Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blast from the Past #633: September 15, 2003: Re: TMNT - Outline 052, September 17, 2003: Re: Stuff and stuff, and September 28, 2003: Re: Happy Saturday

Subj: Re: TMNT - Outline 052
Date: Monday, September 15, 2003 12:34:44 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here ya go! Not much this time.

1.) Why do Raph and Traximus, when they decide to spring Splinter from the "dungeons of the palace fort", climb high UP the palace fort wall, and end up in the Daimyo's empty room of all places?

2.) I think it might be a good thing if Drako is not immediately an adept at using the Daimyo's warstaff, and in fact his ineptitude might be part of the reason that one of the dimensional rifts he opens with the warstaff ends up sucking him and the Ultimate Ninja into oblivion. Also, is there a particular reason why the warstaff gets sucked in along with them?

3.) I think when (relatively) little Splinter is fighting massive Drako, we should emphasize that Splinter is using tricks like nerve strikes to counter Drako's greater size and strength.

4.) While the Triceraton invasion at the end of this episode is very dramatic and visually arresting, are we going too far -- painting ourselves into a corner from which we do not at this time know how to extricate ourselves in the third season? I wonder if we should instead do something a little more (okay, a lot more) subtle, like my earlier suggestion that as we take our leave of the Turtles, now back on Earth after their adventure in the Nexus, we do a "powers of ten" pullback from Earth and end up seeing our solar system on a viewscreen on the bridge of a Triceraton warship... and end the last episode of the second season right there, perhaps with the Triceraton leader saying something like "We've finally found them! Prepare to attack!" as we do a reveal that he is standing on the bridge of but one ship in a huge fleet.

On a logic note, even the largest of the Triceraton asteroid ship "homeworlds" would not "dwarf" our Moon with its "immense size". I think a careful review of relative ship sizes in the early episodes of season 2 might be in order.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Stuff and stuff
Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2003 11:55:25 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 9/17/03 5:07:52 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete -

I spoke to Chuck and I spoke to Mike re: the arena sketches and apparently
I'm the one who was confused.  Here's how it's supposed to work; the central
rotunda area will adapt via their water-based and become the various
"arenas."  For the first round of the competition it will form a shallow pit
with those water-walls separating all the different combatants.  For the
second and final round of the competition, the giant pyramid arena (the one
you designed) will form in the center of the rotunda.  As the pyramid
doesn't appear until episode 51, they just didn't finish up (or send us)
that design yet.

Hope this helps!

Send me your notes!

Lloyd >>


That makes a... certain amount of sense. However, I wonder if instead of the somewhat boring -looking "pie slices" shapes of the various combat areas, we could have a variety of more interesting shapes. Also, perhaps the water wall barriers between each fighting area could be thicker.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Happy Saturday
Date: Sunday, September 28, 2003 11:27:34 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 9/27/03 2:16:47 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete -

Just a reminder to please get me your notes on the season three stuff

Writers are standing by to address notes and expand the premises into
full up outlines!

Have a great weekend!

Lloyd >>


I think there is a lot of good, cool, exciting stuff here that will make the third season a lot of fun. I also think it needs to be massaged quite a bit, and there are some logic problems which might need to be solved as we go. Here are my comments:


Season Three "Invasion Earth" story arc

1.) I think it's cool that there are humanoid Federation infiltrators already on Earth skulking around. However, it raises a question -- how did they get there ahead of the Triceratons? Do they have faster ships? If they came in force and in multiple starships, where are those ships hiding, and how? Is this group of Federats on Earth a small, advance group and the bulk of the Federats have yet to arrive?

Also -- should we add yet another level to the scheming by having some Federat agents actually reveal their true nature to some Earth politicians/military leaders, and strike a deal to SHARE the transmat technology, so that Earth agencies will actually ASSIST the Federats in tracking down the Fugitoid? I'm sure there would be plenty of hawks in our military who would love to get their hands on this "ultimate weapon".

2.) I'm not sure I'm crazy about the Triceratons being able to seal off the entire globe with the "Trigenatron energy field" -- for some reason that seems way too powerful. Is there a plot reason for this? I also thought that energy field in smaller increments might be an excellent way for the Triceratons to neutralize powerful superheroes like Silver Sentry.

Speaking of Silver Sentry and his ilk, I think it would be cool to work up some other nifty superheroes who might have the kind of powers necessary to challenge the Triceratons. We wouldn't have to go into them too much in depth, but if any proved to be really interesting, we could bring them back later.

3.) This is a concept which has been used before in science fiction stories, but I think it's really cool and could be visually exciting: Instead of destroying Earth cities, what if the Triceratons instead STOLE those cities? What I'm envisioning is that one or more Triceraton asteroid ships would simultaneously do two things: (1) use their super lasers/blasters to CUT around a city, at an angle, so that when they are finished, there is a large cone of rock with the city sitting atop it; and (2) fire a large techno-device (I'm thinking about the size of a large truck standing on end) into the center of the city in question -- this device being an antigravity AND Trigenatron field generator (and maybe also an atmosphere generator). So when they finish cutting through the bedrock around the city, the antigravity device makes the city and its rock base rise into the sky, eventually into orbit... and the Trigenatron field creates a dome which encloses the city and holds in its breathable atmosphere.

There are a couple of reasons this might be cool. FIrst, it's something different from the traditional alien attack cliche a la the movie "Independence Day". Second, it allows the Triceratons to kill two birds with one stone, as it were -- they scare the crap out of the Earthlings, AND essentially create a new Triceraton asteroid ship, complete with facilities/buildings/infrastructure. And as a further threat, as this hijacked city floats through space in orbit around Earth, the Triceratons could threaten to turn OFF the field which holds in the atmosphere.

One of the reasons I suggest this is that the total destruction of Beijing as laid out in one of the premises seems REALLY extreme to me (visually cool as it might be). If we instead did to Beijing what I just suggested, we would at least have the possibility of returning that city to Earth... OR... we could end up with an orbital city once the Triceratons leave, which could be a fun concept to play with.

4.) It's a cool idea to have Traximus show up leading his rebel band, but is there a logic/timing problem here? Wasn't Traximus, just hours ago, fighting in the Nexus in the "Big Brawl"? How do he and his rebel soldiers get into one of the Triceraton asteroid ships in orbit around Earth?

5.) When Don reveals that "small detail" about the Fugitoid to the Triceratons so they can scan Earth and see for certain that the Fugitoid is NOT on the planet, I think it's very important that we establish that Don does this very reluctantly, and only because (1) he doesn't want the Earth to be ravaged/destroyed by the Triceratons, and (2) in any event he KNOWS that the Fugitoid is not ON Earth, so the 'Toid is in no danger. There is a potential FUTURE problem, however, which might arise from Don's giving up this info -- if the Triceratons DO track the Fugitoid to wherever he has gone (the Utrom homeworld?), they will then be able to easily find the 'Toid.

With that in mind, I would suggest that the thing that Don tells the Triceratons about the Fugitoid be something that the Fugitoid could CHANGE -- in other words, if Don was somehow able to get a warning to the 'Toid, the 'Toid could adjust whatever frequency/harmonic signature/whatever so that the tracking info which Don gave up would then be useless to the Triceratons. I think this could be gotten across in one or two lines -- maybe Don is questioned by Raph about "How could you give up our pal, Prof. Honeycutt?!", and Don responds by saying that he was forced to choose what he thought was the lesser of two evils, and besides, the info he's given the Triceratons is something that could soon be useless to them.

6.) When the Fugitoid unexpectedly shows up back on Earth, I think we need to have a better explanation than that he "heard the Earth was in trouble and he came to offer his aid". There are a couple of problems inherent in that statement. First, how -- and what, exactly -- did he hear that "Earth was in trouble"? Who told him? Is there an Utrom presence still on Earth with subspace communications technology? And if he is told (in whatever fashion) that Triceratons have arrived in Earth's solar system and are besieging the planet, wouldn't it be the utter height of folly and foolishness for the Fugitoid to walk into the lion's den, as it were? I mean, he KNOWS that the Triceraton's are desperate to find him, and that's CLEARLY why they have shown up at Earth... so why would he go ahead and place himself within their grasp?

One suggestion might be to make it a total coincidence -- that the 'Toid has NO knowledge of what is happening on Earth, and has only returned to pay a visit to his friends, the Turtles. It's pushing coincidence a tad to say that it just so happens that he beams to Earth JUST as Traximus has managed to temporarily lower the Trigenatron field, but I can live with that!

Additionally -- does the 'Toid come alone, or do some Utroms come with him? And how about if, since we saw him last, the Utroms have given him a physical upgrade to the "polymorphic combat chassis" that I have given him in the comics? Might be a fun way to let the Fugitoid get into the action a bit more. Also, would it help the movement of the plot in any way to have the Fugitoid (with or without accompanying Utroms) arrive via transmat in a spaceship? In other words, instead of just the bodies of the 'Toid with or without Utroms arriving by transmat beam, a whole ship with him/them inside it is beamed to Earth. The reason I suggest this possibility is that it might be handy for the story's sake for our guys to have a space-capable ship to get from here to there when dealing with the Triceratons.

7.) The "weird little touch" which is mentioned, wherein Mikey's Big Brawl trophy shows up in place of April's artifact, is said to "not be explained until sometime later in Season Three." I can't wait to see THAT explanation!


"Space Invaders" Part One premise/ Episode 54

1.) The way this one starts out is as if we had ended last season with the Triceratons actually attacking. I still think we should end the second season with the Triceratons APPROACHING, and start this first season three episode with the attack.

2.) The planet-wide power outage is, I think, too much. It gives the Triceratons too much of an edge (i.e. if they are able to cause a total power outage across the planet at will, then NO weapons on Earth will function (at least those that depend on electrical power to make them work, which is pretty much all of the "big guns", including nuclear missiles). End of story of Earth resistance! Also, my understanding of the way that EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) works is that the pulse of energy actually DESTROYS -- literally melts -- delicate electronics... so that there would really be no way for the EMP to have "worn off" and electronic things start working again.

My suggestion would be to have the Triceratons initially just interfere with the communications systems of Earth -- TV, radio, phones -- so that we're all in a tizzy because no one can communicate with anyone else through those means (the airwaves are full of static, cell phones just crackle and buzz, etc.). I actually think this smaller effect works better to increase the sense of growing dread.

3.) Zanramon gives Earth "four hours" to turn over the Fugitoid. Is this too little time? It seems very short to me.

4.) I think some funny things could be done with the scene with the President and the General in the Oval Office. I would love it if we could do a little jab at our President who seemingly CANNOT properly pronounce the word "nuclear" (he always says "nook-you-lur")... something I find VERY sad in the self-proclaimed "education president". Maybe the General can keep correcting him.

5.) I think we need to be clear about what Triceraton ships are doing what. As I recall, we had the  Triceraton "Tribase" asteroid ships, which together make up what we think of as the Triceraton homeworlds (the largest of them is the Tribase "Republic Central", around which many of the asteroid ships can dock); we had Triceraton battleships (smaller than the asteroid ships); Triceraton fighters; and the Triceraton ship which took the Turtles and the Fugitoid from D'Hoonib to the Tribase. There may be more, but that's all I can remember. The reason I bring this up is that I question the appropriateness of bringing the huge asteroid ships down into Earth's atmosphere -- they'd certainly LOOK cool, but should they stay in orbit? And there's a scene in this episode where a tank column fires on a Triceraton ship which fires back and destroys them -- I couldn't tell what kind of ship it was supposed to be, and the idea that an asteroid ship got down so low so that tanks could fire at it just seemed sort of silly to me.

6.) While the idea of people being rounded up and imprisoned is certainly dramatic, I'm not 100% loving the idea that the Triceratons are doing it because they need "slaves". Partly this is because when we created the Fugitoid, we created a setting (encompassing both the Humanoid Federation and the Triceraton Republic) wherein robots capable of doing "slave" labor were commonplace... and also partly because I am uncomfortably reminded of goofy sci-fi like that old TV series "V" (and yes, even STAR TREK:VOYAGER) wherein aliens capable of engineering and building interstellar craft come many light years to... steal our WATER??? (Apparently, though they have no problem with creating a hyperdrive, they have yet to figure out that combining hydrogen and oxygen creates H2O.)

I would suggest this as an alternative: The Triceratons, in their search for the Fugitoid, are using their scanners and sensors to locate -- and then round up with their shock troops -- any human who is contaminated with "transionic particles" (okay, YOU think up a better name!). These are non-toxic (don't want to open THAT can of worms) particles which are formed in the vicinity (within blocks? miles?) of a transmat beam. So there would be quite a few people -- including, obviously, Casey and April -- who would have these particles on them, having been around the TCRI building when the transmat beam originated there.  The REASON the Triceratons are tracking down and imprisoning these people is that they think that if SOME of them were near enough to the transmat beam, SOME of them might have information about the Fugitoid.

7.) I must say that I really don't like the goofy baseball action -- my "Fred Wolf" alarm went off quite loudly. I could see Casey maybe getting into hitting Triceratons with bats and balls, but not the Turtles... and the whole thing with them getting dressed up in baseball gear and traipsing out onto the ball field to face off against the Triceratons is just... yuck. It also makes the Triceratons silly, and not serious adversaries, that they could be defeated by these goofballs with baseballs.

I do think there is an opportunity here to do something neat -- a kind of "Spartacus" moment -- if Casey and/or the Turtles could rally the prisoners to revolt/fight back against the Triceraton guards, resulting in the Triceratons having to pull back and fly away in their ship (but taking Don with them, as written). It might be fun to use Casey to do this -- if you really wanted to incorporate humorous baseball references here, he could fire them up with some kind of marginally silly/serious stuff like saying "Them horn-heads are Red Sox fans!" or stuff like that.


"Space Invaders" Part Two premise/ Episode 55

1.) As I mentioned earlier, I think it's a mistake to destroy Beijing.

2.) I'm not clear why Zanroman comes to the odd conclusion that Donatello must be "obviously one of Earth's most highly revered warriors, as he's previously been sent against the whole Triceraton Homeworld (in Season Two)" -- especially because as far as the Triceratons know, Don is from D'Hoonib!

3.) As we are trying to incorporate as many existing characters as possible (as long as they make sense), what about the Silver Sentry's nemesis, Malignus? Would he get involved -- would he attack the Triceratons?

4.) It occurred to me that an interesting little bit might be to strap a rocket onto Metalhead and send him into space on a secret mission, perhaps to infiltrate one of the Triceraton asteroid ships (maybe even hitching a ride on one of the Triceraton ships which can pass through the force field). I have this image of Metalhead floating in space, ignored by the Triceraton sensors because, as an android, he doesn't register as a life form... and they think he's just another piece of space junk. I'm not quite sure WHAT the secret mission would be, but it might come in handy somehow.

While I was writing that, I started thinking about the International Space Station. Should that be destroyed by the Triceratons... or should we use it in the first episode of "Space Invaders" as a platform for the first glimpse of the Triceraton fleet?


"Space Invaders" Part Three premise/ Episode 56

1.) Re: Traximus' presence on the asteroid ship -- see my earlier comment.

2.) The scene where Monza Ram in a stolen guard's uniform brings the three Turtles to the bridge of "Republic Central" seemed really weird to me, especially the line which reads that "Oddly enough, Leo, Raph and Mikey agree with" Monza Ram's insistent statement to Zanramon that they should be placed in captivity immediately. Huh?

It's not clear to me from this scene if there are other Triceraton guards or soldiers on the bridge... I assume there are, as "all shell breaks loose" when Monza Ram releases the Turtles from their shackles.

3.) When Don's maneuvers cause an asteroid ship to be severed from the Homeworld, I think that instead of it crashing into the moon and causing power to the Homeworld to be temporarily knocked out (how does THAT work?!), perhaps it should crash into the Homeworld itself, which I think could be more spectacular and also make more sense that it could cause that kind of power loss.

4.) I'm not crazy about the idea of Zanramon ordering the total destruction of Earth by use of the "massive honking laser cannon (MHLC)" -- it seems really over-the-top and pointless to me. If it's important that we have a scene where that MHLC is about to be used but malfunctions because of the efforts of Traximus and his rebel band, maybe we should just have it be aimed at the Turtles' stolen ship as they fly back towards Earth and safety.

That's it from me for now!

-- Pete

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