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Well, that’s a much-loved part of my childhood ruined forever…

I have fond memories of rushing home as quickly possible every Monday afternoon circa 1986, pulling my mother along behind me after she had kindly come to meet me from school, and constantly asking her what time it was, fretting that I might miss even a snippet of the opening credits of kids’ TV show Thomas and Friends.

Had I known that there was just some creepy nude guy inside that little blue tank engine, though, I might have instead dragged my feet as much as possible so as not to give my four-year-old self, already with a highly active imagination and a fear of anything that wasn’t my cat or jam sandwiches, any additional nightmare fuel.

When you really think about it, there is something tremendously unsettling about the locomotive characters in Britt Allcroft’s live-action model animated series. Not only are the trains able to move around of their own volition, but their faces look almost human, albeit kind of ill-looking with their grey, dough-like skin.

You know what’s even creepier than a self-aware steam train with a human face, though? A naked adult male crouched down inside said train, only his face – with enormous, watchful eyes – visible from the front.

Shared by Sendai Prefecture-based Twitter user Yui, these doodles apparently came from an old notebook of hers. Through them, we can see that Yui was clearly thinking outside (or perhaps inside?) the box when it came to her favourite animated characters, though one would hope that, with the TV series being adapted for Japanese audiences a little later than in other parts of the world, Yui was a little older than I had been at the height of my Thomas obsession when she watched the show and picked up her pencil.

“I wonder what I was going through at the time I drew these,” comments the Twitter user. We don’t know either, Yui, but we hope you’re feeling better. Now that you’ve successfully destroyed a precious part of this writer’s childhood…

Actually, having just watched Thomas’ rapidly moving eyeballs in this snippet of the Japanese version of the show, I think Thomas and Friends was already more than creepy enough to begin with.

Source: Twitter via Togech