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Monday, 21 November 2011

Feature: 'The Day of the Diesels' premiere report

Now I did promise you people that there would be a report log from the time of the Day of the Diesels premiere this year, but I was simply tied up.

With a lot going on in my outside life, although I squeezed the time to roll on with Thomas news, the report log would have taken ages and this is what I call the worst kept secret ever on this blog. However, with some spare time, I finally bring it to you.

The Day of the Diesels Premiere by

September 17th 2011 was The Day of the Diesels for the Brits as it arrived in Vue Cinemas. Getting up at 5:55am would be a tiresome struggle. Catching some energy, having brekkie, walking to get the train which would take an hour and half, this was the journey to Finchley Road.

Yes, Finchley Road. I was to reunited with my team of Thomas fans from the previous year's Misty Island Rescue premiere which was at the Leciester Square event. For some odd reason, this public event did not happen for this year's.

Sometime before the event, I contacted Vue in the Square blaming the lack of the film cans available. The more film cans, the more screens they can project the film, which is why we all chose to meet at Finchley instead.

10 minutes before arriving at London Victoria Rail Station, I get a phone call from Daniel Coffey, otherwise known as BusterTheSteamroller questioning my as of yet arrivance at the station, assuring him that would have no trouble getting to the big destination, boy was I wrong...
Owen and Michael as Thomas and Diesel 10? Which is which?

A bout of confusion over the bus travel's ticket rule delayed my journey which I blame on the fact that I am not a local Londoner, but rather a Sussex man, so I didn't know much about bus transport in the London area. Plus, it was awfully busy there!

Half way through my bus journey, Daniel calls me again, letting me know that Owen Hayward, Louie Sparkes and Oliver Townsend, otherwise known as therailwayinspector3, dieselfan50 and Klurty34 respectively, had turned up at Finchley Road 02 Centre.

Worryingly, getting off the bus to walk towards the centre caused some stress as there was no sight of it. Luckily thanks to the powers that be of Apple, I grab my iPhone 4 out, bring up Google Maps, locate the destination by walking straight on and at last at 10:10am, I arrive at the centre, much to the delight of the four already there.
The Londoner Locos that be Michael, Oliver, Louie and Christopher.

After a quick chinwag, I question the whereabouts of the rest of the crew. 10 minutes later, Michael Evans and Christopher Blower, a.k.a Thomasfan8 and TOPPictures turn up at the entrance. We all greet them warmly, excited for the day. But there was more to come.

Within several minutes of the film about to start, I realised that two people haven't yet appeared. I make a phone call to good friend Adam Dowds, DowdsyProductions1, questioning his whereabouts, but there's no answer. Frantically, on schedule of it's 10:30am screening, respected member of SiF, Nicholas Lovewell or The Colonel, runs towards me.

I am waiting outside of the centre with the rest making their way to the selected screen. Both of us finally being able to meet eachother, I tell Nick to follow the gang upstairs to the screen. Eventually I get through to Adam who reveals that he is at the wrong 02 Centre, which is an easy mistake to make to be fair!
Topping off the poster pose with two posters.
Me or TheTopHatts also known as Melad Moshiri, Michael, Owen and Daniel.

I tell Adam with help from the others on how to get to the right place in a matter of time. It's show time and the film starts. Inside the VIP audience which contained families, friends and us, there's a warmup cheer from some of us indicating that we are ready to grace the film's appearance. The titles run to the exciting orchestral music and the story begins...

20 minutes in, and Adam finally turns up at the screening, which we were all grateful that we all made it. Moments of laughter ensued in several scenes and a few cries from little children who were scared over the sight of Diesel 10. One mum and her child ended up walking out of the cinema, distraught over the diesel's scariness!
Exciting scenes start as the film turns to the dramatic tone with Percy on his way to save Thomas from the Dieselworks. The music of Robert Hartshorne's work proves effective, especially when The Steam Team join forces along the tracks to win over the Diesels, which when shown, was the most exciting I had ever seen in any Thomas & Friends episode. It was a win for me...!

Later in the last scene of the film, The Fat Controller says in a speech; None of my engines is ever forgotten., to which Louie, who is a good critic of the show calls out, Liar!, much to the amusement of us people.
The Four Engineers.

The Steam Engines and the Diesel Engines scene at the newly formed Dieselworks finishes, fades to black, the audience starts to applaud, then we are treated to the special's song. After the credits, the audience then makes a proper applause, indicating that everyone, well unless you count little children, nearly everyone enjoyed the film.

After a lenghtly chat catching up with eachother, commenting on the film, meeting up with Louie's father Mick, James Gaffney or OliverGWR11 and picking up posters and leaflets, we decide to make our way to Leciester Square via the Tube line. We then arrive and approach their Vue Cinema where the VIP premiere had just finished.

We catch sightings of Natasha Kaplinsky, Sally Bercow, Amanda Lamb and Jason Bradbury, who met and spoke to one of his biggest fans, Adam! We start to think where the Thomas team are and ultimately after a long wait decide to head to KFC to eat some lunch. Afterwards we head back to the Cinema's doors nearby.
It's Thomas, or Ben Small with the extended Steam Team...!

Suddenly, Michael tells me that he has just seen the sight of Thomas himself, Ben Small. We then all see him and cautiously hurry towards him. I greet him in honour of the rest by saying to him with the first line; Ben, we're the YouTubers, to which Ben smiles, greets us individually with handshakes all round and glad that we had finally met him.

He took sometime alongside his little daughter to talk to us, even confirming that the very YouTube Channel, was indeed him. He tells us, which I had known a few days after it was shut, the reason why he closed his account. I just thought I gave too much away and chose to stop, he says, to which we all backed his decision.

At one point, I asked Ben; Is Keith Wickham in there?, No he wasn't, said Ben, He couldn't make it today. I, known to some people as being the impersonator of Gordon and Percy on certain YouTube Thomas clips, ask Ben to do his Ferdinand, Toby and Thomas voices, which made us grin, laugh and clap, Ben was having fun.
Look at the camera and wait for the pose, points I.

We then pose for a few pictures where instead of saying Cheese!, Ben gives the command as Thomas by saying, Bubbling boilers!. We then all thank Ben for getting the chance to meet him as does he back at us, and leaves to go home.

After the 15 minutes of starstruckness and with Ben out of sight, I say the immortal words which have been censored; ******* hell!, to which the rest of the crew burst out laughing. Then we all put our hands on top of everyone's and cheer on our achievement.

Last year's premiere gave us the chance to recieve goodie bags from the Vue staff, thanks to Louie's mum Nicole, this year, we weren't sure if it was going to happen. After a word from Mick to the staff about our trek, we are granted the goodie bags which the Vue staff were calm and happy about. Later, we decide to finish with the cinema and head off to Hamleys.

With a wholeload of the public rummaging through the town and inside the store, it was difficult for us to navigate, however we make our way upstairs to look at Thomas merchandise. We then start to do impressions of certain characters, even quoting some lines from TTTEParody and GenericWTLAlt's marvellous and hilarious videos! Yes, we do love them guys!
A big surprise was waiting for us. Adam with James, Nicholas, Christopher, Owen, Oliver, Louie, Michael, Hilary Fortnam, Me and Daniel.

The goodie bags were still in our hands, then a man in a red jacket approaches us and speaks; You've been to a premiere haven't you?. Yes, we went to see Day of the Diesels, why?, questions one of us. I went to see it, says the man. Suddenly an elderly woman in a wheelchair appears pushed by the man and turns out to be none other than Rev. W. Awdry's daughter, Hilary Fortnam!

We recognised her, we were in shock, we couldn't believe our luck kept reappearing! Hilary, unquestioned by any of us, appeared to have been in some state as even though she was happy as can be in a wheelchair, she was accompained by crutches. We never knew why, but was looking well. I approach her and say; Are you Hilary Awdry?, she replies Yes, while holding her hand, Oh how nice to meet you.

Then out pops another woman who reveals to us that she is Veronica Chambers, Hilary's sister and the Rev's other daughter. The man then turns out to be Veronica's husband. All three of them with us start talking all things Railway Series and Thomas, which they were pleased to see a fanbase in activation. I tell them, Did you enjoy Day of the Diesels?.
Veronica Chambers joins in on the fun.

They were happy to say that they did enjoy the film but discussed their hate over it's preceder Misty Island Rescue which they agreed that they didn't like, commenting on it's unrealisticness and greater distance away from the series and Thomas. They considered Diesels as a different generation of Thomas from the Railway Series but still pleased by it's finalised product.

I then ask Hilary, Was Michael Angelis at the premiere?, No he wasn't there, she responds, and starts commenting positively about him, even being true to say and known to some fans that he kept the Ringo Starr magic going. After a few photographic poses, we start to say our goodbye's to the Awdry's. I then tell Hilary over the nature of the current nature of the series.

I tell her that the series has upset some fans due to it's downhill quality but assure her that it is being fixed and proceed with the topic of Andrew Brenner's appointment to the series. He has worked on some magazine stories during when Season Three was on, said I.

Hilary seems pleased by this hearing tells me; If they are getting someone like that, that can keep the quality going back to it's classic roots, then we will be happy.
Thomas and the Hamleys attendees arrive.

They then depart and so do we as we headed towards Hornby's model section. Some of us sit down on the floor, some of us talk about the series and start quoting lines. Me and Nick then discuss the TV series both agreeing that Season Twelve is so far Hit Entertainment's best series. After a few of us purchase stuff, we make our way downstairs and exit the store.

On arriving out, we look back at the window display and notice a display of Day of the Diesels, with cardboard cutouts of the new characters, and mocked up models of Thomas and Diesel 10 with Pinchy moving his mouth open and closed. We were all surprised and pose for a picture, which took a while due to the busy nature of the public going by and the rain that had just started.
Diesel 10, Den, Dart, Flynn, Belle and Thomas eye up the visitors.

Heading to hmv near 5:00pm, proved to be our final destination of the day. Looking at various DVD's of various shows, movies and Thomas, some of us had to depart, including me and were all sorry that we couldn't stay as long but thoroughly had enjoyed the special event.

Our newbies to the group Owen, Christopher and James had met us in anticipation and us oldies, me, Daniel, Adam, Michael, Louie, Oliver had remet and we all agreed that one day, we would return to met up again for a future event before the next premiere, but in what form...?

Well that's it. Thanks to all of the gang for the day and for the photos from a few of them and here are some extra photos to go out on.

TheTopHatts Gives Day of the Diesels...


  1. Any photos of the Diesel 10 mock-up with Pinchy visable?

  2. Can't you see it? it's the one where it says "Diesel 10, Den, Dart, Flynn, Belle and Thomas eye up the visitors.".

    I'm guessing those are all the pics of the mocks...

  3. No, I mean a good view of Pinchy with the mock up.