Dir: James Bobin
Starring: Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey
The Muppets become involved in an international crime caper whilst on a world tour in Europe
Muppets Most Wanted (originally commissioned under the title The Muppets…Again!) is a musical crime comedy and the eighth theatrical film featuring The Muppets, the classic American ensemble cast of puppet characters. This film features scenes with Miss Piggy loading her luggage onto a train at Los Angeles Union station, then arriving into ‘Dublin’ station, and both scenes were filmed at Horsted Keynes on the Bluebell Railway. No.3 Captain Baxter was standing in for a US locomotive named Randy Stevenot, suitably adorned with US flags, cow catcher, large brass whistle and headlight, and huge smokestack chimney. Captain Baxter was built in 1877 by Fletcher Jennings & Co of Whitehaven (works/no.158) and spent its entire working life at Dorking Greystone Lime Works at Betchworth in Surrey. It arrived on the Bluebell in 1960 as one of the very first standard gauge locos to enter preservation there, but was laid up after a single steaming. It returned to traffic in 1982 but the diminutive little 0-4-0 tank is now to small to haul trains on the line. None the less, the loco is a unique survivor, and it provides an attractive contrast in its bright red livery lined in black with green additions when it appears on demonstration trains. The rolling stock used for the circus train is of interest. It comprised of a Southern Railway brake van, a Maunsell coach, a very old SECR ‘Birdcage’ Brake No.1061, and a Southern Railway PMV. As part of the joke, the film producers wanted a train that really looked old and decrepit. They walked around the storage sidings at Horsted Keynes and picked the most dilapidated vehicles they could find. The less paint adhering to them and the more bits missing then the better, the only stipulation being that the wheels must go round! Having been extricated from the brambles the four vehicles formed an unlikely spectacle when coupled behing Captain Baxter. There is also a scene in the film where some of the Muppet cast escape the villain by jumping from the circus train to a passing freight train hauled by a diesel locomotive in BR black – this is Class 08 No.13236 (aka D3236 and 08168), as it was on loan to the Bluebell when filming took place during March 2013. This was the only stunt filmed on the line and used Horsted Keynes station again.