Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blast from the Past #556: January 2, 2008: Re: No Subject, January 3, 2008: Re: TMNT - 162 Outline, January 7, 2008: Re: TMNT156SomethingWickedFINAL, and January 11, 2008: Re: TMNT159

Subj: Re: No Subject
Date: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 6:52:48 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 1/2/08 3:21:40 PM, Lloyd writes:

"Hey Pete –
 First, thanks for having me up for the annual Mirage Yankee Swap festivities.  As always, it was great to see you and the guys.
 Now onto your favorite subject in the world – the dreaded sub-branding line for this next season of Turtles. 
 The time has come to make a decision once and for all. 
 As I reported previously, Playmates wants “The Return of Shredder.” 
 While I don’t hate that, it feels weird to slap that onto the show or sing it in the main title. 
 Previously, you listed the following as possibilities that “don’t make you puke:”
                         TMNT: Cybernauts
                         TMNT: The Search for Splinter
 “Cybernauts” isn’t a terrible idea, but that’s only one part of what’s going on this season.
 I don’t think search for Splinter works for the same reason I don’t like “The Return of Shredder” -- too specific a focus.
 On the list of possible sub-branding lines that I originally sent out we also proposed “TMNT: Back to the Sewer.”  I’m really starting to lean towards this one, and here’s why: 
 a) it’s broader than the others (an envelope that can encompass any and every thing we do this season)
 b) it says they’re back (from the future)
 c) and it talks to the idea that they need to be secretive again (hiding underground as opposed to Fast Forward’s out-in-the-open-Turtles).
 I think “Back to the Sewer” can really work.
 Let me know your thoughts.  If you agree (or if it doesn’t make you puke) I’ll run it by Playmates.
 Hope you and the family had a great holiday.
 Happy New Year!


I was happy you could make it up for the Yankee Swap -- it's always fun to have you there!

As for the sub-branding, I could live with "TMNT: Back to the Sewer". It didn't make me puke!

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT - 162 Outline
Date: Thursday, January 3, 2008 10:03:45 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

P. Laird comments on Ep. 162 outline "Superquest"

1.) Re: the following:

"Entering Cyberspace is tricky enough, but entering a video game? Well, that’s even more complicated. Says Don:  

“This will be different from going into cyberspace.  We’ll be stepping into a game world with clearly defined rules.

A minor point, but when Don says “This will be different from going into cyberspace", it seems to imply that going into this video game ISN'T going into cyberspace... when in fact it IS. A minor word change could fix this, perhaps as follows:

"“This will be different from going into the parts of cyberspace we're familiar with.  We’ll be stepping into a game world with clearly defined rules.

2.) Re: the following:

" (Note: Let’s do whatever we can to sell this as a game world, not reality.  E.G, things could look blocky and pixilated, especially up close; include heath bars over player characters; use video game sfx, etc.)"

With that in mind, maybe there could even be "product placements" in these scenes, perhaps signs for "SuperQuest" itself.

3.) While reading this part of the outline, I am remembering some similar stuff from the old "Battle Nexus" episodes, specifically how Raph and Mike related to each other. I wonder if it might be fun to throw in a quick line to reference those earlier episodes.

4.) Re: the following:

"(Note: when players in the real world speak into their headset, their characters speak in the game – but with a different, character appropriate voice.)"

So... does this mean the Turtles speak in different voices also? That could get confusing.
Actually, there could be a fun gag in this idea -- when the Turtles first show up in the Super Quest world, they all DO speak with different voices, to the GREAT annoyance of Raph, who is saddled with some kind of goofy, squeaky voice to fit his court jester persona. Raph begs Don to do something about it, and Don is able to use some tech gizmo he has with him to reset the programming affecting them so that they will speak in their normal voices.

5.) Re: the following:

"Says Mikey: “You know, you’re not such a tool, after all.  And you’ve got some mad skills.”  Says the Elf: “Yeah, you too.  Who knows in the real world I might even consider you a friend.”  Mikey: “See ya around, Elf.”  Elf666: “Yeah, see you--” ON THAT, FLASH TO REALITY TO REVEAL: HUN!  He’s at a computer, playing SuperQuest, speaking into a headset, finishing Elf666’s dialogue: “—around, White Knight.”"

This is kind of interesting but also kind of odd. Isn't Mikey obviously a Ninja Turtle while in the game? And if so, wouldn't Hun see him as such? And if that is true, WHY would Hun want to help him?
Perhaps for this "surprise reveal" of the player behind Elf666 we could use another character from a past episode, someone who would WANT to help Mike and the other Turtles. April? Angel? Silver Sentry? Nano? The Fugitoid? Serling?

-- Peter


Subj: Re:   TMNT156SomethingWickedFINAL
Date: Monday, January 7, 2008 12:42:57 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

P. Laird comments on Ep. 156 final "Something Wicked"

1.) Re: the "handheld devices" that Don gives the other Turtles and which create the "X-Runners" in cyberspace -- are these going to be ATTACHED to the Turtles in any way (clipped to belts, slung over shoulders, stuck on armbands, etc.)? The reason I ask is that if they are JUST handheld, they are is great peril of being lost by the Turtles during their battles in cyberspace.

2.) Re: the following:

Turtles.  I learned that you were still alive … but I had not expected to see you here. 
No joke!  What’s a nice villain like you doing in a place like this?"

Mike's "nice villain" line here sounds a bit off. I know it's a play on the old "What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?" line, but "nice villain" just sounds weird to me. I would either eliminate it entirely, as it's not really necessary, or rework it somehow... maybe as follows:

No joke!  What’s a villain like you doing in a nice place like this?"

3.) Re: the following:

Last we heard you were crated off to some far-off asteroid with zero chance a’ parole!
Poor pathetic fools, you should have learned by now that nothing can stop the Shredder!"

Given that the creation of this "back-up copy" of the Shredder HAD to have been created by the Shredder prior to his trial and subsequent banishment by the Utroms to that frozen asteroid, doesn't it seem odd that this version of the Shredder doesn't even react in the slightest to what SHOULD seem, to him, like a bizarre comment on Raph's part? I mean, THIS version of the Shredder is an older copy with no knowledge of those events.

4.) Re: the following:

"THE CYBER SHREDDER is still <FRYING> Raphael when he looks to see … LEONARDO coming right at him on the X-Runner - faster and faster …
Until at the last second, the Cyber Shredder must disperse or be slammed.  Shredder <VANISHES> into a cloud of digitized energy."

I don't know if it is possible to do this, as I don't remember exactly how the Turtles look in the X-Runners (i.e. how they pilot them), but as I was reading this I though it would be cool -- and more threatening-looking -- if Leo could be brandishing one or both cyber-katanas as he is rushing toward the Shredder on his X-Runner.

-- Peter


Subj: Re: TMNT159
Date: Friday, January 11, 2008 11:17:15 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

comments on Ep. 159 Identity Crisis first draft

1.) Re: the following:

The turtles have long vexed me!  But, there time has come."

Spelling alert! "There" should be "their".

2.) Re: the following:

I have found a way to bring about their doom once and for all!  But first, they will suffer!  They will suffer great humiliation and pain.  They will serve me at my leisure … and then, when I have tired of toying with them, you will finish the four of them off, Khan!"

Is the Shredder using a dangling participle here ('finish the four of them off")? Would it be more properly grammatical to say "finish off the four of them"?

3.) Re: the following:

"THE CYBER PORTAL <POWERS> up/into existence as …
… Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael face it.  Donatello steps into FRAME to join them …
All right, let’s hit it."

A somewhat minor point, but "let's hit it" sounds a bit too slangy for Leo, and more like something that would come of of Raph's mouth. I suggest just having him say "let's go".

4.) Re: the following:

Why?  Shredder ain’t around."

It should be "the Shredder".

5.) Re: the following:

"MICHELANGELO is looking over the edge.
Uhm guys, is Cyber Space supposed to be doing that?
MIKEY’S POV – Something strange is happening is Cyber Space.  A wave DARK ENERGY is coming at them … a black wave … almost the opposite of cyberspace … a POWER DRAIN …
WIDER DOWN ANGLE - The strange menacing wave <RACES> at the peak where the four turtles are.  It’s coming from all sides.
VARIOUS SHOTS OF – The energy is coming up the sides of the mountain.
THE TURTLES are trapped on the peak as the …
… MASSIVE POWER DRAIN WAVE is coming up at them faster and faster.
Donny, I think now would be a good time to leave.
I couldn’t agree more.
THE DARK WAVE of power drain is coming up at them … getting CLOSER AND CLOSER …
MICHELANGELO is looking over the peak’s edge.
Can we leave a little faster?!
THE DARK WAVE is coming on FASTER AND FASTER <SURGING> upwards towards the turtles and …
… COMING RIGHT AT CAMERA filling the FRAME with darkness obliterating everything as we go to …"

While there is no doubt that this would be dramatic and very visual, it also strikes me as having little or no connection to the idea of a digital//cyber "virus", which I believe was the original concept. Such a thing would, I think, be less obvious and more insidious, sneaking up on the Turtles instead of bowling them over like this.
One idea that occurred to me would be to have the Turtles' cyber vehicles pick up the virus as they zoom along -- almost like real tires picking up nails -- and slowly begin to "infect" the vehicles. By the time the Turtles have rescued Splinter's data bit and start back home, the infection of the vehicles is complete and now passes into the riders. This could also be a cool visual, as the vehicles could start to freak out and malfunction in dramatic ways.
Another idea -- which I kind of like but am not sure if it'sa good precedent to set -- is that the Shredder creates a false, "poisoned" Splinter data bit to lure the Turtles in and thus infect them with his virus. But that presumes that the Shredder knows what the Turtles are looking for in cyberspace, and I don't know if we want that to be so.

6.) Re: the following:

What happened in there?! 
STRAIGHT ON – THE FOUR TURTLES sit up (in unison).
I was so worried.
You okay, guys … guys?
WIDER AS – The four turtles stand in unison and, without looking at either Casey or April, they move out the door.  The turtles have a glassy-eyed look on their faces.
Are you four feeling all right?
No response.
CASEY AND APRIL share a look.
The four turtles come out into the night …
… followed by Casey and April.
Yo, guys, wait up.  Where ya goin’?
But, with the glassy-eyed look on their faces the four turtles come right at CAMERA …
REVERSE ON – The four turtles move away from CAMERA, leap into the trees and disappear into the shadows.
WIDER – Casey and April look stunned.
They’re gone."

I think it might make this scene a little creepier if, when April first asks if the guys are all right, they could all -- in unison -- turn their heads in her direction, give her a creepy kind of forced smile, and all say in unison the same thing (something like "We are fine, April")... and then get up and leave.

7.) Re: the following:

… knocking out GUARDS …
… <BLOWING> up safes …
ON THE PILE OF MONEY and bags of loot are before Khan.  The CYBER SHREDDER is there in a HOLOGRAPHIC PROJECTION.
All is working as planned, Master Shredder.  The turtles are our slaves.
Good!  Put them to work until they have exhausted their usefulness … then, destroy them.  Nothing can save them now.  <Evil laughter> …"

I still think it would be more logical -- and interesting -- for the Shredder to send the mind-controlled Turtles after the Purple Dragons rather than waste their incredible fighting abilities doing relatively silly things like rob banks, steal jewelry, etc.. But this more pedestrian stuff MIGHT work if it was emphasized that the Turtles are being used this way in large part to humiliate them. In fact, it might be good to have a line or two where Master Khan asks WHY the Shredder isn't sending them up against the Purple Dragons, and the Shredder could make his reasons clear.

8.) Re: the following:

April and Casey are on the bike both looking back.
That was a little random.
Not random enough.  Something very strange is going on."

These LINES are "a little random"! Pretty goofy stuff for Casey and April to be saying after being viciously attacked by the Turtles. How is almost being killed by your friends "a little random"?

9.) Re: the following:

I am going to thump you upside the head if you make anymore of those inane jokes."

Don wouldn't say "upside the head". Raph might.

10.) Re: the following:

"A HOLOGRAPHIC image of THE SHREDDER is projected before Master Khan.  Master Khan bows to it.
Once they have retrieved the weaponry, destroy them."

This is very dramatic, but it does not make much sense. I made the comment some time back that if the Shredder were in fact able to render the Turtles so vulnerable, he would immediately have them killed so as to eliminate forever a perpetual threat to his schemes. We decided NOT to go in that direction, which is fine, but there seems to be no real reason WHY he wants them to be killed now. What has changed? They have not demonstrated, as far as I can tell, any ability to break free of their mind-controlled state, and certainly have not outlived their usefulness. It would make more sense to have a REASON for the Shredder to now take this approach. Is he afraid that his control over them won't last? Are there any indications that the Turtles are fighting that control, and might possibly overcome it? That might be interesting.

11.) Re: the following:

Which means, that if we can somehow trigger a memory, a strong memory, a favorite memory in the turtles subconscious mind, that should help break the virus’ hold on their brains and the virus should simply vanish.  We just need imagery and a way to project it."

I think that should be "the turtles subconscious minds" (plural).

12.) Re: the following:

The weapons cache is in that abandoned warehouse.
It’s always an abandoned warehouse.
What is?
Donatello thinks about it confused.
I don’t know."

Don's lines here don't make much sense to me. I think the writer is trying to indicate that Don's brain isn't working as well as it would if he were not "infected" with the cyber-virus, but the way he's chosen to do it doesn't really fly, at least in my opinion.

13.) Re: the following:

"WIDER – He looks down at Casey about to be skewered by the sais … and takes the sais away.
Casey, what the heck are you doing?!  You should be messing around with weapons like this.  You might get hurt."

Raph's lines here are really silly and inappropriate.

14.) Re: the following:

… how you knew what memory would trigger Raphael?!  I did a ton of research and even ran a computer algarhythm to determine the best memories to use.
Mikey just smiles.
Yeah, sure, violence was a good choice … but being cruel to me, that’s one thing Raph’ll never forget."

First, it's spelled "algorithm".
Second, I think we should try to find another way to express the "being cruel to me" concept, one that doesn't sound so harsh... something to reflect the real affectionate nature of Mike and Raph's relationship.

-- Peter


  1. I find it kind of odd, when the Turtles first meet Cyber Shredder in Something Wicked, they think he's the same Shredder as the Utrom Shredder, despite the fact that they saw the two fighting each other in the future.

  2. Hi Peter: That Superquest episode is my favorite from the final season of the show.