Love For Teen Titans

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Forces of Nature

Season: 1
Episode: 4
Air date: August 16, 2003

 

Cast:
Scott Menville - Robin
Tara Strong - Raven
Greg Cipes - Beast Boy
Khary Payton - Cyborg
Hynden Walch - Starfire
Scott Bullock - Thunder
Quinton Flynn - Lightning
Ron Perlman - Slade

 

Crew:
Director(s) - Ciro Nieli
Storyboarder(s) - Mark Howard, Ben Jones, Kalvin Lee, Rafael Rosado, Alan Wan
Writer(s) - Adam Beechen

 

Summary: Two brothers (Thunder and Lightning) representing duel forces of nature show up in Jump City looking for a good time. Unfortunately, the innocent citizens would not agree with their idea of "fun", which involves terrorizing the people.

 

Notes:

  • This episode marks the first time Robin and Slade meet.
  • Thunder and Lightning were the first honorary Titans.
  • First appearance of Thunder and Lightning.
  • Slade's disguise is based on his real appearance shown in the original comics.
  • According to TV.com, "The two brothers have a mythological sustrait from the Far East mythology. Specifically, Thunder is inspired in the Chinese Taoist god of thunder, named Lei-kung (or Li-gong); a god depicted as a blue man-shaped owl (which means he's a little fat) with a hammer & drum. Also, the clothes of both Thunder and Lighting seem taken from the Japanese God (of thunder) Raijin, dressed for the war with a samurai-like armor. Lighting seems to be inspired in the Japanese God named Raiden (of thunder and lighting), portrayed as a red guy able to throw lightning with his hands, and other minor deities."
  • Speaking on Slade, Sam Register said, "Yeah—we didn’t know quite what [Slade] was going to be after. We knew we needed an enemy. And in the first season, we decided he wanted an apprentice and it was sort of a Luke-and-Darth thing. And he was called Deathstroke in the comic and we can’t use the word ‘death’ so we went with his first name. So we wanted to keep him mysterious and dark and sort of the uber-villain. And he’s worked out great."
  • Producer and story editor David Slack spoke on the episode: "That one was interesting because it set part of the style of the show—that we could change the style in every episode. Glen [Murakami] kept saying, “It’s a fable, because Thunder and Lightning were characters of mythic proportion—literally forces of nature. So when we started writing it, we wrote it like an Asian fable—which is where the music and style came from. As for adapting Thunder and Lightning, that was already in Glen’s head. He knew what he wanted to do with them from the start. Most of that came from him."
  • Slack also spoke on developing Slade. ”There was a great debate whether Slade was just evil incarnate, or whether he was planning something. That was a story where, in the eleventh hour, the decision was made collectively: It needed to lead somewhere otherwise the audience would be disappointed. There were some rewrites on that one. The evening before we recorded the episode, we added the fight scene between Robin and Slade. That wasn’t originally in there. After we did that, we said, 'Okay, we’re teasing this thing...so what exactly IS Slade’s plan?' I hate to admit it, but we flew by the seat of our pants a bit in the first season. Things are much more planned out now."
  • Slack spoke on Slade's disguise as the Old One. "Yeah. But that is a mask. Slade doesn’t want anyone to see him. If we ever get around to showing Slade’s face, I doubt it will look like that. But there are layers there to be peeled back, mask after mask. ”

Information sources