Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blast from the Past #623: June 22, 2003: Ep. 42/"City at War" Part 3 outline, and Ep. 40/"City at War" Part 1 first draft script, June 25, 2003: Re: Christmas Turtles, July 2, 2003: various things, and July 4, 2003: Episode 43 outline/"The Garbageman Returns"

Subj:  Ep. 42/"City at War" Part 3 outline, and Ep. 40/"City at War" Part 1 first draft script
Date:  Sunday, June 22, 2003 4:35:13 PM
From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine


I read the Ep. 42/"City at War" Part 3 outline, and Ep. 40/"City at War" Part 1 frst draft script.

I don't have any comments on the outline for Ep. 43 -- it looks cool.

I do have a few comments of the script for Ep. 40:

1.) In line 47 (VOICE ON THE PHONE), I suggest adding "Karai" to the end of his first line so it reads "It is as you suspected, Mistress Karai."

2.) The two TV "talking heads" discussing the gang wars are still both male. Any reason not to make one a woman as I suggested?

3.) When Mikey is playing with his Ninja, Purple Dragon, and Mobster action figures, these should look obviously homemade or customized.

4.) I'm still not 100% comfortable with the Pavlovian response-type "see Foot/fight Foot" scenario which is playing out when the Turtles are observing the Foot in the warehouse, and I especially don't like the idea (as expressed by Mikey) that they have Master Splinter's blessing to go forward with this battle -- I really doubt he would have gven his blessing. I do like the struggle among the guys to decide WHAT they should do, especially on Leo's part, because he feels (misplaced) guilt about sparking the whole city at war thing by taking out the Shredder. However, Leo SHOULD also be smart enough to recognize the precarious nature of the situation (i.e. if he jumps in -- literally! -- to this gang war) for himself and his brothers. 

As we have discussed a number of times, it is REALLY important to me that we keep the "accidental hero" nature of the Turtles intact and NOT turn them into the proactive vigilante Batman/Spider-Man type who goes out looking for wrongs to right. And I feel we're getting VERY close to that with this scene.

My suggested solution to this is simple and I think logical: While the four Turtles are arguing about what -- if anything -- they should do about this "city at War" situation and the immediate issue of these Foot ninja in the warehouse below them, they are spotted by Foot Ninja lookouts (an obvious and logical thing for the Foot to have posted aound the warehouse for security reasons) and those Foot lookouts attack with arrows, shuriken, etc. THEN the Turtles MUST respond in self-defense, which action leads to the rest of that scene as described in the script.

5.) You know how much I love the fake martial arts of the MATRIX movies (I'm joking), so when I saw the bit where Don says he wants to "try out one of my favorite movie stunts"  (described as "he slams his staff into a crack in the floor and starts spinning around it, holding on with two arms (as in the big fight between Neo and the multiple Smiths in "Matrix: Reloaded")") I thought it would be MUCH funnier if he indeed does try to do that, but we show how it DOESN'T work, i.e. as he starts spinning around he slips lower and lower on the staff until he's hit the floor.

6.) Near the end of the episode, Raph's line (158) to Leo ("Leo! This is my fault too!") seems weird and out of place to me.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Christmas Turtles
Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2003 12:09:05 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/22/03 10:53:53 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Peter -

For the Christmas story that we're trying to do, I'd really like to have
the big Christmas celebration happen in the Turtle's Lair as opposed to
April's place.  What do you think?>>


I can't think of any particular reason not to have the Christmas get-together in the Turtles' lair, except POSSIBLY that April's apartment is cozier. I could go either way.

I do have a few comments on the outline for this episode:

1.) While I think it's fine and appropriate to keep the Christmas focus for this episode, I wonder if we could work in a few other Christmastime holiday traditions from other religions/cultures (not to any ridiculous degree, of course).
Could Splinter know of and practice some Japanese Christmas traditions? I did a little searching on the Web and found the following:

"There is no official celebration of Christmas in Japan as less than one percent of the population is Christian. There is an unofficial widespread secular observance of Christmas due to the influence of Americans after the war and Japan's Christmas industry that provides decorations and trinkets for Christian nations. 

As the Christmas industry grew, it was natural for the Japanese to become interested in the Christian celebration and to absorb some of the customs into their own society. 
In a few homes you may find small artificial Christmas trees decorated with small toys, dolls, ornaments, gold paper fans, lanterns, and even wind chimes. Candles are also placed on the branches. One of the most popular ornaments is the origami swan. The Christmas trees are usually purchased with the decorations already in place. 

Hoteiosho, one of the gods from the Japanese pantheon, brings the gifts. Since he has eyes in the back of his head, it's natural for him to observe the behavior of the children in Japan. 
One Japanese tradition that is a boon to the baking industry is the Christmas Cake. People purchase them since it is not normally a home project. 

The Daiku, or "Great Nine, refers to Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony." This is traditionally performed in many places in Japan during the Christmas and New Year Season. 
In Tokyo, unusual decorations are often created such as this 14-foot tall tree made from 3,795 champagne glasses. It's illuminated from within and the colors light up the night. 
Christmas is often a time for adults to indulge in heavy-duty consumption. Christmas Eve is considered by many to be a prime time of the year for buying diamonds and other jewelry to give to a romantic partner. 

On December 26, the decorations are taken down and the Japanese prepare for the fast-approaching New Year's holiday. New Year's Eve is the day to thoroughly clean the house and to dress in your finest clothes. New Year's decorations are usually fashioned from bamboo and pine. The kadomatsu, or gate pine, is placed at the front entrance and the main emphasis of the season is new beginnings. The New Year festivities continue until January 3."

This was just a quick and by no means exhaustive search -- there may be much more. But I kind of like the god with the eyes in the back of his head!

2.) Another idea -- could Casey be Jewish? Might be a good way to bring Hanukkah into the story.

-- Pete


Subj: various things
Date: Wednesday, July 2, 2003 1:00:11 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I've just finished reviewing the storyboards for Ep. 34/"Secret Origins-- Part Three", and earlier today I checked out the storyboards for the "reflections" episode (the "clip" show), and don't have anything to say about them except for that there is a moment in "Reflections" when Mike shows his eyes, and they are drawn in the storyboard as white and pupil-less... I think they should have pupils, as Raph's do in the Kirby episode when he comes out of the shower.

Also, here are a few comments on Ep. 41/"City At War" Part Two first draft script:

1.) In Mike's line 9, I would change the word "remains" to "remnants".

2.) Leo doing the "Bock! Bock!" chicken noise thing in line 22 is too goofy for the situation and also not very Leo-ish. I would eliminate it and just have Leo get right in Raph's face (an inch away) and say "Chicken."

3.) Dragonface's line 39 -- can we really say "gangbangers" in this show?

4.) Line 41 -- why does Dragonface says to Hun "You sell out the Dragons to your "master" Shredder..."? How did Hun "sell them out"?

5.) It seems very odd that Leo is so wrought and tense and then suddenly he is calm and meditative (line 125). It seems like this line is just a set-up for Mike's following line, which I think is weak.

6.) I suggest changing Karai's line 129 to read "And I am here to restore order to the Foot." I think it better sets up Raph's line 134.

7.) The whole bit with the chuks and bats bouncing off the Tall Aide with zero effect is very silly.


I also wanted to comment on some art that was faxed to me recently.

Sewer Sub -- fine.

Turtle Robot -- either version is fine. I don't see a whole lot of difference between "alternate head v.1" and "alternate head v.2"... in any event, the downward-pointed beak is a bit too much, looking more eagle-like than turtle-like.

Leatherhead hatchling -- a little goofy, but okay.

"Porpoise" breathing apparatus -- fine.

-- Pete


Subj: Episode 43 outline/"The Garbageman Returns"
Date: Friday, July 4, 2003 12:42:03 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on Episode 43 outline/"The Garbageman Returns":

1.) When Mike and Don follow the parade of junked cars underwater and come upon the "City beneath the sea", are they actually in the ocean or are they still in the river?

2.) Garbageman's rationale and his "Muck Monster" don't make a whole lot of sense.

3.) Raph and Leo's entry into the Garbageman's Undersea City using the Porpoise is kind of silly, and not very ninja-like. I thought the Porpoise was just like a scuba breathing apparatus -- how can it blow through "heavily shielded gates"?

4.) "Arming themselves with junk armor to protect against the GarbageMan"...? Why do the Turtles need armor now? They didn't in their last encounter.

5.) The "antidote" seems to jump around without reason or rhyme -- it's in the Garbageman's hands one moment, then it's knocked free, then Garbageman has it again and Raph's trying to grab it from him.

6.) "The GarbageMan goes on to explain himself a little more; he says that by pushing him into the underwater world, they opened his eyes to the truth: the whole planet, land and water, must be covered with garbage!" Wasn't the Garbageman shown driving his garbage truck around underwater in his first appearance? Surely he had already seen what the bottom of the river was like.

6.) The major problem I have with this reappearance of Garbageman is that unlike his first appearance, where he was the Machiavelli of garbage, and by seeing the value of what people throw away he found a path to power, here he's just crazy, and his plan to "cover the Earth with garbage" is just stupid. (One alternate possibility: Garbageman has discovered that there are two advantages to underwater garbage hunting -- there are far more valuable things underwater, and he can operate more or less unseen.

The things I like about this outline are some of the images -- the junk cars driving underwater, "Junklantis", and the attack on Manhattan by a giant Muck Monster. But I think it needs to be reworked so it holds together more logically, and Garbageman doesn't become yet another throwaway villain with a nonsensical agenda.

One thing that might help is to make the Muck Monster's rapid growth and attack on the city an ACCIDENT -- something that Garbageman does not anticipate (maybe even precipitated, unintentionally, by an action by one or more of the Turtles). Of course, this would require reworking the whole reason behind the existence of the Muck Monster.

-- Peter

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blast from the Past #622: June 18, 2003: Re: Nano? and Ep. 37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano", June 19, 2003: Re: SCAT and storyboards for Ep. 33/"Secret Origins Part 2", and June 20, 2003: Ep. 38 second draft and Ep. 39 second draft

Subj: Re: Nano?
Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 12:08:14 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/17/03 3:15:50 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< I did get both messages, thanks!

You'll have to tell me of your conquest of Greylock in greater detail!

Lloyd >>


Here's the email I sent to my family (plus attached photo):

"Greylock has been conquered by Segway!

After my failure to make it all the way up on my last attempt, due to insufficient battery life, I had a plan: I would take the fully charged batteries out of a second Segway and carry those in a backpack. When the first set of batteries ran out (approximately 2/3 of the way up), I would stop and swap the fresh batteries for the depleted ones.

Now, imagine a package of Fig Newtons made out of lead. That's roughly the right size and almost the right weight of ONE of the Segway's two batteries. Suffice it to say, that was one HEAVY backpack. My back is still aching from carrying them all the way up and down Greylock.

This time, the batteries ran out just about where they had last time. I pulled over next to a pretty little waterfall (lots of those on Greylock today after all of the recent rain), and set to swapping batteries. There are four hex-head (Allen) bolts holding each battery pack onto the base of the Segway, so eight total. You'd think that wouldn't be a big deal. It's not... except for the fact that the heads of these bolts each sit about two inches inside a protective recess, which is hard to see into when you are trying to fit the Allen wrench into the Allen bolts. Fussing around with this took me about twenty minutes, but it all came together, and I had two fresh batteries.

So I did make it all the way to the top, even though there was not much to see today -- the summit was pretty foggy (see attached photo of me with the tower barely visible in the background). I had about 2/5 charge left when I got to the top, and made it down safely (thank God for regenerative braking!). All in all, it took me about four hours, round trip.


-- Pete


Subj: Ep.  37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano"
Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 12:14:51 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on Ep.  37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano":

1.) To better set up Casey's nervous "It's NOT a date!" bit in line 28, I suggest changing the first part of that line to "I'll pick you up around ten. Hey, maybe we can grab a late night snack or somethin'..."

2.) I'm sure this is already being thought about, but Nano should look different this time around, beginning with the "junk baby" we first see him as. Maybe Jim Lawson should work up some designs like he did last time.

3.) Nano is smashing things in the amusement park, the Turtles show up in the Battleshell, and April runs over and says (line 135) "It's going nuts, tearing up the place!" I think it would be better if before she says that, either she or Casey says something like "Am I glad to see you guys!"

4.) Grammar Alert!!! In line 137, Don says "try and". It should be "try to".

5.) I think we're REALLY pushing the envelope with the quick fix Don thinks up to defeat Nano, though I'm willing to let it go. However, calling what they create a "particle accelerator" is just too much! I suggest eliminating lines 158 and 159 entirely, and changing line 160 to read "And the resulting intermittent multipolar flux should create the electromagnetic pulse!"

6.) In general, I think this draft is an improvement However, it is still very much like the original "Nano", especially the ending (Turtles fight Nano, Nano is destroyed, Harry is taken away by cops). I wonder if we should consider having a different ending, one perhaps in which Nano is NOT defeated by the Turtles, but instead -- after the requisite pitched battle, of course -- escapes with his "parents" in some kind of bizarre flying machine it has created in its "Nano" fashion... and the last image we see of Harry and Dr. Richards is their horrified faces at a window in the flying machine as it zooms off into the distance, off to find some isolated location where it can recreate its "home" and "family". I kind of like this twist because instead of Nano AGAIN being punished for his innocence, the less-than-perfect "parents" get THEIR comeuppance.
(Hmmm... I just had a wicked "deja vu" -- did we discuss something like this already?)

-- Pete


Subj: Re: SCAT
Date: Thursday, June 19, 2003 3:07:33 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/18/03 11:42:15 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Peter -

Listen, as we can't use Kevin's image in your interview for the DVD extra,
we could really REALLY use the cover of SCAT!  We need something to cut to
while you're telling the story of how you guys met (to cover up several
audio edits that help make you sound more eloquent than you actually were
that day!).  If we don't come up with something we will have to lose that

A Scat cover would really fit the bill.  And we need it yesterday.

Lemme know!

Lloyd >>


I scoured my archives (okay, I looked for five minutes) and found one copy each of Scat 1 and 2. Both have my art on the covers, which I have scanned at 150dpi and will now send you. Hope it's adequate! Attached to this email is the cover for Scat #1.

-- Pete


Subj: storyboards for Ep. 33/"Secret Origins Part 2"
Date: Thursday, June 19, 2003 4:14:39 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I've looked over the storyboards for Ep. 33/"Secret Origins Part 2", and don't have much to say, except that on pages 240 and 241, it seems a little silly (and a little dangerous, due to possible ricochets) that the National Guardsmen would be firing RIFLES at the shuttered TCRI building.

-- Pete


Subj: Ep. 38 second draft and Ep. 39  second draft
Date: Friday, June 20, 2003 3:35:41 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Except for the stupid "ineffectual development" mistake which I made and which was carried over to the script, I'd say this second draft of Ep. 38 is fine.

I'm still not happy with the way Don finds the cure for the monsters in the second draft of Ep. 39. This version is worse than the last. As an example, we see Don displaying some kind of sophisticated computer graphic simulation about the crystals in one scene, and a page later he's banging on a crystal with a hammer and chisel -- and breaks the chisel! Very silly.
I was under the impression that we WERE going to use the "crystal teaching dream" concept to get around the problem of Don somehow being so insanely brilliant that he can come up with a solution to ANYTHING.
Here's what I said about this in a previous email:

"I think from the beginning I've had a little bit of a problem with how Don is able to find/create a cure for these mutants to turn them back into human beings. As smart as Don is, it seems REALLY amazing for him to understand how to counteract the effects of the genetic mutations performed by the Foot scientists on these unfortunate people. All he has to go on is that (a) something the Entity did to them turned them back into humans, and (b) something about a particular proximity to the "crystal moon" keeps them that way. The level of knowledge of and expertise in genetics, biology, physiology and essentially alien technology required for Don to successfully come up with a cure is staggering, and I think really is quite beyond him.

That's why I think we need to keep the "crystal dream". To use another example from "Star Trek" -- remember the episode where McCoy is able to put Spock's brain back into his body through the assistance of the alien teaching machine? Well, in SORT of the same way, what if the crystal next to Don's head as he's snoozing acts as some kind of conduit from a vast storehouse of knowledge from the ancient underground race, and essentially works on Don's unconscious and causes him to wake up with the idea for the cure fully formed in his mind? This approach might also allow us some good character moments earlier where Don can be obsessing about the cure and his inability to find one, where he's beating himself up and berating himself as a "glorified gadget-maker", frustrated by one failed experiment and dead-end theory after another."

-- Pete

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blast from the Past #621: June 10, 2003: Re: FW: Notes on 39, June 11, 2003: Re: "City at War" confusion, and June 13, 2003: Re: Kirby fix and Ep. 38/"What A Croc!" first draft script

Subj: Re: FW: Notes on 39
Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 11:48:38 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/10/03 4:27:18 PM, Lloyd writes:

"Return to the Underground"

Pete -

Below please find ROUGH NOTES to the writer for episode 39 "Return to the
Underground."  This isn't a full outline or anything, just the gist of what
we want him to fix to ensure that this underground adventure is different
from the last underground adventure.

Please look it over and send me your comments asap.



PS - Really need to go over "City at War" with you, I've just been stuck in
edits and mixes 24/7 lately!  Maybe tomorrow 12:30?


<<The cure.  It's all about the cure.

What is the rush?  Why does Donatello start off in such a rush?  What you
need is a CURE.

Donatello should be working on a cure and he finds it:

He discovers a way to actually liquefy the crystal creating a vaccination
(using sonic vibrations as heat does nothing to it).  Regarding the glowing
serum in its vial, you'll be able to use a Star Trek elaborate hypo-gun so
it won't look like a needle. 

Start with the cure.  Don discovers what he thinks will work.  It's only a
theory because he can't actually test it.  But, all the simulations in his
computer point to a physical transference and adhesion of the liquid crystal
to the bone structure, which would cure the monsters/friends and permanently
keep them from reverting back.

So, do a series of dissolves with Donatello working for a cure right off the
bat; he's working feverishly while the others spar, meditate, watch TV.  The
only constant is Donatello hard at work in his lab.  Then, Splinter could be
watching TV about the news (in prep for City at War) as Donatello bursts out
of his lab.  Eureka.  He's found it.  Etc.

So, you won't need the dream sequence.  Don't have it.  We think all is
well.  All is sweet.  It's going to be easy.  (That way motivation isn't
really an issue.  We made a promise.  We're going to keep it.  It's no big
deal.  Now that I have the cure, it'll be easy).  Plus, that way, they're
also not really prepared for monsters.>>


I think from the beginning I've had a little bit of a problem with how Don is able to find/create a cure for these mutants to turn them back into human beings. As smart as Don is, it seems REALLY amazing for him to understand how to counteract the effects of the genetic mutations performed by the Foot scientists on these unfortunate people. All he has to go on is that (a) something the Entity did to them turned them back into humans, and (b) something about a particular proximity to the "crystal moon" keeps them that way. The level of knowledge of and expertise in genetics, biology, physiology and essentially alien technology required for Don to successfully come up with a cure is staggering, and I think really is quite beyond him.

That's why I think we need to keep the "crystal dream". To use another example from "Star Trek" -- remember the episode where McCoy is able to put Spock's brain back into his body through the assistance of the alien teaching machine? Well, in SORT of the same way, what if the crystal next to Don's head as he's snoozing acts as some kind of conduit from a vast storehouse of knowledge from the ancient underground race, and essentially works on Don's subconscious and causes him to wake up with the idea for the cure fully formed in his mind? This approach might also allow us some good character moments earlier where Don can be obsessing about the cure and his inability to find one, where he's beating himself up and berating himself as a "glorified gadget-maker", frustrated by one failed experiment and dead-end theory after another.

<<The guys could try to see if the Entity knows anything. Exiting the
tunneler, they strap on the backpacks.  Inside, they find the Entity in

The amulet could activate/trigger a doorway in Don's hands and the guys find
a new hallway ... a giant hall where all the ashen bodies of all the
inhabitants of the underworld are on pedestals in a huge row.  (So we'll go
someplace new and eerie and cool).>>

It sounds like a cool visual, but I don't really understand the reasoning behind the Entity being turned into ashes. Why does this happen? Is it really necessary?

-- Pete


Subj: Re: "City at War" confusion
Date: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 11:40:52 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/11/03 7:32:21 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete-

Thanks for the e-mail re: City of War.  However, you seem to have forgotten
a few pertinent details (again!)!  You forget the part where Leo decides he
can take on the entire city single-handedly, Raph finally comes out of the
closet, and Splinter does a whole speech about the evils of Segway riding.

Don't you remember?

Lloyd >>


Oh, man -- that's going to be an AWESOME episode!

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Kirby fix
Date: Friday, June 13, 2003 1:25:18 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/12/03 11:38:15 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete -

Here's the script for the fix at the end of the Kirby show.

Lemme know.



The fix is in!

In all seriousness, it (as reproduced below) is perfect. Thanks!

One comment (NOT a problem): I suspect that near the end when Don walks by Raph, there will be a medium closeup of Raph with the towel wrapped around him and his "clothes" (bandanna, kneespads, elbow pads, etc.) off. The fans would LOVE it if they can see Raph's actual beautiful brown eyes in this shot.

-- Pete

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
(show # 1488-016)


On Don as he leans against the wall, unfolds the plane, and looks at the note.

CLOSE ON DON - his somewhat sad react to the note.



Don comes slowly up the stairs(NOTE: he has the note from Kirby tucked into his belt until he takes it out later).  



A naked-except-for-a-towel Raph meets Don in the hall as Don reaches the top of the stairs.  Don continues on his way, ignoring Raph, until…
So what’s the scoop?  You’ve been gone for ages – we got hot water or what?!
Don gives Raph a cold, withering stare then EXITS FRAME.  Raph scratches his head, confused at his brother’s reaction.
Geez… what’s eatin’ him?
Don enters, closes the door behind him, leans his staff against the wall, pulls the note from his belt and takes a seat near the window.  He unfolds the note and stares at it.
CLOSE ON DON as he stares at the note.
CLOSE ON NOTE –It is a drawing of Don (see original comic) with the words "Don, Life at best is bitter sweet.  See ya around pal, Kirby," written on it.
WIDE ON DON – He looks up from the note as camera slowly TRUCKS OUT.


Subj: Ep. 38/"What A Croc!" first draft script
Date: Friday, June 13, 2003 1:29:13 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I read the first draft script for Ep. 38 ("What A Croc!") and for the most part liked it. Of course, I have a few comments/suggestions:

1.) Minor point -- why is the title "What A Croc?" (with a question mark) instead of "What A Croc!" (with an exclamation point)?

2.) Leatherhead wearing a white lab coat -- while this is a neat visual, does it make any sense? Should we (through the Turtles) comment on it? Does Leatherhead actually LIKE the feel of a cold wet clammy thing on his skin after he's been swimming in it?
Something that just occurred to me -- didn't "The Lizard" in the old Spider-Man comics look almost exactly like this (big reptile in a white lab coat)? Could this be a problem?

3.) Mike's line 38 ("What the shell?") is described as "to self", like his line 41. I assume this means it's supposed to be the audio equivalent of a comic book "thought balloon" -- his lips won't move, but we'll hear him speaking the line. That's fine, but I thought it would be funnier if that first line (#38) is one he actually speaks underwater (shock and surprise just makes it pop out of his mouth), with the resultant burbly distortion.

4.) Right after Leo's line 50, Mike is seen to be "banging the water out of his ears". Our Turtles don't have ears.
In this scene, it would seem to make more sense if Mike at least tries to get one or more of the other guys to come with him. Also, it seems silly that he would say he going to try to lead "it right back here so you can all see it". That's kind of dangerous -- why doesn't he just try to take a picture or video of it?

5.) Back out in the tunnels looking for Leatherhead by himself, Mike inspects a "long shining set of silver claw scratches", then says into his shell call in line 56 "Check it out, guys". Why's he saying this? Can they see what he's looking at?

6.) After Mikey's line 58, he "skitters across the circular walls of the tunnel like a beetle". This sounds more like Spider-Man than a Turtle, even if he is wearing a pair of climbing claws.

7.) After line 71, Mike ducks through a manhole that Leatherhead "crashes against... with his snout". If it's big enough for Mike to fit through with his shell and everything, shouldn't at least PART of Leatherhead (like his whole head) fit though the manhole?

8.) I don't like Raph's line 101 at all ("I'm Rubber Nose...").

9.) In line 109, Leatherhead says "It was against the Utroms' beliefs to tamper with life forms, and so it was decided that day that I was no longer a reptile, and was adopted as an Utrom." I read this one half a dozen times, and it STILL made no sense to me. 
Perhaps a better line would be something like "The mutagen greatly accelerated my ineffectual development, and when the Utroms realized I had become a sentient being, they adopted me."

10.) In Leatherhead's line 112, I suggest changing the word "debris" to "components".

11.) In line 119, the Turtles all say "Baxter Stockman?!" Shouldn't this line come AFTER they (and the audience) see his head in the Utrom exoskeleton?

12.) Line 122 ("What was wrong? That spider thing not cutting it with the ladies?") sounds more like a Mikey line than a Leo line.

13.) Line 126 -- I suggest changing Leatherhead's line "The Utroms must have trusted you well to teach you of this transport." to "The Utroms must have trusted you well to share knowledge of this, their most secret and precious technology."

14.) Line 127 -- I suggest changing Stockman's line "Not trusted, my friend, deceived!" to "The Utroms were trustful, my friend -- but were also deceived!"

15.) Line 128 -- There are two "these turtles" phrases in Baxter's line. I suggest changing the second one to just "they".

16.) The battle with the Turtlebot ends kind of weakly. Are we trying to save the Turtlebot for a  future reappearance? If not, then I think it should suffer serious damage, perhaps even be trashed, instead of just reverting to its sphere, pyramid and cube shapes.

The ending is very cool!

That's it from me!

-- Pete

Friday, February 22, 2013

Blast from the Past #620: June 8, 2003: Ep. 40/"City At War" part 1 first draft outline, Ep. 39/"Return to the Underground", Random thoughts, Re: Prime Leader Zanramon, and storyboards for Ep.31 and outline for Ep. 41/"City at War -- Part2"

Subj: Ep. 40/"City At War" part 1 first draft outline
Date: Sunday, June 8, 2003 12:15:02 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


This outline seems to have some stuff in it that we've already discussed and I thought was going to be taken out. Back on April 30 I sent you the following in response to the first premise for this episode:

<<  Episode 39/"City at War" part 1: I like the fact that you want to adapt the "City at War" stories from the comics, but I think some basic things need to be readjusted.

          -- We originally broke up the Foot into the following factions, all of which were at odds with the others:

               -- Shredder's Elite Guard -- the smallest group, fanatically devoted to the Shredder, consummate martial artists

               -- Foot Soldiers -- the basic "grunts" of the Foot Clan, numerous, skilled, not very good planners

               -- Foot Scientists -- the tech division of the Foot, somewhat skilled in martial arts, but mostly talented in creating/developing high-tech weapons (they created the robots in the comic version of "City at War")... less numerous than Foot Soldiers, somewhat better at planning. For the TV show, the enhanced Foot Tech Ninja could be part of this crew.

               -- Foot Accountants -- don't laugh! These guys ran the daily financial operations of the Foot Clan in NYC, and are skilled at manipulating same and also any kind of organizational paperwork stuff. (They shut off the power to the Foot Scientists' lab facilities in the comics by manipulating billing records at the electric company!) They number about as many as the Foot Scientists, and are about as skilled in martial arts.

               -- Foot Mystics -- we actually didn't have these guys in the comics (though they WILL be showing up in some of the new Mirage TMNT comics; Steve Murphy has a cool story for the new Tales of the TMNT comic featuring a battle between Splinter and a Foot Mystic), but as they are a part of the show it would be cool to include them. They are perhaps less numerous than the Shredder Elite, but very skilled in the dark arts.

     The reason I have gone through all this is that I think it's important for the "City at War" storyline to keep one of the major threads, which is the idea that the Foot, now being leaderless, has fractured into these squabbling factions, and really needs a strong leader (in this case Karai) to come in and bring them all back together again. The Shredder Elite would never work with the basic Foot Soldiers in an alliance against the other Foot factions -- they are too fanatical.

     Also, while it's kind of a neat twist to make Karai a pawn of the Utrom known as the Shredder, I thinks it's also a mistake. I think Karai should be much like she is in the comics, a powerful character who brings unity (and the potential for conflict with the Turtles down the road) to the Foot. This is key because that also means that she can/should come into conflict later on with the Shredder, if we bring him back as I suspect we might. I think she could become a strong adversary for the Turtles in her own right.

     We need to be very careful to not forget another key ingredient of the "City at War" saga -- and that was how it pointed out quite clearly (and I remember we very deliberately did this) that as strong and powerful and capable as the Turtles are, they are completely out of their depth when they get involved in this huge war among the Foot factions. I feel there is a but too much "superhero-ing" in these "City at War" episodes, with the Turtles jumping in and fighting with the different groups in this conflict for no reason (apparently) other than to have fights. (For example, there's a scene where Leo has followed some Foot Soldiers to the "rundown place" where they are squatting in "filth and squalor", and for no reason that I can see he's about to "leap down and engage them" when he is held back by the other Turtles.) I really want to keep this to a minimum, and have them only get involved when they have to.

     It also affords us the opportunity to show some conflict AMONG the Turtles, to show that they don't all always think with a "group mind". Raphael -- and Mike, who has shown himself to have a desire to "do good" -- might feel more inclined to jump in and mix it up with the battling factions, and Leo could find himself leaning in that direction (i.e. not wanting to be passive) but also realizing that as leader that would be a bad decision. Don  might take a more passive attitude ("Not our problem!") and argue that not only are they "the Turtles) not capable of battling all these factions, but maybe they'd all be better off if these factions essentially killed each other off.>>

I know we had a long phone conversation after this, and I don't recall all of the details of it. In any event, I will now comment on THIS draft.

1.) Let's make a rule and give it to all of the writers: Except in unusual and exigent circumstances, Leonardo DOES NOT THROW HIS SWORDS!!! All of the Leo sword throwing stuff must go.

2.) The "Mysterious Figure" says to the "Gangster" "These bills have been cut in half." LITERALLY??!! Seems kind of goofy. Do the Gangsters expect the Foot to tape all of the bills back together when they get the other halves? Wouldn't it make more sense if it's just half the AMOUNT of money he was expecting?

3.) I find if hard to believe that a Shredder Elite and a bunch of Foot Ninjas would have a hard time fighting with a bunch of Gangsters.

4.) For the introduction of Karai, the scene with her just sitting in a chair next to the phone seems boring and static. She's a powerful and dynamic individual. I suggest something like having the phone of the table as described, but Karai is flipping/jumping/leaping around (maybe just seen as blurs or shadows) when the phone rings, and she could complete some dramatic leap and land next to the table, where she could pick up the phone.

5.) I'm not sure if this is too silly, but when I read the line about Karai's large and short assistants, I thought it might be neat if one was dressed in black and the other in white, and we called one "Yin" and the other "Yang".

6.) One of the "Point/Counterpoint" talking heads on the TV should be a woman.

7.) As pointed out before, the Foot should not be "squatting" in "filth and squalor".

8.) I REALLY don't like the "crazy Leo" we've got in this story, where he's willing to just jump in and start fighting with the Foot when they're not attacking him, his friends, or any other innocent bystander that I can see. This behavior is very un-Leo, far more Raph-like. Maybe it should be Raph who does all this stuff.

9.) I got very confused trying to figure out WHERE exactly all of the action in Act 4 is taking place. For example, the Turtles are "on the roof of the Foot building", then they see the van pull up "outside the building", then the next we see them they're "hiding in the rafters of the building" where they "look down on the scene" which is taking place OUTSIDE! Huh?

10. I thought we were going to have Baxter Stockman's head inside the Utrom exoskeleton's stomach cavity? If we need to have a Stockman head atop the Exoskeleton's shoulders, perhaps it could be a hologram (which would allow us some fun bits where various thrown things or weapons go THROUGH his head, with no effect).


12.) We really need to get rid of the "superhero" motivations expressed by Leo ("It's simple. We're going to take out the Mobsters, the Purple Dragons, and the Foot, one at a time.") and remember that that's NOT what the Turtles do, or even CAN do.

-- Pete



Subj: Ep. 39/"Return to the Underground"
Date: Sunday, June 8, 2003 12:51:46 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Some notes on the "Return to the Underground" first draft.

1.) So as to make it a LITTLE more realistic that Don could build the Turtle Tunneler, how about having Casey and April helping Don build it? Casey could be helpful with the cutting/welding stuff, and April could help Don debug the computer systems which operate it. In fact... wasn't April helping in an earlier version of this story?


3.) "Crystal NETWORK" or "Crystal MATRIX"?

4.) Donatello's line 54, in response to Splinter ("The only fact I need, Sensei, is what I know in my heart.") seems really un-Donlike. In fact, that whole exchange with Splinter seems unnecessary.

5.) There's a bit near line 82 where Quarry snaps off one of the Tunneler's digger blades and use it to bang on the Tunneler. This to me makes the Tunneler seem pretty weak (these blades, after all, were made to be tunneling through rock). I suggest Quarry could pick up something else, a piece of metal from the trashed lab, to bash the Tunneler with.

6.) After line 112, "Don shines his flashlight up to the cavern ceiling". That's some flashlight!

-- Pete


Subj: Random thoughts
Date: Sunday, June 8, 2003 1:20:25 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


While reading the script for "Return to the Underground", I had the following more-or-less unconnected ideas float through my head:

1.) For the "Big Brawl" mulitparter, I thought it might be cool to have the interdimensional nexus in which it all takes place to be surrounded by a glowing, shifting wall or "energy curtain" -- beyond which is "null-space". If any physical object is pushed through this barrier, it instantly disintegrates. This could feature in some key action as peril for one or more of our heroes.

2.) Somewhat connected with the "Big Brawl" -- a cadre of self-appointed "Guardians of Dimensional Integrity" come after the Turtles and Splinter. They consider our heroes' travels to/from other dimensions to be "polluting" the purity of those dimensions.

3.) Stockman + Nano = ...? Imagine the evil genius of Baxter Stockman controlling the incredible powers of Nano.

4.) The Stickmen: I have this visual in my head of these very weird thin dudes, sort of like humanoid "walking stick"-type insects. The image that first occurred to me was of a tall, narrow lamppost... we're looking at it for a few seconds... then from behind it, a Stickman impossibly unfolds/appears, weapons in hand(s).

These may or maynot be useful... just thought I'd run them by you!

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Prime Leader Zanramon
Date: Sunday, June 8, 2003 1:34:32 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Carole

In a message dated 6/6/03 4:02:03 PM, Carole at 4Kids writes:

<< Hi Peter,

Is there a special pronunciation for the Prime Leader's name?  We record the
character on Monday, so I thought that I'd check on it today.
We don't say his name very much, but why not ask....



The way it's always sounded in my head is:

Zan (like "man")

Ra (like "rah", not "ray")

Mon (as in "MONster")

and the emphasis is on the first syllable "Zan".

How's that?

-- Peter


Subj: storyboards for Ep.31 and outline for Ep. 41/"City at War -- Part2"
Date: Sunday, June 8, 2003 11:37:59 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the storyboards for Ep.31 and outline for Ep. 41/"City at War -- Part2".

Believe it or not, I only have one comment on the storyboards, and that's about a design which struck me as odd. On pages 45 and 46, Commander Mozar is shown and described as having a "mech hand". I don't recall this from the model phase.


Outline for Ep. 41/"City at War -- Part2":

1.) Taking into account my comments on the first part of "City at War", much of the preview for this episode feels wrong.

2.) The way the Turtles leap into the battle in Act One instead of just leaving the Foot to battle the robot bothers me. I think they need more reason to get into this fight -- maybe the incident with the bus and its passengers getting into peril should come first.

3.) Hun has a plan to "take out the Mob and the Ninja stragglers". Would it make more sense for the Purple Dragons to team up with the Mob against the Foot? Also, to describe the Foot as "Ninja stragglers" doesn't seem right to me.

4.) I believe we had agreed that the name of April's new antique shop should be "Second Time Around" instead of "Third Time Around".
In any event, I don't think we even need April or Casey in this episode, especially the way they are awkwardly shoehorned into this outline. The whole thing with Mike coming to April's shop and getting her involved in the battle just seems weird and pointless. And April "swooning" and pretending to be a damsel in distress is just plain stupid, and points up how unnecessary her and Casey's involvement here is.

5.) "The Turtles decide to return to LEO'S WATER TOWER." I'm assuming this refers to the water tower in the last episode... but there's no set-up in that episode that this is any kind of special water tower which the Turtles can be hiding INSIDE, as they are seen to do here.

-- Pete

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blast from the Past #619: June 5, 2003: Re: FutureMan, Re: comments on Ep. 37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano" first draft script, Re: TMNT - Ep 035, and June 6, 2003: Re: TMNT - 2nd draft eps. 36

Subj: Re: FutureMan
Date: Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:39:57 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/2/03 7:56:34 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete -

You made it 2/3 of the way up?  Down?  The picture you sent is strangely
disquieting, almost as if the Segway made it, but you didn't!

Either way, looks like it was a great trip!

Lloyd >>


I actually made it roughly 2/3 of the way up. I parked my car at the Visitors' Center near the bottom, which is about a mile and a half up off the main highway (Rt. 7) which goes by Mt. Greylock. I went up until the charge indicator was showing one bar (out of 5), though I probably should have turned back a little before that (I ended up walking part of the way back, hauling the Segway along, on some stretches which actually went UP instead of down).
Even so, it was a great trip. And I intend to try it again, once I figure out how hard it is to take the batteries out of a fully charged Segway, and whether or not they're too heavy to carry in a backpack (so I can swap out the discharged ones for the fresh at the 2/3 mark). I'll keep you posted!

-- Pete


Subj: Re: comments on Ep. 37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano" first draft script
Date: Thursday, June 5, 2003 12:54:34 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/3/03 3:16:48 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Peter!

As for the NANO episode, I have a ton of notes.  I thought the relationship stuff doesn't work (April and Casey or Harry and Dr. Richards), the logic of why they go to the amusement park after it closes doesn't work, the whole Ferris Wheel thing doesn't work (besides being poorly realized for all the
reasons you put forth, the scene as written has the Turtles destroying property for no particular reason as well as almost killing Harry and Dr. Richards by accident!   >>

Good point. And while it certainly wasn't perfect, I thought the Casey/April and Harry/Dr. Richard stuff had been improved.

<<Also, did you see Gary's notes?  He hates the whole script and suggests we kill it!

What do you think?

Lemme know!>>

I don't think it's time to kill it yet -- let's see what happens in the next draft.


PS - When you started to go on about George Ferris, I was going to recommend
that you read THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, which I read a month or so ago!
Was that a great read or what? >>

A great read, definitely. I understand it's being developed as a movie.

-- Peter


Subj: Re: TMNT - Ep 035
Date: Thursday, June 5, 2003 1:38:39 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


This third draft is good. I have only one suggestion, regarding Leo's line #132:

And, even if the Shredder’s still out there, I know one thing, that if we stick together, we can’t be beat.  We’re a family.  And, no matter what the Shredder throws at us, no matter how he messes with our lives, facing us, he doesn’t stand a chance.

I think I understand what is being gotten at here, and I know it sets up Mikey's next line, but I think it's a bit much. I suggest changing it in the following fashion:

And, even if the Shredder’s still out there, no matter what he throws at us, no matter how he messes with our lives, nothing he does will change the most important thing -- that we’re a family.

-- Peter


Subj: Re: TMNT - 2nd draft eps. 36
Date: Friday, June 6, 2003 12:32:03 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/5/03 12:04:45 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Me again Pete!

FYI, the one thing we're still tweaking on the Ultimate Ninja script is the through line/parallel between the movie they watch and the duel with the Ultimate Ninja.  One problem seems to be that we've set up the idea that the U.N. is fighting solely for glory... but we didn't give Leo anything much else to fight for except his perceived sense of "honor." While honor is important to us ninja folk, the distinction in this particular story isn't really distinct enough.  In the cowboy movie, Sheriff Bart fights to "defend his loved ones," and I think we're going to have Leo do the same.  He will be compelled to fight because Splinter and the others' safety will be threatened.

To allude to the great Star Trek episode "Arena" again, it's kind of like the ending of that episode.  The alien who forced Kirk to fight the Gorn says that he saw no difference between Kirk and the Gorn.  Kirk asks the alien what he offered the Gorn if he won.  I believe wealth and power is the reply.  "You offered me the lives of my crew," Kirk responds.  I think that's what we're trying to add with this final tweak and I think it will help strengthen and streamline the script.  >>


As we discussed today in one of our phone conversations, I agree that Leo's motivation needs tweaking. My only concern is that because we establish in this episode that Splinter knows the rules, whatever we do makes sense in the context of the later "Big Brawl" episode, i.e. are the battles fought in that tournament ALSO going to be so potentially fatal for the combatant's friends and family? Or are the rules for this personal challenge combat different from those of the battles in the "Big Brawl"? 

-- Pete

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blast from the Past #618: June 1, 2003: "The King" and Re: "The King", and June 3, 2003: comments on Ep. 37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano" first draft script

Subj: "The King"
Date: Sunday, June 1, 2003 12:44:41 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I'm really happy that we were able to do this episode. I thought the dedication card with Kirby's signature looked VERY cool. I'm also glad you were able to make those changes to Raph coming out of the shower, the drawings staying on the page even after they came to life, the writing on the paper airplane note, etc. -- they were small but significant changes.

However... as fun as this episode was, I'm still a little disappointed. I don't know if you checked out the fan reaction online -- it was mostly very positive, with several saying that it was the best episode yet. But a number of people also said that they were -- like me -- disappointed by the fact that the episode, which followed the original comic so well and so faithfully, didn't end like the comic (wherein the paper airplane flies out of the shrinking portal, Don picks it up and looks at it -- though we don't see what's on it yet, Don tucks it in his belt and walks back upstairs, Raph -- who's been waiting impatiently for hot water -- yells at Don about whether or not he fixed the water heater, Don gives him a withering look as he goes into his room, Raph scratches his head and says "Geez -- what's eatin' him?", Don sits alone near a window in his room and looks again at the note, and here is where we see the note and Kirby's drawing of Don, and fade out).

I want to do what is necessary to bring the ending of this episode more in line with what I hoped it would be, and if 4Kids does not want to spend the money necessary, I'll put it up myself. The extra time needed to fit in this stuff could be balanced by editing out an equal number of seconds of fight scenes or scenes of monsters running at the camera, which we seem to have quite a lot of. It would be cool if we could get this thing going as soon as possible so that the revised episode would definitely be on the DVDs.

How do we begin?

-- Pete

P.S. I listened to the voice tracks of the first two "Turtles in Space" episodes and I loved them! I think these are going to be some cool episodes.

P.P.S. Can we put a Segway or two in an episode in the second season? You know you want to!


Subj: Re: "The King"
Date: Sunday, June 1, 2003 5:31:13 PM

From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 6/1/03 9:12:19 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete -

I'm really sorry that you were unhappy with the end of the Kirby
episode; we went to a lot of trouble to rearrange the ending so it ended
as it did as per our conversation.  Let's talk Monday about what can be

Happy Sunday,

Lloyd >>


To be clear -- I truly appreciate the hard work you and your crew did to make those last minute changes, and they did in fact accurately reflect what we talked about on the phone. I knew we didn't have time to make it exactly the way I wanted it.

To say I'm "unhappy" about the ending is perhaps an overstatement -- I used the word "disappointed" in my email and I see that as a step or two back from "unhappy". Perhaps I should have even gone so far as to say "mildy disappointed", as that is probably closer to reality.

We've talked before about the numerous little things in the episodes which, given enough time and resources, we would like to change, but we realize the reality of the situation does not allow us that degree of fine-tuning, and we live with that. This Kirby story, though, is -- for me -- different. I have a more personal connection to it than any other Turtle story I've ever worked on, and I would really like to see the animated version be as close as possible to it, in emotional terms. It's already amazingly close... I'd just like it to be that little bit closer.

Anyway, hope we can accomplish what I'm suggesting without too much travail. Talk to you soon!

-- Pete


Subj: comments on Ep. 37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano" first draft script
Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2003 2:06:25 PM

From:  Peter Laird
To:    Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on Ep. 37/"Modern Love: The Return of Nano" first draft script:

1.) In the preview and later in the script, Nano animates a large funhouse clown figure and turns it into an "evil clown". While this is not horrible, I have to tell you that the "evil clown" is one of my least favorite genre cliches, and would prefer it if we could use something else -- a cheesy "House of Horror" monster, "Country Bear" critter, etc.

2.) April reacts disgustedly to getting her toothbrush doused with "greenish sewer water". I can see why, but this raises a point I don't think has been discussed before. I have been operating on the assumption that the water in the pond/pool in the lair is NOT scummy sewer water, but instead relatively clean river water. If it were not so, then the lair would be pretty stinky.

Don could say something about this when April reacts to him splashing her toothbrush, like "Actually, this water is as clean as the water in the river" to which April could roll her eyes and say "Great..."

3.) The whole bit with Raph "disengaging" the Ferris Wheel by hacking away with his sais at the bolts holding it down, then having the thing roll trailing power cables attached to a generator struck me as TOTALLY unbelievable. Among other things, just removing the bolts from where the supports for the Wheel are attached to the floor/ground wouldn't cause it to roll -- the wheel is SUSPENDED in the air (that's why the cars don't SMASH into the ground when it turns). I suggest changing it so that the Ferris Wheel stays where it is, and the Turtles lure Nano towards it as an electrified trap. If we need to put Harry and Dr. Richards in peril from the wheel (only to be saved by Nano's self-sacrifice), we could have the wheel buckle and start to collapse and tip over onto those two -- and Nano with his last bit of strength could extrude "hands" to push them out of harm's way.

I just thought of another action beat if we need one which might be visually cool -- One or more of the Turtles could be on a roller coaster car, pursued by Nano after he has shaped himself into a bizarre roller coaster car (maybe looking a little like that bizarre "home" he created, maybe even with Harry and Dr. Richards inside?) and attached himself to the track.

That's it from me!

-- Pete

P.S. Did you know that the very first Ferris Wheel was made by a guy named Ferris, and was built for the Columbian Exhibition (a World's Fair) in Chicago in (I think) 1893, and that each car could hold thirty people and had food services? It was a huge success, and at the time the axle for the Wheel was the largest single metal piece ever cast in the United States. (I just finished reading a cool book titled "The Devil in the White City", which is a fascinating non-fiction look at the Columbian Exhibition with the parallel story of Chicago's Dr. Henry Holmes, one of the first and most notorious serial killers.)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Blast from the Past #617: May 31, 2003: Re: FW: Stuff, and June 1, 2003: Re: FW: Stuff, profile 034 and 1st draft 036, and Outline for Ep. 38 ("What A Croc!")

Subj: Re: FW: Stuff
Date: Saturday, May 31, 2003 12:50:31 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I'm not crazy about the idea of connecting the Entity from the Underground with the Big Brawl concept, for a number of reasons, primary among them being that doing so brings a "tech" emphasis/direction to the interdimensional travel required for the set up of the Big Brawl, and that's something we both agreed we'd rather not do. I believe we both agreed that it should be mystical rather than tech.

That being said, I agree that there are any number of things we can do with the Entity, including the options listed below. Starting with the premise that the Entity lied to the Turtles, the possibilities are almost endless.

-- Pete

In a message dated 5/29/03 10:51:56 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Peter -

In talking with the writers about the "Return to the Underground"
episode, the following ideas came up that might be fun to mess with down
the road (specifically in "The Big Brawl" episodes).  I'd love to know
your thoughts:

It seems like the best way we can use the Entity and his race is to help
set up the Big Brawl coming up.  Somewhere in the episode, Don should
stumble on some evidence that this ancient race was dabbling in
interdimensional travel.

Perhaps the race died out because they inadvertently brought some
interdimensional plague back to the city.  Or conversely they started
experimenting with interdimensional travel in an effort to find a cure
or a new environment where they could survive.

Another possibility is that this race (guess it needs a name) has its
origins in another dimension and this city is merely a colony.  Perhaps
only the colony died out.  The rest of the race is thriving in another

Another possibility is that the Entity was lying to the Turtles; that
his race didn't die out, they just moved away to another dimension, but
left him behind because he was (a) a notorious criminal, (b) dangerously
insane, (c) really annoying.

Another possibility is we discover the Entity at the end after the
Turtles and Test Subjects have left, having observed everything.  He
communicates with an interdimensional being, declaring the Turtles
worthy of the "upcoming challenge".  We could even give mention here to
the Ultimate Ninja as well.  In the future episodes, we could learn that
the Entity and/or his race is involved in the Big Brawl (as organizers
or participants or both).

Having the Entity pop up at the end would probably require the least
amount of shoe-horning, so that would be my preference. >>


Subj: Re: FW: Stuff
Date: Sunday, June 1, 2003 12:20:57 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 5/31/03 3:28:46 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete -

Thanks for the note.  I just wanted to point out that, at least to me,
nothing the Entity did was really hard "tech."  He did stuff with
"crystal moons" and his strong "bond with the earth."  Most of his stuff
was crystal or stone based.  My impression of the Entity and his world
was that his whole explanation about his people and their existence was
kind of double-speak "spiritual," and the "powers" he possessed were
actually quite "mystical."

Anywho, that's my 2 cents!

Have a great weekend!

Lloyd >>


That's interesting. However, I still think that most of the stuff we've done with the Underground/Entity and the associated stuff (the Turtles' lair, the crystals they find there, the secret elevator) have a real tech feel to me... Don's investigations of the crystals, the cable cars, floating scooters, the chrysalis devices, etc.

I'm open to being convinced otherwise, but I think it's going to take some doing.

-- Pete


Subj: profile 034 and 1st draft 036
Date: Sunday, June 1, 2003 12:27:07 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I read the profile 034 and 1st draft 036, and liked them both a lot... only  have a few comments.

Profile 034:

1.) I thought it might be fun if, in the last outtake, after April says "You guys all look alike!", we had the following:

MIKE: Hey, maybe we need, like, initialed belt buckles!

RAPH: (groans) Awww, man... different-colored bandanas are enough! 

LEO: (a little grumpily) At least YOU got to keep the original color, Raph!

It's funny to me and I think the true TMNT fans would dig it, but it's also fine as is.


First draft Ep. 36/"The Ultimate Ninja":

1.) In Splinter's line 67, I suggest changing "... while the Sheriff fought to protect himself and defend his honor" to "... while the Sheriff fought to protect his friends [or family, or loved ones] and defend his honor".

2.) I suggest changing Mike's line 109 to "See? Raph DOES hate everything."

3.) I suggest changing Casey's line 130 to just "This is too weird!", leaving out the "It's like water! I -- I can't swim!" for two reasons -- one, it's obvious that it's like water, and two, I don't think Casey not being able to swim is a good idea.

4.) Just above Leo's line 150, there is a line which starts "He's dare not move..." -- I think it should be "He dares not move..."

That's it!

-- Pete

P.S. How about that Outline for Ep. 38? 


Subj: Outline for Ep. 38/"What A Croc!"
Date: Sunday, June 1, 2003 11:49:06 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I read the outline for Ep. 38/"What A Croc!", liked it, and have a few comments.

1.) The bit with April freaking out Mikey by using his valuable comics is hilarious, BUT... it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that April, owner (or at this point, FORMER owner) of an antique shop would not know and respect the value of collectible comics. And even if she DIDN'T know about it, once Mikey made it clear that they WERE valuable, April would most likely feel really bad about it, not act so casual. Now, if CASEY did it, that would work.

If we can't somehow work it so Casey is the one who does it, then I suggest that either (a) April is having fun with Mikey, pulling his leg by pulling a fake-out (she's actually tearing and crumpling up newspaper and making believe she's tearing pages out of his comics, OR (b) Mike's upset not because the comics are so rare or valuable, but because the one she's tearing up is the final issue of a special Silver Sentry vs. Malignus five-issue story arc, and he had yet to read that one.

2.) When Mikey is about to be attacked by Leatherhead, instead of Leo's katana slicing the air between them and sticking in the wall, I suggest one of Raph's sai. (The katana's not really a throwing weapon.)

3.) It is stated that Leatherhead "has the advantage in the water". Why is this? Aren't the Turtles at home in the water? Is it just that he's an alligator, and in nature alligators prey on turtles?

4.) It is stated that "Leatherhead was exposed to the mutagenic ooze". Inquiring minds want to know -- was this exposure accidental (like the Turtles') or deliberate on the part of the Utroms?

5.) How large is the metal ball that Stockman throws at the Turtles (the ball which morphs into the Turtlebot)? I think we need to establish some kind of logical connection between the perceived mass of this ball and the resulting Turtlebot. Perhaps instead of one ball, he throws several. Or maybe instead of just a ball/sphere, he throws several different shapes -- sphere, pyramid, cube, cylinder.

6.) There's a line right after the defeat of the Turtlebot which seems to belong to no one ("They're not exactly your hands..."). Who says this?

-- Pete

P.S. I'm not sure if I told you this before... this past Tuesday I tried to Segway up Mount Greylock (highest mountain in Massachusetts -- 8.5 mile drive to the top). I wanted to try to get up and down on a single charge, but could only make it about 2/3 of the way. Still a lot of fun, though! I'll attach a photo I took from about where I turned around... nice view!