ERS 133 - Brad the 'Film Star' Engine

ERS 133 - Brad the 'Film Star' Engine - Ryan

By this point in the ERS Overhaul, Ciremi had brought Brad to new heights of popularity, and he had unknowingly developed the character’s personality with his various YouTube videos done in Trainz.  The Tidmouth Lightningbolt project was still ongoing, but it had inspired me to write something in honour of the various British railway-based movies of yesteryear.  I picked three of my favourites, The Titfield Thunderbolt, Oh Mr Porter! and The Railway Children for inspiration and took it from there.



The first part of the story is based on a scene from Oh, Mr Porter, starring Will Hay, where the moronic station staff have got the place in a right old mess – and even have a washing line hung over the railway!  Mr Pemberton, a film Director arrives to shoot a movie on the Island of Sodor – most notably, Thomas’s Branch Line.  Brad is chosen to be the engine who will work with the film crew, with Henrietta and Victoria pulled out of normal service to act as his passenger vehicles.  Throughout the filming, a station is transformed into a ramshackle dump to fit with the mood and style of the film.  One particular prop is a washing line hung from a lamp-post to a signal, which Brad is told is part of the comic relief.  As he attempts to pass under it during a ‘take’, he clips the washing line sending all the clothes flying across the station.  Brad knows that wasn’t meant to happen and apologises to Mr Pemberton when he returns – but he is absolutely chuffed with the events, and insists that it must go into the film!



As the title suggests, this one was drawn from The Railway Children.  Percy is disappointed that he isn’t part of the movie, and wishes he had Brad’s place in the limelight.  Toby and Rosie remind him that they’re all playing a part in the movie’s production, and he has to deliver some top-soil and rocks to the film crew so they can set up a scene to film a landslide scene.  But when the ‘landslide’ is ready, Mr Pemberton is unsure of how secure it is.  His worst fears are confirmed when the structure breaks apart and he finds that Percy is approaching them.  He quickly hands the children flags to warn Percy, who comes to a stop in time before hitting the debris.  Later that day, they find that the crew had been filming all along – and captured the event on camera.  Percy is surprised, but delighted, and Mr Pemberton promises that he can be included in the DVD extras when the film is released.



Anyone familiar with The Titfield Thunderbolt will know this scene well.  George the Steamroller is to play the antagonistic steamroller, whose owner was vying to rip up the railway line.  The engines who know George know he will try to cause trouble, but Brad is confident that Mr Pemberton will keep things in check.  It doesn’t turn out that way, and when George almost causes a dangerous accident at Ulfstead, Brad knows he has his work cut out for him.  When they come to film the Steam Duel, George is determined to shunt Brad off the tracks, against Mr Pemberton’s wishes.  However, Brad is still riled by George’s behaviour and takes matters into his own buffers – and after a good bash from George, Brad returns fire with a heavy shunt which sends George flying backward into a garden – which is caught on camera by Mr Pemberton and his crew!



The final scenes of the film are to be shot on the Main Line, but without Brad.  Another engine is to take his place as The Tidmouth Lightningbolt, and Gordon is fully convinced that he will win the role.  But his conviction is dashed when he hears the crew chatting, and mention that the engine they will be filming is due in soon.  At first, Gordon believes it’s Squaddie, who pulls in with his evening train – only to be left aghast when he sees Toby, Victoria and Henrietta approaching, dirtied down and with steam hissing from every orifice.  Needless to say, Gordon is not amused!