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Web Animation / Shed 17

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Stay away from Shed 17.

They were the stories that have charmed an entire generation. From the books to the television series, people around the world have grown up with the railways stories, and all their cheerful characters. But the truth behind Thomas and his friends was no children's fantasy. The truth would be horrifying.
Opening Monologue

Shed 17 is a fan-made half-hour video done by YouTube user Paul Vids, which is done as a black comedy/horror Mockumentary of the real Thomas & Friends.

The video can be watched here, though you need to be 17+, and for good reason, as this is most definitely not your ordinary fan animation.

A sequel titled Project G-1 was made, in which Paul collaborated with other YouTubers to create, and it is even more morbid than its predecessor. A day after it was first uploaded, it was taken down for a presumed community guidelines violation, and later reuploaded; the reuploaded version removes the presumed offending scene in which Smudger is "raped" by a fanatical fan.note 

Paul has also been working on a more humorous Thomas parody called The Adventures of Roly the Coach which is a series of short episodes involving the titular anthropomorphic coach and his numerous misfortunes, from having to deal with unsavory characters to trying and failing to get British Rail reformed. The series uses the same animation style and assets as Shed 17 to the point where some may consider it a spin-off but it's made clear this is not in the same universe and the living vehicle characters are just living vehicles and are not mutated humans. Some crude humor and violence is present in Roly the Coach but it's mostly played for laughs as opposed to being played for horror in Shed 17. Paul has another parody series called Thomas' PC Adventures which satirizes Political Overcorrectness with the engines getting into conflicts like Thomas being cancelled for making a supposedly offensive comment about Percy's paint color and the engines getting in trouble for body-shaming Sir Topham Hatt. Like Roly the Coach, this series is mostly played for laughs and is a lot lighter than Shed 17 or Project G-1.

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    Tropes in Shed 17 

Shed 17 provides examples of:

  • Anachronism Stew: See The Stinger below. If bio-fusion was banned in Europe in the 1980s; how could the Costa Concordia, an Italian ship built in 2005 be a bio-fused person?
  • Artistic License – History: The video states the events took place in the 1970s, even though the books Wilbert created were made thirty years prior, and the events of the early books took place in the 1920s-30s.
  • Big Bad: Sir Topham Hatt is the head of Sodor Research LTD who is responsible for all their horrific biofusion experiments on people to turn them into vehicles, leading to all the conflicts that follow.
  • Big "NO!": Thomas lets out a very long one just before his skeleton comes out of the engine, after finding out that he was a clone of the real Thomas.
  • Black Comedy: It's there to lighten the mood somewhat. For example: in a deleted scene of "Thomas & Friends", Edward was supposed to whistle when he came into the station. He does... and sprays three actors in a shower of blood.
  • Body Horror: The very concept of bio-fusion is merging human DNA with inorganic parts, and this means the engines actually have living tissue and organs in them as well as mechanical components. The process itself was far from perfect, and many of the engines (including Percy, Gordon, and Mavis) suffer horrible deaths as a result of flawed procedures. Worse yet is that the ending reveals that the process is still used in China, where it is a frequent punishment for political prisoners.
  • Caught on Tape: A train spotter took several photos of Sir Topham Hatt the night before Henry's accident proving he was responsible. The images were covered up for 10 years afterwards.
  • Classified Information: The events of the documentary are described as having been this up until now. The recorded footage of the experiments are particularly described as this.
  • Clone Degeneration: According to the creator of the video, Hans and Wilhelm cloned their deceased son many times since they wanted to perfect it. The converted Thomas is this perfected clone.
  • Deconstruction: Shed 17 takes the concept of the talking vehicle that Thomas and Friends are known for and portrays it most realistically and darkly possible. It shows us the real-life problems that come with people being turned into vehicles with gears and pistons mixed with their beating, organic organs, such as Gordon being cooked from the inside-out to Thomas having an actual skeletal structure contained inside his steam engine body.
  • Eat the Camera: The post credits scene ends with the camera zooming into the Costa Concordia's screaming mouth underwater.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Whenever a newspaper article is briefly shown, the fine print is actually the lyrics of A-ha's "The Living Daylights" repeated over and over.
  • He Knows Too Much:
    • When Henry discovers what is inside Shed 17 and confronts Sir Topham Hatt about it, he has Henry assigned to the Flying Kipper run and sets up the accident later adapted into "The Flying Kipper", allowing him to send Henry to be scrapped at Crewe.
    • Similarity happens with Keith at the end of Project G-1 when he got bio-fused into a Truck for revealing too much of the company to the media.
  • Jump Scare: Several, including Thomas being hit by a train and the horrifically deformed Thomas's hand banging on the glass.
  • Just Train Wrong: American rolling stock is seen throughout the video despite taking place in Britain and wheel configurations change on some engines.
  • Room 101: The titular Shed 17.
  • Scenery Gorn: The present day shots of Thomas' branchline.
  • Science Is Bad: Pretty much the whole concept of bio-fusion.
  • Shout-Out: Thomas is friends with a simple-minded man who can only say where he lives: Sodor.
  • The Stinger: The scene after the credits shows the shipwrecked Costa Concordia, revealing that it was bio-fused as well.
  • Stock Footage: The famous 1984 Old Dalby nuclear flask test is shown at the end of the video, where in-universe the Class 46 locomotive involved in the experiment was revealed to be a bio-fused engine.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Wilhelm Goetze was a Nazi scientist whose research involving bio-fusion resulted in the talking tank engines.
  • Subverted Kids' Show: This video parodies Thomas and Friends by giving the series a horrific backstory where the engines are former humans transformed into engines by the process of Bio-Fusion. The series goes into a lot of gisly details and re contextualizes everything from the original series to give it a much darker, sci-fi horror vibe.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-universe, the unveiling of the newly bio-fused Thomas disturbs some of the spectators. A woman faints and Keith Hartley vomits... repeatedly.
    Keith: It took me a moment to realize what it was I was looking at.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: A Running Gag is Keith vomiting when he gets nervous, such as the time he's on TV four times in a row.
  • Wham Line:
    • A particularly potent example is given right at the end, just before the climax:
      Narrator: "In Shed 17, Thomas wouldn't discover who he was, but, in fact, who he wasn’t."
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The video ends with one of these.

    Tropes in Project G-1 

Project G-1 provides examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: Keith Hartley gets turned into a truck. Out of context, this doesn't sound bad...except these trucks don't have mouths, so any noise he makes is muffled...and since it's a truck, he can't move by himself. However, if one looks closely he is the only one with his innards exposed. Very well likely meaning that merciful death will claim him.
    • Something of a subversion with Diesel and Annie, who are left to be forgotten about in a shed and can do nothing but gaze into each other's eyes for decades. They are so madly in love that they do not resent this.
  • Animation Bump:
    • The models are a bit more refined this time around.
    • The biomatter monster, from its escape to its demise, has unusually graceful motion.
  • Big Bad: Professor Owen Routh is the head of HiT Logistics' secret military project who experiments on the engines and is responsible for their suffering and the chaos that follows. However, the ending implies he's still working for Sir Topham Hatt, who was giving orders to him in carrying out further experiments.
  • Big "NO!": Thomas once again does this. Diesel, Douglas and Smudger also have their turns.
  • Black Comedy: The infamous Jimmy Savile appears in a commercial to advertise Sodor railways with a child with a look of terror on his face.
  • Body Horror: Thomas came out pretty horrific after his 28 operations.
    Keith: That wasn't the Thomas I knew. That wasn't an engine OR a human - it were a creature, multilated by surgeons and engineers alike.
  • Brick Joke: One of the tells for a Biofused Tank is that they yell in pain and swear whenever they fire their turrets. Later, when Project G-1 is amok, some Biofused Tanks act as defense swearing in discomfort as they open fire.
  • Darker and Edgier: A given considering how dark Shed 17 was.
  • Deconstruction: Where Shed 17 shows the issues of changing into a talking steam engine, Project G-1 continues from that idea from a political viewpoint. It brings up whether or not these former humans are seen as living beings with rights. The answer? Almost none. This led to a campaign committed to freeing biofused people from the cruel treatment and practices that made them.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Thomas, following his betrayal by the military.
    • Duck also has one after he kills Oliver in a fight to the death.
    • Diesel naturally has one after witnessing Annie burst into flames. This in turn results in him forming La Résistance later.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Welsh Coal acts as a narcotic on the Engines, which leads to symptoms similar to those found in drugs like cocaine.
    • In the deleted scenes, the steamies performed "sick fantasies" on both James and Smudger. Although Paul confirmed that the steamies merely 'tickled' them, most saw this as something else entirely (moreso for Smudger) which led to Project G-1 being temporarily removed from YouTube.
    • HiT Logistics' treatment of the remaining engines, including horrific experiments, especially centered around twins, on dehumanized second-class citizens, and their later extermination of said citizens by "the most efficient way possible", certainly draws some parallels with The Holocaust, especially since the experiments are canonically based on the work of a former Nazi.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The escaped biomatter monster.
  • Explosive Decompression: When Donald is sealed in a pressure chamber, the scientists experience Douglas suffer this fate thanks to their psychic links.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: "And don't worry, Mr. Hartley. You're among friends here. This is where everyone ends up once they've become... troublesome."
  • Foreshadowing: Keith Hartley mentions he can't imagine a worse hell than being a truck. Guess what happens to him at the end.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Annie Clarabella and Kevin Diesel marry within weeks of meeting each other.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Subverted. While we don't see it happening to Donald we are shown what being in a pressure chamber does to an Engine as its effects happen to Douglas. Played straight for Annie however.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Cranky due to going insane from witnessing both Thomas's engine corpse and his hand in ripping Smudger out. He attacks Hit logistics' headquarters with a wrecking ball resulting in the veins within his turning mechanism to be severed causing him to collapse into the Building. Diesel somewhat does one too by rushing into the building.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Keith is delivering his interview directly in front of Thomas, leaving little wonder as to why Thomas lashes out at him since he was in earshot of nearly 40 minutes of recounting all the horrors of the previous years, as well as countless reminders of just what this entire endeavor caused and cost him. Of course, the fact that it is Thomas back there is only revealed at the very end.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Duck and Oliver are forced into one after they flee to Japan, resulting in Duck killing Oliver.
  • It Can Think: Project G-1 is heavily implied to be controlled by the consciousnesses of many biofused engines and are fully aware of what's happened to them. It went straight to Blue Mountain Quarry to seek out its kind and managed to calm down when it recognized Thomas. Also, when it was about to get hit by Boulder, it expressed fear and tried covering itself with its arm. Considering the montage that comes shortly after, it's safe to assume that Gordon's consciousness was controlling Project G-1, or at least the central one.
  • Jump Scare: Again, such as Thomas's clone roaring at the camera at the beginning or when Thomas grabs Keith Hartley.
  • Living Weapon: As part of their research into Project G-1, several soldiers are biofused into tanks.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The anonymous whistle blower is Ringo Starr.
  • Oh, Crap!: Project G-1 right when it was about to get hit by Boulder.
  • Put on a Bus: Hans Gotze doesn't appear at all in Project G-1 despite the major role he played in Shed 17.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Thomas's eyes glow red for a brief moment after he angrily rips Keith in half.
  • Shout-Out: The death of Project G-1 brings to mind the ending of The Return of Godzilla, though in the latter case, Godzilla survived falling into Mt. Mihara and returned in the next film.
  • The Stinger: In the year 2069, two individuals try to enter Sodor, only to be confronted by Diesel 10 who's acting as a guard.
  • Take That!:
    • HiT Logistics is pretty much HiT Entertainment if it was the Umbrella Corporation.
    • Mattel (the current owners of the Thomas franchise) sponsors the deadly Japanese boxing match Duck and Oliver were forced into.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: During British Rail's "ill-advised celebrity endorsement" to promote Sodor, the boy who Savile has almost certainly molested by that point blankly stares into the camera.

    Tropes in Roly the Coach 

The Adventures of Roly the Coach provides examples of:

  • The Dog Bites Back: In "Roly and Timmy," Roly is greeted by a local boy named Timmy every day on his way to school. But Roly eventually tires of Timmy's constant mood swings throughout his life, and when Timmy (as an old man) greets him in a friendly manner after doing nothing but yell at him throughout his adulthood, Roly slams one of his doors on him and presumably kills him. Beware the Nice Ones indeed.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: In "Roly's Morning" the camera pans across the engine sheds, with all the main characters badmouthing Roly. The narrator comments "It's a good job Roly's not around to hear this... Oh, no, there he is!" as the pan reaches the final shed.
  • Loud of War: Billy the Boy Racer and his girlfriend Sara Subwoofer are employed for this purpose in Roly's Christmas Special
  • The Voiceless: Roly never actually speaks, and rarely even changes his facial expression.

     Tropes in Thomas' PC Adventures 
  • Company Cross References: When Henry gets electrocuted from the rain after converting into an electric engine, a skeleton can be seen inside of him, a reference to Shed 17.
  • Hypocritical Humor: From the trailer, Thomas calls out the narrator for what he sees to be profiling for his appearance... only to mutter to himself, "No wonder you live alone."
  • Political Overcorrectness: Parodied. The many news articles in the intro satirize the political correctness of some stories.
  • Take That!: The second episode has Edward dress up in an animal costume along with Percy and one of the Scottish Twins. They appear to be innocent enough until Gordon, Thomas and James stop by to cheer him up. We aren't seen what's going on behind closed doors, only for Gordon, James and Thomas to back out of the meeting, screaming. This is an obvious jab at certain groups in the Furry fandom.