Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rebuilding Elmer Studios - Maya

If Natasha was the “leader” of the B-Team, then Maya Gold was certainly the most popular. She had appeared in ten different episodes of the “classic” Elmer Studios series, more then any other B-Team member, and had developed the most distinctive personality and presence of them along the way. These distinctive traits and popularity meant that she was a certainty for the re-tooled B-Team.

However, they also presented a problem in being incompatible with the new, unified Elmer Studios continuity and background. The result was that, while Maya might have changed very little in terms of personality, her appearance and abilities are dramatically different.

What worked?
Maya was intelligent, sophisticated, witty and flirtatious, a far cry from the oft boisterous and loud members of the cast. Probably the least gung-ho and action oriented of the characters, she stood out for being the most observant and least likely to fly off the handle or explode of any of them. A lot of this came from her background especially in comparison to the others. Like most of the cast, she’d begun life as an RPG character. However, rather then being a pilot or soldier, she was intended to be a spy.

For some reason, Maya just ‘clicked’ with Bubblegum Crisis fanfic; we have no idea why, beyond ‘it just happened’. This helped cement her place as the most frequently appearing B-Team member, as we probably did more BGC fics then anything else, save for Evangelion. She was about the only B-Team member to appear between ep 50 and 126, and her adaptable nature meant that she worked well with other guest characters.

What didn’t work?
Very little. In truth, Maya’s probably the character we were the happiest with in the transition from the old to the new.

What’s changed?
Unfortunately, Maya’s most distinctive appearance trait, her (unexplained) ability to change her hair and eye colours, didn’t really fit with the new direction we were taking things. Instead, for the update, she’s a master of disguise and adaptation, radically altering her appearance as needs be. In her appearances so far she hasn’t looked the same twice, a nice contrast to the relatively static looks of the other characters.

Ironically, due to the current planning scheme of B-Team versus main episodes, it’s unlikely that Maya will ever be present for a BGCfic. Instead, she now acts as Rebecca’s ‘replacement’ on the B-team, the pair of them now being surprisingly similar in a number of ways.

What’s stayed the same?
Maya is still a sophisticated and intelligent spy, witty, charming and mysterious. Her role in the B-Team has remained, and her ability to change her look means that she will still have that unpredictable edge.

So why wasn’t Maya in Crisis of Infinite Temps?
Given that a) She was the most popular of the B-Team, b) the most frequently appearing of the B-Team and c) we did plenty of BGC fics during Crisis, I really cannot give an explanation as to why she never appeared. In truth, it seems to have slipped the MSTers collective minds as to why this happened. While I could give some half-hearted excuses of scheduling or the desire to fill out episodes with assorted guest spots, the simple truth is that we have no idea. Oops.

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