2007: Re: Show 144 Third Draft Notes and Re: TMNT146 Second Draft,

Subj:  Re: TMNT 145 3rd draft
Date:  Thursday, March 1, 2007 2:39:39 PM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine

         Here are my notes on Ep. 145 third draft script.

1.) Re: the following:

Wicked!  I got your back, Donny."

There's something kind of off about Cody referring to Donatello as "Donny" -- maybe too familiar or something? A little disrespectful? I think either "Don" or "Donatello" would be better.

2.) Re: the following:

"**The turtles join Mortu and his Utrom Guards.
Mr. … I mean, Captain Mortu?
Indeed.  It is good to find you well, Leonardo, you and your brothers.  Though I must admit surprising - it has been a long, long time!  But I am afraid this visit is not motivated simply by my desire to see you.  There is an urgent matter we must discuss…"

I'm not sure why this didn't occur to me earlier, but -- HOW does Mortu know where to find the Turtles? Obviously, from what he is saying, he is specifically looking for them because of the news about the evil Shreder Utrom. Perhaps there should be a line or two about how Mortu had heard through the "grapevine" (maybe via Bishop?) that the Turtles had mysteriously shown up in the future... OR... maybe Mortu DIDN'T know that the Turtles were still around, but instead was looking for Cody (who, as a descendant of a dear friend of the Turtles, might be a target for a vengeance-seeking Shredder).

3.) Re: the following:

Wait, so you’re sayin’ the Shredder busted out of that chunk ‘a space rock ya locked him in?!"

Minor point, but I would add the word "frozen" to this line as follows:

Wait, so you’re sayin’ the Shredder busted out of that frozen chunk ‘a space rock ya locked him in?!"

4.) Re: the following:

No response.  And the high density of ore onboard is interfering with our trans-mats making it impossible to beam directly over.  We’ll have to commence docking procedures."

Good way to solve the transmat problem I mentioned in the last set of notes. I might even add a little more "technobabble" to this -- maybe something about some special kind of radiation being given off by the ore in question which interferes with the "rematerialization matrix of the transmat" or some such. Might even be a good opportunity for somebody like Mikey to get off a "Dr. McCoy"-type line about how he doesn't want his molecules to be spread all over space. Or not.

5.) Re: the following:

The turtles (in their spacesuits UNTIL I say so) all stand on the bridge looking at the carnage and the mess."

This is probably just a typo, but I feel I should point out that they are NOT on the "bridge", but in a mining bay.

6.) Re: the following:

"<WHIR> and suddenly gravity is back on and everything (and everyone) falls to the floor with various <CRASHES>.  The non-Utroms lands on their feet.  They look around."

Just to be clear -- does "everything (and everyone" crashing to the floor include the Utroms on their floating platforms? That would seem to make little sense.
Also, it occurs to me that the spacesuits the Turtles are wearing would very likely have some kind of magnetic boots (or at least the option to turn on some kind of magnets) so they could maneuver inside a ship which has no built-in or operating artificial gravity.

7.) Re: the following:

We’re looking into that.  I’ve sent out teams to use localized scanners to search for any signs of life."

This might be a good place to reiterate the earlier technobabble I suggested re: ore radiation preventing use of the transmat aboard the Triceraton vesel. In this case, the radiation could be interfering with the Utrom scanners (and possibly a good explanation for why they don't detect the Trishreddatron).

8.) Re: the following:

Yes, the captain’s log is in near disrepair, but with a little “encouragement,” we might just be able to resuscitate it."

The phrase "near disrepair" is an odd one, especially in these circumstances (think about it). Perhaps a better way to put it would be as follows:

Yes, the captain’s log is severely damaged, but with a little “encouragement,” we might just be able to resuscitate it."

9.) Re: the following:

"**Cody tags along from behind but Serling grabs him by the shirt and stops him before he can get too far."

Not to be too anal about the details, but shouldn't Cody be in a spacesuit instead of just a shirt?

10.) Re: the following:

Wait. This last entry was two months ago … the distress signal came three days ago … it doesn’t make sense …"

Does this mean that it took two months for Mortu to become concerned enough about the possible escape of the Shredder?
Also, this thought occurred to me -- why does Mortu go all the way to Earth first BEFORE going to the site of the asteroid where the evil Shredder had been imprisoned? Do we have a good answer for that?

11.) Re: the following:

… the turtles are here, as well!  I would wonder how you are still alive, but it matters not - you soon won’t be!  The self-destruct sequence I activated on the Triceraton Vessel is counting down."

While it is certainly not a big deal, I would prefer it if we could get away from the cliche of the "self-destruct mechanism" and think of something else -- perhaps something to do with the radioactive ore on the Triceraton ship. Maybe the Shredder left a booby trap on the Triceraton ship which when activated will start a countdown to a fission reaction of the ore which will destroy the ship.

12.) Re: the following:

But worry not.  There is more than enough time to move my new ship well outside of the blast zone."

"But worry not" seems to be an odd thing for the Shredder to say, given the circumstances. I might change it a little as follows:

However, I have more than enough time to move MY new ship well outside of the blast zone."

13.) Re: the following:

Captain Mortu, what would happen if we lasered a hole in the side of your ship?
There would be a thirty-second delay as the emergency energy skin would seal the breach.
Thirty-seconds…that’s not enough time for everybody to escape.  But if we could get off – we might just be able to access the Utrom bridge and open up that hatch!  Come on!"

Actually, thirty seconds is a pretty long time. Exactly how many are there who need to escape?

14.) Re: the following:

That’s not nothing!  That’s the primary fuel line!  Aim lower!"

"Fuel line"? What... gas? Diesel? Maybe we should think of something else... like "primary star drive coolant line" or something.

15.) Re: the following:

<as though he’s nervous> Wait a second – the bridge?!  As in where the Shredder is?!
I’m afraid so, yes.
<chomping at the bit> Afraid, nothin’.  I was hoping you’d say that!"

What an odd exchange. I don't see the point of it.

16.) Re: the following:

"MORTU works the control panel as THE FIGHT rages all over the bridge as …
I think I have it!
MICHELANGELO comes at the Shredder with his nunchucks <WHIRLING> and the Shredder <RIPS> a console from the wall with his mighty strength and <SMASHES> it into Michelangelo sending him rolling back into the CONTROL PANEL MORTU is working at – it <SPARKS> and <SPUTTERS> …
Never mind."

Mortu's "Never mind" line is kind of dopey. I would prefer to see just a roll of his eyes and maybe an exaggerated, exasperated sigh.

17.) Re: the following:

Our only chance is to try and rip free!"

It should be "try TO", not "try AND".

18.) About what we are calling the "TriShreddatron" -- I'd like to get a little clarity of what, exactly, it is. It SEEMS to me from what is said in this episode that the Shredder Utrom has literally eviscerated an unfortunate Triceraton and taken up residence in the Triceraton's abdomen in a sick parody of the Utrom robotic exoskeleton layout. Is this correct? If so, fine -- it's pretty gruesome, but I like it. It does raise several interesting questions, the primary one being -- how long can this Triceraton body last in this condition? I would think not too long -- how can it eat to sustain itself?
With that in mind, I offer a suggestion for consideration -- maybe instead of the STOMACH, the Shredder Utrom takes up residence in the Triceraton's SKULL. We could have a bizarre, dramatic reveal where the Triceraton's head opens up and we see the Shredder Utrom.

-- Pete


Subj:  Re: Show 144 Third Draft Notes
Date:  Tuesday, March 6, 2007 11:42:16 PM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine

         Here are my notes on Ep. 144 third draft.

     1.) Re: the following:

Destroyed?  My data bits scattered bits across cyberspace?  I think not, boy.  You did your best to delete me…but you failed."

     I think that second "bits" is unnecessary.

     2.) ReL the following:

"*The Turtles, Cody, Splinter and Serling are with him.
You are a true Master…Master Splinter.  I am h
I think we can learn much from each other, “Master.”

     Something seems to be missing from Master Fighter's dialogue.

     3.) Re: the following:

You ready Master Fighter?
*Master Fighter looks at Mikey and grins.
As you might say…”It is Ninja Time!”"

     Not a big deal, but... as I get a little nauseous when I see the "It's Ninja Time!" line, I suggest perhaps the following change:

You ready Master Fighter?
*Master Fighter looks at Mikey and grins.
To coin a phrase -- "It's Master Fighter time!

     -- Pete


Subj: Re:   TMNT146 Second Draft
Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2007 2:25:43 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


         Here are my notes on Ep. 146 second draft.

1.) Re: the following:

Mikey pulls up to this modest store, indicated by HOLO-SIGNAGE of a TENTACLED ALIEN stir-frying happy-looking dumplings.  
MIKEY - rubs his hands together as he takes a deep whiff. 
<SNIFFFFF>Breathe in the deep fried goodness, bros! Mao-Tron's Teriaki Tentacle Tempura two-fer Tuesdays! "

I don't know if this was intentional or not, but naming this restaurant "Mao-Tron's" makes me think of a robotic Mao Tse-Tung. Maybe we could get in a few sly references to the old Chairman, like maybe the menus could look like little red books, or Mikey could say at the end of his lines above "It's like a cultural revolution... in your mouth!"

2.) Re: the following:

Um, you do remember Zixx is the most wanted criminal in the galaxy? 'Zixx the Enigma?' 'Zixx of the Black Blade?'"

Is Zixx truly THE most wanted criminal in the galaxy? Or is he just ONE OF the most wanted?

3.) Re: the following:

"Zukko gets on his trike, but spares a look back at Big Red.
Hey, Red… Give 'em one for me."

If Zukko is referring to Zixx, should that be "'im" (him)  instead of "'em" (them)?

4.) Re: the following:

"*THE TURTLES in the rafters, hiding ninja style. Leo starts to move, but Raph puts a hand on his shoulder, only half-serious…
Can't we let him get a little roughed up? Red did pay good money for him!"

Given that Raph isn't really on an affable first-name basis with Big Red, it might be more appropriate -- and maybe even a little funnier -- if he said something like "The crustacean did pay good money for him!"

5.) Re: the following:

Yeah…I think I do…"

Don doesn't say "Yeah" -- he says "yes".

6.) Re: the following:

"A SMALL SPACECRAFT lowers into frame. ZUKKO stands on the wing, a shoulder mounted BAZOOKA still trailing wisps of energy.
The TURTLES weakly pull themselves up, groaning.
He scoops Zixx 
Some friendly advice, Turtles…
He loads the unconscious Zixx into his ship and hops into the pilot's seat. The ship BLASTS OFF, disappearing into the sky…
Association with Torbin Zixx is hazardous to your health. You mess with my business again…
Leaving the GUYS open mouthed and empty-handed!
I promise, you ain't getting back up!"

This is kind of odd. If Zukko and his ship blast off, disappearing into the skies (and CLEARLY out of earshot of the Turtles), WHY is his dialogue to the Turtles continuing?

7.) Re: the following:

"MIKEY leaps away from RAPH, who looks down at his body.
It's the pudgy one! He's gonna blow!"

While the "It's the pudgy one" bit is a LITTLE funny, it's also off. We've NEVER (as far as I can remember) heard Mike (or anyone else) refer to Raph in any way, shape or form as overweight... so why now? Maybe instead of "pudgy one", it could be "ugly one" or "angry one" or "smelly one" or "irritable one", etc..

8.) Re: the following:

This how your dates usually go?
No…they usually don't try to butcher me until after they know me!"

"Butcher me" seems a bit harsh for our light 'n' happy "Fast Forward" series. Perhaps something like this:

This how your dates usually go?
No…this generally doesn't happen until AFTER they get to know me!"

9.) Re: the following:

"*MIKEY'S CHUCKS <SLAM> into the SLUDGIE'S TORSO, shattering it. The sludgie's “body” just dissolves into a lump of mud.
No need to get snarky, sparky."

Kind of a cute line... but why "sparky" for a SLUDGIE?

10.) Re: the following:

"Zukko whips out a BLASTER, but Zixx pushes it aside.
ZIXX looks sadly at the spot where the Turtles were vaporized. 
We…we pushed it too far. I never meant for them to get hurt, Zukko. It's over."

I'm not sure where this is coming from, but it seems completely out of character. Zixx clearly had no compunctions about putting the Turtles in harm's way in the earlier scenes, so this doesn't make much sense.

-- Pete



  1. I know these drafts never went through any more phases into production but did the writers ever read your notes if you don't mind me asking?

    1. Hard for me to say with great certainty -- I think they did, but I can't be sure. -- PL