Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Trap Door

The Trap Door (series)
CMTB Animation, Queensgate Productions, UK, 1984-86.
The Trap Door title
“Somewhere in the dark and nasty regions, where nobody goes, stands an ancient castle. Deep within this dank and uninviting place, lives Berk ('Allo!'), overworked servant of "the thing upstairs" ('Berk! Feed Me!') But that's nothing compared to the horrors that lurk beneath the trap door, for there is always something down there, in the dark, waiting to come out..."

"The Trap Door" is 1980s clay-animation created by British animators Terry Brain and Charlie Mills. Later Terry Brain went to work in Aardman to animate "Wallace & Gromit" and "Shaun the Sheep". There were also games "The Trap Door" and "Through the Trap Door" for 8-bit home computers.

Berk is a blue blob living in an ancient castle. He must cook food (from mostly worms and other crawling things) and send it upstairs fr the Thing using dumbwaiter. The Thing is a Lovecraftian monster that is never fully shown. Berk has two friends: talking and intelligent skull Boni and spidery-thing Drutt. There is a trap door Berk should not open but he does so anyway. Weird monsters rise from the trap door and Berk must get rid of them, often by bonking them on the head with a rolling pin. Sometimes also other monsters are useful for getting rid of unwanted things.
Boni and Drutt
Although "The Trap Door" was a show for kids' it was basically a horror comedy with often grotesque monsters and some dark comedy. The series contains 40  five minute episodes. Most of the characters were voiced by Willie Rushton, and Berk speaks with West Country dialect (with some double entendres: 'I loves a bit o' bonking') while the Thing uses Cockney dialect. Boni uses more upper class English and Rogg sounds like Gumby from Monty Python. The voice acting is funny and gives personality to the characters. The animation combines plasticine animation with some drawn animation, Although the models look quite crude, the animation was good and dynamic with something always squirming on the floor. The main characters adventuring down the trap door see weird and surreal monsters, some chaotic and shape shifting and some just weird. There are only a few places: the cellar and its surroundings, the upstairs, the swamp, battlements and the trap door. Although the plots of the stories have only few variations (Berk making food or running errands for the Thing, monsters causing mischief, someone going missing) there is always some new twist that keeps the show going on. The quirky humour and the easy-going characters are fun and the monsters are always strange and unpredictable.

Rating: Very good

Voice actors: Willie Rushton (most characters), Nick Shipley (Drutt)

Episode guide:

Season 1

Breakfast time
Yellow monster comes up from the trap door and eats the breakfast Berk was making. Also a big red monster appears.
Slither, Wriggle and Writhe
Berk tries to build shelves. Tentacle-monster comes through the trap door and throws Berk around.
Food for Thort
The Thing's huge carnivorous plant Thort is hungry. Trap door releases angry wasps.

Berk and Boni go fishing. Friendly but dimwitted monster named Rogg comes up from the trap door.
Gourmet's Delight
The Thing wants supper. After making gourmet dinner Berk must clean the messy kitchen. Invisible monster Bubo causes even greater mess.
Creepy Crawly
Giant spider spins a web and ties Berk up. Drutt saves the situation.

The Big Thing
Boni is bored. Rogg takes Boni to the battlements but then Boni bores Rogg with his stories.

Berk finds a spell book. Spell summons ghostly ghoulies.
The Dose
The Thing is ill and Berk makes some medicine. Green slime from the trap door drinks the medicine.
The Thingy
Berk nails the trap door shut but a big monster breaks through and changes everyone's shape.

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite
Berk goes to sleep. Something kidnaps Boni. Berk must go through the scary trap door to rescue him.
Fester Rancid
Bubo returns and uses Boni as a drum.

The Pain
The Thing has toothache. Berk goes upstairs to pull the tooth out. Drutt is almost eaten by giant slug.

The Little Thing
Noisy little blob must be captured before the Thing wakes up.

Don't Open That Trap Door
Berk listens to radio. The music summons all the monsters up from the trap door.

Junk Food
Rogg eats all the garbage. Then he trespasses the Things room.

Giant larva lays eggs. The eggs hatch but the larvae explode and fill the cellar with yellow goo.

Flyin' Wotsit Fingy
Berk tries to take photograph of Drutt and Boni. Bat-like thing flies around the cellar.

Strange Goings On
 The trio plans a picnic but tentacle-monster pulls Boni through the trap door.

Midnight Snack
At night three and a half greedy monsters eat all the food in the kitchen.

Nasty Stuff
Berk makes medicine for headache but turns into a monster.

Sniff That
Berk tries to unclog the drain. Something with lots of eyes comes through the trap door. Also a big nosed monster appears.
Vile Pile
Berk throws rubbish down the trap door. The garbage turns into a slime-spitting monster.

Slightly Weird
Berk hoes to find mushrooms, but the mushroom runs away.

Bye Bye Berk
Berk gets enough of his work and wants to leave the castle.

Season 2

Bubo arrives again and throws slime around.

Oh Globbits
Pipe is leaking and Berk tries to repair it with a worm. Giant flying sponge comes trough the trap door.
Moany Boni
Boni is bored again and wants to play "I spy." Flying purple demon appears and casts weird spells. One spell gives Boni a body.

The Horrible Thing
The Thing goes on holiday. All are bored and play hide-and-seek. Yellow gooey monster appears.

Not Very Nice
The Thing's eyeball falls down the trap door and Berk has to go fetch it.
Lots of crawling things come from the trap door.

Yum Yum
Berk throws Drutt down the trap door but decides to go get him back. He fishes up a cute small monster that is actually quite horrible.

Birthday Surprise
Berk is making Boni a birthday cake but Drutt is hiding. Drutt gets babies (although he is male).
The Stupid Thing
The Thing needs a bath. Drutt pulls a dinosaur-monster through the trap door.

Berk fills the trap door with rubbish. Ghosts begins to haunt Berk.

The Lump
Bad smell is coming from the cellar. Pink and smelly Lump makes also a lot of noise.

The Splund
The Thing overeats and his pyjamas split. Big and annoying Splund comes out the trap door and decides to move in the cellar.

Nasty Beasty
It is winter and Berk has to repair the Things heater. Weird furry thing has stuck on Rogg's head.

What a Weirdo
Big worm eats Boni and Drutt's family. Berk must save them all.

The Big Red Thing
Big red monster returns. Rogg goes to fight him and dies. Or does he?


  1. Sarjaa en ole koskaan nähnyt, mutta siitä tehtyä peliä olen aikoinani jonkin verran pelaillut. Legendaarisella Commodore 64:lla tietenkin...

    1. Samaten, sen perusteella tämän sarjan löysinkin. En päässyt peliä ihan loppuun asti, kun pyörillä varustettu lohikäärme teki aina kiusaa.


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