Interviews: Larry DiTillio (8/99)

in Beast Wars, Interviews

Interviews

1. What have you been up to since the end of Beast Wars?
Looking for work mainly. I have a few pie-in-sky projects that I am involved with on an on-going basis, but none are producing regular paychecks. However at the moment I may be joining Bob Forward once again, story-editing a new animated series based on King Kong.

2. There was quite a lot of fan reaction over your leaving Beast Wars. Was it shocking to have the writers of a series develop a fan base all their own?
Not really. I am used to fan bases from Babylon 5 and He-Man and other shows I have worked on, though the BW fans are more vocal and interested than others.

3. What is your reaction to the Japanese series Beast Wars the Second, which borrowed some ideas from Beast Wars (such as stasis pods etc.)?
Well I can't say I have any reaction. I have never seen it. As for borrowing ideas, well Hasbro owns the product and they are quite within their rights to use what appears on the show in any way they like...

4. Was there anything unique about the whole "Beast Wars" experience?
The very deep interest of the fans and the CGI aspect of Beast Wars made it pretty unique.. Also the "global" nature of the job (i.e. the fact that I worked out of L.A. for a show produced in Canada.)

5. If there was only one story you could rewrite, re-edit etc. in all of Beast Wars' three seasons, which would it be? How would you change it?
I guess I would have to opt for my final script "Other Victories". I really wanted to do a lot more with that story than I was able to, mainly because of introducing the TigerHawk character. So obviously, my change would be to lose TigerHawk and approach it from a whole different perspective... Fat Chance of that!!!!

6. In the Japanese translation of the Beast Wars first season, Airazor was made into a male character, what do you think of that?
I think it's typical for Japan, where women are treated as second-class citizens..

7. There have been those who have criticized some of the third season of Beast Wars as being too "cartoony". What do you think of this statement?
I think it is a legitimate criticism. But I will also point out that most of the real "cartoony" gags came not from the writers but from the animators who were under the gun to provide more "humor" for Hasbro executives.

8. Was it difficult leaving Beast Wars?
Truth? Not really. After 52 episodes stuck on a world with nobody but Maxies and Preds we needed a break.

9. (This question has been asked to death so I'll ask it to settle it once and for all): Did the Maximals collect all the stasis pods before departing Earth in "Nemesis Part 2"?
Probably not. Many were destroyed by the Vok planet-buster, others were salvageable and these were picked up, but I am certain there are a small number of pods still hidden in remote corners of the planet. Could be a perfect plot device for a return some day.

10. (Ditto): Where did the Maximals get the transwarp equipment to modify the Autobot shuttle in "Nemesis Part 2" from?
All they really needed was a working transwarp cell and there were a few remaining on the Axalon.


11. Would you ever consider writing a story for the upcoming "Beast Machines Transformers" series?
Yeah, but I doubt I will be asked to do so...

12. Your three years on Beast Wars have been a major addition to the Transformers mythos. How does it feel to have added to a 15 year old legend?
Pretty good. It's as much fun as I had adding to the Arthurian Mythos or the Cthulhu mythos in the rpg scenarios I wrote, though because of the many disparate variations of the TF saga it was not quite as easy to make the new material fit seamlessly.

The following points were some items that Larry DiTillio has been asked repeatedly and wished to address, enjoy!

The TransMetal Driver: I can't believe how much angst was spilled over this simple plot device. People kept e-mailing me asking "where did Megatron get it?". I can come up with 5 legitimate answers for this question but frankly that is a fool's errand. It's like asking where Dr. Frankenstein got the technology to create his monster. The answer - who cares? If this is a cavalier attitude, so be it...

Why did the Vok send TigerHawk to Earth?: This question was asked in a review and frankly I was a bit baffled since I had covered the question in the show itself (the very first lines in the show are about the destruction of the nexus connecting Earth to the Vok nebula). But in the interests of pleasing the fans, let me briefly explain: The Vok generally sent "unmanned" bases to earth which came through the nexus point and landed in one of the many receptacles scattered over the Earth (places like the stone circle, the "garden" where Tigatron and Air Razor were captured by the strange plant etc.) In Other Visits, the nexus was destroyed.

When the MetalHunter base was sent into it (malfunctioning because of Tarantulas' sneaky virus)... Thus when the Vok learned that the MetalHunter base had not completed its' mission they needed to return but could only do so by sending an actual craft to the planet. This was the "comet" which Tigerhawk came to Earth in. Had the Vok been able to send a base they would have. Keep in mind also that by the time this was done, the Vok knew a lot more about the situation (thanks to scanning of Tigatron and Air Razor) and thus acted mainly against Megatron who was percieved as the source of the problems.

What actually happened to Tigerhawk in "Other Victories"? And to Tigatron and Air Razor? -- TigerHawk was a robotic construct made from the sparks of Tigatron and Air Razor and an "infusion" of Vok programming. Tarantulas used his machines to separate the Vok programming from TigerHawk, not realizing that he would be releasing a Vok entity upon doing so.It was this entity that destroyed him (and itself) and left a "gentler" version of TigerHawk behind.

As for the sparks of Tigatron and Air Razor, they are left but in a new configuration. In a very spiritual sense, they have culminated their love affair. Their bodies were destroyed...