Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blast from the Past #606: March 10, 2003: Re: Episode (can you believe it?) 27 ("Turtles in Space, Part 1: The Fugitoid") first draft outline and March 20, 2003: Re: The next 3

Subj: Re: Episode (can you believe it?) 27 first draft outline
Date: Monday, March 10, 2003 11:33:21 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 3/9/03 8:59:14 PM, Lloyd writes:

Howdy folks,

Welcome to the 2nd season of TMNT!

As per the TMNT meeting last Monday and subsequent conversations last
week, we are diving into season 2 at warp speed.

As a result, attached you will find the first rough (and unedited) draft
outline for episode 27.

Please review and send me your comments asap.

Let's get this show on the road!


PS - the season arc for the next 26 episodes (shows 27 - 52) is
currently a work in progress, but the arc for season 2's first 5 shows
(the outer space/Triceraton War storyline) has been worked out and I
will forward those to you in a subsequent e-mail.


Sorry I wasn't around to take your call today.

I read the draft outline for Episode 27 (first episode of second season) tonight, and liked it a lot. I like all of the extra action bits you've put in, and hope that we can come up with some really cool designs for the extra Federat hardware. I really don't have much to say! It's pretty much ready to go to the next stage, as far as I can see. 

One thing I would like to clarify -- Professor Honeycutt (does he need a first name? I don't think we ever gave him one in the comics) becomes "a" Fugitoid when his mind becomes trapped in the robot Sal's body and Honeycutt then tries to escape from and evade General Blanque. "Fugitoid", as we established in the FUGITOID comic book, is a generic term the Federats assign to any rogue robot (a FUGITive andrOID... clever, huh?). So, while the character will always be for us, in the toyline and in the show and amongst ourselves and as a trademark, be "the" Fugitoid, in the story he is actually "a" Fugitoid. I make this comment for internal clarity's sake, and also because I was inspired to bring it up by a line you wrote where Don says "Whatever! Let's save the Fugitoid!" and it struck me that he probably WOULDN'T call him "the Fugitoid", but rather "Prof. Honeycutt".

There's a bit on page 7 where Don disables the sewer cleaning unit by jamming his staff into the electronic guts of the machine which "shorts it out". A minor thing, but I thought it might be cool if he yells to Raph to toss him a sai, which he then uses to do the deed -- the idea being that the sai, unlike the bo, is mostly metal, therefore conductive, and therefore more likely to cause a short-circuit when stuck through several circuit boards.

One thing that I thought would be funny would be a moment in the alien sewer, where they're walking along, and one of the Turtles (I'm thinking Mikey) is in the rear, and he sees something which makes him do a double-take. The thing he sees is some kind of weird almost "Bizarro-World" analogue of our basic cast (Turtles and Splinter) -- I'm thinking that one possibility would be an old turtle-like thing, walking with a cane, followed by four rat-like things with crude weapons, going in the opposite direction. Mike and one of the ratlike-things would share a startled glance, then all would move on. It could be a brief, fun sight gag. (Maybe to make it even more surreal, they could be really small -- like less than a foot tall.)

-- Pete


Subj: Re: The next 3
Date: Thursday, March 20, 2003 11:08:33 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 3/20/03 8:44:59 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Peter -

I've been slowly but surely thrashing out the second season story arc
and I wanted to send you a rough episodes 32, 33 & 34, the next three
shows in the arc (these follow the five part Turtles In Space
storyline).  This is the whole Utrom backstory and reveal of the
Shredder as an Utrom.  Based on our last conversation, I've changed the
set up substantially and beefed the whole story up into a very cool
everything-comes-to-a-head 3-parter.  I am anxiously awaiting your

You should also have received the first draft of episode 27, part one of
Turtles In Space, and I will be sending you first draft outlines of
parts 4 & 5 of the Turtles in Space tomorrow.

As always, a quick turnaround on notes is greatly appreciated.

Call me with any and all questions, comments, horse racing tips, etc.


Lloyd >>


I printed out this stuff and hope to read/analyze/comment on it tomorrow. But I wanted to get back to you with comments about the first draft of Ep. 27 and the latest batch of art.


Episode 27: "Turtles in Space/The Fugitoid/Part 1"

1.) Pg. 4: I think instead of "'em" it should be "'im", where the voice on the intercom headset says "bag 'em and tag 'em". As it's only one Fugitoid they're going for, it should be "him" rather than "them".

2.) Pg. 7: I think it would be cooler if instead of jabbing a sai into a rifle barrel, Raph THROWS the sai.

3.) Pg. 8: Two typos in Fugitoid lines: Line 32 has an "is" missing (Hmm, one benefit of being trapped in this robotic body IS the sheer strength of it"). And line 33 has an "of" which should be an "on".

4.) Pg. 9: The word "soldier's" in the first line doesn't need an apostrophe. And in line 39, the "of" should be an "or".

5.) I appreciate the inclusion of my goofy little "Bizarro world ninja mutants" idea in the scene on page 17 (it should be VERY funny!), but was wondering if the "Cowabunga!" line from the fourth little rat should be in some alien tongue and the word "Cowabunga!" be in English subtitle form.

6.) Pg. 19: There's an "of" missing from line 100 ("... a device capable OF transporting...").

7.) Pg. 21: I think there's something missing in this flashback, and that's something which shows that Blanque has made the connection and figured out the fact that Honeycutt's mind is now in the Fugitoid's body. Also, are we going to show or at least say that Honeycutt's human body was killed by the lightning strike? After all, it's this death of a human which Blanque uses (at least in the original comic story) as his ostensible reason for chasing down the "rogue robot". Not sure how (or if) to use this concept in the episode. I was thinking that it might be fun/creepy to leave Huneycutt's body still alive, but wandering around with the robot Sal's machine consciousness in it ("human acting like robot" hijinks ensue!).

8.) Pg. 26: When the Turtles are straining to hold back the sewer cleaning machine, perhaps the Fugitoid should pitch in with some of that robot strength.

9.) Pg. 30: I think "VENDER" should be spelled "VENDOR".

10.) Pp. 33-37: Somewhere in here, I thought it might be fun if, in the tight, cramped interior of the tank (not much room with four Turtles and one Fugitoid), the Fugitoid keeps banging his head accidentally... and he's fascinated by the fact that in this robot body, he feels no pain. So fascinated, in fact, that he starts deliberately banging his head and various other body parts into things... until he realizes that all the Turtles are giving him odd looks, and he sheepishly stops.

11.) I wonder if Honeycutt should ask the Turtles more about themselves -- "Are you the dominant species on your planet?" or "How do you know all of those wonderful fighting and disappearing techniques?" or some such.

(As I was proofreading these notes, it dawned on me that in this script Honeycutt accepts the fact of the Turtles "beaming in" without commenting on it at all. As the Transmat/Transportal tech is key to this storyline and something that Honeycutt is familiar with, I would think he would wonder how the Turtles came to have access to or were transported by some kind of Transmat technology.)


New art:

1.) Triceraton logo: This one is pretty good, but I whipped up a few variations on this design for consideration -- I'll attach them to this message.

2.) Triceraton mothership: Getting better, but still not quite there. The docking jetties still seem too spindly (look at the double-page spread in the comics which shows the mothership, and look at how beefy the docking jetties -- and the big clamps which hold the smaller asteroid ships in place -- are). I don't like the vertical spikes or spines ringing the lower and upper domes. I do like the second tier of docking jetties halfway down the asteroid. And while keeping the basic inverted cone shape, I think some variation/irregularity in the cone's shape might be good. I would also do half as many of those arced structures which go partially up the sides of the big dome. And the asteroid parts should look more like rock!

3.) Triceraton cruiser Version 1: I like this one better than version 2, but the pertinent comments about the Mothership (above) also apply here.

4.) Triceraton prison hallway, cell, cafeteria, Triceraton arena with schematic: all fine.

5.) Honecutt revised: fine.

6.) Fugitoid revised: I'm not 100% loving the foot variation, but I can see where it would aid in animation, so I'll let it go. The rest looks fine, though I would like to emphasize -- because my fax copy is a bit muddy and the detail in the drawing is not clear -- that the 'Toids fingers are not jointed but made in the same bendable "gooseneck" style as his neck, waist, arms, and legs.

7.) General Blanque: Fine, but I would like it if at some point in the show we see him wearing a cap similar to what he has in the comics.

8.) Triceraton Soldier-Revised: Better, but it still has the tail stripes I don't like.

9.) Gruell: Fine... is he going to have his prosthetic "tooth-picking, butt-scratching" horn? It's not clear in this drawing.

10.) Prime Leader Triceraton-Revised: Fine. Vinnie wondered if his frill could be more ornate than the regular Triceraton frill. I think it's fine as is, but if you want to try something like that I would certainly consider it.

11.) Traximus: VERY cool! Vinnie's eyes lit up when he saw this one.

12.) Rynokk: Fine.

13.) Tank Driver: Pretty cool, but what are those things coming out of the back of his helmet?

14.) Triceraton Bunker Ship/Version 1: I like this one... very nice.

15.) Garbage Vehicle: Fine.

16.) Triceraton air cars-revised: I like both of them, but my preference is Version 2.

17.) Dented air car: Perfect!

18.) Federation hover tank Version 1: I prefer this one, but I wonder if there's enough room for everybody inside it.

19.) Federation orbital station: Because the basic overall shape here is very similar to the cone shape of the Triceraton asteroid ships, I would suggest doing this: Take the top 2/3 of Version 1. Lop off the bottom (immediately below that bulgy thing in the middle with the four arms with pods on the ends). Then take the top of Version 2, lop it off, and stick it upside down on the bottom of the now-truncated Version 1.

20.) Triceraton blaster: Thank you for going back to the original design. I like it, but I would take off the little bulge on the side(s) just above the rear pistol grip. I like the exposed bits on the top.

21.) Federation laser rifle: I like them both, with a preference for Design #1. 

22.) Professor Honeycutt's Mentawave helmet: Fine.

That's it for the stuff I got today. Now I want to bring up a couple of things that came up today during our meeting with Vinnie to talk about next year's toy line.

Vinnie brought with him a couple of prototypes of a kind of light saber-type thing which Playmates may buy the technology for, and Vinnie thinks (and I agree with him) that it would be a cool part of a Turtles toy, IF we can work it into a story... and it seemed like the outer space story might be the obvious choice. Vinnie also would love to do Turtles in space suits... again, if it can be worked into a story.

So here are a few ideas:

1.) As part of their attempt to hide from the Federats, either in episode 27 or 28, the Turtles and the Fugitoid swipe some old space suits as temporary disguises.

2.) When the Turtles are imprisoned on the arena asteroid ship, part of their gladiatorial training is in zero gravity. This is accomplished quite easily, as they are on a spaceship -- one way would be to open a hatch somewhere on the asteroid's surface, from which the gladiators and their minders emerge, into the vacuum of space, there to train. Obviously they would need SPACESUITS! Might also be opportunity for humor as Turtles struggle to adapt to zero g, Mikey barfing in his helmet, etc.

3.) As part of the training in point 2, the Turtles -- and the other gladiators -- are given various types of light/energy weapons. The Turtles' could be vaguely analogous to their signature weapons.

Something to think about!

-- Pete


  1. How much involvement did you have with the video games based on the 4Kids TMNT series?

    The games were mostly based on the series, but they also featured animation that was not in the TV show, such as an extended scene with the "Bizarro" Turtles & Splinter.

    1. Not much, as I recall. I remember some approvals for various things, but in terms of content I was not involved to any great degree. -- PL

    2. That scene between Mikey looking at the little alien rat who said "Cowabunga" in its language was so funny.

      Also the scene when Professor Honeycutt aka The Fugitoid and the boys went into a bar and then tell the boys (TMNT)to ask, I guess to those guys over there. These guys look like Han Solo and Chewbacca.

  2. Hello Mr Laird. I've been reading the entirety of yourblog. Thank you for these insightful looks at the production of one of my favorite cartoons.
    Regarding the Fugitoid..... I was curious at what level your involvement withMr Dooney's Gizmo and the Fugitois comics? It gives you story credit and Dooney's forewords mention your involvement quite a bit. The story is VERY tied into Fugitoid. Since it more orless ties up a few loose ends in the Triceraton/Trans-Mat saga, as well as (along with the entire Gizmo series) takes place in the far future, did you consider this the official continuationof the story done in the TMNT comics? Thanks so much for fielding everyones questions! Honeycutt is one of my favorite of your creations and I recently..... Finally... Got ahold of Fugitoid #1. the book looks and reads great even now!

  3. Thanks for the kind words! As I recall, Mike Dooney and I collaborated closely on the story for the Gizmo/Fugitoid crossover. And as far as I can recall, there was nothing in that story which would keep it from being considered an "official continuation" of his previous appearances in other Mirage Studios comics. -- PL