Big Adventures! These books follow the adventures of a group of anthropomorphised locomotives and road vehicles who live on the fictional Island of Sodor.
Thomas and Friends Sing Along Songs
The books were based on stories Wilbert told to entertain his son, Christopher, during his recovery from measles. Many of the stories from the first four series are based on events from Awdry's personal experience. The engines were portrayed by 00 gauge Hornby Dublo models and driven on authentic sets in the style of the original illustrations. Reportedly, a failure to switch the points caused the model of Henry to derail and viewers of the live broadcast witnessed a human hand, said to be one of a crew member, picking him up and placing him back on the rails.
Models moved jerkily, and all effects and music had to be superimposed. Awdry himself branded the episode as "unprofessional", and the point-switching debacle as an "elementary mistake". Nearly twenty years later, the BBC incorporated Awdry's stories once again.
Fourteen years before Thomas and Friends was aired, Ted Ray , sitting in a stationmaster 's office, read out five Railway Series books between 20 September to 2 October on the popular television story-telling show Jackanory.
In , British television producer Britt Allcroft was producing a documentary on the Bluebell Railway ,   a heritage railway in Sussex which actually featured in the Railway Series book Stepney the Bluebell Engine.
What's that in the sky...
I saw a strong emotional content that would carry with little children's experiences with life. Allcroft worked to convince Awdry that she could, with funding, convert the stories into a successful television show.
In the end, after several years of searching and having to place a second mortgage on her home, Allcroft raised sufficient funding from her local bank manager. By , Allcroft had secured the finances to produce the show, she started to assemble the crew, including producer and director David Mitton , also the founder of Clearwater Features Ltd.
It later relocated to Shepperton Studios , Middlesex, southwest of London for subsequent series. The use of moving models was seen at the time of the series' conception as an effective method of animating the stories.
Locomotives and other vehicles were operated by radio control, while humans and animals were static figures. Stop-motion was occasionally employed for instances in which a human or animal character would move.
Hand-drawn animation was used in Series 3 to create bees as seen in the episode "Buzz Buzz". The first series used stories from the first eight books, along with one specially written by the Rev. Awdry , Thomas's Christmas Party.
The second series used stories from Book No. The latter book was unusual, as it was written specifically by Christopher Awdry to be adapted by the show. At that time, it was a contractual obligation that the series could only adapt stories that appeared in print. The series also used a story from a Thomas Annual, "Thomas and Trevor", and a specially written stand-alone story, Thomas and the Missing Christmas Tree. The second series was actually a episode series, as a single unaired episode " The Missing Coach " was in the process of being filmed, but despite being filmed it was never shown because Allcroft decided it was too confusing for young viewers.
The production team went on to use "Thomas, Percy and the Coal" instead. Just before production of series three, Clearwater closed on 31 December , with The Britt Allcroft Company becoming the sole producer. Series three was broadcast in for Thames Television.
One of the primary reasons for diverging from the original books was that many of the stories not yet used featured large numbers of new characters, which would be expensive to produce.
Another reason was that the producers wanted more stories about Thomas , the nominal main character. Awdry complained that the new stories would be unrealistic see Henry the Green Engine for more details. Cardona left as producer, while Britt Allcroft joined David Mitton as co-producer.
Angus Wright took over as executive producer. Series four was first released directly to video between and before its broadcast debut on Cartoon Network. The producers planned to introduce some new female characters, including motor car Caroline , Nancy , and The Refreshment Lady. Series four was almost entirely based on The Railway Series. The narrow gauge engines were introduced, and were the focus of a number of episodes.
Only one original story "Rusty to the Rescue", written by Allcroft and Mitton was used, but this took certain elements of plot and dialogue from Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine. The fifth series , also first released directly to video before its TV airings on Cartoon Network, was a radical shift, as all episodes were written by Allcroft and Mitton with no further stories being adapted from the "Railway Series". It also focused on more dramatic and edgy plot-lines, with more severe accidents, than in the earlier seasons.
It was also the final season broadcast on Cartoon Network, as Nickelodeon UK would eventually acquire the broadcast rights to the show for it to air on their newly created Nick Jr.
Thomas the Tank Engine
CN continued to air older seasons until their broadcast rights fully expired in It featured new characters created by Allcroft, along with characters from the show that introduced Thomas to the U. Despite high production values and the popularity of the show, the film was criticised by British reviewers who were unfamiliar with Shining Time Station. The Britt Allcroft Company which changed its name to Gullane Entertainment in was purchased by HiT Entertainment in September ,   a company specialising in children's entertainment.
The sixth and seventh series continued to introduce action-packed storylines and new characters, and saw the introduction of a writing staff. The sixth series in was notable for its attempt to create a spin-off based on the successful "Bob the Builder" series. Two episodes introduced a group of construction machine characters known as "The Pack".
The spin-off did not materialise for some time. It was the first season broadcast on ITV since Season 3.
The fact that older sets were used and the episodes were shot on 35mm camera as opposed to the digital camera used at the time of the episodes' release suggest it was filmed some time before Series 8. Phil Fehrle replaced Allcroft and Mitton as producer, though Mitton remained as the director.
In , Allcroft stepped down as executive producer, making Urie the sole executive producer for Gullane Entertainment , and Jocelyn Stevenson was the executive producer for HiT Entertainment. It introduced a number of significant changes to the show.
Many of the original founding team involved in the original show since left the production, notably Britt Allcroft, director and writer David Mitton, and original composers Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell. The latter two had been embroiled in a protracted legal dispute with HiT before their departure. A new theme song and incidental music were composed by Ed Welch and Robert Hartshorne, respectively. Episode runtime was increased to seven minutes.
The series was produced using digital video camera, creating a somewhat different look for the show. Other changes included the additions of CGI educational sequences and transitions between stories. Executive producer Peter Urie also left, while Jocelyn Stevenson remained in her role as executive producer. HiT Entertainment was itself then acquired by Apax Partners , a private equity company, in March A straight-to-video film, Calling All Engines!
While featuring characters from Thomas and the Magic Railroad , it was not a direct sequel. It proved successful, which resulted in more direct-to-video specials being produced.
Series 9 and 10 saw the expansion of the supporting cast with new and old characters. From Series 9 the narrator would call out the episodes' names and from Series 11 the theme song was sung starting with the sound of a train whistle. Series 10 aired with twenty-eight episodes rather than the twenty-six of previous years.
The eleventh series was filmed in high definition format.
Twenty episodes aired in the original broadcast, while six were released directed to DVD as Engines and Escapades. Jocelyn Stevenson had stepped down as executive producer after Series 10, with Christopher Skala taking her place as executive producer for Series Sharon Miller became the script editor from Series 9 to Humans and animals were fully computer animated to allow for walking movement.
Thomas the tank engine music book
Only twenty episodes were produced and broadcast the U. Sharon Miller became the head writer, starting with Series HiT announced multiple changes to the show beginning in One new aspect was the introduction of live-action host segments to Thomas' home video releases.
The host took the form of a character who worked on The Fat Controller's Sir Topham Hatt's railway, who would instruct viewers in craft projects. Arkwright, played by Robert Slate. Perkins, played by Ben Forster, and has remained host until Forster died in after a battle with cancer and will be replaced by Mark Moraghan, who will play "Mr Evans" in the upcoming web series. For budgetary reasons, the other major changes were a move to production in CGI, rather than using physical models, and the addition of a voice cast to support the established narrator.
In September , Apax was preparing to sell off HiT Entertainment and its franchises, including Thomas — regarded as the single most valuable asset — in order to help clear HiT's debts,  and in February , sold the company, along with the Thomas properties, to "US toy giant", Mattel.
During production of Series 16 , Sharon Miller stepped down as head writer, and Andrew Brenner, who had written some Thomas stories in the third series, assumed the role after serving as script editor for "Blue Mountain Mystery".
Series 20 was the last series of the show to air on PBS Kids; when Series 21 began airing in , the American broadcast of the show was moved to Nick Jr. Thomas and Friends announced a twenty-second series with 26 Episodes with New Episodes among many other changes like: Edward, Henry and Toby being removed from the Steam Team to make room for two new female steam engines named Nia Africa and Rebecca UK ,  and the narrator has been replaced with Thomas talking to the audience however, Mark Moraghan, the previous narrator has said that he will still work on the series.
Season 22 is set after Big World! The series has since been renewed for a 23rd season which recently started production and debuted in A 24th season is set to be released in September The season will also be the final series animated by Jam Filled Toronto.
It is currently unknown which studio will succeed them. Originally, narrating was used as the only voice in the series until Britt Allcroft thought it essential to convey the episode as a story that would be read from a book at home.
Over the history of the programme, the TV episodes and specials have been released for home viewing in a variety of compilations, formats and languages, by a variety of publishing houses.
Up until series 12, narration and dialogue were performed by a single storyteller. Starting from series 22 onwards, Thomas the Tank Engine himself takes over as the narrator.
The original live action models were filmed on an extensive model railway layout built at the studios. The models were built to the scale, known in model railway circles as " Gauge 1 ".