Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blast from the Past #597: November 7, 2002: Re: Utrom Office Buildings!, and November 10, 2002: Episode 25 premise and Episode 20 second draft script




Subj: Re: Utrom Office Buildings!
Date: Thursday, November 7, 2002 9:03:29 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 11/6/02 8:08:18 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hi Peter -

How ya been?

I have a few things I'd like to discuss with you (perhaps on the phone
tomorrow).  First, I'd like to talk with you about how you see the
interior of the Utrom office building (beyond/in addition to what we see
in the comic) and why the Utrom have constructed it the way they have.
I'd love to have this conversation tomorrow (12:30).

Second, believe it or not, I'm supposd to start working on the next 26
episode story arc for "TMNT season two!"  I have some ideas, plus there
are some stories that we've already discussed (i.e the Triceratons, the
Fugitoid, etc.), but I would love to know if you have any favorite
stories, characters, ideas, comics to direct me to, etc. I'd love to
know.  Put on your thinking cap and maybe we can get into this next
week.

I'm also awaiting your blessings or condemnation on the final draft of
18, the revised script of 19, and the model for Don's room in the Turtle
Lair.

I'll give you a call tomorrow.

Thanks Pete!

Lloyd
  >>

Lloyd,

I've gotten a little behind in my reading, but I plan to get caught up tonight (Thursday) and get you some comments. (Actually, I just read the final drafts of episodes 18 and 19, and they seem fine. Though I wonder -- is there any significance to the beast young Raph rashly fights  [in #19] being a crocodile as opposed to an alligator?)

The model for Don's room looks fine.

As for the Utrom's office building, the idea that I had back when Kevin and I did issue #4 of the original comic  series was basically that the transmat device which the Utroms were building took up a large space in the core of the building, with offices and corridors built around it to fool the casual visitor into not realizing it was there. 

Next year's arc --- yahhhh! I'd like to see some more of the comic stories adapted (like issue #15 with Dr. Dome and the Domoids, among others). We should probably have another sit-down meeting to hash out this stuff. Need a break from NYC?

I just read the outline for Episode 24 ("Lone Raph and Cub") and the best thing I can say about it is that it has a cute title. There's probably a good/fun/cool story to be told about Raph and a little kid -- this isn't it.

--Peter

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Subj: Episode 25 premise and Episode 20 second draft script
Date: Sunday, November 10, 2002 5:36:00 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

Lloyd,

I've read the Episode 25 premise and Episode 20 second draft script and here are some comments:

---------------------------------

Episode 25 premise "Aliens Among Us Part 1"

1.) Due to this odd backwards progression of stories, I'm still waiting to see what exactly happened in the Shredder's "abandoned and battle-damaged" HQ -- but I am wondering why, even if the Shredder was defeated, the Foot would so totally abandon this HQ.

2.) Are the guards in the TCRI building humans or Utroms in human disguises?

3.) Do the Turtles know that the Guardian has gone into the TCRI building? It's unclear here. If they DO know, then there needs to be something else said in this story about what a bizarre coincidence it is that this Guardian is going into the same building with the mysterious -- and significant for the Turtles -- TCRI logo on it. (And speaking of which -- shouldn't the building actually HAVE a TCRI logo [like most corporate buildings do have] and not just the words Techno Cosmic Research Institute? Then Don wouldn't have to scratch the logo with a rock, instead just pointing at it and saying something like "Look! Look at that logo!")

4.) In the "Casey creates a diversion" scene, when the guard says that TCRI doesn't make toasters, I thought it might be funny to have Casey turn the toaster over to display a TCRI label... which the guard then sarcastically points out is homemade and crudely done to boot (Casey scrawled the letters on a white stick-on address label with a Sharpie pen). Also, perhaps the first thing Casey smashes with his bat -- once he goes into his manic "diversion" -- could be the toaster.

5.) I think it's kind of a cheat to on the one hand have both the Turtles' tracking bug (that they put on the Guardian) and the Cam-Shell fail to work properly through the TCRI building's jamming system, but April's "mini Shell-Cel earpiece radio" is conveniently "extra-boosted" so it will work through the jamming. One wonders why they didn't "extra-boost" the Cam-Shell.

Actually, it's unclear to me WHY we need this jamming thing at all. It might make more sense that the Turtles continue to receive the signal from the location of the TCRI building, indicating that the Guardian is in there, so that we don't have the problem of logic arising from this situation -- i.e., if the Turtles are so intent on finding Splinter through the help of this Guardian guy, wouldn't they forgo the investigation of the TCRI building and concentrate on finding the Guardian? Isn't the fate of their sensei more important?

If we went in this direction (i.e. no jamming AND the Guardian in the TCRI building) the scene with the Cam-Shell also works fine -- it broadcasts back the information that the Turtles need to get inside, but it can't go any further due to either closed doors or the danger of it being discovered. This way, there is no problem with April later sending her "all clear" signal.

6.) I have to say I'm not too crazy about the bit with the huge "transporter relay dish" popping out of the side of the building  and knocking Mike and Don off their "perch" (whatever/wherever that is). It kind of goes against the whole idea that the Utroms want to remain inconspicuous -- to have a huge transporter relay dish which can pop out of the side of their building seems pretty attention-grabbing. (In the original comics, none of the actual transmat machinery is situated so it can be seen from outside -- it's all concealed in the center of the building. And I think it stands to reason that you wouldn't really need an exposed relay dish for a matter transporter, which I assume like all matter transporters in science fiction has the ability to beam things THROUGH other things.)

I also would really like to have the instant photo/pigeon puppet bit that Don does in the original comic book (issue #4) be part of this entry into the TCRI building -- I have a soft spot for that bit of silliness. And if there needs to be a cliffhanger ending for this episode, why not have it be on the first "reveal" of an Utrom, which can happen once the Turtles get inside the TCRI building?

----------------------------

Episode 20 second draft script "The Monster Hunter"

1.) Pg. 4: I don't think we really need "funny domestic violence" between April and Casey (re: the scene where she whacks him in the head with a mop, for no apparent good reason). She should just give him a REALLY dirty look.

2.) Pg. 5: "Bales" (as in "bales of hay") is spelled wrong ("bails"). Also, should the line about Leo which reads "His left arm is in a sling and having bandages around his chest." actually read "His left arm is in a sling and he has bandages around his chest."?

3.) Pp. 7-8: There seems to be an extraneous "and" in Dr. Finn's line which starts on page 7 and concludes on page 8: "If the Green Man is in these woods... and, I will bring him down." Also, I just thought of this -- is it too much of a weird coincidence that the Dr.'s name is "Finn" and her assistant is revealed later to have a "fin"?

4.) Pg. 15: It seems illogical to me that the hardware in a chamber designed to be flooded with intensely cold liquid nitrogen would also be vulnerable to that same substance, thus allowing Don to use it to effect their escape. My suggestion: Have one of the two Turtles have a bottle of water or a soft drink (might make sense for Mike, as he is eating the probably-salty nuts). Don grabs this, and pours it over/into the lock mechanism on the door, THEN directs the flow of liquid nitrogen from the broken pipe onto the lock. The rapid freezing action of the water, as it turns to ice and EXPANDS, quickly breaks the lock apart and allows the Turtles to escape. They can still kick the door open for effect, if desired.

5.) Pg. 16: Dr. Finn says to Steve "These footprints are perfect!" Perfect what? Are they a particular shape she is expecting? Or are they just perfectly formed in the dust or frost or mud or whatever they are formed in?

It occurred to me that it might be cool (no pun intended) to have Mike lose a little bit of (non-vital!) foot skin on the metal floor of the trap (because of the intense cold from the liquid nitrogen), and have Dr. Finn discover this, then rapidly analyze it in one of her techy gizmos on board her truck, thus giving her even more conclusive proof that something truly strange and non-human is lurking about. And it might be a fun bit to see Mike putting a little kid-style band-aid on his foot later. (Maybe even put in a throwaway line -- when Mike is complaining about it -- that it's a good thing his tongue didn't touch the floor. Remember that great scene in the movie A CHRISTMAS STORY when the kid touches his tongue to the metal flagpole?)

Also, Dr. Finn's "Whatever, Steve." rejoinder to his comments about whatever escaped from the trap being big and pretty smart seems odd to me. I would think she would take greater notice of this fact. Actually, her whole character is very odd and inconsistent.

6.) Pg. 18: I don't think there should be a question mark at the end of April's last line on this page ("Very funny, Jones?").

7.) Pg. 19: I would suggest changing Casey's line "Right after the store burned..." to "Right after my dad's store burned..."

8.) Pg. 27: Dr. Finn's line "I putting the SORTIs into taser mode." should read -- I think -- 
 "I'm putting the SORTIs into taser mode."

9.) Pg. 28: Steve says "Is it alright?" As far as I know, "alright" is not a word.  We should use "all right".

10.) Pg. 36: The resolve of this story re: the character and fate of the monster-obsessed Dr. Finn is very flat and unsatisfying. What exactly does Steve do to her? The description of her and him in these lines:

EXT. A ROAD – PRESENT
Steve drives as Dr. Finn sits in the passenger seat looking FREAKED out and disheveled.  Steve smiles to himself 

        … is pretty creepy, and not in a good way. SOMETHING needs to be done with her character to keep her from pursuing the monster (in this case, one of the Turtles... although it's unclear to me if she actually ever saw the sloth-thing, also) which she has encountered here (otherwise her obsessed, driven nature as demonstrated earlier in the story makes no sense).

If we keep the "Steve is a monster" thing (which I think is a neat twist, and would vote to keep it), perhaps a more satisfying wrap-up would go something like this: Steve IS a "monster" -- that is, he is a non-human humanoid, whether with fins or without, whatever. One of his peculiar "monster" characteristics could be strange, hypnotic eyes which allow him to mesmerize Dr. Finn and convince her that the "monster" that she thought she saw was actually either just a bear or moose or some local yokels dressed up in a homemade "monster" costume to have a good joke on the stuck-up monster doctor. He reveals this to the Turtles... and at the same time sadly reveals that the reason he does this -- and he's done it many times, in many locations -- is that he is searching for others of his species, and as he has little in the way of resources to do so, he has "piggybacked" onto Dr. Finn's program, which allows him to go all over the world searching, as well as PROTECTING -- by using his ability to "wipe" Dr. Finn's memories --the innocent "monsters" that they actually do turn up in their travels.

Also, one of my pet grammar peeves is on this page, where April says to Casey "Don't try and think..." Aarrgghh! It's "try TO think"!

That's it from me for now! 

--Peter

2 comments:

  1. that would have been a fun angle on the Dr.Finn story. But i also like how it went down as aired. this is one of my favorites if only because it was something a bit different from the usual fair :)..

    I also enjoyed lone raph and cub. The kid could have easily come off as annoying, but thought it was handled rather well..

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  2. Hi Peter: I think the Abigail Finn story was well done and has humor in it.

    Why did you think that Tyler (the boy from "Lone Raph and Cub") should be Japanese?

    About Japanese names you could search a list of them. Tochi, I think it's a last name. Hiro and Kenji are Japanese first names.

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