Notes On The Writing Of Part Two

Framing the story as a flashback worked well for Part One; for Part Two, however, the framing was a little cumbersome. In effect, we have Adam telling the Sorceress a story she already knows. Luckily, the present-day framing only intrudes at the very beginning and very end of the story - which is good, because it would have quickly unraveled all the episode's credibility had it intruded any further.

I like the way the scene with Marlena and Adam worked out. Marlena's coming from Earth adds an interesting perspective to her views, helping us at times to see Eternia through fresh eyes. Adam's equating "snowmen" with Ice Trolls was a fun way to enhance that difference in views. (It's worth noting that Marlena's wish to go visit the Ice Mountains is granted "later" in the first-season episode "The Region of Ice". One nice thing about framing the story as a flashback is that it lets me "anticipate" events used in earlier episodes.)

As well, the scene with Teela reflecting on the seagulls in flight provided an interesting way to build on her character's origins... subtly, and without overpowering the story, but in an unmistakable manner. It was another element that other writers could build off of later, had the series continued.

What held the most fascination for me about this episode was seeing how Adam would react to his new-found powers. After all, you don't just become The Most Powerful Man In The Universe without a certain amount of surprise, or disbelief, or indeed shock; and I thought this would be interesting to examine. One of the things that still puzzles me about "The Secret of the Sword" is that Adora, upon her first change into She-Ra, did not have any similar period of shock or disbelief; she just jumped into her new persona without hesitation... or even any surprise.

With the amount of information they had to cram into that premeire, it's understandable that they might not have had time to explore it. They might simply have run out of screen-time to play with. Still, though, it saddens me that they didn't examine this.

My version of Battle-Cat's first appearance directly contradicts D. C. Fontana's second-season episode "Battlecat", but since her episode is itself in direct contradiction to the first-season episode "Creatures from the Tar Swamp" I felt like I could safely ignore it.

In Act Two, Evil-lyn makes a casual reference to how Morlok, of the Council of Evil, had once been her teacher.

Evil-lyn, being the one henchman of Skeletor's who is willing to openly defy him, is one of the more interesting characters to write for. Curiously, though, she has virtually no backstory. By making her a former pupil of Morlok's, I thought it would help to explain her position: still not quite as strong as Skeletor, but nonetheless willing to openly challenge him. It also left open the possibility of Morlok's coming to Eternia in some future episode... with any one of many possible conflicts resulting.

Many people have asked publicly if Skeletor and Evil-lyn were lovers. I don't believe so. I think Evil-lyn and Morlok were lovers.

As I've pointed out elsewhere, my first drafts often resemble collections of cheap jokes as much as they resemble stories. One thing I discovered, to my surprise, was that once I had written dialogue for Battle-Cat I rarely had to change it.

Battle-Cat was the most entertaining character to write for. I could put just about any cheap asides into his dialogue that I wanted to, and they would work flawlessly. In fact, there was only one piece of Battle-Cat dialogue I rejected as being a little too off-the-wall:

                Ahrrr! Give up, Skeletor! We all know you're
                responsible for tooth decay!

                Let's not get carried away, cat.

In the earliest draft there was a backstory involving Skeletor's Havoc Staff, and how it was originally stolen from Dannon... a story which had intriguing possibilities, but which I simply didn't have enough screen-time to pursue.

The final fight at Greyskull proved to be surprisingly difficult to write. For two drafts, all I knew about the fight was that it had to happen so that He-Man could cement his relationship with his allies... but I myself had absolutely no idea how it was going to be done, or indeed even how it was going to turn out.

It was only after skipping ahead and writing the tag that I realized what the episode was supposed to be about... and if the idea that "He-Man's greatest strength was the trust placed in him" came as a new idea to Adam, rest assured it was just as new to me.

Once that idea arrived, going back and writing the final conflict in Greyskull was quite easy. (It also gave an opportunity for yet another Battle-Cat joke, which certainly didn't hurt.)

All the characters were surprisingly fun to write dialogue for. I only wish I'd had more opportunity to write for them and, maybe, get paid for it as well. :)

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I wonder if the WGAw has a time machine?