Now as the title of the show suggests the main point of the show is indeed the Trap Door. Beneath the door is a land of hideous creatures who occasionally emerge to cause trouble for Berk.
Normally they appear thanks to Berk leaving the door open but some force their way through. Most have the intent of eating Berk or Drutt but some just want to run around the castle and cause mischief.
There were a few recurring monsters in the series including the Big Red Thing which chases Berk around but runs away when it sees its own reflection, The Bubo which is invisible and The Splund which could teleport and had a demonic voice which it used to tell Boni it would eat him.
As well as these more fearsome monsters there was also Rogg, an ape-like creature that befriends berk and the others.
He was simple creature that tended to get Berk in trouble by mistake and in the final episode he attempts to save their lives from The Big Red Thing who is trying to kill them.
They battle out of the castle and Rogg appears to be killed before the Big Red Thing returns to finish them off.
Voice of Reason
What really made this show a classic was the brilliant voice work or Willie Rushton. Berk’s thick Westcountry accent, Boni’s posh twang and The Thing Upstairs’ Cockney abrasiveness made every character instantly memorable.
You really rooted for berk and his bumbling ways as much as you feared The Thing Upstairs.
Something else that set it apart was the design, you only need to see one of the rooms of the castle to know what show it’s from and that is key to creating a classic.
Classic Theme Song? Check!
Now like all classic kids shows of the 80’s trap Door had an epic theme tune that we all used to sing in the playground.
It started with a classic Vincent Price styled monologue that stated;
“Somewhere in the dark and nasty regions, where nobody goes, stands and ancient castle. Deep within this dank and uninviting place lives Berk, Overworked servant of the Thing Upstairs. 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…”
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…”
Then started the memorable sung theme song
“Don’t you open that trap door, you’re a fool if you dare, Stay away from that trap door, ‘Cos there’s something down there”
But Is The Trap Door Still Relevant?
As if we needed to prove how influential and loved this show was it spawned two computer games, the Trap Door and Through the Trap Door as well as number of VHS and DVD releases. There was even a 7” single of the theme song that many of us would have snapped up at Woolies back in the day.
More recently the show has been reference by the likes of Chase & Status in the track Trapdoor and by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard in their track also named Trapdoor.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our trip into the dungeons of time, we’ve certainly enjoyed re-watching this series. It really is as enjoyable now as an adult, we use that term loosely, as it was when we were kids.
What we didn’t remember though was how dark it was in places, some bits definitely would get approved these days but that’s the joy of the 80’s, anything goes.
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