S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Threads dedicated to the discussion of individual episodes. Everything from casual observations to in-depth analysis welcome.
User avatar
Kooshmeister
Fandom Veteran
Posts: 1132
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:26 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA
x 1291
x 1153
Flag: United States of America

Re: The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby Kooshmeister » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:40 am

AkaneKitty wrote:What I loved was the background museum pieces, like the Pastmaster represented as an hourglass and the Ripper exhibit.


Are we sure the hourglass represented him? Or was it just one of the items in the scene? It is rather big and central, but it seems like something he'd have in his possession given his apparent obsession with clocks and timepieces.

It is interesting that Sinian knew about the Pastmaster, but didn't have a dummy of him. Did no paintings or descriptions of him exist for reference purposes...? How interesting would it have been if he'd happened upon a dummy of himself and angrily knocked it aside, crying, "Impostor!"

Another interesting thing is that when we first feet Sinian, she's telling Callie about and upcoming exhibit. The thing is, though, that she describes it as being an exhibit about the region's history "from prehistoric swamp to urban sprawl." Shouldn't that be something that's already on exhibit there? I mean, the museum's been there for how long and they're only now getting around to doing an exhibit about the city they're based in?

And why is Callie, the Deputy Mayor, down at the museum jotting down notes about exhibits? For "the Mayor's press release." Doesn't Manx have someone who can handle that? Mayors do general have press secretaries and media personnel. This is, of course, just an excuse for Callie to be present so she can summon the SWAT Kats when that dastardly Pastmaster shows up and then be endangered, so the whole press release angle is pretty thin. Apparently the writers think deputy mayors are glorified secretaries (either that or Manx does). Or the Megakat City government is woefully understaffed which might explain why Callie often performs menial duties other civil servants would normally do.

AkaneKitty wrote:The Enforcers can't respond to something they don't know about, so them showing up "late" actually shows there was a good Samaritan around the museum who called. I'd be more interested in the response time to call like that, because the SKs have an unfair advantage due to their direct link to Callie.


Agree totally. They get there when they get there. Also, as to who called them, maybe a silent alarm was triggered when the Pastmaster smashed the display case containing the book? Or possibly the guard extracted himself from underneath all the bones and phoned the Enforcers?

A third possibility is this: Remember the scene in the cemetery? "Headquarters wants us to take it over the Museum of History." Clearly, Feral wants the situation at the cemetery explained and hopes Sinian can tell him something about the chest. Maybe he tried to phone, and, getting no answer, got worried and sent the Sergeant and some guys to investigate? Either way, yeah, I think for once the Enforcers were pretty on the ball and T-Bone's jab at their supposed tardiness was kind of dumb.

Randomly, as they're running from the sabertoothed tiger, Sinian says, "We can get out through the garage!" Why, then, do they go to the roof?!
0 x
R.I.P. Gary Owens (1936-2015)

AkaneKitty
Fandom Veteran
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 1:07 pm
x 45
x 112
Flag: United States of America

Re: The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby AkaneKitty » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:58 pm

Kooshmeister wrote:
AkaneKitty wrote:What I loved was the background museum pieces, like the Pastmaster represented as an hourglass and the Ripper exhibit.


Are we sure the hourglass represented him? Or was it just one of the items in the scene? It is rather big and central, but it seems like something he'd have in his possession given his apparent obsession with clocks and timepieces.

I like it as one of those blink and you miss it time moments. Unless you slow the tape/dvr down, most of the time you wouldn't see that Pastmaster nameplate on the exhibit.

I think for once the Enforcers were pretty on the ball and T-Bone's jab at their supposed tardiness was kind of dumb.

This is one of the "Telling instead of Showing" moments the show had in regards to Feral and the Enforcers. The problem with this is that a lot of what was said is taken at face value, especially since this is the first episode of the series, even though what is shown during the episode contradicts what has been said. Here the Enforcers showing up at all is a miracle in itself because nothing was shown OR said that they were called, but T-Bone rags on them, setting up the illusion that the Enforcers are incompetent.

And to reply to Ty Chou about this, yes I can understand that the show and the comment from T-Bone is from his perspective, my issue with this is that Feral and the Enforcers have no way to defend themselves. Yet, if Feral and Enforcers are incompetent, they don't show enough to embellish and add to T-Bone's comment either. So we don't get a defined Feral/Enforcers characterization.

For instance, T-Bone could have said this to Feral's face, establishing the SKs have no love for Feral. Feral could have angrily shouted back that we only just got a silent alarm/good Samaritan call, showing that Feral/Enforcers are on the ball and Feral is given the chance to stick up for himself and his officers. If they wanted what T-Bone said to be true, a silent alarm alerting Enforcer HQ and it being ignored would have backed up T-Bone's claims and match what was shown on the screens.

I really need to start up a thread of what I would do to make Feral, and by extensions the Enforcers, good rivals to the SKs or show that he really was a blowhard/gloryhound etc. Because a lot of times during the show's run. especially in the first season, what was said about Feral didn't match up to what was shown.
0 x

User avatar
Kooshmeister
Fandom Veteran
Posts: 1132
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:26 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA
x 1291
x 1153
Flag: United States of America

Re: The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby Kooshmeister » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:28 pm

AkaneKitty wrote:I like it as one of those blink and you miss it time moments. Unless you slow the tape/dvr down, most of the time you wouldn't see that Pastmaster nameplate on the exhibit.


I've always noticed it, I've just never before had the notion that the big hourglass was meant to be the Pastmaster.
0 x
R.I.P. Gary Owens (1936-2015)

AkaneKitty
Fandom Veteran
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 1:07 pm
x 45
x 112
Flag: United States of America

Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby AkaneKitty » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:45 pm

In my case, I didn't notice it at first. And the hourglass I've always thought it was just a stand in or something.
0 x

User avatar
Ty-Chou
Challenge Champion
Challenge Champion
Posts: 267
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 11:55 pm
Location: USA
x 55
x 316
Flag: United States of America
Contact:

Re: The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby Ty-Chou » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:07 pm

AkaneKitty wrote:
And to reply to Ty Chou about this, yes I can understand that the show and the comment from T-Bone is from his perspective, my issue with this is that Feral and the Enforcers have no way to defend themselves. Yet, if Feral and Enforcers are incompetent, they don't show enough to embellish and add to T-Bone's comment either. So we don't get a defined Feral/Enforcers characterization.

For instance, T-Bone could have said this to Feral's face, establishing the SKs have no love for Feral. Feral could have angrily shouted back that we only just got a silent alarm/good Samaritan call, showing that Feral/Enforcers are on the ball and Feral is given the chance to stick up for himself and his officers. If they wanted what T-Bone said to be true, a silent alarm alerting Enforcer HQ and it being ignored would have backed up T-Bone's claims and match what was shown on the screens.


I really understand what you are saying here, Akane and I am always supportive of fans who stick up for the Enforcers. I think they are super awesome myself and they have to put up with WAY more danger than any normal officer or military soldier does. It definitely is not a job for the faint hearted, no matter what the Swat Kats think.

However, I think from the storytelling perspective, the way the show chose to go about it was genius and perfect. The fact that we are not spoon fed from the get go and viewers are left to come to their own conclusions really adds to the journey. I STILL remember as a kid, that poignant moment when I saw Feral for who he really was, his honor and his integrity and what he does for the city. And it means so much more to me to find it on my own than the show forcing on me "This is Feral. Even though the Swat Kats don't like him, don't forget he is a good guy and we will always give him a chance to prove it so you don't forget."

The fact that there are (often many) fans out there that weren't paying attention and didn't get that part of the show is a shame. But it doesn't change the fact that everything good that Feral and the Enforcers are doing IS in the show if you look. Just because the show is in the Swat Kats' favor and the Enforcers don't get a chance to refute every accusation doesn't mean they're not doing their (somewhat thankless) job.

Can I also add here that it is quite rare to see in a masked hero show absolutely NO government corruption whatsoever? Usually, it's the corruption of the infrastructure that causes the heroes the need to appear. But in both city hall and Enforcer HQ, everyone's a straight shooter. Poor Megakat City just gets far more craziness than it can handle. It's really something that's intrigued me about the show since I was young.
0 x

User avatar
MoDaD
Janitor
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 12:01 pm
Location: USA
x 2011
x 1232
Flag: United States of America
Contact:

Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby MoDaD » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:08 am

0 x
SKLogoIcon Your Most Complete Source For All Things SWAT Kats Since 1999
The MEGA SWAT Kast | @TheSWATKats | YouTube Channel | The SWAT Kats Encyclopedia | Fandom Awards | Avatar by Kanogetz | @_MoDaD_
My schedule's been VERY inundated as of late. If I don't reply to you in a timely fashion please accept my apologies in advance. Thank you for your understanding!

User avatar
Kooshmeister
Fandom Veteran
Posts: 1132
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:26 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA
x 1291
x 1153
Flag: United States of America

Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby Kooshmeister » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:49 pm

Now I just gotta find and submit my reviews for The Wrath of Dark Kat and Destructive Nature.
0 x
R.I.P. Gary Owens (1936-2015)

User avatar
Kooshmeister
Fandom Veteran
Posts: 1132
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:26 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA
x 1291
x 1153
Flag: United States of America

Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby Kooshmeister » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:17 am

Just noticed something. In the establishing shot of the museum, the Megakat City Tar Pits are directly adjacent to it (on the left of the screen).

Image

When the Megasaurus Rex arrives and picks up the Pastmaster, he heads down the street (screen right), away from the museum and tar pits. But after we return to the present from the first scene of the SWAT Kats in the prehistoric era, the dinosaur is still heading screen right, and sudden the Enforcer blockade is between it and the tar pits!

Image

Possible explanations:

1. It's just a huge error.
2. The Megsaurus Rex hung a left around a corner, then another left, essentially making a u-turn, and is on the street that runs behind the museum and tar pits, allowing him to then stagger left and go into them when gassed.
3. After his initial encounter with the Enforcers when the Turbokat was first sent through the portal, he turned, headed screen left, then for whatever turned around, and by the time he returns to the vicinity of the museum, the Enforcers have erected the blockade of cars.
4. There are two tar pits.

1 is the most likely answer. 2 and 3 don't make any sense. Just how long was the dinosaur lumbering aimlessly around while the Pastmaster thumbed through his book? 3 is possible, but seems odd; while it makes sense for an area known for tar to have more than one tar pit attraction, why would they be named the same...?

So I'm going with 1 as the real answer and 4 being the only in-story explanation that makes sense. 'Cause 2 and 3 depend on the Megasaurus Rex radically changing direction multiple times for no reason ("You stupid beast!" indeed).
0 x
R.I.P. Gary Owens (1936-2015)

User avatar
Kooshmeister
Fandom Veteran
Posts: 1132
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:26 pm
Location: North Carolina, USA
x 1291
x 1153
Flag: United States of America

Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby Kooshmeister » Sun May 17, 2015 2:14 pm

If there's one thing I've learned in my nearly decade-long slog to get The End of the SWAT Kats!, either in its original prose form or in the screenplay form, finished, probably long past the point where anyone but me and a few others even care about it anymore, it's that writing is tougher than it looks. And I'd like to discuss one particular nugget of annoyance that has plagued me in particular, and how it relates to the character your favorite museum curator and mine, Dr. Abby Sinian.

This is the issue of how much the audience (or reader) should know, and how much they shouldn't know, and how much the characters in the story should or shouldn't know, and how much knowledge should be dolled out and when, and, in particular, how to handle the issue of the characters knowing more than the audience, or the audience knowing more than the characters.

I was first made aware of this concept when listening to the writers' commentary for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. There's a dramatic scene in which Will Turner effectively holds himself hostage to bargain for the lives of his friends against the movie's bad guy, Captain Barbossa. During the commentary, though, the writers explain they hit a mild a snag in the scene where Will calls Barbossa by name despite there being no prior mention of it while he was around to hear it. Now, they could've just changed this scene so Will just says "hey, you" or otherwise doesn't call Barbossa anything directly, but for whatever reason, they went back to the prison cell scene where Jack Sparrow is telling Will about the Black Pearl, wherein he mentions everything except the name of its current captain, and added the line "Captain Barbossa and his crew of miscreants."

Now that I think about it, this may not be a good example of what I mean (specifically, the audience being ahead of the characters), since without that line, I think even the audience wouldn't know Barbossa's name because when Elizabeth first gets captured, Barbossa is just referred to as "the Captain" and when she's taken aboard I don't remember him introducing himself, nor do I remember his name coming up in the dinner scene later when he tells Elizabeth practically everything else about himself, but whatever.

The inspiration to write this little essay or piece or whatever you want to call it came from my realization that aside from the name of the dinosaur that comes out of the time vortex, Dr. Sinian doesn't impart any information that the audience doesn't already know in The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice.

We learn everything we need to know about the Pastmaster in his first scene. His name, his motivation, how long he's been imprisoned inside the box, etc., is all given in the first scene of the episode during his confrontation with the grave robbers. In later scenes, Sinian is only repeating information the audience already knows or can figure out for themselves - she speculates on the origins of the box and the Pastmaster's involvement, and specifically how old he is (although Callie is the one who relays this last bit of information to Manx, it can have only come from Sinian first), all of which we already know from what we've seen and been told by the Pastmaster himself. So at first glance it appears as if Sinian could be written out entirely without affecting the story because she otherwise contributes nothing meaningful. Surely we could've lived without knowing the Megasaurus Rex's name.

But hold on, there, mister! We know all that stuff about the Pastmaster, but the characters don't!

I complained, in my exhaustive beatdown of The Giant Bacteria, that the SWAT Kats call the monsters bacteria. This may not seem like an issue at first, but think about it; sure, the audience knows what the creatures are, but the SWAT Kats weren't present in any scenes identifying the monsters as bacteria. Consequently, good ol' T-Bone and Razor have information they shouldn't have, or are otherwise making intuitive leaps they couldn't or shouldn't. The only people in the story who know what the monsters are should be Dr. Viper himself, and whoever was present Dr. Zyme determined what they were (and as I said in ye olde review of the episode, even though he, too, seems to pull this observation out of nowhere, I'm giving him a pass since he's a smartypants scientist).

It may not break the episode, but when the characters have information they shouldn't, it does create some minor plot issues. Thus, we actually need instances like where Sinian is just repeating stuff the audience already knows, so that we can see the characters obtain the information. Without Sinian, the only people aware of the Pastmaster, his name and what he's after would be he, Jack and Tom, and Jack and Tom exit the story into the land of whatever is over the cemetery wall, never to be seen again. Thus the seemingly redundant info-dumps Sinian dishes out are for the benefit of the other characters in the story, not the audience.

In other words, to a degree, The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice corrects one of the major issues from The Giant Bacteria... but there's still one instance where this issue of the characters having, and acting on, information they shouldn't that bugs the absolute heck outta me. It's at the end when Razor uses a missile to stop the clock hands from coming together. How does he know to do this? The sum total of the instructions and info Callie gives him is that they have one minute to "blast the Pastmaster out of the City Hall clocktower." She never mentions stopping the clock, or indeed anything about its involvement in the city's age regression. In fact, I daresay what she does tell Razor to do, if he'd done it, wouldn't have helped at all because even if they'd "blasted" the Pastmaster out of the tower, the clock hands would've still come together and completed the spell, dooming Megakat City to an era before TV, tetanus shots and indoor plumbing.

So Razor did the right thing, but this doesn't change the fact he shouldn't have because he only has what Callie told him to go on, and none of it mentioned the clock or the hands striking twelve. It also means that he effectively did the farthest thing from her very explicit instructions. Thus he is acting on information he shouldn't have or making an intuitive leap he has no reason to make, but it's really the only time in the episode where this particular story problem rears its ugly head. Unless "Sureshot" did aim for the Pastmaster, only to miss and land the luckiest shot in history.
0 x
R.I.P. Gary Owens (1936-2015)

User avatar
TazKat
Long-Term Resident
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:23 am
Location: 'Murca
x 33
x 324
Contact:

Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Postby TazKat » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:58 pm

#1 That comic styled scenery-pr0n... BEAUTIFUL. The backgrounds are not painterly but are framed with some detailed line art and I love me some line.

#2 Koosh does have a point of the missing info and multiple perspectives. It makes me wonder if they produced this pilot in an all-fired hurry *o*

#3 MegaKat's local cops don't even blink when they see live skeletons roving around. Buddies just shot them down an moved on like the sky was blue. Is this entire city full of badasses? Have they come across such ghouls before to react in such a nonplussed manner?
0 x
"I heard him scream last night. It was awful! I wish he wouldn't do that when he gets kidnapped." --Lucille, Samurai Pizza Cats

My Artsite
My Blog
Art Commission Info


Return to “Episode Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest