An old 1938 era tube train pulls into a tube station, and rather than being the classic red – the whole train is bright yellow. It wasn’t popular as passengers flee in panic from this yellow terror.
This was, of course, a film, and a very curious one that’s largely forgotten today.
Released in 1972, The Boy Who Turned Yellow is a fantasy about a boy who is upset after losing a pet mouse on a visit to the Tower of London. Sent home from school he heads home via Chalk Farm tube station, and on his trip, in a suspiciously empty tube train, he and his sole passenger suddenly TURN YELLOW
And the train, and the train driver — all bright yellow.
As the train pulls into Hampstead station, the public are horrified and when the boy runs out of the train they flinch away in fear.
It’s a very odd film.
Although set in Chalk Farm, it was actually filmed at Holborn station, on the disused Aldwych platform – and if you look carefully, you can see that the same posters and layout appear in both the station he leaves from and the one he arrives at.
(ignore the opening scene with the red tube train arriving at… Embankment!)
What’s absolutely fascinating is how they did the yellow effect, which initially I thought was a yellow filter on the camera, but there’s a small bit of the train interior left untouched, and you can see that the carriage behind is also untouched.
As impressive is that they repainted the entire outside of the train in yellow.
Not bad for a low-budget TV film made for kids.
Addendum – there was once a genuine bright yellow train on the London Underground – when Yellow Pages sponsored an entire Circle line train. Garish yellow inside and out.