Here, the author, Professor Vengeance outlines his reasons for launching his parody series and tells us all about it...
Welcome to the Tales from the Other Railway minisite. Please wipe your feet.
Well, who'd have thought it, eh? A whole minisite to myself. And it only took three years of pain, misery, grovelling, Writer's Block, confusion and delay. Dangling a rare limited edition Megazord figure under our beloved admin's nose didn't hurt either (still in its original packaging too).
There is no one reason for Tales from the Other Railway's inexplicable existance, but rather several smaller, rather dull ones. First of all, I love writing. Second of all, I love writing for baddies. Third of all, I love writing parodies. Fourth of all, while there had been many parody stories written on the forum, there had been very few parody series. Fifth of all, the revamped Thomas and Friends, I observed, provided enough material for a hundred such parodies, even more so than the original seasons. Sixth of all, I was bored. Very, very bored.
By their powers combined, an idea was sparked: Whatever happened to all the diesels, good or bad, who were rejected from Sodor after one story/episode and never seen again?
They went to the Other Railway.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a series.
Seriously, have you wiped your feet yet?
Looking at the available characters, I knew there were more than enough for a parody series about the diesels, an Anti-Steam Team if you will. Diesel, the most prominent, would obviously be the Anti-Thomas, the surly star of the show; proud toffs Old Stuck-Up and Bowler fitted the roles of the Big Engines like gloves; Spamcan was very similar to Stuck-Up in design and character, so his blow-out and tantrum in his one RWS appearance inspired me to cast him as the gruff goods engine; Derek was too jolly pleasant to bastardize, so I played up his 'teething troubles' and made him the one genuinely nice (if totally wussy) engine in the fleet; and Pip and Emma, well, they're girls, in't they? All would work under the command of the Anti-Fat Controller, a cheap, grubby weasel of a man who'd sell out his own mother for a drinkable bottle of scotch - Sir Wyatt Fronts, the Thin Git.
With the core cast in place, it was time to write the stories themselves, and hoo boy, is that every easy. Take a pre-existing Thomas story, turn the plot completely upside-down, play Mad-Libs with the character names, throw in a few random swear words, some obscure pop culture references and bish bash bosh, one parody ready for posting. Plagerism, kids: it's a publisher's best friend!
The first series, released in 2007, was met with a modest reception, no thanks to being released at the same time as Lady Hatt's autobiography, Top Hatt: The Controller Behind the Controller. It wasn't until the 2008 audio adaptation of A Very Unmerry Other Railway Christmas that people began mistaking my crude warblings for something half-decent. A second series later that year proved even more successful, attracting even more attention and pummelling Jem Cole's 101 Things I've Cooked In My Traction Engine in the Waterstone charts. The release of the audio exclusive Diesel and the Steam Engine in 2009, as well as a third set of stories a few months later, cemented Other Railway's position as the single greatest human endevour in the entire history of the multiverse.
Yes, that includes Octopus's Garden.
Now it's 2010; scripting of a new audio play begins around May time, a fourth series is scheduled for later in the year and I've got a lovely minisite to rule over like a drunken god. Speaking of which, you peasants have taken up enough of my time. Scrub your filthy pauper shoes of yours and go wander round the rest of my kingdom. Yeah, don't think I didn't notice that dog muck by the Character Profiles button. Disgusting.
Fare thee well and bugger off!