Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blast from the Past #544: April 6, 2007: Re: TMNT 150 2nd Draft, Re: TMNT 150 2nd Draft and Re: TMNT Show 152 Outline

Subj: Re: TMNT 150 2nd Draft
Date: Friday, April 6, 2007 12:48:43 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

notes on Ep. 150 second draft

1.) Re: the following:

"WENDELL'S POV ON SERLING: Serling, still six-inches tall, walks along the sidewalk, hand to head, disoriented.  The Toy Soldier, the same size as Serling, draws near...

CU ON SERLING: collecting his bearings...

SERLING'S POV: The Toy Soldier, looking MASSIVE, is heading straight for him, banging its drum, seemingly on the attack! 


*TWO SHOT: SERLING AND TOY SOLDIER.  Serling runs away!!"

While this works okay as is, I wonder if it might be more visually interesting and serve as a way to show WHY Serling has such a great appeal to the toy collector Wendell if, instead of screaming and running away, Serling defends himself against the windup toy soldier and maybe even smashes him to pieces (Serling is, after all, a robot capable of may things, INCLUDING being "Turtle X").

2.) Re: the following:

They'll destroy me if I don't do something.  But what?  Blast them to atoms?  And risk altering the future?  I can't."

Can Serling "blast them to atoms"? I mean, does he have a hidden atom blaster we've never seen before?

3.) Re: the following:

C'mon, Raph, give him back -- I wanna play with him!  Gonna have a tea party and everything!"

A "tea party"? Why does Leo want to have a "tea party"?

4.) Re: the following:

Hey, where are you goin'?!"

If this were the teenage versions, I would say "Leo doesn't say "goin'"." But because these are the Turtle Tots, I'll let this one (and a few others in this script) slip by.

5.) Re: the following:

Ugh, I seem to have short circuited.  Initiating self-diagnostic.  Hm. <EXERTION GRUNTS>

Serling tries to raise his arms - they hover - and collapse.

But nothing else!  I'm helpless!"

Serling's line "But nothing else!" seems a bit odd, or incomplete. "But nothing else" what? What exactly is happening here? Do his arms work, and nothing else? Or can he only briefly raise his arms, and nothing else?

6.) Re: the following:

Welcome to Wendell's World -- New York's flag-ship peddler of kiddie-toys.  <LAUGHS> Clap-trap kiddie-toys, compared to you...A shadow falls over Serling."

This must be a mistake, as I doubt "A shadow falls over Serling" is meant to be part of Wendell's dialogue.

7.) Re: the following:

Quite frankly, I've been waiting to get my hands on you -- all my life!

WIDE ON ROOM TO REVEAL: an elaborate toy making workshop, with conveyor belts, power tools, and raw materials of plastic, steel, nuts and bolts. All meant for the manufacturing of one thing: Serling!

A multitude of monitors display images and schematics of Serling, as if one were attempting to make a Serling of their own.  And all about, we see the results of that effort: SERLING-ESQUE TOYS! Lots and lots of mutated versions Serling, in various shapes and sizes, and in various states of completion but all recognizably him. 

But at long last, the wait is over! <CACKLES>

ON WENDELL as he activates a terrifying hydraulic POWER DRILL suspended over the metal table.  <BRRR!> Its blade SPINS!

Now, let's see if we can figure out what makes you tick..."

I'm still not loving this bit, but at the very least we need to make it clear that Wendell has spent many years trying to figure out what Serling was and how he worked (and failed), and now that he finally has Serling in his possession, he now has the "real deal" from which he can extract the information he needs to reproduce Serling...

... or does he? It might be interesting, albeit maybe not necessary for the sake of this story, to show that once Wendell actually starts to examine Serling closely, he realizes that the technology that Serling contains is WAY beyond his capacity (after all, Serling was made 100 years in the future).

8.) Re: the following:

"CRANE TO A DOWN SHOT ON MIKEY ON THE FLOOR PIANO: Mikey hops from key to key -- playing the classic five note opening theme to "2001: a space odyssey!" <DAA-DAAA-DAAAA--DA-DA!>  And suddenly, the FLOOR beneath the piano swings open - revealing a SECRET STAIRCASE!  Mikey tumbles down the stairs! "

This is still, for several reasons, as silly as it was in the outline. I really don't see the point of it.

9.) Re: the following:

"*ON MIKEY: pinned to the floor by tons of tiny Bots, crawling up his legs, arms, chest.  Cable wire extends from their finger tips; they're tying Mikey down like Lilliputians in Gulliver's Travels."

WTF?!!! This is ridiculous.

10.) Re: the following:

"Suddenly: <HEAVY, METALLIC SOUNDING FOOTSTEPS> draw near.  The ground SHAKES <BOOM! BOOM!> jostling the Tots as...

WENDELL - inside a SUPER SERLING-ESQUE TOY BOT BATTLE SUIT - slowly emerges from the STAIRWELL to his secret lair.
CUT TO THE TOTS - they <GASP!> CUT TO SERLING (at the water gun) - he <GASPS!>

*DRAMATIC ANGLE ON WENDELL IN BATTLE SUIT - his exposed head sticks out from a domed chest plate.  His left arm capped with a tremendous cork gun; his right with a humongous boxing glove.  And on the soles of his feet, coiled, bouncy springs.  He <SPROINGS!> toward the TOTS – CORK RAISED - and FIRES:"

From this point on, this story just gets worse and worse, going from inanity to inanity. Very disappointing. I like the attempt at a lesson about obsession and possessiveness at the end, but this stuff with the "SUPER SERLING-ESQUE TOY BOT BATTLE SUIT" and the "giant cork gun" (??!!!??!!) is really painful to read.
Also, it is STILL extremely preposterous that none of the Turtles would remember the look of Serling from when they met him as Turtle Tots, but Splinter would. It makes little to no sense. I think this is a classic example of "writing oneself into a corner".

-- Peter


Subj: Re: TMNT 150 2nd Draft
Date: Friday, April 6, 2007 12:50:11 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

Just one more thought about this episode: I think with the steup of the toy guy and his secret toy lab and his desire to make great toys, we missing an opportunity to have some somewhat self-referential fun, in this vein: After the fighting with the toy robots is over, and Wendell gives up his obsession with Serling and his plan to make lots of Serling toy duplicates, perhaps one of the Turtles (I'm thinking Mikey) starts feeling bad for Wendell and suggests "Hey -- maybe you could make toys based on US!"... to which Wendell will reply with some of the things that people actually said when Mark Freedman was first trying to sell the TMNT to various companies ("Green doesn't sell!" and so on).

-- Peter


Subj: Re: TMNT Show 152 Outline
Date: Friday, April 6, 2007 1:21:48 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

notes on Ep. 152 outline

1.) Re: the following:

"At the Pan Galactic Alliance Great Hall, it is an exciting day.  The Peace Conference that Splinter had been helping Bishop with has finally come to fruity."

This is one of those typos/misspellings that got me laughing. "Fruity"? I believe the word is "fruition".

2.) Re: the following:

"At the Mall, Criminals scatter out of the prison ship, breaking things, stealing things, and generally causing a real panic at the mall.  But there’s something up.  Two criminals fall next to shadows.  What’s going on?"

Yes... what is going on? It's not made clear here. Is this Mike striking from the shadows? If so, then why a few lines later do we have this:

"From above the mall –

Michelangelo: “Beware, Evil Doers!  You now face the wrathful wrath of the Turtle Titan!

3.) It seems pretty odd that we don't see the Turtles and Splinter from the time that they are sucked into the prison ship until the moment when the prison ship is in the river and they escape with Mike's help. What have they been doing in the meantime? If Triple Threat is smart/resourceful enough to find a way to escape from the prison ship, would it not stand to reason that the other three Turtles and Splinter would too?

4.) Where are the Peacekeepers all this time? I would think a prison ship taken over by convicts would get their attention.

5.) I'm not loving OR hating this story, but it is missing something. RIght now, it just feels like a lot of running/jumping/falling down with no real purpose.
It occurs to me that perhaps something interesting might be done with the whole "peace settlement" thing. As Triple Threat's silly "list of evil things to do" never really feels all that threatening (more annoying and "accidentally dangerous"), perhaps the REAL threat here could come from the two sides whose diplomats have been kidnapped. Each side could think that it is a plot by the other, and they could be preparing to mobilize their forces (maybe they have a few warships in Earth orbit) to start fighting, and that's what provides the real motivation for our heroes to straighten things out... and Triple Threat and his gang's slapstick-criminal antics just complicate the matter.

-- Pete


  1. Hey Pete! I apologize that this question isn't related to this thread, but I have a question for you. All science aside (I don't necessarily believe in Astrology by any means) which element do you think fits each Turtle best? I have the 4 pegged as:

    Leo, water
    Don, earth
    Mike, air
    Raph, fire

    Did you and Kevin ever think of this concept or talk about it? Just curious. Thanks!


    1. I don't recall any such discussions. -- PL