Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blast from the Past #636: November 13, 2003: comments on Episode 55 second draft, November 13, 2003: comments on Episode 57 outline first draft, and November 14, 2003: Episode 58 outline first draft

Subj: comments on Episode 55 second draft
Date: Thursday, November 13, 2003 12:12:05 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Not much to say here. There are a couple of things about the re-worked opening that bug me, as follows:

1.) Re: the following:

And if the little pink Earthlings think they can hide the Fugitoid robot that carries the plans for the Teleportal that will win us the war…
*ON – THREE TRIBASES taking up positions around the earth at *triangular points. The Tribases suddenly <SURGE> with power, emitting …
Think again, Pinkies!

I don't really care for the "pink" bit. I suggest the following changes:

And if these foolish Earthling primates think they can hide the Fugitoid robot that carries the plans for the Teleportal that will win us the war…
*ON – THREE TRIBASES taking up positions around the earth at *triangular points. The Tribases suddenly <SURGE> with power, emitting …
Think again, puny mammals!

2.) Re: the following:

… four terrapin creatures have put the old wooden zagtot in the works …

What the heck is "the old wooden zagtot"?! If the intention here is to say something like "a wrench in the works", I suggest finding a slightly less silly way to say it... maybe just say "a wrench in the works".

-- Pete


Subj: comments on Episode 57 outline first draft
Date: Thursday, November 13, 2003 12:36:51 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on Episode 57 outline first draft. I think it has a few serious problems, but it's not unfixable.

1.) Re: the following:

Donatello (v.o.):  "And let’s just say these aliens are searching the multi-verse for an advanced, extra-terrestrial android, who happens to be a friend of yours."

"Multi-verse" is, I think, inappropriate. I think to maintain a reasonable sense of scale we should say "galaxy" or at MOST "universe".

2.) Re: the following:

Donatello:  "Here on Earth?!  But why?"
Fugitoid:  "I’ve come to help you now that the Earth is in great danger from the Triceraton invasion!"
Leonardo:  "It wasn’t … but it is now …"

This still makes NO sense to me. Why would the Fugitoid come all the way to Earth BY HIMSELF, when the Triceratons -- who he KNOWS are searching for him to take his knowledge of the teleportal -- are surrounding the planet? Is he that stupid? Why does he reenter the lion's den -- putting not only himself in peril but by extension, through the teleportal (if the Triceratons get their hands on it) billions of innocent beings throughout the galaxies?

3.) Re: the following:

Physically, the Triceratons outmatch the turtles, and the fight soon turns against the turtles.  Suddenly the Fugitoid calls out, "Clear!" and the turtles climb out of the water, clinging to the tunnel walls as…

…the Fugitoid jabs two cables from his chest into the water, sending a huge electrical blast which shocks the Triceratons and sends them spasming down.

Didn't the Turtles kick a lot of Triceraton butt in the arena? Why are they having so much of a problem with these guys, on their home turf no less? I suggest we just let the Turtles defeat these Triceratons, and not just because "Super-ElectroToid" makes me cringe.

4.) Re: the following:

Donatello:  "I could try to mask the signal, but it’s going to take time."
Raphael:  "I think I know a way to buy you that time…"

Raph gives the Fugitoid a sly grin.

Mozar stands at the bow of a hovercraft in front of a unit of armed Triceratons as the craft moves along a tunnel, following the beeping scanner to an eight-way junction.  There, standing at the center are the turtles with the Fugitoid.

Mozar:  "I have found you.  You have caused us enough trouble already in our search for the… robot."
Fugitoid:  "Actually you are mistaken.  I am an android."
Mozar:  "Terrapins, I am so happy that I can be the one to take your heads to the Prime Leader!"

As one, the Triceratons raise their rifles and aim at the turtles.  Just then Raph gives the signal.  Donatello grabs the Fugitoid’s head, which comes cleanly off in his hands.  Leonardo takes his arms and shoulders.  Raphael takes the Fugitoid's torso.  Michelangelo grabs the Fugitoid's legs.

The turtles split up agreeing to be at the meeting point as they each take a different tunnel, leaving the Triceratons standing.  Mozar looks at his scanner as the Triceraton signal splits into four smaller signals moving away from each other.  Mozar turns angrily to his troops…

I can barely express how dumb this is. It's like the Turtles have suddenly decided it's a really neat idea to show and tell the enemy what their plan is! Woo hoo! How stupid is that??!!
Also, the Fugitoid is technically NOT an android. Let's just keep calling him a robot, as this little "Robot" "No, android!" gag is not really funny. At all.

5.) Re: the following:

Donatello is being pursued by Mozar on the hovercraft with a unit of troops firing after him.  Mozar is intent, speeding after Don, gaining on him, when Don dashes into (where Shredder’s helicopter is stashed).  Mozar and the Triceratons chase in after him…

…then suddenly race out again as there is the sound of whirling blades and Don bursts out in the Shredder’s helicopter, the Fugitoid piloting it via a cable patch in his head.

I'm a little confused by this... Shredder's helicopter? How...? When...? Why...? And why/how is the Fugitoid piloting this helicopter via a "cable patch in his head"? Can't Don fly it?

6.) Re: the following:

Leonardo races through the alleyways, hiding in the shadows and darting from doorway to doorway, avoiding the Triceratons who are scouring the area with their scanners.  Then Leo has an idea…

A Triceraton picks up a Fugitoid reading on his scanner.  He calls the other troops over to him as he follows the scanner to the end of an alleyway.  Suddenly the reading races off and the Triceratons charge after it, through abandoned buildings and warehouses.  Eventually the Triceratons corner the reading and advance… "We’ve got you now!"

The soldiers clear away the junk in the corner of the warehouse… closer… closer… until they reveal… a rat sniffing at a Fugitoid toe, as Leonardo is several blocks away, running hard.

This is just TOTALLY goofy. A TOE???!!! 

-- Pete


Subj: Episode 58 outline first draft
Date: Friday, November 14, 2003 3:53:19 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I just read the first draft of the outline for Episode 58, and have a few comments.

But before I get into them I have to say that I'm starting to wonder if this huge arc is a good idea. I actually started to get a little bit BORED as I read it. Now, that may be just because it's late and I'm tired, but it concerns me.

1.) Re: the following:


The four Turtles and the Fugitoid stand surrounded by the Military, shielding their eyes from the bright spotlights.

Fugitoid: "Oh dear.  I'm afraid it's out of the frying pan and into the fire."
     Donatello: "Don't worry, Professor.  These guys are on our side."

I understand that Donatello is pointing out that these soldiers are NOT Triceratons, but it is a really strange thing for him to say "Don't worry". And when have the Turtles EVER felt that the US military is "on their side"?

2.) Re: the following:

Suddenly, our heroes receive a massive jolt from the soldiers' unique, futuristic, BS&P-approved taser-like weapons.

Military Commander: "On the ground, alien scum!  Hands behind your heads!  Now!"

The Turtles and Fugitoid "assume the position" as the soldiers strip them of their weapons and blindfold them.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but the Turtles seem to fold and become passive AWFULLY quickly in this scene, for no apparent reason. Or is the "massive jolt" sufficient to render them helpless/unconscious? It just seems that after seeing them take on large groups of foes in past episodes, this quick surrender is odd.

3.) Now that Donatello has figured out a way to hide the Fugitoid from the Triceratons' scanners, what do the Triceratons think? Do they think the Fugitoid has once more left the planet, and if so, what do they do? Do they think he has been destroyed? deactivated? what?

4.) Re: the following:

Of greater concern to April is what she finds on the Mystery Man's palmtop: dossiers complete with photos on the four Turtles, Splinter and herself, as well as Shredder, Karai and Baxter Stockman among others!

It seems odd to me that these "Mystery Men" -- who are actually advance agents of the Federation -- would have information on the Shredder, Karai, and Baxter Stockman. Why? What's the point?

5.) Re: the following:

Meanwhile, strapped down in high tech Hannibal Lechter restraints and blindfolded, the four Turtles and the Fugitoid are wheeled down a HIGH TECH CORRIDOR on high tech interrogation tables.  

The Fugitoid is worried, but Leo assures him that if he's in the hands of the Earth Military, then at least he's out of the hands of the Triceratons.

It's nice of Leo to try to make the Professor feel better, but really, isn't that cold comfort? ESPECIALLY given the fact that they are currently all "strapped down in high tech Hannibal Lechter restraints and blindfolded" and "wheeled down a HIGH TECH CORRIDOR on high tech interrogation tables"? My point (similar to my point in comment 1) is that, while technically correct, it's kind of a silly thing for Leo to say.

6.) Re: the following:

Bishop wheels the interrogation table containing the Fugitoid toward the silhouetted figure, who slowly steps into the light, revealing himself to be GENERAL BLANQUE, now sporting a long battle scar, which runs down the side of his face!

Snore... really, does EVERY bad guy have to get a facial scar? I think this is unnecessary and rapidly becoming a silly cliche.

7.) Re: the following:

It becomes clear from their conversation that Bishop has made a pact with General Blanque and the Federation -- although perhaps his reasons for doing so won't be entirely spelled out here.  (Thoughts?)

One thought I had was that because the Federats are, for all intents and purposes HUMAN, there could be a natural inclination to consider Earth for membership in the Federation... something Bishop and his superiors might pursue as a very pragmatic survival mechanism, given that they now know that space has hostile aliens which could (and currently do) threaten Earth's existence. Membership in the Federation, even as a remote outpost, might help to protect Earth.

8.) Re: the following:

April: "Ninjitsu balance technique?"
Splinter: "Actually, it's something I learned from Michelangelo."

As Splinter "rides" the wave, he can't resist shouting:

Splinter: "Kowabunga!" (off their looks) "Sorry.  I should have known I could not pull that one off."

While I appreciate the attempt at humor and I like the fact that Splinter gets to show off some of his cool skills in this scene and others, that last line just HAS to go. Not only does it contain the dreaded "cowabunga", but it is also redundant and silly. 

9.) Re: the following:

As the giant wave is about to crash on the shore, Splinter calls out for April and Casey to jump off on his signal.  They jump, rolling to a rough landing on a warehouse rooftop while the wave <SMASHES> the rowboat to splinters on the pavement below.

This action seems totally ludicrous to me.

10.) Re: the following:

Bishop: "I've been observing you four from afar for quite some time now."

Why? How? When? Also, in this scene I get the impression that Bishop is about to dissect all four Turtles. If so, that seems really silly/wasteful and less dramatic than if he chose ONE of the Turtles, which would be truly horrifying to the other three -- helpless to save their brother as he is being assaulted.

-- Pete

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