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View Full Version : What if Donnie didn't do machines at first?


Panda_Kahn_fan
06-27-2017, 09:21 AM
You know, after 're-watching the first few episodes of the TMNT 4kids series again, a thought covered to me about future incarnations. In the past, Donatello was always a full-fledged scientist right when the turtles started their careers, self-taught to the point he could build advanced vehicles and weapons, even though he had been brought up in a sewer by a rat with martial arts skills, but no scientific knowledge, and books and tv will only get you so far.

Now, over here we have April, Baxter stockman' assistant, who helps him build the mousers, and probably went to college for advanced engineering, who has the self-taught Donnie run circles around her. Would it possibly be better to have Donnie just have a basic scientific knowledge at the start, then have April be the Turles Q, developing their gadgets for them, and have Donnie slowly learn his skills from her, until he becomes the tech genius we all know and love? It'd give April a niche on the turtles team, and create a neat teacher-student dynamic between her and Donnie. Wouldn't that be interesting? Or is it a stupid idea?

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
06-27-2017, 09:30 AM
You know, after 're-watching the first few episodes of the TMNT 4kids series again, a thought covered to me about future incarnations. In the past, Donatello was always a full-fledged scientist right when the turtles started their careers, self-taught to the point he could build advanced vehicles and weapons, even though he had been brought up in a sewer by a rat with martial arts skills, but no scientific knowledge, and books and tv will only get you so far.

Now, over here we have April, Baxter stockman' assistant, who helps him build the mousers, and probably went to college for advanced engineering, who has the self-taught Donnie run circles around her. Would it possibly be better to have Donnie just have a basic scientific knowledge at the start, then have April be the Turles Q, developing their gadgets for them, and have Donnie slowly learn his skills from her, until he becomes the tech genius we all know and love? It'd give April a niche on the turtles team, and create a neat teacher-student dynamic between her and Donnie. Wouldn't that be interesting? Or is it a stupid idea?

I like it. That'd be a good new dynamic for a future take...

Panda_Kahn_fan
06-27-2017, 09:38 AM
I like it. That'd be a good new dynamic for a future take...

Thanks. It just didn't make any sense to me, even in Mirage, that he was the equal of people who had a lifetime of education, being only a teenager with access to science programs and books. I can see him having the potential to be a super-genius, but it would make more sense if he was mentored by another scientist. And April's science ability always seems to take a back seat to Donnie, when she had been Baxter's assistant.

GoldMutant
06-27-2017, 10:22 AM
Something a few people and I are doing is starting Donnie off as a regular inventor. One of the things he struggles with especially is understanding the mutagen and more advanced science fields, such as forensics.

As you can guess, something along the lines mentioned I'm interested in seeing appear. :)

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
06-27-2017, 10:28 AM
Thanks. It just didn't make any sense to me, even in Mirage, that he was the equal of people who had a lifetime of education, being only a teenager with access to science programs and books. I can see him having the potential to be a super-genius, but it would make more sense if he was mentored by another scientist. And April's science ability always seems to take a back seat to Donnie, when she had been Baxter's assistant.

He wasn't that way in Mirage. Not until, say, Volume 4. By which point he's in his 30s... Maybe in Volume 3, but he was a cyborg.

Panda_Kahn_fan
06-27-2017, 10:48 AM
He wasn't that way in Mirage. Not until, say, Volume 4. By which point he's in his 30s... Maybe in Volume 3, but he was a cyborg.

ehhh, I suppose so. I thought they portrayed him as a capable scientist throughout, but I'll concede early mirage lacked the fantastic gadgets the other versions and vol. 3 and 4 had. Still, there is no source in mirage where he attained such knowledge, it's still self-taught.

Andrew NDB
06-27-2017, 10:53 AM
ehhh, I suppose so. I thought they portrayed him as a capable scientist throughout

Nope. Unless being able to fix a water heater makes you a scientist.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
06-27-2017, 10:54 AM
ehhh, I suppose so. I thought they portrayed him as a capable scientist throughout, but I'll concede early mirage lacked the fantastic gadgets the other versions and vol. 3 and 4 had. Still, there is no source in mirage where he attained such knowledge, it's still self-taught.

Volume 3, we find out Donnie rebuilt Zog's Triceraton aircar from "Return to New York." And in Volume 4, Donnie builds a mechanical exosuit for his shrunken self.

But in Volume 1, there is no mechanical wizardry on display; he's tinkering with circuitboards and doing heavy thinking like fractals and chaos theory, but all of that is completely believable. No cartoony "does machines" stuff.

plastroncafe
06-27-2017, 11:02 AM
That's always something that's bugged me about various portrayals of Donnie. Just because he's a computer geek, that doesn't mean he knows everything about every other branch of science.

I mean, my boss has a Phd in nuclear physics, and I've had to help him set up his Out of Office Assistant on more than one occasion.

You can be a scientist without being a mechanical engineer.

Panda_Kahn_fan
06-27-2017, 11:10 AM
Fair enough, in Mirage he wasn't shown to be a genius until vol. 3/cyborg stuff. I haven't re-read early mirage in awhile.

But he's still portrayed as a genius coming out of the gate in all other versions besides mirage, without any explanation. And I think future versions could have April be the tech genius for the team, and teach Donnie.

Andrew NDB
06-27-2017, 11:14 AM
Fair enough, in Mirage he wasn't shown to be a genius until vol. 3/cyborg stuff.

I don't think even then. Being able to manipulate his cyborg body and interface with stuff was because he was a cyborg... not because he was a genius.

But he's still portrayed as a genius coming out of the gate in all other versions besides mirage, without any explanation.

It's probably no coincidence that most of them suck. That said, your idea about April being the Q and Donatello being the understudy isn't terrible.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
06-27-2017, 11:15 AM
Fair enough, in Mirage he wasn't shown to be a genius until vol. 3/cyborg stuff. I haven't re-read early mirage in awhile.

But he's still portrayed as a genius coming out of the gate in all other versions besides mirage, without any explanation. And I think future versions could have April be the tech genius for the team, and teach Donnie.

And that is thanks to Fred Wolf and the theme song. :tlol:

I do like your idea, though. Or even better, have April be a programmer and Don a mechanical engineer. Then a show or comic could have things like Metalhead or whatever exist but their creation is more believable.

One lone genius in the sewers making everything from a turtle-themed FBI surveillance van to an armored hang-glider is just... well, it sells toys and we all loved it as kids. :trazz:

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
06-27-2017, 11:16 AM
I don't think even then. Being able to manipulate his cyborg body and interface with stuff was because he was a cyborg... not because he was a genius.

Yeah, but rebuilding a Triceraton aircar is probably a lot harder than rebuilding a Chevy engine. There has to be some sort of antigravity generator, for one.

Unless we assume most of the sci-fi components were intact and all Don had to do was route some wiring, repair some body damage, and assemble stuff with nuts and bolts. That's still believable for a grounded Mirage Volume 1 intellectual introvert.

CyberCubed
06-27-2017, 11:30 AM
Don builds crazy stuff in Mirage too. And of course he's an expert on science and studying stuff. Look at the Utrom adventures in Tales V. 2 when he pilots ships in space or study's Splinter's DNA or runs tests on Gamera Raph or studies the toxidity of water.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
06-27-2017, 11:36 AM
Don builds crazy stuff in Mirage too. And of course he's an expert on science and studying stuff. Look at the Utrom adventures in Tales V. 2 when he pilots ships in space or study's Splinter's DNA or runs tests on Gamera Raph or studies the toxidity of water.

Utrom adventures: usually only involves piloting spaceships. Not much different than driving a car if you have some sweet autopilot systems. Or not much different from flying a plane. Believable and not genius-level.

Studying Splinter's DNA and running tests on Gamera Raph... okay, you've got me here, but this Volume 4 Don in his 30's. No telling how much he's learned from, say, Honeycutt or the Utroms.

Toxicity of water? You can probably get a kit and a couple of YouTube tutorials to learn how to do that.

Utrommaniac
06-27-2017, 11:45 AM
I could see April, after being mentored by Dr. Stockman, being a mentor to Donatello, whose "inventions" might as well have come out of Home Alone because hey...what's a fourteen/fifteen/sixteen year old in a sewer got to work with? Then once she enters the fray and they have a bunch of MOUSERS lying around, he's able to get the boost he needs for invention.

He'd be great with the basic physics and understanding how machines work, but wasn't able to actually make anything new because he didn't have the material until April shows up.

And THEN starts running circles around April, once he gets a grip on mechanics and continues finding more teachers. Such as Professor Honeycutt, or Harold, or Leatherhead, or Dr Xeinos, expanding his knowledge of mechanics to genetics, engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, and so forth. Though, with so many geniuses (and genius students of geniuses) teaching him, it would likely culminate in him going on a "I'm the ultimate genius!" power trip at the age of twenty and someone having to wrangle him under control.

Ulisa
06-27-2017, 01:03 PM
That's not a bad thought, Don learning under April as a means to grow in his interest.

Personally, I've always felt that fans (and some aspects of some of the shows) make Don TOO good. In my mind, he's an inventor/mechanic/handi man type with an interest in other sciences but he shouldn't be an expert in all of them. I've seen people make him an expert in physics/genetics/engineering/medicine and that's way too much. There are all kinds of different fields in science and being good in one does not make you an expert in all of them.

Andrew NDB
06-27-2017, 01:12 PM
Yeah, but rebuilding a Triceraton aircar is probably a lot harder than rebuilding a Chevy engine.

Well, repairing an alien hover car in front of you is less "OMG, you're a technical genius!" and more just problem solving. You can deconstruct a thing and see how it works.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
06-27-2017, 01:16 PM
Well, repairing an alien hover car in front of you is less "OMG, you're a technical genius!" and more just problem solving. You can deconstruct a thing and see how it works.

Very true. But if repairing alien technologies relied on, say, alien manufacturing processes or alien metallurgical elements, there's no way Donnie could replicate those processes and elements WITHOUT Fred Wolf levels of deus ex ma--I mean, genius.

Ninjinister
06-27-2017, 01:24 PM
What if Donnie didn't do machines at first?

Then he and machines would just be friends.

Andrew NDB
06-27-2017, 01:51 PM
Very true. But if repairing alien technologies relied on, say, alien manufacturing processes or alien metallurgical elements, there's no way Donnie could replicate those processes and elements WITHOUT Fred Wolf levels of deus ex ma--I mean, genius.

And given what we've seen of Donnie doing anything like that prior to that point (i.e., not at all), it's probably easy to assume there was not any alien manufacturing processes or metallurgical elements to the repair.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
06-27-2017, 02:17 PM
And given what we've seen of Donnie doing anything like that prior to that point (i.e., not at all), it's probably easy to assume there was not any alien manufacturing processes or metallurgical elements to the repair.

Fair enough. All he had to do was fix the turn signal and replace the burnt out headlights. :trazz:

DisKosh
06-27-2017, 03:19 PM
Thanks. It just didn't make any sense to me, even in Mirage, that he was the equal of people who had a lifetime of education, being only a teenager with access to science programs and books. I can see him having the potential to be a super-genius, but it would make more sense if he was mentored by another scientist. And April's science ability always seems to take a back seat to Donnie, when she had been Baxter's assistant.

Fantastic idea, I don't think the aspect of April as a scientist is used enough. The other day I came across a post on tumblr featuring April's abilities in a Mirage based TMNT roleplay game and it said she was a hacker. They could have done so much with that but they didn't.

That's always something that's bugged me about various portrayals of Donnie. Just because he's a computer geek, that doesn't mean he knows everything about every other branch of science.

I mean, my boss has a Phd in nuclear physics, and I've had to help him set up his Out of Office Assistant on more than one occasion.

You can be a scientist without being a mechanical engineer.

That's not a bad thought, Don learning under April as a means to grow in his interest.

Personally, I've always felt that fans (and some aspects of some of the shows) make Don TOO good. In my mind, he's an inventor/mechanic/handi man type with an interest in other sciences but he shouldn't be an expert in all of them. I've seen people make him an expert in physics/genetics/engineering/medicine and that's way too much. There are all kinds of different fields in science and being good in one does not make you an expert in all of them.

Agreed for both of these points. I could understand him having a basic level knowledge of all of them but a deep understanding is unrealistic. Sometimes it just feels like a lazy way to get out of certain situations or learn an important piece of information that will be relevant to the plot later.

Plus all the turtles have smart phones now so wouldn't it make more sense for them to just google it? Also, think of the comedic possibilities of Donnie trying to follow a wikihow article on how to deactivate a bomb.

IndigoErth
06-27-2017, 04:20 PM
It would certainly give him something to base some character development on. Although early in a series, until he improves, it might for a time weaken what he traditionally brings to the team. (I wouldn't want to see anyone relegated to just being there.)

IMO, if you leave him to develop the science and tech know-how better over time, then at least let him be the primary self taught medic or something like that to start with. The guy who can do more for the family than the simple first aid they should all know. The guy who has his ways of somehow getting hold of and storing a supply of antibiotics, etc.

At least that could be explained by having found old college text books that taught basic medicine.

Utrommaniac
06-27-2017, 04:27 PM
That's actually a really good point; and I don't think I've ever seen anyone else bring up the notion of Donatello having some basic medical skills. He'd probably be the type to practice stitching on fruit. Though, it's a question of where he'd get his medical equipment from.

See, this is another reason why I don't have them completely without help in the sewers, and giving Hamato Yoshi connections to a family that just so happened had a place for him to hide after mutating; they'd have help for basic materials.

DisKosh
06-27-2017, 04:56 PM
In the 1987 series Beauty and the Beast, the people living underground have a whole network of contacts in the world above so it would make more sense if it was similar for the turtles. However, given that isolation was a main theme in the Mirage comics it wouldn't work if that's what you're going for.

Utrommaniac
06-27-2017, 04:59 PM
Well, they'd still be isolated. Their one connection to the outside world, at least in my take, would be the Jones family. And that's just about it. They wouldn't have anyone else until April and afterwards.

DisKosh
06-27-2017, 05:19 PM
Ah that works. I was just picturing a very wide range of contacts.

MsMarvelDuckie
06-27-2017, 05:28 PM
Donnie having medical knowledge is believable. It would also be practical. I see him as studying practical subjects first, like repair of basic machinery and electronics, medicine, and some minor engineering. Also it would be easy to obtain medical equipment and supplies from hospital waste bins and from unattended ambulances and hospital rooms with open windows, or sneaking into pharmacies after hours.

Andrew NDB
06-27-2017, 05:37 PM
Donnie having medical knowledge is believable.

They would all have basic medical knowledge. What if two of them get separated from the rest, and they have to pull out a bullet?

MsMarvelDuckie
06-27-2017, 05:44 PM
I don't mean just basic field medic/triage stuff though. It would be easy for him to gain a working knowledge of basic surgery, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and injury treatment like fixing broken bones or suturing serious wounds. He could very well have the medical knowledge of a second or third year medical student just on what he could pick up from college textbooks and elsewhere.

Utrommaniac
06-27-2017, 05:51 PM
Of course they would all have medical knowledge, but I think Donatello would have been the most advanced, simply by his academic nature.

MsMarvelDuckie
06-27-2017, 06:06 PM
Oddly enough the TMNT RPG book says that Donnie and Mikey are the only two with medical knowledge. According to it, Donatello was fairly advanced, while Michelangelo has basic field medic skills. The others apparently don't. I'm guessing Raph wouldn't have the patience for it and Leo is too busy with polishing his swords or practicing kattas....

plastroncafe
06-27-2017, 06:12 PM
They would all have basic medical knowledge. What if two of them get separated from the rest, and they have to pull out a bullet?

Why would they need to pull out a bullet?
Aren't they bulletproof now?

There's basic first aid, and then there's medical knowledge.
Why would anyone other than Mike or Don have the latter?

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
06-27-2017, 06:23 PM
Why would they need to pull out a bullet?
Aren't they bulletproof now?

There's basic first aid, and then there's medical knowledge.
Why would anyone other than Mike or Don have the latter?

Good distinction.

Although I could believe Leo having some genuine medical knowledge.

Utrommaniac
06-27-2017, 07:01 PM
Mike is the second choice for medical care for sure.

Also, they could get hit in more places, such as the limbs and face, than just the shell or plastron, and there might be some bullets that could puncture the shell even still.

Ulisa
06-27-2017, 07:19 PM
I could see all the turtles having basic medical skills but Don and Mike having more advanced medical knowledge. To be frank, I always pictured Mike having more advanced than even Don because I see Don studying it but I see Mike using it more, especially with animals that he takes in.

I see Leo having knowledge of herbal remedies at least somewhat; calming teas and whatnot.

plastroncafe
06-27-2017, 07:56 PM
To be frank, I always pictured Mike having more advanced than even Don because I see Don studying it but I see Mike using it more, especially with animals that he takes in.

This has always been my headcanon too.

Though for me it's got less to do with taking in strays, and more with the fact that when his brothers are hurt Mike is the only one who can reliably get close to them. (And by Them I mean mostly Raph.)

IndigoErth
06-27-2017, 07:59 PM
I could see Leo at least having some level of first aid skills, at least enough to get by if need be. Being big brother and all and feeling a heavier weight of responsibility on his shoulders to see to it that his brother's get home alive and well.


I could see Raph more or less just jokingly threatening to cut the afflicted limb off. lol [Given the pronunciation, insert inevitable gangrene joke.]

calming teas and whatnot.
Yeah, definitely useful since meds could be scarce for them, but a bad stomach? He might have a tea for that. ;)

Ulisa
06-27-2017, 08:16 PM
Yeah, definitely useful since meds could be scarce for them, but a bad stomach? He might have a tea for that. ;)

There's teas for pretty much everything. Had a friend that would use a local herbalist instead of a doctor and they would give her herbal teas for everything from anxiety and depression to a headache. She swore by them and I could see Leonardo having some knowledge of those.

Coola Yagami
06-27-2017, 08:36 PM
I like how Don went from not knowing how to use a phone to converting a normal van into the turtle van and building blimps within the same week or so during the first 5 eps of the series.

And then 2K3 Don had a fricking hovering Sewer Slider (or whatever its called) within the first eps of the show.

IndigoErth
06-27-2017, 08:48 PM
Not to mention that the guy's got a tracker for everything. If you needed to track the theorized only albino Yeti in the Himalayas, he could hook you up.

pferreira
06-29-2017, 08:57 AM
ehhh, I suppose so. I thought they portrayed him as a capable scientist throughout, but I'll concede early mirage lacked the fantastic gadgets the other versions and vol. 3 and 4 had. Still, there is no source in mirage where he attained such knowledge, it's still self-taught.He was portrayed as Mr Fix-it or a tech guy in Volume 1. He would sometimes carry around with him a bag of tools, so I guess he was.