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Old 01-18-2020, 11:56 AM   #1
Jester
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David Wise - Self Plagiarist

From his article on the Transformers wiki:
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Originally Posted by https://tfwiki.net/wiki/David_Wise
Recycle-o-matic

David Wise frequently recycled concepts and ideas from older work for use in later scripts. As a result, many Transformers set pieces, concepts and even plots wound up appearing in other series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in particular, while many other ideas seem to have actually started life as plots for earlier series, such as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Which Transformers stories were recycled? Wellll...

"Attack of the Autobots" — Recycled for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Slash - The Evil Turtle from Dimension X" (specifically, the rocket chase sequence during the climax).
"Day of the Machines" — Recycled from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe episode "Day of the Machines" (specifically, the computer program that takes over other machines). Later recycled for the Defenders of the Earth episode "Audie and Tweak" (specifically, an evil supercomputer—represented by a giant ugly face on a screen—that remotely controls or influences other machines and taunts the heroes as they enter its lair), The New Adventures of Speed Racer episode "B.O.S.S." (specifically, an evil computer system controlling other machines by placing remote command devices on them), and the Mighty Ducks episode "The Return of Dr. Droid" (specifically, an evil computer that takes control of various machines and makes them attack the heroes).
"Microbots" — Recycled from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe episode "Day of the Machines" (specifically, the sequence where a character shrinks down and enters a machine to fix/sabotage it). Recycled again for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Shredder & Splintered".
"Kremzeek!" — Recycled from the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe episode "Day of the Machines" (specifically, the little energy-based monster that makes trouble). Later recycled almost completely for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "The Big ZIPP Attack", and once again for The Mighty Ducks episode "Zap Attack". Also recycled for the Defenders of the Earth episode "Audie and Tweak" (specifically, the heroes' computer babbling nonsensically after being affected by an outside force).
"Auto-Bop" — Recycled for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Corporate Raiders from Dimension X" (specifically, the villains brainwashing people in New York to build a doomsday device via a phony business).
"The Girl Who Loved Powerglide" — Recycled wholesale for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Poor Little Rich Turtle" (specifically, every character, motivation and set piece).
"Trans-Europe Express" — Recycled for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X" (specifically, the weather machine that goes out of control in the climax and has to be destroyed in midair).
"The Rebirth, Part 3" - Recycled for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Shredder & Splintered" (specifically, the circumstances where Galvatron and Lord Zarak bicker over leadership being nearly identically reused for Krang and Shredder, right down to the dialogue, "We shall see...").
I knew about Shredded and Splintered, or the Shredder is Splintered...or what ever this episode is titled...but man that's a lot of recycling.

Talk about going green....
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:14 PM   #2
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:40 PM   #3
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Okay, now some things I can take as just tropes cartoons commonly do/did (i.e. so many shrink a character at least once), but a lot of that is awfully specific to a lazy degree. lol

Maybe it was partly a tactic for meeting deadlines sometimes.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:56 PM   #4
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Work smarter, not harder.
In this case it's just lazy, it's not like writing a 20 page script that you don't even intend to rewrite takes that long.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:48 PM   #5
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Didn't all old cartoons from the 80's ripoff each other? Not to mention most eps of the old toon are parodies of popular movies at the time. Rex-1 is Robocop, we have a Terminator in that Season 6 episode, we have Rando in New York who is Rambo, we have shrinking turtles like honey I shrunk the kids, we have eps with giant bugs, etc.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
Didn't all old cartoons from the 80's ripoff each other? Not to mention most eps of the old toon are parodies of popular movies at the time. Rex-1 is Robocop, we have a Terminator in that Season 6 episode, we have Rando in New York who is Rambo, we have shrinking turtles like honey I shrunk the kids, we have eps with giant bugs, etc.
A lot of fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, consists of ripoffs. Just think of Masters of the Universe (and Blackstar), more or less Star Wars recycled.
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Old 01-18-2020, 06:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CyberCubed View Post
Didn't all old cartoons from the 80's ripoff each other? Not to mention most eps of the old toon are parodies of popular movies at the time. Rex-1 is Robocop, we have a Terminator in that Season 6 episode, we have Rando in New York who is Rambo, we have shrinking turtles like honey I shrunk the kids, we have eps with giant bugs, etc.
The problem with David Wise isn't similar scenarios or parodies, it's the same exact scenarios and directly lifted scenes. It can't be dismissed as coincidence or jokes. The fact that he's the common writer of these episodes further hammers that in.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
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Last edited by neatoman; 01-18-2020 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:38 PM   #8
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If anything this goes to show how something similar can be very different depending on the show/characters/dialog/alterations. I find that far more interesting than someone recycling his old scripts which isn't plagiarism just lazyness. I really have no issue with it except with David Wise claims he made TMNT what they are today but whatever. A story depending on how it's told also depends on whether it's a good or bad story.
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:31 PM   #9
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Well, it apparently worked. I agree with d_osborn on this one. If I'm on a schedule and have to turn out scripts for toy commercials, I'd be tempted to do it, too.

I wonder how many of these writers were really interested in writing thought out, character driven stories?
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:01 PM   #10
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If anything this goes to show how something similar can be very different depending on the show/characters/dialog/alterations. I find that far more interesting than someone recycling his old scripts which isn't plagiarism just lazyness. I really have no issue with it except with David Wise claims he made TMNT what they are today but whatever. A story depending on how it's told also depends on whether it's a good or bad story.
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Well, it apparently worked. I agree with d_osborn on this one. If I'm on a schedule and have to turn out scripts for toy commercials, I'd be tempted to do it, too.

I wonder how many of these writers were really interested in writing thought out, character driven stories?
The thing about David Wise's attitude that really bugs is that he has the gall to claim virtually everything about TMNT that people like is his idea, when he clearly didn't have enough passion for them to write original scripts. I wouldn't have much of a problem if he was honest about not really giving a crap, or at least if he just claimed to have had "fun" writing the show. But as is he's taking credit for things we know Kevin and Peter made, which I can't let slide. Not that any sensible person would ever believe him, every piece of TMNT media ever says and will continue to say "Based on characters created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird" somewhere, but still...

And even taking Kevin and Peter out of the equation, there's no way David Wise was nearly as influential as he claims to be. We know most of the original characters in season 1 were created by Playmates, they wouldn't have had toys so early on otherwise, there's even proof that Bebop and Rocksteady were designed by Peter Laird. We also know that Playmates were in possession of documents made by Mirage, explaining the characters' personalities in a simplified way, meaning David Wise wasn't really responsible for turning the Turtles into simplified archetypes either. We know that the actors also improvised lines from the very start, meaning a lot of the dialogue and humor wasn't written by him. And finally we know that Kevin and Peter vetoed several major aspects of the season 1 scripts, meaning that there's a good chance any original ideas he had were removed before the recording/animation even started.

From were I sit it's entirely possible (if not probable) that all David Wise did was to glue together a bunch of backstories and concepts supplied by other people, kinda the writing equivalent of assembling IKEA furniture.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:48 AM   #11
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I can't speak to Wise's attitude. I'd give credit to Eastman and Laird and to the fans for making the biggest difference.

I was referring to recycling stories and being lazy. That worked. Did it elevate TMNT into something it wouldn't have otherwise been? Probably not, no.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:04 AM   #12
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Multiple things can be true at once.

The style of working utilized by Wise and others back in the 80s (and still very much seen in movies and TV shows today) was definitely... "efficient", if we're being kind. And there's ultimately nothing wrong with it. To put it in wrestling parlance, it's like guys who are going to wrestle each other every night for the next month doing 99% the same match around the loop rather than try and do a brand new one every night. If you've gotta do a hundred of these in a row, in short order, then why kill yourself? If you've got a working formula, then "rubber-stamping" it simply makes sense. Nobody in the moment is ever wondering how the marks are gonna suddenly notice and start whining about it 30 years later. It's just a job. And ANY job is ultimately about maximizing one's own rewards while minimizing the effort. In this, the man's hardly unique.

BUT. I've seen him enough on social media to attest that either he's a genuine tw*t or does a very good impression of one. Never spoken to him myself - no point - but I've seen plenty of how he engages with others, and I can say with confidence that any sort of interaction we would potentially have would be very brief and no fun for either side.

In summation, he can be both a smart worker and a nitwit. It doesn't have to be all one or the other.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:30 AM   #13
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*plagiarist

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Old 01-19-2020, 06:36 AM   #14
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*plagiarist

I know, right? But he's one'a the Suits, so I wasn't gonna say anything.
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:04 PM   #15
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From were I sit it's entirely possible (if not probable) that all David Wise did was to glue together a bunch of backstories and concepts supplied by other people, kinda the writing equivalent of assembling IKEA furniture.
Wise was heavily involved in getting the show on screen. His comments about creating the show are shaky considering the evidence and point of view but the reason TMNT annoyed him over the years was the lack of recognition he got for keeping the series a success which in turn made the franchise popular. Putting aside his creation claims he was responsible for the scripts that made up Season 1. He was responsible for bringing all that together in a cohesive way. Not just that...he also was responsible for writing half the series which is A LOT of episodes. If I was putting that much work into the show and getting treated like any other hired hand I'd be quite rightly pis*ed off as he has been.

David definitely exaggerated things but his commitment to TMNT cannot be overstated and unfortunately the man will never live to see any recognition he really deserves, only people like yourself calling him a hack. What a sad legacy...
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Old 03-05-2020, 05:13 PM   #16
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Being dead doesn't retroactively make his writing better or his bizarre claims more reasonable. Yes he wrote 37% of the episodes and it's understandable why he might have felt he deserved more credit, but that does not justify fabricating a false narrative.

At the end of the day, TMNT is Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's creation. It's their ideas that make up the core of what TMNT is, not David Wise's. And as evidenced by versions largely ignoring his ideas finding success, it's possible that his ideas just weren't behind the show's popularity.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
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Old 03-06-2020, 01:44 PM   #17
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Heh, enjoy!


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQOt0BR8pP8
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:46 PM   #18
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Yup, clear cut examples indeed.
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Turtles is basically the red-headed stepchild of Nick.
Hahahaha!
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Old 03-08-2020, 05:55 PM   #19
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Being dead doesn't retroactively make his writing better or his bizarre claims more reasonable.
Someone doesn't need to be dead in order to be appreciated if you already appreciate them. When Wise was alive I appreciated his writing but I knew he had a deep frustration and angriness over the way he was treated considering he put so much work into the series. He will never get to see that appreciation for his work on TMNT. You thing you don't understand yet is when someone is close to something they get very territorial and possessive of it. Is that good or bad? You complain David lied about his involvement in the series so that's bad but guess what? That's human nature. I'm not going to trash him when he was alive because I liked his work and I'm sure not going to trash the guy when he's no longer among us.
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:28 PM   #20
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Someone doesn't need to be dead in order to be appreciated if you already appreciate them. When Wise was alive I appreciated his writing but I knew he had a deep frustration and angriness over the way he was treated considering he put so much work into the series. He will never get to see that appreciation for his work on TMNT. You thing you don't understand yet is when someone is close to something they get very territorial and possessive of it. Is that good or bad? You complain David lied about his involvement in the series so that's bad but guess what? That's human nature. I'm not going to trash him when he was alive because I liked his work and I'm sure not going to trash the guy when he's no longer among us.
I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here. Yes I understand why he lied, but having sympathetic reasons for lying does not change that it was wrong of him to do that.

And I'm sorry, his role was still relatively minor at the end of the day. Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created the TMNT, Jim Lawson and Ryan Brown added a few characters, Playmates Toys supplied additional concepts, the character designers and actors came in with their own ideas as well and finally Kevin/Peter made some revisions to Wise's scripts. Hell, officially speaking, David Wise isn't even credited as the sole writer of season 1! And hell, 63% of the show was appearently not made with his involvement at all. Nor did he ever get involved with TMNT outside of the show, his involvement ended in 1995.

In the 25 years between him having written his last TMNT script and his death, TMNT did just fine without him. And during the 10 year period Peter Laird was the sole owner, David Wise's ideas were deliberately ignored and TMNT still found success.
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