Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blast from the Past #618: June 1, 2003: "The King" and Re: "The King", and June 3, 2003: comments on Ep. 37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano" first draft script

Subj: "The King"
Date: Sunday, June 1, 2003 12:44:41 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I'm really happy that we were able to do this episode. I thought the dedication card with Kirby's signature looked VERY cool. I'm also glad you were able to make those changes to Raph coming out of the shower, the drawings staying on the page even after they came to life, the writing on the paper airplane note, etc. -- they were small but significant changes.

However... as fun as this episode was, I'm still a little disappointed. I don't know if you checked out the fan reaction online -- it was mostly very positive, with several saying that it was the best episode yet. But a number of people also said that they were -- like me -- disappointed by the fact that the episode, which followed the original comic so well and so faithfully, didn't end like the comic (wherein the paper airplane flies out of the shrinking portal, Don picks it up and looks at it -- though we don't see what's on it yet, Don tucks it in his belt and walks back upstairs, Raph -- who's been waiting impatiently for hot water -- yells at Don about whether or not he fixed the water heater, Don gives him a withering look as he goes into his room, Raph scratches his head and says "Geez -- what's eatin' him?", Don sits alone near a window in his room and looks again at the note, and here is where we see the note and Kirby's drawing of Don, and fade out).

I want to do what is necessary to bring the ending of this episode more in line with what I hoped it would be, and if 4Kids does not want to spend the money necessary, I'll put it up myself. The extra time needed to fit in this stuff could be balanced by editing out an equal number of seconds of fight scenes or scenes of monsters running at the camera, which we seem to have quite a lot of. It would be cool if we could get this thing going as soon as possible so that the revised episode would definitely be on the DVDs.

How do we begin?

-- Pete

P.S. I listened to the voice tracks of the first two "Turtles in Space" episodes and I loved them! I think these are going to be some cool episodes.

P.P.S. Can we put a Segway or two in an episode in the second season? You know you want to!


Subj: Re: "The King"
Date: Sunday, June 1, 2003 5:31:13 PM

From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/1/03 9:12:19 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete -

I'm really sorry that you were unhappy with the end of the Kirby
episode; we went to a lot of trouble to rearrange the ending so it ended
as it did as per our conversation.  Let's talk Monday about what can be

Happy Sunday,

Lloyd >>


To be clear -- I truly appreciate the hard work you and your crew did to make those last minute changes, and they did in fact accurately reflect what we talked about on the phone. I knew we didn't have time to make it exactly the way I wanted it.

To say I'm "unhappy" about the ending is perhaps an overstatement -- I used the word "disappointed" in my email and I see that as a step or two back from "unhappy". Perhaps I should have even gone so far as to say "mildy disappointed", as that is probably closer to reality.

We've talked before about the numerous little things in the episodes which, given enough time and resources, we would like to change, but we realize the reality of the situation does not allow us that degree of fine-tuning, and we live with that. This Kirby story, though, is -- for me -- different. I have a more personal connection to it than any other Turtle story I've ever worked on, and I would really like to see the animated version be as close as possible to it, in emotional terms. It's already amazingly close... I'd just like it to be that little bit closer.

Anyway, hope we can accomplish what I'm suggesting without too much travail. Talk to you soon!

-- Pete


Subj: comments on Ep. 37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano" first draft script
Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2003 2:06:25 PM

From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on Ep. 37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano" first draft script:

1.) In the preview and later in the script, Nano animates a large funhouse clown figure and turns it into an "evil clown". While this is not horrible, I have to tell you that the "evil clown" is one of my least favorite genre cliches, and would prefer it if we could use something else -- a cheesy "House of Horror" monster, "Country Bear" critter, etc.

2.) April reacts disgustedly to getting her toothbrush doused with "greenish sewer water". I can see why, but this raises a point I don't think has been discussed before. I have been operating on the assumption that the water in the pond/pool in the lair is NOT scummy sewer water, but instead relatively clean river water. If it were not so, then the lair would be pretty stinky.

Don could say something about this when April reacts to him splashing her toothbrush, like "Actually, this water is as clean as the water in the river" to which April could roll her eyes and say "Great..."

3.) The whole bit with Raph "disengaging" the Ferris Wheel by hacking away with his sais at the bolts holding it down, then having the thing roll trailing power cables attached to a generator struck me as TOTALLY unbelievable. Among other things, just removing the bolts from where the supports for the Wheel are attached to the floor/ground wouldn't cause it to roll -- the wheel is SUSPENDED in the air (that's why the cars don't SMASH into the ground when it turns). I suggest changing it so that the Ferris Wheel stays where it is, and the Turtles lure Nano towards it as an electrified trap. If we need to put Harry and Dr. Richards in peril from the wheel (only to be saved by Nano's self-sacrifice), we could have the wheel buckle and start to collapse and tip over onto those two -- and Nano with his last bit of strength could extrude "hands" to push them out of harm's way.

I just thought of another action beat if we need one which might be visually cool -- One or more of the Turtles could be on a roller coaster car, pursued by Nano after he has shaped himself into a bizarre roller coaster car (maybe looking a little like that bizarre "home" he created, maybe even with Harry and Dr. Richards inside?) and attached himself to the track.

That's it from me!

-- Pete

P.S. Did you know that the very first Ferris Wheel was made by a guy named Ferris, and was built for the Columbian Exhibition (a World's Fair) in Chicago in (I think) 1893, and that each car could hold thirty people and had food services? It was a huge success, and at the time the axle for the Wheel was the largest single metal piece ever cast in the United States. (I just finished reading a cool book titled "The Devil in the White City", which is a fascinating non-fiction look at the Columbian Exhibition with the parallel story of Chicago's Dr. Henry Holmes, one of the first and most notorious serial killers.)


  1. Hello mr Laird, I'm Just asking because you may be the only direct person who could answer me.

    Who owns the TMNT 2003 series rights? an there is any chance to release those series to a DVD format of season as the old series was adapted?

    Just because I love those series but looks a little bit difficult to get them complete in these days. Thank you for your time

    1. Benjamin, I think Viacom owns the rights to the 2003 TMNT series. I'd have to ask Gary RIchardson to be absolutely sure, but I believe they own all that.

      I agree that it would be nice to get a comprehensive re-release of all of the 4Kids-era TMNT shows. -- PL

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