April 7th, 2012
Event Horizon is the first (and so far, only) feature length film based on The Dark Railway Series. It was released in full to Youtube on 7th April 2012.
It is 1963, and Dave, Brian and Raymond are bored, and waiting around for something interesting to happen. One morning, Brain, Brian's younger brother, arrives, and begins irritating the engines with his alleged cleverness. He travels around the railway looking for things to do (including bugging Owen, Allan and Ryan), but unfortunately lets slip to Theo and Otto that he is extremely intelligent. The two tank engines decide that he would make the perfect candidate for their top secret plan.
After Raymond causes Brain to go mad (by giving him a paradox which he doesn't understand), the big tank engine is knocked out and captured by Theo and Otto, before being taken to their secret lair. They force Brain to help them with their latest project, which turns out to be a Teleporter.
Brain is sent into the teleporter to test it, then is brought back again so that the twins can see if the technology works. Once this has been confirmed, the twins send Brain away again, before deciding to unveil the device to their friends. However, when they fire up the machine to demonstrate it (with Theo inside), it begins to malfunction, and Theo, Otto, Dave, Brian and Raymond are teleported away from the railway in a flash of white.
When the engines come to, they deduce that they are on the Settle and Carlisle line, due to Dave recognising his surroundings. A steam engine called Vincent rolls by, commenting on the strangeness of Raymond's appearance, claiming to have never seen anything like it. It is revealed that, instead of being in the year 1963, they have gone back in time to 1953, as the twins made a time manipulator for the teleporter, which has evidently malfunctioned too!
Dave realises that, as he worked on the S&C in the 1950's, that he might see himself there, and claims to want to scare his past self! But Theo and Otto, realising that this could cause a unverse-destroying paradox, decide to disguise him as another member of his class, to avoid such an event happening.
Theo and Otto decide the best plan is to build a brand new teleporter to take them home, which means that they all must start looking for parts for it. Meanwhile, the engines find a place for Raymond to hide, seeing as he is causing unwanted attention due to his design not technically existing yet.
The next morning, the regional manager (Mr. Mckenzie) spots Dave (now dubbed "Rupert" by the twins), and decides to roster him onto a train, which happens to be a double header with the world famous (and rather insane) A3 Pacific, Flying Scotsman. Scotsman argues with Mr. Mckenzie about requiring a pilot engine, but is soon forced to allow Dave ("Rupert") to help.
Dave spots something that the twins need for the machine (some potatoes from a farm), causing an argument with Scotsman about timekeeping. Brian rolls by for a chat and accidently causes Scotsman to get suspicious about them, but he thankfully ignores it and continues to pull the train with Dave. Scotsman is thrilled when the two engines make up time despite the delays, and quickly befriends Dave.
Meanwhile, Theo and Otto have managed to find a location for the machine, whilst Brian comes up with a plan to help Raymond, by finding some fuel for him and telling everybody that he is a prototype diesel locomotive. This way, he can help them with the search for parts for the machine.
The next morning, Dave accidently comes face to face with his past self but, thankfully, Future Dave covers himself well, leaving Past Dave none the wiser. Later on, Mr. Mckenzie enquires about Raymond, who has come to Carlisle to help in the search. Mr. Mckenzie needs a modern locomotive for his next train to impress his superiors, so the engines cut him a deal: if Raymond pulls the train and impresses his bosses, Mr. Mckenzie will give them fusible plugs for the time machine.
Whilst on his train, Raymond captures the attention of some employees of Brush Traction, who decide to steal his design to build an engine exactly like him. This, in turn, means that, as the prototype himself of the Brush Type 4, Raymond has inadvertantly caused himself to be built in the future! Though this concerns Raymond, he shrugs it off for the benefit of his friends. Back at Carlisle, Mr. Mckenzie hands over the fusible plugs, all the while bossing Vincent around.
Up the line, Theo and Otto come across Hunter, a small steam shunter, who claims he can help them find items for the machine. They find a large yard full of stuff that they need. Unfortunately, the owners of the yard, Victor and Ludo, spot them stealing their stuff and, recognising Hunter, decide to get revenge.
Back at their own yard, Theo and Otto complete the machine, but are ambushed by Victor and Ludo, who appear to kill Theo. Hunter then reveals that he owes the two loan sharks money, to a distraught Otto. Vctor and Ludo have had enough, and take Otto and Hunter away, leaving Theo in a siding.
Half hour passes, and Theo is revealed to still be alive, having just been knocked unconcious. Screaming for help, he dashes to Carlisle shed to find Dave, Brian, Raymond, Flying Scotsman and Vincent sitting around relaxing. He tells them what happened, and the six engines head for the rescue, with Flying Scotsman leading, as he knows where the loan sharks' hideout is located.
At the lair of the loan sharks, Victor and Ludo outline their plan: they are going to melt down the two tank engines into teaspoons (based on the idea that the british public love cups of tea) to pay off Hunters debts. The others arrive, and Theo stupidly gets captured by the loan sharks whilst trying a crackpot idea to rescue his brother and Hunter.
Just in the nick of time, the others break into the lair, grabbing their friends and running away as quickly as they could. The loan sharks follow them until they eventually come across the location of the now functioning time machine. Raymond bravely tricks the loan sharks into entering the time machine, then activates the machine. When he brings them back, they claim they will leave all of them alone if they can keep the time machine. The engines decide this is a no deal, and send Victor and Ludo to their apparent destruction.
With the time machine working again, Theo and Otto recalibrate it to take them home. Once Dave, Brian and Raymond have been transported home, Theo and Otto prepare to leave, but Hunter asks to come with them. Theo and Otto decline and head home, as the teleporter self destructs to prevent Hunter, Scotsman and Victor from following them to 1963.
At the conclusion of the film, and back on the Dark Railway, Theo and Otto wonder what happened to Brain, where it is revealed that he has been left on an island in the middle of the ocean.
Background and ProductionEdit
At the conclusion of TDRS Series 2 in November 2011, Dark DJ wished to create a feature length film based on the series, which would also bring the series' then-main characters away from the Dark Railway and into an unusual place and situation.
The script changed several times during production. The first draft was to have Theo and Otto being kidnapped by a rival railway manager, forcing Dave, Brian and Raymond to save them. This changed to Raymond being sent back to Brush Traction, only to be sent to Germany for testing which would, again, force the others to rescue him. These scripts were quickly scrapped as ideas ran dry.
Dark then looked into the possibility of the engines travelling back in time, due to Theo and Otto's meddling with science, so that certain backstories could be explored (Raymond and Dave in particular).The finished script grew from this conception.
The name of the film, "Event Horizon", came from the 1997 science fiction film of the same name, which Dark DJ was a big fan of at the time. The name is also a reference to the scientific nature of elements of the film (time travel and teleportation).
A competition was held on Youtube to find certain voice actors for parts in the film. This carried on for several weeks before the appropriate voice actors were selected and given their lines for the film. Dark DJ, having the most lines in the film, spent two weeks recording his lines for the flim before sequencing them.
Before full filming began, two short teaser trailers were produced, using voice lines and music from the film. These scenes shown were test renders and are not the same shots used in the finished product.
Filming of the film took several weeks to accomplish, and was recorded onto an external hard drive both for protection and space saving reasons. Rendering of the film was difficult, due to the aged laptop that Dark DJ was using at the time. It was almost impossible to render more than 15 minutes of footage together at a time, meaning that the film was produced in several parts, before final sequencing was outsourced to Mr James Littlewood, who pieced the produced videos together to produce one long render of the film for upload. Before this was done, each individual part was released to Dark DJ Productions' Channel, then removed once the full render was uploaded.
Dark Railway CharactersEdit
- Theo and Otto
- Eddie (mentioned)
- Colin (mentioned)
- Mr. Dark (mentioned)
- Dark DJ
- Flying Scotsman
- Victor and Ludo
- Mr. Mckenzie
- Kolhapur (not named; does not speak)
- Gary (mentioned)
- Thomas Dibden as Narrator, Dark DJ, Dave, Brian, Raymond, Theo and Otto
- Tom Smith as Brain
- Rhys Davies as Flying Scotsman
- Andrew Cabral as Mr Mckenzie
- Stephen Hunter as Hunter
- TheLegoCommander1 as Vincent
- Mark Dibden as Victor
- 36blackout as Ludo
- James Littlewood, Anthony Sims, TheMidlandConnection, and TrackMaster555 as the BR Men
- The film is set in 1963 and 1953.
- The film is primarily based upon the premise of time travel, paradoxes and the issues they can cause.
- It is completely unknown how the teleporter (Excelsor 3) worked, or how Theo and Otto were able to use it.
- This is the only appearance of Theo and Otto's secret lair, which was destroyed when the teleporter was first used.
- This is the only time that we see Theo and Otto completely separated from eachother, until season 7 with Rollerskate Disco
- Several one off characters are introduced in this film, including Mr. Mckenzie, Vincent, Victor, and Ludo. So far, these characters have not appeared again, and there are no plans for them to.
- It has been hinted that Brain may return in a future feature film.
- This film has the largest voice cast of any of Dark DJ's production so far.
- It is also the longest individual production based on TDRS.
- The character Hunter went on to star in one episode of a proposed spin off series called "Hunter the Shunter", but after poor reception of the pilot episode, the series and character were dropped.
- At one point, Flying Scotsman mentions an engine called "Gary". This, as well as Dave recognising him from somewhere, is a reference to the popular Youtube series "Gary the Steam Engine", from which this character is from. He is also voiced by his creator, Rhys Davies, who happens to be a good friend of Dark DJ.
- In the 1953 scenes, the engines still have the British Railways late crest. In reality, this was not introduced until 1956, and would possibly have been flagged as suspicious by the 1953 characters.
- Throughout the film, Hunter is seen without a crew.
- When Ludo says "TEASPOONS!", he says it in a questioning manner, even though he would have been in on the plan.
- In the shot of the engines running along the line after rescuing the twins and Hunter from Victor and Ludo, several of the engines have changed position and direction and Hunter is missing.