Talk:Gargoyles (TV series)
One thing that would really improve this article would be a History section, with info on:
- Comedy development
- Addition of Goliath and transformation into action-drama
- Various pitches
- Rejections and then acceptance by Disney
- Working on first season
- Renewal for second season
- Goliath Chronicles
- Ten year hiatus, fans, Gatherings, etc
We can mention the comic, but at that point it may be best to direct users to the comic page itself.
There are loads of anecdotes throughout Ask Greg that could make such a history section quite long and really interesting. Any agree/disagree? Thoughts? -- Supermorff 03:35, 16 February 2008 (CST)
I think this is a great idea. I keep feeling like we should have more of the background information on the show revealed by "Ask Greg" and other sources on the wiki. I wrote up a description of the comedy development drawing from the "Ask Greg" archives. Since the comedy development went through a lot of revisions, the main focus in on the characters who would later evolve into the cast of the final show. This is obviously a big undertaking so I'll be doing it in chunks. Any help or corrections are, of course, greatly appreciated. -- Demonskrye 10:51, 19 February 2008 (CST)
- Great work so far. I really tried to give this a go, but I just couldn't get started. But, yeah, great work. Keep it up! -- Supermorff 13:50, 19 February 2008 (CST)
- Great work so far, Demonskyre. Honestly, I'm glad you feel up to taking on this page. It is one we really need, I think, but one I'm not excited about working on. Thanks! -- Matt 17:31, 19 February 2008 (CST)
- Thanks for the votes of confidence. I did some minor edits on the comedy development (pointing out a few concepts that made it through to the final show) and started in on the section on "The Gargoyle", which I intend to add to later. One thing I'm wondering about, how should we refer to real world people if we use their name more than once? For example, if I were to write "In 1991, Greg Weisman had a pineapple on his head", what would I call him in the next sentence? "Greg"? "Weisman"? "Mr. Weisman"? Just repeat "Greg Weisman"? For the time being I'm referring to Tad Stones as "Mr. Stones", but what do you think it should be? -- Demonskrye 14:09, 21 February 2008 (CST)
- Out of habit, I tend to repeat the whole name. I think that using a first name is probably not a good idea, in general, although any of the other options are fine. -- Supermorff 07:01, 22 February 2008 (CST)
Do we know that "The Gargoyle" specifically fought in the Battle of Britain? I'm actually having a rather tough time reliably finding all of the memos on the pre-development of "Gargoyles" at Ask Greg. I can't seem to find a category for them and they don't seem to be in with the ramblings either. I got the comedy development stuff by searching for terms like "comedy" and "Dakota" and "Amp". But searching for "The Gargoyle" is going to be an exercise in futility. Has anyone got a reliabel way to look at all the early development docs? -- Demonskrye 07:19, 23 February 2008 (CST)
- I was pretty sure that there was an image of the Gargoyles fighting in the Battle of Britain that was used in one of the early pitches. Actually, that may have been later, while Goliath was still immortal but the other gargoyles weren't. I don't remember definitively, and I can't find a citation of it right now.
- Anyway, I have just trawled through the entire 740 archive of Greg's Rambles (it's not as bad as it sounds, since about 200 of the Rambles are TDIGUH, which I skipped quickly). Here is a list of all rambles that are likely to be appropriate. Some you will have already found, but I'm including them anyway. I've left off things like episode memos. I haven't read these all through. They are in the order they came up in on the search (reversed), and may or may not be in chronological order. -- Supermorff 10:05, 23 February 2008 (CST)
- 114. More archives material... - A memo dated 12/4/95 to one of the earliest writers to work on the project, about the five-part pilot. All the names seem to have been finalized, except Xanatos is still called Xavier.
- 115. A real fossile... - The earliest file on the series, dated 3/11/91. (Reprint: 297.)
- 116. Another tidbit - 3/12/91. (Reprint: 298.)
- 299. Notes from a lunch meeting... - A memo, written before 3/20/91 by an associate (perhaps Kat Fair), about the comedy development. The modern human ally is described as a "nerd female" and she is a scientist working for the main villain, referred to as "evil 3piece/ex-mage".
- 300. Early comedy development... - Notes from a Development Staff Meeting 3/20/91, again probably written by Kat Fair. For the first time, gargs turn to stone while sleeping. The castle-atop-a-skyscraper appears too. A mention of Trump Tower suggests that the modern setting is indeed New York. The villains are Nephew (pre-Xavier), Sorcerer (who put the gargoyles to sleep 1000 years earlier) and Sidekick. The female ally (pre-Elisa) is now a curator, perhaps with a young sister or daughter. The name Morgan is mentioned, but not firmly attached to the character. A backstory including an ancient princess counterpart to the modern heroine is mentioned briefly.
- 301. FIRST BLUSH COMEDY GARGS - 4/5/91. A list of 9 gargoyle characters for the early comedy development with bios, compiled by Kat Fair and Cindy Chupack: Nick, Cambell, Pan Dora, Isa Dora (pre-Coco/Broadway), Alice Fullmoon, Ralph Fullmoon (pre-Ralph/Hudson), Georgette (pre-Dakota/Demona), Trouble and Lassie. Nick was similar to Brooklyn, although he more resembled Lex. Lex shared characteristics with both Cambell and Lassie. Trouble and Lassie were both considered as sidekicks to the evil Nephew.
- 302. More comedy characterizations... - 4/18/91. A refined list of characters, reduced from 9 to 6 gargoyles: Georgette (pre-Dakota/Demona, now the leader), Trouble (pre-Brooklyn/Lex, resembles Nick but demoted to second-in-command), Isa Dora (pre-Coco/Broadway), Pan Dora (no equivalent), Lassie (pre-Lex/Brook), Ralph (pre-Hudson). Three human characters are also mentioned: Xavier (pre-Xanatos, but somewhat ineffectual), Morgan (pre-Elisa, a museum curator) and Sorcy. The castle is described as having been moved from Northern England, not Scotland. Gargoyles are described as being released from stone sleep when they were dropped during the castle's move and their shells cracked open.
- 303. Comedy development coming together... - 4/24/91. Another refinement. The cast is the same but several names have changed: Georgette is now Dakota, Trouble is Amp, Isa Dora is Cocoa [sic], Pan Dora is Pandora, Sorcy is Sidero. Sidero is described as having desired immortality and then being trapped inside The Mirror. The backstory is set in 15th century, not 10th. The gargoyles are still awakened when their stone shells are cracked.
- 304. Enter Owen -- The Aardvark! - 5/8/91. Xavier's sidekick Owen is introduced for the first time, as an aardvark. Owen has a crush on Morgan. Morgan is slightly different but still a curator. Xavier is described as looking good in a tux, but is still ineffectual.
- 306. Interns again... - Two memos written by interns Hoyland Ricks and Regina Dixon, with ideas for episodes of the comedy series, written 7/3/91. One of Regina Dixon's episodes mentions that Morgan is a teacher, but still with an interest in archaeology.
- 307. Morgan starts to morph... - A memo presumably from September 1991. Morgan is now an engineer/inventor and former employee of Xavier who resents him for stealing her inventions. Owen is now Mr Owen and still has a crush on Morgan. Xavier's sorcerer ancestor is not mentioned, and Xavier himself seems more competent.
- 308. Dakota's out. Demona's in. - Two memos, from 9/6/91 and 9/10/91. In the first, Dakota has been removed as leader of the gargoyles. Morgan is still an inventor, but rather than merely being Xavier's former employee, she is now his former partner on equal footing. She has a helicopter. The new leader seems to be Morgan herself, although Amp is De facto in charge in most cases. The second memo is a new backstory. The gargoyles are now from a Prussian town named Oldenberg, but the backstory is now in the 11th century. They were put to sleep not by a magic spell (again, Sidero is not mentioned) but by irate villagers who drugged them. They wake up when the castle is literally dropped into place. Dakota is now Demona, a power-hungry former leader of the gargoyles who quickly sided with Xavier upon waking. The notion of gargoyles protecting appears for the first time, although Greg Weisman doesn't like it because it doesn't fit with the comedy trappings of the show.
- 309. THE LOST CAUSE DIAMOND (and other stories...) - A dateless, nameless memo from approximately September 1991. Morgan is affiliated with a museum again, but Demona appears as a character. Xavier wants big diamonds and immortality. Amp (pre-Lex/Brook) wants to go joyriding.
- 310. TIME TO SELL... - The script of the first pitch for the comedy Gargoyles show, from September '91. Morgan's last name is Reed, and she's an amateur archaeologist and second grade teacher. Xavier's last name is Glint (formerly "Xavier" itself has been his last name). Xavier's ancestor is called Xavier, and again was responsible for putting the gargoyles to sleep (again, by drugs). The backstory is firmly set "one thousand years ago". Amp still looks like Lex, but is far more like Brooklyn. Coco (spelled this way for the first time) is now much like Broadway, and is described as "a female John Belushi". Xavier's main motivation is attaining immortality. DeMona is spelled with a capital M in the middle. Xavier's henchmen are some "muscular 3-piece suits" (the origin of both the Goon Squad and the Steel Clan).
- 311. Another trip to the drawing board... - 11/14/91. The backstory (before and after 1000 year sleep) is reworked, and written up by Fred Schaefer and (possibly) Kat Fair. Both Xavier and Morgan now have 10th century ancestors that knew the gargoyles, both of whom are powerful wizards, but it is not clear which is good and which is evil. (In Kat Fair's memo, the ancestors are known as Morgan and Xavier, although Fred Schaefer's memo mentions Xavier's ancestor as Sidero.) In one of two potential 10th century backstories, the gargoyles' main job is protecting people. In the other possible 10th century backstory, the gargoyles are from a small town outside Paris. For the first time, modern-day Morgan is a police officer (actually the Police Chief). The notion of Morgan being scared when she witnesses a gargoyle (Amp) for the first time are introduced. Although Xavier's ancestor appears in the backstory, Xavier (spelled "Xaxier" in Fred Schaefer's memo) works alone as a villain in modern day. While sleeping for 1000 years, the gargoyles are intentionally positioned on "their favorite perch" on the castle. The idea of gargoyles being servants of the 10th century villain appears.
- 312. Gargoyles protect... - 11/20/91. A document by Kat Fair pulling the threads together. A handwritten note by Greg says that gargoyles are protectors that are treated like dogs. Again, both Morgan and Xavier have ancestors: Evil Wizard Morgan and Good Wizard Xavier. Again, the gargoyles are for a time servants of the Evil Wizard Morgan. The gargoyles are put to sleep either by a spell (by Morgan) or by a magic drug/potion. Again, the gargoyles are intentionally placed on the castle.
- 313. The paradigm shift... (reprinted from 117. More...) - After the previous document (312), the comedy development was pitched to executives and rejected. On the advice of Tad Stones, the comedy development was abandoned in favor of an action-drama with a single tragic gargoyle lead. Some inspiration is taken from Beauty and the Beast. Summary of a meeting 12/19/91, this is the earliest file on the dramatic version, now called The Gargoyle. The 10th century backstory is "in barbaric Briton [sic]". The evil wizard (no name given, and with no apparent connection to Xavier) is now the creator of the Gargoyle (this is the only name used, as yet), who initially serves the wizard. A princess character appears for the first time, and shows the Gargoyle the error of his ways. The idea of gargoyles turning to stone during the day is firmly in place. The Gargoyle is immortal and awake through the 1000 years, perhaps fighting evil in WW2. Again, the castle is flown to the top of a NY skyscraper by the "arrogant villain" Xavier, a manipulative businessman. The Gargoyle's modern friend no longer has a name but is described as a "young idealistic girl (perhaps a plain clothes detective)". Possibility of the ancient wizard returning is raised, as is the possibility that the modern friend may have a child. The Gargoyle may have the power to awaken other stone statues, perhaps with a magic powder.
- 314. brainstorming villains... - 1/6/92. A note from Fred Schaefer with suggestions for possible names for the main Gargoyle character (including Griffin), as well as ideas for villains for him to combat.
- 315. And now "THE GARGOYLE: - 1/7/92. A pitch breakdown for the new development. The show is described as "gothic melodrama in a very modern setting". The Evil Wizard, Princess, Gargoyle, Xavier (described as new and menacing) and modern heroine (again suggested to be a police detective) are the only characters that appear. Suggestion is made that the modern heroine and the princess could use the same art model, and that Xavier and the evil wizard could be related. Suggestion is made that the Gargoyle might still live in Xavier's tower, perhaps even with Xavier. The heroine might have a child. During the 1000 year intermission, the Gargoyle might steal books from the library, or make occasional forays out into the world (e.g. to fight in WW2 - ripping the wings off a German plane).
- 316. Villain-work... - 1/9/92. Fred Schaefer compiles Greg Weisman's suggestions for dramatic villains. Notably, a werewolf is mentioned as an example of a "horror-based" villain.
- 317. More on villains... - 1/9/92. Another note from Fred Schaefer on villains, this time including Xavier and the Evil Wizard. Xavier is described as a "very big, muscular man" in a three-piece suit, as well as "a self-taught Machiavellian". Mention is made that Xavier and the Wizard might be enemies or rivals.
- 318. My guru speaks... - 1/10/92. Tad Stones' feedback on the latest pitch breakdown (presumably document 315). Comments suggest that the backstory was set in the time of King Arthur, although that may have been for convenience or analogy rather than an actual suggestion. In particular, Merlin is credited with enchanting the Gargoyle to protect the castle, after the Gargoyle was framed by a (separate) evil wizard. Notable suggestions include: focussing more on the romance between the Gargoyle and his human ally, avoiding making the Gargoyle a creation of the wizard (to avoid making the wizard "godlike"), removing the Princess from the backstory (to avoid a connection with the modern ally), and making the Gargoyle a human under a spell.
- 319. Mike responds to the guru... - 1/10/92. Staff assistant Mike Ryan's response to Tad Stones. Mike agrees that the Princess is unnecessary and that the romance should be more central.
- 320. More Tad e-mails... - 1/10/92. A brief email exchange between Tad Stones and Greg Weisman. Once again Tad promotes the romance element of the series, and Greg Weisman agrees but says he doesn't know how much they can "get away with romance-wise". Greg points out that they cannot make the Gargoyle a human under a curse, because of similarities with several comic book characters.
- 321. A species is born (again)... - 1/10/92. A second round of emails between Greg Weisman and Tad Stones. Tad mentions Beauty and the Beast explicitly, although this is in reference to human-to-beast transformation rather than romance. Greg is now very much leaning towards the idea of gargoyles as a species, and is considering bringing back other members of the species (as in the comedy development, but seen "through the dramatic prism").
- 322. More emails: CATMAN - 1/13/92. Fred Schaeffer says he has created a villain named Cat Scan (the proto-Talon), and asks for information about "silly villains" like DC's Catman. Greg's response is mostly about DC villains, although an example about Black Canary includes the phrase "Even the badguys can have a committed relationship."
- 279. I'm back... and so is Catscan - 1/13/92. Backstories and episode ideas featuring two new villains, Cat Scan and Shard, created by Fred Schaeffer. Elements of Cat Scan were later used for both Talon and Sevarius. In particular, mention is made that Xavier orchestrated the "lab accident" that mutated Cat Scan into a panther and that, after learning this, Cat Scan plans revenge.
- 323. Enter "The Sculptor"... - 1/15/92. A backstory for a villain named the Sculptor, author unknown. Elements survived in Coldstone, as well as Jackal and Hyena (particularly in Jackal's fantasy dream from "The Green").
- 280. Danger! - 1/17/92. Tad Stones gives notes on Catscan.
- 324. Developments converge... - 1/20/92. The old comedy development begins to be re-incorporated into the show. Demona, Ralph (proto-Hudson), and the proto-Trio are back in the show. The Gargoyle Master is no longer a magical creation, but the leader of a different species.
- 325. "The Gargoyle" still taking form... - 1/24/92. Still trying to figure out the series.
- 326. Still trying to find focus... - 1/29/92. Greg Weisman trying to put together a pitch for a series now, again, called "Gargoyles".
- 327. More on villains... 1/29/92. Fred Schaefer's work on villains continues, including a rejected real name for Catscan and the introduction of Scarab.
- 328. NAMES 2/1/92. Circling in on the series concepts, Greg tries to find the names of the characters. The goal for the Gargoyle-Master's name was something Shakespearean or Mythological. Meanwhile, Gary Krisel was concerned that the name 'Demona' was too on the nose for a villain.
- 329. A random thought that went nowhere... 2/2/92. Greg suggested the possibility of naming all the gargoyles after stones or rocks.
- 330. Still reworking the pitch... 2/2/92. Another draft of the pitch. Goliath was still awake for a thousand years, and at the time gargoyles had stone-like skin even when awake.
- 331. Must you humans name everything... 2/3/92. Fred Schaefer's suggestions for names.
- 332. Still searching for names... 2/3/92. Tad Stones suggests some names.
- 333. Still searching... Bob Kline submits his name suggestions.
- 334. Closing in... Bruce Cranston suggests names based on New York City locations for the first time.
- 335. THE PITCH: Version 4.0 2/6/92. The gargoyles are now named, but Goliath was still awake for a thousand years. Elisa's last name is still Reed. The Magus was called Malachite. But they were closing in on the show.
- 336. PITCH 5.0 2/7/92. Similar to the previous pitch, but more nuanced.
- 337. Pitch version 7 3/3/92. Goliath was also put to sleep for a thousand years, now.
- 338. ANIMATION TEST 4/23/92 The show had been rejected by Michael Eisney, but Jeffrey Katzenberg encouraged them to pursue it further. Gary Krisel suggested a five minute animation test that was never made, but this was Greg's first pass on what it would have contained.
- 339. 2nd Draft of Animation Test 5/8/92. The second outline of the never made animation test.
- 340. Another pass at a test... 5/18/92. A third pass.
- 341. Trying again to sell the thing... 10/21/92. Preparation to pitch the show to Michael Eisner for a third time but instead of changing the show, they began changed the pitch.
- 342. Sold... 12/4/92. Finally given the green light, they received an outline from a writer which wasn't the series Greg wanted to make, these are his notes trying to redirect things.
- 343. More work on the pilot... 1/19/93. Creative differences with the first writer continue.
- 344. At work on the pilot... 1/20/93. Greg starts taking a much stronger hand than a development executive normally would, already moving towards being a producer on the series. Lex and Brooklyn's personalities hadn't switched yet. The Vikings are "marauders", Princess Katharine was a queen, Tom is called Robby, and the Magus was old and dottering.
- 345. Still at work on the pilot... 1/22/93. Still working with the first writer who felt that the gargoyles turning to stone every night was too limiting. Greg's first order of business was to confirm the rule.
- 346. FOCUS TESTING 1/29/93. They modified the pitch again when Disney decided to focus test it with a group of kids.
- 347. My Journey to Oregon... 3/4/93. Gary Krisel became fascinated with comic books because his sons were collecting, and wanted to pitch the show to Todd McFarlane to see if he would participate. Greg modified the pitch again but nothing came of the meeting.
- 348. NEW WRITER ON PILOT March, 1993. After going their separate ways with the first writer, Eric Luke is brought on board, and this document is rehashed for his benefit.
- 349. Just to be complete... 4/9/93. The final version of the pitch, the version that was shown at the Gathering of the Gargoyles and on the first season DVD.
- 350. Back at work on the pilot... 5/17/93. Eric Luke had turned in his first draft plot outline and this memo was Greg's response.
- 351. Still honing the pilot... 6/10/93. Another memo response to Eric Luke as Greg tries to bring the story out to help it shine.
- 352. Kenner weighs in... 6/25/93. Kenner won the toy license and brings in notes of their own. The one note kept was the gargoyles gliding rather than being able to fly.
- 296. The word from Kenner Toys... 6/30/93. The meeting with Kenner happened and they expressed their "concerns."
- 272. 7/2/93. Walt Disney TV Animation Japan had been asking for a more creative role in the division. Paul Lacy wrote up some character descriptions for Goliath and the Trio. Brooklyn and Lexington were assigned their basic personalities. Broadway moved away from being female.
- 353. Prepping Production 7/2/93. A memo from Lenora Hume to Mr. Tokunaga who was the head of Walt Disney Television Animation Japan.
- 354. Being SANTA CLAUS is stressful. 7/8/93. Kenner sent Greg a large box of toys which he gave to the company.
- 355. Ducks in a row... 7/10/93. Mr. Tokunaga of Walt Disney TV Animation Japan suggests some of his staff to be creative forces for "Gargoyles".
- 356. Back to the pilot... 7/15/93. Eric Luke turned in another outline for the pilot, it still had the Pack but it also introduced the concept of Gargoyle Eggs.
- 359. An old memo... 7/16/93. In the outline for the pilot, a corporation named CYBERCORP is referred to and Bruce Cranston suggests they make sure there is no real company by that name.
- 360. Design work memo... 7/21/93. Greg Weisman's notes on character designs by Walt Disney Japan.
- 273. Another memo to Japan... 7/26/93. A follow-up memo to the previous one.
- 274. More correspondence with Tokyo... 8/4/93. Greg expresses confidence in Mr. Tokunaga after viewing the Clayface episode of "Batman: The Animated Series".
- 275. Another design memo... 8/26/93. Greg's response to more designs from Japan.
- 276. Hudson's nearly renamed... 9/13/93. A Disney Executive had just had a son she named Hudson and asked Greg to rename Hudson.
- 361. BACK TO THE PILOT... 9/19/93. Eric Luke turned in a script but it didn't match Greg Weisman and Gary Krisel's vision. Afterwards, Michael Reaves is brought in and this is Greg's long memo to him.