Early Character Development

When we received a copy of the script (from the very generous Dianne Kay!) for this, what we believe to have been the first episode of C.A.P.E.R. ever filmed, we were surprised and pleased to find that between notes taken by Dianne (who played Paula the Meter Maid) and the actions of the characters in scenes that were either not included in the later aired "When the Big Bologna was Blue . . . " version (or perhaps never even filmed!), that the original Kids' characters were very different from how they were eventually represented in later episodes.  The changes made to the characters explain some puzzling things about C.A.P.E.R. which fans have long wondered about!  We will take each character in turn and delve into these developments deduced from the script.

DOC

Dianne made notes next to each of the Kids' names on her copy of the script, and next to Doc she wrote "leader, flirt, Groucho, comedian."  From the audio episodes we have of the first two episodes, as well as the short film footage from Mummy's the Word, it was fairly clear that Doc was originally supposed to be the leader of the group, a role later taken on by P.T.  It's no surprise that the producers originally planned to have Doc be the series' focus, given the fact that he remained the obvious heart throb.

What's more surprising is that not only was Doc originally dressed in casual clothes, but in this script he is clearly meant to be a sarcastic comedic character much like Groucho Marx, wise-cracking, breaking into impressions and flirting with the girl.  There is no evidence of his braininess or more unemotional demeanor in this version of the script.  Doc also does not mesmerize the girl in this script, although in the completed episode we can hear music playing (later to become the violins, thundering hoofbeats, etc.)  

DOOMSDAY

Dianne's notes next to Doomsday's name read: "Gloomy, unlucky."  Doomsday's character was the least changed design-wise (his costume being the only one largely unchanged from the original concept) but his character was probably the most changed.  It's clear from the audio of the early episodes, and also the uncovered early footage, that Doomsday was originally supposed to be a morose, deflated and depressed character who considered himself to be cursed.  His character later made a complete 180-degree-turnaround when he became "the one that's all full of sunshine" (making his clothing even more puzzling, especially the patch with the emblem of the crying man!)  The one thing that did remain from Doomsday's original character outline was his obsession with food!

P.T.

Dianne's notes next to P.T.'s name read: "Polite, animal nut, carries violin, nice."  Of course the violin can be explained as a circumstance unique to this episode alone (The Goodfather forces P.T. to take the violin case.)  The rest of the description stays pretty true to P.T., except for the insightful mention of him being an "animal nut."  Indeed, in the script P.T. explains the presence of a turtle by saying, "I'm an animal nut.  His name is Harold."  The love of animals was later given to Doomsday (as early as the second episode, since in the rare footage from Mummy's the Word we can see it's Doomsday who's holding the turtle!)  But at least this does finally explain why P.T.'s costume was designed to be a safari suit!

BUGS

Of all the Kids, we get the most insight into Bugs' character from this script.  Dianne's notes for him read: "Zaplish, powerful, Paula likes best."  Fortunately for us, Romeo Muller (who created C.A.P.E.R. and penned this particular script) provided us with a detailed background into Bugs' eastern influence, which was originally to have entailed a language not unlike Pig Latin that was completely unique to the show!  Here are the detailed notes provided in the script:

A BRIEF NOTE ON "ZAPLISH"

Zaplish, Bugs' language, is fairly easy to speak -- although almost impossible to read.

We start with an English word and add an AZ sound before every vowel sound.  Therefore Bugs would be pronounced Bazugs.  Doc would be pronounced Dazoc.

However, if the word ends in a vowel sound, the word zap is added.  Therefore, Doomsday would be Dazoom-dazay-zap.  P.T. would be Pazee-Tazee-zap.

Remember -- the AZ sound and the ZAP are only used when there are vowel sounds.  If the word has a silent vowel they are not used at all.  For instance, the word "pipe" would be pronounced "pazipe" not "pazipezap" -- since the final e is silent.

A typical C.A.P.E.R. sentence -- "Go back to the Baloney!" would become -- "Gazozap bazak tazoozap thazeezap Bazalazonazeezap!"

Youíll find it easier to say -- than to read.  I suggest having the actors look at the translations and work it out from there.

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ZAP DEFINITIONS

"ZAPOLOGY" -- an ancient Eastern religion from ancient Zapland

"ZAPIDATION" -- Zapological meditation.

Variations -- "Bug is Zapadating."  "He has Zapadated."  "Iím going to Zapadate."

"ZAPLISH" -- The Zapology language, as explained above.

"Gazurazuzap" -- Zaplish for Guru.  A small, funny-looking carved head with great bulging eyes, which Bugs always carries in his pocket.  When Zapadating, he holds it up and stares at it -- almost going into a trance.

It's hard to imagine how this idea would have played out if actually incorporated into the series.  Would Zaplish have been a fun language adopted by young fans of the show?  Regardless of Romeo Muller's assertion that the language is easier to speak than read, it seems clear that trying to speak Zaplish would have been quite an undertaking for the actors!  It's little wonder Cosie came up with the "bananas" bit instead!

What this does explain is Bugs' eastern-style clothing with the prominent "Z" patterns (present in both his original and later costume,) as well as the statue he carries at his side (clearly the Gazurazuzap) and the book, which we now can see actually reads "The Book of Zap" beneath the straps!

In both this script and the aired episode, Bugs' uses his strength to help carry the heavy coin bags, but in the final episode it's clear they cut back to the present day to work in the "Were brains required?" bit.  This may have been to cover up Bugs' Zapidation routine which was originally supposed to explain his super strength.  The only actual reference to Zapology in the series was in the episode Too Much Time On Their Hands.  C.A.P.E.R. fan Erin astutely pointed out to us that in that episode P.T. says, "Bugs!  Zapidation time is here!"

While character development is certainly not unusual in any television series, it's interesting to see just how much the characters changed from their original concepts.  It's probably safe to speculate that the casting of the Kids played a large part in the eventual development of their characters, since in many ways aspects of the actors own personalities were clearly brought in to play in their on-screen personalities!

 


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