Theodore and Otthaniel, better known as Theo and Otto, are a pair of tank engine twins who live on the Dark Railway.
In 1893, Lord Theodore Dark knew he required motive power to run on the then under construction Dark Railway between its then termini at Axley, Soma, and Walschurch. He ordered two tank engines to be built at Hawthorn Leslie, and these arrived on the railway later that year. The two engines were named after Lord Dark and his son, Otthaniel Dark.
On the opening day of the DR, Theo and Otto, as they eventually became known, were tasked with hauling the first train. Unfortunately, the two engines were severely under-powered, and they failed climbing the gradient. They were soon repaired, but now confined to the Soma Quarry.
Throughout their early life, the twins referred to themselves as "One" and "Two", but soon grew tired of this and, after a chat with a young Otto Dark, named themselves "Theo" and "Otto". Lord Dark honoured this officially in 1938 by giving them nameplates Bearing these names.
Over the years, the twins became interested in advancing certain aspects of railway technology. Deciding that the railways needed a way of transporting goods and passengers without anybody complaining, so they set to work on constructing a teleportation device which would move them in seconds. While construction was going on, they hosted many parties on the DR, such as their cousin Sir Edgar Woolwinder's 61st birthday party. These would often involve alcohol and would end in the twins becoming incredibly drunk. The two eventually approached Dave, Brian, and Raymond to collect some materials for their teleporter, paying them with alcohol when they returned.
In 1963, the twins' teleporter was nearly complete, and they tested it on Brian's irritating visiting brother, Brain with success. However, they also made the decision to experiment with sending goods back in time, so they installed a time manipulating module to their machine. Unfortunately, this backfired severely at the machine's unveiling, sending themselves, Dave, Brian, and Raymond back in time to 1953 on the Settle and Carlisle Railway. The twins set to work rebuilding the machine, sending the other three to look for supplies and enlisting the help of a small shunter named Hunter to help them find the rarer items needed. Unfortunately, the items were stolen from the yard where two loan sharks, Victor and Ludo, lived, and since Hunter was already on their radar, they tracked them down and captured them, knocking Theo out and threatening to turn them into teaspoons. Fortunately, the machine at this point was already repaired, and with the help of the others, they managed to escape and defeat the loan sharks using the machine. Once everything was sorted, the machine was used to return to their normal time and the Dark Railway.
In 1965, the twins and the friend that they helped save from scrap, Leno, were the first to be captured by Leanne who was seeking revenge against the railway for leaving her in a scrapyard. They were quickly rescued, however. In 1967, the twins were sent away for overhaul, having not had one since 1950. They returned later that year, briefly repainted green before returning to their normal liveries. In 1969, the twins were once again repainted back into green. Later that year, they offered to carry out a blood test to determine what had been involved in an incident involving Repulse, but were held up by their equipment going missing along with some dynamite. A few days later, a fire at the Junction killed Colin, Cammer, and Owen, upsetting the twins greatly. After finding their missing equipment, they discovered that Repulse had killed a human, and that she stole their equipment to slow them down, as well as the dynamite to burn down the shed. When it was revealed that Repulse was actually posessed by Leanne's spirit, Otto pulled their Tau Cannon on her, and when Repulse begged him to kill her, he nearly complied. When Pogo asked Otto to use the cannon on Leanne's ghost, Otto fired, screaming it was vengeance for Owen, which allowed Leanne to finally be claimed by Pogo.
In 1971, the twins attempted to threaten Five with the Tau Cannon to try and get him to tell them about the new developments at Galen Junction. After being caught by Mr. Dark and brought up to speed on the situation, he decided to split them up for a while as punishment, choosing Theo to go into the new Galen Junction Railway Museum. To Theo's disappointment, he was placed at the back of the museum, though he later helped to tell visitors the story of the DR. After Theo started striking up conversations with Mr. Dark's son, Zeke Dark, he arranged for Theo to be moved to the front of the museum to allow him to talk wth Otto again.
Theo and Otto are both rather mad, but fun loving and exciteable. Theo is the cheekier of the two, while Otto is the more intelligent of the two.
Theo and Otto are both painted in Dark Railway Green with white lining and with the Dark Railway logo painted on their sides. When they first arrived on the Dark Railway, they were both painted light blue. In 1967, when the twins returned from their overhaul, they briefly carried Dark Railway green, lined in black and white with the railway's logo painted on their tanks. In the main, they have been painted black for most of their lives, Theo with red lining and Otto with white.
Theo and Otto are based on a Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST named Henry, which is currently preserved and on static display at Barrow Hill Roundhouse in Sheffield.
The Dark Railway SeriesEdit
- Series 1 - Pilots (mentioned), The Party, The Shunter's Gamble (do not speak), Will and Won't (only Theo speaks), Dave's Dating Tips, The Beauty Overheard (mentioned), The Betrayal (cameo), The Road to Radstock, and Sir Eustace's Secret
- Series 2 - Dave's Reward (mentioned), Dave and Dai, Colin and the Coaches (one appears; both mentioned), Allan, Hide and Seek, and Taking Out the Trash (cameo)
- Series 3 - The Return of Sir Eustace Missenden, 257 Squadron, Tender Moments of Tender Engines, Football Shortfalls (cameo), Poor Leno, Super 8 (do not speak), Who Goes There?, and Revenge of the Forgotten (only Theo speaks)
- Series 4 - Cammer, Colin and Cows (cameo), Owen's Woes, Turbo (mentioned), Trucks (do not speak), and Instant Crush (only Theo speaks)
- Series 5 - Ed and Sid, Claim to Fame, and Repulse
- Series 6 - Ouverture, Trepid, Fustercluck, Ed, Ed and Eddie, Plunk 'n Bang, Asphalt Assault (mentioned), Burnin' (mentioned), and The Prime Time of your Life
- Series 7 - Futura, Smashing! (mentioned), The Road to Colhapper (mentioned), The Red Herring (mentioned), Mothership Reconnection, Rollerskate Disco (Theo only), and The Man in Overalls (only Theo appears; Otto mentioned)
- The Adventures of Sir Edgar Woolwinder and Bob the Invisible Pink Sailor
- The Aspergers Flyer
- You Bang Snowploughs (only Otto speaks; Theo cameos)
- Pilots (remake) (do not speak)
- With the exception of Event Horizon, Theo and Otto were never seen apart in the series until series 7.
- When depicted with faces by Dark DJ, Theo has a beard while Otto has a goatee.
- Theo and Otto are the longest serving engines on the railway, but are not the oldest residents. That honour goes to Leno, who is three years older than the twins, but only arrived in 1965.
- Although Dave is the main character, and was the first character to be seen in the series (along with Raymond), Theo and Otto were the first true characters conceptualized for the series.
|Locomotives of The Dark Railway|
|Theo and Otto • 257 Squadron • Sir Eustace Missenden • Dave • Brian • Eddie • Leno • Abomination • Hannah • Ed • Sid • Caracus Smash • Five • Barry|
|Ryan • Raymond • Allan • Turbo|
|Cheapside • Dark Railway No 1202 • James • Colin • Repulse|
|Owen • Cammer|