Open Thead: The Monsters of NY “Gargoyles” Survey

Based in large part on the  Tumblr  TMNT (2003) survey, referred to in my last post.  Answer in the comments.

  1. What is your favorite run of stories and why?
    • Season 1 (“Awakening” to “Reawakening”)
    • “Leader of the Pack” to “City of Stone”
    • “High Noon” to “Avalon”
    • The Avalon World Tour (“Shadows of the Past” to “The Gathering”)
    • “Vendettas” to “Hunter’s Moon”
    • “Clan-Building” (a.k.a. the comic-book series)
    • “Redemption” (Gargoyles: Bad Guys)
    • The Goliath Chronicles
  1. What is your least favorite run of stories and why?
  2. List three things the series could have improved upon.
  3. If you could change only one thing about the series, what would it be?
  4. Name something you really wanted to see happen.
  5. Which is your favorite character arc?
  6. What is you favorite romance?
  7. Which is your favorite group or sub-group of characters (Manhattan Clan, Labyrinth Clan, The Pack, Redemption Squad, etc.)?
  8. How do you feel about the series’ eventual expansion of the circle of living gargoyles beyond the Manhattan Clan and Demona?
  9. As of the end of “Clan-Building”, who or what is the greatest threat the Manhattan Clan has to deal with?
  10. What are your thoughts on the Avalon World Tour? Could it have been improved? If so, in which way?
  11. How would you like to see Gargoyles return, if at all?
  12. Gargoyles has always been a series concerned with featuring people who are not often represented, and showing them in non-stereotypical ways. What do you think of the job they did, and where would you like them to turn their eye to, should the series return?
  13. You have been asked to come up with concepts and preliminary plots for a Gargoyles film trilogy.  What do those involve?
  14. Which of the unproduced spin-offs would you most have liked to see make it to the screen / page?
    • The Dark Ages
    • Gargoyles 2198
    • Heroes of Ulster
    • Pendragon
    • The New Olympians
    • TimeDancer

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The rules: This is an open thread, which means that you can write about whatever you’d like in the comments, as long as it remains within the bounds set by the comment policy.  Discussions taking place in previous Open Threads–which will be closed after this one goes online–can also be continued here.

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6 Responses to Open Thead: The Monsters of NY “Gargoyles” Survey

  1. Ian says:

    Bonus sixteenth question: What group or time period not covered by the spin-offs above would you like to see get more focus?

  2. 1. Favorite run of stories.
    I honestly hate questions like this. I have a favorite stand-alone episode and mutli-parter, but whole run of stories? I don’t know how to answer that, really. Gargoyles feels like one continuous run. If I had to answer, though, it would probably be “Leader of the Pack” through “The Price,” reason being that it’s just got a lot of my favorite beats in that section. We get the a lot of time just inhabiting the world and spending time with the characters now that we’ve gotten to know them.

    2. Least favorite run.
    The Goliath Chronicles. It’s not that there aren’t *some* redeeming qualities to that season, but I just kind of lose interest once Xanatos is turned into full-time good guy.

    3. List three things the series could have improved upon.

    – The Goliath Chronicles; specifically, the underlying theme of that season, which is their becoming publicly known. I actually thought the concept was a good idea and had high hopes for it initially.

    – The Goliath Chronicles: specifically, the villains. There was not nearly enough of Demona in that season and when she was there, the plot threads were lackluster. I also would have been more than happy to see Xanatos become something other than an arch nemesis, but their new best friend? No, the transition was FAR too abrupt and not at all believable. I kept waiting for the punchline and, more importantly, none of the characters were. If it had become something of a running joke, that they always keep expecting him to turn on them (then doesn’t, or not in the way they expect, anyway) through the whole season, it MIGHT have worked better. In any event, it didn’t.

    – Puck was one of my favorite characters in the series and there wasn’t nearly enough of him as far as I was concerned.

    4. If you could change only one thing about the series, what would it be?
    No idea.

    5. Something you really wanted to see: Puck vs. Coyote (not the robot). Or The Pack (original group, including Fox) against some Children of Oberon.

    6. Favorite character arc: Elisa’s.

    7. Favorite romance? I think the most *interesting* is Goliath/Demona, but the one I root for is Goliath and Elisa.

    8. Favorite group or sub-group: Manhattan Clan, undoubtedly.

    9. How do you feel about the series’ eventual expansion of the circle of living gargoyles beyond the Manhattan Clan and Demona?
    I like the idea on the whole, but I might have been less turned off by it if it hadn’t been so deliberate with the World Tour, and rather, built up to slowly, over the course of the series.

    10. Who or what is the greatest threat the Manhattan Clan has to deal with?
    The fear humans will/do have of them, I think. Almost every plot thread circles back to that at its base. Xanatos usually uses that against them and Demona’s basic motivations are almost all inspired by her own bigotry, caused by hatred she experienced in her own/original time from humans.

    11. The World Tour.
    Yeeeeeeeah. Not a fan. I don’t hate the World Tour, but I remember it feeling like drudgery after awhile. It didn’t feel properly balanced to me; I missed the Trio and Hudson intensely during that time and anytime a familiar face popped up – even Sevarius – I was ecstatic. And, in the end, I just wanted to get back to New York and back the Clock Tower that had come to feel like such a great place to spend your half hour running time.

    The thing I really disliked the most about the series at that point though, was Angela. She always seemed really out of place to me; she had this weight of uninterestingness about her that I couldn’t quite explain or shake and having her around, occupying so much time and attention was not something I enjoyed much. At all.

    12. How would you like to see Gargoyles return, if at all?
    I think Gargoyles would make an awesome HBO-style series. With top production design and modernized effects, it could be a great series or miniseries.

    13. Gargoyles has always been a series concerned with featuring people who are not often represented, and showing them in non-stereotypical ways. What do you think of the job they did, and where would you like them to turn their eye to, should the series return?
    I think Gargoyles worked best when it wasn’t trying to necessarily be obvious with its symbolism. I often found that the stronger writing was the more subtle of the lot. I think they did a really good job with the target demographic and overhead company watching over them. I could see them doing

    14. You have been asked to come up with concepts and preliminary plots for a Gargoyles film trilogy. What do those involve?

    First: a thorough look at David Xanatos’ life, particularly the earlier years. I would almost consider making him something of an anti-hero protagonist. Focus on his gaining his fortune (through the gift of the coin, and there on), beginning of his relationship with Fox, his meeting Puck via Owen, finding out the truth about him and then discovering the myth and legends behind Castle Wyvern.

    Opening credits possibly over the montage sequence of transporting the castle to New York (complete with talkshow interviews about what he’s doing and why). Follow that out through to “Awakening,” when the gargoyles awaken (having seen none of their story up to this point). Then, directly after his exchange with Goliath (“you are the one called Goliath?”/”Yes…”/”Excellent”), smash out, and go backwards, to address the existence of gargoyles and how the legend is actually true.

    Also, if the film was moved to modern day, really amp up the urban myth of “gargoyles live in New York,” with the advent of camera phones and newer technology.

    15. Which of the unproduced spin-offs would you most have liked to see make it to the screen / page? I don’t know enough about them to have an opinion on that… *hangs head sheepishly*

  3. Ian says:

    Man, I just realized that making The Goliath Chronicles a choice for “worst run” is pretty much like asking someone to choose between cake or death. Oh, well. Whatevs.

    Sorry the “runs” question wasn’t to you liking. Normally been phrased in terms of seasons (although I suppose that wouldn’t have helped in your case) but given the disparity between the number of episodes in each, there was no way to do so in terms that would be at all useful, since most of Gargoyles is season 2.

    By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask (I may have asked before): have you read the comic book continuation?

    I quite like your ideas for a film!

  4. Loudo says:

    What is your favorite run of stories and why?
    “High Noon” to “Avalon”.
    I already liked the series before those episodes, but when I reached High Noon and the Avalon episodes I seriously started to love it. I like series with strong continuity and that force me to be follow with attention. When I saw that Weird Sisters weren’t just mysterious but they actually had an agenda and the way all the time travel story was carefully planned… I loved it!

    What is your least favorite run of stories and why?
    Well, The Goliath Chronicles is an obvious pick, so I’m going to ignore that. I didn’t read the Bad Guys mini-series, so I’m going to ignore that too.
    Excluding those, I’ll have to pick “Vendettas” to “Hunter’s Moon”. I absolutely loved “Possession,” but I didn’t care all that much about the other episodes.

    List three things the series could have improved upon.
    – I would have liked more episodes that focused on individual gargoyles and their relationship with the mundane world. More like Hudson and Jeffrey’s encounter in “A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time,” the Trio exploring the modern world in “Awakening,” Brooklyn’s experiences in “Temptation”…
    – I would have liked more focus on the gargoyle’s culture. There’s so much of that in the Awakening episodes, but then it sort of disappears. In the first episodes we are told gargoyles don’t have name, but that’s dropped pretty quickly. (Gargoyles from other clans all use them. Also, I would have liked if the gargoyles had used their name only in the presence of Elisa, or something like that. In order to show the audience that they really don’t need names and aren’t used to them.) Also, the gargoyles’ “collective parenting” stays mostly in the background. I’m especially annoyed by Demona’s motherly concerns for Angela. At least Goliath needs to be “persuaded” to consider her special. Shouldn’t Demona treat Lex, Brooklyn, and Broadway as her sons as well? The gargoyles end up feeling too much heroic and not enough “alien” for me.
    – Less magic and less King Arthur. I loved the hell out of Oberon’s children, but too many episodes revolved around sorcerers, magical artifacts, mithological creatures… The gargoyles hardly felt special anymore. And as far as I’m concerned, King Arthur doesn’t fit in the setting very well. (The Illuminati are apparently also tied with the Arthurian lore…)

    If you could change only one thing about the series, what would it be?
    Matt Bluestone’s behavior in “Revelations,” it really confused and bugged me. When I watched that episode for the first time, I was expecting him to be revealed as a bad guy any moment.

    Name something you really wanted to see happen.
    Demona finding some form of happiness, or at least her arc come to a conclusion.

    Which is your favorite character arc?
    In terms of screentime, Goliath’s. But my favorite was probably Titania’s, even though we don’t get to see nothing of it. Banished among the mortals because she used to dispise them, and now she’s looks like she’s the mortals’ best friend and she even married one and had a daughter with him!

    What is you favorite romance?
    I’m very sorry we will probably never get to see Lexington’s. And like I said, I would have loved to see Titania’s.
    But Goliath and Elisa’s romance was handled very very well and it took a lot of build up, so I have to choose it.

    Which is your favorite group or sub-group of characters (Manhattan Clan, Labyrinth Clan, The Pack, Redemption Squad, etc.)?
    Manhattan Clan. But I like a lot the London Clan as well. There are so many interesting characters from that clan, and I like the fact that you need more than two hands to count its members. XD

    How do you feel about the series’ eventual expansion of the circle of living gargoyles beyond the Manhattan Clan and Demona?
    I like it, I think it was the right choice. The gargoyles are interesting enough without having to be the last of their kind.

    As of the end of “Clan-Building”, who or what is the greatest threat the Manhattan Clan has to deal with?
    I think it’s supposed to be the Illuminati, but I’d pick Xanatos. Even though he’s an ally now, I wouldn’t feel safe living under the same roof with him.

    What are your thoughts on the Avalon World Tour? Could it have been improved? If so, in which way?
    I liked some of the World Tour episodes a lot, while I found some other boring. However, what I didn’t like about the arc itself was its episodic and “filler” nature. Filler episodes can be good and even needed, but they need to alternate with episodes that further the main plot. With this arc, it felt like the story abruptly stopped and lost its focus.

    How would you like to see Gargoyles return, if at all?
    I would love to see Gargoyles return, in any form. I think they would make great novels as well. The story would probably improve without a 20-minute time limit and other TV restrictions.

    Gargoyles has always been a series concerned with featuring people who are not often represented, and showing them in non-stereotypical ways. What do you think of the job they did, and where would you like them to turn their eye to, should the series return?
    I’m not sure this was something they intentionally concerned themselves about, but I did like what they did. My main criticism would probably be the unfortunate implications of making Oberon (a character mostly linked to Germanic folklore) the absolute ruler of every deity and mithological creature in the world. Imperialism much? But that’s probably just me reading too much in it. XD
    As for the future, considering Greg has already outed Lexington, I would definitely enjoy more LGBT characters.

    You have been asked to come up with concepts and preliminary plots for a Gargoyles film trilogy. What do those involve?
    Which of the unproduced spin-offs would you most have liked to see make it to the screen / page?
    My answer to both questions would be the same: make Gargoyles: The Dark Ages a movie. I would love to learn more about the Manhattan Clan before the Massacre. I would love to see more of non-villain Demona. I would love to see Hudson as the leader of the clan.
    And I think it would make for a good movie. Considering that everything that has happened in the series has yet to happen, any new viewer would be able to enjoy the movie without recaps or losing any information.

  5. Guest says:

    [Mod Note: Redacted by commenter request on January 19 at 10:25 p.m.]

  6. Ian says:

    [Mod Note: Portions of this post pertaining to the previous comment have been redacted and / or edited by the request of said commenter. Said editing took place on January 19, at 10:30 p.m.]

    Welcome [Mod Note: Poster name redacted]. If you take a look at the comments, I eventually realized the problem with placing “The Goliath Chronicles” for consideration in question two, but yeah, that was dumb of me. ^_^

    [Mod Note: “The Gathering”-related question redacted by Commenter Request]

    Interesting suggestion. I’m not sure an illusion spell wouldn’t also have some nasty unintended consequences–having a God wreaking havoc all around the city and not being able to see it is a good way to get oneself killed–but your larger point is well-taken. In the end, the show had a real issue with treating city-wide crises as, well, city-wide crises. Also, thank you for giving me something to say when the time comes to write about “The Gathering”, and for the kind words about “Revelations”.

    [Mod Note: Question 14- and “Awakening”-related comment redacted by Commenter Request]

    “Awakening” is, I feel, lends itself ridiculously well to film adaptation. There’s just two things I would change: replace Xanatos’ goon squad with The Pack, and hold present-day Demona until the second film. The sequel would then deal with Demona and adapt “Temptation” and “The Thrill of The Hunt” (to get the Clan away from the castle) while the third film would then do “City of Stone”.

    Loudo: My main criticism would probably be the unfortunate implications of making Oberon (a character mostly linked to Germanic folklore) the absolute ruler of every deity and mithological creature in the world. Imperialism much? But that’s probably just me reading too much in it. XD

    This is a good point, actually, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his and Titania’s character designs were influenced at least in part by a desire to make the implications less unfortunate. They’re still coded as white, but their design reads more “Kirby-style alien” than European.

    – I would have liked more episodes that focused on individual gargoyles and their relationship with the mundane world. More like Hudson and Jeffrey’s encounter in “A Lighthouse in the Sea of Time,” the Trio exploring the modern world in “Awakening,” Brooklyn’s experiences in “Temptation”…
    – I would have liked more focus on the gargoyle’s culture. There’s so much of that in the Awakening episodes, but then it sort of disappears. In the first episodes we are told gargoyles don’t have name, but that’s dropped pretty quickly. (Gargoyles from other clans all use them. Also, I would have liked if the gargoyles had used their name only in the presence of Elisa, or something like that. In order to show the audience that they really don’t need names and aren’t used to them.)

    YES! Either of these would have been nice.

    Also, the gargoyles’ “collective parenting” stays mostly in the background. I’m especially annoyed by Demona’s motherly concerns for Angela. At least Goliath needs to be “persuaded” to consider her special. Shouldn’t Demona treat Lex, Brooklyn, and Broadway as her sons as well?

    I fanwank this as the result of Demona being waaaay more acclimated to human beliefs and culture than even she’d like to admit. I mean, she owns property. That’s actually kinda huge, when you think about it.

    Man, I was not expecting so much support for Dark Ages

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