Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blast from the Past #637: November 21, 2003: Ep. 59 outline and November 25, 2003: Re: Misc.

Subj: Ep. 59 outline
Date: Friday, November 21, 2003 10:20:21 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Re: Ep. 59 outline:

I hope/trust this is all going somewhere! There is some stuff in this one that had me scratching my head.

1.) Re: the following:

In a nearly deserted New York, Triceraton troops patrol the streets, chasing down the few remaining humans.

Some of our viewers might say that the city in our show nearly always seems deserted! Be that as it may, why are the Triceraton troops "chasing down the few remaining humans"? I thought they were only after those contaminated or exposed to the transionic particles.

2.) Re: the following:

Bishop (VO): Voice identification … Bishop … Project Uber Rook, Log 493 Zeta.  The Triceraton invasion of planet Earth is ninety three point five percent successful.

The Turtles and the Fugitoid are loaded into a Hummer at gunpoint by Federation troops.

Bishop: Their hunt for the Fugitoid and his plans for the Teleportal device that will win the war with the Federation is 100 percent un-successful. [smug] At approximately 0300 hours this morning I captured the Fugitoid and the Terrapin creatures that seek to protect it.  

The "successful/unsuccessful" gag is weak and really makes no sense. The Triceraton invasion would only be successful if they got the Fugitoid. They don't have the Fugitoid, so they are not only not 93.5 percent successful, they are ZERO percent successful.

And what is "Project Uber Rook"???!!!

3.) There are many mentions in this outlines of Bishop's thinking he can use the Turtles' genetic material to create super-soldiers and "bring me more power than any man on earth!" This is all news to me. How is it that he thinks this?

4.) Re: the following:

The now quite sizable group of heroes makes short work of Bishop’s flunkies and few guards, but Bishop is another story entirely.  He attacks the Turtles with a strange arsenal of inhuman abilities: enhanced reflexes and musculature, the ability to leap and kick far faster than the eye can follow.

The weirdness escalates as his head turns 180 degrees to track them during the fight.  His dark glasses are knocked off, revealing that his eyes blink with reptilian membranes.  Add to this the throwing blades and poison sprays he uses as the weapons of his assassin trade, and he turns out to be an extremely formidable, extremely weird foe.

Much head-scratching at this point. What's going on here? What is Bishop? I thought he was human. Where is this headed? Also, as Gary so aptly pointed out in his notes, we must always be vigilante when introducing new foes who are so powerful from the get-go that they can kick all the Turtles' asses.

Also, IF Bishop has these qualities, why the heck does he need the Turtles' genetic material to make his "Super Soldiers"? He should just use his own!

5.) How does Bishop get all the way from NYC to the deserts of Nevada so quickly?

6.) There is no indication herein that the Fugitoid's demise is not permanent. I'm assuming that we will be bringing him back shortly through some clever means...? If this is not the intent here, we need to change this -- I don't want to destroy the 'Toid.

7.) Re: the following:

At his castle in Japan, the Shredder thinks.  He summons Hun and Karai to his side.  "Gather all our resources and prepare.  Now is the time to strike."

Strike at what? Why now?

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Misc.
Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 9:21:12 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my notes on those premises.

First, a general note -- it would probably be helpful to me to get an idea (if such a thing is available) as to where all of this story arc is headed, as some of this stuff seems a bit flaky.

Premise for Episode 60:

1.) Re: the following: 

"Despondent over everything they’ve sacrificed in quest of the Fugitoid and his Teleportal, both Zanramon of the Triceratons and General Blanque of the Federation have been pushed over the edge.  Separately, they both start countdowns on horrific doomsday devices."

This just seems really silly to me. I just don't buy that because they have lost the Fugitoid, they are suddenly suicidal. I think we need to think up something else.

2.) Re: the following:

"Loaded into the helicopters, our heroes take off fully intending to return home when …

… a large shape looms in above them.  It’s a Triceraton freighter."

I think there's only one helicopter, right? But the main question here is -- where and how did the Shredder get his hands on a Triceraton freighter?

3.) Re: the following:

"But, when a large door opens and Karai and Stockman (in an exo-suit that looks like the original human Stockman) enter, LeatherHead looks up.  He starts to lose it.  Stockman!  LeatherHead’s hatred knows no bounds when it comes to the traitorous Stockman; LeatherHead breaks the tension of the moment by breaking some heads.

And, our heroes join in.  The fight rages as Karai stays noticeably out of the mix.  She’s trying to get them to listen and not fight."

Question: how closely does this "new" Stockman resemble the old one? I looked back at the "What A Croc!" script (episode 38), and Leatherhead knew Stockman as a "head in a jar". How and why then is Leatherhead able to recognize the new Stockman?

Also, what kind of fight are we talking about here -- is it just Stockman vs. Leatherhead? Does Leatherhead attack the other Foot also? Should our heroes get into the fight or just try to stop it? This has the feel of action for the sake of action, especially when it leads to the following silliness described in point 4.

4.) Re: the following:

"When the Shredder enters, he uses his knife arm guard to threaten Splinter.  It looks like Splinter’s time on earth is up …
The Shredder holds Splinter and shouts for the others to stop fighting.  Everyone stops and stares at the Shredder."

This IS the same Splinter who has kicked the Shredder's ass before, right? It seems very lame that the Shredder could just walk up and "threaten" Splinters with his "knife arm guard" and that's enough to render Splinter helpless. And if the Shredder wants to do something to prove that he is on the Turtles' side, threatening their Sensei with bodily harm seems like a REALLY stupid way to do it.

I would throw all of this Splinter/Shredder stuff out, and instead have the Shredder do something constructive to help convince the Turtles that he is sincere -- like helping to stop Leatherhead's murderous rage against Stockman. Or better yet, have Stockman getting the better of Leatherhead (through some techno weapons or something), and the Shredder saves Leatherhead's life.

5.) I'm really not at all sure about this "Let's build a teleportal!" bit. Back in the "Turtles In Space" arc, it SORT OF made sense that the Fugitoid, with the Turtles' help, could try to build a transmat in a few hours, only because he had been working on it, or at least gathering components for it, during his Triceraton captivity... and he had access to the advanced technology of the Triceratons and the Federation. It was still a stretch, though... but this whole thing about the Shredder building a transmat is REALLY stretching it.

Is there some other reason we want the Shredder to get his hands on a transmat? If so, I'd like to know what it is. If not, I think we should figure out a different reason for him and the Turtles to work together.

6.) Re: the following:

"Donatello is jacking the Fugitoid’s empty shell into the helicopter and …

Donatello enters with the Fugitoid … memory/brain of Professor Honeycutt restored.  Well, most of his memory anyway.  Donatello had rigged a backup without really thinking about it in Ep. 57.  He had no idea the mind of Professor Honeycutt would have remained intact."

So the Shredder's HELICOPTER was possessed of a computer memory which was powerful enough and sophisticated enough to store within it the contents of the Fugitoid's mind? That seems like quite a stretch. This scenario also sets up a weird bit -- unless the memory core/whatever in the helicopter is erased by Don (which raises its own ethical questions), then we have a helicopter which thinks it's Professor Honeycutt!

Also, practically speaking, Don doesn't have to haul the 'Toid's body around -- just his head, right?


Premise for Episode 61

1.) In the previous episode, our heroes and the Shredder go to the Shredder's castle in Japan. But in this episode, the Shredder, Splinter, Raphael and Hun will "scavenge some much need parts" in New York (from "Big Al's Transmat Shop"...?). Why go all the way to Japan and then back?

2.) Re: the following:

"Meanwhile, Leonardo, Karai and Michelangelo pilot the Shredder’s stolen Triceraton Freighter up to Republic Central.  Using the codes from the stolen (and destroyed) from Zanramon’s personal space cruiser, our heroes enter the bay for the now-gone space cruiser."

Again, very convenient that Shredder was somehow able to steal a Triceraton ship. But the question here is -- how do they have these codes? Where did they get them?

3.) I think it's a good idea to do this rebellion led by Traximus, but I wonder -- if we are going to end this arc with peace between the Triceratons and the Federation, perhaps we should start setting up some character or characters on the Federation side (close to General Blanque?) who might seize power there and start up a new regime which will seek peace instead of war?


Premise for Episode 62

1.) Re: the following:

"Both General Blanque and ex-Prime Leader Zanramon are to be taken back to the Federation and tried for their crimes."

Why are they both being taken back to the Federation? Wouldn't it make more sense for Zanramon to be tried by the Triceratons?

2.) I'm really not loving all this frantic running around and trying to defuse one bomb and fix another one. It just seems like a lot of pointless action. And as I mentioned earlier, I don't buy this "doomsday weapon"/mutual suicide pact bit.

Something that occurred to me: Both the Triceratons and the Federats originally found their way to Earth, in their search for the Fugitoid, by tracing the faint trail of transionic radiation or particles from the action of the Utroms' transmat which beamed the Fugitoid and the Turtles from Triceraton/Federation space back to Earth, and shortly thereafter the Utroms and the Fugitoid left Earth, beaming back to the Utroms' homeworld. Now, the Fugitoid has had himself beamed BACK to Earth (in episode 57) -- so wouldn't it make sense that his transmatting back to Earth would leave a similar trail of transionic particles -- leading right back to Utrom space? 

       And if so, what if the Triceratons and the Federation BOTH realized that -- and realized that at the other end of that transmat rainbow was the prize they had been seeking all this time -- a working transmat? Wouldn't it make sense that they would THEN decide to start out down that trail, thus putting the Utroms in jeopardy? And would this possibly be a better/more interesting problem for our heroes -- how to stop the Triceratons and the Federats from invading the peaceful Utrom world(s)?


<<PS- We should have a rough cut of your interview to send to you sometime
next week.>>

Great! I look forward to seeing it.

-- Peter


  1. This isnt unique to the topic at hand but

    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."

    Do you think it's simply PR Spin or that this was changed in the rewrites?

    1. If memory serves, Mr. Bay said some months ago that in the new movie, "these Turtles are from an alien race". That's a pretty straightforward comment which I think anyone could reasonably take to mean that the Turtles in the movie Mr. Bay is producing will not be mutated Earth turtles, as in the first twenty-five years of the property's history, but Turtles from an alien race of Turtles. I believe that the script which made its way onto the Internet also made it quite clear that -- at least at some early point in this movie's development -- the Turtles were, in fact, to be alien Turtles from a race of alien Turtles. Taken together, I think that's fairly good evidence of the intention to make the Turtles aliens.

      If that was NOT in fact Mr. Bay's intent, he could have easily corrected this misapprehension months ago, instead of letting it go on this long. I suspect in part that might be due to the fact that he probably has a lot more pressing things on his plate, and this was of minor importance. I can't say for sure because I don't know him, and I have nothing to do with this new movie. I am grateful for the clarification, because -- as I pointed out in an earlier blog post -- I thought the idea of making the Turtles aliens was creatively bankrupt.

      That's not to say that there might not be a really great story to be told about a race of anthropomorphic alien turtles -- just that it seemed to me to be a totally pointless exercise to change the TMNT origin story in this way.

      Now, I suppose one could kind of maybe sort of wiggle out of that original statement by claiming that the ooze which mutated the Turtles and Splinter in the original comics was created by the Utroms, who are aliens, so… well, the ooze was FROM them, see… and THEY are an alien race… and… and…

      It's either total spin now, or a colossally inept articulation in the original statement, in my opinion. Regardless, I think all TMNT fans should be happy that this issue has finally been clarified.

      For now. -- PL

    2. Also, what's your take on the actor playing Raphael being in, what seems to be, complete denial mode regarding the "accuracy" of what we read on the internet:

      Do you think it's his way of saying it's no longer an issue or trying to say it's all a lie?

    3. I'm not really sure I understand your question. What is the "it" you are referring to? -- PL

    4. The Actor saying that what we read about this film online is "not true"..I wonder if you think he's saying that the stuff we know about the leaked script is a lie for the sake of PR spin or irrelevant?

    5. Hard to say -- it could be either. -- PL

  2. It's a shame this Turtles-Shredder team up never made it into the actual show. Do you remember why they never went through with it?

  3. It was wonderful post about the hummer,..
    Thanks for sharing this with us,.
    Greener Blast Hummer