Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blast from the Past #642: January 16, 2004: Re: FW: TMNT - 062 ext outline

(Well, it looks like this will be the last of the posts here on my TMNT blog featuring the email exchanges I had with Lloyd Goldfine and a few of the other folks at 4Kids during the development of the animated TMNT TV series which started airing in 2003. I suppose it's possible I might dig up a few more, but I'd say it's pretty unlikely. I hope those of you who have read these have enjoyed this look behind the scenes of the making of that series. -- PL)

Subj: Re: FW: TMNT - 062 ext outline
Date: Friday, January 16, 2004 11:36:43 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Just read the revised extended outline for Ep. 62 ("Survivalist Skills"), and it's GREATLY improved. I have only a few comments, as follows. 

1.) If the apples that Mike and Raph shot at get "split in half", how do they stay "nailed" to the tree? Also, is there a good reason why BOTH Raph and Mike are shooting at the same time, instead of one at a time? And I want to get a "William Tell" quip in there at some point.

2.) When we go to the scene of Skonk and his pals gathered in their HQ, I thought it would be a good thing to show the dune buggy that Don and Raph eventually steal, somewhere in the background -- either in the garage or parked outside.
Also, in that scene, I don't see the need for this:

"He points to various tabloids with fuzzy photos, reading off headlines that describe events that will be familiar to viewers of our series.  Substitute the word "Turtles" for the word "Aliens" and they're remarkably accurate."

It's kind of weird -- is the point that these fuzzy photos are actually OF the Turtles? If so, why? There should be plenty of perfectly clear photos of the Trcieraton/Federation alien invasion force available to the media, and Skonk and company are certainly the sort who, upon seeing the Turtles, would draw the "strange creature = alien" conclusion.

3.) Re: the following:

"Ma Jones dodges as April angrily throws peeled apples at her and asserts herself."

This is way too slapsticky, I don't think April would do it, and it also undermines her success in Casey's Mom's "trials". I would rather see her make a brief gesture which IMPLIES that she would like nothing better than to bean Mom with an apple... but she controls that urge and POLITELY (but firmly) asserts herself to Mom... and then in fact does what Mom has asked her to do (make the apple cider).
This "trials of April" thing CAN be really fun, but I think it will take some clever crafting and timing on our part(s) when we get to script stage to make it fly. I think a key thing to keep in mind is that this whole interaction is also a way to get deeper into who April is (as well as Casey and his Mom, who I think will reappear at some point in the future). I want to be careful to not make Casey's Mom look like a loon... but a tough, clever, slightly eccentric woman who loves her son.

4.) Where do Don and Raph get the ShellCel headsets they use in the pursuit of the truck? And do they really need them?

5.) I think it would work better -- and be more satisfying in regard to April's relationship to Casey's Mom -- if there is a moment in that penultimate scene when Mom surprises April by praising her, which allows April to begin to warm up to her (I really don't think we should leave this episode with April thinking Mom hates her).

I could see it working something like this: Casey returns with the groceries. He finds April in the kitchen working on a mound of dirty dishes (remnants of pie and cider making). He asks her how things are going with Mom... April responds glumly that it seems that no matter what she does, Mom doesn't like her. At that moment, Mom appears with a piece of fresh-baked apple pie and a glass of chilled apple cider (actually, I guess at this point in time it would just be apple juice? Does cider need to age?) for April. She gives April the juice, tells her to sit down and enjoy it -- after all, she made it and it was hard work! -- and "Don't worry about those dishes -- Arnold will take care of 'em." And the pie wouldn't exist without her efforts, either. April, stunned, stammers out a "T-thanks, Mrs. Jones..." and Mom gives her a little pat on the shoulder and says "Call me Mom, dear." We see a little smile on April's face.

Mom then tells Casey to follow her outside to do something (get something from the barn? the car? whatever), and then the scene follows pretty much as already laid out.

-- Pete

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blast from the Past #641: January 9, 2004: Re: TMNT - 60 Final draft, January 10, 2004: Re: TMNT - 60 Final draft, and Re: TMNT - 60 Final draft: Re: TMNT - 60 Final draft

Subj: Re: TMNT - 60 Final draft
Date: Friday, January 9, 2004 11:45:58 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Just two days ago I got the FIRST draft, and I was just about to comment on that one tonight. Is this "final" draft the rewrite you were talking about when you called me on my cell phone tonight, or something different? I'll hold off on reading this one until I hear from you. (Sorry about getting cut off, by the way... I was driving into the hills outside of Northampton, and cell reception is spotty out there. The last couple of things you said were garbled.)

Oh, before I forget -- about Mr. Touch and Mr. Go... after talking about them with you tonight, I went back and looked at the faxes again. It occurred to me that it might be cool to go against physical type for a change and make the big guy Mr. Go, and the small guy Mr. Touch. 

Anyway, here are my comments on the first draft of 60:

1.) I still think it's silly for Leo and Raph to be "mapping" the roads, but I will let it slide if we can throw in a line or two from Raph in his scene on the rooftop with Leo, lines in which he grouses about how pointless this "mapping" bit is. 

2.) Re: the following:

"Donatello pats LeatherHead on the humongous shoulder.
Come on, LeatherHead.  Let’s get working on a new communications array.
LeatherHead looks down at the crushed antenna in his hands.
Yes, it does appear … [small self-deprecating chuckle] … quite necessary."

What, in this context, is a "communications array"? And what does the TV antenna have to do with it? I'm not trying to be picky and technical, but our tech guys should know what they are talking about, I think. My idea of a communications array MIGHT include TV (via cable and/or antenna reception) but most importantly have to do with two-way radio, internet connection, shellcels, videophone, etc.. Leatherhead looking at the crushed TV antenna and connecting it to a new communications array being now "necessary" (because he's crushed the TV antenna, apparently) is a bit off.

3.) Re: the following:

We will have surface for a short space."

I would change that to read:

We will have to surface for a short distance."

I would also replace the word "space" with the word "distance" in line 55.

4.) Re: the following:

"SIDE VIEW – Splinter raises his stick and <BLOCKS> Mr. Go’s fist attack.  In almost fast motion, Mr. Go attacks with a flurry of Tiger Claw hands as Splinter continues to block them."

Should that be "Mr. Go's first attack" instead of "fist attack"? And what is "almost fast motion"? Slow motion?

5.) Re: the following:

"82. SHREDDER (V.O.)
Just remember, we are legitimate now, Hun.  I don’t want anything to spoil my image.  Understand?"

I still don't get this. "Legitimate"? Who? What? When? How? Why? And... his IMAGE? Huh?

6.) Re: the following:

Raphael is moving at top speed along the side of a building … along its ornate ledges …
There’s no way he’s going to beat me now.
CLOSER ON - A crumbling ledge of the damaged building gives way underneath him …
WIDER - Raphael goes tumbling down …
Aw … sheeellllll!
DOWN ANGLE ON – Raphael is falling and falling towards the street far below as we …
DOWN ANGLE - Raphael is falling to the street very, very far below …
SIDE VIEW – The building is just zipping by in the BACKGROUND as Raphael falls.  Raphael rotates around in midair (looking almost like a skydiver) … he focuses and …
CLOSER – Much like a skydiver, Raphael angles himself down slightly … aiming himself back towards the building slightly … and then …
FOLLOW RAPHAEL DOWN as he tucks and then comes out of it to grab the edge of a fire escape …
… he twists, leaps, comes around, slows his descent until finally …"

How freakin' high is this "old building"? Apparently falling off the top of it is like diving out of an airplane, as it gives you that much time to use skydiver tricks and techniques to reorient your body position.
Let's ditch this stupid stuff and have Raph do something a little more in line with common sense, a reasonably tall "old building" -- and the laws of physics -- to save himself.

7.) Re: the following:

"Mrs. Morrison gropes reaching blindly for Raphael’s hand.
Oh, you must be one of Mr. Rossetti’s boys.  I’m Mrs. Morrison.  Help me, dear.  Take my hand.  I can’t see you.  [slight laugh]  I can’t see anything.  I’ve been blind for almost a year now."

Gary pointed out, quite correctly in my opinion, that if Mrs. Morrison is blind she would have great difficulty identifying the money that Raph gives her in the end of the story AS money. Why not make her REALLY nearsighted, like Mr. Magoo-type nearsighted? And instead of her saying "I can’t see you.  [slight laugh]  I can’t see anything.  I’ve been blind for almost a year now." she could say "I can’t see you very well.  [slight laugh]  I can’t see anything very well.  I’ve been legally blind for almost a year now."

8.) Re: the following:

"FRONT ON – THE TRAIN is coming on fast.  And, it’s not stopping (this station is closed, remember?).
ON - Touch and Go smile wickedly.
145. MR. TOUCH
I think it’s time for the turtle to catch a train, Mr. Go.
146. MR. GO
Or, for the train to catch the turtle, Mr. Touch.
Touch and Go take a step closer to Mikey.
MICHELANGELO’s sweating it.
THE TRAIN’S getting closer and closer coming into the station."

It seems kind of odd for Touch and Go to want to wipe out Mikey in this fashion -- I thought they were supposed to bring "trophies" to Hun as proof of the Turtles' demise(s). What if the train hits Mike and carries his body many miles away? Or are they thinking that the impact will dismember him, and all they'll have to do is look down the tracks a little way to find an arm or a leg? If so, it might be creepy/cool/fun to have one of them actually SAY something like that.

9.) I am still REALLY unclear as to exactly WHAT Touch and Go are. Do we know now, or is this something we are going to figure out as we go along? They've got to be something pretty special, not the least because of the way that they survive their encounter with the train. Speaking of which, I think that when they rendezvous with Bishop, they should look pretty messed up -- limping, dirty, cut, torn, etc..

(This may be really goofy and not fit in anywhere, but for some reason while thinking of these characters, I imagined Mikey calling Mr. Touch "Mr. T"... and then in response to something Mr. Touch says, Mikey says "I pity the fool!")

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT - 60 Final draft
Date: Saturday, January 10, 2004 7:50:10 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Thanks for clearing up most of those points. I look forward to seeing your rewrite.

One thing:

<< **In the rewrite I'm having Touch and Go throw Mike and Splinter in
front of the train and we end the act with them believing our heroes

But we have a clever way for them to have survived... right? 

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT - 60 Final draft
Date: Sunday, Re: TMNT - 60 Final draft 8:59:32 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 1/11/04 3:26:57 AM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete -

Re: your query about Mike and Splinter surviving the train, the truth is
we don't go into too much of an explanation.  As written now, Mikey
seems to let Touch and Go deliberately toss them onto the train tracks,
the train zooms through the station, and after it passes we see
Splinter's tattered robe and Mikey's 'chucks on the track.  Touch and go
declare their mission a success and go to see Hun at the hotel to
collect their money.  While having their meeting, there is a knock on
the door and Mikey shows up pretending to be room service.  After Mikey
and Splinter defeat Hun, Touch and Go, Mikey says:

Y'know sensei, this whole "using your mind" thing is wild!! 

(earlier, Splinter urges Mike to think before he acts, use his mind more
and his mouth less!) 

**ON SPLINTER and MICHELANGELO as they walk from (Mikey assisting
Splinter) the window and head for the door.  Mikey gesticulates wildly
as he recounts his mental prowess.  Splinter humors him as they cross
the room and exit through the door.

First I thought, "Throw them in front of the train" . but then I
thought, "No, let them think they're throwing us in front of the train."
and then. 

Yes, yes, my son. It is a brave new world for you.  I am very proud.

. and how about that brainstorm "Keep the bad guys separated?" Whoa,
that was a good one, huh?  <CHUCKLE>

That's about all the explanation I plan to give about the train.  I had
written a version where we see them hiding in the well under the train
platform as the train passes, but that just gives the whole thing away.
I feel it's more fun if left as a mystery that's not completely
explained, and it works to make their appearance at Hun's hotel more of
a surprise.  I don't think anyone would have a hard time believing that
Splinter and Mikey could get out of that kind of predicament; it's
pretty much an action movie standard!

I'm still finessing the script tonight.  Lemme know if you don't agree
with the way I'm handling this!

Have a great weekend!

Lloyd >>


I see where you are going, but I think that this scenario -- without at least SOME tweak (I will shortly suggest at least one) -- is bringing us dangerously close to a place that I at least don't want to go. That is, let's set up our heroes in a situation from which -- given their abilities - - there is seemingly NO possible escape... and then have them show up later, unharmed, having escaped SOMEHOW (and we don't say how). To me, this opens up a HUGE can of worms and opens the door for really poor writing (or at least plotting), leading to situations of ludicrous peril easily escaped -- and thus making ANY peril meaningless.

Consider: Touch and Go throw Mikey and Splinter onto the train tracks just before the train "zooms through the station". One would reasonably assume that after Touch and Go throw our heroes onto the tracks -- but BEFORE the train zooms through -- they STAND there and WATCH the train run into/over our heroes, to make sure that they did in fact do their jobs and Mikey and Splinter didn't just jump out of the way and scurry off into a drain pipe or something. It would make NO sense for them to just turn away and ASSUME that the train crushed them.

Part of this problem is timing. How long are Mike and Splinter on the tracks before the train zooms by? One second? Three? Five? If the interval is too short, then there really IS no escape -- the train would just flatten them before they have a chance to do anything. And if it's too long, the audience will think "Well, of COURSE they can escape!" 

And think about this -- just being pushed off the platform and onto the tracks (a drop of what, maybe ten feet at most?) would not likely faze ninja fighters like Mike and Splinter, and Touch and Go would KNOW this, having already seen them in action. So they would DOUBLY want some assurance that the train did them in, and thus would, as I said earlier, likely watch as the train ran them over.

So... something needs to be added that will make this scenario play a bit more realistically, or at least somewhat more believably. 

Suggestion 1: When Splinter and Mikey are pushed off the platform, this should be done NOT when they are right at the edge, but they should be WHOMPED hard by Touch and Go from about seven or eight feet away from the edge, and they actually go flying through the air and off the edge -- momentarily OUT OF SIGHT of Touch and Go. (We can, however, SHOW them landing on the tracks, even if it's something Touch and Go DON'T see.) In another second or two -- BEFORE Touch and Go have time to reach the edge of the platform and look down to see Mike and Splinter on the tracks, the train blasts by. Several seconds later, when it has passed, Touch and Go leap down onto the tracks and find the evidence as you suggested.

Suggestion 2: Mike and Splinter get kicked off the edge of the platform by Touch and Go, landing HARD on the tracks. Touch and Go look over the edge, seeing Mike and Splinter lying dazed on the tracks. The train approaches at high speed, and as it gets closer, its BRIGHT headlight glares in the eyes of Touch and Go, causing them to briefly cover their eyes (this brief moment is all it takes for Mike and Splinter to get away, out of the path of the train). Additionally (or alternatively), the train's approach and passage could push a huge air wave ahead of it which kicks up lots of dust, debris, and trash which obscures Touch's and Go's vision. Several seconds later, when it has passed, Touch and Go leap down onto the tracks and find the evidence as you suggested.

Either of these tweaks would work for me, and neither requires a real explanation for our heroes' escape.

-- Pete

Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Upon a Fable - A Fairy Tale Strategy Board Game"

(Note: This is not TMNT-related, but for a little bit of extra exposure, I am posting this here as well as on palblog. -- PL)

My friend and extremely talented illustrator Ruth Sanderson just told me about a Kickstarter project she's involved with -- a board game in the European style which features a lot of her beautiful painted artwork. Here's a sample of some cards which are an integral part of the game:

The project is called "Upon a Fable - A Fairy Tale Strategy Board Game". (As I write this on May 10, 2013, there are ten days left to go to get in on this one.) Check it out here: -- PL

Friday, May 10, 2013

Blast from the Past #640: January 1, 2004: Re: Turtles and Usagi, January 5, 2004: Re: TMNT - Outline eps 60, and January 7, 2004: Re: Notes on premises 61 and 62

Subj: Re: Turtles and Usagi
Date: Thursday, January 1, 2004 12:22:41 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 12/30/03 10:53:29 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Hey Pete -

Yeah, I spoke to Stan who had this to say:

The way we've drawn him in the past is that Usagi's head is below that
of the turtles. However, Usagi's ears rise above the Turtles.  So, if
you count the ears, Usagi is taller.  If you don't count the ears, he's

So according to Stan, Usagi is a bit shorter than the Turtles.  We sent
him a size comp and color models of Usagi & friends, all of which he was
very pleased with (I've attached the rough size comp here for you to

Lloyd >>


If Stan is happy, then I'm happy!

-- Pete


Subj: Re: TMNT - Outline eps 60
Date: Monday, January 5, 2004 11:18:24 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I only have a few comments.

1.) It's still not clear to me WHY Don and Leatherhead are trying to hook up an antenna. As I asked before -- is the cable (which they surely have ordinarily) out because of the devastation? If so,  a brief mention of it would be appropriate, I think.
Also, curiously, a bit down that page there is something described as "the communications array" which Don and Leatherhead are said to be getting to work on. Is this the same thing as the aforementioned antenna? If so, that's weird... why would the TV antenna be the same thing as the "communications array"?

2.) The idea that Leo and Raph would be out mapping the impaired roads seems a bit silly to me, as by the time they are likely to need to use those roads they will have been cleared. After all, they don't drive around that much anyway. (And why does Leo need to use "Shell Binoculars" to see rubble in the streets?)
I would suggest that it would make more sense if they are either (a) checking SPECIFIC streets (i.e. those near April's place, the warehouse where they store the BattleShell, Casey's place, etc.) or (b) they are out looking around just to get a general idea of the state of the streets/neighborhood.

3.) There is a line which suggest that Mr. Go has "reflective 'cat' eyes". What does this mean, exactly? That his eyes reflect light like a cats, or his pupils are shaped and colored like a cat's, or both? Or something else entirely?

4.) Re: the following:

Establishing shot …
Shredder (v.o.):  "Good.  But, remember, we are legitimate now, Hun.  I don’t want anything to spoil my image.  Understand?"

I don't quite get this. Legitimate? How? Why? Since when? And... his "image"? What image is that? Of the armored Shredder? Oroku Saki? The Foot?

5.) Re: the following:

<Sip> Raphael is having tea with Mrs. Morrison (much like the comics) as Mrs. Morrison’s cat makes "biscuits" on Raphael’s chest/lap.

What is this "making biscuits"? Never heard of it.

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Notes on premises 61 and 62
Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2004 10:39:36 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


Here are my comments on the premise for 61, "Hunted":

1.) Mr. Literal says: I suspect it's a phrase thrown in just to show what a nice guest Leatherhead is, but does he really "pay his rent on time"? I doubt he's actually being charged rent by the Turtles.

2.) I think Leatherhead's hair-trigger temper/psychotic behavior needs to be "fixed" at some time in the near future... otherwise he's going to become a character that the Turtles will NOT want to be around at all -- WAY too dangerous! Especially if he goes off at slight things like Raph's "bull in a china shop" comment. Maybe Splinter can teach him some meditation techniques, or we can discover that Leatherhead has some kind of mysterious device surgically implanted in him that is causing his rages, and that is removed somehow (with Utroms' help?). Or maybe a brain tumor...

3.) Leatherhead beats Mike to a pulp and leaves him unconscious at the end of act one... but are any of the Turtles pissed off/appalled at this? Apparently not -- they're just "worried" about Leatherhead. This seems really out of character. There should at LEAST be some debate here among them as to the wisdom of having Leatherhead live with them. I suspect Raph would be ripshit, and have to be calmed down by the others before he goes out to kick Leatherhead's ass.

4.) It's very confusing to me who is ahead of/behind who in the tunnels, who's following whose tracks. It needs to be made much more clear exactly where the players are in relation to each other. 

5.) It seems really weird that Marlin would leave such destructive mines -- wouldn't he want something that would immobilize or incapacitate his prey? He is, after all, a hunter who wants trophies. Maybe the mines should throw out sticky goo/foam (like the stuff they used in the HULK movie), or nets, etc. OR... if we REALLY want some bangboom, they could be "shock mines" which shoot out in all directions like a dozen "mini shock grenades" that "explode" with stunning electrical charge when they hit something. This could give us the pyrotechnics if desired and also maybe be cool to show the Turtles dodging and bobbing and weaving to evade them (maybe one of more of the boys get grazed by the mini mines and get an idea of the kind of pain they'd feel if they were hit head on).

6.) Instead of Marlin whipping out a taser when Leatherhead bites his "Betsy" (his gun), why not have the gun itself have defensive devices, and when Leatherhead bites it, the gun shocks him (like a taser would)?

7.) Marlin fires Betsy at the Turtles and "burns a large deadly hole in the wall". I'm not really sure what a "deadly hole" is, but why is Marlin shooting at the Turtles with a weapon that is so destructive? I thought he wanted to "bag" them as trophies?
Also, in this scene Leatherhead apparently -- somehow -- is suspended from a cable. How/when did that happen? How does Marlin lift the gigantic Leatherhead, and why? Seems unnecessary to hang him over the pool... Marlin could PUSH him into it if need be... although that really doesn't make any sense either -- again, Marlin wants TROPHIES!!! Didn't he just hunt this alligator through the sewers? Why destroy him now? I think Leatherhead could inadvertently fall into the pool on his own, perhaps from wiggling and writhing around trying to free himself. It could even be a cool scene where one of the Turtles is trying to help him get free, but it's just making Leatherhead more aggravated, and the TWO of them accidentally go over the edge into the pool. It would ramp up the angst for the Turtles in this scene if both Leatherhead AND one of their own were in peril.

8.) I find it very unlikely that Raph's slender sai blades could stop the blades of the "sewage processor". Maybe he should use something else like a length of pipe or some found object.

9.) Marlin's suicide move -- putting "Betsy on overload cranking the energy canisters" -- to take out not only himself but the Turtles and Leatherhead seems silly and unnecessary. I would go with something a little different, like having some of his energy canisters accidentally get activated during (and because of) Leatherhead's smash and bash attack on him.

10.) Re: the following:

"Mikey leads the turtles and Leatherhead through unfamiliar sewer tunnels until he comes to a wall.  Leatherhead antics back and smashes through the wall, only to find himself in an abandoned subway station decorated in grand Victorian style."

What's this all about? Why does Leatherhead have to smash through the wall? Is this an accidental discovery, or does Mikey know where he is taking Leatherhead? Are we saying here that the Turtles know about this "abandoned subway station decorated in grand Victorian style"... if so, they must have previously found a way inside. Why doesn't Leatherhead enter that way instead of smashing the wall down?


Comments on Premise 62, "Survivalist Skills":

1.) Re: the following:

"Meanwhile, back at the farmhouse, we could run a sort of lighthearted B-story in-between all the hearty A-story action.  Casey and April are figuring out that their relationship is not a relationship … and through Casey’s carelessness verbally … they get to the point where it’s not even a friendship and they’re not even talking to each other."

Snore... I'm bored already. I thought we had gotten beyond this stuff with Casey and April. I think we can do all the schtick with Casey's Mom and have THAT provide the conflict instead of this tired stuff.

2.) There are a lot of "real" weapons -- guns, bombs -- in this story. Can we do this? I hope so, but what about BS&P?

3.) Although I'm not wedded to it, I kind of miss the picnic opening as in the comic. Would it work better if Don, Raph, Casey and April were having the picnic... and that way, Casey and April would be aware of the threat of the survivalists, making the stuff with Casey's mom that much more tense?
Also, I don't like the bit with Raph throwing his sais at the apple on Don's head. One of the reasons I did the bow and arrow thing in the comic was as a way of demonstrating (without dwelling on it) the Turtles' facility with other weapons.

-- Pete

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blast from the Past #639: December 17, 2003: Re: Script 58, December 28, 2003: Re: FW: Premise 60, and December 30, 2003: Re: Turtles and Usagi

Subj: Re: Script 58
Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 12:34:41 PM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 12/17/03 10:36:51 AM, Lloyd writes:

<<Hey Pete -

We actually didn't say "NO SUPERBISHOP."  My understanding was: we talked
about the degree to which Bishop could have enhanced himself.  We said no
lizard eyelids and not to go too overboard, but that he could have some
increased speed and strength, but not unlimited crazy bio-engineered powers.
I would like Bishop to be able to hold his own in a fight against the
beaten, captured Turtles, at least for a little while.  The hope is to make
Bishop a formidable foe for the Turtles in and of himself.

If this isn't acceptable, please let me know asap.




The problem with any kind of "enhanced" Bishop is that it raises the question that if he has been enhanced enough to fight off the Turtles (and are they really "beaten"? I thought they had just been strapped to tables -- resting up, if you will -- for the last hour or two), why does he need their DNA to create his super-soldiers or whatever it is he wants to do? 

The "enhanced Bishop" thing has always struck me as something that a writer threw in because he thought it would look cool, without giving it a whole lot of thought. It just doesn't work for me... at least as it sits right now. Maybe it's partly because it's the way that, out of the blue, with zero foreshadowing of ANYTHING remotely like what happens, Bishop is suddenly this whole other thing, and not only can he fight better and move faster than one Turtle, he's superior to all four Turtles.

I would prefer to see a scene with Bishop surprising one of the Turtles with a clever fighting move -- not a superspeed maneuver, but something quick and effective, and all the more effective because the Turtle is surprised that this move is coming from Bishop, who up to this point has only seemed to be an evil "spook" type guy, and not intimidating physically. And Bishop could use this moment to escape with the samples of the Turtles' DNA (assuming we're still going to have him take those samples) and THEN later on, in another episode, we could bring him back as a truly cool and creepy guy who's been enhanced with TMNT DNA (maybe there's even more than just him -- maybe there is a squad of these enhanced warriors... they could have some weird physical characteristics like green eyes, shell-like/horny growths on their arms, hands, and legs, etc. -- NOT looking like "TurtleMen", but something with HINTS of mutant turtle).

-- Pete


Subj: Re: FW: Premise 60
Date: Sunday, December 28, 2003 11:11:25 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine


I read the premise for episode 60 and have a few comments:

1.) I wonder whether the $14 million for the Turtles and Splinter is a bit much. Where is Hun supposed to get this kind of money? And why TEN times as much for Splinter as for one Turtle?

2.) I'm not sure why Don, Leo and Leatherhead are working on an "antenna hookup to improve their limited broadcast reception". Don't they have cable TV in the lair? Or is the point that there IS no cable TV at the moment (due to invasion damage) and broadcast TV is all that's available? If so, that's not clear. In any point, why is Leo helping Don and Leatherhead? He's no techy. The only reason I can think of is that Don and Leatherhead need a third set of hands for grunt work... and I can't imagine why, exactly.

3.) Re: the following:

"The fight does not go well for our heroes.  Mr. Touch and Mr. Go overpower them and secure them in high-tech restraints.   Hun drops down from a helicopter to exchange cash for his enemies.  Just as Hun's about to take them out with his bare hands, Splinter senses something -- and knocks Mikey, Raph and Casey over the side of the roof, leaping out of sight after them!  A beat later they rise back up, having landed on top of a Fed Fighter that slowly rises up into sight -- April piloting the ship!  April blasts the Foot copter, which crashes through the roof, bringing Mr. Touch Mr. Go and Hun with them, and the entire building crashing down on top of them. "

I thought Splinter was, like the Turtles, "secured in high-tech restraints"? If so, how does he do all that he does in this scene? And if he somehow IS able to do it, how do he and the Turtles hang on to the ship that's coming up underneath them so they don't roll/slide off and plummet to the groound? There really seems to be little logical point in having them "secured in high-tech restraints" anyway -- why not just have them follow Splinter's command to leap over the edge of the building?

And how exactly is April piloting this Federation ship, anyway? When did she learn how to do that? And where did she GET the ship to begin with?

-- Pete


Subj: Re: Turtles and Usagi
Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 10:00:34 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 12/29/03 1:23:08 PM, Lloyd writes:

<< Howdy fellas!

A quick question re: scale of Usagi to Turtles:  is Usagi, tip of ears
to toes, the same height as a turtle, or does that make him too small?

Playmates is asking for clarification.

I wanna make sure we get this right!

You're feedback is greatly appreciated!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!



I've always considered Usagi to be about the same height as a Turtle -- but NOT from toes to ear tips, but from toes to TOP OF HEAD (i.e. base of ears). That way, neither one has to look up or down to look the other in the eyes. Maybe you should ask Stan what he thinks...?

-- Pete

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fun at Free Comic Book Day

I had a great time this weekend appearing with Steve Lavigne and Eric Talbot on Saturday -- "Free Comic Book Day" -- at Steve's "Shellback Artworks" store in Wells, Maine. JIm Lawson was sick and couldn't make it, which was a bummer (hope you get well soon, man!), but otherwise it went really well -- lots of people, lots of signing, and free pizza (courtesy of Steve and Denise).

Two things stood out as quite memorable, the first of which was the sixteen-year-old girl who showed up with her parents, all the way from Florida. This trip to Maine to see us (and later Kevin Eastman, who was signing over at Jetpack Comics in Rochester, NH -- one town away from Somersworth, NH, where the first TMNT comics were printed) on "Free Comic Book Day" was her "sweet sixteen" birthday wish, and her parents (cool people, obviously) granted it. Here's Steve signing the back of her t-shirt, as he dad and mom look on:

I wish I could remember her name -- I think it might be Stephanie or Melanie, but given how bad I am with names, I'm probably wrong. (Maybe she'll see this and write in to correct me -- that would be nice.*) We were all very touched by how happy she seemed to be in meeting us and getting her Turtle stuff autographed.

The second thing was the unexpected appearance of someone from our two years in the early 1980's in Dover, NH, someone that I thought I'd probably never see again… but, in one of those strange and wonderful "small world"-type of phenomena, she happens to be a friend of Steve's wife Denise. Here's a photo of the two of us which Steve took:

The woman in the photo is Carol Salava, who was a Justice of the Peace in Dover when we lived there, and in the summer of 1983, officiated at our wedding in the back yard of our house on Union Street. I was quite frankly flabbergasted that she showed up at the signing, but very, very pleased to see her again. As you can see from the following photo of Carol marrying me and Jeannine back in 1983, we've both changed a little bit:

… but I have to say that Carol still has the warm, friendly personality I remember from our dealings with her in those early days. What an unexpected treat! -- PL

*And so she did, a few days after I posted this entry -- thanks, Melanie Servidio!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May 4, 2013: Free Comic Book Day at Shellback Artworks!

I'm late with this post (sorry, Steve!), but better late than never, right? This Saturday, May 4, I will be appearing at Steve Lavigne's "Shellback Artworks" comic book/art supplies store at 1509 Post Road in Wells, Maine, for the annual "Free Comic Book Day" event. I'll be signing stuff along with Steve and Jim Lawson this Saturday from noon until 4PM. See you there! -- PL

P.S. And if you want to see the other TMNT co-creator, Kevin Eastman, he'll be signing at Jetpack Comics in Rochester, NH, on the same day. I think it's about half an hour's drive from one place to the other.