Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / The Baskervilles

Go To
The Baskervilles from left to right: Darren, Brian, April, and Janet

The Baskervilles is a British/Canadian animated series created by Alastair Swinnerton and Nick Martinelli and produced by Cinar in association with Carlton Television and Teletoon. The show lasted for 2 seasons and had a total of 26 episodes between March 10 and December 13, 2000.

The show focuses on the Baskerville family, your typical nice quiet middle-class British family made up of the unbearably nice parents Brian and Janet, their goody two-shoes teenage son Darren, and their precocious daughter April, who is anything but sweet. One day, the family are invited by an evil devil-like billionaire named Nicolas Lucifer III (aka "The Boss") to move to his Hell-like theme park known simply Underworld: The Theme Park ("Where Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good"). The Baskervilles eagerly accept the offer, oblivious to the fact that Nicolas intends to turn them bad as part of his realization of Hell. However, little does The Boss know that he's bitten off more than he can chew because not even being in the literal Theme Park Version of Hell with monsters and demons for neighbours can break the cheerful and optimistic spirits of the Baskerville family (or the evilness of their daughter).

The series provides the following tropes:

  • A Hell of a Time: In a Hell-themed amusement park, specifically.
  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Vlad Dracula Jr. to April Baskerville.
    • Also Darren Baskerville to Fangora.
  • Affably Evil: Colin is one of the nicer houses in Underworld, but he still tries to kill his residents.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: When Mr. Mad Scientist's computer goes on the fritz, it threatens to destroy Underworld the Theme Park, and everyone goes nuts. The Boss notes the irony that he built the theme park specifically so people could be evil, and it's only with its imminent destruction that it happens.
  • As You Know: Lampshaded in the first episode.
    Nick Snr.: Well, I'd rather be an old duffer than a megalomaniac yuppie who thinks he's the Devil!
    The Boss: I think that's enough exposition out of you if you don't mind, father.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The park's policy.
  • Berserk Button: Don't ask Colin for something in beige.
  • Bowdlerise: Monsters are repeatedly stated to be actors or robots to get around the censors. This doesn't explain The Boss and his family, who are clearly demons, or the living houses.
  • Camp Straight: The Baskervilles' house Colin speaks with an effeminate lisp, but in "Bringing the House Down" he's depressed over a female house breaking up with him.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: Vlad Dracula, the father of the Dracula family who live next door to the Baskervilles, looks and dresses like a classical movie vampire. However, he is also a short nebbish man who talks with an Irish accent.
  • Cut the Juice: How Boss stopped Mr. Mad Scientist's computer from destroying Underworld. He didn't pull the computer's plug, he pulled the plug of an appliance that was causing interference.
  • Cultural Rebel: Fangora Dracula is a rebel, which in Underworld means she's a straight-A student, likes playing with dolls and never throws wild parties while her parents are out.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Everyone, but Brian wins an award for some really bad driving.
  • Dub Name Change: In the French version, Underworld: The Theme Park is instead called Necropolis, Nick is Victor, April is Avril, Darren is Fred, Brian is Charles and Janet is Jeannette.
  • Dumb Blond: Darren Baskerville.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Spot gets split into his three components—Cool Spot, Stupid Spot and Evil Spot—Evil Spot gets arrested on the grounds he's too evil.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: April gets around everywhere on her rollerblades, and she's always wearing a helmet. She takes it up to eleven in that she always wears the helmet, even when not wearing the skates.
  • Fiery Redhead: April Baskerville.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: The French title is The Baskervilles: A Family of Hell.
  • Frankenstein Monster: The Frankensteins are the Baskerville's neighbours in Underworld: Frank, Fran, Young Frank, and Little Monster Annie.
  • Ghostly Glide: Vera Dracula, possibly. Her dress obscures her feet so it's hard to tell if she's really doing this.
  • Girl Scouts Are Evil: The Ghoul Scouts are supposed to be evil, until April's mom takes over and we get Ghoul Scouts Are Good.
  • Hellhound: Spot is thhe Baskervilles' robotic three headed hellhound. Each head can talk and has its own personality: Cool Spot a sunglasses wearing dude who is April's best friend; Bad Spot a rabid monster who loves nothing more than total destruction; and Dumb Spot a complete idiot, likely the dumbest creature in the whole park.
  • Louis Cypher: Subverted. The Boss isn't the Devil, but he's trying to be like him.
  • Mad Scientist: Mr. Mad Scientist.
  • Mind Screw: According to the commercial in the opening, all of the monsters in Underworld are really human actors in costumes, but in the show itself it's hard to tell if they really are actors or it was actually the humans in the commercial that were fake.
  • Mugged for Disguise: To sneak onto the set of a Baywatch parody, April mugs one of the actresses and takes her swimsuit. It works, even though it obviously doesn't fit.
  • Multiple Head Case: Spot is the Baskervilles' robotic three headed Hellhound. Each head can talk and has its own personality: Cool Spot a sunglasses wearing dude who is April's best friend; Bad Spot a rabid monster who loves nothing more than total destruction; and Dumb Spot a complete idiot, likely the dumbest creature in the whole park.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Darren is an idiot and gets straight zeroes in everything, which makes him a model student by Underworld standards.
  • Preppy Name: Zig-zagged. Although Baskerville as a surname is considered one, its origins being from Boscheville in Normandy, France, the name of this town comes from the Old Northern French elements bochet, which means copse or thicket, and ville, which means town; the family themselves seem middle-class if not rich, but their financial status isn't disclosed.
  • Sapient House: All houses in Underworld are sentient, and all are trying to kill their tenants.
  • Status Quo Is God: Nothing changes permanently very often in the show. Even if a character does learn a moral during the episode, such as Nicole Lucifer, a vampire who is a Nice Girl although partially a Lovable Alpha Bitch, having to learn morals about when not to take things too far, or Fangora Dracula, who is a Cultural Rebel and a Nice Girl. Very few changes stick, but the show has a more comedic bent so there is a justified reason the show has it.
  • Straw Vegetarian: On one occasion, The Old Man and the city council take over running Underworld from The Boss, and turn it into a nice place to live; going so far as to ban eating meat. However, in their rush to make Underworld a progressive utopia, they pass a law "vegetables have feelings too", which bans eating vegetables. This gives The Boss the justification for arresting them, taking back control, and putting Underworld back to the way it was.
  • Take That!: In one episode The Boss considers building another Underworld: The Theme Park in Los Angeles, but decides against it, as that's too evil even for him.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: April Baskerville is the tomboy to Fangora's girly girl.
  • Unexplained Accent: Despite their name, the Frankensteins are Scottish. The Draculas are mostly Irish, with the mother being the only Transylvanian. With the Draculas it makes sense due to Bram Stoker having been Irish but in the case of the Frankensteins, Mary Shelly was not Scottish but English.