"The Adventure Begins" is the 1st episode of The Railway Series Adventure.
A long time ago, there was a little railway known as The North Western. Among the engines working there are Edward, the smallest engine, who shunts trains for the bigger engines on the main line. There is also Gordon, the biggest engine, who loves pulling the express; unfortunately, he sometimes has to pull trucks and will complain relentlessly about doing so.
The series begins with distant voices foreshadowing things yet to come...
Wake up, lazybones! Why don’t you do hard work for a change?
I'm the most splendid engine on Sodor!
The rain will spoil my lovely green pain and red stripes.
Stop Thomas! This isn’t safe!
We've lost our nice guard!
Tender engines don’t shunt.
You have all caused confusion and delay.
|Sir Topham Hatt|
Don’t be stupid, engines don’t fish.
I won’t stay here! I’ll run away!
There’s a stout gentleman standing on the platform...
That stationmaster wanted to turn me into a bloody hen house!
Pleased to meet you, sir. My name is Tobias.
"Welcome to Sodor."
We open on the wheels of a blue steam engine pounding the rails very early in the morning. The engine puffs through the countryside with a line of coaches trailing behind. In the coaches are passengers and staff gathering items together as the train nears its destination. As the engine stops in the station, the passengers begin to disembark. The camera then pans from the side of the engine to it's front, revealing that it has a face. The engine whistles to the passengers and tells them...
Welcome to Sodor.
Summer 1923 Edward
Edward shunts coaches into the station terminus.
A long time ago on an island called Sodor, there was a little railway known as The North Western. The smallest engine, who shunted trains for the bigger engines on the main line was Edward.
The roundhouse at Tidmouth.
Edward lived in the main line sheds, in the town of Tidmouth, with five other engines. Alfred, Gordon, Henry, Hitchcock, and a red engine whose name nobody cared to learn. One morning, Alfred greets everyone good morning and notes that they all must pull their trains. Hitchcock then remarks that "poor, old Edward" can't as he is too old. Henry solemnly agrees and Gordon gloats at the fact that stronger, younger engines like himself are better for pulling trains. Edward had not been out to pull a real train in a very long time and began to feel very sad about it.
Charlie Sand and Sidney Hever.
Moments later, Edward's crew members, Charlie Sand and Sidney Hever to start the day. Charlie is telling a lewd, and in Sidney's opinion, rather "disgusting" story, when they notice Edward feeling down. Edward expresses why he is so upset and how he longs to pull a real train rather than shunt again. Charlie and Sidney give Edward the wonderful surprise that he will be pulling a passenger train that morning. Edward is overjoyed and rushes his crew to get him ready. And so they light his fire, make lots of steam, Charlie pulls the lever and Edward puffs away, leaving most of the other engines to sulk as he collects his coaches.
EDWARD GETS ANNIE, CLARABEL & ANOTHER COACH TBA/LADY HATT INTRODUCTION TBA.
What a spectacle.
EDWARD IS IMPATIENT AS CREW QUESTION ONE ANOTHER TBA.
EDWARD TAKES PEOPLE AROUND THE ISLAND TBA.
EDWARD TALKS OF HIS DAY, GORDON AND THE OTHERS ARE ANNOYED TBA.
Dream on Gordon.
EDWARD WAKES UP, GORDON GLOATS, ALL LEAVE THE SHEDS TBA.
"Leave us alone!".
EDWARD SHUNTS TRUCKS, TRUCKS MOAN AND GROAN TBA.
GORDON ARRIVES AT KNAPFORD COMPLAINING TBA.
GORDON STOPS HALFWAY UP TBA.
SIR TOPHAM HATT INTRODUCTION TBA.
STH SENDS EDWARD TO HELP GORDON TBA.
EDWARD ARRIVES TO HELP TBA.
EDWARD GETS GORDON OVER THE HILL.
"The adventure is only beginning..."
EDWARD, CHARLIE AND SIDNEY REFLECT TBA.
- This episode introduces the majority of the original cast of main characters for the series: The Narrator, Henry, Edward, Annie, Clarabel, Charlie Sand, Sidney Hever, Hitchcock, Gordon, Lily, Lady Hatt, and Sir Topham Hatt. However, characters such as Toby, James, Thomas, and Percy were heard and not seen in this episode and would not be introduced till later in the series.
- This episode is currently the first and only episode of the series to use the full title sequence rather than the episodic title card.
- This episode was filmed in Sarasota, Florida.
On July 1, 2015, EATL Films ordered a new pilot in the early beginnings of their company, which later turned into The Railway Series Adventure. The premiere episode was written and directed by series co-creator Elijah Adams. EATL Films picked up The Railway Series Adventure as a 26-episode, scripted series on January 1, 2016.
Adams stated that everyone they initially wanted cast in the series accepted their offered. The writers offered the part of Lady Hatt to Vanessa Lengies, who didn't accept in the beginning due to her commitment with the 2016 FOX series Second Chance. On May 12, 2016, Second Chance was cancelled by FOX and Vanessa was able to portray the role of Lady Hatt.
Shooting for "The Adventure Begins" and "Thomas the Station Pilot" began on June 12, 2017 and ended on June 16, 2017.
The production team has referred to The Railway Series Adventure as "an effects-heavy show," but is not meant to be obvious to the audience. TBA provided the visual effects seen in the pilot, building virtual sets for the railway exterior scenes, providing the engines and coaches with CGI faces and using F/X for special scenes.
On July 12, 2017 - seven days before the national release date – Adams and Lindsey presented an early screening of half of the pilot episode at a press conference in Los Angeles, California. Later, viewers were able to watch half of the pilot episode on the Official Facebook page in advance of its broadcast.
The pilot episode aired in July rather than September, which was two months before new fall season shows normally premiered. Both Adams and Lindsey were pleased with the early broadcast date, due to the fact that the series had been anticipated for so long.
The episode received mostly positive reviews and was watched by 10.83 million viewers, scoring a 4.0 rating/11% share in the 18-49 demographic.
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the episode.