Love For Teen Titans

When there's trouble, you know who to call.

Winner Take All

Season: 2
Episode:
9
Air date:
March 6, 2004

 

Cast:
Scott Menville - Robin
Tara Strong - Raven
Greg Cipes - Beast Boy
Khary Payton - Cyborg
Hynden Walch - Starfire
Jim Cummings - Master of Games
Wil Wheaton - Aqualad
Mike Erwin - Speedy
Lauren Tom - Gizmo

 

Crew:
Director(s) - Ciro Nieli
Storyboarder(s) - Ben Jones, Kalvin Lee, Alan Wan, Matt Youngburg
Writer(s) - Dwayne McDuffie

 

Summary: The Titan guys are teleported away by the Master of Games, along with several other heroes (and a villain) to participate in a tournament. The last one standing will be the winner. But when Beast Boy is kicked out after losing, Cyborg can't track him with any sensors. It's like they're in another dimension entirely. Cyborg suspect something is not right, but Robin is determined to stay and win.

 

Notes:

  • This episode marks the first appearances of Speedy, Hotspot, Wildebeest, and the Master of Games.
  • Originally titled "It's How You Play the Game".
  • Speedy, Hotspot and Wildebeest became honorary Titans.
  • Hotspot was originally called Joto, the same name he went by in the original comics. His first name was changed when the show crew realized what it meant: Joto is Swahili for 'heat', but in Spanish, it is used as a derogatory term for homosexuals.
  • Speedy is the sidekick of better-known hero Green Arrow.
  • In the original Teen Titans comics of the 1960s, Speedy was a founding member of the team. He later went by the name of Arsenal.
  • Speedy and Robin have more similarities than just their identical masks and lack of powers. Green Arrow was a millionaire who adopted orphan Speedy (Roy Harper) and made him his sidekick. In the 1960s, the duo had an Arrowcave, an Arrowmobile, and many gadgets and arrows—which is not so different from Batman and Robin's circumstances. Starting in the 70s, however, Speedy and the Green Arrow started to stand apart from the other crime-fighting duo.
  • Mike Erwin also played the teenage Bruce Banner in the 2003 film  Hulk, based on the Marvel comics hero.
  • The Master of Games was created for the show.
  • Apparently one of Raven's hobbies is knitting.
  • Although Terra is already a member of the Titans at this point, she is not seen with them until the end of the episode, when all three Titan girls have been teleported to the Master of Games' place. This may be a hint of what is to be revealed later in the season.
  • Producer David Slack spoke on Speedy: ”With Speedy, we were looking for someone to mirror Robin. For the purpose of that episode, we wanted someone to go up against Robin. And Speedy ends up having some of the same problems Robin has. He’s got kind of a dippy name, he shoots…arrows. [laughs] So there’s stuff about him that’s not all that cool. I think we managed to make him pretty cool. And we did that the same way we did with Robin. We searched for some more contemporary ways for him to express himself."
  • David Slack spoke on Wildebeest: "We had so many characters in that episode. It’s amazing how fast the script fills up with just five peoplenever mind nine. So Wildebeest just grunts. When you have that many characters to juggle, it’s not so bad to have a character that just grunts. Dwayne and I were still able to make some jokes about what he does. With Wildebeest, you just ‘write the look’; He’s this great, big guy."
  • David Slack spoke on Hotspot: "Then there’s Hotspot. He was Joto originally, and then we learned what that meant in Spanish and changed his name. With Hoptspot, the description we wrote was, 'A human flame-thrower with a fiery temper to match.' So he became the not-so-nice one."
  • David Slack spoke on Gizmo: "Then there’s Gizmo…who’s just a pain in the butt. The guys we used in that episodewe just wanted them to all be different. We tried to give each character one distinct trait to write. We didn’t have much time to deal with all of them. And we always run into timing issues and tight deadline, especially with that one."
  • David Slack said that the writer and producers wanted to use Jericho—Slade's mute son, who later appeared in season five—but it would have been difficult to design all of the other characters in addition to figuring out how to have him communicate correctly in sign language.
  • David Slack said they wanted to use more female characters but ran out of time. At the end with the girls' tournament, they used silhouettes that would suggest certain characters such as Wonder Girl.

Information sources