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Child's Play

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Child's Play
Season 2, Episode 7b
Child's Play Titlecard
Mission RW458
Historical Figure/Event William Shakespeare
Time 1605
Place Stratford upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Aired March 14, 2003
Directed by Dave Wasson and Larry Leichliter
Written by Michael Karnow, Dave Wasson, and Carlos Ramos
Storyboards by Trevor Wall
Episode guide
Previous
Out with the In Crowd
Next
Day of the Larrys

Synopsis Edit

Time Squad travels to 1605 to help William Shakespeare who is making kid's plays, and finds some inspiration to make a new one from the crew themselves.

Plot Edit

In the satellite's control room Otto is busy playing with a pop-up book of Harry S. Truman, while ignoring Tuddrussel as he practices his catch phrase, "IT'S GO TIME!" Larry is trying to get some work done but can't concentrate because of his obnoxious yelling. Tuddrussel insists that people love the catch praise, including Otto, who absentmindedly agrees. Larry, unimpressed, brings up the fact that "get some" and "go time" aren't exactly appropriate things to say in front of children and warns him that if he keeps this behavior up, Otto will end up growing up to be just like him. Tuddrussel doesn't see a problem in that, leaving a frustrated Larry to attend to the sound of the History Instability Alarm.

Tuddrussel jumps to the chance to say "It's go time!" as the mission begins, making Larry and Otto cringe. The reaction makes Tuddrussel actually reflect on Larry's words and consider the possiblity that he's correct.

On the screen appears a portrait of English playwright William Shakespeare. Otto is ecstatic to note that they're going to meet one of the greatest writers of all time.

In Elizabethan era London, England, the Time Squad arrives at the front gates to the Globe Theater and go inside to see a Shakespeare play being performed with a crowd of bored children in attendance. At first it appears that Richard III is being performed, with the actor playing King Richard saying, "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" Then an actor in a giant rabbit costume appears, asking if the king would like a giant bunny instead. Larry finds this to be adorable, but Otto is confused to why a giant bunny would even be in Shakespeare's plays. From behind the stage, Shakespeare and his sleazy producer watch behind the curtain.

Shakespeare speaks out against the "dreck" that is the play he's been forced to make, pointing out that it "dulls the senses" and how everyone else has already done a play about rabbits before him, no longer making it special. The Producer insists that using a bunny in his play will grant him a big hit with the "youth market", which according to him is where the money is. Shakespeare wants to write plays for the "art" and not the "money", but his producer reminds him that he's the one paying for his plays and making sure they succeed, so he'd better give him what he wants in return.

The Time Squad meets up with Shakespeare and The Producer and Tuddrussel introduces them. Shakespeare seems confused by the sight, with Larry to sarcastically further explain, "He's a cop, he's a kid, I'm a robot, get it?" Shakespeare gets struck with an idea right away, noting, "Hmm, not the most original premise, but thine characters are a breath of fresh air!". He boils their character descriptions down to being as a brutish law enforcer, a self-righteous and sassy robot, and a love starved orphan and becomes very intrigued in making a play about the Time Squad. Even the producer believes this has potential, and starting thinking about how to market Shakespeare's play.

Later, Shakespeare gathers his three of his actors that can sort of pull of the roles of the Time Squad and has them read from his newly drafted script entitled "Timeth Squad". The play reenacts the beginnings of the very mission they're on, except this time they're visiting Sophocles in Ancent Greece. Shakespeare feels that he's finally found something to express himself with, and The Producer feels that they're going to make a lot of money off this. Larry on the other hand, starts digging his "moral guardian" claws into the script, feeling obligated to protect the minds of children from inappropriate material that Shakespeare may have written into the play. The Producer agrees with Larry's thinking, fearing lawsuits from angry parents and proceeds to make Larry have the right to censor Shakespeare from then on. Otto tries to protest against the entire thing, and Tuddrussel is still too busy trying to come up with a better catch phrase to be of any use.

Larry slowly but surely removes anything worthy of entertainment from Shakespeare's play and turns it into a politically correct nightmare; from changing stage directions, to ripping out several pages he deems inappropriate, and to giving Shakespeare a long list of rules that include no injuries of any kind, no political references, no illnesses, no setups, gags, punchlines, or plot twists and no mentioning of the Boogyman. Shakespeare protests to all of Larry's changes, feeling that the play doesn't even make sense anymore. The Producer tries to comfort him by saying that as long as he sells the toys from the play, he's basically done his job. Frustrated by the insensitivity from him and Larry, Shakespeare gives up the play and runs out of the theater.

Otto followed him outside, and agrees with him when Shakespeare angrily says that he can't take it anymore. He tells Shakespeare that he's meant to write something other than children's plays, and instead write plays filled with complicated subjects such as love, tragedy, and the human condition. Shakespeare cynically quips, "What about selling plush toys?" Otto reassures him that if he just writes what he's supposed to, he'll be just fine.

Later on, Shakespeare has seemed to follow Otto's word of advice and had written one of his most well known plays, Hamlet. An actor playing Hamlet is on stage reciting the famous "To be or not to be" monologue, with the skull of Yorick in hand. In the audience the Time Squad watches, and Larry becomes horrified at the sight, fearing that children will have nightmares over the skull. Otto, annoyed with the assumption tells Larry to calm down, because Hamlet isn't a play meant strictly for kids, it's for everyone of all ages. Tuddrussel sulks at the fact that Shakespeare gave up on the Time Squad play, thinking that one was better. He especially liked the catch phrase, "It's go-eth time!" He soon decides to adopt the new version of his old catch phrase, annoying Larry as they zap back home.

Trivia Edit

  • The episode's title is a possible reference to the Child's Play series of Horror Films.
  • When Otto says they're going to meet one of the greatest writers of all time, Larry wonders if they're going to meet Danielle Steel or Jackie Collins, two female authors who are often remembered for their cheaply priced novellas that are filled with sexually charged female leads, blackmail, scandal, and steamy romance themes and are definitely not for kids.
  • The computer screen says the mission will take place in Stratford-upon-Avon, the hometown of William Shakespeare. But Shakespeare lived and worked at the Globe theater in London, and even the city which the Squad visits looks unmistakably like Elizabethan era London, England.

Gallery Edit

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