I Am Grodd
by COMALite J
An Adventure of the TV Flash
Remember the second Nightshade episode of the "Flash" TV show? When a stoolie remenisced with Nightshade about how Nightshade had put away some mobster in the Helltown area of Central City nicknamed Gorilla Grodd, I realized that the writers and producers couldnt think of a way to bring in a Gorilla Grodd into the series in a way that would be acceptable to an adult TV-watching audience, yet wanted to have some sort of reference to him in the series as an in-joke. I wondered if perhaps there might have been a way to bring in an actual intelligent gorilla named Grodd as a character, as opposed to some human ganglord calling himself Gorilla Grodd.
In so doing, I realized that not only could Grodd be brought into the TV continuity, but his existence would in fact help tie the whole continuity of the TV series together, explaining such things as how Dr. Tina McGee knew so much about how to help Barry after his accident, and why she took such an interest in his case. It ties in with other episodes as well. My version of Grodd is not from a Gorilla City, and there is no King Solivar. Grodd is the only one of his kind. I believe this makes his motivation for doing what he does more acceptable to a TV audience.
I wrote it in the form of a treatment, which is not a full script but a preliminary intended to be edited into a shooting script later. Ill go ahead and include the Prologue in this post, and if you want to see more, let me know. There are four Acts and an Epilogue after this Prologue. The only change needed to the TV Flash continuity that I know of is that in the conversation with Nightshade, the stoolie did not say the mobsters name was Gorilla Grodd, but some other mobster-type name (perhaps The Top which in mobster-speak would mean the top dog, or the top of the food chain, but would also be a Flash Rogues Gallery in-joke).
(Fade in on outside of S.T.A.R. Labs. Zoom in to a point on the exterior wall, then cut to Dr. Tina McGees office. She is seated behind her desk, looking at some papers. Also on her desk, in addition to the usual items one may find on a desk, is a photograph facing her which we cannot see at this time. Seated at the front of her desk and facing her is a young man of about eighteen. He seems to be somewhat nervous. He is slim, and has brown, straight hair. He is very well-groomed and quite pleasant- looking. [Casting suggestion: Wil Wheaton])
TINA: Well, this all seems to be in order, Cory. Your qualifications are outstanding, and you come highly recommended. I think this work-study program S.T.A.R. arranged with Keystone University will benefit us both, if the rest of the student assistants turn out to be as brilliant and dedicated as you.
CORY ADAMS: Thank you, Dr. McGee. Will I be your assistant?
TINA: Im not sure where youll be assigned, but I certainly wouldnt mind you working with me. Under one condition, that is.
CORY: Um, condition?
TINA: Yes. Dont call me Dr. McGee.
My names Tina.
CORY: (looking at photothough
it is upside-down to him)
TINA: What, this?
CORY: Not your typical nuclear family, you must admit. Is that your husband?
TINA: My late husband, yes. He died a few years ago.
(Cut back to a shot showing both Tina and Cory.)
CORY: Im so sorry. I shouldnt have said
TINA: Oh, no. Its all right. The emotional pain is mostly gone, and its pleasant to think of the good times now and again.
CORY: And the baby gorilla? Chimp?
(Cut to CU on Tina.)
TINA: Right the first time, Cory. My husbands work was in enhancing human potential, through genetic engineering and other means. He had heard of the various experiments where an ape was raised as a human but still seemed to be somewhat inferior to an average human in intelligence, so he obtained an infant gorilla and subjected it to various treatments. We raised Grodd as if he were our own son, and
TINA: Yes. Silly name, I know. The first day
I saw him, he looked right at me and made this growl
like a cross between a full-grown gorilla and a kitten, with a Cambridge-type
accent. Grrroowdd. I couldnt resist. Anyway, as he got
older, he was obviously very intelligent not only more intelligent
than a normal gorilla, but even more so than a human child his age. Of
course he couldnt talk in words, since gorillas lack the facial
musculature needed, but we and he used sign-language, which he picked
up in less than a month. He learned to read when he was two, and even
showed quite a talent on the piano. By this time, he was no longer an
experiment to me. I loved him as I wouldve if he were my real son.
CORY: So what happened to him?
TINA: At about age six, he began to regress. By age eight, he was down to normal gorilla intelligence. We feared that the process had worn off. I wish that that were all it was. By nine, he had regressed to about the level of a typical reptile. It was apparent that the accelleration the process gave himwas burning out his neurons. He had a condition similar to Alzheimers, and there was nothing we could do. Soon, he was a complete vegetable. At that point, my husband did what he had to do. I dont think I ever really forgave him for that, though I understood intellectually that it was for the best. A few years later my husband was gone, too.
CORY: I I dont know what to say.
TINA: Thanks for asking. It helps to talk about it. We never published the results of our experiment, because by the time we saw how dramatic it was, Grodd had ceased to be an experiment and had become our son in our hearts. We couldnt just treat him as a lab animal. And when he became ill, it devastated us. My husband never recovered, but was determined to make his process safe as well as effective. He died, doing that.
(At this point, the intercom buzzer sounds and Tinas bosss voice is heard [I forgot her name!].)
BOSS: Tina, do you have your recommendation on the work-study applicants?
TINA: I just finished interviewing the last, and most promising, applicant now.
BOSS: I need to see your report right away.
TINA: On my way.
TINA: (walks to door)
(End of Prologue. Cut to opening title sequence.)
Continued next month.
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This story is © 1999 by Joel Ellis Rea.
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