Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blast from the Past #626: July 18, 2003: Fwd: Christmas Notes and Junklantis, July 23, 2003: Re: FW: Junklantis Piracy beat notes, Re: TMNT - Revised premise - eps 047, Re: TMNT - Premises 045 and 046, and July 29, 2003: Re: Happy Monday!

Subj: Fwd: Christmas Notes and Junklantis
Date: Friday, July 18, 2003 12:52:40 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

<< In a message dated 7/17/03 12:05:36 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete!

Just wanted to bug you for your notes on the Christmas pages thus far.
Again, if you feel that doing this episode this way isn't worth it, just
lemme know.


Lloyd >>


I finished reading what I have of the "Christmas" episode, which so far ends with the following:

That will be our guests.
Continued in next Profile

So I can only comment on what's in it up to there. I don't really have any significant issues.

1.) In line 11, Mike talks about the "Melvin Moonhopper" toy, as he does in the comic story. I seem to recall that Kevin said that this was a real toy that he remembered from his youth. I did a quick web search and found nothing, but I thought I should bring it up, if it could be a problem. Also, have we decided to use "L'il Orphan Aliens" or not?

2.) Beginning with line 5 in Profile #40, the writer has a Purple Dragon referring to Mike with the abbreviation " 'em " (short for "them"). Shouldn't this be " 'im " (short for "him)?


"Junklantis" first draft (story idea previously known as "Garbageman Returns")

This story is still a big mess. I like it only marginally better than what was presented in the outline previously. This may be one we have to junk (no pun intended). >>

Something that JUST THIS MOMENT occurred to me that might be a fun idea to play with re: this story -- what if "Junklantis" actually IS what is left of the legendary Atlantis... and its surviving inhabitants have over the centuries been rebuilding their shattered civilization from the detritus of human civilizations that they find underwater... and the Garbageman somehow has taken it over, and is using it to his own benefit. Or not... maybe we don't even need Garbageman.

Anyway... comments about this draft:

1.) In this draft, there is this:


Yeah.  Just great.

Ah, you’re a Turtle, get over it.  Hey

That second line seems misplaced or something.

2.) In the following:

ANGLE - on Michelangelo as he climbs into the tiny airlock of the exit hatch.
Hey Mikey, where are you going?
It’s a whaler?  Gonna catch me a whale!

I really don't like Mike's line 38. I suggest getting literary and changing it to "Call me... Ishmael!"

3.) In this exchange:

Donny… what’s a car doing on the bottom of the river?
Driving.  [BEAT]  I know, I know.  Let’s check it out.

I would change it to read:

Donny… what’s that car doing driving on the bottom of the river?
Hmm... I'd guess about twenty miles per hour.  [BEAT]  I know, I know.  Let’s check it out.

4.) Line's 73 to 82 (Garbageman's flashback) -- possibly the silliest, most nonsensical origin story I've ever read, and certainly not appropriate for such a weird character as Garbageman. I mean -- a guy gets freaked out because he is temporarily trapped in the back of a garbage truck... and he turns into the monstrous Garbageman?

5.) I'm not going to list them all, but there are a number of places in this script where the names of the Turtles are swapped.

6.) Mike's grammar is bad in this line:

Oh, I wish I hadn’t of looked down.

The "of" should go.

7.) Beginning with line 104, where Garbageman starts talking about his "acid-based lifeform spawned from the hazardous waste from a gene-splicing lab...", whatever tenuous hold this story had on logic and sense (and me) disappeared, and it became as silly as a Fred Wolf show. It just falls apart. Basically, I really don't like anything from this point on.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: FW: Junklantis Piracy beat notes
Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 12:52:17 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I think we may be on the way to turning this puppy around. The notes you sent (reproduced below) are already better than the last "Junklantis" thing. I have a few notes which I will incorporate into your notes below:


Underwater Piracy angle

 It opens with a mysterious sinking of a freighter out in the harbor.

 This segues (Segways??!!) to the news.  Several mysterious ship sinkings have taken place of the last few months.

 This is a Don and Mikey adventure; though, we do see Raph and Leo at the beginning for the launch of the ShellSub.  Don is protective warning the others not to put a scratch on it.

 During the underwater exploration, Mikey and Don see the line of cars and Junklantis.  The cars are hauling materials away from the sunken freighter.  They’re salvaging it! (Is anybody driving these cars or are they remote controlled, or autonomous machines? Do we need to make this clear?) 

 Trying to stay out of sight, but dismayed at what they’re viewing, Donatello and Mikey are captured by a larger submarine (with a large drill-bit styled nose). (Drill bit??!!!!! You know how I hate those on vehicles. How about if we make it a lamprey eel-style "mouth" -- a circular shape ringed with sharp grinding teeth -- instead of the classic drill shape? There could also be a few -- four? -- short suction cup-tipped tentacles around the "mouth" which could lock the "mouth" to the ship to be drilled.)

 Of course, this is all the work of the GarbageMan.

 The drill-sub docks with Junklantis and Don and Mikey are imprisoned (Enslaved? Maybe Garbageman has some "control collars" or something -- maybe some mutated sea life, a sea snake or eel which wraps around the enslaved person's, or Turtle's, neck -- and figures he can use Don and Mike and their unique Turtle abilities to do work underwater.) there.

 The GarbageMan is very scary, twisted, and horrific … not comic.

 There’s no muck monster in this episode. (Great!)

 The GarbageMan’s motivation is money (And through it, power.).  He’s going to elevate himself above filth and squalor.  He’s in this for himself.

 The GarbageMan has great disdain for the foolish people of the world.  He’s much smarter than they are.  They throw away such treasures.  (I think we should emphasize the idea that there are centuries of treasure lying at the bottom of the sea.) He will show them all when he rises to the surface with more money than most people could even dream of.  Wealth is power.

The GarbageMan is lining up his next victim … a cruise ship.  Many will perish in its sinking, but the GarbageMan doesn’t care.  (Much like the body-snatchers of the 18th century, who supplied the cadaver-hungry medical schools, and decided -- because of their greed -- "Why wait for people to die and steal their bodies from gravyards?", and started killing people and selling those murdered bodies to the medical colleges. Garbageman is getting greedy -- he wants it ALL! NOW! -- and is making his own "wrecks".) The wealth alone from salvaging that ship will put him very close to his goal.  Besides, those simpletons on the ship don’t deserve a better fate than the ignominious depths of the sea.

Using their ninja stealth and cunning, Don and Mikey escape their cell and manage to get on board the drill sub undetected before it launches from Junklantis (it still has their ShellSub in its holding bay … next to what appears to be an escape sub for the GarbageMan).

The drill sub is going for the cruise ship as it’s heading out to sea.

The two turtles fight to take control of the drill sub.  They manage to turn it around … and smash the controls in the process of the fighting.

The drill sub is now on a collision course with Junklantis.  The drill sub spears/drills into Junklantis causing the whole place to implode/collapse.

The GarbageMan escapes in his escape sub … and Don and Mikey escape in the ShellSub before the drill sub and Junklantis completely implode.

The GarbageMan and Don/Mikey have a climactic sub duel, which results in the GarbageMan’s (Apparent or real? Will we see "Junklantis 2" or "Return to Junklantis?) destruction … his sub sinking over the edge into a mile deep trench.

Don and Mikey return home to the lair with a very beat up ShellSub; Raph and Leo give Don a hard time about scratching up his sub.  Of course, it’s a long story … and we fade away.>>

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT - Revised premise - eps 047
Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 1:10:39 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are a few comments on the second draft of the "April's Artifact" (Ep. 47) premise:

1.) I'm not 100% crazy about the whole "April's missing father" thing, which seems to come out of left field. It seems that something that big should have been mentioned before now. I wonder if it might be better to have some other relative, like an uncle or aunt.

2.) The bit with the Turtles and April arriving in the other dimension naked seems pointless, as does the "Sheena" bit and the Turtles painting themselves with war paint (??!!).

3.) I'm confused by the following:

"Working their way into the pyramid, they find that the hornets have tunneled their nest into the structure.  It’s starting to get pretty creepy as they pass dozens of cocooned hornet pupae.

Of course, the hornets don’t like anyone disturbing their nest.  Suddenly, the adult hornets rip their way out of the cocoons and attack our heroes."

Can pupae -- insects in their developmental cocoons -- detect disturbances in the nest? Or would it make more sense to have the other non-cocooned insects attack the intruders?

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT - Premises 045 and 046
Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 1:50:11 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I think Gary makes some good points in his notes. I don't have much to say about these premises, except for the following.

1.) I'm uncomfortable with the "rule the world" plan by the Shredder, with his "undetectable-as-robots" robots. I'm also uncomfortable with what seems like a move toward turning the Foot into disposable robots which can be beat up on/destroyed without compunction, as in the old TMNT show. And having a villain who can create undetectable robot/android duplicates of any character opens up a huge can of worms which I would rather leave closed.

2.) If the Shredder's minions have truly created a Splinter robot/android which can fool the Turtles into thinking it's their master, it seems like a not-very-strategic move to have it just lead them into an ambush. Why not just kill them in their sleep, back in the lair? I also think that this ambush thing, as written, robs us of the opportunity to do a cool Splinter vs. Splinter droid scene.

3.) How, exactly, did the Foot Tech Ninjas get the TCRI data on Splinter? Or any TRCI data, for that matter? Wasn't that facility totally destroyed?

4.) We really need to be careful about how we ascribe strength and skill to characters. For example, the droid Splinter is said to be "about as tough as the Shredder ever was." Well, the Shredder kicked all four Turtles' butts by himself... and there are several (I take that to mean at least three) other Foot robot ninjas with the same tech as droid Splinter in this ambush. How could the Turtles ever hope to defeat these things, even with Zog's help? And are we saying that a droid who is "about as tough as the Shredder ever was" can't defeat Zog?

5.) And on a more basic conceptual level -- how many times are we going to bring back the Shredder? Or should we get rid of him once and for all?

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Happy Monday!
Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 12:20:17 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 7/28/03 4:06:14 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Peter!

Just writing to bug you for notes.  We are desperately trying to get back on
script schedule, so any notes you can supply for ep. 44 Stanley's Cup 1st
draft, ep. 43 Junklantis 2nd draft, and profiles 41 & 42 would be greatly

Hope all is well!

Lloyd  >>


I have some notes (below) for you on Ep. 43 "Junklantis") and Ep. 42 ("City at War Part 3). The Stanley's Cup" first draft seemed like something I'd read and commented on already... or was that the outline for it? I know I suggested changing the Texas oilmen to Alaskan oilmen, and we talked about that on the phone, and that hadn't been changed yet.

As for the Profiles for 41 and 42, I thought I had downloaded them but can'T find them! Can you send them again?

-- Pete


Re: Ep. 42 Final draft/ "City At War" Part 3:

1.) Karai has a couple of lines which talk about the Foot "controlling" NYC:

32. KARAI (V.O.)(CONT’D)
Leaving the city once again under the Foot’s control, but we did not expect the city to be consumed in the process.
CLOSE ON – Karai’s fist tightens around the seal.
33. * KARAI (V.O.)(CONT’D)
If the Foot wants to regain control of New York, it appears we must seize it by an act of will … and I may need your help.

I don't remember this from previous drafts -- I'll have to go back and look -- but the Foot NEVER "controlled" NYC. They were certainly a powerful criminal element, but not in control of the city. I think she might appropriately say something like "If the Foot wants to regain control of its New York operations...". (In this same vein, there is a line from the Elite -- "156. ELITE NINJA (CONT’D)
Hun!  Destroy them all, and I will not forget your help when I am in control of New York city!")

2.) Of these Mob Boss lines, I prefer the Alternate one: 

...Seems the guy doesn’t know when to stay deceased.  (ALT)  Seems the guy doesn’t know when to stay in the morgue.

3.) In Karai-as-Shredder's line 94:

It is progressing well.  They have all taken my bait.  They are following me here.  They shall arrive within minutes.

... there seem to be a few too many "they"s. I would suggest changing it to:

It is progressing well.  They have all taken my bait and are following me here.  They shall arrive within minutes.


Re: Ep. 43 2nd draft/"Junklantis" -- Much better! Still have a few comments...

1.) In the preview, Don says:

The sea … the last unexplored frontier on earth.
In the distance, the shape of the ShellSub appears out of the murk, lights shining toward us.
I have to agree.  Because what we’re looking at… is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.

It seems odd to have him saying "I agree". Of course he agrees with himself! I think it would work better if his first line was changed to read "They say the sea … is the last unexplored frontier on earth."

2.) After this:

CLOSE - on Splinter, looking like… a drowned rat.  With his fur wet he’s very skinny with a big head and paws.
Yes, I suppose it was for time for a bath.

... it would be fun to have Splinter shake the water off of him like a dog would.

3.) I'm not sure why, but I don't get the joke here:

(sniffs; smells bad)
Whoa, fish for lunch?

Rotten fish does indeed smell bad -- but fish that one eats for lunch does not (it smells, uh, fishy), unless you hate fish, I guess. To my mind it makes as much (or as little) sense, and is as funny (or not funny) as saying "Whoa, beef for lunch?" or "Whoa, vegetables for lunch?" Or is "fish for lunch?" some new-fangled slang phrase for "stinky" that I've never heard before?

4.) Mike says about the GarbageMan:

But we dumped him in the river!

Did they? Or did the GarbageMan accidentally fall off the edge of that cliff of garbage? I think it is the latter.

5.) Something that occurred to me that might be a neat visual: What if the GarbageMan's guards'  Shock Staves could be used together like this -- two Guards standing no more than, say, thirty feet apart could point their Shock Staves at each other, and when triggered on a certain setting they would blast out an electric charge which would link up in the middle, like a jumprope of electric charge, so that  the guards could use it, between them, to control/herd adversaries (like Mike and Don)?

6.) When the GarbageMan starts ranting to Mike and Don in line 84 he says:

"And even a limited intelligence such as your own must realize… that wealth is power!"

Didn't he say in his first appearance "Garbage is power!"? Wasn't that, in fact, his mantra if you will? I thought it might be funny if wiseass Mike, in his reply, says something like "Didn't you say before that "Garbage is power"?... which for a brief moment makes GarbageMan pause in his rant, and he frowns, thinks... then fixes Mike with an evil glare and spits out "Garbage AND money are power!!!"

7.) In this scene:

ANGLE – underwater in the Whale Mouth Pool, on the ShellSub as it <rams> against the outer hatch!  It dents, but doesn’t break open.

... it seems kind of odd for Don to be slamming the ShellSub against the closed/locked hatch of the Whale, as one would expect that that hatch is very strong and would take a lot of slamming to break through, and I don't see the ShellSub as any type of "ice breaker" type vehicle. Could there be a more likely-to-break opening, like a big glass/plexiglass viewing port or something? (I know that in the following page they use a torpedo to blow out the hatch, but I just thought it might make more sense for their first try at getting out to be through a weaker portal.)

8.) Don says to Mike:

This better work!  The engines are completely shot!  After this all we’ve got left is the grappling hook!

But then the ShellSub goes on to do several engine-powered gyrations to escape the GarbageMan's escape sub, as well as limp home to the Lair. Obviously, the engines aren't "completely shot". Maybe he can say they are "almost completely shot".

9.) How about this to amp up the drama and tension in the cruise ship attack: Casey and April are on board it! Not taking a cruise together, obviously, but maybe on board for some kind of "try out" promotion -- free food, drinks, entertainment to hook future customers -- while the ship is just offshore of NYC. And this could be briefly set up in a throwaway line back in the lair when Mike and Don are getting ready to take out the ShellSub.

-- Pete


  1. Peter Laird
    Wow, good stuff. I love seeing how much you contributed to the series. I am actually enjoying the Nickelodean show but can see where your influence was needed. I'm curious as to your take with the show. I imagine you've watched it. Just joined your blog, started drawing turtles again. Havn't done that since High School. Anyway, love what you've done. -Long time fan -Vex

  2. the 'recovered utrom gear' bit also bothered me in the foot mech episodes. The building was totally vaporized, even the basement (if there was one). what was left to recover? Unless you want to argue hun was smart enough to recover a few exo skeletons while looking for stockman BEFORE the building blew up.

    I kind of like the running joke in this series. The Turtles KILL Shredder. At least once in that TCRI explosion. And he STILL comes back for more. All nicely explained in that 'Cyberspace' episode. Was that idea a left over to explain how Saki survived the explosion?