I’ve been re-watching Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated with my boyfriend and have been fascinated with the history of Crystal Cove in the series. I thought I’d create this post to present the problems within the timeline and try to properly place everything in order. For Scooby fans who have not watched this series and don’t want it spoiled, do not read this post as it contains many spoilers.
Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is a series that reboots the entire franchise so we can no longer associate the time setting as the 1970s (although What’s New Scooby-Doo? also reset the time setting). We can assume that because of the years this series was on television, the events in SDMI take place between 2010 and 2013.
As all SDMI fans should know after watching the entire series, there have been more mystery-solving groups in history than Scooby and the gang (the new Mystery Incorporated). In chronological order we have the Hunters of Secrets (four youths and a jaguar living in Mesoamerica), Fraternitas Mysterium (four friars and a donkey named Porto who lived in an area that would become Crystal Cove), Alianza Misterio (four masked Mexicans and skunk named El Fuchi), The Mystery Gang (four cowgirls and their bull Tiny), The Benevolent Lodge of Mystery (four youths and their orangutan Mr. Peaches), The Mystery Fellowship (the Darrow family and their cat Whiskers), the original Mystery Incorporated (Brad Chiles, Judy Reeves, Cassidy Williams, Ricky Owens, and parrot Professor Pericles), and the new Mystery Incorporated (Fred Jones [Chiles], Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, and great dane Scooby-Doo).
The first bit of information we get is from Velma when she is giving a tour and talking about Crystal Cove’s strange history. She claims that the first documented case of the curse of Crystal Cove was from 1630 when a band of Spanish conquistadors mysteriously vanished from the harbor. She continues to discuss the disappearance of an entire town of missionaries about 135 years later in 1765. Velma then says that about 100 years later (about 1865), Cletus Darrow (head of the Darrow Family and Mystery Fellowship), discovered gold and renamed the area Crystal Cove. The curse had appeared to be lifted until one Halloween when the entire Darrow family disappeared.
Season 2 of SDMI is when we really start to get a bigger picture of Crystal Cove’s dramatic history. Before I point out the issue I’ve discovered in the timeline, I’d like to address where all the pieces of the Planispheric Disk were hidden and how they moved throughout the series.
The Planispheric Disk was created and divided into six pieces by Fernando El Aguirre after they had buried the treasure they had compiled as well as the crystal sarcophagus they stole from the Hunters of Secrets.
El Aguirre hid one of the pieces in the Spanish ship and had the ship taken to the top of a mountain hidden from sight. He intended for it never to be seen again. He would have two other pieces that would end up in the hands of Fraternitas Mysterium after going mad and abandoning them.
The two pieces drove Fraternitas Mysterium mad as well. Their donkey Porto was corrupted most by the evil and he would then try to escape with one of the pieces. Friar Gabriello Serra, leader of Fraternitas Mysterium, chased Porto into alligator-infested swamps and retrieved the piece Porto stole after Porto was devoured by the gators. Friar Serra had one of the pieces now but the other was still in the part of the town that was then blown up by Porto’s TNT and sank to the bottom of the sea. Friar Serra would take his piece and hide it in a wheel of cheese.
Another piece over time came into the hands of the Darrow Family. The piece caused tension and fights in the family. An earthquake caused the family and their home to sink into the earth trapping them. The family would pass over time leaving the son Danny Darrow who is last seen to be somewhere in his 80s. He had hidden the piece in the mansion and it would end up in the hands of the new Mystery Incorporated after the mansion was destroyed in a reawakened fault line.
One of the other disk pieces was hidden in a Russian oddity called the House of Baba Yaga. It would be discovered by Velma and Marcie.
The last piece was discovered by the original Mystery Incorporated in a chest that was hidden in the caverns beneath the Spanish church in Crystal Cove. After Professor Pericles and Fred Jones Sr. betrayed Mystery Incorporated and stole the piece for themselves, Fred Jones Sr. double-crossed Pericles and had him sent to an animal asylum. Fred Jones Sr. would have the piece kept hidden in his mansion until it was stolen by Pericles 20 years later.
The history of the movements of the Planispheric Disk is important because it presents a problem with the history of Crystal Cove as explained by Velma in the first episode.
According to Velma’s telling of the town’s history, the Spanish conquistadors disappeared in 1630. We can assume their disappearance is because the band of conquistadors split up to hide the pieces of the Planispheric Disk. We can also assume that the town of missionaries that was blown up by Porto in 1765 happened not long after Fraternitas Mysterium obtained their two pieces of the disk. But if that’s true, how could have El Aguirre still been alive roughly 130 years after the conquistadors split up? The only resolve I can think of is from when the director in “Theater of Doom” states that the town Porto blew up was destroyed about 500 years ago.
Another problem in the timeline I’ve discovered while re-watching the series is the willing of the Burlington Library. It’s stated in the episode “Night Terrors” that Oswald P. Burlington, leader of the Benevolent Lodge of Mystery, decreed in the 1880s that if the Burlington Library were to ever close, the building and everything in it would then belong to Darrow University.
Considering that the events of SDMI take place in 2010 and that Darrow University is built over the Darrow Mansion that sank into the earth 75 years ago (1935), how could Oswald have willed the Library to Darrow University in the 1880s (roughly 50 years prior)? The only solution I can think of is that Oswald actually willed the Library to Darrow University in the late 1930s.
The final issue I have with the history of Crystal Cove is the town’s name. While we can assume that all of the crazy things that have happened in this town have surely been mixed up and the retelling of the town’s history can be incorrect, I still noticed this error because I’m the kind of person who likes everything to be perfect.
In the first episode, Velma states that Cletus Darrow discovered gold in the area in 1865 and renamed the area Crystal Cove. I’m not really sure how gold translates to crystal so I’m willing to assume this fact is blatantly false when it is stated in the Spanish conquistador ship’s manifest that El Aguirre renamed the area Crystal Cove because they had buried a sarcophagus beneath it that was made of crystal.
Now that I’ve presented the problems, I’ll try to create a timeline of the events of SDMI and the history of past characters. In this timeline I’ll try to guesstimate decades of events and also try to fix the problems.
~1500-1550s: Bartimeo Magnus (master alchemist to King Charles V), creates the Planispheric Disk, a mapping device that can pinpoint any location in the world.
~1580s-1620s: The Hunters of Secrets possess a supernatural crystal sarcophagus somewhere in Mesoamerica. The sarcophagus was stolen by Fernando El Aguirre and his band of Spanish conquistadors before the Hunters of Secrets could destroy the evil Annunaki inside.
~1620s: Fernando El Aguirre and the Spanish conquistadors are driven mad by the evil Annunaki and violently raid settlements on the western coast for gold and other valuables. In the late 1620s, the conquistadors bury the sarcophagus in a cove. Due to the sarcophagus being in a cavern that one must travel through alternate dimensions to get to, lets assume good Annunaki assisted the conquistadors in burying the evil entity. El Aguirre renames the area Crystal Cove because of the sarcophagus.
~1630: Fernando El Aguirre creates his own Planispheric Disk to map out the location of the sarcophagus and divides it into six pieces. He disbands the conquistadors in order to make obtaining all of the pieces hard to accomplish. He sends part of the group into the mountains with the Spanish ship to hide one of the pieces. The ship is booby-trapped with mechanisms that are futuristic, which we will also assume were acquired for the conquistadors by the Annunaki.
~1630s-1700s: Sometime in this century, probably earlier than later, Fernando El Aguirre has been driven mad by the two pieces of the disks he has in his possession and abandons them where a group of Franciscan friars and their donkey Porto called Fraternitas Mysterium would discover them.
~1670s-1720s: Fraternitas Mysterium is corrupted by the two disk pieces. Porto is corrupted the most and sets out to destroy Crystal Cove while getting away with one of the pieces. Friar Gabriello Serra pursues Porto into alligator-infested swamps that would later become Gatorsburg. Porto is eaten by the gators but Friar Serra manages to retrieve the piece Porto stole. He is too late however in preventing Porto’s TNT from blowing up and destroying part of Crystal Cove. That portion of the town breaks off in an earthquake and sinks into the ocean, along with the other disk piece that Fraternitas Mysterium possessed. Friar Serra takes his piece and hides it in a wheel of cheese.
~1750s-1800s: The group of masked Mexicans called Alianza Misterio and their skunk El Fuchi resides somewhere in north-western Mexico or southern California.
~1800s-1850s: The group of cowgirls called the Mystery Gang and their bull Tiny resides somewhere in southern California.
~1865: The gold rush is present in Crystal Cove and a very young Cletus Darrow moves to the area.
~1880s-1920s: Railroad owner Oswald P. Burlington forms the Benevolent Lodge of Mystery with his pet orangutan Mr. Peaches along with Abigail Gluck, Marianne Blanchard, and Scotty O'Rourke. The Benevolent Lodge of Mystery traveled the world and were known to have visited Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Serbia, France, Britain, Belgium, Romania, the African continent, and Russia (which explains the location of the piece hidden in the house of Baba Yaga). The group unearthed relics and many manuscripts that are rumored to have led to the start of the First World War.
~1920s: Mr. Peaches dies of declining health and old age. Oswald P. Burlington is heartbroken and disbands the Benevolent Lodge of Mystery. He retires to his library in the mountains with many of the relics collected from the many years of the Lodge’s existence.
~1935: The Mystery Fellowship (the Darrow Family), have discovered a piece of the Planispheric Disk and it has corrupted the family. While fighting over the piece, an earthquake shakes the Darrow Mansion. The mansion sinks into the earth trapping the family underground. Over the next 50 years, Cletus Darrow, his wife and daughter and their cat Whiskers have all died leaving Danny Darrow alone.
~1935-1940: Darrow University is built over where the Darrow Mansion used to stand. Oswald P. Burlington is now in his 80s and decrees that if his library is to ever close, it and all that is in it is to be donated to Darrow University. A very young parrot Professor Pericles meets Abigail Gluck in Bavaria, Germany around the start of World War II.
~1940s: Abigail Gluck learns that Fraternitas Mysterium at one time possessed two of the Planispheric Disk pieces. She returns to Crystal Cove and builds an underwater mining lab as well as robots styled like WWII soldiers. She uses the robots to aid in finding the pieces in the sunken portion of Crystal Cove. Gluck dies of old age in her chair in the lab.
~1978-1984: A young Ricky Owens in Crystal Cove finds parrot Professor Pericles who has fallen due to an injured wing. Ricky cares for Pericles and the two become friends.
~1988-1990: Ricky Owens is in high school and joins a club with Brad Chiles, Judy Reeves, Cassidy Williams, and Professor Pericles. They called themselves Mystery Incorporated. The group attended high school with Barty Blake and his future wife Nan. Mystery Incorporated discovered the Darrow Mansion underneath Darrow University but left the mansion before they could be trapped by Danny Darrow.
~1990: Frederick Jones arrives to Crystal Cove curious about its history and gets a job as an assistant at the Darrow University library. He secretly undergoes a persona called the Freak of Crystal Cove to try to find the Planispheric Disk pieces at night. When investigating Crystal Cove’s Spanish church after spotting the Freak, Mystery Incorporated stumbles upon a scroll that shows a completed Planispheric Disk drawing. Not knowing what it is, they consult Frederick Jones for help. Jones creates a plan with Professor Pericles to betray Mystery Incorporated in order to obtain the pieces of the Planispheric Disk. Professor Pericles helps calculate the location of the disk and leads Mystery Incorporated into the caves to find it. After finding one of the pieces in a chest, a trap goes off that floods Mystery Incorporated out of the caves. Judy Reeves loses her Mystery Incorporated locket in the caves. Professor Pericles and Frederick Jones fabricate evidence to implicate Mystery Incorporated’s loved ones in crimes and threaten to go to the police unless they leave Crystal Cove and never return. Mystery Incorporated breaks up and disappears and Frederick Jones then betrays Professor Pericles. He locks Pericles up in the Crystal Cove Animal Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
~1992: Brad Chiles and Judy Reeves give birth to a baby boy and attempt to return to Crystal Cove. Frederick Jones secretly abducts the baby and threatens to harm him unless Brad and Judy leave Crystal Cove and never come back. Frederick Jones names the baby after him, Frederick Jones Jr.
~2000-2010: Ricky Owens returns to Crystal Cove and starts a corporation called Destroido. He undergoes the alias Mr. E. He also convinces Cassidy Williams to return to Crystal Cove. She comes back and gets a job as a DJ at the K-Ghoul Radio Station under the alias Angel Dynamite.
~2008-2010: Frederick Jones Sr. becomes mayor of Crystal Cove and Fred Jones Jr. is in high school and befriends Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, Norville “Shaggy” Rogers and his dog Scooby-Doo. They become close and start to solve mysteries in Crystal Cove.
~2010: While investigating the Slime Creature terrorizing Crystal Cove, Daphne Blake discovers a locket in the caves beneath Crystal Cove and uncovers a larger mystery.
I apologize for the length of this post but I wanted to make sure I included everything! I hope this helps if any Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated fans had any questions about the timeline of the series!