Tobias, more commonly called Toby, was a small little tram engine who worked on his tram line with his faithful coach Henrietta. But hard times came, and the tram line shut down. Toby thought it was the end, but when a stout gentleman came to the railway one day, Toby's life changed forever.
He was taken to Sodor, and began a new life. He soon began discovering he was stronger and faster than most of the other engines, much to the dismay of one express engine Gordon. He was so hailed, he was allowed to pull the express himself.
But Toby's power is not without cause - and effect. His powers were ill-begotten, and another engine faced the worse end of the equation. Now this engine is after Toby and his power, and Toby will have to come to grips with what he is, what it means for the others, and how his life will change on the North Western Railway.
So to simplify, it's basically a darker and edgier take on Toby's origin story covering how he arrived on Sodor.
A sequel, Tobias and the Arcane Merchant, is currently in the works and scheduled for release in August-December 2018.
The whole film can be watched here.
This film contains examples of:
- Adaptation Name Change: In the film, Bear is renamed Atherton and Diesel is renamed Ludwig.
- In the sequel, according to its casting call, Toad is renamed Seward.
- Adaptational Villainy: Duck is the Big Bad of the film, while Oliver, Bear, and Mavis serve as his followers. BoCo and Derek are also seen as his followers in the climax.
- Arc Words: 'No excuses.'
- And I Must Scream: Montague's demise.
- Berserk Button: Toby's is whenever Henrietta is put in danger.
- Big Bad: Montague is this for the film, with Oliver, Atherton and Ludwig acting as his Co-Dragons.
- The Blank: Henrietta, much like the character in the TV series (before season 18) and books (before book 41), does not have a face.
- Several of Montague's diesels don't have faces, as do a few of the steam engines that appear during the climax.
- Boomerang Bigot: In the climax, Montague calls Toby a "freak" and "oddity" for being a hybrid engine... yet a hybrid engine is exactly what he wants to be.
- The Cameo: Alfred the B12 (from Sodor Dark Times) is one of the engines working on Sodor.
- Alice the Atlantic (from Sodor The Early Years) is also shown working on Sodor. From the same series, Peter the 8F and Sheffield the Austerity also appear during the final battle.
- Many minor and supporting characters from Fan Works, the Railway Series and the TV series appear frequently throughout the film as either residents of Sodor or members of Montague's diesel army.
- Co-Dragons: Oliver, Atherton and Ludwig are these to Montague.
- Demoted to Extra: Few other secondary characters, such as James, Edward, Henry, and Sir Topham Hatt, have a lot of screentime.
- Double Agent: Oliver is established to be working on Sodor and known by Sir Topham Hatt while at the same time searching for Toby for Montague.
- Easily Forgiven: Pretty much how Toby gave the remaining diesels from the other railway a chance to work on Sodor after his confrontation with Montague.
- FaceHeel Turn: Gordon is convinced into pulling one of these by Montague's diesels.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: A few characters are pushed to their deaths with rather explosive impacts.
- Word of God says that Gordon and Ludwig were blown to smithereens when they crashed into the engine shed.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Subverted and played straight with Toby, whose eyes glow blue whenever he activates the diesel half of his body. It's what allows him to kill Mavis.
- Half Diesel Hybrid: It's later revealed by Montague that Toby is a steam tram/diesel hybrid. This is how he was able to do things that no other tram engine can do.
- HeelFace Turn: Henrietta convinces Gordon into pulling one of these as he keeps watch over them.
- Atherton and the remaining diesels pull one after Toby defeats Montague.
- Heel Realization: Gordon realizes where his grudge against Tobias has taken him after capturing Toby and Henrietta and Henrietta tells him how much he was really appreciated.
- Heroic Sacrifice / Redemption Equals Death: Gordon buys Tobias enough time to escape from the diesels, but is killed when they push him into a shed at high speed with an oil tanker at the back, causing an explosion which makes the shed cave in.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Gordon just wanted to be appreciated for all he did for Sodor.
- Montague's motivation is a mix of this with I Just Want to Be Normal, as he was a diesel prior to his accident.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Montague.
- In-Series Nickname: Zig-zagged somewhat. Most of the engines call Toby by his real name upon their first encounter with him. In subsequent meetings afterwards, they refer to him by his nickname.
- Inverted in that Duck is always referred to by his real name, Montague.
- Motive Rant: Montague has a short one during a discussion with Oliver.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Toby has this reaction after killing Mavis at the Quarry.
- Gordon also seems to have this reaction when Thomas tells him that Toby is going to collide with Percy on the branch line as a result of his actions.
- Mythology Gag: When Montague shows the engines Mavis' remains at the climax he refers to her as being left to remain in the place she died "for always and always and always."
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: When Toby arrives back on Sodor following Gordon's Heroic Sacrifice, Percy says that he highly doubts Gordon would have just let Toby go. Toby cuts him off with a stern rebuke.Toby:'I didn't (escape). Gordon let me go.Percy: What, Gordon? Our Gordon? I highly doubt that-Toby: He's better than you think!
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Henrietta's plan to try and get information about "the Superior" on the Other Railway results in her getting captured and being held hostage to bring Toby to the diesels.
- In the flashback sequence, it is revealed that Toby's own actions were responsible for the crash that resulted in him becoming a hybrid and Montague becoming a tank engine, thus sparking his motivation for taking his engine back.
- Not So Different: When Toby tells the others about Gordon's Heroic Sacrifice, he says that the two weren't that different after all.
- Oh, Crap!: Many characters have this reaction, including:
- Thomas, after Gordon tells him he jammed the points to switch Toby onto the branch line and make him late with the express.
- Gordon, after hearing what switching Toby onto the branch line may have caused.
- Gordon again as all the engines whistle and jeer at him in the aftermath of his trick.
- Mavis, just before Toby forces her through the escavating shed, killing her.
- Gordon again, when he and Toby encounter a blocked yard while trying to escape from the diesels.
- Atherton, after pushing Gordon and Ludwig to their deaths in the shed.
- Montague has this reaction frequently during the climax.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: Possible example in Toby and Montague's backstory since it is revealed that Montague was simply trying to get hard work done (like he did usually, even helping other diesels) and Toby was breaking railway safety regulations, yet Toby is the one who benefits from it by being made into a hybrid engine and receiving endless praise and admiration.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Toby gives one to Montague after the latter demands he come with him and returns his engine.Toby: I won't take orders from a coward! You sit there feeling all high and mighty, but you hide behind your diesels and expect them to do all your dirty work for you! The truth of the matter is, you're weak! Weak willed, weak everything! You can't do anything on your own! You don't deserve to order anybody around! The truth is, that if you were to face me yourself, one-on-one, you would lose!
- Sequel Hook: The Stinger shows Oliver escaped the final battle and now appears to be after Toby himself.
- Single Tear: Toby sheds this while asking for the other engines to help him fight off Montague's diesels, for Gordon's memory if not himself.
- Spiritual Successor: Many fans say this is a successor to Sodor Dark Times, and some even say this is better than the former.
- Take a Third Option: Toby tells Montague that he can let him go if he can leave Sodor, take the diesels back to the Other Railway and leave his friends alone. Montague doesn't take it and makes one final attempt to attack Toby, forcing him into pushing him off the edge of the cliff.
- The End... Or Is It?: After the credits, following Montague's defeat, we see Oliver watching Tobias head off into the distance...
- Took a Level in Cynic: Played with for Toby. This serves as the backbone of his character arc:
"Isn't he quaint!"
- In the very beginning, Toby felt secure about his place on East Anglia. Then, when the line was shut down, he lost faith that people would ever see him for who he was instead of what he was ever again. This, in turn, caused him to be distrustful and distant with the engines of Sodor, despite their more-than-friendly attitude to his arrival.
Toby: We trusted the people back on East Anglia, and they left us for dead without even batting an eye.Henrietta: What about the Fat Controller? Or Thomas?Toby: Yes, they were nice, they were kind. And I tried to trust them, Henrietta. But look at what Gordon went and did!Henrietta: He's just one engine!Toby: You weren't there. You didn't see the way the others all pounced on him when he dared to show his face to them.
- As Toby adjusts to his life on Sodor, we see him slowly start to warm to the other Sudrian engines. Then Gordon does his devious deed, and his faith is swiftly broken. It's not so much the fact that a Sudrian betrayed Toby so much as he saw what the other engines did to an engine who stepped out of line: banished him to the mainland, where, given the timeframe of the video, he wouldn't last long with Dieselisation looming. Understandably, his trust in the Sudrian engines takes a serious blow.
Toby: For once - just once - I want somebody to know me; appreciate me for who I am!
- Each time one of Montague's followers comes after Toby, if further increases his cynicism and distrust. His greatest desire can be described by this line he cries when he's hiding in the quarry with Henrietta:
- Gordon's eventual sacrifice at the end of the film is what finally convinces Toby to fully trust the Sudrians, as he comes to see that even the worst of the Sudrians has come to accept him as one of their own.
- Trailers Always Lie: One shot from the teaser shows Toby and Henrietta being chased by what appears to be Montague's entire diesel army. While he does get into a few chase scenes with Atherton, Ludwig, and Montague, this chase never happens in the movie.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Most of the promotional material for the film seems to try and hide the identity of the main villain, but the initial teaser shows off Montague for all to see.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Toby had a life before coming to Arlesdale and meeting Henrietta. That life ended with his freak collision with Montague.
- Undying Loyalty: Montague has this of the diesels he commands, particularly Atherton and Ludwig. While he gained these followers when he was a diesel, they remained loyal to him even after his rebuild.
- Villainous Breakdown: Montague has one of these when Toby has him up against the edge of the cliff after defeating Atherton.
- Vocal Dissonance: Mavis has a very deep masculine voice.
- Was Once a Man: Montague used to be a diesel prior to the collision between him and Toby. While Toby was repaired with his diesel parts, Montague's mind was placed in a GWR tank engine.