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[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sodor_the_early_years.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The title card for Series 4]]

''Sodor the Early Years'' is a fan-made web series created by Website/YouTube user [[https://www.youtube.com/user/WildNorWester WildNorWester]].

The series started out making original episodes based on ''Literature/TheRailwaySeries'' by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry, while using elements of the Television Series. Some remakes of ''The Railway Series'' stories were also included in this, the first ones being episodes 4 ("The Missing Coach") and 10 ("Super Rescue").

Later episodes had [[CallBack call-backs]] to previous events that happened prior to the release of the series. The animation is done by using ''Trainz Simulator'' and using already existing models of the characters from the television series.

The timeline for the series takes places during the 1960s through the 1990s.

The series lasted for about five seasons (six if you count Barry the Rescue Engine). However, it's having a sequel series called ''Sodor the Modern Years'', which takes place around present day. It started with a hour-long pilot called "Winds of Change". From episode 1 of this series, ''Railway Series'' style models, made by [=WildNorWester=], were used.

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!!''Sodor the Early Years'' provides examples of:

* AdaptationDyeJob: Much like in the books, Donald and Douglas both got repainted in NWR blue, but for a very different reason.
** The Skarloey engines also gained their red color schemes midway throughout the series.
** In a flashback episode involving Gordon, he was once green.
** Patrick ends up getting his green colour schemes when he joined the NWR (same went for Bear a bit further back, who was green for a while before this too.).
** Oliver was in his BR colour scheme like the books, and he and Duck eventually got their true GWR green in Sodor The Modern Years.
** [=BoCo=] and Peter both had the same colour as they do in the current day, but they had their old numbers on when they were on BR's books.
** Averted with Diesel. He was going to be painted NWR green in the episode "Endgame" as a thank you for stopping the hoppers, but Diesel thought this didn't suit him. Duck later agrees with him. This is based on a poll WNW did a couple of years back when he wanted to do up Diesel in the green colour scheme, but most of the viewers decided against it.
* AlternateContinuity: Kinda. See, the series is based during the events on the Railway Series. However, back stories of some characters (eg. Patrick and Bear) are different from their original source material. Patrick got Bear's back story from "Super Rescue", while Bear got a new one, which involved turning the other way while Oliver was escaping from scrap, (this comes into play during season 4).
* ArtEvolution: See Mid-Season Upgrade.
* BorrowedCatchphrase: Duck does this to Donald.
---> '''Duck:''' Don't fuss yourself, Donald. I'll look after them (your trucks.)
* CanonImmigrant: A rather unusual case, in that it's not a character who's imported, but an episode. The series is based off the original [[Literature/TheRailwaySeries Railway Series]] books, so only the first four seasons of [[WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine the TV series]] line up with it. However, Wildnorwester recently announced on Deviantart that he would be doing an episode based off the TV series' season 5 episode "Duncan Gets Spooked".
* {{Crossover}}: "Last Straw" starts out as an ordinary episode, [[spoiler:until Atlas starts talking about how the roads around his tramway "weren't too good", so most goods was carried on river barges by tugboats. We then go into a whole episode flashback, revealing that Ten Cents from [[WesternAnimation/{{TUGS}} TUGS]] has been on Sodor since World War 2 (he mentions Hercules was preserved, and Big Mac broke away from the two during "Operation: Minnow" to distract a U-Boat, his final fate unknown). Subsequent episodes show Ten Cents still on Sodor in the present day.]]
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Many of the characters get this, but the most noticeable candidates are Barry and Alice.
* DarkerAndEdgier: "Aftermath", from the first season of ''The Modern Years'', was created to highlight grade crossing safety. The episode involves Thomas getting into a collision with a BMW (though we don't actually see the accident), the driver and passenger getting injured (in the original script, they were outright killed), and Thomas being held in his shed while the Safety Directorate carried out an investigation. It also featured a much less severe incident involving George ignoring Mavis' right-of-way and knocking her off the rails.
* DissensionRemorse: Happens with Thomas and Percy in "Old Tricks". The two tank engines have a falling out after both nearly collided with each other on the same track, blaming each other for it. Then Diesel comes along and makes up insulting names for the two tank engines, making them believe they made them up for each other, but when Toby informs the two that Diesel made up those names, Thomas and Percy feel bad for believing in his lies, knowing that they wouldn't never do that to each other. Thus both made up for this as well as their argument over the near collision.
* DoubleTake: There's this gem in "Last Straw":
-->'''Sir Handel:''' Oh, hello Atlas... ATLAS?!
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** In the first two seasons, the narration was spoken in a [[MotorMouth very fast]] in a way that some people find hard to understand.
** Throughout the first season there are TRAINZ junction arrows and text bubbles all over the place, and many of the sound effects (particularly the chuffing noises as engines move about) stop and start too abruptly. This fades away as 'Wester gains experience with the software.
* EvolvingCredits: The title sequence is repeatedly redesigned as characters are changed around and the animation improves.
* EasilyForgiven: In the upcoming trilogy, by the time Diesel works up courage to apologise to Duck [[Recap/TheRailwaySeriesB13DuckAndTheDieselEngine for his past misdeeds]], the Great Western Engine had already forgiven him. Slightly justified that Diesel has mellowed out by that point and the fact that Duck (along with Gordon) were the first to find out why Diesel escaped to Sodor in the 80s. If anything, ''Diesel'' had been the one caught by surprise, not Duck.
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:Hopper 006 became a waste metal truck in "Endgame" as his punishment for inciting the Little Western trucks to act up.]]
* FeudEpisode: Thomas and Percy got into one in "Old Tricks", blaming each other for nearly colliding with each other. It took Diesel's manipulations for them to reconcile.
* FireForgedFriends:
** The episode "Great Western" shows how Duck and Oliver didn't get on well in their first meeting due to Duck criticizing Oliver for being late in showing up to see the engines at the sheds. It only took Oliver helping Duck after an accident with some troublesome trucks for the two to become friends.
** Alfred had this with Henry in "Identity" and then Diesel in "First Impressions".
*** In "Identity", Alfred and Henry had a hostile meeting when Alfred took the Flying Kipper when it was supposed to be Henry's job, but became friends after Henry rescued him from a snowdrift.
*** In "First Impressions" both Alfred and Diesel got on terribly as Alfred calls Diesel rude and rough boxes on wheels. After receiving help from Diesel with the Flying Kipper and the milk tankers from Gordon's Hill, Alfred apologized and thanked him and the two are on good terms.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Used frequently. The most obvious one is in the episode "Storm Damage", which features a couple of references to [[WesternAnimation/{{TUGS}} TUGS]]. [[spoiler:The next episode, 'Last Straw', is a crossover with this series.]] On top of this, the character of Charlie Hatt had four appearances prior to this episode. In each one he was wearing a T-Shirt with a travel poster on it. Each location in the posters (New York, San Francisco, Krakatoa and Vienna) has a link to the TUGS series.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Used fairly often. But the are one or two noticeable examples:
** In the episode "Homecoming" where Thomas says [[spoiler:"Morning, Lily". Duck is getting coal nearby, and sees Thomas and Lily talking, and is shocked. Thomas had told him Lily's story and he assumed the same that Thomas did, she was scrapped. But there she was, back in action.]]
** In "Ode to George Carlin", Duncan the narrow gauge engine is talking about how Thomas doesn't deserve to be the star of the TV series based on them. Thomas is passing at the time, and glares at Duncan.
* IHatePastMe: Diesel admits this in "Last Laugh" when talking to Iris about his mistake over half a century ago. He brings this up to Duck in "Troublesome Trucks" too, but both engines know that these old skills will be useful in the current day, and that it has been useful in the episode "Old Tricks".
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Sheffield.
* MeaningfulName: In the episode "The Devious Way", two ballast hoppers are mentioned. Hopper number 007 helps the engines, whereas [[spoiler:hopper number [[Film/GoldenEye 006 is the cause of the trouble with the trucks]].]] In the episode "Endgame", [[spoiler:Diesel's new name is Damien meaning "one who tames, subdues", which is what WNW was building up to throughout the course of the series]].
* MidSeasonUpgrade: Over the course of the series, most of the characters (mostly the ones that appeared both in the books television series) got upgraded models based on their TV counterparts. Prior to the start of the Modern Years sequel series, all of the main cast were upgraded to models based off their RWS counterparts. As such, TV-series style models are no longer being used.
* NonIndicativeFirstEpisode: "Winds of Change", the 52-minute pilot of ''The Modern Years'' used the familiar TRAINZ models which resembled the characters in the television series. Future episodes used a completely new set of models designed to more closely resemble real locomotives.
* NoodleIncident:
** In the episode "Runaway", it's never explained why Michelle Johnson originally ran away from home. All we know is that it's something that she thought would make her parents angry.
** In "Winds of Change", we get two noodle incidences. One with Percy giving Shane a lecture in the main yard, and another where Henry had a near miss at the curve just before East Knapford.
* OnlyKnownByHisNickname: As well Duck's real name being Montague, it's now revealed that [[spoiler:Diesel got a real name, Damien, as his reward for stopping the hopper. But, Diesel mentions that he and Duck are both aware that nicknames tend to stick.]]
* OnlyOneName: Subverted. In a few episodes, where a FullNameUltimatum is used, the engine's surname is that of their designer. E.g. Thomas is Thomas Billinton, Gordon is Gordon Gresley and so on. This has only been shown for the standard-gauge engines.
* ReformedButNotTamed: Subverted with Diesel in the Devious Way Trilogy. He has become a genuine character yes, but wishes to use his manipulation skills to help Duck and the Little Western crew, but against the trucks.
* RejectedApology: In the episode "Consequences", Lily fills Henry and Bear in on what happened on the Arlesburgh Branch back in 1923, and blamed Henry for Colin crashing into some houses. Despite Henry's apology and explaining his change, Lily refused to listen to reason, and still holds a grudge against him.
* RunawayTrain: The troublesome trucks have caused these on a few instances.
** In "Shakedown", they broke away from Percy on top of Gordon's Hill and were going to crash into Edward's passenger train at Wellsworth, but an inspector onboard Alice prevented this by applying the brake van's brake.
** The fish vans broke away from Sheffield to pay him back for treating them harshly when he first arrived on Sodor. This led them into crashing into an old shed where Brian the brake van was inside.
* SameCharacterButDifferent: In "Sheffield's Secret", [[spoiler:Sheffield is revealed to be Sixteen, the engine Wilbert once worked with.]]
* ShoutOut: One in the form of the Creator/MontyPython theme in one episode.
** In "The Missing Engine", the ship Lily was sent on was called the ''Errant Venture'', a reference to the ''[[Franchise/StarWars Star Wars: X-Wing]]'' novels.
** In "The Thin Clergyman", Bear's elaboration on the collapse of Henry's Tunnel is an homage to the "Dead Parrot" sketch of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus''.
* StockFootage: Footage of events from previous episodes is used, usually when referring back to the events of those episodes. However, after the AnimationBump from Trainz 2010 to Trainz: A New Era and the ArtEvolution mentioned above, any flashbacks need to be re-filmed.
** A more literal example occurred in the episode "Dime for Trouble", where public domain newsreel footage from World War 2 was used when [[spoiler:Ten Cents]] is talking about his adventures during that time.
** In an inversion,[[invoked]] [[WordOfGod WildNorWester]] has stated that the shot of Duck and Henry in that same episode was actually meant for a future episode of the series, and was filmed in advance to show that these events were occurring at the same time.
* ToBeContinued: This is usually used at the end of the first part of a two-part episode, when there's an immediate continuation of the story in the next episode. Storylines that are not going to be immediately continued (i.e. picked up later) will often have a SequelHook instead.
* TookALevelInKindness: Diesel has become less prejudiced towards steam engines. To show this change of character was at the end of "Bad Apple" where he apologized to Gordon, James, and Henry for making the names years ago, much to their shock. He apologises to Duck the following day, only to find the Great Western Engine had already forgiven him, much to ''his own'' shock.
* VerySpecialEpisode: "Aftermath" is written to convey[[invoked]] [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped a very important message about railway safety]].
* WhamLine: From "Last Straw": [[spoiler:[[WesternAnimation/{{TUGS}} "The tugboat, for its size, is the most powerful craft afloat."]]]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** We don't know what happened to Hopper 003 at the end of the Devious Way trilogy despite there being a violent separation when he was on Oliver's train.[[invoked]] WordOfGod says that we haven't seen the last of Hopper 003.
** We also hear in an earlier episode that [[spoiler:[[WesternAnimaton/{{TUGS}} Ten Cents, Hercules and Big Mac]] have come to Britain on Operation Minnow, but only Ten Cents and Hercules have been confirmed to make it. Big Mac was distracting a U-Boat and may have been sunk or survived, but poor Ten Cents doesn't have any idea what happened]]
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: There are a few episodes that are flashbacks that involved many of the characters' back-stories. Some of these are already existing stories from the Railway Series (eg. Donald and Douglas's arrival and how their numbers were missing on purpose), but expanded a bit further. There were also some that were original that connected to the established series (eg. Thomas starting his own brachline)
* WrapItUp: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Wildnorwester in March 2019 [[https://www.deviantart.com/wildnorwester/journal/The-Future-of-STMY-790728486]].
* YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious: Diesel refers to Duck by his real name twice in the series. Once during the season 2 finale of ''STEY'' "Galloping Sausage", and once during the third last episode of season 2 of STMY, "Troublesome Trucks". However, the third time Diesel does it in the episode "Endgame", [[spoiler:Diesel was using it to compare with his new name, Damien.]]
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