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Thomas and Friends

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Thomas and Friends
Logo used since 2008
GenreChildren's television series
Created byRev. W. Awdry
Based onThe Railway Series
Developed byBritt Allcroft
Directed by
Voices ofSee List of Thomas & Friends voice actors
Narrated by
Opening theme
  • Thomas' Theme (1984–2003)
  • Thomas' Anthem (secondary) (1991–2003)
  • Engine Roll Call (2004–2021)
  • Big World! Big Adventures! (2018–2021)
Ending theme
  • Thomas' Theme (reprise) (1984–2003)
  • Engine Roll Call (instrumental) (2004–2017)
  • Big World! Big Adventures! (reprise) (2018–2021)
  • Mike O'Donnell and Junior Campbell (1984–2003)
  • Robert Hartshorne (2004–2016)
  • Ed Welch (2004–2008)
  • Peter Hartshorne (2011–2016)
  • Chris Renshaw (2016–2021)
  • Oliver Davis (2016–2017)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series24
No. of episodes584 + 14 films and 6 double-length specials (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Britt Allcroft (1984–1986, 2002)
  • Angus Wright (1991–1998)
  • Peter Urie (2002–2003)
  • Jocelyn Stevenson (2003–2006)
  • Christopher Skala (2007–2011)
  • Marion Edwards (2009–2015)
  • Lenora Hume (2009–2010)
  • Karen Barnes (2011–2013)
  • Kallan Kagan (2013–2017)
  • Jeff Young (2013–2015)
  • Steven Hecht (2013–2015)
  • Michael Carrington (2013–2014)
  • Christopher Keenan (2014–2021)
  • Edward Catchpole (2015)
  • Marianne Culbert (2016)
  • Kyle MacDougall (2016–2021)
  • Jamie LeClaire (2016–2021)
  • Phil LaFrance (2016–2021)
  • David Mitton (1984–1998)
  • Robert D. Cardona (1984–1986)
  • Britt Allcroft (1991–1998)
  • Phil Fehrle (2002–2003)
  • Simon Spencer (2004–2008)
  • Nicole Stinn (2008–2012)
  • Ian McCue (2011–2017)
  • Halim Jabbour (2013)
  • Robert Anderson (2013; 2015–2017)
  • Brian Lynch (2013–2015)
  • Jennifer Hill (2014–2015)
  • Lynda Craigmyle (2016)
  • Jane Sobol (2016)
  • Tracy Blagdon (2016–2021)
  • Micaela Winter (2016–2018)
Production locations
Running time
  • 4 minutes, 30 seconds (Series 1–7)
  • 10 minutes[a] (Series 8–12)
  • 11 minutes[b] (Series 13–24)
  • 30 minutes (Series 8)
Production companies
Original release
Release9 October 1984 (1984-10-09) –
20 January 2021 (2021-01-20)

Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (otherwise referred to as Thomas and Friends, Thomas the Tank Engine or Thomas for short) is a British children's television series. It was first broadcast on CITV in September 1984. It is based on The Railway Series books by the Rev. W. Awdry and his son, Christopher. The main character is Thomas the Tank Engine, a tank engine that is painted blue. The show takes place on the made-up island of Sodor. There are some route systems there. One of them is a standard-gauge heritage railway run by Sir Topham Hatt known as the North Western Railway. Thomas runs on that route system.


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The show is mainly about the locomotives, other machines, humans and other animals who populate the fictional Island of Sodor in the United Kingdom. Since 2004, the show has had ten main characters:

The first attempt to adapt Awdry's stories for television came in 1953, when the editor of the Railway Series books, Eric Marriott, was approached by the BBC, who wished to use live-action model trains to re-create two stories from Awdry's first book, The Three Railway Engines. 00 gauge Hornby Dublo models appeared on sets that reflected the style of the original illustrations. The first episode (based on "The Sad Story of Henry") was broadcast live on the evening of Sunday 14 June 1953 from Lime Grove Studios.[9] The live broadcast did not fare well: a failure to switch the points caused the model of Henry to derail and it had to be replaced on the rails by one of the operators. The models moved jerkily, and all effects and music had to be superimposed.[10]

News of the broadcast hit the front pages of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. Awdry branded the episode "unprofessional", and the point-switching debacle an "elementary mistake". As a result, the second episode scheduled for 28 June 1953 was put on hold, and then later cancelled.[9][11] The BBC offered Awdry and the Railway Series publishers greater creative control over the production, but the publishers declined, preferring to focus on publishing new books for the series.[10]

Nearly twenty years later, the BBC featured Awdry's stories in the television story-telling show Jackanory. Fourteen years before Thomas and Friends was aired, Ted Ray (sitting in a stationmaster's office) read five Railway Series books in episodes that aired between 20 September to 2 October 1970.

Current voices
Actor Region Role(s)
John Hasler UK Thomas (The Adventure Begins onwards)
UK/US Rheneas (Season 20 onwards)
Joseph May US Thomas (The Adventure Begins onwards)
Christopher Ragland US Percy (Series 19 onwards) and Trevor (Season 20 onwards)
UK/US Troublesome Trucks (The Adventure Begins onwards), a Passenger
Tim Bain UK/US Aiden, Madeleine's Father, some Passengers and some Workmen (UK/US)
David Bedella US Victor and The Mayor of Sodor
UK/US Victor (Blue Mountain Mystery onwards) and The Cuban Man
Sanjeev Bhaskar UK/US Shankar
Sheena Bhattessa UK/US Noor Jehan and Charubala
Hugh Bonneville UK/US Merlin
Darren Boyd UK/US Theo
Jonathan Broadbent UK/US Bill & Ben, and A Slip Coach
Jamie Campbell Bower UK/US Skiff
Chipo Chung UK/US Hong-Mei and Dr. Kim
Flamina Cinque UK/US Ester and Dam Bella
Nathan Clarke UK/US Alfie
Olivia Colman UK/US Marion
Sophie Colquhoun UK/US Frankie
Laura Cucurullo UK/US Cassia, a Batucata Musician and Marcia
Tina Desai UK/US Ashima and The Indian Fashion Designer
Jonathan Forbes UK/US Connor
Anna Francolini UK/US Gina, some Italian Children, and some Italian Passengers
Teresa Gallagher UK Emily, Rosie, Mavis, Lady Hatt, Stephen Hatt (Diesel's Special Delivery), Bridget Hatt, The Duchess of Boxford, Bridget Hatt's Friends, The Teacher, The Laundry Lady, The School Children, The Girl in Red Dress, The Blond-hair Boy and Some Passengers
UK/US Belle, Mavis (Series 17 onwards), Annie & Clarabel, Lady Hatt (Series 17 onwards), Judy and The Lady with the Big Hat
Bob Golding UK/US Stephen, Sidney, Baz and Some Dock Workers
Mike Grady UK/US Sir Robert Norramby
Rasmus Hardiker UK/US Philip
William Hope US Edward, Toby, Whiff, Bash, Rocky, Stephen Hatt, Farmer McColl, The Duke of Boxford, The Maithwaite Stationmaster (Double Trouble and Wonky Whistle only), Farmer Trotter, The Dock Manager, and The Wellsworth Station Worker
UK/US Bert (Series 16 onwards) and A Railway Inspector
Jim Howick UK/US Hurricane
Siu-see Hung UK/US An An and the Chinese Women
Togo Igawa UK/US Hiro
Shane Jacobson UK/US Shane
Rufus Jones UK/US Flying Scotsman
Jules de Jongh US Emily, Rosie, Mavis (Hero of the Rails - Blue Mountain Mystery), Lady Hatt, Bridget Hatt, The Duchess of Boxford, Bridget Hatt's Friends, The Teacher, The Laundry Lady, The Blond-haired Boy and The School Children
UK/US Alicia Botti
Harriet Kershaw UK/US Jenny Packard and Darcy
Steven Kynman UK Porter, Jack, and The Dock Manager (Tale of the Brave only)
US Butch (Series 17 onwards) and a Child
UK/US Duck, Peter Sam, Dart (Series 17 onwards), Paxton, A Slip Coach, and A Railway Inspector
Francisco Labbe UK/US Gustavo and a Batucata Musician
Michael Legge UK/US Luke
Dan Li UK/US Yong Bao and Chinese Railway Inspector
Windson Liong UK/US Yin-Long and the Chinese Men
Montserrat Lombard UK/US Mia and some Italian Passengers
Monica Lopera UK/US Gabriela
Antoino Magro UK/US Stefano, the Italian Stationmaster, and some Italian Workmen
Clive Mantle UK/US Gator
David Menkin US Porter and Jack
Genevieve McCarthy UK/US Aubrey
Matt McCooey UK/US Kenji
Ian McCue UK/US Tiger Hunter #1 and The Crown Thief 1
Colin McFarlane UK/US Bulgy and Beresford
Rachael Louise Miller UK/US Rebecca
Joe Mills UK/US Donald (Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure and The Great Race only), Douglas, Oliver, Toad, Skiff and The Welsh Bird Watcher
Lucy Montgomery UK/US Lexi, Hannah and Carly
Vincenzo Nicoli UK/US Lorenzo, Beppe, An Italian Workman, and some Italian Passengers
Rebecca O'Mara UK/US Caitlin and A Slip Coach
Maggie Ollerenshaw UK/US Henrietta
Nikhil Parner UK/US Rajiv, the Indian Friendly Stationmaster, the Indian Grumpy Stationmaster, and the Indian Troublesome Trucks
Rosamund Pike UK/US Duchess
Nigel Pilkington UK Trevor
Gabriel Porras UK/US Emerson and Fernando
Miranda Raison UK/US Millie and The Knapford Station Speaker (Missing Gator)
Rob Rackstraw UK/US Donald (Season 20 onwards), Bradford, Monty and Flynn (Season 19 onwards, excluding Toad and the Whale)
UK Toby (season 19 onwards)
US James (The Adventure Begins onwards) and Stanley (Season 20 onwards)
Eddie Redmayne UK/US Ryan
John Schwab UK/US Vinnie
Peter Andre UK/US Ace
Yvonne Grundy UK/US Nia
Kerry Shale US Henry, Gordon, James (Hero of the Rails - Season 18), Dash, Scruff, Harold, Kevin, Sir Topham Hatt (Hero of the Rails - Season 18), Mr. Percival, Sir Lowham Hatt, The Maithwaite Stationmaster (Time For a Story and A Blooming Mess only), A Railway Inspector, The Railway Coal Inspector, The Zoo Keeper, and Workmen
UK The Zoo Keeper (Not Now, Charlie! only)
UK/US Diesel (UK, Season 13 onwards, US, season 19), 'Arry, Bert (Series 14 - 15), Max, Beau, and Some groaning passengers (Calm Down Caitlin)
Tom Stourton UK/US Duncan, Rex and Terence
Federico Trujillo UK/US Raul, a Batucada Musician, a Brazilian Workman and Marcio
Tim Whitnall UK The Deputy Minister
UK/US Timothy, Mike, Oliver (Excavator), Jerome, Duke and Reg
Keith Wickham UK Edward, Henry, Gordon, James, Percy, Whiff, Dash, Harold, The Mayor of Sodor, The Thin Controller, Sir Lowham Hatt, Mr. Bubbles, The Railway Coal Inspector, The Man at the Fire, The Wellsworth Station Worker, The Wellsworth Stationmaster, Some Workmen, Some Passengers, Gator's Driver, A Steamworks Worker, A Groundsman, and A Postman
UK/US Harvey, Skarloey, Sir Handel, Bert (Arlesdale Railway), The Fat Controller (UK, Season 13, US, The Adventure Begins onwards), Salty, Den, Norman, Stafford, Bertie (Series 17 onwards), Captain, Dowager Hatt, A Railway Inspector, The Great Composer, The Maron Station Speaker, The Fat Controller's Assistant, Thomas' Guard, The Grumpy Passenger, and Father Christmas
Robert Wilfort UK/US Samson
Matt Wilkinson UK Spencer, Stanley, Charlie, Bash, Scruff, Victor (Hero of the Rails - Series 16), Rocky, Cranky, Butch (Series 16 onwards), Kevin, Stephen Hatt, Farmer McColl, The Duke of Boxford, The Photographer, The Maithwaite Stationmaster, Farmer Trotter, The Knapford Stationmaster, The Bird Watcher, The Dock Manager, A Railway Inspector, Some Dock Workers, The Island Inspector, The Sodor Search & Rescue Centre Manager, The Blue Mountain Quarry Workman, and The Zoo Keeper
UK/US Diesel 10, Rusty, Winston, and Merrick
Glenn Wrage US Spencer, Charlie (Series 13 - 15), Ferdinand, Cranky, Butch (Series 15 - 16), The Sodor Search & Rescue Centre Manager, Gator's Driver, and A Steamworks Worker
Former voices
Actor Region Role(s)
Martin Sherman US Thomas (Hero of the Rails - Series 18), Percy (Hero of the Rails - Series 18), Diesel (King of the Railway - Series 18), and some children (Toby and Bash)
Ben Small UK Thomas (Hero of the Rails - Series 18), Toby (Hero of the Rails - Series 18), and Ferdinand (Misty Island Rescue - Series 16)
US Stanley (Series 15 - 18) and Charlie (Series 16 - 18)
UK/US Rheneas (Blue Mountain Mystery - Series 18), Flynn (Series 17, only), Troublesome Trucks (Series 16 - 18) and Owen (Blue Mountain Mystery - Series 18)
Michael Brandon US Diesel (Series 13 - Blue Mountain Mystery), Mr. Bubbles (Series 13 - 15), and The Knapford Stationmaster (Series 13 only)
Rupert Degas UK Butch (Series 15 only)
UK/US Diesel 10 (Misty Island Rescue; original cut only), Dart (Series 15 - 16), Flynn (Series 15 - 16), and Bertie (Series 15 - 16)


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United Kingdom

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United States

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  1. These series also aired in a half-hour format.
  2. Until Series 20, these series also aired in a half-hour format. As of series 22, the episodes themselves only run for 7 minutes, with the remainder of the episodes being used for educational segments.
  3. The first half of series 3 was released straight-to-video before airing on TV. ITV also rebroadcast series 6-8 after the Nick Jr. airings.
  4. Series 6-8 were rerun on CITV, while series 8-11 were rerun on Channel 5.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Paul Willistein (30 August 1999). "Rolling along new adventures for Thomas the Tank Engine". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on 26 June 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Starr (19 July 2007). "'Thomas' has new friend in Brosnan". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  3. Haring, Bruce (31 May 2020). "Michael Angelis Dies: Voice Of 'Thomas The Tank Engine' Was 68". Deadline. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  4. Allcroft, Britt (26 June 2008). "Los Angeles Times 'The George Carlin I knew'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  5. "Former Brookside actor to be Thomas the Tank Engine narrator". The Guardian. 17 May 2013. Archived from the original on 17 June 2022. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  6. "John Hasler CV". johnhasler.co.uk. Archived from the original on 11 February 2023.
  7. "Joseph May". sp-agency.co.uk/. Retrieved 17 June 2024.
  8. "Thomas the Tank Engine launches gender-balanced, multi-cultural Steam Team". The Independent. 1 September 2018. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mallory, Michael; Whitlock, Natalie (6 November 2006). "Thomas the Tank Engine and TV". Ultimate Guide to Thomas the Tank Engine. TLC. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "The TV Series – A History of Thomas on Screen". Sodor Island. Archived from the original on 1 May 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  11. Clark, Rhodri (19 May 2005). "Still Building Steam at 60". The Journal. Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Retrieved 17 February 2014.

Other websites

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