Sunday, April 7, 2013

Blast from the Past #632: September 10, 2003: Re: TMNT - Profile 049, Re: TMNT - Final profiles 047 and 048, Re: TMNT - 1st draft eps 050 ("The Big Brawl, Part 2"), and Re: Outline 51 ("The Big Brawl, Part 3")

Subj: Re: TMNT - Profile 049
Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 1:52:23 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I think I've mentioned before that the "Leo has a girlfriend" thing makes me gag, so the way this profile plays that up is really annoying. What MIGHT make it a BIT more palatable is if there is something which acknowledges that even though his brothers are teasing him about it, they KNOW she's not his "girlfriend", and he knows they know, and the fact that even though they know and he knows they know, they're STILL going to tease him about it... is what irritates Leo the most.

This MIGHT be accomplished by something like having Casey say to one of the Turtles (Raph?) near the end of the profile "Uh... she's not REALLY his girlfriend... right?" And Raph could snort and say "Of course not! That would be ridiculous. (pause) But there ain't many things that get under Leo's skin... and this is one... so we're gonna use it!" Or words to that effect.

-- Pete


Re: TMNT - Final profiles 047 and 048
Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 2:01:49 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I don't have much to say about the profile for Episode 47, except for the following:

1.) Is there any problem with using the trademarked phrase "Wide World of Sports"? Should we say "Wild World of Sports" or something else? Just checkin'....

2.) In the following line:


Thanks, Mike.  Today's ShellSled event, already in progress, features bitter rivals Leonardo and Raphael in contest of speed and skill.

I think there is an "a" missing between "in" and "contest".

The profile for Episode 48 seems fine to me.

-- Pete


Re: TMNT - 1st draft eps 050 ("The Big Brawl, Part 2")
Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 2:09:00 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments:

1.) No statue of Yoshi, per my comments on episode 49. (Unless we've come to an agreement otherwise.)

2.) Re: the following:


I am Miyamoto Usagi, a yojimbo and a competitor in the contest.  My dairokkan warned me of your attackers.  Whoever they are, I sense they mean you no good.

Something about Usagi referring to himself as "a yojimbo" sounds odd to me somehow. Should he instead just say "samurai", or perhaps more specifically "ronin" (masterless samurai)? Might be something to ask Stan Sakai about. And what is a "dairokkan"?

Also, it just occurred to me that we might get some interesting mileage out of the fact that Usagi is a samurai and Leo (and the other Turtles) are ninja -- two groups traditionally at odds.

Also, thinking way ahead for the special features on the DVD which features the "Big Brawl" episodes, it would be cool to have an interview segment with Stan talking about Usagi, his history with the Turtles, etc..

3.) Leo's talking to himself while he and Usagi battle the Dark Assassin's seems out of character and pointless. I think we could lose it without missing it.

4.) Re: the following:


They’re gone.  Vanished into thin air.
Leonardo, your training is very impressive.

Now, I don't have a problem with our heroes admiring each other's technique, but the timing of Usagi's comment seems off to me. I think he should instead say something about the Dark Assassins. In fact, this might be a good place for an example of what I suggested in point 2 -- when Leo says the assassins have "Vanished into thin air", Usagi could say something like "Yes... they strike hard and fade away... like ninja!" and Leo can give him an odd look and be about to say something, when the Gyogi interrupts by bringing Leo's swords.

Also, I think a lot of what Usagi says to Leo in this script re: Leo's skill with swords  is a LITTLE bit too ass-kissing... it doesn't quite jive with Usagi's personality as I understand it. I think he would be somewhat more reserved, while still admiring Leo's skill. (Although I do like the nod to "The Princess Bride" in one of his lines, I think it might be going over the edge.) However, I would bow to Stan's opinion on this one, as he knows Usagi better than any of us.

5.) Re: the following:


What took you, bro?

Two things bother me about this line -- one, I think Don would more likely say "Leo" instead of "bro", and to me, "What took you" is a lazy, annoying and meaningless truncating of a perfectly good phrase for no reason other than not saying two extra words. Let's just use the whole phrase -- "What took you so long". So the line would be as follows:


What took you so long, Leo?

6.) Re: the following:

SIDE VIEW – Leonardo <FLIPS> onto his feet and looks around quickly.

CLOSE ON – Leonardo’s katanas lie on the ground.

WHY are Leo's swords on the ground? What happened?

7.) Re: the following:

CLOSER – Leonardo and Usagi face away from each other, eyes watching their opponents.

You take the one of the right.  I’ll take the one on the left.
With pleasure.

If Leo and Usagi are back to back and facing away from each other, it would seem that his saying "the one on the left" and "the one on the right" is meaningless. Whose left? Whose right? Why not have him say something more descriptive of their opponents?

8.) I'm really not crazy about the way the arena floor crumbles and everyone falls down through a "ragged hole". Seems pretty crude to me. And I'm having a hard time visualizing these tiers -- is each one successively LOWER? Why? What happened to the pyramid where the winner would be at the top? And why have we gone to this goofy "Royal Rumble"-style elimination instead of the more interesting (at least in my opinion) random pairing of opponents in individual fighting arenas?

The concept of the losers being teleported out of the fighting area just before a certain killing or finishing stroke is made is KIND of clever. However, if we use this idea, I think it's important to set it up BEFORE the fight starts -- otherwise, the obvious and disturbing implication is that these fighters ARE trying to literally KILL each other. And I think it would make Drako's magical intervention in the proper operation of this procedure that much more frightening.

9.) Splinter's questions to the Daimyo about Usagi may need to be changed a little if we include (as I hope we do) the "Usagi helping Splinter" scene in episode 49.

-- Peter


Re: Outline 51 ("The Big Brawl, Part 3")
Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 11:12:21 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the outline for Episode 51:

1.) Re: the following:

Meanwhile, in the DAIMYO'S PALACE, Splinter finds the huge, ornate oaken doors oddly unguarded.  As Splinter rushes down the inner corridor that leads to the Daimyo’s private chamber, he hears sound of a struggle.  There are loud shouts, a huge crash!  

Splinter enters the chamber, he finds assassins (including Krall and Gorrath) standing over the Daimyo’s body on the marble floor!  

It might be a good idea to consider HOW these assassins have managed to overpower and nearly kill the Daimyo, who we have seen to be very powerful. And where is his mighty warstaff?

2.) Re: the following:

Donatello (glaring at Usagi suspiciously): "Maybe Samurai Bunny knows something about it." 

"Samurai Bunny" sounds more like something goofy that Mike or Raph would say. I think Don would just say either "the Samurai" or "the ronin Usagi" or something like that. Also, in the same vein and in the following line:

Donatello: "That remains to be seen, 'wabbit'."

... I doubt Don would say "wabbit", especially in these circumstances.

3.) Before I forget -- might it behoove us to think up some actual NAMES for the Ultimate Ninja and the Ultimate Daimyo? Seems kind of silly to keep calling them "Ultimate" whatever.

4.) Re: the following:

Usagi tells Don that he has seldom crossed blades with a swordsman as skilled as Leonardo.  He pulls out his own katana, handing it to Don and falling to his knees, insisting that, if Don believes his intentions to be anything less than honorable, he should run him through right now.  Don looks Usagi square in the eye... and hands him back the sword, allowing him to examine Leo.

This seems kind of weak to me, and is one of those things that I think we need to run by Stan Sakai to see if he thinks it fits. I'd rather have Usagi make some kind of clever argument to convince Don (appealing to Don's intellect) that he can be trusted -- something that would appeal to Don with its unassailable logic, perhaps something along the lines of "If I really intended to harm or kill your brother, I would have continued the fight in the arena after he had been poisoned... but instead I refused, even though the Gyogi instructed me to continue the bout, and I was thus disqualified".

5.) Re: the following:

Usagi examines Leo and discovers a tiny black dart-nub in the back of Leo’s neck.

Earlier, it is said that "We see the Ultimate Ninja firing his blowgun dart at Leonardo, the dart striking Leonard and magically disappearing (Ep. 49)." I think that if the dart has "magically disappeared", there would not be a tiny black "dart-nub" in the back of Leo's neck... and if there WERE such a nub, surely the nexus Healer would have found it, or he/she/it is pretty incompetent. 

       I would prefer that there is something a little more interesting in the way Usagi finds where the dart has struck, a site which is invisible under ordinary light... perhaps Usagi cobbles together in a very Don-like fashion (which wins him some points with Don) -- some kind of alternate-light scanner, maybe just a pane of colored glass with a lantern behind it. When this colored light plays over the spot where Leo was hit by the disappearing dart, a discolored area shows up, with a little tiny hole in the center. And Usagi might reveal that he has heard of weapons of this type before, which is what inspired him to look for this evidence.

6.) Re: the following:

Krall brings the swords down, but instead of hitting the Daimyo, they strike a wooden staff.  Don’s wooden staff to be precise.  A sword flashes, knocking the blades out of the assassin’s hands!  Usagi’s sword to be precise!  

I know we've played fast and loose with how resistant Don's staff is to sword blades (he's blocked many a Foot ninja's sword with it), but there's something about seeing it stop Leo's swords, which have sliced through metal Mousers among other things, that just seems WRONG. I suggest that it is Usagi's steel blades which stop Leo's swords.

-- Peter


  1. Dairokkan = sixth sense or intuition.

    I think the term may have been used once in one of the UY comics.

  2. 1. So Laird, what are your thoughts on Michael Bay's recent changing of tune regarding the whole "Alien" thing in the upcoming TMNT reboot?

    "There was that quote saying that we’re making [the Ninja Turtles as] aliens. We’re not. It’s the ooze! It’s from the original source material. These are from the original writers, and I never went out to correct myself in the press. I do listen to the fans and I do want this to be authentic. I think they’re going to be really happy with this movie. When I see the digital stuff, the turtles look great."