S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

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Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Post by marklungo » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:39 pm

EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- I am baffled by everything about the Pastmaster: I always assumed that Megakat was in an alternative United States, so, in theory, it has NO MEDIEVAL PERIOD. Assuming that the series does take place on Earth, and in an alternative United States, where did the Pastmaster come from? Did some British immigrant have the crazy idea of bringing that cursed chest, burying it next to a neo-Gothic tower with a clock and leaving it there? And another thing... Where did the Pastmaster get that pocket watch? He is supposed to be from the 12th century, and those clocks were invented in FRANCE in the mid-15th century! SinianThisCait
We can only assume that the SWAT Kats' world has a different history than ours.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- What kind of doctorate does Abby have? She talks about supernatural things as if it were the most common thing in the world; it is true that every archaeologist must know things like curses and all that, but she makes her look like Giles of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" because of the broad handling and seriousness she puts into the subject. Either there were already incidents of this kind in Megakat before this episode, or... she's just a little crazy.
There have probably been supernatural incidents before this episode. Or maybe Abby really is crazy, but all her theories are correct anyway. SinianThisCait
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Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Post by Kooshmeister » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm

EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- I am baffled by everything about the Pastmaster: I always assumed that Megakat was in an alternative United States, so, in theory, it has NO MEDIEVAL PERIOD. Assuming that the series does take place on Earth, and in an alternative United States, where did the Pastmaster come from? Did some British immigrant have the crazy idea of bringing that cursed chest, burying it next to a neo-Gothic tower with a clock and leaving it there? And another thing... Where did the Pastmaster get that pocket watch? He is supposed to be from the 12th century, and those clocks were invented in FRANCE in the mid-15th century! SinianThisCait
As Mark already explained, Megakat City's country isn't necessarily analogous to the United States (despite some unused background art showing a US Postal Service mailbox). Ergo, it can have whatever history the writers choose to give it.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- I agree with Kooshmeister that in this chapter he leaves the friendship and rivalry between T-Bone and Razor well established.
I actually tend to claim the opposite. Namely that the episode portrays their (in my opinion, often petty) competitiveness more than their friendship. The whole "ten seconds at Mach 5" thing and Razor accusing T-Bone of cheating (ironic, as he himself cheats later on in The Wrath of Dark Kat!) might make it seem like they can't really stand one another to a first-time viewer, which is why this episode was, in my opinion, a poor choice to run first, despite its great animation.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- I'm not fooled: Callie is the Sarah Bellum of the series; not a deputy mayor. Even in Spanish dubbing they call her "assistant." When have you ever seen a deputy mayor do something like a story? It would be quite humiliating for her position. One day I have to make a topic for discussion.
I've already gone over this topic in some detail. Callie must be the deputy mayor because that's what she's called. I agree that writing press releases and things like that are not things a real deputy mayor would ever do, and that for the most part Callie is treated like little more than a glorified secretary, but there are a few possible explanations for this.

The first is that the writers simply didn't know what a deputy mayor actually was. This seems most likely.

The second one is an in-world explanation, which is that Manx either thinks a deputy mayor is a glorified secretarial position and/or he doesn't think very highly of Callie because he's a selfish (though not necessarily sexist) idiot, so he gives her meaningless and often demeaning jobs to do.

A third explanation closely related to the second is that Manx is such a penny-pincher that he has reduced his staff to a skeleton crew because less people means less paychecks. Consequently, he has no press secretary or speechwriter, so Deputy Mayor Briggs has to handle those jobs, forcing her to do things a deputy mayor in another administration wouldn't do.

In fact, Manx is so miserly he has no caddy for when he goes golfing, and no bodyguard detail. And I'm convinced he'd fire the drivers of his limo and speedboat and the pilot of his personal chopper (the only other people besides Callie we ever see working for him) if the vehicles could operate themselves.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- What kind of doctorate does Abby have? She talks about supernatural things as if it were the most common thing in the world; it is true that every archaeologist must know things like curses and all that, but she makes her look like Giles of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" because of the broad handling and seriousness she puts into the subject. Either there were already incidents of this kind in Megakat before this episode, or... she's just a little crazy.
She likely has degrees in archaeology, paleontology, theology, etc.

And why is her handling the subject with such seriousness so unusual? The Pastmaster is an established historical figure in their world. There's an exhibit dedicated to him in the museum. And even if Sinian didn't believe in the supernatural before this episode, she definitely does after it. Note that she never mentions anything about the possibility of the supernatural until after she and Callie get attacked by the reanimated sabertooth. Prior to this, it never comes up. She discusses the burial chest in purely historical and rational terms, and even admits to not knowing what might've been buried inside it. But mere minutes later, a zombie sabertoothed tiger shows up and attacks them.

This has me wondering: when delivering the chest, did Burge and King tell Sinian about the living skeletons they'd encountered? 'Cause you'd think that would be a pretty important thing to tell the curator of the museum you're delivering a creepy sarcophagus-like box to. If they did, it never comes up when she's talking to Callie. She seems more interested in the press release, and only mentions the chest in a by-the-way manner after Callie points it out.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- Who would think of putting a museum next to a tar pit? It might be useful to attract more people, but anyway... I think it's very risky from a structural point of view. And let's hope a volcano doesn't come out of it, or Dr. Sinnian will be out of a job. RazLaugh
The real life La Brea Tar Pits are in the middle of Hancock Park, where the George C. Page Museum is located pretty much right next to the tar pit itself. There are also many other, smaller buildings nearby.

Image

Admittedly, the museum and other buildings are only single story whereas the Megakat City Museum is two to three stories, but still. This is no different than asking us to swallow the 300-story Megakat Tower in Destructive Nature. In fact, it's arguably more believable since we have real life examples of buildings built near tar pits, but a 300-story skyscraper is most likely a physical impossibility. The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, is only 163 stories.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
What I don't understand is why the heck do they keep using their nicknames?
Habit...?
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
Jack and Chuck... I mean, Jake and Chance.
Interestingly, Chance (or at least T-Bone) was originally going to be called Chuck, and in fact Chuck and Chance are both nicknames for Charles. Making it possible our heroes' real full names are Charles Furlong and Jacob Clawson.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
or the writers hadn't given them real names yet.
Despite airing first, The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice was the third episode written and produced. The two episodes made before it were The Giant Bacteria and The Metallikats, in which they're not only seen in their civilian guises, but called Chance and Jake by each other and other characters. They were already named Chance and Jake before this episode.

And in fact in the script for this very episode, during the centrifuge scenes, they have their masks off and are identified as Chance and Jake. More evidence that, yes, they'd already settled on real names for them. Leopold doesn't switch to calling them T-Bone and Razor until they don their masks. You'll also note that T-Bone refers to Razor by his real name at one point ("Jake, Callie's callin' us!").
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- Ehm... We have a missile stuck in the clock of the City Hall.
This is the only damage the SWAT Kats are directly responsible for, and it isn't that bad. They just need to replace the glass in the clock face. They're way more destructive in other episodes.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- They'll come and fix it.
Well, yeah.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- There is damage in the downtown city for thousands of dollars.
That's on the Pastmaster. He was the one joyriding around on a dinosaur, not them. At at most all he did was crush a few cars, damage the street and then destroy the fence around the tar pit.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- I'll take money out of the Enforcers budget and the Children's Hospital.
The first thing? Most likely. The second thing? Where'd that come from? Assuming Megakat City has a children's hospital (which it probably does), yes, it is And, again, what little damage there is was caused by the Megasaurus rex's rampage and not the SWAT Kats. At worst, they're responsible for the cemented up sabertooth tiger plastered to the museum roof and some scattered debris from broken Octopus Missiles. The former didn't do any structural damage to the building, and the latter can be cleaned up by a street sweeper. Or collected by Enforcer crime scene guys to be studied and potentially reverse-engineered (a plot point I'm surprised the show never did, considering how often our heroes leave their weapons, vehicles and other tech lying around after battles).
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:06 pm
- We also have a huge dinosaur stuck in the tar pits.
- Free Brontoburgers for all Megakat City's homeless!
-...
I have always wondered what happened to the Megasaurus rex. He never sinks past his jawline. In the script, storyboards and final episode, that's as far as he sinks. With his mouth and nostrils unobstructed, he can still breathe, so he's still alive, at least as of the end of the episode. My head canon is they extracted him and he's kept in a special enclosure at the zoo or some other facility. No way would Dr. Sinian - and other scientists - pass up the opportunity to study a live dinosaur.
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Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Post by MoDaD » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:57 pm

Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
...but there are a few possible explanations for this.
Your first three explanations are admittedly more likely than this suggested fourth one:

It's possible that Callie Briggs is a micro-manager who doesn't trust assistants or other staff to properly handle the duties that she carries out, either from personal experience at being let down by her staff, or perhaps she's a very difficult person to work for and they wind up quitting.

My own fanon theory is that Callie used to be a member of Manx's campaign staff (possibly campaign manager) and wound up getting appointed to the deputy mayor position at some point relatively recently in Manx's political career due to the previous DM resigning - and her old habits related to prior responsibilities never stopped.
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Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Post by Kooshmeister » Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:00 pm

I wonder if that creates any resentment among her subordinates and co-workers. Her doing their jobs for them and all, potentially making them look bad. Going by that theory, she might not be particularly well-liked around City Hall. Callie's well-meaning eagerness and desire to handle things personally might have everyone else seeing her as an overly ambitious micro-manager and workaholic.

If Manx were smarter and more attentive, he might be afraid Callie was gunning for his job. scaredmanxicon

Though as mentioned, I lean more towards some variation of "City Hall is understaffed and Callie is made to handle things she shouldn't because Manx doesn't respect her." At least as far as an in-world, fanon explanation goes.

After all, his and Callie's interactions range from "condescending father talking down to his teenage daughter" to "bratty little boy complaining to his mother." Whatever else Manx thinks of Callie, however much he values her competence, it's clear, at least to me, that he doesn't respect her. And that's very important. Being valued without being respected can make someone feel like they're just a tool being used. I mean, c'mon, he's a jerk, but Feral respects Callie more than Manx does, and he doesn't even like her.

Out-of-world, I really just don't think the writers knew what a deputy mayor was.
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Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Post by marklungo » Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:17 pm

Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:00 pm
Out-of-world, I really just don't think the writers knew what a deputy mayor was.
Or they didn't think the kids knew what a deputy mayor was... or cared.

As for Callie, to me she seems like a pretty nice person (kat?) overall. Yeah, she argues with Feral, but Feral argues with everybody.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:00 pm
If Manx were smarter and more attentive, he might be afraid Callie was gunning for his job. scaredmanxicon
Or maybe he likes things the way they are: she does all the work and he gets all the glory. callieeyerollicon
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Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Post by EditorElohim » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:00 pm

Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
As Mark already explained, Megakat City's country isn't necessarily analogous to the United States (despite some unused background art showing a US Postal Service mailbox). Ergo, it can have whatever history the writers choose to give it.
I guess you're right
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
I actually tend to claim the opposite. Namely that the episode portrays their (in my opinion, often petty) competitiveness more than their friendship. The whole "ten seconds at Mach 5" thing and Razor accusing T-Bone of cheating (ironic, as he himself cheats later on in The Wrath of Dark Kat!) might make it seem like they can't really stand one another to a first-time viewer, which is why this episode was, in my opinion, a poor choice to run first, despite its great animation.
There is usually a lot of friendly rivalry, and teasing in male friendships. Believe me, I know: my best friend sometimes makes fun of me in a sarcastic way, or he kind of provokes me.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
Callie must be the deputy mayor because that's what she's called.
Well... the Megakat Tower must also have 300 floors because they say so. But we don't take that statement seriously, do we? ;)

Going back to Callie, I think your first theory is right: they didn't know what a deputy mayor was, or rather, WHAT HER FUNCTION IS. From what I read in the Wikipedia, it is not a position that exists - or is called that - in the whole world, and it seems that not in all the United States.

However, the comparison with Sarah Bellum is not only mine: the same series treats her as an assistant or Manx's right paw (and two fingers on the left), which in itself is not bad anyway. There are other reasons that make me doubt that she really is the deputy mayor, but I will comment on that in the corresponding topic, not here, so as not to deviate from the topic.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
In fact, Manx is so miserly he has no caddy for when he goes golfing, and no bodyguard detail.
But he already has one: "Caddie" Briggs RazLaugh RazLaugh RazLaugh Sorry; I had to make the joke.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
And why is her handling the subject with such seriousness so unusual? The Pastmaster is an established historical figure in their world. There's an exhibit dedicated to him in the museum.
I guess he must have thought the PastMaster was as dead as his saber-toothed tiger on display... And I have no doubt that after that incident he "got used" to paranormal incidents.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
This has me wondering: when delivering the chest, did Burge and King tell Sinian about the living skeletons they'd encountered? 'Cause you'd think that would be a pretty important thing to tell the curator of the museum you're delivering a creepy sarcophagus-like box to. If they did, it never comes up when she's talking to Callie. She seems more interested in the press release, and only mentions the chest in a by-the-way manner after Callie points it out.
From the natural and easy way they dealt with the skeletons, I doubt they told you anything about it. It's as if they were saying, "Here he brings this, Dr. Sinnian... oh, and a raccoon tried to bite me."
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
The real life La Brea Tar Pits are in the middle of Hancock Park, where the George C. Page Museum is located pretty much right next to the tar pit itself. There are also many other, smaller buildings nearby.
I must admit that I am amazed that they have built such a museum in that place. Congratulations to the architect. RazorHappyCait
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
Interestingly, Chance (or at least T-Bone) was originally going to be called Chuck, and in fact Chuck and Chance are both nicknames for Charles. Making it possible our heroes' real full names are Charles Furlong and Jacob Clawson.
In fact, Chance is a real name: rare, but real. And curiously, it seems to be of French origin, and also originally a diminutive of Chauncey.

So... Would his name really be Chauncey Furlong? Oh, poor guy... his name is almost identical to that of a Pokemon. RazLaugh RazLaugh RazLaugh

As a curiosity: in the Spanish dubbing of Giant Bacteria, Chance calls Jake "Jack", TWICE. What a nice guy he is to not know his best friend's name well!
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
The first thing? Most likely. The second thing? Where'd that come from?
Ehm, all that dialogue is fictitious; a joke.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
I have always wondered what happened to the Megasaurus rex.
Knowing Feral, he would have ordered him killed so that he would not pose a threat to the city. Furthermore... How would they have gotten the Megalosaurus out? And was Manx going to take the trouble to invest money in the proper facilities to keep that thing? Or the employees destined to take care of it? I stand by my brontoburgers theory.

Anyway: I didn't want to drag this out too long: I just wanted to leave some impressions of mine from the chapter, which I repeat: it was not bad and it was fun.
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Re: S1E01 - The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice

Post by Kooshmeister » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:55 am

EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:00 pm
There is usually a lot of friendly rivalry, and teasing in male friendships. Believe me, I know: my best friend sometimes makes fun of me in a sarcastic way, or he kind of provokes me.
True, but I don't get that vibe from T-Bone and Razor's scene with the centrifuge here. I know it's definitely what Glenn Leopold was going for, but I don't think he succeeded. Something about their tone and body language suggests, unintentionally, that they're genuinely angry in that scene, especially when Razor is accusing T-Bone of cheating. It made him seem like a sore loser, when that's really more T-Bone's thing, honestly.

Though in fairness to Leopold here, that episode hadn't been written yet, and it was written by Jim Stenstrum and not him.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:00 pm
But we don't take that statement seriously, do we? ;)
Well... yes. We do. Or we should. If the dialogue states the building is 300 stories, then it's 300 stories tall.

For what it's worth, the building's height in the episode changed from the script, where it was only 150 stories, meaning it was originally shorter than the 163-story Burj Khalifa. For what it's worth, at the time Destructive Nature was written, the Burj Khalifa didn't exist. Construction began in 2004 and was completed in 2009. So even 153 stories in 1993 would've been very impressive. But I guess they wanted to make it even more impressive, so the height was increased.

But even though 300 stories is a physical impossibility in our world at present, if the episode says the Megakat Tower is that tall, and if there's nothing to suggest Manx is exaggerating, then I take the episode at its word, just as I take the show at its word that Calico Briggs is Megakat City's deputy mayor. Because they keep calling her that.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:00 pm
Going back to Callie, I think your first theory is right: they didn't know what a deputy mayor was, or rather, WHAT HER FUNCTION IS. From what I read in the Wikipedia, it is not a position that exists - or is called that - in the whole world, and it seems that not in all the United States.
What Wikipedia page were you reading? I just looked it up and it is in fact an actual position.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deputy_mayor

In fact, one thing I learned is that there can in fact be multiple deputy mayors at the same time.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:00 pm
However, the comparison with Sarah Bellum is not only mine: the same series treats her as an assistant or Manx's right paw (and two fingers on the left), which in itself is not bad anyway.
While the two characters do serve similar functions, insofar as their intelligent women serving under incompetent mayors who "really" run the city, Sara is just a secretary, while Callie is a deputy mayor. The fact Manx treats her like a secretary is immaterial. They call her Deputy Mayor Briggs all the time. If she isn't actually the Deputy Mayor, why would everyone call her that? She even refers to herself that way.

She's repeatedly called the Deputy Mayor and despite how she's treated there's no reason to believe she isn't. Because what you're suggesting is that she isn't actually the Deputy Mayor, but everyone still calls her that, which makes no sense. If anything, people treating her poorly and regarding her as nothing more than a glorified secretary ought to reveal more about them than it does about her. They see her as unimportant. Don't downplay her role in Megakat City's government and say she's just the nothing secretary she tends to be treated like. I may not like Callie much, given that she's a bit too biased for my tastes when it comes to the SWAT Kats, but she isn't some low level staff member, even if Manx treats her like one.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:00 pm
There are other reasons that make me doubt that she really is the deputy mayor, but I will comment on that in the corresponding topic, not here, so as not to deviate from the topic.
If you say so, but the fact remains she's called that in the dialogue and in all behind the scenes and promotional material, so... eh.
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:00 pm
From the natural and easy way they dealt with the skeletons, I doubt they told you anything about it. It's as if they were saying, "Here he brings this, Dr. Sinnian... oh, and a raccoon tried to bite me."
While they did kill the skeletons (or zombies, as they're called in the script and model sheets) very easily, the living dead are still a bit more serious than a raccoon, so you'd think the fact they encountered them would merit a mention both when reporting back to Headquarters and when delivering the chest to the museum. Standard protocol ought to be to report the circumstances in which something unusual like an ancient burial chest is found, especially when walking skeletons attack your chopper with a pick and shovel.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
The real life La Brea Tar Pits are in the middle of Hancock Park, where the George C. Page Museum is located pretty much right next to the tar pit itself. There are also many other, smaller buildings nearby.
I must admit that I am amazed that they have built such a museum in that place. Congratulations to the architect. RazorHappyCait
EditorElohim wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:00 pm
In fact, Chance is a real name: rare, but real. And curiously, it seems to be of French origin, and also originally a diminutive of Chauncey.

So... Would his name really be Chauncey Furlong? Oh, poor guy... his name is almost identical to that of a Pokemon. RazLaugh RazLaugh RazLaugh
That or Charles, as I said. But I'm gonna go with Chauncey simply because it makes me giggle. TboneLaughCait
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
As a curiosity: in the Spanish dubbing of Giant Bacteria, Chance calls Jake "Jack", TWICE. What a nice guy he is to not know his best friend's name well!
It seems like the Spanish dub changed some things. This may be why you don't think Callie is the Deputy Mayor, if the dub you're familiar with doesn't acknowledge her as such.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
I have always wondered what happened to the Megasaurus rex.
Knowing Feral, he would have ordered him killed so that he would not pose a threat to the city.[/quote]

Feral's authority ends at a certain point. Plus, he isn't bloodthirsty. If the animal is safely contained stuck in the tar, and can be extracted and subdued, I'm quite certain he'd be all for it. Plus, I'm sure even if Feral did want to kill the Megasaurus, Dr. Sinian probably has Manx's ear, and the Commander of the Enforcers answers to the Mayor. Provided Sinian can convince Manx that the animal is worth taking alive, he could order Feral not to kill him.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
Furthermore... How would they have gotten the Megalosaurus out?
Heavy duty cranes and digging machines, most likely.
Kooshmeister wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:47 pm
And was Manx going to take the trouble to invest money in the proper facilities to keep that thing? Or the employees destined to take care of it?
Um... yes? It's a live dinosaur. Manx is dumb, but he isn't that dumb. It's worth a lot not only as a major scientific discovery but also as an attraction. People would pay to come and see him in captivity. It'd bring in tons of tourist revenue to Megakat City. Yes, he'd be expensive to keep, but I'm pretty sure that the profits would outweigh the cost.

After all, the situation isn't without precedent in fiction. Even leaving aside Jurassic Park, there's the classic Fleischer Superman short The Arctic Giant. After Superman subdues the title creature, an enormous bipedal dinosaur not too dissimilar from the Megasaurus rex, he's put on display at the zoo rather than killed, despite having gone on a far more destructive rampage than the Megasaurus did.
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