“Is Bruce in here?” Tim figured he might be— Bruce spent a lot of time in the children’s wing of Wayne Enterprises. There were a dozen or so kids in daycare most weekdays, and Bruce liked to hang out.
Tim liked to hang out too. They had nice snacks, and he’d known most of the kids since they were toddlers. And sometimes naps were mandatory.
“Conference call,” Damian told him. (For someone who claimed to hate naps, snackfood, kids, and humanity in general, Damian also spent a lot of time in the children’s wing.) “I don’t know where.”
He went back to what he was doing, which was arranging a set of pewter soldiers into a complex model of a battlefield, presumably for the benefit of the preschooler sitting next to him.
“The Battle of Issus, 333 BC.”
“Right, obviously.” Tim decided he was curious, so he settled down on the mats to watch. Damian finished his model; he pulled a marker from the art table and used it as a pointer.
“Okay. This is the Macedonian army, outnumbered but in the better tactical position, south of the Pinarus River. Their leader is Alexander the Great. And this—” He pointed to his enemy line. “—is the Achaemenid Empire. They’re about to lose.”
Damian tapped his marker on the Macedonian right. “This is the companion calvary, Alexander’s elite force, and they—” he cut off when he noticed his pupil digging in the toy bin, clearly distracted. The kid came up with a battered Transformer, which he set behind Damian’s lines.
“Elliot. Alexander did not have robots.”
“But,” said Tim, rummaging through the box himself, “did he have wizards?” He pulled a bearded magician out of the tub and held it up for Damian to see.
“You know he didn’t.”
Tim passed the wizard to Elliot. “But what if he did?”
“How would that go?”
“Abracadabra, Alexander!” Elliot yelled, gleefully smashing through Damian’s entire left flank.
“Damn it, Drake.” Damian sighed in frustration— not quite the rise Tim was hoping for, but still something. He dropped Elliot’s discarded robot back into the box.
“I don’t know what you were expecting,” Tim told him. “Elliot’s four. He’s too young for— what is this— military history?”
“He was doing fine before you showed up.” Damian started to re-erect his soldiers, but he gave it up after Elliot came in for a second pass. “Which is typical, isn’t it?”
“Thank you.” Damian crossed his arms. “Fine. I’ll bite. When is he supposed to learn this kind of thing?”
“High school? Maybe never.”
“That can’t be right.”
“Have I ever lied to you?”
“Frequently.” Damian rolled his eyes. “I’m getting a second opinion.”
Damian checked the room for potential allies. “Thomas?” he called over his shoulder, “You learned military strategy as a kid, right?”
Duke looked up from the book he was reading to a pair of kindergardeners. “Just you, man.”
“Told you.” Tim fished a bag of plastic ninja from the toy box and arranged them pointedly into a row. “How are you still surprised by this kind of thing?”
Damian glared at him. “Okay, first of all? I’m not a— hold on a second. Elliot!”
Elliot froze with a large, plastic dinosaur held aloft over the battlefield. He drew it sheepishly back to his chest. “Sorry.”
“Not in the calvary wing,” Damian told him. “You’ll scare the horses.”
“Here?” Elliot pointed to the front of the phalanx.
“Aim for his center.” Damian turned back to Tim. “Anyway. Why are you still talking to me? I thought we had an agreement about unnecessary contact.”
David Tennant’s Contributions to Doctor Who Episodes Evolution of the Daleks “Walking on Theatre Chairs” Edition
Excerpts from Doctor Who Magazine issue #383: James Strong’s “Director’s Diary” for Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks
The Doctor faces the remaining Daleks and the imprisoned Sec in the theatre. We have to use the whole space, so I decide to put the Doctor and the company in the stalls. However, that puts them miles away from - and at least six feet lower than - the Daleks on stage. I ask David how he feels about crawling to the front and leaping on stage, but he suggests standing on the seats instead. Genius! David is now eye to eyestalk with his nemesis.
Poster’s note: This post is part of a series on some of the contributions that David made to episodes of Doctor Who, because he sometimes gets questions about ad-libs or input he may have had to episodes, but he tends to not take credit for his various additions/suggestions - so I figured I’d list some for him. I think this one is notable because it is a cool moment made even cooler by the fact that he walks across those chairs without breaking eye-contact with the Daleks (and manages to do so without falling and breaking his neck)
“There’ll be a time,” Nita said softly, “when any time someone’s elected to a public office—before they let them start work—they’ll bring whoever was elected up here and just make them look at that until they get what it means…”
Kit nodded. “You wanted to know where the power came from,” he said to Nita’s mother and father. “The grownups who’re wizards tell us that whatever made that made the power too. It’s all of a piece.”
“The grownups who’re wizards?”
“And as for ‘why,’ ” Kit said, “that’s why.” There was no need for him to point to “that.” “Not just for the—for what you felt on the way in. That’s part of it. But because somebody’s got to take care of that. Not just part of it—not just one country, or one set of rules, or one species, at the expense of the others. But everything that lives, all the kinds of ‘people.’ All of it, with nothing left out. One whole planet. Somebody’s got to make sure it grows as well as it can. Or just survives. That’s what wizards do.”
Then you have the infamously insane director Cecil B. DeMille (not his only appearance on the list, by the way), who had blanks available to him but thought live ammunition looked more realistic. For the 1915 film The Captive, he wanted a scene wherein some soldiers shoot their way through a door with real bullets, because it would look cool as hell. Then for the next scene, they were to rush inside and continue the shootout with blanks. Want to guess what happened?
In the decades to come, “squibs” to simulate bullet strikes were around but still expensive, and action movies began to run ads boasting that they’d used real bullets, the same way Tom Cruise movies now go on and on about how he does his own stunts. The studios would hire marksmen, and they’d have to carefully plan shots so that actors weren’t at risk even from a ricochet.
In William Wellman’s 1931 gangster film The Public Enemy, James Cagney (and everyone else on set) swears they shot up this corner a split second after he ducked around it …even though it seems like they could have easily created the effect with a clever edit.
A few years later, Cagney was nearly shot on the set of the movie Taxi! and declared he wouldn’t work with live ammo ever again (he later helped found the Screen Actors Guild, which among other things cemented actors’ rights to not be literally fucking shot at during productions).