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Stay Out of the Basement (TV Episode)

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Stay Out of the Basement was adapted into a two-part episode of the Goosebumps TV series. Both parts aired on Fox Network on January 26, 1996 as the twelfth and thirteenth episodes of the series, as well as Season 1. It was directed by William Fruet.

Cast

Differences from the Book

  • In the book, the Brewer household is set in California, however in the TV adaptation we learn that the setting is New York City
  • In the book, Dr. Brewer’s companion from the Polytech campus is ‘Dr. Martinez’, however in the TV adaptation, he is shown to be ‘Dr. A. Marek’. 
  • In the book, Margaret only calls her mom to see how her Aunt Eleanor is doing. In the TV adaptation she only calls her mom in regard to her father’s strange behaviour. 
  • In the book, Margaret sees her dad bleeding green blood in his bathroom given that the bathroom door is slightly ajar. In the TV adaptation, the bathroom door has horizontal slats (similar to old style wardrobes) which Margaret is able to flip open to spy on her father.
  • In the book, Casey takes his shirt off when he and Margaret go down into the basement for the first time. In the TV adaptation he takes his sweater off.
  • In the book, the basement is incredibly bright, using by lights to replicate the sun and help the plants grow indoors. In the TV adaptation, the basement is dark and glowing with low green light. 
  • In the book, one of the basement plants grabs Casey while he is downstairs in the basement. In the TV adaptation, a plant grabs Casey through the basement window while is outside in the yard, and Margaret is grabbed by a plant when she goes down in the basement for the first time. 
  • In the book, Dr. Brewer wears a LA Dodgers baseball cap, which makes sense given that the book’s setting is somewhere in California. In the TV adaptation, he is wearing a hat with an ‘S’ logo on it, unaffiliated with any MLB team.
  • In the book, the ‘plant food’ that Dr. Brewer is seen devouring what is described as medium sized bag of fertiliser. In the TV adaptation it is shown to be a smaller screw-lid can of plant fertiliser.
  • In the book, Margaret’s friend Dianne is present in a variety of scenes, however the TV adaptation focuses solely on Margaret and Casey without the need for Dianne.
  • In the book, it is revealed that ‘Dr. Martinez’ never left the house when the kids his clothes. In the TV adaptation, the kids find a message on the Brewer’s answering machine from ‘Gloria Marek’, Dr. Marek’s wife, who says that he never came home. 
  • When the kids find the real Dr. Brewer tied up in the supply closet he has plant tendrils tying his hands together. In the TV adaptation his hands are tied with rope. 
  • In the book, Margaret realises who the real Dr. Brewer is after pricking him with a knife to reveal red blood. In the TV adaptation, Margaret knows who her real father is, when he calls her 'Princess', her old nickname.
  • In the book, the 'plant' Dr. Brewer is killed by the real Dr; Brewer with an axe. In the TV adaptation, he is killed by Margaret with a spray bottle weed poison.
  • In the book, Dr. Brewer gets rid of the majority of his plants in a bonfire, while transplanting a few to the garden. In the TV adaptation, Dr. Brewer and the rescued Dr. Marek load up Mareks truck with the plants from the basement. 
  • In the book during the basement standoff between the Dr. Brewer's, they both have a cap on. In the TV adaptation, only the 'plant' Dr. Brewer has the ‘S’ cap on. 
  • At the very end of the book, the single flower that nudges Margaret's ankle is small and yellow, whispering to her that he is her real father. In the TV adaptation, there are multiple red flowers in rectangle pots by the front steps. One of these nudge Margaret as she ties her shoe, saying ‘I’m your real father!’, followed by the rest of the red flowers who all claim to be her real father.

Trivia

  • When Dr. Brewer leaves to take Mrs. Brewer to the airport, Casey appears to be playing a video game on the TV. It appears as though he is playing a video game, however the living room television actually shows a pixellated frame from the ‘Welcome to Camp Nightmare’ Goosebumps episode. If you listen closely, the music for the ‘video game’ is actually the Goosebumps theme.
  • Rebecca Henderson, who played Margaret Brewer in the television episode, also played Kareen Hawling in Season 4's How I Got My Shrunken Head.
  • This television episode and its continuation have been released on VHS. Both parts were also released on DVD, along with A Night in Terror Tower.
  • R. L. Stine selected Stay Out of the Basement to be one of the first Goosebumps television episodes, as he wanted to ensure that his favorites were made into television episodes.
  • Whilst it is a two-part adaptation similar to ‘Welcome to Dead House’, 'Stay out of The Basement' didn’t air as a one-hour special, it was shown over two separate air-dates.
  • Lucy Peacock (Mrs. Brewer) starred in an episode of the long running canadian series ‘Street Legal’ called ‘The Phoenix’. She is also a ‘soprano’ opera singer.

Gallery

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