The New Doc Savage Movie Idea Page
Archived New Doc Savage Movie Ideas Page
Purpose For Doing This:
These are assorted thoughts on what I think would contribute to a decent Doc Savage movie, in light of the 1975 George Pal film, the challenges of the pulps as creative fiction, the characters themselves, and Hollywood's constrictions. My ideas are just that and might only make sense to me. I've been pondering this since 1999 when Arnold Schwarzenegger was lined up to play Doc Savage in a Frank Darabont film. In 2008 producer Michael E. Uslan announced it as an upcoming project. In 2016 new Doc Savage movie is lost in production hell after the script submitted by Shane Black was set aside and all parties moved on.
I’m fifty-four and misspent my youth collecting comic books, movie posters, and other rotting materials. I read all the original Doc Savage books as paperbacks and am reading them again for reviewing purposes. The contact is email@example.com
Adapting Doc Savage To Film:
No individual novel or villain are mandatory for a new Doc Savage film. The first book serves as an origin story, but a new film has to be a great adventure, not a great Doc Savage origin tale. John Sunlight appeared in two novels so he's considered the default antagonist. He's also the most overrated and underperforming character in the series. Doc Savage does not need an antagonist who is in theory his evil equivalent. A great Doc Savage movie needs an opponent larger and more powerful than he is - someone who seems unstoppable. Doc Savage himself must be Peak Human and based solidly in pulp fiction, not comic books.
Doc’s assistants are continually described as unattractive and often unlikable. They need to be optimized to make them more palatable to audiences and realistic in their original context. A new Doc Savage film should reflect the opportunities offered by the era, characters, and settings, and build on that with rich storytelling hitting on larger, universal themes.
Example: Doc was based on Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, an earlier pulp character named Craig Kennedy, and others, but he’s also the embodiment of Nietzsche’sÜbermensch, which inspired Siegel and Shuster to create Superman in 1932. Superman was based partly on Doc Savage. A winning Doc Savage story can be based on the Ubermensch split between Superman as protector and as nihilist destroyer.
Notes On Exposition:
Exposition should be minimized and seamless, coming through action and storytelling, not by gossiping strangers, speeches, or by characters explaining to each other things they already know. Trilling won't work on film because it’s silly, and explaining it even worse. As a gimmick it's also too close to The Shadow's mysterious laugh. Instead of describing compact machine guns and exploding bullets, create impressive weaponry and have someone pull out a red clip, slam it into place, then dramatically switch to single fire without saying it’s being switched to single fire for exploding bullets. When Doc’s about to drop anesthetic pellets he can say “Hold your breath” in Mayan to his assistants, or whisper it to whomever he’s with. It would then be vital to see mist rising from the pellets.
Doc and his associates are together because they’re larger than life, high-achieving misfits. They love adventure and enjoy their fellowship in both accomplishments and peculiarities. Doc is the unquestioned leader, and as the pulps make clear, while they may suspect Doc may know more about their fields than they do, declaring it as so diminishes their importance and should be avoided.
Doc: Doc might be the hardest to bring to life since the pulps often portray him as lacking a full emotional range and being a flawless individual, disregarding later adventures of lesser import. In disguise he's anything he pretends to be, which makes his normal stoic intensity a bit odd. A few times it's written he has a sense of humor but what little there is seems forced. Doc's physicality and quiet intensity make him the focal point of any gathering. Above all Doc's intelligence has to be the role's number one requirement. In the books Doc reached 6' 7" or so. If Doc's hair gets wet or is greased back and there’s a slight widow’s peak, fine for the Bama fanboys. Otherwise, the paperback’s hairstyle is inhuman. The classic Walter Baumhofer Doc Savage is his best look.
Doc’s Character Arc: Doc is Homo-Superior and the only change I can see in him in is a realization he needs the full effort of his men, death be damned, to save the world. He’s gone out of his way to protect them in the past. By involving them more he also relaxes a bit, as if the weight of the world is lightened from his shoulders. I haven’t thought of an exact device for this, but I lean towards an incomplete memory from when he’s about to leave for the Nietzsche School as a child (see below). His mother whispers something in his ear but as an adult he can't remember what it is, and it haunts him. He sees his mother’s face from that night but he can’t make out the words. In the last fight scene, as he’s semi-conscious while being choked by Nietzsche, her words from that day come to him that he’s not alone or some other revelation along those lines.
Monk: Monk should be short, muscular, hairy, and wear ill-fitting clothes because he doesn’t care about fashion and it annoys Ham. Nothing overly comical, colorful, or with mismatched patterns. He should be pleasantly homely and never scary to the innocent, with extra appeal to children who see beyond his appearance. He should be likeable and situationally shy. In the books he can be vicious, but cruelty will not work in a popular film. I have him becoming savage at one point, but he’s driven to it by the suffering of his friend Ham.
Ham: In the pulps Ham is an effete snob. I see him played in a new film by someone with the qualities of Pierce Brosnan. He needs his cane because of a bad knee, and he can hobble-run and has some leg strength, but the cane isn’t only a fashion accessory. Hapkido teaches cane fighting and this should be his fighting style. When the sword is out he should alternate between a classic fencer, a Savate fighter (it seems complimentary to fencing), and a quick-draw swordsman like Zatoichi. Ham shouldn’t be overly concerned with his clothes beyond their cost, importance to his image as a lawyer, and a means to attract women. Even though he’s an expert at law, because of how the system works he doesn’t especially like his profession, and he holds particular contempt for unethical lawyers and clients who deserve justice through the legal system.
Monk and Ham’s Relationship: The pulps’ take on this is angry and mean-spirited, and not worthy of the exposition it would take to make it palatable. They can’t aggressively hate each other yet (wink) they’re best buddies. Unless it’s used as a ploy, and it should, they should be seen ribbing each other as equals and with no malice. Their relationship should make the audience smile, not wince, and it should be the major sub-plot of the film, because it’s the most human element of the books, and also because Doc’s story will be told throughout the film but he doesn’t change much beyond realizing at the end he’ll have to stop protecting his men at all costs if he’s going to win.
Renny: Renny is a golem who looks sad when he's happy. When he's unhappy he also looks unhappy, which makes him an ugly character. I picture him as the most outgoing of the group – a large mid-westerner with giant hands and a big smile. He loves fighting, and if he becomes deathly serious while doing so it can be explained by a punch line where he says "I've never been so happy in my whole goddamn life". The size of his hands shouldn’t be overdone. It would work if he grabs someone by the face and his hand covers most of it, or if he catches a fist and crushes it in his own. Of course he should dust off a giant fist and smash through the door panel of a locked room. He should be tall and barrel-chested, but lack size and definition that might lead the audience to believe he should be stronger than Doc.
Johnny: Johnny is tall, thin, deathly pale, and talks in intellectual gibberish. He’s more an oddity than a real person, which works as both comic relief and a reason not to focus on him in an overcrowded field. His clothes should be ancient, so I see him as a less attractive Johnny Depp from Sleepy Hollow. He should look like the weakest of the group, yet he fights like a wild animal.
Long Tom: Long Tom should be completely redone. He’s sickly, pale, and odd looking in ways that bleed into Johnny, while a Doc Savage movie needs a central character close enough to normal to be relatable to the audience. A variation on Michael Shank’s character (Dr. Daniel Jackson) from Stargate SG-1 would work. He should not be a great fighter, though he does his best. Internally he might wonder a bit why he’s part of a group of larger than life characters. The other assistants should be protective of him like a younger brother.
I’ve only imagined one major new character, the film’s villain, Nietzsche, the grandson of Friedrich Nietzsche. Only Paul Wight (The Big Show) can play him. His size should almost dwarf Doc’s, compensating for lesser all-around fighting skills and intelligence through mass, brute force, and a single-minded evil determination.
As a second in command I see someone in line with punk rock legend Lee Ving, who I loved in Streets Of Fire.
As per the pulps there has to be an attractive female, so what about a beautiful girl-next door type who comes to Doc because her scientist father is being held captive by Nietzcshe to finish his work on a device with horrible applications. She’s impressed by Doc but is not instantly in love with him, and her overriding concern is for her father.
There can also be Monja, daughter of the ruler of The Hidden Valley, a graceful exotic beauty openly attracted to Doc. This would provide opportunities to show Doc feeling uncomfortable by being sought after. Besides being infatuated with Doc she should be otherwise innocent.
Scenes in New York should be dark, steeped in Art Deco and Machine Age imagery. Colors should be metallic. Scenes in Hidalgo should be drenched in sunlight and the colors green and gold. The arctic (if used, and it shouldn't because of the Fortress Of Solitude problem) should be pure white and barren with blood a bright red, and the jungle as thick as possible, forcing Doc to run along branches, leap into nothingness, and not swinging by vines like Tarzan.
I have no idea what’s the best year to set this in. The 1930s and 1940s have different feels so a choice has to be made between the Deppression Era and WWII.
Ideas To Use:
Disguises (as long as Doc's body size remains fairly the
Casual examples of his great financial resources.
Examples of his stature with local authorities.
Doc's ghost-like stealth.
Rubber shoe heals that leave a florescent trail.
Doc doesn't carry a weapon but he's an expert when using one once to prove that point.
Junkie looking super-cars.
The cases of gadgets they bring on adventures. Have Doc say, by number, which boxes to take.
"Infra-Ray" searchlight and night vision goggles.
Airplanes and boats (distance from Batman context).
Doc's machine guns.
Quick drop elevator.
Communicating in Mayan with subtitles.
Fake back teeth holding explosives or acid.
Knowing most world languages. It would be comic relief if Doc explains that once you learn the twelve base languages of the world’s most common tongues the rest aren’t hard to learn.
Alloy chain mesh body armor. Please no skull cap.
Ability to memorize tire tracks, shoe prints, and fingerprints.
Hard to explain or avoid at all costs:
Doc's mandatory two hour training in the field. Only once
on the 86th floor.
Anesthetic goop on Ham's sword.
Grapple (too close to Batman context).
Vest filled with pockets and gadgets (too close to Batman? Still might be worth it if there's no exposition).
Pets (too many characters as is).
Pat Savage (too many characters as is).
The Fortress Of Solitude is too much like Superman and not worth claiming as first.
Doc hypnotizing with his swirling flakes of bronze eyes.
Rendering people immobile by manipulating neck (too much like Spock).
Johnny shouldn’t switch to small words when speaking to Doc. He should always be an eccentric character.
No Doc riding on the running board of his car. I makes him an easy target and it looks stupid.
Doc's Crime College, with all the appeal of an organ-harvesting prison.
I have no unified or complete plot to offer, but I have general ideas for scenes and characters. The film should open with Nietzsche invading the Hidden Valley for its gold, soon followed by his men in NY attempting to kill Doc at his headquarters. Nietzsche plans on destabilizing the world and eventually assuming control – basically Nazism as what’s commonly thought of as a god-is-dead, nihilistic, Nietzschean philosophy. He needs the gold gold for financing and has a captive scientist creating an unstoppable weapon technology. Far-flung adventures in exotic locales ensue. I'd like there not to be long set pieces so lots of story and action can be included in a fast-paced film.
1) The film opens with a static shot looking straight down from cloud level, detailing the buildings and layout of the ancient hidden Mayan city of Hidalgo. Subtitles indicate place and year. The next shots are within Hidalgo, showing daily life. There is neither electricity nor modern conveniences. The city is frozen in an ancient past. As gold is in abundance it is used all around but not garishly. Everyone is generally happy. A well known actor like Lou Diamond Phillips plays a high ranking warrior, setting up false expectations as to how events unfold. A lone child is seen pointing and staring at the growth at the end of a long and seemingly quiet field. He starts crying. Immediately, grotesque, crudely made vehicles of war (as in The Road Warrior) crash into the open while buzzard-like helicopters swoop in from above. Lou Diamond immediately takes charge and runs through his panicked village issuing orders when all of a sudden a massive hand reaches into the frame, grabs him by the neck and lifts him off the ground. A wide shot shows it’s Nietzsche, smiling sadistically and staring up at his catch. He smashes Lou's face with a punch, then takes a step forward and slams his head into the ground. The rest of Lou's body follows. Nietzsche emits a laugh and moves on, stepping on Lou’s chest in the process. He pounds on anyone in his way. He easily catches a spear thrown at him from the side and breaks it in half. Lou slowly lifts himself off the ground, his face bloody, and he stumbles towards a small hut topped with a radio antenna, the only outward sign of modernity. Nietzsche sees this, picks up a discarded spear and throws it from a distance with precision into Lou’s upper back, coming out a foot from his chest. With his last breaths Lou stumbles into the hut and hits a large button on a (then) modern self-contained radio transmitter cabinet adorned with a small bronze plate that reads “Hidalgo Trading Company”. He slides down to his death. The scene ends and segues to the opening credits. FOLLOWED BY
2) The opening credits should be short and displayed over blurred motion indicating movement from Hidalgo to New York City (indicated by subtitles), slowing as it reaches the city and narrowing on the Empire State Building’s 86th floor. FOLLOWED BY
3) Like a ghost the camera seamlessly enters the building and continues straight to a simple light bronze colored door with a plate that reads, in simple letters, “Clark Savage Jr.” and underneath that "Hidalgo Trading Company". The camera pushes through into the waiting room and past that to a large training room lined by every variety of stick, knife and sword weapon, the floor filled with boxing equipment, a pommel horse, parallel bars and Olympic rings hanging from the ceiling. There's no free weights or machines of any kind, and let this scene be the only exposition on Doc’s training. The camera moves slowly through this toward a blurred figure in the distance on a raised mat area. The figure is moving through various configurations, displaying strength and control associated with the greatest gymnasts. Without stopping, the camera arrives at a perfectly focused shot of Doc, covered in sweat, perfectly still in a position no normal gymnast could maintain for long. Subtitles read "Clark Savage Jr.", followed by "Doc". The camera continues to the intense focus on his face and settles on one eye, where an effect of swirling flakes of gold is inserted for the only reference to this in the film. FOLLOWED BY
4) The scene changes to a massive house on a hill, filled with shadows and lit by indirect light. A raging thunderstorm pounds outside. Hunting trophies line the walls, and large, stuffed predators are displayed prominently on the floor. The next shot is of a cute, small boy sitting quietly on the edge of a large bed, suitcases lined at his feet. Other large pieces of furniture fill the room. On the walls are stuffed animal heads from strange beasts. This is Doc as a boy and this is his bedroom, yet there's nothing to indicate a child lives there. His parents are arguing outside his door. The camera moves back and forth between them in the hallway and Doc sitting obediently while voices are heard from outside. [It should be about Doc's father insisting it’s vital Doc go to the (then un-named) Nietzsche School in Austria. Something about the need for a generation of great men to correct the world’s problems. Doc’s mother, loving, compassionate and wise, is against it as the wrong path and the worst possible setting for her son. Doc’s father, being the forceful one, prevails]. The scene ends with Doc being spoken to by each parent in turn, the father instilling the importance of this new chapter of his young life, while she assures young Clark of her love and belief in him. She whispers something in his ear but we can't hear her words. He smiles slightly but says nothing. Young Doc is then in the back of a large car as it drives down the path from the house, the storm in full force. He looks back at the house with a look of thoughtful bewilderment. FOLLOWED BY
5) Doc is snapped out of his concentration by the harsh sounds of an alarm. He springs up and swiftly makes his way to the library, where a large radio sits alone. It’s a larger and more elaborate version of the one in Hidalgo. On a panel of lights, one is flashing bright red. Underneath it reads “Hidalgo”. Doc tries to make radio contact but has no luck. The look on his face indicates he knows something very bad has happened. On another panel he presses five buttons configured so he can do this with the fingers of one hand, and he then exits the room. The scene ends with a short shot of the five blinking lights next to the five pressed buttons. Also next to each are the names of each associate, but either there’s not enough time to read them. FOLLOWED BY
6) Each associate should be introduced quickly yet with depth. Maybe two should be shown during the time when their wrist-watch alerts them of an emergency back on the 86th floor.
Ham: [I have no idea on the particulars of legal procedure but here’s an outline] The scene is a large, busy downtown courtroom packed with reporters and observers. The day's session is starting as the judge sits. It’s a divorce proceeding involving a billionaire, the Donald Trump of the day, and his wife and mother of his children. She was once a trophy wife and is past her prime, but she doesn’t look overly stupid or gold-diggery. It’s late in the trial and it appears the husband will prevail. There could be sketchy evidence of her cheating on him, real or fabricated, and his table is filled with confident, high-power attorneys, while she has one lawyer looking haggard and out-gunned. Her attorney turns to her, mops his forehead with a handkerchief, and says that, as they agreed, he’s contacted another lawyer who might be able to help. He isn't cheap and he’s not easy to deal with, but he’s good. She nods her head, feeling utterly defeated. During this time a figure is seen walking down the court hall. It's Ham but you can't see his face. The tall door to the corridor opens and an immaculate figure walks in. He limps slightly and is using an intricately designed cane for support. Subtitles read “Theodore Marley Brooks”, soon replaced by “Ham”. Observers and reporters turn and stare. The observers are impressed by his clothing and bearing, while some of the reporters recognize him and become excited. The lawyers at the billionaire’s table react with anger and a touch of fear, and they whisper to the billionaire as he doesn't recognize Ham and doesn't know why there’s a commotion. Ham walks up to the wife’s table, nods to the attorney and gently touches the wife’s shoulder. He then makes his way to the husband’s table and calmly slides a thick envelope over to the billionaire. Ham turns and slowly heads toward the judge to present his credentials. During this time the billionaire pulls out photographs and copies of accounting ledgers. A quick view shows the pictures are incriminating. The billionaire becomes apoplectic and he loses all decorum as he screams “Settle, Settle!” to his attorneys as he comically grabs them by their ties. Ham looks back, an unsatisfied smile on his face, then walks directly to the wife, who thanks him profusely for whatever it is he just did. Ignoring this he sits down directly in front of her, pulls her chair forward so their faces are close, and says definitively, “I don’t particularly like people like you. (pause) I took this case because I like people like him (nods towards husband) even less. You have three children who need a mother and a normal life, and whether you like it or not you’re going to give it to them. If you even so much as look as someone sideways and I’ll take the case against you for free, and (slowly nodding his head no) you won’t like that one bit. Do you understand? (her face is frozen) Do... you understand?" (she nods slowly with her same frozen expression). Ham slides back his chair, stands up and walks out, oblivious to whatever’s going on around him.
Renny: The scene is a small yet luxurious meeting room where plans for a new structure (building, bridge, or tunnel) are being discussed. For exposition a placard on an easel is shown next to the entryway. Plush chairs and couches have been arranged in rows, and all seating is taken. A podium and large chalkboard on wheels are in front. The speaker, a pompous, soft man, enters from the side and welcomes everyone. He’s going to discuss his revolutionary engineering design ideas for the new structure. He draws on the board, makes his first point, and immediately a small, stifled laugh comes from the seating area. The speaker is taken aback but he doesn’t see anyone standing out or acknowledging the laugh. He turns back and begins his second point, met this time by a louder guffaw. He spins around and demands to know who did that. Nobody says anything. The speaker slowly turns back and draws a long line, which elicits a “You can’t be serious” in Renny’s deep voice. The speaker spins angrily and demands to know who just spoke. Hearing the words “I did” he sees the top of a head and two eyes back in the gathering, lower than the others. This gives him a false sense of superiority as he challenges Renny by saying “Do you think you can do better?” The camera is now in Renny’s row, where his large body is crouched down on a low couch. He is then filmed standing up as would a giant. Subtitles read “John Renwick", replaced by “Renny”. Smiling the smile of a genuinely friendly man who knows he can beat up most men, he walks to the front and says “Let me show you.” The speaker stands dumfounded, so Renny grabs the hand holding the caulk and it’s like a baby’s in his own. He takes the chalk with his other hand and begins the process of solving every problem of the design with an expert knowledge and the ability to calculate formulas in his head. Via a wall clock it’s shown twenty minutes have passed. Renny finishes writing on what has become three rolling boards, covered in calculations and advanced designs. He smiles and says to the audience “Any questions?” He looks at the original speaker who is standing there in awe. Seeing there are none, Renny matter-of-factly presses the piece of chalk between his thumb and forefinger and with no apparent effort it explodes into a small cloud of powder. He then walks back and sits again on the short couch. The speaker gawks at the boards, knowing he’s just had his hat handed to him.
Monk: The scene is at night and the camera comes in from above and away, with only what looks like trees, grass, and bushes in view. It appears the scene is lit only by moonlight and a small fire. The descending camera finds a hairy, simian creature sitting on the ground, seen from the lower back up. He’s bouncing a bit while making amused and excited noises, doing something in front out of sight. [as comic relief] Shot from behind he reaches back a hairy arm and pulls an unseen bug from the hair on his back, looks at it then flicks it away. The camera slowly reveals over a shoulder that the hairy creature is working with a bunsen burner, test tubes, and chemicals. The camera proceeds forward and looks back, revealing it’s Monk on the roof of his penthouse jammed with all kind of greenery. The tress and plants are all potted, but the grass is real and covers a large area. Subtitles read “Andrew Blodgett Mayfair”, replaced by “Monk”. He’s wearing only pants, which don’t fit well, as his hairy feet stick out comically. He pours one vial into another and it smokes and then explodes to no ill effect. A cute child peaks out a penthouse door and yells “You OK Monk?” The child lives in Monk’s building. Monk’s fallen over with his legs still in a crossed, seated position, and he yells back “Yeah, just having a little problem with my latest million dollar idea.” The kid runs over and asks “What’s that, Monk?” like he would to a peer, because Monk’s a big kid himself. Monk rights himself and replies he’s trying to invent [something now well known and ubiquitous like White Out], but he’s having an issue with an advanced chemical formula which he reels off effortlessly. The kid has no idea what Monk’s talking about but says nothing. He says he came up because Monk’s watch started buzzing [he was given it during this time to hold]. Monk grabs the watch and says “Thanks, I gotta scram. (He winks) Tell your mom I said hi.” The kid is oblivious to the wink’s meaning, and he says “Sure, Monk, bye!” as he runs off on his merry way.
Johnny: Students in a mid-sized college auditorium with stadium seating are settled in and the class begins as the bell rings. The teacher says they’re very lucky to have a special guest lecturer, the eminent archaeologist and geologist William Harper Littlejohn. He motions toward an open door to the side but nobody comes out. He motions and says “Mr. Littlejohn?” Johnny shyly moves into the room, squinting at the bright lights, his movements tentative. Subtitles read “Johnny”. As light applause comes from the students he looks up nervously, a small smile forming on his thin lips. He arrives at the podium, the teacher greets him and then moves away, an unsure look on his face. After a pause of fumbling with an antique monocle and crumpled papers, Johnny barely looks up as he begins to speak strings of unintelligibly long words. Someone in the front row says “Excuse me?” while another asks for him to please speak up. Johnny makes more of an effort but he’s still burdened by an inability to project and use small enough words. The students are mostly polite but more of them speak up. Johnny tries to make it work by stringing together a few slightly few smaller words, saying them as a question as if to say “Is this good enough?” Knowing he’s failing to connect he collects his papers and apologizes in long words as he makes a hasty exit stage left. All are left to wonder what just happened.
Long Tom: He’s sitting at a desk in the bedroom of his apartment, even this room overflowing with books, electrical devices, and parts. Subtitles indicate his full name and nickname. He’s lost in thought and in the background a woman, his girlfriend, packs clothing and objects into a bag. It’s not until she reaches for something on his desk that he notices anything is happening around him. Long story short, she likes him well enough but is leaving him because he’s too lost in his work and his association with Doc Savage takes him away for unspecified periods of time where she has no idea where he is or if he’s safe. He often comes back beaten and bruised. Limited exposition can go here as long as they don’t state the overly-obvious, to them at least, in long declarative statements. She might ask what kind of a doctor Doc is, and the answer could be "Not only is he one of the world's greatest surgeons and medical research scientists, Doc holds doctorate degrees or doctorate level expertise in pretty much everything there is. If there's one person in the whole world you could call Doctor it would be Doc." She lets him down gently and he accepts it because he knows she’s right and his is not a forceful personality. The camera never leaves Long Tom as she leaves and the front door of his apartment opens and closes. The scene ends with him burying himself in his work again. He feels sad, but he always has his work to lose himself in.
Other scenes my brain cooked up:
1) I like a scene where the six ride down in Doc’s free-fall elevator. There should be a contoured, cushioned chair for Ham to buckle into, plus a rail and straps like in the NY subway. Their feet leave the ground at some point, and it’s shown how the quick slow-down of the elevator is handled by each. Doc handles it with no strain, his hands loose by his side. Monk has to bend his knees to absorb the energy but it’s not difficult for him and he loves it like it's a ride at Coney Island. Renny tries to be like Doc but has to rely on a strap to stay on his feet, Johnny leans against a railing and is forced into a full squat, while Long Tom hangs on for dear life with two straps before falling on his behind with a thud.
2) I picture Long Tom and the female lead running through the late-night, abandoned streets of lower Manhattan. They’re being chased by bad guys but have temporarily given them the slip. They’re in an area with parking garages and he glances at each sign for a certain symbol. He tells her he’s looking for one of Doc’s cars hidden throughout the city in case of emergencies. He sees the correct symbol on a sign and they head in. Standing alone under a single light is a decrepit sedan with rust on its dented bumpers and a weather-beaten paint job. The only thing that looks out of place are large black hubs where hubcaps should be, holding solid rubber tires. She’s less than impressed. He runs to the driver's door while she darts to the passenger side. Long Tom presses his thumb against a small pad on the door, which lights up green and retains the image of his thumbprint as it fades. Almost simultaneously a number of heavy locks unlatch and he opens his door. She also gets in. He presses his thumb against a pad on the dashboard and it lights up green then fades away slowly. The engine starts with a hum but no great sound to denote power. Long Tom flips a switch and self-fitting NASCAR-type safety seat belts come down from above. She looks more worried than ever. Long Time assures her, “It doesn’t look like much, but you have to understand. Doc built this car.” The camera swings up six feet above the front, while the hood fades away to reveal a massive, futuristic engine with impressive moving parts. The car exits the garage and stops at a traffic light. A block away cars scream towards them, filled with evil men shooting guns out windows. Doc's car and windows are bullet-proof. Long Tom says “We don’t have time for this. We have to get to the hangar as soon as possible. Hold on.” He presses a button and the rubber tires are seen excreting a slightly sticky substance that makes them grip the road firmly. A clear, almost invisible trail of sticky stuff on the road lets the viewer know it's there and working as they speed away and take turns like no normal car can.
3) This scene highlights Johnny’s fighting skills. The assistants are in a room alone with a captured bad guy, a tough, bare-fist fighter with experience beaten into his face. He’s belligerent because he’s heard Doc and his men talk tough but never torture or kill. Knowing the routine, Renny offers him a deal. If the thug can beat up any of the five assistants he can go free. If not he has to give up whatever information he has. Looking them over he agrees. The assistants stand near each other, blocking the door. He sees Monk and Renny and knows better. Ham isn’t the smallest of the remaining, leaving Long Tom and Johnny. Long Tom is slightly built and he stands his ground. Pale, skinny Johnny hides behind Renny as if trying to disappear. Seeing this, the tough guy nods and demands Johnny. Reluctantly, Johnny comes forward, removes his sport coat, rolls up his sleeves, and performs a comical stretching routine before assuming the stance of boxers of old, circling his poorly formed fists and spouting a series of long words invoking the Marquess of Queensberry rules. He dances around his opponent with all the grace of Don Knotts but comes close enough to be hit in the head by a roundhouse, followed by a few shots to the mid-section and another roundhouse to the face. The last shot has Johnny against the wall, and he slides down as if out of it. The tough guy turns around and steps towards Renny, crowing that he won. Renny shakes his head, as if with pity, and says “You poor bastard, the fight’s not over. It hasn’t even started.” As he says this, a blurred figure rises straight up in the background at an even pace. It’s Johnny. When he’s first shown being beaten he’s also rolling with the punches and blocking with his hands and arms. It’s all been a ploy. Johnny might be the toughest fighter of all the assistants. A small drop of blood drips from his nose but he is otherwise unfazed. He dances up to the tough guy with his arms and fists raised as before. The other man is dumfounded. Johnny suddenly lowers his hands and stands perfectly still. The tough guy unleashes an exaggerated right hook, and in slow motion Johnny ducks down to his right and swings back up from the left, delivering an open-handed slap to the man’s cheek with a loud smack. The bad guy’s face spins and pauses, but he comes back with a left hook, met by a duck to the left and a swing back up to the right with a harder open-handed palm heel strike to the other side of his face. A tooth flies out of the bad guy’s mouth, tumbling like a die on the floor and settling in front of a camera set at floor level. Johnny proceeds to block, avoid, or pin every punch and kick and answer it with a punch or kick, abusing the man with no mercy. Soon enough he grabs the thug by an arm and rolls into his body, delivering an elbow to the face, then flings him around and crawls all over him while never letting up with blows or letting go of an arm, leg, or collar. This is done at a frenetic pace like Jackie Chan or as how Elijah Wood fights as Kevin in Sin City. The bloodied and beaten tough guy drops to his knees and screams for mercy. Long Tom freezes for a moment as if he’s considering another blow. Instead he shoves the man to the ground and walks over to put on his coat, the whole time stringing together immensely long words invoking the importance of following Marquess of Queensberry rules.
4) The first scene of Doc’s past was introduced by moving into Doc’s mind through his eyes. A few more scenes are needed to explain Doc’s upbringing, his involvement with Nietzsche, and other factors that made him who he is now. These require no special transitions. I imagine Doc stayed long enough as a youth at the Nietzsche School to know what he’ll be up against later, and this helps establish the Nazism/Nihilism of the philosophy he’s fighting. Nazism need never come up or be shown directly. It’s nihilism as politics and everyone will be able to connect the dots. Nietzsche’s always hated Doc because, first of all, he hates everyone, and also because Doc’s life is a rejection of his own beliefs. Nietzsche has focused all his talents towards war and fascism, while Doc serves mankind. This infuriates Nietzsche. His only advantages over Doc are his lack of humanity, his massive size, strength, brutality and training exclusively on battle. I don’t know if the school stays open, is closed as a threat by the government, or is destroyed by Doc’s father once he knows it’s a factory of evil.
5) This scene sets up the first half of the Ham/Monk relationship, paid back at the end. It also gives Ham a fight scene. Throughout, Monk and Ham should insult each other without malice intended or offense taken, except a note of jealousy when one of them comes up with a good insult. This takes place after Doc’s called them to the 86th floor to say they’re going to Hidalgo the next morning. He tells them to get a good night’s rest and report at dawn to their hanger on the Hudson River. When he’s alone Doc should be involved in an attempt on his life, but at the same time the following can be alternated on the screen. As the meeting breaks up Ham reminds Monk they’re supposed to attend a charity ball for needy children sponsored by the NYC Bar Association at their headquarters. Monk doesn’t want to go because he stands out in public and he hates getting dressed up like a penguin. Ham says he has to go because he (Monk) donated a lot of money and is expected as an honored guest. Monk relents, and Ham chides him that he should shave off as much of his ape-like body hair as clippers can fight through. Smiling, monk pulls electric clippers from his bag and says, “OK, pal, can ya help me with my back? I can’t reach there too good.” Monk extends his hand and Ham takes the clippers as if they were a wet diaper. He emits a low tone of dread for what he’s about to do [the cutting is important because the next few days will find Monk quickly returning to his normal hairiness, where in an end scene he reacts as an animal would in his rage].
Later Monk and Ham enter a gorgeous old building where the ball is taking place. The cut of Monk’s cheap rented tuxedo is not fully apparent. As they walk down a hallway the camera stays well above their waists. Monk’s self-conscious and wishes he could be anywhere else. Ham tries to assure him as they arrive at a massive and ornate set of double doors. Smartly dressed doormen pull them open as they arrive, and they stand in a foyer that branches out to a balcony that surrounds the main event area below. In front of them are a set of wide stairs that lead down. Those around them turn to stare at the mismatched pair – Ham dressed in his best and Monk wearing a tuxedo too long in the legs and too short in the arms. Random hairs sticks out from the collar and arms. Monk is self-conscious as they proceed down, where those below, a throng of well-dressed people and needy children running around enjoying candy, cake and toys, turn and stare. By the time Monk makes it down the room has quieted and everyone is staring at Monk. People at the base of the stairs have backed away, leaving Monk and Ham in open view. Monk shrinks into himself while Ham gazes around slowly in disgust. Breaking the impasse, a tiny girl peeks out from behind an adult, staring at Monk in wonderment that might be fear. Instead, her face lights up and she runs laughing up to Monk and hugs his leg. Monk looks down with a sad yet hopeful smile. He picks her up and holds her a short distance from him. She reaches out desperate for a hug and Monk brings her to him. She hugs him around the neck and all the other children run up and surround the child-like Monk. The adults smile and go back to what they were doing. Monk beams as a tear of happiness and relief rolls down his cheek.
Monk and Ham are later standing at buffet tables. Ham’s plate is beautifully arranged with a few decorative items while Monk’s is piled high with everything in sight. Around them are lawyers. Ham doesn’t like most of the attorneys he’s dealt with, and these are among his least favorite. The man next to Ham greets him in a faux-friendly, obnoxious manner. He’s a tall, stocky man who's feeling extra cocky because with him are a mean-looking prize fighter and a few of his low-life friends. On either a flimsy technicality or through something like jury tampering the fighter was recently found not guilty of a crime of violence against a young woman. The lawyer introduces the fighter to Ham as if to say he could have Ham beaten up if he wanted. Ham says little but does indicate he’s none too happy about either the fighter or his escape from justice. The lawyer proceeds to insult Monk for being poorly dressed and out of place. The fighter, his friends and a few other lawyers laugh. Monk shoots the lawyer a look that asks how he’d like to have his face punched, but once again he's uncomfortable and whispers to Ham they have to leave to get ready for the next morning. He’s not afraid of anyone but he doesn’t like attention. Ham hesitates but agrees. He looks back at the group, still laughing, with a subtle look that says this isn’t over. The lawyer turns as he says to his companions “Come on, boys, let’s retire to a good smoke.” Monk and Ham walk outside to Ham’s sports car, brought up by a valet. Monk still has his big plate of food and is eating with his hands. He’s already forgotten the preceding events. Ham threatens him about ruining the interior with his disgusting food. Ham inserts his key in the ignition, thinks for a moment, turns off the motor, turns and says “I forgot my coat. You keep eating like an animal. I’ll be back in a minute.” Lost in his gluttony, Monk mumbles “OK”. Ham is back inside and enters the smoking room where the lawyer, his friends, the prize fighter and his hangers-on are standing and sitting, enjoying fat cigars and glasses of hard alcohol. Between the door and the men sits a small table. On top is a detailed balsa wood model of the building they’re in. Wearing a blank expression Ham walks up to the main lawyer and says [this and the up-coming door-locking are a tribute to A Bronx Tale] “That wasn’t very nice. You should apologize.” The lawyer laughs and says “What’s the big deal? YOU insult that hairy ape all the time!” Switching to quiet rage, Ham moves his face inches from the other man's and hisses “First of all, he’s MY ape….. not yours, and (voice softens) Monk is the finest and most honorable man I’ve ever known.” Ham’s shoulder is then grabbed by a large, meaty, scarred hand and he’s spun around to face the prize fighter, who looks down at Ham. Ham responds “And you. That girl you beat into unconsciousness was only fourteen years old. You must be very proud.” The boxer laughs as he says “You know what they say, ‘old enough to read’...” His friends laugh along. The fighter tells Ham to leave while he still can on his own two feet. Ham casually walks to the door, locks it, removes the key and puts it in his pocket. He walks back to the fighter, leans in, and whispers “She wanted me to give you a message”. Still laughing but less so, the fighter replies “Yeah, what’s that?” Without telegraphing, and with one hand on his cane for support, Ham delivers a knee to the boxer’s groin, bringing the man up on his toes. Still using the cane for support, Ham steps back and delivers a graceful Savate side kick to the man’s face, knocking him out and sending him flying back, barreling over a large couch in the process. What follows is a frenetic fight scene with Ham using his cane as a controlling, striking and mostly humiliating weapon against the boxer’s friends. The lawyers stay the hell out of the way. As Ham finishes off the next to last combatant the last one is seen picking up a large item to smash against Hams’ head while he’s not looking. As Ham’s man goes down, he senses something behind him. He flicks the wrist holding his cane and the hooked end mechanically straightens while the hidden blade disconnects from the scabbard with a click. He spins and assumes a classic fencing lunge position, the tip of his sword a fraction of an inch away from the nose of the man holding the heavy item above his head. The man looks down cross-eyed at the tip of his nose and he drops the item on his own head, which doesn't break but knocks him down. Ham stands alone, surrounded by beaten men on the floor. The lawyers are out of range but still seen. Ham’s breathing is heavy and he’s seen with the scabbard in one hand and the sword in the other. Not having use of his cane he limps while heading to the door. The main lawyer screams after Ham that he’ll have Ham booted from the club for this. Ham pauses at the table with the model, eyes it, and honestly admits “I don’t know if I want to belong to a club that would have you... or maybe even me, as a member.” The camera shifts to Ham standing behind the model, shown in perfect focus. Ham stands thoughtfully for a split second and then his sword arm comes up and it’s seen that he’s twirling the blade with a flourish before returning it to his scabbard. The sword becomes a cane again, and Ham uses it to walk out the door, which he unlocks, opens and closes. After the door slams shut large pieces of the model slide apart as dictated by the two cuts of Ham’s blade. The lawyer swallows hard. Ham is wearing his coat as he gets back in his car and starts the engine. Monk’s just finished eating, and without looking up he says “I know what you did. You didn’t have to, you know.” Ham smiles and says “He had it coming, and who says I did for you anyway, you hairy excuse for humanity”. Monk shoots back “Look who’s talking, you (insert a string of anti-Ham insults here)” As the car moves away there’s audio of them stepping over each other with insults and laughter.
6) The payoff to the scene above takes place in a stone room somewhere in the large Mayan temple, containing tables and tools brought in by Nietzsche’s men to build and repair their equipment. Generators supply electricity. The lighting replicates Will Eisner’s The Spirit. The scene lacks most colors except for black, white, gray, and dark red for blood. Ham and Monk are held captive by Nietzsche’s #2 and a few others. They want to know where Doc is hiding. Monk is tied hand and foot with thick rope to a solid wood chair. His face is beaten and bloody. His body and facial hair have grown back to what it was originally. Ham is bad off as he’s lying on the stone floor with his hands and feet tied with a thinner rope. He’s being held in place by henchmen and his cane is against the wall on the other side of the room. Ham’s not saying anything of value so #2 upends a work table with an attached vice clamp. He drags Ham over and puts his bad knee in the vice. Men come forward to hold him in place. #2 tightens the clamp and Ham emits a howl of pain. Monk’s screaming profanities and straining at his bonds until every visible vein turns purple. #2 tightens the clamp once more and Ham opens his mouth to emit a nearly silent scream of brutal torture. He stares into Monk’s eyes and reaches his bound arms toward him. Monk thrashes in his chair, screaming Ham’s name. With vicious glee #2 gives the clamp one last turn, at which point Ham’s eyes roll into his head and he falls unconscious from pain and shock. Simultaneously, Monk, his eyes red with strain, stops moving and he slumps down in his chair. The room is quiet except for heavy breathing as #2 and his men look at each other. A few seconds later a low sound builds in the room. It’s somehow animal, human, and also mechanical. The men hear it but cannot trace its source. The camera is zoomed close to Monk’s profile. His head is bowed with his lips apart and teeth clenched tightly. A large, sharp tooth drips dark red blood from the gums. The sound gets louder. The men look more confused. The camera shows Monk’s front from a low angle, lit by a single light overhead. His mouth is clenched but his body is still slack. As the sound becomes a roar Monk’s muscles slowly tighten all over his body and he explodes out of his chair, arms and legs free and independent, the ropes intact but the chair shattered into both large and small pieces. Before anyone can react he’s already at the man closest to him, breaking his neck like a twig. With animal rage he turns to the next, and the camera catches a flash of motion that resembles a ferocious simian. It’s Monk, primitive and wild in his rage. He kills the second man by smashing his head against a wall, leaving a trail of blood as he slides down. Monk turns to the third man rushing towards him, a few inches taller but just as big, if not bigger, than he is. The third man catches Monk’s outstretched hands in his own, their fingers interlocking, and there’s a pause as they pit their strength against each other. Monk is enraged as they're locked at an impasse – until Monk slowly opens his mouth wide and forces his own hands back and out, their bodies smashing together as he sinks his teeth into the neck of the other man, who screams his last as they drop to the floor together. [The next part requires the right angle and lighting to give it the shadowy feel of The Spirit] From outside the room the door opens and #2 tries to escape. He’s halfway through as an arm reaches out and pulls him off his feet and back into the gloom, crashing into unseen furniture. Monk steps halfway out, the light above casting a stark shadow. Blood is caked on his mouth and chin, and also staining his arms and clothing. Still animalistic, he looks both ways to see if anyone is coming. Seeing and hearing nothing, he backs in and silently closes the door. As the camera moves away down the hall, sounds of #2's screaming are heard. He’s is dying horribly. [The scene ends here but later it’s important to see Monk and Ham leave the room together. Ham’s holding his cane with his free hand, the other around Monk’s neck, who is mostly carrying Ham as they walk. Ham’s knee is badly hurt. Monk is mostly himself again, and he comforts Ham without insult as they move toward the last set piece of the film.
7) The next scene takes place in the main room of Hidalgo’s pyramid temple. It’s a large, circular space, with a circular raised stone stage in the center and a matching stone embedded in the ceiling above. Doc and Nietzsche fight on the stone and there’s dialogue about Nietzsche’s plans and the reasons why he despises Doc and everything he stands for. Doc can’t defeat this man – he’s too big and has trained his whole life only for war. Doc’s men are in the room, each entering from different doors and Monk and Ham together. Doc does not allow them to fight Nietzsche. He knows they would each be killed in turn. At the end of their battle Doc’s being held up by his neck, hanging as if hung from a noose. He reaches semi-consciousness and finally remembers his mother’s whispered words. Snapping out if it as if renewed by a revelation, he (make it good) breaks free and tosses sand from the floor into Nietzsche’s eyes. Nietzsche is temporarily blinded and Doc is too weary to immediately attack. As Nietzsche works to clear his vision Doc steps back and makes a speech to his men about how they’ll have to fight together now as the fate of the world depends, that it’s been an honor to know them, and that the greatest honor was being able to call them his friends. Upon saying this he smiles more naturally for the first time in the film. During his speech he’s been pointing to each associate to either move forward or back to a specific point. With them now all in place, Nietzsche can see again and he’s looking around at all of them with evil confidence. Doc announces in Mayan “On the count of ten.” They all begin counting. At the count of four Doc lunges forward and slams into Nietzsche, who stands his ground and trades a few blows before tossing Doc off the rock. Renny had started to move along with Doc but he catches himself and moves back to his assigned spot. At the count of ten the assistants move towards Nietzsche at their best pace. The camera is now directly above, the action in slow motion. It’s seen that Doc and the rest, except for Ham, who is leaning heavily on his cane because of his damaged knee, reach Nietzsche at the same moment from all directions. The battle is raw and furious. Ham reaches them just at the point where Nietzsche is succumbing to the others. As he nears, murder on his face, he unsheathes his cane sword and plunges it through Nietzsche’s knee with both hands. During the fight there's rumbles and shaking at at this point Nietzsche’s machine has been sabotaged and it’s firmly brining down the structure. Doc and his men leave. Nietzsche is defeated. He’s writhing and still screaming threats when the room shakes apart and the matching, seemingly endless top rock slab falls straight down and flattens him. The two rocks meet flatly. I like a shot of blood splatter hitting the side walls all at the same time. Doc and the rest are on their way outside in time to witness the final collapse of the pyramid.
8) I loved scenes in the early books when local police fell over backwards to help Doc. I picture a scene where Doc and his crew are in a car racing to somewhere and they drive past a parked police car. The scene actually starts in the police car where a rookie is behind the wheel and he's being coached on traffic chases by his much older partner. As Doc's carwhizzes by, a shot establishes that Doc sees the car with its number 118 painted somewhere on the side. The older cop yells "Common, go get 'em boy!" as they tear out from their dirt lot to start the chase. Doc looks back and knows he doesn't have time to stop and doesn't need the car's lights and sirens attracting attention, so he turns to Johnny and says "I need to speak to that car immediately." Johnny reaches into a bag and pulls out an electrical device the size of a walkie-talkie and pulls out the antenna located top center. He faces it towards the police car behind them, hits buttons, and after a few seconds yells "I found their frequency!" as he hands the unit to Doc. He speaks calmly into the transmitter "This is state commission 1000AJX, calling car 118. Please desist your activities immediately. I repeat, desist immediately." He hands back the transmitter and focuses on driving. In the police car the young driver looks puzzled but continues the chase. His passenger, upon hearing the commission code, let's out a spit-take of coffee onto the inner windshield and starts screaming at his partner to stop the car. The kid looks even more confused but hasn't slowed down. Thinking quickly the older cop reaches over and takes the key out of the ignition and turns off the sirens. Their car loses engine power and coasts to the side of the road. Various voices are coming over the radio demanding Car 118 stop whatever they're doing. The driver's losing his mind in confusion so the older cop quickly covers the younger man's mouth with his hand and says "Kid, I can't believe you're so new you don't recognize that number. Whatever kind of trouble that man's chasing, we can't handle it. We'd only make things worse or end up dead. We're just gonna sit here on our hands for a while and enjoy the view." Motioning with his head towards the radio with the voices still coming out of it he concludes "It's the smart thing to do." The scene shifts to the office of the county Police Chief. A nameplate on his desk indicates his name and rank. There's also a radio emitting the local police band. He's behind the desk, standing and screaming at someone outside the door about Car 118. Directly behind him the camera comes to rest on a framed picture given plenty of open space on a wall covered with framed pictures and awards. Moving in the picture is of the Chief dressed in his most formal uniform at a fancy police banquet. He's surrounded by higher brass in the state system, and he's shaking hands with Doc Savage, who also has his left hand on the Chief's shoulder and is smiling. The Chief's either looking up at Doc star struck or is looking at the camera as if he doesn't believe he's meeting the Man Of Bronze.
9) This scene reinforces how the aides protect Long Tom and it also gives Johnny and (especially) Renny signature action moves. In an outdoor scene two thugs have the diminutive and unskilled fighter Long Tom pinned against a wall and they're physically taunting him like cats with a mouse. Renny sees this in the distance and whistles to Johnny, and they immediately run towards Long Tom. In a flash of motion Johnny pulls his man out of frame. Renny is then seen standing a few feet from the second bad guy who's tormenting Long Tom, who's unaware his partner is, and calmly says "Hey", forcing the man to turn around. Renny continues with "How 'bout picking on somebody my size." There's a slight pause to let that sink in. The next action utilizes Bruce Lee's signature distraction strategy and the delivery of a punch with all of Renny's power. Renny starts with his feet parallel then plants his left foot forward with a thud while also pointing down with his left hand. This freezes the thug and visually directs him towards the ground. At the same time Renny circles his right hand backward and pushes forward delivering a haymaker straight into the man's face, which looks straight ahead again just in time to be literally flattened in slow motion. The action moves back to Johnny who is punching his man repeatedly in the face while holding onto his front shirt collar as they move backwards. As the man starts to fall down Johnny jumps on topand rides him down while punching him repeatedly with lefts and rights. They drop as Johnny continues to rain down blows, his legs pinning the man's arms against his side. He only stops when Renny calls for him to stop.
10) This comical scene is inspired by Wong Fei-Hung, played by Jet Li, in Once Upon A Time In China, who is trained in Chinese medicine and body manipulation. My scene has Doc being confronted by a bad guy who says he's going to "beat the crap" ("Crap" dates from the 1800s) out of the great Doc Savage. Upon hearing this, Doc doesn't change his normally calm expression but he does tilt his head slightly with a tiny smile as if to say "That's interesting". Doc then jabs out his open left hand with lightning speed to the center of the bad guy's chest, barely making contact. He holds his hand there frozen until the man looks down. Then Doc slaps his hand upward into the man's chin, a prank of humiliation. This is immediately followed by Doc dealing out a windmill of short punches, grabs, and pulls to the man's kidneys, stomach, gallbladder, and liver. Doc spins the man around and does the same from behind, finally turning him around again and stepping backwards to his original position in front of the other man. The bad guy's mostly flabbergasted as Doc's attack was not about power but scientific manipulation of anatomy. He's humiliated and angry as he yells "Is that the best ya got?", and immediately he folds over a bit while standing while his face contorts in intestinal pain. Keep the fart noises classy (!) as he visibly pees himself and it's obvious he's also lost the contents of his bowels into his pants. With legs held tightly together he runs away in search of a toilet and new clothes. The end.
11) There's a scene in one of the novels where Doc chases after a horse in the desert and eventually catches it not due to speed but by endurance. In my scene Doc et al. are in a desert city with the daughter of the kidnapped scientist. They're ambushed and she is taken by horse into the open desert. Doc stares hard in the direction they've gone and quickly asks for Case #12 from their packed belongings. His aides know exactly what to do and they spring into action. Monk jumps to retrieve the case, opens it up and tosses two belts of canteens to Ham, who immediately begins filling them with water. From the case Long Tom removes a long flowing white shirt, a white desert hat with a wide brim, and boots designed for running in sand. During this time Doc has removed the boots he was wearing by cutting the laces with a knife. His shirt is off. He puts on the new boots, shirt, and hat, and straps the two belts of water bottles onto his waist. Doc tells his aides to track him via transmitter and meet up with him when they can. He then runs into the desert following the trail of horses. As he runs at a steady pace the camera sees him take a drink from a canteen and put it back on his belt. The camera then moves in closer to his face, grim with determination and concentration, and pushes in for another flashback to some time in his upbringing that either explains his present situation with the main villain Nietzsche or his personal back story. After this flashback it's night and you see the bad guys with their hostage in their destination, another small desert town. Doc is seen running at his original pace as he enters the town, discarding his hat, shirt and now depleted canteens in stride as he's about to jump through a window to fight the bad guys with no sense of physical exhaustion. As he's finishing his rescue his aides rush in and join him. It had taken some time but they found someone with a plane and followed Doc's tracking signal. The adventure continues.