Isaac the Tank Engine

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For those obsessed with so-called-experts, Wikipedia has an article about:
Via Crucis and Thomas the Tank Engine but nothing on Isaac.


Isaac the Tank Engine is a fictional anthropomorphic character created by the Rev W. V. Awdry, also known as the author of Thomas and Friends.

Thomas the Tank Engine, a literary invention of the Rev V. W. Awdry that has gained some measure of popularity.

History

The Creation

After the Second World War spirits were at an all time low, especially in England, the spiritual home of the Church of England. The then head of the Church of England wrote to his followers as follows.


Amongst others like C. S. Lewis, the Rev E. T. Awdry took up the cause and penned his first work in early 1946 based around his memories of Sunday school as a child, where he used to stare out of the window all morning at the trains going past and make up stories around them.

Isaac, his main character, is a tank engine; He was designed to create a parabolic reference to the spiritual head of the Anglican church after the second world war that made religion accessible to children. In his notes is written:

“Where normal tank engines carry water on either side of their boilers, Isaac will be the font from which whomsoever doth drinketh they shall never thirst.”
~ Rev P. T. Awdry

Pre-Release

The Rev M. T Awdry dreamt for many years of being recognised by the head of the Anglican church.

Prior to the stories being published, however, the Rev M. V. Awdry attempted to destroy all of his earlier works and re-wrote them in a secular fashion. Some believe had a crisis of faith and he realised that he wasn't aware of whether he believed in the existence of an interventionist God [Citation needed as the author is obviously full of shit.]. Others believe that he had shown the work to friends and family who universally dismissed the work as overly melodramatic and often in poor taste.[Citation needed as the author is is clearly on crack.].

The Birth of a New Concept

He instead wrote a gentler, kinder version of the stories that was released later in 1946, which he entitled "Thomas the Tank Engine." The reason for the change of name as Thomas reflected a different side of the Reverend, and potentially was referring to the Apostle Thomas, also known as "Doubting Thomas", reflecting his own feelings of doubt. Although he was eventually successful, it was a further 10 years before he was thanked personally by the head of the Anglican Church.

After the Rev V. D. Awdry passed away in 1997 his writings were all sent to Cambridge University for the purposes of being inducted into the BHS[1], along side the Beefeaters and the American Civil War.

The discovery

Finally in 2002, scholars opened the box and unearthed some of the earlier writings of Rev R. V. Awdry, and hence posted details online. The introduction and the first fourteen stories were bundled together in a collection entitled "Isaac the Tank Engine and The Via Crucis: The Stations of the Cross."[Citation needed but you'll never get it.]

Plot synopsis

The following are the summaries of the stations the Rev U. 2. Awdry wrote about, as summarised by The Literary Misinterpretation Department Of Cambridge University after their amazing discovery.

Prefacio

Can you think of a station where you have had to wait?


Station 1: Gethsemane Gardens Station


Station 2: Betrayal Station

“The engine I bump into when we get to the station is a silly head.”


Station 3: Sanhedrin Station


Station 4: Denial Station

“Before the cock, you will be a liar, liar, pants on fire.”


Station 5: Pilate station

Bertram, the Old warrior.


Station 6: The Police Station

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The police hit him and made fun of him.


Station 7: Kings Cross Station

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"We have no new trains but diesel."


Station 8: Simon station

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Station 9: Jerusalem Meet

Some of the engines were sad to see him going to the scrap yard..


Station 10: Crucifixion Station


Station 11: Promise Place

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Station 12: Chatenham Station

The scrap yard at the place of the Skull.


Station 13: Mortem Station


Station 14: Graveyard Stopping Place

The Fat Controller sold the chassis of Isaac to Mel, the rich man from California.


The continuing saga

The untold story

It is believed that although the Via Crucis series finishes here, the Rev S. M. Awdry had planned for a sequel to follow, where Isaac came out of the factory as a re-made solar-powered train. He was to be proclaimed as the train of the future and everyone would be able to ride on him to a better tomorrow, but alas, this was not meant to be.

The celebration of the discovery

Due to the discovery in 2002 and the ramifications throughout the Church, it was decided that a special performance was to be put on as art of the 80th birthday celebrations for the head of the Anglican church.

A "real" Isaac was used in a special play, The Queen's Handbag. The play starring well-loved characters from children's literature, such as The Pirate Queen, Wallace and Grommit, Captain Hook, Winnie the Pooh, and many more. In the play, the near 'life-sized' Isaac carried Sophie Dahl, daughter of Roald Dahl to the stage to meet The Fat Controller at the beginning of the show.[3]

Rumours have circulated that a movie version is to be made, however this remains to be seen.

References

  1. British Hall of Stuff that is vital to our cultural identity but we're actually kind of embarrassed about and would prefer that nobody noticed
  2. “You corpulent bag of wind! You have the facial features that are reminiscent of the back end of a camel!”
  3. http://forums.toonzone.net/showthread.php?t=183127

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