The S.S. Vienna is the most vague, but at the same time, the most beautiful ocean liner ever to visit Bigg City Port. She is white and gold in colour and, much to Lillie Lightship's jealousy, certainly captures Hercules' breath. She appears in the episode Bigg Freeze where the Star Tugs and the Z-Stacks alike eagerly await her arrival.
Behind the Scenes
Her main appearance is in the final episode, Bigg Freeze, but she makes a cameo appearance in Sunshine. She appears in the opening credits of some of the episodes surrounded by the Z-Stacks. Her model seems to be a blend of the Cunard Liners RMS Mauretania, RMS Aquitania and one of several German four-stackers of the early 20th century, such as the SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie or the SS Kaiser Wilhelm II. Her nationality is German. David Mitton decided to name her Vienna so that he could have Top Hat and the others say, "Goodnight, Vienna," a reference to Ringo Starr's 4th Album "Goodnight Vienna."
After TUGS' series finale, the S.S. Vienna's model has been recycled. Her model was then given to the sister series, and from then on she has appeared numerous times in Thomas & Friends (she was first seen in Thomas, Percy and the Dragon) in various different colours. Since the fourth season, she is painted with a black hull, a white superstructure and black and white funnels, and she also appears in the CGI series. Her name was changed to Roxstar.
Due to the fact that Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends has converted itself in CGI animation, models were obviously, no longer needed. Since some of backdrops moved into Drayton Manor, it is currently unkown where the S.S. Vienna's model is at the moment.
Books and Annual Stories
- Ten Cents' Busy Day (cameo)
- Sue Glover (TUGS)
- According to an interview on SIF, her model was described as very light as it was made from Plywood, being around 4 feet long. A model maker from Germany built her and brought the model over by vehicle. This may be incorrect as when S.S. Vienna is seen alongside Hercules in Bigg Freeze, she appears to be almost 3-4 times Hercules length. This would make her around 12 feet long.
- When the S.S. Vienna first appeared in Thomas & Friends, it kept the same livery as it had, it later gained red smokestacks and kept them until the fourth season episode; Henry & The Elephant, S.S Vienna was then repainted black with black and white smokestacks and renamed to "S.S. Roxstar" since.
- According to Jeremy King, S.S. Vienna is named after the song "Goodnight Vienna" on the Ringo Starr album released in 1974.
- 'S.S Roxstar' or S.S Vienna is still in Thomas and Friends. Many other Character models were used in the show.