Friday, August 31, 2012

Blast from the Past #585: July 4, 2002: Re: FW: NAMES OF VEHICLES and Splinter turnaround roughs, July 10, 2002: TMNT Episode 7 revised premise and Mouser sketch, July 11, 2002: new designs, and July 12, 2002: recent designs comments

Date: Thursday, July 4, 2002 12:11:11 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Gary Richardson


For the Turtle Phone -- how about the "Shell Cell"?



Subj: Splinter turnaround roughs
Date: Thursday, July 4, 2002 12:16:01 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


The Splinter turnaround roughs look pretty good except for one big mistake which actually made me chuckle when I saw it -- the tail coming through the hole in the back of the robe! Splinter's tail should really come out from under the bottom edge of his robe in the back.



Subj: TMNT Episode 7 revised premise and Mouser sketch
Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 2:34:23 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I like the revised Mouser sketch more... I think it's pretty close. I'd like to see what it look like from the rear.

The revised premise for Episode 7 -- "The Way of Invisibility" -- is much better but still not quite there. Here are some comments...

1.) I'm glad the "stealing turtles from pet shops as bait" thing is gone, but I'm not totally convinced about the new graffiti angle. Although I think it would be fun to play with that "Raph and Casey egg each other on" thing, the upshot of it is the same as if they had just gone up aboveground looking for some Purple Dragon heads to bash -- they get in a fight, the Purple Dragons delay them until the Foot Tech Ninjas can be called, and they take out Raph and Casey. In which case, I wonder if we even need the whole "bait" angle. I think I'm still bothered by the idea that our heroes -- even goofballs like Raph and Casey -- could take graffiti insults so seriously that they would deliberately walk into an obvious trap as the result of such an obvious and juvenile provocation.

Actually, just as I was typing that, I wondered if it would work if we kept the graffiti angle but tweaked it a bit -- instead of Raph and Casey taking it so seriously, they see it as a stupid, pathetic attempt to get their goat. But Casey gets the idea into his head that to show whoever did it how stupid they think it is, they should "tag" the Purple Dragons' graffiti with their own counter-graffiti, and he goads Raph, who's at first reluctant to go against Splinter's admonitions. Eventually Raph can't take Casey's taunting anymore, and the two of them go up, find an example of the insulting turtle graffiti, and start spraypainting over or near it things like, I don't know, Purple Dragons in tutus or something. THAT'S when the fight as described in this premise could start.

2.) I think we need to establish -- somehow -- that even a crushed Shell Phone can still be used as a source for a tracking signal. It might also help to have a line for Raph which helps to explain why he scoops up the broken Shell Phone and takes it with him.

3.) As is, I don't think this premise makes it clear enough that the reason Don couldn't track Raph's Shell Phone signal is (as we discussed on the phone) because the place he's being held is somehow shielded or constructed in such a way that it blocks the Shell Phone tracking signals. Also, in this premise it says Don can track Raph with a device "... he's cobbled together." That gave me the impression that it's something he just whipped up on the spot, which I think is not right -- he should have made this gizmo some time ago, for this very purpose. 

There is also a bit that didn't feel right to me, where Casey shows Don a piece of circuitry from a Foot guy and Don "... gets to work trying to calibrate a scanner to it's frequency". (Huh?) I thought that Casey would just describe what happened and Don would figure out that the Foot are using some kind of cloaking technology, and that the best way to counter that would probably be the heat sensor goggles.

And i was wondering if it might be more fun if when Raph escapes, he doesn't discover that he's on a grungy barge -- but instead some kind of super fancy passenger yacht. We might get some laughs from the reactions of some of the society swells who are partying on this yacht, and it might even be fun to have Saki there in a cool tuxedo (with Japanese design hints) and a couple of hot babes on his arms... and looking like that Raph would pay him no mind, but we could have a great LOOK moment as Saki watches Raph escape... a wicked evil smile playing across his features.

4.) I think it's a bit much that (even with the advantage of Don's heat sensor goggles) the turtles defeat the Tech Ninjas "... with almost comic ease." This should be more of a struggle for them. And I was wondering if it might be cool to emphasize the level of ninja "vanishing" skill that the turtles have -- that while their heat sensor goggles counter the cloaking devices of the Foot Tech Ninjas, their own non-techy ninja skills of concealment, blending in, and disappearing allow them to finally defeat the Tech Ninjas.

5.) I'm unclear how the Foot Tech Ninjas get "... washed away into the river..." Is this the result of one of those regular raging sewer floods?

Talk with you soon!



Subj: new designs
Date: Thursday, July 11, 2002 1:21:11 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I got a bunch of figure designs today, and have a few comments. 

1.) Donatello's bo staff should have one set of leather wraps only in the middle of the staff, not two sets (on either end).

2.) The diagonal belt across Leonardo's chest should be flipped, so that instead of running from left waist to right shoulder, it goes from left shoulder to right waist. If we need some kind of release point, I think we can come up with something that looks better. Also, I'm not crazy about the big metal ring in the center of Leo's chest -- I'd lose it. And I'd like to get the leather wrap detail in the scabbards if possible.

3.) Depending on the needs of the scene or story, I think it's fine if we allow Mike and Raph to stick their respective weapons in their belts behind their backs, though for most purposes having the weapons up front will serve us better to identify those two turtles.

That's all for now.


P.S. I got a note from Sarah at 4Kids about a faxing problem (it was an empty cartridge in my machine) with the rough designs for the Purple Dragon Gang from Episode 1, which I do not have as of this writing. But I suppose I'll get them tomorrow. 


Subj: recent designs comments
Date: Friday, July 12, 2002 12:39:35 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I got a bunch of faxes of designs today and thought I'd give you a few comments.

1.) Don's staff looks much better.

2.) I like the fact that Leo's cross-chest scabbard belt doesn't have the big metal ring in front, but it's still crossing his chest in the wrong direction. Also, my copy of the revised design still has a comment about "sword harness is a single strap connected to a steel ring in front" -- is it safe to assume that's just a leftover from the previous iteration which should have been erased?

3.) I don't know why this didn't pop out at me earlier, but it did tonight -- looking at the drawings of Saki and the Shredder, they look like they are two different people: One muscular and broad (Shredder) and one significantly less so (Saki). The difference isn't SO radical that we can't make it work in the show, and I'm not suggesting that we redraw either design. However, it did make me wonder -- should we have them actually BE two different (exoskeleton) bodies? Why couldn't our little evil Saki Utrom have both a Saki AND a Shredder body? If we did allow this, I could see it making for some cool eerie scenes -- for example, a big battle between the Shredder and the Turtles ends with him getting his head (or arm, or leg, or whatever) cut off... yet later, his Foot minions see him back in the Foot HQ as Saki -- COMPLETELY UNHARMED! Just a thought.

I haven't read the script for episode 5 yet... hope to do that tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blast from the Past #584: June 18, 2002: Splinter sketch, June 26, 2002: Outline for NanoMonster, and June 30, 2002: comments on Ep.1488-001 (4th draft) and Ep. 1488-004 (1st draft)

Subj: Splinter sketch
Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 10:45:58 PM
From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine


It's "Snake Rat"! Seriously, when I first glanced at this sketch I thought "What's Splinter's head doing on a snake's body?" because of the strangely stretched-out and thin way his body is drawn. 

I did a little Photoshop tweaking of the sketch and am attaching the result to this email. Basically, I widened his stance, thickened his waist, shortened his torso, strengthened his chin, and added a bit more of a "ruff" to his neck. I think the eyes need some work, also.

Talk to you tomorrow.



Subj: Outline for NanoMonster
Date: June 26, 2002
From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine


I am attaching to this email a Word document, the outline for the "Nano-Monster" story which I have re-jiggered and tweaked a bit to try to have it make more sense (well, at least to me!) and a bit more -- as Bruce Lee said to in ENTER THE DRAGON -- "emotional content".

I'm about to head downtown to do some stuff, and will try to call you from the office to discuss this and other stuff.

Speaking of other stuff, I got the drawings you faxed me of the Sewer Sled and Sewer Bike designs and I am underwhelmed. The Sewer Sled now seems to be going in some direction almost completely counter to what we had been discussing (not to mention it's freakin' HUGE -- those must be some pretty big sewer tunnels they'll be riding that sucker in), and the Sewer Bike, which -- while not completely horrible -- is apparently without any viable suspension (note the one inch or so of ground clearance) and has a spindly spoked front wheel which looks like it would collapse if you breathed hard on it.

Talk to you soon!



Subj: comments on Ep.1488-001 (4th draft) and Ep. 1488-004 (1st draft)
Date: Sunday, June 30, 2002 11:27:20 PM
From: Peter Laird
To: Lloyd Goldfine


I read the latest scripts (Ep.1488-001 (4th draft) and Ep. 1488-004 (1st draft)) and have only a few comments. I haven't heard from Gary yet -- he may have some also.

Ep. 1488-001:

1.) Pg. 6: Splinter says to the turtles that they must work harder "... to become ninja..." Aren't they already ninja? Perhaps he should say "... to become true ninja..." or something like that.

2.) Pg. 37: "Ladle" is spelled wrong ("ladel"). Also, I wonder if in this scene set in the Shredder's "throne room" there should be some guards in Foot uniforms in the background.


Ep. 1488-004:

1.) Pg. 6: Should Casey have multiple TV sets in his apartment, all tuned to different channels, as in the comic book?

2.) Pg. 11: "... Casey ANTICS back..." Huh? Odd use of the word "antics" here (and on page 15). Is this some kind of animation writer shorthand?

3.) Pg. 14: "You're" is misspelled as "your" in Raph's first line.

4.) Pg. 26: The "What language is that? "Nitwit?"" line sounds more like a Raph line than a Don line.

5.) Pg. 27: The "broken tape/record" gag is kind of weak. As is, it makes Splinter sound stupid. I would either eliminate it entirely, or have the exchange go like this:

...I do not wish to sound like a broken record...

What's a record?

Never mind. Go on, Master Splinter.

6.) Pg. 33: Instead of Raph saying "A wise... er... man once told me...", I think he should say "My... father... once told me..." I think it resonates nicely with Casey's previous mention of HIS father.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's the king's birthday!

Just a few minutes ago I was reminded that today is Jack Kirby's birthday… and I know I've used this already in a blog post, but I think it deserves being posted again.

Happy birthday to the king of comics! -- PL

Blast from the Past #583: June 14, 2002: comments on outline for Episode 1488-06 "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" and vehicle designs, and June 18, 2002: Re: Faxing new models and Episode 1488-003 ("Attack of the Mousers") script second draft and Episode 1488-05 ("Nanotech!") Outline

Subj: comments on outline for Episode 1488-06 "Darkness On The Edge Of Town"
Date: Friday, June 14, 2002 12:45:11 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:           Lloyd Goldfine


Just finished reading the improved outline for Episode 6. Here are my few comments (haven't heard Gary's comments yet):

1.) "Project" is spelled wrong in the first paragraph. ("... science porject...")

2.) I think "reverie" (i.e. "daydream") in the third paragraph is not the right word here.

3.) One thing about the confrontation in the museum I'm not clear about -- are the Foot guys armed with weapons they've picked up in the museum, or are these weapons they've brought with them, or both? Also, the Foot guy who uses the vibrational sword against the turtles -- should he do this on purpose or by accident? The reason I ask is that I wonder if the Shredder would have instructed his underlings in the martial uses of this sacred object... or would he keep that special knowledge to himself? I have this vision of a shot where the turtles are kicking butt and getting closer to the guy who's got the sword, and he nervously swings it wildly at them -- and the Turtles (to their great surprise) all get knocked on their asses by the sword's shockwaves.
The mission of the Foot in the Museum also seems a bit haphazard as laid out here. They ARE there specifically to get that special sword, right? The way it goes down it's almost as if the Foot guy who picks up the sword does so almost by chance. Maybe it's just the shorthand of the outline form, but I think it should be made clear that getting this sword is the purpose of the Foot's invasion of the Museum.  Perhaps the sword is in a special bullet-proof (or otherwise tough as heck) display case which requires some kind of special tools to break into, and the Foot guys also have with them a purpose-built carry-case for the sword. While a couple of Foot specialists do the actual stealing of the sword, the rest of the Foot take up defensive perimeter support positions.

4.) I like the glider thing, but as I read it I started thinking "How did Don test this thing out... in the sewer?" Perhaps it would make for some fun bits to have Raph or Mike ask him how he knows it's going to work right, and Don assures him that he's worked out all of the theoretical aerodynamics, etc... and when he jumps off the roof, at first he does all kinds of scary bobbles and weaves and flips before he gets the hang of it. Of course, while he's floundering around, back on the rooftop, Raph is yelling something like "Nice theory, Fly-Boy!"... or something actually funny.

5.) It didn't bother me when I read it in the first draft, but this time around the sudden "deus ex machina" appearance of Splinter in the big battle scene on the ship did bug me. It seems somewhat out of character for Splinter to come up out of the lair to help the Turtles in a fight. And why this fight? He didn't even know the Turtles were leaving, let alone where they were going. And by doing this, are we setting a bad precedent whereby whenever the Turtles get in a jam, we can just have Splinter show up to save their asses? I think if we have Splinter appear, there should be a good, specific reason that he does -- not just that he wants to help the Turtles out.

6.) Back in the sewer after saving the sword, "Splinter suggest that perhaps his sons should take his warnings about the Foot more seriously next time." What warnings were those? I thought Splinter didn't say ANYTHING about the Foot (specifically -- I know he forbids them to go after the Foot after the Museum thing, but that seems like more of a general "Don't mess around above ground" kind of warning... and as written he just FORBIDS them to go -- he doesn't actually WARN them about anything) to the Turtles, and in fact was quite secretive about what the Foot symbol meant.

7.) Re: the final scene -- would it be better/scarier/creepier to have the hapless Foot guy hanging above the barrel of ooze, or to have him tied down, perhaps in some oddly shaped container/mold, with the ooze poised to pour onto him (a la James Bond on the table in GOLDFINGER)?

That's all I've got!



Subj: vehicle designs
Date: Friday, June 14, 2002 12:46:27 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Gary Richardson


Given the problems we're having with the designs for vehicles for the new show, I'd like to see if we can get our vehicle master artist (Jim Lawson) involved in this design process, if he is interested. Do you remember what he got paid for this kind of stuff in the past? I'd like to get him started ASAP.



Subj: Re: Faxing new models
Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 12:11:25 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/17/02 6:18:46 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hi Peter -

I'll be faxing you NEW rough turtle models and one in-progress SewerSled a
little later tonight.   It's important that Chuck Patton, our new designer,
and I speak with you early tomorrow.  I'll give ring at 12 noon.  If there
is a better time to reach you, just e-mail me and let me know.

Hope you had a happy Father's Day!



Maybe you should call around 12:30...?

I got the faxes. The SewerSled drawing is the best yet, but paradoxically it also illustrates (to me, anyway) the pointlessness of those extendo arms. They're just not working for me.  What exactly do they do again (other than take up storage space and add complexity and weight)? It seems like all they can do is, when extended, press against the walls of a tunnel of the right size and allow the SewerSled to essentially ride through the very center of the tunnel, in mid-air as it were (not sure WHY they would need to do that),  and/or do a kind of spiraling 360 degree motion similar to an amusement park ride (again, not sure why that would be a good thing, considering that if they're doing that to evade something in the tunnel, the body of the sled itself will only be -- CAN only be -- halfway between the floor and ceiling of the tunnel, and if they're upside down, the top/center arm will be on the ground, vulnerable to hitting whatever it is that they were trying to avoid). I would suggest eliminating these extendo arms and instead use the more practical and dramatic idea of using the speed of the SewerSled and centrifugal force to allow the turtles to do quick evasive moves up and around the interior of sewer tunnels, much like those circus daredevils who ride motorcycles in the "Sphere of Death" or "Cylinder of Doom".

The turtle figures are interesting, and the details are more in line with what they should be. Not sure I'm loving the "micro-beaks" and big chins on the turtles, though. The belt sashes are way too long, also.

Talk to you Tuesday!



Subj: Episode 1488-003 ("Attack of the Mousers") script second draft and Episode 1488-05 ("Nanotech!") Outline
Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2002 9:31:18 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I read both of these and have some comments. (Incorporated herein are some comments from Gary.)


Episode 1488-003 ("Attack of the Mousers") script second draft

1.) Pg. 5: "too" is spelled "to" in Mike's line "... but I'm talking to much."

2.) Pg. 6: Mike says on this page (re: April) that "This is the first human we've ever talked to." Do we want to establish this as stated... or do we want to leave it open for any future flashback-type story which might tell the tale of how the turtles encountered humans before this episode with April? If we want to leave it open, we could easily change Mike's line to something like "We don't have much practice talking to humans".

3.) On page 8 -- can we make Mike's MP3 player an iPod?

4.) Pg. 26: Instead of using the word "booted" when April says "Booted out", I would suggest "locked" or frozen". In computerese, "booted" usually refers to a program or system being started up.

5.) Pg. 35: Although they've just watched each other's backs in a shared adventure, and we know they are going to be fast friends for life, I'd like to see a little more awkwardness and tentativeness right now in these scenes with April and the turtles, as they kind of feel their way in this new and unprecedented relationship. (I mean, April's already calling them her "best friends"! I think that while she has calmed down since first seeing them, and she knows they mean her no harm, she's still a bit freaked out by them.) Also, I don't think April should put her hand on Splinter's shoulder -- it just seems too familiar a gesture, especially at this point in time, and especially with Splinter, who I see as being somewhat more aloof, private and dignified than any of the turtles. The same thing can be accomplished by her just looking at him.


Episode 1488-05 ("Nanotech!") Outline

1.) Overall, while I think the basic idea of this story is fine, it feels very weak in the rationale behind the Nano-Monster's actions. The old "artificial being yearns to be human" bit can be effective (STAR TREK: TNG got lots of mileage out of it with the character of Data), but I think to work it has to make sense. You could believe that Data, made by a human in the image of that human, with programming which allowed him to act nearly human, would want to try to make that final step and BECOME human. What would motivate our cloud of nano-robots to have a similar interest?

2.) I think if we go forward with this concept, we have to agree what kind of nanotech we are talking about here. My sense is that the writer is using the common perception of nanobots as "assemblers/disassemblers" of matter at the atomic level. These tiny robots could literally strip matter down to a pile of atoms and reassemble it into nearly any form (as long as you had the right kind of atoms). If this is so, then we need to adjust some of the stuff that happens in this story. For instance:

-- Atomic-level nano-disassemblers would have no trouble getting out of any kind of container -- they would simply attack it at the atomic level, and take it apart bit by bit. You might have to posit some kind of programming inhibition against disassembling the material of the container or incorporate some kind of non-physical (i.e. force/energy field) restraint.

-- Nanobots of this capability would be able to shape themselves into any form they wanted -- not merely kludge bits and pieces of junk into rough forms. (Unless, of course, there is some kind of limit imposed on these kind of creative actions by the nano's programming.) The mask that the Nano-Monster likes could be broken down and the features animated through atomic manipulation.

-- Nanobots of this type would not have to be "superhumanly strong" to break into locked stores -- it could simply (and quickly and silently) disassemble the locks at the atomic level.

3.) Given the above, I think the Nano-Monster's escape from the lab scene needs a lot of work, as do many of the following scenes of Nano-Monster action. 

4.) I don't buy that April is bummed-out because she can't find a job -- as smart and capable as we have pictured her, I don't think she'd have much trouble finding another job. I would instead suggest that she is a bit "gun-shy" of looking for work right away, given what happened with her last employer, the psychotic Baxter Stockman... and she's using the Second Time Around shop as a kind of therapy.

5.) Does the Nano-Monster's final form have to be so big (three stories high)? And if it "... starts to destroy April's antique store...", how much does it destroy, as in the final scene we have her opening the store for business the next day.

6.) Do junkyards have steel-melting furnaces? Perhaps we should set this last scene somewhere else, like a steel mill.

7.) If we keep the setting of the climatic ending battle as a junkyard, I wonder whether it might be a good idea to make the Nanotech be vulnerable to magnetism. This would then set up a situation for using one of those neat giant junkyard magnets to swing the crushed Nano Monster over the furnace -- or even to magnetically "suck" the Nanos out of the Monster.  On the other hand, this would mean someone, a Turtle, Casey, April, would need to be more directly involved in the "killing" of the Nano-Monster.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Blast from the Past #582: June 10, 2002: Re: Premises, outlines and lists... oh my!, June 11, 2002: Comments on TMNT script 2 draft 2, and June 13, 2002: Re: Some new designs are comin' down the pike...

Subj: Re: Premises, outlines and lists... oh my!
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002 9:00:43 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/9/02 11:13:16 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hi all -

Attached please find a revised outline for TMNT episode 4, and proposed
rough premises for episodes 5 and 6.  Lastly, you will find a list of
“Turtle-lingo” ideas complied from several sources (Mirage, Playmates, 4
Kids) for discussion purposes – it is unedited.

Awaiting your feedback –

Lloyd >>


I've read over the above-referenced material, and have a few comments/suggestions.

Re: Episode 5 premise:

1.) What exactly IS a "Nano-Intelligence"? And rather than having it "escape" from the lab, what if it is deliberately released by its inventor/creator as a "real world" trial to see how it can react/survive outside of the lab? He could later realize his horrible mistake, and by way of making up for that mistake provide April and the Turtles with the key information about how to defeat the Nano-Intelligence (I'm not real crazy about the whole thing of April seducing the info out of him in a restaurant).

2.) Instead of having the Nano-Intelligence break into April's store to get at one porcelain mask, what if she has a display of half-a-dozen or more masks in her window? A wider variety of mask types might make for a cool bit where the Nano-Intelligence has to choose from among various expressions/attitudes in the masks.

3.) The ending is ... okay. But I would suggest this as an alternative: Instead of leaving Harry the hood back where he began, what if instead we make it a redemptive moment -- he is shocked out of his bitter, pointless, lowlife existence by the "death" of his "child", as it perishes in the flames screaming "Dadddyyyyy....!"
And to make it even more corny and sentimental (and you know how much I love that stuff) -- we could make the creator of the Nano-Intelligence a single, science/career-obsessed woman, who is also shocked out of her tunnel vision view of life by the sad fate of her nano-"child"... and in the end she and Harry get together to make a real child (later and off-screen, of course). Awww!


Re: Episode 6 premise:

1.) This is not specifically a comment about this premise, but seeing as Hun plays a small part in this, I thought it was a good time to mention this idea I had a few days ago about Hun: Would it be interesting, future story-wise, to make part of Hun's backstory that he was once a prominent member of the Purple Dragons?

2.) Don is said to have "...his computer monitoring the city's power grid...". I read this to mean that he somehow has installed his own monitoring devices to keep tabs on the power grid, which -- if I'm reading it right -- I think is a bit much. I would suggest instead that he has actually just hacked into the computer network which runs and monitors the city's power systems.

3.) Wouldn't the "... blazing beam of energy coming from a high-tech cannon-looking device..." kind of defeat the Foot's purpose (stealth and hiding) of creating a blackout? How about this -- the waves from the cannon (being sound waves) are actually invisible to the naked eye (except perhaps up close, so we get some visual drama), but Don has rigged some kind of viewer which can "see" the sound waves as light waves.

4.) It seems odd to me that the Foot would so casually abandon their "vibrating sword apparatus", after going through so much trouble to create it -- I suggest that they actually fight to   keep it, but they must choose between continuing the fight and maybe getting caught by the authorities, or getting away safely with their "strangely glowing barrel". The scene can still play out as is, with the Turtles defusing the "vibrational bomb" -- except that maybe instead of the sword being destroyed, the Turtles get to take the sword back home with  them.

5.) Why is the Shredder so interested in "ordinary toxic waste"?

6.) I appreciate the idea that we want to hold back some information for drama's sake, but Splinter is being REALLY annoying with his reticence in this episode.


Re: Episode 4 Outline "Meet Casey Jones"

This second draft outline is greatly improved.

1.) When Raph grabs that "wicked looking table leg", perhaps it can have a big gnarly-looking bolt through it.

2.) I'm not sure if this would be too weird -- right now it seems kind of cool to me. What if Casey leaves some kind of "calling card" at the scene of his "victories" -- something like a crudely drawn hockey mask framed by the words "CRIME SUCKS!" (or something like that). I thought this could be a fun bit and a useful visual in the scene where the Turtles see the TV reporter doing the story on the car radio thieves who were beaten up (page 2) -- she could hold it up and say something about cards like this being found at other incidents where petty criminals have been beaten up.

3.) On page 4, when the mysterious large hidden door hisses open, perhaps there's a momentary nasty smell from the fact that the air sealed inside for so long has become stale and foul.

4.) On pages 4 and 5, instead of Raph insulting Casey with the line "You must have been sick the day they were handing out good looks", he says something like "When you fell out of the ugly tree, you must have hit every branch on the way down!"

5.) On page 5, when Casey hooks Raph's leg with his hockey stick and takes him down, I was thinking it would be fun if Raph gets flipped on his back and spun around really fast on his shell.

6.) On page 7, for the motorcycle scenes we should be sure Casey and Raph are wearing HELMETS! And for the scene where Raph forces Casey's bike to do a stoppie and flip him off, he should flip off at a point when the bike has slowed almost to a stop, so we don't get the idea that Raph wants to KILL him.

7.) On page 8, I don't like the bit with the guys holding up cards to rate Leo's kick (where'd they get those cards?). Instead, I suggest this: Casey and Raph (not Don and Mike) rate Leo's kick by holding up all their fingers. Leo, a bit miffed, says to Raph "Hey! Only a SIX?!" And Raph replies "Bro, it's all I've got!"


Re: TMNT Lingo-isms

1.) There are only a few of the "lingo-isms" which I would eliminate completely, as follows: "I  feel amphibian again", "Black is beautiful and green is gorgeous", "Plunger Power", "Dag!", "What's Cookin' -- Turtle Soup", "Don't Mess... With the Mutes", "It's Time! Citizens", "It's 4th and One. Call in the Turtles", "It's Whoopin Time", and "Color You Green".

2.) To the sizable list of "shell" words, I would add:


(I'm sure there are thousands more possible.)

3.) I've never heard "Doy!" -- maybe it's regional slang. But the usage seems to be the same as the more common "Duh!"

4.) To "Meta-Cool!" I would add "Metab-O-Cool!" and "Meta-Coolistic!"

5.) Here are tweaks to some of the lingo-isms:

Raise some shell!
You fight like an amphibian!
I'm short, green, and rarely seen!
Time to apply some Turtle Whacks!
Mean Green Smackdown Machine!
Gear up for a smackdown!
It's Thrashin' Time!


I also took a look at the drawings of the armored car you faxed me. I like them all. My main issue with  this vehicle is that I think it would be great if we could keep a lot of the wild stuff -- like the rocket launchers -- hidden until needed, at which time a panel opens and the device flips up and locks into position. That way we can have a vehicle which MOST of the time could be driven around without attracting undue attention, but at other times could be ready for all out Turtliffic Action (which makes for a cool toy)!

By the way, should I be sending my comments to the huge list of email addresses that are in your message?



Subj: Comments on TMNT script 2 draft 2
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 11:55:12 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I read over the second draft of the second episode script ("A Better Mousetrap"), and liked it a lot. I have no comments beyond that!

Gary did have a few comments, including some typos which I didn't catch, and a few suggestions for dialogue changes which I don't feel strongly about either way, so will leave it up to you to incorporate them or not. Gary made his comments in a word document, which I will attach to this email.

I got the faxes tonight of the sewer sled sketches and must say I'm not too excited by any of them. I'm thinking that those "extendo-arms" may turn out to be problematic, design-wise, and might have to go. We'll talk.



Subj: Re: Some new designs are comin' down the pike...
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002 11:38:49 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd,,, Garymirage

In a message dated 6/13/02 9:52:43 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< I like your sketch (though I'm not sold on the "Turtle Grin" headlights).  I did send you some other sketches to discuss; nothing great, but just trying to see if the wheeled-arm thing could work.

Also sent you a couple of roughs by a new design guy - he needs direction, but I feel he has the design chops we're looking for.

Speak to you tomorrow around noon - one -ish!

Thanks Peter,

Lloyd >>


About the "Turtle Grin" headlights -- I'm not so terribly enamored of them, but if they are done with a certain amount of subtlety (i.e so the headlight lenses don't actually look like teeth), I think they could be a cool/fun design element. There are a number of new sport bike-style motorcycles which have similar headlight shapes, which may be why I sort of like them. But I'm certainly not married to them if there's something better.

I got the faxes, and I have to say the SewerSled is looking more and more like something General Dynamics or Raytheon would build... which is not bad PER SE, but it just doesn't have that funky Turtle garage-built feel yet. Actually a couple of the designs (Rough #9 Version D (battle mode), and Rough #2 version B) might provide the basis for interesting vehicles in the underground city story.

The Turtle Cycle designs, on the other hand, are bad... and I don't mean "bad" as in "good"... the one which would have the Turtles riding on their KNEES (!!!???) being the worst. (Even though somebody snuck in a "Planet Racers"-style front end on one drawing!) I think this low-slung manga/cruiser/chopper look is all wrong -- it should be a more dirtbike/supermotard (which is basically a dirtbike with lower fenders and street tire)-style rig, which is not only more flexible and practical, but also gives us an opportunity for some extreme "freestyle motocross" action.

Now on to the figure/character drawings. Why is it that all new artists feel the need to change established and iconic details unnecessarily in our characters? I just don't get it. If they were drawing Superman, would they change the style of his chest "S", give him a crewcut, and make him wear sneakers?

I think a directive should go out to any and all artists employed on this project that they should NOT do stuff like change the shape of the kneepads, give the Turtles gloves or leg wrappings, etc., and instead concentrate on getting a cool STYLE for the new show. I like these drawings, but only as drawings. I don't like a lot of the details. Leo's face in the full-body shot has a ridiculously tiny jaw and a tiny, bizarre, birdlike beak. If I am reading the art properly (and given that these are faxes and not the best way to present pencil sketches, I may not be), the use of the mask to "denote a 'nose'" as shown (i.e. a nose shape underneath the mask) seems really silly. I also don't get the "sumo knot" approach to Mike's mask... but that may be because the drawing is unfinished to the point that no difference from the regular style mask is readily apparent.

As for the Shredder... that's not the Shredder. It might make a neat design variant for a "Future Shredder" or a "Demon Shredder" or an "Other-Dimensional Shredder", but it's not THE Shredder. I would suggest again that the artist concentrate on STYLE as opposed to detail.

One thing I DO like in the two Turtle drawings is the overall posture and attitude of the Turtles.

Talk to you soon!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blast from the Past #581: June 4, 2002: Re: FW: TMNT Vehicles, and Re: Opening of TMNT 4 (Casey Jones) plus b.g. art, June 5, 2002: Re: Script #2, notes on second episode script, and more on script for Episode 2

Subj: Re: FW: TMNT Vehicles
Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2002 10:32:33 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/3/02 3:02:41 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Guys -

Here are some toy designs from Playmates Toys.  They want to know how close
or how far they are from what we're doing.

I think that their Armored Vehicle isn't too bad, though I think we want
ours to be slicker, more "aerodynamically altered, slightly more dangerous
looking (as opposed to their rounded feel), and we talked about adding an
extra set of wheels to the back.

Their cycle looks rugged, but that's about it.  We're not going to be adding
cute little turtle motifs to our stuff.  Also, the whole bike needs to feel
more "kluged together" from different pieces that weren't originally made to
go together.

The SewerSled they came up with might be a nice base for us to build on.  It
needs room in the back for cargo (or for a second turtle to hop on), and if
we stick with the idea that it rides the sewer walls, we also need to add
wheeled suspension arms.  And again, it should look like it's made from
disparate pieces.

That's it from me!

LLoyd >>


I pretty much agree with your comments here. The armored car design looks a lot like what we had come up with during the design process when we were working on the proposed CGI show.

As for the Sewer Cycle and the Sewer Sled, the basic designs I think are pretty neat, though I agree with you that for the show, we should drop the "turtleistic" stuff like the shell-patterned gas tanks, etc. (I do like the headlights that echo the classic TMNT "grin", though.) 

Extra seating space for the Sewer Sled could be simply achieved, I think, by making the saddle a dual rather than a solo one, and you could add cargo space just by extending the rear end by pushing the motor section further back. (Of course, we have to watch how LONG this thing gets. Would it make ANY sense for the Sewer Sled to have some kind of flexibility/hinge in the middle to give it more versatility in maneuvering through tight turns in the sewers?)

These designs could be pretty easily "reverse-engineered" to look more like they're made from found pieces, for the look we want in the show.



Subj: Re: Opening of TMNT 4 (Casey Jones) plus b.g. art
Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2002 10:51:25 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/3/02 10:40:46 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< HI Pete –

Here’s a quick question (hoping for a quick reply before our writer goes too

Could Raph lose his temper and hurt Mike as a result of sewer-skateboarding
hi-jinx, or do you think it works better as a sparring thing gone out of

Lemme know,

LLoyd >>


I like the sparring thing better, but maybe the skateboard thing could work -- I just have nothing to judge that by right now.


P.S. By the way, I like the background art that you guys just sent us. Cool!


Subj: Re: Script #2
Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2002 12:14:47 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Gary Richardson

In a message dated 6/3/02 6:25:15 PM, Gary writes:

<< Also, in scripts 2 and 3 I have a couple of times been confused regarding
whether the turtles or a turtle in a particular scene are wearing their
bandanas.  I think the writers need to do a better job of noting this stage
of dress, and my feeling is that the Turtles should generally wear their
bandanas and only occasionally should one or more of them be "naked".  What
do you think about this issue.

Later, Gary. >>


I agree that more attention should be paid to this. One of the things I hope to do in the comic is to get the turtles out of their costumes/gear when it is appropriate (I mean, really, they can't wear that stuff ALL the time!). When the Turtles are really kicking back in the lair (i.e. taking a bath or shower, eating meals, watching TV, etc.), they should probably NOT have their bandannas on.



Subj: notes on second episode script  (1488-002)
Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2002 12:18:48 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


In general I am pleased with the script for episode 1488-002, "A Better Mousetrap". Of course, I have some comments!

1.) Pg.4: "Sensei" is misspelled as "Sansei" here and in a couple of other places in the script.

2.) Pg. 5: Of the turtles, Don and Leo use the least slang. Thus, I think Don would say "What's the matter, Mikey" instead of "'smatter, Mikey?" "'smatter" sounds more Raph-like.

3.) Pg. 6: This has bothered me for a while. How quickly, exactly, does Don "whip up" the Sewer Sled (which, rough as it is, is still a pretty substantial and complicated piece of machinery)? The way he says "I whipped up a little something to help 'em haul more stuff back from the old lair" makes it sound pretty casual and quick... and haven't they been in the new lair just a few days? Would it make more sense to change this line to indicate that instead of just "whipping " something up from scratch, he has actually just FINISHED an old project which was almost completed?

4.) Pgs. 7-8: At the bottom of page 7, in Splinter's line, "dissect" is misspelled as "disect". However, I really don't like this line of his or the following one on page 8... they don't sound Splinter-like to me. I would lose them.

5.) Pg.10: Why would Don called the Mousers "killer toasters"? Aside from the fact that they are mechanical, there's nothing remotely toaster-like about them. I suggest finding another euphemism.

6.) Pg. 11: At the bottom of the page, between the words "about" and "have" there seems to be something missing in the line "Only about have the windows display any data."

6.) Pg. 16: The Shredder calls Stockman "Dr. Baxter".

7.) Pg. 17: Raph calling Leo "brown-nose" in this context bothered me... I suggest finding another name for Raph to call him.

Mike's "Check out the big brain on Donnie Boy!" line is extraneous and kind of lame -- I'd lose it.

Leo lets Mike and Don go, whereas he had tried to stop Raph. What is up with that? It does seem kind of weird that he's so opposed to Raph leaving that he's willing to fight him, but Don and Mike come up and he not only blithely lets them go, but goes with them. Something else is needed here.

8.) Pg. 19: The "loogie swallowing" bit made me ill. Plus, another "toaster" reference!

9.) Pg. 20: Instead of "the dude in red and blue tights", can we just say "Spider-Man"? "Too" is misspelled in the next line.

On this page, the Mouser just suddenly starts chomping after Don has said he fixed it so it couldn't. What happened to the jolt of electricity thing (from the third rail) which scrambles the mouser's programming that had been discussed earlier?

10.) Pg. 23: I like the fact that the Turtles are wearing and using their "climbing claws", but it seems REALLY implausible that they could use them to crawl along the tunnel ceiling.

11.) Pgs. 26-27: There is still some confusion in this subway car(s) scene. How fast are these cars going? If the Mouser can be said to have "clawed onto the last car", it would seem they were moving at a snail's pace. Yet earlier on the page, a car "speeds past" the Turtles. How exactly does the Mouser get on the car? Does it leap onto the car, clinging on with its claws? I  still kind of like my idea that it walks up the subway tunnel wall and drops down like a spider onto the top of the car.

12.) Pg. 28: "How'm I gonna" just sounds too slangy and "street" for April. She doesn't talk like Raph.

13.) Pgs. 29-32: Something weird happened here to make the meeting of April and the Turtles, when they save her from the Mousers, strangely anticlimactic. Why do they save her, then she runs off without really seeing them, then they fight some more with the Mousers, then April stumbles upon the Turtles? Very clunky. It seems a simple matter to rearrange the action so it is not only less awkward and more exciting but closer to the original "classic" meeting. 

And Leo's "We can help you, ma'am." line is truly gack-worthy! I'd lose it.

All in all, I think this one only needs small changes to make it ready to go.

-- Peter


Subj: more on script for Episode 2
Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2002 10:20:28 PM
From: From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I got a little confused here and didn't get to see Gary's comments before I sent you mine, and I thought I'd pass along several that I thought made some good sense -- I'll just copy and paste, below, the places where Gary made changes in boldface within the script. And just in case the boldface doesn't survive its translation from MS Word to AOL's email format, I will put brackets [  ] around Gary's comments.


on page 3

He may not look like much, but this tin toy can chomp his way through steel and concrete like a stale rice cake. [(Alt. Like Michelangelo though a pizza, or like something through something.)]


on page 6

When I find out who built those home-wreckin' robo-rats… [(Alt. robo-roaches)]{I think Gary's correct in pointing out here the oddness of calling the Mousers "rats" when that is in fact what they hunt and what Splinter is. -- PL}


on page 23

I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.  [(This line doesn’t seem quite right for the context, but I don’t have a suggestion at the moment.)]{I agree to some extent... also, it's SUCH a cliche line nowadays. -- PL}


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blast from the Past #580: June 2, 2002: Re: Episode 4 rough outline, June 3, 2002: Re: Episode 3, and June 4, 2002: Re: 26 episodes, no waiting!

Subj: Re: Episode 4 rough outline
Date: Sunday, June 2, 2002 11:02:11 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 5/30/02 10:49:02 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Howdy all –

Attached please find the first rough outline for TMNT episode 4 in which we
meet Casey Jones for the first time!  The outline needs a “logic-polish,”
but I think you’ll see that this episode is gonna be a lot of fun!

As always, comments asap are greatly appreciated!


Lloyd >>


There's some cool stuff in this outline, but it felt kind of flat to me. Hard for me to articulate why, exactly. Maybe it's because it take a lot of the interesting one-on-one Casey/Raph stuff from the RAPHAEL comic "micro-series" and turns it into a more generic "four turtles and Casey" story. Also, a lot of the heart of that story is missing, specifically the motivations and character development.  Anyway, here are some comments:

1.) Pg. 1: Is Donatello also on a skateboad? It's not clear -- he just kind of appears to help Mike up. Also, the line "It's getting pretty crazy up there" (said by whom...?) -- what's being referred to here? What is getting crazy?
Also, Raph's sulking and surliness (especially his dissing of Master Splinter) seems a bit abrupt and unexplained. Why is he being this way? Maybe a line or two from the other turtles about "Raph gets this way sometimes" could help, indicating that these foul Raph moods are not a new thing.

2.) Pg. 3: "Get away from me, you big weird gecko." This line felt really cheesy to me the fist time I read it, and if we keep the scene as is I'd like to see something different. However, as I re-read it to make these comments, I was struck by the idea that it might be fun to do a take on the old Frankenstein bit of the monster being befriended by the old blind guy. What about making this crime victim a blind person, who, instead of reacting in horror to Raph's appearance, is grateful to have been saved? And if we did this, would it make any sense to in a later episode, bring this person back as someone who becomes friends with Raph (a la the Frankenstein story)? Am I getting too corny?
Also on page 3 -- do they REALLY need to get the armored car actually into the lair? I'm The scene with Mike driving it through the wall didn't really do much for me. It seemed superfluous -- and if it's in there because something is needed to reveal the hidden door, I'm sure we could come up with something better.

3.) Pg. 5: I'm not sure if I'm reading this right -- "Casey Jones pulls into Central Park on his motorcycle and disappears down a flight of stairs." Does this mean that Casey rides his bike down the stairs? Seems a bit much if so. Aren't there paved roads which go through that park? And is the "big battle wagon action... in pursuit of Casey" going to take place on these roads or is the intention here to have this chase going over the grass, through the trees, etc.? 

4.) Pg. 6: The way Raph stops Casey (throwing a sai through his front tire, causing Casey to wipe out "... flying over his handlebars") seems almost homicidal. Maybe there's a better way to do this. One thing I just thought of -- do you know what a "stoppie" is? It's a motorcycle trick done by applying the front brake (right hand lever on handlebars) really hard, causing the bike to stop so hard that the rear wheel actually comes up off the ground pretty high (think of it as a kind of backwards wheelie). It's pretty cool and dramatic to see... and I was thinking that it's something Raph could do to both his bike AND Casey's -- zooming up alongside Casey, he could grab Casey's front brake lever at the same time he grabs his own, causing both bikes to screech to a halt, as both of them rise up on their front wheels to an alarming height -- then they slam back down, throwing Casey off his bike (Raph is ready for it and better prepared). Just a thought.
Also, it seems way too convenient the way Casey knows about the Shredder's "dark tower", and that it can be seen from Central Park. Is it necessary to make this kind of connection? And come to think of it, is it really necessary to have the Purple Dragons is this story? 

That's all for now!



In a message dated 6/1/02 3:36:54 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Howdy all –

Although we haven’t gotten a first draft script for TMNT episode 2 yet,
attached please find a first draft script for TMNT episode 3!  This script
picks up where the episode 2 outline left off, and finishes up the Baxter
Stockman/Mouser storyline.

I look forward to your comments.



Just read the first draft script for Episode 3, and generally like it. I do have a few comments (for some reason my printout of this file didn't have page numbers, so I'm calling Page 1 the page which has the "Preview" on it): 

1.) Pg. 1: Instead of "...watching cable again..." I would say "... watching TV again..."

2.) Pg. 2: Just to be more grammatical (which he would be) I would have Don say "This isn't going VERY well" instead of "This isn't going REAL well."
I thought it might be funny to have Mike say (maybe in his last line on this page), because of how April keeps talking about sleep and being asleep, etc., something like "Man... she's making ME sleepy..." as he stifles a yawn.

3.) Pg. 7: The sight gag of Leo not being able to get his legs into the lotus position doesn't work for me. Maybe it's just harder for him to do so.

4.) Pg. 11: When Splinter is telling the origin story about how he washed the ooze off the turtles, it made me think -- what if Splinter has SAVED some of the ooze (without telling the turtles, maybe?)? Could make for the basis of an interesting story later on.
5.) Pg. 16: The script has the Mousers "cough up" the swag. I was wondering if we could get away with them "pooping" it out. (In the original idea for the mousers, I had designed them with a nice little hatch in their butts, from which would come the neat plastic-wrapped remains of the rats they had killed.) If we could do it, I think it would be cool AND funny.

6.) Pg. 17: I don't get Mike's line about "... a laser shooting out of my sewer." Huh?

7.) Pg. 18: The turtles are looking at "footage of them as seen from a Mouser's POV". Where did this come from, and why is it showing on this monitor? Also, a few lines later, April describes some files as "read-only" -- are kids going to get that? Maybe there's a better way to describe them: "protected", "locked", maybe? 

8.) Pg. 22: "Baxter ducks out the door." If it's that easy for him to get away, why can't the turtles and April? Should he duck out a secret emergency door/hatch which he locks behind him, instead?

9.) Pg. 24: The Mousers' self-destruct thing... hmmmm.... while I can appreciate the pyrotechnic potential, what would the reason for such a thing be? And exactly HOW "monstrous" is the resulting explosion? Does it damage the lab, or destroy the whole building, or what?
Also, in the typo  dept. -- Leo says at the bottom of the page "We'll help you get back on HER feet."

That's it for now!


Subj: Re: 26 episodes, no waiting!
Date: Tuesday, June 4, 2002 10:54:55 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I just finished reading your rough arc for the first season, and there's a lot of good stuff there, as expected. I have a few comments:

1.)  About the way Don defeats the "stealth tech" Foot ninjas -- you have him basically taking their tech and using it for the Turtles. I think it would be cooler for him to figure out his own way to counter this threat, and one idea is that once he figures out what sort of technology the Foot are using, he comes up with a system which uses VR goggles linked to a portable computer and sensors which, by measuring the displacement of dust particles in the air, can track and simulate in real time the movements of the turtles' adversaries. OR... in a classic bit of LOW tech, maybe Don can get really frustrated trying to figure out how to counter the Foot invisibility tech, and then Mike or Raph chimes in with the simplest (and perhaps most effective) solution -- spray paint!  (Spray around you, and your foes are revealed, in whole or in part!)
Another issue raised here is this -- once the Foot start using this tech, and the Turtles figure out their solution to it, will both sides continue to use it from now on? In other words, would the turtles EVER go out again without their cans of spray paint or stealth tech-cancelling goggles or whatever? Seems like we should figure out a way for that NOT to happen. Maybe the Foot just drop the idea once they see how easily it is countered.

2.) You mention that Splinter may have some knowledge of the Utroms -- did we talk about this before? I can't remember, but it seems that whatever knowledge he has should be, as you put it, "not much". Maybe in fact all he "knows" is some kind of legend about weird "half-men" or something.

3.) A couple of times you mention a teasing reveal of a strange compartment in the chest area of the Shredder's armor. I think we have to be VERY careful about this if we want to keep the Utrom/Shredder bit secret until we do the deliberate reveal, because I think it I were a fan of the comics and saw that kind of thing, I would get it IMMEDIATELY.

4.) I know that you are still developing the whole "underworld city" and "secret origin of the lair" stuff, but I just want to re-emphasize my feeling that we should think REALLY carefully about this to make it as COOL as we possibly can.

5.) In 1488-04, mention is made of how much Casey knows about the Purple Dragons and their connection to the Shredder's skyscraper HQ. As you and I discussed this on the phone on Monday, I think Casey should not be making that connection.

6.) I'm still not sold on the "Borgification" of Baxter Stockman. Also, in 1488-07, you have him being, in the presence of the Shredder, both "skittish" and "oblivious of how his egotistical manner continues to grate on the Shredder's nerves" at the same time. Is this possible? Am I missing something?
Also, about the new Foot Tech bio-enhanced Ninja -- maybe it would be cool that these guys are Foot soldiers who have failed or disappointed the Shredder, and are offered a choice: Death... or bio-enhancement.

7.) I was inspired by the short description of 1488-08 to suggest the possible introduction of the "Sewer Scraper" (go to  to see art and a description) as a bad guy vehicle. I originally intended it as a Foot vehicle, but now that I think of it it could be the tool of another enemy of the Turtles.

8.) I really like the 1488-12 idea of the superhero bit. That could be a lot of fun!

9.) In 1488-13, you have the turtles taking along some of the strange crystals they found in their new lair on their trek into the deep underground. My question is (aside from the obvious use of the crystals later on in the plot of 1488-15): Why? It seems somewhat odd that they would take this stuff with them. How about this: Through a little bit of experimentation, Don has observed that bringing a couple of the crystals together causes them to glow. When they get ready for their big underground excursion, he figures that a couple of crystals might be an excellent and reliable "back-up" source for illumination if all their flashlights fail on them. (Of course, they prove, unexpectedly, to be much more than that...)

10.) In the short arc of their deep underground exploration, I thought it might be cool and suggestive in a nifty way if at some point along the way -- and without dwelling on it to any great extent -- the Turtles encounter (a) an old, beat-up and empty Utrom robot body, and (b) a fossilized or mummified body of a Triceraton! (But only if it makes sense... I haven't thought it through, but I think we can imagine various reasons why these things might be there.)

11.) I'd love to do the "Kirby" story, but I'd like it more if it could be more of a solo Turtle (Don, in this case) adventure. I really think we shouldn't be afraid to do episodes which focus mostly on just one of our major characters. (The Mikey/Superhero story comes to mind as a good example.)

12.) The story in 1488-17 appears to be inspired in part by the events in the "Leonardo One-Issue Micro-Series" and issue #10 of the original TMNT comic series. I'd love it if we could follow that story even MORE closely, i.e. while Leo is out training, he is ambushed by the Foot in a running battle, all the while in a parallel story, April and the other turtles, while waiting for Leo to get back, are working on some kind of special (holiday? Thanksgiving? Christmas? Hanukkah?) meal.  Lots of opportunity for cool action AND lots of little character bits between April and the three Turtles. (I'll admit it -- I always liked those two issue a lot, especially the juxtaposition of Leo's violent, desperate struggle and the homey stuf fin April's apartment.)
Also, in 1488-17, you have a line (I think said by Leo, after he comes crashing through the door) that goes "It's Shredder... he's back!" It was unclear to me how, at that point, Leo knew this, as in the second paragraph following we have cut away scene of the Shredder "ceremoniously" putting on his armor, which implied to me that he was doing this at his HQ.

13.) Does 1488-18 seem like a really short episode, or is it just me? Does enough happen here to fill a whole episode?

14.) In the first part of the "return to New York" arc (1488-21), you have the turtles first attack the Shredder's tower HQ. Would they do this before they look for Splinter... or is there some reason that they think Splinter is there? Do they go to the lair first? 

15.) I'm not too crazy about the "tricks" built into the Shredder's armor in episode 1488-23. I like his armor better just as it is, and the tricks seem -- I don't know -- sort of "unworthy" of the Shredder, especially as we have previously played him up as incredibly skilled in the fighting arts.

16.) This is a minor point, but in 1488-26 you describe the Utroms as "cube-headed aliens", which sort of surprised me -- I've always seen them as roughly gumdrop-shaped.

17.) And of the "ideas that haven't found a place yet", I don't like the first one (Shredder tries to get the Turtles to work for him), and wasn't too hot about the last one (Hun gets turned into an ally of the Turtles). However, one of the things you mention is the Guardians", the good ninjas we discussed before. I really think there should be some kind of encounter -- even  if it's mysterious -- with these good guys in the first season.

That's all for now. Good work!